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

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idSurge
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Post by idSurge » 11 months ago

Oh he's heard it.

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Post by Aazadan » 11 months ago

idSurge wrote:
11 months ago
2. Accept that he understood the risk, and passed the buck to Development to balance it.

Honestly both are kinda lame, but option 1 is far worse.
I mean, that's how everything works. Most designs have the potential for abuse with poor balance. If Detain worked for the next 50 turns rather than the next turn it would be ridiculous. If Uro said escape required exiling 1 card it would be more ridiculous, but if it required exiling 15 cards it would be a lot weaker.

Most designs are inherently fine, that's true of companions too. It largely comes down to power level which is something design barely bothers with. I have a hard time believing this is a design mistake given the serious development issues we've seen, and the fact that it would be developments responsibility (especially since they have a developer on each design team) to kill an idea if it's fundamentally broken.

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Post by idSurge » 11 months ago

I would agree. I dont blame Maro for trying, but I do believe Dev should have stopped it, or made it so restrictive as to not be an issue.
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Post by idSurge » 11 months ago

I'd also say, anyone that thinks 'most people' are fine with Companions, needs to read this. "Most people" are complete casuals, and do not see/feel/understand the deeper impact of the choices Wizards has been making of late.

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Post by Aazadan » 11 months ago

idSurge wrote:
11 months ago
I would agree. I dont blame Maro for trying, but I do believe Dev should have stopped it, or made it so restrictive as to not be an issue.
That's where I'm at. But at this point, virtually every single set since late 2018 has had serious and deep development issues where they're releasing huge swaths of cards that never should have been printed.

In a way, Eldraine was one of their better sets because they only had one major development issue.

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Post by idSurge » 11 months ago

It is a huge problem (though I see 2 at least in Eldraine, Once, and Oko at a minimum) but I just dont see it changing. There appears, based on all the twitter threads, to be a systemic issue in terms of play testing resourcing, and a complete disregard for eternal format health.

Its difficult for me to not jump to the conclusion that they dont care whatsoever about the long term health of formats which are not Standard.
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Post by Aazadan » 11 months ago

idSurge wrote:
11 months ago
It is a huge problem (though I see 2 at least in Eldraine, Once, and Oko at a minimum) but I just dont see it changing. There appears, based on all the twitter threads, to be a systemic issue in terms of play testing resourcing, and a complete disregard for eternal format health.

Its difficult for me to not jump to the conclusion that they dont care whatsoever about the long term health of formats which are not Standard.
Oh right, I forgot about Once Upon A Time.

Wizards has serious issues, and we've seen it going back years as they've gotten more and more willing to ban cards while apparently suffering zero repercussions from it if their financials are accurate. Urza block is less broken than what we've had in 2019 and 2020 and they just don't seem to care. Just the opposite in fact, as it feels like so many of their actions have telegraphed that they were expecting many more sets needing bans, if they've even revised their processes at all to stop that (based on that Sam Black story from earlier this year, I don't think they have).

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Post by idSurge » 11 months ago

I actually think that the slice of the player pool that is competitive, and cares about eternal formats, is so dramatically small, that Wizards actually does not even understand the issue's they have introduced.

It also speaks to what must be monumentally negative feedback, that all of this kicked off so much.
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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 11 months ago

It sounds like what you guys are saying is that the motivation to make new cards for new sets comes from what is going to get the people who buy packs to buy more and more packs. It could be someone buying boxes and boxes; finally one day he opens up some card worth $500 and about %$#% his pants. That has him hooked and he will be more than willing to spend $100s of thousands to get that feel again.

This actually reminds me of a roommate that I had a long time ago. He had a friend who had won 2 cars at casinos in the last 5 years; yes, 2 brand new cars. While some people may think that it's really lucky to have done so, I thought of the money spent to get those 2 cars (gambling) over the years and wondered, would she have been able to just buy 2 Ferraris all cash if she had saved up? The audience for buying packs is the same audience for gambling. I'm in a FB group that recently sprouted up. This group sells a card or group of cards at tcg Mid, which is unheard of, then sells a certain number of spots, randomly chosen by a computer, and then gives the cards to the winner. I've noticed this group explode during the quarantine. I'm on it just to sell, as gambling doesn't appeal to me in the slightest.

So, if the people playing Magic the most are not going to buy packs and let their money do the talking when there IS a good set that comes out, then WotC will continue catering to those types of buyers. The game will become more of a collector card game and not a playing card game.
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 metalmusic_4 » 11 months ago

What's that FB group? I might do some selling there. It's different enough to look at anyway.

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Post by blkdemonight » 11 months ago

Wait people pay for the opportunity to buy cards in that FB group?

As for the collector part. The game is already there with reserve list, expensive draft sets touted as reprint sets, poor ability to sell precons that happen to have demand, and selling secret Lairs through their site and the fetchalnd fumble.

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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 11 months ago

blkdemonight wrote:
11 months ago
Wait people pay for the opportunity to buy cards in that FB group?

As for the collector part. The game is already there with reserve list, expensive draft sets touted as reprint sets, poor ability to sell precons that happen to have demand, and selling secret Lairs through their site and the fetchalnd fumble.
No, the tcg mid is posted, then the seller beats that price by 5-10%. Then they take that price and chop it up into pieces. For example, a $100 card goes into 20 slots at $5 each. Anyone can buy any number of slots until it's filled. Then when it's filled and the paypal/venmo has been paid for everybody, it goes off to the queue to determine the winner.

And you're definitely right about the collector part already being there, but it may be even more so in the future, to the point where actual playing the game is rare.
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 TheBoulderer » 11 months ago

This selling practice sounds extremely %$#% up. It is literally gambling. I'd be careful to not get into any sort of unsanctioned, luck-based trade etc.

Sounds like you uncovered the darkest corner of MTG trade. I mean what the hell? I expect the total sum of, say, 5$ slots far exceeds the cards original asking price, which means some %$#% is making dumb money off even dumber sheep.

This is disgusting and despicable, and you should report stuff like that, not take part in it.

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Post by blkdemonight » 11 months ago

That's a lottery right there. At least not worse than selling shares of a card over Ebay.

As for the collector aspect overwhelming people playing MTG at all. That's ominous it says either consumers have way more fun collecting cards or that's the intended experience by Wizards. That says alot why Wizards can't gauge why Standard sets tend to overpower these days. Testing these in paper would require their employees to actually hold the cards needed to playtest, especially with Legacy and Modern.

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Post by idSurge » 11 months ago

Its not that they cannot, its that they choose to not.

Someone made a great comment the other day.

"Lurrus is a Snapcaster Mage on the turn it comes down, for permanents, and then every single turn after that."

Read that over. Let that marinate a bit.

The greatest Blue Creature (arguably) of all time. Supplanted, not just in terms of impact and power level, but ALWAYS IN YOUR 'HAND' EVERY GAME.

They are not that stupid. They know what they did.
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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 11 months ago

Bolt-Snap-Bolt replaced by Seal-Lurrus-Seal. ;)
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 » 11 months ago

FoodChainGoblins wrote:
11 months ago
I'm in a FB group that recently sprouted up. This group sells a card or group of cards at tcg Mid, which is unheard of, then sells a certain number of spots, randomly chosen by a computer, and then gives the cards to the winner. I've noticed this group explode during the quarantine.
At the university I went to, which was in a poverty stricken hellhole where most people had little money, a popular way people would acquire cards is to purchase lots for a lottery with Razz groups. I was the odd person out because I actually bought my cards, rather than purchase lots on a card 20 times at each lot being maybe 10% or 20% of the cards price.

It has always seemed insane to me.

@idSurge
The greatest Blue Creature (arguably) of all time. Supplanted, not just in terms of impact and power level, but ALWAYS IN YOUR 'HAND' EVERY GAME.

They are not that stupid. They know what they did.
Given the development mistakes made, I honestly believe their viewpoint was that they figured since you only get one copy, getting it consistently, exactly when you want it would be less powerful than a 4 of. Given what MaRo has written lately, I think they're beginning to grasp the extent of the screw up.

Also, I really have to wonder just WTF is going on with the development side of things. They had a fairly good process for years. They lost Sam Stoddard, who it seems was ridiculously good at power level and ridiculously bad at design. Then they got a new President or CEO (I forget which), and their new direction from one or both of those changes has resulted in a ridiculous amount of overpowered cards, and many many bans.

But, despite those development mistakes Magic sales continue to go up even as most tournament attendance drops outside of the fixed invite ones that Wizards cares to promote for the new pro scene. So at this point I have to wonder... are our assumptions as a community flawed, and were Wizards old assumptions over the impact of banning cards flawed? Because right now they seem to be coming out ahead with the mistakes of the past several sets.
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Post by drmarkb » 11 months ago

But for most people, the casuals, their Lurrus is a free dude who they pay for by having a bad deck, not a deck that drops a bunch of baubles and goes to value town and outgrinds the opponents with a bunch of baubles, delvers and arcanists etc, nor one that pops out a Lotus or LED etc. it is an 8th card in a 100 card deck, where another card is also always available, and that is at the high end of casual play. In some-to-many cases it will be a 70 card deck "of cards I had" that happen to fit against a mates' 60 cards deck of cards they "just had lying around".
In other words, they knew what they did but didn't care about competitive play because it is a small market. Those casuals and collectors keep buying, and they buy more than us, and yes, they may not be playing in five years, but so what? Borrowing from the future is tempting, and if it goes wrong in future they won't be getting the blame. Same way that the Solo Star wars movie had low takings- it suffered because Ep VIII was poorly received (after everyone had paid to see it), but I bet the internal message was "hold on with these spin offs, the public don't want them" not "we screwed it up with episode 8 and suffered with our spin off." When the time comes and Mtg has been buggered by 5 years of FIRE and players start to leave in numbers as wallet fatigue grows and grows and the game becomes less cool among casuals, they won't blame 5 years of FIRE, they will say "let us not do X, because players are leaving now and not buying our last product X." The tendency will be to look at the immediate, not historic actions.

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Post by idSurge » 11 months ago

drmarkb wrote:
11 months ago
But for most people, the casuals, their Lurrus is a free dude who they pay for by having a bad deck, not a deck that drops a bunch of baubles and goes to value town and outgrinds the opponents with a bunch of baubles, delvers and arcanists etc, nor one that pops out a Lotus or LED etc. it is an 8th card in a 100 card deck, where another card is also always available, and that is at the high end of casual play. In some-to-many cases it will be a 70 card deck "of cards I had" that happen to fit against a mates' 60 cards deck of cards they "just had lying around".
You cannot account for both worlds. I have had this argument across any number of games for decades.

You cannot design/develop for casuals, disregard your 'casual competitive' or 'pro(motional)' players, and see success. I have watched SO MANY GAMES die to this kind of short sighted mistakes.

You must, 100%, account for the behavior of the 1% which will not only break your game in interesting and unplanned for ways, but will DRAW ATTENTION TO IT.

That casual 70 card 'this is what I owe' player? They can never be the target audience, if one expects their game to be successful over time.

I'm not saying your wrong here btw, I am saying that since this is likely how they are rolling right now, it is the single biggest mistake they could make.
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Post by idSurge » 11 months ago

By the way, anyone have that article handy for 'F.I.R.E' and the older one that said 'creature combat is the best Magic'?
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Post by Aazadan » 11 months ago

@drmarkb
Borrowing from the future is tempting, and if it goes wrong in future they won't be getting the blame.
Well, Star Wars has never been afraid of cashing in their equity with fans to publish a bad product. Wizards until recently has.

And I've been sitting here thinking about this, they're measuring growth by growth in players not necessarily growth in spending (though they're related), and I think I understand why they're doing this. When you have that sort of influx of new players or returning players that the business hasn't built any recent equity with, you lose nothing in terms of customer retention by making previous investments into the game worthless. Furthermore, by printing so many new staples, you encourage those new players to invest in a lot of current product. Those players then don't have any bad feelings and more, feel smarter because they picked the game up right at the moment that all sorts of now staples are dirt cheap. We saw the same mentality in new players from Eldrazi, and part of me wonders if that data is what lead to this.
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Post by idSurge » 11 months ago

People have said for years 'Vintage/Legacy/Modern players dont move product' and outside the Masters sets, they were right.
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Post by Aazadan » 11 months ago

idSurge wrote:
11 months ago
People have said for years 'Vintage/Legacy/Modern players dont move product' and outside the Masters sets, they were right.
I don't think that's true at all. Those players are also the ones who are most into draft which is the format Wizards tries to sell more than any other.

I do however think that Wizards has decided they can make significantly more money by not keeping long term promises to players. Because that is what I am seeing right now. And maybe I'm seeing something that's not there, but I still feel pretty betrayed by Modern Horizons getting followed by a Pioneer announcement, and now something like 15 straight sets of cards that invalidate huge numbers of old cards. I know new printings always happen, but the rate of change right now is astronomical and seriously impacts faith in any format older than Standard.

There's also a possibility given the timing of everything, that this has all been an attempt to seed a whole bunch of really strong cards for Pioneer.

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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 11 months ago

Aazadan wrote:
11 months ago
FoodChainGoblins wrote:
11 months ago
I'm in a FB group that recently sprouted up. This group sells a card or group of cards at tcg Mid, which is unheard of, then sells a certain number of spots, randomly chosen by a computer, and then gives the cards to the winner. I've noticed this group explode during the quarantine.
At the university I went to, which was in a poverty stricken hellhole where most people had little money, a popular way people would acquire cards is to purchase lots for a lottery with Razz groups. I was the odd person out because I actually bought my cards, rather than purchase lots on a card 20 times at each lot being maybe 10% or 20% of the cards price.

It has always seemed insane to me.
Yep, Razzes. It IS indeed insane. I think some people get a good feeling from that "win," even if it came at the cost of many losses (of which stats were not done anyway, so "no way" to calculate).

Maybe even though the vocal majority seems to not enjoy Companions, it is actually the majority of players who do? If it makes more money, that's what the company is going to take it as, even if it has more to do with pulling Godzilla lottery tickets than a busted set.

I have friends who wouldn't mind going back to Eldrazi Winter. They want to play that. I played that and I was completely sick to my stomach every day. I've seen one of the most popular SCG Grinder/Streamer say that the "Oko meta was fine." He said that Oko as a card was too good, but the games and matches were interesting. Lol. Several of his friends also agreed with this. I also played Oko or anything that could beat it and I was disgusted at the card. I would have rather played with 1 generic mana; target player wins the game. I think that's more interesting as a card. Oko is :poop: and I disagree with LSV that it shouldn't get banned from Cube as well. I think I should never see that smirking face again unless I look in the banned section of my binder.

*Sometimes you think people are trolling when they say this. I have tested my friends (I should say acquaintances) and I thought it was a meme, but have come to learn that it is only a meme because it will never be allowed to happen. I have to admit though that I don't hear it often about Hogaak. That card was just all bad. :x
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 idSurge » 11 months ago

I question the logic of 'seeding pioneer' with Legacy level staples. Not saying your wrong, but if they are, they are idiots.

Maro consistently states that casuals are the majority of the player base. Casuals crack packs, even if older established players play more Draft.

Other than when I was chasing the dream of a deck that was actually as fun as one I had lost, I did not buy Standard cards, at all. I had what I needed, and other than a few singles per set at most, there was just no need.

Now? If you wanted to keep up you have to reinvent your deck, fairly consistently.

--

As to players who would go back to Eldrazi, or Oko, or Urza, or Hogaak...those are a certain demographic, that is a meaningful number of the REMAINING grinders in Modern. If that number is greater than Modern at it's peak? Well who knows.
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