• Why I'm Leaving Dice Masters

    Well, here it goes…

    So, I’ve been struggling lately with the difference between “quitting” and “moving on”. It’s not the first time I’ve struggled with this… not by a long shot. About four years ago I made the choice to stop playing for my indoor soccer team. Two years ago I stopped my professional wrestling training. Now, this is another one of those tough choices. Well, no need to spoil this now in the first paragraph. Read on.

    To fully understand where I’m coming from, let’s take a look back at our timeline. First, the infamous rule update from a little over a week ago.

    So… Jocasta, Patterned After Janet does not work how the card is written. That’s fantastic. I’m not an English major. But I do fancy myself a bit of a writer. When a card says “…instead, deal that damage to your opponent.”, but it was meant to convey “…prevent that damage. Deal that much damage to your opponent.”, the only reasonable thing to take away is that I have no rational way to interpret the words they choose to describe the way a card works. There are serious problems with the wording on cards and the abilities they actually have. The eratta’d Star-Lord and Wasp being prime examples. Do you remember the storm I unleashed when I said that Beholder’s global works differently with a new rewording of the rule book? That has yet to even be acknowledged by WizKids. How on Earth am I supposed to teach the game to new players when the most recent set, after the game has been available for over a year, has blatant errors that need the WizKids Rules Forum to clarify or correct before it’s officially released? There is a real lack of quality with this game. Moving forward, this also means that we can only be 99% sure of just about every card released, until we see a Rules Forum update, confirming its legal use.

    The next topic, I have to be a bit vague on. Sorry.

    Recently, an issue arose that took us all by surprise. I don't want to break any confidence here, but it made us all reflect on our approach and how we felt about the game as a whole, not just the individual aspects of it, like the community, which we love. All of us here at TRP have taken a step back, and evaluated our thoughts and feelings. It may seem like a cop-out to not go in to details, but it’s not my place.

    To some of you, these items may not seem like much. But to me, these are big. I can’t just pull out the game and teach it to new people without having to pull up the Rules Forum to explain why some cards don’t work like the text implies. Or what the difference between “character” and “character” are when referring to die or card. Or why sometimes you count unique characters, and sometimes you count total number of character dice. People keep saying “Well, Magic was pretty awful when it first came out.” My response to that is “It’s 2015. I have other gaming options.” Marvel Comics are what brought me to Dice Masters, but with Legendary and the release of the new VS System from Upper Deck (I know UDE isn’t perfect), now WizKids isn’t my only option for Marvel Comics gaming. Magic may have had a rough start back in the day, but it’s a different world now. There are so many games that I haven’t played because I’ve been focusing on Dice Masters. I purchased Sentinel Tactics late last year and have only played it one time. One. Time. And I purchased a couple of preconstructed Mega Man decks for the Universal Fighting System card game. I haven’t gotten a chance to try that out since GenCon yet. But I’ve been playing Dice Masters… a game that grows more and more frustrating every day.

    So, here’s the tough part. The feels. I’ve met so many awesome people through this game. The Dice Masters community is a thing of beauty. It really is. There are so many generous, caring, honest people who play this game, it almost make all of the flaws worth it. So, from the bottom of my heart, with absolute sincerity, thank you. If we met at my first local scene up in Mentor, OH, thank you. If we met in Cuyahoga Falls, OH at the two events we held there, thank you. If we met at U.S. Nationals in Maryland, thank you. If we met at the local scene down in Massilon, OH, thank you. If we met at GenCon just a few weeks ago, thank you. If you’ve ever commented on my articles, sent me a private message, tagged me in a comment, or traded with me here or over on the subreddit, thank you. You guys make this game so much fun. And if things change, and Dice Masters turns a corner, I may be back. I’m not burning any bridges here at The Reserve Pool. I will still be working on some stuff behind the scenes. You just won't see me playing, contributing, or posting articles on the front line. I've made some incredible friends and built great relationships here with other staff members. Those are worth holding on to.

    Like I said at the beginning of this article, it’s tough to know the difference between “quitting” and “moving on”. Lately, I’ve noticed all the painting I haven’t been doing. And all the personal writing I haven’t been doing. And I’ve been developing a card and dice game of my own, and initial play testing looks promising… but those are things that take time. And anything I choose to do in life comes after taking care of my family. So Dice Masters, which can never be the most important thing I do, has become increasingly frustrating. So much so, that it hasn’t been fun lately. And games should be fun.

    This isn’t goodbye. I’ll just see you later.

    P.S. #1 I’ll be looking to sell my collection off in pieces. I’ll have a post up soon with what I have and prices.

    P.S. #2 As always... .

    P.S. #3 “Before I go, I just want to tell you, you were fantastic. Absolutely fantastic. And you know what? So was I.”
    Comments 46 Comments
    1. Ressless's Avatar
      Ressless -
      Good and Honest Decision !
      Reminds me of a Friend that told me 4 months ago, that he couldnt learn any new rules or gain this happiness with new board games. Now i see him once in a while making demo games for his beloved games that he loves and like all the time and he is focusing more on P&P Roleplaying games. And he looks much happier than before.

      I guess taking a pause or moving on to see things in different lights and of all seeing new things is better than nagging and staying on one spot.

      Right now iam on the point where i dont have any creativity in this game. Not because there will be new stuff, but because this games habits are coming again and again, even with new sets.
      And that i think effects everybody here.
      I hate to admit it, but this rule discussions for example exhausting me, even if i dont write my 2 cents about it and it makes me feel bad to play this parts of this game. But dont get it wrong, this happens with some other games i love too right now.

      And this game didnt even started. At has so much potential, but that needs time and manpower and think just 2-3 websites with lets say 5-7 people maybe is nearly not enough to do all this work. So it is on us all to do something about it!

      Well here i am praying these things, but myself has not all this power to do so much for the community, but i hope that all here giving their best to achieve one day a flourishing game in a already flourishing community! You guys are great!
    1. Zeriphem's Avatar
      Zeriphem -
      It's sad to see you go but I completely understand. I've played Wizkids products since Mage Knight first released so I've gotten used to their rulings and word usage over the years. It's not just Dice Masters, it's always just been somewhere between bad and .....huh? Spider-bomb was a big example of this that to this day still upsets me. Now it doesn't upset me because of how they ruled, but because I asked the question "Does this also effect Spider-man The Amazing?" Never did get an answer which I assumed because StA wasn't meta enough to warrant one.

      If anything I would keep two teams. Keep a competitive team and a teaching team, downsize the rest. The game will change because it has to or it will die. Everyone talks how great the DM community is and how we drive the game. It's time for Wizkids to realize that as well. With all the passion for this game they should want to give us a quality product. Currently they only offer a quantity product. It's time for them to find that line between quantity and quality. Maybe you taking a step back will be the wake up call.

      All I can hope for is that we'll see links and reviews for the new games your getting into. Best way to make a game successful is word of mouth.

      Safe travels.
    1. RonBurgandylive's Avatar
      RonBurgandylive -
      And that's what I've been saying. We as the consumers of this game have more power then we realize. If we all took 5 minutes and messaged WizKids on Facebook or emailed them outlining our issues in a constructive way and saying our concerns for the longetivity of the game if they aren't fixed, then I believe we could make a difference. We can offer to play test for them or even English professionals can help them with wording. We just need enough people holding them accountable for a gross negligence of quality vs. quantity.
    1. Ressless's Avatar
      Ressless -
      Quote Originally Posted by RonBurgandylive View Post
      And that's what I've been saying. We as the consumers of this game have more power then we realize. If we all took 5 minutes and messaged WizKids on Facebook or emailed them outlining our issues in a constructive way and saying our concerns for the longetivity of the game if they aren't fixed, then I believe we could make a difference. We can offer to play test for them or even English professionals can help them with wording. We just need enough people holding them accountable for a gross negligence of quality vs. quantity.
      Well TimoTischel started in the DM Facebook groups a group question, or more like this, asking people to ask one special question several times.

      So should we maybe make a Thread , where we focus Question, send them in a good and correct english to them and hope to an answer or everybody sending the same Question.
      Could be good or bad, but the more time is going in the lands of dice the more cards with rules will overrun us.
    1. Bestia's Avatar
      Bestia -
      It is sad it has come to this

      I hope this brought to wizkids attention and they are held over the coals until they improve their rule writting

      Screw it - I couldnt leave it alone - https://twitter.com/ImperialTruthPC/...59462407933952 (feel free to retweet until someone at wizkids respond)

      Good luck in what ever you find yourself doing, and I am sure I speak for everyone, when I say you will always have place here
    1. Wargfn's Avatar
      Wargfn -
      I know this pain, especially about the rules. you shouldn't have to write a caching script and work on publishing an app to put all this together. I am playing and supporting the game in hopes that keywordingn gets better and the rule wordings flatten out.

      And anyone in this community has to notice that several sites are burning out due to these exact same factors. You have a new child, go enjoy time with the kids.
    1. DigitalFirefly's Avatar
      DigitalFirefly -
      Good luck Randy. Thanks for helping to get TRP to where it is today. I always enjoyed hearing you on the podcasts.

      *edit* I share your issues noted above as well.
    1. Green Knight's Avatar
      Green Knight -
      I'm sad to see you go @Randy you will be missed, I understand where you are coming from and do truly hope that Wizkids straightens things out with more consistent wording and rules. I also look forward to the day that they reverse the ruling on Jocasta. So until then, so long and thanks for all the fish!
    1. IgwanaRob's Avatar
      IgwanaRob -
      Hopefully they'll get their act together by the time they do a Wrestling set. Sadly, both seem more like wishful thinking these days...

      On a positive note, everyone loves a comeback (did you see the Dudley Boyz on RAW last night?!?), so maybe if Wizkids can take up one of the many people that have volunteered to help them make their product better the game will be worth revisiting for you as well.
    1. Tischel181's Avatar
      Tischel181 -
      "a game that grows more and more frustrating every day."
      I can feel this...
    1. Scum's Avatar
      Scum -
      I support whatever decision you feel needs made. Find that happy place in life.
    1. RJRETRO's Avatar
      RJRETRO -
      Quote Originally Posted by IgwanaRob View Post
      (did you see the Dudley Boyz on RAW last night?!?)
      Yeah, that was pretty awesome.

      The end reveal was even better.
    1. Bestia's Avatar
      Bestia -
      I`m watching currently ...so STFU .....:P (did you see what I did there)
    1. IgwanaRob's Avatar
      IgwanaRob -
      Quote Originally Posted by RJRETRO View Post
      Yeah, that was pretty awesome.

      The end reveal was even better.
      Sadly, my DVR cut off before the end, but I knew it was going to be something like that (knowing who was supposed to be show up at some point).

      Dudley's took me by surprise as it's only been 2 weeks since Bully/Bubba was 'taken out' on TNA. Even though he was in the Royal Rumble for a few minutes, they usually wait a few months between leaving one company and reappearing in another.
    1. pk2317's Avatar
      pk2317 -
      @Randy - sorry to hear that, but I completely understand your feelings and frustrations. Hopefully this will let you focus on the more important stuff.

      Also I love your P.S. #3 quote
    1. Crestfallen's Avatar
      Crestfallen -
      Quality issues aside, a main concern for me has been the constant delay and/or absence of clarity. Wizkids answers Heroclix questions on the Rules Forum almost daily but only pop up once a month or so to answer five DM questions, two of which were answered in the past, and the last one easily answered by reading the rules. It seems there's little impulse or priority given to meeting these needs. These issues affect the quality of the gaming experience.

      The Jocasta ruling makes no sense whatsoever, particularly given prior rulings on redirection of damage. Also confusing are the issues of identifying which card is the "source" of the damage when multiple character/action abilities are in play and what constitutes damage being dealt vs. simply modified/redirected by a character ability. The answers to these complex interaction can't be reliable ascertained intuitively or by reading the card text literally. This can be incredibly aggravating when a game is on the line and neither player can make sense of what's suppose to happen. No one wants to interrupt a game to embark deep exegesis to realize that there are no answers.

      I love the game and almost play it exclusively at this point due to my limited time but I must say I'm growing increasingly frustrated.
    1. beastmasterjc's Avatar
      beastmasterjc -
      The thing that I find hardest to believe is that Wizkids is NOT a small company. This is not their only game. A company that makes lots of games should know how to make a game. It's not even a really new genre. They make other competitive, collectible games as well. I don't play hero clix, but does it also suffer from a complete lack of quality control?
      Maybe if this was some small, indi company putting out their first major title, I'd be a little more lenient, but with a large, established gaming company, there is no excuse. Step it up Wizkids, or there will be lots more stories like this one.
    1. Scum's Avatar
      Scum -
      @beastmasterjc Clix has similar control problems. Also, WizKids is a pretty small company. Only 10 or so employees.
    1. Razorback's Avatar
      Razorback -
      @Randy , I'm sorry to see you go. I have really enjoyed your contributions to the Reserve Pool. Your segments and your articles are some of my favorites.
    1. Doctor Oetker's Avatar
      Doctor Oetker -
      I think WK shot themselves in the foot a bit with all things related to "source of damage" and "damage from character abilities". If they just would have kept the definition of damage simple disregarding the source of that damage, things would have been easier.