2010 Q2 Status Update Discussion Thread

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2010 Q2 Status Update
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Magic Online Development Update Q2 2010


Tuesday, July 13, 2010, 03:33 PM PST

Posted By: WotC_Eric




Summary  - Q2 closes out with two major updates code complete and being prepared for release to production. The client redesign project continues to hit its milestones and our vendor has begun to construct the production version of the duel scene (game table). The system has continued to perform well and the user and activity numbers continue to grow at a healthy clip.


Infrastructure Updates -  The new trade processing service has been running in the public beta and has been extensively load tested. In addition to improving the performance of trade transactions, this module also has removed the escrow state machine from the system architecture. We expect to launch this in the relatively quiet period leading up to M11’s release. This major update’s benefits to the system unfortunately will likely be invisible to users, as transactions will simply resolve more quickly and efficiently, and the system will be much less vulnerable to queues of server requests backing up and creating delayed responses to client requests.


Our other long term development project, which will bring a single managed client connection to the system is also code complete and being tested and prepared for deployment. We have high hopes that this work will eliminate some of the frustrating problems that occur when individual connections to draft or game servers are lost for any reason. While we can’t control user connections between their PC and our data center, the client will not have to constantly create and manage new connections to a variety of ports to connect to games and drafts. This work will benefit both the existing and upcoming clients.


New Client - The new client design project is also proceeding to schedule. Our vendor has begun development work on the first phase of the new client. The design team is closing in on completion of the layout and behavior specs for all game critical scenes. We will continue to conduct usability studies and work to improve and refine the new UI.


Maintenance/Bugs - We have also completed and shipped a round of game rules engine bug fixes for Multiplayer formats. We still need to do server side work to support the ability for users to own games and control the seating of players. With the increasing relevance of multiplayer formats in the paper world, we will be tackling this task sooner than later. But we need to ship and stabilize the single managed connection first.


The system continues to perform well in the face of constantly increased user counts and user activity.


The next quarterly review will talk to what services we will build next. In general, we will continue to move transient state out of the database and into services so that the system can support the continued growth in users and activities. At the same time, we will be reducing the impact of data growth on the system, which in many cases is tied to transient state being stored.


Gordon Culp
Director – Game Systems Design
Magic: the Gathering Digital Studio
Wizards of the Coast, LLC


Magic and Magic Online Volunteer Community Lead. On Strike

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Unfortunately, VCLs do not currently have the tools necessary to take moderation actions directly. VCLs submit their actions to ORCs, who then actually perform the action. This processing can take between a few minutes and several hours, depending on how busy/attentive the ORCs are.

If you see something that needs VCL attention, please use this thread to make a request and a VCL will look at it as soon as possible. CoC violations should be reported to Customer Service using the "report post" button. Please do not disrupt the thread by making requests of either kind in-thread.

General MTGO FAQ

Yes, the Shuffler is Random!
The definitive thread on the Magic Online shuffler.

Magic Math Made Easy
Draw probabilities, Swiss results, Elo ratings and booster EV

Event EV Calculator
Calculate the EV for any event with a fixed number of rounds and prizes based on record

Dual means two. A duel is a battle between two people. Lands that make two colors of mana are dual lands. A normal Magic battle is a duel.
Thanks to PhoenixLAU for the [thread=1097559]awesome avatar[/thread]!
Quotables

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"While a picture is worth a thousand words, each lolcat actually produces a negative wordcount." -Ith "I think "Highly Informed Sarcasm" should be our Magic Online General motto." -Ith "Sorry, but this thread seems just like spam. TT is for off-topic discussion, not no-topic discussion." -WizO_Kwai_Chang "Stop that! If you're not careful, rational thinking may catch on!" -Sax "... the only word i see that fits is incompitant." -Mr44 (sic) "You know a thread is gonna be locked when it gets to the hexadecimal stage." -Gathion "It's a good gig" - Gleemax "I tell people often, if you guys want to rant, you've certainly got the right to (provided you obey CoC/ToS stuff), and I don't even really blame you. But if you see something you think needs changing a well thought-out, constructive post does more to make that happen." - Worth Wollpert
Sounds good...honestly nothing there sounded like anything I really care about but it's nice seeing the update thread come out.
I like fun, but competitive decks. So I might not play what is optimal but they have normally been tested to have a 2/3 winrate.

Multiplayer is becoming increasingly important in the paper world? hmmm?  All the scheuled pro tours and GPs I see are single player.  I'm guessing 2011 will see the return of team events?


Multiplayer is becoming increasingly important in the paper world? hmmm?  All the scheuled pro tours and GPs I see are single player.  I'm guessing 2011 will see the return of team events?




Casual Multiplayer I believe.  Things like EDH, Planechase, Archenemy, etc.

Multiplayer is becoming increasingly important in the paper world? hmmm?  All the scheuled pro tours and GPs I see are single player.  I'm guessing 2011 will see the return of team events?





Casual Multiplayer I believe.  Things like EDH, Planechase, Archenemy, etc.



Ding!  Zeet's this month's winner.

If they ever want to rake in cash from Planechase and/or Archenemy they have to fix multiplayer first.
Creation of profit = higher tier on priorities list


My forever unfinished blog of the 2010 MTGO Community Cup: if you're ever bored...

Multiplayer is becoming increasingly important in the paper world? hmmm?  All the scheuled pro tours and GPs I see are single player.  I'm guessing 2011 will see the return of team events?





Casual Multiplayer I believe.  Things like EDH, Planechase, Archenemy, etc.



Ding!  Zeet's this month's winner.

If they ever want to rake in cash from Planechase and/or Archenemy they have to fix multiplayer first.
Creation of profit = higher tier on priorities list




Yeah unfortunatly they could have been a little less transparent about it... All the complaints have been "multiplayer isnt a money making format hence yall dont care"... this update says "now that it is we do(to some)" wish they could have timed it or worded it better to avoid that


Owner of TheCardNexus chain on mtgo.
Thanks for the update.
Captain of the Lotus Farmers - Yes you have my glove in your face! 420 Posts: 6/11/2010

If they ever want to rake in cash from Planechase and/or Archenemy they have to fix multiplayer first.
Creation of profit = higher tier on priorities list




I'm totally okay with this - Archenemy looks kinda interesting, and playing without the body odor should be a huge plus.
Yeah unfortunatly they could have been a little less transparent about it... All the complaints have been "multiplayer isnt a money making format hence yall dont care"... this update says "now that it is we do(to some)" wish they could have timed it or worded it better to avoid that


That's never been a secret, they've even admitted it.  They are a business after all.

Having now had a chance to read it, instead of posting a discussion thread and running out the door, it looks like mostly good news.  Things on schedule, two major pieces going to production soon, multiplayer moved up the priority list.  The only "negative" news I see is the lack of a timeline on the new GUI.

One follow-up: will SMCC and the collection server both be released with (or just before) M11, or could one or both be pushed later (assuming testing doesn't reveal surprised, of course).

Magic and Magic Online Volunteer Community Lead. On Strike

I'm trying to make my official VCL posts in purple.

You posted saying my thread was moved/locked but nothing happened.


Show
Unfortunately, VCLs do not currently have the tools necessary to take moderation actions directly. VCLs submit their actions to ORCs, who then actually perform the action. This processing can take between a few minutes and several hours, depending on how busy/attentive the ORCs are.

If you see something that needs VCL attention, please use this thread to make a request and a VCL will look at it as soon as possible. CoC violations should be reported to Customer Service using the "report post" button. Please do not disrupt the thread by making requests of either kind in-thread.

General MTGO FAQ

Yes, the Shuffler is Random!
The definitive thread on the Magic Online shuffler.

Magic Math Made Easy
Draw probabilities, Swiss results, Elo ratings and booster EV

Event EV Calculator
Calculate the EV for any event with a fixed number of rounds and prizes based on record

Dual means two. A duel is a battle between two people. Lands that make two colors of mana are dual lands. A normal Magic battle is a duel.
Thanks to PhoenixLAU for the [thread=1097559]awesome avatar[/thread]!
Quotables

Show
"While a picture is worth a thousand words, each lolcat actually produces a negative wordcount." -Ith "I think "Highly Informed Sarcasm" should be our Magic Online General motto." -Ith "Sorry, but this thread seems just like spam. TT is for off-topic discussion, not no-topic discussion." -WizO_Kwai_Chang "Stop that! If you're not careful, rational thinking may catch on!" -Sax "... the only word i see that fits is incompitant." -Mr44 (sic) "You know a thread is gonna be locked when it gets to the hexadecimal stage." -Gathion "It's a good gig" - Gleemax "I tell people often, if you guys want to rant, you've certainly got the right to (provided you obey CoC/ToS stuff), and I don't even really blame you. But if you see something you think needs changing a well thought-out, constructive post does more to make that happen." - Worth Wollpert

Multiplayer is becoming increasingly important in the paper world? hmmm?  All the scheuled pro tours and GPs I see are single player.  I'm guessing 2011 will see the return of team events?





Casual Multiplayer I believe.  Things like EDH, Planechase, Archenemy, etc.



Ding!  Zeet's this month's winner.

If they ever want to rake in cash from Planechase and/or Archenemy they have to fix multiplayer first.
Creation of profit = higher tier on priorities list




Yeah unfortunatly they could have been a little less transparent about it... All the complaints have been "multiplayer isnt a money making format hence yall dont care"... this update says "now that it is we do(to some)" wish they could have timed it or worded it better to avoid that






It is what it is, there's no hiding that fact.

However, rather than focus on the fact that it's only getting attention because it now has the potential to make money, focus on the fact that something actually and finally brought attention to multiplayer so that it'll get some love.  And, on top of that,it's likely that nifty new formats will be available.

My forever unfinished blog of the 2010 MTGO Community Cup: if you're ever bored...

Yeah unfortunatly they could have been a little less transparent about it... All the complaints have been "multiplayer isnt a money making format hence yall dont care"... this update says "now that it is we do(to some)" wish they could have timed it or worded it better to avoid that


It saves some the trouble of insinuating that was the reason and others saying that it was not.
Show
Yeah unfortunatly they could have been a little less transparent about it... All the complaints have been "multiplayer isnt a money making format hence yall dont care"... this update says "now that it is we do(to some)" wish they could have timed it or worded it better to avoid that


That's never been a secret, they've even admitted it.  They are a business after all.

Having now had a chance to read it, instead of posting a discussion thread and running out the door, it looks like mostly good news.  Things on schedule, two major pieces going to production soon, multiplayer moved up the priority list.  The only "negative" news I see is the lack of a timeline on the new GUI.

One follow-up: will SMCC and the collection server both be released with (or just before) M11, or could one or both be pushed later (assuming testing doesn't reveal surprised, of course).




Multiplayer is becoming increasingly important in the paper world? hmmm?  All the scheuled pro tours and GPs I see are single player.  I'm guessing 2011 will see the return of team events?





Casual Multiplayer I believe.  Things like EDH, Planechase, Archenemy, etc.



Ding!  Zeet's this month's winner.

If they ever want to rake in cash from Planechase and/or Archenemy they have to fix multiplayer first.
Creation of profit = higher tier on priorities list




Yeah unfortunatly they could have been a little less transparent about it... All the complaints have been "multiplayer isnt a money making format hence yall dont care"... this update says "now that it is we do(to some)" wish they could have timed it or worded it better to avoid that






It is what it is, there's no hiding that fact.

However, rather than focus on the fact that it's only getting attention because it now has the potential to make money, focus on the fact that something actually and finally brought attention to multiplayer so that it'll get some love.  And, on top of that,it's likely that nifty new formats will be available.








Agreed bubba, and in no way did I intend to destract from that. Simply saw something that those who piss and moan would have ot piss and moan about, so figured I would bring it to your attention now rather than them post entire threads bemoaning wotcs like of money.


BTW I hadnt seen them "admit" as such so my apologies. People like to think of business's as some huge benevolent being(or some evil monster) thats not actually there with a primary purpose.

Owner of TheCardNexus chain on mtgo.
Infrastructure Updates -  The new trade processing service has  been running in the public beta and has been extensively load tested.  In addition to improving the performance of trade transactions, this  module also has removed the escrow state machine from the system  architecture.



I'm not a techie so someone explain this to me. I thought the escrow system holds the cards from each players account while they are confirming the trades at which point the cards are transferred to their new owners. A while back there was a bug where one sided trades occured (it looked like you were trading your cards for theirs on all confirm screens but only one person would get cards the other was left with nothing). Wouldn't removing the escrow system make this kind of thing more likely?
Infrastructure Updates -  The new trade processing service has  been running in the public beta and has been extensively load tested.  In addition to improving the performance of trade transactions, this  module also has removed the escrow state machine from the system  architecture.



I'm not a techie so someone explain this to me. I thought the escrow system holds the cards from each players account while they are confirming the trades at which point the cards are transferred to their new owners. A while back there was a bug where one sided trades occured (it looked like you were trading your cards for theirs on all confirm screens but only one person would get cards the other was left with nothing). Wouldn't removing the escrow system make this kind of thing more likely?


Not if they've replaced it with another (faster, more robust) way of atmozing database transactions.  (No, I don't know what they've replaced escrow with.)

Magic and Magic Online Volunteer Community Lead. On Strike

I'm trying to make my official VCL posts in purple.

You posted saying my thread was moved/locked but nothing happened.


Show
Unfortunately, VCLs do not currently have the tools necessary to take moderation actions directly. VCLs submit their actions to ORCs, who then actually perform the action. This processing can take between a few minutes and several hours, depending on how busy/attentive the ORCs are.

If you see something that needs VCL attention, please use this thread to make a request and a VCL will look at it as soon as possible. CoC violations should be reported to Customer Service using the "report post" button. Please do not disrupt the thread by making requests of either kind in-thread.

General MTGO FAQ

Yes, the Shuffler is Random!
The definitive thread on the Magic Online shuffler.

Magic Math Made Easy
Draw probabilities, Swiss results, Elo ratings and booster EV

Event EV Calculator
Calculate the EV for any event with a fixed number of rounds and prizes based on record

Dual means two. A duel is a battle between two people. Lands that make two colors of mana are dual lands. A normal Magic battle is a duel.
Thanks to PhoenixLAU for the [thread=1097559]awesome avatar[/thread]!
Quotables

Show
"While a picture is worth a thousand words, each lolcat actually produces a negative wordcount." -Ith "I think "Highly Informed Sarcasm" should be our Magic Online General motto." -Ith "Sorry, but this thread seems just like spam. TT is for off-topic discussion, not no-topic discussion." -WizO_Kwai_Chang "Stop that! If you're not careful, rational thinking may catch on!" -Sax "... the only word i see that fits is incompitant." -Mr44 (sic) "You know a thread is gonna be locked when it gets to the hexadecimal stage." -Gathion "It's a good gig" - Gleemax "I tell people often, if you guys want to rant, you've certainly got the right to (provided you obey CoC/ToS stuff), and I don't even really blame you. But if you see something you think needs changing a well thought-out, constructive post does more to make that happen." - Worth Wollpert
is this the collection server we are waiting for /(so we can start playing leagues)
It is confusing about the new love for MP when Worth has gone on record stating there is no plans to bring any of the new MP types to MTGO. I am disappointed that the SMUC is 7+ months behind schedule, but it is a step in the right direction. I just wish the glacial pace would speed up abit. To zeet, you might think we only need patience for a year, but most of us have been waiting 6+ years and the joke for the longest time was "it's 18 months away.". It isn't whining, it's a history lesson and those that forget history are doomed to repeat it.
It is confusing about the new love for MP when Worth has gone on record stating there is no plans to bring any of the new MP types to MTGO. I am disappointed that the SMUC is 7+ months behind schedule, but it is a step in the right direction. I just wish the glacial pace would speed up abit. To zeet, you might think we only need patience for a year, but most of us have been waiting 6+ years and the joke for the longest time was "it's 18 months away.". It isn't whining, it's a history lesson and those that forget history are doomed to repeat it.



Would you rather them do it faster or do it right?  (And no, you cannot have both).  Ill make a point of pointing you all in the direction of blizzard and games like Diablo 3 that we have been waiting on for a long long while.  Would we all like it sooner rather than later?  Of course we would.  But I know the time they are taking is making sure it is the best game it can possibly be.  And Im sure it will be worth every extra month/year that we had to wait to get it.

In the case of MTGO.  I would rather them make sure that the vast majority of the game is kept up on and each new release kept on schedule (which they have been doing an amazing job of keeping up on, in addition to continuing to add Legacy sets admit all of that as well).  As they admit, the game isnt perfect, but it continues to improve over time, and thats the key.

As before, I would rather them take a little longer and make sure everything is kept up on and that the changes are done right, than for them to just toss in everything that the players want only to have massive stability issues, and a ton of other issues that we used to have in past years.
Bout damn friggin time they started on multiplayer.
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It is confusing about the new love for MP when Worth has gone on record stating there is no plans to bring any of the new MP types to MTGO. I am disappointed that the SMUC is 7+ months behind schedule, but it is a step in the right direction. I just wish the glacial pace would speed up abit. To zeet, you might think we only need patience for a year, but most of us have been waiting 6+ years and the joke for the longest time was "it's 18 months away.". It isn't whining, it's a history lesson and those that forget history are doomed to repeat it.



Would you rather them do it faster or do it right?  (And no, you cannot have both).  Ill make a point of pointing you all in the direction of blizzard and games like Diablo 3 that we have been waiting on for a long long while.  Would we all like it sooner rather than later?  Of course we would.  But I know the time they are taking is making sure it is the best game it can possibly be.  And Im sure it will be worth every extra month/year that we had to wait to get it.

In the case of MTGO.  I would rather them make sure that the vast majority of the game is kept up on and each new release kept on schedule (which they have been doing an amazing job of keeping up on, in addition to continuing to add Legacy sets admit all of that as well).  As they admit, the game isnt perfect, but it continues to improve over time, and thats the key.


I just don't believe for one second you can't do something right by doing it fast. It does work, and WoTC has a team that's proving it. The card coding team has done an amazing job of not only coding new cards but also finding the time to quash older bugs. I sincerely hope they will be the team that will implement the MP formats (they will need some interesting formating of cards, as I don't know if they currently have a template for a planechase card for example). Set after set they have stepped up and the amount of bugs released into beta has gone down dramatically, especially since coldsnap.
Interesting you bring up Blizzard though, as their MMORPG is about to have yet another major expansion after months of new content being steady added, as well as a new dungeon finding system which crosses servers, and new pvp. I know developing a new game takes a long time, MTGO isn't a new game, it's just new to the development company who chose to tackle it instead of outsourcing. They are now doing a blending of the two, and it is impressive to see them take their lumps and really try hard to not make the same mistakes.

The problem is, as I can't restate it enough, the game is still not even were it was 6 years ago. Better than 2-3 years ago? Lightyears. I am sorry you didn't play way back in the day to compare, I did.

Why do I post? I feel there needs to be perspective and voice not colored by affinity for the company or it's employees. I feel there needs to be an understanding of all that has happened and to make sure there are reminders of what can happen again. I don't give up, I don't give in, because I am a customer. I believe customers have a responsibility to do these things to keep businesses honest just as citizens should do for their government. I may be outdated, and something not as articulate as I wish I could be, but that's what I believe. I still have passion for this and may other things.

As before, I would rather them take a little longer and make sure everything is kept up on and that the changes are done right, than for them to just toss in everything that the players want only to have massive stability issues, and a ton of other issues that we used to have in past years.




Interesting you bring up Blizzard though, as their MMORPG is about to have yet another major expansion after months of new content being steady added, as well as a new dungeon finding system which crosses servers, and new pvp.

The problem is, as I can't restate it enough, the game is still not even were it was 6 years ago. Better than 2-3 years ago? Lightyears. I am sorry you didn't play way back in the day to compare, I did.



Yes, WoW will soon have produced three expansions.  And you know what?  All three of them were delayed extensively from initial estimates.  Back in 2005, Blizzard said that Burning Crusade would be out in 2006, and that they expected to release one expansion per year following that.  BC didn't come out until 2007.  WotLK was released 22 months later in 2008.  Cataclysm will likely not be released until 2 years after WotLK.  Certainly, Cataclysm will end up taking longer than WotLK did - nearly twice Blizzard's initial estimate.

Blizzard and WotC aren't alone in this.  Every game company goes through the same thing.  And every game company gets people like you ragging on them, saying that other companies are delivering superior products in reasonable amounts of time.  And just as I'd say to someone who complained about Blizzard's delays, I would tell you to switch if it's such a big deal for you.  You'll soon find out that the same thing happens everywhere.

Secondly, Magic Online is most definitely better than it was 6 years ago - and I most definitely was playing back then.  You're looking at the past through rose colored glasses.  Six years ago... 2004.. you know what set came out in 2004?  DARKSTEEL.  Are you really trying to say that we're not better off than we were during Darksteel?  I was right in the middle of that release, trying to be online whenever the servers were online so I could help moderate.  It was horrible.

Six/seven years ago Magic Online was struggling to stay online, with constant problems resulting from the 8th Edition release and subsequent CVP followed by Darksteel.  You're choosing to remember the good things like more functional multiplayer and leagues.  You're also choosing to forget about the worst period in Magic Online's history, which happens to fall exactly within the "6 years ago" timeframe you set.

the game is still not even were it was 6 years ago.



Thank goodness for small miracles.
Leagues?
Leagues?


Great response!
Let me try:

Server Stability?
Commander?
Trade limits?
PAUPER?
Server Stability?
Clan limits?
Server stability?
Classic sets?
QP's?
Promo cards?
Server Stability?
 
 

Guess what? Chicken butt.

Yeah unfortunatly they could have been a little less transparent about it... All the complaints have been "multiplayer isnt a money making format hence yall dont care"... this update says "now that it is we do(to some)" wish they could have timed it or worded it better to avoid that


That's never been a secret, they've even admitted it.  They are a business after all.

Having now had a chance to read it, instead of posting a discussion thread and running out the door, it looks like mostly good news.  Things on schedule, two major pieces going to production soon, multiplayer moved up the priority list.  The only "negative" news I see is the lack of a timeline on the new GUI.

One follow-up: will SMCC and the collection server both be released with (or just before) M11, or could one or both be pushed later (assuming testing doesn't reveal surprised, of course).



Bubba, a follow up to your follow up.  SMCC= single managed client connection, that I figured out, but there was ZERO mention of a collection server.  Where did you read or see that it could be out as soon as M11 release?  This I care much about as it is the pre-cursor to league work.  So specific words around the collection server would be a great followup up Q&A for this update.

THANKS FOR THE THE UPDATE guys.
Bubba, a follow up to your follow up.  SMCC= single managed client connection, that I figured out, but there was ZERO mention of a collection server.  Where did you read or see that it could be out as soon as M11 release?  This I care much about as it is the pre-cursor to league work.  So specific words around the collection server would be a great followup up Q&A for this update.

THANKS FOR THE THE UPDATE guys.


The paragraph before the SMCC that starts "The new trade processing service..." is the thing heretofore called the "collection server".  WotC has shied away from using that name recently, but it is easier to discuss if we have a simple name for it.  In that first paragraph, they state it is in public beta (the M11 beta, where people are being encouraged to trade extensively).

Magic and Magic Online Volunteer Community Lead. On Strike

I'm trying to make my official VCL posts in purple.

You posted saying my thread was moved/locked but nothing happened.


Show
Unfortunately, VCLs do not currently have the tools necessary to take moderation actions directly. VCLs submit their actions to ORCs, who then actually perform the action. This processing can take between a few minutes and several hours, depending on how busy/attentive the ORCs are.

If you see something that needs VCL attention, please use this thread to make a request and a VCL will look at it as soon as possible. CoC violations should be reported to Customer Service using the "report post" button. Please do not disrupt the thread by making requests of either kind in-thread.

General MTGO FAQ

Yes, the Shuffler is Random!
The definitive thread on the Magic Online shuffler.

Magic Math Made Easy
Draw probabilities, Swiss results, Elo ratings and booster EV

Event EV Calculator
Calculate the EV for any event with a fixed number of rounds and prizes based on record

Dual means two. A duel is a battle between two people. Lands that make two colors of mana are dual lands. A normal Magic battle is a duel.
Thanks to PhoenixLAU for the [thread=1097559]awesome avatar[/thread]!
Quotables

Show
"While a picture is worth a thousand words, each lolcat actually produces a negative wordcount." -Ith "I think "Highly Informed Sarcasm" should be our Magic Online General motto." -Ith "Sorry, but this thread seems just like spam. TT is for off-topic discussion, not no-topic discussion." -WizO_Kwai_Chang "Stop that! If you're not careful, rational thinking may catch on!" -Sax "... the only word i see that fits is incompitant." -Mr44 (sic) "You know a thread is gonna be locked when it gets to the hexadecimal stage." -Gathion "It's a good gig" - Gleemax "I tell people often, if you guys want to rant, you've certainly got the right to (provided you obey CoC/ToS stuff), and I don't even really blame you. But if you see something you think needs changing a well thought-out, constructive post does more to make that happen." - Worth Wollpert
It is confusing about the new love for MP when Worth has gone on record stating there is no plans to bring any of the new MP types to MTGO. I am disappointed that the SMUC is 7+ months behind schedule, but it is a step in the right direction. I just wish the glacial pace would speed up abit. To zeet, you might think we only need patience for a year, but most of us have been waiting 6+ years and the joke for the longest time was "it's 18 months away.". It isn't whining, it's a history lesson and those that forget history are doomed to repeat it.


I'd consider two consecutive updates where they kept the same timelines and actually hit the stated milestones a break from history and a very good sign.

Not to concern anyone, but does bumping multiplayer up in priority mean bumping leagues down?

P.S. - Claiming that MO is not better than X years ago is being extremely narrow in your definition of "better".  "Not better for me" might be more accurate.  The overall state of MO right now rivals any time, including the "golden days" of the first six months.

Magic and Magic Online Volunteer Community Lead. On Strike

I'm trying to make my official VCL posts in purple.

You posted saying my thread was moved/locked but nothing happened.


Show
Unfortunately, VCLs do not currently have the tools necessary to take moderation actions directly. VCLs submit their actions to ORCs, who then actually perform the action. This processing can take between a few minutes and several hours, depending on how busy/attentive the ORCs are.

If you see something that needs VCL attention, please use this thread to make a request and a VCL will look at it as soon as possible. CoC violations should be reported to Customer Service using the "report post" button. Please do not disrupt the thread by making requests of either kind in-thread.

General MTGO FAQ

Yes, the Shuffler is Random!
The definitive thread on the Magic Online shuffler.

Magic Math Made Easy
Draw probabilities, Swiss results, Elo ratings and booster EV

Event EV Calculator
Calculate the EV for any event with a fixed number of rounds and prizes based on record

Dual means two. A duel is a battle between two people. Lands that make two colors of mana are dual lands. A normal Magic battle is a duel.
Thanks to PhoenixLAU for the [thread=1097559]awesome avatar[/thread]!
Quotables

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"While a picture is worth a thousand words, each lolcat actually produces a negative wordcount." -Ith "I think "Highly Informed Sarcasm" should be our Magic Online General motto." -Ith "Sorry, but this thread seems just like spam. TT is for off-topic discussion, not no-topic discussion." -WizO_Kwai_Chang "Stop that! If you're not careful, rational thinking may catch on!" -Sax "... the only word i see that fits is incompitant." -Mr44 (sic) "You know a thread is gonna be locked when it gets to the hexadecimal stage." -Gathion "It's a good gig" - Gleemax "I tell people often, if you guys want to rant, you've certainly got the right to (provided you obey CoC/ToS stuff), and I don't even really blame you. But if you see something you think needs changing a well thought-out, constructive post does more to make that happen." - Worth Wollpert
2010 Q2 Status Update

New Client - The new client design project is also proceeding to schedule. Our vendor has begun development work on the first phase of the new client. The design team is closing in on completion of the layout and behavior specs for all game critical scenes. We will continue to conduct usability studies and work to improve and refine the new UI.





Could we maybe get a separate new UI development update? It looks like there may be a lot more info that we could be given....

For instance if they have chosen a Vendor... Who is it?

Have they chosen a platform? I'm very interested in knowing if this ends up being on Silverlight or HTML5 or whatever as I need to buy a new computer and have been holding off waiting for more info on what I will need to run it (My girlfriend really wants a MAC, I'm too lazy to go through the hassles of installing on a MAC)

Some more teaser screens would be cool.. I mean obviously they want to time their release right to get some hype going when nothing else is exciting in MTGO... there is a huge Gap between M11 and Scars where all we get is FTV and hopefully a Duel Decks.


Calavera on MTGO I collect Zendikar Foil Basic lands. Trade me yours! Things that I want to see changed on MTGO: 1: 64 man drafts added to rotation of Events. 2: Visual/Audible Notification of disconnect, deckbuild/afk time expiring and round starts. 3: Prize Payouts as close to draft sets as possible. 4: Rotate Classic draft queues monthly! 5: MOCS level events for Classic/Pauper 6: Power 9! 7: Award Promo Cards for Constructed PEs (esp for Legacy/Classic) 8: Program Split option back in! 9: Set Favorite version in deck editor (i.e. always use x swamp) 10: Better sorting of gold cards in deck editor. 11: Bring leagues Back!

Infrastructure Updates -  The new trade processing service has  been running in the public beta and has been extensively load tested.  In addition to improving the performance of trade transactions, this  module also has removed the escrow state machine from the system  architecture.



I'm not a techie so someone explain this to me. I thought the escrow system holds the cards from each players account while they are confirming the trades at which point the cards are transferred to their new owners. A while back there was a bug where one sided trades occured (it looked like you were trading your cards for theirs on all confirm screens but only one person would get cards the other was left with nothing). Wouldn't removing the escrow system make this kind of thing more likely?




Here is basically what Gordon told me (and the other CCC folk) during the round table.
Right now, when you're trading, there are several calls to the database being made, maybe a dozen or more, throughout the trade.  They have changed this so that there is now only a call at the beginning of the trade and at the completion.  If something gets out of sync during the trade, then when the trade would be completed it instead simply fails.  It's supposed to be much less resource intensive.

So, from what I've been told, I interpretthat paragraph to mean they took out a dedicated server that was frequently checking the escrow state during trades and I suppose the initial/final checks are done by another server (which could have been the case before, as well).  Obviously I only understand it at a certain level, there could certainly be more to it (probably is).

Hope that helps and is accurate enough :P

My forever unfinished blog of the 2010 MTGO Community Cup: if you're ever bored...
Bubba, a follow up to your follow up.  SMCC= single managed client connection, that I figured out, but there was ZERO mention of a collection server.  Where did you read or see that it could be out as soon as M11 release?  This I care much about as it is the pre-cursor to league work.  So specific words around the collection server would be a great followup up Q&A for this update.

THANKS FOR THE THE UPDATE guys.


The paragraph before the SMCC that starts "The new trade processing service..." is the thing heretofore called the "collection server".  WotC has shied away from using that name recently, but it is easier to discuss if we have a simple name for it.  In that first paragraph, they state it is in public beta (the M11 beta, where people are being encouraged to trade extensively).



Thanks Bubba!  It is not uncommon to change the terminology as projects progress.  However, trade processing service must be selling the service short in terms of a good name. 

And your right, if MP got a bump, did leagues get a thump?  That would suck, and I would write at least one very long constructive email about that decision. Cool
And your right, if MP got a bump, did leagues get a thump?  That would suck, and I would write at least one very long constructive email about that decision.


It's quite possible the MP will involve mainly the rules team (other than the GUI work, which is already accounted for) while Leagues will be the infrastructure team, but it seems like at least a possible concern I would like addressed.

Magic and Magic Online Volunteer Community Lead. On Strike

I'm trying to make my official VCL posts in purple.

You posted saying my thread was moved/locked but nothing happened.


Show
Unfortunately, VCLs do not currently have the tools necessary to take moderation actions directly. VCLs submit their actions to ORCs, who then actually perform the action. This processing can take between a few minutes and several hours, depending on how busy/attentive the ORCs are.

If you see something that needs VCL attention, please use this thread to make a request and a VCL will look at it as soon as possible. CoC violations should be reported to Customer Service using the "report post" button. Please do not disrupt the thread by making requests of either kind in-thread.

General MTGO FAQ

Yes, the Shuffler is Random!
The definitive thread on the Magic Online shuffler.

Magic Math Made Easy
Draw probabilities, Swiss results, Elo ratings and booster EV

Event EV Calculator
Calculate the EV for any event with a fixed number of rounds and prizes based on record

Dual means two. A duel is a battle between two people. Lands that make two colors of mana are dual lands. A normal Magic battle is a duel.
Thanks to PhoenixLAU for the [thread=1097559]awesome avatar[/thread]!
Quotables

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"While a picture is worth a thousand words, each lolcat actually produces a negative wordcount." -Ith "I think "Highly Informed Sarcasm" should be our Magic Online General motto." -Ith "Sorry, but this thread seems just like spam. TT is for off-topic discussion, not no-topic discussion." -WizO_Kwai_Chang "Stop that! If you're not careful, rational thinking may catch on!" -Sax "... the only word i see that fits is incompitant." -Mr44 (sic) "You know a thread is gonna be locked when it gets to the hexadecimal stage." -Gathion "It's a good gig" - Gleemax "I tell people often, if you guys want to rant, you've certainly got the right to (provided you obey CoC/ToS stuff), and I don't even really blame you. But if you see something you think needs changing a well thought-out, constructive post does more to make that happen." - Worth Wollpert
Leagues?


Great response!
Let me try:

Server Stability?
Commander?
Trade limits?
PAUPER?
Server Stability?
Clan limits?
Server stability?
Classic sets?
QP's?
Promo cards?
Server Stability?
 
 



And you tell me to drop the hyperbole and sarcasm. Wow.

Anyway, thanks for the belated update wotc. May I politely ask for an update on the work on leagues? After all, we were promised they were coming, and soon in 2008, so I'd like to know when that is.

Thanks.

"Leagues are coming and soon."
Anyway, thanks for the belated update wotc. May I politely ask for an update on the work on leagues? After all, we were promised they were coming, and soon in 2008, so I'd like to know when that is.

Thanks.


We already know Leagues will not be ready until at least 2011, and not even started until after the collection server is deployed.  Since this hasn't occured yet, there is nothing to update.  Didn't we go through this last update?

Magic and Magic Online Volunteer Community Lead. On Strike

I'm trying to make my official VCL posts in purple.

You posted saying my thread was moved/locked but nothing happened.


Show
Unfortunately, VCLs do not currently have the tools necessary to take moderation actions directly. VCLs submit their actions to ORCs, who then actually perform the action. This processing can take between a few minutes and several hours, depending on how busy/attentive the ORCs are.

If you see something that needs VCL attention, please use this thread to make a request and a VCL will look at it as soon as possible. CoC violations should be reported to Customer Service using the "report post" button. Please do not disrupt the thread by making requests of either kind in-thread.

General MTGO FAQ

Yes, the Shuffler is Random!
The definitive thread on the Magic Online shuffler.

Magic Math Made Easy
Draw probabilities, Swiss results, Elo ratings and booster EV

Event EV Calculator
Calculate the EV for any event with a fixed number of rounds and prizes based on record

Dual means two. A duel is a battle between two people. Lands that make two colors of mana are dual lands. A normal Magic battle is a duel.
Thanks to PhoenixLAU for the [thread=1097559]awesome avatar[/thread]!
Quotables

Show
"While a picture is worth a thousand words, each lolcat actually produces a negative wordcount." -Ith "I think "Highly Informed Sarcasm" should be our Magic Online General motto." -Ith "Sorry, but this thread seems just like spam. TT is for off-topic discussion, not no-topic discussion." -WizO_Kwai_Chang "Stop that! If you're not careful, rational thinking may catch on!" -Sax "... the only word i see that fits is incompitant." -Mr44 (sic) "You know a thread is gonna be locked when it gets to the hexadecimal stage." -Gathion "It's a good gig" - Gleemax "I tell people often, if you guys want to rant, you've certainly got the right to (provided you obey CoC/ToS stuff), and I don't even really blame you. But if you see something you think needs changing a well thought-out, constructive post does more to make that happen." - Worth Wollpert
Anyway, thanks for the belated update wotc. May I politely ask for an update on the work on leagues? After all, we were promised they were coming, and soon in 2008, so I'd like to know when that is.

Thanks.


We already know Leagues will not be ready until at least 2011, and not even started until after the collection server is deployed.  Since this hasn't occured yet, there is nothing to update.  Didn't we go through this last update?



2011 is only six months away. Yeah I know, time flies :-). Just a polite question, but if you think it's asking too much, that's cool. At this point I'd be happy with a "OMG STFU we is nevah doing leagues gtfo kthxbye". At least then I'd have some closure.
"Leagues are coming and soon."
2011 is only six months away. Yeah I know, time flies :-). Just a polite question, but if you think it's asking too much, that's cool. At this point I'd be happy with a "OMG STFU we is nevah doing leagues gtfo kthxbye". At least then I'd have some closure.


If the collection server is deployed with M11 as planned (and it goes well), I would expect an update on leagues in the Q3 update (even if it is to say leagues are being held up by something else).

Magic and Magic Online Volunteer Community Lead. On Strike

I'm trying to make my official VCL posts in purple.

You posted saying my thread was moved/locked but nothing happened.


Show
Unfortunately, VCLs do not currently have the tools necessary to take moderation actions directly. VCLs submit their actions to ORCs, who then actually perform the action. This processing can take between a few minutes and several hours, depending on how busy/attentive the ORCs are.

If you see something that needs VCL attention, please use this thread to make a request and a VCL will look at it as soon as possible. CoC violations should be reported to Customer Service using the "report post" button. Please do not disrupt the thread by making requests of either kind in-thread.

General MTGO FAQ

Yes, the Shuffler is Random!
The definitive thread on the Magic Online shuffler.

Magic Math Made Easy
Draw probabilities, Swiss results, Elo ratings and booster EV

Event EV Calculator
Calculate the EV for any event with a fixed number of rounds and prizes based on record

Dual means two. A duel is a battle between two people. Lands that make two colors of mana are dual lands. A normal Magic battle is a duel.
Thanks to PhoenixLAU for the [thread=1097559]awesome avatar[/thread]!
Quotables

Show
"While a picture is worth a thousand words, each lolcat actually produces a negative wordcount." -Ith "I think "Highly Informed Sarcasm" should be our Magic Online General motto." -Ith "Sorry, but this thread seems just like spam. TT is for off-topic discussion, not no-topic discussion." -WizO_Kwai_Chang "Stop that! If you're not careful, rational thinking may catch on!" -Sax "... the only word i see that fits is incompitant." -Mr44 (sic) "You know a thread is gonna be locked when it gets to the hexadecimal stage." -Gathion "It's a good gig" - Gleemax "I tell people often, if you guys want to rant, you've certainly got the right to (provided you obey CoC/ToS stuff), and I don't even really blame you. But if you see something you think needs changing a well thought-out, constructive post does more to make that happen." - Worth Wollpert
2011 is only six months away. Yeah I know, time flies :-). Just a polite question, but if you think it's asking too much, that's cool. At this point I'd be happy with a "OMG STFU we is nevah doing leagues gtfo kthxbye". At least then I'd have some closure.


If the collection server is deployed with M11 as planned (and it goes well), I would expect an update on leagues in the Q3 update (even if it is to say leagues are being held up by something else).



Thanks, appreciated. We'll see in october i gues.
"Leagues are coming and soon."
...

And you tell me to drop the hyperbole and sarcasm. Wow.

...



Sarcastic? Guilty.
At this point I'm a little annoyed that everyone who's been around even a short time knows what the status of Leagues are.
I'm not saying they're wrong, but it's enough already.

Hyperbole? No.
Every singe thing on that list is measurably better then it was in V2.
EVERY. SINGLE. ONE.

***

This part is not directed at Daar, it's just a general rant:

And that's not even a fraction of the complete list.

Does not having Leagues suck? Yes.
Were we promised leagues within 6 months of the v3 lauch? Yes.
Did WotC screw up with v3? Yes.
Do they know it? Yes
Are we years behind where we should be? Yes.

What else do you want? You want leagues back? So do I.
But we're not going to get them until they fix all the back end stuff that is necessary for them to work correctly.
And you're not going to get any additional information except for "Currently no change" because they've been burned too many times before.

People keep asking "What's the status? We just want to know 'What's the status?'" and then when they hear that the status hasn't changed, they complain "Why hasn't the status changed?"
It's disingenuous to say you only want to know what's going on, and then complain when you're told.


Guess what? Chicken butt.

When you say "better for me" you are correct. I liked the tables and the animations you got the higher your level. I liked multiplayer working just fine. I liked chat working the way it did. I didn't care for mirro block at all, even after clamp ban, but I did enjoy the client much better. The Magic invitational and Darksteel releases were the first signs of problems that we could see, and yes, I was inconvienced with that hiccup, but a couple weeks later, I was playing and enjoying like normal. I wasn't disallusioned yet. I wasn't lied to, or pushed off, or ignored, or anything else that came year after year. So, if you call that rose colored glasses, that's your call. My call is that that was the last time before the whole charade started that the game was working as intended to me.

Also, I have no problem with game companies delaying products a reasonable amount of time. I don't feel 3+ years (since the v3  to get back features to be reasonable. If you do, fine. My standards are higher.

For MP vrs Leagues I really don't see any conflict. According to Gordon coding was almost done for Leagues before the SMUC and Collection server took precedence. Which to me means the same team would work on either. This leaves the card coding team to tackle MP card formatting. We could probably get a better idea of which team will do the work by knowing who coded Kaleidoscope. Anyone know that?
In terms of technical quality, not much has changed since v3 - or at least not much apparent to the user.

I do want to point out, above all, that there are some things that have changed.  I'm suprised no one has mentioned the 32-card trade limit in all this back and forth.  There's one perfectly visible and wholly better change.

In terms of participation, awareness, support, policy, and promotion, the current staff is way better than 6 years ago, and they themselves are suffering just as much from the technological limitations - perhaps more - than we are.

Let's put it this way.  I don't give a hooey about MP - I don't enjoy playing it. I also wouldn't set foot in a league.  Some of you couldn't care less about clans, or automated trading, or (insert current beef here).  WoTC cares about all of them.

I guarantee you it's far more frustrating to them.   If that makes you feel any better.   I guarantee you every membr of the CCC comes away with one thing:  The sense that WoTC is far more frustrated in the state of affairs than even we are. 
Classic Quarter
(www.classicquarter.com)
For MP vrs Leagues I really don't see any conflict. According to Gordon coding was almost done for Leagues before the SMUC and Collection server took precedence.


I'm not sure I would call 33% "almost done".

Magic and Magic Online Volunteer Community Lead. On Strike

I'm trying to make my official VCL posts in purple.

You posted saying my thread was moved/locked but nothing happened.


Show
Unfortunately, VCLs do not currently have the tools necessary to take moderation actions directly. VCLs submit their actions to ORCs, who then actually perform the action. This processing can take between a few minutes and several hours, depending on how busy/attentive the ORCs are.

If you see something that needs VCL attention, please use this thread to make a request and a VCL will look at it as soon as possible. CoC violations should be reported to Customer Service using the "report post" button. Please do not disrupt the thread by making requests of either kind in-thread.

General MTGO FAQ

Yes, the Shuffler is Random!
The definitive thread on the Magic Online shuffler.

Magic Math Made Easy
Draw probabilities, Swiss results, Elo ratings and booster EV

Event EV Calculator
Calculate the EV for any event with a fixed number of rounds and prizes based on record

Dual means two. A duel is a battle between two people. Lands that make two colors of mana are dual lands. A normal Magic battle is a duel.
Thanks to PhoenixLAU for the [thread=1097559]awesome avatar[/thread]!
Quotables

Show
"While a picture is worth a thousand words, each lolcat actually produces a negative wordcount." -Ith "I think "Highly Informed Sarcasm" should be our Magic Online General motto." -Ith "Sorry, but this thread seems just like spam. TT is for off-topic discussion, not no-topic discussion." -WizO_Kwai_Chang "Stop that! If you're not careful, rational thinking may catch on!" -Sax "... the only word i see that fits is incompitant." -Mr44 (sic) "You know a thread is gonna be locked when it gets to the hexadecimal stage." -Gathion "It's a good gig" - Gleemax "I tell people often, if you guys want to rant, you've certainly got the right to (provided you obey CoC/ToS stuff), and I don't even really blame you. But if you see something you think needs changing a well thought-out, constructive post does more to make that happen." - Worth Wollpert
...

I guarantee you it's far more frustrating to them.   If that makes you feel any better.   I guarantee you every membr of the CCC comes away with one thing:  The sense that WoTC is far more frustrated in the state of affairs than even we are. 


YES.
These guys care a hell of a lot about Magic and Magic Online. They want to do so many cool things; CYOS, multiple items for event entry, multiple prizes as payout, automatic tracking of QP's, Cube drafting, and the list just goes on and on.

They are just as limited running the current system with the tools they have as we are playing on it.

Show


I blame only one man for the seemingly endless crap that we STILL have to deal with:

RAGE

Guess what? Chicken butt.

First off, again I want to thank the people who put together the update.  I do feel better informed, and my "investments in the game" through time and money are based on the direction that the game is taken.

I do support what some others have said about leagues.  What does irk me about these updates, this and the prior, is the fact that leagues were not originally mentioned.  There is not one mention of leagues in this update.  ZERO.

The last update was the same.  We, the community did discuss it and made inferences and assumptions, and thanks to I believe it was Bubba, we finally did receive "official" words that said Leauges are still "in the plan".

There are people who miss leagues very much.  The passion and feelings these peole have about leagues can easily br measured by the posts of these people on the boards.  It cannot be lost on WOTC that a great many posters read these updates looking for some wording around leagues.  I wish WOTC would mention Leagues every time they update us on MTGO.  "They are still on the plan, and are dependent on X being finished." would suffice.
People keep asking "What's the status? We just want to know 'What's the status?'" and then when they hear that the status hasn't changed, they complain "Why hasn't the status changed?"

Is that not a reasonable response? Is expecting forward progress on a process somehow not what people should be expecting?

And as far as your list of improvements goes I see very little that requires much in the way of programming other than server stability and additional card sets (handled by a separate team). Most of them are either card legality templates or increasing arbitrary caps, neither of which is exactly rocket science. Fixes to keep the game running and (excepting new card sets which again are done by a separate team and are obviously the primary means of continued income) minor incremental tweaks, nothing more. Is that list not indicative of exactly what should be expected of any piece of software undergoing continued maintenance? It's certainly nothing to crow over and throw in the faces of people as an example of how much has been accomplished. Especially not after a 5+ year development cycle.

Magic Online is in a very unique situation. If it were any other piece of software it would have crashed, burned, and been buried years ago. But because of the strength of the paper product and it's ruleset, something developed completely independently by a different team, it retains marketshare despite itself. I'm sure you're tired of people complaining but ask yourself this, is or is not Magic Online when viewed objectively apart from the Magic ruleset an exceptionally poor product? And if it is an exceptionally poor product shouldn't people complain about it? It's essentially like a crappy video game based on a crappy movie based on an amazing comic book. It sells despite how horrible it is in and of itself solely because people like what it's based on.

Might real improvements be on the way? Sure they might. But given the track record so far I'm inclined to believe that milestones will be missed and features will continue to be absent all set to the soothing tune of "Everything is going well, we're making great progress, almost done" Despite the glaring fact that excluding the card logic engine all of Magic Online could be produced from scratch in a mere fraction of the time they've been mucking about with the current version. Would love to be proved wrong.

I guarantee you it's far more frustrating to them.   If that makes you feel any better.   I guarantee you every membr of the CCC comes away with one thing:  The sense that WoTC is far more frustrated in the state of affairs than even we are.

Most likely. However that does not make the situation any more excusable, only more lamentable.
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