There's a lot to respond to, I think, and I probably won't respond to everything that was said regarding my post.
First and foremost, I apologize for the tone of my post. I could tell you I hit "quote" on the wrong post (I did - I truly meant to be directly responding to someone else) but that still doesn't change the tone/tenor of my piece of writing.
I could present rationale after rationale as to why I wrote my reponse the way I did (long day, stress, late at night) but it changes nothing, in my humble opinion, at the end of the day. I came across as an asswipe, plain and simple. For that, again, I apologize.
I was trying to make a larger point about the types of conversations had about this game on BGG vs. FFG Forums vs. the various blogs about this game vs. COTR Facebook and the commenters at all of these various venues. There is no doubt in my mind that the disucssion here is consistently more critical, more negative, and less plesant than any other webpage devoted to this game.
But, in trying to make that point, I did exactly what I dislike reading. I came across as an arrogant prick.
I have plenty of annoyances with this game, to be sure. The delays don't annoy me like they do others, but certainly the unanswered/unclear rules questions do. As does the "loose" language on the cards. Amongst other things.
At the same time, I appreciate the direction Caleb Grace has taken this game. I appreciate that I get a response from FFG (read: Caleb) within less than 24 hours every. single. time. I submit a rules question (barring weekends, of course). He's pleasant. He's professional. He seems like a damn nice guy. I appreciate that. And I've taken the time to let him know that I, and my entire play group, appreciate the work he and FFG are doing for the game.
I appreciate that FFG lets us know they read the forums and try to respond, through their new series of articles, to the fanbase.
Maybe I took some of these posts too "personally." Ever since I saw that Caleb reads the various message boards and group pages devoted to this game, I started to think "How would I feel if I was this game's designer and saw people constantly ragging on the designers, saying they don't care, they don't playtest, and they are just screwing with us, etc?"
Looking back, it's somewhat silly of me to take these things personally. I didn't need to react with the tone I did. It was inappropriate and, ultimately, not helpful.
Look, I love this game. I love the community. I love the friends I've made - friends I'd never have made without this game - from across the globe. This co-op games brings people together. I feel so cheesey writing it. But in my case, it's been true.
I love introducing this game to new people at my FLGS. Everyone who plays it likes it. And they come back. In my area we've developed a weekly "LCG" group, playing all of FFG's games - and LOTR is always a staple. Sure, SW and Netrunner are hot. But everyone who talks about LOTR talks about how they just want to play a fun adventure with their buddies, trek across Middle Earth, and have a good time; it isn't always about bashing your opponent.
To me, what's so special about this game is that it's about playing with your buds. Having a good time. And being positive.
I'm disappointed that, in my previous post, I wasn't embodying the spirit of this game that I love so much.