Monday, August 3, 2015

Hide my wallet!

There have been several attempts at translating Magic: The Gather from paper crack to a more conveniently distributed digital form. From the literal attempt of MGO to the more stylized, easier to swallow Duels of the Plainswalkers, I have at least sampled them all. MGO made no attempt to disguise that it was trying to force the player to spend real dollars on virtual cards. And I did so - booster drafts are fun - but eventually wised up and quit. Duels of the Plainswalkers took a much more stripped down approach. There was a limited set of cards, no true deck customization, but it was still Magic, just in pill form.

Gateway Magic.

Magic Duels moves several devious steps closer to MGO while disguising itself as a free to play game. After an several introductory matches the player is handed a starter collection of cards, three boosters, and told to take on the world. Boosters can either be purchased with an in game currency or with real dollars. In game currency can be earned by completing more story missions, individuals quests or winning online ranked matches. Sure, this sounds fair.

Playing the rest of the story missions is a quick way to earn money but a few of them are far more difficult than they have a right to be, relying on luck of the draw instead of playing the pre-constructed deck the way it was meant to be played. I spent almost an hour on one battle, waiting for the computer to get screwed for mana. Eventually it did and I took my Pyrrhic victory and moved on with my life.

Single player battles and ranked battles net very little currency and winning online is impossible without the cards that you are trying to earn the money for in the first place. Quests are a little better but they take up quite a bit of time.  And there us always the looming temptation of buying a few boosters to help.

Just a few. What could it hurt?

It is still Magic it all its addictive, OCD glory. I really want to play a mono blue or black deck but have nowhere near enough cards to do so. Before I knew it I had laid out a plan for grinding coins. Something else needs to come out right fucking now before I fall headlong into this rabbit hole. Again.

1 comment:

  1. Something else has come out - or will in forty-five minutes. It's called Galak-Z!!!

    I'm glued to Twitch streams right now, counting the seconds.