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Subject: How far ahead is FFG in the development/playtesting of A:NR? rss

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Game Junkie
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Upon checking the Honor & Profit spoilers, I found it funny to see that directors embody their companies' strengths: HB have Director Haas (efficiency, time management = clicks) and Jinteki have Chairman Hiro (life-death, damage = handsize).

That made wonder what the directors of Weyland/NBN will do, which in turn led me to the post title: do you guys know how far ahead is FFG in the development of the game?

Can we assume the Lunar cycle is complete? What about the 3rd deluxe expansion? Are they working on that at the moment, or on a 3rd cycle? Does anyone know?
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Trent Hamm
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Canales wrote:
Upon checking the Honor & Profit spoilers, I found it funny to see that directors embody their companies' strengths: HB have Director Haas (efficiency, time management = clicks) and Jinteki have Chairman Hiro (life-death, damage = handsize).

That made wonder what the directors of Weyland/NBN will do, which in turn led me to the post title: do you guys know how far ahead is FFG in the development of the game?

Can we assume the Lunar cycle is complete? What about the 3rd deluxe expansion? Are they working on that at the moment, or on a 3rd cycle? Does anyone know?


I would assume that expansions have to be at the printers at least six months in advance of when they appear in stores. Add on top of that a few months to make sure card layout is completed, art is secured, and such, and I'd guess that they're actively testing and developing cards at least nine months ahead of the public and probably designing cards as far out as 2-3 years. Magic: the Gathering starts their design process on cards six years before they see the light of day, for comparison's sake.
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When it comes to the head executives, I wouldn't be surprised if they had all of them planned out since core set, regardless of how far ahead they plan other cards. Each one seems to be very entrenched in the core mechanics of their faction, so it would make sense for the designers to have figured out the head executives at the same time they were figuring out which factions should have which mechanics. Then, when the time to plan out the associated deluxe expansion comes around they would give the card another look to make sure their initial idea was still balanced and relevant.
 
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I'd once heard they're roughly 18 months to 2 years ahead.

But it was mostly just idle discussion at a Plugged In event and was neither confirmed nor denied by FFG presence.
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Gregory Pettigrew
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As a data point, FFG said that the winner of the Plugged-in Tour would be printed at least a year after the voting was done.
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Andrew Duncan
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I think the story went that when the game came out the Genesis cycle was already completed, so Creation and Control and the Spin cycle were their first chances to react to how people were playing the game.

So as people have already said, that suggests a buffer of at least about 9 months is in place.
 
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Bryant Smith
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I suspect that Lunar cycle was just about wrapped up around the time they announced it, maybe a couple final tweaks here and there. I'd guess that the next deluxe expansion is being play tested and balanced currently.
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Liz Malette
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I think its been said in an interview or two somewhere also that some cards that had been designed along side the core set still haven't been released (not at the time of the interview anyway) and are being save for a point in to for when they make more sense to put out. I wouldn't be surprised if at least some of the cards we see in each deluxe expansion (particularly the execs and IDs) were designed along side the core set so they would have an idea of what the "full" factions would be like and could plan accordingly.
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Bernd Weber
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Heidelberger, FFG's German partner, got all printed German (and probably also English) cards from the last cycle in the same shipment and stored them until it was time for a release.
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legroove wrote:
I think the story went that when the game came out the Genesis cycle was already completed, so Creation and Control and the Spin cycle were their first chances to react to how people were playing the game.

So as people have already said, that suggests a buffer of at least about 9 months is in place.


I can confirm the same thing from conversation during Plugged-In.
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Derrick Billings
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The "Littlefinger" card that got designed for AGOT by the player workshop at Days of Ice & Fire in May of 2012 was actually released in February 2014. So 18-24 months is not impossible.

I do know that each cycle is designed as a set, so all of Lunar Cycle was in the can months before Upstalk was announced.
 
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Matthias Nagy
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Aubigny wrote:
Heidelberger, FFG's German partner, got all printed German (and probably also English) cards from the last cycle in the same shipment and stored them until it was time for a release.


I can confirm this and I'm pretty sure that is how they handle all their LCGs.

So the Lunar Cycle is already completely printed and on the boat for all languages (which are a lot, even languages Magic is not handling). I would ignore anything like a boat or comparable for these on the upcoming page, as their marketing department is all very NBN driven and only tells you what you should think.

I would go that far, that as soon as they announce the first pack from the fourth cycle the full cycle is at the printer at that time, or on the boat.
 
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Nigel McNaughton
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I know the complete Isengard/Ring Maker Cycle was in beta testing quite a ago. So a year ahead of release wouldn't be at all surprising.
 
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Hany Hebisha
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During the plugged in tour we played against the corp challenge decks.
And those had cards from all over the spin cycle and H&P, so H&P was ready for sure on September 2013, so that is 9 month before street date.

I am sure it is at least double that for the play testing and re-evaluation of the cards and what not.
 
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Gregory Pettigrew
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HHebisha wrote:
During the plugged in tour we played against the corp challenge decks.
And those had cards from all over the spin cycle and H&P, so H&P was ready for sure on September 2013, so that is 9 month before street date.

I am sure it is at least double that for the play testing and re-evaluation of the cards and what not.


OTOH, the copies of GRNDL they were using had more influence than the final version.
 
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Canales wrote:
Upon checking the Honor & Profit spoilers, I found it funny to see that directors embody their companies' strengths: HB have Director Haas (efficiency, time management = clicks) and Jinteki have Chairman Hiro (life-death, damage = handsize).

That made wonder what the directors of Weyland/NBN will do, which in turn led me to the post title: do you guys know how far ahead is FFG in the development of the game?


I don't think that Weyland or NBN will have an executive like HB and Jinteki do. The reason I think this is it's called the Weyland Consortium, implying a collection of powerful companies, so they may get a "board of directors" card, but I don't think it would be the same as the executives of the other factions. NBN might have a more normal executive, but again (and I may be making this up, but I thought I read it somewhere) I think NBN is made up of a group of broadcasters, advertisers, and news reporters.

But that's just my take on the flavor. It could be exactly the same

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Ian Neufeld
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Within FFG, they can print and re-print and re-re-print as many cards as they want on a day-by-day basis. Stacks of cards lie around that you can pick up and play with the latest iterations of cards that might be 12 months or more from seeing the light of day. There's no fundamental reason that FFG can't have 300, 400 or even 500 unreleased cards in a general "testing pool". Tomorrow they can reprint 30 of those cards with different costs, influence, factions, whatever.

For testing a cycle pick 150-200 cards and say "you can't play anything other than what's been printed and these." Maybe push some to a later expansion, maybe swap in ones that would compliment this cycle better. Probably just kill a bunch of them that don't feel good. I'm sure that the 5 Illicit Ice that were released weren't the only ones they tested. Nor were the Bad Pub-removal mechanics.
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Liesander wrote:
Canales wrote:
Upon checking the Honor & Profit spoilers, I found it funny to see that directors embody their companies' strengths: HB have Director Haas (efficiency, time management = clicks) and Jinteki have Chairman Hiro (life-death, damage = handsize).

That made wonder what the directors of Weyland/NBN will do, which in turn led me to the post title: do you guys know how far ahead is FFG in the development of the game?


I don't think that Weyland or NBN will have an executive like HB and Jinteki do. The reason I think this is it's called the Weyland Consortium, implying a collection of powerful companies, so they may get a "board of directors" card, but I don't think it would be the same as the executives of the other factions. NBN might have a more normal executive, but again (and I may be making this up, but I thought I read it somewhere) I think NBN is made up of a group of broadcasters, advertisers, and news reporters.

But that's just my take on the flavor. It could be exactly the same



Perhaps Jackson Howard is that executive... and he just doesn't have the agenda cost associated with stealing because he's that good.
 
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Brian H
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Well technically we have execs for all factions now, we just don't have the "uber" execs for Weyland and NBN.
 
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MavericK96 wrote:
Well technically we have execs for all factions now, we just don't have the "uber" execs for Weyland and NBN.


I like Captain Frisk's suggestion that Jackson Howard is the NBN uber exec, but he's just so Uber that he isn't worth AP when stolen. So that just leaves Weyland missing theirs. :)
 
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DrTall wrote:
MavericK96 wrote:
Well technically we have execs for all factions now, we just don't have the "uber" execs for Weyland and NBN.


I like Captain Frisk's suggestion that Jackson Howard is the NBN uber exec, but he's just so Uber that he isn't worth AP when stolen. So that just leaves Weyland missing theirs.


I agree in principle but I don't think this will end up being the case. It's far more likely Weyland will be the next big expansion (and I have several lines of reasoning for this), so by the time NBN's box comes around, I think it'll be high time for it to get an exec worth AP. Keep in mind Weyland has Elizabith Mills, yet very few consider her Weyland's uber exec.
 
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It's true. I can't think of any definition of uber that includes Elizabeth Mills. :)
 
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Lysander1 wrote:
DrTall wrote:
MavericK96 wrote:
Well technically we have execs for all factions now, we just don't have the "uber" execs for Weyland and NBN.


I like Captain Frisk's suggestion that Jackson Howard is the NBN uber exec, but he's just so Uber that he isn't worth AP when stolen. So that just leaves Weyland missing theirs.


I agree in principle but I don't think this will end up being the case. It's far more likely Weyland will be the next big expansion (and I have several lines of reasoning for this), so by the time NBN's box comes around, I think it'll be high time for it to get an exec worth AP. Keep in mind Weyland has Elizabith Mills, yet very few consider her Weyland's uber exec.


I'm only kidding... its just too easy to beat on Jackson being overpowered in every respect. The trend seems to be the Super Exec is in the big box and is unplayable because voluntarily putting extra agendas that only the runner can score in your deck is a terrible idea.
 
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Captain_Frisk wrote:
I'm only kidding... its just too easy to beat on Jackson being overpowered in every respect. The trend seems to be the Super Exec is in the big box and is unplayable because voluntarily putting extra agendas that only the runner can score in your deck is a terrible idea.


I dunno, I've actually been getting a lot of mileage out of Director Haas these days. When she is nestled in her home with Ash and Caprice, a lot of Runners seem to lose the will to live. Or they do run in and trash her and it costs so much that there's a fat scoring window for regular agendas.

I lost a Director Haas out of R&D on turn 1 of a game this week, and the tempo loss for the Runner was enough for me to score two agendas pretty early. Probably not tier 1, but it's better than I expected.
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Liesander wrote:
I don't think that Weyland or NBN will have an executive like HB and Jinteki do. The reason I think this is it's called the Weyland Consortium, implying a collection of powerful companies, so they may get a "board of directors" card, but I don't think it would be the same as the executives of the other factions.


Jack Weyland is a pretty significant character in the lore, I would be very surprised if he wasn't a card.
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