11/15/2011 Feature Article

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This thread is for discussion of this week's second Feature Article, which goes live Tuesday morning on magicthegathering.com.
I'm glad everyone is working hard. I hope everyone has learned a lot from this whole experience. That Wizards is now taking the time to finalize their plans is reassuring, and I hope the system will be fully fleshed out in the next announcement. It is disappointing, however, that this post contains no new information.
"Hey, guys! El Presidente here! We know we haven't been giving any details about the new OP system beyond Planeswalker Points of Awesomeness (tm), just promises that we'd fill you in later.  So guess what? I'm not here to give any more details, just to say that we'll tell you more...later! I promise!"
I think the real issue that WOTC is having right now with these releases is that they put the depressing note forward first instead of the good one.  Coke-a-cola saw their biggest sales spikes ever when they switched back from new coke to classic coke.  The main reason that the player base is upset with these announcements is that there seems to be no upside to them.  The invitational was taken away and then you're making nationals mean nothing to a bunch of countries out there.  This is really disapointing from a global point of view. Before making any more announcements, hash out ALL the details and give it to us in one lump sum.  that is what will make misunderstandings like this not occur in the future.  Anyways, what the hell is replacing the MPR sendouts.  Hopefully everything is answered soon...
Pretty sure it doesn't matter what he has to say at Pro Tour Dark Ascension in February, that is THREE MONTHS away, this is beyond bad.  Mr President, please learn to do PR, you do not ever leave a community with only bad news for 3-4 months and expect them to support you.  You need to give more now, not later.
Beatings will continue until morale improves.
"Allow me to reasure you that the complete silence on our part is intentional, and your complaints have in no way changed our plans in the slightest, but feel free to keep sending us emails."
I think the real issue that WOTC is having right now with these releases is that they put the depressing note forward first instead of the good one.  Coke-a-cola saw their biggest sales spikes ever when they switched back from new coke to classic coke.  The main reason that the player base is upset with these announcements is that there seems to be no upside to them.  The invitational was taken away and then you're making nationals mean nothing to a bunch of countries out there.  This is really disapointing from a global point of view. Before making any more announcements, hash out ALL the details and give it to us in one lump sum.  that is what will make misunderstandings like this not occur in the future.  Anyways, what the hell is replacing the MPR sendouts.  Hopefully everything is answered soon...



Yeah, the way they've made Nationals not feed into Worlds is a headscratcher, as was turning Worlds from a huge event to a tiny tournament. However, when I first saw the Planeswalker Points and the whole participation points aspect, my first thought is that this would be an easy way to structure a new MPR system... say with a sendout for every x participation points or something.
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one thing i dont understand is how come they cancel a system without finding its replacement, maybe they did not have any replacement at all and now forced to come up with something?
"Allow me to reasure you that the complete silence on our part is intentional, and your complaints have in no way changed our plans in the slightest, but feel free to keep sending us emails."



Pretty much what I was going to write. This is just corporate hoopla to try to smokescreen us to give them 3 MORE MONTHS to think how they can dig themselves out of the hole they made.

How this is better for small countries that lost 70% to even 100% of yearly slots to Pro Tour? How can a 16 man tournament be better than a huge celebration that Worlds will be this year, with national teams I can cheer for and cinderella stories made once again? Until you provide these answers, I won't buy a single pack in paper nor Online. I will not participate in any tournaments that are anyway affiliated with WPN. I will not judge a single tournament. I will sell the rest of my collection during next year unless you really give me a reason to continue playing competitively.

"Allow me to reasure you that the complete silence on our part is intentional, and your complaints have in no way changed our plans in the slightest, but feel free to keep sending us emails."



Pretty much what I was going to write. This is just corporate hoopla to try to smokescreen us to give them 3 MORE MONTHS to think how they can dig themselves out of the hole they made.

How this is better for small countries that lost 70% to even 100% of yearly slots to Pro Tour? How can a 16 man tournament be better than a huge celebration that Worlds will be this year, with national teams I can cheer for and cinderella stories made once again?




AGREED, but I wrote a letter to them anyway. Made me feel better even if I don't think they'll change.
I say f-em and we all revolt and start our own tournament system...Any software developers out there ready to write our own scoring system???
Well, thanks a lot for clarifying everything, so that we now have an exact idea of what to expect.

Wait.

This is really their best attempt at excusing themselves and rectifying the situation? They try to resolve this mess by giving us no additional information and some shallow promises that somehow everything will turn out alright?!

I'd love to believe you, but you are not being convincing or helpful at all.
I hate it when I hear drivel like this.

"Hi, I'm the President.  I tell everyone what to do, but, I don't do that effectively.  I promise I will and it will be awesome.  I've put a tickler on my calendar regarding this action item.  I know it's important, but, right now I'm swamped.  In the meantime, continue to do what you do and I will too.  The buck stops with me and in this case it's not important enough to stop emailing people my opinion on this versus that or to cancel a meeting to pen up a policy regarding something you love.  Until that tickler rotates around, remember we're putting new cover sheets on our TPS reports....  Didn't you get that memo?"

Hey, Mr. President.....  What you did was to tell me that something you know is important has a due date.

Thanks for that huge annoucement.  After that tidbit, I hope to hear from you less. 
Well, thanks a lot for clarifying everything, so that we now have an exact idea of what to expect.

Wait.

This is really their best attempt at excusing themselves and rectifying the situation? They try to resolve this mess by giving us no additional information and some shallow promises that somehow everything will turn out alright?!

I'd love to believe you, but you are not being convincing or helpful at all.

The key thing here is that they went up the ladder.  This is someone with some clout, and he's gone outside of his normal job description to talk to us.  The fact that he is doing so at all tells us that Wizards cares and is concerned about this issue.  It doesn't guarantee that they'll find a good solution, but we can certainly trust that they're investing a lot of resources trying.
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...
Well, thanks a lot for clarifying everything, so that we now have an exact idea of what to expect.

Wait.

This is really their best attempt at excusing themselves and rectifying the situation? They try to resolve this mess by giving us no additional information and some shallow promises that somehow everything will turn out alright?!

I'd love to believe you, but you are not being convincing or helpful at all.

The key thing here is that they went up the ladder.  This is someone with some clout, and he's gone outside of his normal job description to talk to us.  The fact that he is doing so at all tells us that Wizards cares and is concerned about this issue.  It doesn't guarantee that they'll find a good solution, but we can certainly trust that they're investing a lot of resources trying.




Um, no.  Remember those commercials where the technicians are telling the executive that they can ship today if they don't include WiFi in the TV's?  The executive thinks of some dumb scenario that includes zombies and concludes, "NO!  PUT WIFI IN THE TV'S!!!"

This never happens.  No one at the lower levels who actually knows this information (the hinted at 'it is obvious now that we have not given enough information on exactly what the new plan will look like') wants to keep it a secret.  Just tell us.  Don't tell us that you'll tell us.

BTW, it never happens that technicians want less in a cool product.  That's the executives job.

I firmly believe that the marketing team has much too much input into stuff.  Roll out a tidbit, a teaser, a taste......wait....a little more.....BAM!  Here's the beef.  Just spill the beans already. 
This feels like an attempt at a PR move, but the PR department forgot to tell him that he needed to actually disclose something other than "Keep waiting."  Usually a letter like this has some kind of information and not just a promotional kick for a product tournament.
The masses will only be soothed when the pros tell them that they should be, which is also the reason they're upset in the first place.
Well, thanks a lot for clarifying everything, so that we now have an exact idea of what to expect.

Wait.

This is really their best attempt at excusing themselves and rectifying the situation? They try to resolve this mess by giving us no additional information and some shallow promises that somehow everything will turn out alright?!

I'd love to believe you, but you are not being convincing or helpful at all.

The key thing here is that they went up the ladder.  This is someone with some clout, and he's gone outside of his normal job description to talk to us.  The fact that he is doing so at all tells us that Wizards cares and is concerned about this issue.  It doesn't guarantee that they'll find a good solution, but we can certainly trust that they're investing a lot of resources trying.





This whole situation reminds me of certain October news headlines. See "Hastings, Reed."

Wizards may want to contact a crisis management firm soon. Weber Shandwick has been garnering some nice national attention lately.
I blog about Magic the Gathering at mtgcodex.com. I also play the game once and awhile too. ;)
Won my local PTQ, havent spent a dime on magic since. This trend will continue until you tell my why I should care.
I'm actually pretty confident WotC will come through on this one. This letter was mostly, I think, intended to let everyone know that dissenting voices are being heard. So I don't think I'm gonna jump on the anti-WotC bandwagon so quick (although I am feeling a little bit of that sentiment for a completely different reason, and that would be the cards recently printed without a proper back).
The masses will only be soothed when the pros tell them that they should be, which is also the reason they're upset in the first place.

I've been upset since way back when they announced next year's Pro Tours would be closed to the public. I don't think many pros gave a hoot about it when it was announcement...

What I got from this:

"Hello, you've disturbed the nest enough to get the queen bee bothered/troubled/upset/active. We'll have more information for you, at Dark Ascension. Do stay with us."

It's not an agreement to change anything, just saying We will keep in touch, and I think playing up how great worlds will be but not saying "It'll be the last big one" is a bit of crowd-stirrer to do.

Still, ta for the message! I've been convincing groups, especially casual ones, that we don't need to sanction events. We play for genuine fun with decks we've already built. 
Smells like full damage control from where I sit.... can anyone say "NetFlix"
Thank you for acknowledging the magic community's comments. I appreciate that we're being heard. I strongly hope you have something big planned for the future of pro-level magic. I also wish that there would be a comprehensive explanation of why you've made all of the recent changes to the pro tour and especially worlds. The sudden lack of support for magic as an internationally competitive game is somewhat disturbing to me personally, and I hope there's a plan to replace worlds with a massive international event, rather than holding an invitational and giving it the wholly inaccurate title of "Worlds".

Thanks 
If they were absolutely desperate to reduce the number of attendees at Worlds, perhaps the best thing to do would simply have been remove the teams component from the event? That way they would have only had to have 1/3 the number of players, which is still a significant decrease in numbers, makes Nationals worth a damn, AND would hopefully still keep it high-profile enough for players to strive to get there.
I removed a post. I can see that some are upset with the amount of information in the article, but keep the posts from being personal/insulting or they will be removed.

Trevor Kidd Community Manager

sorry ? ; I fail to see how questioning who an individual is or lack of cohercion or the quality of a statement is personal or insulting?, or is it that the comment reflected what 99% of the game playing populous felt there fore was a little to truthfull?.
I am a long-term Magic player (since 1994), I just love the game.
But I also have a real job and a family.

This year for the first time in years I had the time to prepare properly for national qualifiers.
And I managed to qualify for my country's Nationals again for the first time since 14 years ago.
The only reason to do this is to try and get into the national team and thereby qualifying for the Pro Tour.

My ultimate goal would be to be able to play in a Pro-Tour once.
I think this counts for most of the serious players.

If I would be(come) a better player, my goal could be to become a professional Magic player and be able to earn my living that way by playing the game I love.

I think the tremendous popularity of poker shows a (professional) tournament circuit with serious money to be won is worth having.
This is also demonstrated by the popularity of the Starcity Games tournament series.

I am actually in favor of the PWP system, since I think it fixes a number of flaws in the rating system like "sitting on your rating" and rewarding players who play more matches.
That said, it doesn't seem very likely I can qualify for the Pro Tour through PWP, since it would require playing a large number of international GP's requiring a lot of time and money.

This basically leaves me with 2 PTQ slots per season in my country.

It looks like WotC wants every country/region/shop to set up their own Starcity Games tournament series.
But if that happens (and I think it could be feasible), it will take away a lot of the attendance of GP's.

As it stands, professional Magic players don't make a lot of money, compared to other professional sports players. Even though they need to put in at least as much effort to stay competitive.
Which is confirmed by players changing to poker or to "normal" careers and leaving the game.

WotC needs to decide if they want to grow to poker size or want to shrink to monopoly size.

Finally, a comment on the communication around the changes WotC has presented sofar.
A known management principle is: "think big, act small" or "start with the goal in mind".
Sofar it looks like they just started to make some changes and go from there without knowing what the goal is they want to reach.
The only "excuse" for this approach I can think of is a budget cut from Hasbro management for the 2012 budget, which now leaves WotC management scrambling for a solution.

I can only hope WotC/Hasbro will come up with a tournament system that will keep inspiring us all to keep seriously playing the game we love.
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