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Unstable Q&A with Mark Rosewater
The Dos and Don'ts of Silver-Border Commander
Word of Command: Un-believable
  • posted a message on Is Magic Attendance and Sales dropping?
    Quote from Colt47 »

    6) Getting way too involved in gender / racial politics. Basically, they are trying to create a positive company image, but by doing this they are also making people ask if there is a problem in the first place and magnifying it. This is especially true with how youtube gives a voice to hecklers and those that thrive on controversy.

    It's the saddest thing. They're trying so very, very hard to create a positive image but they've bet on the wrong horse and they keep putting down more and more money on that horse. WotC seems to be unaware of the culture shift that's been happening over the past year(s). People have become fed up with identity politics, and people are using their wallets to show it. Look at Marvel Comics, which saw a massive drop in sales earlier this year. Look at Hollywood, which just had its worst summer in over two decades. (Note that this was even *before* Weinstein and the similar scandals.) The movies that did manage to do well generally 1) didn't have clear political overtones and 2) did have lead actors wise enough to keep their pie holes shut on the topic of politics. That Magic movie in the making? WotC has a bad rep when it comes to involvement in politics. That movie won't draw the numbers WotC hopes it'll draw.

    What makes it even worse for WotC is that they have to draw their new players from Generation Z.
    Generation Z has been described as the most conservative generation in over 80 years. It's the generation that's avoiding the most notoriously liberal colleges. It's the generation that mocks their Millenial teachers. It's also a very money-oriented and entrepeneurial generation that doesn't take any crap from anyone.
    This is the generation WotC has to draw their new players from, and the positive company image WotC *thinks* it has is actually a pretty bad company image to have when trying to appeal to this generation.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Half-Kitten Half- Ordinary Pony
    Quote from Teysa_Karlov »
    The Ordinary Pony doesn't have augment...

    Aw... I wanted to make the ultimate Magic creature...

    AN... ORDINARY MAN!!!!!

    As much fun as that sounds, I think "Trigger target player" would cause too many rules issues, even for an Un-set.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Wizards Instagram spoiler - Selfie Preservation
    Based on the card name I expected an effect that involved uploading a picture of yourself with this card to an MtG social media website.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Crow Storm - MTG Goldfish Spoiler
    Quote from Cyborg Huey »
    I feel bad admitting this, but I'm sure other people don't know either so I'll just ask, what the hell is the meme surrounding Storm Crow? I've heard people joke about it for years, but never have I actually understood what they were making fun of about it. Can someone please, in all seriousness, enlighten me about this?

    IIRC it went something like this:
    > many Alliances cards were considered powerful
    > many blue cards were considered powerful
    > someone joked that a blue card from Alliances would therefore be the most powerful of all
    > the storm crow meme was born (because that was funnier than that other blue Alliances card)
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Crow Storm - MTG Goldfish Spoiler
    Storm crow is so powerful, it can shoot lightning from his eyes and talons! At the same time!
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Ixalan General Discussion
    A hypercompetent character only really becomes a Mary Sue if they're constantly in the story's spotlight. Otherwise they're just cool.

    That's true I guess, Mary Sue isn't the right term because she isn't a protagonist. I'll just call her over-stacked in useful skills then Smile

    What if the same thing happens with Arguel or Captain Vance? Both were mentioned in card titles, so you would think that they would get cards simply because Wizards learned from the Taigam mistake, but I'm not so sure anymore. We already have a mono-red pirate legend in the block, and yet instead of Vance, it's a different pirate who has no story role or lore. If they were going to put Vance in the set, why not put her in Captain Storm's place, in the same set as her blasting cannons, rather than waiting until the second set and having two different mono-red female legendary pirates?

    Two mono-red female legendary pirates in addition to Kaladesh block's Kari Zev.
    Yeah they really need to coordinate their plans for named characters a bit more between the different departments.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on Ixalan General Discussion
    The way she's depicted in this planeswalker guide, Admiral Brass comes across as the biggest Mary Sue they've created in a long time.

    Take the swordfighting tidbit, for instance. With intelligence, leadership qualities and skill in enchantment magic, Brass already had more than enough competencies to plausibly become a fleet admiral. But apparently that wasn't enough for WotC--they also had to make her a swordfighter of formidable reputation, for some reason. I understand them wanting to invoke the feeling of a "pirate of legend" like Blackbeard or Long John Silver, but making someone highly skilled in ALL relevant piratey and leadership proficiencies is a terrible way to do that.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on Ghalta, Primal Hunger - Store Championship Promo
    Commander Ghalta, meet your two new best friends Force of Savagery and Hunted Troll.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Ixalan General Discussion
    Quote from NZB2323 »
    Red to me is more about cards like smash, where they destroy things instead of being creative and building things.

    If there's anything Blood Bowl has taught me, it's that smashing things (or people) is "poetry in motion" Smile
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on Ixalan General Discussion
    I will loathe and despise whoever turns out to have put the binding spell on Ixalan, because that person got Angrath stranded and away from his family. Poor Angrath.

    Looking at Angrath's background story from a meta point of view, my conclusion is that he gets to leave the plane during Rivals of Ixalan. Reasoning is that first telling the readers he is a family man with adorable daughters and then going "Lol, we're gonna kill him off!" or "Lol, he's gonna have to miss them even longer, cya next time we visit Ixalan!" would leave a very bad taste with many readers, because his background story tugs at emotions relating to the nuclear family. And those are powerful emotions you don't mess with willy-nilly. On a horror world like Innistrad or a doomed world like Amonkhet, yes, they could kill him off or keep him stranded there. On those worlds the reader is mentally prepared because they expect a horror story or a tale of doom. Ixalan on the other hand is a world of adventure and exploration, where the reader expects a more lighthearted adventure story. Wizards can (and will) of course put some amount of drama in an adventure story, but they can't blindside readers with heavy-duty tearjerker stuff. It's the wrong genre.

    I don't know if that means the binding spell will be removed completely or if some planeswalkers manage to get off while some others remain stranded. Personally I hope Jace remains stranded because I want to see what will be the long-term consequences on Ravnica.

    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on Ixalan General Discussion
    The city itself had opened like the petals of a flower.

    Lotus. Like the petals of a lotus. Come on Wizards, you're talking about a fabled ancient city of unknown wonders here. Know your game's lexicon better and write that it opened like the petals of a lotus, not some crappy random flower.
    ...I know it's a really tiny and stupid thing to be annoyed about, but for some reason Wizards writing 'flower' irked me tremendously. It would have been such a simple little thing to do to make the story more "Magic".

    Other thoughts:
    * Even though he's only been on screen for two brief scenes, Angrath already seems like the most interesting and well-developed planeswalker they've created in a long time. Shows quite well what a difference it makes to build a character based on a story idea rather than on a boxchecking gender/ethnicity combination. More of this please.
    * Huatli is an idiot. I agree fully with the commenter who said that calling a dino and then leaving without witnessing your foe's demise just smacks of a reversed Bond villain move.
    * Even with the power to sense Vona moving through the jungle, I thought Tishana was a wee bit to quick in believing Jace--whom she knew to be capable of illusions--when he said he didn't have the compass. She didn't even ask him to explain himself, but instead neatly filled in all the blanks herself and merely asked him to confirm her theory. Looks like her encounter with Kumena didn't teach her much on the naivety-front.
    * Regaining your memories by hitting your head? Really Wizards?
    * Vraska wondering about Jace's hair was an unexpected gem. I'm not a Vraska/Jace shipper at all, but having a gorgon wonder about the softness of her interest's hair was quite cute and believable.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on Ixalan General Discussion
    This is one of those stories where I wonder if the different segments were written by different writers. Mavren's piece was enjoyable. Good usage of "show, don't tell" to establish his character while maintaining a proper pace in the telling of the story. Vona's piece on the other hand... good grief! Everything above the Dusk Legion Dreadnought picture was just one big info-dump that did nothing to advance the plot. Yes, it established her character. Yay. As Mavren's piece showed, there are better ways to do that.

    Overall, I like this storyline--though I must admit I've always had a soft spot for Wacky Race type stories. So far we have a boat, a dino, and an elemental. I wonder what Angrath and Kumena will be riding. Smile
    (Any thoughts on who will end up being the Dick Dastardly?)
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on Ixalan General Discussion
    Quote from OathboundOne »
    Honestly if we go back to Ravnica and the entire plane isn't in disarray due to Jace's multiple extended, unplanned absences, I just don't think I'd be able to suspend my disbelief enough to take the set seriously.

    The only alternative to complete disarray that I would accept, is if he returns to find the plane a perfect harmonious happyhappy joyjoy utopia, Stepford Wives style, to kickstart another mystery/investigation block.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on Ixalan General Discussion
    I'm still in the process of reading this week's story but this: "The whole business felt like a trap, so she put on her flats in the event she had to make an escape" is the most stupid thing I've read all week.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on Ixalan full spoilers
    Random thoughts:

    - You see that frog in the back of River Heralds' Boon's art? Dear WotC, please make that its own creature card. Better yet, make it a token-producing creature card that produces many many frogs just like it.

    - While Hijack's flavor text is pretty bad, it at least gets bonus points for making me envision Angrath in a leather mini-skirt wielding a vacuum cleaner and singing that Queen song.

    - Is it just my imagination or does the art depict far more female pirates than male pirates? (Strictly talking about the human pirates here, not the orcs or goblins or sirens.)

    - Even after having seen the art over a dozen times already, I still can't look at Overflowing Insight and not think "someone got messy eating a jar full of jelly/jam".

    - Where's my Eyepatch equipment? Where's my Pegleg equipment? Where's my Tricorn Hat equipment? Where are a whole boatload of pirate tropes for that matter?

    - I can't believe that, in a Pirates v Dinos v Vampires showdown, I'm actually rooting for the Vampires. I'm not sure if it's because of their badass conquistador outfits, or because of the gorgeous art pieces*, or simply due to being annoyed with WotC's latest bout of virtue signaling, but "Go Team Vampire!" (* Volkan Baga, Seb McKinnon, and Nils Hamm all aced their assignments, but my award for best piece goes to Bastien L. Deharme's Axis of Mortality.)
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
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