Forward added by Hogan on 10-13-00
It is interesting to note in hindsight that all of the rumors I talk about were indeed true with the exception of number 3.
It is also interesting that with the exception of the trample rules I feel all of the changes that were made in the 6th edition rule book were for the better of Magic the Gathering. While it seemed when I wrote this that they were trying to dumb down Magic (which may have been their goal) the 6th edition rules have actually made the game harder to play and do aid the experienced player more than the old rules. (Gotta love that stack). Cheers WOTC for doing a good job.
If these rumors about 6th edition are true please read this message: 1. No more interrupts. 2. No more Damage Prevention Phase. 3. No more Mana Pool. 4. Tapped artifacts will function normally. If these rumors are false, ignore this message and please accept my humble apology for sending the message. WOTC is not in a unique position with their MtG game product. Other companies have been in a similar situation (TSR, White Wolf, Steve Jackson Games, etc.) WOTC should learn from their mistakes and WOTC's own mistakes and not make the same ones again. The position I am talking about is having a unique and wonderful product and in an attempt to profit monger and "expand" the market they kill the product. Let me recap the history of Magic as I see it (and as it relates to these issues). First an amazing product is created, this is followed by some ok expansions and then by some "less than great" expansions. Interest in magic starts to wane. WOTC sees this problem and calls in the best game designers they have to design a new "Cycle". Tempest is the result. Garfield, Rosewater and others did AMAZING work on Tempest and Rath cycle. Rath cycle is, in my opinion, probably the best designed game product ever. It is without peer in terms of balance and strategic options in Sealed, Draft and Constructed play. It was a great year for magic. Urza's Saga seems a let down after Tempest - but then almost anything would. I still did not think this would have a big impact on people's interest in the game... US has enough to keep people playing and the type two environment still contains Rath cycle. However, if you start to make the game "dumber" by simplifying the rules in the hopes of "attracting" more interest you are going to get into big trouble. The moronic new trample rule is an example of how changing the rules to make them simpler rules the game. Trample is now one of the least useful of the creature abilities. It used to be quiet useful in some strategic situations. As it is, the lack of strategic possibilities in US (as compared to Tempest) has me a little discouraged. Recently I have not been feeling not as excited about playing Magic. I normally play Magic for entertainment. In a typical week I would play 2 sealed deck events and possibly a draft (this translates into $35-$50 in sales). But, because of the "flatness" of the US in sealed deck play I have not been as excited about playing and have been considering other options. I know it does not matter much what I as one person think... but consider this analogy: different types of people play Chess then play Checkers.... if you change Magic from Chess to Checkers you will lose your market. If you don't want your current market then go ahead - but at least know what you are doing. Portal already exists. Portal by itself is not fun because it is boring. Don't make magic boring in the hopes that the people who say "it is to hard to play" will suddenly become interested. There are lots of things for those people to do... let them do those things. Don't take away the stuff we as Magic players enjoy because you want those people to play Magic. You already have us playing magic. Let us play magic the way Garfield designed it. He did a good job. Thanks for your time, Hogan Long.