Mixed reviews...

So the games been getting kinda "Meh" reviews.

I personally played the table top game, and played the hell out of the last video game, but I can see where some of the common complaints are coming from.

A video game version should probably be a bit more streamlined and user friendly. AKA less dice rolls, and Lower chance of dice screwing you.
I only bring this up because I keep hearing the same things repeated.

  1. "This game feels too chaotic. Too much rides on the roll of the dice almost completely stripping the game of any actual skill. You're either lucky enough to roll good or you should play something different."

  2. "A litteral translation of the tabletop game into a video game isn't a very good idea as every tiny action requires an annoying dice roll that will usually end in you seeing your player land on their face."

I can't help but to agree. If players have to use a re-roll just to pick the ball up off the ground when therse no enemies around, you probably need to rethink something, because that's not fun, that's just frustrating & annoying.

last edited by midyin

I'm not saying there's anything enharently wrong with the Table Top game, but video games need to be approached differently.

Imagine playing GTA:
Now imagine that every time you go to get in a car there's a dice roll to decide if you can accomplish the simple mundain task of opening a car door.

Imagine there's a dice roll every time you try to pick up a weapon or ammunition.

Imagine there's a dice roll every time you have to draw your weapon that may end in you dropping your gun, and an even slimmer chance that you may shot yourself in the foot.

Lastly, now imagine the greatest sin that Bloodbowl actually commits. Take a part of the game that should be a measure of player skill like shooting accuracy, or driving and have it boiled down to just another luck based dice roll.

It doesn't take a market Analyst to tell you that People would not like that particular GTA title very much.

Yes, there is a "Skill" to playing Blood Bowl. That skill is called calculating risk mitigation. Looking at the field and all the players and deciding "Ok, this has the lowest risk of exploding in my face."

Problem is, table top gamers like that strategy element, but Video Gamers want high risk and action. They want to test they're actual skills that are based on hand/eye cordination, not just pick the path of least resistance and hope the dice fall right for them...

last edited by midyin

So while I agree that the RNG can be off putting to newcomers, I do greatly disagree with you that dice almost completely take away any skill. The game certainly has risk mitigation, but there's certainly much more than just that. Positioning, which isn't determined by dice rolls, is vitally important to playing the game well. Many situations where you are forced to roll dangerous dice can be avoided if you position your players well. You can also use positioning to force your opponents no easy way out.

Building your team and picking your skills has a vital impact on how that team can perform. It's important to know what match ups you may face down the line and build your team accordingly. If that isn't the essence of strategy, then I don't know what is.

Sure, there are games where the dice have a very dominate impact, but I can almost always point out something I could have done better in a game that I lost.

And I don't buy the argument about video gamers wanting high risk. Is an XCOM player going to constantly go for 5% hit shots when they could easily move and get a 95%? Strategy players don't always pick the least likely things to work because want to, they pick it because they think there's no other option. And those moments when those things actually do work is absolutely amazing, but the reason they're amazing is because they fail most of the time.

You talk about how risk mitigation is the path of least resistance and not very fun, but you'd be surprised how challenging that is to do. I personally think of it more of a puzzle, which of course are in many video games. Each turn your opponent gives you a "problem" to solve and you need to figure out how figure it out while giving one to your opponent. Turned based strategy is generally not about hand-eye coordination or action.

I think the main issue with Blood Bowl 2 is accessibility. It is a game that is very punishing to newcomers, and the relatively large amount of RNG can make many new players feel helpless because they don't have a good grasp of the game.

@midyin said in Mixed reviews...:

A video game version should probably be a bit more streamlined and user friendly. AKA less dice rolls, and Lower chance of dice screwing you.

No, it shouldn't. Some games are just niche. Staying true to its concepts you'll be able to stay niche and have a solid, stable, devoted target audience of die-hard fans of that unique sort of a game. Try to go mainstream dumbing down everything.. ehh, sorry, I meant streamlining, of course - and you certainly will lose support of most of those, while at best acquire mild interest of not that much devoted ppl for whom it's just another time killer they can easily switch for any other dumb, flashy game out there. It will be hard to compete for their interest for too long, such ppl don't see games in general, or this one game, as that much important part of their lives, and they won't certainly be so faithful as current audience, playing a half-baked game for years, still trying to discuss and suggest ways to make it better etc.

Eve Online is an excellent example of this: those guys are afloat for 15+ years, still didn't budge a bit on their hardcore views of the game, despite whining of more casual players is incessant on their forums, and they are doing pretty well, having a stable, devoted community which sticks to the game for years. They take very unique niche, and thus have stable demand for their "product", while most of other MMORPGs just chase a quick profit, dying one after another. You can't just compete with WoW when it comes to rubbing casuals in a right way 🙂 But there are hardly other games that challenging, unforgiving and full of intense emotions as Eve Online, at least they are much less developed.

There could be option to play some half-decent set of simplified rules with less of dice rolls, less of skills etc, like sort of Casual League or something, but there are few issues here:

  1. Will send all semblance of balance created for years to hell; they'll need to fight endless war of "fix fixing previous fix", pushed by incessant whinings of casuals about their [extremely dumb by its build] team is nerfed again, and all others are getting OP, duh!
  2. Will separate not so huge community even more. No way I'll be playing this atrocity, neither most of other BB fans will do.
  3. They'll need to maintain 2 different versions of game from that moment, and they struggle to maintain just one atm 🙂
  4. Possible issues with GW who doesn't like too much voluntary changes to their games

You can't build something that will appeal to both audience at the same time, and make them love each other and play in the same environment, such utopias exist only in socialists' teachings 🙂 We already have Rez mode now, it should be enough for those who at least love the concept of the game, and are just over-attached to their pixels. Others should just search for games that suite them more.

Edit:
Just think about it: BB was totally neglected by GW for 10+ years, with last (pre-BB2016) rules being polished by fans themselves (BBRC), yet it survived and still maintained such strong and numerous community that for somebody like Cyanide it was enough to invest years of work and money into creating PC adaptation for them. There probably should be something in this fine mixture of dice rolling, tactics and costy mistakes it provides. And you want to meddle with it, possibly killing the very essence of it, creating just another mediocre game which probably will be forgotten like 99% of other casual, mediocre games, in a couple of years.

last edited by Mori-Mori

@midyin said in Mixed reviews...:

but Video Gamers want high risk and action. They want to test they're actual skills that are based on hand/eye cordination, not just pick the path of least resistance and hope the dice fall right for them...

And, btw, that's totally not true. There are many different kinds of video gamers out there, you know. Some of them totally don't want to test their reflexes and hand-eye coordination, most of the time. That's people playing turn-based strategies/tactics, for example (like BB we have here 🙂 ), or wargames like Graviteam Tactic's games, which are realtime, but do not test your reflexes, or "control" (or whatever term is it for mouse clicking skillllz used all those Starcraft/Dota folks), yet still requires to think fast and take right decisions under pressure. Even some games which are FPS by design, may still make accent not on your reflexes, but on your decision making abilities and knowledge of your equipment, most of the time. Like Arma, for example, which as well have strong, faithful and extremely creative community, while it's definitely not cut for casuals.

For some reason you separate video gamers and TT gamers into 2 different categories, like they are totally different people, they are not. Well, console video gamers indeed are, but let's not get into this 🙂 People who love TT also play video games, though they indeed may play games different than majority of video games do.

And BB does require skills. Those who whine about it being only about dice just don't have a slightest knowledge of its mechanics and tactics, most of the time (and I've talked with a quite few of them on Steam, in comments to their reviews where they rage about dices being unfair, or game being totally luck-based (usually both at the same time 🙂 ) ), and that's their real problem. Yes, learning tactics still won't remove luck factor, but the turmoil added by dices is exactly the fact why all those people love it, including me! I don't want to play just chess with orcs and ball, it's boring. I don't like chess. I love play a semblance of chaotic, unpredictable football match which presents me with a new riddle each turn I must resolve, while it's always keeps me pleasantly nervous as it won't let me to be ever sure I'm safe, even if my plan looks solid - and still it's not about reflexes, but about decision making (as I find reflexes-based game boring as well); it makes me think fast and hard, and full of thrill due to its unpredictability, this is an excellent attempt to bring something that "real-timy" and chaotic as football match into turn-based world. That's what turns on a lot of people, and what diverts a lot of others, perhaps. But there is no point in removing this factor , that will just turn the table, shifting all fun to the latter, and letting the former down.

last edited by Mori-Mori

people that blame dice or call it luck are just noobs that are so stupid they need games that they only need to keep pushing 1 button over and over again with flashing lights on the screen and a i showed up so where is my win and participation trophy attitude.
In life you really only build character after something has gone wrong by how you deal with it,. nothing wrong in falling over, and even getting up is no big deal (we all do it) but it is HOW you get up that counts... these same people that complain bout dice usually quit / concede once they fail an action, they never stick around for the opportunity to take advantage of a situation when the other guy falls/ fails. And that is why they never learn, they are victims.
if it was all luck and down to dice why do the same players win and get to finals all the time... it takes a lot of skill and planing, its football chess and you have the added difficulty of having to also plan for when things go wrong.
It's all about positioning and risk management IMO

BB2 Champion Ladder Admin Team

They should turn Blood Bowl into a First Person Shooter, so it appeals more to the masses...

I understand the resistance. I never expected my opinion to be a popular one amongst the Table Top players. I use to be a Table Top purest, and say things like "That's the game. Don't like it? Go play CoD."
But I'm 33 years old, and I'm just now seeing what all these BB Noobs were complaining about.

It's super easy to just shrug and say. "You don't like the system because you suck at it.", but that's not what's happening.
In BB you can be a master stratigist. A world ronound Chess player, and still get completely pummeled by a guy that barely finished highschool. I know this for a fact because I(have barely finish highschool) dominated a friend of mine that was in a highschool chess club, then went on to join a college chess club.

We all want to think that we're good at this game because of our skill, but honestly the only skills involved are

  1. minimizing risk
  2. Making sure to have a strong line, but also remembering to have 2 guys in the back for safety
  3. not running the wrong direction

I just want to clearify here, I'm not a BB rookey. I stated playing Table Top in highschool. I loved the game because I've always been a huge fan and pretty good at similar game. Like the Front Mission 4, Final Fantast Tactics, Vandle Hearts, and Master of Monsters.

When Cyanide released their first BB title I went all in. It was great. this game is a solid sequel to the first BB, but now I'm seeing the game in a different light.

Yesterday I made a team. Typically I like to play as Skaven or Chaos. I made a Chaos team and joined a solo league. I wasted 3 of my 4(2 in the fist half, 2 in the second half) re-rolls on picking up the ball.
As a seasoned BB player I made dang sure that none of my attempts were performed within tacklezones, and that's when my friend started laughing at the game "You mean to tell me that these paid BB athletes can't perform the task of picking a ball up off the ground? My Todler has already mastered that skill!"

The longer I played the more he pointed out all the gsmes glareing flaws. And finally when the match was over I asked him if he wanted to give it a go. He said "Nah, I'll just stick to madden."

WE(Classic BB Table Top players) want this game to play like it does. The other 99% of gamers want somthing like Madden combined with Mutant league football.

Mori-mori made one good point. That you can't make a game that's going to satisfy both kinds of gamers. The problem is if Cyanide wants to make money they'll need to stop making fan service for us Table Top guys and start trying to draw in the younger gamers that never touched a dice.
That's the larger percentage. Business isn't about Nostalgia, business is about making money.

last edited by midyin

Sorry if this sounds dismissive @midyin , but this is another of those "If this game were like this it would be more popular" threads. I understand where you are coming from, but from my experience this seldom holds true.

Look at Chaos League, that forgotten game that first landed Cyanide in trouble with GW and then the license for BB. It's much more like what you envision, but the draw of the known franchise is bigger.
Seems to me Cyanide risks losing players if the deviate to much from the LRB/BB2016 rules, rather then gaining them by reducing RNG.

As to reviews, they don't really amount to much anyways now in the age of reviewbombing. People give negative reviews to punish developers (hey you stopped supporting the game I like, now I'll give it a negative review despite the 1,200 hours I've played it since it came out 5 years ago) or because they dislike the politics of the companies CEO etc.
And then there are those reviews from people that managed to buy a game out of their interests. The best FPS would probably at best rate a meh from me, but that's not because the game is meh it's because it's not a genre that interests me.

@midyin, I don't think you understood my point (well, I tend to write wordy posts where it may be hard to see, actually 🙂 ) We love turmoil and unpredictability of BB (well, at least I can say this for myself, but I don't think others see it much differently). I don't want it to be more predictable, like chess. I hate chess. I don't want a game where everything is about my skills, it's double boring. I want chaos and turmoil where I'll be forced to find a way to survive each turn. Usually to get something like this you need to play some dumb FPSes, like GTA or Battlefield/CoD (which I hate with passion). So you can imagine my delight when I found out about BB, where you can have it, and yet you need to compete with others in decision making and risk evaluation, not with you reflexes or click-rates. I don't need just another football game, just with orcs, I hate football and sports in general (so I'm a nerd, after all 🙂 ). And I don't need just another boring predictable strategy game which is all about my skillzzz. I need BloodBowl. And I have strong suspicion other fans feel the same. That's why this game survives for decades, no matter what.

I also don't play it in TT, or anything else. Your assumption that "TT gamers want more thrill and randomness, and PC gamers are all about skillzzz" is totally off. The truth is that there are a bunch of different gamers, which play on PC, or in TT, or both, and for a lot of them mixture of dice rolls and tactics in BB is just ideal. And I see no reason into "redesigning" it into something else, which will be hated by its current fans, but [possibly] liked by some other audience.

last edited by Mori-Mori

@midyin said in Mixed reviews...:

The longer I played the more he pointed out all the gsmes glareing flaws. And finally when the match was over I asked him if he wanted to give it a go. He said "Nah, I'll just stick to madden."

..and here it is. My point confirmed by the RL example 🙂 People who like Madden do not belong to BB, mostly, and probably vice versa. I hate real football and don't see any interest in any sport simulations on PC at all. I didn't even want to play BB first as I thought it's just american football with orcs and elves. I only was dragged in when learned more about its mechanics and what it's all about. I still have no urge at all to play Madden, I would be utterly bored if I would try 🙂 We are talking about different kind of gamers with different tastes. You just propose to make a game which "would be liked by everybody", and that's almost always makes a sh**ty, mediocre game. Well, sometimes it makes for Dota/LoL and such kind of games (not a big fun, but it may deserve its popularity), but that doesn't actually justify redesigning everything around to be "more popular". Popular doesn't equal good all the time (most of the time it's shite). Some games won't ever be popular.

Like, it's the same as saying that DCS is too complex and don't appeal to masses. Let's make it more arcade and flashy so that more young and casual audience could enjoy it. That may work, but what's the point in killing great, unique aircraft simulator for it? And that's not something its audience will vote for.

last edited by Mori-Mori

@Mori-Mori said in Mixed reviews...:

@midyin said in Mixed reviews...:

The longer I played the more he pointed out all the gsmes glareing flaws. And finally when the match was over I asked him if he wanted to give it a go. He said "Nah, I'll just stick to madden."

..and here it is. My point confirmed by the RL example 🙂 People who like Madden do not belong to BB, mostly, and probably vice versa. I hate real football and don't see any interest in any sport simulations on PC at all. I didn't even want to play BB first as I thought it's just american football with orcs and elves. I only was dragged in when learned more about its mechanics and what it's all about. I still have no urge at all to play Madden, I would be utterly bored if I would try 🙂 We are talking about different kind of gamers with different tastes. You just propose to make a game which "would be liked by everybody", and that's almost always makes a sh**ty, mediocre game.

I hear you. Despite the other dipshits pounding their fist on the keyboards shouting "NOOB!" I do see what you're saying.

I like Blood Bowl, I been playing for about half my life, but that doesn't make me wear blinders to its flaws.
I can read the comments in here and see the bruised egos from me saying that the game is more luck than skill. YOU seem to be the only person that agrees with me on that with your opinion on loving the Chaos while the others seem to be in some "NO! I'M A GOOD GAMER!!" Denial. Lol

To me though, the randomness of the dice just feels too silly at times like Why the basic action of bending at the waste to pick a ball up off the ground so high risk?
These Master BB players that are so much more skilled than any of us that dare say something unflattering about this game don't seem to have an answer to that question.

You could be the most brilliant tactician on earth, but still end up suffering a turnover that cost you the game because you greatly thought our plan hinged entirely on the random chance dice roll involved in having your gutter runner pick up a ball in no tackle zones. 😂

BB2 Champion Ladder Admin Team

BB is not for everyone, but those who do like it do so for what it is. It shouldn't change in order to suit everyone. It's not a perfect strategy game, nor does it pretend to be. It has flaws, but it fills a niche and does so well. If it's not for you then don't play it: there's room for all sorts of games in the market, from the randomness of BB to the determinism of Frozen Cortex.

@midyin said in Mixed reviews...:

To me though, the randomness of the dice just feels too silly at times like Why the basic action of bending at the waste to pick a ball up off the ground so high risk?
These Master BB players that are so much more skilled than any of us that dare say something unflattering about this game don't seem to have an answer to that question.

Well, Cyanide just don't have enough resources to create a really good visuals which will make it more believable 🙂 I'm sure, fluff explains it, like that pitch is in horrible state, there is mud, ball is covered with blood and is of not best qualities, most players are stupid and clumsy brutes etc. And they don't actually just pick up it, it's still a football match, just represented in turn-based format. So your clumsy chaos warrior in heavy armor runs at it, trying to snatch it from the ground and join the rest of team in the offense. Sometimes he does it, but other times, he fails spectacularly , his leg slips in mud and blood, he tries to balance and not to fall, while at the same time tries to catch ball bouncing around, becoming more and more angry, so more and more clumsy.

You see the point, probably 🙂 Given enough budget they could make it appear more convincing. But unfortunately, you need to use your imagination.

@midyin said in Mixed reviews...:

You could be the most brilliant tactician on earth, but still end up suffering a turnover that cost you the game because you greatly thought our plan hinged entirely on the random chance dice roll involved in having your gutter runner pick up a ball in no tackle zones.

But that's life, isn't it? Is everything in our life just about our skills and good strategies? You can be best citizen on Earth, build excellent career and family, then happen to be around a wrong place at wrong time and, say, face a demonstration of utter love by some extremely peaceful religion - and you are dead. Or may be severely injured, and all your life is ruined.

BB deals with almost impossible task - it tries to "smash together" a turnbased game and fast-paced real-time brutal sport. And he does it very convincibly, I can't believe how good it represents a real-time brawl without realtime at all. And it's not nostalgia why we play turnbased game, at all. A lot of people like them, younger too. I've already said I never plaid BB in TT before I started playing it on PC, and still almost never play it in TT. Turn-based games is a genre, and it's loved for what it is. Games and people tastes regarding them are more complex then that. "Realtime/less probability" is not more modern and thus better than "turn-based/with a lot of dices", they are just different.

Your point about making more money by making more popular games is right, but you disregard other considerations here. If it was the case, there wouldn't be projects like Arma, IL2 or mentioned Eve Online, which are definitely are not most popular games in their genres. But they are unique. They don't need to compete on over-heated market of popular games for wide audience, which is dominated by extremely hyped and finely marketed titles. Their developers just need to do their jobs, providing the audience (which is not the same as audience of CoD, usually) experience they seek and can't find elsewhere. They won't be earning that much money, but they will have their stable niche where they can stay unchallenged for years, possibly decades (I believe Arma series is at least 15 years old, counting Flashpoint games), just doing their niche work. Business is not only about sells, but also by finding your markets. The more popular market, they stronger the competition. To find a niche were you won't have competition is actually a solid strategy too.

Cyanide also don't need to invent a new system and put all efforts into balance it and keeping their players interested, risking that their ideas may fail to find audience, in the end. If they just implement TT as is, but make it more convenient, saving all hassles of moving figures and calculating things, they will have predictable, stable audience of die-hard fans which play it for years. No uncertainty, not much risks, no need to balance or invent all from scratch - all is done already, and there are TONS of ideas on BB forums how to further develop the main concept.

last edited by Mori-Mori

Just wanted to add.. There is a good military proverb out there: "No battle plan survives contact with the enemy”. For me as a wargames lover, that rings a bell or two 🙂 May be that's just one more reason why I love BB as it is.

last edited by Mori-Mori

@Mori-Mori said in Mixed reviews...:

And BB does require skills. Those who whine about it being only about dice just don't have a slightest knowledge of its mechanics and tactics, most of the time (and I've talked with a quite few of them on Steam, in comments to their reviews where they rage about dices being unfair, or game being totally luck-based (usually both at the same time 🙂 ) ), and that's their real problem.

+1 to this and the rest of your post.

I remember on FB, someone moaning that his elves kept falling over when he hit this opponents Orcs on 2 Red dice - when pointed out about the ST differences and Block skill, he just replied with "I don't have time for this bollox".

As soon as you see a complaint from someone mentioning the "unfair RNG" you might as well not bother, as they will never be convinced that perhaps it's their own failure at understanding the game.

last edited by Darkson

@midyin said in Mixed reviews...:

You could be the most brilliant tactician on earth, but still end up suffering a turnover that cost you the game because you greatly thought our plan hinged entirely on the random chance dice roll involved in having your gutter runner pick up a ball in no tackle zones. 😂

And yet these "brilliant tactician's" of the BB world, both TT and online, who are just as much at the mercy of the dice gods as you or I, still manage to win more than they lose, and still regularly top the tables in whatever format they are in.

I like the "every given Sunday" feel of the game, where if I play extremely well, and the dice are kind to me and unkind to my opponent, I can win or draw against some of the best players in the world. But I also recognise that normally, those better players will beat me. Is it luck that I get beaten by the top players more often than not? Of course it isn't.

And at the end of the day, Cyanide/Focus set out (and for all it's faults, mainly succeeded) to create a digital version of the TT game, dice and all. They tried a Real Time version of BB in the original BB1 release, and guess what, they dropped it because hardly anyone played it.

last edited by Darkson

@Darkson said in Mixed reviews...:

And at the end of the day, Cyanide/Focus set out (and for all it's faults, mainly succeeded) to create a digital version of the TT game, dice and all. They tried a Real Time version of BB in the original BB1 release, and guess what, they dropped it because hardly anyone played it.

There could be some decent real-time football game, yet still with a lot of tactics and decision making, if implemented like Frozen Cortex tried to do it (just better conducted and featuring some real, hot carnage, not this ephemeral abstract non-essential pseudo-robotic parody on good fight they provided 🙂 That kills all fun right away ). Yet, except from Frozen Cortex, I can't see much. So either there is strong doubt it will find enough audience, or nobody likes the idea that much to actually give it a try, no matter what. And in case of BB you already have a united international community, running tournaments IRL and developing the rules and their own clients to play it. You just know you can get their interest if you simply implement TT rules right. And licensing policies will ensure you won't see much competition. That's pretty good deal, for any company.

last edited by Mori-Mori

@dode74 said in Mixed reviews...:

There is always this...

Yea, pretty much summarizes what I would never want to see in my fantasy football game )) Yet, if it would be done not in FPS format, but in "WEGO realtime-with-pause" like Frozen Cortex tried to deliver, I would definitely give it a try. Simple FPS bashing quickly gets old.

last edited by Mori-Mori

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