So over the weekend, MTGO managed to crash and burn around 2 premier tournaments - the MOCS (magic online championship series) and a PTQ. In the MOCS, Brian Kibler was 7-0 when the crash occurred and couldn't log back in afterwards leading to him getting dropped from the event, and he was not happy.
He wrote an article called the Magic Online Championship Series should NOT exist
on his blog which has gotten attention and blew up on twitter, reddit and other places. Couple of quotes from it:
Make-up events and product compensation completely overlook the fact that people value their time. And I donít just mean that in a monetary sense. Iím not a lawyer looking to clock billable hours, but I am a busy person with a lot of demands on my time. I chose to play in the MOCS because of the potential to win, and I made sacrifices to do so. Not only did I spend nine hours playing in the event itself, but I missed out on other things I could have spent my weekend doing, like going to BlizzCon and visiting with friends who I havenít seen in years (where, by the way, they had a Hearthstone Invitational Tournament that drew an enthusiastic live crowd and 100K concurrent viewers on Twitch Ė and it didnít crash).
And comparing it to other notable competative online games:
Let me tell you a story about another game. I play a lot of League of Legends. Iím not very good, but I enjoy it, and I enjoy watching top players compete in tournaments streamed live. Last year, I got tickets to attend the playoffs leading up to the World Championships in Los Angeles. I was excited to see the best teams in the world battle it out. Unfortunately, it pretty much didnít happen. The League of Legends client was designed to be played online, and intermittent problems with the internet at the venue caused multiple games to crash in unrecoverable states, several of which were in the very late stages and close to a conclusion. They were unable to finish even a single match Ė between powerhouse teams CLG.EU and World Elite Ė before the venue was set to close, and they had to call the event off without a resolution.
What did Riot (the company that makes League of Legends) do? Well, not only did they refund the ticket prices for every single attendee who came to watch the event and give all of them game currency and merchandise worth much more than anyone paid simply as an act of goodwill, but they also *RECODED THEIR GAME* to run on a local server so they would never have these kind of problems again. Oh, and they did it in the course of *THREE DAYS*.
Riot was founded in 2006. League of Legends was released in 2009. Magic Online has been out since 2002. I understand that there is a difference between a video game company and a paper game company that happens to produce a video game, but the difference in responses is outrageous.
How does Magic Online not have the ability to recover a tournament in the event of a crash? Why is the state of an event not saved after every round? Why isnít there a way to restore an event from these saved states? If you could restore a tournament from a saved state at the beginning of a round, at worst youíd have people lose the results of a single match if they happened to finish before a crash occurred, instead of having every single person in the tournament lose all of the time they invested. Iíve seen DCI Reporter crash at a paper event and the judges scrambled to reconstruct the event from the records they had saved. Why canít Magic Online do that?
We've all known that MODO was a crap program since basically it's inception, but now that some online TCG competition is beginning to appear, one hopes Hasbro/WotC will finally get their collective heads out of their asses on this sham of a product. I also hope the folks at Hex at paying attention to the follies of a game company trying to be a computer game company without getting experts involved with a useful budget.