Posted 27 July 2013 - 02:22 PM
I have mixed feelings about leaving the Calixis Sector. I kind of feel it never quite got the love it deserved.
Naturally, the starting point for any RPG is the setting, and with a 40k RPG, a lot of that work is done already. Despite that, BI (and later FFG) put a lot of work into making the Calixis Sector a living, breathing place that had its own ambience and feel. Obviously, with a multi-writer setting, that tone is going to seesaw wildly, but on the whole, I think that the Calixis Sector was an interesting place and a great base for Dark Heresy games. There were strokes of genius in the tone struck in describing worlds like Quaddis and Sinophia, a kind of theatrical, decaying, rain soaked clockwork Venetian masqued ball quality that was extremely memorable.
The problem with the Calixis Sector as a setting is that it was very much the work of many hands, and I do think that over time it suffered from a lack of overarching focus as to what to do with it as a setting.
I loved the work that FFG did on the Jericho Reach setting for Deathwatch; what could have simply been a dull war zone has become a nicely fleshed out and given direction and purpose. The Calixis Sector would really have benefitted from great books like "The Achillus Assault", "The Jericho Reach" and "The Outer Reach", books that were pretty much designed as "Sector Sourcebooks" from the ground up. Instead the Calixis Sector got books with a focus on adventures and character classes.
OK, I know I'm being unfair. Blood of Martyrs covered shrine worlds. The Lathe Worlds covered forge worlds and so on. I guess my point is that if this approach had continued with a few more books, the Calixis Sector would have been better fleshed out. I'm genuinely not complaining about a 2nd ed DH: I'm just a bit sad that I'll never see the Calixis Sector be "completed" as a setting in the way I'd hoped.
I was in right from the start in the Calixis Sector: I did the write ups for Reth and Belacane on the old BI website, which then became incorporated in the the 40k canon. Given I've been into 40k since 1987, that was a weirdly big moment for me; worlds I'd written up being permanently part of 40k lore. So I'll always be very fond of the Calixis Sector, and sad to see it go in favour of a new setting.
I'm guessing that the new setting will be tighter, more coherent, and with a clearer "plan" as to the tone and purpose of the region, in the same way that each sector has felt tighter and more purposeful than the Calixis Sector. However, I do think that the Calixis Sector retains a kind of ramshackle charm that makes it far more endearing than, for example, the Screaming Vortex.
So I'm fascinated to see what FFG will do with the new setting, but I still wish there'd been a big Calixis Sector sourcebook... What the hell, maybe there's still room for that in DH2 as a single volume setting book? Well it's a thought, I guess...