GameNET looks at first glance to be very powerful.

"Hey look, it's a 'whenever'! It's always the 'whenever's that are the broken cards!"

Sadly, there's a bit more to this.

ICE is often bemoaned for either never firing or not doing enough, and that's for a good reason: the runner has the choice to let subroutines fire or to pay credits to break the ICE. These "punisher" effects that let your opponent choose what happens always play much less powerfully than they appear on paper — remember, when evaluating cards, you shouldn't look solely at the best case scenario: you need to consider the average case and the worst case too.

GameNET falls down because when the ID fires is almost entirely dependent on the runner. They choose when to run, they choose when to let subs fire, they choose when they spend credits on traces. Would you want your economy tied to the actions of your opponent?

Let's also look at it from a different angle: economy is most effective early in the game when you want to be setting up: you need money to install ICE, to rez ICE, to advance agendas, to play Hard-Hitting News. When does GameNET come into play? When your Gold Farmers and Turnpikes are already rezzed. GameNET starts raking in the money when you can force the runner to run through your servers over and over... but how did you get to that point? How did you get the money to rez the ice and to score enough agendas to force the runner's hand?

The answer is that you were Azmari EdTech instead.

Maybe GameNET would be less underwhelming if it had been released a few years down the road. As it is, the shadow of the slightly-too-pushed Azmari will loom over GameNET for most of its Standard-legal lifespan.

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<p>I agree that Azmari can make a lot of money over the course of the game. This ID makes the runner play differently. I have noticed that runners are way more cautious when running through ice like Slot Machine, Turnpike, and Gold Farmer because of the money you get. Servers start having a lot more weight and in NBN that is sort of strange. Azmari forces the runner to consider whether they will play a type of card but after that they don’t care if they run through your servers as long as they can get in.</p> —
<p>Whoops hit post a little early. I don’t think this ID is dead you just can’t play it the same way you play Azmari. Don’t rely on the ID money but use it to position to defend multiple servers. If they run through a server they give you enough money to Rez the rest of your ice. Early glory runs with Link runners also give you extra cash because they want to just pay through the cheap trace for one coin.</p> —

It's going to be compared with Black Orchestra, let's face it, so let's do just that.

Common code gates:

Looks like it's mostly just comparable rather than anything else. Over the course of a game, Utae could save anywhere between 2-8 credits. (Or more, obviously, but let's not look at the best-case — more useful to consider the average-case)

The worst-case is that you need to break two code gates and you don't have three virtuals installed yet, at which point the much more flexible Black Orchestra is looking a lot better.

So the golden question for whether to run this or Black Orchestra: Does the extra efficiency of Utae make up for the set-up cost of three virtuals, and the need to pre-install it?

I think for a lot of decks the answer will be no. Black Orchestra's not being dethroned, but cracks are showing...

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