Insider 11-8-2016

Our fine social media team has once more compiled a list of your questions for Round Two (Click here for Round 1) of our ongoing ask-and-answer series. If you have a question you’re burning to know the answer to, submit it to our Privateer Press social media experts either via Twitter using #askpp or through our forums, in the Development and Errata Questions Submission forum.

So without any further ado let’s dive right in!

1. Cryx being able to play into gunlines is being examined. Can we get more insight into some of the hows?

As we are still testing, obviously I can’t go into specifics (and if I did, anything I said here would have a 99.9% chance of getting changed based on my track record when I’ve tried to give spoilers). But here’s our approach in general: we are looking at providing Cryx players with a few more options to disrupt range-skewed armies. This might include strategic additions of Advance Deployment, Shield Guard, Stealth, Tough, and possible LOS-blocking spells and abilities.

2. Will each Faction be getting its own Insider explaining errata choices?

We will certainly post an Insider that will accompany the release of the errata in January. And as to Factions getting their own dedicated articles? I don’t know that I can answer that question with any kind of accuracy. In some cases, there simply might not be enough meat for an entire Insider. As such, we’ll determine the number of Insiders based on how the final errata shake out and how much there really is to say on the various items.

3. Will Privateer Press continue to release free PDF copies of cards affected by errata? Can people use the old cards at events if they have the proper errata on hand, or must they use newer cards?

Yes, we will continue to release PDF copies of the cards affected by the errata. And yes, just like in Mk II, players can use outdated versions of the cards so long as they have the latest errata for those cards with them as well and use the errata during gameplay. The point of the version numbers is to make it easy for both players and tournament organizers to recognize whether a card is the most current version by referencing the errata card list.

4. Do models with random ROF feel like their point costs are where they should be? If so, any particular insight into why they should be considered to be in a good place?

Models with random ROF pose a unique challenge when it comes to balance and perception of balance. In effect, they have to be balanced in the “gamble” between the minimum or maximum number of shots they can achieve. For some players the opportunity to hit big is worth the price of admission, not just in terms of the net benefit on the table but also in terms of the overall game experience—it’s thrilling to roll high on shots when you need it most. For other players who never leave any part of their turn to chance if they can help it, the uncertainty involved with these models will always weigh heavily against them, despite their other benefits.

Overall, though, these models provide players with just another choice when building a list—that of putting certainty on the line for the possibility of a much bigger payout. How and when you decide to use those options are up to you.

5. How do we address “community perceived” problems versus “developer perceived” problems? What kind of feedback would be considered more useful?

The most useful feedback always involves actual objective game data. Theory has its place, but results and experience on the table are really where the rubber meets the road. I would urge everyone to go back and read (and reread) Hungerford and Jack’s fantastic Insider on what makes great playtest feedback.

Now, it’s important to understand I’m not asking or advocating that you go out and treat your games as playtest games. However, if after playing your game(s) you feel like you have something important to share, then that article lays out the best way not only to analyze your experience, but also to present your feedback in the most useful manner possible.

6. Why was Beat Back changed the way it was? What was abusing the ability in Mk II to warrant said change?

We changed Beat Back in order to better fit the concept and original intention of the ability. Beat Back is meant to represent an attacker driving an opponent back beneath crushing blows and incredible momentum. When looking at the rule for the new editions, we decided to return to the original concept a bit by requiring the attacking model to move directly toward its target.

7. Are the upcoming Command books going to change because of the errata? Are Command books that would release after the errata being looked at now to reflect the errata?

We’ve taken great pains to ensure all the Command books will reflect all changes within their pages. As of this writing, Forces of HORDES: Trollbloods Command and Forces of WARMACHINE: Protectorate of Menoth Command have only one errata item each that came out after the books were sent to print and so was not reflected in their pages. Beyond that, all the other Command books are 100% up to date with the errata changes. It is our ultimate goal to ensure that the books represent the most accurate, updated information possible upon release.

8. Is there any consideration to redesign Power Up?

Nope.

9. Is changing the field allowance of warjacks and warbeasts from FA U to something else on the table?

I have a policy of never saying “no” to any question about future potential. However, I can say with a high degree of confidence that this is not an adjustment we are looking at now. It is also extremely unlikely we’ll consider altering this in future balance errata either, due to the significant impact such changes would have on player collections. However, it is certainly possible that we will introduce new tournaments and game formats that present unique restrictions or requirements on list building—the ADR-required Champions format being one such example at the current time.

10. Are WARMACHINE/HORDES models balanced around a particular point value?

Well, yes, ultimately every model is ideally balanced around its point value. The road to arrive at that point, however, is not quite so straightforward.

When a model first enters the design process, one of the developers creates a first draft of the model based on its concept brief, which describes in broad, non-rules strokes what the model looks like and what it does. For example, is the model a sniper solo? Or is it a Tharn warrior priestess who uses the blood of her enemies to empower her magic? Using this concept brief, the developers create a first draft of the models rules. As part of this draft a point value is assigned, typically based on gut feeling and comparisons to other similar models. From this point forward all bets are off as the model enters the testing cycle. Stats, abilities, and points are all dials that can be adjusted and tweaked as the model moves through the cycle. Rarely, if ever, do we go in with a mindset of “X model must be Y points.” Such arbitrary decisions at the outset can greatly stifle a model’s potential. Nine times out of ten we find the best results by designing to a model’s concept. Thus, adjusting points becomes one of the most common ways we fine-tune a model’s balance once we’ve hit upon the right set of stats and abilities to translate the original concept to the table.