Yeah! Nailed it on the first try! <fistpump>
So, um, drafting… In Magic and in most other CCGs as well, you use cards as resources. This means that if you pick up a couple of cards from faction/color X then you can try to make sure they're good by acquiring resource cards of faction/color X as well. In Magic, this is Lands. In another game such as Call of Cthulhu all cards are resources of their own color, so you just need to grab more cards of that faction.
Netrunner doesn't do this. Instead, bits are the basic resources you use to pay for cards - and everyone gets those the same way during gameplay. You do probably want to nab a few bit-producing cards during the draft, but they still don't match up with any particular faction. So, the good news is that the normal worry about having the right resources doesn't seem to exist in this game.
However, there's another implication to this… Most games need to have some mechanism in place to prevent gamers from cherry-picking the best cards out of every faction for their deck. Typically, resource matching is one of these mechanisms. Put too many factions in your deck, and it becomes harder to draw the right resources cards at the time you need them. Since that doesn't exist in Netrunner, I believe that there needs to be a rule to limit faction mixing. What form it takes we do not yet know, but something is going to be there whether it's based on number of cards, number of dots, number of factions, etc…
This will affect drafting! At some point, you may receive a set of cards where none of the cards are legal for your deck because they're all out of faction (maybe more people are trying to draft that faction for instance) and you've run out of whatever kind of out-of-faction points the system allows you to have. What do you do about this?
There are only a few options I can think of:
1. You don't get a card. At some point this may also result in your deck being under the legal card limit causing more problems.
2. You can pick a card, but you have to drop some other out-of-faction cards from your deck to "make room". This can also result in too-small decks.
3. The normal out-of-faction limits don't apply in draft format.
#1 and #2 seem problematic, getting to the end of the draft and having one or more players with an illegal deck is a big mess. Do you redo the whole draft? Is it just going to happen again? I can't see a game designer wanting to have things work this way.
So, is it #3 then? Looks like it. The normal rules would either not exist at all, or be relaxed to the point that it's really hard for the problem to happen. I don't even know how close those two options are to each other - if they're very close it makes sense to skip the restrictions entirely because it's simpler. I think that's actually feasible too. The out-of-faction limits mainly exist to prevent "broken" decks or combos. But, these only exist because a player can freely choose every card in his deck. In a draft format, that's not so. The other players now become responsible for making sure you don't get all the best cards or all the pieces to a ridiculous combo, because they can take those cards away from you so that they're no longer an option.
Naturally this is all conjecture since we don't have the rules yet. There may not even BE any official draft rules, in which case I'm obviously talking about the ones the community will make up But, it seems reasonable that it might work like this as the alternatives have significant issues and the need for faction mixing limits appears to be reduced in draft where other players can be the watchdogs against unbalanced designs.
And of course, you still need to hold two drafts - one for Corp cards and one for Runner cards. I don't see any way to get around that.
What do you think, sirs? Are there alternatives that I missed or can you think of a way to get around the illegal drafted decks problem?