I’ve been considering playing MTGO more seriously.
I’ve had the game for years now and have mostly played when my local scene has occasionally dried up from time to time. I’ve really never actually taken the next step so to speak.
I don’t really know what’s been holding me back. I currently have two decks I could consider ready for that level of competition. I’m confidant in my ability to play both decks. For some reason, I have never fired up.
This week Wizards had announced changes to MTGO entry cost and prize structure. The cost of playing at a competitive level has increased by double. Prizes now include a point reward system with a reduced amount of packs. The overall changes can be found here.
I try not to jump to conclusions regarding people’s decision making. There is a reason why Wizards has made these changes and I try to take a more big picture approach than be needlessly outraged.
Wizards has mentioned that one of the reasons why points have replaced the usual amount of packs is that they are wanting players to play more games. I’m fine with that line of thinking but is that really a decent enough reward to keep bringing players back to competitive play?
My local play group offers a $5 buy in for events. All players immediately receive a pack upon payment. The event occurs and the winner receives minimal additional prize packs. This type of entry fee as well as prizes for everyone involved aided newer players that would had purchased a pack anyway, lessened the competitiveness of decks and created a more friendly, less bloodthirsty environment for all. On the flip side, it alienated truly competitive players that usually showed up for a big payout at the end for winning.
Did you read that? Competitive players refused to show for events when prize support was minimal. This lessened the competition available at any given event. Now add in that the entry fee to these online events will be doubled. Would a competitive player be willing to pay more for less?
Sure, winning a string of matches creates a cycle of minimum entry payment for minimum packs gained and a suppose this is what Wizards was looking for when they chose to change the system to this.
Do these changes make me reconsider playing at this elevated level? Slightly. I suppose it really depends on how well I do one the first few events. Playing Magic at the LGS in person has it’s novelties but paying double for playing in the comfort of my own home seems nice also. I don’t live near my game store and it would be nearly an hour drive both ways for such an event. Maybe online would be my best bet regardless of the entry fee changes.
If you enjoyed this commentary and have something to add, you can contact Aiokii in the comments below, Twitter or Facebook. Aiokii can also be found on MTGO, hit him up for a game sometime. Also, take the time to check out Reddit Budgetdecks for cheap discussion and deck ideas.