- Apr 23, 2020
- Reaction score
- Kent, Ohio
- First name
Very, very nice post. Well thought out and expressed well also.Nowadays the production of new scenarios is much higher than 10 or 20 years ago. Unless the number of players is also increased ( and I do not think so) it's hard to think that today we have more playtesters than 15 years ago. More scenarios and the same number or less of active players means less playtesters per scenario as average cutting the number of playings for any playtest. The good new is that this does not imply that old scenarios, tested more longer, are necessarily better than today.
Most Designers and publishers(and playtesters too) are into this business by decades. They have learned how to create a good scenario and to recognize the bad ones, thus is not necessary to test to the death more and more times.
but let me say two words about playtesting
I think that playtesting works in two directions. The first is to check if the scenario works, if there are mistakes in the OBs, in the SSRs or in the VCs. The scenario "works" if everything put into it has a reason to exist and is useful to add options or at least is a necessary help to the attacker or to the defender. It works if everything allowed, prohibited by a SSR or requested by the VCs is crystal clear. More eyes read the scenario sheet, and more likely it will be formally perfect. Nothing else to add.
Secondary the playtest helps to find and acceptable balance.
This is a critical point.
Balance is subjective in any scenario, because it depends on who actually plays it. I would be suspicious if the reports from the playtest section say for 50/50 when the playtesters are all different in skill and experience. If an evenly balance appears before or after publication, it happens by chance.
So I would use as playtesters for balance only top players . If not available I would not waste further time to search an instable balance possible just because incidentally the playtesters played at a similar ( not high) level.
This brings to the final point. At which level of play a scenario should be balanced? Some say that a scenario ideally should be balanced at any level of play. I disagree. If a scenario is balanced at any level it happens usually by chance or because is dull and flat and everybody notice at first sight the few obvius and necessary things to do.
Personally I do not have an answer. I think it's impossible to have scenario fun, with high replayability and balanced for newbies and for top players at the same time. Not at least in the conventional form we are used.
A lot to think about.
When we playtested our focus was more on the does it work level than balance. We considered balance, as competent playtesters should, but balance was a secondary consideration. Playability and fun were much more important.
I like your opinion of " balance " and will discuss it shortly with Brigadier Bacardi.
Very nice post. Well done you and thanks for the input!!