Thursday, September 23

My 2nd biggest dork obession ever, reviewed from the perspective of my biggest dork obsession ever

This article, by Schild, reviews Magic: The Gathering from the perspective of EverQuest. It's an interesting perspective.

Unfortunately, the article then devolves into a discussion of why the world of Magic: The Gathering should be reshaped into a virtual world more to Schild's liking. The problem with that is that IT'S A BAD IDEA. The reason MTG, and MTGO (where O stands for Online and is the way I play the game) work is because they are artifical environments in and of themselves. Schild misses the most important point about MTG when he argues it should be made into a virtual world: it already works as it is. Attempting to add to the game the tropes of a virtual world -- and Schild make no attempt to define how that would work -- would destroy it.

The company that makes MTG has a staff of dozens who spend their time just designing and developing cards, and measuring their interactions. Only in the past 3 years (the game's been around for 10) have they actually started to get the correct power curve for cards, and to match properly the flavour of a set of cards to the gameplay experience of MTG.

Don't fuck with the one massively multiplayer online game that rewards player skill more than anything else, Schild. It ain't broke, and we don't need virtual-world loons like you polluting it.

1 comment:

Pharaohmagnetic said...

To this insightful and levelheaded entry I would only add this: another way the game has improved over the past 3 years is by a consolidation, simplification, and standardization of the rules. When we played on cardboard lo those many years ago, there was so much syrupy ambiguity, you could swim in it. The new policy of streamlining the rules is something I particularly applaud, and it's a policy that is happily ongoing. It affects gameplay much more than I thought it would - the innovation of stacks and triggers, for instance, opens all sorts of card interactions to brainstormability. This makes deckbuilding and playing just plain funner.