Tuesday, March 12, 2013

If 15+ years of gaming, I've never rage-quit a game....

I've never actually rage-quit a game before. Okay, that's not entirely true. I've never actually rage-quit a WARGAME before. But, it finally happened today - I'm now a former Heavy Gear player. So what's the problem?

 I'm tired of the delays. I'm tired of the non-communication about the delays. I'm tired of saying things in their forums like "gee, we all hate the Cobra MP, what could we do to make it better?" and then being told in a roundabout way that it can't be done because this is the way it's always been done and change is bad. I'm tired of, after personally approaching the DP9 staff to help promote the game at my local cons (and getting a reply about "how much they needed an army of guys like me"), being blown off for months now. I'm tired of entering their Golden Gear painting contest, after putting in lots of hard work in my (limited) free time, and having to wait...and wait....and wait some more for the results, whilst multiple other "contests" have been finalized and awarded on Facebook (simply for clicking a fucking button). I'm tired of having threads locked because someone feels they've gone "too far" into DP9's "business strategy" (which seems to be having the most expensive, least updated boutique product in an already niche market). But, most of all, I'm tired of the attitude of certain posters on their forum (who themselves also express frustration or misgivings) that, because I'm simply "too critical" or because I actually say the things they won't, that I'm the bad guy. Or that I just don't "understand" (in those mocking, wink-wink tones) small business. Or that, again, this is the way it's always been done, so god forbid we change it! I've posted (and had a conversation with a member of the staff) multiple ideas on how to eliminate problems, solve issues, and grow the brand. So, it's not as if I've ever said "This sucks" and left it at that. But all it's ever gotten me is a bunch of posts about how wrong I am, or how every issue is insurmountable, or how I'm a "jerk" for expressing an opposing viewpoint.

Now, I've stopped playing games before - 40K being the most prominent - but that was always because I grew uninterested in where the system was going. I've never actually quit a system simply because I grew so frustrated with a company's business practice (especially in regards to the treatment of its customer base) and the added intransigence by the majority of their community to even appreciate that the issues they face are the result of the company's blatant mismanagement combined with its refusal to advance solutions. When you have the playtesting coordinator passing the buck and blaming his (unpaid) playtesters for all the problems of a recent release in a public forum, its not only unprofessional; it also speaks volumes about how the company itself views its player base. You're not a customer; you're a piggy bank. They'll break you to get more cash.

So, I'm done with Heavy GEar. Good luck to all the players who still play and critique the heck out of it. I, for one, will no longer be among them.

Now, who wants to buy some unused Heavy Gear miniatures?


Matt said...

That's a shame. The hobby should be fun diversion not a source of frustration or rage. The miniatures are still great looking and I'm sure you've invested both time and money in them, so why not find some rules you like so you can keep using them?

Ancientsociety said...

@Matt: Definitely will use the mecha I already have with something like Dirtside II or Stargrunt.

IceRaptor said...

This is IceRaptor from the DP9.

I'm very sorry to see you go, but I completely understand the frustration. The community has gradually driven off several members that all agitated for change, and I don't see that changing anytime soon. Here's hoping that in the future there's something appealing to the game for you, but for now safe travels and keep painting!


Chris said...

I'm sorry to see you go, but I can fully understand your frustration.

I left the game before, roughly a decade ago, after having a heated debate with one of the developers about the direction of the game. I had supported the game vigorously, but there was much room for improvement and little acknowledgement of it, coupled with a smug, "we know best" attitude.

It pains me as someone who has repeatedly tried to dip his toes back into it over the years, only to be put off by repeated rules revisions brought about by shoddy playtesting, necessitating numerous increasingly over-priced rulebooks.

The game is hard to sell to new players. The miniatures are nice, for the most part, but really pricey. Then the rulebooks compound the issue. Add to that the difficulty of assembling legal armies when even Gear Garage can't handle it and revisions can come with each issue of Gear Up.

The company's now throwing free boxed sets at more prominent bloggers who mention the game, suggesting a desperation and an endgame that will only lead to frustration as the bloggers discover what the long-time fans have known.

I find myself again wanting to re-enter the game and wondering if there's any point as long as the people in charge still don't understand where they've gone wrong.

Anonymous said...

Not sure if the latest beta rules solve any of the problems, but it does at least APPEAR that they are taking input on some things. Whether or not that's enough to save them from themselves is up for debate.