Hey guys, in the last weeks the changes in Uprising as well as in the Backdoor Challenge have caused some turmoil in the community. I have the feeling that there is an underlying conflict between CB and parts of the community, which should be discussed more directly and in a more constructive fashion. In this thread I'd like to discuss how correlation between ITS as a competitive game format and the Infinity narrative can be implemented without one disturbing the other. From my point of view the people working at CB are very story driven. Things like the Comic, the Pen&Paper game, BoW campaigns, Aristea! and the story surrounding the Alive Crew are all moves to get the player base more involved with Infinity as a Universe rather than just a gaming system. It is not only CB's good right to develop their product however they want, it is also a great way to get more people excited about Infinity and grow local player communities. In the long run, I hope that these efforts will create a more "balanced" Infinity community, in which you find people excited about the game, the narrative and the miniatures alike. However, it should be noted that a considerable portion of the community is primarily into Infinity because of it being the best Skirmish Tabletop for competitive play. When I started Infinity in N2, I was motivated by nothing else. I wasn't really sold on the "manga" look of the miniatures and simply didn't know anything about the story. With time I started to love the miniatures (ok, here the post Icestorm minis also really help) and I got interested in the narrative. But the main thing will always be playing a well balanced game. I don't believe that the results of ITS are very telling, I think for that we'd all need to play a lot more and tournaments would probably need to have way more rounds than we have time for. E.g. if you win a Swiss System 32 Player tournament, which lasted for 10 rounds, you are probably the best player in there. After a mere 3 rounds, this doesn't mean all that much. This is in parts due to the Swiss System and in parts due to more missions, tables and opponents varying quite much (if you are up against a very good player in game one it is hard to get a 10-0 victory, but if you are up against a beginner its quite easily done and already accounts for a third of your games). I am completely fine with that and I'd never suggest that we should all take a week of vacation for a 10 round tournament. But it should be noted, that a lot of people deeply enjoy the perceived(!) balance of playing a single ITS game. This means that all measures, which make games feel(!) less balanced will cause discontent amongst many players. An example would be an Onyx player complaining about Rescue or an Ariadna player complaining about Highly Classified. As a seasoned Tournament player I'd tell them that there might be some inconveniences in those missions for them, but they can be mitigated by proper list building quite a bit and both factions certainly have advantages in other missions. So whenever even slight changes are made to the perceived(!) balance of the game, it will piss some people off. This is inevitable and I don't think CB should shy away from making such decisions to not upset a small, but vocal minority. To me the point is how changes to ITS can be implemented in a way that gets the vast majority of players on board. When I look back at ITS8 with the Alive Crew I remember this to be a very successful example on how to advance the narrative, change things in ITS and keep all players happy. Certainly some factions gained less than others, but most people had something fun and new to work with and it was clear that this is a temporary one season thing, which made buying / converting models projectable. So what went wrong with Uprising and backdoor? Uprising was supposed to hit unexpectedly and with a certain degree of hype. I was not a fan of the constant teasing with pictures on FB, but it is a legit business concern for CB to create a hype prior to a product launch. From a customer perspective this lack of predictability is not cool, as some of us spend quite a large amount of our income and/or time in buying and painting armies and we usually do so in the assumption that we will be able to play them in a certain way. But I see that a different communication strategy wouldn't have changed things for long time YJ players, who'd still be in the same spot. So maybe we can put this aside as change always inflicts a certain amount of pain. In other aspects, CB has really improved its predictability. I am very glad that we usually have a decent idea of what kind of new sculpts to expect in the next couple of months due to seeing some renders ahead of time, I really appreciate that. To me the most striking point about Uprising is that Vanilla YJ lost a lot in terms of perceived power level without gaining something new. I can still come up with highly competitive builds, but they are definitely fewer than before. Compensating this loss by some closed battle lists for the next campaign feels like too little too late. As some instant feedback on this: I personally didn't think the PanO closed battle lists we have seen are very intriguing or competitive. Maybe we'll be positively surprised by the next ones though. For the backdoor event I have to say that myself and many others were only aware of the event when it was over. I learned about characters being removed from ITS before understanding how the challenge actually worked. I follow "Infinity" on FB, am an active member in about 8 Infinity specific FB groups, active in the German forums and on here, yet I didn't know about this. Maybe I scrolled through a post and thought that the "challenge" was just a raffle for winning some miniature or something, but it was completely lost on me what was going on. I don't mean to blame CB for this, but since I am by far not the only one, this changes a lot about the perception of the event. Again, here predictability would have helped. Releasing the information, who the suspects from each faction are and how long the ban is exactly, would maybe have taken the edge of things. Here I think the larger question is how rapidly do we want changes to affect ITS? I personally wouldn't feel comfortable with changes happening faster than ITS seasons. It just isn't a cool feeling to be absorbed in your professional work for some time, then come back to the hobby world realizing you can't play something you intended to do months ago. Infinity is enough of a high involvement as it is. If CB wants to continue to closely connect the narrative and organized play, I'd suggest to split ITS and a narrative mode. Then the campaigns and challenges can even strongly affect each other and ITS remains "frozen" for the season and is updated in a predictable fashion once a year. This would help not only the competitive tournament players, but also the low involvement casuals, who just want to meet up for a game every few month and don't want to spend hours on the internet researching what the hell is going on. Maybe this could be realized by a simple checkbox in Army? That all being said, I'd like to say that I think in general CB is on a great way. I think with the Army app and data analysis CB is setting itself up to get exactly the right input needed to even further improve the game. For example the design of StarCo clearly shows that CB is capable of adding very well-balanced (both internally and externally) factions to the game. So I am confident that in the long run, YJ profit strongly from the redesign of removing JSA and adding IA and White Banner. I hope this helps to put some of the players concerns in a larger perspective and enables a better conversation. @HellLois TLDR: Infinity is a high involvement game with a considerable part of the player base liking it for the perceived balance. Messing with the balance for story reasons will upset these players (often in a disproportionate way) and hurts the community. I hope CB finds a way to publicly continue the story without affecting the competitive play aspect too much and think that splitting the two aspects might be a way for the future.