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Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/21 17:46:58


Post by: SemperMortis


Legitimate question here. Now your definition of playtest might be different then mine but when I hear "tested" I assume they mean rigorously tested or at the least tested enough to work out most issues. Going by my index army though I have to question this. The list of unplayable units is rather large and the list of uncompetitive units is even bigger. The fact that GW went even further with CA and have the strategy "Dakka Dakka Dakka" shows how little they understand their own game. Spend 1CP to get an extra shot on all 6s. For some armies that would be nice...like SM armies who hit on 3s. For Ork armies though, who hit on 5s, not so much. If you fielded 9 lootas and got the average rolls you would get a grand total of .33 extra unsaved wounds against a SM.

As far as individual units go. Look no further then deff koptas to see how ridiculous GW is with pricing.

2 deff koptas cost 130pts. They are T5, 4 wounds each and have a 4+ save. You also get 12 S5 shots at BS5+

For 8pts more you can take a Dakkajet T6, 12 wounds 4+ save and -1 to hit, with 5 Supa Shootas for a grand total of 15 S6 -1AP shots at BS4+.

Guess which of these is considered an auto include? Neither. The dakkajet is still trash but compared to the Koptas it's gold.


These are all simple things which should have been easy to catch by play testers so the obvious question is; Does GW actually playtest or do they do the minimum and claim the title of "Play tested"?


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/21 19:13:26


Post by: Imateria


Something can be playtested to the Nth degree, doesn't remotely mean that changes are going to be made based on the test results.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/21 19:15:38


Post by: tneva82


Pretty much minimum. Clearly they don't do any mathhammering and even the playtesting they do is likely to be on their own style and meta that consists more of white dwarf style armies(ie 2 tac squad, dreadnought,termi squad, rhino, devastator squad, assault squad, HQ) rather than anything even semi-competive.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/21 19:18:06


Post by: auticus


They don't min/max powergame waac playtest.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/21 19:23:53


Post by: G00fySmiley


GW hates (or at least does not understand) orks. It does nto help that influential community members like Reese (I like FLG and enjoy watching Reese's battle reports quite a lot) but as they say more and more that orks are fine and that things like chapter approved were strong (he even tries to justify dakka dakka dakka on one video as a situational/ useful thing which was particularly hilarious) I have very little hope for a codex that will let me put down my orks and not have to play a flawless game plus have my dice be hot, my opponents dice be cold, and make several exploitable mistakes to pull off a win with the green boys


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/21 19:24:19


Post by: Marmatag


 auticus wrote:
They don't min/max powergame waac playtest.


This, right here.

But math should have caught some of these issues.

And i don't see how you playtest Grey Knights, and their codex, and draw the conclusion it's anything but complete garbage.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/21 19:32:57


Post by: Vaktathi


 Imateria wrote:
Something can be playtested to the Nth degree, doesn't remotely mean that changes are going to be made based on the test results.
^
Half those day zero bugs in games people complain about? QA found 'em, but Dev either chose not to do anything about them or didn't have the resources to before the management decreed launch date.


As for GW, I doubt they do any meaningful testing. There's still stuff that makes it through that is plainly over or underpowered, stuff that people can look at and instantly know is not terribly good or is a must-take. Stuff that shouldn't make it through even the most casual of playtesting, without any real reason to avoid addressing.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/21 19:34:32


Post by: SemperMortis


Lmao the FLG Reese comment got me.

I'm sure he is a great guy to play with and to hang out with but when it comes to determining unit strength he is useless. He said that the Stompa was good and that Kanz were going to be great this edition, that alone made me think he had no idea what he was talking about. Someone even messaged him and got him to come to the Ork forum here and talk about units.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/21 19:40:44


Post by: BlackLobster


I think part of the problem is that 8th is quite balanced if you just play a casual game. Once you start to factor in a competitive environment then the system has issues. GW were supposed to have had tournament players and organisers like the ITC play test these rules and indexes and I can see where I think we have that. However I don't see it in the codex releases anywhere near as much and I would have thought that GW would continue to use these players to play test each further iteration of each army/codex and I think they have just reverted to putting out their own ideas rather than listening to what was done under the initial play test.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/21 20:11:08


Post by: JimOnMars


GW playtesting orks: Line up 2000 points of orks. The non-ork player resigns, claiming orks are too strong. Then orks get nerfed.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/21 20:19:10


Post by: Wayniac


They do, but I wager it's either very minimal or in a very casual/laid back environment. They don't try to break the game, which is usually what you expect playtesting to do (to better figure out flaws that need to be addressed).

Nobody knows for sure. We know they do test things, just not the level we probably expect. We also don't know how much has been overruled by management. There was an AMA recently with an ex-GW designer who said in 7th edition they playtested the Wraithknight and it ended up being about 450 points. Some upper manager (who he said was no longer there) said keep the power, but don't increase the points cost. Thus we had the criminally-undercosted Wraithknight in 7th edition; the designers apparently used some kind of testing with the weapons it had (D-Weapons etc.) but were overruled by management to not increase it's points cost. That was "old" GW, however.

There was also a video maybe a year ago now with a GW designer (Simon Grant, I think) who basically stated they do not use math or formulas to stat things.

The fact you have people like Reece spout out stuff like Orks are going to be great, Necrons are great, etc. and then have them build absolutely filthy (understood however) lists to showcase, along with ITC basically removing the random elements of a game (which, as crazy as it sounds I think are actually part of the balance), and you have the cesspit that is competitive 40k now; arguably I think it's even worse than 7th edition since while in 7th edition you had broken formations, now you have just finding the "best" unit and options and spamming them as much as you can. At least many formations had variety.

But yeah, I'm pretty sure their playtesting is like the battles you see in white dwarf. Very balanced forces with a lot of variety, not min/maxed in the slightest, not even down to weapon options. You would almost never see the same special or heavy weapon taken more than once.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/21 20:28:51


Post by: thegreatchimp


Points are at best a very rough measure of the power of units because there's so many variables that skew the effectiveness of units, many of which can't even be quantified, like terrain placement. Rick Priestley addresses it in his Tabetop Game Design book stating that points are expected as "A net of assurance" for competitive players. Several modern systems that are more narrative / campaign oriented, like Tomorrow's War, have abandoned them altogether for this reason.

All that said, GW have long had a reputation for doing a substandard job with points balancing, and this is presumably at least partially down to inadequate testing.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/21 20:47:25


Post by: Kaiyanwang



Found your problem.


Also, what is this thing with playtesting? Do you think this is a game?


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/21 21:29:46


Post by: pismakron


They could playtest the game for ten years, and the game would still need rebalancing after 24 hours in the hands of the powergaming public.The only way to go, is to release the game and then fix it incrementally, and also accept that this is a never ending process. In this GW is moving very slowly in the right direction.

With regards to the DakkaDakkaDakka stratagem: It is painfully obvious that a lot of half-assed material was included in Chapter Approved in order to justify charging for a relatively short list of point-changes. It sucks.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/21 21:37:58


Post by: Wayniac


I wonder if they could get away with something like how Privateer Press did with warmachine mk2, a public open beta. I mean, that had its own set of issues, but people could at least see the rules before the final product and could give legit feedback to GW after games; the powergamers would quickly find what was broken and let GW know to fix it. They would have to control the way feedback is given to avoid the common "nerf paper, scissors are fine, signed rock" thing.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/21 21:56:30


Post by: Kap'n Krump


The fact that the falling mechanic back mechanic exists as is (without any chance to fail, and often times with minimal/non-existent penalties), is a pretty clear indicator that they do not.

And while it's not exactly game-breaking, my go-to example of unfair points costs is kustom shootas v. storm bolters. Storm bolters effectively became twin linked, for free, for no reason. Kustom shootas, which were already twin linked, doubled in cost with no benefit, also for no reason.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/21 22:04:56


Post by: Vaktathi


 Kap'n Krump wrote:
The fact that the falling mechanic back mechanic exists as is (without any chance to fail, and often times with minimal/non-existent penalties), is a pretty clear indicator that they do not.

And while it's not exactly game-breaking, my go-to example of unfair points costs is kustom shootas v. storm bolters. Storm bolters effectively became twin linked, for free, for no reason. Kustom shootas, which were already twin linked, doubled in cost with no benefit, also for no reason.
IG exterminator Russ tanks were Twin Linked...but lost their rerolls and gained no extra shots.

GW's design criteria are quite puzzling...


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/21 22:12:10


Post by: JamesY


They definitely have playtesters. A number of employees in Nottingham have it as an additional role to their day job. They are all (at least the few that I know personally) hard core gamers, who play the game seriously, and aren't a part of the studio. I have no idea what quality feedback they give, or what is done with that feedback, but they are definitely there.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/21 22:21:16


Post by: Gimgamgoo


Haven't GW announced some schedule that releases a FAQ/Errata within 2 weeks of posting a codex? That pretty much tells me it hasn't been fully playtested or proof-read at all. There will obviously be combos that crop up when the min/max crowd really get to work, but surely these type of people should be playtesting it.

As an aside, I currently find the editors/proof readers working in the wargaming industry dire. Usually I pick up a rulebook and spot a typo within the first 30 seconds. I'm lousy with English, but I'm not paid to read/write. Yeah... errors in books that have been "proof-read" really winds me up.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/21 22:29:21


Post by: lolman1c


I don't think GW is bad at codex writing I just think the team doesn't give a zog about certain factions. I had a GW employee on Facebook tell me that there is no team per codex and that there is only one team who works on all the codecies at once. Now you can't tell me that the people who wrote the amazing IG codex and tyranid codex put the same effort into the GK and Admech codex! ( I'm not saying either is or isn't competitive but they clearly had less effort invested into them). CA makes me super scared for orks! There was zero! ZERO! Effort or creativity into what I would say is the most creative race in 40k in CA! And I fear that the Ork Codex will be a bland unbalanced mess where we end up just being the target for other factions to stomp on to feel good.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/21 22:35:59


Post by: Desubot


"In a company the size of GW (which, I'll make clear, is not a big company by any means, but in terms of this industry it's monolithic) there are a lot of considerations. Everything that's done needs to be worthwhile, and needs to make a profit. When producing a game for GW, the sad truth is that quality of rules has very little impact on sales. Obviously you don't want the rules to be bad, but there's a real diminishing returns thing going on; the difference between a set of rules that's 60% perfect and one that's 70% perfect is going to be fairly significant, but the difference between 70% and 80% less so. And 80% to 90% even less.

So, as a designer, you're always pushing for more time. Any game design project has several stages - you do your R&D, your preparation, your grunt work (actually writing the thing), and your polish / testing / proofing. Management are always going to squeeze your deadlines, because they know that your instinct is to push for a good game, but they know that from a business point of view it only needs to be good enough to sell. Unfortunately, the grunt work is the bit that needs to happen, so the bits that get trimmed are R&D (which make things interesting and well-thought-out) and polish (which makes sure there are no mistakes).

That said, it's getting better. When I first started, playtesting was a bit of a dirty word; there was a real disdain for "balance" among the higher echelons of management. Silver Tower, for example, was playtested almost entirely in my own time, unpaid, using unpaid volunteers. But now, the are increasing numbers of external playtesters, and it's getting better. Thing is, no matter how rigorously the internal testing is, you're never going to find all the issues; it might seem shocking that a book comes out and the internet finds a dozen errata on day one, but remember that more people are seeing it in that one day than saw it throughout the entire production cycle. The only way to deal with it would be to have open playtesting, getting thousands of people to read the rules before they go to print, and sure enough that's what Forge World sometimes do - but it's not practical for main-range GW, because of their confidentiality rules and that kind of thing. "

from James Hewitt ama.

Basically the rules team try but the rest of the company isnt going to wait for them.



Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/21 22:45:34


Post by: pismakron


Wayniac wrote:
I wonder if they could get away with something like how Privateer Press did with warmachine mk2, a public open beta.


By releasing the indexes first and then moving on to the codices, they kind of had a public open beta.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/21 23:05:08


Post by: thekingofkings


pismakron wrote:
Wayniac wrote:
I wonder if they could get away with something like how Privateer Press did with warmachine mk2, a public open beta.


By releasing the indexes first and then moving on to the codices, they kind of had a public open beta.


I think with GHB and CA the entire game is eternally a "beta" the concept is living rulesets that can self correct with feedback.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/21 23:13:08


Post by: GI_Redshirt


The problem for GW is that they cannot control all the variables in any given game of 40k. They cannot control the size of the board you play on. They cannot control the amount of terrain you use. They cannot control the type of terrain you use. They cannot control your dice rolls, nor your opponent's dice rolls. If you cannot control factors within the game as it is played, how can you effectively playtest everything?

Think about it this way. There are people who are paid to playtest video games. They put them through their paces, spend thousands of hours trying to break the game in every conceivable way so any bugs and glitches can be fixed before launch. Even so, bugs will be found in every video game within hours of launch, without fail. And that is in a game where the developers have complete control over everything you do and experience (what weapons you can access, where you can go, etc.). It should not be surprising that a game where the designers have far less control over how your game is played are going to have a much tougher time balancing and playtesting everything.

At the end of the day, the countless people who play this game will, given infinitely more time and hundreds of thousands more eyeballs digging through every release, find gaps and holes that the designers could not find or did not think of. Its inevitable. It sucks, but its inevitable. And as Desubot pointed out, it is getting better. Will it ever be perfect? No, it will not. Can it be better? Yes. Should it be better? Yes. But until the day that GW tells you exactly how to set up the terrain on the table, exactly what army lists to take, and ensure that you get the same dice roll results every time, this game cannot be perfectly balanced. Such is life.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/21 23:37:38


Post by: Vallhund


I'd say that they do a bit of playtesting, but not enough. I think they should be more thorough. This is easier said than done, of coarse.
The problem for orks is that there aren't many GW rules writers that have much of a passion for orks. These days most of them are more interested in the other armies, like SM and IG. The xenos don't get as much attention because of this.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/21 23:38:02


Post by: Primark G


 G00fySmiley wrote:
GW hates (or at least does not understand) orks. It does nto help that influential community members like Reese (I like FLG and enjoy watching Reese's battle reports quite a lot) but as they say more and more that orks are fine and that things like chapter approved were strong (he even tries to justify dakka dakka dakka on one video as a situational/ useful thing which was particularly hilarious) I have very little hope for a codex that will let me put down my orks and not have to play a flawless game plus have my dice be hot, my opponents dice be cold, and make several exploitable mistakes to pull off a win with the green boys


That is not what they said - what they said is they got something for now to help and that is better than nothing. But yeah Orks are just awful as of now.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/22 00:13:11


Post by: WatcherZero


Yes they have internal playtesters that test changes in a daily build style, they also have a group of external testers under NDA which I believe is a club somewhere in the South who test changes over a longer period.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/22 00:49:46


Post by: kombatwombat


Alternative take: playtesting has strength in numbers.

I was discussing this recently with the guy who runs Objective Secured, who effectively ‘run’ most of 40k in Western Australia. It was during a tournament for which he was TO. 60ish players, 6 games over a weekend. That’s 180 unique games played. At around 3 hours each including all setup and everything, that’s over a thousand man-hours of gaming. This TO does a thorough job of going around the room, asking players how they’re going, how different units are performing, what works and what doesn’t work. He compiles this information in his head and regularly gives detailed feedback to both GW and the ITC.

In the three tournaments he had TO’ed in the handful of months since 8th had been released, he had personally collected feedback from over three thousand man-hours of competitive 40k. Not counting all of the practice games, theoryhammer and mathhammer that the players had done before coming to the tournament. If GW had two employees whose full-time job was to do literally nothing but play games - not even writing lists or theorycrafting, just actual solid gaming 9-5, it would take them nine months to log the same number of hours as three weekends’ worth of these tournaments. Incidentally, 9 months is actually probably not a bad guess of how much time GW had for playtesting.

We know that GW doesn’t have people who do nothing but playtest - it’s been said by their designers to be an ad-hoc thing squeezed in here and there, and it’s likely they don’t have the resources. Think about that - GW can’t afford to keep up with one TO in one small city running three tournaments in their entire playtesting budget. That’s without even considering the tournaments played in cities all over the world (I mentioned 60 players; GW mentioned that their recent survey had over a hundred thousand responses), the big ITC circuit games, the practice games and literally millions of hours discussing, theorycrafting, mathhammering and forum posting going on in just the first handful of months post release. And that’s just tournaments! What about the equally large group of casual and narrative gamers?

People love to point the finger at GW and say ‘you can’t have playtested this, you missed x, y and z which are super obvious’. To those people I would ask, the moment you opened the Index books for the first time, before you were exposed to forums, did you instantly pick up on Conscript Spam all by yourself? And Razorwing Spam? And Brimstone Spam? And Stormraven Spam? And Smite Spam? And Malefic Lords? And Guilliman’s Assbacks? And Assassin Spam? And Monster Mash? And everything else overpowered? And, for that matter, everything underpowered? If you did, well, go work for GW. Or a stock broker or a major bank or something, because you’re clearly a walking god of numerical comprehension. If not, then consider this: expecting one or two people to be able to spot every single one of those interactions by themselves without having access to a forum to discuss these things is holding GW to an impossible standard.

Also consider the huge number of these kinds of OP/UP things that the playtesters already picked up, considered and fixed before you even had a chance to look at the game. Maybe near the beginning Hormagaunts were horrifically overpowered, and we only got to see a version of them that had already been fixed. We don’t know, and we never will.

Since release they’ve had a chance to address more issues with FAQs and Chapter Approved. As time goes on though, the lead the community has on GW in terms of playtesting time grows. GW is doing the smart thing and taking community feedback, but remember half of that feedback is ‘my friend’s Riptide killed my Land Raider in two turns! Nerf Riptides!!’. Sifting through the reams of wasted text to ferret out the nuggets of actual genuine issues is a Herculean task undertaken, again, by a tiny number of people. These poor buggers also have to contend with lead times and imposed deadlines - which is what I suspect led to the triple-nerf for Conscripts.

(That being said, I’m wondering whose feedback they were listening to nuke the ForgeWorld superheavies from orbit in Chapter Approved since that just boggles the mind. I suspect something else is at play there.)

It’s patently unfair to accuse GW of being incompetent at playtesting when you’re coming from a position of having the accumulated knowledge of a community that logs more man-hours per hour than GW as a company likely logs per year.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/22 00:56:49


Post by: thekingofkings


kombatwombat wrote:
Alternative take: playtesting has strength in numbers.

I was discussing this recently with the guy who runs Objective Secured, who effectively ‘run’ most of 40k in Western Australia. It was during a tournament for which he was TO. 60ish players, 6 games over a weekend. That’s 180 unique games played. At around 3 hours each including all setup and everything, that’s over a thousand man-hours of gaming. This TO does a thorough job of going around the room, asking players how they’re going, how different units are performing, what works and what doesn’t work. He compiles this information in his head and regularly gives detailed feedback to both GW and the ITC.

In the three tournaments he had TO’ed in the handful of months since 8th had been released, he had personally collected feedback from over three thousand man-hours of competitive 40k. Not counting all of the practice games, theoryhammer and mathhammer that the players had done before coming to the tournament. If GW had two employees whose full-time job was to do literally nothing but play games - not even writing lists or theorycrafting, just actual solid gaming 9-5, it would take them nine months to log the same number of hours as three weekends’ worth of these tournaments. Incidentally, 9 months is actually probably not a bad guess of how much time GW had for playtesting.

We know that GW doesn’t have people who do nothing but playtest - it’s been said by their designers to be an ad-hoc thing squeezed in here and there, and it’s likely they don’t have the resources. Think about that - GW can’t afford to keep up with one TO in one small city running three tournaments in their entire playtesting budget. That’s without even considering the tournaments played in cities all over the world (I mentioned 60 players; GW mentioned that their recent survey had over a hundred thousand responses), the big ITC circuit games, the practice games and literally millions of hours discussing, theorycrafting, mathhammering and forum posting going on in just the first handful of months post release. And that’s just tournaments! What about the equally large group of casual and narrative gamers?

People love to point the finger at GW and say ‘you can’t have playtested this, you missed x, y and z which are super obvious’. To those people I would ask, the moment you opened the Index books for the first time, before you were exposed to forums, did you instantly pick up on Conscript Spam all by yourself? And Razorwing Spam? And Brimstone Spam? And Stormraven Spam? And Smite Spam? And Malefic Lords? And Guilliman’s Assbacks? And Assassin Spam? And Monster Mash? And everything else overpowered? And, for that matter, everything underpowered? If you did, well, go work for GW. Or a stock broker or a major bank or something, because you’re clearly a walking god of numerical comprehension. If not, then consider this: expecting one or two people to be able to spot every single one of those interactions by themselves without having access to a forum to discuss these things is holding GW to an impossible standard.

Also consider the huge number of these kinds of OP/UP things that the playtesters already picked up, considered and fixed before you even had a chance to look at the game. Maybe near the beginning Hormagaunts were horrifically overpowered, and we only got to see a version of them that had already been fixed. We don’t know, and we never will.

Since release they’ve had a chance to address more issues with FAQs and Chapter Approved. As time goes on though, the lead the community has on GW in terms of playtesting time grows. GW is doing the smart thing and taking community feedback, but remember half of that feedback is ‘my friend’s Riptide killed my Land Raider in two turns! Nerf Riptides!!’. Sifting through the reams of wasted text to ferret out the nuggets of actual genuine issues is a Herculean task undertaken, again, by a tiny number of people. These poor buggers also have to contend with lead times and imposed deadlines - which is what I suspect led to the triple-nerf for Conscripts.

(That being said, I’m wondering whose feedback they were listening to nuke the ForgeWorld superheavies from orbit in Chapter Approved since that just boggles the mind. I suspect something else is at play there.)

It’s patently unfair to accuse GW of being incompetent at playtesting when you’re coming from a position of having the accumulated knowledge of a community that logs more man-hours per hour than GW as a company likely logs per year.


maybe my perspective here is skewed, but of the half dozen or so games I play that are not GW, I do not run into any of the problems that are infesting the boards about GW games. I dont see it as unfair to call a company incompetent at playtesting their own product when there are so many deliberate gaps. Much smaller companies have done a much better job at making their games balanced.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/22 01:08:27


Post by: Brutus_Apex


Based on the fact that we got games like AoS, I'm going to go with no...

Included in terrible game design of 8th ed. 40K:

-Flyer rules not included in the main rules section and standardized for everyone
-Characters not joining units. Theres no reason or point to not allowing characters to join units, it simply complicates the game more. Hence the stupid targeting rules on characters.
-Morale Phase. Could have made the game more tactical, but now we have marines gaking their pants and running away when a squad member dies.
-Psychic Phase. More all or nothing, absolutely no skill required to use or any kind of dice management or scaling power system.
-This new way of using modifiers to hit/wound that makes absolutely no sense at all. The old way is much better and intuitive.
-The cover system
-Rules for terrain
-Various terrible codex's like Grey Knights etc.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/22 01:23:42


Post by: kombatwombat


 thekingofkings wrote:

maybe my perspective here is skewed, but of the half dozen or so games I play that are not GW, I do not run into any of the problems that are infesting the boards about GW games. I dont see it as unfair to call a company incompetent at playtesting their own product when there are so many deliberate gaps. Much smaller companies have done a much better job at making their games balanced.


I would struggle to come up with a game that has half as many variables as 40k, particularly one made by a company as small as GW.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/22 01:33:55


Post by: thekingofkings


kombatwombat wrote:
 thekingofkings wrote:

maybe my perspective here is skewed, but of the half dozen or so games I play that are not GW, I do not run into any of the problems that are infesting the boards about GW games. I dont see it as unfair to call a company incompetent at playtesting their own product when there are so many deliberate gaps. Much smaller companies have done a much better job at making their games balanced.


I would struggle to come up with a game that has half as many variables as 40k, particularly one made by a company as small as GW.


Malifaux, infinity, wrath of kings, mutant chronicles, flames of war, warmachine, hordes..etc....all smaller companies and all their games are just as complex as GW, now with 8th and AoS likely more complex than GW.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/22 01:41:24


Post by: kombatwombat


To the best of my (very limited) knowledge, none of those can hope to compete with the permutations of units and wargear that 40k has, can they? Not even considering in-game variables.

The permutations definitely came down with the advent of 8th though.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/22 01:49:00


Post by: thekingofkings


kombatwombat wrote:
To the best of my (very limited) knowledge, none of those can hope to compete with the permutations of units and wargear that 40k has, can they? Not even considering in-game variables.

The permutations definitely came down with the advent of 8th though.


Mutant chronicles easily dwarfs 40k unit options, especially in the wargear dept. unit wise, all of them compare easily with 40k, especially when so many of 40ks units are basically just slight variations of the same thing. been playing 40k since rogue trader and it always struck me that there is more of an illusion of options in 40k than true choices. some things are just objectively bad choices. When I started branching out and trying other systems, it really struck me how bad GW really is at the "game" aspect of what they do.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/22 02:09:44


Post by: ERJAK


 thekingofkings wrote:
kombatwombat wrote:
 thekingofkings wrote:

maybe my perspective here is skewed, but of the half dozen or so games I play that are not GW, I do not run into any of the problems that are infesting the boards about GW games. I dont see it as unfair to call a company incompetent at playtesting their own product when there are so many deliberate gaps. Much smaller companies have done a much better job at making their games balanced.


I would struggle to come up with a game that has half as many variables as 40k, particularly one made by a company as small as GW.


Malifaux, infinity, wrath of kings, mutant chronicles, flames of war, warmachine, hordes..etc....all smaller companies and all their games are just as complex as GW, now with 8th and AoS likely more complex than GW.


Malifaux and Infinity have like 8 models per side each, don't even with that crap. And the length of the rulebook=/=complexity of the game.

I'd comment on WoK, or MC but I'm not one of the 3 people on the planet who actually plays those.

Flames of War doesn't have the size of community and the number of people mathhammering or the sheer variety of factions that 40k or AoS does so it's going to appear more balanced regardless of if it actually is or not(though in all likelyhood it IS more balanced then 40k, it's not hard when you don't have to deal with writing interesting rules for alien bug monsters or daemons from hell.)

WarmaHordes may not have balancing problems in the way 40k does, but A) That's the whole point of the game. It literally exists to be a competitive experience and that's it. Do you want proxy bases and laser pointers? Cause that's how you get proxy bases and laser pointers. AND B) You'd never ever ever guess it was more balanced than 40k based on how THEIR forums sound.

Does GW have some serious problems balancing things? Yes. Is it ever as bad as dakka says it is? In 7th, yes it was. In 8th...not really.

Here's another problem the other games don't really have to deal with as much, Skill gap. The difference between a FAAC, I'm bringing my super special awesome elite Deathwatch kill teams all armed to the teeth with whatever weapon I think is the coolest, I don't care if it doesn't really have any place in the army, versus people who actually know how to play the game is ridiculous. In other games the competitive vs. non-competitive scenes don't meet as often because the communities are much smaller and inherently more insular. Someone brings super fluff list to a competitive malifaux group? Well he's either going to accept his lumps, build stronger lists, or stop playing because that'll be the only group for 50 miles in any direction that actually plays malifaux. You want to play competitive Wrath of kings but the only other 2 people on earth that even have WoK armies do fluff games? Either build fluffier, get ostracized or stop playing.

Meanwhile in 40k you have enough people that you can form cliques within single clubs, let alone different stores. And each of those cliques is going to have a hilariously different of what is super powerful vs what isn't. For example, I've seen quite a bit of complaining about smite spam, but I never have any real problem with those lists. And sometimes people in those cliques will play each other and about 60% of the time both will walk away from the table being irritated with each other. Yes, it does suck when your army gets smashed to bits; but you know what else sucks? Smashing an army to bits when all you wanted to do was improve at the game.

TLR: Yes GW isn't great at balance, yes, other companies are better, no the company you tout as being the best there is isn't THAT much more balanced than GW, no the players don't help things, no you don't know how to fix the game, yes the absolute most frustrating thing about GWs balance is how many things end up being on the low end of power.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/22 02:15:29


Post by: thekingofkings


Malifaux and Infinity have like 8 models per side each, don't even with that crap. And the length of the rulebook=/=complexity of the game.

never mentioned length of rulebook, only quality of rules written, and while those games have fewer total models on the table, they both have lots of options at the build phase. realistically most of the 40k models are nothing more than self propelled wound counters.

As for your statements, well here its the "50 mile" drive to find people who play GW, its not a universal monolith, and yeah any list i bring to the table in malifaux can win, the game is written with those balances in. I have only ever seen 40k have that massive problem, its a symptom of poor rules. I get it, you love 40k and are condescending to other games, fine but your examples really are nothing like what I have seen. I have 19 crews in malifaux and have won and lost with each one against pretty much all comers. the whole concept of "fluffy" list as applied to 40k just doesnt apply to malifaux or WoK at all. Again, I can bring any combination of models in any faction and can compete with any other. to be blunt your experience is nothing like mine and obviously your local scene is nothing like mine.

I have no idea what your trying to get at with your last paragraph. but after 25+ years making the same game, yes GW should be a lot better at it than they are now.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/22 03:33:30


Post by: GI_Redshirt


 thekingofkings wrote:
Malifaux and Infinity have like 8 models per side each, don't even with that crap. And the length of the rulebook=/=complexity of the game.

never mentioned length of rulebook, only quality of rules written, and while those games have fewer total models on the table, they both have lots of options at the build phase. realistically most of the 40k models are nothing more than self propelled wound counters.


Infinity is the other game I mainly play besides 40k. At least half the models in an Infinity list, if not more, will likely never receive an order all game outside of maybe a coordinated suppression. Most of the models you take in an Infinity list are there solely to generate an order for the maybe 5 or 6 models in the list that actually matter, MAYBE take a pot shot ARO, and not die so they can keep feeding orders to the important units. If most 40k models are nothing more than self propelled wound counters, most Infinity models are even less, just spare orders and pretty scenery.

Only have limited experience with Malifaux, but it seems like a fair number of models that you take only exist to be tokens for your couple models who actually do things can do stuff to them and through them to win the game. Could be totally wrong though, feel free to correct me.

As for quality of rules written, yeah Infinity may not be the best example there. I have yet to play a game of Infinity where I did not need to have wiki.infinitythegame.com open on my phone next to me, and spend 20-30 minutes reading the wiki to figure out how rules interact at various points in the game cause Infinity interactions, while generally fun, cool, and unique in wargaming, are often a nightmare to sort out.

And for build options. Yeah, Infinity does have a fair number of build options, but you have to look at how their set up. Each unit may have multiple options on how to field them, but all of those options are prebuilt, with no room for customization once you choose which profile you're running. Its much easier to balance units when you know exactly what a model will be taking no matter what. Also, I'm fairly certain that one of my 3 man Crisis Teams has more potential build options than my entire JSA army. Just saying.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/22 03:44:15


Post by: thekingofkings


 GI_Redshirt wrote:
 thekingofkings wrote:
Malifaux and Infinity have like 8 models per side each, don't even with that crap. And the length of the rulebook=/=complexity of the game.

never mentioned length of rulebook, only quality of rules written, and while those games have fewer total models on the table, they both have lots of options at the build phase. realistically most of the 40k models are nothing more than self propelled wound counters.


Infinity is the other game I mainly play besides 40k. At least half the models in an Infinity list, if not more, will likely never receive an order all game outside of maybe a coordinated suppression. Most of the models you take in an Infinity list are there solely to generate an order for the maybe 5 or 6 models in the list that actually matter, MAYBE take a pot shot ARO, and not die so they can keep feeding orders to the important units. If most 40k models are nothing more than self propelled wound counters, most Infinity models are even less, just spare orders and pretty scenery.

Only have limited experience with Malifaux, but it seems like a fair number of models that you take only exist to be tokens for your couple models who actually do things can do stuff to them and through them to win the game. Could be totally wrong though, feel free to correct me.

As for quality of rules written, yeah Infinity may not be the best example there. I have yet to play a game of Infinity where I did not need to have wiki.infinitythegame.com open on my phone next to me, and spend 20-30 minutes reading the wiki to figure out how rules interact at various points in the game cause Infinity interactions, while generally fun, cool, and unique in wargaming, are often a nightmare to sort out.

And for build options. Yeah, Infinity does have a fair number of build options, but you have to look at how their set up. Each unit may have multiple options on how to field them, but all of those options are prebuilt, with no room for customization once you choose which profile you're running. Its much easier to balance units when you know exactly what a model will be taking no matter what. Also, I'm fairly certain that one of my 3 man Crisis Teams has more potential build options than my entire JSA army. Just saying.


my experience with infinity is mostly watching with jaw dropped at the people who do play (to be fair its the only game they play) so I never see them open a rule book (and only once in a blue moon do i see them argue a rule, as opposed to most 40k games where its constant) as they tend to quote rules and page numbers. as for malifaux, there is no useless unit or "wound counter" model. they all have their role to play in the schemes, you may be thinking of totems which are "bound" to their particular master, sometimes i use them, some times I dont.

for full disclosure, my army in 40k is Black Templar (for 30k its Iron Hands, but they arent relevant to the 40k issue)

something else that I dont think has been touched on is that even IF they did do some playtesting, I think they are missing their target audience or at least a large chunk of it. this part is purely opinion/conjecture, but I have noticed even in board games a european mentality of "cooperative" that I have never seen elsewhere. playtesting in a closed group of like minded players will reveal flaws or trends in that particular group, in this case. british players/europeans. by just raw numbers us players are likely to greatly outnumber them and play with a more competitive mindset. everywhere i go around the city to game stores I see "cutthroat" type competition in games like x-wing. warmahordes, guildball, infinity, etc.. folks argue that 40k is not a "tournement" game but there are lots of tournements for it.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/22 05:03:51


Post by: DominayTrix


As a Tau player I can tell you that our index was not playtested worth gak. There's a lot of blueberry scented tears over how completely gutted our army was in both points cost and function. It only gets worse when some of the more well known playtesters say "nah its fine dawg" and then ignore that army getting slaughtered in the next few tournaments.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/22 05:14:49


Post by: thekingofkings


DominayTrix wrote:
As a Tau player I can tell you that our index was not playtested worth gak. There's a lot of blueberry scented tears over how completely gutted our army was in both points cost and function. It only gets worse when some of the more well known playtesters say "nah its fine dawg" and then ignore that army getting slaughtered in the next few tournaments.


blueberry scented tears??


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/22 05:41:30


Post by: Vankraken


 Brutus_Apex wrote:
Based on the fact that we got games like AoS, I'm going to go with no...

Included in terrible game design of 8th ed. 40K:

-Flyer rules not included in the main rules section and standardized for everyone
-Characters not joining units. Theres no reason or point to not allowing characters to join units, it simply complicates the game more. Hence the stupid targeting rules on characters.
-Morale Phase. Could have made the game more tactical, but now we have marines gaking their pants and running away when a squad member dies.
-Psychic Phase. More all or nothing, absolutely no skill required to use or any kind of dice management or scaling power system.
-This new way of using modifiers to hit/wound that makes absolutely no sense at all. The old way is much better and intuitive.
-The cover system
-Rules for terrain
-Various terrible codex's like Grey Knights etc.


Fully agree and it really feels like either GW doesn't playtest gak or they don't actually play the same game and only loosely follow the rules they make. Cover/Terrain rules alone is a major head scratchier because if you follow the RAW its basically extremely unlikely for units to benefit from cover.

DominayTrix wrote:
As a Tau player I can tell you that our index was not playtested worth gak. There's a lot of blueberry scented tears over how completely gutted our army was in both points cost and function. It only gets worse when some of the more well known playtesters say "nah its fine dawg" and then ignore that army getting slaughtered in the next few tournaments.


Tournament focused players seem to focus more on "does this faction have some sort of combo to win games" and not actually care about how well rounded the faction lineup is. Its notions like "Orks are fine, just spam boyz" or "Tau are fine, just spam Commanders and Drones" that really do a diservice to those factions because the majority of those faction units are not in a good place. Codex: Flyrant syndrome should never be acceptable for a game even if that one spammable unit is winning top tables.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/22 06:25:42


Post by: admironheart


 Vankraken wrote:
 Brutus_Apex wrote:
Based on the fact that we got games like AoS, I'm going to go with no...

Included in terrible game design of 8th ed. 40K:

-Flyer rules not included in the main rules section and standardized for everyone
-Characters not joining units. Theres no reason or point to not allowing characters to join units, it simply complicates the game more. Hence the stupid targeting rules on characters.
-Morale Phase. Could have made the game more tactical, but now we have marines gaking their pants and running away when a squad member dies.
-Psychic Phase. More all or nothing, absolutely no skill required to use or any kind of dice management or scaling power system.
-This new way of using modifiers to hit/wound that makes absolutely no sense at all. The old way is much better and intuitive.
-The cover system
-Rules for terrain
-Various terrible codex's like Grey Knights etc.


Fully agree and it really feels like either GW doesn't playtest gak or they don't actually play the same game and only loosely follow the rules they make. Cover/Terrain rules alone is a major head scratchier because if you follow the RAW its basically extremely unlikely for units to benefit from cover.


Well this is a guess...but I think that someone had a case of nostalgia. We have a lot of 2nd edition mixed into 8th. The biggest complaint from 2nd edtion players when 3rd came out was that the commentary was to take all the modifiers out of the game (what it is too hard to figure out some basic addition or subtractions????)

8th is a baby step back into the big boy pool per say. To clean up this edition of DiceHammer they need to go full monty and cannonball into the modifier train.

Cut down every weapon by an balanced amount....(probably half the dice needed) and figure out what modifiers to hit and to miss are needed to get the same kill rates.
Cut down on all the buffs and rerolls (that would speed up the game by 30% right there)
We all have 6th grade education, Make the modifiers a bigger part of the game. We can do the math really fast....no really we can. Trust us.

it makes no sense that a tank sitting still is just as easy to hit as that extra fast moving tank....which is just as easy to hit or not miss that lumbering Lord of War.....I mean wtf?


Perhaps make pyschics a joined once per battleround....not turn. (speed it up and make it a fun mini game like 2nd)

Terrain and LOS stuff need to matter. If you want a point and shoot game with lots of Dakka....just play on an empty board....but the rest of us that like flanking, sniping, sneaky attacks etc....I agree give us better cover rules. (modifiers to hit or to save it don't much matter to me....just make it count)

Get rid of Smite and Mortal Wounds or make it a different mechanic.....It really is a pox on elite armies.

I have no problem with the Morale phase....but perhaps join it up so its once per battle round ( I mean that marine is not running away...he is playing the hero and running his buddies back to the triage ....just call him Forest)..Just don't have any of the falling back to the table edge crap that 2nd thru 7th had. (I mean running over to that trench 3 steps sideways is not the obvious choice a panicked unit would want.....no they choose to run out in the open back to their mommys.....stupid)



Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/22 07:06:31


Post by: FrozenDwarf


The players are gw`s playtesting as apparently gw dont know how to break the game the way meta gamers does.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/22 07:07:46


Post by: tneva82


 Marmatag wrote:
And i don't see how you playtest Grey Knights, and their codex, and draw the conclusion it's anything but complete garbage.


Put deliberately armies that are basically tailor made to be beaten by GK and hey presto "GK are fine!"


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/22 07:42:01


Post by: DominayTrix


 thekingofkings wrote:
DominayTrix wrote:
As a Tau player I can tell you that our index was not playtested worth gak. There's a lot of blueberry scented tears over how completely gutted our army was in both points cost and function. It only gets worse when some of the more well known playtesters say "nah its fine dawg" and then ignore that army getting slaughtered in the next few tournaments.


blueberry scented tears??


Tau heads are blue like blueberries.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/22 07:43:15


Post by: thekingofkings


DominayTrix wrote:
 thekingofkings wrote:
DominayTrix wrote:
As a Tau player I can tell you that our index was not playtested worth gak. There's a lot of blueberry scented tears over how completely gutted our army was in both points cost and function. It only gets worse when some of the more well known playtesters say "nah its fine dawg" and then ignore that army getting slaughtered in the next few tournaments.


blueberry scented tears??


Tau heads are blue like blueberries.


ok, I always thought of them as fish, so it was kinda weird to me


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/22 07:53:02


Post by: Peregrine


 thekingofkings wrote:
ok, I always thought of them as fish, so it was kinda weird to me


The Tau fish-themed names are Imperial reporting names.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/22 07:57:05


Post by: Blackie


I think GW only playtests the starting boxes which usually are decently balanced.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/22 08:06:23


Post by: thekingofkings


 Peregrine wrote:
 thekingofkings wrote:
ok, I always thought of them as fish, so it was kinda weird to me


The Tau fish-themed names are Imperial reporting names.


they kinda look fishy, no noses, weird eyes....or maybe weird avians?


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/22 08:23:44


Post by: Arachnofiend


tneva82 wrote:
 Marmatag wrote:
And i don't see how you playtest Grey Knights, and their codex, and draw the conclusion it's anything but complete garbage.


Put deliberately armies that are basically tailor made to be beaten by GK and hey presto "GK are fine!"

Alternatively, GK's are deliberately undertuned because they exist as a counter pick force to drop into other Imperium armies. If Grey Knights were good enough to beat anybody they'd be too good against daemons.

No excuses for AdMech, though.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/22 08:24:47


Post by: Stormonu


 thekingofkings wrote:
 Peregrine wrote:
 thekingofkings wrote:
ok, I always thought of them as fish, so it was kinda weird to me


The Tau fish-themed names are Imperial reporting names.


they kinda look fishy, no noses, weird eyes....or maybe weird avians?


They are descended from sheep - hence the slitted nostrils, hooved feet and herd mentality ("For the greater good!! Baaaaa!!!). Their culture is based on Japanese, as is the naming convention (common Japanese naming convention for boats is "Maru", which I believe means "fish" - hence the fish/shark names for the vehicles).


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/22 09:16:03


Post by: lolman1c


We can complain until the emperor comes back but in all honesty GW ain't gunu read or care about any of this. Their stocks are up and they just keep making what they make.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/22 09:40:22


Post by: tneva82


 Blackie wrote:
I think GW only playtests the starting boxes which usually are decently balanced.


Not really. At least 40k 4th, 5th and 6th weren't that well balanced. Hell even points were way off. 3rd ed marines had unit the dark eldars LITERALLY COULD NOT KILL. FB 8th ed elves had waaaaaay more points thanks to griffon lord.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 Arachnofiend wrote:
tneva82 wrote:
 Marmatag wrote:
And i don't see how you playtest Grey Knights, and their codex, and draw the conclusion it's anything but complete garbage.


Put deliberately armies that are basically tailor made to be beaten by GK and hey presto "GK are fine!"

Alternatively, GK's are deliberately undertuned because they exist as a counter pick force to drop into other Imperium armies. If Grey Knights were good enough to beat anybody they'd be too good against daemons.

No excuses for AdMech, though.


What specifically anti daemon rules they have though?


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/22 09:52:34


Post by: Mad Doc Grotsnik


How much playtesting is enough?

Consider this. If GW want to get a book on the shelves, they've got a finite time to do that in.

No matter how much or how little they actually play test, it will be nothing compared to the gaming hours the book is subjected to upon release. If they sell say, 500 copies, within that first week, and assuming an average of one game per owner and three hours per game, that's 1,500 man hours of play.

In short, the kinks will always be worked out post-release, because the sheer volume of people tinkering and using it dwarfs any playtest potential.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/22 10:02:26


Post by: tneva82


 Mad Doc Grotsnik wrote:
How much playtesting is enough?

Consider this. If GW want to get a book on the shelves, they've got a finite time to do that in.

No matter how much or how little they actually play test, it will be nothing compared to the gaming hours the book is subjected to upon release. If they sell say, 500 copies, within that first week, and assuming an average of one game per owner and three hours per game, that's 1,500 man hours of play.

In short, the kinks will always be worked out post-release, because the sheer volume of people tinkering and using it dwarfs any playtest potential.


If it takes like hour after release or even well before release players quickly identify correctly problem areas they clearly don't playtest enough. You don't even need to play game before realizing where problems are. It's not by chance most effective lists are generally figured out before codex is even released...

Hell some of the stuff are dead easy to see are wrong just by number crunching. Compare dakka jet over dethkopta. More survivable, more killing power. WTF?


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/22 10:05:04


Post by: Sgt. Cortez


Well, everybody is playtesting the new Smite rule now so there's that.

I also tend to agree that 40K is simply too complex to achieve balance for every unit. With complex I don't mean the basic rules, but the amount of units, factions, weapons and unit types.
If you put down an army of 500 Gretchin against a Titan, they'll probably lose.
Even lotr which I usually bring up as an example of good balance in a GW game faces that problem (on a much smaller scale) - an army of only cavalry will have problems against a more diverse army, even though it's fluffy as hell for Rohan. One problem of 40K might be that it's the other way round here: usually tournament armies seem to be boring spam of the same unit and I agree with people saying that the spam detachments might be too easily available with too little drawbacks.
I think with 8th edition GW found a good way to react to the WAAC croud, though. You can't think of every possiblity, so they adjust the game when a problem comes up - and that's fine for me.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/22 10:41:40


Post by: Sim-Life


As has been said it's likely been playtested but not to the "break the game" degree that certain online communities would like. They probably playtested for casual players (the way the game ia intended to be played) and just took whatever they felt like and maybe one or two units that were undergoing testing or set up slightly more fluffy lists against each other (hence why Grey Knights are great at killing daemons but struggle against others).

Personally our group of super casual players have had no major issues with balance so far. The one exception being Guilliman because the guy who uses him bring him in literally every single list regardless of points level. Outside of that one guy, the game works fine and plays quickly and smoothly.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/22 10:56:49


Post by: craftworld_uk


GW playtest like Volvo tested their autonomous brake system...



Success!

But seriously, I think GW have done a good job of 8th overall.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/22 11:24:26


Post by: Brutus_Apex


Well this is a guess...but I think that someone had a case of nostalgia. We have a lot of 2nd edition mixed into 8th. The biggest complaint from 2nd edtion players when 3rd came out was that the commentary was to take all the modifiers out of the game (what it is too hard to figure out some basic addition or subtractions????)


I’m not talking about the addition of modifiers. I have always wanted modifiers in the game. I’m a huge Warhammer Fantasy player and I certainly don’t have a problem with math.

The way they have implemented modifiers in 8th is counter intuitive. You don’t just add or subtract like you used to. It actually changes the number you’ve rolled, rather than needing a lower or higher number. -1 to hit means your 2’s become 1’s. so effectively night fight makes your plasma weapons more dangerous for no reason for example. It also means chaos marines can never trigger death to the false emperor with a power fist and makes the archite Glaive useless when combined with the new specific succubus warlord trait.

Additionally, they never added a rule that says 1’s always fail and 6’s always succeed. Even a game as terrible as AoS has this.

And now with all this mess, we wonder if they play test?


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/22 11:45:01


Post by: Turnip Jedi


I think there's also a possibility that playtest feed back, especially from non-GW 'outsiders' such as the Frontline lot, could just get discounted or ignored as it doesn't fit how GW sees the game.



Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/22 11:45:53


Post by: Breng77


 thekingofkings wrote:
kombatwombat wrote:
 thekingofkings wrote:

maybe my perspective here is skewed, but of the half dozen or so games I play that are not GW, I do not run into any of the problems that are infesting the boards about GW games. I dont see it as unfair to call a company incompetent at playtesting their own product when there are so many deliberate gaps. Much smaller companies have done a much better job at making their games balanced.


I would struggle to come up with a game that has half as many variables as 40k, particularly one made by a company as small as GW.


Malifaux, infinity, wrath of kings, mutant chronicles, flames of war, warmachine, hordes..etc....all smaller companies and all their games are just as complex as GW, now with 8th and AoS likely more complex than GW.


I think you are confusing complexity on the table, with complexity in regards to balance. These games might have as much (or more) depth of strategy compared to GW, but they number of options available are far fewer.

I'll only really speak to malifaux as it is the game I am most familiar with, units/models in malifaux are largely fixed with very few (if any) upgrades. Now each model has more abilities than units do in 40k but for the most part they are static abilities that don't change so are easier to balance for. In addition the game is balanced around not having set lists, and building to the mission. Many of which are not just about murdering the opponent and claiming objectives last turn. Quite a bit easier to balance for that than it is for TAC lists which is what people want in 40k, because units can have roles that function particularly well only in specific missions. Factions also have more synergistic subfactions so some models may generally be crap, but work particularly well with one master. 40k doesn't really have this specific synergy, keywords go into it a bit in some cases (Deathwing are better with Belial than without him), but there aren't really any generally bad units that become good with a specific HQ or build. That all said there are still balance issues, masters that never see play in competitive settings, models that never see play because other options are just better.

As to the question of playtesting, I'm sure they do. But I doubt they are able to test every unit in every set up, and so they don't catch everything. I'm hoping that the seemingly promised living ruleset will lead to a better balanced game down the road.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/22 11:47:33


Post by: wuestenfux


Are there some indicators that they do?
In former editions, the impression has been that they dont to extended play testing. In this edition, it has been said that they have listened to the player base. I mean real players not some GW guys at the hotline or in the advertising department who play every army out there but none of it very well.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/22 12:31:06


Post by: hollow one


This is such an unhealthy thread. Before you post in this thread, can you ask please yourself "How does this discussion add to my hobby?" Honestly.

The amount of armchair game balancing experts in this thread is embarrassing. Some suggestions are so bold they would change the entire game, with confidence that they would be able to single-handedly improve the quality of the game, without set back or oversight. Is it ever going to be possible to balance 10+ armies? Man, what about just three (insert starcraft analogy). And then, is it ever going to be possible to compare every unit to every other unit to check for marginal mathematical differences? Do you understand the permutations of that undertaking? Not to mention somehow accounting for non-quantifiable variables, synergistic aspects, community expectations, and flavour concerns.

The amount of hours of play testing required to account for a single day of the community playing the game is unimaginable. The community is in the tens or hundreds of thousands, and includes really passionate people pouring over every page. Ten minutes of that will eclipse a lifetime of play-testing from a full team of lets say, 50 people. The community is a valuable tool in making positive change for the game it plays, by making reasonable suggestions and recommendations to modify the game and correct errors. We should be used in that manner and we should take that role seriously.

I appreciate constructive criticism as much as the next man, but maybe reflect a bit on the practical nature of what you're talking about before you pretend to know anything about it. And more importantly, what sort of precedent do discussions like this set in our community. I'm specifically pointing at hateful and non-constructive comments such as intimating GW does not play test.
What's the point of that?
Are you planning to make the game better somehow by complaining?
Do you think GW will read this thread and takes business advice from you (even though you are not even providing advice)?
Does it make you feel better?
Do you really think new comers to this community want to read this?
Do you think you're fostering a community that is fun to be in?
Is it worth you venting your frustrations publicly when you likely have a negative impact on the community?


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/22 12:34:09


Post by: Spoletta


Well if we go by GW claim that all the model's range was tested, except for Forge World, and then we look at the results:

- GW model's range is usually balanced with a few stinkers here and there. I'd say that about 75% of the models are correctly designed and priced. 25% still need some work. This is on the game level, which means that on faction level you will have Orks and at the same time you will have Tyranids.

-FW model range is literally a mess. The amount of models that are not OP or UP is around 30%, which means that they were balanced purely by chance.

Yes, GW definitely playtests, or you would have Forgeworld.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/22 12:35:48


Post by: Scott-S6


 Brutus_Apex wrote:

The way they have implemented modifiers in 8th is counter intuitive. You don’t just add or subtract like you used to. It actually changes the number you’ve rolled, rather than needing a lower or higher number.

That's what they always used to do. If you modify the target then -1 is good and +1 is bad.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/22 12:59:39


Post by: Wayniac


Part of the issue is that GW's "complexity" tends to be in minutiae. Wargear options. Other games complexity is in actual interactions. I wish I could find the comparison someone made I think it was here that showed just how many different combinations existed in Warmahordes, and it dwarfed anything 40k could even dream of and these were real choices, not "Do I take X or Y weapon on this dude".

But even with that, the biggest issue I think is that GW's playtesters (which, we have established we know they have) seem to not be the sort of playtesters you want i.e. the powergaming/mathhammer types who will try to break the game. You'll never actually playtest anything if you take balanced/fluffy armies with a variety of options, because you'll never see the mindset that your typical powergamer/tournament player will have where everything gets number-crunched to the "most optimal" choice available, and then that gets spammed as much as possible. A typical GW playtester would likely never take more than 1 unit with Plasma weapons, maybe two at most, certainly not the "all plasma, all the time" mindset you find. They wouldn't mix Mortarion with Magnus and horrors just because it's the best choice, because Nurgle hates Tzeentch.

That's the problem. They playtest the game for very laid back, beer-and-pretzels (i hate that term) style gamplay where you likely have a variety in your collection. They don't playtest from a game-breaking competitive standpoint.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/22 13:10:34


Post by: Spoletta


Wayniac wrote:
Part of the issue is that GW's "complexity" tends to be in minutiae. Wargear options. Other games complexity is in actual interactions. I wish I could find the comparison someone made I think it was here that showed just how many different combinations existed in Warmahordes, and it dwarfed anything 40k could even dream of and these were real choices, not "Do I take X or Y weapon on this dude".

But even with that, the biggest issue I think is that GW's playtesters (which, we have established we know they have) seem to not be the sort of playtesters you want i.e. the powergaming/mathhammer types who will try to break the game. You'll never actually playtest anything if you take balanced/fluffy armies with a variety of options, because you'll never see the mindset that your typical powergamer/tournament player will have where everything gets number-crunched to the "most optimal" choice available, and then that gets spammed as much as possible. A typical GW playtester would likely never take more than 1 unit with Plasma weapons, maybe two at most, certainly not the "all plasma, all the time" mindset you find. They wouldn't mix Mortarion with Magnus and horrors just because it's the best choice, because Nurgle hates Tzeentch.

That's the problem. They playtest the game for very laid back, beer-and-pretzels (i hate that term) style gamplay where you likely have a variety in your collection. They don't playtest from a game-breaking competitive standpoint.


Your experience is different from mine, i abandoned warmahordes because only 10% of the models were always usable, 40% were usable with a particular caster and 50% would never see the table. If you wanted to compete, you were forced toward the 2 or 3 casters your faction could sport in that environment. That game's balance was much much worse than what we have in 8th. Though to be fair all of this is from MK2, i have no idea how the game has evolved.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/22 13:19:17


Post by: Blacksails


hollow one wrote:
This is such an unhealthy thread. Before you post in this thread, can you ask please yourself "How does this discussion add to my hobby?" Honestly.

Spoiler:
The amount of armchair game balancing experts in this thread is embarrassing. Some suggestions are so bold they would change the entire game, with confidence that they would be able to single-handedly improve the quality of the game, without set back or oversight. Is it ever going to be possible to balance 10+ armies? Man, what about just three (insert starcraft analogy). And then, is it ever going to be possible to compare every unit to every other unit to check for marginal mathematical differences? Do you understand the permutations of that undertaking? Not to mention somehow accounting for non-quantifiable variables, synergistic aspects, community expectations, and flavour concerns.

The amount of hours of play testing required to account for a single day of the community playing the game is unimaginable. The community is in the tens or hundreds of thousands, and includes really passionate people pouring over every page. Ten minutes of that will eclipse a lifetime of play-testing from a full team of lets say, 50 people. The community is a valuable tool in making positive change for the game it plays, by making reasonable suggestions and recommendations to modify the game and correct errors. We should be used in that manner and we should take that role seriously.

I appreciate constructive criticism as much as the next man, but maybe reflect a bit on the practical nature of what you're talking about before you pretend to know anything about it. And more importantly, what sort of precedent do discussions like this set in our community. I'm specifically pointing at hateful and non-constructive comments such as intimating GW does not play test.
What's the point of that?
Are you planning to make the game better somehow by complaining?
Do you think GW will read this thread and takes business advice from you (even though you are not even providing advice)?
Does it make you feel better?
Do you really think new comers to this community want to read this?
Do you think you're fostering a community that is fun to be in?
Is it worth you venting your frustrations publicly when you likely have a negative impact on the community?


You ask the question in the first sentence, then continue to add nothing of value after.

The only thing more embarassing than armchair balancing is armchairing the armchairing.

For what its worth, there's a lot of good discussion here, and lots of good ideas. Of course some ideas would have greater impact, but this is a forum where people can spitball and actually have a discussion...on a discussion board. I tend to side with the people who advocate more sweeping changes because I think the underlying frame of the game is broken and needs an overhaul. The basic turn structure could seriously benefit from some improvements (the ever discussed alternating activations instead of UGOIGO), or changing ranges and modifiers to make the battlefield feel larger and promote actual movement.

As for the specific question asked in the title, it boils down to either they don't playtest enough to matter, or they do it so poorly it doesn't matter. I was cautiously optimistic at launch, and held on to some hope when they put out a timely FAQ, but I think we're right back to the old GW of nothing but good ideas marred by terrible execution. Its easy to talk to talk and proclaim they're listening to players, but when its constantly poor changes and wildly different power levels and balancing, you start to tune them out when they tell you over and over that they're actually listening.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
Wayniac wrote:
Part of the issue is that GW's "complexity" tends to be in minutiae. Wargear options. Other games complexity is in actual interactions. I wish I could find the comparison someone made I think it was here that showed just how many different combinations existed in Warmahordes, and it dwarfed anything 40k could even dream of and these were real choices, not "Do I take X or Y weapon on this dude".

But even with that, the biggest issue I think is that GW's playtesters (which, we have established we know they have) seem to not be the sort of playtesters you want i.e. the powergaming/mathhammer types who will try to break the game. You'll never actually playtest anything if you take balanced/fluffy armies with a variety of options, because you'll never see the mindset that your typical powergamer/tournament player will have where everything gets number-crunched to the "most optimal" choice available, and then that gets spammed as much as possible. A typical GW playtester would likely never take more than 1 unit with Plasma weapons, maybe two at most, certainly not the "all plasma, all the time" mindset you find. They wouldn't mix Mortarion with Magnus and horrors just because it's the best choice, because Nurgle hates Tzeentch.

That's the problem. They playtest the game for very laid back, beer-and-pretzels (i hate that term) style gamplay where you likely have a variety in your collection. They don't playtest from a game-breaking competitive standpoint.


Spot on. The best playtesters I've worked with intentionally broke the game. It provided the best feedback and offered meaningful changes. We knew we hit the sweetspot when were were arguing over the cost of a 5pts upgrade on a 200pts model. At that point, that model is perfectly balanced for the casuals, and the min-maxers were still debating about the value of said 5pts upgrade, which is about as close you'll get.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/22 13:50:33


Post by: Wayniac


Again, look at GW's army selections in battle reports. Even when they are using their own army as opposed to the Studio army, it's a "collection". Squads have different loadouts, you rarely see more than 2-3 of the same unit (the exception is usually actual troop choices), you see a variety of vehicles. You don't see things like 100+ conscripts and then nothing but tanks, or two max units of death company with mostly the same weapon options, or five Grand Master Dreadknights or six 5-man tactical squads all with a Lascannon and then TAC Razorbacks, or min/maxed Imperial Soup lists. That's not how GW plays the game. There's no way they would ever be able to balance those things because it probably does not even dawn on them that anyone would do it in the first place.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/22 14:45:49


Post by: wuestenfux


An indicator for playtesting is the number of changes made shortly after the release. The number of such changes is rather low so that this indicates that GW made a good job with model/rule balancing.
There are still some rules that are questionable to me, like cover, tank facing, and retreat from cc. Obviously, they didnt care too much about this.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/22 15:10:50


Post by: Farseer_V2


I think its highly likely that they play test and even use external play testers - I think the real question is how much of the feedback do they choose to use? I think that may be the greater source of concern than anything else is I don't know that they're taking feedback well and applying it to improve.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/22 15:36:45


Post by: EnTyme


I think GW playtests more than people believe, but not in the way they should. Wayniac's assessment is probably pretty close to the truth. They playtest with the semi-casual "let's just hang out on a Saturday and play some 40k" mentality rather than the tournament "how can I loophole/exploit my way into a win" mentality. My group is definitely more casual (even our tournaments rarely feature brutal spam lists), but if GW did test using the most broken min/max netlist they can find, it would benefit us casual just as much as it would tournament players.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/22 15:59:03


Post by: MagicJuggler


Wayniac wrote:
Part of the issue is that GW's "complexity" tends to be in minutiae. Wargear options. Other games complexity is in actual interactions. I wish I could find the comparison someone made I think it was here that showed just how many different combinations existed in Warmahordes, and it dwarfed anything 40k could even dream of and these were real choices, not "Do I take X or Y weapon on this dude".



I was playtesting my game last week and my opponent said something similar. Most of the 40k complexity is knowing which unit combos with what, which bonuses and stratagems to reference, etc. but once you have a plan, a game of 40k is both players "taking turns to do a thirty-minute dick punch."

A game like chess itself is ironically complex in its simplicity as managing multiple move-restricted units and creating overlapping defenses/trades is so important. Shogi takes that formula and ups the complexity with revival of captured pieces too. And Arimaa was literally created post-Kasparov vs Deep Blue as a game that would be harder for a computer to bruteforce optimal play through, yet would be so simple his five-year-old kid could learn it.

Reducing the downtime between players getting to do stuff, and letting units all have multiple roles, both help in adding post-listbuilding depth.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/22 15:59:17


Post by: Iron_Captain


Wayniac wrote:
Again, look at GW's army selections in battle reports. Even when they are using their own army as opposed to the Studio army, it's a "collection". Squads have different loadouts, you rarely see more than 2-3 of the same unit (the exception is usually actual troop choices), you see a variety of vehicles. You don't see things like 100+ conscripts and then nothing but tanks, or two max units of death company with mostly the same weapon options, or five Grand Master Dreadknights or six 5-man tactical squads all with a Lascannon and then TAC Razorbacks, or min/maxed Imperial Soup lists. That's not how GW plays the game. There's no way they would ever be able to balance those things because it probably does not even dawn on them that anyone would do it in the first place.

Those battle reports are not from playtesting though. GW makes battle reports to entertain, not to test. That is why they select a 'fluffy' army. It is no indication that they don't try to break the game when playtesting. If GW did not playtest properly, the game would not be nearly as balanced as it is now (it would probably look more like FW or WarmaHordes where only a small part of the units are 'balanced' and the rest are all either OP or trash.)

Personally, I think the problem is not with how GW playtests, but rather with the amount of people and time they have available for playtesting vs the complexity of the game. There is a huge lot of things that need to be tested to properly balance 40k, and a small team of playtesters is never going to be able to do everything before the release deadline hits (and marketing sure as hell isn't going to delay the release because testing isn't finished). Quite simply, GW simply does not have enough time and people to playtest everything. Obviously, this is where the community could help a great deal, and I really hope to see that GW is going to make more use of community feedback in the future.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/22 16:08:27


Post by: Spoletta


We are also probably not looking at this with the same aim.
Who said that playtest is meant to balance models with each other? The first objective of playtesting is to make sure that models work in the intended role and that there aren't situations where you are left in doubt of how a rule should be applied.

Balancing is a secondary objective that requires an impressive amount of work, and i fully understand why they left the fine tuning to the players. They put in place an organization that allows them to easily intervene on balance and that's it.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/22 17:12:56


Post by: Gwarok


 JimOnMars wrote:
GW playtesting orks: Line up 2000 points of orks. The non-ork player resigns, claiming orks are too strong. Then orks get nerfed.


Lol, I'm sure that is far more accurate than either us or GW would care to admit. Also it bears mentioning that GW is out to sell stuff too. If anyone thinks that isn't a significant factor in how units are both stat'd and priced on the shelves they're nuts.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/22 19:25:27


Post by: lolman1c


hollow one wrote:
This is such an unhealthy thread. Before you post in this thread, can you ask please yourself "How does this discussion add to my hobby?" Honestly.

The amount of armchair game balancing experts in this thread is embarrassing. Some suggestions are so bold they would change the entire game, with confidence that they would be able to single-handedly improve the quality of the game, without set back or oversight. Is it ever going to be possible to balance 10+ armies? Man, what about just three (insert starcraft analogy). And then, is it ever going to be possible to compare every unit to every other unit to check for marginal mathematical differences? Do you understand the permutations of that undertaking? Not to mention somehow accounting for non-quantifiable variables, synergistic aspects, community expectations, and flavour concerns.

?


I'm guessing you're nee to dakka dakka? Think of this forums as the 40k purge. People come here to let off steam snd yell at ogher people all while preaching the fact that Orks are underpowered and unbalanced and have been for many editions now (seriously Gw, please just let us play orks like marines play marines). If you want real debate then go to faction specific forums.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/22 20:25:47


Post by: Xenomancers


Does GW playtest? Possibly yes, if you consider we are playtesting their game for them right now in a beta. The question is the current GW staff capable of making the game balanced after we prove to them that it is not. So far it looks pretty grim.



Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/22 21:25:43


Post by: Quickjager


hollow one wrote:
This is such an unhealthy thread. Before you post in this thread, can you ask please yourself "How does this discussion add to my hobby?" Honestly.

The amount of armchair game balancing experts in this thread is embarrassing. Some suggestions are so bold they would change the entire game, with confidence that they would be able to single-handedly improve the quality of the game, without set back or oversight. Is it ever going to be possible to balance 10+ armies? Man, what about just three (insert starcraft analogy). And then, is it ever going to be possible to compare every unit to every other unit to check for marginal mathematical differences? Do you understand the permutations of that undertaking? Not to mention somehow accounting for non-quantifiable variables, synergistic aspects, community expectations, and flavour concerns.

The amount of hours of play testing required to account for a single day of the community playing the game is unimaginable. The community is in the tens or hundreds of thousands, and includes really passionate people pouring over every page. Ten minutes of that will eclipse a lifetime of play-testing from a full team of lets say, 50 people. The community is a valuable tool in making positive change for the game it plays, by making reasonable suggestions and recommendations to modify the game and correct errors. We should be used in that manner and we should take that role seriously.

I appreciate constructive criticism as much as the next man, but maybe reflect a bit on the practical nature of what you're talking about before you pretend to know anything about it. And more importantly, what sort of precedent do discussions like this set in our community. I'm specifically pointing at hateful and non-constructive comments such as intimating GW does not play test.
What's the point of that?
Are you planning to make the game better somehow by complaining?
Do you think GW will read this thread and takes business advice from you (even though you are not even providing advice)?
Does it make you feel better?
Do you really think new comers to this community want to read this?
Do you think you're fostering a community that is fun to be in?
Is it worth you venting your frustrations publicly when you likely have a negative impact on the community?


I am not going to sing praises about a company where I bought in for a thousand bucks and I am not happy. So if newcomers do see this, they need to know what they are getting.

As for armchair balance testers, I don't need to be an expert to see something is fethed. The community that I enjoy is the community I play with, I don't play with anyone here, I discuss and theorycraft. Right now there is not much to discuss except the attemptied balance pass GW keeps failing at.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/22 21:32:31


Post by: hollow one


 Blacksails wrote:
You ask the question in the first sentence, then continue to add nothing of value after.

The only thing more embarassing than armchair balancing is armchairing the armchairing.

I think my post was pretty clear, my suggestion was to have less pointless hate in these forums. If you think that is not valuable to you that's fine. Unfortunately for me it seems that most people agree with you.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/22 21:48:05


Post by: Quickjager


Your idea of negative and hateful are reeeeally odd. Like how is it hateful to say GW doesn't seem to playtest. I could believe it if I were a uninformed bystander.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/22 21:51:47


Post by: hollow one


 Quickjager wrote:
Your idea of negative and hateful are reeeeally odd. Like how is it hateful to say GW doesn't seem to playtest. I could believe it if I were a uninformed bystander.

It's just pointless. It's not like people here are aiming to rally and make a play-test group to support GW, improve the game, do anything positive. We are just sitting here discussing if GW playtest, to ultimately decide if we should hate them more or less. Why? To "warn" the new comers that our game might be bad? To "not praise them" so they feel worse about being GW?

What would happen if we definitively KNEW GW doesn't play test... abandon ship? I'll go back to my first question: what does this discussion do for your hobby?


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/22 21:52:46


Post by: Iron_Captain


 Quickjager wrote:
Your idea of negative and hateful are reeeeally odd. Like how is it hateful to say GW doesn't seem to playtest. I could believe it if I were a uninformed bystander.

But you are an uninformed bystander. Unless you worked for GW or otherwise have inside knowledge of how GW playtesting works, you know as much about it as the rest of us or any random person on the streets. Nothing. Just because we played the game and collect the miniatures doesn't mean we suddenly have knowledge about how GW works. That would be like saying you know how a car works just because you can drive one.
And even if we did have that knowledge, I agree with hollow one that the discussion would still be pointless. A thread and a discussion like this only exist because some people want to vent their frustrations. That is the only use this whole discussion is ever going to have.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/22 21:54:21


Post by: Quickjager


I kinda stopped playing and spending money on it, because I realized nothing is going to change for me. But I enjoy the lore so I hang around for the 40k background threads.

So everyone is still warning me that my pile of plastic looks good but that is about it.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/22 22:00:21


Post by: hollow one


 Quickjager wrote:
I kinda stopped playing and spending money on it, because I realized nothing is going to change for me. But I enjoy the lore so I hang around for the 40k background threads.

So everyone is still warning me that my pile of plastic looks good but that is about it.

So maybe the game is dead for you, but it's not for me. If you need threads like this to validate your lack of interest in the game, then I guess that is valuable to you. But I would hope you're not intentionally fostering hate in other's just so you can feel better about your expensive plastic.

edit: and I'll say it, I think SemperMortis is trying to foster hate, and it bothers me. We are both Ork players and the only tactical thread we have is 50% complaining, often sparked by arguments with Semper. Sometimes he comes up with approaches that are more reasonable, like debating the point cost of a weapon, but this thread is too much for me and I would prefer it if he was just shouting in an empty room.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/22 22:22:22


Post by: Quickjager


Lol its not about validation. It's about seeing if the game is worth getting back into, quit lashing out people like the concept the world, a lot of it is good. This thread however isn't about that.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
I understand the complaining, it's why I don't post much because it is all I would do, because the rest of the game has been discussed to death. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't be vocal about the parts that REALLY suck and are REALLY frustrating.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/22 22:32:09


Post by: Kap'n Krump


Honestly, in all fairness, I'm sure geedubz does play testing. probably a lot of it.

But they still make a LOT of VERY questionable decisions.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/22 22:38:17


Post by: SemperMortis


 Kap'n Krump wrote:
Honestly, in all fairness, I'm sure geedubz does play testing. probably a lot of it.

But they still make a LOT of VERY questionable decisions.


I'm not sold either way myself. It boils down to; so they playtest? Do the developers listen to the testers? Does corporate decide instead in the basis of model sales?

I'm more leaning towards the last one. A great example is the aforementioned Dakkajet compared to the deff kopta. 2 deff koptas cost the same as a Dakkajet. They have fewer wounds, less toughness, no hit modifier, less BS and they are slower. Now here comes the sales aspect. GW just combined all Ork flyers into 1 box and jacked the price up significantly where as the Koptas are dirt cheap on EBay from a previous box set. So GW makes the flyers better then the kopta to drive up sales. But to counter my own point, if they went to the hassle of all this, why didn't they make the dakkajet better in general so I would feel inclined to actually buy one instead of relying on cheap Boyz hordes which again are cheap as hell on eBay and other places.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/22 22:41:54


Post by: A Town Called Malus


Any competent playtesting would not have resulted in the 6th ed psychic power rules. The bit where it was stated that the number of powers was proportional to the mastery level of the psyker, completely failing to actually specify the nature of that proportionality.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/22 22:59:21


Post by: Matt.Kingsley


 A Town Called Malus wrote:
Any competent playtesting would not have resulted in the 6th ed psychic power rules. The bit where it was stated that the number of powers was proportional to the mastery level of the psyker, completely failing to actually specify the nature of that proportionality.

Honestly I'm somewhat inclined to think that might have just been an editorial issue, with some writer after the fact trying to add a flourish to the rules.
More often than not the playtesters would likely just get notes about how the rules are meant to work, rather than a fully written out and 'finalised' ruleset.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/22 23:18:53


Post by: thegreatchimp


 Iron_Captain wrote:

But you are an uninformed bystander. Unless you worked for GW or otherwise have inside knowledge of how GW playtesting works, you know as much about it as the rest of us or any random person on the streets. Nothing. Just because we played the game and collect the miniatures doesn't mean we suddenly have knowledge about how GW works. That would be like saying you know how a car works just because you can drive one.
And even if we did have that knowledge, I agree with hollow one that the discussion would still be pointless. A thread and a discussion like this only exist because some people want to vent their frustrations. That is the only use this whole discussion is ever going to have.


Playtesting and balancing isn't some higher science, anyone with decent experience of wargaming and an adequate handle on maths can playtest and balance rules.The key to it is being as thorough as possible (testing as many variations of a given situation with as wide a group of players as you can, as many times as you can, then repeat for the next variant of that situation, record your results, note undesirable results, and alter one factor at a time until balance is achieved (next to impossible, but you have to try). Read Rick Priestley's book on game design if you're interested, he goes into detail about it far better than me.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/22 23:23:15


Post by: RedCommander


They do this.

Why else they would have buffed my Shadowsword thrice from Index to Codex? Okay, quadruble times if you also count Doctrines and Stratagems. No, wait, what was the word for five times...?


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/23 00:31:38


Post by: Grimgold


Testing a game like 40k is like testing software, thousands to tens of thousands of individual components that can interact with each other in multiple ways gives a near limitless number of interactions to check. Let me share with you one of my favorite quotes on software testing:

Edsger W. Dijkstra wrote:Program testing can be used to show the presence of bugs, but never to show their absence!


Given the impossible scope of testing a system like 40k to completeness, Any kind of worthwhile testing has to make assumptions/generalizations about the interactions involved, to reduce the number of specific items to be checked, in testing nomenclature this is called equivalence partitioning. Some of those assumptions will be wrong, and there is a common vector for errors to sneak in even with a seemingly reasonable amount of testing. For instance if we assume a plasma gun is the same no matter who wields it, because it's strength, AP, and damage are fixed values, we run into issue like scion command squads.

Another thing to consider is testing has diminishing returns, you might find 20 bugs in the first hundred hours of testing, and 2 in the second hundred hours. Thus testing is a balancing act between finding bugs and responsible use of time. You could spend hundreds of hours testing something and still not find all of the problem interactions. Which dovetails nicely into picking what to test, unless your equivalence partitions are absurdly large, you will not have time to test them all to the highest level of effort required. So you pick based on importance of the components and probability of the interaction occurrencing. A rule for space marines that doesn't work is more important than a rule for harlequins that doesn't work. A balance issue with plasma weapons is much more likely to come up than an issue with a grav flux bombard. So you take the areas you deem important and or likely, and give those a disproportionate amount of your testing.Thus a unit that was rarely used in prior editions, like conscripts, might have gotten a fraction of the attention a unit like intercessors got, which could lead to all sorts of issues.

The final issue is that GW inherited a rules base that was created by decades of accretion, which included many, many bad decisions. Some issues they were able to drop, like the vehicles rules or d weapons, but other issues had to be worked around as they were part of a brand identity, like plasma weapons sometimes blowing up. In AoS they got to start fresh, which is a whole lot easier than trying to drag a shoddy set of rules into a functional state.

I'm not making excuses for GW, I'm just recognizing from my own experience with similar situations that the task they had in front of them was very hard. With that said there are a few things I think GW could have done better, there insistence on secrecy kept the pool of testers very small, and as most of them were volunteers, this meant the total hours testing the new rules set was probably below what I would have felt comfortable with if I were their test manager. I'd be surprised if there were more than 40 external testers, and they were likely involved in the processes near the end of development after many decisions had already been made. The other problem is that they were likely volunteers, which means you get a lot of work out of them at the front end but not so much at the back end. Rules design is an iterative process, and when you are quickly iterating thru changes with a mostly volunteer staff the final rules get less testing hours than the early rules. GW did this because they are selling the rules as a product, and didn't have the budget to hire the number of testers required for such an expansive rules set. If I were the test manager, I would have argued that we farm out pieces of the testing publicly, things like scenarios with fixed unit compositions, with a mix of old and new rules and observe the feedback. We could get a massive amount of eyes on our issues, and it could be a hype thing, much better than the one page blurbs we got, which were seemingly written months prior to the release of the article, based on old rules that were not going to make the final cut.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/23 00:50:36


Post by: Blacksails


hollow one wrote:

I think my post was pretty clear, my suggestion was to have less pointless hate in these forums. If you think that is not valuable to you that's fine. Unfortunately for me it seems that most people agree with you.


There isn't hate.

Pointing completely valid complaints and obvious flaws in a game and a company isn't hate. If you consider that hate, then your posts are nothing short of mindless white knighting, but of course you'd hate to be accused of that, so I'd probably pump the brakes on calling criticism 'hate'.

If you have something useful to add, then by all means, make it. Telling us we're somehow wrong, hateful, ignorant, or otherwise incapable of forming intelligent ideas on how to fix the game is not adding anything useful, and runs completely contrary to your first post in this thread.

So you decide; do you want to be what you espoused in your first post in this thread and add something useful, or do you just want to slag on people for having a different opinion?


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/23 01:21:42


Post by: Kaiyanwang


"Hundreds of hours".

1) sit down
2) open the draft of the codex
3) write down, like, 20 lists and see which units I keep including and which one I keep excluding

Is something that does not take "hundreds of hours". Is something people do just after they bought the new codex, often with a feeling of just being scammed.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/23 02:24:22


Post by: kombatwombat


 Kaiyanwang wrote:

3) write down, like, 20 lists and see which units I keep including and which one I keep excluding


There’s a fundamental flaw here. When I do that, I write 20 lists with Terminators and exactly zero with Guilliman, Assbacks or Stormravens. Does that imply that Terminators are overpowered and the others are underpowered? No, because I love Terminators and have no great love for the others.

Your process might work if you were a hardcore power gamer that writes lists for efficiency rather than aesthetic or theme or just what units you think are cool. I don’t believe GW has any staff that think like the former, and instead all of them think like the latter. This is probably a fair assumption, since we’ve heard that the playtesters are just rules/fluff writers who playtest between other duties, and I don’t think people with a power gamer mindset would be effective Codex writers in general. The feedback from the ITC guys play testing was probably the most valuable from a tournament balance perspective, but they may well have had less influence than GW’s in-house staff play testing.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/23 02:45:53


Post by: DCannon4Life


It's been stated several times that GW doesn't playtest with a WAAC/power-gamer/hyper-competitive, "break the game" approach in mind.

So what if it doesn't? 'Competitive' players are (generously) estimated to make up perhaps as much as 15% of the TOTAL player base. It's been (wisely, in my opinion) pointed out that a number of factors likely affect the playtest process, including deadlines, diminishing returns, and operating under the various limitations that a volunteer staff brings with it. Why would GW chain itself to putting out a product that 15% (generous, again) of their customers will find to be 'tightly-written and thoroughly unbreakable' when 85% or more of their customers want pretty much exactly what they've gotten: a game that's fun to play?


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/23 02:49:25


Post by: JNAProductions


DCannon4Life wrote:
It's been stated several times that GW doesn't playtest with a WAAC/power-gamer/hyper-competitive, "break the game" approach in mind.

So what if it doesn't? 'Competitive' players are (generously) estimated to make up perhaps as much as 15% of the TOTAL player base. It's been (wisely, in my opinion) pointed out that a number of factors likely affect the playtest process, including deadlines, diminishing returns, and operating under the various limitations that a volunteer staff brings with it. Why would GW chain itself to putting out a product that 15% (generous, again) of their customers will find to be 'tightly-written and thoroughly unbreakable' when 85% or more of their customers want pretty much exactly what they've gotten: a game that's fun to play?


Because if you design the game to be balanced for the competitive crowd, you wind up with a better game for the casual crowd.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/23 06:06:50


Post by: Brutus_Apex


That's what they always used to do. If you modify the target then -1 is good and +1 is bad.


No, it used to be when you had a negative to hit. You just needed to roll a 4+ rather than a 3+ for example. Everything else stayed the same. A 1 was just a 1 and a 6 was just a 6.

Now its changed, for example the 2 you rolled is modified to a 1, and that 6 is modified to a 5.

It's different and greatly affects how dice rolls are made.

Because if you design the game to be balanced for the competitive crowd, you wind up with a better game for the casual crowd.


Exactly. You don't balance a game for the casual crowd. They don't care either way and will take whatever they want regardless of how it performs on the battlefield. You balance the game against WAAC players. If the game is balanced for them, it automatically balances for everyone else.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/23 09:51:18


Post by: Spoletta


 Brutus_Apex wrote:
That's what they always used to do. If you modify the target then -1 is good and +1 is bad.


No, it used to be when you had a negative to hit. You just needed to roll a 4+ rather than a 3+ for example. Everything else stayed the same. A 1 was just a 1 and a 6 was just a 6.

Now its changed, for example the 2 you rolled is modified to a 1, and that 6 is modified to a 5.

It's different and greatly affects how dice rolls are made.

Because if you design the game to be balanced for the competitive crowd, you wind up with a better game for the casual crowd.


Exactly. You don't balance a game for the casual crowd. They don't care either way and will take whatever they want regardless of how it performs on the battlefield. You balance the game against WAAC players. If the game is balanced for them, it automatically balances for everyone else.


Balancing the game for WAAC players is an impossible feat for a small team, the only way to pursue this is how they are doing it right now. Throw out there something that is reasonably working, wait for someone to inevitably break stuff and fix it. Logic wants that each times someone manages to break stuff, it will have a smaller impact on the game. We are getting 3 global fixes per year now! We used to have between one every 2 years or even 7 years depending on your faction.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 1717/12/23 11:12:09


Post by: Sim-Life


 Brutus_Apex wrote:
That's what they always used to do. If you modify the target then -1 is good and +1 is bad.


No, it used to be when you had a negative to hit. You just needed to roll a 4+ rather than a 3+ for example. Everything else stayed the same. A 1 was just a 1 and a 6 was just a 6.

Now its changed, for example the 2 you rolled is modified to a 1, and that 6 is modified to a 5.

It's different and greatly affects how dice rolls are made.


And thats good. If you're -1 to hit something then its actually still hard to hit as opposed to a minor inconvenience for models with rerolls. They way they've done the modifiers is actually pretty clever because they're harder to mitigate.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/23 11:13:06


Post by: An Actual Englishman


Yea I think it's pretty clear that GW don't playtest 40k enough to catch all the outliers and weirdly costed units. A cursory glance at almost any index tells us this. Or likely the people responsible for play testing have their favourite armies and play them more than others.

Either way it looks like (hopefully) GW are now listening to their Players and are even involving us in the testing (look at the beta rules).

Anything as bad as the Dakkajet-DeffKopta comparison needs to be reported to GW so they can sort it. I'm sure it was unintentional but they can't fix what they don't know about.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/23 12:54:23


Post by: Wayniac


Spoletta wrote:
 Brutus_Apex wrote:
That's what they always used to do. If you modify the target then -1 is good and +1 is bad.


No, it used to be when you had a negative to hit. You just needed to roll a 4+ rather than a 3+ for example. Everything else stayed the same. A 1 was just a 1 and a 6 was just a 6.

Now its changed, for example the 2 you rolled is modified to a 1, and that 6 is modified to a 5.

It's different and greatly affects how dice rolls are made.

Because if you design the game to be balanced for the competitive crowd, you wind up with a better game for the casual crowd.


Exactly. You don't balance a game for the casual crowd. They don't care either way and will take whatever they want regardless of how it performs on the battlefield. You balance the game against WAAC players. If the game is balanced for them, it automatically balances for everyone else.


Balancing the game for WAAC players is an impossible feat for a small team, the only way to pursue this is how they are doing it right now. Throw out there something that is reasonably working, wait for someone to inevitably break stuff and fix it. Logic wants that each times someone manages to break stuff, it will have a smaller impact on the game. We are getting 3 global fixes per year now! We used to have between one every 2 years or even 7 years depending on your faction.


Correct, but often it seems they aren't even attempting to get things close. You always will have to adjust things later that you miss, but GW tends to miss a lot that they shouldn't necessarily miss. Unfortunately GW seems to have (or had in the past, although I haven't seen any real indicator that they have changed this mindset) the mentality that everyone plays like they do, so not only do they miss the blatant WAAC-type of listbuilding (which is somewhat understandable) they also tend to miss a lot that even decent players can find and break, and even if not their balance in factions are all over the place so you still end up with the person liking Unit X which is super strong just crushing the person who likes Unit Y which is very weak, without either of them trying to break the game.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/23 15:27:48


Post by: Brutus_Apex


Balancing the game for WAAC players is an impossible feat for a small team, the only way to pursue this is how they are doing it right now. Throw out there something that is reasonably working, wait for someone to inevitably break stuff and fix it. Logic wants that each times someone manages to break stuff, it will have a smaller impact on the game. We are getting 3 global fixes per year now! We used to have between one every 2 years or even 7 years depending on your faction.


It probably is hard, but that doesn't mean they shouldn't try to. I'm not asking for perfect balance, but something close i believe is feasible.

I will give credit where credit is due. They are attempting to fix things in a short time period, and thats a good thing. Obviously things will get missed and need to be fixed after release accordingly.

However, I don't feel like many of the issues that are currently affecting the game would even exist if the team had put more thought into creating a better system. Specifically things like the psychic phase, characters not joining units, morale, cover, terrain. etc.

They seem to think that it's a good idea to make a rules pamphlet and make it more complex later with fixes and FAQ's added after the fact. I think this is a terrible strategy. They should have just made a complex, in depth rules set to begin with and thought through all the permutations before they released it, not after.

I personally don't give a gak if little Timmy can't figure out 50+ pages of rules. Thats his problem. I grew up with it, they can too.

And thats good. If you're -1 to hit something then its actually still hard to hit as opposed to a minor inconvenience for models with rerolls. They way they've done the modifiers is actually pretty clever because they're harder to mitigate.


I disagree, because now we have situations where fighting at night somehow makes plasma weapons more dangerous, or because you are wielding a power fist makes you are somehow not as mad at the imperium. Not to mention how counter intuitive it is and slows the game down.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/23 16:47:37


Post by: SemperMortis


I think too many of you are over stating the case for GW playtesting and specifically seem to have fallen into the trap that the game is too complex to ever be playtested enough to satisfy everyone.

Here is the thing. I agree. This game is FAR to big to be playtested by a handful of testers and to fix every flaw. It just isn't possible.

HOWEVER! and I really can't over state this, GW clearly didn't even do the bare minimum because if they had they would have noticed ENORMOUS holes in their game without doing anything more then glancing at he proposed points costs.

Nobody, and I mean NOBODY, even remotely familiar with the ork codex thought that Deff Koptas were even remotely priced correctly. The same can be said for most units in the index. Warbikers gained 1 wound, lost their cover save and went up in price 50% and GW is still trying to figure out why nobody plays them. How about our beloved Stompa. Only 1 person in the entire universe thought that a 1,000pt Stompa was a good price, and that 1 person was Reese from FLG.

What about weapons/gear? Who wouldn't gladly pay 5pts on 1 model to give it a 6+ FNP save? Ohh and did I mention it doesn't stack and you can only have 1 per squad of Nobz?

What about the PK. It went from a 25pt CC weapon that could theoretically kill any vehicle in the game in a single turn (Barring super heavies) to causing -1 to hit for the bearer and at the most doing D3 damage....but it still was priced the same. I mean hell, even at its reduced price (about 1/2 the cost) it is still iffy and not an auto include in most armies, hell I still take BCs instead.

Ohh and my personal favorite, the combi Rokkit for Orkz. Talk about a MASSIVE waste of points. 12pts for a regular rokkit and its like 17 for a combi-rokkit which hits on 6s if you fire both (I'm not 100% on the price because it was so stupidly Over priced I have never used one)

So to conclude that rant, yes the game is to complex to be properly playtested in a short amount of time, however, the giant glaring errors should have been easily noticed and corrected


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/23 17:42:01


Post by: Ix_Tab


 An Actual Englishman wrote:
Yea I think it's pretty clear that GW don't playtest 40k enough to catch all the outliers and weirdly costed units. A cursory glance at almost any index tells us this. Or likely the people responsible for play testing have their favourite armies and play them more than others.

Either way it looks like (hopefully) GW are now listening to their Players and are even involving us in the testing (look at the beta rules).

Anything as bad as the Dakkajet-DeffKopta comparison needs to be reported to GW so they can sort it. I'm sure it was unintentional but they can't fix what they don't know about.


GW may be listening since they got kicked in the bottom line and came round to the fact that the world had turned but the results of that are worrying, conscript nerfed and then ending up at the same cost as guardsmen, the smite beta rule which seems worse every time I think about it etc.



Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/23 18:10:32


Post by: Stux


Ix_Tab wrote:
 An Actual Englishman wrote:
Yea I think it's pretty clear that GW don't playtest 40k enough to catch all the outliers and weirdly costed units. A cursory glance at almost any index tells us this. Or likely the people responsible for play testing have their favourite armies and play them more than others.

Either way it looks like (hopefully) GW are now listening to their Players and are even involving us in the testing (look at the beta rules).

Anything as bad as the Dakkajet-DeffKopta comparison needs to be reported to GW so they can sort it. I'm sure it was unintentional but they can't fix what they don't know about.


GW may be listening since they got kicked in the bottom line and came round to the fact that the world had turned but the results of that are worrying, conscript nerfed and then ending up at the same cost as guardsmen, the smite beta rule which seems worse every time I think about it etc.



Did they get kicked in the bottom line? I might be wrong, but all reports I heard were that business was still booming this edition.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/23 18:43:54


Post by: hobojebus


At the start I'm sure sales were great but as they never have things in stock that's going to hurt them, then you have the increasing dissatisfaction with each codex release putting people off.

I imagine one good half year report followed by one bad.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/23 18:55:31


Post by: Stux


Well we'll see. I feel like the feeling outside of places like this is not generally so negative though. At least in my experience.

Obviously the stock issues will hurt, but that's circumstances beyond their control.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/23 19:21:53


Post by: thegreatchimp


Here is my own findings on playtesting and balancing the game I'm developing. Not to blow my own horn or anything, it sheds some light on the main issues I encountered, and the nigh-on impossibility of getting points values to be anything more than reasonably accurate. Most of you are probably aware of this to some degree already, it'll be informative to those of you who aren't.

Points Values, Balance and Relativity

While we have done our utmost to balance the entries for wargear, units and armies, please note that these (painstakingly calculated!) values are prone to a considerable number of factors that can’t be accounted for in the design room. However it can be accounted for by you the player. That’s right –it’s up to YOU! Allow us to explain:
Points values are calculated based on the general usefulness and effectiveness of units in the game as a whole. This does not mean that two opposing units of equal points value will perform equally against one another. While superior tactics and strategy will greatly outweigh such disadvantages, there are a few notable factors which can skew the balance of power: Faction bias, unit specialisation and situational value.

Faction Bias
Not all armies are equally good at every aspect of warfare. While there are units of every role available for each faction, some factions simply excel in certain areas, and suffer in others. For example, Mayaraan armies have access to the fastest units, best skirmishers and very accurate shooters, but most of their units aren’t very durable. So while they will excel at mobile strikes and evasive tactics, in a static shoot out with a Republic gun line they will be at a disadvantage. That is not to say that a Mayaraan player should never engage in trench warfare, but to be aware that they will come up against other factions that can do that job, better.

Specialisation vs Generalisation
The above is a particularly issue with units that are designed and/or equipped for a certain role. E.g. fielding support weapons squads loaded up with laser cannons will most likely defeat an opponent fielding a large number of tanks. But such slow firing weapons will perform poorly against hordes of light infantry. Thoughtful deployment and manoeuvring will reduce the chances of this happening, but even so specialised units will occasionally find themselves vulnerable or lacking a suitable target. On the other hand, support weapons team with a mix of anti-tank and anti-infantry weapons will be more flexible, but will not excel at destroying either target. So while specialist units and unit builds have the potential to be more effective, generalist units are the more stable and flexible choice. When choosing a force, players should be mindful of the benefits of forming a balanced army.

Situational Value
On a related note to specialisation, some units have intrinsic abilities (or paid for perks and equipment) that significantly increase their effectiveness in specific situations. E.g. skirmishers with urban fighter and camo gear will prove very effective for their cost if they are in cover in ruins or buildings, but if those same units clashed in an open ground, the skirmishers, unable to avail of either of the abilities they have paid for, would be quite underwhelming.
Once again, placing and moving units so they can utilise their abilities is the mark of any good commander. When creating an army list, thought should be given to selection of such perks and equipment. Particularly with regard to what enemies you anticipate and what terrain you will be fighting on.

NOTE: It is good practice for players to come to some sort of consensus on terrain choice and placement. Deciding in advance to fight on a certain battlefield type (e.g. forests, open fields and a few deep bodies of water) will give both players a chance to assemble a suitable force.

You may want to build nicely stylised battlefields to fight over. Whether it’s a half-ruined town with narrow winding streets, or open meadows with only a few sparse stands of trees for cover, remember to make it usable to both armies. Are the streets of that town to narrow for vehicles? If so, then make some of them wider. Is your opponent complaining about lack of cover for his light infantry? –then place more cover. If in doubt, taking turns to place terrain or randomising it’s placement are good methods for avoiding arguments over advantageous setups.

Of course in some scenarios, such as Last Stand, and Ambush, it is intentional that the terrain is in favour of one player!




Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/23 20:37:01


Post by: Scott-S6


hobojebus wrote:
At the start I'm sure sales were great but as they never have things in stock that's going to hurt them, then you have the increasing dissatisfaction with each codex release putting people off.

I imagine one good half year report followed by one bad.

I doubt very much that selling everything they can make is going to result in a bad half year report. Selling as much as you can might not be as good as selling everything you could have sold but that doesn't make it bad.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/24 00:34:51


Post by: hobojebus


They arnt out of stock because of sales but because of technical problems in the factory.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/24 02:25:58


Post by: a_dead_thing


I would like to see pictures of the table setups and the play testing games as they unfold. What are the criteria for army selection when play testing? Game time limits? Is computer simulation implemented?
I still don't think they play test with massive spam list in mind. A 2000 pt blue horror spam list? You can't expect them to play test for that kind of stuff.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/24 06:23:36


Post by: Primark G


Some people can’t handle change.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/24 06:32:45


Post by: JNAProductions


 Primark G wrote:
Some people can’t handle change.


What does this have to do with anything?


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/24 06:34:42


Post by: Primark G


The post that listed problems because of things that have changed like characters and flyers.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/24 06:41:46


Post by: DominayTrix


 Primark G wrote:
The post that listed problems because of things that have changed like characters and flyers.


It really helps if you quote the post you are referring to. Otherwise it can get pretty confusing.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/24 10:18:07


Post by: ERJAK


 Kaiyanwang wrote:
"Hundreds of hours".

1) sit down
2) open the draft of the codex
3) write down, like, 20 lists and see which units I keep including and which one I keep excluding

Is something that does not take "hundreds of hours". Is something people do just after they bought the new codex, often with a feeling of just being scammed.


Good thing you're not on the playtesting team. I think this is the only testing methodology I've ever seen that would be worse than simply not testing at all.




Automatically Appended Next Post:
Ix_Tab wrote:
 An Actual Englishman wrote:
Yea I think it's pretty clear that GW don't playtest 40k enough to catch all the outliers and weirdly costed units. A cursory glance at almost any index tells us this. Or likely the people responsible for play testing have their favourite armies and play them more than others.

Either way it looks like (hopefully) GW are now listening to their Players and are even involving us in the testing (look at the beta rules).

Anything as bad as the Dakkajet-DeffKopta comparison needs to be reported to GW so they can sort it. I'm sure it was unintentional but they can't fix what they don't know about.


GW may be listening since they got kicked in the bottom line and came round to the fact that the world had turned but the results of that are worrying, conscript nerfed and then ending up at the same cost as guardsmen, the smite beta rule which seems worse every time I think about it etc.



And classic Dakka financial reporting. The thread is finally complete.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/24 10:59:30


Post by: Whirlwind


Given the speed GW is trying to get out all the old codexes I don't think it was particularly practical for GW to test every scenario. However there are glaring issues. It is unclear why these exist but I would postulate that it might be due to popularity in the testing regime itself. It is possible that more successful armies get tested more frequently (both from sales and personal perspective) which might leave less popular armies to fall back on the base formulaic approach. Additionally only a few playtests of certain armies/units leaves them open to looking a lot better/worse than they are in reality because of statistical freak results (i.e. a few games where you roll really high).

I think a better approach would have been for GW to release draft pdfs of all the armies (except those with new models, which in the end is most of the current books being released) so that the gaming populace could have identified the worst issues (like a beta). That would have released GW to focus on the new books as they balance them against the increasing database of existing armies.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/24 11:00:21


Post by: Tyel


Not obvious how breaking down the codex is a bad approach to balancing. If you have two platforms for say carrying a lascannon but one is dramatically more expensive for no obvious benefit its probably a poor design. Most extended codexes suffer this problem - Marines and Orks are full of entries that do the same thing, whether melee or shooting.

With that said if the difference was marginal it might justify aesthetic choice. Often though you have units which are 25%-50% better and so its a no brainer.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/24 11:11:19


Post by: Ix_Tab


Stux wrote:
Ix_Tab wrote:
 An Actual Englishman wrote:
Yea I think it's pretty clear that GW don't playtest 40k enough to catch all the outliers and weirdly costed units. A cursory glance at almost any index tells us this. Or likely the people responsible for play testing have their favourite armies and play them more than others.

Either way it looks like (hopefully) GW are now listening to their Players and are even involving us in the testing (look at the beta rules).

Anything as bad as the Dakkajet-DeffKopta comparison needs to be reported to GW so they can sort it. I'm sure it was unintentional but they can't fix what they don't know about.


GW may be listening since they got kicked in the bottom line and came round to the fact that the world had turned but the results of that are worrying, conscript nerfed and then ending up at the same cost as guardsmen, the smite beta rule which seems worse every time I think about it etc.



Did they get kicked in the bottom line? I might be wrong, but all reports I heard were that business was still booming this edition.


I mean circa 2013

ERJAK wrote:

Automatically Appended Next Post:
Ix_Tab wrote:
 An Actual Englishman wrote:
Yea I think it's pretty clear that GW don't playtest 40k enough to catch all the outliers and weirdly costed units. A cursory glance at almost any index tells us this. Or likely the people responsible for play testing have their favourite armies and play them more than others.

Either way it looks like (hopefully) GW are now listening to their Players and are even involving us in the testing (look at the beta rules).

Anything as bad as the Dakkajet-DeffKopta comparison needs to be reported to GW so they can sort it. I'm sure it was unintentional but they can't fix what they don't know about.


GW may be listening since they got kicked in the bottom line and came round to the fact that the world had turned but the results of that are worrying, conscript nerfed and then ending up at the same cost as guardsmen, the smite beta rule which seems worse every time I think about it etc.



And classic Dakka financial reporting. The thread is finally complete.


I thought I was simply stating a truism that the New Games Workshop TM was driven by commercial imperatives.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/24 19:15:58


Post by: usmcmidn


It amazes me how much people complain, and hate on GW.

They are a company who want to make a profit.

8th was and is constantly being playtested, they even listen to us unlike ever before, and the chapter approved and codex are proof of that.

No one is forcing you to play the game, if you dislike GW don’t buy their products.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/24 20:48:11


Post by: hobojebus


usmcmidn wrote:
It amazes me how much people complain, and hate on GW.

They are a company who want to make a profit.

8th was and is constantly being playtested, they even listen to us unlike ever before, and the chapter approved and codex are proof of that.

No one is forcing you to play the game, if you dislike GW don’t buy their products.


Making a profit is fine as long as the product supplied gives value to the customers, gw vary rarely does this.

If 8th had been properly tested they'd have picked up issues we see day one, not everyone but its very telling how bad CA was a book meant to improve balance utterly failed.

Your right no one forces us to play but we saw what happened when people stopped in the Kirby years, a decade of steady decline.

We are six months in and they've already humped the chinchilla, now they are asking us to alpha test for them while wanting our money, if 8th wasn't ready they shouldn't have released it.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/24 21:48:20


Post by: thekingofkings


hobojebus wrote:
usmcmidn wrote:
It amazes me how much people complain, and hate on GW.

They are a company who want to make a profit.

8th was and is constantly being playtested, they even listen to us unlike ever before, and the chapter approved and codex are proof of that.

No one is forcing you to play the game, if you dislike GW don’t buy their products.


Making a profit is fine as long as the product supplied gives value to the customers, gw vary rarely does this.

If 8th had been properly tested they'd have picked up issues we see day one, not everyone but its very telling how bad CA was a book meant to improve balance utterly failed.

Your right no one forces us to play but we saw what happened when people stopped in the Kirby years, a decade of steady decline.

We are six months in and they've already humped the chinchilla, now they are asking us to alpha test for them while wanting our money, if 8th wasn't ready they shouldn't have released it.


This was how I felt about AoS as well, they should have held on to it until they were done with fyreslayers, sylvaneth, and overlords, had more for stormcast and had the GHB ready to go, then dropped it all at once. but I think my issue here is, GW has been in this business for a long time. This game hasnt really changed too fundamentally over that period. 15+ years and you should have a much better idea on how to balance this turkey.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/24 22:58:51


Post by: migeddo


 Brutus_Apex wrote:
Based on the fact that we got games like AoS, I'm going to go with no...

Included in terrible game design of 8th ed. 40K:

-Flyer rules not included in the main rules section and standardized for everyone
-Characters not joining units. Theres no reason or point to not allowing characters to join units, it simply complicates the game more. Hence the stupid targeting rules on characters.
-Morale Phase. Could have made the game more tactical, but now we have marines gaking their pants and running away when a squad member dies.
-Psychic Phase. More all or nothing, absolutely no skill required to use or any kind of dice management or scaling power system.
-This new way of using modifiers to hit/wound that makes absolutely no sense at all. The old way is much better and intuitive.
-The cover system
-Rules for terrain
-Various terrible codex's like Grey Knights etc.


1. the rules are free now. Yeah I didn't buy a rule book, so I might have to print out a page or 2 of an FAQ to add the 7 pages of the battle primer. I also don't own any flyers or ever play against people using them. So this specifically, I just don't care.
2. I really dont see how this complicates the game. the targeting rules would be there with or without the ability to join squads.
3. I dont think you understand how the morale phase works. its basically impossible for a marine squad to take a single casualty and fail a morale check especially with their rules, unless they are getting a morale debuff from a psychic power or something. It seems like you're describing the morale rules of the past when -50% strength squads would spend the rest of the game running off the table after the first failed morale check. Ill take every unit basically having old school fearless over -50% units running off the table. This really seems like you're inventing a problem that doesn't exist so you can complain about it.
4. I really don't know what you mean by "dice management" or "power scaling" in this context.
5. thats like your opinion man.
6. I have no problem with cover system. I've always thought most issues like these are best solved by the player discussing how the terrain will be handled before the game starts.
7. Im sure they will eventually expound on the terrain rules, in the meantime I have no problem coming up with some. once again its best for players to discus how the terrain will be handled before the game starts. This also gives the players an opportunity to try new/different rules.
6. wow youre going to use GK as your example? lets see their first codex came out in 2008 and they didn't get a new one until 2014. 6th ed came and went without them getting a new codex. and you act like in the past there weren't any sub-par codices. Ill take GW's new publishing schedule over the old one. Ill also take that GW can now freely adjust the points cost of units allowing them to make units that are not good into viable options purely by adjusting points cost.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/25 01:49:00


Post by: thegreatchimp


usmcmidn wrote:
It amazes me how much people complain, and hate on GW.

They are a company who want to make a profit.

8th was and is constantly being playtested, they even listen to us unlike ever before, and the chapter approved and codex are proof of that.

No one is forcing you to play the game, if you dislike GW don’t buy their products.


The vast majority of folks complaining don't hate on GW, its righteous criticism from those of us who expect rules that are on parity with the quality of the model they sell...a standard that GW has unfortunately rarely managed to achieve.

If you research or play other games, what you will come to realise is the slating GW get over balance issues really is justified. Take powerfists for example -for 4 consecutive editions they have failed to address the issue of them costing the same on a guardsman as on a space marine. That's beyond poor playtesting -it's glaringly lazy.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/25 07:28:59


Post by: Brutus_Apex


1. the rules are free now. Yeah I didn't buy a rule book, so I might have to print out a page or 2 of an FAQ to add the 7 pages of the battle primer. I also don't own any flyers or ever play against people using them. So this specifically, I just don't care.
2. I really dont see how this complicates the game. the targeting rules would be there with or without the ability to join squads.
3. I dont think you understand how the morale phase works. its basically impossible for a marine squad to take a single casualty and fail a morale check especially with their rules, unless they are getting a morale debuff from a psychic power or something. It seems like you're describing the morale rules of the past when -50% strength squads would spend the rest of the game running off the table after the first failed morale check. Ill take every unit basically having old school fearless over -50% units running off the table. This really seems like you're inventing a problem that doesn't exist so you can complain about it.
4. I really don't know what you mean by "dice management" or "power scaling" in this context.
5. thats like your opinion man.
6. I have no problem with cover system. I've always thought most issues like these are best solved by the player discussing how the terrain will be handled before the game starts.
7. Im sure they will eventually expound on the terrain rules, in the meantime I have no problem coming up with some. once again its best for players to discus how the terrain will be handled before the game starts. This also gives the players an opportunity to try new/different rules.
6. wow youre going to use GK as your example? lets see their first codex came out in 2008 and they didn't get a new one until 2014. 6th ed came and went without them getting a new codex. and you act like in the past there weren't any sub-par codices. Ill take GW's new publishing schedule over the old one. Ill also take that GW can now freely adjust the points cost of units allowing them to make units that are not good into viable options purely by adjusting points cost.


1) So you don't play with flyers so that means that the rest of the world doesn't deserve actual flyer rules in the main rule book? This is purely a means of simplifying and reducing unnecessary rules to the game. There's absolutely no reason for basic flyer rules not be included in the main rules rather than re-written on every flyer entry. They also need to add flyer arcs of movement back into the rules.

2) Characters joining units means that you don't need strange and unnecessary abstract rules about targeting characters. The rules for which have been found wanting, considering they needed to address this issue with a recent errata. This also eliminates strange circumstances in the rules for example: A necron character cannot teleport into battle with his unit from a Night Scythe or Monolith because of the way the rules are written. This is simply because they decided that joining a character to a unit is too complicated, for no reason. They've joined units for decades, why bother even changing it?

3) I thought it was pretty clear that my example was hyperbole. I know exactly how the morale system works. Previously we had things like fear, panic, pinning and breaking from combat. All of these things add a level of realism and tactical depth to a game if done properly. GW eliminated this element of the game in favour of dumbing it down so that little Timmy doesn't hurt his head learning too many rules.

4) The Psychic phase needs a power/dispel dice system in order to add tactical depth and offer a level of spell management to the game. As it currently stands it's a completely thoughtless activity. Sometimes it goes off, sometimes it doesn't. And on top of that you have Smite spam, which they've tried to eliminate in a very ham handed way. The psychic phase lacks any nuance or ability to attempt to bluff your opponent into making a mistake or trying to manage your dice to attempt to pushing through an important spell. Again, the dumbing down of rules. And before you comment, No. I don't not want the reintroduction of the 7th edition psychic phase which was also terrible.

5) Night fight causes plasma weapons to explode more often. Chaos Marines wielding Power Fists are no longer mad at the imperium. Thats not an opinion, thats a fact. Thats what you get when you don't think about the consequences of stupid rules. The way they've worded modifiers is counter intuitive, and has several poor repercussions on the game as a whole.

6) You don't get cover when hiding behind a giant tank. That doesn't seem like a problem to you? A good rules system should never require you or your opponent to resolve a major flaw in the rules just to have a proper game.

7) Again, rules should be clear and concise on every major point without having to resolve major issues with your opponent. You shouldn't have to figure out what cover does what. It should be all laid out clearly in the book.

8) I don't understand what your point is about the previous Grey Knight Codexes. So, because GW released poor codexes in the past, that some how gives them a pass on releasing another bad codex? What kind of logic is that? They should be adjusting points costs and rules if they are broken. Nothing is wrong with that, but lets be honest, they could have done that before too. Their medium hasn't changed, they just decided to release official FAQ's and Errata's in a more timely manor.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/25 08:13:20


Post by: ERJAK


Not quoting that whole mess but 2, 3 and 4 are all pretty silly. You discuss some minor fluff inconsistencies with characters joining unit but completely gloss over how that stupid crap broke every edition since 5th. The character shooting rules are a bit odd now but they're leagues better than 'have to kill every model in the unit to get to the character' or 'deathstar-O'clock'.

3. But we didn't have any of those things. Any unit actually effected by those things never saw the tabletop. And since we're being casually dismissive "we don't need to keep pointless bookwork rules that never amount to anything significant because some grognard starts shouting 'muh immersion!'.

4. They tried power/dispel dice. Across 2 different games. Both systems were stupid. Not to mention that, functionally speaking the current cast/dispel system is functionally exactly the same as powerdice but with the pools being called 'casting models' vs 'dispelling' models instead of warp charges and w/e. That's all not even getting into the fact that a decent chunck of the major factions don't have ANY psykers. How many """"""deeep tictacal decisions"""""""" do you really think Tzeentch is gonna have to make against Tau in the psychic phase?

6. The cover system is the thing that needs the most work. Fair enough. The idea that you can't have a 'proper game' as is is a bit silly though.



Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/25 09:19:31


Post by: Earth127


BRutus_Apex:

1 Is tied to a larger principle in 8th, they moved away from USRs and unit types and moved everyhting to datasheet in order to ease new people into the game. And no matter what else you may think of this, that worked. It is easier for new players to understand the game.
Remember the rules for 1 basic unit could be spread out over 8 pages in 7th down to 4 in 8th.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/25 09:23:48


Post by: Spoletta


If characters were able to join units you would need to redo the whole wounding and morale system.
Not going to happen, and frankly i like it this way.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/25 16:10:40


Post by: JNAProductions


 Earth127 wrote:
BRutus_Apex:

1 Is tied to a larger principle in 8th, they moved away from USRs and unit types and moved everyhting to datasheet in order to ease new people into the game. And no matter what else you may think of this, that worked. It is easier for new players to understand the game.
Remember the rules for 1 basic unit could be spread out over 8 pages in 7th down to 4 in 8th.


It's easier to get into, but harder to master, and not in a good way. I'm 100% fine with them having the rules spelled out on every sheet, but they should still have some universals-like Deep Strike.

If I were in charge, rules would look like this:

Deep Strike (9")-Teleportarium Chamber
[Some fluff blah blah blah about teleporting in], [rules about how it works].

That way, everyone can use the same nomenclature, even if they're new to the game, but it still has its nice fluff and the rules right there.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/25 17:37:42


Post by: hobojebus


Having the same rules with a bunch of different names isn't easier at all its redundant.

Striking scorpion infiltrate is no different from a terminators deep striking for all intents and purposes for example.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/25 17:48:51


Post by: Wayniac


hobojebus wrote:
Having the same rules with a bunch of different names isn't easier at all its redundant.

Striking scorpion infiltrate is no different from a terminators deep striking for all intents and purposes for example.


Yes, this is very annoying and IMHO the opposite from what they should have done. They should have codified these rules and just apply them where needed, rather than duplicate the same rule and give it a different name or, worse, slightly modify it.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/25 17:52:07


Post by: davou


 thegreatchimp wrote:
Take powerfists for example -for 4 consecutive editions they have failed to address the issue of them costing the same on a guardsman as on a space marine. That's beyond poor playtesting -it's glaringly lazy.


Not even 10 posts down in this forum you have a thread complaining that things DON'T cost the same for guard and marines, and here you are complaining that they do. The hate is real; the half of players that GW pleases with changes are only quiet long enough for the other half to yell about how the company is a failure.

I'm glad they are listening to players now, but I 100% understand why they didn't want to in the past.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
hobojebus wrote:
Having the same rules with a bunch of different names isn't easier at all its redundant.

Striking scorpion infiltrate is no different from a terminators deep striking for all intents and purposes for example.


For now, but having them be different entries means one can be tweaked without affecting the other.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/25 17:59:41


Post by: JNAProductions


 davou wrote:
 thegreatchimp wrote:
Take powerfists for example -for 4 consecutive editions they have failed to address the issue of them costing the same on a guardsman as on a space marine. That's beyond poor playtesting -it's glaringly lazy.


Not even 10 posts down in this forum you have a thread complaining that things DON'T cost the same for guard and marines, and here you are complaining that they do. The hate is real; the half of players that GW pleases with changes are only quiet long enough for the other half to yell about how the company is a failure.

I'm glad they are listening to players now, but I 100% understand why they didn't want to in the past.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
hobojebus wrote:
Having the same rules with a bunch of different names isn't easier at all its redundant.

Striking scorpion infiltrate is no different from a terminators deep striking for all intents and purposes for example.


For now, but having them be different entries means one can be tweaked without affecting the other.


Name one rule that was a USR that's been tweaked without it being a universal tweak.

I've read the FAQs, and I can't recall any offhand.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/25 18:06:48


Post by: davou


 JNAProductions wrote:

Name one rule that was a USR that's been tweaked without it being a universal tweak.

I've read the FAQs, and I can't recall any offhand.


why should I? Just because something hasn't happened yet does not mean its not a good idea to set it up to be easy.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/25 18:09:04


Post by: JNAProductions


 davou wrote:
 JNAProductions wrote:

Name one rule that was a USR that's been tweaked without it being a universal tweak.

I've read the FAQs, and I can't recall any offhand.


why should I? Just because something hasn't happened yet does not mean its not a good idea to set it up to be easy.


Because it would help support your position?

We can either have clear, easy to udnerstand across all armies rules (still fully printed on the sheet, still with their own fluff) at the cost of making it SLIGHTLY harder to adjust just one rule, or we can have it so that new players will try to learn what a million different rules are and only later learn that THEY'RE ALL THE FLIPPING SAME.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/25 18:13:23


Post by: Pancakey


hobojebus wrote:
usmcmidn wrote:
It amazes me how much people complain, and hate on GW.

They are a company who want to make a profit.

8th was and is constantly being playtested, they even listen to us unlike ever before, and the chapter approved and codex are proof of that.

No one is forcing you to play the game, if you dislike GW don’t buy their products.


Making a profit is fine as long as the product supplied gives value to the customers, gw vary rarely does this.

If 8th had been properly tested they'd have picked up issues we see day one, not everyone but its very telling how bad CA was a book meant to improve balance utterly failed.

Your right no one forces us to play but we saw what happened when people stopped in the Kirby years, a decade of steady decline.

We are six months in and they've already humped the chinchilla, now they are asking us to alpha test for them while wanting our money, if 8th wasn't ready they shouldn't have released it.



This is exactly how everyone in my gaming group feels. We went from "always talking 40k, theory crafting lists, and playing 1-4 weekends a month to basically asking ourseleves, "Is it time to sit out an edition or even finally sell the collections and move on?"


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/25 18:25:00


Post by: thegreatchimp


 davou wrote:


Not even 10 posts down in this forum you have a thread complaining that things DON'T cost the same for guard and marines, and here you are complaining that they do. The hate is real; the half of players that GW pleases with changes are only quiet long enough for the other half to yell about how the company is a failure.

I'm glad they are listening to players now, but I 100% understand why they didn't want to in the past.


I did in my bum say that! Read it again, I said points values are only loosely accurate because of unquantifiable variables. (And that's not my opinion, that's the opinion of a very experienced designer) Nothing I said on my last post contradicts that.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/25 21:29:35


Post by: jhnbrg


SemperMortis wrote:
Legitimate question here. Now your definition of playtest might be different then mine but when I hear "tested" I assume they mean rigorously tested or at the least tested enough to work out most issues. Going by my index army though I have to question this. The list of unplayable units is rather large and the list of uncompetitive units is even bigger. The fact that GW went even further with CA and have the strategy "Dakka Dakka Dakka" shows how little they understand their own game. Spend 1CP to get an extra shot on all 6s. For some armies that would be nice...like SM armies who hit on 3s. For Ork armies though, who hit on 5s, not so much. If you fielded 9 lootas and got the average rolls you would get a grand total of .33 extra unsaved wounds against a SM.

As far as individual units go. Look no further then deff koptas to see how ridiculous GW is with pricing.

2 deff koptas cost 130pts. They are T5, 4 wounds each and have a 4+ save. You also get 12 S5 shots at BS5+

For 8pts more you can take a Dakkajet T6, 12 wounds 4+ save and -1 to hit, with 5 Supa Shootas for a grand total of 15 S6 -1AP shots at BS4+.

Guess which of these is considered an auto include? Neither. The dakkajet is still trash but compared to the Koptas it's gold.


These are all simple things which should have been easy to catch by play testers so the obvious question is; Does GW actually playtest or do they do the minimum and claim the title of "Play tested"?


The playtesters used has clearly not been competent enough for the task.
The ork codex will not be the salvation many ork players hope for.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/26 01:13:53


Post by: hobojebus


I hope you're wrong but I really don't think you will be.

Orks are a fun army in the background but haven't had a decent chance since 5th.

I've got a small speed freak army I'd love to build on but don't because I don't find automatically losing fun.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/27 04:49:51


Post by: Brutus_Apex


Not quoting that whole mess but 2, 3 and 4 are all pretty silly. You discuss some minor fluff inconsistencies with characters joining unit but completely gloss over how that stupid crap broke every edition since 5th. The character shooting rules are a bit odd now but they're leagues better than 'have to kill every model in the unit to get to the character' or 'deathstar-O'clock'.

3. But we didn't have any of those things. Any unit actually effected by those things never saw the tabletop. And since we're being casually dismissive "we don't need to keep pointless bookwork rules that never amount to anything significant because some grognard starts shouting 'muh immersion!'.

4. They tried power/dispel dice. Across 2 different games. Both systems were stupid. Not to mention that, functionally speaking the current cast/dispel system is functionally exactly the same as powerdice but with the pools being called 'casting models' vs 'dispelling' models instead of warp charges and w/e. That's all not even getting into the fact that a decent chunck of the major factions don't have ANY psykers. How many """"""deeep tictacal decisions"""""""" do you really think Tzeentch is gonna have to make against Tau in the psychic phase?

6. The cover system is the thing that needs the most work. Fair enough. The idea that you can't have a 'proper game' as is is a bit silly though.


Simply adding "may only join units with <keyword>" rule for characters eliminates your issue with death stars. Not that there aren't any death star issues now, which has actually been exacerbated by the new character Auras. Instead of having 1 death star, you have an entire army of re-rolls to hit/re-rolls to wound. So don't come here with that creates death stars BS. Also, all you need to do is kill the unit to get at the character rather than literally the whole army like it is now as long as you have smart placement of the character.

So actually, you are complaining about a rule that should be in place that would actually eliminate death stars, and promoting a broken system that broadens the reach of characters and gives death star abilities on literally an entire army within range of an aura.

I played Fantasy for decades, let me tell you how integral psychology was to that game, and how much immersion it added. The real issue is that GW made most of the armies in 40K essentially immune to many of those psychological rules that should have a huge bearing on the game. Adding janky rules like the morale phase is now just dumbs down the game.

8th edition fantasy was the best magic system GW ever created. The only issues were that it didn't scale with higher games, and their high level spells were too powerful, but the mechanics were sound. Your point is that many armies in 40K don't have psykers. And thats exactly why 8th ed. fantasy system was better, it allowed the opponent the ability to defend against magic even if they didn't have any magic users. That same system could be brought into 40K and would actually level the playing field for non psyker armies. On top of this it allows for a dice management system that eliminates spell spamming like smite.

1 Is tied to a larger principle in 8th, they moved away from USRs and unit types and moved everyhting to datasheet in order to ease new people into the game. And no matter what else you may think of this, that worked. It is easier for new players to understand the game.
Remember the rules for 1 basic unit could be spread out over 8 pages in 7th down to 4 in 8th.


There is absolutely no reason to have the same rule re-written hundreds of times in various unit entries when it could be clearly laid out nice and neatly in the main rule book once. There's nothing wrong with re-printing it on the unit card if necessary, but its so messy, does nobody at GW have OCD? because they really need a few. The main rule book is laid out so poorly it hurts. Rules are scattered everywhere. Just put it all into one complete tidy area for gods sake.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/27 04:56:30


Post by: SlaveToDorkness


No they do not. They don't even proofread the rules.

They have a basic lack of understanding of any form of competitive play. They play for fun (not a bad thing) and miss things that are easily exploitable by the competitive mindset.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/27 06:27:44


Post by: Arachnofiend


 JNAProductions wrote:
 Earth127 wrote:
BRutus_Apex:

1 Is tied to a larger principle in 8th, they moved away from USRs and unit types and moved everyhting to datasheet in order to ease new people into the game. And no matter what else you may think of this, that worked. It is easier for new players to understand the game.
Remember the rules for 1 basic unit could be spread out over 8 pages in 7th down to 4 in 8th.


It's easier to get into, but harder to master, and not in a good way. I'm 100% fine with them having the rules spelled out on every sheet, but they should still have some universals-like Deep Strike.

If I were in charge, rules would look like this:

Deep Strike (9")-Teleportarium Chamber
[Some fluff blah blah blah about teleporting in], [rules about how it works].

That way, everyone can use the same nomenclature, even if they're new to the game, but it still has its nice fluff and the rules right there.

I mean then you'd have to do the same thing with Infiltrate, Scout, and Outflank and we're right back to what GW was trying to avoid.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/27 14:18:13


Post by: Hatachi


Eh, for me I just remember that most of the systems we think of as super balanced have been play tested to death with intent of balance over multiple editions.

I have more of a background in video games, but two examples that come to mind are Starcraft and Street Fighter 3. Both are considered some of the most balanced games in their genres.

However both went through several iterations and weren't in the realm of balanced at release. Even beyond that, the same companies have struggled to hit that level of balance making them somewhat flukes.

True examples of balance that aren't mirrored are ridiculously rare. Heck, people still talk about first turn advantage in Chess and how many points that second turn should have as an advantage in Go, known as Komi.

I'm not saying that it is balanced. I'm saying that it's about as balanced as I expect the first edition of a very knew take on the rules to be.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/27 15:56:42


Post by: Blacksails


Hatachi wrote:


I'm not saying that it is balanced. I'm saying that it's about as balanced as I expect the first edition of a very knew take on the rules to be.


Are you implying 40k is in its 1st edition?

They've had 3 decades of experience to learn and change. Calling the changes in 8th to be some kind of new start where we have to discount all prior editions as entirely different games is super disingenuous. 8th may be a more radical departure from 7th than the prior editions were from eachother (back until 2nd to 3rd), but its still fundamentally the same game and lessons learned from the 3 decades of experience prior should have been taken on board and applied.

This is the 8th edition of 40k. I, and everyone else, should expect much better from a veteran game company worth millions. This isn't a garage operation with three dudes working full time jobs and scraping a game together on the side.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/27 16:26:10


Post by: Hatachi


 Blacksails wrote:
Hatachi wrote:


I'm not saying that it is balanced. I'm saying that it's about as balanced as I expect the first edition of a very knew take on the rules to be.


Are you implying 40k is in its 1st edition?

They've had 3 decades of experience to learn and change. Calling the changes in 8th to be some kind of new start where we have to discount all prior editions as entirely different games is super disingenuous. 8th may be a more radical departure from 7th than the prior editions were from eachother (back until 2nd to 3rd), but its still fundamentally the same game and lessons learned from the 3 decades of experience prior should have been taken on board and applied.

This is the 8th edition of 40k. I, and everyone else, should expect much better from a veteran game company worth millions. This isn't a garage operation with three dudes working full time jobs and scraping a game together on the side.


I would say that it's in its first edition just as much as say Street Fighter 2 vs 3 vs 4. On a general level they're similar. The small differences add up massively by the end. I've never seen a company that has ever balanced things out within the first take on a fairly different ruleset. Chapter Approved is a big thing for me as I have always felt that the design drift between early codexes in an edition to later on seemed to be a major difference.

Now I'll be the first to say I mainly play 40k for the cool lore and to make interesting looking battles, but I've been following balance patches for competitive video games my entire life where they can change things weekly. They almost never get things down pat and when they do they accidently break not much later. This game has about as many factions as you'll find outside a Total War game. That's a LOT of variables. It's conjecture at this point, but I want to see what the game balance is like in 3 more years of chapter approved.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/27 17:07:08


Post by: JNAProductions


 Arachnofiend wrote:
 JNAProductions wrote:
 Earth127 wrote:
BRutus_Apex:

1 Is tied to a larger principle in 8th, they moved away from USRs and unit types and moved everyhting to datasheet in order to ease new people into the game. And no matter what else you may think of this, that worked. It is easier for new players to understand the game.
Remember the rules for 1 basic unit could be spread out over 8 pages in 7th down to 4 in 8th.


It's easier to get into, but harder to master, and not in a good way. I'm 100% fine with them having the rules spelled out on every sheet, but they should still have some universals-like Deep Strike.

If I were in charge, rules would look like this:

Deep Strike (9")-Teleportarium Chamber
[Some fluff blah blah blah about teleporting in], [rules about how it works].

That way, everyone can use the same nomenclature, even if they're new to the game, but it still has its nice fluff and the rules right there.

I mean then you'd have to do the same thing with Infiltrate, Scout, and Outflank and we're right back to what GW was trying to avoid.


Why were they trying to avoid having the same names for the same rules?


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/28 04:46:46


Post by: davou


 JNAProductions wrote:


Why were they trying to avoid having the same names for the same rules?


because some rules are worth way more on some models than others. Rerolling 1's is worth a lot on space marines, but not so much on orks. A +1 to toughness is worth a lot more to a terminator than it is to a 5 man guardsman squad. Re-rolling charge distance is worth way more on a trygon than it is for telion.

By not having USR's, you can change ONE of the rules when it turns out something doesn't quite work, and not have to worry about how it affects 19 other units.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/28 04:51:57


Post by: JNAProductions


 davou wrote:
 JNAProductions wrote:


Why were they trying to avoid having the same names for the same rules?


because some rules are worth way more on some models than others. Rerolling 1's is worth a lot on space marines, but not so much on orks. A +1 to toughness is worth a lot more to a terminator than it is to a 5 man guardsman squad. Re-rolling charge distance is worth way more on a trygon than it is for telion.

By not having USR's, you can change ONE of the rules when it turns out something doesn't quite work, and not have to worry about how it affects 19 other units.


That would mean more IF THEY HAD DONE THAT. But they didn't.

In addition, let me put it this way-let's say that we have a USR for rerolling charges, called Furious. All Orks have that USR normally, as do Wulfen, Fenrisian Wolves, Cyberwolves, Black Templars, etc.

BUT! They find that Furious is too strong on, say, Wulfen. So they want to change it to only let them reroll a SINGLE die on the charge, rather than both.

Here's what they do in an errata:

Wulfen no longer have the Furious rule. Instead, they have the rule Fleet of Foot, which has the following effect:

Whenever a unit with this rule makes a charge roll, it may reroll a single one of the dice used in that roll.

Boom, bam, done. They fixed one unit without borking up any others.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/28 05:12:56


Post by: davou




Oh man, my bad. I thought you wanted to ask a question not just complain and pat yourself on the back for having figured everything out.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/28 05:19:42


Post by: JNAProductions


 davou wrote:


Oh man, my bad. I thought you wanted to ask a question not just complain and pat yourself on the back for having figured everything out.


Alright, explain to me this: What are the problems with USRs? You can't say that it causes issues when multiple units have one rule, since it's incredibly easy to errata the rule to be removed and replaced with a similar but weaker/stronger rule to make it more appropriate.

In addition, if you'll look at my exact words, I was recommending something like Deep Strike (9"), where the base USR is the same but the exact details can vary. I'd honestly prefer a set of simple, clear USRs for a lot of stuff.

Like, for instance, Khorne's units could get Charge Bonus (+1 Strength), whereas Wraithblades could get Charge Bonus (+1 Attack). I was gonna use the Red Thirst as an example, actually, but I realized that's more than just on the charge, so they can probably get a bespoke rule without it being a bother.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/28 05:20:36


Post by: Brutus_Apex


By not having USR's, you can change ONE of the rules when it turns out something doesn't quite work, and not have to worry about how it affects 19 other units.


You could do that anyway even with the inclusion of USR's.

You create USR's to eliminate the need to copy/paste common rules. This makes everything neat and orderly and centralizes all main rules into one general area, rather than scattering rules all over the place. Then, if you see fit, you could add an additional special rule under the unit card specifically designed for that unit.

This method has worked fine for decades. The only issue is that 7th ed. had many redundant special rules that could have been stripped down. Not eliminate USR's completely. This is a perfect example of swinging the pendulum way too far in the opposite direction.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/28 05:22:50


Post by: JNAProductions


 Brutus_Apex wrote:
By not having USR's, you can change ONE of the rules when it turns out something doesn't quite work, and not have to worry about how it affects 19 other units.


You could do that anyway even with the inclusion of USR's.

You create USR's to eliminate the need to copy/paste common rules. This makes everything neat and orderly and centralizes all main rules into one general area, rather than scattering rules all over the place. Then, if you see fit, you could add an additional special rule under the unit card specifically designed for that unit.

This method has worked fine for decades. The only issue is that 7th ed. had many redundant special rules that could have been stripped down. Not eliminated completely.


Agreed here. Missile Lock, for instance, was used on, what? One unit? And five other units had similar, but not quite the same, rules?

I think you could get away with a dozen or less USRs, but using SOME would make the game easier to fully understand.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/28 05:31:40


Post by: Vankraken


USR such as the ones in the BRB would be easy to learn if you trim them down to eliminate redundancy and have a neat reference sheet for what they do. That user made 40k reference sheet is roughly 4 pages front and back of info and basically explains most of the rules for 7th edition (not just USRs but most of the game's core mechanics) so its not impossible to keep a more complex rule set and keep it easy access for newer players to learn.

MtG has multiple universal rules that they use and it doesn't stop new people from becoming tragic addicts... I mean playing the game. Honestly one of the best things about USRs is that a unit entry can be loaded up with rules and not have to fill the entire entry up with lengthy explications about how melta, relentless, fearless, deep strike, etc works because its all there in the BRB and if you understand what deep strike does as an Ork player then you know what it does for Tau, Space Marines, Eldar, etc.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/28 07:55:21


Post by: Scott-S6


 JNAProductions wrote:
 davou wrote:
 JNAProductions wrote:


Why were they trying to avoid having the same names for the same rules?


because some rules are worth way more on some models than others. Rerolling 1's is worth a lot on space marines, but not so much on orks. A +1 to toughness is worth a lot more to a terminator than it is to a 5 man guardsman squad. Re-rolling charge distance is worth way more on a trygon than it is for telion.

By not having USR's, you can change ONE of the rules when it turns out something doesn't quite work, and not have to worry about how it affects 19 other units.


That would mean more IF THEY HAD DONE THAT. But they didn't.

In addition, let me put it this way-let's say that we have a USR for rerolling charges, called Furious. All Orks have that USR normally, as do Wulfen, Fenrisian Wolves, Cyberwolves, Black Templars, etc.

BUT! They find that Furious is too strong on, say, Wulfen. So they want to change it to only let them reroll a SINGLE die on the charge, rather than both.

Here's what they do in an errata:

Wulfen no longer have the Furious rule. Instead, they have the rule Fleet of Foot, which has the following effect:

Whenever a unit with this rule makes a charge roll, it may reroll a single one of the dice used in that roll.

Boom, bam, done. They fixed one unit without borking up any others.

And there's another big advantage to this method - if Furious needs to be amended for some reason then they can do it with a single errata instead of fixing every datasheet that has it (which probably leaves FW and index-only units with the old version).


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/28 08:47:07


Post by: Pancakey


AOS "had to remove points because points are bad"

40k "had to remove USRs because USRs are bad"

There seems to be a disconnect between GW and the players!



Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/28 09:36:34


Post by: Hatachi


Pancakey wrote:
AOS "had to remove points because points are bad"

40k "had to remove USRs because USRs are bad"

There seems to be a disconnect between GW and the players!



I think we can both agree that the fan reaction to AOS and 8th edition 40k were two entirely different kettles of fish.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/28 09:48:23


Post by: pismakron


Pancakey wrote:
AOS "had to remove points because points are bad"

40k "had to remove USRs because USRs are bad"

There seems to be a disconnect between GW and the players!



There sometimes are. But 9 out of 10 players prefer 8th to 7th. It is simply a vastly superior edition.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/28 09:51:50


Post by: tneva82


Hatachi wrote:

I'm not saying that it is balanced. I'm saying that it's about as balanced as I expect the first edition of a very knew take on the rules to be.


But this falls flat in head by edition changes in 40k never being just tiny changes but sweeping changes. And ditto for codexes. They don't do gradual changes toward better balance but complete reshuffles.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
pismakron wrote:
Pancakey wrote:
AOS "had to remove points because points are bad"

40k "had to remove USRs because USRs are bad"

There seems to be a disconnect between GW and the players!



There sometimes are. But 9 out of 10 players prefer 8th to 7th. It is simply a vastly superior edition.


Based on what?

And vastly superior in terms of what? Not in logical rules, tactical possibilities or balance.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/28 15:01:21


Post by: kombatwombat


There is still and always has been many people moaning about pages and pages of ‘redundant USRs’ that ‘do exactly the same thing as another rule’. I’ve never understood this. As far as I’m aware, the only truly redundant rule in 7th was Zealot, which was the same as having the Hatred and Fearless USRs. And even then they may actually be slightly different, since I don’t think Hatred was passed from Independent Character to the unit, but Zealot was?

Aside from that, there were groups of USRs - for example Monstrous Creature or Primarch types being shorthand ways of saying ‘it has USRs x, y and z’.

If redundant or copied USRs were so common in 7th, surely somebody could easily give me half a dozen examples? Because I’m struggling to think of many.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/28 16:25:22


Post by: davou


 JNAProductions wrote:


Alright, explain to me this:


No thanks; you don't want to actually talk about this. You're just looking for someone to rail against because you've made up your mind already.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/28 16:36:42


Post by: JNAProductions


 davou wrote:
 JNAProductions wrote:


Alright, explain to me this:


No thanks; you don't want to actually talk about this. You're just looking for someone to rail against because you've made up your mind already.


I'm perfectly willing to listen. And even if you believe I'm not, explaining your position more fully would help other people understand.

If you aren't able to explain your position, I'm pretty much forced to believe that you CANNOT explain it.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/28 17:37:10


Post by: dosiere


I’m a bit torn on the whole USR thing. They’re a great idea in theory, but like everything else can become a mess. See 7th edition 40k. Also, I think it’s hard to say good/bad in a general sense. Some games handle them differently.

KoW and Bolt Action treats them largely like GW does, except they’re generally simple additions to an already simple rule set, so they work more smoothly. Additionally most units have one or two, the other differences being handled by stats.

Runewars and the upcoming Legion tabletop games have several USRs that scale. So a unit can have Brutal (n), n being a numerical value.

USRs seem like a great idea, but I think when you have almost every single unit and weapon in a game using a “special” rule, the problem might be that your underlying core rules just aren’t capable of handling the kind of game you’ve made. Things get complicated but don’t really add anything to the mechanics. This was the issue I believe 7th ran into, and 8th seems headed to.

Conversely, it’s entirely possible to make a completely functioning game practically devoid of complicated rules but you run the risk of it feeling very bland. This is largely how I feel about KoW.

Somewhere in the middle is the perfect game... but I’ve yet to see it!


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/28 18:21:24


Post by: davou


 JNAProductions wrote:
 davou wrote:
 JNAProductions wrote:


Alright, explain to me this:


No thanks; you don't want to actually talk about this. You're just looking for someone to rail against because you've made up your mind already.


I'm perfectly willing to listen. And even if you believe I'm not, explaining your position more fully would help other people understand.

If you aren't able to explain your position, I'm pretty much forced to believe that you CANNOT explain it.


Fine; You say that USR's are fine, because if something is broke, the nit can be tweaked on that card rather than across the board. Well then you end up with 2 USR's that have different applications. Your guys and my guys might both have furious charge, but suddenly we need to stop and double check which furious charge. You start wanting to have a few select simple USR's and then by the end of it you end up with 9 pages of them and the vast majority are no longer relevant. Keeping it 'bespoke' and on the sheets means me (an ork player) and my buddy (an eldar player) don't have to wade through a bunch of rules that apply to guardsmen or dark angels. I just know my rules, he knows his, and if theres any suspicion of funkyness then we can ask to see that one entry.

The choice is having rules with exceptions to them (in the form of USR's) or just rules. If you replace Deep strike with 'tellyporta strike' and 'grav assault' and 'tryon tunnel' when the rules get updated, you can just use an updated datasheet, instead of needing to have the datasheet, plus FAQ sheet with errata.

No one said that it was the ONLY way for individual unit rules to be handled, but they have already done in the other way, and it wasn't working very well. You happen to not like how its being done now, and thats fine, but it does not change the fact that its working and working well.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/28 19:30:55


Post by: Spoletta


tneva82 wrote:
Hatachi wrote:

I'm not saying that it is balanced. I'm saying that it's about as balanced as I expect the first edition of a very knew take on the rules to be.


But this falls flat in head by edition changes in 40k never being just tiny changes but sweeping changes. And ditto for codexes. They don't do gradual changes toward better balance but complete reshuffles.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
pismakron wrote:
Pancakey wrote:
AOS "had to remove points because points are bad"

40k "had to remove USRs because USRs are bad"

There seems to be a disconnect between GW and the players!



There sometimes are. But 9 out of 10 players prefer 8th to 7th. It is simply a vastly superior edition.


Based on what?

And vastly superior in terms of what? Not in logical rules, tactical possibilities or balance.


Based on wallets. GW is selling this edition like never before.

Also, personally i do find it superior in terms of logical rules, tactical possibilities (especially in the assault and psychic phases) and balance.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/28 19:59:49


Post by: Stormonu


 davou wrote:
 JNAProductions wrote:
 davou wrote:
 JNAProductions wrote:


Alright, explain to me this:


No thanks; you don't want to actually talk about this. You're just looking for someone to rail against because you've made up your mind already.


I'm perfectly willing to listen. And even if you believe I'm not, explaining your position more fully would help other people understand.

If you aren't able to explain your position, I'm pretty much forced to believe that you CANNOT explain it.


Fine; You say that USR's are fine, because if something is broke, the nit can be tweaked on that card rather than across the board. Well then you end up with 2 USR's that have different applications. Your guys and my guys might both have furious charge, but suddenly we need to stop and double check which furious charge. You start wanting to have a few select simple USR's and then by the end of it you end up with 9 pages of them and the vast majority are no longer relevant. Keeping it 'bespoke' and on the sheets means me (an ork player) and my buddy (an eldar player) don't have to wade through a bunch of rules that apply to guardsmen or dark angels. I just know my rules, he knows his, and if theres any suspicion of funkyness then we can ask to see that one entry.

The choice is having rules with exceptions to them (in the form of USR's) or just rules. If you replace Deep strike with 'tellyporta strike' and 'grav assault' and 'tryon tunnel' when the rules get updated, you can just use an updated datasheet, instead of needing to have the datasheet, plus FAQ sheet with errata.

No one said that it was the ONLY way for individual unit rules to be handled, but they have already done in the other way, and it wasn't working very well. You happen to not like how its being done now, and thats fine, but it does not change the fact that its working and working well.


There’s no reason you can’t have usr’s and still print the full text on the actual datasheets. If the USR gets updated, you make one correction in the FAQ/errata. If GW wants to be kind, they can reprint the datasheet in full. But, to be honest, even if you had bespoke rules that were maintained seperately, you’d still have to refer to the FAQ/errata for any updates anyways. It just would be easier to maintain if you made the updates in once, instead of ten seperate times for the same thing. (Same sort of reasoning for subroutines and functions in coding - self contain the code in one place and reference it wherever needed. Rather than rewrite the code a half-dozen times in a half-dozen places, you update it once and it fixes it for all references).


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/28 22:19:48


Post by: JNAProductions


 Stormonu wrote:
 davou wrote:
 JNAProductions wrote:
 davou wrote:
 JNAProductions wrote:


Alright, explain to me this:


No thanks; you don't want to actually talk about this. You're just looking for someone to rail against because you've made up your mind already.


I'm perfectly willing to listen. And even if you believe I'm not, explaining your position more fully would help other people understand.

If you aren't able to explain your position, I'm pretty much forced to believe that you CANNOT explain it.


Fine; You say that USR's are fine, because if something is broke, the nit can be tweaked on that card rather than across the board. Well then you end up with 2 USR's that have different applications. Your guys and my guys might both have furious charge, but suddenly we need to stop and double check which furious charge. You start wanting to have a few select simple USR's and then by the end of it you end up with 9 pages of them and the vast majority are no longer relevant. Keeping it 'bespoke' and on the sheets means me (an ork player) and my buddy (an eldar player) don't have to wade through a bunch of rules that apply to guardsmen or dark angels. I just know my rules, he knows his, and if theres any suspicion of funkyness then we can ask to see that one entry.

The choice is having rules with exceptions to them (in the form of USR's) or just rules. If you replace Deep strike with 'tellyporta strike' and 'grav assault' and 'tryon tunnel' when the rules get updated, you can just use an updated datasheet, instead of needing to have the datasheet, plus FAQ sheet with errata.

No one said that it was the ONLY way for individual unit rules to be handled, but they have already done in the other way, and it wasn't working very well. You happen to not like how its being done now, and thats fine, but it does not change the fact that its working and working well.


There’s no reason you can’t have usr’s and still print the full text on the actual datasheets. If the USR gets updated, you make one correction in the FAQ/errata. If GW wants to be kind, they can reprint the datasheet in full. But, to be honest, even if you had bespoke rules that were maintained seperately, you’d still have to refer to the FAQ/errata for any updates anyways. It just would be easier to maintain if you made the updates in once, instead of ten seperate times for the same thing. (Same sort of reasoning for subroutines and functions in coding - self contain the code in one place and reference it wherever needed. Rather than rewrite the code a half-dozen times in a half-dozen places, you update it once and it fixes it for all references).


Exactly. I'm not saying they shouldn't print the full rules on the sheet-that's fine, it's not needed for experienced players, but it's easier for new ones. But just simplifying naming conventions will make it easier to fully understand the system.

And if they have an updated datasheet, then you won't need an FAQ. Even if they FORMERLY had a USR, but that's what needed to be changed, they will no longer have the USR and instead have a similar but different rule. Plus, if you look at the system right now, you ALREADY need a ton of FAQs to play the game properly!


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/29 01:22:04


Post by: alextroy


I think they got rid of USRs to avoid the temptation to add laundry list of USRs to units. With their removal, every rule a unit has needs to be written onto the units Datasheet.

8th Edition Roboute Guilliman has 5 abilities. 7th Edition Roboute Guilliman had 4 Special Rules plus how many USRs for being a Monstrous Creature (which are not on his Datasheet).


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/29 09:05:33


Post by: Stormonu


 alextroy wrote:
I think they got rid of USRs to avoid the temptation to add laundry list of USRs to units. With their removal, every rule a unit has needs to be written onto the units Datasheet.

8th Edition Roboute Guilliman has 5 abilities. 7th Edition Roboute Guilliman had 4 Special Rules plus how many USRs for being a Monstrous Creature (which are not on his Datasheet).


That's a GW problem, not a USR problem. In fact, what GW did in 7E was counter-productive to having USRs. Every freakin' faction had to have its own custom snowflake addition/modification to a USR to make a USR+. 7E Wolfen, for example. If GW hadn't tried to "top" each previous factions special rules, we wouldn't have had the out-of-control one-use-only "USRs" of 7E.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/29 11:29:56


Post by: Breng77


The real issue with USRs is future proofing. If rules are tied to something in the rulebook, and the rule book changes all the unit rules also change. We saw this the preferred enemy changes (among others) from 5th to 6th edition, these types of changes significantly change army and unit abilities and can cause problems that need day 1 changes for multiple armies, and for the casual player especially (who might not scour the web for Errata) are a problem.

Lets just say for instance we still had stealth and it was cover gives you +2 to armor instead of +1. Then when 9th ed comes out they change stealth to -1 to hit. Now every unit that had the stealth rule is -1 to hit. Is that what GW wanted? What are all the implications of this?

Now you could say, well just add a different USR for -1 to hit, and leave stealth alone. OK, now we start getting a ton of USRs, and no unit actually has the new USR. This was true for a long time with some USRs in 6th and 7th, basically no unit actually had said rule, but it existed. So either you then errata all the units you want to have -1 to hit instead of Stealth to have the new rule or you don't and wait for new books to give out the ability.

While I agree that having common language is helpful in some areas (I call all set up 9" away abilites "deepstrike", and ignore wound rolls like disgustingly resilient Feel no pain all the time." But some of that is just hold over from old editions. Since some units can "deepstrike" closer than 9", I usually say x unit can deepstrike more than 9" away...I could instead say Set up, I just don't


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/29 12:58:25


Post by: BlackLobster


Having the special rules on the individual datasheet, even if they are the same wording with different names, makes a lot of sense to me. It's easier to just look it up and remember it. I don't see why it is such an issue and as others have said in this thread, it makes it easier if GW want to adjust just one unit's abilities.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/29 13:15:58


Post by: Peregrine


 BlackLobster wrote:
Having the special rules on the individual datasheet, even if they are the same wording with different names, makes a lot of sense to me. It's easier to just look it up and remember it. I don't see why it is such an issue and as others have said in this thread, it makes it easier if GW want to adjust just one unit's abilities.


It's a problem because they aren't necessarily the same rule. If you have USRs and use them properly then you have consistency across the entire game. You have a bit more learning up front, but the reward is that you can quickly look at a summary of the unit's rules and know exactly what it does. For example, if Stealth is a USR that gives +1 save in cover then you can just put that on every unit and everyone immediately knows what it does. But if every unit is its own special snowflake you start to end up with one unit having Stealth: +1 save in cover, another with Stealth: +1 save in ruins, another with Stealthy: +2 save in forests, another with Stealthy Attacker: may deploy anywhere outside 9" from enemy models, and so on. It's especially dangerous if you have variants of the rule that are very similar but not exactly the same, as players can assume that it does one thing based on the name and then get an awkward surprise when they encounter how it really works.

Now, it's ok to have reminder text on a unit's rules page, for people who have trouble remembering the USRs. But they absolutely need to be in the core rules and have zero variance in how they are applied to each unit.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
Breng77 wrote:
The real issue with USRs is future proofing. If rules are tied to something in the rulebook, and the rule book changes all the unit rules also change.


The only reason this is a problem is because of GW's idiocy of releasing new editions every year and not bothering to update every codex when they do. If GW could stop releasing new rules where they change stuff for the sole purpose of justifying charging you $100+ for a new edition this problem wouldn't exist. In the rare case where there's a new edition of the core rules they could simply do an 8th edition style update (but with better quality) to every army on launch day. There's no need to worry about future proofing your rules when you never have a situation where an army is using rules written for a previous edition.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 BlackLobster wrote:
even if they are the same wording with different names


Another thing to add: this is really poor design. Aside from the fact that most of those names are just going to be discarded in favor of a simple description of the mechanic (calling all special deployments "deep strike" for example) it means that you can't reference that rule in other rules. To continue the Stealth USR example, under the USR system it's very easy to make a rule that says "ignore the benefits of Stealth". But when you have a bunch of functionally identical but differently named rules you can no longer do that. You can't remove Stealth, you can only attempt to refer to a broad category with something like "ignore all bonuses to armor saves that depend on cover" and hope that you catch all of the targets without including anything that you didn't intend the rule to apply to.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/29 14:02:17


Post by: Breng77


The issue is that most people don't want a full reboot for every edition (GW often changes far too much actually). That said your argument is actually another against USRs if the base rules are just base rules and nothing more, there is much less reason to need edition changes just unit changes. If the special rules are in the main rulebook the only way to change them is to change said rulebook if they are in a codex or on a data sheet they can be changed more easily while leaving the edition intact.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/29 14:16:38


Post by: SemperMortis


pismakron wrote:
Pancakey wrote:
AOS "had to remove points because points are bad"

40k "had to remove USRs because USRs are bad"

There seems to be a disconnect between GW and the players!



There sometimes are. But 9 out of 10 players prefer 8th to 7th. It is simply a vastly superior edition.


That is very true, but that is not a good comparison because 7th was so abysmally bad that almost anything would have been an improvement.

In 7th if you played one of 3 factions you were basically playing with a 200-400pt (sometimes more) head start. The two easiest to play armies in the game were the biggest offenders, Tau and Eldar. Now before the fish and elf people get angry, I am not saying you guys won every tournament. I am talking about general play AND tournaments. Wraithknights, Scat bikes, spiders, Riptides, Surges and a couple other units were so criminally under costed that they were auto-takes and almost auto-wins. My army could not even handle 1 Wraithknight let alone 2-3, same with riptides. So yeah, compared to 7th nonsense, 8th is amazing.

But that ignores the giant problems with 8th and doesn't do anything to further the discussion about playtesting in 8th. So many easy problems could have been fixed PRE release if GW had spent a bit of time playtesting or hired out one of the numerous Fanboy sites to playtest, preferably not FLG since apparently they believe the Stompa is amazing.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/31 18:01:08


Post by: MagicJuggler


kombatwombat wrote:
There is still and always has been many people moaning about pages and pages of ‘redundant USRs’ that ‘do exactly the same thing as another rule’. I’ve never understood this. As far as I’m aware, the only truly redundant rule in 7th was Zealot, which was the same as having the Hatred and Fearless USRs. And even then they may actually be slightly different, since I don’t think Hatred was passed from Independent Character to the unit, but Zealot was?

Aside from that, there were groups of USRs - for example Monstrous Creature or Primarch types being shorthand ways of saying ‘it has USRs x, y and z’.

If redundant or copied USRs were so common in 7th, surely somebody could easily give me half a dozen examples? Because I’m struggling to think of many.


Hatred and Fearless were innately passed. The only real difference was that Word Bearers got a Warlord Trait that let the Warlord gain Zealot, or reroll all melee if already having Zealot.

JNA and I have mentioned Missile Lock already.

USRs to consolidate: Bulky, Very Bulky, Extremely Bulky, Stealth, Shrouded, and those are a start. Furious Charge versus Rage versus Rampage versus Hammer of Wrath, Sniper (Poison, Rending, Precision Shot), arguably Poison vs Fleshbane, etc.

Slow and Purposeful simply means Relentless + No Running, Overwatching, or Sweeping. So Kataphtractons instead got "Heavy Battle Servitor", which removed the Overwatch & Sweep bits and added "may fire a second weapon." A simple Cannot(Action) USR would have made things so much cleaner IMO (as would have some "fire a second weapon" USR).

Really, that's how USRs should be built: Broad meta-extensible definitions that clarify interactions for said rules. So "Charge Bonus" itself would have the common clarifications for when the bonus actually applies, etc.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2017/12/31 22:48:03


Post by: Matt.Kingsley


Hatred wasn't innately passed, only models with Hatred benefited from it.


Does GW really playtest?  @ 2018/01/01 02:12:12


Post by: jeff white


 JNAProductions wrote:
 davou wrote:


Oh man, my bad. I thought you wanted to ask a question not just complain and pat yourself on the back for having figured everything out.


Alright, explain to me this: What are the problems with USRs? You can't say that it causes issues when multiple units have one rule, since it's incredibly easy to errata the rule to be removed and replaced with a similar but weaker/stronger rule to make it more appropriate.

In addition, if you'll look at my exact words, I was recommending something like Deep Strike (9"), where the base USR is the same but the exact details can vary. I'd honestly prefer a set of simple, clear USRs for a lot of stuff.

Like, for instance, Khorne's units could get Charge Bonus (+1 Strength), whereas Wraithblades could get Charge Bonus (+1 Attack). I was gonna use the Red Thirst as an example, actually, but I realized that's more than just on the charge, so they can probably get a bespoke rule without it being a bother.


Makes perfectly good sense to me.
And likely why GW will never do it.
People who live in bubbles tend to think in terms of the curvature inside that bubble.
Us on the outside tend to see things from the other side of that curvature...
We have access to straight lines, for instance, while inside the bubble, everything is curved.
GW suffers from something like ivory tower syndrome, imho.
Maybe with recent outreach, someone can sneak a straight edge into that camp and pop that bubble.
Then, something like this proposal of yours would be seen as a best of all possible reconciliations of present and past efforts.
Nothing to do with playtesting, I guess. But, exalted nonetheless.