Tom LaPille writes:
"Magic players are full of opinions, and every time a new card is revealed, players share their opinions enthusiastically.
...I knew that none of those commenters had played a single game with the cards.
...Here in R&D, we're professional game designers who make Magic all the time. Before we played lots of games of Magic with double-faced cards, we didn't have a clue what they would be like either. If we didn't know before that, there's no way that the average Magic forum poster knew.
"Y'all are wrong, because we played with the cards, and liked them this way.
This, however, comes from comments about Werewolves in the specific and DFCs in the general (but focuses on 'Wolves on the mechanical while ignoring the DFCs on the mechanical aspects that were raised). Note that I was part of the crew that argued about the mechanical aspects of the cards, and the blatant handwaiving used to dismiss alternatives to the functionality of the cards. DFCs for DFC-sake (LaPille being a developer for that other DFC-using game) does not sound useful, reasonable, or anything less than an invested opinion, and that's a bias.
Consider the above quotes:
If I could presume the people I discussed or listened to had a potential valid point to make, would I listen to them as being reasonable people who might be right, regardless of how invested I was in the development of the mechanic or card design? Would, if I were predisposed to agreement with my company, admit that those individuals who raised points about the cards were right in any aspect raised? Scientific surveys have been conducted, of which many are published, noting that most people with an invested interest in a product or idea will not let go of it, either when confronted with conflicting information, or even when shown proof of its wrongness -- these include, but are not limited to, anti-vaxxers, deniers of global anthropogenic climate change, evolution, creationism, and any number of left- and right-wing consipiracy theories. The functional method of ignoring these conflicts is known as motivated reasoning, and the quotations above assert this blatantly.
For the record, I have gone out and watched players play with them, and discussed the cards with good players, and dedicated players, and examined how many of these cards play in Limited (at least) (just Werewolves, mind, since we're on theme), and read articles on the useful cards coming in the format, and they do not tend to show up very favorably on many of the "transformers," which only goes to show they are not "more than meets the eye."
Limited players very, very differently from Standard constructed, and this Friday I will have a chance to see if Standard with 'Wolves will be any different in practice, but note that most players who will try to play and win will simply be following latest reports of top decks and just carbon-copy these. The 'Wolves tribal decks shall be used, and Human tribal, and I fear it won't make it simply because the cards don't exist for it (seriously, like not making tokens Human even when it seems they should
be) that would smooth the decks from what are otherwise patchy representations.
But unless the 'Wolves deck is just about playing and replaying Moonmist
, there will be problems in Standard ... or, of course, the cards are designed to simply kill your opponent in three swings, and this can be done by not casting spells on your turn AND get 'Wolves into play.
You have to understand, not everyone who responds to these forums is an utter fool: some of them, despite being Magic players, are incredibly intelligent and foresightful, even those few guys who predict the formats and make "wise" choices about buying up certain cards for cheap early because they'll increase later down the road, accurately guessing they will become ridiculously powerful (MOAR 'Goyf!).
But the quotes also say something bad about the perspective in R&D, that you guys are perfect and more right than we who decry your actions. It is we who say some cards are ridiculously too powerful, wrong to print, wrong to design, and you guys who turn around and say "we'll just ban them later if they're a problem." Seriously?
You mismeasure the intelligence and potential correctness of your readers, and mismeasure your rightness on the matters you speak of. You are correct that we lack the dedicated half year spent in R&D playtesting some of the cards, but you ignore that some you never playtest ( Umezawa's Jitte
), or test and then tweak "for the worse," and then never retest ( Skullclamp
), intentionally push regardless of potential expected impact ( Mental Mistep
), have literally no clue its ability to be used ( Memory Jar
, Hermit Druid
, Oath of Druids
), or find that the mechanic is just "too useful" to throw out despite all the logistical issues involved in it (DFCs, Phy-mana, Affinity, artifact lands).
The notion that R&D is "all wise" is flagrantly wrong: It is often, if not MORE often, that the players, not R&D, catch the errors in design and development, and have, after the fact, gone to some lengths to exploit the cards in a deck for the purpose of pointing this out (as I recall the issue with Jar came about, causing it's rapid banning). In 'Clamp's case, Sottosanti deserves that credit, in R&D, but you'd already printed it, and Paul was not a dedicated R&D specialist as you, LaPille, apparently are. So knocking the relative intelligence of the Magic player base to the forum posters denigrates the intelligence of people whom you do not know, but simply disagree with.