12/17/2012 Feature: "Magic Online, The Executive Summary"

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This thread is for discussion of the feature article "Magic Online, The Executive Summary", which goes live Monday morning on magicthegathering.com.
You know, I wasn't always optimistic about the beta (at all), and it still has a long way to go, but yeah, the more I play with it (and the more it improves), the more I find it to be a good thing. By next summer I'm sure it will be quite pollished. 
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Okay, this article, I think it is the worst thing I have ever read on the website. First, I know noone who knows anyone who prefers the new client. Has anyone ever seen any stream video about online where someone uses the new thing? Second, I find it extremely disturbing that while it is being said that magic online is a smashing success, it is excactly that for only the company. I, as a player have seen absolutely nothing, which has gone for the better. Examples: Mocs. The third bye was removed which directly punishes the better players as well as the lcq which was removed which does the same for worse ones. The limited events meant players did not get any new cards and the opt out option was also removed. would make sense that if we have to play with phantom cards in limited, then we could do the same in constructed, but no. I had to pay 120 tix last time to get 15 missing cards for me for my deck. Mocs does absolutely nothing to reward the better players. Just look at the end of the year standings. _Batutinha got 1351+ qp-s and he gets absolutely NOTHING for it. I have won the draft/limited thingy for each of the 4 years and my "prizes" have been 9 onslaught block packs plus a qualification for one of next years mocs which I never got to use, because it is impossible not to qualify, next year it was 36 packs and the 2 last years it has been nothing.
Cube takes in 8 tix and gives back about 30% of it and absolutely no cards and that 30 % also requires you to invest more to it, no matter how good your result was. The prize structure is horrible and I have not been able to play the last 3 times because of it and I will not do it this time also.

some other areas: the prize structure in multiset blocks is horrible as it doesnt give out proportionally the same ammount of packs, leaving pointless packs in peoples accounts. which they cannot use. (like 3 dka packs which you cannot use to enter another draft since you need inn, but no queue gives out inn enough) also, the draftqueue options. 4322 has not been the most popular queue for a while now but it is still being fed to us with every set but the last one. we dont want to play in it. Give us the swiss/84 option instead.
A lot of stuff just isnt addressed. Like the scrolling bug, which has been around for 4 years and has never been fixed for no reason.
Players are being told everywhere that they cannot discuss trade matters and have a conversation about it when it is extremely unreasonable since it is an important part of the game and the ORC-s comments about talking about it in classifieds are extremely funny and unreasonable.
A lot of events take in only tix with each of them being horribly overcosted leaving people less chance to use their packs. That is extremely bad for players and extremely good for the company to make some quick cash.

some areas havent had negative changes yet. the champs for certain set have remained the same, which is good. The prize structure is good and evrything is fine. the 4 pack sealed is okay. Since I dont like spending tix, I join it a lot. the prereleases went 5 tix cheaper but guess what, they are still expensive and you cannot use your own packs again.

If everything is fine and good and improving in magic online, how about giving something back to players for once? I really cannot recall a single thing that has gone towards being player friendly besides the -5 tix in prereleases(still expensive). Please think about us now also. the first thing to do would be to think this new mocs through from a players perspective also. If 99% of players dont like something which gives you 10000 dollars per month, maybe you should listen to them?

Thanks.
Hannes

P.S. I challenge you, give me some feedback on my thoughts. I have NEVER seen any public feedback or explanation on serious criticism before. Make it a first, please.

Turns out,Magic players like data, math, and stats even more than we thought you would (not sure how that is possible!).

It's possible because you've underestimated them according to the new WotC mission statement: Players are slack-jawed cretins who want to paw at the the top of their deck and shove cards at the opponent, grunting and pointing, until they're rewarded with an ego-boosting win.  You're hardly the cause of that, Worth, but you seem to have caught the virus from R&D.

I mean, deliberately withholding data?  I guess that shows creativity.  You've discovered a new way to insult your players that doesn't even involve ratings. 

If you're on MTGO check out the Free Events via PDCMagic and Gatherling.

Other games you should try:
DC Universe Online - action-based MMO.  Free to play.  Surprisingly well-designed combat and classes.

Planetside 2 - Free to play MMO-meets-FPS and the first shooter I've liked in ages.
Simunomics - Free-to-play economy simulation game.

First, I know noone who knows anyone who prefers the new client.

I do think it's getting better.  But I also suspect their survey data has a huge selection bias.  The first time it was available, lots of people were curious.  But people who couldn't stand it are less likely to come back for successive versions, so the "would you recommend it" move is a result of population shift more than a perception change.

Unless you're correcting for that by polling the exact same people then and now.  But I doubt it.

If you're on MTGO check out the Free Events via PDCMagic and Gatherling.

Other games you should try:
DC Universe Online - action-based MMO.  Free to play.  Surprisingly well-designed combat and classes.

Planetside 2 - Free to play MMO-meets-FPS and the first shooter I've liked in ages.
Simunomics - Free-to-play economy simulation game.

Am I the only one that is continuesly frustrated by how terrible the trading system is? I know he said they were going to work on it a little in late January, but I really feel that the whole trading system needs a complete overhaul. It is a absolute pain to trade for cards in this current state.

We need to be able to break tickets into like 100 "stubs" for currency sake and then have 1 Grand market where a person can put a card up for sale and let it sit there until it sells to some other buyer even while they are offline. It is so frustraiting looking for cards and just trading in general with MTGO.
Moving to Magic Online General.

Also, a reminder that we have dedicated threads for beta feedback stickied in the top of Magic Online General. Specific feedback about the beta should be posted there, not here.

Magic and Magic Online Volunteer Community Lead. On Strike

I'm trying to make my official VCL posts in purple.

You posted saying my thread was moved/locked but nothing happened.


Show
Unfortunately, VCLs do not currently have the tools necessary to take moderation actions directly. VCLs submit their actions to ORCs, who then actually perform the action. This processing can take between a few minutes and several hours, depending on how busy/attentive the ORCs are.

If you see something that needs VCL attention, please use this thread to make a request and a VCL will look at it as soon as possible. CoC violations should be reported to Customer Service using the "report post" button. Please do not disrupt the thread by making requests of either kind in-thread.

General MTGO FAQ

Yes, the Shuffler is Random!
The definitive thread on the Magic Online shuffler.

Magic Math Made Easy
Draw probabilities, Swiss results, Elo ratings and booster EV

Event EV Calculator
Calculate the EV for any event with a fixed number of rounds and prizes based on record

Dual means two. A duel is a battle between two people. Lands that make two colors of mana are dual lands. A normal Magic battle is a duel.
Thanks to PhoenixLAU for the [thread=1097559]awesome avatar[/thread]!
Quotables

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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
Please fix the saving of replays so that it works 100% of the time.

Not to put too fine a point on it, this is a ridiculous bug to even ship with, never mind leave in place for years. It's the software equivalent of leaving the house without your pants on!

When I play a game, I do not want to have to take detailed play-by-play notes as the game is going on. I want to click on 'My Games' and see the game listed there, then replay it at my leisure. Magic Online already supports this. It works for about one game in four. And when it works, it's great. So please fix it.

This surely MUST be on your to-do list somewhere? If not, it should be. And if it is, please stop pretending it's some kind of unimportant corner case and FIX IT. Possibly it's hard to find time? I propose TODAY, before whatever it is you were just about to do that is far less important.
No plans for ipad release?

this is really bad news. 
Please fix the saving of replays so that it works 100% of the time.

Not to put too fine a point on it, this is a ridiculous bug to even ship with, never mind leave in place for years. It's the software equivalent of leaving the house without your pants on!

When I play a game, I do not want to have to take detailed play-by-play notes as the game is going on. I want to click on 'My Games' and see the game listed there, then replay it at my leisure. Magic Online already supports this. It works for about one game in four. And when it works, it's great. So please fix it.

This surely MUST be on your to-do list somewhere? If not, it should be. And if it is, please stop pretending it's some kind of unimportant corner case and FIX IT. Possibly it's hard to find time? I propose TODAY, before whatever it is you were just about to do that is far less important.

I hate the "this" reply, but I feel it's needed here. One of my biggest annoyances is the "My Games" tab. I play a lot of 4-pack sealed so there's usually 3 rounds of games per event. Well some events I'm missing one game total of the replays. Others I'm lucky to have one or two games saved. Please fix this.
I have the say, the talk of wanting to turn off the current client in favor of the beta in approx 6-8 months has me a little worried, I also have to wonder exactly how many of the people in the first poll were actually represented in the second.

I have played on the beta a bit and trust my, I have really really tried to like it, trust me I have tried. There are alot of things that have improved since it was first previewed, but in all honesty, the number of features that are actually as good as or better than the current client are somewhat lacking still. The drafting interface (building your deck as you go) and sealed deckbuilding are the only ones that come to mind that are definately better.

The duel interface, while improving, is still a fair way to go from being an actual improvement. The horizontal stack is (in my opinion) just plain worse than the vertical one we have currently, too much emphasis is placed on "Oh look, pretty borders, look how we can hide away the exiled/revealed/shields zones" at the expense of practicality. Life totals require me to squint to tell what they are, same with hand size and cards left in library. I don't want a super pretty interface (ie - popped out borders, colours etc) I want a clean, effecient, modular interface so I can focus on what it's meant to do, PLAY MAGIC: THE GATHERING.

I wont go into what I don't like about the deck builder/collection screen other than that I want my collection back, I don't understand why they were combined in the first place, deck building and viewing my collection/trading should be separate.

Honestly if your goal is to get the new client ready for release, that's fantastic, but please, do it right. I also have no idea why it appears the first point on the development teams agenda was "Take the old client and completely remake and redesign everything" instead of improving on established ideas that worked and re-working what didn't. The old client wasn't perfect, but there was alot of things that essentially worked exactly as they needed to, not everything needed to be scrapped and re-designed from scratch.

This sort of article makes me so angry to read. 


MTGO is a commerical success despite the incompetence of the people who code and manage it. 


Three words - Fix. The. Bugs.


Do you know what's funny? I couldn't even put those words in a numbered list within this reply because of a bug in your form.


Your software is riddled with so many amateurish bugs. One example: you have got your qualifier points ascii sorted instead of numerically sorted. This just in - our number system does not go 1, 10, 11, 12.....2, 20, 21, 22......3, 30, 31, 32. Quality Assurance - do try it.


To be honest, fixing the bugs is only a start, its not enough. Once the bugs are fixed maybe you could trying cracking open a book on GUI design (kidding, just google it) and try making the interface something that is actually user friendly and intuitive. The fact that so many people, including top Pros, can make misclick mistakes playing a game that they are extremely proficient at is an indictment on your designers.


Next I would like to start whinging about the business management of MTGO, but really, there is only so much pointlessness I can indulge in. MTGO seems destined to be developed and managed by amateurs.  Can you honestly look at any online poker client and not just feel so embarrassed by your own product? The chutzpah required to post these kind of self back patting articles is mind blowing. 

How many times does a company get to predict something before it becomes a lie?

In the first couple of years after leagues disappeared,  I remember statements that it would be available or at least begun within a couple or three quarters...then a year...then two years. I just looked for some of these old statements and have found none. Maybe they've been scrubbed off the site so they won't be so incriminating?

One theory as to why they would keep lying like this and saying "Just a few more months!" is that they realize people will keep coming back and logging on to the client to check for leagues. Every time someone logs on, there's a chance that money will be spent! It's a great (horrible!) marketing strategy for a company that I've always liked and thought was honest in most other ways (outside the Reserved List, but I only care about the honesty & trust issues there, not the reprints). 

So keep checking back in! Maybe they'll have leagues some year...and don't forget to keep your credit card handy while you're checking!
I only checked the article to see whether there was any hint of an iPad version of MTGO. Sadly, not yet.

What I did notice in passing was the horrendous inferences being drawn from the feedback data. I would have thought that the responses are cripplingly biased towards those who liked the Beta product, since those who were quickly turned off the new version probably didn't stick around to give their feedback.

As I say, I'm only waiting for an iPad version so color me agnostic to the version 3 vs Beta debate, but the glaringly clumsy "pepsi sip test" deductions made me wince.
Am I missing something, or is this a monday with no Mark Rosewater article??
Please fix the saving of replays so that it works 100% of the time.



This is a major issue for me as well.

Am I missing something, or is this a monday with no Mark Rosewater article??


This week would normally be a holiday week. Instead, this year they're doing Magic Online related articles with different authors. So yes, this is a Monday without MaRo.

Also: I should go back and check the Beta again, but last time I messed with it, it still wasn't a user friendly client.

Also: I'll agree with the desire for an auction house type system. Of course, as others have mentioned, that requires first dividing tickets into pieces so you don't have to spend a minimum of $1/card on such a house. 
Immature College Student (Also a Rules Advisor)
Please fix the saving of replays so that it works 100% of the time.



I will add my voice to this. It's absurd that MTGO cannot do something as simple as save a game with consistency. Maybe 1 out of 3 of my games are saved. If this is the best you can do, then My Games should not be included as a feature. 
They had a third party doing the game in the beginning. Since they left, it's never been right.
Great to hear Magic is doing so well and as a result Magic Online is also doing well. I use the program almost every day and despite its many flaws enjoy it a great deal.

However, the criticism above by numerous posters shows Magic Online still has a long way to go. It's unbelievable how many small bugs and irritating features have excisted for years and still aren't fixed.
The same holds true for the beta. I used it in some events during the weekend and playing draft is fine. The drafting portion is actually good, while in-game playability is.... well playable (although certainly worse than V3). But once we get to collection overview it's just terrible and I can't ever imagine building a deck or trading on the new client. Also given how slowly things have progressed in the last 6 months, I fear it won't be much better in 6 months time when the old client will be phased out.
I'm also hugely surprised by the positive feedback loop and like others before me I think these results shouldn't be taken for granted without further examination. Like someone said earlier in the thread, if people actually prefer the beta we'd see some streams using it, but so far not a single player has switched.

 
Why the hell is this in Magic General? It's an article thread.
Great to hear Magic is doing so well and as a result Magic Online is also doing well. I use the program almost every day and despite its many flaws enjoy it a great deal.

However, the criticism above by numerous posters shows Magic Online still has a long way to go. It's unbelievable how many small bugs and irritating features have excisted for years and still aren't fixed.
The same holds true for the beta. I used it in some events during the weekend and playing draft is fine. The drafting portion is actually good, while in-game playability is.... well playable (although certainly worse than V3). But once we get to collection overview it's just terrible and I can't ever imagine building a deck or trading on the new client. Also given how slowly things have progressed in the last 6 months, I fear it won't be much better in 6 months time when the old client will be phased out.
I'm also hugely surprised by the positive feedback loop and like others before me I think these results shouldn't be taken for granted without further examination. Like someone said earlier in the thread, if people actually prefer the beta we'd see some streams using it, but so far not a single player has switched.

 



I saw someone stream with it.  I don't think they even made it through the drafting portion before going back to the old client.

I downloaded the beta client to try it out.  Though I keep going back to the active one.  I guess I really need to force myself to use it on a draft or two.  Though its so hard to want to throw away a draft trying to get use to it when the interface doesn't seem like an improvement.  By throwing away a draft, I mean I will probably play or draft a lot worst than normal just trying to get use to it and its quirks.
Why the hell is this in Magic General? It's an article thread.


Because the ORC moved it to the wrong place.

Magic and Magic Online Volunteer Community Lead. On Strike

I'm trying to make my official VCL posts in purple.

You posted saying my thread was moved/locked but nothing happened.


Show
Unfortunately, VCLs do not currently have the tools necessary to take moderation actions directly. VCLs submit their actions to ORCs, who then actually perform the action. This processing can take between a few minutes and several hours, depending on how busy/attentive the ORCs are.

If you see something that needs VCL attention, please use this thread to make a request and a VCL will look at it as soon as possible. CoC violations should be reported to Customer Service using the "report post" button. Please do not disrupt the thread by making requests of either kind in-thread.

General MTGO FAQ

Yes, the Shuffler is Random!
The definitive thread on the Magic Online shuffler.

Magic Math Made Easy
Draw probabilities, Swiss results, Elo ratings and booster EV

Event EV Calculator
Calculate the EV for any event with a fixed number of rounds and prizes based on record

Dual means two. A duel is a battle between two people. Lands that make two colors of mana are dual lands. A normal Magic battle is a duel.
Thanks to PhoenixLAU for the [thread=1097559]awesome avatar[/thread]!
Quotables

Show
"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
The best news from the article, in my opinion, is that they are finally going to make a tutorial. Its only taken 10 years and 4 clients.
Its scary to think how many people have been lost after signing up, having no idea what to do and then never coming back.

Also I agree that there must be selection bias going on with those stats. I'm using the beta 80% of the time and I wouldn't recommend it yet. Its improving and should be ok in another 6 months but its still a bit iffy.

I've bought the cards and made a deck Now how do I win at this?

When are we going to be able to use our "cards" as if they were real, ya know, cards!?  Forcing us to pay MSRP for packs is one thing, but then not throwing us a bone and letting us use them as we would at the kitchen table is insulting.

I got so excited to hear that Cube Drafting was coming to MTGO in 2012 and all we got was a way to buy in to a premade limited set.

I want to be able to create my own cube and have my own online friends come and draft with me online.

I will even buy tickets to purchase the cards I want for my cube.

But I want to be able to draft with my collection just like I can at home.  Do you really think having this functionality will ruin your bottom line?  The spenders will always spend and those who choose to be more frugal will always pinch pennies.
When are we going to be able to use our "cards" as if they were real, ya know, cards!?  Forcing us to pay MSRP for packs is one thing, but then not throwing us a bone and letting us use them as we would at the kitchen table is insulting.

I got so excited to hear that Cube Drafting was coming to MTGO in 2012 and all we got was a way to buy in to a premade limited set.

I want to be able to create my own cube and have my own online friends come and draft with me online.

I will even buy tickets to purchase the cards I want for my cube.

But I want to be able to draft with my collection just like I can at home.  Do you really think having this functionality will ruin your bottom line?  The spenders will always spend and those who choose to be more frugal will always pinch pennies.



That would probably cut a lot of money out their cube since it would be used a lot less.  I don't see this happening any time soon.  Even though many people would like to do it.
I'm glad you are doing these once a year and thanks for taking the time to do this Worth.  Honestly I felt like this article had more meat in it than anything I've seen you all put out in a while. 

I have a feeling the chart showing the % of people that are happy with the beta is a tad skewed.  If you were to look at that same number but remove all players that have been playing for 1 year or less I think it would be much lower.  While I don't love the beta, it is coming along and the game scene has gotten a ton better than it was.  Everything else about it still feels very bloated and confusing but is slowly getting better. 

My main peeve is that you all would put the beta up live with all of the trade bugs that I have to deal with!  Seriously the main bug is just a simple cache bug that would take someone 2 seconds to fix.  I know you all have priorities on various scenes but why not fix a simple bug like that, that can cause people to lose cards in a trade?
PureMTGO.com
Cape Fear Games located in Wilmington, NC. Get 20% extra MTGO credit for your paper cards.
When are we going to be able to use our "cards" as if they were real, ya know, cards!?  Forcing us to pay MSRP for packs is one thing, but then not throwing us a bone and letting us use them as we would at the kitchen table is insulting.

I got so excited to hear that Cube Drafting was coming to MTGO in 2012 and all we got was a way to buy in to a premade limited set.

I want to be able to create my own cube and have my own online friends come and draft with me online.

I will even buy tickets to purchase the cards I want for my cube.

But I want to be able to draft with my collection just like I can at home.  Do you really think having this functionality will ruin your bottom line?  The spenders will always spend and those who choose to be more frugal will always pinch pennies.



That would probably cut a lot of money out their cube since it would be used a lot less.  I don't see this happening any time soon.  Even though many people would like to do it.



I don't think it would.  The people who are cubing now are doing it because its fun but also because there's prize support.  A public cube would not have prize support and so those still seeking a competive way to cube would still hit up WotC's version.  Like I said, the people that are going to spend are going to spend.
When are we going to be able to use our "cards" as if they were real, ya know, cards!?  Forcing us to pay MSRP for packs is one thing, but then not throwing us a bone and letting us use them as we would at the kitchen table is insulting.

I got so excited to hear that Cube Drafting was coming to MTGO in 2012 and all we got was a way to buy in to a premade limited set.

I want to be able to create my own cube and have my own online friends come and draft with me online.

I will even buy tickets to purchase the cards I want for my cube.

But I want to be able to draft with my collection just like I can at home.  Do you really think having this functionality will ruin your bottom line?  The spenders will always spend and those who choose to be more frugal will always pinch pennies.



That would probably cut a lot of money out their cube since it would be used a lot less.  I don't see this happening any time soon.  Even though many people would like to do it.



I don't think it would.  The people who are cubing now are doing it because its fun but also because there's prize support.  A public cube would not have prize support and so those still seeking a competive way to cube would still hit up WotC's version.  Like I said, the people that are going to spend are going to spend.

The modo Cube doesn't really have prize support...

Broadly speaking, I'm ok with the new beta. I like the new draft interface, and the gameplay interface is about as equally terrible as the old gameplay interface. Pretty much all the old problems are still there (it not being easy enough to remove auto-yield, messing up because you don't have a stop set, ect.) except for the stupid mulligan thing. I'm not thrilled that it seems to be even more of a system hog than the current client, and I haven't really used the trade interface for anything but splits but it and the collection interface still seem like sort of a mess.
When are we going to be able to use our "cards" as if they were real, ya know, cards!?  Forcing us to pay MSRP for packs is one thing, but then not throwing us a bone and letting us use them as we would at the kitchen table is insulting.

I got so excited to hear that Cube Drafting was coming to MTGO in 2012 and all we got was a way to buy in to a premade limited set.

I want to be able to create my own cube and have my own online friends come and draft with me online.

I will even buy tickets to purchase the cards I want for my cube.

But I want to be able to draft with my collection just like I can at home.  Do you really think having this functionality will ruin your bottom line?  The spenders will always spend and those who choose to be more frugal will always pinch pennies.



That would probably cut a lot of money out their cube since it would be used a lot less.  I don't see this happening any time soon.  Even though many people would like to do it.



I don't think it would.  The people who are cubing now are doing it because its fun but also because there's prize support.  A public cube would not have prize support and so those still seeking a competive way to cube would still hit up WotC's version.  Like I said, the people that are going to spend are going to spend.




There is no real prize.  You get some cube tickets which aren't good for anything and can't be traded nor put more cards in your collection.  Maybe if you are lucky and do the super competative cube you still can't even get a draft set for another format.

What people are doing cube for competive reasons?  Even if you are, wouldn't you get more out of making an exact copy of the cube and getting your testing people to play with you?

Every person I have seen do cube or a cube video or mention it has done it for fun.
No mention of an Android or iPad version is sad news. These tablets are replacing laptops for numerous consumers, yet not a word on compatibility.
Given how long it takes to even update the client or re-establish leagues for instance, I'd say we are at least 4-5 years away from a tablet version of MTGO, which is unacceptable imo.
Although not suported and with a few issues I've been told the beta works on windows 8 tablets.
Don't expect it to be available on a different OS untill they can make it work properly on the main one. Also untill the last update the beta was very cramped on a PC monitor, I'd hate to see it on a tablet screen.

I've bought the cards and made a deck Now how do I win at this?

Apart from bugs (the only major one remaining that I'm aware of is the trade one), and a couple of minor annoyances like chat windows, the beta client is a far better piece of software than V3.The new one is cleaner, delivers information in a better way, more visually appealling and has a far better deckbuilding and managing interface. If both were released at the same time no one in their right mind would choose the old one. People severely underestimate the strength of their inertia bias with user interfaces, and don't give themselves a proper chance to learn new UIs and see if they actually are as bad as they "feel" at first. I pity software developers, people get so stuck on the functionality of the old versions that everything which is "different" in a new version is automatically interpreted by existing users as bad, whether it actually is or not.
Is Gordon still the tech guy? I saw that they are looking for a development director.

Your software is riddled with so many amateurish bugs. One example: you have got your qualifier points ascii sorted instead of numerically sorted. This just in - our number system does not go 1, 10, 11, 12.....2, 20, 21, 22......3, 30, 31, 32. Quality Assurance - do try it.

If that amuses you, did you know that in earlier days MTGO

A) Not only communicated card data via XML, but took the whole XML field including tags and stored it as a text field in the database?


B) Had no field for Quantity and could only store a stack of 40x the same card as 40 different lines

If you're on MTGO check out the Free Events via PDCMagic and Gatherling.

Other games you should try:
DC Universe Online - action-based MMO.  Free to play.  Surprisingly well-designed combat and classes.

Planetside 2 - Free to play MMO-meets-FPS and the first shooter I've liked in ages.
Simunomics - Free-to-play economy simulation game.

Hate to say it, buy these don't sound like the happy customers you claim in your article.

I echo many of their sentiments, including poor prize support for cube and large tournies (ptqs, mocs, etc.), rediculousness that leagues have not come back ALREADY, and the curiously absurd phenomenon that the clients seem to get worse with every release.  Why could not the current one be tweaked to accomodate the new features, rather than throwing the baby out with the bath water?  Every time I have played with the Beta I have ended up just not wanting to play any more ... until I remembered there was another, functional, client I could switch back to. 


Apart from bugs (the only major one remaining that I'm aware of is the trade one), and a couple of minor annoyances like chat windows, the beta client is a far better piece of software than V3.The new one is cleaner, delivers information in a better way, more visually appealling and has a far better deckbuilding and managing interface. If both were released at the same time no one in their right mind would choose the old one. People severely underestimate the strength of their inertia bias with user interfaces, and don't give themselves a proper chance to learn new UIs and see if they actually are as bad as they "feel" at first. I pity software developers, people get so stuck on the functionality of the old versions that everything which is "different" in a new version is automatically interpreted by existing users as bad, whether it actually is or not.




Its not just inertia bias, there are a heap of things in the new client that are just plain worse. Targeting can be confusing, stuff moving around for no reason causing more misclicks (in a sealed pe, the game reordered my lands when I played a new type contributing in me tapping the wrong mana, should I have been paying more attention? Sure. But why was it reordering stuff in the first place?) and things like life totals, hand size etc are tiny numbers, almost like they are an after thought.

The whole ui is full of wasted space in borders and other stuff that just takes up so much space, have you seen the stack when a heap of things trigger? Or searched your library? Personally in don't understand why the whole thing isn't modular, I should be able to rearrange the play screen however I want, stack or unstack my land in whatever way I choose.

The new UI isn't really an improvement over the old one, it looks like their main goal was to just make it different, no matter what worked before, change it anyway. Some things are better, sure but there is still much more to do.
I play with the new client on a regular basis (three/four times a week) and I agree with some of the negative comments but need to add some to the positive: the way the cards look and how the count of each is shown in the collection is clever, useful, and beautiful. There are a few quirks here and there that I come across regularly:

1. It is a RAM hog. Sometimes the client goes up to 1 GB of RAM in my 4 GB RAM laptop.
2. Sometimes a game will hang when setting up and if you join it, it sits there and you have to get out and set up your own game instead of joining the one that every one gets stuck on. The error seems to go away after 10 minutes or so, but you just have to know not to join the game that has been waiting for new players for several minutes.
3. The 'confirm trade' buttom is hidden on small screens. Eventually I asked the ORC (after failing to complete a trade while looking for said buttom) and without any help decided to make the window smaller than my screen and there it was!

Now more of the positives:

1. I like to take screenshots and the new client makes the most beautiful screenshots. When I buy a pack or an intro deck, I can take a nice screenshot of the contents.
2. The new list view is really cool. The old list view was OK, but the new is a clear improvement.
3. I like the way categories of cards are displayed (all black, black with other colors, etc). This feature really helps with a set like Return to Ravnica.

I would like from the old client to be put in the new client:

1. Hover over any card and you see a large picture of it. This is useful when a card has changed P/T by abilities.
2. A better view of the graveyard. The old client does it better.

Please check out my Blog:

Magic the Gathering Adventures Blog

http://mtgadventures.blogspot.com/

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http://www.youtube.com/user/rubiera22/featured

 

I was interested in playing mtgo for the new p9 cube. Here's what I came up with:

It looks like 10 cube tickets are worth 8 regular tickets, or $8.

By that logic the total entry fee for cube is $8 for 8 people, or $64.
Payout (at least in the swiss) is 30 cube tix total, or 18 regular tickets, or $18.


So that means that for me, it's an $8 entry, and expected payout of $2.25. So on average I'm paying $5.75 for a phantom draft. Makes no sense.

I'm baffled by the business model. Why is the price so high? Can someone explain this to me?

Also, why don't you just let people skin the client via XML, the way most modern MMO's let you. This way if people don't like the UI they'll just make their own.
In the first couple of years after leagues disappeared,  I remember statements that it would be available or at least begun within a couple or three quarters...then a year...then two years.



I hear ya'. Course, the last straw with MTGo for me was when an ORC told me that a Russian Reversal joke was hate speach. I put up with the version 2 launch, Chuck's Virtual Party, server issues, version 3 (oh, gawds, the stupid, it burns!), but that was it. That was the last straw.

At this point, I'm rather content NOT playing MTGO.

Scope my YouTube channel!

Here's a shout out for Scholars' Books & Games in Bridgewater, MA, and for Paladin's Place in Darmstadt, Hessen, Germany where I was stationed for two years. Support your FLGS!

Attacking the darkness since 1987, turning creatures sideways since 1994.

You guys are very much like the boy who cried "wolf" when it comes to leagues. I will believe they are coming back when they come back, and not a second before.
Jeff Heikkinen DCI Rules Advisor since Dec 25, 2011