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By: hamtastic, Erik Friborg
Nov 09 2007 11:14am
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Table of contents:
Announcements
Outstanding Issues
Bug Complaints
MTGO Discussion Items
Server Log In Availability
MTGO Price Movers and Shakers
Editorial Section
Conclusion

MTGO Announcements:
Rules at a glance:
11-09-07:
There are quite a few rules right now that aren't really documented well.  So, in an attempt to consolidate, explain and link them I've provided the following table.  Format is: Rule -> Link -> Impact
MTGO Rules, and you!
Single Client Restriction  Snuck in One client per person is allowed.
Disabled Replays Disabling Replays Replay of all games are turned off
No spamming in certain channels Buying/Selling adverts in Casual/Auction  Don't spam in the auction room or casual room
Lorywn Draft Queues Lorwyn Drafts Queue change Lorwyn draft queues will only run during certain non peak times.
 
Lorwyn Events!:
11-09-07:
The Lorwyn release events have not been a smooth ride.  Mutliple downtimes and extreme lag are impacting many players.  If you too are feeling frustrated please sound off in this thread: Lorwyn Complaint Thread
11-02-07:
Lorwyn events start Friday, with new setups for the PE's.  Lets hope that the sacrifices help stability!  The MTGO community will be watching the availability closely this weekend.

10-26-07:
Lorwyn events have been posted and there's lots to choose from.  It seems that there are many options available for all sorts of players to choose from.

Lorwyn Release Events

Changes to Auction/Casual/1:1 rooms:

11-09-07:
One more week of this announcement, then it'll be retired.

11-02-07:
A plea from elf to play nicely.  You wouldn't like him when he's angry!
Play by the rules, or you won't play at all

10-26-07:
Beware all ye who spam the trade rooms!  If you spam those rooms you could very well have your account muted or kicked from the server.  Additional details in the link below:

Auction/Casual/Trade Room Changes

Top 8 Drafts Removed from PE's:

11-09-07:
Less crashes, more lag.  The server was 'up' more, but the state of the server made playing during much of the peak time impossible.

11-02-07:

The biggest test of the Top 8-less PE's since the Sunday Debacle will be starting on Friday 11/2.  I guess we'll see what has changed.

10-26-07:
Events have been quite stable since the horrible Sunday experiment.  We're also waiting to hear what the plan from WotC is regarding running the 4x Top 8 events during the Release Events.  It's been requested that they fire more frequently than every three hours.  Worth and Scott are looking into the best way to handle them.

10-19-07:
There was a Sunday full of non top 8 PE's and stability still suffered.  There was over an hour of downtime on Sunday due to the server load and other items.  However, one of the biggest issues that would normally come from a crash would be corruption and manual clearing of an event which didn't seem to happen.

10-12-07:
This week the Top 8 Drafts were removed from PE's in the 2.5 client.  However, there appears to be a bug in them and this caused additional downtime to occur on Thursday morning.  According to Worth Wollpert the prizes for these Top 8's will include the packs from the draft that didn't happen. Although this may change with V3.

Top 8 Code Correction Outage
Worth's statement about top 8 prizes

Disabled Replays:

11-09-07:
Not all ways of requesting replays were disabled.  They have been now.  This seems to have helped prevent the outright crashes, but we still have experienced a lot of lag during draft times.

11-02-07:
In a further effort to reduce system stress, replays have been removed from the client's features.  Discussion about the change is below.

Play and Replay were in a boat...

Single Client Restrictions Status:

11-09-07:
Our current status is: SCR Active.

11-02-07:
Our current status is: SCR Active.

10-26-07:
Our current status is: SCR Active.

10-19-07:
Our current status is: SCR Lifted.

I’ll update this section as things change in this regard.

10-12-07:
Our current status is: SCR Active.
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.  Again, leaving this here for reminder slash warning.

How to handle those breaking the rules

Outstanding Issues:


PayPal payments not going through for some users:

11-09-07:
I have yet to hear that this has been fixed, but it seems that there aren't any complaints about being unable to purchase from PayPal, so this is possibly better.

11-02-07:
While there hasn't been an official update yet, reports have come in that some of the previously impacted players have been able to get purchases through.

10-26-07:
Still an issue.  I've bumped the thread below to hopefully remind them that we are still needing a status update.

10-12-07:

I'm leaving this on the list because it's still an issue and a very big issue at that.

PayPal issues

Bug complaints:

Standstill, Counterbalance, Paradise Plume, etc:

11-09-07:
This should be resolved.

11-02-07:This week they seemed to have broken many cards that are meant to trigger off of certain cards being played.  They were to be fixed during Thursday's emergency downtime, so please keep an eye out for any strangeness.

Sutured Ghoul + Tarmogoyf:

11-02-07:
Still no update on this fix.  Hopefully, hopefully, hopefully we'll see some progress made in this arena sooner rather than later.

10-26-07:
I had hoped to get an interview with a developer for this week but unfortunately it wasn't ready in time.  Long story short, this is still an issue as well as any other cards that received a functionality change with the Future Sight rules update.

10-19-07:
This interaction is still broken.  And based on the latest Pro Tour results, this will be a popular deck in Extended and likely Classic.  This is not the first time that an MTG rules update has lagged far behind on MTGO and thereby invalidated a deck type.  Phyrexian Dreadnought, Flash and suspend cards like Lotus Bloom have had similar issues in the past year.

10-12-07:
Sutured Ghoul + Tarmogoyf doesn't pump the Ghoul correctly.  And before anyone starts to yell about the Ghoul not caring about the Goyf's dynamic power, look up the Future Sight rules update information.  Or better yet, you can read about this question here and here.

MTGO Discussion Items:

Name Change for the Current MTGO 2HG Format:11-09-07:
So far 'Doubles' seems to be getting the most support.  Don't like it?  Let WotC know in the link below.

11-02-07:
Once the Paper version of 2-Headed Giant is brought online we'll need to have a name for the current version that we are using.  Cast your vote below:

2HG for you and me?

MTGO Ventrillo Chat Server:

11-09-07:
One more week for this item, and then it will be removed from the list.

11-02-07:
Heath has launched an MTGO voice chat server with many rooms already defined for clans.  If you'd like more information on the what and the how's, click below.

Ventrillo servers

 

Server Log In Availability:
 
Card Price Fluctuations:


Surprise surprise... Lorwyn is dropping.  ;) 

Top Lorwyn Decrease by Percentage
Fathom Trawl      -76.00%
Mosswort Bridge -74.29%
Rings of Brighthearth -70.00%
Deathrender -66.67%
Eyes of the Wisent -66.67%
Nova Chaser -66.67%
Boggart Mob -66.67%
Brigid, Hero of Kinsbaile -66.67%
Colfenor's Urn -66.67%
Epic Proportions

-66.67%

 
Top Loss by Value
Thoughtseize -10.25 9.75
Gaddock Teeg -9.25 4.75
Garruk Wildspeaker -6.5 13.5
Jace Beleren -6 6
Oona's Prowler -5.25 4.75
Gilt-Leaf Palace -5 5
Auntie's Hovel -4.25 3.75
Chandra Nalaar -4.25 5.75
Deathrender -4 2
Eyes of the Wisent -4 2
 
 
Editorial Section:

Lately I've been railing against those profiteers who seem to think that their wily attempts to drum up business by sneaking in fraudulent text is a good business move.  Maybe you've seen these guys and maybe you haven't, but once I describe the actions and their long term consequences I hope you'll understand why I'm starting to take action against them.

First, a personal anecdote about where this all started.  During the release events I was searching for Force of Wills to see if they dropped enough to pick up a couple.  So I load up the Message Board - Selling and type in FoW.  First hit comes back at 19, second hit comes back at 18, third hit comes as "Selling 64 Commons for 1".  Odd, maybe I typed something wrong, or accidently over wrote my search term or something.  Nope, still just "FoW".  My keen sense of observation told me that something was not quite right.  So I slid he cursor for the Message Board to the right and found the following blob of text: "128643296FoW".

Now, you may be wondering what the big deal is about these?  They don't really hurt anyone, do they?  Well, they don't go out and club baby seals with smaller baby seals or anything, but they do frustrate players and attempt to increase sales through deception.  That's enough for me to want to make them fail.  I'm all for fair trade, level playing fields, etc.  But I'm not keen on the idea of people trying to get ahead by tricking the users.  So here I have a list of sellers that I personally have witnessed and recorded doing this behavior.  Feel free to add it to you Magic.ini file (in your Magic Online installation directory).  My hope is that some day they get the hint that trying to sneak sales isn't worth it.

If you're one of these sellers and want your name off the list, please email me at erikfriborg at gmail dot com and let me know when you've taken the false advertisement out.  I'll then verify that it was removed and remove you from the list.  Those who wish to report an infraction please email me the screen shot of the person to the same email address, I'll verify that the person is in fact doing the same thing and add them to the list.

You may also be thinking: "Who the **** does this guy think he is?  Telling us what's acceptable or not!"  Well, I'm just a guy who hates to see new players taken advantage of, that's all.  And that's what this is: people who think they can get something from the new and uninformed.

I decided to put my money where my mouth is and start tracking down these folks and compiling their information.  So look for an updated list right here each week. 

I also alluded to 'long term consequences' of this behavior, and I truly beleive that there are consequences to be considered.  Folks inside WotC have mentioned that they are trying to tie many different games together.  A Damnation could be traded for a a few game starts on another game or something like that.  Do we really want the first experience many players have with MTGO to be the equivalent to that of a sleazy used car salesman?

Here's the list for this week (add the following section to your magic.ini file, or update your 'users' section with the names):

[Users]
fsantiago=hide
zz8for1=hide
lejon=hide
sb2025=hide
Nebro=hide
Belladonna5885=hide
UncoNoOz=hide
shop_jet=hide
stiffdiddypinky=hide
larkmtg=hide
1for1 Uncs A=hide
Rosalia=hide
Sask=hide
CosmicMonkey=hide

 
Conclusion:

Thanks to all of you for tuning in this week, I truly appreciate the support this column gets from you all.  Since this column is for and about us as players I'm always very pleased when I hear something from you all.

~Erik

0 Comments

by kolu at Tue, 11/13/2007 - 20:44
kolu's picture

Nice article! go get em tiger!

Since you brought up problems with paypal I will share whats happening with mine right now.

Many of my release event purchases I made with paypal on the weekend of the 6th timed out. The money was then put back into my paypal account. This will not show on your statement unless you look in "All Account Activity" duh.

Of course, I didn't notice this until I had more money than I should and had already spent it. I called paypal and did not get a very understandable answer as to what was happening.

Bottom line is WOC is very slow at taking the money from paypal right now. If not taken in 5 days? it goes back to your paypal account.  I use my debit card for other things than WOC and its linked into paypal so you can imagine what a mess now I am overdrawn with WOC payments bouncing in and out. 

Just a heads up to the paypal users to keep a eye on your balance and activity or you could be overdrawn when the expired charges go through the 2nd time.

by hamtastic at Mon, 11/12/2007 - 16:06
hamtastic's picture

I'll catch these guys this week. :)

by hamtastic at Mon, 11/12/2007 - 16:08
hamtastic's picture

I have a script that checks the login servers every few minutes.  Since those come down at the same time that the server crashes and stay down until the servers are back up I figure that they're pretty accurate gauges of the availability.  They're not 100% dead on, but they usually very close.

~Erik

by largebrandon at Mon, 11/12/2007 - 13:53
largebrandon's picture

As always, great work Hammy.  Curious, though, how do you log the amount of time the server is up?  Do you have that much time to stay online and keep tabs or what?

by hamtastic at Sat, 11/10/2007 - 00:32
hamtastic's picture

Yep, I'll have a section each week with additions and removals (if any).  I'll also make sure to log in a few times a week with the express purpose of checking for people doing this, as it only really takes a couple of minutes of scanning.

by hamtastic at Sat, 11/10/2007 - 00:37
hamtastic's picture

The week to week discussion items kind of go in waves.  One week there may be a half dozen new threads worth linking, then next couple may have only one or no new threads that make the article.

The biggest thing that I saw this week was already coved by Heath with the Draft change announcement due to server stability.  There were a lot of threads in the MTGO boards, but most were discussions about stability... which we're already well aware of how bad that's been lately.

Based on historical trend I see the following general pattern:

Set released in Paper, one month of very slow MTGO discussion due to people beta testing, playing paper, etc, followed by two weeks of new set discussion, followed by more interesting disucssion topics... until the next set gets released on paper.

So hopefully in the next seven days we'll see a few more editorial type topics that we can really delve into. :) 

by hamtastic at Sat, 11/10/2007 - 00:31
hamtastic's picture

Yes, it sure does. :)

Do they buy any common? by iceage4life at Fri, 11/09/2007 - 20:40
iceage4life's picture

Do the bots not take some commons or do they just start with the more expensive ones?  If they take any just make the more expensive ones untradable and you shouldn't have a problem.  You can't really say they are misrepresenting themselves if they take and but start with most expensive.

by Rasparthe at Fri, 11/09/2007 - 22:18
Rasparthe's picture

Mostly I have no interest in sorting my commons to see which are worth 2c compared to 3.  If they took the most expensive then the went back and took the rest I could care less but they do not and they leave all the ones they don't want.  Advertising you take ANY commons/uncommons and then picking and choosing is false advertising.  There is no reason to say ANY except to lure people in

by Dreager_Ex at Fri, 11/09/2007 - 23:46
Dreager_Ex's picture

No offense to the quality of this article or anything because it is a magnificent article and it is very good content but the information I see in these articles are a bit redundant with minor changes.

As for the whole FoW on the 64 for 1, I think its right up there with people who post just a random list of rares and say selling 2 for 1. Overall though I wouldn't block them for it, Im sure as with everyone else, if you want something specific and this strange bot pops up with 64 for 1 you're not going to buying from it anyway. So it essentially works against it honestly.

Names? by djdark01 (Unregistered) 68.79.98.81 (not verified) at Fri, 11/09/2007 - 19:40
djdark01 (Unregistered) 68.79.98.81's picture

Hi,

 I'm keep on blocking the listed users.  If I do so though, I'd like to periodically update my file with a new list. 

 Will you continue to include this section with your article?

Thanks

Great article by Rasparthe at Fri, 11/09/2007 - 20:25
Rasparthe's picture

I like this idea but that is not my biggest pet peeve about the selling and buying rooms.  Since I have been known to draft on occassion I tend to accumulate a bunch of commons and uncommons.  My biggest annoyance is the sellers that claim they take 'ANY' common or uncommon.  Such as 'Buying ANY commons: 192 for 1' and then when you enter the trade they begin picking and choosing the more expensive ones.  If you are going to advertise you take 'any' common or uncommon your bot should start at the start at the beginning of your binder and head to back taking each one that is marked tradable.  There is my rant.   Great article

username = hide by Diem at Fri, 11/09/2007 - 16:49
Diem's picture

So does setting a username to hide remove it from the message board too?

one million words's picture

Several months ago the spam made me quite going to the auction room.  I decided to try it again, now that elf has stopped people from posting "buying" and "selling" messages.   I type /join auction, and all I saw was "buyin LLL for..." and "sellin LLL for ..." and "sellfing ..."  No auction, not usable.  Bah.

Jerks.