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SmokeGunner

Guides and Vaults not the complete game

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I would have thought that picking up all Guides and all Vaults would give you the full game up to that point, just as if you'd bought the core set plus all the expansions prior to later releases such as Omens of War. This does not appear to be the case. If you buy all the Guides and Vaults, you will still be missing a lot of material, such as the Disease, Mutation, Spell and Blessings cards from Winds of Magic and Signs of Faith, plus a lot of extra Careers and associated Talent cards from The Adventurer's Toolkit. Players who go the "Guides and Vaults" route are then faced with the dilemna of missing out on all this material or buying expansions which duplicate rules they already own.

This seems to be a strange approach by FFG. I own the core set, and have also picked up the Player's Guide, Creature Guide and Creature Vault, but now I'm wondering what is the point of sticking with the guides and vaults if I will have to purchase the expansions anyway?

Confused :(

 

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I can't blame FFG, I wouldn't want to make any of my product obsolete either, but it does make the guides as an odd choice, even if you don't want to use the cards, you still have to buy expansions (if you want those rules) that are priced with cards. For me the guides just collect the core rules into nice hardbacks, that I can take to the table for reference, but the core box is the way to go.

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The guides were never meant to be an ongoing forward alternative to play the game.  They were a supplemental way of presenting the core rules in a different format.  They have said all along that the core play experience is the box set and the cards.  However to their discredit they could have done a much better job at voicing that as there is some obvious confusion.

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The guides are actually pretty good, and were the reason I decided to go all-in with this edition. The vaults...are an absolute cluster fudge, and border on predatory sales imo.  They are just the core set components split in two pieces (that ends up being as expensive as a CORE set without any of the books when purchased together).  SO you need the guides to make use of the vaults, but not the vaults to make use of the guides.  It is some seriously awful packaging/organization/whatever.  I made the mistake of picking up the Player's Vault, and while it is nice to have copies of action cards, talents and the 30 core careers with the updated erata, it certainly doesn't feel worth the price point of the entire vault. 

It seems like there were two separate groups working on the guides and the vaults at FFG and the first time they ever talked to each other was probably when they were putting in the final print orders for China.  Ah well...caveat emptor and all that.  Hopefully people spend some time researching online or speaking with game store folks before forking out the dough for something they might not need.

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I agree with the original poster:  The release of this game's vaults/guides is a cluster fudge and it has a serious dooming effect..especially as people find out they've been ripped off.  I have advised my players to only purchase the players guide and copy the abilities they need onto their character sheet ..or something like that...

Since we're on the topic, the outrageous production cost put into this game results in a "too high entry price" as well.  it's been said before and it will be said again (and again): a $99 boxed set is a turn-off, even without the "Macy's Discount" that is forced on FLGSs that even bother to keep a copy on the shelf. I think that FFG has forgotten that they are competing against the D&D Juggernaut and Pathfinder, both of which have a complete game in a book or two for a really good deal...anybody want to volunteer to tell FFG that?  I hear ALL my local game store owners just BADMOUTHING the game because they really aren't going to carry it.  Why put something on the shelf that not only won't sell for the outrageous price, but that you're then just a window-shopping location for people who are just then going to BE REQUIRED to purchase it online just to get the Macy's Discount (i.e Jacked-up price with a big discount so you feel like you're getting a good deal.) [rant continues below]

This topic just continously angers me because I really want to support this game, but when it comes to finding players, they're all hearing the same thing:  Cluster fudge, not a complete game, you gotta sPend $5000000, AND WORST OF ALL:  few other players in your area even know about this game because nobody's carrying it...and it's badmouthed by store owners who would rather focus their players on easier-to-sell items..and now FLGSs have got players coming back to their stores saying, "this isn't what I purchased..I want my money back.."  That makes for a very poor reputation.

FFG's only solution will be to put out a complete game in a year or so (want to buy it a 3rd time?)

I'm still sucking it up, but I'm getting close to bailing until they get their stuff together.  I've sadly put my OoW and WS orders on hold unless the population-base of players magically jumps up...which leads me to my next rant:  WHERE IS THE PLAYERS SEEKING PLAYERS FORUM ON THESE BOARDS?  Oh wait, there isn't one.  That would be too incredibly complex to do..so they'd rather just have this "guess what I play" system they currently paid this website company to handle...wooo hoooo!  Talk about stuck in a rut...

 

..

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Thanks for your replies. I do think the way these Guides and Vaults were released has only led to confusion and disappointment. To do it properly FFG should have included ALL content up to Signs of Faith in the Guides and Vaults. That way people would have been given a clear choice - buy the core boxed set plus all expansions up to Signs of Faith, or just buy the Guides and Vaults. As it stands people are forced to either a) buy just the Guides and Vaults and miss out on lots of core+expansion content, or b) duplicate content they already have.

To put things right I think FFG should bring out a new Guide and Vault that covers all the bits missed out of the Player's Guide/Vault, GM's Guide/Vault and Creature Guide/Vault. In particular I'm thinking of all the new Careers, which perversely are listed in the Player's Guide but not included in the Player's Vault, and all the new Spells/Blessings, which again are listed in the Player's Guide but not included in the Player's Vault. Likewise the Diseases and Mutations which are covered in the GM's Guide but not included in the GM's Vault.

I am new to the system but am already becoming turned off by it due to the necessity of having to painstakingly research each and every product in the line to see what is missing and what is duplicated. A clear deliniation between Guides and Vaults vs. Core+Expansions is sorely needed. A forth Guide/Vault set could address this problem if it added everything up to Signs of Faith not included in the previous Guides/Vaults. They could call it the "Extras" Guide/Vault, for want of a better title!

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Personally I think for them to do it right they should drop the guides entirely.  Focus on just the card based experience and tighten their editing up.

The guide books just don't work for this release cycle.  They'd have to create a new series of guide books basically every year to encompass all the new stuff.  Which would always be met with more bemoaning.  The cards are great because they can keep the rulebooks to just contain the rules and then use the cards to expand everything else.

If anyone is going to the trouble of buying the guides and the vaults and the toolkits and the extra dice then they are wasting money when just buying the box sets would have given you a more complete experience.  The guides have their uses as a supplemental rules set, perfect for passing around to players for example.  But as a core means of playing this game they are less then ideal and never really their intention.

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I absolutely agree that for the newcomer, it's very confusing as to what products you should acquire. Sure, some research will answer most of the questions, but FFG really should make it easier and provide some better clarity on the topic of the sets, guides, and vaults.

But once again, I see a lot of fallacies being thrown about as solid arguments, a lot of opinions asserted as facts, and a lot of assertions without any data beyond your tiny, local sample size.

And the activity (or lack thereof) of internet communities is somehow painting that holistic picture for you? How so? I don't participate on these threads much anymore because I'm tired of people whinging when they used to come up with creative story ideas and thoughts. Yet I run a very healthy group, and I know of several others in my immediate area (including a very successful hobby shop owner who routinely sells through his WFRP merch). But we aren't participating in these threads, or on RPG.net or StS, so you know, it must just be DEAD. I mean, if you aren't on these threads posting at the top of every hour, or looking for a group, the game is a commercial flop, right?

You do know that the people who subscribe and post on forums are typically in the minority of consumers, right?

Show me some numbers - real ones. Also, show me that FFG isn't making money on this venture. Are they? Is GW happy with the sales of WFRP? Can it be supported purely as the admittedly errata'd ferrari of RPGs, even if it prices out some consumers? Why does the design and sale-through of WFRP need to be run like D&D/Pathfinder for it to be successful? I suspect we won't know the answer to these questions anytime soon, if ever. I do appreciate the speculation, and do think the devs like to hear feedback good and bad, but crying in all caps that the sky is falling when you ain't got a lot to prove that doesn't make this board anymore inviting for people who might be interested in learning more about the game.

 

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..and your counter argument is to say that because I didn't do a double-blind, randomized controlled study that my data is insufficient for me to make an opinion about my own situation and about the hobby in general?  Sorry, but I can't get funding for that kind of study because I'm a chiropractor and JAMA won't publish my gaming research without an already-published gaming study author such as Carter R, Lester D. in their landmark study about the personalities of gamers:  www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed, but everyone knows that the tiny minority of gamers that frequent forums don't really have opinions that count anyways and that all feedback to game companies goes directly through customer service in repeatable, high-reliability surveys that can be measured over time against satisfaction rates about whether or not the vaults do or do not contain all the info necessary to play the game, with or without having Winds of Magic or other supplements...  ;)

Sorry, but I'm stating this as fact.  You provided me no evidence from your own tiny market situation to refute my own tiny, little market. [Yes, I'm having fun with this with a smiley :)  ]  .. also check out reply #5 here for a link to the industry forum.  I know they probably don't know either, but I'm just comparing it to my own experience : www.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_foros_discusion.asp

The vault-guide combos are incomplete and it wasn't not a good idea for FFG to have produced them as such.   It would be dishonest of any of us to advise anyone to purchase guides and vaults without going through this convoluted discussion about completeness.  What is the points of the guides and vaults if they are incomplete and you have to buy more crap anyways to fill in the blanks?

It's still best, imo, just to recommend the boxes for people and a players guide for reference.

jh

 

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Anecdotal report for the database:

I haven't bought anything for WHRP since I picked up the Player's Guide and Creature Guide when they released (did I get it or just look at it in the shop? Man, can't remember). Our group petered out and the LGS (which is not a small one by any means) hasn't ordered anything for the system as restock or new product since the Guides/Vaults release. So, as far as I can see in our region the game has faded a bit while Pathfinder and 4e and the other FFG RPG titles continue to do quite well.

Part of it I think is the Guide/Vault mess and how it struck a goodly bit left of center of the target for the consumer.

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Emirikol said:

..and your counter argument is to say that because I didn't do a double-blind, randomized controlled study that my data is insufficient for me to make an opinion about my own situation and about the hobby in general?  Sorry, but I can't get funding for that kind of study...

Jay - I am not asking you to. I am saying, as my opinion, I am tired of so many forum threads with the same complaints with people throwing out unjustified opinions as facts.  As I said in my closing, " I suspect we won't know the answer to these questions anytime soon, if ever. I do appreciate the speculation, and do think the devs like to hear feedback good and bad, but crying in all caps that the sky is falling when you ain't got a lot to prove that doesn't make this board anymore inviting for people who might be interested in learning more about the game."

Emphasis added.

I'd be much more interested to hear whether FFG or GW give a crap about this niche little community forum (sometimes they seem to, and other times not so much).  It makes me wonder if WFRP is currently successful enough for them to keep doing business as usual. Is it okay to price out customers even though they might be a vocal minority on your threads and therefore turn off prospective buyers?

I also agreed then and do now (and included it in my post) that the separation of guides and vaults was a poor idea and added a lot of confusion to the marketplace.

Finally, I never discounted people's opinions here or otherwise, but a lot of folks carry on as if they are the defacto taste makers for the industry and should be driving FFG and then go about using this echo chamber as proof positive that this is so.  My response is no - you and others do not represent the entirety of the market.  That doesn't and shouldn't discount your thoughts. I certainly don't. I am just trying to add in a perspective that doesn't get much play: that there are people out there playing the system and enjoying it. Is it flawed? Yes, absolutely, but I think you and I can agree that there are a lot more consumers who have bought WFRP, continue to play it and don't come here, and so they're not part of the calculus for these arguments, but THEY ARE part of FFG's/GW's calculus on how and what to develop for the game.

I can't imagine we're doing a lot of favors to people who are interested in the hobby and this game in particular when we are ranting about the same topic again and again when the publisher/developer don't seem to intend to change. I much prefer it when you are suggesting interesting game mechanics, topics and adventures than carrying on the same argument we see week-in and week-out.

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I am new to WFRP and love the system.  My GM has generously bought everything that FFG has produced for the game, so we've got it all.   I imagine many GMs will not be able to afford to do this, though.

All I "needed" to buy was the Player's Guide and it works great.  

Now if my GM moves away, and it falls on me to buy all the stuff needed to run a game . . . I'd be hard pressed to raise the capital to buy all the supplements. 

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I only have recently gotten into third edition. I've sort of been on a 5-10 year hiatus from playing pretend but found a group of mates who wanted to get back into it. When I did my research, however, it was pretty confusing as to what to buy. Like what is the difference between vaults and toolkits and how can I get the most for my initial investment, since that is a pretty big consideration for how much I want to get into a game.

I eventually settled on the core box and forwent the guides because it seemed like I was paying for the better cover and possibly losing out on fancy dice, which was also sort of confusing: would a light version use the dice I already had? the answer, of course, was no.

Despite all of this I did end up buying the GM Vault, which is a waste of money to anyone owning the core box, so I certainly sympathize with anyone who feels that it is a "cluster fudge" or "predatory".

My point, which I swear I do have someplace in here, is that despite these hiccups, the game does stand on the merit of the core box. It seems like a pretty obvious purchase in the end. If you are researching online, FFG does a pretty decent job of explaining what to buy on the description of the game on their site. If you are the casual shopper looking to get into the game from the box, you really should ask the beardy guy behind the counter what the buy-in is. If he doesn't know, use the internets.

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Again, newcomer.  The whole topic of FFG's release "strategy" gets repeated a lot here, huh?

I understand the bitterness . . . to a point.  It's clearly not the most consumer friendly strategy or one that will help the game catch on like wildfire.  The confusion and cost the approach creates does make it difficult to win and keep players and groups committed to the system.  Will it eventually undo itself?  Perhaps.

There's certainly a broad field of other game options out there at much cheaper price points,  but the fact is . . . there is something about this game that's helping it win converts despite the FFG idiocy. 

The Old World setting, the career system, gimmicky dice, pretty books/cards/widgets, they do all come together to make for a hell of a good time at the table.  Honestly, the heavy mechanical focus, all the crap that gets in the way of storytelling, the game that doesn't know whether its an RPG or a board/card game, there are so many reasons that I should hate this game.  But I can't help myself from loving it. 

When I read the very legitimate criticisms people share of predatory marketing and consumer abuse, when I'm online or at the game store considering purchases, it's maddening.   All that fades away at the table, though.  At the table, the game is a blast.  If it wasn't so much fun, we'd have packed it in and let WFRP3 collapse on itself long ago.

So, I'm in the masochists' society.  My sorry arse will be lining up like a dope to feed my crack in a glossy box habit and fueling FFG's greed and disorganization.  I absolutely empathize with the righteous agitators, though.  Fight the power, but save some energy for having a blast playing a great game.

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Well, this is funny.  I remember creating a thread about this topic last August, right after the rules light hardback deal was announced.  I sited the biggest problem of the guide/vault is player confusion and shop owner confusion to get into the RPG.  I was told I was crazy for it back then, lol!  That's just funny to me. 

The other thing about those guides/vaults is Warhammer 3e for almost the entire year last year was a high ranking product on the charts (I believe it was always at least in the top 10, if not the top 5).  However, it had problems in the fourth quarter.  Which, I think, was largely due to a delay of the guides and vaults hitting stores and those books themselves.  As a player who had everything, I had no reason to buy any of them, except the creature guide/vault.  To this day, I have only bought the creature vault as I don't use that many monsters in my games, a 60 dollar monster manual wasn't worth it to me. 

I honestly don't think ffg meant it to be predatory (the guides/vaults) it just seems that way.  We can argue all day which is true or not, but having met many of them, I just don't think that is their MO.  In my opinion, FFG should have waited until the ruinous power cycle was completed, then combined all the previous material and put those out as a series of vaults and guides.  However, if they did go that route, they would have to kill the core box...which I still believe, competing with it is a big, big mistake.  All the careers from all the expansions that match each group and all the action cards various supplements added for those types go into the box.  

I also largely disagree with the assumption that all the boxes and expansions are in anyway predatory.  I think the product was intended to get gamers who wanted to play without components into the game.  Honestly, you can play the entire game with just the core box.  I mean, winds of magic, signs of faith, and omens of war are great and all, but you don't really need a spell for every order or faith.  As a matter of a fact, the core box covers, for the most part, most of the magical effects players want.  You get 60 spells in the core.  The beauty of what fantasy flight games has done, even for a consumer, is generate great reasons for us to buy all the warhammer products.  It isn't to steal your money or to hunt your wallet, it's simply, they wanted to give us such great products that every supplement is worth its money to purchase.  They've even stretched that into modules.  You may run the module once, but you have a number of components to add to your game, so you get your value out of it.

So saying the game is incomplete without all those supplements added is way, way off the point. 

It is also ludicrous saying that big company games like DND have a lower buy in.  That is simply not true.  It does if you have dice, minis, and everything else.  Also, every game has dozens onto dozens of source books and supplements and additional material.  Smaller companies, like indie game publishers, have lower volume of sales so they only really get 1-2 books for the games entire life.  Yes Sorcerer or Spirit of the century is one game, but those games also have very limited scope and are not nearly as broad as warhammer setting or give as many options for play.  Games like DND also do not give you setting on top of the core rules.  You have to buy a setting and make up one yourself.  The core rulebook for 4e, is just that, rules.  Warhammer has a double duty of creating the diverse cultures and races established by warhammer and the rules system itself.  So we get careers such as Trollslayer, which is really just a nitch career, instead of knight because they are important to its genre.  DND core manuals do not have to make room for slayers in their core simply because it doesn't have to "waste" time with world creation.  However, if you start looking into "buying into" a world, there are a stack of supplements a mile high you have to purchase as well.  

The price point difference is only an illusion and how much you as a consumer want to buy.  Are FFG predators of your wallet simply because they make every one of their products, including warhammer, products you want to buy while other game companies simply fail to make  all their supplements worth having?  

 

 

 

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commoner said:

I was told I was crazy for it back then, lol!

 

 

Com, you were told you were crazy not because of that..but because you ARE crazy!  ;)

I don't necessarily attribute it to being predatory as much as I think they just weren't focusing on being complete (i.e. a clumsy line of work). 

I still want to put my vote towards having another major campaign (a new one ~ not a reprint of old ones like GW/HH/etc. pulled with 1e/2e).

jh

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