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Subject: Thoughts About Rotation Schedule rss

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Tommy Roman
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As many are aware, Michael Boggs has said in several interviews that he hopes that rotation will occur by November (presumably in time for Worlds 2017). This means that the first data pack of the cycle #8 will need to be announced, shipped and released before the Genesis and Spin cycles are retired.

I was reviewing Game Trade Magazine #210 (August edition which covers new game releases slated through December 2017). I took note of the fact that there are no new Netrunner products listed for release to distributors and retailers. There is one game that is featured prominently:



Now, I don't pretend to know the details of a distributor's ordering system, but I presume that many retailers use GTM to guide their purchasing decisions. Even if FFG wanted to maintain the "surprise factor" for the next cycle, it seems a little extreme to bar its listing from a prominent industry title. If my presumption is correct, then there are no new Netrunner products available until at least January 2018, and therefore rotation will NOT be happening by November. By way of comparison, the previous edition included Crimson Dust and reported a September shipping date (which might actually be a tad late since this data pack is already on the boat per the FFG page).

This is certainly not a sky-is-falling event, especially since everyone will be enjoying GenCon in a little over 2 weeks. FFG has been known to airlift some copies of future releases for general purchase to those who brave the increasing crowds in Indianapolis. Even if they do not, the FFG In-Flight report (traditionally delivered by Mr. Petersen) would be another opportunity to make some announcements regarding the future of ANR (and possibly even Core 2.0, if such a thing actually exists beyond the "my brother's cousin's ex-girlfriend overhead this guy who knows a person that spoke to a former play-tester that had a peek at the pdf" urban myth).

While rotation-before-worlds would be a wonderful opportunity for FFG to reinvigorate the player base, it's also possible that they'll take a little more time to smooth the transition. Again, this is not a bad thing at all, as there will be other pleasant distractions to occupy our time. I have no doubt that everyone will treat L5R as the next best thing since sliced bread and indoor sanitation.

As for myself, just a casual player mind you, I wouldn't complain about one last time with our Lord and Savior or The Professor, before they ride off into the virtual sunset.

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Johannes B.
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I would've loved to see rotation happen before Worlds so I can see what the pros make of the post-rotation-card-pool with dozens of games live (and archived) on camera to learn from whistle
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Erik Twice
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tommygunn2011 wrote:
The Professor, before they ride off into the virtual sunset.

The Professor comes from a Deluxe Box so he's not going to rotate....ever.
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Tommy Roman
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That's right, thank heavens! I will still be sad to say good-bye to the Wunderkind, though.
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Alan Castree
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I hope so or we may have a problems at worlds. Japan has the entire red sands cycle now and the last pack "Crimson Dust" has caused a bit of a stir. For the upcoming Tokyo tournament they've made their own MWL and two cards from that pack are on it =LINK=.

Seems that Dummy Box is causing a bit of a ruckus. So now we have a bunch of asset spam Corps and Resource spam runners. Who knows, Japan's card pool is strange. Maybe it won't be as big of a deal once it's released everywhere else. However, having a DLR free Worlds would be interesting.
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Derrick Billings
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What I think is most probable to explain the situation is that Core 2.0 exists, and is basically a "Greatest Hits" box of Core 1, Genesis, and Spin.

1. They need to release Core 2.0 before rotation happens
2. They need to at least announce this set before they announce 8.1, since that's the first post rotation card design and so the Core Set they'll coexist with is important context.
3. Core 2 is a big enough deal that they're waiting to announce--perhaps even have available for sale--at Gen Con.

Or, alternatively:

0. Core 2 is a pipe dream.
1. The first pack of 8.1 is simply a big enough deal on its own for being post rotation that they will want to sell copies of it at Gen Con.
2. Therefore they're pumping the brakes on product announcements so that it will be announced closer to Gen Con and people will be more excited to see it on the shelf at the FFG Booth. It wouldn't help sales if people said "pfft, that pack's old news, I'll buy it when I get home."

I think the first is more likely, but the second has the advantage of parsimony at least.

Either way, I think we'll need to hold our breath for another couple of weeks.cry
 
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Kim Choy
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tommygunn2011 wrote:
FFG has been known to airlift some copies of future releases for general purchase to those who brave the increasing crowds in Indianapolis.

I would be pretty pissed off if they did this again (re: releasing new packs at GenCon 2+ months before it is available to the general populace)
 
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Grimwalker wrote:
Core 2 is a big enough deal that they're waiting to announce--perhaps even have available for sale--at Gen Con.

Definitively most likely...
 
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Tommy Roman
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Grimwalker wrote:
What I think is most probable to explain the situation is that Core 2.0 exists, and is basically a "Greatest Hits" box of Core 1, Genesis, and Spin.


I am not refuting the possibility of this product (in part because "people in the know" have claimed on reddit to have seen the scripts but cannot disclose any other details due to NDAs, etc.). However, my original presumption regarding timing still stands: it's not listed in one of the major trade bulletins and therefore seems unlikely that it will be released this year, ergo rotation will happen post-worlds.

Again, this is not an end-of-the-world scenario, and I could be ascribing more importance to its absence in GTM than is appropriate. They could just issue a supplement, or make a special announcement for maximal PR impact. Its prominent exclusion just seems... weird.

How they present it will be very important, because I haven't always been impressed with the clarity of the their ad copy (it was quite vague what we were getting with Terminal Directive in the first product pages when it was announced).

If Core 2.0 is really just a Genesis/Spin filter that will bring some of the best cards from the first 2 cycles into non-rotation status, wouldn't it need to be released soon after rotation to avoid card redundancy? I'd also be curious to see if other revisions are made at that time: splitting the rules into LTP and RR booklets, finalizing card errata (Astroscript) and possibly even altering the core identities (a rumor I would prefer not to believe is true because I do so like Kate and EtF).

 
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Derrick Billings
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tommygunn2011 wrote:
Grimwalker wrote:
What I think is most probable to explain the situation is that Core 2.0 exists, and is basically a "Greatest Hits" box of Core 1, Genesis, and Spin.


I am not refuting the possibility of this product (in part because "people in the know" have claimed on reddit to have seen the scripts but cannot disclose any other details due to NDAs, etc.). However, my original presumption regarding timing still stands: it's not listed in one of the major trade bulletins and therefore seems unlikely that it will be released this year, ergo rotation will happen post-worlds.


Yeah, fourth-hand rumors are weak evidence, so that's one reason I'm really on the fence here, despite how tall of a castle in the air I'm about to build.

I don't know what to think about the GTM angle. You could easily be right, but at the same time, from an industry/retailer perspective, this is a lot less of a big deal than, say, going from Thunderstone to Thunderstone Advance or to AGOT Second Edition, let alone launching new product. It could be a collective "meh" from a retailer perspective. From a metagame perspective, it's a big deal, but it really doesn't impact the game from a retailer/distributor perspective for their next shipment to say "Revised" on a ribbon across one of the corners.

I think they would be running a significant risk if they delay release of the core set until next year. For one: all sales of the existing core set will plummet as nobody wants to buy a box where a bunch of the cards aren't even playable anymore.

Also, Core 2 is great for new players just buying into the game, and veteran players who can build it from their existing collections, and lapsed players whose collections get a new lease on life. But there's a donut hole in there of recent players who own core sets and recent packs but haven't bought into the older stuff. Those people could get burned, and with rotation being a great jumping-on point for people, the longer the time span between rotation and the launch of Core 2, the larger that cohort of justifiably-livid gamers is going to be. The truism that a happy customer tells five people, an unhappy customer tells ten people is a drastic underestimation in the current internet age.

It's inconceivable to me that they'll let the game lie fallow for four months before releasing the pack that triggers rotation. If it's not *available* in 2017, then I truly can't imagine that its card list won't be available and implemented this year. Communication will be key to minimizing pissed-off gamers. "Here's the list of legal cards from the 2013 era, a revised core set containing them will be available in Q1 2018. In the meantime, these cards are available in the existing core sets and G/S Cycle packs" would seem to be the best compromise. People could buy them if they really wanted to or they could just hold out for the final product.
 
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Derrick Billings
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umchoyka wrote:
tommygunn2011 wrote:
FFG has been known to airlift some copies of future releases for general purchase to those who brave the increasing crowds in Indianapolis.

I would be pretty pissed off if they did this again (re: releasing new packs at GenCon 2+ months before it is available to the general populace)


If early Gen Con releases annoy you, you're not just in the wrong game, you're in the wrong hobby.
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Tommy Roman
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Grimwalker wrote:
I don't know what to think about the GTM angle. You could easily be right, but at the same time, from an industry/retailer perspective, this is a lot less of a big deal than, say, going from Thunderstone to Thunderstone Advance or to AGOT Second Edition, let alone launching new product.


Perhaps I've read too much into the GTM lack of notice. Then it dawned on me that GTM is published by Alliance, who recently entered into an exclusive distribution deal with Asmodee NA. So, not to egg on the conspiracy buffs, but FFG can pretty much tell them to do what they want I guess.

Let's see what transpires at GenCon.
 
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C&H Schmidt
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For me, this is another thing that makes the "Will Netrunner (in its current iteration) even get any releases after Red Sands?" fear stronger again.
Again, I hope I'm wrong and it's just a delay before Core 2.0, which to me also sounds like the most likely scenario.

I think that if they do not come out with anything new after Crimson Dust in 2017, that would be quite a hard hit in terms of player enthusiam. Although I personally wouldn't mind exploring my current cards more, since I've only just caught up and bought tons of stuff in pretty quick succession.

If they reboot the game like AGOT, I'm going to be so disappointed. Since I've just caught up to the current cardpool I am definitely not ready to start again from scratch.
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Kim Choy
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Grimwalker wrote:
umchoyka wrote:
tommygunn2011 wrote:
FFG has been known to airlift some copies of future releases for general purchase to those who brave the increasing crowds in Indianapolis.

I would be pretty pissed off if they did this again (re: releasing new packs at GenCon 2+ months before it is available to the general populace)


If early Gen Con releases annoy you, you're not just in the wrong game, you're in the wrong hobby.

It's a slightly different animal when people you are competing against have access to cards you don't.
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Derrick Billings
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umchoyka wrote:
It's a slightly different animal when people you are competing against have access to cards you don't.


No it's not, not even a little bit. Early Gen Con releases are not legal for competitive play until they're released at general retail; you have literally nothing to complain about.

If you're talking about people using them for casual online play, then you have just as much right to put spoiled cards into virtual decks as anyone else. If you choose not to, then accept that the fault is with your self-imposed restriction, not FFG for having sold the product.
 
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Derrick Billings
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Gswp wrote:
For me, this is another thing that makes the "Will Netrunner (in its current iteration) even get any releases after Red Sands?" fear stronger again.


Boggs has said in interviews that there are more cycles in the pipeline.

When they rebooted AGOT they announced it a year in advance. There is exactly zero possibility that they're just going to end it at Red Sand and say "surprise, new game!"

(For one thing, there's absolutely no reason to. AGOT had to be rebooted because implementing rotation would have irretrievably broken the card pool. There were on their eleventh cycle at the time, so the first four would have immediately vanished and two more a couple of months later, and all the rest of the cards were designed to interact with those early cycle cards. It was going to wreck the game, with whole archetypes rendered unplayable and the cards printed to support them now largely useless. That's simply not the case with ANR.)
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Tommy Roman
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I guess the question I have about the possibility of Core 2.0 (or perhaps better stated, the perceived need for it) has to do with which cards are deemed "essential" for the cycles printed post-Spin to function appropriately. Since FFG has known about rotation for awhile, they should have been creating cards to replace needed effects- these cards may have different costs/efficiencies/factions (i.e. how Jackson Howard's utility was broken up among several different cards).

The way I see it (perhaps incorrectly), if Core 2.0 exists and is functionally the greatest hits of original core, Genesis and Spin, then isn't it really a "pseudo-rotation" or "limited-rotation" at least regarding the final intended composition of the card pool?

And will there be a need for a Core 2.1 when Lunar and SanSan cycles retire? I think I could make a reasonable argument for a card like Brain Taping Warehouse to be "recycled". I'm not saying that there would have to be a distinct product for this (I think the expense would prevent them from going that way), rather they could simply update the "rolling Core set" much as they do with the MWL and FAQs and the players would know which cards had been added to non-rotating status.
 
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Derrick Billings
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Disclosure: I playtested SanSan, Data & Destingy, and Mumbad cycle. While the design philosophies were not shared, I was able to observe a shift in the design. Nothing I say below is a violation of NDA.

The way I look at it is that it's very clear that at least through Data & Destiny's initial design, Rotation was not intended. Example: Sunny depends on Underworld Contact.

Then came Mumbad and we saw cards like Disposable HQ and Museum of History start to future proof a post-Jackson era. The Turning Wheel forshadowed a time when HQ and R&D Interfaces would be gone, and a few other examples.

I don't think there'll be a need for Core 2.1. Genesis and Spin, much more than Lunar/SanSan, were designed to round out the core set card pool. I've heard it said that Genesis and Core were designed as a single unit which is why Criminal doesn't even have a Decoder in the core set, it got moved to Genesis cycle.

Lunar and SanSan were much more exercises in stretching their legs narratively and design-wise. So, not only do we have more time to future-proof the loss of any key components in those cycles, there are fewer of them since most of the "Day 1 Patch" cards were mostly in Genesis, a few in Spin.

As for overall card pool compensation, to me it's totally a wash. We cut some problematic Core/G/S cards, but we keep some cards whose loss would be awkward without obvious pseudo-reprints. Fundamentally it's good for the health of the card pool so that's what rotation is designed to do.
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Evan
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tommygunn2011 wrote:
I guess the question I have about the possibility of Core 2.0 (or perhaps better stated, the perceived need for it) has to do with which cards are deemed "essential" for the cycles printed post-Spin to function appropriately. Since FFG has known about rotation for awhile, they should have been creating cards to replace needed effects- these cards may have different costs/efficiencies/factions (i.e. how Jackson Howard's utility was broken up among several different cards).

The way I see it (perhaps incorrectly), if Core 2.0 exists and is functionally the greatest hits of original core, Genesis and Spin, then isn't it really a "pseudo-rotation" or "limited-rotation" at least regarding the final intended composition of the card pool?


This is part of why I think it would be dumb of them to do a Greatest Hits Core 2.0. They've been building up to this thing for the last three years; reversing a bunch of it right when it happened would not only scream poor planning, it would be inherently silly in its contradiction.

It would also provide the worst return on investment for both new players and existing ones. If stealth needs its support cards, then they can introduce new ones, either in Core or in the next Deluxe, instead of just selling us the same three chips from Spin again.
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Derrick Billings
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I don't agree. You're still rotating (probably) (about) the same number of cards out of the pool, but you'd be taking the opportunity to do so intelligently, in a way that's minimally impactful to the bulk of your customers and leave the card pool healthier than if you obstinately said "no, these two cycles MUST GO in their entirety. These broken-ass cards in the Core set must remain in print forever!" Seems smart to me.
 
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Evan
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Don't get me wrong, I'm all for intelligent rotation, and I think there's a lot that we've learned that could make for a very good Core 2.0. The question is whether this is best accomplished by specifically including Peacock and E3 and Parasite 2.0 and Breaking News 2.0, or by letting those fade away and having the Core introduce new cards that fill the same niche. (And I don't see how it's any less obstinate to argue the converse, "out with the Core, but nooo don't rotate my Genesis/Spin faves")
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Derrick Billings
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If they put any new cards into the replacement core, then all the existing players are going to have to buy them in order to get playsets of the new stuff. I can think of no better way to piss off the majority of your customers than announcing that you'll need to spend $40-120 in order to have the relevant cards.

It also would increase the overhead, as new content needs to be designed and tested.

I think the least obstinate option is to basically do "smart rotation" when G/S goes away, and use the event to leave behind the healthiest card pool possible given the available cards.
 
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Grimwalker wrote:
If they put any new cards into the replacement core, then all the existing players are going to have to buy them in order to get playsets of the new stuff. I can think of no better way to piss off the majority of your customers than announcing that you'll need to spend $40-120 in order to have the relevant cards.


I don't think the vast majority of people who have followed the game through 3x core, all the deluxes, and 8 cycles will balk at that marginal cost here.
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Evan
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Grimwalker wrote:
If they put any new cards into the replacement core


I was sort of taking the necessity of that as a given. If you think all of the problem cards in core can be replaced with cards from Spin/Genesis in such a way as to create a healthy evergreen environment, I'd be all for it, but you'd have to find a way to make a balanced core in which Anarchs have no Parasites and need to Force of Nature their way through a Tollbooth, in which NBN makes up for the loss of all its best and most central cards with the handful of decent econ and small ice it received in Genesis and Spin, and so on.

So where I was coming from is, assuming they have to have some novel content, they should go all the way and add as much value as possible.
 
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Tommy Roman
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Grimwalker wrote:
I think the least obstinate option is to basically do "smart rotation" when G/S goes away, and use the event to leave behind the healthiest card pool possible given the available cards.


And this concept is what I find difficult to accept regarding the presumed existence of Core 2.0.

I am not arguing against the creation of the healthiest core card pool (far from it because your proposal is a sound one), but a significant edit like the one you describe isn't really a rotation so much as a revision. This was also not how FFG presented the entire rotation concept when they revealed it to the players three years ago. I don't believe they ever mentioned an edited core set TBD. If Core 2.0 is a thing, I hope FFG explains their intentions really, really well to avoid confusion (I'm sure the competitive players will buy into it, but I'm not so sure about the other 90% of Netrunner consumers- aka the casuals like myself).

While I find it fascinating that the cards that made up Core and Genesis probably shouldn't have been released the way that they were, the notion that classic cards will be "recirculated" instead of replaced by close equivalents seems to lessen rather than emphasize the importance of rotation. It's why I asked about the potential need for a Core 2.1 (or 3.0, etc.) when a few key cards from the more recent cycles are deemed "essential" for various archetypes that have gained popularity.
 
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