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By: hamtastic, Erik Friborg
Jan 02 2008 12:11am
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There has been a lot ofconfusionover features in V3 of late,so Ithought I'd take a fewminutes tofamiliarize you all with some of thethings it cando.  I'veheard statements of:'There's noMarketplace!' and'The cards are toobig!', when in fact there are waysto do mosteverything you're used toin V3, if you know where to look.

For those of you who don't know where to find the installer, it can belocated here:

For technical support, please visit the forums here:

Once you've gotten through all of the installation and updates, you'll may need to create an account. If so, please follow the steps illustrated below:

Once you've gotten your activation code from your email address (be sure to check your spam folder if you don't get an email shortly) return to the login screen. Once here, select the 'Activate your account' link. Then enter the MTGO User Name you registered along with the Activation Code and click OK.

First up, is how to adjust the setting screens.  Themost important part of this is finding the Duel Scene that's right foryou.  Personally I like the Compact screen while I know thatothers like the 'Big Card' scene as it reminds them of the current 2.5interface that they're used to. The first thing you'll need todo is get to the settings ,as shown below.

Settings Screen:

Next, you'll want to choose the duel scene that's right foryou. The changes will take effect as you start your nextgame. Or, you can make the change and then replay a game toseehow it looks.  Here's the settings for the Compact Duel Scene.
Howto enable the Compact Duel Scene:

Once you make this change, you'll probably want to see what the DuelScene looks like.  To do this youcan join a game, or you canreplay a game.  One of the neat features about the compactscreen is that when something goes on the stack, instead of taking morespace it uses the area where the phase indicator usuallyis. This allows for much better use of space.
Compact Duel Screen:

Here's the setting for the Big Card Duel Scene.
How to enable the 'Big Card' Duel Scene:

Again, once you've made the change to this Duel Scene, it's a good ideato take a look and see what you like about it.   Notice thesimilarities to the current V2 User Interface.
Big Card Duel Screen:

In order to turn off the sounds and music, as well as change yourSoftware Rendering settings, you'll need to usethe Display and SoundSettings scene.
Display and Sound Settings:

One of the common concerns that I've seen is that it is hard to findwhere to buy and sell cards.  These concerns stem from achange in the naming convention for these items. 
V3 Marketplace:

One nice new feature to MTGO V3 is theability to 'jump' to commonplaces from the Home Scene. Starting a new Casual game is mucheasier now than in V2, essentially just a click of a button and you'rethere!
New Casual Game:

If you're running at a resolution over1024x768 you can utilize the'Zoom Slider' to change the size of thetext, cards, and items on thescreen.  It's the last button on the bottom row ofbuttons. Sliding it to the right makesthings bigger, slidingit to the left makes things smaller.
Zoom Slider: 

This is pretty straightforward. You can scroll through yourcollection and zoom in on cards with the middle mouse button, or bysimultaneously right and left clicking on the card, or by hovering themouse over it and pressing ctrl + alt. 

Collection Scene:

The deck builder is also pretty much the same as before. Filesare now saved as .dek, which appears to use an XML filestructure. It also still reads .txt and .dec files from thecurrent version of the client.
Deck Builder: 

Also available are game replays, and they work about as you'dexpect. Click the game or match you wish to replay and clickthe 'Replay' button at the top of the screen.  If it's amatch, you will be prompted to choose which game of the match you wishto watch.
Replay an old game:

Something else that should beof interest to many of you is theability to disable the chat filteraltogether. Now you and your friendscan chat asyouwant. IMPORTANT!!! There's been no talkofchanging the chat enforcement in the client.  Meaningthatswearing/evading the chat filter in a public room will get you thesametrouble as it does now.

Toggle the Chat Filter:




You'll probably find that overtime you'll want to close ascene that you're no longer using or havean interest in. Whenthis happens you can closethescene. First, you'll need toleave the scene, then you canright click on the scene you wish to closeand select 'Close thisScene'.

Close an unused Scene:

So now that I've shown the many smallpieces of tweaks and tips, howwould one actually use them to see whatI'm talking about? Emulate the video below to see foryourself! 

Putting it all together:





My Cards look horrible!

In order to get the best results out of V3 you'll need tousehardwarerendering in your Graphics Card.  If the clientwon'tletyou turn on hardware rendering it means that either yourcardcan'tdo it,or the card itself has hardware renderingturnedoff. You can check to see if your card has itsrenderingturnedoffby going into your DisplaySettingscontrolpanel. Start->Settings->ControlPanel,Display. Onceyou'veloadedthis control panel you'll need to get to theTroubleshootscreen. The general way to get there is clickingon the'Settings'tab, then the 'Advanced' button,then finallythe'Troubleshoot' tab. Once there you should see a slider baroroption for hardwareacceleration.  Enable it and restartMTGOV3.  Youshould now be able to see foil animations andhighquality card art.

The Compact Duel scene is all garbled:

This has been reported by a few users already and so farthemostcommonfix is to update your video drivers, and enablehardwarerendering. Follow the instructions above forenablingrendering, andsearch google for the latest drivers for youvideo card.




The memory leak:

The memory leak of the V2clientiswell known.  Infact, if you don't keep an eye on it,it canget bad enough to hang yourentire machine.  This is whyit'sone of the top requested fixesin V3.  So I decided to doafewthings that are known tomaximize the memory leak in thecurrentclient:Editing a large deck andsearching a large deck duringagame. The results are veryencouraging so far. WhileV3 did eat alot of memory (450 MegsVirtual and 350 Megs Physical),that's to beexpected as the cards arehigher quality by far. Theimportantthing is what it did withthat memory.  Would itlet it go, orwould it hold on to it likethe current version?

I'm happy to say that it didletgoof the RAM as Iplayed.  Both Physical andVirtual. For those that areaware of my previous findingsregarding the V2memoryleak, it centersaround the client not being ableto free up theVirtualMemory that it'sallocated.  This thenmakes the clientcontinue to eat lots andlots of RAM but never give itback. Eventually your system runsout and stopsresponding.  V3 doesnot sharethisaffliction.  Don't be surprisedif it uses a lot of RAM asyouplay, but be happy that it will give itback as it's needed.




All in all, the client looksandacts much better. It'sa solid base to build from as wegoforward.  I'm not sayingthat the clientisperfect. Heck, I'm not even saying that theclient isgreat,as there's clearly a lot of work left to do before it'ssomethingI'dbeproud to introduce to the family.  Butthere'senoughpotentialin these latest changes to make me extremelyoptimisticabout thefuture of the platform.  Card art, Cardtext and theCompactDuel Scene shows that WotC's been listening to ourcomplaintsandtaking action with them.  If they continue to doso we'llhavea much better aClient than our current version once we'redone!



oh god....i followed AJ's by ShardFenix at Sun, 03/20/2011 - 17:36
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oh god....i followed AJ's link from the 3/18 SotP. I forgot how eye-rapingly bad v3 was when it started. My corneas almost started bleeding. I remember not being able to play when v3 came out because it all gave me a headache to look at.

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