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NR's future: Block Play? Ban/Limit Cards? What do YOU think?


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#21 CommissarFeesh

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 03:34 AM

I'll second that. No card should ever be invalidated for standard play just because it's old.

That said, it COULD be really interesting to see some 'limited' format events (or hell, even just do it for fun with your local play group). Perhaps play with Genesis and C&C only (excluding Core and all releases from Spin onwards), or any other weird combination of packs you feel like (Odd-numbered Datapacks only maybe :P )

Doing something like that as events, rather than blanket-banning or excluding cards from Standard play would create some novel decks without people falling into the same problems of 'deck updating' that Magic has.

#22 Hans Chung-Otterson

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Posted 25 December 2013 - 02:59 AM

Eh, I'm OK with cards being rotated out of the current tournament format. It actually makes it EASIER for new people to join the game, as they only need to buy, say, the Core Set plus the latest cycle, rather than everything.

Also I don't know that I'd agree that the implicit agreement is that cards will never be retired. When I bought my first LCG all I thought the agreement was was that I knew what I was buying and would not have to chase rares. 

 

I want FFG to do whatever is healthy for the game. I tend to think that block-style play (in the future) is what will be healthiest for the game, but I could be wrong.



#23 Grimwalker

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Posted 26 December 2013 - 08:26 AM

Also I don't know that I'd agree that the implicit agreement is that cards will never be retired. When I bought my first LCG all I thought the agreement was was that I knew what I was buying and would not have to chase rares. 

 

I want FFG to do whatever is healthy for the game. I tend to think that block-style play (in the future) is what will be healthiest for the game, but I could be wrong.

 

Well, let's put it this way: Game of Thrones has been an LCG since 2008, and in that time, no cards have been retired. 2013 saw A Clash of Arms go *back* into print after having been OOP for a couple of years. Likewise, their explicit statements regarding the use of a Restricted List for "soft rotation" means that yes, not only has set retirement *never* happened in an LCG, I think you can take it as an implicit agreement that we won't have sets rotated out. I think this is the healthiest way to go about it, as it doesn't create a situation where players' investments are wasted by becoming so much unusable box filler.



#24 Hans Chung-Otterson

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Posted 26 December 2013 - 01:18 PM

The way they've handled Game of Thrones is indeed a strong argument for a future with no rotation.

 

I think this idea is a long shot, but: given the popularity and critical mass of Netrunner, if it could get the right boost at the right time, it could hit the stratosphere in terms of sales and play. I think that not having a block cycle is a strong disincentive for new players to get into the game the longer the game is around, which would inhibit this boost. I could see FFG introducing a block cycle as a strategic move to bump Netrunner up--if not to Magic levels, then to a not-distant silver medal.

Do I really think that's gonna happen? No. I don't think FFG will do that, and I'm not an MBA, so obviously I'm missing lots of pieces to the puzzle. But I wish they would do it, and if they did I think that would be the logic. 


Edited by Hans Chung-Otterson, 26 December 2013 - 01:20 PM.


#25 rzarectz

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Posted 26 December 2013 - 03:13 PM

From an Invasion players standpoint,  I have to say that all of these were similar concerns when Invasion started to mature as well.  There was a perceived power creep around the third cycle, a lot of players in my area dropped because of it. But honestly it all blew over. This was admittedly helped by the intro of a restricted list for the game.  Which in my opinion should be strongly avoided for any game.  But regardless the perceived power creep really fizzled out as FFG did a good job at releasing cards that complimented other less powerful cards, and releasing new possibilities to counter some of the more powerful cards in the game.  They did such a good job at this that tournament reports during the mid to late era of the games development continuously showed all 6 races well represented not only among entrants but among winners as well. 

 

So I guess what Im trying to say is that FFG understands the problems that arise from an increasing card pool and combos that dominate the competitive scene.  You'll see as the game ages that some very powerful cards won't seem to dominant anymore, and conversely some cards that you had sluffed off long ago as useless now suddenly have a place in your deck.

 

As for the practical concern about the increasing cost to buying into the game, well all I can say is try and get as many of your friends hooked now, because an aging, expensive, and seemingly forgotten card game is a recipe for player base decline!


Edited by rzarectz, 26 December 2013 - 03:16 PM.


#26 etherial

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Posted 26 December 2013 - 03:30 PM

Do I really think that's gonna happen? No. I don't think FFG will do that, and I'm not an MBA, so obviously I'm missing lots of pieces to the puzzle. But I wish they would do it, and if they did I think that would be the logic. 

 

I reiterate my question: Has any *CG other than Magic had block play?



#27 Venthrac

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Posted 26 December 2013 - 05:25 PM

 

Do I really think that's gonna happen? No. I don't think FFG will do that, and I'm not an MBA, so obviously I'm missing lots of pieces to the puzzle. But I wish they would do it, and if they did I think that would be the logic. 

 

I reiterate my question: Has any *CG other than Magic had block play?

 

 

Yes. Decipher's Lord of the Rings CCG implemented block play later in it's lifespan.



#28 etherial

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 09:24 AM

Yes. Decipher's Lord of the Rings CCG implemented block play later in it's lifespan.

Thanks, though Wikipedia seems to indicate that was the death knell for the game.


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#29 CommissarFeesh

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 09:55 AM

Enforced block play for Netrunner would be awful.

 

Occasional events with restricted packs, however, could be really fun and interesting.

 

I have no doubt if you were to start a poll (BGG would probably be best due to number of regularly active users) there would be a landslide of people who would agree that mandatory bock play would be bad for the game.


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#30 Grimwalker

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 11:55 AM

The current block of MTG (Theros), the current Core Set, and the previous "block" (Return to Ravnica, Gatecrash, Dragon's Maze) comprise 1,177 cards, and oddly enough, the earliest of those was released right after Gen Con 2012, right when Netrunner was released.

 

By all accounts, being competitive in that scene costs upwards of (VERY conservatively) $100 per month, and in a couple of years, those cards that you spent money on will no longer be legal in Standard play. If I have $50 per month to spend, then in competition I'm going to be a speedbump for those with more money and fewer social skills.

 

Now, in basically the same amount of time, ANR has released 348 cards, and I've spent $245 MSRP which averages out to less than $15 per month. At this rate, to equal just the current block of Magic (1507 cards at completion in April 2014), at the rate they're releasing cards will take until sometime in the year 2022. That's to equal ONE BLOCK of Magic which WOTC pumps out in about eighteen months.*

 

I'm sorry, but this conversation boggles my mind. The cost of playing Netrunner is SO LOW, and the card pool is so small, the rate of release so gradual, that any discussion of rotation or retirement at this early date is pure, undiluted hogwash. To even compare the two when they operate on such wildly different scales makes no sense. To complain about stagnation and limited number of viable archetypes when we've got less content than ONE Magic Core Set and ONE expansion is risible.

 

(*then again, it also baffles me why anyone would dump hundreds of dollars into a game that obsoletes your purchases on a frequent and ongoing basis, so maybe I'm just missing something altogether. The dizzying plethora of different MTG formats to me is a symptom of a game that is fundamentally broken, and operates primarily as a means to separate its players from their disposable income first, and sustain a viable meta a distant second. I'm pretty much opposed to any attempt to imitate MTG, because if so, it means something has gone wrong. Our current problems are caused by too few cards, not too many.)


Edited by Grimwalker, 27 December 2013 - 12:03 PM.

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#31 Grimwalker

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 12:10 PM

A Game of Thrones has a Core set, six deluxe sets, and fifty-nine chapter packs and every one of them is legal for play.

 

I'll just point out that this is 1708 cards, and as such they exceeded the size of one full "Standard format" MTG block sometime early this past year.


Edited by Grimwalker, 27 December 2013 - 02:58 PM.


#32 Hans Chung-Otterson

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Posted 28 December 2013 - 01:57 AM

Occasional events with restricted packs, however, could be really fun and interesting.

 

I think this is a great idea that solves the problem without being disrupting to the game as a whole. I'd love to see more events with different formats and different cards. 

 

 

I'm sorry, but this conversation boggles my mind. The cost of playing Netrunner is SO LOW, and the card pool is so small, the rate of release so gradual, that any discussion of rotation or retirement at this early date is pure, undiluted hogwash. To even compare the two when they operate on such wildly different scales makes no sense. To complain about stagnation and limited number of viable archetypes when we've got less content than ONE Magic Core Set and ONE expansion is risible.

 

I for one am just discussing ideas! I ain't calling for heads to roll or that the sky is falling; just thinking about my favorite game and its future. I think the wider perspective you're dropping is very useful, also.


Edited by Hans Chung-Otterson, 28 December 2013 - 02:01 AM.


#33 Venthrac

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Posted 28 December 2013 - 09:55 PM

(*then again, it also baffles me why anyone would dump hundreds of dollars into a game that obsoletes your purchases on a frequent and ongoing basis, so maybe I'm just missing something altogether. The dizzying plethora of different MTG formats to me is a symptom of a game that is fundamentally broken, and operates primarily as a means to separate its players from their disposable income first, and sustain a viable meta a distant second. I'm pretty much opposed to any attempt to imitate MTG, because if so, it means something has gone wrong. Our current problems are caused by too few cards, not too many.)

 

I don't find it so baffling myself, really. I believe a strong part of Magic's success - and the game has grown by something like 25% in each of the past four years, is that the rotation of cards keeps the game fresh and interesting. There are always new challenges and new deck designs moving through the game, and I think that's been a great thing for it.

 

Now, if you're looking at it from a purely financial point of view, then yeah, it is a pretty big investment. It reminds me of the Warhammer miniatures games, which require increasing outlays of cash and make you do all the work to assemble and paint models. But I'm getting a bit off-topic here.

 

I guess the proof is in the pudding, so to speak, in that MtG has been flourishing since the implementation of block play. Therefore, it poses an interesting theoretical question to ask if this would also benefit Netrunner in the future. Or, if not that, would Netrunner instead benefit from a Restricted list. Does it even need these things? Cases have been made for and against both, and I've enjoyed hearing the various opinions, including yours, Grim.

 

I'm no expert on the card games business, but I do know this - I'm looking forward to seeing some new deck archetypes and strategies that will unseat some of the current kings of the NR meta. Just a matter of time, I'm sure, but there are multiple ways to achieve that, and they don't all involve designing new cards.


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#34 CommissarFeesh

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 04:15 AM

It's also possible to attribute M:tG's ongoing growth to the fact that it's so big anyway - a snowball effect of the game's success.

If I want to play Netrunner at my LGS, I usually have to arrange a game ahead of time. comparatively, I can turn up any time of any day and get a game of Magic. The same it true of Warhammer vs. Warmachine.

This has two effects: firstly, if you're just being exposed to card games or miniature wargaming, these will typically be the first ones you encounter. Hell, for the longest time I didn't even know there WERE other games.

Secondly, if I want to get into a game which has an established playerbase to ensure I get regular play, I'll probably pick Magic before any other game.

Block play forces even established players to constantly shell out for new cards, which feeds the ever-hungry coffers at WotC/Hasbro. I'm not convinced it's beneficial to the game, or the players.

#35 Venthrac

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 11:06 AM

Good point, Commisar. The smaller player base is a good argument against block play, restrictions, etc.

#36 Grimwalker

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 08:01 AM

 

(*then again, it also baffles me why anyone would dump hundreds of dollars into a game that obsoletes your purchases on a frequent and ongoing basis, so maybe I'm just missing something altogether. The dizzying plethora of different MTG formats to me is a symptom of a game that is fundamentally broken, and operates primarily as a means to separate its players from their disposable income first, and sustain a viable meta a distant second. I'm pretty much opposed to any attempt to imitate MTG, because if so, it means something has gone wrong. Our current problems are caused by too few cards, not too many.)

 

I don't find it so baffling myself, really. I believe a strong part of Magic's success - and the game has grown by something like 25% in each of the past four years, is that the rotation of cards keeps the game fresh and interesting. There are always new challenges and new deck designs moving through the game, and I think that's been a great thing for it.

 

I'm no expert on the card games business, but I do know this - I'm looking forward to seeing some new deck archetypes and strategies that will unseat some of the current kings of the NR meta. Just a matter of time, I'm sure, but there are multiple ways to achieve that, and they don't all involve designing new cards.

 

I'll just reiterate that at present, ANR has a card pool of 348 cards. Magic 2013 Core Set has 249, and Theros another 249.

 

Do you imagine for one second that if MTG were limited to just M13 and one expansion, that a very few archetypes wouldn't be dominant?

 

Add into it that ANR's card pool is bisected between Corp and Runner, so you're effectively deckbuilding out of a pool of 174 cards. And your solution...is to take cards *out* of the pool? To keep the pool limited in size due to FFG's very modest rate of output?

 

I really can't find any merit in that line of thinking.



#37 Hans Chung-Otterson

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 03:47 PM

I'll let Venthrac speak for her or himself, but Grim, I don't think anyone here is saying that right now FFG needs to restrict cards or implement block play. We're discussing what the benefits are and if we could see it as a useful thing in Netrunner as it grows.



#38 Grimwalker

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 04:25 PM

Well, in the OP, Venthrac was lamenting the limited variety of builds in the current meta and was skeptical of the meta being improved anytime soon.  He specifically mentioned that he was not sanguine about any new cards serving that purpose, going so far as to be doubtful that even Honor and Profit would not shake things up.

 

So, having dismissed the possibility that any currently-announced release would address the problem, he then posited the notion of rotating cards out of play. So, I'm just taking him at his word, and responding why it's a horrible idea that fails to take basic facts into account. I'm trying to be polite, honestly I am, but it's neither a good solution, nor is it in keeping with the LCG model as presented by FFG. By their own policies, the only rotation is soft rotation, implemented via the Restricted list.

 

It also irks me from the beginning that Venthrac asks whether he's from "a boring, conservative group of Netrunner players." Well...he said it, not me. He also says he doesn't follow the boards, which means he's also probably not following BGG, or the many ANR podcasts, and all I can say is that with all the input and ideas out there, the ground is shifting so fast that I have more deck ideas than I can build and test, and I resent that one insular group has decided that they know which way the wind is blowing and wants to look to a game I have no enthusiasm for and bring in aspects of it which I actively despise.


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#39 Hans Chung-Otterson

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 06:42 PM

Cool. The original thread is totally out of my mind, and I've had the conversation of the last page or so firmly implanted. I think you're right, by and large. I'm going to exit this thread as the discussion doesn't really seem useful for me any more. Thanks!



#40 Venthrac

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Posted 31 December 2013 - 04:58 PM

A few quick thoughts...

 

All efforts to be polite are appreciated. So thank you.

 

Just to clarify, I am very happy with the amount of variety possible with the full scope of Netrunner deck builds. You can build all manner of interesting decks on either side, Corp or Runner. What's telling, however, is that certain builds are seeming to dominate competitive play. Now, that's just today. Perhaps in six months, an entirely different set of archetype will hold the same position. In some ways, that would be good, because it would demonstrate that the game is evolving as it should. What would be my pipe dream is to see another Plugged-In Tour where a wider range of archetypes were sharing in the wins, and you could see a more evenly-distributed spread of percentages among factions played both in Corp and Runner. Such a result would speak to a very healthy game, I think.

 

I expect some of that will come with time, as the card pool expands. As has been observed, it's still pretty small as of today.

 

I think the best idea I've read here is to have specific events where a limited format is used as a way to add variety and challenge the deck-builders. I'm keen on that, it does sound like fun. I might have to propose that to the locals here and maybe we can try it out as a way to pry some of our players away from Andromeda and Tag & Bag decks ;) 






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