Greetings Magic Online Players!
We launched to the new version of Magic Online last month, so I wanted to take some time to discuss how the first month has gone, what's in the first major update, and what's in store for later in the year. If you're still getting used to the new version, don't forget to check out the Getting to Know Magic Online article series we published as part of the transition.
On July 16, we transitioned to a single Magic Online client and overall the change has gone smoothly. We deployed two updates to fix some major issues, along with some outstanding card bugs, and we'll continue to fix problems as quickly as we can. Our first major post-transition update releases today, which I'll discuss in a bit.
One week after the switch, we released Magic 2015 and dove right into Prerelease and Release events. We also gave each player one of each Prerelease Hunt object and 35 Phantom Points so you could test out the new version. Hopefully everyone enjoyed their complementary events and had a blast with the latest core set. If you missed the Prerelease, don't worry, you can use your Phantom Points on any of the events that accept them, including future Cube offerings. Don't forget, the Magic 2015 Championship Qualifiers start after next week's downtime, so hop on and earn your qualification.
The Magic 2015 release also highlights the updated card frame, including a new font, and how we can improve card appearance in the updated version. We'll be exploring how we can improve the appearance of older frames in the future using what we learned on the M15 frames. Check out the article from Jesse Raymond, our Technical Artist, who helped make these frames possible.
Now let's take a look at what was delivered with the update.
In an effort to both prevent players from accidentally dropping from events and to give players more control over window management, we're introducing the Hide Event feature. This feature lets you hide any match or tournament you've joined, which can be very useful if you've received a bye in a tournament or have joined a scheduled event that doesn't start for a few hours. The hide event button can be found on the event details window or as an option when you close any match or event window.
You can find events or matches you've hidden by heading over to the Play Lobby and opening the room it was in and they will be listed in "Games You've Joined" section at the top. We've also added a shortcut "Play" button in the main navigation at the top that you can click to bring up all games you've hidden, regardless of where you are in the client. When an event starts while it is hidden, the window will open automatically so you don't miss it.
Speaking of events, another big change this release is how event standings are displayed. Players will be displayed by rank or standing with each round in its own column. By default, only the most recent will be displayed, but you can show all previous rounds with a simple click. Your results will be displayed in a different color than everyone else, so you'll be able to find your results quickly. In addition, we've added filters so you can easily see how your buddies or clan mates are doing in an event.
Clicking on the record of a round will bring up specifics about that match, including record, match and game IDs, and the ability to replay games if the event is over. You'll also find that we've fixed the issue that prevented event and multiplayer replays from showing up in your Game History.
In Collection, we've taken continued steps to improve performance, this time focusing on how quantities are tracked and updated as changes are made to your collection, either through trades or by using objects as part of event entries. This includes making sure that cards are displayed correctly in decks and binders, though there are still some outstanding issues that need to be addressed in our next update. We've also fixed Sort by Set and Collector Number so it sorts more like the old binder view from the previous version, especially if you have the Show Versions Separately display option selected.
In addition, we've removed the custom deck and Limited deck categories. With custom decks, we've found that they were more confusing than useful, so we've removed the feature until we can deliver it at a quality level we are happy with. Players who've saved decks in custom categories will have them reassigned to existing formats.
The Limited decks folder posed a different problem, in that the way collection works you still needed convert the decks to freeform if you wanted to play with them in the Open Play room. Now, Limited decks will be automatically saved in the freeform category and will be ready to go when you are.
When using the Wish List feature to find cards in a trade, the full number of available objects on your Wish List will be added to the trade, regardless of how many are already in your collection. Previously, if you had three Doom Blades in your collection and four on your Wish List, using the feature would only add one to a prospective trade. Now it will correctly add four Doom Blades to the trade (assuming your trade partner has them), so once the trade is completed you will have seven in your collection. Of course, your Wish List will be updated to reflect the additions, so next trade no Doom Blades will be added.
In the Duel Scene, we've taken another pass at adjusting the battlefield to make better use of some space. This includes reducing the default size of cards in hand, and tweaking temporary windows that pop up. For the triggered effect window, we've updated the window to act more like the stack, as well as adjusting its default size to be more reasonable. There is more work to be done in the Duel Scene, but this represents the next step.
Finally, we've updated the Magic Online User Agreement to include a section about Bribery, Prize Splitting, and Collusion. You can learn more about the update in last week's blog post.
Our priority for the next update will be fixing the outstanding issues that we couldn’t get to this time around. This includes fixing the issue around revealed cards sticking around between matches, fixing the empty trade dialog issue, fixing the special rarity filter, as well as continuing adjustments to Duel Scene windows sizes and behaviors. In addition, we've tried to leave extra room to ensure we have the bandwidth required to address high-priority issues as quickly as possible.
As for features, we plan on addressing two items that are high on players' wish lists: improving graveyard visibility and adding the ability to filter decks and binders. These updates will really improve the player experience and we're glad we can get to them with our next update.
Khans of Tarkir arrives on Magic Online at the beginning of October, with Prerelease events starting October 3 and Release events starting October 6. Khans of Tarkir will be followed by the launch of Leagues, and we'll have more on that release as it draws near.
As always, we want to hear from you, as your feedback will continually help us prioritize outstanding work. You can use the forums, the feedback form, email at MagicOnlineFeedback@wizards.com, or Twitter (@MagicOnline) to voice your opinion.
Digital Business Manager
Magic: The Gathering