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Made in de
Ork Admiral Kroozin Da Kosmos on Da Hulk






 H.B.M.C. wrote:
As someone who wrote the armouries for 8 or so books in the 40k RPG line, I can tell you that USRs are exactly as people are describing them here, and generally the books that added more of them rather than having them all at the start (be they weapon traits, actual traits) were done for older games that didn't include the ones that were invented for later books. They should be used to encompass as much as possible from the start, and aren't something that should be 'living'.


But doesn't that mean that you did add to the list of USR over the course of the design process and that you didn't have everything in place right from the start?

What about USR that simply didn't work as intended, did you keep the around as they were forever or did you update them?

I present you, the the most misquoted part of all 40k lore:
Genetor Lukas Anzion in Codex Orks, 3rd edition wrote:[...] To the Ork, the only conceivable explanation for this is that the vehicle travels faster because it is red. However, as disturbing as it sounds, these 'facts' become true. Red Ork vehicles do travel perceptibly faster than those of other colors, even when all other design aspects are nominally the same. Similarly, many captured Ork weapons and items of equipment should not work, and indeed do not work unless wielded by an Ork. I believe this is linked to the strong psychic aura surrounding all Orkoids and have developed the Anzion Theorem of Orkoid Mechamorphic Resonant Kinetics. I theorise that many Ork inventions work because the Orks themselves think that they should work. The strong telekinetic abilities of the Ork's subconscious somehow ensures that the machinery or weaponry functions as desired.

This is literally all GW ever wrote on this topic - everything else is meme knowledge 
   
Made in gb
Longtime Dakkanaut




 Jidmah wrote:
Slipspace wrote:
The point is the designers are supposed to set the parameters for the game before they ever write a single rule. That would include listing what sort of USRs they would need at that point. Then, crucially, you need to stick to that list. This is where GW always fails.

I'd argue that every company ever will fail at that, not just GW. You are kind of bound to fail with this type of approach as can't possible define everything for such a complex game before you know how things interact.


That's so monumentally wrong I'm beginning to wonder if you are a GW game designer in disguise. There's absolutely no reason why a designer can't sit down and figure out the scope and scale of their game, then come up with a bunch of principles to abide by, followed by a set of useful USRs that all armies can use. In practice this usually ends up being easier in a second edition of a game but there's no reason it can't apply to a brand new game too. One of the key reasons is it makes balance easier because you've restricted the available parameters for setting up your units. If you have a bunch of USRs you can make sure they're pretty well balanced before starting to write the rules for individual armies, which can save a lot of time later on.

The point is you need to both do the work before writing any rules and have the discipline to stick to your design for the duration of that edition. Take anti-tank as an example. Maybe Lascannons and other D6 damage weapons are bad (I would argue they are). The problem with GW is they either didn't sit down before writing the Necron and SM Codices and really think about how they wanted AT guns to work this edition, leading to underwhelming Lascannons and Doomsday weapons. Or they half-assed it and lazily copy-pasted even though they knew a Codex coming out in the next few months would feature D3+3 damage as a baseline for AT weapons. There's absolutely no reason GW couldn't have foreseen this problem before releasing 9th edition and adjusted AT weapons accordingly. All it takes is a decision to make AT minimum D3+3 and maybe have a heavier class of AT weapons that are, say, flat damage 5 or 6 and then stick to it. No excuses about certain guns being so much more deadly, or some races being more technologically advanced - just a single principle that puts everyone on a level playing field. I'd argue you need to do this anyway since you need to know what your AT weapons can do in order to properly design your vehicles and monsters.

The same approach applies to USRs. You figure out what rules you need and you create an appropriate USR to apply in those cases. So units that are better on the charge have a USR that can apply to them. Stealthy units get a USR that applies, whether they're super-sneaky Eldar, ethereal Daemons, or SM painted black. GW's problem is they always have to come up with some stupid excuse why this unit in particular is just so much sneakier than the rest even when there's no real reason for it.
   
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Versteckt in den Schatten deines Geistes.

Long post ahead...

 Jidmah wrote:
But doesn't that mean that you did add to the list of USR over the course of the design process and that you didn't have everything in place right from the start?
There are always going to be things that weren't thought of at the start, but the intent was to create systems that were as flexible and scalable as possible so that later additions weren't necessary unless appropriate.

For instance, I wrote the vehicle rules with a whole new set of universal vehicle traits that were designed to cover everything from Baneblades, to Deff Dreadz to Dark Eldar Venoms. So you make as many rules as you can think would cover those situations, work out what's redundant (or what works better as a scaling rule), and go from there. When you come across something that isn't universal (say a Banewolf doesn't explode in the same way other tanks do, given that it's full of toxic gas/chemicals rather than stuff that just goes BOOM), that's when you deviate from the universal rules and create a special rule. But even then, you use other existing universal rules as much as possible rather than inventing new rules wholesale. So, with that Banewolf example, people nearby don't test to catch fire, but rather use the standard rules for Toxic weapons (which are (X), and scalable within the rules).

One thing I want to make very clear is that you can't account for everything, so there are always going to be instances where something comes up later that, in hindsight, seems obvious and suddenly becomes part of every expansion going forward. A good example of that was something I didn't specifically write, but did end up using quite a bit, the 'Razor Sharp' weapon universal rule (of Weapon Qualities as they were called). That basically meant that if you got a really good hit, the penetration of the weapon doubled. That rule didn't come about in the original Dark Heresy, and was added to Rogue Trader in supplements (including one hilarious example where their Bestiary book had the rule, but didn't give it to any of the monsters - not even the Razorwing Flock, where it made the most sense! - until I pointed this out and they changed a bunch of the profiles! ).

So having to add things in later on isn't a failing of USRs either as a concept or not even necessarily in execution. It's just part of the process of development, and should never be seen as a case of abandoning USRs because "Well, you're just going to add to them anyway, so why bother?" or the concept of "living" USRs, which would defeat the USRs.

Which brings me to your second question...

 Jidmah wrote:
What about USR that simply didn't work as intended, did you keep the around as they were forever or did you update them?
Generally things would only be updated if they were functionally broken. What happened more though was iterative change.

The 40k RPGs have several sets of 'universal' rules:

1. Skills - things you test against to perform actions (search, deception, etc.).
2. Talents - Rules that give you abilities or enhance certain actions you can take (lightning attack, catfall, demagogue).
3. Traits - Inherent abilities either born of natural (or unnatural) biology, racial traits, etc. (daemonic, quadruped, winged).
4. Weapon Qualities - The things that give the various special nature to weapons (overcharge, overheat, reliable, gyro-stabilised).

And other variations stemmed from those (for instance my Only War vehicle and living mount rules, and my Black Crusade Bike rules, all had rules that were similar to the inherent 'Traits' above, imaginatively called 'Vehicle Traits' ).

... and all of these items above were pretty much set in stone from when they were written. But they were iterated upon as each game progressed, either to add granularity, add scalability, or to fix imbalances that came up as the games were played (imbalances potentially caused by a lack of granularity and/or scalability).

I'll give two examples.

An example of scalability comes a trait that Dark Heresy, Rogue Trader and Deathwatch all had called 'Unnatural Characteristic' (we'll use Toughness as the example characteristic here). This was a multiplier of that characteristic, starting with x2. So if you have a Toughness Bonus of 4, this ability would make it 8. This was a big leap, as suddenly your reduction/sink for incoming damage jumped from 4 to 8 (plus any armour/cover). Two levels of Unnatural Toughness? Well now it's 12. It was a rule that scaled very highly, and in Deathwatch especially you could get exceptionally tough Marines (A T6 Iron Hands Marine would have a natural sink of 12 before you even got to his armour). It was also a difficult rule to give to NPCs, as you could have some very tough creatures out there, and this all or nothing multiplication limited what you could do without unbalancing things.

When Black Crusade came along, the Trait was changed from a multiplication to an addition, so Unnatural Toughness x2 became Unnatural Toughness +4. Suddenly it was far more granular, as you could literally tailor it to any figure you wanted by changing the +X figure. Marines got to keep their inherent average Toughness Bonus of 8 to show how beefy they were compared to squishy humans (who usually had a Toughness Bonus of 3 or 4 for the lucky ones), but it also meant that when a Marine player got their toughness characteristic up from 40-something to 50-something they didn't jump from Toughness Bonus 8 to 10. It was always +4, unless they found some way to add to it (usually something Nurgle-related! ).

An example of changes to USRs for the purpose of granularity is flame weaponry. In Dark Heresy, the 'Flame' weapon quality meant that it fired at an area within a cone, didn't roll to hit, and could cause people to set on fire. But what if you were using a weapon that sent out a cloud/spray of 'stuff', but it wasn't necessarily fire? Well now you've got to write exceptions to your universal rule every time that comes up. This stayed this way for a while, until the 4th game, Black Crusade, came about. Now where there was one rule, there was two: Flame and Spray. Flame set you on fire. Spray covered the rest. Now a weapon could have the same firing method as a flamer, but didn't need to have an exception written every time as to why it was't setting you on fire.

And then, when the second edition of Dark Heresy came about, both the above examples of change were included in their core rules, along with other rules that had become standard along the way (like Razor Sharp). Meanwhile errata was used to fix mistakes, rather than change the balance of things GW-style.

Slipspace wrote:
That's so monumentally wrong I'm beginning to wonder if you are a GW game designer in disguise. There's absolutely no reason why a designer can't sit down and figure out the scope and scale of their game, then come up with a bunch of principles to abide by, followed by a set of useful USRs that all armies can use.
This is precicely the methodology I followed when I wrote the 40k RPG vehicle rules. For instance, at their most basic, the different types of weapon mounting. I defined:

1. Fixed.
2. Hull-mounted.
3. Turret.
4. Sponson.
5. Co-Axial.
6. Pintle.

... right at the start, before I even wrote a single Leman Russ or Sentinel profile. I wanted to make sure that every weapon on every vehicle fit with the above basic 6 mounting types. So a Basilisk has a Fixed Earthshaker Cannon, but a Hull-Mounted Heavy Bolter, where as a Dark Eldar Venom has both a Fixed Splinter Cannon* and a Pintle-Mounted Splinter Cannon. And I wrote it to allow for things that don't fit into this scheme, like walkers. They're none of the above, really, as they can have weapons in various places, so walkers weapons are just treated as having a front-facing sponson as it's the easiest way to represent that without the need for additional special rules (or worse, per-walker special rules).

*One could make the argument that it could be Hull-Mounted, but you get the idea.


This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2022/01/20 10:16:46


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Quick edit: This is not in response to you H.B.M.C., thanks for your response, will read it later.

If GW would write a good book for every uncalled for ad hominem attack in this thread, they would have written a perfect game.

There is overwhelming evidence that "write perfect USR first and foresee how everything works out for the next three years of an edition" is not a viable approach for Warhammer 40k.

At some point you need to accept that iterative processes are superior to "just get it right the first time" - which is also an accepted standard, across all kinds of industries.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2022/01/20 10:19:41


I present you, the the most misquoted part of all 40k lore:
Genetor Lukas Anzion in Codex Orks, 3rd edition wrote:[...] To the Ork, the only conceivable explanation for this is that the vehicle travels faster because it is red. However, as disturbing as it sounds, these 'facts' become true. Red Ork vehicles do travel perceptibly faster than those of other colors, even when all other design aspects are nominally the same. Similarly, many captured Ork weapons and items of equipment should not work, and indeed do not work unless wielded by an Ork. I believe this is linked to the strong psychic aura surrounding all Orkoids and have developed the Anzion Theorem of Orkoid Mechamorphic Resonant Kinetics. I theorise that many Ork inventions work because the Orks themselves think that they should work. The strong telekinetic abilities of the Ork's subconscious somehow ensures that the machinery or weaponry functions as desired.

This is literally all GW ever wrote on this topic - everything else is meme knowledge 
   
Made in de
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Hamburg

Basing every army on USR was actually a good idea.
GW could have provided a handout of the USR in form of a worksheet for free, but they didn't.
Now players face the problem of separate special rules for each army which is certainly bad.

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Made in de
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 H.B.M.C. wrote:
Long post ahead...

Spoiler:
 Jidmah wrote:
But doesn't that mean that you did add to the list of USR over the course of the design process and that you didn't have everything in place right from the start?
There are always going to be things that weren't thought of at the start, but the intent was to create systems that were as flexible and scalable as possible so that later additions weren't necessary unless appropriate.

For instance, I wrote the vehicle rules with a whole new set of universal vehicle traits that were designed to cover everything from Baneblades, to Deff Dreadz to Dark Eldar Venoms. So you make as many rules as you can think would cover those situations, work out what's redundant (or what works better as a scaling rule), and go from there. When you come across something that isn't universal (say a Banewolf doesn't explode in the same way other tanks do, given that it's full of toxic gas/chemicals rather than stuff that just goes BOOM), that's when you deviate from the universal rules and create a special rule. But even then, you use other existing universal rules as much as possible rather than inventing new rules wholesale. So, with that Banewolf example, people nearby don't test to catch fire, but rather use the standard rules for Toxic weapons (which are (X), and scalable within the rules).

One thing I want to make very clear is that you can't account for everything, so there are always going to be instances where something comes up later that, in hindsight, seems obvious and suddenly becomes part of every expansion going forward. A good example of that was something I didn't specifically write, but did end up using quite a bit, the 'Razor Sharp' weapon universal rule (of Weapon Qualities as they were called). That basically meant that if you got a really good hit, the penetration of the weapon doubled. That rule didn't come about in the original Dark Heresy, and was added to Rogue Trader in supplements (including one hilarious example where their Bestiary book had the rule, but didn't give it to any of the monsters - not even the Razorwing Flock, where it made the most sense! - until I pointed this out and they changed a bunch of the profiles! ).

So having to add things in later on isn't a failing of USRs either as a concept or not even necessarily in execution. It's just part of the process of development, and should never be seen as a case of abandoning USRs because "Well, you're just going to add to them anyway, so why bother?" or the concept of "living" USRs, which would defeat the USRs.

Which brings me to your second question...

 Jidmah wrote:
What about USR that simply didn't work as intended, did you keep the around as they were forever or did you update them?
Generally things would only be updated if they were functionally broken. What happened more though was iterative change.

The 40k RPGs have several sets of 'universal' rules:

1. Skills - things you test against to perform actions (search, deception, etc.).
2. Talents - Rules that give you abilities or enhance certain actions you can take (lightning attack, catfall, demagogue).
3. Traits - Inherent abilities either born of natural (or unnatural) biology, racial traits, etc. (daemonic, quadruped, winged).
4. Weapon Qualities - The things that give the various special nature to weapons (overcharge, overheat, reliable, gyro-stabilised).

And other variations stemmed from those (for instance my Only War vehicle and living mount rules, and my Black Crusade Bike rules, all had rules that were similar to the inherent 'Traits' above, imaginatively called 'Vehicle Traits' ).

... and all of these items above were pretty much set in stone from when they were written. But they were iterated upon as each game progressed, either to add granularity, add scalability, or to fix imbalances that came up as the games were played (imbalances potentially caused by a lack of granularity and/or scalability).

I'll give two examples.

An example of scalability comes a trait that Dark Heresy, Rogue Trader and Deathwatch all had called 'Unnatural Characteristic' (we'll use Toughness as the example characteristic here). This was a multiplier of that characteristic, starting with x2. So if you have a Toughness Bonus of 4, this ability would make it 8. This was a big leap, as suddenly your reduction/sink for incoming damage jumped from 4 to 8 (plus any armour/cover). Two levels of Unnatural Toughness? Well now it's 12. It was a rule that scaled very highly, and in Deathwatch especially you could get exceptionally tough Marines (A T6 Iron Hands Marine would have a natural sink of 12 before you even got to his armour). It was also a difficult rule to give to NPCs, as you could have some very tough creatures out there, and this all or nothing multiplication limited what you could do without unbalancing things.

When Black Crusade came along, the Trait was changed from a multiplication to an addition, so Unnatural Toughness x2 became Unnatural Toughness +4. Suddenly it was far more granular, as you could literally tailor it to any figure you wanted by changing the +X figure. Marines got to keep their inherent average Toughness Bonus of 8 to show how beefy they were compared to squishy humans (who usually had a Toughness Bonus of 3 or 4 for the lucky ones), but it also meant that when a Marine player got their toughness characteristic up from 40-something to 50-something they didn't jump from Toughness Bonus 8 to 10. It was always +4, unless they found some way to add to it (usually something Nurgle-related! ).

An example of changes to USRs for the purpose of granularity is flame weaponry. In Dark Heresy, the 'Flame' weapon quality meant that it fired at an area within a cone, didn't roll to hit, and could cause people to set on fire. But what if you were using a weapon that sent out a cloud/spray of 'stuff', but it wasn't necessarily fire? Well now you've got to write exceptions to your universal rule every time that comes up. This stayed this way for a while, until the 4th game, Black Crusade, came about. Now where there was one rule, there was two: Flame and Spray. Flame set you on fire. Spray covered the rest. Now a weapon could have the same firing method as a flamer, but didn't need to have an exception written every time as to why it was't setting you on fire.

And then, when the second edition of Dark Heresy came about, both the above examples of change were included in their core rules, along with other rules that had become standard along the way (like Razor Sharp). Meanwhile errata was used to fix mistakes, rather than change the balance of things GW-style.

Slipspace wrote:
That's so monumentally wrong I'm beginning to wonder if you are a GW game designer in disguise. There's absolutely no reason why a designer can't sit down and figure out the scope and scale of their game, then come up with a bunch of principles to abide by, followed by a set of useful USRs that all armies can use.
This is precicely the methodology I followed when I wrote the 40k RPG vehicle rules. For instance, at their most basic, the different types of weapon mounting. I defined:

1. Fixed.
2. Hull-mounted.
3. Turret.
4. Sponson.
5. Co-Axial.
6. Pintle.

... right at the start, before I even wrote a single Leman Russ or Sentinel profile. I wanted to make sure that every weapon on every vehicle fit with the above basic 6 mounting types. So a Basilisk has a Fixed Earthshaker Cannon, but a Hull-Mounted Heavy Bolter, where as a Dark Eldar Venom has both a Fixed Splinter Cannon* and a Pintle-Mounted Splinter Cannon. And I wrote it to allow for things that don't fit into this scheme, like walkers. They're none of the above, really, as they can have weapons in various places, so walkers weapons are just treated as having a front-facing sponson as it's the easiest way to represent that without the need for additional special rules (or worse, per-walker special rules).

*One could make the argument that it could be Hull-Mounted, but you get the idea.


Thanks again for your response, and it might come to you as a shock, but I do agree with absolutely everything you wrote. This is how it should be done, and this is what I tried (but clearly failed) to explain.

I present you, the the most misquoted part of all 40k lore:
Genetor Lukas Anzion in Codex Orks, 3rd edition wrote:[...] To the Ork, the only conceivable explanation for this is that the vehicle travels faster because it is red. However, as disturbing as it sounds, these 'facts' become true. Red Ork vehicles do travel perceptibly faster than those of other colors, even when all other design aspects are nominally the same. Similarly, many captured Ork weapons and items of equipment should not work, and indeed do not work unless wielded by an Ork. I believe this is linked to the strong psychic aura surrounding all Orkoids and have developed the Anzion Theorem of Orkoid Mechamorphic Resonant Kinetics. I theorise that many Ork inventions work because the Orks themselves think that they should work. The strong telekinetic abilities of the Ork's subconscious somehow ensures that the machinery or weaponry functions as desired.

This is literally all GW ever wrote on this topic - everything else is meme knowledge 
   
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Tacoma, WA, USA

Personally, I'd just be happy if GW codified some of the common rules concepts into rules keywords that could be used when they write the many bespoke rules. They already use some. We are all used to Invulnerable Save and Transport.

Why can't we have Damage Reduction that is defined to include "damage cannot be reduced below 1" so that they don't need to say that in every rule?

Why can't we just have a Spray keyword that means "attacks from this weapon automatically hit, do not make a hit roll"?

They might not be USRs that eliminate whole paragraphs of rules from the datasheet, but it at least acknowledges and leverages how GW is currently writing rules with their Glossary and Rare Rules section.
   
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Annandale, VA

Jidmah wrote:There is overwhelming evidence that "write perfect USR first and foresee how everything works out for the next three years of an edition" is not a viable approach for Warhammer 40k.


I think the point of contention here is that many of us feel it is is a viable approach for 40K, it just requires GW to get out of this cycle of churn/one-upmanship/build-the-plane-in-flight.

They would need to actually write a cohesive ruleset that is planned in advance like HBMC said. Not just writing a core rulebook and then designing codices as the edition goes on; but having a vision for how the codices will work when they write the core rules, taking into account what scope will be needed to appropriately depict each faction. It'll never be perfect, but it could be better than the mess of similar-but-different rules we have now.

In other words it's not a 40K problem, that's a GW problem.

alextroy wrote:Personally, I'd just be happy if GW codified some of the common rules concepts into rules keywords that could be used when they write the many bespoke rules. They already use some. We are all used to Invulnerable Save and Transport.


And Rapid Fire. And Obscuring. And Infantry.

When it comes down to it, keywords that have effects defined in the BRB are, for all intents and purposes, USRs.

   
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Tacoma, WA, USA

I agree. I also don’t trust GW to properly use a 6th/7th Edition style list, nor would I want to be subjected to that horror again
   
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 catbarf wrote:


I think the point of contention here is that many of us feel it is is a viable approach for 40K, it just requires GW to get out of this cycle of churn/one-upmanship/build-the-plane-in-flight.



110% this and qft.
9th Ed, out of any edition I have played since 5th feels the most seat of the pants and making it up as they go.

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Yes, 9th is incredibly disjointed in design. To some extent GW has always seemed to take a... decentralized (for lack of a better term) approach to design within the studio, with each writer seemingly taking a completely different philosophy and approach to how they design the armies assigned to them, sometimes with jarring consequences in relation to the work of the other designers, but overall it generally felt like things were kept in check by some degree of shared vision and cooperation.

Some of the recent direction with 9e though makes me feel like theres little to no internal communication and each writer is basically operating independently as though they are designing for completely different games. I can only imagine that each writer basically has their own fiefdom to do with as they please, which is why Necrons, AdMech, and AdCustodes have abilities that change every turn whereas Sisters, Aeldari, and some others have abilities based around dice shenanigans, etc.

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as if the GW designers never play 40k against each other

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Been Around the Block




The issue was less about the USRs themselves and more how GW used them. If you just have two things that behave similarly you don't really need a USR. If they behave differently they behave differently and that's fine. USRs are good when things interact with them. If there's a deep strike USR then infiltrators can just say "enemy units may not deep strike within 12" of this unit", which simplifies the game. GW just needed to limit their USRs to things that are high interaction, like FNP, Infiltrate, Deep Strike, etc.
   
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I'd say that one of GW's big issues has been that the person who writes the rulebook usually has no communication with the people who will be writing the codices. That's how you end up with USRs that don't end up getting used in anything (I think there was some stuff in the monstrous creature rules in 5th edition that were never used in that edition, as well). That, to me, was the big problem with USRs, and it caused all of the other problems with USRs.

Edit: Was it 5th edition where Poison was defined for close combat weapons (wounding on a fixed number), and then the Dark Eldar codex has to explain the idea of wounding on a fixed number for ranged weapons?

It's been a while since I've looked at the book so I might be remembering incorrectly, but I remember having the same feeling with the last edition of WHFB before the world was blown up--all of the fancy rules in the rulebook were written with no coordination with the people plotting out the army books, so there's all sorts of neat rules just doing nothing.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2022/01/20 23:57:28


 
   
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The problem isn't USR its GW can't handle simple systems and has to change and modify everything all the time.

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Like everything GW does, the issue isn't necessarily in the core or underlying idea. It's their execution. GW ruins everything they touch.


These are my opinions. This is how I feel. Others may feel differently. This needs to be stated for some reason.
 
   
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chaos0xomega wrote:
Yes, 9th is incredibly disjointed in design. To some extent GW has always seemed to take a... decentralized (for lack of a better term) approach to design within the studio, with each writer seemingly taking a completely different philosophy and approach to how they design the armies assigned to them, sometimes with jarring consequences in relation to the work of the other designers, but overall it generally felt like things were kept in check by some degree of shared vision and cooperation.

Some of the recent direction with 9e though makes me feel like theres little to no internal communication and each writer is basically operating independently as though they are designing for completely different games. I can only imagine that each writer basically has their own fiefdom to do with as they please, which is why Necrons, AdMech, and AdCustodes have abilities that change every turn whereas Sisters, Aeldari, and some others have abilities based around dice shenanigans, etc.


My current 'favorite' in this vein is the custom traits in the new books. They really feel like different for the sake of being different, where GSC are trying to assign values to the worth (hah) of each trait and letting you take up to four and Tau are siloing them off with the bare minimum backstory possible (Sector 'C' vs Sector 'D') and Custodes get... a big angry no?

Efficiency is the highest virtue. 
   
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 Jidmah wrote:
If GW would write a good book for every uncalled for ad hominem attack in this thread, they would have written a perfect game.

There is overwhelming evidence that "write perfect USR first and foresee how everything works out for the next three years of an edition" is not a viable approach for Warhammer 40k.

At some point you need to accept that iterative processes are superior to "just get it right the first time" - which is also an accepted standard, across all kinds of industries.


Your reply above encapsulates the bad arguments you've been making the entire time. Noting that you argue poorly and badly is not "ad hominem," but rather simple statement of opinion based on observation, no different than saying "it's cold outside".

That 40k has been around for quite a long while, it absolutely would be a viable (and intelligent) to define a core set of USRs as the standard for each edition. It's literally what game designers are supposed to do in a core ruleset - to define the system that covers the overwhelming majority of gameplay and all of the common exceptions / variations. And then, they're supposed to follow that as they go through things so that the edition is consistent and cohesive.

GW has iterated 9 editions of 40k , each of which would have been better with a standard set of USRs used consistently across Codices. We're not still stuck playing Rogue Trader for the "first time", we're up to 9th edition decades later. After the release of 8th edition, it's clear that USRs are a vastly better approach than snowflake rules for every army, unit, model and weapon. A professional rules team that actually cared about the overall player experience could certainly do that. It's how professional systems are designed and written in many other industries, but then, GW has never really been about professionalism or that sort of thing..


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 Backspacehacker wrote:
9th Ed, out of any edition I have played since 5th feels the most seat of the pants and making it up as they go.


8th Edition / 9th Edition encourages this sort of thing by its very design. The core game is so skeletal and minimalist, that everything is pushed to the Codices, so as a Codex writer has nearly absolute freedom to indulge themselves with whatever mechanics and rules they like.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2022/01/21 05:48:59


   
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Slipspace wrote:
The point is you need to both do the work before writing any rules and have the discipline to stick to your design for the duration of that edition. Take anti-tank as an example. Maybe Lascannons and other D6 damage weapons are bad (I would argue they are). The problem with GW is they either didn't sit down before writing the Necron and SM Codices and really think about how they wanted AT guns to work this edition, leading to underwhelming Lascannons and Doomsday weapons. Or they half-assed it and lazily copy-pasted even though they knew a Codex coming out in the next few months would feature D3+3 damage as a baseline for AT weapons. There's absolutely no reason GW couldn't have foreseen this problem before releasing 9th edition and adjusted AT weapons accordingly. All it takes is a decision to make AT minimum D3+3 and maybe have a heavier class of AT weapons that are, say, flat damage 5 or 6 and then stick to it. No excuses about certain guns being so much more deadly, or some races being more technologically advanced - just a single principle that puts everyone on a level playing field. I'd argue you need to do this anyway since you need to know what your AT weapons can do in order to properly design your vehicles and monsters.

How can lascannons be bad from a pure stat perspective? Are they so bad that Devastator Marines are tanks rather than damage dealers because their cost has to be so low to account for low damage output? What is the problem with lascannons? Are Guardsmen bad as well? Should all infantry have a 3+ Sv?
   
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 Jidmah wrote:
If GW would write a good book for every uncalled for ad hominem attack in this thread, they would have written a perfect game.

There is overwhelming evidence that "write perfect USR first and foresee how everything works out for the next three years of an edition" is not a viable approach for Warhammer 40k.

At some point you need to accept that iterative processes are superior to "just get it right the first time" - which is also an accepted standard, across all kinds of industries.


I am speaking as someone who both has a degree in game design and certifications in lean manufacturing and six sigma black belt. 1) an iterative process is just inherent. It's going to happen regardless. But 2) the more planning ahead you can do the lower the costs and the less time is wasted. As much as anything can be right the first time it should be right the first time, with the idea that continuous improvement is going to be continuous.

That being said, we are GWs customers. Not their guinea pigs. That iterative process should be happening in their office as they test things before release. We shouldn't be watching it unfold over the course of years in a single edition of the game while they slowly roll out faction books.

Go to a car manufacturer and tell them the iterative process is good and fine but let the customers test the car to see if they are safe or pass emission tests or whatever. Let the customer find out if the thing isn't going to rattle itself to pieces. Let the customers find out how the car will perform in a crash test. No, don't hire physicists and engineers to plan ahead for how it SHOULD perform. Just wing it, sell it, and see what happens. A car manufacturer designs it to succeed, tests it to see if it does, THEN releases it to the public.


These are my opinions. This is how I feel. Others may feel differently. This needs to be stated for some reason.
 
   
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 Lance845 wrote:
 Jidmah wrote:
If GW would write a good book for every uncalled for ad hominem attack in this thread, they would have written a perfect game.

There is overwhelming evidence that "write perfect USR first and foresee how everything works out for the next three years of an edition" is not a viable approach for Warhammer 40k.

At some point you need to accept that iterative processes are superior to "just get it right the first time" - which is also an accepted standard, across all kinds of industries.


I am speaking as someone who both has a degree in game design and certifications in lean manufacturing and six sigma black belt. 1) an iterative process is just inherent. It's going to happen regardless. But 2) the more planning ahead you can do the lower the costs and the less time is wasted. As much as anything can be right the first time it should be right the first time, with the idea that continuous improvement is going to be continuous.

That being said, we are GWs customers. Not their guinea pigs. That iterative process should be happening in their office as they test things before release. We shouldn't be watching it unfold over the course of years in a single edition of the game while they slowly roll out faction books.

Go to a car manufacturer and tell them the iterative process is good and fine but let the customers test the car to see if they are safe or pass emission tests or whatever. Let the customer find out if the thing isn't going to rattle itself to pieces. Let the customers find out how the car will perform in a crash test. No, don't hire physicists and engineers to plan ahead for how it SHOULD perform. Just wing it, sell it, and see what happens. A car manufacturer designs it to succeed, tests it to see if it does, THEN releases it to the public.


I mostly agree with you, but the car example is pretty extreme though. There are countless safety reasons behind designing cars to succeed that GW doesn't need to consider as they're only selling miniatures, books, accessories and hobby supplies.

As long as those products aren't dangerous in some way, any fault in the iterative process doesn't really matter and typically the customer has the chance to know most if not all of those faults in advance thanks to reviews, podcasts, social medias, forums, etc...

I always gave money to GW knowing exactly what I was paying for and fully willing to do that.

 
   
Made in de
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 Lance845 wrote:
Go to a car manufacturer and tell them the iterative process is good and fine but let the customers test the car to see if they are safe or pass emission tests or whatever. Let the customer find out if the thing isn't going to rattle itself to pieces. Let the customers find out how the car will perform in a crash test. No, don't hire physicists and engineers to plan ahead for how it SHOULD perform. Just wing it, sell it, and see what happens. A car manufacturer designs it to succeed, tests it to see if it does, THEN releases it to the public.


Sure, but that's why cars have thousands of dollars for this baked into their costs. Of a 50k dollar BMW roughly 10% of its costs is just for this kind of stuff and they sell about as many cars per year as there are Warhammer 40k players.

I'm fairly sure that you aren't willing to spend thousands of dollars on an edition.

And it's not like cars aren't iterating. Buy the same type of car from the same series manufactured five years from each other and you'll see a lot of differences between them.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2022/01/21 10:29:04


I present you, the the most misquoted part of all 40k lore:
Genetor Lukas Anzion in Codex Orks, 3rd edition wrote:[...] To the Ork, the only conceivable explanation for this is that the vehicle travels faster because it is red. However, as disturbing as it sounds, these 'facts' become true. Red Ork vehicles do travel perceptibly faster than those of other colors, even when all other design aspects are nominally the same. Similarly, many captured Ork weapons and items of equipment should not work, and indeed do not work unless wielded by an Ork. I believe this is linked to the strong psychic aura surrounding all Orkoids and have developed the Anzion Theorem of Orkoid Mechamorphic Resonant Kinetics. I theorise that many Ork inventions work because the Orks themselves think that they should work. The strong telekinetic abilities of the Ork's subconscious somehow ensures that the machinery or weaponry functions as desired.

This is literally all GW ever wrote on this topic - everything else is meme knowledge 
   
Made in us
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 Jidmah wrote:
 Lance845 wrote:
Go to a car manufacturer and tell them the iterative process is good and fine but let the customers test the car to see if they are safe or pass emission tests or whatever. Let the customer find out if the thing isn't going to rattle itself to pieces. Let the customers find out how the car will perform in a crash test. No, don't hire physicists and engineers to plan ahead for how it SHOULD perform. Just wing it, sell it, and see what happens. A car manufacturer designs it to succeed, tests it to see if it does, THEN releases it to the public.


Sure, but that's why cars have thousands of dollars for this baked into their costs. Of a 50k dollar BMW roughly 10% of its costs is just for this kind of stuff and they sell about as many cars per year as there are Warhammer 40k players.

I'm fairly sure that you aren't willing to spend thousands of dollars on an edition.

On paper GW hires game designers. The engineers and physicists who should be making sure it works the first time, and then iterating in testing behind closed doors in their office. It's so blatantly obvious how inept they are at their jobs, or hamstrung by the big wigs (it's possible they would make a good product if given the chance, but since Robbin Cruddace is one of the lead designers and he is responsible for some of the worst codexes to ever exist I doubt it).

And it's not like cars aren't iterating. Buy the same type of car from the same series manufactured five years from each other and you'll see a lot of differences between them.


Do you think you are not paying a crazy premium on GW products? Do you not feel like the design process has been baked into the cost? You get superior hardcovers with greater amounts of content for a lower price point with games that actually work from other companies.

The point is each iteration, each generation, of the car is a fully functioning car. It works. it doesn't come with a bunch of problems baked in with the car company sending me parts 3 times a year to let me know "BTW we found out these parts are gak. Here are some new parts for you to replace in your car. Don't worry. We keep on iterating!"

The iterations of cars isn't equivalent to the codexes and the update documents we constantly get. It's equivalent to a new edition.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 Blackie wrote:

I mostly agree with you, but the car example is pretty extreme though. There are countless safety reasons behind designing cars to succeed that GW doesn't need to consider as they're only selling miniatures, books, accessories and hobby supplies.


Extreme examples to highlight the point is the point.

As long as those products aren't dangerous in some way, any fault in the iterative process doesn't really matter and typically the customer has the chance to know most if not all of those faults in advance thanks to reviews, podcasts, social medias, forums, etc...


Yes. If a GW game is broken nobody dies. Agreed. But I am not paying thousands of dollars for GWs books. I am paying WAY more than an equivalent quality and page count hard cover. Other companies releasing those books typically have a higher quality of functioning rules with more actual content per page than what GW gives us.

I always gave money to GW knowing exactly what I was paying for and fully willing to do that.


Yup. You and everyone else who does it. Doesn't mean you are not being screwed in the process.

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 2022/01/21 10:41:05



These are my opinions. This is how I feel. Others may feel differently. This needs to be stated for some reason.
 
   
Made in de
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The thing is, the premium is a percentage that adds up to an absolute number of moneys which you can then use to pay people doing your quality to assurance.

10% of 2 million cars is going to add up to a better quality assurance process than 80% of 2 million hard cover books.

I'd also point out that at least this edition is a fully functional game, claiming otherwise is hyperbole.
It's not without flaws, but it's not like every car produced ever is perfect and flawless, so your analogy isn't really working well.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2022/01/21 10:42:49


I present you, the the most misquoted part of all 40k lore:
Genetor Lukas Anzion in Codex Orks, 3rd edition wrote:[...] To the Ork, the only conceivable explanation for this is that the vehicle travels faster because it is red. However, as disturbing as it sounds, these 'facts' become true. Red Ork vehicles do travel perceptibly faster than those of other colors, even when all other design aspects are nominally the same. Similarly, many captured Ork weapons and items of equipment should not work, and indeed do not work unless wielded by an Ork. I believe this is linked to the strong psychic aura surrounding all Orkoids and have developed the Anzion Theorem of Orkoid Mechamorphic Resonant Kinetics. I theorise that many Ork inventions work because the Orks themselves think that they should work. The strong telekinetic abilities of the Ork's subconscious somehow ensures that the machinery or weaponry functions as desired.

This is literally all GW ever wrote on this topic - everything else is meme knowledge 
   
Made in us
Dominating Dominatrix






 Jidmah wrote:
The thing is, the premium is a percentage that adds up to an absolute number of moneys which you can then use to pay people doing your quality to assurance.

10% of 2 million cars is going to add up to a better quality assurance process than 80% of 2 million hard cover books.

I'd also point out that at least this edition is a fully functional game, claiming otherwise is hyperbole.
It's not without flaws, but it's not like every car produced ever is perfect and flawless, so your analogy isn't really working well.


Then pay attention to the point. GW has game designers. For the price they charge the game should be of higher quality out the gate. Hell, for ANY price. We are not their guinea pigs who test their product so they can iterate on us over the course of years. Nobody should need to constantly access the internet to figure out how to play. And the expensive books I buy shouldn't become obsolete a couple months after hitting the shelves because they had to release an errata FAQ to fix the broken gak they sent out the door.

YOU made a point that an iterative process is superior and standard in many industries. Yup. Inside the office, behind closed doors, the iterative process is in effect everywhere. Not on the customers. Not the way GW has been doing it. YOUR point isn't really working well.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2022/01/21 10:50:47



These are my opinions. This is how I feel. Others may feel differently. This needs to be stated for some reason.
 
   
Made in gb
Fixture of Dakka







 vict0988 wrote:
How can lascannons be bad from a pure stat perspective? Are they so bad that Devastator Marines are tanks rather than damage dealers because their cost has to be so low to account for low damage output? What is the problem with lascannons? Are Guardsmen bad as well? Should all infantry have a 3+ Sv?

Single-shot AT weapon with a good range that can roll a 1 for damage even if its target doesn't have an invulnerable save? Yeah, at the start of 9th that was underwhelming when compared with the numerous buffs received by the Multi-melta, though probably still preferred to the humble Missile Launcher.

Since then, the paradigm for AT weapons has continued to evolve, with things like d3+3 damage, etc, leading up to whatever the Broadside rail-weapon ends up being now (if we use that as the current peak of "infantry" single-shot AT, as opposed to tank single-shot AT).

The basic lascannon wasn't a good choice at the start of the edition - even on Devastators, which is why a Multi-melta Dev squad in a Drop pod is a thing - and they've gotten worse in relative terms since then.

2021 Plog - Here we go again... - my fifth attempt at a Dakka PLOG

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Gamgee on Tau Players wrote:we all kill cats and sell our own families to the devil and eat live puppies.


 Kanluwen wrote:
This is, emphatically, why I will continue suggesting nuking Guard and starting over again. It's a legacy army that needs to be rebooted with a new focal point.

Confirmation of why no-one should listen to Kanluwen when it comes to the IG - he doesn't want the IG, he want's Kan's New Model Army... 
   
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The melta change was a mistake. The darklance change was a mistake, to me you're just arguing GW should make another mistake.
   
Made in gb
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The dark behind the eyes.

Regarding GW's "iterative process", I think it could work if GW was prepared to treat players as beta-testers, get feedback and revise things - either during the course of an edition or even prior to an edition being officially released.

Here's the catch, though - for this to work, their rules would need to be free. You don't get to charge £25-30 for a book that isn't even finished yet.

 the_scotsman wrote:
Yeah, when i read the small novel that is the Death Guard unit options and think about resolving the attacks from a melee-oriented min size death guard squad, the thing that springs to mind is "Accessible!"

 Argive wrote:
GW seems to have a crystal ball and just pulls hairbrained ideas out of their backside for the most part.


 Andilus Greatsword wrote:

"Prepare to open fire at that towering Wraithknight!"
"ARE YOU DAFT MAN!?! YOU MIGHT HIT THE MEN WHO COME UP TO ITS ANKLES!!!"


Akiasura wrote:
I hate to sound like a serial killer, but I'll be reaching for my friend occam's razor yet again.


 insaniak wrote:

You're not. If you're worried about your opponent using 'fake' rules, you're having fun the wrong way. This hobby isn't about rules. It's about buying Citadel miniatures.

Please report to your nearest GW store for attitude readjustment. Take your wallet.
 
   
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 vipoid wrote:
Regarding GW's "iterative process", I think it could work if GW was prepared to treat players as beta-testers, get feedback and revise things - either during the course of an edition or even prior to an edition being officially released.

Here's the catch, though - for this to work, their rules would need to be free. You don't get to charge £25-30 for a book that isn't even finished yet.

If it goes it goes. People have to boycott products they don't think are good value, if they get bought they keep getting produced.
   
Made in gb
Fixture of Dakka







 vict0988 wrote:
The melta change was a mistake. The darklance change was a mistake, to me you're just arguing GW should make another mistake.

Interesting that you think I'm arguing - I'm not, I'm just explaining how someone could reach that viewpoint.

And Slipspace wasn't necessarily arguing for changes now either. What they were saying was that what GW has seen as "reasonable" for a single-shot AT weapon hasn't kept to the same ballpark across the edition so far, outside of weapons with identical names. As a result, weapons that were probably meant to be good at the start of the edition now look poor in comparison to a weapon released mid-edition.

What Slipspace is saying that GW should have a metric for "single-shot AT weapon" (as an example weapon type), and stick to it throughout the edition - not ramp things up when they get bored, or because a particular designer has a hard-on for the Gundam faction.

2021 Plog - Here we go again... - my fifth attempt at a Dakka PLOG

My [url=https://pileofpotential.com/dysartes]Pile of Potential[/url - updates ongoing...

Gamgee on Tau Players wrote:we all kill cats and sell our own families to the devil and eat live puppies.


 Kanluwen wrote:
This is, emphatically, why I will continue suggesting nuking Guard and starting over again. It's a legacy army that needs to be rebooted with a new focal point.

Confirmation of why no-one should listen to Kanluwen when it comes to the IG - he doesn't want the IG, he want's Kan's New Model Army... 
   
 
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