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By: hamtastic, Erik Friborg
Sep 18 2008 8:47pm
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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.

Week of September 5th:
We finally get
introduced to our UI specialist, Adriana.  She has a lot of good introductory statements.  The real tests are coming though, and that's mostly to do with what end results we get from her input into the UI issues.  We also get another gem from Mike regarding tournament stuff.  And anotherAnd Worth with a follow-up.  Are we sensing a trend yet?  If not, I'll give you hint... it rhymes with "shournament shmagic". 

Week of September 12th:
The hamjinx is strong this week as we get a 14ish hour downtime.  And here I was just thinking how well things had been going lately.  Of course I totally jinx us by doing so.  Ick.  But MTGO's back, product is selling, and well, life goes on doesn't it?  We did however finally get an article on the main webpage (more on this later) which outlines a bit of the goals for the Organized Play program that is currently being worked on.


Week of August 1st:
Some tidbits on MED2 this week.  According to
this post it looks like we'll be getting Dry Spell and Panicas very likely inclusions into MED2.  The Beta test for Eventide is underway and while I'm not at liberty to discuss exactly what goes on in Beta (confidentiality stuff), I can say that there are some pretty interesting things coming out soon.  We've been beta testing new/improved aspects of the client as well as the cards.  Look for more information as we get closer to the time when they will be released.  I think some people will be happy with the work done.  But to temper expectations, neither of them are Leagues/Redemption (at least not that we're testing, I have no clue what WotC's doing internally for those).

Week of August 8th:
We got a rather large amount of updates, fixes and changes this week.  Enough so that I almost consider it SP 1.1.  I'll detail the changes as well as some large problems introduced in this latest build in the Editorial section this week.  Besides the recent round of changes, things are holding steady with V3 so far.

Week of August 15th:
Things start heating up this week as we start to see more rapid changes to the MTGO Client and the MTGO tournament stuff.  This has long been a sore spot for MTGO players: the slow and sometimes complete lack, of changes to things that need to be changed.  A
couple hefty rounds of bug fixes are  announced as well. 

Week of August 22nd:
There is a new refund request policy!  This is very important and will be mentioned again later.  Our new Community Outreach Manager (WotC_Mike) introduces himeself.  Most of the important issues this week for V3 are revolving around the tournament scene, and to that end, the entire 'Hey Mike' thread is worth a read.  It can be found here. 

Week of August 29th:
A get some more tournament updates and discussion about what we should be expecting to see going forward.  One of the best posts is
here.  It's not a great thread for the outcome (which many would say is subpar), but it's a great thread for the candid and open resposne we've seen from our new outreach manager.


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.

Week of July 11th:
No SP1.i this week.  Again.  As a consolation prize we do get a 5 hour downtime and a list of things that should be fixed when we do get SP1.  It seems that a few people figured that the 5 hour downtime was meant to deploy SP1 as a few seperate rants have started up since then.  A great summarization of the announced SP1.i fixes was done by Maxeel here: http://forums.gleemax.com/showpost.php?p=16305040&postcount=40 

Week of July 18th:
SP1!!!  It didn't change the world but it definitely didn't cause it to implode either.  I, among other, had some pretty low expectations in regards to the outcome of SP1.  I'm happy to say that I'm not disappointed with Service Pack 1.  To the contrary, it did everything they said it would, and didn't create any huge new bugs.  There is a very irritating bug in regards to trading that this patch brought us (namely that you have to click 'Reset' to see anything).  We did however get some new functionality that'll I'll be going over in the editorial section below.

Week of July 25th:
A boring week in MTGO land... no crashes, no new events, no news on MED2.  Beta has started though, and that's good for some entertainment.



Climing Mt. MTGO.

Perhaps you haven't yet seen the following graphic, and just in case you haven't it, here it is:

Whooditty-doo, Basil, but what does it all mean?  Quite simply, that WotC is sticking a jalepeno in MTGO's Constructed Tail pipe.  I think we've seen more changes to the tournament structure in the past month than we had in the past two years.  And while not all of them have been loved, it shows that they are at leas a) able and b) willing to make changes to MTGO's tournament structures.  But enough of that, back to climbing Mt. MTGO...

Right now, constructed is more newbie friendly than ever before.  The 8 man swiss tournaments are a big improvement for the casual players, the new constructed players, and the rogue deck designers (we'll call these guppies for now).  Essentially what the 321 queues become are cheap practice queues.  Before the guppies can defend themselves in the shark infested waters they need to learn how to swim better.  This is where these queues shine.  What's intriguing to me is that there is a band being placed between the casual play and the 8player swiss queues.  I don't know what can be put in there, but I have a feeling that it's where I'll be setting up my base of operations.  I'm personally calling them all 'base camp n'.  The lowest level in base camp 1, the first 'mystery' option is base camp 2 and I'm personally enjoying base camp 3 right now. 

Also of interest is the summit of this Mt. MTGO... in the past we had some Worlds Qualifier tournaments, which I assume would go into one of these tiers.  But what about the other one?  Is it better than a Worlds Qualifier tournament? Or something between the Worlds style tournament and MTGO 'champs'?

I'm very excited to get more focus on MTGO's constructed play program.  There are a lot of concerns about card values.  Some of this is tied to redemption, but a large portion is tied to constructed demand.  Lower demand means lower prices, more demand means higher prices.  I'm looking forward to seeing some big time constructed tournaments to help drive up the demand for singles.  And that would be most welcome right now.


Thread of the week: Town Hall Transcript

I will ask that readers ignore the squabbling of a large portion of that thread and instead focus on the good that is trying to be accomplished by this group of MTGO players.  There are a lot of caring, dedicated individuals who want to see MTGO prosper and grow.  I will be attending (and hopefully moderating) the next town hall meeting, and I invite everyone else to try to attend as well.  Obviously, there are some things we cannot change, and we have to accept that.  However, I think that there are a lot of good things that we can do to help one another, and more importantly, help the community to grow.  For those that are interested in seeing MTGO succeed, I strongly urge you all to look for future updates.  Also, I'll take this time to announce the
First Weekly Community Get Together.  Nothing formal, nothing fancy, just a time to hang out and chat with your fellow MTGO players.  You know, folks like you.


Late Breaking news!  Pauper and LEGACY tournaments??? -
This thread just got posted before the article is to go live, but on an MTGO announcement there are two formats listed that I never thought I'd see... at least not for a long while... Pauper and Legacy.  They're a couple of months out, so who knows what will happen.  But, wow.  The mind reels at what this all means.   The announcement is here.

Community Get Together -
Join in the fun!

With MED2 events starting shortly and Shards events following closely behind, I think that everyone should take a look at these policies.

From the Vault: Dragons -
Some good commentary about the pro's and the con's of this and other potential collectors items.

MTGO Constructed Top 8 Decklists! -
This is a really cool new feaure that V3 has allowed us to have.  Decklists from events directly ported out from MTGO onto the magicthegathering.com homepage.  This is one of those things that helps drive interest about events and formats, which is a great thing for MTGO right now.

Auction Sites - (AUTHOR'S NOTE: mtgobay is not affiliated with MTGOTraders, I was evidently mistaken about that, sorry for any confusion!)
There's a new site, sponsored by MTGOTraders called mtgobay for MTGO auctions.  There's also another one that was recently deployed as well.  However, I haven't been given the okay to link to it yet, but when I do I'll update this for the next week. 

The other is CQAuction.  It's run on the ClassicQuarter.com site (link: CQ Auctions) and is completely free of charge.

A poster by the name of Robert Langdon found a very obscure fix for a fairly common problem, the garbled kicker screen as seen here:

The fix?  Adjust your DPI settings as seen here: http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?goto=newpost&t=1089067


Fraud warning and Fraud Warning 2-
"If one person calls you a horse, ignore them.  If two people call you a horse, buy a saddle."  I heard that from my parents growing up.  Meaning essentially a single does not constitiute a trend.  When more than one person starts to say the same thing, then you may need to look a bit more closely at the situation.  Here we have at least three users who have had very bad experiences with a certain bot chain, the CardBoosterShop "Sell4me" bot service.  This service will hold cards for you until they sell at the price you've listed, or you can retrieve them later.  However, numerous users have complained that the bot 'loses' the cards and doesn't give them back.  I have emailed the owner of this service and haven't been able to get a response back as of yet.  I'll keep trying and see if I can get something for an editorial section update next week.

Monthly check in: September -
Every month there will be a thread for status updates and discussions regarding them.  This is the September thread.

3-2-1 Swiss
As I discussed above, the queues have been temporarily changed from Single elimination to 3-2-1 Swiss queues.  The way in which these changes were handled, in conjunction with the consistent removal of 'spike-centered' events has clouded the release of this requested format.

EEE Payout Change
From this point forward, small sets will be allowed to stay after the release events, however, to make the release events more special the small sets will give out mixed packs from the previous sets in its prizes.

Revive Casual Trade!
I have no idea about the viability of this endeavor, but I wish it the best of luck!  Anyone interested in the concept of casual (card for card) trading should check out this thread.

Lack of Lots on eBay -
Luckily before this all started happening I got some data out for a new section in my price section.  However, that still leaves us with the little problem of OUR LOTS BEING REMOVED FROM EBAY AGAIN.  This happened before, when WoW gold farms were being cracked down on.  That decision magically (heh) reversed and we were allowed to sell lots again.  The first time this happened was back in February of 2007 (over a year and a half ago now... wow).  Anyway, this isn't the first time this has happened.  Unfortunately, we never got any confirmation from WotC about what, if anything, they did to
fix it last time

September Banned and Restricted List -
WOW!  Who saw Sensei's Diving Top on the chopping block for extended?  I sure didn't.  The big surprise for Classic though is the lack of Necropotence and Demonic Consultation on the restricted list.

Happy 5th Birthday, OnlyHellWillFillYourVoid! -
Love 'em or hate 'em they're a known entity and an integral part of the Magic Online experience.  I'd like give my congratulations to NeoNetGen and his clan of players for their dedication and their drive to make Magic a place they want it to become.

Unofficial 8/6 Build Discussion AND 8/6 Build Notes-
I've linked this first one about half a dozen times in this article already, and the second one about as much.  Both are very good resources for what happened this week.  Also of note: far, far, far more things were added and fixed than were broken this week.  Yes, we had some things broken due to new changes.  However, many more good things came out of this week's code push than were broken.  A far cry better than two months ago when they couldn't seem to even break even with code changes.  A good step.  A very good step, in my opinion.  We're not fantastic, and we're not in a fairy land of magical four-winged flutterflies or anything.  But we are seeing progress in large batches.

Draft Recorder -
I'm listing this seperate thread since this is a really awesome addition to the basic usage of MTGO.  To have a draft recorder built into the client itself is a great thing.

Worlds Qualifier -
A nebulous statement of more statements to come regarding MTGO and World's interaction.  Whatever it is, it should be interesting.

Sportsmanship concerns -
Do you feel that players concede too quickly on MTGO?  Or that they're not acting very sportsman-like?  Add your thoughts to the thread linked above.  

 Secondary Market -
About a month ago I waxed philosophic about the state of MTGO's economy right now.  The above thread has the Cliff's Notes version.

Who Controls MTGO's Secondary Market
Some really insightful discussions regarding the nature of the 'free' market of MTGO.  Since everything originates from WotC, and WotC controls formats, scheduling and potential demand, how free is our free market?

Downtime Announcements going to UTC -
This isn't a huge deal, but it shows that WotC is listening to the posters of the boards when they can.  This has been suggested quite a few times before and looks like it's finally going to be done now that there is an official person who handles announcements for the down time.

MTGO Server Status Link Now Works! -
Many a joke was made about the MTGO server status window and its extremely optimistic views on the term 'up'.  The widget has been remade and actually, really, seems to work this time.  Bookmark
this site for future use!

Set speed too fast? -
A good discussion about the difficulty of keeping up with sets on MTGO as well as MTG in general.



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!)


You know it.  You love it.  It's the Ham Jones Chart!  For those new to the chart, it displays the value of 1x of every card on MTGO, broken down by format.  I'll start tracking the shift of the value differences between now and when the Extended rotation hits and will desplay that image soon.


The next chart is a commissioned piece for a fellow player, a historical view of the Onslaught 'fetchlands'


We lost a little value overall, but not as much as usual, and the cards that did gain were largely the constructed calibre cards that aren't rotating out of standard.  This is a good sign that constructed is starting to pick up a bit more steam on MTGO already. 


Card name: Last Week This week Percentage Changed
Reya Dawnbringer 2.31 2.79 20.78%
Glen Elendra Archmage 1.26 1.7 34.92%
Sower of Temptation 2.94 3.19 8.50%
Doran, the Siege Tower 3.92 4.17 6.38%
Kangee, Aerie Keeper 3.26 3.5 7.36%
Rustic Clachan 1.46 1.7 16.44%
Secluded Glen 1.46 1.7 16.44%
Stillmoon Cavalier 3.68 3.92 6.52%
Birds of Paradise 3.68 3.92 6.52%
Moriok Rigger 0.23 0.46 100.00%
Cromat 2.31 2.54 9.96%
Hanna, Ship's Navigator 2.31 2.54 9.96%
Voidslime 1.26 1.46 15.87%
Doomed Necromancer 0.54 0.72 33.33%
Kinsbaile Borderguard 0.97 1.12 15.46%
Card name: Amount Changed Percentage Changed Final Price
Swords to Plowshares 10.4 6.86 -34.04%
Magus of the Moon 8.33 6.86 -17.65%
Damnation 8.82 7.84 -11.11%
Scrying Sheets 4.9 3.92 -20.00%
Divinity of Pride 3.43 2.67 -22.16%
Ohran Viper 5.64 4.9 -13.12%
Mutavault 19.31 18.81 -2.59%
Chameleon Colossus 11.39 10.89 -4.39%
Slaughter Pact 4.41 3.92 -11.11%
Creakwood Liege 3.43 2.94 -14.29%
Archon of Justice 2.43 1.94 -20.16%
Runed Halo 2.43 1.94 -20.16%
Balefire Liege 2.43 1.94 -20.16%
Murmuring Bosk 2.43 1.94 -20.16%
Ancestral Vision 3.92 3.43 -12.50%


misinformation by mtgotraders at Fri, 09/19/2008 - 07:21
mtgotraders's picture

"There's a new site, sponsored by MTGOTraders called mtgobay for MTGO auctions"

I don't sponsor that site btw. :)

by hamtastic at Fri, 09/19/2008 - 07:23
hamtastic's picture

Huh, I could have sworn I saw a banner on the site mentioning that you were involved.

Well, I'll add an author's note to the article.


by Empty_One (not verified) at Sat, 09/20/2008 - 18:19
Empty_One's picture

You might want to let them know that you don't sponsor them, mtgotraders.com is listed under the sponsors on the right side of the page.