"When cards go bad"

Discussion in 'CPA/WOTC Magic Issues' started by FoundationOfRancor, Feb 1, 2002.

  1. FoundationOfRancor The Gunslinger

  2. Zadok001 CPA Founder, Greater Good

    He is right, partially. Partially. He is correct in saying that there will always be bad cards. What he fails to say is that said cards need not be OBVIOUSLY bad. Pale Moon is my key example. Pale Moon is so bad, so OBVIOUSLY bad, that any player can see instantly that it's totally unusable. That type of card should never be printed.

    Okk is borderline.

    Lion's Eye Diamond is of the Pale Moon variety.


    There must be bad (or at least WORSE) cards. There need not be cards you feel tempted to rip up when opened.
  3. Hetemti The Wide-Awake Nightmare

    If they made all cards good, like they damn well can, then people would buy one or two boxes, have all the cards needed to have/trade to build a player-designed, original-yet-T2 competitive deck, (Yes, there'd still be the NetDeck to Beat effect, but with a diverse environment of all-playable cards, the metagame would be much more dynamic.), and then they wouldn't throw $3.29 a shot at Planar Dispair, Ruby Leech, and Need For Speed.

    That'd mean happy players having fun, and WizCo not making a 10000% profit margin on needlessly felled trees.

    It'd also mean that R&D would have to bust their nuts and earn their paychecks rather than issue copout excuses on their liitle website.

    In the mean time, I've bought all the Oddesy and Torment I will...I opened far too many "eh" rares and uncs at the prere.
  4. Apollo Bird Boy

    I think he is right in that there will always be cards that are less powerful than others. But he is wrong on two counts. First, as Zadok said, weak is one thing, and utter oink is another. Goblin Spy and Scrapheap do not challenge any level of player. I've seen people eat their rare after opening a pack. When, seconds after opening your cards, you know that a card would serve better as an afternoon snack than part of your sideboard, you aren't being challenged and you aren't being made to think.

    Second, these cards don't need to be rare. If you make a strange, narrow card common it won't screw up limited. It'll just be the last pick in draft (which nobody uses anyway) and a sideboard card in sealed. But, in an environment where nearly all the best cards are rare, it's a crime to have a person blow $3.29 on nothing at all. You might as well bet it on the Super Bowl, because that's more of a sure thing. I can see no way that Rosewater or R&D can excuse making Scrapheap a rare (I specifically mention that because opening 3 of the oinking things helped drive me away from buying Magic).

    Note: the preceding post was self-oinked during typing.:)
  5. Hetemti The Wide-Awake Nightmare

    Heh, three Planar Dispair drove me from buying packs.

    As for the pork-like utterances...I find them exponentially more irritating, disturbing, and offensive than the words they replace...expecially when in boldface.
  6. Zadok001 CPA Founder, Greater Good

    I do think that R&D has given us a great example of what bad cards CAN be with Torment. If they keep up the feature of having so few (1!!) bad rares in a set, I think it'll be worth it. If they make Masques again, however, I will be rather distressed.
  7. Thallid Ice Cream Man 21sT CeNTuRy sChIZoId MaN

    At least they should try to make the "bad" cards interesting (which they usually don't do, except in the cases of some rares). While most players don't, I (and, I suspect, many of us here) see a huge distinction between boring crap (like a good deal of the crap they make that is considered crap) and interesting crap.

    In fact, as a card designer I get the most pleasure from making interesting cards that are not particularly powerful, but either serve some weird purpose (not necessarily a combo), or could be used in a number of ways.

    Take, for example, a card I made a couple of months ago:

    Spear Thrust
    Play Spear Thrust during combat.
    Target creature gets +2/-1 until end of turn. Tap it.

    Is this card crap? Certainly. It would never get used in constructed, and there are usually better choices in Limited. However, there are more uses for this card than there are for the average crap common. A red player could kill a weak creature with it, or strengthen a stronger creature with it, or prevent a creature from blocking/attacking with it. You don't have to like it, or even respect it. (Since this thread is borne of a rant, or at least is of the type prone to rants, I might as well insert my own mini rant though.)

    You may see this post as shameless self-promotion. At the very least, it isn't shameless. ;) I'm also trying to prove a point. My point is that I would just prefer that they made some of the crap cards that aren't for multiplayer or theme decks or newer players interesting for people like me.

    Of course, I haven't bought cards for a while, so my perspective might skew from yours where money is concerned. I do hate my 3 Sheltering Prayers as much as the next guy though :rolleyes:
  8. Gizmo Composite: 1860

    Lions Eye Diamond was almost broken, it still saw regular play in extended combo decks. I played 3 at Pro Tour Rome and the entire Japanese contingent playing NecroPandeDred played 4 Lions Eye Diamond.
    It certainly wasnt a card of the Pale Moon variety, in fact very few cards ARE that bad - even the much-insulted Goblin Spy isnt totally awful seeing as it allows you to make tactical decisions based on what is on top of your library, its a negligable effect but it MIGHT be useful to some players or decks.

    That a player like Zadok, who isnt unknowledgable, can dismiss as worthless card that nearly got banned is all the argument you need for continuin to print bad cards - because even obviously bad cards AREN`T necessarily bad.

    Yin and Yang. For cards to be good, other cards need to be bad.
    They have to print cards that are bad so that bad players will play with and lose to good players.

    And even awful cards cards have value as trade fodder to collectors or art freaks. They also mean that there are more good expansions as good cards get spread over more sets.
  9. Hetemti The Wide-Awake Nightmare

    "And even awful cards cards have value as trade fodder to collectors or art freaks."

    Not if it looks a cheap proxy.
  10. Zadok001 CPA Founder, Greater Good

    Giz: I was actually referring to LED pre-6th, or post-errata. You know, when it worked like it was supposed to. :) AFAICR, no one used it during those times.
  11. Captain Caveman New Member

    I see no reason to put a really bad card in a rare slot.(e.g. Pale
    Moon) If they have to fill rare slots with questionable cards
    that would be a good place for a multi-player card. In my opinion,
    that would give tournament players a tradable card and make
    casual players happy too. Why not fill those slots with something
    useful to someone?

    Opinions express are not necessarily those of the CPA.......


    I would rather enjoy it.

  12. TomB Administrative Assistant

    I would rather see them print ALL the bad cards as rares and uncommons, so the good cards would all be common, and I could afford to play again...;)
  13. FoundationOfRancor The Gunslinger

    It just bother's me that they dont improve the dreg cards that no one uses. Im not asking for much - just one less casting cost or an added "Haste" or "First strike". I dont want changes that would effect the type enviroments, I just want cards that I can pull out of a pack and not immediately put it in a crap bin.

    Limestone Golem, for example. That card doesent have to cost 6 with a activation cost at 2.
  14. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    Well, I don't design cards, so I don't know how tough it can be. I also don't play regularly, so I don't know the full impact behind cards. But I think he makes sense to my unknowledgeable mind.

    With the premise that WOTC is a company, trying to make money, and that just putting out one set of all powerful cards and leaving Magic at that is undesirable, we see that they can't just put out a set of all strong cards like Hetemti says, because the "good" players will naturally gravitate to only use 300-400 unique cards.

    Likewise, as TICM suggests, there are two majnor environments that cards see play in, Constructed and Limited. I'm not sure you can design cards that are strong in both for the amount of cards in an expansion. Thus, you have some strong in both and some strong in one or another.

    And following the premise that cards will keep being released, you have to look at past sets. Like Rosewater says, Ancestral Recall is strong. But what if they made a card for a blue that draws four cards? All of a sudden, AR is weak. But they'll never makde a card that equals AR, so everything that follows will have to be weaker.

    And what he says about the lucky charms is true. How many people thought Craw Wurm was the bomb when they first started out (back in pre-95)? Or Scaled Wurm if you started in Ice Age? I'm not sure of the equivalent for later sets but the point is no one starts out knowledgeable unless they've been watching for a period of time (and even then they're probably not knowledgeable). When you teach someone Magic, do you jump right in with trample and banding and instants and the stack? Probably not...

    And Apollo, keep self-oinking.... ;)
  15. FoundationOfRancor The Gunslinger

    I relize Wizards is here to make money - I just wish they wouldnt give us bulledit answers instead of actually giving us an honest one.

    And Spiderman (And everyone who beleives this, im not just point at you Spiderman, lol), your right about that Ancestral Recall thing. But what Rosewater doesent calculate in is a balance factor.
    Ancestral Recall should never have seen print, it obviously wasnt playtested, and in no way adhered to the theory of balance. After you look over enough cards, you get a feeling of what is too powerful, and what is too weak.

    It's really hard ti explain, I'll try to think up a good way to say it tonight. My point is that Mr. Rosewater is wrong if he thinks some cards have to be bad.
  16. Apollo Bird Boy

    I personally thought that Scaled Wurm was amazing when I pulled one in my first pack. I would've won all those games if I could've just held on another few turns to get him out.;)

    The thing about the Wurms, though, is that they were common. The good player is never screwed by pulling one in the rare spot, but they are still there to fool the novice and keep the game skill-based. That's how it should be (other than removing the rarity system altogether, but that's not going to happen).

    Oink, oink, oink.:)
  17. Gizmo Composite: 1860

    Gotta consider impact on limited environments of making cards, types that were once rare, common.
  18. Istanbul Sucker MCs call me sire.

    I actually found the article to be insightful and honest.

    BTW, use for Goblin Spy: knowing when to Predict the basic land off the top of your library to draw two cards.
  19. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    I thought it was fairly honest. You really don't have anything to compare it to, so why would you think he's lying?

    And that, my friend, is based on 7-8 years of seeing cards and how they interact. Ancestral Recall was in the first set; WOTC had no way of knowing the impact of TCGs. They/Garfield has said numerous times that they expected players only to have a starter or two and tested accordingly. Is Ancestral Recall broken in that kind of environment? And they DID playtest it, that's why it was moved to rare instead of common like the other 3-1 cards.

    Same thing with the Moxes; no one understood that breaking the "one mana a turn" rule would be pretty powerful.

    That's why a lot of draw cards now seem "overcosted" or why a lot of cantrips (at least in Ice Age) cost 3 minimum.

    Until someone comes along and contradicts him; Rosewater doesn't seem like he's out and out deceiving players or giving BS answers.
  20. ErinPuff Token Female

    I sure did.. I started with Ice Age/4th, and I thought Craw Wurm was "the bomb" when I first pulled one.. then I got a Scaled Wurm.. My brother's favorite stompything was Force of Nature (except that we thought the upkeep meant you had to sacrifice four forests.. heh..).

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