I, personally, disagree. I bought core sets and deluxe and found the game unbalanced and especially difficult to construct decks with. Playing game after game where one player just didn’t draw a breaker or something turned my group off to it and trying to google starter decks online to even be able try to have a balanced game was a drag.
Only when I found jnet and played with some netrunnerdb decks did I have that moment where I thought “oh wow, this game is really fun and interesting.”
The game really is a lot more fun with a cool deck and deck building is a very daunting process at the beginning, especially for corp.
Personally, I prefer jnet in almost every way. It’s more convenient, faster, easier to try new decks with, full of kind people, I don’t have to leave my house and it’s 700 dollars cheaper. I find it almost surprising that anyone buys the cards when they can have such a better experience online (heresy to admit, I know).
Also, and this is maybe off-topic or incidental, but paying for cards is always disappointing when so many of the cards you pay for are jank. Many packs (like the new one for example) have maybe 3 cards you actually want and a bunch of stuff to put in box forever. It feel organized to make it hard to just buy what you want. I wanted to build an anarch deck and it’s such a turn-off to learn that Paperclip, MK Ultra and Black Orchestra are in different packs, to choose one example. On J-Net, a glut of jank is more interesting than expensively irritating.
One thing I wish players could buy, if we are dreaming, is just a set of “all the good cards people actually like to use.” There is a pool of about 100 or so basic cards that aren’t in the core-set but everyone wants and if there was a box that was just full of HHN, Stinton, Mining Accident, Amakua, Paperclip etc that one could purchase once, it would be the ultimate dream in terms of accessible, useful, fun playability. If the hundreds of janky, specific cards were then sold as a “jank-box” that would also be a more fun and honest thing to feel good about buying. The current system feels very implicately “If you want these 2 fun cards we make you buy these 10 almost-pointless cards.”
My point is that better decks = a much more fun experience and anything that puts fun decks full of fun cards in players hands easily in a good thing. Anything that forced a new player to have to construct a deck when they barely get the rules yet is a bad/unnecessary player experience.