He who rejects change is the architect of decay. The only human institution which rejects progress is the cemetery. ~Harold Wilson
As we rush headlong towards the Malifaux 2nd Edition open beta so the amount of hatred for the announced changes increases on forums and Twitter. This seems to boil down along these sorts of lines -
- The game is going to be ruined
- Its not Malifaux anymore
- Why didnt they just make the changes I said, then it would be perfect
- I don't want it to be dumbed down and thats what they are doing
- Waaah Waaah Waaah*
However now we have a new target for our rage as yesterday Eric J (head honcho over at Wyrd) posted a blog article called Playtesters Lie and frankly it doesn't seem to have gone down well. Even players who I normally consider sane and rational have been left with a sour taste in their mouths and have taken to the various forms of social media to express this.
The problem I have with this is that IMO Eric actually has it spot on and its something I see all the time in my real life job. When we give out new pieces of software to folks via our beta program I can pretty much predict which features are going to get feedback from which testers and what that feedback is going to be. This is because testers will always bias the use of the software to their own internal use cases and feedback will always be focused around that. Gamers are no different. We will look at how our masters are affected and our feedback testing will be naturally biased by that. Eric has actually shown in his blog that he understands this and from a design point of view thats very important.
The other thing that this has knocked on is that I've seen folks saying that the public beta is all just window dressing and nothing will change. To that I say bollocks. If that was going to be the case they just wouldn't bother, M2e would have just been presented as a fait acompli at GENCON later in the year. Will core tenants of the new ruleset change. No, and if you thought they would you are deluding yourself, you aren't going to be able to rewrite the rules into what you want them to be, if you want to do that go start your own game company. Yes that does mean that things like the new soulstone mechanics are here to stay. What I'm certain you will be able to influence are things like SS cost of models, the language used to describe something (hopefully there is good clear robust langauge around LOS for instance) or how interacts on a particular strategy function.
So will the world end when the M2e beta is released? No it won't (I hope) but its not going to be the same game that you have been playing for the last few years either. The good thing of course is that noone is stopping you playing 1st Edition as long as you want. The miniature police aren't going to come around your house and take away your V1 stat cards after all.
If nothing ever changed, there'd be no butterflies. ~Author Unknown
*OK possibly I haven't seen the last one, though sometimes it feels like it :)