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Re: What Can We Improve for KS6?

Posted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 8:22 am
by DWChancellor
ebrandeis wrote:
Thu Jul 13, 2017 12:34 am
Ask yourself if you wouldn't be just a bit happier if DF had managed to release ruins this time around. Oh, and those cool pedestals, etc., etc. Yes, there's a pang of regret in not being able to get it all, but that's counter-balanced by knowing that at least it got made. DF isn't Hasbro - there are no guarantees they'll be doing this at all next year, so the more of their genius we get into the market now, the better shot we have at getting it ever. (fingers crossed of course that we get another 20 years of these Kickstarters to pick and choose from :)
No. I would have been immensely pissed off if ruins had come out too. The saturation issue is key to my feelings: a big KS risks eating the "seed corn" of established veteran buyers. Games like Magic have been carefully tuned to release at an optimum rate (see WotC's recent D&D release rate... more was NOT better).

Without access to DF's sales data I have only my gut feeling to go on, but I think DF's newbies gained per annum couldn't keep up with saturating established buyers at the rate KS4/KS5 sized efforts every year would accomplish. I'm not going to include KS3 since it was so fundamentally a new system that really broke things open for wargamers in particular.

Re: What Can We Improve for KS6?

Posted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 8:47 am
by Stormfury
GX.Sigma wrote:
Wed Jul 12, 2017 11:48 pm
Well I can't argue with this logic, but I just wanted to offer a counterpoint in defense of DF's approach.

I really don't understand all the complaints about scope.

I'd rather have 150 things to choose from than 75 things to choose from.
I believe it comes from the fact that we're not able to choose from 150 things. My example, I REALLY REALLY love the Corner Secret Door (CSD). I want more than 1.

This piece can only be acquired in these 4 sets:
$43/64 Vaulted Corners x1 *I'd literally be paying $64 for a single CSD as I have no need for 15 vaulted corners. :(
$83/120 Menagerie x1 *Outside of the 1 CSD I only need/want the Jails. So $78 for this CSD.
$92/146 Deadly Corners x1 * While I would enjoy the Plinth and Vaulted Double Door there are far to many pieces in this to make this worthwhile price wise. Ie. If I wanted 2 CSD, $300 to get them. ouch.
$67/108 Wicked Dungeon Trove x2 * The best option price wise, but still a ton of pieces I don't need/want. $54 per!


It would be a totally different thing if I could simply pay $5, 10, 15 for a Corner Secret Door but I cannot. If that were the case I'd say make 1000 designs. I'll buy what I want. Since it's not, the scope needs to be toned down a bit. If pieces are this hard to get it makes it painful and a negative experience to the purchaser. I sadly would rather the CSD not have been designed at all instead of stressing over which $100+ purchase gives me the LEAST amount of pieces I don't want.

Re: What Can We Improve for KS6?

Posted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 8:58 am
by lostpict
For KS5, I would have liked to have seen the Noah's Ark pledge - two of every new item excluding the Capstones and the All Capstone Add-on - all the add-ons in the same proportion that they were finally released in the DoD.

If KS6 is going to follow the same format, I also would hope for a Noah's Ark Pledge and an All Capstone Add-On.

Re: What Can We Improve for KS6?

Posted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 8:59 am
by evandariel
Stormfury wrote:
Thu Jul 13, 2017 8:47 am
stressing over which $100+ purchase gives me the LEAST amount of pieces I don't want.
Same here. Like I said. Encounter pledge levels and add-ons that don't have any redundant pieces. Just new stuff (not reskinned old stuff like vaulted walls either, leave those for an add-on if needed).

For the next KS, think of 'Encounters' as the pre-built KS4 pledges. Imagine how it would be if there was only a Royal Stronghold, and the Grand Citadel basic parts pledge didn't exist? Only a Count's Castle, and no Castle pledge? Or worse, Imagine the Royal Stronghold including the Count's Castle in the pledge level.

Pre-built 'encounters' work, sure. But not for previous backers (most of the time). Just don't make those the only option for pledge levels/bulk discount in the future.

Re: What Can We Improve for KS6?

Posted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 9:02 am
by Stormfury
evandariel wrote:
Thu Jul 13, 2017 8:59 am
Same here. Like I said. Encounter pledge levels and add-ons that don't have any redundant pieces. Just new stuff (not reskinned old stuff like vaulted walls either, leave those for an add-on if needed).
Love your idea of 1/2 and full versions of each encounter! That would have made this experience 100% better for me and I likely would be giddy about getting everything I wanted vs dreading the pledge manager and deciding what to cut.

Re: What Can We Improve for KS6?

Posted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 9:06 am
by evandariel
Yeah man,

I'd be on it for a DoD or two! (the stripped down kind)

Re: What Can We Improve for KS6?

Posted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 9:07 am
by DWChancellor
Stormfury wrote:
Thu Jul 13, 2017 9:02 am
Love your idea of 1/2 and full versions of each encounter! That would have made this experience 100% better for me and I likely would be giddy about getting everything I wanted vs dreading the pledge manager and deciding what to cut.
I would much prefer the (not going to look for who came up with it, credit to them) idea that encounters add to base add-ons to make a finished appealing product.

Encounters 1-3: Just add Basic Whatever Set
Encounters 4-6: Add 2x Basic Whatever, 1x Basic Elevation Whatever
Encounters 7-10: Add 1x Basic Whatever, 1x, Basic Elevations, 1x Basic Advanced Builder

That way you aren't using up 15 SKUs on duplicating Encounters while maintaining the neat Encounter system in the KS.

Re: What Can We Improve for KS6?

Posted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 9:28 am
by kmj9907
fstkfstk wrote:
Thu Jul 13, 2017 8:22 am
ebrandeis wrote:
Thu Jul 13, 2017 12:34 am
Ask yourself if you wouldn't be just a bit happier if DF had managed to release ruins this time around. Oh, and those cool pedestals, etc., etc. Yes, there's a pang of regret in not being able to get it all, but that's counter-balanced by knowing that at least it got made. DF isn't Hasbro - there are no guarantees they'll be doing this at all next year, so the more of their genius we get into the market now, the better shot we have at getting it ever. (fingers crossed of course that we get another 20 years of these Kickstarters to pick and choose from :)
No. I would have been immensely pissed off if ruins had come out too. The saturation issue is key to my feelings: a big KS risks eating the "seed corn" of established veteran buyers. Games like Magic have been carefully tuned to release at an optimum rate (see WotC's recent D&D release rate... more was NOT better).

Without access to DF's sales data I have only my gut feeling to go on, but I think DF's newbies gained per annum couldn't keep up with saturating established buyers at the rate KS4/KS5 sized efforts every year would accomplish. I'm not going to include KS3 since it was so fundamentally a new system that really broke things open for wargamers in particular.
I'm with you on every point made here. If Burrows had not come out this time, I would have bought burrows in the Burrows & Forbidden Temple KS next year. I would have gotten the Dias of the Dead with those amazing ossuaries that I'll probably never get now, and the Puzzle Floor Room, and some more terrain trays, and probably some of the elevation sets and minis, which had to be cut from my budget.

I *do* understand one major concern: if the KS is too focused, then it can end up being too narrow and really cut out backers. As grand as CBS and Castles were, this is ultimately the reason more people didn't back -- they were more specialized, more inherently complicated (they are "systems" rather than blocks), and their specialization made them more pricey. Burrows and Forbidden temple are specialized in different ways (burrows are highly specific passages & chambers with a new elevation system, and the forbidden temple is highly ornate and snake themed). For each of those, lots of people are saying "for reason X, I will not get any of them", where reason X is often "it won't get used often enough at my table to justify purchasing it". This was certainly true for CBS and Castles. New backers won't go for "only bling". Many backers don't want or need new minis, or may (god forbid) prefer a different style. Old backers won't go for "only core", as we've seen. By offering a wider variety, and including both generic and specialized sets, by including core and bling, DF is trying to ensure there is something for everyone. Nobody can deny that DF really fulfilled on the "something for everyone" promise in KS5. If you didn't see *something* (probably many things) to like at a reasonable price in this campaign, then you are just not interested in Fantasy RPG terrain.

Once again, I'll say: I hope a happy medium can be found. A way to show value to the more casual, more frugal customers... show people that an $80-$120 purchase of dwarven forge can come out on their table every game night and spice up their game, and to always have something bringing back the veterans, while not exhausting us. Not leaving us begging that something like 60% of the offerings will be in stock in a year or two when we can afford to acutally get it (but who are we kidding, we have to save for the NEXT KS because, let's face it U.S. backers... free shipping, if nothing else). My dream is that DF sells enough, and grows its customer base, that they can actually afford a warehouse like Reaper, and employ a couple more people, and then people can just order the pieces they want, as opposed to moving further and further in the luxury direction or --- please, no --- moving to a M:tG collectibles model.

Re: What Can We Improve for KS6?

Posted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 9:40 am
by GrumpyOne
DF will never please everyone, be it veteran backers or new arrivals. Additionally, all of our comments about what would make KS6 better are subjective and relate to our own wants/likes, what we each currently have in home for DF sets/pieces and so on. I'm sure the staff at DF will pore over these comments meticulously after the rest/recovery from the KS (and the detox period from the post KS partying), the stress of the KS4 shipping delays and the reality that now the real work begins.

Personally, I enjoyed this KS. Having never been a big KS fan (just wasn't my interest) but owning a lot (and I mean a lot) of DF sets, I finally indulged in the KS and it was fun ride. It was difficult not to get caught up in the fervor and passion exhibited by the staff as well as the fourmites, new and old.

My personal suggestions for the next KS (and again, these are subjective), would be:

1. Simplify. There were many times I dropped my pledge to the bare minimum and almost walked away just due to the overwhelming amount of options. As others have said, more molds but fewer pieces per backer vs. fewer molds but many more pieces per backer just doesn't seem like good business sense. Also the sheer volume of small extras (LED and magnetic bits) turned me off as well. They're great for dioramas and for those who build in advance for a game but they definitely lack the simplicity of 'build on the fly' and how many of the bits will lose their luster and eventually be left in the drawer for simplicity's sake? Still, Stefan said at some point (during one of the live streams I believe) that we wouldn't see a DF dungeon KS of this magnitude for years, if ever again. So why not go big and throw it all out there? And based on the dollar and backer numbers, they new what they were doing. Still for me, I prefer simplicity...think Doe, Hellscape, RotA...yeah, the resin sets.

2. Fix the live streams. This has already been covered enough but was an issue.

Those were really the only two issues I had. If I had wanted to walk away I would have been okay with that and just picked up what I wanted later in the store (I didn't do that of course). There were a lot of pieces I had no interest in (i.e., trays and magnets) so I passed on them. And I appreciate the way the KS was designed so I could. Same with the mini sets. (I already have over 20K minis and I look at DF as the go-to for 3d terrain. If they want to start mass producing minis...well, I'm out.) I've already stated elsewhere how well I thought this KS was run and the 110% effort by the staff and their passion for their work was refreshing and fun to watch. DF is still the frontrunner in 3D terrain and I prefer to invest in their products vs. the cheaper items out there. But again, as with everything else in this forum, that is just my personal opinion.

I missed KS1 and 2 due to life, had mixed feelings about KS3 at the time (regret not participating now and have been playing catch up) and had no use for KS4 (other than the mountain terrain) so I went big on this one. And I liked the encounter motifs (except for the sheer number of passage walls the larger pledges had). When everything arrives, I'll see how it fits in with all the resin sets, keep what I can use/want and just sell the rest. It did get to the point where I felt I was left with two options, buy big or skip altogether however I'm glad I participated, I enjoyed the interaction of the KS and I'm pleased with my purchase so overall I'm happy. But I'm only one of 2897 backers so just a grain of sand in Sysuul's sand box. So to sum it up, I would say run the logistical aspects of the KS the same (i.e., updates, photos, daily releases, staff interaction, etc.) but drastically reduce the volume and simplify the sets.

Re: What Can We Improve for KS6?

Posted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 10:03 am
by astolat
Loved the KS and am super happy. For me, fundamentally the key is that you guys eat your own cooking: it shines through that you love playing with this stuff yourselves and that YOU want the massive variety for yourselves as much as for us, and imo that is actually the right business decision too. I would rather you continue to excite yourselves even at the cost of complexity. I am delighted for a huge smorgasbord of choices and happy to have people who buy things I can't have to help fund the many things I can have.

I don't disagree that saturation is a risk, but I don't see actual evidence of it happening yet given the KS numbers and that's with people waiting for the KS4 stuff to hit the store to buy more and half the store sold out.

Quick practical thoughts for improvement:

* the bad KS livestream quality is not under your control so I suggest as a backup you record it locally at the same time as you stream and upload the saved version to YouTube after, and/or take photos of the pieces and builds that you're showing and either Instagram or tweet them live along with the stream or afterwards.

* more remix builds please! What I mean is more showing me things I can build with some subset (doesn't have to be all) of the pieces from a given encounter or set of add-ons.

* I for one would also love to see live video of unplanned building actually in progress instead of off screen. I think we can learn as much about effective building and how to use the pieces by seeing the false starts and the "eh that doesn't work right" as by seeing the finished builds.

* love the narrative of the encounters and the DOD, but I do think you need one first pledge level that is a clear natural stopping point for a new low-level backer even if it stands outside the story of the KS otherwise. I wanted to point newbies who like my DF somewhere but Zaltars didn't feel like a slam-dunk "get this and go"

* the kid birthday present pack!

* count me in for loving the idea of outdoor KS stuff. I keep eyeing that woodlands set on eBay wistfully but I don't want resin as I want to be able to let kids play with everything without worrying about it. I also would love more vivid specialized settings like the temple and the burrows. I will only get a bit of most of them but I love the visual diversity it can create.

* I also love the idea of the interconnected dwarf mines and drow kingdom and orc warren, ideally with elven groves and village farmland outside and more surface-to-underworld transition options. And a pony. ;)

* As long as I am pie-in-the-skying, I would really like thatched roofs and a plain wooden wall option, and also roofs like these:

Image