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Android: Netrunner» Forums » General

Subject: Becoming Worse the more I Play rss

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Gerald Gan
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Oddly enough... I feel like I'm actually devolving as an A:NR player the more I play and the more new cards come out. Maybe I'm just getting dumber as I get older. Maybe I was just bad before but got extremely lucky... but more than 400 games in, I feel like I'm not improving, or worse, backsliding.

Anyone else feeling that way? Any tips anyone can give to streamline my thought process when deckbuilding and/or playing? Heck, just how to get a hell of a lot better...
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Atnier Rodriguez
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Are you still having fun?
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Gerald Gan
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Yes I have tons of fun playing. But it is frustrating to lose because you feel like you keep making stupid moves or built a bad deck. Hehehe...
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Daniel Kotlewski

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I sometimes feel the same way but remain ever vigilant. The rapid release of the new data packs plus my ability to get together rarely with friends means that by the time I get confidant in my own deck, it is already time to adapt to new cards and new decks.
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Ken Dilloo
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The problem is that you might have to better evolve with the new cards, as they come out. Could easily be called a living strategy game. What worked awhile ago, might not work now. Maybe your opponents are having an easier time with this evolution?

Anyway, if you are having fun, just keep playing. Some of my most fun games have been while getting absolutely brutalized.
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Michael Stadermann
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I have felt like that before, some time last year.

I think it was because I was stuck in a specific mode of play that sometimes, but only very rarely, worked. I switched decks, used net decks, and all of it didn't help, and instead I got worse results.

There were some things that were simple to try and correct that helped:

- as a runner, are you drawing enough? There are two extremes: running too much in the early game and neglecting buildup, and running too little. Both styles will lose the game.

- as a corp, do you only rez ice when necessary? Ice costs money. If you're not causing the runner to spend or lose resources, and the chances of the runner getting an agenda are low, don't rez. I usually don't rez when the runner is running on HQ and has a 1/5 chance of getting an agenda or an important card. Likewise, I don't rez R&D ice if the chances of getting an agenda are worse than 1/5 (eg you're holding 3 of 10 agendas in hand, and there's 38 cards left in the deck).

- then again, do not make access to R&D free (including BP or reusable credits), at least in mid-game. If the runner pays net 0 when accessing R&D in the mid-game, you're asking for a world of pain.

Most of all, after losing a game, look back and try to figure out why you lost. Most importantly, don't blame anything on bad luck when doing this analysis, but try to figure out how you could have prevented it even with bad luck. Sure, if your Shaper opponent played a first turn Indexing and wins, that's unlucky, but that's a possibility you have to take into account when playing Shaper, and you have to ice up R&D if possible, even if it's just speed bump ice.
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Alex Ramos
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Maybe you are competing with better and better players all the time.

It is not only you, also the others have luck and moments... :o)

Take it easy and have fun. I never count on winning.

Regards.
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João Almeida
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Write down in a piece of paper all mistake you made. The next day, before start playing, read the list. Works for me.
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Blake Burkhead
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It can be easy to over adjust in this game particularly if you are lilting from one deck to another. I find it takes at least 3 plays to see if a deck is good, needs tweaking or is just a dud. I try to give it 4-5 before completely restructuring. Remember adjusting play style counts as tweaking and if you adjust to a new style of play, try it with just those changes before changing out cards. Otherwise you end up with a play style that may be competing with the way the new deck is intended to work.

Keep an eye out to when you loose, how your opponent won and see if you can't use that to your advantage.
 
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Greg Nordeng
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I have definitely felt that way. This game sometimes can just be really streaky, and if you hit a bad streak you have to be careful to not get down. You kind of start making stupid plays when your frustrated or down in a game. Many call it tilt. Tilt can last a long time over many games if you let it go unchecked.

Best advice is to pal up with some players you know are better than you have them critique and help you get better. That helped me lots. Good luck.
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Rana Puer
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Theory:

As you become more comfortable with the game, you are more willing to experiment with new strategies and try new things.

Most new strategies, while cool, aren't really that effective. It's better to stick with safe, proven stuff most of the time.

However, you're still gaining skills by exploring these different strategies. So you've spent a lot of time exploring strategies that don't work, which is not wasted time, because now you know for sure that they are worse than what you were doing before.

Eventually all this experience will help and you will experience much better results as you push away from trying new things and gravitate towards the strategies that you've found to be most effective.

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Ian Toltz
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Mark Rosewater, lead designer of Magic, once told a story that I've found surprisingly applicable, about the dangers of knowledge...

He had a green deck he was playtesting, and in that deck he had a creature which would come to be known Kavu Titan. Kavu Titan was a 2/2 for 2 mana--a small creature, about as vanilla and unexciting as you could get.

Then one day one of the other designers pointed out to Mark that this creature had an ability he wasn't using; if he spent a bit more mana, it would be even bigger. Specifically, it would become a 5/5 trample for 5 mana.

All of a sudden, Mark's win rate went noticeably down, and upon reflection he found the reason: now that he knew he could hang onto the creature and play it later and much bigger, he tended to do exactly that, instead of playing it early in the game.

The lesson here is that his natural instinct, when he didn't know what other options he had, was the correct one. When he found out about the other options, he began playing less aggressively in order to play the creature later and larger, and that was a mistake.
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Jeremy Hager
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embrace the suck and just have fun. That's what I've done.
 
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Rana Puer
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@Asmor:

That's one of my favorite Mark Rosewater stories. It's applicable everywhere: the choice that looks the best might not actually be the best (or at least not the best in every situation).
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Kester J
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I find one of the issues I have as the game expands is simply remembering all the cards. Particularly for the runner, the game is one of assessing and managing risk (knowing all the ice that could be rezzed, for example) and while I used to be able to account for the two or three dangerous ice I should be worrying about when choosing to run, it's getting to the stage where I don't quite remember everything and occasionally faceplant something nasty that I could've played around.
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First Last
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I've started taking a log of my games where I note mistakes that I made. Taking a cue from my language learning days, and I'm thinking of recording the OCTGN games I play and reviewing them afterwards. I thinking that it would be a great chance to find new mistakes.
 
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Brendan Cavalier
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You might just be getting better at seeing your mistakes. Takes a lot of experience to start seeing where you went wrong.
 
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Losing doesn't mean you are getting worse at the game. You can lose and still be improving in the process. You can learn far more from your losses than your wins.
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Sonny A.
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When you lose, make a note of what you lose to. Then try to build a deck that exploits that.

You'll know better how to play against a certain deck type if you've tried playing it yourself.
 
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Erik Twice
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Getting better is not just a matter of doing the same thing but more efficiently, it's also a matter of unlearning stuff that isn't good enough and that's very hard.

Here's an example:

In Team Fortress 2 the Spy can kill any enemy instantly if you can backstab them. But backstabbing them requires you to get close, and getting close is dangerous and sometimes I was getting killed because my target turned around in the 1.5 seconds it took me to pounce upon them.

So I had to learn to shoot them from afar, which is much harder because you require several headshots. And you don't magically learn how to get headshots, you die over and over when you wouldn't die if you have gotten up close as much.

But after a great deal of effort, I killed as many guys as I did with the knife, but without the risk of getting close. I got better at the game.

Hope that helps.
 
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Blake Burkhead
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Angrist wrote:
Losing doesn't mean you are getting worse at the game. You can lose and still be improving in the process. You can learn far more from your losses than your wins.

Tired as this cliche is it is more true in A:NR than any other game I've played. I have lost way more game than I've won. When I first started playing after the rerelease at gencon I seemed to do nothing but loose. Not over rules issues (though there were some) but genuinely getting spanked. Somewhere six or seven games in something suddenly clicked. I knew what I needed to do. Since then I've had dry spells, frustrating games, disappointments, and matches where I just didn't have fun. Played and played against decks that should not win, and seen them take off. I've also had 5 or 6 more of those cloud parting AHA! moments. Everytime I've gotten better. I don't know if I'm getting better as Id like right now, but I think I need a broader pool of players to get to that next level.
 
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Tarquelne
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General_Norris wrote:

Hope that helps.

Is your main point that he should just give up on trying to be sneaky? Say, by trying to lure his opponents into a run on a triple-advanced Project Junebug. Or is it that he should shoot his opponents in the head?
 
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Erik Twice
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Tarquelne wrote:
Is your main point that he should just give up on trying to be sneaky? Say, by trying to lure his opponents into a run on a triple-advanced Project Junebug. Or is it that he should shoot his opponents in the head?
Yes
 
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Mike G
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Asmor wrote:
Mark Rosewater, lead designer of Magic, once told a story that I've found surprisingly applicable, about the dangers of knowledge...

He had a green deck he was playtesting, and in that deck he had a creature which would come to be known Kavu Titan. Kavu Titan was a 2/2 for 2 mana--a small creature, about as vanilla and unexciting as you could get.

Then one day one of the other designers pointed out to Mark that this creature had an ability he wasn't using; if he spent a bit more mana, it would be even bigger. Specifically, it would become a 5/5 trample for 5 mana.

All of a sudden, Mark's win rate went noticeably down, and upon reflection he found the reason: now that he knew he could hang onto the creature and play it later and much bigger, he tended to do exactly that, instead of playing it early in the game.

The lesson here is that his natural instinct, when he didn't know what other options he had, was the correct one. When he found out about the other options, he began playing less aggressively in order to play the creature later and larger, and that was a mistake.

I was going to type out a longer message, but then saw this, which pretty much conveys what I was planning to say. Perhaps you're just over-thinking things now? Maybe try getting back to basics.
 
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Trent Hamm
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You're not becoming worse, but you've probably reached a point in your skill growth curve where your improvement per game is very small - small enough to be unnoticeable. That's a natural thing.

The only way to alter that is by changing how you prepare. When I'm improving my skills at a customizable card game like this one, I eventually start playing deliberate games with a playing partner where we discuss pretty much every single move in an effort to make us both better. Playing in pairs works really well, where one person is playing and another person is discussing/advising.

Alternately, you could not worry about that and just continue having fun playing the game.
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