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Subject: IT department in a tournament setting rss

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Dave Chandler
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I had a rather unfortunate experience in a tournament the other night, where playing and using IT department actually hurt me... not because it made my deck or play any worse, but because its behavior is so awkward. Calculating the potential it has for increasing an ice's strength is awkward and relatively time consuming which is a problem in a 35 minute round.

I do not believe that the runners were taking an unfair amount of time figuring what the card could do, it's certainly what I'd have to do in their place, but the time they took bled the clock leading to most games going to time.

So I ask the question: does this kind of interaction make IT department a difficult cart to consider playing in a tournament format? I do not believe it's really fair to ask runners to have memorized all the options for IT department given the counters on it going into a tournament and while the formula can be distilled to a boost = i(c+1) formula (where i is the tokens spent on ice and c is the tokens left on the card) you're asking the runner to look at an IT department with 7 counters on it and have them run that formula in their head a number of times to determine the maximum value I can make something.

Don't get me wrong... a runner spending several minutes on each turn isn't acceptable, but they can still bleed (unintentionally, non-maliciously) time when they're making a concerted effort to play quickly with this card on the table. I also understand that if I was ahead instead of just tied in points, it would have been an advantage instead of a disadvantage... but either way the point is the card can be a time bottleneck that puts a different kind of pressure on the game. A time mill, if you will. I'm not certain that's something we really want: cards played that have the side effect of 'playing the clock' due to their complexity in action.

What are your thoughts on cards that are oddly complicated like this one in tournament settings?

edit: I meant NON-maliciously.
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IT Department is already so slow that combined with all the head-scratching over the math (on both sides of the table) I doubt it will see a lot of high-level tournament play.

In friendly games I'll concede when I'm ITD locked out, but you will probably always go to time in a tournament.
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Also I remember an anecdote from a friend who plays Magic about some cards that were banned not because they were too strong but because they were too convoluted to process and made games go to time repeatedly. I'll try to dig up which card(s) he was talking about....
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Grish Noren
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DrTall wrote:
Also I remember an anecdote from a friend who plays Magic about some cards that were banned not because they were too strong but because they were too convoluted to process and made games go to time repeatedly. I'll try to dig up which card(s) he was talking about....


Sensei's Devining Top



This was the big offender. Magic players would just constantly activate the ability to figure out what order the top 3 cards of their deck should be in and usually in decks where it was possible to draw and put cards from their hand back on top.

It got worse when Counterbalance came out:



Now, your opponent would do it everytime you tried to cast a spell to try and lock you out of the game.

Eventually the DCI just sniped the card out of the game, but it tends to be one that waffles in and out of the banned/restriction lists (given the long view)
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Grish Noren
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On topic, I think it can be played in the most competitive of formats where you can expect players to know all of the cards fairly well. A regional or world's environment.

I think eventually people will know the shortcuts and I think the card is too powerful to ignore. That said, if you're expecting 35 minute rounds it may not be the deck to bring. When you've got an hour and can pick a pretty fast runner to be paired with your slower glacier deck it's not as bad of a problem.

I also took RP IT to a tournament and I finished all of my games in 30 minutes or less (winning each game)
 
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Ian Toltz
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In brightest day / In blackest night / No evil shall escape my sight / Let those who worship evil's might / Beware my power--Green Lantern's light!
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Also, Shahrazard.



Current Oracle rules text wrote:
Players play a MAGIC subgame, using their libraries as their decks. Each player who doesn't win the subgame loses half his or her life, rounded up.


A bit more obviously problematic than Sensei's Divining Top, and not nearly as popular or powerful in a tournament setting.
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Ony Moose
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I had a similar problem with Inazuma at a tournament shortly after it came out when most of the runners were using datasuckes+yog.

With 2/3 centrals locked down to Inazuma and an Ichi 2.0 or something on the other they started taking a long time for their turns, and most of my games went to time. My Noise deck was a win fast or die deck, so that helped a little.

This is why I think Chess Clocks would be good for netrunner tournaments. Due to the timing structure only one of you can do something any point in time, and formally hitting the clocks to pass priority would solve any ambiguities which arise from runner's not waiting for false leads / rezzing Ruhr valley etc.
 
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brodee ee
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Kandiru wrote:

With 2/3 centrals locked down to Inazuma and an Ichi 2.0 or something on the other they started taking a long time for their turns, ...


once someone is taking multiple long turns, encourage them to play quicker. or call a judge over to watch for slow play. It isn't rude, many people don't know the meta well enough and should be punished for it. They shouldn't be allowed to punish you by possibly forcing the match to time.
 
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R N
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S=Strength bonus
i=Number of iterations of IT Department
c=End number of counters after all iterations
N=Starting number of counters

S=i(c+1)
N=i+c

Smax = floor([(N+1)/2]^2)
i@Smax = floor((N+1)/2)

No need to iterate multiple times, just use calculus :p! I agree that this is a clunky card.
 
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El-ad David Amir
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Or you could memorize the following table:

Nu. Counters | Max Bonus
1 | 1
2 | 2
3 | 4
4 | 6
5 | 9
6 | 12
7 | 16
8 | 20
9 | 25
10 | 30

Beginning of turn, tell your runner opponent the max strength bonus you could get
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Stephen Parkes
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I love Netrunner, but I am slightly worried that in the next year or two we're going to see more cards which give rise to more and more convoluted interactions in an effort to keep the game fresh and continually evolving.
 
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Captain Frisk
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Stay tuned for el-ads nec store champ write up for the impact that IT department and Leela Patel had on on the nyc meta
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Scott Rubin
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IirionClaus wrote:
Or you could memorize the following table:

Nu. Counters | Max Bonus
1 | 1
2 | 2
3 | 4
4 | 6
5 | 9
6 | 12
7 | 16
8 | 20
9 | 25
10 | 30

Beginning of turn, tell your runner opponent the max strength bonus you could get
Except you also have to do math considering if they were to boost many different ICE separately.
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Dave Chandler
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IirionClaus wrote:
Or you could memorize the following table:

Nu. Counters | Max Bonus
1 | 1
2 | 2
3 | 4
4 | 6
5 | 9
6 | 12
7 | 16
8 | 20
9 | 25
10 | 30

Beginning of turn, tell your runner opponent the max strength bonus you could get


Right... This only works if they believe you of course...
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Paul Dempster
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StarryVeck wrote:
I love Netrunner, but I am slightly worried that in the next year or two we're going to see more cards which give rise to more and more convoluted interactions in an effort to keep the game fresh and continually evolving.


Yeah already Nasir is doing my head in, trying to figure out if it is worth rezzing the ice or not. And Blackat is another one if you have both stealth and non-stealth credits available, hard to figure out optimium play.

Personally I would prefer longer tournament games, up to 90 mins per match, because I dont think a deck being slow should be punished so badly. A long win is still a win, right? Of course this would make big tournaments preposterously long affairs but if less games go to time you get more of a break to refresh between matches so it would balance out.
 
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Thomas Aldershof II
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Yeah it seams like they missed either:

"This card may only be used once per run"

or

"This card may only be used once per turn"

That would clean things up quite a bit cause you would just look and know you have to have +X STR covered.

Don't get me wrong all it would do would turn IT Department into a re-usable Corporate Troubleshooter, but gees even that would be STRONG!
 
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