After making up our minds about the direction and goals of the development of the second edition, and drafting out the first set of changes, the next step was to deal with the fact that we had limited time and resources to get there.

Looking back, we had a 1st Edition War of the Ring which had endured well 7 years of playing by hundreds of thousands people, some of them playing an awesome number of times. Over time, 1st Edition had indeed shown a few weaknesses, but much greater strengths. Whatever we could do to fix the former, we definitely should not put the latter into danger.

The only way to get the changes stress-tested in a comparatively short period of time was to involve experienced and dedicated people, with enough experience to judge changes at a glance, to see the traps and pitfalls they might get the game into, to test them to the limit by employing original strategies which make the most out of the new rules.

Fortunately, we had an advantage over 2003 – with 7 years on the market, the game had developed a devoted following, and we had veritable “grand masters” of the game which we could try to involve. Another big advantage over 2003 was that Sean Mc Carthy, one of these master players, had developed a client to support online WOTR play; and all through the course of the playtesting, Andrew Poulter upgraded it to keep up with new versions of the game as they came in. Playing online, and on top of that with a software upgraded "on the spot" to follow the development, was an opportunity which made definitely easier to arrange multiple test games than it was in 2003, when the only option was to find a face-to-face opponent willing to play with a rough home-made test kit.

Starting with Amado Angulo, who is a good friend of Francesco and Marco in the ‘real’ world, and the heart and soul of the WOTR online community, Kristofer “Veldrin” Bengtsson and Kevin “Krieghund” Chapman, who over the years monitored and supported the rules and FAQ, we went on to enlist the best WOTR players in the world with the “impossible mission” of improving the 1st Edition without breaking its delicate internal mechanics. A few days after, with the mailing list ready and the playtesters enlisted, it was time to start sending out the first draft of what we modestly called “Suggested Rules Changes”…

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