The Spider had the highest attendance. But they also achieved that when (1) they were getting special storyline options (corruption) that no one else was; (2) those storyline options were supposed to be one of the things that the Spider were created to get away from; (3) it had been announced that the Spider/Jigoku were going to take over the Empire and were going to be the center of the story; (4) this was also one of the things the Spider were supposed to be created to get away from (having a unique storyline role v. being "one of the clans"); and (5) it looked like that the Spider were going to end up as the Horde. Oh, and the plurality of Spider players voted for going full Jigoku. That sounds more like an argument for having Shadowlands Horde as a playable faction than anything (and also that giving a Clan a big role in the plot will make it more popular and its players more excited).
Great change is upon us. Change causes anxiety. That is not only understandable, it is alright. There are a lot of unknowns right now. I would not be surprised if all parties concerned, FFG and the community, were unsure what exactly is going to happen in the next 18 months.
However, do not let your valid, and perfectly reasonable, anxiety with all the uncertainty blind you to the opportunities that this change presents. That is to say: Don’t panic.
For example, I had meandered over to the AEG booth this past GenCon and watched some folks demo the L5R CCG. And what I saw was a lot of pairs of glazed-over eyes as they tried to cogitate all the different BASIC mechanics. Conversely, I saw all the folks over at the FFG tables learning the different LCG games, and appeared to me to be enjoying themselves far more. Later that night when I was in line to play in AEG’s big tabletop game event, I overheard some L5R CCG players talking about how their expensive decks were constantly being invalidated with each new release. I was struck with the idea that it would be great if AEG would adopt an LCG format for L5R.
So imagine my delighted surprise when I read the press release this morning that FFG had bought the L5R IP.
Because, in my mind, the CCG had become so convoluted that it was inaccessible to the casual player. Which is never good, from a community perspective or a business perspective. FFG makes some fantastic LCGs in my opinion, and they have learned what works and what does not e.g. Game of Thrones 2.0. And they are simple to learn, yet still offer many layers of depth to explore. Will all the mechanics from the CCG make it to the LCG? I think it is safe to say probably not. However, there are individual mechanics from each of their current games that I can automatically identify as perfect for representing different aspects of L5R. So I am willing to bet good money that FFG will create a game that captures the spirit of L5R, meaning I will be pre-ordering the game as soon as I can.
Will your favorite clan or faction not make it to the new game, at least the initial release? Maybe, maybe not. We do not know yet. It is totally valid to be disappointed if it does not though. However, I would humbly suggest that you temper your disappointment with the thought that it is not because your favorite clan or faction is not important. Rather, it could be that the mechanics to make the clan or faction shine are not ready. Maybe the faction simply no longer fits in story going forward, and would actually suffer if FFG tried to make it fit. And if the lack of your favorite faction prevents you from enjoying the game, then you are completely justified in not playing. However, I would suggest that the surest way to have your favorite faction not make it to the next game, and therefore truly die, is to quit. Because if no one is advocating for it, then there is no reason to ultimately release it. So perhaps you could consider not allowing the lack of one aspect of L5R to ruin the entire experience for yourself. You never know, you might fall in love with another clan, or maybe your clan gets released after all.
So, perhaps we can use this thread to comment on what we are looking forward to, rather than what we are worried is not going to make it. For myself, I am happy to know that L5R has at least a chance at a future, because to be honest I have not been very hopeful recently. I’m also looking forward to the chance to improve the card game experience to bring new players to the community. I look forward to the LCG format, where cards are not invalidated, there are smaller cash outlays over a period of time, and a slower pace of releases that allow for a more thoughtful approach to the storyline. I also look forward to having a company like FFG support a game I love, because the support they offer their games is impressive. Finally, I look forward to where the story might go. FFG has impressed me so far, I have nothing to prove to me that they will not continue to do the same.