(no English native speaker here !)
I started playing Netrunner a bit more than a year ago, with one experienced player. I’ve dived quite into the game and now I’m pretty much playing every day with friends or on jinteki.net
Our community is now growing in Brussels too, with some new players joining regularly.
Why an intermediate format ?
Some of them now feel like going on, beyond Core Experience. They have mostly acquired Core sets and all the big boxes. But jumping into the whole standard format doesn’t appeal them just yet. At all. The necessity to already buy / print more and more, the overwhelming number of cards to learn and, as a consequence, the fact that you don’t deckbuild but rather fish decks online for a while before reaching at a decent level do turn some of my friends off.
Personally, I slowly get by in the standard format but I play much more than most of them.
I’ve read many posts and questions about this concern. Experienced players or kind-of-rookies-but-already-super-implicated ones may argue that playing standard right after Core Exp is the way. But I think that the community, and NISEI group above all should really lend an ear to this question, respect everyone’s learning tempo and making sure new players find their way through this very rich game.
This question is surely key to keep Netrunner alive, with newcomers feeling truly welcomed.
Various proposals have been made, because many players have heard that concern too. But, since a high number of different formats can also puzzle or divide new players, creating one convincing intermediate format, “uniting” around it and making it official seem necessary to me.
Which intermediate format ?
I’ve played the SOCR9 tournament and found it very exciting. It gave a lot of room to create very personal decks, introduced many cards that will be frequently used in standard (mainly from Kitara & Downfall cycles) and still was not too much of a dauntingly large meta.
This format represents a very solid base. Besides, it is already an official format.
SOCR9 then… but it may be tweaked just a little bit. There are three main reasons to do so:
after the SOCR9 tournament, stats showed that Corps have a 60% winning rate, which isn’t critically problematic but still not ideal.
As NISEI decided for the standard format, removing Crowdfunding from the game allows more diverse Corps options (for instance, being able to leave a Calvin B4L3Y / Marylin Campaign / Daily Business Show open), which is nice.
Runners have only access to two currents (Itinerant Protesters & Corporate “Grant”, respectively costing 2 inf + your big box choice & 3 inf)… while Corps have access to five of them (Jinteki being the only one with none in faction).
Thus, I’m suggesting:
not using Magnum Opus: this would take out two very good and often splashed Corps cards : Border Control and Slot Machine. And Crowdfunding too.
still applying the 3.2 MWL (like it was during the tournament) : to have Surveyor still restricted, as in this format glacier decks don’t suffer at all.
taking currents out of this format.
In the end, this intermediate format would use the 3.2 MWL (or its own named MWL, like Eternal has) + “no current” rule and include :
3x System Core 2019 1 Big Box (Creation and Control/Honor and Profit/Order and Chaos/Data and Destiny) (this may be different for Runner and Corp) 1 Copy of Reign & Reverie All 6 Packs of the Kitara Cycle Downfall, the first half of the Ashes Cycle
I’ve been thinking for a while about it. I’m quite confident it could be a great format. But they surely are some aspects I didn’t consider enough. What do you think ? Can we ease the way for players needing another step before standard with this format ? Should we propose it to the NISEI board ?
I’d happy to help building this format as well as testing it more.
Thank you for your help !