2019 Holiday Exchange!
 
A New and Exciting Beginning
 
The End of an Era
  • posted a message on Just How Important is MTG Lore To You?
    I remember hearing that there was supposed to be a Harry Potter crossover in Strixhaven: School of Mages however J.K. Rowling's political beliefs didn't align with Wizards of the Coast's so she got tossed aside in much the same way they defamed Terese Nielsen. If you haven't figured this out by now it means that whatever future IP Crossover MTG receives after The Walking Dead could be determined based on the creators' political beliefs. IP creators are more likely to be accepted by Wizards of the Coast only If they're liberal or progressive cause If they fall into being conservative or moderate then they won't want to have anything to do with them.

    Now I could care less about the political affiliations of Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and Charlie Adlard who're the creators of The Walking Dead franchise. I find it hard to believe that Wizards of the Coast would refuse to profit off of an IP based on the creator of that IP's political beliefs. Did Wizards of the Coast care about the political beliefs of the creators of Godzilla when designing Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths? No. So why did they fire Terese Nielsen for her political beliefs If they don't care about the political beliefs of the creators of said IP they want to crossover MTG with? I just find it very hypocritical If that actually turned out to be true.

    I'm not sure how this is relevant to the topic of MtG Lore. Are you just trying to cause a stink?
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on Potential upcoming set leaked for 2022
    Quote from Ernart »
    *snip*

    Fun fact: Just because you specifically don't bold the parts that contradict your argument doesn't mean those parts of the quote don't exist.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Potential upcoming set leaked for 2022
    Assuming this is true, I wonder if it takes place in the contemporary story or if it is an attempt by Magic to enter a new genre by adding a parallel "in the future" story offshoot featuring the multiverse in a few millennia. Basically try to get both fantasy fans and "modern fantasy" fans as well.

    Also, I kinda want to hate this, but I dunno. If this is done well, this could be interesting at the very least visually.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Just How Important is MTG Lore To You?
    Quote from Mullerornis »
    Relax, the canon will still go on. These crossovers are unofficial.

    To me these crossovers feels like someone is talking in the background while you're watching a movie. Like, yeah, of course what the person says isn't canon and doesn't affect the story, but it affects how I experience the story. It's annoying background noise.

    Imagine a filmmaker made a movie where they didn't bother cleaning up the cameraman talking in the background, or even worse (as it is with these crossovers) specifically put in some entirely unrelated commercial jingles in the middle of a scene, like Frodo about to destroy the one ring but suddenly telling Sam about the new crunchy marshmellow cereals he's had for breakfast. That's how I feel about the crossovers. Sure, they can say it's not canon or whatever, but it doesn't make the movie more enjoyable.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on Secret Lair x The Walking Dead
    Quote from Cranky »
    Oh you're not wrong, the average player has absolute no grasp of what makes a card good. There have already been people screeching about how Rick is the Nexus of Fate of crossovers already. Like... really? Are we looking at different cards?

    I take it you're an above average player then? Someone who truly knows how to evaluate cards they haven't played with yet? Unlike all that ordinary folk.

    Say, how many artist signed cards do you have?

    Quote from Cranky »
    As for the DnD set, sorry you've already made up your mind knowing literally nothing about the set other than its theme.

    I know the theme. I don't like the theme. Like, yeah I made up my mind, because it's specifically not what I want. It's not rocket science.

    Quote from Cranky »
    That sounds like a pretty limiting way to enjoy the game, but to each their own do your thing dude.

    "You're not enjoying the game right" is, uh, a take I suppose.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Zendikar Rising- Lore and Story
    My main gripe with the story as a whole was that the themes didn't really line up with what we were shown, and not even in a subversive way. Like, we were told at several times that both Nahiri and Nissa are the guardians of Zendikar. They were always, to some degree, considered equals in this. We know that Nahiri was a literal guardian of Zendikar for a huge part of it's Eldrazi era, so she actually has a pretty good claim. But then Nissa just usurps her without imo even earning it. She just talks to elementals. What makes her special. Why is Nissa the voice of Zendikar and not "yet another green aligned shaman". I know the answer is marketing, but it's annoying in-universe. There's thousands if not millions of green shamans on Zendikar, but for some reason Nissa is The Chosen One.

    It goes a bit further. As Nahiri says on her story card, she commands the "bones" of Zendikar, which is a pretty neat foil thematically to Nissa. Not only are both concerned about the future of Zendikar, but both command a domain of Zendikar itself. Thematically they were equals. It would have been okay if this equality would have been acknowledged while moving the "true guardian" status to the other. Something like, "Nahiri was the guardian but now Zendikar needs a new guardian bla bla bla". Instead Nahiri is presented as an impostor, which is a slap in the face not only to her character but to the story in general.

    If you set up the themes like this either make Nahiri have a "fall out" with Zendikar, or make her aware by herself that she is no longer the guardian of Zendikar. Or have them both be guardians and make both aware that Zendikar needs both its untamedness, but its people also need some safe havens. Maybe have Nahiri use the lithoform core to create roil-free hotspots around centers of civilization, while the roil continues elsewhere.

    *throws hands up* There's so many things they could have done and they just did this. Urgh.

    (Disclaimer: I do not blame the author in this. Wizards has a pretty bad track record with giving authors enough time and resources to produce good content, so until we get evidence that this was indeed the author's fault, I'll default (see what I did there) to Wizards.)

    Quote from soramaro »
    The core turns things into ash when used by Nahiri, so that implies that Zendikar and its inhabitants would suffer from her rebuilding ... but for my taste, this all relies on too much conjecture.

    The problem is that we never really got any sort of explanation or hint as to how the lithoform core worked. I assumed, petrifying everything was just how it worked. But then Nissa uses it and does, like, the opposite? Did releasing the piece of Zendikar's soul inside cause all the damage to heal in an instant? That raises even more questions. Mainly, how much more can we devalue the threat of the Eldrazi if their damage to an entire plane can be undone in the blink of an eye, after they've already been destroyed by a large fireball.

    Quote from soramaro »
    Instead of the Obuun side story (which is set during the time when the Kor empire was a thing, but doesn't really explore how the world was different back then), they could've done a side story with a young, pre-spark Nahiri as the protagonist, showing us everyday life in the Kor empire and pre-Roil Zendikar in general.

    I would have loved this. Why was this not a thing. Rude.

    Quote from soramaro »
    To a lesser degree, Nissa's attachment to the elementals also feels like something that was exaggerated for the sake of the story. I'm less hung up on this because Nissa has been a tree-hugger for a long time now, but it still would've been nice to get a bit deeper into her past. (Maybe there is some lore/story stuff I'm not aware of here?)

    It was also very confusing. Like were the individual elementals actually entities that could die? Were they separate beings, like Kami that existed outside of their physical form? Or were they just manifestations of Zendikar's will, as elementals are usually understood? I mean, Ashaya was presented as the soul of Zendikar, but then what are the other elementals? Nahiri's reaction to elementals dying was justified, based on everything we used to know about elementals, but then Nissa goes "Noooo, you kiwwed it, it was my fwiend!" and we're left to wonder when that became a thing and whether or not Nissa is a reliable character. (Potshot theory of the day: Nissa has lost her mind after her encounter with Emrakul on Innistrad and is slowly descending into madness. You heard it here first folks.)

    Quote from soramaro »
    Also, the story spotlight cards have become pretty pointless. They're more like "here's something that happens in the story, in the vaguest possible sense" cards now.

    They're also actively misleading. Lithoform Blight being a card, let alone a story spotlight makes it look as if it was, like a huge plot point in the story.

    We get literally half a paragraph by Akiri seeing it and shrugging her shoulders before moving on. Like, at the very least use it as an argument by Nissa during her fight with Nahiri?

    I mean-

    *pinches nose*

    Sigh.



    Also, is it really that difficult to keep scale consistent in these stories? Ashaya is shown on its card to be enormous, but it can step on Jace and even has to bring down its arms to pin down Jace's? Like how big is it? The size of a lighthouse or the size of a person? Pick one.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on Secret Lair x The Walking Dead
    Quote from Cranky »
    Here's the thing: These are absolutely still 'opt-in.' They will never be good enough to be required for competitive play, and they're barely playable in the only other format they're legal in.

    A) You don't know that yet. If history has told us anything it's that Magic players are garbage at gauging quality of cards.

    B) Even if that's true. It's only true for now. Keep doing this for long anough and the next Nexus of Fate will slip through. Tarmogoyf was done as a gimmicky "hint at a new card type" card that nobody expected to be a constructed powerhouse. Oops. Especially with cards that are supposed to be flashy and gimmicky like, you know, these kinda secret lair crossovers, the chance for them accidentally being broken is not that bad.

    C) Regarding these being opt-in. This is literally only true for the godzilla crossovers or the Walking Dead crossovers. But what about the upcoming DnD set, which will be standard legal. How opt-in is that? I have already decided not to buy anything from that set, but honestly the prospect of playing a "crossover" standard for how-many-months on arena is less than appealing. This isn't about "giving some people a treat" anymore. This is about the crossovers going to be an integral part of an entire standard season.

    Quote from Cranky »
    There is some validity to the argument that these should've been done Zilortha-style, but why bother when it makes the cards uglier and skipping that step hurts literally no one anywhere, at all, ever?

    I mean, adding that second name also doesn't hurt anyone, so this is a zero sum argument at best. (Personally I believe that these cards being SL exclusive is going to "hurt" some people in the same way legacy and vintage have a high barrier of entry and the reserved list "hurting" people, not to mention the potential damage to the brand.)
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Secret Lair x The Walking Dead
    If you don't like it, don't buy it.

    I mean, this product doesn't exist in a vacuum. As I've said before. We already know that it doesnt stop at secret lairs. There's a whole crossover set announced with DnD. Like, we already know part of the future. This isn't fearmongering. And if this trend continues, because enough people continue buying, then crossovers will become more and more common, which will affect my experience of the game no matter which products I specifically skip out on. (Having to skip out on a major release, because it's not a Magic set is already kinda unprecedented, not counting Arabian Nights.) And if it really does hurt Magic in the long run, then it is my concern as a player no matter whether I'll buy this product or not.

    It's a similar thing with "just don't play with these cards". I cannot not play with a card if my opponent has it in its deck. I turned off the godzilla cards in Arena, because they annoy me like hell, but I can't turn off cards in RL and especially not cards that have no Magic alternate skin.

    Quote from Jiyor »
    Quote from Mystic_X »
    You joined this forum in June, have 5 posts to date,


    So you’ve been essentially complaining against gatekeeping the franchise for many of your post...and then proceeded to tell someone their opinion isn’t valid because they haven’t been on these forums as long as you. You don’t know how long they’ve played the game. Or how long they’ve lurked on the forums before joining.
    What your doing is the thing you claim to hate....your gatekeepeing.

    Yeah but they have more artist-signed cards than anyone you know combined. They know what they're talking about.

    Unlike all of you plebeians.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Secret Lair x The Walking Dead
    Quote from Cranky »
    1) These break immersion so they shouldn't exist: INVALID.
    There are already tons of cards that do this. Additionally, who are you to say what can or can't exist in a game you didn't create? WotC can do whatever they want with their game, and there are plenty of people who think these are cool. Let other people enjoy things, you are not the center of the universe.

    You're right, Wizards can do whatever they want. But that doesn't mean we, the customers, have to like it. Why should I "shut up and continue buying" when I am dissatisfied with the product? And why am I not allowed to voice my displeasure when the product is taking a route that might not enjoy at best and might actually damage the brand in the long run at worst?

    Why is the knee-jerk reaction to people going "we don't like this" always "tHey caN do whaTever theY waNt!". Like, the whole argument isn't a legal discussion. It's about whether we like and support where it is going. Wizards could also stuff their boosters with wool instead of cards and sell them at twice the price. Would that be legal? Provided they communicate that on the product, absolutely yes. Would players enjoy that and continue buying the product? Well, apparently some people will but the vast majority won't.

    Quote from Cranky »
    2) Slippery slope! They'll obviously print broken cards here eventually: INVALID.
    They are VERY clearly aware of the need for limited availability cards to be incredibly safe. They learned their lesson from Nexus. These cards are terrible, and will break zero formats. Also, if these sell well (ie: they have incentive to make more) in spite of being this bad, they have LITERALLY zero reason to amp up the power level. The slippery slope argument is not only fallacious, but wildly illogical to boot.

    You are right. Ever since Wizards accidentally printed the first broken card they learned their lesson and ever since there have been no broken cards. Lo and behold Magic was cured forever and there was never a broken card ever again. You are very smart.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Secret Lair x The Walking Dead
    Quote from soramaro »
    Of course I won't police people on this - if it gets too much, I'll just quietly leave.


    [...]

    But then you go one step further and want to ban these cards because you feel other people also shouldn't be allowed to run them, you go to far. When you talk about bans and legality you are policing the format and it's toxic. If someone gets a kick out of running these cards, let them. If someone wants to run these cards in some officially sanctioned EDH event, let them.

    Uhhhh...
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Secret Lair x The Walking Dead
    Quote from Ryperior74 »
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TAwk6RiK_dE

    Frown ....man, this is the saddest thing I have ever seen especially the ending

    brian (the professor) is just beyond livid like even more livid than the Vip boosters in Double masters in this and pretty much has everything perfectly of why this secret lair is just so beyond wrong


    I definitely applaud the video on the issue of these

    I feel like he went over the fact that this is hurting Magic in the long run too quickly. As someone else earlier in the thread has said, this is eroding the brand. This isn't about whether you like or not like the walking dead, my little pony or dungeons and dragons. The fact is that Magic's essence is becoming diluted more and more. It started out with silver border cards (talking about MLP here, not the un-sets), now we get mechanically unique black border cards and soon we will have an entire set. This isn't a slippery slope, this is an already fully designed descending elevator. We know what Magic's future plans are.

    Unless this is going to become massively unpopular, which I doubt, then this will hurt the brand to a point of no return. Magic won't be Magic anymore and it will just fade away in the people's vision. This might end up as a great case study how short term profit ends up with the cannibalization and eventual death of an entire brand.

    Now, people have been claiming "Magic will die!" ever since... it's existence I suppose. But the thing is, Magic will die. There is no around it. One day the brand will just disappear from the shelves, either with a bang or with a whimper. The question isn't "if" but "when" and "why". And I might be wrong, hopefully I am, but the recent developments in the past years seem like they are leading to the next stage of the brand's life cycle.

    Of course, these secret lairs, the franchise crossovers, the reckless management of standard and what have you aren't going to be the direct causes of the downfall of Magic. But if I am right, they will be a symptom of the underlying illness. And if it really comes to all of it, then people in the future with their power of hindsight will point to all these things and say "See, here were the signs. It was inevitable.".
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Zendikar Rising- Lore and Story
    Even if the hedrons overlapped with the Skyclaves: As someone mentioned earlier, Nahiri crafted them in 40 years. Which means that even if they had been around for a while during the time of the story, they were still somewhat of a new development. They really shouldn't have been refered to just in passing. They are the icon of Zendikar's change into a prison.

    Also, showing a hedron less Zendikar, or indeed a completely different Zendikar (surely the roil must have wreaked some havoc on Zendikar landmarks. Keep the names of the continents but replace the Guum Wilds with a new location that stopped existing due to the Eldrazi devastation or the roil later on. There, massively cheap resemblance of worldbuilding. Urgh.) would have gone a long way to show just how much Zendikar has transformed, which would tie the story thematically into the current story arc, even if it is otherwise completely separate.

    Not to mention that even if the hedrons were semi-regular thing at the time (maybe it was year 39 of Nahiri crafting Hedrons), there is some narrative obligation to still call it out and direct some attention to it, given, again, how imortant they are to Zendikar's design and history.

    Argh! *rips out hair in frustration*

    Otherwise this story didn't do much for me either. What was the point of it again? Obuun connecting with his ancestors? Why is this a noteworthy thing given that that appears to be the norm for the elves there? I was hoping we'd learn why Obuun became the spiritual leader (har har, see what I did there) for the elves, as per his snippet, but no. If this was a no-name "average Joe" character, whose purpose is to introduce us to the culture of the elves, sure, but this is a legendary character whose one-paragraph story snippet is more interesting than the entirety of this story. Uhhh...

    I'm also not a fan of the writing style of these Zendikar stories. It's just way too verbose for no need. Like, I get it, not every writer subscribes to the brevity is key philosophy (though they should, don't at me) but at least during action scenes it serves to sell an atmosphere better than flowery verbose language. Instead we spend a paragraph describing what the air smells like and what the ground felt like while Obuun was being thrown around. Ok. It feels too much like the writer wants to flex their vocabulary and sentence crafting ability in the reader's face.

    Also, another thing I was annoyed at from Obuun's character snippet, that I hoped this story would address, but wasn't is:
    In a world where spirits are a thing and hang around for a long time (like Obuun) and are apparently directly involved in everyday affairs (like Obuun), how can the true identity of the Eldrazi be lost? That makes no sense.

    Anyway, despite what I made it sound like, it wasn't a terrible story. It was okay, but like the first one, nothing I'd reread. My frustration mainly stems from the fact how easily you could improve this story substantially. But whatever. I'm just glad the online stories are back, like genuinely. I'm harsh because I care, see. :^)
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on Zendikar Rising- Lore and Story
    Quote from soramaro »
    Does it have to be one or the other? To me, it makes the character more realistic. People with *****ty general behaviour that are likeable under certain circumstances are a thing in the real world...

    My gripe isn't that he isn't realistic, but that it appears to me that the author wants him to be likeable/semi-heroic/sympathetic etc without doing anything to earn that sympathy.

    Like, Akiri thinks that despite his thieving activities, "his heart is in the right place". He was right about Nahiri's intentions etc. There's a point where it stops being just the characters' opinions, and starts becoming the author's intent.

    The issue is all positive traits about him are either told to us (rather than shown) or aren't earned. Akiri says that he is a good person and we have to take her word for it. Zareth opposes Nahiri and believes the artifact to be harmful, despite no reason for the latter. His only reason is that he doesn't see a place for himself (an adventurer) in a healed Zendikar, which is A) somewhat selfish B) somewhat dumbass and C) not even related to any sort of information. It's just an emotional response. Zareth isn't against using the artifact because he has seen its effects. He just opposes Nahiri because he doesn't want her to succeed, even if the artifact did exactly the thing everyone hopes it does, no strings attached.

    Quote from soramaro »
    I wouldn't really count the "sacrifices people" thing as a bad character trait though (in this specific case). Not everyone is a selfless hero, and the author clearly described what kind of life-of-death situation they were in. I think in a situation like this, most people would've done what Zareth did instead of heroically, but pointlessly trying to save everyone.

    To me there is a sharp distinction between abandoning people you care less about than your friend and actually calling them over and using them as bait with no intention to secure their survival, to save your friend.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on Zendikar Rising- Lore and Story
    New story was good, but I'm having some major cognitive dissonance about Zareth. On the one hand he's written as likeable and witty and actually right about the whole Nahiri thing, clearly a sympathetic character.

    On the other hand he steals from people who don't seem to be particularly rich and actually literally sacrifices people to save his best buddy.

    Like, I dunno...

    Quote from user_938036 »
    Not quite. All of the original dungeon diving for Zendikar was based around this mysterious "thing" known as the Eldrazi. It was unclear if they were a civilization, a group of Gods, or something. Just that they left powerful Artifacts and Zendikar wasn't happy about it. So there was this underlying feel of interconnectivity based around "What are/were the Eldrazi" and they can't get that back

    I dunno, maybe it's my cynism, but I never really had this "oh wow so mysterious" feel about Zendikar. All the places on Zendikar were obviously just "lets throw as many unexplained things at the wall as we can to paint a colourful picture". Tal Terig the puzzle tower has no relation to the singing city, has no relation to glasspool, has no relation to the crypt of agadeem, has no relation to the blue strand of jwar isle. (To be fair, the singing city being ringed by giant multi-armed statues was okay foreshadowing, but literally never explained/shown on the cards, so probably missed by 99.9% of the players.)

    There is nothing tying these secrets together, something that when connected creating something else or suddenly making something make sense. There is no payoff after the Eldrazi were freed, which confirmed that these mysteries were done the same way they did the mysteries in Lost: There literally was no answer baked into the design. They were open questions that even the creators didn't know how to solve.

    And your mileage may vary, but that is not deep worldbuilding. That's just placing props on a stage to make it pretty. Which, again, isn't particularly bad, given that MtG is a game first and foremost and not an epic saga where a single world has years to be developed. But it's a thing. And it has been a thing during Zendikar I.

    Quote from soramaro »
    One question that's still left is "what is the Roil?", because until now, the assumption was that it was the plane's immune response to the Eldrazi. It should be gone, so why is it still there? This arguably qualifies as an element of mystery, at least for the readers and the planeswalkers in the story. From the perspective of the average Zendikari adventurer it doesn't really work though because for them, the Roil has always been there. Also it's not something you go on an adventure for, but just a hazard/obstacle that you run into along the way.

    I mean the (current) in-universe explanation is that the roil is like a scab. It doesn't just stop from one day to the enxt just because the Eldrazi are gone. It may take centuries to heal. To spin the "physical harm" analogy further, Zendikar may never fully recover from it and remain "crippled".

    The out of universe answer of course is that (planar) change in Magic is bad, or has been phased out sicne they started returning to planes. Obviously when you return to planes, you want to show what people fell in love with.

    Personally, I am of the opinion that planes are the "real" characters in Magic (or should be, rather) and as such should undergo the same changes that characters do in other stories, including their destruction or, well, irreversible change, but that's just me and unfortunately theres a lot of players/fans who don't want things to change at all. Because for them it's about the franchise and not the stories.

    I don't get why Nissa is acting awkwardly with Jace at the end. Can someone fill me in?

    Because they want to make the planeswalkers relatable and social awkwardness is very relatable to a lot of Magic players.

    Of course extracting real world modern society social awkwardness into a fantasy world where people literally fight for their survival on a regular basis and are involved in interplanar threats kinda doesn't work, but shh, don't tell Wizards that.

    Also, I'm sorry for Nissa. Her character has been through so many retcons and shifts in tone, I feel like not even she knows what kind of character she is supposed to be.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on Zendikar Rising- Lore and Story
    Quote from soramaro »
    At this point the Skyclaves don't feel like they're connected to anything. They're randomly generated video game dungeons where the characters can go to find the new story's MacGuffins. I'd be nice if there was more to them, but my expectations are low. Similarly, the bismuth patterns on some of the weapons seem to be nothing more than a superficial aestethic.

    Is that new though? Zendikar was never a particularly deep setting. "Just" a rich one with lots of variety and content. All the places, ruins and so forth were just named dungeons with about a sentence describing their mysteriousness. Which isn't particularly bad for Magic's standards, mind you, but yeah.

    I think part of why they feel so disconnected is not so much the lack of connect, but the fact that we know that they were made up for this set. Like, that's how Magic operates, which is fine, but it's become a bit of a sore point in the last years due to the constant retcons and inconsistencies. It killed speculation, and it kills excitement about new content, because the glamer that new content is just something that's always been there, but only just now discovered, has been dispelled. The good-will is gone.

    At least, that's how I feel about it.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • To post a comment, please or register a new account.