Musings of a geezer.
In 7th grade, I was a fanatic for the original Netrunner and probably reminiscences on it for years after it went out of print. Netrunner was so weirdly special because it was one of those games that instilled in me an appreciation for the art of bluffing and, for better or worse, I credited it as a major step on my life-journey to a mid-stakes professional poker player. A job that defined a lot of my life.
When it was re-released, my childhood buddy and I joyfully bought a core set. The release date was a topic of many gchats. Our first few games together though, we were disappointed and kind of depressed by the changes. The basic pre-made decks didn’t create the quality of games we had always had and the world of the game had lost it’s sense of black-coffee humor and dorky swagger. How do you call a game Netrunner without Wilson, Weeflerunner? The cards were so ugly and poorly laid out compared to the silver and black old-style with there 90’s retro-computer art. It felt like I had just seen that Star Wars movie with Jar Jar Binks.
Last week, a Mormon comedian that I know became homeless, because he isn’t a very good comedian but also just refuses to abandoned his dumb dream. He was selling all his earthly belongings so I low-balled him on his core-set. Giving it another chance, it just completely blew me away. I got my wife and brother into it and I have been on Jinteki.net 8 hours a day (I get addicted to card games, obviously). As someone with the deep, childhood passion for this game, it’s kind of a mind-blower that 20+ years later this obscure thing I was so obsessed with has such a dedicated player-base and such brilliant designers. As an Nth degree game design nerd, the balance is Brood War-level poetry.
I can’t help but often feel that I missed out on the great game evolution. I envy those who started out 2 years ago. Learning a game that slowly expands sounds like an extremely satisfying experience. Jumping into a game with so many cards is just not the best way to do it. Alas, it is what it is. I envy whoever has been in it for a couple of years.
I searched the forum but had a question, is there any competition with constructed decks? It feels like there can be a bit of a rock/paper/scissors feel to the meta in that some decks match up better against certain other types of decks. This is fine and has a very interesting balance to it, but I’ve never felt that netrunner absolutely had to be a deck building game. I’d like to see someone make a pair of decks that are designed to just create the kinds of games that create the most in-game, skill-based decision making situations. Do deck-pairs like this exists anywhere? It would be an interesting tournament format and be a lot more welcoming to new players while still assuring that the best players are significantly favored to win. It would also be an interesting way to allow really quirky deck concepts that could never hold up normally to play against equally quirky decks. Forgive me if this is actually an old idea in the community and I walked into Mexico and was like “dudes, you gotta try this food called 'burritos”.