Cube is returning early

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Chris Kiritz has posted a new article announcing the early return of Magic Online Cube. Originally planned for October, the start date has been changed to tomorrow, September 26th. The end date is still October 10th, which means there will be an extra week of Cube!
 
The article discusses all the changes for this version of the Cube, including the new cards and a completely new entry and prize structure. Let us know what you think by leaving your feedback in this thread.
 
Cube begins after the MTGO downtime tomorrow!

Sean Gibbons

Associate Community Manager

Official MTG Twitter: @Wizards_Magic Official MTGO Twitter: @MagicOnline

OK, just trying to think out loud and do a bit of analysis about the new prize structure.

First of all, I think the value of cube tickets is firmly pegged at 0.6 of a normal ticket, as the only use for them is for 10 of them to replace 6 normal tickets when entering cube events. You can't trade them, so their value cannot float based on supply/demand.

A single-elim Cube Draft pays out 3 boosters and 40 cube tickets. Those 40 cube tickets are worth $24, which is equivalent to only 6 packs. So we can think of this as a draft that pays out 9 boosters.

So, remind me if I remember incorrectly, but didn't we used to have cube drafts that paid out 11 or 12 packs and cost 7 tickets? I remember because I thought of them as paying $6 for an average of 1.5 prize packs per player (which is OK), plus $1 for the fun.

Now we have cube drafts that only pay out the equivalent of 9 boosters, and cost an extra ticket entry. Unless I'm missing something, this looks like a massive reduction in prize support.

The swiss cube drafts pay out 54 (16-8-8-8-4-4-4-2) cube tickets, which is equivalent to 32.4 normal tickets, or just over 8 packs. Again, terrible.

So, Wizards_Sean, you asked us to tell us what we think of the new prize structure. I think it stinks. I'm insulted. I feel like everything that people have said regarding their wishes for prize support in cube has been ignored or dismissed. I feel like WotC has intentionally obfuscated the prize structure to attempt some sort of trickery, and were hoping we wouldn't notice.
Epic Fail...paying out in untradeable objects:
"A Cube Ticket is an untradeable digital object that will be the primary prize and alternate entry option for Cube drafts going forward."


So let me get this straight:
-Swiss queues take in tixs and pay out litteraly 0 tradeable objects
-With perfect distributional efficiency of cube tickets, elimination queues would net 4 players paying 2 real tix and 4 players paying 8 real tix: 40 real tix for a total of 3 packs payout...and there is no way for the secondary market to reallocate distribution inefficiencies of the cube tix, making the value even worse.

"Our first goal was to ensure that players who do well in a Cube draft were able to play again. This means that a player who wins a Cube draft will earn enough Cube Tickets to hop right back into the queue without jumping through any hoops." Forgot to add besides paying 2 extra bucks.
I definitely agree with the sentiments above about the new prize structure being terrible, but I have a slightly different problem with it.

The problem previously was that the packs that were being paid out would be reasonably valuable at first, but then tank in value as the market got flooded with the packs.

This "solution" that is being implemented now solves the latter part (the value won't change) while creating a NEW problem with the initial value (basically the prizes start out at a terrible value instead of trending to that point over time).

I actually don't have a huge problem with Cube online not being a very "profitable" endeavour, but the problem I have is that you literally make the hopes for "going infinite" nil. It's clearly not in WotC's best interests to have TOO many people able to go infinite, lest they stop making money, but it IS in their interests to have it at least be possible, so people will play in the hopes of achieving it (despite it not being very statistically likely).

In the Swiss queue, the best you can get is 16 cube tix. What does that actually get you? Well... it lets you enter another Cube draft if you're willing to invest 2 regular tix, then you have a non-divisible 6 cube tix leftover. If you combine a 3-0 and a 1-2 performance or a 2-1 with an 0-3 performance, you can combine to get multiples of 10, but that's still kind of terrible, even ignoring that you still have to pay actual tradeable tickets to enter ANY of these.

In the single-elimination queue, you will PROBABLY be able to recoup the next draft from 1st or 2nd, but those will still depend on the market value of the packs. Most likely, the packs will still get devalued enough (if they're even valuable enough to begin with) that 2nd place won't be able to draft again.

Also, by mixing the entry between the 2 types of tickets and making the cube tix not tradeable, you make it so that if someone has <10 cube tix, they just can't do anything with them at all. Maybe that will encourage some people to draft more with regular tix to try to fill out their cube tix, but I think it's just going to be a net negative for user experience.

My suggestion to fix this: make the alternate entry method all cube tix (and have 1st place of each draft have enough to pay that, but 2nd place is under that amount) or scale the cube tix so that you have something like 3 cube tix substitutes for 2 regular tix in cube entry. 
The OP's link does not work?
Cube? Who cares, we have Mirage and Tempest block draft queues! And, for 14 tickets instead of 15.

This link should work better: www.wizards.com/Magic/Magazine/Article.a...
I think it might be useless to make an argument that popular formats should have more profitable prizes.  Cube is very popular and therefore WotC doesn't NEED to have prizes that are equal to or better than normal drafts or constructed events. Prizes are there to encourage players to play in those formats.  If players are already playing in those formats in wide numbers, from WotC's perspective prizes are fine. 

WotC fixed the biggest problem that we had in the last release.  The prize packs kept sinking to the point where even 1st place lost money and couldn't re-enter the tournament without added investiment.

Now I would love these tournaments to be nix-tix or offer more prize packs, but I'm reasonably satisfied with a swiss prize structure where everyone gets something, 1st place does better than breaking even, and second place is close to breaking even.

--------------------------------

Okay, I just re-read the entry and realized that the cube tickets are untradeable.  This really baffles me.  Why are the cube tickets are untradeable?  This makes it impossible to cash out or trade your prizes to do other things.  Ugh....
Fixed my original link. Sorry about that!

 

Sean Gibbons

Associate Community Manager

Official MTG Twitter: @Wizards_Magic Official MTGO Twitter: @MagicOnline

Yeah....I'd love to hear the reasoning behind cube tickets not being tradable.  That just seems pretty stupid to me (or smart, depending on how you want to frame it).  WotC likely has the data to determine how many cube tickets will be "stranded" in accounts, so they are probably going to be pulling in more profit than we could predict from this.

Again, I'm also not saying these events need to have awesome prizes or anything.  You could see the prize as just being able to play the cube on MTGO.  However, untradability just seems....stupid.  I'd love to be swayed by a well thought out reason, though.

My forever unfinished blog of the 2010 MTGO Community Cup: if you're ever bored...
Yeah....I'd love to hear the reasoning behind cube tickets not being tradable.  That just seems pretty stupid to me (or smart, depending on how you want to frame it).  WotC likely has the data to determine how many cube tickets will be "stranded" in accounts, so they are probably going to be pulling in more profit than we could predict from this.

Again, I'm also not saying these events need to have awesome prizes or anything.  You could see the prize as just being able to play the cube on MTGO.  However, untradability just seems....stupid.  I'd love to be swayed by a well thought out reason, though.



They gave their reasoning in the article (not being tradeable keeps the market from flooding, so the "value" of the cube tickets stays the same). I don't agree with the reasoning or think it's a good idea, but they said why they thought it was a good idea.

Yeah....I'd love to hear the reasoning behind cube tickets not being tradable.  That just seems pretty stupid to me (or smart, depending on how you want to frame it).  WotC likely has the data to determine how many cube tickets will be "stranded" in accounts, so they are probably going to be pulling in more profit than we could predict from this.

Again, I'm also not saying these events need to have awesome prizes or anything.  You could see the prize as just being able to play the cube on MTGO.  However, untradability just seems....stupid.  I'd love to be swayed by a well thought out reason, though.



They gave their reasoning in the article (not being tradeable keeps the market from flooding, so the "value" of the cube tickets stays the same). I don't agree with the reasoning or think it's a good idea, but they said why they thought it was a good idea.


That is not said anywhere in the article.

Relevant quote

A Cube Ticket is an untradeable digital object that will be the primary prize and alternate entry option for Cube drafts going forward. When the Cube draft queues are available after the downtime on September 26, each Cube draft queue will require either 8 Event Tickets or 2 Event Tickets and 10 Cube Tickets to join. While alternative entry objects are not exactly new—see the Mirrodin Besieged and upcoming Return to Ravnica Prereleases—the fact that Cube drafts are Phantom gives us more flexibility to experiment with entry options and prize structures than we've ever had before. When looking at how we were going to use these new tickets, we really wanted to provide a structure that focuses on players who love Cube, but in a way that encourages participation for all players.


Our first goal was to ensure that players who do well in a Cube draft were able to play again. This means that a player who wins a Cube draft will earn enough Cube Tickets to hop right back into the queue without jumping through any hoops. Players will have two queues to choose from, a single-elimination queue with mixed prizes and a Swiss queue for players who just want to play Cube. Regardless of which queue you choose, if you win you will have more than enough Cube Tickets to join the next queue.


The new Cube Ticket also lets us reward participation more than ever. For the first time in Magic Online history, all players who participate in a Cube draft will earn product that can be used to join their next draft, regardless of their final standings in the tournament. This means that players will be able to earn entry into another Cube queue just by playing Cube.


Finally, we wanted to make sure that the Swiss queue was clearly the place for players who just want to play Cube while it is available. With three rounds of play and a generous helping of Cube Tickets in the prize structure, Cube fans should be very happy. Meanwhile, players who are looking for a more varied Magic Online experience, like that of previous Cube releases, can still earn booster packs for the classic product drafts by playing in the single-elimination queues.


Speaking of classic product drafts, we are excited to offer two queues—a different draft each week—during this Cube release. The first week, starting September 26, a Mirage Block queue will be available and the single-elimination Cube queue will have Mirage Block prizes. The second week, starting October 3, the Classic queue and prizes will change over to a Tempest Block and run until October 10.


We are very excited about the return of the Cube and hope you all are too. Have fun and good drafting!



Emphasis mine.
I no way does the tradability effect any of these three items (or anything else that they claimed in the article). Unless I am sorely mistaken, all three would still hold true if the cube tix were tradable.  However, profits would obviously be altered.

My forever unfinished blog of the 2010 MTGO Community Cup: if you're ever bored...
Hmmm... I'm not sure if the part I saw that explained that was there before and deleted (unlikely) or I just read between the lines, but I could've sworn that it actually talked about the devalued packs when I first read the article. I suppose it makes sense that they wouldn't talk about secondary market stuff directly in an article, though.
... but I'm reasonably satisfied with a swiss prize structure where everyone gets something, 1st place does better than breaking even, and second place is close to breaking even.


Um, no.  No one, not even first "breaks even" on swiss.  First wins a coupon to cube again for only $2, whereas second doesn't even get a coupon, he gets part of a coupon that he needs to glue to another piece of a coupon.  No one comes out ahead on digital product. No one. That is less than one person, it is 0 people.

Man Seattle is getting greedy, this is replacement ref bad.  I guess Monday night just wasn't enough.

I agree that it could be an interesting experiment if the cube tix were actually tradeable...It would even possibly serve as a fractional ticket for trading purposes...but alas they aren't, so they are worthless.
I think the prizes are pretty terrible as well, but the fact they are having Mirage and Tempest drafts overshadow that for me. The last time mirage was avaible to draft was about a year 1/2 ago, this is long overdue.
I think it'd be interesting if the prize let you keep a few random cards you drafted based on how you performed.  I think it would seriously increase the interest in the environment (profit for WotC) and increase people's interest in Cube who would otherwise not be interested in a phantom draft.  Something like:
1st - 5 random cards
2nd - 3 random cards
3rd - 1 random card
(adjusted for SE/Swiss)

It would be awesome to think you might end up with a Jace, the Mind sculptor or Vindicate when it's just as likely you end up Cultivate or Tumble Magnet.
... but I'm reasonably satisfied with a swiss prize structure where everyone gets something, 1st place does better than breaking even, and second place is close to breaking even.


Um, no.  No one, not even first "breaks even" on swiss.  First wins a coupon to cube again for only $2, whereas second doesn't even get a coupon, he gets part of a coupon that he needs to glue to another piece of a coupon.  No one comes out ahead on digital product. No one. That is less than one person, it is 0 people.

Man Seattle is getting greedy, this is replacement ref bad.  I guess Monday night just wasn't enough.

I agree that it could be an interesting experiment if the cube tix were actually tradeable...It would even possibly serve as a fractional ticket for trading purposes...but alas they aren't, so they are worthless.



Yeah, I misread the cube ticket part the first time around.  I was assuming that cube tickets would be tradeable and you could simply trade about 4 cube tickets for 2 event tickets.  Since cube tickets aren't tradeable for some weird reason my argument is not valid.

Why are cube tickets not tradeable?  Is it possible that these tickets will be tradeable in the future?  I really dislike untradeable objects, even though I also really really like cube. They are essentially the same thing as packs except it takes 8 to construct a draft set instead of 3.  The secondary value argument might hold some validity, but if cube ticket prices fall, that just makes cube drafts cheaper to enter.

From a prize support perspective, we're essentially paying 8 tickets for a chance to enter a tournament with prizes approximately worth (if cube tickets could easily be traded for what would be .6 tickets):

1st Place:  2 Packs + 7.2 regular Tickets      (12 cube tickets = 7.2 regular tickets)
2nd Place:  1 Pack + 4.8 regular Tickets       (8 cube tickets = 4.8 regular tickets)
3rd and 4th Place:   3.6 regular Tickets         (6 cube tickets = 3.6 regular tickets)
5th-8th Place:   1.2 regular Tickets                (2 cube tickets = 1.2 regular tickets)

If we assume these packs are M13 which are worth about 3.5 tickets, you can change 1st place's value to about 14 tickets and 2nd place to about 8.3 tickets.  
 
These prizes would be fine, and are about the same you see with 4-3-2-2 drafts, except you don't keep the cards, which I feel is a fair cost to play the cube.

The problem is thought that the cube tickets are untradable.  It makes it such that the cube tickets as prizes are worthless unless you have exactly 10 cube tickets, and you have to actually want to play in another cube event.  

As a result, for some people the prizes will basically be 2 packs, 1 pack, 0 packs, 0 packs, for 1st-4th.  

This system really only works for the people who will play the cube over and over again, and will build up a collection of cube tickets in such a way that they will use 10 cube tickets over and over again.   For those who just want to play once or twice, this is the worst system yet.  
From a prize support perspective, we're essentially paying 8 tickets for a chance to enter a tournament with prizes approximately worth (if cube tickets could easily be traded for what would be .6 tickets):

1st Place:  2 Packs + 7.2 regular Tickets      (12 cube tickets = 7.2 regular tickets)
2nd Place:  1 Pack + 4.8 regular Tickets       (8 cube tickets = 4.8 regular tickets)
3rd and 4th Place:   3.6 regular Tickets         (6 cube tickets = 3.6 regular tickets)
5th-8th Place:   1.2 regular Tickets                (2 cube tickets = 1.2 regular tickets)

If we assume these packs are M13 which are worth about 3.5 tickets, you can change 1st place's value to about 14 tickets and 2nd place to about 8.3 tickets.  
 
These prizes would be fine, and are about the same you see with 4-3-2-2 drafts, except you don't keep the cards, which I feel is a fair cost to play the cube.

The problem is thought that the cube tickets are untradable.  It makes it such that the cube tickets as prizes are worthless unless you have exactly 10 cube tickets, and you have to actually want to play in another cube event.  

As a result, for some people the prizes will basically be 2 packs, 1 pack, 0 packs, 0 packs, for 1st-4th.  

This system really only works for the people who will play the cube over and over again, and will build up a collection of cube tickets in such a way that they will use 10 cube tickets over and over again.   For those who just want to play once or twice, this is the worst system yet.  




It's the worst system for everyone.  Mountains of untradeable cube tickets are significantly worse for the people who just want to keep drafting as well.  This was a price increase, plain and simple, with no improvements made to support that increase.  It's a complete slap in the face to loyal customers.
Yeah....I'd love to hear the reasoning behind cube tickets not being tradable...

I assumed that they wouldn't be tradeable because of the "gambling" aspect. Kind of the same reason why events never paid out regular tickets as prizes.

Not saying that I like the prizes. I'd much rather have Mirage or Tempest block packs as prizes over Cube Tickets. But, they really don't care how I feel, I'll be too busy playing Classic drafts!
Yeah....I'd love to hear the reasoning behind cube tickets not being tradable...

I assumed that they wouldn't be tradeable because of the "gambling" aspect. Kind of the same reason why events never paid out regular tickets as prizes.

Not saying that I like the prizes. I'd much rather have Mirage or Tempest block packs as prizes over Cube Tickets. But, they really don't care how I feel, I'll be too busy playing Classic drafts!





They aren't tradeable because they don't want people to be able to keep entering into these without paying.  If they were worried about "gambling" they would have made tradeable cube packs, instead of untradeable cube tix.  Every cube ticket sitting in accounts when cube goes down is an interest free loan to WOTC until cube comes back up again. 
They aren't tradeable because they don't want people to be able to keep entering into these without paying...

If this were the case, 4-pack swiss sealed wouldn't exist in its current form. I played in many of those using prizes from the M13 release events. No tickets required.

The elephant in the room is that unless you play the single elimination and place 1 or 2 you walk away with nothing. At least if I play in a regular single elimination draft I walk away with the cards that I opened. Every once in a while I might even open a bomb rare and sell it for a couple tix. In this new cube format all I get is a bunch of useless cube tix. Consider this experiment failed before it started. Has anyone posted a positive comment?

Make the new tix tradeable. 
Yeah It's impossible if you play swiss to break even or even play in another cube draft. that's pretty filthy wizards, sort it out.
Yeah....I'd love to hear the reasoning behind cube tickets not being tradable...

I assumed that they wouldn't be tradeable because of the "gambling" aspect. Kind of the same reason why events never paid out regular tickets as prizes.

Not saying that I like the prizes. I'd much rather have Mirage or Tempest block packs as prizes over Cube Tickets. But, they really don't care how I feel, I'll be too busy playing Classic drafts!



If that is the case, it would be SO easy to turn cube "tickets" into cube "packs" and treat them exactly the same as regular packs.  Just change the graphic from a ticket to a pack and make each cube pack redeemable for 1-3 randomly chosen cards from the cube.  Yes, it's probably not worth it to open these packs, but it's generally not worth it to open regular packs either.  That should eliminate the legal concern and it might just generate some interest in cracking packs for the die-hard collectors.
I haven't played MTGO Cube before. I was considering giving it one or two games this time. But $8 is quite a hefty entry cost, and the prizes of untradeable Cube tix are going to be utterly useless to me as an occasional player. So I guess I won't bother.
I've been low on magic funds for the past year and have been focusing mostly on online play to save money. I tried tnmo a few times and thought that when I could afford it I'd try to join. I mean, at least I'd get a neat promo for 2 bucks. Then they jacked up the price to 5 bucks and I haven't considered trying it since.

I feel the same way about cube now. I really think Wizards truly does not care what I or other budget players think as almost every appeal I've made to help the players with cost goes largely unanswered aside from the sweet 10 year anniversary swag. They're losing money from me because of it. Period.
Yeah....I'd love to hear the reasoning behind cube tickets not being tradable...

I assumed that they wouldn't be tradeable because of the "gambling" aspect. Kind of the same reason why events never paid out regular tickets as prizes.

Not saying that I like the prizes. I'd much rather have Mirage or Tempest block packs as prizes over Cube Tickets. But, they really don't care how I feel, I'll be too busy playing Classic drafts!

Well, there are a couple reasons I don't agree with this.

One, tix can be bought from the store for $1, so they are alot easier to view as currency.

Two, while having to pay 2 tix to enter the draft is annoying, even when you have cube tickets, it separates cube tickets from regular tickets.  If you could enter cube drafts solely with cube tix, then the argument for them being a currency is pretty obvious.  However, because you also have to have 2 event tickets they can be viewed as a product (like boosters) because the actual event tickets are the 'fee' portion of the entry.

I just think these are more than adequate for WotC to argue that this new product is not gambling in any way, shape, or form (if anyone were to actually challenge it).

I thought that might be the reasoning, but if it is, I believe it to be faaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrr too cautious.




Other things I've thought are, as alextfish pointed out, these payouts are pretty terrible for the casual cuber.  If you are only playing 1-2 cubes per cube week, then it's quite the bad proposition.  I understand it's almost impossible to come up with a payout that will please everyone, but I'm glad they are trying (giving them the benefit of the doubt that this is trying to accomplish that rather than being a money grab).  However, I do think they should incentivize people to try out the cube more (the current payout is poor at this.)



Also, I'd like to bring up war marks and the planeswalker cards.  WotC, please don't forget that you have a subset of players that absolutely abhor untradable objects.

My forever unfinished blog of the 2010 MTGO Community Cup: if you're ever bored...
just my opinion but if cube tix r untradable wouldnt it be logical to assume they really have no value
Haha, cube payouts were already pretty terrible and now it's even worse. I wonder if this will lead to a fall in popularity of cube drafts online.    
Is this a good place for discussing the actual cube list changes or is this thread reserved for the payout discussion?

Becuase as much as I like Talrand, I'm sad to see Fettergeist go. I'd take him over Serendib Efreet any day of the week, and he was fun to smack people around with in a blue control deck. Am super-excited to see Flinthoof Boar, based on what that card can do to people in M13 Limited. Scratching my head over Hellion Crucible, though. I guess that card is solid, but...I dunno. It's just kind of an oddball. Sad to see that Rite of Ruin and Tibalt weren't kicked out at the first opportunity. </a>Skrillex needed to go, but that leaves the Crusader in an awkward spot. Also, the replacement of Arc Lightning with Flames is adorable.
I have been waiting for Cube drafts, but am bummed with this new setup.
Cube tix? Really?

Another non-tradable item to clog up my account.
I am torn with the payouts. Mirage and Tempest packs are awesome.
But the cube ticket thing is so bad. I am not a pro and prefer swiss.
But no packs for swiss?

Even if I lose 5 swiss drafts, I get 10 cube tix? Then, I pay another 2 tix
and can play in another. Wow, that's great.

I expect the normal excitement for cube drafts to taper off pretty fast.
Don't rip off the average players! 
As someone fairly new to both MTGO and limited in general, I was excited to hear there was on online cube available to draft from.  But with the cost to enter ($8) and the prizes available (essentially there aren't any if you just want to be a casual drafter), I think I'll just stay away.
I don't have a problem with the concept of cube tix, but their implementation sucks. I'm fine doing a draft that pays out produce to do more of that draft, even if it's untradable, but increasing the cost and decreasing the prize payout (in ticket value) is terrible. I did a ton the first time a round, a few the second time around (the packs the released were less valuable both because they didn't have as valuable cards in them and because the drafts for those packs costs tickets instead of being nix-tix), but I doubt I'll do any this time.
All Generalizations are Bad
When I first read this post I thought, "Well, that's cool. They're making it easier to keep drafting Cube."

Then I logged into MTGO and saw that you could not buy cube tix in the store.

Huge, huge fail. I was excited about Cube, but I can't justify playing it under these terms. Has WOTC responded to this outrage at all? The Cube Tix not being available in the store is so bad that it feels like it must be a mistake or something. Even if they were available in the store it would be a rip-off, but a less demoralizing one.
I believe the technical term for this situation is "terribad."  I will not be playing any cube drafts this time around unless they change this to something sane.  Granted, I haven't exactly been a high volume drafter, but I have played some cube in the past, and enjoyed it quite a lot.  With EV this low and annoyance factor this high, I just can't justify it.
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I wish everybody would boycott events with such terrible payouts.
Unfortunately there are enough stupid and/ or money is not an issue people that these are firing like crazy.  Doubt we get a change.
If I can pay 15 dollars to rent a tennis court to play some tennis for an hour, I have no problem paying 8 dollars to rent Wizard's cube to play some cube with 8 random people. Of course, most MTGO users are spoilt by the cheapness of the service in general so something as pathetic as 8 an dollar cost or a 1 dollar increase seems unacceptable. 

Yes, the EV is apparently worse than anything else offered in MTGO, but its just that most of the stuff in MTGO is so much cheaper than anything else in real life. I'm always amazed at how spoilt we've gotten, complaining about not getting more and more. The real mistake Wizards made was selling it to short from the beginning.

And it definitely sucks if you're used to getting paid to play instead of the other way around, like most services. I guess its ok to rant and vent about it but I can't fault Wizards for taking advantage of the strong demand for this service. 

But if you're just in it for the fun of cubing, its definitely more accesible. Boosters were devaluating too quickly with the previous structure, so anyone wanting to cube a lot would find it less and less rewarding. I assume that wizards analyzed the market and came to the conclusion that if they allowed cube tix to be tradeable, they would not be respected by bots to keep a fixed .6tx value and would just fall in value as a huge influx of one time cubers got rid of their cube tixes. This would make the prices feel even more worthless. So its probably best for everyone that these tix remain untradeable. That way, the people wanting to do multiple cubes (and that's what the price structure is aimed at) can do a bunch of swiss cubes, then, once they want to start reducing their cube tix stash, do the 4-3-3-2 style drafts to get boosters which won't have devaluated as much.

What IS important is that Wizards gives us a venue to eventually get rid of ALL our cube tix. I asked Lee and Ryan on twitter and their answer hinted at the possibility of having an event in the future that would allow people to dump their left over tickets, similar to how they made some pretty cool events for those warmarks. I wouldn't be at all surprised if they did something like this, but if they do plan to, it would have been good to announce it now so people can feel more confortable about accumulating them.

Its also important to note that they deliberately chose 2 of the draft sets with the highest EVs and most expensive booster cost right now. So the first few people to cube will actually get a much higher payout than before. I don't think anyone is accounting for that. By offering the ticket only version they will help to keep the prices up. I'm definitely more optimistic about this setup and I encourage everyone to give them the benefit of the doubt.

My personal gripes about it:
- They didn't announce the classic drafts or the early starting with at least a couple of weeks of anticipation so people could plan for it.
- They still don't offer swiss drafts for classic drafts (I hate single elimination events)
- They have not announced a way to get rid of all your cube tix once you have had enough of cubing.
For a great source of information on the Pauper format check out Pauper's Cage!
Lets forget I ranted about people ranting and look at the math.

First of all, its clear that this new payout structure isn't for people grinding for profit (which I think is a waste of time, but lets not go there). The payout also makes it more less inexpensive for people planning to play just once, since all you get are the untradeable tix. However, I will assume that Wizards looked at the numbers and found that most people who drafted the cube did so repeatedly and so they made this payout structure so that those people would benefit while at the same time avoided capsizing the value of the accompanying draft set's boosters.

So, lets calculate how many tix one person would have to spend on average to repeatedly draft the cube with the current payout and compare with a normal draft set, say Avacyn Restored. I'll just do swiss comparison for now:

It costs 8tix or 10 cube tix + 2 tix to enter. 
The payouts are  
win 0, get 2 cube tix (ctix)
win 1, get 4 ctix 
win 2, get 8 ctix
win 3, get 16ctix

To get the average we can assume a player plays 8 times, and ends up in every possible place:
1 losess all  2ctix
3x wins 1   4ctix x 3 = 12
3x wins 2   8ctix x 3 = 24
1 wins 3      16ctix
 
for a total of 54 cube tix after all 8 games.

That means he can use 50 of those won cube tixes to pay the alternate cost of 5 cube drafts. This means that player would only pay 3 full drafts of 8 tix, and 5 drafts of 2tix, so that player spends 3x8 + 5x2 = 34 tix total to play 8 drafts, having a set of average results, giving an average of 4.25tix per draft.

For avacyn Restored we have that each booster costs 4tix right now (even in the secondary market). So it costs 3x4 + 2 = 14tix to enter a draft. Lets ignore the value of the gained cards for the moment, we'll figure that out later on.

win 0, get 0
win 1, get 1 booster = 4tx
win 2, get 2 booster = 8tx
win 3, get 3 booster = 12tx

Once again the average player plays 8 times and ends up in all the places

3x win 1 = 3x4 = 12
3x win 2 = 3x8 = 24
1x win 3 = 12

For a total of 48tx. For the 8 drafts that player spends 8x14tx = 112tx but can reuse the 48tix won so he's only really spending 64tx. This means on average he would be spending 64/8 = 8tix per draft. BUT... we still need to account for  the cards from the boosters. That of course, varies from set to set, but we can compare it with the 4.25 tix the cuber is spending. Basically, the cuber is saving the equivalent of 3.75 tix, which could be interpreted as getting 1.25tix from each opened booster.

So cubing in with this payout is financially comparable to drafting a set with a booster cost of 4tix and an average EV of 1.25 for the cards in the booster. Looking at the analysis that Bubba and others have made, EV for the contents of a booster varies between 1 and 3 tix, so you can definitely argue that this is the low end of the spectrum.
 
But at the end of the day, you get what you pay for. Depending on the EV of the draft set, you may be paying a few pennies more to play a cube draft, but the stats have shown that people really, really enjoy it, so I guess it must be worth it. 

By the way, I'm pretty sure that Wizards deliberately chose a really weak draft set last time (Onslaught) just to see how it affected demand for cube. I'm pretty sure the cube drafts fired a lot and the price payout we have now is way better (if you do the math) so I expect the cube to be pretty successful again.
 
For a great source of information on the Pauper format check out Pauper's Cage!
If I can pay 15 dollars to rent a tennis court to play some tennis for an hour, I have no problem paying 8 dollars to rent Wizard's cube to play some cube with 8 random people. Of course, most MTGO users are spoilt by the cheapness of the service in general so something as pathetic as 8 an dollar cost or a 1 dollar increase seems unacceptable.



By your logic you are fine if they charge for a Cube or any other event 45 dollars? It's fair since 15 an hour is good enought for you and you get roughly 3 hours of entertainment out of a Cube.

Sports in general are not very cheap so your comparison is not very good. I can assure you that each and every game that I bought on steam during the disscounts gave me alot more hours of fun for less than 8 dollars.

Even a better comparison. Duels of the Planeswalkers. It costs 9 dollars and I got around of 100 hours of gameplay. If you compare it that way Cube aren't very cheap at all.

Another and most important point is if we as a community don't "whine" about worse prize payouts and higher costs then Wotc will have no restrictions of charging more on the next go at it.

Wotc must be ecstatic that they have supporters as yourself since you gave them "permisson" to charge 45 dollars per Cube.
I work in the same industry so yeah, I think companies, specially those offering leisure services have the right to charge whatever they want for unique srevices that they work hard for to be able to offer.

You're right though, there are indeed other cheaper things one can spend money on which is why they don't charge 45 dollars and are instead charging 8, which, as the math shows, is actually less. I do however believe it is hyperbolic to call this a failure or to say its too expensive when it's clearly not, relative to similar services.

I also think its great to give feedback and complain but it's only useful if some thought and time goes into it. Most people only think about their specific situation but comment on it as if it was the general rule, making the picture seem completely distorted.

The developers obviously put a lot of time into coming up with this payout structure. They've obviously had access to usage data and have tried address as many issues as possible while maximizing profit. They may not have arrived at the best solution yet but dismissing them just like that won't help at all.

They can't come into the forums and slap everyone who says silly things cause its bad PR and I can't do so for my own company so I do it here.
For a great source of information on the Pauper format check out Pauper's Cage!
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