So the big change everyone's clueless about (but interested in!) is the addition of Factions to the game. Here's what I've been able to figure out so far:
- 7 "Identity" cards identify the factions, 4 corps and 3 runner groups.
- Choosing and using a n identity seems to be mandatory?
- Most (but not all) of the cards we've seen so far have a single faction icon in either the lower left or lower right, in addition to coloration changes and "watermarks" in the text blocks
…and that's about it. Anyone else see anything I missed?
As for expectations, I have to admit that I'm a bit iffy on their addition to the game. Don't get me wrong - I'm not panicking, and I'm certainly not going to throw a fit without actually seeing it. But one of the things I really liked about the original was that there WEREN'T factions or colors. Every corp card you pulled was potentially useful for your corp deck and you didn't have to worry about whether it was Red or Blue or White. It also made for a much bigger pool to assemble from. As someone pointed out, 7 factions means a very small pool of cards to work with when you're building for a given faction. It also means the discovery element of "What am I facing?" goes away a bit. If HB's bioroids means it's the best at doing meat damage, and Weyland's construction capabilities means you know you're facing remote location nodes, that discovery fades.
So, I'm hoping that Identities may change up a few rules without completely defining how you play. What that means exactly remains to be seen - maybe appropriate cards are slightly less expensive or more effective, without being so much so that you're crippled for including off-faction cards.
Also, as a minor side note, what's up with the faction icon being in different places on different cards? That seems a very strange decision for card layout…