#1 Edited by JP_Russell (1171 posts) -

Been looking around to see if this has already been posted somewhere on GB and I can't find anything, so my apologies if I missed it. DotP 2013 has been officially announced.

http://www.wizards.com/Magic/Magazine/Article.aspx?x=mtg/daily/arcana/945

Like DotP 2012, it's starting out with 10 new decks. It'll introduce a new (to DotP) game mode called Planechase. I'm not familiar with it, but from what I can gather it's similar to Archenemy in that it has oversized cards somewhat similar to schemes that are separate from the main deck, but in a free-for-all context (presumably 1v1 up to 1v1v1v1). If I'm not too far off the mark, it sounds like it could actually be a legitimately interesting game mode for competitive play, unlike Archenemy.

But the kicker in 2013, at least for me, is that it'll add manual mana tapping as an option that you can enable. Yes, yes, this "feature" should have been in DotP from the start and it's more than a little amusing (if understandable) to see it listed as a bullet point to sell the game, but better late than never. This one small thing will help a lot to further legitimize DotP, as the lack of manual tapping was the last gross design flaw left over in 2012, in my mind. Now when the wrong lands are tapped, you'll be going "FFFUUUUUU-" at yourself instead of the game.

There is still no full deck editing, so for those of you that haven't been able to get behind the DotP games because of the lack of what is a core element in real Magic, 2013 won't be changing your minds.

Any thoughts? Anything you'd like to see improved/added/expanded (other than the obvious things we're never going to see out of this franchise, like more diligence and attention toward fixing bugs from the dev team, full deck editing, etc.)? Personally, I'd really like to see decks have more available sideboard cards than a meager ~20, as well as fewer throwaway cards in them in general (Craw Wurm, etc.). The addition of core deck editing in DotP 2012 was a significant improvement in the franchise's framework, but ultimately, none of the 2012 decks have a lot of good, different options for how to run them. Almost all the decks have a pretty strict optimal build with room for minor variations based on preference.

I'd also really like to see better deck design in terms of mana curves. Decks in 2012 have a pretty consistent theme, with a few exceptions, of not really getting started until land drop 3. There are too few 1- and 2-drops, most of those that are in the game are strictly aggro, and many of those are vanilla.

Finally, I hope to see less cheap tricks and answers, and more craft. The abundance of lazy spot removal in 2012 is kind of ridiculous, and there's a serious lack of interesting but reliable tricks that have to be used with care, things that have to be played around in ways that aren't just "If I play this guy, he's just going to kill it."

That about covers it. Looking forward to playing the game, and can't wait to see the decklists.

#2 Posted by Branthog (5562 posts) -

I don't quite get this. I don't play Magic, but I do have the video game and have played it a couple times. I don't really see any strong reason why I would buy another iteration for another year when it's still just a plain old single player card game. If it was multiplayer, I might see some compelling interest in it.

#3 Posted by JP_Russell (1171 posts) -

@Branthog said:

I don't quite get this. I don't play Magic, but I do have the video game and have played it a couple times. I don't really see any strong reason why I would buy another iteration for another year when it's still just a plain old single player card game. If it was multiplayer, I might see some compelling interest in it.

It is multiplayer; all the games in the series have been. Multiplayer is the main draw of DotP, actually, though I think it's perfectly competent as a SP game for those that aren't interested in competitive play.

#4 Posted by James_Giant_Peach (751 posts) -

@Branthog said:

I don't quite get this. I don't play Magic, but I do have the video game and have played it a couple times. I don't really see any strong reason why I would buy another iteration for another year when it's still just a plain old single player card game. If it was multiplayer, I might see some compelling interest in it.

It is multiplayer? That's the main draw of the games?

I guess this is cool but I still wish there was a custom deck-builder.

#5 Posted by mandude (2669 posts) -

I haven't played Magic since Lorwyn, (ironically). How are the video games in regards to fidelity to the card game?

#6 Posted by ch3burashka (5062 posts) -

How are the new roster updates?

#7 Posted by Branthog (5562 posts) -

@JP_Russell said:

@Branthog said:

I don't quite get this. I don't play Magic, but I do have the video game and have played it a couple times. I don't really see any strong reason why I would buy another iteration for another year when it's still just a plain old single player card game. If it was multiplayer, I might see some compelling interest in it.

It is multiplayer; all the games in the series have been. Multiplayer is the main draw of DotP, actually, though I think it's perfectly competent as a SP game for those that aren't interested in competitive play.

You know what, I think you're right. For some reason, I had morphed my original problem of no customizable/winnable cards/decks with "not multiplayer" over the months since I bought and tried it. It seemed fairly fun, but when there wasn't really anything on the line, I didn't see much reason for doing multiplayer. Then again, it's not like I was going to become some uber player, anyway. I've played all of a few hours of MTG in my life while people like my cousin have been playing for like twenty years. :/

#8 Posted by FixerofDeath (308 posts) -

As a Magic player these games have no appeal to me. Half the fun of Magic is putting together your own deck. I would much rather stick to playing in real life or MTGO. I suppose Duels of the Planeswalkers aims to bring in newer player who aren't familiar with the actual card game.

#9 Edited by Phyrlord (171 posts) -

As a casual - semi regular magic player, I have been playing the card game on and off for 3 years with friends. I tried dling the 2012 planes walker demo and take it for a spin. I found the actual game execution to be pretty good but found the decks to be extremely frustrating and not a very good representation of what real magic is. Most of decks in the game would NEVER be used in a real game as they are too simple and would get crushed by a custom deck and most frustratingly (for me anyways) WAY too mana heavy. 15 mana out in 10 turns, seriously green deck?

every time I play, it just boils down to who's not being mana saturated in that game.

#10 Edited by Ares42 (2660 posts) -

@Phyrlord said:

every time I play, it just boils down to who's not being mana saturated in that game.

Ye, I wasn't sure if it was Magic or this game in particular, but I find that a lot of games just comes down to luck of the draw. I would guess it's the game though, as from what I can remember back when I played with cards I made decks that were way more adaptable.

Having put well over 100 hours into 2012 though (even though I'm not really into Magic anymore) I too don't really see why you would need a new version. The game is so far away from being serious enough to be played in any non-casual way, and for casual play it's already more than good enough. All I'd really want at this point is better designed decks. Some of the decks in the current version are just infuriatingly bad, which is even worse when you actually payed for them as DLC.

Online
#11 Posted by BBQBram (2236 posts) -

Oh nice, but I still need to get 2012 first. These games are the perfect amount of Magic in my life.

#12 Posted by Phyrlord (171 posts) -

@Ares42 said:

@Phyrlord said:

every time I play, it just boils down to who's not being mana saturated in that game.

Ye, I wasn't sure if it was Magic or this game in particular, but I find that a lot of games just comes down to luck of the draw. I would guess it's the game though, as from what I can remember back when I played with cards I made decks that were way more adaptable.

Having put well over 100 hours into 2012 though (even though I'm not really into Magic anymore) I too don't really see why you would need a new version. The game is so far away from being serious enough to be played in any non-casual way, and for casual play it's already more than good enough. All I'd really want at this point is better designed decks. Some of the decks in the current version are just infuriatingly bad, which is even worse when you actually payed for them as DLC.

No, normally it's uncommon to have more then 10-12 mana by the end of a real game. But again these decks are like comparing a 1996 honda civic to a 2012 Ferrari, performance wise. At the end of the day, this game is great for people first starting out with magic but those base decks can quickly be outgrown and they should of probably built a base magic game and added in all these cards with patchs and add-ons and then let you have a nice deck builder. So after just a couple years they would of had a nice collection of cards to work with in one game.

#13 Edited by Questionable (619 posts) -

No custom deck builder, no buy!

#14 Posted by Doctorchimp (4076 posts) -

I skipped 2012 but I thought the first planeswalker game on XBLA was alright.

Maybe I'll pick up this new one off Steam or XBLA if there are enough people to play against.

#15 Posted by StarvingGamer (8227 posts) -

As a semi-casual weekly Magic Player (I "only" own about 15,000 cards o_O) I've really enjoyed the DotP games so far. I am extremely excited about manual mana tapping because I have lost games more than once to bad mana AI.

Personally I would like to see decks with less filler. There's no reason for any green deck to include Grizzly Bears. Beyond that, more deck variety would be nice. I understand that, for the purposes of designing a casual game, every deck has to be some sort of beat-down hybrid. It would be nice, however, to have access to a true control deck or combo deck. The game might become too difficult to balance, though.

I'm sure DotP 2013 will become my new "game to play while doing something else" once it comes out.

#16 Edited by BlackLagoon (1428 posts) -

The thing about making it more complex and similar to "real" Magic is that (a) it becomes less newbie friendly, and (b) risks becoming a real competitor with Magic: The Gathering Online. So I think it will still remain a casual friendly "Magic lite", which I'm kinda ok with. Manual tapping is nice though, been burned a few times. Hope they make it intelligent enough to only ask you about it when it makes a difference gameplay wise.

#17 Edited by JP_Russell (1171 posts) -

@Phyrlord said:

As a casual - semi regular magic player, I have been playing the card game on and off for 3 years with friends. I tried dling the 2012 planes walker demo and take it for a spin. I found the actual game execution to be pretty good but found the decks to be extremely frustrating and not a very good representation of what real magic is. Most of decks in the game would NEVER be used in a real game as they are too simple and would get crushed by a custom deck and most frustratingly (for me anyways) WAY too mana heavy. 15 mana out in 10 turns, seriously green deck?

every time I play, it just boils down to who's not being mana saturated in that game.

It's not that they have too much land/land fetch so much as DotP's shuffling algorithm is notoriously fucked, and the frequency of going either half a dozen turns drawing lands or half a dozen turns drawing no lands at all is way beyond what you'd ever see in real life. It's not bad enough to break the game, mind you, but it is a problem.

@StarvingGamer said:

Personally I would like to see decks with less filler. There's no reason for any green deck to include Grizzly Bears. Beyond that, more deck variety would be nice. I understand that, for the purposes of designing a casual game, every deck has to be some sort of beat-down hybrid. It would be nice, however, to have access to a true control deck or combo deck. The game might become too difficult to balance, though.

I don't know that I agree that all the decks have to have some aggro focus for the game to work on a casual level. The original DotP had some more nuanced decks that unfortunately were pretty held back by the lack of core deck editing. Core deck editing in 2012 did a lot to improve balance and legitimize the game competitively, but they in turn simplified and homogenized all the decks quite a bit, which limited how interesting the game could get.

#18 Posted by ArbitraryWater (11718 posts) -

I will guiltily admit to playing far more of the first Duels of the Planeswalkers than I probably should have, as someone who last cared about Magic the Gathering around age 13. Played the demo of 2012, realized that I really didn't need to go down this dark road and stopped. I guess it was also based on the assumption that some decks were going to be far more powerful than others, which was a pretty serious problem in the first one. When everyone is using either the Elf or the Artifact deck online it stops being fun.

#19 Posted by JP_Russell (1171 posts) -

@ArbitraryWater said:

I will guiltily admit to playing far more of the first Duels of the Planeswalkers than I probably should have, as someone who last cared about Magic the Gathering around age 13. Played the demo of 2012, realized that I really didn't need to go down this dark road and stopped. I guess it was also based on the assumption that some decks were going to be far more powerful than others, which was a pretty serious problem in the first one. When everyone is using either the Elf or the Artifact deck online it stops being fun.

The balance in 2012 is actually much better, largely thanks to core deck editing (you can now take cards out of the base 60 card decks, if you're not aware). It's still far from perfect, particularly after they added this game's equivalent of Master of Shadows with the knights deck in deck pack 3, but it's a huge improvement from the original game for sure.

#20 Posted by Ares42 (2660 posts) -

@JP_Russell said:

@ArbitraryWater said:

The balance in 2012 is actually much better, largely thanks to core deck editing (you can now take cards out of the base 60 card decks, if you're not aware). It's still far from perfect, particularly after they added this game's equivalent of Master of Shadows with the knights deck in deck pack 3, but it's a huge improvement from the original game for sure.

Although I'm quite a novice, I'd say the white/green enhancement deck is the most broken one. It's one of the few decks that already start on 1 or 2 lands, it grows really quickly and it retains strength unlike the haste-based decks. At least that's the deck I've found to just plow through anything with.

Online
#21 Edited by Spoonman671 (4632 posts) -

I can't imagine buying yet another one of these games, but I probably will anyway.  Fucking Steam.

#22 Posted by StarvingGamer (8227 posts) -

@JP_Russell: I think it's a matter of fragility. Control/combo decks are generally so reliant on a specific set of cards that there is very little wiggle room. You either win or you lose, and these decks are tuned to ensure you get exactly the cards you need to win as often as possible. This is fine in a competitive environment where a majority of the aggro decks are also tuned to kill you very, very quickly, but the decks of DotP are almost universally built to be a slow burn.

Who knows, maybe the people at WotC might be able to figure it out, but in all my casual play I have never been able to build a combo/control deck that fit in. They always either A) are well-tuned (full of rares) and stomp over my friends' decks or B) very slightly less well-tuned and only win when I get the occasional perfect hand.

#23 Posted by Dagbiker (6976 posts) -

@mandude said:

I haven't played Magic since Lorwyn, (ironically). How are the video games in regards to fidelity to the card game?

Not good, considering you cant build your own decks.

#24 Posted by mandude (2669 posts) -

@Dagbiker said:

@mandude said:

I haven't played Magic since Lorwyn, (ironically). How are the video games in regards to fidelity to the card game?

Not good, considering you cant build your own decks.

Well that seems like a pretty fundamental feature. I wonder how that decision was accepted in the design room.

#25 Posted by mynthon (53 posts) -

Someone needs to make a new version of the 1997 MTG: Planes of Shandalar. That game was so much fun.

#26 Edited by mnzy (2914 posts) -
@mandude said:

@Dagbiker said:

@mandude said:

I haven't played Magic since Lorwyn, (ironically). How are the video games in regards to fidelity to the card game?

Not good, considering you cant build your own decks.

Well that seems like a pretty fundamental feature. I wonder how that decision was accepted in the design room.

You can change your deck, though. But it's limited. 
 
I'm a big fan of DotP, but I'm not going to get 2013. I don't see why this should be an annual franchise.
#27 Posted by JP_Russell (1171 posts) -

@Ares42 said:

@JP_Russell said:

@ArbitraryWater said:

The balance in 2012 is actually much better, largely thanks to core deck editing (you can now take cards out of the base 60 card decks, if you're not aware). It's still far from perfect, particularly after they added this game's equivalent of Master of Shadows with the knights deck in deck pack 3, but it's a huge improvement from the original game for sure.

Although I'm quite a novice, I'd say the white/green enhancement deck is the most broken one. It's one of the few decks that already start on 1 or 2 lands, it grows really quickly and it retains strength unlike the haste-based decks. At least that's the deck I've found to just plow through anything with.

Auramancer is actually one of the worse decks in the game, I would say. It's capable of beating any of the other decks with a good opening hand because of how quick it can be, plus it has a lot of ways to get past your opponents' creatures and some lifegain to potentially give it some extra time, but a good player running any of the decks with a decent measure of control (like I said, there's a gross amount of spot removal in this game) can shut that down easily most of the time (obviously if you open with Silhana or any creature + Canopy Cover, really good auras, and all the lands you need, most decks won't be able to deal with that, and if you draw Gnarlids and/or a Spiritdancer to boot, they usually won't be able to outpace it either, but those are slim chances), and even other decks will trounce it if you don't get a solid opening grip to beat them in a race and they don't get mana screwed/flooded or terrible draws.

An aura deck is inherently going to have the eggs in a basket problem, and Auramancer simultaneously doesn't have enough security from control to counteract that problem, and it even needs pretty good draws to outpace other decks with strong aggro.

It's not the worst deck, granted, but I don't consider it to be particularly good because of its lack of consistency and its vulnerability.

#28 Edited by JP_Russell (1171 posts) -

@StarvingGamer said:

@JP_Russell: I think it's a matter of fragility. Control/combo decks are generally so reliant on a specific set of cards that there is very little wiggle room. You either win or you lose, and these decks are tuned to ensure you get exactly the cards you need to win as often as possible. This is fine in a competitive environment where a majority of the aggro decks are also tuned to kill you very, very quickly, but the decks of DotP are almost universally built to be a slow burn.

Who knows, maybe the people at WotC might be able to figure it out, but in all my casual play I have never been able to build a combo/control deck that fit in. They always either A) are well-tuned (full of rares) and stomp over my friends' decks or B) very slightly less well-tuned and only win when I get the occasional perfect hand.

I definitely get that, but mainly what I'm saying is that there are decks in the original game with more focus on tricks and less on aggro that, with core deck editing and maybe a little tweaking, would still fit well into the 2012 scene. We've seen more nuanced decks in this format that would work, so I don't think all the decks in this game need to be as aggro as they are. Heck, look at the expansion pack - it was a surprisingly big improvement on the base game simply because it did give so many of the decks more tricks to work with.

@Dagbiker said:

@mandude said:

I haven't played Magic since Lorwyn, (ironically). How are the video games in regards to fidelity to the card game?

Not good, considering you cant build your own decks.

That's a matter of perspective. Naturally, if the idea of playing Magic without building your own custom decks sounds absurd, DotP is not and never will be for you. However, it also introduces a unique metagame where you can know what to watch out for and what to play around if you're familiar with the opponent's deck, which changes the dynamics a bit.

Now, granted, I don't think that metagame is as good as it needs to be yet because, like I said, I'd like to see more sideboard cards - more unlocks - available to each of the decks as well as less filler, so there's less certainty as to what cards your opponent is probably running. But the point is that I think a format that uses preset decks with some sideboarding instead of totally custom built isn't without merit. I personally enjoy the metagame, even if it needs a lot of improvement.

@mandude said:

@Dagbiker said:

@mandude said:

I haven't played Magic since Lorwyn, (ironically). How are the video games in regards to fidelity to the card game?

Not good, considering you cant build your own decks.

Well that seems like a pretty fundamental feature. I wonder how that decision was accepted in the design room.

DotP is mostly meant to be an introduction to Magic for newer players, ideally to funnel them into MtG: Online and paper Magic where they'll spend much, much, much more money. Making DotP a full-fledged Magic game with full deck building would defeat that purpose.

I fully understand that that makes it not good enough for some people since the deck building is key to their enjoyment of the game, but as I explained above, I don't think that keeps it from being a worthwhile product. For those that aren't passionate about building their own decks and wouldn't get much out of the investment involved in that, DotP still gives you a decent way to play Magic at a casual level with a good amount of variety for the cost, and like I said previously, it still provides a unique format that I think is worthwhile in its own right even for some of those that do like building decks so much.

#29 Posted by Dagbiker (6976 posts) -

@JP_Russell: Then they need to make MtG:O look half as good as DotPW

#30 Posted by Commisar123 (1792 posts) -

Hmmm not sure if I really need this franchise to be churned out yearly like this, but I guess if you are into Magic this might be worth it.

#31 Posted by Oscar__Explosion (2290 posts) -

Another great thing about this is that it's also coming out in the iPad!

Online
#32 Posted by grahf14 (40 posts) -

Awesome, I loved the first 2 on xbox live. This is one game where I'm actually hoping they add more online achievements (usually I hate them)

#33 Posted by Skald (4367 posts) -

Never played the DotP games, but if it's coming to the iPad, I might have to give it a shot.

#34 Posted by egg (1467 posts) -

OMG PLANECHASE

That was unexpected. I actually bought those like last year and still have them.

#35 Posted by noodleflush (6 posts) -

Am slightly gutted that DOTP 2012 won't be getting the same dlc love the previos entry recieved.

This is definetly progressing towards an annual game which'll likely see only 1 or 2 bits of dlc in order to coincide with the yearly card updates.

I've gotten a lot of mileage outta DOTP 2012, mainly through the play as the archenemy feature. Just about the easiest fun game to play while trapped on the sofa with a baby cradled in one arm at 2am.

I am really looking forward to see what the next one'll bring and let's face it, DOTP is cheaper than paying year on year for all the rl copies of new cards.

#36 Posted by JP_Russell (1171 posts) -

@noodleflush said:

Am slightly gutted that DOTP 2012 won't be getting the same dlc love the previos entry recieved.

It has gotten more love than the first game did. 10 decks to start up to 19 decks today, plus the addition of Archenemy. The first game started at 8 and finished with 17.

#37 Posted by noodleflush (6 posts) -

Perhaps it was just a perception of mine, but the dlc of the original dotp added cards to existing decks, so therefore it felt like you were getting more out of the dlc. whilst we got this with the dlc of dotp 2012 (and the amazing addition of playing as the archenemy) the new decks only add new decks (duh) and dont augment the existing decks with interesting cards. Probably just a case of quantity over quallity when comparing the dlc etc both games received.

Anywhos, moot point now seeing as more dlc aint coming and let's face it, I loved the previous games and got hours and hours of gaming out of them so it's very likely i'll be buying the next iteration of the game :)

#38 Posted by Humanity (9193 posts) -

I wonder when Magic is going to integrate IR codes and iPhone apps to bring the action UP FRONT on your phone!

#39 Posted by JP_Russell (1171 posts) -

@noodleflush said:

Perhaps it was just a perception of mine, but the dlc of the original dotp added cards to existing decks, so therefore it felt like you were getting more out of the dlc. whilst we got this with the dlc of dotp 2012 (and the amazing addition of playing as the archenemy) the new decks only add new decks (duh) and dont augment the existing decks with interesting cards. Probably just a case of quantity over quallity when comparing the dlc etc both games received.

Anywhos, moot point now seeing as more dlc aint coming and let's face it, I loved the previous games and got hours and hours of gaming out of them so it's very likely i'll be buying the next iteration of the game :)

Well, the expansion for 2012 did add cards to all the decks. But I do agree that I would have much preferred if all the DLC were full-on expansions that added cards to the existing decks, instead of the deck pack format they switched to after the expansion.

Still, we did up with more decks, and the problem with the original game was that without core deck editing, you could hardly take advantage of all those nice new cards because you could only afford to put in a small number of them to keep the bloating of your deck from outweighing the need for more card quality. Because of that, I personally got much more mileage out of the meager 4 new cards each of the original decks was given in 2012 than I did out of those added to the decks in the first game.