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Nicholas

The final alliance ORBAT updates.

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Yeah, it really gets tiring hearing people complain constantly about the game "dying" and that Spartan is ignoring the game.  Especially following up a post about the next set of updates on the way through quality control and new products on the way.

 

The level of entitlement found on these forums is just amazingly bad.  My 8 year old daughter takes waiting for new episodes of her favorite shows to show up on Netflix so much better than some of the people on these forums.

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Yeah, it really gets tiring hearing people complain constantly about the game "dying" and that Spartan is ignoring the game. Especially following up a post about the next set of updates on the way through quality control and new products on the way.

The level of entitlement found on these forums is just amazingly bad. My 8 year old daughter takes waiting for new episodes of her favorite shows to show up on Netflix so much better than some of the people on these forums.

Agree ×100

At the end of the day I would severely doubt that Spartan would ignore DW completely.

They are working on Halo, which presumably had deadlines and quality aspects imposed by 343i and must meet them to ensure a successful launch.

DW is already established, apart from new models (which I can only see an AA ship fitting in) I can't see what more they can do apart from slightly altering the ORBATS - DW is a mature game and the eldest.

Like having several kids, the oldest usually gets forgotten about and allowed to organically develop, with the newest addition always receiving the largest amount of doting.

It's life. DW is here to stay, it may not be perfect, but in terms of the game, accessibility and pricing - it's one of the best.

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Alternatively it's not a sense of entitlement and people wanting a way to play with their models and perhaps, gasp, a reason to buy more?

Also perhaps these people voicing concerns about the amount of disparate Spartan Games product are not voicing yet more entitlement, but are passing in legitimate concerns and criticisms that are levelled at Spartan from many different corners of the gaming community?

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DW is already established, apart from new models (which I can only see an AA ship fitting in) I can't see what more they can do apart from slightly altering the ORBATS - DW is a mature game and the eldest.

DW may be an established game, but its not the oldest of Spartans games.

Firestorm Armada is far older and its still getting more love than DW is (and giants robots nobody wanted, and updated orbats does not constitute love for the system at this stage)

If they didn't say that the Orbats would be updated within a month from September, I'm sure that there wouldn't be this much discontent over the Orbats. There wouldn't have been so much expectation over them. Ultimately Spartan should've kept their mouths shut and waited to tell us that they were nearly done redoing them, instead of scrambling to get them done as quickly as possible now.

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Listen buddy, I been waiting since 1903 for the Monopoly Boardgame update. The boot is still massively OP and nobody wants to buy a house down Euston Road anymore, not with the recent crime statistics.

That Free Parking square needs to be fixed and who on Earth manages to avoid jail at the forfeiture of £50. Game's gone to the dogs, surprised anyone plays it.

They updated it a couple of years ago. It uses electronic credit/debit cards, and the properties are between several thousand and a couple of million each.

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actually Thamoz im in the same boat (pun intended)

think ive played about 3 games of dystopian this year....my holidays and having a young daughter has all but killed my ability to get out and about as much as last year.

That being said, there isnt much going on to keep me interested....PLC got me going for a little bit, but thats worn off now.

Problem i have is Dystopian isnt getting more popular, therefore gaming becomes stale...hence playing a vastly more popular game like guildball, just to get my gaming juices going again!

 

You see!!! There thyphs goes with his "real life" and his "well thought out, reasoned arguments". He even has the audacity to make complete sense!

It all makes it very difficult to bait a person :P

 

DW is mature, yes. It does not require releases anywhere near as much as the newer of Spartan's games. It does need support, advertising and community building. We got a big mention in the recent newsletter, which is good. It keeps us in the spotlight... sorta. Keep plugging away at that, create some supplemental material (experimental terrain and weather rules, scenarios such as those James created) and send them out in the newsletter too as official *experimental* pdf downloads! Keep the balance chugging along nicely (and perhaps take pity on the poor little drones begging at the door and throw them a bone/speed increase) and have Giles pop up from time to time on here. Which, to his credit, he did recently. Just have him pop over to settle some of the rules queries that are bubbling away on his next visit too :P

 

Also, the boot overpowered? Are your serious? Have you never suffered the blister effect? It is that damned thimble which ruins the game, poncing about all over the board. Never trust a thimble player.

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DW may be an established game, but its not the oldest of Spartans games.

Firestorm Armada is far older and its still getting more love than DW is (and giants robots nobody wanted, and updated orbats does not constitute love for the system at this stage)

If they didn't say that the Orbats would be updated within a month from September, I'm sure that there wouldn't be this much discontent over the Orbats. There wouldn't have been so much expectation over them. Ultimately Spartan should've kept their mouths shut and waited to tell us that they were nearly done redoing them, instead of scrambling to get them done as quickly as possible now.

If they had kept "their mouths shut" then I'm sure people would have been creating "where are my update" threads such as this.

They cannot win!

Not sure why people are going garrity over ORBATS - can people not use the fleets as they are for now? In terms of discontent, do remember forums usually make up the loud minority of people interested in that particular field.

I'm sure more than most aren't actually that fussed, myself included.

Madness.

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actually, people are misunderstanding what alot of the complaints are about....once over it may have been about lack of updates, however now the concern is more about the company being spread so thin that focus will shift so much on other projects

There is simply too many ranges for a small company like spartan to effectively deal with and maintain.....and i dare anyone to argue against that.

Even larger companies dont have the same ranges that spartan do.

More product in the market isnt a certainty of profit

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If they had kept "their mouths shut" then I'm sure people would have been creating "where are my update" threads such as this.

They cannot win!

Not sure why people are going garrity over ORBATS - can people not use the fleets as they are for now? In terms of discontent, do remember forums usually make up the loud minority of people interested in that particular field.

I'm sure more than most aren't actually that fussed, myself included.

Madness.

Well, lets put this into a different context.

Imagine you lent someone you knew some money and they promised you that they would pay you back within a months time.

That month comes and goes, but you don't get the money back. You call the person repeatedly for 4 months trying to get them to at least tell you what happened that the deadline was missed. And its a sizable chunk of money you gave to them, so its not something your likely to let go of.

But you never get any word back.

Then, all of a sudden they finally acknowledge that you exist, and say that they are finally able to pay you back, but only in instalments. That is all well and good and you accept the new arrangement.

However, you start hearing that that person is throwing lumps of money around and are clearly able to pay you back in full now, but you are only getting infrequent instalments of what they owe you.

In this situation wouldn't you be annoyed that the person you lent money to broke their promise and are throwing large sums of money around, but are only giving you trinket payments until you both are all squared up??

Its the same thing with us. They keep throwing their attention to other things and leaving their more established games to wilt away, or just feel completely ignored in favour of the new shiney and very little of what Spartan has done over the past 7-9 months has succeeded to disspell that feeling.

Say what you like about Games Workshop, but at least they knew how to keep some of their gamers and their games alive in some fashion over the years with updates. Yes, they were irregular updates, but they never made public statements of intent and failed to follow through on them. That's mostly because they never spoke to the public, and they only revealed an update when they were ready to sell it. Never before.

So keeping quiet has its merits in not building up the communities hopes and having those hopes shattered by not following through on them.

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Furthermore, Spartan shouldn't be promoting the Halo game as much as they are.

Take Games Workshop as an example. They hold the rights (or at least they did the last I saw) to produce and sell the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit miniatures. But how much advertising do they give it in comparison to 40k and Fantasy stuff?? Practically none.

Why? Because it is not their IP. They do not take home all of the profits from it. Some if not most of it goes to the Tolkien Estate.

And it makes sense. Why would they want to promote a game that they aren't going to be making all the profits from?

The same mentality should be going on at Spartan. But they are promoting the game as if they had no other option.

They should be focusing more on their own IPs and not someone else's.

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Are your gaming habits so one-dimensional that DW updates are that important? When they do finally get around to publishing more material, you'll just want more and more. There's no point where the forum masses would be happy. Play something else in the meantime. Guildball was mentioned - it's fresh and I bet you could drum up a league in no time. Another option is to find a game that just doesn't have or won't get updates - a purely historical game perhaps. No, not FoW, either, that doesn't count.

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Aside from DW and occasionally Firestorm Armada, no other game interests me personally.

I dislike skirmish games like infinity. Its just not big enough for my tastes.

I find games like blood bowl and Guild ball too ridiculous a concept.

And I have no interest in WW2 based games.

So DW is about the only game I do like and play regularly. And regular updates, or at least semi regular updates, and regular community interaction would be nice to see.

So just saying "play something else" really doesn't help anyone.

Call me one dimensional if you want to. But I like what I like, and others would be the same way. Also, not everyone has the funds to just drop one game and start another when they feel like a change.

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No no no I'm not going to debate loose analogies it's like my old BMW - it goes nowhere fast.

Fact is to increase revenue they need to expand its product and user base. Just how many more models, updates and factions does DW really need? The Raj ORBAT, as an example, is not going to change the way you use the Raj, it's not going to change the ships drastically - it's just small tweaks.

People losing their minds over things like that is just a tad odd. If Spartan just kept to FA, DW, DL etc then chances are people would view the systems and stale and move on to the next shiny new thing - so why can't Spartan produce that new shiny thing?

Head count will only ever increase once the new user base and products are in place and the demand justifies extra personnel, it doesnt work any other way and if anyone tells you differently chances are thwy havent ever been invovled in critical business decisions.

No point hiring 6 or 7 extra staff at, what essentially is, an SME if it turns out that nobody adopts the new systems. The user base for the older games is there, it's reliable, it's established; but as I mentioned earlier resting on your laurels as a company is never a good idea.

I would agree that the WW2 game should of perhaps been shown towards the end of the year, as the Halo releases will surely overshadow most Spartan related topics and it has perhaps exacerbated the whole "stretched thin" belief, however if anyone here does know the recruitment plans for Spartan please speak up, as we are all making assumptions based on not a lot of info.

My two cents, will leave this topic for now.

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Furthermore, Spartan shouldn't be promoting the Halo game as much as they are.

Take Games Workshop as an example. They hold the rights (or at least they did the last I saw) to produce and sell the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit miniatures. But how much advertising do they give it in comparison to 40k and Fantasy stuff?? Practically none.

Why? Because it is not their IP. They do not take home all of the profits from it. Some if not most of it goes to the Tolkien Estate.

And it makes sense. Why would they want to promote a game that they aren't going to be making all the profits from?

The same mentality should be going on at Spartan. But they are promoting the game as if they had no other option.

They should be focusing more on their own IPs and not someone else's.

Totally ludicrous argument. Not promoting something because someone else gets a slice of the profit... Not sucessful?

What about McDonalds using Disney and Coca Cola?

What about Lego Marvel toys?

What about Virgin Media promoting BT Sport through it's services.

Profit is profit. Sure they get a bigger chunk from their own IP but Halo has the potential to be huge and I would be running the PR and Marketing department absolutely ragged and sinking big funds to get the Halo games out there. If you like Halo, you want wargames? Better come to Spartan.

On a wider subject unrelated to the quote. Sick of all this nay saying. Want to be negative? Then shoo or be patient. Games better off without the ill support.

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Ill support? No one is here to destroy the game or ruin Spartan. Its not possible for some people with concerns or complaints on their forums to do that.

Ultimately we're all fans of Spartan, thats why we're here. The main concern with Spartan, as it has ever been, has been the volume of game lines it wants to run, currently at 8 or 9 for a small company. This practice does affect things for both good and ill, its a concern for many. Now could both those with and without concerns express themselves more clearly and possibly civily? Sure. Howver theres a reason this topic rears up every so often. And it may be easy to compare people to 8 year old entitled fans, or dismiss this as a vocal minority. However there is a disconnect between what Spartan aims to achieve and the targets they actually hit and it leads to disgruntled fans and competitors eating into their market. Surely thats worth discussing and addressing for the benefit of all?

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Instead of not so subtle jabs, why not civil chat? I'm not claiming to be any managerial, financial or gaming guru, nor do I claim to have access to any sort of insider information.

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I was on the GW's forum before it was shut down for being to negative, I hope we don't become that negative or SG will have to shut it down!

 

Spartan Games is spread thin right now, that will change. We don't kick friends when they are down.

 

This comment is not meant for anyone. We are all friends here.

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Imagine you lent someone you knew some money and they promised you that they would pay you back within a months time.

That month comes and goes, but you don't get the money back. You call the person repeatedly for 4 months trying to get them to at least tell you what happened that the deadline was missed. And its a sizable chunk of money you gave to them, so its not something your likely to let go of.

But you never get any word back.

You're equating Spartan doing free update releases to someone owing you money, that is about as close to the definition of entitlement as I've ever heard.

You might have a point if they had run a kickstarter to do this and then put that money towards other things, but that isn't even close to what is going on here.

Say what you like about Games Workshop, but at least they knew how to keep some of their gamers and their games alive in some fashion over the years with updates. Yes, they were irregular updates, but they never made public statements of intent and failed to follow through on them. That's mostly because they never spoke to the public, and they only revealed an update when they were ready to sell it. Never before.

So keeping quiet has its merits in not building up the communities hopes and having those hopes shattered by not following through on them.

GW is not a good example of anything good. They got away with what they did by being the only one people knew about for a long time. It is biting them now though. And they are starting to change too, they've mentioned some of their plans for AoS without any real information except that it will have points.  I know following forums for WHFB for a long time there were people saying things like "I want to start army X" and a lot of responses along the lines of "they have only one possible decent build, or they're so out of date you're better off getting something else because your unborn children might be out of college before the book is updated."  The games stayed alive by inertia, at least the last 10-15 years, because they did a good job before that, but they did give a lot of sneak peeks and such in White Dwarf.  Of course I think one of the main things GW had going for them earlier was that not a lot of people lived on the internet so it was hard for toxic communities to influence more than a small geographic area.  And that no one expected updates all that fast. 

Yes, it was a bad idea for Spartan to say they would have all the allied ORBATs updated in a month, but it was also unreal expectations for the playerbase to think any good fixes could come to 12 different armies in such a short time frame.

 

Furthermore, Spartan shouldn't be promoting the Halo game as much as they are.

Take Games Workshop as an example. They hold the rights (or at least they did the last I saw) to produce and sell the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit miniatures. But how much advertising do they give it in comparison to 40k and Fantasy stuff?? Practically none.

Except GW did push LORT a lot when it was big, it has a lot of space in White Dwarf (which is essentially their only form of marketing).  They just let it completely die when the hype from the movies died down.  But it is pretty clear they don't care about IP, they just care about model sales.  If they had cared about IP value they wouldn't have destroying 25-30 years worth of IP doing what they did with AoS.  And they've always done a lot more marketing towards 40k than fantasy, and even then it was done with what was the best selling ranges, not the most unique and easier to protect from an IP standpoint, it was always the most generic aspect of 40k that got all the advertising because that sold.

 

Fact is to increase revenue they need to expand its product and user base. Just how many more models, updates and factions does DW really need? The Raj ORBAT, as an example, is not going to change the way you use the Raj, it's not going to change the ships drastically - it's just small tweaks.

People losing their minds over things like that is just a tad odd. If Spartan just kept to FA, DW, DL etc then chances are people would view the systems and stale and move on to the next shiny new thing - so why can't Spartan produce that new shiny thing?

Head count will only ever increase once the new user base and products are in place and the demand justifies extra personnel, it doesnt work any other way and if anyone tells you differently chances are thwy havent ever been invovled in critical business decisions.

I would say a lot of this is consumer driven.  Quite a few people jump around constantly now in every type of game and interest, not just TT games.

Of course that doesn't mean everyone does that and a company and game can't survive in this environment.  After all regular modeling and scale trains are still around and they have no game system driving them, they have nothing to update or change.  And there are a lot of board games that do well without any/much of any updates.  So it's hard to put too much into a game getting "stale" when the non-gaming modeling is still making it and games from Monopoly to Settlers of Catan get few updates or many times none at all.

 

Even in other types of games, lets take Blizzard, World of Warcraft, it is a massively popular game with a huge development team and assumable a large amount of resources at their disposal.  They are about 3 months between updates (checking their patch notes page, I haven't played in 10+ years), it looks like Diablo 3 is about the same at 3 months per update.  Most of those are not huge content updates, they are primarily bug fixes with a few minor changes to classes and encounters here and there.  With the bigger updates being much fewer and farther between.

 

If updates saved the game then all the allied updates they did get already should have greatly increased the number of players and activity.  If there was a direct correlation then it should have shown up, after all they've updated 9 allies and only have 4 left to do, so we should be seeing a lot of people really interested in the game right now if that was the case.  Its unlikely that everyone "on the fence" about trying or coming back to the game are all waiting for those last few allied nations. 

 

got a bit long and I think a bit off point so spoilering the next part

As for what happens on these forums and updates to the game killing or saving the game... well a negative attitude here can spread, as can a positive one, but it is still a fairly minor thing.  I went through the "roll call" thread and there were about 290 players listed with another 380ish players that don't visit the forums.  We can be pretty sure if the player base size for DW was anywhere near 670 total that Spartan would have closed down the game a long time ago.  Even of those "accounted for" players less than half visit the forums.  And in reality it seems like we have maybe 2-3 dozen players that post with anything that could be considered frequently, most are probably on less often that ORBAT updates happen. So I think we can very safely assume that the vast majority of players will never know, or care, if a Spartan Rep is posting in these threads.  For a quick point of perspective, Spartan Game's FB page has just under 10k likes.

I do know that back when GW was doing FAQs/Erratas for their armies it was not uncommon to run into people that never saw them.

 

As for marketing, I think that is probably where they could do the most to bring in new players.  Getting in front of new players is going to do a lot more than anything else.  After all a new player, even looking at the update dates on the download section, will have no idea how balanced or out of date an army is just by looking at when the OBRAT was last updated, they aren't going to know the last updates to the Core nations were pretty much just adding the Dreadbots.  They aren't going to know Spartan thought they would have the allied ORBATs updated in September of last year. 

But marketing is tricky, as it is hard to figure out where the best places are to put your money.  Probably getting to large events like PAX, ComicCons, and things like that will get it in front of a lot of eyes, but more importantly it will get it in front of media looking for things to talk about in front of all the people that don't make it to those events.  FB might be good, except that most people that see their posts are all people that know about the company and probably already know all of their games.

I do know that TheWarStore, which is a pretty big online distributor in the USA, almost always has Spartan listed in their newsletters for new releases.  I don't think just releasing stuff constantly is going to make that better though, and of course just releasing anything to get Spartan known to more people will probably get them looking at all of Spartan's lines.

 

I'm not actually sure what else could really be done to the game.  If there are more models released I don't think that is going to be bringing in more players, I think it would probably make the game more overwhelming to start.  And having started fairly recently, I can say there are already so many options it gets to almost be too much starting out.  I think the quick play rules are probably one of the best things they could have done.  Some see it as diluting their resources, but I think it is actually a very good gateway to the game to get people interested in the setting and game and having something to engage with and play until you get the full game learned and going in an area.

Short version is I don't think what most people are complaining about that are "killing the game" make much of a difference at all.

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We're doing a Spartan demo day in Arlington, VA this weekend. DW, Halo and FSA.

Demo days help a little. Demos, or better yet real games, at conventions can be big drivers- even if they are not an official game.

DW looks cool. it always draws attention. Perhaps the fats play rules will help in demo situations.

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