Preview: Magic the Gathering Tactics

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Desrali T Bear:

I was sold on the idea until I heard that it's exactly as expensive as buying REAL cards...

Ugh, really? This is exactly why I never got into MTG Online back in the day. I'm not going to blow $4 on a "virtual" booster pack.


Yeah if you got to spend money on the game to be competitive then its not free to play. That's why I stopped playing MTG. You can never stop buying cards and rich kids win. Also WTF is with the virtual cards costing the same as real cards? they should put codes on real booster packs that you could enter to get the virtual ones.

P.S. someone is going to reply telling me that they can beat anyone with a starter deck. You are lying. I have seen unbeatable decks that require a very specific set of cards that can only be obtained through buying a crap ton of boosters and pre-mades.

This sounded like my idealized fantasy of what a game could be, right up until to the installment-plan cost. I'd pay $60 for the whole game, but buying it in $4 installments is right out. I'm so weak willed that I'd end up shelling out anyway, so I'll just have to give even trying it in the first place a miss. Shame.

Uhm, no thank you. If I'm going to waste my money on cards, I would rather waste money on real cards. Hate to say it, but I'll just stick to the real cards. The only appeal of this is the small changes and the online multiplayer which stops you from having to have friends in real life (which shouldn't be too hard, considering you play Magic. -zing!- (I play Magic too, it was only a joke)) but that's about it.

Magic's one of those games I try to get back into every few years, and then I realize after spending a few hundred bucks I've barely scratched the surface of what I need to properly compete with the guys down at the local shop building single decks that cost two to three times that. It seems to have gotten much worse with the recent expansions with the introduction of mythic rares, too. And that's assuming I can pay Internet prices rather than considerably more to buy them at retail, which was always the problem I had with MTG Online and now it looks like MTG Tactics is going to cost about the same.

I've always enjoyed the mechanics of the game, but it's an exceedingly expensive hobby if you want to play to win, and this version of it doesn't sound any better, which is a shame.

Of course, I just remembered my Christmas gift from the Escapist here was a Black Lotus badge. Oh, the irony.

S'long as it's turn based it's an actual strategy game. Soupie loves strategy. RTSes aren't strategies, as your strategy is penalized by your ability to deal with the interface and use macros.

I'll stick with homm and king's bounty for turn-based fantasy strategy.

There's no way I'll play a weak homm clone that isn't so much about skill, but rather how much money you throw at it.

Now this is exactly what I wanted from Duels of the Planeswalkers. Hell, that title fits perfectly with this game.

The one thing that's off-putting for me is the notion of buying packs for the game, which, in real life, nearly made me dirt poor.

the game has a huge feel of Heroes of might and magic wich I like very much, but like everyone I am not very eager to spend money to buy virtual stuff.
That game has a lot of potential if it don't cost too much to be competitive rather than who has the more cash wins style
A good compromise would be that booster cost way less than 4$ for 10 card


Cards are now called spells? SERIOUSLY?!

Weren't they all originally spells anyway? Like creature cards were actually "summon this creature" as opposed to the creature itself.

OT: I'm following the bandwagon here. Sounds like a great idea, but 4 bucks for 10 cards? Heck no. 2 dollars, maybe.

I knew I should've underlined the sarcasm. Yes, they were called spells before, or at least before the rule changes in the card game, which was after I stopped playing.

It looks very similar to a Yugio game my girlfriend played on the PS2 once. Uncanny really. I like the look. Im gonna try this game.

Since when has Prodigal Pyromancer been a classic?

I see I'm not the only one who found issue with that comment.

Since when has Prodigal Pyromancer been a classic?

Well, it's a classic if you refer to old lineage in the form of Prodigal Sorcerer, which was pretty much the exact same card but blue instead of red. When they realised this didn't fit with the colour system they turned it red and made Prodigal Pyromancer.

I've always preferred Vulshok Sorcerer anyway, partly due to how useful Haste is with it's activated ability but mainly because of the flavour of it.

Hmmm interesting, but the 'virtual booster' business model remains a bit tricky.

I don't know how viable it is in the long run. Online versions of most CCG's haven't lasted that long.

And there's some amusing games like this which no longer seem to be around. When the game fails, what happens to your collection?

Years ago I just managed to scrape into the Beta for ConQuest Online. It wasn't based on an existing game, but it had the same kind of feel to it as a collectible game.

Despite the highly amusing dialog provided by John De Lancie (The Q in the title is indeed that Q), and gameplay that was quite fun, 10 years on there is pretty much no sign the game even existed.

This has the virtue of being based on Magic: The Gathering, which somehow still survives when most CCG's fail eventually, so it might not be forgotten so easily, but the same questions still remain.

Can't see paying $4 per booster working out here - on Magic Online, the only thing that keeps the secondary market going is the promise of being able to redeem the digital cards for paper equivalents if you collect a whole set. Since this doesn't even use the same cards that's clearly not an option. The secondary market on MODO is also dominated by a few "bot" owners rather than individual trading thanks to the awful way trading works in the current system. If this doesn't provide a better system then the "collectible" element will flop. Maybe it'll appeal to a different audience that doesn't get much service from Magic Online, namely more casual players.

Not for me though - I already spend way too much on this game.

I'll stick with homm and king's bounty for turn-based fantasy strategy.

There's no way I'll play a weak homm clone that isn't so much about skill, but rather how much money you throw at it.

Yes Homm is fine :)

For those looking to avoid simply paying $4 per pack, Wizards learned how to play Casino from running MTG:Online. Therefore, it's inevitable that you'll be able to gamble via tournaments. With a winning record you could sell off the prizes to pay entrance fees and retain enough to keep you supplied. "Going Infinite" as it's known on MTGO.

Of course that requires a starting supply, a lot of time spent grinding, the willingness to gamble, and a lot of skill. But I'm sure it will lure some prospects who see the potential to play on someone else's dime.

Personally I find it a ridiculous cash grab and it bothers me that it might work. They're trying to establish a world where you have a paper collection, an online collection, and now a Tactics collection - each of which requires $100s a year in upkeep. So many good games are being unappreciated in the discount bin and those guys are printing money. It horrifies me, really.

How can tactics gather anyway?

From playing an online CCG (there is no trading allowed) called Alteil, first of all, if there is no way to get cards for free, then that's a killer right then and there.

And even if there were to be a way to grind cards, odds are, it'd be a lot slower than outright buying them.

In these kinds of games where cash is king, what exactly is the point of playing them to begin with?

I don't like the idea of having to base success on chance when money is being spent. IE: Random chances to get cards is a major turn off. I like MTG as a game, I just hate the prohibitively expensive collection part.

I loved Magic: Duels of the Planeswalkers (Microprose, 1997), but I can't justify paying for a "chance" at collecting.

i see a lot of people claiming that the people with the most money will be able to make the best decks, this is not always true. back when i used to play MTG and YGO regularly i used to sweet talk the guys buying boxes of boosters into giving me the 'useless' commons they got, and would often build decks, that although they weren't going to win lots, could still give even meta-decks a good match. my best successes at this strategy where in yugioh, when i built a deck of normal monsters, and when cloudians where released i built a deck from them. (which i still use if any of my friends are playing each-other.) overall both those decks probably cost me about 5 allowing for trading for the one or two rarer cards (although people would often donate rarer cards they had multiple copies of to the cause of my decks that where particularly powerful)

so anyone who says that spending a lot of money on a deck means auto win, it doesn't, with better tactics, a half decent deck and a little bit of luck you can beat a player with a much better deck.

anyway, this game has tickled my fancy!

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