Top Ten Reasons Why I Hate TSR/Wizards
Rev. Scott Shafer
May 18, 2000
I've written negative reviews and BOOM! I'm getting
e-mail. Comments from "you're wrong," to "we're not all evil." I
swear that I'm dealing with kindergartners sometimes. I've ripped
stuff from Dream Pod Nine before... I have trashed some of their stuff.
And I don't know how they react... they don't howl in protest. I assume
that they have enough confidence in their own products to dismiss me
as the screaming jackass that I am... and I love them for it! They are
secure. Maybe they drink more than we do. Who knows? But whenever I
get a note from TSR/Wizards I feel like its one of my kids saying,
"You love my sister more than me."
#9-the CCG craze.
This did more damage to game stores, than the black
& white glut ever did to comic stores. Companies seduced by the
possibilities of making vast amounts of money, ended up losing money
hand over fist. Chaosium was supposed to just do one Mythos game, but
they kept expanding, until someone made a mistake on an order, and
now the company is almost history. These games seem so simple, but
the difficulties in bringing a CCG to market are incredible, and they
sunk many companies.
Look at TSR and what happened to them with the
collectible dice game craze. Greedy companies fell under, but
innocent bystanders were crushed by the CCG craze as well. I look at
GDW and wonder if they would have been able to survive in a market
that had not gone crazy over CCGs? Traveller: the New Era was a
bloated goat of a game, and I don't miss it that much... so I don't know
if it should have survived, but perhaps it could have survived in a
#8-the stupid game patent thing.
Wizards is just as ridiculous in
patenting this kind of gameplay as Amazon is in patenting one-click
ordering. Go to the corner guys! You all whine like sissies, then try
to act like bullies!
Terrible name... nice game. I cannot believe these yahoos
canceled Alternity after what... two years. The market wasn't supporting
it well enough? Well maybe the market would have supported it better
if TSR/Wizards would have released a more consistent product line!
They'd release something great, and then the next product would suck!
I always felt that every great product would be followed by a
mediocre product. Alternity was delayed for a year to allow more
development time, and that care shows in the final product. Yet some
of this other stuff was let out the door too soon. Some of the stuff
looked wonderful, while other stuff just looked slapped together, or
had essential rules placed in the Dragon magazine instead of in the
supplement where it belonged (Starships was hamstrung by this
I was offended by Threats From Beyond because the care
in the text was not matched by its slap dash packaging. Bill
Slaviscek deserved much better than what he was given. TSR did this
with SpellJammer... doomed a great idea with increasingly mediocre
followups. And TSR/Wizards cancels Alternity when the line as a whole
has gotten that much better and better over the last quarter.
DarkMatter rips off Delta Green and every other conspiracy game, but
there's enough gaming material in the first book to keep players
happy for a decade!
Then there's the fact that TSR/Wizards announced a
price drop for the Alternity books in the latest Dragon magazine
annual, then didn't follow up with their promise. They announced that
the prices would drop from $29.95 to $19.95 on the Player's and GM's
Guides by September 1st. As far as I know Amazon don't have no price
drop! TSR/Wizards site has a price drop for the GM's book... this is
outrageous! Who can trust a company that claims to listen to its
customers, but who yanks a price drop away without telling anyone.
Its kind of like all that extra material that they've promised to
post on their site, but which hasn't appeared for months.
These *^$%#@!@# from %#*& would ride into town on their
mopeds, undercut every other local convention until they sued for
bankruptcy... then Andon would be more monopolistic than Microsoft on
steroids. Plus... these guys were just plain $%&@#!, and couldn't run
Gen Con worth anything. Granted, they did get a little better... but
they've started out in the negative numbers. First thing is that they
told anyone who would listen that any retailers who didn't show up at
Gen Con were like going out of business. The rates for the retailer's
booths were hiked at the very same time! This is just
These guys need analysts to sort out all the
lies they were telling... not to mention the little #@!$ who wouldn't
listen to TSR's experienced Gen Con staff. The TSR people had been
doing Gen Con for years, and they had it down. Andon came aboard... they
knew how to run things better, and wouldn't listen to voices of
experience... their first show was a disaster because of their
self-imposed ignorance. I hope somebody got fired for this and is
!*^&%#@$% *^$&%#!@ in a maximum security penitentiary for this!
#5-moving TSR and Gen Con.
I like Wisconsin!
I don't know about you, but it seems that TSR/Wizards
is announcing a whole lot of stuff that I'm just not seeing on the
store shelves. Things have been dropped or delayed, without any
announcement to the consumer. Threats From Beyond was ungodly in its
lateness! For Pagan Publishing lateness is a sign that they will not
accept mediocrity. Who knows why TSR/Wizards releases their stuff
late, because its still mediocre!
This used to be the premier gaming
magazine... period! Now its just shilling TSR/Wizards stuff! I mean, are
they so insecure that they put stuff in the magazine, that should
have been in the original modules? A lot of the stuff for Alternity
had put out in their supplements had additional material that only
appeared in Dragon magazine. The starships book was missing some
arguably essential stuff that was in a Dragon magazine article. I
hate this kind of marketing! Not to even mention the CD archive that
needed Windows to unlock its best features.
I won't even get into how
the original contributors were raped by a spurious interpretation of
electronic rights. Hey guys just because you have the right to do
something (publish an archive without compensating your original
contributors) doesn't mean that you should have done it. In fact it
just makes you all look like a bunch of @%$#*&!!! I'm also very happy
about the fact that their electronic products only support
Windows... thanks for forgetting about all of the Mac people!
#2-submarining DragonLance Fifth Age.
This was a new and innovative
game that helped to make the best superhero game ever, but Fifth Age
has just been dropped. Apparently this has been done so that nothing
will interfere with D&D 3rd edition.
#1-Pokemon. Nothing more need be said!
In 2 weeks: the Top Ten Reasons Why I Love TSR/Wizards