I'm legitimately curious how you don't see an issue with a first-order optimal strategy of repeating the same action as many times as possible to not be a design flaw.
It's not a flaw, it's just a pathway the designers want their game to flow thru. They want hackers to be able to drain the accounts of corps. To them they see this as an option that must be taken. In addition they wanted this to be a primary item for Criminals.
Back in the MTG days they would have decks with Land Destruction. First turn was destroy land, repeat, repeat, repeat, and then the game would proceed with just a different pace, with a struggle. Eventually they stopped making as many land destruction cards, and then land fixing. In addition they made different formats for the game that didn't allow some of the older LD cards. This basically justifies what you are saying.
The only thing about this game, that honestly, I don't quite understand as the real hard thing to do is: Make a choice install the 1 piece of ice in your opening 6 cards, on R&D or HQ, and it better be cheap enough for you to rez.
When I first started playing I got hit by siphon quite a bit, until I realized all I had to do was put an effective cheap piece of ice on HQ, when playing against criminal. Then only every once in a while, did I really get hurt by siphon. Now don't get me wrong, if you get hit with 3 siphon in a row pow wow, YES YOU ARE PROBABLY GOING TO LOSE.
But putting a piece of ICE out in front of HQ and rezzing to defend, then having him Special Order, then play his ICE breaker, taking turns, then SoT getting hit by siphon, making me then put up another piece of ICE, in the next turn, and rezzing, is not some crazy order of things, it's just "PLAYING" the game.
Now yes if you get those runners who manage to combine this with indexing or Maker's Eye, that can lose you the game! But that's the game dawg!
But here is a further study. If you have to protect R&D and HQ and feel like you never get to just slap down a remote server and put 1 piece of ICE out in front of that remote and play your agenda and advance on turn 2 or 3. The game just doesn't always play that way necessarily. Sometimes you have to protect the HOUSE, and wait for that sweet remote setup, and this hurts you in your gut because you want to win, so do I, I have been there.
And then you go back to saying, "should I put more ICE in the deck or not" And this just all sums up playing and deck constructing and tweaking the numbers going back and forth and the need for play testing more and more.
I don't know it feels like some people just want this game mastered in two weeks and then when they are done mastering it they will put it on the shelf and go play some other CCG, TCG, LCG... These games don't work that way. They are not video games that you play all week long and say I am finished and then go to the next game.
You have to feel frustration and then overcompensation by overly protecting HQ (and maybe R&D) and then the Metagame rears it's ugly head, where people complete lay off siphons as their main strategy, but you are all in full force protecting HQ and then lose again.
It's just playing this game...
But I can understand one point tho, BORDEM:
If you have played this game for over a year and have many games logged and feel like all that comes up over and over is account siphon, it's all the "monkeys" play, I can get that point
The only thing I can say to that is hopefully in the next year or so their will be more and more exciting ways to play criminal and other's will figure out ways to not use 8 or 12 of their INF for Siphons.
I myself don't always play siphon (especially if I run Anarch or Shaper), but when I do I have 3 SoT!! haha