Magic Online Gets Massive User Interface Overhaul

Greg Tito

PR for Dungeons & Dragons
Sep 29, 2005
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Magic Online Gets Massive User Interface Overhaul

The online version of the card game gets its first major graphical update since 2002.

The Escapist staff plays a lot of Magic, usually enjoying the face-to-face socialization at lunch or after work. But a lot of fans don't have the luxury of working in close proximity with a bunch of nerds, so many resort to playing online using the Magic Online client. Wizards of the Coast released this version in 2002, and in order to play you have to purchase digital versions of cards and trade with other players just as you'd have to with paper. There are all kinds of formats and tournaments to play, and it offers more freedom of deck-building than the iPad/Steam/XBLA game Duels of the Planeswalkers [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/editorials/reviews/9785-Duels-of-the-Planeswalkers-2013-Review]. Still, the Magic Online client has only endured a few updates over its ten year lifespan, the most recent occurring in 2007. Wizards believes it's time for a facelift, announcing a new graphical interface today that's available for testing until July 25th.

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Among the features of the new graphical interface are improved drafting visuals, a collection and deck editor combined into one tool, and the ability to move windows wherever you want on multiple displays. There's also nifty looking graphical themes which display one of the five Planeswalkers the brand has been pushing the last few years. You can finally have Jace Beleren or Chandra Nalaar gracing the edges of your screen as you cast spells, summon monsters and reduce your opponent's life to zero.

In a nifty bit of technical jiggery-pokery, the new graphical client is completely compatible in playing tournaments and matches against players on the old client. If you're a Magic Online player already, check out the new digs and offer some constructive feedback on how it looks and works. [http://www.wizards.com/Magic/Magazine/Article.aspx?x=mtg/daily/arcana/1017]

If you're interested in Magic, you can also drop ten bucks [http://www.wizards.com/magic/digital/magiconline.aspx?x=mtg/digital/magiconline/sneakpeek] to sign up and get the starter kit of 200 digital cards and a digital booster. Just be aware of the rabbit hole you're looking down ... Those digital boosters are just as fun to open as the real ones, and even though the digital objects cost just as much as the physical version - $3.99 per 15 card pack - you can't easily transfer between a digital collection and a physical one.

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Baldr

The Noble
Jan 6, 2010
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I know I may have a large collections of cards in MGO, but I can't remember my email address from 8 years ago.
 

fractured_sanity

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May 25, 2011
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Baldr said:
I know I may have a large collections of cards in MGO, but I can't remember my email address from 8 years ago.
You might have luck contacting customer service if you still have the card you used in their store. I'm probably going to have to go that route if I want my cards back.
 

Baldr

The Noble
Jan 6, 2010
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fractured_sanity said:
Baldr said:
I know I may have a large collections of cards in MGO, but I can't remember my email address from 8 years ago.
You might have luck contacting customer service if you still have the card you used in their store. I'm probably going to have to go that route if I want my cards back.
No luck, that was two bank accounts ago. I tried about a year ago to get my account back with no luck.
 

ritchards

Non-gamer in a gaming world
Nov 20, 2009
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Is it a thing yet that two people with tablets can play against each other, instead of needing a physical deck?

If not, that's a money pipe WotC should look into...
 

deth2munkies

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Jan 28, 2009
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People be aware of 2 things:

1) The new client sucks. If you're new, use the old client first. It still sucks, but sucks less.

2) Your starter kit will not give you enough to do anything...at all, be prepared to buy shit.

1 needs a bit of explaining I guess, so here it goes:

1) It opens new windows every time you enter a tournament, enter a game, open a chat window, open a trade, etc. You have no idea how annoying that gets after a while.

2) It's slow as hell. Drafts take up to a full minute longer to register pack passing than on the old one. Probably due to it not being fully optimized because it's a beta, but still.

3) The entire screen splits apart every combat step...it just gets annoying after a while. It's also really hard to tell who you are attacking with when you have multiple rows of creatures because they only move up slightly.

4) No leagues, the trading system remains unaffected, and chatting with multiple people is still really annoying. Those were the 3 biggest problems with the old client that weren't touched.

5) The turn cycle is a tiny bar in the center instead of a helpful large display in the bottom left. Whether or not you have priority is now a tiny window in the bottom left which will often leave you sitting there holding up the game.

I could go on (and did in my feedback to Wizards), but like I said: Skip it.

Also: Dammit Greg, you were finally getting good at not using misleading titles. It's NOT an overhaul, it hasn't happened yet, it's a beta sneak peek, one that's (hopefully) far from complete.
 

drthmik

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Jul 29, 2011
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I have several thousand cards on MtGO from when I owned an old dell that ran 2.5 just fine
then v.3 came out and my old PC couldn't handle it (it wouldn't even run) and my other computer was a Mac.
when I asked for help getting v.3 to run on my dell they asked some questions at first but then ignored me and my emails.
I would love to give them my money
I would love to play magic online
but after they blew me off I will not give them one cent until they make a Mac compatible product
and Planeswalkers for the iPad is rubbish

I just wish I could have enough access to my account to sell my cards
 

bells

New member
Jul 10, 2009
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It's the buying that kills me... not that i was expecting some sort of super free game or anything, but there is just no excuse for it to be the same price as the Physical game...

You could argue, perhaps, that having the digital version cheaper would steal away from the Physical game... but that would not happen at all. People like the cards, like having them, manipulating them, shuffling them, facing their other players, trading, collecting, socializing...

If anything else, having the digital version be cheaper would allow physical players to jump in online and practice and experiment with a TON more cards and players to refine their strategies and decks, which would mirror their game in the Physical world... you would INCREASE the revenue and number of players by doing that.
 

Kojiro ftt

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Apr 1, 2009
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New client sucks, hands down. And yes, I have given them constructive feedback via the forums. I am forcing myself to use it so I can continue to provide more feedback, but honestly it is PAINFUL to use.
 

Kojiro ftt

New member
Apr 1, 2009
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bells said:
It's the buying that kills me... not that i was expecting some sort of super free game or anything, but there is just no excuse for it to be the same price as the Physical game...

You could argue, perhaps, that having the digital version cheaper would steal away from the Physical game... but that would not happen at all. People like the cards, like having them, manipulating them, shuffling them, facing their other players, trading, collecting, socializing...

If anything else, having the digital version be cheaper would allow physical players to jump in online and practice and experiment with a TON more cards and players to refine their strategies and decks, which would mirror their game in the Physical world... you would INCREASE the revenue and number of players by doing that.
Buying the cards individually from stores and bots is actually about 50% cheaper. But you are right; the decks and boosters are the same price as physical cards. But I play nightly with a good friend on the other side of the country, so I prefer online.
 

Kojiro ftt

New member
Apr 1, 2009
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drthmik said:
I have several thousand cards on MtGO from when I owned an old dell that ran 2.5 just fine
then v.3 came out and my old PC couldn't handle it (it wouldn't even run) and my other computer was a Mac.
when I asked for help getting v.3 to run on my dell they asked some questions at first but then ignored me and my emails.
I would love to give them my money
I would love to play magic online
but after they blew me off I will not give them one cent until they make a Mac compatible product
and Planeswalkers for the iPad is rubbish

I just wish I could have enough access to my account to sell my cards
Log into the PC client on a friend's PC and you could simply sell them as a lot.
 

Kojiro ftt

New member
Apr 1, 2009
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deth2munkies said:
People be aware of 2 things:

1) The new client sucks.
Did you share your feedback with them? There is a survey and also you can leave feedback in the forums.

Survey
http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/977005/magic-online-new-ui-sneak-peek-survey

And this forum post has links to specific feedback threads:
http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75846/29229687/Sneak_Peek_Feedback_Thread_Index_and_Additional_Sneak_Peek_Information
 

Scrythe

Premium Gasoline
Jun 23, 2009
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I... I actually remember playing this. I didn't think it was still running these days. I honestly thought that DotP replaced MtGO.

Shit, that means I have to balance my MtG fix between three titles: Duels of the Planeswalkers, Magic the Gathering Online, and MTG Tactics.
 

deth2munkies

New member
Jan 28, 2009
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Kojiro ftt said:
deth2munkies said:
People be aware of 2 things:

1) The new client sucks.
Did you share your feedback with them? There is a survey and also you can leave feedback in the forums.

Survey
http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/977005/magic-online-new-ui-sneak-peek-survey

And this forum post has links to specific feedback threads:
http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75846/29229687/Sneak_Peek_Feedback_Thread_Index_and_Additional_Sneak_Peek_Information
Did you read my actual post?