1. I was always under the assumption that anything outside of draft and standard would not be available on Arena. If they make those formats available and MTGO is essentially phased out, do you think there could be some sort of exchange system set up to convert cards from MTGO to Arena? I can;t imagine WotC basically telling players with upwards of a couple thousand dollars invested in MTGO that their collection is no worth absolutely nothing. They would lose a ton of potential new customers for Arena…

    • That’s the case currently. But there is no “dusting” process in Arena, and to continue that practice would mean that once cards in a player’s collection rotated they have zero value. That’s a terrible feel.

      I think it’s only a matter of time before they roll out formats using the older cards. People will want to play with them. And then there will be the lure of putting flashback drafts on Arena — a huge revenue potential.

      Yes, this canabalizes from MTGO, but at some point the switch will flip and they will recognize that Arena represents the future of digital Magic in all formats.

      It may take a while though.

      BTW Scott, Do you need a Beta key?

      • I do not have a beta key. Would love one but probably don’t have much time to lend to actual testing.

        So, it would be staring from scratch to get Arena to have old cards. There would have to be drafts and some way for people to exchange cards (bots, trading, etc). They probably couldn’t just dump thousands of cards into the program for free unless there is some sort of subscription service. Have they discussed this in any length?

  2. I do think it’s worth keeping in mind that not everyone is as happy with the play experience as you have been. You found yourself wanting to sign in to Arena to complete your daily quests before playing MTGO, and I found myself hating having to complete quests and disliking the clunkiness of the gameplay so I slowly stopped playing Arena altogether. Of my six friends who have access to Arena and MTGO, half prefer Arena and half prefer MTGO.

    I’ll reevaluate my own personal engagement with Arena once real drafting is introduced. Drafting with AI Bots is neither fun nor exciting for me, and having so much of the reward compel you to play Standard is not my cup of tea. Do we know when real drafting will be introduced? October? November?

    I like the way you quantified the free-to-play aspect of Arena. You basically get $1 for every first hour per day you play Arena.

    I’m still of the belief that the two platforms will coexist since they appeal to different people with different levels of historic engagement with Magic, and they appeal to people with different lifestyles. Someone who can’t play religiously everyday, for example, is more likely going to appreciate the MTGO platform. Likewise someone who enjoys drafting but doesn’t want anything to do with Standard.

    • You make good points. My experiences are subjective, and I guess there are people who prefer the MTGO interface. I think we need to ask ourselves, how many of these people prefer it because it is familiar? Magic is interested in new player acquisition (winning people over both from paper and from other digital games) and will focus more energy on Arena, making it better with each iteration.

      I agree–drafting against humans instead of bots will be a real litmus test. I actually don’t mind drafting against the bots. It’s different, but everyone has the same level playing field.

      Both platforms can exist, at least for a while. But will people continue to maintain large, expensive collections in MTGO if much of the action is elsewhere?

  3. There are Arena-only standard cards. You can’t find them in paper or mtgo. Doesn’t this mean that, as a testing platform for competitive players, MTGO is still going to be the platform of choice until wizards stop doing such things?

    • Good point. Those cards are casual though, and won’t have any effect on people testing for competitive formats. So I don’t think it changes the equation.

      Rajib, do you need a Beta key?

  4. I’ve been thinking about this ever since I saw beta gameplay for arena. I recently started up mtgo for the redemption system so I could collect new sets, do you think that redemption system will stay on mtgo if wizards shifts to arena or do you think wizards will eventually abandon mtgo entirely and either let the system die or move it to arena

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