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Wizards CEO Article: Making Moves

 
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Prak
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2017 7:57 pm    Post subject: Wizards CEO Article: Making Moves Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Article Link: https://company.wizards.com/article/news/making-moves

Couple of interesting things here. Looks like they're going to transition from Magic the Gathering Online to *something* else and they're going to start looking at branching Magic and D&D out into other products. I think you could hypothesize worse than to say whatever they're doing with MTGO is going to look something like Magic Duels.

It's also not unreasonable, I don't think, to speculate that we're getting closer to Magic stuff getting a proper D&D treatment.
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DSMatticus
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2017 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Does anyone - even the MtG people - really think their Planeswalker bullshit is that interesting? It's literally Weird Crossover Fanfaction Bullshit: The Setting, and it's not even a particularly interesting assortment of random bullshit. You really want to make an MMO? Fine. It's called Ravnica, the City of Guilds. That is a game you can sell to people who have never touched a MtG book in their life.
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erik
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2017 10:25 pm    Post subject: Re: Wizards CEO Article: Making Moves Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Prak wrote:
It's also not unreasonable, I don't think, to speculate that we're getting closer to Magic stuff getting a proper D&D treatment.


Proper? I don't think that word means what you think it means.
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Voss
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2017 10:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Quote:
It's also not unreasonable, I don't think, to speculate that we're getting closer to Magic stuff getting a proper D&D treatment.

It totally is unreasonable. Magic makes them actual money, D&D doesn't. Moving in a 'D&D treatment' direction is utterly senseless.

Cocks is talking about basically three things:

a gaming social calendar app. Don't care.

a Magic MMO... which is a terrible plan, with a huge outlay and either not much return or a torturously exploitative pay to win scheme. but it's more likely to be cancelled 9 months into development, so whatever.

Also, 'augmented reality' D&D which... go fuck yourselves.
Hire some designers and put them to work on 6th edition, and in the meantime, have the new computer team do a decent CRPG with a functional plot, UI, art and decent class representation.


At no stage is making good games part of the plan.
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DSMatticus
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2017 11:30 pm    Post subject: Re: Wizards CEO Article: Making Moves Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

erik wrote:
Prak wrote:
It's also not unreasonable, I don't think, to speculate that we're getting closer to Magic stuff getting a proper D&D treatment.


Proper? I don't think that word means what you think it means.

Hey, there was a time when D&D was a relatively well-developed digital IP - only about twenty years ago. Oh god I can feel all the old settling in my bones. These days D&D games are so shit that "it's Hearthstone, but really poorly developed" is probably a noticeably better digital usage of the IP than whatever the fuck D&D is doing, so... yeah.

Voss wrote:
a Magic MMO... which is a terrible plan, with a huge outlay and either not much return or a torturously exploitative pay to win scheme. but it's more likely to be cancelled 9 months into development, so whatever.

You could make a magic MMO. It's easy. You pick one of the most popular and fleshed out settings and you stick players in it as the kinds of people who would show up in the card game as creatures. Magic the Gathering is a little scrawl underneath the primary title, and you sure as fuck don't play planeshopping super wizards in a schizophrenic cosmos where nothing matters. Look, I know why Planeswalkers are a thing. Because it's a collectible card game that tries to stay fresh by swapping out its setting with every new batch of cards, and the only way to tie all that shit together is to declare that the players are conjuring up random shit from the depths of the multiverse or whatever. But it makes a shitty fucking narrative. There's not a single good Planeswalker novel, because the idea is fucking awful and makes awful fucking stories. But Ravnica or Innistrad or some shit? Those are concrete, finite settings in which Things Matter(tm) that you could sell to people who have never touched a magic card in their life, and also some of MtG's most beloved sets. Then a couple years after release when you're desperate for expansion material you can just fucking bring in the planeswalker arc where Big Dick NPC's show up to tell you about all the important Cosmic Happenings or whatever. I think WoW has a fucking time travel segment now.

I do not think this is the first time I've seen them mention a magic MMO in which the players are planeswalkers, and it makes me wonder how fucking deluded and out of touch they are. Who thinks that's a good idea, even briefly? If you spend five minutes imagining what you'd want the finished product to look like you'd realize you're trying to make shit.
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Dogbert
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2017 11:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Seemingly, the barrel of ideas in Cocks' strategy seems to revolve around videogames in various formats.

Yup, d&d as a printed product is pretty much dead legacy now.
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Mechalich
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2017 12:43 am    Post subject: Re: Wizards CEO Article: Making Moves Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

DSMatticus wrote:

You could make a magic MMO. It's easy. You pick one of the most popular and fleshed out settings and you stick players in it as the kinds of people who would show up in the card game as creatures. Magic the Gathering is a little scrawl underneath the primary title, and you sure as fuck don't play planeshopping super wizards in a schizophrenic cosmos where nothing matters. Look, I know why Planeswalkers are a thing. Because it's a collectible card game that tries to stay fresh by swapping out its setting with every new batch of cards, and the only way to tie all that shit together is to declare that the players are conjuring up random shit from the depths of the multiverse or whatever. But it makes a shitty fucking narrative. There's not a single good Planeswalker novel, because the idea is fucking awful and makes awful fucking stories. But Ravnica or Innistrad or some shit? Those are concrete, finite settings in which Things Matter(tm) that you could sell to people who have never touched a magic card in their life, and also some of MtG's most beloved sets. Then a couple years after release when you're desperate for expansion material you can just fucking bring in the planeswalker arc where Big Dick NPC's show up to tell you about all the important Cosmic Happenings or whatever. I think WoW has a fucking time travel segment now.

I do not think this is the first time I've seen them mention a magic MMO in which the players are planeswalkers, and it makes me wonder how fucking deluded and out of touch they are. Who thinks that's a good idea, even briefly? If you spend five minutes imagining what you'd want the finished product to look like you'd realize you're trying to make shit.


In an MMO context Planewalkers make way more sense as epic enemies or raid bosses that you fight - in the same way you fight giant elemental gods like Ramuh and Titan and whatnot in FFXIV. Whatever IP value the planeswalkers have is thereby preserved and maybe even works as an incentive - beating the planewalkers to get their outfits as rare drops is reasonable MMO incentive structure.

Or if you really wanted to have multi-planar conflict (against some overarching evil like the Eldrazi or Phyrexian infection or something), then you use the planeswalkers as a transport mechanism who pick up you character and carry them from place to place to continue the fighting.

Having the player be a planeswalker is probably the worst possible idea out of them all.
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OgreBattle
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2017 2:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

How about you play as a planeswalker in a freemium kingdom building mobile game
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Voss
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2017 3:48 am    Post subject: Re: Wizards CEO Article: Making Moves Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

DSMatticus wrote:

You could make a magic MMO. It's easy. You pick one of the most popular and fleshed out settings and you stick players in it as the kinds of people who would show up in the card game as creatures. Magic the Gathering is a little scrawl underneath the primary title, and you sure as fuck don't play planeshopping super wizards in a schizophrenic cosmos where nothing matters. Look, I know why Planeswalkers are a thing. Because it's a collectible card game that tries to stay fresh by swapping out its setting with every new batch of cards, and the only way to tie all that shit together is to declare that the players are conjuring up random shit from the depths of the multiverse or whatever. But it makes a shitty fucking narrative. There's not a single good Planeswalker novel, because the idea is fucking awful and makes awful fucking stories. But Ravnica or Innistrad or some shit? Those are concrete, finite settings in which Things Matter(tm) that you could sell to people who have never touched a magic card in their life, and also some of MtG's most beloved sets. Then a couple years after release when you're desperate for expansion material you can just fucking bring in the planeswalker arc where Big Dick NPC's show up to tell you about all the important Cosmic Happenings or whatever.


The idea is easy. Actual implementation is not. MMOs are big money projects, with huge teams and lots of financing.

Buy-in also very difficult. Selling people on the idea that they're going to play some disposable creature type when they want to be the Big Important Wizards is a really fucking hard sell. Even if you do park it in Random Magic Setting Number X and keep people there, they'll still want to play the Wizards the game revolves around, not the worthless shit that serves no purpose beyond getting horribly murdered.

And frankly, scale-wise, it isn't the kind of thing WotC should even be thinking about. Their simplest digital projects end in disaster and misery, even a simple forum migration was beyond their capabilities. Taking on something so big is laughable from the outside and a huge money pit from the inside.

Quote:
I think WoW has a fucking time travel segment now.

Oh, no. It's far more stupid than that. Partly because the time travel expansion also involved an alternate universe (because reasons), but also because of the way they did their expansions and updated the main world, everything except the current content involves time travel to mindcaulk it. Who rules the Horde (and Alliance) is a wacky question with multiple contestants and they do not go in order, and are not in any way congruent.


Last edited by Voss on Sun Feb 05, 2017 6:54 am; edited 2 times in total
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DSMatticus
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2017 6:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Voss wrote:
Buy-in also very difficult. Selling people on the idea that they're going to play some disposable creature type when they want to be the Big Important Wizards is a really fucking hard sell.

I do not think anyone really wants to be the Big Important Wizards. LoTRO did not let people play members of the fellowship. WoW did not let people play undead lich kings. And frankly, I think people give far less shits about planeswalkers than they ever did Gandalf or Arthas - other than Jace, but only because he's infamous for single-handedly ruining standard and modern for awhile. I think if you asked people to name magic characters, you'd get a bunch of legendary creatures and a smattering of planeswalkers. And if you asked people to name cards they're super fond of, you'd get all kinds of random shit and very few planeswalkers. Magic's narrative is... it's a fucking niche as shit thing. People are there for the card game.

I don't think anyone wants an MtG action MMO at all, but if for some reason you were determined to use the IP in that way you would set it in Ravnica, because Ravnica is not just "Random Magic Setting Number X," it was super popular and a very easy setting to build traditional MMO tropes around, making it something you could sell to fans and randoms alike. And exactly one person on the planet will give any shits at all that they're playing a Dimir guildmage instead of a Jace clone, and nobody likes that guy anyway because he's fucking weird and he always wants to talk to you about whatever incredibly shitty fantasy novel he's reading this week.

Outside of Ravnica, Magic's settings are either too obsure or too unwieldy or both to consider for an action RPG treatment of any kind. And obviously, yeah, WotC's digital team has an awful track record and they really have no business expanding into new territory when the ventures they are already operating are burning down around them, but as long as they're bringing up the idea I'm going to poke it with a stick and call it stupid because of course I am.
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Prak
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2017 10:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Jace was designed as a sort of analogue to the player, this is why he's been the main character of recent blocks, because WotC thinks most Magic players identify with him. I think it's a bit tone deaf, but at least they're not excluding female characters like Chandra and Liliana.

But the ability to play Jace the Planeswalker is by no means necessary. They can make new mage characters that are similar, since the actual planeswalking is pretty much incidental to their actual personalities and powersets. I want to cosplay Liliana when I'm more fem-passing, but in an MMO, if I get to play a sassy, token-evil team mate necromancer warlock, I'd be perfectly happy with that.
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Dean, on Paranoia wrote:
The book is a hardbound liars paradox.


Winnah wrote:
No, No. 'Prak' is actually a Thri Kreen impersonating a human and roleplaying himself as a D&D character. All hail our hidden insect overlords.


FrankTrollman wrote:
In Soviet Russia, cosmic horror is the default state.

You should gain sanity for finding out that the problems of a region are because there are fucking monsters there.
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Voss
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2017 7:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

DSMatticus wrote:
Voss wrote:
Buy-in also very difficult. Selling people on the idea that they're going to play some disposable creature type when they want to be the Big Important Wizards is a really fucking hard sell.

I do not think anyone really wants to be the Big Important Wizards.
Yeah, you misunderstand me. I'm not talking about playing the Elminsters or whatever-the-fuck-their-names-are of the joke Magic Settings. I'm talking about playing Magic: the gathering. You have spells powered through mana, and each player can be <theirnamehere> the Wizard, with a hand of spells and they get better/more spells in according to some bullshit progression as they go along. Playing Spooge Drudges or Goblin Shitflingers is not the appeal.

Quote:
I don't think anyone wants an MtG action MMO at all, but if for some reason you were determined to use the IP in that way you would set it in Ravnica, because Ravnica is not just "Random Magic Setting Number X,"

Not going to claim what people want out of a Magic MMO (if they want it at all), but... presumably WotC would want to leverage their concepts in some fashion (probably new expansion = new plane).

Quote:
And exactly one person on the planet will give any shits at all that they're playing a Dimir guildmage instead of a Jace clone, and nobody likes that guy anyway because he's fucking weird and he always wants to talk to you about whatever incredibly shitty fantasy novel he's reading this week.

Outside of Ravnica, Magic's settings are either too obsure or too unwieldy or both to consider for an action RPG treatment of any kind.
Yeah, yeah. You sound exactly like that guy, except 'Ravinca, Ravinca' rather than 'Jace Clone.'

Quote:
And obviously, yeah, WotC's digital team has an awful track record and they really have no business expanding into new territory when the ventures they are already operating are burning down around them, but as long as they're bringing up the idea I'm going to poke it with a stick and call it stupid because of course I am.

It is stupid.

There was a conceptually decent (for the time) Magic game with a world map and a loose story structure before they jumped on the shitty duels games. Bringing something like that out with some multiplayer support should be their goal, as it's something functional and achievable to try to build with a team of 12-20 'industry veterans' (or whatever they think they've got). As is, they're just making another big digital promise that they'll abjectly fail at.
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hyzmarca
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2017 8:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

D&D and MtG would both work as a Canadian-American fantasy television series filmed primarily in Vancouver. They really should look into that.

Maybe see how much they'd have to pay R.A. Salvatore if they made a Dritzz series.
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Wiseman
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2017 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Wait is this MMO being made in house?

DDO was made in by Turbine and Neverwinter was made by Cryptic, and they've turned out well. I've played and enjoyed DDO, and heard decent things about Neverwinter. However, Wizards digital department is pretty obviously garbage so there's no way they'd be able to pull of anything close to an MMO themselves.

Of course, was anyone even asking for a Magic MMO?

(Also, whatever happened to the Pathfinder MMO?)

What about digital ventures that people actually want? Virtual tabletops and online archives. Character generators.

I would seriously pay actual money (a one time fee, not a subscription) for something like an official version of D&DTools.
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