Twenty Things That Were Going to Kill Magic

Discussion in 'General CPA Stuff' started by Spiderman, Aug 5, 2013.

  1. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    I tried going to crystalkeep but that site seems to be down at the moment (and hopefully not forever), but from other google source and from my own recollection, there weren't any substantial rule changes that affected the game.

    That's pretty much argument for why the 6th ed rule changes were a good thing. And while it might have been contrary to your experience, it certainly jived with mine; the decks that used interrupts (which was pretty much blue, except the 'ol Red/Blue Elemental Blast deck) and used the certain combat tricks had to be revamped, both my decks and my playgroup's.

    I think we need to take a step back and see what originally got us on this train. You originally said

    Which I was disputing. Well, I'll agree with the "never explicitly saying" part, but the whole premise of the article is listing (to him) what the top 20 big changes to the game in the past 20 years and how each change caused worry that it would kill the game. He never lists the "percentage" or "amount" of said worry among players but I don't think he needs to, it's inherent in his premise that these were the top 20 out of *all* the changes wrought in the game in the past 20 years. You can use worry, controversy, freaked out, dislike, whatever, these are the top 20.

    So. It really doesn't matter whether *you* see each as worry/controversy/something to freak out over, or even that they're changes to the game. You're not the author so it's not your Top 20. :)

    My point is linking to the article in the first place was seeing Mark's viewpoint from a Magic Insider what he thought was the Top 20 Worries that would Kill the Game. And yes, coming down to Slivers as the last could mean many things, but for me, going from 4 card limit/no more interrupts to how Slivers look menas Magic has very much settled in for the long haul and there's not much left to have a true concern; the game's not going to be killed anytime soon.
  2. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    In 5th edition they use series and batches. I don't remember if 4th edition did or did not. 3rd edition, if I remember correctly, did not. Really, there were a lot of gameplay rules changes. But yeah, I don't know what the best source would be for that stuff. It's mostly too old for CrystalKeep to have actually cataloged it. I used to have, and actually might still have some printed materials from pre-6th sets where they summarized rules changes with releases of some major expansions.

    Revamped in what way? I mean, I remember interrupts quite well, and being able to respond to what were previously interrupts with what were previously instants did upset some players, but revamp? Maybe it's too early in the morning for me, but I don't see how it would even have been worthwhile to attempt such a revamping or how one would even go about doing it.


    Well, it is the title, yes. And it's in the introduction. On top of all that, as I've already said, there are some pretty crazy people out there. For anything controversial enough to draw complaints from a lot of people, there's likely to be some portion of those that make crazy predictions. It seems pretty likely. But before you get hung up on the whole "kill the game" thing again, it's worth noting that zero of the items in his list refer to killing the game. That doesn't mean no one predicted that those things would kill the game or that Mark Rosewater couldn't have cited instances of such predictions if he'd wanted to. But it does mean that it's not what he actually chose to write about. What he did choose to write about was changes to the game and player reactions (with an emphasis on averse reactions, but he notes positive reception for some changes too) to those changes.

    I actually didn't notice the first time you did this. I was going to go back and edit what I'd written, but it got past me the first time, so I'll just note my response at the point I realized this...

    He doesn't say anything about this being a "top 20."

    It's not his "top 20" either, or at least he didn't identify it as such. And even if it had been a top 20, I'm at a loss to see what point you'd be making. I mean, of course I'm not the author of Mark Rosewater's article. Was someone claiming that I was?
  3. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    I think you're misremembering it, series and batches were from the very beginning. I managed to find this:

    Rules, Interrupted

    This is probably what you remember.

    Sorry, I missed a key word/component in the deck: Lifelaces. It was a Elemental/Lifelace deck, essentially changing any of the Blasts to counter the appropriate color spell. Once they were changed to instants, that strategy no longer worked; I believe my revamp attempts failed (at least with the card pool at the time).

    I think it was said in the beginning: he's going to list 20 Things (note my absence of Top this time :D ) that People Worried would Kill the Game. I don't think he needed to spell out the killing in each twenty.

    You're correct, my bad. Most of the other articles from other writers during that week said "Top 20" so I carried it over to this one.

    He does say "bigger" though, so while maybe not Top 20, probably close to it.
  4. Oversoul The Tentacled One



    Your link itself confirms what I was saying, that there were rules changes before 6th Edition. I wish I could remember this stuff better, but to be clear, 5th Edition really did update things with series and batches. I don't know if the term "batch" appeared in game rules in 1st edition somewhere. I thought I had something from Ice Age or some other such set in which they merely used "LIFO" and didn't refer to batches. Perhaps the comprehensive rules at the time actually did refer to batches (and series too). But the rules update for 5th Edition did change what was in the comprehensive rules. That part I remember, although I have no idea where one would find a log for changes to the comprehensive rules over the years (that would be a pretty interesting document to peruse, if it exists).

    No, I'm not mixing up 5th Edition rules and 6th Edition rules. I'm saying that the rules were modified prior to the changes made with 6th Edition. I think it's totally the case that any individual set of changes (there were rules changes with Mirage for example), other than the very early changes (like the 60-card minimum deck size) were smaller than the overhaul seen in 6th Edition. But the pre-6th changes still happened. There wasn't a total vacuum of changes to gameplay from 1993 to 1999. A lot of these were pretty minor. Some of them would have been pretty important in certain situations.

    The article you linked to notes the creation of the "Mana Source" card type, a sort of super-interrupt that often goes unmentioned because the only card that most people played with that type was Dark Ritual, and the "mana source" prioritization only occasionally mattered. 6th Edition undid all that, but it's still definitely the case that the rules changed.

    Wow, my recollection of a lot of these intricacies used to be a lot better. It's been too long since I've seriously played this game. OK, so I remember that elemental blasts targeting permanents was better in 5th Edition rules. But you're talking about using them as counterspells. They obviously wouldn't be at interrupt speed anymore, but did that break your deck?

    So for example, I cast Swords to Plowshares on your creature. You respond with Chaoslace and pass priority. I don't have anything. You Hydroblast my (now red) Swords to Plowshares, countering it. I can't think of what would stop this from working, and it's puzzling me. What am I forgetting? :confused:

    I also can't remember what cards were in that artifact-tapping deck. I only remember it because it was just before 6th Edition and there were people commenting that the upcoming changes would render the deck nonfunctional. And of course, there were other such decks. I'm pretty sure they weren't that common though. And it wouldn't have been the first deck to be ruined by rules changes. What would have? Presumably the Black Lotuses and Ancestral Recalls deck. There was a website, which I'd love to have a screenshot of, that listed calculations (I think going with the assumption of a 40-card deck, but it might have been different) in an attempt to find the deck with the highest probability of getting a first-turn kill. I don't know how realistic such an occurrence was though: I've never met anyone that claimed to have played against a deck packed with Black Lotuses and Ancestral Recalls back when that would have actually been legal...

    But it's not just a bullet-point list. He talks about each item. If he'd wanted to, at least for some of them, I'm sure he'd have been able to state more than just "players thought this would kill the game." For example, he could have said, "players complained that reducing the number of available copies of a single card to four was too restrictive, believing that this strict deckbuilding limitation would stifle the growth of the game" or "players opined that dumbing down the game would drive away longtime players that actually liked the game the way it was, causing Magic to wither and die." I made those up. They're probably not that close to what actual doom and gloom predictions might have looked like. But the point is that he chose not to include any such descriptions. He could have said players thought each of these changes would destroy the game. I could have said why players were worried that each of these changes would kill Magic. Instead, he didn't do that for a single one. Instead, for most of them, he said why players were upset. Being upset and claiming that something will kill Magic are two different things.

    I thought it was something like that. And yeah, I don't imagine that he'd bother writing an article about the 20 things that players complained about the least. I mean, that would be just silly. Some of these, by their very nature (like the 6th Edition rules changes) simply must have been the subject of far more complaints than most other changes to the game.
  5. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    I'm not disagreeing with you that there weren't rules changes. There (almost, since I also can't verify 100%) are in all edition rule changes. But up until then, they've usually been "clarifications" of previous and existing rules, not wholesale changes to the rules.

    I did find this (not sure of the author) which does state that 4th ed changed/clarified/updated the batch timing/window.

    There's also some changes listed in 5th ed but again, nothing major.

    I also found a scan of the original Magic: TG rulebook which doesn't mention "batch" explicitly but pretty much describes it. From my brief research right now, it sounds like "batch" was formally introduced as a term when Revised came out.

    Ah yes, I do remember that one now. Again, not arguing that rules didn't change... but also again, I'd term it pretty minor as it affected two cards (and who used Culling of the Weak? :D ) More importantly, who was countering Dark Ritual that Mana Source needed to be created and made uncounterable :D

    That's actually a better use for such a deck. And once again you've proved that my memory sucks, it was a Sleight of Hand/Blue Elemental Blast/Hyroblast deck. Targets were not chosen until the spell resolved, so you'd cast your StP, I'd cast my Hydroblast and Interrupt it with the Sleight to change the text to white so when the batch resolved, the Hydroblast could now target and counter the StP. With 6th ed rules and targets needed to be chosen on announcing the spell, that no longer worked.

    Ah yes, another change... I think Icy Manipulator was a big card then; I think it was in a World championship deck at the time. Those artifact cards where tapping mattered got errata'd to keep functioning as they were though, so it really didn't matter.

    Found other rule changes with 6th that I didn't remember before... found that combat trick of tapping blocking creatures so they didn't deal damage no longer worked. You couldn't respond to triggered effects before (especially the 187 creatures introduced in Visions) and now you could (that was actually big also, at least with my playgroup). You couldn't gain life before the end of a phase now to stay alive. Little things that only mattered to rules geeks :)

    I'm going to say this kind of thing seems to a difference that matters to different kind of people. I already said that he said in the beginning that he's going to list 20 bigger worries people had that would kill Magic; there's no reason to explicitly say it in each bullet item. He (to me) obviously can expound on each bullet item as to not present just a 20 bullet list and be done with the article though.

    You however, seem to need him to say explicitly that each worry was going to kill Magic or it wasn't going to kill Magic. Whatever floats your boat; I think it's redundant when he said the whole article premise in the beginning.[/quote]
  6. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    Is that what you meant about "substantial" rules changes? In aggregate, there would have been a lot of rules changes between 1993 and 1999. I thought you were saying those rules changes didn't matter, but now I think you're getting at something else...

    I was saying that the early changes are categorically different with regard to complaints than subsequent controversies because they were introducing aspects of the game that weren't there before. I didn't consider 6th Edition to be like that because there had already been rules changes and it was just more of what had already happened, albeit a lot more. But there is an important distinction between 6th Edition and the rules changes prior to it. The rules originally were rather undeveloped. In some ways, they're pretty close to what we have now, but compared to the level of detail in the current rules, the old rules look primitive. All rules changes I know of prior to 6th Edition dealt wit balancing issues, new releases, or filling in details. 6th Edition, with combat especially but in other areas too, actually did introduce changes for different reasons. And I think that might have been why players were alarmed. I didn't think of it that way at the time (I was just annoyed at the timing, as I'd only recently mastered 5th Edition rules), but it seems like it must have been part of the issue. So yeah, by introducing major gameplay elements that were completely in contrast to the old ones (instead of just clarifying points of detail and such), the 6th Edition rules changes were definitely different, qualitatively, from most other rules changes.

    It's not in the same category as instituting a 4-card deckbuilding rule where there had previously been no limit on copies of a card, but it's still an important distinction, I'd think. And if that's what you meant by "substantial" then I think we don't really disagree about it. Seeing words like that made me think you were saying it's a quantitative change, that the number of changes in 6th Edition was greater than the number of changes prior to 6th Edition (I have no idea if that's the case), and that therefore this negated the existence of prior rules changes.

    In aggregate, the pre-6th rules changes would have changed the game a lot, although including rules changes that corresponded to new cards and mechanics is perhaps dubious. My point about 6th Edition rules following a trend was that the rules had already been changed before, just not so much and so quickly. In contrast, before there was a four-card rule, there was no maximum. Before there was a banned list, no one had been told, officially, "Those cards bought from us, yeah, you can't use them in the game." And at the time, without the benefit of hindsight, the early changes might have seemed, to some players, to be ominous or game-ruining in a way that later changes couldn't have captured. That's speculation on my part. I wasn't around for those changes.

    The rules surrounding mana sources also applied to activated abilities. Those changes affected a lot more than two cards. If you're going to say that's still "minor" well, yeah, it pretty much is. I can't recall any pre-6th changes to gameplay (rather than deckbuilding) that I'd call "major." I mean, I guess it depends on how errata or changes corresponding to new card releases are accounted for. But just general gameplay rules? Yeah, the pre-6th changes all looked minor to me.


    Ah, that makes more sense.

    Icy Manipulator was in the deck I was remembering. But not all artifacts that this deck, if I remember it right, got the errata. Winter Orb, Howling Mine, and Static Orb were popular enough with Icy Manipulator to get grandfathered in. I can't think of any other artifacts that were.

    You might be understating these a bit. The combat rules changes made certain cards stronger than they had previously been. Morphling was a pretty prominent example. And the change to losing the game as a result of having 0 life mattered a lot to those of us that used Infernal Contract, as one example.

    It's not a bullet point list. That's vital to what I'm saying here. I'm looking at what he actually wrote, not just what he put in the title or in the introductory paragraph. There's a lot more to his article than that, and none of it is about anything killing Magic. And since it's been a while, I'd better point out that I brought that fact up for a reason. I don't know if Mark Rosewater personally has seen explicit predictions that each of these changes would kill the game or if he has merely interpreted hostile player reactions as worry that they would kill the game. And I don't think it really matters. The reason I brought it up was that, regardless of whether Rosewater is doing so intentionally or not, it sure looks like he's poisoning the well on this sliver thing.

    I'd better break it down...

    -Players have written mail to Mark Rosewater.
    -Sometimes players complain about changes to the game.
    -There has been the worry that certain changes would kill Magic.
    -Here are 19 historical changes over the years that have been controversial.
    -But the game hasn't been killed. It's still going strong.
    -Here's a current controversy.
    -So the players complaining about slivers are probably overreacting. We didn't destroy the game with those other, much bigger changes in the past.

    The first quick readthrough I did of this article, I didn't even really notice it. And Mark Rosewater definitely has plausible deniability here. He never says players were overreacting about changes, just that WotC didn't expect the harsh response sometimes. He never even says that players were wrong to be upset about changes. And he puts the items in chronological order. It seems pretty innocuous that the last one is something current. He's going over the whole history of the game, even up to now.

    But having plausible deniability is the point of well-poisoning rhetoric: it can't work it's obvious.

    No. I don't need him to do anything. And it would not be redundant for him to actually write an article about how changes were predicted to kill the game.
  7. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    I guess we're going to have to disagree then. I've already stated why I think the 6th ed rules change is right up there with these two, so no use going over it again.

    Only to those that solely provided mana (like a Llanowar Elf). If the activated ability provided mana *and* did something else, it was an instant.

    And again, who counters a mana ability, let alone a Dark Ritual? That would a very small set of players, so it's hardly an earthshaking change.

    Ah yes, those were the actual artifacts affected by the tapped artifacts rule, not the Icy itself.

    Maybe, maybe not. I'm willing to bet the players who were affected by those rules were a small subset.

    I just repeated your words.

    Dude, again, I think we're just going to have to disagree here because I think you're reading way too much into the articel (or looking to read way too much). Mark states he's going to list the 20 Bigger Changes to the Game and how Players Worried that It Would Kill Magic. He then proceeds to list and explain the twenty changes. For me, he doesn't need to state at the end of each change: "And players that this would kill Magic." That's stupid, frankly. But from what I'm reading, apparently you need it.

    And Mark has been around almost from the very beginning, so I'm pretty sure he's explicitly seen these predictions. Or got a few of the early ones firsthand from those who did see it.

    I think it's MUCH more than that. Mark has been heavily involved in player feedback, whether by mail or tournaments or WoTC events or whatever. I'm very sure he has a good finger on the pulse of the game.

    And here's where I think you're reading to0 much into the article and jumping to conclusions. Mark is listing the twenty bigger changes chronologically so Slivers is of course at the end and "current". Were the first 19 "much bigger" changes? He doesn't state how big each change was; if he listed them in order of Biggest Change, the Sliver one could be #8 for all we know.

    So pretty much just by writing that breakdown, I can see how you're viewing the article and drawing (to me, erroneous) conclusions and that we just have a different take on it. I totally disagree with you and you just as obviously disagree with me so we can just leave it at that. :)
  8. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    I'll get to the part about reading the article momentarily. To clarify the things related to 6th Edition...

    It might help if you'd stop strawmanning me then. I've said multiple times, but I'll repeat it again: I'm not making a quantitative comparison, nor do I think it's even possible. Well, it's possible in the strictly subjective "ranking" sense like you seem to be talking about. But that's like saying, "Well, we both made lists of the top 10 black cards, but our lists differ. I guess we disagree." I'm not talking about something subjective. I'm talking about something objective, but that it would be almost impossible to actually collect evidence for. I'm saying that the environment surrounding early changes was sufficiently different and the changes were of a sufficiently different nature that the natural response for players would have been different in some way that could put the early changes into their own category. It's a qualitative difference. One reaction isn't necessarily "bigger." I'm not referring to the number of players complaining to WotC or the portion of the playerbase or the length of their complaints. As far the "early changes were different" claim, I'm referring to, and only to, the way the change would come across to players. Now, of course, everyone's interpretation of game changes is going to be subjective. And I'm not talking about that either.

    It's more like this. I could split changes to gameplay into two categories.

    -Changes in which WotC added brand new limitations to the usage of cards themselves.
    -All other changes.

    The first three items in Rosewater's article all do that. The creation of Standard doesn't do it to the same extent as the others. But before these changes happened, players hadn't been told, "Your deck isn't valid." Rules changes, such as errata, did make some particular combos stop working, but they didn't make decks illegal. A player back when these early changes were being made might have harbored a suspicion something like, "Wizards of the Coast is going to phase out all of my cards!" They wouldn't have had the benefit of two decades of hindsight. They wouldn't have known what the game would become. All they would have known was that they were playing the game with the barest of restrictions (40-card minimum deck size, nothing banned anything like that) and then that wasn't the case anymore.

    It's not that later changes wouldn't affect gameplay. It's that they wouldn't have provoked a response like that. I'm not saying anything about "bigger." I don't have a scale for this (no one does, really). I'm saying something about "different."

    So if you disagree with me, fine. But if you understand what I'm saying and you disagree with me, you should be saying, "same." It's like you think I'm saying, "smaller" and you're responding by saying, "bigger."

    I was talking about a somewhat specific difference, but if one wanted to be thorough, it'd be better to have more than just two categories. In that case, the 6th Edition rules changes would certainly be in a different category from most of the other changes.

    I do think the "bigger" in terms of impact notion is pretty subjective, but as it happens, I guess I actually do disagree with you on that, since you seem to think that the 6th Edition rules changes should be considered "biggest." I'd say they're pretty big, but the 4-card rule (which was lumped in with the 60-card minimum, another pretty big one) is "biggest." Having Hydroblast be a bit weaker or having Mogg Fanatic be a bit stronger is interesting. All of the other changes introduced by 6th Edition combined? Pretty big. But not as big as...

    Black Lotus, Ancestral Recall, Ancestral Recall, Ancestral Recall, Black Lotus, Ancestral Recall, Ancestral Recall, Ancesrtral Recall...Lightning Bolt, Lightning Bolt, Lightning Bolt, LIGHTNING BOLT! 400 damage!

    Or to be a bit less cheesy, I'm sure people tried stuff like this too.

    And really, I had ten or so decks when 6th Edition came out, and none of them were made destroyed by the changes. I was pretty inexperienced player though. And I did play with others that were more affected (like the guy that built the deck based on tapping artifacts). However, I'd think that if I'd been playing before the 60-card minimum and the 4-card rule, potentially all of my decks would have been made illegal by the changes. So yeah, I'd think of that as being bigger. But to be clear, that wasn't my original contention. I wasn't talking about which change was biggest. I was talking about a sort of reaction I'd conjecture players at the time would have had, something that subsequent complaints about changes would have lacked.

    I realize that. I didn't say all activated abilities. Just pointing out that it was more than two cards that were affected.

    I've done it. Opponent plays first turn Dark Ritual. Force Spike! I'm not going to wait for you to Sinkhole me. I'll take my tempo advantage and win, thank you very much.

    But not all of them. Those were only the ones popular enough with Icy Manipulator to get grandfathered in. It was a weird affair. And yeah, I did encounter one player that built a deck based around tapping artifacts, and he did use Howling Mine, but he had several other artifacts he'd tap too. Not saying it was pro tour material or anything, but 6th Edition did kill his deck.

    My favorite deck killed by rules changes was with Iridescent Drake, but that erratum has been taken back. Woo hoo! My second favorite deck killed by rules changes used Brand to take the tokens made by Varchild's War Riders. I think it was Eleventh Edition rules changes that killed that one. I forget.

    You don't remember the "RIP Mogg Fanatic" stuff when the 6th Edition combat changes were undone by Eleventh Edition (or whichever one it was)? And like I said, Morphling was another one. That card was so popular it was called "Superman" and the aura that was inspired by it was an anagram for "I am Superman" or something like that. It wasn't a small subset.
  9. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    Sorry, that was pretty long, but there were several different little bits and I didn't want to miss anything important. This one'll probably be long too...

    Uh, what? I don't think so. I said not a bullet point list. Then you said bullet point. Then I said not a bullet point list. Maybe you misread what I said the first time?

    Please stop telling me what I need. I figured you think I'm reading too much into the article. It's certainly possible. But I'll point out that when you linked to it, you said, let's see...

    He doesn't write about players crying doom and gloom. He writes a few thousand words on the subject of changes to the game and player responses to those changes (none of which relate to killing Magic). Now, like I said, I'm not convinced Mark Rosewater is deliberately poisoning the well. But to get the point across, going with the assumption that he is...

    I'd have to conclude that you've fallen for it. Like I said, Mark Rosewater has plausible deniability. He didn't say anything nasty about players complaining. He didn't say players were wrong to worry that some change would kill the game or that worries were unfounded. And yet he presented some facts in such a way that your interpretation was the rather uncharitable "cry doom and gloom" about people that Mark Rosewater never even said did that.

    I could conclude, "You're reading cries of doom and gloom into the article that aren't actually there." That would pretty much be returning fire on your claim about me reading something into the article that isn't there. But I'm not going to do that. Even though doom and gloom isn't in the article, reading it carefully I can see that it's presented in such a way to elicit that notion. He states facts (and does a little exposition on them), but does so in a way that the reader is inclined to view the players as overreacting to changes (as you were).

    Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe I'm reading too much into it and also your assertion about cries of doom and gloom is unrelated somehow. I doubt it.

    Oh, and I know there have been cries of doom and gloom. I could probably find some about some major change (like 6th Edition rules) if I searched enough. Maybe there are some about more minor changes. Have there been cries of doom and gloom about all twenty of those things. He doesn't say there have been. It needn't be the case that players have explicitly predicted that each of these things would kill the game. We don't know which items have had such predictions. For the items that have, we don't know anything about the predictions. Was it one crazy guy who predicted that five out of these twenty changes would kill the game, or was it an international response from thousands of players? Something in between? From this article alone, we know nothing about any predictions that any changes would kill the game. Information along those lines would not be stupid. It wouldn't be redundant. It would be this little thing called actually writing an article about predictions that changes to the game would kill the game and not writing an article about controversial changes and then titling it "Twenty Things That Were Going to Kill Magic."

    Yes, I don't doubt that he could tell us about such things. But he doesn't do it in this article. He does talk about the nature of complaints players made. He even refers specifically to some individual high-profile comments (such as that the Customer Service team wrote to Peter Adkison or that pro tour players complained about the replacement of the Elo system). If he'd actually written an article about worry that changes would kill the game, he could have used a similar approach.

    The thing I said about mail was because he referred to it specifically in his article. I realize that's not his only connection to the players.

    To be clear, what does "bigger" or "biggest" mean in this context? I don't want to sidetrack too much, but Magic has a ton of lore and backstory that most players have generally ignored. It's always been kind of silly and thrown together, but at least in a sort of charming way much of the time. There have been some outright terrible changes that have been the subject of a bit of complaining, but I think they've usually gone too unnoticed for any sort of overwhelming response. Is it really the case that up until now, there were no lore-related controversies worthy of a top twenty list, but suddenly now, after 20 years, there is one? If that's really the case, I applaud the community of Magic players for finally paying attention, I guess.

    While I don't know what, if anything, you think about the sliver issue (I'm not particularly interested in the new slivers, but they're not changing the old ones, so it doesn't bother me at all), you seem to have drawn exactly the conclusion the article was constructed to elicit (although you may have already held that opinion anyway), that players complaining about changes have generally been overreacting.

    While I don't for a moment believe that the new slivers will kill Magic (and I'm not sure that anyone else has ever made such a claim, although it is possible that someone somewhere has), including a current controversy in the list is still odd. Yes, I realize the items are in chronological order. But it's supposedly twenty things that "were going to" kill Magic. This is something new. It hasn't even had its chance to try to kill Magic yet!
  10. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    Man, that's a lot. I'm leaving work in 10 minutes so not sure I'm going to reply to all of it and frankly, I'm disinclined to because I think it's run its course. Let me see if I can get the highlights.

    I totally disagree, I think it IS something subjective. The first three changes were really brought about by people playing tournament decks and while I don't know that percentage of players, it certainly wasn't all of the players playing Magic back then. And additionally, this happened probably within the first 6 months since Magic started and there's no way people were used to Magic enough to other people were using 40 Bolts to kill someone; decklists were very hard to come by so you had to attend said tourney or be fortunate enough to know someone who did. I'm willing to bet a vast majority of players were not affected by these changes since they weren't playing by them in the first place (and the scarcity of cards also contributed). So *you* may think it was some vast change that swept Magic and totally affected everyone playing then, I'm saying it most likely did not.

    Decks illegal? All they had to do was get down to 4 copies of a card, (aside from the banned list), they could still play.

    Oh, *that*'s what you're getting at. I was merely referring to just two cards having the type Mana Source.

    :D You must be part of that small set of players then.

    Not sure if you intended it, but this and your following statement shows to me why 6th ed change was just as big as the ones you keep saying.

    Nope, although I wasn't talking about 11th ed. Morphling was only called Superman because of all of its abilities, not just the untapping one (which is what I presume you referred to early in regards to 6th ed combat tricks).

    Forget the bullet point stuff, it's not important.

    Dude, the fact that you're trying to analyze my mocking statement shows that you're reading too much into this whole thing.

    Suffice to say, I was making a blanket statement about Mark's list of changes and players worries that said changes would kill the game. Certainly not all twenty were "gloom and doom" but if people are saying "Why is Wizards making this change to game, it's going to kill Magic", it's doom and gloom to me.

    And yes, I realize Mark didn't say those words specifically OR that players said those words, but that's my conclusion to his whole article, else why is he writing it?

    Nor do I think he needs to.

    Beats me, a Google search should find out. I'm going to say there hasn't been a list like this before from someone in a position to actually experience the game from (almost) day 1 though.

    <shrug> I've already said my conclusions about that also.
  11. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    Haha, I can already tell I'm going to double post again. This thread is just too much. Everyone else at the CPA hates me by now. Here we go...

    Yeah, I get that.

    I don't know the full extent of this because it's not very well-documented and I wasn't around to see it, but I've heard stories and Mark Rosewater in the article we've been talking about touches on the subject too. The four-card rule (and to a lesser extent the 60-card minimum deck size) were put into place because some people, albeit probably very few of them, were able to make the first degenerate combo decks in the history of CCG. I'll just quote from him on it...

    I don't know how many copies of power 9 cards were owned by the individual with the most of them at the time, but the answer was, apparently, "enough." Oh, and I actually agree with you that the "impact" question is subjective. I do believe that in ranking the impact of changes, the early restrictions on deckbuilding are a shoe-in for the top of the list, because the game would have changed dramatically. The part that I'm saying is objective isn't that. The part that I'm saying is objective is that seeing restrictions on card use, where previously there had been none would naturally have led to a different sort of reaction by players than the other changes on the list. I don't have any way to confirm that, but it's either true or it isn't. Either players responded that way or they didn't. But I'm betting some of them did, at least. And they'd have been most likely to complain about the changes.

    It's probably also the case that the 6th Edition changes, by very suddenly and extensively modifying the game, would have led to another reaction, different still from the other changes on the list (although the Eleventh Edition stuff might be seen as a smaller version of that). I wasn't making that point originally, but what you've said made me think of it that way and I'm convinced it's valid.

    That's not really a minor proposition. To get decks that are ruined by the 6th Edition changes we turn to wacky stuff like Sleight of Hand and Hydroblast. Yeah, you kind of lost one deck. I don't know what portion of players were at all good at deckbuilding so early in the game's history, but any of them that were would have had to rebuild all of their decks. They would have had to bring them up to 60 cards and would have had to cut all copies above four of any card. I don't know about you, but even if I was too poor to afford moxen, and I'd have been like eight years old so that's a pretty safe bet, I would have used a lot more than four copies of Dark Ritual if I could have. I could go on, but really, I just think that going from "Your deck has to be at least 40 cards" to "Your deck has to be at least 60 cards and you can't use more than four copies of any card" is a pretty big deal. The changes to gameplay caused by 6th Edition were a pretty big deal too, and I can actually remember those. I'd think the former is the bigger deal of the two, although maybe I'm inflating the impact of the older change, not having experienced it. It seems we both consider this to be a subjective question anyway. It's not the point I was trying to make about the older changes being different, though. What I was trying to get at there was the way players would evaluate change and what their mindset would be when they complain to Wizards of the Coast (possibly even going so far as to complain that the changes are killing the game). In my assessment, the early changes, all of which relate to deckbuilding, would lead to a different mindset in critics than the rest of the changes. I can't prove that. But I do contend that it's objective because it's either true or false, at least for each individual that was complaining about the changes.

    I think it was a pretty popular tactic in tournament play for a while because of some metagame deal. I forget what the circumstances were. Maybe it was never very common. I don't know.

    I've never considered the 6th Edition changes to be small. I think maybe you got that idea at some point, but no, I remember them and the buzz around them. I had to learn about the stack and all that. I even got screwed over in a casual sort of tournament one time, although I turned out to be right about 6th Edition rules (and would have been right even if it had been 5th Edition rules), so it was more the fault of the "judge" involved (also, my opponent in the game, who was the same person as the judge involved, so yeah, pretty shady).

    I'm bringing up too many different things at once. Bad habit of mine. OK, so I wasn't saying you were talking about Eleventh Edition. I was talking about 6th Edition. It goes like this. Morphling was released in Urza's Saga. In 6th Edition, combat changed. Morphling could attack as a 3/3, get blocked, have its attack pumped up and its toughness pumped down so that it would deal enough damage to kill the blocker, then have its attack pumped down and its toughness pumped up so that it would survive the damage dealt by the blocker. Then, assuming its controller had the mana, it could be untapped and do the same trick as a blocker. That in addition to its other usefulness earned Morphling the "Superman" nickname. The little guy could do anything. As far as I know, Morphling earned pretty much its entire reputation under 6th Edition rules. It couldn't do all its tricks before that. When I mentioned Eleventh Edition, it was because Eleventh Edition made combat changes that hurt Morphling's ability combat utility. A bunch of other creatures, including and perhaps most especially Mogg Fanatic, were made stronger by 6th Edition changes to combat and then indirectly nerfed when Eleventh Edition changed combat again.


    OK, that's the 6th Edition stuff. Other stuff in my next post.
  12. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    Again, apologies to everyone for saying way too much about this. I am going to go write "I will not double post" on a blackboard one-hundred times...

    Perhaps. Only if I'm seeing something that isn't there. I want to be clear that I'm not attributing sinister motives to Mark Rosewater. I think he's a pretty good writer with interesting views on the game and impressive background of knowledge about the history of Magic. I've agreed with him in the past and I've disagreed with him in the past. I'd like to think that what probably happened with this article was that he was originally thinking of "Twenty controversial changes to the game" or something like that and really, it's kind of a dull title. "Twenty Things That Were Going to Kill Magic" is so much catchier. The problem is that it invokes an image of someone rather, well, shrill. And I'd imagine that the people who wrote him to say that some change would kill the game probably did come across as shrill. And then everyone making any complaint about any of these things is associated with that image. It seems like you made the association, given your comment about cries of doom and gloom. Well, I made too, at first. And it's a pretty easy association to make. Some of these changes are really not anything to complain about. I'd think someone seriously complaining about the "idiot text" or about Magic Online probably is shrill. I think if I saw them making their complaints, I'd be liable to mock them too. But I doubt that pro tour guys complaining to Wizards of the Coast were crying doom and gloom about planeswalker points or whatever. And I know the majority of players aloof toward 6th Edition changes weren't declaring that the sky was falling, they were just annoyed or confused about all the new changes. The article made that association for me (associating people complaining about changes to the game with wild statements about killing Magic) initially, seemed to make it for you as well, and on analyzing it I think I can see why it does so. I don't think I'm reading too much into it. But maybe I am.

    I concur.

    I suspect that a tiny fraction of complaints about some portion, probably most, of the changes he lists really were, as you describe it, "doom and gloom." And if we saw those complaints in writing, we'd probably both be inclined to mock them. But I don't think they made up the majority of the inspiration for this article. Certainly the complaints he gives actual details for don't sound that way. But "Some of the pro players really didn't like it when we got rid of our Elo system and also some other changes that sometimes didn't go over very well" is a pretty bad title. The article needed a title with some flair to it.

    I should ask him! Maybe I will...
  13. Oversoul The Tentacled One

  14. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    I'm going to combine all of your posts one day! But not today! :D

    For the tournament in question, I don't believe it was a matter of owning the Power 9 (and that early in the game, I don't think they were collectively called the Power 9 to begin with), but rather playing with any number of cards, such as the Bolt deck you described earlier.

    Okay, now all of *this* I agree with you.

    I think that nicely encapsulates your thinking and while I technically agree that it's a different mindset, it's more related to what stage Magic was in its "life". But it doesn't make (to me) 6th ed any less of an important change than the early changes.

    The early changes dealt with deckbuilding, but it was so early in the game that frankly, people didn't know what they were doing in general to begin with. The "power-level" players obviously caught on that having lots of the same card was a Good Thing but the majority of players were just a) fumbling along and b) trying to find cards to play with in the first place, let alone get multiple copies of a card. I came into Magic in late '94 with Revised, just about 9 months after Alpha/Beta (although stupid me HAD a chance to get in at the beginning but I wanted to spend my money on my comic subscriptions :D ) and while I didn't experience the tourney scene firsthand, I saw the card shortage and my friends who did get the Alpha cards fumble along with no idea of how to build decks and play. And the banned list certainly didn't affect us as we played with ante cards all of the time - that was how I got my first Serra Angel and started "dominating" my friends decks. :) So I'm going to say that because deck-building was so unexplored back then, upping it to 60 and having just 4 of a card really didn't have that much impact overall, just the aforementioned power players who grasped that concept early.

    I thought I mentioned it before but I'll say it again, 6th ed rules brought about a much larger and louder outcry. Magic was established for about 6 years, the player base was MUCH bigger, deck building and magic theory was MUCH more advanced, and then Wizards throws everyone a curveball with the new rules. People may have been playing "like that" before, but frankly, they weren't truly playing by the rules before and would get called out. So even though 6th ed made the rules more "clearer" and intuitive, it doesn't mean everyone wanted to go along with them; they were used to the "old way" and by golly, there was no need to change them. The Dojo had tons of debate about it, groups splintered off like the CPA, and it was just a big mess.

    I'm not so sure it was and frankly, the better strategy is to counter the spell that was being powered by the mana gain than just countering the mana gain. That way, the opponent loses two cards to your one. This would be especially true in tournament play when you want every advantage.

    Indeed, but that's not what my statement said. It was 6th ed was as big as the early ones you keep referring to.

    I don't think you can say without a doubt that with any of those changes, no one said that would be the change that would kill the game. *I* am sure that somewhere, sometime, somebody(ies) said it.

    Now, to be sure, I don't think it was everyone who had a problem with the change. I don't even think it was the majority of everyone who had a problem with the change. So maybe that's what's rubbing you the wrong way, that Mark seems to imply that the majority said the change would kill the game. If that's so, then yes, I can see where it's misleading.

    But again, that's not how I'm taking the article. There have been changes in the game. There have been people who have had a problem with changes in the game and wanted things to remain the same. There have been people who said the change would kill the game. And that's that.

    I'm not sure what your link in your triple post is supposed to prove or mean :confused:
  15. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    Firstly, you're pretty close to nitpicking things that aren't even there. I didn't say, "And they called them power 9 back then." I know the term wasn't around from the beginning. I was just using it because it exists now.

    I've heard stories, but nothing that had solid documentation, so I'm totally willing to accept that they were exaggerated. One doesn't even really need to assume multiple copies of P9 cards to get decks that win first turn a lot. And I did mention this earlier, but only in passing. A player at the local card shop I went to when I was younger did start playing in 1993 and had a link to an old website, which (if I remember correctly) was still online in 1999 or 2000 or so, and it was an attempt to devise the ultimate deck by getting the right ratio of Black Lotuses, Ancestral Recalls, and other cards. There was discussion of differing ways to achieve pretty high chances of a first turn kill (something around 95% I think). If, back then, I'd been the way I am now, I'd certainly have saved a copy of the page and I'd probably also have looked for any potential red flags that it was a hoax. Alas, I did not. Even if it was all genuine, it might have been merely theoretical. Perhaps no one back then hoarded the more powerful cards, which would have included not just the Power 9, but some other cards as well. I'd imagine that some people figured it out pretty quickly, and really it would only take one person to actually do it for it to have been a thing that happened.

    If one assumes access to Contract from Below, the ease of building a first-turn kill deck increases significantly. Without it, a player would probably have needed more of the other rares. Anyway, whatever combinations of cards it was that were doing it (and there were so few cards, I could probably account for most of the possibilities myself just by process of elimination), with 40-card decks and no limits on number of copies for an individual card, first turn kills aren't that hard.

    Well, I wasn't saying anything about importance. I think that's more of an abstract question anyway. If the early changes had never been made or had been made differently, it would have altered almost all of the later changes. Maybe the game would have died. Or maybe it would have changed even more dramatically long before 1999. I suppose I'd agree that 6th Edition changes were very important, but I can't really mentally extrapolate from that to any other conclusions. It's just a statement. Anyway, that's quite the tangent. Yes, 6th Edition changes were important.

    Yeah, I'm hesitant to pursue this line. You're describing, anecdotally and after the fact, how the changes might not have been too big of a deal for a small group of people. Clearly, the changes did matter to some players. Earlier I thought about using the example of players that wouldn't have grasped the 6th Edition rules changes because their grasp on the rules was already tenuous at best. That was especially the case when I played with kids that were younger than I was (I'd have been 13 at the time, I think). I'd imagine that a lot of kids didn't know or care about the 6th Edition changes anyway. They wanted to play a game, not learn how to be rules lawyers. Anyway, I thought about mentioning this when you were saying that 6th Edition affected everyone but I didn't because it seemed beside the point in a way. I mean, is it some contest of unknown statistics? If only 10% of players at the time of the early deckbuilding restrictions understood deckbuilding and 90% of players at the time of the 6th Edition rules understood enough to require modifying their gameplay, does that mean something? And there'd be a lot of partial or borderline cases anyway: hypothetical early players that had decks that were amorphous jumbles of cards, but that liked to use several copies of some cards or players that knew just enough about playing under 5th Edition rules that they were slightly inconvenienced by the 6th Edition changes. There are a lot of variables in this to consider, and most of them are probably impossible to quantify anyway.

    I've been deliberately disregarding the size of the playerbase, because I don't have any data on it. Yeah, it's obvious that there were more players in 1999 than in 1993. But how many more? How many more were there in 2010 than in 1999? If a change irks 50% of the players at one point, and a later change irks 5% of the players later, but the playerbase has grown such that the number of irked players is the same in both cases, are they equally important? There are so many different ways of approaching these that I don't know why one would even bother.

    So the human brain is pretty weird. When I said that about using Force Spike on Dark Ritual, I did vaguely recall something about a black deck in some tournament format, but I couldn't remember what the cards were or any details, nor did I really care. Then I woke up this morning and thought I remembered and article I read all the way back when I was in high school. I looked it up, and sure enough, the sentence I was thinking of was right there. This was Josh Bennett at Star City Games writing about playing Necro-Donate in Extended...

    So yeah, if there's a decent chance of the Dark Ritual being used to power a 1-drop and a 2-drop instead of a single 3-drop, countering it was considered, at least by some of us, to be a good idea.
  16. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    Double post again. Haha! They keep coming.

    Nope, I don't say that, without a doubt, no one said that a given change would kill the game. I can't go around and ask every single person. But I'm also not going to assume that someone, somewhere, sometime did say it. You being sure isn't enough evidence for me. In particular, I'm skeptical that anyone made such a prediction about the replacement of the Elo system. Maybe no one made any such predictions for some of the others. I don't know. That's the case for almost all of these.

    I actually don't think he implies that. What I think is that you've become so wedded to the statement about "kill Magic" in the title and the introductory statement, which is pretty brief and insubstantial anyway, that you're dismissing the fact that there's an article here. It's about things. There's exposition. There are details. The point is, pretty clearly, not just, "There have been changes and some people reacted this way, other people reacted that way, and still other people reacted in this third way." There's no, "And that's that." It's a brief tour of controversial changes in the twenty-year history of Magic. Mostly, it's pretty good. I do have a few problems with it (for example, I see his recounting of the reserved list issue as whitewashing), but those are pretty minor, really. The only thing that really rubs me the wrong way about the article is that, by tacking on that introductory sentence (and title), all of the controversy he writes about gets associated with "kill Magic."

    And I take it for granted that for some of these, shrill stuff like "this will kill Magic" was being thrown around by some minority of players. That was the point of the link in my triple post, by the way. I thought that was fairly obvious. It was from The Dojo, where there were some pretty wild claims about 6th Edition rules changes. If I'd happened to have an example of someone actually outright stating that 6th Edition rules would kill Magic, and I do suspect that someone did use those exact words, I'd have posted a link to it. And really, such a prediction seems like something that would have happened for several of these. A few people really are shrill. We both know it's not everyone. Mark Rosewater knows it's not everyone. What rubs me the wrong way is that he writes about people that pretty clearly were not saying such things, even though one wouldn't know that from the introduction. Some of the complaints, reading what they were about and knowing that these people wouldn't have had the benefit of hindsight, seem reasonable enough. Some of the complaints are about opinions. "Players didn't like the way the cards looked." That sort of thing. Mark Rosewater doesn't say that people were wrong to have opinions about changes, and I don't think he believes that. But those people get the association with "and this was going to kill Magic" and that makes them seem, to the reader, just a bit crazy. By opening the article with an invocation of alarmism, all of the complaints get painted with a broad brush. Some of these are things I'd never have complained about myself. A couple of these are changes that I lauded Wizards of the Coast for making. But I don't want everyone that ever opposed them to be associated with the most hyperbolic of predictions about the game. I don't think Mark Rosewater really wants that either. I think it's just an unfortunate side effect of the way he gave the introduction some flair so that people would actually feel like reading the article.
  17. rokapoke Man Among Gods

    WHY ARE YOU GUYS STILL ARGUING ABOUT THIS?
    Oversoul likes this.
  18. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    Because I was hoping that someone other than Spiderman would see all this and make pretty much the exact post you just did. Mission accomplished!
  19. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    :) Look who's nitpicking. I'm not arguing that they weren't called the power nine, I'm arguing that it wasn't just the mere presence of the power 9 (and having multiple copies to boot) that determined the tournament's outcome.

    It should have been easy enough to test in 99 or 00, since a couple of program (Apprentice and Suitcase that I can think of) let you build a deck and goldfish.

    Frankly, I think the game would have died had the changes NOT been made.

    It's a good question. I don't know the answer either. Perhaps at present, the playerbase has gotten so big that any changes now are really inconsequential to whether Magic lives or dies, like the Sliver look.

    I don't remember who Josh Bennett was and don't have time to look him up (gotta go in 5). But I still think a 2 for 1 card tradeoff is better.

    Two sides of the coin, I guess.

    Better yet, why haven't you chimed in? :D
  20. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    Of course it wouldn't just be that. But having multiple copies of some of those cards sure would help generate more consistent first-turn kills. Without having access to any tournament decklists from back then, I don't know how consistent the actual decks might have been.

    It would have been easy enough to test in 1993. People did have computers back then. It's not that the site couldn't have been from back then, more that I can't actually confirm that it was. Just because one guy told me it was doesn't mean he was right.

    That seems entirely possible. It's also possible that entirely different changes would have been made that would end up saving the game, but that it would look different today. It's like some silly science fiction story with a time machine...

    I don't really view the new slivers are a "big" change, personally.

    To give some context in case you don't remember or were too far-removed from tournament play at the time, Duress would have been in basically every black deck at the time. If I go first and drop and Island, leaving it open to Force Spike my opponent, it's possible that my opponent's Dark Ritual is powering out a first-turn Necropotence, which I can then stop. But it's also possible that the first thing my opponent will play off the Dark Ritual is Duress, floating two black mana. In that case, failing to Force Spike the Dark Ritual was a pretty big mistake that might end up costing me the whole game.

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