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Author Topic: MTGO Play Points & changes to Dailies  (Read 19539 times)
tito del monte
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« on: July 20, 2015, 01:08:26 pm »

Wizards just announced a raft of changes to the way prizes are awarded in MTGO.
http://magic.wizards.com/en/MTGO/articles/archive/magic-online/august-2015-constructed-event-changes-2015-07-20

The main thrust of it, is the introduction of Play Points - a little like Event Tickets, but more flexible in the way you can win them and then spend them (across formats and events). Broadly, I welcome this change and look forward to playing Cube or Origins drafts with points picked up in Vintage 2-mans and so on.

The one thing that does concern me though, is that entry to Daily Events will double to 12 Event Tickets (or 120 PLay Points).

In the article, Wizards say the steep price increase is to mark the difference in quality/pay-out between 8-man queues and DEs. And that should offer a choice to players, some who might be happier sticking to 8-mans.

The problem I see for Vintage is that we don't have the alternative of 8-man queues. I'm happy to admit I'm not the best player in the world and find the step up in competition in the Dailies (compared to the Tounrament Practice Room or 2-mans) noticeable. I've only cashed one so far. Suddenly, 12-tickets to play doesn't seem like the best EV. Is the price hike going to scare people off the format? I remember previously players on these boards complaining about the EV of Vintage Dailies before, given the price of the decks involved? Does anyone else see this as a potential brake on the format?

I'm sure personally, I'll suck it up and play and try and improve. But crashing out is definitely going to sting. Doubling the price feels a little exploitative to me, but I'm inveted in the format so ho-hum.

I've tweeted about this to Lee Sharpe and he has promised to keep an eye on the Vintage Daily data. Let's hope it doesn't inadvertantly nix the format.



« Last Edit: July 20, 2015, 01:56:06 pm by tito del monte » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2015, 01:53:52 pm »

They doubled the price and effectively raised the payout by ~50%.  Not the best incentive to play.  

I do like the change to 2-mans though.
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« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2015, 02:09:47 pm »

Aren't every tournament negative EV on MTGO?
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tito del monte
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« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2015, 02:24:57 pm »

Aren't every tournament negative EV on MTGO?

This is presumably the problem they're trying to fix. I'm not an expert on the online economy, though was a very convincing piece on Channelfireball about it recently. With so many people saying the hike in redemption costs is what made it such bad value, I'm not sure how well this change will improve things.

Still, as about 99% of my Vintage play is online, I'm pretty gutted that the Dailies are giong to be such bad value. As Krauser says, the changes to the 2.mans are good - so I guess the answer is grind Play Points there so the Dailies don't sting as much.
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« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2015, 04:06:04 pm »

I have a feeling that this will fail epically due to the un-tradability of playpoints.  If I win an event and win 360 playpoints, I have no way to realize the value of those playpoints today, I ALWAYS have to discount them into the future, far far into the future the larger the prize. And they ALWAYS will be further devalued since the market cannot correct inefficient distribution of playpoints within the system not just over time but over players as well.   At what point do marginal playpoints become nearly worthless to LSV for instance (or worth far far less as he basically starts cashing them in for entries in events he doesn't even play in just to get entry product).

I mean seriously, the bulk of my payout is "I get to play my next 3 events free" if I win a daily, with no opportunity for the junkie to turn this prescription into a hit, how is that a rush of excitement?!?!
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« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2015, 05:45:32 pm »

I actually like the idea of the play points, as a concept.  It gets people to play more Magic.  Yes, keeping them untradeable is not ideal but if they were the gambling concerns pop up again.

If they had introduced them and not reduced the payouts, I'm all for the changes.  I think the pack prices will benefit from this change, but I doubt it will get anywhere near the $3.50 mark they appear to be targeting with 2 man events.

Why they don't just offer all prizes in play points and make them redeemable in the store I'll never know.  Keep them untradeable, fine, but if they are going to be fungible, let them be fungible gosh darnit.
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« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2015, 07:40:30 pm »


The main thrust of it, is the introduction of Play Points - a little like Event Tickets, but more flexible in the way you can win them and then spend them (across formats and events).



How is this more flexible?  Tickets could be used to buy new cards.    This sounds awful to me, like Wizards trying to control the medium of exchange more and more.

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« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2015, 07:43:52 pm »

This is really bad for Vintage and Legacy-only players. Those of us that can't grind (due to scarcity of offered events) will find the "prizes" of free tournaments completely useless. For Standard and to a lesser extent, Modern, where you can play several tournaments in a day, this is probably a welcome change. However, winning a tournament now no longer allows you to continue to grow your collection. You can't sell your play points for new cards, and as such, you're either stuck with the same deck(s) or you have to pony up more money to pay for the cards you need to make a new deck. Going 4-0 and winning 6 packs of cards that are worth roughly 2.5 tix for 12 tix is never going to be profitable. Not that things were profitable the last 12-18 months, but it was still far better than splitting your prize with lower payouts and useless play points. Like bactgudz said, why do I want a prize that *might* be valuable to me in a week's time, or longer?

Just when you think these imbeciles can't screw things up worse, they continue to find new ways to shove their heads further up their arses. Instead of going back to the way things used to be (you now, when things worked correctly), they just continue to make mistake after mistake.

EDIT: Oh, and where the heck are the Leagues that were promised in 2014?
« Last Edit: July 20, 2015, 07:46:23 pm by enderfall » Logged
tito del monte
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« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2015, 08:03:54 pm »


The main thrust of it, is the introduction of Play Points - a little like Event Tickets, but more flexible in the way you can win them and then spend them (across formats and events).



How is this more flexible?  Tickets could be used to buy new cards.    This sounds awful to me, like Wizards trying to control the medium of exchange more and more.



That was just my very quick read of it and off the back of playing the Holiday Cube for a week and being cheesed off by Phantom Points. The fact that they aren't tradeable seems like a big kick in the nuts.

I found this post over on Reddit to be a very persuasive wrap up of the situation:
https://www.reddit.com/r/magicTCG/comments/3dyncw/changes_to_magic_online_events/cta66tq

I enjoy MTGO and want to play it - and I would like to play a little Limited alongside Vintage, but I was already feeling shirt-changed by a lack of constructed events to play in having bought into such a (comparitively for MTGO) expensive format and clearly this new system doesn't make things more attractive.
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« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2015, 08:14:13 pm »

Doesn't seem too profitable.

Too bad they don't have a way that you could redeem points (or even bulk cards) in for cool promotional items.  Even tshirts, limited edition playmats, or even rare promo cards.  Might help them get some of the supply out of the market, and better yet, give some "coolness" value to points.  I personally don't care when I win some type 2 packs, but it definitely would be cool to win a paper promo card or a special archmage playmat.  Tie the two worlds of magic together! 
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« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2015, 08:27:50 pm »

Gathering quotes today to sell off my MTGO collection. Somehow this product literally gets worse each month. I don't even know how that is possible, but they have managed to accomplish the unimaginable.
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« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2015, 09:30:33 pm »

The announcement of play points itself doesn't particularly bother me. The fact that the primary aspect of the prizes is entry to future events is all I have ever used event tickets for, but I understand that some members of the community grind to grow their collection so I suspect this will undermine their efforts.

Its every aspect of the changes to the Daily events that bothers me. Not only does this change eliminate the only positive EV event, from my calculations it makes the daily events actually the worst EV events to participate in. That in addition to the fact that they decided to double the entry fee, truly removes any desire I had to participate in Daily events and makes me worry for the health of the MTGO Vintage Community. I haven't played in a huge number of daily events and haven't found much success when I have, but I have been the person to help the damn things fire a time or two. If there are many more like me, I imagine the events that barely fired suddenly won't.

The only saving grace I see in this is that WotC is in the business of making money. If this change is abysmal as everyone thinks it is, and people wise up and abandon dailies, WoTC will address prize support/entry fees in order to fix their cash cow. Until then, I'll continue to hang out in the Tournament practice room until this gets fixed.
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« Reply #12 on: July 21, 2015, 01:14:44 am »

I've posted this same post elsewhere. I am very disappointed by this.

Quote
I posted this on The Facebook, but I will paste it here as well.
Magic: The Gathering Online is making a series of changes to their prize structure. In the past, winning a two-player queue would provide a booster pack which you could sell for TIX.
That is all changing. Instead, when you "win" a two-player queue, you are given "player points." These "player points" are only able to be used for entering further events. They can't be traded and they can't be used for anything other than entering new events. You can't use them to build up your collection, and you can't use them to do anything but enter more events. They can't be cashed out via turning into new sets.
Before, winning a two-player queue helped you build your collection. Now, winning a two-player queue gives points that have very little use or utility. I don't see any upside to having a lot of these points.
I am extremely disappointed by these changes. Before, winning a larger event brought you closer to having a better collection. Now, winning a large event gets you more of these generally worthless points. Winning a Magic: The Gathering Online tournament doesn't even seem worth the time anymore.
From my perspective, I only play constructed on Magic: the Gathering Online. I have little interest in qualifying for a Pro Tour. But I do have an interest in expanding my online "collection" to try out different decks. From that perspective, this new change is very negative.
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« Reply #13 on: July 21, 2015, 07:35:25 am »

I have been processing what to think of this change over the last 24 hours before I said anything.
I have been playing modo pretty much since it's inception and I have seen alot of changes during that time.
Without getting into specific examples, all the changes have been terrible. I can't help but mention V4 as one of the biggest failures of all time.
These changes to prize support are definitely right up there. Player points have potential surely, but in typical WOTC fashion not enough thought has gone into them before implementing the change.
I think the inability of being unable to trade these points into tickets or cards is a major set back.
I easily cover my entrance fee's for constructed / limited events with my winnings converted into tickets. If I run out of winnings to convert I can spend the 2-6 tickets. This recipe has worked just fine imo as I am sure it has for most players.
I also enjoy the flexibility to cash my boosters into tickets and then into money or other cards. 
This is now essentially neutered as I am winning half the boosters in a DE. The fact that I will likely not have to spend money to enter an event due to player points isn't worth it to me.
I also need to mention that I think as a mostly Eternal player on modo the cost of my decks is no small thing. The prize support was already abysmal preceding this decision, which was a deterrent for alot of players already. I mean pauper wins the exact same thing as me for a 4-0 in a DE with their decks costing a fraction of what mine does.
I cannot help but wonder how this decision will impact the current eternal player base. We don't have any players to spare in Vintage on modo as we quite often just get 16 players to fire an event. Sometimes we don't even make it. Is this going to be the death of Vintage on modo?
I am also wondering how this decision will impact the price of tickets? Thoughts?
I can see the value of boosters not tanking as hard as they do right now due to saturation of peoples winning so many. This is a good thing, but once again not sure at this steep price we are paying.
The way I see it is WOTC has taken alot of my freedom of choice as to how I can spend my winnings. This seems like an epic fail and I am truly disheartened.
When are these guys going to get it right.
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« Reply #14 on: July 21, 2015, 08:16:55 am »

This is utter bullshit, plain and simple.

It is truly remarkable how a company with such a cash cow product can utterly fail on the design and functionality of the digital medium (for well over a decade), and so alienate such devoted clientel.

I'm shocked Hasbro allows such incompetent handling of this product.

Unfortunately MTGO is my only outlet to enjoy the game given time constraints with the kids and work. Having played since 1993, I wish I could get back into paper magic, but alas, I guess I/we are taking yet another proverbial nut sack on chin.
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tito del monte
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« Reply #15 on: July 21, 2015, 08:30:10 am »

@Montolio: First off, congrats on an amazing streak with Shops in the Dailies! But secondly, thanks for the reasoned post from someone who's been with MTGO from the start. I try to give the platform the benefit of the doubt, as I am simply very grateful to be able to play Vintage regularly now - but it's clear, it's been abysmally managed from day one (well, at least since the decision to sever ties with the original developer).

I think this has been thrown into stark relief by Hearthstone, which while a lesser game in the absolute, is an excellent programme. And that's why its userbase is already as big as paper Magic and its prize payouts bigger than than those in pro Magic. Why this has not made WOTC absolutely cack its pants and sort MTGO out once and for all, is beyond belief.

But I share with a you a real fear for the future of the eternal format online with these changes. Like you said, Vintage just about fires its DEs - but there's very little slack in terms of player base. Heck, even this weekend, I decided to skip the DEs, because I wasn't motivated by the thought of winning boosters for the outgoing draft format - and just played Cube instead. Now, with even less boosters on offer, I'm not sure how the format is going to retain its players, let alone grow. Considering the way Vintage online has been in the shop window, thanks to VSL and its use as a format at the MOCs finals, this is just super sad - and totally scotches small any small gains made.

12 Tix for a Daily is basically reaching the point where it competes with other leisure options that occur at those weekend time slots - going to a film, grabbing a cheap bite or a couple of beers. I don't think that's negligible change unfortunately and I suspect we're going to go back to the frustration of DEs not firing each time Sad
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« Reply #16 on: July 21, 2015, 09:44:29 am »

The way I see it is WOTC has taken alot of my freedom of choice as to how I can spend my winnings. This seems like an epic fail and I am truly disheartened.
When are these guys going to get it right.

Getting what right? Oh, things about me for example. Yeah, they were fast. Apparently they also got other things right, or they wouldn't screw over Modo. I'm out of this shit anyway, so every negative change to Modo is very welcome for me. And everything that screws you up <3 Truely disheartened, loling so hard bro.
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« Reply #17 on: July 21, 2015, 09:53:30 am »

Just got a few quotes the past 24 hours, and sold off my collection today to Cardhoarder, who were a few hundred dollars higher than MTGOTraders in this instance, and awesome to work with. Now $7800 richer.
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« Reply #18 on: July 21, 2015, 10:31:50 am »

Just got a few quotes the past 24 hours, and sold off my collection today to Cardhoarder, who were a few hundred dollars higher than MTGOTraders in this instance, and awesome to work with. Now $7800 richer.

Just saw a Tweet from MTGOTrader that they've lowered their buy price for tix... looks like you're not the only one cashing out :/

On a side note, fully endorse Cardhoarder as being great people to do business with.
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« Reply #19 on: July 21, 2015, 10:51:07 am »

I guess I don't play enough that I was needing the payouts to subsidize me. I've just been buying singles as needed and dabbling in the constructed open room, but it does seem that if people are trying to justify building a collection, MTGO is a bit clueless as to what they are doing.

They really need to get some type of player advisory committee together, or at least read all the feedback online because seems like things are in a bad place right now....

P.S: For those cashing out, sell me your Wastelands first!!! Just kidding.....

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« Reply #20 on: July 21, 2015, 04:43:25 pm »

Just got a few quotes the past 24 hours, and sold off my collection today to Cardhoarder, who were a few hundred dollars higher than MTGOTraders in this instance, and awesome to work with. Now $7800 richer.

I guess we will be seeing you on Cockatrice more?  Wink
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« Reply #21 on: July 21, 2015, 05:20:18 pm »

or at least read all the feedback online

Unfortunately, that *is* the problem. They read the negative comments, then try to fix things by making them worse. The people in charge are the problem, not the fact that they don't listen.
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« Reply #22 on: July 21, 2015, 05:34:19 pm »

For the record, I am also cashing out. A big consideration is that tying up a substantial amount of "value" in non-transferrable currency hurts future opportunities to cash out. Were I to continue playing the game and accumulate Play Points, I would be stuck with these in my collection or have to go through the tedious process of entering limited events for random cards, then dropping (with a poor rate of return). I do not have enough confidence in MODO as a product to be sure that I will be playing the game several years in the future, so I feel like I should just pull the plug now.
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« Reply #23 on: July 21, 2015, 06:25:23 pm »


The main thrust of it, is the introduction of Play Points - a little like Event Tickets, but more flexible in the way you can win them and then spend them (across formats and events).



How is this more flexible?  Tickets could be used to buy new cards.    This sounds awful to me, like Wizards trying to control the medium of exchange more and more.

I agree wholeheartedly. I'm going to email them tonight, as Lee Sharpe tweeted at me, asking exactly what I didn't like about the idea.
I'm also going to discuss it in this week's article, especially as I think it affects Vintage and Legacy a ton more due to the lack of 8-mans as alternatives. Beyond that, it now costs more to play in a Pauper Daily Event than it did to buy the Pauper deck. Pauper was a cheap was for someone to buy into the game, grind events, and build a collection (perhaps moving on to other formats). Now, it's not so much.

I don't really have that loud of a voice in the community, so I sincerely hope that those who do join me in being vocal about their disdain for this change.

By the way, if anyone is wondering the reason they allegedly did this: People have been complaining about depressed pack prices on the secondary market for quite some time. Some packs for heavily-drafted sets like the Khan's Block were under two tickets (because people were drafting like mad to get fetches!). A lot of people were mad that they'd lose fifty cents when they WON a 2-man queue. It's true that is disappointing, but you could also perhaps draft that pack instead and look at is as a discount. Now you can't do that anymore. Why anyone would want to play a 2-man now is beyond me.

Furthermore, this brings up another thought that I had. Drafting on MTGO has always been great for those that enjoy that format because they could buy packs from players/bots for dirt cheap. Raising the secondary market price on packs too close to MSRP could potentially reduce the number of drafts that fire. Why not just randomly jump into a draft that cost you eight dollars? 2 tix + 3x Packs @ 1.98 (some packs were this cheap at one point). When that same draft costs 14-16 tix, maybe some people draft a little less?

The increase in Daily Event fees and potential increase in the cost of a draft tournament have the effect of deterring (to some degree, potentially) players who aren't winning very often (or at all). I've even joined a Vintage Daily Event that I didn't want to play in, just to see that it fired (it would have been canceled if I had not). I'm not planning on doing that for twice the cost.

And that doesn't even touch on the play points, which are another fiasco waiting to be implemented.

Please, everyone who agrees, make your voices heard. DO NOT resort to hyperbolic panic speak. It reduces the credibility of your argument. If you're civil, and state your case, perhaps they could reconsider.

I applaud them for trying, but I don't feel as if this is the right answer.



you can use this email address to voice your concerns, I am emailing them tonight. magiconlinefeedback@wizards.com
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« Reply #24 on: July 21, 2015, 06:38:11 pm »

Just got a few quotes the past 24 hours, and sold off my collection today to Cardhoarder, who were a few hundred dollars higher than MTGOTraders in this instance, and awesome to work with. Now $7800 richer.

I'm keeping MOST of my cards, only because I have no paper collection and never get to play Magic in person these days. I did sell two Misdirections for tix, and sold those tix for 95 cents. What was card hoarder offering?
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« Reply #25 on: July 21, 2015, 06:39:52 pm »

I am very seriously considering selling my Magic: the Gathering Online collection. I see absolutely no value in winning Play Points. Now 4-0'ing a Vintage Daily is break-even. Anything less is a loss.
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« Reply #26 on: July 21, 2015, 06:48:13 pm »


By the way, if anyone is wondering the reason they allegedly did this: People have been complaining about depressed pack prices on the secondary market for quite some time. Some packs for heavily-drafted sets like the Khan's Block were under two tickets (because people were drafting like mad to get fetches!). A lot of people were mad that they'd lose fifty cents when they WON a 2-man queue. It's true that is disappointing, but you could also perhaps draft that pack instead and look at is as a discount. Now you can't do that anymore. Why anyone would want to play a 2-man now is beyond me.

Furthermore, this brings up another thought that I had. Drafting on MTGO has always been great for those that enjoy that format because they could buy packs from players/bots for dirt cheap. Raising the secondary market price on packs too close to MSRP could potentially reduce the number of drafts that fire. Why not just randomly jump into a draft that cost you eight dollars? 2 tix + 3x Packs @ 1.98 (some packs were this cheap at one point). When that same draft costs 14-16 tix, maybe some people draft a little less?

The increase in Daily Event fees and potential increase in the cost of a draft tournament have the effect of deterring (to some degree, potentially) players who aren't winning very often (or at all). I've even joined a Vintage Daily Event that I didn't want to play in, just to see that it fired (it would have been canceled if I had not). I'm not planning on doing that for twice the cost.



I appreciate anything that you can do to help fix the problem here. I used to have the ear of WotC's MTGO team, but I've stepped away from the game over the last year or so to deal with real world problems. That said, the real problem is not that pack prices are low, it's $25 redemption fee. Not one person at the time they announced the redemption fee increase thought raising the price of redemption 250% was going to work out; many called for exactly what happened - depressed pack prices, lower singles prices, and a real lack of benefit to playing constructed events. Lo and behold, the players were 110% correct. Yet, instead of going back and reverting to the old system that worked perfectly fine, their greed drove them to make mistake after mistake after mistake. It's gotten to the point where I'm not sure the MTGO team even realizes what problem they were trying to solve in the first place (hence why they make matters worse when they are honestly trying to do the right thing to prop pack prices back to "normal").
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« Reply #27 on: July 21, 2015, 08:12:24 pm »

I'm not cashing out, only because I want the ability to play in the large Scale Vintage tournaments like the Holiday Festival, but this is certainly discouraging.  For folks who play for day-to-day games, I can certainly understand your frustration. 

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« Reply #28 on: July 21, 2015, 08:36:23 pm »

I am very seriously considering selling my Magic: the Gathering Online collection. I see absolutely no value in winning Play Points. Now 4-0'ing a Vintage Daily is break-even. Anything less is a loss.


I just sent my email. I have to gather the energy to write this article. Frankly, the fire I had for MTGO Vintage is in danger of being extinguished. I don't even have a paper collection anymore, so if I quit Modo, I'm done with Magic. That makes me very sad.

I'm still new to the format, and I find the learning curve to be steep. When I think about all the events I didn't cash, and multiply that cost by two, I really get worried.

One week, I jumped into a Daily with a deck that I hadn't played with yet, because my readers picked it out for me to play. Do I want to take that chance for twice the cost? Nope. I'll only play the safest of bets for that price.
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« Reply #29 on: July 21, 2015, 09:24:43 pm »

A good blog on this topic by Heath.
Take his advice and send your thoughts to WOTC.
I certainly will be.

http://blog.mtgprice.com/2015/07/21/understanding-the-changes-to-mtgo-payouts/
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