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    posted a message on [CMR] Jeweled Lotus
    As DirkGently mentioned on Nexus, Jeweled Lotus is another symptom of a problem seen in Wizards of the Coast's viewpoint of EDH / Commander and how they often fail to grasp what makes it good on a basic level. They're willing to print stupid broken things in the format because it's not a "real" format. Command Tower in a lot of aspects was the first wake up call. It's simply perfect mana fixing for no cost that's cheaper to get a hold of than City of Brass, Reflecting Pool, Forbidden Orchard, and Mana Confluence. Now we got a Black Lotus reprint stapled onto the format because balance doesn't matter If it's just caaaasual. Remember how competitive players used to poke fun at them by calling them "filthy" casuals? Go look at Standard right now.

    This is literally the worst blatant attempt to push boxes to gambling addicts since Jace, the Mind Sculptor which was roughly sitting at around $200 at the time it was first printed in Worldwake. Granted, Jeweled Lotus isn't an auto-include though it is good enough to run in a majority of decks especially those who play cEDH. Whether the card is insanely broken or niche, it doesn't change the possibility that Wizards of the Coast printed this in order to move boxes because they care far more about short-term money than the long-term health of the format. That's the main problem not the cards themselves. Wizards of the Coast doesn't have as much insight into the format as the EDH / Commander Rules Committee does.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
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    posted a message on Secret Lair x The Walking Dead
    Quote from Dontrike »
    Quote from Heresy19 »
    Only survivors? Glenn has been pulp-dead for a lonnnnng while now lol

    Bought myself 5 kits, that Rick card looks great for human tribal in Legacy so not taking any chances, playset. And I also needed 1 more for EDH.

    Any of these cards doing well in Legacy shows they've already made the mistake.
    Yep it's True-Name Nemesis all over again.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
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    posted a message on 2021/2022 Crossover Shenanigans
    I probably wouldn't have as much of a problem with IP crossovers in MTG If Wizards of the Coast had an official poll to determine what intellectual properties are about to be put into the game where the community actually has a voice on the matter instead of just Wizards of the Coast picking a random IP from a drawing to see what sells and what doesn't without our stamp of approval. The bigger concern about IP crossovers in MTG itself isn't so much about the quality of them (while that's still important) but rather the quantity that makes the actual game lose it's sense of identity where all you're really doing is playing an MTG version of Weiss Schwarz (anime/manga crossovers) or Universal Fighting System (fighting game crossovers).

    For those who may not remember back in the mid 2000's there was a Paper Trading Card Game / Collectible Card Game made by Upper Deck called Marvel / DC Vs. System before it was re-branded as a Living Card Game with the same name. Shortly before it got discontinued for World of Warcraft TCG which eventually became known today as Hearthstone there were talks about incorporating other intellectual properties into the game aside from just Comic Books. The only franchise that made the cut was Hellboy before Vs. System was shortly discontinued there on after. I still held out for Todd McFarlane's Spawn to be incorporated however it just wasn't meant to be unfortunately.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
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    posted a message on We need to stand together against Hasbro
    Either way the advent of IP crossovers might mean that MTG as we know it is dying for real this time around. We always assumed that "MTG dying" meant Wizards of the Coast going out of business due to no one wanting to play anymore. In reality, it's a planned euthanasia committed upon the game by Wizards of the Coast themselves because it makes them more money to turn MTG into an advertising business for other franchises / intellectual properties. Technically the game will still exist, but in reality it will be void of what was once held sacred among the community.

    What better than to spend less money on MTG's own lore when they can use other IP's every time they release a new product? Contrary to popular belief the games' own source material was on an upswing until after War of the Spark where they sort of just gave up shortly after. Of course it would cost Wizards of the Coast more time and money to license other IP's than it does for them to commission new artwork but If they split the profits however then it may not be a problem. Not to themselves of course but to us as a community.

    Can you imagine the potential legal battles and lawsuits they might end up facing If they end up acquiring an IP that gets themselves into more trouble as a company? Would you want to continue to risk spending money on a hobby that mostly cares about profits over community? I sure wouldn't but that's the real danger that MTG faces right now IMO. Wizards of the Coast have managed to go unscathed from their recent legal battles but in the happenstance that Hasbro is no longer able to back them up I'm not so sure they'd be as lucky.
    Posted in: Magic General
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    posted a message on Secret Lair x The Walking Dead
    Never thought I'd actually see the day that EDH / Commander would be in an existential crisis yet here we are in 2020 where Wizards of the Coast has managed to take advantage of running Standard to the ground by suspending all In-Person Events due to the ongoing pandemic. The last line of defense for Local Game Stores (LGSs) are MTG players who actively show up to play EDH / Commander yet Wizards of the Coast went against the original premise of Secret Lair drops being reprints of old cards by selling original EDH / Commander cards direct-to-consumer instead of being widely available to the public.

    Combine that with the Rules Committee's recent stance on the Walking Dead Secret Lairs and it sets up a very dangerous precedent for Paper Magic going forward. I can't even fathom how much money everyone's already invested in the EDH / Commander format especially for those who own 5-10+ EDH decks or Cure for the Common Game on YouTube who owns 500+ EDH decks just to try to break a Guinness World Record as admirable as that goal is. The situation has already gotten as far as Mitch from Commander's Quarters attempting to re-brand the format into "Captain".

    We went from "Elder Dragon Highlander" (EDH) to Wizards of the Coast re-branding the format as "Commander" only to re-brand it a third time with "Captain" which is really nothing more than a reskinned Commander format with rules separate from what the Rules Committee and Wizards of the Coast say. Let's not kid ourselves here we ALL knew this day was coming but we didn't want to admit to it. Wizards of the Coast is just salty that a community based format like EDH / Commander has been doing better than Standard which they fail to take responsibility for.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
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    posted a message on Secret Lair x The Walking Dead
    To be fair Tolarian Community College shared similar arguments with The Magic Historian:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TAwk6RiK_dE&

    Now Commander's Quarters' take on the situation was actually hilarious:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbex1dHw5MU
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • 3

    posted a message on Secret Lair x The Walking Dead
    Could this set a precedent for Wizards of the Coast to take full control of the EDH / Commander format from the Rules Committee in the near future according to the Magic Historian?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pXidDwNx0M
    Quote from The Magic Historian »

    You may have noticed that there is a lot of conversation out there in the world going on around the Walking Dead Secret Lair and honestly the Walking Dead Secret Lair has illustrated to me that the EDH / Commander Rules Committee's days are numbered. This in my opinion is an inevitability. This isn't something I enjoy bringing to light and I really don't think people understand the magnitude of what's going on here because it does appear to me that people think that the Rules Committee has more power and influence over the game than they really do. So to understand why the Walking Dead Secret Lair is this pivotal moment that really is the first step down the road and actually may not even be the first step there may been other groundwork that leads to this that I haven't thought of.

    But really the Walking Dead is a linchpin style moment. This is really going to be where things start to shift because of what it represents fundamentally. On the surface the Walking Dead Secret Lair is just that. It's just a Secret Lair themed around the Walking Dead so what's the big deal? The big deal is the functionally unique cards that were printed in these. These are cards that only exist with the abilities and everything like that on the cards in these Secret Lairs. There's no other way to obtain them. They're only going to be on sale for a week. Now we have seen functionally unique cards that you can only get in a very limited way already cause problems for Magic: The Gathering. Essentially the Walking Dead almost works like a Trojan horse. If you don't get what I'm trying to say here take a look at the Buy-a-Box Promos.

    For the longest time in MTG's history, they did Buy-a-Box Promos that were just alternate art promo versions of a card that existed in the set and they returned to doing that. But for a brief period of time they made functionally unique cards that were legal in the Standard format that you could only get by buying a box. Now what did that lead to? That led to Nexus of Fate. Nexus of Fate was a HUGE problem for Magic: The Gathering but Nexus of Fate wasn't the first time they printed a functionally unique card for a Buy-a-Box Promo. So basically the first Buy-a-Box Promo they did that was functionally unique was fairly weak Firesong and Sunspeaker. Maybe I'll use this in Brawl or Commander or something like that but it wasn't an insanely overpowered card. It's basically like easing us into the well. That's what this is.

    So the Walking Dead Secret Lair is just to get you accustomed to the concept that they will make Commander legal cards that are only available for a week right? And this is what people are upset about. This is just the gateway. When Wizards of the Coast brings something new in they present to us in a particular way and then change it. Secret Lair for example was presented to us as just as way to have different art styles and you see that's clearly not the case now. Mythic Rares were originally shown to us as something that were meant to be flashy Timmy cards that got people really excited but weren't meant to be strong enough to impact Standard and that changed. There's no reason not for them to ramp up the power of these functionally unique Commander cards. There's no reason. The incentive IS to ramp up the power level. Wizards of the Coast very much wants to move in on the Commander market.

    They've signaled this in a ton of different ways. One is making announcements in earning reports and stuff like that. That Magic is growing on the back of Commander. From their statistics they're saying the Commander audience has grown four fold. I think really it's that they didn't understand how big the Commander audience was to start with. Commander is a big audience. That's why you'll see more and more products pitched towards Commander players. Brawl was an attempt to create a Standard rotate version of Commander where they can have cards obsoleted and get you running in that hamster wheel even further. Brawl in a way showed a fundamental lack of understanding why people played Commander, "How'd you like to play Commander with way fewer options and your deck well you won't get to keep it for the rest of your life?", scenario. So Brawl works on Arena but in Paper Magic it failed.

    They basically just tried to grab some money from it. So Commander right now is Wizards of the Coast's main focus. They're working on Standard sets and everything else but the underline of what they're doing is focusing purely on Commander pretty much. That's why you see cards like Omnath in the Standard sets, they've said they even changed the way they designed sets to try to reach into other formats. Yes they want to reach into Modern. Yes they want to reach into Vintage. But where they really REALLY want to get to is Commander. Commander is the crown jewel. Cause If you took all MTG players and broke them down into different categories it's almost guaranteed that the Commander category would be bigger than ALL the other one's combined. Commander is a very cool and casual format. Up until now, all the rules decisions for it have been made by the Commander Rules Committee but their days are numbered.

    Either they're going to be disbanded or they're going to be fully absorbed by Wizards of the Coast and essentially they may be like represented as a puppet. To me that's almost what they already are. Now let's make sure we're on the same page. I'm not knocking the Commander Rules Committee. Okay? Those are people who love Magic: The Gathering and they have basically fostered this format out of their own desire to see it flourish and have people play games of MTG which I love. I'm a fan of the Commander Rules Committee. I think the idea of them trying to keep Commander as fun as possible and have as light of a touch possible is a fantastic and admirable goal. However the problem isn't with the Rules Committee, the problem is with Wizards of the Coast and their absolute desire to make as much money as possible from Commander as we've seen with this new Secret Lair where they're trying to sell you Commander singles direct.

    No longer are you going to have them coming from packs and whatever and reprint them as Secret Lairs, they're going to do it direct. Now a bunch of people have cried out to the Rules Committee for Commander saying, "We need you to send a strong message to Wizards of the Coast. We need you to ban all the cards in the Walking Dead Secret Lair so that Wizards of the Coast will get the message and not make any more of these Secret Lairs." Now this puts the Rules Committee in a really rough spot because the players are asking them to represent them but on the other hand they have Wizards. Let's be real, Wizards of the Coast LETS the Commander Committee run Commander. The Rules Committee isn't some more powerful entity. So If Wizards of the Coast wanted to locate all the Commander rules on their website like they their own decisions and do whatever they can do it like that (snap of a finger).

    They can turn to the Rules Committee and say, "You're no longer in charge of Commander, WE ARE!" They've taken steps over time to show the level of influence and power they have over the format. So why wouldn't the Rules Committee WANT to work with Wizards of the Coast? So obviously they're eager to work with Wizards of the Coast. That's to Wizards of the Coast's advantage? Why? Free labor. Just look at this from the perspective of a large corporation that doesn't care about you specifically look at it from the perspective of upper management. These are the people that are going to be making the decisions that influence the future of MTG, Commander, the Rules Committee, all of that. What you need to understand about upper level management is that they don't care about anything but results right now. The way that corporations function in America is by working for this company for X amount of months and X amount of years.

    During that time I'm going to make sure that the quarterly results go, "Bang! Bang! Bang!" The future doesn't matter because I'm only doing this now to plump up my resume and move on to another corporation where I get paid even more. So their view is only short term and it's ALL about the money. From that perspective up until this point having the Rules Committee has been great, it's just another way to take advantage of MTG Judges. All the members of the Rules Committee are at least previously high ranking MTG Judges. I don't know If they joined the new Judge Academy or kept their accreditation levels but either way these are high level judges. Judges have always been taken advantage of by MTG. Wizards of the Coast used judges as a free labor pool. Take it from somebody whose judged for 8 years for free out of love for the game. So the Rules Committee is going to do all the work of managing an entire format for you?

    And you don't have to pay them or do anything? Why would you not take advantage of that? The answer is when it starts to affect your bottom line and affects your money right? So that's where this Walking Dead Secret Lair puts us because this is Wizards of the Coast saying, "Hey we're making singles directly for Commander". They may not be saying that outright but that's what's going on. "We're making cards for old Vintage formats!" You think people are going to be playing Negan in Vintage? No they're making Legendary characters like come on dude. This is clearly for Commander meant to be sold to Commander players. Now what happens from Wizards of the Coast's perspective If all the sudden this product that they've made, this spearhead of what's going to be an all going product line. What happens when the Commander Committee turns around and goes, "Actually you know what? We're banning all those cards! Don't you dare make another Secret Lair like the Walking Dead!"

    Now do you think the upper management, the ones that don't care about anything other than getting as much money as possible from MTG players, do you think they're going to turn around and say, "You know what, Commander Rules Committee, we respect and abide by your decision and we won't make any more of these Secret Lairs" OR "Sorry run by me again what the Rules Committee is like what part of our company is this?" "Wait they're not a part of our company?" "So these decisions are being made by somebody who doesn't work for us? CANCEL THEM!" "Contact them! Tell them to stop using our trademark!" Cause Wizards of the Coast trademarked Commander (but not Elder Dragon Highlander a.ka. EDH). Why did they do that? So that Wizards of the Coast could trademark "Commander". So there's one instance of Wizards of the Coast's financial decisions influencing the Committee.

    The bigger one was when Unstable was released. Wizards of the Coast convinced the Rules Committee to make Unstable legal for one month in Commander. So normally you couldn't use Un cards cause Commander has Rule Zero which everyone can agree to what they want to do at their own home or whatever. The Commander Committee came out and said, "Hey guess what? This products legal for the next month." Wizards of the Coast doesn't care If this ruins peoples' fun, they don't care If it calls into the ethics of the Committee. You know what I mean? You're sitting there making a decision that affects ALL players and well there's Rule Zero. So what's to stop them from going, "Well we're going to agree with whatever Wizards of the Coast says" because If the Un cards weren't legal then why isn't Wizards going to turn around and says, "You're done. You're not in charge anymore."

    For those who would side with the Rules Committee on that you would for a little bit, but Wizards of the Coast would verbally take control of the format cause all information about it would be on their website. They have more reach, more resources, they own the property, there's no logical reason to think for a second that everybody would go with this independent group that most people probably don't even know. So Wizards of the Coast is in charge of the banlist? Cool at least we got Rule Zero now. The existence of Rule Zero can override anything so what do you even need the Rules Committee for? They exist right now because it's cheaper and easier for Wizards of the Coast to LET them exist but the Walking Dead Secret Lair is basically the crucial turning point where one of two things is happening.

    We're now walking down the road where either the Rules Committee is going to be disbanded and Wizards of the Coast will take over fully or the Rules Committee is going to FULLY become pawns of Wizards of the Coast and rubber stamp everything they make and what's the difference? It's just for show. It's like, "Hey we're the power behind the throne!" kinda thing. At this point I really don't see any other route and I genuinely believe it's not logical to think for a second, "We as a people can go do whatever!" What you need to understand is well and I don't think a lot of people get this is we as a group. By us as a group I mean MTG players that engage online Social Media in terms of being really active on YouTube videos, talking on Twitter and Reddit, We all represent a very small portion of the MTG playing public. Most people who are using the Internet to interact with MTG are probably doing two things right now: Looking at new cards and checking rules.

    So this whole loyalty to the Commander Rules Committee isn't a thing, it's not real. You're not living in reality. Reality is that Wizards of the Coast has turned from "Commander is something we just ignore and whatever, If stuff sells for you great!" into "Commander is one of our primary focuses. We intend to extract as much money as humanly possible from these people because Commander players aren't spending enough money so let's get more of it!" and that ultimately will lead to the ruin of the Rules Council. Either it will be puppets or they'll be destroyed. There is no other possible future. I'm not particularly happy about this because I liked Commander being it's own little sorta like fun club or whatever. Now Wizards of the Coast meddling with it too much it's like, dude this was all built without your influence and something beautiful was built, "Slowly but surely have Unstable be legal for a month is fun for our bottom line!" So If you want to understand the situation you have to look at it from a monetary perspective.

    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
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    posted a message on The Coronavirus Pandemic and the Future of the Local Game Store (LGS)
    Thought I'd share this article with you all:

    https://dsgcw.blogspot.com/2020/07/constraints.html
    Quote from Desert Sky Games »

    Constraints

    One of the most stressful aspects of the COVID pandemic for game stores is that it artificially amplifies constraints. Dealing with this day in and day out starts to wear on a store owner, and I start to feel like Keanu Reeves in that new Bill & Ted 3 trailer, when he says, "We've been trying to write this song and save the world our whole lives. And I'm tired, dude."



    You said it, Ted "Theodore" Logan. I'm tired, dude. Tired of every business component taking more work than it should. Tired of getting chewed out by every deadbeat who thinks we should price-match limited edition product pre-orders against the smallest store in town who pre-sold-out their one case of boosters in an hour at a nickel over cost. Tired of having arrival traffic down 90% because people call to check pinpoint stock on Nintendo Switches and virtually nothing downstream of that. And tired of the vocal minority who think we're political puppets or worse for keeping the game room closed and requiring facemasks.

    But I think the amplification of constraints is the most difficult thing, because it forms a vicious circle of interdependency. Here, maybe showing you the moving parts will make this clearer.

    The best Dungeons & Dragons product slate ever is on store shelves today. Right now. We have the best new sourcebooks: Theros, Eberron, and Wildemount, with limited edition covers for two of them. We have a staggering variety of dice in every color and material and in every price range. We have the best miniatures the game has ever had in the WizKids Nolzur's Marvelous line, far higher quality at a lower inflation-adjusted price than even the classic Ral Partha pewters. We have maps, dice trays, dice towers, character folios, and more. And now we have Warlock Tiles, head-and-shoulders the finest immersive terrain components D&D has ever seen.

    Despite all of the above, we've seen only a fraction of the sales we'd usually get in the category. Many of our regular players have been in, and their purchasing makes up essentially all the sales we've gotten of this merch. But a majority of D&D players disappeared with COVID. We don't know what this means. In-store play is, of course, not happening, and I wonder whether it will ever be back. Zoom/Skype style play seems to be thriving. Tangible game elements become somewhat less important then. I've long speculated that the "giant table-sized iPad" appliance might virtualize much of the RPG experience, but we might reach the same effective outcome because of remote play instead of digitally-augmented in-person play. I think there will be a COVID vaccine eventually or it will burn through and be subject to herd immunity, and people will come back to the table to have wonderful times adventuring together. How long before that? A year? Three years?

    So since we placed orders well before the pandemic for current D&D stock, and indeed already owned the bulk of our D&D inventory well in advance of that, we now have a huge amount of somewhat illiquid merchandise, that doesn't ship that well and isn't fast-moving like video games or Magic singles, and that even generous bundle specials only modestly move the needle on. It's not a simple case of $N worth of D&D being on the shelf, where we could liquidate it and have $N. It's the frozen turn rate. We should have $N multiplied many times over as the product comes in, sells, is replaced, sells again, and so on. It's difficult to articulate just how great the scale of this can get to an outside observer.

    That same effect is happening in board games as well. We saw reasonable throughput on board games on our way into the lockdown and shortly after re-opening, and board games are a commodity category for DSG anyway. That means we stock greatest hits and new hotness, and discount it all, in order to push for market share and establish a competitive position against other local stores, without risking our real meal tickets, Magic singles and video games. But now that we're kinda sorta reopened, and people are mostly back to work, the public has all the board games it needs, and is buying far fewer of them from us, even with price tags well below Amazon. They just finished a plate of steak and lobster. They don't need seconds. So it stacks up.

    With the two main general tabletop categories slowing down sales, we see them overflowing their racks. And we can't get more of the kind of racks we use right now because restocks from China are still pending transoceanic shipment. So even though we're the biggest game store in the Valley, we actually don't have enough room for all our merchandise right now. Even with a giant empty floor where the game room used to be. We should use game tables to display merch, perhaps, but (1) that's awful looking, (2) it has to be taken back apart anyway once we can reopen the game room, and (3) we're buying some really nice upgraded tables so we're currently selling off the existing ones.

    Less room up front and lower sales of general tabletop means we need to lean harder on singles sales, where space isn't as big of an issue. But we're also constrained on labor! Fast and furious sales via TCGPlayer since the first stimulus landed have resulted in our million-card inventory being whittled down to, as of this writing, about 450,000 cards. We're still buying every single day, for cash or credit, and it's not enough. We have at least 300k cards in the back office right now in various stages of processing that are not entered into TCGPlayer. We're losing sales every day from people who ask for cards we know we have in the next "waves" to process, but aren't done yet, and are cost-ineffective to deep dive for on an ad-hoc basis. Our existing back-office staff are running at red-line, they have almost zero slow time on the clock.

    So why not add more labor? Ah, but how are we going to pay for it? Sales are coming up shallow in D&D and board games, so we don't have "overflow" revenue available to shift toward Magic labor, which is designed to cover its own normal/ordinary pace of intake and sales, and instead is overwhelmed right now. It's fairly common for a game store with large business components to take from some and give unto others, resource-wise, in an internally Marxist fashion of sorts. But when there isn't any surplus elsewhere, and every department is subsidizing every other, there's no wealth to redistribute. (There's probably a greater political lesson to be taught here, but I'm staying well clear of that.)

    Thus, we have a dire shortage of Magic singles, our highest-volume category, which we actually do own but can't get processed into the system fast enough, for which we badly need labor, which we could afford if every product category were performing even at average levels, but the two general tabletop categories are both running very thin right now, constraining all parts of this resource chain. And thus it is that Griffin and I spend significant parts of our working days plugging in labor wherever it fits, so as to give both front-of-house and back-of-house staff as much unobstructed throughput as possible. And it's still not enough.

    I'm tired, dude.
    Amen brother.
    Posted in: Magic General
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    posted a message on Possible Double Masters lawsuit?
    Correct. The Sports Card Industry back in the 90's wanted to increase their profits by artificially creating scarcity in very expensive cards and over-producing the 'common' sets which used to be the single set of cards which everyone traded on. By doing so, collectors could no longer find meaningful gems in sets (If you got an All-Star, it wasn't valuable because it wasn't the one in 500 cards randomly placed which had a piece of a game used glove or a personal autograph), making it no fun for them. I only dabbled a little bit into Sports Card collecting when I was a kid growing up in the late 80's and early 90's. One of my cousins used to be really heavy into it back in the day.

    MTG Double Masters as well as many other Premium products have limited print runs to create that artificial scarcity with expensive cards that create short term supply so that when these cards spike in price again Wizards of the Coast / Hasbro as well as MTGFinance make more money off the demand for these cards by hoarding sealed Premium products to flip onto the Secondary Market to turn a profit later thus pricing out those who couldn't afford it. I assume that the Sports Card Industry back in the 90's were doing something similar by partaking in this kind of class warfare by pricing their own target demographic out of the market by catering to those who were wealthy and rich enough to afford it.

    The marketing bubbles of other collectible items such as ty Beanie Babies show similar stories (which I used to collect as well but were no longer profitable due to how mass produced they were). Early collectors collect purely for the joy than the speculation. The supply of these items declined over time as most of them weren't kept in mint / near mint condition or they we're thrown out. The earliest versions were produced in limited supply due to low demand. Prices spike due to demand, then demand increases for new versions. Manufacturers increase production, speculators think that the new items will appreciate just like the old ones, and buyers stockpile them. Then they cash in and lower prices just to sell.
    Posted in: Magic General
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    posted a message on MTG Needs New Leadership and Why Mark Rosewater (MaRo) Should Step Down
    If Mark Rosewater listens to the playerbase and answers questions constantly on blogatog then why is Standard such a mess right now? He's been working with Wizards of the Coast for so long that he's completely out of touch with what makes MTG good or bad. Would it kill him as head designer to lower the power level of Standard so that tournament grinders have a reason to play MTG again instead of having to sit through someone comboing off on Arena constantly? Nobody likes going up against non-interactive decks with very few answers available to deal with them within the current Standard card pool but of course Mark doesn't like interaction the same way Konami has made Yu-Gi-Oh! non-interactive. You'd think he knows how to design fun and fair cards but a lot of times they end up getting banned throughout every Standard season or Wizards of the Coast just waits it out via rotation. If there's one thing to remember about Mark Rosewater is that he's historically taken game mechanics that were just fine and made them completely worse by making them completely broken. It's a complete insult to the way R&D / Play Design at Wizards of the Coast used to operate.

    Mark Rosewater is the same person who thought Companions in Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths were perfectly fine and a fair automatic eighth card and half of a combo and your deck was ready set to go in a non-interactive zone (looking at Planeswalker Emblems), I mean there's clearly nothing wrong with that! When it's been 27 years and you're THAT dense then you need to go. I mean look at the Storm Scale, it's a list of all the mechanics in the history of the game. Almost every single one from seven and up which means they're never bringing it back into Standard ever again were his creation. He doesn't know how to do math or limit things or promote fun gameplay users like, "POWER! POWER! WE WANT MORE POWER!" "PEOPLE LOVE POWER CARDS! POWER CARDS SELL!!!", and he drives out everything else and then because he doesn't want his pet cards to be stopped he then cuts all interaction to make sure there's no way to interact or stop them. Mark's done this for the last 10+ years, so now you kind of get the idea of why his influence as head designer has been problematic for the health of MTG.

    A lot of these broken game mechanics are really about his ego cause If a game mechanic on the Storm Scale got an eight or nine because it was so hated by the MTG Community with so not acceptable gameplay, he wants to swing back around and take an extra shot at it so that he can say, "Well yeah I was a little rough the first time but we fixed it the second time. My mechanic that I created was great!" As much as I hate to admit this, Mark Rosewater is the Donald Trump of MTG where he's all about his ego and reputation and really doesn't give a crap about much else. As for his preferences for the game like doubling things and big giant splashy creatures? Yeah that's what goes now because he wants to, he doesn't care what you want when he wants what he wants. MTG now has the Yu-Gi-Oh! equivalent of the Extra Deck where you can grab just about anything you want and put it onto the battlefield for free potentially with the way Sideboards work nowadays instead of swapping cards from the Main Deck and Sideboard. Also Wizards of the Coast needs to move away from directly impacting deck construction which is something that works in EDH / Commander but not in Standard or Modern.

    MaRo has been getting away with designing toxic infinite combos in Standard for the last four years that breaks a basic tenant of the game letting a card like Hostage Taker infinitely combo with itself because he's too dense to realize it. Don't let something infinitely combo with itself! In regards to Companions, don't let people start with eight cards in their opening hand! Don't let Standard have a Commander that also basically was a Companion. There's so many basic examples of breaking basic rules of the game and pushing power levels so high that it's something that Wizards of the Coast never would've done for balanced reasons. We almost have one example of this per Standard legal set. Perhaps Mark Rosewater should take the time to reflect on the mistakes he's made as a head designer for MTG that's been really detrimental on a competitive level more so than on a casual level. If a game mechanic players feel on the Storm Scale is more balanced than something that's 10 out of 10, that's better than players complaining, "I'm not going to play Standard until this bull crap rotates out".

    It's one thing that MaRo should focus on because the game loses a buttload of money and that's what effects people in the most negative possible way. All we're asking for is the game to function on a fair and basic level instead of Mark always printing cards that are too game breaking. Because of how he's restructured Play Design and Card Design, there's now less people at Wizards of the Coast to tell him "No" and now we have Companion and all these other broken ideas. They make the game less functional and more digital to fit within the context of Arena as they're much harder to track. What we really need are more MTG playtesters and designers to tell Mark "No" or just let him leave the company and have somebody else do his job for him because nobody at Wizards of the Coast could do his job as head designer of MTG worse except for Aaron Forsythe as the buck stops with him when it comes to MTG design. So him and Mark need to go. When you look at declining MTG sales numbers and that Wizards of the Coast is releasing Double Masters to make up for all the financial losses in Standard, they can only stall and fudge the numbers to make the math look good for awhile until somebody catches on and they're like, "How's our core product doing?"

    In the last Hasbro Stock Earnings Report, Wizards of the Coast had to take MTG and Monopoly by putting them into the same category to not make it look like MTG was losing mountains of money at the time it was. In other words Wizards of the Coast is lying and fudging their reports on MTG to Hasbro and they don't care as long as their bottom line is like, "Oh look we made money", which is why they've been getting away with greedier and greedier bull crap as they break Standard worse and worse and are driving competitive players away in droves in favor of casual players who play EDH / Commander and now unfortunately they have COVID-19 to hide behind as they could use that as any excuse for anything for any amount of time. Rightfully so, but at the same time Standard is at the worst place it's ever been. So If Hasbro were to really take a closer look at Wizards of the Coasts' business operations, customer satisfaction, and other factors they're all are about to go off a cliff. If they stop doing greedy crap to make up for all the money they're losing then they would make some changes. Papa Hasbro would step in and start handing out pink slips.

    They'd be like, "Wait a minute, did we just hear that you don't hire any African Americans even as contracted artists and then at the same time the head of the Judge Program said that they don't want more Caucasian males and they're not welcome to the Judge Program?" "Pardon me, what? Whose running this company into the ground or straight into an iceberg?", Hasbro needs to hear the truth. Apparently Wizards of the Coast CEO Chris Cocks was behind all the greedy selfish "Cut the Local Game Store (LGS) for Secret Lair". They may have also brought in somebody saying, "Hey make more money, maximize this, you're not doing well enough" and then a bunch of their pushed power level stuff was a direct result of Hasbro saying, "Make more money" and then giving Wizards of the Coast really poor advice on how to do it because nobody in management doesn't seem to know how to run a Trading Card Game / Collectible Card Game. So the whole, "Why aren't we selling more high powered Standard cards to EDH / Commander players or Modern players?" Their answer is "Up the power level." So it's either basically Hasbro's fault or they're completely ignorant of it and Wizards of the Coasts' management is sweeping it under the rug and not letting them know what's really going on by just making the numbers for their shareholders and stock brokers look pretty.

    There's absolutely no accountability for mistakes at Wizards of the Coast as it was 100% verified by former employees of Wizards of the Coast on Glassdoor. So If you've been working there for 10 years you can make all the mistakes you want, nobody's allowed to call you out on it, If you do you're fired and giant mistakes by Mark Rosewater, Aaron Forsythe, or CEO Chris Cocks, upper management are never addressed, they're not brought up in meetings about how they can avoid doing this before. It's basically that you're kept quiet about it or you lose your job. That's literally hundreds of former employees at Wizards of the Coast that say how the company operates. They don't behave like a normal company would. They're such egotistical stuck-up jerks who never want to be reminded of the mistakes they make, they think they can do absolutely nothing wrong, they're the perfect person for the job, and that they know everything and nobody's smarter than them which "Welcome to Seattle". That's the attitude over there. Because of that nothing in MTG ever gets fixed. Nothing gets changed. The same mistakes get made over and over. The same anti-consumer crap keeps happening, they keep losing players and it never gets addressed or fixed.
    Posted in: Magic General
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