just Logan said:
Note: For this Jedi/Rebel/Sith/Imperial will be referred to as Core and Smugglers/Scum as Fringe. This is not to denote their importance in the game, it just seemed an accurate and easy way to differentiate the affiliations
My biggest concern is about divison of factions. To keep the same format; 10 O-sets- 2 of 4 and 2 once per deck only gives us 5 unique sets. There are 8 faction alignment possibilities. How do you want FFG to handle this and how do you think they will? More 1 per Deck? Less Neutral sets-maybe relegating Neutral to Deluxe Expansions? or do you think they will follow AGot and not worry about balance too much and just let the Deluxes be slightly reactionary to the overall meta? I'm actually Ok with a lot of it a single, "pod" could change a meta for a month and only a month, then become way less useful, without power creep even; it just seems nearly impossible to give every faction a set every pack. I think FFG has learned a lot about game balance but I'm still a little concerned. I remember sending in gold dragons for prizes, that was a long time ago, yet we still have 1st FAQ card errata.
Strangely, I think this game, with it's unique deckbuilding and huge focus on player ability has the potential, has a good chance to be a game where we start to see tons of deck options. It might not have to turn into a game where most good players can name 3 deck types and be certain that one of those will win all the big tourneys.
Objective distribution: I'm not sure if you've actually cracked open the Desolation of Hoth pack, but there are actually 6 unique Objectives inside it; one "two-of" for each of the Core factions, and a "one-of" neutral Objective for both Light and Dark Side.
Faction Alignment possibilities: what exactly do you mean by 8? There are 6 factions in the game; 3 for each side. If you're talking about starting affiliation versus deck construction options, like running Smugglers affiliation and having 8/10 Objectives being Jedi affiliation, then the number is bigger than that and will continue to grow with new deck types.
How FFG is running it now is good enough for me. I'd expect something called "The Hoth Cycle" to focus primarily on the Rebels and Navy based on the relevant section of The Empire Strikes Back, with a splash of Jedi/Sith/Smugglers/Scum. In the preview articles, there are some images of what looks to be a Smugglers Objective set, so keep your eyes open for that in a future pack.
I don't think we need more or less neutral Objectives, and overall for a Force Pack cycle, I'm sure there's a solid representation of cards relevant to the theme, and the question really comes down to FFG's distribution of the cards within the 6 Force Packs and whether they save the "best for last" or just try their best to evenly mix it, or have each Pack release try and maintain some kind of game balance month to month.
So far the Deluxe Expansions are about expanding mechanics; Edge of Darkness is the Smugglers/Scum card pool injection that the rulebook talks about, and the next Deluxe Expansion (again, going from the rulebook) should be providing multiplayers rules options. I don't know if multiplayer will make it to official tournament rules or not, but time will tell on that one.
Of course each Force Pack can influence the current meta for a month, and only a month, but in a way, it keeps people on their toes and doesn't let the game stagnate for too long. I've played this and Rings both pretty heavily when the Core Set was the only thing on the market, and you just hit this point where you feel like you've exhausted all the viable options that box has to offer, and when that first Pack comes in, it's a huge shot in the arm to get some new decks made, and each new pack, even if it only provides one Objective for your faction of choice, should still get you a little excited to try and incorporate it in.
I don't think you'll see every faction in every pack often, and Desolation should be an indication of that. But, that's ok; try and experiment with the other new cards if your favourite team doesn't get the love in that particular outing. Part of the discovery in these games is getting out of the comfort zone of that one "reliable" deck that you like and try out some other options.