Monday, January 3, 2011

Should Forge Have Crappy Cards?

I don’t have any grand topics to talk about. Nothing about world conquest or how I’m coding a secret, underground Magic Online clone which is going to be based in Russia. (The Russian mafia is paying me in rubles, so I’m doing ok.) Today I’m going to just mention some random thoughts that don’t fit anywhere else.
Forge has almost 10,000 cards which is unbelievable, I remember getting to 1,500 cards and thinking, “I don’t know how to add any more cards.” Magic has (roughly) 16,000 cards in existence. I know that the new cards get the most attention but some of the older cards are fun also. Some older cards are game winners and I enjoyed abusing unique cards like Land Tax and Armageddon.

Since Forge has so many cards, this also brings up a thought that I had awhile ago, “Should Forge have crappy cards?” The short answer is yes. Without crappy cards (paying 2W for a 2/1) you couldn’t enjoy powerhouses (paying 1W for a flying 2/2).

Every set has a few “underachievers”. Bad cards are a real part of Magic and I have enjoyed using a variety of sub-par cards while questing. Many of those cards are uniquely suited for restricted formats. My new personal catch phrase is “crappy cards are fun to use.” (Disclaimer: It is easier to use cheaper bad cards that cost 3 or less, versus expensive crappy cards which are over-costed.)

If Forge only had great cards, the game would be unbalanced because every card would be too powerful. It would be like trying to eat a 100 foot long Twinkie. Twinkies are good but sometimes less is more. (Kudos to Ghostbusters for the random Twinkie analogy.)

Since I’m talking about the number of cards in Forge, I need to really give a big shout-out to the programmers. Those guys work themselves to the bone so that we can have shiny, new cards to use. The developers don’t get enough credit. (Quiz: What is a great way to show appreciation without money?)

On a side note, I started the Forge project but I don’t currently contribute to it. I blame burnout but I’m probably just getting lazy :)

There are no crappy cards, just crappy players,

--I’m only joking about creating a Magic Online clone. The exchange rate of rubles to dollars is horrible.

--Open source can work miracles. Even though “open sourcing” a project means that anybody on the whole planet can contribute, most of the time people just aren’t interested. I have no idea what makes a good open source project but I’m glad that Forge has attracted many dedicated programmers. (One small contributing factor is that Forge is a game, versus a random utility, and games are inherently fun.)

--Here are the current developers of Forge and I greatly appreciate their work.

Chris H
Friar Sol
Jeff Wadsworth
Rob Cashwalker

--Miscellaneous Innistrad token.

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