home

Author Topic: Matt Ward interview  (Read 133 times)

Online The Black Knight

  • Posts: 205
Matt Ward interview
« on: September 07, 2019, 11:37:46 PM »
From the same guys who talked to the Perry twins.

I know Matt Ward is far from a fan favourite, but it's better to hear things from the horses mouth eh?

https://soundcloud.com/eye-of-horus-podcast/the-elector-counts-episode-11-matt-ward

The interview starts around 1:50 - warning, a lot of foul language as one of the hosts does his best to be incredibly obnoxious (and succeeds).

A couple of interesting takeaways:

- By the time the End Times rolled out he was only responsible for the lore, not the rules writing. He participated in creating the narrative for the books together with Jeremy Vettock, Phil Kelly and someone else I didn't catch.

- Although he chooses his words carefully (and he is obviously a well-spoken man), I could sense he wasn't thrilled with the Old World getting canned. He speaks a lot about being handed a super difficult task and trying to make the most of it. Literally just "killing it and turning the lights off".

- His comments about Bretonnia and that "all they had discussed through the years was put into the Nagash book", made me realize GW had absolutely no clue what to do with them since the 6th ed book. That is way more depressing, than all the rumours about supposed development plans that got cancelled.

- He did not seem to think that there was any point of pitching a cathay or an albion army to the management and that it would be very difficult to market. I think this reflects the overall mental attitude of GW's management during the 7th - 8th ed times. Come to think of it, they weren't really taking many risks by introducing new armies or products - just adding to the existing ranges or replacing metal units with plastic. Whereas the new GW has really made a 180 and is just basically exploring every bit of old fluff/idea they can find. Which I find much better, even though most of their products aren't for me anymore.

- He did acknowledge that new army books had a lot of copy-paste fluff from previous editions, but that it was impossible to remove it as most players were pretty attached to it. It also wouldn't make sense, as this fluff was by this point the history of the world. This left very little room for pushing the narrative forward or just exploring some new ideas.

- He also said that by the time he was leaving, the writing team has actually shrunk in comparison to 6th edition times, when he joined in. Well...that explains a lot!

Anyways an interesting listen. i was wondering what you guys thought about it.
"All right... we'll call it a draw".

My fantasy-themed terrain log

Offline Gankom

  • Posts: 3582
  • The World Builder
Re: Matt Ward interview
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2019, 12:32:07 AM »
I think that generally Ward gets a great deal of flak from tons of things, some of which he probably doesn't deserve. After End Times people would talk to the author josh Reynolds and he was filling in the fates of characters who didn't get mentioned. From the sounds of it some of the characters got straight up forgotten. Characters like Skarsnik originally had big plans, disappeared on 'secret missions' and never showed up again. GW REALLY fumbled End Times.

Offline Rowsdower

  • Posts: 932
  • Is there beer on the sun?
    • Jesse Cowled
Re: Matt Ward interview
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2019, 01:57:50 AM »
I can see why GW chose not to do an Albion army. They also probably didn't want to add another 'human' race when they already had so many Empire kits out at the time.

Online The Black Knight

  • Posts: 205
Re: Matt Ward interview
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2019, 10:04:03 PM »
Truth be told I could not work my way through the End Times books, after I've learnt what they were leading to. I might try reading Nagash again I guess.

As for Matt Ward, his name is cited as the author of the 8th ed rulebook if I remember correctly. I happen to like a lot of things about that version of the rules, so I "forgive him" for what he did with demons in 7th (maybe cause I haven't played much demons back then, heh).

Almost every GW rules writer made some mistakes in their career. Even the highly acclaimed Alessio produced the broken 6th ed skaven book.
"All right... we'll call it a draw".

My fantasy-themed terrain log

Offline Rowsdower

  • Posts: 932
  • Is there beer on the sun?
    • Jesse Cowled
Re: Matt Ward interview
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2019, 03:30:30 AM »
^ Agreed. Someone I once talked to mentioned a typo in the first Imperial Guard codex about NCO's being allowed to carry Thunder hammers. Goes to show nobody is perfect

Offline Cèsar de Quart

  • Posts: 11
Re: Matt Ward interview
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2019, 08:29:07 AM »
Honestly, Albion and Cathay could have been great armies, even with the design philosophy behind Age of Sigmar nowadays. Plenty of room for big beasts and fantasy ideas. Albion with its Gaelic aesthetics and Cathay with its Three Kingdoms look and its terracotta men monstrous unit.

Such a pity.

Online The Black Knight

  • Posts: 205
Re: Matt Ward interview
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2019, 10:54:31 PM »
It is a indeed a shame.

He said that he (and as one of the main lore guys I believe this was a belief shared by his colleagues) always viewed the Old World as an alternative / paralell version of late medieval Euorpe. Thus the view of the world was very "Europocentric", it was the story of Empire and Bretonnia and the other human nations of the Old World. Ind, Cathay, Nippon were the background, that hinted at how large the world was, but that didn't play a major part in the story.

Then again, Bretonnia was treated like crap for 2 editions while Tilea, Estalia and Kislev had it even worse. So not sure this makes that much sense.

I think what he meant is that there is always a need for the "unknown" in a story, for it to be exciting. The far-off nations were meant to provide this sense of mystery and also to let people have a way of filling in the blanks themselves.

I hope I am not twisting his own words too much! Perhaps you should listen to the interview yourselves  :icon_mrgreen:.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2019, 11:10:38 PM by The Black Knight »
"All right... we'll call it a draw".

My fantasy-themed terrain log

Offline KTG17

  • Posts: 103
Re: Matt Ward interview
« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2019, 11:08:01 PM »
As I was really into 40k prior to Ward coming on board and missed the whole boat on WFB, what exactly did Ward do to make him so controversial?

Offline Rowsdower

  • Posts: 932
  • Is there beer on the sun?
    • Jesse Cowled
Re: Matt Ward interview
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2019, 12:05:31 AM »
As I was really into 40k prior to Ward coming on board and missed the whole boat on WFB, what exactly did Ward do to make him so controversial?
I think a lot of it had to do with a Blood Angels codex he wrote. A small group of people on the interwebs disliked it, took it to 1d4chan and tried to make him out to be histories greatest monster

Offline Warlord

  • Global Moderator
  • Posts: 9358
  • Sydney, Australia
Re: Matt Ward interview
« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2019, 04:00:43 AM »
He also wrote the 8th edition fantasy rulebook, which lead to army size explosions to remain competitive. Requiring units of 50 models is expensive.
Quote from: Gneisenau
I hate people who don't paint their armies, hate them with all my guts. Beats me how they value other things over painting, like eating or brushing teeth.

Online The Black Knight

  • Posts: 205
Re: Matt Ward interview
« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2019, 09:17:01 AM »
As far as I remember he wrote the 7th edition Demon book for fantasy, which was a bit overpowered and people complained a lot.

But as he says it, back in the earleir days all of the game developers were pretty much involved in everything at once. So it's pretty hard to point fingers I think.
"All right... we'll call it a draw".

My fantasy-themed terrain log

Offline Cèsar de Quart

  • Posts: 11
Re: Matt Ward interview
« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2019, 11:57:02 AM »
I'd buy the "the game is Eurocentric and everything else is in the background" if, when they made the Ogre Kingdoms, they didn't set it at the other goddamn side of the Darklands, or the Lizardmen in Lustria instead of the Southlands.

GW's fluff problem was always that sometimes excuses had to be contrived to allow for a High Elf vs Ogre Kingdoms or Tomb Kings battle. What I don't get is why they never expanded on the Marco Colombo expansion. It was set in freaking 1492, and it's 2522! A thousand years later! There's time to create developed colonies in Lustria, in the Southlands and in the Darklands, Imperial, Tilean, Bretonnian, Estalian, Elven (all kinds)... and that lets you justify inter-continental battles very easily.

It'd be cool if someone like Ward had said "yes, the game is Eurocentric and we only see Cathay, Ind and the Darklands through Imperial eyues... but they may not be what we've been told they are... Maybe the Darklands are harsh steppes, but populated by rich and diverse cultures. Maybe Ind is a very complex place plagued by tiger and elephant faced Beastmen, and many armed daemons of Slaanesh. But no, the Darklands are Mordor, and we're never going to develop it in any way (other than what was done in Tamurkhan, which was not bad, all things considered).

Ibn Battuta, when he travelled to Crimea, descrives "the Dark Lands" beyond the Crimean tatar khanate. His account is full of implausibilities and mysteries (like fur traders who only come out at night and have never been seen by the Tatars themselves, because they take what they want while the Tatars sleep and exchange the goods they've taken for what they believe it's worth, thus the traders never see each other), which are probably exagerations and outright commonplace tropes of Medieval travel literature (I think Herodotus reports a similar tale, but set in Lybia), but they do convey the sense that our civilized known world is a normal place, and beyond this, dragons. Umberto Eco exemplarised this very well in his own mock travel journal set in the 1190's, Baudolino.

Ward and the rest could have benefitted from a bit of what inspired the Warhammer World in the first place: real History.

Offline Rowsdower

  • Posts: 932
  • Is there beer on the sun?
    • Jesse Cowled
Re: Matt Ward interview
« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2019, 03:08:19 PM »
I think the Columbo expedition taking place in 1492 was something to do with someone at Games Workshop trying to be clever.
That being said; the internet loves a victim. I caught a documentary the other night on a local network that was about trolling.