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sweetbacon
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PostSubject: Does this make sense?   Tue Oct 07 2014, 20:06

This is not intended to be GW bashing so I hope it doesn't come across as such.  After reading the new codex, I have a question about GW's design philosophy and business acumen.  Specifically, it introduced several new kits which  (presumably) GW hopes to sell quite a bit of.  I have no issues with the physical kits themselves, but I do wonder why there seems to be such a huge disconnect between the sales/marketing branch and the design team.  

For example, the new Void Raven bomber looks pretty sweet and has some decent weapons options.  But a fully upgraded one is nearly the same point level as a Land Raider and I don't understand why the design team did this if they hope to sell a lot of units for this model.   This is a totally serious question:  does the design team (or GW as a whole) understand that, for most 40K players, rules play a huge part in determining whether something is worth buying?  

The same questions applies with the blatant rule/unit power manipulation in order to drive sales.   Its great that GW gave people an incentive to buy Scourges, Razorwings, Reavers, etc., but why did they also completely erase any incentive to buy Wyches, Hellions, etc.?  Wouldn't they rather have the income generated by people buying the new good units as well as the old good units (which would still be good in this scenario)?  It seems like they are robbing Peter to pay Paul here.  Why not make the bad stuff good ($$$) and leave the good stuff like it was ($$$)?  Does anybody have any insight into why they do this?  

GW is, at the end of the day, a business which must make profits to keep the share holders happy.  How do they intend to do that if they deliberately make 1/3 to 1/2 of each codex's units (more for some, less for others) so bad that nobody would want to buy them?  I just don't understand why they don't think the revenue generated by these formerly good units is worth keeping...
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Thor665
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PostSubject: Re: Does this make sense?   Tue Oct 07 2014, 21:09

Well, a couple of thoughts;

1. This presumes that GW understands when they're making a unit good or bad.
2. This also presumes they are not just trying to make a balanced codex (whether or not they succeed this is theoretically what they're trying to do)

This is hardly the first time a new model/kit kind of blew. I think Mandrakes were generally accredited as one of the single worst selections in the game at the time they came out.

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amishprn86
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PostSubject: Re: Does this make sense?   Tue Oct 07 2014, 21:31

About the Bomber, yes upgraded it is a Land Raider, But its also a Flier, that changes things alot.

Its better to look at a Storm Raven in comparison. Base 200 pts VS ours-Base 160pts

40pt Difference 4 Missiles, 2more Armor, Transport, PotMS, TL-Assault/Heavy Bolter
We get 2 S9's (Not TL) a Bomb, Night vision/Super Sonic.

To me this is terrible balancing. The bomber IMO should have came with Missiles and a 5-10pts upgrade for each/other missile.

I would have love to seen the Splinter Rifle on the Razorwing be able to upgrade to a HL or a HWB to make it a AA specialty.

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Panic_Puppet
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PostSubject: Re: Does this make sense?   Tue Oct 07 2014, 21:46

You missed Ceramite Plating off the Storm Raven. And the weapon options are different... choice of twin-linked Assault Cannon/Lascannon/Plasma cannon in one slot and heavy bolter/multi-melta in the other. POTMS makes it great for simultaneous aerial-ground assault.

From looking at it, I think our best option is probably D-Scythes on the Void Raven and use it as a ground attack craft, and trust Razorwings for an anti-air option as most fliers generally have lower armour.

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Count Adhemar
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PostSubject: Re: Does this make sense?   Tue Oct 07 2014, 21:52

@sweetbacon wrote:
This is a totally serious question:  does the design team (or GW as a whole) understand that, for most 40K players, rules play a huge part in determining whether something is worth buying?

The answer to that appears to be a resounding 'No'. Everything I have ever heard that claims to be from an inside source at GW says that they genuinely think people buy the models for the models, not the rules.

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Barking Agatha
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PostSubject: Re: Does this make sense?   Tue Oct 07 2014, 22:10

In a company like GW, everyone is given a specific job to do. It isn't the developer's job to drive sales: there's someone else who does that, and that's probably someone who doesn't know (or care) about the difference between Vector Dancer and Vector Strike.

The designer designs the miniature, the developer writes rules for it, the sales department pushes it. Ideally they all communicate with each other so that the product works for everyone, but with pressing deadlines that isn't always the case. And they all want to make it to the pub before six. Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Does this make sense?   Tue Oct 07 2014, 22:11

@Count Adhemar wrote:
@sweetbacon wrote:
This is a totally serious question:  does the design team (or GW as a whole) understand that, for most 40K players, rules play a huge part in determining whether something is worth buying?

The answer to that appears to be a resounding 'No'. Everything I have ever heard that claims to be from an inside source at GW says that they genuinely think people buy the models for the models, not the rules.

That's strange to me. I appear as a normal person to people in my social circle, and it's easier to keep up that ruse when I invite them over, they see all my pretty models, and I can say, "Well they're part of a tabletop strategy game I play with friends. It's like chess."

As opposed to, "Check out muh new airplane! SWOOSH!"

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Lord Val
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PostSubject: Re: Does this make sense?   Tue Oct 07 2014, 22:28

I suppose if we pose the question. Will GW pump (substantial) cash into a new model kit and give it terrible rules?

No. They wouldn't. Theyd make sure it fitted in and was compatible with their other products. Assuming they want a return on the money they put in to developing and producing a new kit. At least if they want to make money. . . Which I assume they do. Razz
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sweetbacon
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PostSubject: Re: Does this make sense?   Tue Oct 07 2014, 23:31

@Count Adhemar wrote:
@sweetbacon wrote:
This is a totally serious question:  does the design team (or GW as a whole) understand that, for most 40K players, rules play a huge part in determining whether something is worth buying?

The answer to that appears to be a resounding 'No'. Everything I have ever heard that claims to be from an inside source at GW says that they genuinely think people buy the models for the models, not the rules.

This is incredibly depressing, Count.  If GW truly thinks people buy 40K models solely because they like to assemble and paint somewhat pricey space man toys (and some people do, to each their own), why do they even bother with rules at all?   I know GW seems to be quite proud of the fact that they don't seek or care about feedback from their customer base (which seems crazy to me), so why don't they just get out of the rules business altogether if they have such apathy toward the "gaming" part of their, um, game?  The fact that they haven't suggests that at least on some level, somebody in the company, probably a summer intern, sort of understands that maybe, just maybe, there is a correlation between rules and model sales(?).
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sweetbacon
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PostSubject: Re: Does this make sense?   Tue Oct 07 2014, 23:38

@Thor665 wrote:
Well, a couple of thoughts;

1. This presumes that GW understands when they're making a unit good or bad.

This is a little terrifying to actually contemplate.  Because I think you're right, Thor.  I'm picturing the design team for each codex as being completely sequestered from the design teams for every other codex, meaning the people who wrote the latest DE book may have been locked away in some bunker for the last two years believing that they were working on a masterpiece, all the while blissfully unaware of what their counterparts assigned to write the Eldar and Tau codexes came up with in 2013.  That at least would make more sense than people getting paid to write rules for a game they seemingly have never played.
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Its_Rumble
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PostSubject: Re: Does this make sense?   Wed Oct 08 2014, 01:17

What do you expect out of people working at minimum wage. This conversation can go WAY off course talking about free markets and product quality, but what do you expect when the people making your army are pulling a bare minimum.

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PostSubject: Re: Does this make sense?   Wed Oct 08 2014, 01:38

Well GW HAS STATED in the past that they are a MODEL MAking company, NOT a GAMING company.... contrary to their name... and this came straight from GW's mouth more than once, so I guess they are living up to it with the serious crappy nerfs done to IC's,vehicles,etc...... and now we have the most expensive paper airplane in the game I believe and opponents only have to go 'whew! just have to make it through one turn of these things then I can blow them from the sky with ease....'
My Razorwing has NEVERRRRRRR even earned its points in combat AND has been BLOWN from the sky in 1 turn and always with 1 hit...... never makes it more than the turn it decides to show up in.....

AT least they should make it so WHEN it crashes to its doom it goes nuke with an 18" platter for damage, S10,AP1, ID ,sucks you into the warp like a wraith cannon....at least it would bring an evil smirk to my face.......
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Creeping Darkness
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PostSubject: Re: Does this make sense?   Wed Oct 08 2014, 03:01

Warning: baseless conspiracy theory ahead.

Say GW have been craftier than we imagine. Let's imagine that they have segmented their customer base by game and primary army choice, perhaps with some underlying personality type analysis.

Next, let's say they do a bit of research, be it focus groups, psych research, internet text analytics... they learn a lot about what players of each faction tend to like.

And maybe, they come across some interesting findings. They find that players who predominantly play Eldar or Tau really hate losing. They think, well, no one likes to lose. But when they look at some other armies, it's not as evident. And when they look at guys who play Orks, Tyranids, and Dark Eldar, they find that winning is less important to these segments than average.

The market research guys are a bit confused, but to the exec it's clear. "Just make sure that Eldar and Tau win more games! And the guys who don't think winning is important can be the guys who everyone else beats to keep interested. That way we can sell more kits to everyone. "

Ok, I'll take my tin foil hat off now. Smile

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Barking Agatha
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PostSubject: Re: Does this make sense?   Wed Oct 08 2014, 03:16

@Creeping Darkness wrote:
Next, let's say they do a bit of research, be it focus groups, psych research, internet text analytics...

Ha! They're not Goldman-Sachs or the NSA. As gaming companies go, they're pretty big, but as businesses go, they're not that big.
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Creeping Darkness
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PostSubject: Re: Does this make sense?   Wed Oct 08 2014, 03:58

I love that the part of my crazy conspiracy theory that is hardest to believe is the idea that GW might actually do market research! Smile

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HERO
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PostSubject: Re: Does this make sense?   Wed Oct 08 2014, 07:23

@Thor665 wrote:
Well, a couple of thoughts;

1. This presumes that GW understands when they're making a unit good or bad.
2. This also presumes they are not just trying to make a balanced codex (whether or not they succeed this is theoretically what they're trying to do)

This is hardly the first time a new model/kit kind of blew. I think Mandrakes were generally accredited as one of the single worst selections in the game at the time they came out.

1. They can care less about balance.
2. They're a miniatures company first and write rules as a byproduct of making the "fantasy" cool.
3. They say they do playtesting, but at this point I think it's lies.

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darthken239
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PostSubject: Re: Does this make sense?   Wed Oct 08 2014, 09:20

Yeah ive heard the old "Were a model making company not a Gaming company." Well maybe you could have got off your ass and made some models. It's not like the DE range needed a whole revamp seeing as how it was only recently done. and a few special character models would have sold quite well.
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Count Adhemar
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PostSubject: Re: Does this make sense?   Wed Oct 08 2014, 10:01

@HERO wrote:
@Thor665 wrote:
Well, a couple of thoughts;

1. This presumes that GW understands when they're making a unit good or bad.
2. This also presumes they are not just trying to make a balanced codex (whether or not they succeed this is theoretically what they're trying to do)

This is hardly the first time a new model/kit kind of blew. I think Mandrakes were generally accredited as one of the single worst selections in the game at the time they came out.

1. They cannot care less about balance.
2. They're a miniatures company first and write rules as a byproduct of making the "fantasy" cool.
3. They say they do playtesting, but at this point I think it's lies.

Sorry, had to correct that. it's one of the Americanisms that really drives me nuts. Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: Does this make sense?   Wed Oct 08 2014, 11:43

@Count Adhemar wrote:
Sorry, had to correct that. it's one of the Americanisms that really drives me nuts. Very Happy

Thank you Count. Got there first. David Mitchell did a brilliant episode of his "Soapbox" series on this phrase on YouTube, worth checking it out...

It's true, GW have stated that they don't do market research and they aren't interested in customer feedback. However, now all the books are being made by a collective, I think we're seeing better balance between them. We all would have loved another pure Phil Kelly book, of course we would. But the problem with giving design to one person is that it can be very difficult for them to balance the army against the others out there. Especially if they have a great love of the pointy-eared ones. Ideally, the core rules and all codices would all be written by the same group to maintain balance across the range.

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sweetbacon
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PostSubject: Re: Does this make sense?   Wed Oct 08 2014, 11:51

This discussion also got me thinking about the seeming randomness of how they are updating these codexes.  Ravagers get worse but more expensive?  Scourges and Grots get better but stay the same price or see a marked decrease.  Conceding the fact that GW doesn't care about balance or play testing, do they truly not recognize that models that are worse on the table top won't sell as much as those that are good?  At the same time, making models that were selling fine worse also hurts their bottom line.   I would like to believe that GW is a company full of rational actors who are driven by normal market forces, but purposely making one's own products less desirable to the consumer seems so odd to me that I feel like I'm taking crazy pills when I try to suss out the reasons for why they do what they do.
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PostSubject: Re: Does this make sense?   Wed Oct 08 2014, 12:05

Here's a theory - maybe they've tried with this codex to address the spam element that we tended to see with many (admittedly not all) DE lists. the fluff is that Kabalite Wrriors form the core of a DE force, but we were seeing lists with Hellions and Wracks as troops instead, so remove the options for them to be troops. Similarly, troops selections full of wyches with haywire grenades - this doesn't fit the fluff so take away that option for them.

Of course this theory falls flat when you look at venoms and the fact we can now take 14 in one single detachment.

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PostSubject: Re: Does this make sense?   Wed Oct 08 2014, 15:23

@The_Burning_Eye wrote:
Here's a theory - maybe they've tried with this codex to address the spam element that we tended to see with many (admittedly not all) DE lists. the fluff is that Kabalite Wrriors form the core of a DE force, but we were seeing lists with Hellions and Wracks as troops instead, so remove the options for them to be troops. Similarly, troops selections full of wyches with haywire grenades - this doesn't fit the fluff so take away that option for them.

Of course this theory falls flat when you look at venoms and the fact we can now take 14 in one single detachment.

Also we only have one viable troop choice, and little of worth in the heavy and elite sections. If anything venom spam just got worse. Not worse in power, the point costs stay the same, but now there's less incentive to field other models.

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PostSubject: Re: Does this make sense?   Wed Oct 08 2014, 15:33

@Expletive Deleted wrote:
@The_Burning_Eye wrote:
Here's a theory - maybe they've tried with this codex to address the spam element that we tended to see with many (admittedly not all) DE lists. the fluff is that Kabalite Wrriors form the core of a DE force, but we were seeing lists with Hellions and Wracks as troops instead, so remove the options for them to be troops. Similarly, troops selections full of wyches with haywire grenades - this doesn't fit the fluff so take away that option for them.

Of course this theory falls flat when you look at venoms and the fact we can now take 14 in one single detachment.

Also we only have one viable troop choice, and little of worth in the heavy and elite sections. If anything venom spam just got worse. Not worse in power, the point costs stay the same, but now there's less incentive to field other models.

I agree there's one clear winner in the Troop section.
I'd argue (at present, prior to playtesting) that Talos/Cronos, Grotesques, Incubi are all still of serious worth, and Wracks and Mandrakes definitely have a specific role to play (i'm intrigued by the comments about wracks with ossefactors, I'd like to test them out) and I can see Mandrakes being very helpful against certain types of opponent. I'm also looking forward to trying out the Voidraven as I think the bomb combined with the S9 lances will help me a lot. I also like the idea of consistently flying it off the board, arrive and drop the bomb, fire off some missiles maybe then evade any return fire, and fly off next turn, then come back and use the lances to help bust any remaining tanks.

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PostSubject: Re: Does this make sense?   Wed Oct 08 2014, 18:56

@Mr Believer wrote:
Ideally, the core rules and all codices would all be written by the same group to maintain balance across the range.

I disagree. If I ran GW (and I'd do a brilliant job, 'cause I'm clever!)... and assuming I didn't have to answer to a board of directors and I could do what I wanted... I would just say, 'Okay, you guys are Team Dark Eldar. Your job is to make them shine. I want these things to fly off the shelves, preferably because they've been purchased, and not because you've put springs on them, or something.' Then I'd grab Jervis by the ears, while standing on a table (he's awfully tall) and say, 'Jerv, you balance it all out, and keep it sensible.'

Then I'd look for the three most slow-looking people working for GW that I could find and say, 'Okay, you guys are Team Tau...'
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PostSubject: Re: Does this make sense?   Wed Oct 08 2014, 19:05

@Barking Agatha wrote:
Then I'd look for the three most slow-looking people working for GW that I could find and say, 'Okay, you guys are Team Tau...'

You may be setting yourself up for a tough decision there. Very Happy
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