Login | Register


All times are UTC - 7 hours


It is currently 2019-Jan-20 9:30 am




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 45 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Writing a letter
AgePosted: 2018-Aug-24 9:34 am 

Joined: 2010-Mar-10 1:31 pm
Age: Dragon
so, I also posted this over at Sal in the official RL thread, but the site is having issues,so I figured I'd post it here as well.


and I am writing you regarding the actions of the subsidiary company Wizards of the Coast. The actions in question are regarding a policy that is turning out to be detrimental to players of the collectible card game: “Magic: The Gathering”. The policy in question is entitled “OFFICIAL REPRINT POLICY” and I have enclosed a separate page with it in full, and what follows is the gist of the policy:

[policy here]

This absurd policy has been in place for coming on close to twenty-five years. When it was first created it made sense since no one at the time had thought that the game would last as long as it has. However, over time the policy became another form of investment for those who could afford or be lucky enough to have gotten ahold of cards that have in some cases become equal to the value of some cars at retail price. This was never the intended outcome of the policy. The policy itself has under gone a number of changes most recently in 2011. No one at Wizards of the Coast has been willing to speak on this issue for an unknown reason. If it were simply due to any Non-disclosure agreements we, the fans and players would understand but we aren’t even told that. I would also like to point out that even the lead designer a Mr. Mark Rosewater has spoken out about his dislike of the policy a number of times in public. As have a number of commercial entities. What I am asking for you to do on behalf of the player base is to find out why the policy continues to exist or at the very least why no one is allowed to answer the question of why it’s still around.


I fully expect to have called down stone rain on me, but I would like any thoughts or suggestions on this letter that are productive beyond "don't do it" or something like that nature.

_________________
onlainari wrote:
trappedslider wrote:
EDIT: so if i somehow manged to get down to 1 life,played Repay in Kind followed by Decree of Annihilation then it owuld be bad evil juju?

That's not how magic works. You can't equate cards and situations linearly like that!


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Writing a letter
AgePosted: 2018-Aug-24 5:07 pm 
User avatar

Joined: 2011-Jan-02 5:25 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Costa La Haya, capital del ducado Holanda
The tone of your letter is very negative. I thought this was another complaint about the reserved list, but basically you're only asking why it still exists. The value of car(d)s has little to do with it, you just want to know why Wizards keeps it around and doesn't want to talk about it. If that is what this is about, then write that. The sour points, valid or not, do not increase your odds of getting an answer.

I guess you are writing this to Hasbro. Don't you think Hasbro has access to Wizards' policy documents? Including the reserved list policy will only make your letter very long, which doesn't increase your chances of getting an answer either. A letter is not a story; the reader should be able to get to the core of the message easily, and interpret the message as the writer intended correctly. Adding fluff does not help in that regard.

I'd reconsider what your questions should be. You now have to questions:
- why does the RL still exist
- why is nobody at wizards allowed to talk about the continued existence of the RL

I suppose you want to receive some insight into why the RL still exists, but chances are high you'll just receive two very simple answers:
- the RL exists because the policy does not include the possibility of abolishing it (or something like that)
- employees at Wizards are allowed to talk about it (but they'll have to follow the communication guideline, which is the exact answer to your first question, and they feel dumb repeating that so they'll rather keep their mouths shut)

Especially the second question seems off to me. It seems as if your problem is that you don't know who at wizards is the supposed talking head for this specific topic, and that the player base (well, to be fair, you're not talking for me; and it's clear you have no authority to speak for any group, so claiming that you do is just going to make you look like, well, English is not my first language so I can't find the appropriate word for it) is miffed about Wizards poor communication on the topic.

Another possibility is this some elaborate ploy to get Hasbro to act against Wizards on your behalf. If that is what you want, you'd have to ask that. This letter is going to get answered by someone at the communications department, and there's no guarantee that that person has the capacity to make that leap; so you'll simply get an answer to your two questions. If you want some action, ask for it.

_________________
"Our words are backed with OBLIVION STONE!"


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Writing a letter
AgePosted: 2018-Aug-24 9:04 pm 
User avatar

Joined: 2008-Dec-26 7:50 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Amsterdam, Holland
+1 for Shabbaman's response.

http://markrosewater.tumblr.com/search/reserved+list

Mark is very clearly willing to speak about the Reserved List (as far as he's allowed, some answers clearly suggest there are things he can't talk about).

When I read your letter there seem to be many opinions presented as facts, I think any reader would be able to recognize these and likely discount your message because of it, for example:

  • "a policy that is turning out to be detrimental to players" -> you're not showing that it is detrimental
  • "absurd policy" -> "absurd" is just an opinion
  • "no one at the time had thought that the game would last as long as it has" -> have you asked everyone who was involved with Magic at the time?
  • "This was never the intended outcome of the policy." -> factually true, they gave different reasons for the policy, but the way you use it suggests this is counter to the intended outcome, which is an opinion not a fact
I'm as curious as you are regarding the main reason for keeping the RL around, though I care less about why they don't answer that question (asking that seems to be a veiled way of trying to get an answer to why they keep it around). My approach would be to ask them something like "Is there any chance you could tell me why this policy is kept around?" and just stop there. There is no reason to include an argument against the RL in the same e-mail. If you get a useful answer to that question you can always work on an argument afterwards. I agree with Shabbaman that you're likely to get back that the policy precludes its abolishment.

_________________
I'm a gabber and I feel alright
I sleep all day and I dance all night
I'm a gabber and I feel OK
I dance all night and I sleep all day


3 Steps Ahead - I'm A Gabber


Automatically add card tags to the card names in any text:
http://manabase.com/autocard.php


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Writing a letter
AgePosted: 2018-Aug-25 10:05 am 
User avatar

Joined: 2017-Mar-11 6:43 am
Age: Dragon
Honestly, this feels like bait- but I'll try to be earnest in my response anyways...

I.> The reserved list exists to blunt a number of lawsuit-happy collectors. That may be a bit of a cynical way of explaining it; but it verymuchso serves a purpose, and WotC has actively put an effort into making cards which suitably replace anything on the reserved list without pushing the suitable power level of any arena they try to craft with it.

II.> Appealing to Hasbro is a bad idea. Hypothetically, in Christmasland, if a Hasbro employee were to use such a letter to talk to WotC seriously about it; you would have been going over WotC's head to make your statement. I've worked for companies with "open door" policies; and such things are only appropriate when there is a direct threat to us for going to the appropriate level. This creates a type of animosity entirely unnecessary to creating an impassioned plea (also, Hasbro's connection to WotC is almost wholly financial- and WotC's largest profit boom was under Hasbro with as little input, or supervision as possible. It would be poor decision making to interfere more than they already might have.)

EG: Going to a Corporate Manager to handle issues with a District Manager, or a District Manager to handle issues with a Store Manager, or a Store Manager to handle issues with a Shift Manager is unethical, and results in tensions- unless that manager specifically threatens your position in a company over whatever issue it is you need to discuss (unless it's an issue that only HR can handle- because companies have to give special powers to HR reps for obvious ethical reasons.) This applies to creative businesses under their financial overlords too, I would imagine.

III.> Compared to the old WotC Community Forums, this place is a playground with nice fluffy boxing gloves. Disagreements here are nowhere near as cut-throat in my experience. It seems to be chill, and everyone here seems to like it that way- no Stone Rain required.

_________________
niheloim wrote:
Wall of Chat. 2U
Creature- Wall

Defender
Wall of chat exceeds at using a lot of words to mischaracterize opposing view points.

Warp Riders (Ephara Solar Flare)


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Writing a letter
AgePosted: 2018-Aug-25 11:18 am 

Joined: 2014-Sep-13 7:28 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Hasbro would have WOTC abolish the RL if they wanted, but when they bought WOTC, they bought their liabilities as well.

What precisely would the letter accomplish? I'm not 100% sure what the goal is beyond "at least tell us why WOTC can't talk about it", which is easy to explain.

Mark already speaks about it from time to time (as much he can), but limiting the amount of exposure and discussion the employees give it minimizes risk that one of them say something they shouldn't; giving the company a bad reputation, hinting at loopholes, unintentionally giving others the belief it might not always be around or more.

These can have many unintended consequences, including affecting faith in the game/company, more time spent clarifying their stance again, etc.

Mr Degradation wrote:
I.> The reserved list exists to blunt a number of lawsuit-happy collectors.

This is definitely not why it was created. Do you mean to say this is why it still exists?

It also still exists because being a company that breaks promises and screws people is an awful business practice, and sets precedent that you are willing to do it again.

---------------------

Hasbro definitely does not need the legal trouble nor would i imagine investors to be excited about a company they invest in going to legal battles willingly over actual nothing. Which is what the RL is. It's actual nothing. There is plenty of magic to play without RL cards, not that i don't agree more current-RL cards would be played if abolished. Owning expensive cards is a privilege and not a right, so i kind of wish people would let it go. It's not as if reprinting would do a lot for the most playable cards though. Look at Mox Opal and Karn and Liliana etc. If they reprinted the duals, it would do one of 2 things; tank the market because mostly people do not play legacy, or prices barely change because the (perceived) availability causes increased demand. Modern cards are already the most counterfeited cards for tournament play anyway.


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Writing a letter
AgePosted: 2018-Aug-25 11:50 am 

Joined: 2010-Mar-10 1:31 pm
Age: Dragon
The goal is two fold to get answers and maybe some action regarding the actual RL, this is going to the legal department at Hasbro. I'm well aware of jumping over WotC's head, this isn't the first time I've written a major company about the actions of a subsidiary.

pi wrote:
  • "a policy that is turning out to be detrimental to players" -> you're not showing that it is detrimental
I thought I had shown that with the comparing the cost of some cards equal to that of a car, but perhaps a better explanation long the lines a of it causing some formats to be priced outside of the normal player?
Quote:
  • "absurd policy" -> "absurd" is just an opinion

  • I can easily drop the word or even that whole bit
    Quote:
  • "no one at the time had thought that the game would last as long as it has" -> have you asked everyone who was involved with Magic at the time?
  • This is based on several statements that I've seen made in the past by people both on forums and in published articles, but if it's too opinion based, it can be removed.
    Quote:
  • "This was never the intended outcome of the policy." -> factually true, they gave different reasons for the policy, but the way you use it suggests this is counter to the intended outcome, which is an opinion not a fact
  • .
    [/quote] so, I should include a disclaimer along the lines of "I don't think this was the intended outcome" or just dump the statement?

    _________________
    onlainari wrote:
    trappedslider wrote:
    EDIT: so if i somehow manged to get down to 1 life,played Repay in Kind followed by Decree of Annihilation then it owuld be bad evil juju?

    That's not how magic works. You can't equate cards and situations linearly like that!


    Top
     Offline Profile  
     
     Post subject: Re: Writing a letter
    AgePosted: 2018-Aug-25 11:53 am 

    Joined: 2010-Mar-10 1:31 pm
    Age: Dragon
    Mr Degradation wrote:
    III.> Compared to the old WotC Community Forums, this place is a playground with nice fluffy boxing gloves. Disagreements here are nowhere near as cut-throat in my experience. It seems to be chill, and everyone here seems to like it that way- no Stone Rain required.


    yeah, well other than bitching about it on a daily basis and general apathy outside of maybe one or two change.org petitions, I decided to rock the boat in the best way I know how and some may not like that.

    _________________
    onlainari wrote:
    trappedslider wrote:
    EDIT: so if i somehow manged to get down to 1 life,played Repay in Kind followed by Decree of Annihilation then it owuld be bad evil juju?

    That's not how magic works. You can't equate cards and situations linearly like that!


    Top
     Offline Profile  
     
     Post subject: Re: Writing a letter
    AgePosted: 2018-Aug-25 7:47 pm 
    User avatar

    Joined: 2008-Dec-26 7:50 am
    Age: Elder Dragon
    Location: Amsterdam, Holland
    trappedslider wrote:
    pi wrote:
    • "a policy that is turning out to be detrimental to players" -> you're not showing that it is detrimental
    I thought I had shown that with the comparing the cost of some cards equal to that of a car, but perhaps a better explanation long the lines a of it causing some formats to be priced outside of the normal player?


    You're not showing how cards costing that much is detrimental to players. There are plenty formats people can play without RL cards. In the same vein you could argue that wanting to play the formats that require such cards is detrimental to players. Your reader can easily disagree that all cards should be affordable to normal players and thereby not agree with your point.

    trappedslider wrote:
    Quote:
  • "no one at the time had thought that the game would last as long as it has" -> have you asked everyone who was involved with Magic at the time?
  • This is based on several statements that I've seen made in the past by people both on forums and in published articles, but if it's too opinion based, it can be removed.


    The problem is that you can't speak for "everyone", because you can't go and poll "everyone" on a topic. Even if nobody publicly stated they thought the game was going to last 25 years, some may have very well thought it, you just can't be certain of this argument. A reader may just go: "Well, I know 1 person who did predict it, so you're wrong". I would approach the letter differently in any case (see the last paragraph of my post), but if you must include it a rephrasing to something that sounds like you're not speaking for a group would be a lot better.

    trappedslider wrote:
    Quote:
  • "This was never the intended outcome of the policy." -> factually true, they gave different reasons for the policy, but the way you use it suggests this is counter to the intended outcome, which is an opinion not a fact
  • .
    so, I should include a disclaimer along the lines of "I don't think this was the intended outcome" or just dump the statement?


    I don't think that change would help you. My concern is that you're assuming that your reader would agree it's a problem that this is the outcome and thereby it's counter to what was intended. If you read back in MaRo blogatog's archives he mentions that about 20% of people who write in regarding the RL are in favor of it. Presumably someone not intimately familiar with Magic doesn't have an opinion on it and considering their employer is going to have a natural tendency to back the policy. You should probably assume that your reader is going to disagree with your arguments against the RL. This is why I would suggest to handle this is 2 stages: first get some answers to why the policy is still around and then only afterwards use that information in a message aimed at getting them to change their mind.

    I personally don't have a strong opinion on whether or not the RL should be abolished. I believe that's not really the concern here and that the discussion on whether it should be abolished simply isn't all that relevant. I think the relevant discussion is why it wasn't, because only if we know why we can figure out what it would take to abolish it and if we know what it would take only then it would make sense to discuss whether to do it or not (assuming it's something that's inherently feasible) and ultimately convince Wizards that they should abolish it. I think you should look at this letter in the same way: you should want to write it to figure out the root cause for it still being around. Your letter seems too tainted by your preference for abolishment and thereby is not going to encourage them to give you back anything worthwhile.

    _________________
    I'm a gabber and I feel alright
    I sleep all day and I dance all night
    I'm a gabber and I feel OK
    I dance all night and I sleep all day


    3 Steps Ahead - I'm A Gabber


    Automatically add card tags to the card names in any text:
    http://manabase.com/autocard.php


    Top
     Offline Profile  
     
     Post subject: Re: Writing a letter
    AgePosted: 2018-Aug-26 12:39 am 
    User avatar

    Joined: 2010-Dec-10 12:16 pm
    Age: Elder Dragon
    In your letter, you have to speak their language:

    Like 'Airplane' wrote:
    "Excuse me stewardess, I speak Jive."


    You would probably make better headway if you could craft and support an argument on how the reserve list props the "proxy" (counterfeit) market, and how that impacts the business and the players. Remember, Hasbro is not in the "playing games" business, they are in the "making money by making games" business. An impassioned plea on how players "don't like" the RL or how it is too "pricey" will not get support from the business. Magic is a "Collectible Card Game" and to both Hasbro and WotC the "collectible" part is as important as the "game" part.

    If you can't show how the RL is detrimental to business, you have already lost. Even if you can show it being detrimental to business, you haven't won. You may have opened a possibility; but breaking a promise is also detrimental to any company; and in the cost assessment, removing the RL would have to significantly outweigh the loss from the proxy community/lost player base from scarcity.

    Quote:
    you should want to write it to figure out the root cause for it still being around.


    That's easy.
    Not only was I playing during the "Chronicles" debacle that caused the RL, but it has been explained a number of times in a number of articles. When the First reserved list was created, the company made a promise to collectors. It is still around because they will not break that promise.

    Starting with "Revised" any card that was not reprinted in the first core set after it's appearance in an expansion would not be reprinted. Additionally, cards "dropped" from the core set (i.e. dual lands) would not further be reprinted unless they were "moved" to a core expansion (i.e. Icy Manipulator went from Unlimited to Ice Age).


    That meant that pre-Chronicles cards not in Revised or 4Ed would not be reprinted. It was a way to tell collectors which cards would forever have a limited supply.

    Eventually, WotC realized it was doing more harm than good. So they announced - in advance - that starting with Masques block, no more cards would be reserved (Urza's Destiny would be the last set with cards going onto the reserved list). Ending the policy of adding to the RL did not end the promise made to collectors that cards during that time would not be reprinted. Obviously there have been revisions since then (mostly for C,U rarities).

    _________________
    V/R

    HK

    Hazezon Tamar - Manland theme
    Seshiro the Anointed - Snake Tribal
    Jedit Ojanen of Efrava - Cat and Warrior Dual Tribal
    Doran, the Seige Tower - Wall Tribal
    Progenitus - Hydra themed Proliferate Deck
    Karona, the False God - Backstabbing Hug


    Top
     Offline Profile  
     
     Post subject: Re: Writing a letter
    AgePosted: 2018-Aug-26 4:00 am 

    Joined: 2010-Mar-10 1:31 pm
    Age: Dragon
    Imageso basically it's pointless.... :roll: Image

    _________________
    onlainari wrote:
    trappedslider wrote:
    EDIT: so if i somehow manged to get down to 1 life,played Repay in Kind followed by Decree of Annihilation then it owuld be bad evil juju?

    That's not how magic works. You can't equate cards and situations linearly like that!


    Top
     Offline Profile  
     
     Post subject: Re: Writing a letter
    AgePosted: 2018-Aug-26 6:34 am 

    Joined: 2011-Feb-15 7:09 am
    Age: Drake
    Treamayne wrote:
    the company made a promise to collectors. It is still around because they will not break that promise.

    And this is curious since wall street thrives on breaking contracts, and a promise isn't even a contract. It's nice that they hold a promise, but I don't expect it to last indefinitely.


    Top
     Offline Profile  
     
     Post subject: Re: Writing a letter
    AgePosted: 2018-Aug-26 7:53 pm 
    User avatar

    Joined: 2017-Mar-11 6:43 am
    Age: Dragon
    Honestly, the reserved list is sortof inconsequential at this point.

    Like, even hypothetically speaking, relevant to this board; the RC could ban the entire Reserved List minus it's legendary-creatures (they wouldn't, this format is about doing cool things with your collectibles-) and honestly, the format would improve in a number of significant ways- while only laying waste to pet cards (so long, Deranged Hermit, you badass; and Phyrexian Negator, you sick puppy,) fastrocks and original duals (which most people can't afford for their EDH decks anyways.) Outright eliminating many of the most contentious things that have to be worked out among playgroups (like people playing gold bordered Gaea's Cradles because they need that delicious, delicious, munchkin power. Or just about anything related to Palinchron, or the dozens of older cards that are notorious for ruining games well before they get off the ground, or just create table frustration like Apocalypse;) and eliminating some 18(iirc?) cards from needing to be mention in the listed banlist (Rofellos being an exception- because banning Legendary creatures from the reserved list would be pretty upsetting. We do love our Phelddagrifs)

    Wizards has wisely chosen to just expand the game in other relevant areas- so most cards on the list are underwhelming, or just odd; with a few precious pet cards, and quite a few headaches. Magic changed, the list simply is what it is, and afaik, a great deal of the playerbase is content with that understanding- since most players don't even actually encounter cards on the list with any sort of frequency. Which is part of why it's hard to sell it being of any sort of detriment to the playerbase.

    _________________
    niheloim wrote:
    Wall of Chat. 2U
    Creature- Wall

    Defender
    Wall of chat exceeds at using a lot of words to mischaracterize opposing view points.

    Warp Riders (Ephara Solar Flare)


    Last edited by Mr Degradation on 2018-Aug-27 12:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

    Top
     Offline Profile  
     
     Post subject: Re: Writing a letter
    AgePosted: 2018-Aug-27 8:52 am 

    Joined: 2014-Sep-13 7:28 am
    Age: Elder Dragon
    OldVig wrote:
    Treamayne wrote:
    the company made a promise to collectors. It is still around because they will not break that promise.

    And this is curious since wall street thrives on breaking contracts, and a promise isn't even a contract. It's nice that they hold a promise, but I don't expect it to last indefinitely.

    The problem is that promises can be legally binding and backed by potential punitive measures. This one is. It's not 'just a promise', and a judge wouldn't say 'lol are you serious?'. They would face serious, drawn out, expensive litigation they would have to take very seriously.


    Top
     Offline Profile  
     
     Post subject: Re: Writing a letter
    AgePosted: 2018-Aug-27 8:56 am 
    User avatar

    Joined: 2016-Nov-27 2:39 pm
    Age: Dragon
    OldVig wrote:
    Treamayne wrote:
    the company made a promise to collectors. It is still around because they will not break that promise.

    And this is curious since wall street thrives on breaking contracts, and a promise isn't even a contract. It's nice that they hold a promise, but I don't expect it to last indefinitely.

    I don't think this is how Wall Street works. I also don't think that Hasbro's legal team, one known for being hypervigilant and extremely conservative and risk-averse, is going to take the view they should start behaving that way.

    If you want to request they remove the reserved list because it sucks for you as a player, you'll probably honestly get further just making that sincere request. It probably won't do anything either way, but at least you won't flip the bozo bit this way. Your original would do that by the time someone got halfway, and I daresay I'd trash it were it in my inbox.

    _________________
    Decks: Chaos colored dragons, Mathas, the Instigator (politics and mayhem).
    Beloved precons: Atraxa, Praetors' Voice; Saskia the Unyielding; Freyalise, Llanowar's Fury.


    Top
     Offline Profile  
     
     Post subject: Re: Writing a letter
    AgePosted: 2018-Aug-27 11:52 am 

    Joined: 2014-Sep-13 7:28 am
    Age: Elder Dragon
    spacemonaut wrote:
    I also don't think that Hasbro's legal team, one known for being hypervigilant and extremely conservative and risk-averse, is going to take the view they should start behaving that way.

    I'm amused when people say "The reserve list will go away. Just wait until (mtg, wotc, hasbro, the economy) has a bad quarter".

    Yea sure, because MTG is Hasbro's big earner and they will battle their consumer base over a bad quarter with a product that takes 2 years to put to shelves. :roll:


    Top
     Offline Profile  
     
    Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
    Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 45 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next

    All times are UTC - 7 hours


    Who is online

    Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 48 guests


    You cannot post new topics in this forum
    You cannot reply to topics in this forum
    You cannot edit your posts in this forum
    You cannot delete your posts in this forum

    Search for:
    Jump to: