Friday, 2 September 2011

Through The Hellhole: Part 2

Good day to you fellow members of the blogosphere. Yes, I'm well aware I've been putting off making posts (again), but be assured that my reasons are justifiable. But we're not here to talk about the various mishaps that accumulate together to form my life.

As many of you have heard thanks to Allan's post, the Sanguide engine was more or less made redundant due to the finalized version of the exceed rulings. I will admit I did get a bit of a laugh knowing that people spent a ridiculous amount of money on a card that's only as good as the flimsy ruling that influences it. The biggest culprit of this is Konami, or rather their lack of communication with the player base. And that's the topic of today's post; communication.

As some of you may know, I recently started playing Magic: The Gathering (or MTG for short). I'm not going to hype Wizards of the Coast in this post, although they certainly deserve it. Instead I'm going to be critical of Konami, something that's not that hard to do given their history.

A good place to start is on their websites. I'll cut to the chase and get right to where the communication should be happening. To start with, Konami's articles for YGO:

Pardon my shrewdness, but the Konami articles reek of "buy our product". Occasionally they do post rulings, which is good that they're finally doing that, but for the most part their articles are just a few combos to try and sell product. No offense to the writers of those articles, of course. They just do what they're told to do.

Now let's compare with MTG:

A noticeable difference. WotC have a daily magazine which they update consistently. They're a lot more subtle than Konami too. Take this article, for example. Not only did they make the article flavorful, it was in depth and they also had the courtesy of making a few sample deck lists. If you noticed, there's also a contest at the end of the article. I've never known Konami to do the same. From time to time, they also do polls at the end of posts to get feedback.

If you're a pojoer, then you may not have noticed it, but all the cards mentioned are linked and if you hover above them, it will show an image and if you click it, it will go to their database for that card. That's right, they actually had the sense to make a card database. YGO players only have the Wikia to rely on, and the Wikia was created by players, not Konami.

For any of you who about how WotC approaches their ban list, you'll know that it trumps Konami's methods. With Konami, they do what they want. There isn't a shred of communication involved. Konami decides what they want to die and what they want to live and that's the end of it. Some people may say Heavy Storm's return was due to some players "demanding" it back. I'm inclined to disagree. HS being legal and MST at 3 stinks of promotion to me. Monsters are now able to hit the field with little to no opposition. No thought involved. Summon what you have and try to kill your opponent. But wait, didn't Konami just release a new type of monster that is really easy to summon? More than a coincidence I think. It's not the first time. Destiny Hero - Malicious and Allure of Darkness suddenly going to 3 on the September 2008 list probably had something to do with those cards with the wight frames, and possibly even something to do with getting rid of Upper Deck Entertainment.

I think it's a case of incompetence and greed at the same time, not a nice mix if I do say so myself. But I digress.

WotC rarely need to hit cards. They spend a lot more time and effort with their R&D department (which is a topic for another post). Sometimes they do make genuine unintentional mistakes, such as the Splintertwin combo (which is inconsistent anyway) or Jace the Mind Sculptor. And I'm sure most of you know what happened to Jace. He got banned. Unlike Konami, WotC didn't wait 6 months to do it either. They knew they had made a mistake and they took responsibility for it.

Does anybody remember X-Sabers? They were quite good for quite some time. Almost broken. They had hand-killing power (which was very good at the time if you weren't in the Infernity matchup), swarm power and loop power. Does anybody know what happened to them? The answer is nothing. Konami never hit them. Konami put off hitting them for so long that power creep killed them instead. XX-Saber Darksoul and/or XX-Saber Faultroll should have been hit on the September 2010 lists. One year later and they're all at 3. Arguably banning Rescue Cat and Cold Wave was a hit to them, but that's like saying banning Brain Control was a hit to Monarchs. Konami has this ridiculous rule that they never hit anything that doesn't exist in the OCG, and it's been destroying the TCG for years. The fact that they only do a ban list every 6 months just adds insult to injury. If they did them more frequently, we wouldn't have had to deal with Shi En for nearly 7 months.

Konami needs to pay more attention to their player base. And I don't mean the randoms on Pojo who are adamant that putting Torrential Tribute, Tribe-Infecting Virus and Magician of Faith at 3 will somehow make this format better, but the "pro" players who are actually there topping events consistently and know what they're talking about. If WotC, a considerably smaller company, can go the effort of not only acknowledging and discussing their top players, but also listens to them, then surely Konami can.

But I suppose Konami will be Konami...



  1. Actually Jace came out in Worldwake, which was released in Feb 2010, and it was banned starting June 29 2011, I think they announced it about a week prior to that. Even though it was basically the only good card out of that set, they probably sold a bunch of it just cuz of Jace. I love WotC and all but you're making it sound like they released it and banned it a week later; no, they waited almost a year and a half.

    Small tidbit aside, very insightful and all points are completely valid.

  2. very much true valafar I play MtG on the side now until i can build a deck lol.

  3. Very nice article. So true on all comparisons. It would be nice to see more YGO rulings articles or something similar.

  4. have you seen this?

    Maybe you can help fix their site =p

  5. @hiei_yasha: I wasn't aware of that. I only began to take interest recently.

    @jamvng: I wouldn't accept that position. I prefer to write on my own terms and say what I think than accept a bit of cash to market their products.