Star City Rebuttal for review

Beyond Dominia: The Type One Magic Mill: Star City Rebuttal for review

By Tracer Bullet, Better than Spiff (Tracer) on Wednesday, May 22, 2002 - 01:15 am:

Hey, I just wanted to spend the time to reply to your Star City article, stating that you're stoked over the new extended.

Unfortunately, you fail to notice the adverse effects of killing (and yes, I mean killing) extended. On the most basic level, I know of many people who WILL NEVER buy a Wizards product again. Wizards has done away with the last standing bastion of traditional Magic- a world in which powerful spells could drastically alter the game in a single draw. Wizards has neglected T1 for years now, even to the point of taking it out of the Invitational. Wizards never supported 1.5, and it doesn't appear they have an intrest to now. So those of us who wanted to play competitively with powerful spells were relegated to 1.x. We were allowed the FREEDOM of tapping a land for two different kinds of mana without having to lose to mono colored decks. We had control that actually meant something (ask yourself what control decks will be around after the shift- how's that for a challenging [and balanced] environment). The truth is, as a format, 1.x was the most competitive yet balanced format in Magic today. Name one extended deck that won more than one major tournement last season. Now name one that was Tier 1 through the entire season. Name which of the three primary playstyles (aggro, control, combo) dominated the field.

If you look deeply, you'll see 1.x as a whole was very healthy.

So why take that away? Any person who is underprivledged enough not to buy duals or power but still can afford to play Magic already has a format- TII (I would go on a tangent about how much more expensive TII is than 1.x, but let's not go there). Your player has an ever changing world, where they're limited, yes, but capable of playing a competitve game without attacking their budget.

Why can those of us who want to play powerful cards not play our format? Why does every supported format have to be TII?

Not to "result in a healthy and challenging play environment with a greatly reduced need for card banning," as Wizards told us. We already had that.

You had the answer, but you skipped over it.

"To increase sales of new product."

Isn't that sad? They've taken T1. They've taken 1.5. Now they're taking 1.x from us. I say no.

I know personally of at least 15 people who will never again play competitive Magic.

How's that for more players?

Pat Pearce
Longtime player of T1 and 1.x
Aspiring member of the Beyond Dominia Paragons of T1

What'd you guys think? Any and all criticizms, reccomendations appreciated.

By Tracer Bullet, Better than Spiff (Tracer) on Wednesday, May 22, 2002 - 01:19 am:

That "Hey, blah blah blah" has been changed to "Mr. Hearns", and "where they're limited, yes, but capable" has been changed to "also capable". This began as an informal letter to the writer, and I decided that it looked about right to send in as a rebuttal article.

By Rakso, Patriarch & Rules Ayatollah (Rakso) on Wednesday, May 22, 2002 - 01:22 am:

Tracer... mind if I just ask which article you're rebutting exactly? :)

By Rakso, Patriarch & Rules Ayatollah (Rakso) on Wednesday, May 22, 2002 - 01:22 am:

Tracer... mind if I just ask which article you're rebutting exactly? :)

By Rakso, Patriarch & Rules Ayatollah (Rakso) on Wednesday, May 22, 2002 - 01:22 am:

Tracer... mind if I just ask which article you're rebutting exactly? :)

By Tracer Bullet, Better than Spiff (Tracer) on Wednesday, May 22, 2002 - 01:29 am:

May 20, 2002
Extended Becomes Elegant
by Christopher Hearns

By FeverDog (Feverdog) on Wednesday, May 22, 2002 - 01:35 am:

I am the lone person on the face of the earth who actually likes the new Extended rotation. I have also never played in, nor do i ever intend to, a single Extended tourney.

By HengeWolf, Druid Anarchist (Wolf) on Wednesday, May 22, 2002 - 03:43 am:

This is good, I wanted to write something similar, but I figured someone who actually played the format could say it better than myself. I agree with nearly everything you said, it was and always has been all about the money. Everything else they say is just to cover up that fact.

FeverDog: I'm guessing you like the new rotation because it'll drive down the cost of dual lands for casual? That's the only upside I see, since I am primarily a casual player. The further implications of the change, such as NO supported format for dual lands along with over half of all the cards ever printed . . . just leaves me disgusted.

I guess I should actually be glad I never really bothered trying to get into extended, any interest I may have expressed in the format is now destroyed. I did build a Spiritmonger deck, and apparently it might survive the changes, but the whole reason I was interested in the format in the first place was because it was the last place to go to see duals and other old goodness.

The only upside of this is that maybe, just possibly, WotC will realize that if they are going to totally shut out older players, they are going to lose a lot of people. I don't see this as a new development, but merely a continuation of the policies they've carried out for years. They don't care about us, the old players. The feeling I get is that they'd rather just cut us loose and try to recruit two new players who aren't jaded, and are willing to spend lots of money because they just hit the early stages of magic addiction.

I used to think extended might just be a format I could get into, because I could still use some cards that I'd come into the game with. Ice Age was big for me, I was still relatively new then. I will always see dual lands as cards that should've been recognized as being just as integral to the overall game as basic lands. By the time Mirage Block had wrapped up, I was almost out of the game by then. I bought almost nothing during tempest, slightly more from Urza (because it had power cards, that set was NOT bad from an oldschool casual perspective), and then little or nothing from sets afterward. They just removed ALL the cards I played with in my prime. Gee, thanks wizards.

And then what gets me is that there are always these Wizard-ites who go on and on about how the game has to keep changing, and they're happy with the policies, etc, etc. I totally disagree. Rotations exist to sell cards. Anything else is just an excuse to make people like the idea. I completely feel the game can work on two levels, one format with rotations and one without. Apparently WotC doesn't agree . . . it's basically Type2, Slighty Larger Type2, or nothing at this point.

The more I think about it the more disgusted I am. . . and thoughts of $3-$5 duals after the rotation aren't even cheering me up. They're just going to keep marginalizing the old game until it barely exists at all. In a way, we're already dead men. Er, magic players. Or at least 'old' magic will be deader than dog feces in my area come november. :(


By Steve O'Connell, King of Metaphors (Zherbus) on Wednesday, May 22, 2002 - 06:45 am:

As far as the extended format goes, I think it will be at a point in which its supposed to be, an EXTENDED main format. However, the real issue here is to look at what use older cards like duals, ice age cards, etc are.

By Curses/Foiled (Curses) on Wednesday, May 22, 2002 - 06:59 am:

Well, this is it. MtG as a game for over 6-year-olds is officially finished; every format out there is either dead or a fuxx0red-up Type Screw variant in disguise. Too bad it couldn't die with any more dignity.

By Mako Satou, Rose among the thorns (Mako) on Wednesday, May 22, 2002 - 11:32 am:

I totally agree with you about Wizards ruining Extended. Extended was the older format with less rotations and the freedom of dual lands.

They should keep dual lands. If they must do rotations they should do it one block at a time if at all. The way I saw extended was the way the game was supposed to be where you could play any cards printed with all the broken ness of the first few sets removed. Wizards has changed this now with their absurd rotations to line their pockets. They could have simply made an extended set reprinting the dual lands and ice age cards if they thought they were that scarce to rotate them out. It would fly off the shelves during extended season.

I know my play group will quit extended and type 2 if the current extended rotations go into effect. Its a shame really since we buy a case every set. My group has many other interests other then Magic. If Wizards wants to ruin the Magic as we knew it and make Extended becomes type 2 with a larger card pool they will lose all of us. All those hours playtesting type 2 and extended can go to fansubing anime or other interests.

"result in a healthy and challenging play environment with a greatly reduced need for card banning,"

The translation like I said before is:
result in a healthy increase in Wizards revenue with a greatly reduced R&D budget.

By Pernicious Dude (Pern) on Wednesday, May 22, 2002 - 11:58 am:

I for one will be checking out Extended after November.
I had less than no interest in it before.
The upcoming Worldgorger Dragon Combo Summer
is a prime example of why.

I also expect it to raise interest in 1.5,
and I couldn't be happier about that.

By Tracer Bullet, Better than Spiff (Tracer) on Wednesday, May 22, 2002 - 07:49 pm:

Worldgorger dragon is a misfit.

Honestly, you didn't see a single deck like that all last season, and a simple errata to all permenants not enchanting worldgorger was all that was needed.

By War Wolf (Warwolf) on Wednesday, May 22, 2002 - 11:18 pm:

I can't take this shit anymore.

Wizards doesn't make this game for your health. Do you really think they're trying to HIDE the fact that they're in it for the money? This is America, for god's sake! EVERYONE'S in it for the money.

As for the rotation, we the players have known about it since the last format rotation. THEY TOLD US. They said when they rotated it that they'd do it again. Here it is, rotated. I'm shocked. They call it Extended Type 2 for a reason.

As for the 'NO supported format for half the cards ever printed', look at it realistically. In sheer card mass, any one set printed now has just as much cardboard on the market as Alpha-Legends PUT TOGETHER. Half the cards ever printed have been printed in the last three years, cardboard-wise. MORE PLAYERS HAVE MORE RECENT CARDS.

When was the last time ANY of you Type 1 guys actually BOUGHT PACKS from WIZARDS ITSELF? You talk a good fight, "Wizards doesn't support Type 1" bitch, moan, complain, but you guys are doing NOTHING to support the game. Second- and third-hand purchases sure help Wizards make new cards for those of us who enjoy playing with NEW cards instead of the same old Mox-Lotus-Recall stuff.

Wizards is NOT going to lose 'a lot of older players'. They might lose YOU, but I consider myself an older player and I will certainly enjoy the new Extended. The lower prices on duals, Forces, and other Type 1 staples may even incite me to start playing that format too. The 'older players' that you speak of either play Extended because that's what the PTQs are, play low-tech Type 1 for fun, or look on Extended as a deckbuilding exercise, more so now than before.

'Rotations exist to sell cards. Anything else is just an excuse to make people like the idea.' Wow, you've hit the nail on the head. Wizards is a BUSINESS. BUSINESSes need to MAKE MONEY to stay in BUSINESS. This is the way things work. Magic isn't a charity.

'I know my play group will quit extended and type 2 if the current extended rotations go into effect.' ...And all your bitching and moaning won't change the fact. Wizards has NEVER reneged on a policy decision just because a bunch of people on a website want them to.

Yes, this is an excuse to sell more cards. Yes, Extended will rotate in November no matter how much moaning we as a community do. Get over it. This is the way things are. Instead of complaining about how you can't play your old cards in a 'supported format' look at the way things will be. We have an entirely new format to work with. New decks will emerge, stuff that hasn't been thought about since block constructed season of its set. See if you guys can come up with the next killer deck.

But for god's sake, quit bitching.

By HengeWolf, Druid Anarchist (Wolf) on Thursday, May 23, 2002 - 03:45 am:

Whatever man. I really don't care anymore. Believe me, I've taken everything you've mentioned into account. All I've wanted, from the very beginning, is a little bit of support for the old game . . . no, this time I'll shut up about it.

My bottom line argument is it's a good game but the way they market it messes it up, particularly when they alter the very fabric of the game, not to make it better, but to SELL MORE CARDS while lieing to us that it's really making the game better. It might make them money, but there are plenty of avenues that would also make them money, that they are simply unwilling to try. I can't take the bullshit level anymore, so I've effectively left the game. Since I no longer have a huge stake in the game, I guess that makes me completely unfit to comment on it.

In a way, I see their treatment of Dual Lands as a poster for everything I see wrong with the way they handle the game. Honestly, with this extended issue, the dual lands were the only part I cared about. In an ideal situation, they would leave them in and reprint them to demand. Where's their "It'll lower secondary market values." argument now, when prices are set to crash due to the rotation. I guess what I must expect is some honesty. I'd actually rather them explain how they need to get rid of duals to sell more cards. Don't try to give me a line of bullshit that it'll enrich the way I play magic.

I've also left the game because I constantly see everyone buying into what I see as nonsense. Good for everyone who's happy with magic as it is.

I'll leave with this. I used to be a big player, I owned $1000s worth of cards. I spent $1000s of dollars, and probably spent a minimum of 20 hours a week on the game. Of all my friends I used to play with, I was the one who was most into it, and I stayed in the longest. I spent all this money, time and effort, JUST TO PLAY CASUALLY. That is how much I liked the game, I wasn't in it to win prizes or money. I now feel completely alienated to the point I'm pretty much quitting the game altogether. I'm even tired of posting on this site. So maybe it's just my problem, and the game has got me to a point where I don't see anything fun about the way it's set up, or rather anything that makes it worth my while to buy into their marketing strategy. Yes, they exist to sell cards. Poker, Chess, and every RPG I've played does not require constant new purchasing just to play. Honestly, I don't think magic is that great a game to warrant that kind of shameless "Let's call it 'collectable' so people buy more than they need." bullshit. At least it's not worth it to me personally.

I'll pay for something I like, I just spent $40 on a WotC d20 version of Call of Cthulhu, and I buy new D&D books regularly, despite the fact they are more expensive than they were 10 years ago when I started playing. But, I threw Mage Knight out the door for the same reason as Magic. You're already making a profit just by selling it to me, don't intentionally drive up the price by trying to make me believe I need to COLLECT, RANDOM pieces of plastic and cardboard (hardly any of which actually end up being useful) just to be able to play the damned game. I guess now I'm cynical and anti-american. Sue me.

Only in america do we turn to criticism and call it "bitching." Sorry I had to comment on that, but it's a pet peave of mine. All the shit I've written here in the past 7 months was in the hopes that maybe, just maybe I'd change some peoples' minds. Make them see it from the other side. Create some change, even. If there's no hope of getting anything other than "quit your bitching" out of anyone anymore, then I gladly leave. It means I've lost, and I can admit it.

I know I haven't always presented the best possible arguments, especially lately, because honestly I've slowly begun to care a whole lot less than I used to. Anymore this is little more than a freewriting excercise for me. Argument and debate are the last things tieing me to the game. I've already quit, so what the hel good is deck strategy? If I didn't have some glimmer of hope that things would change and I could play again, I wouldn't even be bothering writing this.

I guess what it really gets down to, it that this game is no longer worth my emotional involvement.
I have far better things in my life than to be wasting my time with this game . . . I guess old habits just die hard.

Nyarlathotep is waiting . . .

Goodbye, perhaps for good.


"Just because I understand it, doesn't mean I have to like it."

By FeverDog (Feverdog) on Thursday, May 23, 2002 - 04:00 am:

Um, i just like playing Magic. The people in charge may be blood-sucking, money-hungry bastards but i still just love the game. I hope all 24 of my Duals drop back to 12 bucks a peice, that way i can easily get the ones im missing to complete the set. Do i care if my FoW are only worth half what they were worth? Not really, because i didnt trade for them with the intent on selling them and they work just as well at 8$ as they did at 15$.

"Love the game, hate the players."

By Dozer, Collector's Edition Disciple (Dozer) on Thursday, May 23, 2002 - 05:05 am:

You are right when you say that what WotC is doing to the players is basically deception about their motives. But (as seen above) it did not work.
Everyone of us *knows* that Wizards wants to make money, and everyone of us knows that they can only do that by selling the new cards they print. So what do we want? Just because WotC is lying to us, should we quit this game? No, I tell you. Every bloody company on this planet is actually lying, and most politicians are doing it, too. Boycotting a company just because they don't clearly announce that they want to make money is bullshit. You'd not be able to buy anything anymore.

WotC is one of the most customer-friendly companies I know - they scan the forums, they even have their own, they let players ask any questions, and even let them participate in the creation of the game through polls and votings. R&D does not discard any idea that does not come from their inner circle. Anybody with a good idea can make a new mechanic and send it to Wizards, and maybe the will implement it. They have set up an organization for tournament play to support both sides of the game (casual and professional). From FNM to Worlds, there is a professional level for everyone. Of course, being a pro makes you buy more. But first hand the positive effects outweigh the negative effects (WotC wanting you to buy cards) by far.

I can see how hard the Extended players are hit by that rotation. But War Wolf mentioned it: Magic is -still- a growing game, and newer players simply don't have access to Ice Age and beyond. Most "newer" players don't even know what Flanking is. This Extended rotation creates a constructable format for a majority of all players. The old-schoolers, like us, are in the minority compared to the kids/ players that started in the last two years, I bet.
Hell, it's a pity that WotC takes away the possibility to get a feel of the old days in their sanctioned tournaments. But the only bunch that is affected are those hardcore Extended players of which there are unfortunately not nearly as much as to make a major impact on WotC's policy.

It sounds harsh, but there's no (economic) reason for WotC to listen to that group. I find that bad myself, and it's a big step away from customer friendliness. But I am willing to accomodate every frustated Extended player in Type 1, where the players still see the whole game. Let's face it: The more expansions come out, the more will the gap open between players knowing and loving the old stuff, and players whose idea of old is Urza's Saga. WotC encourages that by the newest Extended rotation.

There is only so many ways to react:

1. Quit the game (which nobody should do). This means that the love to the game has got lost, otherwise one would search for alternatives.

2. Accept the rotation and play the new Extended. This would mean the loss of the feeling that playing with the old stuff gave you.

3. Go into Type 1 (which everybody should do). Show WotC that you like old cards, and you want to keep them and play with them. Perhaps that encourages WotC to care more about the OOP-crowd.


Legalize it!

(P.S.: In a crude way, this Extended rotation helps Type 1 more than anything else not only by making Type 1 staples cheaper, but also by enabling R&D to think more about Type 1. After the rotation, they have an Extended environment that is closely balanced by the "new" R&D standards. In future developments, it will be much harder to unbalance it, so they can put one or two Type-1-level power cards into each expansion without screwing Extended too much. I think.)

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