The Issue At Hand: Is Magic Still Fun?

Discussion in 'CPA/WOTC Magic Issues' started by Chaos Turtle, Mar 21, 2001.


Is Magic Still Fun?

Yes. I play to win, and winning is fun. 0 vote(s) 0.0%
Yes. I play casually all the time. 6 vote(s) 18.2%
No. It's impossible to play "just for fun" anymore. 27 vote(s) 81.8%
  1. Chaos Turtle Demiurgic CPA Member, Admin Assistant

    Today, we posted a pair of articles by Yellowjacket (click and read) and Istanbul (click and read), which dealt with in their own ways, the days when Magic was fun.

    Are the "fun" days of Magic gone? Has the tournament scene overshadowed the casual player to such an extent that playing for fun is a thing of the past?

    What do you think?
  2. Gizmo Composite: 1860

    I vote for 1 + 2. I play tournaments, winning is fun - but at the same time I have just as much or more fun playing in between rounds with wierd decks (the 'I knew I should have played my xxx deck' matches) and during the team playtest sessions, which are held in a student bar. When it`s full. And the football is on.
    Magic is a laugh because you play it with your mates, if I ever stopped enjoying it I`d stop playing (I have on several occasions for at least 24 hours quit Magic). If the people you are playing with aren`t your mates it`s far less interesting and it gets too serious, thankfully I`m good mates with 80% of my tournament circuit because of how casually we all take it - anybody anally retentive about winning quickly gets ostracised and doesn`t come back.

    Although you won`t believe this my teammate and myself were voted 'best casual players' running up to this years English Nationals. Apparently we won`t make Top-8 though, because:
    So likely it`s not even funny to think about.
  3. Ura Feline Lord of the Pit

    Its true, it is a funny word.
    What exactly is "fun"
    well, my big friend Webster says fun is
    1. pleasure or amusment, to have fun || gaiety, playfulness, not for money to play for fun.

    I play magic twice a week, I'd play more if I could, and I always enjoy it. But what I enjoy may not be what someone else enjoys, because enjoyment and fun are purely opinion based states depending on the individual and their own mind set.
    I greatly enjoy playing magic still, there are things I would change yes, I wish I had a larger card base, but overall I enjoy getting together with the rest of the magic playing guys here and having a few games.
    Istanbul mentions how many players have the opinion that you either play "netdecks" or "garbage" and that cards are only tier 1 viable or trash, there is no inbetween.
    On this I'd agree with him as I've met many players who are like that.
    But then I've also met many who aren't. My local play group is a Type1 dedicated group, no tournies or anything, we just play and follow the Type1 B&R list to sorta keep a guide line for everyone. We've got people who use everything from Masticore and Scuta to Radiant Kavu and Avatar of Hope. Just today I've seen things like Scent of Jasmine and Planeswalkers Mirth cast to the wonderful staples like Dark Ritual and Fact of Fiction.
    Perhaps my group is just a rarity in the world, in which case I am sad. But I don't think that it is.

    Am I remenisent of the old days of magic (circa '94 - '95)? Sure I am, thats when I started and I loved the wonder of seeing new cards and getting cards I'd never heard of in a pack. When things were still "fresh" in a way. Regardless of how hard they try, WotC has been running out of amazing ground breaking ideas for a while now, at least without making them broken. As much as I liked the untap spells, they were nasty. But much of this wonder is lost to me simply because you can't escape magic info at times, I rekindled a bit of that wonder for myself by refussing to look at or even acknowledge the existence of a spoiler for Planeshift before opening my boxes and I was quite happy with it, but thats just me. I hate knowing whats gonna be in a set a month or two before it comes out, it drives me nuts which is why i try to avoid info like that if I can. Tourny players though have a different view on this cause spoilers are a tool of the avid tourny goer for things like drafts and the pre-releases.
    Magic is fun not only cause as Gizmo says:
    but because it does hold a certain fantasy wonder for some of us.
    When that wonder is lost, some of the fun is lost. I still love to play, but there are no more surprises really or questions to be asked.
    You look on the net and its a wealth of info at times, no need for questions as its all there and it certainly isn't wonderous as it was at one time, now its just a well made multi-faceted strategy card game that you play with the guys over brew and pizza (pop for you youngins ;) ) and get alot of time to BS with each other while flopping out the silly pieces of cardboard.

    The filtering of the DCI or just tournies in general and the wealth of knowledge available for the game effects all levels of play whether we like it or not.

    Ura - Still having "fun" after 7 years of bolting and blasting his way across the aether of war.
  4. Chaos Turtle Demiurgic CPA Member, Admin Assistant

    I had fun just this past Monday, when I tricked a counter-discard player into tapping one of only two untapped Islands (I'd sacced a Spiketail Drake) so that I could play a Jokulhaups on my turn, fearless of Counterspell.

    Point being, since The Slowdown (what's going on in Standard right now, thanks to the Invasion Cycle) I've had the most exciting games of Magic I've played in a long time.

    I feel free to try out just about anything without fear of being humiliated by the latest "tech." I've gone from near-apathetic about showing up for Arena League to really enthusiastic. I may even start trying to make the tournaments again soon (the nearest weekly is over an hour away).

    Helpful is the fact that (for the most part, the exception being a couple of guys who must have those foily prizes) the local play group is more interested in having fun than in crushing the competition.

    Actually, one of those ultra-competitive guys, this season, is playing a whacky Phelddagrif deck. I laughed myself silly when I saw that thing played, even when I realized I was hopelessly locked, my only consolation being that I could occasioanlly gain 2 life while losing :p.

    In short: Yes, Magic is fun. Big fun. :D
  5. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    I don't think I can really comment as I don't really play. But I've thought the few games I've played with Griffy were fun... I don't know how she felt about them though :)
  6. rkoelsch Angel Boy

    But I chose 2. I was trying to win more but the result is not worth the effort. I have decided to start playing decks I design whether they are optimal or not. Chasing after the optimal cards is too hard. But I still have fun playing. I really like limited formats. That is where I have the most fun.
  7. Whimsical Adorable Sliver

    <laughs> Okay. Lousy pun right there.

    But seriously. These are very interesting questions posed by mister Turtle sir. Are the "fun" days of Magic gone? Has the tournament scene overshadowed the casual player to such an extent that playing for fun is a thing of the past?

    Magic will always remain fun. First and foremost, it's a game. A social one to boot. As long as you have friends of like mind, the game will remain fun (said argument applicable to any hobby ranging from other CCG's to RPGs to board games and beyond). As long as you remember that it's a game, and that your main objective is to have fun (sometimes even at the expense of others), then you're fine.

    Has the tourney overshadowed the casual player? Hmm. I'd have to say affirmative on this one. The minute WoTC decided to put up big money as prizes for tournaments, it changed the entire scope of the game. I remember one Pro Tour player saying, "Magic is not just a game. It's actually a viable business now."

    This argument actually runs counterpoint to what moi just said about Magic as a game primarily. <laughs> Interesting paradox, isn't it?

    To succeed in business, you have to be competitive. Ethics and morals ... they exist. Competition is the name of the game though, and with competition comes ruthlessness.

    The tournament scene of Magic is all about cut-throat competition. Because it's now a business. Not a game.

    At least in tournaments.

    There will always be tournament players (as long as there are tournaments anyways) ... cold, ruthless, and calculating ... dedicated to the win.

    There will always be casual players ... wacky, goofy, bordering on the insane ... just out to have fun.

    No one really belongs in one category. We all want to win ... and we all want to have fun. It's just a matter of deciding on priorities.

    Magic is still fun. That's mah answer to the first question. Regarding the second?

    Casual play and tourney play are two different things. Of course the tournament scene overshadows casual play. You don't get that much money playing for fun now, do you? ;)

    The best compromise I've ever seen is a local card shop owner sponsoring a tournament ... with no serious decks allowed. Prizes were awarded for the winner of course ... but there were also prizes for the most innovative decks ... the "it-doesn't-have-a-prayer-why-the-heck-is-it-working-and-kicking-mah-butt?!" deck ... the coolest theme decks. You get the drift... :D
  8. Gizmo Composite: 1860

    Most tournaments aren`t about cutthroat play. PTs are, maybe big PTQs, but most tournaments are friendly get-togethers, at least in my experience they are.
  9. Elrond Veteran CPA Lurker

    I have to say that yes Magic is still fun.

    I get together with my playgroup every Sunday I'm in town and don't have anything I can't get out of, which is always fun. I have noticed that my playgroup has got a lot more competitve since I first joined in, but it hasn't lost any of the fun in that transition. For a while there everyone was complaining about my cheap red burn deck that wasn't a lot of fun to play against, so they started getting theirs out, then we finally decided to start playing Furnace games, games where everyone starts with 100 life and an untouchable Furnace of Rath is in play from the start, which makes for a lot of fun, especially when one of the guys pulled out a Repurcusion and Shocks started hitting for 8 to the players, that's if other Furnaces hadn't gotten into play yet. We also hold little ante tournaments and stuff like that to keep it interesting.

    I can also see where the tourney scene has overshadowed the casual side, but that only happens when we let it happen, what I mean by that is that if you really want to play in the tourneys then you will begin to focus on those, but if you don't play in them you could care less.
  10. terzarima New Member

    Come now children and I will tell you the story
    Of how magic Grew and rose to its glory,
    How it sold and it sold, like magic hot cakes
    But depleted and died because of too many debates.

    There was also site on a thing called the internet then
    Where the perverbial wolf could go in as a den,
    A place where such arguments couldn't be found,
    Until one fateful day when they were shouted loud. (it does rhyme...)

    Now this safe haven is less than It could have been,
    A little bit of doubting and now everywhere its seen.
    The way we see is only how it progressed,
    And trust me, it could have been worse, and less.

    What I'm saying, and I sure you agree,
    Is to let sleeping dogs lie, just let them be.
    If a problem does arise, I'm sure we'll be clear,
    To prove our worth, so others will lend an ear.

    So until next time, keep fit and have fun,
    And since nothing else rhymes, until next sun!
    I hope every one feels better now that I'm acting like a fool
    But remember children, Magic: The gathering will always be cool!!!
  11. Zadok001 CPA Founder, Greater Good

    Let me tell you a story.

    I've been very, very busy lately. I have a wonderful girlfriend who I can't help but want to spend every waking moment with. I joined my school's Drama club as a casual stand-by, not actually particpating. Two days later, I was Prop Guy. A day after that, I was somehow assigned to sit in at practices and correct people who say their lines wrong. :) A week later, I was informed I was now the understudy for the lead role. (Wheee... I can't act! Fortunately, previously mentioned wonderful girlfriend is also in the play, so I get to hang out with her more... :) ) To add onto the end of that, it's my senior year, I'm in AP Calc (covering Calculus 1 and 2 in one year), AP Chemistry, and Journalism. The homework is piling up, I don't have time, and I don't sleep enough to begin with. I play Magic every second I get, which is several games a day, but much less than I used to.

    After school today, I went to Drama, so I couldn't play in the traditional after-school game. Once Drama ended, I wandered into the cafeteria to look in at the game - Eight people around a table. Five were still playing. It looked a bit wierd - Everyone was completely decked!

    I soon got the story - Sean had gone infinite, and cast ~ 1 billion Fatigues on each other player! Then he'd Stroked them all for their decks, and then all discarded down to seven spell on their next turns. So, they were now playing out with no cards left, and a completely stagnant game. The battles that resulted were epic. :) It was absolutely hilarious to watch. While the game was happening, I threw in a few questions from Delphi 2 (most of which we got right!). It was FUN. An enormous amount of fun.

    You got that? I didn't even play, and I loved it. :) It was great. Magic will never, ever stop being fun for me. No matter what happens. Just being with friends, throwing cards across the table.

    Magic rocks.
  12. Duel Has Less Posts Than Spiderman

    Second that motion. (BTW, I AM the lead in the play, recently got a wonderful girlfriend who happens to have the same name as Zadok's but is not, alas, in the play, or even in our school, and am taking AP Chemistry. He has no excuse next to me. Nyeh.)

    BY THE WAY: I consider Sean solely responsible for dragging me back from netdecks and tournaments. If he hadn't built his "why the hell not" 5color deck, I'd still be playtesting fires right now.

    I play for fun, even when I play to win. Winning is nice, but playing is nicer. Thinking is nicest. That's why I will never stop having fun, even when decks become similar. I will be the one guy losing miserably with a deck that should, by all it's rights, according to my calculations, win.
  13. Mr_Pestilence Wumpus

    I think the overall atmosphere is dictated by the cards available. When control cards are prevalent, the tournament scene can be very oppressive. Since most people don't like to be figuratively held up by the back of the neck and paddled into oblivion, tournament magic isn't a lot of fun right now.

    It seems there are 31 flavors of counterspells available, and, combined w/ the sheer amount of efficient card-drawing available, it's really not hard to have a counterspell in hand every turn. Combine this with a few "bounce" spells and a narrow win condition, and you have a deck that is in control from turn one and which has nothing to restrain it, such as Pyroblast or Scragnoth.

    I think counterspells should be MUCH more expensive to cast - something like 2 more colorless per spell, or "pay one life" in addition to other costs. In particular, Absorb and Undermine are just RIDICULOUS. They were mistakes that shouldn't have been printed in their present form.

    It is very frustrating to build a great deck that can compete with any other deck in the field, but which collapses when it runs into a control-heavy deck. I predict this will be a "Blue Summer", with the dominant decks being Blue, Blue/White, or Blue/Black. And, the level of discontent with tournamet Magic will reach an all-time high.

    I realize that WotC is a business that needs to make a profit, and part of their marketing plan is catering to control-freaks and jerks who just can't get by without their precious Islands and counterspells, but the sheer power of the tools made available to them is becoming absurd.
  14. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    I'm thinking the control dominance is just in a cycle. Remember, Ice Age was mostly control and the fast pace of Tempest was in response to that. It'll probably swing that way again...
  15. The Magician New Member

    I've been playing Magic on a weekly basis for 5 years. I've never played in or even attended a tournament. I play with friends and occasional strangers who quickly become friends. I have tutored non-players to reach my level of mastery when I desired a bigger circle.

    I have never once thought that the game was not FUN, or even that there could possibly be a game out there that would thrill me more.

    Part of that has to do with the way we play. We don't recognize any banned or restricted list. If it's been printed and we get our hands on it, it's playable.

    We always play for ante. Everyone has a limited budget when it comes to buying cards so the potential loss or gain of the rarer old cards is extremely exciting.

    We've also added a "random table of events" that affect the game. There are 20 different effects listed on a board that sits in the middle of the table. Any player may roll a 20-sided die up to 4 times during the game and generate a random effect that is tossed on the stack. Now, it's even more FUN!

    I fully expect to be passing my knowledge and my cards down to my children and watching them have as much fun as I always have.
  16. Apollo Bird Boy

    Magic is fun. They could never print new cards again, all of the tournaments could die out, and Wotc could shut down. But I could drag out my old cards and play once a month even and have a blast.
  17. Duster Protection from Idiots

    let's look at it this way. does anyone in here play sports? are they still fun? absolutely!

    just because there's a professional aspect to something doesn't mean the non-professional sect will suffer. The NFL is just something football players have to look forward to, it never stopped kids from having pick up games in the streets. It never stopped the sport from being a social event.

    SO my point is that there is no way pro Magic will hinder casual Magic. The only thing it does is provide new ground to be explored.

    S'all for now,
  18. FrigginRizzo New Member

    Magic gives you what you ask for. It's up to you to take what you want from the game. If you are not enjoying playing, then I think you need to ask yourself why. The correct answer is "I no longer enjoy the game because I no longer want to." People change; at it's core, the game is always going to be the game. If you aren't happy with the game anymore, I profess that the game hasn't changed - you have.

    -johnny enjoying the game
  19. Zadok001 CPA Founder, Greater Good

    *claps for Rizzo*
  20. Duel Has Less Posts Than Spiderman

    Disrespectfully disagree with Rizzo.

    Magic does change. I hated playing standard for years, due to the environment, I lvoe it now. I haven't chancged, but my playgroup, card collection, and level of enjoyment has. I was playing the same style of decks then as I am now. If his playgroup has changed and he doesn't like the environment, it's not his fault.

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