one million words's picture
By: one million words, Pete Jahn
Oct 17 2014 12:00pm
5
Login or register to post comments
5314 views


 

State of the Program for October 17th 2014

 

In the News:

Big Client Update Coming: Wizards has promised a huge client update for October 22nd.   The biggest news is that the battlefield will be modified, and will feature things like a pop-out graveyard. It appears that the collection screen will also receive fixes, including the ability to apply filters to binders.  It’s almost like they read my recent articles. Wizards has also promised some bug fixes, including fixing the Pauper rarity bug. The WotC announcement and details are here.
 
Client Satisfaction Survey: Wizards has launched an online survey polling customers on their reaction to the new client, and other digital options. The survey I took had 30 questions and took me about 3 minutes. The survey is here
 
MOCS and Player Rewards Promos Announced: The November MOCS promo will be an alternative art, new frame Metalworker. The event activity promo will be an alt art Temple of Mystery. The Store activity promo will be an alt art Brain Maggot. Metalworker is seeing occasional play in Legacy and Vintage, and has made the over $25 list on occasion. 
 
From the Vault: Annihilation Back in the Store: Wizards had tweeted that, because of “problems with the product,” FtV Annihilation was no longer being sold. It’s back now. No idea what went wrong.  
 

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. This list is getting short, mainly because Wizards is so bad at passing on any information about future products or events. They generally have announced these events a day or two before they happens, which means most players never hear about them, and news compilations (like State of the Program) only hear about them too late to be included.
 
Item (date it will return) and notes
·         Pauper Legality Cards List Fix: Non-common cards are “legal” in Pauper. Fix expected 10/22.
·         Leagues (2014) Wizards has promised that leagues will return this year. Details here.
·         From the Vault: Annihilation: Unclear – not on sale at present.
·         Tribal Changeling Bug Fix: No date yet.
·         Commander 2014: (11/21/2014) Details here.
·         Modern Masters II: (May of 2015?) 
·         Fix the Changeling bug in Trial Wars: No date yet. Been bugged for 3 months.
 

Bad Beats Story time:

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. This picture certainly caused me to use a number of them – none of which I can reproduce here. This is a family-friendly website. But there is more to the story, which I will tell in all its gory detail. 
 
 
I have defended the new client in the past, because it let me play Magic online. The rules work, the game client works, and the draft interface work. Last weekend, however, that was not true. 
 
I was playing Magic Online on my laptop. I was at my in-laws, riding an Internet connection considerably better than what I can get at home.   A speed test showed speeds of 6Mbps down and 3Mbps up, with a reasonable ping. Everything other than MTGO was working, and I have run MTGO on the laptop before. It was also early morning, before anyone else was up, so I had no conflicts.
 
I opened MTGO, entered the draft queue and went to make coffee. I came back, and clicked to enter a draft. After chugging a bit, the queue opened, and eventually we reached eight. Then the program showed me the little spinning wheel for a long time. I did get my first pick, but it lagged badly on successive picks. My Jeskai deck was coming together, when I saw the Wingmate Roc in pack two. I really wanted it, and clicked on it immediately. And MTGO froze. 
 
By the time the program unfroze, MTGO had given me a Feed the Clan instead of the Roc, and something random instead of my second pick. From there, the draft went slowly. In the end, I had a decent, if not great, deck. I hit submit.
 
Can you see where this is going? I got the submit bug, and MTGO told me to log off and back on. I had six minutes and change left in deck construction at that point, but it was not enough. I got to play game one with an 81 card deck. I almost pulled it out, but lost. So I built my deck, again, and submitted a 40 card deck with 25 seconds left on the clock. A few seconds later, I drew my opening hand, and could see that I still had 74 cards in my library. The sideboard failure bug had hit as well. I didn’t even come close to winning game two, so I was out.
 
I filed for a refund, which I quickly received. (Thanks, Wizards customer service.)
 
I didn’t play any more on Saturday. Sunday morning, I got up really early (4am EST), and tried again. Once again, the client was laggy and unresponsive, and once again I got nailed with missed picks and the deck submission bug, and could not log back in in time. Once again, I lost in round one, and once again, Wizards gave me a full refund.
 
Monday I tried it again. This time I did manage to draft without serious problems, and managed to have the program accept my 40 card deck. I was still having lag issues, and I lost that match on time, within two turns of being able to attack for the win. I know Khans is a slow set, but I was burning twice as much time as my opponent, and I was F6ing a lot and not multitasking at all. Prior to this, the only time outs I have had in the last five years or so have all involved games starting before I expected them to, or me having to take the dogs out, etc. I hadn’t timed out of a game I was concentrating on for several years – but when it takes 15-20 seconds for the program to accept an F6, it can happen. 
 
Anyway, I’ll try the client again this weekend, but I was very, very disappointed last weekend. Wizards, fix this thing.
 

Cutting Edge Tech:

Standard: The Pro Tour was last weekend. It was half Khans draft, half Standard. Ari Lax won the event. Coverage, plus the decklists for all winning Standard decks are here and here
Abzan Midrange
Ari Lax, Winner, Pro Tour Khans of Tarkir
Creatures
4 Courser of Kruphix
2 Elvish Mystic
4 Sylvan Caryatid
10 cards

Other Spells
4 Abzan Charm
2 Ajani, Mentor of Heroes
3 Elspeth, Sun's Champion
3 Hero's Downfall
4 Sandsteppe Citadel
4 Siege Rhino
2 Sorin, Solemn Visitor
4 Thoughtseize
2 Utter End
2 Wingmate Roc
12 cards
Lands
2 Caves of Koilos
3 Forest
2 Llanowar Wastes
1 Mana Confluence
2 Plains
4 Temple of Malady
1 Temple of Silence
1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
4 Windswept Heath
20 cards

Courser of Kruphix

 
Modern: Not a lot of excitement in Modern at the moment. Here’s a nice, relatively cheap introductory deck, if you want to try the format.

 

 
Legacy: No SCG Open last weekend, since no large event wants to compete with the Pro Tour. However, several Legacy Dailies did fire. This list caught my eye. I haven’t seen a lot of Food Chain lists. 
 

 

 
Vintage:  Vintage Dailies fired on both Saturday and Sunday. The Top 8 for Sunday’s event is here. (Note: the Vintage Super League is running again, after a week’s pause so most of the participants could attend the Pro Tour. The third set of decklists will be up soon, so I will probably feature one of those next week.)   

 

 
 

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). I have bought cards from MTGOTraders for almost a decade now, and have never been overcharged or disappointed.
 
Standard staples: The Pro Tour has defined a new Standard metagame.  A lot of cards that did not see much play dropped, while surprise inclusions (I’m looking at you, Ajani Mentor) have shot up. 
 

Standard & Block Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$15.71
$7.76
$7.95
102%
$22.69
$22.77
($0.08)
0%
$8.34
$8.83
($0.49)
-6%
$13.46
$15.31
($1.85)
-12%
$8.44
$7.16
$1.28
18%
$22.82
$20.61
$2.21
11%
(Garrukk, Apex Predator)
$5.80
$6.89
($1.09)
-16%
$14.72
$15.12
($0.40)
-3%
$15.36
$15.31
$0.05
0%
$8.54
$10.88
($2.34)
-22%
$14.13
$17.03
($2.90)
-17%
$21.24
$22.26
($1.02)
-5%
$11.46
$18.87
($7.41)
-39%
$7.85
$8.43
($0.58)
-7%
$18.40
$25.27
($6.87)
-27%
$18.50
$16.64
$1.86
11%
$8.88
$12.60
($3.72)
-30%
$18.55
$12.89
$5.66
44%
$11.54
$12.91
($1.37)
-11%
$5.90
$9.07
($3.17)
-35%

Modern staples:  Modern prices dropped this week. I don’t know for sure, but I would bet the crash has a lot to do with the combo deck I discussed in Cutting Edge Tech, above. That deck is pervasive enough to get people out of Modern, for now. Or they could be jumping on the bandwagon. Either way, the price for almost everything not in the deck went down, and the value of the one card on my list that is in the deck jumped.
 

Modern Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$9.75
$10.62
($0.87)
-8%
$39.52
$41.27
($1.75)
-4%
$8.72
$10.88
($2.16)
-20%
$23.90
$25.83
($1.93)
-7%
$16.41
$16.41
$0.00
0%
$17.53
$17.79
($0.26)
-1%
$17.96
$17.37
$0.59
3%
$25.59
$28.27
($2.68)
-9%
$11.15
$11.15
$0.00
0%
$20.13
$23.92
($3.79)
-16%
$52.03
$54.74
($2.71)
-5%
$30.95
$33.59
($2.64)
-8%
$74.04
$75.58
($1.54)
-2%
$26.73
$30.99
($4.26)
-14%
$58.44
$77.16
($18.72)
-24%
$43.22
$45.68
($2.46)
-5%
$18.16
$19.27
($1.11)
-6%
$30.18
$20.13
$10.05
50%
$15.99
$17.65
($1.66)
-9%
$14.57
$17.19
($2.62)
-15%
$90.41
$93.60
($3.19)
-3%
$26.98
$28.23
($1.25)
-4%
$58.25
$60.43
($2.18)
-4%
$16.79
$15.96
$0.83
5%

Legacy / Vintage: Legacy and Vintage prices are down this week. Vintage events are firing again, but I suspect a lot of people had hoarded VMA cards, hoping that the format would take off. Now, those people are selling those cards. But that’s just my speculation.  
 

Legacy / Vintage Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$74.12
$80.34
($6.22)
-8%
$180.84
$180.84
$0.00
0%
$27.94
$31.70
($3.76)
-12%
$29.79
$29.79
$0.00
0%
$25.91
$24.23
$1.68
7%
$15.18
$17.06
($1.88)
-11%
$31.27
$33.29
($2.02)
-6%
$28.44
$30.39
($1.95)
-6%
$22.87
$24.45
($1.58)
-6%
$40.76
$44.85
($4.09)
-9%
$17.42
$17.42
$0.00
0%
$25.24
$25.24
$0.00
0%
$20.24
$22.18
($1.94)
-9%
$13.56
$17.41
($3.85)
-22%
$95.25
$95.25
$0.00
0%
$59.53
$67.63
($8.10)
-12%
$84.07
$89.10
($5.03)
-6%
$11.67
$12.37
($0.70)
-6%
$146.82
$150.68
($3.86)
-3%
$56.13
$62.34
($6.21)
-10%
$40.51
$40.51
$0.00
0%
$54.84
$57.42
($2.58)
-4%
$41.74
$41.74
$0.00
0%
$17.85
$18.53
($0.68)
-4%
$35.54
$33.63
$1.91
6%
$102.76
$104.76
($2.00)
-2%

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, excluding sets that are not draftable.    
 

Complete Set
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
Born of the Gods
$74.80
$76.68
($1.88)
-2%
Journey into Nix
$131.42
$121.26
$10.16
8%
Khans of Trakir
$142.57
$174.09
($31.52)
-18%
M15
$132.56
$135.74
($3.18)
-2%
Theros
$114.35
$134.01
($19.66)
-15%

 

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 Rishadan Port is closing the gap. The final flurry of VMA drafts have pushed down the price of Power. At the same time, the end of the supply of new dual lands has reversed the pricing trend, and Underground Sea has climbed back above $25. 
 

Name
Rarity
Set
 Price
Black Lotus
B
VMA
 $ 180.84
Rishadan Port
R
MM
 $ 146.82
Wasteland
U
TE
 $ 102.76
Misdirection
R
MM
 $   95.25
Tarmogoyf
M
MMA
 $   93.60
Tarmogoyf
R
FUT
 $   90.41
Mox Sapphire
B
VMA
 $   84.07
Ancestral Recall
B
VMA
 $   74.12
Liliana of the Veil
M
ISD
 $   74.04
Mox Jet
B
VMA
 $   59.53
Vendilion Clique
M
MMA
 $   58.69
Mox Opal
M
SOM
 $   58.44
Vendilion Clique
R
MOR
 $   58.28
Show and Tell
R
UZ
 $   56.13
Force of Will
R
MED
 $   55.04
Time Walk
B
VMA
 $   54.84
Griselbrand
M
AVR
 $   52.03
Mox Ruby
B
VMA
 $   51.03
Noble Hierarch
R
CON
 $   43.22
Mox Emerald
B
VMA
 $   43.22
True-Name Nemesis
R
C13
 $   41.74
Hurkyl's Recall
R
10E
 $   40.76
Sneak Attack
R
UZ
 $   40.51
Tangle Wire
R
NE
 $   39.87
Batterskull
M
NPH
 $   39.52
Mox Pearl
B
VMA
 $   38.46
Toxic Deluge
R
C13
 $   36.63
Undiscovered Paradise
R
VI
 $   35.54
Gaea's Cradle
R
UZ
 $   34.62
Tezzeret the Seeker
M
ALA
 $   32.51
Lion's Eye Diamond
R
MI
 $   32.03
Infernal Tutor
R
DIS
 $   31.90
Force of Will
R
VMA
 $   31.27
Karn Liberated
M
NPH
 $   30.95
Dark Confidant
M
MMA
 $   30.78
Craterhoof Behemoth
M
AVR
 $   30.43
Scalding Tarn
R
ZEN
 $   30.18
Dark Depths
R
CSP
 $   29.79
Entreat the Angels
M
AVR
 $   29.12
Jace, the Mind Sculptor
M
WWK
 $   29.09
City of Traitors
R
EX
 $   27.94
Twilight Mire
R
EVE
 $   26.98
Linvala, Keeper of Silence
M
ROE
 $   26.73
Daze
C
NE
 $   25.91
Dark Confidant
R
RAV
 $   25.59
Intuition
R
TE
 $   25.24
Underground Sea
R
ME2
 $   25.12

 

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 $ 25,400. That’s down over $1,100 from where we were last week. That’s a significant drop.

Weekly Highlights:

I had a great time last weekend, especially towards the end of the Packers game. Too bad those great times did not include Magic.

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. 

 

11 Comments

SCG by Sensei at Fri, 10/17/2014 - 13:38
Sensei's picture

The reason why there wasn't an open was because of States. SCG has no problem scheduling opens during PTs, see JOU and M15.

Hi Pete, as always thank you by Orgion at Fri, 10/17/2014 - 14:53
Orgion's picture
5

Hi Pete,
as always thank you for the article. makes Friday's journey home on the train so much more bearable.

Regarding your connectivity issues and the lag, how sure are you that it's entirely wizard's fault? I played all weekend, entering multiple draft and sealed release queues. I didn't experience any of the issues you mention. the client was responsive and not laggy in the slightest. My 80 card submission was down only to my inability to choose between Abzan and Mardu!

I'll admit I play from the UK (which should be somewhat laggier, given the inherent latency) and my broadband connection is considerably bigger than yours. But still, I feel I should have experienced some of your lag if it was coming from wizard's side.

There are many reasons for connection issues and it could still be all wizard's fault. Still I guess I'd like to know what you did to confirm it was their side. At the very least then, should I suffer the same I too can confirm with wizard's support it's not my fault when I complain as well...

Pete is a guy that usually by TugaChampion at Fri, 10/17/2014 - 15:31
TugaChampion's picture

Pete is a guy that usually has a lot of patience with mtgo's problems and Wizards' mistakes. If he's angry at this I wouldn't doubt it's Wizards' fault.

He said everything else was working and it occured several times. It can't be on his end.

I'm so sorry for the multiple by Orgion at Fri, 10/17/2014 - 14:58
Orgion's picture
5

I'm so sorry for the multiple posts! if the web editor could delete the extras I'll be eternally grateful.

Stupid mobile cache, didn't update the page to confirm the comment had submitted. Again really sorry...

I got them taken care of :D by JXClaytor at Fri, 10/17/2014 - 15:00
JXClaytor's picture

I got them taken care of :D

I'm not a big drafter, but ... by Rerepete at Fri, 10/17/2014 - 18:42
Rerepete's picture

I played in 2 KTK drafts last week and both had crashing issues. First one crashed 3 times, during drafting, during deck building (when I hit the submit button), and then during game play at going to sideboarding. Second draft a day later crashed during game play. Very frustrating, to say the least, but at least CS were prompt in compensation.

Thanks for adding the by Kumagoro42 at Fri, 10/17/2014 - 22:46
Kumagoro42's picture
5

Thanks for adding the Changeling issue to the timeline, Pete!
You put there twice, though. :) The second one with a curious "Trial Wars" moniker :)

FTV:ANH by vaultboy at Mon, 10/20/2014 - 03:51
vaultboy's picture

From the Vault boxes couldn't be opened. That was the issue.

Its not just the endless list by Hearts at Mon, 10/20/2014 - 09:44
Hearts's picture

Its not just the endless list of awkward things or things not working with mtgo, its also the things that actually WORK with mtgo that are there with an added cost in form of cpu/memory usage.

So, a 3-4 year old computer works like that with other games, but in mtgo terms that 3-4 yo computer in effect is rather like 7-10 year old.

That said, I think V4 will become better than v3, only that it will take 2-5 months to become as good as V3, and then use an extra year or so to build up "betters" than v3.

The pace of which wotc needs to do things is puzzling.

In parallel this doesn't mean that much money loss for wotc because there will always be the percentage of mtgo players that use mtgo to improve their paper game to do well at GPs, PTs and PTQs. These players aren't that much "victimized" by the mtgo flaws because they most often recognize when a flaw happens, which newer players don't do, but do in aftermath, and then get very disappointed (determining what is a valid redemption request is a rollercoaster arguementation wise, im very certain wotc gets away with far too much nonsense replies to customers, and some players draft watchdog/spirespine to actively seek out redemption from wotc(a player can also mull for this/these card in games). And then you also have that extra layer where (some) experienced players exploit things at wotc/newer players cost, and you get the discussions about what actually is exploiting vs what is just making the most of it.

If I were wotc I would implement the possibility to block out a player from playing certain formats instead of having this idiotic redemption e-mailing forth and back, but that is probably way too much to expect of their computing skills.

Match Lag by The Milk Man at Mon, 10/20/2014 - 10:05
The Milk Man's picture
5

I have had some serious issues with lag in game too. I have lost matches due to this as well. Recording the matches allows me to go back and look at the clock and it 'skips'... not only a lot, but in large quantities of time too. The simplest way for wizards to remedy this would be to increase the match times. Aggro vs Aggro matches shouldn't be going to time. Something like Eggs or Jeskai Ascendancy is unplayable on MTGO in its current state.

I haven't played much lately by TugaChampion at Mon, 10/20/2014 - 13:15
TugaChampion's picture

I haven't played much lately but I did play Momir on Saturday and I didn't notice any lag. But with many players lagging it obviously has to be a problem with mtgo. But increasing the time is not the solution. That encourages slow play and makes for even longer rounds. A friend of mine has been playing a lot of Hearthstone and when he played one cube draft he just couldn't stand that his opp kept making him wait 1 minute every turn, even when he was tapped out. I know this can't be solved because of the way magic works but adding more time will create even more problems. What they have to do is fix the lag even if they have to hire more/better people.