Bonus points if you get the reference (language warning for the video linked).
It seems Games Workshop has turned a complete 180 in terms of game development.
In case you were unaware, Games Workshop is currently about to release a new edition of Warhammer 40,000. The 8th one to be exact. The biggest development from this is how they are drip feeding information to the general public about what has been going on and how it was developed.
In the past, Games Workshop hasn't asked for feedback when it comes to their games aside from their own stores and independent retailers like myself when I ran Gamer's Haven in 2010. Since the disastrous launch of Age of Sigmar, it became completely apparent that Games Workshop's old ways of releasing their miniature games has not worked and at worse damages its product. Before, Games Workshop does very little testing when it comes to their games before launch and quietly releases FAQs online to address problems vocalized by the latter sources mentioned.
So why the sudden change?
With the launch of Age of Sigmar, it became apparent to the company that the old ways of doing things do not work. With articles written about the launch from sites outside of Bell of Lost Souls on popular geek culture sites like The Escapist, it became apparent that the Twitter Effect kicked into high gear and forced the company to make changes. The biggest of these problems was no point structure, which was quickly addressed with a 25.00 USD rulebook a few months later. It left veterans with a sour taste in their mouths for the Age of Sigmar (myself included) at launch because there was no heads up that such a sudden shift was happening in terms of how their favorite game was played. Changing from a rank and file formation game to a skirmish based game is a pretty tough pill to swallow, especially when you pour so much time, money, and work into it over the span of several years.
With heavy competition coming from Fantasy Flight's X-Wing, Privateer Press's Warmachine/Hordes, Wyrd Miniatures Malifaux, Mantic Game's Kings of War, and Battlefront's Flames of War, Games Workshop is no longer the only one making miniature games like in previous days with the same quality. Because of this heavy competition and backlash from Age of Sigmar's release, it required some pretty dramatic changes in order to stay relevant to the market.
A product's opening launch is the biggest attention grabber when it comes to marketing and leaves a lasting impression. It took video game developer Blizzard Entertainment considerable amount of time and effort to turn Diablo 3 around since the launch problems of always online connectivity and the loot system changes because of the Auction House idea that was implemented. These changes happened because of heavy push back from the community that played Diablo 3 and eventually led to several positive changes for the game that made it what fans wanted. It seems to be true now for Warhammer 40,000. Ever since the announcement of Warhammer 40,000 8th Edition, they have periodically released rules teasers, answered questions on their Facebook page, and taken in requests during the teasers. They even, prior to the announcement, went to several independent gaming clubs and beta tested the new system. And for the most part, the communities I am a part of on Facebook independent from Games Workshop are happy about the changes leaked and are genuinely excited about the new edition.
A lot of the concerns of the previous editions are being addressed. Here are quite a few examples:
- Formations are going away
- All units can Split Fire at will, not just to one other target
- Templates are no longer going to be used
- Vehicles now have wounds like infantry and get weaker as they take damage
- There is not going to be any Instant Death rules
- Weapons cause negatives to saves instead of ignoring armor completely
- Cover just gives a bonus to your save instead of making it a separate save
- Weapons cause more wounds to individual models (Lascannons for example deal D6 wounds)
- Characters can no longer join units but cannot be targeted until they are the closest (10+ wound characters can still be targeted)
- Keywords are used to see who gets what buff from characters and army selection
- Psychic powers are done on a 2D6 roll (no bonuses) and have to meet a certain power number. Opponents can dispel it with a psyker by rolling above the number rolled.
- No distinction between Super Heavy Vehicles and Gargantuan Monstrous Creatures.
- Values are going to go beyond 10.
- The To Wound chart has changed dramatically, allowing Strength 3 weapons to wound on a 6+
- Heavy ranged weapons suffer a -1 to hit when moving
- Pistols can be used in close combat
This is actually a great step in the right direction for Games Workshop and I hope that this trend continues as I am still a huge fan of the tabletop game. I also want to see the other miniature game companies get better as it is beneficial for the consumer to have more choices in what to play, better quality miniatures, and great game mechanics.