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Wizards of the Coast Details: MTG: Arena Economy

Today, Wizards of the Coast revealed a developer blog with information that many MTG players have been curious about: How is the Magic: the Gathering Arena economy going to work? They did outline that there will be no content requiring only real money (exempting perhaps some cosmetics somewhere down the line). MTG Arena is based on a simple idea: we want everyone to be able to experience Magic: The Gathering. We want to bring Magic‘s depth, its strategies, stories, creatures, and characters to the entire gaming world. It will have two currencies: Gold (Winning games, completing quests and in-game events give this) and Gems (real money currency).  Both can be used to unlock packs, events and other things. Gems are to expedite the process of collecting cards. Players can purchase gems during the Closed Beta. If you purchase gems during the Closed Beta and use those gems to purchase digital objects, they will be refunded to your account after each scheduled account wipe. We’ll let you know when an account wipe is coming.

Then there are a few basic ways you can get cards in MTG Arena—in booster packs, Draft packs, individual card rewards, Wildcards, and The Vault. Booster Packs contain eight cards (5 commons, 2 uncommon, 1 rare/mythic rare). Draft Packs will have 14 cards mirroring standard tabletop drafts (basic land has been taken out) and will also add those cards to your collection, as any card you draft will automatically be added. Individual cards are also going to be earnable through play. This is a system still being tested for where a match is won, players will receive one card for the game, up to 30 per day. Wildcards are special cards that can appear in the place of each card at any rarity. They have their own rarities, and you can redeem a Wildcard one-to-one for a card at that rarity level. The Vault is another new feature. Every time you open a booster, you earn progress toward unlocking The Vault. When you would collect a fifth copy (or more) of a card, you earn vault progress instead of adding that card to your collection. We are testing the rewards you can earn each time you open The Vault. We will start by awarding a number of Wildcards. We’ll likely change the exact mix over time and during testing to get the balance correct and keep things exciting.

Their goal is to make the players valuable time as fun as possible. So they have a few principles of the game to put into action:

  • Front-Loaded Rewards: In Closed Beta, we’re trying out a daily session where most of the rewards come in the first hour or two. While you can always play as long as you’d like, we wanted to make sure that even people with limited time can have fun and feel like they are being rewarded. For example, we’re testing a system where the first win of the day gives you your biggest single-game gold reward.
  • Daily . . . or Not: Playing every day is a great way to keep MTG Arena fresh and fun, all while maximizing rewards. Each day brings a new quest that varies in difficulty and reward, and each day you can cycle out one quest for another. Play every day to maximize your first wins, or play a couple times a week to save up quests. Since quests don’t always require wins, they are a great way to earn gold just for playing.
  • When You Want to Play More: Of course, sometimes, you just want to keep playing. And we wanted to make sure we supported that. So, we’re testing out a system of rewards based on total wins in a week. As you win two, five, and ten games over the course of a week, you can earn Wildcards. Stack this with a couple daily quests and individual card rewards, and you’ll have an amazing 3- or 4-hour session set up.

Now that you know your time will be well spent, let’s talk about the second principle of MTG Arena‘s economy: Players need a variety of cards to have the most fun, so reward them with as many as possible. One of Magic‘s unique strengths is its depth, and that depth comes directly from the vast variety of cards we create each year. The countless combinations this provides have let designers and players alike create rules variants and even entirely new games. We want to make sure players have lots of cards so that we can take advantage of this breadth as the game grows.

  • Cards on Wins: We’re currently testing a system that gives you a card on every win up to your 30th win each day. Each card has a chance of being any card in Standard, at any rarity.
  • Boosters Per Week: Boosters are classic Magic. In Closed Beta, we’re testing rewarding players with the opportunity to earn three to four free boosters a week. Depending on how you want to play, this could be a booster every couple days, or a couple boosters in one super day of play.
  • Keeper Draft: You add all the cards you draft to your collection in MTG Arena. To enter, you use currency (instead of boosters). Add the rewards for winning to that, and you have one of the best ways to earn cards in the game.
  • Where’s the Dust?: If we had used a traditional dusting system, it would have limited our ability to be as generous with card rewards. In addition, we simply didn’t want players to need to constantly evaluate what to destroy. We wanted a path for players to complete their collections.

It’s not too late to sign up (here), and the dev blog will be linked below.

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