Duels of the Planeswalkers is hurting Magic

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I wanted to voice my concern regarding how I believe the Duels of the Planeswalkers series of games on PC/Xbox/PS3 is doing notable damage to the meta game of Mtg. The game is developing, right from the start, the exact kind of Mtg players the community does not want.

For those of you that have not played it, DotP gives you various 60 card decks, each with 30 unlockable cards that you can use to customize your deck with. You have to earn each of the unlockable cards individually, by winning one match against a computer controlled opponent in any format. If you wish, you can pay $.99 per deck to unlock all of the unlockable cards, or make them foils.

The idea is awesome. Its like a Mtg teaser and introduction, and I've no doubt its a cash cow of WotC. My frustration stems from the unlock mechanic and the related $.99 option to unlock a full deck. I get why its there. Free money. $10 for the game, $3(ish) dollars for "expansions" that are generally two additional decks, and potentially $.99 per deck to skip the hassle of unlocking.

 Assuming you do not pay the $1/deck unlock, you have 30 games you have to win vs. the computer to get a full deck. At present, there are nineteen available decks. That means to unlock all of them, you have to win (losing does not net you a card) a minimum of 570 games. 570.

With that number, it quickly becomes an issue of efficiency  Easiest posible computer opponent, fastest games. It makes no sense to play tough starting hands, or even games that begin to skew against you. Be efficient. You've got 570 games to win. Bad opening hand? Start over. Mana screwed? Start over. Opponent plays a tough creature? Start over. Efficiency. Win as much as you can, as efficiently as you can. Losing nets you nothing, never play a likely (or even potential) loss all the way through.

I feel safe in saying this is not the type of mentality the community wants to encourage. I believe that this is exactly what Magic:DotP is doing. I would like to petition WotC to rethink their strategy around DotP to help sustain a healthy future for an awesome game.
To me, it sounds dumb to complain about the fact that you have to play the game to unlock cards. If you don't want to play the game, then don't play the game. I think it's fine that they give us the option to pay. If you buy the game with all the DLC and pay to unlock the cards, it's only around $40 total. That seems like a pretty decent price for a game that we're probably going to be playing all year long.
I don't see how 30 unlocks with deck keys for $.99 is hurting magic in any way, or what kind of detrimental mentality it's producing. And some crazy insane people like myself, enjoy playing to unlock the cards against the AI, as it gives us a good feel for the deck, and allows us to test cards that we probably wouldn't have tested if we used the deck keys.

Quite franky, if you want to be concerned about DotP hurting magic as a whole, you should be concerned with the bugs and glitches in the game that can give new players a false sense of how a card works, and then have that new player carry that line of thinking over to paper magic.

Duels of the Planeswalkers deck builds and analysis: http://megamaster125.angelfire.com/dotp

 

Another one of my websites: http://megamaster125.angelfire.com/rationalchristianity/

 

I am Blue/White

Fun fact: I've beaten each NPC match only once and have still unlocked all cards (without Expansions).


Now you can decide: Either I'm a brazen cheater or I've realized that you can unlock all cards in multiplayer matches ;) 

Some actual reasons why Duels of the Planeswalkers could be considered harmful:



  • It teaches new players that land is mana

  • It teaches new players that all players have priority at nearly all times with no regard for APNAP order

  • Conversely, it teaches new players that no one gets priority during the upkeep, draw, and combat damage steps unless something triggers during them

  • It teaches new players that damage reduces toughness

  • It teaches new players that damage orders are assigned during the damage step



To say nothing of the fact that none of the decks are designed to be competitive, have a mixture of cards from various formats including the occasional banned card, and does nothing to encourage proper trimming, all of which indirectly teaches poor deckbuilding techniques.

On the whole, the game doesn't do a very good job of teaching anything, really. It basically just says "here's some decks, play them and see what happens". New players aren't even taught any basic strategies; they have to settle for making up their own, or copying the stupid AI.


With all that said, I still don't think it's that harmful. If they learn the wrong lessons from DotP, it won't stop them from learning the right ones later, so long as they have someone to learn from.
Some actual reasons why Duels of the Planeswalkers could be considered harmful:



  • It teaches new players that land is mana

  • It teaches new players that all players have priority at nearly all times with no regard for APNAP order

  • Conversely, it teaches new players that no one gets priority during the upkeep, draw, and combat damage steps unless something triggers during them

  • It teaches new players that damage reduces toughness

  • It teaches new players that damage orders are assigned during the damage step



To say nothing of the fact that none of the decks are designed to be competitive, have a mixture of cards from various formats including the occasional banned card, and does nothing to encourage proper trimming, all of which indirectly teaches poor deckbuilding techniques.


Per your parting comment, all of this is learned from playing actual Magic. Players that adhere to the Duels Rules (heh) so strictly that they outright refuse to learn otherwise aren't likely to stick to real Magic so no real harm is done.

On the whole, the game doesn't do a very good job of teaching anything, really. It basically just says "here's some decks, play them and see what happens". New players aren't even taught any basic strategies; they have to settle for making up their own, or copying the stupid AI.


Duels of the Planeswalkers a super-advanced commercial, not a tutorial. It's not designed to teach people Magic: The Gathering's comprehensive ruleset. It's designed to give people a taste of what Magic is all about and make them want more of that they're playing. They dumb the rules down and make some changes to make it play more like a video game (where the game handles all the "comprehensive rules" interactions and decisions in the background) because that is DotP's target demographic: Video Gamers.

EDIT: As well, Deck-building also has much of it's intricacies, most notably land-count, decided for the player. They only have to decide what spells they want and the game does the rest.
However, I imagine 2014 will have the option to decide your own land distribution because it's been a very sought-after feature. Deck-building has come a long way since the first DotP.
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Some actual reasons why Duels of the Planeswalkers could be considered harmful:



  • It teaches new players that land is mana

  • It teaches new players that all players have priority at nearly all times with no regard for APNAP order

  • Conversely, it teaches new players that no one gets priority during the upkeep, draw, and combat damage steps unless something triggers during them

  • It teaches new players that damage reduces toughness

  • It teaches new players that damage orders are assigned during the damage step



To say nothing of the fact that none of the decks are designed to be competitive, have a mixture of cards from various formats including the occasional banned card, and does nothing to encourage proper trimming, all of which indirectly teaches poor deckbuilding techniques.

On the whole, the game doesn't do a very good job of teaching anything, really. It basically just says "here's some decks, play them and see what happens". New players aren't even taught any basic strategies; they have to settle for making up their own, or copying the stupid AI.


With all that said, I still don't think it's that harmful. If they learn the wrong lessons from DotP, it won't stop them from learning the right ones later, so long as they have someone to learn from.




Agree on a lot of the points as I started in MTG with DOTP the first.
It took me a while (and I'm still learning) the more detailed rules of the game.
By the way, this card was still legal in standard at the time.

It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt. - Mark Twain

Mastergear_Owen's take on Magic 2014 Campaign.

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You know what I've got more issues. Whats up with the story in this game? The adverts said I was going to team up with Chandra and we were going to kick butt and chew bubblegum across the planes on a revenge campaign against some... guy she knew I guess? Who's Ramaz anyway? What do I get instead? I beat Chandra like 2 minutes in with a mono-green stompy thing Garruk gave me (why does he keep giving all these new planeswalkers his deck) and then I spent like 5 hours jumping from plane to plane picking up random nicknacks for her mantlepiece while she sits back back doing her nails or something. I was thrown in jail! I got hit by a Roil Storm twice! Do you know how many rats are on Ravnica, Chandra? All of them! All of the rats! All of the rats eating me!

Then we go kick her Ex's bearded-screaming-butt and what does she do to help? Nothing! She throws of the occasional fire ball and spends her time trying not to freeze to death. You should have worn pants Chandra. While we're on the subject what happened to your shoes? You had like Steelies on. Steelies are cool. Now your running around with stupid boots with like 5-inch heels? Thats not appropriate footware for Planeswalking! That's not appropriate footware for normal walking! At least Liliana is doing it for the whole 'evil is sexy' thing and can summon undead to carry her when she breaks her ankle. What are you going to do ride a Phoenix? Its made of fire! You'll fall right through! Man I should have gone Planeswalking with Liliana - yeah she'd crack my head open with a rock 5 minutes in and raise my corpse to serve her but at least we could have gone dancing!

Now with more original content and open bar!

https://www.youtube.com/user/thedevilwuster

Mystic was never really a problem in standard (even though she did end up getting banned), her toys (Batterskull, War and Peace, and Feast and Famine) were the real issue...and also Jace (ugh).

Also, what in the world is OP talking about? 
I think that the good DotP players are the ones that might legitimately make a transition to paper magic (if they don't play it already), and I also believe that those are the kinds of players that don't believe they know everything about MTG. lets face it, if you're too dumb to see there is a chasm of difference between DotP and paper magic, you're probably not advanced enough to understand DotPvery well, let alone something like FNM. DotP is not only a great idea and business proposition in expanding the franchise, but it is also bringing in new blood wh are eager to learn paper magic. If there is any downside to DotP, it has to be easily mitigated by the mounds of positives it bringS... And of all the things to complain about...unlocks? Really? What the heck do you call booster packs? Do you have to duel to get them or can you just buy some packs and build a deck? OP is crazy.

 Love, a dude who got into Magic in DotP 2011 and is now starting to get into paper...
I have to agree with the OP. I played back when I was in college, Beta / Unlimited decks. Haven't touched it since, so I bought DotP on Steam thinking cool I can play this again. NOT. While the pre-made decks made the the entry easy. It gave me no drive to drive deeper. I thought to myself why can I not build a deck??? Are there other cards??? Other than what I can unlock or buy??? Multiplayer, yeah right. Cards that I never had even a chance of getting where used by my opponents, where do I even start?? Had I no knowledge of this game outside my early experience, I would be done. Google search didn't help much BTW. F'it I have other games to play.

Yes this franchise hurts the base game. Does it generate profit. Wait and see. You might be disappointed.

P.S. Don't PM  me, I sold my Mox's a long time ago, before they were worth anything. "IDIOT"....I think now.
Multiplayer, yeah right. Cards that I never had even a chance of getting where used by my opponents, where do I even start??



Everyone has the same card pool for each given deck. You have to unlock the cards first, but once you do, you're on the same level as your opponents card pool wise.

Had I no knowledge of this game outside my early experience, I would be done.



The game has a built in tutorial, and tips that tell you what keyword abilities do.

Yes this franchise hurts the base game. Does it generate profit. Wait and see. You might be disappointed.



If DotP 2012 didn't generate a profit, then there wouldn't be a DotP 2013.

Duels of the Planeswalkers deck builds and analysis: http://megamaster125.angelfire.com/dotp

 

Another one of my websites: http://megamaster125.angelfire.com/rationalchristianity/

 

I am Blue/White

DotP got me back into the actual card game.

And I refuse to pay for unlocks, except the base deck. Playing to unlock all the cards in a deck teaches me how to use it properly. 
You are Red/Blue!
You are Red/Blue!
Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.
You are both rational and emotional. You value creation and discovery, and feel strongly about what I create. At best, you're innovative and intuitive. At worst, you're scattered and unpredictable.
Just 10 disageements.

And the other one is just preference.
I like to have all cards unlocked.
Cut to my desired mechanics and playtest until it works as intended and I'm comfortable (not have to zoom in to recognize, or put hesitant thought into) with playing my deck.

It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt. - Mark Twain

Mastergear_Owen's take on Magic 2014 Campaign.

Show
You know what I've got more issues. Whats up with the story in this game? The adverts said I was going to team up with Chandra and we were going to kick butt and chew bubblegum across the planes on a revenge campaign against some... guy she knew I guess? Who's Ramaz anyway? What do I get instead? I beat Chandra like 2 minutes in with a mono-green stompy thing Garruk gave me (why does he keep giving all these new planeswalkers his deck) and then I spent like 5 hours jumping from plane to plane picking up random nicknacks for her mantlepiece while she sits back back doing her nails or something. I was thrown in jail! I got hit by a Roil Storm twice! Do you know how many rats are on Ravnica, Chandra? All of them! All of the rats! All of the rats eating me!

Then we go kick her Ex's bearded-screaming-butt and what does she do to help? Nothing! She throws of the occasional fire ball and spends her time trying not to freeze to death. You should have worn pants Chandra. While we're on the subject what happened to your shoes? You had like Steelies on. Steelies are cool. Now your running around with stupid boots with like 5-inch heels? Thats not appropriate footware for Planeswalking! That's not appropriate footware for normal walking! At least Liliana is doing it for the whole 'evil is sexy' thing and can summon undead to carry her when she breaks her ankle. What are you going to do ride a Phoenix? Its made of fire! You'll fall right through! Man I should have gone Planeswalking with Liliana - yeah she'd crack my head open with a rock 5 minutes in and raise my corpse to serve her but at least we could have gone dancing!

Now with more original content and open bar!

https://www.youtube.com/user/thedevilwuster

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