RussischerZar - Human Advisor
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TL;DR: Mostly agree with the article except comment about F2P model. Some issues stem from the format. Some additional stuff about the ranking system and the update policy.
Wall of text inc:
This article is very accurate in summing up the issues that Magic Duels and the DotP series have faced.
My experience with the series: I got about 1200 hours logged on Steam over all the Duels game - 450+ hours of which are from Magic Duels alone - have every single achievement and card unlocks in all of them except the 500 daily quests one in Magic Duels (currently not quite possible) and I bought the original DotP initially on Xbox 360 where I ALSO got all achievements and card unlocks. I also currently have 17000 Gold saved up in Magic Duels and haven't spent a single dime.
I mostly play 2HG with friends vs AI to grind gold (90-ish% win rate for 30 coins for both players) and I still have fun doing so, although I occasionally do ranked to slowly get to lv 40 where I have been all past seasons.
As you can see, I'm quite the avid player of the series. I realise fully well that there have been ups (Planechase, 2HG) and downs (Sealed, lots of bugs) over the series' lifespan, and I agree with most points you touch on to make the current iteration good but the very first one:
Charge players to own the game: I'm pretty sure they will not change their model, ever, for the current game. That's just not how business works They'll possibly adjust the prices though.
Also, I believe the current gold system is very fair for the gold farming crowd. It's not too fast that you'd never want to buy gold, but not too slow that you can't grind your way to all the cards.
They might need to reduce the gold prices by about half though, it's ridiculous that you can't buy a full set (neither big nor small) with the most expensive option, which is €36.
Fix the connection issues that have been plaguing multiplayer since launch: This is an obvious one. Fix all bugs, please. See the last paragraph for a bit more in-depth on the reason behind this.
Offer occasional incentives to get Duels players into card shops: A really good point. One that they should implement asap.
Manage the meta in the game: The meta is somewhat polluted with 3 to 5 color rares/mythics, the reason for which I think is the rarity restriction, in both ways.
Unfortunately there hasn't been a "kill target creature or planeswalker" spell introduced yet, although the problem would likely be that black would just get a stronger if there were, while the meta would remain similar, if not even worse.
I don't want to ramble on about the meta, so I'll just stop by saying that there are a lot of archetypes that are Tier 2 and you can win with against non-perfect draws from the Tier 1 deck, which is how it's always been in all formats of the (Magic) game.
Release Magic Duels on PS4: Doesn't really interest me and I can't say much about this, so I won't.
Two points you haven't touched on:
The ranking system is horrible and discourages players that want to maintain their rank 40 (coughOCD*cough) from ever playing again after reaching it. It would be way better if they'd implement something like the Legend-system in Hearthstone, where after max rank, there'd be some other form of ELO ranking system. Alternatively have the highest rank in a season count, not the current one, although that might bring some other problems with it.
Introducing incentives for rank would increase people's demand for cards and thus gold, which in turn would up the revenue and therefore quality of the game (hopefully).
Speaking of which: The devs have stated multiple times that they have a contract for "4 updates per year" which limits their freedom (and/or budget?) in terms of bug- and hot-fixes. This is likely due to WotC not really caring about the game and might not be completely Stainless' fault.
I work in the video game QA industry and have worked with enough other devs to know how the ball is played. Let's just say that this model doesn't do the game's quality any good. However, the QA could definitely be better, *especially if they only (have to) do it 4 times a year.
June 17, 2016 8:59 a.m.
June 9, 2016 12:54 p.m.
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