MTG Arena Closed Beta Incoming

Posted in Magic Digital on October 25, 2017

By Chris Cao

Executive Producer, Digital Game Development

The team here at Wizards' Digital Games Studio has been hard at work building Magic: The Gathering Arena for you—and now it's time to show you more with the start of some weekly playtests and the Closed Beta. Yes, that's right, the Closed Beta that so many of you have signed up for is in sight! Let's talk a bit about what we have coming up and a bit about how we hope things go moving forward.

Stress Test and Play Days

Before we get fully into the Closed Beta, we will be running a few tests with a small group of Magic players to make sure the system is ready for the Closed Beta.

On November 3, we'll kick things off with a stress test meant to ensure the system can handle all of you fine folk playing around on the servers. We'll be inviting a group of Closed Beta priority access holders to help us test on that day, so watch your email for an invite.

Then, assuming all goes well on November 3, we're planning a series of play days over the weeks that follow. We'll invite a few thousand fans also with priority access to help us further calibrate the game before opening the gates to a greater number of fans. During this time, we will focus on testing Constructed Magic. Every Ixalan card will be available to playtesters during these one-day sessions, and we'll even provide you free packs to test with!

Invited players will be asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement ("NDA") and will be restricted from streaming and sharing screenshots of the game until we have a more complete experience to show off.

Closed Beta Kickoff

If these play days go well and everything proceeds according to plan, we'll aim to kick off the start of the Magic: The Gathering Arena Closed Beta as early as November 30!

We'll start by inviting back players who participated in the stress test, the play days, or the Alpha. After that, we'll send frequent invites to more players based on our server requirements and capabilities. During this period, we'll be collecting feedback and adding updates, expanding the features, and adding key cards from Kaladesh and Amonkhet blocks.

The Closed Beta will remain NDA-restricted as we continue to work on improving the Beta. We're excited to see you all start streaming and sharing the game, so we'll lift the NDA as soon as our team feels the Closed Beta experience is ready for the spotlight. Don't worry, we'll let you know via email when the NDA has lifted.

Players with priority access will receive invites during this period, though the number of invites will still be limited based on our requirements and server capabilities. We hope you understand that because we are still testing the system, we can't guarantee that everyone with priority access will get in the Closed Beta at its kickoff. We'll be working diligently to open it up to as many players as possible as we get further into Closed Beta.

By the way, if you haven't signed up for the Closed Beta, now is a great time to sign up! You could still be eligible for priority access.

I also want to send out a big thank you to everyone who has participated so far. Every bit of feedback, every play experience, and every person has been instrumental in helping us get to this point. It's an exciting time for all of us here on the MTG Arena team, and we hope it is for you as well. The start of the Closed Beta promises to be a big moment for us, and we're looking forward to finally letting many of you get your hands on this early version of the game.

As we head into Closed Beta, I also want to make sure to answer as many questions as I can about the process, which you can find below. If you have more questions than what I was able to answer here, drop us a line on Twitter or Facebook and we'll do our best to answer.

How do I know if I'm selected for early testing or Closed Beta participation?

We'll send you an email invite letting you know if you're selected. The email will give you all the instructions you need to participate.

The email should be coming from Wizards Customer Support (wizardscusthelp@wizards.com). It's a good idea to make sure you mark our email address as safe so your invite doesn't get stuck in a spam or promotions filter.

How many players do you plan to invite for the stress test and play days?

The number of players we invite for each playtest will be based on our testing needs. We do expect it to be smaller pools of players in the thousands, rather than the hundreds of thousands.

How often will you send out player invites during the Closed Beta?

Invitations will be sent out in waves based on the actual start date of the Closed Beta. Keep your eyes peeled on @MTG_Arena, where we'll update you when a new wave of invites goes out.

Why is there an NDA during the Closed Beta?

Players will be experiencing an early version of the game. We want to continue to test features with our Beta players and make a few more refinements first before we open it up to the public. We'll remove the NDA as soon as we are ready and let you know via email.

Why is the Closed Beta PC-only?

Offering MTG Arena on PC during Closed Beta gives us only one platform to worry about, plus the ability to push out updates when we want. That means we'll be able to make updates more frequently and expeditiously when issues arise and big new features come online.

What game modes will be available during the playtests?

The experience will be best-of-one Constructed matches with all Ixalan cards. All players will be provided with Ixalan cards to build decks and battle against others.

How about game modes at the Closed Beta?

Alongside best-of-one ranked and Constructed matches, there will be a few other things we'll be trying out as we get closer to November 30.

How long will the Closed Beta last?

We haven't determined an end date yet.

Do I get to keep all of the cards I get during Closed Beta?

No. We need to test our in-game economy and features, which will require account wipes. Because of this, we are planning to wipe all player collections more than once during the Closed Beta. We'll provide more details once we get closer to any account wipes.

MTG Arena's economy will allow you to purchase virtual currency for real-world money. Rest assured, if you purchase virtual currency and we wipe your account, we will credit your MTG Arena account back the virtual currency you purchased.

When will an in-game economy be added during the Closed Beta?

In-game economy elements will not be present the first day of the Closed Beta. Expect to have a deeper look at this later, including how to acquire your favorite cards.

When will Draft be added during the Closed Beta?

Draft won't be available at the start, but expect more details on this later.

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