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twinstarbmc

Stop trying to make this Magic!

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On 1/7/2019 at 5:32 AM, twinstarbmc said:

Please! I don't know how many dang threads reference this other game in some way,  shape, or form.

"Well, Magic does it this way."

"If it were more like Magic..."

"Let's get a room full of Magic judges..."

No. Stahp. This isn't Magic. You want Magic? Play Magic.

Magic is unquestionably the most successful card game. Ever. What other point of reference would you prefer for people trying to make sense of or improve upon this game?

 

On 1/8/2019 at 9:02 AM, KrisWall said:

Looks like the Magic Comprehensive Rules currently ring in at 199 pages.  I'm not aware of any other card games with nearly as many rules.  If you'd prefer, I'll replace horrendously complex with really, really, really (and maybe excessively) complex.  I do consider potentially having to understand 199 pages of rules to be horrendous, but some might enjoy the challenge.

In terms of the game being a money pit, is it not?  Can I go out today, spend $X and be set for the next year?  Realistically, no.  Being part of Magic requires an ongoing commitment if you want to participate in an average community, attend occasional events AND have a realistic chance of winning.  The term money pit may have a negative connotation, but I don't think it's an opinion.

Magic isn't horrendously complex, it's just complete. You can teach the fundamentals of Magic in less than 10 minutes, easily. The rest of those pages cover rules for every known corner case spanning 25+ years and thousands of cards, but the odds of you ever having to wade through something as intricate as layers are slim to none. Is having to email the game designer, hopefully get a response, or at worst wait months for an FAQ really a better alternative to never needing an interpretation

As for being a money pit, you do know there are multiple formats, don't you?

Edited by WonderWAAAGH

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44 minutes ago, WonderWAAAGH said:

Magic is unquestionably the most successful card game. Ever. What other point of reference would you prefer for people trying to make sense of or improve upon this game?

 

Magic isn't horrendously complex, it's just complete. You can teach the fundamentals of Magic in less than 10 minutes, easily. The rest of those pages cover rules for every known corner case spanning 25+ years and thousands of cards, but the odds of you ever having to wade through something as intricate as layers are slim to none. Is having to email the game designer, hopefully get a response, or at worst wait months for an FAQ really a better alternative to never needing an interpretation

As for being a money pit, you do know there are multiple formats, don't you?

So...  after a new Magic set is released, how long until the new cards (and by extension card interactions) are included in the comprehensive rules?  I'm assuming that some period of time must elapse between the release of a set and the inclusion in the comprehensive rules.  In fact, the current comprehensive rules are dated October 5th, 2018, which is the same date as the most recent set was released.  Can I safely assume that any issues uncovered in the intervening three months or so haven't been included in the comprehensive rules?  I find it very hard to believe that there are NEVER any issues uncovered on or after release for new sets.  How is the Magic strategy of releasing rules with the set and then updating those rules down the road any different than how Keyforge has done things?  What specific deal breaker issues aren't covered in the rules?  I've yet to see any issues come up at any local or regional events.  I ask because the overwhelming majority of FAQs on sites like Keyforge-Compendium can be answered by simply reading the rules.

As to the multiple formats, my understanding (which seems to agree with a quick search) is that Standard is the most common format for FLGS communities and involves constantly needing to buy new cards as old cards rotate out.  My understanding is that it's generally uncommon to play Magic and NOT play Standard in addition to whatever other formats you like.  If I'm wrong, I'm wrong, but I've never heard anyone talk about Magic as being a cheap game. 

Edited by KrisWall

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Magic cards go up on Gatherer the very same day a set releases, and individual card pages have a legitimate FAQ section at the bottom to address anticipated interactions. It would be disingenuous (if not dishonest) of me to say that I've never had to stop a game of Commander to look up one of those interactions, but I can't think of any off the top of my head that weren't easily resolved using just that one resource. It is exceptionally rare that I do actually have to look up something in the comprehensive rules. And yes, as you've noted, those comprehensive rules are likewise updated the same day a set releases to accommodate any new mechanics, but the rules document itself doesn't have an individual FAQ portion. Keep in mind that Magic sets are designed ~2 years in advance of their release, leaving quite a bit of time for development and testing, so while actual balance is sometimes an issue post-release there isn't really any mystery about how the new cards are going to interact even within the larger pool. Consider how robust those comprehensive rules must be if the sweeping changes they sometimes make - such as the recent errata to damaging players and planeswalkers, or the addition of the legendary supertype to planeswalkers - can be implemented without breaking a single thing.   

Now, I'm not saying Magic is perfect. If you look back at Kaladesh block, which only just rotated out this past summer, there were early signs that development and the playtest team missed some interactions that never should have gotten through, owing mainly to how those cards were templated. I'm talking specifically about Saheeli Rai and Felidar Guardian, an apparently unforeseen but nevertheless infinite loop that somehow managed to make it into print. Despite throwing a wrench into the competitive balance of standard at the time, there was never any question as to how this interaction worked; the rules for managing new objects and loyalty abilities require zero interpretation. 

So, to answer your first question, they're updated right away. Judges and TO's at pre-release events are always primed on how to introduce new mechanics in anticipation of confusion, and while there may inevitably end up being some confusion anyway, there is never any space for interpretation. That's where the vast majority of FFG properties fall short, KeyForge included. What you may see as readily apparent in the BRB is sometimes, or oftentimes, objectively vague to a player accustomed to an airtight rule set like myself. 

Edited by WonderWAAAGH

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1 hour ago, KrisWall said:

So...  after a new Magic set is released, how long until the new cards (and by extension card interactions) are included in the comprehensive rules?  I'm assuming that some period of time must elapse between the release of a set and the inclusion in the comprehensive rules.  In fact, the current comprehensive rules are dated October 5th, 2018, which is the same date as the most recent set was released.  Can I safely assume that any issues uncovered in the intervening three months or so haven't been included in the comprehensive rules?  I find it very hard to believe that there are NEVER any issues uncovered on or after release for new sets.  How is the Magic strategy of releasing rules with the set and then updating those rules down the road any different than how Keyforge has done things?  What specific deal breaker issues aren't covered in the rules?  I've yet to see any issues come up at any local or regional events.  I ask because the overwhelming majority of FAQs on sites like Keyforge-Compendium can be answered by simply reading the rules.

As to the multiple formats, my understanding (which seems to agree with a quick search) is that Standard is the most common format for FLGS communities and involves constantly needing to buy new cards as old cards rotate out.  My understanding is that it's generally uncommon to play Magic and NOT play Standard in addition to whatever other formats you like.  If I'm wrong, I'm wrong, but I've never heard anyone talk about Magic as being a cheap game. 

While interactions such as the one @WonderWAAAGH listed are missed and can make for an unfun environment, the rules themselves that are in the Comp Rules are already solid. It is the card interactions itself and not the rules that is the issue.

Mark Rosewater (Wizards of the Coasts most accessible employee and designer) has stated many times that the majority of players are casual players that play with friends at the kitchen table. Standard is the most played constructed format as it has the lowest barrier to entry. Limited formats are their bread and butter and what most of the sets are designed around since that is how they sell the most packs. This is the same for Keyforge, FFG is going to make the most where they can run sealed events or chain-bid drafts because new product is needed everytime.

Rules and Mechanics for new sets are released before the pre-release along with spoilers weeks before the set even comes out, but the main advantage is the 2 year work time they allow to make sure what they put out is the best they want to present.

When Keyforge expansions come out, we are going to probably see more keywords and actions that are new because there has to be a reason someone would want to purchase the new product. The main thing they have to watch out for is Power Creep, which I have heard can be an issue with FFG LCGs of the past. I have hope that the next set or the one after it doesn't start printing stuff like "Virtuouser Works" that just gives you 4 aember with no downside.

If you are going to be able to use new sets with old sets, but still can't change cards out of the decks, then you better believe that a comprehensive rules document will start growing. One of the nice things about the MTG Comp Rules is they are always looking for ways to reduce it with each new set release. But again, it is not something many players actually take the time to read unless they really want to pass a Judge test and go past Level 2.

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Standard is actually probably less popular overall than draft, but it's the standard (no pun intended) for high level competitive play. Most FNM players would rather take their chance cracking $12 worth of packs than buying into a standard event for $5, only to get their souls crushed by whoever netdecked the hardest. And that's just FNM - outside of that one day a week, it's a lot more common to find players enjoying those other formats. Pauper has a bit more of a cult following, but it's played with only commons and a few uncommons; Commander is far and away the most popular casual format, and, in my circles at least, it's more likely that somebody brought their Commander deck(s) on a given day than a standard deck. Its surge in popularity goes back about 5-6 years, but now they regularly put out respectable pre-cons once each year that are perfect entry points for newer players, or players that don't want to spend the quiche to build a deck from scratch. That's not to say you can't invest a whole heck of a lot more money; some Commander players treat it more like a singleton legacy format, aiming to combo out in the first couple of turns, but that's hardly the norm. The 2018 Commander pre-cons retail at $45, about $10 more than where they started just a few years ago, and with a little tweaking, adjustment, or modification can last you indefinitely. It's less a matter of when that deck "rotates out" (because it doesn't) than when you get bored of it. 

Is Magic expensive? The answer is it depends. Like anything else, it depends on your level of passion and how much you want to invest. Magic, I think, has that reputation because people choose to spend money on cardboard, not because there's something intrinsically prohibitive about it. Again, as you've noted, Standard happens to be the face of the game, so it's easy for outside players to judge all of Magic accordingly. This is a more realistic breakdown (consider them mutually exclusive):

 

Limited formats:  

Draft: $12 per week

Sealed: $30, usually once/twice every 3 months for pre-release and release events

 

Constructed formats:  

Pauper: $50 for an average deck, no rotation

Standard: $20-$100 for a budget deck, sometimes $300+ for a top tier, archetypal meta deck. Keep in mind that it's extremely unproductive to take a top tier deck to your average weekly FNM; that level of commitment is generally reserved for much larger, competitive events. Cards are legal for no more than 2 years before rotation.

Modern: Fluctuates, prices for individual decks range from $500 to almost $1,500. No rotation, but the format is constantly scrutinized for balance, so occasional bans can have a significant impact on the meta. 

Commander: Pre-cons retail $40-45 these days, but you can spend as much as you want to upgrade them. Older / OOP Commander staples can be expensive, while newer cards have very little demand in Standard, and are thus pretty easy to acquire. Singleton format, so full playsets are not required nor permitted. No rotation; play until you're bored.  

---

As you can see, the price of entry varies wildly from format to format, and it would be quite the devoted player who chooses to participate in all of them. While some certainly do, that's not a realistic goal for part or even most of the Magic community. Draft tends to be where the more competitively oriented players gravitate on a weekly basis, Standard and Modern are a narrower but more visible portion of the player base (it's legit journeyman work), and Commander is a bigger draw for the casual crowd. It can be a money pit, but only if you want it to be. 

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I think power creep isn't considered a mistake at FFG, but actually their business model...    You can guarantee the next set in keyforge is going to have severe power creep.   

 

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@twinstarbmc

Surely an English major of 3 years would be aware of the irony in quoting Polonius here, since the entire point of that exchange is to illustrate just how unaware he is that nobody takes his idiotic meanderings seriously. This is just me, but I wouldn't want to emulate someone widely regarded as being wrong about every last thing that comes out of his mouth. 

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On 1/10/2019 at 1:51 PM, KrisWall said:

So...  after a new Magic set is released, how long until the new cards (and by extension card interactions) are included in the comprehensive rules?  I'm assuming that some period of time must elapse between the release of a set and the inclusion in the comprehensive rules.  In fact, the current comprehensive rules are dated October 5th, 2018, which is the same date as the most recent set was released.  Can I safely assume that any issues uncovered in the intervening three months or so haven't been included in the comprehensive rules? 

Yes and no. Magic has a Rules Manager and several high-level officials who work on rules issues as they come up. In the rare event they need to actually edit a rule prior to a new set's release, they will blast out a message to the Judge Community along the lines of, "We will update the Comprehensive Rules to cover this in our next update, but for now, play this as..." So updating the Comprehensive Rules can wait for the next major set release, which happens about 4 times a year.

Quote

I find it very hard to believe that there are NEVER any issues uncovered on or after release for new sets.  How is the Magic strategy of releasing rules with the set and then updating those rules down the road any different than how Keyforge has done things? 

The Keyforge Rulebook is like what used to be packed into the old Starter boxes of Magic, albeit a bit bigger and more comprehensive. Those rules lasted about 6 years before the weight of new sets adding new mechanics and new interaction forced a change to the Comprehensive Rules. (To be more precise, the need for the MCR was recognized about 5 years in, but it took a year to herd all the cats into making the rulebook and promulgating it by that point.)

What the MCR does, that the Keyforge Rulebook does not (and, IMO, should not, in its role as an easy-to-understand way to introduce people to the game), is go into the whys behind the whats. The FAQ is attempting that in its specific card rulings, but that technically is not part of the rulebook itself, but an interpretation of the rules as apply to commonly asked-about interactions. But all the categories I have spoken about are means of explaining the whys

behind the whats, so that if a new situation comes up, the Judge Community can rely on starting from the same common basis to arrive at consistent consensus rulings across the world. So the problem is not how quickly rules are updated, but how complete they are to begin with.

In its current state (under 400 cards, only 4 card types, and far fewer "moving parts" than Magic), we can get mostly away with not having a Comprehensive Rulebook and rule things by fiat. But that won't last forever if the game remains popular, and the faster it grows, the faster this approach becomes obsolete and the bigger project it becomes to hammer out specific whys for our whats.

Quote

What specific deal breaker issues aren't covered in the rules?  I've yet to see any issues come up at any local or regional events.  I ask because the overwhelming majority of FAQs on sites like Keyforge-Compendium can be answered by simply reading the rules.

I will deal with this in one of the other threads about this, so as to keep things tidier. If I remember, I may link to the answer in this one.

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On ‎1‎/‎10‎/‎2019 at 11:09 AM, WonderWAAAGH said:

Magic is unquestionably the most successful card game. Ever. What other point of reference would you prefer for people trying to make sense of or improve upon this game?

Chess.

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13 hours ago, Whiz Canmaj said:

Chess.

The comparisons between chess and Keyforge are much more tenuous than between Magic and Keyforge. Chess has no random or hidden elements. Currently, chess tournaments are timed differently (using chess clocks instead of a round timer). Chess has six moving parts in two classes (pieces and pawns) that begin in a fixed configuration, while Keyforge has 370 moving parts in four classes (actions, artifacts, creatures, and upgrades) , divided into seven houses, many of which have multiple roles throughout the game and some of which combine with others producing unique elements when that happens.  As a result, the FIDE chess laws cover "only" 25 pages, although the USCF tournament requirements (which include all organizing and tournament management regulations) are about to be republished as a paperback book. 

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