At the beginning of the month, I posted a poll up on the site and various other places in the community. The aim of this poll was to improve the quality of the blog and its articles based on community feedback. I was surprised to see so many of you responding, with over 20 reactions, I will be able to draw some conclusive feedback from the poll. In this article, I will discuss the various questions I posted and I will react to any feedback you have provided. So let’s get to it.
Q: How would you rate the length of the Scenario Analysis Articles?
The statistician in me was pleased with these results. Looks like the average opinion of the community is that the scenario articles are of a good enough length. I will try to keep them between the 4000 and 6000 words each, depending on the complexity of the quest. If there are weird mechanics, the quest review might take longer. I will not change anything else about the length though, as more info would just be filler, and less info might skip some combos.
Q: How would you rate the length of the Trait Analysis Articles?
The overall opinion on the Trait analyses is that they are a bit short, though they are still passable. I will try to focus a bit more on the individual traits with this in mind. Note that I will only be able to talk at length about well-developed traits. Traits like Woodmen, Wose, Archer, Corsair, etc can’t really be stretched out since there isn’t much to talk about. For the other traits, I will look to talk a bit more about the better cards for each trait.
Q: How would you rate the length of the Staple articles?
Since there haven’t been a lot of these staple articles yet, I don’t really mind the results of this question, though it will be a good guideline to any future articles. It was nice to see that the spread was quite even again, though there are 2 more persons who consider the articles a bit too short. I might look into fixing this in the upcoming Threat Reduction article.
Q: How would you rate the level of depth in the articles?
While I am pleased that the majority of the people who filled in the poll consider the articles to be decent in depth, I will look to see if I can increase the in-depth nature of the articles in the future just a little. This can come in the form of more Tips and Tricks. I might also do a bit more extensive analysis on some keycards in the encounter deck such as boss enemies or unique locations.
Q: What would you like to see more off in each article?
This question was not required to be answered, but I got some remarks on what to add. So I will discuss them in brief here:
- More Player cards: Yep, I understand that this is something you guys want to see. Multiple people filled this in so I will look to expand the recommendations for the next articles. I have seen this remark earlier this month, so I adjusted Assault on Osgiliath and Druadan Forest to have some more player cards in them. I hope this will satisfy you guys, if not, I can always add a couple more, depending on the scenario.
- More depth: I will try to do the articles a little more in-depth in the future, so that should work out fine.
- I really like your scenario reviews/breakdowns: Thank you, I hope to continue this in the future.
- Card Combinations, Sideboards: This really depends on your decks, but I hope to give a couple of good recommendations in each Tips and Tricks section. I will try to find more combinations, but I am not that good a deck builder.
- history of how faction/staple etc has evolved over time – wants / expectations for the future?: I am doing this actually, the last few Trait articles have been focussed a little more on the evolution of the traits. Of course, this is difficult to do with the undeveloped traits. I might extend the history of the faction a little, as I do enjoy the Lore behind each faction.
- More on common tactics/ strategies to counter certain scenarios: I got several replies of this kind so I will try to do a bit more on specific strategies. This will come more into play during more recent scenarios, as the older ones were more straightforward.
Q: Would you like to see more or fewer pictures on each article?
Well, it looks like I won’t be cutting down pictures from the articles any time soon. I will try to add just a couple more during the quest analysis, but for the rest, I’ll keep things the same as they are. The pictures will mostly be of player/encounter cards, with a picture of some artwork for each article as a header.
Q: Do you want me to continue linking each named card in the articles with links to Hall of Beorn?
Based on these results, I will likely reduce the number of links in each article. This will make them less of a minefield, with half of the sentence being a link to another website. With that said, I will just continue the links, as it is a good way to get to know every card in the encounter deck or in your card pool (especially if you haven’t seen that card in a while).
Q: Chapters to cut/extend the articles
I have gotten some varied responses on these two, but I think I will keep things the way they are at the moment. I will extend the Tips and Tricks section a little though, as that was requested by a majority of voters. Since I will keep the length of the articles roughly the same, the format of the articles will not change when I am writing them. Any guest authors might prefer a different format though.
Q: What would you like added to the Encounter Deck Analysis?
The two answers I got both had to do with decks. They mentioned that it would be great if there were a couple of links to decks that can beat the quest and tips on what decks usually don’t stand a chance against it. For the latter, I will try and explain what decks don’t run well in the Tips and Tricks section of each article. This will cover things like ally swarms, tower defenders or drawing a lot of cards. For the other point, displaying decks, I would like to invite the community to react to a scenario with a link to their decklist if they have beaten the scenario with it. I tend to play these quests with physical cards, so I don’t have a decklist ready. I also do not have the time to play the quests 10 times with different quests to say which ones work, and which don’t. Therefore, if you are reading this and have beaten a scenario with decks that you can link, feel free to comment in the comment section of the article from that scenario with the decklist. This can help any players struggling with what decks to bring to these quests. The decklists don’t have to be progression build decks, but it might help progression players if they are.
Types of Articles
Q: What type of article would you like to see more off?
With over half the respondents having no preference about what articles I post, I will not make major changes in my uploading schedule. The trait analyses are quite popular, but there are only so many traits out there. If I cover them all, back to back, I will run out before the summer. I will try to spread them out a little, making them a little less common. Unless FFG starts introducing new archetypes, this will have to do for now.
Q: What type of article would like to see less off?
Well, looks like I won’t be skipping any articles in the near future. With over 70% of reactions not wanting to skip anything, I will keep the distribution the same as well, except for that trait analysis I spoke of earlier. The Month in Review segment is a great tool for me to summarise the progress made this month, and can also tease any upcoming articles so I will keep them as well. I have added a few statistics on each article, to make them perhaps a bit more interesting if you want to read them.
Q: What kind of articles would you like me to do in the future?
This actually was quite an even distribution, but as the astute amongst you might have seen, I have added the Archetypes on the Trait analysis page. I just wanted to talk more in-depth about some deck archetypes that do not fit any specific trait. The Nightmare analyses will be a bit more difficult to do, as I do not own any of the Nightmare scenarios. I would really like to do these, but I am quite inexperienced in this. If you would like to do some of the write up of these, let me know, the community would really appreciate it. Playthrough articles I won’t do for a while. In the last few months, several other blogs have popped up and are doing these as we speak. Check them out for some amazing narratives. The Player card reviews will also be on hold for a while, you can check out the video’s from the HiveTyrant and his Progression Series to see some of the player cards in the packs. For more recent player card reviews, see Mr Underhill’s channel on Youtube.
Q: Would you like me to keep a release schedule each week?
Looks like there won’t be a schedule in place for a while according to the community. While I do like structure to the blog, I agree that a schedule would be difficult to maintain, since I do have a life besides the game. This coming month alone is going to be busy so a schedule would be very hard to maintain. So this isn’t going to happen for the foreseeable future.
Improving the Blog
Q: Would you like to see monthly polls on the blog?
A 2/1 majority took the vote here, so it looks like the blog might get monthly polls about player cards or scenarios in the game. The results of the polls will be posted in a separate article at the end of the poll. I will look to displaying the polls much like Hall of Beorn, so no more links to other websites.
Q: Would you like a gallery on the blog featuring some of the great artwork featured in the game?
Yeah, you do, the artwork of this game is amazing, and I tend to use it for a lot of images for each scenario. I will see if I can upgrade the blog to have a slideshow of some of my favourite pieces of art.
Q: Would you like the blog to be free of advertisements?
I have to say, the results on this question were not expected. I had the idea that most people are a little annoyed by advertisements in the middle of the articles. Perhaps a majority is running an ad-blocker, so you don’t see them anyways. Regardless, I am considering upgrading the blog, so that advertisements will disappear. Hopefully, none of that 57% is going to miss the ads.
Q: Would you be willing to support the blog with an optional monthly donation via Patreon in order to get the blog ad-free and integrate a gallery/polls?
This was to me the most important question of them all. I have been debating on whether or not to upgrade the blog to a paid membership, but I do not have the finances to support it on my student budget. This is where I wanted to look towards Patreon, but I had to know if there was any interest in it. Turns out that about half of you would at least consider donating to the blog. I know that this may not be truly representative of the actual number of people that will donate, but at least it isn’t a 100% no.
Because of this, I will be making an account on Patreon that will be open to anyone to donate to. I am still thinking about adding tiers or goals, but for now, all the money collected will be used to pay for the website hosting costs. I will have a very limited second tier for people who would like to donate more than a dollar and give them some extras. If I should make a profit at the end of each month, I will keep the money separate and use it in different ways to give it back to the community. This can be via giveaways, thank you gifts for guest authors or it will allow me to buy nightmare packs so that I can get started on reviewing those on the blog. A new article will contain more info about the Patreon account and will also include a link to the page once I get it set up.
Q: Do you have any other feedback for me concerning the poll or the blog?
I will just let this speak for itself. There were no other comments besides some amazing support for the blog. Just goes to show how amazing the community really is.
So, now what?
With this poll behind us, you can expect to see a couple of changes on the blog. The articles will stay much the same, with some slight variations in length, pictures, and links. The upload schedule will stay the same as well, but I will be looking to do some work on the Staples in the future. The blog itself will get an upgrade so you might see a change in URL, advertisements, and additional features. In terms of player decks, feel free to comment on each scenario what decks you have used to beat the quest.
The biggest thing that will change will be that the blog will get a Patreon account on which can optionally donate to the blog to keep it going. It is not a requirement that you donate, nor will the Patreons get a lot of exclusive features over the rest. The money from the Patreon account will be used to fund the website costs of the blog. If I make any excess money at the end of the month because of this, I will look for ways to put that money back into the community. This might be in the form of Nightmare scenarios now that I can afford the quests, it may be exclusive loot to give away as a thank you to the supporters. It might be any number of things, I don’t know yet. But first, covering the website costs will be the main goal of the Patreon account. I will elaborate more on this in a future article.