Building Blocks (What could have been.)

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In MaRo's Making Magic article today, he talks about how the Mirrodin Block was supposed to be part 1 in a three part story arc that covered multiple Planes.

Mirrodin Block



Mirrodin block first came about because I really wanted to do an artifact block. Invasion had done multicolor, Odyssey had done graveyard, Onslaught had done tribal—it was clear that one of the biggest themes we hadn't done yet was artifacts. I've talked about this story several times, but I've never told a different story about how Tyler Bielman, then head of the creative team and Mirrodin design team member, and I first sold Mirrodin as part of a three-block meta-story.


The Weatherlight Saga had wound up in Invasion block and while that didn't quite go the way I wanted (a man named Michael Ryan and I were the ones who originally pitched the Weatherlight Saga—but that's a story for another time), I was eager to try and tell another large multi-block story. Tyler shared my passion for larger story arcs and he and I came up with a plan three blocks in the making.


Block One was to be an artificial world of metal made by a Planeswalker who we called the Zookeeper. The Zookeeper had populated the world with mechanical creatures of his creation. He then used a device to pluck creatures from other planes and trap them on the metal world. The newly acquired inhabitants would have to fight the metal creatures to survive. The main character of the story would be a champion plucked from another world who figures out that the world is artificial. She fights her way to the home of the Zookeeper, intent on putting an end to this mad experiment. When she meets the Zookeeper, he tells her, "I was wondering which one of you would make it here first. Come, we have much to do," and then they both disappear.


Block Two was set on an underground prison world. (Note that this was many years before Scot Van Essen would propose that idea for his world in the Great Designer Search 2.) Besides the prisoners, there are numerous creatures native to this underground world who are also enslaved. The warden (who we called the Warden) is a harsh man who forces all the prisoners to fight one another in arena-style combat. The main character of this story is wrongfully imprisoned. While trying to escape, he comes to learn that many of the prisoners are likewise wrongly imprisoned and he realizes that the Warden is up to something. The protagonist ends up having to fight in the arena. When he wins the competition, he finally comes face to face with the Warden. He tells the Warden that he knows something is going on. The Warden replies that he's just scratched the surface.


Block Three is a violent storm world. It is the neutral plane for a giant conflict between the forces of the Zookeeper from the first block and the Warden (who we also learn is a Planeswalker) from the second block. This block is an all-out battle between the metal creatures and kidnapped creatures from the first block against the prisoners and underground creatures from the second block. The winner of this epic battle would win some cosmic prize that would go on to threaten the Multiverse in the future. (We hadn't decided exactly what it was.)


You'll note that pieces of the setting for the first block remained. It was still an artificially made artifact world and it did trap creatures from other planes, but Brady Dommermuth, the man in charge of worldbuilding for Mirrodin, chose to advance the story such that the creatures from other planes had adapted over time and become part of the metal plane's ecosystem. Gone was the "survive the elements of metal world" from our story.


So what happened? Well, the Weatherlight Saga had not gone as well as anyone had hoped and everyone was a bit gun shy of making a commitment to another multi-block story. What if one year in we learned players didn't like it? We'd be stuck having to make blocks that might not be wanted.


That is the tale of the three-block story that never happened and the one world from that story that went on to become one of the most popular settings for Magic.


I'm actually kind of sad this thing didn't get more traction.  It sounds like it would have been pretty fun.

@mikemearls The office is basically empty this week, which opens up all sorts of possibilities for low shenanigans

@mikemearls In essence, all those arguments I lost are being unlost. Won, if you will. We're doing it MY way, baby.

@biotech66 aren't you the boss anyway? isn't "DO IT OR I FIRE YOU!" still an option?

@mikemearls I think Perkins would throat punch me if I ever tried that. And I'd give him a glowing quarterly review for it.

In MaRo's Making Magic article today, he talks about how the Mirrodin Block was supposed to be part 1 in a three part story arc that covered multiple Planes.


 I'm actually kind of sad this thing didn't get more traction.  It sounds like it would have been pretty fun.




That it does. Oh well, we got The Gateless instead. Lucky us.

"The fuel on which science runs is ignorance. Science is like a hungry furnace that must be fed logs from the forests of ignorance that surround us. In the process, the clearing we call knowledge expands, but the more it expands, the longer its perimeter and the more ignorance comes into view." -Matt Ridley, Genome

I don't actually think this is the first time this is mentioned.


Anyway, while I think Mirrodin is terrible design I wouldn't dare to vote into the Expanded Multiverse if it was fanmade, I do appreciate New Phyrexia. So it all evens out, I guess.


@Jivan: Who are the Gateless?

After the official forums lost most of their functionality, a once vibrant community of Vorthos was wiped out.The survivors founded a new place to discuss all things concerning with the art, flavor and storylines of Magic: The Gathering. Come join us.

@Jivan: Who are the Gateless?

Exaclty.

@mikemearls The office is basically empty this week, which opens up all sorts of possibilities for low shenanigans

@mikemearls In essence, all those arguments I lost are being unlost. Won, if you will. We're doing it MY way, baby.

@biotech66 aren't you the boss anyway? isn't "DO IT OR I FIRE YOU!" still an option?

@mikemearls I think Perkins would throat punch me if I ever tried that. And I'd give him a glowing quarterly review for it.

They were gun shy about doing a multi block story after Weatherlight, then prompty dove into one with Odyessy/Onslaught block.

Perfect logic there guys.

This sounds way more interesting than the entirety of the Mirrodin block novels. 

(at)MrEnglish22

Though, it could be said that Odyssey/Onslaught is only serving to reinforce the idea as a bad one that should be avoided.

@mikemearls The office is basically empty this week, which opens up all sorts of possibilities for low shenanigans

@mikemearls In essence, all those arguments I lost are being unlost. Won, if you will. We're doing it MY way, baby.

@biotech66 aren't you the boss anyway? isn't "DO IT OR I FIRE YOU!" still an option?

@mikemearls I think Perkins would throat punch me if I ever tried that. And I'd give him a glowing quarterly review for it.


Though, it could be said that Odyssey/Onslaught is only serving to reinforce the idea as a bad one that should be avoided.




Torment was amazing and should not be considered as negative proof.

"The fuel on which science runs is ignorance. Science is like a hungry furnace that must be fed logs from the forests of ignorance that surround us. In the process, the clearing we call knowledge expands, but the more it expands, the longer its perimeter and the more ignorance comes into view." -Matt Ridley, Genome

That sounded, quite frankly, wretched.
All of them boiled down to the plot of a Fighting Game without any of the charm of a Fighting Game.
The entire "fight for this" in all three blocks would have been tired, warmed over garbage by the time we got to the grand cosmic prize.
I loved Onslaught block. But that might just be because my favorite character in all of Magic was Ixidor.

That guy really should have been a Planeswalker. 

(at)MrEnglish22

The two golden nuggets in that proposal were the "We have much to do" with the supposed antagonist whisking the protagonist away and the cosmic prize that goes on to threaten the Multiverse (although now that we have the Eldrazi, this might be played out unless they can find another interesting angle to it).

Hope they use those ideas in the future.
Seems like it would have worked better for only one block, but with a Large/Large/Small setup like RTR had. I don't see what's wrong with visiting 3 planes in one block if they share a single overarching story. As an entire three blocks of what essentially amounts to The Hunger Games, I'd have to agree with Barinellos.
Yeah, I'm sort of siding with Barinellos here, too. :/ That was a dire time for world design in a lot of ways, honestly, and I'm not sure changing the story would have made it less dire... especially since they'd have to design three different worlds in one go. That doesn't sound like a winning proposition.
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(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.

Though, it could be said that Odyssey/Onslaught is only serving to reinforce the idea as a bad one that should be avoided.



Scourge had a pudding orgy. You're argument is invalid.

Though on the subject I actually read the Onslaught Block novels with no knowledge of Odyssey's story and still got most of the enjoyment out of it. Also I love how they were worried about the whole multiblock story thing turning people off and then Mirrodin was the low point for the novels anyway.

Zammm = Batman.

It's my sig in a box
58280208 wrote:
Everything is better when you read it in Bane's voice.
192334281 wrote:
Your human antics and desire to continue living have moved me. Just kidding. You cannot move me physically or emotionally. Wall humor.
57092228 wrote:
Copy effects work like a photocopy machine: you get a copy of the 'naked' card, NOT of what's on it.
56995928 wrote:
Funny story: InQuest Magazine (I think it was InQuest) had an oversized Chaos Orb which I totally rooked someone into allowing into a (non-sanctioned) game. I had a proxy card that was a Mountain with "Chaos Orb" written on it. When I played it, my opponent cried foul: Him: "WTF? a Proxy? no-one said anything about Proxies. Do you even own an actual Chaos Orb?" Me: "Yes, but I thought it would be better to use a Proxy." Him: "No way. If you're going to put a Chaos Orb in your deck you have to use your actual Chaos Orb." Me: "*Sigh*. Okay." I pulled out this huge Chaos Orb and placed it on the table. He tried to cry foul again but everyone else said he insisted I use my actual Chaos Orb and that was my actual Chaos Orb. I used it, flipped it and wiped most of his board. Unsurprisingly, that only worked once and only because everyone present thought it was hilarious.
My DM on Battleminds:
no, see i can kill defenders, but 8 consecutive crits on a battlemind, eh walk it off.
144543765 wrote:
195392035 wrote:
Hi guys! So, I'm a sort of returning player to Magic. I say sort of because as a child I had two main TCG's I liked. Yu-Gi-Oh, and Pokemon. Some of my friends branched off in to Magic, and I bought two pre-made decks just to kind of fit in. Like I said, Yu-Gi-Oh and Pokemon were what I really knew how to play. I have a extensive knowledge of deck building in those two TCG's. However, as far as Magic is concerned, I only ever used those two pre made decks. I know how the game is played, and I know general things, but now I want to get in the game for real. I want to begin playing it as a regular. My question is, are all cards ever released from the time of the inception of this game until present day fair game in a deck? Or are there special rules? Are some cards forbidden or restricted? Thanks guys, and I will gladly accept ANY help lol.
I have the same problem with women.
117639611 wrote:
198869283 wrote:
Oh I have a standing rule. If someone plays a Planeswalker I concede the game. I refuse to play with or against people who play Planeswalkers. They really did ruin the game.
A turn two Tibalt win?! Wicked... Betcha don't see that everyday.

The Pony Co. 

Is this my new ego sig? Yes it is, other Barry
57461258 wrote:
And that's why you should never, ever call RP Jesus on being a troll, because then everyone else playing along gets outed, too, and the thread goes back to being boring.
57461258 wrote:
See, this is why RPJesus should be in charge of the storyline. The novel line would never have been cancelled if he had been running the show. Specifically the Slobad and Geth's Head talkshow he just described.
57461258 wrote:
Not only was that an obligatory joke, it was an on-topic post that still managed to be off-topic due to thread derailment. RP Jesus does it again folks.
92481331 wrote:
I think I'm gonna' start praying to Jesus... That's right, RPJesus, I'm gonna' be praying to you, right now. O' Jesus Please continue to make my time here on the forums fun and cause me to chuckle. Amen.
92481331 wrote:
56957928 wrote:
It was wonderful. Us Johnnies had a field day. That Timmy with the Grizzly bears would actually have to think about swinging into your Mogg Fanatic, giving you time to set up your silly combo. Nowadays it's all DERPSWING! with thier blue jeans and their MP3 players and their EM EM OH AR PEE JEES and their "Dewmocracy" and their children's card games and their Jersey Shores and their Tattooed Tenaged Vampire Hunters from Beverly Hills
Seriously, that was amazing. I laughed my *ss off. Made my day, and I just woke up.
[quote=ArtVenn You're still one of my favorite people... just sayin'.[/quote]
56756068 wrote:
56786788 wrote:
.....would it be a bit blasphemous if I said, "PRAYSE RPJAYSUS!" like an Evangelical preacher?
Perhaps, but who doesn't like to blaspheme every now and again? Especially when Mr. RPJesus is completely right.
56756068 wrote:
I don't say this often, but ... LOL
57526128 wrote:
You... You... Evil something... I actualy made the damn char once I saw the poster... Now you made me see it again and I gained resolve to put it into my campaign. Shell be high standing oficial of Cyrix order. Uterly mad and only slightly evil. And it'll be bad. Evil even. And ill blame you and Lizard for it :P.
57042968 wrote:
111809331 wrote:
I'm trying to work out if you're being sarcastic here. ...
Am going to stop you right there... it's RPJesus... he's always sarcastic
58335208 wrote:
56957928 wrote:
112114441 wrote:
we can only hope it gets the jace treatment...it could have at least been legendary
So that even the decks that don't run it run it to deal with it? Isn't that like the definition of format warping?
I lol'd.
56287226 wrote:
98088088 wrote:
Uktabi Orangutan What the heck's going on with those monkeys?
The most common answer is that they are what RPJesus would call "[Debutantes avert your eyes]ing."
56965458 wrote:
Show
57461258 wrote:
116498949 wrote:
I’ve removed content from this thread because off-topic discussions are a violation of the Code of Conduct. You can review the Code here: www.wizards.com/Company/About.aspx?x=wz_... Please keep your posts polite, on-topic, and refrain from making personal attacks. You are welcome to disagree with one another but please do so respectfully and constructively. If you wish to report a post for Code of Conduct violation, click on the “Report Post” button above the post and this will submit your report to the moderators on duty.
...Am I the only one that thinks this is reaching the point of downright Kafkaesque insanity?
I condone the use of the word Kafkaesque. However, I'm presentely ambivalent. I mean, that can't be serious, right? We're April 1st, right? They didn't mod RPJesus for off-topic discussion when the WHOLE THREAD IS OFF-TOPIC, right? Right.
57545908 wrote:
56957928 wrote:
Save or die. If you disagree with this, you're wrong (Not because of any points or arguements that have been made, but I just rolled a d20 for you and got a 1, so you lose).
58397368 wrote:
58222628 wrote:
This just won the argument, AFAIC.
That's just awesome.
57471038 wrote:
57718868 wrote:
HOW DID I NOT KNOW ABOUT THE BEAR PRODUCING WORDS OF WILDING?! WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?!
That's what RPJesus tends to do. That's why I don't think he's a real person, but some Magic Card Archive Server sort of machine, that is programmed to react to other posters' comments with obscure cards that do in fact exist, but somehow missed by even the most experienced Magic players. And then come up with strange combos with said cards. All of that is impossible for a normal human to do given the amount of time he does it and how often he does it. He/It got me with Light of Sanction, which prompted me to go to RQ&A to try and find if it was even possible to do combat damage to a creature I control (in light that Mark of Asylum exists).
71235715 wrote:
+10
100176878 wrote:
56957928 wrote:
57078538 wrote:
heaven or hell.
Round 1. Lets rock.
GG quotes! RPJesus just made this thread win!
56906968 wrote:
56957928 wrote:
143359585 wrote:
Blue players get all the overpowerered cards like JTMS. I think it's time that wizards gave something to people who remember what magic is really about: creatures.
Initially yes, Wizards was married to blue. However, about a decade ago they had a nasty divorce, and a few years after that they began courting the attention of Green. Then in Worldwake they had a nasty affair with their ex, but as of Innistrad, things seem to have gotten back on track, and Wizards has even proposed.
You are my favorite. Yes you. And moments like this make it so. Thank you RPJesus for just being you.
On what flavor text fits me:
57307308 wrote:
Surely RPJesus gets Niv-Mizzet, Dracogenius?
56874518 wrote:
First: I STILL can't take you seriously with that avatar. And I can take RPJesus seriously, so that's saying something.
121689989 wrote:
I'd offer you a cookie for making me laugh but it has an Upkeep Cost that has been known to cause people to quit eating.
56267956 wrote:
I <3 you loads
57400888 wrote:
56957928 wrote:
"AINT NO LAWS IN THE SKY MOTHER****." - Agrus Kos, Wojek Veteran
10/10. Amazing.
I'm all for ongoing plotlines, but all three of those blocks having essentially the same plot is a bit dull.
I'll add my voice to the ones saying that the original Mirrodin block plan sounded pretty wretched.
I guess it wouldn't have been so bad for one block, but then the second block would be exactly the same, and then... well I guess the conclusion wasn't really written yet but it didn't sound all that promising.

My story

Show
196639635 wrote:
Found it. From the moment TP died:
98201429 wrote:
TPmanW said as he fell to the ground dead, but not really he just has other stuff to do today. In the end, not even his karate could save him. But he died with a smile, knowing that his flavour text submission was totally going to win, because everyone has sympathy for dead people.
And the quotes he was going to use...
198015657 wrote:
196639635 wrote:
I can someone on a journey to the underworld and they won't know it until they arrive. On a side note, who needs a TPmanW zombie? Not really...
196398709 wrote:
You fools! I have killed your beloved TPmanW. Who stands to challenge me so?
Okay. How do I put things in my sig guys? Also yah thanks Dragons.
Explaining GMBanKevin
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198015657 wrote:
69511863 wrote:
I've also stumbled in in YMtC just now. Why are people still responding to GMwhat'shisnameBankaiKevin? He's completely of his rocker, unfriendly, arrogant and all-around terrible to a community. I understand that sometimes he has interesting ideas, but the sheer wrongness of all the rest doesn't seem to make up for that. He's the equivalent of a drunk guy at a party who's sometimes funny, but the rest of the time proclaims that if he had been in charge of the Nazis, the world would be a better, Jew-free place. You wouldn't put up with someone like that in real life, why would you on the internet? Wouldn't this be the perfect opportunity for "if we ignore it, it'll go away?"
People respond to Kevin/GM/Bankai for a number of reasons. Really, Kevin presernts the perfect s#!t strom of have-to-respond-to-this-guy's-posts. 1. He pairs originality (at least often enough) with warped design philosophy and and disregard for power balance. People's first reaction to GM is that if they just gave him a few pointers he could design some pretty good cards. Naturaully, he reacts negatively, leading to point 2. 2. He's a jerk and people come to hate him. This makes them post to take cheap jabs at Bankai. Since people pick on him we get point 3. 3. People feel sorry for him. Somebody usually sticks up for GM which keeps the conversation going and the post count climbing. I'm convinced that every YMTC'er goes through a phase where they try to help Kevin out and often make some sort of overture. Naturally, he reacts negatively, and that sends people right back to step 2. Everyone else is mystified, leading to step 4. 4. He's intriguing. His postings really have to be read to be beleived. The thought process behind Kevin's posts is so bwewildering that you can't help but be intrigued. Is he a troll? He acts in a remarkably trollish way, and seems to get little except annoyance for his efforts, but given the amount of effort he goes to, he couldn't really be doing it just to troll could he? Once you accept that Kevin is not a troll, you realize that something is wrong with him and start feel feel sympathetic. Return to step 3.