Lastly, I take offense with your calling my analysis of the game's situational "crass" and "distorted", especially where I took care to be respectful in my disagreement.
The disagreement is the same, whether you put a "respectfully" in there or not. You think I'm wrong, and I think you're wrong. It's unfortunate you feel like I stepped on your toes, but I was just stating my opinion. It doesn't mean I disrespect you. You're putting forth your arguments in a well-articulated and coherent manner. Props to you, I appreciate it. But I still disagree with a lot of it.
Now, I think you raise some fair points, but the problem is that you think that a version of Implant that requires you to pay 1 credit is inherently and unredeemably bad, and I don't. I'm not arguing that such a version would be as good as the "break for free" version, that'd be silly -- of course, it's worse. I'm merely saying I can envision an environment where it still has value. Also, I'm not convinced, it'll be the "pay" version, I'm just saying I find it plausible (and indeed, the reason I thought of it was text formatting, not efficiency considerations, so there's that).
You make it sound like I'm proposing FFG should design "bad" cards on purpose, which I am not. Maybe we just have different ideas about "situational" means. But I think it's impossible for FFG to design set after set designing cards that are efficient in every deck, or against every deck (because in the case of Implant, the kind of ice you're facing has a large impact on its efficiency). And I think it's unavoidable that there will be cards that people think "suck," and some of them will hardly ever see play, and others might be hidden gems and someone will find a way to use them, or they become more valuable as the overall meta game shifts. I've seen it happen in the A Game of Thrones LCG.
No. There's such a thing as being civil and respectful even if you think the other guy is wrong, and then there's just straight up insulting them. I have no problem with someone disagreeing with me, but it's a different matter when they go as far as to say that my opinion and I are crass
. That's not
me merely feeling
like you stepped on my toes; that is
you explicitly stepping on my toes. The disagreement is not
the same because at least I didn't go that far and just focused on the reasoning behind card design and evaluation.
As for the environment you envision with a 1-credit E3 Implant, that's an environment that's going to be a lot of work and trouble for FFG's Netrunner card designers to make into reality. The demands are so specific and high:
Icebreakers that cost more than 1 credit to break subroutines that thus need E3 to give them a cheaper way to break;
The use of deck slots to fit the E3 in to support them;
Those icebreakers providing other benefits that compensate for their high cost to operate and the usage of a deck slot for E3;
Those icebreakers being not that good that people will run them without the E3 anyway despite the high cost to operate.
That is so much trouble for so little value. That is a card that FFG has to design so much around just to make it work. That is a card you have base other cards on.
That's compared to an E3 that breaks for free, that is so simple and yet does so much more. No problems for the A:NR's design team and more likely to be accepted and used by players, and yet without being overpowered.
And who said anything about cards that are super efficient in every deck and against every deck? That is neither what we're talking about nor how Android: Netrunner operates. The free-costing E3 isn't even such a card. That version is not a must-have, especially given the speed and evasion Criminals usually use. It's good and exciting, but it's just one path to victory. It's a good card; it's just right.
What we are talking about is the version of it that costs credits to operate. While the speculated free-costing E3 is useful but not overpowered, balanced and not a waste, the E3 with a credit cost is too limited and specific to be used easily or well. If most cards in A:NR are situational, then costing credits to work takes E3 to a much higher level that makes it such a problem to put into the game and employ.