However, there is one argument that I feel Zac should definitely have covered, and I don't think anyone has said it here yet. It's this: If targeting becomes the default for card draw, then non-targeted card draw spells will pretty much cease to exist; there's very little reason to opt for a non-targeted draw spell when the default is targeted. However, if the default is non-targeted, then there will still exist plenty of targeted versions, since there are many reasons to make a card draw spell targeted: milling subtheme, multiplayer politics, helping allies, making big splashy effects like Blue Sun's Zenith . The point is, by making non-targeted default, we get both versions; by making targeted default, we only ever get targeted card draw.
There'd still likely be a significant number of non-targeted card-drawing spells and abilities; there are still significant reasons for things to not be targeted. Flavor likely being the strongest: something like Scroll Thief or Vivisection isn't going to become targeted any time soon.
Just like Mark and Zac, I was excluding cards like Scroll Thief that wouldn't work as targeted draw. My point is: Why change the default of Divination to being targeted when by keeping the default as non-targeted we get to have both versions?
"This produces in players the exact same kind of discomfort that having the option to halve their life total does."
This, for me, is where Zac's argument breaks down and MaRo takes it.
This assertion isn't based on market research. Indeed, in my experience it's 100% false.
The whole structure of this argument would apply equally well to targetted removal. Should all spot kill be reworded as "destroy target creature an opponent controls"?
The thing about the "lose 10 life" ability is that an inexperienced player will look at it and think "Why is this here?!" and that's where the discomfort comes from. An inexperienced player looks at a spell that makes target player draw two cards and they typically don't see the bad option.
The whole Apple thing really tempted me to vote for targeted because this was just silly. At the end, it wasn't even compared to Apple's design, but to it's promises. That's like saying "A banana is healthy and is yellow. Thus if I buy a car it should be yellow which is more healthy".
I'm surprised he didn't talk about the slippery slope argument. If draw should be targeted, why not token creation for example?
While there were some valid arguments, those cards are really strawmen. Spelling out the consequences of the choices like that is obviously bad design, but just allowing the spell to target isn't nearly that obtrusive. Giant Growth doesn't need to say "target creature you control" and Dismember doesn't need to say "target creature an opponent controls". And Lava Axe doesn't need to say "target opponent" (even though, in that case, the changed text wouldn't even have more words).
After read Mr Rosewater's article, I was really curious to see how the other side would argument and... damn.
Insult, stupidity, lazyness... those are the words Zac's article pushes into my head.
Seriously? Apple as an argument supposed to win me over? I'm no Linux fan (or even user) but I find Apple's way of thing more often than not despicable. So if your intent was to push away players/clients from MTG, you're on the right track.
Comparing targeted draw spells to badly designed cards, seriously, you're going to compare that platypus to the invoker 's cycle? And that Raging centaur can be "flavourful", such abilities mean nothing when not put into perspective of the extension they are in. And that option charm IS a targeted divination, you prick! What are you trying to do, here?
Zac, you are an idiot. Congratulations on making maro look like a friggin genius.
Yes, I'm insulting you (barely though, it's more like a statement) but, after all, YOU've started it.
I hope you'll do better next time, or don't even bother writing an article.
Rules question? Have you read the Basic rulebook already? No? Why not take some time to do that?
Haven't read all the comments yet, but riffing off someone from page 1:
Zac is the better debater... but Maro is right.
It's not hugely important to me though unless they're talking about making stuff like Sign in Blood untargeted. That I don't like because the card is much more likely than, say, targeted Divination would be to have two uses. (I've killed people with SiB in Pauper more than a few times. It's rare, sure, but it's not the totally bizarre one-off Zac's article describes with other card draw spells because it's not that hard to get someone down to 2 life.)