Just wanted to share my thoughts regarding the above topics and to see if others agree. I believe I am not alone. I'll keep it as short as possible (reading back over this I clearly failed) and to the point.
I want to talk about two subjects:
1) The validity and future of draft play
2) Organised play with regards to the schedule in particular
Netrunner draft - I think it's a fantastic idea (I adore drafting) but poorly executed as a tangent to the living card game model. The general feedback I've seen is that the draft itself was fun (and I absolutely agree with this), but afterwards the drafters have felt 'empty,' almost like being robbed. The kind of feeling you get after Mr Santiago has Siphoned you for the sixth time over.
The contents of the draft packs are completely useless to the existing player base with the exception of a few of the Core Set one-of's that have been included.
Some have tried to argue that it's great for a new player to get into the game as a response. I disagree - if said new player then asks me about their next purchase, it's going to be two core sets, three if they can afford it. The advice doesn't change and leaves the player wondering what to do with their c£20 worth of cards. The answer isn't pretty.
I can't figure out why they have been designed the way they have been and I know that as a result our LGS won't be getting Overdrive ordered in. There is no incentive to draft - there's no new cards, nothing to collect and no replayability. Sure, with Overdrive we get to see Lunar Cycle cards earlier perhaps than normal but that won't generate interest. I'm perfectly happy waiting for their respective data packs to be released with a playset of each card.
Personally, I don't mind shelling out on the odd draft here and there but it's almost impossible to persuade my locals. There's nothing I can say that will be able to convince them otherwise because there is no selling point ESPECIALLY when the 'one-ofs' are freely guaranteed in the purchase of another core set for just a little more moolah.
Fixes have been mentioned in other posts - alt art cards, more 'draft only' cards but I think they're short term fixes and I believe the lack of true replayability is the real issue. If I'm spending $25 on a card game I want the money to go far, not be a sunk cost three and a half hours later. My suggestion (which is in theme with the LCG model in my opinion) would be to sell the draft sets as Cubes - a full draft set with pre-built packs for the first experience with instructions on how to re-build and modify the experience.
Expansions can then be released with details on how to amend the existing pool (in exactly the same way the Thrones expansions came with deck notes and suggested deck lists), creating new archetypes and encouraging the cube owners to play around with it. Unlimited replayability with a dynamic draft play experience. That would be awesome.
Sure, from a business standpoint, FFG aren't going to sell two copies of the same cube to the same playgroup but I very highly doubt there has been any repeat buyers of the current draft packs.
Of course, people could always take photo's of the draft packs and try to rebuild them, but after a while, that will get boring. I'm aware people have attempted to reverse-engineer the algorithm used for the packs but that just doesn't feel right. Give us a shiny new cube set and give us a framework. Coming from a Magic background, 'cubing' is THE most fun you can have with a card game like this. Cubes have their own identity and I think it's high time the concept is officially brought to the game of Netrunner that we all adore!
Organised play - Well then, about those things that I adore. I love tournaments, I love preparing for tournaments, I love travelling to tournaments and I love tournament reports. I have well and truly fallen for the game. You can imagine my dismay when I learned that after the National tournaments are over, that's it until next year.
As an ex-Magic grinder I find this disappointing - I'm used to high level play at least once a month. Why even bother releasing cycles between now and the next competitive season? There's certainly no reason to test as the metagame will be completely different after that many datapacks.
I've heard rumours that another Plugged In/Chronos Protocol Tour type of event will be occurring to tide us over the remainder of the year. Hopefully even two. Please tell me something like this is actually in the works. It's at least something to keep the competitive juices flowing (ideally I'd have wanted more Regional tournaments and have them spread throughout the year with a Nationals at the end).
Hopefully I'm singing to the choir here, but I'd love to hear what other people think. Am I misguided or do you agree with me?
PS. A while back the guys at stimhack.com produced an article on 4 man cube drafting with a Core Set and I assume this will work with the full Genesis Cycle. Try it for yourself with your LGS, again and again and tell me it's not the most fun you have had! I won't believe you!