Mack Martin of Wyrd Miniatures has done the community a huge service by spending the time to really answer very open questions from the community here on Faeit 212 about the upcoming release Malifaux 2nd Edition.
For those of you just tuning in, last week, Mack mentioned that he would answer any questions the community here had about Malifaux 2nd Edition, even the hard ones. So a the opportunity was put out to the community here on Faeit 212, where the readers were able to ask very much anything about the game.
So a huge thanks to everyone who participated in the QnA with questions about the new edition of Malifaux, and I was overall impressed by the level of questions and respect the readers here gave.
So thank you Mack for taking time out of your busy schedule and tackling these. We look forward to hearing from you again.
via Mack Martin of Wyrd Miniatures
Last week the call went out for questions, and I promised to respond to all of them as completely as possible. I hope that you don't think I'm trying to dodge any of these (as that isn't my goal) but some of them are just not in my sphere of knowledge here at Wyrd, and some are far enough in the future that I just don't have a concrete answer!
Where I can, I let you know our desires and intentions, but much of this is subject to change, because I cannot read the future in the fire!
Well, I guess we better get to it!
Eusier asks: I would love to know more about the mysterious Arcanist Master that will be added?
Also if they will be doing scheme decks?
Mack: Of course you start with a question I really don't have an answer for! I'm not trying to be cagey either, I just don't have it set in stone. Right now, there are a couple ways we might go to get Scheme cards into the range. It's a logistics/pricing issue right now. We want to avoid putting them into the Faction Decks, because then players have to buy the same thing more than we would like.
We might do some other product that they would go nicely with, however. I guess the short answer is, “yes, we want to do scheme cards, no I don't have details on how... yet”.
As for the new new Arcanist master... well... we've got her in internal testing, but we don't know what form things will take by the time it's revealed. So I just can't say much because things might change a lot. Alpha testing usually see's us trying 2 or 3 different options then choosing one.
Boarstorm asks: The basic Mal1.0 rules were easy to grasp, but the myriad of special rules added a ton of complexity. Where does 2.0 fall in comparison? Will every existing model be supported at release?
Mack: The main rules have received some attention, mostly to make things read more clearly. There have been some changes to address rules we felt were causing larger ranging issues (such as soulstones, and how encounters are generated). For the most part, however, they should feel very familiar.
The largest changes come to the models. We really want to see the models become easier to undrestand without nearly as much cross referencing and checking the book. There has been a lot of effort put into that in particular.
The current “official” release date for M2E is in early 2014. We will pre-release the rulebook before that (Aug/Sep) and at that time some of the models will be out of testing and in the book. At that time, every other model will go into public beta. So that players will, even before the official release, be able to play every model in the game.
When M2E officially releases, we'll be printing faction decks. These decks will include every model currently released... and even some new ones! The only two models currently not slated for release are the minion versions of Hamelin and Misaki. Those models will be usable as Master versions, however, as alternate sculpts.
Anderas asks: How do you ensure balancing after the release?
Mack: That's always tricky, but we've taken a few steps. First, we're putting everything into public beta. Nothing shakes out the imbalances quite like thousands of people playing.
Secondly, the new upgrade system allows us to address some issues if they arise. If a model is underpowered/overpowered then this isn't how we'll fix it. However, if we find a model is lacking a needed tactical option in certain situations, this gives us a way to address the issue.
Lastly, if it's very problematic, we aren't afraid of errata. Hopefully our first two steps will prevent large issues arising. If it comes to it, however, the errata responsibility falls to the design team (not someone else) and we will address it.
Zeuso asks: Will the rules for every faction be in the book or will they be released in separate army books? Are there plans to convert the older metal models into plastic or will it just be new releases that are plastic?
Mack: I'm not sure what you mean by the rules for every faction. If you mean the model rules, then yes and no. There will be rules for some models from every faction in the core rulebook. However, putting all the models in that book would inflate its size, and thus its price. So going forward, we'll have the faction decks with all the model cards for a faction. In addition, all our new kits will include the M2E cards.
We are committed to plastics. Going forward, you will see old models re-released in plastics, usually with a new sculpt, so that the older metals retain their value as a unique version of the model.
Stad asks: While I love the fiction, are there plans to release a summary book showing all the characters and stats?
Mack: Unfortunately it isn't on the docket at this time. If you want all the models and stats, the Faction Decks should provide that information while doubling as a player aid.
Andres asks: I'm a little unsure about the beta schedule. Beta released beginning of June, let's assume you'll keep on with it for one month, then two weeks for compiling, checking feedback, applying changes, then a month for printing and receiving stuff at your warehouse so you get things at GenCon, the supposed release date (that if you are using an US based printing facility). Isn't that a little unrealistic?
Mack: I shortened your question for brevity. First, the game hasn't seen only a single month of playtesting. It's seen a lot more than that. Public playtesting for the core rules (to make sure they are clear and function as intended) and the initial wave 1 models will last 6 weeks.
The rest of the games models will receive longer. You're also a bit off on your assumptions for how we check feedback ect. We are releasing a new version of the rules every week, addressing issues as they arise. We don't need 2 weeks for compiling and such. That happens during the beta, and you guys get to see it happening.
We don't watch things get tested for 6 weeks then make the changes. We make changes and push them out for public testing as well. It's much more like how video games test, which will help us achieve a much better balance.
Six weeks for wave 1 of a public beta is a healthy amount of time. We aren't testing all the models during this period, but roughly 40% (I'm eyeballing it). The games actual beta duration goes until December for the model testing.
Lazlo's Blog asks: Are the crews you have in the Beta the models that will be released in plastic? How long have you been working on the Beta? What made you decide to move to a 2nd Edition anyway?
Mack: We plan to have all the crews in plastic, eventually. The current beta models are just those that we want to get balanced and ready for the wave 1. They will be in the Core Rulebook, but it doesn't have anything to do with plastic releases.
Your second part is a long answer, and I really only have so much space. So I'll try to sum it up... basically it was time. There were lots of requests for another edition, and with our conversion to plastics, it seemed like now was the opportune time to present a new edition of Malifaux to the world.
We've had the entire design team on M2E since January, and we've been in internal alpha/beta since February. However, Eric's been working on it for longer, and actual work started on it more than a year ago.
Weirdling Library Asks: How will v2 be served? Is it going to be a single book with all statistics for existing and some upcoming miniatures or will it be split somehow? If someone would like to start playing Malifaux should he invest in the v1 books for fluff and all stuff or will everything be imported to v2 books?
Mack: I think I covered this above, so the quick version is: The main rulebook will have some models from each faction, and the rules for the game itself. Then the faction decks will have all the models currently in print.
If you don't have the first edition books, that fiction won't be reprinted in the M2E book. You won't be out in the dark and left confused, but the storyline is moving forward. M2E is new background stories.
Norrikan asks (shortened for brevity): Why should I care about this game? What makes it interesting to me and my group, both as a game and as a setting? More to the point, what makes this game unique?
On a slightly more detailed level: Is there a faction of religious fanatics with severe pyromania? I keep hearing about undead prostitutes. Are those really a thing?
Mack: Well I can't really speak to why you personally should care, but I can speak to the rest, and hopefully that gets you around to interest in checking Malifaux 2nd Edition out! Malifaux has a unique card driven system that really turns “luck” on its head. Because it isn't dice based, eventually your good cards will come up. Additionally, you have cards in hand to manage that luck. It's skirmish based as well, so it's got a pretty inexpensive price point, even for a tournament level army.
As for pyromania + zealotry... try Sonnia! And yes, there are zombie harlots.
Unknown asks quite a few questions... I'll just give answers in complete sentences to address them all.
Mack: We try to keep the general theme of models (or alter the theme based on the advancement of the storyline).
The grow mechanic for Nephelim is still in the game, it's just on an upgrade instead of on the cards. We did this because the crew box with Lilith doesn't come with young or mature nephelim, just tots. We felt that a player who picks up the crew box shouldn't have a model with rules that require them to buy other models. So we created an upgrade that adds the ability to those models.
Hamelin and Misaki are masters now, there is no minion version of them any more, those models are still legal as the masters.
Oiran are mercenaries, so they can still be taken by 10T crews. However, the storyline has progressed, and they are more closely associated with Misaki's Clan of the Last Blossom.
There are no mercenary masters, that is correct. It caused balance issues in testing, and we felt it was pretty important to give every faction access to the same number of masters (7).
Some crew boxes will stay the same, but many will also change. We are rebuilding many crew boxes so that they provide a wider range of models (including Totems) and produce a good experience for new players. While the boxes will be a good value even for new players, there has been some shifts to the contents.
Whew, well that's all of them! Now I'm off to get some painting done, I've got a Relic Hunters crew box that I've been dying to get started on. I'm gonna have to find a good horse painting tutorial somewhere!