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To FFG with Love: An interesting look at LCG's future


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#1 Yongster

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 03:15 PM

I love FFG's LCG particularly Android: Netrunner. But as a player from Malaysia, i seriously worry about the future of LCG in Malaysia as our player pool is very limited due MTG attracting newbies eveyday. 

I came across this interesting article by Frank Brooks in Team Covenant forum recently and it shed some light on key issues concerning LCGs. 

http://teamcovenant....future-of-lcgs/

I do hope FFG can take note on some of the suggestions and strive to improve to ensure that newbies can easily pick up new LCGs i.e. SW LCG and ANR when it get too far down the line with so many data packs / Force packs to catch up. It might put off new players. 

Sanction MTG Tournaments in Malaysia often offer cash prizes or even new packs and alternate art premiums to entice new players. 

At current, offering Game Night Kits is good but not too appealing to game shop to buy them and let it go for free. At current it seems that the same format of Game Night kit i.e. deck box being offered to ANR which is similar to AGoT with the only different is the artwork. Cutting some production cost are we? 

Even worse here in Malaysia as the official distributor charges players 50% cost of the game night kits. That already put off many players to participate and game shop don't feel the need to grow this game or organize tournaments at all. 

Also, when will FFG develop a global point ranking system similar to MTG's DCI? this really entice newbies and veteran players to play more games as the want to rake up their points and be king of the hill. 

More games played at game shop = more visibility (eye balls ont he game) = More queries= more demos= more converts = more purchase = more player base = continuity of the game in the scene.. 

P/s: I'm also a bit put off when FFG released SW LCG in less than a year of the ANR release. Many players tend to pick up SW in a heartbeat instead of even consider to know about ANR. This truly splits the potential market by swinging to SW. Some even sold their ANR coresets to quickly start on SW. What happened there? As it is the gaming industry is very small and newbies will definitely can relate more to SW.. should it at least wait longer till Episode 7 is release at least catching on that hype. This move might just be a killing more by FFG it self to ultimately outshine ANR's growth before it matures.. 

Sigh… 



#2 Yongster

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 03:18 PM

Personally i truly feel that's with a proper tournament/Organised Play structure, new players can decide what to buy with their Core Set purchase. For example, if each Data cycle essentially 'resets' the mechanics, then newer players can just focus on newer data cycles

As with any other game, investing above just the Core Set nets you more options for the monetary cost you spend. If a new player wants the full experience, then they buy all the Data packs. If they want to focus on certain cards to fit their playstyle, then they buy packs that hold those cards

Let's take the MtG tournament structure as an example. 'Standard' in Netrunner now would mean the Core Set + Current Data Cycle. 'Modern' would be Core Set plus all Data cycles. By promoting 'Standard' in Organised Play, FFG would be catering for the newer players to be more competitive. By also supporting 'Modern', FFG would also cater to the older players. By not supporting any structure in Organised Play, they run the risk of alienating newer players while slowly saturating the market for the older players, as newer cycles might not provide the cards needed for older strategies

TL;DR, FFG needs to focus on Organized Play if they want their LCG model (which by the way is awesome) to succeed in the long run



#3 vermillian

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 01:47 PM

The original poster does not know how to do math


New player to get a tournament level deck in MtG

It has a core set and 4-6 expansion sets (right now 5). This is for standard.

How many booster boxes of each set do they need to make a competetive deck? Say… 2? … 3?

2 times 5 times 100 bucks racks us up to 1000.


Due to the fixed format of AGOT if a new player wants instant tournament quality deck he need only buy select chapter packs for the cards he wants.

Worse case scenario is that he needs 3 core sets for 3 copies of one card, That leaves us with 57 cards, and 7 plots and perhaps agenda (1). Say the deck is 50% singles (unlikely). so he will buy about 32 chapter packs.

3 core sets (90) + 32 CP (32 times 15) = 570.

AND these cards will always be 'standard tournament' legal.


Tell me again how MtG is cheaper and more cost prohibitive to get into than an LCG?



#4 Yongster

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 01:41 PM

Hi Vermillian! 

 

Good point. However the article did not say that MTG is cheaper than LCG. 

The main concern in the article is to debate on the future of LCG in the long run. Yes, for anybody to jump into any LCG, it is slightly simple and cheaper than MTG as one need only to get a core set and selected chapter packs. On the surface it looks like an easy entry to the competitive LCG scene. But FFG made its vey subtle that to fully exploit then true potential of each house (faction in Android:Netrunner) capabilities, one needs to invest in ALL of the chapter packs (Data packs). 

My arguement stands that in the end it will be very costly to a newbie to dive into Netrunner or LCG in general. Here in Malaysia already we are seeing the signs that Warhammer Invasion has stopped getting new players in (or maybe slowed down) as it is hard for newbies to keep up with player who started playing Warhammer Invasion when it started. This in return makes Warhammer Invasion a non growing game. Only a handful of people play the game. Those who were into it from the start. I myself felt put off knowing that i have missed more than 4 chapter packs.

Imagine if i would want to start AGoT? How many chapter packs have i missed? I may not know much about AGoT but i am sure i have missed quite a lot and it would be an uphill task for me to buy the chapter packs, learn the game breaking combos and cards that encompasses from the entire AGoT production. For Netrunner, the game is less than 8 months old and already have 3 Data Packs. Already it is costly for a newbie to start. This worries me as the more data packs being released, the lesser the people will pick this game up. They will feel that they are too late. 

I am spearheading the Android Netrunner community in Malaysia and have organized 3 tournaments so far. The average attendance is between 8-10 perople only. This worries me a lot as Android Netrunner Malaysia Facebook Group has more than 56 members. Only 10 out of 56 that came for the tourney? That's very low. There might be few key observations on what causes the small number of tournament turn ups:

1. Prize not so stunning / appealing. Game Nightkits? Seriously?

2. Tournament format stability- The first tournament was a coreset party which only involves coreset. The second was coreset + Datapack 1 and the 3rd was coreset+datapack1 + Datapack 2. You can do the math on what will be included in my upcoming tourney.. 

3. Gameshops not growing this game aggressively. Locally, only 1 game shop that fully support this game with weekly demo plays and casual meetups. 

4. Star Wars LCG stole the thunder from Netrunner. Few people in the group dropped this game upon the release of SW LCG. (Hear that FFG?) 

Based on the 4 factors above, as the community leader, i am worried about the future of this game. It will be too many data packs to pick up and the tourney prizes are not too appealing. As it is, Malaysian community has already missed out on the Regional registration as Shops were not to keen to register for it mainly due to low number of players in this game. It's catch 22. Players need to play more of this game for visibility in the game shop to make this game popular and more newbies to start pick this game up: 

1. Tournament prizes need to be more than Game night kits. Personally, since you played AGoT, do you really enjoy your Game Night kits? Or would you wish that the prizes can be more appealing i.e cash prizes and such? 

2. Point ranking system.I am not sure how players in other parts of the world, but coming from an asian country, we are very competitive and ranking matters. Hence we always feel that we need to know who are the best so that we can learn and play better and be the best too. MTG have DCI to manage the global point system and sanctioning tournaments. FFG needs it too. 

3. Tournament format should be fixed similarly like MTG ( Modern/ Vintage / standard, etc). For example, Netrunner standard should include Coreset + datapack 1-3 and Netrunner Modern should be Coreset + the complete data pack cycle (Datapack 1-6). This way, new players will know that if they want to be competitive then they have to invest in Standard format. Following up from this, FFg should provide a form of calendar for the tournamant format so that the game will not be stale. This way, who ever pick up this game during standard will finally try to complete their data pack collection upon Modern season as they need to have a complete datapack series. Slowly but surely player felt that they are not too far behind to keep up having to focus on Standard before.  In the end, FFG still wins and players gets to complete their data pack series. 

4. Distribution of Datapacks is uneven. Whenever MTG releases its expansions, it is always globally synchronized. Currently, Datapack 3 is already out in the US and we in Malaysia still drooling over without any solid news when will it reaches our shores. 

I apologize if i seem to be pro-MTG but i could not helped it as MTG was a big part of my life before. But due to rare chasing which costs money, i quit 6 years ago. Android Netrunner seems to fill in that void but i foresee it maybe a dead investment if FFG keeps treating its LCG this way. Also MTG is THE most successful card game ever and we should,learn from them. Immitation is a form of flattery i'd say. Learn from the best to be the best! 

I do hope this ramblings of mine gets noticed from FFG and we can see this game shaping up and keep growing. 

 



#5 Toqtamish

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 12:44 AM

This game is not in danger of not growing. Hell already there is more Netrunner regionals than any of the other games. I read that article last week and thought it was pretty bad and still do. I agree with Vermillian.

 

Star Wars stole nothing from Netrunner. Those I know that play Star Wars also play Netrunner and I know plenty of Netrunners that don't play anything else.



#6 vermillian

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 03:38 PM

Yongster said:

Hi Vermillian! 

The main concern in the article is to debate on the future of LCG in the long run. Yes, for anybody to jump into any LCG, it is slightly simple and cheaper than MTG as one need only to get a core set and selected chapter packs. On the surface it looks like an easy entry to the competitive LCG scene. But FFG made its vey subtle that to fully exploit then true potential of each house (faction in Android:Netrunner) capabilities, one needs to invest in ALL of the chapter packs (Data packs). 



Do you need to FULLY exploit all of the tricks a house has from the very get go? I'M certainly not aiming to exploit every trick that WHITE has when I enter a MtG tournament, I don't see why you expect to be able to do the same in A:NR. Net deck. Buy what you need for the competetive, and in the meantime, have fun with what cards you DO have!

Yongster said:

My arguement stands that in the end it will be very costly to a newbie to dive into Netrunner or LCG in general. Here in Malaysia already we are seeing the signs that Warhammer Invasion has stopped getting new players in (or maybe slowed down) as it is hard for newbies to keep up with player who started playing Warhammer Invasion when it started. This in return makes Warhammer Invasion a non growing game. Only a handful of people play the game. Those who were into it from the start. I myself felt put off knowing that i have missed more than 4 chapter packs.

Imagine if i would want to start AGoT? How many chapter packs have i missed? I may not know much about AGoT but i am sure i have missed quite a lot and it would be an uphill task for me to buy the chapter packs, learn the game breaking combos and cards that encompasses from the entire AGoT production. For Netrunner, the game is less than 8 months old and already have 3 Data Packs. Already it is costly for a newbie to start. This worries me as the more data packs being released, the lesser the people will pick this game up. They will feel that they are too late. 



Your argument is invalid. Imagine how many cards and how much money people have to buy to get into OTHER card games. MtG Modern format has over a dozen expansions. And to be competetive in Standard (5-8 sets) you need about 1200 bucks to get a deck. Explain how being able to get Core Set + 4 packs or so of data packs is insurmountable? How detrimental to basic game play and learning what you like is just the core set?

Yongster said:


 

I am spearheading the Android Netrunner community in Malaysia and have organized 3 tournaments so far. The average attendance is between 8-10 perople only. This worries me a lot as Android Netrunner Malaysia Facebook Group has more than 56 members. Only 10 out of 56 that came for the tourney? That's very low. There might be few key observations on what causes the small number of tournament turn ups:

1. Prize not so stunning / appealing. Game Nightkits? Seriously?

2. Tournament format stability- The first tournament was a coreset party which only involves coreset. The second was coreset + Datapack 1 and the 3rd was coreset+datapack1 + Datapack 2. You can do the math on what will be included in my upcoming tourney.. 

3. Gameshops not growing this game aggressively. Locally, only 1 game shop that fully support this game with weekly demo plays and casual meetups. 

4. Star Wars LCG stole the thunder from Netrunner. Few people in the group dropped this game upon the release of SW LCG. (Hear that FFG?) 

Based on the 4 factors above, as the community leader, i am worried about the future of this game. It will be too many data packs to pick up and the tourney prizes are not too appealing. As it is, Malaysian community has already missed out on the Regional registration as Shops were not to keen to register for it mainly due to low number of players in this game. It's catch 22. Players need to play more of this game for visibility in the game shop to make this game popular and more newbies to start pick this game up: 



I don't see how data pack release has anything to do with your problems you were having above.

Yongster said:

1. Tournament prizes need to be more than Game night kits. Personally, since you played AGoT, do you really enjoy your Game Night kits? Or would you wish that the prizes can be more appealing i.e cash prizes and such? 

2. Point ranking system.I am not sure how players in other parts of the world, but coming from an asian country, we are very competitive and ranking matters. Hence we always feel that we need to know who are the best so that we can learn and play better and be the best too. MTG have DCI to manage the global point system and sanctioning tournaments. FFG needs it too. 

3. Tournament format should be fixed similarly like MTG ( Modern/ Vintage / standard, etc). For example, Netrunner standard should include Coreset + datapack 1-3 and Netrunner Modern should be Coreset + the complete data pack cycle (Datapack 1-6). This way, new players will know that if they want to be competitive then they have to invest in Standard format. Following up from this, FFg should provide a form of calendar for the tournamant format so that the game will not be stale. This way, who ever pick up this game during standard will finally try to complete their data pack collection upon Modern season as they need to have a complete datapack series. Slowly but surely player felt that they are not too far behind to keep up having to focus on Standard before.  In the end, FFG still wins and players gets to complete their data pack series. 

4. Distribution of Datapacks is uneven. Whenever MTG releases its expansions, it is always globally synchronized. Currently, Datapack 3 is already out in the US and we in Malaysia still drooling over without any solid news when will it reaches our shores. 

I apologize if i seem to be pro-MTG but i could not helped it as MTG was a big part of my life before. But due to rare chasing which costs money, i quit 6 years ago. Android Netrunner seems to fill in that void but i foresee it maybe a dead investment if FFG keeps treating its LCG this way. Also MTG is THE most successful card game ever and we should,learn from them. Immitation is a form of flattery i'd say. Learn from the best to be the best! 

I do hope this ramblings of mine gets noticed from FFG and we can see this game shaping up and keep growing. 



FFG has never done a money reward AFAIK and I don't anticipate that they will. They have been for the gamers that like the game, not for gamers that like to win money.

I see no argument to a point ranking system, but is that where we want their resouces focused on, or would you rather they focus on producing a good product promoting the game to stores and players… couldn't a non company organization set up a ranking system?

if you set up the tournament system as you suggested we would have a 'rotation' every 3-4 months…. not even MAGIC has that! I could maybe see every two year rotation perhaps with two formats. ALL time and recent time.

On the fourth point: MtG has not ALWAYS been globally synchronized…. it has grown huge and is now capable of doing so. FFGs inability and lack of resources to synchronize is another good reason why your point ranking system might not float so great…






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