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20, Jul, 22

Opinion: MTG Arena Has Too Many Bugs Right Now

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After the recent launch of Alchemy Horizons: Baldur’s Gate, MTG Arena has been plagued by a significant new problem; bugs. Between Magic Online and MTG Arena, Magic’s digital counterparts are no stranger to the odd bug or two. What’s happening in MTG Arena recently is a lot worse than the usual hiccups

A Bug to Squash

Scute Swarm
Scute Swarm | Zendikar Rising

As with any video game, the launch of a new update is bound to cause a few problems. The launch of Alchemy Horizons: Baldur’s Gate on the 8th of July was no different. Upon first booting up the game, many players were met with broken UI and dysfunctional menus that immediately soured the set’s release. This compounded the complaints that already surrounded the Alchemy-focused set. 

Following Alchemy Horizons: Baldur’s Gate’s dire launch, players started noticing additional problems. These include players’ inability to log in and the game’s audio problems. While issues with players logging in come and go, the audio issues have been a consistent problem for MTG Arena. Unfortunately for the game’s players, it has been an issue that Wizards has ignored. 

Typically, Wizards of the Coast only publishes announcements about MTG Arena weekly. This means that there is problematically little communication about any of the game’s issues. To make matters worse, Wizards of the Coast often refuses to address the problems about the game in these blog posts. Cases are only usually mentioned once a fix is applied, which leaves players in the dark until that point.

Curse of Silence

Curse of Silence
Curse of Silence | Innistrad: Midnight Hunt

Thankfully, Wizards of the Coast also has several social media channels to communicate with players. Unfortunately, however, Wizards of the Coast seldom uses these pages to address the game’s issues. Even accounts such as Wizards Customer Support (@Wizards_Help) are just a list of complaints followed by instructions to open a dedicated support ticket. 

This is an unacceptable level of communication, and it’s something that the wider gaming industry knows all too well. Typically, when an update is causing major issues in a game, developers, or at least their PR teams, are quick to respond. Even if it’s just a statement acknowledging the issue, you usually don’t have to wait too long to see some form of communication. This allows players to know their concerns have been heard and that soon, a fix will be in their hands. 

Without proper communication, speculation and accusations are free to run rampant. As a result, players’ anger typically increases, and some players lose interest in the game. This is not good business, and we had hoped it would be something WotC would avoid. 

One Bug Too Many

One such player bowing out from MTG Arena due to the bugs is the popular streamer Day9. During a recent broadcast in which they were experimenting with a Golgari Ramp deck, Day9 once again brought up the audio issues plaguing the game. “Literally last week, I was saying [I’m] probably not gonna play magic for a while,” Day9 stated, “and I think the audio is a big part of it.”

This could potentially be a massive blow to MTG Arena’s popularity. As one of the game’s biggest streamers, Day9 scaling back the amount they play will likely have a knock-on effect with other players doing the same. Arena may have no shortage of players, but this isn’t something that Wizards should simply dismiss. Instead, we can only hope that Day9’s frustrations finally coax Wizards into addressing this issue. 

If you’re unfamiliar with the bug or haven’t experienced it for yourself, it typically manifests as hearing reduced sound from the game, as if many of the game’s audio tracks are missing. It’s unknown what is triggering the bug. However, it’s believed that playing back-to-back matches doesn’t help. While cutting audio tracks may not sound like the biggest problem, it’s a remarkably disorienting experience that seriously hampers enjoyment.

Enough Is Enough

Nessian Hornbeetle
Nessian Hornbeetle | Theros Beyond Death

As evidenced by Day9’s comments and an accompanying Reddit post, many players are understandably frustrated with Wizards. This is both for their lack of fixing Arena’s bugs and addressing that there’s even a problem. Players may still be begrudgingly playing the game, but we can only hope that this occasion will teach Wizards to be more communicative in the future. 

Read More: Enchantment Creatures May Be the Next Evergreen Mechanic

Currently, there is no word on when or if this bug will be fixed. We can only hope that in the next weekly MTG Arena announcements post, Wizards doesn’t ignore it once again.

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