06/21/2011 SF: "The Sound of Awesome"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Serious Fun, which goes live Tuesday morning on magicthegathering.com.
I tried the first Duels game on Xbox with several friends and, in many ways, loved it.  The Challenge mode especially.

I then went so far as to purchase the game and all expansions...only to find that, while the trial version worked without a problem on my laptop, it didn't work!  I looked up the reason and found that it was an arbitrary hardware check...and that many, many others had been locked out of the game for the same reason...and it has yet to be addressed to this day.

I held my breath with anticipation for Duels 2012...and it sounds like, once again, the PC version is simply riddled with issues that any decent developer would've ironed out before release.

I really want to own/pay/play these games...but I can justify the expenditure on something that simply doesn't work.
I would love to play DotP, but since Wizards doesn't seem to have a large enough Unix demographic, I'm out.  If there were a Mac version or if it ran in WINE, I'd be quite happy to buy and play it, but alas neither of those things is true.  Of course, a native Linux version would be nice too, but I'm guessing that demographic is even smaller than the Mac one :P.
I have a Mac, and own no gaming consoles. Trying to run Duels in an emulator has been enough of a deterrent that I haven't bothered to get Duels.
I haven't had any problems with Duels 2012 on PC, although on PS3 the life total is so small that it's almost impossible to read, and I have a very large TV.

DotP 1 worked very well on the PS3, but I had a major problem with the 360 version, in that several months after downloading it I wasn't able to play it any more because it insisted it was the trial demo.

As far as the structure of the D12 program, though, I fully enjoyed it.  My only gripes are that the early challenges are far too easy, the first opponent in campaign is far too difficult, and the final boss uses a deck that isn't VINTAGE legal (it runs four Mox Sapphires, and probably multiple Tinkers).  That guy got out a turn 3 Darksteel Colossus four times before I beat him! 
"We will all be purified in Wurm. What is good will be used to heal Wurm, or grow Wurm, or to fuel Wurm's path. What is vile will be extruded, and we will be free of it forever." --Prophet of the Cult of Wurm
Hi.

Just a friendly reminder.

Formal taxonomic nomenclature gives us a few options.

When referring to the genus name for an organism, we may use something like Tyrannosaurus. In this sense, the human genus is Homo.

When referring to the species name for an organism, we may do so by tacking it on at the end, in a form similar to Chinese/Japanese names: Tyrannosaurus rex. "Rex" here refers to a smaller group than Tyrannosaurus, as there may be more than one species in Tyrannosaurus. In the same sense we get Homo sapiens, and Homo erectus, and Homo neanderthalensis, etc. Note that the second word is always lowercase, the first uppercase.

But we may also wish to abbreviate these terms, as sometimes the names can get pretty long. Did you know there was an amphipod (a type of shrimp) named Rhodophthalmokytodermogammarus? One of the longest genus names we've got. That's a lot to have to say when you have to say it a lot, so it gets shortened and we use just an abbreviation with the species name at the end. Hence, T. rex, or H. sapiens, or R. cinnamomeus. See, wasn't that easy? Note that despite appearing after a period, the species word is not uppercase. This has a lot more to do with the difference between periods and full stops that American has no distinction for, as well as the function of using internal periods in writing ... such as three in a row.

What we do NOT do is use hyphens in place of periods to show abbreviations. The genus and the species names are separate and unfusable, unlike you own last name when you get married, or if your descent may warrant it. We thus don't use T-rex because it's not a brand name, a product to sell, a single object being condensed. There is a company named Trex, and another named Terex, but they are not genus names with species stuck on the end. Hence, you never see H-sapiens. (If you did, you should slap that man.)

These names are always italicized, because it's "cool." It sets them off in the written line and brings attention, such as when I use precise emphasis. It also separates the formal from the vulgar in terms of language, and we do the same when transcribing foreign words or phrases.

Thank you.
"Possibilities abound, too numerous to count." "Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969) "Ever since man first left his cave and met a stranger with a different language and a new way of looking at things, the human race has had a dream: to kill him, so we don't have to learn his language or his new way of looking at things." --- Zapp Brannigan (Beast With a Billion Backs)
Last week also featured the release of Duels of the Planeswalkers 2012, something that I wasted no time in picking it up through Steam and PlayStation Network. I've been enjoying a slightly different way to play Magic and I'm curious if you, too, have jumped into the digital foray.

*poll missing a very obvious option*



Have you jumped into the digital foray? I don't think you have.
Those pull numbers are kind of sad. It suggests Latest Developments gets about six or seven times as many readers.

As for the T-rex/T. rex thing goes, I'm pretty sure most everyone uses the hyphen there. Perhaps the R isn't capitalised by everyone, but I think you're going to have a hard time convincing people to start using the scientifically correct terminology.

Also, the game description was more fun to read than most other column types. This is what Serious Fun is about, after all. I just wish it didn't sound so much like a door-to-door salesman.
76125763 wrote:
Zindaras' meta is like a fossil, ancient and its secrets yet to be uncovered. Only men of yore, long dead, knew of it.

Commander is a boring format, I'll be glad when the site gives up on it.


I picked up the original Duels of the Planeswalkers when it was on sale on Steam.  I forget the details.  I think I shot myself in the foot by accidentally also buying all the premium content (the useless stuff you can unlock), although I crunched a bunch of numbers and determined that the difference was very small.  I wasn't clear exactly what it was that I was buying, and I thought it was additional content and not just garbage.


The game itself was alright.  I picked it up because I wanted to play some Magic, but had nobody handy to play with and I can't justify spending real money on digital cards to play on MODO.  I looked at the demo for Magic 2012, and it was alright but not compelling enough to justify buying when my money is as tight as it is.  I'll probably keep an eye on it and pick it up on sale.  I rarely pay full price for any game I don't know with quite a bit of confidence I'm going to be playing to death.

Moving away from the console/hyphenation wars...

I bought the original DotP mainly because a) it was on sale and b) co-op games are good.  Competitive play is all well and good, but if the people who want to play together are at wildly different skill levels there's a lot to be said for the good clean fun of teaming up to clobber that silly computer.

Then I found out that you can't play co-op without a second controller, presumably because it was a console port, so I've been playing with a joystick.  It's a bit awkward, but it works well enough.  Which tends to sum up DotP for me, honestly.  Pretty much every part of it is a bit awkward (every time it helpfully taps my mana for me so as to prevent me from playing my spells is a fresh irritation) but it's cheap and it fills a niche that is far from crowded.

Which sounds a bit like damning with faint praise, but good enough is good enough, and I'm sure I'll end up getting the new edition at some point.
I played the original, original DotP. You know, the one from 1998? Yeah, that thing. Also known as shandalar. Is that what he means by "the original DotP"? It should be, but I doubt it. Please, get this right in future.

Sig
Disclaimers
My initial responses to rules questions are usually just answers. If you want an explanation as to why, say so. Just because it says I'm there, I'm not necessarily there. I leave my browser open so I don't have to reload ~30 tabs. Anyone who wants to text duel me through either PM or chat can just PM me with a format (and a time if playing through chat). I don't play standard.
# Card Blind Hall of Fame
3CB
3CB #1 (1/30/11): Won by silasw, with Mishra's Factory, Orzhov Basilica, Vindicate. 3CB #2 (2/13/11): Won by Vektor480, with Mishra's Workshop, Ensnaring Bridge, Scalding Tongs 3CB #3(2/20/11): Joint win between defuse, with Saprazzan Skerry, Scalding Tongs, Energy Field; and Mown, with The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale, Inkmoth Nexus, Sheltered Valley 3CB #4(3/13/11): Won by Mown, with Keldon Megaliths, The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale, Boros Garrison 3CB #5(3/20/11): Won by silasw, with Black Lotus, Channel, Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
5CB
5CB 1 (3/6/11): Won by Maraxus-of-Keld, with Tropical Island, Thallid, Nether Spirit, Daze, Foil
quotes
56819178 wrote:
So, how would I use a card that has a large in the top half and "sui?l? -- pu?? ?is?q" across the middle?
57031358 wrote:
99113151 wrote:
Winning is not important if: 1. You win by a blowout. 2. You pay billions of dollars in cards to win. If you like wasting money just to win one game, while you could have saved it to lose a few and end up winning more in the future, then it is fine by me.
what? do you ceremonially light your deck on fire after a win?
57169958 wrote:
Or did no one notice Transmogrifying Licid before. (And by not notice, I mean covered their ears and shouted LA LA LA LA )
57193048 wrote:
57169958 wrote:
Hmmm... I think the most awkward situation at the moment is simply the Myr Welder / Equipment / Licid / Aura craziness, but I'm pretty sure he's aware of it.
If the most awkward thing going on right now involves Licids, I declare victory.
56287226 wrote:
We regret to inform you of Trevor Kidd's untimely demise in an unfortunate accident involving a mysteriously blown breaker box and a photophobic creature of unknown origin at his home near Renton, Washington. We at the Wizards Community apologize for any inconvenience or delay, and assure you we'll be preparing a replacement to assume his duties as soon as we finish warming up the cloning vats.
[02:47:46] It doesn't merely "come out of suspend" - you take the last time counter off, and then suspend triggers and say "now cast that! CAST IT NOOOOOW!" [02:47:49] Because suspend has no indoors voice
[10:11:33] !opalescence [10:11:33] Opalescence {2WW} |Enchantment| Each other non-Aura enchantment is a creature with power and toughness each equal to its converted mana cost. It's still an enchantment. · Reserved,UD-R,Vin,Leg,Cla,USBC [10:11:51] *sigh* [10:12:10] Otecko: Do you have a question about Opalescence? [10:12:17] sure [10:12:23] $10 on humility interaction [10:12:25] :P [10:12:29] :D [10:12:47] humility + opalescence put into play by replenish
Ego
58325628 wrote:
Mage is awesome, BTW.
56967858 wrote:
Dear Mage24365, You are totally awesome. Thank you so much. I hope you are able to dine in Paradise without kicking the bucket to actually get there, and that every dollar you ever make magically becomes two more.
58158398 wrote:
56761258 wrote:
I don't think there are any cards like that. There are things that prevent you from activating activated abilities, things that increase their cost, and things that counter them, but I don't think anything triggers from them specifically. There are things that trigger from targeting, so that might be relevant, but I can't think of anything that triggers from targeting a player. I'm almost positive there's nothing that triggers from damage being prevented.
Rings of Brighthearth; Dormant Gomazoa; Samite Ministration.
56761258 wrote:
Well played.

 

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I have PS3 and played the original DotP to death. Not because it was a great game (although it is really fun), but because it's one of the only games I own that I feel comfortable playing in front of my 3 year old daughter. Not to mention that she loves pushing the buttons and making decisions for me (call it blind luck or intuitive skill, but when I ask her what cards to play, she almost always makes the right decision!). I really liked the original because all of the decks seems well polished and balanced. I could play through one of the decks, unlock all the cards, and then move on to the next deck. Rinse and repeat.

But this is where I feel DotP 2012 is a bit lacking.

The only deck I'm impressed with in 2012 is the Green and Blue mana-ramp/card-draw deck. The mono-Green deck just blows and I can't stand the mono-Blue deck. I'm a Blue player and hate that it got such a good aggro enabler (the Lord that grants Illusion creatures hexproof and +1/+1). Blue shouldn't be attacking for 3 on T2, and the only way it should have a 6/6 flying dragon for 4cmc is if it steals the darn thing.. Even Tezzeret's artifact deck seems very lame compared to the deck found in the original DotP. I haven't played the other decks very much to know exactly how they play, but when I picked up either of the Red decks to try and burn away Jace's Revenge deck, I found the burns weren't quite there?!

I was glad to see, however, that Gideon's equipment deck got a Sword of War and Peace. Gideon's deck in the original DotP had worse equipment in it than some of the other decks - something I never quite understood. I'm glad to see it different this time around. 

I'm extremely glad to have the opportunity to tune the deck exactly how I want (only limited to the cards avaialable, of course). One question though, does anyone know if in Arch Enemy your AI allies play with the tuned decks? I'm thinking not since I've seen foil versions of cards I know I don't have in my edits..

every time it helpfully taps my mana for me so as to prevent me from playing my spells is a fresh irritation



YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The same thing happens in DotP 2012. I'd love to have the option of tapping my own mana. I was playing Sarkhan's Red and Black deck and had 2 Mountains and 1 Swamp in play. I forget exactly what I played (I think it was that 2/1 gobling guy for 2cmc), but I wanted to leave my Swamp open for Disfigure - NOT my Mountain open for Burst Lightning. I wanted to save the burn spell for when I needed to cast it with it's kicker cost. Since the game didn't let me tap my own mana, it tapped my Swamp and left me with a Mountain. I had to play the Burst Lightning for cheap and hold on to Disfigure. It didn't cost me the game or anything.. it was just annoying that I couldn't make the play I wanted to make (read: I couldn't make the better play).



Commander is a boring format, I'll be glad when the site gives up on it.


I picked up the original Duels of the Planeswalkers when it was on sale on Steam.  I forget the details.  I think I shot myself in the foot by accidentally also buying all the premium content (the useless stuff you can unlock), although I crunched a bunch of numbers and determined that the difference was very small.  I wasn't clear exactly what it was that I was buying, and I thought it was additional content and not just garbage.


The game itself was alright.  I picked it up because I wanted to play some Magic, but had nobody handy to play with and I can't justify spending real money on digital cards to play on MODO.  I looked at the demo for Magic 2012, and it was alright but not compelling enough to justify buying when my money is as tight as it is.  I'll probably keep an eye on it and pick it up on sale.  I rarely pay full price for any game I don't know with quite a bit of confidence I'm going to be playing to death.




I'll keep this polite(ish)...

If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all.  Furthermore, if you think you're a smart cookie ( it seems implied by you) then I suggest you find a program other than MTGO where you don't have to pay money for your cards (hint: they exist)

On an unrelated note:  Adam, your avatar makes you look 15 years older and 30lbs heavier than the photo of you holding your general.

On an unrelated note:  Adam, your avatar makes you look 15 years older and 30lbs heavier than the photo of you holding your general.



To be fair, since that picture a year and a half ago I had decided to go with a genuine goatee and lost some weight (though not 30 lbs... yet). I guess that's a compliment, then? Embarassed So thanks!

(On a related note: twitter.com/#!/the_stybs/status/83262183... No more borrowing decks! (Unrelated related note: I preordered these two months ago.))

Thanks for the feedback so far guys! I have a feeling that you're really going to dig what's coming over the next two weeks! Laughing

Adam Styborski Writer for Serious Fun Follow me on Twitter: twitter.com/the_stybs
3 points.

1. No one is forcing anyone to read the articles.

2. The picture of the author in the article is much better than the one used for the article header.

3. I really enjoyed this article.
I've been playing (with some gaps) since the late 90's. Land Destruction can be fun! I really don't get the Command Tower backlash.
I really enjoyed the article, though it felt like it was over too soon 

As for Basandra, I can't wait for a decklist! At my LGS, the promos were handed out randomly because while there were enough of them for all, everyone wanted Edric. I got an oversized Basandra (and an oversized Vish Kal from someone who didn't want his and just gave it to me), and since then item 1 on the agenda has been to build a deck around her.

Speaking of Edric, I don't know what it was like anywhere else but at my LGS Mirror Mastery was far and away the most in-demand deck. The spikes wanted it because of Homeward Path and Edric, the money-hunters wanted it for Homeward Path and Edric, and the Timmies (like myself) wanted it for Animar and Riku. By the time I got there they were sold out! Fortunately, there appeared my very own hipster guardian angel! With horn-rimmed glasses, a t-shirt emblazoned with the title of a band I suspect he made up, and plugs in his earlobes, he saw my disappointment and offered to trade me his untouched Mirror Mastery if I bought Heavenly Inferno! God bless his soul. 
You'll forget you ever read this the minute you look away.
Veslfen's House of Bone-Dry Sarcasm
88318561 wrote:
76783093 wrote:
there is nothing "epic" about a turn one victory. ever. or really any magic game, for that matter.
So this one time, I wanted to play a game of Magic with my friend, but he was in another country and neither of us had Magic Online. I hitchhiked my way to the coast, barely fending off hungry wildlife when I couldn't get a ride, nearly dying of thirst crossing deserts, and posoning myself half to death foraging for food. At one point, I was taken hostage by a group of kidnappers, only managing to escape after a week of careful planning thanks to careful application of a rusty spoon. Once I reached the coast, I had no money to buy a ticket across the ocean, so I built a boat using my own two hands, and spent months sailing across the waves, nearly losing my deck as I swam to the shore of a desert island in a storm after being capsized by an enormous wave. Nearly delusional after so long with no human contact (the notches I cut in the single tree to tell time had long since felled the thing) I was eventually rescued by a passing ship, where I was taken aboard as a crew member. We sailed around the world, seeing many exotic places and having great adventures, before we finally arrived at my friend's country. Once more I stumbled across a desolate landscape, riding on train or car when I could, and going on foot when I could not. Eventually, weary to the bone, seven years after I started my journey, I arrived at my friend's house, clutching my well-worn and weathered deck to my chest. We shuffled up our decks, I won the roll. Gleefully, I laid down my cards. Black Lotus. My friend looked quizzically at me, wondering what I was about to do. After so long, he no longer knew what deck I had brought with me to this game. Flash. A knowing smile appears on my friend's face as the knowledge slowly returns to him. Protean Hulk. My friend extends his hand, knowing the game is over before it even started. And finally, after so many trials, the sweet taste of victory is mine.
56866178 wrote:
108166749 wrote:
So no one else is upset with the stunt Wizards just pulled to drive sales?
Drive sales of what? Non-Jace, non-Mystic cards? I'm pretty sure people already own more than eight Magic cards. If you don't, I feel for you. Maybe you can trade those Stoneforge Mystics, which are still quite valuable, for some.
Moving away from the console/hyphenation wars...

I bought the original DotP mainly because a) it was on sale and b) co-op games are good.  Competitive play is all well and good, but if the people who want to play together are at wildly different skill levels there's a lot to be said for the good clean fun of teaming up to clobber that silly computer.

Then I found out that you can't play co-op without a second controller, presumably because it was a console port, so I've been playing with a joystick.  It's a bit awkward, but it works well enough.  Which tends to sum up DotP for me, honestly.  Pretty much every part of it is a bit awkward (every time it helpfully taps my mana for me so as to prevent me from playing my spells is a fresh irritation) but it's cheap and it fills a niche that is far from crowded.

Which sounds a bit like damning with faint praise, but good enough is good enough, and I'm sure I'll end up getting the new edition at some point.



Update: Got excited about the new features (Archenemy!  Deck-building!) and bought the 2012 edition.  Sat down to play a two-headed giant match with my girlfriend...and couldn't.  Apparently I'm supposed to buy her a copy too and then we could sit down at different computers and play "together."  My own fault for not checking to see what features they took out, I suppose, but it certainly left a bad taste in my mouth.