Magic Online Wide Beta Spotlight Rescheduled

Posted in Feature on June 4, 2013

By Chris Kiritz

Hi Magic Online players.

At the end of April we announced our plans for a Wide Beta Spotlight, in which we would require players to use the new version for several days. To drive trials while keeping players excited, we timed this two-day event to include an extra day of Dragon's Maze Prerelease events. Our primary goal was to get more players to try the Wide Beta and gather as much feedback as possible.

As some of you may know, we decided to postpone that event to give our team a bit more time to sort out some of the more pressing issues that remained. We have focused our effort over the past several weeks towards addressing many of our largest stability issues and improved performance across multiple areas of the game client, and tomorrow we are releasing another major updated to the Wide Beta that will greatly improve the player experience.

This deployment includes some feature updates and changes across all scenes, but you will not see major design changes at this point. When focusing on making the program stable, big changes are just too risky. Once we get the client stable and performing as needed, and we've turned the current client off for good, we will start adding new features or making major design changes. As always, stability, performance, and security are of the utmost importance to us.

The full list of what has changed can be found on our forums. You can also check out Jon Louck's feature article that will be available on DailyMTG later tonight.

Under the Spotlight

So here we are six weeks after that first announcement and it is time to schedule our next Wide Beta Spotlight. We still firmly believe that the more feedback we get from players, the better we can make the overall experience. In order to get that feedback, however, players need to play the Wide Beta, and with tomorrow's update we're ready to have you give it another try next week.

Starting after the downtime on Wednesday, June 12, the current client will be disabled and only players using the Wide Beta client will be able to log in to Magic Online. Players will have access to the current client starting at 10:00 AM PDT on Thursday, June 13.

While this coincides with the Modern Masters deployment, we are not tying the Spotlight and the product release together. Instead, we will be offering Nix Tix Return to Ravnica Block booster draft queues that feature the normal prize structures. For those unfamiliar with Nix Tix events, these queues do not require Event Tickets to join; players only need to provide booster packs!

Like our previous attempt, we have given ourselves time between the update deployment and the start of the Spotlight in case unexpected issues arise. While we do not expect problems, we want to be as careful as we can.

Turn Out the Lights

We are still evaluating when we might want to turn off the current client and move to a world where the Wide Beta is the one and only client. We originally hoped that we would be ready for this transition in July, but we realize we need a bit more time and will be adjusting the schedule accordingly.

The player response and the data we gather from next week's Spotlight will help inform that decision. In addition, we will be scheduling a second Spotlight this summer to gather another round of feedback before making the transition and turning out the lights on the current version for good.

With that in mind, and at the risk of sounding like a broken record, I implore you to download the Wide Beta during the Spotlight and check it out. Whether you build a deck and play a casual match or three, or join a Nix Tix Draft, or just hang out and explore, tell us what you think on the forums or fill out the feedback form.

The more we hear from players like you, the better we can make Magic Online.

Thank you for your dedication and I look forward to seeing what you have to say,
Chris Kiritz
Magic Online Business Manager

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