Wednesday 20 December 2017

The future of FAQ's

Warhammer Community have posted an article which is a pretty clear statement of intent regarding the future of 40k, so I figured I'd take a break from my endless hobby progress posts to say a few words on it, as it makes for some pretty interesting reading.

You can find the article here:
Basically they're moving to a fixed schedule for their FAQ's and updates, with one being released roughly two weeks after every book they put out to fix the immediate issues, then two bigger ones spaced throughout the year to rebalance the wider game and address the bigger problems which crop up.

First of all, this this doesn’t surprise me at all. Secondly, it shows how serious they are about maintaining the game. Gone are the days of problems or imbalances lingering unfixed for years on end. This is pretty close to what Wyrd do with their Malifaux rules, turning 40k into much more of a 'living' ruleset. This can only be a good thing in my opinion, as the various unaddressed issues with previous editions in both balance and the rules themselves played a huge role in driving players away in recent years.
GW are willing to listen to their player base again. They’re even publishing beta rules for player feedback before including them in their next FAQ, letting players shape the future of the rules. This is something which would have been unthinkable to the company a few years ago and if this keeps up, I can only see great things in the future.

That brings me to the actual beta rules themselves. One is a hard nerf to ‘Smite Spam’, making it progressively harder to cast. The other is designed to stop abuse of the character targeting rules, making it so characters can’t stop other characters being targeted by shooting.

I’m no tournament player (although I like to keep informed about the ‘meta’), but both these seem like decent introductions to the game. I’ve been on the receiving end of a moderately Smite-heavy army in the last few months and tbh it wasn’t much fun to play against. Taking bucketloads of unsavable wounds every turn was just too much and I can’t imagine it’s any better when min/maxed to hell in a tournament setting.

They need to be careful though. Some armies (like Thousand Sons and Tzeentch Daemons) need Smite to do a lot of their heavy lifting in the anti-tank/monster department, due to the way they’ve been designed. If they’re too heavy-handed with nerfing Smite, they risk alienating players who collect those armies and don’t want to include allies. On the other hand, those armies haven’t gotten a codex release yet, so this could be easily addressed by giving them a better range of powers or even some strategems to cover that shortfall and reduce their reliance on Smite. It’ll be interesting to see how they handle it.

I can’t really make much commentary on the change to character targeting, having not really faced anyone who’s abused it. I can see why they want to change things up though. I can’t imagine the designers had all-Assassin armies in mind when they designed the character rules for 8th edition.

This willingness to change core mechanics in the way they’re suggesting makes me extremely happy, even as a casual gamer. Even in 7th edition, rules abuses like the ones which they’ve flagged up wouldn’t have been fixed like this, forcing players to endure it all the way through to the next edition. It can only be a good thing for players at all levels of the hobby.

Anyway I’ve waffled on enough I think. I’ll be back soon with some hobby updates. I’ve been a bit lax in keeping the blog updated recently, having had so much going on. I should have a bit more time to get some posts up in the next few weeks though. I also want to do my annual review of my hobby for the year, so expect that at some point soon as well.

So to finish up: What do you think of the new FAQ structure and the direction GW is taking the game? I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts, as I’m aware that how I view the game isn’t how most people look at it.

Until next time, happy gaming!