MTG Arena: State of the Beta – February 2019

Posted in Magic Digital on February 11, 2019

By Chris Clay

Happy Monday, MTG Arena Fans!

We hope you'll find a lot of love in the February update, which includes some much-requested features for Direct Challenge, improvements to our deck builder, and other quality-of-life improvements. Maintenance is currently scheduled for February 14, 2019, at 6 a.m. PT (14:00 UTC) and will last approximately 2 hours. Be sure to keep an eye on the Magic: The Gathering Arena status page for any updates or changes.

Now, onward to the updates!

Direct Challenge: Best-of-Three and Customization

After we announced Direct Challenge back in November, it didn't take long for people to start asking "So when are you going to support best-of-three?" And the answer to that question is . . . this week! We know this is something that many of our competitive and long-term Magic fans have been asking for, and we are very happy to announce that it is coming very, very soon.

In addition, we've added some customization options to Direct Challenges. On the Direct Challenge play blade, there is now a Challenge Options drop-down that allows you to choose the format (best-of-one or best-of-three), as well as who goes first. You can pick from Coin Flip (where the game randomly determines who goes first), You Win Coin Flip, or Opponent Wins Coin Flip.For reference, the winner of the coin flip will be on the play in best-of-one and will choosein best-of-three.By default, the options are set to best-of-one and coin flip, and you'll want to coordinate with your friends if you make any changes. The abilityto choose who goes first has been another popular feature request, and we're excited to see all the fun things players can do with these new options available to them.

Challenge Options

Discord Integration

While we continue to plan for our own integrated social features,one of the things we wanted to do in the meantime is better support the gaming communities our players are already a part of. With this update, MTG Arena now supports Discord Rich Presence and the ability to Direct Challenge players through Discord. If you have Game Activity enabled, Discord Rich Presence will provide more detailed status information to your friends—whether you're deck building, choosing your pack 1, pick 1 in Draft, or climbing the ladder in Ranked Play. In-game, the Direct Challenge blade will feature a Discord Challenge option, making it easier for you to play against your friends or members of your Discord servers.

We'll have a full guide and walkthrough of the new Discord features once the patch is live next Thursday.

Deck Builder Improvements

Deck Selection

It's here! It's finally here! With the February update, we've completed our long awaited rebuild of the Deck Builder. For the development team, we got to play "good code, bad code," squish some bugs, and do a lot of housekeeping with the underlying tools and system architecture. For players—you get new features! The Deck Builder now supports multiple views and zooming options, an improved deck details page, changes to adding lands, and you can now sort your decks by format (Standard, Singleton, Pauper, etc.).

There's also a new "Crafting Mode," which allows you to quickly see uncollected cards you can redeem your Wildcards on. While in Crafting Mode, clicking on an uncollected card will bring up the option to craft it via a Wildcard, and the Craft All option will be available if you have all the Wildcards you needed to complete a new deck. We think you'll find this new mode pretty useful, since the new Deck Builder allows you to build decks using cards that are not a part of your collection.

Japanese and Korean Localization

With these two additions, MTG Arena now supports nine different languages: English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Brazilian Portuguese, Russian, Korean, and Japanese.

Quality-of-Life Improvements

We're continuing to add polish and other quality-of-life improvements to all aspects of MTG Arena. With this update, notables include improvements to our timer system, a "Resolve All" option for repeating triggers on the stack, and the ability tomass-select attackers and blockers. Full patch notes will be available once the update is live next week.

Familiarizing Faces

As you may have noticed in the announcement video at the top of this page, we've brought back Executive Producer Chris Cao. Say "Hi" to the camera, Cao! Going forward, we plan to keep these videos short and to the point, as well as give you a chance to meet more members of the MTG Arena Development team. Our goal is for you to learn everything you need to know in 3 minutes or less, as well as highlight more of the amazing and talented people whose hard work has made MTG Arena a reality.

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