Friday, December 21, 2007

Context matters

Once again, I'm very impressed with Devin Low (Magic's Lead Developer).

He just put up an article that directly mirrors a constant inner dialogue I have while working on my cards:
If somebody sees this one card but not the rest of the set, they'll think it sucks.

And I suppose there's no getting around that. But hopefully they've read Low's article about how you need Context before you can evaluate a card.

Because my set is super-fun (and appears to be) balanced right now!!!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

New Set v4

Hi there, I just realized I haven't put up a spoiler and devnotes since before my very first playtest!

Here is the Oracle-style text spoiler.
Here is the HTML version which includes all of my Developer Notes, chronicling how the set has changed over time. If you're familiar with the WotC design articles, you'll find these similar to their Multiverse excerpts (except that mine is the sole, lonely voice to be heard in these Notes...)

I'm also putting permanent links to the most-current spoilers on the side of the blog page.

Playtest 4 with a Sweet Combo

Hi there, just wanted to describe a very cool moment from printrun #4. My brother Gord was in town, so along with brother Ali and the infamous MN we drafted the set.

It felt much more like a real set this time around. I'd put alot of work into moving cards around within the rarities to more closely match official cards, and also tuned the number of enchantments, sorceries, instants, etc in accordance with their color. The draft made it apparent that there were still some issues (a few annoying rares, a few unplayable commons) but overall it drafted/played very well.

Anyway, the best part of it for me was a wicked combo Gord put together during our game. I'm not sure if he drafted it intentionally, but it rocked. I learned about it thus:
Turn 3: Gord played Shepherd of Decay. No problem - I had the higher life total, and some token generation in hand to boot.
Turn 5: Gord played Skyshield Squadron. Hrm, frustrating because I was still holding a mitt full of token generation, but I figured I would win the race if he didn't drop a ton of tokens.
Turn 6: Gord played Suspended Howlers :(
Turn 7: Suspended Howlers triggered; Gord gained his 6 life and Shepherd's 2nd ability came online.

Gord started Shepherding for 4 damage a turn along with ground assault and the game ended miserably for me :)

But it was awesome because I'd never thought about this combo before. I was mainly thinking of the Shepherd in mono-black Husk generating decks...But at the same time, if you read the developer notes for the set, you'll see an awful lot of comments saying "Token Related"...Meaning that there are an awful lot of cards that should fit together without being explicitly planned as such. It was really exciting to see the set-building philosophy pay off!