Wargaming

How to explain ERE, arranging family matters
zbigi
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Re: Wargaming

Post by zbigi »

white belt wrote:
Sat Jun 11, 2022 2:25 pm
Nowadays one can continue to play and build decks on Magic Online or Arena when there is no one to play against in person, right?

I’m close to pulling the trigger on playing some draft formats online to see how I like it, then potentially building up to some in-person draft events.
What's your skill level? The drafts on both mtgo and Arena cost in-game currency, which you can then recoup by going well in them. If you don't though, they can be quite expensive in the longer term.

grundomatic
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Re: Wargaming

Post by grundomatic »

One can absolutely keep themselves occupied with MtG stuff when there aren't people to play, it just requires some non-consumer discipline. If the actual playing of the game and the competition is what drives you, you could spend hours of free time at work reading articles about the current draft format, looking at successful draft decks, and even practicing the draft part on free simulators before diving in.

I don't pay anything to play arena. I can typically win back my entry in drafts, and even build up a buffer of in-game currency. Then when I hit a losing streak, I just play the intro decks to complete challenges until I have enough in-game currency to draft again. I just made it a rule that I would not be spending money to play online. Sometimes it means I can't draft for a while, which is fine. Helps keep me from getting addicted to online play.

We could also set up an ERE play group, and run the preconstructed decks, pauper, or artisan decks up against each other. We could also use old draft decks against one another if we remember to save them. You don't get rewards for playing friends, but it prevents being stomped in the queue by the best standard decks. It's not a problem when you first start out, but if you win too much it will start happening.

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Re: Wargaming

Post by jacob »

grundomatic wrote:
Sun Jun 12, 2022 11:34 am
We could also set up an ERE play group, and run the preconstructed decks, pauper, or artisan decks up against each other. We could also use old draft decks against one another if we remember to save them. You don't get rewards for playing friends, but it prevents being stomped in the queue by the best standard decks. It's not a problem when you first start out, but if you win too much it will start happening.
Might even be playable over zoom? Webcams show the cards on the table. Drawing cards, etc. on the honor system?

Slevin
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Re: Wargaming

Post by Slevin »

There are also plenty of free-to-play programs and mods for other games that let you play MTG online and versus friends without buying and cards or decks at all. Obviously these have no intrinsic rewards and are more susceptible to net decking, but I have one of my subgroups of friends who play EDH a few times per week and haven't spent money on the actual cards in years (or ever, for some of them).

grundomatic
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Re: Wargaming

Post by grundomatic »

Wizards has a program called spelltable for playing paper cards online. I have a couple friends that use it. Using this and/or what @Slevin mentioned, we could totally put something together for forumites to play, if interested.

white belt
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Re: Wargaming

Post by white belt »

I've been playing MTGO for the past month and I'm hooked.

First off, it is possible to play MTGO in a variety of formats for virtually free ($5 one time purchase, no recurring costs, utilizes free card rental credit). There are communities dedicated to budget builds and there are budget formats: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_4e75aHlFVo

I've been exclusively playing Constructed rather than Limited. I'm not sure if Limited is actually any cheaper because you have to pay to play every time (whether in person or online). Yes, you get to keep the cards after a Limited event, but having lots of paper cards basically can turn into a part time job just to resell them (similar to selling anything on the internet these days). Selling MTGO cards is more seamless but still takes time unless you are comfortable taking a ~20% hit to sell to a large store. With a Constructed deck, you can buy the deck and play dozens of games. You can then re-sell the deck for close to cost in most cases at a later time (although it will take some effort). Or you can just rent the cards for a monthly fee if playing MTGO.

I'm mostly interested in playing competitively, which means pay to play if I want to improve against good players. However, as @zbigi points out, if you are decent enough to average a ~50-60% win rate then you can often recoup all your costs (obviously varies depending on the event). Current Modern leagues on MTGO are where most of the competitive practice happens and cost $10 entry for 5 games. 5 wins gets you $15 and a bunch of prizes that could contain cards with possible resale value, 4 wins gets you $12 and prizes, 3 wins gets you $10, and 2 wins gets you $5. In person events will have much more variance in prize structure. There is a calculator that runs the expected payout value of all MTGO events based on win percentage: https://www.goatbots.com/event-calculator

I can see MTG appealing to a lot of the INTJ/optimizer types that ERE also appeals too. I think it can be a relatively ERE friendly hobby as long as one stays away from the collector aspects. I also see a lot of parallels with trading and investing. In fact, it's probably not a coincidence that Jon Finkel, widely considered to be one of the greatest MTG players of all time, happens to be a hedge fund manager for his day job. There are also many high-level MTG players who go on to play poker professionally because the skillset transfers and there is much more money in poker.

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Re: Wargaming

Post by jacob »

white belt wrote:
Thu Jul 14, 2022 10:56 pm
I also see a lot of parallels with trading and investing.
I don't know about investing(*) but definitely trading. Every Wednesday in the hobby/gameshop downhill from the math department was "trading day". The store was full of young nerds with their boxes and binders. I memorized every single price from each issue of Scrye. (Back then, there were somewhat fewer cards :-P ).

(*) But my friend, who started during the beta release era, does. IIRC he went out and purchased a black lotus and a couples of moxes. Still has them.

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Re: Wargaming

Post by jacob »

I've started playing Europa Universalis III [on DW's computer] and it's quite captivating. It's based on a board game that may or may not still be available (I'm confused?!). One of the early commentators on the ERE blog was very keen on getting me to play it and I guess he finally succeeded. According to steam I'm 15.4 hours in, yet I'm barely out of the toddler stage in terms of learning the rules. I spent the first few hours just staring at it not knowing where to begin.

Slevin
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Re: Wargaming

Post by Slevin »

@white belt there’s a big appeal for the INTP types as well, I.e. endless exploration. We’re the type who love to play limited, which is, create the best deck you can from semi-random components. Also the type to love to brew new and insane decks, trying to find the most interesting and convoluted combos of the time. EDH/ commander is a big draw that way.

The trading thing is endless fun and speculation. Like @jacob says above, any time there is an event at the local game store, everyone is walking in with their decks, but also trade binders full of cool and valuable stuff that they don’t have a current use for. I only played for around 4 years (while I was in college), but my speculative love of shiny things and ebay resales made me a few thousand dollars in the green over the lifetime of playing. The hourly rate was probably close to zero, but that’s not a big deal when you are mostly just doing it for fun / entertainment.

white belt
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Re: Wargaming

Post by white belt »

I meant that gameplay, specifically making decisions in real time with incomplete information, has some parallels with trading/investing. Additionally having to know your own strategy, strengths, and weaknesses along with understanding those of your opponent and all opponents you may face (the meta game). The meta game is not static and is always shifting, just like financial markets. Again, some parallels with poker as well.

Of course there is the entire MTG finance world, which are people who are buying cards that they think will appreciate in value to sell at a later date for profit. I haven’t tried that yet.

A Beta Black Lotus is worth >$60k (!) today. At a giant 30th anniversary MTG event next year, the top 8 finishers in a tournament will participate in a draft from a Beta booster box. There is a some skepticism over whether the players will get to keep the cards they draft, since cracking just one of the valuable rares would result in a higher payout than any MTG tournament prize ever.

zbigi
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Re: Wargaming

Post by zbigi »

white belt wrote:
Fri Jul 15, 2022 11:23 am
Of course there is the entire MTG finance world, which are people who are buying cards that they think will appreciate in value to sell at a later date for profit. I haven’t tried that yet.

A Beta Black Lotus is worth >$60k (!) today.
I kinda suspect that MTG finance is a bitcoin-like bubble, and will deflate in a similar way. I mean, in the past years people were trying to speculate on completely marginal items (as the interesting ones were already pumped heavily), and were paying $5000 for a booster box of e.g. Exodus, or $700 for crap like Ali from Cairo. The prices in MtG are sticker than in crypto, but I wouldn't be surprised if mint Lotuses were $10k-$15k two or three years from now.

jacob
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Re: Wargaming

Post by jacob »

I bought a booster box of Lord of The Rings(*) which is still sitting around unopened in my parents' attic. I don't think it's worth much. I paid about $100 in 1996 money.

(*) I mean what could possibly go wrong. It's lord of the rings, right?

white belt
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Re: Wargaming

Post by white belt »

zbigi wrote:
Fri Jul 15, 2022 11:55 am
I kinda suspect that MTG finance is a bitcoin-like bubble, and will deflate in a similar way. I mean, in the past years people were trying to speculate on completely marginal items (as the interesting ones were already pumped heavily), and were paying $5000 for a booster box of e.g. Exodus, or $700 for crap like Ali from Cairo. The prices in MtG are sticker than in crypto, but I wouldn't be surprised if mint Lotuses were $10k-$15k two or three years from now.
Quite possible. MTG has a 30 year history although most of the price data sites only seem to go back ~10 years. One could probably look at previous recessions along with how much prices have increased during COVID to make a prediction. I do kind of wonder who is buying MTG individual cards at 5 figure prices, but I suppose there are some wealthy collectors out there? I know Post Malone is an avid MTG fan and supposedly bought an artist proof signed Black Lotus for $800k.

zbigi
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Re: Wargaming

Post by zbigi »

white belt wrote:
Fri Jul 15, 2022 6:14 pm
Quite possible. MTG has a 30 year history although most of the price data sites only seem to go back ~10 years. One could probably look at previous recessions along with how much prices have increased during COVID to make a prediction. I do kind of wonder who is buying MTG individual cards at 5 figure prices, but I suppose there are some wealthy collectors out there? I know Post Malone is an avid MTG fan and supposedly bought an artist proof signed Black Lotus for $800k.
Check out YouTube channel Alpha Investments (https://www.youtube.com/c/AlphaInvestments69). It's been ran for a good couple years now by a guy who has supposedly pumped millions into Magic and is now giving mtg investment advice, talking about how awesome it is to invest in something you love etc. The whole channel reeks of manipulation to me (looks like a long term pump and dump play). He has around 350k subscribers already - at least some of those people are probably putting some portion of their life savings into Magic.

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Jean
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Re: Wargaming

Post by Jean »

@jacob good luck with europa universalis. If it's like every paradox games, count about 100h to start feeling like you somehow know what you're doing.
I'm more than 1000h into ckii, stellaris and hoi4, and i still feel not really good at them.
If you like this kind of game, stellaris is at the same time the most accessible, and the most adapted for competitive play.

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Re: Wargaming

Post by jacob »

Jean wrote:
Sat Jul 16, 2022 3:01 am
If you like this kind of game, stellaris is at the same time the most accessible, and the most adapted for competitive play.
I might be able to run ck2 on this computer (I still haven't built my own) but hoi4 and stellaris are likely too new/demanding. It's an office computer with an APU, so I limit myself to games older than 2015 or so. I actually got started on this whole 4x category by rediscovering Master of Orion (the original one) which I used to play a lot a few decades ago. It's similar to VGA Planets, which is a correspondence-type game where one mails in a floppy disk with one's orders for the next turn.. (I actually thought Europa was the same type. I was also involved in another mail-based game focusing on medieval times but I forget the name.) I used to play in a couple of circles, one at the dorm and the other at the math department.

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Jean
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Re: Wargaming

Post by Jean »

stellaris and ckii ran fine on a lenovo t410 (wich only has a shity intel apu). not hoi4. but if by apu you mean a proper ryzen apu, it should work too.

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Re: Wargaming

Post by jacob »

Jean wrote:
Sat Jul 16, 2022 9:48 am
stellaris and ckii ran fine on a lenovo t410 (wich only has a shity intel apu). not hoi4. but if by apu you mean a proper ryzen apu, it should work too.
It's an AMD A9-9425/R5 so a little older than that. I do have better cooling (a cpu fan with an actual heat sink however small). It kicks in when I run eu3 at the fastest time rate.

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