Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Responding to the Rationale Behind the Removal of Standard Pauper

So in case you missed it, Robert Schuster posted a response on the official Magic Online Tumblr page regarding the decision to remove several casual formats from Magic Online. Today I wanted to post some quick thoughts about how I would respond to the line of arguments he develops. Feel free to use them in your own discussions. 

Furthermore, I will also be using this as an outline for an upcoming PureMTGO article on the topic. More on that soon.

Wizards has advanced five claims about why removing Standard Pauper is good for Magic Online. Here's how I respond to those claims.

Claim #1: Represents less than one percent of play on Magic Online.
Response: You get what you support. If a format isn’t sanctioned, is it any surprise that the vast majority of users don’t play it? Additionally, the format is an on-ramp for new players to transition into mainline formats, steadily feeding new players into them, As a result, these players eventually stop playing Standard Pauper in favor of other formats.

Claim #2: Fragments the player base.
Response: If only a small number of players are playing it, it clearly isn’t fragmenting the player base. Instead, removing the filter only disenfranchises the existing player base.

Claim #3: Players will wait too long to find a match in the format.
Response: Taking away the filter only guarantees that people who want to play in the format will actually have to wait LONGER to find a match.

Claim #4: Can’t afford to take the time to playtest and develop cards for the format.
Response: If the format isn’t sanctioned, and is based on Standard, there is no need for additional playtesting or development.

Claim #5: Frees up development time by...

a) not needing to test card interactions in the format.
Response: Standard Pauper has ZERO additional card interactions that aren’t already tested for, since all new cards in a set are automatically tested against the Standard format environment.
b) not needing to maintain legality lists.
Response: Standard Pauper has an identical legality list as Standard, except that it also excludes non-Commons. This should be trivial to program.

While some of these arguments might be valid for some of the other casual formats, they simply don't hold for Standard Pauper. And, for reasons I've stated previously, the argument could be made that removing it as an official format will, especially in the long run, do more harm than good.

1 comment:

  1. Totally agree. Standard pauper will die only because WoTC can't value on it.