Should the Players Have More Direct Input in the Creative Process?

General forum

Posted on Sept. 19, 2019, 7:22 p.m. by DemonDragonJ

I personally feel that the players of this game do not have sufficient influence over what cards are designed; we spend our money on the products that WotC produces, but, since we cannot control their creative process, we are essentially hoping that WotC shall produce great products. It is a gamble, with the player’s pleasure being left entirely to chance, and I feel that that situation needs to change.

I personally would like to see “you make the card” contests held much more regularly, since I cannot imagine that they care that difficult for WotC to run. I also would like to see WotC more regularly ask players for ideas for new cards, with proper credit being given to the players who submit the ideas. Ideally, it would be awesome to have an entire set composed of cards designed by players, but that would likely be too difficult from a logistical perspective.

Regardless of what happens in the future, I do feel that the players currently have too little control over the creative process, which is unfair, considering that we are spending our own money on WotC’s products, and I do not wish to be at their mercy, hoping that whatever they make next will be great despite having no guarantees that it shall be.

What does everyone else say about this? Should the players have a greater control over the design process?

Caerwyn says... #2

I don’t think we should have a part to play in the design process. Cards are not designed in a vacuum, and there is a hugely complicated playtesting system to help prevent cards from being overly broken (though sometimes things still slip through the cracks).

Regarding your concerns at leaving things in Wizards’ hands... I think that is a bit of a silly point. Products created by experts are pretty much always going to be superior to crowdsourced products.

September 19, 2019 8:14 p.m.

Chandra69X says... #3

i personally feel that players being involved in the design process is a terrible idea. first of all, the people who design the cards arent even allowed to play in tournaments as far as i'm aware. which makes sense considering it'd be a huge unfair advantage. if there were card creation contests, i have no doubt that many of the participants would be carefully designing cards that worked to make specific combos for a deck they liked, that they hope most other players (and more importantly, wotc) doesn't see until its too late.

furthermore, many players just simply aren't smart enough to design balanced cards. they want cards that work with their pet decks that hopefully push their deck into a more competitive tier. i think this is a perfect example of players "thinking" they know what they want, when they really don't.

lastly, card evaluations can be highly subjective. some people will love a card, others will hate it. so even if the players did become involved, theres still no "guarantee" that sets will be good or fun.

September 19, 2019 8:17 p.m.

shadow63 says... #4

Have you seen some of the that people have made? There are very few people out there that know how to make a quality magic card. And even fewer that would be able to make enough cards to fill out an entire set or archetype

September 20, 2019 1:24 a.m.

Demarge says... #5

Have you seen some of the cards that players influenced the creation of, power creep is cranked to the max on them, Dark Confidant Snapcaster Mage Meddling Mage these are samples of the completely bonkers powerful cards that exist only because a player got to give feedback (many of them are even the heavily weakened versions of what they players first suggested, snapcaster was going to be a land counterspell).

September 20, 2019 1:29 a.m.

Chandra69X says... #6

the current process is completely fairy, and you're not at their mercy. nobody is forcing you to buy cards you don't like.

September 20, 2019 2:59 a.m.

Nemesis says... #7

to echo what Chandra69X said, nobody is forcing you to buy the cards. The players influence WotC by not buying the sets they aren't interested in. That's about as much feedback as you really get. Well I guess there's one more thing you could do, and that's make requests on things like MaRo's tumblr blog - at least there you'll have a tiny chance.

I don't really understand where this is coming from either. It's not like you can go to your favorite movie studio and request the same thing.

September 20, 2019 8:49 a.m.

RNR_Gaming says... #8

I mean I thought theres been community created cards before like Aggressive Mining and Waste Not I thought those were pretty neat.

September 20, 2019 8:54 p.m.

shadow63 says... #9

Aggresive mining was developed by the creator(s) of mine craft. And Waste Not was the choice the community voted on. [Sorry I cant find a better article ]

September 20, 2019 9:29 p.m.

shadow63 says... #10

September 20, 2019 9:29 p.m.

DemonDragonJ says... #11

Chandra69X, what is wrong with enabling combos? I thought that that was a good thing.

September 21, 2019 12:07 p.m.

Gidgetimer says... #12

Having players help design cards is a horrible idea. Most people are not game designers, most game designers can't create a game with as consistent of appeal as MTG. WotC legitimately has the best team for creating CCGs around, why would they want John Q. Public to ruin their product?

September 21, 2019 12:36 p.m.

DemonDragonJ says... #13

Gidgetimer, because the customers are better judges of what they want than are the game designers?

September 21, 2019 12:45 p.m.

Caerwyn says... #16


Above all else, customers want (1) a healthy, enjoyable game with a diversity of decks; and (2) the game to advance and try new things.

Players do not have the long-term knowledge of what is upcoming to make a healthy game. They won't know that they need to have a high density of cards with multiple mono-colored symbols because Theros is around the corner; they won't know that certain archetypes, such as graveyard recursion, might become disproportionately powerful due to an upcoming set based around large creatures.

If we left things up to the players, it would be chaos. There would be no long-term vision, and Standard would quickly devolve into an unplayable mess. Limited sets would have no strong cohesion, and quickly become unplayable.

Cards are not designed in a vacuum, and players just lack the foresight to look at the big picture--both in terms of the larger picture of that set itself, or the larger picture of Standard or other metas.

With regards to pushing boundaries, Wizards' employees are experts at game design--they have the skills and expertise necessary to make new cards that we did not even know we would like. Sure, they sometimes make mistakes-- Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis was an extremely innovative card, but ultimately proved too powerful. But that's what we want--innovation, and players simply lack the expertise to give us the innovation the game needs.

As others have said, players can make their thoughts known through the post-set surveys Wizards puts out and through power of the purse. Let's let the experts do what they do best--we should give feedback, but not be actively involved in areas beyond our skill.

September 21, 2019 1:13 p.m.

Liliana69X says... #17

combos are not innately good. also keep in mind that "what the players want" and "what is healthy for the game" are rarely the same thing.

September 21, 2019 1:51 p.m.

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