August 12, 2011

It's all a Trade-Off

For almost a year, I gave Magic the Gathering a try. I enjoyed the game, it is well designed, relatively fun, extremely well supported, and the players are plentiful. However, the trade-off in my eyes was twofold.

The first issue with the game was the general player population. I played in a few organized events at my local gaming shop, and generally speaking didn't have any fun. The players were far too competitive, and generally not that accommodating to the newer players. I certainly don't mind losing, because in any game someone has to lose in order for another to win; but good sportsmanship goes a long way there.

The second was the frequency of set releases. As a casual player I simply couldn't keep up with the number of new cards, their interactions and combinations. Having to at least be familiar with a new batch of cards every three months is simply too much work in my opinion; that being of a casual player.
So what the heck am I talking about here and why? Well, one of the by-products of MtG having such a high player base means that highly sought after cards can rise in value quite quickly, and quite high. A few months ago I found a Worldwake fat-pack in Walmart, and bought it. One of the money cards in the game is Jace the Mindsculptor, and I happened to get a copy. I was pretty happy about it, as it was the first Planeswalker I had obtained, and I had a blue deck that it should work well in. I was looking forward to trying it out, but as the months passed and people's schedules were in flux, I never ended up playing that I decided to trade it.
I was able to trade a single piece of cardboard for a full board game Shadows Over Camelot, and a deluxe expansion for Call of Cthulhu. So that single card, that went unused for months, turned into something much more valuable for me: games and cards I can actually be certain I'll use. I don't think that's a bad trade-off at all.
Oh, and I do still intend to play Magic on occasion too! I just won't be playing with Jace (who happens to be banned in standard play now anyway). :P

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