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> Fan letter to CGL, Because we care
Blade
post Dec 23 2010, 09:41 AM
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Hi Dumpshock,

Vice was "meh", Corp Guide and 6WA were subpar and filled with mistake and War is one of Shadowrun worst books ever.
There are problems with the content, there are problems with the editing. We, as long time fans of Shadowrun, can't let that go on.

What do you do when you get a product that isn't satisfactory? You complain to the company.

Some people in the French-speaking community had the idea of sending a letter to CGL and/or Jason Hardy to express their concerns with the way the line is going and we think that it'd have a bigger impact if the English and German community, including the biggest names, joined us.

Anyone interested?
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hermit
post Dec 23 2010, 09:50 AM
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If you want to, send them to CGL or, even better yet, to the Topps financial overseer person. I doubt Hardy would cvare, as the subpar publications were his responsibility and denial is obviously the state he lives in. Or just send everyone in the company a copy, so nobody can complain about being bad-mouthed behind their backs, since that's something where CGL and especially Hardy seemsreally sensitive. But make sure it goes to Topps too.

Even better, set up a petition not to buy War! and boycott the line so long as there are no substantial improvements in editing and writing quality.

FWIW, I'd totally sign that or help you with the letters. Someone (Stahlseele?) might also want to post this on all Forums relevant for the German scene - Blutschwerter, Pegasus, Nexus. I'll forward this to the Gaming Den.

I don't expect a reaction or even improvements from Hardy or Bills/Coleman, but maybe Topps will push them if adressed. They do want their money back and if the line devolves into suckage, they're not gonna, hopefully. Of course, they could also just try and look for a zero sum end and then bury the line.
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Medicineman
post Dec 23 2010, 10:03 AM
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Anyone interested?
I would sign such a Petition too
And I bet a lot of German players also
I know that Stahlseele is in a lot of Forums but he is mainly a SR3 Player
and only interested in SR4A out of curiosity
Dakka,Corn,Tycho,UV are also in a lot of (German)Forums

it'd have a bigger impact if the English and German community, including the biggest names, joined us.
Honestly, I doubt that "Big Names" have any impact on CGL or impress them anyway
but we should try nonetheless


Hough!
Medicineman
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Stahlseele
post Dec 23 2010, 10:09 AM
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Doesn't mean i won't support this.
Just because I don't like SR4 does not mean i want the stuff to be worse than it needs to be . .
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hermit
post Dec 23 2010, 10:11 AM
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Thank you.
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Medicineman
post Dec 23 2010, 10:12 AM
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I know that we can count on You (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)

So,Pegasus,SR-Nexus and Technoschamanen Forums are informed

JahtaHey
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Blade
post Dec 23 2010, 11:02 AM
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Thank you for your support.
Sending it to Topps too seems like a good idea to me.
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Kot
post Dec 23 2010, 12:52 PM
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Sending it to both CGL and Topps would be wise.
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sabs
post Dec 23 2010, 01:50 PM
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And do try to be diplomatic when you tell them their work product sucks.
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CanRay
post Dec 23 2010, 02:05 PM
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QUOTE (sabs @ Dec 23 2010, 09:50 AM) *
And do try to be diplomatic when you tell them their work product sucks.

"The quality of the products that have been arriving recently have been substantially reduced from what has previously been proven to come forth from the company, and if value of the product were to increase, it would certainly benefit
the Intellectual Property."

The only other diplomacy I have is "saying something soothing as I pull the trigger." (Quote from a book, BTW. Have to find it again.)
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TheMadderHatter
post Dec 23 2010, 02:06 PM
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I have to wonder if this is an effective means of changing things; a corporation is a financial organism, not a democratic one, and while the writers themselves seem open to changing things based on user criticism I can't see that translating well into the overarching process. It seems to me that it would be far more impactful a statement to finish the fan-made WAR! version, and point everyone to that, perhaps as a component of this hypothetical fan letter showing what we would like to see in future supplements of this type. Assuming it's legal to do so (i forget how much has to be changed),making available a homebrew resource preferred over the official one--and it will be--might result in a sales drop that sends up more of the necessary red flags.
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CanRay
post Dec 23 2010, 02:09 PM
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First, we don't buy products that are sub-par.

Then, we Shadowrun a file onto the computer of a decision maker at Topps showing exactly when the drop-off happened, with corresponding links to complaints from the community as to why, and methods that they have mentioned that it could be fixed and purchasing of product will once again commence.

And, by Shadowrun, I mean E-Mail. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/nyahnyah.gif) (Finding out who to e-mail, however... That might take a Shadowrun.).
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Doc Chase
post Dec 23 2010, 02:32 PM
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QUOTE (TheMadderHatter @ Dec 23 2010, 02:06 PM) *
I have to wonder if this is an effective means of changing things; a corporation is a financial organism, not a democratic one, and while the writers themselves seem open to changing things based on user criticism I can't see that translating well into the overarching process. It seems to me that it would be far more impactful a statement to finish the fan-made WAR! version, and point everyone to that, perhaps as a component of this hypothetical fan letter showing what we would like to see in future supplements of this type. Assuming it's legal to do so (i forget how much has to be changed),making available a homebrew resource preferred over the official one--and it will be--might result in a sales drop that sends up more of the necessary red flags.


I'm not terribly certain that legality would be an issue - fans make resources all the time in the form of campaigns and characters. We aren't charging for it either, so there shouldn't really be any problem.
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Cthulhudreams
post Dec 23 2010, 02:35 PM
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If you want a corporation to listen you need to kick them right in revenues.

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hermit
post Dec 23 2010, 02:37 PM
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And even if they slap us with a C&D, it's nigh impossible to pull something released on the internet. Persecution might even make it even more interesting.
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Blade
post Dec 23 2010, 02:48 PM
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QUOTE ("TheMadderHatter")
a corporation is a financial organism, not a democratic one, and while the writers themselves seem open to changing things based on user criticism I can't see that translating well into the overarching process.


Sure, but we're not just fans we're also customers and, for some of us, active supporters of the line.
Who really advertises Shadowrun? The players who tell other RPG players (or non players) "I play a game called Shadowrun and it's great." The players who ask their FLGS for Shadowrun products. And if these players start saying "I play a game called Shadowrun and it's great, but stay away from the offical books, they suck. The fan made content is much better." or telling their FLGS "Don't bother ordering the latest Shadowrun books, they suck." they'll lose their customers. It has happened to some RPGs before.

The French editor of Shadowrun is working with a smaller player base than the US (it feels like it's bigger in Germany though I don't know how big exactly it is). If the new books sucks and sales drop, they won't see a point in paying for the licence and CGL will lose the whole French speaking customer base.
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nezumi
post Dec 23 2010, 03:24 PM
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I've stopped following Shadowrun a while ago. I would consider returning if the products were better, but lately, I've found nothing of substantial value (with a few exceptions). I've followed the talent and dedication, and it seems to be elsewhere. They could bring me back, but it would take a lot of dedication, attention to detail, and a sense of style I just haven't been seeing.

If I were to write a letter? It would cover the following (in order):

1) Our love of the universe, the themes, the system, and recognition of the hard work and dedication of the contributors.

2) Pointing out the unsatisfactory quality of recent products, in regards to substance, organization, editing, fact-checking and style.

3) As fans, we are not pleased with the quality of the work, will not continue buying poor quality work, and are concerned for the tarnished reputation and longevity of the line if this behavior continues.

4) List of a bajillion signatures.

5) Embedded trojan horse which hijacks CGL computers so we can insert our crack freelancer team.






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klinktastic
post Dec 23 2010, 03:32 PM
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I find it sad that CGL carries some of the best lines: Shadowrun and Battletech. Lines with avid fans and followers, who are very knowledgeable about the settings, rules, fluff, and story. Fans who would willingly fact check, edit, etc for free, just to be a part of something related to a hobby they care about. I'm surprised they haven't thought of "beta" releases of the books, just like MMORPG games do, to smooth out some of "wrinkles" in the products before they go live. Seems like a free way to do your fact checking and play testing that has a side benefit of building loyalty in your customer base, as they have a vested interest in the products they are "helping" with.
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Kagetenshi
post Dec 23 2010, 03:32 PM
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QUOTE (Stahlseele @ Dec 23 2010, 05:09 AM) *
Doesn't mean i won't support this.
Just because I don't like SR4 does not mean i want the stuff to be worse than it needs to be . .

As I see it, our only hope for SR4's abandonment is for the game to die for a few years and then get picked up by someone else. It's still slim, given that the edition has had five years now to sink its roots in, but it's some kind of hope.

The fact that we no longer need to worry about continuity of freelancer talent pool eliminates pretty much all of the downside of this, too.

~J
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Sengir
post Dec 23 2010, 03:39 PM
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QUOTE (hermit @ Dec 23 2010, 10:50 AM) *
Even better, set up a petition

Oh dear, not another online petition.

If you have to say something, SAY it and don't enter a made-up name in an online form. On the internet you don't even have to be a master speaker, because you have all the time in the world to weigh every word fifteen times over.
Of course the potential effect of it is still questionable. CGL sure knows their products are getting worse and worse, but probably want some nice numbers on the record sheet at the end of the year, so they are released anyway.
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hermit
post Dec 23 2010, 03:45 PM
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Topps might care, but I'd send the letter to both so nobody can whine.
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Cheops
post Dec 23 2010, 03:47 PM
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Setting and tone are things that rise above and beyond edition. The common adage in the groups I've played in was that "The rules may suck but at least the setting is the shiz-nit!" Recent releases have seriously brought that statement into question. No matter what ruleset you use the setting is important and Jason Hardy has proven his critics correct. The product is heading to a very bad place and CGL are the wrong people for the job of managing it.

I personally would prefer to continue buying Shadowrun books instead of just limiting myself to what I already have. I used to be a loyal customer who bought every book regardless if it ever got used at the play table (and the vast majority didn't). I haven't purchased a single book since Corporate Enclaves. The line has devolved to the point where it is a waste of money to buy product as a result of shoddy and unprofessional work by CGL.
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TheMadderHatter
post Dec 23 2010, 07:44 PM
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QUOTE (Cheops @ Dec 23 2010, 10:47 AM) *
The line has devolved to the point where it is a waste of money to buy product as a result of shoddy and unprofessional work by CGL.


Not intended as a slight on you personally in any way, Cheops, but it's this kind of tone that can really limit the effectiveness of things like this. Saying it's shoddy is necessary, but so is providing as specific a list of complaints as we can, ideally including something akin to a summary of SR4 canon (it sounds patronizing, but if we emphasize what's important, we're more likely to see that preserved); the more data we can provide as to what we want, the more likely that any efforts to change the direction they're going will be directed correctly.
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nezumi
post Dec 23 2010, 09:08 PM
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QUOTE (klinktastic @ Dec 23 2010, 10:32 AM) *
I'm surprised they haven't thought of "beta" releases of the books, just like MMORPG games do, to smooth out some of "wrinkles" in the products before they go live.


You're speaking of CGL, the same group that slapped down Adam & Rob for releasing Eclipse Phase for free, and charging half of what everyone else was?

CGL is stuck in the 20th century. They're backwards from the top down.


QUOTE (TheMadderHatter @ Dec 23 2010, 02:44 PM) *
Saying it's shoddy is necessary, but so is providing as specific a list of complaints as we can, ideally including something akin to a summary of SR4 canon (it sounds patronizing, but if we emphasize what's important, we're more likely to see that preserved); the more data we can provide as to what we want, the more likely that any efforts to change the direction they're going will be directed correctly.


I would disagree with this. Your point is rational and logical, but people are neither. They are emotional. If you want change, you don't need a cold editor pointing out mistakes. You need someone to stir passion and fear. Only once you have them motivated to action should you discuss the technical details. Until then the focus should be on pride and fear of loss.
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Cheops
post Dec 23 2010, 09:10 PM
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That's fine. My post was mostly just venting frustration. I didn't intend for it to be my letter to them or what others should say. You are correct.
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