Re: [NetEpic ML] NetEpic Future

From: Peter Ramos <primarch_at_...>
Date: Wed, 11 Aug 2004 18:21:38 -0400


I want to thank Stephane for a very eloquent thought provoking post!

You bring several issues that I have discussed with senior members of
netepic for a long and I think perhaps its long overdue to talk about them.

Newcomers and appeal.

The fact that I am working towards a "gold" version that is full color
and the current rules are getting more diagrams ans such is an effort to
make NetEpic visually appealing. Gone are the days where a text or word
file would suffice. The internet community is more demanding nowadays
and graphics and as best of a layout that we can provide is no longer a
luxury, but a necessity.

Add to this that I am revamping the army cards using the layout Sayth
from has so kindly sent me and I would say the "visual"
aspect and appeal is covered well at the moment.

Newcomers are a two-fold problem. We cannot appeal to them without a
product that has visual impact. So until this aspect is covered the
second one- accessibility, has to wait. Accessibility has been something
we have lacked for years. The list owner Kenneth Peters always though a
NetEpic "lite" version for newcomers and beginners was a vital part to
be made. While most agreed with him the sheer quantity of work for so
few people meant it got tossed further and further down the queue of
things to do. Suffice to say unless someone wants to take this burden
and run with it, it will most definately have to wait until the "appeal"
phase of work is done.


This problem is more due to my mentality on how netepic evolved than
what current reailties demand.

For those around when it all started, there was what would definately
qualify as bad blood between proponents of the then new epic 40k and
space marine. The creation of a "list" was as a direct consequence of
that situation. In this manner the old majordomo space marine list was
"sundered", when those who beleived in netepic emigrated and those that
didn't stayed behind.

Back then we wanted people who were actively involved. That meant that
in the early days we wanted "contributers" not "supporters". Do'ers not
idle chatter. This meant we never advertised ourselves aggressively,
never sought websites to show case us and in general keep our web
presence to our official web presence the Epicentre.

We figured that if you were truely interested in collaborating you'd
contact us and we'd get the ball rolling.

This attitude endured for YEARS. Perhaps too long. I started to change
my view when Tom took over the Epicentre. He made it more accessible,
user friendly and increased exposure.

Perhaps this "insular" behaviour was prolongued more than it was useful,
but in a real sense I became overwhelmed by Netepic's successes. When it
started I was content in having a small following and thats that. I dont
think I or any of us who work on netepic were prepared for the demand.
Thus I had no plan or preparation to take it to "the next level". Since
I wasn't even aware that could be a possibility.

So what to do?

I have already mentioned in casual conversations with some senior
members that when netepic 5.0 and its visual variants are ready to
prepare a "media blitz". Meaning aggressive advertisement through
whatever means available and make it constant and effective. This is
very preliminary of course, but the idea is there. Hopefully it will
increase exposure.

The rules themselves....

I am aware that 5.0 may not appeal or please everyone from the point of
view of content. Some will stick with 4.1, some would prefer a very
barebones approach with all the extras in a separate book. We went half
way and listed lost of stuff in the core books, but left a lot for the
upcoming "optionals book". The reason is mainly practical. Over the
years many good ideas were lost and I wanted them to be permanently
included in netepic. Not all are core, but at least the options are there.

Another consideration is that the 40k universe has evolved. I realize we
can "do our own thing" and follow our own organization or fluff. But the
fact remains there is a lot of new stuff that needs to be adapted into
netepic. Also this impacts directly to the issue of newcomers, since
they may be more familiar with the more recent fluff that stuff from a
decade ago.

I guess in essence its a debate to keep thing very "elitist" and "old
guard" or open it up so anyone, new or old can get into netepic.

I beleive the solution of a "lite" version would solve this problem,
since it gives accessibility without compromising the "grit" of the system.

Forums vs. Mailing list

I realize that there may be an emotional attachment to this mailing
list. I understand that, I have a soft spot for it too. But I consider
mailing list more formal and less accessible than forums where more
personal covnersations can evolve and a more intimate sense of community
can be harnessed.

Well those are my thoughts, I would gladly hear any of yours..... ;)


Stephane wrote:

>NetEpic future
>I've recently turned a new eye on the latest release of the core
>rules and Oh my! It's filled - I'd say crippled - by special rules
>and optional rules. In the oldest version of Space Marine I own,
>there was a french translation, including diagrams, of main rules. It
>was two pages long.
>The recent topic of continuing this list instead of switching to a
>true forum is another point.
>Having to go as far as a poll to know if colors should make an
>appearance in NetEpic books is yet another point.
>All of the topics above raises important questions over NetEpic as a
>whole, its purpose and its future.
>I truly enjoy this game and this community. I decided to jump on the
>bandwagon in 2002, just for NetEpic - I've never been an Epic player
>in the first place. I bought armies from eBay, and I am still
>painting some. Of course, I consider myself a newcomer. Being mostly
>a painter, I'm not the veteran of hundreds of games like so many
>people hanging around, but it is not necessarily a bad point: I dare
>to say that I can have a fresh view over this game, something many
>gamers involved for too long are lacking.
>NetEpic is great but NetEpic community has a problem. It seems that
>the community is afraid of moving forward. By moving forward, I mean
>gathering new players, promoting the game in events, making it
>appealing to newcomers, and giving everyone an easy access to become
>a new member of a growing community. There are 347 members in this
>list where there should be thousands. And I'm not even speaking of
>dead accounts among that number. I've seen several falling stars
>around - gamers seduced by the game system, posting happily several
>messages on the list, and then giving up for unknown reasons.
>In my opinion, YES, NetEpic group should cease to exist as a Yahoo!
>Group, and so long to our old habits. Truly. It should become a forum
>tree hosted somewhere. webmaster implemented PhpNuke
>which provide plenty of forums. We could have sorted forums,
>moderators, administrators, smileys, pictures, quotes, avatars,
>threaded views, recent posts, search feature, and an easy access to
>Why not using those available features? Because we are hampered in
>old habits. So, a couple good souls (Yar and Peter) are animating a
>sleepy Yahoo! group and that's all of the NetEpic community, and it's
>real sad.
>Some people can answer that this group has 6 years of existence, and
>that's a proof of its life. I beg to differ. Internet in 1998 is not
>the same as in 2004, and any webmaster has to carry on with the
>changes. Less than 500 members for a game with such a potential is
>truly a shame. Do you consider NetEpic to be inferior to Games
>Workshop's Space Marine game? I doubt it. But how many players for
>the latter at its peak? How many players that should have switched to
>NetEpic but did not because they weren't even aware of its existence?
>If we want to bring life into NetEpic community, we have to switch to
>a true forum.
>Attracting new players is another weakness of NetEpic. The rules are
>sound and complete, but unappealing. Adding pictures and a bit of
>layout (not necessarily a background) could help. Definitely, there
>should be color diagrams or pictures instead of those bland B&W
>diagrams for examples. Non core-rules for should be pushed aside, and
>sorry for the veterans that will need to browse into two books
>instead of one. The KISS process should be applied again and again,
>this rulebook should definitely be splitted and shrunk in size. I'm
>speaking as a newcomer for that one; I don't remember what the polls
>gave for that one, but I fear it has been affected by the old habits.
>I sincerely apologise if I offended anyone with my long rant. But
>sometimes I consider what NetEpic is and compare it to what it could
>have become and I'm disappointed.
>Anything is more easily said than done, and I admit that some great
>fellows are doing all of the job while other are just lurking the
>list or ranting like I do. I have little free time but will do
>whatever to help. For example, I could provide more diagrams like
>those I provided for my Outnumbering in assault article
>( for NetEpic core
>rules. As soon as my collection of models is ready, I'll rock this
>group with pictures and provide plenty for rulebooks.
>There's a great future for NetEpic, but it won't happen unless we
>move forward.
Received on Wed Aug 11 2004 - 22:21:38 UTC

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