02/20/2011 MM: "Support Group"

98 posts / 0 new
Last post

This thread is for discussion of this week's Making Magic, which goes live Monday morning on magicthegathering.com.

Attempted suicide? That there's comedy gold, MaRo. 

This was really uneven. You actually had me rooting FOR unifying similar mechanics together instead of respecting them separately.   

"Ah, the age-old conundrum. Defenders of a game are too blind to see it's broken, and critics are too idiotic to see that it isn't." - Brian McCormick

You're actually going with the suicide joke? Super classy.
I was gonna say "in b4 sui joke outrage", but I'm too late.

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.

I almost went in that direction, too, but I think the idea of "evolving design technology" is solid. 

Having everything united as super-mechanics would be bad for the game in the long run, since it would be progressively get remember how different cards work. If everything was just kicker you could end up with:

A: "I'll play my Vines of the Vastwood, kicked."
B:"Does that mean you can copy it a bunch of times, get an extra effect added on, or is it one of those ones from Lorwyn where you get an elemental, too?"

Subdividing helps keep things mentally organized. And if you've come up with a new twist on an old thing, and you think it can stand on its own, better to let it be its own thing rather than weigh it down with the baggage from an old mechanic.
I was gonna say "in b4 sui joke outrage", but I'm too late.


I'm not really outraged, I just don't think that an article on Magic design really is the right forum for such a joke/comment. I know that the article has the theme of a support group, and obviously suicides happen, with support groups to help people through them, but I just didn't feel right about having it there.

Despite all this, I did enjoy the article as a whole.

I don't think the joke added anything here. That's the worst thing, IMO. 

 
I almost went in that direction, too, but I think the idea of "evolving design technology" is solid. 

Having everything united as super-mechanics would be bad for the game in the long run, since it would be progressively get remember how different cards work. If everything was just kicker you could end up with:

A: "I'll play my Vines of the Vastwood, kicked."
B:"Does that mean you can copy it a bunch of times, get an extra effect added on, or is it one of those ones from Lorwyn where you get an elemental, too?"



"I counter that spell." 

"Is that the counter I can pay mana to save, the counter that works like Spell Blast, or does it straight-out counter anything?" 

Multi-kicker is essentially what I think the Mega-Mechanics should look like. Each variant has a subtitle with the base keyword that explains how it's different. Entwine could be "Kickboth", Buyback could be "Kickback", and Replicate could be "Kickmore".

Actually, those are terrible names, and so is Kicker. There's you argument: new mechanics because new names are better!       
 

"Ah, the age-old conundrum. Defenders of a game are too blind to see it's broken, and critics are too idiotic to see that it isn't." - Brian McCormick

I, too, was offended by the suicide joke.

Also, did anyone else want to punch Entwine in the face? Seriously, the "don't mention the name" joke got old almost immediately, yet it kept coming up again and again. "Mr. K", seriously?
IMAGE(http://images.community.wizards.com/community.wizards.com/user/blitzschnell/c6f9e416e5e0e1f0a1e5c42b0c7b3e88.jpg?v=90000)


Multi-kicker is essentially what I think the Mega-Mechanics should look like. Each variant has a subtitle with the base keyword that explains how it's different. Entwine could be "Kickboth", Buyback could be "Kickback", and Replicate could be "Kickmore".

Actually, those are terrible names, and so is Kicker. There's you argument: new mechanics because new names are better!       
 




All I can think about now is what Magic would look like if every mechanic was named like that.

Evoke="Kickelemental"

Splice="Cardkick"

Reinforce="Countercycling Counter(notspells,like,thethingsyouputoncreatures)cycling"

Horsemanship="Otherflying"

Infect="Poisonwither"

Undying = "Persis+1/+1"
I think all those names sound doubleplusgood to me TakOZ. 

I felt like the article meandered and had so many characters that I'm left with no clue how MaRo actually feels about the subject. I laughed that this ran side by side with the feature article talking about MaRo prefering to be gimmicky with his articles.

It needed to be much shorter and have about half as many characters in order to function effectively. The information was there, but it was definitely buried pretty far under the artsyness. 
Immature College Student (Also a Rules Advisor)
The article read the way "people" actually talk in a large group, which is going to be a meandering conversation.
And, of course, Entwine is whiny, he's probably the 3rd most Kicker like mechanic there is. I thought his insecurity was funny but of course it could be annoying too.
I personally loved this one and I would love to see the Colors' meeting.
Been a while since we've had one of these, huh.
blah blah metal lyrics
Yes yes, everything's just kicker again. I think we've heard this before. Except now with suicide jokes.

I've liked some of your previous artsy stuff though, I CC Dead People was great, and the IM one with the colors going to a party was pretty funny. Something about this one just felt a bit off.
The end is always nigh.
Something about this one just felt a bit off.



I was reading the support group session, looking for a point to this whole article,  when I finally found this statement by Entwine:

Their job is to take a game that fundamentally stays the same and make it feel different.


Yes, there's a Giant Growth and a Lightning Bolt and whatever every set.


The game stays the same.


Design has to create the appearance of change.


The reason they keep making mechanics like us is that they want to create mechanics that feel a little different.


Yes, I could be Mr. K, but then all that does is make me feel less special.



 I find it sad that Design feels this way.  In the old world order, where R&D based sets around an aspect of the game (such as a certain resource, or an aspect of gameplay), you could actually build decks that risked going against game axioms in favor of possible gains that the set gave you.  You could try to exploit synergies that the designers created.  You could try to go for Hellbent or see how much you could level up your creatures.

  With the new world order, it seems like the desginers have given up.  They're not even trying to challenge players with regard to creature efficiency or card advantage.  You just play bigger bombs than the opponent and win.  It's too simple, and it boils down to being either nerveracking or outright boring.

The solution to all this is to make me feel like I'm playing with actual factions as opposed to just playing with cards.

Mark Rosewater, you are a genius.

Yes the suicide joke was a little jarring, but remember, we are talking about a game where things are sacrifed to dark gods, hacked apart on the battlefield, and even eaten by their neighbours.

One thing I would like to know about "Undying", is whether it got its name after they had the idea to shorten "put into the graveyard from the battlefield" to "dies", or the other way around. (Same question for Path to Exile really - did that inspire the change, or was it designed to make the change easier to accept?)

~ Tim
I am Blue/White Reached DCI Rating 1800 on 28/10/11. :D
Sig
56287226 wrote:
190106923 wrote:
Not bad. But what happens flavor wise when one kamahl kills the other one?
Zis iz a sign uf deep psychological troma, buried in zer subconscious mind. By keelink himzelf, Kamahl iz physically expressink hiz feelinks uf self-disgust ova hiz desire for hiz muzzer. [/GermanPsychologistVoice]
56957928 wrote:
57799958 wrote:
That makes no sense to me. If they spelled the ability out on the card in full then it would not be allowed in a mono-black Commander deck, but because they used a keyword to save space it is allowed? ~ Tim
Yup, just like you can have Birds of paradise in a mono green deck but not Noble Hierarch. YAY COLOR IDENTITY
56287226 wrote:
56888618 wrote:
Is algebra really that difficult?
Survey says yes.
56883218 wrote:
57799958 wrote:
You want to make a milky drink. You squeeze a cow.
I love this description. Like the cows are sponges filled with milk. I can see it all Nick Parks claymation-style with the cow's eyes bugging out momentarily as a giant farmer squeezes it like a squeaky dog toy, and milk shoots out of it.
56287226 wrote:
56735468 wrote:
And no judge will ever give you a game loss for playing snow covered lands.
I now have a new goal in life. ;)
"My take on this is that if you just think of the players as idiots it's a lot easier to handle." Mark Rosewater

Tongue Out
Brilliant, absolutly laugh out loud funny!  I have just read this at work and one of my colleagues has said "whatever you're reading must be good you keep laughing."

Are people honestly offended by the undying suicide joke?  Really?  I think you need to have a long look at your sense of homour and find out who gave it a by-pass?

The idea of Kic... er sorry, as he will be known from now on "Mr K" as being the envy of so many mechanics - priceless.  I do my fair share of ranting at MaRo when I see another card which doesn't work anywhere but this article is just pure gold.

Mr Rosewater I salute you...
So this is like the minutes sheet somebody wrote down (like a court stenographer) during the group? I think that's the idea he's going off of for the format.
neat article (especially with the "artsy" comments in the feature article on the same day)

The graphics were a bit poor quality, though.  Font size and type were not consistant throughout, and a name was even left out at one point, making the comments not read very well/attributed to the wrong mechanic...

And no, I wasn't offended by the suicide joke, but it def. wasn't needed.
So this is like the minutes sheet somebody wrote down (like a court stenographer) during the group? I think that's the idea he's going off of for the format.



I think it's supposed to look more like a screenplay, although the formatting's a little different than what I'm used to.

As for the suicide joke, I didn't have a problem with it. It's not like anyone's going "Haha! Suicide! What a riot!", it's just MaRo having fun with the idea of an anthropomorphized mechanic that revives creatures when they die. The humor comes from the situation, not from the idea of suicide in general.
Brilliant, absolutly laugh out loud funny!  I have just read this at work and one of my colleagues has said "whatever you're reading must be good you keep laughing."

Are people honestly offended by the undying suicide joke?  Really?  I think you need to have a long look at your sense of homour and find out who gave it a by-pass?



Me too, I found it mosty funny
Maybe not ROTFL, LFMAO funny, but quite funny anyway...

And, to all people offended by the suicide joke, I urge you to be also offended by Vanishing who vanishes at half-the-meeting ("typical") and by Replicate having to replicate his own sentence ("I think you're thinking of this backwards. Undying?" "What?" "I think you're thinking of it backwards"). ^__^

As for people saying that there were too much mechanincs at the meeting, making it too much crowded, I answer that not only it matches the disorder of a real-life support-group meeting (as it's been correctly said in this thread), but, most importantly, it matches the actual chaos of the umpteen thousands mechanics actually existing in Magic. Have you never heard a less-expert friend complaining about not remembering how a certain mechanic works or about confusing a mechanic with another one? No? Well, then welcome to real Magic world and to a complexity problem that I am sure people at Wizards keep under constant scrutiny...
Are people honestly offended by the undying suicide joke?  Really?  I think you need to have a long look at your sense of homour and find out who gave it a by-pass?

Whoa man, you're so right. I was just gearing up to be offended, but then I took a step back and realized that people killing themselves is hilarious. Thank you.
the suicide joke was very jarring for me. it's too bad it was included, because it's hard for me to focus on the article because of the lingering discomfort that the suicide joke had on me.

when people bring up suicide in a support group, their hope is that it would be treated in a serious way.. or in a compassionate way. it hurts when people treat it as if it's "no big deal". it feels like this article was trying to get a cheap laugh from the topic of suicide. it brough to mind my own struggles with suicidal thoughts (and close to an attempt) in my life ... through a joke making fun of all the troubling issues and pain i was struggling with.

maybe the topic of suicide /could/ be funny (maybe??), but it really, really didn't work in this context.



i was actually really looking forward to enjoying the article. i think a lot of interesting dynamics/insights could have been brought out. it's just so hard to focus on that with the jarring suicide joke lingering in the back of my mind.
I enjoyed it, but then again I have a lot of sympathy for Entwine, and wish it would be printed again.  That may be because I played with Entwine before ever playing with Kicker.

All in all, pretty funny, and it got the point across.

I enjoyed that the background "paper" image was different from page to page.  Nice touch.
jokes about political correctness offend me
in the name of political correctness, I demand that noone ever dares to make fun of politicial correctness again
Abbot Pheldy OSM Mafia Awards 2010 Most Unique Playstyle Designer of Game of the Year 2010 Designer of Most Flavorful Game My achievements random hum
Are people honestly offended by the undying suicide joke?  Really?  I think you need to have a long look at your sense of homour and find out who gave it a by-pass?

Whoa man, you're so right. I was just gearing up to be offended, but then I took a step back and realized that people killing themselves is hilarious. Thank you.



Very well put.  I found the joke jarring and not very funny.  Black humor about suicide can be funny if it's set up properly (e.g., Groundhog Day) but this was just poorly timed, which made it feel icky.

Whatevs, they can't all be winners. 

 

Goblin Artisans
a Magic: the Gathering design blog
the suicide joke was funny cause his mechanic works against it. and all of you feeling offended by it are reading more into it than there is. I wonder do you also feel offended when a games ask you to kill another player? wars are not funny you know. or fun for that matter.
I was kinda hoping that Banding would pop his head in at the end and tell some of them that their next meeting was about ready to kick off.

@mikemearls The office is basically empty this week, which opens up all sorts of possibilities for low shenanigans

@mikemearls In essence, all those arguments I lost are being unlost. Won, if you will. We're doing it MY way, baby.

@biotech66 aren't you the boss anyway? isn't "DO IT OR I FIRE YOU!" still an option?

@mikemearls I think Perkins would throat punch me if I ever tried that. And I'd give him a glowing quarterly review for it.

the suicide joke was funny cause his mechanic works against it. and all of you feeling offended by it are reading more into it than there is. I wonder do you also feel offended when a games ask you to kill another player? wars are not funny you know. or fun for that matter.

The glorification of war is a problem across all forms of media, yes.

I don't really understand how you can claim we're 'reading more into it than there is'. It's a joke about suicide. A suicide joke, if you will.
Are people honestly offended by the undying suicide joke?  Really?  I think you need to have a long look at your sense of homour and find out who gave it a by-pass?

Whoa man, you're so right. I was just gearing up to be offended, but then I took a step back and realized that people killing themselves is hilarious. Thank you.



Really, the problem you have with that isn't that he ended a statement with a question mark? For some reason that's the one thing I hate the most. Oh well. I have a rather black sense of humor and I didn't really think the suicide thing was funny. Not because I was offeneded, I just don't think the set-up for it was all to great. Like HavelockVetinari said, it definitely can be hilarious, like seeing Bill Murray test the failing point of the human body repeatedly, out of sheer boredom, but I don't think the set-up was really there. Which is a shame, 'cause I get how it could have been and where he was going with it. Anyway, overall I think the article was a waste of time, Entwine and the whole Mr. K thing (which had me thinking of it as a female with an insanely thick NYC accent the whole time, probably 'cause Mr. K sounds like Mr. J, I think it made me think of Harley Quinn from Batman) were both extremely annoying and given that I didn't find it funny I think this could have just been a one paragraph answer to a player letter instead of a full length article.

the suicide joke was funny cause his mechanic works against it. and all of you feeling offended by it are reading more into it than there is. I wonder do you also feel offended when a games ask you to kill another player? wars are not funny you know. or fun for that matter.

The glorification of war is a problem across all forms of media, yes.

I don't really understand how you can claim we're 'reading more into it than there is'. It's a joke about suicide. A suicide joke, if you will.


I wonder do you find something like Ahmed the dead terrorist funny ?

The subject of a joke is rarely the crux of the joke.  To wit, "the world's funniest joke"


Two hunters are out in the woods when one of them collapses. He doesn't seem to be breathing and his eyes are glazed. The other guy whips out his phone and calls the emergency services. He gasps, "My friend is dead! What can I do?" The operator says "Calm down. I can help. First, let's make sure he's dead." There is a silence, then a gun shot is heard. Back on the phone, the guy says "OK, now what?"


"Haha murder", right?  No, the humor is misunderstanding the meaning of "make sure" in a way no one ever would.


The joke in MaRo's article is on personification.  Silly anthropomorphized mechanic didn't realize how he works.  You're not supposed to laugh at unfortunate events, but at the juxtaposition of normally tragic in contrary context.  Most people get this innately, but quite willingly ignore it to go "boo!  Do you know how many farmers are killed every year pursuing runaway chickens across roadways?"


That said, if a subject is too touchy for a person it doesn't matter what the meaning is because the reference overrides the context. Reading this article I got a chuckle, but knew it would bother people because suicide is too touchy to throw around like that.  So either Mark decided that he liked it enough to go for it anyway (which is respectable), or he really doesn't know his audience.

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.

i liked it. it was very well written
I wonder do you find something like Ahmed the dead terrorist funny ?

No because I'm not a racist idiot child.

Horsemanship "introduced" itself twise.


Also, stop you're whining - really? ;)



About that suicide pun... Guys, you play a game whose goal is to ****ing murder your opponent. Assassinate.


Also, the offended is always wrong, not the offensive. But that's just me.


You will all become terrible spouse.

I wonder do you find something like Ahmed the dead terrorist funny ?

No because I'm not a racist idiot child.


I rest my case
This conversation reminds me of when my mother heard Weird Al's 'Trigger Happy' for the first time and asked me how I could like a song about killing and shooting people. The double-take I did then is pretty much identical to the one I did here. Yes, in real life suicide is a tragic, serious business and making jokes about a suicide is emotionally devastating to the victim's surviving family, friends, and often community at large. But as Amarsir says, the joke here isn't about suicide--it's about the function of the mechanic. It's the same joke as Vanishing disappearing and Replicate repeating itself, only applied to Undying.

But hey, I'm someone who found emotional comfort in Steven Lynch's song 'Grandfather' (language warning) after my grandfather passed away--what do I know?

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

I rest my case

I really don't understand what case you're putting to rest here; I take pride in not being a racist idiot child.

This conversation reminds me of when my mother heard Weird Al's 'Trigger Happy' for the first time and asked me how I could like a song about killing and shooting people. The double-take I did then is pretty much identical to the one I did here. Yes, in real life suicide is a tragic, serious business and making jokes about a suicide is emotionally devastating to the victim's surviving family, friends, and often community at large. But as Amarsir says, the joke here isn't about suicide--it's about the function of the mechanic. It's the same joke as Vanishing disappearing and Replicate repeating itself, only applied to Undying.

Honestly, if the joke hurts those who have contemplated/attempted suicide, isn't that enough? Wouldn't it be better to avoid dredging that back up for them?
I rest my case

I really don't understand what case you're putting to rest here; I take pride in not being a racist idiot child.


of how narrow minded you are
Sorry, I'm the narrow-minded one for not thinking racist caricatures are funny?
I was reading the support group session, looking for a point to this whole article,  when I finally found this statement by Entwine:

Their job is to take a game that fundamentally stays the same and make it feel different.


Yes, there's a Giant Growth and a Lightning Bolt and whatever every set.


The game stays the same.


Design has to create the appearance of change.


The reason they keep making mechanics like us is that they want to create mechanics that feel a little different.


Yes, I could be Mr. K, but then all that does is make me feel less special.



 I find it sad that Design feels this way.  In the old world order, where R&D based sets around an aspect of the game (such as a certain resource, or an aspect of gameplay), you could actually build decks that risked going against game axioms in favor of possible gains that the set gave you.  You could try to exploit synergies that the designers created.  You could try to go for Hellbent or see how much you could level up your creatures.

  With the new world order, it seems like the desginers have given up.  They're not even trying to challenge players with regard to creature efficiency or card advantage.  You just play bigger bombs than the opponent and win.  It's too simple, and it boils down to being either nerveracking or outright boring.

The solution to all this is to make me feel like I'm playing with actual factions as opposed to just playing with cards.



That is what Entwine says, and it has a lot of truth, but Infect has something else to say, so design doesn't just think they're making the whole game the same and trying to make it look different.