Almost two years ago, Damon Stone made the rounds on the podcasts to talk about the first MWL. In several cases, his apparent rationale for inclusion on the list was that [card X] restricts design space for [cards of type Y], for example Yog.0 and low-strength code gates.
We now have Skorpios, a corp ID that:
- Not only restricts the design space for every type of runner card, it restricts the playability of several runner IDs altogether;
- Does not accompany an evidently coherent shift away from runner-side recursion (or recursion more holistically), such that egregious recursion cards continue to be released (Friends in High Places was released only three or four months before Skorpios, by my reckoning, and Skorpios was released in the same box as The Shadow Net, a runner recursion card which featured prominently at Worlds);
- Distorts deckbuilding and play at all levels, with lots of unfounded or specious surmising as to some sort of “meta-role” for the Skorpios ID within the card pool: “Damon wants us to play with multiple breakers,” “Runners are too [insert adjective] now,” “Rigshooting is my preferred playstyle,” “Just play X”;
- Is an ID printed in a so-called big box which raises the overall stakes for the impact of this card on the card pool and the competitive metagame over time.
You want my opinion? At my most optimistic, Skorpios is rushed, poorly conceived, poorly worded, and badly tested. At my most pessimistic, Skorpios is a deeply cynical design play by someone who’d already checked out, rubberstamped by a company whose talent is spread way too thin.
The question is ultimately not whether rigshooter should or should not be any more viable than Aesop’s Pawnshop or MaxX, the question is whether a different version of the Skorpios ID could have been released that satisfied its goals more elegantly, without adding another eyeroll card to the card pool. In this sense, I agree with the original poster’s assertion that “Skorpios is bad for Netrunner.”
Yeah, I agree with you here. I’ve played a lot as Skorpios as well and it’s actually harder to land the Batty/Cobra or Hunter Seeker play than I wanted. I don’t think that’s ultimately the question. As above, I would argue the greater issue is whether Skorpios represents a good piece of design work, a good addition to the card pool, and a good addition as an ID in a big box (which presents a larger issue of longevity and impact over time).
“Just concede” is, in my opinion, an unhelpful imperative to add to a game community which should be growing its numbers and encouraging exciting, tense gameplay at all levels. If you’re grinding 25 hours of Netrunner a week on Jnet, you might recognize this as a reasonable outcome, but I don’t think most people who pick up Netrunner and want to have “fun games” would recognize this in the wide-angle lens. They’d be more likely to evaluate their initial experience with the game subjectively and report negative impressions or unsatisfactory outcomes: “This game is boring, I can’t do anything.”
I think this hints at the idea that the ID was rushed and/or not thought through properly, but as expressed above this is 100% my opinion.
It can, but this is correlative not causative. Account Siphon recursion was a problem because of the card Account Siphon in combination with the cards that recurred it. It does not follow, based on this information, that the solution would be to print a corp ID in a big box that also has a distorting effect on the vast majority of benign instances of recursion, restricts the design space for runner-side recursion of any kind, and creates a bogeyman for deckbuilding and gameplay for the foreseeable future.