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I recognize I'm inferring from one data point and you're trying to say that we need more data points to infer from here. That said if Battle Sisters squads changed to minimum 10 and could take exactly one heavy bolter, one multi-melta, two storm bolters, two flamers, and two meltaguns per ten models when they got their new book, would that be explainable as a "balance change" to you?


Automatically Appended Next Post:
Tyel wrote:
...I.E. if 5 Blightlords with combi-plasma are just *better* than any other loadout, the bar between someone who is willing to spend the time and money accumulating them (assuming strict adherence to WYSIWIG) and someone who isn't is removed...


And obviously the best balance change is to restrict Blightlords to exactly the parts in the box, rather than, I don't know, nerf the combi-plasmas?

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/01/19 00:10:21


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 Canadian 5th wrote:
Furthermore, with what GW actually does and given their track record at balance, the best we can probably hope for from GW is customization. The ability to really make your dudes, YOUR DUDES. This goes against that, and barely affects balance.

In Codex: Death Guard GW has directly nerfed the army's ability to maximize the board control advantage its raw toughness would otherwise afford it. No OBSEC on cultists, one secondary specific action for Poxwalkers, and a nerf to the potency of 5-man PM units. This could all be a coincidence, but taken as a whole it seems like an honest effort to proactively balance DG.
Sure-and I can applaud them for taking OTHER actions for achieving balance.

I won't applaud them for that specific decision, though, because, as far as I can tell, it was made just because "That's in the box."

And again-40k is not a well balanced game. I don't really expect it to be. I want it to be, but I accept that it's not. But given that it's not balanced... It might as well let you customize your army how you like. And this goes against the latter without helping the former.

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 AnomanderRake wrote:
And obviously the best balance change is to restrict Blightlords to exactly the parts in the box, rather than, I don't know, nerf the combi-plasmas?


This doesn't necessarily fix the balance issue though. If say as a result of that nerf Combi-Melta became the optimal loadout, you'd be back to the problem of someone whose willing to spend the time and money getting 5 of those rather than just use what's in the box.
   
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 AnomanderRake wrote:
I recognize I'm inferring from one data point and you're trying to say that we need more data points to infer from here. That said if Battle Sisters squads changed to minimum 10 and could take exactly one heavy bolter, one multi-melta, two storm bolters, two flamers, and two meltaguns per ten models when they got their new book, would that be explainable as a "balance change" to you?

Why are you suggesting a change the minimum unit size for SoB Battle Sisters in this example? PMs have the exact same minimum unit size as before and if Deathshroud terminators changed to a minimum 5-model unit that would serve to bring them in line with most other terminator units and is also likely a balance change to avoid DG having points efficient DS units to use for board control.

Ignoring the change to the unit size I could easily see that SoB unit being easier to balance with those restrictions in place and the unit hasn't lost access to any weapons it could take before so it's a win-win move.

And obviously the best balance change is to restrict Blightlords to exactly the parts in the box, rather than, I don't know, nerf the combi-plasmas?

Are you suggesting we cost the same weapons differently for every single unit that can take it or should we nerf combi-plasma codex wide due to a single unit abusing it? Going further should we nerf it game wide among armies with the same BS to keep things fair?
   
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 Canadian 5th wrote:

Why are you suggesting a change the minimum unit size for SoB Battle Sisters in this example? PMs have the exact same minimum unit size as before and if Deathshroud terminators changed to a minimum 5-model unit that would serve to bring them in line with most other terminator units and is also likely a balance change to avoid DG having points efficient DS units to use for board control.


prove that it would be for balance if were going full-on theoretical


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 Canadian 5th wrote:

Are you suggesting we cost the same weapons differently for every single unit that can take it or should we nerf combi-plasma codex wide due to a single unit abusing it? Going further should we nerf it game wide among armies with the same BS to keep things fair?


honestly. Yes.

Pts costs and unit cost should be done on a codex by codex basis. Even on a supplement by supplement basis TBH.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/01/19 01:01:38


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 VladimirHerzog wrote:
 Canadian 5th wrote:

Are you suggesting we cost the same weapons differently for every single unit that can take it or should we nerf combi-plasma codex wide due to a single unit abusing it? Going further should we nerf it game wide among armies with the same BS to keep things fair?


honestly. Yes.

Pts costs and unit cost should be done on a codex by codex basis. Even on a supplement by supplement basis TBH.
Also, that's how the new points format works.

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 JNAProductions wrote:
 VladimirHerzog wrote:
 Canadian 5th wrote:

Are you suggesting we cost the same weapons differently for every single unit that can take it or should we nerf combi-plasma codex wide due to a single unit abusing it? Going further should we nerf it game wide among armies with the same BS to keep things fair?


honestly. Yes.

Pts costs and unit cost should be done on a codex by codex basis. Even on a supplement by supplement basis TBH.
Also, that's how the new points format works.


Is there weapons with different costs in different codex/units right now? Or is it just from a presentation perspective?

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 VladimirHerzog wrote:
 JNAProductions wrote:
 VladimirHerzog wrote:
 Canadian 5th wrote:

Are you suggesting we cost the same weapons differently for every single unit that can take it or should we nerf combi-plasma codex wide due to a single unit abusing it? Going further should we nerf it game wide among armies with the same BS to keep things fair?


honestly. Yes.

Pts costs and unit cost should be done on a codex by codex basis. Even on a supplement by supplement basis TBH.
Also, that's how the new points format works.


Is there weapons with different costs in different codex/units right now? Or is it just from a presentation perspective?

Yes actually, in the new DG codex. Special weapons are 10 points for PM and the same weapons are generally 5 points for the Terminators. Bit odd considering Terminators get the better profiles and are tougher baseline.
   
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 Castozor wrote:

Yes actually, in the new DG codex. Special weapons are 10 points for PM and the same weapons are generally 5 points for the Terminators. Bit odd considering Terminators get the better profiles and are tougher baseline.


hadnt noticed that, good move from GW honestly.


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 Castozor wrote:
 VladimirHerzog wrote:
 JNAProductions wrote:
 VladimirHerzog wrote:
 Canadian 5th wrote:

Are you suggesting we cost the same weapons differently for every single unit that can take it or should we nerf combi-plasma codex wide due to a single unit abusing it? Going further should we nerf it game wide among armies with the same BS to keep things fair?


honestly. Yes.

Pts costs and unit cost should be done on a codex by codex basis. Even on a supplement by supplement basis TBH.
Also, that's how the new points format works.


Is there weapons with different costs in different codex/units right now? Or is it just from a presentation perspective?

Yes actually, in the new DG codex. Special weapons are 10 points for PM and the same weapons are generally 5 points for the Terminators. Bit odd considering Terminators get the better profiles and are tougher baseline.

That's just because their weapon cost is baked into their cost though is it not? Thunder hammers also cost different points for different units.

I am big into balance to avoid encouraging ripping models apart and because many people have built their PMs according to old rules these new rules encourage ripping models apart. GW could have done it when the new models came out and DG became standalone but doing it now is a mistake. Letting people customize and convert their miniatures was part of the hobby that was sold to me, ripping apart old models is not a productive part of the hobby. If plasma and melta are both clearly better than every other loadout they should both be nerfed or maybe other options should be buffed depending on how strong the unit is.

Arguing removing wargear loadout options from units noticeably improves balance is silly since there are so many units that are imbalanced despite having no or few wargear options. Look at Necron Immortals, GW cannot even balance two almost identical weapons against each other on the exact same model platform and there is only one option for the unit. AM pay 2 pts for both bolt pistols and boltguns on Sergeants. I wonder what is better on a ranged unit, a 12" pistol 1 or 24" RF 1. Clearly GW have it too hard, the game is just too gosh darn complex, we better remove boltguns from AM Sergeants, except that still leaves them with a useless bolt pistol option nobody is going to pay for because the weapon is worth it. Okay, so we remove all weapon options from AM. But Infantry Squads are better than Veteran Squads, AM does have an awful lot of units, oh jeez, alright AM only get to have one unit with one exact weapon loadout. We have perfect internal balance in AM, every unit is as balanced as itself because that is all there is. But wait, there's more, AM's one unit is worse than SM's one unit so we have to limit the number of factions and look at that, we are all playing Space Marine Intercessors The Game TM.
   
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At the very least, they could have added the old configurations to legends, so people who don't care about going to events don't have to rip their models appart...

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 Jidmah wrote:
At the very least, they could have added the old configurations to legends, so people who don't care about going to events don't have to rip their models appart...


Going to legends doesn't necessarily maintain coherency...
As in the stuff ported is not the same that it was.

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 Daedalus81 wrote:

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That's why I said they should have added the old configurations to legends.

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Rihgu wrote:
 Unit1126PLL wrote:
Yeah, my point about scope isn't that there's a Guardsmen who can individually try to bayonet the Warlord Titan (though that IS a problem), but rather the breadth of factions.

Units/armies like the Inquisition, Custodes, Sisters of Silence, etc used to be fluff elements or folded into larger and wider armies as options within a greater context.

To use the analogy again: Custodes vs Harlequins with allied CWE on Martian terrain is basically the Secret Service entering a pitched battle with the Screen Actors Guild with allied German tank battalions somewhere in Peru.


Except in this case, there's more than one planet with "red dirt", the Secret Service has weapons that can rip through German Tanks and the Screen Actors Guild can not only leap over buildings and dodge bullets but have weapons that penetrate all but the strongest of armor and fill the juicy organs underneath with monomolecular wire... you know what, I'm not sure this analogy really works out too well.

Also, Inquisition, Assassins and Sisters of Silence at least are folded into wider armies as options within a greater context, by way of their special rules that allow them to be added into other armies without breaking detachment bonuses. Custodes have been expanded out to a full force that engages in battles of tabletop scale on their own, though.

I went into this post ultimately agreeing with your main point but disagreeing with the use of the analogy and then as I thought about it more I realized that most of these armies have been set up to be primarily a small part of a larger force or have been expanded in fluff and rules to be a capable force on their own. Oops.


I wasn't talking about capabilities. I was talking about relevance in the setting.

Like sure, you could have the Screen Actors Guild fighting in your World War III game alongside German tank battalions if you gave them "whatever capability lol" (in this case harlequin weapons) or you could have the Secret Service attacking German tanks with laser cannons or railguns or ATGMs or whatever but like...

why? You're making a World War III game, not a "every possibly-armed force that happened to contemporaneously exist with World War III" game.
   
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One can downplay the relevance in the setting as much as they want by making bad analogies.

Ultramarines, with all 1000 of their members, would be as relevant on the galactic scale as me and my local friends would be in World War III, and therefore even less relevant than the Secret Service or even Screen Actor's Guild.

Fact of the matter is, we have books and lore saying Harlequins are a relevant faction in the setting, and engage in relevant battles with relevantly sized forces. If we accept Space Marines as relevant, we can accept the Harlequins (who have much larger forces and therefore larger force projection) as relevant as well.

If Harlequins should just be an Elites choice for Aeldari or just fluff elements, Space Marines should be an Elites choice or fluff element for Astra Militarum armies.
   
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Rihgu wrote:

If Harlequins should just be an Elites choice for Aeldari or just fluff elements, Space Marines should be an Elites choice or fluff element for Astra Militarum armies.


That would be very, very fluffy at least.
   
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Racerguy180 wrote:
Rihgu wrote:

If Harlequins should just be an Elites choice for Aeldari or just fluff elements, Space Marines should be an Elites choice or fluff element for Astra Militarum armies.


That would be very, very fluffy at least.


I agree to some extent, but chapters/companies/strike forces engage on their own in enough conflicts where I see the value in the codex to represent such a force. When I first got into the game (5th edition) I bought some Grey Knights expecting them to operate like they did in Dawn of War, only to be surprised to discover they were a standalone codex with no way to ally in to normal Imperial Forces. 6th and beyond have been far better about armies being constructed to how I imagine them based on lore now, with 8th and 9th being the best for having the Auxiliary Detachment so I can slot in my single Grey Knights squad to an Imperium army.
   
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When "soup" was allowed, I temporarily got excited about being able to make what I considered a "fluffy" imperial force, mostly Imperial Guard but then a could of Marine squads as support. Seemed right to me, and what would actually be happening in universe in lots of conflicts.

I never ended up doing it for lack of people to play with and being too busy, but I thought it would be cool.

   
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Rihgu wrote:
One can downplay the relevance in the setting as much as they want by making bad analogies.

Ultramarines, with all 1000 of their members, would be as relevant on the galactic scale as me and my local friends would be in World War III, and therefore even less relevant than the Secret Service or even Screen Actor's Guild.

Fact of the matter is, we have books and lore saying Harlequins are a relevant faction in the setting, and engage in relevant battles with relevantly sized forces. If we accept Space Marines as relevant, we can accept the Harlequins (who have much larger forces and therefore larger force projection) as relevant as well.

If Harlequins should just be an Elites choice for Aeldari or just fluff elements, Space Marines should be an Elites choice or fluff element for Astra Militarum armies.


Actually, the problem of "Ultramarines having 1000 guys" thing is a huge point of controversy when discussing the background of Warhammer 40k. I mean look up how many "do vehicle drivers count as marines" or "who crews marine starships" or whatever.

I would be perfectly fine with Marines being folded into "imperium" armies, if that's what was necessary. Make it possible to have a marine-centric or marine-only army list (like Sisters of Battle were when they were Witch Hunters in 3rd/4th) but don't make that the primary reason for the codex.

That ship has sailed, of course, but it doesn't disprove my point: "Game scope when designing games matters, and if you scope your game to include everything and everyone that uses guns, then you will inevitably make it too unwieldy to employ."

I mean honestly I don't get the impression that GW is even considering scoping. They're just throwing bits of the background onto the table and then ballooning them up to be relevant (ref: Custodes).
   
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Part of the problem with Harlequins is that it depends largely on which version of their lore you read as definitive. From 3rd-6th (when they were a Craftworld Elites choice) the fluff blurbs in the Craftworld books described "troupes" (read: squads) as little bands of 10-ish Harlequins wandering from Craftworld to Craftworld putting on plays and hopping into fights as it suited them. They didn't have a motor pool (the Solitaire was in the fluff blurb, the Venoms and the jetbikes weren't) and weren't described as an "army" that would fight together as anything larger than a single squad.

Go to 7th and on with the Harlequins book and yes, they've pulled forward bits of the 2e lore and expanded the Harlequins out into something that does make sense as a standalone force, but if someone liked the 4e-6e lore and wasn't well-versed on the RT/2e stuff that looks like a bizarre retcon that doesn't make a whole lot of sense, especially given that even though they're a "Codex" they've got all of three kits and four character blisters. They've got fewer unique kits than any of the SM Chapters that used to be standalone and got rolled back into the main book, or the Chaos Daemons of any one god, and I don't think anyone wants separate standlone books for all the SM again, or thinks the Chaos Daemons book really should be four different tiny books. They have barely more model content than a Necromunda gang at this point.

The problem with the Harlequins isn't that they're a standalone army, it's that there's a fundamental mismatch between their importance implied by the lore and their importance implied by their model range. The model range says "here's a weird-ass skirmish force of stripey/checkerboard Dark Eldar melee troopers!". The lore/game rules say "if you spam a bunch of duplicate mono-pose/limited-pose light infantry/light vehicles you can call it an "army" and fight other peoples' broad distributions of unit types up to super-heavy vehicles!".

If the Harlequins want to be stand-alone they need more stuff. At bare minimum a second infantry unit (lasblasters/special weapons Troupe) and a bigger tank (stripey/checkerboard Falcon-chassis or the like) would let people walk into the room, scan the range of stuff, and say "all right, that looks like an army I can credibly visualize fighting some of the other armies in this game".

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 Canadian 5th wrote:
I'm curious, do our forum members actually expect a balanced game from Games Workshop? I'm not going to include a poll because I don't want a simple yes or no answer.

Do you think Games Workshop tries to balance 40k and our current game is the result of that or do you think they aim for just enough balance that it takes some investment to see if it's balanced at all and use that imbalance for some other purpose?


I think the goal is the latter, with the purpose being to increase sales. But GW is actually quite bad at that, as shown every time a new release has subpar rules that hurt sales.

As a follow-up, regardless of your thoughts on the previous question, would it be morally wrong for GW to intentionally create an imbalance to sell more models or even just so they can more easily shake up the meta?

No, it is a business and it is the objective of any business to increase profitability. Of course not everything in the name of profit is moral, there are definite moral lines that a company should not cross, but a game's balance is definitely nowhere close to it.

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 2021/01/19 20:17:30


 
   
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 Tyran wrote:
 Canadian 5th wrote:

As a follow-up, regardless of your thoughts on the previous question, would it be morally wrong for GW to intentionally create an imbalance to sell more models or even just so they can more easily shake up the meta?

No, it is a business and it is the objective of any business to increase profitability. Of course not everything in the name of profit is moral, there are definite moral lines that a company should not cross, but a game's balance is definitely nowhere close to it.


Shaking a stale meta not so clearly an evil; on the one hand it can be used to freshen a game and that provides value to the consumer; on the other, it arbitrarily changes the perceived value of some very expensive purchases. But I'd say that to create imbalances intentionally to sell more models is morally wrong; I might go so far as to use the words "predatory" or "anti-consumer." Manufactured discontent is a manipulative way of exploiting brain chemistry for profit.

Lest I be seen as too hyperbolic: A) given we're talking about luxury hobby products here: It's absolutely not the worst form of evil in the world, or even that we've seen in the past month/week/24 hours, but just because it's not a ruinous atrocity doesn't make it right; B) While highly believable, it is not 100% clear that this GW is doing this intentionally, because, much as Tyran suggests, Hanlon's Razor is a thing and incompetence combined with being stuck in an old business model could explain some of its more questionable rules writing behavior.

Edit: Really need to hit Preview before pasting quote brackets all over the place

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 2021/01/20 01:04:08


 
   
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Hanlons razor would explain more, but considering the wraithknight debacle we can assume that it is NOT just hanlons razor at play.

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Not Online!!! wrote:
Hanlons razor would explain more, but considering the wraithknight debacle we can assume that it is NOT just hanlons razor at play.


I might have been out of the game for that one. What was the Wraithknight debacle?
   
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 CEO Kasen wrote:
Not Online!!! wrote:
Hanlons razor would explain more, but considering the wraithknight debacle we can assume that it is NOT just hanlons razor at play.


I might have been out of the game for that one. What was the Wraithknight debacle?


In 6e a Wraithknight cost around 350pts and was a Monstrous Creature. In 7th a Wraithknight cost around 350pts and got turned into a Gargantuan Creature, which made it ID-immune, gave it free Stomp attacks, and a whole bunch of other irritating rules that would have been more reasonable if it were 450-500pts and you didn't have a special LoW-spam detachment to take loads of them. It was probably the most overtly wrong single choice GW ever made in a Codex. One of the writers came out after that (can't remember who) and said management instructed him to make it a GC without fixing its points cost, which people take as evidence that GW does instruct the writers to make things deliberately OP to sell.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/01/21 23:52:29


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I think it was slightly different in that they rewrote the rules making it more powerful and increased the points, only to have someone in management/marketing tell them, "the rules look good, but put the points back down to 350".
   
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 Just Tony wrote:
 Jidmah wrote:
 Canadian 5th wrote:
 Da Boss wrote:
Well yeah, that is the point of what Jidmah is saying. We still call approximately circle shaped objects IRL "circles" and no one feels the need to constantly correct us and say "a real circle is impossible!".

I wish the conversation about balance in wargames worked the same way

The issue is most posters grossly underestimate how much work achieving even a 45-55 split between the top and bottom win rates is within 40ks vast potential number of matchups and play experiences. Even getting that level of balance internally to a codex is near impossible let alone also nailing inter-faction balance to that degree. The issue at hand is that list building at 40ks scale will always cause skews in list strength which are further compounded by player skill and the 'pseudo-random nature of dice.


The simple answer to that is, other companies can do it, even with much more complex games, so it is possible. End of story, no excuses.


I wish there was a term other than Stockholm Syndrome or Battered Wife Syndrome to express the excuses that seem to handwave away GW's inability to even try to balance the game anymore, or worse yet people flat out expecting it to NOT be balanced, but I can't think of a better term.


I think it's mostly the sunk cost fallacy. You invested so much into something, so it has to be a good thing. It's how ponzi schemes work. And, like, a lot of businesses really


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 CEO Kasen wrote:
 Tyran wrote:
 Canadian 5th wrote:

As a follow-up, regardless of your thoughts on the previous question, would it be morally wrong for GW to intentionally create an imbalance to sell more models or even just so they can more easily shake up the meta?

No, it is a business and it is the objective of any business to increase profitability. Of course not everything in the name of profit is moral, there are definite moral lines that a company should not cross, but a game's balance is definitely nowhere close to it.


Shaking a stale meta not so clearly an evil; on the one hand it can be used to freshen a game and that provides value to the consumer; on the other, it arbitrarily changes the perceived value of some very expensive purchases. But I'd say that to create imbalances intentionally to sell more models is morally wrong; I might go so far as to use the words "predatory" or "anti-consumer." Manufactured discontent is a manipulative way of exploiting brain chemistry for profit.

Lest I be seen as too hyperbolic: A) given we're talking about luxury hobby products here: It's absolutely not the worst form of evil in the world, or even that we've seen in the past month/week/24 hours, but just because it's not a ruinous atrocity doesn't make it right; B) While highly believable, it is not 100% clear that this GW is doing this intentionally, because, much as Tyran suggests, Hanlon's Razor is a thing and incompetence combined with being stuck in an old business model could explain some of its more questionable rules writing behavior.

Edit: Really need to hit Preview before pasting quote brackets all over the place


Hanlon's razor would posit the reverse to me. Making short sighted manipulative business decisions is the norm in business. For a company to simulate that through just incidental incompetence is positing a bizzare stacking of ignorance with angelic innocence


I mean, how many people here has worked at a business? How many of you have had a manager or someone higher up demand you do something absolutely stupid? How amny of you have had that same person almost sit on your back dictating every key stroke on a computer as you try to work?

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/01/22 06:46:50


 
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut





I think its obvious it's not really evil. It's just greedy and often short sighted. The ship is large and most likely bad rules slip by and good ones are pressed forward. I think it would be silly to imagine they don't realize good rules sell models. That keeping the meta fluid keeps new models or different models on the radar. I think it would be odd to imagine a company doesn't use that to their advantage.

Legends isn't there because they care of " fairness " or player time. It is there to funnel you into models they want to sell and be able to let old concepts go. Doesn't take much brain power to keep up unit stats of old and tested items. Same goes for new load outs or the like.

It's not evil, it's a company and as such is rather neutral, just greedy and sometimes stupid.
   
Made in gb
Irked Necron Immortal




UK

You also all assume that the GW designers even understand what makes a rule good or bad most of the time. As is the case of pretty much every games designer in existence, they're not that good or even that knowledgeable about their own game (and this is why outside playtesting is done for pretty much any game, tabletop or otherwise) and so half of the time when something is nerfed into irrelevance or made gamebreakingly strong it's probably unintended.
   
Made in gb
Longtime Dakkanaut




 Bosskelot wrote:
You also all assume that the GW designers even understand what makes a rule good or bad most of the time. As is the case of pretty much every games designer in existence, they're not that good or even that knowledgeable about their own game (and this is why outside playtesting is done for pretty much any game, tabletop or otherwise) and so half of the time when something is nerfed into irrelevance or made gamebreakingly strong it's probably unintended.


I think it also comes down to the mindset of the designers. They don't seem to ask the most obvious question when they design a new rule or unit: how can this be exploited? The very first thing I'd think about once you have the first draft of a unit's abilities and cost is to see what happens if I spam as many as possible. GW just don't seem to think like that.

As a concrete example (well, semi-concrete as the details are a little fuzzy in my head now), in 8th edition there was a 40k designer who went to one of the big tournaments, possibly LVO, and was absolutely horrified to see people executing 0" charges with deep striking flying units because you could deploy them outside of 9" on top of a building and charge units on the ground while technically needing less than a 2 on the charge dice because of the interaction between Fly and terrain. Firstly, it's worrying they hadn't even considered this in the first place. But then the solution was so bad they had to change it again at the next opportunity. That tells me they just don't approach the rules with enough rigour and sometimes don't even do a rudimentary playtest with outside testers.
   
 
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