Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not, genius will not, education alone will not. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.
-President Calvin Coolige
You all may have noticed I'm a bit late with this "Weekly Article". I apologize for that. The reason why, of course, is because I've been spending quite a bit of time in the forae lately, expressing my thoughts on subjects like our Mission Statement, for example, as well as my having family-related things to do (my eldest just made his First Communion this weekend).
It's been a hectic couple of weeks.
On the plus side, many others have stepped in and contributed articles in the meantime. I think that's just great, and I fervently hope that trend continues.
On the other hand, I know this is a rough part of the school year, especially for the college-attending among us, so I figure it'll be real hard for many of us to try to keep up with both.
See, much that we enjoy each other's writing, the bottom line is that, in life, one must have priorities, and believe me, as a GED educated kind of guy, if there had been any way for me to get a degree in something - almost anything, actually - it would have made it possible for me to do so much more at work. Because I don't have anything more going for me than a couple hours of community college I will likely never get promoted to a supervisory position, even though I understand the business better than most of the supes I've had.
So stick with it, make the sacrifices that are neccessary, and come out with a degree. You'll make a whole lot more money later on, and you'll be working a whole lot less harder to make it.
I wish I could have...
One of the issues we've been discussing lately has been set frequency. I naturally correlate that issue to the sheer numbers of chaff cards in the sets. I'm not just talking about Mercadian Masques and Nemesis. If you think about it, aside from the killer cards, Urza's block had some real trash in it too. In fact, I think this has been going on for a real long time.
I remember back to a time when my tournament attendance was more regular. Store tourneys, mind. I remember buying into Mirage block fairly heavily, counting on the removal of Ice Age from the T2 environment, and I remember being pretty disappointed when Mirage was gone too. One day I woke up, and I realized that, even though I'd spent $350.00 - $400.00 on Tempest, and almost as much again on Urza's block, I didn't have a decent T2 deck.
Can you believe it?
Sure, I had a few good cards. But I never got a Cursed Scroll. Or a Stroke of Genius. Then I thought back and realized I never got a Necropotence out of Ice Age, or anywhere else for that matter, either.
And the singles. One Academy does not an Academy deck make. Especially with only one Time Spiral, and only one MOM. Replenish was out too, with only one Replenish, and only one Worship. Enchantress doesn't work well either, when you only have one of each kind of Enchantress.
It's very frustrating. The way I look at it, I've been spending $300. - $400. a year, and have almost nothing to show for it. I think that's why most people who've been at this as long as me have quit the game. I know it's why I almost did.
So yes, I think the sets should be released less often. Or the sets themselves should be smaller, and the good cards should be somewhat easier to collect. I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm tired of getting that "ripped-off" feeling whenever I open a pack, only to find more often than not that the only thing playable in there is the odd common, or an occasional uncommon. I hate that almost as much as when I find the broken stuff and know it'll be banned faster than you can say "DCI".
You see, I think WotC could only benefit by doing this. Sure they'd make less money at first, because people would be spending less to stay competitive, but in the long run they'd make more by keeping people in the fold longer, and those people, people like you and me, could function as true ambassadors of the game, and we could have a clear conscience about doing it. I know I always feel a little dirty when I encourage someone to play the game, knowing that, for whatever reason, they'll never be able to afford to keep up with the game thereafter.
It just ain't right.
You know, it just occurred to me that there's a symmetry to this article after all, and that by sucking it up and making a few sacrifices now, WotC can reap a reward for years to come. And not have to work nearly as hard to do it.
It's time for WotC to go to back to school, I think.
TomB on the CPA BB
"I do not teach. I simply reveal."
-Daudi, Femeref tutor