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By: hamtastic, Erik Friborg
Nov 30 2007 9:26am
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Tableof contents:
Outstanding Issues
Bug Complaints
MTGO Discussion Items
Server Log In Availability
MTGO Price Movers and Shakers
Editorial Section

MTGO Announcements:
Rulesat a glance:
Slight change to replay information.  Linking new information in the table.

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 isallowed.
Replay Functionality Replay Functionality Change Certain replays are back up and running.
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 nonpeak times.
December Bannings Prismatic and Singleton changes Check the MTGO Discussion section here

Disabled Replays:

Some replay functionality is back. To quote: 'Replays turned on in limited capacity. You can replay any finished games by clicking the Replay button or right clicking on the game but not double clicking. You also will not be able to replay games in an event that is currently running.'


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 alot of lag during draft times.

In a further effort toreduce system stress, replays have been removed from the client's features.  Discussion about the change is below.

Playand 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 Active.

Our current status is: SCRLifted.

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.

Howto 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.  Still.

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:

Shielding Plax + Targeting:

11-30-07:Shielding Plax is not granting untargetability correctly.  Link

Colfenor's Plans + extra draw:

Colfenor's Plans is not handling extra draw actions properly. Link

Lignify + Layers:

Still an issue as far as we know.

Lignify + Spirit Loop does not appear tofollow 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:

This appears to be fixed, and this will be the last week for it to be tracked.


It was reported that there was a Dredge relegated 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 certaininstances.  Read this thread for more information: DredgeBug

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 ProTour 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 decktype.  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 questionhere and here.

MTGO Discussion Items: 


December Banned and Restricted updates (Added 12/1/07):

The banned and restricted lists were announced today, and we have some changes in a couple of our MTGO niche formats, namely Prismatic and Singleton.  The following cards will be added to the Prismatic banned list:
Brainspoil is banned
Clutch of the Undercity is banned
Diabolic Intent is banned
Dimir House Guard is banned
Dimir Infiltrator is banned
Dimir Machinations is banned
Dizzy Spell is banned
Drift of Phantasms is banned
Ethereal Usher is banned
Grozoth is banned
Muddle the Mixture is banned
Netherborn Phalanx is banned
Perplex is banned
Shred Memory is banned
Tolaria West is banned

Essentially, all the Transmute card and finally, Diabolic Intent got the axe.  

For Singleton:
Flash is banned
Umezawa's Jitte is banned
Upheaval is banned

I'll admit my ignorance of this format and admit that the banning of Jitte is a bit of a surprise.  The other two I can accept their removal without being a player of the format.

The Future of Prismatic Events:

There has been some discussion on the MTGO boards regarding Prismatic Events, as well as their potential future on MTGO.  I strongly urge anyone interested in this format to check out the thread linked below for more information.  There are a number of 3x Events coming up and will be some 2x Events put into the rotation after that.  Even (and possibly especially) if you are no longer an active player it would be great to get some feedback from you all.

The Future of Prismatic Events

V3 Progress:

MTGO V3 Beta version .158 was released this week, and for the first time in a long time we are allowed to log in and play.  jamuraa updated his amazing comparison site already for quick compare andcontrast availability.

Jamuraa's Site

Release Notes

Banning/Restriction Discussion:

Are there any cards that need to be banned or restricted in an onlineformat?  If you think so, add your voice to the discussion below!

Restriction Suggestions

Lag theory:

An interesting theory about the lag, and some unique side conversation about how to implement a fix for it has gone on this week.  

Theory about the lag.

Ownership of Digital Items:

The question of what we actually own when it comes to our MTGO digital objects.


Worth Wolpert interviewed at StarCityGames:
Discussion about the interview done by Worth Wolpert for StarCityGames.

Worth Interview Discussion

Room Disruption?:

Quite a few people have had the experience of being told to move a conversation to a private room, even if it was related to Magic and not breaking the Code of Conduct.  This has prompted a bit of a discussion regarding what is/isn't in the Adept job description.

Room Disruption?

Server Log In Availability:

Card Price Fluctuations:
The decrease of Lorwyn continues, also we see that Time Spiral is mounting a small come back for the past couple of weeks.  I'll add Weatherlight into the equation when that comes on sale to see if it has much, if any, impact on the Standard legal sets.



I'm wanting to see what the effect of the impending rotation in 2008 does to our most expensive block: IPA.  So starting now, and on the last week of the month, I'll update the following chart:




Card Name Price drop Percentage drop
Beacon of Immortality -2.5 -38.46%
Absorb -2.5 -13.51%
Undermine -2 -8.00%
Bribery -1.75 -46.67%
Shivan Wurm -1.75 -18.42%
Polluted Delta -1.75 -14.89%
Scion of Oona -1.25 -31.25%
Blood Crypt -1.25 -12.50%
Garruk Wildspeaker -1.25 -12.50%
Flooded Strand -1.25 -12.50%
Wooded Foothills -1.25 -11.36%
Wren's Run Packmaster -1 -36.36%
Platinum Angel -1 -33.33%
Chandra Nalaar -1 -26.67%
Beacon of Unrest -1 -25.00%
Liliana Vess -1 -25.00%
Wanderwine Hub -1 -25.00%
Stifle -1 -16.67%
Mind's Desire -1 -15.38%
Exalted Angel -1 -13.33%


Editorial Section:
First, a visual riddle:

Memory Lapse
Mana Leak
= ?

The Memory Leak:
The memory leak in the MTGO client is pretty well known bynow.  In fact, it's one of those niggling complaints that is brought up every few months by a new member or frustrated  player.  People who do a lot of trades, or play with large decks like Prismatic decks likely know the symptoms of this issue.  Slower and slower performance leading to an eventual lockup of the client and possibly even locking up the player's machine.

A question about a way to disable the pictures in the client on the MTGO forums piqued my curiosity.  Surely such a thing would be hard to accomplish.  Perhaps it would even be hard enough to make it worth investigating.  What can I say, I love a challenge.  My mind started to think of all the potential booby traps, configuration files and registry settings that might be involved with keeping the client from trying to undo my plans.

Imagine my chagrin when I discovered how easy it was to make the art disappear from the cards: rename a folder, and creating a file is all that it takes to permanently disable the card art while playing.  That's it.  Details are at the bottom of this section.

So, now that I had determined the how, I decided to see if there was any actual gain to playing with the images removed.  Here is my baseline for this expiriment: my Pauper Prismatic Singleton deck, semi-foiled.  I started up the MTGO client and looked at the RAM usage.

With Pictures:
Start up:
Physical: 84,092K
Virtual: 135,282K

I then played seven games, with an average of fifteen turns and five library searches per game.

After 7 games:
Physical: 722,040K
Virtual: 769,460K

That's almost a gig and half of RAM between those two after sevengames.  I have a pretty beefy system and that still started toheavily impact my experience
Plugging the leak:
However, I now had my baseline, and could startdown the path of testing the removed card pictures.  So Iloaded up the client and went to the game room, I then checked mymemory usage

No pictures:
Start up:
Physical: 59,488K
Virtual: 125,796K

I then played seven games, with an average of eighteen turns and five library searches per game (I drew less searches these games and the games went longer on average).

After 7 games:
Physical: 141,840
Virtual: 233,332

Or roughly five times less memory usage.  I noticed that during this time my Library searches were almost perfectly fast, and my deckbuilding screen didn't lag at all.  Also, the size of the memory usage barely increased toward the end of the session.

I have now begun playing the majority of the time without card pictures, and this experience is extremely strange.  I, like many others, use the card art as a very fast way to remember what a card does.  When I see a hand made of twigs running across a patch of dirt, I know it's a Kodama's Reach.  I don't have to read the text or remember card names, I know in a split second what card it is and the gist of what it does.  Playing without the pictures has made me play slower, quite a bit slower in the case of my PPS deck as it has so many cards and only one of each that I don't have the same ease of remembering that I get with a sixty card 'four of' type of deck.  If you try this change, be prepared for a whole new experience of playing Magic.

Anyway, enough of the musings of a mad man, I will at last unveil the secret to the memory reduction plan:

Ham can cook, so can you!:
From your Magic Online Root directory (default is c:/programfiles/wizards of the coast/Magic Online) open the /cardpicsfolder.  Then rename 'new' to 'old.new'.  Next create a text file called 'new'.  Do not add '.txt' to the end, and if a '.txt' gets appended, remove that suffix.  Windows may prompt you if you want to change the file association.  If it does, say yes.

Now, load the client and play.  You'll notice two things: 1)Your client will run faster and not crash out due to a memory leak.  And 2) you'll spend a lot more time reading the titles of your cards.

To undo this change (for updates or drafting) go back to the cardpics folder and rename the blank text file to 'new.new' and rename thefolder from 'old.new' to 'new'.  Then start the client.  All the images will be back.

I'd recommend trying the change if you play big deck formats, or play alot of games or do a lot of trading.  I would recommend restoring the images if you're going to draft or play limited where deck building time is of the essence.


Public Hide List

Thanks to an email from a seller I have now verified that '1for1Uncs A' has pulled his previous advertisement that advertised terms he didn't offer.  Thanks for the email, it's good to have you back!  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 willresult in a permanent hide status that will not be removed.

Also, after a quick scan of the advertising room I didn't see any new adverts with false advertisements.  A nice change!

;11-09-07- false advert

;11-16-07 - false advert

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

;11-23-07 - Auction adverts

;11-30-07 - removed
;1for1 Uncs A=hide

A lot of good topics discussed this week on the boards, a wide variety of view points have been given.  It's weeks like these that I enjoy keeping up to date with the boards.  There were a lot of back and forth discussions with debates and counterpoints.  My favorite type of threads!



by one million words at Sat, 12/01/2007 - 08:05
one million words's picture

Whoops, to early in the morning.  Ignore Infernal Tutor - still legal.

Windbrisk Heights by Matt Lashof (Unregistered) (not verified) at Sat, 12/01/2007 - 11:03
Matt Lashof (Unregistered)'s picture

Windbrisk Heights is fixed.  I played with it in a draft yesterday, and it worked fine.

by hamtastic at Sat, 12/01/2007 - 12:11
hamtastic's picture

Diabolic intent: Finally!

Seriously, I don't know how that card was allowed to remain for this many years.  ZOMG I'd have to sac a creature to make it a demonic tutor, how unfair! :rolleyes:

Also, I agree with the Transmutes getting the axe as long as the spirit of the format is 'no tutoring'.  Since that seems to be what they want then I agree that they should be banned.

I'm adding a section in the announcements for this new infromation.


What a joke by iceage4life at Sat, 12/01/2007 - 12:59
iceage4life's picture

None of the Singleton cards needed banning and there are still plenty of Prismatic tutors with [c]Primal Command[/c] being the clearest mistake.

Singleton Banning by walkerdog at Sun, 12/02/2007 - 07:00
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I didn't hate the Jitte banning in Singleton.  I run it in my lists, but it seemed like it was just too swingy.  However, SoFi and co. have much the same effect.  Kind've random banning...  Upheavel is kinda weird too, and Flash is... I guess fine?  But it didn't seem super-broken.  I'd rather play against a flash-based combo deck than, say, heartbeat combo.

by hamtastic at Sat, 12/01/2007 - 12:12
hamtastic's picture

Good to know!  I'll remove it from the list for next week!


Bannings announced... by one million words at Sat, 12/01/2007 - 08:01
one million words's picture

Sat. am now,, and the DCI has announced bannings for MTGO.

 Transmute cards and Infernal Tutor gone from Prismatic, Upheaval and friends from Singleton.

 Here's the list.

Flash is banned
Umezawa's Jitte is banned
Upheaval is banned

Brainspoil is banned
Clutch of the Undercity is banned
Diabolic Intent is banned
Dimir House Guard is banned
Dimir Infiltrator is banned
Dimir Machinations is banned
Dizzy Spell is banned
Drift of Phantasms is banned
Ethereal Usher is banned
Grozoth is banned
Muddle the Mixture is banned
Netherborn Phalanx is banned
Perplex is banned
Shred Memory is banned
Tolaria West is banned

by hamtastic at Fri, 11/30/2007 - 16:32
hamtastic's picture

I think it actually qualifies as both.  It's a hog yes, that's completely true (and V3 will be worse).  The problem (as far as I've been able to determine) is that it never gives back memory that it in theory could.  Once it loads a card picture it never releases it, even after the game is done.  If you've loaded 60 seperate cards in one Prismatic game, they aren't dropped once the game is done.  Ditto for Collections and Deck Building and Library searching.

It's code that was designed to make the game display faster, and perhaps when there weren't so many different cards as there are now it may not have been such a big deal.  But it's definitely a problem in the code, likely a garbage collection routine that isn't comprehensive enough or even worse: never planned for.

by Klutz (Unregistered) (not verified) at Fri, 11/30/2007 - 18:15
Klutz (Unregistered)'s picture

I have that same issue where "magic.exe" will keep running in some cases after closing the client.  For me it doesn't happen most of the time, but seems more likely to happen if I close the client without logging out.  It happens almost every single time if I load the client and close it without ever logging in.  I also go and kill it with Task Manager if that happens and everything is fine after that.

by Anonymous (Unregistered) (not verified) at Fri, 11/30/2007 - 11:16
Anonymous (Unregistered)'s picture

best weekly article

by urzishra (Unregistered) (not verified) at Fri, 11/30/2007 - 12:08
urzishra (Unregistered)'s picture

this is basicaly what "online tech" should have been.. this coupled with the "oddball roundout" = best anaylsis on the online game.. love the "hide" lists.. makes my bot venturing much better and auction room bearable.. thanks.

Memory Leaking by DarthWingnut at Fri, 11/30/2007 - 12:12
DarthWingnut's picture

My issue with the memory leak deal on my computer is that it continues to suck your resources even after you have closed the program.  I double checked in my running apps list after I had shut down MTGO, and sure enough it is still running an app in the background that drains resources.  Now I've gotten to the point that after I finish playing and go offline, I CTRL-ALT-DEL to bring up my Windows Task Manager, and I End Process Magic.EXE, and my system recovers nicely.

Memory Leak by zahori (Unregistered) (not verified) at Fri, 11/30/2007 - 13:07
zahori (Unregistered)'s picture

Yea, I've been trying to get my cube list sorted out on MTGO, but it is a real pain in the neck with over 400 different cards just in the decklist screen.  I'll have to give no pictures a try.

Doesn't sound like a Memory leak by dangerlinto at Fri, 11/30/2007 - 16:01
dangerlinto's picture

It just sounds like a memory hog.  They are obviously paging each and every unique image once it's loaded for faster secdonary load times.    Maybe that's poor design but it doesn't sound like a leak.  It's why if you visit a Foil bot you can kiss your page file goodbye.

A leak is where a process conitunes to eat up memory on the machine with no purpose.

As for the program staying resident in your memory DWnut, that doesn't seem to be an across the board problem.  It doesn't happen to me.  Once I close MTGO, the memroy resources are freed up again.

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