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  • posted a message on Theros: Is something wrong with me?
    What are your thoughts on powercreep: is it something you feel is maybe overstated? Does WotC worry about it too much?

    Power creep is a problem that can be addressed with a lot of levers. You can print answer cards that keep power creep in control. You can can level out the power creep by reprinting existing cards at existing power levels instead of replacing them with worse cards. You can change the balance of spells vs creatures to rebalance power between them. You can come up with new mechanics that invalidate older strategies, reducing power creep by making cards not as good as they used to be in a new environment.

    Instead of looking at the problem in a nuanced way, MaRo and crew are taking a blunt object approach and just hitting everything with a hammer. "Lands are too good, print crap lands! Bolt is too good, make a new Searing Spear reprint! Games are too fast, add 3 to the mana cost of the sets new ability! By God, I will kill the power level of this game no matter how many times I need to bash it over the head and no matter how many garbage cards I need to put in the set! I am infallible!!"

    All that ends up doing is turning players off, driving pack value into the ground (seriously, look at the rares in Theros, how many people are going to be happy spending $4 on a pack and opening any of the horrible rares in the set? Everytime someone hands over $4 and opens up a Domestication worth 25 cents, I literally see Magic dying a little bit right in front of me), and make Magic that much less exciting/enticing/interesting/enjoyable.

    I'm not saying every new card needs to be the next TarmoJace, or every pack needs a $30 mythic in it, but there's a balance here, and WoTC is WAY to far on the side of printing garbage.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Announcing the MTGS Beta!
    Quote from Stardust
    You can't protect me if I'm not here anymore!! Gaaaaaaaaaah

    Overdramatic, yes, but I'm sad. It was fun while it latest, but I understand. I think we all do. It's just sad.

    LOL. Well, I guess they did hit the security thing out of the ballpark. Nothing more secure than not being able to access the site!

    I agree it is sad, but it was probably an inevitability anyway, Curse or no Curse. Websites changing and getting worse and losing their community and dying off is just part and parcel with the internet. MTGS is certainly not the first and certainly won't be the last.

    Keeping the site as it is, is not a viable long term solution. The vBulletin platform we are currently on is creaking at the seams. To the extent that some of the normal features we use have need to be shut down at times in order to keep the rest of the site up.

    Then fix it. I was a web developer and coder for 10+ years. There's no such thing as software that can't be upgraded to be more secure, more capable, and more robust on the back end. Burning it to the ground and jumping ship to a new platform is far from the only option.
    Posted in: Community Discussion
  • posted a message on Theros: Is something wrong with me?
    Quote from Link
    Sorry for that, Valarin. You do have good points. I just get tired of the acidic nature of your posts.
    Wizards is not perfect. They make mistakes and design decisions I don't agree with. I still like Magic overall, and I like parts of current sets, but I can't say I've been a fan of any of the last few sets as a whole.

    All I ask is that you don't think I am complaining for complaining sakes. It's not that I dislike Magic, if I disliked Magic I wouldn't have put the time and energy into building cubes, building EDH decks, and playing as much as I do. I'm complaining because I see a bad job being done, when I know they can do better, because they have done better.

    I'm not attacking people for liking Theros, people can like what they like. I see the game going down a pretty bad path, a path I have seen other games go down before the ultimately fail, and I'd much rather complain about Magic in the ridiculously vain hope it might make some difference then mourn Magic after it's been driven into the ground. All I ask is that you don't confuse passion for hatred. If I hated Magic, the last thing I would be doing is talking about it.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Theros: Is something wrong with me?
    While I think you're overreacting with your "Magic is dying"

    You're right, let me correct myself. Magic isn't dying. Magic is changing in a way that is not sustainable for the continued health of the game. You can only put out so much junk before even the most die hard fan walks away.

    Wrong! scry lands aren't bad. guildgates aren't bad, it is just that they have given us so much awesome lands lately that it was too much easy to play 3 colors! i mean, i played 3 colors when we had scar fastlands and M10 and innistrad ones. it was ok. it worked. then they made it much easier, making 3 colors the norm. that is cool for some time, but i don't want to play 3 colors deck forever... now 2 and 1 color will play a little more, it seems.

    "Hey Johnny, yeah, we're going to go ahead and give you a demotion and cut your salary by 50%. But don't worry, it's not bad, it's just that you had it too good before. Have a good weekend!"

    That's what that argument sounds like. Bad cards aren't bad, because they cards we had before were too good? That's not how expectations and benchmarks work. Checklands have been pushed as the "default" level of effectiveness for rare dual lands for years and years now. Saying "Here's something way worse, and you should like it, cause you had it too good before" is insulting, and you don't grow a franchise by insulting the playerbase.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Theros: Is something wrong with me?
    Quote from Tybalt
    I think what he means is that Valarin's opinion and criticisms have reasons behind them, where as the vast majority simply says 'You don't like it? Don't buy it. How dare you not appreciate what WotC has done?' which is neither constructive nor realistic.

    The vast majority of the people on this forum who would argue against Valarin or other 'dissenters' act no more than strawman WotC fanboys at every supposed slight against the designs of WotC.

    Like, for instance, I will say that enchantment artifacts are the absolute dumbest thing Wizards has ever done, the reason being, is that they could just be artifacts, and that they have absolutely no reason to also be enchantments. Artifacts literally do everything that enchantments do, except that they were traditionally colorless, and traditionally enchantments couldn't be creatures.

    The average response to such a complaint is generally: 'This set wasn't designed for you!'

    That's not a real argument. There's literally no point for anyone to waste the time to post it. They would have managed their time better by doing literally anything else.

    So, reading someone's opinion who differs from the mold is much better than reading something like:

    [NewSet]Vanilla Goblin: 2r (M) 3/2

    "Oh wow, so flavorful, a goblin too stupid to do anything!"
    "Wow! This will be great in standard!"
    "Standard? This is great in eternal formats!"
    "Oh wow, I can't wait to get a playset of these!"
    "[picture of fry 'take my money']"
    "Wow, Can you say standard goblins? Because I can!"
    "This card's going to be $60!"
    "Wow, I can't believe this, I need this for EDH!"

    So, when someone goes to the thread and tells them that the card is god awful, as it truly is, that's different than the norm. I feel bad for the people on this forum quite often, solely because of what their opinions are and the events that must have happened to cause them to be so. WotC is not theur friend, WotC is their drug dealer's drug dealer. WotC would shoot them if they tried to rat on it.

    That just officially got you off my ignore list Smile

    WotC does not get offended when we don't like cards, or sets. MaRo doesn't, either. MaRo just tells himself that he can't please everyone, looks at the sales figures for boxes of cards that NEED to be purchased to play a game, and tells himself that he did a good job. After 10 years of that, he just walks around with an air of self importance, and people would defend his smug ass to the death, a man who wouldn't piss on them to put the fire out.

    And the thing is, it's not just MaRo. It's the while culture over there. When I went in for my in person interview, I was very surprised at the "fireman drill" culture the place had. For example, their #1 priority right now (oir at least a few months ago) at Wizards is salvaging the D&D franchise. D&D Next has absolute authority to recruit any employee or take any action it needs to fix the sales plunge caused by D&D 4.0. If they need dollars, the dollars come from somewhere else and that place has their budget reduced. The assumption is that "As long as it's selling, we don't need to invest in it"

    Magic at one point was the #1 priority after a sales slump, it got all the resources it needed, got back in good shape, then they were forgotten about and management moved on to the next crisis (I think it was the Transformers franchise at the time)

    I remember during my interview, I asked to see the Continual Improvement Plan and a list of CSF's tied to that plan for the team I would be heading up. The interviewers look at me like my head was made of cheese. The idea of continual focus on quality and continuous measurements of metrics so management can see what is working and what isn't working was completely foreign to them. It was like I was speaking Chinese.

    The did admit (and I absolutely saw it) that Wizards is a having a challenging time growing, and really lacks the professional management skills to effectively handle a portfolio of it's size. It's one of the reasons they were hiring for positions like that
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Theros: Is something wrong with me?
    Quote from MajoraX
    Because if there's one thing that's going to kill this game, it's people buying more of it. Understand that just because you don't like something doesn't mean that it's bad.

    Is there anything you like, Valarin? In this set, in this game, in life?

    LOL. I don't like Theros, e.g. I do not like anything in my existence. That's some pretty fancy deductive reasoning you got going on there. Is the new "Jump to Conclusions Mat: Extreme Edition" out already?

    Yes, Magic 2013 was bad

    M13 wasn't terrible, I think it was worse than M12, but it had some decent cards that made Standard interesting. It also had some overpowered mistakes, but I'd gladly take those over unplayable junk anyday

    We won't miss you.

    The direction the playerbase is going is something I certainly won't miss either. The hopeless devotion of players these days to anything Wizards puts out is precisely why we have sets this bad. Theros is what you get when design and development basically have zero accountability.

    A good example of this is Palladium Games, when Rifts came out it was a hit, so they started pumping out sourcebooks as fast as they could get them on the shelves. The first ones were good, and sold like hotcakes, then they started getting more lackluster, but people still bought them because "It was Rifts". Slowly but surely the quality of expansion books went down, the art got ridiculously worse, the game mechanics and world got even more bizzare, but books kept selling, because sycophants and apologists kept snapping them up. Eventually even they got fed up and left and the game pretty much impolded and fell to fairly dismal numbers.

    You could also look to D&D 4.0 vs Pathfinder. Screw something up enough, and players will leave to play something better. Bad design and development can destroy ANY game. D&D was around for 30+ years before it was promptly ruined by WoTC and all the players ran gleefully into Paizo's waiting arms.

    MaRo and crew are riding inertia. Duels of the Planeswalkers introduced a ton of new people to Magic, it's the "hit new thing" to them, so Wizards can keep pumping out garbage and watch it sell. there's no incentive to make good sets. The problem is, that's never sustainable. It creates a culture of laziness, no effort, riding the coattails of earlier success, and eventual stagnation and decline.

    You still said that when more than half of the set isn't spoiled yet. You can't judge a set by seing so few cards.

    Is it possible they just chose the 100 worst cards in the set to spoiler first, and are saving all the, awesome, incredibly bombtastic, amazing, playable uncommon, rares, and mythics for last? Sure, I guess it's possible. Personally, I wouldn't bet on it.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Announcing the MTGS Beta!
    Quote from rujasu
    You know, I get that there are some features we'd like to see in the new forum software that aren't there yet. And I get that it's annoying to not be able to check the forums from behind an office firewall. However, the latter of those two issues is completely outside of Curse's control. They're not tagging their own site as gaming-related; the firewall folks are doing that. And pretty much anything they do that ties MTGS to the main Curse site will set off the firewall. Sure, Curse could leave everything out here, on a forum they're not well-equipped to support, and not leverage any of their own in-house technology, I guess. And then, two months later, the firewall group will update their blacklist and add MTGS to it anyway.

    I do understand everyone's frustration, but as someone who has done some web development, I can tell you there's no way I'd be trying to get around someone else's firewall. There's nothing you can do about it. And frankly I'd be pretty annoyed if my users were complaining to me about being blocked by the firewall on their end.

    Of course there's something thy can do about it. Not move to the beta site and keep MTGS as is. It's completely in their control, and totally their decision to move to a site they know will be blocked. I agree that a technology solution is not feasible, however, not moving the site to one that is blocked by what appears to be a large number of firewalls is a decision they could easily make.

    And IMHO getting annoyed at your users for complaining about not being able to get to your product is a pretty awful mentality for a company to have. It would be like Ford saying "Stop complaining your tires are blowing up and killing people, it's Firestones fault, there's nothing we can do about it! Gah, you are all so annoying!!"
    Posted in: Community Discussion
  • posted a message on Theros: Is something wrong with me?
    Quote from DrewReaLee
    This is the first set in a while I'm buying a box for myself. This set oozes with power and flavor that I haven't seen since Innistrad, which I still am kicking myself for missing.

    I don't see how anyone could think this set oozes with power. If the power level of Theros excites you, Zendikar would have given you a heart attack.

    As for flavor, Magic players love to confuse cliche with flavor.

    There is nothing in this set that appeals to any of the things that drew me to Magic in the first place. That's really it's ultimate failing. They ruined the aesthetics of the game when they changed the card frame, they ruined the design of cards when Limited became the #1 format they design for, they ruined the art when they made every single card look like a scene from the same picture, and now they ruined the last thing Magic had, a fair number of playable cards in a competitive environment. They have successfully reduced the game from an Erector Set (Sturdy, intricate, imaginative) to Lincoln Logs (less sturdy, less intricate, less flexible) to a "build by numbers" Lego set (put the blue plastic piece on the red plastic piece! Isn't this fun!?)

    Unless Theros is just a single major misstep that they correct from, I'll likely end up parting ways from Magic. Fallen Empires and Homelands were enough for me to take a 6-7 year long break from the game, and M14 and Theros are much worse than those sets.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on What makes a pro?
    Quote from DanzBorin
    There you go.

    Same goes for Magic. People are reading into this too much. lol

    Pro can also be used to determine a skill level. Yes, the literal definition is making a living off it, but the term pro connotes many things besides that.

    I do agree people often read to much into what it takes to gain a certain level of capability in a skill. It's not Magic, it's not mind games, or little tricks, or being able to guess cards in people hands. It's just experience.

    I really learned this when I started playing pool somewhat competitively. You would see people come in and always use an open bridge, and always always try jumpshots and banks because they thought "that's what makes a pro a pro", the ability to do all those special things. They were wrong. Play a tight game with proper fundamentals, with no flash, sizzle, or tricks, and you will beat them 99.9% of the time. Knowing how to stand correctly is more important than every pool hall trick there is combined.

    Same thing with Magic. Playing tight, correct Magic trumps every tip, trick, edge, or flashy stunt there is combined. Poker is big in this regard too, people will say they are good at poker because they claim they can guess hole cards and read tells notice how people put thier chips in the pot or how they are sitting and that makes them good. Then you play them and they suck, because they don't know how to calculate pot odds, a basic fundamental skill.

    People like to try and replace fundamentals with tricks because getting good at the fundamentals is hard and takes a lot of work. Edge sharking is really just being lazy.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Theros: Is something wrong with me?
    Quote from Sweeney
    I must be getting old and jaded.

    I don't think you are getting old and jaded. I think to many others are young and easily excitable. This is not a good time in Magic.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Theros: Is something wrong with me?
    Opposite. Not spending a penny of Theros and at this rate it might push me out of Standard completely.. There is almost no power level to the cards, the set is rife with unplayable uncommons and rares, and the pack value will be terrible. Theros is heading on a trajectory to be the worst set of all time. I'll be playing a LOT of cube and EDH for the next few years.

    What really worries me are people like the OP who fall in puppy love wuth anything WoTC puts out and buy a lot of it, thus removing any accountability from Wizards to make good sets. If Theros sells well, then it's going to lead to more and more awful sets that the faithful will continue to waste $$ on, and MaRo keeps patting himself on the back for pumping out garbage. It's a self perpetuating spiral of doom for the game. Another 2-3 sets as bad as M14 and Theros, and I'm most likely done with Magic as a hobby. It will have simply lost all appeal.

    Man, what I would give for a Legacy scene near me.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on [[THS]] Theros Dual Lands aka- Scry Lands

    Summary: Bad lands, should be uncommon slot at best.

    I think that's really the consensus: good lands, horrible rares.

    I gleaned four real points from the article on the Mothership.

    I agree with your points. Honestly, something is deeply wrong over at WoTC if design is pushing sets that don't work in Limited and Development doesn't care what players want.

    I also cringe when they say "person X said Y, so we made the change". Seems like a monumentally poor organization structures when huge design and development decisions that will effect the game for years at a time are seemingly made on a whim by one guy. The whole process seems to be riddled with points of failure, and one of which can derail a set into awfulness. Once again I blame MaRo, the whole system reeks of something that someone with zero design experience or training would come up with. I seriously hope Theros sales tank and he loses his job over it. It's glaringly obvious that Magic needs a MAJOR shake up in it's design and development "leadership" (and I use that word loosely)

    monored loves the fact that all players, midrange and control will be paying 2 life or bringing their land into play tapped on multiple turns EVERY GAME.

    People will not play these lands. They will play Shocks and basics. No one is going to hamstring thier deck with cards like these.
    Posted in: New Card Discussion
  • posted a message on Announcing the MTGS Beta!
    Quote from Wheat_Grinder
    There's a minimum standard of site cleanliness that Curse is not providing.

    I kind of set it aside but I made a decent amount of progress on Nis's Stylish style sheet. So far I havent hit any significant roadblocks in turning the beta site into a clone of the current site. The colors are there, the fonts are there, there are a few things like missing borders that need to be added, and the row heights are all screwed up, but I'm pretty sure that's fixable. It will also get rid of all the curse banners and extra clutter (display: none). I have about 75% of the black removed and replaced with white (another problem is that they use images for a lot of the borders, so it's not just changing a color, you have to remove the image and add in a new border element).

    I guess what I am trying to say is that so far, it doesn't look impossible to reverse the visual change and get the MTGS look back. I agree, the vBulletin site is probably the best looking, most readable forum I visit, and the new site is just far worse readability wise. Once the switch happens I'm sure I'll be more motivated to actually finish the stylesheet (I'd say it's about 70% completed) and of course would be happy to share it. And I would be surprised if there aren't going to be others working on the same thing. Nis may finish it off, he may let others finish it off, either way, I'd be surprised if there wasn't a 99% accurate CSS out there pretty darn soon after the beta site goes live.

    Quote from otan »

    One very simple request: Can the beta website's category be changed so that it will not be categorized as "Games" or a "Gaming website"?

    I can open the current forum just fine but the beta website is blocked by our office firewall.

    It's not a simple request and probably not possible at all. Remember, that office proxy/firewall software costs a good chunk of change and is probably used in millions of offices worldwide. If a site could easily change themselves to bypass the proxy, the software wouldn't be very worthwhile, would it?

    Curse would most likely need to contact these web proxy software companies and try to convince them they are not a gaming site, and I don't see that happen. I have to say I am a little morbidly curious what the drop off rate for viewership is going to be. Still boggles my mind that a site that generates it's revenue through advertising is moving to a platform that actively enforces LESS viewers.
    Posted in: Community Discussion
  • posted a message on Building a New Collection
    Quote from sirgog
    Drafting is a moderately priced form of entertainment, nothing else. Do it if you find it fun, do not see it as a way to acquire cards.

    I could spend my AU$15 on a draft and leave with a Domestication, a Rise of the Dark Realms and a foil Opportunity, or I could spend that same AU$15 on a cinema ticket and end up with nothing.

    Neither would be a waste of money.

    You can cube draft for free. You can hang out, scoop up all the trash cards as they get thrown out, repack them in envelopes, and draft them with friends. $15 to draft a low value set like M14 is pretty much inexcusable

    Also, to the OP, never buy collections or lots off eBay or Craigslist. It's a 100% garauntee anything good was picked out and sold individually. You are just buying whatever trash he couldn't get rid off.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on [[THS]] Theros Dual Lands aka- Scry Lands
    No one is saying they are bad. We are saying they are bad at rare.

    At uncommon they would be perfectly servicable. At rare, the do nothing but drive pack value into the toilet.

    However, they do encourage 2 color decks, since mana bases are going to be just shocks and basics now. They accomplished their goal by being unplayable.
    Posted in: New Card Discussion
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