Insider 10-4-2016: Prelude To Errata

Way back in May, as Lock & Load Gamefest 2016 and the launch of the new editions of WARMACHINE and HORDES were quickly approaching, I spent some time talking about one of the biggest changes the new editions would bring to the games. I’m speaking of none other than dynamic updates to game balance.

Since the new editions came out in June, we have been paying extremely close attention to the WARMACHINE and HORDES communities around the world. Not a single day has gone by that we haven’t voraciously devoured feedback and responses from any outlet offering thoughtful critique and discussion on the games. But simply amassing information is useless if we don’t analyze it and put it into practice.

Thus, for the last several months we have taken that wealth of information and have discussed and debated. We have tweaked and rewritten. And we have tested and retested, all while continuing to watch and listen carefully to the reports flowing in from all of you. At times the process has been rewarding as we’ve seen where we succeeded, and at other times it has stung as we’ve learned where we missed the mark.

As we move into the fourth month of the new editions, there has been a growing amount of anticipation and, I would say, an equal amount of trepidation about the next errata document—when to expect it and, more importantly, what to expect from it.

Now that we have had several months to listen, analyze, and test, we have the confidence to say that the errata will be dropping in mid-January 2017, before SmogCon next year. Moving forward we will be working to maintain the twice-yearly errata cycle that players of Mk II are familiar with. We will release one errata document at the beginning of the year and another in the middle of the year. Not only will this schedule give us the time we need to ensure the best documents we can; we believe it also creates the best play environment for you, the players, by setting standard and predictable expectations.

So that’s the when, but how about the what? In all honesty that’s a much more difficult question to answer, because we are still in the process of debating and testing the errata. As such, matters are still in a state of flux. We want to make sure that we don’t have to errata our errata down the road. Although the specifics are still in motion, we nonetheless wanted to give you all a top-level idea of the topics we are currently looking at and intend to address:

  1. Exploitation of the throw power attack.
  2. Cryx and its ability to handle gun lines.
  3. Close examination and potential rebalancing for the top 5% of overperforming and underperforming models.
  4. Skorne. Yes, the whole Faction. After reviewing the community feedback and game data so far, we realize that we fell short with the Faction in the new edition. However, the Skorne community has provided an incredible amount of measured and insightful feedback over the last several months, which has certainly helped guide us in our efforts to identify where we need to make critical fixes in order to bring Skorne back into line with the other Factions in both power level and, most importantly, fun. While this errata document represents only a small and measured first step in reaching this goal, we hope it will provide a strong foundation on which to build going forward.

As always, we aim to create the best, most enjoyable gaming experience possible. Mind you, despite the amazing opportunity that our new system of dynamic updates offers us, it will never stop us from striving for perfection the first time around.

So until next time, keep the astute observations and constructive criticism coming—because we are listening!