Hello! Brandon here, new Assistant Digital Product Manager for the Magic Online team. I joined the team in April after having spent most of my career as a lawyer and project manager in the entertainment industry. I started playing Magic back in 1994 with Revised Edition (White Weenie all the way!), and have been a Magic Online aficionado since getting hooked on Rise of the Eldrazi drafts in 2009. I'm proud to say that I've done an all-Homelands draft, and I firmly believe that Mono-Black Control is the greatest deck of all time.
I specialize in several player-facing projects for Magic Online. My role here is to advocate and represent the players while working with the teams that implement changes into Magic Online. Among other things, I do a lot of work with the Magic Online Closed Public Beta (apply here to join!), as well as collaborate with our developers, QA, R&D, and other technical folks to promote a strong player experience and resolve bugs and other improvements to the game. Basically, if it currently impacts players, I want to be part of it.
So it is in that vein that I come to you, thrilled to have my first ever article on the Wizards website be the introduction of a new program we are testing out that gives YOU, the player, a voice in the future of Magic Online.
How are we going to do this? With a series of surveys. Stop yawning! These aren't your grandma's telemarketer surveys; these are surgical surveys that will ask you about specific areas of Magic Online where we are actively looking to implement changes in the near future. Your feedback on these surveys will allow us to make real improvements to the game we all love.
Why is this so important? Well, there are a lot of ways that you can pass along feedback to the Magic Online team. But the nature of these various forums makes it difficult to collect your input in a quantitative way. Communication with our players is a cornerstone of Magic Online, but we often find ourselves limited to listening to your input only after we've implemented a change.
In the past, we've run other survey programs that sometimes asked broad questions, and therefore gave us a fantastic rubric by which to base large decisions. These surveys also yielded great information on requests for bigger changes to some of the core functions of Magic Online. But the nature of the business often prevents these changes from being implemented in the timeframe that you might want—or the timeframe that we might want. (We want to implement these changes too! Every single person who works here loves Magic and is passionate about making Magic Online the best it can be. When we ask you questions, we want to be able to use your answers!) So with that in mind, we're going to double down on focused, actionable areas in which we hope to be able to use your responses to drive real changes and results.
Still not convinced? Let me tell you another—nay, the most critical—aspect of this program: publicly sharing and responding to your feedback. Communication is a two-way street, after all! One change I've brought to the Magic Online Closed Beta program is finding ways to acknowledge Beta testers' contributions to the program. I believe that this information-sharing has made participation in the Beta program even more rewarding.
I'd like to do something similar here by penning regular articles that share the results that we've collected. And more than that, I'll also tell you how we are going to use your opinions to make changes. I will have to ask your patience on that front though—not every survey is going to lead to something impactful right away, but let's see what we can do together!
I have a few goals with these articles that I want to be up front about:
- Transparency. The Magic Online team has always striven to directly address feedback and provide answers when they can. I would like to continue this policy by giving you additional insight into how the Magic Online team makes our decisions, starting a conversation with you in the proud Wizards tradition set by Mark Rosewater, Sam Stoddard, and Alli Medwin, among others. If this is of interest to you, I also strongly encourage you to check out the official Magic Online Tumblr, which manages to provide quality information while also being wildly entertaining.
- Sharing Passion. I want to show you how much we here at Wizards of the Coast value your opinion about this game that we are all so crazy about. When a survey doesn't lead to an immediate change, I hope to at least bring to light the thought process behind our decisions and show you where we're coming from.
- Discussion. Magic Online is a living thing, constantly evolving. By sharing your ideas we can spark further discussions that lead to even grander ideas.
- Fun. Personally, I find it fascinating to discover what other people think about the things that I care about. It's entertaining to stack up your opinions against your peers'; sometimes you'll see something that opens up a whole new avenue of thought.
So how will this program work? Here's a few logistical details:
- Timing. We will be releasing one survey each month. We have a lot of questions we want to ask you, but we don't want to overload anyone. We also want to have time to digest your answers!
- Survey Format. The surveys will contain two parts, a set of baseline questions (think: "What is your overall satisfaction with Magic Online?") that give us a monthly standard to compare against, and then a set of questions that addresses the specific topic for that month. Each month's survey will contain a different topic; some future topics to look forward to include: Play Points, event structure, and images within Magic Online.
- Feedback Articles. We will publish an article every month or two that shares the results of the survey and what we plan to do with your answers going forward. These articles might address two surveys at once or dive deep into one survey in particular, depending on the survey.
Our first survey goes live next week and will ask you about this weekend's Battle for Zendikar Prerelease and how Magic Online performed. I look forward to hearing about how it went for you!
As a reminder, if you are having any issues with Magic Online that you need help with or want to discuss, the best thing to do is to contact game support. If you'd like to give feedback outside of these surveys you can email us here. And if you've experienced a bug or have another issue to report please do so here.
Assistant Digital Product Manager—Magic Online