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Android: Netrunner» Forums » General

Subject: Flavour/mechanic fails? rss

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Steven Tu
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This thought came from anther thread, where I saw the new Sub Boost:



The flavour: "It's fun watching them derez after hitting Enigma"

I've always thought that at least SOME of people writing some of the fiction/flavour/briefing the art know nothing about the actual game itself. Which is kinda meh to me.


Why on earth would putting Sub Boost on an Enigma be a good idea???


Who the hell expects The Professor to actually use Capstone???



Who the heck would Tinker a bloody Hunter?!?! Except by accident, of course.





Who would Emergency Shutdown a bloody Data Hound?!?!?!



/pedantry
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Jacob Morris
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These are not failures of flavor and mechanics coming together. Netrunner is actually an incredibly rich and flavorful game with a huge amount of story sense, player driven narrative, and cross references among the cards. And the game mechanics themselves support the story of the game in such a deep way that you don't often see.

What you seem to be complaining about are discrepancies between flavor and strategy. Which is probably fair. But in a game like Netrunner, even installing an Atman at strength 10, taking 5 brain damage, or installing a naked agenda can win you the game, so who knows...


edit: tyop
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Erik Twice
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I'm sure the artists do not play the game or know much about it. I know a couple have made comments to the effect on Tumblr.


You know, I think Data Hound being awful is the least of Emergency Shutdown's problems. I mean, it's a dog. A blue X-ray of a dog to be precise.

That's not exactly that fitting, you know?


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Evan
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Tuism wrote:
Why on earth would putting Sub Boost on an Enigma be a good idea???


As I said in the spoiler thread, if you have double Cyberwalls or Unorthodox Predictions?
(Or maybe if you're trying to bait them into losing their Fracter to a Will-o', but that's kind of a weird case and not relevant to the flavor text)

Tuism wrote:
Who the hell expects The Professor to actually use Capstone???


Who expects anyone to use Capstone? The only way for the text to be truly honest is if it attributed the quote to some unknown runner who didn't make it into the game because he sucks.
 
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Steven Tu
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General_Norris wrote:
I'm sure the artists do not play the game or know much about it. I know a couple have made comments to the effect on Tumblr.


You know, I think Data Hound being awful is the least of Emergency Shutdown's problems. I mean, it's a dog. A blue X-ray of a dog to be precise.

That's not exactly that fitting, you know?




yeah, I know a lot of the artists wouldn't have played the game, and so I don't think it's their fault at all.

ART DIRECTION. The art and theme in general is so wonderful in ANR that I really don't understand why this happens at all
 
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Steven Tu
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jakodrako wrote:
These are not failures of flavor and mechanics coming together. Netrunner is actually an incredibly rich and flavorful game with a huge amount of story sense, player driven narrative, and cross references among the cards. And the game mechanics themselves support the story of the game in such a deep way that you don't often see.

What you seem to be complaining about are discrepancies between flavor and strategy. Which is probably fair. But in a game like Netrunner, even installing an Atman at strength 10, taking 5 brain damage, or installing a naked agenda can win you the game, so who knows...


edit: tyop


Don't disagree Everything meshes so well in general. Panic Button is one of those beauts. And Replicating Perfection. And Andromeda. And many other things.

But not these anomalies
 
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Evan
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I don't know what kind of instructions the artists get, but surely it's more detailed than "some ice being blasted by a rainbow thing," or "some ice being shut down; you know what ice there is, just pick one."
In this case, I assume the choice of Data Hound has more to do with the line about "virtual shock collars for corporate pets" than with anyone's sense of the likelihood of that particular card interaction occurring.

But more generally, why should we assume that everything depicted on a Netrunner card is from the in-universe equivalent of tournament-level play? The Professor's an academic; he probably created Capstone, fired off a publication or two about it, and put it on a shelf forever. Meanwhile, if I'm a new runner, developing new tools and techniques, do you think I'm gonna go looking for a Flare to test out my tinkering skills? Hell no, I'm gonna find a nice secluded Hunter somewhere to practice on.
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Hannes Sörensson
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kobold47 wrote:

Who expects anyone to use Capstone? The only way for the text to be truly honest is if it attributed the quote to some unknown runner who didn't make it into the game because he sucks.


"Once you have achieved perfection, what's next?"
- John Masanori
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Andrew Keddie
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General_Norris wrote:

You know, I think Data Hound being awful is the least of Emergency Shutdown's problems. I mean, it's a dog. A blue X-ray of a dog to be precise.

That's not exactly that fitting, you know?




X-ray centred on the dog's heart. Seems an ok place to start if you want to shut down a virtual doggie to me
 
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Brodie
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Can't speak to things like the Professor using Capstone, but as far as art goes, keep in mind that sometimes the concept for a card changes after they get the art in for it, or it is scrapped completely and they have to use the art elsewhere. I seem to recall that Minelayer's weird art is there because the card was originally going to be called something else. Same for Marked Accounts, I think? El-ad's excellent artist spotlight threads brought all these interesting details to my attention.
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Steve Prahl
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I was thinking that the professor actually invented the Capstone...

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Andrew Keddie
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Agent Archer wrote:
Can't speak to things like the Professor using Capstone, but as far as art goes, keep in mind that sometimes the concept for a card changes after they get the art in for it, or it is scrapped completely and they have to use the art elsewhere. I seem to recall that Minelayer's weird art is there because the card was originally going to be called something else. Same for Marked Accounts, I think? El-ad's excellent artist spotlight threads brought all these interesting details to my attention.


That's also a good point - I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that Ash 2X3ZB9CY was originally the art for Oversight AI.
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Vincent Perry
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Capstone helps make your deck more like the professor's deck (get rid of mulitples)

The art doesn't have to depict good strategy. It needs to depict good storytelling. Yes, strategically, some are a stretch (although I think capstone one makes sense...you are installing some of his technology to help you do what he can do).

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Roberta Yang
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I think they should print a card whose flavor text is the complete decklist of a tournament winning FA-Astrotrain deck. It would be much more flavorful than the nonsense they're churning out that does not accurately reflect the Andysucker meta. Thanks and god bless.
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Cees de Boer
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Tuism wrote:
This thought came from anther thread, where I saw the new Sub Boost:



The flavour: "It's fun watching them derez after hitting Enigma"

I've always thought that at least SOME of people writing some of the fiction/flavour/briefing the art know nothing about the actual game itself. Which is kinda meh to me.


Why on earth would putting Sub Boost on an Enigma be a good idea???


A friend of mine pointed out a cute flavour interaction here.

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Lech Karol Pawłaszek
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kobold47 wrote:
I don't know what kind of instructions the artists get, but surely it's more detailed than "some ice being blasted by a rainbow thing," or "some ice being shut down; you know what ice there is, just pick one."
In this case, I assume the choice of Data Hound has more to do with the line about "virtual shock collars for corporate pets" than with anyone's sense of the likelihood of that particular card interaction occurring.

But more generally, why should we assume that everything depicted on a Netrunner card is from the in-universe equivalent of tournament-level play? The Professor's an academic; he probably created Capstone, fired off a publication or two about it, and put it on a shelf forever. Meanwhile, if I'm a new runner, developing new tools and techniques, do you think I'm gonna go looking for a Flare to test out my tinkering skills? Hell no, I'm gonna find a nice secluded Hunter somewhere to practice on.


Well liiga once received instructions to:
"to draw a 'black' kraken that is 'made up of light',"

http://liiga.deviantart.com/art/Android-Netrunner-Kraken-370...
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Malefact
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One of my pet peeves for creating dissonance between the rules that allow the player to change the game state (mechanics) and the visual/representative elements of the game (flavor) is Aesop's Pawnshop.



Flavor: The picture of Aesop in his store, the name of the card (a Pawnshop), the card type (resource) and the subtypes (location - connection) conveys the idea that this is a place where you go to sell used junk for money.

Mechanic: Playing Aesop's Pawnshop adds a new rule to the game. At the start of the Runner's turn, they may sell one of their installed cards for 3.

Let me break down why some of the nuances of this mechanic bug me.

1) It's clickless. Which is odd. This suggests that it doesn't take time for the runner to go and visit Aesop in his store. Other clickless econ cards (like Underworld Contact, Daily Casts and Zona Sul Shipping) suggest that you spent the time and money to set up some sort of relationship (a crony paying you money, a livestream which pays ad revenue) which continues without your direct intervention. But Aesop's Pawnshop does require a player's intervention - they have to choose whether they want to sell a card to him, as well as which card to sell.

To me that suggests that Aesop is turning up at your door every morning asking you if you wanna sell him anything...which is bizarre.

It's not like Aesop has an AI where he'll buy your cheapest thing every turn until you have no installed cards left (although a card like that would be kinda cool).

2) You always get paid the same amount. No matter if you're trading in a used Monolith or an Inti, Aesop will always pay you 3cr. This works differently to the pawnshops we know about in the real world, where the value of the item directly affects how much you're paid. (compare: Trade In).

3) You can sell resources. When you sell installed programs or hardware, it's clear what the item you're selling is. It's on the card. But a resource isn't "what's on the card" - you're not selling Raymond Flint himself (at least...god, I hope not). You're selling your relationship *to* Raymond Flint. Same for locations. You're not selling Wyldside itself...you're selling your ability to visit Wyldside. As such, some of the stuff that you can sell to Aesop is really weird. How does Aesop buy your Public Sympathy?
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Zak Jarvis
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Malefact wrote:
This works differently to the pawnshops we know about in the real world, where the value of the item directly affects how much you're paid.

[...]

you're not selling Raymond Flint himself (at least...god, I hope not).


You're just stuck in a narrow-minded early twenty-first century mindset. Just accept that in the Netrunner future, Theophilius Bagbiter and Kati Jones are equally in demand and command the same price on the "open market".

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Andrew Keddie
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Good callout on Aesop. I have similar issues with Stimhack - shooting yourself up gives you temporary cash? I get that you're able to hack better while stimmed; that makes sense (a short boost of improved reaction times or cognitive ability at the long term cost of killing brain cells) but how and why does that translate into cash? Answer: Because using Icebreakers costs money (for some reason) so Stimhack has to reflect your enhanced ability with a cash-boost.

Now presumably this is simply so they didn't have to introduce a third resource to manage; but it illustrates that even something as simple as 'credits' isn't as simple as just representing your cash - it's more like a unit of 'work' or 'time' (just, a more mutable/less intense unit than 'clicks').

Ultimately, the game, like any card game, requires a suspension of disbelief to work. Some card interactions are going to be wonky; as long as we all accept that and appreciate the game for what it is, I'm sure we can continue to enjoy it.
 
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Steven Tu
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I agree on the Aesops mis-matches, as well as the suspension of disbelief that's needed to make a game work thematically (also I think creds are a simplification of a bunch of resources that a hacker uses - like thinking time, working time, actual money, etc)

But why couldn't they do emergency shutdown/archer?!?!? THAT WOULD BE SO MUCH COOLER
 
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Malefact
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CommissarFeesh wrote:
Good callout on Aesop. I have similar issues with Stimhack - shooting yourself up gives you temporary cash? I get that you're able to hack better while stimmed; that makes sense (a short boost of improved reaction times or cognitive ability at the long term cost of killing brain cells) but how and why does that translate into cash? Answer: Because using Icebreakers costs money (for some reason) so Stimhack has to reflect your enhanced ability with a cash-boost.

Now presumably this is simply so they didn't have to introduce a third resource to manage; but it illustrates that even something as simple as 'credits' isn't as simple as just representing your cash - it's more like a unit of 'work' or 'time' (just, a more mutable/less intense unit than 'clicks').

Ultimately, the game, like any card game, requires a suspension of disbelief to work. Some card interactions are going to be wonky; as long as we all accept that and appreciate the game for what it is, I'm sure we can continue to enjoy it.


Yeah, spending money to use icebreakers is a bit odd. It clearly can't = the amount of time required to use that icebreaker, as time is handled by clicks. So credits is sort of "all-purpose non-time-based resource". I guess I think of it as the amount of electricity required to power your rig and the uberfast internet connection you require to hack things in cyberspace.

I think how abstract a game is (i.e. how much its mechanics gel with the flavour being offered) isn't good/bad, but rather an aesthetic consideration. To me, the more game-like elements of ANR are OK, because they're in the context of a competition taking place between two entities - a corporation, and a runner - and so the abstractions help reinforce that feeling to the game.

Also, as the player, you are not the Runner or the Corp itself, so the level of abstraction also tells you something about how close you're supposed to feel towards your avatar.


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Malefact
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Tuism wrote:
But why couldn't they do emergency shutdown/archer?!?!? THAT WOULD BE SO MUCH COOLER


I don't know, when I used Emergency Shutdown on Archer for the first time I felt super clever, but if the card had, y'know, shown me a picture of that? I would probably not have had chance to work out that interaction for myself. Guess it comes down to whether or not you want your cards to clue the players to a good strategy for how they could be used
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Steven Tu
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Malefact wrote:
Tuism wrote:
But why couldn't they do emergency shutdown/archer?!?!? THAT WOULD BE SO MUCH COOLER


I don't know, when I used Emergency Shutdown on Archer for the first time I felt super clever, but if the card had, y'know, shown me a picture of that? I would probably not have had chance to work out that interaction for myself. Guess it comes down to whether or not you want your cards to clue the players to a good strategy for how they could be used


THAT is an excellent point. I guess then it makes sense in a way that's like... "Hey the characters in the game are all using shutdown on Data Hound - OMG I FEEL LIKE A GENIUS FOR SHUTTING DOWN ENIGMA!!!"

Lol
 
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ITT: People breaking the fourth wall.

Cards are representations of an idea that exists in a world of fiction. The game is merely an abstraction of the interaction, simplified to make it approachable and fun.

The art is often going to be cool. The flavor text is often going to be funny or intuitive. But sometimes rather than handing you answers on a plate or acknowledging the weaknesses of an imperfect abstraction the flavor is going to be a measure of the universe that is android and not the abstraction that is netrunner.

Perhaps enigma is way more of a deal to someone who actually lives in that place; in fact, the flavor text on the card suggests so (which I've always loved). An ice that takes time away from you and makes you forget what you saw. How could you ever beat something you couldn't remember? That's really freaking cool, cooler than archer imo; but the paper that represents the card falls a bit short of that idea. All the same the card is cool and an obstacle for people in that world, I don't mind seeing it other places.

I have to agree that your consensus meta-game and strategy of the moment is less eternal than the art which must be created pre-meta game since its on cards before its released. I'd frankly rather have the art mention cards I don't think about too often than name the cards FFG expects to be in Worlds Decks this year.

All in all. I think its fine to be annoyed by these things, but can we accept that this is a game and that there's another level of existence outside of competitive play and even a story (if not a great one) for this universe that might compel flavor you don't understand?

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Brad McCoy
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The Sub Boost thing bothered me from the minute I read it. The other points are easily defended, but even reading the quote makes no sense. How do runners derez? Enigma takes a click and ends the run itself, and maybe that would make sense if Sub Boost was an ambush upgrade or something, but it's a bold-faced operation the Runner knows about before ever hitting the card.

The flavor text is both getting terms wrong and assuming the Runner runs an openly rezzed Enigma to fail.

EDIT: What is the Freelance security expert is an idiot, and meant to make the error? Mind blown?
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