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FFG Max Brooke

Open Beta Schedule and Testing Plan (10/12/2017)

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Greetings, L5R Open Beta testers!

First of all, the design team would like to express its gratitude and awe at the volume of response we’ve gotten so far. From posts on these and other forums to direct emails, we’ve been really impressed with how enthusiastic people are about Legend of the Five Rings roleplaying!

Overview of the Beta

We want to give people time to digest the content before we make any big changes—so keep those test reports coming in! In lieu of a large content update this first week, we’ll instead take the opportunity to explain some of the things we want to accomplish with this Open Beta, how you can help to guide its course, and the general shape of things to come in the Beta process.

Update Format

The Beta will run into the New Year (with a few unscheduled weeks around the December holidays because we assume people will be busy). Usually, updates will be sent out via the mailing list on Wednesdays, and then posted to the forum Thursday mornings. Additionally, the mailing list update will include insights like designer diaries, internal testing anecdotes, and other glimpses behind the scenes of Legends of the Five Rings roleplaying!

Focal Issues

From the third week forward, each week will have one or two focal topics, which we’d like to center the discussion around. Of course, feel free to bring up other issues, but we’ll be making a stickied thread for these topics each week. 

Surveys

We will also include a survey every odd-numbered week to help compile your feedback on key issues we’re examining. Sometimes, these surveys will also contain questions that relate to the next week’s focal issues!

Previews

L5R has always been very community-driven, and we want to keep you involved! In addition to using the surveys to gather feedback on the parts of the game that are already present, some weeks, we’ll be using them to get your input on one or two specific elements you want to see in the Open Beta.

These previews may include content such as families, schools, and weapons not in the Beta! Each time we include one of these questions about preview content, the top-voted response will be added to the Beta as a sneak preview of content that will be in the final game!

Open Beta Timeline

Week 1 (Oct 2nd) Launch

The Open Beta is released. You’ve already started to give great feedback, so we’re off to a great start!

Week 2 (Oct 9th) Reading Period

Another week for people to keep absorbing the material in the Beta (plus this update about plans for the test). If you can, try to get the game on the table this week, or at least build characters, so that you can start to give feedback on the sorts of experiences that only occur in play.

Week 3 (Oct 16th) Core Mechanics

This week’s focal discussion will be on Chapter I: Playing the Game.

Week 4 (Oct 23) Character Creation

This week’s focal discussion will be on the 20 Questions and related parts of the book.

Week 5 (Oct 30) Skills, Advantages, and Disadvantages

This week, we’ll be focusing on Skill, Advantages, and Disadvantages.

Week 6 (Nov 6) Conflicts Part 1

This week will be focused on testing and discussing Intrigues and Duels.

Week 7 (Nov 13) Conflicts Part 2

This week will focus on testing and discussing Skirmishes and Mass Battles, as well as weapons, armor, and other equipment.

Week 8 (Nov 20) School Abilities

This week will home in on school abilities, and how they have functioned in actual play, along with school advancement tables.

Week 9 (Nov 27) Techniques Part 1

This week will focus on Kata, Shūji, and more secretive arts.

Week 10 (Dec 4) Techniques Part 2

This week will focus on Invocations, Kihō, Mahō, and Rituals.

Week 11 (Dec 11) GM Guidance

This week will focus on the GM’s chapter, with special consideration for the sort of guidance people want to see in the final book!

Week 12 (Dec 18) NPCs

This week will focus on NPCs, assessing the encounter rating system, and related issues.

After this point, the winter holidays will be upon us, and we’ll take that time to evaluate the course of the Beta. After that, we’ll return with more information about the final issues to be researched and addressed in the Beta.

Additional Notes

Before we wrap up this update, there are a few issues that people have isolated that seem to be especially important to people. So that we don’t leave you completely in suspense, here’s a short, far-from-complete list of matters we’re currently reviewing based on your feedback so far:

  • Certain nomenclature has been a sticking point for people, particularly “Outbursts.” We have some ideas we want to put in front of the community to see what people think, so prepare to discuss this soon!
  • Stances are under close evaluation—please try them out on the table in their current form and report back, but also know that we have some potential adjustments in mind if needed.
  • The Medicine skill has been noted to be missing some fairly core functionality! Good job on that diagnosis—we expect to see it stitched up and back on its feet soon.
  • Pending some consultation, Iaijutsu is getting a fairly substantial update. This might not come into effect until a few weeks down the road, but we know it’s a matter of great concern to many proud Crane duelists, and we want people to know it’s being treated with the gravity it deserves.
  • Some samurai are concerned about not having their favorite armaments from previous editions. Fear not, the Open Beta list is not necessarily a full list of everything that will be in the final book. You’ll be able to slice down shuriken-wielding ninja with your nodachi in the final book, if not sooner!
  • Due to the scale of the Open Beta, we will not be responding directly to individual queries on these forums. However, we are keeping track of all of it, so the questions and concerns you raise here are not being overlooked!

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1 hour ago, FFG Max Brooke said:

Week 12 (Dec 25) NPCs

This week will focus on NPCs, assessing the encounter rating system, and related issues.

After this point, the winter holidays will be upon us, and we’ll take that time to evaluate the course of the Beta. After that, we’ll return with more information about the final issues to be researched and addressed in the Beta.

Shouldn't Week 12 be Dec 18th? Dec 25 is kind of a big winter holiday for a lot of people.

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4 hours ago, FFG Max Brooke said:

Week 8 (Nov 20) School Abilities

This week will home in on school abilities, and how they have functioned in actual play, along with school advancement tables.

Shouldn't this be "hone" in? :) *runs to Proofreading section*

 

Thanks for the update and I am glad Iaijutsu/dueling is being looked at. Looking forward to updates but I will continue to submit reports as normal until then.

Edited by Kakita Onimaru

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7 minutes ago, marshzd said:

Please don't let some of the anger impact certain things too much...Outbursts are an awesome mechanic, it's like my new favorite mechanic.

Thanks for all the info!

I read it as the term "Outburst" is where they see trouble. It is not so much a problem with the mechanics.

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1 hour ago, Ultimatecalibur said:

I read it as the term "Outburst" is where they see trouble. It is not so much a problem with the mechanics.

With my group it is completely the mechanic. the fact that regardless of the situation any time they have to make a dice roll you chance it. It makes more sense that depending on the  type of action you are performing and the circumstances around it cause something like strife. Most players don't like mechanics that take control of the character away from the player even if it thematically makes sense. What usually gets them to either accept it or to continue with it anyways is if the mechanic doesn't have a constant change of either triggering or accumulating more of it with every action, just specific circumstances.

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Fantastic job on bringing new life to this ip. 

I think the stress and outburst mechanic is wonderfully elegant. I'm also loving the use of rings for different ways of using skills, though I feel they, along with opportunities would be better placed in each skill description.

There are things I would change, but they can be detailed during the focus portion. 

My major concern are the things we don't see, such as weapons, kayaks, schools, etc. It's nearly impossible to determine balance without having those missing pieces.

Thank you again for your work and involvement with the fans and community of L5R. 

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2 minutes ago, Rivina said:

Well played

Thanks, was too tempting. Feels like I get more rep on this forum when I do jokes that when contributing with opinions. Guess I'll have to become a Kakita Jester. (which is a good cover up for a Kolat).

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