Great New Content for New Accounts!

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See our announcement in the announcements folder: http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?t=1224880

WotC_Eric;19141428 wrote:
Magic: The Gathering Online is changing the contents of new player accounts. Starting after the downtime on August 5th, purchase a new account for Magic Online and receive everything you need to begin playing right away! Best of all, the price is staying the same, just $9.99 USD.


New account contents:

  • Over 300 Magic Online Cards (150 basic lands and over 150 Magic 2010 Commons and Uncommons)
  • One Magic 2010 booster pack
  • Two Magic Online event tickets
  • Five Basic Player Avatars

Also, if you’re not familiar with deck building or you just want to get in the game and start playing, no problem! We’ll get you jump started by providing you with 5 deck lists that use the cards from your new account.

Decklists:

[deck="New Player BlackGreen"]1 Weakness
1 Duress
1 Demon's Horn
2 Drudge Skeletons
1 Acolyte of Xathrid
1 Giant Growth
2 Dread Warlock
1 Diabolic Tutor
2 Vampire Aristocrat
1 Naturalize
1 Disentomb
2 Warpath Ghoul
1 Consume Spirit
4 Swamp
2 Zombie Goliath
1 Sign in Blood
2 Kelinore Bat
2 Forest
4 Swamp
1 Forest
1 Mind Rot
1 Rise from the Grave
2 Forest
4 Swamp
1 Tendrils of Corruption
4 Swamp
3 Terramorphic Expanse
1 Assassinate
1 Unholy Strength
2 Doom Blade
1 Forest
2 Looming Shade
2 Gravedigger
2 Child of Night[/deck]
[deck="New Player GreenWhite"]
1 Mist Leopard
1 Plains
2 Giant Spider
1 Awakener Druid
1 Entangling Vines
1 Fog
1 Naturalize
2 Stampeding Rhino
1 Pacifism
1 Rampant Growth
2 Giant Growth
2 Borderland Ranger
2 Centaur Courser
4 Forest
1 Regenerate
4 Forest
1 Overrun
1 Prized Unicorn
3 Forest
2 Plains
3 Terramorphic Expanse
1 Plains
1 Emerald Oryx
1 Excommunicate
2 Runeclaw Bear
2 Llanowar Elves
2 Plains
1 Divine Verdict
2 Elvish Visionary
2 Deadly Recluse
2 Craw Wurm
1 Oakenform
1 Bramble Creeper
4 Forest
1 Bountiful Harvest[/deck]
[deck="New Player WhiteRed"]1 Angel's Feather
2 Sparkmage Apprentice
2 Silvercoat Lion
1 Fireball
1 Glorious Charge
4 Plains
1 Lifelink
1 Act of Treason
1 Excommunicate
2 Mountain
1 Solemn Offering
2 Stormfront Pegasus
3 Plains
4 Plains
2 Palace Guard
2 Mountain
1 Pacifism
1 Mountain
2 Blinding Mage
2 Mountain
2 Soul Warden
1 Wall of Faith
2 Razorfoot Griffin
1 Siege Mastodon
4 Plains
3 Terramorphic Expanse
1 Righteousness
1 Holy Strength
2 Veteran Armorsmith
2 Lightning Bolt
1 Divine Verdict
2 Veteran Swordsmith
1 Serra Angel
1 Armored Ascension[/deck]
[deck="New Player RedBlue"]1 Unsummon
2 Raging Goblin
4 Mountain
2 Goblin Piker
4 Mountain
2 Fiery Hellhound
1 Dragon Whelp
2 Jackal Familiar
1 Firebreathing
2 Viashino Spearhunter
2 Berserkers of Blood Ridge
1 Lava Axe
1 Seismic Strike
1 Act of Treason
1 Essence Scatter
3 Mountain
1 Negate
1 Fireball
3 Terramorphic Expanse
1 Panic Attack
2 Lightning Elemental
2 Sparkmage Apprentice
2 Island
2 Divination
2 Island
2 Island
1 Kindled Fury
1 Dragon's Claw
2 Island
2 Lightning Bolt
2 Canyon Minotaur
3 Mountain
1 Trumpet Blast[/deck]

[deck=New Account Cards Not In a Deck]
1*Yawning Fissure
1*Shatter
1*Burst of Speed
1*Burning Inquiry
1*Soul Bleed
1*Zephyr Sprite
1*Tome Scour
1*Jump
1*Disorient
1*Convincing Mirage
1*Safe Passage
2*Griffin Sentinel
1*Glorious Charge
1*Angel's Mercy
1*Wurm's Tooth
[/deck]

Discuss!

Eric Sorensen
Wizards of the Coast
Organized Play

See our announcement in the announcements folder: http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?t=1224880

Discuss!

Interesting.

300 Cards as in 300 Vizzedrix, or 300 cards as in 300 useful cards? :D

I wonder if this change was Duels of the Planeswalkers inspired, or just a coincidence.

Deck lists will be cool to see.

Also for new players this is way better. Spending time in the New players forums reinforces how many choices there are to screw up when starting an account.

Also a very interesting way to stop multiple ID creations, if there's now a 'penalty' for having more than one.
MTGO SVCL - Ask me for help if you're lost or confused!
This is a pretty smart move, imo. A lot of new players are like "wtf do i buy with my $10 coupon?" Being able to play right away and also see the difference between cracking packs and buying singles is a big big plus for new players.
Awesome. This is fantastic. Great idea. /me likes.

Addresses some of the issues getting a run on this board in the last week.

/me applauds wotc.
It also limits people from getting many accounts. In the current scheme, getting an account is essentially free. With the new scheme, you don't get to create a new account and then spend the money in the store, you get cards that you may not want.
Oh $9.99 coupon, will you show your head in a new account?
It is vain to look for a defense against lightning. - Publius Syrus (42 B.C.) How can two people split a point that has no value? “You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.” -Albert Einstein
Oh $9.99 coupon, will you show your head in a new account?

No.
4. Don't speak dumb, or you'll be struck dumb. Remember, the name of the game is heads I win, tails you lose.
The best thing about this is that as mentioned new accounts aren't free anymore.

Which means that when some moron gets banned for being a moron, there's an actual cost in getting a new account.
MTGO SVCL - Ask me for help if you're lost or confused!
It's pretty cool, because most people who just get started always ask what they should do with the coupon, and the answer is generally buy boosters, sell boosters, buy bulk uncommons and commons. My guess is what hammy alluded to and that the decks are similar to the Duels of the Planeswalker lists.
So, do we know what these 300 cards will be? If they're playable, then it's a good thing... if they're just lands.... i'm done thinking about getting a new account.
I like the idea too, provided that the cards given out are decent. Something similar to what you would get from a few pre-cons would be a great idea.

My thoughts are that whatever is given out should be standard legal (as that's what's generally where noobies start playing constructed). Or pauper legal, if they still want that around as the entry point for constructed.
DCI Certified Level 2 Judge
I'm going to update the announcement with this info as well.

The 300+ cards are 150 basic lands and over 150 M10 Commons and Uncommons.

Eric Sorensen
Wizards of the Coast
Organized Play

I'm going to update the announcement with this info as well.

The 300+ cards are 150 basic lands and over 150 M10 Commons and Uncommons.

I'm also having the decklists added to the first post here.

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

Seven years were wasted with the coupon thing...
Wow.

A $10 account now comes with an "awesome" $6 value.
Wow.

A $10 account now comes with an "awesome" $6 value.

Exactly my thought. I love how people even like the change though.
Exactly my thought. I love how people even like the change though.

To be fair, apparently it wasn't immediately revealed that free cards were half lands, half chaff.
Wow.

A $10 account now comes with an "awesome" $6 value.

Well, that took longer than I thought, but I knew it'd come up.

THIS IS NOT ABOUT EV. This is about improving the initial experience for actual new players, not those opening their 34th account. How many times a week does someone ask what to do with their coupon? How many more don't think to ask and "waste" it on a theme deck? How many others ask where they can get land? Now they have five decks to play, out of the gate, and a teaser of how to get more.

These changes will be hugely beneficial to genuine new players.

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.


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

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

General MTGO FAQ

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

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

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

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

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

THIS IS NOT ABOUT EV. This is about improving the initial experience for actual new players, not those opening their 34th account. How many times a week does someone ask what to do with their coupon? How many more don't think to ask and "waste" it on a theme deck? How many others ask where they can get land?

These changes will be hugely beneficial to genuine new players.

But Wizards couldn't have, say, given them three more tickets?

Also:

Not all new players join to play M10 casual. When I was new, I played a few drafts.
Gotta admit, bubba's so in the right here. I've tried introducing a few friends to MTGO before -- the coupon issue was always an enormous stumbling block. I needed to hold their hand and walk them through a synopsis of the MTGO economy before they could even think about what kind of a deck they wanted to build ... and then they needed to actually navigate that economy before they could meaningfully play.

The alternative -- buying preconstructed decks from the store -- is definitely worse than getting five intro decks, and a booster, and two tickets.

I think that this is an enormously beneficial change. To be honest, getting five playable decks is pretty great beyond the "$6 of value." Think of all the new players who want to buy preconstructed decks but are resoundingly told no on the forum -- new players want that kind of ease, but the nature of the $9.99 coupon forced us to say "no, you need to do it from scratch because otherwise you're wasting a large amount of money."

If you want to break it down like this, into "a value of $6?" The five introductory decks included are worth the lost $4. New players like these. Heck, experienced players like these. I think that it's an awesome change in terms of value and in terms of how it changes the new player experience. For everyone except the very established and very confident player, it's win-win.

EDIT: I was posting while you were posting, Emoti. I'll definitely cede that this is a lose-lose for wannabe-limited players. I forgot about them, you're right that it's a definite loss for that group.
Well, that took longer than I thought, but I knew it'd come up.

THIS IS NOT ABOUT EV. This is about improving the initial experience for actual new players, not those opening their 34th account. How many times a week does someone ask what to do with their coupon? How many more don't think to ask and "waste" it on a theme deck? How many others ask where they can get land? Now they have five decks to play, out of the gate, and a teaser of how to get more.

These changes will be hugely beneficial to genuine new players.

Great so now they're just wasting it on a bad theme deck for them...

New players don't need more free cardz the community has done a great job at that itself. What they need is more tutorial options so that not every noob needs someone to hold they're hand like Kumquats mentions.

I don't mind just handing them a few decks, but they also need to teach them how to use the deckeditor.

If you give a man a fish you feed him for one day, and if you teach him to fish you feed him for a lifetime. In this case you can still give them a fish (which i think the community and the coupon is already doing a decent enough job) but you also have to teach them how to fish.
bluedragon123 Clan YawgmothPDCMagic.com
Back in the day, every time I ran into a newbie that had made the unfortunate decision to buy the 8th edition core game package (the one with the Vizzerdrix theme deck), I would get really sad. Here the guy was, futilely trying to trade for stuff and all he had was a wasteland of Enormous Baloth and Storm Crow. I would always end up gifting them random commons or "super awesome" Patagia Golems that they wanted more copies of because I never had the heart to take the only thing of value on the account (the $1 foil rare) or tell them that they had just wasted $10. "How do I trade for better cards?" "Yeeeeeahh.... about that. you probably have to start over and spend more money. Sorry, dude."

Basically, this is the pitiful situation you force all new players into now with this "great new content". Furthermore, more experienced players that are already familiar with paper Magic but want to transition to online for drafts or constructed practice also get kicked in the nuts because they are forced to spend money on chaff cards they don't want.

But who cares about the players, as long as Wizards gets extra free money, right?
Those lists are not a good value. The coupon was a better deal.

Although, I guess it gives them a valueable lesson too: Everyone is out to take more than they give, including WotC.
DCI Certified Level 2 Judge
Those lists are not a good value. The coupon was a better deal.

Although, I guess it gives them a valueable lesson too: Everyone is out to take more than they give, including WotC.

Please note, I'm not picking on you! Trying to clarify my thinking on this.

Pack of M10 ~ 4 tix + 2 tix. How much do you think the 150 nonland cradz are worth? Would cost maybe 1-2 tix + how much time for a new player to accumulate? Seems to me that a n00b is losing 4 tix worth of value but netting a lot of time and getting a much better 'jump right in' experience.

BUT! The n00b is gonna rip the pack.* Poof! There goes 3.5 tix worth of value.

Interesting ramification, giving away the 2 tix - WotC sorta encourages the n00b to go to the secondary market.

NOTE WELL: I'm not saying I like this, I'm not saying I don't.

----------

I will say that I wish that WotC had opened this up in two different ways prior to releasing it.

Maybe ask the public what they think a new player package should contain?

Maybe deck design contests?

Coulda been fun.



*Could WotC include in the original email to the n00bs a zen link to MTGKaioshin's New Player FAQ. (soon to be updated! :D almost certainly before any EPotM )
Thank you, Erik.
*Could WotC include in the original email to the n00bs a zen link to MTGKaioshin's New Player FAQ. (soon to be updated! :D almost certainly before any EPotM )

At the very least, a link to the New Player Forum would be nice.

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
Meh, it should have been a choice. Like, when you sign up you can choose between getting 3 decks, or a 10 dollar coupon. An account shouldn't cost money, and this does, because the value of those cards is nowhere near 4 tix. In fact they are essentially valueless, as if you were a new player and said I'm new, don't have any cradz, would someone please give me these cards. I am always willing to give someone who asks nicely any commons and uncommons that I have in abundance (which is basically all of them).

Still, If I sign up for a new account, which I'm unlikely to ever do since there is no incentive to retire highly rated accounts, I lose 4 bucks. Kind of goes along with other changes made recently though.
After looking over the lists, they are worse than I had originally assumed. (However, I was somewhat flabbergasted when I heard about it, thinking this was waaaaaaaaay too much for WotC to be 'giving out')


Like with all things, for some this will be better, and for some it'll be worse. I'm fine with that. We don't need as many tools to draw in the limited player or those planning to play tournament constructed. Those people know MTG, they came here wanting to play. To put it simply, they're pretty much already hooked.

However, for the new player, especially the stream we have coming in from DotP, this is better. Now, if WotC still sold themedecks that contained 60 cards, this new content wouldn't be quite as good of an idea. But...they don't, so I totally support this.


I think it's fair to say I've interacted with a good number of MTGO newbies. The whole coupon thing is a bit of a downer. There can be problems with the email arriving, the new players can buy something worthless like a core set theme deck or an intro pack (which is worth even less than this new setup), it slows down the process of starting to actually playing, information overload [you have to create an account, use the MTGO store, use the MTGO secondary market, use the deckbuilder, learn how to build a deck if you don't, and finally get a game setup (in the correct format, at that)], etc.

Yes, the decks could be better. However, I feel this setup is much better for the players which we need to be both drawing in to the game and retaining.

My forever unfinished blog of the 2010 MTGO Community Cup: if you're ever bored...
This is a good step. Even with this, the new player experience will still be horrendous. But for the past however many years it's been just impossibly insane in its badness (worse than horrendous in case you're wondering).

It makes me sad knowing how far off Magic Online is from its potential.
I think this is an awesome improvement.

An awful lot of new players immediately blow the $10 on (approximately) either 2-3 boosters or one theme deck.

This way the newbie automatically gets 5 theme decks plus some assorted other cards, plus enough basic lands to build whatever he wants.

Not only that, but if my 10-second reading of these decklists is correct, they're better in quality than the typical theme deck, which are usually cluttered with cards apparently designed to permit the beginner over time to "learn not to play the card" and cards which are designed to show flavour, but are middling-to-inferior.

Sure, the experienced player can get better value shopping the bots for $10 - but that`s not the most important target audience.


What about the value the experienced player gets? Here`s how I see it:
a) for the experienced player, unable to get a conveniently located paper game or planning to practice for paper events, it`s worth the $10 just to have an on-line account - even if all he gets is 150 basic lands
b) for dealers - it`s $10 for an account - dirt cheap - a municipal license to open a brick-and-mortar store in most cities would cost you many times that amount
c) for player`s storage accounts, or bot accounts - either the account is worth the $10, or it`s not - if it`s not worth it, don`t buy it.
d) for accounts banned due to various abuses - it now costs $10 to get back. Perhaps this will help stamp out rudeness, cheating, and various other similar behaviours - if so, that`s a great thing!
Never underestimate the power of human stupidity. R. A. Heinlein - 1907-1988. My (now not-so) new sig. - adopted to celebrate certain events at WOTC culminating in April 2008. Now also celebrating other idiotic events in August 2009.
Digitized cards are free to distribute as WoTC would please. With that being said I feel the 9.99 coupon had more value for people who converted this value to tickets and intelligently spent them.
As someone who actually spend a lot of time in the New Players forum I can say this is an excellent idea.
This gives new players a way to jump right in and do the most important thing: Play.

@sperry: No. No choice. new players have absolutely no idea what the hell to do with a coupon. None. A coupon forces them to delve into the trading/buying/selling/ aspect too early. It's too much, too soon.
This is a great thing for new players. And in a trade off between new players vs established players, I'd favor the new ones any day.

@BatDwarf & @PhoenixLAU: When I see you spend any time in the new players forum dispensing advice or online helping new players out with questions then maybe I'll believe you know what you're talking about. Until then, sorry, I don't believe you're qualified.

@bluedragon123: New players have no idea what cards to take from the commons bots. By the time they develop an idea of what they like it's much later on. This at least gives them something to work with, and a way to experiment to get a feel for what colors and styles they may like.

Guess what? Chicken butt.

As someone who actually spend a lot of time in the New Players forum I can say this is an excellent idea.
This gives new players a way to jump right in and do the most important thing: Play.

@sperry: No. No choice. new players have absolutely no idea what the hell to do with a coupon. None. A coupon forces them to delve into the trading/buying/selling/ aspect too early. It's too much, too soon.
This is a great thing for new players. And in a trade off between new players vs established players, I'd favor the new ones any day.

@BatDwarf & @PhoenixLAU: When I see you spend any time in the new players forum dispensing advice or online helping new players out with questions then maybe I'll believe you know what you're talking about. Until then, sorry, I don't believe you're qualified.

@bluedragon123: New players have no idea what cards to take from the commons bots. By the time they develop an idea of what they like it's much later on. This at least gives them something to work with, and a way to experiment to get a feel for what colors and styles they may like.

After reading this post, I must agree with tempesteye. All new players are completely ignorant of everything, and must be treated as such.
* All the basic land you will ever need
* 5 theme decks that you can play right away
* 1 M10 booster
* 2 Event Tickets

This is a FAR better new player package than the $10 coupon. There should be no question that this will deliver a much smoother, much better, first time user experience. The is a very good move my WotC, and should have been done years ago.

And, as for the people whining about this, I just have this to say: Really?!? I mean, come on. You don't have something more important to complain about? Do you really care that much about the dollar value of the cards in a new player account? Do you really think that's more important than the new player experience? Or is it just that you're not happy unless you're complaining about something, no matter how insignificant, and no matter how little of an actual effect it will have on you personally? Or did you just finally get bored with the player rewards threads?
I've given away a thousand or so cradz this month to new players. It's been uh, well, interesting to see what folk grabbed.

I think that providing ready built decks with some idea of a reasonable build is a great idea.

I just don't know about the rest of this deal yet.
Thank you, Erik.
It's a good idea to be new-player friendly, but I think they could have juiced the package a little bit.

On the other hand, maybe saying "Thanks for your $10, here's $8 of value" is the best way to introduce people to Magic...

I've given away a thousand or so cradz this month to new players. It's been uh, well, interesting to see what folk grabbed.

Right! (Happy Birthday, btw.) I'd be very curious to hear more about what insights you've gained on this subject.

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

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

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

I guess the thing that bugs me the most about this (along with several other recent developments) is that I can easily think of a strictly better option:


Offer it as an option.
@BatDwarf & @PhoenixLAU: When I see you spend any time in the new players forum dispensing advice or online helping new players out with questions then maybe I'll believe you know what you're talking about. Until then, sorry, I don't believe you're qualified.

Maybe if you had bothered to read what I wrote instead of snap-calling any whiff of criticism with ad hominem from your hoity-toity moral high ground, you would have noticed that I already stated I had experience in helping newbies, especially dealing with their first player-player encounters hot off a new account.

And invariably, the newbie experience with the Vizzerdrix core game method of MTGO entry was horrible. Absolutely demoralizing to the new player when they realized the stuff that came with the account wasn't worth squat. This new single option approach to new accounts is very comparable to the Vizzerdrix core game method. Now obviously the new package is a better value than the old core game (mostly due to the non-card items), but that's not really saying much, since the old package was straight awful.

If Wizards REALLY wanted to help all players, they would not charge such a ridiculous premium for the included cards. A 1 tix premium would be more appropriate (i.e. adjust contents of account to increase number of tix included). Hell, even 0 tix premium would not be out of line. It's not like commons have that much room to get value depressed.
I guess the thing that bugs me the most about this (along with several other recent developments) is that I can easily think of a strictly better option:


Offer it as an option.

I would argue that doing so would make for a worse new player experience because a new player won't really know which one to chose, or why one might be better than another. Even if they are fairly industrious, and venture into the forums for an opinion, they would likely still end up being confused, with some people saying the coupon is a better value, but the package is a better experience and a faster/easier start, etc. That is not a better experience. That is just noise that new players don't really need. WotC made the correct call here. Very late, but still correct.
I think some choice could be a positive if it were done properly. For example, in World of Warcraft, you start by making choices about the type of character you want to play. You pick your race, your class, your appearance, your name. And it's awesome. It isn't complicated, and it gets you invested right away - "What kind of character am I? Which of these options suits me?".

Similarly, I think a streamlined way of making some choices about what kind of deck you want to start with could be cool for new players. Let's say when you started a new account there was a really slick and attractive interface along the lines of the World of Warcraft character creator screen. There would be a short and evocative description of 5 different 2-colour decks along with some corresponding graphics, and the player would get to decide which deck sounds cool to them.

Selecting a deck takes them right into a tutorial that shows them the basics of how to play the game. When the tutorial is done (or when they choose to skip it) they are taken directly into the New Players room and automatched into a game - no messing around with the awkward interface to create or join a game, this is way too confusing for a new player.

Now, maybe they actually get all the decks anyway and the choice is not about which cards you will get to keep but about which ones you want to start using. The choice itself I think would still be important as a way to hook the player in and make them feel empowered and invested.

Ideally the software would help them along for a while. After a few games maybe a prompt could come up that asks if they'd like to learn how to customize their deck, and then teaches them about the deck editor. It could tell them about the booster pack they have (or better yet, the booster would be unlocked after a few games) and let them know that they can open it to find new and different cards! I know, I know, the tixxxxx, but opening boosters is really fun for a new player. Whoah, what did I get?!

These are just some of the ideas that I think would help make this game into what it deserves to be.
If Wizards REALLY wanted to help all players, they would not charge such a ridiculous premium for the included cards. A 1 tix time-saver cost would be more appropriate (i.e. adjust contents of account to increase number of tix included).

A ridiculous premium? $10 gets you everything that you need to play, including multiple theme decks and enough cards for some limited deck construction, and the user never has to pay another dime if they chose not to. And this is somehow a bad deal?
overall, I think this is smart. They are trying to make the game more accessible to new players, in anticipation of new players coming from DotP.

In the old days, iIf you are brand new to magic, you had no idea what to spend your coupon on. This way, you get some pre-constructed decks to play. From a pure $ perspective, it may be a little less value, but again remember, it will help the noobs get into the game off the bat.

They just need to make it easy for folks in the new player lobbies to play with these pre-constructed decks so they don't get destroyed by player created decks. Maybe add a game type for M10 Preconstructed decks only.