I like this analysis because it doesn't subscribe to the 'evil empire' view.
Originally Posted by ChaosRedCorsairLord
...They've written good rules in the past, so I don't see why they aren't able to do it again. I suspect the disregard for the game's rules and balance is due to the upper management being mostly made up of non-gamers, who fail to understand the benefits of spending resources to make sure the game's rules are simple, well written, and balanced.
And it holds up under Hanlon's razor
Originally Posted by Hanlon's Razor
Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.
Originally Posted by ChaosRedCorsairLord
...Now you have to ask yourself, who is really to blame here? Is it just that fans love to hate on GW, or is it that for years GW has constantly upset and alienated it's fan base, whilst showing a complete disregard for fixing a poorly balanced ruleset?
To be fair, GW have made mistakes but they have also worked to correct a number of the more glaring ones. I don't know how many of our community (and in this thread) played during second edition and then during 3rd or 4th. GW made a drastic change from 2nd edition to 3rd where they realigned their target audience, and shifted it from young adults and mature adults to children around 10 years of age. Consequently, the background and models were sanitized as much as possible and the complexity of the game was Greatly
This definitely alienated a number of people, myself included. I've played Chaos space marines and daemons since about 1993. Where the hell is Chaos in a sanitized 40K setting? They're cartoon villains twirling their mustaches while poor maidens are lashed to the train tracks. GW purportedly had a heck of a time trying to figure out what to do with Chaos. Daemons of violence, corruption, and debauchery won't ever be appropriate for 10 year olds. I recall hearing the Keeper of secrets went through something like 10 or more iterations before they settled on the ugly, stupid one during 3rd ed.
I'm happy to say that over the last several editions GW have moved firmly in the direction of a more mature setting. I'm guessing the younger demographic didn't generate the sales GW were hoping for. And of course those young gamers, if they stick to it, end up wanting a more interesting, complex, and compelling setting. Chaos is no longer sanitized for children and the rules are once more getting increasingly complex with many more army specific special rules.
Just a historical note, at the time of the reduction from 2nd ed to 3rd ed, 2nd edition was very complex. There were rules scattered all over the place, the original rules, expansion sets, codices, White Dwarfs, Citadel Journals, etc. It was necessary to devote a great deal of time to knowing and keeping up with all of it. For example, the boxed game had the only rule books; Dark Millennium had all the psychics, the wargear cards, the mission cards, the strategy cards (also known as tragedy cards because a few were quite imbalanced), and there were more of all of these things released periodically in White Dwarf and through the codices. I know, I ran open gaming in FLGS at the time.
What GW should
have done, I think, was to edit things down and re-release all of the core pieces in a more streamlined edition, not scrap the whole thing and start over. I know all of that sounds like a long complaint, and it IS but the point here is that GW have been steadily listening the fanbase who wanted a more mature and complex game. Unlike 2nd ed GW now has all sorts of digital tools to help produce new content data-slates, etc. to expand the game in ways that don't leave people out (e.g. if you missed the WD with the new strategy cards you were SOL for several years there after).
's point and
's, I think GW should probably have a digital access code in each rulebook. Once you buy the core book you have access to a live (searchable) version of the core rules including all the errata and fixes. Actually, there should probably be 2 versions, the Chapter Approved
official one and the beta-test version along with a response survey to let people respond more or less in real time to changes being piloted.
My suspicion is that GW wouldn't do something like this because managing that sort of historical change with a limited team would be incredibly tough. Not that other industries don't do it, but it's tough. And I think they would consider their development money better spent creating new and revised content for sale (e.g. new codices) than paying people to constantly tweak/revise the existing rules.
But there's always hope!
I guess the next realistic question would be, "Would you feel that the high and sometimes strange cost of the models would be justified if GW were to spend the time to monitor the metagame and constantly rebalance the rules?"
If the answer is a resounding "YES!" then perhaps a case can be made to GW to do that because it would positively affect the bottom line and demonstrate a different kind of investment in the opinions of the players.