"Magic: Arena" Chinese Server "Spark Firs

When you think of "Magic: The Gathering" now, what do you think of?

Black Lotus with a single card transaction price exceeding 1 million yuan?

A Chaos Sphere that is torn into pieces and then thrown into the air, using weird rules to help players complete a huge comeback?

Various complex rules and gorgeous one-turn kill (FTK, First Turn Kill)?

As a player who has been in the game for nearly 6 years, the author actually hates seeing these stories. Not only were they tiresomely re-hyped, but more importantly these stories gave countless people a twisted and bizarre misunderstanding of the game I loved so much.

But in this era, only these legendary and even curious stories can attract attention. As for what they wantonly smear is the love of some people, who would care?

Magic: The Gathering needs a chance to dispel those false, or at least exaggerated, stereotypes. And now, this opportunity has come – Tencent has brought "Magic: The Gathering Arena" to China.

In short, the author was fortunate enough to participate in the "Spark First Test" of the Chinese server of "Magic: The Gathering Arena". Since the version tested this time is still far from complete, I will talk about it based on the game experience of some international servers.

The functions of this internal beta version are very simple, including playing cards, grouping cards, opening packs, etc.

To be honest, the author himself is not willing to call it a review: when I wrote it, I had no intention of breaking it open and crushing it to tell readers "how to play Magic: The Gathering" and "what's so fun about Magic: The Gathering". This "review" aims to restore a "real "Magic: The Gathering: Arena" for everyone, nothing more.

The demonized money threshold

Here, I am not going to defend the complexity of Magic rules. In fact, in this first test of the national server, the author did rely on his familiarity with the rules to play with and beat the newcomers countless times.

Of course, as far as the author knows, what dissuades many people is not the complicated rules of Magic: The Gathering, but money. As a TCG (Trading Card Game), whether it is opening packs or trading between players, you must spend real money to participate in the physical card competition.

But the electronic "Magic: The Gathering: Arena" basically does not have this problem. According to the author's experience in the international server, with a pass + pack opening, you can play very comfortably for five to six hundred yuan per series.

For comparison, if you invest one pre-order + one 60 pack for a series of "Hearthstone", it is almost the same price; not to mention that for various mobile games, you may lose all your money if you spend only 648. It can be said that after electronicization, the financial investment in "Magic: Arena" is the average spending level of card battle games.

What's more, "Magic: The Gathering Arena" also adds various daily tasks and reward activities. As long as you are willing to work hard, you can build a mainstream deck and compete in the ladder without krypton; you can open the "Dark Vault" with a guaranteed bottom and similar to Hearthstone Dust. “Universal Cards” also optimize the game experience a lot.

It can be said that as long as you can accept the game mode of "Little Krypton + Pass + Daily Missions", "Magic: The Gathering: Arena" is definitely worth investing some money to try.

In this first test of the national server, the official is generous enough: giving away card packs, gold coins, and diamonds every day, as well as five new sets of "usable" gloves. After playing for two days, you can basically make both original decks and mainstream competitive decks.

As for the Black Lotus that is talked about every day… Anyway, "Magic: Arena" is free for you to use. Don't talk about these priceless things every day, which are not accessible to ordinary people. It is meaningless.

Utilitarian gaming environment

I have seen players accuse "Magic: The Gathering" of "officially promoting routines and making the environment rigid". Although the author wanted to make a case and denounce it, but after thinking about it carefully, it seems that I have no position. Due to the mistakes in the design of physical cards in the past few years, the balance of "Magic: The Gathering" has been quite challenged, and the electronic version is naturally not immune.

OKO is one of Magic’s biggest design mistakes in 2019

This situation is indeed reflected in "Magic: Arena". The Return of Wilderness Dragon Life in the international server, and the Goros Field of the Dead in this test of the national server, can be called a cancer deck in terms of strength and popularity.

Field of the Dead honor of kings topup , the emperor's choice

Even if we know that "most people will choose the strongest deck in the current environment in order to win", it still feels very uncomfortable to be matched with the same deck continuously imo diamond purchase , and if you encounter a losing streak, this discomfort will It quickly turned into despair.

Are there any acrobats out there? Yes, but not many (the author is one of them). After all, as a 1v1 battle game, the greatest pleasure of "Magic: Arena" lies in the moment when the opponent's portrait explodes and the victory pops up on the screen. There is nothing we can do about this.

Playing games is all about winning – D.Va

However, as a game with a vast card pool and a thick deck, "Magic: The Gathering: Arena" still has many ways to counter the cancerous decks. Whether you change the deck or add counter cards, you can limit the performance of the cancer deck to a certain extent.

During this internal beta, the author tried to use an aggro deck to target the environment, and also added a target card to the five-color Niv-Mizzet deck that I built to fight cancer. Not to mention how much the winning rate has improved, at least in terms of game experience, I feel that it has indeed improved.

He's handsome enough and strong enough, why not play?

Of course, in normal "Magic: The Gathering" games (including "Magic: The Gathering: Arena" of course), combos that kill in one turn are very rare in the standard format. The stages where they are active are often in "Modern" and "Legendary". "In this "wild" mode, many of them have been locked up in small dark rooms.

This year marks the fifth year that the modern one-turn kill combo "Split Twin" has been banned.

Harmony is not necessarily a bad thing?

Here, the author would like to specifically praise the harmony of the national server of "Magic: Arena". We all know that if a foreign game wants to enter the country, coordination is an essential step.

The situation in Magic: Arena is even more unique, and arguably even worse. Because the physical cards of "Magic: The Gathering" are classified as "toys", while "Magic: The Gathering: Arena" is an online game, the review standards for the two are different.

This leads to a very embarrassing problem: some card images that are allowed to be used on physical cards cannot pass the review if they are copied to online games. All harmonious processes must be repeated from scratch.

This original painting appeared on the Chinese version of the physical card, but it was not included in the Arena national server.

Speaking of harmonious modes in domestic online games, the more common ones are “masking” and “color changing”. For "Magic: The Gathering Arena", which has a lot of Western black magic (undead, blood…), Tencent can completely follow the routine, save money and time, and ensure that it passes the review, which is great.

Is anyone here to save Diablo 3?

But Tencent didn’t do that this time: “Magic: The Gathering: Arena” chose to replace the original paintings of most cards. In order to carry out this harmonization, the official contacted many painters to redraw the original painting, and the cost of time and money can be imagined. At this point, the author believes that Tencent is absolutely sincere.

Kaya's Wrath after repaint

For some cards that have not had time to be replaced, this test of "Magic: The Gathering: Arena" chose to use the creature "Fubizor" to replace the card faces that have not yet been harmonized.

For many passers-by, this behavior seems a bit unclear; but for players who have a little understanding of the plot, this is a great easter egg: Fubizor is a little monster who likes to get lost, and his home is Ravnica. It is also the game environment where the national server of "Magic: The Gathering Arena" is tested.

Summarize:

After it was reported that Tencent would be the agent for the Chinese server of "Magic: Arena", both ordinary players and the Magic community had many pessimistic voices.

In the eyes of casual players, this expensive and difficult-to-play game is destined to fail to become popular; and in the hearts of many community members, Tencent’s agency is another thorn in the side.

However, judging from the first test of the national server, there should be no problems with the agency of the national server of "Magic: Arena". Several members of the project team who are familiar with the author are "Magic: The Gathering" players. In other words, "our people have successfully penetrated the inside."

As for whether "Magic: The Gathering: Arena" can win the favor of ordinary players, and how far can this game go in China? We’ll have to wait until the game officially meets us to find out.


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