Friday, July 22, 2011
Why On Earth Do We Need New Editions?
With 6th edition 40k rumor blood in the water, I have begun to wonder about GW's edition release plan. I understand that historically, after every couple of editions, GW severely changes up its games' rulesets. However, I wonder if this is good. For crying out loud Dungeons and Dragons has only gone through 4 (major) edition changes.
Do we need to reinvent the game every edition or two? Should there even be a regular cycle of core ruleset changes like the ones GW uses? Being a Warhammer Fantasy player, I have seen the game go from what I think was a fairly decent and logical game (6th and 7th edition) to a totally new animal that has gone a long way in completely alienating quite a large population of gamers (8th edition). I have played perhaps a dozen 8th ed. games simply because it is such a drastic departure from the previous 8-10 years of gaming. It also completely invalidates a lot of the collection of minis I have. I simply don't have the miniatures to create a truly successful army (read as an army with multiple 40+ model units). What I had worked beautiful in the previous edition though, even helping me win a major Indy GT.
This makes wonder if being old reliable might be better than trying to inject perceived freshness in order to garner profits. Personally, if a gaming company did all it could to maintain a solid and reliable core game mechanic with occasional erratas and corrections to rules found to hamper gameplay, I would stick with it much better. However, having a game that every 5 years says, "screw your army and rules knowledge," is taxing. The prospect of spending days, weeks, and months recollecting models, relearning rules, and replaytesting armies is enough to make players, even veterans throw up their hands and quit. And I don't blame them. Currently, it seems like most threads on blogs about 8th ed. Fantasy are bashing it's core rules and 6th ed. 40k rumor threads are already garnering their fair share of angst at having to deal with a new edition.
So, is there a solution? Could GW simply be better at amending and errata-ing their current rules (i.e. Saying they were wrong)? Could they simply work at creating better written, well balanced source material like campaign books and mission packs?
I simply don't know, but there is nothing worse in life (and in a hobby) than seeing all of your hard work completely invalidated after a period of time.
Other useful articles:
Staving Off Hobby Burnout
Did you find this article useful? Subscribe to Gone to Ground for more great updates.
Posted by Dave at 10:25 AM