They seem to be cranking out at an amazing pace right now and are quickly catching up with the existing card pool.
I always got the impression that the point of them was to give a tougher option for earlier and easier scenarios that the card pool has outpaced
This is the problem with the nightmare decks. They used to be designed as a way to increase the difficulty of the quests to allow them to be viable choices as the player card pool grew larger and the player decks got more and more powerful.
Having them released from the start, or even released at the current speed completely negates that idea.
The nightmare decks are coming out so fast now, that the player card pool is not expanding fast enough to make them matter (in that way). So while the original Mirkwood Nightmares breathed new life into those quest that hadn't seen play for ages and made them viable to play again with current strong decks, the nightmares now are are coming out so fast now are going to be outpaced by the player decks at about the nearly the exact same time as the original quest are.
In short, the new nightmares are no longer about adding longevity to the quests. The are simply coming out so fast that the current card pool can easily deal with them.
Why not having Hard mode from start?
So while I agree that the design of nightmare should just be the normal design, nightmare quests themselves.. should not be released until the player card pool has expanded and the powerlevel of the player decks has massively increased.
I think they are coming out way to fast.
When they originally came out it was awesome, and yes the quest are better.. often fixed.. but people are beating them on the very first try WITHOUT modifying their decks in anyway...
Does Into Ithilien ever really need a nightmare variant?
"Super Friends" (Gandalf, Elrone, etc) deck out now can whip Ithilien no problems
and this is my point. This deck also beats all the current nightmares with ease as well, so now we need "super nightmare"
Is the need for a nightmare deck based more on the quality of the deck you are playing or your skill at the game?
quality of the deck.
The more powerful your deck is the less skill you need to beat a quest. Netdecking takes out deck construction skill (if you do that)