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Subject: Ch..Ch..Changes! rss

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Jason Brown
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In 32 Kickstarters backed, I don't think I've ever seen this before:

Quote:
These changes are relevant to our Stretch Goals, or to extras that were announced post-campaign at no extra cost to backers. A few things are being dropped, but they're not things that anyone actually paid for or even knew about when making their pledges, so hopefully there will be no hard feelings...


I've seen plenty of delays and had projects not fund, but I've never had a project completely change the pledges just before shipping and then tell backers they didn't pay for it so they shouldn't feel bad about it.

First, I backed the Set Rotation, so this in no way changes the final product that I will eventually receive.

It DOES bother me a great deal though. The creator is changing the deal he made with his backers months ago without giving them any option to accept or not. He can say no one actually paid for the SGs, but a lot of backers pledged this campaign BECAUSE of those SGs. If there are circumstances beyond his control that force him to change the deal now, I accept that, life happens.

However, to not give backers the opportunity to change their pledges based on this new information is BS. The pledge manager is locked and has been since early December. Why is it that the creator gets to change the deal but not the backers? I get that he's trying to make lemonade out of lemons, but I don't accept that. Backers trusted you to deliver on your promise and this decision violates that trust. I remember how excited everyone was to knock down that final SG and unlock the micro game, now you're telling us we had to pledge the Set Rotation two months ago or we're SOL? That's not right.

Given the chance, I'm sure some backers would cancel their pledge over this. However, I believe a great deal more would increase their pledges to add the Set Rotation. I don't have the numbers on the print run, but I'm betting that there were enough made to stock retail shelves full, at least twice the pledged amount. That's plenty to fill additional orders this late in the game.

David, do what's right by your backers and unlock the pledge manager. Offer refunds to those that want it and allow others to upgrade to get the SGs you told us we would get.
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Thomas Staudt
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If I read it correctly, the only big thing is the delay of the expansion, and this will be sent later, not dropped - not really an unusual thing for a kickstarter campaign.
They split the delivery - which will cost them money. They could as well have said "bad luck, you'll have to wait for another year".

Or did I miss anything?

Some sponsor related cards will be missing as the sponsors did not provide artwork required for the cards, so that's a pity but I don't see a way around dropping those.

Not really a big deal as far as I'm concerned
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Dustin Crenshaw
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ashman wrote:
If I read it correctly, the only big thing is the delay of the expansion, and this will be sent later, not dropped - not really an unusual thing for a kickstarter campaign.
They split the delivery - which will cost them money. They could as well have said "bad luck, you'll have to wait for another year".

Or did I miss anything?

Some sponsor related cards will be missing as the sponsors did not provided artwork required for the cards, so that's a pity but I don't see a way around dropping those.

Not really a big deal as far as I'm concerned


They added exclusive cards to only set rotation set, with no way for others to get it. Going back on what they said.
 
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Scott Seifert
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Everything they mentioned with the exception of the sponsor promo packs were free gifts promised after the campaign was over. Any pledges were made and finalized before these gifts were promised, so why would you expect a refund for having these gifts taken away from you?

(though my heart goes out to all three fans of Lords of War or Cabals who would honestly request a refund over this -- though I'm sure they could get one if they asked)
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Jason Brown
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ashman wrote:
Or did I miss anything?


Yes, you missed something. Like this:

Quote:
The Artist Promo Pack that we announced as a post-campaign bonus will be delayed, and will instead be included alongside Set Rotation. This promo pack will only be sent to backers who are receiving Set Rotation, instead of to all backers as previously planned.


Backers at the initial level will not receive the promo pack, only those that pledged the expansion.

And this:

Quote:
The Pocket Pro Tour Microgame that we announced as a post-campaign bonus will be delayed, and will instead be included alongside Set Rotation, rather than sent to all backers as we originally planned. All backers will receive a print and play edition of this game instead.


Again, if you didn't back the expansion, you now only get a PnP file for this SG. And they had the gaul to say this:

Quote:
A few things are being dropped, but they're not things that anyone actually paid for or even knew about when making their pledges, so hopefully there will be no hard feelings...


But that's wrong. They weren't dropped, they were made exclusive to people who pledged the expansion.

Bottom line is this is no way to treat your supporters. The creators changed the deal they made with their backers without giving anyone the option to change their end of the deal. The only way to make this right is to either ship it to everyone, ship it to no one, or open the pledge manager and allow folks to chose.

Edit: the MicroGame was only ever a Power Gamer level SG, Brad confused the issue a bit with the update
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Joseph Prophet
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All things added post Kickstarter out of generosity. Let's get off our high horses here, and maybe be happy these things are even going to be added in the first place...
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Jason Brown
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It looks like Brad is going to make this right. This from the comments section in the update:

David B. Talton Jr. wrote:
If you decide you want to get Set Rotation, we will have a way for people to get it before it ships out later in 2016. It will probably be separate through our store, just as a regular pre-order, rather than a pledge upgrade. I'll post a notice when I have this set up.
As always, we offer refunds on pledges if you're not satisfied with things, or for any reason at all. You just need to email us at kickstarter@level99games.com so that we can take care of this.


Thank you, Brad.
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Sergio Macias
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MAJBrown22 wrote:

And this:
Quote:
The Pocket Pro Tour Microgame that we announced as a post-campaign bonus will be delayed, and will instead be included alongside Set Rotation, rather than sent to all backers as we originally planned. All backers will receive a print and play edition of this game instead.


Regarding this, either Brad got confused while redacting the update or it changed at some point and somehow I missed it despite me paying close attention to the updates, but the Microgame was always supposed to be included only for those that backed at the POWER GAME LEVEL (Base Game and Set Rotation) of higher.



Other than that I agree with your assesment.
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Jason Brown
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Victor Mancha wrote:
Regarding this, either Brad got confused while redacting the update or it changed at some point and somehow I missed it despite me paying close attention to the updates, but the Microgame was always supposed to be included only for those that backed at the POWER GAME LEVEL (Base Game and Set Rotation) of higher.

Other than that I agree with your assesment.

I stand corrected, thank you for pointing that out.

Kind of a moot point now, as Brad issued the above statement fixing this mess.
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Paul Newsham
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SeerMagic wrote:
They added exclusive cards to only set rotation set, with no way for others to get it. Going back on what they said.


"Going back on what they said" after the campaign was over and money had been paid. The only change to the rewards you were promised at the point money changed hands is that they were forced to replace (not remove) two of the promo packs in order to get the game printed in a timely fashion.
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Dom Hiob
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After reading through both the Update and this thread, I don't understand the fuss being made.

The changes affect only stuff that Level 99 chose to gave out in addition to the huge amount of stuff we got through the stretch goals already. None of the stretch goals is even affected by any change of content (other maybe the sets where the artwork was not provided and instead of dropping these sets, Level 99 had artwork made at their own cost for substitute sets).

There's some news about what will ship when (as they made it two shippings just to please those who can't stand waiting. Which, especially for international shipping, is quite expensive).

So, while I'm not always an easy one to make happy (looking at you here, Asmodee Germany's so called "customer service"), in this I couldn't side more fully with Level 99.
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Greg Wilson
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While I'm not particularly bothered about one extra pack and a microgame, especially as it seems likely they'll be made available later, I think the issue is that backers were told that they could back at the promo or base game level to get the KS extras, and then pick up the game or expansion at retail.

With international shipping being so high, I suspect quite a few people did that; there are about 300 backers at promo level, 400 at base game, and 1600 for base plus expansion.

It seems like that's now not the case; getting the base game through KS and the expansion at retail means you miss out on the Artist Pack and Pocket Pro Tour. You're still getting a ton of content, of course.
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Dom Hiob
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BlackSheep wrote:
It seems like that's now not the case; getting the base game through KS and the expansion at retail means you miss out on the Artist Pack and Pocket Pro Tour. You're still getting a ton of content, of course.


But: Pocket Pro Tour has always been for Power Gamer only (see this thread, above). So all we're talking about is the Artist Pack. Notice the wording on the promo pledge level:

Kickstarter wrote:
Also includes any sponsored promotional cards created during the project.


The artist pack is a

Update 41 wrote:
post-campaign bonus


So I think Level 99 is doing quite fine here.

Edit: ok, I always understood "project" as "through stretch goals and such", which it may be slightly ambiguous.

Also, I've always found Level 99's promos pretty easy to come by. It'd be great if they added them to the BGG store, I guess (though you'd probably pay 5$ for the Artist pack alone oO ).
 
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Greg Wilson
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DomHiob wrote:
But: Pocket Pro Tour has always been for Power Gamer only (see this thread, above).


Yep, it does look like Brad confused himself about the microgame when announcing the split shipping.

DomHiob wrote:
Notice the wording on the promo pledge level:


I think that's nitpicking. When the Artist pack was announced it was supposed to be for all backers.

As said, I'm not fussed about it, but I can see why some people are. Especially completionists, which I know the boardgame hobby has more than its fair share of.
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Thiago Colas
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DomHiob wrote:
After reading through both the Update and this thread, I don't understand the fuss being made.

The changes affect only stuff that Level 99 chose to gave out in addition to the huge amount of stuff we got through the stretch goals already. None of the stretch goals is even affected by any change of content (other maybe the sets where the artwork was not provided and instead of dropping these sets, Level 99 had artwork made at their own cost for substitute sets).

There's some news about what will ship when (as they made it two shippings just to please those who can't stand waiting. Which, especially for international shipping, is quite expensive).

So, while I'm not always an easy one to make happy (looking at you here, Asmodee Germany's so called "customer service"), in this I couldn't side more fully with Level 99.


In my particular case, because there was one specific pledge to get all the bonus stuff. which was the one i chose because i couldn't afford the game back then and didn't want to promo-chase afterwards.

Essentially, if you say a given pledge level will get "all the extra promo material" and then change it to just "some levels", people are in their right to be mad.
 
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Dom Hiob
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dinobottm2 wrote:
DomHiob wrote:
After reading through both the Update and this thread, I don't understand the fuss being made.

The changes affect only stuff that Level 99 chose to gave out in addition to the huge amount of stuff we got through the stretch goals already. None of the stretch goals is even affected by any change of content (other maybe the sets where the artwork was not provided and instead of dropping these sets, Level 99 had artwork made at their own cost for substitute sets).

There's some news about what will ship when (as they made it two shippings just to please those who can't stand waiting. Which, especially for international shipping, is quite expensive).

So, while I'm not always an easy one to make happy (looking at you here, Asmodee Germany's so called "customer service"), in this I couldn't side more fully with Level 99.


In my particular case, because there was one specific pledge to get all the bonus stuff. which was the one i chose because i couldn't afford the game back then and didn't want to promo-chase afterwards.

Essentially, if you say a given pledge level will get "all the extra promo material" and then change it to just "some levels", people are in their right to be mad.


That's why I'm nitpicky about "during the project" vs "after-campaign bonus". After all, the content you were promised (and paid for) didn't change. They just chose to give out an extra bonus to some backers.

Also, at this point, I can't even see how it would work logistically. They're sending out two waves of shipments. Some stuff (base game and promos) is more or less ready. Other stuff is still under development (expansion and extra promos). How should they send things out? As is, they're sending out the stuff that's ready, then, later, the stuff that's still under development. As far as I can see, a solution that would accomodate everyone getting all the promos would take at least three shipments (simplest way: ship MB base, ship all promos, ship expansion). Which would probably cost enough for them to just scrap the Artist pack altogether so no-one would get it.

 
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Thiago Colas
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DomHiob wrote:
dinobottm2 wrote:
DomHiob wrote:
After reading through both the Update and this thread, I don't understand the fuss being made.

The changes affect only stuff that Level 99 chose to gave out in addition to the huge amount of stuff we got through the stretch goals already. None of the stretch goals is even affected by any change of content (other maybe the sets where the artwork was not provided and instead of dropping these sets, Level 99 had artwork made at their own cost for substitute sets).

There's some news about what will ship when (as they made it two shippings just to please those who can't stand waiting. Which, especially for international shipping, is quite expensive).

So, while I'm not always an easy one to make happy (looking at you here, Asmodee Germany's so called "customer service"), in this I couldn't side more fully with Level 99.


In my particular case, because there was one specific pledge to get all the bonus stuff. which was the one i chose because i couldn't afford the game back then and didn't want to promo-chase afterwards.

Essentially, if you say a given pledge level will get "all the extra promo material" and then change it to just "some levels", people are in their right to be mad.


That's why I'm nitpicky about "during the project" vs "after-campaign bonus". After all, the content you were promised (and paid for) didn't change. They just chose to give out an extra bonus to some backers.


No, it doesn't. All the promos and bonus packs were created during the campaign, and as stretch goals. they were just revealed later.

Quote:
Also, at this point, I can't even see how it would work logistically. They're sending out two waves of shipments. Some stuff (base game and promos) is more or less ready. Other stuff is still under development (expansion and extra promos). How should they send things out? As is, they're sending out the stuff that's ready, then, later, the stuff that's still under development. As far as I can see, a solution that would accommodate everyone getting all the promos would take at least three shipments (simplest way: ship MB base, ship all promos, ship expansion). Which would probably cost enough for them to just scrap the Artist pack altogether so no-one would get it.


Logistics are always complicated, and it has been, historically, a giant flaw on all L99 projects, but one that has continuously been ignored by much of the fanbase. Listen, i like the games too, and Brad is an awesome guy, but the company has serious issues, and you can't keep ignoring them just because of that. People who made a pledge accounting for the promos has all the right to get the promos they wanted. How will the logistics work is not the buyer's problem. We were promised something and paid for it.

 
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DomHiob wrote:
dinobottm2 wrote:
DomHiob wrote:
After reading through both the Update and this thread, I don't understand the fuss being made.

The changes affect only stuff that Level 99 chose to gave out in addition to the huge amount of stuff we got through the stretch goals already. None of the stretch goals is even affected by any change of content (other maybe the sets where the artwork was not provided and instead of dropping these sets, Level 99 had artwork made at their own cost for substitute sets).

There's some news about what will ship when (as they made it two shippings just to please those who can't stand waiting. Which, especially for international shipping, is quite expensive).

So, while I'm not always an easy one to make happy (looking at you here, Asmodee Germany's so called "customer service"), in this I couldn't side more fully with Level 99.


In my particular case, because there was one specific pledge to get all the bonus stuff. which was the one i chose because i couldn't afford the game back then and didn't want to promo-chase afterwards.

Essentially, if you say a given pledge level will get "all the extra promo material" and then change it to just "some levels", people are in their right to be mad.


That's why I'm nitpicky about "during the project" vs "after-campaign bonus". After all, the content you were promised (and paid for) didn't change. They just chose to give out an extra bonus to some backers.


Well, in fairness, there are some people with completionist disease and they'd have upped their pledge when the pledge manager came around if they'd have known that would be the way to get the artist set. They didn't have the chance cause they weren't told and now they are mad and worried sick they are going to miss it. Their game experience won't be complete without that set so I kind of understand their ire and frustration.

Quote:
Which would probably cost enough for them to just scrap the Artist pack altogether so no-one would get it.


At this point, and after seeing people's reaction, I truly believe that would be the best course of action.
 
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Dom Hiob
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dinobottm2 wrote:
Quote:
That's why I'm nitpicky about "during the project" vs "after-campaign bonus". After all, the content you were promised (and paid for) didn't change. They just chose to give out an extra bonus to some backers.


No, it doesn't. All the promos and bonus packs were created during the campaign, and as stretch goals. they were just revealed later.


I think that's factually incorrect. See Update #21:

Update #21 wrote:

!! <<< Bonus Sets Special Announcement >>> !!!

Just because the campaign is over, that's no reason to stop adding cool stuff to the box. We've solicited artist friends of Level 99 Games to help us make a bonus mini-expansion to Millennium Blades. This will be printed in limited quantity, and each backer Millennium Blades getting the promo cards (PROTOTYPE tier and above) will get this bonus (once for each base game they are getting).

This item is the Artist Promo Pack listed in the pledge manager, in case you're curious.


At that point, they obviously thought they could give the bonus set to every backer at Prototype+ Pledge Level. They had to revise that.

I agree that for the stuff we pledged for, we shouldn't have to care about logistics. I do feel that if Level 99 gives (some of) us extra presents (because that's what the artist pack is. No-one paid for this, only Level 99), we shouldn't cry "foul" on them without at least giving a thought about what things look like from their perspective.
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DomHiob wrote:
dinobottm2 wrote:
Quote:
That's why I'm nitpicky about "during the project" vs "after-campaign bonus". After all, the content you were promised (and paid for) didn't change. They just chose to give out an extra bonus to some backers.


No, it doesn't. All the promos and bonus packs were created during the campaign, and as stretch goals. they were just revealed later.


I think that's factually incorrect. See Update #21:

Update #21 wrote:

!! <<< Bonus Sets Special Announcement >>> !!!

Just because the campaign is over, that's no reason to stop adding cool stuff to the box. We've solicited artist friends of Level 99 Games to help us make a bonus mini-expansion to Millennium Blades. This will be printed in limited quantity, and each backer Millennium Blades getting the promo cards (PROTOTYPE tier and above) will get this bonus (once for each base game they are getting).

This item is the Artist Promo Pack listed in the pledge manager, in case you're curious.


At that point, they obviously thought they could give the bonus set to every backer at Prototype+ Pledge Level. They had to revise that.

I agree that for the stuff we pledged for, we shouldn't have to care about logistics. I do feel that if Level 99 gives (some of) us extra presents (because that's what the artist pack is. No-one paid for this, only Level 99), we shouldn't cry "foul" on them without at least giving a thought about what things look like from their perspective.


Still irrelevant. I really don't care that much, I only joined for the artbook, like with Argent, but if a pledge mentions all the promo packs, it should mean all the promo packs.

The foul here is the same one as always: problems with planning and administration. In a way, Brad is the Paul Heyman of games: great ideas, excelent product, but seriously lacking in administration skills. It's not the first time it happened. It has been there for a long time, with the backing of the new BattleCon Games, the consistent delays and all.

And things just get worse because many of the fans just refuse to recognize those mistakes. "Backs of cards are of a different color and dont match the rest of the game? Just sleeve."
 
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Victor Mancha wrote:
At this point, and after seeing people's reaction, I truly believe that would be the best course of action.


Hm, I don't think so. After all, some thought and work have probably gone into these already. But not giving them to anyone now (though I wonder what kind of storm will set in when it's 2000 rather than 300 backers that are affected) and just making them available from the BGG store would be fine for me (saying that as someone on the Power Gamer level).
 
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dinobottm2 wrote:
DomHiob wrote:
dinobottm2 wrote:
Quote:
That's why I'm nitpicky about "during the project" vs "after-campaign bonus". After all, the content you were promised (and paid for) didn't change. They just chose to give out an extra bonus to some backers.


No, it doesn't. All the promos and bonus packs were created during the campaign, and as stretch goals. they were just revealed later.


I think that's factually incorrect. See Update #21:

Update #21 wrote:

!! <<< Bonus Sets Special Announcement >>> !!!

Just because the campaign is over, that's no reason to stop adding cool stuff to the box. We've solicited artist friends of Level 99 Games to help us make a bonus mini-expansion to Millennium Blades. This will be printed in limited quantity, and each backer Millennium Blades getting the promo cards (PROTOTYPE tier and above) will get this bonus (once for each base game they are getting).

This item is the Artist Promo Pack listed in the pledge manager, in case you're curious.


At that point, they obviously thought they could give the bonus set to every backer at Prototype+ Pledge Level. They had to revise that.

I agree that for the stuff we pledged for, we shouldn't have to care about logistics. I do feel that if Level 99 gives (some of) us extra presents (because that's what the artist pack is. No-one paid for this, only Level 99), we shouldn't cry "foul" on them without at least giving a thought about what things look like from their perspective.


Still irrelevant. I really don't care that much, I only joined for the artbook, like with Argent, but if a pledge mentions all the promo packs, it should mean all the promo packs.

The foul here is the same one as always: problems with planning and administration. In a way, Brad is the Paul Heyman of games: great ideas, excelent product, but seriously lacking in administration skills. It's not the first time it happened. It has been there for a long time, with the backing of the new BattleCon Games, the consistent delays and all.

And things just get worse because many of the fans just refuse to recognize those mistakes. "Backs of cards are of a different color and dont match the rest of the game? Just sleeve."

Spoiler (click to reveal)

Ummm... it's called industry standard?! Want examples? WizKids Mage Knight Board Game, Paizo's Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, even Race for the Galaxy had quite a bit of color variation between base set backs and expansions. And when I took out my old Magic: The Gathering cards the other day, guess what? Back colors didn't match at all across sets.

As for delays: Those are very apparent in Kickstarters. But they're very common everywhere. Examples? Pegasus (major German publisher) has been pushing back the release date for the german version of Yomi for more than half a year now. WizKids just pushed back the release date for Star Trek: Frontiers by three months.

So, my question is: why should we hold higher standards to Level 99, a small-scale publisher than what big names are able to do? -- Don't get me wrong, there's certainly room for improvement, but altogether, I think for a small company, Level 99 is not doing a bad job.


edit: putting the above in spoiler tags. This is just derailing the thread.
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DomHiob wrote:
Ummm... it's called industry standard?! Want examples? WizKids Mage Knight Board Game, Paizo's Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, even Race for the Galaxy had quite a bit of color variation between base set backs and expansions. And when I took out my old Magic: The Gathering cards the other day, guess what? Back colors didn't match at all across sets.

As for delays: Those are very apparent in Kickstarters. But they're very common everywhere. Examples? Pegasus (major German publisher) has been pushing back the release date for the german version of Yomi for more than half a year now. WizKids just pushed back the release date for Star Trek: Frontiers by three months.

So, my question is: why should we hold higher standards to Level 99, a small-scale publisher than what big names are able to do? -- Don't get me wrong, there's certainly room for improvement, but altogether, I think for a small company, Level 99 is not doing a bad job.

edit: putting the above in spoiler tags. This is just derailing the thread.


It's not derailing the thread. It's the very reason the thread exists. And not tell me, with all those things going wrong, did everyone just accepted them without any complains?? The point is not just that L99 makes mistakes, but how much of their fanbase insist that we should turn a blind eye on all their mistakes. This is what its all about: the company is growing, and the mistakes are pilling up, and going way beyond simple delays.
 
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Spoiler (click to reveal)
dinobottm2 wrote:
DomHiob wrote:
Ummm... it's called industry standard?! Want examples? WizKids Mage Knight Board Game, Paizo's Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, even Race for the Galaxy had quite a bit of color variation between base set backs and expansions. And when I took out my old Magic: The Gathering cards the other day, guess what? Back colors didn't match at all across sets.

As for delays: Those are very apparent in Kickstarters. But they're very common everywhere. Examples? Pegasus (major German publisher) has been pushing back the release date for the german version of Yomi for more than half a year now. WizKids just pushed back the release date for Star Trek: Frontiers by three months.

So, my question is: why should we hold higher standards to Level 99, a small-scale publisher than what big names are able to do? -- Don't get me wrong, there's certainly room for improvement, but altogether, I think for a small company, Level 99 is not doing a bad job.

edit: putting the above in spoiler tags. This is just derailing the thread.


It's not derailing the thread. It's the very reason the thread exists. And not tell me, with all those things going wrong, did everyone just accepted them without any complains?? The point is not just that L99 makes mistakes, but how much of their fanbase insist that we should turn a blind eye on all their mistakes. This is what its all about: the company is growing, and the mistakes are pilling up, and going way beyond simple delays.


I think the thread deals specifically with the changes to Millennium Blades. So that's why I think talking about mistakes that were made in the past is derailing the thread. Be that as it may.

I'm not suggesting turning a blind eye on Level 99's mistakes. But I do think there are many ways in which a project can have problems. Problems with the amount of time until fulfillment, problems with mismatching card backs, and so on. Level 99 has had their fair share of happenstance (port congestion) and some through their own fault. What I'm seeing, though, is they're trying to learn each time -- making it two shipments for MB is one of those ways (which probably costs them quite some money). For PT Deluxe, they paid special attention (or so they said, I'm yet to receive my pledge) to matching the card backs. So I think they're learning their lessons. Maybe the toughest lesson they might need to learn is to give backers/customers less stuff. Because that's what's causing most of the problems (delays, complicated logistics, as in the case of MB and the bonus Artist set) as it is.
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Alison Mandible
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If the original post had said, "We've changed things, and now you need to be getting the expansion to get all the stretch goals. But luckily, we've reopened the pledge manager so you can totally increase your pledge for Set Rotation now if you want!" it would be (rightly) criticized as a total money-grab.
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