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How do we save Netrunner?


I think the general philosophy is the Jnet mods will echo the IRL game as close as humanly possible. Even if they spot “bad cards,” I would assume it’s not their responsibility to make any adjustments.

I think the “rabbit hole” question that has been discussed on Team Covenant (and most likely here somewhere in the Archived Memories) is: Has JNet been good or bad for Netrunner? Or, to stay on topic: to what extent as Jnet saved Netrunner communities or hurt Jnet communities?

We’re doing our Spring League all online (as almost all of them have been). I would LOVE for us to do League in person, but at this juncture for me, I can’t guarantee I could make those matches each week. But for a FACT, I know I can do it every week online.

So in that sense, Jnet has been helpful. Or has it been?


I’d agree that the cost of entry being “cheaper than a MtG meta deck” is a kind of flawed argument considering Magic has very good aftermarket while you’ll basically never get anything back from netrunner. You may be lucky enough sell a complete Netrunner collection at $250-300 when you get out, but other than that it’s a sunk cost. Further if you’re a good player and have a solid deck in MtG you can routinely win new packs so your initial investment generally holds a decent value, but can also continue to earn value through packs won.


I would say this is generally thought of as a good tournament because GNK’s usually have ~16-18 participation prizes, yet (at least locally) it seems like you always walk away with a play set of the participation prize just for showing up.


I don’t want to compare Netrunner and Magic too closely because they’re very different. However, when talking about drawing in new players, one of the major questions is the cost of entry. When the cost of entry pretty closely mirrors Magic and your model is more akin to a subscription model, you’ve got a problem. That’s not an easy sell. I consider that problem the major hurdle to the future of Netrunner success. When the game was smaller, I had a much easier time getting people into the game because the initial cost was much smaller. As the game continues to grow in volume, the LCG model becomes less attractive unless it’s kept at manageable levels, both for cost of entry and management of mechanics.


FFG should considering repacking older cycles somehow. Release cycles initially, like they currently do, but then once a cycle gets half or two-thirds of the way in, maybe break up the previous cycle into faction packs. it would be the 15 cards for that faction, plus 1-2 of the more synergistic neutrals, sold for $10.

Alternatively, they could just repackage, unedited, the previous cycle’s cellophaned card sets into a single box and sell that for a lower price point than buying each pack upon release. It would probably still have to cost $70-75, but you call it something like Red Sand Cycle: Download Complete and it might help newer players feel like they can catch up quickly. Maybe throw some draft rules in there.


That strikes me as a ton of overhead, grumpy retailers, and self-undercutting for extremely little benefit. I do sometimes wonder whether it’d be better (whatever “better” means) if the data packs weren’t quite so uniform by faction, though


I really think faster rotation is the best answer to the buy-in problem. If I were FFG, I would move towards two formats something along the lines of:

Cache Refresh Refreshed: Core 2.0 (one copy), the latest all-faction deluxe, and the current cycle.

Would Be Called Standard If It Had A Name, Which It Probably Wouldn’t: Core 2.0, the last two all-faction deluxes, the last three to five cycles, and maybe the mini-faction cards from D&D (which would need to be repackaged as a separate product)

Ideally they’d move towards this in stages, with lots of advance warning. Rotating an extra cycle and two deluxes in each of the next two rotations would basically get us there.

Since I’m not FFG, the best I can do is support unofficial formats that have smaller cardpools. I do like Modded.


I’m going to say I have very, very little faith in FFG’s ability to count numbers and their ability to interpret those numbers. (and then also verbalise those numbers properly)


Oh man, what I wouldn’t give for an easy multiquote function on here! :slight_smile:

I do agree that the initial buy-in is too steep. We don’t KNOW how many kitchen meta players are out there (people who basically treat it as a boardgame and only play it with 1-2 other people, and stick to core-only or at most buy a handful of expansions) but considering that most game stores I’ve ever walked into seem to have a copy of the core set even if they don’t carry ANY other Netrunner products, it must be substantial. More than the active community who go to regular casual meets and the occasional tournament? I don’t know, but probably. That community must be a few thousand people globally, and I don’t think that’s enough to be profitable considering the number of people working on Netrunner, even if everyone spends $15/month on it. (Not talking just about Boggs, obviously, but all the production, editing, proofing, testing, art and design, etc.)

I believe FFG have themselves acknowledged that 5-7 cycles is too many. Shortening it to 4-5 cycles might be better. I suspect that the big kitchen meta players also favour big boxes over datapacks (for obvious reasons), which may have affected their decision to do another deluxe. But if that’s gonna happen regularly, I would favour big box rotation too.

Getting the supercasual players to attend competitive meets is crucial for the health of any game. I’ve met a lot of people who spent months and months playing nothing but core-set-only netrunner in a small friends-only meta, actually got really good at it, but never went to a single meet outside their homes because they were poor studetns so buying a full collection was never an option for them.


I have just read the article about X-Wing 2nd Edition. The biggest change I saw is moving to an app-based roster builder: turns out upgrades and other elements of the game won’t have printed values for army composition. That is, they will be able to vary them on the fly for even specific events.
What if we saw something like this on A:N? Cards without printed influence costs, so everything could we revisited and adjusted on demand. Or even IDs, with their abilities and deckbuilding constrains!


While I like the idea for X-Wing, it will be more difficult in Netrunner. Influence (or anything else, really) in Netrunner is not just a pre-game deck building restriction, since we have hidden information. For example, you would not be able to easily count influence anymore without knowing all the latest updates. (Correct me if I am wrong, but in X-Wing you have full information about opponents squad and upgrades when the match starts, don’t you?)

Maybe something like this could work more easily when you get to see your opponents decklist before the match? On topic though, this would likely make it MORE difficult for new players to get into (competitive) Netrunner.

I also think that the MWL does a good (enough) job for now and on-the-fly adjusted influence values are not necessary. Given this and the frequency of MWL updates, I would rather FFG focus on one thing and do it right than try to do too much.


(a light hearted aside, because grammar and typos happen)

I would happily fork money over for an app-based rooster builder. Mine would have goggles, a leather jacket, and probably roller skates :slight_smile:

(back to Saving Netrunner)


You say this like we’ve made any progress. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


No, really, I’m curious.


Getting new people from somewhere to attend meetups seems important, and if there are as many supercasual/kitchen table players as FFG has suggested, they’re probably a good source of new organized play players that we should be trying to use.

I’m not sure “competitive meets” is the right term for where we need them, though. I think we need a staged system, where we get kitchen table players to try casual meetups/events, and casual meetup players to try competitive meetups/events.


i know you’re just joking, but what progress are we to have made? is this our problem to fix or is it FFG’s?

is it both? if the former or the latter, perhaps we should also define in this thread what things are the responsibility of FFG fixing and what things we as players can and should do


Honestly, the likelihood we come up with anything close to an agreed upon solution is so slim. The chances that that solution then gets enacted by anyone in a meaningful way even more-so.


Because there’s a lot of them, and it’s easier to get a person who ALREADY plays netrunner, even at a casual level, to take it up as a regular pasttime, than to get someone who’s never touched it before. There’s a lot of card games out there, some of them with far larger playerbases, some of them with longer histories, some of them tied-in to super popular intellectual properties (like SW:D etc), so if Netrunner is competing for the average punter who’s never played a card game and is looking to get into one, it’ll most probably lose.


We definitely won’t agree on a comprehensive solution, but I think there are a few basic things that nearly everyone would be on board with. So maybe what we should be doing is trying to identify and lobby for some of those? One candidate that’s been kicked around a fair amount is having two (or, following Destiny, perhaps three, e.g.: Modded, Standard, something in between but maybe not quite Cache Refresh) actively supported OP formats that make sense and are distinct yet provide a natural continuity between casual and competitive play.


Yes, I agree with everything you wrote!

At some point FFG did say (somewhere, in a podcast, I don’t remember where and I don’t remember the exact numbers) that something like 75% of their Netrunner income was the core set.
That is of course out of date.

Yes, it is in the nature of casual players that they’re basically invisible. I don’t have a solution to that, except reminding people again and again that Netrunner is not only, or even predominantly, a competitive game.