02/16/2012 TD: "Content, Character, and Kibler"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Top Decks article, which goes live Thursday morning on magicthegathering.com.
I didn't have time to watch the televised coverage, but I followed it on Twitter. The omnipresent camera seems really nice, especially since I can now go back and watch what I missed.
@Mike Flores: You do realize that Finkel did indeed mess up, right? During the game Finkel was worried about Inferno Titan, but later said on Twitter that he realized he still would've won if he had blocked and Kibler did indeed have Titan. Finkel had 7 spirits plus a Mage in play at the time he chose not to block (two are offscreen). Kibler only had 9 mana, so even if he did play Titan, Finkel could Snapcaster ->Mana Leak it to tap out Kibler to still win (wouldn't even need the lord in his hand).
I followed most of day two and all of day three, despite the odd hours here in Europe. I must say that I really like this new extended coverage! What made it especially enticing this Pro Tour was that some players still had to play out the last round. Normally you will see a fairly boring round 16, as most if not all top seats ID into top 8, but that last minute rally from Estratti really kicked everything into action.

A lot already has been said about the epic semi-final, so I won't go into details about it, but it felt a little to me like the "true final", not because of the two Hall-of-Famers slugging it out, but the final felt a little less skill intensive to me. It seems like the one with the most fatties just straight up wins. I believe Kibler made a remark on how they had such a "fun and interactive game" while ramping up to Titans. Nonetheless, while I was rooting for PV, it was all a better narative seeing Kibler take the win (in game 5, even).

Kudos to the staff of Wizards for making the best possible coverage, for the enjoyment of all of us, who haven't got the skill or money to travel to Hawaii!
C'mon Mike.  Instead of copying and pasting videos, which every tom, ****, harry and (now) mike can do, you should do better.  And everyone who has been reading your articles for some time know the Pros ALREADY.  You should tell us what we DON'T KNOW.  Unless you're just as clueless...
If you appreciated the nonstop video coverage by Pro Tour Historian Brian David-Marshall; the never-ending enthusiasm of the voice of the Pro Tour, Rich Hagon; and the steady authority of Sheldon Menery (and every other awesome coverage person) make sure to let Wizards know.


And if we didn't?

Here's the thing: if you want to set aside an entire day to sit there watching other people play Magic - and some people do - then video is great. If, on the other hand, you want to keep an eye on the PT whilst doing something else, it's terrible. More text coverage please!

Which reminds me, actually... The one thing which really needs fixing in terms of Magic coverage is the level of understanding of the play which the commentators have. The slick manner on camera and the exuberance are all there, but a good commentator should give the viewer an understanding of what they're watching and that just wasn't happening this PT. Magic isn't all about topdecks; I hear there's some actual strategy involved. Could they talk about that, maybe?

If you appreciated the nonstop video coverage by Pro Tour Historian Brian David-Marshall; the never-ending enthusiasm of the voice of the Pro Tour, Rich Hagon; and the steady authority of Sheldon Menery (and every other awesome coverage person) make sure to let Wizards know.


And if we didn't?

Here's the thing: if you want to set aside an entire day to sit there watching other people play Magic - and some people do - then video is great. If, on the other hand, you want to keep an eye on the PT whilst doing something else, it's terrible. More text coverage please!

Which reminds me, actually... The one thing which really needs fixing in terms of Magic coverage is the level of understanding of the play which the commentators have. The slick manner on camera and the exuberance are all there, but a good commentator should give the viewer an understanding of what they're watching and that just wasn't happening this PT. Magic isn't all about topdecks; I hear there's some actual strategy involved. Could they talk about that, maybe?


@bateleur: I agree with you about the commentators, but...they only do this 3x per year, so not a lot of experience doing it, unlike the professional sport commentators you listen to on tv. I agree it would be helpful if there was a designated 'play-by-play' person who made sure the viewer knew what was going on. I think the commentators missed a lot of the action themselves because they were caught up in their stories (they completely missed the bluff by Samuele Estratti, which was a pivatol play).

All in all, I loved the coverage of the Pro Tour. I don't understand why this didn't happen years ago shortly after ggslive started, but I'm glad this video coverage finally happened.
If you appreciated the nonstop video coverage by Pro Tour Historian Brian David-Marshall; the never-ending enthusiasm of the voice of the Pro Tour, Rich Hagon; and the steady authority of Sheldon Menery (and every other awesome coverage person) make sure to let Wizards know.



Still kind of new around here.... who would I write to for that?

Is there a general PR e-mail?
Specific person in PR?
Someone outside of PR?
Do I write the Commentators them selves? (All 4+ of them....)
Or is a post in this thread enough?

I really do like the live coverage. I am watching it all on twitchtv right now, which was a brilliant move from just the small clip archive. Please keep doing this level of video coverage, deck techs, tape/live interviews, and all.

The main commentators were the Pro Tour Historian, the Pro Tour Statistician, and a Judge Emeritus.  Not a bad group, to put it mildly, but it would be awfully nice to have somebody filling the role of Pro Tour *Player*.  Of course, most of those tend to be, y'know, playing.  That said, my dream team of commentators is probably Rich Hagon and Patrick Chapin.  Maybe someday...

The booth would probably need to rotate through the expert commentators so it wasn't too grueling on them.  Since their task would be to watch both players, catch what's in their hands, observe each play, listen for verbal clues, and decipher what they're thinking, it's not a stretch to say that's more strenuous than actually playing.  But I would definitely agree, that's one area to work on improving.


Another would be to get more than 1 overhead camera so there isn't a big delay and effort to switch tables.  And then the next step after this would be to stream separate feeds, so that viewers could pick which table they wanted to watch even if the commentary booth was focused on the other one.


But I really did enjoy the coverage.  It got me so fired up I'm actually thinking about attempting a PTQ, something I haven't done in ages.


Here's the thing: if you want to set aside an entire day to sit there watching other people play Magic - and some people do - then video is great. If, on the other hand, you want to keep an eye on the PT whilst doing something else, it's terrible. More text coverage please!

If you just want status, I got the feeling Cover It Live was pretty good for that.  (Although maybe I'm wrong, it wasn't a feature I cared much about.)  If you're looking for match writeups or timely pairings though, then yeah they haven't really improved on that.

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.