MtGO Improvements for Prismatic needed

Hi guys,

I am creating this specific thread to give you an opportunity to let us know what changes , improvements or updates you believe that Prismatic needs to stay fun and viable on Magic Online.

I will then take your collected feedback to R&D and Dev to see what we can and should do for this format.

Tell us what you think!

Mike Gills
#1 issue that makes it impossible for me to think of any other issue is the somewhat comical state of the Prismatic B&R best place as any to look is this thread. If you'd prefer a summary of it feel free to let me know and I'd be more than willing to provide it.
A summary would probably be a good idea, IA4L. I've played a little Prismatic, and most recently experimented with a 'monocoloured' deck using hybrid to meet the color requirements. It's a fascinating and fun format, but not my area of expertise.
#1 - Banned and restricted list (as iceage mentioned).
#1a - A clear goal for the format. Telling us what you want Prismatic to be allows us to help you achieve the goal.
#2 (technical issue) - Better deck searching while in game. The load time for lower end systems is pretty heavy.
#3 (technical issue) - Initially loading the deck takes a lot longer in V3 than it did in V2.
#4 (technical issue) - Sometimes the deck says it's legal in the deck editor but then you can't use it in a game (deck too small).
#5 (technical issue) - A filter for the deck editor screen that shows only legal cards in the format. With the large and changing list of cards it would be nice to have them auto-excluded.
#6 Revisit the sideboard stats. 15 cards in a sideboard of a 250 card deck is largely futile. Something like 50 would actually allow you to change the way the deck plays.

I thought I had more, if I remember them I'll add them.
MTGO SVCL - Ask me for help if you're lost or confused!
A request that applies to all formats: allow the deckbuilding filters to apply to the deck and sideboard as well as the collection. For instance, it would be especially useful for singleton prismatic if I could view only the cards of a single colour that are already in my deck. Same for casting cost, card type etc.
1) Fix the B&R List. Please read through the thread Ice Age mentioned. The 5 color B&R list is a good place to start!

2) Fix Big Deck Mulligans in duels (and ESPECIALLY in premier events)
Definitely read the thread that IA4L and Maondas mentioned. There have been several other posts in the forms through the years, but this current one basically is a summary of everything that has come before.

The format needs consistancy in its B/R list, and I do think it shoudl be a B/R list not a banned only list. Currently the List is completely inconsistent with the actual card pool. Tutors really need to be a limited part of the format to allow for a wide range of deck types and strategies.

I also agree with Hamtastic's technical issues and have two more:

Technical Issue - Fix Panglacial Wurm. This is a staple card for the format and I do not believe it has ever worked 100% correctly.

Technical Issue - for searching in game offer an optional spreadsheet view so that it does not bog down machines trying to load all of the pictures at once.

I would also like to add that it would greatly benefit the format to get many of these things sorted out before the PE scheduled in November. The current B/R list is just ridiculous. The absolute best tutor in the game for this format is legal (demonic consultation), while Diabolic Tutor is banned and others even worse. If it is not possible to fix the B/R list until the next round in December, I would suggest moving the PE after that date with time for players to adjust decks or give players advanced warning of the coming changes to the list. Otherwise it is telling everyone that for this tournament you all have to go out and buy playsets of these specific cards to have a shot, but we are going to ban them right after the tournament. That just leaves a bad taste in player's mouths.

Its great to finally see action on these formats
Can we get any sort of word on the B/R list for this format?

It is really the single most important thing holding the format back.
Everything that Hammy said, as well as the big deck mulligan.
Hi guys,

Since Prismatic is one of the most played formats in casual play, it is one of the two casual formats selected to be turned on this Wednesday with 4-man queues.

Even more so with Prismatic than with Singleton we haven't been been keeping up with the banned/restricted lists and/or other improvements for the casual formats and now we want to remedy that. Don't necessarily look to our past policies about banning all tutor-like cards though for these future improvements though.

The 4-player queue that gets turned on this Wednesday will use the current rules and banned list http://www.wizards.com/Magic/TCG/Article.aspx?x=magic/rules/prismatic.

We will then take the next couple of weeks to review the data from decks that are played, read and discuss all of your comments and suggestions, and then come up with updates for this format.

We will definitely make some needed improvements on this format prior to its scheduled weekend PE in November.

Thanks!

Mike Gills
Even more so with Prismatic than with Singleton we haven't been been keeping up with the banned/restricted lists and/or other improvements for the casual formats and now we want to remedy that. Don't necessarily look to our past policies about banning all tutor-like cards though for these future improvements though.

This is an amazing thing to hear. Finally the format will be able to support more than aggro vs aggro in competitive play.

We will definitely make some needed improvements on this format prior to its scheduled weekend PE in November.

Just make sure that any changes are announced well enough in advance to give players a decent chance to develop, tune, and adjust decks.
Hi guys,

Since Prismatic is one of the most played formats in casual play, it is one of the two casual formats selected to be turned on this Wednesday with 4-man queues.

Even more so with Prismatic than with Singleton we haven't been been keeping up with the banned/restricted lists and/or other improvements for the casual formats and now we want to remedy that. Don't necessarily look to our past policies about banning all tutor-like cards though for these future improvements though.

The 4-player queue that gets turned on this Wednesday will use the current rules and banned list http://www.wizards.com/Magic/TCG/Article.aspx?x=magic/rules/prismatic.

We will then take the next couple of weeks to review the data from decks that are played, read and discuss all of your comments and suggestions, and then come up with updates for this format.

We will definitely make some needed improvements on this format prior to its scheduled weekend PE in November.

Thanks!

Mike Gills

Thank you Mike! I was quite worried this would be a disaster but it seems you're willing to work outside the normal B&R schedule to get this event to have a semblance of balance, thanks a ton!

This is an amazing thing to hear. Finally the format will be able to support more than aggro vs aggro in competitive play.



Just make sure that any changes are announced well enough in advance to give players a decent chance to develop, tune, and adjust decks.

I echo the first part though personally I find 4x Seal and Consult to be a bigger issue than the traditional (if overstated) dominance of aggro.

And yeah please make these changes as soon as they can be properly considered. At least 2-3 weeks before event.
I echo the first part though personally I find 4x Seal and Consult to be a bigger issue than the traditional (if overstated) dominance of aggro.

I wasn't advocating 4x Imperial Seal and 4x Demonic Consultation. I am hoping for a restricted list that would include many of the restrictive tutors, which would allow some decent tutors into the format.

I agree that the format should absolutely not have 4x seal and 4x consult.
I wasn't advocating 4x Imperial Seal and 4x Demonic Consultation. I am hoping for a restricted list that would include many of the restrictive tutors, which would allow some decent tutors into the format.

I agree that the format should absolutely not have 4x seal and 4x consult.

Yeah I didn't think you wanted them. Just saying that I prefear the Prismatic metagame of a year ago where aggro was king to any Prismatic format with unrestricted B get any card tutors.
I have the hardest time editing decks for prismatic. The editor and search are so slow and unresponsive that, once I get past the initial step of picking which card I *might* want to play in the deck, it's nearly impossible to then trim that list down by cutting down to the more important parts.

Normally when I build a deck I choose a dominant color and, sometimes, a theme, then add all cards that fit the goal for that deck to the list. Then I pile each card in its color (or the color I'm assigning it to, in the case of multicolored cards), then trim down most colors to the best 20 cards, then trim artifacts and the dominant color down until I get a total of around 150 cards. Then I add lands.

The problem is, after the initial step, that there are too many cards for the editor to handle, and it lags impossibly. It's actually easier to edit decks as txt files than to use the ingame editor, and you can imagine how fun editing a 250 card deck by hand can be.
I have the hardest time editing decks for prismatic. The editor and search are so slow and unresponsive that, once I get past the initial step of picking which card I *might* want to play in the deck, it's nearly impossible to then trim that list down by cutting down to the more important parts.

Normally when I build a deck I choose a dominant color and, sometimes, a theme, then add all cards that fit the goal for that deck to the list. Then I pile each card in its color (or the color I'm assigning it to, in the case of multicolored cards), then trim down most colors to the best 20 cards, then trim artifacts and the dominant color down until I get a total of around 150 cards. Then I add lands.

The problem is, after the initial step, that there are too many cards for the editor to handle, and it lags impossibly. It's actually easier to edit decks as txt files than to use the ingame editor, and you can imagine how fun editing a 250 card deck by hand can be.

This is most likely a client side memory issue. How much RAM does your computer have?

Guess what? Chicken butt.

I have the hardest time editing decks for prismatic. The editor and search are so slow and unresponsive that, once I get past the initial step of picking which card I *might* want to play in the deck, it's nearly impossible to then trim that list down by cutting down to the more important parts.

Normally when I build a deck I choose a dominant color and, sometimes, a theme, then add all cards that fit the goal for that deck to the list. Then I pile each card in its color (or the color I'm assigning it to, in the case of multicolored cards), then trim down most colors to the best 20 cards, then trim artifacts and the dominant color down until I get a total of around 150 cards. Then I add lands.

The problem is, after the initial step, that there are too many cards for the editor to handle, and it lags impossibly. It's actually easier to edit decks as txt files than to use the ingame editor, and you can imagine how fun editing a 250 card deck by hand can be.

This is exactly why I requested that they investigate whatever routines they have running in the deck editor of loading/saving/updating the decks. I have a pretty beefy system (quad core, 3gig of ram, hefty video ram) and this is far and away the slowest thing I have to deal with.

Burning DVD's, ripping music, etc, all process and react faster than the MTGO deck editor with a Prismatic deck loaded. It's bad enough that I could see people on low end computers not being able to sideboard properly between rounds.

I expect a bit of time to load a big deck, but the amount that it takes now compared to V2 is quite noticeably higher.
MTGO SVCL - Ask me for help if you're lost or confused!
This is exactly why I requested that they investigate whatever routines they have running in the deck editor of loading/saving/updating the decks. I have a pretty beefy system (quad core, 3gig of ram, hefty video ram) and this is far and away the slowest thing I have to deal with.

Burning DVD's, ripping music, etc, all process and react faster than the MTGO deck editor with a Prismatic deck loaded. It's bad enough that I could see people on low end computers not being able to sideboard properly between rounds.

I expect a bit of time to load a big deck, but the amount that it takes now compared to V2 is quite noticeably higher.

I have similar specs here on my work computer, the (3.5 gb, 512mb vid board, and Dual Core; it runs most games on max out graphics with no problem), but for the editor, I have enough time to read a daily magic article before it's done loading a 500 card deck.
My home computer is decent (AMD64 3200+, GeForce 6800, 2GB of RAM) and can edit most decks normally, but suffers badly when editing prismatic decks.

My laptop is a tiny Eee PC 1000, with an Atom 1.6 GHz CPU, 1GB of RAM and an unimpressive graphic card. It's still more performant than the RECOMMENDED, not minimum, specs, except that the 10 inch screen has a native resolution of 1024x600 (resulting in a pretty squishy interface, but I can deal with that). Despite meeting the requirements, I generally have trouble sideboarding during LIMITED games. Editing a prismatic deck is completely, utterly out of the question.
I have similar specs here on my work computer, the (3.5 gb, 512mb vid board, and Dual Core; it runs most games on max out graphics with no problem), but for the editor, I have enough time to read a daily magic article before it's done loading a 500 card deck.

+4

They really need to outsource V4. And start on it now! Rules Engine aside, this is one of the most poorly written pieces of commercial software I have ever seen.
"ForestDrake, CONNOISSEUR OF CRYPTIC WRITTINGS !" After Monday and Tuesday, even the calendar says W T F
+4

They really need to outsource V4. And start on it now! Rules Engine aside, this is one of the most poorly written pieces of commercial software I have ever seen.

Up before the editor issue, well, I had issues with the search function not being what it should (can't search mana cost, only rules text, names, and types), in addition then the chat window only working 100% undocked, otherwise you miss text sometimes.

Perhaps they need to hire additional people so they don't have the same guys hurrying to complete a build in 7 days, but instead, twice that many.
Mike,

This thread seems to be fairly dead because everyone is waiting on word of possible changes to the prismatic B/R list.

I think it would be amazing if you could give us any word on the issue so that we can give input before a final verdict is reached. This would go a long way towards showing that WotC is willing to have a dialog on the issue before just releasing a final decision, where the players don't really get to have say in the thought process along the way.

Previous/Current Workflow:
1 - Customers complain or bring up issues (or in the case of prismatic they cease to play the format based on issues primarily pertaining to lack of a proper B/R list)
2 - WotC listens but keeps silent until a final decision is made
3 - A final solution is released to the customers
4 - Customers complain because it is not really the solution that they were looking for and it seems to have come out of no where.
5 - WotC can change their stance, but it looks like they go back on their word and the fact that they had to do this creates unease with the customer base.

Improved Workflow:
1 - Customers complain or bring up an issue
2 - WotC listens and has dialog while developing a solution
3 - A final solution is released to the customers
4 - Customers are happy because they feel as though they had input into the decision or at lest knew the thought process along the way and had a chance to point out flaws for consideration.

Even if it is the same end solution that is reached the customer base is much much happier in the second example because they feel as though they had input to the solution.

Communication is key and is the root of many complaints on these boards. I'm just trying to avoid it before it starts again with Prismatic once we here what the decisions are. Also it is getting very late to release a revised B/R list based on the date of the currently scheduled Prismatic PE.
I wanted to also point out that with the addition of the Prismatic 4-man Queues I have noticed a severe issue with deck loading time during Sideboarding. About 30 seconds of SB time are taken up while the deck tries to load. Then when it does there are no cards actually visible(on my machine at least), so you then have to manually load the deck again waiting another 30 seconds or so. Over a minute has usually been wasted before you can even begin changing out cards.

The time for Prismatic decks to properly load has been brought up before in regards to deck editing, but it is even more of a problem when you are being timed while the deck loads as is the case in a tournament.
Mike,

Improved Workflow:
1 - Customers complain or bring up an issue
2 - WotC listens and has dialog while developing a solution
3 - A final solution is released to the customers
4 - Customers are happy because they feel as though they had input into the decision or at lest knew the thought process along the way and had a chance to point out flaws for consideration.

I'd like to cast my vote for the Improved Workflow. Its like when you're developing software for a set of users; you want to have some checkpoints as you progress to make sure you're on track with what the end user wants.
I just saw that the Prismatic PE was moved to December 21. Maybe we can get a hint of what the format will look like before December 1, so that we have more than 3 weeks to build all new decks.
Here's an idea for the Deck Editor: Pile for Prismatic.

It's like piling by colour, except that each multicolored card is assigned to a colour. First, pile all monocoloured cards. Then, add multicolored cards to one of the colours to which it belongs, prioritizing the colour with the least cards.

So, if one builds a deck with 50 black cards, 20 white cards, 20 green cards, 20 blue cards, 10 red cards, 5 B/R cards, 5 U/R cards, 30 artifacts and 100 lands, the U/R and B/R cards would be added to the red pile, instead of being added to a multicoloured pile.

This would make building prismatic decks MUCH easier, I think. I always pile my cards this way, but it is very time consuming and once I'm done I can't pile my cards any other way (such as by CMC to check my curve) without losing all my work.

ALSO

It's been a very long while since there was a front page article about Prismatic. We're in the middle of a multicoloured set, so it would be a pretty good time.
Here's an idea for the Deck Editor: Pile for Prismatic.

It's like piling by colour, except that each multicolored card is assigned to a colour. First, pile all monocoloured cards. Then, add multicolored cards to one of the colours to which it belongs, prioritizing the colour with the least cards.

That's an amazing idea Effovex. I pile my cards the same way and it is very annoying when you want to pile another way to check some other thing like CMC as you stated.
Sooooo... how are the updates to the prismatic b&r list coming along?
I think Mike gave up on this. Otherwise, the deck editor would be able to open 500+ decks in under a minute.
I had a lot of hope when these threads were put up for all of the "fun" formats. They look to be fairly pointless with no feedback from WotC, no announcement of any coming enhancements that have been suggested for future builds, and no visible changes in the client. Even though many of the suggestions brought up would help everyone not just the format thread in which the idea was suggested.

Faster Load times for decks anyone? This seems to be getting worse not better over the past week or so.
I had a lot of hope when these threads were put up for all of the "fun" formats. They look to be fairly pointless with no feedback from WotC, no announcement of any coming enhancements that have been suggested for future builds, and no visible changes in the client.

Give him a break, these threads were started less than two months ago. Rome wasn't built in a day. If it's going to take a year to get a known quantity like Leagues up and running, I certainly don't expect any real changes to occur in my lifetime due to these threads.

On the other hand, if we don't hear anything in another week or two, I say break out the ropes and torches.
"ForestDrake, CONNOISSEUR OF CRYPTIC WRITTINGS !" After Monday and Tuesday, even the calendar says W T F
Give him a break, these threads were started less than two months ago. Rome wasn't built in a day. If it's going to take a year to get a known quantity like Leagues up and running, I certainly don't expect any real changes to occur in my lifetime due to these threads.

On the other hand, if we don't hear anything in another week or two, I say break out the ropes and torches.

No response after ~8 weeks is ok but 10 weeks is just outrageous?
No response after ~8 weeks is ok but 10 weeks is just outrageous?

Someone's Sarcasm-Detectoromatic is on the fritz...
"ForestDrake, CONNOISSEUR OF CRYPTIC WRITTINGS !" After Monday and Tuesday, even the calendar says W T F
Give him a break, these threads were started less than two months ago. Rome wasn't built in a day. If it's going to take a year to get a known quantity like Leagues up and running, I certainly don't expect any real changes to occur in my lifetime due to these threads.

I never once claimed in my post that I expected changes by now. I said that I expected feedback. I don't think it is at all outrageous to expect some feedback after 2 months.
Looks like they shipped a whole batch of bad ones...

Who holds the patent on that thing, anyway? Someone needs to look in to this.
"ForestDrake, CONNOISSEUR OF CRYPTIC WRITTINGS !" After Monday and Tuesday, even the calendar says W T F
Feedback++
Quote Taken from Announcement page about Pauper offered on MTGO

As a policy, however, the DCI only restricts cards in a format if it’s supposed to have every card legal in it (so Classic for Magic Online and Vintage for paper Magic). In other formats, cards are only banned or left unbanned. This is to reduce the amount of games that are too swingy when one player draws powerful restricted cards while the other player does not.

I'm not sure if this is good or bad news for prismatic. I am really hoping that they move to a B/R list for Prismatic instead of a Banned only list. Hopefully Prismatic falls under the "format with every card legal" clause even though it was not specifically mentioned.

A B/R list seems like the best way to allow a limited number of tutors, but not allow too many into the format, since each one allowed only counts as one copy not 4 copies.
Quote Taken from Announcement page about Pauper offered on MTGO



I'm not sure if this is good or bad news for prismatic. I am really hoping that they move to a B/R list for Prismatic instead of a Banned only list. Hopefully Prismatic falls under the "format with every card legal" clause even though it was not specifically mentioned.

A B/R list seems like the best way to allow a limited number of tutors, but not allow too many into the format, since each one allowed only counts as one copy not 4 copies.

The DCI aka Wizards is not set up for or used to keeping formats like Prismatic or Singleton going. Paper has very few formats and all deck construction rules are based on what sets are legal.

Rather than figuring out the best system for the vastly larger number of formats online they insist on shoving a round format through a square hole.

*shrug*
I expressed my displeasure (twice) about the simplistic "No restrictions except in vintage and classic" ideology.

I'm sure that means there will be no restrictions in Prismatic (assuming they ever bother to update the Banned list again).

I wonder if they do make an update if we'll be allowed to talk in the General forum, or if the thread will be moved here? It seems pretty arbitrary what gets moved to a format-specific forum and what gets to stay in general. Of course non-General forums are where threads go to die.

Disillusioned in Columbus -
Hopefully Prismatic falls under the "format with every card legal" clause...

The problem here is that "has all cards legal" doesn't equal "is meant to have all cards legal".

The core behind that phrasing means that if a card is legally playable, it's playable in Classic. If you own a card, you can play it in Classic, no matter what*, though you may only get to play one copy. (* Curse you, Gleemox!!)

Prismatic may be based on Classic's legality, but it is not Classic. In this sense, "Classic sub format" is meant to define the same base list of legal sets and blocks that Classic uses, rather than "Let's Copy and Paste the Classic B&R".

Since it's its own format, with its own deck construction rules and play style, it cannot be Classic. As such, it cannot hide under Classic's singularly unique exception, and therefore must suffer from bans like all other formats do.
Prismatic may be based on Classic's legality, but it is not Classic. In this sense, "Classic sub format" is meant to define the same base list of legal sets and blocks that Classic uses, rather than "Let's Copy and Paste the Classic B&R".

Since it's its own format, with its own deck construction rules and play style, it cannot be Classic. As such, it cannot hide under Classic's singularly unique exception, and therefore must suffer from bans like all other formats do.

Just because it is it's own format does not mean that it cannot have restrictions. The fact that it is based on the classic card pool alone should warrant that restrictions are a possibility. I certainly don't think that there should be zero bans in prismatic. It needs a B/R list not a B list nor an R list.
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