Q&A w/Oktagon - November Edition (11/7/19)

LakeStoneLakeStone ADMINISTRATORS Posts: 644 Site Admin
edited 7 November 2019, 23:40 in MtGPQ General Discussion
Hi Everyone - 

Thank you for submitting your questions this past month via the new Google Form we put in place to help deliver these questions to the team. Please keep the questions coming!

We thank the team over at Oktagon for putting together these responses. 

Oktagon Q&A Session - November 2019

How close are you to release the Throne of Eldraine set and can you give a rough estimate as to when we will see it?

We plan to release Throne of Eldraine near the end of this month and we plan to have some details about what is to come in a week or so with the Pre-Release Notes.


Are there plans to improve the game startup loading time, it currently takes 30+ seconds for me and I'm not on an ancient device. What about improving the loading time between in-game screens?”

There have been Performance and Loading Optimizations in the 3.7 release. There might be room in a future Between-Sets release, however there are no plans yet. 


What is the future of legacy other than an ever-growing repository of old sets?  Will there ever be sets eliminated from the game?  Will more legacy events become set/block-restricted?

As Legacy is an ever growing environment, that increases with the standard set rotations and with the launch of retroactively contents, it is natural that this format becomes more and more controlled by specific overwhelming strategies. In order to avoid this negative perspective, and to make it healthier for new Legacy sets, some old events and new alike will be gradually reworked to become set or block-restricted. This way, players will be able to play with their older cards within thematic events that require more of deck building and decision making, instead of powerful card combinations that can win a fight in a single turn.


How will you fix the bugs and errors that make us lose games or charges? The leaderboards should not be dictated by being lucky enough not to encounter bugs or errors.

The player’s experience is very important to us. The coders, together with the QA team, are working every day to reproduce and fix all the bugs and issues in the game. Some issues are not easy to simulate, due to the large pool of devices that the players have, so your help is crucial to figuring out the root of the issue; particularly for events. We gather a lot of information from Player Reports on the Forum and via the in-game messages sent to Support.


How will you fix event end times in a way that everyone can finish all their charges (if they choose to do so), but won't be restricted by the timezone they live in?

For 2020, we intend to introduce some new event types, which will count with different systems other than the regular "charges" (such as a win/lose streak count, for example, with a given amount of lives). This will enable both players and developers to evaluate new methods of scoring and engagement for events.


In an August 2018 Q&A asking about longer refreshes (specifically the last refresh), it was said that, ‘We are currently looking at this and other options, in order to allow players in different regions the chance to participate equally in events. A year later we got The Elderspark with 6-hour refreshes & Ravnica at War with 6-hour refreshes (Only 4 hours for the last refresh). How soon will we see the longer, region-friendly refreshes?

Starting with Throne of Eldraine, most longer upcoming events will feature the standard 8-hour refreshes instead of the shorter ones. However, this format is not able to be applied to every event, which is the case of daily casual events.

Also, as aforementioned, some of the 2020 sets will present new playing formats, with different systems other than the standard one with charges.


We have received various questions about Player Level and Progression.  Some feedback here from the team on plans to improve upon these efforts.

While the Player Level release and subsequent months could have been handled better than they were, we believe it can become an exciting feature for both new players and old players alike. That being said, we are looking for ways to revitalize the game after an admittedly rough year. As such, we wanted to try and avoid the mistakes that were made.

In that light, we’ll have a more concrete announcement, that will relate to Player Level, to make during the Holiversary. However, that does not mean that nothing new is coming into the game...

A new, First Theros Block, Duel Decks is scheduled to be released alongside the Theros Beyond Death set. This new iteration will also have slight adjustments to the ruleset and rewards, which will contain Player XP. The previous Duel Decks (ZvE) will also be subjected to these slight adjustments. That being said, not all events will have Player XP as a reward. Starting from the Theros release, which should be done on schedule (~1 month after the tabletop release), Special events like Duel Deck events and the leading event for each set release will.

Finally, all of that being said, we'd like to personally apologize to all veteran players who felt damaged by the Player Level implementation. That was far from its actual goal. Hopefully, you accept this apology and help us realize this new direction for the game.

Thanks for checking out the November Edition of the Q&A w/ Oktagon. If you have questions you'd like to ask them for next month, please ask them HERE.
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Comments

  • AvahadAvahad Posts: 118 Tile Toppler
    ‘with different systems other than the regular "charges" (such as a win/lose streak count’

    that will make crashes hurt big time...........
  • starfallstarfall Posts: 1,628 Chairperson of the Boards
    LakeStone said:

    We have received various questions about Player Level and Progression.  Some feedback here from the team on plans to improve upon these efforts.

    the Player Level release and subsequent months could have been handled better than they were

    Dyou know, I think you could be right there.
    LakeStone said:

    Finally, all of that being said, we'd like to personally apologize to all veteran players who felt damaged by the Player Level implementation. That was far from its actual goal. Hopefully, you accept this apology

    Sadly, most of them quit the game :(
  • MachineMachine Posts: 459 Mover and Shaker
    I might be in the minority, but I don't like if new sets follow each other too quickly. That way older sets and the deck building strategies that come with them will lose their focus. Also, more time means a bigger chance to aquire (and grind for) cards.
  • Mburn7Mburn7 Posts: 2,999 Chairperson of the Boards
    Machine said:
    I might be in the minority, but I don't like if new sets follow each other too quickly. That way older sets and the deck building strategies that come with them will lose their focus. Also, more time means a bigger chance to aquire (and grind for) cards.
    I agree that the quick turnaround is less than ideal, but remember it is only happening because of how behind paper the devs are.  If they followed the paper release schedule more closely (which they are definitely trying to do) we would have a nice 3 month break between sets.
  • Mburn7Mburn7 Posts: 2,999 Chairperson of the Boards
    @LakeStone thanks for the Q&A update!  I really like a lot of these ideas, fingers crossed they get executed well and bug free!
  • Oktagon_SupportOktagon_Support ADMINISTRATORS Posts: 250 Mover and Shaker
    Hello guys,

    If you have any other questions, please be sure to inform us and we'll be glad to try helping you.
  • versemageversemage Posts: 37 Just Dropped In
    How about an event, PvP, that involves accumulating points towards both immediate and event reward goals, as per usual. However, the advancement toward the rather generous event goals are done in stages that can only be completed through accumulation of points in ALL 5 colors, ie. you can't advance to the next tier without X amount of points in each color. Then the next tier is reached by maybe X x2 amount of points in EACH color. One of the main differences between this event and almost all other current ones: the only objective on each match is to just win, like training grounds. The difficulty lies in being able to win a sufficient amount of matches in each color. Call it "Battle of the Planes" or some such thing. It's an event based on just having well functioning decks of each color, not having to have decks tailored to a specific set of objectives. And make it huge, like 10 tiers and maybe 5 days long. Just a random passing thought, you know.
  • MatthewMatthew Posts: 599 Critical Contributor
    LakeStone said:

    How close are you to release the Throne of Eldraine set and can you give a rough estimate as to when we will see it?

    We plan to release Throne of Eldraine near the end of this month and we plan to have some details about what is to come in a week or so with the Pre-Release Notes.

    Bumping for awareness. @LakeStone Any news or updates?
  • starfallstarfall Posts: 1,628 Chairperson of the Boards
    You guys aren't planning to build an ingame matchmaking system built around XP are you?
  • HoradrimHoradrim Posts: 68 Match Maker
    Or how about an in-game match making system based on the collection (total number of cards mastered AND unmastered) instead of XP?
  • starfallstarfall Posts: 1,628 Chairperson of the Boards
    Horadrim said:
    Or how about an in-game match making system based on the collection (total number of cards mastered AND unmastered) instead of XP?
    No, no, I'm saying that basing matchmaking off XP would be a BAD idea.
  • ElfNeedsFoodElfNeedsFood Posts: 804 Critical Contributor
    starfall said:
    Horadrim said:
    Or how about an in-game match making system based on the collection (total number of cards mastered AND unmastered) instead of XP?
    No, no, I'm saying that basing matchmaking off XP would be a BAD idea.
    Yeah, it would be way worse than having people who are two months into the game that hit Platinum match up against the three year veterans...  /s
  • starfallstarfall Posts: 1,628 Chairperson of the Boards
    edited 20 November 2019, 14:23
    starfall said:
    Horadrim said:
    Or how about an in-game match making system based on the collection (total number of cards mastered AND unmastered) instead of XP?
    No, no, I'm saying that basing matchmaking off XP would be a BAD idea.
    Yeah, it would be way worse than having people who are two months into the game that hit Platinum match up against the three year veterans...  /s
    And I'm sure those people who hit Platinum will be so happy about the fact that veterans will forever be out of their reach /s^2

    Listen, I get it, ok. I understand that the majority of forum users think that competitive play is the poor cousin or casual play, only for players who don't like either friends or fun. But MTG is a hugely expansive game, it has plenty of room for BOTH competitive and casual players, and that's my stance: I do not at all think that competitive play should eclipse casual play.

    I feel like you very much set up a false dichotomy in your post. It's perfectly possible to have a matchmaking system which excludes both of the possibilities we have laid out ironically.
  • Gunmix25Gunmix25 Posts: 1,194 Chairperson of the Boards
    Brigby said:
    Matthew said:
    LakeStone said:

    How close are you to release the Throne of Eldraine set and can you give a rough estimate as to when we will see it?

    We plan to release Throne of Eldraine near the end of this month and we plan to have some details about what is to come in a week or so with the Pre-Release Notes.

    Bumping for awareness. LakeStone Any news or updates?
    I'm already working on putting together the 3.9 Pre-Release Notes, so you can most likely expect to see it sometime next week!

    @Brigby How is this coming along? maybe today or tomorrow? Also any idea as to when the release day might be?
  • BrigbyBrigby ADMINISTRATORS Posts: 7,531 Site Admin
    I can tell some tensions are starting to rise up, so I just want to give a friendly reminder to please keep all comments civil. Thank you!
    Gunmix25 said:
    Brigby said:
    I'm already working on putting together the 3.9 Pre-Release Notes, so you can most likely expect to see it sometime next week!
    Brigby How is this coming along? maybe today or tomorrow? Also any idea as to when the release day might be?
    We've got a check-in meeting today to make sure that production is on track and all the details are smoothed out before submission this week.

    Once I know that everything is finalized, then I'll be posting the Pre-Release notes, so hopefully today!
  • ElfNeedsFoodElfNeedsFood Posts: 804 Critical Contributor
    No intent in inflame on my part, nor to create a dichotomy, @Gunmix25.

    I agree that the matchmaking system should be using something other than "Cards you've mastered".  The current system actually is, however, until it's completely flat.  Four levels is simply not sufficient to create fair matching.  Platinum is an ever-growing pool we're all swimming in.

    The conversion to the XP system was based on card mastery, but it seemed at the time it was announced wins and losses and perhaps even the level of the person you win or lose against, participation in events, and lots of "other things" would impact your levels.  The fact of the matter is we are still in this strange stasis where the only thing impacting XP levels is cards mastered, which I think we all agree is imperfect at best.
  • Gunmix25Gunmix25 Posts: 1,194 Chairperson of the Boards
     ElfNeedsFood said:
    No intent in inflame on my part, nor to create a dichotomy, @Gunmix25.

    I agree that the matchmaking system should be using something other than "Cards you've mastered".  The current system actually is, however, until it's completely flat.  Four levels is simply not sufficient to create fair matching.  Platinum is an ever-growing pool we're all swimming in.

    The conversion to the XP system was based on card mastery, but it seemed at the time it was announced wins and losses and perhaps even the level of the person you win or lose against, participation in events, and lots of "other things" would impact your levels.  The fact of the matter is we are still in this strange stasis where the only thing impacting XP levels is cards mastered, which I think we all agree is imperfect at best.

    I believe you meant @starfall :)
  • boopersboopers Posts: 106 Tile Toppler
    I think the only matchmaking system that will ever make sense is to base it off of cards that are included in the deck. Ignore PW level, mastery, XP, etc. 

    On a simple but imperfect application, you could simply assign a “power value” to each rarity type, such that a deck with mostly mythic cards is partnered up against another of equal power. The imperfect application is clearly the fact that many mythics just aren’t as powerful as others, and sometimes in commons and rares far outpace mythics in their power level. 

    A good application if this would be to assign two power factors to each card, one for rarity, and a second multiplier that factors in how often the card is used in decks when it is owned. Thus, bsz would show up as a massively powerful card, and pneumonic betrayal would be far weaker impact to deck overall power in comparison. Likewise, even a card like rupture spire would show up as a higher powered card than many rares even though it is uncommon. But this would take some work for the devs. The poor mans option above could be a good first application to start. 

    XP would need another serious overhaul if it were to be used for matchmaking, since the multiple conversions landed us in a place where players like me that have every card, but are only level 100, would never be matched against similar players with all cards and have mastered them to be level 200+. They would need to normalize player level again, plus put in a system where XP is mostly gained (or lost) based on winning or losing matches. 

    Best to just let XP be used for determining rewards or something less intrusive until it can be better incorporated into the game. 
  • HoradrimHoradrim Posts: 68 Match Maker
    Or how about matchmaking will be based on: 1st) coalition ranking (e.g. top 200 players in top 10 coalitions will be matched against each other first); if not matched then 2nd) card collection (e.g. those with 2500's vs 2500's, 2000-2499 vs 2000-2499, etc.; if still can't find match then 3rd) player level. (200's vs 200's, 150-199 vs 150-199, etc.); if still can't find match then next lower coalition tier (e.g. top 10 coalition member vs top 11-20, etc.)
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