It is about 30 hours since War Room was released.
What the hell is going on. I have played and enjoyed Privateer Press products for way over five year. Warmachine/Hordes primarily. PP isn’t perfect, but they don’t miss very often.
Well, Grind was pretty much a bust. Monpoc is a great game. The choice to make it a collectible product was the killer locally. I expect that and production issues drove a stake into that heart.
For me, 2009 was unbelievable. The chances PP took with a world wide field test of Wm/Hd. Followed By 2010, with 12 books and a ton of new models was a huge home run. 2011 was Battle Engines, in house resin production and more plastic stuff.
At TempleCon 2012, War Room shook the ballroom when we saw it. Delay, delay, delay and BAM. Here it is.
First, I still have Ibodger and use it for collection and lists. I wish it wasn’t dead. I know it isn’t coming back. Shrug…
What I wanted and got with War Room…
1. A card library/rules. That seem to be heart of the design. Being able to see any card, any time is really good. Running events, I would love to use this. Being out of work, it’s not going to happen. When I can afford the Card Decks, I will get them. Look at it this way. If 1000 people get all the decks, that is $60,000 (not all profit). I think I can see why that is the focus of this program.
2. List Builder. This works more like you have all of your cards for you faction and your pulling out what you want. It doesn’t prevent you from pulling more than the FA or to many points. This is a hard pill to swallow when so many of us are used to Ibodger. The functionality that shows only the legal options and uses the FA must not have been included in the design. To me, that seems like a big mistake. It could have been done. There was a decision made to not include these features. Remember this is a card/rule reference that makes list, not a list builder.
3. In game damage tracker. Honestly, I have not tried this. I don’t have WiFi so my experience is on a friends Ipad today. His impressions “it is neat, but it will be faster to mark the cards.” Is this something that is so kool when you hear about it, but in real life it isn’t so great?
4. Theme list. Pull up a card, read it, try to build the list, but the list builder doesn’t change the points or give you things for free. Again, spoiled by Ibodger. The implementation of theme list building is a failure. Is there a way to make a 53 pt list when you have 3 points of free stuff? Good reference, but not a list builder.
5. Seeing someones list and damage during a game. It sounds good. How much time will it take to go to my opponents list and look at his damage vs watching the cards get marked or reading the cards? I bet I know which one is faster and easier.
6. Saving my lists, saving my opponents lists. Well, I can’t see my opponents list after the game unless I have those cards. If I have a smart phone and a tablet, I have to build that list twice. You can’t share between you devices. Will this get fixed? Not sure it is part of the design.
7. Collection tracker. Nope. You don’t get one. It wasn’t part of the design, Someday. Not holding my breath on this one either.
So here we sit. Bugs up to my …. well you know. Bugs will get fixed.
The part that bothers me. I am so used to PP doing it right. This time it didn’t happen.
THG doesn’t deserve all the blame, but there is enough to go around. The lack of Droid Play Test is part of this. Did any play testers have anything other than an IPhone/IPad with WiFi?
I have to laugh.. I have several years of Software QA/Testing with EMC. One of the rules was “test it on everything on every platform, then do it again”..
But let’s go back before the testing. The concept. Someone at PP made a choice. Maybe it was a project manager. The scope of the project. What we want, what we can afford and when can it be delivered. So at the beginning. This was not designed to be a list builder. It couldn’t have been. Ibodger is so elegant and easy vs War Room is clunky.
It was obvious that this was a huge project for PP and it is full steam ahead no mater what.
Look at the results on ITunes and Droid Store reviews. I read them all. The majority are pretty unhappy and the number of times list building and theme lists gets talked about should give someone something to think about…
Here are the numbers from 7 August 2012
Look at the ITunes stats
4 Stars – 9 – 9%
3 Stars – 7 – 7%
2 Stars -15 – 16%
1 Star – 35 – 37%
That isn’t very good and that is the platform that was working. This has dropped a lot in the last 12 hours.
Shall we look at Droid?
4 Star – 18 – 6%
3 Star – 21 – 7%
2 Star – 19 – 6%
1 Star – 231 – 74%
I am not surprised. When so many platforms couldn’t load the app, then other can’t use 3G/4G to connect. Other buy cards and can’t see them (true of some Apple customers too). Droid has a BACK key.. Did anyone at THG notice that? Did any play testers report it? If they didn’t there is a problem. If they did report it there is a bigger problem. It has to be one or the other!!!
This App will get fixed. It will take some time. My disappointment is how this project has been handled from concept to delivery. I would bet there are people who tested this App and reported some or all of these problems. Someone had to see those bug reports and still decided to push the key and let it go when it wasn’t ready.
A good friend posted this today and it is so so true.
“Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.” ~ Bill Gates
Until next time…
Just do it..