For me, and I'm sure I'm not entirely out on a limb here, Magic was a natural progression. For years, I've been an avid gamer (and that means pencil, paper, dice, books!), and finding this cool little card game that could resolve a game in a half hour or so was wonderful. What attracted me most, though, was that there was a infinite depth to the story behind the cards. Who was Urza, and Mishra, and Tocasia? Were they good or bad, or simply opponents? (As you can see, I started playing a looong time ago) The art was likewise fascinating. I remember first seeing the Wretched, and thinking, oh, man, I can't play with that. It's just wrong! Did y'all ever get the hibbee-gibbees picking up a Giant Spider? *shudder* Anyway, I feel that Wizards has done a less than spectacular job with the story, in some areas. Specifically, the novels could use some serious revision, as I'm sure a few of y'all might agree. Some of the cards have the most astounding story potential, yet are never included in the novels. I don't feel this to be a problem with too many things to include, I find it more of a problem with a writer's own ego getting in the way of a great story. I also feel that Wizards kind of half-heartedly adds the story after the set is finished going through R & D. To be more specific, the other day, I was looking through the tournament locator (I know, shame on me!), and I stumbled across the Legend of the Five Rings locator. It had a section devoted to tournaments where your winnings determined some of the outcome of the story. Is this not brilliant??? Could there not be such a format for Magic? What about things like FNM or Arena; why not start one devoted to the story? But, then, I think a rude reality hit; that would mean a certain loss of control for Wizards. Sure, they can offer the winner of the invitational to design a card; ala Avalanche Riders, and Rootwater Thief...but, one card out of the billions of duels that go on every day? Jeez, talk about throwing a scrap to the hungry masses... It would also mean a certain amount of risk; why take the chance on throwing money away on a format they wouldn't be sure to make a profit from? And that's a really depressing thought - that Wizards of the Coast, the designers of this wonderful card game that has spawned so many hours of imagination and creativity and dreams...is a business. And a business is concerned at all times with the bottom line. I may just be doom-mongering, but I'd like to know what y'all think!