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  #11  
Old March 25th, 2008, 06:02 PM
Trouble Trouble is offline
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Mongoose has a new preview up. Combat and equipment.
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  #12  
Old March 25th, 2008, 07:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Trouble View Post
Mongoose has a new preview up. Combat and equipment.
Looks like they've ditched the worthless playtest initiative system. Good move there, although I'm curious as to how well the replacement system works. Since it can't possibly be worse than the original system, I expect it to be an improvement. I wonder why they didn't let playtest the current system?

Also gone are both playtest damage systems (which were abouts as flawed as I've ever seen). Weapons damage is now xdice, with modifiers in some cases.

I also note the example of custom weapon design, which sounds like the system MM will have in T5.

I wonder...did Mongoose ultimately abandon their own combat systems in favor of the T5 systems? Or are the new Mongoose combat systems different from the T5 systems?

shrug

It's hard not to feel vindicated...

Last edited by tbeard1999; March 25th, 2008 at 07:31 PM..
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  #13  
Old March 25th, 2008, 09:39 PM
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Originally Posted by tbeard1999 View Post
I wonder why they didn't let playtest the current system?
Gee....perhaps they felt that the noise to helpfulness ration was waaaaaay to low on the boards there at that point ? I mean, when people are taking time to argue about what anime is, and what fonts imply it....

Plus, the deadlines. No doubt if they'd delayed to put it out there, there would be complaints about that too.
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  #14  
Old March 26th, 2008, 12:53 AM
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It was hardly "Worthless". It had some mathematical flaws, which could be reversed to a much more acceptable curve readily.

The new one is 2d6+dex... for Joe Normal, 50% random, 50% attribute.
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  #15  
Old March 26th, 2008, 05:03 AM
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Originally Posted by tbeard1999 View Post
I wonder why they didn't let playtest the current system?
We did. We just did not send them to you - there has always been more than one playtest group for Traveller, and we usually have a blind test towards the end for a new system.

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Originally Posted by tbeard1999 View Post
It's hard not to feel vindicated...
Ah, yes, now, let me explain your mistake here.

A playtest run, for us at least, is not an adversarial process. We release mechanics, we listen to feedback. Even when certain people have trouble expressing themselves without insulting others, we listen. That is the point of a playtest.

If the consensus is that something is not working, we change it. There are very few sacred cows for us in terms of actual mechanics (though there are over-riding factors guiding the writing), so if we need to change direction, we do it.

Now, if you feel 'vindicated', that seems to demonstrate that there was some sort of confrontation in your mind. For us, that was simply not the case. Personally speaking, I thought it was a shame you had to be shown the door, as you are clearly passionate about the game, and you obviously had things to say.

You could just not say them without getting people's backs up.
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  #16  
Old March 26th, 2008, 08:49 AM
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Ah, yes, now, let me explain your mistake here.

A playtest run, for us at least, is not an adversarial process.
Then let me explain *your* mistake. You apparently mistake *intentions* for actual results.

Seems pretty clear to me that the public playtest -- whatever Mongoose's stated intentions -- became *highly* adversarial. Now, as it happens, I think this was largely the fault of the MGT design team for not responding to criticisms. Instead, they allowed advocates--often highly partisan advocates--to defend the system. And these advocates, quite frankly, didn't do a very good job. Since they weren't the designers, they can't really be faulted for this. They were forced to speculate about the designer's goals and rationales and this resulted in a very high bovine defecation ratio. In any case, many of the advocates got just as obnoxious and personal as any of the critics (and in my opinion did so more often and were allowed to get away with it more).

Nor did Mongoose's tendency to peremptorily lock threads (without any warning to the participants) do anything to help. How many threads were peremptorily locked out by Mongoose? A lot more than *I* participated in...

But regardless of where the blame lies, and regardless of your intentions or claims to the contrary, the public playtest *became* highly adversarial.

Hopefully, Mongoose will learn something from this. By allowing fans to carry most of the burden of publicly defending the system, Mongoose pretty much ensured that the debate would get acrimonious. (To paraphrase Kissinger, among others, such debates are invariably so bitter because the stakes are so low). Mongoose's lectures about civility seem especially dubious IMHO, when their comparative fault for the acrimony is considered.

(That said, I don't want to be misunderstood. Mongoose's fault is partial IMHO. Anyone who hurled insults at other posters certainly bears a share of the responsibility as well.)

And as someone who was a very pointed critic of the combat system (and by extension the badly flawed timing/effect system), I make no apologies for feeling that my criticisms were vindicated. I'm frankly relieved that Mongoose's management was astute enough to recognize that the original system was hopelessly compromised.

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We release mechanics, we listen to feedback. Even when certain people have trouble expressing themselves without insulting others, we listen.
So...why did you not release the current combat system to the public playtesters? It would have embarrassed the defenders of the playtest combat system, but surely that wouldn't have stopped you.

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Now, if you feel 'vindicated', that seems to demonstrate that there was some sort of confrontation in your mind. For us, that was simply not the case.
As noted, the MGT forum *became* very confrontational, regardless of your intentions. I really don't think that this fact can be rationally disputed. In any case, congratulations for ditching some execrable mechanics. Personally, I think that identifying and avoiding dubious mechanics is far more important than coming up with good ones.

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Even when certain people have trouble expressing themselves without insulting others, we listen. ... Personally speaking, I thought it was a shame you had to be shown the door, as you are clearly passionate about the game, and you obviously had things to say.
Appreciate the sentiment, but my posts in this thread had nothing to do with being banned. I freely recognize anyone's right to show a guest to the door. It is perhaps unfortunate that the rule was not applied equally (IMHO), but even there, I can see the value of making an example.

However you brought up a charge that keeps getting repeated -- that I insulted other posters. I have asked (repeatedly) for someone to produce a single quote in which I insulted another poster (except in self-defense). No one has been able to do so (and they won't be able to for the simple reason that as a matter of principle, I avoid throwing the first punch). So, I'll ask you to prove up your accusation as well or appropriately qualify it. EDIT--Bad phrasing on my part; you made no such "accusation". Ignore that statement, please.

Of course, I plead guilty to openly (and "remorselessly" as one fan said) questioning the competence of the design team. Perhaps in hindsight it would have been better to merely insinuate this... That said, if the design team decided to ditch the playtest initiative system, damage systems, starship combat system, and relegate the timing/effect system to an optional rule, then I can't really sustain a negative opinion of their competence.

Last edited by tbeard1999; March 26th, 2008 at 11:37 AM..
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  #17  
Old March 26th, 2008, 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted by aramis View Post
It was hardly "Worthless". It had some mathematical flaws, which could be reversed to a much more acceptable curve readily.

The new one is 2d6+dex... for Joe Normal, 50% random, 50% attribute.
Sorry, but the initiative system was about as useless as they come.

You seem to be talking about the timing/effect system. <shrug> The fixes introduced as many problems as they purportedly resolved.

While calling such mechanics "worthless" may be technically inaccurate (even a bad decision might have some value as a negative example), it is, I think, a fair assessment. In any case, it's moot, since Mongoose has at the very least, reduced the timing/effect system to a truly optional system and has eliminated the playtest initiative system.

Last edited by tbeard1999; March 26th, 2008 at 09:35 AM..
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  #18  
Old March 26th, 2008, 09:48 AM
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Not another round of this, please. Meanwhile you are no longer beating a
dead horse, you are already beating the skeleton of a horse.
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Old March 26th, 2008, 10:01 AM
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I second the motion.
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  #20  
Old March 26th, 2008, 10:23 AM
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Saw some other things I liked in the preview and one thing that I didn't.

Likes

1. The "Planetary Quirks" Table on p. 2 of the second preview. This looks like a typo; I think it should be "Animal Quirks". EDIT--It isn't a typo. The quirks apply to the dominant life forms on the planet, as Rust points out. Anyhow, it's a chart that provides a short list of "quirks" -- specific characteristics -- for animals.

So, a Sensory Quirk might be "sees in infrared", while a "Reproductive Quirk" might be "lays eggs".

Personally, I'd love an expanded version of this chart to quickly generate game *descriptions* of critters. I find myself dragging occasionally when confronted with Traveller's dry, functional animal descriptions ("Flying Hijacker. 12kg" for instance). Charts like this, especially if they are well considered, can be very helpful to an overworked Referee.

2. I nearly spewed coffee over my desk when I read this: "The PGMP and FGMP are weapons of such unbelievable destructive potential that they are never deployed without due care and forethought – except by player characters."

Concerns

If the timing/effect system has truly been relegated to an optional rule, then there appears to be some legacy text problems in the second preview -- the descriptions on p5 of the preview refer to Effect. On the other hand, if timing/effect is NOT optional, then that's unwelcome news to me. I hope my celebration of the demise of the timing/effect system was not premature...

I gotta say that I am looking forward to MGT. I always intended to buy it; now I strongly suspect that I may even like it (assuming they actually have removed timing/effect from the combat system). <scratches head> Whodathunkit...

Last edited by tbeard1999; March 26th, 2008 at 10:40 AM..
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