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TOPIC: M:tG may be headed for some big trouble

M:tG may be headed for some big trouble 14 Mar 2018 16:03 #265675

I subscribe to Alpha Investments on Youtube. The guy amuses me. After watching this video last night:



Something struck me. Each box, on the thirteenth pack, Triskadekaphobia was pulled. Inside joke? Who cares? Each pack that had a specific rare also had the same uncommons, and that likely means the same commons as well.
Not only were the pack in each box identical (the only variance being two mythics of high demand), but it also means that it is so easy to map what packs are where, that a child could figure it out. It also means people wont buy them as loose packs since everyone will assume, faced with this evidence, that any box has been cherry picked for the good cards.

These packs aren't cheap either. $10 each and each box only has 24 packs instead of 36 as normal boxes have.

M:tG, which is many game shops bread and butter reason for remaining open is in for an even worse bit of crap than has already been going through the last year or so.

M:tG may survive, but this will have an affect on more than just M:tG. A lot more collateral damage to the industry itself may be caused by this. A potentially large implication.

Not all boxes will be identical, but it does mean that easy mapping of say, for example, you open a box and take the farthest most left pack, open it and if it contains certain cards in a certain order, that the rest of the box will certainly contain a known quantity.
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M:tG may be headed for some big trouble 14 Mar 2018 16:23 #265680

Sorry for being dense---explain this to me a little more. Is this laziness of wizards part re: same uncommons and commons or is this some sort of nefarious business occurring before sale or something?

Packing the same packs in the same spots instead of randomizing is really fucking dumb if that's what they've decided to do.
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Last Edit: 14 Mar 2018 16:24 by Gary Sax.
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M:tG may be headed for some big trouble 14 Mar 2018 16:44 #265683

Probably laziness. I'm not attributing malice.

But judging by how precisely identical they are, with only two card exceptions, one could be led to believe that they do not randomize, but instead have a "secret map technique" for packing the cards, and throwing in one or two sought after cards in each $250 box. As an artificial way to maintain estimated value so no box gets uber rares and another box gets shit. Which sounds good on the surface, but if your product hinges on randomization so that a consumer has confidence in their gamble, and that randomization is shown to be false and their is no gamble for the first guy (or store owner who breaks open packs to sell singles) then the product has failed.

Regardless, the result is the same. They have produced a product that the consumer base will have no confidence in. And for very very good reason.

if this was a different company, I dont think this would be a big deal, but since the success of magic means the success of many game shops, this is a very bad thing and could mean a lot of people who depend on these sales may find themselves in a bad way.
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M:tG may be headed for some big trouble 14 Mar 2018 17:02 #265686

i wonder how all-in they're going in on Magic: Arena. I'm very excited to play it and hope it feels like Magic. The new algorithm behind how they decide starting hands is pretty cool and gets around the mana problem of Magic a bit.

But Christ does it ever look and feel like Hearthstone.

I really want to play in draft format and organized tournament stuff, i think it could be really fun
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M:tG may be headed for some big trouble 14 Mar 2018 17:30 #265692

My brother did that with baseball cards back in the '80s. Buy a pack out of a new box, check out the rares, and buy all the packs that were in certain spots in the box. IIRC, the card companies quickly fixed that stuff.
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M:tG may be headed for some big trouble 14 Mar 2018 17:45 #265695

Pack sorts are routinely figured out. I remember doing this back in Invasion Block when I drafted a lot. If you saw certain commons/uncommons in the pack, you could know what the drafter before you took. Boggles my mind that folks get enough product to do what amounts to "case sorts."
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M:tG may be headed for some big trouble 14 Mar 2018 20:05 #265715

I agree that patterns can become clear. I could tell there was a strong likelihood of certain cards being in a pack if a series of commons showed up. But this is an entirely different beast.

Mapping hasn't been a problem in M:tG for a long time. Especially with bonafide predictability. Now it's just egregious.
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M:tG may be headed for some big trouble 14 Mar 2018 23:56 #265731

Black Barney wrote:
i wonder how all-in they're going in on Magic: Arena. I'm very excited to play it and hope it feels like Magic. The new algorithm behind how they decide starting hands is pretty cool and gets around the mana problem of Magic a bit.

Far as I know, there's no new algorithm behind starting hands, and I cannot imagine them implementing such an algorithm. I still get good ol' 1-land, 0-land hands with Arena. Most algorithms that would "get around the mana problems" would make the game bah-roken (as in, you could easily design a deck to abuse most algorithms I could imagine). Are you referring to the "new" (as of two years ago) mulligan rule, where you can scry 1 if you mulliganed? That's been a great change to the game.
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M:tG may be headed for some big trouble 15 Mar 2018 09:16 #265742

No, there’s a new hidden algorithm that draws you two opening hands (you can’t see this happening) and then chooses one of those as your opening hand depending on land distribution in the context of your total land count.

So it mitigated some mama screw

Btw, the secret is to always play 26 land. You have a decent chance at getting a four land opener. Anything less than 26 land has a decent chance at getting 2-land openers. So only really quick aggro should play under 26
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M:tG may be headed for some big trouble 15 Mar 2018 09:35 #265743

I hope it’s not in trouble. A huge part of our income comes from M:tG.
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M:tG may be headed for some big trouble 15 Mar 2018 10:16 #265747

Yeah it's not. A ton of other people opening boxes have demonstrated that this was just a fluke.
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M:tG may be headed for some big trouble 15 Mar 2018 10:32 #265748

Oh god, is this one of those "I'm gonna buy up every copy of a card to drive their values up" guys?
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M:tG may be headed for some big trouble 15 Mar 2018 12:05 #265759

Although MtG isn't as important to my business model as some stores, this is still upsetting if true.
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M:tG may be headed for some big trouble 15 Mar 2018 13:27 #265775

dragonstout wrote:
Far as I know, there's no new algorithm behind starting hands, and I cannot imagine them implementing such an algorithm. I still get good ol' 1-land, 0-land hands with Arena. Most algorithms that would "get around the mana problems" would make the game bah-roken (as in, you could easily design a deck to abuse most algorithms I could imagine). Are you referring to the "new" (as of two years ago) mulligan rule, where you can scry 1 if you mulliganed? That's been a great change to the game.
Haha, I did that! Back when Apprentice was the best way to play MtG, they had an algorithm to "seed" the top 20% of the deck with lands to smooth out mana. And thus, was invented 5-Land Green. Mind you, this was before Land Grant existed. We could just count on a couple of Forests being in the top 8 cards, and that's all it needed to get going. Yeah, so, put me down as opposed to "mana-fixing" unless it's explained thoroughly and especially so if there is also supposed to be an associated game of physical cards.
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M:tG may be headed for some big trouble 15 Mar 2018 16:23 #265784

A timely article posted today from the guy who runs Black Diamond games:

blackdiamondgames.blogspot.com/2018/03/the-magic-market.html
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