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Rules release before going gold?


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#1 z22

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 08:39 AM

I was hoping FFG would release the Descent rules to the public before the game mastered (gone gold) and is sent to manufacturing. We all know how poor the Descent 1 rules were/are. I would hate to see this happen again, and with the size of a Descent type game, it probably will unless they allow fresh eyes on their rules. All of us here could offer tremendous proof-reading, play-balance, and insight BEFORE the manual and rules were finalized.

Unfortunately, I don't see them choosing this path, nor do I see the resulting rules being as solid as they should (past poor record for Descent). They could even release them to a chosen set of groups to test/proofread them. Having another rules debacle is my biggest fear for Descent 2e. FFG, consider allowing others to help you out here. I recall countless errors, play-balance issues, ommisions, and missing rules within 2 days of the Descent 1 rules being released, but unfortunately the rules had already been finalized. Not good.



#2 noodles

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 11:58 AM

z22 said:

I was hoping FFG would release the Descent rules to the public before the game mastered (gone gold) and is sent to manufacturing. We all know how poor the Descent 1 rules were/are. I would hate to see this happen again, and with the size of a Descent type game, it probably will unless they allow fresh eyes on their rules. All of us here could offer tremendous proof-reading, play-balance, and insight BEFORE the manual and rules were finalized.

Unfortunately, I don't see them choosing this path, nor do I see the resulting rules being as solid as they should (past poor record for Descent). They could even release them to a chosen set of groups to test/proofread them. Having another rules debacle is my biggest fear for Descent 2e. FFG, consider allowing others to help you out here. I recall countless errors, play-balance issues, ommisions, and missing rules within 2 days of the Descent 1 rules being released, but unfortunately the rules had already been finalized. Not good.

Considering that the game is not being released until 2nd quarter, don't you think you're being a little quick to judge?  1e is a great game.  The only flaw is the length and that's not even a flaw for some people.



#3 Galdred

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 01:13 PM

Erm, no, there were many more flaws with Descent 1st edition : The rules were a mess (way too many effect tokens that added not much to the thing, many things that required an errata), the spawn mechanism was horrible until the nerfed it in RTL (and the spawning anywhere out of LoS still feels cheesy to me after e few hundred hours) many things  were badly unbalanced :

- the heores and their skills (some games were decided before the first turn when the heroes picked and their skills were too strong or too wimpy). 

- the monsters (the beastmen, dark priests, and Ferrox spawns were much better than any other).

-the scenarii (some in Altar of Despair or Well of Darkness were unwinnable unless the heores started with a perfect set up, or the overlord was losing on purpose). 

Don't get me wrong, it is one of my 5 favorite games, and I have played tons of games, both in campaign or not. The tactical feel of the game, and the lack of room for mistake make it great, but it doesn't make it a game without issues at all.

 

And it definitely required more proof reading.



#4 Steve-O

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 02:07 PM

I agree that 1e was a mess, however, FFG is generally pretty good about learning from past errors when publishing new products.  This is particularly true when going into a new edition of a game, where they aren't tied down with the need to remain consistent with past rules.  Based on what little we've heard so far about descent 2e, it sounds like the game is borrowing some elements of the 1e Advanced Campaign and some other elements from Mansions of Madness.  Throwing out what didn't work and building on what did, one hopes.

I'm not going to be so bold as to claim the 2e rules will be perfect, but I do believe they will be much more solid than first edition.  Where the potential for disaster lies, IMHO, is if they start releasing expansions at the same maniac rate they did for 1e expansions.  Piling new rules on top of one another without taking the time to think about how they all interact.  Historically, FFG has always designed each expansion to be stand alone, requiring nothing more than the base box to play.  In the case of Descent 1e, they held on to that philosophy so tight that they apparently neglected the fact that some players (dare I say most?) would actually be playing with them together.



#5 Sausageman

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 12:51 AM

Some interesting points here.

First off, Steve-O - I completely agree.  Expansions that rely on or utilise other expansions are fine for the most part.  One of my biggest Decent regrets is that they never produced small, Arkham Horror-esque expansions that expanded on the other expansions - one that added more plots, more rumours, even more dungeon levels for the campaigns would have been simple!

I agree with the sentiment of the OP though - getting those rules out early would help iron out those creases.  Even if it meant getting those folks to sign an NDA before being able to DL them.

There were lots about 1st Ed Descent that I thought was excellent - and an excellent idea to boot - but the way the function with other abilities really needs to be scrutinised.  Aura, Soaring (*sobs*), all these things were great ideas, but were either not writting well enough to explain them fully OR plain didn't work as written (Soaring over a tree square still makes me die inside a little).

For that matter, I hope trees and shadowcloak don't work the same way.  That mechanic meant that EVERY island level of Seas of Blood took FOREVER as all monsters hid in trees...  Have them give armour, please, for the love of all that is holy  :)



#6 Kartigan

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 08:11 AM

 I can see the point of those who'd like FFG to just release the rules before the game goes out.  I am however, cautiously optimistic as FFG seems to be getting better at putting out rulebooks, or at least Corey's seem better.  Runewars rulebook was clear and there are very few rules questions for a game of its size.  

Honestly I think muddled rules are the least of my concerns for 2e.  Corey usually puts together pretty clear and elegant rules systems.  My biggest fear is that the game is going to be too "dumbed down" (a.k.a. "streamlined") to be recognizable as Descent or present the same tactical depth it did before.  Still as others have pointed out it's a long way from being released yet so I'm still very optimistic.



#7 noodles

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 05:29 PM

I guess I just haven't played it enough to see the flaws that are being pointed out.  My only criticism, other than the length, is that it's too hard for the Overlord to win.  I've played about 10 times and I think the game is brilliant.



#8 Sausageman

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 12:13 AM

noodles said:

I guess I just haven't played it enough to see the flaws that are being pointed out.  My only criticism, other than the length, is that it's too hard for the Overlord to win.  I've played about 10 times and I think the game is brilliant.

I think you've been unlucky - I've encountered just as many unwinnable situations for the heroes as I have the overlord.  These usually occur in the campaign though.

I really hope the emphasis for this game has moved more toward the campaign side.  The one-off maps are all well and good, but really, they're easy enough to splice together with the dungeon cards from the campaign.  I'd much prefer a more robust campaign.  Road to Legend was full of brilliant ideas, and really was THE game I've been looking for since I was a kid.  Polishing and refining is all I feel is required.

Leave us to worry about one offs...






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