Simplicity: Retarding the game in the name of "Elegance"?

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Ice Cauldron is not a bad card, you are.

The other day I got in a debate with a fellow player, who said, and I quote, "You have to admit that cards like Winter's Chill are bad design." I disagree with this sentiment. So emphatically, in fact, that the levier of said point was brought nearly to tears!

There is nothing appealing to me, at least, about cards that are proverbial two-liners. Any shmuck can take Terror, and the worlds it speaks of, and end up with Murder.

"But NeoMint," you say, "it's so elegant!" Is there some virtue to austerity that is unbeknownst to me? I'd rather have a nice, extravagant world laid out for me, than someone's mediocre desert of easy card evaluations, that are yielded by trimming all that there extrenuous text.

Any card that's interesting to me isn't parsing into an environment of intercorrelated functions. I'd much rather have a card that stands on its own, that speaks of vast potentialities in and of itself. Both views may have merits to different crowds.

As for the principle issue. I don't want cards to be easy to evaluate. That yields an easily solved "metagame". I'd rather have some weird thing like Raging River baffling me into playing it by virtue of how enticing its flavour is. Preferences aside, I'd gauge the Quality of a card in how well it captures the essence of something reflecting some aspect of the world or of myth and legend. Stoop before your Marble Priests. Yes, there's something to be said for getting a concept across in three words, but the moment you start adding caveats, you wind up with, by my reckoning, a more satisfying game. If only because it makes it so you never know precisely how good a card will be. Relatively.

 In conclusion, no one remembers what an Ice Cauldron does, and I like my Balduvian Shamans at common. They're just so Elegant. As in luxurious.
Chains of Mephistopheles
now that is just needlessly complicated

if the card is so complicated they have to use a smaller font, it is too complicated
proud member of the 2011 community team
-snip- Yes, there's something to be said for getting a concept across in three words, but the moment you start adding caveats, you wind up with, by my reckoning, a more satisfying game. If only because it makes it so you never know precisely how good a card will be. Relatively.



I agree. There was a flavor or aspect to the playing of the game back then that doesn't exist enough today. I liked it when ppl had to stop and say "Omg, WHAT? Let me see that card." So little of that in the game today. Maybe the occasional Planeswalker or Enchant, but it's not like it was. There's nothing wrong with 3-word simplicity, but the ocassional "OK, WTH does THAT thing do?" makes for exciting gameplay.

We also didn't have the opporunity to check out cards before a set dropped like we do nowadays. I enjoyed buying a box, and cracking packs with NO IDEA what I was about to see. I tried ignoring the internet once, but it's just always THERE...

You don't need 10 lines of text to have a complex card. Don't compare Ice Cauldron with our current one-liners; Alpha had its Lightning Bolts and Dark Rituals too. 


Any single Planeswalker have more complex interactions than "walls must block this guy" or "change target Circle of Protection: Color into Circle of Protection: Another Color", and with regular-sized fonts.


I'll take Xathrid Gorgons and Spelltwines over any of your examples, any day of the week, thank you very much, and don't you come to me saying they are 'easy'.


[<o>]

Two points.


Complicated cards are nice once in awhile. Cards that use unnecessary text or wording that is hard to wrap your head around are not. A good example is Sea Kings' Blessing. The errataed text on Blessing is "Any number of target creatures become blue until end of turn."


You don't need complicated cards for complicated interaction. Many games with simple pieces, and sometimes only one kind of piece, have interesting interactions. Making cards work with more of the same principles can actually open up interaction.

The elegance of say, negate and the complexity of dozens of cards can and should coexist. One type is not better than another.

3DH4LIF3

Wait, simple rules/pieces make an easily solvable metagame?


One sec, I'm gonna go find God's Algorithm for Go before finishing my dinner.
Etiamnunc sto, etiamsi caelum ruat.
-snip- Yes, there's something to be said for getting a concept across in three words, but the moment you start adding caveats, you wind up with, by my reckoning, a more satisfying game. If only because it makes it so you never know precisely how good a card will be. Relatively.



I agree. There was a flavor or aspect to the playing of the game back then that doesn't exist enough today. I liked it when ppl had to stop and say "Omg, WHAT? Let me see that card." So little of that in the game today. Maybe the occasional Planeswalker or Enchant, but it's not like it was. There's nothing wrong with 3-word simplicity, but the ocassional "OK, WTH does THAT thing do?" makes for exciting gameplay.

We also didn't have the opporunity to check out cards before a set dropped like we do nowadays. I enjoyed buying a box, and cracking packs with NO IDEA what I was about to see. I tried ignoring the internet once, but it's just always THERE...


Right on mang...Cool

You don't need 10 lines of text to have a complex card. Don't compare Ice Cauldron with our current one-liners; Alpha had its Lightning Bolts and Dark Rituals too. 


Any single Planeswalker have more complex interactions than "walls must block this guy" or "change target Circle of Protection: Color into Circle of Protection: Another Color", and with regular-sized fonts.


I'll take Xathrid Gorgons and Spelltwines over any of your examples, any day of the week, thank you very much, and don't you come to me saying they are 'easy'.




I wasn't comparing cards from different eras per se, I'm just going by what I'm most familiar with. Planeswalkers are pretty cool guys. Raging River belongs in the same category as the Gorgon at least. What I'm getting at is the simplification of execution, which trims flavourful aspects from cards.

Two points.


Complicated cards are nice once in awhile. Cards that use unnecessary text or wording that is hard to wrap your head around are not. A good example is Sea Kings' Blessing. The errataed text on Blessing is "Any number of target creatures become blue until end of turn."


You don't need complicated cards for complicated interaction. Many games with simple pieces, and sometimes only one kind of piece, have interesting interactions. Making cards work with more of the same principles can actually open up interaction.



Expansive design is more easily achieved when you can write down what a game piece actually does on the game piece itself. Besides, maybe tactical information is more reliable in a game where there's none of the abstract depth to a Checker board. It lets you keep your eye on the strategy itself. Elasticity of the game system is a good thing. Getting cramped into the foundations of a system in and of itself can be bad.
   
The elegance of say, negate and the complexity of dozens of cards can and should coexist. One type is not better than another.


Certainly. However, I think Terror and Murder Breathe different qualities of character into the game.
Wait, simple rules/pieces make an easily solvable metagame?


One sec, I'm gonna go find God's Algorithm for Go before finishing my dinner.


It probably makes it easier to figure out ways to gimp the system, at least. Is it harder to learn how to play a game with simple pieces?
Oh look, another old card nostalgia thread by Neomint. 


Is there something preventing one from discussing cards that maintain their usage regardless of age? I don't think I'm being nostalgic anyways...I like my share of new, dramatic cards, from Hellcarver Demon to Lich's Mirror.

I despise minimalism, it's obtrusive to my aims. 
Complex decisions do not require confusing cards. Confusing cards are often just poor design that make it more difficult to learn the game and get to the complex strategy.

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Wait, simple rules/pieces make an easily solvable metagame?


One sec, I'm gonna go find God's Algorithm for Go before finishing my dinner.


It probably makes it easier to figure out ways to gimp the system, at least. Is it harder to learn how to play a game with simple pieces?



No. My point was that there's no correlation. Go is an incredibly easy game to learn, with simple and logical rules, and is also widely regarded as the most complex strategy game in the world. 

Magic can similarly be easy to learn, have simple game pieces, simple rules, and an incredibly rich and complex metagame. Complex cards are good in small doses. But in larger quantities they just confuse new players and sometimes old players and don't really add anything to the strategy. The in-game strategy that takes place in any format, even Standard, is highly complicated despite the fact that removal like Murder is used.

Deck-building is equally complicated, even when the card pool is limited and most of the available cards are minimalist in design. Do I run Murder, or Tragic Slip? Or both? How many? What are the odds I will see it by turn 5 if I run 3 of them? If I run Vampire Nighthawk, can I get away with less removal? Are all these three and four drops going to make me run 25 lands?
Etiamnunc sto, etiamsi caelum ruat.
Go and Chess are both simple games, yet they are extremely difficult to master. Complexity for complexity's sake does not do a game good. Magic's complexity is more on card interaction (just as chess's complexity is on board position and interaction of the different pieces) and not on the complexity of rulings on the individual pieces. Cards in Magic don't exist in a vacuum.
Complex decisions do not require confusing cards. Confusing cards are often just poor design that make it more difficult to learn the game and get to the complex strategy.


No. Poor design is making cards that are easy to evaluate. Blind assertions are fun. "Getting to the complex strategy"? What's that? Is that where the other players are hosed out of playing the game by nuance within the system? Good games are tools, not ends unto themselves. You just get better at playing Chess, or Go , not at any manner of goodstuffs. I mean, seriously, who, beyond Tamerlane, was a man of renown that played any such games? Kriegspiel has complex gamepieces, Chess doesn't. Which receives more attention at military academies?

   

Wait, simple rules/pieces make an easily solvable metagame?


One sec, I'm gonna go find God's Algorithm for Go before finishing my dinner.


It probably makes it easier to figure out ways to gimp the system, at least. Is it harder to learn how to play a game with simple pieces?



No. My point was that there's no correlation. Go is an incredibly easy game to learn, with simple and logical rules, and is also widely regarded as the most complex strategy game in the world. 


Of course there's a correlation. In any event, highly abstract game-pieces are harder to grok for me. I'm not interested in purchasing cards because they machinate well with the rest of the set, I'm interested in cards that push the envelope on their own. Karn Liberated is interesting and provides play value, generic what-have-yous aren't.

This is all a moot point anyhow. You don't make a better game by streamlining the interesting parts. It's like in Warhammer. Back in the day, there was provision for shooting out the horses on chariots, as well as the crew. Nowadays, there's no hit allocation, because some or another simpleton (and I mean that in the sense that anyone who would simplify for the sake of simplification merits it) decided that the chariot should just be one static piece.  Boring.
Complex decisions do not require confusing cards. Confusing cards are often just poor design that make it more difficult to learn the game and get to the complex strategy.


No. Poor design is making cards that are easy to evaluate. Blind assertions are fun. "Getting to the complex strategy"? What's that? Is that where the other players are hosed out of playing the game by nuance within the system? Good games are tools, not ends unto themselves. You just get better at playing Chess, or Go , not at any manner of goodstuffs. I mean, seriously, who, beyond Tamerlane, was a man of renown that played any such games? Kriegspiel has complex gamepieces, Chess doesn't. Which receives more attention at military academies?


First off, difficult to evaluate is not the same as confusing. It is possible (and Magic has generally succeeded) in making cards that everyone understands how they work but contain heaps of nuance. Second, Magic *does* need some simple, straightforward cards for multiple reasons. Go read any of MaRo's stuff on New World Order as a starting point. Third, being good military preparation is not the same as being a good game. Games, even strategy games, are primarily for enjoyment.

Confusing cards don't promote nuance or complexity, they just hide the rules of the game from new players. If you want confusion, go play fizzbin.

Moving to Design Theory.

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Ahh, Maro. Naming things N.W.O., started riiiight when the game began being a bad game. Alliances?


Sure, you can tell yourself Wargaming isn't fun. Beats Magic.  
Care to elaborate why simple cards ARE poor design? That is blind assertion in itself, if you didn't notice. Why do you want complexity for complexity's sake?

And I do play chess. I guess we can play both chess and Magic.

Asking why chess is not prioritized in military training: surely you must be joking, right? Do they use M:tG in military training, too? Jackstones? Underwater basketweaving? No, because they don't help you in real war strategy AT ALL. By the same token I wouldn't teach how to play Infinity, a really complex tabletop miniatures strategy game, when teaching players how to play Magic. I wouldn't give my students a shovel when I'm teaching them how to paint.

This is all a moot point anyhow. You don't make a better game by streamlining the interesting parts.

 

Then why don't you try making your own complex game, then? 
Ahh, Maro. Naming things N.W.O., started riiiight when the game began being a bad game. Alliances?


Sure, you can tell yourself Wargaming isn't fun. Beats Magic.  


I didn't say wargaming isn't fun. I said games have a different objective than military training, and thus being good military training does not make something a good game. This is basic logic.

As for Magic becoming a worse game since Alliances :shakeshead:

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"While a picture is worth a thousand words, each lolcat actually produces a negative wordcount." -Ith "I think "Highly Informed Sarcasm" should be our Magic Online General motto." -Ith "Sorry, but this thread seems just like spam. TT is for off-topic discussion, not no-topic discussion." -WizO_Kwai_Chang "Stop that! If you're not careful, rational thinking may catch on!" -Sax "... the only word i see that fits is incompitant." -Mr44 (sic) "You know a thread is gonna be locked when it gets to the hexadecimal stage." -Gathion "It's a good gig" - Gleemax "I tell people often, if you guys want to rant, you've certainly got the right to (provided you obey CoC/ToS stuff), and I don't even really blame you. But if you see something you think needs changing a well thought-out, constructive post does more to make that happen." - Worth Wollpert
Care to elaborate why simple cards ARE poor design? That is blind assertion in itself, if you didn't notice. Why do you want complexity for complexity's sake?


I was mocking the other guy for stating things in a matter-of-fact manner. Complex cards are fun.

 
And I do play chess. I guess we can play both chess and Magic.


Good for you.
 
Asking why chess is not prioritized in military training: surely you must be joking, right? Do they use M:tG in military training, too? Jackstones? Underwater basketweaving? No, because they don't help you in real war strategy AT ALL. By the same token I wouldn't teach how to play Infinity, a really complex tabletop miniatures strategy game, when teaching players how to play Magic. I wouldn't give my students a shovel when I'm teaching them how to paint.


Chess is turd. My point was that good games are tools that aid in something or another.

This is all a moot point anyhow. You don't make a better game by streamlining the interesting parts.

 

Then why don't you try making your own complex game, then? 





It's a valid point to raise, the whole "then why don't you do it yourself then?" notion...the thing is, though, that what used to be a game I like was co-opted by people with different priorities. I ought be catered to, being here first, as it were. 
"Fun" is relative. For a lot of people, needlessl complexity is not fun.

Chess is turd? A game that has been played for centuries, simple yet difficult to master, acclaimed and played worldwide with a huge playerbase of all ages and also needs high IQ to play the top matches? Really now. I'm sure you can design a game infinitely better than chess, with the same depth and the same staying power.

And games that don't have practical applications in life are not good games? That will include, well, almost every game. Aside from making you win lots of money if you're really good, most games with a ball doesn't teach you anything practical in your day-to-day life except make you more fit (at the same time risking your health with injuries). Every card game on earth doesn't teach you anything practical (no, calculating probabilities of a deck of cards is not considered practical). Does anyone play Warhammer, 40k, Warmahordes and FoW to learn how to realistically plan a battle? No, because actual war and battles don't care for game balance and fair play.

So by your definition, even your pre-alliance complicated M:tG is turd because it doesn't aid you in doing anything practical.
 
Elegance in design and complexity do not work against one another in my opinion. Wrapping your head around Oblivion Ring without having played it a few times is difficult, because the mechanic that makes it a beautiful staple is what makes it elegant. I can understand why Magic only has a few Worldfires and they're absolutely unplayable, but the need to strip the game of complexity has done more harm to the overall player experience. I understand that prison decks aren't popular among newer players, but if the tools for softlocks or things like Smokestack don't exist because of the complexity they bring to the game, then R&D isn't creating new subgames of Magic, and thus aren't doing their job.

I find that the best Magic cards are elegant BECAUSE their complexity enhances gameplay, rather than making it miserable (a 'la Stasis)
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Ahh, Maro. Naming things N.W.O., started riiiight when the game began being a bad game. 




Wizards is making a card game that they are selling to make money.    Enough people think the game is good enough to spend their money on that the last year of Magic has been the best year it's ever had.  It's more popular than ever.  A lot of that is due to N.W.O, which we both know they aren't getting rid of.

You're in a very small minority.  But Wizards should cater to you because you "were here first."  Although this argument is flawed in so many ways, you lucked out.  They do still make complicated cards that are difficult to evaluate and difficult to use to their maximum potential.  Usually at rare.

What I say doesn't really matter to you though.  You know that your rant isn't going to change anything at Wizards.  You either came to complain about your entitlement or to troll.  Way to go. :D


Strategical depth is a lot more interesting than strategical complexity. One is not necessary for the other. I could invent Snakes and Ladders with a bajillion flavorful corner-cases, but it would still be roll and move. A game is a lot more enjoyable when the skill comes from the ability to understand the gamestate and move strategically, not "which one of you can remember the most card text".

Yxoque wrote:
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NWO is about the complexity at common cards. It has no effect, none at all, on the complexity at uncommon, rare or mythic. Ice Cauldron's small-font age ended a decade or so before NWO.



And even back then, it was just a small number of cards. Most cards are and always have been 'easy to get'.
Alpha had Crusade as well as Simulacrum. The Dark had both Hidden Path and Giant Shark. Mirage had Volcanic Dragon together with Consuming Ferocity. Return to Ravnica has Dreadbore and Guild Feud. I don't see a lack of hard-to-evaluate cards. They just aren't obnoxious in writting.

[<o>]
In conclusion, no one remembers what an Ice Cauldron does,

Actually, what Ice Cauldron does is simple enough.
It lets you pay the mana required for a spell in two installments, and you need to pick the spell at the time of the first installment.
The text is long and complicated because of the difficulty in making that work in terms of the game mechanics.

Coming up with weird ideas to make everyone happy since 2008!

 

I have now started a blog as an appropriate place to put my crazy ideas.

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Strategical depth is a lot more interesting than strategical complexity. One is not necessary for the other. I could invent Snakes and Ladders with a bajillion flavorful corner-cases, but it would still be roll and move. A game is a lot more enjoyable when the skill comes from the ability to understand the gamestate and move strategically, not "which one of you can remember the most card text".



Maybe. Beyond foolish attempts to architect such a thing, though, it's primarily emergent gameplay, in my opinion.

What I've been getting at is that vibrant, living cards are easier to grok. I for one get a headache in simple proximity to a Chess board, ashamed to say, but light up around say a Rock Hydra. It's not about depriving noobs of the ability to be fluent in the game, it's about not depriving seasoned players of the ability to be fluent in the game. Abstract games are bad.


Aside from which, you have to be invested into the FNM culture to find a simple card appealing for anything beyond "Wow, this beats Rend Flesh".       

Abstract games are bad.


In your opinion.
However, Ice Cauldron has nothing about it that is intuitive or flavorful. It's a bunch of text, you have forgotten what the first half was by the time you read the other one, and it doesn't say "Store a card and any amount of mana in a cauldron" or something to that effect.
However, since you felt like bringing up flavorful effects like Rock Hydra, the problem with it is that while they work easily on an intuitive level on first sight, it's incredibly hard to find out how they work within the rules of the game.

Aside from which, you have to be invested into the FNM culture to find a simple card appealing for anything beyond "Wow, this beats Rend Flesh".       


What is that supposed to mean?

Yxoque wrote:
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Abstract games are bad.


In your opinion.
However, Ice Cauldron has nothing about it that is intuitive or flavorful. It's a bunch of text, you have forgotten what the first half was by the time you read the other one, and it doesn't say "Store a card and any amount of mana in a cauldron" or something to that effect.
However, since you felt like bringing up flavorful effects like Rock Hydra, the problem with it is that while they work easily on an intuitive level on first sight, it's incredibly hard to find out how they work within the rules of the game.


And yet, it's easier to get enthused about such cards, to bother in the first place. 
Aside from which, you have to be invested into the FNM culture to find a simple card appealing for anything beyond "Wow, this beats Rend Flesh".       


What is that supposed to mean?


They're not selling me cards, at least, when the cards don't do anything interesting on their own. 
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Moving to Design Theory.


I notice there was no dummy thread left behind in Magic General to indicate this thread was moved, and to where it was moved. Some people may find it difficult to locate a thread after being moved without a pointer.

Coming up with weird ideas to make everyone happy since 2008!

 

I have now started a blog as an appropriate place to put my crazy ideas.


And yet, it's easier to get enthused about such cards, to bother in the first place.


Maybe for you. I can get excited about game mechanics and wording conventions. I know I'm a bit of a special snowflake in this scenario, but even then, if your game doesn't have any real structure then it's going to lose a lot of long term value.
They're not selling me cards, at least, when the cards don't do anything interesting on their own. 


It feels like you're trying to sell two completely different things here. Rock Hydra doesn't have any more interesting game applications just because it calls its counters for heads. And outside of that, Murder is unique in that it costs more mana for higher ease of use. I wouldn't really use Rend Flesh for any comparison, as the arcane subtype gives it a niche few other removal cards do. I can appreciate the simple differences in similar cards.


What's with the extensive modding?

Yxoque wrote:
This forum can't even ****ing self-destruct properly.

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Moving to Design Theory.


I notice there was no dummy thread left behind in Magic General to indicate this thread was moved, and to where it was moved. Some people may find it difficult to locate a thread after being moved without a pointer.



That's something we lost when we moved to the new boards a few years ago and unfortunately there's nothing I can do about it. At one point a move e-mailed all of the thread participants, but I'm not sure if that still happens either (maybe just the starter?)

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"While a picture is worth a thousand words, each lolcat actually produces a negative wordcount." -Ith "I think "Highly Informed Sarcasm" should be our Magic Online General motto." -Ith "Sorry, but this thread seems just like spam. TT is for off-topic discussion, not no-topic discussion." -WizO_Kwai_Chang "Stop that! If you're not careful, rational thinking may catch on!" -Sax "... the only word i see that fits is incompitant." -Mr44 (sic) "You know a thread is gonna be locked when it gets to the hexadecimal stage." -Gathion "It's a good gig" - Gleemax "I tell people often, if you guys want to rant, you've certainly got the right to (provided you obey CoC/ToS stuff), and I don't even really blame you. But if you see something you think needs changing a well thought-out, constructive post does more to make that happen." - Worth Wollpert
Certainly not all participants. I've heard that the thread creator is informed, but then again, that was from Bay, so I don't know.

Yxoque wrote:
This forum can't even ****ing self-destruct properly.

IMAGE(http://img.pokemondb.net/sprites/black-white/anim/normal/plusle.gif)

This thread really reeks of nerd übermensch complex.

"So you're saying you have more important things to dedicate mindspace to than the intricacies of text in cards from a game about elves and goblins? Why are you so stupid, you're making them dumb down the game which hurts smart people like me."

But I remember OP making posts like that in the past in a way that resembled trolling, so who cares.
They're not selling me cards, at least, when the cards don't do anything interesting on their own.



So you want ALL the cards to be Marble Priest-like, even though that was never the case, just because you would like it more that way?


 


It's not possible to catter for just one kind of player when designing cards. Even less when it's a tiny minority of them.


All different kinds of Magic players get they own different kinds of card designs. Don't focus on the simple cards you don't want to buy. Those weren't made for you, anyway. Take the ones you like, the complex texts that are still created, keep playing modern planeswalkers and old cauldrons. Let other players use the dark rituals and murders they like. Everyone get something, no need to complain or be offended on another player's cards.

[<o>]
They're not selling me cards, at least, when the cards don't do anything interesting on their own.



So you want ALL the cards to be Marble Priest-like, even though that was never the case, just because you would like it more that way?


 


It's not possible to catter for just one kind of player when designing cards. Even less when it's a tiny minority of them.


All different kinds of Magic players get they own different kinds of card designs. Don't focus on the simple cards you don't want to buy. Those weren't made for you, anyway. Take the ones you like, the complex texts that are still created, keep playing modern planeswalkers and old cauldrons. Let other players use the dark rituals and murders they like. Everyone get something, no need to complain or be offended on another player's cards.




There's nothing wrong with encouraging one's own preferences, as it were.

Simple cards appear deep by virtue of their complexities being evident. What I was getting at in the OP was that I dislike easy card evaluation.

Thus spake NeoMint, nerd ubermensch.

There's nothing wrong with encouraging one's own preferences, as it were.


There is, when you paint other player's preferences and Bad, Wrong and Unfun. Your preference is valid, but shouldn't be The Only Way Ever, sorry for that. Elitism is not a good position to defend.


Simple cards appear deep by virtue of their complexities being evident. What I was getting at in the OP was that I dislike easy card evaluation.


That's your oppinion. Great. Nothing wrong with this. Other players like easy card evaluation. They don't want wasting too much time evaluating each individual card, they focus on the gameplay itself and hard-to-evaluate game states and inter-card interactions. Nothing wrong with that, either.


What should WotC do, then? Make all cards only the way you like, or make some for you and some for them?


You do get some cards designed the way you like. Isn't it enough? You also want them to stop making cards to everyone else, because you don't like these?


Thus spake NeoMint, nerd ubermensch.

[<o>]
Oh come now. I placed a carefully weighted position, giving dues to the "other guy", and you're shrieking at me like Green Girl! Hyperbole aside, it's not a good position to defend, projecting on others...  
"Retarding". You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. You know, because Diregraf Ghoul. Because pre-rotation, red could do 11 damage on turn 3.

There is nothing appealing to me, at least, about cards that are proverbial two-liners. Any shmuck can take Terror, and the worlds it speaks of, and end up with Murder.



Okay, what exactly is the flavor of terror? I get why it doesn't destroy artifact creatures. And I'd get if it didn't destroy undead creatures. But not all black creatures are undead, and I don't like putting so many tribal exceptions on one card.

These days, with colors being ideologies, Murder makes more sense.

Plus, Murder is exactly as complex as Shatter. Ice Cauldron, however, is in four-point font! That's bad for players who have difficulty reading (due to poor eyesight).

"But NeoMint," you say, "it's so elegant!" Is there some virtue to austerity that is unbeknownst to me? I'd rather have a nice, extravagant world laid out for me, than someone's mediocre desert of easy card evaluations, that are yielded by trimming all that there extrenuous text.



Elegance isn't just austerity, though. Opalescence is austere, but it's also one part of a perma-Wrath combo in the next block that can also be infinite anything you want with a third card, and a rules issue that took 10 years to solve, with a card in the previous block. In short, it's inelegant.

As for the principle issue. I don't want cards to be easy to evaluate. That yields an easily solved "metagame". I'd rather have some weird thing like Raging River baffling me into playing it by virtue of how enticing its flavour is. Preferences aside, I'd gauge the Quality of a card in how well it captures the essence of something reflecting some aspect of the world or of myth and legend. Stoop before your Marble Priests. Yes, there's something to be said for getting a concept across in three words, but the moment you start adding caveats, you wind up with, by my reckoning, a more satisfying game. If only because it makes it so you never know precisely how good a card will be. Relatively.



Add a "non-vampire creatures with flying" clause to Raging River to give it more flavor.

A better example, by the way, would be the Zendikar ascension cycle, or DFCs, or split cards, or kicker, or friggin' planeswalkers! We have a whole card type dedicated to complex interactions! And of course, the copy and stealing mechanics are inherently modular.

And they don't usually drop a font size, much less down to four-point.

Complex cards belong at rare, though. New players can play pauper or peasant to avoid playing them.

I love the choice of Alliances. Ice Age was popular (and had one particularly broken card), but Legends, the Dark, Fallen Empires, and Homelands all are known for jank.

And something I've also noticed: Snow and arcane are the definition of "needless complexity" (adding some aspect to a card that nobody cares about 90% of the time), but they were both unpopular. I'll hold my tongue until the current block is over before I denounce gate with such ferocity.
139359831 wrote:
Clever deduction Watson! Maybe you can explain why Supergirl is trying to kill me.
---- Autocard is your friend. Lightning Bolt = Lightning Bolt
I love arcane and snow.
I love arcane and snow.



They didn't score well with most players, though. I just can't believe they're trying this again.
139359831 wrote:
Clever deduction Watson! Maybe you can explain why Supergirl is trying to kill me.
---- Autocard is your friend. Lightning Bolt = Lightning Bolt
And something I've also noticed: Snow and arcane are the definition of "needless complexity" (adding some aspect to a card that nobody cares about 90% of the time), but they were both unpopular. I'll hold my tongue until the current block is over before I denounce gate with such ferocity.



It's certainly not looking good. In Gate's debut appearance there are only 5 of them and only 3 other cards that care about them. That's much less support than either Snow or Arcane got.

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