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Magic Online Events to Undergo Massive Change

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Earlier today Lee Sharpe, the Digital Product Manager for Magic Online announced a change in the nature of how tournaments work in the digital realm.

The changes, which can be seen in full here, appear to be designed to help increase the value of packs won as prizes. In order to achieve this, Daily Events- a popular four round tournament offering - will see their entry fee doubled. Prizes for all regularly scheduled events will no longer consist of packs, but will include a mix of packs and non-trade eligible Prize Points. These changes will take effect after the August 12 downtime.

Currently, events pay out exclusively in packs. The Magic Online economy allows these packs to be traded for Event Tickets (Tix), which can then be used to enter other events or traded. Some individuals sell these tickets as a source of income. These so-called Grinders are able to translate their skills into a profit, as can be seen in this piece by Dave Shedden.

Recently pack prices have dropped below an average of three Tix per pack, which is viewed by many as a base cost. At that price point it was possible to continue playing from simply winning events. Some have attributed this drop to the change in the Redemption Cost from $5 to $25 in February 2013. This change has raised the cost for singles to leave the online environment (when sets are redeemed those cards leave the system) which has resulted in more cards staying in circulation. The reduced value of singles has cascaded to packs.

Introducing Play Points as prizes will reduce the number of packs in the program, likely aimed at increasing the price of packs. There is some concern with the fact that Play Points cannot be traded. For those who use Magic Online to test and play there may not be a change. Grinders, however, may see a change to their preferred method of use.

As always, the community has reacted:

Both Lee Sharpe and Worth Wollpert have said this process is ongoing and that feedback is welcome.


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