I am chiefly interested in Netrunner as a kind of spectator sport, in which there are heroes, zeroes, and villains; good teams and bad teams; controversy on and off the field.
I follow the meta keenly, theorycraft, watch almost every stream/video and listen to almost every podcast. Netrunner has also altered my social habits, both online and offline. I like to deckbuild—especially with some kind of constraint—and I love to test mid-tier archetypes which explore the card pool.
I’m a devotee of “small” cards that are either extraordinary flexible, have more than one use, or have esoteric applications. Selling a zero cost program to Aesop’s is my favourite interaction in the game.
Unfortunately, there are stretches of time where I don’t actually enjoy playing Netrunner, and my play has not really improved beyond a certain point. I’ve also come to the conclusion that I like deckbuilding for corp and playing corp far less than runner. I’d quite happily only play runner, if given the chance (and on Jnet, I play very little corp).
I’ll confess to a bit of uncertainty at this very moment. The direction of the card pool, particularly for corps, hints at a future for the game that does not encourage me to play more: net damage, meat damage, kill decks, grind decks, punishment cards, Skorpios, more punishment cards, advanceable traps, three-card monte games, hate cards, and terrible matchups. Netrunner is a game of hidden information and risks, sure, and damage is an important deterrent, but when so many games turn into “not this again” and when even your favourite streamers, commentators, and hosts can barely restrain their sighs, there might be something wrong.
The Ban and Restricted list doesn’t even scratch the fucking surface, folks. I think we’d need to double or triple it to get to a point where most people felt most of the time that the overwhelming majority of their matchups were viable, where damage and kill required more skill than just putting every card that says “net damage” on it into a deck (cough PU), and where tedious lockout games were extremely rare rather than decided on a coin flip (is Door to Door in hand turn 1? Y/N). Concern has been expressed about the game’s ability to attract and retain new players. For this to work, FFG would need to take a decidedly non-relativistic approach. Stop listening to or tacitly encouraging the type of people who say “X is fine, just slot Y” or “B-b-b-but Door to Door Making News is my preferred playstyle.” This is has done irreparable harm to the game’s playability and long term forecast outside a fairly narrow subset of the fanbase.
So I’m not sure. I’d love to keep playing as well as just watching from the sidelines, but I’ve got concerns. That’s all.