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Duels of the Planeswalkers 2014: This Game Needs a Patch!

29 August 2013 2 Comments

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I will telecast my punch for this article by saying I think you should buy this game if you love magic the gathering, even with its flaws it will still give you hundreds of hours of enjoyment for the amount of money you invested into it. But with that said, and  with the love a long time disciple, be prepared to be a little disenchanted with this new edition. By now you have already purchased it or your still holding out for a sale, and so this might be a little of speaking to the choir.

Duel of the Planeswalkers. Now in its fourth incarnation of the highly successful franchise, and while some mourn the loss of the previous year’s decks and game modes there was hope for new game modes. Sealed deck was the hope this year to be a game changer and real reason to pick up this new version.

One of the biggest long standing complaints about this series is wouldn’t it be great if you could somehow build all the previous year’s cards and play all the decks against each other. Although that dream has been put on hold, Stainless Steel has given you a patronage reward to unlock one of your decks for free if you have owned the previous edition of magic. Sadly this was trumped with the unlocking of all the new additional cards from conventions which coincidentally unlocked the decks for you anyway. I guess you can’t blame them for trying.

My main gripe is that the more they make these games the less user friendly they become. When building previous editions you would think Stainless Steel would be building upon its improvements and success and making a superior game. In the cause of Duel of the Planswalkers 2014 it as if all previous knowledge has been forgotten with the ancients, as they set out to build a new wheel from scratch each time.   This version has one of the worst interfaces for the game lobby out of all of them, it is often unclear or poorly marked what you’re doing and your indicator of choices is only a slight change in color enhancement.

The new main interface practically impossible to use with two people. In order to take turns looking at your deck manager with a buddy you have to completely back out of the game and restart it if your friend wants to change anything to his Jace deck, and never mind the limited options for formats if you want to play with your friend in the same room. Basically two heading giant non-ranked, this is it!

The one questions I have is why do the makers of Duels of the Planeswalkers insist on making the same mistakes over and over? Not all decks are created equal. Game play is bugging, the every present server lag is still a major problem, and don’t even get me started on how cheap the green Annihilator deck can be compared to other decks.

Going into Sealed deck was a huge source of excitement for me, but once again Stainless gets it wrong. First disappointment is that I have most of the same rares show up in my decks. Totally boring to think out of three decks that I have jinxed idols in all three of them. There isn’t much card diversity to make the decks all that interesting. Basically everyone is playing the same deck with varying degrees of numbers of the same cards. The second problem is the format. Basically the most fun you can have playing is the campaign to get your last three disappointing boosters only to find you’re best rare is in the weakest color of your set. The majority of these cards are limited to seal play and not many of them show up in the regular decks. This is a  reminders that they might have cheated some of these cards from the main game to fill the ranks of sealed. Some of the slivers that show up in sealed play make you wish you had in your main playable deck,  are a reminder that your sliver deck the main game is incomplete. Once you’re done with Campaign in sealed format you’re only allowed to play two person free for all for no reward for all eternity. This totally leaves you thinking can I have my old Planeworlds back?

Bugs, Bugs and more bugs did I mention this new version has more bugs then my dog, but really this program does not run smoothly and needs a patch to correct some of the many card and playability problems. Some cards jumping back onto the battlefield and some of your abilities lost if you happen to push the wrong button. I get a sense that this was rushed to the market and we can only hope that soon and very soon they bring out a patch. It wasn’t even playable on some Sony Play Stations on release. At this point of the article they have made some unannounced changes cause game play has been enhanced but there is a long ways to go before they sleep.

Now here where is where you might think I am totally crazy but I still highly recommend it! Yes with all its faults for the paltry sum of ten bucks it is still worth the privilege of walking down trials and excitement that this game provides. Highly addictive and will be a game you will easily play for the next year unless you simply burn out from playing it too much. As you can tell most of my complaints are coming from someone that is a true believer that envisions that potential utopia of Magicdom.  

I wish they had an option to pay a buck and redo your sealed packs because mine are really horrible crock. I want to have the game unlock one random card for formatted seal game play for at least 30 more cards. I want my best friend to come over and not get hassled if he wants to change his deck in between matches of tow headed giant, and yes at the same time play Two Headed Giant rank with my buddy on the same game console. Why did they ever change the new waiting room too the current one is horrible and beyond my thinking, you can’t tell what is highlighted and several people have to click not ready when they are ready for the game to work.  All the numbers for showing life and cards are far too small. Yes I could go on but the problem is I keep playing because it is so fun and I am always left wanting more.

Yes they did get a few things right. The way the game plays for wait times and how the game runs has greatly improved. The individual card graphics that come to life on rares is totally awesome. The design and game effects are equally exciting in their own unique way.

My last and final wish is I hope if they continue with this series they learn from their mistakes. This is something that is taught to all of us all throughout our educated lives and you wonder why a Game company making Millions of dollars can’t do the same.

If you think I am wrong or want to leave your gripe submit to the comments down below!

Kevin Wenzel
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2 Comments »

  • Trueflight said:

    I can’t recommend this game in good conscience to anyone. 2013 was, by far a much better game in every aspect. Even 2012 with all its flaws is better. I have owned every game in the series and this is the only one that I regretted purchasing. The allure of the seaked gametype just is not enough to overcome all of the complete screw ups over the last version of the game.

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  • Kevin Wenzel (author) said:

    I have already played this game so much that I have payed pennies for my entertainment dollar. I notice that that have quietly been fixing and patching flaws with no announcement to do so.

    Yes I agree the older games seemed to be better and the newer ones are more commercial for their newest set of cards being released, but it still manages to be fun. I love two decks Ajani and the Dimir and play them most fervently on rank play.

    I agree that sealed deck play was a tease, but doesn’t hold up for enjoyment and has become a waste of one’s time. I can recommend this game, but if they continue to make things worse instead of better I don’t know how long I can do so.

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