Dear Mr. Rosewater (1) – Answer
As you took the time to write such a well thought out letter, it only seems fair to send you a reply.
For starters, let me address the biggest misconception of your letter. My articles (“Fun Off, Parts I & II”) talking about fun was a face off of cards that different players thought was the “most fun card in all of Magic”. The discussion was not about what makes the game fun in general but about what players embrace as their favorite. Grizzly Bears is a huge part of what makes the game fun, but I highly doubt it is the “funnest card in the game” for many players. You are correct that the nuts and bolts of the game are the thing that makes Magic what it is. I have talked about this plenty, it just wasn’t exactly the topic of the article in question.
About alternate win conditions. Yes, I like them. In fact, our market research shows that many players like them. That is why we keep making them. Now, you are correct that there are right and wrong ways to make alt win cards. Anything that makes the game less interactive (be it alt win cards or anything else) is bad. Alt win conditions don’t necessarily have to be non-interactive. This is something we have room to improve upon and your criticism is something for R&D to take to heart.
The problem with your stew analogy is this. If we eliminated all the things that really upset some subset of the players, we’d have no cards. Magic is many things to many players and in order to give each of them enough of what they want so the game is what they’d like it to be, we have to include many different types of cards. This means that we have to try and include something for everyone knowing that lots of cards will be disliked by someone.
I hope that answers your issues for this letter. Thanks for taking the time to write.
In den nächsten Tagen werde ich meine Antwortmail formulieren.