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  • posted a message on Ixalan General Discussion
    Quote from ThyLordQ »
    Quote from Etherium Sage »
    I understand why they do this, as they want us to know intuitively what planes we're seeing. Also, since we know about Ghirapur already, it makes Huatli's assumption that it's Orazca all the more hilarious. Whether or not that's a good approach is another argument.


    I understand what they are doing, however it is the polar opposite of what they should be doing, they should be using these Random walks to show us places we have never been, It gives us a short feel of what the newbie walker feels by making us go "Woah, what is -that- place?", It makes the Multi-verse feel larger because since Origins every first planeswalk we have seen has been to a place we have known except for 1 and we didn't actually see his first planeswalk, and it could foreshadow planes we could be going too in the future, or give us small glimpses of the ones we aren't going to specifically go to like wherever the Vampire Gladiator Lady from this years Commander is from.


    But then you get stuck in the bind of "Can't make this too interesting, or people will want to know more about that instead of the story we're actually trying to tell right now." Or worse "Here's a cool plane that we didn't have time to do all the logistics for, so we may never see it again, and if we do, it may end up completely different." A la Planechase.

    It's not really a good situation either way.


    And the answer to that is. "Well Maybe we will go there some day, keep reading the stories and find out." Us seeing the same planes over and over even in short glimpses makes the "Infinite Multiverse! TM." Seem like something smaller than a normal fantasy world is.


    As has been discussed elsewhere, there seem to be a) some kind of relative "distance" between planes, with Zendikar, Amonkhet and Equilor especially having been called "backwater" or "at the edge of the multiverse" respectively, Dominaria being its center and Shandalar moving through the blind eternities, meaning that the planes we have seen so far (with the named exceptions) could be relatively close to each other, making random planeswalks between them more probable and b) the first planeswalk seems to have some kind of connection to the planeswalker himself (Liliana jumping to Innistrad, Chandra to Regatha etc.). It was never made explicit, but that might be an actual explanation for the seemingly "small" multiverse.

    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on First planeswalk planes
    I still have the theory that planes have some kind of metaphysical "distance" between them and that most planes we have seen so far are pretty close to each other, which makes it more likely to planeswalk there at random. Another thing I have noted is that the planes many walkers first arrive at are somewhat thematically connected to the walker himself. Samut arrived in Theros (the only world aside from Amonkhet with gods that we know of and directly after feeling an especially stong connection to Hazoreth), Domri Rade in Naya (being fascinated by huge beasts), Liliana on Innistrad and Chandra on Regatha (connections pretty obvious I would say) and the list goes on. Some connections are weaker than others, but aside from being narratively convenient, could it have any further meaning?
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on Russian Pterodactyl
    Quote from Ashiok »
    It seems like dinosaurs will have two possible builds. RW-low-to-the-ground aggro and RG ramp. I'm always betting my chips on the aggro version.

    Pretty sure pterodactyls weren't dinosaurs. Might be wrong though.

    EDIT: boy, it is nice to be a gangsta - http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/why-a-pterosaur-is-not-a-dinosaur-87082921/


    Yeah, just like Mosa-, Ichthyo- and Elasmosaurs (big marine reptiles) weren't dinosaurs. Pterosaurs also never had feathers as far as we can tell (some to most dinosaurs did though). But it would probably be too problematic to make that distinction (both marine as well as flying reptiles would better be kept typed as "lizard") both from a flavor as well as from a mechanical standpoint. It's a fantasy version of dinosaurs, I think we can give them a bit leeway on this.

    I like this small flyer. Flying plus menace is pretty difficult to block most of the time. I'm liking this set more and more.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Ixalan's Binding - Story Spotlight
    What happens when a planeswalker tries to p-walk and can't? For some reason, I can't get the idea out of my head that it's like Apparating from Harry Potter and failure is like splinching.


    I think it was stated somewhere that Huatli, the native planeswalker, saw visions and ideas of other worlds and maybe the Blind Eternities when she sparked, but wasn't actually transported anywhere (the same happened to Rashmi while she used the control panel of her planar portal in Kaladesh).
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Ixalan General Discussion
    Quote from Mister M »
    If you want to go off in the anthropological weeds, based on certain theories of the origins of human sacrifice in Mesoamerican societies, Aztecs with tame dinos would probably never develop human sacrifice.

    After the late Pleistocene extinctions, the Americas had few large, domesticable animals, and llamas and their relatives were confined to South America. Small, band- and tribe-level societies could obtain needed protein by hunting, but civilizations (I use the word "civilization" in the strict sense, to refer to cultures with large, permanent settlements, i.e., cities) had no reliable source of protein. Sacrifices of livestock in Eurasian civilizations were almost always occasions to feast - on the animals slaughtered in the ritual. I'd prefer not to spell out where I'm going with this, but with domesticated dinosaurs, the Empire of the Sun may simply have no reason to develop the institution of human sacrifice.


    This is actually pretty interesting. And it highlights another thing that bugs me about the whole issue: This is a fantasy world with dinosaurs and magic INSPIRED by mesoamerican societies and colonialization at the time. It is not supposed to be a 1:1 representation of the Spanish conquests or the Aztecs. The dinosaurs alone change too much in regards to the power dynamics to make it a direct parallel. Also, Burning_Paladine, I would like to point out that you showed the detailed descriptions of the Dusk Legion (leaving out that they still aren't vampires like Innistrads vampires: They don't relish in their blood lust, why else should they fast in the first place? And why should they seek the Immortal Sun to bring immortality without the bloodlust? Why the connection to white and all these not very "evil vampire"-like characteristics?), but showed only Huatlis descriptions and pictures to make your point that the natives are portrayed as morally in the right. Guess what, Huatli is only one individual and a planeswalker, which tend to be positively highlighted if they are not direct villains. That's a pretty skewed comparison. Everything else we know about the Sun Empire (lets their dinos slaughter their enemies as shown on multiple cards, is just as much focussed on conquest as the vampires are, has driven of the merfolk (implying a war between them)) points to a quite morally ambigious culture. Individuals are a totally different story. Huatli might or might not be friendly, but that has nothing to do with the Sun Empire itself.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on Ixalan General Discussion

    Its hard to respond because of how unwieldy the quote system works.

    -The vampire conquistadors was the starting point. This lead to the idea of mixing age of discovery and lost world which added in the Pirates and the Dinosaurs. The Vampires have a queen, Miralda.

    So yes they did start with lets make the conquistadors vampires with a dark church.

    The only changes I would make would be to make the Mayan and Aztec stand ins depict those cultures more accurately aka waging war on each other for dominance and sacrifice.

    Id also make the Pirates what they really were, paid mercenaries by a rival empire to attack the Vampires.



    But the Maya and Aztec stand-ins do wage wars for dominance, the only element missing are the human sacrifices. And while they started with Vampires as conquistadors, they obviously try to make them at least morally ambigious (they have understandable motives that are not conquest-related, their goal is to bring immortality to to their people without the vampiric aspect, someone stole an important artifact from them, they try to control their bloodlust... doesn't sound like the "pure evil" kind of vampires at all to me). Let me state that again: There are no "pure good" or "pure evil" factions here. There is no Anti-Spain propaganda in this set.
    Also, since there aren't any other factions the pirates (who aren't attacking the vampires only by the way) can't be mercenaries paid by them.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on Ixalan General Discussion
    Quote from bruizar »
    can we please keep this topic out of our game. If you're in anyway offended by Ixalan, don't play it. 1 Charlottesville is more than enough, thank you.


    What a strange comparison. Charlottesville was about literal, self-described nazis trying to stop the dismantling of a statue of a confederacy general, then killing someone once the counterprotests started. I really don't see the connection. But I agree that this is getting out of hand and I would like to return to the story discussion too.

    Burning_Paladin, you keep ignoring facts you don't want to hear: Wizards didn't just say "alright, let's make the conquistadors the evil faction and all the natives the good faction". That's not what happened. It has been shown that all factions are at least morally grey (the "aztecs" brutal expansion doesn't seem to be ignored for example and the vampires aren't just evil conquerers). You know what is being ignored aside from human sacrifices? The death of up to 90 percent of the native population brought on by either plagues spread by the conquistadors or being straight up killed by them. You are so zealous in your opinion that I have to ask: If you were in charge, how would your Ixalan look like? The conquistadors as heroes saving the evil, human sacrificing natives from themselves and installing such a peaceful religion like catholicism (which at the time at least was anything but, and I say that as a catholic myself)? Glorifying violent conquest is never the right way to go, and Wizards doesn't do it for either sides. And seeing Ixalan as political propaganda against Spain is far fetched at best.

    And now, could we please get back on topic? It is now official that Ixalan is some kind of planeswalker "black hole", no one leaves once they entered it. I can't imagine Vraska planeswalking there without Bolas at least promising her a way to get out of the plane. Also I hope that Jaces character arc here starts something similar to the time skip in One Piece, each member of the gatewatch getting some necessary character growth before getting back together. Just my opinion though.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on Ixalan General Discussion
    Quote from 5colors »
    Our native walker is known, a Dinosaur Knight named Huatli;
    http://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/card-preview/ixalan-promos-planeswalker-decks-packaging-and-fnm-tokens-2017-09-01

    EDIT:
    Also looks like Minotaurs are on Ixalan. And it looks like Jace teams up with the Merfolk.


    It also looks like the Sun Empire and the merfolk are not on good terms at all. Seems to me as if every faction has a reason to fight each other.
    Also Jace seems to have to wander around a lot. Poor guy, this happening to the least athletic of the gatewatch.
    EDIT: The minotaurs (judging from the armor) seem to originate from the other continent and are part of the pirate faction.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on Ixalan General Discussion
    Quote from ChrisBP7 »
    Quote from ChrisBP7 »




    You admit that the depiction is a bit on the nose, then fail to see a point in wondering if the natives are going to be depicted accurately?


    No, you missed my point in that the natives don't have to be depicted like that since they don't have to be inspired by the Aztecs. And while it isn't very subtle, I definitely don't mind the "Vampires as conquistadors" angle.


    Actually the Mayans practiced ritual sacrifice in much the same manner as the Aztecs:

    http://www.nbcnews.com/id/6853177/#.Wad7QtFGmM8
    For decades, many researchers believed Spanish accounts from the 16th and 17th centuries were biased to denigrate Indian cultures. Others argued that sacrifices were largely confined to captured warriors, while still others conceded the Aztecs were bloody, but believed the Maya were less so.

    “We now have the physical evidence to corroborate the written and pictorial record,” said archaeologist Leonardo Lopez Lujan. He said, “some ‘pro-Indian’ currents had always denied this had happened. They said the texts must be lying.”

    The Spaniards probably did exaggerate the sheer numbers of victims to justify a supposedly righteous war against idolatry, said David Carrasco, a Harvard Divinity School expert on Meso-American religion.

    But there is no longer as much doubt about the nature of the killings. Indian pictorial texts known as “codices,” as well as Spanish accounts from the time, quote Indians as describing multiple forms of human sacrifice.


    Interesting, but still doesn't mean that Ixalans natives have to be depicted exactly like cultures which practice human sacrifice. First off there are still other mesoamerican cultures (quite a few in fact) and second not every aspect of them has to be used exactly. No one in their right mind would say that conquistadors were actually vampires or that the mesoamerican cultures had access to dinosaurs. Yet on Ixalan they are and they do. And who knows, maybe in this world they do sacrifice their prisoners of war... just to sate their dinosaurs for example (there is no direct indication yet that this is true, but certain cards seem to point in this direction in my opinion). Their empire certainly seems to have driven off the native merfolk to a degree and the vampires seem to have a reason for going to Ixalan aside from invading. Nothing is really cut-and-dry here and I think you are reading a bit too much negativity in this.



    Did you listen to the podcast?

    1. The Sun Empire is based off of the Aztec Empire with a touch of Incans, the Merfolk are based off of the Mayans.

    2. The women specifically talks about wanting to be respectful and says its not about sacrifices, I guess her Latin American experts told her those weren't real?

    3. Mark Rosewater on his tumblr was asked if they were worried about portraying Conquistadors into positive a light, and he said that they made them into "blood sucking vampires"

    4. The women talks about the back the backstory of the Vampires, there is an iron fisted king and church that rule the Vampires and they took over a continent wiping everyone else out and the pirates are the survivors, it reads like the Black Legend but with a fantasy twist.

    They are deliberately portraying the natives in positive light and either through ignorance or by choice white washing the Aztecs and Mayans. And they portraying the Spanish in negative light based on stereotypes from the real world.


    No, I didn't. But I still have some counters to your argument:

    1. Ok, interesting. The question is: Does a fictional culture have to contain every single aspect of their real counterpart? I would say no. They are inspired by them, but just like not everything about greek and egyptian culture (including some less than great characteristics) made it into Theros and Amonkhet, the "human sacrifices" aspect didn't make it into Ixalan. The Sun Empire is also not shown to be in the right here, having removed the merfolk from much of their territory and expanding at the cost of others. And who knows what negative aspects the merfolk have (although I'm all for a sympathetic simic faction for once).

    2. See 1. There are people who wouldn't like the sacrifice aspect to be made explicit. Doesn't mean that the faction is now "all good" or even decent. As I said before, they don't seem to have anything against their dinosaurs mauling the vampires, merfolk and pirates, as seen on the cards.

    3. He answered a question on whether they would whitewash the conquistadors. So apparently there are people who don't really wish that to happen either.

    4. Ok, here is the thing about the Black Legend: It sadly makes it a bit hard to objectively judge how much was propaganda and how much was reality. From wikipedia: "In recent years a group of historians including Alfredo Alvar and Lourdes Mateo Bretos have argued that the Black Legend does not currently exist, the Black Legend instead being merely the Spanish perception of how the world views Spain's legacy." They are not the only historians who do so.
    Also: "In Charles Gibson's 1964 monograph The Aztecs under Spanish Rule, the first comprehensive study of the documentary sources of relations between Indians and Spaniards in New Spain (colonial Mexico), he concludes that the Black Legend builds upon the record of deliberate sadism. It flourishes in an atmosphere of indignation which removes the issue from the category of objective understanding. It is insufficient in its understanding of institutions of colonial history."
    So the Black Legends influence on the historical record is also not cut-and-dry (which is often the case with history). It also states that Franco tried to use the Black Legend to whitewash spanish history. Being objective in such circumstances is a bit difficult.

    No. As I said, the factions aren't black and white. The vampires are not on Ixalan to conquer, but to find the immortal sun. The Sun Empire is still aggressively expanding on the continent. Trying to read real world meaning into this is a bit too much in my opinion. Or should I be angry that ancient egyptian culture is portrayed as gullible in Amonkhet for believing in a false god? Or angry that the Theros gods are huge jerks? As long as the conflict isn't totally black and white, you should give Wizards a bit leeway in my opinion.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on Ixalan General Discussion
    Quote from ChrisBP7 »

    Quote from ChrisBP7 »

    While I agree that Vampires as conquistador/missionary metaphors are a bit on the nose, the Aztecs weren't the only mesoamerican culture the Spanish conquered. Ixalan could be taking more inspiration from the Maya civilisation instead for example. Either way, no one is denying that the Aztecs had a very brutal culture. Since Ixalan is probably NOT supposed to be an exact metaphor for the exact conflict between the conquistadors and the Aztecs though (I'm pretty sure I would remember Aztecs riding on dinosaurs for example) I fail to see your point.



    You admit that the depiction is a bit on the nose, then fail to see a point in wondering if the natives are going to be depicted accurately?


    No, you missed my point in that the natives don't have to be depicted like that since they don't have to be inspired by the Aztecs. And while it isn't very subtle, I definitely don't mind the "Vampires as conquistadors" angle.


    Actually the Mayans practiced ritual sacrifice in much the same manner as the Aztecs:

    http://www.nbcnews.com/id/6853177/#.Wad7QtFGmM8
    For decades, many researchers believed Spanish accounts from the 16th and 17th centuries were biased to denigrate Indian cultures. Others argued that sacrifices were largely confined to captured warriors, while still others conceded the Aztecs were bloody, but believed the Maya were less so.

    “We now have the physical evidence to corroborate the written and pictorial record,” said archaeologist Leonardo Lopez Lujan. He said, “some ‘pro-Indian’ currents had always denied this had happened. They said the texts must be lying.”

    The Spaniards probably did exaggerate the sheer numbers of victims to justify a supposedly righteous war against idolatry, said David Carrasco, a Harvard Divinity School expert on Meso-American religion.

    But there is no longer as much doubt about the nature of the killings. Indian pictorial texts known as “codices,” as well as Spanish accounts from the time, quote Indians as describing multiple forms of human sacrifice.


    Interesting, but still doesn't mean that Ixalans natives have to be depicted exactly like cultures which practice human sacrifice. First off there are still other mesoamerican cultures (quite a few in fact) and second not every aspect of them has to be used exactly. No one in their right mind would say that conquistadors were actually vampires or that the mesoamerican cultures had access to dinosaurs. Yet on Ixalan they are and they do. And who knows, maybe in this world they do sacrifice their prisoners of war... just to sate their dinosaurs for example (there is no direct indication yet that this is true, but certain cards seem to point in this direction in my opinion). Their empire certainly seems to have driven off the native merfolk to a degree and the vampires seem to have a reason for going to Ixalan aside from invading. Nothing is really cut-and-dry here and I think you are reading a bit too much negativity in this.

    Moving on to something else: Wizards definitely read my wishlist before making the last few sets. I got my egyptian fix, now I get my dinosaur/white vampires/simic merfolk/mesoamerican influences fix too (don't care at all about pirates, but I can see the appeal).
    The inclusion of Angrath is unexpected. Do the people of Ixalan (or at least the pirate faction to a degree) know about planeswalkers? If he can't leave the plane and Ixalan or the immortal sun really have some strange metaphysical properties (perhabs similar to the Shard), then how did the R/W planeswalker ignite her spark? I think whatever is in the city might actually be the reason for these strange properties (if it isn't the immortal sun itself). Perhabs a ward similar to Avacyn? But then why would it allow anyone in, but not out?
    I wonder with which faction the "basic" Jace will end up with. From the looks of it pirates, but that doesn't mean that he will stay with them.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on Dominaria Returns
    Quote from Flisch »
    On the other hand, Kaladesh and Amonkhet definitely were way too small and one-dimensional. They had the "planet of hats" feel more so than any other plane in my opinion, and the huge focus on a single city with only the smallest amount of attention to other locations was really unappealing. Some of that might have been because of the Gatewatch focus, but that's a different topic entirely.

    In regards to Amonkhet, this doesn't make a lick of sense. Amonkhet was supposed to be tiny. It was the last remaining city against an endless sea of consuming sand. To say it was "too small" especially in a discussion about the quality of worldbuilding is absurd. Doing a large Amonkhet would have been anathema to the world's premise.

    Kaladesh and Innistrad however are supposed to be "healthy" worlds. Kaladesh is actually implied to be very advanced and the point of the Inventor's Fair was supposedly to get people from "all over the world". Except "All over the world" was apparently just three suburbs of Ghirapur.

    Yes, some people say that the world may be bigger than what we have seen but A) I don't want to be told, I want to be shown. Magic is a visual medium. Know your medium and all that. And B) We've had three revisits so far and none of them have expanded on the world. Especially Innistrad which was rumored to be more than just the four provinces didn't get anything new. Infact, they retroactively had to retcon the level of impact of the cursemute to still have werewolves, rather than just say that werewolves were fleeing from elsewhere due to Emrakul's influence. So three-times was there a possibility to expand on existing worlds, two-times of which during a time when block still occupied an entire year. If it hadn't happened then, it will not work now, with the one-set model. Sorry but "Maybe next time" doesn't work after a while. And this is why I really wish planes would be done better the first time we see them, because every return will be done to return the familiar rather than to introduce something new. (Which technically makes sense. That's the whole point of a return after all.)

    Quote from ChrisBP7 »
    actually, that was my problem with Zendikar, my least favorite world: It just felt like random places that don't really connect to each other at all and could be placed on any other random plane without sacrificing any detail aside from the hedrons

    This is actually a point. I never understood back when Zendikar was new why some people were all like "Wow, look at generic named ruin #23, there are so many generic named places on Zendikar. This setting is so DEEP" No it's not deep. It just has a bunch of names all over the map. A deep setting is something like Mass Effect (1) where you have an entire chain of events going back in history for centuries and are a direct cause for the current dynamics in the world. THAT is a deep setting. Not just slapping a one-liner of flavour text next to a proper name.

    Then again, Zendikar had this DnD-styled "choose your own adventure" vibe, so it was kind of fitting.


    You might have a point with Kaladesh, although it didn't really bother me. In some worlds the small details and characters (the inventions, the people) are more important than the outside world (and at least on Kaladesh we got a rough sense of the ecosystem at work there with all the animal/aether-related cards). Granted though, it would have been better if we got a bit more than just Ghirapur and hints at two other cities somewhere else.
    Innistrad on the other hand... well, I don't know. It was a return set with no exploration subthemes and since the inhabitants of the four provinces don't seem particularly interested in traveling to other continents (and don't seem to get any immigrants, judging from the first Innistrad) to show those continents would have clearly split the focus. Since a return set (in many peoples eyes) should bring back stuff we loved from the first set I'm not sure whether such a split focus would have been advisable. Many people were already angry that Emrakul and her mutations got such attention in the second set. Amonkhet on the other hand... if there is a return set they would have no choice but to expand the world obviously. That's why I hope for a return there.
    EDIT: Ah, skipped a bit of your first paragraph. You already stated that. Well, Innistrad already feels pretty "big" for me, even though it plays only on a single continent. Each province has many sights, each connected to the overall flavor. Perhabs that's the reason I didn't mind it in the first Innistrad set.

    Problem with Zendikar is that it isn't a D&D campaign map. The flavor therefore doesn't do anything to help connecting these places. Perhabs that's why I wasn't as angry about the Eldrazi being released upon it and destroying so much of it. I wouldn't have minded Zendikar to be utterly annihilated to be honest (I would have thought of it as tragic, but not more so than the destruction of the random plane by Ulamog in Nahiris backstory).
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on Dominaria Returns
    Quote from Etherium Sage »
    Tarkir actually didn't focus on one specific place, because the clans were all equally important to the story. Factions seem to enable vast worldbuilding within the story if those factions are spread out across the plane.


    In my opinion, Tarkir and Alara are the two planes that strike the perfect balance of not being too large/diverse/random but not too one-dimensional either. As someone who started playing long after we had sets on Dominaria, all the sets and story and general information about Dominaria was just too much for me, so I tried to ignore it for awhile. There was just too much information about it. The fact that completely different and unconnected continents all existed there for some reason didn't help.

    On the other hand, Kaladesh and Amonkhet definitely were way too small and one-dimensional. They had the "planet of hats" feel more so than any other plane in my opinion, and the huge focus on a single city with only the smallest amount of attention to other locations was really unappealing. Some of that might have been because of the Gatewatch focus, but that's a different topic entirely.

    Planes like Zendikar, Innistrad, Theros, and other planes definitely have multiple locations, which is a good start, but they each have an overarching theme that made the whole plane feel kind of all the same. Planets of hats, if you will. Not as badly as Kaladesh or Amonkhet, mind you, but still not quite ideal.

    Alara and Tarkir are a happy medium between those. They have very distinctive geographic regions and cultures, each of which could probably be made into its own plane with just slightly more development, but they all exist on the same plane. Tarkir's combination of Middle Eastern, Chinese, Southeast Asian, Mongolian, and Russian influences makes Kaladesh's "India + Steampunk" and Amonkhet's "Egypt + Bolas" (as if a single made-up character is enough to constitute half the entire theme for a world) look lazy and oversimplified by comparison. Alara's shards also felt very distinctive and unique. And yet, unlike Dominaria's continents, the shards and clans actually had flavorful and mechanical overlap with each other so that they felt connected.

    So there you have it. Dominaria is too much diversity/large size for one world, most worlds are too little, and Kaladesh and Amonkhet are WAY to little, but Alara and Tarkir are a perfect balance in my opinion. Ixalan actually looks like it might be more comparable to Alara and Tarkir in that respect than Kaladesh or Amonkhet, and hopefully it will be.


    I have to disagree nearly completely with you here (aside from Tarkir being a good balance, although I'll have to say something about that as well and Dominaria being WAY to big): Neither Tarkir nor Alara were really that diverse. Tarkir was seperated in five groups according to clan (as is Alara with its five shards) and while it therefore isn't a planet of hats per se, both worlds actually could be described as consisting of five planets of hats that intermingle in limited manners. The argument isn't very strong anyway. Would you describe our present day earth as "planet of humans (during the information era)"? I mean you could, but you would just reduce all diversity by focussing on one aspect. Amonkhet and Kaladesh were very focussed on one single place on their respective plane (both times justifiably so). That doesn't make them any "less" than other worlds. It's just that we haven't seen everything of the plane, don't know it's history (necessary for the story), don't know how it looked like before Bolas (aside from being obviously still egypt-based, which is fine by me). There is obviously much more behind Amonkhet than we have seen (hopefully because they already think about a return there).

    Calling this "lazy" or "oversimplified" is lazy and oversimplified in itself in my opinion. It's a small, backwater world after the apocalypse, there just isn't much to go around. But it had a very distinct culture (even distinct from its source material), interesting gods and background. You can make a small world interesting and complex is what I'm saying. Same goes for Kaladesh, which also only focussed on Ghirapur but obviously is much more complex than that. Tarkir and Alara on the other hand, as much as I like them, felt kind of flat in their single "biomes". Esper for example was never really developed, neither in stories, nor on cards (beyond their need for more etherium); all clans were described in interesting ways, but if I had to explain where exactly they live and what they do there, I would probably have to say something like "Abzan live in the desert, revere their ancestors spirits and family is very important to them". There is more, I know, but those are the details you brush off in regards to Kaladesh and Amonkhet.

    I loved Amonkhet, both the story (which was in my opinion the best of the Gatewatch storyline) and the world (which kind of felt like post-apocalyptic Theros to be honest, but in my opinion this thematic connection was a good thing). I dare say that there was not a single world in MtG I found utterly boring, ESPECIALLY since they aren't just the standard high-fantasy fair (which gets really repetitive most of the time). It will always have to have some kind of "theme" because otherwise the worlds will begin to blur into each other (which was the main problem of Dominaria to begin with). And I for one favor a distinct, small plane with a connecting theme that plays out interestingly over a huge but boring and forgettable world where nothing really connects and the story just shifts from random place A to random place B (actually, that was my problem with Zendikar, my least favorite world: It just felt like random places that don't really connect to each other at all and could be placed on any other random plane without sacrificing any detail aside from the hedrons. BFZ didn't help in that regard, neither the adventure nor the Eldrazi theme were strong enough in my opinion to bind this place together. And yes, I know that I'm in the minority on this one. ).
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on Ixalan General Discussion

    Quote from ChrisBP7 »

    While I agree that Vampires as conquistador/missionary metaphors are a bit on the nose, the Aztecs weren't the only mesoamerican culture the Spanish conquered. Ixalan could be taking more inspiration from the Maya civilisation instead for example. Either way, no one is denying that the Aztecs had a very brutal culture. Since Ixalan is probably NOT supposed to be an exact metaphor for the exact conflict between the conquistadors and the Aztecs though (I'm pretty sure I would remember Aztecs riding on dinosaurs for example) I fail to see your point.



    You admit that the depiction is a bit on the nose, then fail to see a point in wondering if the natives are going to be depicted accurately?


    No, you missed my point in that the natives don't have to be depicted like that since they don't have to be inspired by the Aztecs. And while it isn't very subtle, I definitely don't mind the "Vampires as conquistadors" angle.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on Ixalan General Discussion
    Quote from Flisch »
    Looks like the Vampires are a take on conquistadors/missionaries?


    Yes its a bit on the nose honestly and I am sure they will represent the Aztecs accurately, including blood sacrifice, raiding their neighbors to gain more slaves to sacrifice, and said neighbors siding with the conquistadors against the aztecs.

    Also the Warhammer universe has guns and tanks even.


    While I agree that Vampires as conquistador/missionary metaphors are a bit on the nose, the Aztecs weren't the only mesoamerican culture the Spanish conquered. Ixalan could be taking more inspiration from the Maya civilisation instead for example. Either way, no one is denying that the Aztecs had a very brutal culture. Since Ixalan is probably NOT supposed to be an exact metaphor for the exact conflict between the conquistadors and the Aztecs though (I'm pretty sure I would remember Aztecs riding on dinosaurs for example) I fail to see your point.

    Also, as has been discussed quite a bit on multiple threads here, Wizards has been very rigorous about not using fire arms (at least not non-magical ones) in MtG. Magical ones like in Kaladesh (which arguably also featured tanks and mecha) are fine though.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on Amonkhet General Discussion
    No one complained about the theatrics. It was the nature of the dialogue that was embarrassing for someone with Bolas's intellect and of his age. Phoned in is the best way to describe it.


    As others have alrady asked before: Why is it so impossible to believe that Bolas is just having fun? And why are you always ignoring every single argument against your opinion? You also didn't say why you think that this story misrepresents Bolas when it characterizes him exactly like he always was, even as emperor of Madara?
    The story makes it clear that he puts up a show for his enjoyment before the Gatewatch. He likes being hammy. Simple as that. He didn't even make any obvious mistakes in dealing with them, so his experience clearly shows.
    I loved the story and I despise Bolas, yet at the same time I had to laugh with him at the hubris of the gatewatch. Amonkhet looks bleaker now though then at the end of the last story, since it seems that Bolas doesn't really plan to leave yet.
    I'm also intrigued by the obvious apokalypse that must have happened on that plane before he showed up.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
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