8/09/2010 MM: "Playing With Memories"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Making Magic, which goes live Monday morning on magicthegathering.com.
"Back in 1999 with the release of Sixth Edition, we made a major revamp to the rules. This revamp, known as the Sixth Edition Rules Change, met with a lot of resistance from the player base. The number one concern was that R&D, in making these changes, were "dumbing down the game". That is, that we were making Magic less strategic."

Replace Sixth Edition with MTG2010 and... Wink 

Yeah, this is pretty much true in every conceivable manner. MaRo isn't as diplomatic back them, telling us point-blank that there are some things we need that we don't want (even if it's true).

"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

There are advantages to doing archive binges - I'm quite certain that I read this article in past, though it has of course been a very long time. Interesting to re-read, and of course the irony of posting a half-forgotten article on memory isn't lost on me. 

Also, hope that whatever personal issues kept you from writing a new column get sorted out properly and quickly - best of luck with whatever it is.

Edit: Well don't I just look like a putz now... On the upside, I did get quoted in a MaRo article, which is pretty cool.  
I don't remember this column at all, and I've been reading MaRo's articles since Onslaught previews began. Maybe I missed it like he suggested...or maybe he's playing games to make a point about memory and this actually is a new article.

Fake Edit: Went back through the archives and found it right where he said it should be. Then checked his 'One Hundred and Counting' article to be sure the archives weren't messed with. I guess he's not playing games. But if he was, what an awesome game it would have been!

...Actually, that probably proves his point right there.

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

Did we really lose anything with the 6E rules (other than interrupts)?
There's a world of difference between "streamlining" and "dumbing down".  6E got rid of piles of convoluted rules, exceptions to those rules, and exceptions to the exceptions, in favor of a streamlined "everything works the same way" template.  Losing Batches, Interrupt Batches, and Damage-Prevention Windows in favor of GUTS actually added depth by removing the rules complexity. Rather than having to play interrupts right damn now (and only being able to respond to an interrupt with another interrupt), everything up and down the (new) Stack could be manipulated, and a creature could be sacrificed for an effect while still being useful in combat.

In contrast, M10 removed depth by adding rules complexity, and justified it as "strategic decisions" that quickly rendered cards like Steve and Fanny sub-optimal.  When given the choice between dealing combat damage or sacrificing for an effect, the choice taken is almost always to just replace that card with something else.

At the very least, however, M11 solved the glaring issue of the Deathtouch Exception.  Curious how the public singled that problem out within minutes of seeing the new rules, while R&D seemed to have missed it over several months, huh?
I really like this article! I think I can apply it to my job. And I wouldn't have seen it otherwise so I'm glad it was reprinted. It's just so true. It feels like I already knew about this phenomenon among hardcore game fandoms. But it took this article calling it out to solidify the idea in my mind. Now I'll be watching for this to happen in myself and in other people.

---------------------------------------------------------

Attended Worlds every year

One article per work week for 9 years

Time to declare a new streak! Of something. Maybe "Member of a design team for a set in (#) consecutive years?"


I liked this one a lot. I remember reading a few sixth edition rants during the M10 changes. It was hilarious how similar they were, especially now that the changes have been with us for a while and the sky hasn't fallen. Both changes ended up being for the better and got rid of a few clunky and unnecessary rules.

I hope all is well Mr R. :/
Now I remember some time back MaRo saying something to the effect of: "Mythic rares are not going to be top level tournament staples." Is this trusting my own memory more than anything else, or is it that my memory is not very reliable, or perhpas I remember hearing what I wanted to hear?
Now I remember some time back MaRo saying something to the effect of: "Mythic rares are not going to be top level tournament staples." Is this trusting my own memory more than anything else, or is it that my memory is not very reliable, or perhpas I remember hearing what I wanted to hear?



Apparently so, because he never, ever said "mythic rares are not going to be top level tournament staples."

Here is what he actually said about Mythic Rares: www.wizards.com/Magic/Magazine/Article.a...

Did we really lose anything with the 6E rules (other than interrupts)?

We lost the ability to know whether our spells would be countered before responding (the Armageddon/Zuran Orb trick and similar), we lost tapping artifacts to stop them, we lost tapping blockers to avoid combat damage, we lost unrespondable triggered abilities, we lost running Artifact Creatures to get around anti-Summon-spell cards, we lost Dark Ritual and friends being uncounterable, we lost the ability to Infernal Pact or similar below 0 life and survive by bringing your life total back up quickly enough, and a number of individual cards lost significant amounts of power, especially interrupts.

So yes, technically speaking we did lose some things. A significant number of things, even. It just turns out that the game was better off without those things.

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

Did we really lose anything with the 6E rules (other than interrupts)?

We lost the ability to know whether our spells would be countered before responding (the Armageddon/Zuran Orb trick and similar), we lost tapping artifacts to stop them, we lost tapping blockers to avoid combat damage, we lost unrespondable triggered abilities, we lost running Artifact Creatures to get around anti-Summon-spell cards, we lost Dark Ritual and friends being uncounterable, we lost the ability to Infernal Pact or similar below 0 life and survive by bringing your life total back up quickly enough, and a number of individual cards lost significant amounts of power, especially interrupts.

So yes, technically speaking we did lose some things. A significant number of things, even. It just turns out that the game was better off without those things.



Hehehe very funny
I bet 10 years from now people will think "how could you even play with pre-M10 rules?"

Yeah, this is pretty much true in every conceivable manner. MaRo isn't as diplomatic back them, telling us point-blank that there are some things we need that we don't want (even if it's true).



Second that. I mean I hope it's just him telling something. I truly hope MaRo doesn't believe the rediculous plot he thought up there to cover up what I assume to be the truth: the letter DID confirm the game was dumbed down. R&D's defense should be "YES we're dumbing down the game but it'll be better overall".

That's what happened with 6th in my opinion and with M10. If only they would just say that instead of those absurd denial "look it's really still as complicated" articles (whether they're letters or strategy articles) that TREAT us like we're dumb.

My point here is that correspondence with players about merfolk brings out a sentiment that isn't exactly true. Merfolk decks have not been a staple from the beginning. There aren't even that many cards that care, in a tribal sense, about merfolk. So what's going on?



Casual is going on. That's what. Tribal has always been very popular. There just wasn't much choice. 1 lord was enough to build an entire deck, so nobody ever bothered that Lord of Atlantis was the only one.

Again, instead of finding where the truth lies in the player's statements, you blame it on memory. Really don't like the article.

Point #3 is funny though with Mirrodin just lurking around the corner Smile

On a more positive note, keep up the awesome work (including M10)!
Did we really lose anything with the 6E rules (other than interrupts)?

We lost the ability to know whether our spells would be countered before responding (the Armageddon/Zuran Orb trick and similar), we lost tapping artifacts to stop them, we lost tapping blockers to avoid combat damage, we lost unrespondable triggered abilities, we lost running Artifact Creatures to get around anti-Summon-spell cards, we lost Dark Ritual and friends being uncounterable, we lost the ability to Infernal Pact or similar below 0 life and survive by bringing your life total back up quickly enough, and a number of individual cards lost significant amounts of power, especially interrupts.

So yes, technically speaking we did lose some things. A significant number of things, even. It just turns out that the game was better off without those things.



Things were cleaner afterward (removing interrupts alone sped that along) but I don't know that it was a complete success. The fact that people associate 6th Edition with "fixes everything" is a large part of what last year's changes were poorly received by a subset of the forum. I would say overall things were better, that's fair.

As for losing as soon as you hit zero, that actually killed more decks of mine than any other change before or since. They didn't become worse, they become impossible.

Now I remember some time back MaRo saying something to the effect of: "Mythic rares are not going to be top level tournament staples." Is this trusting my own memory more than anything else, or is it that my memory is not very reliable, or perhpas I remember hearing what I wanted to hear?



This has actually come up a lot in the forums. In the end his word salad does allow him to wriggle off this particular hook. Personally I think that what ended up happening with mythics was not something he envisioned when they were first announced.


In contrast, M10 removed depth by adding rules complexity, and justified it as "strategic decisions" that quickly rendered cards like Steve and Fanny sub-optimal.  When given the choice between dealing combat damage or sacrificing for an effect, the choice taken is almost always to just replace that card with something else.



Actually they justified it by saying that it made no sense to players learning the game and as such, was one of the things keeping them from devling further. I've seen it happen with my own eyes. That look of "you've got to be kidding me!" from someone who had started to play the game a little more seriously. Then he doesn't play anymore because he is not sure he wants to find out how many other rules there are and whether or not the game he thought he was starting to grasp really makes that much sense.

The problem is, that they didn't stop there. Sure it is harder to use card X when it can't do two things but it is not a strategic gain. (Nor is it any real strategic loss IMO.) they pulled this stunt when they had DOTS added in the first place. It was just a workaround and their example of an Unsummoned Air Elemental still dealing damage to a blocked Fire Elemental was a terrible one. But rather than say "look, we REALLY needed to get rid of the Damage Prevention window and we'll all learn to embrace this eventually," they touted it as somehow being more strategic. People ran with it for ten years with the "fixed everything" mindset mentioned above, thought the game was being dumbed down last year because of that change - when it is actually about a net zero in terms of complexity.

The real loss is the power level of a lot of cards, most of which already didn't matter to competive players. Sure, I can see people upset when certain cards aren't as good. I had a hard time when my decks were rendered impossible in 1999. But I still am amazed that players who sat through the entire Alara block only started talking about how simple the game got because of this one change. It seriously made me question how much players really pay attention around here, or if I speak a slightly different dialect of English after all.

At the very least, however, M11 solved the glaring issue of the Deathtouch Exception.  Curious how the public singled that problem out within minutes of seeing the new rules, while R&D seemed to have missed it over several months, huh?



I agree that it was glaring, but I don't think they missed it. I think they were planning to live with it. Like they lived with the DOTS workaround. Thankfully we didn't get that far into the game's history before they fixed it. But it seems strange that such a simple solution managed to elude them last year.

Second that. I mean I hope it's just him telling something. I truly hope MaRo doesn't believe the rediculous plot he thought up there to cover up what I assume to be the truth: the letter DID confirm the game was dumbed down. R&D's defense should be "YES we're dumbing down the game but it'll be better overall".

That's what happened with 6th in my opinion and with M10. If only they would just say that instead of those absurd denial "look it's really still as complicated" articles (whether they're letters or strategy articles) that TREAT us like we're dumb.



Simplifying is not the same as dumbing down, because simple is not the same as dumb. Go is a very simple game, but is also probably one of the hardest (most skill-intensive) games there is.

Both the 6th Ed and the M10 rules changes simplified the game, but I don't think either of them dumbed it down. They shifted the focus from making the rules hard to understand to making the game hard to master.

To put it another way: in chess, if every piece could move differently on even turns than on odd turns, it would certainly be a more complex game, and would be harder to learn, but it wouldn't be a smarter, or better game.

An example of where the M10 rules changes added a skill-testing decision where previously there was none is blocking a 2/1 with a Sakura-Tribe Elder. Under sixth-edition rules, there's no decision there: the correct move is to wait until combat damage is on the stack, then sac the Elder, 100% of the time. Under M10 rules, there's a meaningful choice to be made, and both decisions can be correct under different circumstances.

Reducing complexity can be good for a game.
Reducing complexity can be good for a game.



Aah you're right, that's what I mean!

Ok then they should say just that! "We're not dumbing down the game. We're simplifying it. Look at Go, it works."
Did we really lose anything with the 6E rules (other than interrupts)?

We lost the ability to know whether our spells would be countered before responding (the Armageddon/Zuran Orb trick and similar), we lost tapping artifacts to stop them, we lost tapping blockers to avoid combat damage, we lost unrespondable triggered abilities, we lost running Artifact Creatures to get around anti-Summon-spell cards, we lost Dark Ritual and friends being uncounterable, we lost the ability to Infernal Pact or similar below 0 life and survive by bringing your life total back up quickly enough, and a number of individual cards lost significant amounts of power, especially interrupts.

So yes, technically speaking we did lose some things. A significant number of things, even. It just turns out that the game was better off without those things.



Beautiful answer! I also recall having blockers and attackers removed from combat with Twiddle.
Not being able to stay at 0 life until the end of the phase was a huge strategic change that neutered come combo decks. The difference between Tenth Edition and M10 was tiny compared to the difference between 5th and 6th. I still have the rules insert from Urza's Legacy (the first set after the change. Yes, I collect Rules Inserts, wanna fight about it?) and we had to use it to mostly relearn the game after that. But we kept playing, because what we liked about the game was retained.

Hacimen also hit it spot-on.
they pulled this stunt when they had DOTS added in the first place. It was just a workaround and their example of an Unsummoned Air Elemental still dealing damage to a blocked Fire Elemental was a terrible one. But rather than say "look, we REALLY needed to get rid of the Damage Prevention window and we'll all learn to embrace this eventually," they touted it as somehow being more strategic. People ran with it for ten years with the "fixed everything" mindset mentioned above, thought the game was being dumbed down last year because of that change - when it is actually a net zero.



The funny thing is that I remember* the complaints of the 6th Edition change as being more persistent than this time—as though we got over it faster this time around. We weren't on the Internet talking about the game as much back then, and conversations on the Internet do tend to get more stridant than meatspace conversations, but maybe the immediacy means that everything that needs to be said is said faster than if we had to have all this discussion in person at the game store, like back in '99.

*However, this could be an artifact of my faulty memory.
A very interesting article. And, of course, despite being from the archives, it is timely as well.

What it says about Sixth Edition rules could as easily be applicable to the Magic: 2010 rules change.

What it says about Necropotence could as easily be applicable to Counterspell and Dark Ritual to a lesser degree.

But although people's complaints may be inconsistent, and their memories faulty, it's still possible to look at what people are complaining about to find out what they want.

From the Power Nine to Counterspell: while power inflation would destroy Magic, it is still also true that many players find it very annoying when cards today don't include some cards that used to be available, but only similar cards that are less powerful. So that's something you should try to minimize.

I've proposed my own take as to how the Magic: 2010 rules change's goals could have been achieved while making fans of both Sixth Edition and Fifth Edition rules happier - but since the reaction has been uniformly negative so far, I must be wrong.

(Take Sixth Edition rules. Bring back interrupts, but don't change how instants work. Instants just go on the instant stack; interrupts go on the interrupt stack, which is faster. Combat damage, regeneration, damage prevention, and counterspells are interrupts. I think it's the simplicity of the Sixth Edition combined with the intuitiveness of the Fifth Edition - but those who have commented on it say it's the complexity of the Fifth Edition and worse.)

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.

"Back in 1999 with the release of Sixth Edition, we made a major revamp to the rules. This revamp, known as the Sixth Edition Rules Change, met with a lot of resistance from the player base. The number one concern was that R&D, in making these changes, were "dumbing down the game". That is, that we were making Magic less strategic."

Replace Sixth Edition with MTG2010 and...  

Yeah, this is pretty much true in every conceivable manner. MaRo isn't as diplomatic back them, telling us point-blank that there are some things we need that we don't want (even if it's true).



Maro has pretty much consistently told us that need and want are different and that it's not always good for the game to give us what we want. Witness all his "choices vs options" (are those the right terms? I'm not sure I'm recalling correctly, but it's choices and something) talk.

Not being able to stay at 0 life until the end of the phase was a huge strategic change that neutered come combo decks. The difference between Tenth Edition and M10 was tiny compared to the difference between 5th and 6th. I still have the rules insert from Urza's Legacy (the first set after the change. Yes, I collect Rules Inserts, wanna fight about it?) and we had to use it to mostly relearn the game after that. But we kept playing, because what we liked about the game was retained.



Yes. The 6E rules basically made you relearn the game. Most people I remember were terribly unhappy about it, because you had to know all this very specific, arcane stuff that didn't make sense to be competitive. Taking that away meant we'd invested all this time in carefully understanding a complex thing and then that was gone.

And yeah, the 0 life thing completely changed things, at least where I played. ProsBloom and the like loved being able to inch back up from 0.

I can barely even remember what most of the rules that got yanked back then did, but I do remember panicking. OMG PERMISSION JUST GOT BETTER U GUIZE O NOEZ.

I'd say now that I've been playing with the new rules a while that I miss DOTS but I am honestly not having heart attacks. The only thing that torques me off is how badly I wish they'd do something remotely sensible with deathtouch. And that they'd stop changing it from one thing that makes no sense to something else that makes even less sense. Deathtouch + trample = superpowers? Why?

Hehehe very funny
I bet 10 years from now people will think "how could you even play with pre-M10 rules?"



Some of the people I've introduced to Magic in the past year already think this.


Also, the Go example is brilliant.

WOW...that's...bananas.  (Mono-artifacts and the other changes.)

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++


Otherwise, hope all is well, Mark.


I'm sorry to hear life got harder for you / someone you care about.


The funny thing is that I remember* the complaints of the 6th Edition change as being more persistent than this time—as though we got over it faster this time around. We weren't on the Internet talking about the game as much back then, and conversations on the Internet do tend to get more stridant than meatspace conversations, but maybe the immediacy means that everything that needs to be said is said faster than if we had to have all this discussion in person at the game store, like back in '99.

*However, this could be an artifact of my faulty memory.



You know, I think it was, just not as much of a heavy forum load. Heck, I was still on dial up in '99. We had a very intense backlash last year that did not go on as long to me as in 1999. Of course I was one of the rabble-rousers back then (hard to believe, I know.) I had to come to terms with the game's rules in 2006 when I made the decision to put down my previous apprehensions and either play this game as it is played now or not bother. It helped that I had sold off my previous collection. But I did have to decide that yes, finally, I would play with the Sixth Edition rules and not complain about it.

The truth is, the M10 rules changes were not anywhere near as sweeping as the ones from Sixth Edition. We had nomenclature changes, some changes to a couple of abilities, and the loss of mana burn and DOTS. Six "Wish" spells work differently. I think Zamm actually hit on every major change with Sixth Edition. It's not even close. And since there were not as many people upset about mana burn, the big argument was about DOTS. I was very surprisded to see the level of anger for this change. I think people are seeing that the game plays pretty much the same way as it did just prior to M10. You could not say that about the Sixth changes.

Also, M10 and Zendikar happened to sell like mad. That took a lot of ammo from the naysayers.

Beautiful answer! I also recall having blockers and attackers removed from combat with Twiddle.

Perhaps you remember that, but it doesn't mean it actually happened. Laughing

Twiddle has never been able to remove anything from combat, and has only ever been able to prevent a blocking creature from dealing damage (that was one of the things removed in 6E). A lot of people thought that untapping an attacking creature would prevent its damage, but that was never true. I think people who thought it was were incorrectly extrapolating from the then-ubiquitous Maze of Ith, but the Maze works that way because the card specifically says so, not because of some general rule to that effect.

Jeff Heikkinen DCI Rules Advisor since Dec 25, 2011
Did we really lose anything with the 6E rules (other than interrupts)?

We lost the ability to know whether our spells would be countered before responding (the Armageddon/Zuran Orb trick and similar), we lost tapping artifacts to stop them, we lost tapping blockers to avoid combat damage, we lost unrespondable triggered abilities, we lost running Artifact Creatures to get around anti-Summon-spell cards, we lost Dark Ritual and friends being uncounterable, we lost the ability to Infernal Pact or similar below 0 life and survive by bringing your life total back up quickly enough, and a number of individual cards lost significant amounts of power, especially interrupts.

So yes, technically speaking we did lose some things. A significant number of things, even. It just turns out that the game was better off without those things.



The truth is, the M10 rules changes were not anywhere near as sweeping as the ones from Sixth Edition. We had nomenclature changes, some changes to a couple of abilities, and the loss of mana burn and DOTS. Six "Wish" spells work differently. I think Zamm actually hit on every major change with Sixth Edition. It's not even close. And since there were not as many people upset about mana burn, the big argument was about DOTS. I was very surprisded to see the level of anger for this change. I think people are seeing that the game plays pretty much the same way as it did just prior to M10. You could not say that about the Sixth changes.



I don't need to rely on memory because I have written records. Back when the Sixth Edition changes were made, I wrote a description of the changes for my friends. A 3-page, 11-section description. I still have that file on my computer. Let me summarize the sections:

1. The stack replaces the batch.
2. Interrupts become instants.
3. Mana abilities instead of mana sources.
4. Explicit rules for state-based effects and triggered abilities.
5. Untap, upkeep, draw, end, and cleanup phases become steps in bigger phases.
6. The attack is now combat phase.
7. Combat damage uses the stack.
8. No more damage-prevention steps.
9. No more tapped-means-off for artifacts and blockers.
10. Can use abilities before upkeep cost is paid.
11. "Cast" and "summon" are out. "Converted mana cost" and "haste" are in.

zammm mentioned another one I missed: Losing due to zero life used to happen at end of phase instead of as a state-based effect.

Furthermore, a few months before Sixth Edition, trample ability was changed to assign combat damage directly to the defending player rather than using its original mechanism of excess damage spilling over. Some people group that rule change into the Sixth Edition rules changes.

The Magic 2010 rules changes undid #7 and returned one word from #11. Yes, Hacimen, Magic 2010 changed much fewer rules than Sixth Edition.

When the Sixth Edition rules came out, I was more interested in learning them and explaining them rather than protesting them. However, change #8 did bother me, and it still bothers me. Preventing damage or regenerating during a damage-prevention step when the lethally-damaged creature was "on its way to the graveyard" was pretty silly, but requiring all damage prevention to be played in advance was an awkward replacement. Damage prevention in advance was the main reason for putting combat damage on the stack. Replacing DOTS with the ordering of blocking creatures is even more awkward. (I favor turning damage prevention into a stackless on-demand ability like mana abilities.)


Beautiful answer! I also recall having blockers and attackers removed from combat with Twiddle.

Perhaps you remember that, but it doesn't mean it actually happened.

Twiddle has never been able to remove anything from combat, and has only ever been able to prevent a blocking creature from dealing damage (that was one of the things removed in 6E). A lot of people thought that untapping an attacking creature would prevent its damage, but that was never true. I think people who thought it was were incorrectly extrapolating from the then-ubiquitous Maze of Ith, but the Maze works that way because the card specifically says so, not because of some general rule to that effect.



Surprisingly, I encountered that removed-from-combat error this Friday. I had attacked with a 3/2 Barony Vampire and my opponent had blocked with a 2/3 Tireless Missionaries. So to save my Vampire I used Stabbing Pain during Declare Blockers Step to give the Missionaries -1/-1. The other effect of Stabbing Pain was to tap the Missionaries. At Combat Damage Step my opponent did not put the Missionaries in his graveyard, and when I reminded him that it should be dead, he said that tapping had removed it from combat. Further discussion revealed that he had overgeneralized the rule that tapped creatures cannot block (which really means that they cannot be assigned to block) to mean that tapping a blocker removed it from combat and that blocking creatures could not use their own abilities during combat. This player learned Magic after Sixth Edition and never encountered the tapped-blockers-deal-no-damage rule nor Maze of Ith.

I like Stabbing Pain. It feels black.

I don't need to rely on memory because I have written records. Back when the Sixth Edition changes were made, I wrote a description of the changes for my friends. A 3-page, 11-section description. I still have that file on my computer. Let me summarize the sections:

1. The stack replaces the batch.
2. Interrupts become instants.
3. Mana abilities instead of mana sources.
4. Explicit rules for state-based effects and triggered abilities.
5. Untap, upkeep, draw, end, and cleanup phases become steps in bigger phases.
6. The attack is now combat phase.
7. Combat damage uses the stack.
8. No more damage-prevention steps.
9. No more tapped-means-off for artifacts and blockers.
10. Can use abilities before upkeep cost is paid.
11. "Cast" and "summon" are out. "Converted mana cost" and "haste" are in.

zammm mentioned another one I missed: Losing due to zero life used to happen at end of phase instead of as a state-based effect.

Furthermore, a few months before Sixth Edition, trample ability was changed to assign combat damage directly to the defending player rather than using its original mechanism of excess damage spilling over. Some people group that rule change into the Sixth Edition rules changes.

The Magic 2010 rules changes undid #7 and returned one word from #11. Yes, Hacimen, Magic 2010 changed much fewer rules than Sixth Edition.



I was too busy burning effigies of Bill Rose to actually count, but it's interesting to see it as a list. I actually got trample wrong myself because I was just starting to pay attention to the game after a hiatus when we got hit with the changes. A few of us were at work when a friend checked the main site and called the rest of us over. Somewhere around that time I learned trample had also changed. All I can say is I am glad it gets to be a little better with deathtouch. But that is another story for another day. Fifth Edition never looked so good as it did the day that what was left of my playgroup read that article over.

As I said before, the "dying immediately at zero" was the one that forced my to tear decks apart as opposed to tweaking them or playing them as weaker decks.

You did skip a number of changes from M10, however. It was less than Sixth Edition, and I certainly didn't need your list to tell me that, but a lot more than just two things happened last year.

When the Sixth Edition rules came out, I was more interested in learning them and explaining them rather than protesting them. However, change #8 did bother me, and it still bothers me. Preventing damage or regenerating during a damage-prevention step when the lethally-damaged creature was "on its way to the graveyard" was pretty silly, but requiring all damage prevention to be played in advance was an awkward replacement. Damage prevention in advance was the main reason for putting combat damage on the stack. Replacing DOTS with the ordering of blocking creatures is even more awkward. (I favor turning damage prevention into a stackless on-demand ability like mana abilities.)




There is no real solution short of stopping time completely. I actually do like the idea of stackless regeneration. But I think the game gains from interaction in the damage prevention step. Being able to counter a heal or Rust a Living Wall was one of the cool things about the game. It is not essential to the game, but the game does have a flavor with these abilities being able to interact with so many other fast effects. I think the loss of that would be felt in the game, and that in fact, it probably makes them more worth of being in the game. If something just could regenerate without interaction there wouldn't be much to do with the ability. Likewise, having healing interact in ways similar to burn and growth effects adds dynamics not available in "auto" mode. A little bit of Melvin takes over there, sure.

I honestly don't think ordered blockers in make any less sense than damage on the stack did. And yes, damage prevention was the main reason, if not the only reason, for DOTS to have come into existence. But the baggage that came with players' reaction to it, especailly new players, is probably not going to be matched by ordered blockers. When a single creature is blocked by two creatures, a new player has to ask the teacher what happens. He can guess, but all he gets is a good guess. Someone still has to tell him what the rules state.

But most of those people in this position are not going to figure that have the DOTS method would be possible or reasonable. I've seen it repeatedly when newer players that have the rules down just enough to make smart choices get burned by it. They usually just get disillusioned at a point where they were really thinking about putting more into the game. The rules people are very wise to avoid this when possible. With ordered blockers, I think they 've actually managed to do this. I won't argue that it is elegant, but I will say it makes enough sense to work.
And since there were not as many people upset about mana burn, the big argument was about DOTS. I was very surprisded to see the level of anger for this change. I think people are seeing that the game plays pretty much the same way as it did just prior to M10.



While the mana burn did come as sort of a surprise, I wasn't that angry about it, and I was prepared for it. I doubted it, actually, but I took my reassurance from an older player whom I had met at the store I used to go to who had been playing since Alpha. He assured me that it would be pretty impossible, but, as we all saw...
So when I read that announcement, my heart sank a little, but I wasn't mad, since it never came up in my games. I did read a lot of the complaints though.

Anyway, my whole deal with the DOTS disappearing, I feel, was rather personal, and maybe unique. When the announcement was made, I had made a 4 hour drive that very morning to Atlanta, GA. I was there a few days early for the PTQ that I had planned on attending that weekend. It would be my second one, but this one meant much more than the utter wash in the first one in attended. This one was Standard, while the other was Extended and I had no idea what I would up against. This time I knew what to expect.
This time, I bought money-cards, and not rogue substitutes. I was up to speed on Tourney reports, rules, and nuances of the game. I had mastered all that I felt I needed to, and I had a very good deck.
One thing I was sure of, for the first time, was that I had a complete understanding of DOTS and strategies used in conjunction with it. Some were very specific to my deck, not just knowing what my opponent was going to do with his Mogg Fanatic.
I was so ready. I knew Magic.
Then, unexpectedly, DOTS no longer existed. That totally threw me off. I felt like I had just mastered every phase and step of a turn of this game, and now it's just different...
I didn't know what to think. I saw the new rules, understood them, but I still had to play like the old rules stipulated. The elephant in the room was too much. It threw me off. I was so discouraged.
I didn't complain, though, as I was more in shock than anything else. All that work, learning, and preparation, and now this.
I was quite upset, and even turned off from playing a bit, but I wasn't vocal about it, for whatever reason. I guess everyone else had said enough for me, too.

Orzhova Witness

Restarting Quotes Block
58086748 wrote:
58335208 wrote:
Disregard women acquire chase rares.
There are a lot of dudes for whom this is not optional.
97820278 wrote:
144532521 wrote:
How;s a 2 drop 1/2, Flying broken? What am I missing?
You're missing it because *turns Storm Crows sideways* all your base are belong to Chuck Norris and every other overused meme ever.
Hey All,

I sent this off to the big MaRo in response to his article and I thought it was worth sharing with the rest of you. 

Very appropriate irony.

---------------------------------------

Dear Mark Rosewater,
Regarding your article "Playing With Memories":

I have an excellent memory for things that I've read (not photographic, but I once picked up a book of mystery short stories that I hadn't read in a decade and I would read the first sentence of each story and say "The nun was wearing lipstick", "The radio buttons were set to stations in another city", etc).

Because of that, I was surprised by the (oddly appropriate) dichotomy I felt when reading your article. You see, I've read all of your articles on magicthegathering.com/dailymtg.com. At least I think I have. You see, when I started reading your articles back in 2004, I went back through your archives and read everything you had written for the Wizards site. I never miss a new one (usually catch it at 9pm PST Sunday), and before the Great Designer Search, I went back and read everything you (and the various Greatest Developments authors) had written again.

So, I could say with high confidence that I had read everything you had ever written on "The Mothership", which is why it was so surprising that in reading it today (well, last night, actually) I had absolutely no recollection of ever having read it before.
 
Thought you would appreciate my cognitive dissonance.
 
Hope everything's OK with whatever it is that came up this week.


Anyway, my whole deal with the DOTS disappearing, I feel, was rather personal, and maybe unique. When the announcement was made, I had made a 4 hour drive that very morning to Atlanta, GA. I was there a few days early for the PTQ that I had planned on attending that weekend. It would be my second one, but this one meant much more than the utter wash in the first one in attended. This one was Standard, while the other was Extended and I had no idea what I would up against. This time I knew what to expect.
This time, I bought money-cards, and not rogue substitutes. I was up to speed on Tourney reports, rules, and nuances of the game. I had mastered all that I felt I needed to, and I had a very good deck.
One thing I was sure of, for the first time, was that I had a complete understanding of DOTS and strategies used in conjunction with it. Some were very specific to my deck, not just knowing what my opponent was going to do with his Mogg Fanatic.
I was so ready. I knew Magic.
Then, unexpectedly, DOTS no longer existed. That totally threw me off. I felt like I had just mastered every phase and step of a turn of this game, and now it's just different...
I didn't know what to think. I saw the new rules, understood them, but I still had to play like the old rules stipulated. The elephant in the room was too much. It threw me off. I was so discouraged.
I didn't complain, though, as I was more in shock than anything else. All that work, learning, and preparation, and now this.
I was quite upset, and even turned off from playing a bit, but I wasn't vocal about it, for whatever reason. I guess everyone else had said enough for me, too.



Umm, your 'story' is ridiculous.

A few things:
-The nuances of DoTS 'tricks' are not overly complicated. Once you learn one, you learn them all, and they all lead to 'one best choice' scenarios, as has been heavily discussed. But seriously, you make it sound like it was the hardest part about magic to learn, which is extremely misleading and misrepresentative of how people used DoTS in games.
-DoTS 'tricks' do NOT come up in every match of magic played, let alone every game. Considering that Fanatic was out of standard with M10, the times it was relevant in standard dropped significantly.
-The rules changes were announced a full month prior to going into effect, as they didn't go into effect until M10 came out and Mogg Fanatic rotated out of standard. So you wouldn't have been overly surprised and left 'confused' by the removal of it.
"Stop *****ing, start brewing" -YoMTGTaps Trying to talk Magic players off ledges since 2001. Sharing my knowledge of rumor history, and how to discuss rumors effectively.

Umm, your 'story' is ridiculous.


Ok. Well then. I take it back.

A few things:
-The nuances of DoTS 'tricks' are not overly complicated. Once you learn one, you learn them all, and they all lead to 'one best choice' scenarios, as has been heavily discussed. But seriously, you make it sound like it was the hardest part about magic to learn, which is extremely misleading and misrepresentative of how people used DoTS in games.


It wasn't necessarily the hardest. It was just the last thing I learned about Combat. I had been to many FNMs and not known that damage used the stack. It was the newest part of combat to me.

-The rules changes were announced a full month prior to going into effect, as they didn't go into effect until M10 came out and Mogg Fanatic rotated out of standard. So you wouldn't have been overly surprised and left 'confused' by the removal of it.


I know, and I was well aware of what rules I was going to be playing with that week. It, at that particular time, didn't sit well with me that it would all be meaningless in a month. Those were just my own personal sentiments.
I don't think it's 'ridiculous' to share them.

Orzhova Witness

Restarting Quotes Block
58086748 wrote:
58335208 wrote:
Disregard women acquire chase rares.
There are a lot of dudes for whom this is not optional.
97820278 wrote:
144532521 wrote:
How;s a 2 drop 1/2, Flying broken? What am I missing?
You're missing it because *turns Storm Crows sideways* all your base are belong to Chuck Norris and every other overused meme ever.
Anyway, my whole deal with Mogg Fanatic disappearing from standard, I feel, was rather personal, and maybe unique. When the announcement was made, I had made a 4 hour drive that very morning to Atlanta, GA. I was there a few days early for the PTQ that I had planned on attending that weekend. It would be my second one, but this one meant much more than the utter wash in the first one in attended. This one was Standard, while the other was Extended and I had no idea what I would up against. This time I knew what to expect.
This time, I bought money-cards, and not rogue substitutes. I was up to speed on Tourney reports, rules, and nuances of the game. I had mastered all that I felt I needed to, and I had a very good deck.
One thing I was sure of, for the first time, was that I had a complete understanding of Mogg Fanatic and strategies used in conjunction with it. Some were very specific to my deck, not just knowing what my opponent was going to do with his Mogg Fanatic.
I was so ready. I knew Magic.
Then, unexpectedly, Mogg Fanatic was rotating out in standard in a month. That totally threw me off. I felt like I had just mastered every phase and step of a turn of this game, and now it's just different...
I didn't know what to think. I saw the new cards, understood them, but I still had to play like Mogg Fanatic was still legal. The elephant in the room was too much. It threw me off. I was so discouraged.
I didn't complain, though, as I was more in shock than anything else. All that work, learning, and preparation, and now this.
I was quite upset, and even turned off from playing a bit, but I wasn't vocal about it, for whatever reason. I guess everyone else had said enough for me, too.

Do you see what I am getting at?
You can mad libs that to be any number of things.
"Stop *****ing, start brewing" -YoMTGTaps Trying to talk Magic players off ledges since 2001. Sharing my knowledge of rumor history, and how to discuss rumors effectively.

Do you see what I am getting at?
You can mad libs that to be any number of things.



While it can be taken from that angle in retrospect, unfortunately, I am only human. I felt a certain way. It can be labeled ridiculous, ridiculed, or some combination of the two.
I was just recalling how I felt at the time.
In retrospect, it's quite easy to make it look silly and machinate one's own sentiments as to how it hardly even mattered. I'm sure you, in particular, were already geared up and ready to shoot down whoever was in disagreement with the changes.

The thing is, change doesn't sit well with everyone. And like I said, I was not at all vocal about it, and soon accepted the changes as just fine. I think I should be safe from ridicule over a year later when sharing my immediate reaction to the news, when I don't feel that way anymore.

Also, I didn't play with Mogg Fanatic. Ever.

Orzhova Witness

Restarting Quotes Block
58086748 wrote:
58335208 wrote:
Disregard women acquire chase rares.
There are a lot of dudes for whom this is not optional.
97820278 wrote:
144532521 wrote:
How;s a 2 drop 1/2, Flying broken? What am I missing?
You're missing it because *turns Storm Crows sideways* all your base are belong to Chuck Norris and every other overused meme ever.
"Back in 1999 with the release of Sixth Edition, we made a major revamp to the rules. This revamp, known as the Sixth Edition Rules Change, met with a lot of resistance from the player base. The number one concern was that R&D, in making these changes, were "dumbing down the game". That is, that we were making Magic less strategic."

Replace Sixth Edition with MTG2010 and...  

Yeah, this is pretty much true in every conceivable manner. MaRo isn't as diplomatic back them, telling us point-blank that there are some things we need that we don't want (even if it's true).



It's funny how people were saying that the 6th change was dumbed now, and yet now people are saying that the new change is dumbed down and we should go abck to 6th.

Funny how things change.
Well it was a jumping-off point for players. WOTC provides those with every change, and I think they understand it. It's not like they got all the players back that they lost in 1999, either. If the game was no longer fun as the result of the changes, the smart thing for players to do is to stop playing. Don't make yourself unhappy. I learned this the hard way when I tried to get back into magic at around Apolcalypse, lured by enemy pain lands. I should have recognized that I wasn't having any fun rather than force myself to keep playing. So when I kept losing to UG Madness online, a deck I didn't like in an environment I didn't like, I pulled the plug and walked away. I should have just left it alone instead of forcing myself back in. Then again, if I had done that, I might not have peeked back into the game in 2006. Who knows.

So I fully understand that people left. I see why JTI was sad. I see why other players were also unhappy. (And no, the month's notice didn't matter. If you think the change sucks it doesn't matter how long you have to "prepare" for it.) I don't think as many people left as complained about it, but we have a lot of people who are no longer around. Some left because of the forums, others surely just aren't playing anymore. It still took me by surprise that there was such a high concentration of people zeroed in on the combat changes when all this other stuff went on over the last year. I think that it just became a lightning rod for people who were already discontented about something else, or a bunch of something elses. The proverbial final straw.

That said, I was surprised at how many players who were supposedly around "since the Dark" found this one change to be more of an upheaval than the Sixth Edition changes combined. There was a great deal of ignorance fueling the rants - and make no mistake, they were mostly pure rants - which made it difficult to have a real conversation with those who opposed and actually brought up some good points. I remember getting constantly shouted down by a drunk poster who took offense to me constantly correcting him until I just stopped reading his posts so I wouldn't be tempted to talk to him again. (Hint: don't be wrong, and I won't correct you.)

But in the end it was a long parade of strawmen that everyone will remember. There was the theory that non-combat damage actually used the stack, there was the recently re-mentioned "dying man pulls the pin on the grenade" concept which almost had enough support to qualify as a meme, there was a lot of misdirection about why the rule came about in the first place. (The latter is also Bill Rose's fault, as he talked about "complex play strategies" when he really just wanted his inbox to stop being flooded. He should have been more truthful here and admitted that it was for want of a better idea, and simply said the game worked fine with it.)  They were willing to try any argument as long as it even slightly resembled a rebuttal. As I mentioned earlier, the "Sixth Edition fixed everything" sentiment was running high at the time as well.

One thing that has changed since the 1999 changes is the fact that everyone has the internet now and people are a little less shy about making a username, going on a forum, yelling at people for a week, and disappearing. I might be old school, but while I don't totally care what people think, I do care how I represent myself as "Hacimen." This unfortunately means that every now and again, I look at a post I wrote and want to smack myself in the head due to its rudeness. I just would not have said to someone the things that were said to me by total strangers. We had plenty of trolls in the forums before, but I don't remember ever being overrun like we were last year with trolls, flamers, and just plain angry people that were willing to show themselves in the worst light possible before eventually disappearing out of boredom. Not even in 1999.

So in the end we just had the perfect storm which made a mountain out of a molehill. The fact that this comes up much more rarely than the Sixth changes still did a year later would indicate that people have moved on, and either are still playing or are happy with some other pastime and not really thinking about how WOTC "screwed up."



It's funny how people were saying that the 6th change was dumbed now, and yet now people are saying that the new change is dumbed down and we should go abck to 6th.

Funny how things change.


That or we're getting progressively dumber.  It's a possibility. =P

I enjoy Magic with its current changes much as I enjoyed Magic when I had to learn the 6E changes when I returned after a hiatus away from the game.

It's certainly a selfish bit, but so long as the evolution of the game continues to go in my favour, I think my memories of the game will always remain bright and shiny.
Nothing wrong with that. We may have some objective discussions about how X is good or Y is bad, but otherwise Magic opinions and feelings are very personal.


It's funny how people were saying that the 6th change was dumbed now, and yet now people are saying that the new change is dumbed down and we should go abck to 6th.

Funny how things change.


That or we're getting progressively dumber.  It's a possibility. =P

I enjoy Magic with its current changes much as I enjoyed Magic when I had to learn the 6E changes when I returned after a hiatus away from the game.

It's certainly a selfish bit, but so long as the evolution of the game continues to go in my favour, I think my memories of the game will always remain bright and shiny.



xD

It's funny for me becasue I was one of the people ranting on the forums back then when the changed to the new format, ranting on about no more mana burn or how you can't deal damage then sacrifice a creature. I feel old now since I wanted it to go back, but still very young since they did the same when 6th came.
The memory thing can go both ways, too. Over time, the pain of The Event that lead to me leaving Magic for a  number of years faded and I remembered more about how I'd enjoyed the game than that. Then when M10 removed the immediate cause of The Event (mana burn! It comes up so rarely, that when someone /does/ strictly enforce it, it comes as a shock, and... well, at the time I wasn't handling shocks like that so well) I was ready to dive back in. If it had happened immediately after, I would probably have expected there to be other gotchas and not come back.
It wasn't necessarily the hardest. It was just the last thing I learned about Combat. I had been to many FNMs and not known that damage used the stack. It was the newest part of combat to me.



And this is exactly why they changed it. Many people get that shock and miserable feeling when they suddenly learn it does (did) use the stack.
I just realized that this is a new article and they just did a very good job by putting it in the archives and listing it in the One Hundred and Counting article.

In the begging I thought it was odd that I missed this article. I didn't read articles back then, but I some point I started to read old article by MaRo. I didn't read all of them, but I'm pretty sure I read all the articles rated with 4 and 5 stars by Maro in the Hundred and Counting articles. That means MaRo explanation for why most people missed the article doesn't work for me. I still got convinced I missed this article, but I thought it was strange that it happened.

Today, I suddenly remembered something. I remembered that MaRo mentioned in one of the early Hundred and Counting articles that there was one week in the end of the year without any articles, not even repeats. I was pretty sure it was in the first year of articles (2002) before they settled with 2 reruns a year, but I knew I could be wrong. So, I checked all the Hundred and Counting articles and there's no mention of a week with no articles. That got me convinced that today's article is supposed to be written in the week that in reality had no articles.

To be sure that I wasn't mistaken I checked the archive for other article in the same week, according to MaRo they must exist. It turns out that there was no Serious Fun on December 31, 2002, there was no House of Cards in January 2, 2003 and there was no Latest Developments on January 3, 2003 (I have no idea what was the Wednesday column). I think that's proof enough.
There are 10 types of people in the world: Those who understand binary, those who don't and those that didn't expect this joke to be in base 3.
Looks like I'm one of the very few people bemoaning the loss of mana burn. I still feel guilty shrugging away any excess mana from my pool these days.


And a big cookie for DVDe! MaRo did a nice job playing with everyone's memories, but his style of writing gives it away, which is markedly different than it was 2002.

Shams notwithstanding, it is a pretty good article. Cool
I was more against the loss of mana burn when it was still a rumor than after actually playing without it, I admit. I actually thought this was going to be the bigger problem before the pitchforks and torches came out. But only occasionally do I really say "hey, I'd have gotten hurt for not using all that mana a year ago." It's more or less faded away.