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Yes, I'm a Magic player among other gaming interests. Last weekend, I played in the Time Spiral pre-release tournament and was surprised at the introduction of true "chase" cards in Magic. Chase cards are rarer-than-rare cards that require people to buy a lot of random packs to collect them all. The new chase cards are reprints of old, out-of-print cards. For a while, Magic has also had special "foils," which aren't really chase cards in that the cards are printed normally, too; I've found those irritating, because lots of kids want to have all the foils.

For the new chase cards, Wizards of the Coast introduced "purple" rarity for reprints in addition to the established black (common), silver (uncommon), and gold (rare), so it's clear this is a new rarity. Sigh. Fine for me, in that I have the old cards, but what about the new kids?

I guess we all saw it coming with the Hasbro buyout; we should be grateful it's taken this long.

What do you think of this?

Best,
Chris

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( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
chronovore
Oct. 3rd, 2006 03:06 am (UTC)
Re: It's a reflex
Yes, but then none of us would have /ever/ played their game to begin with, no?

You're right. It's a reflex.
copperwise
Sep. 27th, 2006 08:21 pm (UTC)
I can see how it would be irritating. I'm not a collector, really...we just buy booster packs occasionally to add new cards to play with. Mostly we just build the nastiest decks we can in order to torture each other of an evening.
mckitterick
Sep. 27th, 2006 08:37 pm (UTC)
Yep, that's the best way to play: Treat it like any other customizable game. There's no way to own all the cards in playable sets unless you're wealthy!
name_omitted
Sep. 27th, 2006 09:44 pm (UTC)
WOTC Jumped the Shark with Ice Age cards.
mckitterick
Sep. 27th, 2006 10:01 pm (UTC)
You mean the Coldsnap expansion that just came out for Ice Age?
name_omitted
Sep. 27th, 2006 10:09 pm (UTC)
No. I mean Ice Age. Before that, it was a reasonably well-balanced system. Antiquities started breaking that, and from Ice Age on, it became a matter of needing to buy the most recent set to be able to play and keep up, which makes great business sense, and I don’t fault WOTC for it, but it broke the game.
nous_athanatos
Sep. 28th, 2006 12:17 am (UTC)
Word.
mckitterick
Sep. 28th, 2006 01:05 am (UTC)
Yep - after the next set came out, and then its expansion shortly thereafter, I got out of Magic and sold all my cards. Only last winter did I get back into it because I frequently host at my house a game day, and card games are one of my favorites... and I'd always liked Magic.

But I hear ya.
jimmycarter
Sep. 27th, 2006 11:45 pm (UTC)
Isn't that a risk you take with any CCG?
mckitterick
Sep. 28th, 2006 01:07 am (UTC)
Yes indeed. Balancing how much you aim for profit vs. how much you seek to please your customer base must be a challenge. Still, chase cards have long been known as the sign of a desperate corporate leadership. Makes me irritated with them for trying to wring out extra bucks from their customers and concerned that Hasbro might be getting ready to dump Magic as a CCG.
dr_poetus
Sep. 28th, 2006 05:48 pm (UTC)
Well, I don't look at it like a chase card so much. I look at it as a new chance for the fun cards. I mean, there were only so many Solkanar cards circulating in the world. And that came out with Legends, back in the 90's. I can only imagine that some of them have been destroyed by now, due to the ravages of shuffling without sleeves, Cheeto-dust, and Mountain Dew spills. Wizards is giving us a second chance with these cards. (Although why they chose Squire... I have no idea. Seriously. I guess I could fit it in my Soldier deck.) So I like it. I don't chase after the full sets. I chase after cards that I think would be good for my deck, and Wizards has been decent about making sure that it's doable. So, this is just a little bit more fun for me. And if I get a purple Ovinimancer and someone wants to trade me a Terefi for it, I"m all for it, because I've got the original from Visions. All the way around, I like it. It's not making a new rarity, in my mind, it's reseeding the old fun cards again.
mckitterick
Sep. 28th, 2006 08:24 pm (UTC)
Okay, I can see that pov. I like that. Hm, y'know, what I'd really like to see is reprints of entire sets! I mean, how many people can actually afford a Sol Ring or any of the Moxes? Or just a simple Alpha Counterspell? How neat would that be! And it would go a lot farther along the lines of what you're talking about.

Which makes me wonder... are they going to reprint all the old, non-Standard cards that they feel would be good to insert into the current play environment? I'm up with that, too!
emessar
Sep. 29th, 2006 02:40 am (UTC)
You know, even though I used to play Magic, I never really got into the "collector" aspect of it. I liked the idea of a game that continued to grow and expand, and that was customizable. I occasionally bought cards, but it was always the cheap cards. I think I quit playing around Ice Age, though not because it seemed so much more powerful, but rather because it seemed to be increasingly specialized. Ice age didn't integrate as neatly with the other cards. You needed to have enough to reach critical mass for them, otherwise they weren't as practical.

Since then I've gotten back into RPG's as well as boardgames. I think RPG's are the ultimate in never ending expansion, not necessarily product-wise (though that can certainly be the case as well), but just the fact that you create and expand the game as you go. Of course that's a lot of work, which is why it's nice to be able to sit down and play a boardgame every once in a while. It's nice to be able to just sit down and say "this is the box we're working in tonight". In a lot of ways I really like Risk because of how simple the mechanics are. I'm pretty sure Risk has fewer rules than Monopoly, which is saying something.

Ultimately the game doesn't matter a whole lot. It's all just a framework, an excuse, to get together with some friends and joke around.

As far as WOTC jumping the shark, I think it's been happening slowly over time. I felt like Magic had sort of been fading for a while when they bought out D&D. Now D&D is getting to the point where they were with Magic. It's hard to keep bringing something new to the same game year after year. There's a point where you just have to put up your arms and call it done. I imagine they realized this and chose that time to sell to Hasbro. Now Hasbro's kind of stuck trying to figure out how to make the broken marionette dance, and I think it's going to be downhill for both game from here on in ... until they decide to do D&D4E.

(If the cycle of revision continues, that should be out around 2010, by the way ...)

Anyway, good luck and good gaming ...

Michael
mckitterick
Sep. 29th, 2006 07:13 pm (UTC)
Excellent thoughts, here, and I agree about it being primarily an excuse to get together with people I like and play cards. But I also have a competitive side and enjoy doing my damnedest to win - especially in difficult circumstances where I'm against multiple opponents or trying to make a really tough combination work. It's especially fun when friends are the opponents, so we can do the smack-talk and so on. This is why I have a ton of extra common cards that I give to friends, to ensure that they have a diverse pool of cards from which to build decks.

I thought Magic was dying right after Ice Age and got out then. But it's as big a seller as ever now. Hm. And more people than ever are playing D&D, so perhaps our predictions of doom are premature! I hope so.
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )

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