[Official] State of Modern Thread (B&R 07/13/2020)

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Post by idSurge » 1 year ago

Yeah I never had opal so didn't play real affinity other than online a few times, but even then I get spikes of 'man they killed affinity' and it makes me miss the old days.

The removal of lattice, and printing sink hole is all I would want to hit tron.

Don't remove moderns identity any more.
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Post by cfusionpm » 1 year ago

idSurge wrote:
1 year ago
Don't remove moderns identity any more.
Modern does not have an identity beyond "the best decks get banned."

'Pillars' are just "What hasn't been banned yet?" and "What just got a busted new card?"

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Post by ktkenshinx » 1 year ago

cfusionpm wrote:
1 year ago
idSurge wrote:
1 year ago
Don't remove moderns identity any more.
Modern does not have an identity beyond "the best decks get banned."

'Pillars' are just "What hasn't been banned yet?" and "What just got a busted new card?"
Highlighting this post as format bashing, even though it's definitely not the only one; just the most recent. I have been a lot more lenient with the format bashing rule due to Modern's significant and pressing issues. But there has been way too much doom and gloom in the past pages, especially with unwarranted and unfounded criticisms that don't even bother to suggest improvements. These kind of low effort posts are going to be format bashing going forward.
Please review OP's format bashing definition. I will be paying closer attention to posts that might violate this rule.
Aazadan wrote:
1 year ago
ktkenshinx

I responded to the poll but I think the choices really fall into just a couple of categories. Specifically, it's all about bans, reprints, and data. For example, reprints for price really aren't much different than reprints or new cards to improve the format. In particular, Wizards prefers the second option because it doesn't mean reprinting to devalue cards, and instead gets people to buy more stuff.

This is certainly something to address, but it's really all the same topic. Bans are similar in that it's all related.
Although I agree there are overlaps in these options, they are also distinct in important ways. For instance, reprints vs. new cards can play very different roles. Reprinting fetchlands doesn't necessarily lead to metagame changes, unless we think prices/scarcity are significantly altering metagame shares. Cheaper fetches might just get more players into the format, potentially investing in the same ratio of decks currently present in the metagame. By contrast, printing new cards (e.g. Force of Negation) or reprinting old ones (e.g. something like Daze) have actual metagame impact. Both of these stand to generate profit for Wizards, so they would overlap in that regard. Secret Lairs are a possible avenue for the former but hopefully not the latter.
Tomatotime wrote:
1 year ago
I chose "Identifying a single Wizards point of contact for Modern" it just seems like the absolute minimum for our efforts to even mean anything in the first place. Without a consensus, we have no message, without a message, Wotc has no reason to act.

I remember years back when Wotc cut Modern from the pro-tour, within a weekend the response was so overwhelming and extreme they completely 180'd their position, that is a good example of what can be achieved when the community is actually aligned and why I think that must necessarily be the first priority.

The Reddit monopoly must end.
I agree this is probably the biggest priority. I thought it was interesting that people identified data restrictions as a more pressing priority, which I think is because that issue is much fresher and offensive. Like you said, however, without a primary point of contact, Wizards can't meaningfully engage the community in sustained, helpful conversation. It just devolves into social media shouting matches. To some extent, this would probably still happen with a single point of contact for Modern, but it would probably be less mob-driven.
idSurge wrote:
1 year ago
Point of Contact and Data.

But you missed define Modern.
The last Fixing Modern was 100% about defining Modern, and Forsythe already committed to addressing that. This poll was for next steps in the Fixing Modern series.
cfusionpm wrote:
1 year ago
The data issue was already handled really well (and with a couple thousand words) a while back on goldfish. The specifics have changed a bit, but the core idea (and arguments) are exactly the same.

https://www.mtggoldfish.com/articles/wi ... a-insanity
That was a great article but it would benefit from updating. In particular, we could easily test some of Wizards' and Goldfish's assertions in light of additional data/results. I'm struck by just how badly the policy failed in 2019, a year with fairly minimal data that still saw formats solved very rapidly. We know the reasons for this (e.g. Arena/MTGO iteration, top players solving things anyway, obviously broken cards with no good answers, etc.), but it's still important to call out the policy's failures in a public article.
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Post by cfusionpm » 1 year ago

ktkenshinx wrote:
1 year ago
cfusionpm wrote:
1 year ago
idSurge wrote:
1 year ago
Don't remove moderns identity any more.
Modern does not have an identity beyond "the best decks get banned."

'Pillars' are just "What hasn't been banned yet?" and "What just got a busted new card?"
Highlighting this post as format bashing, even though it's definitely not the only one; just the most recent. I have been a lot more lenient with the format bashing rule due to Modern's significant and pressing issues. But there has been way too much doom and gloom in the past pages, especially with unwarranted and unfounded criticisms that don't even bother to suggest improvements. These kind of low effort posts are going to be format bashing going forward.
Please review OP's format bashing definition. I will be paying closer attention to posts that might violate this rule.
Is anything written there in any way exaggerated, incorrect, inaccurate, or misleading about Modern? Because regardless of my feelings on the format today, it really seems that Modern is, at best, defined by broken decks, banned decks, fear of bannings, pockets of chaos between bannings. How else can we really describe an overarching identity that encapsulates what it's like to be in this format? I don't mean this in a snarky manner, but as genuine concern. These observations are objectively not wrong, especially after the Opal ban. There are no pillars. There are no sacred cows. There is no identity but bans. WOTC needs to address this.

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Post by Tomatotime » 1 year ago

cfusionpm wrote:
1 year ago
Is anything written there in any way exaggerated, incorrect, inaccurate, or misleading about Modern? Because regardless of my feelings on the format today, it really seems that Modern is, at best, defined by broken decks, banned decks, fear of bannings, pockets of chaos between bannings. How else can we really describe an overarching identity that encapsulates what it's like to be in this format? I don't mean this in a snarky manner, but as genuine concern. These observations are objectively not wrong, especially after the Opal ban. There are no pillars. There are no sacred cows. There is no identity but bans. WOTC needs to address this.
A couple of points:

1. Can we really say that Modern is a format of broken decks while also being in a statement where there is pervasive fear of bannings? I don't think anyone was "afraid" of Hogaak and such being banned, they cheered it on and seemed to ubiquitously approve Wotc's bannings.

2. You say there are no sacred cows in Modern, but does there actually need to be? Do we have some long term evidence to suggest that the maintaining of arbitrary decks will be better for a format even in the face of somewhat random power creep?

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Post by cfusionpm » 1 year ago

"Non-rotating" formats are supposed to be such that you can buy a deck and keep playing it. In Modern, that means A) buying a deck that will inevitably be banned, or B) buying a deck that is objectively weak, and not at threat for a ban.

There's also the annoying C) buying Tron, because WOTC will apparently never not allow Tron, but the first two seem to have been proven true for the entirety of Modern's life.

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Post by ktkenshinx » 1 year ago

cfusionpm wrote:
1 year ago
Is anything written there in any way exaggerated, incorrect, inaccurate, or misleading about Modern? Because regardless of my feelings on the format today, it really seems that Modern is, at best, defined by broken decks, banned decks, fear of bannings, pockets of chaos between bannings. How else can we really describe an overarching identity that encapsulates what it's like to be in this format? I don't mean this in a snarky manner, but as genuine concern. These observations are objectively not wrong, especially after the Opal ban. There are no pillars. There are no sacred cows. There is no identity but bans. WOTC needs to address this.
The entire post was an exaggerated two-liner, had no argumentation, and provided zero ideas for improvement. It's the very definition of format bashing. I fully agree Modern has an identity crisis (see my last article) and that Modern suffers from too many bannings (see my constant attacks on ban mania). There are countless better ways to present this argument other than the two-liner jab without even trying to include suggestions for improvement. Even if you aren't suggesting specific improvements, at least try to justify the criticisms and guide others towards possible solutions. It's exceedingly clear now, as it has been for years, that you personally do not like Modern as a format and/or major elements of Modern as it has been since Twin's banning. That's fine but your posts still need to be constructive. Most of us are likely older players with work/life experience, and I shouldn't have to explain how your post isn't really a productive addition to the conversation.
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Post by cfusionpm » 1 year ago

ktkenshinx wrote:
1 year ago
I shouldn't have to explain how your post isn't really a productive addition to the conversation.
Honestly, it's because in recent past, when I did spend several hours crafting a long, detailed post, with lots of supporting numbers, evidence, or insight, it is often ignored, brushed aside, or tossed out like it doesn't matter. There's no bite, no engagement for discussion, it's just someone jumping on the next hot take and quibbling back and forth about that. Nobody seems to actually want to have productive discussion. People believe what they want to believe, nobody is changing their mind, and none of us have any power to change anything. Hard to see it any other way.

Honestly, between work and a baby and having to fight to justify spending what little free time I have playing Magic, I find myself greatly questioning why I keep doing it. And honestly, I just... haven't. I jump into MTGO once in a while, but I haven't played in paper in months. I've ducked out of most conversations and barely lurked here because, frankly, I'm finally at a point where I just don't care about Modern (or really Magic in general), especially after past REALLY rough year for Magic all around. And it seems many feel the same way. This forum feels like a ghost town that only picks up when two or three people have some heated personal back and forth. With no data, no meaningful events, and nothing but anecdotes and opinions, there's just nothing else to discuss. And those last comments I made strike directly to the core of that dissatisfaction: Modern has no identity. And looking retroactively, it feels like it never did. Just a series of banned decks and everyone looking for what's going to be banned next.

What is there do to about it? I don't know. But all I know is WOTC likely doesn't care whatsoever what we think after their +30% cash influx for last quarter. We. Don't. Matter.

I'll go back to the shadows for now.

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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 1 year ago

I will say that in my area of Southern California, a hub of Modern players, it seems that attendance is way down. I'm still not sure what is the appeal of Pioneer, as the format is pretty terrible. It makes Modern look amazing in comparison and Legacy look ridiculous.
Standard - Will pick up what's good when paper starts
Pre Modern - Do not own anymore
Pioneer - MBA, UB Inverter
Modern - Amulet Titan, Elementals, Yawmoth Chord, Uroza
Legacy - No more cards, will rebuy Sneak Show when I can
Limited - Will start when paper starts
Commander - Nope

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Post by Aazadan » 1 year ago

FoodChainGoblins wrote:
1 year ago
I will say that in my area of Southern California, a hub of Modern players, it seems that attendance is way down. I'm still not sure what is the appeal of Pioneer, as the format is pretty terrible. It makes Modern look amazing in comparison and Legacy look ridiculous.
Same issue here. I hope this doesn't fall under format bashing, but it's becoming impossible to play Modern in my area. 1.5 years ago there was a store a 5 minute walk from my house, it pulled about 12 people for FNM, but all very good, and very competitive players (every player at the shop, except me since I don't go to them, can reliably day 2 a GP), with a mix of net decks and brews. That store was on a rotation of the last FNM of the month being draft with the rest being Modern.

A 20 minute drive had a store, it would get around 10 to 14 for Modern which was a more average crowd. The rotation was the first/third Fridays of the month were Standard, second/fourth Modern, and any extras Standard.

Then, about 45 minutes out of town were two more stores, a college store that's Standard only but about 40 people a night, and another newer store that was a small crowd, fairly casual, maybe 8 per night.

Right now, here's what we're getting. The store I normally play at (the close one) about 1 in 3 weeks we can play, and that's with 4 people for Modern. Draft hasn't fired in nearly 9 months. The 20 minute store has entirely dropped Modern after getting between 0 and 1 people per week. Now they do Pioneer and get maybe 4 to 6 people. Standard has stopped firing entirely.

The college store still fires, but I don't know their numbers because parking for their store without a college parking permit is nearly impossible (they're right off campus, all the nearby parking is college owned), and the other brings a couple people in for Magic but has mostly moved to hosting esports competitions.

I want to play paper Magic, and I really want to play Modern, but it's getting nearly impossible.

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Post by Aazadan » 1 year ago

cfusionpm wrote:
1 year ago
"Non-rotating" formats are supposed to be such that you can buy a deck and keep playing it. In Modern, that means A) buying a deck that will inevitably be banned, or B) buying a deck that is objectively weak, and not at threat for a ban.
Non rotating formats don't have sets rotate out, that doesn't mean that metagame changes don't make decks non viable, that new printings don't change a deck, or that certain cards need banned to kill a deck.

Broad strategies remain viable, and 99.5% of your cards remain in the format.

Modern has always been a format without sacred cows. It's why players figured out a long time ago that it's a risky format to buy into a deck that has a single build around card as your only deck. Good stuff decks that get weaker but remain a deck are far more ban resilient.

If you play something like Affinity which has a build around of Mox Opal, you're in trouble when it's banned. If you instead play Jund, you're in a lot less trouble when Deathrite Shaman gets banned. This is a lesson people learned in the first 2 years of the format.
And it seems many feel the same way. This forum feels like a ghost town that only picks up when two or three people have some heated personal back and forth.
This is a separate issue. The state of the Magic community right now is awful. Moving all interaction to twitch streams, discord, and twitter has utterly destroyed the community and their ability to effectively communicate with each other. Every deck is now it's own community without any conversation history, most conversation is one way from streamers talking to their twitch chat, and twitter lacks a lot of nuance. Then there's Reddit, which by the nature of their forum layout creates echo chambers (Reddit isn't 100% bad, but as the only major forum left, they're a lot worse than what we used to have). And with paper being pushed less, those local communities are also getting wiped out.

Wizards is rather complicit in having encouraged this as well. If I want to get conspiratorial, I would say it's for the same reason they've hidden data which is to try and slow down community development of metas. But, it's probably more reasonable to attribute it to incompetence rather than maliciousness.

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Post by Ed06288 » 1 year ago

all magic formats, are and always will be, in a perpetual state of development. modern will never be perfect.

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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 1 year ago

Aazadan wrote:
1 year ago
FoodChainGoblins wrote:
1 year ago
I will say that in my area of Southern California, a hub of Modern players, it seems that attendance is way down. I'm still not sure what is the appeal of Pioneer, as the format is pretty terrible. It makes Modern look amazing in comparison and Legacy look ridiculous.
Same issue here. I hope this doesn't fall under format bashing, but it's becoming impossible to play Modern in my area. 1.5 years ago there was a store a 5 minute walk from my house, it pulled about 12 people for FNM, but all very good, and very competitive players (every player at the shop, except me since I don't go to them, can reliably day 2 a GP), with a mix of net decks and brews. That store was on a rotation of the last FNM of the month being draft with the rest being Modern.

A 20 minute drive had a store, it would get around 10 to 14 for Modern which was a more average crowd. The rotation was the first/third Fridays of the month were Standard, second/fourth Modern, and any extras Standard.

Then, about 45 minutes out of town were two more stores, a college store that's Standard only but about 40 people a night, and another newer store that was a small crowd, fairly casual, maybe 8 per night.

Right now, here's what we're getting. The store I normally play at (the close one) about 1 in 3 weeks we can play, and that's with 4 people for Modern. Draft hasn't fired in nearly 9 months. The 20 minute store has entirely dropped Modern after getting between 0 and 1 people per week. Now they do Pioneer and get maybe 4 to 6 people. Standard has stopped firing entirely.

The college store still fires, but I don't know their numbers because parking for their store without a college parking permit is nearly impossible (they're right off campus, all the nearby parking is college owned), and the other brings a couple people in for Magic but has mostly moved to hosting esports competitions.

I want to play paper Magic, and I really want to play Modern, but it's getting nearly impossible.
I feel exactly the same way. My family is visiting Northern CA this weekend, so I am all alone. I really wanted to jam some Modern, even if it's not against the most competitive players (but especially so if it IS because I love Competition).

Those numbers seem absolutely abysmal and I definitely feel for you. But I am also too busy feeling for myself, lol.
Standard - Will pick up what's good when paper starts
Pre Modern - Do not own anymore
Pioneer - MBA, UB Inverter
Modern - Amulet Titan, Elementals, Yawmoth Chord, Uroza
Legacy - No more cards, will rebuy Sneak Show when I can
Limited - Will start when paper starts
Commander - Nope

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Post by Aazadan » 1 year ago

FoodChainGoblins wrote:
1 year ago
Those numbers seem absolutely abysmal and I definitely feel for you. But I am also too busy feeling for myself, lol.
It gets worse. Outside of the college store, none of them buy singles anymore. Of the remaining 3, only one sells singles, and only from stock they open. The other two aren't even bothering with it at all. They simply can't sell enough to justify it, and one in particular took some really bad hits through 2019 and the constant bans and price fluctuations nearly caused the store to fold due to loss in inventory value.

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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 1 year ago

Aazadan wrote:
1 year ago
FoodChainGoblins wrote:
1 year ago
Those numbers seem absolutely abysmal and I definitely feel for you. But I am also too busy feeling for myself, lol.
It gets worse. Outside of the college store, none of them buy singles anymore. Of the remaining 3, only one sells singles, and only from stock they open. The other two aren't even bothering with it at all. They simply can't sell enough to justify it, and one in particular took some really bad hits through 2019 and the constant bans and price fluctuations nearly caused the store to fold due to loss in inventory value.
That's terrible. It's understandable though. Do we as a Modern community think that this is temporary? Or is increased support for Pioneer leading to a decrease in Modern tournament activity? There is a Grand Prix coming up in Anaheim, CA soon and some of my friends were hoping for Modern. I cannot be so positive.
Standard - Will pick up what's good when paper starts
Pre Modern - Do not own anymore
Pioneer - MBA, UB Inverter
Modern - Amulet Titan, Elementals, Yawmoth Chord, Uroza
Legacy - No more cards, will rebuy Sneak Show when I can
Limited - Will start when paper starts
Commander - Nope

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Post by ktkenshinx » 1 year ago

I think it's important to emphasize a point Aazadan and others have made: these attendance and engagement problems are Magic-wide, not simply Modern issues. It's easy to get caught up in Modern's problems because we all focus on Modern and this is a Modern forum. But it's important to acknowledge that every format, especially in paper, saw major declines in from 2019 to present. In particular, GP attendance has been horrible at many U.S. venues in the last year, and that's been true across all formats. Anecdotally, LGS presence is also plummeting across all formats. This means we must look beyond Modern to what is happening with the game.

This sadly points to an issue I and others have discussed: the digitization of MTG. I said it last year and will keep saying it until more people get on this bandwagon. Papet MTG is in major trouble as Wizards embarks on a long term campaign to shift almost the entire game to a primarily digital medium. I once thought this was just about Arena and "card patching", but it's clear this long-term vision is much broader. I don't necessarily see a point where paper MTG is "dead", at least not in the foreseeable future, but it's clear Wizards and Hasbro want Magic to be a digital-first game. All the "old school" LGS players and communities will scrape by no matter what Wizards does (it's not like any of us are quitting in any appreciable quantities, and we don't really buy new product), but the newer generation will just jump into digital and generate lots of revenue. Online communities are very visible and Wizards will continue to promote these Internet-based areas to try and pull a Hearthstone coup over the digital card game sphere.

The end result of this is the continued decline of the LGS, paper Magic events being less about a format (e.g. a Modern GP) and more about the community gathering aspect of Magic (i.e. a "Magic Fest," which is literally what they are doing now), community conversation shifting to popular digital areas (Twitter, Reddit, Discord, Twitch), and paper products becoming more about making lots of $$$. We're going to start seeing digital-only products and cards, functional patches to cards, more digital tournaments (an Arena GP is a "when," not an "if"), and more community content creator support. We'll start seeing the migration of the brick/mortar/paper LGS to Twitch channels (THIS IS ALREADY HAPPENING) and, as Arena becomes a better product, Arena itself. This digital migration is far away but probably a lot closer than we think. Paper products, with high printing/shipping/distribution/etc. costs, are not going to survive this trajectory in the form we know. Digital MTG will become the standard of this game and every element, from Modern to tournaments/community/game support, will be redefined as a result.
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Post by Aazadan » 1 year ago

FoodChainGoblins wrote:
1 year ago
That's terrible. It's understandable though. Do we as a Modern community think that this is temporary? Or is increased support for Pioneer leading to a decrease in Modern tournament activity? There is a Grand Prix coming up in Anaheim, CA soon and some of my friends were hoping for Modern. I cannot be so positive.
The paper and gamestore issue transcends formats. Modern seems to be getting hit hardest as it's already the least financially accessible of the 3 big constructed formats (Modern, Pioneer, Standard) but it's there for all of them. As someone who has a really good paper collection, and close to zero interest in playing online it's really got me nervous about the future, especially since Arena has format problem with card access and MTGO is on life support.

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Post by drmarkb » 1 year ago

Digital MTG will ultimately die, it is soulless and will be ephemeral. Short term profits borrowing from tomorrow. Community led mtg is the way forward in paper. No planeswalker points- who gives a rat's arse?- not sanctioniond- ditto. Hugely successful.non sanctioned Legacy events go ahead now with no Wotc blessing. Just pure like minded people being nice to each other and enjoying mtg. In twenty years a Black Lotus will be worth loads, whilst Arena aficionados will have the square root of fa to show for their investment. They will be poor, the guy with legacy decks will not.
The wotc policy borrows from tomorrow to make sure today is profitable, and no doubt some coroprate arsehole will get a promotion without having to be around to clear up the mess, such is the nature of big business. In the end the players make commander and legacy what they are, and a at some point the players will control both formats. Wotc has and wants less hold over the big tourney scenes. It wants streamers to sell the game, preferably a diverse set of people who can reach wide audiences and tick boxes, and it wants online players who support them. In the long run there is not the money to be made that they think by making the game digital, but they won't care whilst short term gains are locked in. Like asking a band to record five records in three years, they want the short term because that is what gets people promotions, whilst leaving the product gasping for oxygen.
Last edited by drmarkb 1 year ago, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by Aazadan » 1 year ago

ktkenshinx wrote:
1 year ago
I think it's important to emphasize a point Aazadan and others have made: these attendance and engagement problems are Magic-wide, not simply Modern issues. It's easy to get caught up in Modern's problems because we all focus on Modern and this is a Modern forum. But it's important to acknowledge that every format, especially in paper, saw major declines in from 2019 to present. In particular, GP attendance has been horrible at many U.S. venues in the last year, and that's been true across all formats. Anecdotally, LGS presence is also plummeting across all formats. This means we must look beyond Modern to what is happening with the game.

This sadly points to an issue I and others have discussed: the digitization of MTG. I said it last year and will keep saying it until more people get on this bandwagon. Papet MTG is in major trouble as Wizards embarks on a long term campaign to shift almost the entire game to a primarily digital medium. I once thought this was just about Arena and "card patching", but it's clear this long-term vision is much broader. I don't necessarily see a point where paper MTG is "dead", at least not in the foreseeable future, but it's clear Wizards and Hasbro want Magic to be a digital-first game. All the "old school" LGS players and communities will scrape by no matter what Wizards does (it's not like any of us are quitting in any appreciable quantities, and we don't really buy new product), but the newer generation will just jump into digital and generate lots of revenue. Online communities are very visible and Wizards will continue to promote these digital areas to try and pull a Hearthstone coup over the digital card game sphere.
We're basically in total agreement on this. This is possibly a weird analogy but it's something I noticed when Secret Lairs were announced, and that I'm definitely seeing now. The distribution method for these is extremely similar to how cards can be distributed digitally in terms of printing cost, sales spikes, buying without a middleman, and so on. I feel like in some ways this is one of their tests to keep paper "viable" by trying to use the same sales strategy that works online.

The only real difference is that you're far more optimistic than me about paper communities. Where I am it's basically gone and I'm not kidding about this, I literally can't even play Commander. The only people in the area that do, have a friend group that all play together, and they keep to themselves. You can't even meet people in the stores anymore to play or set up a time to play, because the community has gotten so scattered.

Most areas aren't as bad off as where I am, since I'm in one of the poorer and more rural areas in the US so the population density is a lot lower, but it's indicative of trends that are building, because these are the sorts of areas that get hit by unhealthy communities first.

I've seen similar movement in university communities. I still talk to people in the Magic club at the university I last attended, and have watched their organized play shift drastically over the past 2 years or so. 2 years ago it was mostly paper, heavily supported by proxies. Then it turned to Arena to play for fun, and organized club nights and leagues were paper (again with proxies), now it's entirely Arena and they don't even play paper cards anymore. Surprisingly, despite never having had money for paper cards so always using proxies, they played MTGO (a little) and a lot of Arena. Never even things like XMage. It's all Arena all the time. I was there a couple weeks ago and literally couldn't even find a member who still had a proxied paper deck to play against me.

If you asked me back in October or November I would have said paper has a good 10+ years before this all changes and paper stops being the main way to play. Now I think it's considerably less. Paper becomes the alternative rather than primary method within a couple years, and phases out from there.

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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 1 year ago

drmarkb wrote:
1 year ago
Digital MTG will ultimately die, it is soulless and will be ephemeral. Short term profits borrowing from tomorrow. Community led mtg is the way forward in paper. No planeswalker points- who gives a rat's arse?- no sanctioniond- ditto. Just pure like minded people enjoying mtg. In twenty years a Black Lotus will be worth loads, whilst Arenaaficionados will have the square root of fa to show for their investment. The wotc policy borrows from tomorrow to make sure today is profit, and no doubt some coroprate arsehole will get a promotion without having to be around to clear up the mess, such is the nature of big business. In the end the players make commander and legacy what they are, and a lt some point the players will control both....
I hope you're right. Because just like @Aazadan, I have 0 interest in playing online.

But I actually do care about planeswalker points. I don't remember the last time I didn't have Byes at GPs. I do remember when it went from 3 to 2. But maybe it's better this way? I do know that I personally chose to pay $55 to play a Pioneer Pro Tour Qualifier rather than a 3 round $25 Modern tournament in Phoenix because I love Comp REL play (despite my opponents getting many take backs, lol). If Comp REL Magic ends and it becomes only kitchen table, I know for me at least that it doesn't incentivize me to play much.

For some reference, I HATE Pioneer and love Modern, but the thought of playing in a tournament where players don't care if they win or not (yes, I know that's a bit judgmental) was not appealing to me.
Standard - Will pick up what's good when paper starts
Pre Modern - Do not own anymore
Pioneer - MBA, UB Inverter
Modern - Amulet Titan, Elementals, Yawmoth Chord, Uroza
Legacy - No more cards, will rebuy Sneak Show when I can
Limited - Will start when paper starts
Commander - Nope

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Post by iTaLenTZ » 1 year ago

I can relate about attendance. The Dutch Open Series host the biggest tournaments for every format in the Netherlands. Modern's attendance has been going down since last year.

02-02-19: 170
07-09-19: 225
02-11-19: 124
09-02-20: 64

64 players!! For years these tournaments used to have between 150-200 players. Modern is taking a huge dive and if these numbers keep going lower then I really fear for the future of this format. Within 4-5 months Modern lost 75% of its players.

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Post by Aazadan » 1 year ago

iTaLenTZ wrote:
1 year ago
Modern is taking a huge dive and if these numbers keep going lower then I really fear for the future of this format. Within 4-5 months Modern lost 75% of its players.
I'm not sure if it's possible to pull these numbers from MTGO, but can we look at MTGO events and see if attendance is also dropping, or perhaps going up?

Basically, the question is... is Modern/Magic losing players, or are they all migrating online? I know I have anecdotal evidence of what I've seen people doing, but I'm curious if that translates to real statistics.

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Post by ktkenshinx » 1 year ago

drmarkb wrote:
1 year ago
Digital MTG will ultimately die, it is soulless and will be ephemeral. Short term profits borrowing from tomorrow. Community led mtg is the way forward in paper. No planeswalker points- who gives a rat's arse?- not sanctioniond- ditto. Hugely successful.non sanctioned Legacy events go ahead now with no Wotc blessing. Just pure like minded people being nice to each other and enjoying mtg. In twenty years a Black Lotus will be worth loads, whilst Arena aficionados will have the square root of fa to show for their investment. They will be poor, the guy with legacy decks will not.
It's extremely unlikely that digital MTG will die. For one, this does not reflect the arc of most other entertainment forms in popular culture (certainly U.S. culture, probably global too). These are overwhelmingly leaning towards digitization. We veteran players will probably find small havens to player paper MTG and those havens will thrive, but the overall arc towards digital MTG will march onward. Veteran players will also jump into digital MTG even if we don't want to admit it. It's just so much easier to fire up Arena and play some solo, relatively anti-social matches on a ladder moving towards digital rewards than it is to head over to an LGS and jump into a game. It's even worse for players who don't already have an existing MTG community. Socially anxious players are even less likely to go to an LGS if they don't know anyone, which becomes a new customer acquisition problem. It gets even worse when you admit how LGS environments can push toxic masculinity, exclusivity, unfriendly settings for women and even men, and overall have a relatively high cost of entry. Relative, of course, to the virtually nonexistent cost of entry into the "free" Arena platform and its promise of MTG games any time you want for as little money as you want to spend.

The second reason digital MTG is unlikely to die is that Wizards has way too much capital invested in the strategy. If Arena failed, it would be a crippling blow to the entire game. That might benefit diehard Legacy and Commander players, and/or veterans of the 90s and maybe 2000s who remember the good old paper days, but it would be terrible for the game. Unlike other Wizards IPs, like D&D, Magic's monetization method is way too concentrated on paper sales in a digital world. Wizards is going to try modernizing this model, which means you probably need to bet on digital MTG's success if you also want to bet on MTG's success generally.
The wotc policy borrows from tomorrow to make sure today is profitable, and no doubt some coroprate arsehole will get a promotion without having to be around to clear up the mess, such is the nature of big business. In the end the players make commander and legacy what they are, and a at some point the players will control both formats. Wotc has and wants less hold over the big tourney scenes. It wants streamers to sell the game, preferably a diverse set of people who can reach wide audiences and tick boxes, and it wants online players who support them. In the long run there is not the money to be made that they think by making the game digital, but they won't care whilst short term gains are locked in. Like asking a band to record five records in three years, they want the short term because that is what gets people promotions, whilst leaving the product gasping for oxygen.
I agree with this and agree Wizards is prioritizing some of the wrong objectives. Unfortunately, I think there is a lot more money to be made here than you give credit. If Arena is successful in mobile versions and continues its success on laptops, we're going to see a huge turning point where Wizards can make a lot of "casual" profit from players who are largely invisible to us veterans. We'll wonder where all the tournaments, products, event support, and game store presence is, but it won't matter because hordes of mostly faceless online players will gather on Twitch, Discord, Reddit, Twitch, and Arena itself to drive the game to new heights of low-input profit.
Aazadan wrote:
1 year ago
We're basically in total agreement on this. This is possibly a weird analogy but it's something I noticed when Secret Lairs were announced, and that I'm definitely seeing now. The distribution method for these is extremely similar to how cards can be distributed digitally in terms of printing cost, sales spikes, buying without a middleman, and so on. I feel like in some ways this is one of their tests to keep paper "viable" by trying to use the same sales strategy that works online.

The only real difference is that you're far more optimistic than me about paper communities. Where I am it's basically gone and I'm not kidding about this, I literally can't even play Commander. The only people in the area that do, have a friend group that all play together, and they keep to themselves. You can't even meet people in the stores anymore to play or set up a time to play, because the community has gotten so scattered.
Yeah, I might be too optimistic. A successful mobile Arena game is a true last call for paper MTG. Imagine a world where you can bring your entire collection and deck anywhere you want and just play with people on your phone? I.e. the current world where EVERYONE has their phone at all times, but now your MTG collection is a part of that too. With a proper client, this would just replace paper MTG gatherings. Everyone could just bring their phone and just play wherever, whenever, in whatever MTG format they wanted. Twitch channels will continue to be the "gathering" places for evening MTG players who just want to hang out with people and not feel lonely (way easier to stay on your laptop and watch your fave streamer than go to an LGS, especially if you've never been there before and are anxious about putting yourself out there). And then you can play MTG wherever you want with basically 100% of all profits going to Wizards. It's an apocalyptic vision for MTG as we know it, but a hugely profitable one for Wizards if executed correctly. It also might be "good" for the game in the long-run, even if us veterans will no longer recognize the MTG landscape.
FoodChainGoblins wrote:
1 year ago
But I actually do care about planeswalker points. I don't remember the last time I didn't have Byes at GPs. I do remember when it went from 3 to 2. But maybe it's better this way? I do know that I personally chose to pay $55 to play a Pioneer Pro Tour Qualifier rather than a 3 round $25 Modern tournament in Phoenix because I love Comp REL play (despite my opponents getting many take backs, lol). If Comp REL Magic ends and it becomes only kitchen table, I know for me at least that it doesn't incentivize me to play much.

For some reference, I HATE Pioneer and love Modern, but the thought of playing in a tournament where players don't care if they win or not (yes, I know that's a bit judgmental) was not appealing to me.
Oh, we're still going to see a ton of MTG competitions, rankings, and rewards. It's just all going to be digital. That means you don't have to spend any money to go to a GP, hotel, restaurants, etc. and can just do everything from the comfort of your home. All profit goes to Wizards, anxious people (I feel like gamers tend to run anxious) don't have to put themselves in social situations, parties that face harassment and negative environments don't have to risk themselves in these predominantly nerdy/male spaces, and you can enjoy the entire experience either on your phone Arena client or watching it on your phone Twitch client.

Throughout this, Wizards will continue to put some minimal effort into supporting paper events, especially multi-format "experiences" like Magic fests. But the push will be overwhelmingly digital with a digital end goal.

Re: Modern and MTG's overall changes
All of this is obviously a lot bigger than Modern as a format. If you're looking to see where Modern goes from here given this direction, see if Modern aligns with these digital futures. Paper Modern gatherings would not. A hypothetical Arena Modern would. If Modern were to come to Arena, that would largely save the format. If not, Modern will go the way of all the non-digital offerings: a slow decline that ends with their abandonment.
Over-Extended/Modern Since 2010

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Post by Aazadan » 1 year ago

FoodChainGoblins wrote:
1 year ago
I hope you're right. Because just like Aazadan, I have 0 interest in playing online.


There is one way in which I would be willing to play online, and that is utilizing AR or VR to play online rather than a regular digital interface.

AR glasses are at least 5 years away from having a reasonable set of hardware for this.

VR headsets are there now.

Where this gets interesting, is that Arena was built in Unity which can build to multiple platforms at once easily. There's also a pretty good VR library getting released at the moment called OpenXR. Given that I mostly work as a developer in Unity doing VR, I'm rather familiar with this space. It's something that could probably integrate into Arena with one developer spending 1 year on it.

Would Wizards do that? No idea. But it can be done, the technology is there now.

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Post by True-Name Nemesis » 1 year ago

FoodChainGoblins wrote:
1 year ago
But I actually do care about planeswalker points. I don't remember the last time I didn't have Byes at GPs. I do remember when it went from 3 to 2. But maybe it's better this way? I do know that I personally chose to pay $55 to play a Pioneer Pro Tour Qualifier rather than a 3 round $25 Modern tournament in Phoenix because I love Comp REL play (despite my opponents getting many take backs, lol). If Comp REL Magic ends and it becomes only kitchen table, I know for me at least that it doesn't incentivize me to play much.
Hate to break it to you but in case you haven't heard, byes are being removed sometime middle of this year. Planeswalker points serve no purpose anymore.

https://magic.gg/news/esports-update-20 ... s-and-more

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