Do you know if cancellers were costed at 5 points partially to allow players to bring them in with 0LR+5 crew to counter things like Submarines/etc? (or if 0LR+5’s were introduced to allow the kind of “canceller flexibility” that would be helpful in later expansions when things like Submarine/Eternal/etc were introduced – not sure how the plans for sets were developed in regards to future idea implementation)
The cancel ability (Nemesio) was already in the game before the 0LR+5 was introduced, but at the time it was still unique/rare, so I don’t think that had much direct effect on the value chosen for the adder. 5 was just a nice, round, easy-to-remember number that gave some flexibility but not too much.
I had no input or insight into what went on with the design back then, but always got the impression that there wasn’t much of an overall plan. There also always seemed to be a large disconnect between which abilities and effects the designers valued and what got the most attention of players (at least, those posting to public forums). A lot of stuff they just kinda threw in because it sounded cool, and many ability costs were just guessed at/estimated. That’s why certain abilities seemed weirdly over- or under- priced, and why some recurring issues like the action limit took so long to be addressed directly in any meaningful way.
ADDED: The later sub-attacking abilities might have been intentionally priced based on the +5 ability, but they definitely weren’t priced with cancellers in mind, because if they had, they would have cost at least a point or two less.