Why do we bother with Rumours?

I was musing today, whilst simultaneously copying files onto the new laptop and playing Mass Effect 2 that the rumours regarding 6th Edition 40k that I posted yesterday morning didn’t actually make me feel terribly good about the future of a game I really love to play. Which lead me to the question; why did I bother?

Because the thing about rumours is they are, by their very nature, toxic.

In the cases where the rumours are from an ‘official’ source, the person doing the leaking shouldn’t be but is because either they want to show off or they’re a disgruntled employee. Either way they should probably stop because if someone was leaking stuff about my IP I’d fire them out of a cannon. Literally. It’s also a betrayal of who they work for. And can you ever really trust the word of a traitor?

However the number of times the rumours doing the rounds are third hand, old news, speculations or someone filling in the gaps from the end of a conversation they overheard in their local hobby store. However they come across these bits of ‘news’ they’re motivations are questionable. So often the rumours churned out by forums, wherever they are, can be someone just trying to stir things up, or just sit back and watch the fireworks as their lies ripple through a community who are very passionate about their hobby. As I say; toxic.

It also makes us bitchy. We moan and snipe when we hear news we don’t like. Yes it’s frustrating when an army changes as there’s a cost attached. But hearing about before it’s happened doesn’t change anything and usually comes without the full understanding of why or the rest of the changes so we lack any meaningful insight.

And if we think so I’ll of a company, not naming names, that we think they make changes to just to sell models, why are we bothering at all?

But the real question isn’t why do I bother, it’s why do I care? What happened to waiting for things to just happen? Sure, I’m all for a sneaky photo because I think leaked photos – providing, it was on purpose, is great for building up hype around the hobby. When the new Ogre Kingdoms images were leaked it caused such a stir it was one of GWs best releases in recent years.

And I admit that it’s a little bit pot calling the kettle black as I’m just as guilty as anyone for posting rumours that I’ve found along the way. I need to do this less and focus on what’s actually happening in my hobby now rather than could happen in a couple of months time.

I think there’s also an arrogance when it comes to rumours, whether we admit it or not. We hear a rumour and we instantly decide that the developer in question doesn’t know what they’re doing, that we know better and that the developer is about to ruin our game. This is, aside from remarkably stupid, very destructive as it builds resentment between us and the people who provide us with games and toys that we spend endless hours building, painting and playing.

The fact is that we either put our faith in the developers or we don’t. The most recent 40k rumours made me really nervous about the rules and the fluff, but you know what? It ain’t my game. And if someone told me how to write Project Awesome I’d tell them to fuck the hell off. So I guess that’s kinda what I’m telling myself to do. I’m sure I’ll still get the itch and post the odd article I see but I’m going to try to temper those posts with a modicum of reason.

Because, you know what? It does make sense for the Astartes to protect the Tau, kinda, because in the original Tau Codex it heavily hinted that the Eldar buggered about with the Tau’s evolution because they realised, as the Emperor apparently did, that they are a Chaos proof army. Throw in the fact that the Necrons have taken exception to the anarchy that Chaos and the Tyranids are causing in the Universe and it may just give the Imperium the breathing space it needs to not implode in on itself.

With this in mind I’m going to try to stop listening to rumours. I’m also gonna try to only put up what I think is credible. I’m going to enjoy my hobby more and worry about rule changes less. And, one day, if I’ve stopped enjoying the hobby because the games I play no longer bear any resemblance what I was playing then I shall thank it for the memories and move on down the road.

8 thoughts on “Why do we bother with Rumours?

  1. The reasons we pay attention to rumors is simple: This hobby takes time. A lot of time. Even more so if you try to play competitively. No one wants to start an army, with the goal of building and painting to top competitive standards, which can take a year or more, only to discover that a new codex or edition is coming out which makes all their effort invalid.

    If there were a degree of openness on Games Workshop’s part, you’d at least have an idea what was coming, and be able to alter your plans to suit. For instance, right now, I wouldn’t dare to start a Chaos, Eldar, or Tau army, because there have been a variety of rumors that any of those three might be getting a new codex soon. If I want to win tourneys, I am not going to spend a year lovingly painting and playtesting, for example, a suit based Tau list, when it could be that in 11 months, that new codex finally comes out, which may well make my entire army build invalid.

    Officially we don’t even know that 6th edition is on the way. All signs point to it. Rumors and leaks abound. But not one official word has been made. If I want to start a new army, I have to go completely on guess work and speculation as to what might be “good” in the future. If I guess wrong, I’m going to be incredibly bitter for having wasted large sums of money and countless hours only to discover that everything I was working towards is irrelevant before I even got enough done to use it.

    Imagine a world that went the other way, and GW operated in a more open information sharing fashion. An official GW representative said tomorrow: 6th edition is coming. The following areas are places where the largest changes are coming: Multi-wound Infantry, Assaults, new scenarios, and the addition of Flyers. Further, our current plan is to release a new Tau codex in fall (expect to see a real boost for armies that use Crisis and Stealth suits, and more Kroot options!), a Chaos codex at the beginning of the new year (with many new model releases and the return of the original Legions!), and while we have Eldar in the design studio, we don’t have it scheduled for release any time soon.

    If I were planning on an Eldar army, I could look at that statement and think to myself, ‘Eldar is at least a year out, and nothing in 6th edition seems likely to change my build, which was going to avoid assaults, but I might paint up some extra assault units, since they stand to get better’. I get the mental green light to go ahead with my project. If I were planning a Tau army, OTOH, I’d want to wait 6 months, so that I could get the new codex, and see how the new 6th rules affected my planned build. If I’m playing Codex marines, absolutely nothing affects my army, so I can go whole hog, except for maybe saving some cash aside to buy new flyers when they come out.

    1. The problem with that is 1. we assume the Games Workshop owes us anything – buy their models, don’t buy their models, it makes no difference to them. 2. That they would change the army book as drastically as you suggest.

      1. They have changed army books that drastically in the past. Compare the 3rd, 4th, and 5th edition codexes for Tyranids. Or the 3rd and 5th edition codexes for Dark Eldar. One of the common complaints is that previously crappy units become superb (often accusingly described as being a cash grab to get people to buy new/old models), or that previously overpowered units get “the nerf bat” (again, often accompanied by the complaint that this is deliberately done so that people will again “have to” buy new models or new armies).

        Personally, I think that most of the complaints about GW’s conspiracy to make you buy things is attributing too much foresight to GW. But the point remains. A good build in one version of a codex is not a good build in another version. Or even within the same codex between editions.

        In 4th edition, the 4th ed Tyrannid codex was often used to build 8 monstrous creatures (6 Carnifexes, 2 Hive Tyrants) with minimal ripper swarms as troops. Then, 5th edition came along and suddenly 2 minimum useless troop selections was not a viable army. If you were in the middle of building a Big Bug list for 4th edition when 5th edition came out, you were probably very disappointed. Then came the 5th edition Codex, with 5 new monstrous creatures types (one of which is usually considered “must haves”), and with carnifexes themselves being considered vastly underpowered for their significant increase in points. Likewise if you were building a Genestealer and Carnifex based list using the 4th edition codex in 5th Edition, when the new 5th Edition Tyranid codex came out, you were likewise probably very disappointed.

        As for them “owing” us anything, including advanced insight into their schedule and upcoming changes, well, no they don’t. They’re a business. They don’t owe their customers anything, especially since it’s not like they’re selling warranties or anything like an implied contract. However, any business should be considering what they can do to keep their customers happy. Unhappy customers to elsewhere. Conversely, happy customers bring in other customers. Customers who feel valued and who feel their complaints are being addressed are the happiest, and the ones that are likely to recommend the games to their friends.

      2. Although I agree with some of what you’re saying, the point I was making in my post is that we can’t change any of that. Hearing rumours doesn’t make it better, it only makes us bitter about a past time that’s meant to be fun.

        As GW, or any hobby company, has no reason to listen to us because it’s their game, not ours, it’s a complete waste of time worrying about it. Whatever happens, happens.

        My post is about focussing on enjoying the hobby rather than focussing on what could happen to the hobby down the road. And do GW make changes to make money? Probably but they also change things to make the game fun otherwise no one will play it.

        Although I’m all for lively debate perhaps it’d be better to move this to The Shell Case forum – http://theshellcase.proboards.com

      3. I think a big factor is that Games Workshop combines a complete refusal to give out any information in advance with a marked tendency to introduce relatively big changes to background, rules and model ranges each time a new edition/codex comes out. These create a much greater anxiety amongst gamers compared to companies that are either more forthcoming or less likely to radically change things.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s