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Jeff Kaos

Unwilling to buy 2 core sets. Should I pass on this game?

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Yes, that price point is soooo hard for them to maintain they couldn't possibly charge anything other than $40 for it or add in a few more cards and still hit that price point. No way a retailer like gamestop could sell this game for $20 or any of the other big online retailers have enough room to mark it down by more than 10%. The truth is they sell products at various prices and card count doesn't have a **** thing to do with price. The new keyforge starter set has 4 decks of 37 cards at their typical $40 and yet Arkham has 239 cards at the same price. For $10 less at $30 MSRP you get 66 cards in Return of the night of the zealot or you can get 60 cards for $15 MSRP on a standard expansion pack or ~161 cards on a $30 deluxe expansion.

The reality is they have a business model that expects people to be willing to buy multiple cores of their games, so they do so across multiple games and game types at various price points. I suspect in the future they will slowly turn away from this model. They had a lot of people complain and lost customers due to them having exclusive cards in certain ships for x-wing that many didn't actually want to buy, except for that one card. It is a great ploy to sell the ship but the x-wing crowd was very vocal and FFG changed their business model. The best thing for any of us to do is voice a hard opinion on the business model and force them to change it. Their newest game, Keyforge, only needs one core set to get into the game, although that may just be the nature of the game and not a shift in their business model.

If you hate buying multiple cores, make sure they know it. Otherwise they will think you are happy buying multiple cores for all their games.

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Eh, Keyforge is a terrible comparison. It uses a completely different composition and production process, and one which FFG has never used before. (Nobody has, in fact.) Keyforge is not an LCG and doesn't represent a "shift in the business model" for LCGs.

Yes, FFG is a for-profit concern, and they don't sell their products at-cost. But they do make rational calculations about the actual markets for their products. In the case of LCGs, there is a casual market of people who will only try a core set and go no farther. There is a dedicated hobbyist market of people who will buy many or most of the expansions, and who will likely (sooner or later) treat a second core as one such expansion.  There is obviously a third category of customers--or professed potential customers--who are vocally affronted by the compromises involved in an LCG core set that tries to cut the difference by serving both of the first two markets. This outrage seems to be premised on the notion that the two-core (or three-core, as it was for CoC) product-line setup involves hoodwinking or ripping off players and fans, and I don't really find that notion credible. As mentioned in the earlier post on this thread, to create the maximum variety in an introductory card pool, core sets provide a fraction of the maximum rules-allowed play set for a game that is going to be going through continual expansion anyhow.

Edited by Carthoris

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Since potential customers and even current customers feel the "buy multiple cores" is a rip off, the notion is extremely credible. Customer opinion and willingness to buy a product is at the very heart of how well a product does. Now the notion that cutting corners by the smallest of margins to deliver a product with only 239 cards rather than 269 cards would make the product more accessible just does not add up and is what has no credibility. Most people just aren't that dumb. There are however enough of us willing to put up with it though. 

Edited by Mep

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I could have bought the rip-off argument for the first LCGs (CoC and AGoT 1st edition). At that point, the LCG model wasn't known and it wasn't unreasonable to expect something else (also, those first core sets were pretty bad for demo decks, though I'm only sure of that for AGoT). Also, at that time, the expansions were real rip-offs: the first 2 boxes for AGoT had cards in 1x and 2x respectively and the first 4 cycles were half 1x and half 3x (FFG eventually reprinted those in all 3x).

Now, the LCG model is established and well-known. It's no secret that core sets provide mostly singletons and are meant for getting a taste of the game while providing a variety of cards at a reasonable price point. Anyone who expects otherwise is either deluding themselves or as dishonest as they accuse FFG of being.

@Grimwalker There are 10 level 0 cards of each class in the AH core set (6 assets, 3 events and 1 skill).

Edited by Khudzlin

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On 11/1/2018 at 6:27 AM, Khudzlin said:

@Grimwalker There are 10 level 0 cards of each class in the AH core set (6 assets, 3 events and 1 skill).

Yep, you're right, I miscounted. But the point remains--how much deckbuilding could you do with those 10 cards if they represented 3 Assets, 1 Event, and 1 Skill by title? None--none at all. People would complain that forcing them to buy additional Deluxes and monthly packs to open up the card pool was a cash grab, and, AND--it wouldn't be a playable cardpool for months, until they'd released half a year's worth of content minimum to get to the variety they'd have had on Day 1 if they hadn't listened to shortsighted, deluded, dishonest people with myopic priorities. (Oh look, 8 factions in L5R necessitated that they release the entire first cycle of monthly packs in six weeks instead of six months just to make some factions playable even in a game that realistically demands three core sets. HMMMMM.)

But yes, some people most definitely are deluding themselves, or they're willfully ignorant despite information provided. Dishonest inasmuch as it's dishonest to state as fact something which you don't actually know is true, and since I know a lot of these statements being made by some deluded people are not true, it really makes me wonder.

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@Grimwalker L5R has only 7 factions. AGoT has 8 and had a normal release for the first cycle. I don't deny that L5R had serious balance issues with only the core set, but I'm convinced 6 packs in 6 weeks was a marketing experiment more than a necessity to build up the card pool. Not limiting the roles would have opened up deckbuilding; releasing new strongholds in the first cycle (like they did in Netrunner and Conquest) would also have opened up deckbuilding (I'm still not over the lack of strongholds).

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that one's on me, I just don't play L5R. Anyway, I was going off of what people told me--that some factions were in the doghouse in a core set environment and waiting six months at 1-2 cards per pack just wasn't going to move the needle sufficiently. 

Anyway, the point stands: if they didn't make the Core Set card pool as broad as they could in terms of cards by title, the game would take even longer to get to a playable state. Not only would people complain about being forced to buy more product, they would do so in greatly reduced numbers because the Core Set didn't give a good experience.

Edited by Grimwalker

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On 11/1/2018 at 4:43 AM, PJimo said:

I just bought essentially everything produced to date, on sale, for $300. It's utterly baffling that seemingly half of what people talk about with this game is a $30 purchase.

It is not always about the money though. I figured that some people refrain from buying a second core because of principles they have. Honestly, that's something i was totally unaware of and i find it now very understandable.

 

So to actually answer OPs question: I totally think that you dont need a second core set when you're going elsewise "all-in" with this game

Edited by Raahk

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Yeah, that. It's not about the money. If they sold just the player cards, I'd get them. But the idea of buying a second set of encounter and scenario cards I already have is just distasteful. 

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So bizarre. You get dinner delivered one night and you've basically wasted the same amount of resources. And if you really care about conservation you could play the game on TableTop Simulator. It's a totally weird place to draw a line.

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Let's say you go to a retailer to buy a suit. But they don't sell the whole suit, they sell a jacket with a pair of shoes and matching dress pants with a pair of the same shoes. One might argue that they are throwing money out of the window or even that the whole product could be a bit cheaper if you weren't "obligated" to buy the same pair of shoes twice.

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And in all honesty, unless you are only playing solo, there really isn't much in the way of waste. If you play with three or four people, you need more tokens. It is also nice to have a second chaos bag for the other side of the table. The encounter sets go nicely in the Return to Night of the Zealot box to keep that nice and tidy. 

The only things truly extra are the weakness cards, and the ,15 investigator specific cards.

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I can see an argument for buying a second core for the tokens. This LCG is unique among FFG's LCGs in that only one person need to own the game, so multiple cores can make sense, for this game only. Even then, there are cards that one would what 4 of that only come as 1 of, to build out two decks. 

The truth is having an incomplete product really rubs people the wrong way. The suit analogy is great. It's like buying a suit, but the jacket is ripped in half and to get a "full suit", you have to buy two pants, two pair of shoes, two shirts and umm, one jacket? No one would go for that. Yet FFG has conditioned it's customers to do exactly that. Outside of the FFG fan boys people hate this. FFG did this crap with the Destiny starter set but tried selling it to the general public at large not conditioned to buying cores this way. When you tell people, "well you have to buy two starter sets to have a legal deck"..... their done right there. I've seen that thing go for as low as $9 on clearance. It's a bad business model. Again, they had a business model with X-wing where they would have cards exclusive to one ship in one faction. People complained a lot and they changed their business practice, for the most part. We have to complain to get this changed.

There are no production problems, card variety, or other reasons to not have the cores be complete. That is all complete BS. They MSRP Elder Sign for $35, this game for $40, the board game for $65 and Mansions for $100. There is no magic MSRP number they need to hit to sell a product. They can easily do a core for $45 and people won't blink at that $5. They do walk when they figure out the rip off scam being run. It's not the money, it is the principle.

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1 hour ago, Mep said:

The truth is having an incomplete product really rubs people the wrong way. The suit analogy is great. It's like buying a suit, but the jacket is ripped in half and to get a "full suit", you have to buy two pants, two pair of shoes, two shirts and umm, one jacket? No one would go for that. Yet FFG has conditioned it's customers to do exactly that. Outside of the FFG fan boys people hate this.

The product is only incomplete because in their heads people make it to be. It's the same thing where people say they have an, "incomplete" game because they don't have all the promo materials. Which, in any other context, would be absurd. It would be like saying you don't have a, "complete car" because you don't have the leather seats or the supercharged V8 engine that were offered as the premium additions. And so you won't be happy with the car at all. It's stupid.

A single core is marketed for 1-2 players. That is completely fair. You can play 2 players with 1 core. And the more fair way to think about it is that the entry point for the game is to buy 2 cores. So the, "base game" will cost you $65. Is that acceptable? Yes? Buy it. No? It's not. Then don't buy it.

You're getting extras because you're buying 2 copies of a game marketed to be for 1-2 players. So you want a 3-4 player version produced? Ok. It's not being made. Is this going to ruin your life? Is this worth months of deliberations? If you could buy the 3-4 player version for $50 would that make you infinitely happier? Is saving $10-$15 a monstrous wave of cash so you can afford an extra 1-month installment of the game?

People have made a big stink out of this. So other people feel entitled and justified to make a  big stick out of this. Even though the issue is silly, and the proffered arguments (waste of paper! deceptive marketing! only 1 leg of the pants!) are all specious talking points.

Edited by PJimo

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There is nothing specious about people having an opinion. It isn't like they are working for another game company or anything. They have a right to the opinion. If a few people like paying for the same thing twice, good for them. Most people don't care for that. It's when people say "FFG can't possibly include two copies of every card cause reasons" when they do exactly that for their entire product line outside of the core set things get specious.

There are a lot of people who don't like this practice and would like it to stop. I'm telling you, it worked great for x-wing and it can work great here too.

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8 hours ago, PJimo said:

. It would be like saying you don't have a, "complete car" because you don't have the leather seats or the supercharged V8 engine that were offered as the premium additions.

My car equals One Core set with the Carcosa campaign because of all the unspeakable horror i went through with it

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9 minutes ago, Mep said:

There is nothing specious about people having an opinion. It isn't like they are working for another game company or anything. They have a right to the opinion. If a few people like paying for the same thing twice, good for them. Most people don't care for that. It's when people say "FFG can't possibly include two copies of every card cause reasons" when they do exactly that for their entire product line outside of the core set things get specious.

There are a lot of people who don't like this practice and would like it to stop. I'm telling you, it worked great for x-wing and it can work great here too.

But hasn’t this argument been had over, and over, and over again, throughout the life of FFG’s LCG’s? It’s normally the case you need to buy 3 core sets, rather than just 2 for Arkham, but essentially it’s the same business model that’s been going on for far longer than X-Wing has. The other thing about the X-Wing decision is that it went from a 2 faction game on release, and is headed to a 7 faction game over the next couple of waves. I’m fairly confident it is that decision that led to the practice of sharing useful cards in each faction’s products, rather than restricting them to only one ship, rather than any ground swell of public opinion.

To say that we should keep retreading the same argument (that’s been had for what, 5-6 years now?) as it is likely to lead to a change in a clearly successful business model (how are you determining that ‘most’ people don’t care for that? Due to the fact they keep releasing product with the same model and selling loads of them?) is, I think, wishful thinking.

The speciousness described was more about the quality of debate than you having an opinion, which you are clearly allowed to have. But when you describe everyone who doesn’t agree with you as an FFG fanboy, with its connotations of lack of critical thinking, and slavish adherence, it might be construed as attacking those who disagree with you, and isn’t helpful for a temperate debate, if that’s what you’re interested in.

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The exclusive card in a ship pack thing was also done in Armada. FFG stopped this practice in Rune Wars and Legion as well as X Wing and FFG choose to do this because of all the complaints they received. They wanted their new gameS to be successful. FFG's LCG model isn't working so well for them, they are shutting games down, so no, not really that successful of a business model. So yes, change is possible, and FFG is certainly mixing things up with their LCGs.

Maybe I am harsher than I mean to be. Now, if people say "hey, I know it is a bit of scam, but it isn't that much money, I don't mind it too much and I really like the game and want to support it, and least I get more tokens", that doesn't bother me. It is when people choose to defend this business practice with just wrong and misleading information that I really don't care for that.

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4 hours ago, Mep said:

Maybe I am harsher than I mean to be. Now, if people say "hey, I know it is a bit of scam, but it isn't that much money, I don't mind it too much and I really like the game and want to support it, and least I get more tokens", that doesn't bother me. It is when people choose to defend this business practice with just wrong and misleading information that I really don't care for that.

There is no wrong or misleading information in what I said.

And again, we're probably talking about $10. A core can be had for $30-$35. Two cores for $60-$70. If people want the additional option of a double player card supplement, say a marketed, "3-4 player version" of the core, let's sell that for $50. You're now talking about a, "scam" of $10. All this ink, vitriol, and accusations of greedy business practices for $10. Less than a 1-month Mythos Pack. Can we just agree that that's dumb and lacks perspective? 

FFG isn't being deceptive in it. They're saying, "Here. This is what we're selling." And they sell it. And everyone knows it. And there's 4 bajillion threads on people thinking about getting into the game asking about it. This is, definitionally, not deceptive. People are bent out of shape that they're not selling it in a way or bundling that people want. Ok. Point made. They're not selling it that way. Are you going to buy or not buy? If there was a cycle, and then the last 8th Mythos Pack was sold for $50 and you were hoodwinked into paying a super-premium after you had already invested tons of time and money: that would be a scam.

This is really mainly an issue because people make it into an issue, letting other people feel legitimized into continuing to make it an issue. And so they throw the same sticks onto the fire. And every other day on someone starts a new topic on it. And it keeps going and going and going. And the reality and magnitude of people's claimed underlying harm gets swept away under the cacophony of entitlement and indignation.

Edited by PJimo

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6 hours ago, Mep said:

The exclusive card in a ship pack thing was also done in Armada. FFG stopped this practice in Rune Wars and Legion as well as X Wing and FFG choose to do this because of all the complaints they received. They wanted their new gameS to be successful. FFG's LCG model isn't working so well for them, they are shutting games down, so no, not really that successful of a business model. So yes, change is possible, and FFG is certainly mixing things up with their LCGs.

Maybe I am harsher than I mean to be. Now, if people say "hey, I know it is a bit of scam, but it isn't that much money, I don't mind it too much and I really like the game and want to support it, and least I get more tokens", that doesn't bother me. It is when people choose to defend this business practice with just wrong and misleading information that I really don't care for that.

Okay, two points, Runewars and Legion are aiming for the wargaming market, which has always been a place where people tend to buy one faction rather than everything, so it’s not a change to the business model, it’s a different one entirely.

Secondly, you have just reiterated the point that if people disagree with you, they’re inherently misrepresenting something. I genuinely don’t have an issue with the model. I have friends who just bought the core set only, and have had loads of fun with it. I totally get you don’t like it, and I totally accept that for you and others it isn’t the way you want to purchase the product. But defaming anyone else with a different perspective is not helpful.

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I don't mind if people say they like being doubled charged. That is honest. It is when people try to deceive others that I have a problem. Like the additional core is only a $10 scam. No, an extra core cost more than $10. That math is just wrong. Also, FFG is on record saying they changed the unique card practice because of complaints. There is some brand loyalty going on here that make people say things that aren't true in order to defend FFG.

It's FFG's business model that they operate on multiple products. It is rather transparent, once one knows about it, so in that sense it is more of scheme rather than a scam, but it is what it is. What it is not is something that needs defending. We all know FFG wants to sell the same person multiple copies of their product for monies. They are a for profit company, it is what they do. People have a right to voice their opinion about it, like, I hate it, I don't care, or I like being double charged cause tokens. It is a business model, it is defended by does it earn money or not. Why people are even trying to defend it, especially with just wrong information, is just silly and odd. Then again there are people who love Pepsi but hate Coke even though they sell the exact same thing that tastes only slightly different.

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54 minutes ago, Mep said:

I don't mind if people say they like being doubled charged. That is honest. It is when people try to deceive others that I have a problem. Like the additional core is only a $10 scam. No, an extra core cost more than $10. That math is just wrong. Also, FFG is on record saying they changed the unique card practice because of complaints. There is some brand loyalty going on here that make people say things that aren't true in order to defend FFG.

It's FFG's business model that they operate on multiple products. It is rather transparent, once one knows about it, so in that sense it is more of scheme rather than a scam, but it is what it is. What it is not is something that needs defending. We all know FFG wants to sell the same person multiple copies of their product for monies. They are a for profit company, it is what they do. People have a right to voice their opinion about it, like, I hate it, I don't care, or I like being double charged cause tokens. It is a business model, it is defended by does it earn money or not. Why people are even trying to defend it, especially with just wrong information, is just silly and odd. Then again there are people who love Pepsi but hate Coke even though they sell the exact same thing that tastes only slightly different.

An extra core set is more than $10. The alternative that people envision would be more than $0. If people got what they claimed they think would be fair, FFG would either sell a supplement to the Core set that contained only the player cards. Or it would market a 3-4 player version of the Core set. Probably $15-$20 would be a fair price for the first. $50 would be a fair price for the 2nd. The extra $10 represents the difference between people's current alternatives (buy 2 core sets for around $60) and these other proposed alternatives ($30 for a first core + $20 supplement or $50 bundled). That's just math that you're misunderstanding.

You keep saying FFG fanbois or now FFG brand loyalty and whatever else. You have over 2,600 posts on an FFG message board. I have 10. You're apparently familiar with the intricacies of their business model over various franchises. I can list for you every FFG game I own (out of a total collection exceeding 100): Cosmic Encounter (a game from the 1970s); TI3 (that was a gift from a friend over 10 years ago); Game of Thrones (bought over 10 years ago; haven't played in at least 5); Descent (which I really liked); Star Wars: Rebellion (bought last week after playing a friend's copy a few times in the past year); and now Arkham LCG (which I bought last week after playing a friend's copy the last 2 years). So out of over 100 games, I own 6 FFG products. Only 3 of which I've played in the last 5 years. And 2 of those 3 I bought in the last week. Frankly, I didn't even know that they made CE, TI3, and GoT. I only found it out by just now looking at FFG's website to see what titles they made to figure out my list. Who's the fanboy here?

There's a difference between defending FFG and saying that people's whining is irritating and ill-founded. You might think that they're the same, but they're not. There's a difference between saying, "I LOVE EVERYTHING FFG" and not getting behind, "FFG IS THE WORST THING EVER FOR THIS UNBELIEVABLY SELFISH THING". I think what FFG does is reasonable. I think that people deciding not to buy the game is reasonable. People endlessly complaining about it endlessly when it's such a minor issue and frankly a minor additional cost when they are given information full well on their options, is annoying. And the claimed rationales are weak. The stretched metaphors to make the arguments reasonable are weak. And what's really weak is baseless ad hominem attacks and accusations of bias because somebody doesn't agree with you.

Edited by PJimo

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I am not doing endless complaining, nor would I say you are doing endless complaining about the complaining. This is a common complaint because it is something that rubs a lot of people the wrong way. It is a legitimate complaint even if some like to complain about the complaining. BTW, I never suggesting offering a supplemental pack to the core. I would like to see them offer a complete core product. Reality is, cards cost around 1 cent to print. Adding in the missing 30-50 cards or whatever it is to complete the set wouldn't add a huge cost to production and they could easily hit a $45 MSRP to do so. However that isn't their business model. Their model is to sell multiple cores to people and that will remain their model as long as it works. For that to happen, their needs to be a lot of complaining for FFG to make a business decision that they are better off without that practice. Sadly that means there will have to be a lot of complaining and for those that don't like it, there is the ignore feature.

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