So I have been a subscriber for i guess about two years and I consider myself a fan of rollplay and started watching the 40k show and all rnd:s and thereafter the epic run of swansong.
My feedback is as follows:
Starting banter: Although not necessary for any show it is the build up and establishes the players and the chemistry between players and gm. I guess you could say that even as an audience member i feel like the is going on with my "friends" and gives me a reason to care about the players and not just the characters. I think that both are important to establish the sense of belonging and community.
In my opinion the starting banter in blades lacks focus and tempo. There is a lot of "awkward" pausen when ending a subject in silence and this is a product of lack of focus intrest in eachother and might be lack of chemestry.
Often i find myself thinking that if they cant keep the opening banter interesting or atleast vivid how Will they be able to do so within the confines of set rules... that depending on the setting allows player creativity.
My proposition is that building up to John geting to know the players and before the chemistry is there get some bulletpoints to keep the banter going and not loose tempo. Over time this Will get replaced by real connections between the cast and gm. Also have a set time for banter under 15 min if nothing big has happened.
I want to add that I like the crew and gm and have watched LOTs of rollplay, one shots, dropped frames and coop streama with annmunition. This is on paper one of the best setups.
The game: i just get the feel that its to big of a sand box and the players are not experienced enough to break the mold and therefore it gets a little monotone. IMO stronger season story archs Will fix this... maybe there is such a thing already but in that case make it more obvious. For example the brooding dark threat of the warmind always keept it interesting even tho week could be spent on "side missions".
I also have an issue with planing vs combat. I like planing but combat needed to feel like action and have consequenses. In blades i sadly enough feel like the planing overides the action in such a way that it hinders those "omg wtf he is gonna get torn to pieces" moments. To give another example the teleporting fight scene in earls swan song with sicarian and Victor had parts of planing and parts of plain dice Rolling kick your ASS combat... players planing characters differently made it great. Blades IMO have yet to mix the planing with the present and that takes away from what is perceived as hectic ongoing action.
Individual roles and player creativity needs to be available... don't get stuck with to much storytelling weight on a planning roll.
Missions: short one here. They are assasins. Make em kill targets in the extremes that a really nice schoolteacher just cause she witnessed a murder. Make em kill a pice of shit human being that molested kids. Stoff like that Will bring out players and characters "true" motivations and Will build towards a greater experience.
Hope this helps! Long time supporter here! And brw I wrote this on a pad with swedish autocorrect so sorry for format and spelling.