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Author Topic: why do companies insist on fucking up perfectly good systems?  (Read 3435 times)

Battlemaster

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Ok, recently asked about CoC, and was told it didn't go woke, so I read a review of 7e.

Good news: sounds like it wasn't 'woke' in it's candid handling of the 1920-30s era.

But I got a surprising bit of bad news.

If the reviewer was  accurate and his review's prose suggested competence and fairness, chaosium took its perfectly good rules system and basically fuckified it severely.

It seems a lot of changes complicated, adding dice pools or eliminating the simple resistance table. Others seem fair, like allowing players to push some rolls,  or keeping POW from being the most vital stat.

But in general the changes seem to have fucked up a perfectly good system.

Why do game companies insist on ''fixing'' what is working fine?

Just to sell a new edition?

Fuck the fascist right and the fascist left.

Godsmonkey

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Re: why do companies insist on fucking up perfectly good systems?
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2022, 12:59:49 PM »
I've not played much CoC 7E, but what do you mean by dice pools in context of the game? I know they added advantage/disadvantage by rolling an extra 10s die. There are also rules for Hard and Extreme successes, which I actually like. However, I didn't see any rules for dice pools.

Did I miss something?

BoxCrayonTales

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Re: why do companies insist on fucking up perfectly good systems?
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2022, 01:02:36 PM »
Yes. This is why I've become completely disillusioned with any at least moderately complex rules systems. Every new edition will make some good changes that streamline previously convoluted mechanics, but at the same time they'll introduce more unnecessary complexity elsewhere. It's a constant balancing act that serves only to keep your frustration with the rules consistently high.


Ghostmaker

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Re: why do companies insist on fucking up perfectly good systems?
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2022, 01:38:35 PM »
Why did the Coke company mess with its formula, producing 'New Coke'?

If I'm not mistaken, CoC 7E gives you a big chunk of luck points to spend on critical rolls to avoid disaster. However, those luck points are hard to regain. It reminds me quite a bit of how the old West End Ghostbusters game worked. So it may have been 'let's give players a little agency in avoiding a disaster that occurs solely because of crap dice'.

Stephen Tannhauser

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Re: why do companies insist on fucking up perfectly good systems?
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2022, 01:39:30 PM »
But in general the changes seem to have fucked up a perfectly good system.

Bear in mind that the learning curve on any change usually makes the new process initially seem worse than its predecessor. Trying the updates out in practice is always a good thing.

Quote
Why do game companies insist on ''fixing'' what is working fine? Just to sell a new edition?

That is part of it. After all, if nothing's thought to need changing then no need to write a new edition in the first place.

I suspect it's also as much a product of responding to user feedback, with the caveat that it's entirely possible they've forgotten what I call "the King criterion" for evaluating criticism -- this came from an article written by Stephen King about writing, which I read decades ago but still remember. Basically, if you're getting feedback from many different users and reviewers, only pay attention to the parts where most of them agree; if most are criticizing something different or everybody's suggesting their own improvement, you can safely ignore all of them. But the temptation to try to please everyone is always a strong one.
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Orphan81

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Re: why do companies insist on fucking up perfectly good systems?
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2022, 01:44:43 PM »
I've heard nothing but bad things about the changes made for 7th edition....

And none of them have anything to do with Wokeness or not. Just sounds like they tinkered too much with the system and it ended up in a state nobody liked... Kind of like the newest edition of Shadowrun.

Lots of people are advising using Delta Green's system instead.

mightybrain

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Re: why do companies insist on fucking up perfectly good systems?
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2022, 02:07:57 PM »
You know you're in trouble when there's a box for pronouns on your character sheet.

hedgehobbit

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Re: why do companies insist on fucking up perfectly good systems?
« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2022, 02:14:59 PM »
If I'm not mistaken, CoC 7E gives you a big chunk of luck points to spend on critical rolls to avoid disaster. However, those luck points are hard to regain.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that rule from Pulp Cthulhu? I seem to remember it there (where it at least made sense).

But to answer the OP's question, when a company hires someone to write a new version of the rules, they aren't going to hire someone that thinks the current version of the rules works fine. Hence they will find people that want to "improve" the game whether you like it or not. Also, when people are satisfied with a game's rules, they tend to avoid forums so those forums become filled with people complaining about certain aspects of the rules, which gives companies a false sense of how well the current rules work.

I saw the same thing with Hero System. They addressed the needs of the hardcore players but completely ignored all the people that had abandoned the game because of core issues that the new version never addressed. I call it the "Fan Survivor Bias".

Stephen Tannhauser

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Re: why do companies insist on fucking up perfectly good systems?
« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2022, 03:22:46 PM »
I saw the same thing with Hero System. They addressed the needs of the hardcore players but completely ignored all the people that had abandoned the game because of core issues that the new version never addressed. I call it the "Fan Survivor Bias".

What were some of these unaddressed core issues with HERO, out of curiosity?
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rytrasmi

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Re: why do companies insist on fucking up perfectly good systems?
« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2022, 03:24:29 PM »
You know you're in trouble when there's a box for pronouns on your character sheet.
I though you were joking, so I looked. Holy shit what a bunch of shitheads.
This post is opinion and if it sounds like something more you are misreading it or perhaps I'm just a jerk. Q.E.D.

Steven Mitchell

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Re: why do companies insist on fucking up perfectly good systems?
« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2022, 03:48:17 PM »

I suspect it's also as much a product of responding to user feedback, with the caveat that it's entirely possible they've forgotten what I call "the King criterion" for evaluating criticism -- this came from an article written by Stephen King about writing, which I read decades ago but still remember. Basically, if you're getting feedback from many different users and reviewers, only pay attention to the parts where most of them agree; if most are criticizing something different or everybody's suggesting their own improvement, you can safely ignore all of them. But the temptation to try to please everyone is always a strong one.

No kidding.  It's an axiom of feedback from anyone that's every dealt with it systematically that "users" are good at knowing what they don't like and terrible at telling you why.  So lots of smoke tells you there is fire, but woe onto you if you trust their feedback on where exactly it is or what is causing it.  This is a truth that is very difficult for designers dealing with feedback to accept, and game designers are hardly exempt, even in the unlikely event that their feedback is evaluated systematically. 

This effect is so strong it can even persist down to the anecdotal, personal micro level.  I recently did a rough, crude "playtest" with 6 players that I knew very well.  They all agreed that X didn't work.  They all had suggestions what to do to fix it.  None of their suggestions were useful or in some cases even possible.  Yet they were correct that X was a problem.  The solution looked nothing like what they suggested, and in fact required a moderate rewrite of a completely separate sub system to fix.

Relating back to the main topic, this is part of why tinkering with something that "works" imperfectly enough to suggest a rewrite is actually a very hard thing to do.  You should expect in the normal case that it has some problems.

Wrath of God

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Re: why do companies insist on fucking up perfectly good systems?
« Reply #11 on: June 23, 2022, 06:21:32 PM »
Maybe: because they do not consider previous versions to be "perfectly good".

TBH overall I see no problem in having 10 editions of CoC to pick prefered one.
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Batjon

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Re: why do companies insist on fucking up perfectly good systems?
« Reply #12 on: June 23, 2022, 06:27:02 PM »
7th. edition is the best edition of Call of Cthulhu, actually.

oggsmash

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Re: why do companies insist on fucking up perfectly good systems?
« Reply #13 on: June 23, 2022, 06:37:28 PM »
7th. edition is the best edition of Call of Cthulhu, actually.

  I own the 6th edition and a supplement or two (Dark ages I know, cant remember the others it sits low on the shelf) but have never played or run a game.  What makes 7th edition the best? 

mightybrain

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Re: why do companies insist on fucking up perfectly good systems?
« Reply #14 on: June 23, 2022, 06:43:21 PM »
You know you're in trouble when there's a box for pronouns on your character sheet.
I though you were joking, so I looked. Holy shit what a bunch of shitheads.
Yeah, it threw us for a loop on character creation, but mercifully that's the only bit of blatant virtue signalling I've spotted so far.