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How do we save Netrunner?


That’s how I see them, too. It’s why I’d prefer them to release ‘Starter decks’ instead (or in addition to Champion decks). I’d also love to see them release ‘Starter decks’ using identities and a few supporting cards that have not yet been released (similar to the official draft packs, that contained preview cards).


Online card games have their niche’ but jinteki.net is not the future of Netrunner because it is not officially promoted outside of people who are already playing the game.

If FFG had an online presence and promoted it that would be different. If their model changed to marry physical data packs with unlock codes for an online product I would enjoy that very much.

FFG does not have an online presence however so the best method for creating new players and growing the game is to expose them to netrunner. With jinteki.net so readily available and convenient there is a greatly reduced pressure for any type of local community to form. You could even go so far as to say a 3rd-party product such as jinteki.net damages your FLGS because it keeps players out of their businesses.

I understand the desire for convenience but you have to accept, or rectify the consequences.


Whenever I make that argument, it’s from a position of “Magic manages to get new players into their game, and it’s way more expensive buy-in, so what’s the trick?”

Dunno if that’s what was meant here, but it’s something I’ve thought about.


It’s not more expensive buy-in, because for the price of a data pack you can get a deck to play against your friend. You can go from never playing MTG to playing within an hour and $15.


That’s where duel decks would be great. The World Champ decks are neat, but I’m not sure they fill that kind of niche. Dedicated official teaching decks would be the best.


But I think part of the issue is that there is a perception – a perception fuelled by many people like us who talk about Netrunner online – that buy-in means you have to get all the cards.
Nobody would ever think that in Magic; that would be insane. But just because you can in principle do it in Netrunner, and many people do, doesn’t mean it’s necessary to enjoy the game and actively participate in it.

To play against your friend, you need a core set; that’s all. While more than $15, it is a perfectly manageable expense for most people, AND it gives you 7 decks to play against your friend, with the option to swap things in and out.


Personally, I don’t think the core decks are showing the gameplay at its finest. They are a bit over the place. Having two decks balanced against each would be better IMHO. Duel decks can really shine in this regard.


It doesn’t feel like we’re anywhere close to a consensus about what such decks should be like, and I think there are a lot of different goals. For new players, it should be as simple as possible. Money, breakers, a little tutoring and multiaccess, maybe Inside Job, versus a glacier deck without much facecheck risk. (Like, oh, the demo lists in the revised core.) After a few games of that, I’d want to graduate to something like the standard core decks. These don’t need to be fine-tuned–in fact, as long as they’re essentially playable, they shouldn’t be. Rather, they should showcase the games possibilities and make me think "Ah, I bet Tollbooth would improve this Weyland deck, let’s try it."
The NBN/Whizzard championship decks are great dueling decks for intermediate or returning players, but if I was a relatively new player, learning the ropes by way of “how do I play around each of the ways that CTM can make me sad” would definitely not be my idea of a good time.


I think a Core 3.0, either with mostly entirely new cards or with cards from the next rotation or two, might be able to do this. Core 2.0 has many benefits, but it also has many places where it seems clear that they were hampered by their limited card options, and it wouldn’t surprise me if this affected the balance between the default decks. I haven’t played them enough to know for sure.

It might be ok to put in a handful of much newer cards, even. Paperclip or Berserker would be a big improvement over Morningstar, and the packs they’re in have enough other good stuff that I think people would still buy them eventually.


Personally, I’d prefer to see duel decks being more tightly themed. E.g. a Reina vs GRNDL Duel pack if they were to have done one during the spin cycle. Something that I feel more experienced players forget about is the hugely powerful immersive experience of first picking up a game that takes you into a different world, with heroes, villains etc. Netrunner does this incredibly well as you first start playing.

It’s another topic, but I wonder whether the design is still as strong from this perspective (it certainly lost a lot of it through San San and Mumbad imho). Flashpoint was mostly good, Red Sands a lot less so. Kitara seems alright, but my perspective may be skewed by familiarity. For what it’s worth, my pet theory is that a degree of genericism is your friend, as it means that everyone is in some sense familiar with the universe and has an anchor on which to layer in detail. However as more specifics are fleshed out, not only does this require more mechanichally awkward cards, but the feeling of ‘familiarity’ is harder to capture. (Note that this is probably less of a problem for games based on established IP such as Star Wars).

Perhaps that’s all BS though.

Other ‘Save the game’ ideas that I think would be good are cycle-packs for completed cycles (I and others have said this before), and perhaps the opportunity for ‘deluxe’ versions of the same or of other products. This is for two reasons: firstly, if someone is prepared to pay more money for some sort of collectors ediion of the core set (maybe with nicer tokens, a playmat and alt art ID’s) then great, that can subsidise the rest of us / provide promos to give out; secondly, I think it makes a difference buying in to a game where these products exist as it shows that there is a high degree of commitment from the player base, and a desire from the manufacturers to produce something lasting and of good quality. (There is also the marketing idea that the creation of a high end version of a product can make the regular version seem like a better deal, but there’s already a load more marketing stuff that FFG could be doing.)

Anyway, sorry for the mind vomit.

TLDR: The important stuff is in the first paragraph.


Thiiiis. SanSan was hands-down my favorite cycle for experiencing new releases, but it has made actual games weird. Overall I think Mumbad and Flashpoint found the best balance between having a story to tell and being able to tell anything other than that one story.


To be clear, I consider ‘buy-in’ to be ‘Minimum required expenditure to have a deck you can take to multiple tournaments, with an expectation to not auto-lose every game.’

The ‘multiple tournaments’ thing means that $15 Draft is not a buy-in for Magic, but it’s a very good introduction anyway. A $50 Burn deck is the minimum buy-in for Magic, and I guess Core Set is the minimum buy-in for Netrunner, though you’re heavily unfavored, I don’t think you just Lose in every game…?


I think an experienced player taking a single core set deck to tournaments wouldn’t auto-lose every game, but a new player might. I’m not sure just how much more purchases would help, though, and I don’t know whether the same would hold true of your example $50 Burn deck in Magic.

If a core set alone doesn’t quite meet your minimum buy-in requirements, I suspect a core set + the latest World Champion decks probably would. Rotation + MWL updates mean it might be hard to build a deck with those that does much better than “don’t auto-lose every game,” but I think you could build something that hit that mark pretty easily.


@Nemamiah’s champion decks are the closest to that you can buy in Netrunner. If half the cards in them hadn’t rotated or been banned they would have made an excellent first purchase for new players - you get some powerful cards for those two factions that make for a good basis to build from, you get extra copies of some core set staples, and you get a taste of tier 1 competitive decks without having to buy the full card pool.

I don’t think Wilfy’s decks will fulfil that role unfortunately. They’ve got too many complex interactions, and you need to know your decklist by heart to know what silver bullet to tutor or draw for.


You mean you want decks that are themed in terms of the fiction? I was personally thinking themed in terms of mechanics (eg. Whizzard vs asset spam, something like that), but ideally you’d do both, I agree.


i also think that this is FFG’s problem to sort out and not the players tbh. a lot of business decisions have to happen before something like this were to happen.

they’d have to check and see if people buying the duel/intro decks means they won’t buy cores at all (which would be a loss in revenue), if people would buy them at all (a loss of marketing, production, etc. that didn’t pay off)

clearly they think the champion decks are worthy of their time, and i think we can all agree they’d be decent things for them to produce, but how many of us players would actually buy them? (if they made full bleed art for them and included staples like sure gamble/hedge fund, of course that number goes up a lot more)

i think it’s fine that we all talk about things we’d really like for the game, but at the end of the day, FFG is a business, so if something makes good sense for the game but doesn’t make good business sense, they’re under no obligation to do it


Keep in mind that the health of the game is intricately connected to its continued commercial viability.

Ignoring that health ultimately will be bad for business, regardless of other factors.


Seeing as we don’t seem to be getting new ones, I would challenge that conclusion.


Apparently this year’s AGoT champion deck had no articles or announcements until it was actually in stores. A rumour on Netrunner Dorks says ours will be released the same way Thursday.


And they know that, probably far better than any of us.
This is ultimately the same old conversation that we’ve been having since the game was first announced and people immediately expressed their outrage at the card distribution. The venn diagram of “good for business” and “good for the health of the game” probably looks very much like a circle, with maybe a little sliver of color around the edges. “Good for the health of the game” and “good for the enjoyability of the game” are undoubtedly also very close.
Things start to go awry when people try to draw the circle for “good for my exact use case”