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Top Ten Reasons Why I Hate TSR/Wizards

Rev. Scott Shafer May 18, 2000
 

#10-the whining.
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 different market.

#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!

#7-Alternity.
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 clumsiness).
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.

#6-Andon.
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 $%&@#!, and couldn't run Gen Con worth anything. Granted, they did get a little better... but they've started out in the negative numbers. First thing is that they told anyone who would listen that any retailers who didn't show up at Gen Con were like going out of business. The rates for the retailer's booths were hiked at the very same time! This is just passive/aggressive crap!
These guys need analysts to sort out all the lies they were telling... not to mention the little #@!$&# 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!

#4-vaporware.
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!

#3-Dragon magazine.
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

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