EDIT1: I have been getting very good responses and opinions from you all. Thanks! I am not sure how to definitively conclude this discussion, but a few things I read seemed to be what I was looking for...
One of my favorite things about Netrunner is the community engagement and participation. The players at my local friendly game have been very supportive and encouraging as I learnt how to play the game. The game itself is very exciting, and often intense.
However, a few things have been niggling at me for a while, and I wanted to voice those concerns to see what others think. Because of the amount of positive support I got, I felt it was heresy to doubt the soul of netrunner. Having moved on from the game recently, I was wondering if I made the right call.
Is netrunner really as strategic and deep as players think it is?
I ask this because when I think of strategy games, I feel there is a simple rule set that encourages the proverb 'seconds to learn, and decades to master'. Chess comes to my mind.
Depth: However, when you think of netrunner and it's LCG model...do you ever get the feeling that how many ever data packs and expansions are released, the depth imparted ( to the game ) by the expansions does not increase faster than the number of cards becoming legal? To me it feels like how many ever cards are being released, options increase multifold, but the depth remains agonizingly shallow.
For example, if we were to think of Chess as an LCG model, the core set ( 16 pieces ) would be enough for a lifetime. Additional packs would add variety, but there's no one saying you can't go to a tournament skilled just in the core set. In other words, I feel netrunner conflates variety / options and depth.
Meta Independence: Also, if how the game works clicks, how many ever pieces are added in expansions, it doesn't matter. In other words, if you know how to play chess, the meta is irrelevant; your skill, experience and knowledge would far outweigh knowing all possibilities. I definitely don't see this in netrunner, because no one can just take a random ID, especially the Professor, and ignore the meta.
What do you all think? I would take this as a challenge and play only the core deck ( and perhaps one expansion based on runner / corp faction ], but then I'm not very good at the game as well. I was hoping the more experienced players could challenge what I said.