Wizards of the Coast, heeft naar aanleiding van fans, de grootte van sets veranderd. Vanaf de volgende set zullen er aanzienlijk minder kaarten per jaar uitkomen. Zie hier een tabel van Wizards of the Coast:
Zoals je ziet is dat een aanzienlijke verandering! Hier een quote van Mark Rosewater:
Not counting the core set, we will print fewer cards during the Shards of Alara year than we have ever printed before in any Magic year – 519. Even counting the core set, it is over one hundred cards fewer than the previous year. The reasons behind this change are twofold. First, as we examined the barriers for entry to the game, we realized that the speed of release of new cards was front and center. If new players quickly get overwhelmed they tend to walk away, never to return. A new player today trying to get into the game has the same hurdles that all new players have had historically, but one entering this July, for instance, faces a Standard environment of over 2,100 cards. One of the easiest ways of simplifying things was to just print fewer cards.
The second reason for the change was feedback from existing players. We were just printing too many cards. Even established players were having issues keeping up. As the graph above demonstrates, we've been ramping up the cards produced over the last few years. We simply went too far. We were printing too many cards for the new and established players.
This change is helping to adjust to the right balance. Why then did we choose a number lower than what had been our staple number for so many years? Because we wanted to give ourselves a little wiggle room for when we came up with interesting ideas like Time Spiral's "timeshifted" set or the Lorwyn / Shadowmoor mini-block structure. 519 cards is not our cap, but our new baseline.
Een nieuw rarity
In verband met de set-verkleining gaat Wizards of the Coast nu ook een nieuwe rarity uitbrengen. Deze zal Mythic rare gaan heten en vervangd in 1 op de 8 boosters de rare kaart. Ik laat Mark Rooswater weer aan het woord:
Verandering booster packs
We came to realize that we don't have the luxury of defining Magic solely against itself. The trading card game genre has created some standards that evolved from decisions made after Magic's creation, rarity being one of the best examples. The idea of a TCG with only three rarities is antiquated. (And before I get letters, I do understand that technically basic land is a fourth rarity; for these discussions I am not going to count it.) Magic is the only major trading card game currently printed with only three rarities. If we want to stay competitive in attracting new players we have to keep up with the industry standards.
What is it about this "industry standard" that helps acquire new players? Two things. First is the issue of expectation. The majority of players are going to come to Magic having already experienced this standard, and they are going to expect any new trading card game they try to function like the games they already know. As I often talk about in this column, meeting expectations is very important. Second, there’s a reason things become an industry standard. They work. Knowing that you have the potential to open something you can show off to all your friends is very compelling and helps draw new players into the game.
The good news is that we found a way that allowed us to increase the number of rarities without having to print cards at a rarity higher than we currently print. To elaborate, when you crunch the numbers it turns out that Magic has used the word "rare" to stretch across an insanely wide band of rarity. To put this in context, here’s a graph of every Magic set currently available in Standard showing how many rares are in each set.
As you can see, there is a giant spectrum of what "rare" means. The high end, for instance, is over three times greater than the low end. The important discovery for us was that we could add in a new level of rarity without having to print cards at a higher rarity than we already print.
This now leads us to the next question: How are cards split between rare and mythic rare? Or more to the point, what kind of cards are going to become mythic rares? We want the flavor of mythic rare to be something that feels very special and unique. Generally speaking we expect that to mean cards like Planeswalkers, most legends, and epic-feeling creatures and spells. They will not just be a list of each set's most powerful tournament-level cards.
We've also decided that there are certain things we specifically do not want to be mythic rares. The largest category is utility cards, what I'll define as cards that fill a universal function. Some examples of this category would be cycles of dual lands and cards like Mutavault or Char. That also addresses a long-standing issue that some players have had with certain rares like dual lands. Because we're making fewer cards per set, in the new world individual rares will be easier to acquire because each rare in a large set now appears 25% more often.
Which leads to the next question: Will mythic rares have premium (foil) versions? Yes. In fact, not only will they have a normal version and a premium version, but the premium versions will show up at a slightly more frequent ratio. (The number of combined premium rares and premium mythic rares you will get starting with Shards of Alara is higher than the number of premium rares you currently get.)
The final mythic rare question: Will mythic rare have a new expansion symbol color? Yes. What is it? I promise I'll show it off before we're done.
Vanaf Shards of Alara zullen alle, maar dan ook alle booster packs 1 common minder hebben en een landje er voor in de plaats. De reden waarom? Dat zal Mark even uitleggen:
Verdwijning van Thema-decksThis is a change we made in the core set starting with Seventh Edition. The reason for it was rather simple: beginning players were having problems getting land. Without land, you can't play the game—the very definition of a barrier to entry. Before Seventh Edition, we had the attitude that there were plenty of products that provided basic land. The flaw in our thinking was twofold. First, there was no way for the new player to know which product had basic land, and few people buy a second product when the first one isn't usable by itself. Second, not every venue sells every Magic product. There were stores, for example, that only sold booster packs, which meant a player buying exclusively from that store had no way around this problem.
Ook zullen, vanaf de nieuwe set Shards of Alara, theme decks verdwijnen. Maar; We krijgen er wel iets veel beter voor terug voor hetzelfde geld. We krijgen intropacks.
En als laatst nog een kleine verandering in de Fatpacks die we al een beetje doorkregen!Starting with Shards of Alara, the theme decks are changing into a new product called "intro packs" aimed specifically at helping beginners get into the game. To do this we rethought what an intro product needed to have, which resulted in a substantial change to the make-up of the product. For the existing theme deck buyer, the intro packs will still have a preconstructed deck that samples the new themes and mechanics of the upcoming set and we’ve managed to raise the overall value proposition of the product (more on this in a moment) while keeping the same price. That said, this product is going through some significant changes.
To refresh your memory, here is the make-up of a theme deck for Shadowmoor:
45 commons / lands
1 premium land
Now here is the make-up of an intro pack for Shards of Alara:
1 premium rare
1 non-premium rare
32 commons / lands
1 Shards of Alara booster pack
There are two very important differences. First, the intro pack's deck has 41 cards compared to the theme deck's 61. Second, the intro pack also includes a booster pack (bringing the intro pack up to 56 cards). Taking into account the cards from the booster pack, the intro pack has three fewer uncommons, two fewer commons, and no premium land. In turn though, it gets an extra rare and a foil one at that.
Why the change? Let's start by talking about the booster pack. One of the concerns we had with the preconstructed decks for beginners is that they are a little misleading about what the product actually is. A self-contained deck doesn't convey the scope of a trading card game. We wanted to show the new player the potential of what his or her deck could become. To do this, we felt strongly that we needed to get a booster pack into their hands. Only by ripping open a booster of random cards did we feel we could give new players the best taste of what Magic is truly about.
In addition, we felt strongly that the intro pack approach better encouraged you to further tweak your deck. This was accomplished partly by including the booster but more importantly by making a deck smaller than sixty cards. The smaller size encourages players to add cards to get up to sixty (yet another lesson we've learned from the core sets).
Beginning with Shadowmoor, the fat packs began to undergo a redesign, including raising the booster pack count from six to eight. With Shards of Alara, the redesign will be complete, and to give Magic fans a taste of the new publishing line, each card set's fat pack will now include an excerpt of the most current publishing offering in lieu of the previously included set-based novel.
Informatie, quotes en plaatjes (c) Wizards of the Coast.