MTG Arena has grown quite successfully since its first reveal in 2017. Building off of the 26-year-long history of Magic: The Gathering, the game had an instantly massive player base and a huge name brand from the get-go. On top of that, MTG Arena has something that its main competitor, Hearthstone, doesn’t: a decent economy. Being free-to-play in MTG Arena hasn’t felt bad (especially with all the free codes), and money felt like it went pretty far. At least, that was the case until now with the new Mastery Pass.
With the latest update for MTG Arena, the weekly rewards for winning 5, 10, and 15 games were removed. The new system dangles monetary rewards in front of users and demands daily play. Yikes! In order to get full rewards from this new system, a free-to-play player would have to complete their daily quests every 3 days or else risk losing out on precious XP and not being able to reach the maximum level (thereby not getting all rewards). The sick thing is, the rewards you get from this new system are almost the exact same as you would get from the old! You just have to jump through a lot more hoops and play a lot more often. No more getting your weekly rewards in one day!
This change alienates people who may not have time to play MTG Arena more than one day a week. Furthermore, if you decide to spend money on the full Mastery Pass, you also have to play consistently to get the rewards you paid for. Either way, it traps you. Play consistently, or don’t get rewards.
Wizards of the Coast saw the massive outburst from the community and responded with free MTG Arena codes and a statement about how XP isn’t capped, you just only get a certain amount per day. No changes to the greedy new system, no update on where they stand on it, nothing. Wizards of the Coast needs to understand something: free codes don’t make these MTG Arena changes okay.
WotC needs to get on top of this. Communication is key, and they’re giving us Blizzard-style radio silence treatment. Tomorrow is a Banned and Restricted Announcement, so they’ll hopefully take the time to update us on any changes to this new system while they’re announcing things. For now, we can only wait and see.
Make sure you check back in to see what they actually do reveal with tomorrow’s announcement.
I’m Brent, working in association with Daily Esports to cover Magic the Gathering and gaming news.