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Identity abilities


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#1 Buhallin

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 06:13 AM

So, we've got our first hints of the Identities now.  While some aspects are still unclear (I'm surprised that both Runner and Corp have the same 45/15 numbering) we do see some core abilities.  And I'm… annoyed.

One of the things I loved about NetRunner is how thematically tight it was.  There was a defined interaction between the runner and the corp, and the cards respected that.  The corp could have the nastiest set of ICE in the world, but it couldn't touch the Runner if they didn't go there.  Most opportunities for the Corp to directly affect the Runner required them to be tagged, or have just completed a run.  The interactions were all very strongly defined to the theme of the game.

But both identities we have blow this right out of the water:

Noise: "Whenever you install a new Virus program the corp trashes the top card of R&D"

Jinteki: "Whenever an agenda is scored or stolen do one net damage"

Why in the world should the corp lose R&D because the runner INSTALLS a virus program?  Damaging a runner who just stole an agenda first, but how the heck does Jinteki finishing an ad campaign cause a runner who's not even jacked in to take net damage?  Do runners in the Android universe have a tendency to fly into fits of nerdrage and demolish their own equipment at the mere mention of Jinteki?

It remains to be seen how much of this thematic integrity has been abandoned - other examples like Neural EMP seem to respect it.  But if it's something the design team has decided is unnecessary, it's going to be a very sad thing for the game.



#2 ffaristocrat

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 03:18 PM

 I think they thematically make sense once you remember the theme has actually changed.

The Android setting includes psionics in addition to the normal cyberpunk mainstays. Jinteki appears to be a corp that focuses on that attribute - "Personal evolution" and whatnot. So Net damage = Psychic feedback.

Anarchs are focused on viruses. I see the ability as them sending out prep work in advance of the real stuff, whatever the Android version of a Word macro virus is, maybe. Nothing that standard corporate security wouldn't prevent from sending info outside the firewalls, but enough to cause your average desk drone to "accidentally" delete important plans/ice software or crash computers for a day so they can't pull off an operation. Remember, you still have to run archives and the corporation is going to know from the start what your identity is.



#3 Treguard

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 09:15 PM

ffaristocrat said:

 I think they thematically make sense once you remember the theme has actually changed.

The Android setting includes psionics in addition to the normal cyberpunk mainstays. Jinteki appears to be a corp that focuses on that attribute - "Personal evolution" and whatnot. So Net damage = Psychic feedback.

Anarchs are focused on viruses. I see the ability as them sending out prep work in advance of the real stuff, whatever the Android version of a Word macro virus is, maybe. Nothing that standard corporate security wouldn't prevent from sending info outside the firewalls, but enough to cause your average desk drone to "accidentally" delete important plans/ice software or crash computers for a day so they can't pull off an operation. Remember, you still have to run archives and the corporation is going to know from the start what your identity is.

This seems like a reasonable assessment, but it's a shame there isn't a header for each ability, such as "Psychic Feedback" and "Viral Prep" respectively, just to give an indication of what having ability actually means for the player.



#4 Buhallin

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Posted 18 July 2012 - 09:40 AM

It's certainly possible to come up with justifications for it (it is science fiction, after all, I'm sure we're all accustomed to that).  But that sense of teh anonymity of the runner and the deliberate actions taken between the two players was still central to me.  I can see the virus testing as a resource for the runner which would provide that effect - it makes sense, in that the runner cultivates that resource, and it can be dealt with by the corp.  I could see Jinteki's psychics as alternate ways to damage a runner, or tag them for other applications, but a psychic who uses an ad campaign to fry a runner's brain while theoretically knowing nothing about them?  Bleagh :(

 



#5 Anarchosyn

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Posted 18 July 2012 - 04:26 PM

 Beyond mere justification, if identities are know up-front, it will lends a unique dynamic to specific faction match-ups that, though far from altering the meat of the game, will offer nice twists to play.

I applaud their inclusion.

My only problem is, of the two we've seen, their is an imbalance in defensive options -- the runner can prepare and play defense against Jintek's ability, but there doesn't seem to be workable defense against Noise's ability, aside from stacking one's deck with archive searching cards (and hoping Noise doesn't get lucky and dump those by accident). 

 



#6 subochre

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Posted 18 July 2012 - 04:29 PM

Buhallin said:

I could see Jinteki's psychics as alternate ways to damage a runner, or tag them for other applications, but a psychic who uses an ad campaign to fry a runner's brain while theoretically knowing nothing about them?  Bleagh :( 

 

Well, the agenda part is easy enough to explain; even if it's just an ad campaign, more completed agendas (of whatever nature) means more opportunities for Jinteki to get more and fancier clones out into the workforce. And for what it's worth, their psychics are also precogs, so even an anonymous runner who hasn't struck yet can still be at risk (and if even that is too theme-breaking, consider that Caprice's precognition was vague and unreliable, so it's probably less of a "Noise Reilly is going to attack at 0300 tomorrow, go to this address and kick his ass" than a "I have a vision of a place where I should go and fire a psionic blast or something bad will befall the company")



#7 Treguard

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 02:13 AM

subochre said:

Buhallin said:

 

I could see Jinteki's psychics as alternate ways to damage a runner, or tag them for other applications, but a psychic who uses an ad campaign to fry a runner's brain while theoretically knowing nothing about them?  Bleagh :( 

 

 

 

Well, the agenda part is easy enough to explain; even if it's just an ad campaign, more completed agendas (of whatever nature) means more opportunities for Jinteki to get more and fancier clones out into the workforce. And for what it's worth, their psychics are also precogs, so even an anonymous runner who hasn't struck yet can still be at risk (and if even that is too theme-breaking, consider that Caprice's precognition was vague and unreliable, so it's probably less of a "Noise Reilly is going to attack at 0300 tomorrow, go to this address and kick his ass" than a "I have a vision of a place where I should go and fire a psionic blast or something bad will befall the company")

An interesting interpretation, but again, there's little indication on the card to justify this. In fact, were a player to approach this game without playing Android, there would be little cause to link Jinteki with psychic clones. All in all whilst I love the identity concept, I hope there's some fluff text somewhere that gives context to the abilities.

 



#8 flamejuggler

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 04:07 AM

Anarchosyn said:

 Beyond mere justification, if identities are know up-front, it will lends a unique dynamic to specific faction match-ups that, though far from altering the meat of the game, will offer nice twists to play.

I applaud their inclusion.

My only problem is, of the two we've seen, their is an imbalance in defensive options -- the runner can prepare and play defense against Jintek's ability, but there doesn't seem to be workable defense against Noise's ability, aside from stacking one's deck with archive searching cards (and hoping Noise doesn't get lucky and dump those by accident). 

 

 

against jinteki, the runner needs to hoard cards in hand and expect to take net damage.  Don't mess with the plans of psychics, or you WILL get burned.

Vs Noise, the corp needs to anticipate the possible need to ice up archives if the dataleakage gets too severe.  Viruses corrupt corporate systems, and important files accidentally get purged due to an exploit.

I think the flavor makes sense without anymore fluff than whats there, in context of everything else.  I don't see a real need to spell things out as card games often make you think about a mechanic a bit to connect the flavor, but its definitely there imho, and the other factions cards will help augment the faction flavor as well.  I think these factions will be GREAT additions to the game and make deckbuilding variety and matchups much more diverse. I like that they subtly change how you need to play.



#9 dboeren

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 06:19 AM

I think we shouldn't look gift horses too closely in the mouth.  Identities provide an extra dash of unique flavor to the game - I think we all agree that this is a good thing.  Occasionally it may not make total sense without a bit of handwaving, which is common in sci-fi.  I can deal with that.  In an abstract sense, Noise is into viruses and if he's around you should expect some occasional damage to seep in from them.  No game mechanic will capture this perfectly in a way which is accurate and consistent with all the fluff, but as long as it carries that general idea I'm fine.



#10 ffaristocrat

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 09:01 AM

 Gameplay wise, I think abilities like this are actually a good addition to the game. The most broken decks in classic NR were solitaire style decks that turtled up and avoided interacting with the other player until they could pull off the winning masterstroke. 

Anything that disrupts that type of play is a plus. Noise would knock Psycho Tycho off its pace by milling R&D. The no-run Bad Publicity decks are vulnerable to random discards so Jinteki would put a stop to that. That 2/1 tagging agenda is a good way to keep a runner paranoid that a hit team could knock down their door if they're not aggressive enough.

Basically, these changes are going to force a much more aggressive/interactive/riskier play style on everyone because you'll just get burned anyways if you don't.

 



#11 subochre

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Posted 20 July 2012 - 11:43 AM

Treguard said:

 

 

An interesting interpretation, but again, there's little indication on the card to justify this. In fact, were a player to approach this game without playing Android, there would be little cause to link Jinteki with psychic clones. All in all whilst I love the identity concept, I hope there's some fluff text somewhere that gives context to the abilities.

For what it's worth, we do know that Jinteki has at least one Precognition card, and I wouldn't be surprised if this turns out to be one of their major themes.  

Though really, I wasn't trying to offer an authoritative explanation, just to suggest a possible response to Buhallin's concerns that the abilities will be immersion-breakingly unthematic.  

I think dboeren's right on this one, and in fact, I'd go a step further and say that I don't want a detailed fluffsplanation that gives a reason for every effect and each faction's proclivities.  As long as they provide enough background to make general sense of things, I think it's more interesting when they leave a little bit up to speculation/imagination.






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