Features: Set in the high-tech, futuristic world of R. Talsorian's Cyberpunk 2020 adventure game, the Netrunner: Classic expansion offers cutting-edge strategy and game play for trading card game enthusiasts. Highlighted by exciting new card art, the long-awaited release offers more than 50 exclusive cards in common and uncommon card rarities. Only available in eight-card booster packs, Netrunner: Classic cards will be sold through local hobby, game, book, music and toy stores.
Industry Edge: Netrunner Classic
Featuring Jennifer Clarke Wilkes, RPG editor
Fri Sep 24 17:22:54 1999
TSRO_Ruffle: We will discuss the latest product in the Netrunner line with one of the game’s most influential figures, Jennifer Clarke Wilkes!
WotC_Sue: So, is Netrunner Classic on sale yet, Jennifer?
jenofarc: Yes, it’s went on sale Nov. 18th. The Wizards of the Coast online store has Netrunner Classic product. I also know that distributors are selling it, and retailers are ordering the cards after seeing the interest in last week’s prereleases. I’m still collecting all the results of the prerelease events. There were 26 scheduled worldwide.
WotC_Sue: Cool. Can you back up a bit and tell us more about the set itself?
jenofarc: It’s a new expansion, containing 52 cards. This is the first in a planned series of “Classic” game sets to support the original Wizards of the Coast trading card games that still have a very loyal following.
WotC_Sue: Who was the design and edit team?
jenofarc: Most of these cards were drawn from a dormant, nearly complete expansion designed in 1996 and codenamed “Hazelnut,” which was to be released as “Silent Impact.” There were a number of designers involved in that set: Mike Elliott, Glenn Elliott, Robert Gutschera, Jonathan Tweet. I may have left some out. Tom Wylie reviewed the set and chose a subset of cards that would be exciting. Tom also looked over the art and chose the best pieces. Bob Kruger was the original set editor, and I finished up the project, soliciting new names for cards and new flavor text when needed. Tom chose cards that contained some of that set’s new mechanics.
WotC_Sue: What are the features of the new Classic set that you think will excite fans most?
jenofarc: Fifty-two new cards. :-) But, seriously--there are cards designed to throw a monkey wrench into the dominant tournament deck types. I know the older players are looking for change in the game play environment and will appreciate the shakeup. The new “double” actions seem to be popular. They let you thin down a deck nicely by compacting two card actions into one. I’ve also noticed a lot of excitement about some of the new upgrades, especially Sterdroid (which doubles ice strength) and Self-Destruct (which blows things up real good!).
WotC_Sue: Now, you were talking about events, earlier. Do Arena stores conduct Netrunner events? How do I find a store that’s doing them?
jenofarc: There isn’t an Arena program for Netrunner--yet. However, there is a worldwide player organization called the Top Runners’ Conference that puts on events all over. You can contact them at their website: <www.cyberjunkie.com/trc>. You can also locate players in your area with Wizards’ Player Registry.
WotC_Sue: Is there access to the registry from <www.wizards.com/Netrunner>?
jenofarc: Yes, go to the “The Sprawl” pages link on the sidebar.
WotC_Sue: What do you think of the new Netrunner e-postcards?
jenofarc: I think they are way cool! I’ve already sent two.
WotC_Sue: So, if I’m not mistaken, Netrunner editing is only part of your job at Wizards.
jenofarc: Actually, it’s none of my job. I do Netrunner promotion in my “spare” time. By day, I am a mild-mannered RPG editor. :)
WotC_Sue: The art for Netrunner is pretty striking. Who are your Classic artists?
jenofarc: Many of the artists are names familiar to Magic players: Mark Tedin, Dan Frazier, Pete Venters, to name a few. Others have also done quite a bit of work for other cards games such as BattleTech. This Netrunner set features quite a lot of illos by Doug Chaffee, a personal favorite of mine. There’s also Matthew Wilson, Clint Langley, Romas, even John Bolton and Rick Berry.
WotC_Sue: Following this new release, can you tell us what the future holds for the line?
jenofarc: The idea of the Classic sets is to maintain a base level of support for a game and reward the players’ loyalty. I’ve been hearing a lot about a renewed interest in Netrunner with this release. Obviously, the best possible result would be increased sales--enough to support a full-scale revival. Right now, we are looking at what the fans want.
WotC_Sue: For folks who don’t know Netrunner, what is it about the game that incites such loyalty in fans (and editors)? :) How would you describe its main attraction to people?
jenofarc: For me, I found that the game encourages considerable roleplaying! I think it’s because of the two-sided nature of the game. As well as the fact that you have to “change hats” in a match. It’s also intense. I feel real tension when I’m making a run, or trying to defend my data against some hacker. I know that many of the players are also interested in chess. They find a chesslike feel to the planning ahead that is essential to the game. Also, the existence of hidden information that you must deduce or take a best guess at is fascinating.
WotC_Sue: Cool! Well, I don’t have any more questions. Is there anything else you’d like to say before we close?
jenofarc: If you haven’t tried Netrunner, it’s worth looking at. It’s one of the best games ever, IMNSHO :)
WotC_Sue: Thank you so much for taking the time to talk, Jennifer!
TSRO_Ruffle: Thanks for coming Jennifer, it was interesting.
jenofarc: Cool! Well, see ya.