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By: one million words, Pete Jahn
Aug 15 2014 12:03pm
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State of the Program for August 15th 2014

 

In the News:

Premier Events Retired: Wizards has announced that weekend Premier Events have not been very popular, and Wizards is replacing them in the schedule with more Dailies in a variety of formats.
 
Wizards Cracking Down on Bribery & Collusion Online: Wizards has announced a “Policy Update” that clarifies what constitutes collusion and bribery online.  Read it here.   Basically, like paper, you can only “split” or “deal” in the final round of an event, and then you can only make a deal involving the prizes from that event. But don’t rely on this summary – read the article.    
 
Community Cup News: The Wizards team has been announced. It’s a very packed line-up: Aaron Forsythe, Ryan Spain, Dave Humpherys, Tom LaPille, Hélène Bergeot, Matthew Gregory, Mike Turian and Worth Wollpert   Wizards has also announced the formats, which will include Vintage Masters Booster Draft, Ironroot Chef, Eight Booster Sealed, Cube with Stipulations, and Khans of Tarkir Sealed Deck. Note that Khans of Trakir will be played before the paper prerelease, You really will be able to see the cards here first.
 
From the Vault: Annihilation Contents Revealed:  Wizards has released the card list of the next FTV set – FtV: Annihilation. The set will contain 15 foil cards, running from Armageddon to Wrath of God. The set will have one card not yet available online: Virtue’s Ruin. Virtue’s Ruin is a white Perish, and might see some play in Legacy and Vintage.  FtV Annihilation will be release on MTGO on October 6th. Details here.
 
Article on Programming M15 into MTGO: Jesse Raymond appears to be taking over for Jon Loucks when it comes to writing articles about programming cards into MTGO. Read this week’s article here.  
 
MOCS and PTQs are Back: (from last week) Wizards has announced the return of Premier events, including MOCS and PTQs. The MOCS are returning pretty much as they were before the hiatus. The PTQs will be different, and be structured much like paper PTQs (see below.) Like paper, there will be preliminary PTQs which award invites to the Finals PTQ. Only the Final PTQ will award Pro Tour invites. Details here, and in the articles linked to in that article. The PTQ cycles will start at the end of the month.
 
Vintage Masters Championship Qualifiers: The Vintage Masters Championship qualifiers will run from August 13th through August 19th. Cost is 50 TIX, or product plus 6 TIX.   Sealed, 5 rounds of Swiss. You need a record of 4-1 or better to qualify. Details here.  The Vintage Constructed Championship Qualifiers will run from August 20-26.
 
M15 Promo Fix: The M15 Hunt packs contained the regular foil rares instead of the special promo rares they should have included. The correct foils were added to player’s accounts on Wednesday. Players kept the other foil rares they already had.
.
September Promos Announced: The September MOCS promo will be Crucible of Worlds. The Event participation promo will be Hydra Broodmaster. The store promo will be an alt art Banishing Light. 
 
Extended Downtime August 20thEvents close at midnight, PDT. Expect a number of updates and improvements for the client. 
 

The Timeline:

This is a list of things we have been promised, or just want to see coming back.   Another good source for dates and times is the MTGO calendar. Here’s what we know, want or are tracking. 
 
Item (date it will return) and notes
·         Online PTQs & MOCS: AUGUST! Latest update is here.
·         Leagues (2014) Wizards has promised that leagues will return this year. Details here.
·         From the Vault: Annihilation: (10/6/2014) Moved from August 22 to October 6th .
·         Duel Decks: Speed vs. Cunning (10/6/2014) Details here.
·         Khans of Tarkir: (October) Prerelease Oct. 3-6. Details here.
·         Commander 2014: (11/21/2014) Details here.
·         Modern Masters II: (May of 2015?) (Three GPs same weekend with format TBD? It’s MMA2.)
 

Ten Step Program

A few weeks ago, I started this section. My plan was to make a list of ten things I want fixed in the new client each week. I would also submit the list each week using the official email link: MagicOnlineFeedback@wizards.com I think I am going to end it. The new client still needs a lot of polish, and the deck construction and collection screens still do not meet my needs (or even come close), but it is proving harder and harder to find ten things that 1) I have not already mentioned and 2) are actual problems. The client pretty much works, and I’d rather draft than make another list.  
 

Opinion Section: The Client that was, and the Client We Have.

I have been reading the forums, over on the WotC site. I have been reading the debates on V4. I have to wade in to the morass. Before I do that, though, it’s time for some history.   A very abbreviated history: I have written many articles and maybe 100,000 words on MTGO history, which I am not about to reproduce here. This is just a recap, starting at the beginning.. 
 
Once upon a time there was Shandalar. It was a computer RPG/Magic game and ran on Ingrid’s PCjr. Shandalar came on 5.25”floppies. It let you play Magic on a computer. It had a few flaws, like not being able to play a real opponent, and not using all the cards or all the rules.
 
A few years later, Leaping Lizards was hired to create an online version of Magic that followed the actual rules of Magic, used the actual cards (beginning with everything Standard legal) and let you play against real opponents. It worked, but it was not scalable, and MODO (as it was known back in the day) soon proved so popular that V2 was necessary. 
 
V2 had a very rocky start. It was in beta for a long time, and took a ton of work. It was introduced, crashed, was withdrawn, reworked and reintroduced. Wizards was also trying to tweak organized play back then, and the combination broke the program. MODO was down for weeks. When it came back, wizards threw Chuck’s Virtual Party to celebrate, which also crashed MODO. Badly.   After a few years, Wizards got V2 working, but it always had problems. Stuff improved, and events became a thing.   All was not perfect, though. If you played V2, you remember the BBOD – the frozen loading bar you saw when MODO crashed.   
 
Wizards began working on V3 shortly after V2 was introduced. It took a long time. Wizards has never confirmed this, but people looking hard at the program back then believed that V3 was initially created to be a 3D program. If you look at shots from the initial betas, or my articles from back then, you can see the prototype 3D avatars, etc. The 3D technology was going to be "really cool," but it caused all kinds of problems. Maybe you don't remember that it took literally years before the card text scaled correctly with the card in V3. Maybe that architecture was a problem, maybe not, but V3 was in beta a long time, and the list of things to be fixed was really long. 
 
Eventually, thought, the problems with V2 became simply too great.  V2 was crumbling under the weight of MTGO’s popularity.  Crashes in sanctioned play had become almost a daily thing. Wizards finally just bit the bullet and killed V2. By “killed,” I mean pulled the plug and MTGO went completely dark for two weeks. After that, V3 came up, but only for casual play. It was months before drafts and scheduled events were back online.   
 
With a lot of work and effort, Wizards papered over the problems created by the architectural flaws in V3, but they were still there. Wizards had developed software tricks to make the cards work, but they had to apply this to every new card in every set. That ate a ton of resources.  V3 had other problems, including the structural issues that made leagues impossible.   Eventually, Wizards killed it and introduced V4. 
 
Now V4 is no panacea, but the V4 I played last night is nothing like the V4 beta I tried to play 18 months ago, or that I played 6 months or 6 weeks ago. It isn’t finished, but I can load it up and play Magic. It isn’t the V3 I was used to, and it have some rough edges, but it also has come cool new features I really like a lot more than I imagined I would – things like “attack with all” and M-key mana.    
 
So here’s the post that sparked this response:
 
Dwarven_Pony wrote: Does anyone know if WOTC will come forward in a spirit of honesty and humility and acknowlege (sic) that version 4 was a monumental mistake and an incredible display of poor leadership decisions (at the top), for the reasons given in this thread?
I disagree. V4 was not a "monumental mistake" nor “an incredible display of poor leadership." It was an upgrade we all knew was necessary even before V2 was shut off.  V3 had flaws, and it had reached the end of its shelf life. It may have done that years ago.
 
First, V3 was not all that good. After 5 years of effort it almost, generally, worked, but had a ton of little bugs in many areas. Dwarven Pony started on list of “things needed” with getting the dice back. About a third of the time on my computers, under V3, the animated dice were partly missing. I'd get pips but no dice, or half a die, or whatever. This was, to me, a completely meaningless bug, since it did not affect my ability to play Magic in any way. But it was indicative of a deeper, more important underlying problem with V3: the flawed architecture.  
 
Now transition is always hard, especially when a transition is forced on you. It’s like when a favorite old car finally dies. You may have loved that car, and the new (or used) car you can afford to replace it with never seems as good. The seats on that old car were molded to your exact shape, and the manual transmission was worn to the point that it was smooth as silk. That did not change the fact that it was a 1997 Ford Taurus with 212,000 miles, or that 25mpg was the rate at which it burned both gas and oil. That old Taurus (or whatever – for me it was a 2003 Altima); that car was what you knew and loved.  
 
V3 was what we knew and loved.
 
I understand those of you who are missing V3, and are not happy with this new thing we have now. But suck it up and try driving V4. Sure, it’s not the Taurus, but you may find that you really don’t miss the constant pull to the left, and that brakes that actually work could be an advantage. 
 
Another thought: we are comparing a client that is a month or so past release with a client that had been polished and tuned for five years. V4 is getting better and better with every build. (It really is.) 
 

Cutting Edge Tech:

Standard: The consensus, both from playtesting and outcomes at the Pro Tour, was that mono-Blue Devotion was bad. So what won the Standard GP last weekend? Mono-Blue devotion. It may not be able to beat the field at the Pro Tour, but if everyone takes their mono-blue hate out of the sideboards, it gets a lot better. 
 
Mono-Blue Devotion
Oliver Polak-Rottmann, Winner, GP Utrecht
4 Master of Waves
4 Cloudfin Raptor
1 Hall of Triumph
2 Bident of Thassa
1 Cyclonic Rift
3 Rapid Hybridization
4 Nightveil Specter
4 Tidebinder Mage
4 Frostburn Weird
4 Thassa, God of the Sea
4 Judge's Familiar
20 Island
4 Mutavault
1 Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx
 
1 Cyclonic Rift
2 Domestication
1 Polymorphist's Jest
1 AEtherling
2 Negate
2 Dissolve
1 Dispel
3 Gainsay
2 Jace, Architect of Thought
 
Modern: It’s PTQ season. Modern is being played, online and off. Here’s an old “favorite” with some new sweetness from M15.
 
Ensouled Robots 
HIGDUR, Winner, Modern Premier # 7356119
4 Blinkmoth Nexus
4 Darksteel Citadel
4 Glimmervoid
4 Inkmoth Nexus
1 Island
4 Arcbound Ravager
2 Etched Champion
2 Master of Etherium
3 Memnite
4 Ornithopter
4 Signal Pest
3 Steel Overseer
4 Vault Skirge
4 Cranial Plating
3 Ensoul Artifact
2 Galvanic Blast
4 Mox Opal
4 Springleaf Drum
 
 
2 Etched Champion
3 Ancient Grudge
3 Blood Moon
1 Dismember
1 Gut Shot
1 Rule of Law
2 Spellskite
2 Thoughtseize
 
Legacy: The SCG Legacy Open was in Syracuse last weekend.   The winning deck was the new version of the oft-hated CounterTop deck.
 
UW Miracles
Sam Roukas, Winner, SCG Legacy Open Syracuse
1 Council's Judgment
2 Entreat the Angels
4 Terminus
3 Snapcaster Mage
3 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
4 Scalding Tarn
1 Arid Mesa
4 Ponder
3 Counterbalance
1 Spell Snare
4 Sensei's Divining Top
4 Flooded Strand
4 Island
2 Plains
2 Counterspell
4 Brainstorm
4 Force of Will
1 Karakas
4 Swords to Plowshares
2 Volcanic Island
3 Tundra
 
Sideboard
1 Council's Judgment
1 Wear
2 Rest in Peace
2 Flusterstorm
1 Batterskull
2 Stoneforge Mystic
2 Vendilion Clique
1 Pithing Needle
1 Pyroblast
2 Red Elemental Blast
 
Vintage:  Vintage events no longer have to deal with the Tangle Wire and Gifts Ungiven bugs. Now they just have to deal with Dack Faden. Both 4-0 decks from this event featured him.
 
UBR Faden Control
THEATOGLORD, 4-0, Vintage Daily # 7356165
1 Library of Alexandria
2 Misty Rainforest
4 Scalding Tarn
1 Strip Mine
1 Tolarian Academy
1 Tundra
3 Underground Sea
2 Volcanic Island
3 Goblin Welder
2 Notion Thief
1 Sphinx of the Steel Wind
1 Ancestral Recall
1 Black Lotus
1 Brainstorm
1 Crucible of Worlds
3 Dack Fayden
1 Demonic Tutor
4 Force of Will
1 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
1 Mana Crypt
2 Mana Drain
1 Memory Jar
4 Mental Misstep
1 Mindslaver
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Mystical Tutor
4 Night's Whisper
1 Nihil Spellbomb
1 Ponder
1 Sol Ring
1 Time Walk
1 Tinker
1 Vampiric Tutor
1 Yawgmoth's Will
 
 
1 Nihil Spellbomb
2 Flametongue Kavu
3 Grafdigger's Cage
2 Ingot Chewer
2 Mindbreak Trap
1 Mogg Salvage
1 Mountain
3 Pyroblast
 

Card Prices

Note: all my prices come from the fine folks at MTGOTraders.com. These are retail prices, and generally the price of the lowest priced, actively traded version. (Prices for some rare promo versions are not updated when not in stock, so I skip those.)   You can get these cards at MTGOTraders.com web store, or from their bots: MTGOTradersBot(#) (they have bots 1-10), CardCaddy and CardWareHouse, or sell cards to MTGOTradersBuyBot(#) (they have buybots 1-4).
 
Standard staples: Standard prices are up again this week. Cards that featured highly in the Pro Tour Top 8 are doing well. Mana Confluence is climbing again. If you speculate for the long term, this might be a card to buy. I don’t think it has topped out.       
 

Standard & Block Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$9.06
$9.70
($0.64)
-7%
$6.56
$7.07
($0.51)
-7%
$17.98
$14.00
$3.98
28%
$16.96
$16.57
$0.39
2%
$6.98
$7.33
($0.35)
-5%
$9.55
$9.40
$0.15
2%
$7.64
$7.83
($0.19)
-2%
$15.72
$16.32
($0.60)
-4%
(Garrukk, Apex Predator)
$7.28
$9.50
($2.22)
-23%
$10.24
$11.08
($0.84)
-8%
$7.00
$6.40
$0.60
9%
$10.67
$9.10
$1.57
17%
$12.63
$12.30
$0.33
3%
$23.22
$19.57
$3.65
19%
$22.76
$22.00
$0.76
3%
$10.47
$10.49
($0.02)
0%
$18.05
$16.57
$1.48
9%
$9.79
$9.49
$0.30
3%
(Thasssa, God of the Sea)
$5.77
$5.13
$0.64
12%
$27.61
$26.39
$1.22
5%
$9.94
$9.86
$0.08
1%

Modern staples: Modern cards are climbing again this week.   Modern PTQs are a paper only thing, but practice happens online, too.
 

Modern Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$13.20
$12.49
$0.71
6%
$40.75
$39.35
$1.40
4%
$12.18
$12.90
($0.72)
-6%
$23.90
$21.00
$2.90
14%
$16.24
$16.42
($0.18)
-1%
$17.79
$17.79
$0.00
0%
$27.75
$23.67
$4.08
17%
$33.69
$33.69
$0.00
0%
$10.85
$10.32
$0.53
5%
$30.17
$26.72
$3.45
13%
$58.75
$58.75
$0.00
0%
$34.31
$30.43
$3.88
13%
$100.26
$97.89
$2.37
2%
$32.29
$30.81
$1.48
5%
$85.82
$79.96
$5.86
7%
$15.78
$15.78
$0.00
0%
$33.85
$35.08
($1.23)
-4%
$19.82
$18.48
$1.34
7%
$17.45
$16.47
$0.98
6%
$37.19
$28.10
$9.09
32%
$22.87
$21.87
$1.00
5%
$18.47
$19.44
($0.97)
-5%
$87.64
$83.63
$4.01
5%
$27.51
$25.24
n/a
n/a
$58.06
$58.06
$0.00
0%

Legacy / Vintage: Legacy and Vintage prices were pretty stable this week. Power prices have steadied, but are still slightly down since people are still drafting VMA. The rest is pretty much unchanged.  
 

Legacy / Classic Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$77.80
$80.27
($2.47)
-3%
$212.36
$199.75
$12.61
6%
$48.23
$48.23
$0.00
0%
$18.83
$18.83
$0.00
0%
$26.76
$26.76
$0.00
0%
$23.28
$23.28
n/a
n/a
$27.62
$27.51
$0.11
0%
$31.78
$32.94
($1.16)
-4%
$22.68
$22.68
n/a
n/a
$63.89
$60.90
$2.99
5%
$18.76
$19.22
n/a
n/a
$28.40
$28.40
$0.00
0%
$20.14
$20.05
$0.09
0%
$16.36
$13.55
$2.81
21%
$88.66
$88.66
$0.00
0%
$62.00
$63.00
($1.00)
-2%
$48.29
$50.00
($1.71)
-3%
$91.07
$88.03
$3.04
3%
$77.42
$81.93
($4.51)
-6%
$134.71
$136.40
($1.69)
-1%
$82.42
$78.65
$3.77
5%
$34.51
$34.51
$0.00
0%
$61.81
$65.79
($3.98)
-6%
$31.04
$31.00
$0.04
0%
$16.64
$19.18
($2.54)
-13%
$31.85
$31.85
n/a
n/a
$153.56
$153.56
$0.00
0%

Set Redemption: You can redeem complete sets on MTGO. You need to purchase a redemption voucher from the store for $25. During the next downtime, Wizards removes a complete set from your account, and sends you the same set in paper.   For those of you who redeem, here are the retail prices of one of everything set currently available in the store.   Everything except M15 is up again this week. M15 is heavily drafted now, so it should be slipping.   
 

Complete Set
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
Born of the Gods
$61.83
$60.00
$1.83
3%
Dragon's Maze
$47.44
$45.55
$1.89
4%
Gatecrash
$67.87
$65.45
$2.42
4%
Journey into Nix
$93.78
$88.85
$4.93
6%
M14
$108.00
$95.39
$12.61
13%
M15
$98.64
$107.44
($8.80)
-8%
Return to Ravnica
$108.23
$100.64
$7.59
8%
Theros
$110.69
$102.78
$7.91
8%

The Good Stuff:

The following is a list of all the non-promo, non-foil cards on MTGO that retail for more than $25 per card.  These are the big ticket items in the world of MTGO. Black Lotus continues to lead the pack, but Wasteland and Rishadan Port are not that far behind.   .
 

Card
Rarity
Set
 Price
Black Lotus
B
VMA
 $ 212.36
Wasteland
U
TE
 $ 153.56
Rishadan Port
R
MM
 $ 134.71
Liliana of the Veil
M
ISD
 $ 100.26
Mox Sapphire
B
VMA
 $ 91.07
Misdirection
R
MM
 $ 88.66
Tarmogoyf
R
FUT
 $ 87.93
Tarmogoyf
M
MMA
 $ 87.64
Mox Opal
M
SOM
 $ 85.82
Show and Tell
R
UZ
 $ 82.42
Ancestral Recall
B
VMA
 $ 77.80
Polluted Delta
R
ONS
 $ 77.42
Hurkyl's Recall
R
10E
 $ 63.89
Mox Jet
B
VMA
 $ 62.00
Time Walk
B
VMA
 $ 61.18
Flooded Strand
R
ONS
 $ 59.44
Vendilion Clique
M
MMA
 $ 58.92
Griselbrand
M
AVR
 $ 58.75
Vendilion Clique
R
MOR
 $ 58.06
Mox Ruby
B
VMA
 $ 53.49
Mox Emerald
B
VMA
 $ 51.24
Mox Pearl
B
VMA
 $ 48.29
City of Traitors
R
EX
 $ 48.23
Force of Will
R
MED
 $ 44.12
Tangle Wire
R
NE
 $ 43.50
Batterskull
M
NPH
 $ 40.75
Toxic Deluge
R
C13
 $ 38.00
Scalding Tarn
R
ZEN
 $ 37.19
Dark Confidant
R
RAV
 $ 36.16
Gaea's Cradle
R
UZ
 $ 36.13
Sneak Attack
R
UZ
 $ 34.51
Karn Liberated
M
NPH
 $ 34.31
Noble Hierarch
R
CON
 $ 33.85
Dark Confidant
M
MMA
 $ 33.69
Lion's Eye Diamond
R
MI
 $ 32.87
Infernal Tutor
R
DIS
 $ 32.38
Linvala, Keeper of Silence
M
ROE
 $ 32.29
Undiscovered Paradise
R
VI
 $ 31.85
True-Name Nemesis
R
C13
 $ 31.04
Misty Rainforest
R
ZEN
 $ 30.68
Fulminator Mage
R
SHM
 $ 30.17
Intuition
R
TE
 $ 28.40
Tezzeret the Seeker
M
ALA
 $ 28.16
Cryptic Command
R
MMA
 $ 27.99
Cryptic Command
R
LRW
 $ 27.75
Force of Will
R
VMA
 $ 27.62
Voice of Resurgence
M
DGM
 $ 27.61
Twilight Mire
R
EVE
 $ 27.51
Unmask
R
MM
 $ 26.84
Craterhoof Behemoth
M
AVR
 $ 26.80
Dark Depths
R
CSP
 $ 26.76

The big number is the retail price of a playset (4 copies) of every card available on MTGO. Assuming you bought the least expensive version available, the cost of owning a playset of every card on MTGO you can own is $ 25,905. That’s up about $500 from where we were last week.
 

Weekly Highlights:

A short article again this week. Sorry. Still working on the interview with Worth Wolpert. Other than that, I am at home with the dogs, working, while Ingrid runs Magic events at GenCon. I used to have a bumper sticker that said “Work is a Terrible Price to Pay for Income.” Sometimes that is more true than others. 
 
Missing Gencon = #DoingItWrong.
 
PRJ
 
“one million words” on MTGO
 
This series is an ongoing tribute to Erik “Hamtastic” Friborg.
 
HammyBot Still Running: HammyBot was set up to sell off Erik Friborg’s collection, with all proceeds going to his wife and son. So far, HammyBot has raised over $8,000, but there are over 24,000 cards left in the collection. Those cards are being sold at 10% below retail price. Erik died three years ago, so HammyBot does not include any standard legal sets, but it includes a ton of Masters Edition and Vintage cards, and some nice Modern bargains. 
 

16 Comments

dual land border/bg art by mindlesslemming at Fri, 08/15/2014 - 12:19
mindlesslemming's picture

i have already emailed wizards about this multiple times... but has anyone heard anything about the me4 dual lands having their text background/border art changed? they took away the alternating concentric rectangles that appear on all the paper duals and used the two color fade from newer lands. is hasbro planning to make the cards look like they did when i acquired them in client v3? they also changed many of the text backgrounds for promo cards and some others like the original mirage tap fetches and urza's tolarian bg.

As a purely cosmetic problem by TheKidsArentAlright at Fri, 08/15/2014 - 15:00
TheKidsArentAlright's picture

As a purely cosmetic problem that effects only a small number of players, I have to imagine that it is on the back burner right now. And as ugly as my Duals and Academy look right now, I'd much rather them concentrate their efforts on fixing the more egregious bugs like Ponder shuffling and the cards set aside by Necro being visible.

Also, there is no consistancy on the text boxes of ME duals. My Badlands have the correct one, my Seas have the side-to-side gradient that appears on new cards, and the rest have the brown box that was on old colorless lands.

thanks by mindlesslemming at Fri, 08/15/2014 - 15:15
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thanks, i agree it isn't mission critical. i finally found an acknowledgement of the issue in a twitter post that is a year old already (posted below before i saw your response). i just find it insulting to change the appearance of something people paid money for. what do they have to do?! swap some jpgs on the server?

also, i'm getting used to v4 and don't really have any issues with it aside from how the social aspects of chat have been demolished/hidden away and how they continue to show "blacked out/art versions you don't have" placeholders for cards you have zero left of while deck building. i like how they note how many are in the current deck being built (0 left in white, 4 in deck in yellow), but this in combination with the "binder" metaphor being gone, just seems to waste an absurd amount of screen real estate. waste of space!

HHmmmm... I think you need to by thewoof2 at Fri, 08/15/2014 - 12:28
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HHmmmm... I think you need to further explain these architectural flaws in v3 and how the architecture in v4 has eliminated those issues. Is there some technical insight you have that I do not that shows that the architecture was critically flawed in v3 and now is fixed in v4?

But anyway I think the heavy criticism is not about v4 being unplayable or even if it is better or worse than v3, rather does it meet expectations for a modern day game and is it "fun" to play Magic on. I play quite often on v4 and I can say overall the magic experience from my perspective is lacking from my high expectations. I am not quitting or selling out, but I have started to play other games (finding chess again as a fun alternative!) and my desire for MTGO v4 has waned.

mindlesslemming's picture

I am pretty sure the VMA by Cownose at Fri, 08/15/2014 - 16:57
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I am pretty sure the VMA duals are supposed to be in the new frame (like the rest of VMA) with the updated boxes. The way they looked on V3 was the bug.

The bug is not with the VMA by TheKidsArentAlright at Sat, 08/16/2014 - 03:05
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The bug is not with the VMA duals. Those look like what I would expect given that the rest of the set uses the new frames and text boxes. The issue is that the most of the Masters Edition duals, which are supposed to have the concentric alternating color rectangles that are on the paper versions, have either the new side-to-side gradient that appears on new cards, or a plain tan text box background.

Shandalar came on floppies?? by Paul Leicht at Fri, 08/15/2014 - 16:59
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5

Shandalar came on floppies?? Not my version, cds all the way baby. I still have some of them. (Yes I know those need throwing out.) And it was a win95 product as I recall. Not sure how it ran on PCjr...

Also the Bribery/Collusion article seems to actually have softened their stance by specifying that Splitting in the finals is definitely allowed and now they will punish those who welsh on agreements to split. (Presumably with screenshots to prove the issue.)

While the punishment isn't new nor is the ability to do so they did not articulate these things before this. A step forward in communications perhaps.

Also a nit pick: Virtue's Ruin is a Perish against white cards. Not a white Perish.

Pete, I appreciate your by Cownose at Fri, 08/15/2014 - 17:12
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Pete, I appreciate your desire for optimism here, but saying that WotC could have messed up worse (and did several times) is not exactly what most of us want to hear. We are mad because a company with the resources of Hasbro STILL cannot deliver even a mediocre product after having been in the business for 10+ years.

I have no technical background in this so maybe the backend of V4 is vastly improved over V3...but the things that regular users see and interact with everyday are completely unacceptable. The card images, collection screen, deck building tool, multiplayer games, the entire outdated trade system, bugs for several heavily played tournament cards, foil graphics...I could go on, but it is all extremely shoddy work. I have been on MTGO since the beginning and you are absolutely right, this release is less of a CF than the other ones, but why can't we be surprised with a good product that exceeds our expectations for once? Why should we constantly have to "suck it up" and use the substandard product we are given? Their history of past screw-ups should not be used as a reason to forgive their current one--quite the opposite actually.

I think a lot of people are concerned because the client is not a month old. It is several years old--and many of the problems that it had years ago...it still has now (UI, Foils, Collection, Deckbuilding). Why should we expect them to get fixed in the next couple of months? I am sure it will be fine eventually--but when they had years to make a decent program (longer than AAA Games have to deliver a much better product), why did it come to this in the first place? The next time I have an angry parent on the phone I am going to tell them to "suck it up" and see how well that goes over.

:Why should we expect them to by longtimegone at Fri, 08/15/2014 - 21:18
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:Why should we expect them to get fixed in the next couple of months?

You have to remember that Magic is a fast moving beast. Between regular sets and stuff like VMA and Commander products, WotC puts out a new product 5-6 times a year. Most of these products include cards with brand new rules that need to be implemented on the client, some requiring UI changes or other new functionality.

This means that MTGO is always in a constant scramble to program in the cards for the next set so they can be tested and ready on time, every time.

It took a tremendous amount of resources to do that for 2 separate clients every time. All the work that was going in to constant updates of v3 can now be put in to polishing v4.

We have already seen a number of improvements coming at a faster pace since they cut support for v3. I don't see any reason this won't continue.

"First, V3 was not all that by TugaChampion at Sat, 08/16/2014 - 12:26
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"First, V3 was not all that good. After 5 years of effort it almost, generally, worked, but had a ton of little bugs in many areas."

Yes, V3 was far from perfect. I played V2.5, the whole time of V3 and now V4. V2.5 was fine for playing but like you said it started crashing almost daily. The transaction was horrible and V3 took a long time to be playable. A change was needed but it could have been done way better.

Now the change from V3 to V4 was way different. It's true that V3 had many problems but it worked and it rarely crashed. That is until they put beta and V3 working at the same time. That's when the problems started and that's what forced the change to happen when it did. Unlike the previews transaction, if they had been more patient with V4, we wouldn't have lost MOCS and PTQs, nor we would have had several tournaments like DEs where you 4-0ed and it crashed and all they gave you was 6 tix.

V4 is a "monumental mistake" and “an incredible display of poor leadership" in some aspects. The way they rushed it to share with V3 the status os playable client was insane. It simply wasn't functional and all it did was cause all sorts of problems.

"Another thought: we are comparing a client that is a month or so past release with a client that had been polished and tuned for five years. V4 is getting better and better with every build. (It really is.) "

I completly agree with you here, that's why it is even more ridiculous the way they handled it. Instead of making both clients playable so early, they should have waited more time.

They should have given incentives for people to beta test V4 (before even being playable on the normal serve). I remember they wanting people beta testing it but they didn't reward the beta testers with anything. This one I'm not sure but from what a remember all you could do was draft a core set instead of giving you everything from new to old so people would be more likely to help them. If they made cube drafting available there while it was not available in V3, it would have been a great incentive.

They also should have hired more people to make sure both the current and the future client worked well.

They gave small incentives like some random promos to people who did something in the beta in a few days. That is simply not enough. They "forced" us to use the beta a couple of times. During one of those I played a draft. In the middle of a game I got DCed (it was my internet so nothing wrong here). What was wrong was that it took me over 5 minutes to log back in. In many games those 5 minutes would decide the match. With this alone, there was no way anyone would choose to play the beta instead of V3. So of course they didn't get the beta tested much during these times.

Even now, trading is way worse and slower, multi queueing is harder, chatting is also way worse, not being able to move the graveyard is simply stupid and the huge trigger windows that force you to resize them before choosing the target is always a pain and infuriating. And these aren't all the problems.

Sure, most of these things will eventually get fixed and now that everyone is working on V4 it will be faster but V3 was not broken before V4 broke it. They did not have to force it and they should certainly have made V4 like it is today before putting it as a playable client alongside V3. V4 right now would be an acceptable beta, not the main client.

I would love to use shiny by Doomhed at Sat, 08/16/2014 - 13:01
Doomhed's picture

I would love to use shiny, but it crashes my computer. Windows Vista with 3GB of RAM, dual core turion processor. I have a RTR set I need to redeem and I cannot even get into the program.

I have no problem using shiny by Rerepete at Sat, 08/16/2014 - 15:27
Rerepete's picture

I have no problem using shiny on my Vista machine (although I have intel quad core q6600 and 4GB RAM).

2 things to try by longtimegone at Sat, 08/16/2014 - 19:17
longtimegone's picture

I have been able to resolve crashes in v4 for a number of people I've talked to by doing 2 things.

1. Update .net

2. Install the latest version of the video drivers for your chipset

If you aren't sure how to do either of these things, let me know and I can provide more details.

about trading by rodrigo at Mon, 08/18/2014 - 21:49
rodrigo's picture

I have a short history about trading on the new client.

When someone hit trade with you.. and you are not paying atention (maybe you are in another room at the moment) you just miss it because there are NOT any sound alert to warning you... Well, but sometimes you are back to the computer in time and then you accept the trade, but nothing happens! What's next? You are not allowed to trade anymore! You right click on someone and the trade option are disabled! So you have to disconnect and connect back.

Nice client.

I do my best to not take a look in my cards because that collection screen is sooooo unfriendly. Build a deck is out of question.

Nice client.

I default the collection by Rerepete at Mon, 08/18/2014 - 23:44
Rerepete's picture

I default the collection screen to list view...not as bad