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By: hamtastic, Erik Friborg
Jul 03 2008 9:47pm
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Table of Contents
Editorial Section
MTGO Discussion Items
Card Prices

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.V3 Month of May  Again, I will be shortening up the V3 section now that we're hitting our stride.


The scent of V3 in June reminds me of my childhood.  I spent countless hours sitting on the banks of a river.... blowing things up.

So far the first patch of June has not gone over well.  It didn't fix everything that it was supposed to fix (the art for the cards), and the card merge broke currently working cards (like Cabal Coffers, and the "Wish" style cards, and some of the "Enhanced" spells from the Ravnica block).  Also with this patch we get the information that there may be no progress in the backlog of bugs and fixes next week because of the events and not wanting to risk breaking things.  I can understand that trepidation, however, each week of pushing back fixes pushes back the time when we can start to get NEW things into the system, as well as return some of our old missing functionality as well.  On the plus side though, we did get Commander (aka Elder Dragon Highlander) back as a multiplayer format.  That alone almost balances out the issues that they caused with this latest patch.  Almost.

Week of June 13th:
We had our first real 'crash' type issue with V3.  According to the downtime notes this week they are pushing a patch to fix this issue going forward.  Tomorrow marks the start of the first release events on V3, and based on the popularity of the Shadowmoor set we should have some hefty server load this weekend, likely moreso even than the Nix Tix events a few weeks back.  I'm excited and nervous for this weekend.

Week of June 20th:
After last week's 'crash', things have been quite good, server wise.  Although there have been sporadic reports of issues from Comcast users as well as some overseas users.  However this appears to be outside of WotC's control and largely ISP related.  However, besides that (and the client based lag some users have), the system stood up to the stress very, very well.  No server lag or server crashes to speak of, not even during the busiest most heavily hit times of the events.  This week we heard another "oh yeah, that's a feature" statement regarding PE's and replays.  Namely that the lack of replays may become a 'feature' of playing online, since if they could stop deck scouting in paper Magic, they would. 

Week of June 27th:
Oh boy oh boy oh boy.  What a difference a week makes, eh?  So, here's the break down of the week: I jinxed the crap out of us.  The day after my last article (Saturday), we start to experience some hefty lag.  Games aren't starting, sideboards aren't showing up, and matches in general are pretty much toast.  Sunday they try restarting the game servers.  This doesn't fix the issue.  Monday they bring down the queues and restart the servers.  This doesn't help, the queues are down until Tuesday.  Tuesday they bump up the maintenance and try something.  It doesn't help.  The queues are down still and they try rebooting them again.  They do a Wednesday maintenance.  We come back up but the queues remain down.  They do some DB cleanup.  The queues are still down but at least the casual games are running fairly well again.  That brings us to Thursday.  Queues are still down, and apparently they're still no closer to solving the issue than they were on Saturday when it started.  That about sums up the turmoil from this week I think.

Week of July 4th:
So, the servers seem to be stable again... and the last statement we got from WotC mentions something about decks being stored and needing to be cleaned up.  Once they finished that up events started firing fine again.  Other than that, nothing much has happened this week.  Although the issue that the developers fought with last week came at the price of getting work on SP1.i, and it has been delayed at least a week and will be deployed on July 9th at the earliest.  Other than that, not much V3 news to report, which compared to last week, could be considered a good thing.


The Alpha and Omega of the Beta aka How and Why should I beta?

The beta application for Eventide is now open, and you can sign up here (note, you'll have to register for an account if you don't have one), also, make sure to mention that you're applying for the 'Eventide Beta' in your request.  After you fill that out you'll have to wait for a confirmation about your status in the beta.  You can also try logging in with your gleemax ID/Password here: beta boards.  If you can log in and see boards information, congrats, you're in the beta!  If not, you may not be in, best of luck next time.  For those of you who haven't been in an MTGO beta before, some tips to make things go a bit smoother:

When you log in, join the 'Chat With Support' room.  There is a lot going on and often something you've found is already known.  To guard against duplicate reports we ask each other in this room and see if it's known.  If it's known, there's no need to report it again.  If it's not known, please report it.

That brings me to reporting bugs.  Beta is first and formost about finding bugs and fixing bugs.  It's not for testing the latest sealed environement, or for getting in draft practice.  However, that's not to say that you can't enjoy yourself or play to win.  If you're in the middle of an event and your opponent asks you to give him more time to check something, give it to him.  Just keep in mind that making the set work as well as possible helps all of us, so enjoy the cards, play hard, but be respectful of the process that we're trying to utilize.

Lastly, have fun!  Talk with other players in the Support room, try wacky off-the-wall deck ideas, try to break the cards in the weirdest way you can think to do so.  Beta isn't ONLY about bugs, it's also about having some fun along the way.  I think you'll be surprised about how much fun you can have while searching for bugs.  It's not all fun and games of course, there are some times that you'll need to focus more on testing than you do on the fun of playing the greatest game in the world.  But overall, the beta experience is one to enjoy as much as possible.


Thread of the week!

I'm quite surprised that this thread hasn't gotten much feedback yet, to be quite honest.  MTGO Event at US Nationals.  Since this is likely going to be the way that any large MTGO events will be held it's very interesting to see it start to happen with V3.  I've waxed on and on about the desire to have MTGO get some higher level event stuff lately, and I think this is a fantastic step.  Using it as the enforcer of the rules and tournament structure while still having the non-collusion provided by having the players together in a physical location is a great mix of technology and prizes.  Best of luck to everyone who gets to participate.

A second thing this brings to mind is the ability to create restricted queues for certain players.  I have to imagine that the players who register for this on site will get their names added to a list of players for the draft pod online.  This opens up many exciting possibilities that I can't even fully fathom yet.  Clan specific draft queues (without prizes, possibly), user created tournament queues (like PDC), etc. 

Shadowmoor Card Price Status

Last up for the wek is the Shadowmoor price decrease information.  Why is it in the Editorial Section?  Because I think it's important enough to list twice to ensure proper exposure.  Last week I speculated on where we'd be for the sum of the Shadowmoor set.  There has been a lot of concern around the prices dropping too fast and too far.  What did I find?  I found that the price decrease is more than Lorwyn and Morningtide's were at this time... but barely.  Here's what we see:


Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4
416.15 243.61 178 171.57
172.54 238.15 244.58
41.46% 57.23% 58.77%


Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4
250.25 135.22 113.68 110.58
115.03 136.57 139.67
45.97% 54.57% 55.81%


Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4
350.06 161.08 143.32 150.33
188.98 206.74 199.73
53.99% 59.06% 57.06%

Last week Shadowmoor was about about 4.5% ahead of Morningtide and 1.8% ahead of Lorwyn for decreasing, meaning that it had dropped lower, faster than the previous two sets.  So what happens when we look at week four (taking into account that we missed almost a week's worth of release events due to server issues)?  We see something very interesting.  Namely that it increased in price, and is now between where Lorwyn and Morningtide were at this same point in time.  Lorwyn was 1.71% lower overall than Shadowmoor is at the same point in its life online, and Mornigntide was only 1.25% better off, overall.  It will be interesting to see where things go from here now that the release events are taking off again.

What to do with Commons -
Ever wonder about things you could do with the excess draft dredge commons?  Some pretty nifty ideas have been shared so far in the thread above.  Add your voice or idea!

SP1.i speculation and discussion -
Discussion about the importance of SP1, the needed fixes and the concerns that many players have about it. 

Shadowmoor Price Dropping -
This was large reason as to why I did the research in my Editorial Section.  The SHM prices are, by percentage, about where they should be.  Discuss they why's and wherefor's in the thread above!

Burning non-renewable resources -
This thread brings up the fact that MTGO is using up its ability to draw in new or lapsed players by enticing them with old cards.  When they use up all their MED's and old sets we will be in a state of stable, static, MTGO sets being a month behind paper and nothing new in sight. 


Big MTGO fixes, again -
It seems that the plan to McNuggetize the SP1 fixes has caused issues internally and the MTGO staff are now heading down the path of a big fix to get them 'caught up' again.  I ranted about this before, and I think I'm happy to see this change back in philosophy.  I'll be happier once they push the fix and things don't break though.  Discussion of the announcement here

Shadowmoor Price Fall -
Every recent set release has followed the same pattern.  Cards start high, then dip down after a week of release events, then dip a little more the week after that.  However, the prices seem to be falling a bit faster than usual this time and that has some people concerned, as well as curious as to when the best time to buy is.


Budget Deckbuilding Contest! -
Hollow0n3 has a very restrictive contest brewing on the MTGO Message boards.  Think you have what it takes to win it? 

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.

UPDATE! 06-08-08

A forum goer took the time to create a simulation to view the ID vs No ID and the eventual top 8 in both.  He came up with some amazing findings through his tests that I feel deserve special attention.  To anyone interested in this debate I'd strongly recommend r ead from post 448 through the end of the thread.  I think you may be surprised.

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!

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.</ font>


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!)


For the first time since February we have a strengthing market.  More cards gained in price this week than lost in price, which hasn't happened on its own since mid-February.  Lets take a look at the gainers and losers first this week:


Last Week This Week Card Name Change
12.87 16.58 Reflecting Pool 3.71
4.9 6.37 Wilt-Leaf Liege 1.47
5.64 6.86 Fulminator Mage 1.22
0.86 1.94 Puppeteer Clique 1.08
0.67 1.7 Mind Spring 1.03
2.94 3.92 Cloudthresher 0.98
6.37 7.35 Sunken Ruins 0.98
0.97 1.94 Mind Shatter 0.97
1.7 2.43 Leaf-Crowned Elder 0.73
6.62 7.35 Magus of the Moon 0.73
0.86 1.46 Rustic Clachan 0.6
2.67 3.19 Greater Gargadon 0.52
3.92 4.41 Zur the Enchanter 0.49
9.07 9.56 Chameleon Colossus 0.49
2.94 3.43 Sulfurous Springs 0.49

What gained this week?  Shadowmoor chase rares, actually.  Reflecting Pool and the W/G Liege stormed upwards, followed closely by Fulminator Mage and Puppeteer Clique.  Other Standard power cards came up to get a bit more worth for players' collections. Perhaps the most interesting one that I noticed was Mind Spring/Mind Shatter jumping up so much.  Big mana decks must be coming up lately.

So what lost this week?


Last Week This Week Card Name Change
3.19 2.67 Graven Cairns -0.52
29.21 28.71 Vampiric Tutor -0.5
2.43 1.94 Everlasting Torment -0.49
1.26 0.97 Painter's Servant -0.29
1.12 0.86 Enchanted Evening -0.26
1.46 1.21 Rune Snag -0.25
15.84 15.59 Bitterblossom -0.25
2.43 2.18 Augury Adept -0.25
1.46 1.21 Murderous Redcap -0.25
2.18 1.94 Ashenmoor Liege -0.24
4.9 4.66 Demigod of Revenge -0.24
2.18 1.94 Gilt-Leaf Palace -0.24
1.94 1.7 Deus of Calamity -0.24
1.94 1.7 Secluded Glen -0.24
1.94 1.7 Firespout -0.24
2.67 2.43 Countryside Crusher -0.24
1.46 1.26 Taurean Mauler -0.2
0.67 0.48 Notorious Throng -0.19
0.62 0.48 Spectral Procession -0.14
1.26 1.12 Prismatic Omen -0.14

And what lost ground this week was similarily obvious and strange.  Obvious: some of the Shadowmoor cards.  Strange: Vampiric Tutor, Rune Snag, Bitterblossom.  My guess on Bitterblossom's fall is that it is tied to Cloudthresher's recent gain.  An influx of Green/x decks that pack the flash elemental. 

And of course, what SotP would be complete without some visual representation about the MTGO Economy?

And a peek at what I mentioned above, and the fact that the price per card rose a bit for the first time in months!

I think we're starting to see the restabilization of MTGO with the way this weeks prices bounced back, as well as cards increasing more than decreasing for the first time in a long, long time.  Have a great and safe holiday weekend everybody!

- hamtastic


by hamtastic at Sun, 07/06/2008 - 14:05
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The WotC boards have been all funky lately, with threads not loading properly and random other issues.  If you're still having these issues I'd recommend contact their customer support folks at http://wizards.custhelp.com.  But come to think of it, they too need you to register before you can use the forms.  :/

by Anonymous (Unregistered) (not verified) at Mon, 07/07/2008 - 09:18
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If you get the chance, how about checking into the "powermatching" pair ups during the final round of PE's?

Maybe explain a bit about it?

No ID's I understand and even agree with.  Along with the "if we could do it in real life too, we would" response from WOTC.  However, from what I understand of the powermatching stuff, it's not working anything close to what paper tournies do.

Aren't there specific DCI rules on how match paring should work?  If so, this is how MTGO should work too.  This is definately NOT one of those "if we could we would in paper" situations, since DCI matching rules COULD be changed if organized play wanted it to work that way.  So this seems to be just a difference for difference's sake type situation.....


by hamtastic at Sun, 07/06/2008 - 14:03
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It more means that you haven't been selected _yet_.  The beta sign-up period hasn't officially ended yet, so no new testers will be given access until they 'turn on' the forums for whomever else is chosen.  However, previous beta testers should still be able to see them if they try to log in.  Also, if you get an error in Firefox/Opera/etc, try them in IE.  Last go-round they had a problem working in non-IE browsers.

by mtgotraders at Sat, 07/05/2008 - 08:23
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I was about to ask the same thing.

Off topic, but official MTGO boards now require login for viewin by Anonymous (Unregistered) (not verified) at Sat, 07/05/2008 - 12:35
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Sorry to stray, but I've been a long-time lurker on the Wizards MTGO boards (read daily but never posted anything - I wonder what percentage of board traffic people like me represent?).  i notice now the boards are requiring registration and login even for VIEWING threads.  This is unfortunate for those of us that can't or don't want to create an account (and there are valid reasons for not wanting to do so - like privacy or secure connections creating suspicion at work).  Could someone post these concerns in the forum?  (And thanks for letting anonymous viewers read and post at PureMTGO!)

by mtgotraders at Sun, 07/06/2008 - 07:50
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Can you see that without logging in?  I tried it on a computer where I wasn't logged in and I could view it fine.

Beta by Anonymous (Unregistered) (not verified) at Sat, 07/05/2008 - 06:50
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So if we can log in to the betaboards, but can't see any forums we're not in the beta?

card prices by mtgotraders at Fri, 07/04/2008 - 07:58
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I have also noticed an increase in sales and a decrease in people selling out.  I think MTGO is finally on it's way back up and will continue as long as WOTC doesn't do something really stupid again(holds breath).

Beta? by MechtaK at Fri, 07/04/2008 - 00:03
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Your article says to go join the Eventide beta here, but there is no link there.  Always a good article ham!

by hamtastic at Fri, 07/04/2008 - 06:34
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I also added the instructions to make sure that you mention "Eventide Beta" in the beta request information.  My appologies for the mistake!