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  • posted a message on ChannelFireball Cancels All Paper Magic Events Permanently due to COVID-19, MagicFest Cancelled Forever?
    How much do you think Wizards makes from Magic in paper vs. magic digital?

    And you think they're going to stop paper?

    This is indeed a good point. I suppose my concern has more to do with how WotC responds to what I expect will be a downturn in paper sales during the pandemic. The survey implies to me that they have concerns of how the pandemic will impact paper play (and therefore sales). That doesn't mean I think they end paper Magic because of it directly, but if a persisting pandemic with potential waves of lockdowns slows sales growth, the stockholders will be demanding a change in strategy of some kind to get the profit train back on whatever targets have been set. If there is indeed a slump in paper sales (and we haven't been shown that that has happened, but it's certainly not unreasonable to expect given inability to play and financial realities for many players), the company will be pressed to do something to hit targets.

    I don't know what that something is, I think you're right that it won't be to end paper Magic, but covid may have far reaching impacts on how the business views their products and organized play.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on ChannelFireball Cancels All Paper Magic Events Permanently due to COVID-19, MagicFest Cancelled Forever?

    That's very interesting, and certainly ominous. It's probably good that they're getting data, though the tenor of the questions makes me cautious about what WotC's next moves will be, especially in the back half when they ask about playing and spending habits changing over the past three months.

    Thank you for posting it here.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on ChannelFireball Cancels All Paper Magic Events Permanently due to COVID-19, MagicFest Cancelled Forever?
    Magic Fest was never shut down for getting "con crud". I got a major stomach bug from eating some con food at the last Magic Fest. Why shut down for something like this when people got sick anyway?

    Because getting the *****s from bad food you eat isn't very contagious and this disease that has killed 355,305 in a handful of months is.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on The Coronavirus Pandemic and the Future of the Local Game Store (LGS)
    Quote from SpeedGrapher »

    Be prepared for a massive amount of bankruptcies.
    An LGS is too small of business for the government to care about. If a business was making less then a million a year I highly doubt it got any money from the PPP in the United States. I don't have any good news or suggestions for you on this. Best case scenario is online orders sustain the business until it can re-open more. Or it closes forever. Maybe someone else buys the stores and creates a new store there.

    Also things are going to start to get wild soon. The PPP program in the USA was only good for 8 weeks of pay for a company. That's going to be over 2nd week of June for a lot of places.

    This is a fair, and realistic, point. We can talk about what the American government is doing to support small businesses and what else they *could* be doing, but at the end of the day they haven'r delivered real supports. Whether it's a lack of political will, a fixation on their donor class supporters, corruption, a lack of perspective, or a failure of priorities (or any combination of those and others), at the end of the day it's not happening an won't for the foreseeable future. So the consequence will be continued business closures, including many LGSes.

    I don't know what can realistically be done, aside from buying what you can and supporting your LGS with your money, but a huge number of people are out of work and struggling for food/shelter so it's not like an LGS is top priority for them. I guess there's always contacting your state and local representatives, for whatever good that might do. Some states might be supporting small businesses somehow or could, I'm not sure if that's going on in America but Canadian provinces are putting some supports into action themselves.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Looking for a land I think I saw somewhere
    Looking for a specific land. It was basically a universal pain land. You know, tap for a colorless or tap for 1 any color and take a point of damage? Probably in the laSt few years.

    Was this a dream? I do have Unknown Shores, which is like a universal filter, but I could swear I saw a pain-type version. Looking through gatherer set by set is getting a bit tedious.

    City of Brass? Mana Confluence?
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on The Coronavirus Pandemic and the Future of the Local Game Store (LGS)
    Now If a second outbreak of COVID-19 occurs in the near future then I'd really hate to see non-essential businesses being forced to close back down again after what we've already been through these past couple of months.

    For many businesses, the cost of a "false dawn" reopening where they close again in 2-4 months may wind up worse than if they'd just remained closed. That's at least true in Canada, many of my friends' businesses are remaining closed even though early reopenings have already begun because a second closure/reopening cycle would ruin them.

    A second wave at this point is virtually inevitable, given what we've already seen in places that reopened, if it even really goes away before that. We'll likely see a small surge in cases throughout the summer because of these ill-advised reopens and then the presumptive second wave in September-November somewhere. I mean, we had over 100,000 new cases just today (half from just the US, Russia, and Brazil) and I think this week saw the record for largest single-day jumps in cases broken twice (the 20th and today - both over 105,000 new cases) so it's not like this is even really calmed down significantly.

    Reopened stores are all but guaranteed to be shut down once more when the reopen results in a surge of cases.

    This would also involve the U.S. Government passing another Stimulus Package to help keep them in business with a second round of Stimulus Checks in the mail.

    I don't know whether to laugh or cry. Best of luck, the US government seems allergic to actually supporting working class people and small businesses - especially when compared to elsewhere. I have 75% of my employees' salaries covered in addition to $2000/month for four months direct to my staff members who had reduced hours from the closures, it's made it very easy to justify safely remaining closed for all of our in-person work and enabled us to be supported through contracts drying up. The federal government in the US could barely be arsed to toss people $1200 and the stimulus packages probably won't save small businesses.

    Small businesses like LGSes in the States? They won't receive the help they need, and many will die off because of it.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on The Next Deus Ex Machina Keyword & Leyline of Creation/Karn's Vision

    There are things that want to work in theory, but they don't work in practice.

    Truer words were never spoken.

    Do you really think this mechanic would show up as is in multiples at common? Aside from the needlessly complicated and confusing wording, even the theoretical version of the mechanic is just unrealistically powerful. In limited, even just one card with this mechanic will dig through 1/6th of your deck to give you the two most advantageous cards and tucking the rest away for later. And given that multiple cards with the mechanic in a deck will effectively give you a substantial control over your draws.

    Even in constructed formats, I'm not sure the mechanic is all that desirable. More often than not, it'll result in feel bad moments where you have to tuck away 2-4 cards you'd want to keep. Challenging players with skill-testing decisions is a good thing, to be sure, but with this mechanic you will usually be moving a greater number of cards you want to the bottom of your deck than to the top. On top of spending a card to set up a couple topdecks. It's paradoxically too strong in that it digs too far and unfun in that you tuck more than you keep. Contrast that with Fact or Fiction and other comparable cards like Unesh, they limit how deep you dig to balance player choices with the controlling player typically feeling like they got the better end of the deal. This mechanic doesn't function exactly the same, but I think the situations created by it is analogous in feeling, only I don't think it'll often feel like you're getting the satisfying end of the deal. The cards it's attached to world need to be good on their own, but in a vacuum the mechanic itself needs work (that it seems you're uninterested to consider).

    Why not just make this a vertical cycle in blue with the mechanic unkeyworded and modal? With, say, digging three cards deep at common, four at uncommon, and five at rare? That would solve a lot of the issues I'm seeing with the mechanic. I just don't think it works as a keyword in its present form.
    Posted in: Custom Card Creation
  • posted a message on Home Interview of MaRo by The 'Professor' at Toarian Community College

    That is your interpretation of the definition. Warfarin may be "essential" to a cardiac patient but it is not for heart healthy people. What is essential for one is not for others. There are degrees, it isn't black and white.

    I'll grant you that there are shades of grey in which socio-political levers are pulled to navigate this, but there is an aspect of the current crisis that is black and white and that is the contagiousness of the virus. When I said earlier that there is a risk to be assessed when determining which businesses are worth keeping open at this time, the risk is whether or not the products and services offered are worth the number of potential infections that could come from activity at that site. And that risk isn't just personal, it's communal. We're all links in a chain of potential transmissions and considerations of acceptable risk must be evaluated on those grounds. It's the heavy wind under which the trees must bend or be broken.

    So let's not muddy the waters of how we're framing the conversation of LGSes being essential or not. Issues of revenue, income, comfort, mental health, etc all matter, but they are the secondary concern here from a social perspective of navigating this crisis with the least number infected or dead. Which obviously isn't the priority for some, and is a big red flag about their access to power, if you ask me.

    All of this is relevant as well, how "emotional" to dispel my questions as if they have no validity. If a person and their families welfare relies on a job it is ESSENTIAL that they perform that job so that they may provide (income) what is truly needed for themselves and their family.

    No, the job is not essential, the income is.

    Who are we to decide their job as non "essential"? Decisions have been and continue to be made on people's lives wholly without their consent.

    And? Doctors restrain patients all the time when they're in crisis and a danger to themselves and others.

    Again, we're all links in a chain of potential transmissions of a deadly virus. We are dangers to ourselves and others if we aren't behaving in ways that reduces the spread of the virus. Luckily, most people evidently (given polling around fears of ending lockdowns too soon) support lockdown measures which has saved countless lives.

    Selling Magic cards may very well be essential to a lot of people out there, just like selling liquor or pot or dog grooming services. Don't marginalize or ignore their plight in this. They are also victims, albeit to an arguable lesser degree.

    No one has been marginalizing or ignoring the financial concerns of many, on the contrary. Those financial concerns just shouldn't be dictating public health directives. An LGS owner needing income is no reason to put that person, every in-person customer, and all the consequential links in the chain at risk. That doesn't mean that business owner shouldn't have income or that small businesses shouldn't be supported to ensure they survive this, but it's just by no reasonable definition worth the risk to life to open that business. Simply saying "but these people need their jobs and that makes them essential" is unconvincing, and dilutes the importance of staying clear-headed about what essential means in the context of a deadly pandemic.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Home Interview of MaRo by The 'Professor' at Toarian Community College
    Card games are not essential.

    By whose definition? Don't fall for what is being sold to the public right now. Who gets to make these decisions and WHY?

    1) By what reasonable definition do gaming stores qualify as essential during a global pandemic?
    2) Who? Governments under the guidance of medical experts.
    3) Why? Because that's what they're there for. Unless your WHY was meant as "Why are some things deemed essential and other things not?", in which case, because every business/service carries a risk of transmission of a deadly pathogen and businesses/services that offer the basics for survival and/or harm reduction can be considered essential. It's about acceptable risk and balancing those risks with the basic survival needs of a populace.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Home Interview of MaRo by The 'Professor' at Toarian Community College
    So what you're also saying is that it isn't essential for people to have gaming hobbies outside their homes in the context of a global pandemic?

    What I'm saying is that any business or service that features in-person activities is a potential vector for transmission of a highly contagious virus and needs to be assessed as such. A business or service that has been deemed essential has been so because officials have calculated as an acceptable risk. Acceptable risks for things that provide the basics for life (groceries, pharmacies, etc) make sense to me because we need to be able to provide the basics for life to people.

    So what I'm saying is that I understand how hobbies can positively influence one's mental health (one of the programs my staff run is based on it, in fact) and I understand why small businesses are important for many people's livelihoods, and I do not believe either truth qualifies gaming stores as essential services the way I understand the term in the context we're in. For a business to be essential, it should be providing the basic needs for survival and/or provide harm reduction.

    This kinda reminds me of the argument about why people shouldn't treat YouTube as their primary source of income when they should've gotten a real job elsewhere. People are always going to try to pursue something they enjoy that allows them to escape from real world problems however we're in a situation right now where they can't hide from the drama any longer.

    I appreciate that, we all need that break from a very grim reality, I just don't see how that desire for escape is essential. At least insofar as the businesses that enable that escape would be considered essential. People can find the escape they seek without putting the population at increased risk, bottom line.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on The Coronavirus Pandemic and the Future of the Local Game Store (LGS)
    Quote from Mystic_X »
    So unless quarantine laws are different in each state / province, ALL Local Game Store (LGS) owners are already breaking the law just for operating non-essential businesses. In other words they're not legally allowed to sell their products to customers with an online presence via e-commerce, mail deliveries, and curb-side pickup be damned. If they can't stay in business because the "stay at home" order tells them not to then they literally have no choice but to liquidate everything they have because they're no longer able to sell.

    Then the question becomes how are they going to liquidate their inventory If they're not even allowed to physically enter their store? The product HAS to go somewhere. It can't just be sitting around collecting dust while they wait until they can open shop again just to pay off small business loans / rent they can't even owe to their landlord only for them to go bankrupt permanently. Since the U.S. Government can't even help fund these businesses with the loans necessary to pay off their landlord they're already screwed either way.

    I would argue that gaming is critically essential (for mental health), as much as, if not more so than access to liquor stores which literally sell a harmful carcinogenic substance that only increases the odds of illness and premature death, and have remained open (at least in Canada) throughout this entire ordeal. Even SQDC (weed) stores in Quebec are classified as an "essential" service. How ironic for something which was illegal less than two years ago!

    Case in point: Humanity is best defined by the games we play, and more accurately by how we play them.

    Life is full of: players, competition, adversaries, teams, zones (each with their own sets of rules), cheaters, resources, trade, timing restrictions, winners, and losers.

    In essence, gaming is in our nature, everywhere in society, and an integral part of our very existence.

    Alcohol and marijuana are deemed essential because of their medical implications (alcoholic withdrawals and medical marijuana, essentially) and the concerns that closing those stores would result in people going to hospitals when they otherwise wouldn't have. I'm less convinced on pot stores being essential when I think online orders would suffice (alcohol I get because homeless and impoverished populations tend to have higher rates of alcoholism and they are unlikely to have access to the means of online delivery), but I at least understand why it's deemed essential.

    Your assertion that gaming is essential (if not more essential than booze or pot) was a valiant effort, but ultimately unconvincing from a public health standpoint. My organization literally has gaming programs for kids to promote better mental health and I'm still unconvinced. There are ways to utilize gaming in a covid-safe way that will still benefit mental health, and because those options readily exist, gaming stores (which would pose a risk to infection rates, one that would need to be weighed against potential benefits) really just can't be justified as essential. When mental health services facilities themselves are closing physical locations and delivering mental health supports in other ways, I'm not sure gaming stores have a leg to stand on.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Home Interview of MaRo by The 'Professor' at Toarian Community College
    Hahahaha, no they aren't. Which isn't to say those businesses aren't important to those financially or socially supported by them, they just aren't essential in the context of a global pandemic.

    Who gets to define "essential"?

    That would be the government, under the advisement of health experts. In times of emergency (and a deadly global pandemic qualifies), it's our elected officials who should be making decisions to create a pathway through the emergency that ensures the survival of most people, including a plan to handle the consequences of whatever actions need to be taken.

    I see a lot of liquor stores, pot stores, lotto/gambling available at this time. How are they "essential" at all? You know the answer. Taxes and Special Interests.

    I don't disagree when it comes to some businesses that get deemed essential, but when it comes to pot and booze the answer is actually practical. Access to pot/booze prevents avoidable hospital visits from alcoholism withdrawal symptoms and people who use marijuana for medical purposes. Concerns were raised about burdening the healthcare system at a time when some centres could be overrun by covid patients. Though I have no doubt that those stores are seen as harm reduction in other ways, particularly in regards to calming an anxious population, plus of course revenue.

    But if the problem is a perceived double standard, the solution still isn't opening up other stores. You can't squint at gaming stores until they look essential, and gathering for in person gaming is still a substantial risk of infection.

    Government does need to "protect and serve" the people. But they need to do it the least obtrusive fashion that provides that help.

    Sure. Though I don't think the current social distancing measures are more obtrusive than necessary, I'm of the opinion that a lot of nations have been half assing their response and could be much more purposefully aggressive.

    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Home Interview of MaRo by The 'Professor' at Toarian Community College
    Quote from mikeyG »
    So he admits that the game is still largely played offline, often at an LGS, but how are players going to do that in the next many months (potentially year or more)? In person play is not happening at LGSes, if they're even open, and I highly doubt the average playgroup is getting together for game night. Is MaRo expecting a dramatic spike of people playing paper Magic via Zoom?

    Don't get me wrong, I'm glad the company is at least signalling a continued commitment to paper Magic, I just don't see it as anything other than a platitude given that in person play is largely impossible right now and LGSes are going to start dying soon, if they haven't already.

    That's because LGSs are treated as non-essential businesses by the government and health officials when they don't understand that EVERY business is essential.

    Hahahaha, no they aren't. Which isn't to say those businesses aren't important to those financially or socially supported by them, they just aren't essential in the context of a global pandemic.

    They're the ones who are deciding on which businesses survive and which ones go out of business without the consent of the customer who should have the final say on the matter. The customer is the one who is keeping certain businesses alive so why should the government and health officials be the ones to decide for them? That's basically someone telling you how to spend your own money when customers should have a choice of who they want to support.

    Yes, the job of the government (among other things) is to keep people safe. The Market is not a reliable advisor during a health crisis when compared to the people who should be determining health policy.

    Should governments be doing their best to ensure small businesses survive? Absolutely, and most governments could be doing much more (if they weren't so busy ensuring the ultra wealthy and their corporations were taken care of first). That doesn't mean that customers should be the ones deciding anything right now, because those old consumption patterns are exactly the transmission vectors covid can seize upon. And that is far more important than your desire for customers to save businesses they like.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on PSA: Ikoria and Commander 2020 may have their release pushed back even further than May 15th, 2020 due to the Coronavirus virus
    Helpful video between Tolarian Community College and MaRo:


    Thank you for sharing. Like I said in the other thread, I think this is largely MaRo delivering platitudes, but it's meaningful that they're posturing continued support for paper. I guess my question is: if they plan on releasing everything in paper, do they not expect a drop in sales given the lack of events, LGS play, most groups meeting, etc? Are they betting on demand remaining constant?
    Posted in: Baseless Speculation
  • posted a message on Ikoria...
    Quote from KupoKupo »
    WoTC are using the most vile *****tiest tactics in selling this game. They try to appeal to people with inferiority complex who then will spend the money to buy OP cards. This strategy basically kills the old style MTG, that was played IRL on a physical table. Now it's not about creating interesting decks and just socialising.. now it's a real life butthurt relief game, where anyone just pay a couple of hundren bucks, get their OP deck(of basically any color but mostly black and blue) and crush basically anyone who paid less or F2P. MTG Arena became a ******* joke. It's not a fan game anymore.. it's not made for fans anymore. It's made for people who are really butthurt IN REAL LIFE.. and now all these hordes of total mental cases, ******* whales with money, total degenerates who don't give a single flying **** about anything but their own butthurt egos. These losers are surfing the web for "pay-to-win" opportunities, join the game, pay and win, then move the **** on to the next game, where they turn the same trick. Each loser would feed 2-3 P2W games at the least, usually more. It becomes addictive.

    Online gaming became a stress relief for an office rat, who never even played any games before online gaming hit the market and allowed the office rat to play at his desk or from his laptop or mobile. Online gaming is not even gaming in it's true sense, because you don't see your opponent. You're basically playing with a screen. There is no people behind that screen. It's just code. You're just buying what would happen on the screen.

    Do you get it? They don't want to play the game with anyone. They just want to buy a certain guaranteed outcome. They want to pay an easy 100 and immediately get their fix. It's just like drugs.

    So.. here is your answer why they make all these idiotic sets. The previous blue deck meta with something like Agent of Treachery etc etc is total cancer. There are many cards like that. Completely retarded drain decks, completely retarded counter decks, completely retarded everything. Because this is what sells.

    Office rats will pay their 100 anal bucks and cheese their way to mythic. Everyone else is there just because they want to try. But they are not going to stay for long.. but who cares, there will always be a ton of newbies who will come and serve as cannon fodder for the butthurt whales to feed on.

    Online gaming killed gaming. Everything became pay to win. Even titles that used to be subscription based are changing to F2P format because it's so easy to milk the retarded whale with inferiority complex. The temptation to go online is impossible to fight. Just compare.. an offline game wouldn't make more then a couple of millions if it's really good and high quality. An online game of even *****ty quality will bring you millions by default, sometimes billions.

    This is why people are so upset with online gaming. Fanboys would say that people cry because they are not skilled enough to play, but the reality is that it's all plainly PAY TO WIN.

    They are just selling drugs to butthurt losers. Pay 100USD -> get your fix(victories). Don't want to pay?? Boo hoo hoo.

    Maybe you should get out of competitive play, then? Or at least find a playgroup that's more your style. I hated playing at the stores around me a decade ago, everyone was way too intense, way too competitive, and way too invested in spending a ton of money to win (and laughing at those who didn't). It turned me off the game entirely for a long time until I found people who actually made playing fun. The intense netdeck power players can still do their thing, I'm happily away from them.
    Posted in: Magic General
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