New Redemption Fee

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www.wizards.com/Magic/Magazine/Article.a...

I'm very unhappy with the change as a business that depends a lot on redemption but I would like to hear what the average MTGO player thinks of this change?


PureMTGO.com
Cape Fear Games located in Wilmington, NC. Get 20% extra MTGO credit for your paper cards.
I'm not smart enough to form an opinion because I don't know what will be the impact.

Will this drive down the demand for (online) singles, causing drafters to get less re-sale value and therefore draft less? If they draft less, will supply be less, driving prices back up? Will things just even out?

Won't this change benefit sellers of paper cards?
Don't care.  My cards are of zero value if I can't use them online.  I've still got a redeemed set of Ravnica sitting unsold in a box, never been opened.  Redemption could be $500 a set and it wouldn't matter to me.

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I'm not smart enough to form an opinion because I don't know what will be the impact.

Will this drive down the demand for (online) singles, causing drafters to get less re-sale value and therefore draft less? If they draft less, will supply be less, driving prices back up? Will things just even out?

Won't this change benefit sellers of paper cards?



It will greatly benefit the old school paper sellers that have been around for ages and do not use redemption.(Not saying any names)  If I was them I would be jumping for joy right now.

Honestly I thought prices were at a pretty good spot on both MTGO and paper but this is going to really hurt MTGO prices and resell value for sealed while increasing paper prices by more than I think WOTC realizes.
PureMTGO.com
Cape Fear Games located in Wilmington, NC. Get 20% extra MTGO credit for your paper cards.
I get that $5 is pretty low. But it seems bad that they are increasing the price by this much with virtually no lead up time. A business has to make decisions based on things like redemption well in advance, but we're hearing about this just a few days before the Gatecrash prerelease. A sudden 400% increase just seems really extreme.
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@heath: Stealing my thunder.

I can comment as a player. Once upon a time, I redeemed 4x Ravnica: City of Guilds sets to kickstart my paper Magic collection. Without card prices becoming less, I would've been very apprehensive to redeem at almost an additional 100$.

Coincidentally, I was considering redeeming 4x every Standard-legal set come Gatecrash to have paper cards handy, and under this new plan (if it were retroactive, which it isn't so please do not think I am saying it is) it would cost 300$ handling (versus $60 under the old method) + 3$ shipping + $3120 value to acquire the 24 sets of Magic Online cards (appx 130$ a set using a popular value indicator, which is a bit low considering GTC should pump up values a bit). A 10 percent bump in cost is quite substantial (but probably still better than buying from paper vendors), and I would decide that my usage of the physical cards (2-3 times a month) would not make redeeming them a viable option.

This increase also turns the only WotC-supported, secure way to cash out of Magic Online (contact individual and agree to rates for paper cards, turn collection into Standard sets, have protected exchange of goods for money) into a less attractive option. Now, Wizards has taken a decent chunk of value from the chain.

I hope that this change makes the Magic Online economy healthier, but I cannot fathom how all of the variables will interact. I imagine we will see over a year from now (and also have compounding variables from new Magic sets and a new Magic Online client... hopefully ;) ).
While $5 to $25 may seem like a lot, I would think the price of digital cards would lower a bit while paper rises a bit and easily make up the $20. Mythics alone could easily absorb that. So I don't see this being that big a deal in the long run for sellers.

It does suck if you were redeeming just to keep the sets though. 
So let me get this straight --

We pay 100% MSRP on packs from the MTGO Store, have no gaurantee that we will have access to our cards if MTGO goes belly up, have to assemble a full Set of each release in order to "liquidate" into the bonafide version, and now we're being charged $20 more for all that trouble?

If this isn't the very definition of a cash grab, then I'm certainly at a loss for meaning of words.

PS: If there's exhibited growth in redemption, then costs should go down. Otherwise, fire your ****ing production manager and get someone who can negotiate Economies of Scale.

EDIT: This move will also ruin two MTG economies --
In MTGO, the prices of digital cards will be so depressed that users won't be able to sell their draft winnings to keep drafting.  This will reduce the consumption of tix and packs as cards becomes worthless zeros and ones.

In paper, the prices of cards will skyrocket to unimagineable new highs.  A huge source of keeping paper card prices low is the constant and continual influx of redemption sets to dealers at a local level.  Removing the influx of cards will push the price of singles in the market way high.

$20 might not seem like a big deal, but we're talking about  an estimated 15% increase in the cost of redemption for a typical "set value" of 130 tix/$.

Fire the chimpanzee who came up with this decision, then fire his boss too for good measure. 
As someone who makes my living selling MTG cards, and has a huge base in standard, I am obviously quite interested in this discussion (full disclosure, I redeem probably 600 plus copies of each set during its release cycle to sell at my business).  I believe that the net result of this is higher prices for paper cards, and more than likely extremely depressed values of non-playable cards on MTGO.  Many of the Mythics on MTGO have value ONLY as a means to redeem an MTGO set, when a lot less people want to redeem the sets, and the bots have too many Utvara Hellkites and simply can't keep buying them because nobody wants them, well, you have a worthless card, sorry about that.  Ultimately, the prices on MTGO for heavily drafted sets are propped up by the number of people redeeming the sets and taking copies of the cards off of the system, in greatly fewer numbers or in extreme cases when people are just straight up unwilling to redeem these sets, the supply will overflow.  Net result:  Higher paper prices, lower MTGO prices until an equilibrium is found, and WOTC makes WAY WAY more on every set redeemed.  One thing for sure, this cannot be viewed as a positive for players in either paper or MTGO.  A sophisticated market will sort itself out, I believe that MTGO is sophisticated enough to survive to figure out how to exist with this in place.  Still not good

Redeeming multiple sets at once was already ridiculous, this is just obscene.


After some recent changes that really disappointed me (removal of 4-pack sealed, changes to monthly promo cards, reduced prize payouts...) I was going to give Wizards the year of 2013 to retain or lose my business. It took them just over a month to break this camel's back. I see awful trends in how MTGO is being run (not that it has ever been run particularly well,) and I will not continue to spend my money on it.


Thanks for making it worse for me to legitimately cash out, though I presume that is the reason behind this change.



EDIT: I realize that my redemption costs have not actually increased as I won't be redeeming any Gatecrash.

So let me get this straight --

We pay 100% MSRP on packs from the MTGO Store, have no gaurantee that we will have access to our cards if MTGO goes belly up, have to assemble a full Set of each release in order to "liquidate" into the bonafide version, and now we're being charged $20 more for all that trouble?

 




woefully misinformed. 

MTGO has been around for over ten years now. I seriously doubt "all of a sudden" that MTGO is going to go belly up. It makes far too much money, brings in too much revenue, and is the easiest thing that Wizards can support. (I would expect paper events have to seriously faulter for MTGO to be "in the danger zone".)

I don't pay 100% MSRP for packs. I usually win most of my packs in game or buy on classifieds for less than retail. (You can pick up the newest packs for 2 to 3 tix each usually). I doubt most of the retailers that are redeeming hundreds of sets are paying retail for packs either.

I don't redeem, have no intention of ever redeeming, personally I wish they would just do away with it as I don't really see the point. I'd rather the costs of online cards go down then have MTGO be used as a farm for paper supplies. Considering how much profit there was to be made off of some of the set redemptions (for example, most of the Innistrad rares were far cheaper to pick up online and then redeem and I imagine it is the same for most sets, particularly ones with high value  rares (like RTR) ).

If this means that paper cards rise good. That means more paper boosters will have to be opened meaning potentially more supply and pack cracking could be a viable way to get "money cards" again. It also means that if redemptions are deincentivized then MTGO prices will fall (meaning that decks will be cheaper, making players who primarily play MTGO, like me, much happier). 
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I am not a redeemer so the cost doesn't impact me directly but I have a feeling it will impact us all indirectly in a very negative manner.

I feel for big stores that have lots of money invested in MTGO and paper MTG and make their margin between the redemption. -$20 per set takes a huge chunk of profit out of their pockets.

How this might impact the average player: I fear the opposite of what Ruckus fears. I think Mythics may drop slightly in price as redemption demand drops but the cheap rares we have become accustomed to because of set redemption may become a thing of the past as dealers will not be alone in eating the cost of this change. We their customers will have to deal with prices rising (not crashing.) I don't fear for Rare Drafters as I expect they will always find buyers but their best customers may not be dealers if the impact of this as large as I think it will be.

Now that all said I know this is not the sky falling and I don't expect cataclysmic ramifications. I just feel that it is a rather nasty adjustment not in the player's favor. It may be that the alternative is to shut down redemption because of its cost. Is it costly to WOTC to redeem when they really rather keep the two magics separate? I imagine so. This will surely give them more black ink. Unless of course people stop redeeming altogether which I suspect would suit them just fine.

Cash grab? Not sure of that. I know MTGO is profitable but redemption probably cuts deeply into that margin for WOTC so it isn't surprising that they did this. The $25 jump from $5 does seem pretty insane (5x) but what do I know of the economics involved? Not much. I guess it is a wait and see situation.

Winter.Wolf



I don't redeem, have no intention of ever redeeming, personally I wish they would just do away with it as I don't really see the point. I'd rather the costs of online cards go down then have MTGO be used as a farm for paper supplies. Considering how much profit there was to be made off of some of the set redemptions (for example, most of the Innistrad rares were far cheaper to pick up online and then redeem and I imagine it is the same for most sets, particularly ones with high value  rares (like RTR) ).

If this means that paper cards rise good. That means more paper boosters will have to be opened meaning potentially more supply and pack cracking could be a viable way to get "money cards" again. It also means that if redemptions are deincentivized then MTGO prices will fall (meaning that decks will be cheaper, making players who primarily play MTGO, like me, much happier). 



Look at sets that cannot be redeemed after an influx of drafting (the most drastic being Onslaught Block during cube)- draft sets PLUMMET in value (with OLS packs going under a ticket). If there is no real world anchor for Magic Online card value, the in-game economy would die as we know it (and the player-base with it). Let's hope that this change doesn't create a statistically significant change in redemption habits long-term, but rather card values between MTGO and paper Magic adjust accordingly (and supply chain members rise for those that drop out) so that we don't see a radically negative change to the in-game economy. (Anyone intertwined in the MTGO economy already knows it's painful enough as is.)

Aside: How many people have cracked a case of Paper Magic before? How close to 4x each card did you get? How much did it cost (retail or wholesale)? A few months after redemption starts, 4x of a set of most sets can be obtained via MTGO for 600ish dollars under the current redemption fee structure and market conditions. Barring a drastic change in card prices, I would guess that redeeming will still be a decent value when compared to cracking packs at even 70$ a booster box (but that the distribution of value, slightly down with the new "tax", amongst the supply chain members will drastically change).
www.wizards.com/Magic/Magazine/Article.a...

I'm very unhappy with the change as a business that depends a lot on redemption but I would like to hear what the average MTGO player thinks of this change?



I honestly think the weight of this burden will fall on the drafters.  All mtgo sets that have an excess of supply fall in line with the paper market.  As a whole, we as redeemers will just adjust our buying to reflect this ridiculous $25 outrage and pay less for cards.  This is essentially WotC telling drafters they don't care about them and wanting to put another $20 per set into their pocket.  There is no way the market for cards will be the same as they were with $5 prices.  It will only reduces prices for in production sets therefore making online cards for drafters worth less.  It may affect bots since they worked on a relative margin and if they are selling cards worth 10% less then they will make 10% less.  They may increase their margins which will stick it to the drafters even more.  Drafters are the only ones not really looking at this as a business and therefore I think they will bear the cost and suffer because WotC is greedy.  There is NOOOOO way they need to charge $25 PER SET to cover their costs.  It is total bull to suggest they need to pocket $450 for a box of 18 sets HAH!  Nice try feeding us the rising costs BS.  You are simply trying to up your balance sheet which is fine, but drafters and the players should know this is WotC giving them the big F U
Sounds like terrible news for people who make their living on MTGO, moderately bad news for drafters who resell their product, and good news for people who buy standard cards to play.

Agree that rising expenses is a bogus excuse. Gross margin on $3.99 packs of virtual magic cards is 100%...  
Wow. It costs $100 to print some cardboard after I've already paid $400-$700 for x4 of every card in a set? How many sets per year again?! Let's not even talk about the cost of other events only to get cards that you might as well burn most of the time. MTGO wants a good 6k of my income just for playing games every year?!!!

I really don't understand the mentaility of a customer anymore. I used to excuse myself and just say, yee, I have a very expensive habit, but it is fun! At least, I can get the physical cards, invite my brothers, friends from work, etc., over and we can mock draft these sets or play decks, or what have you, when they rotate out of standard.

So, much for my collection having any value. Why bother expanding it? It will just rotate out online and I can't even hope to have some friends over to play with my cards of old. This addiction just got worse than cocaine, maybe it is time to kick the habit.

I mean seriously, how much fun could I have with an extra 6 grand every year? That is a good 2 month vacation, a stripper every night for 2 months, a brand new alienware PC (if I was silly enough to buy one) for other digital games that cost $50 one time, or 5x what I put in my 401k.

What kind of trauma in the head does a person have to have to keep spending this kind of money?

I got back into magic around Rise of the Eldrazi, and I redeemed sets of Zendikar and Worldwake shortly afterwards to help develop my paper collection for EDH.  I also redeemed sets DKA and AVR and considered set redemption as a solid option for acquiring a starting pool of cards for standard.  With the price increase I can guarantee I will never redeem another set again, it will make more sense to just order the cards off the internet as singles.  I also fear that drafting online will become less economical because online card values will drop.
I am just a single redeemer that plays modo so I can have the physical cards, I am a poor teacher that can't afford a paper deck without doing well on magic online and redeeming. This absolutely crushes me, and considering I support another player that can't afford cards either, this very well end my favorite pastime and end all of my many friendships in the magic community. 80 extra dollars for a playset is a ton, and I can't afford it. I haven't been this sad in a long time.
Disclosure - I am a pretty large redeemer and also hold a degree in Economics and Finance.  

As many people have stated, this is a definite loss for the drafter base.   It is also a net boon for the constructed player base, since MTGO cards will necessarily be cheaper.   I don't know if anyone remembers when the $5 per set cost started, but the price of MTGO sets went down $5 when that happened.   For GTC on, the price of MTGO sets will go down another $20 from the start.   Hopefully this will be the end of the story and drafters will just get screwed.

However, if drafters decide their addiction isn't worth the extra cost (since each draft will now cost them more due to lower expected value of cards opened), they will draft less and the supply of cards will decrease.  This will cause the MTGO price to increase (from the $20 less than normal where it started) while redeemers will fight over sets trying to stay alive.   They will quickly realize this is a losing battle and stop redeeming altogether.   The supply of cards will go back up and price will go back down.

The real problem comes in the time period while prices are going up and drafting is slowing down.   In a theoretical world, what I stated in the last paragraph would happen over and over and the market would continue to fix itself.   In reality, drafters get irritated and don't come back.   Large redeemers have employees, overhead, etc. and can't just shut operations down for a month and then start back up again.   It's certainly possible that enough people (drafters and redeemers combined) get fed up and just stop.   If this happens, you'll see a failing MTGO economy very quickly.  

To be sure, I hope the MTGO economy doesn't fail.   But the scenario above is definitely a possible outcome because the cost increase is so large.   Here's hoping that if the GTC economy does start to tank that Wotc notices the mistake and fixes it quickly.

Edit:  I also wanted to add a little math to put this in perspective.   1 set of GTC takes 121 packs to make, so a $20 decrease in value equals a $.165 lower expected value per pack.   So a draft will effectively cost $.50 more.   When an average draft costs about $13 right now, that's a 4% increase in cost for each draft.    While this number itself is not a huge burden, I think the psychological effect on the drafter will be much greater.   I've been a drafter since the beginning of MTGO and always check card prices before I decide what to draft.   It's not that I'm that short on money, but I feel like I won when I finish a draft with a little profit.   Even if I don't win the draft, coming out ahead feels good.   The $20 decreased value won't come in the form of $.08 off each card; it will come in a 1-2 tix decrease on 10-20 cards.   When drafters check those cards and see what they're worth, the psychological impact is greater than $.50 per draft.   Unfortunately, people are irrational beings that are influenced by emotions.   I hope the emotional backlash from the large decrease in set value doesn't cause more harm than it economically should.
It's not going to be a boon for std players though.  Pack prices will take a hit as the constructer player base goes up 10%  Did we not just watch the last month with fow as the promo and pack prices go down an extra 10%.  In this case though the std players will not be getting $60 at the end of the month to make up for it.  I've got my mental projections on sets with myself losing around $4-5 per set as a redeemer.  $10-12 drop per set on modo and $4-5 gain per set irl.  I could obv be off.  But this has a lot of change into the system, and I wonder if this change is just like Standard where the hive mind of smart players in the game will figure out the format instead of WOTC.

Disclosure a small redeemer and degree in finance
Another absolute greedy joke by wizards. Thanks again guys.

If I remember correctly this is actually the second time the price to redeem has been raised now but this one is HUGE.
Redemption has always been mostly intended to convince ppl that "yes, it really IS ok to spend money on virtual cards". Since I did not need any convincing in the first place redemption has always been irrelevant to me.

Of course, living in europe means it was already prohibitively expensive. Remember the current price structure is ALREADY a lot more expensive than it used to be originally. I'm truly curious what the so called 'reasons' are this time around, since they were pretty much transparent last time around.

Thing is, by (effectively) discouraging redemption, they will end up depressing card prices. All the events in MTGO function as object converters: tix to packs, packs to single cards, tix to cards. Everything eventually ends up stuck in the system as a single card, which can only turn into one other thing (ie a physical card through redemption) or remain floating in the system forever. Thus, MTGO is really an ever increasing pile of single cards, the growth of which is only kept in check by redemption.

If redemption is discouraged in any way (and higher redemption costs can really only have one effect), this will cause an unavoidable increase in supply (because, let's be honest, drafters won't suddenly draft less). Cards will lower in price as a result, as demand drops below supply.

Note that non-redeemable cards are unaffected, they can be seen as the only cards in the system that currently have their 'true' MTGO value.
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Wow i rarely post a reply.  But i have to post something.  As a small set redeemer this absolutely sucks.   I don't redeem set for resale.  I like to redeem set for collection and to look at.  
This means we have to pay extra 20% to 25% of set cost.  As most standard set goes for about 80-100 tix.   A lot times i don't feel like drafting due to low resale value.  Like rtr you basically have to open jace or sphinx to be ahead.  I am pretty sure there are other people like me.   It really does't feel like winning either with swiss or 4-3-2-2 if you open 3 .02 rare and wins.  On swiss you lose 2 tix.  On 4322 you gain 1 tic.   I have no idea what this will do to the mtgo economy.  But i know for sure i will be only redeem foil set per set release.  Btw i really miss 4 seal booster even with all the crazy mill card on gatecrush.
I see 3 groups of people redeeming sets.

People that redeem for themselvs in small quantities just to have their own paper collection. These guys/gals will stop outright with their redeemtions because (if the prices of paper cards stays roughly the same) it will make more sence to buy from traders.

People that run a small buisness model redeeming in larger quabteties. These guys/gals will either stop doing their buisness or became part of the 3rd group since they will not be competitive with "real cards" sellers.

The final group is of people that make a huge quanteties of redeemtions ( i suppose there are only a few of these). These people have the funds and resources to set the "actual" prices of magic cards. Since they will not accept a loss in profit they will simply increase the prices of cards/post expencess etc. Again not many will be able to still be competitive while doing this but some will.

Now we come to the question what happens to prices of cards. I predict lower prices for online cards (foil mythics will take the biigest hit). The prices of paper cards will depend on the number and success of people in the third group. Paper card value could go uneffected by the loss of number of reedemtions if the precentage of redeemtion reseelers is low enough compared to "real cards" resellers.

All in all. Us the common people of magic online get the short stick yet again. I can't remeber a single change (besides the lowering of prereleases for 5$) that were positive for players in the last year. Every other change was made solely to make bigger profits to WotC at the expanse of an ever bigger community of suckers that continue to support this trend. One day we will stop supporting online magic.

Edit: Here is what I would have done.

Todays annoucement. Althought set redeemtions were introduced in a time when digital objects were still frowned upon we had great success with it! Today it's a pleasure to announce that we made available redeemtions of sets by rarity. From the Gatecrash onwards you can redeem all cards with the same rarity from a set. Unfortunately this will make the sorting and packing of cards a nuisance so we will also increase the price of redeemtion from 5$ to 25$. Happy gamin' y' all.
First of all a quick disclaimer:  I have never redeemed a set and am mostly a casual pauper player so I don't see this having any direct effect on me.
Obviously all us mtgo players lack all the data to analyze what effect the recent changes have on the mtgo economy.  I would like to point out that a stable and healthy secondary market is good for their bottom line, and with that in mind this is a very bad time to introduce such a drastic price increace on redemptions.  With the recent removal of 4 booster sealed pack prices have plummeted.  I have no idea what effect this has had on card values or how it has increased the volume of drafting, but introducing another major game changer into the market this soon is going to make it a lot more difficult to ananlyze what variables are having what effect.
I assume, and really hope, that WotC has some economists who do thourough analysis of the mtgo secondary market as it most definitely influences their proffits.
As far as drafting goes, I would imagine that the decrease in booster price doesn't do much damage since the prize payout drops, but so does the entry cost and i would guess that most players have to buy more packs than they win overall.  In fact, if pack prices are lower and the average player buys more packs than they win, this should stimulate the quantity of drafts played.  Any drafters or anyone out there who has done any calculations to conferm or show that this is wrong?  If there is a change in the number of packs being opened, this would have an effect on individual card prices, which affects the payout in terms of the resale value of the cards opened.  Anyone have any data on this?

Now for constructed players.  Obviously a decrease in pack prices here correlates directly to a decrease in prize payout making playing less desireable. 
Now, a decrease in card values due to increased redemption fees would hurt drafters since the value of the opened packs will decrease, effectively making drafting more expensive.  Less drafting means less packs being used, and pack prices go down more untill a new equilibrium has been reached.
Constructed tournaments just got an even worse payout.  And since tournament players are the more serious players, they would be buying the cards they need even if the prices hadent droped.
So who benefits from all this?  Casual constructed players do, and while casual players may buy more cards if the prices are lower it is hard to imagine that this will make up for the lost revenue from tournaments. 
Any way, i may have said some things that are wrong.  There are a lot of variables and equilibrium points and as a mtgo player I have no data to analyze.






Just wondered why they couldn't have made the change more gradually, if they've decided $25 is the price they want.

Eg, something like, "We think the price should be $25.  We will increase it from $5 to $10 for Gatecrash, and then expect to increase the cost by $3 for each set going forwards".

This would have helped with planning for large redeemers/businesses, eased the change in gradually to avoid shocking the system/economy, given people time to adjust  their play/behaviour, and given WotC time to evaluate the effects of this change.

Just curious.
Another thing that many players may overlook is that WotC actually makes money off of the secondary card market.  In a purely barter economy their  proffits would be unaffected.  However the secondary mtgo economy is a currency based economy and WotC prints the currency.
So a quck not on this currency, commonly known as tix.  Each unit has a value cap of approximately $1 plus taxes, but can be subject to deflation.
Lets think of the MTGO economy as a system with various value inputs and value outputs.
Value Inputs:  Purchases of tix, packs, and other objects from the store.  The store is the only Input of currency into the system.  Then there are boosters payed out as prizes, and the cards from the packs opened during draft and sealed events.  For now we will ignore value added from various promotions, player rewards, etc.
Value Outputs:  Tix consumed as entry to tournaments.  This is the only place currency exits the system.  Then there are packs consumed for events,  and there are redemptions.

You will notice that cards or tix sold for real money by retailers (which is technically speaking prohibited so it obviously doesn't actually happen) is not listed as an output of value.  This is because no value leaves the system, it is merely a transfer of value from one user to another user within the system, with a parallel transfer of value from one user to another outside the system. 

Now I know a lot of people disslike bots and think that they are greedy and rip people off, but the fact is that they provide a necissary service for the health of the secondary card market.  They facilitate trade making it easy to obtain the cards you are looking for or to sell off extra cards so you can obtain what you need for your next draft or deck, but this is not the place for a discussion of if bots are good or evil.

Now lets look at what happens when a player wants to buy cards.  To buy something you need money, so the player goes to the store and purchases some tix, and value as well as currency is added to the system.  Players can also purchase tix on the secondary market often at a slight discount but we will get to that later, for now they purchase them from the store.  They then go to bots and purchase the card.  Repeating this process over and over pumps currency/value into the system and the bots aquires more and more tix.  Some of this this currency that gets pumped into the system gets spent on tournament fees, and exits the system.  There is however an overall influx of tix into the system, and the bots now want to convert these tix into real world proffit and there are two ways to do this.  One way is to use the tix to purchase redeemable sets, and then sell those cards.  This is ideal since cards come from player who play tournaments, and these players will spend the tix they get from selling cards to enter more events, which removes tix from the system and also maintains the value of cards in the system.  The second alternative that bots can sell their extra tix to players, generally at a discouted price which deflates the value of tix.

So what does all this mean?  Redemptions allows value to be removed from the system and maintains the value of tix and the need for players to buy tix from the store.  It allso keeps the prices of cards higher which means more tix need to be purchased by players to buy the cards.  Both good for WotC.  Less redemptions means prices within the system go down, both for cards, and for tix which can be purchased for less than $1 on the secondary market.  This means that people need less tix to buy the cards that they want, and that less people buy their tix from the store.  Both bad for WotC

As a European limited player I never redeemed in the first place, so it doesn't really affect me directly.

It does affect me that this is the umpteenth move of WOTC in a row that makes things worse for players.
As long as they keep doing that without improving the program* I will never again put a penny of my real money in this product again. I have been able to avoid that since Zendikar, but the day I am broke comes closer and closer and on that day I'll stop joining the queues. And so stop helping the mtgo economy in the only way left for me, by moving packs out of the system (as entree fees)


* I mean in a significant way.  I have been unimpressed with the speed of the development since 2007 or before and long ago stopped believing in this vaporware.

Wow can't believe this news. Basically Wizards doesn't want people to redeem sets, that's for sure. There's no way $5 per redeemed set can't be enough to cover costs. Plus they shouldn't even look at it this way, cause every redeemed set has already been more than paid for.

This is certain to lower card prices on MTGO and make drafting even more expensive.

I also wanted to add a little math to put this in perspective.   1 set of GTC takes 121 packs to make, so a $20 decrease in value equals a $.165 lower expected value per pack.   So a draft will effectively cost $.50 more.   When an average draft costs about $13 right now, that's a 4% increase in cost for each draft.    While this number itself is not a huge burden, I think the psychological effect on the drafter will be much greater.   I've been a drafter since the beginning of MTGO and always check card prices before I decide what to draft.   It's not that I'm that short on money, but I feel like I won when I finish a draft with a little profit.   Even if I don't win the draft, coming out ahead feels good.   The $20 decreased value won't come in the form of $.08 off each card; it will come in a 1-2 tix decrease on 10-20 cards.   When drafters check those cards and see what they're worth, the psychological impact is greater than $.50 per draft.   Unfortunately, people are irrational beings that are influenced by emotions.   I hope the emotional backlash from the large decrease in set value doesn't cause more harm than it economically should.



It's more like a 10% cost increase. For an average player a swiss or 8-4 drafts costs 3*3.5+2=12.5 tickets, but also wins 12/8=1.5 boosters + opened value of approximately 1 ticket per booster opened. So an average drafts costs 12.5 - 1.5*3.5 - 3 = 4.25 tickets.
Now let's consider your example of the average value per pack lowering by $.165, that means instead of opening 3 tickets worth of cards you now open 2.5 tickets worth of cards and cost increase from $4.25 to $4.75, so a draft becomes 10% more expensive!


You can talk until you're blue and out of breath about "protected cahsing out" and "output valves" but the fact is the vast, vast, VAST majority of all the redemptions were nothing more than a massive cash-flow system used by people abusing the fluidity of the MTGO marketplace.  It has long ago ceased to serve it's original purpose of providing a safety net for people who believed digital cards were "worth nothing" if they couldn't be turned into paper, which has been quashed and squished like so much roadkill over the years.  It amazes me it still exists at all.

If the end result is prices drop on singles (especially mythics, which have the odd habit of rising in price heftily just before redemption last call for the set they are in) and there is a shift in the amount of drafting done vs the amount of constructed play going on, then all the better, I'd say.  There are still so many problems with the economics on MTGO it probably won't do a damn thing - but that's a tl;dr for another time.
Classic Quarter
(www.classicquarter.com)
You can talk until you're blue and out of breath about "protected cahsing out" and "output valves" but the fact is the vast, vast, VAST majority of all the redemptions were nothing more than a massive cash-flow system used by people abusing the fluidity of the MTGO marketplace.



I'd argue that this actually provided cash flow to the marketplace. Just try to recall what happened when they switched to the current $5 system from one order far all, and what happens to a set every time they run out of stock or it moves past it redemption time (which is being cut with each new set by the way).

The current pricing was put into efect 4 years ago. Did the MSRP of packs qunituple over those years? Did the entry costs for tournaments? Heck, even gas didn't!
This is pure and simple a run for the money, just because they can. They're a corporation, thats what they do.
They don't care, that they get full MSRP on each pack being the only vendor and not having a middle men to share profits with (like brick and mortar store paying them half what they charge online). They don't care that they have only at worst case scenario 20% of the printing costs and much less for distrubition. They'll do it, because they can.
For sure it's a cash grab.  I'd do it too because it's a much smarter way to tell people they don't actually want you to redeem any more than simlpy getting rid of the program altogether. 

Anyway, continue to conjure up the "WoTC evil moustache-twisting" images because they've now ruined the "business" of sucking cards out of MTGO and turning them into paper and driving up single prices.  I've no sympathy for that kind of action at all.

My only condolences would be to the people who used this as a way of "cashing out" of the game altogether, and I'll be happy through pvt msg to help any anyone who is actually trying to do so without redemption.


Classic Quarter
(www.classicquarter.com)
For sure it's a cash grab.  I'd do it too because it's a much smarter way to tell people they don't actually want you to redeem any more than simlpy getting rid of the program altogether. 



I'm not sure they don't want it. Like I said, it gives them double the income, with less then 20% of the cost vs selling packs.
I'd say they'd choose MTGO economy over paper distribution system and day of the week - given the chance.


Anyway, continue to conjure up the "WoTC evil moustache-twisting" images because they've now ruined the "business" of sucking cards out of MTGO and turning them into paper and driving up single prices.  I've no sympathy for that kind of action at all.



And insert the "Evil redeemer lighting up his cigar with paper Jace's" image. Like it or not, redeem keeps the cash flow of the game. Be it online, helping drafters recover their purchases and play again, or keeping the paper prices at acceptable level (and lowering the box/booster prices for).

Some thing to consider:

WoTC charges MSRP for boosters on MTGO and gets 100% of the profit.  In paper there are distributors, retailers, shipping costs, etc that all go into how much WoTC is actually netting on boosters.  I suspect that WoTC actually nets around $1.50ish after all is said and done and that doesn't include store promotions, etc.  Overhead on MTGO is substantially less and their margins are sustantially higher.  I have a hard time believing that this is something that needed to happen and I suspect there is more to it than they are telling us.

WoTC runs all tournaments on MTGO.  They again make all profit from them and nothing is run through any 3rd parties.  While they are at least nice enough to let us redraft boosters we buy on the secondary market or win from prizes there is always someone out there that is paying msrp for boosters as that is the only way for them to initially enter the system(other than prize payouts).

It is very obvious that MTGO is underfunded.  Anyone with a brain can look at the number of players, the cost of playing MTGO, the number of events fired, etc to realize that WoTC is making an absolute killing on MTGO.  If you look at the UI and number of improvements over the last 10 years you can tell that very little money has actually been poured back into MTGO.  I don't know if WoTC just wants MTGO to do well but not too well or if it's an issue of Hasbro or what but the bottom line is it's underfunded for what it makes.

When mythics were introduced it is still my belief that part of the reason they were introduced(other than to make money) was to help cut down on redemption and keep prices higher.  Higher prices means more boosters are being opened and redemption was out of control back when you could redeem 1000 sets for $10 bucks flat fee or whatever it was and there were no mythics.  Now that people will be redeeming less I feel that mythics in paper are going to raise a good bit. 

MTGO has a lot more limited players than constructed players.  What this means is it has a lot more cards coming into the system that are not being used in decks but being redeemed for people to play with in paper.  Just think about the guys at your local card shop.  How many of them play MTGO but only play limited and do not own a constructed deck?  At my shop it's around 90% which is obviously a very small sample but I'm betting that it's at least 50%+ in most areas.  One of the things that kept MTGO prices stable and similar to paper prices was redemption.  This is going to really really hurt the drafters and be a great boost to constructed decks. 

If WoTC said "We will use 100% of this new income to go towards hiring a new UI developer and more developers" I would be 100% on board with this change and wouldn't be here complaining about it right now. 

This change is just plain unfair to the average player that wants to cash out their collection.  If WoTC wants to somehow hurt us for doing 100 sets at once then do that instead of punishing the average player that just wants to have a playset of std cards.  Why not say your first 8 sets a month is only $5 each or something?  This is just plain unfair for limited players that do not want to have a constructed deck on MTGO.

Look I love WoTC and I think they are a great company.  I deal with a lot of companies with CapeFearGames and WoTC is the absolute best supporting game stores and their promotions are top notch.  This doesn't mean however that I can't be critical of a move that I feel wasn't fully thought out and was very harsh.  I really hope that WoTC will reconsider this change and come up with a plan that is fair.
PureMTGO.com
Cape Fear Games located in Wilmington, NC. Get 20% extra MTGO credit for your paper cards.

When mythics were introduced it is still my belief that part of the reason they were introduced(other than to make money) was to help cut down on redemption and keep prices higher.  Higher prices means more boosters are being opened and redemption was out of control back when you could redeem 1000 sets for $10 bucks flat fee or whatever it was and there were no mythics.  Now that people will be redeeming less I feel that mythics in paper are going to raise a good bit. 



I don't think that at all.  I think it was one of the unfortunate results of mythics was that it simply meant that those cards which would be mythic would be driven up in price ONLY because of the bottleneck created by redemtpion. 

Personally, I don't give a rat's ass about what the cost of a mythic is in paper.  If they are too expensive for people, maybe those people should play online?

MTGO has a lot more limited players than constructed players.  What this means is it has a lot more cards coming into the system that are not being used in decks but being redeemed for people to play with in paper.  Just think about the guys at your local card shop.  How many of them play MTGO but only play limited and do not own a constructed deck?  At my shop it's around 90% which is obviously a very small sample but I'm betting that it's at least 50%+ in most areas.  One of the things that kept MTGO prices stable and similar to paper prices was redemption.  This is going to really really hurt the drafters and be a great boost to constructed decks.



"Keeping prices stable"?  Ask yourself, Heath, what that even means?  And then ask yourself if anyone who doesn't run a card store would even care?

And honestly, as a person who only marginally cares about limited play and LOVES constructed play, this is all the better.   Personally I feel that this announcement should be followed up with a series of constructed play initiatives online.

This change is just plain unfair to the average player that wants to cash out their collection.  If WoTC wants to somehow hurt us for doing 100 sets at once then do that instead of punishing the average player that just wants to have a playset of std cards.  Why not say your first 8 sets a month is only $5 each or something?  This is just plain unfair for limited players that do not want to have a constructed deck on MTGO.



First of all, I'm sure WoTC has the time to apologize profusely to the half dozen "average players" a month who cash out their collection this way. 

Secondly, I'm sure you know full well that any method you intend to protect tatht minisculy small % of people will be exploited, via multiple accounts, address and other means to allow the ridiculous "business" of sucking cards out of MTGO and turning them into Paper for profit to continue.  And make no mistake, that's what's being shut down here.

Look I love WoTC and I think they are a great company.  I deal with a lot of companies with CapeFearGames and WoTC is the absolute best supporting game stores and their promotions are top notch.  This doesn't mean however that I can't be critical of a move that I feel wasn't fully thought out and was very harsh.  I really hope that WoTC will reconsider this change and come up with a plan that is fair.



I think it's perfectly "fair".  How is it not "fair"? It's a flat fee charged to everyone equally.  This is capitalism, and we're not talking about some kind of basic necessity of like like food, water, medicine or fuel.  Feel free not to procure WoTC's services if you like.
Classic Quarter
(www.classicquarter.com)
Like it or not, redeem keeps the cash flow of the game.



I have never, ever, in more than a decade, ever been close to being convinced by anyone, anywhere that this is the case. 

Classic Quarter
(www.classicquarter.com)
Ask yourself, Heath, what that even means?  And then ask yourself if anyone who doesn't run a card store would even care?



Ask ano anyone how he like the box price going from $90 in preorders on M13 to $120 on RTR. It means what it says, thats it.

How is it not "fair"? It's a flat fee charged to everyone equally.  This is capitalism, and we're not talking about some kind of basic necessity of like like food, water, medicine or fuel.  Feel free not to procure WoTC's services if you like.



Monopoly isn't really close to capitalism ideals.


I have never, ever, in more than a decade, ever been close to being convinced by anyone, anywhere that this is the case. 



Doesn't make it any less true.

When mythics were introduced it is still my belief that part of the reason they were introduced(other than to make money) was to help cut down on redemption and keep prices higher.  Higher prices means more boosters are being opened and redemption was out of control back when you could redeem 1000 sets for $10 bucks flat fee or whatever it was and there were no mythics.  Now that people will be redeeming less I feel that mythics in paper are going to raise a good bit. 



I don't think that at all.  I think it was one of the unfortunate results of mythics was that it simply meant that those cards which would be mythic would be driven up in price ONLY because of the bottleneck created by redemtpion. 

Personally, I don't give a rat's ass about what the cost of a mythic is in paper.  If they are too expensive for people, maybe those people should play online?


STD is already very expensive in paper.  STD decks are $300-$600 and this isn't a hobby where you just buy one item and you are done.  Your viewpoints are based on someone that doesn't redeem and doesn't play paper.  So why should you care about this?

MTGO has a lot more limited players than constructed players.  What this means is it has a lot more cards coming into the system that are not being used in decks but being redeemed for people to play with in paper.  Just think about the guys at your local card shop.  How many of them play MTGO but only play limited and do not own a constructed deck?  At my shop it's around 90% which is obviously a very small sample but I'm betting that it's at least 50%+ in most areas.  One of the things that kept MTGO prices stable and similar to paper prices was redemption.  This is going to really really hurt the drafters and be a great boost to constructed decks.



"Keeping prices stable"?  Ask yourself, Heath, what that even means?  And then ask yourself if anyone who doesn't run a card store would even care?

And honestly, as a person who only marginally cares about limited play and LOVES constructed play, this is all the better.   Personally I feel that this announcement should be followed up with a series of constructed play initiatives online.


Stable may of been a poor choice.  Keeps prices in line with paper would of been a better choice.  You mostly play constructed so again you are going off of your personal experiences.  You are ignoring the limited players.

This change is just plain unfair to the average player that wants to cash out their collection.  If WoTC wants to somehow hurt us for doing 100 sets at once then do that instead of punishing the average player that just wants to have a playset of std cards.  Why not say your first 8 sets a month is only $5 each or something?  This is just plain unfair for limited players that do not want to have a constructed deck on MTGO.



First of all, I'm sure WoTC has the time to apologize profusely to the half dozen "average players" a month who cash out their collection this way. 

Secondly, I'm sure you know full well that any method you intend to protect tatht minisculy small % of people will be exploited, via multiple accounts, address and other means to allow the ridiculous "business" of sucking cards out of MTGO and turning them into Paper for profit to continue.  And make no mistake, that's what's being shut down here.


You are underestimating the number of people that redeem.  I feel like I have a much better idea of the number of players that redeem than you do due to the number of players that I interact with during any given week.

Also why is it all the sudden wrong for a business to be based on redeeming MTGO cards for profit as if it's some evil thing?  In your post below you are all pro capitalism yet not so much in this point...

Look I love WoTC and I think they are a great company.  I deal with a lot of companies with CapeFearGames and WoTC is the absolute best supporting game stores and their promotions are top notch.  This doesn't mean however that I can't be critical of a move that I feel wasn't fully thought out and was very harsh.  I really hope that WoTC will reconsider this change and come up with a plan that is fair.




I think it's perfectly "fair".  How is it not "fair"? It's a flat fee charged to everyone equally.  This is capitalism, and we're not talking about some kind of basic necessity of like like food, water, medicine or fuel.  Feel free not to procure WoTC's services if you like.




This sounds like something I would say and will again agree that the use of the word "fair" was a poor choice.

PureMTGO.com
Cape Fear Games located in Wilmington, NC. Get 20% extra MTGO credit for your paper cards.
Monopoly isn't really close to capitalism ideals.



You need to spend more time reading what a monopoly is and less time deriving it from a sense of entitlement over a card game.



I have never, ever, in more than a decade, ever been close to being convinced by anyone, anywhere that this is the case. 



Doesn't make it any less true.



Neither does your saying it is so.

Classic Quarter
(www.classicquarter.com)
..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />You need to spend more time reading what a monopoly is and less time deriving it from a sense of entitlement over a card game.



No need. Just point me to another vendor I can buy MTG products from, or play within MTGO system, and I'm on my way.

..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />Neither does your saying it is so.



Or anyone else here making the same point? You know a joke, when a drives as calling the cops that everone on a highway is driving the wrong way? See any resemblance tho this situation?
Honestly, i am suprised they did not get rid of redemption by now. Magic online customer is the most passive customer in the history of modern gaming, if they remove it today there would be close to zero impact on number of players. We have an abominable software which wizards tell us stories on how will they improve someday. I forgot the number of people came and went, from  UI designer Andrea to Gordon. Every ptq breaks down yet Worth claims Magic online was huge success. He is right, profits are rising even though we have a software from late 80s. 

And we still have these old scarecrows around shoving their nonsense dogma into our throats like they are the most loyal wizards employee....