11/29/2010 MM: "Imprints Charming"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Making Magic, which goes live Monday morning on magicthegathering.com.
You give a list of mechanics that don't happen at common and then two paragraphs later show that proliferate does happen at common. I would have liked to hear the story between how steady progress gets in as a common
Very good article today. Learned alot from it actually.

Maro already explained why proliferate got pushed to uncommon. It was to keep it's numbers down. It could have been at common except for that fact. Steady progress was kept at common either because having one common proliferate card made the numbers work out, or for some other reason.

As Maro said at the very end, there are no hard and fast rules.
… and then, the squirrels came.

Jonathon and I are here to help!


Nice article.  We could have used stuff like this a few weeks ago.  What he doesn't mention is that when you're designing only the commons in the set, it is extremely hard not to design cards to fill the role that uncommons would typically have.

Thanks to everyone who helped with the design of the plane of Golamo in the Great Designer Search 2!
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These are the decks I have assembled at the moment:
Tournament Decks (4)
Kicker Aggro (Invasion Block) Sunforger/Izzet Guildmage Midrange (Ravnica/Time Spiral/Xth Standard) Dragonstorm Combo (Time Spiral/Lorwyn/Xth Standard) Bant Midrange (Lorwyn/Shards/M10 Standard)
Casual Multiplayer Decks (50)
Angel Resurrection Casual Soul Sisters Sindbad's Adventures with Djinn of Wishes Sphinx-Bone Wand Buyback Morph (No Instants or Sorceries) Cabal Coffers Control Zombie Aggro Hungry, Hungry Greater Gargadon/War Elemental Flashfires/Boil/Ruination - Boom! Call of the Wild Teysa, Orzhov Scion with Twilight Drover, Sun Titan, and Hivestone Slivers Rebels Cairn Wanderer Knights Only Gold and () Spells Captain Sisay Toolbox Spellweaver Helix Combo Merfolk Wizards Izzet Guildmage/The Unspeakable Arcane Combo Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind and his Wizards Creatureless Wild Research/Reins of Power Madness Creatureless Pyromancer Ascension Anarchist Living Death Anvil of Bogardan Madness Shamen with Goblin Game/Wound Reflection Combo Mass damage Quest for Pure Flame Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle/Clear the Land with 40+ Lands Doubling Season Thallids Juniper Order Ranger Graft/Tokens Elf Archer Druids Equilibrium/Aluren Combo Experiment Kraj Combo Reap Combo False Cure/Kavu Predator Combo Savra, Queen of the Golgari Sacrifice/Dredge Elf Warriors Eight-Post Sneak Attack Where Ancients Tread Zur the Enchanter with Opal creatures Tamanoa/Kavu Predator/Collapsing Borders Esper Aggro Mishra, Artificer Prodigy and his Darksteel Reactor Theft and Control Unearth Aggro Soul's Fire Vampires Devour Tokens Phytohydra with Powerstone Minefield Treefolk Friendly? Questing Phelddagrif Slivers Dragon Arch Fun I'm probably forgetting a few...
Nice article.  We could have used stuff like this a few weeks ago.  What he doesn't mention is that when you're designing only the commons in the set, it is extremely hard not to design cards to fill the role that uncommons would typically have.



Don't forget that Mark also wrote a world designing article like a day before the worlds were due. I'm seeing a pattern here.

I guess you could design all the cards for a color, and just use the commons. It's not the most pratical thing to do, but it would solve that problem.

Of course this is all moot unless round 3 is commons again. (I'm 60% sure it won't be)
… and then, the squirrels came.
"As fan" is possibly the stupidest jargon I have ever come across in Magic, and that includes "DI" and all its lame variations.  The fact that "as fan" doesn't make any sense grammatically and lends itself to syntactic nightmare, combined with your apparent total disregard for explaining the original phrase from which "as fan" derived, made reading every instance of "as fan" a torturous experience.

Why you can't just say "frequency in a pack" like a normal human being instead of trying to contort "as fan" into a hideously awkward noun proxy is beyond me.  Then again, this is the guy that loves to flog the word "grok" to the point of absurdity where "understand" perfectly suffices, so...
What, no mention of Dead // Gone either?

(Yeah, I know that's not really what was being referred to...)
I also found "as fan" a completely jarring piece of jargon. It's completely opaque--there's simply no way to relate the name to its meaning without being specifically told it. Working backwards I think it might refer to fanning out the cards in a pack to see how often the mechanic appears in it, but that's just ad hoc reasoning, and where the "as" part comes from is completely beyond me.

I disagree with Phoenix about "grok", though--the best way to spread a word you love is to use it, as often as possible, as the quote in my sig attests. Language is the ultimate lego set: the whole point is to mix and match to your heart's content.

I think an explanation of the origins of "as fan" might have helped, or else simply dropping the jargon in favor of a more grokkable (;)) term, with a sidelong reference to the jargon and its origins.

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

I'll add my name to the list of people unhappy with "as fan".  And I'm especially annoyed at this:

I don't. The reason being that most of the legendary cards are rare (65) with the remainder being uncommon (20). Yes, it's possible to open four legendary cards if my one rare and all three uncommons are legendary, but it's far from likely. What "as fan" looks at is what are my percentage chances of opening a card given that ten of the cards are common, three uncommon and one rare. (The fifteenth card is a basic land.)



Uh, you're talking about a Champions of Kamigawa pack; those had eleven commons and no basic land.  In Champions (and Ravnica and Time Spiral and possibly Lorwyn, I don't remember for sure), you didn't have to junk up booster packs with basic lands (thereby enabling you to chintz the players on an extra common); you had these things called "starter decks", a few of which would give you all the land you'd ever need.  Way to make me nostalgic for the days before you borked the distribution system.

In other news:  If you have trouble designing red commons, Mark, I have a suggestion.  Stop making Red the "I am stupid and I blow everything up" color, and actually use a little creativity and give it abilities that actually do something interesting.  You say restrictions breed creativity, but I think you've given yourself way too many restrictions; you need to let the game innovate and stop saying things like "that mechanic can't be common".  Magic players are not idiots; they can handle complexity at common just fine.

And here's what really blows my top:  you say you're trying to reduce board complexity by making commons simple.  Well, if you invent a really complex mechanic but only print it at rare, guess what?  Constructed players don't care about rarity, they can easily make decks packed full of the rare-only mechanic and generate the brain-melting game states you're trying to avoid.  So it's not that you don't want the game to be complex - it's that you only way it to be complex for rich players.  Anyone who drafts or plays casually with a small collection is required to play a much simple, less thought-provoking game because of this "commons can't be complex" nonsense.
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As far as the benefit of the rest of Magic is concerned, gold cards in Legends were executed perfectly. They got all the excitement a designer could hope out of a splashy new mechanic without using up any of the valuable design space. Truly amazing. --Aaron Forsythe's Random Card Comment on Kei Takahashi
That's an interesting observation, willpell.  However, I think complexity is one of the better reasons to move something up in rarity.  Based on that scale Lotus Cobra would have been a nice fun common.

If you're on MTGO check out the Free Events via PDCMagic and Gatherling.

Other games you should try:
DC Universe Online - action-based MMO.  Free to play.  Surprisingly well-designed combat and classes.

Planetside 2 - Free to play MMO-meets-FPS and the first shooter I've liked in ages.
Simunomics - Free-to-play economy simulation game.

Although this was an interesting article, I think the argument behind it gets blown out of the water by Ravnica block. It had many complicated mechanics at common - Graft, Haunt, Dredge, Radiance, Replicate. Even some of the simpler ones (Convoke, Transmute, Forecast) were difficult for new players. Only 2 of the 10 flagship mechanics were easily 'grokkable'. And this applies not just to mechanics - Magemarks can lead to some insane bookkeeping, bouncelands are confusing for new players and not forgetting the introduction of hybrid mana. Yet this was one of the most popular blocks ever, loved by players of all skill levels.
I read the part explaining wahat "as fan" meant, and then I had to skip all the parts after that where the term was used, because I still had no idea what it meant.

Also, on mechanics at common: I got the impression that the rule is "you cant use certain types of mechanics at common, except when I want to".

Oh, and all this talk of the "GDS2" is a bit of a turn off too. I dont live in America, so I cant enter even if I wanted to. Talking about it so much makes me feel like you dont care about anyone outside the USA...

All in all, not a great article, personally.

~ Tim
I am Blue/White Reached DCI Rating 1800 on 28/10/11. :D
Sig
56287226 wrote:
190106923 wrote:
Not bad. But what happens flavor wise when one kamahl kills the other one?
Zis iz a sign uf deep psychological troma, buried in zer subconscious mind. By keelink himzelf, Kamahl iz physically expressink hiz feelinks uf self-disgust ova hiz desire for hiz muzzer. [/GermanPsychologistVoice]
56957928 wrote:
57799958 wrote:
That makes no sense to me. If they spelled the ability out on the card in full then it would not be allowed in a mono-black Commander deck, but because they used a keyword to save space it is allowed? ~ Tim
Yup, just like you can have Birds of paradise in a mono green deck but not Noble Hierarch. YAY COLOR IDENTITY
56287226 wrote:
56888618 wrote:
Is algebra really that difficult?
Survey says yes.
56883218 wrote:
57799958 wrote:
You want to make a milky drink. You squeeze a cow.
I love this description. Like the cows are sponges filled with milk. I can see it all Nick Parks claymation-style with the cow's eyes bugging out momentarily as a giant farmer squeezes it like a squeaky dog toy, and milk shoots out of it.
56287226 wrote:
56735468 wrote:
And no judge will ever give you a game loss for playing snow covered lands.
I now have a new goal in life. ;)
I vastly prefer reading about the terms that the designers are actually using, rather than seeing Mark make up a bunch of new words that would be more explanatory to amateurs. Complaining about how "as fan" is grammatically incorrect makes little sense to me. Since when did lingo have to be grammatically correct (or even make a lot of sense, for that matter)? Epic fail (if that sentence doesn't prove my point, nothing will). Lingo is lingo; some words and expressions just stick - there's nothing to be happy or unhappy about. Timmy, Johnny and Spike didn't make much sense either; but I'm glad that Mark told us the actual names that R&D used for these psycographs, rather than something that you guys would've thought was easier to understand.

Well, if you invent a really complex mechanic but only print it at rare, guess what?  Constructed players don't care about rarity, they can easily make decks packed full of the rare-only mechanic and generate the brain-melting game states you're trying to avoid.


So... You're assuming that the complexity argument is about how the game plays for constructed players? That's probably why you don't get it.

EDIT: And Mark, please disregard the poster above. I live in Sweden, and I am very interested in GDS2. I have submitted a lot of designs and thoughts on the wiki. I find that GDS2 is extremely relevant to me, because it gives me a lot of insight in how Magic design works, and I think it's a very fun competition.
Don't forget that Mark also wrote a world designing article like a day before the worlds were due. I'm seeing a pattern here.



It's much easier to follow guidelines than to work them out for yourself. I bet MaRo wants to see if the designers 'grok' them intuitively.


About the GDS2 references, I think it would help if the mechanics talked about would be spelled out in the article, for those that don't follow it.
I'm another one in the camp of non-USAians who are still very interested in the GDS2. It's a lot to read on a tight timescale: sometimes I don't get a chance to finish reading the judging on all 8/7/... submissions until halfway through the week where the new challenge was set. But even so, it's lots of fun to read and to participate on the wiki, giving the contestants feedback and card ideas. 



I think willpell's overstating the case (surely not). I've done some playtests with my homegrown set Sienira's Facets, which I'm aware is a bit too far on the complex side to be printable. My friends and I are intelligent, Johnny players, who love crazy interactions, and several of us know the Comp Rules inside out and back to front. 

Even so, the game state gets boggling very quickly. And that just makes the game less fun. Seeing more of any given complex card would be fun, but having too many complex cards on the board at once makes it hard to progress with the game, to move on with the turns to get those fun interactions to happen. It's like when you have too many programs running on your computer: they're all swapping in and out of virtual memory and processing slows to a crawl.

I do prefer the more complex printed sets, no doubt about it: I loved Lorwyn-Morningtide, Shadowmoor-Eventide, and Ravnica-block. I don't like playing with core sets at all (though M11 is a bit better than some). But I've seen Mark's point borne out: if the game state gets too complex, it's to the detriment of the overall fun.



However, I do love gaztaseven's point: Ravnica block had complex mechanics at common, including keyword mechanics, rules complexity, and a new kind of mana symbol; and yet it was the most universally loved set ever, as far as I can tell.
Willpell caught the point that I was questioning too - controlling complexity of commons may help new players who are playing Limited formats (not necessarily what I'd recommend for a brand new player), or who have a small card collection (i.e. just went and bought some boosters).  Controlling complexity of commons doesn't do anything to control overall complexity of the game or complexity of Constructed formats.
What I find particularly interesting is the contrast between the two views on the submissions:

1.  We can't do that (that way) and here's why.
2.  We can't wait to see what they've come up with because it's fresh and different.

I see the Great Designer Search as a way to discover what Mark calls Design Space.  I'm pretty sure that they've discussed this and that in meetings, but, along comes 'Double Strike' and the game is on.  Elegant and to the point and a new mechanic is born (or at a minimum, done properly) .  This salivation at the submissions is what they desperately desire and yet are *VERY* public about telling the community at large what the contestants did wrong.

Am I the only one to see the inherent conflict here?  If you are out of ideas, you don't shoot those that have them in the foot while stealing everything they give you.  Stealing is the closest word I can find here because of the legalese of the documents.

One thing I've noticed over the years about Mark's writings is how slowly they visit mechanics and rich design space.  This makes financial sense over the long term.  If you have a stone that's providing you blood you will squeeze every drop from it.  In short, they don't just flesh out all their ideas in one block and be done with it.

IMO, the Great Designer Search is about finding stones with blood in them not designers.  What amazes me is how critical Mark is (and how public) about how badly that blood is extracted while at the same time taking notes about the rock.

Mark, can we have a post about the things they did right and why?
I am not a fan of the different rarities. Eldrazi block where all the great ones are Mythic rares? No thanks. You can buy a complete set of baseball cards at factory price, but not Magic.

I think there should always be one common for each new mechanic, or possibly one of each color. I don't mind a single common Living Reflection but I don't want the game too cluttered with token creatures early on. The common example should be a nice, clean, simple example of the mechanic to teach the players how it can be used. A Morph that turns into a 4/4, a Showdown on an Instant, Sorcery, or as a comes-into-play effect, etc. Reserving new keywords for lower rarities just means even less people become familiar with that keyword.

I think the GDS should have started with rares and commons in mind, but design the Uncommons first since they are the more interesting middle ground. I am glad more guidelines are being given to the contest.
More like this, especially for the people who don't understand why cards can't all be as powerful as BSA or Jace TMS. (Besides knowing they clearly don't play limited formats).

Power is relative, but the worst part is that it's set at the top rather than the bottom.
And now, it's time for another round of Lets take Things out of Context and Cynically Blather about it!

The rules text has to use a Magic vocabulary word you don't often see written on cards. I don't have an example of this rule from GDS2 because it was broken a number of times during GDS1 (numerous designers really wanted the word "the stack" on their cards) and the judges came down hard. Because of this, this round of designers mostly avoided this pitfall.

This is yet another case of R&D assuming the players are idiots.  Back in ye olde dayes, we'd see a card with the text "Trample" (and nothing else) and rather than have a brainmelt, we'd either ask someone or just read the freakin' manual.
The mechanic messes around with an aspect of the rules that has a page or more of notes in the comp rules. My example for this guideline is Jonathon Loucks' living reflection mechanic again. If you've never read the comp rules write-up on copy effect, click here and search for "706. Copying Objects". As you can see, it's over a page.

Whoo hoo!  We can have Banding again - just not at common.
The mechanic requires substantial amount of monitoring. My example for this mechanic is Jonathon Louck's illuminate mechanic. It allows you to exile cards for various effects. Any of the exiled cards can be drawn in place of a normal draw. This means that for every draw you have N +1 options to weigh where N is the number of exiled cards. We only needed one playtest to realize the complexity in processing the information available.

Translation: "Rather than expose the kid, who has his mommy buy him one of those gimpy 6-card packs every time they go to Wal-Mart, to any deeper mechanics and interactions within the game, we'll instead put it off until he gets shut-down by some guy heavily leveraging some-odd mechanic - while the kid whines 'cheater!' and 'nuh-uh!' the whole time."
So Rule #1 says to bump morph from common. But, morph is a bluffing mechanic that requires enough cards to allow the ability to bluff. If morph only appeared on one cycle of uncommons, there would be very little suspense when the morph card is played face down. Morph needs volume, which means it fights against Rule #2. Morph needs a higher, not lower, "as fan."

Morph also needs to not suck to even approach becoming a "bluffing mechanic".  How the hell is anyone supposed to "bluff" with facedown guys, when that facedown guy on the table is always Exalted Angel and every other facedown guy is lost in a shoebox somewhere?

Revealing the "as fan" principle to the general public is going to spawn a million more "End is Nigh!" posts.  Nothing more.
Well, I suppose it will allow Rosewater to point back to this article when explaining that those ten cards in the front of the booster almost all irredeemably suck "for Limited", but all that will end up doing is fueling more "End is Nigh!" posts as well.
This whole article is confusing, especially the bit that others have noted where you're asking these new people for new ideas, and then you're basically telling them they're stupid ideas. 


 This is a great comment here too:
In other news:  If you have trouble designing red commons, Mark, I have a suggestion.  Stop making Red the "I am stupid and I blow everything up" color, and actually use a little creativity and give it abilities that actually do something interesting.  You say restrictions breed creativity, but I think you've given yourself way too many restrictions; you need to let the game innovate and stop saying things like "that mechanic can't be common".  Magic players are not idiots; they can handle complexity at common just fine.



If you're consistently having trouble doing something in a color, then you need to change your expectation of what that color does. All while reading this article, I kept thinking of previous stories we've read here where the author talks about a card going through development and how the testers kept playing it "wrong" because they were playing it the way they thought it should work (IIRC, this is why suspended creatures gained haste). I think this is an idea you could apply the over game itself. You fix the cards so they work (more or less) the way the players expect them to, why not fix more "meta" parts of the game too? 

One example that keeps coming up: you mention how many people in the GDS keep wanting to put "the stack" in words on cards, but that's apparently a big no-no. In my mind, that doesn't make sense because without the idea of "the stack" being anywhere on the cards, then it doesn't put that concept in the consciousness of the players. It's like the (horrifically dumb) decision you made years ago to remove the "tap to add G to your mana pool" phrase from basic lands. So now you get folks using their Birds of Paradise to search their libraries for forest cards (because they have that big ole green symbol on them). In your quest to "streamline" the game, you make it worse because by taking these concepts out of the normal game "conversation", you make them into some sort of lofty, idealized "out there" idea, suitable only for discussion in smoke filled coffee houses, in between readings of Sartre and Nietzche. 

If you make the players learn them, they will.



I'm not sure what to say about morph as I feel its whole idea was done wrong. To me, it should have been a basic part of the game itself, that you could play any card face down as either a vanilla 2/2 for 2 (without the ability to flip it up) or as some sort of mana producer to help fight mana-screw.  The fact that it seems too complicated at common, to me, is just a by-product of the whole idea being flawed. 
Proud member of C.A.R.D. - Campaign Against Rare Duals "...but the time has come when lands just need to be better. Creatures have gotten stronger, spells have always been insane, and lands just sat in this awkward place of necessity." Jacob Van Lunen on the refuge duals, 16 Sep 2009. "While it made thematic sense to separate enemy and allied color fixing in the past, we have come around to the definite conclusion that it is just plain incorrect from a game-play perspective. This is one of these situations where game play should just trump flavor." - Sam Stoddard on ending the separation of allied/enemy dual lands. 05 July 2013
Wizards is still riding the acquisition wave that started with Shards of Alara and has been continued through Zendikar, Scars of Mirrodin, and the revamped Core Set.  Wizards cares so much about complexity at common because many new players are introduced to the game through a limited selection cards from the most recent sets (whether actual Limited or just casual Constructed).  Also, many experienced players play Limited, and Wizards has found that the complexity level of sets as recent as Lorwyn was high enough to detract from the fun of the game.  Given the success that this acquisition push has had (record levels of tournament attendance, increased demand for cards), I think we're going to continue seeing handfuls of vanilla creatures in expert level expansions and a dearth of common creatures with reusable activated abilities.

I still had issues with Rosewater's "rules" (they really aren't more than guidelines considering how often they are broken).  For one, this rule is just poorly stated:
The card has a built-in effect that R&D does not typically put at common. 

The point of a block is to present Magic from a new perspective -- that goal requires emphasizing something that is not normally emphasized and thus putting things at common that do not usually go there.  I feel like there is a real rule here somewhere, but Rosewater needs to try again because right now the statement is somewhat meaningless (e.g. R&D does not typically put gold cards at common, or hybrid cards, or cards as complex as morph, etc).

Also, this is minor, but I found it odd that Rosewater stated this rule:
The mechanic messes around with an aspect of the game that has appeared on two or more restricted or banned cards.

without making any attempt to explain Cascade.  Magic Design has different "eras," but, by my strictest criteria, I still consider Shards of Alara the beginning of "modern" design -- nothing from Shards of Alara should be breaking Rosewater's rules without an explanation.
I was assigned by one of the best designers of the GDS2 wiki the task to do 18 red commons for my mock-up submission (that I use as a way to submit feedback to wizards). So let me explain more specifically why Mark says that red commons are the toughest to do.

The main reason red commons are hard to design is because red is very good at what it does, which has led to most limited formats being dominated by red (and green). In their quest to balance limited play, WotC has kept moving mechanic after mechanic to higher rarities. Land Destruction, pingers, X spells, etc. have bit the dust, and mana acceleration will soon take the same route.

On the other hand, red has too few creature slots because Mark thinks black is a more creature-oriented color than red, which is a mistake in my opinion. While designing the commons, I felt I barely had room for all the interesting creatures red has to offer, and had no room for all the interesting spells black can have (the color I chose for the first mock-up submission). Moreover, the selection of spell effects for red is pretty bland due to the barren land wizards has artificially created, so you end getting many burn spells and a lot of chaff (target creature cannot block, destroy a land for 5 mana, etc).

The first thing Mark should do to fix red, is to put more creatures in red and more spells in black, then give red the awesomely bad fliers that black gets on each set, as black has a much better selection of evasion abilities to use at common (shadow, intimidate, swampwalk, flanking, sidewalk, etc.)

In my mock-up submission I have suggested a new basic effect for red that appears in the card "Trigger Trap", another basic effect Mark should consider adding to red is "cannot be countered"; as previously mentioned, flying would make red a lot deeper at common.
Morph also needs to not suck to even approach becoming a "bluffing mechanic".  How the hell is anyone supposed to "bluff" with facedown guys, when that facedown guy on the table is always Exalted Angel and every other facedown guy is lost in a shoebox somewhere?

This isn't 2006. Pickles has come and gone, top8ing a block PT and 4-1ing Worlds T2. Don't forget Fortune Thief also, since it saw some niche play.

You can complain all you want, I don't care, but keep your facts right.
This is yet another case of R&D assuming the players are idiots.  Back in ye olde dayes, we'd see a card with the text "Trample" (and nothing else) and rather than have a brainmelt, we'd either ask someone or just read the freakin' manual.


Back in "ye olde dayes" the manual was 39 very small pages long.  Now it runs 185 8.5X11" pages.  The game is orders of magnitude more complex than it was in "ye olde dayes."  IQ's didn't drop in the last 17 years; the game got more complex.  Deliberately making the game even MORE complex when it isn't necessary is a recipe for disaster.  When's the last time you saw someone pick up Star Fleet Battles, a game whose designers placed no limits, as far as I can tell, on its complexity creep?
"As fans" is a terrible name. Why doesn't anyone name things after themselves in Magic?

It seems every scientist has a law or equation.... why not designers and devleopers.

Stern's law, the Rosewater equation...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~``

On people who don't want to hear about the GDS... you're going to hear about it. Maro is knee deep in it right now, and since he tends to write about what's on his mind, we are going to get alot of articles about it. Luckily these articles are great because they give you direct insight into how magic is made.
… and then, the squirrels came.
Makes me glad I don't do Standard anymore. I remember when stuff like this actually used to bother me. Now as an outsider, I just look at the wheels of the business turning instead of the wheels of R&D. (It's more or less been that way since Time Spiral was pushed out of Standard, but more so now with even Shards gone.) As schrecklich pointed out, the game is still in the "lower the ramp for newbies" phase and it will stay there until they have to try something different to fix the numbers. In fact, this is one of those articles that will be linked repeatedly in the months to come or whenever the community complains about a mechanic that is simplified beyond necessity at its own detriment (such as with Level Up) or one that has no common support (such as Imprint).

If they decide that it's in their best interest financially to increase complexity somewhat, then Mark will write a new article and stop talking about this one. To steal from one of Qmark's favorite references, we've always been at war with Eurasia.
If they decide that it's in their best interest financially to increase complexity somewhat, then Mark will write a new article and stop talking about this one. To steal from one of Qmark's favorite references, we've always been at war with Eurasia.

So...R&D shouldn't change their opinion when it appears to be contradicted by new information?

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

There is only contradictory information when the money flow slows down. Not when R&D thinks they can make better game by taking a different approach. A lot of people are getting wrapped up in the latter when only the former actually matters. That's something easier to swallow when either you don't care one way or the other or you stop caring one way or the other.

But as long as these philosophies actually matter to someone, that someone is going to be unhappy when they inevitably change. 
The card has a built-in effect that R&D does not typically put at common. My example for this guideline would be Jonathon Loucks' living reflection mechanic. It makes use of copy effects. Can you think of the last time you saw a copy effect at common? If we're unwilling to put a single one-of card at common, we're not willing to put an entire mechanic that uses it at common. (Note I am a fan of this mechanic, it just doesn't have any place at common—well, at least if it's planning to copy things.)


In living reflection's defense, it is much simpler than any copy card that currently exists.  Most of the text of Rule 706 covers corner cases that simply could not be caused by living reflection.  It also adds much less complexity to the game state than does a card like Clone.

This is similar to how Zombify effects are almost never common, but there are many commons with unearth.
Sorry guys, but "as-fan" is part of the industry vocabulary - it's not just a WOTC term.  Asking them to change it is like asking them call a "booster pack" something else.

Oh, and all this talk of the "GDS2" is a bit of a turn off too. I dont live in America, so I cant enter even if I wanted to. Talking about it so much makes me feel like you dont care about anyone outside the USA...



I do live in America but I followed the GDS2 for about ten minutes before getting thoroughly sick of it, so yeah I wish MaRo wouldn't talk about it in his other articles.  But I should know better; he's not the type to compartmentalize any more than I am.  Whatever's on his mind IS his mind, in toto; it's a common trait of us red mages, we don't have the patience to organize our thoughts into distinct disciplines.
My New Phyrexia Writing Credits My M12 Writing Credits
As far as the benefit of the rest of Magic is concerned, gold cards in Legends were executed perfectly. They got all the excitement a designer could hope out of a splashy new mechanic without using up any of the valuable design space. Truly amazing. --Aaron Forsythe's Random Card Comment on Kei Takahashi

Sorry guys, but "as-fan" is part of the industry vocabulary - it's not just a WOTC term.  Asking them to change it is like asking them call a "booster pack" something else.



And you know this how?  Perhaps you can actually define the term in some fashion that makes sense to someone other than MaRo or Erik Lauer.
My New Phyrexia Writing Credits My M12 Writing Credits
As far as the benefit of the rest of Magic is concerned, gold cards in Legends were executed perfectly. They got all the excitement a designer could hope out of a splashy new mechanic without using up any of the valuable design space. Truly amazing. --Aaron Forsythe's Random Card Comment on Kei Takahashi
And you know this how?  Perhaps you can actually define the term in some fashion that makes sense to someone other than MaRo or Erik Lauer.

I would venture the guess that "as fan" simply means the probability of occurence within a booster, when "fanned out".

If so, then Fallen Empire must have had some of the silliest "as fan" in industry history.  I've opened more than one pack containing three Hymns, out of eight cards.

I would venture the guess that "as fan" simply means the probability of occurence within a booster, when "fanned out".



Do you "fan out" boosters when you open them?  I generally don't.  I tend to page through one card after another, looking at each individual one in sequence.

After trying about six times, I think I have managed to translate "as fan" as meaning "frequency adjusted by rarity".  Had MaRo just said "frequency adjusted by rarity", I'd have been less confused for the past 26 hours.  But even now, I don't know how the term is used.  Could his example have been stated as "Legendary cards in CHK have an As Fan of 28%?"  Or "CHK has an As Fan of 28%?"  Or "CHK Commons have an As Fan of 28% Legendary?"  I can't straighten it out.  Seems to me like "frequency in booster packs" (or "pack frequency" or "pack density" or even just "occurrence") gets the job done well enough.  Why use cryptic jargon?  Sure it's a few syllables shorter if you say it a lot, but that means you have to spend all those saved syllables explaining what the hell you're talking about to anyone who's not part of your little club.  I am not a fan of those who intentionally impede communication; it's difficult enough for human beings to understand each other as is.
My New Phyrexia Writing Credits My M12 Writing Credits
As far as the benefit of the rest of Magic is concerned, gold cards in Legends were executed perfectly. They got all the excitement a designer could hope out of a splashy new mechanic without using up any of the valuable design space. Truly amazing. --Aaron Forsythe's Random Card Comment on Kei Takahashi
"As fan" seems to be a simple concept obfuscated by bad grammar. It's, from how I see it, the question of "What do you see when you approach this as a fan, rather than as a designer/developer?" In the case of Kamigawa, as fan, you wouldn't see the massing of legendary cards at rare and the few at uncommon, because they are overwhelmed by the other cards. As fan, you probably notice the number of three-colored cards in Shards of Alara. As fan, you probably would see morph a lot despite it being mostly higher-rarity, while not seeing imprint despite being at the same rarity. Manipulating what you would see as fan, in the context of Magic, then is the act of changing how often a given mechanic appears at a given rarity, and not just the act of changing what rarities the mechanic does appear at. A major mechanic at common may have around ten cards (infect), a minor or very powerful one about two cards (annihilator). As fan, you'll see more infect than annihilator.
And you know this how?


Because he works as a game designer.  You might have known this if you had read this GDS2 article.  

It seems pretty clear from the context in which Rosewater introduces the term that "as fan" refers to the frequency at which a certain game element actually shows up in the base product (i.e. a booster pack) and as such is derived from how much of that element is present on average as you fan out the cards in that product.
So it's not the Nigerian soccer league?
"As fan" is possibly the stupidest jargon I have ever come across in Magic, and that includes "DI" and all its lame variations.  The fact that "as fan" doesn't make any sense grammatically and lends itself to syntactic nightmare, combined with your apparent total disregard for explaining the original phrase from which "as fan" derived, made reading every instance of "as fan" a torturous experience.

Why you can't just say "frequency in a pack" like a normal human being instead of trying to contort "as fan" into a hideously awkward noun proxy is beyond me.  Then again, this is the guy that loves to flog the word "grok" to the point of absurdity where "understand" perfectly suffices, so...



Harsher than I would've put it, but yeah.  It was VERY frustrating.
Well, the article explained clearly what "as fan" meant: how much a certain type of card appears to be significant in a set, when the set is judged in terms of the frequency of cards you get as affected by rarity, as opposed to looking at the set as a whole in a visual spoiler.

The context in which that phrase would not be awkward or ungrammatical... wasn't relevant to the ariticle, so it was left out to conserve space. But since that's the phrase that was actually used internally, he shared it with us. I find it hard to fault that, myself.

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.

Asking them to change it is like asking them call a "booster pack" something else.



So can someone—anyone—tell me why they are called "booster" packs?

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:
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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.
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