Solid write-up, Nick.
There's a bit of concern among some people (not necessarily from anybody here) that abolishing the reserve list will mean that people's old cards will not be worth much. Some cards, yes. Random reserve list cards that don't have much meaning, yes. But Black Lotuses? No way in hell. The value of such cards will outlive the game.
However, I am extremely concerned that every single time I step away from the game and return, my collection seemingly gains another arbitrary percentage of value.
I got into Vintage (and indeed, magic itself) only in 2013. I loved the North-East Vintage community and have made some of my best friends there. A little while before Vintage went online, I was given some advice by @Prospero that "if I ever wanted to buy in, it would be a good time to do so now, before Vintage goes online and prices sky-rocket". It was among the best advice I've ever been given, and I'm forever grateful for that. I purchased an Unlimited Lotus for $800 and the rest of the P9 shortly after. Compare that to the prices of today and it's ludicrous.
There is no way I could do a repeat of 2013 and get into what was essentially a new game today. The prices are too high and price out anybody who does not have an inherent connection to the game already. Yes, proxies exist, but I've met a number of people who prefer playing with real cards and don't want to use proxies. It's not a strange notion either, wouldn't you want to actually see the cards you're playing?
I don't actually think we need to divorce the collectible from the game. What I mean by this is, in a hypothetical scenario, we could abolish the reserve list tomorrow, print every card under the sun and the old printings will STILL hold collectible value. Keep the collectible nature of the game, but let it not impede the ability to enjoy the game itself.
Why do some of you seem to think that any community managed format would eventually have multiple iterations of B&R? I'm not saying that the format is no longer sanctioned. It is still WOTCs format. I am in effect asking them to outsource the playtesting B&R discussions, etc to a volunteer community who is more invested and knowledgable of the format.
And what makes you think the same thing you're doing now wouldn't happen again? In fact, it would be easier to feel that a player-run version is inadequate and want to make your own. Any B&R discussion whether it be here or on twitter is evidence of that.
Unlike players who are heavily invested in a format, the DCI is meant to make impartial and dispassionate decisions that is good for the game in general. Players have a slightly different desire (which is to maximise their enjoyment), even though those goals are often aligned.
As much as I disagree with the DCI on a number of their decisions, I believe they do a better job of managing the Vintage B&R list than any group of community members could. The last thing Vintage needs is the old school effect where there are a million different B&R rulesets when the community is already small enough.
As much as everyone is ready to say the DCI are clueless, can you not see what a difficult job it is trying to please such a diverse group of players and their various wants? Do you really think a community could accomplish this and not have similar complaints flare up anyway?
So I kinda disagree with the initial premise that WOTC "doesn't know how to" or "does not care" to run Vintage.
@desolutionist said in B&R Announcement - May 18, 2020:
So the above is how a past version of development didn't go in an alternate universe in the back of Rosewater's mind. Okay got it. Thanks for clearing that up.
I don't know if you're trying to be snarky? But I'm going to assume you're not in order to be charitable.
Citing a semi-hilarious semi-embellished story about MTG development and using that as a basis to say Rosewater's credibility went to zero in your book seems like a bit of an over-reaction, unless you're under the impression that was a real story.
@desolutionist said in B&R Announcement - May 18, 2020:
So these young interns who have spent their entire lives studying, applying, working part-time jobs, taking loans, and navigating the waters of internship landed a dream job that requires testing games of magic for research and development. They were so offended by a game mechanic under development that they threw away their careers just after dramatically writing a detailed message with lipstick on a two-way mirror?
Rosewater's credibility just went to zero in my book.
Er, you realise this isn't a real story, right? It's just a fun way of telling us how a past version of development went?
I'll also state for the record that I have reservations about the quick ban. I don't have as much time to play Vintage as I used to, and I've certainly not had the time to play with the companions yet. But honestly I never felt the need to once the conversations around Twitter turned into "ban them now" because what would be the point? They'll be irrelevant soon enough. The format changes too quickly for me now, with every new set creating a new set of cards for people to complain about publically, which invariably results in a complete loss of interest because I know the format's probably going to change before I get to play any measurable number of games.
I've not read the posts in great detail, but I figured this perspective might be useful. The fast-paced nature of the format certainly benefits those who play Vintage on MTGO regularly, and if that's the direction Wizards chooses to go, that's also fine. But know that it comes at the cost of another group of players.
FWIW, the card seems busted enough that a ban seems reasonable on the surface, but I'd certainly have liked a little more time given before taking such a massive decision such as a power level banning in Vintage. I shudder to think what future B&R discussions are going to look like now that seemingly bans have been brought back to the table.
I'm sure Narset was problematic enough to warrant a restriction, but all I can think of at this point is "what is the next card people are going to complain about for the next few months"? My bet is on Paradoxical Outcome.
These constant restrictions are tiring.
Look at any major sport and there is a players union fighting for/against rule changes. I don’t see why magic should be some great exception. No one is going to advocate for a change that they think will kill the game.
I absolutely think objectivity is a good thing. Most players are unable to see what their proposed actions will accomplish beyond the immediate future. This is not a knock on people, it's just not a skill players of a game need to develop.
Of course nobody is going to advocate for a change they think is going to kill the game. But the problem is that a change players want might not necessarily give them the result they want. Someone emotionally and financially invested is not necessarily going to consider opposing points of view. Objectivity lets you do exactly that.
I think the idea that the DCI has better Vintage experts than the actual Vintage players is pretty suspect
You can have the best players in history but if you aren't able to manage the format while holding a dispassionate and objective view of the long-reaching ramifications of your actions, being a good Vintage player means nothing. Management of a format takes more than simple player skill, as evidenced by some of the restrictions proposed by skilled players of the format on this very forum.