XTrueFinale

Rotation still challenging to bring in new players

39 posts in this topic

On 9/13/2017 at 1:43 PM, Mep said:

Plaid Hat offers their Ashes which has more cards and a bunch of dice at $50 and about $40 online. Far better value than Netrunner coming in at $120 for a full set.

This is obviously not a fair comparison. The Netrunner core box contains more than twice as many distinct cards as the Ashes one. In fact, as of now the Netrunner core box still contains more distinct cards than the entire Ashes card pool. I own everything for both Netrunner and Ashes, so I have the materials on hand to give a more complete picture of the real value proposition here.

3 Netrunner Core sets ($120) : 126 unique cards x 3 (or more) copies of each, plus identities
1 Ashes core set + 4 expansions ($110) : 100 unique cards x 3 copies of each, plus Phoenixborn & conjurations

AEG's Doomtown Reloaded was similarly priced, with 2 core sets required for a full play set (4 copies) of everything. FFG's pricing seems entirely consistent with their competitors under any reasonable analysis. You're just getting a lot of extra cards up front rather than being forced to wait a full cycle for your deck building options to open up.

Edited by Jasu Bakuhatsu

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4 hours ago, Jasu Bakuhatsu said:

3 Netrunner Core sets ($120) : 126 unique cards x 3 (or more) copies of each, plus identities
1 Ashes core set + 4 expansions ($110) : 100 unique cards x 3 copies of each, plus Phoenixborn & conjurations

And this is exactly why it's better to have a card pool that's wider than it is deep. Right out of the gate, Netrunner (and even more so other FFG LCGs) offer a much more varied card pool for deckbuilding than Ashes has after two years. (Notwithstanding Ashes' production issues.)

 

That's better for the overall game, and you get a better bang for your buck if you can just not be hung up on whether your appetizer sampler comes with fries and a drink or not.

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5 hours ago, Jasu Bakuhatsu said:

This is obviously not a fair comparison. The Netrunner core box contains more than twice as many distinct cards as the Ashes one. In fact, as of now the Netrunner core box still contains more distinct cards than the entire Ashes card pool. I own everything for both Netrunner and Ashes, so I have the materials on hand to give a more complete picture of the real value proposition here.

3 Netrunner Core sets ($120) : 126 unique cards x 3 (or more) copies of each, plus identities
1 Ashes core set + 4 expansions ($110) : 100 unique cards x 3 copies of each, plus Phoenixborn & conjurations

AEG's Doomtown Reloaded was similarly priced, with 2 core sets required for a full play set (4 copies) of everything. FFG's pricing seems entirely consistent with their competitors under any reasonable analysis. You're just getting a lot of extra cards up front rather than being forced to wait a full cycle for your deck building options to open up.

That would be a point except these aren't new cards, they are reprints. Yes a few of them have new art work and awesome enough to get old players to buy one core. However the development costs for all those unique cards has been paid long ago. So we are just looking at manufacturing costs and cost of entry into the game as a whole, which is quite high since netrunner has so many cards. That last core gets you less than $2 worth of new cards. FFG created an unnecessary high cost of entry problem for new players with their shameless money grab. It isn't healthy for the game. FFG has a history of running netrunner into the ground. This feels more of the same.

BTW, all these card games are a bit of a rip off since they are so cheap to make compared to what they sell them at.

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And if the cost of materials were the only factor, you'd have a point. But it's not, so you don't. Damon's done some interviews this past week--developing and testing the new core set started over two years ago.

So, yes, there's labor, there's licensing fees, artwork fees, staff salaries, operational overhead, profit for the company, profit for the distributor, profit for the retailer, materials costs, transportation costs, import duties, etc. etc. etc. 

As always, you've decided that this is a cynical cash grab, you're arguing back to an assumed conclusion, and you're speaking entirely out of your nether regions. The people who produce the game are first and foremost fans of the game, and the notion that they would do anything other than their very best to make it successful is not just asinine, it's perverse.

 

If you hate the game and the company so much, kindly GET OUT and take your toxic attitude with you.

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H*ck, if it were a cynical cash grab, they could have made an all new core set and made everybody buy three copies of it. But instead they went out of their way to create a product that the majority of the existing customers won't even have to purchase. Un-fscking-believable.

And as if being profitable weren't even a necessary precondition for the game continuing to exist either. If they're not making money, then they retire the game and put their production budget into something that will. So even if you were right, you're still wrong.

Edited by Grimwalker

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2 minutes ago, Grimwalker said:

And if the cost of materials were the only factor, you'd have a point. But it's not, so you don't. Damon's done some interviews this past week--developing and testing the new core set started over two years ago.

So, yes, there's labor, there's licensing fees, artwork fees, staff salaries, operational overhead, profit for the company, profit for the distributor, profit for the retailer, materials costs, transportation costs, import duties, etc. etc. etc. 

As always, you've decided that this is a cynical cash grab, you're arguing back to an assumed conclusion, and you're speaking entirely out of your nether regions. The people who produce the game are first and foremost fans of the game, and the notion that they would do anything other than their very best to make it successful is not just asinine, it's perverse.

 

If you hate the game and the company so much, kindly GET OUT and take your toxic attitude with you.

Clearly I am not the one here with the toxic attitude.

As to rebalancing the game, it isn't specific to any one product but the game as a whole, and frankly, to all of FFG's LCGs. $120 for what they are offering is a steep price and customers always have the right to complain about prices being too high.

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3 minutes ago, Grimwalker said:

H*ck, if it were a cynical cash grab, they could have made an all new core set and made everybody buy three copies of it. But instead they went out of their way to create a product that the majority of the existing customers won't even have to purchase. Un-fscking-believable.

And as if being profitable weren't even a necessary precondition for the game continuing to exist either. If they're not making money, then they retire the game and put their production budget into something that will. So even if you were right, you're still wrong.

If it were a brand new product and not simply a reprint I wouldn't be so put off by the price. This isn't for old players, it is for new players and asking $120 for a full set of core cards is too high a price tag, on top of all the other products new players will need to buy into. They messed this one up. It happens.

BTW unless you want these prices to go way up, having them receive a little blow back on that $120 price tag is actually a good thing.

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10 hours ago, Mep said:

As to rebalancing the game, it isn't specific to any one product but the game as a whole, and frankly, to all of FFG's LCGs. $120 for what they are offering is a steep price and customers always have the right to complain about prices being too high.

It has already been pointed out how Netrunner Revised Core Set is a better buy, dollar for dollar, than the entire card pool of Ashes. Even more so for AGOT and L5R. At this point you're arguing against objective reality. $120 isn't "too high," it's just "higher than Mep wants to pay" and you assume you speak for anyone other than yourself. You've got a fundamental, obstinate misconception about what the core set is for. The number of people who actually buy three core sets is a tiny percentage of the overall playerbase. In order to entice people, you need the INITIAL buy-in to be manageable. Forty dollars is enough for somebody who's heard a bit about it to take a flyer and try out the game. That type of a product experience works best with a wide variety of cards in the set, with obvious room for enhancement if one were to buy additional product. 

But, I'm arguing with someone who has renounced the use of reason. One might as well administer medicine to the dead.

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@Grimwalker  You might want to check out the topic of this thread. It is questioning if the rotation did enough to shrink the card pool and bring the cost of entry into Netrunner down enough for new players to get into the game. This isn't really a ration thing and more of a introductory product thing. Ashes core has more cards and dice in it. From a value point, it is flat out the better buy. Value is number of cards and other contents not unique cards. Unique cards doesn't not equate to a better game. I really don't see how that is a point of anything other than Netrunner is an older game. Using that matrix, Magic is the best game ever - really silly. Note, I am not saying Ashes is the better game, the box simply has more in it than netrunner core does.

Now there is the soft buy in and the real buy in. A little, just a little bit of research into netrunner and people quickly find out the REAL buy-in to play the game with most other people, not just a friend who will play out of the new player's core set. Straight up, a single core is not enough to play with other people who have access to a sizable part of the card base. It is a self contained product that would provide a poor experience when played against the entire card pool.

The core set is not a good introductory product for new people. FFG is better off making a cheap two deck set featuring a couple of good decks with diverse cards, rules and tokens for around $30 and then an introductory box set with 3 of every core card and the first two deluxes for around $100. Currently a new player is looking at several hundred dollars in products to head down to the local game store on netrunner night to play this game. Even the old World Camp decks aren't rotated legal anymore, so even that is cut off. The core set is just too small at this point in Netrunner's life to be a viable starting point for new players looking to play this game with other people. The 1.1.1.1 format is great, but no one really plays that. So it really is a big buy in or go home and play on Jinteki.

Yes, most people will look at that several hundred dollars real initial buy-in as too high even if you feel they shouldn't. Half of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. Reality doesn't not agree with you that everyone is flushed with cash and can drop $120 on just the core set. The initial buy in is a huge problem with the older LCGs and rotation was suppose to help address the buy in problem, but really, it needs to be addressed with a good value product. The game is old, the development costs have been payed for. It is just manufacturing costs at this point, which are actually very cheap, and how best to get this game to grow and in the hands of new players. Netrunner still is an expensive buy in post rotation and the core set did nothing to address this problem.

I like netrunner and hope it starts to grow again but I will not let fanboyism cloud my reason, which is very solid and sound.

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You keep insisting the buy in is $120 and how cripplingly high that is.

That's the reason the buy-in, the introductory product, is FORTY dollarsBy keeping the cost of that individual product low, you make it available to more players. By increasing the number of cards by title available to new players in a single product (your comparison to the entire MTG card pool is unfathomably stupid), you make it a more interesting and vigorous game. Because Ashes' deckbuilding options are stifled, it's also not as successful of a game. It has a higher sticker price on its core set, one which by the simple economics you brought up means a smaller number of people can afford to try it out. You disproved your own argument.

Rotation does reduce the overall card pool. When I bought into AGOT first edition, the entire card pool cost $890. The cost by the end of the game was $1,300. 

The total cost for all of Netrunner, even assuming three cores, is $910 pre-rotation, immediately dropping to $730 in just over a week.. It will never get higher than the former number, and let's be real, people really can get away with not buying lame duck cycles that are the next in line to go away. Even if, if, they release additional Campaign or Deluxe sets, the total cost will only increase incrementally. Rotation will still be doing its job by not letting Data Pack cycles endlessly proliferate. Again, reality disproves your argument.

Another way reality disproves your argument is that most people don't bother being completionist. You don't need to buy everything to be involved and play Netrunner. You don't need to buy three cores to be involved and play Netrunner. Heck, I've got people in my city actively planning right now what cards they can borrow from friends to put together decks to play in World Championships. If it were such a dissuader no one who isn't independently wealthy or an early adopter would even be playing this game. 

 

Edited by Grimwalker

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Cores are fine introductory products for LCGs when they are new. They quickly become irrelevant once the card pool becomes big due to their being just south of a grand worth or cards out there. A new player can't take a core set and play with vets with access to a lot of the cards and expect to have a fun time. That $40 goes basically no where in an old LCG. It takes several hundred dollars to have a good card pool to play this game, not $730 since there are so many filler cards that can be skipped. The price to play this game is not $40. That only buys you a self contained game. The core set is just too small to get new players into the game at this point in the games life. FFG has a problem with their older LCGs and the buy in for new players. The core set isn't a good introductory product once the game gets old. Yes a larger core set will have some sticker shock to it but FFG seems to be fine with $80-100 core sets for their plastic based games. If they produced a value core set with over a 1000 cards that would otherwise cost ~$200 that gets a new player to at least not have a negative play experience when playing people with access to a large card pool at a sub $100 price point they may be more successful growing the game.

The $40 core set isn't good enough to grow this game. The vets are happy with the core set and many will buy it. I don't see new people coming in droves to play this without some kind of huge value starter set.

BTW, I don't think you read what I write or maybe you have a problem with English. I did say the MTG comparison was silly. You have some issues.

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Jacking up the price of the initial product you must buy in order to try the game out is going to do more to drive new players away than any number of 1x cards ever could. They can charge $80-100 for a board game because that contains the majority of the components you will ever need to own for such a game--most get 1-2 expansions at most, many games get none at all. 

If you think any single introductory product will be remotely capable of jumping people into the deep end of the pool, you are living in a dream world. The reason you keep objecting to the existing model is because you're encrusting it with unreasonable, unreasoned requirements that it is not, and could never be, designed or costed to meet.

Edited by Grimwalker

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On 13/09/2017 at 2:21 PM, Grimwalker said:

When factoring in the costs of product weight on shipping and storage costs, $45 is naively optimistic. At a minimum it would probably be $60, but we're both guessing. "The components of the product are cheap, therefore enhancements could be added at cost" is a deeply naïve proposition.

-> On average it costs around 3-4 USD to produce and distribute a hardback book. If I should make a qualified guess, I'd say that space is a much bigger concern. And doing an estimate on https://www.freightos.com/portfolio-items/freight-rate-calculator-free-tool/ indeed backs this up. A 100 cbm. shipment by boat, from New York to Rotterdam, weighing 1 kg., costs 7,386 - 11,206 USD. A shipment with the same volume, but with a weight of 100 kg., gives the exact same estimate. So cutting the size of the core set down to half, and increasing the available card pool could be a compromise. There's plenty of room inside the old cores set for that, and you don't risk that customers get dissapointed by a half-empty box, like I did..

- - -

Personally, I'm stopping myself from buying any more cards further than the Spin cycle, and only enough accessories to maintain 7 decks of these cards. Netrunner is quite expensive, and like the OP is saying, no way I'm going to plow through 4+ more cycles and several expansions. Not even some of them. And indeed it feels like a missed opportunity from FFG's side. If you ask me, the amount of cycles could easily be halved, but hey, I'm a quality before quantity guy..

But there's an even bigger missed opportunity missed, and that is the missing digital version of the game. I've been pondering for quite some time now why FFG hasn't released a digital version yet. It's as if they don't want to earn money. They should learn from Blizzard, since Heartstone is a smash hit and a big fat money machine. If FFG made a high-quality Netrunner app I would definitely play it till my figers would bleed. I wouldn't have to worry about storage, sleeves, ordering, manually setting up, finding people to play against, etc.; I would merely have to kick back and enjoy. And prices could be reduced considerably. Such a move would be the ultimate thing to do if FFG wants to reel in more customers. I'm not sure if the prices are the biggest concerns for newcomers, but might be the insane amount of time and effort it takes to be just a bit competitive and take decent care of your cards. There's a lot of people out there buying 1000+ USD PC's to play computer games, but computer games are way more easy to work/play with. What are we waiting for?

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@maven27145 One would think digital would be cheaper and Heartstone would be far more profitable than Magic but keep in mind Blizzard has to pay for servers, ISP fees, digital development (many cards require their own code), server security and all the other stuff that comes with a digital platform. Those $4 Magic boosters probably cost around 15 cents to make. There is game development and advertising etc. not included in that price, but those costs don't change just because one goes digital. A paper product isn't necessarily more expensive to produce and in fact, is probably cheaper. The cost savings comes during distribution and cutting out all the middlemen, including local game stores. Something to think about there. 

FFG is getting into the digital side of things, but digital production is far more difficult than paper. Also, I am not sure FFG wants to be a digital company. They have a few apps but seem more interested in augmenting board games with apps than replacing them. Wizards of the Coast has been trying to covert MTG to digital for well over a decade and a half with rather lack luster success. It seems their latest efforts may finally have been successful though. It is pretty clear it isn't so easy to do. A company like Blizzard can make a card game far easier than Wizards can make a digital game.

I get the feeling the ROI percentage on Fallout the board game is going to be much higher than the ROI on Fallout 4.

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