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TheFlatline

What happened to 2nd edition?

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I roll my eyes so hard every time someone characterizes the desire for a new system as "newness for its own sake" I'm surprised I haven't sprained a muscle.

 

that or "we're in 201X, we ought to be able to do Y!"

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@radwraith

I have no recollection of anyone calling it cowardice for FFG to change back to the OW rules, although I admit that I probably promptly ignored anyone saying it as overreacting. What people have said is that it seems lazy of FFG to just copy paste an old system, literally. FFG deserves to be criticized for that. There was also not universal praise for the narrative system. I leveled plenty of criticisms of it, people generally agreed, and FFG made no changes.

Lots of people were upset about the change to OW rules because it represented doubling down on an old system rather than doing something new and better. The same way you're leveling charges of "change for the sake of change," people leveled charges of "resistant to any kind of change." My own perception was that plenty of people's criticisms hewed closer to "this is new and I don't like it," rather than something substantive.

I honestly did not read anything leveled at FFG that seemed very out of line. Calling them cowards would be out of line, if it happened. Saying that thy bowed to pressure that was publicly an even split between old and new (without any communication from FFG about support leaning one way or the other) is a fair criticism. Saying that the copy paste job is lazy is a fair criticism. Saying that the new edition is a huge disappointment is a fair criticism. FFG has done some amazing and innovative RPGs. It's disappointing to see that this innovation did not carry over to dark heresy.

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Ok Nim, I do remember the charges of cowardice either direct or inferred. I also remember some of the personal attacks! but, as I mentioned on another thread, you were not among them so, Kudos for that!

 

While I agree with you that FFG never directly communicated with us as to which way opinion was leaning from all their sources, I wil go ahead and Infer that it must have been pretty negative for them to do what they did! Anyone who talked to Tim about it at Gencon would probably know better then I what the internal polling was. Baronvleigh seems to have pretty good contacts within the company and that seems to be what his opinion was.

 

Anyway, I know we have different opinions on the result an I don't want this to devolve into a pointless argument. I guess that it is sufficient to say that the 1st beta was flawed (Badly in some opinions) and rather than do a full rewrite, (Which probably would have been necessary anyway) they chose to go back to their original OW framework and build from there. That's what happened to 2nd ed.

Edited by Radwraith

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Ok Nim, I do remember the charges of cowardice either direct or inferred. I also remember some of the personal attacks! but, as I mentioned on another thread, you were not among them so, Kudos for that!

 

While I agree with you that FFG never directly communicated with us as to which way opinion was leaning from all their sources, I wil go ahead and Infer that it must have been pretty negative for them to do what they did! Anyone who talked to Tim about it at Gencon would probably know better then I what the internal polling was. Baronvleigh seems to have pretty good contacts within the company and that seems to be what his opinion was.

 

Anyway, I know we have different opinions on the result an I don't want this to devolve into a pointless argument. I guess that it is sufficient to say that the 1st beta was flawed (Badly in some opinions) and rather than do a full rewrite, (Which probably would have been necessary anyway) they chose to go back to their original OW framework and build from there. That's what happened to 2nd ed.

I think were both in agreement that people calling FFG cowards over a roleplaying game need to get out more. Apparently Jay Little, the designer of WFRP third edition actually got death threats. Some people take this hobby way too seriously. There's a difference between having fun wasting your time arguing and personally attacking the designers for a business decision. Not having a new dark heresy is a disappointment for me, but it's not a betrayal of me as a person.

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If I remember correctly I believe it was mentioned that the rules differed so drastically because they wanted to make their own vision of the rule system for 40k not a modification of what they inherited from Black Library. That was either from talking with one of them or I read it somewhere, I can't recall either so take that as you will, it was a long time ago.

 

I may not be a fan of WHFRP3, but yeah death threats are insane. Don't like it? Don't play it or buy the products.

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Death threats just because somebody doesn't like your work are totally crazy when it comes to most things in life (including game design), but when you are in a line of work that involves your final product being appreciated by the public, some abuse by those who hate it will be unavoidable, especially when your product's image is syrong enough to actually have fans.

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I understand the frustration that some people here have about the second edition. FFG is still carrying along all the legacy stuff from Black Library, they just perfected it. It would have been interesting to see a system that was designed from the start by FFG, they did a good job on the Star Wars RPG in particular.

 

That said, I'm still glad that all the books I have gotten so far prior to 2nd edition are still usuable and I'm grateful for every new book they bring out. The system might be a bit clunky in some areas, but it's functional so that's good enough for me.

Edited by Gridash

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If you sent death threats or personal attacks to anyone at FFG over a god damned niche roleplaying game you need to become a hermit and never interact with anyone ever again because you are clearly not fit to live in civilized society.

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With regards to "rewrite" vs "copy-paste"... rewrites take time. Lots of time, and consequently money (because those writers you've pulled back in to rewrite the game they spent months writing will need paying all over again, if you want to get it done in any reasonable time-frame). Time-consuming and costly rewrites in the middle of the playtest when you're aiming for the game to be out by GenCon is a big problem.

Games development isn't an easy or quick process. Being asked to redo a chunk of it half-way through the process is a really bad proposition at the best of times. Especially as the biggest decisions in a game are done right at the beginning (game design) with all the writing and testing done after that (game development), and the kind of rewrites some people were asking for were changes to the design.

Basically, FFG were in a difficult situation and handled things as best as they could.

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With regards to "rewrite" vs "copy-paste"... rewrites take time. Lots of time, and consequently money (because those writers you've pulled back in to rewrite the game they spent months writing will need paying all over again, if you want to get it done in any reasonable time-frame). Time-consuming and costly rewrites in the middle of the playtest when you're aiming for the game to be out by GenCon is a big problem.

Games development isn't an easy or quick process. Being asked to redo a chunk of it half-way through the process is a really bad proposition at the best of times. Especially as the biggest decisions in a game are done right at the beginning (game design) with all the writing and testing done after that (game development), and the kind of rewrites some people were asking for were changes to the design.

Basically, FFG were in a difficult situation and handled things as best as they could.

This is the best I've heard it stated yet! I would've entertained a whole new system if it was indeed better! To be fair, I don't remember any of the trolls I mentioned leveling death threats specifically (Although who knows what they did by E-mail!) but I do remember some pretty unkind comments directed at other playtesters and FFG! I feel pretty much the same about that as I do about threats in general; It's Irresponsible, Immature and reprehensible! As a community that generally and rightfully prides itself on it's intelligence, we should demand better!

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They could still have done some basic proof reading. Something they never seem to have time for on a ridiculous scale.

That's another issue, really - you'll never catch everything when you're on a deadline (and deadlines get more challenging when you've got an approvals process because you're working with a licence - 40k and Warhammer stuff has to go back to Nottingham for approval, and even with the internet, you're still dealing with time zones which slow things down), and even with writers doing their own proofing (never efficient - every writer knows his work well enough to know what the sentence should say, which makes it easy to overlook errors), and another pass during editorial, stuff falls through the cracks. Some companies manage it better than others, but nothing is foolproof.

Rule of thumb with basically any manufacturing process - you only get one or two of "fast" (product arrives quickly), "good" (product is high quality), and "cheap" (product isn't costly).

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They could still have done some basic proof reading. Something they never seem to have time for on a ridiculous scale.

That's another issue, really - you'll never catch everything when you're on a deadline (and deadlines get more challenging when you've got an approvals process because you're working with a licence - 40k and Warhammer stuff has to go back to Nottingham for approval, and even with the internet, you're still dealing with time zones which slow things down), and even with writers doing their own proofing (never efficient - every writer knows his work well enough to know what the sentence should say, which makes it easy to overlook errors), and another pass during editorial, stuff falls through the cracks. Some companies manage it better than others, but nothing is foolproof.Rule of thumb with basically any manufacturing process - you only get one or two of "fast" (product arrives quickly), "good" (product is high quality), and "cheap" (product isn't costly).

I understand the whole "never catching everything," but FFG is kind of infamous for terrible editing in ALL of their products. You've kind of subtly implied that it's a choice between badly edited copy-pasted book or no book at all. It's not unreasonable to expect FFG to put some more money into editing their very expensive core books and PDFs. Hell, take it out of the art budget if it means having more well-designed games. Don't get me wrong, I like a lot of the work that FFG does, but it has always been bad about editing and copy pasting. Small time companies are able to put out well-edited books; why can't FFG?

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They could still have done some basic proof reading. Something they never seem to have time for on a ridiculous scale.

That's another issue, really - you'll never catch everything when you're on a deadline (and deadlines get more challenging when you've got an approvals process because you're working with a licence - 40k and Warhammer stuff has to go back to Nottingham for approval, and even with the internet, you're still dealing with time zones which slow things down), and even with writers doing their own proofing (never efficient - every writer knows his work well enough to know what the sentence should say, which makes it easy to overlook errors), and another pass during editorial, stuff falls through the cracks. Some companies manage it better than others, but nothing is foolproof.Rule of thumb with basically any manufacturing process - you only get one or two of "fast" (product arrives quickly), "good" (product is high quality), and "cheap" (product isn't costly).

I understand the whole "never catching everything," but FFG is kind of infamous for terrible editing in ALL of their products. You've kind of subtly implied that it's a choice between badly edited copy-pasted book or no book at all. It's not unreasonable to expect FFG to put some more money into editing their very expensive core books and PDFs. Hell, take it out of the art budget if it means having more well-designed games. Don't get me wrong, I like a lot of the work that FFG does, but it has always been bad about editing and copy pasting. Small time companies are able to put out well-edited books; why can't FFG?

 

FFG's editing is 'kind of infamous' by what standard? I've never found them to be any worse than that of most RPGs. If I had to point out a company that I've taken issue with the editing on, it would probably be Catalyst.

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TBH, the editing is poor by any reasonable standard. Maybe I'm just used to a professional editor's handiwork, but there are some terrible, terrible mistakes in there, not only typoes or copy paste errors, but even in the fluff itself. A prominent example coming to mind, the "bloodstone" in BC's Tome of Blood, which was evidently imported by someone who should not be writing 40k fluff at all because he has no clue that a dark eldar's sorcerous toy is not a divine gift from Khorne, divine patron of magic-hate.

 

Other publications have one or two glaring errors, at most, if done professionally. So yes, the editorial work in FFG's publications is substandard. That Catalyst is equally atrocious is their problem and sadly, their customers' problem. Other companies weren't and aren't.

Edited by DeathByGrotz

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Fluff aside, pretty much every board game that FFG has released has a poorly edited and written rulebook, in addition to other editorial problems. They are well known for this in board game circles. This also extends to tier rpg books in terms of requires errata, corrections, etc.

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I've got a couple FFG boardgames and their reputation for poor editing is entirely deserved.  The games themselves are fine, but the editing can be... embarrassing.

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Really? I've only ever heard stellar reviews of their board games. I guess that's as a whole rather than the quality of the writ itself.

They make good games, just they seem to write presuming that everyone shares their viewpoint, so that things come up they never really noticed as they probably had a certain interpretation that they thought was obvious (GW had/has this problem as well). That, and their editing is a bit rubbish.

 

Now, I am not going to say FFG are unique in this, and the general comparatively small gaming industry it is a bit more understandable, but they certainly have a reputation with the gamers I know. I think it is particularly glaring because of the high end price of many of their games, and the fact that they are one of the more high profile games companies out there. Ok, not on the scale of Wizards, but I can't think of any others that have quite the same profile (there may be bigger ones, but they don't tend to have a brand in of themselves, rather than just being publishers).

Edited by borithan

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I got as far as the psychic rules in 2e and haven't finished reading.

 

I tried converting 1e characters with 2 players I have and we didn't finish we ran out of time before we got to spending xp, which I'm glad about because the whole process of aptitudes and flipping through charts and pages - per player - to spend those points to build your character is ridiculous. To say nothing of the poor psyker player who will now have to come to terms with a dreadfully subpar psyker system and a choice of crappy powers none of which represent the stuff he used to have (none of which were particularly spectacular or over the top either).

 

They charged £20 for people to buy into a playtest process and this is what they came up with?  A rule system so convoluted it is barely any different from 1e and, again, leaves no room in the rulebook for important stuff (like more than a couple of crappy vehicles) including a decent bestiary/adversary section.

 

I despair. The psyker rules are utter crap. There's no other words for it. What on earth possessed them to come up with something so fundamentally stupid? Why do i have to work with a character creation system so arcane that only the most die hard ffg fanboys and/or 40k players will perservere? YMMV but i have to believe this is all some terribl Chaos plot. None of this makes the slightest sense. No game needs 400 pages of rules. It just doesn't.

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 None of this makes the slightest sense. No game needs 400 pages of rules. It just doesn't.

 

Most paper and pen games run between 250-400 pages for their core books. =/ This is the average of the genre. What are you on about?

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I got as far as the psychic rules in 2e and haven't finished reading.

 

I tried converting 1e characters with 2 players I have and we didn't finish we ran out of time before we got to spending xp, which I'm glad about because the whole process of aptitudes and flipping through charts and pages - per player - to spend those points to build your character is ridiculous. To say nothing of the poor psyker player who will now have to come to terms with a dreadfully subpar psyker system and a choice of crappy powers none of which represent the stuff he used to have (none of which were particularly spectacular or over the top either).

 

They charged £20 for people to buy into a playtest process and this is what they came up with?  A rule system so convoluted it is barely any different from 1e and, again, leaves no room in the rulebook for important stuff (like more than a couple of crappy vehicles) including a decent bestiary/adversary section.

 

I despair. The psyker rules are utter crap. There's no other words for it. What on earth possessed them to come up with something so fundamentally stupid? Why do i have to work with a character creation system so arcane that only the most die hard ffg fanboys and/or 40k players will perservere? YMMV but i have to believe this is all some terribl Chaos plot. None of this makes the slightest sense. No game needs 400 pages of rules. It just doesn't.

 

I've said it before, but this system is not really that great for converting things over on the player's end of things. If you want to keep trying to use the system, I'd recommend that for converting characters you don't bother trying to match xp expenditures. Just have them choose homeworld/background/role, then give them identical characteristics and skill ratings (if multiple old skills apply to a new one, just use the highest rating of them). Try to match up talents as best as you can. For Psychic powers, yeah, you're pretty SOL. Just choose whatever disciplines the psyker had in DH1 and give him an equal number of powers in the same discipline for DH2.

 

Could you elaborate on what you don't like about the new psychic system? I would say the powers themselves are very boring. I actually gave a post in the House Rules forum where I have a full set of new and more flavorful psychic powers and some slightly revised rules to use them. Maybe that would work a little better for you?

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