First, let’s define some terms.
The Standard Format is the term for whatever cards which haven't been rotated out.
The Legacy Format is the term for all cards added to the game since Week 1, plus the Core Set. This will be added as a permanent multiplayer mode after we run a few Festival game modes with this format and believe there's sufficient interest.
The Core Set refers to the developer-created cards which are canonically from Wanderstar and should generally be ignored except for Fireball and Cataclysm. The purpose of the Core Set was partially lore and partially to give people a handful of cards to play with at first, it’s almost entirely pointless now. That's why it's being rotated out.
The Basic Set, Classic Set, and the Hall of Fame are terms from Hearthstone and refer to things which we aren’t going to have in Collective, i.e. a permanent set of cards which never rotates.
On the game’s anniversary (also the timing of the annual Wandervision Awards) every year, the Standard Format rotates so that only the previous 52 weeks (1 year) of cards will be included.
When will the first rotation happen?
If we did rotation as it's currently scheduled, it would happen a couple months after our Steam launch.
This is pretty bad for everyone because it means that players who join will have over a thousand cards to learn, exactly half of which will be rotated out a couple months after launch, which will immediately be followed by a crazy shift in the meta.
Our solution is to rotate out the Core Set and the first 52 weeks of cards way ahead of schedule, in the first week of January. This will result in the game launching with just a few hundred cards, and people who have been with us through the pre-alpha getting the opportunity to fix any crazy meta changes before launch.
New Types of Subreddit Submissions
There are three new kinds of submissions, with the tags: [Reprint], [Play/Pass Update] and [Play/Pass Balance Update]. Only one of these, [Reprint], even has anything to do with rotation.
Play/Pass Updates (temporary)
All cards, not just the new Standard Format, will have to be updated if they don’t work in the Play/Pass rules system, because we are making it so mid-game drafts can still pull from cards which are not in the Standard Format. (This feature will be deprecated with the addition of Legacy Format; once that mode is available, your drafts will come from the pool of cards available in whatever mode you’re playing.)
Any card can be adapted to the new ruleset with a [Play/Pass Update]. Any number of these above the 10th slot will get in. (If an insane number of them gets in in one week, we’ll probably check them on Saturday so we can make sure they work properly without having a five hour stream.)
If you think an existing card needs to be redesigned for balance reasons instead of mechanical reasons, mark your submission [Play/Pass Balance Update] and give an explanation in the comments so we can read it on stream and people can understand why it’s important.
[Play/Pass Update]s which are mislabelled due to being mostly about balance, not updating a card to simply work in the Play/Pass rules system, and [Play/Pass Balance Update] posts without written explanations, will both take up an [Update] slot. Otherwise, as many of these as people vote above the tenth slot will get in.
Players can make [Play/Pass Update] and [Play/Pass Balance Update] posts to things right now, and have already been doing so. Again, if the concern is balance, your post will need a written explanation or it will take up one of the three weekly [Update] slots.
Please tell us if there’s a problem with a card's functionality and we will limbo it without much process to make sure that as few cards as possible are in play with obvious bugs (even if they only come up in draft or singleplayer modes).
Neither of these types of submissions will be added to the Library section because the Play/Pass rules change was a one-time thing. Eventually we will stop allowing both types of [Play/Pass Update] posts -- this time will basically be when people are done making them, or if people are slowly trickling them in, we’ll try to organize and finish the process up, then stop allowing these.
Reprint (permanent new type of submission)
Once cards have rotated out, players can submit one of them as a [Reprint]. This will simply add the existing card back into the main pool. This is a permanent new type of submission and takes up one of the 10 [Card] slots for that week. This will be added to the library section of the website.
Reprints can't include any changes to the card meant to update them to a new meta or anything else. These have to be handled via separate [Update] or [Cosmetic Update] posts.
These posts can be made the week before rotation happens to get the cards reprinted right as the format rotates.
Bringing in the set of all cards for a festival as a preview of a Legacy Format is much easier than a festival which goes back to the queue system and we will definitely make a festival of this. If it gets popular enough we can release Legacy Format ahead of schedule.
Thanks very much for your patience here -- and thanks for making suggestions on how to improve the system. Your feedback, design sense and creativity are how we got this far :D
Why are there two posts about Rotation?
Response to the Initial Rotation list was... bad. We're not going to go through with it. If you love drama, check out the Discord on 11/27/2019. (We think that the big problem was not effectively communicating the range of criteria for rotation, and apologized for this, with special apologies and compensation for the time spent by the council members.)
We're keeping the old post up for posterity, but information in the previous post should be considered outdated. You can look here for the final word on rotation and all its rules. We will also be updating the main library pages with this information when rotation happens, because it's going to be the system we use from now on.