Can we speculate as to the original design intent for Clone Chip? Perhaps it was—sharp inhalation of breath—a way of allowing runners to recover programs that had been trashed by Archers, Rototurrets, and Grims? If program trashing is all the way back in the core set, then program recursion follows naturally. I don’t think there’s anything weird about this at all.
… While simultaneously printing a bunch of broken recursion cards over the past two cycles? Uh, okay then! I have a hard time buying the coherence of this.
I don’t think “greedy” is a way of describing the majority of runner decks which over time a) naturally ran progressively fewer copies of breakers as the need for a multitude of tech slot coverage became more pressing, b) used recursion for some either relatively benign reason (e.g. a midrange econ option like Cache recursion). The problem was and is the balance of cards which facilitate recursion as well as the card being recurred. Clone Chip may have missed its mark slightly and could have removed itself from the game, but so could have Account Siphon and so could f**king Friends in High Places which came out years later.
Most importantly, we’ve had the “Noise clause” (“non-virus program”) for years because what if Noise ever Déjà Vus a virus? That will certainly be bad for the game. So bad, in fact, that FFG tacitly admitted they fucked up an ID ability because it constrained the design space for another type of card for several entire years by removing it from the core set, even after initially setting a policy that big box IDs won’t rotate. (And of course everyone spoke encouragingly about how this will now refreshingly open up the design space for viruses.)
Doesn’t anybody see what I’m seeing here? IDs are hard to deal with, they make you do crazy things like printing “Noise clauses” for years and years. They make SacCon better than it’s ever been (hooray!), they create eye-roll matchups, and they’re harder to justify restricting or banning, indeed no precedent exists. In sort, they become… … … … … … bad for the game.