2019 Holiday Exchange!
 
A New and Exciting Beginning
 
The End of an Era
  • posted a message on The Coronavirus Pandemic and the Future of the Local Game Store (LGS)
    In-Person Tournaments
    Why does the game have to be a competitive tournament? Why expect prizes and participation goodies? Play for the love of the game, its far more rewarding if you ask me.
    True though what I really meant was In-Store Play in general.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on The Coronavirus Pandemic and the Future of the Local Game Store (LGS)
    Digital Magic is the only real option we have right now despite how imperfect it is. Prior to COVID-19, playing Paper Magic for your average player was an infrequent at best occurrence. With COVID-19 and zero large scale In-Person Tournaments for a few years, what value can anyone get out of Paper cards for the foreseeable future? Whole Standard sets are going to come and go on Arena / MTGO before anyone can use them in Paper just like how it was with Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths and now Core Set 2021 will be the same as well.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on The Coronavirus Pandemic and the Future of the Local Game Store (LGS)
    So I recently read a Hipsters of the Coast article by Travis Norman titled, "It's Okay to Take a Break from Magic" when I noticed what's really missing from it. Under normal circumstances it's easy to take a break from playing MTG because you always had your LGS to go back to when you came back however due to recent events with the pandemic there's no guarantee your LGS will still be there once you get back from hiatus. What If there's another Government Shutdown where non-essential businesses like the LGS are no longer able to receive funds like the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) in order to stay in business? We take so much for granted that we don't take the time to realize just how good we had it.

    You can support other LGSs through TCGPlayer all you want but If you aren't supporting your own LGSs within your vicinity which is hard to do since their inventory is severely limited then they'll continue to struggle until they're forced to shut down for good. So your only two options are to either quit MTG instead of going on hiatus or you do whatever you can to support your LGSs in the hopes that you'll be able to play MTG again. The LGS cannot afford to lose $1,000 per month before they're able to fully re-open to the public, they just can't. Where are you going to be able to play MTG outside the LGS without any playgroups who know how to play? It's impossible.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Wizards cuts ties with artist Terese Nielsen
    At this point Wizards of the Coast needs to be sued for discrimination.

    I really hate what the MTG community is doing to the game's reputation on social media.

    Eventually there's not going to be anyone left to really give a damn.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on I like to know the future of magic with the new bannings.
    Quote from R_Lancer »
    The current protest has nothing to do with magic, unless their cooperate office is next door to CHAZ.
    Well both Wizards of the Coast and CHAZ are located in Seattle, Washington.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on I like to know the future of magic with the new bannings.
    Quote from R_Lancer »
    For the past year wizards has been Anti-Cardshop. So this move will not come a surprise.
    On a business perspective it makes sense as to why they've been against the Local Game Store (LGS) business model and more in favor of big box retailers like Walmart and Target simply because the profit margins are much higher and safer than at LGSs. On a public relations perspective it's a terrible move that completely neglects the In-Store Play aspect of the Local Game Store (LGS) that big box retailers like Walmart and Target are unable to provide for their customers especially GameStop as their slogan should've been "power to the corporations" because "power to the players" is misleading.

    The idea of GameStop implementing In-Store Play for people who play MTG, Pokémon TCG, and Yu-Gi-Oh! by running sanctioned events and Organized Play is laughable at best when they're already going the way of Blockbuster with terrible costumer service, terrible public relations, and bad business practices overall. Maybe If they didn't have such a terrible reputation I'd reconsider the option of GameStop potentially taking over the Local Game Store (LGS) business model and even If they did I feel it would be too corporate compared to how grassroots LGSs we know are properly run.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on The Coronavirus Pandemic and the Future of the Local Game Store (LGS)
    Sadly I think we're all severely underestimating the possibility of another future pandemic similar to what we've already experienced with COVID-19. Even with a vaccine or proven treatment methods, social distancing protocols will still linger long after. Even with COVID-19 under control, how can any small business owner expect to rebuild within the same industry that can be wiped out overnight by a Government Shutdown? Years after this has all passed we will have ANOTHER public health crisis similar to what we've already experienced with COVID-19 and we'll be shutting down all over again because this is apparently the new normal in our society. If a small business owner has the strength to rebuild, they'll be rebuilding into a pandemic proof business model that is completely void of ALL public interaction. We are literally heading full speed into a digital space against our will.

    Tournaments small and large will be forced to be held digitally where no social distancing and geographic restrictions exist. If COVID-19 hadn't occurred there's a good chance that Paper Magic could've kept going on a large scale for awhile longer. With COVID-19 there's no traction for something like MagicFest at least not for many years to come. If Wizards of the Coast, ChannelFireball, and Star City Games plans on keeping MTG going in the meantime then they HAVE to push digital events and sadly that's the only thing they can really offer at this time even though they continue to print new Paper products for the game. There's more support for offline MTG than there is for online MTG so how do you continue to cater to the offline demographic If the cards don't sell with nobody having a Local Game Store (LGS) to go back to just to even play with the paper products?
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on I like to know the future of magic with the new bannings.
    The best thing they could do to make up for banning these controversial cards is by reprinting them with more appropriate artwork and flavor text so that it doesn't hurt the ability to actually play the cards unless they're on the Reserve List. I can't think of any other cards throughout MTG's history where the card name, artwork, and oracle text are as offensive as Invoke Prejudice. So even If it wasn't a Reserve List card it would be impossible to reprint it in a more appropriate form that's acceptable in today's society unless you dramatically changed it's functionality. I think this is a major wake up call for a lot of MTG artists commissioning artwork for Wizards of the Coast as they need to be real careful.

    Toning down specific creatures depicting scantily-clad women via reprints I think would only hurt the original cards' value by causing an unnecessary demand for them on the Secondary Market that most players wouldn't be able to afford. It reminds me of how Wizards of the Coast toned down Douglas Shuler's artwork for Serra Angel into the version we see today by Donato Giancola. It's one thing to ban cards because they no longer fit within the context of modern society when it's another when you ban playable cards that are a key piece to someone's deck regardless of format without a viable substitute. Sometimes solutions can invite it's own set of problems even If it's justified.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on The Coronavirus Pandemic and the Future of the Local Game Store (LGS)
    At this point I think it's only up to whales who can effectively help support Local Game Stores (LGSs) since they have much more disposable income than those who only work paycheck to paycheck. Now the term "whale" is taken from gambling terminology, not mobile "Gacha" gaming terminology. It's the definition of someone dumping a large amount of money into a game they can never retrieve (consume), as a whale can only consume and not liquidate. MTG is a liquid product because the Paper cards can still be sold within the Secondary Market where as items in "Gacha" products aren't tangible. So I guess that changes the terminology of what is considered a "whale" when it comes to Paper Magic.

    A Local Game Store (LGS) probably has a better chance of surviving from a millionaire spending $20,000 to keep that business up and running as opposed to someone who only makes $200 every two weeks or have decided to spend their $1,200 Stimulus Check to support the business for at least a month. If I recall, Local Game Stores (LGSs) need at least $1,000 a month to stay in business or their landlord kicks them out because they weren't able to pay rent. While it's much faster for them to reach that monetary goal by accumulating entry fees for Organized Play events, selling food and drinks, as well as flipping card singles and sealed product, If there's less customers showing up due to social distancing...well...
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on The Coronavirus Pandemic and the Future of the Local Game Store (LGS)
    Turns out it's going to be a bit longer before my closest LGS allows In-Store Play despite the June 1st deadline Wizards of the Coast had already set. Still need to find out more about table space considering that a lot of LGSs have already minimized them down to help prevent the spread of the virus. Also been following another LGS of mine on their official website and they said they should have Organized Play events back up and running sometime next week so we'll see how that goes though I imagine it's going to look a little different due to social distancing guidelines. I don't think it will be too severe but I'm going to try to find out more information as time goes on.

    Business wise both LGSs seem to be doing pretty good right now with the one that's the closest having a tremendous amount of support from our local community so that was good to hear. Haven't really had a chance to play EDH / Commander since March when the pandemic started though I did go out with a bang in my last game with Alela, Artful Provocateur right after one of my friends jokingly said, "Draw your last pathetic card Yugi Motou!" impersonating Seto Kaiba from Yu-Gi-Oh! of course. Sadly we weren't able to fire any games for other Paper Trading Card Games / Collectible Card Games since most of my friends were either still waiting on new cards to be released or had trouble ordering them online.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Why Wizards of the Coast Has No Real Competitive Answer to EDH / Commander
    Quote from DirkGently »
    WotC needs new product to sell, and eternal formats don't make for big sales. I think that's also likely why they're tying the precons to the sets, so that you're forced to buy the set to use the mechanics to the fullest.

    Not sure I see the connection between companions and Eminence. None of them do anything until they're cast. They might be an attempt to entice commander players, but I think more likely it's just a way to use the fun gimmick of commander in non-commander formats. I think the most defining quality of commander is being casual, so fans of commander aren't likely too keen on getting into a competitive format just because it imitates one mechanic.
    EDH / Commander IMO isn't the "end all be all" format that a lot of players talk about If there's no place to show for it. No LGS, No EDH. I'm not sure If the recent errata on Companions in Ikoria will be enough to convince players that Wizards of the Coast found a good competitive answer to EDH / Commander in a way that draws more players in Organized Play events for Paper Standard. If anything it just reinforces Wizards of the Coast's recent push toward Digital that was hastened from the pandemic.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on The Coronavirus Pandemic and the Future of the Local Game Store (LGS)
    Quote from mikeyG »
    I guess my point is that there's still going to be people who are wanting that "fix" when it could've otherwise led them down a path of drug abuse and alcohol addiction leading to more serious health issues (not excluding COVID-19 but you get the point).
    Okay? I don't understand how this intersects with covid-19 and LGSes, though.
    Well to a lot of players the Local Game Store (LGS) is a form of escapism that under normal circumstances wouldn't harm them as much physically as it does mentally but with COVID-19 in the mix you have a situation where there's both physical and mental harm done to players which makes it more of a Catch-22 scenario. It's a dopamine rush that can potentially cost you your own life If you're not careful about it but even If you are careful about it you're screwed either way.

    Organized Play is really the backbone of success for a lot of Local Game Stores (LGSs) that need those finances to provide a physical location for people to play MTG and other Paper Trading Card Games / Collectible Card Games. Without it you have less new players getting into Paper Magic, less playgroups to socially interact with, literally to the point where the business is nothing more than a 7-11 Convenience store. This game genre is too dependent on cash flow in order to be successful.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on ChannelFireball Cancels All Paper Magic Events Permanently due to COVID-19, MagicFest Cancelled Forever?
    I know it's old news but here's official confirmation by Elaine Chase:

    https://magic.gg/news/magicfest-cancellation
    Quote from Elaine Chase »

    To the Magic community,

    Without any doubt, our top priority is the health and safety of players, casters, artists, event staff, and everyone else who makes Magic competitive play both possible and wonderful. Given the unpredictability of COVID-19, we have made changes to how the highest levels of competitive Magic work to ensure that we can keep playing during the pandemic.

    This year's remaining Players Tour, Players Tour Final, and Mythic Invitational events are shifting to be run online with remote play. Starting this (northern hemisphere) fall, we will be shifting to set-based competitive seasons for the first time ever around Zendikar Rising.

    Over the summer, you will see us continue to roll out new virtual approaches to competitive play like the Arena Open happening on May 30, with players who make Day 2 able to earn up to $2,000 based on their win record in this first iteration, and the MagicFest Online and Friday Night Magic events we have been hosting with our partners and your favorite WPN stores.

    This means we've made the heartbreaking decision to cancel all outstanding 2020 in-person high-level Magic events including MagicFests. (For details on what this means for related programs, click here.)

    We realize this isn't what anyone wants. Most of us have forged friendships through the camaraderie of competition in far-flung places around the globe. Late nights in hotel lobbies, when players who had worked so hard for so long earned hard-won success, and tears and comforting when the bad beats hit. Hugs and high fives and debates over the best way to roll to see who got to choose to play or draw. The nervous excitement before opening that first draft pack. And countless other small moments that we all share and treasure.

    Those thoughts will be at the forefront of our minds as we think about the future of tabletop play. But while the world rebuilds face-to-face gatherings, Magic competitive play isn't going to wait; it's going to continue online and from home. We change, we adapt, and we play on.

    Magic is strong, and the Magic community is even stronger. Together we'll forge a new way of gathering to share our passion for Magic. And someday, we'll be able to sling spells at a table with friends we've made from around the world. I plan to be there with you when we do.

    Elaine Chase

    VP Esports
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Double Masters 2XM New reprint product
    In some ways, Commander is probably the "safest" way to play with paper cards, since competitiveness is not a requirement.
    Not really since there will be no LGSs left to go to due to the pandemic requiring everyone to continue social distancing. Do you know how hard it is to find playgroups for EDH / Commander without a place to meet-up at? That's like trying to get a game with someone younger than you at their house while their parents falsely suspect you of being a pedophile.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Coronavirus (COVID-19): Will Social Distancing Be Permanent?
    I did get some rebuttals from another user on a different forum about this who claims that I'm being manipulated by this YouTuber. He then posts:
    Quote from Celever »
    Ah, a videeo from the UK's favourite cult leader. I hope this was posted in jest.

    Besides being one of the UK's few anti-vaxxers, he also writes frequently about how dementia is a myth, is a conspirator against the NHS claiming it intentionally kills its patients (killing more people than cancer!) and tries to lure people in with his pseudo-economics with the intention of turning them fascist, under a guise of humanitarianism. It's fun that he's now adding COVID-19 conspiracies to his arsenal of incredulous claims.

    Let's dissect a little bit.
    In Britain the mathematical model has concluded that 8 million people would be hospitalized and 500,000 would die. Showing all the skills of life insurance salesmen they sold this theory to the politicians and convinced them that their projections were accurate.
    To date in the UK, just under 37,000 people have been confirmed to have died from COVID-19. That's nearing the 50,000 projected in the mathematical model, to the extent that we're likely to surpass the projected figure. What he claims as "8 million people would be hospitalized" was in actuality a claim that "preparations must be made for 8 million people to contract the virus". It's clear how he spun words there, and that his claims regarding deaths are blatantly incorrect.
    It was obvious back in February 2020 that the Coronavirus (COVID-19) wasn't going to kill us all.
    Here is where the manipulation tactics come into play. Using language such as "kill us all" is a number of different fallacies: partly it's appeal to emotion, drawing on the reader's feelings to drown out their rationality; partly it's manipulation of figures again, since we're nearing 50,000 deaths and we're clearly not all dead so it's got nothing to do with the aforementioned model; and partly it's appeal to false evidence, using the arbitrary date of February 2020 to form an implication of credence to his claim that something happened at some point to back up his claim. Nobody ever claimed that COVID-19 would kill us all, and that was therefore apparent before February 2020. This is nonsense.
    The wise will at this point wonder whether politicians leapt on the nonsense because they saw an opportunity or whether the politicians were looking for an opportunity and waiting for the nonsense to be served up for them.
    Note how he elevates his own position to the listener, even if a little subtly. Referring to the people on his side as "the wise" is a way of making people believe that he is wise without realizing it in the same way as they would if he had said "I am wise and therefore I wonder...". It's also another manipulation tactic to make the audience agree with what he's saying, since it's a plural inclusive conjunctive that means that if the audience also realizes how COVID-19 is a myth, then they too will be wise. It works sub-consciously, but it still works.
    The suspicions of the wise will be strengthened by the fact that this bizarre error was repeated all over the world and duly endorsed and encouraged by eager politicians and so the hysteria and the panic became global
    The panic has not been global. It has occurred in the majority of first world countries, where the virus has most affected, but in underdeveloped countries their COVID-19 measures were primarily restricted to closing borders to prevent the virus entering their territory, to little effect on the residents of those countries, as well as a short pseudo-lockdown to a much lesser extent to what we've seen in Europe. The other route, taken in countries like Vietnam, was a complete lockdown complete with the Government sending food to every family so they could survive comfortably without needing to leave the house. That eradicated the virus entirely without a single death, and lockdown in that country ended over a month ago. This is not a global hysteria or panic: better Governments than we have seen in Europe and America solved the COVID-19 problem promptly. This pandemic was mishandled by our Governments, but it was not opportunism by those politicians. It was ineptitude.
    even though the bug was officially downgraded to flu level back in March 2020
    From the WHO: "Globally, about 3.4% of reported COVID-19 cases have died. By comparison, seasonal flu generally kills far fewer than 1% of those infected." This is for a number of possible reasons and it does not necessarily mean that COVID-19 is in and of itself deadlier, but that humans haven't built up a resistance to the virus as we have for the flu simply because it's new. This means that a strong immune system is often an insufficient defense against the virus because when no one's immune system has encountered the virus before, everyone's at essentially a flat 0. That further means it kills people who wouldn't die from the flu, meaning it is clearly not downgraded to flu level.

    Besides that, the same manipulation tactics are used: "officially" is appeal to authority which is particularly egregious considering no official did what he claimed, and March 2020 is another false evidence using an arbitrary date to imply that something happened to justify his claim, when it didn't.
    Politicians and compliant journalists ignored this inconvenient truth because they didn't want their plans damaged.
    This is a subtle ad hominem. Instead of justifying his claim that COVID-19 is no worse than flu, he skips that part and attacks the people who disagree with him for "ignor[ing] this inconvenient truth".
    The next stage in this lunacy was for politicians, advisors, and health care chiefs to decide that the threat from the virus was so great that the health services should be devoted in their entirety to the care of patients with this one disease. They decided to clear the wards' cancel operations and build new hospitals.
    "Lunacy" is used here for the fallacy of appeal to absurdity, drawing on the listener's feeling of common sense to discredit something that isn't actually absurd. This is also factually incorrect. Hospitals are still performing essential operations, as I would know because my Mother has been visiting hospital frequently thanks to a stomach stricture that necessitates a series of surgeries. Only one floor of my local hospital is devoted to COVID-19, accounting for the entire county of Gloucestershire. The other ~15 wards are operating normally.

    And building new hospitals is never a bad thing. I'm not sure why he's framing an increase in healthcare capacity as a bad thing. Oh that's right: he thinks "doctors and nurses kill more people than cancer" (the title of a previous book of his).
    The nation came to a halt, schools were closed, factories were shut, and shops were closed too. Even dentists and opticians were told to lock their doors and help keep the virus at bay.
    Firstly, shops were never closed except for unimportant ones like garden centers. Using the general term "shops" to mean a small proportion of shops is a form of the "No True Scotsman" fallacy, redefining shops away from the general definition that the populace assumes. Factories were shut for a while but have since reopened, and schools continued teaching online so while the physical premises were closed the function of schools did not halt, which is intentional amphiboly. Using "even" to denote dentists and opticians is appeal to absurdity once again, trying to frame the closing of dentists and opticians as somehow more important than schools and factories which isn't strictly true (are glasses more important than education? really?) which is again trying to grant his point more credence than it has.
    In the U.K. the government and the supine media none more supine than the treacherous BBC (British Broadcasting Company)
    This is appeal to false authority. He simply accuses the BBC of being invalid for the purpose of discrediting what they have said, without justifying the point. It's the same as ad hominem except institutional.

    Not to say that there aren't issues with the BBC, but "supine" and "treacherous" are inappropriate descriptors for it.
    when Boris Johnson's government elected to slightly soften the lockdown in England the majority of the population reacted in horror and insisted on checking the doors, locking the windows, drawing the curtains, and crawling under their beds.
    A false conclusion. Recoiling at a premature easing of lockdown =/= desire for a permanent lockdown. He omits "premature" from the premise because it invalidates his point.
    Governments everywhere have boosted the fear by talking of a second wave of infection and having promoted the idea of a vaccine as the only savior confessing that there may never be one available
    A slew of Asian countries have already eradicated COVID-19 entirely without a vaccine. No one thinks that a vaccine is the only measure that could solve the crisis because other measures have already solved it on a national level elsewhere. This is just nonsense.
    Politicians want to control us and they're doing very well.
    Ad hominem.
    It's difficult to see how we're all going to escape from this fake crisis.
    Appeal to absurdity.
    Of course If this wasn't a conspiracy to turn us all into subdued apprehensive and obedient zombies they could announce that they'd made a bit of a mistake and that the coronavirus (COVID-19) is no worse than the flu (common cold).
    This is just unsubstantiated assertion. It's not even argumentation. He doesn't justify his claim that "this [is] a conspiracy to turn us all into subdued apprehensive and obedient zombies" he just says it. Appeal to emotion, perhaps? No one wants to be a subdued apprehensive and obedient zombie. Or appeal to a lack of evidence? We can't disprove that that's truly the Government's plan, so hey it's probably true. But it's invalid nonetheless.
    Governments will enthusiastically promote social distancing as the only way to keep us safe but unless we stand up and fight and tell the truth, social distancing will be with us for years possibly forever and as a result our lives will be ruined in every conceivable way.
    Appealing to a sense of revolution, preying on dissatisfaction to form a following around him and his faulty opinions. COVID-19 isn't fake. Social distancing has succeeded in other countries and life has returned to relative normalcy (why wouldn't the politicians of those countries want in on this control that European leaders are apparently putting into use?). He's nothing more than a man who craves power and is willing to manipulate people into wrongfully granting it him.

    Posted in: Talk and Entertainment
  • To post a comment, please or register a new account.