MTG Arena Open to All Starting September 27

Posted in Magic Digital on September 19, 2018

By Chris Cao

Executive Producer, Digital Game Development

Magic: The Gathering Arena is throwing open its doors—and you're invited.

Starting next week on September 27, anyone who would like to play MTG Arena can simply download the game and battle. As we move into Open Beta, we have a host of updates, including Guilds of Ravnica, codes in tabletop product, and play improvements.

Here's what's going to happen over the next few days:

  • At 10 a.m. today (in like, 2 hours), join me and others from the development team live at twitch.tv/magic to talk through what's coming and answer player questions.
  • On September 21, purchases will be temporarily turned off in the store. You will still be able to spend gold and gems on packs and events during the time.
  • On September 24, the MTG Arena servers will go offline for extended downtime as we wipe player accounts and upgrade backend services. Players will not be able to access the game during this time. Services will come back online on September 27 with the Open Beta and all the changes detailed in this article.
  • Also starting with Open Beta, players will need to update their MTG Arena accounts by creating new Wizards accounts in order to play. All you need to do is log in with your current email address and password to begin the process. We'll walk you through updating your account, which will include the option to change your username.
  • Player accounts will be wiped going into the Open Beta. Note: As we previously indicated to players, gems purchased during Closed Beta will be refunded as gems to their Open Beta account after wipe. Purchased gems and welcome bundles will be returned to accounts, as well as any rewards for codes that were previously redeemed.
  • On September 26, more than 300 Twitch streamers will play Guilds of Ravnica early in MTG Arena. Tune in to your favorite Magic streamer to see the game in action ahead of time. Read more about that event and how we're supporting creators here.
  • On September 27, around 1 p.m. PT, the Open Beta will roll out to players, but please note MTG Arena will not be available in all regions. You can play Guilds of Ravnica starting at that point, complete with a new Ravnica-themed arena, all of the new cards, and new animations and effects to show your guild pride.
  • Select tabletop Guilds of Ravnica product will come with codes that are redeemable for in-game items in MTG Arena. These codes are not available in all regions.

Let's dive a little deeper into the Open Beta.

 

 

Downtime

Moving from Closed Beta to Open Beta is a monumental task, and one for which we're very excited. It's been a lot of work getting here, and we still have quite a bit ahead of us to make MTG Arena the game you deserve.

First, on September 21, MTG Arena will stop accepting new purchases. You can continue to spend your gold and gems on packs and events until MTG Arena goes dark on September 24 around 8 a.m. PT. You won't be able to log in or play or make any purchases from that time until we bring the game back up. We will keep the game down until September 27 around 1 p.m. PT, when the Open Beta experience starts. If you weren't able to sign up for the Closed Beta, soon you'll be able to jump right in! You can pre-download the installer at any time prior to September 27 so you're ready to go when we throw open the gates.

For Our Closed Beta Players and Account Wipe

If you did play in the Closed Beta, first of all, thank you! Your play, your feedback, and your experiences helped us get to this point. As a thank you, every player who participated in the Closed Beta will receive one digital copy each of three cards from Guilds of Ravnica: Mythic Edition: Teferi, Hero of Dominaria; Ral, Izzet Viceroy; and Vraska, Gorgon Queen.

You'll notice a few things right off the bat when the Open Beta kicks off.

The first time you log into the game, your account will be asked to update to a Wizards account in order to play. You will be able to update your username and will be asked to update your password at this point. From there, we'll walk you through updating your account.

Second, we will be doing a complete account wipe for everyone on the Closed Beta. This means that everyone will have all cards, wildcards, gold, and packs removed from their account, as well as all rankings, quest progress, and decklists. Everyone will start with the same starting collection and build from there.

After the wipe, we will reimburse any gems purchased during Closed Beta as well as a few other items to your updated account.

Here is what will be reimbursed to your account after the wipe:

  • Any purchased gems will be reimbursed in gems;
  • Any purchased Welcome Bundles will be reimbursed; and
  • If you participated in the New Zealand–only Dominaria code test, we'll reimburse your account with a Dominaria pack. (Other code rewards will not be refreshed.)

Note that this is the only planned account wipe between now and the full launch of the game. If you participate in the Open Beta, we do not plan to wipe your account when the game fully launches (pending some unforeseen circumstance).

Additionally, we're going to be opening up a special Singleton Constructed event September 27 till October 1 as a fun welcome to the Open Beta. The event won't cost any gold or gems to enter (yep, it's on us!), but you will need have a Constructed deck. So, start sharpening your Singleton lists, and join in on September 27!

Guilds of Ravnica

Yes, it's true—you can play with Guilds of Ravnica on September 27, two days before you can play in stores. The full experience will be available when the game comes back online, meaning you can buy packs, play in events, and play in Standard with Guilds of Ravnica.

The big addition is Sealed. Gear up for your weekend Prerelease with Sealed events on MTG Arena. With your entrance into a Sealed event, you'll get six packs to open and build a deck to play against others trying the set out for the first time—just like at a Prerelease.

But that's not all. We'll have a new, Ravnica-themed arena for anyone who has ever wanted to battle in the Tenth District. New cards will come with new animations to add new excitement to the battlefield. More than ever before, a game of Magic will feel real, like seeing the Golgari wrapping their tentacles around an Izzet mage's foot while they desperately toss lightning around the arena.

Note that with the addition of Guilds of Ravnica, we're aligning the pool of available cards on MTG Arena with Standard. When Open Beta starts, you'll be able to get the following sets: Ixalan, Rivals of Ixalan, Dominaria, Core Set 2019, and, of course, Guilds of Ravnica. We are committed to ultimately providing a format for MTG Arena post-rotations, so once we have settled on how set rotation works, next year we will likely return previous sets to the system, including Kaladesh, Aether Revolt, Amonkhet, and Hour of Devastation.

Redeemable Codes

Starting with Guilds of Ravnica, select tabletop product will come with codes redeemable for the same or similar products on MTG Arena!

You can pick up redeemable codes in three products.

  • Prerelease packs: Play in a Guilds of Ravnica Prerelease at a local store and receive a code that redeems for a Sealed event entry on MTG Arena inside your Prerelease Pack! Limit 1 per account.
  • Planeswalker Deck: Guilds of Ravnica Planeswalker Decks will have a redeemable code that will unlock that same deck on MTG Arena. Limit 1 of each deck per account.
  • Booster Packs: Some Guilds of Ravnica booster packs may contain a non-unique code that will unlock 3 Guilds of Ravnica boosters on MTG Arena. Approximately 1 in every 8 booster packs will contain a code. Limit 1 per account.

Note: MTG Arena (and MTG Arena codes) are not available in all regions and languages.

And thank you again to everyone who redeemed a code from New Zealand or who provided feedback on that test. You've helped us continue to experiment and learn around how tabletop and MTG Arena can work together in the best possible ways. We'll be closely watching to see how it goes with Guilds of Ravnica, so don't hesitate to share your experiences and feedback!

Just the Beginning

One of the new features we've added to the Open Beta will better let you decide how you want to play. We've added a new toggle that lets you switch between the popular "best of one" experience that's familiar to MTG Arena players, or all modes, which includes the "best of three" experience more common to tabletop play. You can switch back and forth as you like. Toggling to one or the other will let you see the play opportunities best suited to those experiences.

That's just one of many exciting changes that have resulted from all your feedback, and there's more to come.

During the Open Beta, we will be working on adding in more top community requested features, like:

  • Giving you ways to directly battle your friends
  • More experimental event types and more event variety
  • Making player ranking and progression more meaningful
  • Cosmetic items (card backs, more avatars, etc.)
  • A better solution to what happens when you get a fifth copy of a card

In the short term, the development team's focus will be on stability and bug fixes over the next month or so as we welcome in a lot of new players. We'll make sure the core game is running smoothly and providing a fun experience in the Open Beta before refocusing our attention on bringing new features to the game. We're excited about the opportunities ahead for MTG Arena and will be listening and working constantly to make the game experience engaging and fun.

Thank You

This moment, as we prepare to move to Open Beta, is one of many exciting moments we are looking forward to sharing with you. From the entire team, I want to extend a big thank you to everyone who participated in the Closed Beta and who will be participating in the Open Beta. We make this game for you, and you're what makes it all worth it.

So, start getting ready for Guilds of Ravnica and the Open Beta! If you haven't downloaded the game before, you can do so right here. If you have already, we'll see you on September 27!

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