PPS_Matt Statement Reference

This is less a post and more documentation for myself, PP_Matt (Matt Wilson, the Chief Creative Director) popped up on the official boards and wrote some wonderful posts that people refused to link to (which made their discussions hard to follow). What follows is the copy+paste of the source condensed in once place.

PP_Matt (post #10)Given that you (Oncoming Storm) are pleased with the recent errata, that should give you some confidence that things are going in a positive direction. While your concerns are entirely justified, we want to recap what has transpired over the past few months to frame this all in the proper context and to hopefully put your (OP and the collective ‘your’) mind(s) at ease.

First and foremost, we made some mistakes. No, we did not release the new editions as an open beta. But what became apparent after the new editions came out were that some aspects of development (eg. the Skorne factions) did not get the attention they deserved or required during our development process. Recognizing this, we have made a strong effort to rectify the mistakes and revise rules where necessary to make sure that your models represent a good value to you on the tabletop. And where we have applied these efforts, they have been widely met with a positive approval.

What this should tell you is that we are attentive to the concerns and desires of our community and we are willing to do whatever it takes to create the best possible gaming experience for our customers. We hope that provides you some comfort and confidence in Privateer as a company. No, we’re not perfect, and yes, we are more than capable of making mistakes. But we own our mistakes and we’ll clean up after them to the best of our ability because we care very much about the experience our players have with our games.

The second point we want to make is that the entire purpose of our Community Integrated Development initiative is to again, offer you confidence that whatever you purchase has gone through sufficient play testing that it should not undergo immediate rules revision. While we have made several adjustments over the past few months, we don’t want an environment where your expectation is that things might change at any moment any more than you do. If you can’t purchase our models with confidence because you are afraid that they won’t retain their gameplay value, then the bottom line is, we can’t stay in business. The purpose of the CID is to make sure that in an environment where a single new model can change the entire meta, those new releases have been properly vetted by the community who is going to be playing with them. Our goal with CID is to stabilize the rules environment so that neither you nor we feel the need for something to change.

Will things change in the future? Yes. It is unavoidable and it would be misleading to try and get you to believe otherwise. We release new models every month and have several new factions in the works for future release. While all of these will go through the CID process, there are bound to be instances where something makes it through even our CID process, undiscovered and unchallenged. But through our CID process, we expect to be able to minimize these occurrences such that you should not feel trepidatious about making a purchase. And when things do change, they are changing for the betterment of the overall play environment.

We believe that a continued commitment toward offering the best gaming experience possible is superior to letting mistakes or unexpected issues go without being addressed. While we realize this does mean that we’re asking you to put trust in us as a company that truly cares about the quality of its customers’ experience, we hope that what we have been demonstrating to you over the past several months has proven that we are deserving of that trust.

PPS_Matt (post #18): I can tell you that as a Minions player, a year from now, you’re going to be very pleased, especially if you’ve been looking forward to something on a huge base.

We have a plan right now that stretches through 2019 into 2020 and beyond, that details our model releases each month. For your own sake, and ours, I will not share that plan because it would be suicide (for us). The plan is ever evolving as we continue to respond to the needs of our community, changes in our production processes, and whatever other conditions that may occur that influence how we develop and produce models for WARMACHINE & HORDES. What I can tell you is that every single faction we have produced models for to date is accounted for in that plan, with new additions scheduled for future release. However, with twelve current factions, a new one on the way this summer, and multiple sub-factions within those greater factions, releases for any specific faction are going to be spaced out by longer spans of time than they were in the past. Our goal is to be shipping all new releases around a themed force in a 1-3 month span of time, rather than broadcasting the eventual release of something a year or more ahead of time without a clear release date (which is kind of what I just did for you, apologies, but you know you wanted to hear that!). The point of this is that if you don’t see anything on the immediate horizon for your faction, you should not feel at all like you are ‘less important’, but rather, that you’re just like everyone else, because every faction is at some point going to be in that situation where many months are going to go by without news or a new release. This is a very different approach than what we have done in the past with our anthology books that were created in an effort to provide some level of parallel development to all of the factions of WARMACHINE or to HORDES, where what was published was essentially an imprecise schedule of what was to be released in the coming year. Over time, as the games grew and more factions were added, that approach became flawed. Only so much can be released in a given month or year, and trying to make sure every faction was addressed in parallel meant that each book could only have a few offerings for each faction, which was its own different kind of frustration. So, that’s changing. After the new faction releases in July, what we’ll be doing is releasing blocks of content for one faction at a time. Sometimes it will all come out in one month, and other times it will span two or even three months, depending on the size of the block of content. We feel pretty confident that these blocks of content will be more than sufficient to keep devotees of that faction busy until the next time their faction comes up in the rotation, but it does mean that there will be spans of time without new releases, but we think this will allow us to deliver a much more satisfying offering when we do get around to your faction.

At the same time, we’re not cold hearted monsters that enjoy making people wait! And we also love the holidays. I’m going to get myself in trouble for jumping the gun, but we have a plan to make sure that most (if not every) faction has something under the tree at the end of the year (so to speak). December is going to be a month that falls out of our normal release cadence and lets us have a bit of fun, hopefully delivering to each faction what they want most, or at least something that is going to be a lot of fun to get onto the tabletop. And hopefully this breaks up the wait time between releases for your chosen faction, at least a little. Again, I’m working without a net here and divulging things that we aren’t ready to discuss in detail. But I want you to know that no faction is being overlooked or diminished. We have a vested interest in all of them and are eagerly looking forward to the opportunity to build on each one of them.

PPS_Matt (post #36)The new HORDES faction will comprise all of our in-store model releases in July, August and September, which I think will make it officially our most aggressive new faction release schedule, ever. So, no effort is being spared to push the faction out and get players everything they need to build an army.

At the same time, expectations should be realistic. We’ve got 15 years worth of Khador releases in the catalog, for instance. New factions aren’t going to express that kind of volume of offering. But they will be robust. The new faction, for instance, has six new warlocks, which should provide a great amount of variety and different play styles and experiences. The intention is that they will provide more than enough to be competitive and well tuned, with plenty of variety. And you’ll get to help ensure that’s the case very soon!

PPS_Matt (post #93)I am cautiously optimistic about CID as well. As a standard operating procedure, it’s new territory for us. It’s sure to be an evolving process as we find all find our groove.

With regards to models that may appear to need some tuning upward, in some cases (not all), the reason we feel they are performing as intended might be because we know what’s coming around the corner. Model X that seems underwhelming right now might suddenly become very interesting when model Y is released in its theme force at some point in the future. That doesn’t necessarily help the performance of model X right now, but what we don’t want to do is jockey the same model up and down the curve just to make it appealing in the moment. For some things, there is a plan, and that plan just has to come to fruition. In other cases, as we open up a new theme force for CID, we might take a look at an existing model or two make sure it has a desirable role within the theme force. In such a situation, those models would become part of the CID rotation and would be visible to everyone so that you know what is under scrutiny.

Again, the primary goal is to make sure that the environment feels stable and that we’re not randomly changing things. Change and evolution should be an expectable part of the environment, but through the CID process, we want this to become something that has a comfortable level of transparency and predictability for you.