291: A Tactical Advantage

A Tactical Advantage

When it came to refining the gameplay for Magic the Gathering Tactics, SOE Denver did what any smart developer does: Asked the experts.

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I'm glad to see that developers decided that they didn't have all the answers. It's good to know that they were smart enough to ask people who had an active interest in the game what needed to be done to make it a better game. This is what I would call a good delay. It's good, but I don't think it's going to be Steam Timeline joke good.

As opposed to Blizzard time, which is when it's ready.

Careful, Mr. Tito. I remember one time, ages[footnote=Internet ages, roughly three weeks.[/footnote] ago, when a biker said he didn't like Warren Spector's design for a Mickey Mouse game. Later, the game came out, and people didn't like it, and they blamed the biker. 'Stupid biker', they would say. 'Why didn't he let Spector do his thing? If he had just shut up it would have been the best game ever. But it's not, thanks to you, you dumb biker.'

Mark my words, Mr. Tito. If this game is not perfect, you will be personally blamed.

"In the card game, Lord of the Pit is a great card."

Unless the meta has changed massively since I last played, it's really not. Shivan and Serra, yes please, but the Lord of the Pit is awful to play with.

I hope this is good. Magic online is fine if you just draft, then sell the cards you got to get more tickets so you can draft again.

My main gripe with the constructed play is that you need to be able to create games that don't allow specific cards. That way you know you won't be playing against a $100 deck when your deck is $10, and you can avoid munchkin decks if you want to play for fun. Unless that is added I'm definitely not going back to magic online.

But buying virtual boosters for deckbuilding is just painful. Really the whole "collectible" anything craze should be avoided unless you are rich. It is just a scam taking advantage of humans inability to properly calculate probability and weigh values.

And that, my friends, is how you develop a good game. Test and improve, test and improve, test and improve. And make sure that people who understand the game dynamics and know what they want in said game are the people doing said testing. Then you get a good game that people will like, without any bugs or kinks, and with improved features and gameplay that make the experience even more worth it. Kudos, SOE Denver. Kudos.

I just wish more developers would take that approach, now. I'm looking at you Bethesda... :P

I tried out Magic the Gathering Tactics.

It seems like a reasonable game, but the amount of content you get for free is really very small. The single-player campaign that starts out unlocked consists of a tutorial and five rather short levels. Each additional campaign, of which there are four, costs five dollars. If the purchasable campaigns are as short as the free one, they're not a particularly efficient use of one's gaming dollar. I already pay ridiculous amounts of money to play one online CCG, and I'm not willing to spend even more money to play another.

Magic the Gathering... Jeez, how long it's been since I've played that?
I enjoyed the game a fair bit, as far as I recall, up until I lost my entire deck at school, a deck I had spent a considerable amount of money (for a high-school student anyways). After that I never played again.

I don't have enough money to play magic, that's the truth of it.

This definitely provides an interesting case study. Regardless of the quality of the final product (which, unfortunately, I haven't heard many good things about), this is a pretty good showcase of exactly what a development team should be doing in order to make their game as great as it can be.

I tried MTG tactics, having previously been extremely fond of MTG Battlegrounds.

I didn't really understand what was happening in Tactics, and the tutorials were crap. Then I realized they expect you to fund the game by buying booster packs, like the world needed another method of buying booster packs for an online MTG game.

I'll stick to real life magic or if I want to play online, MWS/Cockatrice.


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