No matter how good the game is – if it isn’t something the consumer wants then it is kind of a pointless endeavor. So what do we want?
Goatboy here again and the title of my article is the eternal question any game developer asks if they want their “child” to be successful. No matter how good the game is – if it isn’t something the consumer wants then it is kind of a pointless endeavor. So what do we want?
As you guys know about me I look at things from a competitive slant. It all stems from my initial push into multiplayer games with the discovery of the fighting game Street Fighter 2. From there it has taken over most of game play life as I find a lot of pleasure in throwing down in a balanced and engaging game. The key term you can take from this is Balance as while I have been known to be the turd throwing massed fireballs with Akuma – I do enjoy a game where it feels like I can lose as much as it feels like I can win. It is this “threat” of losing that really makes a game a lot more interesting. If it was just one side affair then why don’t I just goldfish a game and make sure the other side makes all the mistakes? Balance is what I really desire most of the time – with every army feeling good and tricksy at the same time as being not clearly dominate.
So why am I talking about this? Well we have the upcoming Chapter Approved coming out in a few weeks. We have had a few previews from GW, salty leaks from some people, and wishful thinking by a lot of other tough guy writers. We know there will be rule changes as they previewed some that have leaked out into the competitive tournament scene run by the play testers. I am sure there will be a few more as we know – while 8th as it sits works out pretty well – some armies seem to have a lot more use then other armies. I think this comes from the fact they have their full set of rules as well as having options in all phases of the game. As the armies are designed as a whole a lot of armies don’t have access to all the phases but we can’t have all the cake all the time can we?
First all those already used rules will become official. Boots on the ground, non soup detachments have troops get objective secured, and getting +1 to go first of army hits the table first are all coming to the official matched play rules. I also suspect will see some other ones plaguing the competitive table tops right now. We might see some tweaks to the character rule to remove some of this lack of “choice” an army can face when presented with opposing groups of characters. I also expect some tweaks to the dreaded Smite power with either a limit set on it – or some kind of cascading difficulty as you throw more dice into the mortal wound damage pool. From there they might do some limits on Detachment types or even put another damper on the Soup builds with some kind of other damaging rule – like they can’t hold objectives due to being disorganized etc.
I think the biggest thing we won’t see is actual individual army type stratagems and warlord traits. I expect them to just give a few more “all can use” types of stratagems. Maybe the ability to burn a command point and have a way to stop a psychic power? Or how about a flat default one that lets a unit Reroll wounds? It would seem counter productive to have such individual army rules in a yearly book. The broader and more default based powers might just be a better one-size-fits-all blanket to allow these armies to work better when faced with the new-codex-smell some of the other armies have? I could be wrong, they could give out stuff for everyone, and I am left having to lug around another little book to just make sure my opponent isn’t trying to pull one over me. But hey that is the constant life of a competitive player as rules, armies, and minis start to come out quickly.
I feel the biggest thing we’ll see is a few “unit” changes beyond just point increases. I know GW has had a few events to see a few units show up way to often to be “balanced”. I think the king of Marines himself – Roboute will end up having a new data slate. No matter what you think of his power level, abilities, etc – it is a shame that every Space Marine list is an Ultramarine list with him in it. That is more of the issue as if one unit/model is a must have for an army faction not work – then it isn’t very good for that faction. You can say the same thing for some of the other Primarchs with Magnus being another “auto included” in a lot of Chaos builds as well. Now I do expect a lot of point reworks to show up as a method to keep balance with some these Index armies. The newer stuff will have very little changes as we have all seen the released codex almost always have a unit go down in cost. We’ll have to wait and see.
The weird leaks that had Death Guard point drops just felt odd as the book is barely out so that would mean the book was printed so long ago that they couldn’t “change” it in time for the release. I do think the Primaris Marines all need a point drop to make them viable. While yes it has 2 wounds so you would think it should be double the cost of a Marine – but let me tell you that it isn’t the right way to go about it. The model still only has the ability to kill x amount of things per model so while it costs so much more it damages the same amount. They are just not worth the points and I think an army wide drop of 10-20% will at least allow you to have enough bodies to utilize their “toughness”. Of course this is just me thinking about it as I have faced them and watch them fall when fighting against any “multi” wound weapon.
I think the FW points need a lot more work then anything else right now. If Smite sees a big change then the main “FW” issue of Malefic lords becomes moot. This also shores up any other future issues with 10+ Primarus Pyskers and Spirit Seers. The release of another sub 50 points spell caster means that while the Smite issue is a problem right now – I suspect it won’t be and their point costs will make sense then at that lower level. It also means a lot of other Spell Casters will see a drop in points for other armies like Weird Boyz and the Daemonic Heralds. There are a few other FW things that need to be relooked especially with the abusive nature of some mixed armies like Ynarri & Elder (I expect an FAQ this week to answer this) and then any of the Chaos Soups we see.
The last bit of the book I expect is a lot more reworked missions. It wouldn’t surprise me to see a few different ways to competitively play. Open War games seem like an interesting set up to play in a competitive tournament with a bit of TO control. Missions can be mixed and matched, the design feels simple, and TO’s have a lot less “figuring it out” if left in the simple nature of the randomness of the deck. I bet some ITC stuff shows up too as per some chatter I heard about this last week. Their latest mission changes feel like they did some kind of 80’s high five with the Nova missions which usually has the competitive circles happy. If they give a ton more options, stronger matched play rules, and more support then we know the game will just get better. Or we hope it does.
I have always said that you shouldn’t invest so much in a new army until we see this book come out and your codex. Until that happens your “tricky” idea can get quickly FAQ’d into oblivion. My thoughts are if you feel it is too good – then it is probably too good and won’t stay the same. We saw this with the AM FAQs and most likely will see it with some of the future “combination” issues we see in the new books. Right now I am just excited my armies get locked in once the Daemon Codex comes out. The only thing I am sorta missing is the updated Magnus rules – but I can always wait for the Thousand sons book as he is pretty good right now.
~Until next time – Death to the False Emperor!
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