[UPDATE] Recent decision-making on the Wizards flagship and a severe lack of communication leave the Magic Online community bewildered once again.
Apparently, Wizards’ policy of not sharing deck lists with the public goes way back. It would be unthinkable now but back then, Mark Rosewater explains in a three-year-old article (thanks Alphi), “the deck lists for both the 1994 and 1995 World Championships finalists, for example, were not shared with the public at the time.”
Wizards even went so far as to not reveal the card text and even rarity of the cards either. Nothing should stand in the way of discovery, “a key component of the game.”
Only much later, with the emergence of the Pro Tour in 1996, Wizards realized that “sharing information, not withholding it, was a key part of building the community and metagame.”
I guess Wizards now changed their minds again, re-embracing prehistoric, ill-fated policies.
Just a few weeks ago resourceful Magic Online players have found out, almost by ways of statistical investigation, that Wizards gradually stopped posting all the deck lists from their officially sanctioned events on the What’s Happening page; and the few ones that did get posted came out wrong, with the card count not adding up or with other issues.
Inquiries by the players on the official forums have let to no response on Wizards’ part for almost over a week — until recently, when community manager Sean responded, saying that the wealth of data from such events “leads to solving constructed formats far too efficiently, resulting in early stagnation that’s not fun for anybody.”
According to Sean, Wizards made the “conscious decision” to only “provide the winning deck lists from all Premier Event top-8’s,” and, on top of that, he continues, “the 4-0 and 3-1 deck lists for one completed Daily Event in each format per day.” But is that really enough for the competitive player?
This decision and the severe lack of communication on Wizards part did, understandably, not bode well with the players, leading to a huge uproar in the community.
The only question now is what other drastic, behind-the-scenes changes will be next in store for us to find out about. Being a Wizards customer for their digital products apparently remains as exciting as ever…