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Knight of the Dinner Table

CMON Trudvang

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On 8/6/2019 at 2:20 AM, Cicciopiu said:

It is sort of "funny" reading that this KS is not going so well. When it came out I was looking at the minis first and I was all "oooooh" and then I've read CMON...
ah! *close the wallet*; no matter how good a game is or how good the minis looks, simply I hate everything from them cause of THEM!

 

That's about how I feel with CMON now too, unless I see a pretty figure of theirs at a game store in person... on sale.

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4 hours ago, Knight of the Dinner Table said:

I dropped my Early Bird. The miniatures (especially because of that ivory treatment) just didn't appeal to me (as did some of CMON's behavior during this project).

 

 

Ooh, ooh.  This is what I want to hear about.

What behavior from CMON turned you off?  Was it things that CMON always does, or did they do something different this time?

*I'm not defending them, I really want to know what went wrong with this Kickstarter that backers started dropping out like this.

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13 hours ago, odinsgrandson said:

What behavior from CMON turned you off?

 

For myself, what was different this time was that, during the Bloodborne KS, they only provided the shipping estimate for the base game core box. After the campaign ended, they charged "actual shipping plus tariffs" without telling backers they would do this before the campaign ended. This amount was about 3x as much as the estimate provided in the campaign, and about 2x as much as previous shipping. While it's reasonable to ask backers to pay actual shipping costs (and, btw, these tariffs have not been enacted yet, and are based on the "declared value" of a product, which is a fraction of MSRP), it is *not* good customer relations to fail to set customer expectations. CMON already has a reputation of not being personable (that's fine for retail, but not for KS), and never explained this increase in shipping cost in an update (it was mentioned officially *once* in the comments). CMON provided 90% refunds, which, for many overseas backers who pledged for expansions, cost some of these backers $30. (You could have gotten a full refund within two weeks of the campaign ending, but the refund was offered afterwards.)

 

13 hours ago, odinsgrandson said:

Was it things that CMON always does, or did they do something different this time?

 

As said, CMON's campaigns are on the impersonal side, although I'd say their customer support responsiveness improved since the early days. As part of the base pledge, CMON used to offer an entire expansion, then a mini-expansion, but now just a KSE miniature for pledging, hardly an attractive offer for value-oriented backers. Also, some BGG'ers note that CMON puts a chunk of its gameplay in its expansions (including KSE's), effectively compounding the FOMO that CMON is known for, and giving them a reputation of an "incomplete" base game whose additional content was only available during the KS.

 

What's different this time is the perception of a failed campaign thanks to, imo, normal behavior of timed EB's. Timed EB's cause fence-sitters to pledge in the first 24 hours, to "hold a spot" before committing to a pledge, rather than pledge during the middle of a campaign. Some of these backers decide, arguably prematurely, to drop their pledge if they see that the pledge is not a good value. Although the campaign may still be profitable (over $1M is better than other CMON campaigns that did not have timed EB's), the KickTraq graphs show net backers leaving, which doesn't look good in some backer's opinion. CMON compounded this problem by placing the stretch goals with the assumption that this momentum would continue. Given that we already have graphs of timed EB behavior (eg. Solomon Kane, EXO), CMON should have not made this error.

 

CMON also didn't toss in a bucketload of miniatures (until the free expansion was given) that they've done in the past, particularly with Zombicide. With BGG, CMON's trapped themselves with a reputation of "great mini's, okay gameplay". While they've hired BGG favorite Eric Lang, Eric Lang's reputation may have declined as well, as a game designer whose name is only good for his trilogy of Blood Rage, Rising Sun, and Ankh. Any other projects with another game designer may have much less involvement than this trilogy.

 

Also, what's different is that CMON is no longer the only KS company that makes high-quality miniatures. Monolith and Mythic are providing competition, and we've seen at least the renders for Middara and Etherfield. CMON lacks the personable interaction of these campaigns, and hasn't caught up in that respect yet. 

Edited by ced1106
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I found CMON to be quite responsive DURING other campaigns (afterwards is a different matter), answering questions etc. This time, they mostly provided a "good morning" and banter, a number of questions were ignored or not answered (or the answer was quickly drowned out in the comment section).

Furthermore, they seemed to be very ill prepared (to me, those "Ivories" hurt the campaign, for resins, they look bad; they had no game play video - this might have worked some years ago when they were the only ones offering such games, they had no scale comparison shots, they failed to convince me that I would like the story/the decisions etc).

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I've decided to stay in.  I picked up a EB at the start, and stayed in it through the crazy times.  There's a nice amount of content here, and it's different enough from other dudes on a map games from CMON that I'm interested in giving it a try - it's got kind of a Talisman/Runebound feel going on, only with bigger spaces. :)

 

But I'm not going for any of the expansions.  It looks like there's already a good amount of content I get with my pledge level.

 

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On 8/13/2019 at 9:51 AM, ced1106 said:

What's different this time is the perception of a failed campaign thanks to, imo, normal behavior of timed EB's. Timed EB's cause fence-sitters to pledge in the first 24 hours, to "hold a spot" before committing to a pledge, rather than pledge during the middle of a campaign. Some of these backers decide, arguably prematurely, to drop their pledge if they see that the pledge is not a good value. Although the campaign may still be profitable (over $1M is better than other CMON campaigns that did not have timed EB's), the KickTraq graphs show net backers leaving, which doesn't look good in some backer's opinion. CMON compounded this problem by placing the stretch goals with the assumption that this momentum would continue. Given that we already have graphs of timed EB behavior (eg. Solomon Kane, EXO), CMON should have not made this error.

 

 

Wow.  The timed early birds that I had looked at closely in the past were from Kingdom Death: Monster, Middara and Etherfields.

In Kingdom Death, the timed EBs didn't seem to make any difference (it followed the normal third-third-third pattern, just with higher numbers).

With Middara and Etherfields, it seemed to lessen the finishing bump, but didn't end up with long stretches of defunding.

But looking at your examples- Kane and Exo- both bled a lot of backers for significant stretches of the campaign.  Were there other factors to differentiate those from other campaigns, or should we say that this funding pattern is squarely the result of timed EBs?

In this light, I rather think that timed Early Birds are something CMON should never use again.

 

 


I feel that most of the other complaints about CMON don't really apply to this campaign alone.  They've always been all about the FOMO, they've usually started out with one LE mini thrown in, and then start to throw in more extras until you've got whole expansions, etc.  They're always quite talkative during the campaign and have practically non-existent communication afterward.

If those are major factors, I rather think they would have hit CMON before.

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3 hours ago, odinsgrandson said:

The timed early birds that I had looked at closely in the past were from Kingdom Death: Monster, Middara and Etherfields.

 

KDM didn't have timed EB's, but limited number EB's. The difference is that timed EB's usually last 24 hours, while limited number EB's (which are no longer very popular) run out in as few a a few minutes. CMON used to have limited number EB's, and had them with the "big baby" Cthulhu figures in Death May Die. Middara and Etherfields had a free miniature if you pledged within the first 24 hours. AFAIK, These don't have the same effect as timed EB's, despite having a MSRP discount of $10+.

 

Anyway, could someone who pledged post the "actual" shipping costs for Trudvang? I'm curious how accurate (useful) their updated estimated shipping costs are, given what happened during Bloodborne.

 

Edited by ced1106

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This and Solomon Kane were both card heavy (both in terms of weight for shipping and content), so fairly different from the dice chucker type of dungeon crawl with a bunch of minis, so I think a lot of people were a lot less sure of the gameplay they'd get in the end (Solomon Kane being very much not finished, and Trudvang not having a complete start to finish gameplay video from multiple review sites on the KS itself),

 

so there was the same draw to back, but much stonger backer regret possible

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12 hours ago, ced1106 said:

 

KDM didn't have timed EB's, but limited number EB's. The difference is that timed EB's usually last 24 hours, while limited number EB's (which are no longer very popular) run out in as few a a few minutes. CMON used to have limited number EB's, and had them with the "big baby" Cthulhu figures in Death May Die. Middara and Etherfields had a free miniature if you pledged within the first 24 hours. AFAIK, These don't have the same effect as timed EB's, despite having a MSRP discount of $10+.

 

Anyway, could someone who pledged post the "actual" shipping costs for Trudvang? I'm curious how accurate (useful) their updated estimated shipping costs are, given what happened during Bloodborne.

 

 

Well, I pledged for just the $90 earlybird and no add-ons... and it's telling me $27.81 for shipping.  The estimated shipping costs for shipping to the US (I'm in Denver) is $15-26, which means they're on the high end of their estimate.

 

(Amusingly, this puts me at 4 CMON kickstarters that I'm waiting for - Cthulhu, Starcadia, Munchkin, and this.)

Edited by John Fiala
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Couple of things as somebody who has also backed a number of CMON Kickstarters since Zombicide Black Plague:

 

- The amount of meaningful conversation during Trudvang from CMON's side (i.e. answering questions, providing information etc) was a lot worse than during any other CMON project before (it was mainly "Good Morning, how are you?" ... "Outlook not good" ... "We are Trudvang").

 

- The fact that CMON was milking backers (also concerning the gaps between stretch goals) for what it's worth was already criticized during other campaigns, but this time many people felt it was too much. If the stretch goals are already included in the pledge price (calculation wise), what do you really get for spending money on a product that you will get in a year and even having to pay an unknown amount for shipping?

 

- Those "Ivories" simply do  not look good. If these are really resins painted in white (as CMON stated), they are disappointing in my opinion.

 

- CMON's shipping costs have always been on the high end of their estimate or even further off  - despite the fact that they should have a pretty good idea what the final box will contain as they already have prepared most of the stretch goals. Bloodborne definitely hurt.

 

- CMON does no longer have a monopoly on boardgames with good miniatures.

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On 9/4/2019 at 7:06 PM, ced1106 said:

 

KDM didn't have timed EB's, but limited number EB's. The difference is that timed EB's usually last 24 hours, while limited number EB's (which are no longer very popular) run out in as few a a few minutes. CMON used to have limited number EB's, and had them with the "big baby" Cthulhu figures in Death May Die. Middara and Etherfields had a free miniature if you pledged within the first 24 hours. AFAIK, These don't have the same effect as timed EB's, despite having a MSRP discount of $10+.

 

Kingdom Death 1.5 used timed Early Birds.  They are labeled "Black Friday" rewards (I think they were available up until Cyber Monday).  I got one of those.

Honestly, I think it is odd that timed EB discounts have such a different effect from timed EB bonus figures.

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28 minutes ago, odinsgrandson said:

 

Kingdom Death 1.5 used timed Early Birds.  They are labeled "Black Friday" rewards (I think they were available up until Cyber Monday).  I got one of those.

Honestly, I think it is odd that timed EB discounts have such a different effect from timed EB bonus figures.

 

I grabbed a Black Friday Lantern from KD 1.5 on January 7th, the last day of the campaign.  They were limited but not timed.

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16 hours ago, Carnacki the Ghost Finder said:

 

I grabbed a Black Friday Lantern from KD 1.5 on January 7th, the last day of the campaign.  They were limited but not timed.

 

 

They were timed, but Kickstarter didn't have a feature to create timed EBs.  On Cyber Monday, they turned off new Black Friday backers by limiting the pledge to the number of people who had already grabbed it (more or less- I'm pretty sure he limited it to the next round number).  That meant that new backers could snatch them up so long as someone else dropped- and they often did drop them in order to go after some of the number limited pledges that they introduced throughout the campaign.


I don't know whether that was possible with Trudvang as people dropped out, but I think it wasn't. I think Kickstarter has created more features to allow for timed EBs, meaning that they don't open up more of them as people drop out. 

Edited by odinsgrandson

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