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Venter

Of rage quitting and broken promises

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Hi, I'm just getting into Planetfall AND FA (again), but am a long time DW player. And I like SG models a lot

I Pledged on the DW KS, also. And actively promoting SG in my country. 

I'm writing because the current situation gives me two different levels of "what, why?".

The first one regards us, the players. What's the point in saying "they promised us new stuff, they gave us none. I'm out."
WHAT? But... why?!? I mean, you still have all your models and manuals. All the hard work and money you put into buying and modeling... what's the point in saying "they promised me something, they didn't give it to me, I quit"? It makes no sense, looks more like the point of view of a betrayed lover who already was waiting just for the chance to exit the relation, than that of a rational customer.
Ok, they're not giving you any new toys, but it's not a reason to quit with what you already have. It's nonsense.

On the other hand, there's Spartan.
Guys, you also really need to make up your mind and do some serious business, let a chemistry PhD student with exactly zero experience in management tell you :D. It's evident even to an incompetent person like me: you just can't keep making promises you're going to break. It's just not professional. Come on! You already have a ton of data telling you which deadlines you can keep up to, and which ones you can't. Use it! Stop saying stuff like "we'll show things on this date" lightly, because people will look forward to that date!
Most of all, answer to players and take your responsibilities. There still is a hardcore group of players, show respect to them :). The Adepticon Planet-fail screams for a huge "we're sorry, we messed up"; just do that, what's the problem?

...does it make sense? Thoughts? 

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People don't like being despised or taken for fools. Especially multiple times.

People want that a game they invested money in to be properly supported. With balanced rules and profiles, FAQ, scenarii, ... Personally, I have strictly no interest in a dead game, as it's boring and impossible to find players for it.

So yeah, you brought some valid points but when a company acts like Spartan, lying and treating its customers like s**t for months or even years, it leads to extreme reactions.

EDIT: Sorry for my bad english

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Well this is the internet and an open forum, so customers that feel mistreated (silence, broken promises, neglect) can and will voice their grievances.

It can be a good thing if companies address the issues and build a stronger community. It can also be a negative factor as current and future customers come to the site to see all the negativity and decide to leave for greener pastures.

Currently it seems like SG just does not care about their website.(Points to the Kickstarter page that ended 5 months ago on their main page). Also somebody is throwing people that post promises under the bus. I honestly believe they try but when the rubber hits the road it is just not happening. You can only promise to not pull the football away so many times before the kick before Charlie Brown gets mad and walks away (or at least he should).

To be honest it almost seems as if SG should just kill the forums, stop making promises and just advertise new releases when they are ready. I'm not really sure if that will help their business model, but keeping up with their website and forums seems to be more than they can handle currently.

Not having a single thing to show for Planetfall at Adepticon was a bit mind blowing. I'm not really expecting anything for PF until the end of the year, but it was a chance to show they are currently working on cool new stuff or at least have some cool ideas. It seems they have nothing right now. 

I personally really like the PF models (something that SG does really well) and I'm willing to wait. I completely understand those who are not willing to wait. The miniature game market is expanding currently and many companies are fighting for cash. So when you stumble across a company that seems cool at first, but you find out the main webpage is pretty much dead, product releases always get delayed, promises from staff are rarely kept, product releases can be months or years apart... well it does not take a genius to figure out what is going on.

Hopefully Spartan will get it together. If not... well business as usual.

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I think the negative reactions have a lot to do with the binary nature of our age (something is either divinely awesome or total ****), and I really used to like this forum, because you could find something in between. The reason of this middle ground diminishing is that in a lot of cases there’s nothing else to contribute. The negative sounds I interpret as cries for help and attention, which is understandable, as we’re not told much, and many of the things that we were given turns out to be abandoned or even not true. There are those who defend the company, which is understandable, because as you also stated, we have the models, we have the rules for them, and even the ability to tinker with them if needed.

This brings me to the part that makes me worried: the silence. The vocal people you can work with. The ones that left are harder to reach. Many of the forumites who have contributed so much to the game have left, or fell silent, as there’s not much meaningful content left to contribute to. (I’m not talking about the current DW section, as they currently have meat to sink their teeth into, but they too remember what I’m writing about here, as not too long ago they were in the same position, and the line deserves the attention they are getting now)

Spartan decided to do something about this when they released the survey (and it was probably just in the nick of time), there was a brief upsurge of positivity across the board, people easing into hopefulness. It was a wave Spartan could have ridden, and did so with one of their lines, but not with others that needed this almost as much (one of them has even been officially discontinued a month before, and that didn’t help much either).

The “ragequitting” mood currently resides mainly in the firestorm side of the forums. There was still some discussion about tinkering with the existing rules, interesting ideas on the FSA section, but the banning of alexmann effectively killed that too. There’s nothing really left to contribute to. Adepticon showed us new things, the beginning of a new campaign, new models, even a leviathan, and there’s a lot less reaction than I expected. A lot less people who seem to these that seriously (especially in my corner of the world), and that really saddens me, but doesn’t surprise me the least. The DL and PF section is effectively mute (if you discount the queries for progress)

What I’m trying to say is Spartan should value their “whiners” and “ragequitters”. They are still part of the people who still actively care about their games. Give them the transparency they beg for. Knowing that what’s exactly going on will prevent some of the unfounded negativity. A solid plan that Spartan sticks with would be a great thing for the company, but if the players don’t know the milestones (and if there are delays or not), they will take scilence as a lack of progress, and the vague hints that didn’t come true will be interpreted as broken promises and lies.

We the players also have responsibilities. I’m not sure if Spartan will allow the transparency we need for them, but we should try to be patient. If we have reason to believe that nothing meaningful will happen for many many months (PF, DL, and to a lesser extent FSA...) we shouldn’t scare new players away. They are as much our future as Spartan’s. If there’s no influx of new players, there’ll be no Spartan to give us the updates we’re so desperate to get. Or Spartan can decide that all but 2 systems will go the UCS way, and if they have to choose, they will probably pick the ones that don’t attract newbies (even if the reason of that is the well-founded negativity they are responsible of). If I came to these forums and saw the last years nature of activity, I know I’d be looking for some other game after 20 minutes of browsing (and we shouldn’t forget, that there’s meaningful competition now). As far as I can see, Spartan Mike is trying to do his best to create the kind of environment that is preventing this. I know Spartan Alex also tried to do that, and we all know what happened and that everybody lost in that affair. We should help him, for him to be able to help us, maybe he’ll succeed. (Damn, this sounds cheesy :P )

If he doesn’t there’s not much else we can do. Maybe your playgroup is openminded enough, you can broaden your horizons by trying new rulesets with your existing models (see above point for meaningful competition ;) ). Maybe they are fun. Maybe they are not, but you could find elements you can use in your other games. Or just let it go (until the new ruleset is here).

 

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If you're playing a game a lot, say weekly, either a huge catalog of models or a continual release of models/rule tweaks is required to sustain interest. 

Lack of those (when promised or not) is going to cause players to quit playing. Particularly if they can use the models within another system.

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26 minutes ago, AsleepByDay said:

Lack of those (when promised or not) is going to cause players to quit playing.

I don't understand such people. When I like to play a Game (and/or it's Universe) why should I quit a game because there are no new releases?

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On 27.3.2017 at 4:46 PM, Venter said:

The first one regards us, the players. What's the point in saying "they promised us new stuff, they gave us none. I'm out."
WHAT? But... why?!? I mean, you still have all your models and manuals. All the hard work and money you put into buying and modeling... what's the point in saying "they promised me something, they didn't give it to me, I quit"? It makes no sense, looks more like the point of view of a betrayed lover who already was waiting just for he chance to exit the relation, than that of a rational customer.
Ok, they're giving you any new toys, but it's not a reason to quit with what you already have. It's nonsense.

[...]

...does it make sense? Thoughts? 

 

For me, it depends on the system and it's current state. For example:

I do have a sizable FSA collection. Since FSA does have an alright set of rules, a bit of variation in list building due to different options and since I was able to collect enough Terran, Hawker, Dindrenzi and RSN ships (about 60 unique ships and 240ish in total) I have enough stored to keep the game interesting for a long amount of time. I won't sell my current fleets or quit the game. Even if they won't relase any content for FSA, ever, it'll still be alright as a standalone game in my collection. It's a game that has grown so much, it can do without new models and rules, but I'll still be happy for anything new that might come.

Things like HFB, HGC, Planetfall and the likes feel like stillbirths compared to FSA. Game systems that hadn't been allowed to grow up to a point where they could support themselves. A lack of variety in models, substandard quality in casting, a horrible, horrible resale value, broken rules that haven't been fixed in years, without a lot of hope that there is anything new to come and a lot of bitterness due to broken promises. The models you bought can become a reminder of the money and time you wasted in supporting a system that never took of the ground and probably never will, so it can be better to just vent, get rid of them and continue on.

 

 

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32 minutes ago, Warmaster said:

I don't understand such people. When I like to play a Game (and/or it's Universe) why should I quit a game because there are no new releases?

Because after you have played the game several times with the same units it starts to get boring. The solution is to change your list, after a time doing so requires new releases. If those releases are not produced by the company your options are home brewing or quit.

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On 27/3/2017 at 5:27 PM, Vedar said:

Well this is the internet and an open forum, so customers that feel mistreated (silence, broken promises, neglect) can and will voice their grievances.

I'd like to point out that I never wrote, nor thought, that they shouldn't. 
I myself stated clearly some harsh, though I hope motivated, criticism :)

I also hope that this was not taken for what it isn't, like ranting or insulting. Because it's not.

Thanks to all for taking time to participate; for me, I'm receiving a lot of interesting points of view (I especially liked @BRB's point - thanks to @Small Mek for writing much better than I did, more or less I think we're on the same boat. And yes, I also miss the old time forums and am super sorry for the Alex Mann affaire). I'm a bit worried because right now a bunch of people is going to start FSA/DW in my area. I would hate to see them asking "what's Spartan doing?" a year from now.

I also hope this is of some help for Spartan. I'm seeing positive signals in the re-opening of the communication (right now I'm reading some heroic efforts made by Spartan Mike in the Planetfall forum); what I think, though, is that now this seems to me a very delicate moment for the SG community. Of course, ranters gonna rant; but still, if I were them, I'd do my best to avoid missteps like saying "Planetfall stuff will appear at Adepticon" and then showing up with bare hands. That's been a bad blow, in a bad moment.

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I am (of coarse) always disappointed when I read such frustrations from the community. But again I understand and respect the frustrations you have illustrated here and while I wish there was never a reason to have "rants" and posts in this vein, I certainly hope that by placing a more personal effort in reaching out to all communities when I can, combined with what will be a large amount of incredible releases this year, we can maybe beat this dragon back into its cave.

Thanks for taking the time to dialogue.

-Mike

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4 minutes ago, Spartan Mike said:

I am (of coarse) always disappointed when I read such frustrations from the community. But again I understand and respect the frustrations you have illustrated here and while I wish there was never a reason to have "rants" and posts in this vein, I certainly hope that by placing a more personal effort in reaching out to all communities when I can, combined with what will be a large amount of incredible releases this year, we can maybe beat this dragon back into its cave.

Please, do not take my post in a depressing way, I'd hate it :)

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I'm glad this got a response from a Spartan, it indicates a possibility for improvement.  I like SG, you have pretty models, and what is, in my opinion, the best set of rules for a fleet scale space miniatures game available.  I have to admit that the general sentiment of the community nearly put me off investing in FSA though.  If I may offer a constructive criticism: have an update of some kind for each game at least once a quarter, even if it's only a fluff blog, long silences promote fears of abandonment.  

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As an active UCS player, I've experienced many Spartan Games faults (I don't speak about mistakes anymore) :

  • Many mistakes about the game (too many delay, too many unnecessary versions of the rulebook, a brutal way to update the miniature range, no regular support to the game - scenarios, background, campaigns)
  • Many promises without any action behind (a campaign book, a new version, etc.).
  • Beta test groups that have been gathered and then forsaken without any explanation
  • Too many questions from the clients on this forum without any answer (when there was a strong activity of the Spartan team on the other sections of the forum)
  • etc.

I'm factual. Spartan Games doesn't deserve my respect anymore and I can't believe any Spartan guy.

Note that I'm the admin of the unofficial French speaking Spartan Games forum, I was a true fan of Spartan Games. This is really very sad.

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13 hours ago, BRB said:

Even if they won't relase any content for FSA, ever, it'll still be alright as a standalone game in my collection. It's a game that has grown so much, it can do without new models and rules, but I'll still be happy for anything new that might come.

Things like HFB, HGC, Planetfall and the likes feel like stillbirths compared to FSA. Game systems that hadn't been allowed to grow up to a point where they could support themselves. A lack of variety in models, substandard quality in casting, a horrible, horrible resale value, broken rules that haven't been fixed in years, without a lot of hope that there is anything new to come

 

Liked for the quoted part.  Exactly how I feel about both Armada and Planetfall.

I'm still buying Armada product because it's a wonderfully playable game as-is, albeit with a few quirks that could use attention.

I waited on Planetfall to see how things developed, and I'm glad that I did.  I could still be convinced to start, if things pick up for it.

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@Venter while games like FSA and PF do have a good catalog of miniatures, it is almost impossible to grow a community around a game that is stagnating. Especially so in a market as Flooded with new games as this current market. 

I have a long history of games that I have tried to keep rolling after they have ended, never successfully. I have so many Heroscape miniatures and Babylon 5 miniatures I need to get rid of. And that is just 2 of many

Also so as I have stated many a time, Gamers are "Fickle" we are attracted to the New Shiny Products. Why else would we waste so much money on games each year. 

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On a positive note, lots of stores are selling the various systems for quite cheap.  If you are of the group that does not mind never getting new models, it is a great time to bulk up collections.  I do realize that sort of atmosphere is not necessarily good for the manufacturer since it shows a lack of faith from the retailers, but it is terrific for the collectors.  Plus, for those of us not located in the U.K., the direct shipping model that is coming will be unmanageable due to shipping costs.

I do hope the company can get its situation handled, as they make pretty cool stuff.  I hate when a great line of models vanishes due to wacky, preventable reasons. 

On a side note, If Spartan ever does release the big mechs for Legions and they are not stupidly overpriced, I would buy them.  

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When I quit, it won't be with a Rage fuelled rant about "typical Spartan" and "broken promises". It won't be with a heartfelt goodbye saying how wonderful the ride has been.

When I quit, it will be when I haven't painted in ages, when I can no longer be bothered checking the forum, it will be with a growing void of silence

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14 hours ago, WestAustralian said:

When I quit, it won't be with a Rage fuelled rant about "typical Spartan" and "broken promises". It won't be with a heartfelt goodbye saying how wonderful the ride has been.

When I quit, it will be when I haven't painted in ages, when I can no longer be bothered checking the forum, it will be with a growing void of silence

That's more or less how I quitted... other games :). And the only mature way to do it, imho.

I was just reading your last post on the super toxic PF thread;

(because, let's admit it: it ultimately became a bucket where people go to vomit their unquenchable rage) 

I feel that, but on the other hand I really appreciate what you chose to do: DOING something, instead of ranting, and ranting, and ranting :). I mean, one can rant to a point, but past that, it becomes "ok, we got it, now make your decisions and stop boring the world". This whole hobby, instead, is about what you decided to do: painting and sharing (and playing, I hope).

I have to say, Mike actually said "guys, PF is not dead, let us work and good things will come". One can believe that or not, but it has already been said by Spartan; what are they supposed to do, to churn out a new edition of Planetfall in a month, with the DW Kickstarter still in its early production stages? :) Give them a bit of time now, in the meanwhile nobody obliges us to buy anything.

I'm eager to dive into Planetfall, you know? I have always loved both the looks and the concept of the game, and now I just shamelessly preyed on a clearance sale for a huge, shiny Directorate force. Can't wait for my Corporation to arrive :wub:.

(How cool is the idea of linking FA and PF games?!? Yeah, I know and agree, it's incredible that Spartan didn't dig out of this gold mine. But it's still there, and is fantastic!) 

All in all, let's wait and see. Playing in the meanwhile, not buying maybe. Will follow your paint blog, giving feedback ;). 

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That's more or less how I quitted... other games :). And the only mature way to do it, imho.

I was just reading your last post on the super toxic PF thread;

(because, let's admit it: it ultimately became a bucket where people go to vomit their unquenchable rage) 

Maybe you should respect other people's advice rather than calling them "immature" or saying this is just "unquenchable rage vomit"... Our advice is just as valuable as yours.

I feel that, but on the other hand I really appreciate what you chose to do: DOING something, instead of ranting, and ranting, and ranting :). I mean, one can rant to a point, but past that, it becomes "ok, we got it, now make your decisions and stop boring the world". This whole hobby, instead, is about what you decided to do: painting and sharing (and playing, I hope).

And what do you do when every single mini you bought is painted and everyone in your area just gave up on PF because of how the game is completely forsaken by SG? What am I supposed to paint and share? Am I supposed to play against myself? :)

Give them a bit of time now, in the meanwhile nobody obliges us to buy anything.

Hum... "Give them a bit of time now"? Really? I'm pretty sure we already gave them a lot... 14 months is quite a bit of time, am I right? Nothing on earth can justify or explain that a game many of us supported (and invested tons of time and money) get no news for such a long time. Not even a Kickstarter, unless it's their full time job for those last 14 months...

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@child9 as I already said, I understand what leads you to your frustration, which, when online, easily and quickly becomes anger and complaining. 

But I stand firm in my belief that, after your issues have been reported, listened and answered to (which is and remains a legit and useful thing to do), yes, further complaining becomes useless, and then toxic. 
If you think that keeping venting will anyhow help Planetfall, you're fooling yourself. 

I'd also like to stress that I never called "immature" anyone.

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Our issues weren't listened and answered, obviously. SG did nothing to solve them, and just saying "Great stuff coming, we promise!" isn't an answer anymore after being deceived so many times.

You have the right to think that complaining is useless. But doing nothing and supporting SG despicable policy won't do any good either... I'd rather express my concerns, in a vehement and repeated way if needed, until our rightful demands are at least a bit listened to.

You talked about "the only mature way to quit a game", involving that our way was immature. But maybe it wasn't your intent :)

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Not at all, I was just thinking about myself (and added a clear "imho" to underline it); btw, it doesn't look like that anybody is quitting :). 

Mind you, I don't think that complaining is useless; 

4 hours ago, Venter said:

after your issues have been reported, listened and answered to (which is and remains a legit and useful thing to do), yes, further complaining becomes useless

I think this :). 

I myself have written a harsh critique towards Spartan in the OP... but it looks like you're ignoring it :). 

p.s. new ships for FA and terrain for PF are being released in April! 

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