The booster boxes (36 individual packs for most sets) do have proprietary shrink wrap, not entirely sure why the prerelease kits don’t.
Wizards has also had some issues in the past with “box mapping”: packs and boxes are pseudo random. Cards are printed off sheets representing varying rarities and then allocated to packs: 1 rare or mythic, 3 uncommon and 11 commons. Those packs are then allocated into boxes. There have been sets where people have been able to work out in detail which pack will have a mythic card etc.
Buying loose packs has always been “riskier” than the full boxes. Some stores will do stuff to increase trust: sealed boxes on the shelves and when they open a new one they will shuffle the packs to avoid mapping, using new boxes for drafting (8 player “pod” pay and get 3 packs to build decks from).
I would not buy loose packs from an online vendor, and now it seems neither the prerelease boxes.
Crazy idea: put a QR code inside every booster pack. When you scan it and check it online, it tells you what cards came in your pack.
Open your pack at the store. If it’s not what was in the pack, return it right there.
There are still plenty of more casual players who “crack packs to see what they get”. And and most of people I know who are into the game are mostly interested in that, and only tangentially interested in the cash value of their cards.
The exceptions are one guy with a lot of disposible income. And a couple dudes into tourniment play. The people I know running casual drafts with friends and playing at the weekly meetup seldom buy specific cards. Only casually keep up on the latest sets. And play a wide variety of rule sets. When they do pay extra for a specific card its to fill out a particular deck designed by some one else, or to fuck with a particular person they play with.
They either keep the less useful cards, or more valuable cards they don’t use around for general casual play. (Lot of have the friends over, box draft, build decks from whats lying around stuff). Or sell them to a local shop or flea market type seller. Bulk sales for commons and lands when you can, selling specific cards if they have any value or demand. Because its not worth it to them to maximise oay out on the cards, or undertake the difficulty of salling them to a buyer themselves.
Tourniment play is a big thing, as is “investment” in the cards. But from casual associations with the magic crowd a lot of the sales go to those casual buyers, and their a fare bit of the feed stock to the single card sales. And their all more than happy with, and more interested in the “what’d you get” random aspects of the boosters. And we are talking about people in their 30’s and 40’s.
That is crazy, and a waste of resources. Also, shit is supposed to be semi-random.
If it’s randomized in the shuffle before packing but they know what cards are placed in the pack and there’s nothing outside identifying what’s packed inside it’s still random to the buyer.
Most players I know aren’t so much interested in the cash value of their cards, except 1) for recouping as much of the cost of their drafts as possible, and 2) as a way to fairly divide spoils during trades.
They are keenly interested, however, in not throwing money away. Commons are basically free (or literally trash). Uncommons and trash rares are cheap. The value of the cards is almost 100% in the rare. But most of the value of the pack is as a randomized unit of draft play. If you’re paying $15 for three packs, it always makes more sense to play a game and spin the wheel than it does to just spin the wheel and throw away a ton of unused cardboard.
Sure, you have the potential in each pack for a good card are worth a few times the price of the pack that contained them. But seeking a specific card out at random is crazy when the internet exists. Either you want, say, a mythic for a deck and you order it, or you don’t want it that badly and don’t chase it. I know guys who are always siting on ten or twenty unopened packs at a time, because until they can draft them it makes no sense to open them and flush that value down the drain.
Well thats sort of my point. The vast majority of people I meet who are into MTG. And lately its quite a few. Aren’t seeking out specific cards, except very rarely. And minimizing cost tends to come from buying fewer of them.
Unless you’re involved in competative play or stricter rule sets theres seldom any reason to buy a card. And when friends of mine who are into magic sell cards its mostly about clearing clutter.
So they’re all perfectly happy keeping their purchases in check and using whatever happens to pop out of a booster.
Neither are most d20s. “Life counter” dice are made exactly the same way.
A waste of resources.
A waste of resources.
Of games which are literally made of landfill-bound plastic packaging.
Sorry. That just caught me off-guard.
A further waste of resources to catalog every card in ever pack and print a corresponding QR code and maintain that database?
In for a penny, in for 25 bucks.
I play entirely with proxies. I print out the cards I want and sleeve them for play. I can make any deck I want for the cost of printer ink.
they let you do that for tournament play? I haven’t really played much in over 20 years (JFC I feel old now). Also the game just seemed over inflated with too many cards and just “too much”. Fallen empires was when the whole thing jumped the shark for myself. I think I liked it better when it was more generic fantasy and had less of it’s own developed world.
Yea, in the mid '90’s, after already having spent $100 or so, I realized that MtG was crack and got the fuck out.
I’ve developed a board game habit though that’s probably more expensive =/
You have no idea of the tech capabilities of these companies, do you? Check out the next game from Fantasy Flight… Key Forge. Your entire deck is procedurally-generated and semi-random. Each deck you buy is a unique deck with no other deck on Earth like it. You can go online and register your deck and guess what? They know all the cards in your random, procedurally generated deck. Easy and simple.
I mean random isn’t really random. As long as you have the seed and the algorithm it won’t be difficult to reconstruct the entire series. So yeah trivial. That being said I’m not sure how I feel about these random games they’re producing. Like one version may play well and another suck. Also I feel maybe they try to suck people into buying multiple copies.
This is pretty much why I quit as a kid; all the rich kids who played MtG had amazing, expensive decks and I realized that I’d never be able to compete.
The whole thing was just making me unhappy, so I dropped it and played other things.
But, in your board games, can you get an advantage by simply spending more money?
Nope. It’s still expensive though but I feel like it’s money better spent.