JULY 2, 2018 BANNED AND RESTRICTED UPDATE


  • TMD Supporter

    @wfain said in JULY 2, 2018 BANNED AND RESTRICTED UPDATE:

    @smmenen if you’re going to quote someone, at least quote them. I think you misinterpreted exactly all of what I wrote in the post you were attempting to quote.

    Ummm. I literally used the quote function to quote you verbatim. I did, actually, quote you.

    I am pointing out that the concept of “power level” is non-existent as you conceive it & hopelessly contextual, and therefore a terrible ground for restriction. If PO were that powerful, it would be banned in Legacy like Gush & Treasure Cruise. It’s not even close.

    In your own post this becomes evident as PO does have to be built around to maximize:

    It doesn’t require much in the way of special deck-building, intelligent play, or complex sequencing. You just play cards you’d play in your blue vintage deck anyway (aside from Mox Opal), you get to stop playing expensive sorcery speed cards (like Tezzeret) and the most commonly played anti-combo and anti-shops cards aren’t even that good against it. Unlike Bargain..

    Actually, it’s exactly like Bargain in that respect. You need more accelerants to support & maximize it. And, yes, Bargain generates mana via card advantage.

    We restrict cards primarily in Vintage based upon tournament performance. Anything less risks harming the competitive balance & diversity of the metagame.

    In addition to being the first good deck in ages to knock Shops off its perch, PO has brought big blue decks with Tinker, Yawg Will & Time Vault back to the center of the Vintage metagame. That is a GREAT thing. This deck has been virtually absent for almost 5 years, and the format has been stuck in the nightmarish quagmire of Shops v Xerox. PO is helping break that open.

    The Vintage format is better now than at any point since Khans of Tarkir. PO is the reason.



  • @ten-ten said in JULY 2, 2018 BANNED AND RESTRICTED UPDATE:

    Out of this whole thread, what bothered me most was the attempt to make opinions a fact.
    Fact Is, there's no absolute metric for objectification of "fun", ever.

    This is flat out wrong. If I poll everyone on TMD and ask them "Do you consider X to be fun?" and tabulate the results, I have generated an objective measure of fun. Now you can debate my sampling method, examine bias, argue about applicability, etc. but the very fact that you can do this makes it objective. If it were subjective, you would not be able to argue that. I can't argue with you on what you find to be fun. I consider the World Cup entertaining, but that has no bearing on whether you enjoy it. And the term "absolute measure" has no scientific meaning in this context... I'm not even sure what you are trying to say. It sounds like you are trying to hedge on semantics.

    On a general note, the users saying that "fun should never be factored into B&R decisions" are making emotional appeals to an arbitrary sense of justice and not dealing with reality. It's pretty clear that Wizards takes fun into consideration when designing sets and managing formats. It's a game, not a court of law. The purpose is fun, not justice. Discuss cards appropriately on their own merits and effects on the format. Don't simply restate platitudes.

    Edit: @Smmenen I actually think the restrictions of Gush, Mentor, 2 Delve spells, and 3 lock pieces have created more entertaining and interactive games with more diversity in deck selection. Hinging an entire formats health on one card seems a bit of a stretch.



  • @smmenen I’ll be honest, I’m glad I don’t know you. You, like Outcome, are too powerful and should be restricted.


  • TMD Supporter

    @chubbyrain said in JULY 2, 2018 BANNED AND RESTRICTED UPDATE:

    Edit: @Smmenen? I actually think the restrictions of Gush, Mentor, 2 Delve spells, and 3 lock pieces have created more entertaining and interactive games with more diversity in deck selection. Hinging an entire formats health on one card seems frankly absurd.

    My belief is that restricting PO would basically rewind Vintage back to last November, which was a disaster, but after all those restrictions.

    What changed since was that PO with Hurkyls has been retuned to trump Shops, opening up the metagame.

    Restrict PO, and you go back to the format as it was last November.

    Thats why i said the following on twlink textitter & earlier in this thread:

    Paradoxical Outcome is the glue keeping the Vintage format & metagame balanced & diverse.

    It’s Shops predator. Restrict it & the format goes back to the hot mess it was for the preceding 5 years. Restricting it is a bad idea, especially since it is not remotely dominant.

    PO strategies are the proximate cause, in my estimation, of this opening up of the metagame.

    Edit:

    On a general note, the users saying that "fun should never be factored into B&R decisions" are making emotional appeals to an arbitrary sense of justice and not dealing with reality. It's pretty clear that Wizards takes fun into consideration when designing sets and managing formats. It's a game, not a court of law. The purpose is fun, not justice

    Im not sure whether you are referring to my posts, since I never said any of the statements you are arguing against. I agree with the premise that the purpose of DCI policy is to promote fun.

    To be clear, fun has many facets, but there is broad consensus that fun formats provide diverse competitive options.

    Years ago I wrote a long post or article that attempted to delineate the various facets of fun, and came to the conclusion that the key to fun is “meaningful choice.” This concept applies to deck selection, in-game play, sideboarding, etc.

    Therefore, the interest in promoting format diversity is actually serving the ultimate goal of fostering a fun format. Thus, when I say that metagame diversity is the primary and most important ground for restriction, I am essentially saying the same thing as the pupose of restricted list policy is to promote fun, not the opposite.

    The problem is that multiple facets of ‘fun’ can be in tension. Restricting cards on grounds other than competitive balance & strategic diversity ultimately risks reducing the one ground that virtually everyone believes is a prerequisite for ‘fun.’

    I am not categorically opposed to restricting cards on grounds other than dominance (see http://www.eternalcentral.com/so-many-insane-plays-suggested-banned-and-restricted-list-updates-2018/ for a fuller elaboration of my views on B&R Policy). But the bar should be high, since any restriction on grounds other than dominance is likely to undermine format strategic diversity.



  • @chubbyrain

    A poll with analysis would be an empirical analysis, not necessarily an objective one. Versus the theoretical arguments that people make in these threads. While I personally consider empirical evidence more compelling and objective than theoretical arguments, pure indisputable objectivity is not achievable in this case (nor is it possible in many cases in science).



  • @smmenen I wasn't referring to you, Steve. At the moment, I was referencing Ten-Ten's post but it's hardly a position that is unique to them. The reference to law was to delineate between Wizards of the Coast as a private company that makes a card game and another common industry that has a different mandate. Wizards of the Coast is under no extreme measure to act "justly" or "fairly". They have an interest in maximizing the amount of fun people have playing their game. While Vintage is a small format and minor source of income, they still have a vested interest in the format as Vintage exists on MTGO and Vintage players do occasionally buy cards from newly printed sets. The argument that "fun is subjective on an individual level and therefore it shouldn't factor into decisions" is based on fairness as opposed to majority rule. It is more a legal argument than a relevant argument concerning a game.

    As for the PO debate, the salient quote is:

    @smmenen said in JULY 2, 2018 BANNED AND RESTRICTED UPDATE:

    Years ago I wrote a long post or article that attempted to delineate the various facets of fun, and came to the conclusion that the key to fun is “meaningful choice.” This concept applies to deck selection, in-game play, sideboarding, etc.

    Strategic diversity doesn't reflect the degree of meaningful choice of in-game decisions. Strategic diversity represents a combination of Diversity and Balance. "Can I play a deck I enjoy and that matches my style of play?" (Diversity) "Should I play such a deck if I want a legitimate shot at winning?" (Balance) These factors are measurable through the metagame data on a format. Rock-Paper-Scissors is technically diverse. It is technically balanced. It is however not what most Vintage players want to drive 2 hours or more to play. The crucial element that is missing is Interactivity. Or counter-play. Or any of the other synonyms WotC has used or will use in the future. This is essentially "do I get to make meaning choices during a game of Magic?". And it's really hard to measure empirically.

    I think we discussed this a bit on Twitter. I personally feel that PO leads to uninteractive gameplay. I think that impacts my enjoyment of the format to a degree (I have not played it much recently, though that is influenced by factors independent of the format). If I was the only person playing to format, I think WotC should restrict PO. However, I am obviously not the only person playing the format. From the facebook group and this thread, I think it's pretty clear that I'm in the minority. So be it. Again, WotC has an interest in maximizing fun on the way to maximizing profits. If a clear majority of Vintage players enjoy PO or are indifferent, my personal thoughts on the matter should be overruled. End result: At this current time, PO should not be restricted. That doesn't mean players will always enjoy playing with or against PO. Nick Dijohn drove several hours to Waterbury, got turn 1'd by PO multiple times, and was commiserating with me in the losers bracket. When instances like this accumulate, the collective attitude about PO can change.

    This is actually a pretty high bar for restriction since it isn't aided by metagame data, and a large number of people have to express the desire for a restriction. On that, we agree. We haven't met that bar, yet. On that, we agree. My position is more that people are talking past each other and not viewing the matter in a practical light (as WotC would see it).

    @vaughnbros There are 11 different meanings of objective at Dictionary.com. I am using objective as "based on facts", compared to subjective as "based on emotions, perspectives, etc." The results of a poll are a fact. Analysis and interpretation of that poll can be subjective.



  • @chubbyrain

    I understand what you meant. Just wanted to clarify my earlier statement about how "fun" can't really be measured objectively. Any poll will have some sort of bias, but that's ok! All polls, scientific or not are going to have some bias. Its unavoidable, but there are ways to minimize that bias and make whatever biases there are clear in presentation of the material (that is what makes something scientific). Not just conducting an empirical analysis. There are actually some very good scientific articles that don't use empirical analyses at all (most literature reviews and case studies).

    Subjectivity is an inherent part of human understanding of facts in general, and as a result in any policy that is made. Just like bias in an empirical analysis its unavoidable, but should be attempted to be minimized. That's of course why we usually prefer big data empirical analyses to case studies, but there is certainly value to both.

    The problem with using any sort of objective analysis for Vintage though as I brought up earlier is that we have a special list of cards in our minds that are considered unrestrictable. That list includes Force of Will, Mishra's Workshop, Bazaar of Baghdad, Duals lands, Fetch lands among others. These special considerations make it basically impossible to use actual numbers because the numbers will always point to one of these cards. We then end up doing work arounds like restricting Sphere of Resistance, and end up back at square 1 because the card that actually was the reason for dominance is still unrestricted.


  • TMD Supporter

    @chubbyrain said in JULY 2, 2018 BANNED AND RESTRICTED UPDATE:

    As for the PO debate, the salient quote is:

    @smmenen said in JULY 2, 2018 BANNED AND RESTRICTED UPDATE:

    Years ago I wrote a long post or article that attempted to delineate the various facets of fun, and came to the conclusion that the key to fun is “meaningful choice.” This concept applies to deck selection, in-game play, sideboarding, etc.

    Strategic diversity doesn't reflect the degree of meaningful choice of in-game decisions.

    I know that. But what I have said over & over is that a policy of maximizing one can undermine the other - that is what I mean when I say that the various facets of fun can be in ‘tension.’ The way to resolve this tension is to decide which are most important.

    IMO, metagame diversity is most important. A restriction that makes players feel more interactive but dramatically reduces metagame diversity would be a bad choice. I am not necessarily referring to PO here.

    Also, a schemata that gives too much importance to ‘counterplay’ is biased in favor of blue decks with countermagic. Metagame diversity is both a more objective AND strategically neutral criterion. That is not to discount other considerations, but it is to be clear about their relative importance.

    I think we discussed this a bit on Twitter. I personally feel that PO leads to uninteractive gameplay. I think that impacts my enjoyment of the format to a degree (I have not played it much recently, though that is influenced by factors independent of the format). If I was the only person playing to format, I think WotC should restrict PO. However, I am obviously not the only person playing the format. From the facebook group and this thread, I think it's pretty clear that I'm in the minority. So be it. Again, WotC has an interest in maximizing fun on the way to maximizing profits. If a clear majority of Vintage players enjoy PO or are indifferent, my personal thoughts on the matter should be overruled. End result: At this current time, PO should not be restricted.

    I agree with your conclusion, but fundamentally disagree with your reasoning. Although the goal should be to maximize fun, this should not be a democracy. As I’ve said many times, that approach encourages factionalism/tribalism, where different ‘schools’ of players lobby to use B&R Policy to restrict strategies that predate or are favored against those schools, and B&R policy becomes little more than interest group politics.

    That's a horrible model. B&R policy should be based on neutral standards, not just objective facts. Thats why there is a policy maker instead of just a poll. They should act in our best interests, not for our desired interests. It’s like when goverment taxes us even when we dont want it. Its for our own good. So is resisting popular calls to restrict.



  • @smmenen Again, you aren't dealing with reality. You are saying what Wizards should do and ignoring what they have done. You are comparing Wizards to a government when they are a private corporation that makes a card game.

    Look at Feldar Guardian. It survived the initial round of bannings only to be met with public backlash and an almost unprecedented "Addendum" banning. Yes, WotC made up a line about using 2 days of MTGO data, while many people didn't have access to the new cards, as part of the reasoning. No one can predict a format from 2 days of data when cards aren't readily available. They did that largely as a rationalization to appease people like those on TMD. Nobody wants to hear that changes may not be objective. But that's what Wizards does and has done.

    Look at Mishra's Workshop. Look at Brainstorm. Public opinion cuts both ways - it can keep cards with dominant characteristics legal as "pillars of a format". Aaron Forsythe said as much. I know you and I disagree with him, but it is what it is. I am trying to take a realistic view on B&R, as opposed to an idealistic view. It's pretty clear where most TMDers fall though.


  • TMD Supporter

    I know well the difference between what is and what should be. But over the decades of my involvement in this format, management of the restricted list has moved much closer to what should be than what was.

    My entire previous post was based upon how the format should be managed, not how it is currently managed. And implicitly a critique of your preferred approach, which leads, in my opinion to too many restrictions.

    Do you know how some people say there was never a war John McCain didn’t support? Unfortunately, that’s my perception of your views of potential restrictions. I think most of vintage players are more concerned with having a smaller restricted list than the considerations that you seem most concerned about.



  • @smmenen said in JULY 2, 2018 BANNED AND RESTRICTED UPDATE:

    Do you know how some people say there was never a war John McCain didn’t support? Unfortunately, that’s my perception of your views of potential restrictions. I think most of vintage players are more concerned with having a smaller restricted list than the considerations that you seem most concerned about.

    I think we can both agree that I am a peace-loving dove compared to Brian. 😛

    I actually think Vintage is in a good place right now. We'll see where PO ends up.


 

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