10/07/2011 LD: "The Play's the Thing"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Latest Developments, which goes live Friday morning on magicthegathering.com.

I agree.  It would be nice if you could play with werewolves on Magic Online.
I still love that "don't let players understand why they lost because then they'll feel bad" is part of the R&D mission statement.

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.

Tom,

I played with Innistrad for the first time last week in a draft.
I had a pretty good time.  I noted and even sort of enjoyed how Werewolves/flip cards pushed interesting things into happening (holding cheaper spells so I could cast them on the same turn, thus playing other, slightly more expensive cards one at a time to prevent flipping, etc).

I also still strongly disliked the flip cards themselves though.  I had people asking how they were supposed to shuffle with the cards, where sleeves were ("Just use the checklist cards," "Oh. Right.").  Then there was the actual flipping etc..

Please no more of that (Yes, I realize that we're clearly going to get two more sets of it to finish out the block).

I have spent less on Innistrad than any set before it released while I've been playing Magic (TSP to the present).

I say these things for various reasons, including the following:

I didn't vote in the poll because I don't like any of the Werewolves in Innistrad due to Flip.  As MaRo covered, the previos non-flip werewolves are poorly designed.

That said, I enjoyed your article.

~Rae~
To answer the poll (because still, over half a year later, I can't actually answer polls) Gatstaf Shepherd.
Anyway, nice article. I like indirect responses to forum discussions like this one, and hope to see more in the future. It shows that Wizards actually does listen to their fans.
IMAGE(http://images.community.wizards.com/community.wizards.com/user/blitzschnell/c6f9e416e5e0e1f0a1e5c42b0c7b3e88.jpg?v=90000)
From personal experience, I'll tell a little story:
When I first saw DFC's (I actually first read about them, which was suuuper confusing. How can there be two cards? :D) I was...shocked. Then confused. Then intrigued. Then disapointed. I remember that distinctly. I went on for a few days looking forward to the set a little bit less - yes, the flavor was cool, but it was going to be mechanically awkward, take time, and just overall didnt seem fun. Then I had the idea (a few weeks before the prerelease) to quell my wearyness. I made proxies, for physical understanding's sake. I tried both playing "checklist games" (proxies of proxies...confusing) where i would have a "proxy of a checklist" and then bring in the real card, and it felt...fine. I was surprised. Then I sleved up some simple proxy decks, and when they flipped over, the process of pulling them in and out of the sleeve seemed...just fine. The more and more I playtested (against myself) they werent just mechanically interesting and engaging, they were FUN. This made me unbelievably excited for the prerelease, and when I first got to hold, flip, and flip back my first DFC (promo mayor) I knew it was a fantastic call. THX WOTC :D
 
I also have that problem with being unable to use the polls. The submit button doesn't work.
My answer was Lesser Werewolf. I always felt smart for figuring out it had first-first strike. (of course, it was also horribly inefficient..) Sort of like the modern combination of Wither + First Strike.
Hated Greater Werewolf because it wasn't as good as Lesser Werewolf. Lol.

Agree with Raedlen on the two-faced cards. I never had any problems with power level, or ease of triggering them. They're just annoying. I play them when it's the right thing to do (due to draft signals, or whatever), but I always sigh when I have to pull them out of the sleeves, then watch them slide around, then watch other people draw one facing the wrong way and awkwardly try to figure out what to do.. Ugh. Just so many tiny little irritations with using them that I can't like them.

In particular, people said all kinds of things about the Werewolves that I thought were wrong. Here is a sample:




  • The Werewolves will never transform.

  • The Werewolves will transform way too easily.

  • The Werewolves will make the format really fast.

  • Taking a turn off to transform a Werewolf will get you killed.

  • The Werewolves need more text to be interesting to play with.



This frustrated me, because I knew that none of those commenters had played a single game with the cards.


from the article.


ive played with the werewolfs. alot. between the dozen sealed and dozen drafts ive done in preperation for the ptq season ive found werewolfs just suck. the mechanic isnt fun, and its incredibly gamey for what amounts to typically skipping a turn to give them a power boost. sure, most of them are playable but it turns out they dont transform unless you actually skip a turn to do so. sometimes you will have equipment or cellar door or something to waste mana on, but in the early turns that isnt always typical.


the unsummon is pretty bonkers and i always love having 2-4 in my draft/sealed decks.


oh yea btw this format for limited, its pretty bad. its slow and the combat tricks are all very conditional. and the bombs are absurdly swingy. this was true in Scars block too, but at least synergy mattered there. in this set its all about having good cards. im actually pretty disappointed. considering how big a deal it is to have to get opaque sleeves for a mechanic that no one has said anything good about


the only flip cards that were fun to play with were the non werewolf ones with the seperate flip mechanics. please stop acting like the public has no idea what they are talking about.

Tom Lapille says "shut up, trolls" in 10,000 words.
Tom Lapille says "shut up, trolls" in 10,000 words.


Tom Lapille must have read xkcd recently. :p

I mostly agree with him - but I also/still find the Werewolves (and other transform cards) to be less fun due to the process turning them over...which I said (as did others) would be the case beforehand. In fact, it's a little worse than I expected due to discovering that light-colored opaque sleeves don't hide them entirely.

If it's between having flip and transform cards a second time, I'd much rather have flip cards.
Unfortunetely for me, Tom, I am a 14-year-old who has neither a Magic store nor Magic Online. So I can't give you an exact feeling for Innistrad's cards. I guess I could just go out there and buy packs at Wal-Mart, then play with my brothers, but that's all there really is for me.
Tom Lapille says "shut up, trolls" in 10,000 words.



This is what I heard too.  I get that you don't want to hear about how you're doing your job badly, but it comes with the territory and it might be true, considering how Standard went recently and how Modern seems to be shaping up.

I'm just waiting for the Forbidden Alchemy ban now, since I'm going to enjoy using it to win Magic in a way that is unfun to the other player.
I've never seen anyone make a major play against an Innistrad limited deck without first asking "what's in your graveyard?"  It seems like it would only take one mistake of that sort before a new player would learn to check as well, so Silent Departure seems fine as an instant.  It would also give Standard the good bounce spell it needs in the wake of losing Into the Roil.

The mention of Momentary Blink raises the question - why not reprint Momentary Blink in the slot in Innistrad?  Feeling of Dread is a fine limited card, but Momentary Blink is incredibly popular from what I know and lots of people would love to try to play it in Standard/Limited again.

Final random point in this series of random points: it's easy for players to 'go out and play' to learn how much they like certain mechanics, but it's impossible for them to see the other side.  For example, you can't 'go out and play' to find out how much fun Silent Departure would be as an instant, because your draft opponent will accuse you of cheating/not allow you if you try to play it as an instant.  So you really can only find out if you like R&D's choices, not whether you would have liked other choices better.
Did I miss something, or did this developement article during Werewolf Week have nothing to do with the developement of werewolves?

Does tom even understand magic?  How did this guy even get into RnD?  Every time I read anything from him it just sounds like he has no clue what he's talking about.

Preview Season:


"Here's a card, talk about it!"


"Here's another card, ooh, let's speculate about it!"


"Oh another day another card, wow, isn't this amazing."


After release:


"You players have a lot of nerve giving opinions about cards before you've played with them."

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.


It's also not something I saw anyone talk about during the preview season. And how could you have? No one was playing games yet.
Not that I disagree with your point about the importance of playtesting, but if you didn't see all those points made and more then you're reading the wrong forums!

How did this guy even get into RnD?

Tom LaPille's a former Pro. He's mainly a Developer and WotC - with good reason - find most of their Developers this way. It proves they're good at the game.


Does tom even understand magic?  How did this guy even get into RnD?


By being a top pro-level player. In other words - to reiterate the point of the article (which, by the way, is what just made that big whooshing sound over your head), by actually playing it at a high level.

Every time I read anything from him it just sounds like he has no clue what he's talking about.

Tells me a lot more about you than it does about Tom, especially given the total absence of a substantive reason for disagreeing with anything he said.



Preview Season:


"Here's a card, talk about it!"


"Here's another card, ooh, let's speculate about it!"


"Oh another day another card, wow, isn't this amazing."


After release:


Carefully and politely goes out of his way - despite considerable temptation - to avoid saying "You players have a lot of nerve giving opinions about cards before you've played with them."


There, that's better.


Jeff Heikkinen DCI Rules Advisor since Dec 25, 2011
Tom LaPille writes:

"Magic players are full of opinions, and every time a new card is revealed, players share their opinions enthusiastically.
...
I knew that none of those commenters had played a single game with the cards.
...
Here in R&D, we're professional game designers who make Magic all the time. Before we played lots of games of Magic with double-faced cards, we didn't have a clue what they would be like either. If we didn't know before that, there's no way that the average Magic forum poster knew."

Translation:

"Y'all are wrong, because we played with the cards, and liked them this way."

This, however, comes from comments about Werewolves in the specific and DFCs in the general (but focuses on 'Wolves on the mechanical while ignoring the DFCs on the mechanical aspects that were raised). Note that I was part of the crew that argued about the mechanical aspects of the cards, and the blatant handwaiving used to dismiss alternatives to the functionality of the cards. DFCs for DFC-sake (LaPille being a developer for that other DFC-using game) does not sound useful, reasonable, or anything less than an invested opinion, and that's a bias.

Consider the above quotes:

If I could presume the people I discussed or listened to had a potential valid point to make, would I listen to them as being reasonable people who might be right, regardless of how invested I was in the development of the mechanic or card design? Would, if I were predisposed to agreement with my company, admit that those individuals who raised points about the cards were right in any aspect raised? Scientific surveys have been conducted, of which many are published, noting that most people with an invested interest in a product or idea will not let go of it, either when confronted with conflicting information, or even when shown proof of its wrongness -- these include, but are not limited to, anti-vaxxers, deniers of global anthropogenic climate change, evolution, creationism, and any number of left- and right-wing consipiracy theories. The functional method of ignoring these conflicts is known as motivated reasoning, and the quotations above assert this blatantly.

--

For the record, I have gone out and watched players play with them, and discussed the cards with good players, and dedicated players, and examined how many of these cards play in Limited (at least) (just Werewolves, mind, since we're on theme), and read articles on the useful cards coming in the format, and they do not tend to show up very favorably on many of the "transformers," which only goes to show they are not "more than meets the eye."

Limited players very, very differently from Standard constructed, and this Friday I will have a chance to see if Standard with 'Wolves will be any different in practice, but note that most players who will try to play and win will simply be following latest reports of top decks and just carbon-copy these. The 'Wolves tribal decks shall be used, and Human tribal, and I fear it won't make it simply because the cards don't exist for it (seriously, like not making tokens Human even when it seems they should be) that would smooth the decks from what are otherwise patchy representations.

But unless the 'Wolves deck is just about playing and replaying Moonmist, there will be problems in Standard ... or, of course, the cards are designed to simply kill your opponent in three swings, and this can be done by not casting spells on your turn AND get 'Wolves into play.

You have to understand, not everyone who responds to these forums is an utter fool: some of them, despite being Magic players, are incredibly intelligent and foresightful, even those few guys who predict the formats and make "wise" choices about buying up certain cards for cheap early because they'll increase later down the road, accurately guessing they will become ridiculously powerful (MOAR 'Goyf!).

--

But the quotes also say something bad about the perspective in R&D, that you guys are perfect and more right than we who decry your actions. It is we who say some cards are ridiculously too powerful, wrong to print, wrong to design, and you guys who turn around and say "we'll just ban them later if they're a problem." Seriously?

You mismeasure the intelligence and potential correctness of your readers, and mismeasure your rightness on the matters you speak of. You are correct that we lack the dedicated half year spent in R&D playtesting some of the cards, but you ignore that some you never playtest (Umezawa's Jitte), or test and then tweak "for the worse," and then never retest (Skullclamp), intentionally push regardless of potential expected impact (Mental Mistep), have literally no clue its ability to be used (Memory Jar, Hermit Druid, Oath of Druids), or find that the mechanic is just "too useful" to throw out despite all the logistical issues involved in it (DFCs, Phy-mana, Affinity, artifact lands).

The notion that R&D is "all wise" is flagrantly wrong: It is often, if not MORE often, that the players, not R&D, catch the errors in design and development, and have, after the fact, gone to some lengths to exploit the cards in a deck for the purpose of pointing this out (as I recall the issue with Jar came about, causing it's rapid banning). In 'Clamp's case, Sottosanti deserves that credit, in R&D, but you'd already printed it, and Paul was not a dedicated R&D specialist as you, LaPille, apparently are. So knocking the relative intelligence of the Magic player base to the forum posters denigrates the intelligence of people whom you do not know, but simply disagree with.

Magic players are full of opinions, and every time a new card is revealed, players share their opinions enthusiastically.
"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)

Does tom even understand magic?  How did this guy even get into RnD?


By being a top pro-level player.



Not quite. Tom LaPille started Magic from a non-playing background, and started playing WITHIN the company. This was explained in his first two articles. He's literally learned the game from within R&D.
"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)
Tom knows a lot more about magic card design and dvelopment than me. I have to concede that - its his job, not mine. Also, I've never been a pro, or even entered a PTQ, and although I have logged a lot of 'magic hours' in my 17 years as a casual player I have almost certainly logged less than him.

Here in R&D, we're professional game designers who make Magic all the time. Before we played lots of games of Magic with double-faced cards, we didn't have a clue what they would be like either. If we didn't know before that, there's no way that the average Magic forum poster knew.



I have, however, logged decades as a lawyer and so by that same deference I give to your skills as a developer of cards I would hold myself out as a professional 'reader of words' - ie. what people say, and what people mean. And I'm afraid that I read this somewhat patronising statement as thinly veiled contempt for the criticism offered of DFCs in the forums. It is a pity, because your initial point - that to truly understand the playability of the new cards you need to play them - is well made. But I fear there is an underlying arrogance in the quoted words which isn't healthy, viz, if we professionals who haven't played the cards can't see a problem then you amateurs who haven't played the cards surely cannot. That thinking is flawed. Sometimes a lesser knowledge gives a perspective that is uncluttered by knowledge ("from the mouths of babes"). You don't need to think too hard to see the examples... white cards vs artifact cards in mirrodin, every man and his dog saw Jace 2.0 as broken in half in about 8 seconds flat, and no doubt others.

People's criticisms of DFCs varied, and included (validly?):

- these cards don't really interact with cards in other sets, certainly not in the way that proliferate did
- this is yet another version of a card which is 'a situationally cheaper vanilla creature'
- it is easy to forget the werewolf-to-human trigger
- it is easy to forget turning the DFC back when you start a new game
- you can still see DFCs through some sleeves

These aren't fatal flaws, but they are valid criticisms and I don't think they are represented accurately by your list of extreme views which are much easier to rubbish.

It must be difficult, I imagine, to read patently ignorant statements by ill-informed posters 'mouthing off' with little thought given to their statements and not want to put those trolls in their proper place, but by that same token, grow up. Not all observations made by lesser mortals are automatically wrong. Not all decisions made by the informed professionals are right. Be the bigger man and develop better and better cards whilst giving the right amount of weight to the views of the great unwashed, and keep that hubris in check.

To return to your original point, the play is the thing. On that, at least, I agree.
oh yea btw this format for limited, its pretty bad. its slow and the combat tricks are all very conditional. and the bombs are absurdly swingy. this was true in Scars block too, but at least synergy mattered there. in this set its all about having good cards.



LSV disagrees with you on the last part. Also, being slow is for many players more of a positive than a negative.
Maybe some of these things he spoke of were complaints that people had about Werewolves, but the real problem is the existence of double sided cards at all. It still feels really strange to me still to FORCE people to play with sleves or use those stupid checklist cards (that has to be the most inellegant sollution possible. Nobody wants something like that in their decks). In particular this hurts kitchen table players most, since most if not all who play competetively use sleves anyway. I know we only have had these cards for less than a month, and time will tell, but I think still this was a chance they should not in any way have decided to take. Just because you can do something, Wizards, does not mean that you should do that thing. We Magic players will eventually adapt to these double sided cards I'm sure, but that doesn't mean we collectively will ever like them, or stop wishing that you never did such a thing.
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I liked this article; give us hell, Tom!

Carefully and politely goes out of his way - despite considerable temptation - to avoid saying "You players have a lot of nerve giving opinions about cards before you've played with them."

There, that's better.


Don't blame me just because I'm so good at reading between the lines.  Smile


(I agree Tom was above average for Developer article tact, if still somewhat short of ideal.  Still my point stands: they cultivate this behavior so if it's frustrating he should take it up with Marketing, not us.)

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.

Fascinating article. Very interesting to point out how little of my Magic brain-time is spent playing Magic. There is a reason for that, though. I'd love to play far more Magic than I do, but I spend my days in an office where I can get away with reading dailymtg and posting on forums, but not with loading up MTGO. I'm lucky enough to be married to a Magic player, but between taking care of our daughter and the other things we do in our evenings, we only get to play about once a week. I wrote an entire website to encourage people to make up their own Magic cardsets, which naturally leads to people spending lots of time thinking about card design and only a little time actually playing them.

And as for the "it's better once you've got your hands on them" factor: Playing with DFCs at the prerelease just made me discover a whole new set of fiddlinesses (none of which apply to flip cards which the DFCs should have been). Players who sleeve their cards to protect them still have to scratch them with fingernails or smudge them with finger-grease getting them in and out of sleeves. Werewolves end up being left out of their sleeve during gameplay so that they can transform back and forth easily, which does defeat a lot of the point in using sleeves. And there's the "resleeve the wrong way round" issue. None of these would I have predicted before playing with DFCs. So yes, it made a difference having the physical experience, but no, it did not endear me to the ridiculous idea any more.

(And I didn't even get to experience the joys of dexterity drafting, due to the untimely death in suspicious circumstances of big regional prereleases. I think I am looking forward to drafting Innistrad, but in the same kind of way you look forward to opening a weeks-old packet in the fridge to see how horrifically bad the mould has got.)

---

My favourite werewolf is torn between two which I have two copies of each: Reckless Waif and Mayor of Avabruck. The Mayor is the things I like as a Johnny: token-making, a global board-affecting effect which can turn on or off at instant speed. The Mayor provides a theme for my casual werewolf deck.

(The other rare werewolves feel horribly unfun once they transform. Wildblood Pack is a card I'd feel bad for bringing out against my friends, because half of them won't have heard of it, and almost all of them will die to it. "Right, fine, let's move on to a new game that's not decided by one stupid card I've never heard of now...")

And yet, the Mayor leads to a bunch of feel-bad moments. As a 1/1, he dies to anything the turn I cast him. If I hold him back until I've got Moonmist to protect him from a random burn-for-1, then he'll transform back to human side on the next turn. His token-making trigger always feels like it takes a lot longer to happen than you expect; even if your opponent casts nothing, you don't get to do anything with the first Wolf token until two turns after you cast him.

Whereas Reckless Waif doesn't feel anywhere near as bad. She's just a fun one-drop who can get a very aggressive start. No, she's not going to win the game single-handedly (unless the opponent is so horribly mana-screwed that I won't be enjoying that game anyway). Yes, she also dies to a random burn-for-1. But it doesn't matter if she dies to a burn-for-1; she's just a one-drop beater. She's a sassy streetwise kid with her own rules and an occasional tendency to rip off your arm. I seem to have ended up with a soft spot for her. So she gets my vote.


(...Or would do if the poll was working. Both in Chrome and IE8, "Submit" just sits there greyed out. Oh well.)
First of all, why does anyone care about poll functionality?  Lapille's articles basically never address them anyway, so everyone who votes in them is essentially putting their voting slip directly into a dumpster.  The point of polls is that they should provide information to someone who is then going to evaluate it and do something with it.  If this happens, I seldom-to-never see it, and I find it obnoxiously arrogant.  "Sure, give your opinions, kids; it's not like I actually care!"

As for the set, I am insulted that LaPille keeps bringing up this whole "trust us, we know what we're doing and you don't" bullcrap.  The DFC actually play interestingly and are intuitive, but every Innistrad event I've played has been an exercise in players sleeving and desleeving cards, awkwardly picking creatures out of the graveyard, randomizing them somehow, selecting one, and then putting the remainders back into the graveyard, trying to find or reuse checklist cards, and reading their flip cards from their sideboards mid-match in one of the worst poker tells I've ever seen.  Why does this guy never bring up the actual problems with these cards?  The Magic community generally trusts WotC to build functional sets for limited and constructed, but the added physical steps to the game make it much, much more irritating.  When LaPille doesn't even attempt to address that in an article "responding" to the community, I have a really tough time respecting anything he says.

I also can't stand the "you're dumb, so we dumb things down for you" stance.  The reason you can't make a Flashback Unsummon is because it would be insane.  That's it.  Drop the stupid act about wanting to coddle us.  I'm sick and tired of these idiotic explanations; the game is complex, this is an expert level set, and you're introducing cards that let players choose whether to play spells on their turn to maximize their power levels.  Yet, the set contains a painfully low number of interactive instants, and the removal is quite limited and narrow.  You created the set like this because you wanted to force Werewolves to flip more often, when the gameplay likely would have been more interesting if there were more thought to how badly you would get punished for greed.  That doesn't mean Silent Departure needed to be an Instant; it meant you should've redesigned the card itself.  Hell, making it cost UU and flash back for UU4 would've likely been fine.  But no!  I'm too stupid to look through my graveyard during both my turn and my opponent's turn!  Lordy, please make this all easier on me!

I don't claim to know what's best for the game in the long run, and apparently the Innistrad events of the past two weekends were generally well received.  I simply cannot stand how LaPille expects people to just bow to him and accept his word as truth, all when he shoves in our face information that we didn't request and doesn't address the real issues.
I voted for Greater Werewolf as a shoutout to Homelands =)
None of the Innistrad ones really interest me outside of limited.
Although I love the art of Kruin Outlaw, how she's dressed and the lighting. Too bad there are men in the art or else she would've gone straight in my babes deck. Daybreak Ranger is nicely dressed too. Too bad they don't fit in the human-faction flavor deck.

I also can't stand the "you're dumb, so we dumb things down for you" stance.  The reason you can't make a Flashback Unsummon is because it would be insane.  That's it.  Drop the stupid act about wanting to coddle us.  I'm sick and tired of these idiotic explanations; the game is complex, this is an expert level set, and you're introducing cards that let players choose whether to play spells on their turn to maximize their power levels.  Yet, the set contains a painfully low number of interactive instants, and the removal is quite limited and narrow.  You created the set like this because you wanted to force Werewolves to flip more often, when the gameplay likely would have been more interesting if there were more thought to how badly you would get punished for greed.  That doesn't mean Silent Departure needed to be an Instant; it meant you should've redesigned the card itself.  Hell, making it cost UU and flash back for UU4 would've likely been fine.  But no!  I'm too stupid to look through my graveyard during both my turn and my opponent's turn!  Lordy, please make this all easier on me!



Magic has a huge audience. When they dumb down the game, they do that for the masses that bring in the most money. The 'you' in that quote is not directed at readers of dailymtg, who mostly do not fall in that audience.
I'll admit that I succumbed to some of the "chicken little" attitude toward the DFCs during preview season, but this was unavoidable given the incomplete information about the set. Unless you want there to be no speculation whatsoever, players are going to be making judgement calls that are mostly unfounded.

Having played with the DFCs now, though, I'm both relieved and disappointed. I'm relieved that the werewolf mechanic and other transform mechanics promote interactive gameplay. The green werewolves in particular fill a valuable role in providing early on-curve bodies that become larger, more meaningful creatures in the late game (kind of like how Evoke gave you a cheap spell when you needed it early and a spell+body when you needed the value late). My disappointment is that I wouldn't be able to play the transform cards in most of my decks for pure logistics reasons if I didn't have an understanding playgroup. I'm not going to get opaque sleeves for my 7 commander decks when penny sleeves are available, so my single Garruk the Relentless has another card in the sleeve to cover the other face. If my playgroup had a problem with this (and I'm lucky they don't), I'd rather leave the transform cards out of the decks altogether than force each deck to have a DFC sideboard crammed into the already full deck box. I've seen what happens when I try this with tokens- the cards fall out, or they get bent at strange angles, or at the very least the corners get worn from sliding them in and out of the box unprotected.

When I eventually build the werewolf deck (and I will, just because I like exploring the developed themes of each set), I'll probably have to find someone to order properly opaque sleeves off the internet for me because I don't want to need to unproxy every card I play, and I'm not paying twelve bucks for two sets of fifty sleeves from Wal-Mart (yes, they sell them by the fifty and only inside plastic deck boxes. Penny sleeves are 100 for a dollar at Wal-Mart). Even then, the deck is going to be a pain to play because I'm going to constantly be desleeving and resleeving cards, and, as my sleeves break (as every set of stiff opaque sleeves I've ever owned has done), I'm going to need to constantly be replacing them with other expensive opaque sleeves.

In conclusion, after having played with the cards, most of my original doubts remain and have been further cemented, but I've also discovered their benefits. I just still don't think those benefits outweigh the drawbacks.
I've not posted in years, but decided to do so because this is quite possibly the most condescending article I've ever read here.  I've got no experience with the new set at all, being a very casual fan these days, so I can't comment on the issues with werewolves.  What I can comment on is the uppity attitude and serious lack of wisdom and insight on display here.  The article basically insults the rabid, vocal fan base that pays the salary for the high and mighty R&D crew.  Might not want to alienate your bread and butter players, Tom.
First of all, why does anyone care about poll functionality?  Lapille's articles basically never address them anyway, so everyone who votes in them is essentially putting their voting slip directly into a dumpster.  The point of polls is that they should provide information to someone who is then going to evaluate it and do something with it.  If this happens, I seldom-to-never see it, and I find it obnoxiously arrogant.  "Sure, give your opinions, kids; it's not like I actually care!"



This isn't some random blogger posting the polls, it's a member of the development team.  Just because he doesn't comment on the poll results in a weekly article doesn't mean he isn't reviewing the results while designing new sets.

That said, you could be right.

Wow.

Um.

I've found the Werewolves a lot less annoying than I feared they'd be. I can understand that those who developed them worked very hard on finding ways to make them work, and I can see why they'd be both proud of what they've done and disappointed with players worrying about them.

But this article is so terribly defensive it doesn't even say anything.

You made a divisive mechanic, one some people will be thrilled to see go when Innistrad block rotates, and one some people will fondly look back to and terribly miss. That's what happens when you do something divisive.

Go ahead and defend yourselves, but please, no more whining.

and now i'm imagining something like this....


"In particular, people said all kinds of things about Legacy that I thought were wrong. Here is a sample:




  • Dredge is not magic

  • Storm is not magic

  • Prison is not magic

  • great stable stag is a great anwser to blue decks"



sorry LaPille but i'm going to make a columm about how terrible you are at magic


(I get the feeling that he is trolling us)



I've not posted in years, but decided to do so because this is quite possibly the most condescending article I've ever read here.  I've got no experience with the new set at all, being a very casual fan these days, so I can't comment on the issues with werewolves.  What I can comment on is the uppity attitude and serious lack of wisdom and insight on display here.  The article basically insults the rabid, vocal fan base that pays the salary for the high and mighty R&D crew.  Might not want to alienate your bread and butter players, Tom.



The rabid, vocal fan base is likely a way smaller portion of the magic audience than you might think.
Tom:

The following statement really bothers me:

"However, that's not what we're doing. We want Magic to be as fun to play as possible. This card is a sorcery because we have found that strongly board-affecting instants with flashback hiding in the graveyard are likely to cause feel-bad moments from forgotten cards. Magic has enough to remember without asking players to keep track of many things in the graveyard at all times, so we made as many of the flashback cards as we could into sorceries instead'

Why does Wizards asssume that the players are all drooling 5 year olds who can't do something simple like read cards in a graveyard?  This has to be 1 of the dumbest things I have ever read on here.
Why does Wizards asssume that the players are all drooling 5 year olds who can't do something simple like read cards in a graveyard?  This has to be 1 of the dumbest things I have ever read on here.



You'd be surprised just how many perfectly capable adults and avid gamers I saw at the prerelease completely whiff games because they forgot cards in their graveyard had flashback.  A very large portion of the Magic-playing audience is going to have to seriously adjust their playstyle to understand and remember that Flashback is a thing again.

As for the poll, I wanted to vote for Greater Werewolf because Homelands, but I just had to vote for Hanweir Watchkeep.  I love the duality of the card, one side being a vigilant guard that can't attack at all because he refuses to leave his post, the other being a 5/5 that MUST ATTACK ALL THE TIME ALWAYS BECAUSE RARGHAASDHFASKLJ.
Why does Wizards asssume that the players are all drooling 5 year olds who can't do something simple like read cards in a graveyard?  This has to be 1 of the dumbest things I have ever read on here.



You'd be surprised just how many perfectly capable adults and avid gamers I saw at the prerelease completely whiff games because they forgot cards in their graveyard had flashback.  A very large portion of the Magic-playing audience is going to have to seriously adjust their playstyle to understand and remember that Flashback is a thing again.

.



What you just described is exactly what I want in the game!  I want more complexity, more things to check, more things to think about, i.e. reward skilled players for being skilled!  I don't want to dumb down the game, do you?  It's the same argument for removing combat damage from the stack, which still irks me to this day.
"We make the cards, and you don't, so just shut up and go buy some more."
What you just described is exactly what I want in the game!  I want more complexity, more things to check, more things to think about, i.e. reward skilled players for being skilled!  I don't want to dumb down the game, do you?  It's the same argument for removing combat damage from the stack, which still irks me to this day.



There's still plenty of complexity in the game.  You still HAVE flashback, don't you?  What does it matter if it's mostly on sorceries instead of on instants?  You still have to remember that those cards are there.

People just want to complain about everything.
stop assuming that your player base is full of idiots. same logic brought us the crappy core sets for years. alos perception is reality, if the people think you screwed up with transform all the explanations in the world will not chnage it. make it better next time.

It is funny how you guys give us always the excuse of complexity when you down dumb stuff and then do double side cards thing, probably much more complicated then people forgetting flashback or combat damage stacking

 



Oct 7, 2011 -- 6:15AM, TerribleLie wrote:

What you just described is exactly what I want in the game!  I want more complexity, more things to check, more things to think about, i.e. reward skilled players for being skilled!  I don't want to dumb down the game, do you?  It's the same argument for removing combat damage from the stack, which still irks me to this day.






There's still plenty of complexity in the game.  You still HAVE flashback, don't you?  What does it matter if it's mostly on sorceries instead of on instants?  You still have to remember that those cards are there.

People just want to complain about everything.


While I will grant you that people want to complain, there is a valid point here about what wizards is doing to the game.  They have said over and over that they are making the game less complex for the newer player.  However, I don't think the gripe against combat damage using the stack is as valid.  At least that argument makes sense (so you've taken damage but are still going to be using this ability?)  I feel that people should be focusing on the changes that made no sense whatsoever like mana burn.  Yeah sure, this is a small ability that no one really cares about but that's how it always starts.  Wizards has set the precedent that they can make a change for no other reason than because they can which is a scary thought for someone like me who loves this game.  Their arguments for the change were horrendous (r&d, it doesn't make sense  Me, a mage gathering too much power and having it hurt them when they don't use it doesn't make sense?  R&D, it's too complicated  Me, a mage gathering too much power and having it hurt them when they don't use it is too complicated?)

As a player who wants to always make the best choices in deck building and gameplay at all times (which is different than a spike but I can show how terrible the spike/johnny/timmy thing is later) I am worried about the move to make skill level matter less.  It seems as though anything that requires a player to pay more attention than "I have this creature on the board, they have a creature on the board, and mine is bigger so I guess I win" is at the very least scrutinized to make sure it isn't too complicated and more often than not changed into something simpler.