Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
PhilOfCalth

My General Questions to FFGs regarding DH2

Recommended Posts

So, as promised, I decided to take it upon myself to open a more transparent channel between FFGs and the forums. I sent a general questions email to their staff and got a reply today. Now this thread may be a bit strangely timed, but so was the reply. However, it will give you a bit of incite into the thought process of the developers, what we can expect from this beta and how much our chats/rants/flame wars have influenced their decision making process.

 

SO here's the questions I sent:

 

1/ You have recently extended the beta. Do you have any idea what the new deadline is? Is that you will just keep on going until you have a product that you're happy with?
2/ What are the main areas that you have identified for fixing as part of the beta?
3/ Of those areas what is being worked on at the moment, and what can we expect in the next update?
4/ Are there any areas that the community/forum have been focused on that you don't feel you will change?

 

And the reply was:

 

1. We posted a News article today actually, and the beta is going to be extended for quite some time. Don't worry really about deadlines until we mention something like that, but you can assume we will do Updates and calls for focusing on certain chapters until we have covered all the chapters. 
2. We're really looking at everything, but each update will mention particular items in a chapter for attention. 
3. Not for awhile, as per the News article today. 
4. We really don't want to limit discussions, so assume everything is fair game. Even things we didn't think we would change could be altered if we see really well-done (and backed up with data) feedback on it.
 
Sorry I can't get into any specifics, but look for areas we want playtesters to focus on in the update notices, where we say which chapters and areas of gameplay we'd like attention to this cycle. Those are areas we're concentrating on at the time, and the more data we get back on them the easier it is to fix (or determine no fix is needed) on a section of the rules. 

 

 

So I will be responding with some follow up questions. I will certainly be asking if well liked aspects such as the skills groupings will be making it to the new version of the beta. Does anyone have any suggestions of anything to add?

 

Keep in mind that I will only send genuine questions with a neutral/positive voice that interest the community as a whole.

Edited by PhilOfCalth

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My questions in the light of the latest revelations:

Is there a chance for keeping APs and wound system mechanics?

Is the character advancement model moving to OWs model i.e. aptitudes?

Will social encounters mechanic be put in line with the one presented in BC ToE?

Edited by dholda

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll work on that, but to me it means that everything is up in the air at the moment. And that means that you can keep all the bits of the current beta that you love, if you can prove that it's better than the current OW system.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Currently - the problem is, there are some really good steps, which need still a little more tweaking.

 

So if they dont go the ways further...it would need some efforts in house ruling, to create an "own" finished Beta.

 

WHat I really dont like at the moment is the huge lack of information.

 

I think it can have one out of 2 resons:

 

a.) they don't wanna tell anything yet --> in this case this is really disappointing, as it creates a lot of useless discussions

 

or

 

b.) they can't tell anything yet as they don't know where it ends up yet

--> in this case...a ship without a captain who knows the way ?? I hope the warp won't eat us up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's probably a bit of both.

 

If they tell us what's coming up, it might negatively affect the feedback we give.

 

If they're currently working on mechanic X but aren't completely happy with it, what's the point of telling us pre-emptively?

 

I recommend we all just continue as normal and not let the announcement overshadow the playtesting. We've got ~2 months before the re-release is out, we should put it to good use.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's probably a bit of both.

 

If they tell us what's coming up, it might negatively affect the feedback we give.

 

If they're currently working on mechanic X but aren't completely happy with it, what's the point of telling us pre-emptively?

 

I recommend we all just continue as normal and not let the announcement overshadow the playtesting. We've got ~2 months before the re-release is out, we should put it to good use.

 

What is "good use", though?

We have no idea what's in and what's out. There's nothing to test.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it is a lot of wasted energy, if people here discuss about things that might be 95% out of the game.

 

And even it it was 95% out of the game - it would be better to know, because it a lot of people liked it, and it was never really discussed, this could be a pity.

 

In general, my feeling is, that the customer contact at FFG is quite weak.

I don't know if this has good reason, like not being allowed to say to much (GW?), or, if manpower is not enough to establish a better form of communication - I just feel that the current level is not high. Not even medium.

 

And that a pity. As I think, guided discussions are much more productive than wild choas, that after some time leads to non-sense discussions, when no feedback at all to it comes over weeks.

 

And I do not count feedback that has a Null-message as real feedback.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

FFG have stated that they will still be looking for our feedback. Why not keep trying new things, see if they work? Or more rigorously test a part of the game that you didn't test as well as you could have the first time around - you might realise something that hasn't been brought up.

 

And what's the point of them telling us that something might not get in in its current form? People stop testing it; they stop getting feedback, making it more difficult for them to fix the problem.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thing is - I am very willing to test anything, if it helps.

 

I just hate the feeling to test features for the last 4 weeks very intensively, and then get kind of a sudden feedback that all tested features will be skiped and I just wasted my time...

 

Some feedback in between could have helped.

 

And as they now talk about "see you end of november"-style - this is not a sign of improvement here.

 

We will be talking round in circles the next weeks and months here...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thing is - I am very willing to test anything, if it helps.

 

I just hate the feeling to test features for the last 4 weeks very intensively, and then get kind of a sudden feedback that all tested features will be skiped and I just wasted my time...

 

Some feedback in between could have helped.

 

And as they now talk about "see you end of november"-style - this is not a sign of improvement here.

 

We will be talking round in circles the next weeks and months here...

Bear in mind, at this point they're practically rebuilding the system from scratch - using some preexisting building blocks, for sure, but they have to figure out how to put them together to best effect.

 

That's not really a process that the community can participate in - at such early development stage, a firm hand is needed. At the same time, simply giving people chunks of what they want to introduce is a surefire way to cause a marketing disaster.

 

They're really doing the only thing they can at the moment - laying low, figuring out how to put together a new system that satisfies maximum number of potential customers, and giving it as much polish as they can before letting it out in the open again so that we can see and test a coherent product rather than guess about chunks of rules taken out of context.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just feel that a regular small "diary" entry could help to focus discussions in a more productive way.

 

If you only take feedback but provide not much from yourself, thats not running too good on the long run.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Even if FFG doesn't use the system put forth in DH2, they can use the feedback to refine it and use it in one of their other IPs. I doubt they'll throw their work in the bin, even if they don't use it for DH2.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just feel that a regular small "diary" entry could help to focus discussions in a more productive way.

 

If you only take feedback but provide not much from yourself, thats not running too good on the long run.

A small "diary" entry can cause a lot of people jumping to conclusions. With how the events unfold so far, jumping to conclusions about the upcoming system is the last thing FFG wants of us.

 

Currently, they're in a damned if you do, damned if you don't kind of situation. They can't really show their hand because at this point, they hardly have a hand at all. They can't ask for feedback on theoretical features the game may end up having because every such feature has a chance to sour a part of the fanbase towards the upcoming release, and because open beta testing isn't really about asking people for opinion like that - they're supposed to have that kind of stuff hammered out before they show us the beta document so we can try how it works and maybe discover holes and flaws they've missed when they put it together. The current situation of community feedback hijacking the whole direction of the development is abnormal, and certainly not something FFG wants to repeat.

 

Overall, silence is the best option they have until they can show us the new beta document.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree that it will be very hard to put something out that makes a majority agree.

 

It is hard now to satisfy the DH1.5 Fanbase AND to satisfy the DH2.0 Beta Fanbase.

 

The result should be somewhere in the middle - but it will be very hard to hit the right spot in the middle, as this middle seems to be a wide place...

 

 

I disagree however that silence is the best option to respond to growing community questions.

I do know other companies (both big and small) that have a much better connection and information policy towards their communities and it works really well.

A hint here - a question posted there can lead discussions to be much more fruitfully.

And - no - I dont think it mwould "guide" or "mislead" discussions too much - as there will always guys like me and you who speak up their mind quite openly.

So I think it would be a good way to get more focussed feedback on certain topics, and, in the same turn, keep those guys informed who test & type here every free minute they have.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree that it will be very hard to put something out that makes a majority agree.

 

It is hard now to satisfy the DH1.5 Fanbase AND to satisfy the DH2.0 Beta Fanbase.

 

The result should be somewhere in the middle - but it will be very hard to hit the right spot in the middle, as this middle seems to be a wide place...

Yeah. At this point, no matter what shape the beta takes, some people will be left unsatisfied. The trick now is not so much finding an acceptable middle ground as much as doing well on damage control.

 

I disagree however that silence is the best option to respond to growing community questions.

I do know other companies (both big and small) that have a much better connection and information policy towards their communities and it works really well.

A hint here - a question posted there can lead discussions to be much more fruitfully.

And - no - I dont think it mwould "guide" or "mislead" discussions too much - as there will always guys like me and you who speak up their mind quite openly.

So I think it would be a good way to get more focussed feedback on certain topics, and, in the same turn, keep those guys informed who test & type here every free minute they have.

I've seen community contact turn very sour for both sides on numerous occasions, and I maintain that silence is the best option when the devs themselves don't yet have the answers to all these questions asked.

 

Imagine, for a moment, that you're in the devs' shoes in this scenario. For whatever reasons (in the sense that we don't actually know how FFG staff came to that conclusion, and can only speculate), you've made the decision to scrap the system you've been working on for quite some time, and given yourself two and a half months to build a new system from scratch, one that has to be reasonably backwards-compatible but also innovative enough to make people feel the edition shift warranted. And you're doing that in a less than friendly environment, as people on the board are tearing at each others' throats.

 

What questions would you ask to keep the community input not just constructive, but directly helpful to you given the circumstances stated? Personally, I can't think of anything that wouldn't just further fuel this "Hypothetical Editions War" we're having right now. Ask what people liked about the now-scrapped beta rules? You'll get answers ranging from "everything, give back my 2e" to "nothing, throw it in the trash and give us back the old system", with everything in between, and with both opinionated shouting and well-reasoned arguments spread evenly across the whole spectrum. Ask what they like/dislike about the old system? Well, we can't even reach a consensus on whether the OW/BC shift in combat mechanics was ultimately a good thing or not. Ask about a particular subsystem of either rulesets? The same happens.

 

Bear in mind, in this hypothetical scenario, you also have more feedback on these boards and in your inbox than you can reasonably digest as a single human being, and that's disregarding the years of forum discussions on the previous system, all the feedback from the OW beta, and all the stuff in that "rules questions" inbox that's still functioning.

 

Seriously, in this situation, I'd abduct five interns to respond to all queries with a practiced, marketing-friendly non-answer and hole myself up in the shack, frantically trying to make sense of that mess that I'm in, and not leaving until I've got a complete product to show.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I were them - I would go for another beta to be honest.

 

Keep what exists so far, try to change some things to make it a little more compatible with the previous lines, or work on a small conversion guide to publish seperately as a free pdf.

 

To throw away so much developed stuff is just a poor economical decision.

It could only make sense, if it saves them much money otherwise lost - and I am not so sure about that.

I am not sure, an OW1.1 Inquisitors Edition sells that much better, if not worse.

 

I think, if you change a lot, it is not a good idea to do a beta, as the feedback towards a lot of change will be rejection in most areas. It doesnt even depend if the changes are good, bad or hard to define.

Humans are sceptical towards the new in general.

Me too - I was very sceptical in the first days when I read this beta - but over time I came to really like it.

 

Doing a beta with a lot of bad response only makes it hard to keep your course - changing that course in total is not a sign of "good customer response" for me, but a sign of a weak captain.

Slightly correct a course - yes !

Adjusting the sailing speed and improving your ships shape - yes!

But saying: "Well, I guess I used the compass wrong, lets turn around and go another direction - maybe this one is the right one..." does not create much confidence...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

See, that's a cop out, as it doesn't answer the question I asked: given the circumstances we're in right now, what info/questions for us would you like the devs to give, provided it's supposed to help sort out the current mess and not make more people give up on DH2 before even the new beta arrives?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would expect them to make a stand and say what is their rough concept now.

Not the vague and blurry phrases used so far, but something with more material.

 

It should not be on the community to discuss a general way to go, but on balancing out a defined way.

 

So what I expect for the beta people is the course to go. If they work now on the "revised" beta, they should have an idea.

 

Like:

> "Elements we plan to keep"

> "Elements we want to skip and why we want to do this"

 

Because with the current course, I think the following will happen:

> big surprise file end of November

> Forum/eMail chaos again - some happy, a lot disappointed

 

I dont wanna waste my time with posts how to improve "Element A", if it is very highly likely that this element will be skipped.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

IDoing a beta with a lot of bad response only makes it hard to keep your course - changing that course in total is not a sign of "good customer response" for me, but a sign of a weak captain.

Slightly correct a course - yes !

Adjusting the sailing speed and improving your ships shape - yes!

But saying: "Well, I guess I used the compass wrong, lets turn around and go another direction - maybe this one is the right one..." does not create much confidence...

Dark Heresy does have a history of scrapping a system and starting over again.  In 2007 Black Industries almost released Dark Heresy with a completely different system, apparently very similar to White Wolf's rule set.  For some reason they decided to change things completely and the DH system as it is now released a year later.  It's easy to accuse the Captain of poor leadership when you're not part of the crew.  Nobody around here has any idea how FFG makes decisions.  For all you know, there was a massive groundswell of folks who hated the Beta that never post on these forums.  We just don't know. 

 

Because with the current course, I think the following will happen:

> big surprise file end of November

> Forum/eMail chaos again - some happy, a lot disappointed

 

How many people, exactly, do you think were happy with the Beta as it was?  If it's more than half of the community, upon what do you base those numbers?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it is not so easy as to think in happy vs unhappy.

In addition to the chaos and disappointment that was created with the beta, much more will follow by taking it away again after quite some people got to like it. This radical change of course is something which I absolutely dont like.

It is not even only about that I liked the beta so far (what I did), but about that I dont like this kind of behaviour.

I am not saying that a majority likes the current beta - I am just saying that it is not cool at all to let guys work on something for weeks, which they become to really like, and then, all the sudden, burn it to ashes, dont say anything more, and disappear in the void like a ninja.

Doesnt matter if you do this to a majority or to one person only. Its.not.cool.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dark Heresy does have a history of scrapping a system and starting over again.  In 2007 Black Industries almost released Dark Heresy with a completely different system, apparently very similar to White Wolf's rule set.  For some reason they decided to change things completely and the DH system as it is now released a year later.

 

Seriously? This is just hearsay or have you heard this from a more legitimate lead? Never heard of it before myself, but I always thought that the DH system should have been a more fluid one, leaning towards the narrative. Not that there is anything inherently or terribly wrong with the current d100, but as I said, they could have opted for a more story-driven system.

 

This makes me want to cry a bit since imho Storytelling system is one of the best out there which could have easily supported an investigation based game like DH, especially DH  :(

Edited by yggZ

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the goal is to find what is sensible and reasonable. This may require us to put aside our own personal preference and be more objective in what would work best for the system.

That's not how roleplaying games work. Personal preference is the alpha and the omega, and there's nothing objective whatsoever in trying to attach numbers and dice rolls to the whole slew of extremely complex interactions the RPG mechanics are supposed to give results on.

 

One can maintain objectivism when discussing the system in descriptive terms (for example: "on average, the heavy bolter will kill an average Space Marine in two rounds") but that's the extent of it. The moment you're trying to talk in prescriptive terms (such as "the damage of the heavy bolter is too high/too low"), there's no objectivity there, just your preference, no matter how reasoned and obvious it seems to you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...