In what's become an an annual tradition, a new update to the roadmap for Magic Online has been shared, this time the vision for 2014 from Worth Wollpert, Executive Producer for Magic Online:
In that vein, some of the places we are going to deliver on in 2014 are:
- A commitment to restoring paper-linked premier-level organized play to Magic Online as soon as we can. It is abundantly clear that you all love those types of events, and restoring that functionality is a very high priority for us as we strive to link Magic Online with the very highest level of paper play whenever we can. In fact, some of the infrastructure investments we are making are to allow us (at some future likely-not-2014 point) to hold events like Magic Online GPs, Magic Online PTs, and the like. Running all these events requires a level of stability and confidence, however, and they won't be back before we can feel much better about the chances the events finish as intended.
- An improved live operations process, which means a lot of things really. Higher quality card-set releases (fewer bugs, and less severe bugs). Closer integration to non-booster paper product dates (think Commander (2013 Edition) moving forward several weeks). Much faster iteration, bug-fixing, and light feature work on the client side of things. Speaking of...
- A more polished, more stable, and much more "performant" wide beta client, that will deliver a more contemporary user experience than the current client does. R&D, my business team, and I have worked together with our technology partners to establish strict stability/performance benchmarks on what the new client ultimately needs to deliver before we consider turning off the current client for good, and we will make sure the new client is meeting our goals before we say goodbye to the current client. And yes, before anyone asks, we will give as much notice as is possible before removing the current client as a login option. On the order of months—not days or weeks.
- Leagues. Work is well under way with this project and has been for some time. Leagues are being designed only for the wide beta client, which will become the client of record at some point in 2014 when we remove the "beta" moniker and sunset the current client. Leagues are a feature that I know many of you (and us, too) have missed since they departed many years ago. I can't wait to have them back.
- A more streamlined, tighter communication process around event and product offerings. The new client gives us more flexibility in this area, which will hopefully make it easier to plan as well as discover new events. There is a lot to do here beyond just the client area, of course, so look for improvements on www.mtgo.com throughout the year.
- Vintage Masters on June 13, 2014. I've had a sneak peek at the set list that R&D has together for this release and it looks amazing, honestly. While I loathed having to move the release out of late 2013, I'm even more confident than ever that the reasons we did so were the right ones, which were almost solely to give R&D the time to design a fully draftable experience with these iconic cards.
The future of Magic Online is something Wizards is taking seriously, and the rest of Worth's announcement teases at possibilities we haven't begun to explore. Are you excited for where Magic Online goes next?