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By: djdark01, Daniel Jay
Apr 08 2008 11:20pm
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Day Seven.

It's almost here, once that NASA space shuttle leaves for orbit at least.

Magic the Gathering Online v2.5 will be gone forever and v3.0 will be here to hopefully save the day.  Is there anything that you will miss from v2.5 though?

When I first started to play Magic Online, I also would buy and sell cards and was actually able to turn a decent profit doing so.  I can't really do that now since the competition is so fierce, but I certainly do miss the old and forgotten days of 7th, IPA and OTJ being the only card sets available.  Less cards available = decent cards worth more.  The Auction room was always a great place to sit and enjoy other peoples company.  Sometimes, and I hate to admit it, I would stay in that room all day just chatting, buying and selling without even playing any Magic.  When I cashed out of MTGO right before Kamigawa block I had already redeemed four sets of Torment, four sets of Judgment and four sets of Onslaught...  all of which are still sitting in my closet!  The rest of my cards I sold on EBay... Pernicious Deed, Orim's Chant, Spiritmonger, etc...  I ended up buying up a lot of paper singles with the funds from those cards, thinking that I was going to play more offline, things didn't happen that way though.  Truth be told, I wish I would of had enough foresight at the time to leave the cards on my account.  I came back to the fold eventually, and things had definitely changed.  Did they change for the worse?  I don't know.  Instead of relaxing in Auction, I spend most of my time chatting in PureMTGO which is a great place too.  Instead of buying and selling, I actually play in PE's, Leagues, Drafts and 8-man's which I never did before.  The lag and downtime had taken a turn for the worse vs. what I had remembered though.  I get upset when things fall apart too like anyone else, most of the time it wasn't the end of the world for me...  more of a reason to go out :). 

 Second Introduction:

Ok, so I wrote this article back in January.  We wanted to wait a week or so before releasing it to the webpage to coincide with v3's release.  As of me writting this now, that has not happened yet.  It's already March 28th and v3 SHOULD be here soon...  I really like the picture of the Endeavour taking off so I've left it within the article.  I know WotC took their timer down, but I think it's a good reminder of what we're capable if we work together towards our goals.  I think we, the community of this game, have a done a great job at that.  Congrats!  And thus, this is where the remaining portion of this article begins..!

With the release of V3, I think we still have a lot to still look forward to like...

Classic sets

I want to play with Cursed Scroll so bad it hurts.  Well, not really...  Certainly, there are other cards out there other people will want to play too.  So far we've had the pleasure of playing with Mirage block.  It was interesting for sure, but the fact that it took so long for the block to complete its self I think hurt the overall expectations many had going in.  Getting Mirage to fire in draft was a godsend, what was frustrating at least to me is that things didn't improve much after Weatherlight eventually hit.  With Tempest, I feel that Worth will have a game plan in place to ensure this block runs smoothly.  I've always felt that Tempest is when Magic really started to hit some nice strides...  Seeing all of the cards on v3 with the improved graphics will be another added bonus.

I'd like to see an update on MED and Classic sets soon.  I'm sure the release dates that were set before have been set back a tad due to v3

Additional features in V3
Once things settle down, however long that may be... We will be blessed with new features. Believe it or not, this could be tricky more so from a brand and marketing perspective rather than just programming and the other behind the scenes stuff.  Worth, based on all of the posts I've read by him, knows what he's doing.  Even if he didn't, I trust that he knows how to get to where he needs to be and who to go to for guidance when needed.  We can all want a Pauper format, casual specific rooms (what a nightmare), more prizes, trade limit increases, etc... But would all of those really benefit the community as a whole?  This is question that I can't answer.  What I can say is the format I'd most like to see added is Block Party (I think that's what it's called).  This format focuses on individual blocks rather than multiple blocks together.  The catch is, anyone can play any block deck against any other.  I've never played it, but I can only imagine how cool it would be to play Blue Green Madness again from OTJ or Fires from IPA.  The only problem with this that I can see though is would it steal any thunder from Classic?  That may or may not be something WotC is concerned with but I do know regulars around here would be miffed if Classic took a nose dive.  Something to think about for sure.
One of the the aspects that I really don't like about the transition between v2.5 and v3 is the lack of features we are going to have at first.  I understand that WotC wants to take care of PE's, Drafts, etc...first, but casual players really are the backbone of MTGO.  It would be interesting to see if this has changed at all since the last update I saw on this information.  Perhaps the team have made some progress.
Improved Auction...?

This is kind of bad, but most of the time when I first log in to MTGO I go to join my clan room and start to type: /join auct...  Opps, /join puremtgo.  I applaud Elf's attempt at trying to return the room to its former glory, it still doesn't seem the same to me though.  Spammers are still there, and seeing b uying or s elling is irritating.  I'm really looking forward to how things shake out with our Auction community in v3.

It will also be interesting to see how Bots fit into v3.  Love them or hate them, they do add something we all need.  The only downside I see with Bots personally is that they are one of the reasons why Auction is not as powerful as it once was.  I'm torn, I like both.

Not much to really say here that hasn't already been discussed at one time or another.  I'm thinking it will still be sometime till we see any movement on this front.

Chuck's virtual party II

I know, bad joke, right?  Once stability and scalability are ours for the taking, I suspect Worth will initiate a few things here and there to spice up our MTGO time.  What better way to do that than party?  I think it would be cool if somehow we had tournaments that invited the top8, random people, or however it worked out to real parties.  Plane tickets to WotC to check out the offices, a date with Blue.. (pick me!), anything to perk others interests in the game.  Some of this stuff sounds off the wall, but you never know.  Well, the date thing is a joke. although I will say that I don't watch Gamerzer0's show for Mike and blue is my favorite color.

Yeah, this is still a bad joke.

Morningtide  Shadowmoor!

Morningtide should shake standard up fairly well. Instead of Elves!, will we be playing Warriors!? 

What’s Doran going to do with that funky land of his? 

How much is Mutavault going to go for? 

We may have to wait a little longer than usual though to play with Morningtide depending on when v3 is released.  I'm pretty sure that WotC does not want to release on v2.5. Feel free to read the PureMTGO set review series if you have not done so already, I suggest you skip the White one though :).

Business as usual with a v3 twist.

Hm...  well, this has come and gone :).  I guess we can look forward to Shadowmoor now.

Player and Brand Manager response!
Having gone over what I’m looking forward to, I decided to ask a few other folks what their thoughts are on the subject matter:

jamuraa: I'm looking forward to the new cards; they are way better looking in v3.  Most of all, I'm looking forward to having a more stable server though.  The one thing that I'll miss in v3 is replays in PE's. (Writers note: PE's may or may not have replays upon v3 release).

NeoNetGen: I will miss Multiplayer and I’m looking forward to not having a total meltdown.

walkerdog: Things I'll miss about 2.5: Multiplayer in mostly functional form, crashes during drafts that give free product and the familiar, albeit ugly and counter-intuitive interface.  Things I'm excited about in 3: More, dumber bugs than in 2.5, less lag than 2.5, Morningtide!  Release events (This is going to happen right? Something to celebrate it finally being released?).  Prettier cards and new trading boards (just interested in how it will work out).

JXClaytor: I'm going to miss the constant instability and the huge memory leak.  In all reality I am going to miss the league play.  I've grown used to trying to win in the Force of Will lottery and will miss having a reason to get MED packs from

tharionwind: Leagues are very important to MTGO.  Its a great way to bring new players, casual and spike/pro players together.  People learn a lot about new releases via the Leagues -- what works/doesn't work.  Also, Multiplayer and the chat system really bring MTGO to social levels comparable to MTG.

53N531: The thing I am going to miss the most is the 'speed' of the server.  I know that sounds like a joke, but I think if you consider what I've said you will agree with me.  Barring server lag, clicks result in instant reactions.  gameplay is fast, this is not so with v3.  As for what I am looking forward to the most  I am excited for the possible introduction of a player-rewards system.  I love alternate card art.

Trevor Kidd, Customer Service Supervisor: Hey Daniel! All of Wizards of the Coast, including Customer Service, is excited to be launching Magic Online 3. A lot of hard work has gone into getting us to this point, and we'll all have to make sure we're doing our part to support it once it launches. Other than that, there's really not much we can say except that we're excited to be launching in the next couple weeks. Have fun and we hope to see you in game!

worth, Brand Manager: There really isn't much to miss about 2.5. Sure, initially we'll be down a few features but I'm very confidant those will quickly be replaced (and new ones added too!) once we have the entire force of the dev team focused on one platform. The ability to expand our tournament offerings is a huge plus for MOL III in my mind, as well as change and diversify the prize/product offerings, both in the game and in the store. Things like bundles and such should make the store experience much more user-friendly.

Now that we have a good idea of what some of us hope for and what we can expect (thanks worth!), let's talk about a few options available to us to keep our minds busy during the transition.

Thank you to everyone that gave me a comment to include within this article.  It's been awhile since I posed the question, it will be interesting to see how many people remember this AND if they've changed their outlooks of v3 at all.

Play Magic

I think we'll still have a way to play, just not with cards that we own.  This may turn out to be a good time to test decks if we get access to any cards we would like to play with during the downtime.  I really don't know anything further than what I've read on the subject than that.  We'll see how things shake out. If there isn’t anything really going on, there’s always paper too!

Yeah, I was way off here.  I'm thinking downtime will be about a week between v2.5 and v3...  Not to bad.

Watch a movie

If you like goofy 80's popcorn movies, this is a gem.  I picked up the dual DVD with Waxworks II at Best Buy about two years ago for five bucks, pretty good movies for $2.50 each.  Waxworks one and two stars the main actor from Gremlins, Bruce Cambell makes a great cameo in the second installment too!  Still good.
The Dark Knight will be coming out this summer, it may be a good time to brush up on all of your Batman knowledge to prepare.  While it's unfortunate that Heath Ledger passed away at such a young age; based on the trailer I think the movie will be a fitting tribute to his skills and talents as an actor.  RIP
Have you ever seen Big Fish?  This movie is not exactly like it, but does have the same kind of feel.  I just watched it again the other day and really enjoyed it.  I think the same guy that directed Back to the Future wrote and directed it.  He also writes Comic books every now and then.  Did I mention the pink Power Ranger is in this?
Call someone up.  Go hang out!

Overall, we have a lot to look forward to still… It’s going to take awhile for us to get there though. Keep your chins up and tough it out. Without us, Magic would not be what it is today. WotC is going to do what they need to keep us happy in the long run. That’s the main reason why they are pushing forward with v3 now. Things don’t end with v3 either, I see a lot more potential then we may realize. How will Gleemax fit in? Will we ever see another way to play Magic? I can imagine having a handheld device that you can take to tournaments to play games with. We wouldn’t have to worry about cards being stolen; we could even use our digital cards… Heck, we could scan paper cards into the device if they were barcoded. Think of what things could look like five years down the road, exciting!

As you can imagine, I'm very frustrated with this game as most of you are too.  I feel like sometimes WotC thinks that we are sheep that will do whatever they say, which I hope is not true...  We all like the game, please let us play!  Who's to fault?  I don't know.  Does it matter anymore?  Depends on who you ask.  Personally, I think Worth has done a good job.  Based solely on some of the posts I've seen lately on the MTGO forums, i'm certain that he's starting to feel the pressure now. 

By the way, no Magic article would be complete without a deck to contribute:


This is a deck I've been playing a bit lately.  It does well against Doran Rock and Elves!...  Reanimator and Blink are a whole other story.  I'm still thinking of ways I can manage past both of those decks, hopefully I'll come up with something soon.  It is a lot of fun tp play though.  I haven't wandered into the Casual room with it, mostly just the Practice and Anything goes room.  Every time I enter an 8 man I get my rear end handed to me on a Mulldrifter plater.  I'd like to add here that Korlash is really awesome.  I wonder if he'll see play in post extended rotation, I doubt it...  I would hate to see him go away so soon after hardly getting to play with him in Standard. 

I took a few more peeks at Morningtide's Black line up, looks mostly geared towards Rouge Aggro...  This will most likley be good-bye to MBC for me, I can sense it will be time to move on soon.

Before it is mentioned, I know this deck has nothing to do with the article.  Look at it as being an added bonus!

 Man, it really has been some time.  I haven't looked at this deck in over a month!

Thanks for reading, feel free to comment or beat me up!


by Anonymous (Unregistered) (not verified) at Sat, 04/12/2008 - 19:34
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nice artical. enjoyed reading it especially the opinions bit :D

Great Article! by MirrorMage at Wed, 04/09/2008 - 05:22
MirrorMage's picture

Man, one week without banter online ;_; This is going to be difficult. I've never been a fan of that big ball of fire in the sky.

I thought your article was great! Very different. I think it's going to be a something people are going to use in six months or a years time to compare their expectations to the reality of the situation. It's going to be an interesting, frustrating ride.

Absolutley hilarious too. I laughed out loud quite a few times, but that might be because I have no soul. I actually gave a chuckle when I saw "RIP" and then realised that I am a huge heartless bastard.  

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