I would like Matt to at least admit that the process is flawed (which it obviously is) and tell us how he's going to improve it (and actually improve the process for the next book and beyond). And also I would like Mongoose to stop expecting their customers to pay to edit and playtest their "final" releases. Or is that just too much to ask?
Well, I fundamentally disagree with your assessment.
No RPG publisher on the planet is going to put a book out like this and make it completely error-free. None. Something will always
This is normally handled by online errata and, eventually, a new print run. This results in players having to worry about whether they have the 'right' version and, if they bought the printed edition, knowing that they haven't. And keeping errata sheets handy is just a pain overall.
Releasing the PDF first avoids that. This results in a better book, whichever way you look at it, and that is something I will go for every time - doing it any other way would be ego-driven, and I just cannot court that. That is the first point to make. The final book is better and, given that it will be around for years to come, that just makes sense.
In short, I am happy to accept your criticisms if it means ten years down the road that we still have a solid book that has been enjoyed by thousands.
The second is that releasing the PDF first so it could be commented on is exactly
what players have been asking for on these forums for a few years now. With our removal of strict deadlines we can now accommodate this, and have absolutely no reason not to comply with their wishes. From that point of view, not releasing the PDF in this way could be seen as arrogant.
Now, the concerns you raise about quality issues on day one releases are
valid. But, to one extent or another, they are also unavoidable. I will say this though: High Guard, as it stands right now, before any players got their hands on it, is a solid
book. Concerns about the likes of holographic hull projectors will be met, but they are not going to cripple the book or spoil anyone's gaming experience.
In other words, you can build every ship in 3I canon and you will not hit an issue of mechanics. on the other hand, you think holographic projectors are drawing too much current, well, we can look at that.
I'll put it yet another way. High Guard, right now is a good (great?) book. With just a dash of player input (the guys who will end up using it for years to come), it will be even better.
This really is win-win for everyone.