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Svenny T.

FFG Needs to step up

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Look, I'm really excited that there is already a new expansion for keyforge coming in a few months. It is super fast for how new the game is and I'm excited.

BUT

It ain't enough. The keyforge scene at my local shop is already dead and it ain't for lack of interest. A couple months ago we had a solid group of round 8 people who would regularly come, but now no one shows up, me included. I regularly ask the guys who work there if anyone still shows up and their response as to why no one comes is "Fantasy Flight sucks." 

And well, I don't think they are wrong. 

The store finally now has regular product (one or two boxes of decks), after months of not being able to even get a box of new decks, let alone a starter kit. If they did a few starter sets theyd sell out immediately because they were one of the only stores to sell them at MSRP (which they all should have been). But if one of the two formats revolves around needing product, well that don't really help out local game stores when FFG either can't or won't meet demand. 

Also prize support is garbage. The chain counter cards and stun/power cards are cool, and the coins are alright, but it ain't great incentive to pay to play either archon or sealed. There should be more than just trinket accessories for winning. Give a deck away to the winner, that'd be great incentive. (I am skeptical of the prize wall and aember collection system, especially if I aint able to regularly play to earn any.)

Anyway, I really like keyforge and I think it has the potential to rival MTG, but if FFG won't step up and support the production needed for a community to properly grow, then I ain't gonna spend my money.

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Posted (edited)

Loads of shops give out decks to winners. FFG doesn't include decks in their prize kits (because that seems silly), if you want your shop to give out decks, why not ask them to?

Shops pay for the event kits, and then in turn use those as prizes, but there's nothing that says that is ALL they can do for prizes. My local shop usually gives promo stuff from the kit as well as store credit based on the attendance. 

 

Edited by blinkingline

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The supply issues were very frustrating, but with how popular the game was at release I am not all that surprised, guessing how much to print for a new game is hard. My area has had the attendance drop in several stores for the same reason. This lack of attendance has caused a lack of chainbound events. Most stores near me are only hosting 1 a month instead of 1 a week. 

 

Basically, I think you anger is justified, but I don't think there is anything FFG can do about it now. 

 

As far as prizes go, I would be thrilled if a local store started having chainbound events with no prizes and either no or very small entry fees. I am more excited by the power level system than I am about any prize. 

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1 minute ago, Revert said:

As far as prizes go, I would be thrilled if a local store started having chainbound events with no prizes and either no or very small entry fees. I am more excited by the power level system than I am about any prize. 

A friend's shop is doing this and it seems to be working well; weekly chainbound, zero entry fee, stuff from the chainbound kits for participating, no real "prizes".

 

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Posted (edited)

Got several stores near me that do weekly chainbound. Sorry to hear your shops lost some attendance but if it helps the new set does include new starters meaning more of those if people really want them.

Prize support is mostly aember shards from chainbound but purhaps suggest your shop order acrylics online, aember pieces can be super cheap (got mine for 6 cents per piece), lots of people also make damage tokens, chain trackers, deck boxes etc. All they’d have to do is use some entry fee money to cover costs. Our stores tend to do 5 entry + cost of a deck when we do sealed or just 5 for archon format and usually gives all the excess as store credit which works well to. Thing is with how the decks function you can’t really do promo cards so the aember shards and promo stun/power is what they can do unless they start releasing some of the stuff we’re seeing at vault tours in promo kits but I don’t see that as likely granted it would be nice if you could exchange your shards online and pay shipping for those of us that don’t have vault tours close enough by to go to.

Edited by TwitchyBait

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Posted (edited)

I live in a fairly small market, less than 400,000 people. We have struggled to keep product in stock. Having said that , the longest dry spell with no stock at any of the stores was about 3 weeks. We definitely haven’t been able to support sealed events on a regular basis. In fact we just had our second sealed event last weekend. Sound familiar?

We haven’t let that stop us from having tournaments, we just play archon. Our smallest event was 9 people. We are a diverse group. Everybody has more than one game they play. We struggle to get 4 people for days without tournaments. That’s on us, not lack of support from FFG or our local local stores.

The prize support for chainbound events leaves a little to be desired, ok maybe a lot, but are you and your friends only playing KeyForge for the prizes?

Based upon what you say in your original post it sounds to me like you have a local problem organizing events more than an FFG problem. I mean really, saying FFG sucks when asked about local interest is a horrible answer. Ever hear the saying “You’ll catch more flies with honey than vinegar”? I’m not trying to insult your local store, but based upon the way you phrased their response they need to work on their marketing and event organizing skills.

Does the amount of available product slow the growth of the game? Most likely yes. Does it kill it, no it doesn’t. As long as people have a deck or 2 they can play the game with a friend. FFG can make a game and provide OP structure, but the responsibility for the actual building of a community at the local level is in the hands of local players and store owners.

P.S.   I have played almost every weekend since the release of KeyForge. I think I missed 2 because of life. I’ve played that frequently because I make arrangements with people via personal contact and/or announcements on the local Facebook page or because a local store organized an event. I didn’t wait for FFG to print more decks or organize a tournament. Sometimes you have to put in some effort to get what you want.

Edited by Starbane

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When we had a drought of sealed product in this area, what one of the stores started doing is using the opened decks (gotten from online or being sold by some people who didn't care for them) they were selling for sealed events. In this case, participants rolled a dice to "select" the deck at random. Don't know how viable this is in your area but one thing I like about keyforge is that it invites inventiveness of tournament format.

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Posted (edited)

Also, it is not the local game store's responsibility to promote a community of play. They are there to help give you a place to play, but it is ultimately the players that dictate what the owner's should divert their resources towards.

There are many formats to play that don't involve needing sealed product and as others have suggested, players can put up prizes as well. It could just be your area, but where I am in MN there are chainbound events daily that I could go to, but I have the opposite problem of not having enough free time. I have played in sealed and archon events which typically have 30+ people on a Friday night. There are also stores that post in the fan-made facebook group that get about 6 to fire.

Product supply being low is a double edged sword. It means people want your product, but if you don't predict how much you may need effectively, it can burn you like in your scenario. Fantasy Flight doesn't need to supply anything to the stores to run events, but they do. The fact that you can do sealed for $10-15 or bring your own for $0-$5, none of that goes back to Fantasy Flight for what they provide. That is the store making their profit (and very little at that these days).

As for the prizes they provide, I am a fan of the metal keys, house pins, and metal damage counters. The mini cards get used at the stores I have been to, but I still prefer glass beads and plastic aember bits (A pack of 200 is usually like $5 on amazon). They come in large and small sizes and all the colors your could want. Work with your players in the area to see if they are interested in making House Kits using the promo chain trackers and certain colors. You can fit a fridge magnet in a sleeve behind the tracker and use a small washer to keep track of your chains without worrying about knocking it around.

Start your own group on Facebook, Slack, Discord, etc. Drop by your local library and print out a few signs advertising a KeyForge group. When KeyForge first came out, I tried to get my hands on as many decks as I could just to give two to each of my friends so they could always have something to play with their friends and family for little to no investment. Some of them gave me something in trade, some didn't, and others have given the decks back which just went to other friends. I have gotten at least 10 people I know of interested in it who may never have touched it otherwise. Then out of those 10, three or four of them have come with me to various events.

When chainbound events were announced, I called the four stores I frequent the most to see what their plans were. A couple were concerned that there was not enough interest because they couldn't keep product in stock, to which I reminded them that they sold out and that doesn't happen often with games like Magic, Pokemon, etc. Those will take up valuable space for them sometimes and eventually they have to clearance it out to make room. With KeyForge, it was in and gone. Stores around me all over the Twin Cities were continually out. I live next to the Fantasy Flight Game Center and they are continually backlogged on orders. It is not like they have a magic button that just prints it on demand.

Some stores do theme nights where players are encouraged to use specific houses. No official prize support, but there is still plenty of turnout. The latest one was for Untamed, were you the hunters or the mighty beasts? Then they tallied which side had more wins and everyone had a great time playing the game they enjoy. Again, no prizes and no cost to play. It was the shared experience of being with others playing and enjoying the same thing as you.

So instead of complaining that your scene is dead and FF needs to fix it, remember:

"It is not what your gaming community does for you, but what you can do for your gaming community."

Go to the empty store and bring your friends. That way when someone else calls and asks if anyone is there playing KeyForge, the store can say "Yeah, there is a great group of people here now".

Edited by KandyKidZero
elaborate

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14 hours ago, Svenny T. said:

 

Also prize support is garbage. The chain counter cards and stun/power cards are cool, and the coins are alright, but it ain't great incentive to pay to play either archon or sealed. There should be more than just trinket accessories for winning. Give a deck away to the winner, that'd be great incentive. (I am skeptical of the prize wall and aember collection system, especially if I aint able to regularly play to earn any.)

I'm actually very, very happy that the prize support is for non-essential materials. If prize materials could be used to win games (or are unique decks), you'd have sharks jumping into tournies and trying to win them for profit. I'd rather reward people who are planning to come out each week with things that jazz up their favourite game, than bribe people who would be reluctant to come out.

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8 minutes ago, Whiz Canmaj said:

I'm actually very, very happy that the prize support is for non-essential materials. If prize materials could be used to win games (or are unique decks), you'd have sharks jumping into tournies and trying to win them for profit. I'd rather reward people who are planning to come out each week with things that jazz up their favourite game, than bribe people who would be reluctant to come out.

I’m not sure they meant unique decks, like if your entry fee was 5$ a pop the store could easily give out a free sealed standard deck per 2 entries and divide those up amongst first, second etc. Wouldn’t need to be special decks just standard ones from a box (granted that would lower stock for other players to buy so they’d need a surplus).

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With that attitude I don't doubt the store owners killed the game. It is an unfortunate situation since FFG OP depends on stores so much with no way for clubs to get organizing easily unless backed by a store. Also an issue with the player base, though, since we FFG gamers are so addicted to promo bling.

Most tournaments I was at had plenty of decks in the price pool, that's definitly on your store if they had stock (and if not, store credit always is an option).

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my LGS uses decks as prizes for sealed, and store credit (which can also be used for further entrance fees) for archon chainbounds. this is a pretty great prize support, and is very similar to what they use for their magic scene (a bunch of boosters in draft events, and store credit in constructed). i struggle to think of any way to have better prize support from FFG's side, especially in a game like Keyforge without singles being relevant. Metal keys and playmats aren't a great weekly prize, as players only need or even want a couple of sets max, and probably already have at least one set of keys they like and a playmat they like if they want to play regularly. As an occasional prize they're nice, but they're not a good weekly prize. Deckboxes like the ones shown for Vault Tour prize walls might work, but still aren't better than a deck or store credit for example. In the end, prize support is better done by stores than through FFG's kits, not because of what is currently in the kits, but because stores are much better situated to give players things they want than FFG is, even more in Keyforge than in other card games.

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4 minutes ago, slope123 said:

Reminds me of what happened when Star Wars Destiny came out.

This^^

Same for 40k Conquest around the second cycle. FFG has a real supply issue. They see having extra stock as far worse than not enough, because honestly they don't care about these products long-term. Especially not without a disney license.

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They have addressed the stock issues in the In-Flight report. The create initial stock based on advance interest from distributors and stores. There were single stores in America that purchased more Star Wars Destiny than entire regions of Europe at launch. No one was interested. and it takes a long time from the beginning of production to shipping the product. Official support for games is proportional to sales of said game.  I remember not too long ago that many content creators said they could not see KeyForge being competitive or a substitute for MTG. It is reasonable that such opinions were also shared by game stores. Additionally, the unique challenge of making support for this type of game would cause some trepidation. It isn't really sensible to heavily invest in a prize kit if no one will want to buy it. I understand why some places don't get much stock and the prize support haze been challenging.

I agree that other than the Keys and Playmats, the prize kits have been less than exciting. However, accusing FFG with a of a lack of care isn't helping anyone. The stores and communities taking charge and working with those that regularly participate in their events is an excellent solution. 

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, slope123 said:

Reminds me of what happened when Star Wars Destiny came out.

This is nothing like when destiny came out in my area. When destiny came out we got approximately 11 booster boxes and 8 of each starter for the whole area and the restock took 2 or 3 times as long to get here. That didn’t even come close to meeting demand. The store I bought from was allocated less than a third of his order.

Just by the nature of the game Destiny requires more product to both play and stay fresh. The early days of Destiny were dark days indeed.

My area received enough KeyForge product to support way more players on launch day than it did of Destiny. We had 15 at our release tournament with stock left over at the end of the day. I don’t even think my store was allocated. If it was we still had product for sale going into at least the second week.

Edited by Starbane

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6 hours ago, HaphazardNinja said:

They have addressed the stock issues in the In-Flight report. The create initial stock based on advance interest from distributors and stores. There were single stores in America that purchased more Star Wars Destiny than entire regions of Europe at launch. No one was interested. and it takes a long time from the beginning of production to shipping the product. Official support for games is proportional to sales of said game.  I remember not too long ago that many content creators said they could not see KeyForge being competitive or a substitute for MTG. It is reasonable that such opinions were also shared by game stores. Additionally, the unique challenge of making support for this type of game would cause some trepidation. It isn't really sensible to heavily invest in a prize kit if no one will want to buy it. I understand why some places don't get much stock and the prize support haze been challenging.

I agree that other than the Keys and Playmats, the prize kits have been less than exciting. However, accusing FFG with a of a lack of care isn't helping anyone. The stores and communities taking charge and working with those that regularly participate in their events is an excellent solution. 

It doesn't hurt to report these kind of issues, even if there is little now that FFG can do about it.

I definitely remember how muted excitement was in general for the game before it came out though. It had its fans, mostly from within the existing lcg or destiny sets of players, but there was a pretty prevaling thought that it was a dumb gimmick that was going to just fall completely flat. A lot of stores just didn't buy it at all, and then when they heard it it was doing so well, tried to get product allocated, and then complained about not getting enough supplies to run sealed events.

There were also legitimate supply or distribution issues in other places. Hopefully things smooth out with AoA.

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How does everybody in this thread feel about this?: https://www.fantasyflightgames.com/en/news/2019/3/29/for-mars/?fbclid=IwAR13OYuk0W89OxgBaZvEPFUt2yfqOu0UpH8BnasLeKyMfnwjZreOa6xhBdc

The prior stuff was fine in my book, but this is a definite step in the wrong direction. The starter set keys look orders of magnitude better than these card keys.

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The key cards are interesting. I have some friends who really like Mars, so I will be winning these things for them mostly. I am starting to fall in love with Brobnar stuff, so hopefully those will come down the way.

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25 minutes ago, D351 said:

How does everybody in this thread feel about this?: https://www.fantasyflightgames.com/en/news/2019/3/29/for-mars/?fbclid=IwAR13OYuk0W89OxgBaZvEPFUt2yfqOu0UpH8BnasLeKyMfnwjZreOa6xhBdc

The prior stuff was fine in my book, but this is a definite step in the wrong direction. The starter set keys look orders of magnitude better than these card keys.

I don’t think it’s the wrong direction, I mean I’m not crazy about the keys but including playmate and deck boxes is definitely a good idea to increase prize support.

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3 minutes ago, TwitchyBait said:

I don’t think it’s the wrong direction, I mean I’m not crazy about the keys but including playmate and deck boxes is definitely a good idea to increase prize support.

Deck boxes might be a good thing (depending on quality), but playmats were already in prior kits. I wasn't really factoring in non-changes.

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Posted (edited)
2 minutes ago, D351 said:

Deck boxes might be a good thing (depending on quality), but playmats were already in prior kits. I wasn't really factoring in non-changes.

Didn’t see any playmats show up outside of premier day.

Edited by TwitchyBait

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4 minutes ago, TwitchyBait said:

Didn’t see any playmats show up outside of premier day.

Oh, wow. I guess our local store must have been sitting on those for a while then, lol. In that case, yes, adding playmats is a huge step in the right direction, even if I don't much care for this one.

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1 minute ago, D351 said:

Oh, wow. I guess our local store must have been sitting on those for a while then, lol. In that case, yes, adding playmats is a huge step in the right direction, even if I don't much care for this one.

Or they might have just bought some and used them as prize support as the playmats have been available for a while.

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