[Podcast] SMIP Podcast # 53: Mid-May Vintage Metagame Update

I personally don't care if people ask their friends/twitch viewers for advice when they play me. Alot of the fun of mtgo vintage comes from streaming and playing with friends. Actually the thing that bothers me the most in paper and online mtg is that some players have better knowledge of what deck their opponents are on. If you know someone is on shops/dredge/etc game1 you have a huge advantage in terms of mulligan decisions and turn1 plays.

I do however think it is clearly cheating to watch a stream of someone you are battling. Even if the rule is unenforceable.

last edited by Princess_Power

I'd be just as happy if all decklists were published before the start of each tournament. Yes, you lose a bit of advantage if you are sporting a surprise sideboard card or transformational strategy, but against serious players this advantage won't last past the first round or two anyway.

I do agree that mtgo produces different challenges than paper magic.

The way triggers are pretty much never missed pops to mind.

I finally got around to listening to the podcast and reading all the comments. I'm a little surprised that so many people were unaware of the Twitch culture. I come at this issue as someone who plays Vintage in paper exclusively, because I cannot bring myself to pay $1,000.00 for the privilege of playing a video game. I'm an exclusive spectator, and I haven't seen that perspective discussed much yet.

I think of MTGO games in the same way I think of watching a college football game. Sure, there's a game going on, but good streamers provide tons of entertainment value and insight into the decisions being played. I love watching the VSL, LSV, and Rich's streams for this reason. I don't want this kind of thing to be discouraged.

I also completely agree with Steve when it comes to the >EFFECT< of trying to restrict collusion in MTGO. That is, it wouldn't work at all. You could drive people off of streams, and prevent pro teams from publishing the fact they work together in a hotel room, but that's all you'd accomplish. And the interested viewing audience loses while the problem continues.

As I try to put myself in the position of someone like Brass Man, who plays online, I'm not sure how I feel about it. I can sympathize with someone who thought they were playing for cash money against a level playing field and finds out they were not. But, on the other hand, I could also see people who want to play exhibition matches at the highest level. That is, the value of the games for some may be in WINNING, and for others in PARTICIPATING.

And, let's not forget, even paper magic has plenty of team and community based collusion - it just happens during deck selection and testing instead of during the match itself.

So... I guess I'd like to see streaming and collusion continue, but Wizards might want to put a disclaimer on MTGO making sure people know this is a thing.

Just got to listen to the podcast. Started off well and ended leaving me with a bitter after taste in my mouth. Have people forgotten the difference between right and wrong? Why is it so difficult to say, getting assistance while online play is wrong as is in paper magic? It IS black and white. I usually agree with most of what you have to say, Steve. This time I was surprised by your position on the ethics matter. I'm still a fan of your work. Just have to strongly disagree here.

@Ten-Ten
Why is it black and white? Why is it ethically bad for someone to consult with their notes, friends, or teammates in a game? I mean, it's not like it's a big secret that when you play games online the person on the other end of the computer can be doing any manner of things you can't observe. Isn't this expected behavior?

Notes made during and before a match are fine. That's like studying for a test. But using friends and teammates during a match is unfair, because then your opponent isn't going 1-on-1, he's playing against several brains. Written knowledge that you produce yourself is fine. If it is written from others prior to a match, I think that's fine too. But having someone else tell you decisions to make during game play is basically making the match lopsided as it is many logic-processors (brains) vs one. Consider any other sport. If you pit one athlete vs another, either athlete is able to refer to mental notes they saw watching film on the matchup or mental notes made during the match. If one side brings in OTHER athletes so now it is 1 player vs an entire team, the 1 player's odds of winning diminish drastically. That's just unfair and thus unacceptable.

I personally don't mind playing against a team of players, I prefer my opponent to make the most optimal play every time.

With MTGO, I find it easier to make critical decisions due to playing in a relaxing environment. Sometimes real life opponents can attempt to rush you (by threatening to call a judge for slow play) and it's nice to just be able to focus on the game.

Also, id rather play against a group of people than someone who could be drawing extra cards or stacking their deck. It's probably happened to me for all I know. But I know it's never happened on MTGO.

Randy's VSL match on Tuesday was a great example of the impact chat can have on play. While he lost the match, the particular interaction pointed out could have easily swung it into his favor.

@ajfirecracker are you implying that he had access to the chat during the VSL? Or if that it was a 'normal' streaming he would have picked up the discussion and made the play he would have made had he not been streaming?

@ajfirecracker One could also say it's a great example of how streaming makes you misplay. Or a great example of how you should think for 2 seconds before you do something.

last edited by diophan
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