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Jan 18, 2019Trinite0 posted a message on Wizards should partner with Netflix to make a big budget Netflix seriesThey're not going to make any media that isn't about currently-active characters in the card game. It would waste the cross-promotion sales opportunity.Posted in: Magic Storyline
Jan 14, 2019Trinite0 posted a message on Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica - Lore & worldbuilding tidbitsGreat stuff!Posted in: Magic Storyline
Jan 8, 2019Trinite0 posted a message on Wizards should partner with Netflix to make a big budget Netflix seriesI do think that could be pretty cool! Though I'm sure that Hasbro would wan to show to focus on recent storyline material. It would probably be coolest if it could be an independent story, rather than an alternate version of the existing story.Posted in: Magic Storyline
Nov 16, 2018I thought it was a good story. Very "millennial" in its depiction of this Selesnya friend group pulling together to overcome their problems. The depiction of Orzhov contract magic seemed a little weak and mustache-twirly, but maybe we'll get a better depiction once the second block rolls out and we get a true Orzhov-focused story. Gotta watch out for those copper-to-gold machines, though; that's a great way to destabilize the whole plane's monetary system...Posted in: Magic Storyline
Oct 31, 2018I don't think Vault design should be incentivizing intentionally opening duplicates. It should be a "consolation prize" that offsets the inevitable incidental process of opening duplicates in the course of normally opening packs. The optimal mathematical method of acquiring a particular rare should be to open packs of the set in which that rare is printed, so you have the chance of opening it "naturally" in the pack on top of the constant rate of wildcard acquisition. It should never be more optimal to intentionally open duplicates instead of doing that. If the math on the Vault isn't doing that now, then it needs to be rebalanced.Posted in: MTG Arena
My major beef with the Vault right now is that the progression in both invisible, and so slow as to be imperceptible in its effect, so that right now it feels as though it doesn't even exist. So it's not serving its psychological purpose of offsetting the frustration of opening duplicates at all. Even if all we could see is some tiny little icon that tells us that the duplicates are doing *something*, that would be better than the current system.
Oct 15, 2018Posted in: Magic Storyline
I'm very much in favor of these developments, and feeling quite optimistic!
Oct 15, 2018I'm very much in favor of this new direction, since it gives plenty of space for exactly the kind of side-stories we've been asking for. With modern digital book distribution systems, I don't think anybody has to worry too much about not being able to read the novel if they want to.Posted in: Magic Storyline
I probably won't read the novel, because I generally don't find novel-length MTG stories worthwhile, though Greg Weisman is a pretty strong draw for me. But I'm still not worried about not being able to get the whole plot without reading the novel; that's what wiki pages and outlines are for. I've never read any of the old novels (with the exception of Lorwyn, which was garbage), but I'm quite happy with the degree to which I've absorbed the old stories. I'm never gonna be at Jay13x's level (congratulations, Jay!), but I'm still a happy Vorthos.
Sep 13, 2018Posted in: Magic Storyline
That's perfectly fair. But she can maintain a consistent verb tense, and not copy/paste the same sentence into two different places, so in my book she beats the Ixalan spread.Quote from OathboundOne »
Here I'll vehemently disagree. I read all of the Ixalan stories end to end, even the bad ones. I read the first Vivien story, skimmed over many parts of the second, and couldn't even force myself to finish the third.Quote from Trinite0 »I certainly think Vivien comes off as more interesting and believable than Huatli did, despite the flaws in this story. That's a fairly low bar, though. Khaw's work, whatever its qualities, is far better than the casualty-of-committee embarrassment that was the non-Jace-Vraska parts of the Ixalan story.
It's a matter of taste, certainly, and thus subjective as to a better or worse comparison, but at least for some of us Khaw's work is simply unpalatable.
Sep 12, 2018I certainly think Vivien comes off as more interesting and believable than Huatli did, despite the flaws in this story. That's a fairly low bar, though. Khaw's work, whatever its qualities, is far better than the casualty-of-committee embarrassment that was the non-Jace-Vraska parts of the Ixalan story.Posted in: Magic Storyline
Sep 12, 2018So after Cassandra Khaw's Unbowed:Posted in: Magic Storyline
While I definitely think this set of stories wasn't as good as Kate Elliott's Bolas story, I still think Wizards is on the right track. Despite agreeing with the legitimate criticism of some of the florid overindulgence of the prose style, I'm still happy to read stories with a singular, identifiable authorial voice. It's certainly better than the pre-Dominaria "story team" pieces, in which several writers with obviously varying capabilities were patching together stories with no evident editing passes.
There are still structural problems:
- Each chapter is still too long, keeping writers from being able to construct a focused narrative direction, while also discouraging one-off chapters that aren't obligated to advance the primary plot (we need more secondary character pieces like the Slimefoot story from Dominaria).
- Action scenes still often seem perfunctory and artificial, as though they were inserted according to an an outline rather than arising naturally from dramatic need.
- I think that the writers might need additional guidance as to tone and character portrayal, beyond whatever plot notes they receive. I suspect, for example, that Cassandra Khaw's depiction of Vivien's personality might have been a bit "off model" from what Wizards actually wants Vivien to be like. Jace, similarly, seems to vary broadly in his characterization depending on who is writing him.
Sep 10, 2018Having largely enjoyed the first two installments, despite agreeing with some of the criticisms of Vivien's character, this chapter has brought me around closer to the negative viewpoint. Looks like it was all pushing toward thinly-justified eco-terrorism the whole time. And also apparently she could have planeswalked out of the torture cells earlier, and just didn't. Okay.Posted in: Magic Storyline
I've been defending the writing style, but by this chapter was wearing thin on me, too. Stuff like:
So now the shamans of Skalla talk like Azorius lawyers, I guess."I'm really not sure what the protocol is on this." Unbidden, a smile anchored itself. "But I keep feeling like some measure of informational exposition is necessary."
I certainly hope they're deliberately pitching her as a villain, because that's certainly what this bit of dialogue does. I don't know if she's quoting Nicol Bolas or someone else, But it's something he certainly might say (with a bit of a G twist)."Someone once described the death of a nation to me as a 'mercy.' I didn't really understand his point then, or where he was coming from. But now, now I find myself in perfect comprehension." Vivien drew lazy figure eights with her fingers, magic beginning to collect in her palm, spokes of glittering power. "Anyway. This is a mercy. This is the last that you will see of Luneau. By this time tomorrow, the wilds will have this place again and you will be nothing but a memory to be forgotten."
That being said, I'm down for non-heroic neo-walkers, and even a return to walkers in general being almost bad guys by default. But I'd rather they come off as smart and reflective, even in their villainy, rather than monomaniacal and kinda dumb.
I also agree with Lord Mektar above, that Vivien's personality and behavior come off as more R in nature, or RG. She seems to really enjoy watching violence, and has more regard for raw power than natural order.
But hey, I guess when you manage to use your -8 Ult, it feels pretty good to swing with everything.
Sep 5, 2018Posted in: Magic StorylineQuote from Joao Wockeez »Quote from OrzhovPlaneswalker »
I wondered if that card was a story spotlight yet I couldn’t figure out what it was trying to depict given that there was no flavour text and Niv’s experiments are often complicated and hard to describe even at best.
Both the original and promo versions of the art show some sort of illusion of Niv, Niv is always depicted as having a strong personality and ideals, i'm hoping that's enough to protect him from Bolas, if he turns out to become another puppet it would be quite anticlimactic IMO.
Bolas is gonna go all Darth Vader and reveal that he's Niv's father, I've been tellin' ya!
Then Niv's gonna find out what the B in UBR means when daddy Bolas stabs him in the back.
Sep 5, 2018I enjoy the high-brow language in these stories, though it does seem a bit incongruous for Vivien's personal voice. I dunno, maybe in Skalla even the shamans read Nabokov.:)Posted in: Magic Storyline
The body horror descriptions are particularly effective, and I'd nominate Cassandra Khaw to write the stories for New New Phyrexia (or Scars of Scars of Mirrodin, whatever they call it). Highly intellectualized clinical violence seems to be her strong suit.
Still unsure why Vivien can't planeswalk out of captivity and then come back to the plane. It seemed that maybe the round white cell was impeding her -- but what about the second cell? Ah well, it's a common plot hole in these things. Or maybe this is pre-Ixaln block, and she can't, who knows. It would stand to reason that Angrath wouldn't have been the only walker to get trapped on the plane during the past few post-Mending years.
But there is a structural problem here: any captivity/torture story really tends to deprive the protagonist of anything interesting to do. From a plot standpoint, nothing would have been lost from making the whole torture process one sentence long and cutting straight to the vivisection party scene. And honestly, we don't develop Vivien's character much here either: all we find out is that (a) she's very tough, and won't break under extreme physical torture; (b) she really wants the Arkbow back (not much of a revelation); (c) she's easily bored while alone; and (d) it doesn't occur to her to planeswalk away (again, supposing that this is after the Ixalan block story and not beforehand).
She gets much more interesting in the final scene, where she seems to begin figuring out how to play Luneau's social game back against the Baron. Her cleverness here seems to be a shift from her previous seeming naivete. I'm looking forward to seeing how chapter three plays out.
Aug 31, 2018I thought it was really good. Great evocation of both Tarkir and the ancient era of the Elder Dragons (Tarkir especially). The use of the parallel relationships between the Temur twins and Nicol/Ugin is a much more interesting literary structure than I've come to expect from Magic story. Kate Elliott has a fabulous command of tone and characterization, and her writing style fits the material very well.Posted in: Magic Storyline
There are still some remaining structural problems with the story chapters, mostly due to their fundamental format. I think that each chapter is generally a bit too long, and it often seems like each one is required to have an action scene whether it makes sense or not. A higher number of shorter chapters would be easier to write, I think, and they should allow authors more leeway to explore varied dramatic content (IMHO the best parts of the Dominaria story were the side-character chapters that weren't obligated to advance the main plot).
Overall, though, it's a huge step in the right direction, and I would me more than happy to have lots of future stories in this mold.
Aug 29, 2018Posted in: Magic StorylineQuote from OrzhovPlaneswalker »While the writing was fair and Vivian’s rage is easy to empathize with in this story-
-I find myself critical of environmental justice heroes whose main goal is to obliterate society. All things in balance. Would such a character maim farmers, tanners and such as well?
It is however likely true that animal menageries in the Age of Discovery were unlikely to have been humane and Black and White are sometimes negligent of Green values such as humble living, acceptance, etc.
I wonder how she’d view the Dromoka and their Abzan ancestors?
Yes, anti-civilization nature heroes can be a tiresome trope, hopefully Vivien doesn't get stuck too hard inside that box. That said, if you want to make such a hero sympathetic, this is a good way to do it. Have the "civilization" in question be pretty horrid and disgusting. And shout out to Cassandra Khaw for knocking that one out of the park! Pay attention, Wizards: if you want people to hate your vampire conquistadors, write 'em like this. The historically-inspired animal cruelty was highly effective in creating revulsion against them.
Maybe a little too effective, though. In this story, Vivien comes off as pretty immature and passive, what with all the waiting around and wallowing in internal disgust before taking any action. I'm not quite sure why seeing the starved monstrosaur was enough to push her over the edge, and not any one of the dozens of other awful things she'd already seen. There's also the unanswered question of what she's doing on Ixalan in the first place, which I hope we find out more about in the coming chapters. And it will be interesting to see her in a more balanced, sustainable civilizational situation, like among the Selesnya on Ravnica.
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Sep 27, 2017Great write-up. I've been an advocate of the Lim-Dul theory for a long time, but this is far more evidence than I've ever seen before for it. I'm really hoping that the Dominaria set gives us the big reveal. It would be a fabulous payoff for all of us old-time Vorthoses.Posted in: Articles
I'm especially intrigued by the possible connection between Lim-Dul and Nicol Bolas's army of Eternals. I could certainly see Bolas making a deal with Lim-Dul to open the way for him to dominate his host in exchange for the promise of service as a general. And Bolas was brokering those demonic pacts fairly soon after he first set up his plan for Amonkhet, too...
Do we know the time period for Liliana's initial meeting with the Raven Man and planeswalker ascension? Could it have been during or immediately after the last time Lim-Dul was known to be active on Dominaria?
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