Requesting lower cost alternatives to leagues

PettDan

New member
I had a discussion with another MTGO player and it turned out both of us found leagues prohibitively expensive to enter.

If I go to the LGS, local game store, and play a 4 round Legacy tournament, that usually costs the equivalent of about 3-5 tickets. I'm not sure why MTGO needs to be more expensive. A digital solution that doesn't need to pay for a large store area in a central location in a heavily populated area, and paying for a judge, should be able to compete in price, I'd like to think. And by keeping the cost relatively high, you are unfortunately preventing players from joining.

Personally, I use MTGO mostly for brewing purposes and haven't actually played a league yet, after spending about 800-900 tickets on cards, and I just find it unattractive to pay to play when I expect to lose a lot. I think if you could find a way to enable cheaper playing experiences that could help enable more play on this platform, by a lot. One of the people I discussed with lives in a country where salaries are much lower, and that makes the issue much worse for them than for me.

There are many ways this could be implemented. One way is to lower the cost of playing in leagues and lowering the wins proportionally. Another way is to have for example 1 ticket games and keeping a record of win/loss percentages per player and season or a total number of wins.

So, I just wanted to put this thought forward to you. I understand that it's a complicated issue to start lowering prices, since you will self-cannibalize on the main leagues. But I think by avoiding this alternative you are limiting the platform's potential growth. By reducing financial barriers to entry you will grow the player base and it will benefit the platform in the end, if well implemented. This will need a lot of tweaking, probably.

To further discuss potential tweaking, I think the lower cost alternative could have slightly worse payoff. Then you can compensate by increasing the payoff for the more competitive leagues. That way, the lower cost tournament or playing alternative is supporting the higher cost tournaments, making them relatively attractive for competitive players. Also, you could tone down the competitive aspects of the lower cost tournaments, by for example not publishing leader boards and not sharing decklists etc. I think a ranking system could still be used to give the players some feedback on their playing. Attention for their results is a main value for MtG players, and by limiting it for the low-level competitive tournaments you are also making sure the high-level competitive tournaments stay relevant. I think this way, the low-cost leagues or single games would be a good alternative to the free playing which is of very varied quality (I enjoy it, but there is a lot of variation in quality of decks, my own included).

Thank you for reading!
 
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42en

Member
I second the idea of a new friendly league with reduced entry, flatter pay-out and maybe even only 3 rounds. I like to play janky decks from time to time, but at 10 tix the incentive to enter a league with such a deck just isn‘t there.

Maybe fire on demand 8 mans could be a thing?
 
Personally, I find the league fees and payouts acceptable, although there was a time when I wish that they were cheaper.

One issue with creating multiple leagues/more event types is that it divides the player pool and makes it harder to find matches or diverse matches.

Have you tried the Tournament Practice or Open Play options? Those seem like great ways to play competitive matches for free and to test decks.

The prize payouts are pretty generous in Leagues - you pay $10 and if you win (5-0), you get $35, 4-1 you make $15, 3-2 you get $3 and 2-3 you get half your money back.

If you can find a way to win slightly more than 50% of your matches, leagues are profitable. If you are looking to test or play fun decks, leagues will probably cost you money, although you have the open and tournament practice rooms if you are looking for free play.
 

PettDan

New member
Personally, I find the league fees and payouts acceptable, although there was a time when I wish that they were cheaper.

One issue with creating multiple leagues/more event types is that it divides the player pool and makes it harder to find matches or diverse matches.

Have you tried the Tournament Practice or Open Play options? Those seem like great ways to play competitive matches for free and to test decks.

The prize payouts are pretty generous in Leagues - you pay $10 and if you win (5-0), you get $35, 4-1 you make $15, 3-2 you get $3 and 2-3 you get half your money back.

If you can find a way to win slightly more than 50% of your matches, leagues are profitable. If you are looking to test or play fun decks, leagues will probably cost you money, although you have the open and tournament practice rooms if you are looking for free play.
Thanks for your suggestions!

Yes, dividing the player pool will be an issue. And only testing will tell if it might grow the player base in the end. But for me, I'm pretty sure it would. Also, there is a fair chance that there will be more fun decks in the low cost league, and that might further encourage people to play it. But, it's complicated and only testing will show, just putting this out there for Daybreak Games to be aware of players' thoughts.

Yes, I've only played tournament practice so far. I tend to build new decks before I figure out if a list is worth paying to play or not in the leagues. I expect my lists, in their untweaked versions, will usually have a winrate around 30-40% so it's not tempting to start paying for that, at the moment. But I probably will at some point. If I can stick to a list long enough.
 

PettDan

New member
I second the idea of a new friendly league with reduced entry, flatter pay-out and maybe even only 3 rounds. I like to play janky decks from time to time, but at 10 tix the incentive to enter a league with such a deck just isn‘t there.

Maybe fire on demand 8 mans could be a thing?
Good to hear, thanks for your support!
 
Thanks for your suggestions!

Yes, dividing the player pool will be an issue. And only testing will tell if it might grow the player base in the end. But for me, I'm pretty sure it would. Also, there is a fair chance that there will be more fun decks in the low cost league, and that might further encourage people to play it. But, it's complicated and only testing will show, just putting this out there for Daybreak Games to be aware of players' thoughts.
Thank you for your feedback!

One fear I have is that "good" players will crowd the lower-priced leagues just to rack up wins against "fun" decks. Leagues are already less competitive than Preliminaries, the weekly Challenges, and the Showcase Challenges. I play against lots of "fun" decks in the current Leagues.
 

PettDan

New member
Thank you for your feedback!

One fear I have is that "good" players will crowd the lower-priced leagues just to rack up wins against "fun" decks. Leagues are already less competitive than Preliminaries, the weekly Challenges, and the Showcase Challenges. I play against lots of "fun" decks in the current Leagues.
But that's already happening, right? I mentioned an example of that, but I don't have the full picture of how MTGO tends to work. I think acknowledging that there is a problem shouldn't be a reason to not act to try to reduce the problem.

Additionally, I think there is a logical twist here.

That type of behaviour is part of what one would be trying to get away from by introducing another level of tournaments. By reducing prize-payout, one would counteract this harvesting happening. And remember, the lower-price tournaments would only be attractive for this type of harvesting, or whatever it should be called, if competition is actually lower in it. Which means it already successfully introduced a less competitive environment. So, the problem you describe should only exist if we partly solved the problem. If competition is the same, these players would prefer the higher payout tournaments.

But again, it is hard to predict how things will work.
 
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