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signoftheserpent

Distribution

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I've no idea, I don't play Magic nor am I interested in doing so. What Magic, or any other product, does is completely irrelevant. I have also not said that you can't play this game without 3 copies either. That is also not the point.

having at least 3x (if you want 6x, go for it, that's a separate issue as well) is essential if you want to play the game seriously because you will need those choices to hand. I will not countenance any game that operates in that way, whether it's 3x or 4x or whatever, that doesn't give you any way to get those cards but to buy multiple copies of the core set like this, especially when that means buying increasing amounts of cards you won't use. It's not even as if you could trade for these cards. This was a huge oversight and I would love to know what FFG's reasoning on this is.

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signoftheserpent said:

 

 This was a huge oversight and I would love to know what FFG's reasoning on this is.

 

 

Despite my better judgement, I'll indulge you. My guess? They stand to gain more by offering a reasonably priced and balanced starter set that gets people into the game than offering an overpriced or unbalanced starter set that turns people off the game.

Clearly, you feel strongly about this and seem to not want to get into the game for the reasons you stated, so I think we all win if you just move on and find another game and community that you feel comfortable endorsing.

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This thread started me thinking:

Has there ever been a customizable game (a game in which you "build" your deck/force before playing) that offered a full playset in the introductory box? I ran down the list of the most popular customizable games on BGG, but I didn't find any that offered a full playset:

Android: Netrunner - no

Summoner Wars - no

Mage Wars - no? (not sure about this one)

Lord of the Rings - no

Heroscape - no

Netrunner (original) - no

Dungeon Command - no

A Game of Thrones - no

Warhammer: Invasion - no

(If I'm wrong about any of the above, feel free to correct me with a strong blow to the face).

I ask because I think it's fair to put FFG's distribution system in context with other popular games of a similar type in the market. It seems like most of the games above offer a fixed distribution, non-full-playset "game-in-a-box," (I think Magic offers this with fixed distribution decks, right?). If we're going to call FFG's core set distribution "bad," then is there any company that produces customizable games that made a "good" decision in this regard?

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I can't speak for everyone, but I for one was burned out on the CCG model of distribution.  I played the original Netrunner and Lord of the Rings TCG competitively at the local level.  I spent hundreds of dollars on card sets and doubt I could ever say I had a "full" play set of anything.  I simply couldn't shell out enough $$ to stay competitive, so both games had to go.

When Netrunner came out my first thought was "holy smokes someone republished it".  My second thought was "I'm not going to buy back into THAT crack habit" (i.e. buying box after box of boosters).  A month later I decided to actually research it and discovered the LCG distribution model.  Now I own two starter sets, my FLGS has my name on their list to pre-order the expansion packs, and I'm trying to get something going locally.

So while I generally agree that the distribution of the starters isn't perfect, I think it is good enough and promotes the game well.

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Okay: the Core Set is "incomplete".

 

Furthermore, when it comes to the new Data Packs, Identity Cards come in 3 when you only need 1 of each.

As per your opinion, signoftheserpent, you have no reason to get into the physical version of the game.

There. Done. No more argument, no more drama.

(Messenger goes back to eagerly looking forward to What Lies Ahead and figuring out how to integrate What Lies Ahead with his decks made from his one, single Core Set.)

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Why do people bother answering these threads with arguments when we can just link to any (or all) of the dozens of threads this has already been discussed in?  Topics like these have been argued to death in numerous threads in every other LCG forum, you would think someone would just creat a thread in the general LCG forum with links to every "I'm uspest with the core set" or "I want a completion pack" thread so we can just point at it.  Are the "I'm mad at getting 3 copies of X card" threads too new to be included alongside the previous two topics?

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Because most of us- whether thread OPs or responders- are too lazy to look them up and link them. This is not completely unjustified as even with a search function, it's easy for similar topics to be buried by time.

It's also because we usually expect a quick reply to suffice and not escalate into a larger and more heated debate. There are various reasons for this, but in general it's because we assume that the other person is reasonable, and is interested enough in the topic that the replies we give will easily tilt their opinions in the same direction ours is.

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Keggy said:

 

Why do people bother answering these threads with arguments when we can just link to any (or all) of the dozens of threads this has already been discussed in? 

 

 

Because we are idiots and think we can sway somebody's negative opinion in the hope of growing the community, not realizing they are not interested in a discussion but simply want to impose their point of view on the forum members who can do nothing about it instead of taking his beef to FFG by contacting their customer service and leaving us the hell alone to enjoy the game.

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Saturnine said:

 

Keggy said:

 

Why do people bother answering these threads with arguments when we can just link to any (or all) of the dozens of threads this has already been discussed in? 

 

 

Because we are idiots and think we can sway somebody's negative opinion in the hope of growing the community, not realizing they are not interested in a discussion but simply want to impose their point of view on the forum members who can do nothing about it instead of taking his beef to FFG by contacting their customer service and leaving us the hell alone to enjoy the game.

 

Do you think that's even a fair comment? Telling someone they aren't interested in discussion when they have made the effort to post in the first place.

 

I would be very interested in playing the game. I haven't once said anything about the game itself. If i wasn't interested in it I wouldn't have posted at all. But the distribution is obviously a factor - that's why it gets mentioned a lot. It bothers people. Criticising people for that seems entirely churlish and quite unfair. I see no reason why things couldn't have been done differently. Unless the game has lots of search engines, you need the multiples. Cardgames are about the deckbuilding more than the actual play. Consequently you need those options unless the game's mechanics mitigate this. It's just arbitrary and frankly self defeating to do things as FFG has: it is either a blatant cash grab which makes it all seem like double dipping which is grubby and not entirely honest imo, or it's ill thought through. The only option to get the cards you need to is through an economy of loss. Trading isn't really going to be much of an option because pretty much everyone, i imagine, would want all the cards anyway which means everyone is after the same cards. That's the problem here. With traditional starter decks you are buying a smaller pool of cards and so paying less. That could have been the case here: two starter sets one which, say 2 runner and 2 corporations (lets assume you have 4 runners and 4 corps, not 3 runners) with 3x. That way the package is smaller and costs less and so butying both isn't necessary for a complete set of 3x and people who want everything can buy everything. That's just one suggestion. This distribution really spoilt the LotR lcg experience which is why i sold the game on after about a week; I didn't want to but my options were completely curtailed because of this arbitrary decision making which was a real shame.

And iv'e just looked at Esdevium Games' latest release sheet (as i do each week) and there is no ANR expansion listed for next week.

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signoftheserpent said:

Not in the UK it didn't.

 

Well yes anywhere outside of the US will take longer for it to arrive of course. I don't think it has arrived here locally either but I am not in the US. Full spoiler has been up for a couple of days.

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signoftheserpent said:

 

Do you think that's even a fair comment? Telling someone they aren't interested in discussion when they have made the effort to post in the first place.

 

 

Ignoring what other people are saying and continuing to rant based on your notions on how to publish and promote an LCG is not a discussion. What are you hoping to get out of this? You disagree with FFGs way to publish their game, take it to FFGs customer service or start a petition if you really feel strongly about it and expect you'll be able to change their business model with enough support. This thread is accomplishing nothing.

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So sign, what would you have done differently with the Netrunner core set? 

Would you have had less unique cards in the set, but had them each at 3 copies each?  While this would keep the price point about the same, it would have limited variety for both deckbuilding and its lasting ability as a stand alone product (many buy it as a standalone product).  The stunted card pool would definitely hurt the launch of the game as a collectible game.  There is also a decent possibility that the decks included wouldn't be properly balanced at 3 copies of each card contained.

 

Would you have left the same number of unique cards in the set, but had all at 3 copies each?  Would you include 3 copies of the identity cards as well, since that seems to be a touchy subject for many people.  Keeping the same card list but bumping all to 3 copies (with or without the identities) would definitely increase the cost of the core set, pushing it beyond the justifiable budget range of more casual players.  Lower sales put the future of the game into jeopardy.  The problem of balancing starter decks remains.  Since people don't like to read the rulebook to figure which cards to put in and which to leave out, the few casual players that do pick it up will be put off and/or confused by having a pile of cards they are "not supposed to use" (its not hard to find threads of people not sure how to assemble the starter decks already).

Or would you have done something else entirely?

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signoftheserpent said:

It's just arbitrary and frankly self defeating to do things as FFG has.

@signoftheserpent

I don't think it's accurate to call the core set distribution either arbitrary or self-defeating.

a) Arbitrary: The core set distribution represents (in my opinion) an attempt at offering both a diversity of options with a consistency of play. So the core set decks contain 3x of "staple" cards (Sure Gamble, Diesel, Cyberfeeder, Easy Mark, etc) and 1x of cards which tended to have lower utility in multiples (over half of them are unique, so can't be played in multiples). This demonstrates a very intentional design towards creating an out-of-the-box experience, which you can critisize, but I don't think you can rightfully call it "arbitrary."

b) Self-Defeating: If the mark of "defeat" is poor sales, then this the Core Set is obviously not self-defeating. It's sold far better than they ever expected it to (judging by the Gencon rush). Of course, if you define "success" by "providing a complete playset in a box," then the Core Set is self-defeating, but I don't think that was FFG's criteria for success.

I was curious if you had any answers to the question in my previous post: is there another collectible/customizable card game that offers a complete playset in a box?

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signoftheserpent said:

Then don't read it.

signoftheserpent said:

Then don't read it.

 

If you don't want us to read it if we don't agree with you and you are not willing to see any other side of the debate then I fail to see what you are trying to accomplish at this point. This is the Netrunner forums, of course those of us here like the game already. You don't you have made that abundantly clear so let's all just move on.

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How do you define 'complete'?

Each anachronism game purchase came with exactly as many cards of that pack / release that you could use (1 of each).

Also to accuse a company of 'money grubbing' reeks of socialism or anti free martket philosophy… This is a company. It has to make money somehow. It is not its requirement to provide you with the cards. It is its requirement to make money in the process of that product. Just my opinion.

But I am interested in your model for this game's alternative distribution.

And how would you distribute Vampire the Eternal Struggle, which has NO deck limit for cards?

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What other side is there? FFG made an arbitrary decision and the consequence is that the only way to get those cards is to buy another, entire, core set. I don't understand how that is something to be happy about. It's a bad decision. If they released those extra cards as a separate pack for a few bucks more that would be something, but they don't even do that. Even if you brought the cards separately online (if there's anywhere selling singles) the prie would be the same because that's what they are worth, if not more. There is no rationale that explains why you would just include fewer multiples than the maximum. The game would be no less playable if it had 3x everything and you could easily have done so for no more than an extra ten dollars. If this is about the size of print sheets then do as I suggested earlier and have a smaller core set at a smaller cost. That way companion sets would not be prohibitive. Asking me what I'd do is really moot however since I have no influence and cannot undo what FFG has decided. We are also not talking about other games so it's irrelevant what Vampire does. I doubt veery much whether i'd countenance a design allowing for unlimited multiples. That's what the original Star Wars ccg did and having to acquire multiple ultra rares or powerful mains was utterly ridiculous.

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I think all of this debating has clouded the core ideal behind the distribution method.  Everyone is hung up trying to either demonize or defend FFG's distribution method for the starters.

When I looked at the game I ask myself "Is this distribution method is better than the CCG model"?.  It may not be the "best" model from either the perspective of the player (who wants a full playset) OR FFG's perspective (who wants to create a product to accomplish specific goal and maintain profitability).  But I don't think any of us could argue that the CCG model is better.

And in that regard I think the product is a huge winner.

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So far, this thread has taken the exact same direction that every other of the dozens of thread on this topic has taken.  So far, no one has put forth any new arguments or explanations.

Nor has the complaining been qualitatively different.

Can we put these threads to rest?

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People will discuss what they see as worth discussing. Noone has been rude or offensive so I don't have a problem with it.

 

Anyway I have decided on balance to try the game. I do not care for FFG's decisions, they are a company that continually shoots itself in the foot in this way (great ideas but always with a sting in the tail unfortunately), and I do not stand by whatever motivated the distribution of this game, however.

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Whatr is interesting is that you claimed this distrubution was arbitrary. I highly doubt that that was what it was. Your continued negative comments regarding things that can be explained logically (arbitrary and the previous comment you made about them trying to steal our monies or some such) is what bothers ME about this thread, and it seems that you are being rude. However, it is likely that you are just letting your disdain for this distribution model cloud your discussion and what words you chose.

Your alternative solution was what then? Do what they have just done here (core set) and then have one additional pack of cards where in which they can buy the extras needed to 'complete' the collection? Have you discussed this with FFG yet?

And how are other models of distribution irrelevant? We are talking about distribution here, and comparisons are often a key point of argument formation.

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