Friday, July 26, 2013

"King of the Internet" "Wallows in Self Pity" from "His High Horse"

....... while being  "run out on a rail by the mustache twirling evil."

Title and first line are a combination of quotes personally pointed toward me over the past 5 days. I love the internet, I really do. I also love debates and discussions and opposing opinions. I'm even big enough (pun intended) to admit that I regularly consider myself in the right, who really pushes forward doing things they think are in the wrong? I find it absolutely intriguing when I express opinions and comment which start up a virtual fire storm of controversy on various places on the internet. On some level it makes me wonder if this is how things worked in the ancient Roman or Greek governments.

Some have posed the question "How did we get here?", which I think is a great question. I wish I had a great answer to that, but all I can do is make a guess and reference my personal outlook. I am passionate in regards to my opinions and my entertainment. A large part of my personal entertainment is tied to games that I play and the hobby that surrounds those games. To be fair, some people have fishing, some people have exercise, I have games. Going back a fair long time (easily 20+ years at this point) I have been a gamer in a particularly social portion of the gaming community. Despite enjoying the occasional board game or video game, my true love has been roleplaying games and miniature wargames. I did not start with miniature wargames, I started as a pretty hard core Roleplaying fan, playing a series of games including D&D, Champions, Marvel Superheros, GURPS, Shadowrun, Star Wars, Top Secret, and Call of Cthulhu. At some point along my own gaming arc I was introduced to mini-wargaming and did not like it. At that time I jumped into Magic the Gathering instead and really enjoyed a short but fruitful engagement with that game. Later on, after diving back into the RPG pool, I was reintroduced to mini-wargaming and this time it grabbed on and stuck. As life forced my RPG group to ramp down and disband I began to get my gaming fill from playing wargames.

"So what???" Thats what your thinking right now, correct? Your trying to figure out where the strife and drama that has filled the previous months of Wyrd Miniatures vs. Bill Anderson exists in this article. I mean you only really came here for more drama, right?

Sorry, this is unlikely to head in that direction, but let me see if I can help you out. Significant portions of my energy spent time developing the stories that played out in the variety of RP games I was involved in. It was not long at all before I was firmly moved into the "DM/GM/Storyteller" role for those games. This role further developed and built a strong following with contributing to wider world building and home-brew games built off the mechanics provided by the games I was playing. This was even better with the internet, as I started up "Towers MUD" and was able to build up an online game world (all text based mind you) and was able to experience a global community enjoying an effort I led. Over time these types of creative outlets waxed and waned and then dropped off significantly when I got involved in GW games. It's heresy to change GW games, everyone knows that.

Along comes Malifaux and the game itself hits on nearly every level for enjoying entertainment for me. To add to this I became a henchman and started to develop collateral that could be used by other henchmen. Namely I was able to find an outlet through pulling together, organizing, documenting, and creating dozens of different formats for tournaments, leagues, campaigns, and other types of games. Then I got pulled into play testing and was able to help the game grow and contribute opinions that resulted in the expansion of the game universe along with balance within the game. That was fantastic and became a really exciting outlet for that creativity that used to be applied to my RP games. In addition, this had the same impact of watching those efforts become well received by another global community.

"Ahh, that's the problem, he is an entitled snit who feels Wyrd owes him something." Some of you are thinking this right now. Others are not but some of you are feeling awfully vindicated and proud of yourselves at this point. I have to wonder, will you keep reading if I warn you you will likely end this article disappointed? Those of you who feel this quote triggering your emotional satisfaction response should probably stop here and feel good about yourselves.

Bear with me while I switch up one more time. I mentioned above that I love discussions and debates and especially that I love the internet. I am very secure in my personal opinions and "view of the world according to Bill". I spend a lot of time reading, researching, and contemplating a wide variety of thoughts and opinions. I use all of this information in one way or another to form my own views and opinions on how things are. I am very passionate about my opinions, and feel that I am often or always right in what I think. I feel this way because when I am unsure on the soundness of one of my opinions, conjectures, hypothesis, or facts I continue to research and question until I become more sure. I go to great lengths to understand where that personal line is between what I "feel", what I "know", and what is a provable "fact".  Often this is perceived by others as "Being closed minded and always thinking your (I'm) right". I guess this perception is more a one of "unassailable rightness" rather than "I think I am correct but if you can help me understand how I am not I will adjust until I am correct" Two different views on the world I suspect.

I love debates and discussions because they provide a variety of other views held by equally (and sometimes far more) passionate people. There are numerous opinions presented in heated debates and discussions that I disagree with, can disprove as non-factual, or are simply arguments to be loud. There are points and opinions presented in those same discussion and debates that illuminate an area I had not understood, not realized, or simply not considered. These types of discussion are really great for an opinionated person for two reasons. On the one hand I gain new facts and perspectives to further refine an opinion. On the other hand I gain more opinions that demonstrate how solid my original perspective already is.

"Wait, your saying that your passionate about your hobbies, opinionated, interested in opposing views, and other people infer their own bias on your views?" I realize there is unlikely to be many people still reading who actually had this thought. This one is mine, take it as you will.

To make a final comment in this rambling and leave the whole post not really wrapped up, let me say this. I seem to have a lot of time lately because I am not a fan of Malifaux v2. I am wanting to play Malifaux (RealFaux, ClassicFaux, Malifaux Classic, V1.5, etc) but there are only a handful of my previous play group who are willing to even consider this. The rest of the group is becoming fairly militant about only playing V2. Then again, maybe its me being militant that I do not like portions of the new update. Either way there are two camps being equally stubborn and not enjoying playing in the other camp. As I am in the minority, I suffer the curse of free time.

What I do with that free time is really my choice. I am enjoying lending brain energy to really picking apart and analyzing my own view and preference in relation to Malifaux V2. All that time energy I used to spend contributing to the Malifaux gaming community, playing the game, and tied up with some connection to the game is going to go somewhere. I find it's still rewarding to do some writing and lend that energy and those efforts to the Malifaux I enjoy (and by proxy really picking apart the Malifaux I do not enjoy). I also know for a fact that there is a wide community who is in love with those opinions and public ramblings. If the reaction from the wider community is any indication, there are as many who love it because it allows their "inner crusader" to emerge as there are who love it because they feel vindicated. My opinion is that this vindication comes in two flavors, those who recognize some issues and feel comforted they are being publicly highlighted and those who feel vindicated because they need something to point their personal distaste and ire at. I have certainly pointed my personal ire at several targets through my life, especially when I feel its warranted.

Dear Reader who made it this far, I want to ask these simple questions. If your so offended by my opinions, why are you still reading? How do my opinions impact or attack your own enjoyment of your hobby?


  1. Hi Bill,

    As a long time listener of GL, I have enjoyed your input on first edition for a long time. However, in the past 3 months, the manner in which you have conducted yourself is simply so at odds with the manner to which I have become accustomed to that my mind boggles.

    Simply put, it *appears* that you had a serious falling out with Mack when he raised a legitimate point regarding an NDA issue with you previously. That, tied to your misgivings about M2E, has seemingly engendered a massive overreaction on your part, leading to the vicious, poisonous manner in which you have gone about registering your disapproval, both through the vitriol of your last GL episode, to the malifaux classic website and the manner you went about setting that up and conducting yourself on it, all leading up to your undoubtedly ill advised decision to post the text of private correspondence between you and Eric regarding the malifaux classic project.

    now, if I am incorrect in my assumptions as to what triggered this whole...episode, please, assist me in elucidating the situation.

    Looking at it from what may be my ivory tower here across the ocean, it very much appears like you got slapped down, either justifiably or otherwise, and you took that, combined with the fact that the guys at Wyrd weren't marching to your tune where the M2E changes were concerned and turned it into that holiest of holies - the righteous gamer crusade.

    now, as I have said, I've been a long time listener of the podcast, and have interacted with you previously on a couple of occassions, and up until rather recently, I had a healthy respect for you and the way you conducted yourself in the most part. Sure, sometimes you could be arrogant, but hey, you're a gamer, and we all are at some point.

    However, the manner in which you have conducted yourself since really makes me wonder how you see this playing out, and whether you have considered not only the bridges you are burning, the people you are turning away, but also the long term ramifications, not only for your gaming lifestyle, but for you on both a personal level ( regarding your gaming group and the severe split that this all has engendered) but also the legal ramifications if you push things, get sued by Wyrd and lose.

    please, take a step back, let things cool down, and then look at it with a (hopefully) clearer set of eyes. Going off half cocked wont do you any favours, and it might just cripple any chance for a wyrd sanctioned malifaux classic system.


    -Michael Foreman (Tograth)
    -Concerned Malifaux player

    1. Michael,

      Thank you for the concern and the comment. I appreciate your approach and the explanation of your view on things. Your understanding of the trigger on this is not accurate, any falling out between Mack and I had nothing to do (on my side at least) with NDA. I would say its more two strong personalities clashing in a negative manner.

      On the side of any Malifaux Classic initiative I was heading up, that is concluded. No one appears to want to look at what actually happened there, I suspect since its easier to just read the emails posted on the Malifaux Classic blog. There is certainly more that went on that is either being missed or ignored but is available for anyone who wants to take a look.

      I find it amusing that some people are trying to point to the NDA redaction event in the article series earlier this year. That was simply one straw in a series of events that was already escalating at that point. I certainly do not look at it as an impetus of anything going on, instead identifying events much earlier in the year than that.

      My guess is that the rather explosive events today (Friday) were the result of Eric feeling backed in a corner (or Eric being the public face for his staff feeling backed in a corner) and escalated far more than anyone expected. It's sad to see that type of escalation, but sometimes you have to sit back and be amazed by the whole incendiary nature of the internet, especially when combined with gaming communities.

      All we can do is watch where things go from here. I, for one, hope things end well and still wish Wyrd well with their V2 endeavor.

    2. The recent salvos on both sides on the Wyrd boards have been alienating and overly dramatic. However, I have to agree with Michael's comment above that your comportment has grown increasingly distasteful. While some of your detractors seem to want to make this about you, I think what is most troubling to me as a longtime DeadTau reader and listener of the Gamer's Lounge is your complicity in allowing this to become so personal in a publicly ugly manner.

      While I appreciate that this last post may have been an attempt to re-articulate your position with more context, less emotion, and even a dose of levity, your notion that the way in which you arrive at your opinions is somehow more rigorous and less prone to error is at best a bit conceited and at worst a bit creepy. I think people would be more receptive to your perspective if you throttle back on the self-righteous angle a bit. I say this not because I have any opinion on or grasp of what exactly went on between you and Wyrd. Really it's none of my business nor is it my responsibility to try to patch together a coherent chronology of the actions on each side so that I can come to some judgement about who behaved correctly. My concern is not whether you were in the right, but with the way you have expressed yourself of late.

      Obviously this is your blog so you can say whatever you want however you want. I'm merely pointing this out as a fan of your contributions to Malifaux pre-M2E in the hope that your tone, if not the focus of your content, will once again be less abrasive and emotional and more analytical. I hope you'll take this in the "slightly put off yet still sympathetic" tone in which this was intended. The Gamer's Lounge used to be the podcast I was most excited to download and I hope to see it restored to that status, whether as a Malifaux podcast or centered on some other game.

      On a side note, there are rumors floating around of a new GW skirmish game called "Inquisition" (not a remake of the old Inquisitor game) which sounds intriguing. While I'm not really a fan of the current GW offerings, a skirmish game piques my interest. This is not some sneaky attempt to convince you to abandon M1.5 or M2E; just a suggestion from a listener/reader who selfishly hopes for some coverage of this new game if/when it's released.

    3. Since I avoid a lot of social network channels, I'll post as Anonymous, but I'm Razhem from the forums.

      Quoting this line of yours:

      All we can do is watch where things go from here. I, for one, hope things end well and still wish Wyrd well with their V2 endeavor.

      Bill, frankly, you don't believe this, you don't want M2 to succeed, you want it to fail horribly and for Wyrd to admit how wrong they were for ever deciding to change the game. You can say that you don't believe that, but your tone and behaviour says otherwise in every way and form. Basically, you have turned this into your own personal crusade to correct all their mistakes and show them how wrong they are.

      But here's the catch and like many times it has been stated by you and others, you are not the king of the internet and that also applies to your beliefs of how M2 should and should not aren't relevant since it's the direction the company has decided to go with and well, a lot of people have embraced it.

      Frankly, leave any sort of contact with wyrd related content, clear your head and if after that time you still want to try the classicfaux thing, contact likeminded individuals, prepare a draft, intent and ideas and send them to Eric from a position of humility, not making demands. You can love the game all you want, but it isn't yours to do as you please with it.

  2. As you took the time to type questions at the end of your post, I would like to offer time in order to answer them.

    a) If your so offended by my opinions, why are you still reading?

    I continue to read because I have listened to The Gamer's Lounge for about two and a half years now. It's been a great source of entertainment and information for me. I have memories of listening while doing solo martial arts practise, walking my younger sisters to school and while working through a Masters degree. It's upsetting to see something that I have enjoyed for so long become so venomous and the personality that drove it taking the kinds of actions that I've seen throughout today. I want to know all that I can.

    b) How do my opinions impact or attack your own enjoyment of your hobby?

    They do so because instead of having the patience to wait and establish Malifaux Classic on the terms of the game's original creators, you chose to relentlessly keep trying at the company's busiest time of the year, demanding attention from the company's highest possible level when they have many projects to work on on tight deadlines.

    They do so because they led to you posting up on the Wyrd forum information that suggested that Wyrd had no legal protection for their game rules, which is possibly the single most threatening thing that anyone could ever post to a games company.

    They do so because instead of allowing other capable and willing players to set up such a system to develop Malifaux 1.5 in their own time, you chose to keep things personal and spearhead such a site yourself, and that this has damaged prospects for anyone who hoped for centralised fan development for 1.5. If this is the kind of behaviour that you pursued in the closed beta, the responses from Wyrd that worried me for some time begin to make much more sense.

    Not that my opinion necessarily has any worth, but I would like to add my advice to those others who have suggested taking a break from the game. Type a bit about the things you find "amusing", make sarcastic comments by all means, but please do not put your creative energies into rash personal actions that damage the playerbase, especially the playerbase of 1.5.


  3. Why do I keep reading? I find the term 'Realfaux' intriguing.

    Dumb Luck

  4. This is very much déjà vu to the GW exodus. I very much enjoy your passion about your hobby, I do not enjoy the condescension you heap on those that don't share your opinions. It's taken me four decades to learn or temper my own passion and one critical event that forced change. How To Win Friends and Influence People, it is the only diploma I have on display in my office any more. Give it a read and if you can spring for the course.

  5. I'm gonna take a wild guess and say the falling out between you and Mack resulted because both of you thought you were right and neither of you were willing to budge on it. And Mack being an employee of Wyrd won out. I have mixed feeling about the results, the upgrade system seems like it needs some work, not a huge fan of how lots of masters were overhauled, and the soulstones dimished power doesn't make much sense.

  6. I would add "Jaded lover"
    -The tragic tale of Bill Anderson.

    Labeled "enemy no. 1" by the love of his [gaming] life, Bill lashes out and the Gamer's Lounge is changed forever!
    Follow along as the transformation takes hold.
    What will emerge from the crackling vortex of raw emotions?

    1. In all seriousness I regret to say that at this point I continue following you for the twisted entertainment value this drama is providing.

      It was originally curious as to weather you stick with Malifaux in some form or pack it all in. However the clash of personalities between Wyrd and yourself does not bode well for your future enjoyment of the game.

      For what its worth I found it was possible to love the game while having negative feelings towards members of the [previous] design team. [] -Its nowhere near the logjam that you appear to be in over the current direction of Malifaux yet it made me seriously consider my continued support of both game and company.

    2. Spifferson,

      I love your first post, almost enough to make me go back and edit that in. I will also check out the bartertown link, I am intrigued.

      And, since it seems to be a secret, I am in more agreement with you than some people seem to realize. There is a certain aspect of all of this drama I have been able to step back and just marvel at. I cannot really say enjoy, but "marvel at" seems to be an apt description.


  7. I find your view interesting. I have only been playing for a short time, and don't find the changes horrible, I do feel they change the soul of the game.

    Again, I have not played enough to know if that is good or bad... or just different. Honestly, I am getting to the point, I really like the story. I LOVE the story. I love the characters, I love the history. That is making me care less and less for Malifaux, and really, REALLY making me want to try out Through the Breach.

    Have you thought about taking up any other games? I know there are some fun ones out there. Unfortunately, the card mechanic is relatively unique (I still think the old TSR Saga system was slightly better).

    Anyhow, I find these interesting. I like you. You are interesting to read. You don't mince words, you are a very straight shooter. Unfortunately, I think the game left you, and while that isn't bad... I do think blaming the Wyrd guys for it, is not in your best interest.

    I do feel sorry, though, that there is SUCH a divide in your area, between 1.5 and 2E. I can really see this as a splitting of the game. 1.5 and 2.0 feel very different, with some shared mechanics. I'd probably just lay low for a bit, and see what happens to Malifaux Classic.

  8. Hey Bill, it seems like everyone is rushing here to defend Malifaux 2E but I just wanted to comment saying that I agree wholeheartedly with your concerns for 2E. I've been the biggest proponent of Malifaux in my gaming community and the 2E changes have killed any entusism I had for the game. Malifaux was my first miniatures game and picked it because of the wonderful positive things I heard about it on the Gamer's lounge. I actually had never heard of Malifaux and found this podcast looking for a 40k podcast (haha I know...) and dove into Malifaux and loved it, converting many of my friends from other games and loving it enough to play 4 whole factions (Guild, 10T, Archanists, and Outcasts before people start screaming about neverborn players hating 2E). Now I've completely left the game and have no interest in playing second edition. I had reached this conclusion before I read of heard any of your thoughts on the subject but just having listened to your last 2 podcasts, they really helped me vocalize what it was about the new changes that I didn't like.
    Anyway ignore the haters, this is your corner of the internet.