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By: hamtastic, Erik Friborg
Sep 26 2008 7:09am
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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 September 19th:
No huge random downtimes this week, so that's a plus.  Also there are still some copies left of 'From the Vault: Dragons", but even at the halfway point that's still a profit of $87,475
.  That's a pretty good chunk of change.  We also get some more information about the Organized Play formats, and we get two bombshells: Legacy and Pauper.  We've heard more about the proposed Legacy format, and that's a whole can of worms.  We haven't heard any updates about the Collection Server's status for a while.  Since that's a pretty major piece to getting other important aspects finished up with MTGO I think we should get some more information about its status.

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.



"Dear Classic, by the time you read this I'll be gone.  We've had a good four years together.  And that's more than a lot of people get, ya know?  Remember when we started dating?  It was late summer, a mutual friend introduced us to one another.  We kind of started off slowly, but soon we were spending countless hours together, just getting to know one another.

I don't know where to start, so I'll just say it... there's somebody else in my life.  I didn't mean to have it happen, it just sort of happened. It was while you were out visiting your friends, I ran into some old buddies and we went out for drinks.   They kept pressuring me and pressuring me to talk to this girl by the bar.  They were saying things like I promised I'd always be 'cool' and that the expected me to live up to that old promise.  I didn't think that I wanted to, but I secretly did want to talk to her.  It turns out we have a lot in common.  I knew some of her family even.  She had just gone through some pretty rough times.  A lot of financial issues and troubles... I guess you probably don't care about all of that... yeah, you're right.  Sorry.  But anyway, one thing led to another and well, we need to split up.  I think it's the fairest thing to tell you this now, before more people get hurt.

I still want to be friends, ya know, it's just that we've grown apart these last four years.  We've both changed a lot, and let's face it, you're starting to look a little old.  I've tried to help you stay fresh but I can't keep living the lie...  I just don't feel anything when we're together anymore.

But I've rambled on long enough.  I better get going.  And I don't really want the kids, you can have them.  I'll send you a check to help though.

Wizards of the Coast"

My good friend Classic forwarded me that email earlier this week.  She's extremely distraught about the break-up.  I keep trying to tell her that it's going to be okay, but I'm not really sure myself.  It sounds like there might be a potential for reconciliation, but I'm not holding my breath.

It seems like both sides have agreed to couples counciling and they are trying to work out their issues.  Yay!

Thread of the week: Impacts of bugs and reimbursement
I feel that this is a very important thread for a lot of reasons.  The first is a reminder of the competitive play policy of MTGO.  The second is the impact of bugs (or any MTGO impacting issue) on your competitve experience and what you should expect from it.  There's also something of a warning in the thread to be sure you know what you're getting into before you start.  For the record, here is the refund policy.  It mostly says that anything outside of Wizards control is deemed your issue.  If it IS WotC's issue then you're only going to get back enough to join a new event after your prizes are calculated in.  Be careful, and join if you think it's worth the risk.


Classic/Legacy Format Split -
A big bombshell for the Classic Community this week when the new Community Outreach manager mentioned the proposed new format for MTGO: Online Legacy.  The announcement is here, and the discussion is here.  I've already expounded upon what I think this will do to Classic so I'll avoid doing so again here.

Dual Land Speculation -
The general consensus is that they'll hang out around 20 tickets until the release events start and then they'll fall pretty fast as they people who need them get smaller and smaller.  My guess is that they'll stabilize at about 10 tickets by the end of the release events and then begin to regain their value as the events slow down.

Official Pauper Format Discussion -
With the announcement of an official Pauper tournament the discussion about what to do with the official banned/restricted list has started.  The Affinity Boogeyman is still in the background of many players' minds, however, even its largely unrestricted state it's still not overpowering the format.

MED2 Release Events -
CHAMPS!  Hooray for Champs!  There are some changes to the formats that you can find through the link above.  I also typed a quick MED2 Survival guide, located here.

4 Player Constructed Queues, with PRISMATIC! -
And the hits just keep on coming it seems.  We've now been informed that WotC is launching Prismatic queues, but not the normal 8 man queues, 4 player single elimination queues.  The pack:ticket ratio is about the same as the 8 man's we currently have.  Each player pays in three tickets and out pop three packs which leads to another way to crank out four ticket packs.  The Classic queue will be the only queue to pay out MED packs as well.  The greatest thing about Prismatic for these is probably that it's hard to get eight players on at the same time, but four players playing Prismatic seems like it should be a lot easier.

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.  



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!)


Some things from the charts below:

1) "Hard to get" Classic cards have jumped up this week.  Force of Will, Dreadnought, LED, etc

2) "Reprinted" Classic cards tanked.  Swords to Plowshares, Ashen Ghoul, etc.

3) White Weenie cards seem to be popular still with both versions of Glorius Anthem increasing as well as Windbrisk Heights continuing to climb.

4) Rotating Standard cards are still falling.

5) Fetchlands are already starting to climb.  Extended season is coming up fast, and these will likely be crucial to the metagame.  If you want to play with these in the next six to nine months you'll probably be happy if you buy them now.

Card name: Last Week This week Percentage Changed
Force of Will 35.64 44.55 25.00%
Phyrexian Dreadnought 14.85 16.83 13.33%
Lion's Eye Diamond 16.83 17.82 5.88%
Glorious Anthem 1.12 1.7 51.79%
Bitterblossom 12.87 13.37 3.89%
Life from the Loam 1.94 2.43 25.26%
Cryptic Command 7.35 7.84 6.67%
Glorious Anthem 1.7 2.18 28.24%
Windbrisk Heights 1.46 1.94 32.88%
Polluted Delta 7.91 8.38 5.94%
Taurean Mauler 0.86 1.12 30.23%
Garruk Wildspeaker 2.94 3.19 8.50%
Lotus Bloom 3.43 3.68 7.29%
Wrath of God 8.33 8.58 3.00%
Stigma Lasher
1.94 2.18 12.37%
Card name: Amount Changed Percentage Changed Final Price
Ashen Ghoul 6.86 2.94 -57.14%
Swords to Plowshares 10.4 6.86 -34.04%
Orcish Lumberjack 3.43 1.46 -57.43%
Magus of the Moon 8.33 6.86 -17.65%
Gorilla Shaman 2.94 1.7 -42.18%
Draco 9.88 8.84 -10.53%
Damnation 8.82 7.84 -11.11%
Swords to Plowshares 6.86 5.88 -14.29%
Magus of the Moon 6.86 5.88 -14.29%
Ohran Viper 4.9 3.92 -20.00%
Zur the Enchanter 4.66 3.92 -15.88%
Phantasmal Fiend 1.46 0.86 -41.10%
Tarmogoyf 12.38 11.88 -4.04%
Damnation 7.84 7.35 -6.25%
Reflecting Pool 6.13 5.64 -7.99%

Next up... A first in the history of has happened MTGO history this week! The "Classic only" cards have more value than the Standard card pool.  This is a rather momentus occasion for the format and I feel that it deserves a moment of contemplation.   Standard values have fallen sharply lately due to the looming rotation of a large portion of cards.  In the meantime, Classic has been holding steady.  Now mix in a set that has five real duals and Necropotence and it's not that hard to see why that could have happened.  If you remove the IPA rotation I truly believe that Standard would have overtaken Classic again with the release of Shards of Alara.  But thanks to the IPA, OTJ rotation that will happen at the same time Classic should hereby remain more valuable than both Extended and Standard.  In the mean time I expect that Classic will dip down hard for the next few weeks and get close to Standard's value, but by the time Shards of Alara hits Extended will dump a lot of its value into Classic, making for a very interesting chart.

And what would a chart section be without a little Ham Jones?

And here we see something neat... the jump from the Classic set was more than the jump from the latest Standard set.  There were more cards in the set of course, however, that's still a pretty sad state of affairs for Standard.

And last up for the week is the first glimpse at the MED2 set's top 15.  Why 15?  Because the top 5 are gimmies, the top 10 are pretty much obvious as well.  The last five are really where the interesting pieces are: 


Underground Sea 35.64
Badlands 31.68
Tundra 31.68
Taiga 31.68
Savannah 31.68
Necropotence 15.84
Mana Crypt 14.85
Imperial Seal 11.88
Helm of Obedience 8.82
Ravages of War 5.88
Imperial Recruiter 4.9
Brimstone Dragon 3.92
Swords to Plowshares 3.92
Fire Dragon 3.92
Temporal Manipulation 3.92

For example Swords is the only uncommon in the top 15, but that's not too big of a shock.  I guess my most surprising revelation was Temporal Manipulation being in the top 15.  But giving the rest of the set a quick lookover it seems that there's a good reason for that afterall...