What's wrong with this picture

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This screen capture is from the google+ wide beta q&a feature yesterday at 39.30 minutes in.

Player has minimised his hand so that the text has disappeared in order to "maximise" the battlefield space.

Cards are so small that only a few words can fit on them.

One of the things I like about magic is the appearance of the cards.

I don't know whether to laugh or cry...


If you listen/watched the whole thing and you do any of this for a living, well, it really does explain quite a few things. I got as far as the dev saying "we heard that people wanted the arrows back, so what I heard was that we need to do a better job showing people what to do" I mean.... wow. I mean, arrows are the least problematic thing about the current state of the game, are actually pretty handy and not too obtrusive, so let's reengineer something that people don't need and then when they say they don't want it back, let's not give it to them, but come up with something else. I mean, wow. I turned it off after that.
Ridiculous.  The size of the cards is TERRIBLE in the beta.  They are way too small.  I swear I'm not an old man, either.  The cards are TOO SMALL.  My eyes hurt after playing the beta for a night.  And changing my screen resolution just made the program difficult to use because of all the crazy pop ups (I have a 15" laptop).  That thing really wants to be played on a geeked out double-monitor gamer setup.
Ridiculous.  The size of the cards is TERRIBLE in the beta.  They are way too small.  I swear I'm not an old man, either.  The cards are TOO SMALL.  My eyes hurt after playing the beta for a night.  And changing my screen resolution just made the program difficult to use because of all the crazy pop ups (I have a 15" laptop).  That thing really wants to be played on a geeked out double-monitor gamer setup.



It isn't *really* all that much better to be honest, I personally have 3 monitors (1920x1200 24" ones) and it still feels really cramped trying to play the beta. Honesly I think a big part of the issue (for me) is the insistence of having everyting centre aligned, instead of left aligned like we have in V3. There really feels like there are serious deep down design flaws with the layout (cough cough horizontal phase bar)

I was playing my first EDH deck on V3 (URG good stuff.dec) and I was able to have something like 15 cards in hand and a heap of permanents on the board with no issue, move that onto the beta and everything gets cramped and small.

To make things better, this new 'blockers bar' they added makes things move around EVEN MORE during game play and makes cards smaller and smaller when it pushes everything out so it can open.
I also noticed how the battlefield cards have got really small last night, but look at the hand... it's been dragged down to show more battlefield, but the cards in hand have not resized and are now clipped. If you now exile something the exiled window pushes in from the right making the whole battlefield even more cramped, and makes cards in hand overlap left to right hiding all the mana costs.

Aparently I'm famous for calling the beta slow, so you'll all be delighted to hear that last nights play was all very fast for me. The only slow bits were logging in and also opening the account tab for the first time. Even opening chat has got pretty fast.
I did some area calculations on the battlefield in the picture at the start of the thread.

Of a total battlefield space of 1300 the actual space used by the eight permanents in play was 100.

Such Wasteful use of space is down to the poor design. If the battlefield were using the whole height of the screen there would be enough room to display the cards in a meaningful resolution.

Not my job to suggest fixes but I don't see why the phase bar could not be vertical and the hand could not be a separate window/zone.

The current product is shameful. I don't need to say how bad it is, the picture says it all.
I believe when I was there that was one of the things they were working on is making the card sizes dynamic to fix the screen and then zoom out as the battlefield gets crowded. 
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I did some area calculations on the battlefield in the picture at the start of the thread.

Of a total battlefield space of 1300 the actual space used by the eight permanents in play was 100.

Such Wasteful use of space is down to the poor design. If the battlefield were using the whole height of the screen there would be enough room to display the cards in a meaningful resolution.

Not my job to suggest fixes but I don't see why the phase bar could not be vertical and the hand could not be a separate window/zone.

The current product is shameful. I don't need to say how bad it is, the picture says it all.

Yeah, way back when I first tried the closed beta, that's what jumped out at me immediately.  The phase bar should definitely be vertical.

Not only does it make better use of the battlefield space, it also help me keep track of the phases when it is vertical.  Currently, I've played enough to where my peripheral vision is enough to let me know what phase I'm in.  However, the horizontal phase bar is so spread out horizontally (to make use of the increased dimension in the horizontal axis).  This causes the eye to move much more to keep track.  Perhaps that would work itself out with more familiarity with the beta client, but it still leaves the inefficient use of the battlefield problem...

My forever unfinished blog of the 2010 MTGO Community Cup: if you're ever bored...
My heart just sinks, you know. After all this time and STILL.
Free Speech
Free speech is the right to speak your mind without government censorship and without fear of extralegal retaliation like harassment or violence. That’s all! Free speech doesn’t include the right to speak your mind on any forum anywhere. The government may not prevent you from speaking, but private parties, like blog owners or corporations, aren’t required to let you use their property as your platform. Free speech doesn’t include the right to be believed or to be taken seriously. People may mock, ridicule or laugh at what you say, or they may reject it outright. Free speech doesn’t include the right to be listened to. People who don’t desire to hear your opinion can hang up on you, block you on social media, change the channel, close the browser tab. Free speech doesn’t give you the right to bombard people with harassing messages or otherwise force them to pay attention to you against their will. And free speech doesn’t include the right to suffer no consequences whatsoever for your expressed opinions.
I did some area calculations on the battlefield in the picture at the start of the thread.

Of a total battlefield space of 1300 the actual space used by the eight permanents in play was 100.

Such Wasteful use of space is down to the poor design. If the battlefield were using the whole height of the screen there would be enough room to display the cards in a meaningful resolution.

Not my job to suggest fixes but I don't see why the phase bar could not be vertical and the hand could not be a separate window/zone.

The current product is shameful. I don't need to say how bad it is, the picture says it all.

Yeah, way back when I first tried the closed beta, that's what jumped out at me immediately.  The phase bar should definitely be vertical.

Not only does it make better use of the battlefield space, it also help me keep track of the phases when it is vertical.  Currently, I've played enough to where my peripheral vision is enough to let me know what phase I'm in.  However, the horizontal phase bar is so spread out horizontally (to make use of the increased dimension in the horizontal axis).  This causes the eye to move much more to keep track.  Perhaps that would work itself out with more familiarity with the beta client, but it still leaves the inefficient use of the battlefield problem...



I completely agree.  I like a vertical phase bar, because there's plenty of that type of space available on a wide screen monitor.  The vertical space is precious, though.  That's what's limiting the battlefield most of all, so it's a waste to put the phase bar in that part of the screen.  And I agree that it's not as easy to follow the phases when it's spread out so far horizontally.  

I don't agree with some of the negative comments and rants on this thread about how appalling and shameful the sizing appears in BETA.  Overall, the BETA is excellent in this respect.  The cards look great in my opinion.

To provide constructive feedback, my recommendations regarding sizes in BETA are:

1.  To make the cards on the battlefield appear slightly larger.
2.  Not to make further changes to the Hand.  I think the current BETA version is perfect in this regard, well done!
3.  The Zoom on a card looks wonderful in the BETA.  I recommend that one should be able to hover the mouse over a card and "scroll up" to zoom it (just like in Duels of the Planeswalkers). This should be in addition to the option to press 'z' which currently exists.
4. To have audio enabled for each phase that a player has placed a priority pause for.  A woman's voice should play which says "First Main Phase", "Declare Attackers" etc, which can be an option to be ticked in Account Settings for those who would find this feature helpful. This will make it more immediately & powerfully clear which phase of the turn it is.   Besides, I like the sound of a woman's voice. Wink
I don't agree with some of the negative comments and rants on this thread about how appalling and shameful the sizing appears in BETA.  Overall, the BETA is excellent in this respect.  The cards look great in my opinion.



If I appear to be ranting it's because I feel strongly about this aspect and it is my duty to shout about it until something gets changed. There is hope, many things that have been "ranted" about in the past have changed, jumping cards for instance.

The real root of the problem can be defined like this : Is beta better than the current client? In this regard the answer is a resounding no. It is worse.

You are entitled to your opinion, and I am happy for you that you think the cards look great. I notice you are talking about BETA in general and not the picture posted at the start of the thread. Nobody would try to defend that.

It really depends how big your screen is as to whether beta looks "great" or not. I tried it with a height resolution of 1920 pixels and it looked good. Problem is the most popular resolution used by gamers is 1920x1080. Only 5% of gamers use a height resolution of 1200 or more. So most players are going to see something akin to the horrific mess demonstrated in the q&a.

If I have to go and buy a Dell U3011 30" (2560x1600) to compensate for the inadequacies of the product then I will. But I worry if I will be able to find any opponents as I feel a lot of players will be turned off by this. I repeat, Beta is worse than the current client.

1.  To make the cards on the battlefield appear slightly larger.



I went back to the q&a video to try and work out how many words from the trained caracal were visible. I count three, though it is dificult to tell for sure. You may think this acceptable, I don't. Especially when 90%+ of the battlefield space is wasted. And the art is tiny. To me it feels like playing with postage stamps instead of magic cards

2.  Not to make further changes to the Hand.  I think the current BETA version is perfect in this regard, well done!



I was thinking about battlefields and zones that are used when playing paper magic. Quite often my hand is in.. well.. my hand! not on the battlefield, and almost never spread out with every card visible. That is a luxury of online play but to the detriment of the battlefield space. They did say they were working to reduce hand "space" further, and that this can be controlled by the user. I sincerely hope their ideas work. I would be happy with a vertical hand window but the ultimate answer would be to let users configure the client in the way they want.

3.  The Zoom



Yes, zoomed cards look good. Unzoomed cards look awful. Improvements can and should be made.

It probably sounds like I am wotc bashing or dev bashing. I do have an appreciation of how hard the task is so my views should be seen as constructive criticism. I would have loved to say something complimentary, but I couldn't think of anything.
It really depends how big your screen is as to whether beta looks "great" or not. I tried it with a height resolution of 1920 pixels and it looked good. Problem is the most popular resolution used by gamers is 1920x1080. Only 5% of gamers use a height resolution of 1200 or more. So most players are going to see something akin to the horrific mess demonstrated in the q&a.

If I have to go and buy a Dell U3011 30" (2560x1600) to compensate for the inadequacies of the product then I will. But I worry if I will be able to find any opponents as I feel a lot of players will be turned off by this. I repeat, Beta is worse than the current client.


With the trend for mobile computing the larger desktop formats are declining. Desktop computers are now the exception among my friends. Most people have a laptop and a smartphone, but even that model is changing, more people are moving to a tablet (ipad etc.) + a smartphone. My point being that large monitors are becoming the exception rather than the rule, and game providers need to be planning for smaller screens.
I do have eye problems.  When I play the beta, I consistently run out of time.  That is because I am constantly zooming.  This is particularly the case when a new set is introduced.  I have found that using version 3.0 when a new set is introduced is my only hope of not running out of time.  I do prefer how you build decks when drafting and I like the red zone so I know what is attacking in the beta.  I wish I could buy an 15" non-wide screen, like I used to have.  I agree that making the status bar vertical or self configuring would help.
Here's my ultimate problem. In this day and age of computer games there is very little that can't be done. By the time a game turns 10, they have listened to players for 3-4 life cycles of design. normally, this means that the game is far better than it started off, and far more user friendly through features and function.

WoTC has given us scalability and a rock solid gamestate. I will give them those improvements. Grats. The problem is, they have failed every other test of a decade old game. The client should be completely customizable. Don't like the size of this segment? adjust it. Have trouble seeing this stuff? change it yourself. WoTC just doesn't have the chops to be able to see the big picture when it comes to client design. That's fine, they are a game company. Build games. Engine works welll (infinite loops would be nice), card implementation team is rock solid, you can maintain a game. Good job. But create a client? You failed 2.0, 2.5, 3.0, and this Beta is rediculously bad, it's almost worse than previous attempts. Ths after heat map tests, user feedback, and a decade of playing the game, and this is what you come up with? Really?

 
Penguinator, I agree with your sentiments.  

I am a fan of the BETA it is true, because it is better than that hideous monstrosity which we call "V3", however  there is a huge part of me which says "After all these attempts, surely the client should simply WOW us by now!!"  



The layout of the compact scene in the current client is perfect.  Just copy that one.
It really depends how big your screen is as to whether beta looks "great" or not. I tried it with a height resolution of 1920 pixels and it looked good. Problem is the most popular resolution used by gamers is 1920x1080. Only 5% of gamers use a height resolution of 1200 or more. So most players are going to see something akin to the horrific mess demonstrated in the q&a.

If I have to go and buy a Dell U3011 30" (2560x1600) to compensate for the inadequacies of the product then I will. But I worry if I will be able to find any opponents as I feel a lot of players will be turned off by this. I repeat, Beta is worse than the current client.


With the trend for mobile computing the larger desktop formats are declining. Desktop computers are now the exception among my friends. Most people have a laptop and a smartphone, but even that model is changing, more people are moving to a tablet (ipad etc.) + a smartphone. My point being that large monitors are becoming the exception rather than the rule, and game providers need to be planning for smaller screens.



While I agree that beta duel space should be better used, I just want to point out that Magic is complex, and needs some space to display. And desktops are passe, but external monitors are not. You can't really use a laptop for work without an external monitor, and the same goes for gaming.

That said, every effort should be made to make the client usable on laptop screen resolutions.


Go draft, young man, go draft!

And desktops are passe, but external monitors are not. You can't really use a laptop for work without an external monitor, and the same goes for gaming.


Again I'm unsure that I agree. I personally use an external monitor for work (I have a work related rsi condition) which I use about 7 hours a day, but I don't even own an external monitor for home use. 
At work about half of the team manage with a laptop without external monitor (one uses his laptop display on a stand with an external keyboard). This is all anecdotal, and statistically insignificant of course, however even 5 years ago many would have been working off desktops. The same changes are occuring in homes.

As for mtgo, it shouldn't require a gaming machine. The main thing the client does is render images, but at nothing like the frames per second you need for first person action games.
And desktops are passe, but external monitors are not. You can't really use a laptop for work without an external monitor, and the same goes for gaming.


Again I'm unsure that I agree. I personally use an external monitor for work (I have a work related rsi condition) which I use about 7 hours a day, but I don't even own an external monitor for home use. 
At work about half of the team manage with a laptop without external monitor (one uses his laptop display on a stand with an external keyboard). This is all anecdotal, and statistically insignificant of course, however even 5 years ago many would have been working off desktops. The same changes are occuring in homes.

As for mtgo, it shouldn't require a gaming machine. The main thing the client does is render images, but at nothing like the frames per second you need for first person action games.



Yeah, anecdotal, but ... I usually have a browser, a spreadsheet, and a database open at work, searching and/or moving data between windows. On two external monitors. Even for coding, you need a code window and a help window, which is usually too cramped on a laptop screen. I could probably get by reading mail and writing a document on a laptop screen only.

I agree that Magic does not need a game machine, since it's not animated, but mostly static graphics. However, it does need a lot of information available on the screen at the same time. Lately, the battlefield looks too wide to me, probably because the cards are too small due to vertical crowding. I started seriously considering the hand as a detachable window, which you can then dock wherever you choose, like game chat. My current choice would be vertical, on the right.

Go draft, young man, go draft!

It all comes back to making the client completely customizable. There are so many game clients out there that have the ability to undock, resize, and remember those changes from log in to next that it's beyond rediculous that this isn't standard for MTGO. I mean, why tick off any of your customers when you don't have to?
The screenshot in the first post is showing the battlefield during the declare blockers step, where the cards are deliberately shrunk down to give a better view of which creature is blocking which. With only a few lands and a couple creatures on the board, this admittedly does show a lot of blank board space. I couldn't replicate the shot exactly, but here are a few other screenshots with the same window adjustments to give more perspective (usernames blurred to protect the innocent):

 
Normal, pre-combat shot of battlefield:





 
Declare attackers step with typical "Red Zone" active. My first 2 creatures are attacking:

 



The new "Blockers Row" during the declare blockers step:

 


The "Blocker's Row" was implemented with the Wide Beta update on 1/30. Like the typical Red Zone, it's a red area that slides open between the players, however it's shifted more toward the attacking player and all other cards on the battlefield are scaled to a smaller size (ideally I would've gotten a shot where not all my opponent's creatures were blocking, so you could see how non-blockers stay in the area between blockers and lands). This is pretty much as small as cards can possibly get in the MTGO Wide Beta unless you have so many permanents on the board that it creates an extra row of them.

Since it's one of the newest features added to the client (along with some additions to the Trade scene), the team is really looking for as much feedback on the Blocker's Row as possible. So whether you love it or hate it please tell us either through the Feedback Form or the Wide Beta thread: Finding & Playing Games. Feel free to be thorough, and please take time to experience it in person before you give feedback.


Sean Gibbons

Associate Community Manager

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

started seriously considering the hand as a detachable window, which you can then dock wherever you choose, like game chat. My current choice would be vertical, on the right.


What about a 'Doom' weapon style fist with 7 fanned cards in it? LIke BFG but even more deadly.
Dear Sean,

Thank you for your detailed post.  

Feedback on new Blockers Row

We in the United Arab Emirates would like to express in strong terms that the version BEFORE the 30 Jan update was superior in this respect.

Frankly, when the Arab community here experienced the new "Blockers Row" during the 'declare blockers' step for the first time, we thought it was an unintended glitch causing jerkiness.

Whilst we understand the reasons for the change, we find it visually irritating for the red zone to move closer to the attacking player and to shrink the cards in such an extreme way.

A Better Solution

If you wish to create the clarity you seek concerning blockers, then may we suggest a more elegant solution is for the attackers to have a new red border and blockers have a new green border.  By the way, this was one of the few positive features of V3, which had red text appear over attackers stating "Attacking".  A red/green border would be a neater way of expressing this than the ugly "Attacking" red text which is in V3.  This red border solution will kill two birds with one stone, because another feature that we don't like in BETA is that when one selects one's attackers, the creatures just move a tiny bit forward to the red zone.  This feels anemic, and sometimes before committing to an attack you even wonder "Have you declared attacks properly?" because the differencce between the creatures attacking and those not attacking is very small (until it becomes too late when they tap).

It is these types of changes which we suggest you should be aiming for in BETA - namely to keep the good functionality of V3, but improving the visuals and feel, so that we have the best of both worlds in BETA.  This harps back to all the previous comments about the need to improve V3 without throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

A Plea from the Heart
 
This is a heartfelt plea to please don't tamper with our cards in this fashion.   Blockers are clear without the need to shrink.

I hope you find our comments to be sensible and reasonable.

Thank you.

EDIT:  To clarify, I don't support the way V3 has arrows in Declare Blockers.  I only like that v3 has the word "Attacking" on attacking creatures.  This could be more elegantly achieved by a red border on the attackers. 

Thanks for posting those battlefield shots. It seems clear to me that the blockers row idea can not work. The battlefield space is already vertically challenged and to try and squeeze an extra row into this just exacerbates the problem.

I will be sure to post on the Finding & Playing Games thread about this.

I took the liberty of modifiying one of the images in an attempt to illustrate a point.

The stack effect looked like a full size card or a zoom, and I wondered if by moving things around (vertical phase bar, hand in a window docked right like chat, operating system task bar hidden) it would be possible to get 4 rows full size on the screen.

Sadly it isn't, but you would not have to scale the card much once you have reclaimed some vertical space. Anyway, here's the modified image :

Considering that all of this feedback is focusing on the 1v1 screen, I wonder, how are ppl feeling about multiplayer so far?
Free Speech
Free speech is the right to speak your mind without government censorship and without fear of extralegal retaliation like harassment or violence. That’s all! Free speech doesn’t include the right to speak your mind on any forum anywhere. The government may not prevent you from speaking, but private parties, like blog owners or corporations, aren’t required to let you use their property as your platform. Free speech doesn’t include the right to be believed or to be taken seriously. People may mock, ridicule or laugh at what you say, or they may reject it outright. Free speech doesn’t include the right to be listened to. People who don’t desire to hear your opinion can hang up on you, block you on social media, change the channel, close the browser tab. Free speech doesn’t give you the right to bombard people with harassing messages or otherwise force them to pay attention to you against their will. And free speech doesn’t include the right to suffer no consequences whatsoever for your expressed opinions.
My heart just sinks, you know. After all this time and STILL.


God bless your optimistic soul. I can't possibly say such things about the state of this program's development.
God bless your optimistic soul. I can't possibly say such things about the state of this program's development.



So would it be safe to say you are impressed by the quality they are starting to deliver, after, say, 5 years?
Free Speech
Free speech is the right to speak your mind without government censorship and without fear of extralegal retaliation like harassment or violence. That’s all! Free speech doesn’t include the right to speak your mind on any forum anywhere. The government may not prevent you from speaking, but private parties, like blog owners or corporations, aren’t required to let you use their property as your platform. Free speech doesn’t include the right to be believed or to be taken seriously. People may mock, ridicule or laugh at what you say, or they may reject it outright. Free speech doesn’t include the right to be listened to. People who don’t desire to hear your opinion can hang up on you, block you on social media, change the channel, close the browser tab. Free speech doesn’t give you the right to bombard people with harassing messages or otherwise force them to pay attention to you against their will. And free speech doesn’t include the right to suffer no consequences whatsoever for your expressed opinions.
God bless your optimistic soul. I can't possibly say such things about the state of this program's development.



So would it be safe to say you are impressed by the quality they are starting to deliver, after, say, 5 years?


Not safe at all.
I have no such patience to see a program with the look of MS-QDOS updated to that of MS Windows 3.1, figuratively/functionally speaking.

The transition from v2.5-v3 was bad enough. I fear the next iteration will be more painful. 
Dear Rukcas,

Will you at least be willing to acknowledge that the BETA is already better than v3 in terms of the in-duel experience?   
  
God bless your optimistic soul. I can't possibly say such things about the state of this program's development.



So would it be safe to say you are impressed by the quality they are starting to deliver, after, say, 5 years?


Not safe at all.
I have no such patience to see a program with the look of MS-QDOS updated to that of MS Windows 3.1, figuratively/functionally speaking.

The transition from v2.5-v3 was bad enough. I fear the next iteration will be more painful. 



Ok, now I am confused.

See, I assumed you were being sarcastic when you called me an optimistic soul, since I wasn't optimistic at all.

And assuming you were optimistic, that in turn would mean you were really saying ""I could not possibly say such negative things about the state of the program's development"

So I replied sarcastically, implying that the current quality is far from impressive.

So... I guess we actually agree!
Free Speech
Free speech is the right to speak your mind without government censorship and without fear of extralegal retaliation like harassment or violence. That’s all! Free speech doesn’t include the right to speak your mind on any forum anywhere. The government may not prevent you from speaking, but private parties, like blog owners or corporations, aren’t required to let you use their property as your platform. Free speech doesn’t include the right to be believed or to be taken seriously. People may mock, ridicule or laugh at what you say, or they may reject it outright. Free speech doesn’t include the right to be listened to. People who don’t desire to hear your opinion can hang up on you, block you on social media, change the channel, close the browser tab. Free speech doesn’t give you the right to bombard people with harassing messages or otherwise force them to pay attention to you against their will. And free speech doesn’t include the right to suffer no consequences whatsoever for your expressed opinions.
Dear Rukcas,

Will you at least be willing to acknowledge that the BETA is already better than v3 in terms of the in-duel experience?   
  



Can't speak for rukcus, but concerning 1v1, I feel the BETA is better in some ways, worse in others. On the whole it's still below reasonable expectations. Especially all the feedback in this thread about (imho) basic things lead me to feel that way. Luckily these things don't seem like they are very hard to tweak, so that is encouraging.

When speaking of multiplayer, the BETA is a disgrace, far FAR worse than v3.
Free Speech
Free speech is the right to speak your mind without government censorship and without fear of extralegal retaliation like harassment or violence. That’s all! Free speech doesn’t include the right to speak your mind on any forum anywhere. The government may not prevent you from speaking, but private parties, like blog owners or corporations, aren’t required to let you use their property as your platform. Free speech doesn’t include the right to be believed or to be taken seriously. People may mock, ridicule or laugh at what you say, or they may reject it outright. Free speech doesn’t include the right to be listened to. People who don’t desire to hear your opinion can hang up on you, block you on social media, change the channel, close the browser tab. Free speech doesn’t give you the right to bombard people with harassing messages or otherwise force them to pay attention to you against their will. And free speech doesn’t include the right to suffer no consequences whatsoever for your expressed opinions.
Dear Rukcas,

Will you at least be willing to acknowledge that the BETA is already better than v3 in terms of the in-duel experience?   
  



Can't speak for rukcus, but concerning 1v1, I feel the BETA is better in some ways, worse in others. On the whole it's still below reasonable expectations. Especially all the feedback in this thread about (imho) basic things lead me to feel that way. Luckily these things don't seem like they are very hard to tweak, so that is encouraging.

When speaking of multiplayer, the BETA is a disgrace, far FAR worse than v3.



From my own experience, the beta duel screen is a slight improvement in some small ways, but overall is plain worse (again IMHO)

There is too much emphasis on the wrong things, too many baffling design decisions (centred objects, the movement, generally *how* everthing works during a game, in the hours and hours I have tried out the beta, it's just not getting any more comfortable, actions during play still feel really forced) and too many changes being forced on us for no apparent benefit. It might be that I am used to V3, but so many of the changes feel like change for the sake of change, instead of a step in the direction of something better.

In my opinion, you could put 2 identical game states side by side in the old and new clients, and I don't actually think the new client would look any better (layout and usability wise) and honestly, you could probably get 20 players to design their own duel screen layout and most of them would be different (if only slightly) and probably more usable. Which brings me to the most baffling thing about the Beta, why is the whole interface mostly static? You can resize a couple of things, but for the most part what you see is what you are stuck with, give players a basic workable duel layout, give us the tools to shape it how we want it and just let us play magic!
One thing that strikes me as odd is all the space used on the size bars (or what their name is).

It just needs to be a few pixels wide and not as it is now. I have suggested this in the beta but wanted to voice it here as we are on the subject of the layout.

Here I have colored the unused space blue. And By the way. Do we really need a clck that shos the same time as the computer clock a few inches away? The two horizontal lines there is almost all text on the cards in hand in the screenshot.

Anything but nuts is crazy. - We need moar command helemet!

Get the prize winning Gold Skin for your v3 client while it's still here!

Do we really need a clck that shos the same time as the computer clock a few inches away?


Yes. When you hide the task bar mtgo seems a tiny bit less cramped. 

Do we really need a clck that shos the same time as the computer clock a few inches away?


Yes. When you hide the task bar mtgo seems a tiny bit less cramped. 




I haven't checked this (and I can't for 6 more hours) but is the clock in the client perhaps showing "wotc time" instead of local time? Coz that would be useful.
Free Speech
Free speech is the right to speak your mind without government censorship and without fear of extralegal retaliation like harassment or violence. That’s all! Free speech doesn’t include the right to speak your mind on any forum anywhere. The government may not prevent you from speaking, but private parties, like blog owners or corporations, aren’t required to let you use their property as your platform. Free speech doesn’t include the right to be believed or to be taken seriously. People may mock, ridicule or laugh at what you say, or they may reject it outright. Free speech doesn’t include the right to be listened to. People who don’t desire to hear your opinion can hang up on you, block you on social media, change the channel, close the browser tab. Free speech doesn’t give you the right to bombard people with harassing messages or otherwise force them to pay attention to you against their will. And free speech doesn’t include the right to suffer no consequences whatsoever for your expressed opinions.
Do we really need a clck that shos the same time as the computer clock a few inches away?


Yes. When you hide the task bar mtgo seems a tiny bit less cramped. 




I haven't checked this (and I can't for 6 more hours) but is the clock in the client perhaps showing "wotc time" instead of local time? Coz that would be useful.



Nope.
Like all displayed times in client it's in local time.

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

Do we really need a clck that shos the same time as the computer clock a few inches away?


Yes. When you hide the task bar mtgo seems a tiny bit less cramped. 




I haven't checked this (and I can't for 6 more hours) but is the clock in the client perhaps showing "wotc time" instead of local time? Coz that would be useful.



Nope.
Like all displayed times in client it's in local time.




Someone, at some point, said "let's add a clock" and no-one said "We don't need it". I has a sad.
Free Speech
Free speech is the right to speak your mind without government censorship and without fear of extralegal retaliation like harassment or violence. That’s all! Free speech doesn’t include the right to speak your mind on any forum anywhere. The government may not prevent you from speaking, but private parties, like blog owners or corporations, aren’t required to let you use their property as your platform. Free speech doesn’t include the right to be believed or to be taken seriously. People may mock, ridicule or laugh at what you say, or they may reject it outright. Free speech doesn’t include the right to be listened to. People who don’t desire to hear your opinion can hang up on you, block you on social media, change the channel, close the browser tab. Free speech doesn’t give you the right to bombard people with harassing messages or otherwise force them to pay attention to you against their will. And free speech doesn’t include the right to suffer no consequences whatsoever for your expressed opinions.
Do we really need a clck that shos the same time as the computer clock a few inches away?


Yes. When you hide the task bar mtgo seems a tiny bit less cramped. 




My sidebar is vertical. On the other hand, I can't maximize the Beta window - doesn't work properly on my monitor setup.

Good call Maxell - the clock, if needed at all, should only be present in the main window. No need for it in the duel scene.

Go draft, young man, go draft!

God bless your optimistic soul. I can't possibly say such things about the state of this program's development.



So would it be safe to say you are impressed by the quality they are starting to deliver, after, say, 5 years?


Not safe at all.
I have no such patience to see a program with the look of MS-QDOS updated to that of MS Windows 3.1, figuratively/functionally speaking.

The transition from v2.5-v3 was bad enough. I fear the next iteration will be more painful. 



Ok, now I am confused.



I was being sarcastic indeed. My thoughts on the beta are that it's 1 step forward and 2 steps back. Having read the vaporware hype about improved UI experience lead me to believe someone with half a brain was working on improving the issues from v3; but upon the first trial during the public beta, I was very taken back by how un-intuitive the program feels.

A dynamic duel scene w/r/t the red zone that isn't also used illustrate the Stack is a design flaw.  In some ways, the old Leaping Lizards iteration via Shandalar far surpasses the current state of v4, and that's saying a lot for a piece of software written in 1996. 


The real root of the problem can be defined like this : Is beta better than the current client? In this regard the answer is a resounding no. It is worse.

You are entitled to your opinion, and I am happy for you that you think the cards look great. I notice you are talking about BETA in general and not the picture posted at the start of the thread. Nobody would try to defend that.

It really depends how big your screen is as to whether beta looks "great" or not. I tried it with a height resolution of 1920 pixels and it looked good. Problem is the most popular resolution used by gamers is 1920x1080. Only 5% of gamers use a height resolution of 1200 or more. So most players are going to see something akin to the horrific mess demonstrated in the q&a.

If I have to go and buy a Dell U3011 30" (2560x1600) to compensate for the inadequacies of the product then I will. But I worry if I will be able to find any opponents as I feel a lot of players will be turned off by this. I repeat, Beta is worse than the current client.

1.  To make the cards on the battlefield appear slightly larger.



I went back to the q&a video to try and work out how many words from the trained caracal were visible. I count three, though it is dificult to tell for sure. You may think this acceptable, I don't. Especially when 90%+ of the battlefield space is wasted. And the art is tiny. To me it feels like playing with postage stamps instead of magic cards

3.  The Zoom



Yes, zoomed cards look good. Unzoomed cards look awful. Improvements can and should be made.

It probably sounds like I am wotc bashing or dev bashing. I do have an appreciation of how hard the task is so my views should be seen as constructive criticism. I would have loved to say something complimentary, but I couldn't think of anything.



Lawnmover Elf,

You have caused me to change my mind about the sizing of BETA cards.

I have reflected further about this issue, and agree with you that V.3 sizing is much superior to the BETA sizing.  I think the reason I previously supported the BETA sizing is because I find the BETA experience overall (in-duel) to be smoother, with a less "clunky" feel like we experienced in V.3.  But I allowed this aspect to cloud my perception concerning the sizing of the cards, which is a different issue altogether.

You are absolutely correct that since the 30 Jan 2013 version, it has reached a very extreme point where it feels like we are playing with tiny stamps (due to the resizing which occurs during combat).  Even before 30 Jan, I agree with you that the size was too small and should more closely emulate v.3 in this respect.

WOTC, can you please consider our comments thoughtfully and increase the sizes of the cards in BETA?