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Author Topic: Core Rulebook Splitting  (Read 32233 times)

Colt Ward

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Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
« Reply #90 on: 09 August 2019, 12:42:03 »
You also shouldn't fix what isn't broken.

I missed the stack of 5th reprint of TRO3050u when last I was in my FLGS if you saw it in yours.

How many grognards did not buy TO b/c it had 'equipment I will never use, I do not want to support any of that *insert adjective of choice*" when it came out?  Its a well proven theory, complete with graphs and other fun facts, that the buying decision is a curve- you can get X buyers at this price point, and if you raise it another $5 you will get X-Y buyers.  Splitting the book, even if the price is not completely split- say instead of the $40 for old TO we get $25 or $30, you are going to get more buyers for the rules or equipment than you would have people buying original TO with both.  Which will include the grogs who refused to buy advanced rules that they might have used b/c they were compatible with their ideal 3025 game they would not have bought with equipment.
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monbvol

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Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
« Reply #91 on: 09 August 2019, 13:40:37 »
I can't either but with Kickstarters you have to provide that product. That doesn't always happen. I think it'd be better to produce a product and get money than get money and hope I can make a product.

As for the rest, changing things for the sake of changing things isn't always a good idea. You also shouldn't fix what isn't broken.

Trouble is the writing has been on the wall I'd say for at least a decade that the way Battletech was being marketed was broken but it just hasn't been noticed by as many people as it is now because of some rather herculean efforts on the part of CGL and admitadly the grognards.

For the kickstarter it seems very clear that CGL went into this being reasonably sure they would be able to deliver the base product.

Quote
Were combat vehicles included in the older box sets?  ??? CityTechs had some cardboard counters but did any of the others? And did any ever have minis?

Also box sets aren't the only way into the game.


Doesn't mean much if there's no infantry, vehicles and aircraft to shoot at.

The truth is it is a pretty safe bet that most games involve nothing but mechs and that most people who play Battletech will never actually use anything but mechs.

With what I know from various marketing research most players are not going to care about the fluff or try to dig deeper no matter how easy we make it for them and let's be honest it isn't easy in the current state of Battletech.  At least not in a commercially sustainable fashion to support.

Ultimately it is becoming harder to deny that the old ways are no longer sustainable and that the evidence is mounting that things do need to change or we may not have Battletech at all.

Daryk

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Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
« Reply #92 on: 09 August 2019, 18:10:00 »
Monbvol: I find it highly amusing that we're talking about the long tail of a community that itself is the long tail of the gaming community...  ;D

monbvol

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Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
« Reply #93 on: 09 August 2019, 18:27:58 »
Which is kind of the scary thing really.

Battletech and by extension CGL has a very narrow margin for what mistakes they can make and still make Battletech for it.

RifleMech

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Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
« Reply #94 on: 10 August 2019, 03:11:50 »
I missed the stack of 5th reprint of TRO3050u when last I was in my FLGS if you saw it in yours.

How many grognards did not buy TO b/c it had 'equipment I will never use, I do not want to support any of that *insert adjective of choice*" when it came out?  Its a well proven theory, complete with graphs and other fun facts, that the buying decision is a curve- you can get X buyers at this price point, and if you raise it another $5 you will get X-Y buyers.  Splitting the book, even if the price is not completely split- say instead of the $40 for old TO we get $25 or $30, you are going to get more buyers for the rules or equipment than you would have people buying original TO with both.  Which will include the grogs who refused to buy advanced rules that they might have used b/c they were compatible with their ideal 3025 game they would not have bought with equipment.

I didn't see it either. In fact I saw very little for Battletech. I think that's in part because things don't stay in print.

How many grognards did buy TO because it contained new equipment? How many grognards were irritated though having to buy TW because TM didn't contain game rules for the new equipment? That really irked me. Having to wait for months for TechManual to come out only to find that I had to go but Total Warfare to use new equipment. I also wonder how many stores will stock both TO books when every time I'd go into the one store that carries Battletech there's less and less. I also wonder if the books will be released together or one after another. If its the latter I really worry the construction/equipment section won't get printed. After all books have been canceled before.



Trouble is the writing has been on the wall I'd say for at least a decade that the way Battletech was being marketed was broken but it just hasn't been noticed by as many people as it is now because of some rather herculean efforts on the part of CGL and admitadly the grognards.

For the kickstarter it seems very clear that CGL went into this being reasonably sure they would be able to deliver the base product.

The truth is it is a pretty safe bet that most games involve nothing but mechs and that most people who play Battletech will never actually use anything but mechs.

With what I know from various marketing research most players are not going to care about the fluff or try to dig deeper no matter how easy we make it for them and let's be honest it isn't easy in the current state of Battletech.  At least not in a commercially sustainable fashion to support.

Ultimately it is becoming harder to deny that the old ways are no longer sustainable and that the evidence is mounting that things do need to change or we may not have Battletech at all.

It didn't help that needed books weren't in print.

I hope that they will be able to deliver.

A lot of players do use the other units. I've even hear of some only playing the other units. Abandoning those units abandons players. The players I've known enjoyed Battletech because it wasn't just robots. They all loved the robots but they enjoyed using other forces too.

Will Battletech still be Battletech without all the other units or will Battletech become just another anime robot game? How many of them have there been? How many lasted 35+ years? Battletech has survived because it isn't just a robot game. It's a huge gaming universe where one can play anything.

Look at TRO: Clan Invasion. There's no Battle Armor yet it Elementals were one of the key units in the Clan Invasion. They were a terror to mechs. They made the IS wonder if aliens were invading. Can you picture the Clan Invasion with Battle Armor retconned out of existence? Now the Invasion is obviously the SLDF. No one else had the tech. Battles also change because mechs aren't being lost to Battle Armor. Other mechs are also going to disappear or be retconned because they were created to deal with Battle Armor. Things like Turtle Bay never happen as there's no Warships. Of course there's no Dropships or Jumpships either so Transportation will just be hand waved. How troops travel between planets isn't important.

Honestly, I really don't see how diminishing a universe improves it.

Sartris

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Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
« Reply #95 on: 10 August 2019, 09:02:31 »
Because the universe is a 430 pound shut it. It needs to shed 50% of its weight and buy a new wardrobe. Those snacks that made it fat need to go

RifleMech

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Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
« Reply #96 on: 10 August 2019, 09:52:36 »
Because the universe is a 430 pound shut it. It needs to shed 50% of its weight and buy a new wardrobe. Those snacks that made it fat need to go

I would have to disagree. You remove those things and the universe is diminished. What the universe needs is to be spread out. While I believe TROs should just be a slice of what's available that doesn't mean every unit from from 1945 and on need to be included. Let units die off or be retired. Let the past be for things in the past, the present for the present, and the future for the future. If a unit manages to survive the past, and present and into the future, great! Let that unit appear in multiple TROs and let the dead and retired rest.

Sartris

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Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
« Reply #97 on: 10 August 2019, 10:16:04 »
Where’s the money coming from? You can’t service everything and expect new people or older players that sold their collections to rebuy everything

Some stuff gets left out.

monbvol

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Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
« Reply #98 on: 10 August 2019, 14:34:18 »
It didn't help that needed books weren't in print.

I hope that they will be able to deliver.

A lot of players do use the other units. I've even hear of some only playing the other units. Abandoning those units abandons players. The players I've known enjoyed Battletech because it wasn't just robots. They all loved the robots but they enjoyed using other forces too.

Will Battletech still be Battletech without all the other units or will Battletech become just another anime robot game? How many of them have there been? How many lasted 35+ years? Battletech has survived because it isn't just a robot game. It's a huge gaming universe where one can play anything.

Look at TRO: Clan Invasion. There's no Battle Armor yet it Elementals were one of the key units in the Clan Invasion. They were a terror to mechs. They made the IS wonder if aliens were invading. Can you picture the Clan Invasion with Battle Armor retconned out of existence? Now the Invasion is obviously the SLDF. No one else had the tech. Battles also change because mechs aren't being lost to Battle Armor. Other mechs are also going to disappear or be retconned because they were created to deal with Battle Armor. Things like Turtle Bay never happen as there's no Warships. Of course there's no Dropships or Jumpships either so Transportation will just be hand waved. How troops travel between planets isn't important.

Honestly, I really don't see how diminishing a universe improves it.

Even at the height of books being in print/widely available I'd be willing to wager that most players never used non-mechs.

As much as there may be "many" players that play more than mechs it is still quite clear that they are the minority of Battletech.  CGL is a business and the people running it aren't stupid.  So if there was a significant demand for non-mechs we'd see more non-mech support.  It really is that simple.

As for TRO Clan Invasion I don't think there is a need to include Elementals in that product.  While the specifics of how they will be covered are not known for certain the kickstarter at the very least implies they are going to be handled in a different manner.

As for the rest?  All that doesn't matter.  As I've said it seems quite clear that most people don't care about the fluff.  Hell the fluff already has as much transport as demanded by the plot and thus already handwaves a lot of what you bring up.

Also I don't think anyone besides you has suggested that non-mechs be retconned out of existence.  At most that future support for them isn't a priority and there isn't enough return on investment to make them a priority any time soon.

Where’s the money coming from? You can’t service everything and expect new people or older players that sold their collections to rebuy everything

Some stuff gets left out.

*nod*

Add in that it is also important how quickly things sell and it isn't hard to see that non-mechs are increasingly non-viable to support right now.

Daryk

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Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
« Reply #99 on: 10 August 2019, 15:58:19 »
I'm seeing quite a few posts asking about more Elementals from the Kickstarter, so I'm not sure about the "increasingly non-viable" angle...

nckestrel

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Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
« Reply #100 on: 10 August 2019, 16:03:28 »
I'm seeing quite a few posts asking about more Elementals from the Kickstarter, so I'm not sure about the "increasingly non-viable" angle...

“Give me stuff for free” isn’t a good way to judge viability.  They have the option to buy as many elemental packs as they want.

(I know the arguments about what to doe you “only” two, but the point the first point still stands)
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monbvol

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Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
« Reply #101 on: 10 August 2019, 16:03:45 »
Forums and kickstarters do not represent the majority of a consumer base no matter how impressive the results may seem.

Sartris

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Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
« Reply #102 on: 10 August 2019, 16:10:10 »
i think elementals probably stand as the most iconic non-mech units and so resist the neglect heaped on others as they were integral to the early clan fiction as well as being a key piece of clan military structure and the warrior society - you're not getting cries for undine or gnome stands and very few for IS BA.

Daryk

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Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
« Reply #103 on: 10 August 2019, 16:29:02 »
Good points all, but I hold to my uncertainty, and I bet the TPTB do too...

Sartris

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Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
« Reply #104 on: 10 August 2019, 16:37:18 »
iwm has basically stopped making vehicles outside of special occasions and fan funding. i wouldn't doubt if that had some influence... plus their own internal market research

there's never been anything close to "we're getting rid of them" but all signs point to other mech-sized fish being fried before they come back

Daryk

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Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
« Reply #105 on: 10 August 2019, 16:46:01 »
I can totally agree to that.  The absolutist "'mechs only" line is what I object to...

monbvol

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Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
« Reply #106 on: 10 August 2019, 16:52:16 »
I will grant that I hope this step away from non-mechs and supporting that play style is only temporary but even if it goes on longer than any of us hope I doubt there will be any retcons to get rid of non-mechs entirely.

Still with what I know of TPTB I feel confident they have a plan, it might be a bit risky, but going about things like they don't need to change clearly unsustainable.

Daryk

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Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
« Reply #107 on: 10 August 2019, 16:56:19 »
As long as support for non-'mechs doesn't disappear completely, I'll live.


RifleMech

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Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
« Reply #109 on: 11 August 2019, 10:26:45 »
Where’s the money coming from? You can’t service everything and expect new people or older players that sold their collections to rebuy everything

Some stuff gets left out.

From players buying the products. Everything should be serviced. I don't know why older players would have sold their collections but if they're coming back wouldn't they want to replace them? Other players may have lost their collections some how and would like to get replacements.

Yes some things could be left out. TRO:3025 and TRO:3026 could be left out in favor of TRO:3039. Providing of course that no units get left behind. If they're not in TRO:3039 include them in a new edition or better yet a new TRO for the same time period.







Even at the height of books being in print/widely available I'd be willing to wager that most players never used non-mechs.

As much as there may be "many" players that play more than mechs it is still quite clear that they are the minority of Battletech.  CGL is a business and the people running it aren't stupid.  So if there was a significant demand for non-mechs we'd see more non-mech support.  It really is that simple.

As for TRO Clan Invasion I don't think there is a need to include Elementals in that product.  While the specifics of how they will be covered are not known for certain the kickstarter at the very least implies they are going to be handled in a different manner.

As for the rest?  All that doesn't matter.  As I've said it seems quite clear that most people don't care about the fluff.  Hell the fluff already has as much transport as demanded by the plot and thus already handwaves a lot of what you bring up.

Also I don't think anyone besides you has suggested that non-mechs be retconned out of existence.  At most that future support for them isn't a priority and there isn't enough return on investment to make them a priority any time soon.

*nod*

Add in that it is also important how quickly things sell and it isn't hard to see that non-mechs are increasingly non-viable to support right now.

Which would explain why there's exceedingly few non Mech TROs and non that have been produced lately. However, there is still a large portion of the fan base that do use other units.

How do you not include one of the most game and universe changing unit types? I also don't that it's clear that most people don't care about the fluff when I keep seeing a demand for novels.

I hope that all the other unit types will continue to exist but when you stop supporting things and then don't include them in the next rule book they've been retconned out and are no longer legal. A quick example would be the Snowmobile mod for Combat Vehicles from MaxTech. Legal under that rule set. Under TotalWarfare it ceased to be. Another would be LAMs. They've come and gone and comeback. They're legal to use again but for a long time they weren't.

So what happens in a few years when a new rule book is published? Will we get Book 1: Standard BattleMechs,  Book2: Other Mech Types, Book 3-4 Support units, Books 5+: various alternative ways to play Battletech?  And would new players even be interested in playing those other units if there's no other units to have gotten their interest?

Sartris

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Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
« Reply #110 on: 11 August 2019, 10:30:33 »
From players buying the products. Everything should be serviced.

They weren’t buying them and no they shouldn’t

monbvol

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Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
« Reply #111 on: 11 August 2019, 10:47:40 »
From players buying the products. Everything should be serviced. I don't know why older players would have sold their collections but if they're coming back wouldn't they want to replace them? Other players may have lost their collections some how and would like to get replacements.

Yes some things could be left out. TRO:3025 and TRO:3026 could be left out in favor of TRO:3039. Providing of course that no units get left behind. If they're not in TRO:3039 include them in a new edition or better yet a new TRO for the same time period.







Which would explain why there's exceedingly few non Mech TROs and non that have been produced lately. However, there is still a large portion of the fan base that do use other units.

How do you not include one of the most game and universe changing unit types? I also don't that it's clear that most people don't care about the fluff when I keep seeing a demand for novels.

I hope that all the other unit types will continue to exist but when you stop supporting things and then don't include them in the next rule book they've been retconned out and are no longer legal. A quick example would be the Snowmobile mod for Combat Vehicles from MaxTech. Legal under that rule set. Under TotalWarfare it ceased to be. Another would be LAMs. They've come and gone and comeback. They're legal to use again but for a long time they weren't.

So what happens in a few years when a new rule book is published? Will we get Book 1: Standard BattleMechs,  Book2: Other Mech Types, Book 3-4 Support units, Books 5+: various alternative ways to play Battletech?  And would new players even be interested in playing those other units if there's no other units to have gotten their interest?

If the portion of people who use non-mechs and will use non-mechs in the future if they haven't yet were as large as you seem to think it is we would be seeing more support for non-mechs.

Also while yes there is enough demand for novels to be viable right now I am unconvinced that is a good indicator for how much of the actual player base actually cares about fluff.  At least when it comes time to put minins on mapsheets.  Again I feel it pretty safe to say if as many players cared about fluff the way you seem to think we'd be seeing a lot more support for certain product types that we aren't seeing right now.

Not including certain unit types in future TROs is not effectively retconning them out of existence.  Until players use certain unit types at all without house rules they still exist.

SCC

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Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
« Reply #112 on: 12 August 2019, 02:33:37 »
From players buying the products. Everything should be serviced. I don't know why older players would have sold their collections but if they're coming back wouldn't they want to replace them? Other players may have lost their collections some how and would like to get replacements.
I think one thing that the grognards like you aren't thinking about is that new players aren't going to be all that interested in 3025 as they're going to want the newest stuff.

Daryk

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Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
« Reply #113 on: 12 August 2019, 04:30:40 »
Again, I point to HBS's success, the House Arano book, the Beginner Box, and the AGoAC Box.  "New" to new players can totally mean 3025, and HAS for the last year.

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Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
« Reply #114 on: 12 August 2019, 04:47:33 »
I bought TO because I was dealing with min-maxers who got their information off sarna. One guy nearly pitched a fit when I showed him the rules for his beloved mech rifles; he had previously been unaware of them.

Daryk

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Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
« Reply #115 on: 12 August 2019, 04:48:51 »
'Mech rifles?  Like hand-held weapons, or Rifle Cannons?  ???

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Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
« Reply #116 on: 12 August 2019, 04:51:46 »
'Mech rifles?  Like hand-held weapons, or Rifle Cannons?  ???

These things: https://www.sarna.net/wiki/Heavy_Rifle


SCC

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Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
« Reply #117 on: 12 August 2019, 04:56:58 »
Again, I point to HBS's success, the House Arano book, the Beginner Box, and the AGoAC Box.  "New" to new players can totally mean 3025, and HAS for the last year.
Which will last right up until they face off against someone using units and tech from later on, and then they'll want the new stuff.

Robroy

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Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
« Reply #118 on: 12 August 2019, 07:30:25 »
Which is fine, because they have an idea how things work with out being overwhelmed by all the tech available in later eras.

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monbvol

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Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
« Reply #119 on: 12 August 2019, 10:29:55 »
Unfortunately I get the sense that HBS's game could have been even more successful if it wasn't set in the era and area it was and achieved a lot of it's success by a sheer lack of other options for a portion of the fan base that doesn't always overlap with the tabletop crowd.

The Arano book is tougher to judge because of that.  Obviously TPTB felt there was enough return on investment to put it out but at the same time 3025 is clearly considered no longer economically viable.  At least not for anything but the briefest of stays.