There’s been some talk about playing Netrunner with some different sort of card legality that fills the void left by glacial rotation, or the permanent lack of core set rotation. BB45 is a cool movement. After my experience with another competitive game with a small community though, I have a sort of fear and anxiety about customized rebalancing rules coming from players within the community itself. It’s hard - impossible actually, even with efforts in the best of faith - to be unbiased. You view the game from the lens of your own experiences, and no one plays equal proportions of Shaper, Anarch and Crim (if you do, you might want to consider stopping that, your performances tend to be better if you practice one type of deck extra.) I’ve seen players with sway over a ruleset, either for personal gain, or because it’s impossible to to divorce an assessment of imbalances from an assessment of experiences in which you were outplayed by an even better player, restrict or ban strategies that didn’t really warrant it.
In a CCG with the unique property that most players own every card (and in a variant format, proxying would be allowed anyway), I like the idea of a dynamic, self-modifying (pun intended) banlist that simply views tournament results from the previous season and restricts or bans cards accordingly. A cold, unfeeling algorithm could make that decision, simply removing the cards that appear in a disproportionate enough of victorious decks (or adding some restriction to those cards.) This removes possibly unfair kneejerk bans, like banning Accelerated Diagnostics after one season when the underlying cause was actually that the CI players had been practicing their Netrunner more than the players learning how to fight the deck, and perhaps CI was not strongly spread as an autowin option amongst the top 50% of the tournament, as a sample hypothetical example.
A downside is that the algorithm hits the wrong card in a strategy, say, Adjusted Chronotype gets restricted or banned for high usage, but some poor Sunny using it with Globalsec Security Clearance has to learn a new deck now. I think that’d be pretty rare and an acceptable loss. Most of the time the essential aspect of what makes the strategy good will still be there.
One issue I imagine when I think about the concept would be an issue of “flicker”. If cards don’t stay banned forever once the algorithm bans them (it seems sad to say goodbye to a card forever, although if the algorithm bans cards more slowly than new cards are released, you would in fact still have an ever-growing game), then very strong cards would pop in and out of legality. A card would be banned, after X amount of time it unbans again if you don’t go with the permaban option, everyone might know that it’s gonna be a problem, it’s a problem, that particular season is pretty stale, it immediately goes out again. Restricting the number of instances of the card could reduce flicker in some cases, but in others might not help enough. A card like Eater that needs to be 3x for it’s strategy could easily flicker hard on just whether the 3rd copy is allowed.
Does anyone have any ideas about the flicker issue? Amongst those that don’t hate the idea entirely, which I’m sure will be most of you!
Thanks for reading yet another silly popsofctown thread. I appreciate your feedback, even if it’s negative