Replacing "Converted Mana Cost"

63 posts / 0 new
Last post
I don't think the words "converted mana cost" are the best choice of terminology. I have a couple of problems with the terminology.
3 problems actually:


  • It takes up a lot of precious text box real estate.

  • It's not an immediately grokable term.

  • It's not flavourful.


I'm not all that concerned about the last one but the other two seem like grounds enough to start looking for a new term.


The ideal choice would be "mana cost" but that's taken and even if we found a new name for mana cost, renaming cmc with a  term that previously meant something else wouldn't be a good solution.


The best I can come up with are numbered and calculated mana cost. That or maybe turning mana cost into "casting cost" or "exact casting cost", with cmc becomming "numeric cost" or "casting cost" respectively.



Anyone out there have any better ideas?

We can't use "casting cost" for either mana cost or converted mana cost (at least, not officially: I hear it a lot colloquially) because neither of them actually represent what it costs to cast a spell. In the vast majority of board states the total cost (which is closest to what the phrase "casting cost" suggests) and the mana cost of a spell are equal, but they are definitely not identical and describing them as though they are would be unnecessarily confusing for players. I do agree that converted mana cost is a bad name for the concept it represents, but I don't know that there's actually a better one.

"Proc" stands for "Programmed Random OCcurance". It does not even vaguely apply to anything Magic cards do. Don't use it.

Level 1 Judge as of 09/26/2013

Zammm = Batman

"Ability words are flavor text for Melvins." -- Fallingman

Like Astarael, I agree that CMC is poor terminology, but can't think of a really good replacement.

The most accurate alternatives I can come up with tend to be as long as--often longer than--the current wording. The concept of the total amount of mana in the mana cost just isn't something that can be easily reduced to a single term players will understand intuitively. The best I can come up with is introducing a vaguely relevant term that at least has the benefit of being shorter--if we have to explain the term anyway, it might as well be a better word than 'converted'.

So maybe 'value'?

Rethink: Counter target spell unless its controller pays , where X is its value.

Alternatively, if you still want to keep the mention of mana cost you could go with:

Rethink: Counter target spell unless its controller pays , where X is the value of its mana cost.

That's ever-so-slightly longer than the 'converted' wording, but it's a few shorter words instead of one longer one so it might be easier on templating anyway.

Ooh, or maybe someday:

Rethink: Counter target spell unless its controller pays its value in mana.

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

Matt_Holck has been using "mana toll". not sure how I feel about the term, but it's a potential idea.

 

120.6. Some effects replace card draws.

 

why are you here when NGA exists and is just better

"Numerical cost" would save space, at least, but it sure doesn't feel more flavorful, or even that much more intuitive...
Coming Soon to the Magic: Expanded Multiverse: FRAGMENTS: A Shards of Alara Anthology
(Click through to view the cover and announcement page)Want to get your work in the Expanded Multiverse? Come join the project! Oh, and check out my blog, Storming the Ivory Tower: making sense of academia, media, and culture twice weekly.
Matt_Holck has been using "mana toll". not sure how I feel about the term, but it's a potential idea.

 


Now that you brought him up, I also suggest adopting his replacement word for counters, "chips".

Anyway, I like zammm's suggestion of "value" a lot. It is clear what it means and is short and nice.

My biggest problem with CMC is that it sounds a lot more technical and complicated than it actually is.

IMAGE(http://i1.minus.com/jbcBXM4z66fMtK.jpg)

192884403 wrote:
surely one can't say complex conditional passive language is bad grammar ?
When you just learn how to play, you might not know the difference between converted mana cost and mana cost, but because of the terminology you can relate them. Now, when an ability asks you about a converted mana cost, it's often talking about how much damage it deals or something, meaning you already know you are looking for a number.

As a beginner, I play Erratic Explosion. I reveal Scornful Egotist. Now it deals damage equal to its, what's this, "converted mana cost"? Okay, how much does the Egotist cost? 8. So, 8 damage.

If it needs to be changed (which I think it doesn't), I wouldn't ever think about taking out the "mana cost" part. Maybe "numeric mana cost".
"Numerical cost" would save space, at least, but it sure doesn't feel more flavorful, or even that much more intuitive...


That's way more intuitive, Every time I hear "converted mana cost," I think "Converted into what? Francs? Rubles?"
Check out my cube!
Show
My sig was so awesome it broke Browsers, [url= http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29455423/For_some_reason...]I had to remove it.[/url] Support Magic Fiction! Or Bolas will eat you
57193048 wrote:
You should never explain layers to people unless one of the following is true: they're studying for a judge exam, you're both in a Ben Affleck movie and it's the only way to save the world, or you hate them.
56663526 wrote:
We try to maintain the illusion that Magic cards are written in English.
56333196 wrote:
69511863 wrote:
Hell, if they steal from us, we'd be honored.
oh my god, AWESOME! Then changing the Slivers was your idea! haha lol
56734518 wrote:
Occassionally when catering, I've been put the task of arranging Fruit and Cheese or Grilled Vegetable platters. More than once a high class buffet has started with the mark of Phyrexia upon it. Since i've got a good eye for color so it looks great to people who don't get the "joke" (it's a niceley divided circle after all: the outline gives you 4-6 "regions" to work with), this has actually got me put on platter design more often, resulting in Phyrexia's presence at more private and industry events.
I have 6917 Planeswalker points, that's probably more than you. [c=Hero's Resolve]"Destiny, chance, fate, fortune, mana screw; they're all just ways of claiming your successes without claiming your failures." Gerrard of the Weatherlight[/c]
"Numerical cost" would save space, at least, but it sure doesn't feel more flavorful, or even that much more intuitive...


That's way more intuitive, Every time I hear "converted mana cost," I think "Converted into what? Francs? Rubles?"

My question would be whether or not new players would figure out that it's the WHOLE cost rather than just the little number. I can see that being confusing.

Then I guess the followup question would naturally be "is that confusion an acceptable cost given the benefits." I mean... I thought Urborg Volcano added lands when I was first starting out; everyone makes mistakes early on.
Coming Soon to the Magic: Expanded Multiverse: FRAGMENTS: A Shards of Alara Anthology
(Click through to view the cover and announcement page)Want to get your work in the Expanded Multiverse? Come join the project! Oh, and check out my blog, Storming the Ivory Tower: making sense of academia, media, and culture twice weekly.
"Numeric mana cost" isn't great. As a native german, I would think that it only refers to mana symbols with a number on it... for example = = 3.

"Converted mana cost" is much better. It means => converted into colorless mana. Therefore = = = 5.
I'd like "magnitude of [its] mana cost" but that's longer.
blah blah metal lyrics
I'd like "magnitude of [its] mana cost" but that's longer.


Could we just use "magnitude" or some other synonym for size? Or how about "energy"?

Magic and Magic Online Volunteer Community Lead. On Strike

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

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


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

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

General MTGO FAQ

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

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

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

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

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

The most accurate alternatives I can come up with tend to be as long as--often longer than--the current wording. The concept of the total amount of mana in the mana cost just isn't something that can be easily reduced to a single term players will understand intuitively. The best I can come up with is introducing a vaguely relevant term that at least has the benefit of being shorter--if we have to explain the term anyway, it might as well be a better word than 'converted'.

So maybe 'value'?

Rethink: Counter target spell unless its controller pays , where X is its value.

Alternatively, if you still want to keep the mention of mana cost you could go with:

Rethink: Counter target spell unless its controller pays , where X is the value of its mana cost.

That's ever-so-slightly longer than the 'converted' wording, but it's a few shorter words instead of one longer one so it might be easier on templating anyway.

Ooh, or maybe someday:
 
Rethink: Counter target spell unless its controller pays its value in mana.



I would go witha combination of them all and say "Counter target spell unless its contoller pays X, where X is its mana value". It's clearer than the first and last but is shorter than the second. 

I'd like "magnitude of [its] mana cost" but that's longer.


Could we just use "magnitude" or some other synonym for size? Or how about "energy"?


I assume this has the same problem as "Mill."
Check out my cube!
Show
My sig was so awesome it broke Browsers, [url= http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29455423/For_some_reason...]I had to remove it.[/url] Support Magic Fiction! Or Bolas will eat you
57193048 wrote:
You should never explain layers to people unless one of the following is true: they're studying for a judge exam, you're both in a Ben Affleck movie and it's the only way to save the world, or you hate them.
56663526 wrote:
We try to maintain the illusion that Magic cards are written in English.
56333196 wrote:
69511863 wrote:
Hell, if they steal from us, we'd be honored.
oh my god, AWESOME! Then changing the Slivers was your idea! haha lol
56734518 wrote:
Occassionally when catering, I've been put the task of arranging Fruit and Cheese or Grilled Vegetable platters. More than once a high class buffet has started with the mark of Phyrexia upon it. Since i've got a good eye for color so it looks great to people who don't get the "joke" (it's a niceley divided circle after all: the outline gives you 4-6 "regions" to work with), this has actually got me put on platter design more often, resulting in Phyrexia's presence at more private and industry events.
I have 6917 Planeswalker points, that's probably more than you. [c=Hero's Resolve]"Destiny, chance, fate, fortune, mana screw; they're all just ways of claiming your successes without claiming your failures." Gerrard of the Weatherlight[/c]
I'd like "magnitude of [its] mana cost" but that's longer.


Could we just use "magnitude" or some other synonym for size? Or how about "energy"?


I assume this has the same problem as "Mill."

We have to reference "mana" or "cost" in the name somehow or else no one is going to know what the heck it is. The physicist in me is really attracted to "magnitude of its mana cost", despite how awkwardly long it is.

"Proc" stands for "Programmed Random OCcurance". It does not even vaguely apply to anything Magic cards do. Don't use it.

Level 1 Judge as of 09/26/2013

Zammm = Batman

"Ability words are flavor text for Melvins." -- Fallingman

How about mana value? It's shorter, and while it doesn't directly reference "cost" I don't think too many people will look at "mana value" and look at the cost of an activated ability for example. Value doesn't necessarily imply that it doesn't take color into account, but I think most people will come to the right conclusion just looking at it.

Magnitude was pretty tempting...
manana

 

120.6. Some effects replace card draws.

 

why are you here when NGA exists and is just better

manana

 


Too similar to mana. People would get confused.
manana

 

Is that an Ephemeron reference?

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

manana

 



Ban

Instant

Name a card other than a basic land.

The named card can't be played.

//

Ana

Instant

Add to your mana pool.
139359831 wrote:
Clever deduction Watson! Maybe you can explain why Supergirl is trying to kill me.
---- Autocard is your friend. Lightning Bolt = Lightning Bolt
Why not just cost?

Smother -> destroy target creature that cost 3 or less

Or am i forgetting something 
Why not just cost?

Smother -> destroy target creature that cost 3 or less

Or am i forgetting something 


Mana cost includes color.

Converted cost might work.
Check out my cube!
Show
My sig was so awesome it broke Browsers, [url= http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29455423/For_some_reason...]I had to remove it.[/url] Support Magic Fiction! Or Bolas will eat you
57193048 wrote:
You should never explain layers to people unless one of the following is true: they're studying for a judge exam, you're both in a Ben Affleck movie and it's the only way to save the world, or you hate them.
56663526 wrote:
We try to maintain the illusion that Magic cards are written in English.
56333196 wrote:
69511863 wrote:
Hell, if they steal from us, we'd be honored.
oh my god, AWESOME! Then changing the Slivers was your idea! haha lol
56734518 wrote:
Occassionally when catering, I've been put the task of arranging Fruit and Cheese or Grilled Vegetable platters. More than once a high class buffet has started with the mark of Phyrexia upon it. Since i've got a good eye for color so it looks great to people who don't get the "joke" (it's a niceley divided circle after all: the outline gives you 4-6 "regions" to work with), this has actually got me put on platter design more often, resulting in Phyrexia's presence at more private and industry events.
I have 6917 Planeswalker points, that's probably more than you. [c=Hero's Resolve]"Destiny, chance, fate, fortune, mana screw; they're all just ways of claiming your successes without claiming your failures." Gerrard of the Weatherlight[/c]
Why not just cost?

Smother -> destroy target creature that cost 3 or less

Or am i forgetting something 


Mana cost includes color.

Converted cost might work.


Yah, converted cost is something I could get behind. The mana bit is pretty much implied by cost, and "converted" clears up any question of additional costs (ie sac a creature to cast this).
I'm leary of changing "mana cost" to just "cost" though, and it's a little weird to have "mana cost" and "converted cost" coexist without a mention of mana in the latter. Could work though.
Cost could work because it's the only cost value that has a flexible number attached to it, though it is a touch ambiguous.
I just realized this wasn't in RT&T the way I thought it was. It should be--this is a templating issue, not design or development.

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

Bring back cast cost!
Got by me too. Moving to Rules Theory & Templating.

Magic and Magic Online Volunteer Community Lead. On Strike

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

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


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

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

General MTGO FAQ

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

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

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

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

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

I suppose the term is a bit problematic, but at least it holds the relevant information: it's based on the cost, and in particular, the mana cost. Many of the suggestions either sound like they could be based on the effects of the spell or like they could count additional or alternative costs.
Can we just Keyword it to CMC?  Add reminder text to new cards in the core set, so new players learn it like other keywords.

Seems like it should work.

Foo
Instant
Counter target spell with CMC 3 (CMC is the spell's converted mana cost)

No. Abbreviations like that really shouldn't be used on cards. Also, that reminder text wouldn't be helpful to new players; it's using one unknown term to define another. And we can't assume that they'll see the core set first.
No. Abbreviations like that really shouldn't be used on cards. Also, that reminder text wouldn't be helpful to new players; it's using one unknown term to define another. And we can't assume that they'll see the core set first.



But that's true of any new thing.  How does a new player learn what deathtouch or trample or protection does, if they first find it on a non-core card?  They ask about it.  They learn.  Done.
The comparison is invalid. With keyword abilities, they try to have a flavorful name, and as reminder text, they describe exactly what the ability does. What you're proposing is to use just a sequence of letters and then to have reminder text explaining what those letters stand far, all without explaining what that actually means.

I think it's useful that the term "converted mana cost" contains "mana cost". If you actually cut that to just "CMC" containing "MC", you lose that benefit.

If they were to introduce a new term, there's a much more sane approach: find a flavorful term and then give reminder text that actually explains it (e.g. "(Foo is the total amount of mana in a a card's mana cost.)").
Maybe we could print fewer and fewer cards that use the term "converted mana cost" and see if anyone notices. ;)

Del Laugel

Editing manager, Magic TCG

Maybe we could print fewer and fewer cards that use the term "converted mana cost" and see if anyone notices. ;)



Cry
I like total cost or total mana cost, whichever once can work without rules issues.
Maybe I'm missing the obvious, but what is the problem with just "mana cost"? Is there a realistic risk of someone playing Erratic Explosion revealing Chandra Ablaze, and expecting her opponent to lose 4 regular life and 2 red life?
Maybe we could print fewer and fewer cards that use the term "converted mana cost" and see if anyone notices. ;)

True enough, but I've never really been a fan of problem-solving by avoidance if there's a viable alternative.

Maybe I'm missing the obvious, but what is the problem with just "mana cost"? Is there a realistic risk of someone playing Erratic Explosion revealing Chandra Ablaze, and expecting her opponent to lose 4 regular life and 2 red life?

The problem is that fundamentally, a mana cost is an amount of mana, not a pure number. Using it as a pure number is equivalent to saying something like "Lose life equal to target creature." Syntaxically, it doesn't make sense.

There's also a problem with effects like Rethink, where CMC is translated into an amount of mana. "...Unless its controller pays its mana cost" is a completely different effect than appears on Rethink, and the actual text it would have ("...unless its controller pays {X}, where X is its mana cost") is going to seem very similar to that to someone who doesn't know how to parse it properly.

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

Maybe I'm missing the obvious, but what is the problem with just "mana cost"? Is there a realistic risk of someone playing Erratic Explosion revealing Chandra Ablaze, and expecting her opponent to lose 4 regular life and 2 red life?

That's not the only context in which the term is used. Among other things, you would be saying that Dizzy Spell can no longer transmute for Lightning Bolt. (In fact, it wouldn't even be able to get Judge's Familiar or Mental Misstep either!)
Maybe I'm missing the obvious, but what is the problem with just "mana cost"? Is there a realistic risk of someone playing Erratic Explosion revealing Chandra Ablaze, and expecting her opponent to lose 4 regular life and 2 red life?



You would need a way to distinguish between when you are looking for just a number (CMC) and when you actually want to know the mana cost.  For example, on Offering cards like Patron of the Akki.
I like total cost or total mana cost, whichever once can work without rules issues.

Total Cost is already something else in the rules.


For example, when you cast Artillerize while you have Goblin Electromancer out, the spell's Mana Cost (a characteristic of the game object itself) is , the Converted Mana Cost (a number derived from the mana cost) is 4, the Total Mana Cost (how much mana you actually pays) is , and the Total Cost (like total mana cost but including all forms of cost)  is " plus sacrificing Goblin Electromancer".

[<o>]
I like total cost or total mana cost, whichever once can work without rules issues.

Total Cost is already something else in the rules.




Exactly what I was thinking. With cost changing effects total cost is out as a term.

The only other thing I can think of that might be close to workable would be "printed cost" with the caveats that we still need to define X on the stack vs not, and the conversion of colors + colorless to an natural number is built into the term, which isn't really helpful for helping new or less rules savvy  players understand.

Converted Mana Cost is probably the best term. A more technical sounding term might be shorter (Numerical Value or something), but not any more grokkable than Converted Mana cost.

3DH4LIF3

Sign In to post comments