". . . There was absolutely no sense of "epicness" in tonight's (sp) epic. Last year there was a PA system with a master of ceremonies type guy who kept things exciting all night with status reports and count downs and the like. Tables were interacting with HQ and then HQ would (sp) interact with the players. There was a sense that each table really was contributing to something big going on . . . This year, it was just go to your table and play a D&D scenario. No PA, no big story setup, no fanfare, no nothing. Our DM didn't even really know when it officially started as there was no big announcement. He had ot wing it. I saw absolutely nothing to suggest that our table was working to any sort of larger goal. We just played our little scenario like Thu and Fri . . ." (Thu).
". . . [T]here were two epic sessions, season 2 ending and season 3 launch. Neither made a player feel like he or she was involved in something that impacted or was impacted by anything else. In other words, we just blew through a module, hacked some demons and went home. At the end of the first epic, the lights went out in the hall at midnight before there were any announcements (GenCon and the convention center are at fault for this, I'm sure) so I guess I'll be kind and give them a bye for that. But at the end of the Saturday night Epic some BMG captain tried to shout over the noise of thousands of people to the 300 or so participants. Yes, I said shout. He didn't have a microphone. Nobody heard squat . . ." (Neptune0923)
". . . I have many close friends in both DDAL admin and Baldman games. However I do not sympathize with the excuses being thrown out. If you set an expectation on an event and learn that the company that produces the game won't support you and determine that you will just go ahead, (because after all, you didn't actually 'promise' anything) instead of communicating the issue with those that paid for a premium event., you are in essence deciding to screw those people. All for the purpose of covering your expenses . . . So I'm feeling screwed mostly because I was screwed . . ." (joshua.oconnorrose).
"If you are going to charge $100 over the ticket price of events for a premium experience you had better provide that value to the customer. In prior years there were books, autographs, a roped off dedicated area away from other games, a die roll for a magic item cert, etc.
This year? I can't even identify what I paid an extra $100 for. We could not even start play until mustering was over and lost close to an hour of play time each session. The benefit of locking down a GM, players, and a table number is you should be OUTSIDE of the mustering process and have extra game time.
The fact that the company did not overtly share that this years All Access would be drastically reduced, reeks of false advertising.
The "Faire" was also so wide open that my "special time" access was completely irrelevant. I walked up at a random time and was able to trade items like any con attendee could. We received 4 certificates that bordered on meaningless for most people. If if I was not comparing this to the excellent job done in prior years, I am wondering exactly what $900 per table went to? I got the same basic experience that others at Gen Con got for $40." (Bdbrutus)
". . . I thought for $150 I would get some sort of swag (any of the books, dice, dice bag, an exclusive miniature, anything). At this point I think my Gencon money could be spent better elsewhere. I feel like Baldman games stole money from me. . . ."(tserof)
This year at Gen Con we made some changes to the wildly popular All-Access program that we debuted at the show in 2013. Our goal was to bring it back to a more sustainable long term level while still providing a great value and experience to our players. From the feedback received by myself onsite, and on the message boards over the past few days, we missed that mark with some of you and for that I apologize.
Our goal was to provide a premium gaming experience and while I firmly believe we hit that on some marks, we obviously missed on others. We tried some new things that went over well for some and were viewed as worthless by others. Some valued their great DM’s highly and did not care about additional items while others rated them lower and wanted more ‘stuff’. Others ranked a separated play space with a barrier as the things they valued most and for many the noise of the hall was just too much for any amount of additional perks to overcome. At no point did we intend to deceive, trick, or pull a switch-a-roo. Every year the program has provided different things and the attendees have each valued them in their own fashion. Things change each year on what we can and cannot provide. Many want to know why we could not do this or that, or why something changed. At the end of the day those details do not matter. BMG thought we had a pretty good line-up this year within the framework we had to work in but once again we obviously need to relook at the program from the ground up.
Part of the program has always been the mystery of what you are getting. So players are putting their blind trust that the program is going to be worth it to them. Each year the items were better and better and that is just not a sustainable program. With that in mind I’ve spent most of the past two days brainstorming ways to make it better across the board for all those who choose to put their trust in the program. The one thing that is happened for sure right out of the gate is the mystery part is gone (for any type of event I run going forward). It is not worth it. Each person values their time and resources in their own fashion and should be able to make a 100% informed decision about what they spend their convention time and dollars on. The program will have its own website linked from the event description with all the details on it. Due to the fact I cannot contact those that buy tickets, the website will also contain a mailing list, to allow updates to go to all members if anything were to change. I want to be transparent and communicate as well as we can about exactly what the program is and the player it is aimed at.
Some other ideas we have been kicking around and want your feedback on are:
We have a lot of other cool ideas from our post show meetings but we also want to hear from you. I have received a lot of feedback already but I want to create a central place for those who want to provide it to do so. The form below drops directly into my inbox. I will be reading all the responses and going over them with my team over the next few weeks to formulate a plan that will hopefully bring this program back to where we want it to be.
- A completely separate room away from our play area for the program (players would move back into main hall for Epic event). Could be in the ICC or attached hotel.
- More of a concierge type service when checking in (small goodie bag, checking name off list, badge ribbon, name plate to claim your spot at a table, etc.)
- A custom adventure track for the show (written especially for the program by a handpicked elite author for participants of the program only).
- Snacks (maybe Pizza Day Saturday even) and water station.
- Special Guests (maybe have Mearls or Crawford visit and hangout at each table for a while).
Baldman Games have released a new press release on August 6, 2015 that states the following:
I first want to thank everyone for the excellent feedback so far. We are gathering comments and discussing ways to improve all Baldman Games’ offerings going forward. We will have further posts this Fall asking for more specific feedback.
Baldman Games and Wizards of the Coast realize that we did not meet your expectations with our All-Access Program at Gen Con this year. The way production schedules lined up, it was difficult for us to provide the new products that had been offered in previous years. But have no fear! We want to make things right. We value your support of D&D and our programs at Gen Con and other shows. To that end, we have some stuff to offer to everyone who played in the All-Access program at Gen Con 2015.
Here’s what All Access Players will get:
If you are an All-Access player from Gen Con, please make sure to fill in the form below completely. The information provided will only be used to ship the book to you, send the code, and/or contact you if we have a problem doing so. It will be destroyed once shipping is completed.
- One hard copy of Out of the Abyss, the TRPG adventure in the Rage of Demons story, before it hits store shelves, mailed directly to you
- One code for a digital copy of Sword Coast Legends, the party-based RPG coming out on PC, Mac and Linux, on September 29th, sent to the email you provide.
Once again, we apologize for not meeting the expectations of the program this year, and we will work hard in the coming months to build a bigger, stronger, and more transparent program in 2016 and beyond.
UPDATE (08/07/2015): This offer is valid through August 24th at Midnight EST. Please spread the word. Thanks
If you participated in the All Access program, or know someone who did be sure to let them know about this as soon as possible. Time is limited on this offer.