Sunday, October 24, 2010

MTGO's future(s)?

I may have been playing Magic since the mid ninety's but the online experience is fairly new to me. I finally gave into the two things keeping me from MTGO: buying digital merchandise, or what most refer to as imaginary cards, and buying everything twice. The second of the two, seemly easier to address in theory, becomes even more difficult as more and more invest into their second collections, compensation comes to mind. With the lack of any development for the foretold browser only v4, I can't imagine WotC refunding a cent.

We may eventually see a future set that addresses the issue, where paper packs come with a digital code for a MTGO equivalent, and a digital pack will also order yourself a paper pack that would be delivered in a matter of business days, this change due to postal delivery services, easily changes the price of a pack, something that would cause more complaining than the release of mythics. Of course this option in itself brings about it's own problems from hacking. Nothing like finding out that the pack you just bought was already used by some PC performing script of trial and error. Another possibility would inquire the use of data scanning devices, additional hardware that would need to be purchased in order for additional digital devices not needed to be purchase. A way for this to be marketed toward the causal crowd would need to be addressed, as the current incarnation is plug and play, one of the many features that shouldn't be removed regardless of any improvement.

As it's been stated WotC continues to look for ways to bring the MTGO closer and closer to paper in hopes that one day they are one in the same. Even though there is a two week gap between the release of a paper set and it's online version, at 4 sets a year...that's 8 weeks, 1/6th of the year where the two are no where in sync. The answer that the ORCs are told to give normally has something to do with the lines of code necessary for programmers to add. I like many others have to call bullshit. Most sets are finished, tested, and tweaked months in advance prior to actual release. Spoilers of future sets became public well over a month prior to the pre-release, this finalized product could easily be given to the programming team.

So is WotC willingly preventing it's online product the opportunity that they themselves project to reach in order to save the sanctity of a pre-release? Or does this go to show that Hasbro being a gaming company of 87 years isn't willing to invest additional money in what would be experimental innovation in the industry they literally monopolized? Most likely. But the squeakiest wheel gets the oil, as time goes on, less will believe the copy/paste tripe that is feed, the sale of digital product will be affected, and Hasbro will take action as they have with the eye sores of MTGO versions prior.