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 Post subject: Re: What could I say for you to give Commander on MTGO a chance?
AgePosted: 2017-Aug-10 5:17 am 

Joined: 2011-Feb-15 7:09 am
Age: Drake
I am a long time casual MTGO'er. In the past i have not enjoyed commander online due to the high incidence of expectation mismatch. I think I probably could get into it so long as it was a regular playgroup.
I really enjoy watching MTGO EDH duels on youtube - check out joltmtg https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC86vfnVwJS-fG1tPi_F5whQ, the guy has sooooooo much enthusiasm and joy for the game - but it is punishingly competitive.


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 Post subject: Re: What could I say for you to give Commander on MTGO a chance?
AgePosted: 2017-Aug-10 8:19 am 
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Joined: 2010-Dec-10 12:16 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
OldVig wrote:
I am a long time casual MTGO'er. In the past I have not enjoyed commander online due to the high incidence of expectation mismatch. I think I probably could get into it so long as it was a regular playgroup.


That's why I'm trying to populate the casual clan. If we can get enough people involved, then the chance of having 3 or 4 people online is better, at least at normal playing times.

spacemonaut wrote:
First: The interface felt genuinely unpleasant to use. Unlike Duels of the Planeswalkers it had no atmosphere to it, and it was confusing and burdensome and clunky to interact with the interface. (Googling shows me they might have improved the atmosphere, but not the rest.)

Second: The primary method of gameplay I'm met with is tournaments, not casual gameplay groups (unless I create those outside of any of MTGO's mechanisms). I play the game for fun and to relax and socialise; competitive tournaments are a rarity and not my main mode of play. This is a mismatch to what I'm looking for.

Third: No faces or verbal chat, and in-game chat was clunky (see first point). I like being able to relate to the people as not just PC opponents but real individuals with lives and personalities, so that I can relax and chitchat with them. This has its time and place though; in tournaments that could just have intimidation and trash-talk on the other end and I'd probably play with this feature disabled. (If I'm playing casually with real life friends, I can at least use Skype though, so this one isn't entirely a deal-breaker -- it's just something I feel MTGO ought to provide as an option.)

Fourth and the biggest deal-breaker: Wizards was stingy with MTGO. They're entering a market saturated by games like Hearthstone which will give away lots of cards in great numbers for no real life cash, ones which you can keep forever. You earn them as quest rewards, and you are given in-game currency merely for playing which you then buy digital booster packs with. All the booster packs I obtain in-game are just like any other bought with real money, and can equally contain exceptionally rare and powerful cards. It's a market full of generosity which doesn't ask for money, but if you like the game enough, it gives you the option of handing them real life money for in-game boosters -- and people will hand over the money because all the generosity makes them love the game enough they want to do that and support it.

I'd really like to play MTG online, but I can't and won't with all of those reasons above.


First: if an image search showed you a different interface, then you were playing under V2.5 or V3 (depending on how long ago it was - the current V4 became the sole client ~2014 IIRC). V4 is, by most standards, a worse client than V2.5 or 3 were (they were very nearly the same); but it's "pretty" (by some standards).

Second: There is, and has always been, an entire section of gameplay that has nothing to do with tournaments. The constructed section, with sub-rooms for different skill levels (not that many follow those, nearly everyone is in the "Just for Fun" room). Having a clan helps, especially for casual play (since you can find others with similar preferences, and build a relationship to base games on).

Third: Most do use third party voice/video chat options. Honestly, the chat interface is far worse in V4, to the point that few people even have it open. I'll have games where I post a "Good luck everyone" at the start and that's the only post all game. However, there are also games where everybody is in the chat, and talking about game and non-game stuff and we lose a bit of our playing time-clock since everybody is chatting.

Four: Well, Hearthstone is still relatively new compared to MTGO, and is a FTP game model. You really can't compare a standard CCG economic model with FTP game models. That said, the secondary market for MTGO far outstrips anything the FTP realm can possibly cover. Generally, the amount of "grinding" required by FTP games is so heavy that paying money is the only way to be competitive. Hence, the common phrase "Pay to Win." In MTGO, you can find bots and vendors giving away free cards. Also, old players like me give away cards to new players (assuming they have a bit of respect and aren't trolls in the game chat). I've even given away a couple hundred cards to people in this thread. Disregarding means to get free cards, you can build an EDH deck in MTGO for under $20, even if you have to buy every card. Also, every card can be used in any number of decks. So with a modest collection you can easily make many EDH decks (with card overlap - such as Expedition Map in all decks, etc.)

As far as in-game currency goes. There are may players that do enjoy drafting, and have become so proficient at it, they have "Gone Infinite:" Which is an MTGO phrase for t=getting to the point where you place high enough in so many drafts, that by selling your prize packs (except what is needed to enter the next draft) you can pay for your next draft. So you never actually have to invest any more real cash once you start winning that consistently.

Granted, that is not easy. But it is possible for people that want to do something like that.

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HK

Hazezon Tamar - Manland theme
Seshiro the Anointed - Snake Tribal
Jedit Ojanen of Efrava - Cat and Warrior Dual Tribal
Doran, the Seige Tower - Wall Tribal
Progenitus - Hydra themed Proliferate Deck
Karona, the False God - Backstabbing Hug


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 Post subject: Re: What could I say for you to give Commander on MTGO a chance?
AgePosted: 2017-Aug-12 10:52 am 
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Joined: 2016-Nov-27 2:39 pm
Age: Drake
Thanks for those comments Treamayne, and for updating me on the current state of things. At the time I had no idea there was anything but tournaments and (I think) dueling a friend 1v1 -- I couldn't speak to why. Also no virtually no visibility into the trading market, bots, etc. I guess maybe there's a bunch of things not clearly discoverable? (As in the sense of able to see they're there even if you're not looking for them.)

I recognise hearthstone's FTP. (Didn't know it predated MTGO though.) (Whoops, that wasn't what I meant to say at all: didn't know MTGO predated hearthstone.) I guess my frustration there is that FTP is currently the gold standard of online PC CCGs. In my experience the only way to be competitive in Magic was equally pay to win -- heck, Magic in general even in the real world has a pay-to-win structure. I just really want to see MTGO have a structure that permits and encourages relaxed play, and which lets people use it as a primarily for-fun environment without constant requirement of expenditure of either real-world money or resources that will cost real-world money to replenish if you get low. There's no particular reason for it to need to be exactly the same way: in online games the publisher isn't printing and manufacturing goods, and costs related to venue maintenance are replaced by costs related to server maintenance. That lets the pricing model players are met with change significantly as well, and I think it would be better to make that change.

Is there a good introductory guide into how I can find out how to play the game and avoid the game modes that require a ticket (aka a dollar) every time I want to play?

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Decks: Mathas, the Instigator (politics and mayhem), and Intet dragons (so many dragons) (actually not enough dragons)
Beloved precons: Atraxa, Praetors' Voice; Saskia the Unyielding; Freyalise, Llanowar's Fury.


Last edited by spacemonaut on 2017-Aug-12 10:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: What could I say for you to give Commander on MTGO a chance?
AgePosted: 2017-Aug-12 12:30 pm 
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Joined: 2010-Dec-10 12:16 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
I meant MTGO predates Hearthstone by many years. And I still play with friends that haven't spent real cash on MTGO in years. If you are comfortable with the collection you have, you don't ever need to spend any money. Conversely, you can invest a bit up front (I usually buy bot credit from a reputable dealer who owns a brick and mortar card shop in NC, and also sells digital MTGO cards), so if a card comes out that you want for your deck, you already have the credit on file, you just trade for ("buy") the new card from the vendor's bot. If you have read the rest of this thread, you should already see you can build decks far cheaper on MTGO than you would in paper MtG.

spacemonaut wrote:
...how I can find out how to play the game and avoid the game modes that require a ticket (aka a dollar) every time I want to play?


This screenshot shows where casual play is in MTGO V4:

Image


Click on Play Lobby, Constructed Open Play. Any of the four "skill levels" are valid, though you will find the most opponents in "Just for fun."

You can find WotC's new player info here.

PureMTGO is also a good site devoted to MTGO-only articles, and has some interesting stuff to be found, such as this article. Just be aware, if you are doing a search, PureMTGO has been around a long time, so many articles you find in search may pre-date the current client.

_________________
V/R

HK

Hazezon Tamar - Manland theme
Seshiro the Anointed - Snake Tribal
Jedit Ojanen of Efrava - Cat and Warrior Dual Tribal
Doran, the Seige Tower - Wall Tribal
Progenitus - Hydra themed Proliferate Deck
Karona, the False God - Backstabbing Hug


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 Post subject: Re: What could I say for you to give Commander on MTGO a chance?
AgePosted: 2017-Aug-12 7:00 pm 

Joined: 2011-Feb-15 7:09 am
Age: Drake
Treamayne wrote:
I still play with friends that haven't spent real cash on MTGO in years. If you are comfortable with the collection you have, you don't ever need to spend any money.

I mostly play pauper, so I only need around $6-10 per year for new playable cards. I have not bought anything for MTGO for years. Here's some ideas on generating tix...

Watch card prices. I picked up a playset of Daze when they were a few tix, and then sold them for about $100 a few years later. I only went maybe 1.5 years until a reprint let me pick them up again cheap.

Wotc give out free stuff. You'll find promo lands appearing in your account from time to time, and some of those are worth tix. On big anniversaries they give out bigger gifts, e.g. theme decks and boosters (or less usefully, Gleemox).

Try to get on the beta program. Not only can you play all cards for free but now and again they reward you in your real account with boosters that you can sell for between 2-5 tix depending on the set.

Don't go to the big traders. There's always someone who will sell cheaper or buy higher.


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 Post subject: Re: What could I say for you to give Commander on MTGO a chance?
AgePosted: 2017-Aug-23 2:00 pm 

Joined: 2011-Apr-07 11:38 am
Age: Elder Dragon
I had to look it up to make sure, but MTGO (2002) doesn't just predate hearthstone (2014), it Predates World of Warcraft (2004).

I've played MTGO off and on through the years and have played every version.

The 1v1 formats and playing semi-competitively on MTGO is great. I've been one of the players you talked about going infinite back when innistrad was standard. I still have a semi-competitive modern deck that I take to the 1 round tournament scene every once in a while.

The biggest problem I've run into casually is that there is no support in the casual formats. AFAIK they completely got rid of many of the supported formats like emperor, that were tons of fun, instead of updating the rules. The customization for games has also been completely thrown out the window. Horde Magic? Playing with archenemy schemes? Hell, last time I tried to play a commader game we could only play 1v1; multiplayer was taken out all together.

The other problems is the disconnect between players. Players scoop to counterspells, or worse twiddle... I once had a player scoop to their own warp world (into desolation giant, oops). I had a player in a 1v1 game come at me turn 3 or 4 with a 21/21 commander that I cast unsummon and he scooped and sent me a message saying "I won that game, you suck!". There is just no real consequence from being an asshat. The people I've run into in the casual rooms wouldn't be allowed in the stores I'm willing to play in. I'm not saying everyone or even the majority are like this, but a few bad eggs...

The other problem I have is my own, but if you have a solution...

I can spend hundreds of dollars every month on magic and my wife wouldn't bat an eye. But if I spend any money on MTGO I hear about it for the next few years. It's gotten better than in the past, but I cant seem to convince her that digital property has value (same is true for digital music, games, or videos).

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 Post subject: Re: What could I say for you to give Commander on MTGO a chance?
AgePosted: 2017-Aug-23 8:16 pm 
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Joined: 2010-Dec-10 12:16 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Jelik wrote:
...The biggest problem I've run into casually is that there is no support in the casual formats. AFAIK they completely got rid of many of the supported formats like emperor, that were tons of fun, instead of updating the rules. The customization for games has also been completely thrown out the window. Horde Magic? Playing with archenemy schemes? Hell, last time I tried to play a commander game we could only play 1v1; multiplayer was taken out all together.


Yes, many of the casual formats have gone the way of the Dodo. Some are kept alive without having the format supported (such as Tribal Apocalypse still being held every weekend without a tribal format on the client - they just use Legacy and do an offline check for the PRE). Like leagues, it is only supposed to be "temporary" because version 4 sucks having more than 4 players was causing client problems, so they removed 5 and 6 player options and any formats (like Emporer, Star) that required them. Theoretically, if they get around to fixing those issues (low priority) the formats will come back. Same with handicaps (starting Life and card count) and game mods (Attack left, spell range, etc.). Multiplayer Commander is back, and they are now separate formats. The uproar over that loss was enough that they backpeddled about 45-60 days after making the change. So now, you can have Commander or Commander 1:1; and they have different ban lists (though not the French ban list for 1:1).

Jelik wrote:
The other problems is the disconnect between players. Players scoop to counterspells, or worse twiddle... I once had a player scoop to their own warp world (into desolation giant, oops). I had a player in a 1v1 game come at me turn 3 or 4 with a 21/21 commander that I cast unsummon and he scooped and sent me a message saying "I won that game, you suck!". There is just no real consequence from being an asshat. The people I've run into in the casual rooms wouldn't be allowed in the stores I'm willing to play in. I'm not saying everyone or even the majority are like this, but a few bad eggs...


And this is why I keep circling back to the need for good clans and buddies. If you can find a well mannered player or get a group of like-minded players in a clan, you can always make your games clan or buddy only and get good games that way. But the troll count is high for random pick-up games. It's why I can't get fully behind some RC decisions that are "let your playgroup decide," which does not work in MTGO when you don't have a steady playgroup.

Jelik wrote:
The other problem I have is my own, but if you have a solution...

I can spend hundreds of dollars every month on magic and my wife wouldn't bat an eye. But if I spend any money on MTGO I hear about it for the next few years. It's gotten better than in the past, but I can't seem to convince her that digital property has value (same is true for digital music, games, or videos).


Well, the two points I would present to this are:

1) I don't think of it as buying "stuff," I think of it more like normal entertainment expenses. You don't have any tangible property if you go to a movie theater, but for the same "cost" I can get days of entertainment out of MTGO (as opposed to 90-180 minutes that will likely not be very good if recent movies are the metric).

2) Unlike music, ebooks, etc., you can sell all or part of an MTGO collection for real cash. There are a number of vendors, many of whom run B&M card shops, who purchase MTGO collections or parts of them (since you set up a massive trade binder, send them the exported .dek file for evaluation and they make an offer based on what is in that binder's file - which does not have to be your entire collection).

On another note. WotC support seems to have finally fixed my clan (casualandcommander) so I am able to access and add members again, for anybody on the forums that would like to join. And I still have the clan slush-card account for giving away cards to those wanting to build a base collection on the cheap to give MTGO a try. A few forumites have already taken me up on that, if they want to discuss the experience here I'm cool with that. Add Treamayne and Casualand Commander to your buddies and shoot me a message if you see either of the accounts online.

_________________
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HK

Hazezon Tamar - Manland theme
Seshiro the Anointed - Snake Tribal
Jedit Ojanen of Efrava - Cat and Warrior Dual Tribal
Doran, the Seige Tower - Wall Tribal
Progenitus - Hydra themed Proliferate Deck
Karona, the False God - Backstabbing Hug


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 Post subject: Re: What could I say for you to give Commander on MTGO a chance?
AgePosted: 2017-Aug-29 4:00 pm 

Joined: 2012-Apr-11 7:17 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Treamayne wrote:
Hey, MRHBlue - nice meeting up with you. Maybe we can test that Talrand deck when you get it together...

Sorry it took so long to see this, I have not been playing EDH much. I have been way into Pauper on MTGO, but want to get Talrand setup. Will chat soon I hope


I also have a few extra cards to send to the donations pile

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My... history of buying Magic cards is probably a tapestry of bad financial decisions >_>
niheloim wrote:
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 Post subject: Bumping for personal gain.
AgePosted: 2017-Sep-11 1:36 pm 

Joined: 2017-Jun-13 4:56 am
Age: Wyvern
Upfront Ima admit I haven't caught up on the thread, so this'll be a bit scattered.

When I first tried to play Commander on MTGO (about a 18 months ago at this point, I think) it was a desolate wasteland where a game MIGHT fire eventually. But basically you had to find your own people to play.

Now the queue times are great, I think I average a 1 to 6 minute queue time even in the early A.M.s (I play a lot of weird hours). I can play Commander WHENEVER I WANT! Combined with the the vastly lower prices on chase cards (I think original duals recently broke $20, and Umezawa's Jitte has almost hit $1) means that card you could never afford in paper are way more accessible to try.

Granted, there tend to be more obnoxious kill decks and M.L.D. is much more common without the social contract being enforced by personal presence, and there are a lot of rage quit tilt outs leaving you to deal with a 2v1 that shoulda been a 3v1 (some players do this so often that people know them by name as easy-tilts). Though I suspect that is only slightly worse than your in-person behaviors, and in my opinion the volume of good games makes up for the higher occurrence of bad one.

So if an-anytime Commander platform at a fraction of the paper cost sounds good to you, and a few bugs in lieu of rules errors don't scare you off, then I highly recommend MTGO!

(The 2017 precons aren't out until November though...)

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 Post subject: Re: What could I say for you to give Commander on MTGO a chance?
AgePosted: 2017-Sep-12 7:29 am 
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Joined: 2012-Dec-03 3:16 am
Age: Elder Dragon
So I have been trying it out, even gave 1v1 a shot but there is a bug with Mudslide... lots of fun losing.

I do like how frequently I can get in a game though.

EDIT: So the Mudslide bug isn't new... from what I can tell it has been failing to work since at least Feb. 2016... wonder how important that is to them...

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 Post subject: Re: What could I say for you to give Commander on MTGO a chance?
AgePosted: 2017-Sep-12 1:47 pm 

Joined: 2014-Jul-26 11:35 am
Age: Elder Dragon
The tilt quits are pretty annoying, when one player pulls off a big play a significant number of players will just scoop instead of try to play it out as an archenemy game.

I am Specter404 on MTGO as well as here so feel free to add me to your friends list and we can play together. Even just having 2 people of the same mindset drastically improves the experience.

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