July 2015 Event Changes

Posted in Magic Online on July 20, 2015

By Lee Sharpe

Magic Online is an awesome place to play Magic. We think it could be better with some changes, particularly focused on Constructed events. Recent player feedback supports this as an area where we can improve, especially when alternative Limited events such as the Tempest Remastered or Cube Drafting are available. In this spirit, today we are announcing some changes to Magic Online events.


What are your goals with making these changes?

We focused on what Constructed players want to do with their prizes and made sure our prize offerings reflected those goals:

  1. Provide a prize that allows a Constructed player to immediately jump in another event.
  2. At least some events provide players with prizes that allow for better deck customization as preferences and sets change.

What are those changes?

Play Points will now be used as prizes for Constructed queues and Daily Events. Eight-Player Queues and Daily Events will award prizes that are a combination of Play Points and boosters, while two player queues will award prizes that are entirely in Play Points. Additionally, all three of these plus many other Magic Online events will have an additional entry option that consists entirely of Play Points.

We believe Play Points will do a great job of achieving the first goal, which is to allow players to play events more easily. To make sure the second goal is also met, we are still awarding some prizes as booster packs. Players can trade or open these boosters to help them get new cards for their decks.

In the future, we plan to look at other ways to use prizes to promote deck customization besides booster packs (mainly because they are mostly used currently to join Limited events). However, for now we want to focus on the changes that we’re announcing today.


DETAILS OF THE NEW CONSTRUCTED EVENTS

Before we talk about additional ways to use Play Points, here are the details of the events where you can win them!

Constructed Two-Player Queue

Start Times: Fire on demand
Location: Constructed Queues
Entry Options:

  • Option 1: 2 Event Tickets
  • Option 2: 20 Play Points

Size: 2 players
Play Style: Single Elimination
Duration: One round, lasting up to 50 minutes.
Prizes:

Place Prizes QPs
1st 30 Play Points 0
2nd 5 Play Points 0

The Two-Player Queue is available for Standard, Modern, Legacy, Vintage, Pauper, and Momir Basic. If you win, you get enough Play Points to play in another one, plus you’re halfway to the one after that. If you lose, you’re a quarter of the way to a free one. Keep earning more points!

Constructed Eight-Player Queue

Start Times: Fire on demand
Location: Constructed Queues
Entry Options:

  • Option 1: 6 Event Tickets
  • Option 2: 60 Play Points

Size: 8 players
Play Style: Single Elimination
Duration: Three rounds, each round up to 50 minutes.
Prizes:

Place Prizes QPs
1st 2 Magic Origins booster packs and
140 Play Points
2
2nd 1 Magic Origins booster pack and
60 Play Points
1
3rd-4th 60 Play Points 0

The Eight-Player Queue is available for Standard and Modern. Winning the first match gets you enough Play Points to play in another eight-player queue. Winning the second match gets you enough Play Points to play in another eight-player queue, plus a booster. Finally, if you can win all three matches, you’ll receive more than enough Play Points to enter two more eight-player queues, on top of two boosters!

Constructed Daily Event—Standard and Modern formats

Start Times: See Schedule
Location: Constructed Scheduled
Entry Options:

  • Option 1: 12 Event Tickets
  • Option 2: 120 Play Points

Size: 16-256 players
Play Style: Swiss
Duration: Four rounds, each round up to 50 minutes.
Prizes:

Match Wins Prizes QPs
4 Wins 6 Magic Origins booster packs and
360 Play Points
3
3 Wins 3 Magic Origins booster packs and
180 Play Points
1

This event reflects the highest level of regularly available competition on Magic Online. As such, we are increasing the number of event tickets used to join to reflect this and help distance it from the eight-player queues. Since the quality of play in these events can be quite intense, we expect some players will stick to the queues. Choose the level of event that is right for you.

You’ll also see the prize structure provides some very good rewards for those who do well under this system: Three wins gets you three boosters as well as enough Play Points for another entry into one of these events and halfway to one after that. Four wins is six boosters, plus enough Play Points for three more entries into these events. We hope these events are exciting—and the prize structures different enough from each other—that no matter what kind of player you are, you will be able to find the event offerings that are right for you.

Constructed Daily Event—Legacy, Vintage, and Pauper formats

Start Times: See Schedule
Location: Constructed Scheduled
Entry Options:

  • Option 1: 6 Event Tickets
  • Option 2: 60 Play Points

Size: 8-256 players
Play Style: Swiss
Duration: Three rounds, each round up to 50 minutes.
Prizes:

Match Wins Prizes QPs
3 Wins 3 Magic Origins booster packs and
80 Play Points
2
2 Wins 60 Play Points 0
1 Win 20 Play Points 0

This event is only 6 event tickets or 60 play points, which is less than the Daily Event structure for Standard and Modern, but it is one round shorter. This enables us to have a lower minimum; only 8 players instead of 16 are needed to fire this event.

Overall, we want our events to award booster packs in multiples of three whenever possible, so that they can give out the same ratio as what is needed for drafting. To achieve this in a Swiss event, we put three boosters for players who win all three of their matches, enough Play Points to join another one of these events, and a two-player queue as well. Players with two wins get enough Play Points to join another one of these events, while players with one win get enough Play Points to join a two-player queue.


What else can I do with Play Points?

We want players to have the options to select a variety of ways to use their Play Points. You can see above how you can use them in Constructed Queues and Daily Events. Play Points, like Phantom Points before them, are untradeable, and we’re excited to be able to use them creatively in new and exciting ways because of that. Also like Phantom Points, Play Points will be available as an entry option for Phantom Queues, and we are expanding their use as entry options in the following other events:

Event Type Current Entry Options New Additional Entry Option
Booster Drafts Option 1: 14 Event Tickets
Option 2: 3 Boosters and 2 Event Tickets
Option 3: 140 Play Points
Four-Booster Sealed Events Option 1: 18 Event Tickets
Option 2: 4 Boosters and 2 Event Tickets
Option 3: 180 Play Points
Sealed Daily Events Option 1: 26 Event Tickets
Option 2: 6 Boosters and 2 Event Tickets
Option 3: 260 Play Points
PTQ Preliminaries
(Constructed and Sealed)
Option 1: 30 Event Tickets Option 2: 300 Play Points

The prize structures of these event types are unchanged. They will not award any additional Play Points. But we believe this new structure will provide players Constructed players with the opportunity to use Play Points beyond events that award them as prizes.


When are the events changing?

The new structures will begin after the August 12 downtime, when release events for Magic Origins end.


Can I use Play Points already in my account for these events?

Yes! As I stated in the June Events article, Play Points will be introduced and Phantom Points will be retired during this Wednesday’s downtime. However, each account will receive 6 Play Points for every Phantom Point they have in their account at that time.


Can I buy Play Points in the Magic Online store?

No. The only way to get Play Points is through events (although sometimes they also may be available through special promotions). Most events that support a Play Point entry option will also support an event ticket entry option, and those tickets are available in the Magic Online Store.


Where should I send my feedback?

You can send detailed feedback to magiconlinefeedback@wizards.com. This email goes directly to Worth Wollpert, Mike Turian, Chris Kiritz, and me—the team making the day-to-day business decisions about Magic Online. I generally read everything the same day it comes in.

We also read Magic articles published online and the Magic subreddit. You can also reach us via Twitter through the official @MagicOnline Twitter account or directly at my account, @mtg_lee.


UPDATE 7/24/2015: We've spent a lot of time this week reading feedback and reactions to these changes, so thanks everyone. Much of feedback indicated that the 12-ticket entry point for Daily Events made the events less accessible to newer players or other players who weren’t looking to compete in Magic Online's highest level of regularly available competition. This is what I meant when I said it was increasing to "help distance [the Daily Event] from the eight-player queues." We expect some players will now spend time they would previously have spent in Daily Events in eight-player queues, and we don't see that as a bad thing.

Where this may be a bad thing is if you are a Legacy, Vintage, or Pauper player, because we don't run the eight-player queues for these formats. We agree that some of the new structures could potentially underserve those players, therefore we are removing Daily Events for these formats only and replacing them with events that are "between" the eight-player queues and Daily Events that remain as announced for the Standard and Modern formats. You can see the details of those new events above. We feel these events will do a good job of meeting the needs of our customers who enjoy Legacy, Vintage, and Pauper and as always we will continue to adjust our offerings based on player behavior and feedback.

Data shows that the player bases for these formats are smaller, so offering these at scheduled times makes it easier for players to gather, as opposed to a queue which requires a enough players to fire the queue to happen to show up at the same time.


Lee Sharpe
Digital Product Manager—Magic Online Events

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