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 How To Keep The Fans Happy 
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Denizen
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A long time ago, I pledged a dollar for Middara, but ended up deciding not to order. But that dollar means I still get all the updates.

For those of you who don't know, Middara ran its Kickstarter in May of 2015, almost three years ago. Delivery was estimated for March 2016. For reference, that date is nine months before Super Dungeon Legends was supposed to ship.

Middara did not have to rewrite the rules. They just had to finish the game and send it to production. And they have still not sent anything. It is two years late. Compare that to Legends, which is currently 15 months late, with what I would consider a pretty darn good excuse. They will likely ship at almost the same time.

And yet, Middara backers are almost unilaterally understanding. They are friendly, and even when they're frustrated, they're polite about it. Legends is drawing death threats, for crying out loud, and it's both less overdue and more excusable.

The difference comes down to one simple factor - intelligent communication. Middara's updates are not as regular as Legends, but they are far more informational. They share status, offer dates, explain delays and otherwise lay out all the issues they're having.

I still have complete faith in SPM to deliver on the Legends Kickstarter. I want them to succeed and prosper and thrive. But man alive, do I wish they could have just talked to us. Speak frankly, explain delays, and be as forthright and honest as possible. Because when I see the Middara fans and then I see SDE fans, I want to trade. Send the lunatic fringe, babbling psychos over there, and bring us those nice people.

Of course, SPM would probably just make the nice people angry with an update about a race we haven't heard of using minis we don't own, so it's probably just as well we keep our jabbering nutbars.


March 19th, 2018, 10:52 pm
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Denizen
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I'm in the same boat as you buddy. I have faith that SPM will deliver, but I wish we'd get a meaningful update periodically, if only to silence the more bitter backers.

That said, SPM told us we'd get a substantial production update this month, and there are 12 days left in March.

So long as we get an update no later than 11:59pm on 31 March the year our lord 2018, and it tells us where the project is in production (preferably with a projected delivery date) then they've made good on their word. Anything less and even I can't say anything in their defense. >_<


March 19th, 2018, 11:29 pm
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Minion
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Same as kingdom death, super delayed but community still supportive & second Kickstarter exploded despite those delays.

The mistake soda pop make is sending out updates with no information in them. They should stay quiet & let people forget until they have something meaningful to placate them.


March 20th, 2018, 12:11 am
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Minion
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The problem was they tried to keep up with this ridiculous "one update a week" nonsense to keep the community involved. But that started the trend of blank updates when they had nothing to say; check the Rail Raiders updates during Chinese NY 2017 (starts at #54 with an update to say they have no info)....started asking people their favourite cowboy books/films and names of scifi outlaw groups.....it was Facebook tier comms, not a KS update.

Still doesnt excuse the empty updates now....its getting close to a year since the Arcade rules were finalized, last Sept they showed the moulds for the Arcade minis! I was thinking it would be a quick turnaround then to get the art and proofing done...but alas no. Its obvious they held back to get RR and WotF out the door, but didnt have the stones to admit it!

Same for the last update "err were at GAMA, cant do big update".....so this Wednesday had better be big and not a text document they could knock out a few days in advance! Didnt stop them doing minute to minute updates of the RR shipping, including pics of them unloading them, in the few days before Gencon though.


March 20th, 2018, 1:00 am
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I also think a big problem was making certain promises, but lacking the skill/will to fulfill them.
From now on we'll make regular production updates! But next week... nothing... It left a bad taste in many mouths - and frankly rightfully so.

I don't believe the "damned if they do damned if they don't-theory". Sure at this point perhaps, but that's because they over many months have painted themselves in a corner regarding goodwill. If they made "Justin"-updates and apoligized and stated any and all facts, it would'nt be too late to turn the ship around.

Oh...! And stopped pouring gazoline on the fire with stuff like limited overpriced resin models... Just sayin' :)

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March 20th, 2018, 11:11 am
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Denizen
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Goblin-King wrote:
Oh...! And stopped pouring gazoline on the fire with stuff like limited overpriced resin models... Just sayin' :)

And maybe also answer a ****ing email now and then. I swear it's like the people running SPM are thinking, 'if we make nice plastic nobody will care if our customer service is managed by bridge trolls.'


March 20th, 2018, 2:59 pm
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Denizen
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I've actually been happy with the response time and content of customer service for the SPM store for the purchases I've made this year (since I haven't bought anything since the Legend KS). I am assuming others are not getting the same service, though =/.


March 20th, 2018, 7:17 pm
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InfinityMax wrote:
....'if we make nice plastic nobody will care if our customer service is managed by bridge trolls.'


If ONLY it was plastic! This resin stuff is terrible! More expensive, more cleaning... I am done with the resin models now.

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March 20th, 2018, 8:08 pm
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I really agree with this OP. I was never a part of that other game's kickstarter, so idk how communicative they are with their fans. I do think SPM could easily be more engaged with the fanbase though. Lately it's felt very silent and instead of trying to rope everyone back in, they're selling these resin minis for high prices... I do not like this level of communication or this pattern.

What ever happened to the video updates that Deke was doing for a while, did they just drop that? I've wondered...

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March 24th, 2018, 8:22 pm
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In terms of what happened to video updates and just in general community engagement I think they let negativity from the backers get to them and killed it. Note: I'm not condoning that or blaming the backers.

I think they had expected to say, "We're going to be more transparent" and everyone would immediately forgive. That didn't happen. And so when people were negative or hostile in those new engagements they just shut down. What they needed to do was take a hard look at that feedback, find the kernels of truth ;the reason behind whatever vitriol, and address it. Like this latest update, there is a lot of information, but primarily superficial just leading to more questions.

Had they really continued with transparency and engagement week by week the negativity would have likely decreased. Heck, they could probably still do that, but now its going to take even more time and effort and absorbing some hate. Heck, just having Justin constantly engaged improved atmosphere a great deal and with that engagement gone its spiraled once more. Granted there is more than just his loss now that is eating at people.


March 24th, 2018, 9:10 pm
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I think rudehero is right - A big part of it is that they just tended to give up too quickly.
Basically every promise of improvement lasted exactly 1 (one) update - then back to their old ways. Like children who can't understand the results aren't coming in immediately.
Fact is that trust has to be built up over long time. Justin was doing a good job building up that trust by being visible and communicating directly to the customers.
Notice how often the other ND/SPM members write on the forums - I think that says a lot (oh, and if you wonder, it's never).

To be quite frank, I'm beginning to even doubt we'll ever see the game. The factory news combined with the announcement of suddenly no refunds worries me a lot.
The thing is, that it's not just a communication problem. It's not just angry customers in the dark. The company obviously has a lot of very real serious problems that affects customers.
I also honestly think that with these recent resin releases the company has lost their final shreds of integrity.
They literally made an event-pokemon. Blink and it's gone forever.
They've also denounced their no-assembly required principle - not that I mind at all - but it's the fact that they are moving away from every single standpoint they've ever had that's worrying.
I think the company today is a very different company from what they were pre-Legends. This crisis has made them make choices they wouldn't have made earlier.

So what would it take to reel me back in? Assuming we get over current crisis.

* Actually deliver Legends KS - duuh
* Find an EU warehouse so I can actually buy their stuff
* Announce a return to their no-exclusive miniatures policy
* Announce re-releases of all resin miniatures in plastic (Also **** everyone who bought one because they speculated in it being exclusive/limited - you are just the worst)

Anything less, and my SDE-fire won't be reignited...

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March 25th, 2018, 9:11 am
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Goblin-King wrote:
I think rudehero is right - A big part of it is that they just tended to give up too quickly.
Basically every promise of improvement lasted exactly 1 (one) update - then back to their old ways. Like children who can't understand the results aren't coming in immediately.
Fact is that trust has to be built up over long time. Justin was doing a good job building up that trust by being visible and communicating directly to the customers.
Notice how often the other ND/SPM members write on the forums - I think that says a lot (oh, and if you wonder, it's never).

To be quite frank, I'm beginning to even doubt we'll ever see the game. The factory news combined with the announcement of suddenly no refunds worries me a lot.
The thing is, that it's not just a communication problem. It's not just angry customers in the dark. The company obviously has a lot of very real serious problems that affects customers.
I also honestly think that with these recent resin releases the company has lost their final shreds of integrity.
They literally made an event-pokemon. Blink and it's gone forever.
They've also denounced their no-assembly required principle - not that I mind at all - but it's the fact that they are moving away from every single standpoint they've ever had that's worrying.
I think the company today is a very different company from what they were pre-Legends. This crisis has made them make choices they wouldn't have made earlier.

So what would it take to reel me back in? Assuming we get over current crisis.

* Actually deliver Legends KS - duuh
* Find an EU warehouse so I can actually buy their stuff
* Announce a return to their no-exclusive miniatures policy
* Announce re-releases of all resin miniatures in plastic (Also **** everyone who bought one because they speculated in it being exclusive/limited - you are just the worst)

Anything less, and my SDE-fire won't be reignited...


Honestly, I couldn't have said it better myself.

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March 25th, 2018, 10:02 am
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Minion
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Goblin-King wrote:
I think rudehero is right - A big part of it is that they just tended to give up too quickly.
Basically every promise of improvement lasted exactly 1 (one) update - then back to their old ways. Like children who can't understand the results aren't coming in immediately.
Fact is that trust has to be built up over long time. Justin was doing a good job building up that trust by being visible and communicating directly to the customers.
Notice how often the other ND/SPM members write on the forums - I think that says a lot (oh, and if you wonder, it's never).

To be quite frank, I'm beginning to even doubt we'll ever see the game. The factory news combined with the announcement of suddenly no refunds worries me a lot.
The thing is, that it's not just a communication problem. It's not just angry customers in the dark. The company obviously has a lot of very real serious problems that affects customers.
I also honestly think that with these recent resin releases the company has lost their final shreds of integrity.
They literally made an event-pokemon. Blink and it's gone forever.
They've also denounced their no-assembly required principle - not that I mind at all - but it's the fact that they are moving away from every single standpoint they've ever had that's worrying.
I think the company today is a very different company from what they were pre-Legends. This crisis has made them make choices they wouldn't have made earlier.

So what would it take to reel me back in? Assuming we get over current crisis.

* Actually deliver Legends KS - duuh
* Find an EU warehouse so I can actually buy their stuff
* Announce a return to their no-exclusive miniatures policy
* Announce re-releases of all resin miniatures in plastic (Also **** everyone who bought one because they speculated in it being exclusive/limited - you are just the worst)

Anything less, and my SDE-fire won't be reignited...


I feel your pain (I'll fully admit I bought the limited resins, but it'snot necessarily for the reason you might think. ^ ^')

I think one big problem is that Legends is continually on the backburner, which to me, is both a little telling, and possibly the most dangerous.

SDE IS their flagship product. If they don't deliver that campaign, it's over for them. And I mean completely.

I had a friend that ran a kickstarter and he failed. Even ran on a skeleton crew and a super- low budget. Something went horribly wrong with one of his developers and the the whole project fell apart. He and his lead artist also had health issues from overworking themselves. It sounds almost exactly like this Kickstarter... except it was his first and only time running one. The parallels to his and this Kickstarter are shockingly similar except for that one facet.... >:

Anyways, the point is, when he didn't deliver, he got death threats, lawsuit threats. to this day, people still visit that page and post on it. They looked him up, got his address, CRAZY things like that.

I don't wanna see that happen to the members of SPM; I highly doubt it'll get that vicious (but maybe since they're actually a known company...?) But I will say that they'll never be able to do anything public again. Anyone gets a whif of anybody who worked for ND doing anything, people will do their damndest to make sure they remember what they did forever. So even if they can get off "obligation free" from completing this Kickstarter because "hey, kickstarter, sorry..." their members are known enough that they'll be targets for the rest of their days (or at least for a good while). ):


March 25th, 2018, 2:04 pm
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Quote:
* Announce re-releases of all resin miniatures in plastic (Also **** everyone who bought one because they speculated in it being exclusive/limited - you are just the worst)


I have bought the resin miniatures. I'm just the worst? **** me, right?

:roll:

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March 25th, 2018, 3:55 pm
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Denizen
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Foxwhisperer wrote:
Quote:
* Announce re-releases of all resin miniatures in plastic (Also **** everyone who bought one because they speculated in it being exclusive/limited - you are just the worst)


I have bought the resin miniatures. I'm just the worst? **** me, right?

:roll:


That's what he said. I bought two Raiders and two Sweetheart Candy's so I guess I'm deplorable. The 2nd Tusk Raider I donated to a UK backer who didn't get in on the first wave in time. In return he's helping me by making some digital maps for my Legends Campaign.

The second Sweetheart Candy is a gift to my nieces in Australia who love the game and play it with my brother.

Plastic versions of the exclusives would be great. Those however would slow down Legends production. A key reason they're going with resin is because it can be produced without delaying the Kickstarter.


March 25th, 2018, 4:31 pm
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Denizen
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Goblin-King wrote:
* Actually deliver Legends KS - duuh
* Find an EU warehouse so I can actually buy their stuff
* Announce a return to their no-exclusive miniatures policy
* Announce re-releases of all resin miniatures in plastic (Also **** everyone who bought one because they speculated in it being exclusive/limited - you are just the worst)


I think everyone can agree with the first two points. It's extremely rotten that non US fans are penalized so heavily and at the shipping/customs prices I've heard folks pay...it'd definitely price me out of the game.

I'm not sure I agree with the third with the current policy of only doing exclusives for crossover/non-SDE themed minis as that doesn't tie their hands to do crossovers (assuming those ever get delivered, either). Cross promotion/marketing and adding chibi miniatures to other games to make them more kid friendly I think are a win/win except for completionist fans. I was also upset when I found out they changed the policy, but then I really thought about it, it made sense, and when I heard how the non-SDE fans responded/how they were going to use the minis, I can't get behind that.

As for the re-release resin/Masterwork in plastic, I think you know this isn't feasible from a business standpoint and being upset with folks for their purchases is petty. I think what you're hoping for/getting at is you were hoping everyone would boycott resin so they'd instead release in plastic, but I think all that would've done is...killed even the option for resin, which I think is a shame.

I think the resin market primarily hurts completionists and as with every SPM product it seems, international folks b/c no retail option, but as long as these remain (in my mind) expansion materials...then I think that is ok. We'll see what happens with SPM and keeping their word (which we know they are bad at or forced to break), but as long as the Warband/Level/Starter boxes remain plastic, I think that's what most folks want and can expect.

Ultimately products will be priced for what folks will pay for them. If folks don't, expect to see discounts/sales (which is how I do most of my expansion SDE/NAS shopping)


March 25th, 2018, 4:42 pm
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sleepy_laughter wrote:
As for the re-release resin/Masterwork in plastic, I think you know this isn't feasible from a business standpoint and being upset with folks for their purchases is petty. I think what you're hoping for/getting at is you were hoping everyone would boycott resin so they'd instead release in plastic, but I think all that would've done is...killed even the option for resin, which I think is a shame.

I think the resin market primarily hurts completionists and as with every SPM product it seems, international folks b/c no retail option, but as long as these remain (in my mind) expansion materials...then I think that is ok. We'll see what happens with SPM and keeping their word (which we know they are bad at or forced to break), but as long as the Warband/Level/Starter boxes remain plastic, I think that's what most folks want and can expect.

Ultimately products will be priced for what folks will pay for them. If folks don't, expect to see discounts/sales (which is how I do most of my expansion SDE/NAS shopping)

This is the nail on the head. The cost to develop a single model mould (for the likes of Heroes, Mini-Bosses, NAS Ronin) are just not economically viable on their own. The cost to tool a mould for, say the Walrus rider, would need a sell through in the hundreds, maybe more if they have to drop the price as $40 is too much for folks for a plastic Hero, no matter the size. Add on sculpting costs, production costs, assembly and packing costs, transport, SPMs operating costs and maybe...just maybe....some profit at the end, you would need a sell through in the thousands. And thats an upfront cost, it could be years before a model becomes profitable, or at least pays off its development!

Resin moulds last far fewer casts than plastic moulds but are far cheaper, so cost can be paced out over years. Resin is more expensive, but the increased cost of them is accounting for that. The faster turn around (since cast in USA and dont need to assemble) means they can operate on a shorter stock window, sending orders for recasts in the dozens rather than having to make a thousand strong order in the hope to return its production cost. If they want to go exclusive to their store, fair enough. It sucks for us Euros but hopefully they get off their arses and sort something for EU distribution soon, even if its having "partner" online stores that will get a small collection of the online exclusives....I dunno. But this current resin idea is far better than shipping thousands of plastic minis out to stores to sit idle on shelves, waiting to be discounted....thats a waste of resources.

Just dont like using resin...fair enough, not good enough reason for them to switch these back to plastic. Go online and search for "resin miniature shop"...there are hundreds of companies out there making hundreds of thousands of miniatures in resin and it seems to work out well for them, and most sell similar scale miniatures for $40 too so its not a price thing. Hell even GW, the king of plastic crack over-production, have Forgeworld which operates almost exclusively in resin, because they saw the uptake of these collectors models wouldnt be viable for plastic sets!


March 25th, 2018, 6:08 pm
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Denizen
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As for the topic of what can they do to make fans happy until the SDE:L product delivers, in my mind, the product breakdown is:

1) Miniatures (obviously, this is why most of us got into SDE:L KS in the first place!)
2) Game Rules - exploded from an errata of Classic & Arcade to a rewrite of Classic, Arcade, Legends, and added Pet Parade
3) Tangible product to play the games (cards, tiles, etc.)

In terms of what we have:
1) Digital Rule book for for Classic, Arcade, and Pet Parade
2) Digital Classic & Arcade cards for every miniature (except Spites, I think)
3) Digital Loot/Treasure cards for every miniature
4) Digital Game cards (e.g. challenge, plot, MMC, etc.) for Arcade and Pet Parade
5) Beta Digital Legends

Combined with SDE product available at retail now, this means most fans can already play Classic, Arcade, and Pet Parade *if* they don't mind proxy. At least for me, I paid $50 at Staples to get the Arcade Core Cards, MMC, Backpack, and Pet Parade printed on card stock (so I'd get free shipping), which would normally feel crazy/bad to me, but knowing that the alternative is to use weak paper proxies for the next year...well, I've definitely spent/wasted more money on other hobbies/ventures. I don't expect folks should need to or feel obligated to do this, but the option exists.

If they don't mind the extra work to use the Beta content and heavy proxy, then they have the toolkit to develop and play Legends.

Between *now* and when folks get the miniatures and tangible game product, since those are tied together, what I'd like to see:

1) Preview/Digital SDE Legends material. I don't think this will be realistic until much further down the line since it sounds like they purposefully put this on hold until they could get production going so....we'll see. There are folks that have been houseruling their own SDE Legends style campaigns so I don't know how much actual interest there would be in this, but this is the 'game mode' I backed the KS to get.

2) More Legends Lore material in addition to artwork (but not as a substitute for a production update!). The centaur update was not bad, but horribly timed and thus poorly received. The art is still wonderful, imo, and I wonder how many other awesome things they have behind closed doors that could help build positive interest in the game. The Gloomborn champion piqued my interest b/c I had not read through the Legends material yet (and I expect really no one has), but it didn't have any meat in it like...why would I want to play a Gloomborn champ? What is one? Will there be a model for one? If not, what model may suffice as a suitable proxy?

3) Better community outreach/interaction. This is likely not being done due to lack of resources/staff/appropriate return. But, things like Golden Kobold, contests for painting, coloring book, SDE:L character background submissions, SDE: L campaign idea submissions, tile submissions, fan art, etc. etc. Things that they could say Hey, you know what, SDE:L is still in dev SOOOO, maybe if you submit us something cool (instead of harassing/threatening us) let's see what we can fold into base product as a bonus. I don't think this is realistic b/c this generally requires this to be someone's job and although I know they have someone heading up marketing, it's clearly not for SDE given how things have progressed. Even something like a spotlight on community member and/or their miniature collection (b/c there are a ton of fans with crazy awesome collections painted up).

4) Resin Release schedule. Even though I'm sure this'll make a ton of people angry, for the folks that are in a position to purchase or international that want to know when they can wait/bundle/save up money to get a bunch of stuff, this'd be nice. It'd give us something to look forward to rather than the dreaded 'will they update or won't they and how much emotional turmoil will I experience/KS comment vitriol I'll need to avoid). I doubt they'll do this b/c they don't like to publish deadlines they may miss and again, the SDE community likely will react negatively until SDE:L has substantial progress.

Ultimately, I don't expect any of these b/c they're not obligated to provide anything and the time to commit to any of these is time away from doing something that 'needs' to be doing (theoretically b/c it hasn't been communicated what these things are!).

From my end, I plan to keep painting, play Arcade, using SDE as my hook in my game group (since I'm the only one that has it and the only person that's actually painting miniatures for any game), and play the loooong game since I would like to play this with my child once she's old enough so I have time. I do think it's horribly unfortunate for the folks that wanted this to play with their kids b/f they outgrew it/left for college, but that's always the risk with anything that's not literally on the shelf to pick up and bring home.


March 25th, 2018, 7:50 pm
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Foxwhisperer wrote:
I have bought the resin miniatures. I'm just the worst? **** me, right?

Not if you bought it because you wanted it! Only if you bought it to speculate in eBay prices.
If you bought 25 to sell on eBay at triple price you deserve to lose your "investment" to a plastic re-release.
This was meant as a stab at scalpers - NOT everybody who bought the models.

Sorry if I wasn't more clear on this point.

Holy Cross wrote:
I bought two Raiders and two Sweetheart Candy's so I guess I'm deplorable. The 2nd Tusk Raider I donated to a UK backer who didn't get in on the first wave in time. In return he's helping me by making some digital maps for my Legends Campaign.

The second Sweetheart Candy is a gift to my nieces in Australia who love the game and play it with my brother.

Absolutely no problem. You actually want the miniatures - AND you wouldn't be hurt in any way from a plastic re-release. God speed!

sleepy_laughter wrote:
As for the re-release resin/Masterwork in plastic, I think you know this isn't feasible from a business standpoint and being upset with folks for their purchases is petty. I think what you're hoping for/getting at is you were hoping everyone would boycott resin so they'd instead release in plastic, but I think all that would've done is...killed even the option for resin, which I think is a shame.

I think the resin market primarily hurts completionists and as with every SPM product it seems, international folks b/c no retail option, but as long as these remain (in my mind) expansion materials...then I think that is ok. We'll see what happens with SPM and keeping their word (which we know they are bad at or forced to break), but as long as the Warband/Level/Starter boxes remain plastic, I think that's what most folks want and can expect.

Again I don't mind people getting the models. I just don't care to protect the interests of eBay scalpers...
And don't get me wrong! I don't expect nor want them to start spewing out new plastic in the middle of this undelivered KS!
But they are literally saying they are doing resin because all the plastic slots are occupied - Meaning resin wasn't anybody's first choice. But it was the only desperate way they could push out new models.
I'm thinking a bit more long term. Once the crisis is over. Once the factories has open slots again. Once it's time to make a new mold for the models anyway. THAT'S when they switch over to plastic and release these models like they were supposed to be released.

HC wrote:
Plastic versions of the exclusives would be great. Those however would slow down Legends production. A key reason they're going with resin is because it can be produced without delaying the Kickstarter.

My point exactly. Once we reach the end of the tunnel... switch to plastic.

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March 25th, 2018, 8:22 pm
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@Goblin King, totally makes sense now. Yeah eBay scalpers ate bottom feeders, screw those guys.

I was shocked for a minute because [what I thought] I read was not in your character. Now you put it in context it fully makes sense.

When the dust settles after fulfillment, a plastic Tusk Raider would be a badass companion release to go with Frostbyte Reach.


March 25th, 2018, 9:12 pm
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