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How do we save Netrunner?


Single core experience with revised core is hilariously bad too.


my advice is maintain the relationships and friendships you’ve built playing netrunner and let FFG save their own game. The community has bent over backwards to promote and grow Netrunner. they produce podcasts, websites, deck building apps, tournament apps, an unofficial tour that gets people to worlds and there is a fully functional fan made online version of the friggin game that despite some infringement issues is ignored by FFG because it is huge for maintaining interest in Netrunner.

All of this is on top of the countless hours put in by tournament and league organizers or the money spent by the players who buy more product just to have teaching decks. Or the money the competitive players spend just to fly to worlds. Why? All because there is this underlying hope that maybe, just maybe FFG will one day take the game as seriously as the player base.

the people ive met playing netrunner just enjoy playing games. It could be any one of a hundred different games but right now it happens to be Netrunner. Even if Netrunner died I have no doubt the community would find something else because the community has imo transcended the game it’s been built around.

In a twisted way that seems to be FFG business model. Create a good game and just kick back while the community that forms around it does the rest. Game is dead? Crank out another one. Yeah I’m feeling cynical today.


Can I also throw out “spending less time hidden away on slack, and more time in the more visable fora for the game.” (saying this as someone with an innate distrust of all social media, in which I count slack (which I have nerver looked at))

I think it’s telling that when new spoilers appear they generate very little discussion on stimhack these days. This doesn’t mean the game is unhealthy, but it demonstrates that the entry bar for accessing content and discussion about the game has risen yet again from the old days of Boardgame Geek.


Is it that twisted, and that cynical? I’ve sunk a lot of money into a lot of different games over the years, and not once did it occur to me to complain that their publishers weren’t doing more to ensure that I had enough people to play with.

Obviously I love this game, and obviously I think FFG would be contributing greatly to (some of) its customers and to gaming in general by ensuring that Netrunner flourishes for as long as possible, but dang man; I still want an Android expansion too, but I don’t begrudge FFG its decision to devote resources to actually lucrative Star Wars games instead of masterpieces that people aren’t as interested in anymore.


Wooley approached me with the idea of getting new players into the game with Core2 arriving, and asked for my assistance. We decided on the Onesies as a good point, and I tried to build semi-competitive (for a GNK/meetup level) deck using the minimal amount of parts (1 Core2, 1 big box, 1 pack), overlapping on Corp and Runner side when I could. They then took those dex, and played each other, pointing out mechanics when they arose.

Like all TC videos, the production, commentary, banter, and presentation is top-notch. I was impressed, and, hopefully, they helped some new players out.

re: Saving the game

IDK if that’s up to us. Player-run events draw people out to play, but aren’t getting people into the game. Casual meetups, and teaching/intro nights, are the way to do it. FFG isn’t interesting in growing that, just selling GNKs instead, which are geared more towards a tournament.

I think Asher noted that a limited format they’re running in Melbourne has grown the meetups, because the buy-in is so low. Basically, it’s just one or two Core2 sets, along with the current cycle. That’s it. It’s very limited, but people are on the same playing field, for a low cost. Worth a try, if you’re trying to draw people in.


Yeah, those decks require someone who has a full collection to build them, find a bunch of people unfamiliar with the game, and teach them to play using them. This means those decks can’t get into the hands of someone who doesn’t know anyone who already plays Netrunner.

The problem with intro decks in the style of the AGOT ones is that you’d need a corp and a runner one. So immediately the cost goes up, close enough to a core set that it might discourage anyone who found the $15 price point of the AGOT decks more approachable. If they do decide to do it, I hope they do double packs with both a corp and a runner deck, and keep the price point low so as to be an impulse buy.


First of all, no it doesn’t require a full collection. Proxies have been a card game staple since the beginning of time. No one cares if you make an intro deck with proxies.

Second, listen up and really hear it this time: All solutions to playerbase size will require hard work and effort. There are no magic ideas.

Jesus, people, pull your heads out of the sand. Declining attendance does mean trouble. Running events and new player outreach are the solutions. This is not complicated.


Oh, I do hard agree with @spags that a new direction is required from FFG for any real shot.

Intro deck products, showing more interest in the game with regular updates, gearing kits toward league play or meetups. Those are good starts.

But those aren’t things we can do. Again, and I’ll keep saying this, our options are organize and outreach.


Oh I totally agree, we should all make an effort to build our local meta. But thing is, nothing we do could ever have as much of an impact as if the product was easily discoverable and easy to buy into. When I first started we had newbies walking into the session every week, and for most of them it was their first card game (or they had played MtG 15 years earlier and hadn’t touched another card game since). Netrunner hooked them even though they weren’t typical card game players because it had wide exposure in more mainstream publications (mostly thanks to people like Quinns and Leigh). That sort of widespread discoverability doesn’t happen just cause local TOs “pull their heads out of their sand”. Local TOs ARE of course important, because they help retain the people who walk in through the door. But if the people walking through the door are the barest trickle (like it was back in 2016, I genuinely think the game is on the upswing now) there’s not much they can do, and it’s unfair to be expecting them to be responsible for the game’s health.


To chime back in:

Offering a cheap, fun, simple version of the game that you can jump right in and play for a couple of bucks to hook people is just a good idea.

The single core experience turns a lot of people off due to the preamble of deckbuilding for a game you don’t even understand yet and the game is just more fun with better decks. I personally find the core experience to have been frustrating and I am surprised (and of course happy) that the game has grown as big as it has considering the hurdle that I have seen my friends struggle with and often give up because of.

The obvious place to find new players is the Magic scene and if you went to a huge Magic tourney and gave out fun, simple, constructed decks as free door giveaways you would have an arena full of card game nerds with a lot of downtime and a great game designed by their god, Richard Garfield, in their hands.

From a sales point of view, it would very likely blow up FFG’s bottom line.
I should get a percent for pitching it :wink:


Super new (7 games in) player here…

Keeping the new Core Set in stock would be a huuuuge help… I’ve got 4 or 5 friends all ready to give the game a try and it’s simply unavailable anywhere. I doubt their interest will last the 3 or 4 months that’s being reported for restocks. We’re all mostly new to LCG/CCG outside of Hearthstone and it’s literally a “take my money” moment and there’s no one to oblige. :confused:


It is really unfortunate that they underestimated the demand by so much.

I do think they’ve put the reprint at a fairly high priority, given that it went straight to “at the printer” on their upcoming page, instead of sitting in the “awaiting reprint” section for however long. Unfortunately, being fairly high priority won’t save it from the boat.


I think intro decks or even better, dueling decks are way better than the core experience. Especially to draw in players from other tournament games such as magic. I don’t know how many Magic players that have asked for intro decks. Magic have a really low bar to enter because of those (even though it can quickly become really expensive). Having a duel pack at the price of a deluxe or intro decks at the price of data packs would be a cheap way to test the game.

I haven’t tested the single core 2.0 experience, but the first one didn’t feel that balanced. Their way of building the decks (smack together all neutrals + the faction) makes the decks very uneven. I think tuned decks are much better in that regard.

And I still think FFG are too greedy for their own benefit. Having to tell people to buy 3 core set to have full playset of the basic cards have always left a bad taste in my mouth.

The core are sold as if it was a board game and this is because the structure of release are built up to accommodate the old internal structure of FFGs board game model. It might be a good model for board games with uneven expansions, but it is less so when it comes to collectible tournament games.

If you want to have a healthy tournament scene, you need some predictability. Having sometimes wait half a year for new cards and sometimes they are releasing a pack within weeks of a previous pack. And ffs, have everything in stock. If you have people going to tournaments who couldn’t get all the cards they needed for their decks it will sour the experience.


Do you think the new “Rookery format” that was introduced in AGOT could work with netrunner? I think it is a bit worrying they didn’t test these with netrunner…


Would you/your friends right now buy some pre-constructed decks off the shelves for around the same price as a data pack, knowing you might eventually end up rebuying most of the cards in there if you decided to buy every data pack and big box?


I do think side boarding would be interesting in Netrunner.


I guess the influence system makes it harder though.

But it would be good against the meta-warping decks.


I think with the existing card pool sideboarding would decrease the number of viable strategies, not increase it, and this effect would be especially harmful for corps, who struggle a bit more against the possibility of games where all of their win cons are cut off.

It doesn’t sound fun to me.


Would you/your friends right now buy some pre-constructed decks off the shelves for around the same price as a data pack, knowing you might eventually end up rebuying most of the cards in there if you decided to buy every data pack and big box?

I think so, Yes. We’re all “older” by Netrunner standards (35-45) so cost isn’t really the driving issue. If prebuilt decks ramped in complexity and concepts, that would be more interesting…


It’s not totally obvious to me that FFG isn’t interested in “saving” Netrunner. I agree that the LCG glut has cannibalized Netrunner players (L5R took a bunch of people out of the local meta here, and Destiny is apparently doing the same).

But Core 2.0 was obviously a huge shot in the arm for Netrunner. Who completely revises the game if they’re not committed to seeing it succeed for a while longer? And the recently announced Reign and Reverie seems like a great follow-on. Get important cards for every faction, including consoles and agendas, plus new identities for each faction? Sounds perfect for somebody who doesn’t want to devote $90+ to buying an entire cycle, but would still like some variety. Even better if Reign and Reverie comes with decklist suggestions that can be constructed with it + Core 2.0. (Or the community comes up with decklists, or whatever.) Maybe there are even preconstructed decks waiting in the wings somewhere, too. It takes time to change the direction of the ship, and maybe we just don’t see the results of the new direction yet.