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Panic 217

New Article up "Fly Casual"

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I agree that I want to see FFG do a little more than just this article.  It's a nice start, but let's see them actually do something to boost the Casual side of things.  I know I've mentioned updating Mission Control to have the latest ships, but also add some sort of filtering system is absolutely necessary.  It would be cool if they came up with new Missions.  Or....even had some articles based on missions that they already have.  Whether it's Mission 1 or something from Mission Control.  I know the hard core players don't want to see a drop in articles that give sneak previews.  I don't want them to stop, but you see a lot of weeks go by with no news article at all.   Why not throw out some article that reviews one of these missions instead of nothing?  I know they have asked non-staff to write articles at some point.  Why not now?  

 

I think fixing Mission Control is the first step, no matter what.  It's almost useless now to find something.

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I loved this article...   and appreciated that it acknowledged that there are other ways to play and enjoy the game other than competitive.

 

Would love to see FFG find ways to continue to find ways to cultivate/support some level of Organized Play for all of their games for "Casual Players".  Casual players like cool tokens too ; )

 

Yeah I think there are a few ways FFG could go about supporting the casual side of X-wing.  First up would be a meaningful update to Mission Control, I think.  I made my suggestions a long time ago and I think they still stand.

 

One good way to spur interest in and development of scenarios would be to have a competition to write scenarios on Mission Control.  It'd be easy to do; mission control is already there and more or less ready to use.  The winners could get anything from a few tokens, to the chance to have their mission featured by FFG in some way on the website.  Could be a lot of fun, I think, and it would definitely send people to Mission Control.  

 

Alas, I think this is unlikely.  Perhaps after the custom card league is done I will try to organize a scenario competition sponsored by the Shuttle Tydirium podcast.  No promises.

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I still have 13 years of painted minis that I'm not going to sell, but I just moved all my WHFB to long term storage.  I got fed up right before the whole AoS nonsense.  It just kind of justified my exit.

Do yourself a favour and pick up a Kings of War rulebook. Mantic makes fantasy gaming fun again!

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I've seen it expressed a few times on this thread that casual players make the greater number of X-wing players than competitive ones. I don't doubt that's true, but I also don't think that's especially useful information for FFG.

All that tells them is "don't exclude these people." Every single X-wing product has use in casual play--whatever you define it as. But if they develop a product that has no use for competitive players then they are specifically excluding a large chunk of their player base (even if it's not the largest chunk).

Furthermore, a "casual only" release isn't even guaranteed to resonate well with the casual community. Casual play means a lot of things to different people (also why "fly casual" isn't dead, it's just meaningless). Some people really dig epic, some people want to play campaigns, some like furball/hunger games type matches. Just because the dump a ton of resources developing, researching, play testing, and balancing a new campaign book, doesn't mean it will sell well because the majority of their players are casual.

Essentially the problem is, you're looking at X-wing customers as a pie chart and dividing into two areas, "competitive"(smaller) and "casual"(larger). But really it's more like "competitive" and tons of little tiny slices of pie.

Which slice to you spend your resources on?

And finally, as many casual players are quick to point out, there are tons of great casual play modes developed by a talented and dedicated casual community. What's the incentive for FFG to co-opt that?

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I've seen it expressed a few times on this thread that casual players make the greater number of X-wing players than competitive ones. I don't doubt that's true, but I also don't think that's especially useful information for FFG.

All that tells them is "don't exclude these people." Every single X-wing product has use in casual play--whatever you define it as. But if they develop a product that has no use for competitive players then they are specifically excluding a large chunk of their player base (even if it's not the largest chunk).

Furthermore, a "casual only" release isn't even guaranteed to resonate well with the casual community. Casual play means a lot of things to different people (also why "fly casual" isn't dead, it's just meaningless). Some people really dig epic, some people want to play campaigns, some like furball/hunger games type matches. Just because the dump a ton of resources developing, researching, play testing, and balancing a new campaign book, doesn't mean it will sell well because the majority of their players are casual.

Essentially the problem is, you're looking at X-wing customers as a pie chart and dividing into two areas, "competitive"(smaller) and "casual"(larger). But really it's more like "competitive" and tons of little tiny slices of pie.

Which slice to you spend your resources on?

And finally, as many casual players are quick to point out, there are tons of great casual play modes developed by a talented and dedicated casual community. What's the incentive for FFG to co-opt that?

 

First, I don't know that anyone really can have a good idea whether more people play casually or competitively.  We only have a general idea of how many people play in tournaments.  All other information is scattered anecdotes; which almost definitely true individually, but it's hard to make a fair comparison either way and judge the numbers.  Right now all talk about the size of the casual community is mostly feelings.  That said, the Shuttle Tydirium podcast has around 700+ regular listeners, and we cater exclusively to casual topics, and we're only 3 episodes deep right now.

 

I think there may be some things you're wrong about in the way we think about casual gamers.  The first is probably that any given gamer is exclusively devoted to one specific way of playing the game.  Myself, I enjoy a good tournament every now and then but I don't feel like making the time and energy investment to play in a regionals tournament - instead I spend a good deal of time playing and developing 'casual' games - by which I mean all games not geared towards tournament play.  I play thematic scenarios, pvp campaigns, and co-op campaigns.  Generally speaking, the only games I'm not a particular fan of are arcade style games like the hunger games.  So by your definition I straddle about 85% of the pie, when you're saying that players belong to specific niches.  I don't think I am a unique case- but again it's hard to say for sure.  

 

In terms of FFG developing products geared toward casual gamers, I'll point out that FFG was a wide portfolio of games, and I'd be shocked if every one of them is geared specifically toward competitive players. I'd be surprised if X-wing was originally geared towards competitive play, actually.  In any case, my point would be that FFG does not need to split resources from X-wing competitive play development to develop a product for 'casual' play; it would probably be in their economic interest to add personnel, even temporarily, develop 'casual' resources.  HotAC has clearly shown that there is demand for a co-op campaign.  Past that, I think a well-made PvP campaign, or narrative campaign books would also perform well.  Yes, the community can and does develop these products themselves, but we do so in fits and starts, and simply don't have the resources available to FFG to invest in these projects. 

 

The x-wing player market is FFG's biggest.  I think there is untapped economic potential there for casual-geared products.  I could be wrong, like I said it's hard for us to know how many people out there play the game this way, but FFG probably has made worse bets in the past.

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I'm fine with casual play, and alternate formats. But I do think that tournament rules are the easiest way to set up a game, and so they're going to be more popular. It's easy to bring a tourney legal 100 pt squad and find an opponent. It's much harder to hash out some casual format, and then make sure all the players know about it and bring the appropriate stuff. Unless your group is a few friends at home. In which case, you're probably not too worried about flying casual in the first place.

 

In fact, this article seems like making "Fly casual", an official format. Which might not be so casual if it catches on, and casual becomes as competitive as the standard format. I can imagine the threads...

 

"Guys, I need a competitive casual Rebel list! help plz!"

 

"Mathjuggler's intensive breakdown of the top 5 ships in the casual meta."

 

"Casual broken, plz fix FFG!"

Edited by Koing907

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