A Joke

I once read a joke I want to share with you:

A Scot, who had been abroad for half a year, returns to his home village and meets a friend. After a bit of small talk, he inquires:

„Say, Rob, I heard you married a couple months ago? How’s that goin‘ for you, lad?“

„So-so“, the other responds. „Don’t get me wrong, she’s a sweet lass for sure – but all she does is talk about money! She wants money for this, money for that, for cooking, clothes, shoes, bus tickets… all the time, every day of the week… she’s practically been buggin‘ me constantly since the first day of our marriage!“

„That must be annoying“, empathises his friend. „So, how much do you give her?“

„Well – so far, nothing.“

(I would have preferred to link to or at least quote an online version of this joke, but I was unable to find it, so I had to recreate it as best I could. My heartfelt apologies to every native English speaker for my awkward attempt to tell a joke in that language, and doubly so to all people from Scotland!)

In case you didn’t get the morale: Do not expect me to stop complaining about everything Magic anytime soon, unless things actually improve a lot. It would only mean I stopped caring.

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3 Gedanken zu „A Joke

  1. knuffel sagt:

    Well, now i`m curious. What exactly makes you complain and how do you want it to chance – or better get improved? Since i started playin in 2010 i didn`t notice any particular elemental rule chance. 🙂

    • Zeromant sagt:

      Oh, rules changes are among the least of my concerns (although I DID hate the loss of damage on the stack, which played its small part in the big picture)…

      When you started playing in 2010, most of WotC’s schemes had already been set in motion, so you probably couldn’t tell the difference. Now, what is my beef with that company? I’ll only paint a broad strokes picture in this response – if you’re interested in details, you might want to read up entries in my old blog, ZEROMAGIC.

      Mainly, WotC has been steering Magic away from trying to be the best possible game towards aspiring to being the most lucrative game. They have also systematically undermined their former concept of Magic as a mental sport, and they heavily use propaganda to mask deficiencies and discredit critics.

      Isolated, the biggest issues are:

      1) Constructed Magic has become enormously expensive (Mythic Rares, concentration of power in high rarities, cards immediately becoming legal, scarce availability of cards for older formats), while at the same time, they’re very aggressively campaigning to lure an ever younger target audience into the clutches of this highly addictive collectible card game.

      2) Gameplay has consciously being steered away from interaction, anticipation and fighting for incremental advantages towards non-interactive dynamics and alternately playing big single threats (hexproof, planeswalker, creature power creep). While skill is still very important in a competitive constructed setting, its focus has been shifted (further) from gameplay towards preparation. Ironically, (non-group) casual play has been affected most grievously by this.

      3) WotC has systematically employed propaganda to defame players preferring interactive, skill-based games and fair, interactive playing styles; while at the same time heavily promoting non-interactive play styles and single-card strategies as „fun“. They’ve skillfully exploited the natural slight animosity between better, more serious players and less skilled, more casual players here.

      4) Support for professional level play has been steadily decreasing, while participation and sales have been growing tremendously. The result is an ever-widening gap between a shrinking professional elite (which tends to be heavily involved with the commercial aspects of Magic) and the player masses, which either do not even aspire in the first place, or have very slim chances to break into top-level Magic without involving themselves with its business side, and/or affiliating with established cliques. At the same time, players who wish to play „serious“, skill-based Magic below the professional level are being stigmatized as asocial, further draining this reservoir.

      5) Quality control of Magic products (especially Magic Online), as far as that quality relates to customer experiences, has been cut back to the minimum necessary to avoid PR disasters. Ressources are instead poured into acquiring new customers and establishing feedback mechanisms which disencourage criticism and keep it out of public sight, while issues tend to get ignored or patched up insufficiently.

      6) Publications on large Magic sites (and, of course, official coverage of professional events) are largely done by a relatively small „inner circle“ of persons intimately involved with WotC or their most influential business partners, resulting in both a biased choice of topics and opinions and – again – reduced quality control. Official coverage often even willfully neglects catering to the minority of players interested in following Magic events as mental sport tournaments and improving their game (but naturally makes sure to highlight copiable constructed decks to encourage sales).

      That should be enough for now. I went into a lot more detail than I intended at first, but I wanted to explain that my frustration is not merely about isolated annoyances, but a system of related issues.

  2. Tigris sagt:

    Berichterstattungen an GPs sind z.B. oft miserabel/verspätet und etwas über das er sich oft beklaggt.
    Weiter Limited reviews/drafts von Pros auf bestimmten Webseiten.
    Dann dass immer mehr Rares/Mythics gespielt werden müssen in Typ 2 Decks. (Und fast keine Commons etc.)

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