Friday, July 27, 2012
So, lets jump in. Are you aware that I really enjoy Malifaux as a game? If so, you might also be aware that I have a very positive opinion of Wyrd as a company. I have had the privilege of gaining a bit of "insider" status with the Wyrd crew and while I certainly do not see everything, the things I do see impress me. I did not start my journey into Miniature Wargaming with Wyrd, but instead started with Games Workshop and thier 40K game. I expanded from 40K into Warhammer Fantasy, and only after several years of that did I find Wyrd.
I have become aware of a fair amount of discussion lately around positive and negative support to gaming companies. Games Workshop raises their prices every year, and when they do there is a flurry of unhappiness on the various internet outlets for opinion (podcasts, blogs, and forums). Along with a bucket full of bile, there are always those people who play the game and simply love it, and see Games Workshop as incapable to do any wrong. Now, GW is a large company in the Mini-Wargaming world and lots of people seem to get joy out of hating them. Other companies have come along and for a variety of reasons, they are held up as glowing examples of all that GW does wrong and that could be done right in the world.
Fair enough. The unmitigated hate of GW is as unwarranted as the unbiased love for GW. By the same token, its the same for the smaller companies. Everyone has the capability to do really well and do poorly in a situation, and these companies are making choices on both an artistic (developing rules, game systems, models, art, etc) and on a business aspect. These factors will not always align for providing a mini-wargaming utopia.
So what does this have to do with Wyrd and Malifaux? Hopefully I gauged your waning interest appropriately and caught you before you stopped reading! Recently we are seeing some vocal unhappiness in the paradise of Wyrd-ville. Numbers of people both lightly and heavily active on the Wyrd forums are unhappy because Wyrd has not released preview pictures of models before they go on sale. Others are anxious to find out what will be released at Gencon, and are becoming increasingly frustrated as that information is not released. Still others have claimed to have quit the game all together because they are unhappy with the way the game is written (apparently?) or balanced (as claimed).
Then we get some discussions about game terms such as Fan boy and Rage Quitting. We get accusations that Wyrd has some type of agenda of evil against critics. This seems to be balanced by posts on the Wyrd forum talking about why players are not quitting the game and asking if Malifaux is people favorite mini-wargame out there.
forum post. I am one of the community who disagree with the opinions that seem to be cropping up recently in relation to frustration with Wyrd.
So, I am now asking myself, is there a middle ground? If the "Fan Boy's" stop calling the "Rage Quitters" trolls does that make things better? If the Trolls stop shouting their dissatisfaction at the top of their virtual lungs, will that make things friendlier? Why is expressing disagreement with a detracting opinion immediatly grounds for labeling somebody a Sycophant? or an Apologist? I wonder why its such a popular move to immediately condemn a mini-wargaming company despite a track-record to the contrary.
Overall, this is likely a tempest in a teapot and will fade away. I am likely doing everyone a disservice by even bringing it up. Then again, it is something I am contemplating and spending "brain space" on, so why not post it to my blog?
At the end of the day, I really enjoy Malifaux. It is my favorite game and I am not quitting. I spend a fair amount of time traveling to play in Malifaux events, and want to see the overall community grow. I see an established track record of Wyrd maintaining incredibly high standards by rejecting unsatisfactory products (Avatar Levi model pushed back, Terra-clips redesigned, Avatar Hoffman pushed back, etc) in places where other companies have a track record of releasing the lower standard item to maintain a sales pipeline. I do not believe Wyrd is trying to take my money, but instead I see a heavy balance toward the creative and the fan and away from the business. I see a company that is doing an awful lot to be involved with their customers and fans. I do believe the game is balanced from the point of how the game is defined to be played. I have a blog where I write about the game, spend time painting the models for the game, record 2 podcasts related to the game, and am a henchman pushing the game on new players.
If there was a doubt that I an a fan, dispel it. Apparently that makes me a Sycophant and an Apologist.