Just found out about the new edition of the game from over at the Troll Lord Games website. I'm more of a collector of games than a player, but have enjoyed the 1st and 2nd edition ruleset and of course the whole background that GW developed for the game. I was very glad to see that FFG had taken on the role of publishing Warhammer and of course Dark Heresy. Anyway, this new version , wow, I was surpised. I suppose I should be. There were indicators - the release of everything 2nd Edition on PDF should have been a good clue and of course the rumors. So here is my take on this whole thing.
FFG got this game system called Warhammer Fantasy Roleplaying Game. It's got a well established fan base, a lot of info, lot of background. This is FFG and when they do things they do in awesome quality and they do it big. And much to my suprise (and I suppose a few others), they decided to make a new edition. They had two ways of going about making this new edition:
1. The Wizards of the Coast way - hide the fact that your going to make a new edition, deny it even and then go ahead and do it anyway. Announce it, but have it already done and researched, not really getting input from the fan base. Then release it. This was IMHO the way things were done for D&D 4E.
2. The Paizo and Kenzer & Company way - come out and tell the fans your making changes to a game. Ask for the input, include them in the process. Then release it. This is way, IMHO, that the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and Hackmaster Basic RPG were one.
It appears to me that FFG went with option 1. The WOTC Way. Which is hugely frustrating to the established fan base. The game Mechanics do not appear to be the same that they have known. This also is an indication that by choosing the WOTC way, they intend to simply weather the backlash as WOTC did and attract a new generation of RPGers with these new mechanics and packageing.
As far as the $100 price, I'm not too worried as a collection of the core rulebooks for D&D 4e or Castles & Crusades would be about the same price - at least the MSRP. The quality I'm not concerned with either as this is FFG After all. I do applaud FFG for releasing all the 2nd Edition stuff on PDF, a good move and lesson learned from teh backlash against WOTC for pulling theirs!
The big question I have is Why did they not invite the fans in on the process? It was done with 2nd edition, why not do this with 3rd? Why not go with Option 2 and annouce the plan to do this new edition and have everyone participate? That is really the frustrating part of all this for me - not the price, not even the new mechanics, simply that it appears that the fans were left out of the process. At least from this gamer's perspective.
While no one owes me an answer, I do hope FFG can give some feedback on this issue.
In any event, the reality is FFG paid for the liscense they can do what they want. Personally, I don't really know if I'll buy the new edition of the game as I was happy with 2nd Edition, but I'm a collector as well as a gamer so I probably will. Now what would be something that would be awesome and a radical depature from WOTC's business model, but what I think would be a huge win for both FFG and the existing Fan Base for warhammer would be to continue to publish 2nd Edition Warhammer products alongside 3rd Edition. The players are still there, they'll still play, but this would be a great nod to them. Even if they only published a few things a year for 2nd Edition. Anyway, thanks for reading and God bless.