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Author Topic: Magic Online Power Nine Owners  (Read 70909 times)
Smmenen
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« Reply #120 on: November 26, 2014, 08:31:50 pm »

Cockatrice is a far superior program to MTGO

MTGO is thousands of times more complicated than Cockatrice. Making an interface you can drag and drop pictures of cards into is trivial compared to the amount of work that would go into automating play like on MTGO. Cockatrice might be fast and relatively bug-free, but it's an apples and oranges situation.

I'm still waiting for the positives.

chess clock
automatic rules enforcement
automatic play (don't have to interact or talk to opponent)
quality of players in pay-to-play queues
Is legal
larger, and more diverse player base


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The Atog Lord
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« Reply #121 on: November 26, 2014, 09:03:29 pm »

chess clock
automatic rules enforcement
automatic play (don't have to interact or talk to opponent)
quality of players in pay-to-play queues
Is legal
larger, and more diverse player base


Other than being legal (I'm not a lawyer so I cannot comment on that), these are all factors that vanish if your opponent is someone you know.
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Smmenen
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« Reply #122 on: November 26, 2014, 09:08:21 pm »

chess clock
automatic rules enforcement
automatic play (don't have to interact or talk to opponent)
quality of players in pay-to-play queues
Is legal
larger, and more diverse player base


Other than being legal (I'm not a lawyer so I cannot comment on that), these are all factors that vanish if your opponent is someone you know.


To make it explicit: part of the appeal of Magic Online is playing against players you don't know from all over the world who are of high quality (the Marc Lanigra/Rich Mattuzio's of the world). 
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« Reply #123 on: November 27, 2014, 02:02:51 am »

chess clock
automatic rules enforcement
automatic play (don't have to interact or talk to opponent)
quality of players in pay-to-play queues
Is legal
larger, and more diverse player base


Other than being legal (I'm not a lawyer so I cannot comment on that), these are all factors that vanish if your opponent is someone you know.


To make it explicit: part of the appeal of Magic Online is playing against players you don't know from all over the world who are of high quality (the Marc Lanigra/Rich Mattuzio's of the world). 

Obviously none of these individuals are accessible outside of MTGO.
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« Reply #124 on: November 27, 2014, 02:54:17 am »

If you don't know them, they aren't.

The fact that you have to buy in, are stuck with your account and your game history is recorded adds legitimacy, which attracts players of a higher caliber than cockatrice does.
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Chubby Rain
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« Reply #125 on: November 27, 2014, 02:33:48 pm »

Obviously none of these individuals are accessible outside of MTGO.

I have yet to play against LSV outside of MTGO.  Really wish he could have made it out for Eternal Weekend...
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« Reply #126 on: November 28, 2014, 08:31:57 am »

Obviously none of these individuals are accessible outside of MTGO.

I have yet to play against LSV outside of MTGO.  Really wish he could have made it out for Eternal Weekend...

Ditto, I sort of have a man crush on him.
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« Reply #127 on: November 28, 2014, 06:11:25 pm »

Well, if anyone is on the fence, I would say now would be a great time to reconsider.  I bought in at what I thought was the bottom of pricing, and the P9 seem to have dropped another 10-20% since then. 
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Chubby Rain
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« Reply #128 on: November 30, 2014, 12:44:55 am »

Well, if anyone is on the fence, I would say now would be a great time to reconsider.  I bought in at what I thought was the bottom of pricing, and the P9 seem to have dropped another 10-20% since then. 

Force of Will ($35) is now more expensive than 3 out of 5 Moxen to put it into perspective. Underground Seas are $13, Volcanic Islands are $18, and most decks can be put together easily for less than $1,000 (or a paper Ancestral).
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« Reply #129 on: December 02, 2014, 12:35:51 pm »

If I could accumulate an online collection comparable to my paper collection for a few hundred dollars, I might be tempted to do so.  The mystique of being able to cross swords with some of the Big Dogs in the Vintage world who I only know from arguing on the internet is pretty compelling.

The problem, for me, is that I have a really hard time justifying spending thousands of dollars on essentially a contract with a video game company that I will be allowed to use certain lines of their code as long as they decide to allow me to do so.  I just can't get over how much less expensive any other video game, even online games, is than accumulating stuff in MTGO.  However cheaper it is than paper cards, it's still waaaaay too expensive if you compare it to other things you could be doing with your computer.
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Chubby Rain
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« Reply #130 on: December 02, 2014, 04:14:57 pm »

If I could accumulate an online collection comparable to my paper collection for a few hundred dollars, I might be tempted to do so.  The mystique of being able to cross swords with some of the Big Dogs in the Vintage world who I only know from arguing on the internet is pretty compelling.

The problem, for me, is that I have a really hard time justifying spending thousands of dollars on essentially a contract with a video game company that I will be allowed to use certain lines of their code as long as they decide to allow me to do so.  I just can't get over how much less expensive any other video game, even online games, is than accumulating stuff in MTGO.  However cheaper it is than paper cards, it's still waaaaay too expensive if you compare it to other things you could be doing with your computer.

Compared to spending tens of thousands of dollars on cardboard?  Wink

What is driving paper Magic card prices? Interest in the game creating demand combined with the scarcity of the cards themselves.
What is driving online Magic card prices? Interest in the game creating demand combined with the scarcity of the online objects themselves.

Yes, your investment online is not guaranteed but neither is your investment in paper Magic. Similar to Wizards pulling the plug on MTGO, the cards themselves could tank based on a massive loss of interest.

Also, comparing MTGO to other video games is somewhat apples to oranges. You have a higher initial cost for MTGO but that is somewhat mitigated by the resale value of the cards. The cost of a typical video game is lower and the game value depreciates with time and generally the replay value is lower. The cost of a subscription game is constant during the time you play it. These are very different payment models and it's not clear the ultimate total cost for each.

I'm not saying that everyone should be playing MTGO as it's got a host of pros and cons. Just that I disagree with your reasoning for not playing MTGO.
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The Atog Lord
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« Reply #131 on: December 02, 2014, 05:00:38 pm »

Quote
Yes, your investment online is not guaranteed but neither is your investment in paper Magic. Similar to Wizards pulling the plug on MTGO, the cards themselves could tank based on a massive loss of interest.

These are two different things. Wizards could tomorrow decide to close MODO, and you wouldn't have access to those Objects anymore. You don't own your MODO collection -- it says so right in the Terms of Service. You can use those cards as long as Wizards sees for for you to use them. Wizards can at any point decide that they'd rather not continue to pay for their servers, and your MODO collection vanishes.

Whereas, Wizards could go out of business tomorrow and my real-life cards will still be perfectly safe in my apartment. Sure, maybe they'd lose value if Magic stopped being supported as a game. But, I could continue to enjoy my cards and collect them, provided that Wizards doesn't actively take up home invasion to destroy my real-life collection.
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« Reply #132 on: December 02, 2014, 05:34:26 pm »

I agree wholeheartedly with Atog Lord and I want to subscribe to his newsletter.  

It goes deeper than just the risk that MTGO closes someday, though.  With paper cards, I am free to make my own Cubes, use non-legal cards or proxy cards to supplement them, design non-traditional Magic games like this Magic-role-playing game thing I'm working on for my kids, etc.  So, not only will I always have the cards, but I will also always have freedom to use them as I like.  

None of that exists with MTGO.  I play Magic Wizard's way and only Wizard's way.  That's why it feels like you compare it to video games, not to paper Magic.

However cheaper it is than paper cards, it's still waaaaay too expensive if you compare it to other things you could be doing with your computer.

Compared to spending tens of thousands of dollars on cardboard?  Wink

Well, no, just like I said.  It's cheaper than physical cards, for sure.  It's just not cheaper than computer games.

The cost of a typical video game is lower and the game value depreciates with time and generally the replay value is lower. The cost of a subscription game is constant during the time you play it.

Yes, and this is why I do have an MTGO account and bought cards to play in the Pauper format.  The problem is that this analysis goes belly-up once you realize that getting a Vintage collection is THOUSANDS of dollars.  So, sure, maybe I will get more use paying $20.00 for an individual card than for Just Cause 2 for sale on Steam over a decade, but I bet you that you could get more play time out of $3,000.00 worth of discounted games than out of an MTGO collection on Vintage.

MTGO just feels like micropayments gone berserk.
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Smmenen
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« Reply #133 on: December 02, 2014, 06:11:09 pm »

Quote
Yes, your investment online is not guaranteed but neither is your investment in paper Magic. Similar to Wizards pulling the plug on MTGO, the cards themselves could tank based on a massive loss of interest.

These are two different things. Wizards could tomorrow decide to close MODO, and you wouldn't have access to those Objects anymore. You don't own your MODO collection -- it says so right in the Terms of Service. You can use those cards as long as Wizards sees for for you to use them. Wizards can at any point decide that they'd rather not continue to pay for their servers, and your MODO collection vanishes.

Whereas, Wizards could go out of business tomorrow and my real-life cards will still be perfectly safe in my apartment. Sure, maybe they'd lose value if Magic stopped being supported as a game. But, I could continue to enjoy my cards and collect them, provided that Wizards doesn't actively take up home invasion to destroy my real-life collection.

It's arguable that they could do the same by abolishing the reserved list and printing your old cards in identical format... just sayin...

In any case, while I understand and share the concerns about spending several hundred dollars on a computer game, if you love Vintage, the future of the format probably lays in some future version of Magic Online, so it is well worth it to buy in while prices are rock bottom.

I've almost completed my online collection, and I don't regret it one bit. 
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« Reply #134 on: December 02, 2014, 06:47:55 pm »

Mtgo is also self sustaining. If you're an above average constructed player you won't need to buy tickets or new cards after you invested a certain amount. Speculation is even more profitable than grinding daily events. In fact you can make a small bit of money off mtgo. Grinders can use mtgo to fund their standard paper collection.  Before they reduced the number of DEs last year, grinding mtgo earned you  minimum wage (in the US). And people in Brazil used to feed their families off mtgo.

Though if you only want to play vintage it is a steep cost. It sounds like you don't want to invest $300 in a standard deck and slowly build towards a vintage collection.
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The Atog Lord
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« Reply #135 on: December 02, 2014, 07:05:21 pm »

Quote
It's arguable that they could do the same by abolishing the reserved list and printing your old cards in identical format... just sayin...

Steve, they could do this and it might tank the value of my collection. What this would not do, however, is take away my cards. I'd still have them and could enjoy them, even if they weren't worth anything. I could still play games with my friends. Whereas, if Wizards closes MODO, they're just gone. No enjoying my Objects, not casual kitchen-table games. They just stop existing once Wizards decides to stop paying for their servers.
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« Reply #136 on: December 02, 2014, 07:11:06 pm »

Mtgo is also self sustaining. If you're an above average constructed player you won't need to buy tickets or new cards after you invested a certain amount. Speculation is even more profitable than grinding daily events. In fact you can make a small bit of money off mtgo. Grinders can use mtgo to fund their standard paper collection.  Before they reduced the number of DEs last year, grinding mtgo earned you  minimum wage (in the US). And people in Brazil used to feed their families off mtgo.

Though if you only want to play vintage it is a steep cost. It sounds like you don't want to invest $300 in a standard deck and slowly build towards a vintage collection.

I suspect the opportunity cost involved in grinding formats I dislike is more than just getting a second job to pay for a Vintage collection.
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« Reply #137 on: December 02, 2014, 11:11:51 pm »

I'm loving mtgo, but i will say it does suck to be playing both paper and online at the same time. Just this week I wanted to put together an oath deck, but putting it together for a tourney will cost hundreds in obscure rare paper cards, which I don't mind, but then having to pay another few hundred for different obscure online cards is really a tough pill to swallow.  Online is so perfect for testing a new deck, or playing something just to get a feel for it (gold fishing), but it's so hard to justify a few hundred dollars each time I want to try a new deck- and every deck has at least 2-3 cards that are random rares and $50-75. Would be so nice if they had a way to rent cards for a week, or if their trade/buy/sell interface wasn't such a mess to use.

I think most people see the value of paper and also online, but it's so hard when you are getting stung by both.
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Chubby Rain
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« Reply #138 on: December 02, 2014, 11:31:57 pm »

These are two different things. Wizards could tomorrow decide to close MODO, and you wouldn't have access to those Objects anymore. You don't own your MODO collection -- it says so right in the Terms of Service. You can use those cards as long as Wizards sees for for you to use them. Wizards can at any point decide that they'd rather not continue to pay for their servers, and your MODO collection vanishes.

True, but as long as MTGO is profitable and popular it is unlikely that Wizards will act against there own self interest. My Vintage cards have value to me as long as my friends and others play Vintage. If they were to stop play, the cards would no longer have value to me (and likely minimal value on the open market).

In any case, while I understand and share the concerns about spending several hundred dollars on a computer game, if you love Vintage, the future of the format probably lays in some future version of Magic Online, so it is well worth it to buy in while prices are rock bottom.

I agree to an extent Online Vintage definitely supplements paper Vintage and one can easily argue that Rich's UR Delver list from VSL influenced the Eternal weekend metagame.

It goes deeper than just the risk that MTGO closes someday, though.  With paper cards, I am free to make my own Cubes, use non-legal cards or proxy cards to supplement them, design non-traditional Magic games like this Magic-role-playing game thing I'm working on for my kids, etc.  So, not only will I always have the cards, but I will also always have freedom to use them as I like.  

None of that exists with MTGO.  I play Magic Wizard's way and only Wizard's way.  That's why it feels like you compare it to video games, not to paper Magic.
.

That definitely is a con of MTGO and I am alright with playing Vintage the way Wizards has programmed it as the convenience of playing Vintage anytime I want is worth it to me. The other pros and cons have been hashed out earlier in this thread and in others. Like I said, I understand anyone who does not want to buy into MTGO - it is a sizable investment for a rather crappy program. I just disagree with your analysis and think the resale value mitigates the initial cost. I am also not into Vintage to make money - it's a hobby to me.

Whereas, if Wizards closes MODO, they're just gone. No enjoying my Objects, not casual kitchen-table games. They just stop existing once Wizards decides to stop paying for their servers.

In my mind, this is similar to the US government declaring bankruptcy and the US dollar becoming worthless. Is it possible? Of course. Is it likely? I do not believe so as Magic remains more popular than ever and even WotC's incompetence in programming has not managed to kill MTGO even after several disastrous "updates" (I survived the transition to Version 3.0). Companies will not generally act against their self-interest.
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« Reply #139 on: December 03, 2014, 11:48:12 am »

Cockatrice is a far superior program to MTGO

MTGO is thousands of times more complicated than Cockatrice. Making an interface you can drag and drop pictures of cards into is trivial compared to the amount of work that would go into automating play like on MTGO. Cockatrice might be fast and relatively bug-free, but it's an apples and oranges situation.

The problem with this statement is that Magic Online is a client-server software.

The Client does ZERO rules processing. It's job is solely to move pixmaps around on a screen and communicate via simple directives with the server. The processing power and code complexity involved in this task is very minimal. There is no reason for the client software to be buggy and bloated.

The server does all rules processing and other complex tasks. I can forgive them for the occasional bug in the rules checking because building a Magic rules engine into software is a labyrinthine task (I've tried it).

I can't excuse them, however, for the poor quality of the client software. There is nothing that the MTGO software needs to do, client-side, that Cockatrice doesn't do. For it to be that much of a memory hog and bug-ridden is very troubling.

 
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« Reply #140 on: December 04, 2014, 07:42:56 am »

Cockatrice is a far superior program to MTGO

MTGO is thousands of times more complicated than Cockatrice. Making an interface you can drag and drop pictures of cards into is trivial compared to the amount of work that would go into automating play like on MTGO. Cockatrice might be fast and relatively bug-free, but it's an apples and oranges situation.

The problem with this statement is that Magic Online is a client-server software.

The Client does ZERO rules processing. It's job is solely to move pixmaps around on a screen and communicate via simple directives with the server. The processing power and code complexity involved in this task is very minimal. There is no reason for the client software to be buggy and bloated.

The server does all rules processing and other complex tasks. I can forgive them for the occasional bug in the rules checking because building a Magic rules engine into software is a labyrinthine task (I've tried it).

I can't excuse them, however, for the poor quality of the client software. There is nothing that the MTGO software needs to do, client-side, that Cockatrice doesn't do. For it to be that much of a memory hog and bug-ridden is very troubling.

 

Okay yeah, I'll have to agree with you there. It's bizarre that they can design the vastly more complicated server, but have so many issues with the client.
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« Reply #141 on: December 04, 2014, 01:14:24 pm »

Black Lotus - 135

Ancestral Recall - 46

Time Walk - 37

Mox Sapphire - 58

Mox Jet - 36

Mox Ruby - 33

Mox Pearl - 26

Mox Emerald -26

Time Twister - 7

Force of Will - 29

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Smmenen
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« Reply #142 on: December 05, 2014, 01:51:00 am »

50% less than I paid for these cards. sheesh.

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« Reply #143 on: December 05, 2014, 06:38:01 am »

Black Lotus - 135

Ancestral Recall - 46

Time Walk - 37

Mox Sapphire - 58

Mox Jet - 36

Mox Ruby - 33

Mox Pearl - 26

Mox Emerald -26

Time Twister - 7

Force of Will - 29



I've been following this thread with interest, weighing up all the arguments and trying to figure out whether I want to get involved and I think, at this point, it's difficult to argue with. Yes, ultimately I still resent the idea of having to buy digital cards that I already own and yes, I'm concerned about many of the issues the more pessimistic voices in this thread have raised, but I really just want to sling Vintage now and again from my sofa and so I will get my act together and see you all on MTGO soon!

Personally, I'm disappointed there is still no Mac client, but I know a few other people who have bought cheap PCs just for MTGO and I'll probably go down that road (tax write-off!), too. I'm very worried about the state of European Vintage at the moment (looks like Bazaar of Moxen may not happen, which will kill the scene here for a long I think), so really, online is going to be part of the solution for anyone who wants to play their favourite format for the foreseeable future. However bad the client might be, however annoying it might be having to buy cards all over again, I think I've got to the point where I just want to have the hobby I enjoy in my life in a convenient way. And that means going digital (with occasional travel to European eternal events).

I'm not happy that there won't be Dailes during the week, as that's when I want to play. But hopefully, if more people can be persuaded to pick the format up, that's something that can be remedied in future.

Anyway.... time to bite the bullet. Thanks to everyone in this thread for sharing their views on a thorny subject.
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« Reply #144 on: December 05, 2014, 09:04:13 am »

I know a few other people who have bought cheap PCs just for MTGO and I'll probably go down that road (tax write-off!), too.

Might I recommend you buying a "cheap" laptop that has an intel processor and not AMD. For some reason, there is a severe difference in performance of MTGO where intel processors are superior to AMD. I have an AMD desktop that I can play nearly every modern game at max settings, but MTGO runs like a pig. My cheesy core i5 Acer Ultrabook is much faster when it comes to MTGO (and slower for everything else).
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« Reply #145 on: December 05, 2014, 09:36:04 am »

Awesome advice Endefall, thanks! i had wondered about that, so glad to have the input. Any idea if the cheap Celerons can handle MTGO - or should I really be aiming for a Core or Pentium primarily?
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« Reply #146 on: December 05, 2014, 10:00:46 am »

I have no personal experience with Celeron processors, but if you can find an i5 on sale for a decent price (also, get min of 4 GB RAM), I'd go with that.
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« Reply #147 on: December 05, 2014, 10:41:51 am »

I guess I'm not a tax professional, but I did not know that "Gaming Rig" is now an itemized deduction.  Dat Steam lobby, huh?

Anyway, while those prices on power look great, you have to remember that the prices of all the other Vintage cards do not track.  Wastelands, as I recall, can go for more tickets than moxen do.  So, while it looks like you just slam down 200 bucks and you're fully powered, that's not really true.
 
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« Reply #148 on: December 05, 2014, 11:04:17 am »

If you want to know the costs of complete Vintage decks, I recommend http://www.mtggoldfish.com/metagame/vintage#online.

Checking it out today, RUG delver will run you 724.10 tickets, Workshops 877.43 tickets, Oath 992.86 tickets, and Dredge at 352.33 tickets.

One strategy that you could use is to pick up Power and VMA cards at these prices and keep tabs on other staples. For instance, a single Scalding Tarn is as expensive as Mox Ruby and Time Walk currently and a playset is a big contributor to the cost of the RUG Delver list (144 tix). Scalding Tarn is likely to be reprinted like the other fetchlands and if that happens, they should go down to around the price of Polluted Delta (6 tix) and Flooded Strand (9 tix).

The only card in Dredge that is more than 20 Tix is Undiscovered Paradise, which is not in all versions of Dredge, and should dip a bit with the upcoming MVW flashback queues.
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« Reply #149 on: December 05, 2014, 11:33:20 am »

I haven't looked into it at all yet, but has the Holiday Vintage Festival influenced the price of Bazaars? In the initial announcement the non-powered prize requirement was just that you couldn't have any Power 9 without mentioning Bazaar, Workshop, Imperial Seal etc. like Eternal Weekend did.

This is a somewhat random aside, but one of if not the biggest selling point for Vintage (or Magic for that matter) is being able to spend time doing something I really enjoy with some of my best friends whom I otherwise don't get to see regularly. For this reason, Vintage Online is not extremely appealing to me. I guess I could Skype with one of my friends if I was playing with them, but real person to person human interaction is second to none in my books.
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