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Subject: IT Department clarification rss

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Dave Chandler
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Sorry if this has been posted here before, It's made quite the stir on Reddit and I can't seem to find a similar thread here about it so I thought I'd share.

There seems to be a lot of confusion regarding IT Department lately. Some recent decks have relied on the idea that when a runner encounters a piece of ice you can pump it hell to breakfast with IT department like so:

Ice strength = 0.
IT Department has 5 counters on it.
I remove 1 counter. Ice strength = 5 (4 counters on IT, + the one spent)
I remove 2nd counter. Ice strength = 9 (5 from the last step, plus 3 counters on IT, plus one spent)
I remove 3rd counter. Ice strength = 12 (9 from the last step, plus 2 counters on IT, plus one spent)

and so on.

This is not correct. People asked Lukas and he responded on twitter here
https://twitter.com/RukasuFox/status/547157268106444802

Quote:
"The latter. IT Dept creates an ongoing ability. If you have 3 counters no benefit to using more than once on same ice per turn."


which only served to confuse the issue. Can I only use IT department once per ice? Why doesn't datasucker suffer from the same problem.

Lukas has since clarified: You CAN spend more than one token and the effects DO stack, but not like what was mentioned at top of this thread. It's a little complicated, but the gist is IT department has no memory of how many tokens were on the card when you spent a token. You check the card for how many tokens are on it when evaluating the ice. The end result is you get a strength bonus of X*counters currently on card + X where X is the number of counters you spent.

For example, say there are 5 tokens on IT department and you're pumping a STR 0 ice.

1st counter gives the ice +5. (+4 for the counters on the card, +1 for the counter spent).

2nd counter: The ice gets +8 (+3 for the counters on the card +1 for the first counter spent. +3 again for the counters on the card. +1 for the second counter spent)

3rd counter: the ice gets +9 (+2 for the counters on card, +1 for 1st counter, +2 for counters on card, +1 for 2nd counter spent, +2 for counters on card, +1 for 3rd counter spent)

4th counter: The ice gets +8. It's actually worse to spend this counter.

Is it me, or is this card a bit of a mess?
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Chris Wood
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Read the latest tweets, he's over-ruled himself

https://twitter.com/Slio9/status/549980912373727236


Quote:
Jens ‏@Slio9

@RukasuFox For an explicit example If I have 10 counters on IT Dept, I can use 1 for +10 Str, then use a 2nd for +9, making 18 after recheck

Retweets 2
Favorites 4
Andrew Keddie Jared Saltz Keith Gaudry-Gardner Lukas Litzsinger

9:30 AM - 30 Dec 2014

Lukas Litzsinger ‏@RukasuFox 3h3 hours ago

@Slio9 That is correct.
 
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Geekmate75
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So for what i understand, dave were right in the first place.
If you have 10 token on ITD and spend 2.
you have [(1+8)+(1+8)] bonus strength so 18.
 
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Chris Wood
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ah, vs the +19 otherwise. I see what you mean. But still, it's complicated but still an interesting mechanic.
 
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Jacob Morris
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There is a very easy way to keep track of IT Department in game that is 100% allowed by the rules.

Mark all ice that have been given an IT Bonus with some kind of counter (like we do with Femme or Security Testing).

Any ice that has an ITD marker on it has a strength boost equal to the number of power counters on ITD + 1 times the number of ITD markers on the given ice.
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Chris Wood
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and someone in the reddit thread simplified it with a formula

ADDITIONAL_STRENGTH = n+(n*k)

N = # of tokens spent
K = # of tokens on IT Dept
 
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Pedraum
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jakodrako wrote:
There is a very easy way to keep track of IT Department in game that is 100% allowed by the rules.

Mark all ice that have been given an IT Bonus with some kind of counter (like we do with Femme or Security Testing).

Any ice that has an ITD marker on it has a strength boost equal to the number of power counters on ITD + 1 times the number of ITD markers on the given ice.


Now that it's explained to me, I think having the card this way might actually make things somewhat simpler for play. Previously, I had been trying to figure out ways to track what kind of boost pieces of ice were receiving from IT Department on a given turn without just physically writing it down, and not having much luck. Once the tokens were spent, there was no way to tell how many had been on IT department at the time.

Now, it's always possible to figure out what boost an ice has received from IT department just by looking at the current board state (assuming that you use a counter to show which pieces of ice have been boosted, which is easy).

The wording is still bad and confusing, but I much prefer the effect.
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Geekmate75
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Taloncarde wrote:
and someone in the reddit thread simplified it with a formula

ADDITIONAL_STRENGTH = n+(n*k)

N = # of tokens spent
K = # of tokens on IT Dept


Hope we don't have to learn a bunch of formulas with next cards !
 
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Chris Wood
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It's not like we haven't had complicated interactions with some cards before. For example Medium is N-1 extra cards, where N is the # of tokens on Medium.

But i think Jacobs method of tracking probably works the best.
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Geekmate75
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Yeah but "N-1 Extra cards" is like "N cards"... So in the end, it's simple

 
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Edward K.
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Taloncarde wrote:
It's not like we haven't had complicated interactions with some cards before. For example Medium is N-1 extra cards, where N is the # of tokens on Medium.

But i think Jacobs method of tracking probably works the best.


Medium is not complicated at all. If medium has 1 token, you access 1 card, if it has 50 tokens you access 50 cards (I did not say additional, I just said how many you would access because you can reason around the wording).

I would just try and avoid using ITD multiple times because you know for a fact if you use it twice on 1 ICE or once on 2 ICE questions will come up and have to talk about it for 10 minutes to figure it out, and they still wont believe you despite fancy tables and Lukas himself saying so.

Hopefully in the future the testers ask this questions and if the answer is "use this formula" the card gets thrown out. No one, competitive or casual, should have to do mental gymnastics to track one card and it's constant changing of boosted strength to multiple pieces of ICE.

I really do hope the testers asked the question of multiple boosts on 1 ICE, because the instant I saw that card I thought "Wow I can make ICE get crazy amounts of strength from 2 boosts because they will stack." But it turns out they do stack, but kind of weird. And then a 2 uses, 1 on 2 separate pieces of ICE, changes the value of the previous ICE... ok... In the end I don't think ITD will be all over the place so we might just avoid all the possible issues later, maybe.
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Rodrigo Oliveira
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Jimmylegs wrote:
Medium is not complicated at all. If medium has 1 token, you access 1 card, if it has 50 tokens you access 50 cards (I did not say additional, I just said how many you would access because you can reason around the wording).


What about 2 or 3 Mediums?
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Geekmate75
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Bayushi_Oliveira wrote:
Jimmylegs wrote:
Medium is not complicated at all. If medium has 1 token, you access 1 card, if it has 50 tokens you access 50 cards (I did not say additional, I just said how many you would access because you can reason around the wording).


What about 2 or 3 Mediums?


Imagine 2 mediums with 3 virus token each on it.
So the first token on each don't give access to any additional cards on both medium.
But the followers gives each one additional cards. +4 cards. so 5 cards.

Can we have a formula please ?
 
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Excuse me for being obtuse, but I would like to double check if I get this right.

From the discussion above, it seems that IT Department works as if the counters are spent on a single burst before the card checks for the remaining counters, in the case of repeated use on a single ICE.

Following a previous example, IT has 5 counters and the Corp uses 3 of those to strengthen a single ICE that is being encountered by the Runner. IT Department thinks this way: "First of all, 3 of my counters were spent, so the ICE gets +3 strength. How many counters I have left on me now? 2 counters. So, ICE also gets +2 strength for each of the three counters spent. In sum, the ICE gets an additional total strength of: 3 + 2 x 3 = 9."

Is that it?
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Dave Chandler
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fameros wrote:
Excuse me for being obtuse, but I would like to double check if I get this right.

From the discussion above, it seems that IT Department works as if the counters are spent on a single burst before the card checks for the remaining counters, in the case of repeated use on a single ICE.

Following a previous example, IT has 5 counters and the Corp uses 3 of those to strengthen a single ICE that is being encountered by the Runner. IT Department thinks this way: "First of all, 3 of my counters were spent, so the ICE gets +3 strength. How many counters I have left on me now? 2 counters. So, ICE also gets +2 strength for each of the three counters spent. In sum, the ICE gets an additional total strength of: 3 + 2 x 3 = 9."

Is that it?


That's it. Another way to think about it (stop reading if the previous comment made sense. Don't want to confuse you if you got it): Each counter spent is an activation. Each activation increases the ice's strength by X where X is how many counters are left on ITD when you're done... Plus one for each counter spent.
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Oot TheMonk
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Did Lukas post any justification for this ruling other than "this is how I intended it to work"? It seems to me like the card should read like such to logically arrive at this ruling:

Hosted power counter: Choose a rezzed piece of ice. That ice has "This ice gets+1 strength until the end of the turn for each power counter (including the one spent) on IT Department."

The actual wording on the card makes it sound like an ability that happens, resolves, and that's the way it is. Whereas the ruling makes it sound like it's adding an ability that is printed on the card.
 
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Jacob Morris
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OotTheMonk wrote:
Whereas the ruling makes it sound like it's adding an ability that is printed on the card.


I mean... That's how all paid abilities that create constant effects work.
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Andrew Brown
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this is a post of mine from another thread. this is how i believe it to work now (and, assuming my maths and understanding are correct, how it actually does work)


Quote:
this suggests to me that with 2 counters, using 1 or both on the same piece of ice will result in +2
using 1 counter (+1) with 1 leftover (+1) = +2
using 1 counter (+1) with 0 leftover; using 1 counter (+1) with 0 leftover = +2

extrapolating that example, using all of the 10 counters on IT Department on the same piece of ICE is the same as using just one (+1 ten times versus +10 once), so don't do this.

of course this also means that one could use all of the counters on that many pieces of ICE for a +1 on everything.


but this has other implications. whereas before, it got exponentially more potent, it has a peak efficiency

lets assume there are 10 counters, and you're only buffing one piece of ICE:

using 10 counters: 10 (10x1)
using 9 counters: 18 (9x2)
using 8 counters: 24 (8x3)
using 7 counters: 28 (7x4)
using 6 counters: 30 (6x5)
using 5 counters: 30 (5x6)
using 4 counters: 28 (4x7)
using 3 counters: 24 (3x8)
using 2 counters: 18 (2x9)
using 1 counters: 10 (10x1)

this might make some helpful formulae

(x*y)=z+1 where x and y are the multiples for your bonus strength and z was the total number of counters when you decided to use IT Department
examples: 9+2 = 10+1 = 5+6, etc.

when x>y, it becomes inefficient, looking at 5x6 and 6x5 being equal in strength (and also being the highest boost possible).

so highest boost is represented by z/2=x, so half the number of counters used on a given encounter will yield the highest possible result



this is all assuming ONE piece of ICE, so splitting it around will obviously have other implications. and it also assumes that my maths are correct
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Nut
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jakodrako wrote:
There is a very easy way to keep track of IT Department in game that is 100% allowed by the rules.

Mark all ice that have been given an IT Bonus with some kind of counter (like we do with Femme or Security Testing).

Any ice that has an ITD marker on it has a strength boost equal to the number of power counters on ITD + 1 times the number of ITD markers on the given ice.


In particular, you can usually use the same counter you spent from ITD itself to mark this (just be careful not to mix it up with other counters if the ice you're boosting can use power counters too)
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Oot TheMonk
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jakodrako wrote:
OotTheMonk wrote:
Whereas the ruling makes it sound like it's adding an ability that is printed on the card.


I mean... That's how all paid abilities that create constant effects work.


Is that in the rule book? Seems kind of weird. My impression was that it was a static effect that just happened. So if there were a card that set the strength of an ice to a certain number, it wouldn't affect the strength it got from IT department, right?
 
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Brandyn Lee
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I made a chart: https://www.dropbox.com/s/uph2nxeckoe0wsi/ITdept.pdf?dl=0

Hope it helps.
 
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Adam Banner
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My reaction to this damned card....
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James D.
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Unmeel Banerjea
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This card operates in a very silly way now. For example with 3 counters, using the ability twice on an ICE gives it +4 strength but using it three times lowers the bonus to +3 strength. It's obviously not that hard once you get it, but it's a bizarre behavior.

What's worse, though, is that it's not just the templating being off; the way it works is just unintuitive and would require a wall of text to make clear. If the intuitive reading of the card was causing balance problems, the easiest fix would have been to just limit it to one use per turn.
 
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