12/23/11 News and Feature

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This thread is for discussion of Friday's news announcement and feature article, which go live Friday morning on magicthegathering.com.
From what I've read, I dig it.

Yay postitive change!! 
I'm not sure to what extent this really fixes the problems, but definitely a massive step in the right direction.
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Looks to me like they actually listened. I'm looking forward to enjoying the game again without having the pressure. The 1x FNM is a HUGE thumbs up in my book, too! Great job, Wizards!
This is SO much better than what we had before. Thank you for listening, and working hard to fix the problems! Sure, it probably still isn't perfect, but the 1x FNM, World Cup, modifications to invites, especially nixing those grindy top 100 shenanigans, and allowance for small hobby-store PTQs are all exciting changes. Oh, and THANK YOU for the clear communication. The graphics especially help out a lot.
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So planeswalker points almost do nothing now?
Thank you.

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

I'm afraid I don't really understand most of these changes.  From what I can tell they originally gave FNM a nice little bump. I'm sure they intended to get people excited to go out and play at the local level on a weekly basis.  However, that made the world start falling?  How is this different/better than the system that was in place before all this planeswalker points schenangians started?  If you are gold level then playing Magic is your job, great.  Why should I care about this exactly?  I'm not being facetious.  I genuinely want to know how this will impact the average magic player.
So planeswalker points almost do nothing now?


Not really. One of the big things they wanted when they created the new system was to end people sitting on their points, and this still does that. Side from that though, they more or less taken on the jobs of the old system with them being the base for byes, invites, and now the pro players club.

I'm afraid I don't really understand most of these changes.  From what I can tell they originally gave FNM a nice little bump. I'm sure they intended to get people excited to go out and play at the local level on a weekly basis.  However, that made the world start falling?  How is this different/better than the system that was in place before all this planeswalker points schenangians started?  If you are gold level then playing Magic is your job, great.  Why should I care about this exactly?  I'm not being facetious.  I genuinely want to know how this will impact the average magic player.


In all honesty this will have little to no affect the average player, but imo, the change never did so in the first place.


While I wasn't happy with the past annouchments, I was keeping faith that wizards would be able to put things back on track, and they sure did. Thanks for the hard work and keep up the good work :D.
"Friday Night Magic events run from September 5, 2011, to December 25, 2011, will remain with the 3x multiplier. Friday Night Magic events run after December 25, 2011, will have the 1x multiplier."

am I the only one reading this as "those in the top x of their region have finalized their spot in the fnm championship" ? 
"Friday Night Magic events run from September 5, 2011, to December 25, 2011, will remain with the 3x multiplier. Friday Night Magic events run after December 25, 2011, will have the 1x multiplier."

am I the only one reading this as "those in the top x of their region have finalized their spot in the fnm championship" ?


Yeah, I saw that.  It looks a bit strange?  But my 10 FNM points and I don't much care.

Note that the effect is probably even stronger since stores are less likely to continue having multiple many-round FNMs, since Planeswalker Points from FNM aren't likely to experience as much demand.

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:
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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)
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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...
I hope there would be bonus points for players who won all the rounds in a swiss round tourney. On top of the points earned on every round won.
Not sold on the names... World Magic Cup doesn't give any indication that it is really the National Team Championships.  The Magic Player's Championship? Ugh. Why not call it what it is - The World Championship?

I do like the elimination of the grind. Too many people were abusing the system for their own petty desires. We want to see the best or the best, not Hasnolife Chumpton from Grindsville!

Still dislike how tiny the Magic PLayer's Championship is. I'd really like to see it expanded to at least 32 (even if they cut 16 players after the first day). Still, I understand the decision, especially from the standpoint of filming the event (less people means more face time for each player, and more of a chance to actually see a larger percentage of the games).

Overall, this is a massive improvement over the last system. Good job WotC!
Just wanted to echo the sentiment that this is a MASSIVE improvement. Thanks!
Yay for the World Cup! =D
I like most of these changes. Even though it doesn't affect me in any way, I really like that rotating PTQ schedule for smaller countries. 


I'm afraid I don't really understand most of these changes.  From what I can tell they originally gave FNM a nice little bump. I'm sure they intended to get people excited to go out and play at the local level on a weekly basis.  However, that made the world start falling?  How is this different/better than the system that was in place before all this planeswalker points schenangians started?  If you are gold level then playing Magic is your job, great.  Why should I care about this exactly?  I'm not being facetious.  I genuinely want to know how this will impact the average magic player.


 
The avarage player has no interest in OP beyond FNM and prereleases, so this announcement isn't meant for them at all. The only impact it will have on them is that they won't face grinders anymore at FNM. 

For more serious players, the PT Invites for T4 GP are a huge incentive, the World Cup is a huge incentive for all of us outside the US, and PWPs now relatively worthless is a huge incentive for anyone with a life =)
Very good job
Ok I am brand new to the forums. I just signed on with an account to respond here, since I know players like me are not on most of this type of internet site or forum. There are reasons for that PWP was adressing some of them and inspiring me an others like me to risk the huge learning curve and try to play competitively. 

I am specifically using my real picture and my real gender because I think it's important, and becase I was just accused of being a troll for having my concerns as a non-pro player on the Star City Games forum, because I guess people like me either don't exist or aren't important.

Perhaps you all missed that these changes mean FNM no longer gives anyone competitive points. ANY completitive points, but yet still takes away a multiplier for a now meaningless Planeswalker Point Score. This means that new players who want to play competitively are still going to be dealing with the Pro Tour's meta game at EVERY SINGLE FNM but only be playing "casually". I do not know if Wizards is aware but one of the methods used to keep grinders out of LGS's that make the FNM too hostile or competitive is that they downgrade prizes so that poor behaviour is minimized, but that also means if you play FNM at many shops you don't even get a booster pack for playing unless you Top 8 in a big FNM or TOP 2 in a small one ( unless you paid in - then you get last pick of 1 booster pack). So great ,that keeps the sharks out, but it also means there is no reason for a new player to try OP because we will now get all the negatives of a huge learning curve, getting beaten by the best decks in the hands of players who are better than us and very little chance to learn because no matter how friendly a group of FNM players are that doesn't mean they're very good, or can teach. 

What this does mean, is that all you are doing on FNM as someone who's just better than starting and wants to play competitively but has no one else to play with except FNM,  is losing repeatedly and getting familiar with other people's cards. The rounds move too fast - the advice to "go online" to learn drowns you in a bunch of slang and insider references and no support for building strategic basics except for hunting and pecking through various articles.

Non-pro seeking players are shunted off to Commander when perhaps they might not like multiplayer. Before it might seem like a little thing but at least if you went to FNM and lost 0-4 the PWP system recognized that you were taking a risk by playing in a competitve envirnoment and it did ( and does) take more nerve for a newb to play that than a weds, or mon night "casual" draft.

Now we're being told that FNM not competitive, it doesn't even count for competition in OP at it's own level. In OP it doesn't matter, and it's players won't be supported with incentives even though it's a way larger group of DCI members than pros a much smaller number of people will get anywhere.

While fixing it for the Pros, and the much needed fix for overseas competitors, you are pretty much telling people like me and the 5 people I convinced to play in OP with me that FNM has no upside for us. Because the PWP was a way to prove we were at least really trying while we were learning, now since only pros are competitive, everything else is casual and all non-pro play is exactly the same as all other non-pro play.

But if we want to play FNM we're still playing the pro game. 

Since I'm only going to get beat - there are no actual strategy guides or coaches to improve play, the people who buy the expensive cards will continue to use net decks and competitive metagame information, why is anyone going to be encouraged to join OP when their primary experience will be losing. The learning curve is steep. People have taught me ( accidentally I'm sure) completely incorrect rules at FNM, there are no coaches, so there is no way to evaluate yourself other than self analysis which because we are inexperienced will be most likely, incorrect.

Why, if the idea were to make FNM matter and bring new players in OP are you now making PWP absolutely meaningless? FNM will be worse than a grind and something that is likely to make new players sure they can't win, aren't good enough or just quit because there is no upside to going on Friday night.

You couldn't keep a 2x multiplier once you made sure it didn't matter to premier play? I don't like draft, I can just buy a booster pack and play at my kitchen table, if I can convince anyone that the game is still good to play. Some of us like competitive events but don't want to go pro, some of us take pride in trying and dumb as it might seem to all of you the 3 points I got for trying hard and losing at FNM mean something more to me than when I came in 2nd at a tiny tiny casual draft.  

PWP rewarded effort for trying to play to improve my game and with a more difficult enviroment. Now I'm pretty sure I'll never convince a new player in my social circle to "just play and enjoy it - we get Triple PWP and we don't downgrade better players when we win"  I got 5 people ( three of them women like me) to join DCI and take a chance on OP that way. 


That might work for the first 2 weeks of release, but as soon as the tournaments start and the netdecks are posted "buy an event deck and take a chance"  becomes meaningless, the game is too fine tuned, the event decks aren't strong enough, the new OP player just keeps losing. The learning curve plus the losses plus the sparkling new lack of recognition for trying will just mean "why bother" we're just going to feel bad at the end.  

And I must repeat - this will be true even if everyone there is friendly and helpful and nice. Losing hopelessly with no counterbalancing reward makes you feel bad. People don't keep doing things that make them feel bad without some other goal. 

Guess where the girls are NOT going to be spending Friday night.

So because I really like the game and really want to get better at it, I might be there, but now I'll be a chump and gender and age wise an outlier.

FNM is going to go down at my local store and I'm willing to bet it's going to go down every place that doesn't host a PTQ. We never had the grinders and pros you're talking about. You may have gotten rid of the Grinders but you've also gotten rid of non-pro OP.

And you've put nothing in it's place. 

If there are no competitve points awarded for FNM - which is how it reads currently you won't have to worry about grinders - no one will show up for FNM at all. Pros will just playtest with their buds on their own time, newbs will be intimidated, buy a few boosters and leave, it'll shrink back down to whoever was  going to be there anyway - not really good for average LGS's. As a matter of fact it looks exactly like the environment that led to PWP in the first place. 

It also makes me think I'll never really have the opportunity to learn and develop as a magic player, because who the heck is going to teach me? 

TLDR: The new FNM PWP system demotes FNM to "casual" wipes out any chance of rewarding new players to risk a more rigourous type of OP and will make the pro culture that was suffocating the online presence the only culture in Magic - which is a turn off for players who love the game but don't want to play multiplayer or don't happen to be young men.  Oh and they made the FNM Champion useless, since no FNM points are competitve. 

Thanks if you read this far - it's been a real struggle to try to be a better player with the culture and tools to learn the way they are, and I am as genuinely upset about this as the pros were when they saw their rules changes. I just needed a place that I thought it might matter to say it. I will now prepare for the flame wars and new troll accusations - but I love this game.                               ---edited for spelling

Additionally, we have decided to increase the global number of PTQs to better serve the remote areas and maintain a path to the Pro Tour for these communities. While we currently run 200 PTQs by season, by the time of the Pro Tour #3 season, this number will have increased to 220. Markets such as those in Eastern Europe or island nations, to name a few examples, will get the priority. It doesn't mean that all small markets will get a PTQ per season, but we'll make sure to rotate PTQ slots from one season to another between the smaller countries we want to serve better.

I think all national countries selected to participate in World Magic Cup should also get a PTQ per season. If a country is large enough to participate in World Magic Cup, it is also large enough to get a PTQ per season. It will be ridiculous if a country gets to send 4 players to participate in World Magic Cup, but not a single player to participate in a Pro Tour. For the countries small enough not to participate in World Magic Cup, it is fine to get rotational PTQ slots.
This is a huge step in the right direction.

Drinne: As .Blaze. and TobyornotToby mentioned, today's rollouts are more relevant to the competitive side of Magic and therefore not as applicable to casual players. I think it's important to separate your motivations in this regard- that is, treat improving at Magic as separate from whether the competitive system entices you to play. With last week's system, in order for your participation to matter in any competitive way, you would not only have to attend FNM, but you would have to do well AND have to be at a store that gamed the system AND do this nearly every week AND do this in the midst of a horde of grinders- and that's just to get to the FNM Championship. If you want it to lead anywhere else, you would have to upgrade your events to include a GP here, and SCG event there, to make any difference.

Removing the 3x for FNMs and the structural differences in the updated system will help reduce the grinder/sharks out there, but honestly- most stores have at least a couple people who attend any events they can get their hands on because they KNOW they're better, know they're likely to win and take home whatever prize is available- even if it's meager. Those players will stick around regardless of the system, as will the players who just like gaming and have the time/inclination to play. Don't worry, FNM will continue to have plenty of people.

It sounds to me like the issue you mention lies as much with the store that you're attending as anything else. At the store I attend, we're thrilled to have new players, to teach them how to play, show them some tricks and generally to 'bring them along' as we all improve together. Any of those of us who feel good enough to move on to the higher level tournaments will road trip this way or that to attend. But we don't get there without having a team of people helping us to improve (and hopefully to enjoy it along the way, regardless of our background or demographics).

The updated system is dramatically better for both groups- noobs and competitive alike- since it better defines the strategic points of entry for success. Competitive players are better able to target their efforts towards specific tournaments, rather than targeting ALL tournaments (making it less likely to be FNM). Someone who has the time and/or inclination to play a lot can still do so, but knowing that the grinder types are largely on their own track and that they don't necessarily impede my path to success seems like a good update to me. Add to that the fact that our successes are not being graded on a curve (i.e. we KNOW that we've earned something, rather than we're HOPING that we have enough points earned...) and we have a much better platform to determine whether this is how we want to spend our time and efforts.

Thank you WOTC for restoring the faith. And 4x thank you for returning the top 4 invites to GPs. WOOT WOOT WOOT WOOT.

TLDR: The new FNM PWP system demotes FNM to "casual" wipes out any chance of rewarding new players to risk a more rigourous type of OP and will make the pro culture that was suffocating the online presence the only culture in Magic - which is a turn off for players who love the game but don't want to play multiplayer or don't happen to be young men.  Oh and they made the FNM Champion useless, since no FNM points are competitve.



First...thanks Wizards for listening...much better.

As far as the rant above...we will still get points from playing in FNM's, just not as many.  This is a good thing...keeps smaller stores relevant.  Also if you are upset with players at your store, come to ours (if you are in Washington state that is), players always there to help and teach new players.  Our store's players encourages rouge decks, but don't hate on net decks either.

I also like the new GP bye system...

300 1 bye, 600 2 byes and 1,200 3 byes.  300 and 600 are attainable, 1,200 will be tough but a fun challenge.

Again Wizards...good job.

Most people except the one guy who posted are missing the fact that Q'ing for FNM Champs are now over basically. There were actually people out there who thought the FNM Champs were a cool idea and made an effort to Q for that. It doesn't matter one bit if you have grinders that play FNM, so what honestly? The big picture is that from now to july, all the FNM's are now irrelevant. If you are 150-200 points away from the last spot in Q'ing, you had a realistic shot to catch up with a small string of good finishes at FNM. Now I would have to basically 5 or 6-0 every FNM for the next 3 months just to maybe catch up, plus everyone above me has to stone brick their FNM matches for the next 3 months. I know most people don't care about FNM Champs but there are people who do. This is utter BS.

TLDR: The new FNM PWP system demotes FNM to "casual" wipes out any chance of rewarding new players to risk a more rigourous type of OP and will make the pro culture that was suffocating the online presence the only culture in Magic - which is a turn off for players who love the game but don't want to play multiplayer or don't happen to be young men.  Oh and they made the FNM Champion useless, since no FNM points are competitve.



First...thanks Wizards for listening...much better.

As far as the rant above...we will still get points from playing in FNM's, just not as many.  This is a good thing...keeps smaller stores relevant.  Also if you are upset with players at your store, come to ours (if you are in Washington state that is), players always there to help and teach new players.  Our store's players encourages rouge decks, but don't hate on net decks either.

I also like the new GP bye system...

300 1 bye, 600 2 byes and 1,200 3 byes.  300 and 600 are attainable, 1,200 will be tough but a fun challenge.

Again Wizards...good job.





Why does everyone assume that a learning curve issue for a new competitive player is the people at the store - It's not. The people at the store are lovely, that doesn't mean they can teach anyone competitive play.

They can tell you what cards are good, but there might be one guy there if you're lucky who can break down and analyze your play in a way that builds you up. Nice people don't make you a better player. They just make it slighly less embarrasing to suck.  And I do mean slightly . . .

And FNM is just the pro tour metagame watered down based on the skill level of your local players. So it's scary and you lose a lot and if you aren't a young man in your 20's you can't playtest. The mulitplier was an incentive to raise our game. Now it's just a chance to get demolished. Regardless of how nice anyone at the store is, most regular people will quit if all they are going to experience is losing. Which is what happens when you first start FNM. The multiplier was a way to recognize the difference of FNM competitiveness and made it seem worth going to even if you knew you were still losing. 

Now why should I bother to go anywhere other than draft where I get cards and pre-releases where the playing field is not the pro meta?   

There is no teaching tool for above beginner but not "expert" or pro. FNMs filled that gap. The mulitplier rewarded that level of play. Now it will just be a literal grind while we're learning for those of us who want to play competitively and have it matter somewhere short of pro level. FNM should NOT be equal to "casual" or it's not worth treating as a learning experience. If it is then it should be fun, or it will just be frustrating. It won't be productive or moving us forward. 

I'm not saying ban net decks, I'm saying recognize that pro decks at mid level mean that people are driving Nascar cars in the parking lot and that it discourages new drivers from being there. So reward them with something like a nice meaningless mulitplier that doesn't screw up the pros but allows us to at least say that we're doing something that is more than just hanging out with our friends playing intro decks. 

It's not just about decks - how do you teach someone to recognize synergy? Or what makes a combo work slowly enough to teach it instead of just beat someone with it? You can show them the cards but if they don't understand the interactions before you have to go to the next match how is that teaching? it's just showing them the cards. 


All risk, no reward. Oh and getting dismissed on the internet; The only place to even think about learning strategy and archetypes but never get told the basic intractions.  

They could have kept a 2x multiplier and recognized the difference in FNM. Rouge competitive decks are not casual, no place I've ever played treats FNM like casual. Or if they are going to treat it like casual make sure everyone gets a participation freebie. Not just the winners. 


You like this new system fine, but if you're not rewarding FNM play could we at least get some ranked coaches and a coaching system like a real sport or game? We have ranked judges. 

Or even just a central text for mid- level learning points? Chapin's book doesn't quite cut it. Casual Planeswalker is slightly more on the mark. The videos of the pro's breaking down their decks are not as useful as if they were breaking down the deck while it was in play for new OP players who don't know WTF Grixis is. 

Planeswalker Points were supposed to expand the playbase. I am one of the people it brought in, I do think that makes my POV at least something that shouldn't be brushed away with the assumption that it will all be better now when WoTC takes away the stuff that inspired me to come in.  

I have to say that the online reading I've been doing since September makes OP look like a suspicous kind of miserable way to approach the game and that PWP and the very nice people at my LGS are the reason I still think it's worth fighting to get better and do well.                        ---- edited for spelling
Drinne,

I understand your frustration...I guess I was assuming as our store has two regular pro players and numerous PTQ/GPQ Top 8 qualifiers and all they do is teach teach teach.  They like making the game more competitive for them selves and the best way to do that is teach the new players how to play better, reduce mistakes, deck building skills, etc. 

I do not think that FNM should have ever been awarded they way it was with the X3 multi.  It really hurt a lot of the smaller stores in our area as the grinders drifted away to the bigger FNM events so they could stack up gobs of competitive and FNM PWP's.  It makes a big difference if you are playing in a 3 round or 6 round event.

I do like x2 for FNM as you suggest and I even suggested they tone down FNM to X2 multi to wizards on their survey, but they took it down to a X1...

As far as answering your question;

"It's not just about decks - how do you teach someone to recognize synergy? Or what makes a combo work slowly enough to teach it instead of just beat someone with it? You can show them the cards but if they don't understand the interactions before you have to go to the next match how is that teaching? it's just showing them the cards".

That is a hard one for me to answer.  Even though I have been playing since 1995, I'm still trying to figure that out myself sometimes.  My son is always teaching me how to play better.  I think you have to play a lot, both live and on MTGO, to really understand and recognize synergy.

For example, just last night, our store ran it's regularly scheduled Booster Draft...Drafting INN.  In the finals, I was playing the X-0 and I was X-0-1, on the board in game one I had a tapped Manor Gargoyle, my opponent had a Crossway Vampires.  He attacked me and then in his 2nd main phase, exiled my Gargoyle with a Fiend Hunter and passed the turn to me.  I drew Victim of Night and killed his Fiend Hunter getting my Manor Gargoyle back and passed the turn.

After the match was over, my son, who had been watching, pointed out that killing the Fiend Hunter when I did was a bad move...

This is where he and others teach...instead I should have passed the turn, let my opponent attack me with his Crossway Vampires, then is when I should have Victim of Night his Fiend Hunter, got my Manor Gargoyle back and blocked and killed his Crossway.

Because I had killed the Fiend Hunter, he did not attack me the next turn and it left him a creature on the battlefield that later came across and got me.

Anyway, I ended up losing the match and went 2-1-1, he went 4-0.

So don't get to upset with the point shift in PWP's...Just play a lot, read a lot and ask a lot of WHY questions...

Good Luck.
@Drinne

From what I understand, what makes you unhappy is that you saw the PWP leveling system as an emotional motivation, and now you get to level up three times slower. And that's very logical, the motivation of leveling up is one of the main reasons WotC instituted this system! It is a very real downside, probably the biggest one, to the FNM change.

But I encourage you to keep a few things in mind to put all of this in perspective. You're probably already conscious of this, but at the level of play at which you describe yourself being, the multiplier doesn't change anything in terms of what PWP give you besides that motivation of leveling up on a ladder. You would not have qualified for any event even with the 3x multiplier. Don't take that as demeaning; I've been playing in tournaments for many years (I'm lvl 40 lifetime), I put a lot of money in the game and play tuned decks (if generally rogue), I win more than I lose (2-1 on average), and still, even with the 3x multiplier, I had no hope that PWP from FNM would give me anything except some pride. Why? My town's store holds only one 3-round FNM per week. I can't compete with the supergrinders from places where they can play 3 times that number of rounds per week and that travel to grind. So nothing really changed for me on this aspect.

The reason why this change was made is so that the people that do get more tangible rewards from the system (invitations, byes, etc.) are the ones that do well at bigger, highly competitive events, not the ones who grind the typically more casual events like FNM and "stomp noobs" repeatedly. This, in my opinion, makes lowering the PWP value of FNM the right decision. Other than those grinders, the people who made it to higher levels of play did it through PTQs, GPTs, and GPs : those are still there, and now they are where the PWP are.

My point is this : the player like you and me that plays one short FNM a week, even if he or she does reasonably well there, does not qualify for anything bigger, no matter if the multiplier is 1 or 3. To get to higher levels of play, you have to do more than that. Grinding huge amounts of FNM rounds used to be a door, but now it's not. The door that remains is the aforementionned competitive public events : PTQ, GPT, GP.

If you're not willing to travel to these events and do what it takes to do well in them, and you'd rather stay at FNM level, the question is : Is climbing on a ladder really the main reason you play Magic at FNM? I understand it was a selling point for you to jump in the world of OP, but now that you're in and know what it feels like to play in that context? If so, I understand you'd want to drop. But if your motivations are to have fun, hang out with people, actually get better rather than having a colorful ladder on a website that tells you you're leveling, and you know, play the game and win some matches, that's still very much there.

As for the concern that this will change FNM attendance... I think it might lower total attendance overall, since playing is no longer rewarding in terms of competitive rating. But I also think that the people that this will demotivate from coming to FNM aren't mostly people like you, but more the ones who are the most competitive and here to win rewards, and that the proportion of less cutthroat people who are there for fun and a middle-ground level of competition will end up being higher.

Your other suggestions for tools to help people get better at the game are great, nothing to say here. I have the feeling that the level of language that MTG.com uses is the right one for that purpose, compared to SCG or channelfireball who don't speak to new players as well. There aren't enough sources for that "entry level" of Magic theory.
Magic The Gathering DCI Lvl 1 Judge Don't hesitate to post rules question in the Rules Q&A forum for me and other competent advisors to answer : http://community.wizards.com/go/forum/view/75842/134778/Rules_Q38A
A move in the right direction regarding invites, but I remain justly insulted that you think worthless "participation points" are more appropriate for someone like me than an actual skill measurement.

Had you done all this and just kept the freaking Elo system in the background - something that would have required less effort since it ALREADY EXISTED - I'd be perfectly supportive here.

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.

"Let's make things so complex and introduce so many changes to the game in so short a time that nobody who grinds will care about the game anymore!"

Bring back skill-based ratings. Stop this Pokemon-esque "Planeswalker Points" crap. Can anyone see Kai Budde or Jon Finkel wearing shirts that say "I'm a 64th Level Archmage! Yay! Me Planeswalker!!!" 
@Drinne

From what I understand, what makes you unhappy is that you saw the PWP leveling system as an emotional motivation, and now you get to level up three times slower. And that's very logical, the motivation of leveling up is one of the main reasons WotC instituted this system! It is a very real downside, probably the biggest one, to the FNM change.

But I encourage you to keep a few things in mind to put all of this in perspective. You're probably already conscious of this, but at the level of play at which you describe yourself being, the multiplier doesn't change anything in terms of what PWP give you besides that motivation of leveling up on a ladder. You would not have qualified for any event even with the 3x multiplier. Don't take that as demeaning; I've been playing in tournaments for many years (I'm lvl 40 lifetime), I put a lot of money in the game and play tuned decks (if generally rogue), I win more than I lose (2-1 on average), and still, even with the 3x multiplier, I had no hope that PWP from FNM would give me anything except some pride. Why? My town's store holds only one 3-round FNM per week. I can't compete with the supergrinders from places where they can play 3 times that number of rounds per week and that travel to grind. So nothing really changed for me on this aspect.

The reason why this change was made is so that the people that do get more tangible rewards from the system (invitations, byes, etc.) are the ones that do well at bigger, highly competitive events, not the ones who grind the typically more casual events like FNM and "stomp noobs" repeatedly. This, in my opinion, makes lowering the PWP value of FNM the right decision. Other than those grinders, the people who made it to higher levels of play did it through PTQs, GPTs, and GPs : those are still there, and now they are where the PWP are.

My point is this : the player like you and me that plays one short FNM a week, even if he or she does reasonably well there, does not qualify for anything bigger, no matter if the multiplier is 1 or 3. To get to higher levels of play, you have to do more than that. Grinding huge amounts of FNM rounds used to be a door, but now it's not. The door that remains is the aforementionned competitive public events : PTQ, GPT, GP.

If you're not willing to travel to these events and do what it takes to do well in them, and you'd rather stay at FNM level, the question is : Is climbing on a ladder really the main reason you play Magic at FNM? I understand it was a selling point for you to jump in the world of OP, but now that you're in and know what it feels like to play in that context? If so, I understand you'd want to drop. But if your motivations are to have fun, hang out with people, actually get better rather than having a colorful ladder on a website that tells you you're leveling, and you know, play the game and win some matches, that's still very much there.

As for the concern that this will change FNM attendance... I think it might lower total attendance overall, since playing is no longer rewarding in terms of competitive rating. But I also think that the people that this will demotivate from coming to FNM aren't mostly people like you, but more the ones who are the most competitive and here to win rewards, and that the proportion of less cutthroat people who are there for fun and a middle-ground level of competition will end up being higher.

Your other suggestions for tools to help people get better at the game are great, nothing to say here. I have the feeling that the level of language that MTG.com uses is the right one for that purpose, compared to SCG or channelfireball who don't speak to new players as well. There aren't enough sources for that "entry level" of Magic theory.

No I wasn't using PWP as a way to level up, I was using PWP as a way to movtivate myself past the barrier to entry to risk playing at all. 

Here - if I play in a pre-release I get a card, I win 2-2, and maybe get a booster. I'm playing on a relatively level field, even if other people looked at the cards before I did sealed is a method of keeping "most expensive cards win" out of the competition, but mostly people just have fun, learn the cards - it's slightly north of casual play.

Draft - scary as hell, you have no idea what to pick you're just barely learning interactions an synergies and everything you read about it on the internet looks like some giant mind game and you don't recognize half the words they're using to tell you what to do - but no matter what you're going to come out with playable cards - if they need you to make an 8 person pod you'll say yes - but you'll probably avoid it - you know people who are really good at constructed and sealed who have trouble with draft, but if you lose you're not embarassing yourself. 

FNM is the big deal, it's constructed, it's the closest thing to real competitive play you've got to learn and figure out if you can really learn this game. It's based on the pro meta game, people play really fast, they put on game faces, they spend hundreds of dollars on cards, the websites all tell you to focus on the pros.

The increased multiplier doesn't inspire me to level up - it makes the risk recognized that I'm taking just by showing up to be humiliated so I can learn. It's acknowledgement. I'll come out of an FNM having acheived almost nothing but the exposure to new cards and play and losing to a 10 year old in the final round feeling like I've fulfilled a sterotype and made life difficult for some woman who can really play , but the recognition that this is not "regular" play is in the fact that it's ranked higher than the pre-release and the draft softens that self castigation and allows me to focus on better play.  Its more like recongition of a DC level than a Level up ( yeah that's right I'm a former RPGA member). 

In ice skating and golf, and chess, you compete against yourself and your own record.  The PWP allowed me to do that and prodcued and incentive for me to learn the harder forms by recognizing that the enviroment was more difficult - I have about a 50% win rate in limited formats and an 21% win rate in constructed ( probably less after last week) but my 9 pts from losing an FNM is worth more to me than 9pts coming in a second in small casual. It's a quantiative recognition of risk. And increased level of opponent, because my kitchen table win rate is up around 88%, but that's mostly becasue I don't try to remake decks until I really understand them and my playgroup never met a deck they didn't want to alter as soon as they unpack it or download the list. 

The multiplier helps me measure my competive vs casual, breaks down some of my fear of participating, psychs me up to lose graciously, and makes me feel like an actual magic player instead of some little old lady being humored by the the "real magic players". Yes it's psychological, but bringing down psychological barriers to different gamers participating is what its supposed to have been about.

And they literally threw that part out to appease the existing pros who are creating some of the barriers to entry by dominating the meta. 

I will win more with 4 snapcasters, I am not a good enough player to justify spending 100.00 on snapcasters, thus I will lose at FNM. I will not get better unless I play. If I play I will lose.  It's the opposite of fun playing knowing you're going to lose. Why start? - a slight multiplier offsets a surprising amount of the negatives.

3x is bad for pros OK, but there's lots of reasons that PWP motivates besides leveling up, you guys are just all too established to know how scary it is just to walk in an put your deck down even if everybody is as nice as can be.  

Now if you can remember ever being nervous about competing at something where you're still developing - add in the part about being a girl and then 10 years older than everyone at the shop.  

Now add in the incredible awesomeness of losing to a twelve year old and going home where my non-magic playing sig other then asks how the night went and not sounding like you're some crazy lady for playing a competitive card game in the first place. 

Yeah. The multiplier helps me keep track of bravery points : P  Now it's truly just meaningless, it will be the same environment, I'm about 6 months from really being competitve at a level that I think can place and it won't be considered any kind of competitve acheivement in anyway different from sanctioned casual. There are competitive goals that exist for people other than placing at the top.

Do you think we're just sheep that don't realize the lifetime part of PWP just measures time? That's the worst part I think - it's like OP thinks all us non-pro newbs care about is leveling up instead of acheiving something competitive since we won't be the 1%.  

The other events I come out with stuff, now in FNM I'll literally come out with nothing. Even the FNM card only goes to the top two. 

I want the DC level to count and I don't want FNM to be the same as everything else. I want it to be a local mid level with rigourous OP that I can aspire continue improving in since old women don't play in PTQs. I'll play it for it's own sake if it has a sake of it's own, but this new system makes it just any old thing.
Good on WOTC for making these changes. I always found it ridiculous that Magic played on one arbitrary day gave you 3x as many points as Magic played on some other arbitrary day (regardless of the skill level of the players - I've gone to extremely competitive 8-man drafts and extremely casual FNMs).

Making the GPs into more than a glorified PTQ is good too, though I would have preferred they just give invites to the whole top 8.
What a mess...
Drinne - I think you're frustrated that no one can have some magical words that will make you better at magic, when in fact, the problem you're having (draft pick orders, recognizing synergies, learning multiple card interactions, ect) is something that new players and seasoned pros have trouble with alike.

I've been playing for many years, competitivly since about 03, played on the PT 05-07, still grind about 4-6 hours daily on MTGO and really enjoy playing the game.

When a new set is released I still have no clue whats up, I can read cards and understand what happens when I cast it. I am even seasoned enough to try to look for synergies right off the bat, does it interact with something like Venser, or does it have counters to be proliferated, or does snapcaster make this amazing, but I'm wrong more than I'm right.

Its hard to explain, theorycraft and talking about magic is nothing like playing a game of magic.

Practise certainly does not make perfect in this game but its all you've got, its all we've got.

I'd reccomend trying to make friends at fnm, when people try to teach you and you arent getting it or its frustrating you, maybe take a step back, they are trying to help you after all... they just may be bad at it, but the thought is there.

When you lose games dont get mad that they crushed you and they were playing a net deck, try to pinpoint what happened in the game to make you lose, or allow them to win. How many cards were traded and if his cards power level or synergy was what helped him. Mimic what beats you to learn the ins and outs of how to beat it... know thy enemy.

The best advise anyone ever gave me to improve was play the game, and I'm sorry that the way the game is played by your local store is discouraging, but if you have the drive to compete and want to improve, then a PRO metagame is exactly what you want.

-orvn

I don't understand the casual concern here. Without needing to grind every FNM with the best deck every week, p[eople can experiment and get testing in, which means they are often playing weaker decks, meaning it's better for others to play against. And now the idea of playing a fun deck at FNM for me is available. As one of the three players at my LGS who has been on the PT, I do like to play more fun decks from time to time, FNM should be about that.

There are no differences for the FNM players now than there was with the PWP system originaly. People were not being rewarded for anything by playing at FNM, since you needed to grind big FNM's and GP's and side events to get anywhere with your points, since there were so many full on grinders. So you could build up some competitive points, but they were meaningless unless you wanted to fully grind. This means that people might play less comeptitive decks at FNM, but in the many years I've been playing good players always play good decks at FNM's(mostly), regardless of whether they have a rating to protect, points to grab or none of the above. Those useless handful of comeptitive points didn't mean anything, so the chanegs don't effect that.

The current comeptitive points are meaningless unless you are a grinder basically. Sure you can use them to measure how you're doing, but surely just looking at how you perform in tournaments does the same thing, I see no reason to have a horrible system set up just because someone likes to see another quantification of your performance, since you can easily track your game and match wins anyway. You don't need a pointless number to tell you how well you are doing.
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Whilst im not sure i follow most of the new terms for all the different events now, it seems mostly like good stuff so...yay? I Think
So first of all they announced that the National Championships would no longer lead to the World Championship.

People got upset about that, so now they have announced that the National Championships and National Qualifiers have been removed, replaced by invitation only qualifiers into the World Magic Cup. In order to get invited to the qualifiers you have to grind your way in. 

To me this is nowhere near as good as the previous system, where you could attend a local National Qualifier with a chance of attending a National and/or World Championship.

I suppose I will focus more on PTQs and GPs, which may be what they are aiming for anyway.

Drinne - I think you're frustrated that no one can have some magical words that will make you better at magic, when in fact, the problem you're having (draft pick orders, recognizing synergies, learning multiple card interactions, ect) is something that new players and seasoned pros have trouble with alike.

I've been playing for many years, competitivly since about 03, played on the PT 05-07, still grind about 4-6 hours daily on MTGO and really enjoy playing the game.


The best advise anyone ever gave me to improve was play the game, and I'm sorry that the way the game is played by your local store is discouraging, but if you have the drive to compete and want to improve, then a PRO metagame is exactly what you want.

-orvn








d that no one can have some magical words that will make you better at magic, when in fact, the problem you're having (draft pick orders, recognizing synergies, lea . . . . 



 There is a TLDR summary at the Bottom- feel free to skip down and see if you want to bother reading this long and epic tome. I understand if you don't. Laughing


I will give you the benefit ot the doubt here and assume you didn't mean to be condescending, or literally just have never participated in any other complex sport, learned a language or played anything else competitively.

This is also going to be long because I consider it a real dialogue and want to undo this stereotype and perhaps make you aware real issues and differences in the questions I am asking, vs. what you are addressing. So everyone can feel free to skip it if they don't care: 

***************************************************************************

Anyone playing anything competitively knows they are going to lose a lot - stop assuming a newb having a problem that you didn't have or that the pros have is just because "they don't understand it takes time" 

I am not looking for "magic words" I am looking for basic and instructional teaching tools. I am not someone unfamiliar with competitive OP or events for things like chess and debate. I am aware not only of the need for practice and play, but the concept ( the ones missing from all "go play and learn" and ALL texts on MtG) of developing fundamentals. 

There is no central area in Magic that breaks down fundamentals using instructional design precepts and the ADDIE system. You can teach me Islandwalk three ways until I actually find the right thing with all the permutations so I understand when one simple example and counter example in a "demonstated rule setting" would help.

Here's how it went :


  • Islandwalk: it is unblockable when there are Islands on the opponent's side.





  • Hey, does this dual land mean that Islandwalk works? First answer -  "no it doesn't, it needs to say island"





  • 2nd answer - "yes it just looks for land type"



Looking it up after hearing two different answers - seeing specific note on Magic 2012 FAQ:
Harbor Serpent's abilities care about lands with the land type Island, not necessarily lands named Island.



  • Assume that now means that everything with the symbol on it counts as an Island blue drop symbol on it based on this text becaue it says "land type" not" card type or subtype"





  • Play around it that way for a while - 



But at a party when we're talking about the hit or miss way we learn basic rules interaction play and then realize we've been playing wrong someone working through the FAQ text with me says look at this Dragonskull summity example though:

"These lands check for lands you control with either of the two listed land types, not either of the two listed names. The lands they check for don't have to be basic lands. For example, if you control Stomping Ground (a nonbasic land with the land types Mountain and Forest), Dragonskull Summit will enter the battlefield untapped."

It specificially mentions stopming ground which has a card type of "Land Mountain Forest" so the conclusion of the magic players at the party is that unless it SAYS Mountain or Forest on the card type line Dragonskull Summit  would come in untapped but "Land"  which is all that Dragonskull Summit itself would say means that if all you have out is Dragonskull Summits they each come in tapped. 

These are not "Magic Words" at the risk of being condescending myself this is something that requires basic instructional design:



  • Learning Objective: teach the Islandwalk rules





  • definition =





  • technical definition and constraints =





  • example = 





  • and here is the big one - COUNTEREXAMPLE =




I'll be honest - I can play with all three understandings of Islandwalk ( and I have) without ever making an error in play, but I'll be playing my game strategy incorrectly if I think everything with a blue drop symbol on it is an island, or I think Seachrome Coast does or doesn't permit Islandwalk. And the best part is that I can play it with the incorrect understanding for a really long time until I find out otherwise. 

(This by the way indicates that my issues are coming up BECAUSE I'm playing a lot in order to try to get better, not because I'm not playing enough - oh yeah and asking questions and yes, people are helping me, and yes I am welcoming it)

So here's the thing, everytime I play in a competitive environement - unlike pros and experienced players having trouble with these things, my trouble is I CAN'T TRUST ANYTHING I THINK I KNOW. 


In real life that's not magic words, that's called a basic textbook, and in real life playing anything else in the world that is organized that means there is a coach who can fix your form, play, rules understanding at the fundamental level before you play in competition. 

Even with this, someone will respond with what they think is the rule. I'm not sure i will be true, they might be leaving out a condition under which it will not be true. 

The first version of the rule was given to me by a judge - he may just have looked at the gamestate and seen a specific land that met the criteria - unintentionlly creating a learning situation where I assumed incorrectly that it was the blue dot that made the difference. It would have been easily addressed if the rules text had plain english examples both of when Islandwalk works or when it doesn't work and then my understanding of the rule wouldn't be changing every 3 weeks playing it under one assumption or the other - THIS is not a problem experienced players or pros have when drafting, using instants or synergies - this is UNIQUELY a learning issue that is addressed by standardized instruction. Judges are trained to give answers but they aren't necessarily aware of the difference between players and are usually resolving things in play. Playgroups can interpret things in a way like the last one ( which I suspect is correct) but if I find out I'm wrong in tournament how am I chosing which cards to use or respond to? 


Here's what should be by the text and it would fix things



  • Island walk - if opponent has an Island in play things with islandwalk are unblockable even if the oppenant has creatures that also have Islandwalk. 





  • Islandwalk looks for land type not just lands that are named Island





  • For example a land with the text  "Land - Forest Island "in it's type line is an Island and allows Island Walk but Seachrome Coast which produces blue mana and is a Land only has the word "Land" on it's type line does not enable Islandwalk. 



That's all - That's my frustration.  I lost a month of bad practice and several hours of discussion to something ( that if this is true) could have been fixed with a small application of instructional design which would have prevented any number of miscommunications and my distrust of my own understanding of the rules if I recieve conflicting information - It should be made by Magic but the articles prove they have lots of designers and none of them have an instructional design backgroud. 


My attempts to understand Illusions sacrfice trigger are epic. 

**************************************************************************









'd reccomend trying to make friends at fnm, when people try to teach you and you arent getting it or its frustrating you, maybe take a step back, they are trying to help you after all... they just may be bad at it, but the thought is there.



Why are you assuming that I do not welcome all help given to me? This is part of the condescension ( Oh she's having trouble - she must be mad bro') Once again people at my store are great, lots of people answer questions, there's only one jerk for every 10 nice magic players - which is way better than real life.

That doesn't mean when they are teaching me that they are teaching me effectively. That doesn't mean I'm mad or they're not trying. 

It means if you give me a whole bunch of examples that have nothing to do with cards in front of us, or you start spouting numbers at me without me being able to write them down I'll probably just get overwhelmed and not have the information they're trying to give. Or they will have answered a question I didn't ask, which is cool and all, but I'll have lost track of what I needed. Peer tutoring is great, but once again not the same as a coach or an instructional text.

I'll learn smatterings of something but an important peice of instructional theory called " reflection" will be missing.  When teaching someone something ask them to explain it back - then you can hear what they actually retained and possibly identify misconceptions - if someone had actually taught me islandwalk either in real life or in text and asked me to tell them how it worked in reflection - They might catch whatever I missed but in the Islandwalk example I could still be basically wrong stragtegically but possibly give the right answer. 

There are 11 different types of adult learner.  We know how to design training material that hits all of the major points and we can measure learning retention. Other comepetive arenas use that to grow both their fan base and their participant base. That's what I'm looking for, but I've just got FNM instead. 









When you lose games dont get mad that they crushed you and they were playing a net deck, try to pinpoint what happened in the game to make you lose, or allow them to win. How many cards were traded and if his cards power level or synergy was what helped him. Mimic what beats you to learn the ins and outs of how to beat it... know thy enemy.



They trade and buy their cards because they have cards or discretionary income to trade. I know how they do it. I ask and they helpfully tell me. Once again the assumption is that I do not already do this - I am not mad that "they crushed me". The assumption that I am is insulting to me as a competitor. 

I am mad that I somehow missed an important game state - misinterpreted an ability, got caught in a situation where I learned a rule incorrectly and defended it - thus feeling like a F*cking idiot. I'm really mad when I can't figure out where I lost control of the game, because then I can't learn from it. 

My fellow magic players are not enemies, they are people who understand the cards better than I do. They have peers they can play with alot and they think MTGO is awesome. I'm on a Mac, I'm not buying a PC just to play an online game and I'm not dividing my hard drive just for MTGO.

I want to play magic with people so I can develop the skillset - losing is part of that, when you ice skate you fall alot, you keep working through the pain because you envision yourself doing the axel someday, you work with a coach so you don't practice with mistakes - because then the mistakes become habit  the way magic is set up in OP new players practice with mistakes all the time. 

I am frustrated because there is no counterbalance to training with mistakes, all of which exist for chess, bridge, go and competitive mahjong. Wizards is owned by Hasbro which knows this. WotC seems to accept this but wonder why it's not developing new players. My local majong club ( which is also collectible BTW) grew about 200% in the last two years. There are pro majong tours, but local comepetitive is what's thriving. They don't offer cash prizes, they are just competitive OP. They're having fun but they are playing for position. You can buy instructional strategy books that actually teach instead of lecture like Chapin's book. Useful instruction builds fundamentals and theory books don't mix high theory and fundamentals. They are practical application books.

I am also frustrated because many players like you like the way you learned you don't see it as a problem - but you're a player who learned and stayed, as opposed to a player who had a good start and when they wanted to learn the next stage couldn't because they were basically told to play more and didn't improve just because nice people told them things. Those players quit because they assume since they didn't learn them, they were just bad at the game and might as well give up. That isn't fixed by peers or playing more, that's fixed by supporting a mid level competitive environemt that recgonizes learning curve.

So instead of identifying the issues - players blame the new player ( you're not playing enough, you must be resisting our wonderous best people, Oh they're nice you must be reacting defensively or not asking for help) instead of recognizing that it's an instructional issue. Which can be addressed by an OP. But the player might think "I play three times a week and practie online a half hour a day! - I guess I'll never be good unless I give up everything else" or "Wow, I've been really open and asked for help but I guess they just see me as a resistant bitch or don't take me seriously enough to give me real answers, Maybe they aren't really trying to help me. I thought I was being friendly?" or even better "So when you see me walk in as a newb you assume I'm going be defensive when I'm really just asking a follow up question because I really don't understand. I guess I'd better stop playing competitively"

All those things happen. I 've been gaming and competitively gaming since long before 2003. I might not have played magic in the interim but I've played with a lot of former Magic players. I'm a debator, a former RPGA judge and someone in theater used to rejection.

I am not whining because of the frustration of losing, I am whining because of the frustration of losing non- productively which is something that was countered by FNM being recognized as "higher difficulty" refelected in the multiplier and because higher level players kept sending me to the internet to " really" learn. And the internet's response is very similar to yours. 

Let me ask you? - who in your social circle is going to invite some woman who's over 30 and wants to play competitvely over to help teach them or trade cards outside of the FNM? Who's going to ask her to hang out after the game at a pizza place and breakdown their myr combo slowly just to teach her? Who's going to proactively loan her 4 Snapcasters for a competivie FNM illusions deck so that she can improve? 

I am well aware that  if I were an under 25 year old female in the same circumstances ALL of those things could and would happen. But no one's inviting me onto their "team" on non store time.

I'm not mad at that either, I completely understand it without any expectations of the young men who go to these events and I'm even more aware of how complicated it would be for someone in my age range to invite me over or any of those things. I don't want or expect this to change. I want OP to be able to support the actual diversity of competitive players who are not pro. 

Sanctioned events and breaks between class at the college I go to are it. They're not subsitutes for things that teach on purpose, they are not a magic cure all for a missing level of OP that PWP started to address.

I'm happy for all of the changes for the Premier level. They are Good and Necessary Changes I am unhappy that they also basically dumped the idea of anything real that is competitive at the non-Premier play level and that the general thinking is that people who aren't pros and like PWP :

"are mad because they are on ladders and now the ladders aren't good" - so - farkin' insulting - if that were true all Wizards would have to do is add more levels since PWP now moves slower for non-pros I couldnt care less what level I am - I like the one I'm at because it's a character that looks a lot like me - I don't care if I ever move to the hot blond chick level - OK?

"don't care about the changes they don't really want to compete" - proving no one ever paid attention to anything other than Magic - there are all sorts of ways and reasons to compete

" are mad at net-decking" - no just no - that's old school thinking and highly impractical, but if you're going to net deck top pro winning decks - you need to support teaching the mid-level because netdecks change the mid-level and OP doesn't really address it in a way that supports player retention - products will not fix this - actual coaches and teams that are below premeir level could. 

"always have access to friendly helpful people who will and can teach anything and people who will invite them in an give them cards to play with" - once again - who in your store is going to approach a lone over 30 woman and ask her to come over to playtest with them ?( until she's really good, of course she's not going to get good without practice, maybe she can convince her PTA group to play magic instead of argue about organic vs raw milk and they can all learn togethr wheee!) 


People like me are reliant on sanctioned play for learning and practice. Oh and I did teach my fellow pre-school moms to play magic - but I wouldn't have been able to sell them on the scars block, every card in it looks like a big "don't touch me" sign with the artwork except the myrs. 

Laughing TLDR : I basically protest the characterzation of wanting "magic words" and encourage a dialogue about the barriers to play at competitve levels with concrete examples of instructional design and real world scenarios of how it could help, ending by pointing out where OP could avd should fix that gap and identifying cultural barriers to inviting women over 30 out for pizza to discuss why Solar Flare works. I also reiterate that I think ALL the Premier Play changes are good . I do. 

---- edited for spelling and format

I don't understand the casual concern here. Without needing to grind every FNM with the best deck every week, p[eople can experiment and get testing in, which means they are often playing weaker decks, meaning it's better for others to play against. And now the idea of playing a fun deck at FNM for me is available. As one of the three players at my LGS who has been on the PT, I do like to play more fun decks from time to time, FNM should be about that.

There are no differences for the FNM players now than there was with the PWP system originaly. People were not being rewarded for anything by playing at FNM, since you needed to grind big FNM's and GP's and side events to get anywhere with your points, since there were so many full on grinders. So you could build up some competitive points, but they were meaningless unless you wanted to fully grind. This means that people might play less comeptitive decks at FNM, but in the many years I've been playing good players always play good decks at FNM's(mostly), regardless of whether they have a rating to protect, points to grab or none of the above. Those useless handful of comeptitive points didn't mean anything, so the chanegs don't effect that.

The current comeptitive points are meaningless unless you are a grinder basically. Sure you can use them to measure how you're doing, but surely just looking at how you perform in tournaments does the same thing, I see no reason to have a horrible system set up just because someone likes to see another quantification of your performance, since you can easily track your game and match wins anyway. You don't need a pointless number to tell you how well you are doing.

Because actually we didn't care about the grinders, some of us actually want better players in our FNM pool so we can learn.

Becase there is no real support for being competitive players who can't be part of priemier play now. FNM is meaningless but will still be played as a mirror of the pro culture without any type of incentive to be part of FNM instead of draft or sanctioned casual.

Because while many of us support the improvements to Premeir Play we want and actual competitve enviroment that feels meaningful becasue we are competitve players not casual players and FNM for various reasons filled that role. It's demotion to equivalent to casual means that what we valued as competitive is now devalued in the competitive enviroment.

That in turn ( just like when they did it to the forgeign countries) makes us feel devalued.

They could have fixed pros and built up non premier OP but instead they fixed pros and gutted us thinking all we care about the what you guys call " the ladder".

They're wrong. We like knowing we're at least attempting a more difficult level of play and measuring that. You know, like when you comepete in anything else at the amateur level.
Hey, Drinne. I just finished reading through your posts, but I'm afraid I can't really follow your line of reasoning. I can definitely understand your frustration at the difficulty of learning how to improve your play--that makes sense--but I don't understand why you're saying that "non-premier" OP was "gutted". How does reducing the multiplier do that?


By the way, one thing you might wish to try which should help with understanding the rules is checking out places like our Rules Q&A forum. If you'd like to learn how something works, all you need to do is ask and the folks there will be more than happy to explain it in as much detail as you'd like. Just be sure to continue asking followup questions and confirming your understanding, and we should be able to zero in on any problems quite quickly. Even just browsing the forums and reading other people's questions (and perhaps following them up too) can help you learn a lot in a very short period of time. Rules Q&A also has an extensive FAQ system if you don't feel like waiting the five or ten minutes for an answer--though I'd still recommend asking followup questions in your own threads. Hopefully this is useful to you.

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

All Premier Play changes look good, but I'm not thrilled with what is left for FNM level players.  Given that I am an FNM level player this is what I am focussing on.  

The old ELO system was heavily flawed and I am glad it has been replaced, however there were some good things about it.  What I liked (and still like as its currently still updated) is that I can see my ranking compared to other local players.   Over the 2 years that I have played I have been able to watch my ELO ranking slowly rise, both relative to the beginning 1600 and to other players.   My rank is now approaching other players that I consider to be strong players but not pro players (ie players that can make day 2 of a GP).

The first iteration of planeswalker points was also flawed and could be abused by grinding.  However what I have discovered is that my own personal performance is much better than I had previously assumed by just looking at ELO.  ie My rank with PWP is top 35 in my country, but under ELO is top 600.  That is a huge difference.  If I browse the ELO list I have never heard of half the players above me (ie they mostly fall into the "sit on their rating" category.  So overall I like the ranking aspect of the current PWP.   BTW I only played FNM's, a handful of drafts, 1 x GP, and 1 x PTQ this season so don't consider myself to have grinded.  Under this system I have enough points for 2 x byes next season (Im in world top 2000).  What I really liked about this system is that it 100% encouraged me to play more, and without that incentive I would never have played the GP or PTQ.

The new PWP system no longer awards anything for position in the ranking, and offers next to no points to play FNM's.  After reading all the information the only personal targets I can see worth setting for myself each season/year would be to qualify to play nationals, and get enough points for 1 or more byes at GP's.    Both of these things are attainable by playing the exact same amount of events as I have done the previous season, however I'm pretty sure I will be able to play less.  My reasoning is that I should aim to qualify for nationals which in Australia is 200 pts.  Thats an average of 12.5 pts over what I think is a 16 week season.  3-4 wins at FNM each week will achieve this.  Cool.  (My store averages 4 rounds per week).   My concern is that once I reach my target their is no incenctive to earn more points, and worse, what if the majority of other FNM players also think like this.  What would result is people hitting the 200 pts and then not caring.  Even if only some players react like this any look at positioning in the PWP ranking chart is meaningless.  Unless everyone is attempting the same thing its not measuring anything.  Under the new PWP you need 600pts for 2 x byes.  I would have to seriously grind to acheive that.  I'd have to play multiple drafts weekly in additon to weekly FNM, plus 1 x GP, plus 1 x PTQ to have any chance.    Does this really bother me?  Probably not, I simply see 600 points as being unatainable for an FNM level player now where it was possible under the previous PWP to get two byes.   The question I now ask myself is, is it worth jumping on a plane next year to travel to a GP?  Probably not.

I don't hate this new system, its just that when PWP came out it felt like I was more involved on a world scale, and now I feel as though I'm stuck back in my place again.  (Rightly or wrongly!)

I'm interested to hear what other people think about these points I raised for FNM level players. 
"Premier Play has to be a source of aspiration for millions of Magic players around the world"

Hmmm...really?

I would assume that most players don't even know that there is competitive play & that the vast majority of people who do, still don't care about any of this.

For (lets say) 99% of players getting points for playing at a FNM,Pre-release,etc... is of no intrest at all, they went to have fun and getting some points in no way increases that.

If the points could be made so they actually meant something, then more people would care. Perhapse something as small as getting a promo each time you hit a new level?

(So this browser dosen't have a spell checker and I'm dyslexic....just pretend everything is spelt correctly
I'm very encouraged by these changes.  I feel like someone actually listened to what we had to say and while it's not ideal, it's a BIG step in the right direction.

@Drinne:  The best advice anyone can give you for learning the rules of M:tG is "take everything 100% literally."   The 2nd best advice is "it's always OK to ask a judge first."
"Premier Play has to be a source of aspiration for millions of Magic players around the world"

Hmmm...really?

I would assume that most players don't even know that there is competitive play & that the vast majority of people who do, still don't care about any of this.

For (lets say) 99% of players getting points for playing at a FNM,Pre-release,etc... is of no intrest at all, they went to have fun and getting some points in no way increases that.

If the points could be made so they actually meant something, then more people would care. Perhapse something as small as getting a promo each time you hit a new level?

(So this browser dosen't have a spell checker and I'm dyslexic....just pretend everything is spelt correctly



It's OK by me - I think forums should be  a spelling grammar forgiving zone.  : ) (as evidenced by my own many, many typos).

You can't even play in an FNM without joning DCI - you have to see tournament results and pro points are listed to follow your own points - So yeah all of us who play FNM know there is competitive play - that's what FNM is supposed to be. 

Also any newb with a rules question or who googles "basic deckbuilding strategy" gets shunted quickly to StarCityGames after reading a magic article from Wizards in 2002. And the only strategy guide book that's close to current is Chapin's which is pretty much about pro play. I don't know ANY magic players who are unaware of premier play. There are lots who have negative feelings about it - and a whole bunch more who don' t care, but not usually at FNM.  You learrn about it within a week or so after learning about the game.

They're all net-decking pro tournament decks and talking about premier play results even in pick-up games at school.  

Pre-realease only might not care about competitive points, but people who do actually play FNM competitively do.

Are you on the intenet looking up anything about magic? - It's all premier play all the time.  

You think its the "geek" that's the turn off or the fantasy aspect but really it's the fact that you're reading the Star City Game articles first when you're past the basics on the Magic site and that's quoting Sun Tzu “All warfare is based on deception” and the Philosophy of Fire. 

Why do people even think that no one knows about premier play? If you're on the Magic site to comment you know about it. You'd pretty much have to buy decks go home and never play at a store or look anything up not to know. 


Hey, Drinne. I just finished reading through your posts, but I'm afraid I can't really follow your line of reasoning. I can definitely understand your frustration at the difficulty of learning how to improve your play--that makes sense--but I don't understand why you're saying that "non-premier" OP was "gutted". How does reducing the multiplier do that?


By the way, one thing you might wish to try which should help with understanding the rules is checking out places like our Rules Q&A forum. If you'd like to learn how something works, all you need to do is ask and the folks there will be more than happy to explain it in as much detail as you'd like. Just be sure to continue asking followup questions and confirming your understanding, and we should be able to zero in on any problems quite quickly. Even just browsing the forums and reading other people's questions (and perhaps following them up too) can help you learn a lot in a very short period of time. Rules Q&A also has an extensive FAQ system if you don't feel like waiting the five or ten minutes for an answer--though I'd still recommend asking followup questions in your own threads. Hopefully this is useful to you.

Thanks zamm, I will try the Rules Q&A, but a lot of the time I just go straight to the comprehensive rules. Most of my confusion/problems/questions end up happening during play so that's what leads to the keystone cops style understanding. It's hard to just trust forums when you're looking things up on google to figure stuff out and I only joined the community just now. 

I've actually found a blog/column called Cranial Insertion that has a rules question mailbag that explains things really nicely and doesn't ever feel like it's talking down to or past anyone. I wish that guy would write a fundamentals book : )