Throwing money at it would probably work. The drawback is that it would cost money.
Also, the matchmaking system would get annoying, since open games move around as other open games are created, but I suspect that completely reworking the matchmaking system would at least be less work than adding rules enforcement.
Disclaimer: I am not a Jnet contributor. All statements by me about what would be easy or difficult to change about Jnet are at least 85% speculation.
I hope that those dedicated people behind Jnet, NRDB and many other Netrunner related systems and content are able to continue to do the great work they have been doing, possibly with more financial backing from the community in the future.
Inclusiveness as one of NISEI’s mission statements to me means but certainly is not limited to making sure people new to Netrunner have the chance to come to love the game the way many people have, myself included, through the actual physical card game and the great people in the Netrunner community. So while I greatly appreciate the efforts being put into content and systems supporting Netrunner, successfully continuing Netrunner in any form will IMHO heavily, if not entirely, depend on what can be physically done for the game, among the most important dependencies being the availability of core or base sets and going forward the availability of new cards.
An interesting point you make (intentionally or otherwise) is how physical card games are for many with disabilities (or disorders etc.) an escape, which many videogames don’t provide. They’re a way people (like how I used to be) can interact with strangers in a safe way, where we can help to manage our anxieties through the game itself.
The game becoming purely JNet based is definitely something I would be against, and I’m sure I’m not alone in that view.
Conversely, some people with disabilities see videogames played from the comfort of their home to be superior to physically manipulating cardboard. On balance, I don’t think it favors physical or digital one way or the other.
(I know someone with a disability that makes it difficult for her to shuffle cards. For that reason, she avoids deckbuilders. But has no problem playing online.)
It really depends on how well the codebase is designed for scaling, though. Horizontal scaling (the “throw money at screen” option, tldr run more servers via the cloud) only works if the code has been written, basically from the start, with that eventuality in mind. Given that Jnet gets slow with more folks online, we can probably safely say that it isn’t scaling automatically, at least.
That said, I just noticed that the code is up on GitHub, so I might at least take a poke around while I wait for uni to start again.
Yeah, this is why I speculate that it may still be a problem, based only on the fact that I know it used to be one. It’s possible that they refactored at a deep enough level to fix this, but that would be a lot of work, and it would be 100% reasonable of them to have decided to kick that can down the road.
It’s also possible that I’m mis-estimating how much of the slowness was ever on the server side. I know one cause of slowness that they fixed was that they were sending way too much data to the browser to be handled client side, which seems like the sort of fix that may scale pretty well.
Plus, I haven’t played online enough recently to know whether slowness is actually a current problem. Perhaps I’m just completely wrong, and scaling would be easy and effective.
That would still leave it without rules enforcement, though.
Worst case scenario, couldn’t we just create new and completely separate servers? I assume this would be terribly inefficient, and finding opponents wouldn’t work as well, and updates would be a real pain, and it’s possible that I’m only asking this because I like the idea of weyland.net, nbn.net, and haas-bioroid.net