JULY 2, 2018 BANNED AND RESTRICTED UPDATE



  • @wfain Is watching PO go off particularly different from losing to other combo decks? It feels like most such decks have a couple of relatively quiet turns before one long, game-winning one (e.g., storm in modern).



  • @necrogeist no, but it literally is not my argument. I personally don’t mind F6’ing and watching them go through everything. I think the opposite- saying it is fun to play with- is not a relevant reason to keep it.
    My objection to the card is purely power-level vs downside. Super high power-level with very little downside vs similar blue spells that are already restricted.



  • I mean, the power level argument is silly. We're playing Vintage, with the most powerful cards ever printed. Oath of Druids is legal as a 4-of in this format, is that not "super high power level with very little downside"? Saying a card has a high power level is not a sufficient reason to do anything. Cards that do not have a high power level do not get played in this format.

    The restricted list is meant to keep format diversity, not restrict cards that people feel hit some arbitrary measure of power.



  • @wfain said in JULY 2, 2018 BANNED AND RESTRICTED UPDATE:

    @griselbrother when you play against landstill etc., if you get them down to 1-2 cards in hand and have advantage on the board you don’t lose that game. It happens all the time vs PO. I’m not arguing that it should be restricted because it isn’t fun, just that saying it is fun isn’t a good reason to keep it around.

    Beating different decks requires different strategies. You're right that card advantage usually beats Landstill but not necessarily Outcome. But a single Sphere effect, a Leovold, a Kambal or a Spirit of the Labyrinth often beats Outcome but not Landstill.



  • @hrishi The power level argument is perhaps poorly phrased but legitimate. What people essentially mean by "power level" is "uninteractivity". For instance, the 8 pieces of Power are obviously powerful (I mean, it's the name). Their actual effect on game play is accelerating the course of a game, leading to impactful or game-ending plays as early as turn 1. Wheel of Fortune and Timetwister are powerful in the same way - they can be leveraged into a large, potentially game-ending advantage on turn 1. Same with Channel, Tinker, Flash and much of the remaining restricted list. If the game ends on turn 1-2, that is almost always an uninteractive game, as most players and Wizards of the Coast would define it. There is limited counterplay from the loser, and the outcome of the game was determined mostly from the opening hands. I know you and some other players have a very different take on what constitutes uninteractive gameplay. You are entitled to that opinion - fun on an individual basis is subjective. But you have to understand that fun on a collective level is not subjective: it is objective.

    I'd actually argue that most cards in Vintage are restricted because of this concept of interactivity. Far fewer are restricted due to diversity (though most of the recent restrictions fit this category). It's a complex question on whether or not Paradoxical Outcome crosses that line.



  • @chubbyrain said in JULY 2, 2018 BANNED AND RESTRICTED UPDATE:

    But you have to understand that fun on a collective level is not subjective: it is objective.

    For a game "fun" for the most people possible is definitely THE objective. However, I do not think that fun can ever be objectively measured. How each individual defines "fun" varies and when you aggregate up to the population of people that variation still exists. It also matters what group of people you are aggregating to. You used the word "collective". Who are these "collective" whose "fun" matters?


  • TMD Supporter

    @vaughnbros said in JULY 2, 2018 BANNED AND RESTRICTED UPDATE:

    @chubbyrain said in JULY 2, 2018 BANNED AND RESTRICTED UPDATE:

    But you have to understand that fun on a collective level is not subjective: it is objective.

    For a game "fun" for the most people possible is definitely THE objective. However, I do not think that fun can ever be objectively measured. How each individual defines "fun" varies and when you aggregate up to the population of people that variation still exists. It also matters what group of people you are aggregating to. You used the word "collective". Who are these "collective" whose "fun" matters?

    I know that Wizards gets a lot of heat from the internet, but I would suspect that by now they have a very good understanding of what makes Magic "fun" and "unfun." There might be a small subset of people that love getting taxed out of the game, or don't mind an opponent countering every one of their spells, but I would suspect this is a very small percentage. We all enjoy "vintaging" and maybe even getting "vintaged" once in awhile, but I'm guessing few like it over time, in droves.

    It's actually a very easy metric to measure (though maybe not as much in Vintage). If they are selling tons of packs, people are having fun. If boxes are being closed out, the design team obviously did something unfun. After 20yrs, they probably know why these situations occur. This could also be carried over to MTGO as well. It might not be accurate all the time, but if more people are playing, and more matches are being played, people are having "fun."

    Maybe too simple and unsatisfying of an explanation for people into statistics and outliers, but very simple from a sales and marketing perspective.



  • @joshuabrooks For standard that definitely works. I dont think eternal formats are really influencing sales though.


  • TMD Supporter

    @wfain said in JULY 2, 2018 BANNED AND RESTRICTED UPDATE:

    @necrogeist no, but it literally is not my argument. I personally don’t mind F6’ing and watching them go through everything. I think the opposite- saying it is fun to play with- is not a relevant reason to keep it.
    My objection to the card is purely power-level vs downside. Super high power-level with very little downside vs similar blue spells that are already restricted.

    Cards should never, ever be restricted in Vintage for “purely power level reasons.” Such a criteria could be used to justify a restriction of a card that has no tournament impact, and thereby unnecessarily curtail player card & deck options. Bargain is way more powerful than much of the restricted list, but not problematic in tournaments.



  • @winryder said in JULY 2, 2018 BANNED AND RESTRICTED UPDATE:

    With PO Wizards don't need to do anything, the players can fix the deck by themselves all they have to do is play less shops, more fair blue, and include some stonys/null rods.

    I'd like to highlight this for a specific reason: Vintage issues often feel unsolvable because players are unwilling or, more importantly, unable to adapt. Paradoxical Outcome may very well feel unbeatable to some because of a lack of monetary ability to fight the deck. I, for one, can't be one of the players that switches from Workshops to fair blue in paper because it's out of my price range. I won't because I don't find fair blue interesting to pilot, but that's irrelevant and should not be taken into account. Money is a reason we, as a format, are slow to adopt, slow to react, and often call for outside intervention to make our metagame changes for us.



  • @smmenen if you’re going to quote someone, at least quote them. I think you misinterpreted exactly all of what I wrote in the post you were attempting to quote.
    I didn’t say it should be restricted because of its pure power-level, or purely its power-level.
    My complaint is purely a power-level vs downside issue. It has very, very high power-level and, practically speaking, no real downside. It doesn’t require much in the way of special deck-building, intelligent play, or complex sequencing. You just play cards you’d play in your blue vintage deck anyway (aside from Mox Opal), you get to stop playing expensive sorcery speed cards (like Tezzeret) and the most commonly played anti-combo and anti-shops cards aren’t even that good against it. Unlike Bargain- since you brought it up- which needs the deck to be built around it, requires resolving not only it, but some key spells before it, but also leaves you quite vulnerable to, say, lightning bolt. In addition, Bragain doesn’t generate mana when you land it, you have to still have a land drop or hit one of only a couple cards to generate more colored mana (assuming of course you didn’t have any left, which is not always true), multiples are dead, and it is much more susceptible to thorn effects, Flusterstorm, and other forms of hate.

    In summation, my complaint with PO is that it is all upside combined with an extremely high power-level and it dodges quite a lot of general sideboard cards. I’ve even seen it be overly good in a crazy RUG Titania list (which has posted about as many 5-0’s as my Survival deck). I’m just not convinced this card is less ridiculous than Gush, DTT, and Treasure Cruise.



  • @joshuabrooks
    Not completely an explanation for fun or not fun. Jtms sold more Masters 25 packs not because better drafting experience but because jtms was now unbanned in Modern.
    Out of this whole thread, what bothered me most was the attempt to make opinions a fact.
    Fact Is, there's no absolute metric for objectification of "fun", ever.

    On that note,
    Like power level, "fun" should never be used to restrict a card.
    My 2cents.
    Carry on.


  • TMD Supporter

    @wfain said in JULY 2, 2018 BANNED AND RESTRICTED UPDATE:

    @smmenen if you’re going to quote someone, at least quote them. I think you misinterpreted exactly all of what I wrote in the post you were attempting to quote.

    Ummm. I literally used the quote function to quote you verbatim. I did, actually, quote you.

    I am pointing out that the concept of “power level” is non-existent as you conceive it & hopelessly contextual, and therefore a terrible ground for restriction. If PO were that powerful, it would be banned in Legacy like Gush & Treasure Cruise. It’s not even close.

    In your own post this becomes evident as PO does have to be built around to maximize:

    It doesn’t require much in the way of special deck-building, intelligent play, or complex sequencing. You just play cards you’d play in your blue vintage deck anyway (aside from Mox Opal), you get to stop playing expensive sorcery speed cards (like Tezzeret) and the most commonly played anti-combo and anti-shops cards aren’t even that good against it. Unlike Bargain..

    Actually, it’s exactly like Bargain in that respect. You need more accelerants to support & maximize it. And, yes, Bargain generates mana via card advantage.

    We restrict cards primarily in Vintage based upon tournament performance. Anything less risks harming the competitive balance & diversity of the metagame.

    In addition to being the first good deck in ages to knock Shops off its perch, PO has brought big blue decks with Tinker, Yawg Will & Time Vault back to the center of the Vintage metagame. That is a GREAT thing. This deck has been virtually absent for almost 5 years, and the format has been stuck in the nightmarish quagmire of Shops v Xerox. PO is helping break that open.

    The Vintage format is better now than at any point since Khans of Tarkir. PO is the reason.



  • @ten-ten said in JULY 2, 2018 BANNED AND RESTRICTED UPDATE:

    Out of this whole thread, what bothered me most was the attempt to make opinions a fact.
    Fact Is, there's no absolute metric for objectification of "fun", ever.

    This is flat out wrong. If I poll everyone on TMD and ask them "Do you consider X to be fun?" and tabulate the results, I have generated an objective measure of fun. Now you can debate my sampling method, examine bias, argue about applicability, etc. but the very fact that you can do this makes it objective. If it were subjective, you would not be able to argue that. I can't argue with you on what you find to be fun. I consider the World Cup entertaining, but that has no bearing on whether you enjoy it. And the term "absolute measure" has no scientific meaning in this context... I'm not even sure what you are trying to say. It sounds like you are trying to hedge on semantics.

    On a general note, the users saying that "fun should never be factored into B&R decisions" are making emotional appeals to an arbitrary sense of justice and not dealing with reality. It's pretty clear that Wizards takes fun into consideration when designing sets and managing formats. It's a game, not a court of law. The purpose is fun, not justice. Discuss cards appropriately on their own merits and effects on the format. Don't simply restate platitudes.

    Edit: @Smmenen I actually think the restrictions of Gush, Mentor, 2 Delve spells, and 3 lock pieces have created more entertaining and interactive games with more diversity in deck selection. Hinging an entire formats health on one card seems a bit of a stretch.



  • @smmenen I’ll be honest, I’m glad I don’t know you. You, like Outcome, are too powerful and should be restricted.


  • TMD Supporter

    @chubbyrain said in JULY 2, 2018 BANNED AND RESTRICTED UPDATE:

    Edit: @Smmenen? I actually think the restrictions of Gush, Mentor, 2 Delve spells, and 3 lock pieces have created more entertaining and interactive games with more diversity in deck selection. Hinging an entire formats health on one card seems frankly absurd.

    My belief is that restricting PO would basically rewind Vintage back to last November, which was a disaster, but after all those restrictions.

    What changed since was that PO with Hurkyls has been retuned to trump Shops, opening up the metagame.

    Restrict PO, and you go back to the format as it was last November.

    Thats why i said the following on twlink textitter & earlier in this thread:

    Paradoxical Outcome is the glue keeping the Vintage format & metagame balanced & diverse.

    It’s Shops predator. Restrict it & the format goes back to the hot mess it was for the preceding 5 years. Restricting it is a bad idea, especially since it is not remotely dominant.

    PO strategies are the proximate cause, in my estimation, of this opening up of the metagame.

    Edit:

    On a general note, the users saying that "fun should never be factored into B&R decisions" are making emotional appeals to an arbitrary sense of justice and not dealing with reality. It's pretty clear that Wizards takes fun into consideration when designing sets and managing formats. It's a game, not a court of law. The purpose is fun, not justice

    Im not sure whether you are referring to my posts, since I never said any of the statements you are arguing against. I agree with the premise that the purpose of DCI policy is to promote fun.

    To be clear, fun has many facets, but there is broad consensus that fun formats provide diverse competitive options.

    Years ago I wrote a long post or article that attempted to delineate the various facets of fun, and came to the conclusion that the key to fun is “meaningful choice.” This concept applies to deck selection, in-game play, sideboarding, etc.

    Therefore, the interest in promoting format diversity is actually serving the ultimate goal of fostering a fun format. Thus, when I say that metagame diversity is the primary and most important ground for restriction, I am essentially saying the same thing as the pupose of restricted list policy is to promote fun, not the opposite.

    The problem is that multiple facets of ‘fun’ can be in tension. Restricting cards on grounds other than competitive balance & strategic diversity ultimately risks reducing the one ground that virtually everyone believes is a prerequisite for ‘fun.’

    I am not categorically opposed to restricting cards on grounds other than dominance (see http://www.eternalcentral.com/so-many-insane-plays-suggested-banned-and-restricted-list-updates-2018/ for a fuller elaboration of my views on B&R Policy). But the bar should be high, since any restriction on grounds other than dominance is likely to undermine format strategic diversity.



  • @chubbyrain

    A poll with analysis would be an empirical analysis, not necessarily an objective one. Versus the theoretical arguments that people make in these threads. While I personally consider empirical evidence more compelling and objective than theoretical arguments, pure indisputable objectivity is not achievable in this case (nor is it possible in many cases in science).



  • @smmenen I wasn't referring to you, Steve. At the moment, I was referencing Ten-Ten's post but it's hardly a position that is unique to them. The reference to law was to delineate between Wizards of the Coast as a private company that makes a card game and another common industry that has a different mandate. Wizards of the Coast is under no extreme measure to act "justly" or "fairly". They have an interest in maximizing the amount of fun people have playing their game. While Vintage is a small format and minor source of income, they still have a vested interest in the format as Vintage exists on MTGO and Vintage players do occasionally buy cards from newly printed sets. The argument that "fun is subjective on an individual level and therefore it shouldn't factor into decisions" is based on fairness as opposed to majority rule. It is more a legal argument than a relevant argument concerning a game.

    As for the PO debate, the salient quote is:

    @smmenen said in JULY 2, 2018 BANNED AND RESTRICTED UPDATE:

    Years ago I wrote a long post or article that attempted to delineate the various facets of fun, and came to the conclusion that the key to fun is “meaningful choice.” This concept applies to deck selection, in-game play, sideboarding, etc.

    Strategic diversity doesn't reflect the degree of meaningful choice of in-game decisions. Strategic diversity represents a combination of Diversity and Balance. "Can I play a deck I enjoy and that matches my style of play?" (Diversity) "Should I play such a deck if I want a legitimate shot at winning?" (Balance) These factors are measurable through the metagame data on a format. Rock-Paper-Scissors is technically diverse. It is technically balanced. It is however not what most Vintage players want to drive 2 hours or more to play. The crucial element that is missing is Interactivity. Or counter-play. Or any of the other synonyms WotC has used or will use in the future. This is essentially "do I get to make meaning choices during a game of Magic?". And it's really hard to measure empirically.

    I think we discussed this a bit on Twitter. I personally feel that PO leads to uninteractive gameplay. I think that impacts my enjoyment of the format to a degree (I have not played it much recently, though that is influenced by factors independent of the format). If I was the only person playing to format, I think WotC should restrict PO. However, I am obviously not the only person playing the format. From the facebook group and this thread, I think it's pretty clear that I'm in the minority. So be it. Again, WotC has an interest in maximizing fun on the way to maximizing profits. If a clear majority of Vintage players enjoy PO or are indifferent, my personal thoughts on the matter should be overruled. End result: At this current time, PO should not be restricted. That doesn't mean players will always enjoy playing with or against PO. Nick Dijohn drove several hours to Waterbury, got turn 1'd by PO multiple times, and was commiserating with me in the losers bracket. When instances like this accumulate, the collective attitude about PO can change.

    This is actually a pretty high bar for restriction since it isn't aided by metagame data, and a large number of people have to express the desire for a restriction. On that, we agree. We haven't met that bar, yet. On that, we agree. My position is more that people are talking past each other and not viewing the matter in a practical light (as WotC would see it).

    @vaughnbros There are 11 different meanings of objective at Dictionary.com. I am using objective as "based on facts", compared to subjective as "based on emotions, perspectives, etc." The results of a poll are a fact. Analysis and interpretation of that poll can be subjective.



  • @chubbyrain

    I understand what you meant. Just wanted to clarify my earlier statement about how "fun" can't really be measured objectively. Any poll will have some sort of bias, but that's ok! All polls, scientific or not are going to have some bias. Its unavoidable, but there are ways to minimize that bias and make whatever biases there are clear in presentation of the material (that is what makes something scientific). Not just conducting an empirical analysis. There are actually some very good scientific articles that don't use empirical analyses at all (most literature reviews and case studies).

    Subjectivity is an inherent part of human understanding of facts in general, and as a result in any policy that is made. Just like bias in an empirical analysis its unavoidable, but should be attempted to be minimized. That's of course why we usually prefer big data empirical analyses to case studies, but there is certainly value to both.

    The problem with using any sort of objective analysis for Vintage though as I brought up earlier is that we have a special list of cards in our minds that are considered unrestrictable. That list includes Force of Will, Mishra's Workshop, Bazaar of Baghdad, Duals lands, Fetch lands among others. These special considerations make it basically impossible to use actual numbers because the numbers will always point to one of these cards. We then end up doing work arounds like restricting Sphere of Resistance, and end up back at square 1 because the card that actually was the reason for dominance is still unrestricted.


  • TMD Supporter

    @chubbyrain said in JULY 2, 2018 BANNED AND RESTRICTED UPDATE:

    As for the PO debate, the salient quote is:

    @smmenen said in JULY 2, 2018 BANNED AND RESTRICTED UPDATE:

    Years ago I wrote a long post or article that attempted to delineate the various facets of fun, and came to the conclusion that the key to fun is “meaningful choice.” This concept applies to deck selection, in-game play, sideboarding, etc.

    Strategic diversity doesn't reflect the degree of meaningful choice of in-game decisions.

    I know that. But what I have said over & over is that a policy of maximizing one can undermine the other - that is what I mean when I say that the various facets of fun can be in ‘tension.’ The way to resolve this tension is to decide which are most important.

    IMO, metagame diversity is most important. A restriction that makes players feel more interactive but dramatically reduces metagame diversity would be a bad choice. I am not necessarily referring to PO here.

    Also, a schemata that gives too much importance to ‘counterplay’ is biased in favor of blue decks with countermagic. Metagame diversity is both a more objective AND strategically neutral criterion. That is not to discount other considerations, but it is to be clear about their relative importance.

    I think we discussed this a bit on Twitter. I personally feel that PO leads to uninteractive gameplay. I think that impacts my enjoyment of the format to a degree (I have not played it much recently, though that is influenced by factors independent of the format). If I was the only person playing to format, I think WotC should restrict PO. However, I am obviously not the only person playing the format. From the facebook group and this thread, I think it's pretty clear that I'm in the minority. So be it. Again, WotC has an interest in maximizing fun on the way to maximizing profits. If a clear majority of Vintage players enjoy PO or are indifferent, my personal thoughts on the matter should be overruled. End result: At this current time, PO should not be restricted.

    I agree with your conclusion, but fundamentally disagree with your reasoning. Although the goal should be to maximize fun, this should not be a democracy. As I’ve said many times, that approach encourages factionalism/tribalism, where different ‘schools’ of players lobby to use B&R Policy to restrict strategies that predate or are favored against those schools, and B&R policy becomes little more than interest group politics.

    That's a horrible model. B&R policy should be based on neutral standards, not just objective facts. Thats why there is a policy maker instead of just a poll. They should act in our best interests, not for our desired interests. It’s like when goverment taxes us even when we dont want it. Its for our own good. So is resisting popular calls to restrict.


 

WAF/WHF