Morning everyone !!
CID update : Trollkins north theme and Mercenary in theme are into the CID for the next 2 weeks.
While the troll update is relatively easy work for the CID community, the theme aspect generate a big amount of discussion.
I know people on the blog are more GW oriented but allow me to give you a small debrief of what happening.
What is CID : Community integrated Development, it's a beta rule set where the dev interact with the player base before releasing new models.
Does it works : Yes relatively well, they enforce really hard forum rules (you can be banned if you fuck around, whine, troll, ..). They trimmed the writers very fast and focus on actual play testing. The community produced really good report.
What the problem this time ? : Theme !!
In warmachine you must play one of the 8 (or 9) factions, there is no inter faction alliance, but 2 of the factions (mercenaries/minions) are allowed to be recruited in regular army. In MK2 Merc/minions where so good that most of the good list used them over regular faction troops. In MK3 numbers of mercs units were nerfed hard + the ability to benefit from their buff was removed, this double nerf greatly reduced their utilisation to a few corner case (solo with generic buff)
Then enter the theme, Warmachine is like MTG with models, and at some points they didn't had any design space left into the faction. Without this space impossible to produce new models for the old factions (the big seller). To solve this problem they decide to use "Themed army list". To explain it to a 40k players, it's a sub faction. For exemple you could play : A space marines army (generic faction) Or in theme : A blood angel army, (with a limited units choice but extra special rules). Imagine how bloated would be the Space marines codex if there was no chapter dex and everything was included as generic SM entry !!!
Warmachine have this problem, for exemple the Cygnar empire (poster boy of the game) : have Storm knight (electric steam punk space marines), tempest order (magic mousquetaire pistolero), Trenchers (1914-1918 themed soldier) each of these have around 20 to 30 options + Big robot for everyone ^^ It's nearly impossible to add a new units to Cygnar without overshadowing an old unit (Hello Primaris marines ^^). With sub faction they can now develop more detailed units ex: The long range support unit will be different in the 3 themes and even if one is better then the other they will have a place in their theme (but not in the faction).
Easy fix, they just do what gw did a long time ago with : BA, DA, SW, GK for the marines.
So what is the problem already ??
They explained that "Theme" (read : Sub faction) are the new primaries building block and that's how they want the game to be played.
So themed army can now include a few mercs/minions choice, reducing the interest to play non-theme to nothing. They add this because everyone have a lot of mercs models shelved and non usable in theme. This is the point of contention. A lot of players (hard to quantify) want the un theme army list to be competitive. I am not sure that is possible anymore.
I think PP already moving forward and want to release 4 themes per faction ASAP covering each aspect of each faction, giving them a lot of "Design space" to fill the void sub faction are going to have.
What to think of the CID process by PP
-Generate good rules update and always find the Cheesy/Imba combo before release.
-When canalized the community feedback is valuable and point thing that the Dev don't always see.
-A community can behave.
-Good communication by the dev team explaining intent behind rules change or concept they want tested.
-Time for troll to get buffed ^^
-Delay : There is too much delay between the beta session closing date and the integration into the game. I mean they should do like blizzard when the test server close, on week (2 max) later the changed are implemented on the retail server. Right now we tested the tournament package for 2017 in march and it's still not in retail (should be next week).
- The decision of What to include in CID or not are not always explained.
-Theme : The word "Theme" should be replaced with "Sub faction" or "Mini faction"
That's it for the coverage of the CID in warmachine, i hope it was clear enough for the non players :D