Scars of Mirrodin R&D Chat Wednesday, Oct 27th at 4 PST! (With GDS2!)

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sommarohead.jpg  somturianhead.jpg

This Wednesday, the folks at R&D are coming to a chatroom near you and will be taking all your hard questions about designing and developing Scars of Mirrodin. Anything, from proliferate's wackiness to the respawning of poison is fair game.

Wait, designing and developing a set? That sounds a little like the GDS2! Maybe you could ask how the themes of Scars of Mirrodin were brought or how R&D wanted the colors to mesh in Limited in order to improve your understanding of the game to further your chances at either the current or even the next Great Designer Search. 

 


This will go down on Wednesay, October 27th at 4pm PST / 7pm EST, and we're planning to have it last about an hour and a half. Guests this time will be Head Designer Mark Rosewater and Developer Extrordanaire Mike Turian any Scars of Mirrodin questions you might have!


I'll be your host for this event. To join us, please use one of the following methods.


via widget: bit.ly/9LZ1CN (Should take you directly to a login screen)
via mibbit: mibbit.com/chat (Takes you to a screen where you type in your desired username and your channel name (the channel will be #r&dchat )
via IRC: If you have an IRC client, you can access it by going to the mibbit IRC (irc.mibbit.net) and then the channel (/join #r&dchat).

Scars of Mirrodin R&D/Developer Chat transcript (w/ Mark Rosewater and Mike Turian)

 


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sommarohead.jpg  somturianhead.jpg
1. <+jdonland> Were any SOM designs intended mostly or entirely for the Eternal formats?
<@Maro> We don't tend to design all the much for Eternal.
<@Maro> What we have found is that creating cards for Standard creates enough cards that Eternal likes.
<@Maro> SOM is an artifact block so in general it has more Eternal hits.
<@Maro> W did know that Mox Opal might see some Eternal play.
<@Maro> I do not know of any specific cards other than Opal that were set up for Eternal.
<%alexis_j> I think Leonin Arbiter might be.
<@Maro> If Turian were here, he'd list off the few that were.
<%alexis_j> usually those sorts of things are more developer-y, unfortunately for this chat
<@Maro> There are a few, but design doesn't tend to worry about that.
<%NorrYtt> Infect might end up Eternal relevant aggro, maybe. Not sure.


2. <+Adam_Styborski> Where did Untamed Might come from; is it related to creatures with infect?
<@Maro> Did we put an XG Giant Growth in a set with infect by accident? No.
<@Maro>
<@Maro> We were very conscious in design about Giant Growth effects because of infect.
<@Maro> In fact, Magic 2011 was going to have Rancor until development payed it with infect.



3. <+PhoenixLAU> With the Infect mechanic being a natural counter to indestructible creatures, did that affect the number/commonality of indestructible creatures you were willing to put in this set (or in later sets in the block)?
<@Maro> We were very aware of the nice interaction between indestructible and infect and thus made more indestructible creatures.
<@Maro> We were also trying hard to have the Mirrodin side feel Mirrodin and darksteel felt like one of the better tools to use.
<@MikeTurian> It was a big reason you could see creatures at lower commonalities
<@MikeTurian> we want to create fun gameplay
<@MikeTurian> and having a ton of unkillable creatures wouldn't be fun
<@MikeTurian> it is also the reason you see cards like arrest and BB -4/-4
<@MikeTurian> which are common answers to indestructible creatures



4. <+No_Tomorrow> Was there a reason for printing Disperse other than for limited, being strictly worse than Into the Roil?
<@Maro> I didn't do that.  Mike?
<@Maro> Seriously, Magic has to have strictly better thans and strictly worse thans.
<@Maro> The pendulum has to swing both ways.
<@MikeTurian> Funny enough Mark asked for all reprints in the set to be from Mirrodin proper
<@MikeTurian> which of course Disperse isn't
<@MikeTurian> but then Rise of Eldrazi stole our card late in their dev cycle
<@MikeTurian> taking Regress
<@MikeTurian> which Mark had placed in SOM
<@MikeTurian> I still wanted a simple bounce effect
<@MikeTurian> and was looking to an answer for Planeswalkers in limited as well
<@MikeTurian> although it isn't a great answer to Planeswalkers
<@Maro> I was sad that the all repeats are from Mirrodin block didn't get kept.
<@Maro> I didn't count the one repeat that had come from "the future" which was this set.
<+No_Tomorrow> Why not an echoing truth reprint? If I may ask a sub-question
<@MikeTurian> I never considered Echoing truth
<@MikeTurian> I wanted something simple



5. <+ContagionClasp> What's up with the dearth of common proliferate cards? Would be nice for the mechanic to show up more often in Limited.
<@Maro> Mike, what is with the dearth of common proliferate cards?
<@Maro> I turned in the set with a whle bunch of them.
<@Maro> I sound drunk when I type fast/.
<@MikeTurian> Mark did turn in the set with a lot more proliferate cards
<@MikeTurian> and I did tune it back quite a bit
<@Maro> Thrummingbird was common in the handoff.
<@MikeTurian> To me Proliferate is a pretty cool small mechanic
<@MikeTurian> I wanted it to come up in gameplay but not be overwhelming
<@MikeTurian> I also wanted to leave room for new proliferate cards in MBS
<@MikeTurian> etc
<@Maro> They promised me we could make more.
<@MikeTurian> and I felt like that meant a small number would bring
<@MikeTurian> a nice impact
<@MikeTurian> without being overwhelming
<@Maro> Development did make Contagion Clasp a lot better.
<@Maro> The original version sacced to proliferate.
<@MikeTurian> I love Thrummingbird and Contagion Clasp
<@MikeTurian> as fun repeatable effects



6. <+troacctid> So. The Tribal card type. Still not evergreen. What's going on with that? Any plans?
<@MikeTurian> I'll let Mark take that one
<@Maro> I'm going to lt you all in on some unhappy news.  R&D isn't too fond of tribal.
<@Maro> What we've found is that it adds a lot of words that don't mean much most of the time.
<@Maro> And once people know tribal exists they question why it isn't on cards that clearly have the right flavor.
<@Maro> Why isn't Goblin Bombardment "Enchantment - Goblin"?
<@Maro> While I think you might see it used every once in a while like it was in Rise of the Eldrazi, I don't think you'll see it as a major component any time soon.



7. <+Kirblar024> In GDS2, what was the mechanic/theme was that was making up 1/4 of the submissions?  (And just for fun, you were 100% right about Augury Adept not being right as a hybrid, and I love Hornet Sting.  If it was colorless and in Rise of the Eldrazi, no one would care.)
<@Maro> The major theme was "enchantment matters".
<@Maro> It showed up 1 out of 4 in the first half batch.
<@Maro> Another popular theme is "the mana's gone crazy",
<@MikeTurian> I haven't read any of the GDS submissions
<@Maro> There were a lot of neat ideas but there was also a *lot* of repetition.
<@Maro> I spent four days straight reading all the design tests and it was quite the expereince.
<@MikeTurian> I will say I came down to R&D the other day and his eyes are bugged out
<@Maro> I wouldn't mind Hornet Sting if it was colorless.  I care less about a green deck being able to do it than the ability showing up on a green card.
<@Maro> Color definition is one of the most important aspects of the game, possibly the most important thing.



8. <+forty2j> Mox Opal + Memnites have enabled a (rather difficult, involving Tome Scour hitting 4 Vengevines) Turn 1 kill in Standard. Is this something you're OK with (and even knew about), if it's sufficiently hard, or would you prefer to avoid it at all costs?
<@Maro> Mike?
<@MikeTurian> Sweet!
<%alexis_j> that was my first thought too
<@MikeTurian> I didn't know that it was a possibility
<@MikeTurian> when I put together Scars
<@MikeTurian> but I don't mind the wacky Turn 1 kill
<@Maro> I get to add another notch onto the Turn 1 kill list.
<@MikeTurian> I only mind the Turn 1 kill that has a chance of being consistent or powerful
<@Maro> Great things that happen infrequently make Magic memorable.



9. <+JWay> I think powerful cards like Koth and Jace are cool but makes the game MUCH less fun because even if I'm lucky enough to get 1, it's sad because I still need 3 more for a deck and they are way to expensive. If the OBV powercards had a reverse Relentless Rats rule so a deck could only play 1, that would bring a lot of balance. What do you think?
<@Maro> This is a hard question to answer in this forum.
<@Maro> But I'll try.
<@Maro> Trading card games are all about each person having different things.
<@Maro> I understand that there are people who want to have whatever they want, but I don't think those are the people we are suppose to design to.
<@Maro> When you boil it all down, my job is to make you want to buy a booster pack of Magic.
<@Maro> I am trying to create a game fun enough that it is worth your hard earned money.
<@Maro> The vast, vast majority of people are not trying to get everything.
<@Maro> They want to have a fun experience when they open the booster and a fun game to play with the cards once they do.
<@Maro> We try to balance between having exciting cards for them to open and having enough useful cards so that they can build a deck with what they do open.
<@Maro> I understand why the focus goes on the mythics because supply and demand say that people most want what they don't have.
<@Maro> But Magic is not just about fifteen (or ten) cards in the set.
<@Maro> If you want to play golf at the highest level of competition that's a different thing that wanting to go out and play a fun game of golf.
<@Maro> If you have one Jace (or whatever mythic you want to fill in), you can play with one of them.
<@Maro> It's not like you can only play with 1 or 4.
<@Maro> And there are people who want to track down the cards and play with 4. 
<@Maro> We shouldn't prevent them because other people don't have 4.
<@Maro> I know this is a thorny issue and it's not fun that people can't just have whatever they want
<@Maro> But that's true in all of life, not just Magic.
<@Maro> The role R&D works hard at is making sure that the game is fun with whatever cards you own.
<@Maro> And I am very happy with the work that we've done to do that.
<%alexis_j> I would also add that there is a reason we only ban cards in most formats and only use restrictions in Vintage restrictions have proven to introduce a bit too much variance.



10. <+LaurieChe> Necrotic Ooze has a Mirran watermark, but its art is used to represent Phyrexia all over the website. What's going on there? Is the watermark a mistake?
<@MikeTurian> How very strange!
<@MikeTurian> Certainly not a mistake, the card was marked as Mirran intentionally
<@Maro> Design laid out some guidlelines for what was Phyrexian and what was not.
<@Maro> Remember that we allocated only 20% for the Phyrexian cards.
<@Maro> If the card didn't do one of the things we laid out, then it was Mirran.
<@MikeTurian> One of the challenges of artwork for Black Cards is it will always look extra dark and brooding
<@MikeTurian> Another card, Mimic Vat was clearly Mirran
<@MikeTurian> as it has Imprint, but the art does look dark and creepy
<@Maro> Remember, by the way, that Mirrodin did have some creepy stuff.
<@MikeTurian> Also, we did want to show some amount of Phyrexian infecting Mirrodin
<@MikeTurian> and that is how come we did a card like Tel-Jilad Fallen
<@MikeTurian> which draws from the Tel-Jilad of Mirrodin while being a Phyrexian card
<@Maro> In a perfect world, that art would not have shown up representing Phyrexia.
<+LaurieChe> so in summary: website editors don't read watermarks? Thanks.
<@MikeTurian> Well when they deal with a card, it isn't in card form



11. <+JerseyBricklayer> If the SOM block is about a phyrexian invasion, when/if ever, will we see the return of Yawgmoth ? if u can even talk about that.......;)
<@Maro> You're asking a story question of non-story people.
<@Maro> Yawgmoth was a man that died on a whole other plane a long time ago.
<+JerseyBricklayer> phyrexian lord
<@Maro> Yawgmoth began as a man. Yes, he kind of changed during his time in Phyrexia.
<%NorrYtt> Creative will tell you that Yawgmoth is dead. Final resting place...Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth.
<@Maro> Will we somehow see him in this block?  No comment.
<@Maro> Quick story: Yawgmoth's Agenda was first translated in Japanese as Yawgmoth's Day Planner.



12. <+norbert88> What other abilities did Sword of Body and Mind have when you were playtesting?
<@MikeTurian> I think Alexis came up with the Mill 10
<@Maro> At one point, the blue part unsummoned.
<@Maro> It was a little too annoying.
<%M_Tabak> "That gameplay sucked" - Zac Hill
<@MikeTurian> The big thing was settling on the name
<@MikeTurian> Body and Mind
<@MikeTurian> because that really drove the cards gameplay
<@Maro> I think it was called Sword of Bounce and Bears for a while in design.
<@MikeTurian> very true
<@MikeTurian> It was a card we had to lock down earlier than all the other Scars cards
<@MikeTurian> because it was in From the Vault Relics
<@Maro> Because it was in From the Vault: Relics.
<@Maro> Sarnathed
<@MikeTurian> once we had Mill 10 it was an easy call
<@MikeTurian> to go with 2/2
<%alexis_j> i can confirm somehow being the person who came up with milling for a blue ability there honestly aren't a lot of great options that don't overlap, haven't been done, and fit on the card, and still make an interesting card.
<@Maro> My suggestion of Time Walk was turned down.



13. <+xinpig> How did necrotic ooze come to be/designed, and why only activated abilities of creatures?
<@Maro> The reason it's only activated abilities has to do with the rules.
<@Maro> The rules are able to easily copy activated abilities and not so much other abilities.
<@Maro> Matt?
<%alexis_j> not when you try to merge them from multiple sources onto one card. (as opposed to just a Clone)
<@MikeTurian> Also, the fact that it picks up less abilities
<@MikeTurian> makes the game play simpler
<@MikeTurian> if it was copying every triggered ability, that would be very crazy!
<%WotC_Lee> Copying static abilities from cards in the graveyard causes all types of shenanigans to happen. Multiple CDAs setting its P/T to different values, for example.
<@Maro> I don't know why things don't work I just learn what I'm not supposed to mess with.
<%M_Tabak> Necrotic Ooze + Terravore and Magnivore in graveyard = bad times.
<+xinpig> I also meant activated abilities of enchantments and artifacts
<@Maro> Hmm, copying artifacts and enchantments.  Let me write that down.
<%alexis_j>
<+xinpig>
<@MikeTurian> I do remember making the Ooze better
<@MikeTurian> because I thought it was such a fun card



14. <+The_Demons> Hi, my name is Dan Emmons!  I was wondering if you could (semi-quickly) explain the process design went through in terms of designing Scars limited, from kick off to hand off?
<@Maro> Dan, I read your design test.
<@Maro> Let me see if I can answer your simple little question.
<@Maro> We knew that Phyrexia was invading Mirrodin.
<@Maro> We wanted to make sure that we gave each side some things to do mechanically.
<@Maro> I knew that I wanted Phyexia to do something with poison.
<@Maro> From there, it was a matter of making sure that each side had an equal amount and that each had answers to the other.
<@Maro> We already talked about how darksteel and infect played nicely
<@Maro> Well, they interacted. I'm sure Mirrodin didn't like it.
<@Maro> From there, it was a matter of balance.
<@Maro> The two sides was all design but the balance was development.
<@Maro> Mike can talk about how they fine tuned what design set up.
...
<@Maro> Mike?
<@MikeTurian> hi
...
<@Maro> They want to know about how you balanced the two sides for limited.
<@MikeTurian> ah
<@MikeTurian> thanks
<@MikeTurian> Tom stopped by my desk
<@MikeTurian> and distracted me
<@Maro> (shaking fist) La Pille!
<~Gardevi> We're publishing this transcript, so we'll get the public to yell at him.
<@MikeTurian> my first goal for limited was to make sure that the gameplay was a fun experience
<@MikeTurian> and Mirran vs Phyrexian was a piece of that
<@MikeTurian> I really wanted to make sure that at least one person could draft infect
<@Maro> That person was me.
<@MikeTurian> and maybe another could draft infect with proliferate
<%alexis_j> there's your draft tip for the day everyone: if you're to the left of MaRo, stay out of infect
<@Maro> Also if you're on the right.
<@MikeTurian> it was a tough balancing act for sure
<@MikeTurian> because normally in limited all creatures play well with each other
<@MikeTurian> but in Scars infect creatures and non infect creatures work on two axis
<@MikeTurian> i fought this tendency by introducing cards like
<@MikeTurian> Blight Mamba
<@MikeTurian> which you want to play in all sorts of decks
<@Maro> Design did try to create infect creatures you'd use even if it was the only infect creature.
<@Maro> Blight Mamba is a good blocker.
<@MikeTurian> Trigon of Green
<@MikeTurian> to make snakes
<@MikeTurian> and +2/+2 and infect equipment
<@MikeTurian> all of which you will want in your deck
<@MikeTurian> and once you have them in your deck
<@MikeTurian> you want more infect
<@MikeTurian> so you aren't just all infect or no infect
<@Maro> And Tainted Strike.
<@MikeTurian> yes, Tainted Strike also
<@MikeTurian> its fun because if your opponent isn't playing infect you can Tainted Strike to "prevent" damage to you
<@MikeTurian> It is also why life gain is quite good in Scars
<@MikeTurian> Another way to balance the infect/non-infect interactions
<@Maro> Mike means the life gain cards in relation to other life gain cards.
<@MikeTurian> yes that is what I meant
<@Maro> I am very happy with how infect played out.
<@Maro> Good job, Mike.
<@MikeTurian> thanks!



15. <+origin> Maro how happy are you with poison so far? What's the publics response been? Will you be happier if it makes it far on a ProTour?
<@Maro> I am about as happy with infect as I can be.
<@Maro> It took fourteen years to do it, but I feel I did it as well as I could.
<@MikeTurian> I'm hoping that Infect does see some play at the Pro level
<@Maro> The public has been very positive about infect.
<@Maro> Well, except when they lose to it.
<@Maro> As with any mechanic, not everyone likes it.
<@Maro> Infect has more haters than average because it pulls the game farther away from the default.
<@MikeTurian> I haven't felt any backlash but there are people who aren't fans
<@Maro> It also has a lot of lovers for the same reason.
<@MikeTurian> I think it is such a flavorful mechanic
<@MikeTurian> which is what I liked about it from the beginning
<@Maro> We haven't done the godbook study yet, but I'm guessing infect will score well with the public.
<@Maro> If you are a hater of infect, this isn't you're block.
<@Maro> It's going to get worse.
<@Maro> Phyrexian is only at 20% in SOM.  That number may go up in Mirrodin Besieged.
<@Maro> And by "may" I mean "will of course".



16. <+Fzghoul> Hey, my name is Mohammad Ali. In some sets, like Odyssey, mechanics have high cohesion. In other blocks, like Scars of Mirrodin, the mechanics create distinct factions, despite having a small degree of overlap. Which type of set is harder to Design/Develop? On a personal level, which do you prefer? Thank you!
<@Maro> Are you the Mohammad Ali that submitted a design test or the one that's an awesome boxer? Or both?
<+Fzghoul> Both, good sir.
<@MikeTurian> I'm impressed Mark remembers
<@MikeTurian> he read so many tests
<@MikeTurian> I think the sets where there is a lot of overlap is more challenging
<@MikeTurian> For me in Magic there is so much power in synergy
<@MikeTurian> take Slivers for example
<@MikeTurian> If I spend a month making Slivers perfect
<@MikeTurian> and then at the last minute we decide to add in
<@MikeTurian> 1G, 1/1, All Slivers get +1/+1
<@MikeTurian> We have really altered how Slivers will work
<@Maro> One of the great joys of designing Magic is that there is so much variety.
<@Maro> I'm known for having a high level of synergy in my sets.
<@Maro> Note that there is mechanical overlap between Mirrodin and Phyrexia.
<@Maro> We were well aware that proliferate worked well with charge counters, for example.
<@Maro> So even a factioned set still has cross synergy.  Well, at least my sets do.
<@Maro> Must pack in more synergy...
<@MikeTurian> I liked that Scars had some overlap but not so much that any small change would throw the set into a whack
<@MikeTurian> Imagine Odyssey with Wild Mongrel
<@MikeTurian> err without
<@MikeTurian> and it would totally change your take on Madness
<@Maro> I can imagine Odyssey with Wild Mongrel
<@MikeTurian> good work
<@MikeTurian> haha
<@MikeTurian> one of the coolest things I saw when I came to Wizards was a whole stack of Wild Mongrels in test frames
<@MikeTurian> it was bizarre



17. <+Set_Builder> I want to see a card that can manipulate the stack, has this ever come up when making a card/any chance of this in the near future?
<@Maro> We're not so keen with manipulating the stack.
<@Maro> For starters, most players don't know what "the stack" is.
<@MikeTurian> I think the closest we have come is a card like Venser, Shaper Savant (the Future Sight card)
<@MikeTurian> but we don't mention the stack
<@MikeTurian> unless we really really have to
<@Maro> We do make cards that indirectly do it but we don't use the word "stack" on cards if we can help it.
<@Maro> I don't know how to do that effect without mentioning the stack.
<@MikeTurian> I think we stick to cards like Reverberate
<@MikeTurian> or Deflection effects
<%alexis_j> "the stack" exists to serve a mechanical purpose, not to provide design space. I'm open to being proven wrong, but it feels like space we don't want to go to, or Magic will lose something ... magical.
<@Maro> It's also not an effect that is as interesting as you would think.  Design has messed with cards like that.
<@MikeTurian> to me it would be like mentioning Cleanup
<@Maro> Hmm, cleanup cards.
<@Maro> Just kidding, a bad idea.
<@MikeTurian> I'm sure there is design space there but we stay away from certain things
<@Maro> The design space is limited.  We looked.



18. <+Absird> Why is Venser, the Sojourner U/W, and how did you come up with his "ultimate" (really all Planeswakers but another time...) and the creation of Emblems?
<@Maro> We didn't come up with emblems.  The rules people did to make what we made work.
<@MikeTurian> very true that
<@MikeTurian> one of my biggest concerns during templating
<@MikeTurian> was if Venser and Koth's ultimates would work
<@Maro> I'm proud of Venser's design as I like the teleport flavor.
<@Maro> Plus I love me some flicker effects.
<@MikeTurian> Mark was very big on making sure Venser was a teleporter
<@MikeTurian> and we tried a lot of abilities on him
<@Maro> Venser, by the way, was designed by the whole Scars team in a meeting./
<@Maro> And then development changed one of his abilities.
<@Maro> The flicker stayed though. Woo!
<@MikeTurian> the blink effect was always very popular
<%NorrYtt> Both Koth and Venser required grafting rules text onto players (aka emblems). Elspeth, Knight-Errant was retro-fitted and Stigma Lasher was left alone.
<%M_Tabak> Without Emblem tech, Venser would just keep exiling the same target over and over again.
<%M_Tabak> (or at least trying)
<@Maro> Sounds like the ending of a Twilight Zone.
<@MikeTurian> i was looking at the multiverse file
<@MikeTurian> one funny thing that happened was we conduct a rare poll
<@MikeTurian> to see how people like the rares/mythics in a set
<@MikeTurian> and Mark Gottlieb wrote on venser
<@MikeTurian> "This doesn't work like you think it does"
<@MikeTurian> on an earlier version
<@MikeTurian> so I walked over to Mark's desk and explained how I thought it worked
<@MikeTurian> and he was like, nope
<@MikeTurian> explained to me how it worked
<@MikeTurian> when I can't figure out a card, it is time to change its rules
<@Maro> My philosophy.
<@MikeTurian> and so the design team came up with a new ultimate
<%WotC_Lee> Emblems make those cards work how players think they should.



19. <+gkStull> I'll involve alexis and the gang as well: What is the most memorable card for each of you from designing/developing this set? Put another way, when I ask you about Scars 5 years from now, what's the first card you'll recall working with?
<@MikeTurian> Mox Opal
<@MikeTurian> for me
<@MikeTurian> hands down
<@MikeTurian> When I found out I was the lead of a return to Mirrodin, I knew I would get to make a mox
<@MikeTurian> Mo
<@MikeTurian> x
<@MikeTurian> and that was really special for me
<@MikeTurian> We tried it as non-Legendary but that was just way too powerful
<@Maro> Infect is the thing that's going to always ring true for this set.
<@Maro> I'm also proud of proliferate.
<%alexis_j> I won't ever forget Wurmcoil Engine, but that's as much the "flavor" behind it when I was designing it and people were playtesting it than the card itself
<%alexis_j> even though you can't tell too much from the abilities, Wurmcoil Engine sprang from me thinking about Belugatron, a fictional robotic whale superhero designed and drawn by another programmer here at Wizards
<@Maro> Belugatron was the design name obviously.
<%alexis_j> when playtesters started calling the tokens "Bel" and "Uga", that was awesome
<@Maro> I'm very fond of Clone Shell.  It was called Meat Puppet for all of design.
<@Maro> Lux Cannon (another card I'm proud of designing) was called Killing Machine.
<@MikeTurian> Memnite also
<@MikeTurian> I love Koth
<@MikeTurian> it is my kind of Planeswalker
<@MikeTurian> Another of my favorites was the Goblin Gaveleer
<@MikeTurian> I just love beating down with him so much



20. <+Craig> Alexis mentioned earlier that Vintage-style restrictions create too much variance in formats.  Would it be possible to use these in other formats?  As an example, restricting skullclamp over banning in Mirrodin 1.0 would allow people to play with it competitively while other decks i.e. Elf and Nail would not be induced to warp their deck for four Skullclamps.
<@MikeTurian> We don't do restrictions in formats besides Vintage
<@Maro> The problem with restricting versus banning is that it's a much harder message to get across.
<@MikeTurian> yes
<@Maro> And it's much harder to check on.
<@MikeTurian> I think it causes a whole new can of worms to be opened
<@MikeTurian> If formats are all about well this card is too good, ban it!
<@MikeTurian> then that is one thing
<@MikeTurian> but "This card is almost too good, restrict it!"
<@MikeTurian> it is a tough message
<@MikeTurian> we try and keep the B&R list manageable



21. <+wahonez> When will you reveal the big twist for the 3rd set in this block? I see the factions have their own facebook pages now. I can't help but think there may be a cool reason for such things. BTW whoever did the Mirrodin/Phyrexian videos did a great job.
<@MikeTurian> The Faction videos were pretty awesome
<@Maro> I thought the videos were great (and I had nothing to do with them).
<@MikeTurian> I think we wait for at least the second set of the block to come out
<@MikeTurian> before moving onto the third
<@MikeTurian> one thing I find funny is how often people are dying to know the future
<@MikeTurian> but I have always found waiting a little longer is always exciting
<@Maro> Is there a big twist?  Maybe.
<@Maro> There is very much a block plan in action.  Ha ha, in "Action".
<@Maro> "Action" is the codename for the third set.
<@Maro> That joke was funny to three people.
<@MikeTurian> was I one of them?
<%WotC_Lee> Bazinga!
<@Maro> I do believe before the year is out that you will hear something about "Action".



22. <+flglfwali> How do you decide how many and what cards to make for limited and for standard?
<@Maro> I do not design cards for a particular format (with a few exceptions).
<@Maro> I make cool Magic cards along with many other designers and we see what you all do with them.
<@MikeTurian> well all cards are for limited
<@MikeTurian> in a sense
<@MikeTurian> since you can't play limited without seeing all of the cards
<@Maro> Mike, is right. We do design for limited.
<@MikeTurian> and we don't necessarily pick cards for Standard
<@MikeTurian> there are the occasional card like Tunnel Ignus
<@MikeTurian> or Leonin Arbiter that I know are constructed relevant
<@MikeTurian> but I try and make awesome cards
<@MikeTurian> that I believe will have a place in the format
<@MikeTurian> often I'm surprised about a card that I thought would only be played in limited
<@MikeTurian> to find out it does have a constructed impact
<@Maro> I like to think of design as tool makers.  We make tools.  Sure the hammer is probably going to pound nails but players can do whatever they want with the hammer.
<@Maro> In fact, one of the fun things for me is to see what the players do with the tools we make. I'm surprised a lot.
<@MikeTurian> We do make sure that the sets have all the elements to make for fun limited play

thanks for posting this.

I bet the rancor joke was a lie. Seeing Maro's brain as big as it is, he probably makes stuff up like that all the time.

"A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." - Antoine de Saint-Exupry

[spoiler MLP]Congratulations, you've found My Lie Policy: Only when i'm prompted, i might lie. (policy still in the refinement process.) [/spoiler] [spoiler I am both rational and instinctive. I value self-knowledge and understanding of the world; my ultimate goal is self-improvement and improvement of the world around me. At best, I am focused and methodical; at worst, I am obsessive and amoral.]I am Blue/Green
I am Blue/Green

[/spoiler]
The Rancor tidbit has been mentioned several times in the past.
Thanks very much for the transcript, Phoenix! I was very sad when I realized I wouldn't be able to be there this time.

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

html_removed
Look ma, I'm on the internet! (also follow @gkStull on twitter)

19. <+gkStull> I'll involve alexis and the gang as well: What is the most memorable card for each of you from designing/developing this set? Put another way, when I ask you about Scars 5 years from now, what's the first card you'll recall working with?
<@MikeTurian> Mox Opal
<@MikeTurian> for me
<@MikeTurian> hands down
<@MikeTurian> When I found out I was the lead of a return to Mirrodin, I knew I would get to make a mox
<@MikeTurian> Mo
<@MikeTurian> x
<@MikeTurian> and that was really special for me
<@MikeTurian> We tried it as non-Legendary but that was just way too powerful
<@Maro> Infect is the thing that's going to always ring true for this set.
<@Maro> I'm also proud of proliferate.
<%alexis_j> I won't ever forget Wurmcoil Engine, but that's as much the "flavor" behind it when I was designing it and people were playtesting it than the card itself 
<%alexis_j> even though you can't tell too much from the abilities, Wurmcoil Engine sprang from me thinking about Belugatron, a fictional robotic whale superhero designed and drawn by another programmer here at Wizards 
<@Maro> Belugatron was the design name obviously.
<%alexis_j> when playtesters started calling the tokens "Bel" and "Uga", that was awesome 
<@Maro> I'm very fond of Clone Shell.  It was called Meat Puppet for all of design.
<@Maro> Lux Cannon (another card I'm proud of designing) was called Killing Machine.
<@MikeTurian> Memnite also
<@MikeTurian> I love Koth
<@MikeTurian> it is my kind of Planeswalker
<@MikeTurian> Another of my favorites was the Goblin Gaveleer
<@MikeTurian> I just love beating down with him so much

scrubnextdoor blog
Notable Stuffs
Champion of Niv's 1st Block Constructed Tournament
1000 posts & !-year anniversary 2/17/10 BOOYAH

Siggables
Neruka's Boyfriend
Kor Firewalker is SO HOT. He is the fire in my pants. I want his firewalking babies.

Oops
75932913 wrote:
57689138 wrote:
I just realized how large a pain in the ass it's going to be to break down regionals like this
but look on the bright side, [b]Ding Dong jund is dead[b], it's not the boogyman anymore XD

Razorgore
61325265 wrote:
57689138 wrote:
Near Death Experience?
Gideon is not impressed by your triple white, incredibly difficult-to-manlipulate jank card.
Poor Niche
57860688 wrote:
MaRo keeps stabbing me in the face with cards like Phyrexian Rebirth. It's a black card.. with black art... in a white layer with white costs. Up yours, design team.
Cryptic Command can go munch on a bowl of my nuts
Damn you Mark and your precious infect! Taking away my Rancor, I hate you!
 When no one was looking, Pinkie Pie took FORTY cakes. She took 40 cakes. That's as many as four tens. And that's terrible.
<@MikeTurian> because it was in From the Vault Relics
<@Maro> Because it was in From the Vault: Relics.
<@Maro> Sarnathed

<@Maro> If you are a hater of infect, this isn't you're block.


Highlights of this chat: Maro reads forums and gets homophones confused.

http://nogoblinsallowed.com/

Stop and think of how utterly retarded rancor/infect would have been.
scrubnextdoor blog
Notable Stuffs
Champion of Niv's 1st Block Constructed Tournament
1000 posts & !-year anniversary 2/17/10 BOOYAH

Siggables
Neruka's Boyfriend
Kor Firewalker is SO HOT. He is the fire in my pants. I want his firewalking babies.

Oops
75932913 wrote:
57689138 wrote:
I just realized how large a pain in the ass it's going to be to break down regionals like this
but look on the bright side, [b]Ding Dong jund is dead[b], it's not the boogyman anymore XD

Razorgore
61325265 wrote:
57689138 wrote:
Near Death Experience?
Gideon is not impressed by your triple white, incredibly difficult-to-manlipulate jank card.
Poor Niche
57860688 wrote:
MaRo keeps stabbing me in the face with cards like Phyrexian Rebirth. It's a black card.. with black art... in a white layer with white costs. Up yours, design team.
Cryptic Command can go munch on a bowl of my nuts
Stop and think of how utterly retarded rancor/infect would have been.



I wasn't complaining that I can't have both Rancor and infect, I was complaining that Rancor is more important than MaRo's silly infect!
 When no one was looking, Pinkie Pie took FORTY cakes. She took 40 cakes. That's as many as four tens. And that's terrible.
not sure that I don't agree with Maro still. Infect is still cool, and there's more stuff coming in Mirrodin Beseiged
scrubnextdoor blog
Notable Stuffs
Champion of Niv's 1st Block Constructed Tournament
1000 posts & !-year anniversary 2/17/10 BOOYAH

Siggables
Neruka's Boyfriend
Kor Firewalker is SO HOT. He is the fire in my pants. I want his firewalking babies.

Oops
75932913 wrote:
57689138 wrote:
I just realized how large a pain in the ass it's going to be to break down regionals like this
but look on the bright side, [b]Ding Dong jund is dead[b], it's not the boogyman anymore XD

Razorgore
61325265 wrote:
57689138 wrote:
Near Death Experience?
Gideon is not impressed by your triple white, incredibly difficult-to-manlipulate jank card.
Poor Niche
57860688 wrote:
MaRo keeps stabbing me in the face with cards like Phyrexian Rebirth. It's a black card.. with black art... in a white layer with white costs. Up yours, design team.
Cryptic Command can go munch on a bowl of my nuts
not sure that I don't agree with Maro still. Infect is still cool, and there's more stuff coming in Mirrodin Beseiged



But Rancor is already cool.
 When no one was looking, Pinkie Pie took FORTY cakes. She took 40 cakes. That's as many as four tens. And that's terrible.
not sure that I don't agree with Maro still. Infect is still cool, and there's more stuff coming in Mirrodin Beseiged



But Rancor is already cool.

Rancor will get reprinted, it just need to wait for Infect to rotate now.

Infect makes Poison a viable wincon, and is good for the game.

11. <+JerseyBricklayer> If the SOM block is about a phyrexian invasion, when/if ever, will we see the return of Yawgmoth ? if u can even talk about that.......;)
<@Maro> You're asking a story question of non-story people.
<@Maro> Yawgmoth was a man that died on a whole other plane a long time ago.
<+JerseyBricklayer> phyrexian lord
<@Maro> Yawgmoth began as a man. Yes, he kind of changed during his time in Phyrexia.
<%NorrYtt> Creative will tell you that Yawgmoth is dead. Final resting place...Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth.
<@Maro> Will we somehow see him in this block?  No comment.
<@Maro> Quick story: Yawgmoth's Agenda was first translated in Japanese as Yawgmoth's Day Planner.





He's dead.
Not coming back in Besieged or "Action."


not sure that I don't agree with Maro still. Infect is still cool, and there's more stuff coming in Mirrodin Beseiged



But Rancor is already cool.

Rancor will get reprinted, it just need to wait for Infect to rotate now.

Infect makes Poison a viable wincon, and is good for the game.



Any mechanic that forces decks to need certain types of answers at certain points in the game is healthy for the format, it doesn't have to be infect. Although I was kidding about the whole Rancor bit, I don't actually hate infect but Rancor is a cool card.
 When no one was looking, Pinkie Pie took FORTY cakes. She took 40 cakes. That's as many as four tens. And that's terrible.
I really really really love rancor and wish it were in T2. I guess I'll have to continue being patient.

Considering how very "about the factions" the promotional things going on now are, I would think it wise to make sure the people that use the art from the set know which faction each art belongs to.

To me the issue with mythics is that it doesn't make opening packs fun. Also as long as there aren't enough quality answers to planeswalkers and they remain strong cards playing with and against them won't be as fun as it should be either. Standard playable mythics make pack opening into a terrible lottery. It may seem like it has always been that way, but that's a matter of degree. With mythics you have to open so many more packs to get an average money value for the set. With premythic packs it took far less packs to get an average.

Recently at FNM I won 9 booster packs and opened 0 mythics. The rares averaged about $2 in value each becauese I got a ratchet bomb and a foil dual land. One planeswalker or other money mythic even over the ratchet bomb would change the average by a huge amount.
No one asked the question that I've asked myself more times than any other since SoM was released: Why is Razor Hippogriff a "Creature -- Hippogriff" instead of Griffin?
Hoard of Notions: Cards and general design musings from yours truly.
Because a hippogriff is not a griffin; they're similar in nature, but not the same thing. A griffin is half-eagle, half-lion (Or half-some-king-of-bird, half-some-king-of-cat, anyway), while a hippogriff is half-eagle, half-horse. You can see its equine lower half. Calling it a griffin would just be incorrect.

Possibly they made it a hippogriff instead of a griffin (or a skyknight) because it was just a bit too big and they don't like to use Angels at the lower rarities.

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

Because a hippogriff is not a griffin; they're similar in nature, but not the same thing. A griffin is half-eagle, half-lion (Or half-some-king-of-bird, half-some-king-of-cat, anyway), while a hippogriff is half-eagle, half-horse. You can see its equine lower half. Calling it a griffin would just be incorrect.

Possibly they made it a hippogriff instead of a griffin (or a skyknight) because it was just a bit too big and they don't like to use Angels at the lower rarities.


I figured they'd make it a griffin for much the same reason that they made selkies merfolk.

Or just flavor it as a damned griffin to begin with and avoid introducing a completely unnecessary creature type.
Hoard of Notions: Cards and general design musings from yours truly.
I figured they'd make it a griffin for much the same reason that they made selkies merfolk.

Or just flavor it as a damned griffin to begin with and avoid introducing a completely unnecessary creature type.

Eh, personally, I'm all for unnecessary and random creature types, just as long as they don't show up all at once and they actually make a reasonable amount of sense. It gives a certain kind of player something to look forward to at little cost, and it can sometimes grow into something more--Ouphes, for example. It's better than the alternatives of either not printing such cards at all or else printing them with a 'normal' creature type and being forced to errata some of them later when players latch on to them enough to make a type 'warranted'. (I'm looking at you, Hellions.)

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

I figured they'd make it a griffin for much the same reason that they made selkies merfolk.

Or just flavor it as a damned griffin to begin with and avoid introducing a completely unnecessary creature type.

Eh, personally, I'm all for unnecessary and random creature types, just as long as they don't show up all at once and they actually make a reasonable amount of sense. It gives a certain kind of player something to look forward to at little cost, and it can sometimes grow into something more--Ouphes, for example. It's better than the alternatives of either not printing such cards at all or else printing them with a 'normal' creature type and being forced to errata some of them later when players latch on to them enough to make a type 'warranted'. (I'm looking at you, Hellions.)


I'm all for having a diverse spread of creature types as well. It's just that hippogriffs are so similar to Griffins, an already-supported and prolific creature type, that it makes no sense to me to not have it be one. You'd have to squint to tell the difference between them. If it had been something a bit more unique (Say, a lammasu), then I would have had no problem with it.
Hoard of Notions: Cards and general design musings from yours truly.
I'm all for having a diverse spread of creature types as well. It's just that hippogriffs are so similar to Griffins, an already-supported and prolific creature type, that it makes no sense to me to not have it be one. You'd have to squint to tell the difference between them. If it had been something a bit more unique (Say, a lammasu), then I would have had no problem with it.

Eh, uniqueness is in the eye of the beholder. It's more a matter of mindspace than of any real distinction. Elves, after all, are essentially long-lived humans with pointy ears, but lo and behold, they're a major race, considered completely distinct from humans despite the fact that...well, they aren't. They're certainly far more physically similar to humans than a hippogriff is to a griffin. Meanwhile the entire kingdom of Plantae is stuck under the generic label of 'plant' no matter how different from each other they are.

So either WotC creative believes there's already a sufficiently separate mindspace to warrant hippogriffs having their own type (Thanks, Harry Potter), or they believe they can create one. (Hello, Shaman.)

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

I'm all for having a diverse spread of creature types as well. It's just that hippogriffs are so similar to Griffins, an already-supported and prolific creature type, that it makes no sense to me to not have it be one. You'd have to squint to tell the difference between them. If it had been something a bit more unique (Say, a lammasu), then I would have had no problem with it.

Eh, uniqueness is in the eye of the beholder. It's more a matter of mindspace than of any real distinction. Elves, after all, are essentially long-lived humans with pointy ears, but lo and behold, they're a major race, considered completely distinct from humans despite the fact that...well, they aren't. They're certainly far more physically similar to humans than a hippogriff is to a griffin. Meanwhile the entire kingdom of Plantae is stuck under the generic label of 'plant' no matter how different from each other they are.

So either WotC creative believes there's already a sufficiently separate mindspace to warrant hippogriffs having their own type (Thanks, Harry Potter), or they believe they can create one. (Hello, Shaman.)


Good point. WotC seems very inconsistent when it comes to this -- they somehow deemed that selkies didn't deserve their own creature type while hippogriffs and hellions apparently do. It's so very inconsistent, and I'd really like to hear the logic behind it.
Hoard of Notions: Cards and general design musings from yours truly.
Good point. WotC seems very inconsistent when it comes to this -- they somehow deemed that selkies didn't deserve their own creature type while hippogriffs and hellions apparently do. It's so very inconsistent, and I'd really like to hear the logic behind it.

I just sent it in as a question for Doug Beyer, so let's hope he answers it.

I think Selkies, specifically, were made Merfolk so they could tie in to Lorwyn's tribal theme, the same way Murderous Redcap was made a Goblin. But I would like to see a full explanation for things like why 'Wraith' somehow warrants its own type, but 'Banshee' does not.

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.