Friday, November 15, 2013

The Sky Is (Not) Falling

Unless you've been disconnected from the virtual world for the last week or so (or don't follow what's going on in the world of Magic Online), by now you've no doubt heard about the horrific problems Wizards of the Coast had with Magic Online last weekend and the ensuing decision to shutdown most of the major events until further notice.

Problems with Magic Online resulting in cancelled events are nothing new, but in this particular case Pro Magic player Brian Kibler, understandable frustrated by his experience, called for the community to stop playing Magic Online until the problems were fixed. The post went viral, and while not officially confirmed, it seems likely that this firestorm of negative publicity was at the least a contributing factor to Wizards of the Coast's decision.

Twitter went crazy as this all went down. Just search under hashtag #mtgo or better yet #blamekibler to see just what I mean. You could also check out StarCityGame's The Magic Show, which in an entertaining ten-minute segment gives a decent overview of the whole situation.

Personally, the best response I've read so far comes from Pete Jahn's State of the Program for today. I encourage you to check it out for yourself. But here's the big takeaway: Don't panic. Yes, Magic Online has serious problems. Yes, it's going to take some time to fix it. Yes, some of the previous features won't be available for the foreseeable future, and may be dramatically different once they return. But this is familiar ground. It's happened before. Sadly, it will probably happen again. And in the end, Magic Online will survive, its audience will continue to grow, and we will continually find new things to frustrate us about the program. Because despite all its flaws, Magic Online gives us an experience that we can't find anywhere else.

And, for us casual players, there is a huge silver-living. Now is the time to really push Standard Pauper as a format. Let's double our attendance at the weekly PREs. Let's publish more on PDCMagic's Standard forums, on Twitter, and YouTube. Let's take this opportunity to really see Standard Pauper shine.

See you next time.

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