GAME PLAY QUESTIONS
What is the release date?
A: We are targeting for a release in Spring 2002.
Can I be a part of the beta test? How?
A: Yes. Go to this page for more information.
What languages will the game be in?
A: We will launch in English in 2002 and will follow with additional languages. French, German, and Italian are projected within a year of release.
Which expansions will be available at launch?
A: All expansions from Invasion forward (an April release will have 7th Edition, Invasion, Planeshift, Apocalypse, Odyssey, and Torment. Torment is not currently available.)
Will card collation in booster packs be identical to the paper-based product?
A: Collation will be as close as possible. The mathematical equations will be the same, but real life production errors will not be duplicated.
Will there be premiums?
Will there be unique online cards?
Will the cards have a border color?
A: Yes, true to paper-based cards.
What play formats will Online support?
A: At launch: Duel, League, Draft, Sealed and Multiplayer.
What tournament and league formats will be offered at launch?
A: Constructed and a selection of sealed and draft tournaments. Leagues will be run with a variety of card selections.
Can I create my own Guild or Clan online?
Can I have a buddy list to see when my friends are online?
Do I have to be in Magic Online to see upcoming tournaments?
A: No, these will also be posted on wizards.com.
Can you form your own tournaments and leagues?
A: Yes, but these will be informal and have no bearing on your rankings.
How will trading work? Is it secure?
A: It is secure. Click on a person and select "trade." If they accept, you look through each other's cards marked as tradable. Propose trades; if both parties accept, the cards and trade go into a verification process for one day, then the cards are transferred.
How will selling work?
A: We do not facilitate selling aside from providing message boards, so this will work much like in paper-based (e-bay, credit card, checks, PayPal, CIBC, etc).
Will there be a chat function? Voice chat? What equipment do I need?
A: Chat, private chat, and blocks are built into the game. We are working on voice chat, but are not sure if it will be available at launch. The only special equipment you would need is a microphone for voice chat.
Will the program animate the combat? (Will I visually see what the cards are doing?)
A: It will not animate the combat, but you will see the cards in play, your hand, graveyard, etc., and see what cards are affecting what.
How many users can the program support? Total accounts, simultaneous?
A: Almost limitless. It all depends on the number of servers we have, and that is dependant on demand.
How do I know whom I am playing against?
A: Their names and profiles will be available to you. Just like with any other online experience, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the info they provide. The exception will be certain accounts we assign and designate as assigned by us.
Are there age requirements?
A: Yes. Legal restrictions and regulations.
Can I have an account if I am under 13?
A: Only if an adult sets it up for you and grants you access.
Can I be an Online judge?
A: Since the computer will handle all the aspects of judging, judges will not be needed. We will, however, need online guides for new players or questions.
Will the constraints of online card interactions affect offline card development?
A: Not in any noticeable way.
GAME PLAY QUESTIONS
Can I play against the computer?
A: No. Just like in paper-based Magic, you need another real player to have any sense of victory or defeat.
Will it enforce rules? Which rules?
A: Yes. Magic Online knows enforces all the comprehensive rules of Magic.
How do you prevent online play/tournament cheating?
A: Magic Online is being programmed as a Level 5 DCI judge. It will not allow illegal moves. Many other methods are being taken to insure tournaments and play are as cheat-free as possible (anti-flood, tournament player randomizations, etc.)
Will it keep stats (player, card, clan, etc.)?
A: Yes, you may even view some of your past games played.
If I have stats, do I level up? Gain better abilities?
A: No, but your avatar might change.
Will there be online ratings and rankings?
A: Yes. The online ratings/rankings are separate from the standard DCI, but are formatted and calculated the same.
What if someone drops from a tourney?
A: Just like in paper-based tournaments, they will be removed from the tournament lists and if we then have an uneven number of players, someone will get a bye.
What if someone gets disconnected during a tourney?
A: The game will be paused, but their "shot clock" will continue. They can reconnect and rejoin. (A shot clock is a function very similar to a chess clock, where each player gets a certain amount of play time to complete the game. Your clock only runs down when the computer is waiting for you to play/respond.)
How does shuffling work online? Can I "mana weave"? Is the shuffling random? Won't I get mana-screwed if it's completely random?
A: The shuffling is random, so you cannot stack your deck. As long as you build a good deck, you shouldn't get mana-screwed often.
If I don't own a card, how will I see what cards my opponent is playing? Are all the cards downloaded on my machine? How much disk space will that require?
A: All the cards are downloaded on your machine. The total required space is not yet set since the programming is not completed.
Can I forfeit a match? Can I concede? Will that affect my ratings? Can I mulligan?
A: Yes, yes, yes, just like in paper-based.
How will cards that let me go through my opponents deck/library/hand/graveyard work?
A: The computer will show you what cards you get to go through and then prompt you to the legal actions you can take.
Can I see a replay of my match? Can I watch other people play?
A: Yes and yes.
Can a friend and I save a match during play and return to finish it some other time?
Can I save my own matches to replay them later?
What are the technical requirements?
A: Windows 95, 98, 2000, NT (Service Pack 4), PII 333 or higher, 64 Megs of RAM.
Mouse, SVGA, High-Color (16bit).
4x CD ROM, minimum of 600 Megs of hard drive space.
Internet connection (minimum of 56k modem).
Will I have to buy upgrades when they come out?
A: No. Just by logging in you will automatically get all upgrades.
Can I create a macro to play for me (i.e., a "bot")?
Is this programmed in TCP/IP or UDP and why?
A: TCP/IP. After evaluating the pros and cons, this was chosen as the best method.
I heard that TCP/IP games create huge amounts of lag... Will this game slow to a halt with many players?
A: Magic Online will not have this problem due to the small amounts of animation involved.
Does this game run on a Mac? Linux? Windows 2000? Will it ever?
A: Linux and Windows 2000, yes. Mac, no. We might extend it to Mac if the demand is high enough.
How do you handle denial of service attacks? What if my opponent gets my IP address and then spams me to keep me from completing a match? What can I do?
A: We have built in systems to prevent this, from the simple added feature of "Block User" to internal safeguards.
What's a "digital object"?
A: Each digital card is unique with its own individual tracking number. Just like in real life, no two digital cards are the same. You own yours and we track its every move.
Where will D.O.'s be stored?
A: In our Database and Master Server.
How do I know no one will steal D.O.'s?
A: We have a secure Master Server with two separate layers of firewalls with every security measure taken to protect the digital objects and accounts. We also track and log every move of every D.O. every second.
What if your system crashes? Is my collection safe? What happens to the tourney in progress?
A: The back-up and redundant systems take over, but even if these fail, we have every detail recorded. As soon as the system comes back online everything goes right back to where it was.
Is Online going to be available on other platforms (i.e., console or handheld)?
A: Not at launch. At some point in the future, if there is enough demand, we might go into other platforms.
Can I access my account from any computer? Are there any drawbacks (decklists, etc.)?
A: You can access your account from any computer that has Magic Online installed. The only drawback in the server will only store a set amount of your decklists (currently five per account).
My friend said the he can hack the TCP/IP stream. Is this true?
A: We have many security systems in place to prevent hacking. If new methods evolve to hack the system, we will be very quick to adapt and overcome them.
What happens if you catch players hacking? Will you roll back the servers? Will I ever possibly lose my cards due to a server malfunction? What will happen when your server is eventually hacked or crashed?
A: If we ever have to roll back the servers, we will have detailed and redundant backup systems to guarantee you do not lose your cards or accounts.
Can I run my own Magic Online server?
Can I play this privately over a LAN?
A: It will still have to go through our server.