Friday, 12 November 2010

Don't ask us we're only your main customers?

I know its on a lot of blogs on the moment but I've got to comment on the Storm Raven.

My god is that thing ugly. Its all I am seeing from any blog. How ugly the thing is and it led me to think about something that has troubled me for a few months now.

When I took up 40k everything was very happy and nice for at least of good 6 months but recently I have noticed how little Games Workshop as a company seem to care about their core customers. As Gav said in a blog the other day its incredibly easy for the pennies to mount up when it comes to the hobby. Why aren't we or opinions bothered about?

Would it not be a good idea to have some sort of market research between customers and employees go on? I have worked for a food flavourings company and done exactly that for far bigger companies than GW, they work fine? I know that GW must fear people leaking what they see in consumer research but thats why non disclosure agreements were made. If people spill the beans they aren't invited back again, they are banned from entering your tournaments and if you want the opinions of serious gamers a lot of them will be tournament gamers.

I am not so obtuse as that I expect GW read these blogs but I would like to tell them that they have a core following of customers, its time for us to start working together to make this hobby what we want so you don't release glimpses of something and for every blog to slate it.

Rant over


  1. I actually like it

    *runs for cover*

    I do agree with the sentiment though. It's only to GW's financial benefit to do marketing research and produce something that a majority of gamers would enjoy having. I do like the design but I'm in the minority for sure and that's not profitable to GW.

  2. Well at least it looks very lootable and could make some nice orky conversions out of it.

  3. I'm a bit surprised by some of your comments here Mick. Since I got back into the hobby the only mistake that GW have made that I can think of is the Tyranid FAQ. Every codex has been really good and some of the models have been awesome (eg Space Wolves, Gargoyles, Sanguinary Guard, Dark Eldar. Yes, it's a bit annoying when a 'dex comes out and there aren't models available (eg Thunderwolves, Tervigom, Venom)

    Which brings me onto the Storm Raven. It's not great but it looks like what it is - a baby Thunderhawk. Or a Rhino with wings. I think that it fits in well with the rest of the Space Marine vehicle line to be honest. Plus, I'm sure it's only a matter of time before we see some awesome kit-bashes.

  4. And regardless of how ugly everyone says that it is, they're gonna sell a shed-load...

  5. Completely OOT but I've seen many other people bashing the Nid FAQ. I can't really understand why it is supposed to be so bad. Because DoM cannot use it's ability on models embark on vehicles? Could you please explain? Ty!

  6. Probably the main problem was that they stopped Reserve bonuses from stacking so the full Reserve/Spore army that was really popular became less viable. They also made it so that their psychic defence doesn't work on psykers in vehicles (which is crazy since it's the same mechanic as the Eldar use - test on 3D6) Finally, they stopped Tyranid Primes from joining other units in Spores.

  7. I have to confess I quite like the look of the model too, though it does have somewhat "cute look to it.

  8. I think that most people dislike it because they were expecting either a Hunter Killer from Terminator 2 or the Drop Ship from Aliens. C'mon, it was always going to be a Rhino with wings. I'll tell you what the funniest thing ever would be though - if this turned out to be a conversion/rejected prototype that GW never had any intention of releasing...

  9. I'm surprised by your surprise Gav.
    You don't get there as early as me on a Thursday so you probably have missed the gripes and moans but it is certainly something that I think a lot of people share.

    Its the only company of its size that does no consumer research that I can find. I'm fairly sure that if you ask your average 18-30 gamer who frequents GW establishments their complaints would be the same.
    1) Price. Not selling enough so putting the price up seems a ludicrous method of increasing profits to me.
    2) Pushy GW staff. Its something that I hate and that has caused me to be equally as rude and just walk out of stores.
    3) Not listening to customers. A lot of the serious players I talk to for example don't like the over reliance of special uber characters. We seem to be seeing a growing trend in dropping them from tournaments. Will GW learn from this?

    It shouldn't be hard to put focus groups together especially from such as knowledgeable customer base but its something that GW don't do which leads me to think that they just don't care.

  10. I agree with your first two points but it's ever been thus. Yearly price rises and pushy staff have been the norm ever since I got into the game. Some of the things they have done recently have been ridiculous though, such as halving the number of guys in an IG box but keeping the price the same. As we've talked about the price point is a serious barrier to entry. GW need to be careful because for a lot of people it could easily come down to £40 for a Stormraven or £40 for Call of Duty: Black Ops. Having said that, there are some shoots of hope - the Dark Eldar are very reasonably priced. I will admit that I usually circumvent both of these problems by buying on line.

    I think that the special characters are a matter of taste. I don't think that there are any issues with the 5th edition ones. They're all correctly priced for what they can bring to an army. Yes, you probably have to build a list around them (especially some of the more points heavy ones) However, in each of the 5th edition books you can build good armies without the special characters. For example, Loganwing is a good list but I wouldn't say that it's better than my Razorwolf list or your Thunderlord list. Similarly, we saw the other week how quickly our list folded when you took out the main investment, Mephiston. Plus, in my opinion, the ability to change the FOC is brilliant. It instantly increases the number of viable builds in a codex.

    They're will always be people who don't like special characters for fluff reasons and I can see where they're coming from. There's no way that Logan could be fighting in so many different wars in such a small timescale. However, I can't agree with anyone who says that they're not balanced in gaming terms.

    As for focus groups, it's my understanding that GW used to use groups of customers to playtest rules. I think they had to stop due to the number of leaks and so moved it all back in-house. As I've said before I think that GW has done a really good job at balancing 40K in 5th edition and I'd be worried about the effect focus groups could have on that. It could easily end up in a bunfight between the guy who likes Marines and thinks that they should behave in the game like they do in the fluff (ie one 15 point guy killing an entire Ork army) Then on the other side you get someone who thinks that Marines are overpowered as they are.

    Personally the only change I'd put forward if I was asked to participate in a focus group is that I'd like to see all options for a squad available on that squad's sprue

  11. Is that a Plastic Furioso I spy in the background to the left?


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