Magic Online FAQ -- Includes Troubleshooting! Read or Else

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The new FAQ, updated for version 3, can be found [thread=1017771]in this thread.[/thread] Please go there for the latest information.

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Much of this FAQ is obsolete as of the shutdown of 2.5 on April 9. We are switching over to a new version of the client, and this FAQ will be replaced soon with a version 3 FAQ. In the mean time, you can see a very basic version 3 FAQ [thread=1014630]here[/thread]. If you need further assistance, please place a post in the apporpriate section of the forums, and the boards community will try to help you.

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Background:

This document, originally called the "Rant-and-FAQ," was born in the original beta days of MTGO. Some time thereafter, its creator, Glorious, disappeared. It has been passed down through the able hands of thedodo, fastcart, vitalogy1994, Xtofyr, Myril, and Lrgetrout, and has now ended up in my hands.

I have taken the original title "Rant-and-FAQ" off of this document, as having the word rant in the title has resulted in many off topic posts to the thread. I have, however, kept all mentions of the phrase "Rant-and-FAQ" as a part of the body of this document, out of respect of all of the work that has been done by previous maintainers of this document.

This FAQ, as can be seen is the work of many people, but it is actually the work of far more than are mentioned here. Whenever a question gets asked, it gets added to the FAQ, so down below where this is posted, if there is something you feel should be addressed, then by all means go ahead and ask it and, unless it is something really stupid like “Why didn’t they reprint Counterspell?” then I’ll probably add it to the FAQ.

Currently, this account is being maintained by bubba0077. The best way to get this updated is simply to reply to this thread. Every so often, I will go through and integrate the suggestions into the FAQ. (Private messages have been turned off on this account.)

To easily find the topic you are interested in, use the 'find' feature of your browser. With either Internet Explorer or Firefox, you can do this by pressing CTRL+F or via the menubar by Edit => Find in this Page.

Let’s get started!

Question Index


Section 1: Is MTGO right for me? -- The MTGO market paradigm and getting an account.
1.1 Beginner FAQs (new players - start here)
1.2 How much does it cost to play MTGO? Is there a monthly subscription fee?
1.3 How do I buy cards?
1.4 Why am I charged taxes for digital items?
1.5 Can I win prizes on Magic Online?
1.6 Is there any way to buy Magic Online cards without a credit card?
1.7 What sets are available for purchase in the online store? *Updated*
1.8 Why can't we buy booster boxes? Why are there no bulk discounts? Why must we buy at MSRP?
1.9 How does Redemption work? *Updated*
1.10 Is there a digital reprint policy for MTGO?
1.11 Will there be Macintosh and/or Linux support?
1.12 Free Trial *Updated*


Section 2: Joining the Online World -- Installation, Updating and Troubleshooting
2.1 Where can I (or a friend) download the installer?
2.2 Proxy and Firewall Settings
2.3 When I try to install the game, I got the error: Invalid Windows application?
2.4 I get the error: Insert CD... I don't have the CD, since I downloaded the file?
2.5 What do I do if MTGO stalls at the ToS?
2.6 I'm having problems downloading the updates using my dual-core CPU or 64-bit system. What can I do to complete the update?
2.7 I am having problems installing MTGO, and I am running Windows Vista.
2.8 I run Windows Vista, and have installed MTGO, but when I run magic.exe, it doesn't work.
2.9 I have both Windows Vista and a dual-core processor, and have trouble getting the updates, even after I do the above.
2.10 I don't have a dual-core/64-bit CPU or have read Q 2.6-9 and followed the instructions there and I'm still having troubles updating. What should I do next?
2.11 How do updates work?
2.12 I just registered my account and have received my password, but I cannot log in the game server. What's wrong? *Updated*
2.13 How can I copy Magic Online from one computer to another?
2.14 How much bandwith does MTGO consume?
2.15 I installed Magic Online as administrator (in windows 2000). It works fine. But when I run the same file (magic.exe) from a "restricted user" account, it pulls up a screen that gives an option to install. How can I make it work so I can play from the restricted user account?
2.16 Why can't I bring up more than one copy of the program on my computer?
2.17 I just got logged off by the program after sitting there for about 90 minutes. Why is that?


Section 3: Magic: The Gathering -- General Questions about the game of Magic
3.1 How does Priority work?
3.2 What is limited? What types of limited events are offered online?
--- a Sealed *Updated*
--- b Drafts *Updated*
--- c Leagues (good for beginners) *Updated*
3.3 What is constructed? What constructed events are allowed online?
--- a Standard *Updated*
--- b Extended
--- c Block Constructed
--- d Core Set Constructed
--- e Singleton
--- f Prismatic
--- g Tribal
--- h Classic *Updated*
--- i Freeform
--- j Vanguard
--- k 10th Edition Theme Deck
--- l Momir Basic
3.4 What does banned mean? What does restricted mean? Where can I find the banned & restricted list for each format?
3.5 What's a sideboard?
3.6 How does the constructed set rotation work? *Updated*
3.7 How are my ratings calculated?
3.8 Premium Cards - what are they?
3.9 What cards are included in a specific theme deck? *Updated*
3.10 I want to introduce my friend to Magic the Gathering. Where should I start?


Section 4: Getting Started Online -- Learning your way around the MTGO interface
4.1 Where can I find the help files for the program?
4.2 How do you change your password?
4.3 How do I use my $9.99 coupon that I received when I bought my account?
4.4 Why can't I get the Free Core Game (Ninth Edition) Card Set Promotion? *Updated*
4.5 What are tickets?
4.6 What is New Player View/Expert Player View? I can't find how to get to drafts/leagues/tournaments! Where are they?
4.7 What do the funny symbols next to some people's names mean?
4.8 What's an Adept? And what's this warning thing they keep harping on about?
4.9 Why do Adepts type in red letters? Can I type in red letters?
4.10 How do I make a deck/How do I obtain cards?
4.11 How do I stop from automatically passing priority? (Setting stops)
4.12 What collectible avatars are available in MTGO? When were they released? *Updated*
4.13 What other commands can I use during a game to make play easier online? (And how can I keep priority after playing a spell or ability?)
4.14 In what order are the extra boosters in leagues added? *Updated*
4.15 How do I add or swap lands in drafts or sealed deck games?
4.16 I am trying to build a constructed deck with two colors; can I use a draft to add cards to my collection to improve this deck?
4.17 How does the timer/chess-clock work?
4.18 How do I get those Unhinged lands?
4.19 How do I get the Promo Cards in the "Promo" tab? *Updated*
4.20 What are some chat commands and symbols that you can use in game?
4.21 Trading Guide


Section 5: Becoming an Expert -- More about how the digital world works
5.1 Online set FAQs
5.2 How can I make all my cards tradable? How about a subset of them?
5.3 The shuffler is useless! What shuffling system are they using and why is it so bad?
5.4 What is this magic.ini file, and how can I use it to block unlimited users and make notes on why I blocked them?
5.5 I see people talking about having a bot to automatically trade for them. What are bots, and how do I get one?
5.6 What color code is used for counters in MTGO?
5.7 Is there any way to add boolean logic to make more complex searches?
5.8 How can I set my starting life and cards in hand (to handicap a player, or for a variant format that requires it)?
5.9 My friend challenged another one of my friends to a game (using the right click "Challenge" command), and I want to watch it. But the /goto command doesn't take me to a game room. How can I find it?
5.10 When are booster/tournament pack contents determined?
5.11 I always get the same cards together, is there something wrong with the way packs are generated? / What is a print run?
5.12 Okay, I understand the need for print-runs of paper cards where manufacturing processes are involved, but why are print runs used for MTGO when the server could easily create random packs? What is the benefit of print runs?
5.13 How do I watch replays of past games?
5.14 How can I download all the avatar pics to reduce my lag time?
5.15 How can I pre-download all the card pics?
5.16 How can I get cards from before Invasion? Why do they show up in the Collection tab?
5.17 How do I become a beta tester?
5.18 What are these *.trd files in my MTGO directory? How can I find out the details of a trade? *Updated*


Section 6: When Something Goes Wrong -- What to do when you encounter a bug, can't login or have problems with other users
6.1 What is the status of the server?
6.2 How can I troubleshoot the game if something goes wrong?
6.3 I found a bug! What do I do?
6.4 What happens if it crashes while I'm playing a tournament or a draft? Do I lose my money and cards?
6.5 Checking Status of Questions to Customer Service (via the knowledgebase)
6.6 Is it alright to quit, concede, or disconnect from a game anytime I feel like it?
6.7 My opponent just disconnected without dropping first! What do I do?
6.8 How do I block somebody from trade/PM spamming me during a game?
6.9 Why can't I log in to the store? When I type in my name and password, it takes me back to a blank login screen.
6.10 Why am I not able to get any boosters or packs? The store says they are out of stock, but how can you be out of stock of a virtual item?
6.11 I think I was unfairly muted/banned by an Adept, what can I do about it?


Section 7: Is this okay? -- Questions about Terms of Service and Code of Conduct Restrictions
7.1 Is it against the Terms of Service to have multiple accounts? What about sharing accounts?
7.2 I understand that I can only log in to one program on one computer. Can I use a second computer to launch a second program to trade between my accounts?
7.3 OK, I understand the restrictions in the last question. I and my wife/brother/son/friend/etc. like to play at the same time from the same internet connection on two different computers. What's going to happen to us?
7.4 Why can't we play with ante?
7.5 Is bribery cheating? Why or why not?
7.6 Why can't I sell my account on eBay?
7.7 Why can't I chat in the Moderators & Support Staff (MaSS) room?


Section 8: Part of a Larger World -- Questions about joining Magic communities
8.1 Where can I find a group of friendly people to play with regularly or just hang out with?
8.2 I see some people making clickable cardnames on the boards; how do I do that?
8.3 What are clans? How do I join a clan?
8.4 What are some common acronyms and abbreviations players should know?
8.5 What types of discussion occurs in the various forums here?


Section 9: Meta-FAQ -- Questions about the FAQ
9.1 Note from Glorious, the original author of the Rant-and-FAQ
9.2 Original introduction to the Rant-and-FAQ
9.3 Conclusion
9.4 Fastcart's Introduction
9.5 Credits
9.6 Changes log


Section 1: Is MTGO Right For Me?
The MTGO market paradigm and getting an account



1.1 Beginner FAQs (new players - start here)

Answer:
In this section, I will put FAQs meant for beginners, published by other users. If the information in this section is not helpful (perhaps the page has been changed to something else?) please let me know by posting to this thread and I'll review the FAQ and remove it from the list if necessary.

(Please note, neither I, nor Wizards of the Coast is responsible for the content of these links, as some are hosted on outside sites. If any of these sites violate the Code of Conduct, please notify both myself (by posting to this thread) and the WizOs (by using the "notify mod" function) of this fact so the link can be removed.)

HollowOn3
tempesteye's Glossary
[post=11189159]hamtastic: MTGO for me and why[/post]


1.2 How much does it cost to play MTGO? Is there a monthly subscription fee?

Answer:
To start off with, you need to get an account. You can get an account in one of two ways:

1) Pay $9.99 in the online store. This will get you a coupon for $9.99 to spend in the online store, so making an account this way is essentially free, only requiring you to spend $10 in the store on product.

2) Use a code in the Ninth Edition Core Game, which comes with 81 cards and a CD that has Magic Online on it. By signing up for an account this way, you get the 81 cards in the paper version of the product you purchased. You DO NOT get a coupon for $9.99 if you create your account this way.

Past this cost to set up your account, there is no monthly subscription fee. The costs for MTGO mirror the costs of the paper game, namely $3.99 per booster, and $12.29 per tournament pack or theme deck. (Except for the Ninth Edition theme decks, which are $8.99 because they only contain 40 cards.) There are also Event Tickets, which cost $1 each in the online store, which are used to enter sanctioned events and leagues.

As a further note, your paper cards will not entitle you to any cards on MTGO. Paper and MTGO are two separate platforms, and thus (with the exception of redemption - see 1.9) the cards on the two separate platforms are separate.


1.3 How do I buy cards?

Answer:
The Magic Online Store is your best friend in this area. Click on the Card Shop icon in the top-right corner of the MTGO window and follow the prompts. Or you can visit the store directly at https://magiconlinestore.wizards.com. Once you're done selecting items and adding them to your cart, click checkout and complete the process. Boosters, decks, and packs will cost full retail prices ($3.99 for boosters, $12.29 for tournament packs and most theme decks, $8.99 for 9th Edition Theme decks, and $1.00 for Event Tickets [US dollars]). The game itself can be downloaded for free. You can also buy the paper "Core Game," which will give you a disk to install MTGO on your computer. The paper Core Game also comes with a code that gives you the cards in the Core Game in your new account (but you don't get the $9.99 coupon).

Once you complete checkout, your order goes to processing. Processing can take anywhere from 30 seconds to 24 hours, so be patient. It does usually get processed within five minutes, however, so don’t let that “to 24 hours” scare you off, it is more of a failsafe to keep techsupport from getting bombarded by impatient users. If you're logged on to the game when processing completes, you'll get a pop-up box announcing your new goodies. If you're not logged on, the products will show up in your collection next time you log on. If you haven't gotten your products after 24 hours, don't complain about it in the Moderators and Support room -- they can't help you. Instead, contact the store via http://wizards.custhelp.com with your account name and the order number included.


1.4 Why am I charged taxes for digital items?

Answer:
Wizards of the Coast is required by several states in the US to collect sales taxes on Magic Online purchases from users in those states because they have a "nexus" there. (In overly simplified terms, a nexus is a presence somewhere in that state.)

Also, a decision by the people that decide taxation matters in the European Union requires Wizards to collect VAT for users in its member countries.

In both cases, Wizards keeps none of the taxes collected; they simply pass the collected tax on to the appropriate state/country.

If you have a complaint about taxes being collected, complain to your appropriate state/country's government. Wizards does not set the law of collecting taxes on purchases from the Magic Online store, it merely follows the law it has been instructed to follow (which includes charging the highest tax rate in a state, if it is required to collect taxes from that state).

The following tax rate information is for reference purposes only. It was gathered from outside sources, and may become incorrect over time.

US tax rates as of 13 June 06:

California = 8.75 %
Illinois = 9.0 %
New York = 8.62 %
Ohio = 7.50 %
Texas = 8.25 %
Washington = 8.8 %
Wisconsin = 5.6 %

EU VAT rates as of 1 Feb 06:

Belgium = 21%
Czech Republic = 19%
Denmark = 25%
Germany = 16%
Estonia = 18%
Greece = 19%
Spain = 16%
France = 19.6%
Ireland = 21%
Italy = 20%
Cyprus = 15%
Latvia = 18%
Lithuania = 18%
Luxembourg = 15%
Hungary = 20%
Malta = 18%
Netherlands = 19%
Austria = 20%
Poland = 22%
Portugal = 21%
Slovenia = 20%
Slovakia = 19%
Finland = 22%
Sweden = 25%
United Kingdom = 17.5%


1.5 Can I win prizes playing Magic Online?

Answer:
Yes, by playing in Leagues and Tournaments. See the prize tables in the Knowledge Base to see exactly what you can win.

However, you must be eligible to participate in these Prize Leagues and Tournaments. Consult the Terms of Service to verify your eligibility.


1.6 Is there any way to buy Magic Online cards without a credit card?

Answer:
Wizards now offers Paypal as an alternate payment method. However, some users have reported an inability to use Paypal if they have an "unverified" Paypal account (meaning they haven't either linked a bank account or credit card to their Paypal account). You are unable to pay via "ECheck" (as Wizards doesn't get the money right away with an ECheck), and you are also unable to use a coupon combined with a Paypal payment.

If you live in the US and don't have a credit card or debit card, and are unable to use Paypal, check with your bank to see if they offer a Visa/Mastercard "gift card" or "prepaid credit card." The way this works is, you put money on a card, and then are allowed to spend it. It's a lot like a debit card, only it's not linked to a bank account, and you can only spend what you put on it. There are also fees attached to this card, which may vary depending on where you get it.

Visa/Mastercard/American Express Prepaid/Gift Credit Cards may also be found in retailers like Wal-Mart, Target, malls, or your local supermarket. (Your mileage may vary.) (Store branded gift cards, for example, Wal-Mart gift cards for use at Wal-Mart will not work in the online store. The Card must have a Visa/Mastercard/American Express logo on it for this purpose.)

To use a prepaid credit card in the store, you need to set a billing address on it. To set a billing address on your prepaid card, contact the company that issued the card. (Security measures in the store require a billing address on the card, to match the billing address in the store connected to your account.)


1.7 What sets are available for purchase in the online store?

Answer:
This differs depending on whether you are talking about a currently in print set (in paper), or a pre-Invasion set.

For currently in print sets, WotC policy is to only sell those sets that they are currently selling in paper form to stores. This means sets are available until two years after the set's BLOCK first went on sale. For instance, this means Time Spiral, Planar Chaos, and Future Sight will no longer be available come October 2008 (2 years after Time Spiral went on sale).

Similarly, each base set is available for sale until the next base set comes out, which is also generally a 2 year period.

By no coincidence, this is also the length of time sets are legal in standard, so perhaps an easier way to say this is you can only purchase sets (from Invasion or afterwards) from the current standard environment.

For pre-Invasion sets, the policy of how long those sets are going to stay in the MTGO store has not been announced yet.

Master's Edition™, a set of select pre-Mirage cards, will only be available for a limited time. The current estimate is the end of 2007; the exact end date will be announced well in advance.


1.8 Why can't we buy booster boxes? Why are there no bulk discounts? Why must we buy at MSRP?

Answer:
There are two primary reasons:
First, the digital market is extremely fluid. Since cash can be readily converted into tickets, the defacto currency online, it is easy for users to buy from other users (dealers) who will buy in bulk at the lower price. Thus, any move towards bulk pricing will lower the price across the majority of the MO population, without necessarily stimulating higher consumption.

Second, bulk pricing exists in paper because WotC has to sell product to individual stores at wholesale (far below MSRP price), because the store provides essential infrastructure for supplying the end-user. This allows individual businesses, on their own, to reduce their profit margin by selling below MSRP, especially to customers who up their consumption by buying in bulk. Online, WotC is responsible for the entire infrastructure right into the end-user's possession (and beyond). WotC has no need to see product wholesale to entities providing infrastructure. Additionally, while the production of paper represents a one-time cost to provide the customer with product, production online requires the continued support for the lifetime of the product.


1.9 How Does Redemption Work?

Answer:
For Invasion and the sets following it, if you collect a complete set, you have the option to redeem it. A complete set means one of every card (either all foil or all non-foil) in a set. You have 4 years from a set's online release to redeem it. Redeeming a set causes one of each digital version of that set (either foil or non-foil, depending on the version you are redeeming) to be removed from your online collection, and Wizards ships you those cards in paper form. You have to redeem cards that are all foil or all not foil - you can not redeem a set where some cards are foil and some are not.

Current Redemption cutoffs are as follows:

Invasion, Planeshift, Apocalypse, Odyssey, Torment, and 7th Edition: July 27, 2006 (These sets were online at launch, June 24, 2002, and had an extension granted due to redemption problems shortly before these sets went off redemption).
Judgment: August 1, 2006
Onslaught: November 1, 2006
Legions: March 5, 2007
Scourge: June 23, 2007
8th Edition: July 28, 2007
Mirrodin: November 24, 2007
Darksteel: March 1, 2008
Fifth Dawn: July 12, 2008
Champions of Kamigawa: October 25, 2008
Betrayers of Kamigawa: February 28, 2009
Saviors of Kamigawa: June 27, 2009
Ninth Edition: August 29, 2009
Ravnica: City of Guilds: October 31, 2009
Guildpact: February 27, 2010
Dissension: May 30, 2010
Coldsnap: August 14, 2010
Time Spiral: October 30, 2010
Planar Chaos: February 26, 2011
Future Sight: May 29, 2011
10th Edition: August 6, 2011
Lorwyn: October 29, 2011

Sets before Invasion released online will never be able to be redeemed.

(For easy reference, the sets for which redemption is no longer available [as of the last update of this FAQ] are italicized. I leave the dates in for easy calculation of when the set came out.)

Note 1: For international redemption, Wizards is required to declare a value of the sets they ship. They declare a value of $50 USD for each set. This may cause you to need to pay duties/taxes, which are your responsibility. Complaints about this need to be directed to your local government, as Wizards is just following the law by doing this.

Note 2: In Eighth and Ninth Edition, the cards numbered starting with an S (S1/7 - S7/7 for Eighth, S1/10-S10/10 for Ninth) are only available online if you bought the 8th (or 9th) Edition Core Game (in paper), which included a MTGO CD inside, with a coupon for the core set cards, or have purchased that item in the store. These cards are specially designed for beginners and do not appear in normal 8th (or 9th) Edition booster packs (and aren't very good cards anyway). They are NOT required for redemption of an 8th (or 9th) Edition set.


1.10 Is there a digital reprint policy for MTGO?

Answer:
Justin Ziran, Brand Manager wrote:
Once Wizards of the Coast declares that an online card set is off sale, we will never sell the product again. We will, however, make a very small amount of the product available for use in limited tournaments and as prizes as we deem appropriate. The amount of an out-of-print set that we release in a year will be less than 1% of the initial online print run of that product. Print run is defined as the product purchased in at the Magic Online store as well as product awarded as prizes between the onsale date and offsale date of the product in question.

Individual cards from [the Invasion set forward] on Magic Online are eligible to be reprinted in future sets.



1.11 Will there be Macintosh and/or Linux support?

Answer:
You can run MTGO under emulation (with Parallels or Bootcamp), but there are no plans for any other platform other than Windows at this time. If you want a different version, write Wizards and let them know you want it.

(The previous Brand Manager expressed that the team would look at the Mac question after version 3 came out. However, a major mantra of the new Brand Manager and his team is that they don't want to be held responsible for things that were said in the past. Thus, until such time as Worth, Mike, or any member of the current administration makes a statement to the contrary, we need to assume there are no longer plans to look at Mac support after version 3's release.)


1.12 Free Trial

Answer:
Before you even purchase an account, Wizards allows to to try it out using the "free Trial Server." Download the game the same way as if you were to pay for it, and when you get to the login screen, click the line that says "Click here for a free trial!".

On the Free Trial Server, you are limited to the 10th Edition preconstructed decks, and you are disconnected every 2 hours. You also don't get to choose your own name (you are assigned a "GuestAccountXXX").



Section 2: Joining the Online World
Installation, Updating and Troubleshooting



2.1 Where can I (or a friend) download the installer?

Answer:
The best place to download the installer is head to MTGO's own download page. The filename is mtgodl2.exe. The speed is ok with a cable modem.

There may be other places I don't know about. Note that this install will have to be patched to the latest version; this happens automatically the first time you run the program. The CD install (available with the physical Ninth Edition Core Game) has the installation files as of Ninth Edition to decrease the download time, but you still will have some downloads to do to bring the client up to date.

If you prefer to get it via a torrent, you can dowload it via Wizards's torrent, available via http://mtgodownloads.wizards.com/installers/mtgodl2.exe.torrent.


2.2 Proxy and Firewall Settings

Answer:
When you hit "Settings" nothing is highlighted or filled in. Generally, if you don't know what the proxy settings are (or what that means), chances are that you don't need them. Leave this blank.

If you administer your own firewall, you will need to make sure the following ports are open to play MTGO: 9896 and 16000-16999.

A tip for AOL users: You may need to disable your parental controls to play the game.


2.3 When I try to install the game, I got the error: Invalid Windows application?

Answer:
The install file is probably corrupted or partially downloaded. The file size must be: 371MB


2.4 I get the error: Insert CD... I don't have the CD, since I downloaded the file?

Answer:
Diem wrote:
You need to follow these steps (forgive me, this is from memory - hopefully someone will point out if I make a major mistake )

  • Determine where you have installed Magic (the default installation directory is C:\Program Files\Wizards of the Coast\Magic Online, I think)
  • Start Notepad and type in the following:

    REGEDIT5<br /> <br /> [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Magic Online]<br /> "InstallationDirectory"="C:\\Program Files\\Wizards of the Coast\\Magic Online\\"<br /> <br /> [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\Magic Online]<br /> "DisplayName"="Magic Online"<br /> "UninstallString"="C:\\Program Files\\Wizards of the Coast\\Magic Online\\magic.exe -u"

  • Change C:\\Program Files\\Wizards of the Coast\\Magic Online\\ to wherever you installed Magic (from step #1)
  • Make sure that everything between the [ ] is on one line (as noted earlier, the text wraps on the forums!)
  • If you are running Windows 98 then use REGEDIT4 instead of REGEDIT5
  • Save this new file as Magic Registry Fix.reg
  • In Windows Explorer, find this file you have just saved and right-click it. From the drop-down menu choose "Merge".
  • You should now be able to launch Magic


As ksmagic noted, you need to ensure that you use '\' and not just '' inside the quotes.

Hope this helps!



2.5 What do I do if MTGO stalls at the ToS?

SOLUTION #1

Answer:
Genkido wrote:
You could try setting mtgodownloads.wizards.com/mtgo/ as your proxy address (in case you dont have one). Worked for me.

This solves the download problem as long as you can download the installer. Ok, first you unzip the installer in any folder and you run setup.exe (this is because, in WinXP Home, when you run the zipped exe, it takes up to 160MB out of your RAM, making your computer really slow (gotta check that one, folks :D ))
  • In the installer, click settings and click on "I'm using a proxy server"
  • Now fill the proxy address with mtgodownloads.wizards.com/mtgo/ keeping port 80 (web access (I assume you went through the oficial troubleshooting guide and you could access tos.txt located in that address))
  • Click OK
  • INSTALL


That should work.



SOLUTION #2

Answer:
Cotato wrote:
I was unable to install magic online after a reinstall, it would not get past the tos file.

You are going to need to find a program called WinsockXPFix, run that and it will restart your computer. Once it starts back up, you should be fine.

Heres a little info on what the program is and does:

WinSock XP Fix offers a last resort if your Internet connectivity has been corrupted due to invalid or removed registry entries. It can often cure the problem of lost connections after the removal of Adware components or improper uninstall of firewall applications or other tools that modify the XP network and Winsock settings. If you encounter connection problems after removing network related software, Adware or after registry clean-up; and all other ways fail, then give WinSock XP Fix a try. It can create a registry backup of your current settings, so it is fairly safe to use. We actually tested it on a test machine that was having a Winsock problem due to some Adware removal, and after running the utility and rebooting, the connectivity was restored.

http://www.spychecker.com/program/winsockxpfix.html

That should get you to a reliable download page.

Hope this helps everyone out that is experiencing this problem.



SOLUTION #3

Answer:
Server Monkey wrote:
Another possible option
Downloaded the Socket Fix, scanned it (it's clean), and then I tried it.

Ran it, rebooted, no success. So I tried one more time, rebooted, and it still didn't correct the problem.

I ended up having to remove TCP/IP from my computer, reboot it, re-install it, set up the NIC to use TCP/IP again, and then MTGO worked as well as it ever had.

Did this on a 2000 box, I have a Win98 box here doing a similar thing, so I will try this on it next. The Win98 didn't display the TCP WSANO message, it just can't find the server to get updates from (and so could be a separate issue). What's odd is that both these PCs had issues like this. I'm curious as to what corrupted the TCP/IP protocol in the first place, if that's what happened.

jessr wrote:
Hi Folks,

The problem described in this thread is a fairly common occurence. Most often, the source of the issue is that some applications, when uninstalled, do not appropriately remove all traces of themselves from your system. In this case, the most likely culprit is some kind of spyware or adware that's been recently removed from your system in one way or another. (Lots of users report this problem after running Adaware.)

Please note -- this problem affects Magic Online but is not caused by Magic Online.

The fix posted above is generally a viable solution to deal with this problem. However, if you've tried it and it hasn't worked for you, please use the following resources:

FOR WIN XP:

You need to reset a few things, please reference the following Microsoft article for assistance:

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;299357

FOR WIN 2000:

Same story, but different procedure, try the following article for assistance:

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;318584

FOR WINDOWS 98

Reinstalling TCP/IP from scratch might clear things up a bit. See the following article:

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;181599

And finally, a disclaimer: While these steps should generally work, you are taking some amount of risk by mucking about in the registry and reinstalling system files. If you believe you have a more serious problem with Windows, you should get in touch with Microsoft for additional help.

Thanks,
Jess Roberts
(formerly) Quality Assurance Manager
Magic Online

Flashpass wrote:
Just so you guys know the correct answer to solving this IS to reinstall tcp/ip for the network adapter. Winsock has become currupt by most likely some sort of spy or adware.

Solution for XP:

  • Go to Run > regedit > and delete the following

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControl Set\Services\Winsock
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControl Set\Services\Winsock2

  • Restart the computer
  • Go to Network Connections
  • Right click and select Properties
  • Click on the Install button
  • Select Protocol
  • Click on the Add button
  • Click on the Have Disk button
  • Go to the \Windows\inf directory
  • Select anything there and click Open
  • Highlight Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)
  • Click on the OK button
  • Check to see if your network adapter obtained a new IP lease and if not...
  • Reboot


This solution has worked for many people on many operating systems. WinXP Professional for me. XP home and win2k are other known working operating systems.



2.6 I'm having problems downloading the updates using my dual-core CPU system. What can I do to complete the update?

Answer:
There is currently a bug in the installer when it is run on dual-core and 64-bit systems. As a work-around, do the following:
  • start magic.exe
  • open up the task manager (CTRL+Shift+Esc or right-click on your taskbar)
  • click on the 'Processes' tab


For dual-core systems:
  • right-click on the line that says 'magic.exe' and choose 'Set Affinity...'
  • Uncheck all but one CPU


For 64-bit systems:
  • right-click on the line that says 'magic.exe' and choose 'Set Priority=> High'.


If your system is both dual-core and 64-bit, try both together. Vista users should also see the following sections for tips specific to their operating system. If none of these work, see Q2.10 (particularly point 3, the manual download option).

NB: If this is your initial install, the process name is 'setup.exe' rather than 'magic.exe'.


2.7 I am having problems installing MTGO, and I am running Windows Vista.

Answer:
Once you unzip the program, and are at the setup screen, try the following:

Programmerman wrote:
You have to go to the folder the unzipper extracted everything to (I believe default is c:\users\[your user name]\AppData\Local\Temp), right-click on setup.exe, and select "Run As Administrator."

You might also have to run Task Manager as an administrator, but I'm not sure on that one.



2.8 I run Windows Vista, and have installed MTGO, but when I run magic.exe, it doesn't work.

Answer:
a) In order to help protect computers from virus programs from doing harmful things to your system, when you run a program, it is always run as though a standard user has run it, even if you are using an administrator account. This prevents the program from being able to change any of the files that may be necessary to the system's health. When Magic is run (or at least the updates), it requires you to run it as an administrator. The best way to do this is to right-click on the shortcut you have to magic and click on properties. Then select the compatibility tab and check the box that says "Run as administrator".

b)
Programmerman wrote:
You can also overcome 2.8 by not installing to c:\program files\... but instead to (for instance) c:\magic online\. This may work for 2.7, too, but I'd need to check again, which will require uninstalling MTGO first. More to possibly come soon.



2.9 I have both Windows Vista and a dual-core processor, and have trouble getting the updates, even after I do the above.

Answer:
a)
doneagle wrote:
Tip for MTGO on dual core on VISTA

1. Create a shortcut to magic.exe ( then pin it on start menu if you want )
2. edit the shortcut and add the following in front of the start command :
c:\windows\system32\cmd.exe /C start /affinity 1

This will cause the process to attach it to 1 CPU instead of 2 so you don't have problems with the "timeout's on certain files"-bug. Let's hope v3 supports dual core.

That way you don't have to change the affinity every time you start the process.

b) Try turning off your firewall and anti-virus while you install. Specifically, there have been reported problems with installing with Windows One-Care turned on.
2.10 I don't have a dual-core/64-bit CPU or have read Q 2.6-9 and followed the instructions there and I'm still having troubles updating. What should I do next?

Answer:
First, if you are not getting the updater at all (you procede directly to the login screen), make sure that your shortcut is pointing to the 'magic.exe' file and NOT the 'magic1.exe' file. Then, try the following steps in order, testing each time until the issue is resolved:

  • Click the "scan all files" option before you start the updater
  • Rename the following files in your MTGO directory, then run the updater:
    • master.lst
    • master.lst.hdr
    • strconst.dat
    • updated.lst
    • updated.lst.hdr

  • Try downloading the files manually from http://mtgodownloads.wizards.com/mtgo/ If you know the particular file(s) you need, you can just download those and place them in the appropriate place. If you don't know which files you need to update, this will require a web spider or some download program which can grab entire directories (including subfolders)
  • The final step is reinstalling MTGO from scratch. Before you do this, you may want to try contacting Customer Service and get their advice


2.11 How do Updates Work?

Answer:
Generally updates are done weekly on Wednesdays. This can be hit or miss as to whether there is a client update involved or if it is just server maintenance. Any announcement of planned downtime of this nature can be found in the announcements forum.

To get the updates run magic.exe (not magic1.exe) and allow the updater to run and check for updates. Magic1.exe skips the updater completely.


2.12 I just registered my account and have received my password, but I cannot log in the game server. What's wrong?

Answer:
If it is during normal business hours (9am-6pm PST Monday-Friday), your account should be up and running within 4 hours. You may or may not get accounts created outside of those times, so if you create an account Friday night (or any time during the weekend), you may not get access to your account until Monday morning.

If you can log into the store, everything is ok, you just need to wait until your account is created on the server.

Also, do not cut and paste your password into the client - type it out. Frequently, a leading or trailing character is picked up when you cut and paste the password, which will make the password incorrect.


2.13 How can I copy Magic Online from one computer to another?

Answer:
Unfortunately, the best way to do this is to reinstall it on the other computer (as copying the file won’t get the registry entries) and then use the “Netdeck” option in the deck editor to transfer your deck to the server. Other than your saved decks, the only other thing that isn’t stored serverside is your physical decklist, if you keep one.

You can save your decks by saving the appropriate *.dec files located in the /decks directory of Magic Online on your computer. If you keep track of your paper cards with MTGO, you can save your physical collection tallies by saving the phys.dat file in the maindirectory of Magic Online.


2.14 How much bandwith does MTGO consume?

Answer:
Assuming that you log in MTGO and regurlarly play games after games.

In download: About 1 MB per hour.
In upload: About 0.05 MB per hour.

If you let a busy chat window open (like the Marketplace), double the bandwith consumed in download.

--------------------------

Just as additional info, I calculated this with a software that can individually log the bandwith consumed by each of my software on my computer. I logged about 7.5 hours of play (no, not consecutive hours) where I was playing regurlarly games after games. The pause between games was no longer than maybe 5 minutes; usually shorter.


2.15 I installed Magic Online as administrator (in windows 2000). It works fine. But when I run the same file (magic.exe) from a "restricted user" account, it pulls up a screen that gives an option to install. How can I make it work so I can play from the restricted user account?

Answer:
Ok, I think I have fixed it, and I thought I would let everyone know what I did.

In each user account in which I wanted to be able to run Magic Online, I added a registry key named:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Magic Online

To this key I added a new string value named:

InstallationDirectory

I set the value data to:

C:\Program Files\Wizards of the Coast\Magic Online\

Seems to be working fine now.



2.16 Why can't I bring up more than one copy of the program on my computer?

Answer:
Due to high server loads, the code for MTGO has been changed to only allow a computer to run one instance of MTGO. This restriction will be in place until Version 3 is released.

In addition to restricting a computer to running only one instance of MTGO, you are further limited to running one account per person, no matter how many computers you have. See Q7.2 for more details on this.


2.17 I just got logged off by the program after sitting there for about 90 minutes. Why is that?

Answer:
This is intentional, and is designed to alleviate server load by logging off inactive users. You can log right back on without problems. This "feature" will also be in place until Version 3 is released.

We do not have any idea exactly what constitutes "activity" at this time. You'll need to Ask Wizards any specific questions you have.


Section 3: Magic: The Gathering
General Questions about the game of Magic



3.1 How does Priority work?

Answer:
You can play a spell or ability only when you have priority. At the beginning of most phases and steps, the active player (the person who's turn it is) gets priority. When you have priority, you may play a spell or ability or pass. If you pass, your opponent gets priority. Also, after a spell or ability resolves, the active player gets priority. When that player passes, the opponent gets priority.

In the Magic Online game, you yield priority when you play a spell or ability. If you want to keep priority after you play a spell or ability, hold down the CTRL key while you play it.

It's easy to tell whether you have priority in the Magic Online game. If you don't, you can't play spells or abilities.

To learn how to tell MTGO which steps/phases you want priority in, see Q 4.11


3.2 Limited

Answer:
"Limited" refers to any format where you bring the cards you use to play still sealed in their original packs and build your deck at the event, rather than building your deck ahead of time. Because of the significant cost this entails, limited events rarely occur outside of prize-awarding events (there are often casual drafts when a set is released before release events begin for those who can't wait to play with the new cards). The exact type of product you need to bring to the event vary by the event type (described below). In some events, such as sealed and leagues, you will simply build a deck with what you open; in others, such as drafts, you interact with other players to choose the cards with which you will build a deck. In all limited events, you may only use product opened at the event to build your deck (except Basic Lands, which are provided). Decks must be a minimum of 40 cards, and you can use as many copies as you receive in the event in your deck.


3.2a Sealed

Answer:
In a sealed event, you must bring one Tournament pack and two boosters to the event (for Core-Set sealed, you will need five boosters instead; for release events you may need a Tournament Pack and three boosters). DO NOT open your entry packs - the system will do so for you when it is time. When the event begins, the system will open the product you used to enter and you build your deck from the cards opened, plus any number of Basic Lands. Your deck must contain a minimum of 40 cards. In MTGO, if you need to add Basic Land not included in the packs you opened, click the "Add Lands" button located at the bottom of the deckbuilder screen.

The vast majority of Sealed events online take place in the Premiere Events room. Events in the PE room are conducted with Swiss pairings, meaning you will play several rounds and be matched up with an opponent of similar record each time. After a number of rounds determined by the number of entrants (see help files for "Swiss"), the Top Eight players will advanced to a single-elimination draft (see Q 3.2b).

Players may also conduct casual sealed events, ranging from head-to-head to 8-man tournaments to multiplayer, but these are rarely seen due to the significant cost with no potential prizes.


3.2b Drafts

Answer:
A draft is a 8-player single elimination tournament held in the Sanctioned Tournaments room. In principle there are also casual drafts in the casual area, but in practice not many people ever go there.

To participate in a 8-player draft, you have to obtain 3 boosters and 2 tickets, either by trading other players for that product or by buying it at the WotC Magic Online store (Card Shop). Which three boosters you should buy depends on what format draft you want to enter. There are core set drafts with just three core set boosters, or block drafts, with for example one Time Spiral, one Planar Chaos and one Future Sight booster. If you want to know what it takes to enter an event, just try to enter it. The system will tell you what you need (and you will have a chance to back out or confirm before entering the event). DO NOT open your entry packs - the system will do so for you when it is time.

The draft begins with the 8 players sitting around a table. Each player opens ONE booster and looks at the 15 cards in there. He chooses and keeps ONE of these cards and passes the other 14 to his left while receiving the 14 cards from the player to his right. He picks one of the 14 cards, passes the 13 remaining cards, and so on, until there are no more cards.

(For events that have different boosters in them, the boosters are opened in chronological order. So for a Ravnica/Guildpact/Dissension draft, the boosters are opened in that order.)

Then, every player opens his second booster and procedes in the same way, except that everyone passes to the right. The third booster goes again in the same direction as the first (left). You end up with 45 cards.

After drafting the cards, you have to build a deck with the 45 cards you drafted and free basic lands. This is quite similar to building a sealed deck, take 16+ lands, 16+ creatures, and few spells, mostly removal spells, to end up with a 40-card deck.

Then, you play a single elimination tournament with these cards. Draft is VERY skill based. A beginner will nearly always be eliminated in the first round, or second round max.

There are two different payouts available for drafts: 8-4 and 4-3-2-2. 8-4 drafts pay 8 boosters to the winner, and 4 boosters to second place. 4-3-2-2 drafts pay 4 boosters to the winner, 3 boosters to second, and 2 boosters each to third and fourth (third and fourth being the people eliminated in the second round).

In the past, there have been Swiss drafts in the Premiere Events Room. For Swiss drafts, the situation is similar except you enter in the Premier Events room, you don't get eliminated if you lose, you get to draft at least twice, the top 8 get to draft a third time, and it costs 3 boosters plus 12 Event Tickets. Swiss drafts are currently not available, but may be offered in the future.

Here is a note about Swiss drafts:

Some more clarification....

Draft Tournaments...don't charge any additional packs or tickets beyond what you pay to enter them.

The additional drafting rounds and the finals are covered by the extra tickets it costs to enter a draft event.

Remember - don't ever drop before at LEAST drafting twice!!!! Everyone gets to draft at least 2 times, if you drop before the second draft, you don't get those cards!
J



3.2c Leagues (good for beginners)

Answer:
To start off with, all of the information in this section is how leagues work in 2.0. Leagues have some changes coming in 3.0, please see these articles by Bennie Smith containing information from Scott Larabee regarding changes in how leagues will work in 3.0.

Before I get started on leagues, let me mention that everything said here applies to normal, four week leagues. There are special events that run one or two weeks instead of four, which means you will play less weeks, and add fewer boosters (if any) to your pool.

Leagues are, essentially, sealed deck tournaments which last for an entire month. They do not affect ratings, but they do offer prizes to the top half of the players. Up to 256 players may participate in the league, and the top 128 of them will get at least one booster. This payout is not affected by number of entrants, although since players are allowed to join a league at any time, rather than when it begins, there are very few leagues to end with less than their full load.

The way a league works, essentially, is that you join, paying an entry fee of a tournament pack, two boosters, and two tickets, then build the best deck you can of the cards that hid within the packs you provided. DO NOT open your entry packs - the system will do so for you when it is time. Everyone builds their decks using only the cards within their entry fee, which means that everyone has the same chances of having any given card, thus making league play a game of luck and skill, with those who sport enormous collections not gaining an obscene advantage over newer players (although those with enormous collections often know the game pretty well.) The cards you use in league are added to your collection as soon as you open the booster and are yours to keep, although you are not allowed to trade them until the league finishes. Each week after the first, you have the option of adding another booster to your league pool. This, of course, gives you more cards to work with and, thus, makes your deck continuously better as the league goes on. The boosters are not by any means required to be added, but if you hope to do well they are certainly recommended.

Once you enter the league, you will get a little tab at the bottom of your screen that reads “My Leagues.” Clicking on it, you will see the league(s) you have entered and have several options: Play, Edit Deck, Go To, and Stats.

Play, obviously, lets you play in the league, but that won’t do much until you actually build a deck, so we’ll come back to that later.

Go To takes you to the league room itself, where a chat shows all the people currently in the league, their rank, and who they’ve played during the current week. At the upper right of the chart is a small blue eye which, when clicked, removes the chart and allows you to see the people who are currently playing matches in the league. Since league games aren’t for rating points, you are allowed to watch matches by clicking on the tables and selecting watch. Watching matches can be a good way to learn new sets, as well as getting a scope on the competition (although with 255 players as competition, it only does so much good.)

Stats will briefly tell you your rank, and how many point matches you have left to play in the week. I’ll touch Stats a bit more later.

Now, Edit Deck: When you enter the Edit Deck screen, (which it should do automatically when you first join,) you will see two boxes, the top one has all your cards in it, arranged by color, and the bottom, empty, box which reads “Deck 0/40” in the upper left, then lists the number of lands and creatures in the deck, both of which are at 0 currently.

Your goal, in leagues, should be to make a deck with as close to 40 cards as you can get it. The reason to try and keep it close to 40 cards is to raise your chances of getting a specific card when you need it. Let’s face it, we’ve all been in that situation where our opponent played some monstrous creature and we needed a Dark Banishing to kill it, in those situations, you want to be fishing for a Banishing within 20 cards left in your deck rather than 40. As a general rule, all league decks need to have at least 16 land, and a comparable number of creatures. Don’t be afraid to play three colors, especially not in the first week or two, but you might want to consider getting down to a duel-color deck as soon as you have the cards to support it, to prevent color-screws.

If you find yourself needing extra basic lands, there is an “Add Land” button on the bottom of the Deck Builder which will loan you infinite basic lands. Some players will actually build multiple decks, so that they can quickly switch to a different archetype between games, if you choose to do this, make sure any extra land you brought in is in your sideboard when you choose your primary deck. Whenever you’ve finished building, go to the green checkmark at the bottom and click it. The checkmark won’t be selectable until you have at least 40 cards in your deck.

Leagues are played with 20 games representing your point score, and then infinite games representing your tiebreaker score. Thus, in any given week, you can play 5 games to get your points (2 points for a win, 1 point for a loss.) and, after the fifth game, play as many tiebreaker games as you want (2 points for a win, -1 points for a loss.) The reason for this structure is so people who have arbitrarily large amounts of time to play don’t get an overwhelming advantage, but also to allow people to play as much as they want.

At the end of a league, each player should have between 40 points (they won all 20 point games) and 20 points (they lost all their point games.) After their point score, will be a second number which is their tiebreaker. Thus, someone with a score of 37, 14 would have earned 37 points (they won 17 games and lost 3), and have a tiebreaker score of 14. This means they’d beat someone who had 37, 11, due to their tiebreaker score, but someone with 38, 0 would still beat them, as tiebreakers ONLY affect those players with the same number of points as you.

As the league progresses, you’ll find the competition keeps getting tougher as the weaker players get frustrated and stop playing. If you end up one of these weaker players, you might choose to stop adding boosters and join another league, although if you’re very new I’d say go ahead and add them and have fun, try not to think of leagues as investments but rather as chances to play in a relatively level environment for a month, all for the cost of $2 (since you keep all the cards.)

In summary, don’t play leagues just for league, play leagues because you’re ready to buy cards. If you buy the cards just to play in the league it’ll cost around $30 (assuming you add the three optional boosters), but if you were going to buy the boosters anyway, then it really only costs $2, and you got a month of play out of the deal, with a decent shot at prizes J

As a post note, let me talk briefly about bribery. If you witness bribery, please visit http://wizards.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/wizards.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=433 . Copy the form then click "Ask a Question". (You'll need to create an account if you haven't already). Select the Topics "Digital Games", "Magic: The Gathering Online", "Report Conduct". Paste and finish the form that you copied. Wizards of the Coast takes reports of bribes seriously, and appreciates your taking the time to tell them.


3.3 What is constructed? What constructed events are allowed online?

Answer:
MTGO currently supports the following formats that have DCI-regulated paper counterparts: standard, extended, block constructed. MTGO also supports the following unique formats: Singleton, Prismatic, Tribal, Classic, Freeform, Vanguard Standard, Vanguard Extended, Vanguard Block, 10th Ed. Theme Decks, Core Set Constructed. Unless otherwise noted, all constructed formats have a minimum deck size of 60 cards, sideboards must consist of exactly 0 or 15 cards and, other than basic lands, there may be no more than four of any card.


3.3a What is standard?

Answer:
Standard consists of the most recent core set and the last two expert-level blocks (currently 10th Ed, Time Spiral block, Lorwyn block, and Coldsnap). When a new Core set is released (every other summer), the previous set becomes illegal (this is commonly refered to as 'rotating out'). When a new large expert level expansion is released (every autumn), the ENTIRE block from two year prior rotates out (i.e. when Lorwyn was released in October, Ravnica, Guildpact, and Dissension all rotated out).

Coldsnap will rotate along with the Time Spiral block.

The 2007-2008 year will be unique in that they are releasing four expert level expansions (instead of three) in two smaller blocks. These blocks will act a single block for purposes of construction rotation, so that all four will leave standard in Fall 2009.

Any pre-Invasion sets released online will never be legal in standard.


3.3b What is extended?

Answer:
Extended consists of the most recent 6-8 blocks and 3-4 core sets (currently all sets online except Mirage and Visions). Extended rotates out three blocks every three years, along with the core sets released between those blocks. The next rotation occurs in October 2008, which will remove IPA, OTJ, OLS, and 7th Edition.

Coldsnap is legal in Extended, and will rotate out when Time Spiral rotates out.

Any pre-Invasion sets released online will never be legal in extended.


3.3c What is [set] Block Constructed?

Answer:
[set] block constructed means only cards from [set]'s block are allowed. When each large expert-level expansion is released, a new block constructed format is born.


3.3d What is Core Set Constructed?

Answer:
Core Set Constructed is very similar to a block constructed format - it allows only cards that are in a Core Set (at this time, either 7th, 8th, 9th, or 10th Editions) to be played.


3.3e What is Singleton?

Answer:
Singleton is the online equivilant of a format commonly called 'highlander' in paper. In this format, every card is restricted (you are only allowed one in your deck). All cards on Magic Online (including promo cards and pre-Invasion sets) are legal in this format.


3.3f What is Prismatic?

Answer:
Prismatic is the online analogue of the '5-color' format in paper. It has a 250-card minimum deck requirement, of which you must have at least 20 cards of each color. If you are a 5-color player, please note there are several differences in the online version, the most notable of which are the lack of ante (not allowed in MTGO) and a different B&R list then maintaned by the 5-color committee. Other than the banned list, all cards on Magic Online (including promo cards and pre-Invasion sets) are legal in this format.


3.3g What is Tribal?

Answer:
Tribal is a format that emphasizes creature combat. It requires that a minimum of 1/3 of your deck (20 for a 60 card deck) be of a single creature type. Tribal now has two different formats:

  • Classic Tribal: All cards on MTGO (including promo and pre-Invasion cards) are legal in this format. This is a casual only format - no events will be run on the system with this format.
  • Standard Tribal: You are limited to the current Standard card pool. (see 3.3a if you are unsure what sets are in "standard".)



3.3h What is classic?

Answer:
Classic is a format that has no banned cards, and currently two restricted cards (Flash and Vampiric Tutor), and still enforces the normal constructed deckbuilding rules. All online cards (including promo cards and pre-Invasion sets) are legal.


3.3i What is freeform?

Answer:
Freeform is a casual-only format where you can play anything you want. The ONLY restriction is a 40-card minimum deck. The intention is two-fold: (a) allow people reuse/test their limited decks against each other casually and (b) allow people to play against friends using whatever rules they want. In addition to all cards available online (including promo cards and pre-Invasion sets), you may also use as many vanguard cards as you wish.


3.3j What is Vanguard?

Answer:
Vanguard is a special format where additional rules are added to play based on what vanguard card you include in your deck. Vanguard follows whatever normal rules as the format it is associated with (i.e. Standard Vanguard follows standard deckbuilding rules), BUT with an additional mandatory vanguard card (making a minimum of 61 cards). You are only allowed to have one vanguard card in your deck. When you play a vanguard game, the avatar associated with the vanguard card will temporarily override whichever avatar you have selected to represent you in game.

Vanguard cards have three parts: (a) an added ability/abilities that apply to you during the game, (b) a starting/maximum hand size adjustment, (c) a starting life adjustment. For instance, the basic avatar Erhnnam Djinn has the following abilities:

Hand -1 Life +3 "Whenever you play a creature spell, put a 1/1 Saproling token into play."

So, when you begin a vanguard game with Erhnnam Djinn, you start with one less card than usual (6), three more life than usual (23) and the specified ability as if it were on a permanent. Some vanguard cards have activated abilities; to use these click on the picture of your avatar. Vanguard hand/life stat alterations are handled by the DCI via the banned & restricted list [see 3.4].


3.3k What is the 10th Edition Theme Deck format?

Answer:
This is a format where the only legal decks are those of the 10th Edition theme decks. The format is intended for new players who only have a theme deck and is identical to that on the trial server.


3.3l What is the Momir Basic format?

Answer:
Momir Basic is a format based on using the Momir Vig Avatar and a deck consisting of nothing else but 60 basic (non-snow) land. More information on this format can be found at http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=mtgcom/daily/bs63.


3.4 What does banned mean? What does restricted mean? Where can I find the banned & restricted list for each format?

Answer:
Banned cards are cards that are not allowed to be played in a format. Restricted cards are cards that you are limited to having *one* copy in your deck. Banned and Restricted lists are updated quaterly by the DCI (the organization that governs all Magic tournaments). Announcements are made on the first day of the month and are effective on the 20th of the same month (for online, the first Wednesday on/after the 20th). You can find the current B&R cards using the "stats" button -> format tab in the Deck Editor portion of MTGO. You can also find the B&R lists (which include online formats) at http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=judge/resources/banned and the most recent B&R announcement (with all *changes* to the lists) can be found in the "Announcements" section in the upper-right of the DCI homepage at http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dci/welcome


3.5 What's a sideboard?

Answer:
A sideboard is kind of like a backup to your deck. In a match (best of three games), you can swap cards to and from your sideboard for games two and three. You cannot use your sideboard before game 1.

For constructed decks (see 3.3): Your sideboard must be exactly zero or fifteen cards, and you must swap cards in and out of your deck one-for-one. So, if you want to bring in three cards from your sideboard, you have to take out three cards from your deck. In other words, your sideboard always stays at 15 cards. Your deck always has the same number of cards in it at the start of each game.

For limited decks (see 3.2): Your sideboard is all the cards you got in the tournament that aren't in your deck. You can swap as many cards as you like after each game; it's not one-for-one. You can also add lands at that time. Your deck size can vary between games, so long as it's at least 40 cards at all times.


3.6 How does the set rotation work?

Answer:
Invasion Block (IPA):
Fall 2000 - Invasion
Winter 2001 - Planeshift
Summer 2001 - Apocalypse

Spring 2001 - 7th Edition

Odyssey Block (OTJ):
Fall 2001 - Odyssey
Winter 2002 - Torment
Summer 2002 - Judgment

Onslaught Block (OLS):
Fall 2002 - Onslaught
Winter 2003 - Legions
Summer 2003 - Scourge

Summer 2003 - 8th Edition

Mirrodin Block (MDF):
Fall 2003 - Mirrodin
Winter 2004 - Darksteel
Summer 2004 - Fifth Dawn

Kamigawa Block (CBS):
Fall 2004 - Champions of Kamigawa
Winter 2005 - Betrayers of Kamigawa
Summer 2005 - Saviors of Kamigawa

Summer 2005 - Ninth Edition

Ravnica Block (RGD):
Fall 2005 - Ravnica: City of Guilds
Winter 2006 - Guildpact
Summer 2006 - Dissension

Summer 2006 - Coldsnap (NOTE: Coldsnap is legal in Standard and Extended, and will rotate from those formats when Time Spiral rotates from those formats. See 3.3.)

Time Spiral Block (TPF):
Fall 2006 - Time Spiral
Winter 2007 - Planar Chaos
Summer 2007 - Future Sight

Summer 2007 - Tenth Edition

Lorwyn Block (LM):
Fall 2007 - Lorwyn (codename: Peanut)
Winter 2008 - Morningtide (codename: Butter)
Shadowmoor Block (SD):
Spring 2008 - Shadowmoor (codename: Jelly)
Summer 2008 - Doughnut (codename)

Unannounced Block (RPS):
Fall 2008 - Rock (codename)
Winter 2009 - Paper (codename)
Summer 2009 - Scissors (codename)

Unannounced Block (LLP):
Fall 2009 - Live (codename)
Winter 2010 - Long (codename)
Summer 2010 - Prosper (codename)

Standard is always the current base set (10th Edition) and the most recent two blocks (currently Time Spiral and Lorwyn.) Coldsnap is legal until Time Spiral rotates out of Standard. Lorwyn and Shadowmoor will be treated as a single four-set block for constructed rotation purposes.

Extended is updated every three years to be the most recent three base sets and the most recent 6 blocks. Currently, Extended, both on and offline, contains all sets from Invasion forward and 7th Edition forward, meaning all sets available online, with the exception of Mirage and Visions. The next rotation will occur in October 2008. This rotation will remove Invasion, Odyssey, and Onslaught blocks, as well as 7th Edition (which was released during Invasion block) from Extended. Coldsnap is legal until Time Spiral rotates out of Extended.

As a side note, the promotional Pre-Invasion cards (Sliver Queen, Morphling, and Serra’s Avatar), as well as any Promos in the Promo tab (that are not in a set described above) are not and never will be playable in Extended. Any pre-Invasion sets, including Ice Age and Alliances cards released in the Coldsnap preconstructed decks, released online will never be a part of Extended either.


3.7 How are my ratings calculated?

Answer:
First, you calculate the Win Probability, as follows:

Win Probability = 1/(10^((Opponent's Rating - Player's Rating)/400) + 1)

Then you use the win probability to calculate your new rating:

Player's New Rating = Player's Old Rating + (K-Value * (Scoring Points - Player's Win Probability))

Scoring points are as follows:

Win: 1 point
Draw: 0.5 points
Loss: 0 points

A few things to note:

The amount you gain (or lose) is equal to what your opponent loses (or gains).

The K-value is the maximum number of points you can gain or lose per match, and it depends on the tournament. The default value for events on MTGO is as follows:

  • 8-man Drafts, 8-man Constructeds: 16K
  • PEs: 24K
  • "Open"s (Usually 6x prizes, such as the Standard Open last November): 32K
  • "Championship" PEs (invite-only tournaments, such as Release Event championships or the IPA Sealed Deck I): 32K
  • Prismatic, Tribal, Momir, and other formats may have a K value of 0k. This means although the tournament is sanctioned, your rating will not be affected.


Only sanctioned events (those held in the Sanctioned Tournaments rooms) count for your ratings; leagues and casual play don't affect it.

You can still gain or lose points, even if you draw with the opponent.


3.8 Premium Cards - what are they?

Answer:
Premium cards come from paper Magic originally, and are also called foil cards. Foil cards are distributed in packs like normal cards: you always have a (very small) chance that one of the cards in your booster is foil instead of a regular version (Currently, about 1 in every 56 cards will be foil, so on average, you should get one foil in every 3-4 boosters you open). Foil versions of cards are functionally identical but generally considered "prettier" because they are nice and shiny. Because of that, some people find them more desirable than the regular versions. Foil versions of cards are also quite rare compared to the regular version, which is also a factor: some people just want the exclusivity.

If you want to redeem a foil set of cards (See Q 1.8 for redemption information), you must collect all the cards in the set in foil versions. Wizards will then send you a foil set instead of a regular set.
3.9 What cards are included in a specific theme deck?

Answer:
There are two ways you can find this information. First, open your deck editor and hit "load". You should see a "themedecks" directory. Go into that directory and you will see a bunch of sets (all sets on MTGO). Click the set the theme deck is in, and then load the theme deck.

Second, you can find the theme decks for sets currently in the store at the following links:

Lorwyn Theme Decks
Tenth Edition Theme Decks
Future Sight Theme Decks
Planar Chaos Theme Decks
Time Spiral Theme Decks
Coldsnap Theme Decks
Visions Theme Decks
Mirage Theme Decks


3.10 I want to introduce my friend to Magic the Gathering. Where should I start?

Answer:
Anthony Alongi wrote some interesting articles on this topic.

Your Next Apprentice
How you can pass on the spirit of the game
( http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=mtgcom/daily/aa35 ).
This article is not targeted to MTGO but still useful.

Higher Education
Teaching new players, expounded
( http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=mtgcom/daily/aa36)



Section 4: Getting Started Online
Learning your way around the MTGO interface



4.1 Where can I find the help files for the program?

Answer:
There are three ways to accomplish this. First, click the little question mark in the program, on the left side of your main screen. That will take you right to the help files.

Second, the help files can also be found online at http://mtgodownloads.wizards.com/mtgo/webhelp/tabofc.htm.

Finally, since the help files have information that may be out of date, Wizards' current help page can be found here.


4.2 How do you change your password?

Answer:
In the game, hit the "Settings" button on the left. Under the "Account" tab, there is a "Change Password" button.


4.3 How do I use my $9.99 coupon that I received when I bought my account?

Answer:
In the email you received, you should have received a code, a long 16 digit number. That is the code you will want to put in the "CD, Certificate, or Coupon code" Box in the payment section of checkout at the store. At checkout, you will be propmted to select a payment method that lets you use a coupon. You enter the coupon number on the following screen. (Note: You are unable to combine a Paypal payment with use of a coupon.)


4.4 Why can't I get the Free Core Game (Ninth Edition) Card Set Promotion?

Answer:
That item is only available to those who have purchased the paper Core Game. As mentioned above, if you buy the paper Core Game, you get digital versions of all of the cards in it (and you don't get the $9.99 coupon).


4.5 What are Tickets?

Answer:
Tickets, oftentimes abbreviated as tix, were originally designed as the “entry fee” for online tournaments. Rather than handing the tournament organizer $5 to enter like you would in real life, Magic Online includes Event Tickets as part (or all) of the entry price. The tickets are purchasable from the store for $1 each.

Due to the ticket’s $1 value, they have also become the unofficial currency of Magic Online and, thus, oftentimes people trade cards for tickets rather than cards for cards.


4.6 What is New Player View/Expert Player View? I can't find how to get to drafts/leagues/tournaments! Where are they?

Answer:
The view menu is a really silly menu added in MTGO v 2.0 (located in the upper-right corner next to the "Card Store" button). The idea is to present a simpler array of options for new players to choose from the first time online. There are many options not available from this screen (like any tournament of league play, clans, etc). You'll want to switch to Expert Player Mode to access the full functionality of MTGO.


4.7 What do the funny symbols next to some people's names mean?

Answer:
Current Symbols:

WotC logo - This person works for Wizards of the Coast.
Blue eye - This person is an Adept(Mod).
Wizard Hat - This person is also an Adept. Formerly, this symbol was also used for Experts if that person lacked the 'Adept_' prefix.
Trophy - This person is either a tournament organizer or one of the senior bug testers. This person is not necessarily a Wizards employee.
Red circle-with-a-slash - This person has been muted by an Adept for unacceptable behavior.
Zzz- This person is away.
Smiley face - This person is on your buddy list.
Frowny face - This person is on your blocked (ignore) list.


4.8 What's an Adept? And what's this warning thing they keep harping on about?

Answer:
Adepts are moderators for Magic Online. It's their job to make sure MTGO is a fun and safe place for everyone. As WizO_Paradox points out, Adepts on Magic Online serve the same function as WizO's on the Wizards chat site and boards. Adepts can't play or trade while on duty, so don't bug them with trade requests or challenges.

The primary duty of Adepts is to enforce the Wizards Code of Conduct. If you misbehave, an Adept will issue you a warning. Just like in real-life Magic tournaments, a warning is a heads-up that you did something wrong. If you keep doing it, an Adept can mute you (you can't chat at all) or kick you from the game.

On the other hand, Adepts are really nice and helpful guys to those who have honest questions or problems. If you ever have a problem or need help figuring something out, just ask one of the Adepts. Adepts can usually be found in the Moderators and Support Staff room, and they also wander around the other rooms. You can also type "/join Moderators and Support Staff" in any chat prompt other than Duel or Trade chat prompts.


4.9 Why do Adepts type in red letters? Can I type in red letters?

Answer:
Adepts type in red letters for two reasons, and they are related - to get your attention, and to distinguish their chat from other users' chat. By typing in red, their chat seems a little more urgent in theory, and thus, makes you more likely to obey instructions they give.

Red chat is only available to Adepts. Normal users can't type in red.


4.10 How do I make a deck/How do I obtain cards?

Answer:
It depends on the type of game you want to play:

For limited games, you'll first either need to obtain packs through the store (see Q1.2 for more details on this), or trade other players in game for them. DO NOT open the packs - leave them alone and go join a tournament or league. The system will open the packs when the tournament or league starts.

If you want to build a constructed deck, you can either buy packs in the store and open them, or get tickets (either by buying them in the store or by buying packs and selling them to players in game for tickets) and trade other players for cards in the Trading Post. If you bought packs to open, right-click on the pack you want to open and follow the prompts. When you're done opening, look at the top of your screen for the Deck Editor tab and click on it. Your collection appears at the top, your deck and sideboard at the bottom. Drag cards from the top half to put them in the deck or sideboard. You can also right-click on cards for more options.


4.11 How do I get priority? (Setting stops)

Answer:
You tell the program when you want priority by setting a stop. The stop tells the Magic Online game to ask if you want to play a spell or ability. Without any stops set, the game won't pause unless something happens for you to respond to.

You set stops in game by clicking the "Settings" button on the main screen, and choosing the game play tab.

Your Set Stops settings are crucial to Magic Online game play. You should set additional stops if you think you'll want to play a spell or ability during a step or phase that doesn't have a default stop. The more stops you set, though, the more often you'll have to click OK during a game. You can change your stops during a game by right-clicking in the play area and choosing Game Settings. You can also set and remove stops by clicking on a phase or step icon on the Duel screen.

More information and a good explanation of this can be found in the "Traffic Sign Series", archived as follows:

Traffic Sign Series: Stops I => http://web.archive.org/web/20050318043037/http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=magic/magiconline/articledm011003
Traffic Sign Series: Stops II => http://web.archive.org/web/20050318043041/http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=magic/magiconline/articledm012003
Traffic Sign Series: Yields I => http://web.archive.org/web/20050318040525/http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=magic/magiconline/yields1
Traffic Sign Series: Yields II => http://web.archive.org/web/20050318043045/http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=magic/magiconline/articledm031303

Also, a few words about the F-keys. 99% of the general population will want to press F8 at the start of the game. Unless you're highly competitive, the benefits of the time gained by not having to yield priority far outweigh the "bluffing" aspect the client provides.

You'll need to be careful about using F6. Though you can use F3 at any time, you'll probably want to use F4 instead (which will allow you to respond to something your opponent does) unless you're certain you can't do anything more that turn, as you might miss the opportunity to press F3 before you wanted to respond.

See Q4.13 for more information.


4.12 What collectible avatars are available in MTGO? When were they released?

Answer:
  • Two-Headed Giant of Foriys: For signing online to MO on the 10th anniversary of MTG.
  • Phage the Untouchable: Playing in the Legions online release tournament.
  • Karona False God: Playing in the Scourge online release tournament.
  • Royal Assassin: Playing in an 8th Edition paper release tournament.
  • Elvish Champion: Playing in an 8th Edition online release tournament.
  • Akroma Angel of Wrath: Participating in the "Virtual Party" OLS and 88888 tournaments. October 25th and 26th, 2003. Also given out to all users, one per user, after the Virtual Party didn't go so well (due to many crashes).
  • Bosh: Playing in a Mirrodin online release league.
  • Platinum Angel: Going 5-0 in a Mirrodin online release league.
  • Viridian Zealot: Playing in a Darksteel online release league.
  • Arcbound Overseer: Going 5-0 in a Darksteel online release league.
  • Flametongue Kavu: Logging in on Magic Online’s Second Anniversary
  • Raksha, Golden Cub: Playing in either a 5th Dawn Release League or a 5th Dawn Release Event
  • Etched Oracle: Going 5-0 in a 5th Dawn Release League or being in the top-4 in a 5th Dawn Release Event
  • Seshiro, the Anointed: Playing in either a Champions of Kamigawa release event or a release league
  • Eight-and-a-Half Tails: Going 5-0 in a Champions of Kamigawa release league or doing very well in a Champions of Kamigawa Release Event ("very well" for the rest of this section typically means being in the top 5% or so)
  • Fallen Angel: Doing very well on the Thanksgiving and Christmas 2004 events
  • Higure, the Still Wind: Playing in either a Betrayers of Kamigawa release event or a release league
  • Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni: Going 5-0 in a Betrayers of Kamigawa release league or doing very well in a Champions of Kamigawa Release Event
  • Birds of Paradise: Playing in an Vanguard release event
  • Oni of Wild Places: Playing in either a Saviors of Kamigawa release event or a release league
  • Sakashima the Impostor: Going 5-0 in a Saviors of Kamigawa release league or doing very well in a Saviors of Kamigawa Release Event
  • Hell's Caretaker: Playing in either a Ninth Edition release event or a release league
  • Maro: Going 5-0 in a Ninth Edition release league or doing very well in a Ninth Edition Release Event
  • Loxodon Hierarch: Playing in either a Ravnica release event or a release league
  • Sisters of Stone Death: Going 5-0 in a Ravnica release league or doing very well in a Ravnica Release Event
  • Stalking Tiger: Playing in either a Mirage release event or a release league
  • Frenetic Efreet: Going 5-0 in a Mirage release league or doing very well in a Mirage Release Event
  • Teysa, Orzhov Scion: Playing in either a Guildpact release event or a release league
  • Rumbling Slum: Going 5-0 in a Guildpact release league or doing very well in a Guildpact Release Event
  • Nekrataal: Playing in either a Visions release event or a release league
  • Chronatog: Going 5-0 in a Visions release league or doing very well in a Visions Release Event
  • Momir Vig: Playing in either a Dissension release event or a release league
  • Lyzolda: Going 5-0 in a Dissension release league or doing very well in a Dissension Release Event
  • Diamond Faerie: Playing in either a Coldsnap release event or a release league
  • Haakon, Stromgald Scourge: Going 5-0 in a Coldsnap release league or doing very well in a Coldsnap Release Event
  • Stuffy Doll: Playing in either a Time Spiral release event or a release league
  • Jaya Ballard, Task Mage: Going 5-0 in a Time Spiral release league or doing very well in a Time Spiral Release Event
  • Braids, Conjurer Adept: Playing in either a Planar Chaos release event or a release league
  • Mirri the Cursed: Going 5-0 in a Planar Chaos release league or doing very well in a Planar Chaos Release Event
  • Jhoira of the Ghitu: Playing in either a Future Sight release event or a release league
  • Heartwood Storyteller: Going 5-0 in a Future Sight release league or doing very well in a Future Sight Release Event
  • Arcanis, the Omnipotent: Playing in either a Tenth Edition release event or a release league
  • Squee, Goblin Nabob: Going 5-0 in a Tenth Edition release league or doing very well in a Tenth Edition Release Event
  • Ashling the Pilgrim: Playing in either a Lorwyn release event or a release league
  • Mirror Entity: Going 5-0 in a Lorwyn release league or doing very well in a Lorwyn Release Event


Pictures of all the avatars, as well as more information about them, can now be found in this article.


4.13 What other commands can I use during a game to make play easier online? (And how can I keep priority after playing a spell or ability?)

Answer:
-> OK (same as clicking [OK] button)
-> Removes all auto-yields and cancel previous pressed F4/F6/F8. (Can again be used when you do not have priority, or right click on the play area and select "Remove auto-yields", which is identically functional to F3.)
-> Pass priority until something is on the stack (Yield until EOT as long as nothing happens). (Can again be used when you do not have priority.)
-> Lets you briefly look at face-down cards you control.
-> Pass priority for rest of turn no matter what happens (Yield until EOT no matter what happens [you still have to make decisions when required]). (Can again be used when you do not have priority.)
-> Automatically place all untargeted triggers on the stack for the rest of the game if they all have the same text. Removing auto-yields by right-clicking or pressing will toggles back off.
-> Turn off "bluffing" (Pass priority unless I can do something). This lasts UNTIL END OF GAME unless cancelled by . Good for multiplayer. For instance, you will normally get priority as long as you have a card in hand even if you're tapped out, because you might have a spell such as one of the Shoals from BoK. After activating , you would no longer receive priority in this situation (unless you actually *have* a shoal).
OR + -> Yes (same as clicking [YES] button)
OR + -> No (same as clicking [NO] button)
+ -> Undo, if possible.
+[announce spell/ability] -> Announce the spell or ability without automatically passing priority afterwards.

+ -> Increase game textbox size.
+ -> Decrease game textbox size.

+, <*> -> Make special character associated with <*>. There are many different symbols; for a complete list, go here.


4.14 What order are the extra boosters in leagues added?

Answer:
The optional boosters are all added in the order that product was listed when the league began. If you joined a league that required a Onslaught Tournament Pack, and two Legions boosters, then the additional boosters will be Onslaught, then Legions, then Legions. If, instead, you joined a league that required a Mirrodin tournament pack, a Darksteel booster, and a Fifth Dawn booster, then the boosters would be added Mirrodin, Darksteel, and then Fifth Dawn, in that order.

Masters Edition leagues add Masters Edition packs every week.

(Note: Due to a coding problem related to Brothers Yamazaki, Champions block leagues could not add Champions boosters week 2. CBB leagues added Betrayers boosters each week. CBS leagues added Betrayers week 2, Saviors week 3, and Betrayers week 4.)


4.15 How do I add or swap lands in drafts or sealed deck games?

Answer:
Click on the "Add Lands" button in the "Deck Builder" tab and click on the various land cards that you need. You can add as much land as you like. But, you don't get to keep these lands as they are just a loan.


4.16 I am trying to build a constructed deck with two colors; can I use a draft to add cards to my collection to improve this deck?

Answer:
As long as there are cards of your chosen colors in the boosters being passed to you, you can always choose one of them. However, there a risk that at some point in the pack, there are no cards left in your colors.

So of your 45 final cards, most could be in your chosen colors. However, this will impact your ability to play in the draft itself -- you could be giving up cards that would win you games in exchange for cards you need for your constructed deck.

The "poor man's defense" against paying the tickets that provide boosters for the pros, and only reason for beginners to draft, is to draft those cards that you need for your collection, instead of drafting the cards that are give you the best chance to win the draft. This is usually called "rare-drafting", because if you draft for your collection you are more likely to take a rare card than a common. If people notice you are rare-drafting, you might get shouted at. This is because if you take the cards for your collection and pass on the cards good for winning, the players to your left (mainly) and right (for the second booster) get passed more winning cards. That increases their chances to win, while it diminishes the chance of the other players.

So it's a hard choice whether you want to participate in a draft as a beginner. For dedicated two-color players its a prime source of cards, without you ending up with too many off-color cards. You also might end up with more than 3 rares for $14, which might be profitable. But you have to be aware that this probably will distort the final result of the draft, and some people might despise you for that.


4.17 How does the timer/chess-clock work?

Answer:
In a leagues, drafts, or premier, each player receives a preset amount of time to finish 1 "round". For a premier event or draft, each player gets 30 minutes. For a league, it will be 45 minutes.

For premier events and drafts, there will be a round clock at the bottom of your screen. Ignore it, it means absolutely nothing. Even if a tournament round ends, the game will continue to completion or until one of the opponents runs out of time.

Your clock starts to count down when you get priority and stops when your opponent gets priority. If you take a long time to consider an action, pay the mana cost of an effect or just spend time chatting when you have priority, your own clock will obviously go down faster than the opponent's.

Note that your connection speed also plays a role in this. Someone playing overseas on dial-up will automatically play a bit slower than someone on cable in the States as the information simply takes longer to travel from and to the game server.

That being said, there are ways to reduce wasted time in timed matches.

Rather than clicking the OK button when prompted to, you can simply press the F2 (same as clicking OK) or F4 (same as pressing OK repeatedly until end of turn or a new effect specifically requiring a response from you is played) keys.

Right click on the match screen, then choose Game play Settings. You can unset the stops (phases at which MTGO waits for you to take an action or press OK) that you don't use. For instance, if you have no effect that you might want to use at the end of your opponent's turn, disable that stop. That's a few seconds gained each turn. You can always re-enable later it if you need it.

You can also right-click on an effect on the stack and choose to always yield priority to that effect. This is great for effects like Howling Mine, where you never really want to respond. It also prevents your opponent from forcing you to run your clock down by, say, repeatedly tapping his Seeker of Skybreak to untap itself.

And then there are other common sense things. If you want to say something to your opponent, do it during his turn while his timer is going down. Similarly, you'll probably get a reply while you are playing.If a card you don't know to well comes into play, don't spend too much time reading it while it is played (while the game is waiting for you to press OK) but read it while your opponent continues to play his/her turn afterwards.


4.18 How do I get Unhinged lands?

Answer:
Scott Larabee posted how to get Unhinged lands in this article. As this promotion has ended, the only way to get Unhinged lands currently is by trading other players for them.


4.19 How do I get the Promo Cards in the "Promo" tab?

Answer:

  • Braingeyser: Given out by playing in the Thanksgiving 2005, Christmas 2005, or New Years 2006 Premier Events. Normal given for participation, foil for making the top 8.
  • Kjeldoran Outpost: Given out as a prize for Premier Events from August 24-September 20, 2006. Top 16 in each event got a normal version, winner of each event got a foil version (and a normal one).
  • Gleemox: Given out as a promotion as a part of the Gleemax launch (Wizards' Digital Initiative).
  • Hazezon Tamar: Given out by playing in the March-April 2007 IPA qualifiers. Normal given for participation, foil for making the top 8.
  • Guru Lands: Given out for participation in Premier Events from August-December 2007.


If a card is in the Promo folder but is not listed in this section, that means they haven't announced how they are giving it out yet, and none are yet available in game.

Wizards of the Coast reserves the right to reuse these cards for future promotional events as they deem appropriate.

Note that all creatures in the Promo tab can be randomly created by the Momir Vig avatar, whether or not they have been released.


4.20 What are some chat commands that you can use in game?

Answer:
/away
You can mark yourself as being away from your computer by typing /away message in any chat window, where the message is what you want to tell other users. Your status and message will be displayed in the chat area of the room you're in. Any players who try to send you private messages will get an automatic reply telling them that you're away, but you'll still receive their messages. When you return to your computer, just type /away to show that you're back.

For example, if a player with the user name Bob types /away running a marathon, the message Bob is away - running a marathon appears in the room the player is in. When the player returns and types /away, the message Bob is back. is sent to that room.

/me
You can send a chat message that starts with your user name by typing /me message in a chat window. For example, if a player with the user name Bob types /me thinks Magic Online is the best game ever in any chat area, the message Bob thinks Magic Online is the best game ever appears.

/join
You can start or join a group chat by typing /join room name in any chat area. For example, if Bob typed /join Wombats rule! then a private message window with the name Wombats rule! would appear on Bob's screen. Other players could join that chat by typing /join Wombats rule!

/addbuddy
You can also add a player to your buddy list at any time by typing /addbuddy name. If the player's name has a space in it, put quotation marks around it, /addbuddy "player name".

/goto
You can go to the room that a player is in by typing /goto name. If the player's name has a space in it, put quotation marks around it, /goto "player name".

/eject
In a multiplayer game, players can opt to eject another player from the game by typing /eject name. If the player's name has a space in it, put quotation marks around it, /eject "player name."

Quotes are only necessary when the username contains a blank. If the username is only one word, no quotes are needed.


4.21 Trading Guide

Answer:
Trading on MTGO can be pretty cutthroat. One of the users on this forum, BentFranklin, has written a good guide on trading for MTGO. If you are a new user, I would recommend reading this before conducting your first trade. Even if you are an experienced user, you might pick up a thing or three.

The trading guide also has a great explanation in one of the most popular player created rooms, the Auction room, in it. So go read it.


Section 5: Becoming an Expert
More about how the digital world works



5.1 Online set FAQs

Answer:
These FAQs are intended as a guide to "how to play" mechanics from the given set, as well as known issues that will not be fixed from those sets.



5.2 How can I make all my cards tradable? How about a subset of them?

Answer:
Right-click on the book in your collection (not on a card) for more options. To work with some number other than 4, change the Owned filter.

Also, remember that the right-click options only affect the visible cards. So, to keep one copy of each of your foil commons and mark the rest tradable, you set the filters as follows:

Owned > 1
Rarity = common
Version = Premium

Then right-click on the book. The first option reads something like, "Make all copies more than (1) tradable." Click that, and you're done.


5.3 The shuffler is useless! What shuffling system are they using and why is it so bad?

Answer:
The reason it seems bad is that it really is completely random. When most players shuffle their decks in real life, they don't truly randomize their decks; they just make the deck "sufficiently random" so that they can't tell what the next card will be. This still leaves some patterns in the deck, like an even spread of mana or less chance of duplicates being next to each other. With the MTGO shuffler, it is completely random. Chris Green (the lead programmer for Leaping Lizards, who designed the game) wrote a very detailed article about the shuffling process, but has unfortunately removed the original article when the programming responsibilities shifted to Wizards itself. An internet image of the article can be found here.

If you still feel the need to complain about the shuffler, please keep it confined to [thread=522454]the shuffler thread[/thread].


5.4 What is this magic.ini file, and how can I use it to block unlimited users and make notes on why I blocked them?

Answer:
The magic.ini file is a special type of text file that allows you to tell the client how to handle text. For an explanation and some examples on how it is used, read the following:

  • An explanation from elf, one of the developers of Magic Online.
  • [thread=683727]dragonmage65's[/thread] helpful explanation and tips.


5.5 I see people talking about having a bot to automatically trade for them. What are bots, and how do I get one?

Answer:
Bots are a name for third party products that automate the process of trading. They do this to allow you to trade without having to be at your computer.

You can safely obtain a bot in one of two ways.

  • Write the code yourself. This is the safest way.
  • Obtain a prewritten script in which you can look at the source code and verify that there is no extra coding in there that will log your keystrokes and send it to the writer of the script.


If you can't either write the code yourself, or verify someone else's code is clean, DO NOT use that bot. If you use a bot with a trojan or keylogger in it, you will find, sooner rather than later, that all your cards will be traded from your account to the account of the person that gave you the bot, and they will be gone forever, as all Wizards will see is verified trades from your account to the other person's account in which both people confirmed the trade.


5.6 What color code is used for counters in MTGO?

Answer:
Blue: Flood Counters
Red: Charge Counters
Green: Ki Counters
Lt. Blue: Fate Counters
Purple: Divinity Counters
Yellow: Others
and the +1/+1 counter is obvious.


5.7 Is there any way to add boolean logic to make more complex searches?

Answer:
In the 'search for' box, & can be used for AND, | can be used for OR, and ~ can be used for not.

ex: "destroy | creature" will display all cards either the word destroy or the word creature on them

ex: "red source & damage" will display all cards with both the phrase "red source" and "damage" on them

ex: " & ~" will display all cards that have a mana symbol on them but not a one


5.8 How can I set my starting life and cards in hand (to handicap a player, or for a variant format that requires it)?

Answer:
You do this by clicking the "options" button when you set up a game, and then checking "Use Starting Handicaps". You will set your handicaps (up or down) when the game starts.


5.9 My friend challenged another one of my friends to a game (using the right click "Challenge" command), and I want to watch it. But the /goto command doesn't take me to a game room. How can I find it?

Answer:

Challenges are in one of two places, depending on the game:

  • Single game challenges are in the Anything Goes room.
  • Match challenges (best 2 out of 3) are in the Tournament Practice room.


Once you are in the appropriate room, change to spreadsheet mode. (If you see tables, click the box that looks like a spreadsheet right below the "Card Shop" link.) Then sort the player list in alphabetical order in the top pane (the games currently running), and find the name of the person who started the challenge.


5.10 When are booster/tournament pack contents determined?

Answer:
Booster/tournament pack contents are determined when the pack is opened.


5.11 I always get the same cards together, is there something wrong with the way packs are generated? / What is a print run?

Answer:
Like real-life, cards are inserted into packs from 'print runs', that is cards are inserted into packs in a set order. There are seperate print runs for each rarity (and often multiple for commons). This means when a booster pack is generated, it takes the next rare on the rare list (except foils, see below), the next three uncommons on the uncommon list, and then some combination of 12 (11 + land for core set) from the two common lists. This means when your first uncommon is Card X, it will always be followed by Card Y and Card Z. Now, you just see the three uncommons at once, so you don't know which 'started' it, but you will notice that you will usually see Card X with Card W or Y, and sometimes with Card V or Z. The end result of this is the odds of getting the exact same uncommon run is not as improbable as it would first appear (1:110*109*108) but instead is only the odds of the first card being the same (1:110). The case for commons is similar, but commons are normally taken starting at two different places on the print run or two seperate lists. Even getting the entire same booster is not unheard of (there are only 4 degrees of freedom instead of 15). The rare print run is evident when you open tournament packs or sequential boosters (for a league/sealed event).

It is also worth noting here that when you open boosters online, unlike real-life where boosters are often jostled and somewhat randomized in the box or during distribution, you are receiving consecutive booster packs from the print run, so your rares will be consecutive from the print run.

Foil (premium) cards alter the normal print run rules. Starting in Time Spiral and for all sets released afterwards, when a foil appears in a pack, it is substituted for a common. (Previously, it was inserted into the run for a card of the same rarity.) This is the only way to get duplicate rares or uncommons in the *same* pack. However, if you open one pack now and another a week later (like you would in a league), the odds of getting the same rare are as two packs at random. Presumably foil cards also follow a print run, but given the sparsity of them opened at a single time, discovering that run would be near impossible.


5.12 Okay, I understand the need for print-runs of paper cards where manufacturing processes are involved, but why are print runs used for MTGO when the server could easily create random packs? What is the benefit of print runs?

Answer:
There are two main reasons to having print runs online.

The first, and most obvious, reason is that having digital print-runs more closely emulates paper drafting.

The second, and [in Bubba0077's humble opinion] the more important, is that print runs are created in such a way that they are somewhat balanced, both in terms of color and power. This means it is impossible to open a booster and have 12 red cards, or to open a sealed set and have 15 "bomb" cards, or even most of your cards concentrated in two colors (quality-wise). Imagine a draft where you open a pack with ten blue cards, only to be passed several boosters with no blue in them whatsoever, or a league where your opponent opened four bomb rares in the same color Week 1. This balancing also has economic impacts, since it reduces the variance of rare value in a given tournament pack/booster run (i.e. you are less likely to open two high-value rares in the same tournament pack, as well as less likely to open a pack full of junk rare chaff).
5.13 How do I watch replays of past games?

Answer:
It depends on where the game was played.

For a causal game (any game in the "Casual Play" group of rooms): Click on the table (in visual mode) containing the game you want to watch, and select "Replay Game." You can also watch a game in progress this way.

For a Premiere Event: Enter the tournament room for the game you want to watch. If the game was from the current round (or is a match in the Top 8), you can replay a game by double clicking on the game in lower window (in spreadsheet mode). If it is a match in the swiss rounds, and it was played in a previous round, you can't watch it any more. Sorry.

For a League: Enter the league room, and select the game you want to watch in a similar way to a Casual Game.

For an 8 Man Single Elimination tournament (including games in the "Casual Play>Limited Games" Room): You can't watch replays of these games unless you played in it (see below).

For a game you played in (in any area): Click on the "My Games" button, and double click on the game you want to watch.

NOTE: "My Games" clears when you play your first game of a new session, unless you open up the "My Games" window first. So if you want to save replays from a past session, open up "My Games", and then start playing your first game. (You can then close "My Games" after the game starts, if you like.)

However, if the client has been updated (most Wednesdays), replays will generally be unavailable for games played prior to that update.

There is no way to save a game to your local computer, sorry.


5.14 How can I download all the avatar animations?

Answer:
Here's a fun trick I picked up that will let you reduce the time you spend downloading pics and lagging due to a slow connection. When you get an hour or two free, log on to Magic Online, go to the busiest room you can find (probably one of the Casual room, but it varies), switch to graphical mode for the game (if you're in spreadsheet mode), and just sit there. Leave your computer on and go watch TV or something for an hour or so. This will let the game download pretty much all the avatar pics, including all the variants. By "pre-downloading" all the pics, you won't have to deal with it when you just want a quick game and can't afford to wait for the lag.


5.15 How can I pre-download all the card pics?

Answer:
Go to your preferences screen and set your card size for the deck editor to the minimum. Go to the Deck Editor tab. Minimize the Deck and Sideboard windows, uncheck "My Cards", put Sets to "All", and check "Show all versions", switch your view to graphical, and voilà! You have the maximum number of cards on screen at once.

Now, go read email or something for a while. Every minute or so, come back to Magic Online and page down so new cards are showing. The reason you need to do this is that the pictures will only download if you can actually see them on the screen; it's not enough to merely have them included in the list of visible cards.


5.16 How can I get cards from before Invasion? Why do they show up in the Collection tab?

Answer:
Tabs before Invasion show up in your binder for multiple reasons:

First, your collection tab includes the Stronghold and Urza’s Saga tab (if you set number owned = 0) due to a promotion Wizards did in November 2003 where they gave out Morphlings, Serra Avatars, and Sliver Queens. Since the program isn’t able to only display certain cards out of a set, the entire set appears in the primary tab due to these three cards being available online.

Second, pre-Invasion tabs show up when they release that set for online play.

Third, some cards in Ice Age and Alliances were released in the preconstructed decks for Coldsnap.

Note that all creatures described in this section can also be created with the Momir Vig avatar.


5.17 How do I become a beta tester?

Answer:
First, you need to apply. When applications are posted, there will be an announcement in the [forum=217]announcement folder[/forum]. This is usually done a couple weeks before beta begins, but there is not an application period for every beta. When there is no beta application period, the applicants from the previous beta will be reused. The application consists of some information on your Magic experience and a short rules quiz.

At the beginning of each beta (typically the Monday or Tuesday after the paper pre-release), everyone who is invited to beta will receive an invitation either in-game and/or by e-mail with instructions on how to participate. Those who are not invited will not receive any notification, but may be invited later if needed. Because of the large applicant pool, only a small fraction of users are admitted to beta. While WotC attempts to get a good cross-section of the player base to participate in beta, the inclusion of any one person is generally random.

In addition to these randomly-chosen testers, there is a small number of "core testers" who are invited back every beta. This group contains those who have distinguished themselves as exceptional bug-hunters or otherwise demonstrated their considerable usefulness to the beta process. This group is constantly evolving, as new core testers are discovered and old ones are removed by attrition.

Version 3 of the client is now in open beta testing. You can join the test by downloading the installer here.


5.18 What are these *.trd files in my MTGO directory? How can I find out the details of a trade?

Answer:
The *.trd files in your MTGO directory represent collection snapshots of your past trading partners. While you can use the file name to retrieve the name of a trade partner you've forgotten and the modified date to get an estimated trade time, the file themselves have no information about what was traded. In order to get more information about a trade, you need to contact Customer Service.

When you use this form you should specifically ask for a complete history for the dates in question, otherwise you get only a list of trade partners and the number of digital objects traded.



Section 6: When Something Goes Wrong
What to do when you encounter a bug, can't login or have problems with other users



6.1 What is the status of the server?

Answer:
[thread=377354]The "Is the server up?" status thread[/thread] is the way you can check if your connectivity problems are just you, or if other people are also having problems (and thus, the server is likely down). The server status is also given by the "Server Status" button on the Magic Online Homepage.

Also, remember that the game could be going through a planned and announced downtime. Check the [forum=217]Announcements Forum[/forum] to see if a downtime has been announced.


6.2 How can I troubleshoot the game if something goes wrong?

Answer:
Wizards of the Coast has recently moved to a new online help system. It can be found at http://wizards.custhelp.com. There, you can look up past problems people have had with solutions to those problems, as well as request refunds for events during crashes, and reporting bad behavior by both other users and Adepts.

You will need to create a totally separate account for that system. Neither your game account, nor your boards account, will automatically give you access there.


6.3 I found a bug! What do I do?

Answer:
To report a bug, please follow the steps on the help site found here: http://wizards.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/wizards.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=668 (beginning by searching to see if your bug has already been reported). Wizards of the Coast appreciates you taking the time to report these things.


6.4 I know that the server is stable, but what happens if it crash while I'm playing a tournament or a draft? Do I lose my money and cards?

Answer:
From Scott Larabee, the person in charge of tournaments on Magic Online:

If during your event the system crashes, 1 of 3 things will happen:
  • The system will come right back up. In this case:
    • Events will continue and additional time will be given to allow players to finish the event
    • No Compensation will be given


  • The system cannot recover the event and "finishes" (prematurely ends) the event, or a WOTC Tournament Coordinator must "finish" (prematurely end) the event.
    • We will accept the prize payouts "as is" - This means that whatever prize payouts and invites the system awards, we will not change what the system does.
    • No changes will be made to these events from what the system automatically pays out as prizes or invitations.

    If the event is in TOP 8:
    • No product or tickets will be refunded
    • All players keep the product used to enter the event as well as the drafted cards from the TOP 8 draft.

    If the event is still in Swiss Rounds:

  • The event is cleared or cancelled by the system. If an event is cancelled this means the event can no longer be viewed in the premier event listings.




6.5 I submitted a question to Customer Service (conduct report/refund request/store question/etc) via the knowledgebase; is there any way to check on the status of my question (or even make sure it was received)? / I sent a refund request to Customer Service several days ago, why haven't I heard back yet?

Answer:
Return to the knowledgebase http://wizards.custhelp.com/ and login using the tab on the upper right. Then click on the tab labeled "My Stuff" and then the button labeled "Questions". This will bring up a list of every question you have successfully submitted along with the submission date and the current status. You can click on any item in the list to bring up all correspondence related to that submission (including the original and any replies).

If your issue is *not* listed, it was never successfully sent to Customer Service. The most common cause of this is failure to click the "Send Email" button on the final page of the submission process. Please try to submit your question again. Queries appear in the "My Stuff" section immediately after they are submitted, so you can always check yourself if you are unsure if your question submitted properly.


6.6 Is it alright to quit, concede, or disconnect from a game anytime I feel like it?

Answer:
It depends on the type of game:

In team play, you shouldn't concede on your own no matter what. It's simply rude to teammates and to opponents who probably waited awhile to get the game started. You could leave a Emperor (a type of team multiplayer) unflanked or cause the whole team to lose if you are the Emperor. Also, in 2v2 (2 on 2), 3v3, 2-Headed Dragon (also known as 2HG, a play structure where partners share a cumulative life total) or 3HG games, a lost teammate is generally an automatic defeat. There are those who choose to play on even after losing a teammate or teammates as the case may be. This circumstance is often a lesson in frustration. People who do concede without explanation, especially in early game, tend to wind up on teammate(s)' and opponents' blocked lists alike.

(Anthony Alongi provided a couple of artilce on dealing with problem teammates. They mostly apply to paper, but have some good points for online play as well, particularly not becoming a problem player yourself:

Multiplayer Monsters -- Are you one of these group-play headaches?

Monster Slayers -- The personalities that make multiplayer great)

In 1v1 (regular single-player duel) or FFA (Free for All) play, it is generally considered good sportsmanship to say "Good game" or "gg" then concede (emphasis on being polite and admitting defeat is helpful). Either a bad draw (not enough mana AKA manascrewed) or a timed match would cause this. Timed match is mentioned because if you are going to lose a duel, it is best to try to save time on your game clock.

If you have an emergency and need to leave early, you should just leave. But, try to explain in the game chat window why you need to go before leaving if you have time. If this is not possible, you may want to seek out the player(s) by using the /addbuddy or /goto commands (find their names with the My Games button) and apologize (either in person or through a message left via the My Buddies window) when you return. But, in many cases, you would probably be on blocked lists by this time. Therefore, explaining before you leave is best. A simple, quick message can sway the ire of many.

Bad example: It has been a long game, but my dog wants me to walk it.
(Then, you should have walked it beforehand.)

Good example: My pet is sick! Sorry, I gotta tend to it.
Good example: My significant other/family member needs me. Sorry. Good game.


6.7 My opponent just disconnected without dropping first! What do I do?

Answer:
Here's the general policy for what happens when a player disconnects.

In casual, untimed games: You sit there and wait. If your opponent is disconnected (i.e., his name doesn't show up in the chat box list of players), you can adjourn the game/match at any time without the opponent needing to OK. You can also concede at any time. Remember that casual games don't affect your ratings. There is an option to make casual games timed, and I suggest using it if people dropping bothers you.

A note here: I would recommend against adjourning a game, and simply concede instead. If you adjourn a game, the cards in that game aren't able to be traded until the game is cleared off the server. (Generally, this takes anywhere from 2 weeks to a month). Since the "My Games" list of games clears when you log off, you won't be able to get back into the game to concede, and so the cards will be stuck as untradeable until the game is cleared off of the server.

In timed tournament games: You opponent must take some action within 10 minutes. Obviously, if he's disconnected, he can't do that. After 10 minutes of inactivity, your opponent gets a game loss. If this doesn't end the match, then you go to sideboarding. Your opponent has five minutes to get back online and submit a deck. At the end of five minutes, the game forces him to submit a deck. Then, for the next game, the opponent has five minutes to show up and do something before a second game loss is automatically assigned.

Of course, the same policy applies if for some reason you are inactive (ISP failure, computer blows up, AFK, etc). Be aware that if you receive a match loss due to inactivity as described here in a sanctioned tournament, you will be DROPPED from the event, no matter what your record to that point (this includes Swiss events, but does not apply to leagues).


6.8 How do I block somebody from trade/PM spamming me during a game?

Answer:
First, a definition. Trade spamming is the process by which someone sends you multiple trade requests during a game. The trade requests take the client's focus away from the game, and force you to deal with the trade request. If someone (or multiple people) hit you with multiple trade requests within a short period of time, this can cause to you be unable to play the game, and time out, losing what would have probably been a game you would have won otherwise.

To prevent this from happening, check the "Ignore all chat requests except from users on my buddy list" box in Settings (Account tab) before starting a game/tournament. This will block trade requests from non-buddies as well. Just remember to uncheck it if you wish to do any trading.

Alternatively, you can block all of the users sending you requests individually. However, this can sometimes be difficult in the middle of an attack.

Additionally, this behavior is not only obnoxious, but prohibited by the Code of Conduct. If it ever happens again and you have the time, you can take a screenshot of the problem and send a complaint to Customer Service [macro]If you wish to report an Adept or player for misconduct, please visit http://wizards.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/wizards.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=434 for the procedure. Use the topic Digital Games => Magic: The Gathering Online => Report Conduct. You may need to create a knowledgebase account if you do not have one (this is different than a MTGO or message board account).[/macro]


6.9 Why can't I log in to the store? When I type in my name and password, it takes me back to a blank login screen.

Answer:
You are most likely using Internet Explorer. Check your security settings. Make sure your settings are set to receive cookies. If this fails, try using another Internet browser such as Firefox.


6.10 Why am I not able to get any boosters or packs? The store says they are out of stock, but how can you be out of stock on a virtual item?

Answer:
The store is meant to simulate a real, live store. Just like in a real store, items can go out of stock -- maybe Wizards wants to control the number of packs available at any given time to monitor its servers. Maybe the store will sell real items too, which can really be out of stock. There are any number of reasons why an items could be "not for sale." Try again in a few days to see if your item is back in stock.


6.11 I think I was unfairly muted/banned by an Adept, what can I do about it?

Answer:
If you think you were unfairly treated by an Adept online, please visit this page and fill out the form (after logging in to that system - You'll need to create an account if you haven't already).

(If that form does not work for you, copy the information that would be in that form, then click "Ask a Question". Select the Topics Digital Games => Magic: The Gathering Online => Report Conduct. Paste and finish the form that you copied.

Be sure to include the Adept's name and all the details about the incident. If you are serious about your report, remember that rational, polite language will go a long way towards strengthening your case. Please DO NOT post problems with Adepts on these boards; such threads are quickly closed and any mention of a specific Adept censored out.



Section 7: Is this okay?
Questions about Terms of Service and Code of Conduct Restrictions



7.1 Is it against the Terms of Service to have multiple accounts? What about sharing accounts?

Answer:
Having multiple accounts is perfectly fine; the only restricition is you cannot have multiple accounts entered in the same event. Many people maintain several accounts as a way of organizing their cards and seperating playing accounts from trading accounts.

Sharing accounts is a big no-no; accounts are not allowed to be shared under any arrangement. The only exception to this is you may create a seperate account and share it with your son/daughter aged 13-17.

In short:
One person, many accounts: Good
Many people, one account: Bad


7.2 I understand that I can only log in to one program on one computer. Can I use a second computer to launch a second program to trade between my accounts?

Answer:
No. In addition to the one client per computer restriction, Wizards has also stated that you are limited to one account per person logged in at a given time.


7.3 OK, I understand the restrictions in the last question. I and my wife/brother/son/friend/etc. like to play at the same time from the same internet connection on two different computers. What's going to happen to us?

Answer:
We, as a community, don't know a lot of how they're going to tell the difference. One user has written to Customer Service and gotten a response on what they expect to do. If you have further questions, I would suggest asking Customer Service yourself and seeing what they say.


7.4 Why can't we play with ante?

Answer:
In many states in the US and in most countries around the world, gambling is legally prohibited or heavily regulated. Ante is a kind of bet. Each person offers an object of value (a card) in exchange for the chance to win another such object. The chance is not certain and depends significantly upon luck. This is the very definition of betting, and betting is the fundamental element of gambling. Therefore, to avoid any legal complications, ante games are prohibited from being advertised on Magic Online. You can play a game for ante, but if the other person does not pay up, Wizards will do nothing about it.

It doesn't matter if it's allowed where you live; it's still prohibited in the US (where the game is based). It's never going to be part of the Magic Online client, so do not ask for it.


7.5 Is bribery cheating? Why or why not? And What should I do if I witness bribery (towards me or another) or other forms of cheating?

Answer:
Yes, bribery is most definitely cheating. Sanctioned events on Magic Online follow the DCI Universal Tournament Rules, and Magic Floor Rules, and the DCI Penalty Guidelines, all available here. These rules clearly list bribery as a form of cheating. If you witness bribery, please visit http://wizards.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/wizards.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=433. Copy the form then click "Ask a Question". (You'll need to create an account if you haven't already). Use the topic Digital Games => Magic: The Gathering Online => Report Conduct. Paste and finish the form that you copied. Wizards of the Coast takes reports of bribes seriously, and they appreciate your taking the time to tell them.

If you witness a form of cheating that is not bribery, please report that user's behavior using the same link, but take out the word "bribery" and insert "Cheating." (That link describes all the forms of cheating that affect a game on MTGO.)


7.6 Why can't I sell my account on eBay?

Answer:
The short answer is that it's a violation of the terms of service for Magic Online. Magic Online associates any given account with the credit card which launched it and, for this reason, is not able to enforce third party agreements which would be made and possibly contested on Ebay. Since Magic Online cannot enforce such agreements, they deny the right to transfer an account and avoid the entire problem (at least for them).


7.7 Why can't I chat in the Moderators & Support Staff (MaSS) room?

Answer:
The MaSS room is a special room for Adepts to assist people that are new to the game or are having some sort of problem. Allowing normal chat in this room would only disrupt the Adepts from providing efficient help to those that need it.


Section 8: Part of a Larger World
Questions about joining Magic communities



8.1 Where can I find a group of friendly people to play with regularly or just hang out with?

Answer:
There are lots of places to find nice people to play online. These message boards are a good place to start, as is their counterpart online (see BBS in 8.4). You could also try joining a clan to meet some like-minded friends (although most people form clans with friends they already have, not all operate like this). Furthermore, over the course of your play online, you will encounter many friendly (and some not-so-friendly) people; don't be afraid to continue conversing with these people after your game and add them to your buddy list so you can search them out for games in the future, or even set up regular play schedules.


8.2 I see some people making clickable cardnames on the boards… how do I do that?

Answer:
Simply type [card]cardname[/card], thus [card]Wrath of God[/card] = Wrath of God. Please note that apostrophes do not work right, thus Urza’s Armor doesn’t link, but Urzas Armor does.


8.3 What are clans? How do I join a clan?

Answer:
Clans are groups of people who tend to have similar playing interests. They range from very casual to ultra-competitive. In order to join a clan, you need to be invited by the clan captain, and you can only be in one clan at a time. When you are in a clan, an extra chat window will appear when you logon, listing all the members of the clan and allowing clan members to talk with one another. There is currently a twenty (20) member limit to clans. Unfortunately, there is currently no official support for clan vs. clan events online.


8.4 What are some common acronyms and abbreviations players should know?

Answer:
Sets:

IPA: Invasion, Planescape, Apocalypse
OTJ: Odyssey, Torment, Judgment
OLS: Onslaught, Legions, Scourge
MDF: Mirrodin, Darksteel, Fifth Dawn. Also abbreviated MD5.
CBS: Champions, Betrayers, and Saviors of Kamigawa.
RGD: Ravnica: City of Guilds, Guildpact, and Dissension.
TPF: Time Spiral, Planar Chaos, and Future Sight.

Formats:

Highlander: Singleton (only one copy of a non-basic-land card allowed in the deck)
Emp: Emperor
Pris: Prismatic
2HG: 2 Headed Giant
3HG: 3 Headed Giant

Other:

MaSS: “Moderators and Support Staff,” the Adepts' room.
MODO: Short for “Magic Online Digital Object,” an old name for Magic Online.
MtGO: Magic the Gathering Online.
BBS: Bulletin Board Service - This term was first used to describe a board, much like this one, in the early days of the internet. In MtGO, we use it to refer to the group of people on this board that hang out together in game. The post below by bubba0077 has more details.


8.5 What types of discussion occurs in the various forums here?

Answer
[forum=218]Magic Online General[/forum] is the catch-all forum for everything Magic Online-related that doesn't go somewhere else. For the most part, if you post something in Magic Online General, you'll be fine.

[forum=590]Magic Online Player-Run Events[/forum] is for the promotion and reporting of player-run events. Players are not allowed to promote these events in-game at all; however, the boards moderators have decided to allow this. If you're looking for an event to play in, usually in a more-offbeat format (such as all-commons, tribal, or free-for-all), this is a good place to look.

[forum=217]Magic Online Announcements[/forum] is where MTGO staff will post such useful things as scheduled downtime announcements and links to large event info. It is not a forum regular posters can post in. Usually, when there's a controvercial announcement, users create a thread in Magic Online General to discuss it.

[forum=219]MO Boards Business[/forum] is a place for discussing the boards themselves. For instance, if the moderators decide to lock a series of threads, this is the place to ask why (PMing the moderators works, too). Just make sure if you ask, you try to find out why rather than try to reopen the topic. This is *not* the place to discuss MTGO policies and actions. These discussions belong in Magic Online General.

[forum=524]The Tranquil Thicket[/forum] is the off-topic forum for the Magic Online messageboards. If you have something fun to discuss that isn't about MTGO, you can post here. Also note [forum=405]The Rec Room[/forum], which serves the same purpose boards-wide.

[forum=667]v3 Announcements[/forum] plays the same role as Magic Online Announcements, but only related to the MTGO Version 3 beta.

[forum=668]v3 Feature Discussion[/forum] is for discussing the features currently in MTGO Version 3, features you would like to see, and features seemingly missing.

[forum=669]v3 Technical Issues[/forum] is for raising and discussing issues with the MTGO Version 3 beta client.

[forum=623]FAQs and Rules[/forum] is for FAQs and rules questions. Magic rules questions are probably best asked in [forum=154]Magic Rules Q&A[/forum], where you can actually get official rulings to your questions. Asking questions in MTGO's FAQ's and Rules board will give you the answer for how Magic Online handles something.

[forum=221]"How do I..."[/forum] is a place to ask questions related to the interface, such as how to trade, how to play certain cards, how the game displays certain things, how to chat, etc.

[forum=239]Leagues, Sealed Deck, and Draft[/forum] is for discussing all matters related to 40-card decks. Whether it be discussions of how drafts went, what the best build is with a pool, choices others would have made, or anything else related to limited Magic, this is the place to go.

[forum=227]Clans & Recruitment[/forum] is a place where you can ask about clans and how they work as well as recruit people into your clan. Much like Player-Run Events, this is one of the few official places to promote your clan.

[forum=229]Deck Critique: Online Formats[/forum] is a place to post your deck for commentary for any of the Magic Online-specific formats: pauper, tribal, classic, singleton, and prismatic. You can also discuss others decks there.

[forum=240]Magic Online Cards Marketplace[/forum] is the one location in the boards where you can offer trades for Magic Online cards. Please keep any trading to this board.


Section 9: Meta-FAQ
Questions about the FAQ



9.1 Note from Glorious, the original author of the Rant-and-FAQ

Show
Hi, I'm Glorious, and I wrote the original All-in-One Rant-and-FAQ. =)

I've more or less retired from Magic, though I do still log on to MTGO occasionally and I'm still keeping up with judging issues IRL. I'm glad to see someone has taken over the R&F and is keeping it alive.

WizO_Jabberwock mentioned that there's not much ranting left in the R&F, and this is true. The original R&F really was a rant; it was provoked by some random post I read complaining about how buggy MTGO was -- when we were still in the Beta test. As you can imagine, I wasn't amused. In response, I let loose with my first-ever Internet rant, but I felt it would get the point across more effectively if I set it up in a question-and-answer format.

I've posted a very early copy of the R&F on my own site (and the link is unfortunately no longer active); you can see that there really was some ranting in it. This is by no means the original R&F, as it actually contains some useful info. =) The information in the R&F I linked is obviously WAY out of date and most of the links are dead, but it should help give some historical perspective on where the "Rant-and-FAQ" name came from. And yes, the ranting is all still in there.

I also have a few other topics I wrote in the early days of Magic; I'll try to find them and post them here. If you find them worthwhile, feel free to have a maintainer copy-and-paste them into a new thread and sticky them. I believe most of them will be out of date by now, but they're still worth reading and should be fairly easy to update.

Anywho, good luck to all, and I'm glad you're still finding the R&F useful!


9.2 Original Introduction to the Rant-and-FAQ (by Glorious):

Show
I hate to say it, folks, but I'm hopping mad! I've read a lot of stuff on this board, positive and negative, but I have yet to issue a rant. Heck, I've never let off an honest-to-goodness rant ANYWHERE on the Internet before. However, earlier today, I read a post complaining about some random aspect of the game, and I blew my top. I thought I'd seen it all, but this missive really got my goat. This is where I draw the line. This time, I've had enough.

I've structured this rant kind of like a FAQ. That way, you can skim it for your pet peeves and see what I have to say about the issue. I chose to post it here and not in the Random Room because it really does answer many questions about Magic Online.

So, everyone please take a deep breath, grab a drink, and repeat after me: "It's just a game!"


9.3 Conclusion:

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Well, I hope you're still with me. If you have any comments, feel free to let me know. I could always use advice on what FAQs you'd like answered here. You can just post a reply to this thread.


9.4 Fastcart’s Introduction:

Show
This Rant-and-FAQ was first prepared while MTGO was still in beta testing. For a while after the official launch, the Rant-and-FAQ laid in the graveyard, lost but not forgotten. Thanks to the tireless efforts of many during Glorious' absence, the time has come to flash it back!

The purpose of this FAQ is to introduce new players into the Magic: the Gathering Online world. The game can seem complex, even overwhelming if you've never played paper MtG. And if you abandoned the paper game few years ago, the interface and the new rules can confuse you.

This FAQ was first reposted after launch by vitalogy1994, then by Glorious, the original author from the Beta days. However, this FAQ is the work of many, many people. Everyone is invited to add to this FAQ. You can submit your questions & answers below, as a reply to this thread.

Whenever there is an update to the Rant-and-FAQ, this topmost post will be updated, and a new post will be added to the end of the thread outlining the changes. I expect that updates will happen about once a month; maybe more frequently if something important changes.


9.5 Credits:

Much Thanks:
With the changes made over the years, along with the renumbering done 9 July 2005, I am simply changing this to a list of contributors to the FAQ. So, in alphabetical order, thanks to the following people for their help with the FAQ:

Adept_Gamma, Adept_Vision, Algona, Ambitious, Arpeggio, asveron, BentFranklin, chonjurer, chrisg (from Leaping Lizards, Developer), ConclaveKing, CutToTheChase, doneagle, Daniel Myers (Former Brand Manager, Magic Online), Diem, Dizzarian, dragonmage65, Elaine (from Leaping Lizards, Developer), elf, evilferret, fastcart, Firecrest, Glorious, Grett, Grisgram, Groucho, hamtastic, HollowOn3, Llarian, Lrgetrout, MagicMaster_E, major havoc, Myril, nushae, Offkorn, Plutar, Programmerman, ProPainCDZ, Qestraal, RoaringPossum, Scott Schulz, Shaybo, starfury42, tempesteye, Tharion_wind, thedodo, Thomas Baldwin, Tobold, TourPro, vitalogy1994, WarlordBB, Wendy, WizO_Jabberwock, WotC_Mel.

Thanks also to everyone who has contributed to this thread throughout its multiple lifetimes.


9.6 Changes log:

Changes:
Feb. 10, 2002: Original post.
Feb. 11, 2002: Fixed a grammar error and added a question.
Feb. 14, 2002: Added many new questions and tweaked a few existing ones. Re-edited numerous times to fix UBB glitches.
Feb. 21, 2002: Updated info on Torment and pack allocations.
Feb. 26, 2002: Added info on older sets, update times, and disconnection.
Mar. 09, 2002: Removed Torment question, as it was no longer relevant. Changed info on shuffling to reflect the update to the help file. Added several new questions and updated a couple others.
May 14, 2002: Loads of new questions contributed by fastcart, along with a couple of new ones I made up. Now cross-posted to the main Wizards boards as well as the Beta boards, since newer members can't register for the Beta boards any more.
May 15, 2002: Whoa. Two updates in as many days. This one added a couple of questions and fixed numerous minor errors in spelling, grammar, or layout. Since this update is so close to the last one, I didn't remove the NEW or UPDATED markers from the last update.
July 02, 2002: Revamped for post launch, ton of out of date beta stuff removed/rewritten. Maintenance taken over by thedodo, fastcart, and vitalogy1994.
August 14, 2002: Few out of date stuff removed. Changed slighty the layout. Added Q's 1.4, 1.5 & 3.11.
August 30, 2002: Another update that added several new questions and updated some old ones.
October 5, 2002: Added Q's 1.2, 1.8, 3.15, 3.16, & 5.6.
February 15, 2003: Changed layout. Updated Q's 1.2, 1.5, 2.3, 3.10, 3.13, 3.16, 4.3, 5.2, 6.2, & 6.3. Added 3.17, 3.18, 5.7, & 6.4. Moved original Q 1.8 to 1.2 and slid the other questions down. Listed Q 4.3 in the Questions Quick-Reference.
March 30, 2003: Updated and/or corrected Q's 3.4, 3.12, 3.13, 3.17, & 5.2. Added Q 1.5 and removed Q 5.3, then adjusted the question numbers accordingly.
June 14, 2003: Updated Qs 1.2, 1.3, 1.7, 3.13, 4.2, 5.2, & 6.3, . Added Q 1.4, then adjusted the question numbers accordingly. Q 3.17 had to be formatted differently because of UBB errors.
January 21, 2004: Cleaned up the FAQ thread as a whole removing the chatter / clutter. Updated Qs 2.7, 3.13.
July 9, 2004: Redid the FAQ as a whole, updating discussion of price and removing links which no longer worked.
April 5, 2005: Update to the FAQ - added new card sets, new help links, a general "freshening up."
May 2, 2005: Additions by bubba0077. Other minor additions.
June 9, 2005: FAQ renumbered and regrouped. Added code names for many sets. Added BoP avatar.
July 10, 2005: *NEW* and *Updated* tags return. FAQ updated with information due to SoK release and announcement of Mirage coming online.
August 9, 2005: Constructed formats added, Bug reporting details updated, information about starting handicaps added.
September 6, 2005: Changed Eighth Edition references to Ninth where applicable. Costs to play, notes on bots and Adepts' red text added. Added Ninth Edition avatars. Added Ninth Edition and Dissension (third set in Ravnica block) links, changed Ravnica link to the product page from Arcana.
October 4, 2005: Added 2.13-15 (Print Runs) by bubba0077, renumbered the rest of the section. Gift cards in 3.4. Other miscellaneous changes.
November 2, 2005: Added Ravnica and Coldsnap information. Changed Standard/Extended format information due to the rotations with Ravnica's release. Also added/updated 1.10, 1.22, 2.28, 3.10, 3.11.
December 6, 2005: Many changes with Mirage coming online. Added "Find Feature" in preface. Added 1.6, 1.8, 2.26.
January 3, 2006: Very short update. Minor changes to 1.8, 2.1; moved 2.30 to 1.22.
February 28, 2006: Guildpact updates. Paypal updates in 3.4 and 3.6.
April 11, 2006: Visions updates. Also fixed a few "typos" in other answers.
May 30, 2006: Dissension updates.
August 15, 2006: Coldsnap updates. Added: 1.3, 1.10, 1.25, 3.2; Gave the Technical Questions appendix its own section number (5), moved down the other questions as appropriate. Many other updates.
August 29, 2006: Updates, correcting numbering in many questions due to many new/renumbered sections. Added Kjeldoran Outpost to list of promo cards, added 1.25 (how to find challenge games). Also updated content in 2.6, 2.10, 2.25, and 3.5.
September 26, 2006: Minor updates. The two main topics are the price increase taking effect October 6, and a new section on trade spamming.
October 23, 2006: Major reorganization of entire FAQ. All questions renumbered. Added: 3.2, 3.2a Delete: Q on Bink Player
October 24, 2006: Cleanup from the previous day's reorganization (making sure questions referencing each other correctly do so).
October 31, 2006: Time Spiral updates.
December 24, 2006: Minor typo corrections, beginner FAQ and beta tester questions added.
January 16, 2007: Relabeled spoiler blocks to say "Answer:" instead of "Spoiler". Update 2: Added tempesteye's glossary to 1.1. Also updated 1.10 with the Mac information from the latest Online Tech article.
February 25, 2007: Planar Chaos updates. Also Vista problems, 1 account per person restrictions, changing links to threads archived by these boards.
June 12, 2007: Future Sight updates.
August 6, 2007: Tenth Edition updates.
November 2, 2007: Lorwyn updates and other corrections.
As requested, I'm copying the below post from the "What is /join bbs?" thread here into the FAQ. I recommend leaving it as a seperate post for easy linking from MTGO when people wander in to /join bbs (I even made a TinyURL for easy access). Any comments/additions should be sent to me either by e-mail or PM.

**** DO NOT DELETE BELOW THIS MARK ****

TinyURL for this post for easy MTGO pasting: http://tinyurl.com/ymhmoa

***********************************

The following post originally occured in its own sticky thread to give an explanation of what /join bbs is all about and what people should expect if they stay there. It is intended to be given as a link to anyone new who comes into bbs on MTGO as an explanation/introduction/welcome.

***********************************
What is /join bbs?

BBS is short for Bulletin Board System, a holdover name from the early days of internet for places where people could post and reply to messages of all sorts, more commonly known today as message boards or forums. As the name suggests, the /join bbs room on MTGO began as an offshoot of these message boards (actually, the predecessor of these boards) as a place where the BBS community could meet to find each other for deck testing, play using official and BBS-created casual formats, team games, and just to hang out and chat with fellow players. The BBS had already developed a strong sense of community and its members were generally more mature and good natured than the MTGO community at large, making it the ideal place to find opponents and teammates who wanted to play for fun and friendly competition, instead of someone who wants to win-at-all-costs or do anything to irritate you during play. This spirit remains to this day.

In /join bbs you will find players of all types, skill levels, and geographic locations who enjoy a full range of magic types. While membership is not restricted in any way, we ask that anyone who wishes to become a regular behave his or herself and follow the spirit of the room. Also, it is probably a good idea to visit these boards regularly, as the room retains strong ties to the BBS and many important discussions and activities still occur here. The BBS is also the location for official announcments from WotC staff (check the Magic Online Announcments folder), source for member-created formats and tournaments, and is usually a good place to confirm a server outage (see the Downtime Thread). We also try not to indiscriminately publicize the room to limit the ‘undesirables’ from randomly walking in and taking over. Inviting others to join us is acceptable when you meet someone you think would fit the spirit of the room, just be sure to explain what the room is and what we are about.

If you decide to stick around, you will be welcomed, but don’t expect to be fully accepted immediately. It takes many weeks of ‘face time’ before others in the room get to know you and trust you. Like any community, there are a couple individuals who think we are 'big enough' or that new people should go through an initiation/hazing period. These individuals do not represent the general feeling of the bbs as a whole. Also, expect a good deal of inside jokes, strange personalities, and other discussions you will not understand. You may see an occasional trade request, but it is NOT a trading room. The quickest way to dig a hole for yourself as a newcomer is to post a trade request before you are well known. Users who post repeated trade requests or otherwise spam are quickly blocked and ignored by the rest of the room. The quickest way to become known and gain a positive reputation is to play games against other members and make intelligent posts to these boards. Additionally, it is a good idea to introduce yourself the first few times you drop by: who you are, that you're new to bbs, how you found out about us.

Several WotC personnel frequent the bbs room. They stay and chat on their own free will because they want to get input from an active and mature playgroup who cares about the playability and success of MTGO, both now and in the future. Anything said in the room is NOT OFFICIAL and at all times should be construed as their own opinion and viewpoint. As such, we ask that nothing said by WotC personnel be repeated elsewhere, including these boards, without permission. Additionally, don’t abuse or harass the WotC personnel who choose to join us; they provide this community a unique link and input into important decisions surrounding MTGO. If the bbs community is no longer enjoyable or helpful for them, they will leave.

Now that you know what /join bbs is all about, you can make an educated decision on whether you wish to stay or not. If you decide to hang around, welcome to bbs!

***********************************

edit: added definition of BBS (00z 4 Aug 04)
edit: added info and link to Official Announcments and Downtime Thread (00z 5 Aug 04)
edit: added more information about possible hazing and introducing yourself as new, re: this thread (13z 11 Aug 04)
edit: added link to the player-run tournament thread (04z 14 Nov 04)
edit: updated downtime thread link, removed link to defunct player run tournament thread, added TinyURL, incorporated into FAQ thread (19z 26 May 05)

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
You're welcome to use this as desired (including modifying/editing/removing/etc... as needed).

MTGO For me and why

What should I do with my 9.99 coupon
That depends on what you're looking to get out of MTGO.

I want to play casual constructed
If you want to start with casual constructed, I'd suggest buying 3 Core Set booster for (3.99x3) = 11.97, and selling them for 14 tickets, or 'tix'. (Use the messageboard in game to find someone buying for that price.) Then hit up the bulk commons/uncommons and get a good selection of basic cards.

I want some sort of casual competitive environment
Then leagues may be the place for you. A league is essentially a sealed format that lasts 1 month (except release leagues for new sets). You need either a tourney pack + 2 boosters + 2 tix for a block set like Champions of Kamigawa, or 5 boosters for a coreset like 9th edition. Don't open the product, the game will do it once you join the league. Navigate to the league area of the client, and select a league that's either in week one. (you can join an already running league IF it isn't already full). I updated the provided help in this thread:http://boards1.wizards.com/showthread.php?t=588652, specific post: http://boards1.wizards.com/showpost.php?p=8490090&postcount=2


I want to draft
Well, similar to a league, except buy 3 boosters, and go to the drafts room. Select the prize payout you're interested in, (either 8-4, or 4-3-2-2). The numbers designate who gets what prize, 8-4 means that 1st place gets 8 boosters, 2nd gets 4 boosters, and 4-3-2-2 means 1st = 4, 2nd = 3, 3rd & 4th = 2 boosters.

Why do I play MTGO instead of MTG paper?/Is MTGO worth it?


24x7 playing:

You can find pretty much anything you’re looking for all hours of the day or night. Multiplayer, Drafting, casual, tournaments (during schedules), tourney practice, and leagues.

4 of a card is all you need:

Unlike paper magic, you can have the same set of cards in multiple decks. This makes life, SO much easier when building a deck. Instead of rooting through boxes of cards, or pulling cards out of other decks when building a new deck, they are all in a sort-able, graphical interface.

Cards are safer*:

Assuming you take care with your password (don’t give it out), your cards are safely stored on WotC servers. As opposed to a box of cards that can get spilled on, stolen, flooded, burned, etc…
(* I say safer because it takes the user being negligent to lose an online collection, as opposed to random acts of stupidity like being stolen, or your upstairs neighbor flooding their bathroom, causing water damage, etc..)

MTGO handles the “icky” stuff:

Shuffling, +1/+1 et al counters, life totals, card drawing, library searching, etc… are all handled by the code. You don’t have to worry about your opponent drawing an extra card, or illegally manipulating their library, etc…

Constant Market place:

There are bots that run 24x7 for purchasing cards. There are drafters 24x7 dumping extras for their next draft, there is a player run auction for people to quickly buy and sell cards. All these things mean that you can always find a card, for a hefty price sometimes, but they’re always out there.

Comfort:

Which is more comfortable: playing in your home, in nice chair with your entire food collection, bathroom, and quiet (or loud music if you prefer); or driving to a place to play, sitting in some chair barely meant for human use, buying a candy bar or burrito and a 1.00 soda, surrounded by people who usually, (sorry for the large generalization) are lacking in some form of personal hygiene?


Redeemable (except old sets, pre 7th edition):

If you like, when you get 1x of a complete set (one each of every 8th edition card, for example) you can redeem them for physical cards, by just paying for shipping. Sets older than 7th edition do not have this ability however, and you can only take advantage of this for 3 years after the set has gone off sale.

MTGO SVCL - Ask me for help if you're lost or confused!
I hate Gleemax. Apparently, since I signed up for the FAQ account under the same email as this account, I get it back. I wrote to bubba some time ago, and other than the knowledge he and Kwai were working on it, I got nothing further back. I also wrote the Gleemax people, and they said they couldn't take the FAQ account away from my Lrgetrout account yet.

So, I've done the Lorwyn update to keep this updated. bubba can yell at me if he likes . The following issues are responses, with tempesteye's remaining unresolved for a future update. Maybe you could help us out tempesteye and provide more information.

qqjawe, no idea. I know 64 bit Vista is a pain with a lot of programs right now. Try contacting Customer Service.

5.6 What color code is used for counters in MTGO?
Might need to be updated if you want to encompass all the different types of counters

I have no idea about the other colors of counters, so I'm leaving this for bubba.

(WizOs, please delete all posts after #6. EDIT: Exactly what I wanted, thanks Brak.)
Cleaned up the thread, but left the last one as it appears to have some stuff not yet covered.

~Brak
I hate Gleemax. Apparently, since I signed up for the FAQ account under the same email as this account, I get it back. I wrote to bubba some time ago, and other than the knowledge he and Kwai were working on it, I got nothing further back. I also wrote the Gleemax people, and they said they couldn't take the FAQ account away from my Lrgetrout account yet.

So, I've done the Lorwyn update to keep this updated. bubba can yell at me if he likes . The following issues are responses, with tempesteye's remaining unresolved for a future update. Maybe you could help us out tempesteye and provide more information.

qqjawe, no idea. I know 64 bit Vista is a pain with a lot of programs right now. Try contacting Customer Service.



I have no idea about the other colors of counters, so I'm leaving this for bubba.

(WizOs, please delete all posts after #6. EDIT: Exactly what I wanted, thanks Brak.)

I haven't had time to update anything anyway (notice the lack of a Lorwyn FAQ).

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
Future update: Trade and chat logging (magic.ini file)...

1.
[Config]<br /> logging=on ; set to on to use chat logging<br /> TradeScreenshot=on ; set to 'on' or 'many' to save pics of trades

logging saved in chatlogs folder, tradescreenshots in trades folder.

tradescreenshot: on = only last trade, many = all trades.

Also note that the tradescreenshot file size is 1.5 meg each, so if you set the trade option to many, it would be wise to occasionally purge the trades folder.

(Both I believe default to off, those are just my settings in the example above.)

2. In 1.2 ...

(Except for the Ninth Edition theme decks, which are $8.99 because they only contain 40 cards.)

Should say Tenth Edition instead of Ninth.
Wouldn't it be nice if there was a real FAQ for installing MTGO to Vista issues? There isn't even any information in 2.7 or 2.8 that you wouldn't just naturally try when trying to get it going.

Is there a way to do this, or is wizards not interested in my money?

((Exact problem is - it tells me I am not connected to the internet during installation and runs all the way to 98% before it essentially hits a wall of error screens. Re-install doesn't work, updates don't work.))
same here running vista installer gets to 99% then says connection times out but connection is fine as im on the net during this and i have also tried with no other programs running and still no luck no faqs from either the net provider or microsoft can help
I have an account and have logged in to the Magic Online store, but even after waiting a day (after creating my account) when I try to login to the game, it says "incorrect user name or password". Is this Magic Online's fault, or could it be because I run Vista?
I have an account and have logged in to the Magic Online store, but even after waiting a day (after creating my account) when I try to login to the game, it says "incorrect user name or password". Is this Magic Online's fault, or could it be because I run Vista?

Probably not the fault of ether one. Contact customer service.
same here running vista installer gets to 99% then says connection times out but connection is fine as im on the net during this and i have also tried with no other programs running and still no luck no faqs from either the net provider or microsoft can help

I have the exact same problem. I want to be able to run the program on my laptop but it won't install all the way. Please fix installer so it works correctly for Vista.
New work around for those who have the Dual-Core issue. This work around works for both XP and Windows VISTA(well as well as anything works in windows VISTA).

1.) Extract mtgodl2 (I extraced it to a folder on my desktop)
2.) double click on the folder
3.) Right click on "setup.exe"
4.) Select "properties"
5.) click on the "compatibility" tab
6.) click on the box next to "Run this program in compatibiliby mode for:"
7.) choose "Windows 95" from the drop down
8.) Click the box next to "Run this program as an admistrator" (I don't know if this is required, I just did it as a safety measure)
9.) click "Apply"
10.) Click "Ok"
11.) Double Click on "Setup"

MTGO_FAQ_Maintainer, would you please add this to the FAQ.
This has been proposed as a fix to the "Can't Update" problem regarding the (null) issue:

Make a copy of both the master.lst and the updated.lst files.
Rename the copies to (null)master.lst and (null)updated.lst.
Restart MTG:O and you should be able to update.

Guess what? Chicken butt.

at 98% i get this issue "Receiving file C:\Program Files\Wizards of the Coast\Magic Online\frames\8pumrkur.tga.tmp54274 has timed out, please check your connection. Try again?" what do i do? I really need help please hel thanks!
at 98% i get this issue "Receiving file C:\Program Files\Wizards of the Coast\Magic Online\frames\8pumrkur.tga.tmp54274 has timed out, please check your connection. Try again?" what do i do? I really need help please hel thanks!

I see you posted in the FAQ thread, but did you actually read the FAQ?
See Section 2.6 and then, if you still have problems, post in the Magic Online Technical Issues Forum located [forum=734]HERE[/forum].

Guess what? Chicken butt.

oh well meh friend gave me all the files from his comp so it might work now ^^
Probably not the fault of ether one. Contact customer service.

:P
Ok, I haven't seen my issue posted anywhere yet, perhaps I've just over looked it.

I'm getting an issue when I click the settings tab on the left, or if I right click in game. Simply, the game crashes, everytime.

I'm on a Dell w/Vista .... any help is appreciated as I'd LOVE to be able to edit my settings since I haven't been able to in almost a year now.
Ok, I haven't seen my issue posted anywhere yet, perhaps I've just over looked it.

I'm getting an issue when I click the settings tab on the left, or if I right click in game. Simply, the game crashes, everytime.

I'm on a Dell w/Vista .... any help is appreciated as I'd LOVE to be able to edit my settings since I haven't been able to in almost a year now.

You might want to check your virtual memory settings.

I'm on XP pro, and the client has random crashes when I click on the settings tab, right click on the game or right click on a person's name. Immediately after logging in I can do any of these things safely, but the longer I've been logged on, or the more trades I've done, the higher the chance of these things crashing the client.

As I use MTGO it gradually slows down, and once it's slowed significantly all those actions mentioned crash it every time.

Using an account containing over 20.000 cards, over 8.000 of which are foil, I need to restart MTGO every hour or two to avoid these crashes, gluey slowdown and out of memory messages. Using another account with as many cards, but few foils, I can play for 12 hours before that happens. (Unless I trade with a big foil seller.) So it seems to me that MTGO is making poor use of your PC's memory, and you need plenty of spare virtual memory to cope.

I also have to have over 1 Gb of space left on the Windows segment of my drive to run Magic well.

(Please note I'm not an authority on any of these issues.)
Ok, I haven't seen my issue posted anywhere yet, perhaps I've just over looked it.

I'm getting an issue when I click the settings tab on the left, or if I right click in game. Simply, the game crashes, everytime.

I'm on a Dell w/Vista .... any help is appreciated as I'd LOVE to be able to edit my settings since I haven't been able to in almost a year now.

You may want to post this query in the Magic Online Technical forums. You may have a better chance at an answer there.

Good luck.
Batteries not included.
Getting stuck at 99%, unable to download a tiny part of the program and the whole thing failing makes me want to melt my skull in a volcano.
New work around for those who have the Dual-Core issue. This work around works for both XP and Windows VISTA(well as well as anything works in windows VISTA).

1.) Extract mtgodl2 (I extraced it to a folder on my desktop)
2.) double click on the folder
3.) Right click on "setup.exe"
4.) Select "properties"
5.) click on the "compatibility" tab
6.) click on the box next to "Run this program in compatibiliby mode for:"
7.) choose "Windows 95" from the drop down
8.) Click the box next to "Run this program as an admistrator" (I don't know if this is required, I just did it as a safety measure)
9.) click "Apply"
10.) Click "Ok"
11.) Double Click on "Setup"

MTGO_FAQ_Maintainer, would you please add this to the FAQ.

This method worked for me for downloading/installing the game on Vista/HP after right-clicking and running as administrator did not. Thanks for posting this method and please post it in the 2.7 section as a solution.
I'm about halfway done the v3/Morning Tide/general cleaning revisions. A couple interface things may have to wait until v3 launch, but I hope to have them done otherwise before v3 goes up.

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
This thread is now archived and should be locked and unstickied. The active FAQ is now located [thread=1017771]here[/thread].

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'm with a problem in my account online magic, I can not get into the game, appears a written warning L0023 error, what do you mean?