Malifaux – Wyrd has taken a different approach with the announcement of Malifaux Second Edition, it seems the developers have been making the rounds on the various Malifaux Podcasts and releasing snippets of information to the public with this media blitz. I for one can't wait until May 31st for the public beta to see where they plan on taking the game.
While I haven't been playing as much Malifaux as I'd like to this still remains one of my favorite games and I try to make a point to demo the game as often as time permits. Malifaux has a ton of unique things going on that you don't see in anything else on the market right now. The insane mass-up of genres within the game world as well as the card duel mechanic are just the icing on the cake.
As with many upstart games Malifaux has been a victim of its own success. The game as it stands now has grown unwieldy with the amount of knowledge needed to play. A series of FAQ's that contradict the wording on stat cards coupled with several versions of the same stat cards in circulation means you may or may not have the most current rule set when playing against an opponent. Not really a huge deal for casual players but unpleasant when that same casual player runs into a forum dweller with the most up to date info from an obscure Rules Marshall reply after 10 pages of trolling arguments about rules intent.
I remember back when I played Warmachine prior to Mark II and would run into the same issues any time I went out to play the game at a store. Eventually I just stopped going to the stores and played with my friends in my basement. It's amazing how much enjoyable games are when you have a great group of guys and only use the rules are written in the books and cards you bought. If something made for sucky games house rule or ban it problem solved. My group never made the jump to Mark II and eventually we just quit playing as the system evolved beyond what I found interesting.
To be fair from what I've seen of the ruleset for Warmachine and Hordes it does seem to be much cleaner and quick to play. (Hell half the time I see guys set up and pack up their stuff before the Malifaux players have finished picking schemes and crews.) It also seems that the game continues to grow an thrive in multiple arenas.
Malifaux is now on that same cusp after 4 books and a 1.5 Errata of the core rule book the game needs to be cleaned up. Rules need to be consistent, models need to be balanced against each other point costs need to be revisited etc. From what I can gather on the press releases and media blitz that is the plan with 2.0.
I'm excited to see where it goes, I imagine it can go one of two ways:
Best Case Scenario: The rules get cleaned up and simplified, models are all useful again and the game continues to grow to new levels of play and getting a pick up game at any game store on any given night is easy. New sculpts for everything so the range once again feels cohesive and all the metal models I own are considered retro and command a huge mark up on the secondary market if I ever decide to part with my beloved models. The success leads to mass market paperback sales so you'll be able to read novels about your favorite characters ala Black Library.
Worse Case Scenario: The game is over simplified loses it flavor; feeling much like any other game in the market today. The entire story so far gets ret coned into some weird new story arc ignoring everything that came before. The existing player base leaves in droves because the game is no longer unique and is instead a master kill/points held/kill them all victory system. Ultimately leading to a glut of cheap unwanted models on the secondary market making it easy to pick up anything you want for very little.
Most likely it will be some combination of the two. With any re-write things are going to go away to make things more streamlined. Making a game play smoothly and intuitively should be the goal of any game designer. Wyrd has put out quality (if not rules/FAQ heavy) product in the past so it's unlikely they'll release a stinker to the public now.
I'll wait until the end of the month before I start shouting, "DOOOM!" or "Brilliant".