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Card Slinger J

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Everything posted by Card Slinger J

  1. The Games We Play

    TCG's in the west are a lot closer to becoming what came of the American Arcade during the turn of the new millennium. It was once a place where you could prove your skills to others much like the LGS but when online gaming started to become a thing with eSports, Post-Millennial's already jumped on the bandwagon while Generation X and Millennial's got left behind. Digital is the biggest reason why the cost of Print Media has gone up over the last few years where companies are either forced to lower the quality of their products or raise their prices while some companies choose to lower print quality because it's the only way for them to compete against Digital Media without going out of business. This doesn't effect countries outside the U.S. where companies are able to accommodate the price increase without having to sacrifice quality. This explains why the card stock quality for Japanese TCG's are much higher than that of American TCG's where they're either forced to sell faulty products that warrants a class action lawsuit or by making their products too expensive to purchase without sacrificing quality.
  2. The Games We Play

    The only time I ever game anymore nowadays is when I try to get a few EDH/Commander games in at the LGS's I go to, most of my friends who used to play Vanguard have already moved on to DBS at another LGS that I haven't been to yet. I don't play video games as much as I used to anymore yet I do feel as though today's society is constantly pressuring me to go back into that kind of gaming experience that's less rewarding in exchange for Trading Card Games / Collectible Card Games which felt more rewarding. So in a sense Trading Card Games / Collectible Card Games were unintentionally designed to take advantage of LGS owners and staff at the expense of the players' own satisfaction. I think a lot of players who have already embraced the idea of going full digital have already drawn that conclusion. Someone once told me that If there isn't a difference between an AI and a real player to you then that says a lot about your social life. At the end of the day it all boils down to one's sense of immersion and how they perceive it compared to other players. Only difference now is that today's society isn't giving us much of a choice due to prioritizing convenience above all else because that's where current market trends seem to be heading toward whether we like it or not. Video Games were something that I was once passionate about since childhood but looking back on it now compared to the current state of the industry today I feel that it's become too mainstream for it's own good. It's gotten to a point where players are willing to except it as the only form of gaming because society tells them that it's the only option available.
  3. At least someone here understands the downside of going full digital over playing at an LGS for those who still have the privilege of going to an LGS. I'd rather not derail this topic any further so I'll just leave it at that.
  4. You didn't say anything was toxic it just seemed like one of the reasons why some players avoid going to an LGS but not the only reason. For those who no longer have access to an LGS such as yourself it's understandable but for those that still have that access should still take advantage of it while they can. The reason why there aren't as many LGS's open within a 40+ minute drive is mainly due to competition, the risks involved, as well as difficulty competing against online retailers. There has to be a viable solution. I apologize If I came off being an asshole earlier, it's just that when it comes to the sustainability of Trading Card Games/Collectible Card Games overall that it's important for the LGS to provide the kind of experience that you don't get from playing with friends online. A lot of people don't see it that way anymore and perhaps I'm behind the times to see the real picture that younger generations don't have same/similar interests as you and I because they weren't given the same/similar gaming privileges that we've grown accustomed to.
  5. Why are you trying to reinforce the "I'm going to boycott my LGS because said community is toxic" mentality when not everyone wants to sit at home and play video games online? I get it you feel guilty taking up table space from tournament organizers to host events for said TCG/CCG while finding it tedious to go through the hassle of a 40+ minute drive to get from point A to point B. In other words you're basically saying that there's no point in playing TCG/CCG's anymore because LGS's have already given up against online retailers. What's the point of protecting a hobby If there's no incentive to play at an LGS? I just don't see how anyone can hold an online tournament and expect it to do as well as an LGS tournament.
  6. Net Neutrality 2017

    So here's what's been going on since last month, President Trump's appointed Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai, a former lawyer from Verizon, announced a vote on a plan to end Net Neutrality on November 22nd, the day before Thanksgiving. Millions of Americans have spoke out against this plan, but the Federal Communications Commission, under the sway of corporations like Comcast, AT&T, Time Warner, and Verizon, are moving forward nonetheless. Republicans have been pushing to end Net Neutrality for years with SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act), and PIPA (Protect IP Act) because the only thing they care about is control and money. The corporations that want to take complete control of the web and dismantle Net Neutrality are the same people that finance the campaigns of climate deniers and sell advertisements to fossil-fuel polluters. Now it's up to Congress to vote on the fate of the Internet later this week, but unlike the Obama Administration which had a Democratic Majority in both the House and the Senate now has a Republican Majority under the Trump Administration who are expected to vote in favor against Net Neutrality since they have more seats in Congress than Democrats. The more seats you have in your party the more votes to pass legislation. The real reason why Republicans are doing this now is because they know Democrats are going to win back Congress in the 2018 Midterm Elections before Trump gets impeached and removed from office. They know Democrats are against dismantling the Internet, so they're doing everything they can to give big cash handouts to Cable Companies who are wanting to go back to the way things were before we had Internet. The Internet has been killing store retailers in favor of more online deliveries through e-commerce, automation, and recent advancements in artificial intelligence instead of manufacturing jobs and physical labor. I urge everyone here to spread the word and sign this online petition before it's too late: https://savethenetfromtrump.com/?source=chv https://www.battleforthenet.com/
  7. Net Neutrality 2017

    The FCC only appealed Net Neutrality by a 3-2 vote so it hasn't been taken into effect yet unless it's also approved by Congress. With a Republican majority in both the House and Senate I'd say it's very unlikely they'll turn it down since there won't be enough Democratic votes to turn down the FCC's appeal on Net Neutrality. Even If we somehow manage to win Republicans are still going to keep trying to repeal Net Neutrality until they get their way. Strydder's right though, you can't make change by just signing a petition and expect something to happen. Last time I voted in a U.S. Election I voted against both Hillary and Trump. Now I plan to vote against Republicans in the upcoming 2018 Midterm Elections.
  8. The biggest problem with Trading Card Games / Collectible Card Games nowadays is due to oversaturation of product getting released that ends up creating wallet fatigue for players who are struggling to keep up. More players are opening up their own local game stores to compete against others with better competitive pricing, while the online / singles market continues to make it more difficult for local game stores to make money off of sealed product. The long term outlook of the consumer base is in question here since younger players don't have as much of a desire to get into Trading Card Games / Collectible Card Games like the previous generation did in the early 2000's. Older players on the other hand don't have as much time to play Trading Card Games / Collectible Card Games anymore and with the lack of new blood from younger players to keep the gaming genre going eventually the market is going to shrink. I think we're already starting to see that happen with the push for "Digital Card Games" like Hearthstone and Shadowverse where a lot of gaming companies nowadays are trying to push this false narrative that "Digital Card Games" aren't Video Games when they're the exact same thing. It doesn't offer the same experience you get from playing a Physical Trading Card Game / Collectible Card Game at your local game store. Did you know that over the last 3 years, MTG has lost over 40% of it's player base compared to Yu-Gi-Oh! which lost over 35% of it's player base recently? In MTG, player attendance for both Standard and Modern have plummeted since it's become financially impossible to build a consistent tournament deck without getting financially hurt from card/deck bannings that make or break the format(s) for them. EDH/Commander has been found as a cheap and affordable replacement but ultimately offers nothing for competitive players due to it's nature of being a casual format first and foremost. Yu-Gi-Oh! has gotten to a point where you literally win on the 1st or 2nd turn without your opponent getting a turn or a chance to respond. As for Bushiroad's Trading Card Games / Collectible Card Games there's already a separate thread to discuss them so I won't get into too much detail about what the current state of the meta is and where they're going. Most of the players at my locals who used to play BuddyFight have pretty much already moved onto Dragon Ball Super CCG. Final Fantasy TCG I rarely see played at my locals with only a few friends of mine that play it at other local game stores that hold events. Pokémon TCG I've pretty much been on hiatus so feel free to fill me in on it. Tell me what you guys think.
  9. Are Trading Card Games / Collectible Card Games Dying?

    Wizards of the Coast / Hasbro doesn't understand that their current design philosophy for Standard is only catering to casuals who play EDH/Commander. MTG is suffering because of it since they can't turn a profit off of tournament legal sets unless they make money off of the Reserved List. Yu-Gi-Oh! doesn't have a list of cards to hold and preserve their value like MTG does because they aren't exempt from being reprinted in a functionally identical form. Pokémon TCG sort of had it's own Reprint Policy for awhile dating back to when Wizards of the Coast was in charge before Pokémon Company International took over in 2003 with Base Set 1st Edition Charizard being akin to a ABU Black Lotus in MTG. Most other Trading Card Games / Collectible Card Games don't have an actual Reprint Policy like MTG has with the Reserved List because they can't afford it. For those that do usually don't last long due to how crowded the Trading Card Game / Collectible Card Game Market is. Digital Card Games are already taking the mantle whether we like it or not because to these companies they feel as though that they can make more of a profit due to the lower overhead. The potential growth of digital product far exceeds anything in paper. Does that mean it's the only path forward in order for these companies to adapt to an evolving market? Of course not but at the end of the day it's what's in the companies best interest, not ours. Local game stores are already proving to be an issue for a lot of these companies to the point where they don't want to have anything to do with them anymore. Paper Magic makes up only 35% of Wizards of the Coast/Hasbro's total revenue of MTG compared to MTGO which apparently is more successful, not to mention that the supporting infrastructure for Paper Magic is at an all time low due to the low print quality of products. Nobody likes the DCI number system since it only exists as a way to police and dox players rather than truly reward them. This seems pretty obvious given that they require DCI numbers for players playing at sanctioned events while pulling back any kind of rewards or incentives. If they push into digital they can force every player onto the DCI system since you'd need it to play MTG Arena just like MTGO. Trading Card Games / Collectible Card Game companies seem to be going the way of big box retailers and the digital market, hoping that local game stores will stay open via tournament attendance and what few product lines they're getting exclusively. R&D head designer Mark Rosewater is one of the few people at Wizards of the Coast/Hasbro whose keeping Paper Magic alive right now. If the sexual harassment allegations forcing his resignation end up becoming true then that'd be the death knell for Paper Magic as we know it. Most of the senior staff members that have been working with him since 2000 have probably already left by now. Wizards of the Coast/Hasbro recently hired a former Microsoft intern in 2016 as their new president whose very persistent on pushing digital over paper by default. Him and the former president have been wanting to get rid of the Pro Tour for years now. They don't want competitive MTG players being the face of the game anymore with all the recent cheating allegations going on when the 5 color Planeswalker mascots gives the company a more positive image in order to silence their critics. This Microsoft intern now has more leeway to focus primarily on MTG Arena because it's easier to create an ecosystem that focuses on elements they can control rather than what they're unable to.
  10. Are Trading Card Games / Collectible Card Games Dying?

    That's still just as bad as filing a lawsuit against a gaming company in federal court as it only slows the process rather than hastening it. I honestly don't see how Wizards of the Coast / Hasbro are going to be able to come back from all this and expect consumers to keep buying MTG products. The trust has been lost and they need to find a way to earn it back. How do they earn it back? By expanding the Reserved List. They have to at this point because it would help bring back consumer confidence by eliminating wallet fatigue with booster boxes actually being worth value for players and collectors who buy MTG products. It makes no sense to reprint high value cards into oblivion until they're worth nothing unless there's a change with their reprint policies. Except whose pushing a political agenda here, Christine or Jeremy? EIther way I still think what Jeremy did was wrong and you can debate whether or not his lifetime ban by Wizards of the Coast / Hasbro was warranted. There are no winners here and I think it's unfortunate that this happened to people who were diehard fans of MTG regardless of their gender or sexual orientation, it doesn't help the company in the long run and it certainly doesn't help those who are already affected by all of this.
  11. Are Trading Card Games / Collectible Card Games Dying?

    Teach them a lesson as in suing the companies in federal court by putting them out of business through class action lawsuits? A lot of times when this happens the companies always tend to win because the people or entities that sue them don't have as much money to hire the kind of lawyers, attorneys, and prosecutors to help win these types of cases for them let alone a grand jury. That all might change. Both Blizzard Entertainment and Konami at one point sued Upper Deck and forced them to drop out of TCG's/CCG's entirely. Last year a group of MTG Judges had the financial backing to almost put Wizards of the Coast / Hasbro out of business for not getting paid to judge at MTG events, yet the case was dismissed with no verdict. Now we're starting to hear more sexual harassment claims from a Level 3 MTG Judge including R&D head designer Mark Rosewater himself and while there's been proof from the MTG Judge there hasn't been any proof as to whether or not the allegations are true from Rosewater's accuser. Why are we starting to hear more about this? Because of the drama that took place between Jeremy from UnsleevedMedia/MTGHeadquarters/TheQuartering on YouTube and Christine Sprankle a famous MTG cosplayer and player who was humiliated through cyberbullying and sexual harassment to the point where she ultimately quit MTG. As an end result Wizards of the Coast / Hasbro completely terminated his DCI account including Travis Woo from Travis Wizard on YouTube though his case I believe was a minor offense. Christine Sprankle has every right to sue Jeremy for what he did to her though I'm not sure If she's going to go through with taking the case to federal court. Meanwhile Jeremy is trying to get back at Wizards of the Coast / Hasbro for terminating his DCI account with no appeal due to a possible overreach of power by a corporation. If Jeremy wins his lawsuit against Wizards of the Coast / Hasbro then they'd be forced to discontinue MTG through a class action lawsuit.
  12. Are Trading Card Games / Collectible Card Games Dying?

    Pokémon TCG stopped being fun for me when Stage 1 and Stage 2 decks were no longer competitive with the constant push for Basics/EX's in an effort to oversaturate more product with Full Arts/Tin Promos. It was one of the main reasons why I got into Cardfight!! Vanguard 6 years ago during the precipice of a mass exodus of Yu-Gi-Oh! players jumping into Vanguard as well as MTG. It was also at a time in which those same former Yu-Gi-Oh! players that got into MTG were likely the majority of that 40% demographic who quit the game entirely due to the barrier of entry for both Standard and Modern. I personally don't know If Pokémon TCG has gotten any better since Roaring Skies and Ancient Origins, as I haven't really competed in any serious Standard/Modified event since running a Stage 2 Blaziken deck that got curb stomped by Basic EX's due to the Rare Candy nerf and more Item Lock from Vileplume and Seismitoad EX. Afterwards I've basically borrowed decks from friends of mine in order to play in League Challenges which was pretty fun at the time but was nothing like what Battle Roads was back in the day when we had a much larger player attendance. The Diamond/Pearl/Platinum and HeartGold/SoulSilver eras were really the height of the game's success IMO. So no I don't see Pokémon TCG as the potential savior of Trading Card Games / Collectible Card Games simply because Pokémon Company International was as out of touch as Wizards of the Coast / Hasbro are with MTG right now. I think this is more of an issue in regards to corporate greed that's gotten in the way with echo chambers being created through social media outlets causing a disconnect of direct communication between companies and consumers. These companies aren't looking into reading message board forums like they used to and that's a major problem.
  13. Are Trading Card Games / Collectible Card Games Dying?

    Back in the late 70's and early 80's Atari was doing exactly what Wizards of the Coast / Hasbro is currently doing with MTG today by constantly oversaturating product into oblivion in much the same way Atari kept releasing tons of shovelware into oblivion that affected the overall quality of the gaming merchandise they were selling. With consumers complaining about the lack of high quality video games made by Atari at the time it eventually led to the North American Video Game Crash of 1983 that propelled Nintendo into what it is today. Fast forward to 2017. We're already seeing similarities between what happened in the Video Game Industry back then to what's going on right now within the Trading Card Game / Collectible Card Game Industry. History is repeating itself only this time without a savior to help guide the Trading Card Game / Collectible Card Game Industry along like what Nintendo did for the Video Game Industry back in the early 80's. Without a savior to turn to the Trading Card Game / Collectible Card Game Industry is destined to fail where as when it came to Nintendo they were in the right place at the right time. So the likelihood of a Trading Card Game / Collectible Card Game Market Crash in the near future is very possible. In this case it would involve a crash within the Bulk Market where consumers sell off all their cards from booster box openings to their local game stores only to keep all the valuable cards they've pulled for themselves. Most businesses will buy your card collections and then sell them for the lowest price point because with larger print quantity the more they absorb risk. So the question in regards to this is whether or not If there's a shrink in the Buyer Pool that's leading to the potential rise of counterfeit cards and low card stock quality. In other words it's siphoning out cash flow from licensed product which ends up hurting local game stores and brick and mortal only venues in the long run. The question then becomes what can local game stores including brick and mortar only venues do to adapt to this situation before they lose out to local and online retailers for good? What were seeing now with current MTG sets is that collectors are actually making less money off the game than the players who lack the leverage to generate wealth for distributors and the company manufacturing the actual product. To collectors, it's Reserved List or bust.
  14. Are Trading Card Games / Collectible Card Games Dying?

    Magic might not be around to bring in the money but it's absence within the Secondary Market will likely create a domino effect among it's competitors by sending the wrong message to companies like Konami, Bushiroad, Force of Will Co., Pokémon Company International, etc. that it's acceptable to condone the kind of behavior that Wizards of the Coast / Hasbro has been getting away with in recent years with Magic. Konami is no stranger to this either since they've been getting away with mismanaging Yu-Gi-Oh! years before Wizards of the Coast / Hasbro thought it was a good idea to do the same with Magic. As for your last point, wishlists have done nothing for local game stores to help consumers obtain product that's either out of stock or out of print to help these stores turn a profit over purchasing online singles.
  15. Are Trading Card Games / Collectible Card Games Dying?

    I wouldn't be so sure given the massive hole that Wizards of the Coast / Hasbro recently dug Magic into. It's literally gotten to a point now where the company would rather silence their critics who are speaking truth to power through suspending or deleting players' DCI accounts as a means of protecting their image instead of selling a product. With the way things are going right now, it won't be too long before the company is faced with a class action lawsuit that will ultimately force them to discontinue the game and it's competitors in the Secondary Market. What you're looking at is a doomsday scenario in which every Trading Card Game / Collectible Card Game product will no longer have any monetary value at all. With nobody being able to sell off their decks/collections they're left with nothing but useless pieces of cardboard. Local game stores including "brick and mortar" would be forced to go out of business with no place to play, nobody to hold any sanctioned events, as well as more distrust between companies and consumers.
  16. Are Trading Card Games / Collectible Card Games Dying?

    I don't necessarily think that Trading Card Games / Collectible Card Games are a terrible business model when nobody foresaw the kind of impact it would have within the digital age as the "trading" aspect of the gaming genre has already lost it's meaning in favor of purchasing card singles online while the "collectible" aspect hasn't. Wizards of the Coast / Hasbro knows that If MTG fails so does every other Trading Card Game / Collectible Card Game currently in circulation right now as they're the bedrock of the industry in much the same way Nintendo is within the Video Game Industry. Most local game stores make the majority of their revenue off of MTG compared to other Trading Card Games / Collectible Card Games because it sells more product off shelves and without them there would be no place left to play let alone host or sanction events. It'd be like the rapid decline of Amusement Arcades in the late 90's and early to mid 2000's due to next-gen consoles. It's almost as If gaming culture itself nowadays doesn't want us to actively socialize with anyone out in public anymore because technology has made us more anti-social by being stuck in our own echo chambers while giving off the illusion that it isn't.
  17. What's everyone looking forward to in gaming?

    EDH/Commander is the only reason why I still continue to play MTG to this day. Luckily for me I have a healthy playgroup to enjoy the format with at my locals where players aren't racing to combo out first before their opponents but I've seen it happen before with Breya, Etherium Shaper and Arcum Dagsson. I recently got O-Kagachi, Vengeful Kami close to being completely proxy free with the playtesting results improving bit by bit. Still need a way to get around Kozilek, the Great Distortion though since anything I cast gets countered. I'd also like to try to find room to fit in both Cavern of Souls and Boseiju, Who Shelters All though it won't be easy.
  18. What's everyone looking forward to in gaming?

    Trading Card Games / Collectible Card Games: Doing my best to support my local game store community in the hopes that Magic: The Gathering doesn't die from Wizards of the Coast / Hasbro's incompetence along with all the other Trading Card Games / Collectible Card Games I still currently play aside from Magic including Cardfight!! Vanguard, Dragon Ball Super, PanZ/FanZ, and Final Fantasy TCG. Video Games: Still waiting to see If Nintendo / Game Freak will announce Pokémon Bank for Nintendo Switch once Gen 8 gets released after Ultra Sun and Moon on the 3DS though I'll probably end up getting it anyway just for the Move Tutors like I did with Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. Other than that I haven't really been gaming all that much except for watching Let's Plays on YouTube to pass the time here and there. Board Games: Recently tried Boss Monster while coming to the conclusion that it's too luck based. Had fun playing Lords of Waterdeep and Monty Python Fluxx though.