1/4/2010 MM: "Disney Magic"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Making Magic, which goes live Monday morning (after the holiday break) on magicthegathering.com.

Several years ago, Disney approached Wizards about a potiential MTG cartoon:
(www.salon.com/tech/feature/2001/03/26/wi...)

Then Disney knocked on our door. It wanted to do an afternoon children's cartoon based on Magic, and I was invited to the pitch meeting.


I expected to have my socks knocked off and, indeed, Disney's preparation was impressive. It had a whole show concept ready, with character art and sketches to show off. I was amazed the company had invested this much work in a cold pitch -- but this was Disney, after all, and it must have known what it was doing. I sat back and listened as the Disney folks made their presentation.


The show was about a hip teenage boy transported to a fantasy world. He was the son of some good wizards who, in his infancy, hid him in our world to save him from the bad wizards. Now he was back in his home world, a fledgling wizard wearing a T-shirt, jeans and sneakers as he cracked wise, ate pizza and cast spells while going on adventures with a dimwitted barbarian sidekick who -- and this was the big twist -- hated wizards.


In short, it was absolute crap.


Even worse, perhaps, it had nothing to do with Magic: The Gathering. The truth emerged soon enough. Disney's television animation department had already pitched its managers on this nonsense and was rightly shot down -- hence all the existing art and designs. They hoped that by simply slapping a Magic logo on the whole thing they could get their show approved and on the air.



The Wizards of the mid-late 1990's showed Disney the door.  Does anyone seriously expect the Wizards of the 2010's to do the same?

That read like a Disney Cruise advertisement and it really detracted from the whole article.  I think a series of brief(er) explanations of your experiences with longer connections to magic development would have been better.  In the end I walked away disapointed, and wanting to take a Disney Cruise.Undecided
With John Lasseter in charge of animation now? Might not turn out so bad this time.



Also wanted to comment on this:
A common mistake in this circumstance would be to explain to me why the Coke tasted bad. That's a mistake because it wouldn't address my problem. I didn't really care why I didn't have the drink I wanted. I cared that I didn't have the drink. The staff was well trained to make me happy rather than provide me with answers about why I was unhappy.



Having worked in the frontlines of customer service, and also from paying attention to other customers in these situations, there are often many customers that aren't interested in anything but making a racket about their terrible experience. It's interesting to read how Disney approached the situation like that, but I wonder how they deal with customers that don't want a solution or an explanation; they just want to bitch.
Proud member of C.A.R.D. - Campaign Against Rare Duals "...but the time has come when lands just need to be better. Creatures have gotten stronger, spells have always been insane, and lands just sat in this awkward place of necessity." Jacob Van Lunen on the refuge duals, 16 Sep 2009. "While it made thematic sense to separate enemy and allied color fixing in the past, we have come around to the definite conclusion that it is just plain incorrect from a game-play perspective. This is one of these situations where game play should just trump flavor." - Sam Stoddard on ending the separation of allied/enemy dual lands. 05 July 2013
wow OldMKA sure seemed angry about getting something for free?

Anywho I thought it was interesting about the comment on how you look for solutions and not excuses (or even, reasons). And I've been rather happy with magic for some time but there is one thing I don't like, and that's the fat packs. The thing is, ya now have to pay more for less. It used to be very focused on collectible items and I loved that. Now I get one less box and no book. Now, the books were always rather bad, but I loved collecting them anyway.

I think the fat packs should be two boxes, a special dice, card catalog, creative literature, a few packs (really, the least appealing part but for flavor, neccessary), one oversized promo card, one regular sized promo card, the set poster, and a set themed life counter. The dice and life counter might be redundant, but I'd like it cause they're both collectible. And honestly I'd like for one of these items to vary by slight randomness, maybe like the creative literature. Maybe its a planeswalker biography and its random which planeswalker is portrayed? Id unno, but it'd be fun for them to not be identical so that you may want to trade with someone else who got one. But as it is, it feels too pack-oriented and just not getting a whole lot for the money. I stopped buying them after the first Alara set because of this. I just want them to be focused on being collectible items, I don't care about the packs.

So I provided what I think the solution should be to my biggest complaint. Other than that, I love magic and hope it never goes out of print.
That read like a Disney Cruise advertisement and it really detracted from the whole article.  I think a series of brief(er) explanations of your experiences with longer connections to magic development would have been better.  In the end I walked away disapointed, and wanting to take a Disney Cruise.





Mark likes to ramble. Mark likes to talk about his family. These are well known recurring themes, and if you have beef with them, you probably shouldn't read his articles! Whining about it is like being offered a free pastrami rubin every monday, and, knowing that you hate Sauerkraut, eating it anyway and then complaining about it. You have only yourself to blame for your "wasted monday".
I love his articles, especially when he relates to how he learns development from things you wouldn't normally find it in.  And I thought the core connections were good and solid.  But there was too much Disney; he just continously went on about how good of an experience he had with Disney.  I understand wanting to connect a good experience with Disney to Magic development and the end result to the public, but the article was half & half at best, and the half that was development was lacking.

MaRo contiously publishes some of my favirote articles, and I look forward to reading everyone of them.  They all can't be winners, and I think it's all right to point out where he may have went astray with one of them.
How much did Disney take off the cruise for the publicity Rosewater?
Wow... He can't stop being a corporate shill, even when he's on vacation, and even when it's for a company that he doesn't work for.
"Make people wait for what they want, and you have power over them. This is as true for merchants and militia as it is for cooks and couples." —Gwendlyn Di Corci
With John Lasseter in charge of animation now? Might not turn out so bad this time.



Also wanted to comment on this:
A common mistake in this circumstance would be to explain to me why the Coke tasted bad. That's a mistake because it wouldn't address my problem. I didn't really care why I didn't have the drink I wanted. I cared that I didn't have the drink. The staff was well trained to make me happy rather than provide me with answers about why I was unhappy.



Having worked in the frontlines of customer service, and also from paying attention to other customers in these situations, there are often many customers that aren't interested in anything but making a racket about their terrible experience. It's interesting to read how Disney approached the situation like that, but I wonder how they deal with customers that don't want a solution or an explanation; they just want to bitch.


I'd be interested to know this, too.  I deal with people like that almost daily.  Solve their problem and they still keep complaining.
The end is always nigh.
Damn you Mark, how dare you use a comparison between two well-known companies to show how they both try to acomodate their target audience so you can provide easy analogies for your lessons.  What a jerk. :P

In regards to the article itself, I always find these interesting Mark because I am going to college for advertising and the little lessons like these shown through a magic filter are always intriguing to me.  In particular I feel that lesson #4, the one about details, may explain some reasons sets like Ravnica and Time Spiral were some of the more popular ones of the decade.  Their mechanic, flavor and overall design really came together in so many ways that I feel like I could crack open a pack from one of these sets right now, flip through it, and still find something new that I hadnt noticed before.  Maybe an easter egg in the art or flavor text, or how a mechanic shows off the creature's behavior in a unique way.  Kudos.
Can we have a "Magic Lessons learnt from World of Warcraft" next time?
Please pass this article along to the Online team as they clearly don't know anything about it. Also, if they can get a corporate sponsor from a real software developer to get the game fixxed, that'd be great too.
I actually enjoyed this article quite a bit, in particular because I recently had a similar experience with Disney. It was the actual Disney world, as opposed to a cruise, and I was comparing it to World of WarCraft rather than Magic, but the things that impressed me were similar. 

My family went to Epcot, and I liked how the area essentially had an intro cinematic (where they introduce you to the concept of world unity) and then the level design of the world naturally leads you around from zone to zone. Each zone introduces you to the flavor of that particular region, and then you do some related activities and then you go on a ride that culminates your experiences and often provided you with a sort of ending cinematic for that particular zone. Each time I finished a ride, I mentally got a little "Achievement unlocked: Norway" signal flashing in my head.

Then you are deposited directly into the gift shop where you buy loot.

About halfway through the day it occurred to me that I really wanted a "final cinematic" for the experience that tied everything together. At the time I didn't know about the Disney fireworks, and I was disappointed because it seemed the one area where the place was lacking. Boy was I wrong. At the end of the night the fireworks display does an amazing job of tying together the entire experience and making it feel meaningful in a way that I didn't expect to feel. Disney World was incredibly well designed in a way lot of games could take a lesson from.
Can we have a "Magic Lessons learnt from World of Warcraft" next time?



I have to say I'd love to read that.
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Real signature, Sblocked for space:
57817638 wrote:
I like storm crow because I really like crows in real life, as an animal, and the card isn't terribly stupid, but packs a good deal of nostalgia and also a chunck of the game's history. So it's perhaps one of the cards I have most affection to, but not because "lol storm crow is bad hurr hurr durr".
Listen to my SoundCloud while you read my signature. The Island, Come And See, The Landlord's Daughter, You'll Not Feel The Drowning - The Decemberists by vimschy IMAGE(http://dragcave.net/image/rkvR.gif)IMAGE(http://dragcave.net/image/L3es.gif) IMAGE(http://dragcave.net/image/m71H.gif)
Quotes
56747598 wrote:
57295478 wrote:
Although I do assume you deliberately refer to them (DCI) as The Grand Imperial Convocation of Evil just for the purposes of making them sound like an ancient and terrible conspiracy.
Now, now. 1994 doesn't quite qualify as "ancient".
56734518 wrote:
Oh, it's a brilliant plan. You see, Bolas was travelling through shadowmoor, causing trouble, when he saw a Wickerbough Elder with its stylin' dead scarecrow hat. Now, Bolas being Bolas took the awesome hat and he put it on his head, but even with all his titanic powers of magic he couldn't make it fit. He grabbed some more scarecrows, but then a little kithkin girl asked if he was trying to build a toupee. "BY ALL THE POWERS IN THE MULTIVERSE!" he roared, "I WILL HAVE A HAT WORTHY OF MY GLORY." and so he went through his Dark Lore of Doom (tm) looking for something he could make into a hat that would look as stylish on him as a scarecrow does on a treefolk. He thought about the Phyrexians, but they were covered in goopy oil that would make his nonexistant hair greasy. He Tried out angels for a while but they didn't sit quite right. Then, he looked under "e" (because in the Elder Draconic alphabet, "e" for Eldrazi is right next to "h" for Hat) in his Dark Lore of Doom and saw depictions of the Eldrazi, and all their forms. "THIS SHALL BE MY HAT!" he declared, poking a picture of Emrakul, "AND WITH IT I WILL USHER IN A NEW AGE OF DARKNESS -- ER, I MEAN A NEW AGE OF FASHION!" And so Nicol Bolas masterminded the release of the Eldrazi.
57864098 wrote:
Rhox War Monk just flips pancakes, and if games have told us anything, it's that food = life.
56747598 wrote:
76973988 wrote:
This thread has gotten creepy. XP
Really? Really? The last couple days have been roughly every perverse fetish imaginable, but it only got "creepy" when speculation on Mother of Runes's mob affiliation came up?
76672808 wrote:
57864098 wrote:
57531048 wrote:
Nice mana base. Not really.
Yeah, really. If my deck was going to cost $1000+, I'd at least make it good.
99812049 wrote:
I like to think up what I consider clever names for my decks, only later to be laughed at by my wife. It kills me a little on the inside, but thats what marriage is about.
56816728 wrote:
56854588 wrote:
Of course, the best use [of tolaria west] is transmuting for the real Tolaria. ;)
Absolutely. I used to loose to my buddy's Banding deck for ages, it was then that I found out about Tolaria, and I was finally able win my first game.
70246459 wrote:
WOAH wait wait wait
56957928 wrote:
You know, being shallow and jusdgmental aside, "I later found out that Jon infiltrated his way into OKCupid dates with at least two other people"
56957928 wrote:
"I later found out that Jon infiltrated his way into OKCupid dates with at least two other people"
56957928 wrote:
Jon infiltrated his way into OKCupid dates
56957928 wrote:
OH MY GOD
109874309 wrote:
The only way I'd cast this card is into a bonfire.
82032421 wrote:
The short answer is that there's no rule barring annoying people from posting, but there a rule barring us from harassing them about it.
56747598 wrote:
Browbeat is a card that is an appropriate deck choice when there's no better idea available. "No better idea available" was pretty much the running theme of Odyssey era.
56874518 wrote:
Or perhaps it was a more straightforward comment indicating a wish for you to be bitten (Perhaps repeatedly) by a small yet highly venomous arachnid.
70246459 wrote:
58280208 wrote:
You're an idiot, and I'm in no mood for silliness.
57817638 wrote:
57145078 wrote:
You just... Vektor it.
That's the answer to everything.
70246459 wrote:
58347268 wrote:
I think the problem is that you don't exist.
This would sound great out of context!
56965458 wrote:
Modern is like playing a new tournament every time : you build a deck, you win with it, don't bother keeping it. Just build another, its key pieces will get banned.
57864098 wrote:
57309598 wrote:
I specifically remember posting a thread when I was just a witty bitty noob.
You make it sound like that's still not the case.
58325628 wrote:
Rap is what happens when the c from crap is taken away.
Doug Beyer:
But sometimes it's also challenging. Because sometimes OH MY GOD, WHAT THE HELL IS THIS THING?
141434757 wrote:
Flashforward five thousand years (Click for atmosphere) :
57927608 wrote:
to paraphrase Jeff Goldblum, Vektor finds a way.
58347268 wrote:
when in rome **** AND PILLAGE
143229641 wrote:
I always find it helpful when im angry to dress up in an owl costume and rub pennies all over my body in front of a full body mirror next to the window.
Dymecoar:
Playing Magic without Blue is like sleeping without any sheets or blankets. You can do it...but why?
Omega137:
Me: "I love the moment when a control deck stabilizes. It feels so... right." Omega137: "I like the life drop part until you get there, it's the MtG variant of bungee jumping"
Zigeif777:
Just do it like Yu-Gi-Oh or monkeys: throw all the crap you got at them and hope it works or else the by-standers (or opponents) just get dirty and pissed.
57471038 wrote:
58258708 wrote:
It's true that Alpha and Beta didn't contain any cards like Tarmogoyf, Darksteel Colossus, or Platinum Angel. It just contained weak, insignificant cards like Black Lotus, Mox Sapphire, and Time Walk.
Normally it's difficult to pick up on your jokes/sarcasm. But this one's pretty much out there. Good progress. You have moved up to Humanoid. You'll be Human in no time.
91893448 wrote:
94618431 wrote:
I didn't know Samurai were known to be able to cut down whole armies...
They can when they're using lightsabers!
57129358 wrote:
97980259 wrote:
My wife brought home a baby black squirrel they found on a horse track and cared for it for a few days. We named it Grixis, but it died.
Unearth it!
70246459 wrote:
[/spoiler] And I'm on Magic Arcana. How about you? Oh, by the way, I'm also on From the Lab now. Twice, actually. And now with my own submited decklist!
I liked the article, and how one experience whether it is with the family or not, can influence what you do daily. Maybe those people get influenced when they get out of the ship by something else that we do. Is all part of the ecosystem.

With that, it explains a lot the recurring theme in all magic sets, with sets of cards with a single purpose and that can't be used anywhere else (for instance, one with nothing) Everybody told me "why would you want a card that makes you discard your own hand? that card is possibly the worse magic card EVAH!!"  Until I broke it. Then everybody understood what was so nice about it.)

To the people who complains that article is too family heavy:

1) Either you don't have a family of your own yet or
2) your family never really did anything like that so you can't relate or
3) You are not reading between the lines!

Good Article Mr RoseWater. : )


I generally like his articles, but when he starts talking about his family and his personal life, he loses me. Usually, though, I find his articles helpful, as I like to design cards.
Resident Village Idiot "Everyone knows it's pillage then raze, not the other way around." -EscherEnigma "I'm not closed-minded, you're just wrong." -Bucky Katt Vampires are make-believe, just like elves, gremlins, and Eskimos. -Homer Simpson
tl;dr

Well, actually, I made it through the Facebook images; stopped when I could see where this was going. Not interested in articles about Disney cruises and/or your personal life. Please write about Magic and/or games. Thanks, bai.

Things I have leared from both Magic and World of Warcraft.
1) As long as there is always new content, people will keep playing.
2) "New" content can sometimes just be old content with a new look.
3) The bigger and cooler looking the creature/loot, the more people will try to get it, even if it isb't that good.
4)You cannot make something for just for casual players without upsetting many hardcore players.
5)Changes to help new players  generally upset older players.
6)Removing any content,even if nobody uses it, upsets players.
7) The broken, overpowered cards/abilities will be complained about relentlessly on the internet until the next content update when something comes along and overshadows or destroys it. This is then complained about relentlessly on the internet.
8 ) There is no middle ground when it comes to Elves, people either love them or despise them.

Mark, I'm not sure what subset of the game of Magic you're talking about in this article ... but it's sure not Magic Online.

How about becoming a part of that community for a month or so, and then writing an article about that?  Trust me, it will be nothing like your Disney cruise.

Later,

Don!
A failure to plan, is a plan to fail.
I must admit that i do struggle with Mark's style and content for a lot of his kinda-indirect magic articles, I feel like he wants people to know how smart he is in his thinking (even though i doubt that is what he intends)...where as the Aaron Forsythes article was a joy to read, it was about magic cards, playing magic, collecting magic but with a few of his own personal opinions thrown in.
I have said this before, but what Mark really needs to do is hand off his design article to someone else the weeks he goes on a tangent. That would be beneficial for his other designers as well as the audience. It's the first week of the year and we had two Mondays with no new articles at all. Then we get this.
I think this was a design article, but it was about designing Magic:the Brand, rather than Magic:the Cards.  Which really would be an interesting comparison - I'm not sure how much MaRo is really involved in designing other Magic properties such as video games, etc.

I think if you came here expecting MaRo to write about something halfway predictable, you probably haven't been reading this article for very long.  So:  welcome, new readers!
I recently took a cruise (Royal Caribbean), and they appeared to have separate tracks for kids of various ages.  Granted, I don't know the details, because I've only cruised as an adult, with adults exclusively.  But for kids, especially younger kids, I couldn't imagine anything other than a Disney cruise.

My only concern?  Isn't making people wear mascot outfits in Caribbean climes a violation of the Geneva Convention?

I think you'll find a level of service like Mark's experience on every cruise line.  After the first evening's meal, for example, there were two glasses of soda, heavy on the ice, waiting for one of us.
Can we have a "Magic Lessons learnt from World of Warcraft" next time?



Lesson:  Good programmers can create a stable online gaming platform for such a graphically sophisticated program and large player base, that if your programmers can't create one for a smaller player base playing a game using 2D graphics and little animation, perhaps you need better programmers.
I enjoyed the article. I thought that valid points were made relating to his experience, such as the fact that a Magic set is targeted to many different kinds of player. I was rather surprised at the intensity of the negativity in some of the earlier comments, although I do understand that the best appreciated articles are those which delve further into the nitty-gritty of designing and balancing a set.

Coming up with weird ideas to make everyone happy since 2008!

 

I have now started a blog as an appropriate place to put my crazy ideas.

while i agree that this article reads like a shameless ad, as a fellow lover of disney i can understand how this would happen. there are certainly things to dislike about the company (the soulless way they churn out low quality direct to dvd sequels, for example) but the personal experience at a disney park or event is not one of them. they are devoted to quality in a way that i think other companies can't even understand, let alone imitate. and the dedication to a quality full immersion experience that i love about disney is similar to many of the things i love about magic. so i don't think this was a innapropriate comparison. i will, however, say something about this:

I didn't really care why I didn't have the drink I wanted. I cared that I didn't have the drink. The staff was well trained to make me happy rather than provide me with answers about why I was unhappy.



i understand what you're saying here. i, too, have had unpleasant experiences at restaurants, stores, and other customer service venues where i am given excuses (that i suspect are lies) when i would rather the problem simply be addressed. but i have been on both sides of this, and i believe there is a serious problem behind your statement above.

fixing things is great, but sometimes they can't (or shouldn't) be fixed. when a woman orders a cappuccino and then complains about the foam and the strong coffee taste, should i smile and apologize for making a mistake or should i explain to her what a cappuccino is and why it is different at different places (from a machine at a gas station, for instance)? the "correct" answer is i smile and pretend i'm wrong, but then that woman is going to go on ordering coffee drinks she doesn't understand and doesn't like, assuming everyone is incompetent, and the result is no one is going to be happy until someone explains her ignorance to her.

i know this doesn't apply to your soda situation; you know why the soda doesn't taste good to you. but i find the underlying attitude upsetting, specifically the wording "i don't care why...i just want it fixed," because i don't really think it's a healthy attitude to have (not just talking about retail here) and it's absolutely promoted by the nature of our economy and daily life. i think it would be best if we resisted it as much as possible.

and after all, many people visiting this site are very interested in the why, and not just the FIX IT. and that's a good thing, right?

/rant

Just to add a positive voice, I must say I liked the article a lot. I wouldn't want every MaRo article to be like this, but I find relating Magic design to other things of life once in a while to be very interesting and instructive.

Oh, how sweet, another of these articles where Rosewater talks bullshit about his family. How fascinating. I'm really interested in knowing how Magic is made and I enjoy learning it through your frickin' family experiences. Except I'm not. I hope that you are satisfied that you have tricked me into wasting a minute part of my bandwidth on downloading your god-damn family photos.

Thanks for another wasted Monday, Rosewater.



This looks like an obvious troll, but just in case anyone actually thinks something along these lines: if your Monday can be wasted by spending a minute on a Web article you don't like, you really, really need to get a life.
Magic The Gathering DCI Lvl 1 Judge Don't hesitate to post rules question in the Rules Q&A forum for me and other competent advisors to answer : http://community.wizards.com/go/forum/view/75842/134778/Rules_Q38A
I enjoyed the article. I thought that valid points were made relating to his experience, such as the fact that a Magic set is targeted to many different kinds of player. I was rather surprised at the intensity of the negativity in some of the earlier comments, although I do understand that the best appreciated articles are those which delve further into the nitty-gritty of designing and balancing a set.



He took an extra week off from a design article and made things worse by including Disney. That's not going to go over well after a two-week layoff. By the time next week rolls around, it will have been a month since we got a solid design column.

And as I say all the time his tangents are fine. Just give the design column to one of the other talented members of the team for that week. I think there needs to be more of that sort of thing on their website anyway. You get people clicking and reading, you get them excited about cards and spending money. Every time he pulls a stunt like this he wastes an opportunity. Then again, it's not like this company hasn't done this on a regular basis anyway. (Easy example: the last MTGO design removed the "physical collection" feature.)
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I read my mail not out of some kind gesture, but because it's important that I know what our players want, what they are feeling, what they need.

 

 *Rips up love letters to Maro.*

 there are certainly things to dislike about the company (the soulless way they churn out low quality direct to dvd sequels, for example)



I would have chosen "the underlying racism in Walt's vision of the world", but low-quality DVDs are just as bad. 

"Ah, the age-old conundrum. Defenders of a game are too blind to see it's broken, and critics are too idiotic to see that it isn't." - Brian McCormick

No article is worth an introduction.  After the novelty of having this come from a facebook post I wasn't impressed.  Normally I'm a big Maro fan.  See you next week I guess.

I was really dissappointed in this article and especially the coke example. Lately there have been a lot of unpopular changes and instead of addressing them or taking any sort of feedback, all that has been offered are a lot of really bad excuses/reasons/examples.  Plus the design for finding solutions to problems strikes me hollow as we watch another boring standard format dominated by decks with attrocious mana bases and still no viable answer or even a stone rain to punish the weak manabases.
What's with all the people complaining about not getting a design article? Don't you know that MaRo's column has never been about "how to make Magic cards" but rather "Mark Rosewater's thoughts vaguely related to (and sometimes not at all related to) Magic"?

My one complaint about the article was that I was hoping he'd draw some new lessons from the cruise, or at the very least lessons that are currently under-utilized by Wizards. As it is, it sounds like MaRo was saying "Here's all the things Disney did right. Also, they're things we've always been doing, too."
That Coke story makes me want to vomit.  So Rosewater is one of THOSE customers.  That explains a lot.

Prima donna Rosewater complaining: "My drink tastes off.  This is unacceptable, what are you going to do about it??  Get me your manager!!"  What exactly were you expecting, that they make an emergency stop into port and get their soda fountain repaired just for you?  More likely, you were fishing for a comped meal.  Come on, be honest with yourself, Rosewater, deep down in your DNA you know it's true.

A smarter, less annoying customer without Rosewater's smug sense of entitlement would already have had both the problem identified and a potential solution in mind when flagging the waiter down.  "Excuse me, this soda is really watered down.  Instead of this, do you have any Coke in a can in the back?  That would be great, thanks!"  And then in every meal thereafter, they would make sure to specifically order, "Yes, I'd like one Coke, not from the fountain but in a separate can.  Thanks!"
I was really dissappointed in this article and especially the coke example. Lately there have been a lot of unpopular changes and instead of addressing them or taking any sort of feedback, all that has been offered are a lot of really bad excuses/reasons/examples.  Plus the design for finding solutions to problems strikes me hollow as we watch another boring standard format dominated by decks with attrocious mana bases and still no viable answer or even a stone rain to punish the weak manabases.



The Spread 'Em Core is a viable alternative, the issue is when running into mono color aggresive deck (Mono White Tokens springs to mind, vamps is pretty easy to lock out becuase of everything needing at least BB), but decks like Sligh have always been the bane of LD decks. The issue now is that the aggressive decks are a little to stable, with too many late game options to make a land disruption stratagey work all to well.

Shards was about pushing 3 color decks, so don't be suprised when 3 color decks are the best on account of it (especally with the off color fetch lands to help support your shard).
If 3 color decks were bad in a Shards-x standard, it would be like 2 color decks being bad in something with Rav open.

I think it's kinda cool that in a way every shard has been viable at some point, unlike how there were a few guilds in Rav that weren't good enough (Rakados and Dimir come to mind).
I think this was a design article, but it was about designing Magic:the Brand, rather than Magic:the Cards.


And about designing Magic: The Block or Magic: The Game.

Lots of readers expect articles about individual Magic cards. Nevertheless, Mark Rosewater is the head designer, so he has to look at the bigger picture occasionally. He has to ask whether Magic R&D could go in a better direction.

And one way to get that answer is to look at how other companies develop their products. Disney has a solid reputation with their animation (though lately that relies more on Pixar) and an outstanding reputation with their theme parks. It looks like the same customer-centered point of view used in the theme parks also applies to their cruises.

Wouldn't we all love if Wizards of the Coast became even better at listening to their customers than they are now? (I believe that they already do a good job of listening to their customers, but the lead time in developing Magic slows down their ability to respond to customers.)

Consider Mark's Coke can episode. He is acting like us old-fogey Magic players. The Magic2010 rules changes had the wrong flavor for us. Wizards of the Coast explained that for the convenience of new players, they wanted to streamline the rules to something that plays almost the same, but is easier to explain. (Don't say, "More intuitive." Intuitive means it matches what the player expects, and we current players expected the same old rules.) They wanted the convienence of serving Coca Cola from a soda-fountain machine. Given the response time, they can't find a can of Coke to give to us this year, but maybe they can fix the soda-fountain machine by the year's end.

Shards was about pushing 3 color decks, so don't be suprised when 3 color decks are the best on account of it (especally with the off color fetch lands to help support your shard).


It's just R&D's way of saying "Play the theme goddammit!!!"
Of course, they then immeadiately feign innocence when the 'theme' gets abused (see also: Affinity).
That Coke story makes me want to vomit.  More likely, you were fishing for a comped meal.  Come on, be honest with yourself, Rosewater, deep down in your DNA you know it's true.



Just in point of fact, I haven't been on a Disney cruise, but on most cruises, you don't pay separately for the meals.  The food is part of the package deal.  So this statement doesn't make any sense.

Having said that, customers complaining about the Coke in the fountain always irritated me when I was working food service.  As a server, there is very little that you can do to alter the machine's mix, and a strange flavor usually has more to do with that particular bag of syrup (which managers, IME, never want to change) than anything under your control.
i wonder what he expected when he submitted this article. i don't think all the negativity is deserved, but there are so many topics that set people off crammed into this one article that i feel like he should have seen it coming.

and i suspect he has never ever worked retail in his life. or when he did it was very different than it is now.
I liked his article.  In retrospect I can see how it reads like a big ad for Disney and for Magic, but he communicated such enthusiasm for his trip that I didn't get that impression while reading it.  Maybe it was only because I've been on a cruise and to Disneyworld and so was familiar with what he was talking about, because he didn't give many specific Magic examples I hadn't heard before.
while i agree that this article reads like a shameless ad, as a fellow lover of disney i can understand how this would happen. there are certainly things to dislike about the company (the soulless way they churn out low quality direct to dvd sequels, for example) but the personal experience at a disney park or event is not one of them. they are devoted to quality in a way that i think other companies can't even understand, let alone imitate. and the dedication to a quality full immersion experience that i love about disney is similar to many of the things i love about magic. so i don't think this was a innapropriate comparison. i will, however, say something about this:

I didn't really care why I didn't have the drink I wanted. I cared that I didn't have the drink. The staff was well trained to make me happy rather than provide me with answers about why I was unhappy.



i understand what you're saying here. i, too, have had unpleasant experiences at restaurants, stores, and other customer service venues where i am given excuses (that i suspect are lies) when i would rather the problem simply be addressed. but i have been on both sides of this, and i believe there is a serious problem behind your statement above.

fixing things is great, but sometimes they can't (or shouldn't) be fixed. when a woman orders a cappuccino and then complains about the foam and the strong coffee taste, should i smile and apologize for making a mistake or should i explain to her what a cappuccino is and why it is different at different places (from a machine at a gas station, for instance)? the "correct" answer is i smile and pretend i'm wrong, but then that woman is going to go on ordering coffee drinks she doesn't understand and doesn't like, assuming everyone is incompetent, and the result is no one is going to be happy until someone explains her ignorance to her.

i know this doesn't apply to your soda situation; you know why the soda doesn't taste good to you. but i find the underlying attitude upsetting, specifically the wording "i don't care why...i just want it fixed," because i don't really think it's a healthy attitude to have (not just talking about retail here) and it's absolutely promoted by the nature of our economy and daily life. i think it would be best if we resisted it as much as possible.

and after all, many people visiting this site are very interested in the why, and not just the FIX IT. and that's a good thing, right?

/rant



This is an excellent point. As mentioned, I worked in fast food for many years, and I'm currently in a sort-of customer service position, and one of the major problems with customer service these days is the customers. (Wasn't it the wise philosopher Randall Graves who said "This job would be great if it weren't for the f---ing customers" ?)

It is my experience that not only is the customer usually not always right, but indeed the customer is instead usually an idiot. People complain about the "entitlement" sentimentality that's infected our nation, and quite honestly it's companies that have spent years and decades bending over backwards to please customers, whether by cutting prices to unsustainable levels, or enacting ridiculously generous return policies, they've only set themselves up for customers to demand more and more until the stores are practically giving it away for free.

There has to be a certain point where a store/company/whatever can say "We have given you as much as we can, but we can't give you anymore. We're sorry, but that's it." It will be a massive paradigm change that will take years to work it's way through society, but I think we would all be better off in the long run if we did.

Proud member of C.A.R.D. - Campaign Against Rare Duals "...but the time has come when lands just need to be better. Creatures have gotten stronger, spells have always been insane, and lands just sat in this awkward place of necessity." Jacob Van Lunen on the refuge duals, 16 Sep 2009. "While it made thematic sense to separate enemy and allied color fixing in the past, we have come around to the definite conclusion that it is just plain incorrect from a game-play perspective. This is one of these situations where game play should just trump flavor." - Sam Stoddard on ending the separation of allied/enemy dual lands. 05 July 2013
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