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By: hamtastic, Erik Friborg
Sep 28 2007 8:20am
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Hello and welcome to the first ever "State of the Program" written for PureMTGO.com.

What is State of the Program?  Quite simply, it's a run down of the active discussion topics for the past week from the Magic Online message boards.  It covers announcements, debates, official WotC communication, Server Stability and card price flucuations. 

The format may look a little different since this is a web page and not a vBulletin post, so please bear with me as we get all the kinks worked out of the system.  The format that I'll start with will be the following MTGO Announcements, Outstanding Issues, Bug Complaints, MTGO Discussion Items, Editorial Section, Server Log In Availability (yep, it's coming back) and finally, a conclusion to wrap up the threads in the column.  Ready?  Steady! Go!

Table of contents:

Outstanding Issues
Bug Complaints
MTGO Discussion Items

Server Log In Availability

MTGO Price Movers and Shakers

Editorial Section

MTGO Announcements:

Single Client Restrictions in effect.

The single client restriction is per user, not per machine.  Meaning that only one login per person is allowed.  Bots and people breaking this rule have had their accounts banned for 24 hours recently.

Discussion of Bots impact
How to handle those breaking the rules

Extension of MED events due to crashes

Due to the atrocious server availability last weekend created by the MED release events the events have been extended for the rest of this month to allow more people to attempt to win them.

Announcement of extended events

Flash and Vampiric Tutor Restricted on 9/26

The downtime on 9/26 will include the restriction of Flash and Vampiric Tutor in Classic.

Lorwyn Beta

The Lorwyn beta discussion has started, with a call for beta testers and a discussion about Beta start time policies.  Amazingly, there hasn't been any discussion about the fairness of the beta program, but I imagine that one will show up closer to the end of beta.

Discussion of Beta start policy
Lorwyn Beta Sign-up Information

Preliminary Bug Checklist *Spoilers*

Outstanding issues:

PayPal payments not going through for some users.

Worth and company are aware of the issue, expected return is sometime before Lorwyn.  Apparently it's a large issue behind the scenes that is impacting only some users in non-US countries.

PayPal issues.

10ED Redemption Status

Should be delivered from the printers in the week of 9/28/07, with shipments being prepared the following week.

Bug complaints:

New this week: Delay + Rise/Fall does not allow you to play the split card when it should have resolved.  This is likely shared by all split cards suspended by Delay.

(Editor's Note:  Yeah, Delay keeps you from playing either side of Dead/Gone as well.)

MTGO Discussion items:

Removal of Top 8 Drafts

Discussion about the removal of Top 8's from PE's for stability.  As mentioned by Worth in his blog they are investigating ways to improve stability in the current client.  According to what they've seen top 8's from Premier Events may be part of the issue.

Concern about removing top 8 drafts

Masters Edition 2

What cards would you like to see in Masters Edition 2 when it comes out?  Discuss below!

Masters Edition 2 Wishlist

Customer Frustrations

A customer who was frustrated with the recent server instability started a thread discussing his concerns.

A message to WotC

Ticket Economics

A great discussion about MTGO tickets, what sets their price and the economics that drive thier cost behind the scenes.

Ticket economy

Server Log In Availability:

In the future, this will show the full week of server log in availability.  The numbers are gathered every few minutes and are accomplished by checking each of the log in servers to see if it responds.  For this first one however, it will only have the past two days of statistics, as that's when I finally finished my logging and DB for the data.

Wednesday, 9-26-07: 96.36% (Not counting the scheduled server downtime).
Thursday, 9-27-07: 99.77% (as of 11:30AM Central Time).

Card Price Fluctuations:

Coming soon!

This section will house the following information in the future: Top 10 most expensive cards, Top 10 increased prices, Top 10 decreased prices.  If there's something else that you'd like to see added to that information, let me know in the comments and I'll see if there's a way we can get them added to the weekly stats.

I'm really excited about this feature as this is something I've always been interested in finding out about but haven't had an easy way to do so.


I got the list of top 20 cards from Heath and I'll add those into this weeks column.  Prices are listed as Name: Cost (in tickets).

Orim's Chant: 85
Meddling Mage: 58
Pernicious Deed: 55
Vindicate: 55
Vampiric Tutor: 32
Destructive Flow: 27
Undermine: 26
Terravore: 23.5
Fact or Fiction: 22
Burning Wish: 21.75
Haunting Echoes: 21.5
Tarmogoyf: 20.75
Absorb: 20
Spiritmonger: 19
Force of Will: 18
Lion's Eye Diamond: 17
Breeding Pool: 14.75
Hallowed Fountain: 14.5
Chrome Mox: 14
Rout: 13.75

Some kind of surprising items in there, I think.  Namely that there are a couple of Standard, in print rares that are commanding higher prices than an IPA wrath effect.  Also, seeing Tarmogoyf above Spiritmonger and even Absorb is kind of amazing.  Not entirely unexpected, but pretty amazing.

Editorial Section:

The big hubbub this week: Removal of top 8 drafts from Premier Events (discussions can be found here and here).  Some fantastic math has gone back and forth regarding prize payouts, cost, time invested and many other aspects of this potential change.  The removal of these top 8's is being spurred by the recent lack of stability that has been being tied to corrupted PE's.  Some are completely against the removal of the top 8 draft as it would, in their opinion, change the format into more of a luck based format than it is now.  Also, it would make it less like big events in real life where there is a top eight draft after the sealed rounds.

The other side seems to think the reduced time for events will make them more appealing to more players and would allow for more events to fire.  They also don't believe that making everyone play out all the rounds of a sealed event is any more luck dependant than opening the right bombs in your draft.  Also, there is nothing that says MTGO events will ever need to mimic real life events.  There are many things that happen on MTGO that don't happen on paper.  Likewise, there are a number of things that are part of paper Magic that aren't the same on MTGO.

One thing for both sides to bear in mind is that the changes to the current version are to improve stability of the servers.  It doesn't matter if MTGO PE's have top 8 drafts if there's no players on MTGO.  If they do remove them from the current version then they would only be gone until such time as V3 is out and brings with it the option for whichever PE style you prefer.

The cold hard fact about this change is that it is coming.  Either in the current version to help stability, or at the latest in V3 when not all PE's will have top 8 drafts.  Worth Wollpert and Scott Larabee have made statements that not all PE's will have top 8 drafts when V3 is deployed.  Some will, some won't, and it will be up to the players to decide which they prefer.   This of course leads into Algona's TOE (Theory of Erosion) that simply states that competitive players will migrate to the area where feel that they have the highest likelihood of wining.  If that happens I can see a future where non top 8 drafts fail to fire and WotC makes all PE's draftless. 

Which side is right?  Is there any clear cut best answer to any of this?

Sound off in the comments/forums!


So there you have it!  The first of many "State of the Program" articles on PureMTGO.com.  If you feel that I've missed something this week let me know and I'll work on getting it added in the future.

Until next week, good luck and have fun.



Keep it Up by thescale99 at Mon, 10/01/2007 - 11:07
thescale99's picture

Good stuff.  i like having a place to catch up on the weeks events as a one stop shop.  Server availibility records are a biggy - don't let it go!

Server stats 4 Life by hamtastic at Mon, 10/01/2007 - 16:17
hamtastic's picture

The server stats were one of my side projects a few moons ago that I let lapse due to a few reasons.  I now have it much more automated as well as being held in a DB for easier stats gathering.  It will be here for as long as the article is. :)

Thanks again to everyone for the kind words!  I always hoped something like this would be picked up by WotC themselves, but that doesn't seem to be in the cards (heyohh), so I guess I'll just keep doing it. ;)


Fantastic! by hk3family at Sat, 09/29/2007 - 00:54
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This article is something I love to read on the wizards boards, but here it just looks so much better and much more organized; maybe it's just the background, Idk, but it's nice.

I'm glad somebody puts forth the time to let us all know what's going on in a singular, collective article/post with proof of what's being said/done/rumored/etc.

Great job,



RE Goyf Price by iceage4life (Unregistered) (not verified) at Fri, 09/28/2007 - 19:04
iceage4life (Unregistered)'s picture

I think this a good place to have these, and good work on it.


On the price of Goyf, yeah if you told me a year ago a new Green two drop would be worth more then Absorb I would have laughed at you.  If you said it made Wild Mongrel look bad I would have laughed more.  If you said some people would say it's better then Tog* I would have fallen over laughing and probably have to be taken to a hospital. 

But what can I say I guess Wizards thought deck construction was stale without every deck playing the same creature.


*For the record I do not think this for a number of reasons, however Tarmogoyf is the more flexable creature, though clearly you should be running both.


P.S. When is Vampiric Tutor going to drop in price?  I can't imagine anyone buying them at 30ish tix considering Freeform is the only place you can run more then one.

Great article by politeagression (Unregistered) (not verified) at Fri, 09/28/2007 - 13:12
politeagression (Unregistered)'s picture

I always enjoy the SotP reports you give.  Excellent work.  The new price fluctuation thing is very interesting!


What about version 3 updates?  Anything to say about that recently?


Thanks again. 

sweeet by Mitchy at Fri, 09/28/2007 - 14:14
Mitchy's picture

gj man, thats pwnage

V3, and thanks! by hamtastic at Fri, 09/28/2007 - 14:47
hamtastic's picture

There were a couple of V3 things that came in while I was submitting the article.  Mostly things related to drafts from what I can tell, nothing majorly updated since a couple of weeks ago.

With that said, if you haven't updated V3 in a couple of months, that's something I'd recommend.  Things are looking better and better.  It's not great, but it's not a brown flavored migrane as much.

And thank you all for the warm words.  Hopefully having a deadling for State will keep them on a more regular schedule from now on. ;)


WoW by Gameben23 at Fri, 09/28/2007 - 08:38
Gameben23's picture

This is a great article I most say. Seems like a lot of work, and it's very well done. One part very interesting was the removal of Top8 Draft, I hope that they aren't even really considering removing them. It's my favorite part of making a final table in limited is getting a free draft. I actually hate the sealed portion and I know a few others who feel the same.

by SpikeBoyM at Fri, 09/28/2007 - 12:57
SpikeBoyM's picture

Insert standing ovation and round of applause.

Erik, you are doing a great service to the MTGO community and I hope you get the recognition you deserve.  You are one of the Good Men of MTGO.  Many thanks.


by hamtastic at Fri, 09/28/2007 - 09:20
hamtastic's picture

It's a fair bit of work. :)  But it's something we need.  We haven't really had an 'MTGO' article for quite a while.  I used to do these weekly on the boards, but I think that having an official, weekly recap would be a good thing for a regular website.

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