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CardName: How much do you use NWO? Cost: Type: Pow/Tgh: / Rules Text: been moving away from it myself, mainly because if my sets ever get played it sure won't be by newbies. might as well give myself license to ratchet up the complexity do you guys design as if you're a WOTC employee, or do you do it for yourselves/your friends? Flavour Text: Set/Rarity: Conversation None

How much do you use NWO?
 
 
been moving away from it myself, mainly because if my sets ever get played it sure won't be by newbies. might as well give myself license to ratchet up the complexity

do you guys design as if you're a WOTC employee, or do you do it for yourselves/your friends?
Updated on 13 Jan 2016 by keflexxx

History: [-]

2015-09-12 23:07:12: keflexxx created the card How much do you use NWO?

I always design with NWO. I'll never play with any of the cards I make, so I have no reason to not make them technically correct. Plus, most of the time NWO just makes the card better anyway.

agreed for the most part, where i usually see different is cards like samite healer which have been characterised as making board states too complex. i think for the right players more complexity would be welcomed, and i'd rather design for them because i like samite healer

I primarily play Commander. I love complex board states. On-board tricks like that just make it hard to do the math without adding many interesting decisions. Plus, walking into a trick you should have seen just feels bad.

Aim towards NWO. Magic 20XX was printed for a local game store and we spent two months drafting it, which was great. Attendance was usually around 22 people or so.

I learned a number of things in the process. One of the most important was just how good it was to have simple to process commons. Limited environments are complicated enough. Keeping it simple makes the entire experience feel better. You can still get really complicated within your simplicity (for example, lots of cross-tribal or cards with off-color activations.) Enough to know that if I ever wanted to make a set super complicated, I know I would still need to make the individual cards easy to process in the 10 seconds you have to draft a card.

I am surprised that there's so much consensus on this issue. Has there ever been a vocal anti-NWO user around here? In part the consensus could be self-reinforcing: someone makes an overly complex common, they get a lot of critical feedback, they feel overwhelmed and leave?

Anyway though, I generally agree. NWO is good, mostly. Alara was pretty dull, so it's certainly possible to take NWO too far. You'll never see people excited about Wetland Sambar, but the occasional Summit Prowler that occupies an important P/T/cmc spot can spark interesting debates while being of great use to the savvy drafter.

But constructed players and cube designers are still gonna set that yeti on fire like it's a chimney imp. :P

There are certain of MaRo's decisions that I don't agree with, such as printing double-faced cards. But NWO I can see the benefit in. I've always targeted my custom cardsets at "the high end of the current permissible complexity spectrum"... so if the permissible complexity spectrum shifts downwards, I'll shift my cards' complexity downwards too.

Part of that is because I'm a game designer, not just a custom Magic card designer. And I know that complexity is not just a synonym for "strategic interest". Complexity is mostly a bad thing, and not just for new players. Even with experienced players it makes people need to take longer to consider their options, more likely to overlook things and feel bad later, and generally find the experience more stressful.

"Emergent complexity" is much better. When all (or most of) the pieces are simple enough, but the strategic results of combining them can lead to fascinating gameplay decisions, that's a much better place to be.

To your question, Tonks: I think there has been one or two users who've been fairly strongly anti NWO. I'm all for the community including differences of opinion.

I hope that these days we wouldn't jump in with a lot of critical feedback. We're aware that NWO has nuances, and every set is allowed some complex / red-flagged commons; NWO is about the experience of playing with the set as a whole, not about any one card.

Vanillas are a somewhat separate discussion. I was a rather vocal critic of Shards of Alara when it came out, with all the vanillas, and I'm still not very keen on them, even if I can see their value in simplifying a limited environment. Do note that Summit Prowler served a storytelling purpose: Khans and Dragons had many parallel cards telling stories of how things were affected by the timeline change, but that was the only straight reprint with the same art - but even then, the flavour text had an amusingly different tone between the Khans and Dragons printings. Every card should serve a role (preferably more than one), and Summit Prowler's role was to be a Limited role-player and illustrate one uniquely unchanged part of the story.

But "Being useless in constructed and cube", sadly, is very much not restricted to vanillas. The majority of commons are so strongly focused on Limited that they're unlikely to show up in any but the most casual constructed decks, and that annoys me.

I think one thing that often happens is that people agree with NWO in theory, but designs from people focussed on design usually drift towards more complicated things...

And obviously, many people design pretend-sets as if they were designing for wizards, but other people design cubes or custom sets for friends who are experienced players, when higher complexity is more acceptable.

"I hope that these days we wouldn't jump in with a lot of critical feedback."

I hope so, but I also think it's difficult -- I often see an individual card and have the urge to comment on it, but it's not always obvious if the set is doing something different to wizards deliberately or not.

"Every card should serve a role (preferably more than one), and Summit Prowler's role was to be a Limited role-player and illustrate one uniquely unchanged part of the story."

I would love to see more vanillas (or other simple effects) which stand out in some way other than being mechanical. It's one reason I suggested full-art vanillas by default.

I wish cards could be equally useful in limited or constructed, but it's probably impossible we probably just have to live with the best compromise we can come up with, tho' I'm not sure what that is...

on 12 Jan 2016 by Vitenka (unsigned):

For sets: I try to stick by it; but I wouldn't be completely dogmatic about it.

One good reason to do so is that stunning wonderful complex cards with nifty tricks are harder to appreciate without a background of normal cards - and a normal card can turn out to secretly be a clever card, once you appreciate its hidden interactions.

And, of course, sets need a +3/+3 instant, and a Murder and a Shock and...

For non-set stuff? I typically write the card, and then forget to set rarity, or set it rare+

For a while I did try and do a "What rarity should this be" analysis, for mashup cards. A surprising number of them could be uncommon :)

I'm the first to defend outside opinions and practices that I wouldn't try myself. I'm far more interested in seeing imagination at work. When that imagination is coupled with consistency, it can be a wonderful thing. In fact, I know I've given multiple good reviews to games I would never want to play again. Mostly, because I can easily imagine the type of person who would love the mechanics I find tedious, or convoluted.

Anti-NWO concepts can easily appeal to a lot of players, so I'm all for the change of pace, assuming the designer's identity shines through. Not every MTG idea has to feel like it could be the next set. Give me some strange and original ideas. But if a person makes a non-NWO set, they should first have a firm grasp of what NWO is. The designer should know what they're doing and how they plan to achieve their goals. I want a roller coaster, not a drunk driver.

NWO forms the core of nearly every project I do, as it makes the custom set more accessible, consistent and fun.

As someone who prints out my set to draft and also makes custom draft decks I want as many people as possible to want to be able to learn and play it.

I even have written probably the most comprehensive primer to NWO outside of MaRo's writings/podcasts. For anyone wanting more understanding of NWO I'd highly recommend checking it out. http://tinyurl.com/pg9as4u

I have noticed that when someone starts a set here that is intentionally not NWO (even if not in that many words), people commenting tend to assume it is NWO. That leads to the designer testily defending their decision and antagonism between them and some of the criticisers, which can be an issue.

True; my usual behaviour when commenting on a card is to click a card link; and read the card, and comment on it in isolation of anything else. If it's deliberately "different" I get told so (snottily, usually) and then I just try to remember never to look at cards from that set.

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