tamiyo the moon sage
11, Oct, 22

'EDH Support' Declared as Part of Massive Online MTG Update!

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Article at a Glance

MTG Arena has been at the forefront of online gameplay for MTG. That said, it can be easy to forget that there is another platform for players who want to access MTG’s older formats. Magic Online’s interface is incredibly dated. This makes it difficult for newer MTG players to pick up the complicated platform. There aren’t a lot of tools available to aid these players in learning older formats. Fortunately, Daybreak Games is officially taking the game over later this month. With that, many changes have been announced by the game designers that have some players anxious. That said, these changes are primarily aimed at lessening the complexity of MTGO’s platform in an attempt to grow its player base. One change, in particular, should have EDH players very excited. It looks like MTGO may become the hub for online Commander!

Online Commander Support

Perhaps the most interesting amongst the newly announced updates is a desire to “make Magic Online the Commander destination.” It’s no secret that MTG Arena players have been clamoring for a way to play Commander online. While MTG Arena has Historic Brawl available, it pales compared to a true four-player Commander experience for many players. MTGO players can already play games of Commander amongst friends, but further support should hopefully turn MTGO into a place where friends can continue to experience ‘the Gathering’ when gathering in real life becomes a challenge.

Unfortunately, past a plain statement of Daybreak Games’ goals regarding MTGO’s Commander status, we have not heard anything regarding these changes.

“One of the unique aspects of Magic Online is the support for multiplayer, but there are a lot of things that can be done to make the experience quicker and clearer. We want to make Magic Online the Commander destination, and the experience needs improvement before that can happen.”

Read More: Is MTG Arena Better than MTG Online?

Auto-Tap Comes to MTGO

There are a ton of changes that Daybreak games is planning when moving MTGO onto their servers. That said, the addition of autotapping tools is the addition making MTGO players the most nervous. Any MTG Arena players who have had secondary plays reaped by an unfortunate auto tap from the game know how painful this mechanic can be. It is extremely common for the feature to accidentally ruin your lines within a turn, which can be particularly painful for a deck that relies heavily on adequately tapping your lands, like Lotus Field in Pioneer.

That said, any effort to make MTGO easier for new players is a good one. Hopefully, auto-tap and auto-pass tools will help to create a play pattern like what is accessible on MTG Arena. This could help Arena players interested in trying to transfer over to MTG Online.

As mentioned by Twitter user tiddypills, an excellent compromise to new MTGO users and its already hyper-competitive player base would be to include the ability to turn these auto-tap tools on and off. This will allow newer players and veterans to make faster game actions easily while allowing more experienced players to pilot meticulous turns without potential mistakes caused by the client.

Further Onboarding to New Players

I cannot understate how important this is for new MTGO players. It isn’t easy to navigate MTGO properly without looking up guides and tutorials third parties offer. As a result, in-game or stronger first-party assistance in getting acquainted with MTGO can be beneficial.

While navigating the menus can be unintuitive on their own due to a lack of a detailed tutorial, navigating tools in-game is even more challenging. Magic is complicated, and there are a lot of clicks involved with manually resolving every single trigger that happens in a game. Some players prefer to play this way to give away the least amount of information possible. That said, for infinite-combo enjoyers like myself, there comes a time when you need to start speeding up your clicks to save time on your chess clock. There are ways to do this in MTGO, but they can be challenging to pick up without assistance from an outside source. Hopefully, this onboarding process to help new players can fix this problem.

Security Improvements

Daybreak Games wants to improve security on MTGO to include multi-factor authentication. Unlike MTG Arena, the Magic Online cards are tradeable, meaning there is an entire secondary market exclusive to the game. We’ve talked about this a lot in the past, and while somewhat complicated, you can turn your digital MTGO cards into real money.

Because MTGO accounts can become rather valuable, they can also become targets of some malicious parties looking to take advantage of a potential lack of security. This boost in security should help players feel more confident that their valuable MTG collections will not be pilfered against their wishes.

What to Expect on Update Day

While hiccups should be kept to a minimum, there are some interruptions that MTGO players should be ready for.

On October 18 at 9 AM Pacific time, MTGO’s transition to Daybreak Games’ servers will begin. Players should expect an eight-to-ten-hour downtime following this. Daybreak wants to ensure they get everything right following the downtime, so they plan to take all the time they need for things to run smoothly.

Once servers go back up for MTGO, players shouldn’t expect too many changes. All of your collection, as well as the complete functionality of the game, should be available. The only thing that players will have to do is uninstall and redownload MTGO once the update is completed. Hopefully, these updates will entice a new era for MTG’s oldest client.

If you want to check out Daybreak Games’ goals for the most recent update, you can find their official statement here. For the technical side of the transfer and the answers to some common concerns, you can find the MTGO transition details here. If these changes are enough to get you interested in trying out MTGO, we wrote a short guide aimed at helping MTG Arena players transfer over.

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