Been Away – Back Now

Just to say that I’ve not been ignoring you guys deliberately. I was away from my desk for a few days, and as soon as I left I started having trouble getting onto my email remotely. Seems to be all sorted now I’ve got more than a tablet to work with 🙂

There’s a bunch of comments that need replies from my time away, so I’ll get to them over the next couple of days.

Cheers

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33 Responses to Been Away – Back Now

  1. eriochrome says:

    Welcome baçk. Not a great time to disappear. Mantica is on fire.

  2. mastertugunegb says:

    We’ll fix this mess before you can say Age of Si- Okay, maybe not that fast. But relatively quick with the combined powers of Jake, Pikaraph and others manning the walls.

    • eriochrome says:

      Everything seems sortable. I described it as First World Kickstarter problems since something showed up in comparison to a lot that have not. It is a death of 1000 cuts sort of thing.

      1.) Add Ons that were not Resin Characters/hard plastic minis/ or the full expansions all seem to have sizable numbers of backers unhappy with changes/quality.

      2.) Missing Character Mats for all the heroes which while not required make the game more polished.

      3.) Missing Mission Content and other assorted items.

      4.) Companion Clearly either not printer from the approved final page proofs or that step skipped or some how messed up.

      5.) Serious Packing Errors. Their database appeared to get contaminated or something. One guy reported getting a set of critters he did not order which would not be a big deal except he was in the US and only ordered the base pledge. He should not have even generated a shipping order for the extras packing at Mantic HQ.

      6.) Hardback Compendium Issues: If the typos are not enough essentially not responding to the fact you used the wrong graphic to advertise it all 3 times that promised a book twice as big is not acceptable. A lot of people upgraded their pledges to get to that 200 dollars and deliver half what many of them thought is bad.

      7.) Adventure’s Companion Content: Many people are not happy here. It is sort of hard to describe what feels wrong about the whole thing but each section is just off a little to undermine the whole thing. I really like what Jake did with a lot of the stuff and how he really optimized what was a limited card budget my using the same card for different things. It is hard to know where the problems started whether they were layout or organization.

      Core Rules Section: This is main redone from the core game so most seems fine outside the types but a couple of things stuck out to me. The Line of Sight rules actually say the exact opposite of what they mean. Chest Traps only seem to target people who try to pick or open locks (wording unclear here due to lock levels requiring multiple picks) and not people who just smash them open which makes being a thief kind of dangerous and unnecessary unless really strong doors and chests are thrown into the game. Most of it is standard FAQ stuff everyone expects in games.

      Hero Creation: The rules here look solid and as soon as someone programs up an online one that generates a character sheet it will be great but due to some difference with other games conventions things can go wrong (Level 0 Start and no initial feat) not to mention the example character is 20 pages after the rules and their is no consistency in the presentation of the races where the stuff that should lead off the race like the base stats and any ability(which is in a red box which often means side thought or Boss stuff) might be below the racial feat which should be part of the advancement. Essentially if you do not already know what you are looking at when you get to either the race or profession page you still do not know until you read the campaign stuff 30 pages farther along. While the advancement choice thing had been covered in some kickstarter posts, plenty of people do not understand the carton a and b stuff so they could not have been following closely. This section could use a little this is what these entries look like discussion before showing them. A little design thoughts could also be included since a lot of people are puzzled by stuff like getting a -1 Armor for shooting weapon skill when you do not have any access of shooting dice until much later, etc. The only other issue that is really obvious is Break ward which is nearly impossible for any spellcaster other than the wizard to start with and getting it for the wizard could essentially ruin him if you get a bad 6 card spell draw and have to use your 1 choice. All the other spell casters while they know petty magic as per the rules in the magic section (but forgotten in the profession sections) draw their spells purely from their main domain so they can only get it with bonus one random spell out of all possible which is pretty long odds.

      Campaigns section seems pretty solid. Given how bosses are used later in the book most of the advancement for them seems pretty pointless. Some discussion about when you can learn your feats but that is standard FAQ stuff.

      Uncharted Dungeons: Here is where you get bang for your cards but you do not show me the card which makes it a little tougher but not to bad. Nothing about scaling the minions for the Heros levels, nothing about scaling the overlord activitations. These are things people will learn but they could end up with some less fun games as they do if they get the values wrong. As written it appears to suggest the overlord deck should be 8 cards long which when you draw 3 leaves you with 5 turns to finish the whole dungeon which you might not even see you objective till after 3 doors. Then the Boss issue. I do not know what level of Boss to put in the dungeon based on my hero and making bosses even using the Hero type rules due to the options matrix really means you have to write out the options and select them one at a time and black out already selected ones as you go through. Not an on the fly type activity. If mantic was smart they would go through their KoW Hero range and make up a villian or two for each one and post a set of black and white printable villian profiles. This section is really for the quick fix after you have done the published stuff or want to try out a battle against Goblins or something. You want a little table that you can go to get a reasonable boss for a certain range of hero levels. You guys have been sitting on this book for months with info about approximately what villian level is right for which hero levels you could have had who ever tested this or wrote scenarios build a range of villians.

      Design your own Dungeon: While you were giving your little talk you should have been showing it in action with a real mission you designed with real info about the core balance stuff also missing from Uncharted Dungeons. Almost no one is trying to design dungeons were playtesting is reasonable. We want to be able to take a cool story idea and convert it into a dungeon that will challenge our friends. We need some help finding out how to get that challenge right. That is why we are buying the book.

      Solo Play: I like what you did with the cards to simulate the interrupts and overlord cards. This section really needs models on the board examples and probably a Invisible overlord mat summary since you will need your rulebook for other stuff and cannot leave it open to these pages as you try to learn. I have read it a couple of times and I am still not sure what to do.

      Bestiary: You do pack a lot of models into there. A few more villian templates would have been nice but those would only matter if there are numbers in Uncharted and Design since currently I can just give them Bosses whatever I want and it does not affect my ability to know if it balanced.

      I know I am critical but I try to be fair and comprehensive. These issues are so unfortanute since outside the mini packaging(bent and broken) I hear good things about the base game and the full expansions which is getting over shadowed by this other stuff but a lot of the value for me and other backers was the Companion so it is a major issue.

      Thanks

      • eriochrome says:

        Solo play also still probably need a turn counter like the original overlord cards but that is not mentioned.

        • That was a very good comprehensive list (not that I expect any less from you) a couple of additional items:
          1) which minions have long and which short range shooting.
          2) conpleting the rules to include features such as lava and water ( I know lava is covered in the abyssal expansion, but I see no mention of water yet you have a breathe water spell (which does protect you from the drown spell but that seems rather limited) (2 de solve ward spells (and only 1 break ward) is odd both as break ward should be readily accessible to multiple users but the rules say only 1 of each spell should be in the deck.
          3) real nitpicking but there is both a feat and a ability called halo of flame (the feat grants the ability till end of turn)

          And minor issues with the bestiary such as ogre boomers and shooters having the same profile. (I understand you can’t put every model in so won’t complain about models that do or didn’t make the cut.)

          But still looking forward to playing it a lot.

        • eriochrome says:

          @bookkeeper

          I was not even really trying to cover all the issue just hit a few points that probably need Jake as opposed to stuff that is a typo from the cutting of marksman and deft throw.

      • Quirkworthy says:

        Thanks Erio. I’ll go into the Mantic office to get myself a set of all the stuff that’s been sent out so I can see for myself what you’re referring to. Then I expect I’ll be able to sort fixes for some of it, at least. I’m afraid there’s not much I can do about layout and physical component quality though.

        • eriochrome says:

          get your self a carton B

        • eriochrome says:

          The whole AC comes off as a rush job which is sad since it was like the second thing really proposed in the project. While I am sure you tested it, the only real explanation I can come up with is that a near final copy was never given to anyone who knew the base game but did not know the mechanics for the stuff in the AC to try it out. I had this problem a lot when I was writing papers that I would write it, a junior co worker would edit it, and then when I went for the final pass it would say things that I had not meant since I failed to accurately express my ideas because I made assumptions about what the readers knew and I am just bad at expressing things.

        • eriochrome says:

          Mantic’s desire for a single shipment has really blown up in their face. I understand the double shipments are more expensive but I think it would have been money well spent as opposed to disappointing a large fraction of your most backed (people not money) kickstarter. Base Games, Bonus Minis, First Part of Dungeon Journal, Warlord, and Crypts, then later rest of Dungeon Journal, AC that got the production time, Valandor, and Tyrant. Everyone happy (except maybe some add and packing issues).

          When people are talking about returning their nice pile of loot (which it certain appears to be) unopened for a refund or refusing to accepted delivery, you are way late in putting out the fire. At best, I am reading well this is what kickstarters are like but those people are like 5 to 1 outnumbered by people who say they will never back another mantic kickstarter again or buy another mantic product. I myself am very glad I backed warpath for only 1 dollar for the digital rules despite all the promises of shiny stuff. I specifically said on my blog I was doing it that way since I do not give more kickstarter money to a company that still has not delivered to me on a previous project.

        • Quirkworthy says:

          I saw very little of the laid out and edited version so I can’t say if that was the problem. I’m sure some of the lack of clarity is my fault too. I’ll sort through the issues and see what I can fix, starting tomorrow.

      • Pikaraph says:

        Good job !

  3. Be prepared for the onslaught of dungeon saga questions, be warned Mantic is taking a bit of flak over communications and quality, though the core game seems to be getting praise 🙂

  4. Quirkworthy says:

    OK, thanks for the heads up people. I’ll have to go into the office to get copies of everything so I can see for myself what the problems are and what I can do to help.

  5. seb says:

    Great news !
    And yeah there is a lot of questions in the dungeon saga section on this blog 🙂

  6. Bigby Wolf says:

    I played three games so far from the base game. It is very much fun and it will take some time to get the base game and one or two expansions played. So for me it is not that annoying, I like that other people look into the problems, and Mantic’s give away of the pdf was a nice move, so I am looking forward that everything will be fine in the end.

    • eriochrome says:

      I think mantic ran into a little unintended problem since right now about a third of the backers (US) have only their often sub par add ons and the digital AC to look at. It is also sort of like I think mantic needed to put the base game on the top of the box and actually repack the add on at the bottom so they are not the first things you see when you unpack in the UK or Europe.

      • Quirkworthy says:

        I passed that suggestion on, in case it helps.

        • eriochrome says:

          All the boxes are already backed I think so does not matter now but in general you want to lead with the good stuff. They knew what that was with this shipment.

      • Bigby Wolf says:

        I’m not sure. Peolpe backed the KS for different reasons. I for myself looked first at the miniatures and liked them a lot. After that I looked a the core rulebook and the questbook, they were also good. Than I looked through the expansions and than I looked at the adventurers companion. It is the book I am least likely to use. I currently have 35+ scenarios to play, split up in 3 campaigns. This will take me and friends probably a couple of months to play.
        I guess other players, who backed to play solo have a completly different approach. So I understand all the comotion on the Mantic forum.

        • eriochrome says:

          But as you say you bought expansions. If you backed at dungeon master you are at about 14 real balanced missions and then only 7 more in the dungeon journal if you want to play with approximately proper figures which eliminates a lot of the DKH stuff. You have about 6 heroes you have very limited missions for and 2 sets of extra monsters you have very limited missions for. So about 1/3 of your miniatures are not used much unless you use the AC.

        • Bigby Wolf says:

          That is exactly what I meant. And even so I am happy for the time being, I am also glad that people like you help Mantic and Jake to sort everything out. So please keep up your good work, I very much appreciate it.

        • eriochrome says:

          My wife is under the impression that Mantic probably hates me at the moment. Jonny P here in is the states is probably lucky that while I am pretty sure I have met him(more than a few years back) and know lots of people who know him pretty well through our local Blood Bowl league as eventhough we are a tiny league(8 people) we have some of the best players in the midwest (perhaps US). The guy I play next time is currently at the World Cup sporting an 4-0 record (at the last update I see on Zlurpee Bowl). If I lived a little closer and know him a little better, I would be trying to talk to Ronnie about this while he was here. I sure that would go swimmingly.

        • eriochrome says:

          These are all self inflicted wounds on Mantics part often exasperated by the very bad communication. The list of undelivered promises has grown to like 19 and that does not even count anything for the AC except the missing fluff. Almost all of them are small and almost petty issues but that I could make a list that long is the problem, with the only hint anything at all was going to be on it outside that Hero AI did not work was 2 weeks before shipping which happened to be about 1 week after Mantic’s warpath kickstarter closed.

          All these things drag down what should be a very exciting time for people with the new core game which I still here is quite solid.

        • Quirkworthy says:

          I’ve not got round to looking at what’s missing. The only thing I had on my original to do list and did not complete was the Hero AI (which we’d previously discussed not working at all well). Where’s the latest list of what’s missing?

    • eriochrome says:

      I posted the direct link to the my blog here a while back but it was during the vanishing so was probably lost. The AC has most of the component promised just the deliver is not the level expected is my nice way of saying it. Witch and Engineer classes are missing. Witch is easily a mage with sorcery but the engineer would probably be a thief but it does not quite feel right might need a different base ability like a bonus to smash doors instead of picking them. Unfortaunetly the keyword Smash! is already used. Missions missing is between 18 and like 24 but based on my plain english reading with explicit promises I get 21 or so.

      • alexpainer says:

        I received Dungeon Saga last week (basically i went for an almost everything pledge, including some of the resin bits like trap tiles and critters) i have been playing with my 9yo and 7yo daughters and we have done the first three adventures. Truly enjoying the system – my youngest needs a little help with Danor now and again but other then that all has gone brilliantly. We are aiming to play once a week as a family (I’m a single dad so it’s just the three of us). I have been furiously painting to try and add a bit more to the already gorgeous visuals and can see us playing over years to come.
        Once we are done with the prewritten bits i will turn this into a rpg adding some other stats and do a dungeon and open world game. (they will build/manage an outpost in Mantica with bits from the Dark Age settlement KS)
        Jake, I really think you have done a cracking job with the rules and adventures. Mantic as usual have delivered an affordable and fun product with a few minor imperfections that really don’t detract from the quality of the experience.
        Please keep up the good work Jake. I hope the slightly smoother DZ rules will be easy enough for my 9yo – she was just on the cusp last year of being able to play properly!
        Cheers, Alex

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