Magic the Gathering is undoubtedly a game that appeals to a rather wide group of players. Whether you enjoy playing competitive Constructed formats or simply playing Commander with your friends, there’s something for everyone. One neat aspect of MTG that is rather underrated, however, is its ease of accessibility. For many players, it’s nice to be able to go out to your local game store and play with a big group of friends that all love the game as much as you.
However, not everyone has the time or resources necessary to be able to regularly play in-person. This is where both MTG Arena and Magic Online come into play. Both of these software programs are extremely convenient, allowing players to quickly load matches and play from the comfort of their own homes. While MTG Arena is certainly the newer and hotter program, Magic Online is an excellent resource for players that enjoy a wide range of Constructed formats that aren’t on MTG Arena, such as Modern or Legacy.
Additionally, Magic Online is great for competitive play, featuring a wide range of Constructed and Limited tournaments each week. Even if it isn’t the most popular software nowadays, it fills its role quite nicely, and some players, me included, use Magic Online rather often.
Unfortunately, Magic Online has run into some potent issues over the last 24 hours. First, beginning back on January 11, major technical issues caused an outage, and maintenance would last nearly 24 hours. This morning, the program was back up and running, but not without players running into further significant problems. Considering the wide range of tournaments scheduled for this weekend, this is certainly a big deal.
If you or a friend are playing MTG Online, read on for some game-crashing actions to avoid doing.
Initial Technical Issues
One of the initial problems that occurred for players on Magic Online was that, whenever they would enter the queue to try to load a match, players that were paired against each other would almost immediately have their matches end in draws. Hence, the repeated 0-0-1 records, as shown above. Unfortunately, this issue affected everyone across the platform that would try to load League matches.
Further, players across the platform would have their servers die, even those in the middle of structured tournaments. For instance, players in the top 16 of the 64-player single elimination Vintage Cube Draft on Magic Online would be unable to continue their matches, as the tournament would come to a halt.
Typically, when problems like this occur that affect the program as a whole, maintenance will be run, and players will be able to re-access the server after a few hours. Unfortunately, persistent issues would result in Magic Online being unusable for roughly a whole day.
At roughly 6:30am EST this morning, the Magic Online client would be back up and running. This was in time for players to register for a variety of different tournaments, such as a wide range of Constructed Challenges. Events that were originally scheduled during this massive downtime, such as the early Magic Online Modern Qualifier, were rescheduled.
Where things get a bit awkward, though, is that even after this extended downtime, players are still running into problems. A few hours after the servers were back up and running, an issue relating to dropping from events quickly was revealed. Magic Online’s official Twitter page made a post regarding this issue, as shown above, to help prevent players from having to restart their clients. Take this as a PSA to avoid dropping from any events without first conceding your ongoing match.
In some cases, for players that didn’t even attempt to drop from an event the first place, the client would still cause them issues. There was even a player unintentionally dropped from today’s Standard Challenge, without the ability to re-enter. Obviously, all of these issues with Magic Online have been frustrating for players. However, there is some good news at least with regards to how this debacle was handled.
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Back in 2022, Magic Online made a massive transition from Wizards of the Coast’s servers to Daybreak’s servers. Unsurprisingly, there was a bit of concern about this switch. Luckily, up to this point, Daybreak has been extremely responsive to problems within the client and rather quick at addressing any concerns from the player base.
In reality, this is amongst the first major issues that weren’t dealt with in a rather efficient manner. Even still, it was clear to the community that members of Daybreak were doing their best to get Magic Online back up and running. During the long downtime, there were a multitude of updates to keep players aware of the situation. Once the servers were back up, Daybreak made it clear that mass reimbursements would be made available sooner rather than later for players that had their events cut short.
On top of that, when players vocalized their frustrations with the fact that they would get less opportunities to make use of the Vintage Cube, a limited-time Draft format on Magic Online, Daybreak responded. As such, Vintage Cube Leagues would be extended an extra three days to help make up for lost time. Meanwhile, the Magic Online Champions Showcase, perhaps the most prestigious tournament series on Magic Online, managed to start essentially on-time today, with no major known issues as of yet.
In this sense, while this situation has been rather frustrating for players who planned their weekends accordingly only to have an outage mess things up, Daybreak has at least been attentive and hardworking in efforts to resolve the mess. Hopefully, everything will run smoother on Magic Online for the foreseeable future, and these problems have been correctly addressed for the most part.
Temporary Free Access!
Magic Online may have had its issues, but anyone who wants to give the game a try has a fantastic opportunity coming up. Daybreak Games is temporarily granting free access to every single MTG card on the client for players until this Tuesday at 10am PST. All you need to do is head over to the MTGO shop and type in ‘REPAIR’ before 6PM PST tomorrow. If you wanted to give a deck a try, but cannot afford to buy the cards, this is one of the best chances you’ll get to let your mind run wild!