Feb. 19th, 2011 09:44 am
tegyrius: (Default)
After a few days poking at Magic: The Gathering Online (first impressions here), I'm actually experiencing a bit of cognitive dissonance. More thoughts behind the cut. )


Feb. 15th, 2011 09:19 pm
tegyrius: (Default)
First impression: Magic: The Gathering Online has potential. I don't think the social aspect of face-to-face CCG-and-bull sessions is available in a chat sidebar, but the deckbuilding, strategy, and collecting aspects seem to be replicated pretty well.

More blather behind the cut. )


Feb. 14th, 2011 08:06 pm
tegyrius: (Default)
Lately, I've found myself missing Magic: The Gathering.

Yes, I know it's not the new cool thing any more. When I started, though, in the fall of 1993 when black-bordered Beta booster packs were still retailing for MSRP, building and playing decks gave me the sensation that a grand new multifaceted vista of gaming was unfolding before me. I felt that again when I took up MUDding a few years later, and once more when I got into World of Warcraft in 2006. But Magic was the first thing I can recall that really gave me that particular "wow!" factor.

I think my nostalgia for MtG (and Vampire: The Eternal Struggle (née Jyhad), and Legend of the Five Rings, and 7th Sea, and the BattleTech, all of which were pretty good on some level or another, and most of which I still have a lot of cards for) stems from the unique mix of problem-solving, lore exploration, competition, and social interaction that the CCG medium provided. I'm not sure if it was a function of my gaming groups or my own free time budget, but that atmosphere, like so many other things, seems to be gone now. Hell, I don't even think I know any other CCG players in my local gaming circle.

Over the past few weeks, I've been looking for online alternatives. The pickings are pretty slim. Magic Online's client is Windows-only. Sanctum, a long-time favorite that never got the success or publicity I thought it deserved, also was Windows-only and shut down last summer for lack of funds. Lately, I've been poking at Shadow Era, a Web/iOS online CCG that's currently in an open beta state, but I don't think it's quite going to scratch my itch. I went ahead and picked up VMWare Fusion for $30 after rebate (VMWare is running a Valentine's Day special - "ILOVEVMWARE" for 25% off through Wednesday) and got an XP virtual machine up and running. I think I'll give MtGO a try and see how painful it is.
tegyrius: (Default)
Asheron's Call II, lacking the critical mass of players necessary to make it profitable, is shutting down at the end of the year. This article takes a look at impending virtual apocalypse. It's really creepy in an undefinable sort of way.

Tangentially, I really wanna find a copy of Avalon. There's session fodder there.


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