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NISEI Game Night Kits


#1

So… This is almost more a comment/ suggestion than a question. If there is anywhere more appropriate to post it than here, please tell me.

It is about the kits for the smallest level of local tournament (formerly GNK, not sure we’re still calling it that):
I think the playmat looks stunning. However, I would like to ask if it is possible/ suggest for the future that it might be a good idea to offer a version of the kit without the mat.

Here’s why: Mats are expensive – themselves, but then they also significantly increase the size of the kit, and thus the shipping cost (just cards presumably fit in a padded envelope, a mat doesn’t). For us as a very small meta that would hold events of <10 people (potentially significantly below 10), the more expensive the kit, the higher the barrier to actually getting them.
If an individual kit costs less, we might instead get two and be able to run two events with them!

Compounding this, including one mat in the kit means that the prize support is really clumped at the top – one player at an event (usually the winner) gets substantially more stuff (=the mat) than everyone else.
If we split the cost for the kit evenly before the event, this means that most players will pay a not insignificant amount of money (because we’re so few to split the cost between) essentially so that someone else can get a playmat. (I’ll be honest: I will never be the one who wins the playmat. Just not going to happen.)
Now, competitive players may not see the issue with this at all, and I agree that for high-level competitive events I don’t see the issue either, but for small events that are casual, for me it is one. I want to play in fun organised Netrunner events, but not at a high cost that just means I subsidise someone else’s playmat every time – frankly, I’m not wealthy enough to do that.

So, in the interest of supporting more casual play as well, could NISEI come up with a prize kit composition for low-level events that is less winner-takes-it-all?
As a casual player, this is what would get me to be really enthusiastic about organised play.


NISEI Questions Thread
#2

These are great suggestions and all stuff that is of course being considered.

I am curious though: at what point is too expensive? For 10 people, we’re talking 3 or 4 dollars to get a kit, right? Is that too much? Any group bigger than 4 people is paying less than 10 dollars each, assuming you all split it evenly. Just hoping to get a good gauge for future considerations.


#3

Well, 10 people is the absolute maximum of what we might ever get, probably it’s usually more like 5.

I think for me the part where the prizes are just so unevenly distributed – i.e. where the winner gets so much more than everyone else – is what makes unattractive, and what bothers me about this kind of prize kit.
As I said, this is really purely for casual events: Really uneven prize support kind of ruins the spirit of being casual. Suddenly it’s about who wins the mat/ the big prize.

Does that make sense?

You know, I’ve bought a playmat for 20 bucks (or however much the FFG ones were that they sold), but I knew that I’d get a mat when I did that.
However, I kind of don’t want to pay 8 bucks at every casual event (that’s chiefly for enjoyment, not for competition) so someone else get’s a mat.

Edit: One more thing: Why the overall kit price matters: If I pay a small amount of money, 3 dollars, say, the things I said above about uneven prize support ruining the casual spirit of an event are still true, but at least it’s not that much money. Anything >5 dollars makes it worse, I think.

Separating card prizes and mat prizes would basically solve both of these issues: You could either go cheap by just having cards (probably adequate when you run events with 5 players or so) or you could go really big and buy multiple mats – then it’s expensive for everyone, but everyone could get a mat.


#4

This. With current model of Nisei kit, you either are in the running for the win, or get the participation prize and nothing more. There is just 1 mat and just 2-3 copies of Titan (depending if the organizer takes one), so all the midpack level players have nothing to play for. A kit that has 4 promo cards in different quantities (let’s say 1-4-10-16, with an extra copy of each for the TO) would be way more interesting, with each player having something to aim for.

Another problem with playmats is that they are hard to collect (because they take a lot of space) so once someone has enough, they just sell off the rest. I have won over 20 playmats and have just 3 remaining (and one of those 3 will go for sale soon). I keep much higher percentage of promos I win. Playmats are bad elite prizes, as they end up being cash prizes which are a bit tedious to spend.


#5

Presumably it’s up to the kit… peddler (:grimacing:) to decide how they’ll allocate the mat. I don’t see anything specifying it’s for the winner.

It makes the most sense for the playmat to be given to a player who doesn’t have one. This act of awarding someone their “colours” and welcoming them into the community makes more sense for obvious reasons.

It’s a beautiful playmat, but I’d rather someone else have it and lavish them with jealousy.


#6

You could give the may to someone else then the winner… Change the rules to make it more casual!


#7

I started playing in December, and consider earning a mat an important rite of passage (that I haven’t yet accomplished). It doesn’t have to be from coming first at an event, but I do hope it’s in recognition of some meaningful achievement. Acknowledging the logistical issues above, I was excited to see that NISEI is keeping the dream alive for me.


#8

Your meaningful achievement is being part of a community of people with whom you negotiate a mutual sense of reality. Winning a weird rubbery poster is a bit secondary, don’t you think?

(Do you do stand-up by the way?)


#9

Since NISEI is a nonprofit and nonprofits operate on donations, is there or will there be a mechanism to donate to support the cause? Or are prize kits, etc. the only mechanism to help defray what I can only assume has been substantial costs to get this all rolling?


#10

The mat is an artifact from that reality. It travels from event to event as a portable shorthand for my commitment/involvement, which drives the need for me to feel like it’s earned via some legitimate feat of prowess. I don’t assume this is anyone else’s experience, but that’s my best sense of what goes on in my head.

I have never done standup, but I am asked that question often enough that it makes me wonder what I’m projecting.


#11

Y’all, if we continue kit discussions we should consider a new thread. However, let me be absolutely clear:

If you buy a kit, distribution is up to you. You don’t have to do mat, Titan, and Sheeds to the top performer.

If you run evens, we have no requirements on these GNKs. Do league. Do draft. Do Standard. Do YOU and the group you run with.


#12

Indeed it would be good if someone who can do this moved kit-related posts to a new thread.

Of course. But no matter what I do, I cannot cut the mat or a Titan into two parts. I have only 4 players that will get something more than the participation prize. Which means that after a bad start (bad according to whatever metric is used to decide the prizes) the incentive to try to do well in later rounds is gone. Midpack and bottom of the results table is exactly the same.

For me, a good set of prizes would be one that allows me to recognize all levels of performance. A participation prize so that noone leave empty-handed. A prize that goes to most of players but not for all. A prize that goes to about top 30%. Finally a special prize to recognize the winner. In this kit, we lack the “most but not all” prize (which I feel is the most important one, as this is what new players will aim to achieve, so it gives them incentive to still try to do their best) and the top 30% prize is a bit in short supply, making it rather a “definitely above average” than “slightly above average”.


#13

Depending on the size of your group, I would personally recommend a prize pool with placement determing order of picks instead of the additive method of participation/high rank/winner. Having run lots of small attendance events myself.


#14

I’m not sure if this would merit a separate thread, but something I’ve been thinking about is how, in X-Wing 2.0, they’re no longer printing point costs for ships or upgrades directly on the cards so they could tweak them in the future if balance dictates. I wonder if something like that could work for NR? Maybe not on all cards, but maybe having future ID’s influence printed in the MWL? Would give a extra tuning knob to play with.


#15

No matter who gets the mat (the winner or someone else), it’s still only one person, while everybody else gets significantly less.

Also, note that I’m not saying NISEI should not offer mats – far from it – I’m just saying an alternative prize kit with a more equitable prize structure would be much better for casual play.


#16

We already do this – only one prize in pick order, then if stuff is left over, go again.
Still, only one person gets a huge prize (the mat), the others get small ones (1-2 cards). That’s what I’m talking about.

Edited for clarity.


#17

I understand that NISEI does not have the capability that FFG had for other prizes, such as acrilic tokens. Those are also very attractive and might help with mid-range standings prizes.


#18

Sorry for hijacking this thread with the kit discussion!
I am a little surprised, though, that my point about
casual play vs. heavily tiered prizes
seems to not be coming across. Is this because I (as someone not at all interested in competitive play, after trying it) see things that differently from most players, or am I not expressing myself well?

New suggestion: Would NISEI consider creating the position of Casual Play Representative as part of their OP team?

Netrunner OP has always been focused on competitive play, and naturally the perspectives of at least somewhat competitive players dominate online discussions (these players are just that much more likely to be super involved with the community and post online regularly while most casual players do not even enter these online spaces).
In the interest of keeping the community alive longer beyond high-level competition, putting a little more focus on players who are not interested in this, but nonetheless want community involvement and lovely Netrunner goodies, could be good.

The players I mostly play this game with do not hanker after that one moment of glory where they finally win their first mat (as described as an essential part of the Netrunner experience by @LSTM above). They just want to play the game with funny decks, where it matters less whether they win and more if the wacky card combination goes of, or if they have a nice social evening, and where they then get something nice to take home afterwards.
The pressure to compete for wins actively diminishes the enjoyment of these people.
That doesn’t mean they are any less invested in the game, though.

(Yes, I would put myself forward for such a position, if applications were opened, and I have a bunch of suggestions to make. Of course, there may be better-qualified applicants, but I say this so that it doesn’t look like I’m asking for things but not willing to put any work in myself.)


#19

Make an achievement-based prize structure, then. Install more than four things in a turn? Get a prize-point. Play Exile? Get five prize points. Install a Monolith? Get ten prize points. Whatever. At the end, most prize points gets first dibs on a prize, and go on down the line.

Maybe they don’t want to compete for wins. In that case, distribute all prizes equally and just have a nominal entry fee to cover the cost. If the prizes can’t be distributed equally, save them until they can be distributed equally, or use only those to run a tournament for the real players competitive players.

(I feel it necessary to specify that the strikethrough was 100% a joke and shouldn’t be taken seriously at all…)

The main thrust is that the kit has a ‘suggested’ distribution model that presumes a competitive tournament, simply because that’s going to be the most common distribution. If you charge an entry fee, we assume you’re not catering to the casual crowd. You don’t have to follow that suggestion, though, and can make your own.

A Casual Play Representative is an interesting idea though.


#20

You can’t distribute prizes equally when there is only one playmat and the rest of the prize pool are cards…
That is the point of this whole discussion. I was asking whether in the future there might be prize kits that allow a more equitable distributions of prizes.
Edit: Yes, OK, we could wait until we have 5-7 playmats to distribute, I guess. But we’re talking more than a year at that point.

Edit again: I don’t want to take anybody’s lovely playmats… I just wanted to say that for genuinely casual play, a prize kit with one huge prize and otherwise only small ones is not suitable, and that if there was an option to omit the playmat, the kit would also be less pricy to obtain, so the barrier to entry would simultaneously be lowered.
For casual players, both of these things go really well together.
That’s all.

(Sorry to keep reiterating, I just feel like nearly every answer misses the point I wanted to make.)