Thursday, August 9, 2012

How Not to do Digital

The faint rumbling that you here in the background may be the indication that all is not well in Warmachine land this week.

On Monday Privateer Press released their app for Warma-hordes and apparently all is not well. The company has barely put a foot wrong in the eyes of the Warmachine-ers but this could be their first stumble.

Until now there has been a free app, iBodger which allowed players to write lists on their smartphone. With the imminent release of PP's "War-Room", the fan-driven iBodger was issued with a friendly cease-and-desist order. However upon release War-Room has proved to be a real dog - delayed, lacking in beta testing, overpromising and underdelivering. Warmachine fans have been venting, not only on the PP forums but across the wider net.

Granted, the scope and promised features for War-Room were wider than iBodger but it appears even basic functionality is compromised. Hopefully for the players, Privateer Press will address the problems quickly or allow the iBodger tool a way back.

This sort of PR gaff is something you generally expect from GW - pricing policy, embargo - so it will be interesting to see how it will be addressed.


  1. I have heard its not cheap either...

    So basically people bought a non properly functioning app that Is loaded with bugs. For many people doesn't actually work at all.
    Some functionality completely missing.

    FFS its not hard, push back on the date and fix bugs. Better to be late and deliever something usable then something not.

    Whats kinda funny is that they blamed apple for the initial delay. Think how bad it would of been without the delay.

    I'm somewhat suprised this is not all GW fault somehow aren't you?

    1. The App itself is free, you just pay to unlock factions at about the $8-9 NZD a pop mark, or the full set of rules for all of them for $80ish which is every model and rule in the game plus all future releases.

      Agreed they should have delayed more, would have been one hell of a shit storm but nowhere near as bad as it has been with all the bugs.

      Tinkerhouse really let PP down with this, they at Tinkerhouse are players of the game so would have put together a really good sales pitch but sadly it was their first cross platform App and that lack of experience is showing.

      Final product will be amazing if they fix up the issues, no regrest dropping $18 on 2 factions so far.

    2. No Tinkerhouse didn't let down PP ...
      PP let down it's consumer base by not pushing it back. Not properly black box testing it and so forth and so on.

      Does it do anything if you don't buy a little bit? I don't actually know. and curious to know.

      I have no doubt it will be a good(maybe great) product once the bugs are fixed and it has its full functionality. But till then It is a disaster that they are currently in damage control

      Dave this isn't a GW vs PP :).

    3. You get all the stuff from the rulebooks (prime and primal) plus battleboxes for each faction and access to all the reference material (what icons str, cmd, pow + str mean etc..) and damage tracking + list building within the free stuff.

      So untill you need the rules for minis outside of what you would normally use to learn the game its all ya need...well it will be :)

  2. It was only a matter of time.... hopefully it will open some of the fanboys eyes to the banal, characterless steaming pile of turd that warmachine is.

    1. Careful there, your GW fanboy is showing. I enjoy GW's games and Warmahordes so one thing I can tell you is that neither one is characterless, or a "steaming pile of turd." Privateer Press goofed with War Room but they have been in constant contact with the fans since launch to get bugs fixed and correct problems, which is something that even the most frenzied GW fanboy has to admit is lacking from them. Ever table top game has it's appeal to certain people, and every company behind them has a flaw or two, no reason to rag on someone else's preference of game because it doesn't suit your tastes.

    2. Why yes, a single released app is clearly the best thing to critique and entire game upon. You're really a clever, well liked person, flush in attention from the opposite sex. It's quite apparent. I will in no way dismiss you completely as a retard.

  3. It was a shocker disaster and the first royal stuff-up I've seen them make. I downloaded the (free) core app for iPad3 - no problems actually opening and running it and no crashes experienced so far. Unfortunately those in my position are in the vast minority. Each faction deck is circa $10 to purchase (I would have to purchase two decks to use my current collection) and at that point I would have all the rules, damage grids etc at my electronically driven finger-tips - undeniably handy. If it worked! It COULD have been a spectacular win but as Peter says above, some pushing back and proper bug-fixing would have seen long-term benefits (i.e. not the catastrophe we are now seeing). I believe buying ALL of the cards for every Warmachine faction is somewhere around $90 (about the same as a GW hard-cover army book?). Again - all the rules, all the information, cross-referencing galore.

    However, to their credit PP have been all over it - fielding Q&A on their forums (GW players probably don't remember what these are... when did the GW forums go down?... when did they stop caring enough to directly support the community?...), taking any and all criticism up front, and applying the lash to the amateurs who supposedly wrote the app etc.

    The TO for Call to Arms has already ruled that War Room is not to be used - good call too!

    @ Rory - Yeah... ONE significant stuff-up that is being directly dealt with by a company that yearns to listen to, understand, and cater to it's consumer base. Like... y'know... prompt and relevant FAQ/Errata that actually answers the players' questions, introducing big centre-piece toys that you DON'T have to purchase in order to stay competitive - who would have thought "balanced and play-tested" was ever possible?! - commendable customer support for their online store, not screwing Oceania with a trading embargo, not abusing their customer base with constant price increases and weird casting materials, upping production accordingly to cope with increased demand after the "great migration", and releasing new models and well-considered rules for ALL factions every year (with appropriate teasers and rumours to maintain interest and motivation in the down time). Yeah... only a matter of time until they (or rather an associated 3rd party) dropped the ball. Nice.

    Methinks the "fanboys" will be difficult to lure back. Keep enjoying your Deathstars, 6-dice skill-intensive magic phases, 40-50 model units, and Cannons - Warmachine/Hordes certainly isn't for everyone :-)

    1. Dave, you missed ubiquitous stupid big monsters......

      Oh wait.....not so much now :-)

      Guys...see my point re politeness below

  4. Am I passionate about Warmachine? Absolutely!

    Still love checking in on this blog though to see how the other half are living :)

    1. Wow so much effort over one comment...crack up. Yeah I hope you enjoy your skirmish brawls in an industrial wasteland.

    2. Go pay 41 dollars for your stupid digital codexes you GW Zombie

  5. Guys,

    Let's try and keep this reasonably civil. We are all uber geeks who play with man-barbies.

    Regardless of what any of think we are not really pushing the ultra-macho stereotypes.

    The post was to highlight how not to do digital. PP have mounted an active response which is good. However it is a monumental clusterfuck and as I pointed out perhaps their first mis-step (My own view is that the original Page 5 - play like you gotta pair, plastic is crap - were also marginal contributions YMMV).

    Fair better than having to mass a clean-up would have been to make sure the work was done upfront.

    Will they be forgiven? Probably. But I bet they've learnt a lesson.



    BTW the Digital Army Book I've got - Empire - is great. Prdouct did what it said on the can.

    Perhaps everyone is learning.

    1. That's awesome that the Empire book is well done. I'll keep holding out hope that GW makes a similar product for android devices in the near future.

  6. Lulz!!! Pete, you should know that comparing GW to PP in even the most minor way is cause for nerdrage. Nerds are generally frightened by change or difference. I'm sure theres a brilliant opportunity for a mockumentary in here along the lines of that Donkey Kong Doco from years back.

    Should be fun to bounce between my friends playing both systems at CtA next weekend. Wonder if I can provoke some kind of hilarious nerd war?

    Anyway, On topic, I DLed Warroom on my iPhone and it works fine though with some glaring lapses (Tier list fail!), haven't bought any card packs yet though...

    I would guess PP are learning their lessons, but can we all just agree that noone is infallible. Your system of choice is run by a company made of humans who fuck up every now and then, and move on. As long as they learn (and even GW seem to be finally doing that, albeit with less customer interaction...) then I couldn't care less.

  7. good read today pete. hey, igot war room. and it doesnt work. but, i will wait for the bugs to be fixed i suppose and i only need the khador cards.

    gotta admit, im jealous of ipad users. i miss out on gw stuff. but i use android. so, sux to be me.

    all this hate between gw and warmahorde players.... just as well my favourite game atm is malifaux eh?


  8. Its weird that there seems to be some very different reactions on different programs with War Room. I have an Android Tablet. Downloaded it on the weekend after release and it has worked perfectly. No issues at all