I played my first game last week (after some thorough reading and statistical analysis), and pretty much everything mentioned in this thread came up.
Observations and thoughts:
One hour into the game we got a "Fail with 6 Advantage" roll that nobody had a clue what to do with. The player immediately asked "Can I trade this in for a Success?" We explained that this was not an option since the dice clearly stated that he did not succeed. So far, so good.
The next question was "Can I pass on 6 Boost dice?", to which I replied that I vaguely remembered reading something on this very forum about not being able to pick options in the "Table 6-2: Spending Advantage and Triumphs in Combat" more than once except where this was specifically indicated (such as recovering strain.) Would be nice if the book were more explicit about this.
The most common results seem to be "Succeed but …" and "Fail but …". I love the idea of the dice providing narrative opportunity. That was, in fact, the #1 reason I voted for EotE when our group decided to start a new campaign. However, the current statistical distribution has turned this opportunity into a burden. The average GM can only come up with a good narrative so many times before falling back on "uhm, strain" and the rest of the group grudgingly accepting the lack of narrative in order to get on with the game. It took our GM only a few rolls to reduce the level of his narration to "Uhm… you suffer 1 strain." Not very cinematic.
The players had equal trouble with the Advantages. Especially giving the next guy a Boost die. That quickly became "Next guy gets a Boost die." We could have tried to get all narrative about it, but when you think about that: "I'm helping out, uhm… whoever acts next (which could be anyone because we have no fixed initiative order, ha ha) with… whatever it is he's going to do (which I guess could also be anything.) Yay, go me, doing… something for… someone!" This system is quite cinematic and narrative in theory, but incredibly abstract in practice. Our group probably has a century of roleplaying experience combined, so it's not like we're clueless, but it would help if the system backed us up a little.
There is way too much Advantage/Threat on the dice, and as a result the "Advantage/Threat economy" has become inflated. You have to roll 2+ Advantage to do anything worth mentioning with it. A single Advantage or Threat does not feel advantageous or threatening at all, which undermines the system. Giving the next guy a Boost die is cute but way too abstract for me to be proud of, and nobody felt in the least way threatened by suffering a single point of strain.
Because of the way the dice work, any die that does not land on a Success is almost guaranteed to land on an Advantage. So if you roll no Successes, then you're probably rolling a ton of Advantages. Hence the likelihood of "Fail but massive Advantage" results reported in this thread.
Advantage/Threat overlaps with Triumph/Despair. The differences between a Triumph/Despair and, say, 4 Advantage/Threat currently seem minimal in both spirit and practice. I don't see the point of having these two different systems. It doesn't even make sense: I could mow down waves of minions and my gun will not run out of ammo, but if I instead decide to take a few pot shots at some dude with the Adversary talent… *click* *click*!
Suggestions for the next version of EotE:
Both the Advantage/Threat on the dice and the costs to spend them could be halved. That way clean Success and Failure would become the norm and Advantage/Threat would become somewhat special as they should be. This would also make rolling a single Advantage/Threat significant, which it currently emphatically is not.
Triumph/Despair could be replaced with double Advantage/Threat. This is much cleaner and would accomplish everything the current system does.
The book should explicitly state that each option for spending Advantage/Threat can only be purchased once.