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NR's future: Block Play? Ban/Limit Cards? What do YOU think?

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Do I really think that's gonna happen? No. I don't think FFG will do that, and I'm not an MBA, so obviously I'm missing lots of pieces to the puzzle. But I wish they would do it, and if they did I think that would be the logic. 

 

I reiterate my question: Has any *CG other than Magic had block play?

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Do I really think that's gonna happen? No. I don't think FFG will do that, and I'm not an MBA, so obviously I'm missing lots of pieces to the puzzle. But I wish they would do it, and if they did I think that would be the logic. 

 

I reiterate my question: Has any *CG other than Magic had block play?

 

 

Yes. Decipher's Lord of the Rings CCG implemented block play later in it's lifespan.

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Enforced block play for Netrunner would be awful.

 

Occasional events with restricted packs, however, could be really fun and interesting.

 

I have no doubt if you were to start a poll (BGG would probably be best due to number of regularly active users) there would be a landslide of people who would agree that mandatory bock play would be bad for the game.

Hans Chung-Otterson likes this

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The current block of MTG (Theros), the current Core Set, and the previous "block" (Return to Ravnica, Gatecrash, Dragon's Maze) comprise 1,177 cards, and oddly enough, the earliest of those was released right after Gen Con 2012, right when Netrunner was released.

 

By all accounts, being competitive in that scene costs upwards of (VERY conservatively) $100 per month, and in a couple of years, those cards that you spent money on will no longer be legal in Standard play. If I have $50 per month to spend, then in competition I'm going to be a speedbump for those with more money and fewer social skills.

 

Now, in basically the same amount of time, ANR has released 348 cards, and I've spent $245 MSRP which averages out to less than $15 per month. At this rate, to equal just the current block of Magic (1507 cards at completion in April 2014), at the rate they're releasing cards will take until sometime in the year 2022. That's to equal ONE BLOCK of Magic which WOTC pumps out in about eighteen months.*

 

I'm sorry, but this conversation boggles my mind. The cost of playing Netrunner is SO LOW, and the card pool is so small, the rate of release so gradual, that any discussion of rotation or retirement at this early date is pure, undiluted hogwash. To even compare the two when they operate on such wildly different scales makes no sense. To complain about stagnation and limited number of viable archetypes when we've got less content than ONE Magic Core Set and ONE expansion is risible.

 

(*then again, it also baffles me why anyone would dump hundreds of dollars into a game that obsoletes your purchases on a frequent and ongoing basis, so maybe I'm just missing something altogether. The dizzying plethora of different MTG formats to me is a symptom of a game that is fundamentally broken, and operates primarily as a means to separate its players from their disposable income first, and sustain a viable meta a distant second. I'm pretty much opposed to any attempt to imitate MTG, because if so, it means something has gone wrong. Our current problems are caused by too few cards, not too many.)

Edited by Grimwalker
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A Game of Thrones has a Core set, six deluxe sets, and fifty-nine chapter packs and every one of them is legal for play.

 

I'll just point out that this is 1708 cards, and as such they exceeded the size of one full "Standard format" MTG block sometime early this past year.

Edited by Grimwalker

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Occasional events with restricted packs, however, could be really fun and interesting.

 

I think this is a great idea that solves the problem without being disrupting to the game as a whole. I'd love to see more events with different formats and different cards. 

 

 

I'm sorry, but this conversation boggles my mind. The cost of playing Netrunner is SO LOW, and the card pool is so small, the rate of release so gradual, that any discussion of rotation or retirement at this early date is pure, undiluted hogwash. To even compare the two when they operate on such wildly different scales makes no sense. To complain about stagnation and limited number of viable archetypes when we've got less content than ONE Magic Core Set and ONE expansion is risible.

 

I for one am just discussing ideas! I ain't calling for heads to roll or that the sky is falling; just thinking about my favorite game and its future. I think the wider perspective you're dropping is very useful, also.

Edited by Hans Chung-Otterson

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(*then again, it also baffles me why anyone would dump hundreds of dollars into a game that obsoletes your purchases on a frequent and ongoing basis, so maybe I'm just missing something altogether. The dizzying plethora of different MTG formats to me is a symptom of a game that is fundamentally broken, and operates primarily as a means to separate its players from their disposable income first, and sustain a viable meta a distant second. I'm pretty much opposed to any attempt to imitate MTG, because if so, it means something has gone wrong. Our current problems are caused by too few cards, not too many.)

 

I don't find it so baffling myself, really. I believe a strong part of Magic's success - and the game has grown by something like 25% in each of the past four years, is that the rotation of cards keeps the game fresh and interesting. There are always new challenges and new deck designs moving through the game, and I think that's been a great thing for it.

 

Now, if you're looking at it from a purely financial point of view, then yeah, it is a pretty big investment. It reminds me of the Warhammer miniatures games, which require increasing outlays of cash and make you do all the work to assemble and paint models. But I'm getting a bit off-topic here.

 

I guess the proof is in the pudding, so to speak, in that MtG has been flourishing since the implementation of block play. Therefore, it poses an interesting theoretical question to ask if this would also benefit Netrunner in the future. Or, if not that, would Netrunner instead benefit from a Restricted list. Does it even need these things? Cases have been made for and against both, and I've enjoyed hearing the various opinions, including yours, Grim.

 

I'm no expert on the card games business, but I do know this - I'm looking forward to seeing some new deck archetypes and strategies that will unseat some of the current kings of the NR meta. Just a matter of time, I'm sure, but there are multiple ways to achieve that, and they don't all involve designing new cards.

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It's also possible to attribute M:tG's ongoing growth to the fact that it's so big anyway - a snowball effect of the game's success.

If I want to play Netrunner at my LGS, I usually have to arrange a game ahead of time. comparatively, I can turn up any time of any day and get a game of Magic. The same it true of Warhammer vs. Warmachine.

This has two effects: firstly, if you're just being exposed to card games or miniature wargaming, these will typically be the first ones you encounter. Hell, for the longest time I didn't even know there WERE other games.

Secondly, if I want to get into a game which has an established playerbase to ensure I get regular play, I'll probably pick Magic before any other game.

Block play forces even established players to constantly shell out for new cards, which feeds the ever-hungry coffers at WotC/Hasbro. I'm not convinced it's beneficial to the game, or the players.

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(*then again, it also baffles me why anyone would dump hundreds of dollars into a game that obsoletes your purchases on a frequent and ongoing basis, so maybe I'm just missing something altogether. The dizzying plethora of different MTG formats to me is a symptom of a game that is fundamentally broken, and operates primarily as a means to separate its players from their disposable income first, and sustain a viable meta a distant second. I'm pretty much opposed to any attempt to imitate MTG, because if so, it means something has gone wrong. Our current problems are caused by too few cards, not too many.)

 

I don't find it so baffling myself, really. I believe a strong part of Magic's success - and the game has grown by something like 25% in each of the past four years, is that the rotation of cards keeps the game fresh and interesting. There are always new challenges and new deck designs moving through the game, and I think that's been a great thing for it.

 

I'm no expert on the card games business, but I do know this - I'm looking forward to seeing some new deck archetypes and strategies that will unseat some of the current kings of the NR meta. Just a matter of time, I'm sure, but there are multiple ways to achieve that, and they don't all involve designing new cards.

 

I'll just reiterate that at present, ANR has a card pool of 348 cards. Magic 2013 Core Set has 249, and Theros another 249.

 

Do you imagine for one second that if MTG were limited to just M13 and one expansion, that a very few archetypes wouldn't be dominant?

 

Add into it that ANR's card pool is bisected between Corp and Runner, so you're effectively deckbuilding out of a pool of 174 cards. And your solution...is to take cards *out* of the pool? To keep the pool limited in size due to FFG's very modest rate of output?

 

I really can't find any merit in that line of thinking.

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I'll let Venthrac speak for her or himself, but Grim, I don't think anyone here is saying that right now FFG needs to restrict cards or implement block play. We're discussing what the benefits are and if we could see it as a useful thing in Netrunner as it grows.

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Well, in the OP, Venthrac was lamenting the limited variety of builds in the current meta and was skeptical of the meta being improved anytime soon.  He specifically mentioned that he was not sanguine about any new cards serving that purpose, going so far as to be doubtful that even Honor and Profit would not shake things up.

 

So, having dismissed the possibility that any currently-announced release would address the problem, he then posited the notion of rotating cards out of play. So, I'm just taking him at his word, and responding why it's a horrible idea that fails to take basic facts into account. I'm trying to be polite, honestly I am, but it's neither a good solution, nor is it in keeping with the LCG model as presented by FFG. By their own policies, the only rotation is soft rotation, implemented via the Restricted list.

 

It also irks me from the beginning that Venthrac asks whether he's from "a boring, conservative group of Netrunner players." Well...he said it, not me. He also says he doesn't follow the boards, which means he's also probably not following BGG, or the many ANR podcasts, and all I can say is that with all the input and ideas out there, the ground is shifting so fast that I have more deck ideas than I can build and test, and I resent that one insular group has decided that they know which way the wind is blowing and wants to look to a game I have no enthusiasm for and bring in aspects of it which I actively despise.

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Cool. The original thread is totally out of my mind, and I've had the conversation of the last page or so firmly implanted. I think you're right, by and large. I'm going to exit this thread as the discussion doesn't really seem useful for me any more. Thanks!

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A few quick thoughts...

 

All efforts to be polite are appreciated. So thank you.

 

Just to clarify, I am very happy with the amount of variety possible with the full scope of Netrunner deck builds. You can build all manner of interesting decks on either side, Corp or Runner. What's telling, however, is that certain builds are seeming to dominate competitive play. Now, that's just today. Perhaps in six months, an entirely different set of archetype will hold the same position. In some ways, that would be good, because it would demonstrate that the game is evolving as it should. What would be my pipe dream is to see another Plugged-In Tour where a wider range of archetypes were sharing in the wins, and you could see a more evenly-distributed spread of percentages among factions played both in Corp and Runner. Such a result would speak to a very healthy game, I think.

 

I expect some of that will come with time, as the card pool expands. As has been observed, it's still pretty small as of today.

 

I think the best idea I've read here is to have specific events where a limited format is used as a way to add variety and challenge the deck-builders. I'm keen on that, it does sound like fun. I might have to propose that to the locals here and maybe we can try it out as a way to pry some of our players away from Andromeda and Tag & Bag decks ;) 

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I think the facts speak for themselves that the winningest deck concepts get overrepresented in overall play and tournament placement, and I'm as sick as anybody else of seeing another boring Weyland "I Win" button, or so many Andy decks I'm just going to start calling her Number Six.

 

We got in an extra copy of the Season 2 Game Night kit, and aside from the Macs and the playmat, everyone around here is unenthused about more alt-art copies of Scorched Earth after seeing them in such great quantity during the Plugged-In Tour. So to shake things up, I proposed two guidelines:

  • No Core set Corporate IDs.
  • No Core set Consoles.

I thought it would be a modest step to get people out of the existing molds since ETF, BABW, and Desperado are probably the cards most overused right now. Criminal decks--Andy or Gabe--get a big boost of getting paid money for something theyd be doing anyway.

 

Unfortunately, most of my play group thought it was a terrible idea and threatened to stay away if that were the case. Personally, I was hoping that the Draft format would be out already, as that is a fun alternative by all accounts.

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I know just how you feel, Grim. I think the draft format can do great things for the game, and I can't wait to try it out. It feels like just the kind of change of pace we'd love to play with.

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Great discussion so far and a lot of good points brought up. As I said before I have to agree with Grim in that block play doesn't make sense for the LGS format. A strong core set means that a new player will be able to get into the game fairly easily and cheaply. Already today you can probably make a couple of very competitive decks with nothing but 2 core sets the deluxe expansion and two or three data packs. That's ~$150 and you can show up to a tournament and win. And if they want to keep spending money then they can buy the rest of the data packs slowly and if they don't they can stay competitive for a long time with just that initial investment. Block play may lower the entry cost very slightly (and probably wouldn't as I don't see how a new player can get into the game for any less than ~$150 no matter what kind of a block system FFG would use) but it would mean the upkeep costs of continuing to play would be monumental and would hurt the existing players. So I just don't see any benefit to implementing this.

 

Now as far as seeing the same decks over and over again. I want to reiterate that the lack of diversity in tournaments does not mean that there is a lack of alternatives in the actual game. Andy and Tag'nbag and HB FA are popular not only because they're strong but also because of how easy they are to play. Usually the decks kind of play themselves and there aren't a whole lot of tough choices to make. Compare this with a never-advance or shell game deck. It requires a lot of skill to read the runner and the game state in general and know when you can bait the runner or when you can safely put an agenda out there. So the lack of different decks may also indicate a lack of skill rather then a stale meta.

 

Another thing that you have to remember is that the tournament format itself favors fast decks that guarantee a win in a (relatively) short amount of time. For instance I have an almost all 1 point Jinteki PE deck that actually does quite well and is very fun to play. But I would never take it to a tournament because of how slow that deck is. At my FLGS where our league play has no time limit I love to run that deck but in a tournament I would have a whole lot of 1 prestige point games and that is not a way to win.

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Another thing that you have to remember is that the tournament format itself favors fast decks that guarantee a win in a (relatively) short amount of time. For instance I have an almost all 1 point Jinteki PE deck that actually does quite well and is very fun to play. But I would never take it to a tournament because of how slow that deck is. At my FLGS where our league play has no time limit I love to run that deck but in a tournament I would have a whole lot of 1 prestige point games and that is not a way to win.

 

I'll second that. I have a BWBI deck that is so not tournament-material it's unreal. Partly it's because it's a bit weird and experimental still while I tune it, but mainly it's because it's a bloody behemoth of a deck that sits ack an builds super-servers of advanacable ICE before pushing an Agenda through while the runner is poor (or after I blow up a breaker or two). It works, but it's SO UNBELIEVABLY SLOW.

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Along these same lines, I've been revisiting Jinteki RP now that Sundew's out, and it's been a fun exercise. One of NRs great strengths is the wide variety of choice it offers to deck-builders, even within the limited card pool. I agree this is a case against limiting that card pool. Where I can, I am trying to encourage others to branch out a bit and experiment with new ideas.

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The best way to get people to branch out and experiment is to build decks that take advantage of their current builds.  Unless they enjoy losing, they'll start experimenting quickly.

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Well, it's hard against the first turn kick to the sprouts that Number Six can do if she Account Siphons you, Vamps you for the rest of the credits in your pool, then spends the rest of the game dancing merrily through your servers while floating the tags because all her income is coming from events and Desperado. Andy hates a first turn Hedge Fund followed by Invasion of Privacy, though, so I'm playing NBN these days.

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... Andy hates a first turn Hedge Fund followed by Invasion of Privacy, though, so I'm playing NBN these days.

 

Which makes my point...

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Indeed it does. It's also one of the reasons I love to play NBN - they can go on the attack and cripple the runner's resources, doing, in effect, the same thing that the Criminal faction likes to do to the corp.

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