Wednesday, September 4, 2019

GW Meet the Studio Q&A Session at NOVA 2019

This last weekend I managed to get to the NOVA Open for one day. In the past I've gone for the whole experience, but just couldn't squeeze it in this year. So instead I picked one event, the Adeptus Titanicus Princeps Formal, went for the Vendors (read- Toledo Game Room) and played a few fun games. And then for $5 I was able to register for what was an interesting two hours... I'll talk about the AT games another time, but I want to delve into those two hours I and a handful of others spent doing a Q&A with Pete Foley (GW Studio Manager) and Robbin Cruddace (GW 40k lead and 8th Edition Author).

I didn't take notes (wish I had, but I didn't know this was going to be Q&A going into it so I had nothing to write with) so this will be very much stream of conscious and just based on memory, no particular order.

First, I ask specifically about Forge World and Death Korps of Krieg specifically, indices and warhammer legends and if we are going to see all the index move to WL or with FW coming into the fold are we going to see a codex, or are we going to see the same Imperial armour format of the past.

They said that the FW indices will continue to be useable for the foreseeable future and not going to legends. They are not sure yet (or not ready to reveal) how they are going to fully integrate the FW stuff and particularly DKK, since they are a full range and popular, but they are working on it and want to keep them in the main game.

Building on that, I asked if they will be moving the datasheets currently in errata documents that are only Power Level, such as the Tallarn Mukalli, to Warhammer Legends. Pete basically said yes in that he had me clarify I meant the units in the errata and that they are aware that even if units can't be used competitively that people want points for them.

Someone followed this up with a question about missing characters. They asked for an example and Chaplain Xavier of the Salamanders was given. It seemed they hadn't thought about that but they liked the idea.

Pete Foley said very specifically that there is a 40k App coming. He felt bad that he announced it two and a half years ago at the first community preview at Adepticon when they announced 8th (which I was at too). Basically he/they just weren't aware how hard it is to make an app and how long it takes. The app is apparently decently far along and looking amazing, but there is no current timeline for when it will release, but he said it will be awesome once here.

There was discussion about how they do playtesting now, and how it is more comprehensive than ever, and how sometimes it can make participating in events awkward. Apparently it was very difficult for them to relearn 7th after they had been playing numerous iterations of 8th during the Adepticon Team Tournament before 8th released, and numerous mistakes like premeasuring in 7th, were made.

I asked about model design and why there had been a shift to mutlipart kits cut in such a way that each model was essentially single posed. I said I loved how detailed they were and how they hid the mold lines, but miss the customizable approach of older kits. Pete said that they are experimenting on finding that happy medium, they are aware of how it swung a little too far to the "single pose" and never kits are getting better about that. I also gave an idea about future Primaris Intercessor upgrade kits having chapter specific Shin bits. Old SMs had so many cool shin designs towards the end, and new primaris have nothing, despite the shin being a separate bit for the unit.

Someone asked if the priority/double turn system from AoS would ever come into 40k. The answer was essentially a big NO. They said they have experimented with it, but beyond it being controversial in AoS STILL, it is a cornerstone mechanic of that game, and bringing it into 40k just makes 40k feel like AoS, so it will never be implemented just to keep that comfortable separation if nothing else. This was all part of a larger discussion on game design and if Robbin ever plays/takes mechanic ideas from games outside of GW. Basically they then discussed how they do learn from what is and isn't popular, how small and tight the Nottingham wargames community is, and how they are sure that other companies are definitely learning from them, so why should they not do the same.

At one point I think there was a slip up on their part and they mentioned Tau are coming next year, so be on the look out for that.

With that, it was asked to Robbin why Tau Commanders are still 0-1 per detachment. They gave reason for why they first did it (unlike other characters that buff units, they buffed units AND were AMAZING at shooting). They acknowledged this was a decision made pre-rule of 3, but then doubled down on the fact that it supports the fluff more this way and didn't think there was a problem with the current restriction still being in place. However, if people really want commanders to come back, they just need to see that demand. This whole thing is what lead to "The Eight" being made for matched play, basically allowing people to once again field numerous shooty Tau characters.

The system for how they are doing sisters (previewing models, doing a beta codex, etc. etc.) is a test. They currently have no plans to do this for other future releases, but if Sisters turns out to be one of the biggest releases ever, then there is a chance this could become the way more releases are done in the future.

When looking at nerfing things like the Castellan, they really do try and look at what impact that will have on the meta and what will be coming back. Specifically with the Castellan then were aware how essentially one model removed and entire set of models from the game--- Vehicles. Latest example is now the Calladius.

I asked if we could possibly get blank template copies of "datasheets" for alot of their little games, like Gorechosen, silver tower. etc etc, so we could keep the games going after they are discontinues. Pete seemed to like this idea.

For the most part, model design precedes everything else in the process of making a new unit. There will be high level ideas for the studio to work with, particularly when creating a new faction (EG the new bonereapeers for AoS), then they make models, then rules and story. Rarely does it go the other way (Severina Raine was on example of the other way. Story came first then they decided to do a model.)

The reason they now own up to all their leaks is kinda twofold
1- They studio has a lot more control over the process under Rountree than they did under Kirby.
2- They can control the message. People shouldn' t learn of a new blurry Magnus online from a 3rd party where GW can't completely control that message and what the fans are seeing.

One person asked about getting more Asian representation into AoS to Pete, saying he loved Cathay and Nippon in the old world and Scars in 40k.

Pete has seen what the Art Department is cooking up for the Eisenhorn TV show that they have in the works. All concept level right now. For the Amazon Middle Earth/Lord of the Rings TV series, there are still lots of discussions between lawyers as to who has the license and if GW is part of this new deal or not.

Last question I asked was what to get at Bugman's at WHW. Pete said a burger. Robbin said The English Breakfast.

That's all I remember for now. If I remember more I will come back and add some to this post.