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Why does Netrunner not like Cardgamedb?

I came into LCGs via Conqeust. After its death, I moved over Netrunner and have been exploring Star Wars Destiny.

One thing that is vastly different about the community for Conquest vs. Netrunner (other than the sheer size) is that Conquest really embraced Cardgamedb and Netrunner does not. As a newer player, I find this a bit challenging. I really liked the fact on Cardgamedb that you had forums, articles, card discussions, deck discussions, and other materials all in one place. It also helped that there were well-curated rules question threads.

As new player to Conquest, it was very helpful to have that central place where you could get all kinds of information about the game. Netrunner is more daunting and a lot of the conversation is not really geared toward newbie – which makes sense in a mature game – but to even find information and ideas is itself a challenge. In short, the discussion in Netrunner is much more scattered and challenging to navigate. Is there a reason the community has opted for lots of different but very diffuse places for conversation rather than a more centralized one?

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Netrunner has a more… tech-savvy playerbase than any other LCG, from what I’ve seen. This means we get sweet tools and online communities like NetrunnerDB, Jinteki.net and Stimhack. It also means the community is less inclined to use the generalized tools and communities provided by FFG (FFG owns cardgamedb).

If it helps, it used to be worse. The game’s community pretty much exists across the three sites I just listed, so I feel it’s pretty centralized now.


tgere was a time sharing deck lists was kind of a pain in the ass. The original redcoats is just a post on board game geeks.

CardgameDB’s site design is pretty ancient too. NetrunnerDB is clean and modern, and has great responsive design so it works fast and clean on mobile. I don’t know if CGDB is better than it was 3 years ago, but they missed their window to capture the audience.

There have been a couple other sites that have been used. Meteor is the best competitor to NetrunnerDB, and is now part of the Stimhack family. There was a really beautiful site that was art-focused, but its owner stopped maintaining it (I can’t remember the name, does anyone know what I’m talking about?)

It would be nice if the discussions were more centralized (especially with the recent move to slack chat, which is dense with memes and impossible to effectively search), but I don’t think it’s going to happen.


I miss the activity around here that, apparently, has moved to slack. A year or so ago this was a much more active forum. :disappointed:


For CardGameDB specifically, I’ve tried the deckbuilder and I do not like it as much as NetrunnerDB’s. NetrunnerDB has slightly more powerful filters that I can set by typing; a collections tab I can use if I’m building a limited collection deck; more compact lists of cards that require less scrolling; an influence display that I find clearer, especially when I have MWL cards in my deck; and a legality setting that can turn off the MWL for when I’m building onesies decks.

That’s not to say that CardGameDB is without advantages. I can see that some people might prefer having filters that are simple to set and pictures of the cards that are shown constantly. But I’m not one of them. It’s possible, I suppose, that this is partly because I’m more used to NetrunnerDB.

Without a deckbuilder that appeals to me, the forums there don’t have much to draw me in. NetrunnerDB makes it pretty easy to post decklists here or on reddit, so the fact that it’s a separate site doesn’t bother me much.

I do miss all the discussion that is now on Slack. I am not good at Slack; I tend to dip in and out of discussions rather than spending all day following them. On a forum, I can catch up. On Slack, I can’t.


Slack is particularly daunting for newbies. I’ve had some good interactions there, but I’m often quite lost. There is not an obvious place to go ask questions if you are not already a pretty experienced player.


The deck builder always felt clunkier than Netrunnerdb or Meteor, and the general level of discussion on the forums was… not great for competitive-minded players.

Slack makes a nice social chatroom, but yeah, unfortunately it has probably made it there by cannibalising much of the discussion that used to go on here. In the past these forums were a good, fairly centralised hub for Netrunner discussion of the type you’re talking about, but that isn’t so much the case any more. I’m glad to see that you’ve been trying to liven the place up by starting discussions recently, but I imagine you feel a bit like you’ve been pushing uphill. There has been an uptick in the number of Stimhack articles being published recently, an effort which I appreciate, so hopefully that’ll continue and the place might become a bit more busy again.

In the meanwhile, a couple of active facebook groups and the netrunner subreddit are probably the most lively places for netrunner forum discussions now - but the top players don’t participate in them much and they can tend towards negativity.


This is the main thing that I miss from the old days where this was the main hub of activity. This has been a remarkably positive and (sorry, I’ll say it) adult forum for game discussion, devoid of shit posts, memes, and argument-free negativity. Admittedly, I haven’t joined slack, but I’ve found in my other slack experiences that it tends to be much more chatstream and less fully fleshed out thoughts. To each their own I guess. (And this isn’t a dig at SH in general - recent articles have been great).



that’s a much nicer way of putting it than i was going to say, but this was going to be my contribution as well.

every time i’ve tried to have a discussion there, i feel like it’s with people who are playing a completely different game, and i don’t see anyone who posts on cardgamedb post anywhere else. it’s a very weird subgroup of netrunner players in that they don’t seem to overlap at all with any other groups


When Netrunner was created CardgameDB was still not a part of FFG and was not updated close to fast enough for players to be comfortable with the deckbuilder, with ancient code that was slow and not mobile-friendly at all. At that time discussion was mostly centered around Reddit and BGG. Submitted decks where a pain to search through, and the forums where mostly populated by thrones players.

As Netrunner from the start has had a pretty wide playerbase there have been creative and driven individuals that’s wanted to improve tools for the userbase. Alternatives to CardgameDB for deckbuilding where heavily requested and as a response NetrunnerDB and Meteor where created. As tends to happen when better products come out, the userbase abandoned bad alternatives. FFG then bought up CardgameDB and tried to close down other deckbuilders, but the community backlash came quick and hard.

While I’m sure there are others that can speak more accurately about the creation of Stimhack, that’s more about the issues with BGG as a forum for competitive players and not just spammed with low-level discussion as was the case then.


As others have said, Meteor and NRDB were lightyears ahead of CGDB’s deckbuilder when the game was new and growing, and these here fan-run and created forums became the epicenter of competitive netrunner discussion because the playerbase wanted their own space. Without the leading deckbuilder and with the most engaged participants in the community preferring Stimhack, there just wasn’t much reason for Netrunner folks to use CGDB. It might be better now, though? I honestly haven’t been over there since FFG wound down the CoC LCG.

Slack has definitely cannibalized a huge chunk of this forum’s old-tyme regulars/high-activity posters.


That’s a pretty good summary from what I remember. I think Stimhack just started as a website for winning decklists, when it started. Then, added the forum (?), I think. Since, it already already had the competitive-minded audience, the forum was also focused on high quality competitive discussion. That was attractive to a lot of players who migrated from BBG, and other forums.

I think the forum was actually first along with some articles, as the competitive playersbase had gotten pretty tired of BGG where the “strategy” part of the forum was spammed with deck threads from casual players that didn’t want to actually make their decks good (at least that is how I remember it, take it with some degree of artistic freedom) :wink:

People always forget acoo.net. :slight_smile:


There are still good articles which I really enjoy and hope they keep coming. But the forums are a ghost town compared to what they were. I used to read them every day, now it is more like every two weeks.

I thought slack was a great idea, as I didn’t realize that having a good strategy and discussion forum was mutually exclusive with a nice community chatroom. Slack chat is usually not even talking about netrunner anymore.


A weird part of me kind of misses that kid who was like 15 and only played with his brother. Handle started with a ‘k’, and I think he might have been Israeli if I remember some Nasir-related threads accurately. He was super argumentative though he rarely had any idea what he was talking about. Anyway, hours of entertainment out of that kid. :wink:


Even the Game of Thrones card game players do not use cardgamedb, and Thronesdb isn’t half as good as netrunnerdb.

one thing i do like for cardgamedb is how the card discussion is laid out. there’s a column on the left of recently-discussed cards, and groupings on the right of core sets, boxes and cycles / individual packs

you can also browse pages of many cards at a time with short descriptions, # of comments, ratings, and even thumbnails

for most others you have to go directly to the card to see if someone talked about it, or just do a search for a long list of cards, or just a giant grid of cards (which is nice in and of itself, don’t get me wrong)

that said, as others and i have said, that discussion is a bit lacking unfortunately