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By: hamtastic, Erik Friborg
Jun 02 2008 10:16pm
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Table of Contents
V3
Editorial Section
MTGO Discussion Items
Bugs
Card Prices
Conclusion

V3's First Month can be found here.  I'm going to cover the progress week to week, then break them into months so as to keep this section somewhat manageable.


Friday, May 9th 2008 through Monday May 12th -
And the SPaghett1 has hit the fan, so to speak. It was announced on Friday that SP1 was not going to be released during the week of May 12th.  Instead, they were going to start breaking down the patches into smaller weekly fixes.  There has been a lot of concern posted about this on the boards.  In an effort to keep this section as factual as possible, I've added my concerns to the Editorial Section.  After this announcement we haven't heard anything more about what fixes will be in the first week's patch.

Tuesday May 13th 2008-
Late in the evening we hear about what we will see in the first week of downtime, or what has been termed SP0.1.  To recap:

  • Upgrade to the communication layer between the servers and the database
  • Users won't have to log out after completing a trade to be sure of their collection and tradable quantities.

So, in theory, if all goes well we'll see nothing different but trading wont completely suck.  /me crosses his fingers...

Wednesday May 14th 2008-
Today we got the DB upgrade and client side tradeable quantitiy fix... and they missed.  It seems that either Gordon was mistaken with what was being patched today, or they were unable to see that trading tickets still doesn't work.  I'm not sure which one, and quite frankly I don't really care anymore.  The sad facts are that they continue to be unable to tell us what they're going to do and then do what they've told us.  Even a simple communication->execution like the two points above was unsuccessful...  I'm running out of words for these disappointments.

Thursday May 15th 2008-

Not really much to say today.  We didn't hear anything official from WotC regarding the broken patch, and we all just sort of wandered around aimlessly.  There was a lot of frustration still around regarding yesterdays patch.  *sigh*


Friday May 16th 2008-

Today we get a work around regarding how to trade kinda-sorta normally.  It's still not going to help bots and/or dealers.  We also hear (finally) that they are aware of the trade bug and that it is a top priority to them.  Good to hear, but without results it's just words.  We will need to see movement here before we can get excited about this statement.

Saturday May 17th through Monday May 19th -

We get a statement from Worth regarding redemption in V3, and the plans to return it exactly as it was.  Which is nice to hear, and I hope it comes back sooner rather than later.  We also get the build notes for this weeks patch and more statements regarding the importance of trading, and other items.  We also, somehow, run out of coupons for new accounts.  Which is odd, I think. 

Tuesday May 20th 2008-

Worth announces that Shadowmoor will be released on June 2nd, at the earliest.  From initial reports, the Shadowmoor cardset has been very well coded and the beta for it has been rather uneventful.

Wednesday May 21st 2008-

It's patch Wednesday, and the moment of truth arives... will they redeem themselves after last week's patch?  Or will they fall further down the rabbit hole?  As the servers come up people rush in to test the fixes and find... success!  I don't want to sound overly surprised by that, but, after last week's patch I expected at least a few pieces to break after the downtime.  I was very pleasantly surprised to find that there were no critical, or even mildly problematic breakages.  The only thing that started acting funny was typing in chat windows was causing the cursor to jump around.  Other than that, solid.  Wow. 


Thursday May 22nd 2008-

We've heard that Shadowmoor is going to launch sometime in early June/end of May, more likely June than May.  This marks a rather lengthy delay between the paper release and our release, similar to Morningtide where the previews for Shadowmoor started almost at the same time as our release events.  Ick.  Draft queues are brought down for a bit.  While they didn't give a reason I heard it was due to a very problematic bug in the deck editor that people were exploiting.  Looks like it was pretty easily fixable though.

Friday May 23rd 2008-

We get the heads up of a Nix Tix weekend and PE's going live this evening.  Things seem pretty good with the PE's now.  Some people have had issues, but most have been running fine.  There is a distinct lack of being able to draw in these events though...

Saturday May 24th through Tuesday May 27th -

We hear about this week's release notes:

  • Deck editor scene enhancements - smaller card size and space usage improvements (3 SP1 fixes).
  • Corrections to the deck editor statistics (SP1 fix).
  • Sideboarding - art/grid view preference is sticky.
  • A potential fix for the graphics quality issue being seen by some high end graphic card users.

Unfortunately the fix I was most looking forward to (boolean searching) was waved off right before the downtime.  Oh well, maybe next week.

Wednesday May 28th 2008-

It's patch Wednesday, and....... Woo!  They managed to not create new issues while fixing things.  This makes it a streak (two in a row!), and that's a good things for MTGO fans.  Things aren't moving along at a blistering pace, but they're moving along without going backwards, which is welcome news.  Of course this only servers to set the expectations higher and higher for the Shadowmoor release.  Let's see if they can keep this rolling.

Top

 

Foils, foils everywhere, but not a pack to crack...
I started a poll here: V3 FOIL POLL to get some feedback on something that I seem to be confused about.  When V3 was being beta tested, one of the most welcomed changes was the new foil effect.  Since the release of V3 however, there have been more and more complaints about the foils not remaining the same.  I thought that people generally liked the foils, but now I'm not so sure.  So I wanted to get some yes/no/maybe-so feedback in the form of a poll to see if there really is a majority on one side or the other.  All feedback in the thread is welcome of course, and I'll thank everyone in advance for voting!

Speaking of foils and the UI, I finalized a version of the static foil that I like far better than the default static foil.  It's located here, and here are the instructions to install it.

  • Right click on the link and select "Save Link as..." (or "Save Target as, if you're on IE).
  • When prompted where to save it, browse to "C:Program FilesWizards of the CoastMagic Online IIIGraphicsModels" and save it, overwriting the old file (if you have an issue you can always repair your installation later).
  • Make sure that you have your foils set to "Disable Foil animation" in your Menu->Settings->Game Play scene.

I'd like to thank everyone who took time to participate in this poll, I really appreciate your time and responses!  Hopefully as I add more polls to these articles I can more and more feedback in each one!

That's right!  More polls, polls for me and polls for you!

This week's poll?  Should Intentional Draws be added back to Premier Events?  The MTGO boards discussion can be found here, and the poll is here.  Rock on!

 

Trading Features:

 

Since we just had the trading patches applied this week, I figured what better way to start this than with the Trading Features report!  Some very good progress this week.  In fact, we're almost back to normal.  We have some work to be done with repeated trades, but overall, a good week.

System Features:

This week we got replays back, well, back again.  So far.  We'll see if we can keep them around without getting them turned off for impacting system performance.  That's the key.  And I jinxed it.  They're down again now.  {f}{n} Also this week we got a few more 'free' PE's, which showed a lot of improvements based on what we've heard on the boards regarding them.  I imagine that by next week we'll have them on as well.

NACS/Store Features:

NACS and Store are lumped together, and so far it's still a ways off from its previous functionality (unless I've missed something).

 

Top

V3 UI Design Contests:
I've written about client modifications before, and it seems like more people are getting into it now.  There was a player 'bragging rights' competition, and now there's a fully funded UI skin competition with about $1,000 going to the winner.  You can get more details here.  I've already dedicated a full section to this before, so I won't repeat it all here.  But I will say this: there is a lot of room for modifications to the client through just the images available.  I've made the client much more palatable to myself and others with only a few hours of work, and I'm a scrubbly amateur when it comes to this UI stuff.  I look forward to what some people with real talent for it can accomplish.


League Discussion -
Leagues, and the lack thereof.  Also, format fixes as well as discussion of shortcomings of the previous league system.  Unfortunately, there's been no official WotC communication about what is in store for V3 leagues as of yet.


No Drawing in PE's? -
Wow.  This topic exploded from last week.  One of the best discussions I've seen lately actually.  It's heated in many places but a really good back and forth without name calling. 

Taking a break + Mailing Lists -
When yet another poster mentioned that they were leaving until <insert reason to play here> I decided to step up and make something happen.  Rather than waiting for them to come back I've created mailing lists to which interested people can subscribe.  Instead of letting them go away and hope they check back peridiocally I wanted to be proactive about letting them know when their favorite format is back.  Leagues List, Multiplayer List

Shadowmoor release event plans -
Shadowmoor's MTGO release is just around the corner and as always, there's a lot of goodies in there for the good MTGO girls and boys. I'm really excited about a lot of the Commons and some of the stranger Rares and Uncommons.  Discuss your plans in the link above!


Redemption Concerns -
Another general concern thread created for discussion of some of the top issues in V3.

General Magic III Concerns -
Another general concern thread created for discussion of some of the top issues in V3.

Communication from WotC -
A great thread maintained by Algona.  This thread has a compilation of the statements that various WotC staff have made for the past few weeks.  A must read for anyone interested in what WotC has been up to arouind the boards.

Why a profanity filter?
Someone recently got in trouble for typing profanity in the Casual/Casual room.  Which started a rather long debate about what the Profanity filter really means, what it applies to and how it works with the Code of Conduct.  Essentially, it boils down the to Code of Conduct hasn't changed.  Typing vulgarity anywhere is still prohibited.  Which makes the ability to toggle the option for seeing it seem strange to have.  However, it exists, but it doesn't change the fact that you can still be reported for swearing.  -Bumping since it seems to have come up again, 05-16-08-

Infobot returns -
If you like to trade, or just want to know how much a certain card would cost you, then this is the service for you.  Infobot was a frequently used bot in V2 for getting quick price checks, and seeing what different dealers were charging for the card.  I look forward to seeing it in action on V3, but for now, it's a web service.


 Go back to V2?
A topic that's been brought up a couple of times has been going back to Version 2 of MTGO (Along with the crashes, the lag..)

Redemption Concerns
What are your concerns about the redemption setup for MTGO.  What would you like to see done with it?

Top 5 Magic Online Concerns
Use this thread to vote for your top five concerns.


Free stuff?
What would YOU like to see WotC do for a 'phree' stuff event/gesture?

Spending habits, post V3?
Some interesting discussion about the spending habits of posters since V3 launched.

Which card describes V3?
A fun contest about what card summarizes V3.  Give it a whirl!

Card economy in V3
Worth posted a statement in this thread that I feel should be read from top to bottom.  Good information for those worried about MTGO right now.

New Trade bugs
This hurts a lot.  Not just the dealers and bot owners, but the casual trading as well.  And even more so, trading at the release event will be majorly impacted.  They're running out of time to get this functionality squared away.


 

The Thrifty Djinn!

DonTheMage has started a blog that was inspired by his desire to play MTGO on a "World of Warcaft" budget (which for those not used to the game is $30.00 up front and $15.00 dollars a month.  His blog is linked from the thread I've linked and looks to be a fantastic endeavor.

Top

Bugs: Client

04-20-08 Can't /join rooms Closed
05-02-08 Trades don't update Collections properly Mostly Closed

Bugs: Card Related

A great thread has been started here that has a lot of bugs in V3 listed and validated.  If you've seen any card bugs in V3, I'd love to see them posted (after they're submitted via the http://wizards.custhelp.com web form, of course!)

Top

 

Force of Will


Pretty much known as the crown jewel of the Classic format.  Sure, there are currently more expensive cards (but not by much!), this is the card that hold the format together.  This card sees more play than any of the more expensive cards in the format combined. 

 

Vampiric Tutor


Next up one of the only two cards restricted in the format... Vamp Tutor.  Perhaps the most surprising thing is its lack of movement either up from its starting point, or down after its restriction.  There were some who were known to be hording this card at one point.  Not much is known about that activit

 
Meddling Mage

If you've ever heard someone complain about the devaluation of their collection, you're about to see why.  The "big four" IPA cards have tanked, hard.  First up is fish cornerstone, Meddling Mage


 

Pernicious Deed

Same as Meddling Mage, only moreso.  Ouch.  This was the worst of it though.  However both Orim's Chant and Vindicate have had plummets like Meddling Mage's.


 

Polluted Delta

Switching gears we'll look at Polluted Delta as a the baseline for the fetch lands.  You see a spike around January whene they're being sought after for Extended season testing, with them falling lower and lower after that.


 

Fireblast

Fireblast is a card that's still doing pretty well for itself.  It's used in a pretty strong deck in Classic right now, named Burn (and RDW).  The key to its success?  It's free, but it costs six if something like Counterbalance looks at it.  Many a game go from a CounterBalance player stabilizng only to be on the receiving end of a Fireblast for the loss.

 

Next up is another Classic staple, known as StP.  It gets the job done better than any other card for the cost.  Don't let the uncommon symbol fool you though, it's an ultra rare.  Only one per Coldsnap Theme Deck at 11.29 a pop makes these a pricey card to get.  But you'll need it if you ever want to play a White/x deck.  Or if you can make White mana somehow.

 

Lion

Any long name in MTG gets abbreviated or nick-named, and Lion's Eye Diamond is no exception.  LED for short sees a hefty amount of play in various decks like Storm or Bomberman and is one of the most powerful mana accelerants we have access to for the time being.  It combos well with wishes and some of the the tutors in the format.

 
Dark Ritual

Speaking of powerful acceleration, we have the mack daddy of 1CC accel: Dark Ritual.  Or DaRia (okay, I just made that up, but I like it.)  First turn DaRia into a Hypnotic Specter is still a strong play, no matter what anyone says.

 
Abeyance
  Pic=Null Rod

Last up is a two-fer: Abeyance and Null Rod came out in the same set and were priced about seven tix apart from one another.  Fifteen months later?  The student has surpassed the master and Abeyance, that combo enabler and playa jailer is above the flatlining Affinity Hoser.

 

 

 

Drafts/hour per Day

 

Guess where the Nix Tix was?  Nix Tix started Saturday morning (05-25-08) and lasted until Monday morning (05-27-08).  The amount of drafting that happened during this timeframe was quite simply, astounding.  I look forward to seeing the Shadowmoor release numbers as well.  I think that will be very telling indeed.

Players per room

 

 

Nothing surprising here really, but something of interest for anyone who cares is that we've hit a high for the users displayed in the rooms at just above 1400 total on both Saturday and Sunday.  According to WotC sources there were over 1800 players logged in at those times, which means that there were quite a few bots and players idling at the home screen.

 

 Yay!  Another week down, unfortunately there was a lot of downtime on the puremtgo.com server this week.  Hopefully we've got the worst of it behind us now.  Thanks for reading and good luck with your Shadowmoor purchases!

-hamtastic