Thought about "Negative Player Epxerience"

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Thought about "Negative Player Epxerience"

Postby GuyCliquil » Thu Apr 14, 2016 1:35 pm

I've had a thought and I wanted to see whether I am barking up a mad tree or not.

There is a lot of talk, at the moment, about the "Negative Player Experience" - particularly around IG. We had some discussions a while back about this sort of thing but I thought it might be relevant.

To me, the most slightly more prevelant complaints about decks are ones that don't adjust depending on matchup and where, to some extent, the deck you are playing is irrelevant.

Contrast NEH Fast advance with the current IG thing that is earning hate.

The NEH Fast Advance player playing against Criminal has to worry about Siphons slowing them down, thinks HQ is less safe due to Legwork, but doubts Clot is a problem. Against Anarch they are more likely to feel the need to shore up a little bit because Ice destruction + Medium Dig is a threat. Shapers presented an ever present Clot threat, so going the extra mile with CVS being in place was necessary often even if that slowed you down.

With IG it seems like, to some extent, the cards in your hand are not special because of what they can do. They are, in quite a lot of cases, health points. I imagine that there are IG specific vs. cards that make a difference and thus deckbuilding comes into play. But to some extent some people's agency is taken away from them; it doesn't matter that they chose blue,red,green or Apex you have to deal with the IG grind game. To add insult to injury a lot of them won't necessarily have a huge bluffing element. PE always used to turn a lot of your deck into health points but at least there was the poker element to the game.

Looking back I would say the same was true about Reina headlock decks. It didn't matter what corp deck you decided to bring along the game was NOW about whether you could keep yourself under the crippling zero point that Reina can put you into. It took away that specialiness of being an HB, Weyland, Jinteki player or bastard (:P) .

Now possibly there is are a couple of other things going on

1 - The most hated decks are the ones that win slowly rather than quickly
2 - There IS agency and complexity against these hated decks, but we haven't really worked it out yet.

This is the introduction to the discussion. I would be interested to hear others' thoughts.
"Guy, you are often right for all the wrong reasons. And if you are wrong, it is always for right reasons." - Brendan .
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Re: Thought about "Negative Player Epxerience"

Postby Brendan » Thu Apr 14, 2016 2:26 pm

I don't really mind any of those decks for those reasons. I mind those decks because the decision trees are boring (IG) or the results incredibly high variance (NEH), and that if those decks are strong they narrow the competitively viable decks down to very few options (hi Whizzard).

In neither case do I feel that my skill at making decisions and playing out my deck in response to my opponent's moves. Instead I'm being tested on how many hate cards or I packed, or the top 15 cards of my deck (and their order). That's not interesting to the point of being degenerate, and while the game is salvageable, it probably is going to require me to play a specific 1-2 decks that have the special combination of cards that make the game function engagingly again.

Strong decks that impose severe deck-building constraints like that also serve to massively divide casual, weekly game session experiences from tournament experiences, which isn't great for community or new players.

On IG specifically, the deck is new and there are counter cards. What bothers me about is that it takes forever and can be incredibly boring, because amassing money and trashing assets is boring even when you're winning. Andy with Sec Testing/John M/Desperado and a Feedback Filter is very well positioned to take it down, for example. As is Whizzard with Archives Interface. But it will take forever and it's dull, with the minor caveat that if the tedium starts to drive you mad, you can screw up and still probably lose.
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Re: Thought about "Negative Player Epxerience"

Postby Nekader » Fri Apr 15, 2016 3:13 pm

I would be interested to hear what else constitutes a negative player experience for others as it's a term that's only really entered my vernacular post-IG dominance.
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Re: Thought about "Negative Player Epxerience"

Postby MartinP » Sat Apr 16, 2016 9:47 am

GuyCliquil wrote:I've had a thought and I wanted to see whether I am barking up a mad tree or not.

There is a lot of talk, at the moment, about the "Negative Player Experience" - particularly around IG. We had some discussions a while back about this sort of thing but I thought it might be relevant.

I think this "topic" has really sprung up because of the IG match up, but games with Negative Player Experience (from now on - NPE) vary between player to player, as what causes NPE for me, will be very different to what causes NPE for you or others.

For me, NPE occurs when I'm playing against a deck that locks out all of my game decisions, so it becomes impossible for me to succeed in my game plan. Unfortunately, (Or rather, fortunately for me) I don't have any recent examples of decks that have done this (Though I'm sure our resident Dark Lord can probably remind me of a few ;) ). Repeated games with NPE usually leads to what the Glos/Chelt meta refers to as The Mind Dungeon

Testing against the IG deck, I've found that it leaves me in the early game with some very open decisions - do I start trying to try the initial assets put down? Do I hail mary R&D to try and find some early agendas? Do I keep archives face up? Depending on the IG build, will depend on the correct choice - I have to admit, I currently don't know what the correct choice is.

Rather then letting myself get into The Mind Dungeon, I decided to spend some time since our wednesday meet up thinking about how to counter the IG menace. My current decks I'm playing with are Leela and Hayley - Now if Leela can setup Desperado/JohnM/Sec Testing, she should have a shot at trying to keep up with IG's game plan. Hayley I'm struggling with econ wise to keep up, but I can consider slotting in Paricia - Tutorable recurring econ to trash assets (Which let's be fair, is not going to be uncommon in any/most matchups at the moment).

I've even considered going back to Anarch, playing some Whizzard and slotting in a pair of Employee Strikes.

GuyCliquil wrote:2 - There IS agency and complexity against these hated decks, but we haven't really worked it out yet..

So for me, I think your second point currently stands true. Whilst I can come away from a game feeling pretty salty about being locked out of a game, what I needed to do was realise that I need to make some accomodations in my deck to anticipate these plays - whether that's at the deck building stage or learning how to play around my opponents play.

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