Fortnite Secret Lair Is Bad

Spoilers, Rumors, and Speculation forum

Posted on Sept. 1, 2021, 3:01 p.m. by Mtg_Mega_Nerds

Can Nicol Bolas default dance? No.

Would you like us all to just spam agreement in chat? I totally agree with you on this, but you're not really making room for dialogue here.

September 1, 2021 3:59 p.m.

DrukenReaps says... #3

I prefer to hold any opinions until I at least see what it will be.

September 1, 2021 4:55 p.m.

Mtg_Mega_Nerds says... #4

I mainly meant this as a joke, but I still don't know why wotc did this. Do they really care about the opinions of the mtg community? Because if they did, this wouldn't happen

September 1, 2021 8:42 p.m.

enpc says... #5

Mtg_Mega_Nerds: WotC are printing some fun crossover cards which won't affect anything but the eternal formats. Additionally, WotC have said that they will print an MtG version of any mechaincally unique cards within 6 months of release on secret lair (source).

Additionally additionally, for all of hte new secret lair drops, they have greatly increased the purchase window for these cards, making them much more available to people.

It's a bit of silly fun that has the potential to get more people into MtG. Aand a really great thing about the secret lair drops is that if you don't like them, you don't have to buy them. That's the easiest solution.

But getting upset about their existence, or evern worse - getting toxic over them, it a great way to further scare off people who might have been interested in the game due to said crossover cards.

September 1, 2021 9:37 p.m.

Abaques says... #6

enpc: While I agree that nobody should get toxic over stuff like this, I do think that things like this are a bad indication for Magic.

There has been an explosion in Magic products over the past few years. Many of those products, including the secret lairs, are aimed directly at collectors and not players. Wizards is pumping sales to increase their profits. Hasbro has publicly said they want to increase the profit coming from Magic by a pretty large number. By itself profit isn't bad, but the drive for profit over the health of the game also presents a risk.

My worry is that a lot of what Wizards is doing right now reminds me of what the comics industry did back in the 90's. Back in the 90's there was a huge boom in comics, largely driven by collectors. The comic's industry pumped this doing stuff like having 9 different covers for a comic book. For the past few years collectors have been driving a lot of magic sales. That's why Wizards makes things like the collector boosters. Wizards has also been creating huge numbers of variant cards and niche products. All that is done to pump up sales to collectors.

The risk is that if the collector market crashes, which will almost certainly happen eventually, then Wizards' profits will crater. That could very well result in Hasbro pressuring Wizards take actions to drive sales... which runs the risk of impacting the health of the game. When the collector crash hit the comics industry in the late 90's it almost killed the whole industry.

The thing is, you can see Wizards taking actions that are hurting the health of the game now. Just look at the number of bans in standard over the past several years. Wizards made decisions to increase card power levels because that is one way to drive sales. That already bit them and they've started pulling back. Another thing to look at is the massive number of legendary creatures that are printed now compared to just a few years ago. That's all trying to drive up Commander sales. But there are so many new legends now that most of them end up being forgettable. As a very invested Commander player (I've got 50 decks) I've found that I'm losing interest in new sets because of this. I also know that I'm not alone in that feeling.

It is a legitimate criticism that things like the fortnite or walking dead secret lairs make some people less interested in Magic just as they may legitimately bring in new players. The risk that some people are articulating is that the players a fortnite secret lair brings in are not likely to become heavily invested core players while the players who are turned off by the fortnite secret lair are likely to be heavily invested core players.

I love Magic, but I'm concerned about the direction that Wizards is taking. I'm concerned that it's not sustainable and could lead towards making Magic less enjoyable. Things like the fortnite secret lair are a part of my concerns.

September 1, 2021 10:54 p.m.

enpc says... #7

Abaques: I think the easiest way to addres your comments will be directly:

"The risk is that if the collector market crashes, which will almost certainly happen eventually, then Wizards' profits will crater. That could very well result in Hasbro pressuring Wizards take actions to drive sales... which runs the risk of impacting the health of the game."

I get where you're coming from, however you're making you're referring to a possible eventual creash (so might happen at some point in the non-descript future) and then applying an albeit crappy, hypothentical response. It's something that WotC will have to be careful of however as you've already mentioned in your next paragraph that WotC got bitten around power levels and are dialing things back:

"That already bit them and they've started pulling back."

That would imply that they're learning their lesson, which is a good thing. And sometimes we screw up in trying new things. But as long as WotC are about to acknowledge that (even if it's just via their actions) then that's a win. Growth is good and sometimes you only learn by failing first.

"Another thing to look at is the massive number of legendary creatures that are printed now compared to just a few years ago. That's all trying to drive up Commander sales. But there are so many new legends now that most of them end up being forgettable."

That's just, like, your opinion, man. But seriously, yes an oversaturation of commanders might seem frustrating, however it also provides players with more options. Remember the Tarkir almost commanders? (Soulfire Grand Master and her ilk.) A lot of peopel were really disappointed that these cards weren't legendary because they would be a lot of fun to build around. With WotC making a lot of these kind of cards legendary, they have removed that issue. Sure, the characters may be more forgettable, but now they don't have to be rule zero'd in. It also makes formats like commander more accessible to people on a lower budget as there are now a lot more < $1 commander cards.

"The risk that some people are articulating is that the players a fortnite secret lair brings in are not likely to become heavily invested core players while the players who are turned off by the fortnite secret lair are likely to be heavily invested core players."

As WotC have said, all of the secret lair cards moving forward will be getting functional reprints in upcoming sets (unless the card already exists) and so now we are just talking about alternate artworks. It's ok to not like a specific art of a card but getting actively upset about its existence seems a bit silly to me. Especially considering number of custom alternate artwork cards out there.

And that's the ting about art - it's subjective. What some people might think looks awesome, others think looks stupid. But nobody is saying you have to play with these cards.

"I love Magic, but I'm concerned about the direction that Wizards is taking. I'm concerned that it's not sustainable and could lead towards making Magic less enjoyable. Things like the fortnite secret lair are a part of my concerns."

I don't think Secret Lair will make things unsustainable - quite the opposite. It gives WotC a way to help increase profits while not having an effect on the game (assuming reprints) and effectively gives them access to new markets who may have been interested in MtG but didn't make the jump until something hooked them in.

And as for mechanically unique cards - as predicted the Walking Dead Secret Lair drop (dont dead open inside) made effectively no change to A) the competitive scene and B) little to no change ot the commander scene as a whole. It did however provide a quick method to point out vitriolic players who will target others over something so minute as whether they were willing to buy some magic cards, which is good since it makes it easier to avoid said players.

In addition I have heard stories of people who were really excited about the Walking Dead SL since they had been trying to get their girlfriend into MtG and the girlfriend actually got really excited over the drop and finally started playing.

"As a very invested Commander player (I've got 50 decks) I've found that I'm losing interest in new sets because of this. I also know that I'm not alone in that feeling."

I would personally say that 50 decks is too many that that might be part of the issue why you're feeling less interested. And look, that is just my take on it (with the very limited knowledge of your situation or playgroup). But I would also mention that not all players feel this way and that well formed playgroups have a habit of becoming pretty echo chamber-y. I would also say (and I'm not accusing you personally of this - you've been very civil in your response and have put forward some good points) that people just like to bitch at times. So while you see a few opinions about people who are very much against something, the majority of people who are for or indifferent to something don't speak out.

As mentioned, I think on the whole you do raise some good points for things to watch out for however I have learnt the hard way (many, many times) not to count your chickens before they hatch.

September 2, 2021 midnight

Yisan says... #8

I agree, to me it's really stupid. But I'm not a fortnight fanatic. So luckily I don't have to buy it. If a market exists, I hope it's successful and I hope the fortnight fans who play magic love it.

September 2, 2021 1:28 p.m.

Ironically, the Fortnight secret lair is probably one they should emulate going forward for Universes Beyond (or whatever it's called) since it consists of reskins of already existing cards instead of mechanically unique cards like the Walking Dead travesty (and the upcoming Street Fighter one).

September 2, 2021 2:19 p.m.

I was practically toxic about secret lairs when I first heard about it (and am sadly borderline regarding TWD ones) but I became a MUCH bigger fan when I realized they were basically making high-end alters available to people who don’t necessarily enjoy the gambling/variance of asking a stranger to alter a card for money over the internet. After realizing that, I’m 100% fine with it. Note: I still hate unique cards being produced. I love the challenge of looking at something like Ornithopter and trying to figure out what creature it would be mirroring in some other universe.

September 2, 2021 7:43 p.m.

golgarigirl says... #11

Personally, do I ever want to see Fortnite in my magic? Eff no. I will not be buying/using/looking twice at these cards. I, personally, could not give a flying squirrel token about the set.

As a business decision is it a good property to partner with? Eff yes. Fortnite is massively popular. More popular than MTG. It's a smart decision in that front. If they get even a tiny percentage of Fortnite players to look their way, it's going to benefit them hugely.

I'm a lot less worried about it as merely a Lair (I am not forced to interact with it in most tournament play etc), though I have trepidation about how commonly they will print the 'unskinned' (the MTG-flavored) versions of any possible unique cards for all of those who will want them in future Universes Beyond lairs. I feel like putting them in just a List slot underestimates the probable demand.

September 2, 2021 8:38 p.m. Edited.

Please login to comment