@dragon It's interesting reading your thoughts about CCGs (especially vis-a-vis your experience with The Spoils). You talked about aesthetics, accessibility/availability, economics, and gameplay, and you're right that these are often taken for granted. They are topics probably worth discussing individually.
Though, the technological underpinnings of Volition are our attempts to address some of the issues (pay-to-win, spending hard-earned cash on useless cardboard, static/non-customizable art). If you play any of the online CCGs, then you know that grinding is a chore (and why I almost always lose interest), so I look at the mining aspect of Volition as outsourcing the grind to automatons. I know we're relying on people having computers and access to printers, but hopefully that means broader availability. And, hell, if you wanted to play all the rares, you could print any card on the chain and play. Could be a way to turn 'cheating' into something fun: an all-card draft or something. Anyway, like I said: much more to think about regarding these aspects of the game.
I'd recommend raising some of your gameplay thoughts/questions in another thread as well. The time to play/tempo question is interesting, because I'm actually one of those that finds ~20 mins to be about the right amount of gameplay (and what I'd consider 'long'). I see it as my ideal average time to play. And, you can always play another game, right? However, the meta stuff is probably the real question. When playing, time is pretty relative. If I'm enjoying myself, it's almost irrelevant. If you get bogged down in the meta, then 20 minutes can feel like forever. I agree, though, that the games that require more creativity and thought are more interesting to me. Yet, some people like to chill out and play wizard poker because it's low investment. I'm sympathetic to that, too...
Geez, now I've buried my response to Ken's question. I'll try not to speak for @Therian12, but I think, like him, I've never been the earliest of early adopters of CCGs. It's always been a friend who demanded I play with them, and then, you know, I get hooked. I suppose it's finding and engaging these hub players, like dragon and Therian or anyone on this board, who really drive the network effect. But, since we can't get more early than the message board of an unreleased beta of an experimental game (!!), what would you need to bring on friends? @Shawnstoppable mentioned a video showcasing gameplay. Easily digestible rules and an FAQ for setting up mining nodes (figuring out the latter is my world right now, and it's pretty hairy...might not be accessible to the non-tech-savvy at the start--though we're trying!). And, how do you discover new games? The web? Play spaces?