Master Fwiffo said:
I'm really curious about how new Corp Identies will be handled. Will they be the same corp with a different tagline and ability? Will they be Sub-Corporations? (Mirrormorph perhaps?) Or will they be CEO's? (Director Haas needs some love!)
The runners all had diferent traits on their cards (Identity: Cyborg, Identity: G-mod, Identity: Natural), but all 4 corp factions had Identity: Megacorp. I am wondering if this will change soon, and if we will ever see cards that reference these traits.
My guess is that the traits are there for (a) flavor and (b) to open design space at a later date. I suspect that FFG won't do anything with them for a year or longer, but at some point they will release a data pack cycle that focuses on cards that are better/worse when played in/against those traits. This is how it works in Game of Thrones, where you will have seemingly random traits on cards, then a particular cycle or expansion that will focus heavily on them. I'd also point out it's seemingly random what the design focuses on…one trait may get a lot of attention/support, and another might remain ignored indefinitely. An example in Netrunner might be something like "If your runner has the cyborg identity, you may install [card name] without using any MU."
I hope they don't go down this route too early though. In Game of Thrones, what has frequently happened is that design releases a bunch of cards in the same data/chapter pack cycle with a narrow focus on a trait, and they slightly miss the boat. Decks that focus on that trait become overpowered (and key cards are errata'd after running amuck for a year) or not quite powerful enough to warrant playing. Unfortunately, that means that there is either a whole batch of non-trait-focused cards that are either slightly underpowered (relative to the other cards released) and rarely see play, or the trait-based cards are too weak to run outside of "fun" games. Focusing on trait-based mechanics seems to work better, using Thrones as a guide, when the card pool is sufficiently large to offer a variety of approaches.
Judging by the spoiler articles, it looks like FFG is taking a smart approach and focusing on building out some preexisting mechanics, starting with traces. There's a lot of opportunity to increase variety by printing new identities as well. These seem roughly similar to Thrones' "agendas." Again, if Thrones is any indication, we should see a variety of identies released, possibly even a few new identities every chapter pack cycle. In Game of Thrones, we typically have 1-2 new agendas per cycle, but they are "neutral" agendas that can be ran out of any house. New identities for every faction seems a bit much for Netrunner, but I'm guessing on average 1 new identity per faction per year. If they alternate, then the runner will get new identity cards this cycle, but the corp won't.