April 1, 2005
Q: "How do you decide who answers what question for Ask Wizards?"
- Billy Zoom
A: From , Head Magic Designer:
"That’s an interesting question. I cannot speak for all of the respondents but I can talk about R&D as I’m the guy who assigns the questions for R&D (this includes the designer and developers and the creative team).
"For each question I try to find the person who I think is closest to the area of the game in question. Curious about a piece of art, who better to answer your question than Jeremy Cranford, Magic’s Art Director. Have a question about Betrayers of Kamigawa’s development? Who better than the Lead Developer of Betrayers, Henry Stern. Wondering where a weird card came from, I’ll track down the designer.
"As you can see, we strive to make 'Ask Wizards' as direct to the source as possible."
"Above is the kind of claptrap you should expect if you’re not a premium member. This is the kind of propaganda we’re forced to churn out. We care about you. We want to answer your questions. Were willing to share whatever you want to know. Blah, blah, blah, blah blah.
"You want to know the real agenda for 'Ask Wizards'? Here’s the 'Ask Wizards' rules tattooed on the arm of all R&D Members. (It’s written in very small text.)
- Rule #1: You do not talk about 'Ask Wizards'.
- Rule #2: You DO NOT talk about 'Ask Wizards'.
- Rule #3: Don’t Cross the Streams.
- Rule #4: Don’t tell them the truth. They can’t handle the truth.
- Rule #5: Create a false sense of sincerity. They eat it up.
- Rule #6: For love of god, don’t say anything that makes them write in more letters. (This is the reason Matt Place gets tortured twenty percent more than all the other slaves, I mean associate developers. What the heck, this is Premium - slaves. Too bad he seems to enjoy it so much.)
- Rule #7: Don’t forget to use the hypnotic font.
- Rule #8: Don’t ever let them know the big secret.
- Rule #9: Try suggestive selling. ('Would you like Betrayers with that?')
- Rule #10: Whatever you do, never let them see you sweat.
"The list actually goes on down the length of one arm up the other and then onto the legs. (Hey, a job in R&D comes with a few costs.) The rest of list basically explains how to lie and mislead all of you to believe whatever we say. You’d be amazed how well all of these devious and under-handed tricks work. Our market research shows that 99.6% of you believe that we’re honest (and we’ll find that last .4 of you). That’s like Abe Lincoln numbers.
"As a premium member, let me be straight with you. Never believe 'Ask Wizards'. It’s always lies. Always. Just remember when you read it to invert it into the exact opposite. I think you’ll see that Wizards isn’t exactly the company you think it is. It’s actually the exact opposite. Except for the .4 percent (you know the guys who post on the boards). For you guys, it’s exactly like you think."