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Netrunner: how dead is a dead thing?


So two things: I own the original core set and have played Netrunner <10 times, thought it was great but got there way-late to really take the deep dive, and two I just watched the Death of Netrunner vid and was a bit surprised that the question of how dead is a dead thing wasn’t explored beyond the idea of someone else theoretically picking up the IP in the future.

Surprised because in an era where we have decade old instances of MMOs revived for play, where we have people who craft print’n’play copies of their favourite out of print board games, where there are obscure mods for forgotten games that were released in 2005 with servers populated nightly, how much say does a publisher have in whether a thing lives or dies, really?

Its possible this is something I don’t understand because I never lived the ‘Living Card Game’ aspect of Netrunner, and ok its not going to be the same thing that it was, but at the same time I don’t think the LCG-ness came up particularly when Quinns, Nels and Jesse were talking about what they loved about the game. They talked about the mechanics and the community, and I feel like if you have both of those in such a strong way you’re already so much richer than some ‘living’ games are or ever will be.


I only bought my cards after it stopped being published. I prefer having a finite set to explore than new stuff to keep up with all the time. Also, much cheaper!


Re: community picking up the slack, there’s NISEI which is dedicated to keeping the party going but who knows how well that’ll go.
I bought the original core set, played it once with someone who hated it and never found someone to play with again. Cut to 2018 and I decided that I was going to put in the effort and find a community to play with. I ordered some of the expansions off Amazon and was ready to go.
Within a week the announcement came that the A:NR was dead. So great timing on my part.


One of the most interesting things NISEI have done is in creating a new core set (with hints that further core sets will be introduced to adjust the meta). In some ways it’s a bit less accessible since it has one or two cards from each cycle (compared to the more condensed cycle selection of the official cores), but with such a large card pool it’s great that you can now split it into smaller card sets that are thought to be balanced.

I jacked out at the SanSan cycle when the power creep set in, but joined in the rush for cards when the game was announced to be cancelled, so it’s great to find a more compartmentalised manner to approach deck building and learn about the new cards.

I’m concerned about the lifespan of Netrunnerdb. For a casual fan, the dB is by far the best resource for decklists and seeing what cards other players combo together. Without that the game is quite daunting for all but the hardcore fans.


So I too watched the Death of Netrunner video recently. Thing is I’ve been thinking of getting into Netrunner for years, and when the end of Netrunner was announced, I immediately started buying up everything I could before prices went out-of-print crazy. Then last week I watched the video when they advised not doing exactly that. Whoops…

Anyway, some coworkers have expressed interest in playing Netrunner. I’m guessing the best place to start is with the revised core set I have. Then what? Give people access to everything? Open up one cycle at a time (I have most of the datapacks, but the big expansions have long since sold out) so we can see the meta evolve?


There’s a few ways you could do it.

Stick with a single faction that you enjoy and then open a few data packs at a time. Each data pack only contains a few cards for each faction so it shouldn’t be over bearing.

Work with the core + a single cycle at any one time. This will give a flavour of how the meta progressed whilst still restricting you to a smaller card set.

Have everything open, but play just with the core set. Over time you’ll figure out how you want to build your deck. Maybe you want to build your economy or there’s a certain type of ice you struggle with. At that point dig through for a card that helps and see how it goes.

Or just jump straight in, look up deck lists and play around with those - effectively treat the game as a fixed deck game. Learn how each deck works and then move into something new. Without the big boxes you’re bound to come across a lot of decks that you can’t quite reach, but you should have some work arounds if you have enough data packs.