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Author Topic: Tech Bloat/ Rules Bloat: Is this a problem?  (Read 5497 times)

Scotty

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Re: Tech Bloat/ Rules Bloat: Is this a problem?
« Reply #150 on: 18 December 2020, 11:47:03 »
Having layers of weapons and equipment enriches the universe and keeping things from getting stagnant. Try looking at it another way. What if tank designs didn't change after WWII? We wouldn't have the Abrams. We'd have a variant of the Sherman made up of everything that goes into the Abrams. Now at what point does tech stop advancing? The end of WWII? 1950s? Can we have any variant as long as it could be built with WWII technology? Or do we have a hard cut off date?

I defy you to tell me with a straight face that you need 3400 'Mech designs and counting to keep the game from getting "stagnant".  Have you used all of those?  Have you used half of those?  Have you used a tenth of those?  Let alone to the point that there is no further combination of ways you could use those units?
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ActionButler

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Re: Tech Bloat/ Rules Bloat: Is this a problem?
« Reply #151 on: 18 December 2020, 12:57:39 »

Having layers of weapons and equipment enriches the universe and keeping things from getting stagnant. Try looking at it another way. What if tank designs didn't change after WWII? We wouldn't have the Abrams. We'd have a variant of the Sherman made up of everything that goes into the Abrams. Now at what point does tech stop advancing? The end of WWII? 1950s? Can we have any variant as long as it could be built with WWII technology? Or do we have a hard cut off date?

Kind of reminds me of Girls und Panzer. Which we can do in Battletech. It'd be the box set mech only introtech rules. Which is fine for some and there's nothing wrong with that. Girls un Panzer didn't stop with WWII tanks though. They didn't even stop with the original tank types. They've continually added more tank types, even WWI tanks. They also have MBTs and other unit types. Just like BattleTech didn't stop at mech only introtech rules or with the units found in TRO:3025. It's continued to grow. That's a good thing for those players who don't want to be limited to a certain unit type, tech level, or era.

And the thing is even if canon says something goes extinct that doesn't mean that players have to stop using it. By having "bloat" players can play along with the canon march of time or be free to pick and choose what we want. At least we can as far as the list goes. We can't pick something that doesn't exist, without going into house rules. But we can do things like have Blazer Armor in 3025 or QuadVees with Rifle Cannons, or Periphery built LAMs because they cost less than the more modern alternatives.

Without "bloat" I don't think we'd be here. Which is probably the best reason for "bloat".  I think the trick, and it's a pretty big trick, is to manage the bloat. We do some with availability dates, and with rule levels. Dates work when playing with canon time periods.
The thing with rule levels is that things go down in level but I don't think I've ever seen them go up. That means the list for Tournament level is constantly expanding. I'm okay with that but clearly not everyone is. Which is okay. I happen to think that items need to move from Tournament up when they stop being standard items. When that'll happen I don't know. And maybe rule levels as a whole needs a look at?

I think this is the heart of where you and I disagree. I understand what you're saying, and I certainly respect your right to have and voice your opinion, but I completely disagree with the logic here on several levels.

First of all, you aren't divorcing Battletech the game from Battletech the universe. I am 100% fine with Battletech the universe mentioning whatever the heck it wants to. One-off designs, oddball weapons, deadend tech, angry tax collectors, whatever. Let the next novel be about a guy who has modified an autocannon to fire ball-peen hammers if someone thinks that will make Battletech the universe more interesting.

But Battletech the universe is not Battletech the game. Battletech the game needs to be approachable, and the more sidegrade medium lasers you add to it because they were mentioned in the last sourcebook, the less approachable it becomes. To say nothing of the fact that layers and layers of equipment aren't interesting in and of themselves. Especially if they all do basically the same thing with relatively minor bonuses and penalties to distinguish them from one another.

Second, I just don't think you're correct. Again, your obviously welcome to your opinion, but I think your opinion is wrong. I don't think there is ANY evidence to suggest that a game that retains the same basic set of weapons and equipment remains stagnant.  If you need more evidence of that than the fact that CGL just made $2.5 million on a Kickstarter campaign centered on the second most basic period of the timeline, look no further than every WWII game ever.

The usual rules of talking about Battletech still apply, of course. Its your table, and your game, so do whatever the heck you want. Frankly, I love your passion for the oddball tech and your inclusion of it in your campaigns. I'm sure it makes for memorable games. But on this topic, I think Nicoli hit the nail on the head with this reply earlier:

The bolded line is the problem, people trying to make core Battletech into something that would work as a D&D campaign. You want something weird to give your players during a campaign let the DM, make it up and have it be for that campaign or put it into a campaign only book for DMs. Flooding the core boardgame with a bunch of nice stuff if you want to run a campaign where people play the same exact unit over and over again is not going to be good.  Campaign rules and stuff for it should ALWAYS be separate from the regular pick up rules and should have no impact on the design of the core rules.  This isn't to say that one way is better or the "Right way to play" but as you pointed out they are really two competing goals in a game system and your just going to end up either losing half your player base or all of it if you try to incorporate both as one.

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Drewbacca

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Re: Tech Bloat/ Rules Bloat: Is this a problem?
« Reply #152 on: 18 December 2020, 13:14:29 »
Screw it, just limit the game to mechs 20-100 tons, get rid of quads as those rules are unnecessary as well and make the rulebook the Battlemech manual. Problem solved.

Adrian Gideon

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Re: Tech Bloat/ Rules Bloat: Is this a problem?
« Reply #153 on: 18 December 2020, 13:40:49 »
Done.
Maybe close the thread?
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Kilderkin

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Re: Tech Bloat/ Rules Bloat: Is this a problem?
« Reply #154 on: 18 December 2020, 13:46:07 »
Here is the problem, your mixing up in your analogy that songs=ruleset of music. Sheet music is the ruleset of music, songs are the units. We can have all this crazy stuff in music because sheet music creates a medium that allows other musicians to easily understand what needs to be accomplished in the song. I can take the sheet music for Herman Li's insane "Through the Fire and the Flames" metal guitar solo and give it to a concert pianist and they know exactly what is going on and how it is played.

We can't do this with units in Battletech because the core rules are a set of bolted on additions. You give someone a unit and unless it is extremely basic, they are probably going to have to go research the equipment on it before they have a damn clue how the unit works. This makes any addition in extra equipment a serious problem. Imagine teaching people songs if you had to teach how to read the sheet music for each new song.

Sheet music is not the rules of music, music theory is.

As for the original question.

I do not think Tech Bloat/Rules Bloat is a problem. BMM and the rec guides/TROs allow you to play core Battletech in any era with the mechs you like with relative ease. What I find to be really cool with Battletech is the scalability in not only complexity but accessibility, in that new players with their AGOAC box sets and BMM can sit down to play with vets of the game and roll some dice 40 years on.

 Let people play the game how they want to.

Edit: Seems to really hate it when I use apostrophes.


« Last Edit: 18 December 2020, 13:52:10 by Kilderkin »

Geg

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Re: Tech Bloat/ Rules Bloat: Is this a problem?
« Reply #155 on: 18 December 2020, 14:41:33 »
Let people play the game how they want to.

We can't do that.   They might have fun the wrong way!

This is why I don't tell people that I often play with unpainted minis on hex maps.   

Can you imagine the shame!

Nicoli

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Re: Tech Bloat/ Rules Bloat: Is this a problem?
« Reply #156 on: 18 December 2020, 14:55:37 »
Sheet music is not the rules of music, music theory is.

As for the original question.

I do not think Tech Bloat/Rules Bloat is a problem. BMM and the rec guides/TROs allow you to play core Battletech in any era with the mechs you like with relative ease. What I find to be really cool with Battletech is the scalability in not only complexity but accessibility, in that new players with their AGOAC box sets and BMM can sit down to play with vets of the game and roll some dice 40 years on.

 Let people play the game how they want to.

Edit: Seems to really hate it when I use apostrophes.

Music Theory would be strategies of Battletech, it doesn't define what music is, it defines how to make good music and the trends in it. The process of putting notes on a page creates the rules for all musicians to understand what they are doing.
 
But I would disagree with you on the ease of playing Battletech 40years on. I can play effectively the BT of when I started 33 years ago with ease, the Battletech of today with all of the full Republic of the Sphere gear not a chance. I have absolutely no clue how most of the new equipment works without spending 90% of time during the game constantly referencing and cross-referencing rules from half a dozen rule books. I have no clue what a Nova EWS does and if you give me a record sheet with a unit that has it I'm still clueless. And that is a canon, standardized piece of equipment not some prototype one off. And even If I look up the rules for the EWS, I now have to look up at least 3 other pieces of equipment just to figure out what it actually does. This is not what I would consider accessible. You should be able to slap any unit in front of a player and have them be able to play it, if it is using standardized equipment, with just what is on the record sheet and understanding the core rule system. Currently that just doesn't exist. Instead we have a ruleset that is rules bolted on rules, bolted on rules, bolted on rules, bolted on the original rules.

Here is the thing I actually want you to be able to play in the style you want to play. And a good rewrite would allow you to do that and have MORE of what you like while allowing other people to play like they want. The reason why countries design new tanks from scratch after a while is because after you get done updating and bolting on new pieces of kit for a few dozen revisions the vehicle you were updating reaches the end of its ability to be upgraded effectively. So you take everything you've learned and chucked into the old tank and redesign a vehicle from the ground up to include from the beginning all the stuff that was in the last vehicle and provide the space to add new stuff later down the line. 

Moonsword

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Re: Tech Bloat/ Rules Bloat: Is this a problem?
« Reply #157 on: 18 December 2020, 15:10:20 »
Done.
Maybe close the thread?

Per the request of the Line Developer, this thread is now closed for further replies.

 

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