Sunday, January 31, 2010

WOTC Blows It Again With Gamma World

How can one company screw up by screwing over their customers so often?

This time the product is a failure before it's even released.

Apparently Gamma World is going to be released with certain mutation cards coming in random booster packs. So the person who buys the most cards is the best player.

What a scumbag move--designed to just make money.

Check out the threads on ENWorld and TheRPGSite for more info.

25 comments:

Scott said...

Oh my god. A company that makes a product decision based on the idea that they want to make money? Cue the outrage!

The reactions are REALLY getting ridiculous now, and you're certainly not helping. You don't need the boosters to enjoy the game. You will still have a great time with what's provided in the boxed set, I'm sure. If you want more content, IT'S THERE FOR YOU TO BUY. If you're cool with what you've got, that's awesome too.

Now, I can see some people being disappointed that the boosters are random as opposed to identical, but that's a FAR cry from calling a product "a failure before it's even released."

You've got an axe to grind, Joethelawyer. WotC kicked your favorite puppy years ago and you refuse to let it go. It's tellingly predictable that you will be one of the most vocal detractors on any given decision they make, when there are many, many more reasonable reactions out there that other people have decided to take, and that you could have just as easily.

Mike(aka kaeosdad) said...

That does suck, but I'm pretty sure you're just paying for a card with some nice art on it in the end.

Someone will do the groundwork and write up a spoiler sheet, and that's all you'll likely need to play the game.

Rev. Lazaro said...

I believe it's been said the core box set will contain 80 cards, and the total set is 120. Oh boy, 40 powers AND tech cards we don't have access to. That's like not having every book, but still playing with the core.

Granted it's a gimmick for marketing purposes, but it's not a case of making a "better player". I'm not sure if it's a direction I like with the Gamma World license; but it's still too early to see its implementation.

And PS -- Game companies are ALWAYS in it for money. Period.

A Paladin In Citadel said...

I too am annoyed by this announcement.

Shame on you, Joethelawyer, for expressing your opinion! Don't you know you're hurting Hasbro's stock price! That's un-American.

Now get with the program, and give WOTC all your money.

satyre said...

We've seen tabletop with CCG elements before - their lack of market success is notable.

Changeling 1st edition by White Wolf had optional cantrip cards. 2nd edition didn't need them and demand tailed off pretty quick.

Wizards released Everway, offering additional story card packs - this game has moved between companies - even though it's viewed as one of the seminal works by story gamers there's not a lot happening now.

Given Mutant Future has grabbed the post-apocalyptic genre firmly by the grognards, I'm unconvinced they'll get an audience unless a 4E/GW crossover book or DDI add-on is in the offing.

Wish Wizards luck, not expecting so much. If anyone thinks there will only be 120 cards, maybe they need to look at where Wizards has had most market success.

Do you make money if you release products with an unattractive core concept? Not outraged, just puzzled by the business logic.

Carl said...

I do not understand this reaction at all. First off, the game is going to be playable without any additional purchases. Second off, this isn't Magic the Gathering where you need to have an official card to play - this is a RPG, so if you want to play with the additional mutations, you just print out a sheet and cut it up and play. Thirdly, unless a group WANTS to make this a strange competitive thing, I imagine the group would just pool their cards for the daily mutation draw (as I understand it you draw a card each day for a different random mutation). The whole "the person who buys the most cards is the best player" is a hollow argument. I personally am just happy that Wizards is making a game featuring random character generation (a radical shift for them) and a rules-lite approach (perhaps an even bigger change).

greywulf said...

Sorry to say it, but you're talking rubbish. For a start, you haven't seen the game, only heard a short announcement. Wait and see!

Secondly, I highly doubt that "the person who buys the most cards is the best player" any more than having the most cards in..... well, any other game (including M:tG, poker, Monopoly) makes you the best player. Being the best player makes you the best player, nothing else matters.

From what little I understand, having more cards gives you more options at character generation. Much like any player's supplement does, really.

Me, I'm stoked that this is even on the table. C'mon! Gamma World! How awesome is that? Lemme feel the love! No?

Scott said...

@A Paladin In Citadel: Deciding to share a poorly-formed, knee-jerk, vitriolic opinion with the masses IS shameful. Having an opinion is fine. Once you go out of your way to make that opinion public, however, you'd better be sure it has real merit, because it will receive criticism.

I believe you got a taste of exactly this phenomenon on your own blog: http://apaladinincitadel.blogspot.com/2010/01/dear-hasbro-i-hate-you.html

Louis Porter Jr. said...

And you are suprised why?

James said...

If you're a munchkin powergamer who likes the idea of scarfing up all the crap cards that WOTC is hoping to pour onto the market, then I'm sure you'll love the New Gamma World. If the games a success, then a spoiler sheet isn't going to cut it. The gamers who are attracted to the system, will WANT the collectible card aspect, with all the opportunities to WIN, that will thus, be provided. Thank the gods for Mutant Future.

aaron said...

Perhaps you should do your research before you angrily post about something you don't like. There are two things you should know:

a) The player with the most cards is not going to be the best player. The player with the most cards is just going to have the most cards. Mutations can be both good and bad.

c) The player with the most cards is not going to be the best player. Players can share decks with one another, they don't have to draw from their own individual deck. In fact I think (and I'm going to emphasize the fact that I said I think because I don't like to jump to conclusions) it is encouraged that you combine decks.

Kytem said...

Who let Scott Betts out to roam? That lunatic must be apoplectic at the number of sites that don't reference 4E with the utmost of reverence.

Seriously, Scottie, a "poorly-formed knee-jerk" opinion? I'll give you vitriolic, because WotC has engendered that kind of reaction - and you're coming in here, spilling some out yourself. But "poorly-formed knee-jerk"??

There's a lot of people that don't like the chickenshit profiteering element of adding a CCG to a game, kicking up the arms race amongst all the players because one of them decided to go buy some extra cards. As others have said, it won't be limited to 120 (80 core plus 40 extra). If you believe that it will, you're living in a fantasy world.

Basing an opinion on your distaste of the situation, and years of observation on how WotC has ran their business, that's neither poorly-formed or knee-jerk.

Then again, clowns like you believed WotC when they said that they wouldn't be publishing the same level of glut that they claim they did in 3E/3.5.

We all see how well THAT worked out.

How is your WotC-Paladins fan club working out?

Tenkar said...

@satyre Mutant Future hasn't grabbed the post-apocalyptic genre firmly by the grognards, the hair, the big toe or the pinky - it isnt even on the radar for 95%+ of the gaming public.

We post, we blog, we are active in forums and the OSR... and we are the minority. Best not forget that.

Gamma World as stated doesnt impress me. I have the knowledge and option to use Mutant Future if I so desire. For most gamers that product doesnt even exist.

A Paladin In Citadel said...

Joethelawyer: thanks for providing links to the two threads on EnWorld and The RPGSite. I was cautiously optimistic about Gamma World, until I read those threads, where it is reported that the best GW mutations will be inside random booster packs.

Uncool, WOTC.

People, go read the threads for yourselves.

JoetheLawyer said...

Paladin: no problem. When respected people ENWorld and TheRPGSite agree on their analysis of something, that is newsworthy in itself. I thought it worth linking to in order for others to see where my short and to the point post came from.

Kytem said...

Tenkar has it.

Who, outside of the miniscule few that read the RPG blogs and forums, has ever heard about "Mutant Future"?

Certainly not the LGS or the customers there. Certainly not anyone browsing at Borders or B&N.

I think 4E Gamma World is going to stink, but it'll still sell about 1000 times better than Mutant Future.

Lord of the Green Dragons said...

It appears that the only mutations that one will get are those which WotC is doing to what were naturally playable and creative games of the past.

James said...

> The gamers who are attracted to the system, will WANT the collectible card aspect, with all the opportunities to WIN, that will thus, be provided. Thank the gods for Mutant Future.<

I am waiting on a copy of Mutant Future from Goblinoid at the moment.

In between I cannot be disappointed enough by the utter deterioration of a once creative concept of RPG as exhibited time and time again by WotC, to that of a mediocre formula. I agree with James in this regard. But this tells all too well what WotC perceives their market to be. In turn, it also shows what best to avoid and what truly creative designers need to focus on in promoting works that stand above the "mass consumption" line of consumer driven sameness. WotC does not entertain anything but this model so they will never be all-inclusive of those players who are truly imaginative and creative, so ranting against them is like shouting into the void. They have ascribed to a principle as noted from the current portents preceding them and have cast their lot. Railing against it may raise the understanding of some--where it is better served is to use it as an example of what not to do as a designer with any moral fiber and urge to spread truly creative player participation. Sooner or later this marketing scheme will run its length, as it is a continual input-based psychology with nothing attached to it but to be "Cool" Flash, and as James said, "Winning." These worn facets of games become dull and people slide in and out of them due to that.

Scott said...

@Kytem: I'm always really impressed with the level of maturity displayed by 4e detractors. Once again, I'm reminded that the decision to make the switch to 4e would have been justified merely by the fact that those staying behind are largely the sort of people I am not interested in sitting down at a table with and playing D&D. I cannot expect them to act appropriately.

The disparity in reaction between those who have a consistently hostile attitude towards WotC, and the average gamer is enlightening. When provided with a limited amount of information, the average gamer will withhold judgment until the final product. When provided with a limited amount of information, the hostile gamers we see here will instead fill in the blanks in their knowledge with what they imagine to be the worst possible outcomes.

It's a shame, really, and perhaps WotC is partly to blame for bringing out the worst in these gamers, but I can't help but wonder what RPG publisher would be happy with these sorts of people.

Kytem said...

@Scottie: I'm always really impressed with the level of maturity displayed by 4vengers. Once again, I'm reminded that the decision to keep playing 3.5 would have been justified merely by the fact that those making the switch are largely the sort of people I am not interested in sitting down at a table with and playing D&D. I cannot expect them to act appropriately.

The disparity in reaction between those who are consistently disappointed with WotC's poor game design or marketing decisions, and the average mouthbreather is enlightening. When provided with a dissenting opinion, the average mouthbreather will vehemently defend the product against even the merest hint of someone's dissatisfaction. When provided with a limited amount of information, the disappointed gamers we see here will instead read the said information the company has released about the new product (absent the ability to actually examine unreleased new product for themselves) and determine once again that a poor decision has been made, one that further alienates them as a customer.

It's a shame, really, and perhaps WotC is partly to blame for bringing out the worst in these mouthbreathers, and I can't help but wonder why WotC would be happy with these sorts of people carrying their banner.

Scott said...

@Kytem: Nice. I think you've shed all the light on this issue that needs to be shed.

E.G.Palmer said...

Heh!

Ryan said...

When provided with a limited amount of information, the average gamer will withhold judgment until the final product.

Ha! I don' t know where you found these "average gamers," but please point me in their direction.

Scott said...

@Ryan: Well, the responsible ones, at least. I think that your average gamer is not emotionally invested in any particular game to the degree where he would make these sorts of snap judgments. I think this is probably something we see most commonly among the more "hardcore".

jonbrazer said...

I understand why they did it. Board Games are making more money right now than role playing games and are hitting a larger audience. I just wish they would release a separate role playing game at the same time for those of us that would rather play a role playing game.

Andreas Davour said...

So the person who buys the most cards is the best player.

Stop for a second! The best pplayer is the player who utilizes the resources given best.

The player who have bought all the cards might be the most powerful player, but not the best.

Let's reserve that word for what it really mean.