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Author Topic: Suggestions For Improving the Online Vintage Experience  (Read 11075 times)
TheBrassMan
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« Reply #30 on: September 30, 2015, 09:30:16 am »

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These monthly and quarterly big events that are proposed in the letter... Which time zone should they accomodate in their scheduling?
Great question. As an East Coast USA player the daily times are pretty good for me - but the whole dream of vintage online is that people around the world, without local tournaments, can play vintage in a real metagame. I would hope that they rotate the times of events, at least until they've proven out that certain time slots don't draw anyone.
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« Reply #31 on: September 30, 2015, 09:51:00 pm »

Well I live in the middle of the pacific ocean, so I would obviously prefer later times.

On a side note, does anyone run MTGO on a Mac?  Making MTGO Mac friendly seems like a good suggestion.  Otherwise I'd have to buy and install "parallels" and "windows" and I don't even know if I'll have any room on my computer for MTGO after all that.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2015, 09:54:49 pm by desolutionist » Logged

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« Reply #32 on: October 01, 2015, 10:19:31 am »

You guys are ignoring the elephant in the room, and to not call it by name does not diminish its presence in the slightest. The fact of the matter is, if you're talking about cultivating a positive experience playing a TCG online, you have to talk about Hearthstone.

There is a reason people like Brian Kibler are going on record as saying that the to-go (online) experience is not Magic. To paraphrase Kibler - Magic is a great game. It is not a great video game.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2015, 12:06:34 pm by Norm4eva » Logged
TheBrassMan
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« Reply #33 on: October 01, 2015, 10:35:29 am »

On a side note, does anyone run MTGO on a Mac?  Making MTGO Mac friendly seems like a good suggestion. 

MTGO doesn't run on a Mac, I tried to stream mtgo on a brand new computer on Linux in a Windows VM, but the machine couldn't handle it - I literally bought windows just to play mtgo. I agree that it would be great for MTGO to be Mac and/or Linux compatible, but implementing that would surely cost orders of magnitude more than the smaller fixes that they're already unable to profitably do.
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« Reply #34 on: October 01, 2015, 11:52:22 am »

I wonder if the reason they're not making profits is because of set redemptions?  I've spent thousands of dollars on MTGO over the years; much more than I've ever spent on any video game and I can't possibly be the only one. There's no way they're not making a ton of profit even with the redemption...

Some of the bot technology, being able to scan your collection, is more sophisticated than the MTGO UI.  Software and hardware continues to get better and better so there is just something so seriously wrong with MTGO... I mean it should be obvious to those in charge as well.

They need to redo the whole program.  Make it more visually appealing and faster.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2015, 11:56:56 am by desolutionist » Logged

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« Reply #35 on: October 01, 2015, 12:15:42 pm »

I probably shouldn't have used that wording - I have no idea how profitable the app is, it could be very very profitable. I just mean it's very expensive to change things, and that any specific change (like porting to mac, which could require hiring a bunch of new devs, which requires spending a bunch of money to recruit them) may not be profitable. I don't have numbers on how well the actual game is doing and I don't purport to.

Would people spend more money if the program was more visually appealing and faster? More money than it costs to redesign the program? Possibly, hard to say, I'd be suspicious.
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« Reply #36 on: October 01, 2015, 12:30:16 pm »

I think the average member of the community just doesn't realize how expensive this stuff is to build, and that prizes, bug fixes, new features (the looping) are all drawing from the same limited pool.

Rich has a PhD in programming, I'm fairly sure he knows how expensive it is to build this.  The fact is that it is built poorly compared to any other computer game.  Obviously other games have found a way to make a lot of profits while still producing a good product, Wizards should be able to do so as well.  

If it's unprofitable to run vintage events they just won't - and with something like only 16-32 regular online vintage players IN THE WORLD, we better be REAL careful we're asking for things we need.

Well its not just how many are currently playing, its about the potential of the market.  Considering there were almost 500 people playing Vintage at Worlds this year, I think there is a lot of untapped potential for them here.  The fact that substantially less than 10% of Vintage players are online, even though its cheaper and more accessible than paper, shows how serious of a problem their current system is.

Would people spend more money if the program was more visually appealing and faster? More money than it costs to redesign the program? Possibly, hard to say, I'd be suspicious.

There is an initial cost to redesigning, this is a flat rate so if it draws in more players that means more money and each individual player is not paying more.  Servers, and customer service are the only things that cost them more money for more players, both of which should be relatively cheap if they fix the issues with their program.  Less glitches = Happier Customers and Less Customer Service Required.  More efficient programming = Faster Program and Less Server space Required.

Lee Sharpe emailed me today, so there's hope. Would he be asking me if I (we) like today's update if we just sat around and did nothing?

I, and the people that wrote the open letter have been vocal about our disdain for the current situation, and it has had a non-zero effect on our format online.

I'm interested in how this conversation ended up going.
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TheBrassMan
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« Reply #37 on: October 01, 2015, 01:08:15 pm »

I feel like we're getting into dangerous internet argument territory, but I do think it's important to realize how dramatically different developing software is in Academia vs Industry. Rich is a brilliant player and I have no doubt he's a skilled computer scientist but he has literally 0 industry experience. Not that I have a ton myself in the grand scheme of things - and that's ad hominem anyway.

We all have the same goals, we all want a better magic online experience - I want it more than most, because I play more magic online than most people in this thread. I just think having a better understanding of the relative scope of the different things people are asking for will help them prioritize their complaints/requests.

I'm also worried that propagating the idea "this is an easy problem, the only reason wotc isn't fixing it because they're assholes/incompetent" is turning away players that would otherwise really enjoy the experience. I understand that some people think the best way to improve the mtgo meta is to shit on wotc, and I don't agree with that. Usually I try my best to stay out of these internet discussions - but I stayed out of the last one, and now entry fees are doubled to make prizes more topheavy, because noisier voices prevailed.

I just want it to be known that there are people who have played mtgo a lot who don't think the system is unreasonably terrible or unplayable. My worst magic tournament experiences have still been paper tournaments.
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« Reply #38 on: October 01, 2015, 01:30:24 pm »

I feel like we're getting into dangerous internet argument territory, but I do think it's important to realize how dramatically different developing software is in Academia vs Industry.

Obviously this is getting a bit off topic, but I wholeheartedly agree with this and think it's something many people don't understand. I have a PhD in math and have published research in good journals, but I would trust someone with an undergrad degree in engineering to do some sort of applied differential equations problem who does that stuff for his work more than myself. I do research in number theory but if you ask me how much it would cost to build a cluster to factor a 2048 bit RSA prime in X number of months I don't have the slightest idea, despite knowing the math behind how the state of the art algorithms work. Having a PhD in computer science likewise does not imply being a better real-world programmer or project manager than someone with a bachelor's degree. No insult intended to Rich of course, just a general "what it means to have a PhD in something" comment.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2015, 03:19:06 pm by diophan » Logged
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« Reply #39 on: October 01, 2015, 01:44:45 pm »

I feel like we're getting into dangerous internet argument territory, but I do think it's important to realize how dramatically different developing software is in Academia vs Industry. Rich is a brilliant player and I have no doubt he's a skilled computer scientist but he has literally 0 industry experience. Not that I have a ton myself in the grand scheme of things - and that's ad hominem anyway.

You are the one bringing up the cost as a factor.  I'm simply pointing out this shouldn't be the case.  You fail to address my point that there is empirical evidence of computer gaming companies making enormous profits on pay to win/subscription systems, similar to magic.  World of Warcraft, hearthstone, Clash of Clans are all insanely successful.  

I understand that all of these games are only computer games, and not also physical games so their complexities are easier to code.  However, it is Wizards that is causing most of this.  There are already major differences in the online game compared to the real life game, including no loops, a chess timer, bots that can buy/sell, tournaments run by wizards and little to no social aspect (you know the gathering portion of magic the gathering?).  Until they decide whether they are the same game or they are different games, they will never be able to fix all of the issues.  If they want them to be the same game (as they say they do) then they need to overhaul the online system to represent this.  They need to add a social system, ban bots from buying/selling, remove the chess clock, ect.

We all have the same goals, we all want a better magic online experience - I want it more than most, because I play more magic online than most people in this thread. I just think having a better understanding of the relative scope of the different things people are asking for will help them prioritize their complaints/requests.

I'm also worried that propagating the idea "this is an easy problem, the only reason wotc isn't fixing it because they're assholes/incompetent" is turning away players that would otherwise really enjoy the experience. I understand that some people think the best way to improve the mtgo meta is to shit on wotc, and I don't agree with that. Usually I try my best to stay out of these internet discussions - but I stayed out of the last one, and now entry fees are doubled to make prizes more topheavy, because noisier voices prevailed.

I just want it to be known that there are people who have played mtgo a lot who don't think the system is unreasonably terrible or unplayable. My worst magic tournament experiences have still been paper tournaments.

I agree that "shitting" on them doesn't solve anything, and prioritizing is good, but there are clearly major dissensions as to what should be prioritized and what should not.

I question whether they really would enjoy the experience.  I think there are a number of people who have at least attempted to play, myself included.  To say the least my experience with MTGO was horrible.  The combination of a clunky interface, speed of the servers, and lack of loops or short cutting made the game completely unplayable for me.  I'd either time out, or time my opponent out in every other match.  Compared to real life where I go to turns about 1 time every 100 matches.  I want to play a game of magic not some weird time management game.

That all being said with no Vintage in my area I'm still willing to consider it anyway (compromising my deck choices in the future), but the tournament options were 3 rounds or nothing.  With 4 round tournaments back this is actually a dramatic improvement to me, even if it does cost more.  If they announce plans for larger tournaments seasonally, I will probably buy in.  Changing this system literally costs them next to nothing as they already have the whole system in place for other formats.  There is such a thing as an easy problem to solve and a hard problem to solve.

I feel like we're getting into dangerous internet argument territory, but I do think it's important to realize how dramatically different developing software is in Academia vs Industry.

Obviously this is getting a bit off topic, but I wholeheartedly agree with this and think it's something many people don't understand. I have a PhD in math and have published research in good journals, but I would trust someone with an undergrad degree in engineering to do some sort of applied differential equations problem who does that stuff for his work more than myself. I do research in number theory but if you ask me how much it would cost to build a cluster to factor a 2048 bit RSA prime in X number of months I don't have the slightest idea, despite knowing the math behind how the state of the art algorithms work. Having a PhD in computer science likewise does not imply being a sensational programmer or project manager. No insult intended to Rich of course, just a general "what it means to have a PhD in something" comment.

No you might not understand the exact cost, but you do understand that it would be a lot of work.  Rich is one of the ones that wrote the paper.  And I'm sure his knowledge is what makes him know that asking them to overhaul their entire system, or have a system that can recognize a loop is unreasonable.  Asking them to find SOME way to execute things that are executable in the real life game is perfectly reasonable, assuming that they want the online game to replicate the real life game.  Not being able to play the empirically best deck in the format, Salvagers Oath, is a major problem for Vintage online.  I'm not sure some people in here quite understand this.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2015, 01:50:10 pm by vaughnbros » Logged
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« Reply #40 on: October 01, 2015, 03:35:41 pm »

Here is the crux of the matter:

1) Wizards employees get paid poorly.  This I know from speaking with Wizards employees.
2) WoTC is situated in Renton, WA, not far from numerous other software development companies you may have heard of. Who I believe (though have no proof) pay much, much better.
3) WoTC is owned by corporate giant Hasbro, who have the software development acumen one would expect from a company that makes and distributes plastic toys.

These facts very likely lead to an inability to

a) attract top-level programmers
b) retain top level programmers.  
c) get the existing employees to work in an environment conducive to programming top-level software.
d) explain to corporate headquarters why they need more money to acquire good developers.

I will also quote (not quite verbatim) the cries of Director Worth Wollpert: "One good developer is worth infinity (other) developers".  This has held true in all the situations I've ever developed under - that unless you have a software architect who is really, really good, 100's of shitty developers will not make up for it.

I don't want to crap on the WoTC developers here - *I'M not a *Good* developer.  I have, on numerous occasions, explained my limitations to various bosses of mine.  There is no shame in knowing that you aren't able to architect an enterprise-level piece of software, especially one that involves a network of servers that has to house 1000's of concurrent users.

So I wish you all luck in figuring out a way through the problem.  But unless there is a top-notch developer well versed in network and server architecture who wants to work for well less than they are are worth and loves MTG so much they'll do so for WoTC, these problems are unlikely to ever be solved

« Last Edit: October 01, 2015, 03:46:33 pm by dangerlinto » Logged
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« Reply #41 on: October 01, 2015, 04:36:53 pm »

What I want to know is why is the *client* so bloated and inefficient, and why is the client exclusive to a single platform?

I'm a software developer myself and as far as I can tell, there is no real excuse to have anything but a thin, small-footprint client in an online card game. In fact, there is no reason, technically, with minimal development budgeting, this can't just be a simple web client that can be played on every platform (tablets, phones, mac, pc).

I understand that 10,000s+ of cards cause complexity for the design of the rules engine and the rest of the server-side stuff, but in terms of client design, there is basically no complexity. All the client needs to be able to do is move pixmaps around on a screen, process user requests, and send and receive network packets and do some minimal processing on them.

They should ideally have two separate teams working on client and server, because there really doesn't need to be much consensus on design betwixt the two teams other than ratification of a transmission protocol. Even average-quality programmers and designers could put together a web client / java client that's faster, more portable, and more efficient than what they have now.

On a side note, does anyone run MTGO on a Mac?  Making MTGO Mac friendly seems like a good suggestion.

MTGO doesn't run on a Mac, I tried to stream mtgo on a brand new computer on Linux in a Windows VM, but the machine couldn't handle it - I literally bought windows just to play mtgo. I agree that it would be great for MTGO to be Mac and/or Linux compatible, but implementing that would surely cost orders of magnitude more than the smaller fixes that they're already unable to profitably do.

If we're separating the client as an implementation from the server, it's a much smaller cost than "orders of magnitude". There's no excuse not to have platform-independent clients interfacing with a separate server software. This is not expensive or complex to do in a card game implementation.

« Last Edit: October 01, 2015, 04:43:16 pm by MTGFan » Logged
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« Reply #42 on: October 01, 2015, 05:08:34 pm »

What I want to know is why is the *client* so bloated and inefficient, and why is the client exclusive to a single platform?

I'm a software developer myself and as far as I can tell, there is no real excuse to have anything but a thin, small-footprint client in an online card game. In fact, there is no reason, technically, with minimal development budgeting, this can't just be a simple web client that can be played on every platform (tablets, phones, mac, pc).

I understand that 10,000s+ of cards cause complexity for the design of the rules engine and the rest of the server-side stuff, but in terms of client design, there is basically no complexity. All the client needs to be able to do is move pixmaps around on a screen, process user requests, and send and receive network packets and do some minimal processing on them.

They should ideally have two separate teams working on client and server, because there really doesn't need to be much consensus on design betwixt the two teams other than ratification of a transmission protocol. Even average-quality programmers and designers could put together a web client / java client that's faster, more portable, and more efficient than what they have now.

On a side note, does anyone run MTGO on a Mac?  Making MTGO Mac friendly seems like a good suggestion.

MTGO doesn't run on a Mac, I tried to stream mtgo on a brand new computer on Linux in a Windows VM, but the machine couldn't handle it - I literally bought windows just to play mtgo. I agree that it would be great for MTGO to be Mac and/or Linux compatible, but implementing that would surely cost orders of magnitude more than the smaller fixes that they're already unable to profitably do.

If we're separating the client as an implementation from the server, it's a much smaller cost than "orders of magnitude". There's no excuse not to have platform-independent clients interfacing with a separate server software. This is not expensive or complex to do in a card game implementation.



I felt this was probably the case but I'm such a journeyman in this regard -- the client itself shouldn't have to do much heavy lifting, just get piles of stupid data and do 1 thing with each pile, then send like a JSON object or some jank back to the server.

I say this having done only that app coding which I have had to do to make my job easier, but at the end of the day I would be surprised if there was much more to legitimately expect a client app to handle. Especially if it's a phone app.
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« Reply #43 on: October 01, 2015, 05:21:37 pm »

It's because of the trade interface.  The database they use to store collections and manage what decks you can/cannot play is really old.  And the play client runs concurrently with the collection tracking.  The biggest problem with MTGO is they don't want to separate the two.  Conceivably you could easily make a client that ran on all types of operating systems that was 'play only' but you wouldn't be able to manage your collection or trade cards.  It was set up this way long ago since it was one of the first real digital object ownership platforms online in existence and they were super paranoid about hacking things you were paying real money for.

There used to be some brilliant bot owners who just created their own interface that connected directly to the database, basically what you would call a modern 'game mod' and they were quickly banned and accounts frozen.  If they would secure the database separately I, and presumably many people in the community, could create a much better game interface in almost no time.  For example even with basic programming knowledge you could fix infinite loops on MTGO if they would just allow it.  Get wizards permission to modify the UI and I'll do it this weekend, no problem.(and really does it need to be infinite, just let us do loops in batches of 100 that probably more than enough for anyone ever)
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« Reply #44 on: October 01, 2015, 05:48:17 pm »

I think I eschewed clarity for brevity in my comment - sorry for that.

I like how you and rich handled your discussion on loops. It is a problem, and we'd be in better shape if it was fixed, and there are lots of ways they could fix it that would be great, so harping in on one implementation misses the point, which you totally understood. I have heard other people suggest specific fixes - both about the loop problem, and other bugs - followed by estimates of how cheap and easy it would be to roll out those fixes, that frustratingly understate the challenges involved. That's not what happened in your letter, I understand how my comment sounded otherwise.

I do stand by the statement about online game economies. I was particularly thrown by:

Quote
We do not believe that a reasonable implementation of solution (e.g. 40 Play Points for a booster) will lead to a large number of booster packs being introduced to circulation.
40 play points is supposed to be the equivilant of 4 tickets, which to WotC is worth $4.00 ... or, the current retail price of a booster. The suggestion reads "instead of allowing people to buy packs with $4.00 worth of real currency, you should allow them to buy packs with $4.00 worth virtual currency." As youhavenogame has been stating, stopping players from doing that is the entire point of player points - to REDUCE liquidity.

First of all, that is not one of the goals behind the introduction of playpoints, according to Wizards.  In his article introducing playpoints, the article states two goals for playpoints:

1) Provide a prize that allows a Constructed player to immediately jump in another event.
2) At least some events provide players with prizes that allow for better deck customization as preferences and sets change.

Source: http://magic.wizards.com/en/MTGO/articles/archive/magic-online/august-2015-constructed-event-changes-2015-07-20

Nowhere do they say in that article that the goal is to reduce liquidity.  

That said, we do acknowledge that one of the unstated goals was to reduce the extra number of booster packs in circulation.  But we acknowledged and addressed this concern in the article.  

We said:

"We are certainly aware that one of the reasons for the introduction of Play Points was to reduce the number of excess booster packs in circulation. We do not believe that a reasonable implementation of solution (e.g. 40 Play Points for a booster) will lead to a large number of booster packs being introduced to circulation. The majority of players would still use Play Points to enter events. It would remain inefficient for a player to trade Play Points for packs, exchange those packs for Event Tickets, and then use those Event Tickets to enter events.

The only players who would likely want to trade Play Points for packs would be those who have too many Play Points to use to enter events or who are getting out of MTGO entirely. In other words, this solution would only be useful to a small minority of players, but it would be extremely valuable to them and an option for everyone else while remaining an aspirational incentive. Further, it would make the entire system much more player-friendly. It would let users feel more confident in accumulating Play Points, knowing they can still recoup value from their Play Points should they choose to quit MTGO, without resorting to selling their accounts."


Our solution accomplishes all of the stated (and unstated goals) but is not quite as extreme as Wizards solution.  What % of players would trade playpoints for packs?  Certainly not 100%, and certainly more than 0%.  My guess is that the percentage of play points that would be converted is probably under 50% and probably below 25%.

I can speak from personal experience.  Almost all of the boosters that I won were turned into tickets to enter more queues, so I greatly appreciate the idea of play points which reduces my transaction time in having to convert packs to tickets to enter queues.  If I were able to convert play points into tix, I would covert, at most 10-20%.  That would still be far less boosters in circulation than under the old system, but would not eliminate the "aspirational dream" of being able to win more resources for your collection.

Certainly, permitting conversion would create more circulation than is currently the case, but, as we assert, it probably would only be marginally more, and certainly not nearly as much as was possible or happened before the introduction of play points.  

So, I think your characterization of our article is unfair in that it doesn't acknowledge that our solution actually accounts for their goals nicely, while also serving other ends.  

Also, as a related note, to the extent that MTGO economy suffered from having too many packs in circulation - I think that is primarily a result of other flaws in the platform.  Their solution fails to address those root problems at all.  The excess circulation is a symptom, not the cause.  

Finally, I will also go on record saying that I objected to the use of specific numbers in this part of the article.  This is the one point that Rich and I disagreed on.   I endorsed his basic proposal that playpoints should be able to be converted, at some level, to tickets or boosters.  But I expressed strong reservations about specifying a specific number.   I felt that simply saying: "Play points should be permitted to be converted in a reasonable ratio to tickets or boosters" or something like that.  Rich insisted on including a specific number, and further felt that the only "reasonable" conversion in his view as 40 playpoints to 4 tickets.  The way that we compromised to accommodate his request was that I use the language "e.g." (meaning, for example).  By using that language, Rich got his way of having specific numbers, but I didn't feel that our letter boxed us into a specific conversion ratio.  

To the extent that you stumbled on that specific parenthetical, it underscored my concerns to Rich with using specific numbers (just like we didn't advance specific solutions to address the loop problem), but I also think you misread that section and you overlooked the ways in which our reasoning served the stated (and unstated goals).  

Quote

I think the average member of the community just doesn't realize how expensive this stuff is to build, and that prizes, bug fixes, new features (the looping) are all drawing from the same limited pool. If it's unprofitable to run vintage events they just won't - and with something like only 16-32 regular online vintage players IN THE WORLD, we better be REAL careful we're asking for things we need.

I think we were.  Our recommendations were specific, clear, limited, and I think, broadly desirable.  There were many other things I'd like to see happen that we didn't include because they didn't meet the thresholds you speak of.  

That said, I think you overstate how expensive magic online is compared to paper magic.  From what I heard years back, Magic online was the biggest cash generator for Wizards.  Think about paper magic by comparison: you have printing costs, distribution costs, ware housing costs, etc.  None of those costs exist online.  Magic online is a gigantic profit center for them.  Of course there are costs in terms of servers, programming, etc.  But it's nothing compared to the costs of paper magic.  The % of a booster pack sold online that is pure profit is much greater than a the % of a booster pack sold in real life.  


 Usually I try my best to stay out of these internet discussions - but I stayed out of the last one, and now entry fees are doubled to make prizes more topheavy, because noisier voices prevailed.

I just want it to be known that there are people who have played mtgo a lot who don't think the system is unreasonably terrible or unplayable. My worst magic tournament experiences have still been paper tournaments.

I hope you aren't referring to our letter.

Nowhere in our letter did we say that they should reconfigure the daily events to 4 rounds from 3, nor double the entry fee.  All we asked for was for larger monthly events, and an even larger quarterly event.  

In fact, like you, I would have preferred the 3 round events over 4 rounds.  But the reality is that I don't have enough time for either.  I use MTGO on a more than weekly basis, but 99.9% (that is no hyperbole) of my MTGO activity is 2-person queues and VSL matches.  
« Last Edit: October 01, 2015, 05:55:27 pm by Smmenen » Logged

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« Reply #45 on: October 05, 2015, 12:01:40 am »


On a side note, does anyone run MTGO on a Mac?  Making MTGO Mac friendly seems like a good suggestion.  Otherwise I'd have to buy and install "parallels" and "windows" and I don't even know if I'll have any room on my computer for MTGO after all that.

I do. Please hit with a PM if you need assistance on that matter
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« Reply #46 on: October 07, 2015, 07:38:56 pm »

Hopefully this is an appropriate place to post this.

They recently changes the daily system. We're back up to 4 rounds with different prizes and entry fees:
120pp/12tix entry
4-0 gets 6packs and 360pps
3-1 gets 3 packs and 180pps

Just as I did in http://www.themanadrain.com/index.php?topic=47905.60 I will attempt to evaluate the payouts vs. entry fee. I am just going to calculate the win percentage (W) you need to go infinite on the modo dailies. Obviously different people might have different objectives, but this seems like a good starting point to me. I don't think there's a reasonable way to model your win percentage changing depending on your record so I'm sticking with a flat W. Let B be the cost of a booster pack in tix. I'm going with 10pp=1tix, which for the purpose of breaking even is a reasonable assumption (not as much if you want to turn a profit however). Setting up an EV of 0 gives us:

W^4(6B+36)+4W^3(1-W)(3B+18)-12=0

[The first term is the probability of winning all 4 matches times the payout for a 4-0 record. The second is the number of different combinations of records to go 3-1 (4: WWWL WWLW WLWW LWWW) times the probability of getting 3 wins and 1 loss times the payout for a 3-1 record. The last term is the cost of entry. If I messed up the math please yell at me.]

Now that we've played in the play point system era we can better pick a value for B. For the majority of the time origins has been around, you could sell a pack to a bot for 3.9+ tix. It's dipped slightly before the BFZ prerelease, but B=3.9 seems reasonable the majority of the time. Setting B=3.9 and solving with mathematica gives us W=.514. This seems like a very attainable winrate for most people who read TMD.

If you run the same analysis in the 3 round play points system with B=3.9 you get W=.53, so this is an improvement, at least as far as going infinite goes.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2015, 07:45:49 pm by diophan » Logged
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« Reply #47 on: October 08, 2015, 06:27:30 pm »

What's the bottom line, then?  Which is better?

And, any idea why the Vintage daily last night didn't fire?
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« Reply #48 on: October 08, 2015, 11:25:53 pm »

Diophan that's very nice.

From your post from last page you showed you needed to go 0.54 in the old system to go infinite.

Now with your new evaluations for booster prices it appears that you needed to go 0.53 in the 3 round system, and 0.51 with their latest changes.

If your math is correct and assumptions reasonable (sure looks like it for the latter), then it seems it's getting easier and easier to go infinite which probably incentivizes people to play more.
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« Reply #49 on: October 09, 2015, 11:07:54 am »

What's the bottom line, then?  Which is better?

The bottom line is that (assuming I did the math properly) it's easier to go infinite with the new 4 round dailies than the previous 3 round ones. I think it's also true that under any reasonable metric of value the new dailies are better than the 3 round ones. Obviously that's harder to prove though.

The other concern/criticism that Rich has raised is how much can a good player expect to make playing a daily. I didn't figure that, but could in principle if people actually care (not that it's that hard to do). As long as the winrate you need to have an "infinite supply" of playpoints is attainable, you can throw out the entry fee and the playpoints and just calculate the EV of winnings from packs. My personal experience is that I'm net positive on playpoints since they implemented the change and have never had to pay an entry fee with tix.

And, any idea why the Vintage daily last night didn't fire?

No I've been busy this week so I haven't queued for one yet. Hopefully the ones during the weekend fire, otherwise we have a serious problem.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2015, 11:13:43 am by diophan » Logged
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« Reply #50 on: October 09, 2015, 11:38:19 am »

What's the bottom line, then?  Which is better?

And, any idea why the Vintage daily last night didn't fire?

We fired last night with I believe 16 people, which was the best turnout we have had in quite sometime.
The night previous we didn't fire with 8 in queue.
I tried to rally people for the one that didn't fire and of the 4 people I asked (previous Vintage regulars) they said it was the steep cost to join the event.
Time will tell how this will shake down, but last night was pretty great having a 4 round event again.

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« Reply #51 on: October 09, 2015, 03:14:03 pm »

It's because of the trade interface.  The database they use to store collections and manage what decks you can/cannot play is really old.  And the play client runs concurrently with the collection tracking.  The biggest problem with MTGO is they don't want to separate the two.  Conceivably you could easily make a client that ran on all types of operating systems that was 'play only' but you wouldn't be able to manage your collection or trade cards.  It was set up this way long ago since it was one of the first real digital object ownership platforms online in existence and they were super paranoid about hacking things you were paying real money for.

Are you saying that the server relies on the client to verify user's collections? That can't be right, because that would be hacked so quickly. You simply can't rely on clients to secure any kind of data at all in a decent client-server platform where the user is untrusted.



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« Reply #52 on: October 09, 2015, 08:22:53 pm »

Here's my answer to "what's the EV for a good player playing in a daily?":

To have some numbers to work with, I calculated my win rate in all the 4 man daily events I played in in 2015. It ended up being 27-13, or .675 win percentage.

First, we calculate the the winrate needed so that one won't run out of playpoints and can always enter an event with those:
W^4(36)+4W^3(1-W)(18)-12=0
Solving gives W=.623. So if W>=.623, we can assume the events are free to enter. I'm going to use B=3.9 like in my previous post.

New Daily EV:
W=.623:
.623^4(6*3.9)+4*.623^3(1-.623)(3*3.9) = 7.79tix
My W=.675:
.675^4(6*3.9)+4*.675^3(1-.675)(3*3.9) = 9.5tix

Daily EV before playpoints:
W=.623:
.623^4(11*3.9)+4*.623^3(1-.623)6*3.9-6 = 9.0tix
My W=.675:
.675^4(11*3.9)+4*.675^3(1-.675)6*3.9-6 = 12.3tix

The problem is that you couldn't reliably sell packs for 3.9tix back in the day (largely because the dailies flooded to market). If anyone can supply a reasonable price of a booster pack pre playpoints let me know. Even without factoring in that boosters were worth less back then, the EV is at least in the same ballpark, albeit slightly worse.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2015, 08:30:21 pm by diophan » Logged
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« Reply #53 on: October 09, 2015, 10:05:16 pm »

What's the bottom line, then?  Which is better?

And, any idea why the Vintage daily last night didn't fire?

We fired last night with I believe 16 people, which was the best turnout we have had in quite sometime.
The night previous we didn't fire with 8 in queue.
I tried to rally people for the one that didn't fire and of the 4 people I asked (previous Vintage regulars) they said it was the steep cost to join the event.
Time will tell how this will shake down, but last night was pretty great having a 4 round event again.



That odd that that event wasn't reported on the MTGO decklists page. 
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« Reply #54 on: October 09, 2015, 11:19:51 pm »

For historic booster prices I checked out goldfish. I would say for khans block packs 2.5 seems like a reasonable average.
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« Reply #55 on: October 10, 2015, 07:56:18 am »

So they changed the Vintage event structure? Did they even make an announcement?? (they may very well have but I'm so far disconnected thanks to my job sucking up 110% of my time)
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« Reply #56 on: October 10, 2015, 03:24:45 pm »

Anybody on this thread who can add me to the tmd clan on MtGO?  Username there is just khahan.
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« Reply #57 on: October 12, 2015, 03:57:30 pm »

Looks like something is coming up. Hopefully it won't disappoint. http://wizardsmtgo.tumblr.com/post/131042225954/larger-vintage-events
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The first larger Vintage event will be Saturday, October 24 at 11am Pacific time. Plan now to be there! Full details about the event will be in my article on Monday, October 19.
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« Reply #58 on: October 12, 2015, 03:58:15 pm »

Looks like something is coming up. Hopefully it won't disappoint. http://wizardsmtgo.tumblr.com/post/131042225954/larger-vintage-events
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The first larger Vintage event will be Saturday, October 24 at 11am Pacific time. Plan now to be there! Full details about the event will be in my article on Monday, October 19.

Woot!
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« Reply #59 on: October 12, 2015, 04:37:15 pm »

Yeah that's 5am Sunday morning for me!

1pm Pacific time would be like 8pm Europe, 7am Australia. What's wrong with that? Sure MTGO staff understand such constraints but it always go USA first.

The online game cost me the same clearly I'm not getting the same value.
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