Hello everyone! Today I want to touch on an interesting subject; Magic: The Gathering Arena! I watched the world premier via Twitch and I was impressed. The game is still in early Alpha state and players will get beta access later this year. I like the fact that players will be able to give feedback for developers which in my mind is crucial to make the game successful.
Okay, let’s go with the hamburger model of critique: good, bad, good. I feel that MTG Arena is what people want in digital MTG experience. It looks better spectators when compared to MTGO. Now, I really like MTGO even tho it has it’s bugs and it really is a application from the early 2000’s from the looks of it. I don’t mind this, but if we and WotC want to get a lot of more spectators in Twitch and compete against Hearthstone, MTG Arena is the way to go.
The game looks good, as early as Alpha. It is more clear to watch if compared to MTGO and I like the more colorful and fast paced action. I like the fact that WotC start with ranked and casual Standard constructed as the formats. They have said that they will add at least draft events as soon as possible. But let me get this straight: WotC CAN’T CONTINUE TO OFFER SAME PRICES FOR DIGITAL PACKS TO PAPER PRODUCTS. If they do this, this games revenue will not blossom: only the hardcore players will invest to it… If prices of packs, drafts etc. are competetive, people will stay with the game and play it a lot more.
WotC has said that they will continue to support MTGO, which is good, because people have vast collections in it and I’d think that if they quit supporting MTGO, many people would maybe quit Magic completely? But I hope that WotC will slowly as the MTG Arena gets better and up and running, add cards from earlier sets, at least I hope Modern legal cards at first. If people start to play MTG Arena, giving players more formats to play would only be a good thing.
*Sigh* There is always bad as well as good. If WotC decide to keep the price modeling as same as in MTGO, I think the game will really hinder the growth. Like I mentioned earlie, only the die-hard fans will then invest to the cards and crack packs. Some kind of in-game value is needed: for instance coins that you get for playing the game and you can buy drafts or packs with the coins. But I am afraid Wotc will not include in-game currency and they keep price modeling similar to the paper products.
If you watched the world premier, you know that the game has a lot of effects. Can we turn the effects of? This amount of effects in Storm? That’s like playing LoL or Dota, huge amount of explosions and chaos in your screen. Effects might make the game a lot more colorful, but player must be able to taper them off, if needed/wanted.
The danger is that WotC sees that MTG Arena takes of like Hearthstone, and they neglect MTGO. This would be disaster: not everyone wants to play splashy, colorful, a bit cartoonish Magic, there are still old-school players/pros who want to play the MTGO client (myself included). I will play MTG Arena especially if they make it available to PS 4 and Mobile (Hopefully they do this to consoles and mobile). One important thing is, to be able to play MTG Arena on every platform, even on the Mac. Problem for MTGO was the on PC platform, it would have been better to make it Mac friendly on some stage of it’s history.
Please WotC do the following: Add cards slowly but surely, to make at least Modern playable in MTG Arena. Also make tournament game modes with nice prize support that encourages players to play more. Product/draft cost must be much cheaper that paper version of the game. Make sure that effects can be turned off if wanted or needed. You made the game to be run on all platforms; make sure it will be available to all major platforms, please. Make tapped creatures be tapped, the tapped icon for me just won’t cut it.
Please WotC don’t do the following: Neglect MTGO if MTG Arena catches fire, it will upset a lot of players. See the big picture: low cost of products, more buyers, more revenue in the long run. Your company has enough money and player-base to do this, just make the game as enjoyable as possible, just like you have advertised. I think if you fail with this product, you company’s credibilty will continue to fall, and fast. Don’t make the game exact copy of Hearthstone *shivers*, keep it Magic will ya’? Magic is the best game there is and you should embrace it. Now Hearthstone as a concept is good and successful, but Magic as a game is lot more challenging and better than HS will ever be. Let’s keep it that way.
If Wotc just listens to majority of the players who I think would agree with most of the points I made here, it will be a hit product. It can be a revolution MTG needs in Twitch and e-sports. I think many people would become streaming pros (Like Kibler did in HS) with a good and exciting game client. I really like the Alpha of MTG Arena, I hope that in few years I will be happily plaing Magic in paper, MTG Arena and MTGO on PC and MTG Arena on my PS 4 and mobile phone.
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