Redemption, Replays, Free Trial Server and more!

Posted in Feature on December 15, 2008

By Worth Wollpert

Hi everyone! It's been a while since I've written any kind of major update regarding MTGO, and I wanted to let you all know that there are some pretty exciting features returning to MTGO in the very near future.

We are about to deploy redemption, recently added the ability to replay tournament games back to the system, and the free trial server is currently slated for a return early in 2009. We know these features are high at the top of everyone's list of desired functionality, and we've worked hard over the past few months to bring these back.


There are several things I'd like to mention. You'll note the changes specifically regarding the way multiple sets are handled. We hope these changes will help all players, but especially our international players. When we took a deep dive into the specifics of our shipping policies, it was truly shocking (to me) to see how much increased fuel prices had affected shipping costs.

Redemption details are listed below. As the process is slightly different, please read them carefully. In addition, after analyzing the traditional flow of redemption orders for "backlist" sets that would come in for the two years where product was out of Standard but still redeemable, it became clear that offering redemption according to our time tables was simply not providing enough of a benefit for the (very) few folks using the service. Well over 90% of redemption requests occurred just after the product's 2 year anniversary in Standard (including a few months after the rotation).

With that, we've created a new timetable for sets and their redemption eligibility. We devised a fair way to take care of those customers who wanted to redeem Fifth Dawn and Champions of Kamigawa block products in the past 7 months or so that redemption has been offline. To address that, we moved Fifth Dawn and ALL Champions block sets final redemption dates to June 27th of 2009 (the original Saviors of Kamigawa date).
Originally, Champions was scheduled for last call a month ago in October and Betrayers was scheduled for February 2009. Hopefully this lets everyone complete redemptions with plenty of time to spare. There are other changes as well. As mentioned before, with the vast majority of redemptions coming in the first 26 months of a product's life cycle, we have expanded the product redemption life cycle. In general, large standalone sets will be available for redemption for ~38 months, and final sets in a block (like Eventide or Alara Reborn) will be available for redemption between roughly 28 and 31 months from their original on-sale dates.

You will also notice that entire blocks now rotate "off redemption" together, instead of one at a time. The new redemption cycle timetable is below:

SetMTGO On SaleOff SaleLast Redemption
Fifth Dawn7/12/200410/30/20056/27/2009
Champions of Kamigawa10/25/200410/30/20066/27/2009
Betrayers of Kamigawa2/28/200510/30/20066/27/2009
Saviors of Kamigawa6/27/200510/30/20066/27/2009
Planar Chaos2/26/200710/27/200812/7/2009
Future Sight5/29/200710/27/200812/7/2009
Ninth Edition8/29/20058/6/20078/29/2009
Tenth Edition8/6/20078/10/20098/6/2010
Shards of Alara10/20/200810/15/201012/5/2011



With the build on December 3rd we reinstated tournament match functionality and we are striving for expanded functionality in the future. For now we felt it was important to revive this feature. Stay tuned for more news in the coming months.

Free Trial Server

We know that learning the MTGO interface (and Magic itself!) can be an imposing process, and new players should have a place to do that without having to pay us or feel any pressure. In early 2009 we'll bring back the free trial server that all of you know and love, in the same form it left. Once you've downloaded the client, at the login screen there will be a link to click to open the free trial server. All are welcome to play as often as they'd like. Accounts are numbered anonymously, and you will have your choice of any of the current base set theme decks. (Cards are non-transferable, of course.)

There are other major features in the works, such as a redesigned UI that was user/focus tested a couple of weeks back in a VERY preliminary wire-frame form by both active and lapsed MTGO players. We will have more info on this in early 2009. Initial reactions were quite positive in focus groups. We're also planning the best way to get leagues back to you all, as we know these serve a very important group within our player community. We have got some great events planned for the upcoming holiday season, which I'm sure Mike Gills will be on the forums telling you about shortly, and other grand plans for 2009.

We hope the re-introduction of these much-anticipated features further enhances your MTGO experience, and given our long-term commitment to MTGO we are confident that we will continue to provide an ever-improving place to play the world's premier TCG in an online format. We are streamlining our processes every day, and I see improvements at every turn. Progress is slower than I'd like at times, but we're definitely moving in the right direction. Thanks to all of you for sticking around to see it.

I mean it when I say that our community is one of the biggest reasons Magic Online has so much potential.

Happy Holidays,

Worth Wollpert
Sr. Business Manager
Magic Online

Redemption Details*:

  • Users may purchase multiple redemption requests in a single store transaction.
  • Orders that contain redemption requests cannot include other products, such as digital boosters.
  • The redemption limit will be whichever is lower between the store inventory for a given set and quality (e.g. Lorwyn/Premium) or the basket limit of 999.
  • Each redemption request within an order will be charged $5.00 US plus tax. This is a handling charge.
  • Each complete store order will be charged a single shipping charge - $2.99 plus tax Domestic (US) and $29.99 plus tax International (outside the US). This means a single set redemption delivered in the US would be charged a total of $7.99 plus tax. A 10 set redemption order would be charged $52.99 plus tax.
  • Users that succeed in ordering redemption requests will receive a redemption request item in-game. The redemption request items will stay in the user's binder until the user's cards to be redeemed are removed or the order is canceled.
  • Redemption requests will be processed during maintenance periods only.
  • All the cards relating to a redemption order must be in the user's collection when the system attempts to remove the cards or the entire order will be skipped by the process.
  • The system will make 2 attempts (1 attempt per maintenance period) to remove the cards for a redemption request order before Game Support cancels the order and issues a refund.
  • Users that wish to cancel a pending redemption request order must call Game Support. Cancellations by email will not be accepted
  • Redemption requests placed after 3:00PM PST server time Tuesday afternoon (23:00 UTC) are not guaranteed to be included in the redemption processing attempt for that week.
  • Users who have purchased redemption requests will receive either a success or failure email for each redemption processing attempt. The emails will be sent before the end of our scheduled maintenance period.
  • Redemption orders that succeed in removing the cards and the redemption requests from the user's collection will be sent to the fulfillment warehouse for shipping.
  • Allow 1-3 weeks for shipping after the cards are successfully removed from the collection (indicated by the success email).

*Subject to change.

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