04/05/2012 Feature: "Magic Online Cubed"

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This thread is for discussion of this Feature Article, which goes live Thursday morning on magicthegathering.com.
I used to really like Magic Online.  I didn't want to spend a lot of money and time was always an issue, so league play was perfect for me.  When they upgraded a few years back, they release without league being implemented.  I didn't think it would take long, but it did.  Months passed.  Eventually years passed.  I recently logged on again for the first time in quite a while, still no leagues.  They have a menu item for it, so they don't yet admit it will never come back, but by this point it is obvious.  Who would have thought Cube drafts, 7 bucks for perhaps only one game, would show up first?

sigh...

I used to really like Magic Online. 
"Currently, the Magic Online infrastructure doesn't support this kind of behavior. As we work on future infrastructure projects, we will explore our options for enabling these types of player-focused features."
What does this mean? can you elaborate at all? I personally have 3 different cubes and would greatly enjoy making my own cubes online. I would think that it would be another format in the casual room where the first person at the table hosts the event with their cube.  I don't see how this would be different from the other casual formats which are played for free with cards we own. 
Is this something that is being worked on? or is this considered not worth exploring?
"Currently, the Magic Online infrastructure doesn't support this kind of behavior. As we work on future infrastructure projects, we will explore our options for enabling these types of player-focused features."
What does this mean? can you elaborate at all? I personally have 3 different cubes and would greatly enjoy making my own cubes online. I would think that it would be another format in the casual room where the first person at the table hosts the event with their cube.  I don't see how this would be different from the other casual formats which are played for free with cards we own. 

Is this something that is being worked on? or is this considered not worth exploring?


It seems like he just said they will explore it?

I'll be surprised if it is offered for free, however.  If free cube drafts were always available in the casual room, I bet they would cut significantly into the paid drafts they currently sell on Magic Online.  They would also decimate any interest people might have in paying to play with the proprietary MTGO cube.  The only way supporting free cube drafts would make business sense is if it brings in many more players to MTGO, who want to build their own cubes.  That's certainly possible... but it sounds like a tough sell to the upper executives at WotC.

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...
Does any one know where the term "Cube" came from? My guess is that you might use a cube-shaped box to store the couple hundred cards for your Cube.
I would like to see the data that says that 4-3-2-2 payouts are the most popular, and not that they simply offer only ELEVEN prize packs, whereas the other formats (8-4 and swiss) offer TWELVE prize packs. 
Because 5/3/2/2 was too obvious?

4/3/2/2 is obviously more popular because winning one match means at least two packs, making a 50% chance of any payout - instead of 25% from an 8/4.
Really 7 bucks a pop to play?
So thats 7x8 = $56 to run a draft for which cards I can't even keep.
I don't really care about the prizes as its just fuel for another round of addictive gaming.

Seriously it iritates me to no end I have to have sets of paper and electronic cards toi play this game.
Its getting to the point I think I need to back out of this game as it pricing itself out of any real value.
 
Thanks for the article, Ryan. I appreciate the addition of the swiss queue---I fully intend never to do a single-elimination draft in my life after being surprised that such a thing existed the one time I tried MTGO. I'm positive you could also attract people to zero-prizes phantom swiss for 2 or 3 tickets, but I assume that would jeopardize the whole Limited-Constructed singles ecosystem.

With the swiss option available I might even look for some time this weekend to vote with my dollars in favor of the cube product. (I'll start the updates to the client tonight, given how long it took that one previous foray. )
As someone who's never had the chance to cube before, I would have loved to play some cube on mtgo. However, since I have no experience with the format, I have no real chance of winning. I don't really feel comfortable playing in an event for $7 where I'm probably not gonna walk away with anything, even the cards I draft.
As someone who's never had the chance to cube before, I would have loved to play some cube on mtgo. However, since I have no experience with the format, I have no real chance of winning. I don't really feel comfortable playing in an event for $7 where I'm probably not gonna walk away with anything, even the cards I draft.


Pretty much everyone wins at least a pack in the swiss queue (everyone except the one 0-3). Its obviously not a great payoff, but 7 tix for 3 games + a pack isn't the worst value ever.
The real reason its 7 tix and not 6 - Because they know people will pay it, since there is no other way to cube online.

The real reason its 4322 and not 5322 - because they know people will keep paying either way.

It would be nice if mtgo was run by a company that cared about its customers as something other than wallets.


On another note - This is one of the most poorly designed cubes I have ever seen. Its unfortunate that for the majority of players, this will be the first cube they have played with.

Cube on mtgo could have been great. Instead we get a poorly designed excuse for a cube, we get overcharged for entry, and we get excuse after excuse from wotc about why people cannot build their own cubes.
We also recognize the desire many players have to be able to craft and play their own Cubes on Magic Online. Currently, the Magic Online infrastructure doesn't support this kind of behavior. As we work on future infrastructure projects, we will explore our options for enabling these types of player-focused features.




Please make this a priority.  The way I imagine it working would be fairly simple, at least if it is integrated with some way for players to create their own events.  A player could create a "deck" of their own cube and submit the cards to a cube event.  It would then take these cards from their collection and use this "decklist" as the cube list for phantom events that other players could join.  The main problem with this would be the fracturing of ques created by everyone that makes their own cube, so there would need to be some system to control this.
bluedragon123 Clan YawgmothPDCMagic.com
To create this they have time and people, but getting the leagues back online which should be a lot easier, they do not...

So horrible, I will boycot the cube online until leagues get back
Finally I was waiting for Godot and he is back :-). It is great to see you writing again Ryan even if the first article was not on very deep topic.
I really liked your drafts walkthrough on PureMTGO and hope that you will have more opportunities to write on dailyMTG.
Hopefully next time, the topic will be a little bit more design oriented or will talk about your son or his buddy's magic adventures :-).
Anyway I love the cube initiative and I am sure that the cube will be fun to play. 6 or 7 ticks looks ok to me and I hope I will find the time to test it.
 
G a Limited Ressources afficionado
Thanks for the article, Ryan. I appreciate the addition of the swiss queue---I fully intend never to do a single-elimination draft in my life after being surprised that such a thing existed the one time I tried MTGO. I'm positive you could also attract people to zero-prizes phantom swiss for 2 or 3 tickets, but I assume that would jeopardize the whole Limited-Constructed singles ecosystem.

With the swiss option available I might even look for some time this weekend to vote with my dollars in favor of the cube product. (I'll start the updates to the client tonight, given how long it took that one previous foray. )


Oh well, MTGO wouldn't launch, and reinstalling didn't succeed on either my desktop or laptop.

I will continue to eagerly anticipate the new client before being able to try MTGO the second time.

Thank you, Ryan, for the great article. I have played Cube twice (both times Swiss, of course) and had incredible fun.


Those events seemed to fire all the time, so I have a feeling they are going to become more expensive... which is a pity, since I feel going 2-1 in Swiss and only paying a tix was a great spot to be in.


I think it would be a great idea to have queues that cost 1 or 2 tix and have 0 prize payout -- at least for limited time. I have experience with paper Cubes, but I have heard a lot of people who have Cubed for the first time were completely lost.


I wish custom Cubes were possible, but I am aware they will be extremely hard to figure out. Maybe there is a chance for a rotating community-built cube? Have a place to submit cubes, and then some kind of voting system to choose one, offer it for some time, and then do another voting, probably with added requirement that the new Cube must be at least X cards different from the previous one.


Anyway, I am waiting for the next time Cube is available on MTGO!


And, last but not least, thanks for all the great Limited Resources episodes

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