@BazaarOfBaghdad said in MTGO Outside Assistance:

At the same time, the streamers risk an opponent ghosting without repercussions, so it evens out.

This is an absolutely toxic attitude. I have to peek at my opponent's hand in order to make up for his outside assistance? That is pure nonsense and I refuse to stoop to it.

Do you think it is easier to do well while streaming? Streaming means you have a thousand voices in your ears at once. Is it fun? Yes. But I assure you, I would play much better in solitude. The only "solution" would be not to allow streaming. And really, that would just make it harder to detect.

@The-Atog-Lord said in MTGO Outside Assistance:

Do you think it is easier to do well while streaming? Streaming means you have a thousand voices in your ears at once. Is it fun? Yes. But I assure you, I would play much better in solitude. The only "solution" would be not to allow streaming. And really, that would just make it harder to detect.

This isn't about streaming. It's about whether you have a team of players on your couch helping you win one of the season's major Vintage events. And if you're saying you would break rules against outside assistance if you could get away with it because it's "harder to detect" I have no sympathy for that cheater mindset at all.

Edited to add: You know I stream a lot, right? I'm not ignorant of the strategic trade-offs there

last edited by ajfirecracker

I didn't say I would cheat. I said that it would be hard to detect.

@The-Atog-Lord well then what's your point? Lots of unethical things are hard to detect, that does not imply they should be allowed in principle

Magic Online is not paper Magic. I can read @Smmenen's Doomsday article while resolving a doomsday. There are no draws, intentional or otherwise. No one can miss a CotV or narcomoeba trigger. My opponent can time out while executing the Salvagers combo. I can consult mtggoldfish for a list of my opponent's recently played decks after the round has started, but I cannot watch others' matches after I have finished mine. I can accidentally misclick while resolving a flusterstorm or choosing the order triggers go on the stack. I can play from my apartment without putting on pants and microwave a burrito after F6'ing as my opponent goes off. My opponent can play a deck for 600 tix instead of $18,000.

Some of these things are "good" while others are "bad". I think it is misguided to put one particular paper rule on a pedestal.

EDIT: Also the beginning of combat step exists.

last edited by diophan

I don't see how streaming would be allowed at all under what you propose. A lot of streaming involves discussing plays and lines. Doing that without having any input from the audience seems impossible. The logical extension is not to stream.

@The-Atog-Lord Again, what is your point? I think if you had the whole VSL squad in your basement (That's what that is, right?) it would obviously be unethical. But somehow "only" a couple buddies is exactly as inconsequential as Twitch chat? Come on, be honest. There really is a difference there.

last edited by ajfirecracker

ajfirecracker, You're the one with the toxic attitude here, over the entire thread. I only talked about the risk of ghosting to even out, not that you personally would have to do it. Just knowing that someone will eventually do so more than cancels out any incremental advantages gained. Ultimately, though, I get a kick out of beating up on the whole crew, if such it is. It makes me a better player (incidentally, to brag a little, I think I'm a very lucky 5-0 against The Atog Lord in MTGO events who is an awesome player and ambassador). You could stream too if you want, if you thought it was such an advantage. But even if you don't want to ghost (and I never would either), just imagine the tactical points you could gain in going over the archived video of your games with the streamer afterwards - you see his entire decision process which is a huge advantage for your next encounter. In short, I don't think we have a problem here.

@BazaarOfBaghdad I do stream, was streaming today, and streaming is not the point.

Am I playing against Rich Shay when we play a match online, or am I playing against Rich plus his Vintage-playing friends?

@diophan The difference is this particular paper rule is an ethical rule. I think a similar thing would be looking at your opponents hand. I think in the rules of Magic that's wrong to do whether in person or via Twitch

@ajfirecracker I think it is unethical that people cannot play in Champs because they either did not buy their power over 5 years ago or are wealthy.

The distinction between outside assistance before and during a tournament is, in my opinion, fairly arbitrary. As someone who is currently reasonably established in vintage I can test with/ask the opinions of very skilled players. A couple years ago I was working all by myself deciding on a decklist and testing. I don't see much of a difference between the advantage someone who is well connected has in game versus out of game.

I get your frustration. Seeing a couple skilled vintage pilots playing against you when you lose is tilting. However I do not agree that whether something is (potentially) visible should determine if it is ethical.

@diophan that's a rationalization. We do make a distinction in this game between preparation and actually playing a deck. Pretending that distinction does not exist in order to pardon unethical behavior is dishonest.

Not streaming gives you the best chance to win, provided you make all the best plays.

If I'm in the power 9 challenge, I absolutely check to see what Rich Shay is playing and he has no idea what I'm playing. Depending on how I craft my deck, that's an advantage that cannot be overcome no matter how many people are on his side.

I check everyone's stream. Gives me best chance to win.

I've never ghosted anyone but, might as well next time, right?

AJ, if you start ghosting Rich, I can almost guarantee that he puts his stream on a delay, in which he can no longer get help. Problem solved.

last edited by desolutionist

You can always set higher stream delay. However this may be bad interaction for twitch viewers. If someone would actually want to play with 5 people behind his back, he can always choose not to stream. Streaming is not the problem here.

If it makes you feel any better, I 5-1'd the swiss today completely alone, and as soon as Stefan showed up I immediately lost in the top 8 😄

I have remained mostly silent about this issue for a long time because I have friends who stream and I have friends who played (and won) events both large and small with one or more "copilots" on Skype. I do not wish any ill will towards them or anyone.

However I have to say that is feels discouraging to know I might have to defeat a team of people to win a single round of Magic on MTGO. I'm certainly not the best player in the world, but I do all my work on my own and I set a strong emphasis on honor. I have never ghosted a stream, even when I knew I could. But to think that my opponent might have beaten me because their buddy stopped them from making a mistake feels awful. That's just how I feel, and my feelings are valid as a human being.

I'll preface this by saying I haven't gotten to play much competitive magic at all in the last 1.5yrs and don't follow streams, so I apologize if I misunderstand something.

After following this topic a few times, it still seems incomprehensible to me to defend group play. I understand an elite player might not gain anything from a stream, or that MTGO is a different game, but I will say one aspect of Magic has always been consistent since the beginning. It's always been my best effort against my opponent's best effort.

I know digital magic is a different beast, but if people were chiming in during a paper match at a live tournament, people would be going ballistic.

The defense that it's not enforceable doesn't sit well with me.

The defense that it doesn't help, I can't verify. I've heard elite players say they have never gained from help, but I can't speak to that. I would imagine that most help is distracting chatter, but not all of it can be.

The defense that streaming is better for the publicity of MTGO might be perfectly valid.

I guess at the end of the day, it truly is unenforceble, so at least kudos to those that don't do it in the shadows.

I might play less in a year than some people play in a week, however, if I sat down to play in a tournament on MTGO, I would (perhaps unrealistically) assume I was playing against one person and if it were otherwise, I can't pretend I wouldn't be disappointed.

last edited by joshuabrooks

I think the reality of the situation is it's never ever going to be enforceable. If you ban streaming on Twitch, then players can still "team up" by hosting a private streaming session to garner the feedback from their friends, if they so choose. I'd love for everyone to be on an even setting, but the nature of a digital product is such that these things are an inevitable by-product. I'm sure this is an issue for nearly every competitive digital game.

As a player who skypes in other players or even streams his games sometimes I can understand that some players think it's unfair, well because it is but it's also impossible to stop. I do it because it is a very good way to improve at the game and have a lot of fun. At my local draft group we did this for years even before any of us played magic online and it helped all of us getting better at the game.

I think banning outside assistance on magic online would only punish fair players that would obey a rule that is impossible to enforce. So my advice is "join the dark side" skype with your friends get better at the game and have fun.

last edited by Grischa
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