Found this in the "Place your bets!" thread, but I don't feel like deraling that thread, when it's already discussed here:
Icyman2 wrote:Keeping the whole set is pretty unreasonable b/c
1. you've got newbies coming in and they'll get roflstomped by set 11 with their starters
2. set 11 was designed with the plan that it was going to be a paid set. It would further **** up the balance if everyone spammed set 11 cards not to mention the backlashes are as annoying as ****.
1) If set 11 is free for everyone, new players won't have to play their starters and can just play the set 11 stuff themselves. (If set 11 is gonna be free it'd be strange to give it only to the older player base instead of everyone, I think people talking about keeping set 11 don't just mean themselves having it but also the new players)
2) I agree that to some point free availability of set 11 would have an effect on balance due to strategies contained in set 11 being more readily available than others. However for a decent part the effect can be reduced by simply doing proper errata on set 11.
e.g.: when faction packs came out, did the doll faction pack effect the balance a lot? not really. Pixie pack? yes
Why is this the case? Because pixies were pretty OP at the time, causing a lot of players to either play them or to play counter files. After the errata made pixies weaker the complaining mostly stopped. (though I have to say the two later mono sphere pixies were pretty sad, not really bringing anything new to the file, but that's a different story)
For another part it is also the natural counters to a file being more or less easily available to others. e.g. if
mid refess kills gowen rushes 90% of the time (I'm not saying it does, this is just an example, so let's not go into that discussion) than everyone being able to play mid refess (due to freely available set 11 and guardian being in the starter pack (I think she is anyway)) will effect the balance in folrart by reducing the amount of gowen rush players. However again the actual cause is the imbalance of the game itself, as mid refess counters those gowen rushes too well. Again errata is an option, this time not to weaken mid refess or severely buff gowen rush, but to somehow re-balance this matchup without fundamentally making either file a lot weaker/stronger. How to do so can sometimes be difficult and may require a decent amount of testing, however again proper errata can fix the problem.
So all in all, making cards readily available doesn't really **** up the balance as much as that it more clearly shows you where the game is imbalanced.