The New Magic The Gathering.com

Posted in Feature on February 9, 2004

By Doug Beyer, Magic Web Developer

Since we discussed several months back that things were changing at magicthegathering.com, we thought we'd readdress the changes now that you're staring at them.

I'm Doug Beyer, web developer here at magicthegathering.com and part of the team effort to redesign the site as you see it before you. We know this site is important to you, and so we know you have questions and concerns. I'll try to anticipate some of them here. I hope you'll take a moment to read what's new around here and see what old favorites are sticking around. (Feel free to give your feedback at the message boards link at the end of the article - we're excited to hear what you think.)

So, you've already seen the cosmetic changes. But this redesign of magicthegathering.com does more than change some colors and shift around some layout. It merges multiple types of content into one hub of Magic news and information. Specifically it incorporates three previously separate sites into one:

  1. Sideboard Online's strategy content, tournament coverage and player information,
  2. the Magic Online site's update information, server status and deckbuilding articles, and
  3. Magicthegathering.com's behind-the-scenes content, previews and product information

Wow, you say, that's a lot of content. We said so too. That's why the new magicthegathering.com also makes it easier for you to find just the kind of Magic content you're looking for -- whether it's a good multiplayer deck, the latest banned/restricted announcement, a preview from an upcoming set or the location of the next Pro Tour qualifier.

Let's go briefly through the main parts of magicthegathering.com, so you can learn where the content you're looking for has gone, and what's new that you can play with.

The Magicthegathering.com Front Page

This is where all the action is. The magicthegathering.com front page is the site's central hub, a collection of the the most often-used Magic resources, the latest-breaking promotions and the brand-spankin' freshest Magic content. This is, simply put, the page you bookmark. Refer to the page map at right, and the key below. On the front page you'll find:

  • Areas A and B: Today's two columns (find a writer's schedule - who writes what, and when, below)
  • Area C: The most recent live tournament coverage, or information about an upcoming event
  • Area D: The weekly feature article
  • Area E: Regional News, an event or promotion targeted for your part of the world
  • Area F: Card of the Day, a behind-the-scenes factoid about a new card each weekday
  • Area G: Magic Arcana, a daily glimpse into the vault of R&D's Magic lore
  • Area H: Ask Wizards, where you provide the questions and we provide the answers
  • Area I: Wallpaper of the Week, a link to the storehouse of desktop wallpaper downloads
  • Area J: Information and links pertaining to Magic Online
  • Area K: Shortcuts to the latest Magic releases
  • Area L: Links to Magic rules resources
  • Area M: Articles from the last few days
  • Area N: Room to grow! When additional promotions, features and tools appear, you'll find them here

Other Areas

At the top of the page, you'll find a banner graphic with the Magic logo. Click that at any time to return to the magicthegathering.com front page. Above the banner is the traditional global Wizards.com navigation, with drop-down menus that can take you to other Wizards of the Coast games and programs. Under the banner are four links, one to magicthegathering.com, one to Articles, one to Tournaments, and one to Magic Online.

The Article Section

The "Articles" link at the top of any magicthegathering.com page points to the Article Section. Got your coffee for the morning (or the evening), and ready for a good read? Looking to catch up on some content, content, content about your favorite game? Check out the Article Section. It's a chronological archive of articles that have appeared on the front page, and a mini-index of recent Magic Arcanas. If the front page is magicthegathering.com's current issue, the Article Section is a big stack of back issues.

The Tournament Center

The "Tournaments" link at the top of any magicthegathering.com page points to our new Tournament Center. While tournament-level strategy and event information will be published on the front page right along with every other piece of Magic content, the Tournament Center is the page that focuses on Magic played this way. Here you'll find times and dates of upcoming events, live event coverage, results and highlights from past events, resources for tournament players, and the inside scoop on the whole spectrum of Magic organized play programs from Friday Night Magic to the World Championships.

A quick technical note: For a short period, the Tournament Center's live event coverage, such as that of Grand Prix Oakland, will continue to be bear the look and feel of the old Sideboard Online site. This will change shortly.

Weekly Schedule

Let's not stop there, shall we? It's not just that things are easier to find. Today we inaugurate our new content schedule: more of it. Now you'll find two regular columns on magicthegathering.com every weekday, plus Rune Horvik as usual on Saturdays, plus a weekly feature article from a guest author (for example, me, this week). Here's the complete schedule:

MONDAY

  • Mark Rosewater - "Making Magic"
    An insider's look at the world of card design, brought to you by Magic's lead designer.
  • Scott Wills - "Limited Information"
    The talented Mr. Wills lends his thoughts on all things limited.
  • Weekly feature article
    A topical, feature-length article by a guest author (because eleven regular authors isn't enough).
TUESDAY

  • Anthony Alongi - "Serious Fun"
    Anthony continues his column on the world of multiplayer Magic, alternate formats, and casual play in general.
  • Dan Myers - "Inside Magic Online"
    The inside scoop on news and upcoming developments in Magic Online.
WEDNESDAY

  • Adrian Sullivan - "Single Card Strategies"
    Adrian revives the tradition of exploring Magic combinations and strategies, one card at a time, with an eye toward the casual player.
  • Brian David-Marshall - "Swimming with Sharks"
    BDM's Wednesday column takes a turn for the Spike as it shifts focus onto tournament-level strategy.
THURSDAY

  • Mark Gottlieb - "House of Cards"
    A continuation of the march of crazy - er, innovative - decks from the mind of R&D member Gottlieb.
  • Alex Shvartsman - "This Week in Magic"
    From the ashes of Sideboard Online comes this column of highlights, anecdotes and previews from around the world of Magic.
FRIDAY

  • Aaron Forsythe - "Latest Developments"
    Now in R&D as a developer, Aaron takes over the helm of Latest Developments and takes a look at the inner workings of Magic from a new guy's perspective.
  • Nate Heiss - "Building on a Budget"
    Nate contributes his popular deckbuilding column from the Magic Online site, focusing on decks made with few or inexpensive rares.
SATURDAY

  • Rune Horvik - "Saturday School"
    The incomparable Mr. Horvik answers your rules questions. Note: You can StiflePhage.

There's More to Come

We're excited to see what you think of the new design, and we're proud of it so far. But keep in mind that we're not resting on our laurels. We have big plans for Magic: The Gathering on the web this year - and that's good news for you. New promotions to be part of, new tools to use, new ways to interact with other players, new ways to learn the rules and, most of all, new ways for you to influence the game itself.

But for now, go explore what's up for today. Read some articles. Send in your burning question to Ask Wizards. Play with the pros. Enjoy the new magicthegathering.com!

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