Gamer’s expectations

One thing that I have noticed about gamers over the last several years is that their perception of what is fair, or right in terms of gaming vendors has become pretty dramatic.  If you frequent forums dedicated to GW games, you will find wailing and gnashing of teeth posts about everything from miniatures not being produced fast enough, to miniatures being produced too fast, and any number of conspiracy theories about how a particular faction is being given the shaft for whatever reason.  Anytime there is a new release, there seem to be as many comments that are negative about what isn’t being made, not updated, or how it was updated as there are displaying enthusiasm about the new release.

I’ve been noticing this in communities dedicated to other game systems as well.  Privateer Press’s forums were quite a sight when Hordes, and then MkII (which I think was an improvement to an already great game) were released.  I think that this happens when a game reaches a certain threshold in popularity, as is happening right now with Battlefront’s Flames of War.  BF recently released, as a magazine supplement to Wargames Illustrated, a booklet with forces for playing FoW in Vietnam.  In addition to this they have also released 18ish different items for the new time-period.  It seems that some of the people who play WW2 FoW aren’t too happy about this.  There is an impression that new releases for a different time period will limit how much is created for FoW’s traditional subject, the 2nd world war.  This is probably quite accurate.

I think it is important to point out that these complaints have been growing on the BF forums for some time now prior to FoW:Vietnam.  If it wasn’t Early War releases getting in the way of Late War stuff, than it was Market Garden-centric items holding up stuff for the Eastern Front.

Sometimes people’s issues don’t have anything to do with a certain time period, faction, race, or product.  They just want to have the marketing itch scratched, and to have something new to drool over, whether or not they will buy it.  I get as excited by NEW as much as the next person, but I don’t feel that anyone owes it to me.

At the risk of getting tangential, this all ties in with the way that gamers/hobbyists love to critique the business moves of the companies that they patronize.  It seems like every change that happens that isn’t directly related to a person getting shiny new stuff, is considered a bad case of falling-sky.  Recently there was a debate at Black Sun Games over the ethics of GW producing plastic models, considering that there are some people who like metals.  Despite the fact that plastic models are vastly more popular with average gamers, the individual who brought this up determined that GW ‘screwed’ the people who liked collecting metal models, especially ones that went out of print.  His perception seemed to be that GW had an obligation to keep producing models in metal, and not to stop casting older designs.  Usually these sorts of comments are relegated to the safety of the internet, where the consequences of ones comments are significantly less severe, so I was a bit surprised to have this conversation in flesh and blood.

This hobby gets people excited, and I understand that.  We invest a great deal of time, energy, money, and love into it.  There are occasions where game companies do some bone-headed things that drastically affect the ability of gamers to continue with their investment in that companies product (Chris at Garagehammer brought up a nasty example with the way that GW changed, for some reason, the way that units had to be based in Epic 40k, which caused some serious trouble for gamers with older armies).

My own rant about my expectations will end now, but I really wonder what some people would say if they could hear themselves while crying over their keyboards, several months down the road when the new shiny has become considerably more dull.

Author: xenite

I am an avid gamer, sculptor, and artist. The creative aspect of this hobby is what really draws me to it. :)

6 thoughts on “Gamer’s expectations”

  1. I have my own sense of outrage at the moment.

    One year ago, GW aka Forge World aka Warhammer Historical release WAB 2nd ed. This was following a re-org of the Warhammer Historical group and a printing hiatus of almost 3 years. The expectation was (or at least my expectation was) that FW would start putting out army books again to support the new release. For the past year – nothing was release. Now they come out with some $80 WW2 coffee table book. Nobody wants this book – its some sort of vanity project for the managers of FW. I’m am filled with nerd rage over its release.

    The difference with this rant and most you’ll find on the internet is that I’m actually moving away from GW and their product. There are 3 new ancients books coming out to replace WAB (2 are quite literally re-writes of WAB). Over the next few years not only will I stop buying from GW, but I will also stop encouraging others to buy their products by no longer running events for their games.

    How’s that – both a sense of entitlement and a plan to act on it!

  2. Its interesting that you bring up WAB, and GW/FWs lack of support for it. Gamers hear about/have experiences like this, and go into panic mode because they have interpreted some action on behalf of company X as a sign that their favorite whatsit is about to go away.

  3. while I love to complain about the business decisions of many companies..for me its less nerd rage and more business owner rage over my own hamstrung business and envy over being able to sell something that people will buy “no matter what” As for GW I’m of similar opinion of Rich, they continue to do things to make me not want to buy their products..my rocky relationship with 8th ed WFB aside..I’m still going play the games I like (Rings, High Seas, West) thankfully other people make models for this these games.

    I have to says thou I’ve been clear about my dislike for the IP, I am pretty impressed with PP’s support and drive for new customers..since I got the free box at Adepticon (brilliant move), and even thou I dont like it, it made me look at the whole line and find stuff I do..you might find me asking to play some warmachine sometime soon, as I could actually go for head to head challenging game with good rules.. The fact that PP could convert an old dog like me or even just make me think about after years of “not interested” say alot about PP and even more about GW. (of course them having Pirates…always helps.) That isnt so much about “my expectations” (your point) but pointing out while gamers do tend to rage about stupid things..they are fickle and evolve very quickly, and often loyalty be dammed
    so GW, BF, and even PP all need to pay attention too.

  4. For me, its a simple matter of putting my money(or not as the case may be) where my mouth(heart) is.

    In these days where the lines between digital diarrhea and game store soap boxing are becoming blurry, we are spoiled for choice.

  5. Being a gamer for almost 20 years (started with space crusade if any of you remember that) I too have left the GW band wagon and moved on to FoW. Being a huge WW2 history fan it was not a tough decision. GW has truly made it difficult to play their game. Not even getting into the price it now costs, I would never be able to start playing today. It has been over the years slowly building armies and acquiring bitz that gives me the large collection I have. They have truly gotten of the original concepts and clearly build minis just to target certain groups and boost sales. I weep openly when I walk into my room and see the thousands of dollars sitting on shelves and in game foam that will never be played with again. FoW brought me an easy out with modest mins, wonderful rule sets and a strong history based game that me and all of my friends have truly enjoyed playing over the last four, five months. Not too spendy, and not needing huge armies to play. Getting off the subject, my point being that GW, in my opinion, has left the interests of the gamer in favor of becoming a monster that needs to eat more and more to live.

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