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By: hamtastic, Erik Friborg
Nov 23 2007 1:52pm
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Table of contents:
Outstanding Issues
Bug Complaints
MTGO Discussion Items
Server Log In Availability
MTGO Price Movers and Shakers
Editorial Section

MTGO Announcements:
Rules at a glance:
Same information as last week, just keeping this all here for ease of access.
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.

Disabled Replays:

An attempted pre-fix on the 'My Games' replay functionality caused a large amount of issues this week.  More information about that in the downtime section.  Needless to say, replays are still not available.
Replays are disabled for this week again since removing them appears to be having a positive impact on the server stability.

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.

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:

Our current status is: SCR Active.

Our current status is: SCR Active.

Our current status is: SCR Active.

Our current status is: SCR Active.

Our current status is: SCR Active.

Our current status is: SCR Lifted.

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:

Some are still working, others are still not.  No update on this yet.

Some geographies have magically started to work again, although there hasn't been any official word on this.  More information here.

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.

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.

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


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

PayPal issues


Bug complaints:

Lignify + Layers:

Lignify + Spirit Loop does not appear to follow the correct rules for timestamps and loss of abilities.  More information can be found here.

Hideaway Lands:

Windbrisk Heights has been reported to be bugged here.

Dredge + other effects:

It was reported that there was a Dredge releated fix that went into the Live server this week.  It has not been tested as of yet.

This week it was discovered that Dregde is broken in certain instances.  Read this thread for more information: Dredge Bug

Sutured Ghoul + Tarmogoyf:

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

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

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.

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.

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: 

5 Stars/5 Stars Competitive/5 Tsars:

There seems to be no end to the variations of this format lately.  Here's the quick breakdown:

5 Tsars:
" 5 Players, each choose a color. They build a deck in that color.
Any mana they produce in-game must be colorless or of that color.
All cards they play must be colorless or of that color, with Ghostfire treated as red.

Each player attempts to kill their two enemy colors before everyone else kills theirs. 

Classic card pool.

That's it. No other rules. No banned list."

5 Stars

Deck Construction:
1: You are only allowed artifacts and cards of your chosen colour. Hybrids are allowed if they share your colour. (Debtors' Knell/Dovescape)

2: Artifacts are limited to 20% of your deck. (Sisay's Ring/Planar Portal/Solemn Simulacrum)

3: Cards may only produce colourless mana or mana of your colour (Barren Moor/New Benalia/Temple of The False God/Dark Depths/Bloodstained Mire/Terminal Moraine)

4: You may use cards that ask you to choose a colour as a comes into play effect but do not produce mana (Gauntlet of Power/Jeweled Torque/Charm School)

Special Rules:
1: Vesuva may only target lands you control.

Banned/Restricted cards:
Restricted cards

1 of:

Akroma creatures (Akroma, Angel of Wrath/Akroma, Angel of Fury) are restricted to one per deck.
Kokusho is restricted to one per deck.
Urborg , Tomb of Yawgmoth is restricted to one per deck.
Mana Maze is restricted to one per deck.
Gifts Ungiven is restricted to one per deck.
Persecute is restricted to one per deck.
Yawgmoth's Edict is restricted to one per deck.
Justice is restricted to one per deck.
Lifeblood is restricted to one per deck.
Thoughtleech is restricted to one per deck.

2 of:

Affinity for Lands creatures are restricted to two per deck (Tangle Golem/Spire Golem/Razor Golem/Oxidda Golem/Dross Golem)
Hunted creatures (Dragon/Horror/
Lammasu/Troll/Phantasm) are restricted to 2 per deck.

Karma is banned.
Choke is banned.
Boil is banned.
Curse of Marit Lage is banned.
Flashfires is banned.
Mycosynth Lattice is banned.

Deckbuilding FAQ:
1: Your deck may go above 60 cards if you wish it to.
2: Your deck may contain Snow Lands.
3: You may include cards with kicker or flashback if the card is of your colour.
4: If you wish to include a sideboard (for Wishes etc.) you may, but it must contain only cards which would otherwise be legal in your deck.
5: Cards such as Confiscate/Beacon of Unrest/Evangelize are all legal as they are taking another player's cards, which were not part of your own deck.
6: Clone effects are allowed as they may come into play as copies of cards that were not part of your deck (Body Double/Heat Shimmer)

5 Stars -hardcore competitive-

I'm not 100% sure what the end result of this thread is/was.  Um.. it's in there somewhere I'm sure.

Non-Redeemable Cards: rip-off?:

The subject of non-redeemable cards was brought up, this time in a slightly different light.  The questions of whether or not they are a rip-off for those who buy them were the topic of the question this time.

Non-Redeemable or Rip-off?

Refund Policy Discussion:

Although this thread has been closed, it's still a good debate about what, if anything, should be considered for refunds when a server crashes.  This will be the last week for this item.

This week there was a rather heated debate about the fairness of the MTGO refund policy and what should be expected from it.

Refund Policy Concern


Tribal coming to paper Magic, with different rules:

It appears that it's been decided: MTGO and MTGP will be out of sync for this format of the same name.

(Editor's Note:  Really?)

It seems that our paper comrades will get to experience the fun and frivolity that is Tribal Wars... only there's a catch: the rules in Paper aren't the same as the rules Online.  Is this going to be another case of MTGO being out of sync, or are we going to get a rules update to match Paper so that one could test for paper games online?

Paper vs MTGO Tribal rules


             Server Log In Availability: 

See if you can spot the Monday where there was a six+hour outage.  Also, last week there was a comment made about the numbers on one of the days needing to be reduced because although the log in servers were up, they weren't actually allowing log ins.  I thought about this a bit and decided that I'd leave the numbers as they are, but I'll put a caveat on each chart I show for November mentioning that.  The reason for this is that the numbers are unbiased and cold, exactly how statistics should be.  I provide no intervention with the data, for the specific reason of not opening the door to calls of data modification or 'fuzzy numbers'.
So, to follow up that statement, the numbers on 11/2/07 are higher than what the users would have experienced in trying to log in.  From the statement in last week's column it was stated that the availability of the server was closer to 81% (the chart shows it just below 95%).

Card Price Fluctuations:
This week I added Time Spiral to the mix to show where it falls in relation to the other two sets.  I will stop trending Ravnica next week, and back fill the last few weeks of Time Spiral to see what Lorwyn's effect, if any, was on that set.

 Top card decreases by value:


Card Value lost End Value
Vampiric Tutor -$2.00 $30.00
Goblin Ringleader -$1.50 $5.50
Tarmogoyf -$1.00 $23.75
Ajani Goldmane -$0.50 $3.50
Gilt-Leaf Palace -$0.50 $4.00
Profane Command -$0.50 $4.00
Purity -$0.40 $0.90
Immaculate Magistrate -$0.30 $1.00
Vigor -$0.30 $1.00
Nath of the Gilt-Leaf -$0.25 $1.50
Finally, Vampiric Tutor starts to fall.  Goblin Ringleader's price drop can be tied the release of the :"Elves vs Goblins" duel decks.  'Goyf drops for the second week straight and the rest are the typical post release decreases.
Editorial Section:

History of misprints:
If none of you know about the fabled misprint of the Blue Hurricane, I'd recommend reading the wiki about Revised here:  How much is that misprint 'worth'?  About $5,999 US (http://www.trollandtoad.com/p95684.html).  Crazy, I know.  It's one of those strange occurrences that just so happened to create a very sought after card with very, very limited availability.  This isn't the only misprint, but it's easily one of the most valuable ones on the market.

Relevance to MTGO:
So, what does any of this have to do with MTGO you may be asking?  Well, an anomaly this week brought something into sharp contrast for me.  MTGO doesn't have a misprint market.  If you've ever played paper Magic you probably know, or at least have heard of, 'the misprint guy'.  You know... the one guy in the area who is fanatical about misprints and goofs.  He'll pay up to double for ink stains and miscuts, triple for really weird card problems.  And there are enough of these special collectors that there's a pretty decent market for misprint and special cards.  However, none of these people will be drawn to MTGO, at least not for their main passion.  Misprints like the Gruul symbol on the Izzet Hypervolt Grasp or random blank filler cards just don't exist.

So what made me think of all of this?

Notice anything strange about those cards?

Well, they're supposed to look like this:

There won't be any more non-foil "Elves vs Goblins" Siege-Gang Commanders or Ambush Commanders.  I haven't heard of anyone else having them yet either; as the only time you could have gotten them was on Monday between the downtimes and you had to dig to find the deck in the MTGO Store as there was no direct link to it at the time.  I'd wager that there's no more than a dozen of these, if even that many in existence on MTGO.  It may seem that I'm posting this to brag, and I assure you that's not the primary point (although I'd be lying to say that I wasn't happy with them).  The primary point is that MTGO doesn't have this market.  The most we have are really expensive foils, and those are allowed to be reprinted via the Qualifier Tournaments like the IPA Tournaments.  But we have nothing that makes someone stop and say: "Hey, where'd you get *that*?!".

I'm not sure what WotC could or even would do to bring this market to MTGO, assuming that they even wanted it.  But I know that not having them cuts a very niche but very lucrative market out of the experience.  The idea of intentional misprints seems a bit crass.

Thoughts of the future:

V3 has shown that its card display capabilities are above that of the current version.  The way cards are built and displayed is much more flexible.  I'd be interested in seeing them release a few 'signed' cards into the market place.  Some sort of random hand out or a limited amount of exchanges where a player can give up a normal version of the card to receive a 'signed' version.  Something that would make the cards unique and interesting, something that give those niche collectors something to shoot for.


Public Hide List

Here's this weeks list of folks who have made the 'hide' list, where and why.  The same offer as last week: if you want your name off the list email me at erikfriborg at gmail dot com to request it.  In the case of false adverts in the selling board I'll verify and remove as applicable.  In the case of evading the buy/sell filter in the marketplace I will remove the offending user and document the removal.  Getting added back into the list afterwards will result in a permanent hide status that will not be removed.

11-09-07 - false advert
1for1 Uncs A=hide

11-16-07 - false advert

11-16-07 - Auction adverts
WacKy ZacKy=hide
Gulstaff Sorceror of Light=hide
Sgt. DAMOCLES=hide


This week was a bit slow, due to holdiays here in the states, but even still there was a lot of good information discussed on the boards.  I hope you've all had a great Thanksgiving if you celebrate it.  If not, I still hope you had a great week. :)



by hamtastic at Mon, 11/26/2007 - 11:48
hamtastic's picture

This is something that I think MTGO is missing out on.  They have a great potential for allowing something like this to happen.  Since the super ultra premium version wouldn't be functionally different than the standard counterpart the only drive to get the super version is collectibility.  Something that MTG has been doing already with the rarity distributions, the premium versions and the special promo versions of cards for playing in events.  This seems like a natural progression at some point.  Hopefully we could get something like this online at some point.

I'd like a Worth Wollpert signed Tundra.  That'd be sweet. 

by urzishra14 at Sat, 11/24/2007 - 13:21
urzishra14's picture

I don't know how familiar you are with the sports cards market. but one of the main draws for me is now they have cards that have a piece of a player's jersey or they are actually signed cards in packs.. (the back speaks for the the "authenticity".. but anyways) I've been wondering why don't they do this in paper magic (or online) to prove the authenticity of the cards you can do a special foil pattern plus cards signed by designers or artists.. .. I think it would add to the collectability of the cards.. or maybe they could do a numbered series like do a set number of cards then number them on the card.. I think many collectors would love stuff like this..

Although, they started doing stuff like this with the "flavor text" additions or "reminder text removed" cards from Xth foils.

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