I recently reblogged the same user twice in order to dispute his or her claims that Wizards of the Coast’s Deckbuilder’s Toolkit product was an example of the company trying to put one over on newer players. While that user’s statements were so incorrect as to have me dumbfounded (and acting like this) I won’t restate my objections here; if you’re wondering what that user’s claims were and my counterarguments, just look in my archive, as it was only a few days ago.
The point of this post is that I steadfastly defended WotC in that instance, but I don’t want to come across as someone that will always argue on the side of the company, even if I often will.
I will, however, constantly argue for the company in certain matters, such as whenever someone’s words make it seem (or specifically state) that they feel the company is “evil.” When I think of evil companies, I think of banks, or oil companies that pollute the environment, or technology companies that are pushing for more control over the internet as we speak. I don’t think of companies that pay for events and free product for their consumers, have widely advertised internship and even job opportunities for their consumers, and encourage their employees to engage with consumers on a daily basis. That’s not an evil company in my eyes.
I will also argue for the company whenever a player says a card sucks because it wasn’t playable in [insert format here], as that player is unjustly acting as if WotC is supposed to print cards solely for themselves and the formats they play. In fact, WotC has to focus on: 3 different psychographics; different deck archetypes (certainly Combo, Control, Aggro, and combinations of those, as well as Chaos decks, tribal, Mill decks…); different formats such as Limited, Block Constructed, Standard Constructed, casual and Commander; and who knows what else. Not just you and yours, Mr. Angry Person on the Internet. Oh, and I will argue against any player that asks for something that shouldn’t be in Magic, usually involving completely breaking the color pie because they want their color to be better than the other four (again, going with players unjustly expecting WotC to design Magic only for them, and they’ll complain about anything that proves WotC works otherwise).
However, I don’t support everything they’ve done either. While I didn’t speak out as vocally as others (mostly because I didn’t attend the event in question), I think WotC should have announced that they were doing special Helvaults for some shops so that the existence of the special ones was known to players. I think having a new Duels of the Planeswalkers every year is disappointing, as the previous ones are effectively abandoned so soon instead of building upon them with more than one expansion. I think WotC announcing Coldsnap as the “lost set” (although supposedly tongue-in-cheekily, if not picked up on by consumers) was a silly joke for no reason to begin with. I think the Reserved List is stupid (although I’ve accepted that it’s fact and will stay in place). I think making it seem like the numbers of players who chose Phyrexian or Mirran at the Mirrodin Besieged events actually affected which set would be printed (even if fans who thought about the printing process would know that wouldn’t be possible) was a misleading idea. I think cutting back on a lot of things, such as promo cards, You Make the Card, and the Magic Invitational where winners got to design cards are bad ideas (although not everything they’ve cut back on do I care is missing). I started the game when Intro Packs weren’t 60 cards, and thought not having a playable deck right away was a stupid idea - I can just as easily change a 60 card deck to be more my own as I can a 45 card deck, but at least without having to purchase more cards players can play the 60 card intro packs while they learn the game. I find a lot of their preconstructed decks (not all, but a lot, and perhaps the majority right now) are somewhat fun but not really interesting after a few plays and not good to play against any nonpreconstructed deck; for Intro Packs this isn’t a problem, because they’re meant for newer players to get into the game; but Duel Decks, preconstructed Planechase/Archenemy/Commander decks in particular should be better. And I still think From the Vault: Legends was a terrible product, partially from some subpar alternate art given to cards with great original art, but mostly because it relied way too heavily on Alara and later, as there were plenty of great legends from before Alara that weren’t on the Reserved List, and FtV sets are marketed toward veteran players, who’d prefer older cards to ones they could open in booster packs.
I think I’ve mentioned enough things that Wizards has done or continues to do that I didn’t and don’t agree with. This isn’t meant to be a rant or to restart debates on any of these topics; I just want to make it clear that while I think Wizards of the Coast does a fine job and is a much better company than most, I don’t think they do everything right. I feel this is important for my followers to understand, as if they get the wrong impression my thoughts and points on these issues become clouded and ignored for the wrong reasons (it’s right to ignore someone who really is clouded by their fanboyness, but I try my best to stay open and intellectual when it comes to these debates). So when I speak up against something Wizards has done, know that it isn’t just reactionary anger, but thought-out disappointment; and know that when I speak for something Wizards has done, in their defense, it is because I feel fans are being unjustly negative, as Magic players tend to be.