Magic Market Index for Feb 8th, 2018
 
Magic Market Index for Feb 1st, 2018
 
Magic Market Index for Dec 28th, 2018
  • posted a message on No more MSRP
    Quote from user_938036 »
    While their specialty products have had low MSRPs that no one would ever be able to actually buy the product at, such as FTV being $35 but you could usually find it at $60+.


    The MSRP on those kinds of products isn't really meant to be followed, though. Both Wizards and LGSes know that specialty releases like FTV are just meant as giveaways to stores, barring some of the really godawful FTV releases they've had.

    The main fear currently is Amazon forcing through some kind of contract to buy significantly more product at significantly lower prices, which would allow them to undersell most other online sellers killing them.


    It'd be funny if this was a result of Amazon's 2016 acquisition of Curse, LLC (the company that owns this site, among others) by way of its Twitch ownership. The fact that Curse was unceremoniously dumped on Wikia, Inc should tell you how that one wound up going, but the corporate process is always slow and that'd make for a hilarious delayed effect.

    Or it could just be Amazon being the Walmart of the digital world (abuse the supply chain to keep costs low while pretending that you're doing good for consumers) and trying to set things up in a marketplace they probably don't understand very well. Either or.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Bought LP Beta, got a signed one.
    But, you were not buying a card that was signed and graded. You were buying a card at LP condition that did not mention it is signed. The card itself may very well be LP, but if it is signed, I think the vendor needs to notate that somehow.


    Ultimately it's just capitalistic market forces at work. Stores know that signed cards are harder to move normally than non-signed cards, so they'll slip in something like "non-NM/M cards include signed cards if we feel like it unless you specifically request otherwise" into their terms of service. It's a bad-faith move that gets the store a little bit of profit but I've seen enough desperate moves from stores to move stock (Tiny Leaders and Frontier weren't real formats, for example, just ways for stores to move old stock, which is why they died horribly after the stores got their sales in, on top of being *****ty formats) to know what's going on there.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Bought LP Beta, got a signed one.
    I've never really understood the idea by getting an artist to sign it as "damaged." It's not like it fully kills the card to the point of structural integrity.


    I'd consider a sleeve legal (or even non-sleeve legal) card with something like a food stain to be damaged as well. Fundamentally the signature is just a pen mark on the card—I could have a sharpie laying around uncapped on the table, accidentally have its tip hit the card, and it would be more or less the same thing from the standpoint of what's actually being done to the card. The fact that the artist (or in some cases the designer, like the Mark Rosewater signed Maros of the world) doesn't really change that reality for a lot of people. I say this as someone who's fought with stores that have given me signed cards I never asked for just because I ordered the lower graded version before.

    And really, how often are you going to find a signed Beta card? I'd feel lucky, honestly.


    I don't have a tremendous number of Beta cards (I did pick up some Lightning Bolts back when they were like $40, which is the most expensive it's gotten, and I'd be even more picky if it was like duals or something) but in my case at least I want a clean aesthetic on it, not someone's signature. If I ordered, say, some lightly played Beta cards from SCG and got signed ones, I would absolutely send them an e-mail about it asking for a free replacement, because they might as well have sent me cards that were noticeably creased or stained.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on as a female player the new art style females is getting really annoying
    Quote from Cainsson »
    When you put a prefix on a word like justice, any prefix, it squarely isn't justice anymore.


    That's factually incorrect. There are various valid adjectives that you can use to describe justice. A deeper understanding of what justice is, what it entails, and the forms it can take is important for being able to put a real life context on justice, since real life is almost never as clear-cut as fiction.

    Liliana manipulating other men to mob Garruk is exactly as realistic as Garruk shoving her against a rock.


    Women are disproportionately highly affected by domestic violence compared to men.

    Seriously, one in four women are affected by the same sort of violence that you see Garruk about to visit on Liliana. It's a serious problem in society and you're trying to downplay that fact with comparisons to things that simply don't happen in real life to any statistically significant degree. "Women manipulates a bunch of men to attack another man" isn't in the same ballpark as severe domestic violence. It's not even in the same league. Or the same sport.

    So let's be sincere and admit the problem with ToF isn't the depiction of realistic violence, but the fact that it`s easily exploitable by clickbait politickers who keep shoving their propaganda into every aspect of culture.


    "Things are only harmful if we let them be harmful" is the sort of thing said only by people who haven't been on the receiving end of anything seriously damaging. Is clickbait a problem? Sure. But your argument is willfully losing the forest for the trees, and that's unacceptable given the real-life parallels at play here.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on GP attendance
    So if we had a TCG where the official sanction was to let people use their own rules and cards from different games like a card-based Calvinball or something (because kitchen table Magic doesn't count for you, only officially sanctioned tournaments apparently do, ignoring that Magic didn't have sanctioned tournaments when it first came out), then the cards would have some kind of intrinsic economic value that Magic cards don't?

    That argument is utterly, irrevocably vacuous from the standpoint of economics and finance. It betrays an ignorance of both subjects and comes across like saying "evolution is only a theory" in a discussion about biology, because such people also refuse to accept that certain terms (in this example, "theory") have academic definitions that don't line up with the lay definition, and attempting to override the academic definition with the lay definition is extraordinarily disingenuous.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on GP attendance
    Wizards and the DCI can't tell you how to play Magic outside of sanctioned events. Your kitchen table does not care about Magic tournament rules.

    A venue that you want to play your guitar at is perfectly fine to turn you away if they don't like the music you're playing. They don't have to give you a space if they don't want to. But your living room does not care about what you play.

    You're willfully framing things with different sets of standards.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on What is the relation between the second hand economy and the primary economy on MTGO? And how to best support WOTC? (2)
    Yeah. The difference between the two cases:

    1) Buying $100 worth of cards with Paypal (or even 100 preexisting tickets): Nothing new enters the economy. Cards simply move around.

    2) Buying $100 worth of cards with 100 fresh tickets: 100 new tickets enter the economy, so Wizards gets its cut of those.

    If you look at it from the standpoint of "is anything new being created?" then the nature of each transaction becomes clear.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on GP attendance
    You can use Magic cards however you want. Some people use basic lands and junk commons for things like birdcage lining. You could burn them for heat, as well, I suppose. Ultimately you're not saying "Magic cards are worthless" so much as "cardboard is worthless because it's a material and not a finished good" which doesn't make sense financially, economically, or logically.

    You're picking and choosing facts to support a predetermined conclusion. That's a fairly disingenuous approach to take here.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on GP attendance
    Cards "value" is not regulated at all, and the value of said cards is extremely artificial.


    This is literally, absolutely everything in a market economy, so your argument doesn't seem to have much point to it. Would you mind explaining how cards are a special case in economic theory?
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on GP attendance
    Physical cards have actually no value , the value is artificial by the 2ndary market (and can change, crash and explode at any point, as its not really regulated at all, especially not by the cards producers).

    ...

    You never lose money by buying a booster pack, you always get the cards ; which happen to have a value on the 2ndary market


    If the market value of the things you open from the pack is less than the cost of the pack, then the overwhelmingly large consensus in any sort of financial discussion would be that it's accurate to say you lost money on it (the money gained from realizing the market value being less than the money lost by buying the pack). Lower of cost or net realizable value is a fundamental method of asset valuation in accounting. It's like if you buy shares in a company and then the share value takes a nosedive. Only it's Tarmogoyf instead of Business Co. Ltd. and there are fewer restrictions on the buying and selling of Tarmogoyf cards.

    Trying to go against academic consensus is fine, but the consensus is what it is for a reason so there's a large burden of proof to be had when challenging it. Otherwise it's counterproductive to the discussion to introduce contradictory concepts as inherently true, because it impairs the quality of the discussion that can be had owing to needing to spend more time on basic concepts than observable reality.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on What is the relation between the second hand economy and the primary economy on MTGO? And how to best support WOTC? (2)
    Quote from furball404 »
    What is the relation between the second hand economy and the primary economy on MTGO?


    It's the same as in paper, except with much, much lower transaction costs. Cards enter the economy largely through Limited players dumping their cards to recoup value after events, so much like paper, there are very few non-promo cards that enter the market without Wizards taking a cut somewhere along the line. If you spend $100 on 100 tickets' worth of cards (I know the exact exchange rate isn't 1:1 but we'll pretend it is for this example), then those are cards that Wizards has already taken their cut for. Inflation is kept under control because tickets are taxed out of the economy for their secondary purpose: entry into events. Cards only really leave the economy through redemption or from players quitting.

    Also, tickets in the economy were similarly paid for at one point. If you order from a major bot chain with Paypal or another external means of payment, then sure, Wizards doesn't really get any new cut compared to buying tickets from the store (instead of from secondhand sellers undercutting Wizards) and trading them to the bots. But the key thing to remember here is that everything that exists in MTGO represents something Wizards has already taken its cut for.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on GP attendance
    I think it really all depends on whether or not the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is as committed to investigating physical loot boxes


    As long as moneyed interests can lobby the government, we're not going to see restrictions on digital loot boxes, let alone long-established things like trading card packs (which have cultural relevance due to things like baseball cards, and TCGs just piggyback off that nostalgic zeitgeist). Companies like EA are not going to give up their cash cows lightly, and it won't take much money being siphoned to the current FTC (the one that opposes net neutrality, so you know they don't care about the public interest) to get them to ignore the problem.

    I think Wizards of the Coast / Hasbro lost sight of that by trying to break that niche with their recent push for e-Sports with Arena.


    It's genuinely hard to tell ahead of time what will stick and what won't. Everyone makes fun of Blockbuster for getting pushed out of the market by Redbox, Netflix, and others, but at the same time, everyone's making fun of Wizards (and at least one company in the Magic fandom) for pushing the new digital option.

    Now, I'm not going to pretend that physical trading cards are at all like tapes and discs, but it's at least fair to say that having a robust digital option available to complement the physical option is a good idea for Wizards. The problem is that they'd be better served by fixing up MTGO, not pushing Arena, but as I've said before, Arena is something non-Magic-playing corporate types "understand" more than MTGO, and actually playing the game is beneath most of the higher-ranking decision-makers.

    I am, however, very glad that MTGS resisted the temptation to include Arena in its front page articles, videos, streams, casts, and other such content. That's the sort of move that promotes the physical game over the new monetization structure. I always considered Arena outside my mandate back when I was content manager for this site (MTGO was not, but Arena just targets a different audience than Magic traditionally does) and the current administration is continuing to follow in my lead.

    "Physical" loot-boxes in the form of booster packs are pretty much proven over time to not be a problem.


    Well, no, that's the is-ought fallacy speaking. Physical "loot boxes" like trading card packs have exactly the same problems as digital loot boxes. Being forced to try your luck because you want a specific rookie card and don't want to pay a hugely inflated market price for it has existed as long as the collectibles market for sports cards. Magic simply adds a functional game aspect to the equation (there's no reason a card like Surgical Extraction should command the price it does, other than it being released in relatively small numbers and even then only infrequently).

    There are games where you can buy the product and have all the cards needed to play. Magic intentionally eschews this model in favour of something that makes customers have to spend more to get what they want. It's ultimately an issue of capitalism encouraging predatory behaviour, but the relevant part here is that booster packs directly work to obstruct players from getting complete sets of cards in the interest of making Wizards (and later Hasbro) more money. Draft (and Sealed for that matter) can easily be done with cube packs, so that doesn't justify randomized sealed packs from the manufacturer.

    Booster packs are not really aggressively promoted


    There are multiple formats that expect you to buy boosters merely to play them, and boosters are an extremely common form of prize support for sanctioned and unsanctioned tournaments. How are they not being aggressively promoted? Because there's a secondary market? Cards only really enter the market through opened product (discounting specific promos and the like but those aren't going to be enough to build your decks for you).
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on GP attendance
    Trust me, I used to think that way too... then I listened to some corporate bull***** about why Arena should be a certain company's priority (not Hasbro or Wizards) because those non-Magic-playing decision makers "understand" Arena better since it fits into a better known business model. It's very easy to see some decision-maker at Hasbro pushing Wizards a certain direction because they too want to go with something they "understand" even if it's complete nonsense. There's a very clear disconnect between the people at Wizards who care about the game and genuinely want it to grow and the people who sign their paychecks, who just treat Magic as another product in a portfolio.

    The lootbox issue is certainly something to consider in terms of analyzing the market (I even had plans to write a Magic Market Index about it back before I was blackballed in a rather Jim Sterling-ish manner, so I'm drawing on my preliminary notes for that to make this point), but it's not really something that's going to affect Hasbro even in the near to mid future. Countries like Belgium might be moving to regulate lootboxes, but the odds of America following suit within even the next 5-10 years are vanishingly small. Magic is more likely to die a natural death than to see itself get caught up in lootbox regulations. And that's not my typical bearish approach to the Magic market speaking. Functional legislation to limit online gambling through such means as lootboxes, gacha, and other predatory practices will have to be pioneered by another entity, probably the EU. Just look at how inept American legislation surrounding online casinos is if you want to see how much of a non-threat legislation is to lootboxes and especially to Magic.

    But when the inevitable recession does wind up hitting (economically speaking it's a matter of "when" instead of "if"), triple-digit GP entry fees with no EV unless you luck out or start with byes are going to look mighty unattractive to all but the most dedicated of grinders. That'll make for an easy corporate decision to throw them out along with other things that don't fit a non-Magic-player's idea of what the future of Magic is.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on GP attendance
    The problem is that if a business wants to maintain a good reputation, then it should be providing consistent quality right up until the cancellation date. Dropping GP quality when they're on the way out is not a way to inspire confidence in the future.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on GP attendance
    Agreed. It is one of the lamest aspects of Pro Magic.

    It's what you get when you want to force a more or less static "pro community" but also don't want to change your competitive events not to rely so much on variance. Something like a 60% game win rate is considered to be pro-level play in Magic, but if you propagate that over a large event... it's still not enough to ensure at least some of the usual faces are always at the top.

    So they figure, hey, give up to three free wins to those players to "even" it out, while at the same time denying such opportunities to the average player (winning a GPT used to get you three byes but they cut it down to two because... I guess they just don't want to admit the system is horribly broken). Combine that slap in the face with the fact that costs are spiraling out of control, in addition to the declining quality of GP coverage, I'd say Wizards either needs to implement some kind of price control or just get rid of GPs entirely. Maybe do more PTs if they want to showcase the pros so much. But the main event of a GP will sure as **** never be worth it for most players as long as Wizards' priorities are so skewed.
    Posted in: Magic General
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