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The End of an Era
  • posted a message on Seven Secret Lairs in 2019
    Quote from SavannahLion »
    This isn't the first time WotC sold direct to consumers though. Back when WotC used to have Pokemon IP, I bought booster boxes (of Pokemon) direct from Wizards website. In 1999 or thereabouts, WotC acquired The Game Keepers chain alongside opening their own brick and mortar stores. LGSs survived quite nicely through both of these "direct to consumer" attempts. I'm sure the viable LGSs will survive equally as well through this round of direct sales as well.
    Do you recall Wizards of the Coast selling individual card singles for the Pokémon TCG that were in high demand on the Secondary Market at the time? There's a difference between selling booster boxes "direct to consumer" as opposed to just selling individual cards "direct to consumer" due to randomization requirements. If there isn't a form of randomization involved when selling these products "direct to consumer" then Wizards of the Coast could get into some serious trouble with the U.S. Government. They knew they had to distribute Secret Lair with some form of randomization along with the individual single cards they're selling which just so happened to be stained glass illustrations of Planeswalker cards from War of the Spark.

    The problem is that If Secret Lair is the new normal for Magic in terms of replacing Masters sets with "direct to consumer" individual cards that you can only order online through Wizards of the Coast being the only available vendor instead of being able to purchase them at your LGS; then they're going to go out of business with nobody having a place to play Magic. If there is a silver lining to all of this, it's that LGS owners will find ways to "cheat the system" by ordering these online exclusive products just to sell to their LGS customers in order to stay in business. If they get caught in the act then Wizards of the Coast has no one to blame but themselves because it shows that they care more about Magic as a collectible rather than an actual game.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Seven Secret Lairs in 2019
    Quote from xaltair »
    Au my lgs many people play commander and they complain when the store needs to use tables for actual tourneys, at the same time they don't buy cards regularly and act snobbish when people play only standard, or pioneer or modern.
    They are a cancer level outbreak at the lgs, they refuse to play competitive formats and when they are in the store they are very loud during their 4 or 5 man games.
    I guess the reason why they don't buy cards regularly is because they think they can get better deals online or from a different LGS that's selling the cards for much cheaper. It's important to have respect for other players regardless If they're casual or competitive. I think If the LGS offered more table space then there would probably be less complaints when the issue is that they don't want to commit to that sort of thing due to cost.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Seven Secret Lairs in 2019
    Quote from buffntuff »
    If wizards ever decided "to heck with the secondary market we're gonna sell cheap singles ourself now" flgs's will just stop carrying magic and the entire house of cards will collapse.
    I'm afraid that's where we're at right now. If the FLGS dies completely what happens to Magic as a game? Hopefully they don't go super crazy with selling direct to consumer. What's really dangerous about all this is the kind of message it sends to Magic's Trading Card Game / Collectible Card Game competitors with Yu-Gi-Oh!, Pokémon TCG, Cardfight!! Vanguard, Dragon Ball Super, Final Fantasy TCG, etc. What's stopping the companies behind these games from selling direct to consumer? Why undercut the FLGS when you can undercut eBay, Amazon, and other online retailers in the process?

    Without a physical location to play there would be no need to buy product in the first place. Most FLGS's tend to rely on Organized Play in order for certain Trading Card Games / Collectible Card Games to survive in their area. The more casual Magic gets with EDH / Commander the less Wizards of the Coast wants anything to do with it other than selling products even though the FLGS SHOULD be in their best interest. Instead they judge communities based on negativity from social media instead of the people who are willing to enjoy Magic as a hobby out in public.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Land Destruction Rule?
    What if the EDH Rules Committee implemented an official Land Destruction Rule for EDH / Commander to not only help make land destruction cards more playable but also less of a taboo topic within the format? My solution would be that for any land that is destroyed it's owner would be allowed to search his/her library for a basic land and put it onto the battlefield tapped. It's basically Path to Exile and Settle the Wreckage without the exile.

    Only problem is that players would find ways to abuse this method to the point where Landfall decks and Crucible of Worlds / Ramunap Excavator end up on the chopping block. It would also make exiling lands more prominent not to mention encourage players to run more "land destruction" through state based actions such as with Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite's interaction with Natural Affinity. I played against an Abzan Stax deck that used that strategy to great effect.
    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
  • posted a message on [Oathbreaker] - Ral, Storm Conduit + Expansion // Explosion
    Strategy is to kill opponents with Ral, Storm Conduit's passive ability by dealing damage to them whenever you cast or copy an instant or sorcery spell. Expansion // Explosion seemed like the ideal Signature Spell for this deck. This is my friends' Oathbreaker deck that I helped build for him although he had a hard time finding room for Reiterate in here.

    Any help, advice, and/or suggestions are greatly appreciated.
    Posted in: Variant Commander
  • posted a message on Fists of Flame, or "why developing specifically for EDH is making the format worse"
    Quote from 3drinks »
    Man, get the hell outta here with this "blame fetchlands" bull*****. This isn't 1996 anymore, we're not fixing our mana with painlands and city of brass. And shaming the use of functional reprints? Why? Like we should be jamming rend flesh and devour in shadow as go to removals a near decade latre, times have to change to keep players invested. I'm sure I'm not alone in thinking how blessed I am that I'm given more powerful cards to play so I have to put fewer questionable cards in my decks. I can't with this idea, what the hell. If you want to live in the nostalgia days, go build a white border deck. I know I have - and it's still consistent enough, if you know where to look.
    Functional reprints aren't something to be ashamed of in EDH / Commander, though it is something that has me more concerned about the health of cEDH as opposed to normal EDH / Commander where winning as early as possible isn't always the primary focus. As for the Fetchlands, everyone has their own perspective of how consistent they want their mana base to be as their impact in non Singleton formats seem to be felt more than in Singleton formats themselves. I was under the impression that most players would be fixing their mana with Shocklands and Checklands instead of Painlands and City of Brass If they're unable to run the Fetchlands.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on State of Standard Thread: bans, format health, metagame, rotation, etc!
    I don't know why but I feel as though Wizards of the Coast treats Standard nowadays as an obligation more than a passion project because of how they're sacrificing the health of the format in order to power creep certain cards for other formats without any sort of ramification whatsoever. If the company hates Standard so much why not go back to the old rotation system that made the format more enjoyable for those who don't have to worry about cards getting rotated out so soon? I just don't like how Play Design at Wizards of the Coast are perfectly fine with emergency bannings in Standard at the cost of losing players at the LGS just because they have Magic Arena to fall back on.
    Posted in: Standard (Type 2)
  • posted a message on Survey(s) on mothership hint at anime-themed sets incoming?
    For a moment I thought that the Mothership was hinting toward more anime/manga illustrations in future Magic sets similar to what they did with the Planeswalker cards in War of the Spark. However If they do it again I'm hoping the alternate art cards don't end up being Japanese exclusive where they're also available in English and other languages. The reason why the alternate art Planeswalkers in War of the Spark were Japanese exclusive was so that Wizards of the Coast could sell more sealed product at the LGS and it worked.

    On a side note I'm thankful for Wizards of the Coast putting out more official online surveys as it promotes better transparency between the company and the players as a means to help Magic grow as a whole. It sends a more positive message in a society where people care less about escapism within the entertainment industry and more about using the platform as a place to attack others based on their political beliefs. There's other avenues for people to get their political views across and the entertainment industry shouldn't be subject to it.
    Posted in: Speculation
  • posted a message on The End of an Era? YouTube and COPPA
    So to explain what's going on right now, Google / YouTube's been breaking the law for years as they've been mining data from minors who are watching their platform YouTube Kids. They've been using that to create targeted ads for kids as this is very illegal and have been using their algorithm to give priority to other people who were making disgusting content. You know the really gross predatory copyright breaking content aimed at kids, it's all super gross stuff. The problem is that they've been encouraging that by allowing it and the algorithm has been picking them out and monetizing it like crazy so the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) were forced to step in and change something because Google / YouTube just wasn't willing to do it themselves and prepare for the future.

    Google / YouTube thought they could break the law and make as much money as long as they could and when things got bad they passed the buck to the content creators cause whenever Google / YouTube messes up it's the content creators that end up having to pay the price for it. They did get fined by the FTC ($170 million) but only a teeny tiny fraction compared to what they make. So the FTC is stepping in and saying, "If you make content that is for kids then you need to mark it as for kids" using YouTube's own little system. It's a little option on your YouTube channel or individual videos can be marked as "for kids". Ideally this would just mean that your video could only be viewable in the YouTube Kids app. That would solve a lot of problems, not sure why it didn't happen that way before though.

    Don't know why Google / YouTube isn't doing that in response to this because it would solve a lot of problems, but no instead what happens is that If you mark your video or your channel as "for kids" it means that it will no longer have targeted ads which drastically lowers ad revenue something like 10%. Also you won't get as many views so it's going to be less than 10% because no one can search your video, it will not come up in recommended, people will not get notifications for it. It will basically be invisible so unless someone subscribes to your channel it will be in their feed If they go to it specifically, and it will be on your channel If they go to your channel directly. But it won't be anywhere else, not on YouTube, no discoverability, it's essentially a death sentence for video.

    It's not going to make you any money and it's not going to be viewed by anybody. So they're basically telling everyone to start marking their YouTube content which is all well and good but then you start to look at the specifics the FTC is talking about in the COPPA law and they're being super vague about it. They're saying it's not even just stuff that is explicitly for kids and yet the wording from the FTC is basically saying, "It's not just stuff for kids but it's anything a kid might like." Anything a kid might find interesting they specifically mentioned "video games", "toys", and "pop culture" and even words like "fun" and "cool" and "yeah", things that are "colorful" and "vibrant". It's a catch 22, your YouTube Channel is going to be removed either way. There's nothing you can do about it since it's the U.S. Government that's pushing this.

    The wording is so vague that there's a video of an FTC member at a press conference totally out for blood, talking about taking down YouTube content creators like shooting fish in a barrel. They're talking about heavy career destroying fines ($42,000) potentially per video and Google / YouTube of course especially when this all started Google / YouTube is coming around saying, "You guys know what's best, If your content isn't for kids then you're probably going to be fine, gaming is going to be fine...but get a lawyer." Everything that Google / YouTube is currently saying about this isn't lining up with what the FTC is saying, "No, anyone making anything that a kid might like is just doomed. We're either going to fine you or shut down your YouTube channel." Doesn't matter If YouTube isn't taking data for advertisements.

    What people are scared of is that COPPA is a federal law, and has a $42k minimum fine associated with its violation per video. The fact is, as a creator, you are not violating COPPA. Google is. You are not the one gathering data on minors. YouTube is. The problem is YouTube will refuse to fix a problem until they're punished for it, and when they do they'll do their hardest to push it on people making videos. They refuse to hire people to fix a problem, only to maximize profit through ads that will hurt kids. YouTube wants all independent content creators off their platform in favor of corporate puppet content creators all in the guise of "We must protect the children."

    Bottom line, it's foolish for content creators to utilize YouTube as a primary source of income when they should've gotten a real job elsewhere. YouTube has never been publicly advertised as an actual career to pursue yet a lot of people thought it was designed that way. Everyone should have an offline job where they make enough money to take care of themselves so that they could utilize a video sharing platform like YouTube as a hobby. While I enjoy watching YouTube by my favorite content creators I'd like to think they have enough common sense not to put all their faith on one video sharing platform. Still doesn't mean they should do the same with other platforms because there's little reward for such a high risk. Why try to start a "career" on Twitch or Mixer when they could sweep you under the rug like YouTube has?

    Sources:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IbRHuHJlE6o
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pd604xskDmU
    https://knowtechie.com/youtube-can-now-remove-channels-that-arent-commercially-viable/

    So I did some more research on this situation as it led to some very interesting results:

    Apparently there was a third audience target that was in the FTC law book. There was a mixed audience exception that Google / YouTube intentionally left out of the recent terms of service, "COPPA only covers information collected online from children. It does not cover information collected from adults that may pertain to children. Thus, COPPA is not triggered by an adult uploading photos of children on a general audience site or in the non-child directed portion of a mixed-audience website."

    So what does this mean? It means that 4 years ago the FTC openly recognized that there was a middle ground audience. It just wasn't children's content, it just wasn't adult content, it was content that appealed to both adults and children. YouTube failed to address this general audience in their video marking system. The mixed-audience exception to COPPA is actually in the COPPA law at Title 16 Code of Federal Regulations Section 312.2. So let me paraphrase the law for you, If you make a video that qualifies as a kids video under that famous ten factor test then you don't have to comply with COPPA law.

    Also you don't have to get parental consent If kids under 13 are not your primary audience. YouTube had known the entire time about this general audience exception to COPPA and they hid it from content creators. The reason why they did this was that apparently it would decrease corporate profits. At least there's a really good YouTube alternative with Vlare which is better than Bitchute IMO. Here's the YouTube video by Ian Corzine explaining what YouTube was hiding from us:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pwnvjuCTb54&t
    Posted in: Talk and Entertainment
  • posted a message on Fists of Flame, or "why developing specifically for EDH is making the format worse"
    Quote from Xcric »
    while i don't think the card was made specifically for zada... feather is much more likely, i do agree that designing for commander hurts the format.

    a lot of the more busted cards that have become staples in every single deck of whatever color(s) were designed with edh in mind. it turned the format into a nuclear arms race and i think thats actually where the problem lies as a whole. why its shifted so heavily away from battlecruiser style magic. at the same time there are members of the rules committee that publish articles at odds with this. they push the tools that exist to combat the problem as being 'unfun' and 'not in the spirit of edh' or 'you just shouldn't play these'. it means that if someone sits down at the table with a honed deck, running a lot of these cards, its going to feel oppressive to the guy who bought into that agenda and didn't pack any of the tools to deal with the abundance of 'great in edh' style cards being vomit out of every set.

    personally, i do really miss the days where nothing was designed with commander in mind. where we had to scour databases and collections to find neat synergies and old cards rather than just shove whatever new hotness from whatever new set into every deck.

    but then again, i also run spot removal so... its much less of a problem dealing with these things.
    The real problem with EDH / Commander lies in players essentially running "playsets" of functionally identical cards in their decks to where they greatly minimize their chances of drawing bad cards whether it's through deck thinning or from search abilities. The Singleton aspect of the format is really just an illusion to get players thinking that the odds of someone at the table being able to combo off on turn 5 or earlier isn't likely when it actually is. When it does happen someone at the table is likely to get salty about it unless the pod proceeds to scoop phase. This is a part of the reason why Fetchlands became a problem in Standard and Modern because they made mana bases far too consistent in combination with the Shocklands.

    EDH / Commander has a power creep issue only because of how consistent and symmetrical decks are built. Back when the format was first conceived when you were only restricted towards the original Elder Dragons from Legends / Chronicles you didn't base a strategy off of your General / Commander's ability where as now it's pretty much a requirement depending on how their ability is worded. There's still room for creativity when it comes to building off of certain Commanders and it all boils down to how much you're able to gauge the power level of your deck as long as there aren't any restrictions required which can be hard sometimes. We aren't having fun playing EDH / Commander If we're not gaining the most value out of it which is also a problem.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on [Oathbreaker] - Nissa, Steward of Elements + Nissa's Triumph Tron
    Strategy is to pump tons of mana into Nissa, Steward of Elements to either Scry or untap extra lands by keeping threats in check with counterspells while having mana open with Prophet of Kruphix or Seedborn Muse on the battlefield. Nissa's Triumph ideally is to help tutor for the Urzatron to get 7 mana easily though I may need to run more cards that allow me to play additional lands to help with that.

    I'd also like to run more bounce abilities to help recast Frilled Mystic, Mystic Snake, and Draining Whelk though I don't know what to take out for it. I might cut Keeper of Progenitus out for Tradewind Rider. Making room for Erratic Portal and Crystal Shard wouldn't be a bad idea either. Cloudstone Curio is probably going to be a pain for me to get a hold of due to it's price tag.

    Any help, advice, and/or suggestions are greatly appreciated.
    Posted in: Variant Commander
  • posted a message on The Pioneer Format
    Maybe that's because Modern is the most expensive format in the game right now as opposed to EDH / Commander where the atmosphere is more inviting due to being casual instead of competitive. Standard and Modern have created this negative stigma of players cheating on a constant basis to the point that players only care more about winning instead of having fun. Who wants to sit around and lose on turn 4 against netdecks when it's more fun to pilot a 100 card Singleton deck that doesn't go off the exact same way 50% of the time? There's some EDH decks that play the exact same way every time however those are usually pretty rare.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on The Pioneer Format
    Quote from SpeedGrapher »
    They could choose a different business model and print 5 high value cards each standard set until they run out of cards over $40.
    Or they could change their business model toward a viable alternative from the pay-to-win lootboxes scam that they and their competitors have been selling to their consumers for over 20 years. Maybe find a way to reward Single sellers / buyers more without having to rely on the booster box lottery as much. The problem lies in the amount of print runs that these companies are able to distribute to where there's enough product to circulate throughout the Secondary Market without going up in value over time.

    Consumers are so sick and tired of these crappy monetization schemes by these gaming companies to the point where we're only getting the bare minimum as this happens not just in MTG but in other discontinued Trading Card Games / Collectible Card Games where it's treated as nothing more than a short-term investment with no long-term commitment into keeping these games thriving. Why? Because the Trading Card Game / Collectible Card Game Market is WAY too crowded to stand any sort of chance against the big three (MTG, Yu-Gi-Oh!, and Pokémon).

    I think this also speaks to the current state of gaming culture today which is the biggest issue with new Trading Card Games / Collectible Card Games where the companies behind them don't have the opportunity to make mistakes like Wizards of the Coast did with MTG. Wizards of the Coast got to survive it's growing pains with MTG because it was the first and was a unique product. Nowadays If a company makes too many mistakes most players would drop the game on the spot. Pokémon and Yu-Gi-Oh! got away with it at the time because enough people gave these games a second chance.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on The Pioneer Format
    MTG is at a point now where Wizards of the Coast really needs to start downsizing the number of formats it has in order to help lower demand for popular cards in the Secondary Market. If they don't then the barrier level of entry is only going to continue to get worse for those who want to play MTG but can't afford it especially for EDH / Commander players who want to take advantage of purchasing cards rotating out of Standard but now can't due to inflation.

    Pioneer needs to replace Modern where as EDH / Commander has already effectively replaced Legacy and Vintage. The only people who continue to play Legacy and Vintage are those who bought into the vast majority of Reserve List cards 20 years ago before they spiked astronomically. Brawl is failing because card rotations in a 60 card Singleton format is too tedious and time consuming.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
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