Switch Theme:

Do they just completely make it up as they go along?  [RSS] Share on facebook Share on Twitter Submit to Reddit
»
Author Message
Advert


Forum adverts like this one are shown to any user who is not logged in. Join us by filling out a tiny 3 field form and you will get your own, free, dakka user account which gives a good range of benefits to you:
  • No adverts like this in the forums anymore.
  • Times and dates in your local timezone.
  • Full tracking of what you have read so you can skip to your first unread post, easily see what has changed since you last logged in, and easily see what is new at a glance.
  • Email notifications for threads you want to watch closely.
  • Being a part of the oldest wargaming community on the net.
If you are already a member then feel free to login now.




Made in at
Longtime Dakkanaut




I keep hearing that 40k codices are designed and written way before they are released....I've heard people say a year or more before release.
Now, I don't care about the exact time line but my point is that this insinuates a plan GW has made at some point.

I am just starting to doubt that they have any plan whatsoever regarding their codex design-process and philosophy. I would argue it's all completely reactionary and solely driven by time and budget restraints.

The new Stormsurge weapon previewed on Warcom is a good example of this in my opinion. I do not believe that gun to be too strong or that it will break the game. The damage is impressive, but it's likely very expensive, shorter range and does not ignore invulns.
But my point is that the comparison with that thing and the heaviest weapons Necron get access to for example, is just jarring.

What I don't understand is this: GW was able to grow their IP since 8th and especially since the pandemic in quite an impressive fashion. Yet they are seemingly unable to have a cohesive design philosophy through even one edition cycle.
I am not even talking about balance here, but starting out the edition with mostly D6 damage anti tank weapons, even on heavy platforms, and ending up with something that does flat 12 damage just seems so illogical.

Now again, I'm not arguing that the new Stormsurge gun is too powerful, that's not the point....but necrons having something like a tachyon arrow (which they can only shoot once per battle mind you) that does D6 damage, is ridiculous from a design standpoint.
   
Made in us
Ultramarine Master with Gauntlets of Macragge





Upstate, New York

Codex creep is real, and has been with the game from the start.

Sucks, but sometimes they can keep things playable with adjustments/FAQs/faction boosts.

   
Made in us
Gore-Soaked Lunatic Witchhunter







GW's able to grow their customer base largely because of network effects; it's hard to pitch someone on another game if they're convinced that people only ever play 40k and nobody will ever play anything else. They haven't had a cohesive plan for how the game should function since the damage creep started to get out of control in late 5th, because they know they don't need to. The game's going to keep rolling along under its own inertia so long as it can continue to monopolize advertising, tie-in products, and play spaces through sheer inertia independent of whether it works well, or at all.

Balanced Game: Noun. A game in which all options and choices are worth using.
Homebrew oldhammer project: https://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/790996.page#10896267
Meridian: Necromunda-based 40k skirmish: https://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/795374.page 
   
Made in us
Scarred Ultramarine Tyrannic War Veteran






GW intentionally causes game imbalance to drive model sales and to eventually (purposefully) destroy the edition.

Rebooting the system is like printing big $$$.

It's all planned, but not so detailed that they're masterminds pulling the puppet strings every step of the way.
   
Made in pl
Wicked Warp Spider





You miss the point entirely - GW is not in the business of making a good, balanced game. GW is in business of providing excitement to a specific audience through an ever evolving gaming environment. There is a term in game design - perfect imbalance. And there is perfect explanation why GW chooses that approach over working towards perfect balance. In games that are static and balanced, like chess, players are quickly sorted by their skill and novices quickly learn, that they won't be able to invent any new strategies, only old masters have enough knowledge about the game system to do that. In living systems built around perfect imbalance there is always just a short window to find new optimal strategies, because every time you publish new elements, the whole system shifts. You don't really have to care about balance at all, because as long as you stir the pot often enough and hard enough, the community will be engaged in seeking new, momentary optimal plays, and moreover - the community will be excited about it. You only have to watch out for game breaking situations like Razorwing flock spam from early 8th, but other than that you actually benefit from the state of constant shifts of power and you can "go only upwards", because you can always level the field again with new indexed edition. It worked for 30 years and will work for another 30.
   
Made in pt
[DCM]
Secret Inquisitorial Eldar Xenexecutor






your mind

Codex creep is GW parasiting on hobbyists’ good will. Then they refresh and repeat.

   
Made in us
Insect-Infested Nurgle Chaos Lord






Yup. GW changes horses mid race so often when doing codexes it's not funny.


Games Workshop Delenda Est.

If you break apart my or anyone else's posts line by line I will not read them. 
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut




I'm pretty sure GW write the books based on how they see the meta 9-12 months earlier.
This tends to result in a slightly disjointed outcome - because the meta can shift over that time as new content is rolled out. And you also get a random amount of whimsy which can be overpowered because they just threw it in there because it sounded cool.
   
Made in us
Dakka Veteran





Lebanon NH

nou wrote:
You miss the point entirely - GW is not in the business of making a good, balanced game. GW is in business of providing excitement to a specific audience through an ever evolving gaming environment. There is a term in game design - perfect imbalance. And there is perfect explanation why GW chooses that approach over working towards perfect balance. In games that are static and balanced, like chess, players are quickly sorted by their skill and novices quickly learn, that they won't be able to invent any new strategies, only old masters have enough knowledge about the game system to do that. In living systems built around perfect imbalance there is always just a short window to find new optimal strategies, because every time you publish new elements, the whole system shifts. You don't really have to care about balance at all, because as long as you stir the pot often enough and hard enough, the community will be engaged in seeking new, momentary optimal plays, and moreover - the community will be excited about it. You only have to watch out for game breaking situations like Razorwing flock spam from early 8th, but other than that you actually benefit from the state of constant shifts of power and you can "go only upwards", because you can always level the field again with new indexed edition. It worked for 30 years and will work for another 30.


Wow. Well said! Took the words out of my mouth and phrased it better than I would have! Take your exalt, good sir!
   
Made in us
Terrifying Doombull




Batch writing (and testing) and then paradigm shifts.

There are places where, for example, you can see Space Marines and Necrons line up. There are differences (like the relative prevalence of Core, but that seems intentional at the time), but you can see a couple d3+3 weapons, a few S12, some other bits and bobs, but nothing like DE or Ad Mech.

Efficiency is the highest virtue. 
   
Made in fi
5th God of Chaos (O'rly?)





Tiberias wrote:
I keep hearing that 40k codices are designed and written way before they are released....I've heard people say a year or more before release.
Now, I don't care about the exact time line but my point is that this insinuates a plan GW has made at some point.

I am just starting to doubt that they have any plan whatsoever regarding their codex design-process and philosophy. I would argue it's all completely reactionary and solely driven by time and budget restraints.

.


They are done well in advance for logistical reasons. But not all at once so design style will change constantly.

2022 painted/bought: 227/322 
   
Made in us
Clousseau




You essentially get into 40k knowing the game and the balance are not good and you find a gaming group that fits in with what you want out of the game.

If you're in an ultra competitive area... that means doing the codex burn and churn with them to stay relevant and have good games.
   
Made in nl
Longtime Dakkanaut





Probably the single biggest factor in whether a codex will be good or not is who gets to write it.

Get a writer that loves the faction and you get a great codex with lots of flavourful options that might be to good. Get a writer that doesn't like the faction or playstyle and get a crap codex.

Secondly its indeed paradim shifts. The design team just starting doing something completely different after a few books and one of the other side of that change gets screwed over. Like when 4? edition started with very minimalist codexes that were completely barebones, an approach that was abandoned swiftly and left those effected with garbage, poor Dark Angels.

And lastly, GW's testing has always been terrible.
   
Made in us
Hacking Shang Jí





Fayetteville

 Ordana wrote:
Like when 4? edition started with very minimalist codexes that were completely barebones, an approach that was abandoned swiftly and left those effected with garbage, poor Dark Angels.


Jervisication.

The Imperial Navy, A Galatic Force for Good. 
   
Made in pl
Wicked Warp Spider





leerm02 wrote:
nou wrote:
Spoiler:
You miss the point entirely - GW is not in the business of making a good, balanced game. GW is in business of providing excitement to a specific audience through an ever evolving gaming environment. There is a term in game design - perfect imbalance. And there is perfect explanation why GW chooses that approach over working towards perfect balance. In games that are static and balanced, like chess, players are quickly sorted by their skill and novices quickly learn, that they won't be able to invent any new strategies, only old masters have enough knowledge about the game system to do that. In living systems built around perfect imbalance there is always just a short window to find new optimal strategies, because every time you publish new elements, the whole system shifts. You don't really have to care about balance at all, because as long as you stir the pot often enough and hard enough, the community will be engaged in seeking new, momentary optimal plays, and moreover - the community will be excited about it. You only have to watch out for game breaking situations like Razorwing flock spam from early 8th, but other than that you actually benefit from the state of constant shifts of power and you can "go only upwards", because you can always level the field again with new indexed edition. It worked for 30 years and will work for another 30.


Wow. Well said! Took the words out of my mouth and phrased it better than I would have! Take your exalt, good sir!


Thank you, good sir
   
Made in ie
Battleship Captain





Ordana wrote:Probably the single biggest factor in whether a codex will be good or not is who gets to write it.

Get a writer that loves the faction and you get a great codex with lots of flavourful options that might be to good. Get a writer that doesn't like the faction or playstyle and get a crap codex.


Was it the 7th Ed Tyranids codex where they changed the author to "Games Workshop Design Team" so that Robin Cruddace would stop getting gak for his terrible books?

nou wrote:You miss the point entirely - GW is not in the business of making a good, balanced game. GW is in business of providing excitement to a specific audience through an ever evolving gaming environment. There is a term in game design - perfect imbalance. And there is perfect explanation why GW chooses that approach over working towards perfect balance. In games that are static and balanced, like chess, players are quickly sorted by their skill and novices quickly learn, that they won't be able to invent any new strategies, only old masters have enough knowledge about the game system to do that. In living systems built around perfect imbalance there is always just a short window to find new optimal strategies, because every time you publish new elements, the whole system shifts. You don't really have to care about balance at all, because as long as you stir the pot often enough and hard enough, the community will be engaged in seeking new, momentary optimal plays, and moreover - the community will be excited about it. You only have to watch out for game breaking situations like Razorwing flock spam from early 8th, but other than that you actually benefit from the state of constant shifts of power and you can "go only upwards", because you can always level the field again with new indexed edition. It worked for 30 years and will work for another 30.


Have one of the few deliberate Exalts I give out.

GW absolutely make stuff up as they go but I don't think it's the design teams fault. Honestly it's as much the community as the corporate GW.
Now brace yourself because I'm about to drop a hot take:
Matt Ward was the best codex writers GW have had in a long time. His rules were original, fun, varied and thematic and his love of and enthusiasm for the setting as a whole shines through in the rules. However because he worked for GW they didn't really try to reign him in in any way and in turn that resulted in him getting a lot of gak from the community online and generally reviled. If GW had properly playtested his rules though? They would have been some of the best books GW had ever put out. He'd probably still be working at GW if the community hadn't been so hard on him.

Ward's books stood in a very stark contrast to Cruddace, who's books were bland, uninspired and perfunctory. Unfortunately Cruddace is the one still working at GW (as far as I'm aware), hence our current..."situation".


 
   
Made in pl
Wicked Warp Spider





 Sim-Life wrote:
Spoiler:
Ordana wrote:Probably the single biggest factor in whether a codex will be good or not is who gets to write it.

Get a writer that loves the faction and you get a great codex with lots of flavourful options that might be to good. Get a writer that doesn't like the faction or playstyle and get a crap codex.


Was it the 7th Ed Tyranids codex where they changed the author to "Games Workshop Design Team" so that Robin Cruddace would stop getting gak for his terrible books?

nou wrote:You miss the point entirely - GW is not in the business of making a good, balanced game. GW is in business of providing excitement to a specific audience through an ever evolving gaming environment. There is a term in game design - perfect imbalance. And there is perfect explanation why GW chooses that approach over working towards perfect balance. In games that are static and balanced, like chess, players are quickly sorted by their skill and novices quickly learn, that they won't be able to invent any new strategies, only old masters have enough knowledge about the game system to do that. In living systems built around perfect imbalance there is always just a short window to find new optimal strategies, because every time you publish new elements, the whole system shifts. You don't really have to care about balance at all, because as long as you stir the pot often enough and hard enough, the community will be engaged in seeking new, momentary optimal plays, and moreover - the community will be excited about it. You only have to watch out for game breaking situations like Razorwing flock spam from early 8th, but other than that you actually benefit from the state of constant shifts of power and you can "go only upwards", because you can always level the field again with new indexed edition. It worked for 30 years and will work for another 30.


Have one of the few deliberate Exalts I give out.


I'm sincerely honoured. Thank you!
   
Made in ca
Deranged Necron Destroyer






Cruddace was bad, but I'll never forgive Ward for newcrons.

Girl Gamers are the best! 
   
Made in at
Discriminating Warrior





Austria

Mad Ward for breaking warhammer with the demon army book....

but one thing to remember, GW does not write the books because of the rules

first there are new models designed, than comes the background for the models, and after that the Codex writer has to find rules that fit the model and the background
and for this it does not matter if there are already several similar units in the book while the army would need something else, it has ti be that because the models are already done

Harry, bring this ring to Narnia or the Sith will take the Enterprise

M41 - Alternative Rules for Battles in the 41st Millennium (40k LRB Project) 
   
Made in us
Humming Great Unclean One of Nurgle






I have a more simple explanation; they are just as bad at running things as all the other humans running things, and when the company is doing well they are not forced to improve.

When they turn in a direction of better balance, more skillfully managed rulesets, and lower margins of codex creep the game increases in popularity and sales follow. Sure an OP unit or codex may boost sales right then, but the game as a whole very clearly responds positively to improving the player experience.

Road to Renown! It's like classic Path to Glory, but repaired, remastered, expanded! https://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/778170.page

I chose an avatar I feel best represents the quality of my post history.

I try to view Warhammer as more of a toolbox with examples than fully complete games. 
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut




St. George, UT

As the old saying goes... Follow the money. GW makes its money by selling plastic crack, not paperback. The new models defiantly get the better rules. Because that's where they need to get their investment back. Even the older models (usually the one offs or the units with lower model count) get codex upgrades once their turn comes around again because why not try to move older models and get a great return on investment. Its been this way with every codex release that had new models added to it.

See pics of my Orks, Tau, Emperor's Children, Necrons, Space Wolves, and Dark Eldar here:


 
   
Made in at
Discriminating Warrior





Austria

but this is not true, the new models do not always get the best rules

which either means GW is bad at their own game if the intend to give the better rules but end up with worse rules because they don't know what they are doing

or they just don't care about the rules and give them whatever they think is "cool" no matter how good or bad it is


for being a special sales strategy, the OP rules are way too random applied

Harry, bring this ring to Narnia or the Sith will take the Enterprise

M41 - Alternative Rules for Battles in the 41st Millennium (40k LRB Project) 
   
Made in dk
Pyro Pilot of a Triach Stalker






Why do Necron players keep forgetting their 3D3 Damage weapon? Multi-meltas doubled in number of shots despite core rules and missions favouring them more than ever.

The new Tau thing is the inferior of a FW Gauss Pylon, 2 Damage 12 shots vs 2D3
Damage D3+6 shots. The Stormsurge's other weapons probably puts it ahead, one Titanic unit having more Dakka than another is not a big deal.

Ignoring invulns is a big deal. railgun HH are bad at killing nothing, there is no profile or save that keeps you safe. The best defence is transhuman which is Primaris and Necrons only.

 Jayden63 wrote:
As the old saying goes... Follow the money. GW makes its money by selling plastic crack, not paperback. The new models defiantly get the better rules. Because that's where they need to get their investment back. Even the older models (usually the one offs or the units with lower model count) get codex upgrades once their turn comes around again because why not try to move older models and get a great return on investment. Its been this way with every codex release that had new models added to it.

Except when GW buffs the same old unit for the third time in a row or fails to make a new unit worth it for the third time in a row. Your theory has little predictive power, you constantly get things wrong if this is how you predict changes. If your theory is incompetence on the other hand, you get things right almost all the time.

All you have to look at is weapon options, what is the economic incentive to make some weapon options awesome and others terrible? Why does GW fail in balancing weapon options every edition? New weapon options being OP like the Havoc chaingun in 8th and Devastator grav cannon in 7th supports your theory, but enmitic exterminators being inferior to gauss destructors proves the opposite since if you wanted to use the old models and not the updated ones, you would use the gauss destructor.
   
Made in ie
Battleship Captain





 Jayden63 wrote:
As the old saying goes... Follow the money. GW makes its money by selling plastic crack, not paperback. The new models defiantly get the better rules.


Given the amount of books they've been throwing out I'm not sure thats true anymore. Also the "GW makes new models good" is demonstrably false, I don't know how people can still think that? Even just recently the two big releases from the Sisters second wave (Castigator tank and Paragon war suits) are both rubbish.


 
   
Made in it
Regular Dakkanaut




Power creep is what WAAC players want, no wonder GW gives it.
   
Made in at
Discriminating Warrior





Austria

for GW intentional giving things in game, they would first need to know what they are doing and play their own game

but of course blaming other players is the better option than realizing that screwed you with random text not worth the paper

Harry, bring this ring to Narnia or the Sith will take the Enterprise

M41 - Alternative Rules for Battles in the 41st Millennium (40k LRB Project) 
   
Made in gb
Moustache-twirling Princeps




United Kingdom

 Sim-Life wrote:
Was it the 7th Ed Tyranids codex where they changed the author to "Games Workshop Design Team" so that Robin Cruddace would stop getting gak for his terrible books?
Both Cruddace & Ward were getting death threats so they decided to anonymise it.

   
Made in us
Death-Dealing Devastator





South Carolina, USA

Yes, but also they clearly don't understand the right way to think about the game vis-a-vis competitive play.

The Hammerhead railgun with AP-6 ignore invulnerable saves would be better than the Pulse Blastcannon even if the Pulse Blastcannon had 3 shots at S20 per turn.

GW seems incapable of processing that reducing the risk to two rolls of dice (Do I hit? Does it wound?) is better than reducing the risk of each individual roll failing (same roll to hit, but wound on a 2+ and limit opponents to invulnerable saves). Adding mortal wounds to the railgun just made the difference between it and the Pulse Blastcannon ... I don't want to be inflammatory and say 'insulting' but egregious may be the appropriate word.

Whoever thought
Heavy 2 S16 AP-4 D12 was better against knights than
Heavy 1 S12 AP-6 6+D3+3MW ignores invulnerable saves should be asked to design basic troops in the future and avoid heavy support units. Or maybe transition into writing the kids books for Black Library.

Squats 2020! 
   
Made in gb
Stern Iron Priest with Thrall Bodyguard



UK

It's simple you can't make people buy models over and over every two years.

But you can force them to buy new rule books, new codex, new supplements, new chapter approved with points updates.

The churn began when they released the 2nd knight codex 14 months after the first, before that a rule book might last you 5 years.

It doesn't cost much to print books in bulk, certainly nothing like the money they charge us.
   
Made in at
Discriminating Warrior





Austria

GW thinks in terms of "the bigger the potential damage, the bigger the cinematic effects of the centerpiece models, the more pople like our game"

Harry, bring this ring to Narnia or the Sith will take the Enterprise

M41 - Alternative Rules for Battles in the 41st Millennium (40k LRB Project) 
   
 
Forum Index » 40K General Discussion
Go to: