Home | About | Tournament Winning Decklists | Forums

WTB/LFG: Alternate Format and Tournament practice-players


#1

First, if this isn’t appropriate, feel free to delete or move to the relevant section(s). I figure this is broad enough for general.

(TL;DR copy-paste from the bottom: Looking at the forum notification that popped up for my account, I guess this isn’t super “discussion” worthy, so let me frame it in a discussion: Why is there such an inertia to alternate formats? Like, I get the B/R and Rotation is the “‘tournament’ standard” but casual or my LGS seems filled with people that want to play tournament-level decks, and that’s simply not what I want to do (outside of regional season when I want to practice jank to take to surprise the other players with). And second what can I/we do in regards to getting more folks into alternate formats?

Anybody that pipes up with “hey, I’m open to playing ::format::” is appreciated along with the discussion on how hard it is to get people into alternate formats.)


So, since my regular playing partner (waves) has apparently fallen into a black-hole never to return and regionals is coming up in a few weeks: I need practice. While I could just make games on Jinteki, that’s kinda pointless for what I’m wanting.

Basically, and this isn’t really tournament-focused per se:

  1. I’d like someone that is willing to play 1.1.1.1, Modded/Modern, and such formats.
  2. I’d like someone to practice my Akiko Nisei deck against that I want to take to regionals so they can tell me what they think is wrong with it (I’m sure it’s draw, but having someone that is “tournament-minded” would be better at finding things that are wrong with it).

You don’t have to be 1 and 2, but preferably I can get a list of folks that I can make notes on Jankteki to go “ok, this person is online, I’ll ask them if they’re willing to play/practice.”

The major reason I’m making this is because I’m tired of making “[Modern/Modded/format-I-want ONLY] ::Game name here::” tables/games/rooms on Jinteki and sitting there for like 15-30 mins while having people randomly rotate in and out.

“Is your deck [Format I want to play] compliant?”

“What’s [format]?”

“::Explain format::.”

“Oh, no, sorry. Leaves.”

(30 mins later) “Ok, guess nobody is around. Sigh and close Jinteki for the day/week/month.”

Looking at the forum notification that popped up for my account, I guess this isn’t super “discussion” worthy, so let me frame it in a discussion: Why is there such an inertia to alternate formats? Like, I get the B/R and Rotation is the “‘tournament’ standard” but casual or my LGS seems filled with people that want to play tournament-level decks, and that’s simply not what I want to do (outside of regional season when I want to practice jank to take to surprise the other players with). And second what can I/we do in regards to getting more folks into alternate formats?

Anybody that pipes up with “hey, I’m open to playing ::format::” (so I can make a note on Jankteki) is appreciated along with the discussion on how hard it is to get people into alternate formats.

Thanks.


#2

As far as finding games on jinteki.net is concerned, you might try the Stimhack Cache Refresh tournament which you can find Here.

To answer your question, I think alternate formats are less popular online because everyone has access to all the cards, so there’s no real reason to place artificial limitations on themselves. After all, one of the main arguments in favor of alternate (i.e. limited) formats is to level the playing field for players who have smaller physical collections.

I don’t want to over-generalize, but I also find that the vast majority of players prefer the experience of the standard MWL vs. Cache Refresh or non-official formats simply because it offers the full breadth of strategies. There are a few major gaps in the CR card pool that reduce the effectiveness of some archetypes and essentially remove others. For example, without Hard-Hitting News or Midseason Replacements in the card pool, Tag n’ Bag seems almost impossible. If you’re the type of player who prefers to play those types of decks, it may feel like the format has very little to offer.


#3

I think that lack of official support from FFG is the biggest reason, and a (relatively) small and widely-dispersed player base is the second-biggest reason. There’s not the critical mass or top-down direction to get enough players onto an alternate format for it to be viable.

That being said, the Stimhack Online Cache Refresh tournaments are really fun and have succeeded in attracting a fairly hard core of probably 25 or so players that regularly play cache refresh games outside of the tournaments themselves (which seem to attract 40-50 players?).

As a group (and with dear leader @fightingwalloon’s fiat) we’ve decided on a post-FFG-sanctioned card pool for the next event and have actively discussed a few other variations to keep things fresh as time goes on. So we have approximated “stable and sufficiently large player base” and “top down control of the format,” fairly well and I think it will be sustainable past World’s 2018 for at least a while.


#4

That’s a fair point. Many of the regulars in #cache_refresh_tourney, including myself, like the format because it has a rotating roster of viable strategies. It helps to get me to try strategies that I might otherwise not consider, and has so far seemed to make polarizing archetypes (combo CI, CV0, etc) the hardest to port from standard MWL while retaining viable “fair” strategies like glacier, rush, big rig, etc. I also like that the lack of established archetypes/“best decks” in CR means that good deckbuilding has a higher payoff in the format.

That being said, given that most games played are standard MWL and not CR I’m sure you’re right that most people prefer the diversity of strategies and ability to use or adapt existing decks in the full cardpool over what CR has to offer.

What a game!


#5

I would tend to agree with you here and I think this is probably one of the greatest strengths of any limited format or even when the MWL changes in standard (which is kind of like saying, what would the meta be like without Violet Level Clearance/Aaron Maron/Bloo Moose/etc.?). Suddenly the “best” decks get kneecapped, and it’s the wild west again as far as deck building goes.

I think it can be a strength or a weakness though, depending on how you look at it. Some players are drawn to the deck-building side of the game and will appreciate the challenge. There are plenty of other players though who are happy to net-deck almost exclusively and would rather hone their skills on a “proven” deck than fuss with coming up with something of their own. For players like that, the relative lack of available decklists and a predictable meta could put them off of the format.


#6

I’m well aware of the tournaments @FightingWalloon does. Bless him for doing those.

But the thing is: I don’t necessarily want to have to do a tournament to do a draft, 1.1.1.1, Modded/Modern, etc. That’s where my issue is: Unless I join those tournaments (which focus on one format at a time), I can see people playing those formats for the tournament itself and then after that event is over it’s ::crickets:: on the casual table.

I mean if people want to play a tournament, that’s all well and good. But at the same time, I want to play for fun in the casual lobby and half the time people are playing ClAnarch0 or some other flavor-of-the-week deck and not actual decks they built themselves, which kinda knee-caps me when I build my own decks to play for fun.

That’s not to poo-poo on netdeckers (I do the same for regionals, mostly but in terms of SURPRISE JANKZ!). But I have terrible… anxiety… I guess toward making a lobby on Jinteki because in my experience, half the time people don’t understand the format, or join and think they understand the format (but have cards that are NOT in the format) and so that discourages me from making rooms.

There’s also the fact that these formats can be introduced, played for a week, and then dropped. ANrena was popular for a while since it had a link on the Jinteki top-page/news-bar. But after it got removed, I haven’t seen anyone playing it (which is fine with me, I hate the RNG and over 3-card-limit format of it). It’s the same with 1.1.1.1 or Modded/Modern. They’re introduced, played for like a week, and then everyone goes back to the standard card-pool.

So I guess this is a long-winded way of saying “but why tho?” For me, the game limiting the card pool is way more fun than dealing with asset spam CtM or ClAnarch0 or CI7 or Game Changer->Fast Break->lol I solitaire score Sportsmetal. Maybe I’m just not a Spike player and more a Johnny/Timmy/Vorthos/Melvin mix.

I mean I’m not alone in the feeling of “people that are playing T-1 decks on Jinteki casual when they could clearly be playing those in the tournament lobby” because that’s been expressed by others. But that’s going off topic.

For me, I have terrible social anxiety which is probably what is hindering me way more than anything. But in my experience on making rooms, there’s very little interest in other formats or building decks for the formats and it’s just frustrating as a player that doesn’t want to have to play Cookie Cutter 419, CI7, etc. And that kinda stops me from trying to do other formats or playing for fun because it’s like pulling teeth in a sense of finding other players. Hence this thread on trying to find players so I can put notes on Jankteki and at least have way more than 1-2 others that are willing to play other formats or explore the pool and not play T1 decks in casual. ::shrug::

(Side note: This terrible anxiety also stops me from playing Gwent/Eternal/Magic/other card games way more than it should. So it’s not exclusive to Netrunner or the Netrunner community, believe me.)


#7

If the player pool were larger it probably wouldn’t be as much of an issue, but right now the competitive lobby can be really dead, and a lot of players that care enough to still log games on Jnet could well be preparing for their last Regional/National/Worlds/etc. before official support for the game ends. I can definitely feel your pain as far as not wanting to bring a knife to a gunfight, but the easiest way to avoid it is just to start a game and ask in the title, “please no asset spam” or whatever is frustrating you. In my experience people will usually respect that or just not join your game.


#8

I’m just going to give my personal reply to the question “Why is there such an inertia to alternative formats?”

I don’t get to play Netrunner that much. When it’s going well, I play 4-6 games a week, but often it’s less. Just now, I have almost not played at all for three weeks.So I don’t even have enough time to try all the things in standard play that I want to try!
Also, I want to play with a cardpool that I am sure is fun and balanced – this in particular stops me from being super keen on specific user-created formats (and makes me particularly weary to play with people who want to undo the ban and restricted list, and bring rotated cards from old core back in – for me, the game has just been so much better since these things were introduced).

That being said, I have had a great time playing Cache Refresh at my local meet-up (we had specific events for this), and would be willing to try Revised Core + Kitara, too. In person, that is.
I’ve also done draft, which was great fun.
Edit: When I had time for it, I also played in the online Cache Refresh tournament, which was really fun. So I guess I am actually for alternative formats very much, but for specific ones in an organised setting. Playing with them in an organised setting also means that you won’t have trouble finding players who play with the same cardpool!


#9

Because Sportsmetal-7, CI7, ClAnarch0 and as such is “balanced,” right? Not to disparage you, but I find that logic a bit flimsy when the full card pool (even with rotation) still has broken gimmicks to where the MWL/Ban and Restricted is needed. So the argument doesn’t really hold water, IMO when it comes to the alternate formats.

I mean, sure. I could Nike Swoosh/Just Do It™ but then I’m sitting there for like 30mins to 1hour with nobody joining because they won’t play “[1.1.1.1], [Modded/Modern]” formats because they don’t have the decks built. So it’s a losing proposition.

Which is what I’m getting at: I can do that, but then sitting there waiting is like “welp, nobody wants to play this. Closes Jinteki for the night/week/month” Hence me coming here hat in hand to find more than the one person I regularly play with.

If I was able to convince the local store to break out of the MWL and actually explore the pool with a more limited selection, I think I’d be more happy. But you’re right: The community is small. Which is why it’s a weird thing that alternate formats are introduced and then die out within a week.


#10

Well, I’m expecting these to get fixed with the next MWL. If it’s balanced with the MWL, what’s the problem?

And sure, if you just play a few games in any given custom format, balance does not actually matter at all. But I said I want my games of Netrunner to be fun, and I have only limited time to play Netrunner. So I play what I know will be fun. And this includes not playing against Clanarch, asset spam etc. btw – I consciously choose to play with people who I know won’t play unfun stuff. Another reason why I don’t really play online against random strangers much, custom formats or not.
Maybe this part of my answer did not come out clearly enough.

And as I said above: I have had great fun and great experiences with custom formats, but I like playing them in a structured way (event) where the rules are set up-front and everybody knows what they’re signing up for.

(Not angry, but can I just say that asking people why they are sceptical about playing custom formats, and then arguing at someone who gave you their very personal and by no means universal reasons is maybe not such a great strategy?)


#11

In my limited experience, the alternative formats don’t actually solve this problem, they just hit the reset button on it until people figure out what the “best” decks are with that new constraint.

We had a 1.1.1.1 league for a month, and we were all excited to throw out the “solved” tier 1 decks and build some fun new stuff. We did ultimately still have fun and I’m glad we did it, but it quickly became apparent that “Runner just picks C&C + Blood Money” and “Corp just picks D&D and puts 42 yellow cards and 2 Scorch under a Sync ID” was better than pretty much all the more creative decks.

Lots of thought and effort has gone into making the current “standard” format balanced. Of course it’s not 100% successful and there will always be “top decks” or oppressive/unfun decks that you don’t enjoy playing against. It’s a complex game with a huge card pool. Perfect Balance and Constant Fun is at best a permanent aspirational goal that you’ll never achieve.

But spawning an alternative format with an arbitrary chunk of card pool like 1.1.1.1 or Modded or Cache doesn’t solve that problem. It just wipes all that effort at careful balance away in exchange for hitting the reset button on “known” top tier decks. There still probably exist powerful top tier decks and oppressive/unfun ones, it just takes people some time to find them.


#12

This is a better argument than Chaos Theories.

I can agree in the sense that they’re a “reset button” and don’t necessarily solve the balance issues with the game. For instance: Modded with Core and Kitara alone has no card draw beyond Diesel (having to import for other factions) or Zer0 (damage yourself to attempt to get a card you want to get). Which is poor.

I’m not quite sure what to do in regards to solving some of those issues, but I still feel removing like 80% of the card pool is way better for the health of the game than allowing most of the cards that are NFPE’s to fester around.

I partially blame this on how slow Fantasy Flight is toward actually eratta’ing certain cards (Astro Script Pilot Program taking forever to become a “one-of” for instance), or taking forever (until after Regional’s in most experiences) to update the MWL with a “woah, no, we don’t want you to play those cards” (Șifr and Parasite/Ice Destruction. This one was hit pretty fast IIRC, within like 2-3 months whereas in general the MWL takes like Six months to update generally which is way way way way way way bad IMO).

Now granted, Boggs is/was doing good work. But given that right now we’re in regionals season and ClAnarch0 is dominating, you’d think Fantasy Flight would issue a MWL in the middle of it to try to throw a wrench in that certain strategy and get “tournament only players” to actually vary up their card/deck-pool choices.

But that’s going off topic.

We had a 1.1.1.1 league for a month, and we were all excited to throw out the “solved” tier 1 decks and build some fun new stuff. We did ultimately still have fun and I’m glad we did it, but it quickly became apparent that “Runner just picks C&C + Blood Money” and “Corp just picks D&D and puts 42 yellow cards and 2 Scorch under a Sync ID” was better than pretty much all the more creative decks.

I feel like the second bit is exacerbated by the first. These formats aren’t really meant to be run in a tournament and while FightingWalloon does them that way and they get interest, I feel like they are more meant to fully explore the card pool with less “must-have” choices.

See that’s where Chaos Theories argument doesn’t really hold water for me, because the “standard” format is just run by everyone because it’s the “tournament standard” whereas these other formats aren’t meant to be “the tournament standard” so having “gentlemen’s agreements” or whatever you want to call it at the table of “ok, I expect you to not do this combo” or whatever is more relaxed/casual.

I don’t disagree that these formats don’t get “solved” just like the standard. But I feel like for actual Jinteki-dawt-net matches in casual would have less complaints of “ugh, they’re using CI7, Sports7, etc. etc. etc./NFPE” if people were more willing to explore the card pool with less broken combos/must-includes.

TL;DR: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I guess asking on a tournament-focused board for people to play casual formats in a casual table/tab for those of us that want to play casually wasn’t such a good idea. My mistake, I guess.


#13

The reason people play tier 1 decks in the casual lobby is because the competive lobby is dead at certain times of the day and it’s easier to get a game there. So many people do this that you’ll often get games with other competitive players anyway. It’s pretty similar to the first few rounds of Swiss in terms of opponents so it’s not even that bad as tournament practice to see how your deck handles some lesser known archetypes.

Also people like winning.


#14

Firstly, "hey, I’m open to playing ::any-format::” :slight_smile:

I’m a new-ish player, and started with the revised core. IRL I have all big boxes, and hoovered up the kitara cycle and R&R when the announcement dropped. So that’s my kitchen table meta.

I am more interested in limited formats because I have never played with the full card pool face-to-face, and don’t expect ever to do so. I hope to use jnet to learn about my decks and my card pool and generally enjoy ‘my’ netrunner with a wider group of opponents. Conveniently, with the socr7 card pool change it appears that my cardpool is now the cache refresh card pool, so I am looking forward to joining in with that. I don’t know if I’ll commit to the competition, but will be around for practise / casual games under that format.

I’m happy to try any format games, but am drawn to those which reflect my own card pool. I understand that for many players it’s standard format or nothing, but I’ll always be looking for that game with [core 2.0] or similar in it’s title.

I hope that there are some other new-ish players out there like me, and that if we shout loud enough about restricted formats then they will know that there are stepping stones between core 2.0 and the full card pool.