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  • posted a message on War of the Spark: Forsaken summary posted on reddit
    It’s not enough. De-canonize both novels immediately before this hemorrhages our faith In WOTC out any longer.

    I agree, it's not enough. They had yet to even allude to other complaints with the story (like about Jace and Vraska) and for this one they put it as 'not meeting expectations' when it is was more of a case of straight-up queerbaiting and bury-your-gays erasure, which is a lot more than not meeting expectations. I hope there will be more to come on this and this was just an initial statement to make sure they get something out there. But, even still, they could have done better.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on 11/18/19 Big Bannings
    Quote from Pip_Maxwell »
    Farewell elks, you will be missed.

    Frankly, I think the architecture of Castle Garenbrig is looking a lot better now that one of those elks turned back into The Great Henge. It just wasn't the same without it.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on 11/18/19 Big Bannings
    Quote from the n00b king »
    I feel like this is confirmation that the higher ups at WotC had no faith in this set's ability to sell based off of a combination of its themes, setting and lack of a Jacetice League member, so they relied on the tried and true method of adding a couple pushed cards to the set to ensure it sold well. Play Design had been doing such a great job, this is really the only reason I can think of for why this set has experienced so many problems.

    I mean everyone immediately knew Oko was going to be oppressively good. There is no way Play Design missed that, or let it slip through the cracks.


    The more I read about play design and the more I think a lot of people's hate is super misguided. Play design DOES NOT design cards with the purpose of sales. That is NOT their role. I don't believe for a second that that's their main goal when designing cards.

    Indeed. I'm ready to believe that a for-profit company did something bad for customers just for the sake of profit, but as they say, why assume malice for what is adequately explained by stupidity, or rather, in this case, simple human fallibility? It's a pretty bold claim to suggest WotC is so deliberately screwing with players, after all. That would be a rather risky move on their part. Just the fact that players are so annoyed with this situation to feel like this must be some deliberate slight against them tells you that it might not be ideal for WotC. Especially if someone leaked anything that substantiated that— can you imagine the fallout after that?

    Quote from the n00b king »

    Reading the last article about play design really helps puts things in perspective, in my opinion. What's been happening is that they have actually powered down standard quite a bit but have pushed a few cards really far in one direction. So that's why some of these seem so egregious. To be completely honest, it's better to push the envelop than to hold back. Sometimes things come together super well and other times, they don't. They have no way to predict what the meta will look like (consider that there's only like 20 of them vs the collective hive mind when it comes to play testing). Mistakes will slip through.

    Exactly. I don't know why anyone would be surprised that this happens. It happens with like, every game. Most game communities seem to think the devs are incompetent at balancing, or have nefarious ulterior motives. You can criticize shortcomings without jumping to a conspiracy theory or claiming to be smarter than the entire dev team, guys. Trust me, it's possible. In fact, it would make your criticisms a lot more impactful.

    Quote from the n00b king »

    The problem, and i hope they scale this back, is 3 mana planeswalkers. These tend to be too strong when you have 1 drop acceleration available in standard. Hell even without acceleration, we all know how strong 3 mana walkers are (too efficient). If you bumped both Teferi and Oko up to 4 mana, they are nowhere near as oppressive (as your opponent will have had time to build a board).

    Yes. They should have slightly more options for interactivity with planeswalkers too.

    Quote from the n00b king »

    Additionally, WotC has mentioned that they would be more aggressive to correct metagames with bannings. I'm totally on board with this. In fact, the truth is that in the past, they should have been more proactive to address bad metagames.

    Agree. Bannings are annoying in losing cards, but if it opens up more cards to playability and reduces the need to buy into a select set of ridiculously expensive cards then it's easily worth it on that front.

    Quote from the n00b king »

    I understand that some players may feel frustrated with this, but without the ability to "nerf" cards, this is the only way.

    Ah, the advantages of a digital game...

    Quote from the n00b king »

    Green has been pushed quite a bit since the last Innistrad. I think every color will get it's time to shine. Eventually, that might even be white!

    I remember a time when white-blue decks were the monster of the metagame. White will have its time. Hell, after these bannings, white-blue looks to be in a pretty good position again.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Custom Mechanic - Invert
    Interesting, but this mechanic seems extremely narrow. It only makes sense on designs with two separate effects where either order of effects would work but one is better than the other and you have to put an appropriate cost to that such that the choice of whether to cast it with or without the invert is relevant and meaningful, while also trying to keep the balance of card power level and making fun card designs.
    It's a hard sell to include at common. I imagine it will confuse a lot of newer players— even some more experienced players— who aren't used to thinking about the order of effects. And I'm not sure there are enough good, usable designs to justify making this a name mechanic even at higher rarities only.
    This would work much better as just a cycle.

    EDIT: more thoughts because I can
    This mechanic seems too clever for its own good, essentially. Its a neat concept to play with reordering effects, but that doesn't mean it's actually a particularly fun idea in actual gameplay. Like Rules Lawyer from Unstable has a very interesting effect in interacting with state-based actions like that, and it works well enough on a single quirky card, but it's not something you want to make very many cards out of it because that novelty interest is going to wear off very quickly when you do.
    Posted in: Custom Card Creation
  • posted a message on "Infiltrate" mechanic
    This seems like narrow design space. I doubt the infiltrate for cost reduction cards are going to be very fun and I don't there's room for many of the upside designs.
    Posted in: Custom Card Creation
  • posted a message on The Pioneer Format
    Quote from Grimberry »
    What it comes down to is that Wizards uses Standard to thoroughly crush an expensive card. The problem is, a card can’t return to Standard unless it fits the rules of New World Order, which is the current design philosophy for sets on rotation. So about half of Modern is excluded from Standard reprints. They can’t use precons for meaningful reprints either, because the guaranteed presence kills reprint equity for Wizards, who depends on the gambling aspect of packs to pad the bottom line.


    The next problem is, New World Order didn’t start until Return to Ravnica. So only RTR onward has the card design to see a steady supply of reprints as is permutable in Standard.

    Incorrect.
    Zendikar was the first set to be fully designed under the new world order philosophy.


    And power creep is less likely, due to the inherently weaker card design in New World Order.

    You clearly don't know what NWO is.
    https://markrosewater.tumblr.com/post/59210579698/nwo-wouldnt-care-if-ancestral-recall-were-printed#notes
    https://markrosewater.tumblr.com/post/43299188962/in-response-to-soulflames-talking-about-non-spike
    https://markrosewater.tumblr.com/post/22851174337/what-i-meant-in-my-last-question-was-that-recent


    Pioneer isn’t an eternal format. It’s a New World Order All-Stars format.

    Of course it's not an eternal format; it only includes the last ten years of cards. Eternal formats need to include all the sets.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on 'Mystery Booster' product
    Quote from Dom4419 »
    Are the non test cards reprints? They come with their original borders and set symbol but they have the little planeswalker symbol at the bottom.

    https://markrosewater.tumblr.com/post/188896384663/i-saw-that-in-the-mystery-booster-you-had-chatter
    The Mystery Boosyer has what we call straight pick-ups, meaning that we literally took the file as is and printed it (adding the Planeswalker symbol to show it’s this printing). That is a different thing than printing a new card, with updated rules text, which is how we normally make cards.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on [THB] Theros: Beyond Death Leaks
    How the stores even had the physical product to make a mistake with in the first place is beyond me

    Sets begin printing and distribution long before official release.
    https://markrosewater.tumblr.com/post/172629765523/how-long-before-release-does-printing-start
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Return to Tarkir: Clans and Mechanics
    Round four anyone?


    Lol, yeah, it's taken a few iterations. But now it feels like I'm ready to get to the design stage for cards and see how well the mechanics actually pan out. If all goes well, the majority of feedback going forward can be geared toward templating and power balance suggestions.

    Back and forth working on the mechanics is good. Important to get them right. You don't want to jump the gun just so you can get on with the design.

    I like this. My only concern is that it might not feel blue enough for a blue-centred Temur, at least in its similarity to the previous Temur theme. But that's fairly subjective and does depend somewhat on execution.


    Agreed. I'll be shifting the weight of the ETB effects a little more heavily to the blue end of the spectrum to compensate. I also plan on including bounce and flicker support for more of that blue feel.

    Good idea with the bounce and flicker.

    Ooh, that's a cool idea. Reminds me of Monstrosity and Ascend. I suggest templating it as such.
    Mastery (When you cast your second non-creature spell each turn, if this creature hasn’t attained mastery, put a +1/+1 counter on it. It attains mastery)
    & Optional bonus text: When (this creature) attains mastery/As long as (this creature) has attained mastery.
    This means you can tuck away the mechanic text in a keyword and separate the unique effects, as well as give you more flexibility in what bonus effects you give without making the mechanic more confusing.
    Maybe add a variable number for the +1/+1 counters as well? Depending on what sort of/how many bonus effects you want to do with the mechanic as to whether the extra flexibility or simplicity is better.


    Thanks for pushing me on the DFC front.

    I understand the temptation. DFCs are cool.

    I was worried that I wouldn't be able to create the kinds of card designs I wanted to without it, but Mastery is proving to work well so far. And yes, your templating definitely feels cleaner. It's a little wordier, but that may be necessary for sake of clarity. Also, I hadn't thought about using multiple counters yet, but I'll keep that in mind as an option when simplicity seems called for.

    The extra words don't count for that much when you tuck them a bunch of the words away in a keyword. It's easy then to just remember what the keyword does and add on the specific effects rather than reading through the text of an ability word to look for the specific effect and figure out what's the constant.
    Exploit did the same thing as well.
    Posted in: Custom Set Creation and Discussion
  • posted a message on [THB] Theros: Beyond Death Leaks
    I love what I see so far from how they're handling the enchantment theme. We've got your usual seal-type enchantments e.g. Omen of the Dead, but also the sagas, interesting static/triggered ability enchantment creatures at low rarities, vanilla enchantment creatures, auras with strong ETB effects e.g. Iroas's Blessing, and some static/triggered enchantments with spell-like effects e.g. Treacherous Blessing. A bunch of different clever diverse designs to make enchantment decks interesting. And constellation now on non-enchantment creatures.
    I like.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Return to Tarkir: Clans and Mechanics
    Round four anyone?

    Abzan Mechanic

    Still toying with "DJK3654's" second version of Martyr: ([Cost], Sacrifice this creature. Put X +1/+1 counters on target creature. (Martyr only as sorcery).) vs. Endure: (When this creature dies, [effect for X +1/+1 counters it had on it].) But I'm going with Martyr so far, while often including (when this creature dies effects) on uncommons and up.

    Sounds good


    Temur Mechanic

    It was a bit of an "aha!" and a "duh" moment for me to realize I could fix Resonate by referencing power 4 or greater. So the mechanic is now:

    Reverberate: Whenever this creature, or another creature with power 4 or greater enters the battlefield under your control [effect].

    I like this. My only concern is that it might not feel blue enough for a blue-centred Temur, at least in its similarity to the previous Temur theme. But that's fairly subjective and does depend somewhat on execution.


    Jeskai Mechanic

    So, I'm finally giving up on the idea of DFC. Instead:

    Mastery: When you cast your second non-creature spell this turn, if this creature hasn’t attained mastery, put a +1/+1 counter on it. It attains mastery and gains [keyword or ability].

    Ooh, that's a cool idea. Reminds me of Monstrosity and Ascend. I suggest templating it as such.
    Mastery (When you cast your second non-creature spell each turn, if this creature hasn’t attained mastery, put a +1/+1 counter on it. It attains mastery)
    & Optional bonus text: When (this creature) attains mastery/As long as (this creature) has attained mastery.
    This means you can tuck away the mechanic text in a keyword and separate the unique effects, as well as give you more flexibility in what bonus effects you give without making the mechanic more confusing.
    Maybe add a variable number for the +1/+1 counters as well? Depending on what sort of/how many bonus effects you want to do with the mechanic as to whether the extra flexibility or simplicity is better.
    Posted in: Custom Set Creation and Discussion
  • posted a message on [THB] Theros: Beyond Death Leaks
    Quote from Flamebuster »
    Flicker of Fate is a great enabler with the black aura that draws you 3 upon entering the battlefield.

    The black aura that has a condition that sacrifices it whenever you try to cast a spell on it to do any kind of shenanigans with it? That one?
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Return to Tarkir: Clans and Mechanics
    Martyr
    The rationale here was that I was trying to find BWG design space that didn't focus on +1/+1 counters, as I feel they are overused. That leaves lifegain, artistocrats, and graveyard focus (but this is currently taken up by Sultai). Since BW and BG love to sacrifice stuff, and GW makes lots of tokens I decided to go down that route. I made the tokens spirits for flavor reasons, and gave them lifelink to allow for some lifegain sub-themes. You are right about the condition of making spirits being too narrow though. I'll have to open up Martyr to other abilities as you suggested. Also, despite what I said about wanting to avoid +1/+1 counters this time around, it's still an important part of the Abzan identity, so I may need to find a way to work them in anyways (especially now that Sultai isn't using -1/-1 counters anymore).

    The difference from Exploit is that Martyr creatures typically sac themselves for the greater good, rather than being sacrificed by some other source for it's own benefit. Also, flavor wise, Martyr is meant to represent some of the Abzan being killed for practicing the old ways of ancestor worship (practicing necromancy from Dromoka's point of view), and then joining their ancestors in death as spirits themselves.

    The problem with that is that a mechanic like this is going to want to have a bunch of different ways to sacrifice your creatures in set and you can't afford to give all of your martyr creatures self-sacrifice abilities because it would crowd out lower rarities with wordy and complex cards.
    New suggestion I just thought of is you could make the mechanic itself a self-sacrifice effect.
    Such as
    Martyr [cost] ([cost], Sacrifice this creature: Matryr only as a sorcery.)
    When you Martyr (this creature), (effect)
    Or
    Martyr — [cost], Sacrifice (this creature): (effect). Martyr only as a sorcery.
    Or maybe
    Martyr [N] — [cost] ([cost], Sacrifice this creature: Put [N] +1/+1 counters on target creature. Matryr only as a sorcery.)
    (Providing a base effect that could then add "when you martyr ~", "when you sacrifice ~" or "creatures you control with +1/+1 counters on them" to give bonus effects)


    Resurface
    A fixed version of Dredge is exactly what I was going for. Odds are I'll never end up finishing and testing this set, so I'll probably never know if it's "fixed enough" but I really like it at the very least. It's my favorite of the mechanics at this point.

    It is an interesting idea.

    Realize
    This mechanic is meant to represent an individuals transition from pre-enlightenment to post-enlightenment, which isn't a factor for the other clans. Having double faced cards felt like the best way to convey this transformation, hence why I've been ok with them belonging only to the Jeskai in this set. The only other alternative I see to this would be a new version of level up, perhaps one where instead of investing mana into the card, you level up each time you play an instant or sorcery (while possibly restricting it to 1 level up per turn this way). The problem with this however, is that there is less text space to work with which would negatively impact the kind of abilities that could be used. Also, rather than symbolizing the transition to enlightenment, it would feel more like a novice of a skill eventually gaining mastery through dedicated practice. That still feels very Jeskai and could work, but it isn't the kind of transition that I was originally trying to convey.

    You could just make it an ability word that gives a bonus each time you play your second spell in a turn
    i.e.
    Realize — Whenever you cast your second instant or sorcery spell each turn, (effect)
    I would consider opening this up to include more cardtypes, such as making it noncreature spells (fitting for Jeskai) or maybe just all spells.

    Aspire
    Yes, there is limited design space for it, but I'm okay with that. I think this is a kind of one and done mechanic that could be used in this set and never again. There's already more room for variance here then there was with Battle cry for instance. And essentially I designed this mechanic to be a Battle cry of key words.

    Well, that's the right way to go about it.


    Again, thanks for your feedback. I'm taking this all under suggestion.

    No problem Smile
    Posted in: Custom Set Creation and Discussion
  • posted a message on Return to Tarkir: Clans and Mechanics
    Alright, updated mechanics thoughts then

    Martyr
    'When this creature is sacrificed' is an interesting condition. This reminds me a lot of Afterlife. I think given Afterlife already exists, the condition is narrow enough and the reward effect is somewhat limited in colour and possible card frequency, I would open up the mechanic into an ability word.
    Like so,
    Martyr— When (this creature) is sacrificed, (effect)
    That said, I'm not sure how appropriate this is for Abzan. It's rather like Exploit, the Silumgar mechanic.

    Resonate
    This reminds me of the Precedence mechanic that WotC experimented with during Guilds of Ravnica design. I'm concerned by how linear and parasitic it is. I'm worried it won't play very well as a result because the cards are going to tend to live or die together. If they turn out good, it could easily be overbearing and dominate the meta, if they turn out bad, they could easily be quite unplayable. And that while not being the most flexible and interactive strategy to build around. I imagine this will be difficult to make play well with the other clan mechanics.
    All that said, maybe this could work if executed properly, but I have my doubts.
    It does seem like a good choice for Temur thematically, at least, as a big value creature mechanic and does feel a little more blue than the previous ones to fit with the colour shift.

    Resurface
    This is interesting. It's kind of like a fixed version of Dredge. I like that the effect works well on its own with the mill effect but the more mill, sacrifice and discard you've got, the better it becomes with more options. My biggest concerns are whether newer players will find the mechanic exciting, as its kind of a subtle effect that newer players might not see as very useful, and the ability with this to repeatedly recur your cards quite effectively and whether that would lead to frustrating and/or repetitive gameplay. But this looks fairly good still, I'd want to test it out at least.

    Realize
    Again, I have to say I don't think it's a good idea to put transform and DFCs as a specific faction mechanic. DFCs are a big splashy piece for a set, and limiting them to one faction is going to upset some people and also seems a waste to use DFCs just for that.
    The second spell condition is a good idea, but that does basically translate to the Surge mechanic, so that might not be quite novel enough.

    Aspire
    This seems good. It is a little more contained than Edict was, as you say. I do wonder how many good cards you can actually get out of this mechanic in the one set though. That might be a problem.
    Posted in: Custom Set Creation and Discussion
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