Monday, April 22, 2013
Dark Age makes a major announcement!
Dark Age games has always been a company dedicated to refining it's rules and game play. From the twice a year review of units for effectiveness, to the winner of it's tournament circuit getting to make a unit for the game, Dark Age is constantly updating itself. So it should not come as a surprise that they are updating their core rules. The official announcement can be found here. And I recommend you all read it. The rest of this article is about the policies they are implementing alongside the new rulebook.
1. Rules Available Online.
Ever since I got into Dark Age you could play the game as long as you owned the Core Rulebook and nothing else. Everything else you needed to play the game (unit cards, special abilities, weapon abilities, faction documents) has been online. With this change Dark Age is basically saying, try our game free and learn how cool it is. This one policy change makes this most accessible game I have played of this quality. Seriously, your friends can get everything they need to play the game, minus the models, for free. Remind them of that next time you talk to them about the game.
2. Book Trade-In System
"But I just bought a book, and I hate using digital copies in game, I like my books!" I hear this cry from the masses, primarily because I am among them. Apparently so has Dark Age. Bring your old Rulebook to a convention they are at, and they will replace it for free. Yet more free goodness. I wonder how they are paying for all this, but the policy is another sign of how much they want their player base to make this transition as painless as possible. When I make it to Gen Con in august I'll be bringing mine.
3. New Content/New Beginnings
The new rulebook will herald a new way to collect the information needed to play. Right now you need the Core Rulebook, the Weapon and Special Ability printout, the new faction doccuments, and the unit cards. The new rulebook will encompass all of that minus the cards and it will also include the Extreme Tournament Format and Scenarios. This is a great way to make the game easier to understand, all the rules you need are in one place. But didn't I just go on about how they like to update stuff all the time? I did. So won't we be back to needing all those printouts in a year or so? Nope. And this is the policy I have the hardest time accepting. Dark Age is going to put out a new Rulebook every year.... I need to let that sink in. They are going to replace the book every year. And the two policies above will be in effect every time they do. I am sorry, but that is how you take care of your customer base. Make sure your policies don't kill the customer's wallet.
Ah so this is one way they are mitigating the cost. They are going to get the guys like me to buy a new book every year rather than turn them in each year. Why guys like me? I'm a collector at heart, and if each book is different enough and unique enough I won't give them up. We'll see how this works out, but the collector in me is excited to see the new armies and sub-factions to get a featured look each year.
So there you have it, Dark Age is laying it out there to keep their game fresh and polished. They are entering into some great customer service policies, and I applaud the thought that went into them. Other gaming companies could learn something about the this level of customer interaction and service. Oh, and then there is this line from Mr. Black "This is a new beginning for Dark Age, and things are only going to get more badass from here." I am so excited by that statement my wallet is crying in the corner. Until next time...