Magic Legends’ business model: lockboxes, classes, and seasonal passes

    
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Leg ends

Everyone knows that Cryptic’s business models for its MMOs have been both loved and loathed by many, so we should expect that same community division over the reveal of Magic Legends’ free-to-play structure.

We’ll start with the freebies: All players will be able to access a base set of classes and all playable content for free. They’ll also be able to collect spell shards to build up their card library and access a free seasonal “Battle Pass” track to earn extra rewards.

So how’s Cryptic going to make money? Lockboxes, lockboxes, and more lockboxes — or as the studio calls them here, “booster packs.” Aww, it’s so adorable you almost don’t want to call it what it really is. Through these random prize packs, players can pay for a chance to get spells, artifacts, and exclusive classes (although Cryptic quickly points out that these classes are not more powerful vertically, just more flexible horizontally).

The studio’s also going to outright sell new specially themed classes, convenience items (“loadout slots, deck slots, XP boosts, and other items that assist with leveling”), and a paid Battle Pass track with even more rewards.

Source: Magic Legends. Thanks, Winterskorn!
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Ben Stone

More flexible horizontally will quickly prove to be more powerful vertically.

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Raidervc

I heard from someone in the alpha the game just wasn’t fun in the first place. Considering *I* didn’t sign an NDA, seems like sharing this would be important. Who makes an ARPG with no loot? Now they’re essentially selling one of the only meaningful loot structures via loot boxes. Selling new classes? Oh cool, glad they’re launching with…four? Five? Supposedly this is a F2P game, so beyond getting past the entrance, what exactly ongoing content will be “free?”

They should probably try to make a fun game before going out and making a predatory monetization scheme like this.

Man, screw Perfect World. Screw Cryptic. Wizards should cancel the game.

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Yaner

(I expected some grubby behavior being Cryptic and a MTG game, but damn this takes the cake)
Dev1: “So how should we monetize the game? Lootcrates, season pass, or classes?”
Dev2: “… why not all 3?”
Dev1:

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Pepperzine
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Pepperzine

Garbage.

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Arktouros

I mean to be fair the Magic the Gathering card game was one of the original predatory style business models that lock boxes took inspiration from. I remember many, many (oh God I’m so old) years ago when I worked in restaurants in my early 20’s people would literally get paid, cash their check and spend it all on buying boxes of Magic cards hoping for rares and otherwise then basically sneaking food from the restaurant to survive.

That said it’s a Cryptic game. You knew the monetization was going to be horrible. This game was always going to be a pass because of it. I already have an ARPG with $40+ costumes and lockboxes and predatory inventory systems and Path of Exile does a pretty good job all things considered, thanks.

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Greaterdivinity

Seems pretty standard on the monetization front from Cryptic. Packs = RNG lockboxes, and also…well…MTG packs. We can still buy shit via RMT as is traditional in their games. Other stuff is fairly standard too.

Not seeing anything outrageous, and while I imagine it won’t be particularly generous it seems reasonably fair on a high-level look. We’ll learn more once folks start testing and seeing how it plays out, but for now this remains on my low-key radar.

Still miffed the big next-gen MMO seems to have turned into a less unique online ARPG, but oh well.

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Java Jawa

I can get behind buying expansions but outright classes , hard pass for me.

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Zuldar

Well, this game is DoA. Hate to say it, but I saw this coming. I’m just glad they told us early so I can stop caring about this game.

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cursedseishi

Oh hey…! I guess they heard us talking about them literally just using the entire battle system as an excuse to monetize every aspect of it like actual trading cards and…

Monetized it like actual trading cards. And that includes treating the classes… like the Planeswalkers in the TCG. As for their ‘guarantee’ about them? I seem to remember something about classes and maxing them out rewarding you and…

“Traits are more than a boost, they’re a crucial part of the player’s loadout. A clever combination of traits, artifacts, and spells can create devastating synergies and bring home the power fantasy of being a planeswalker,”

Yeah. They were bragging about all the ‘classes’ the game will have, if I remember correctly. They certainly do it in the linked post. It doesn’t matter if the classes themselves are overpowered, the major point will be that unlockable Trait you get out of that particular class you can add to another. The one that is supposedly unique from other traits.

Card games are already notorious with Flavor-of-the-month decks hinging on specific cards. Now combine that with all the extraneous bull they are putting down here as ways of getting (and missing out on) classes.

And especially in game that I believe is still promoting PvP, those XP boosts aren’t all that great either. If a certain composition starts dominating in card games, that tends to encourage others to try and get hold of the necessary cards as well which drives spending. And in much the same way, if a recently released class has a exceedingly mandatory trait for a build that is crushing PvP? There’s going to be a subset who push to obtain and max the class out as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, anyone casually playing who might have to contend with them if they decide to poke in? Yeah, it shoves them right out. That’s what burned me out of playing in tournaments in Magic, even though I liked playing with other people. When you’re growing up you don’t have the option to ‘buy’ the specific cards, and booster packs are a gamble on getting what you need. If you get paired with other casual players who don’t have that ‘daddy is a yacht’ money or ‘every step is a gold coin’ luck? It’s fun. But the second you do get stuck against a FoM deck? You get crushed.

The battlepass is just them being greedy lil’ pooptossers and wanting to double-dip on monetization. It’s a footnote, both there and on my rant (apologies btw if you read this far) sure. But they’ve essentially sold me on not playing this game by smearing it on my foot… note. Cause it’s a footno-…

Like I stepped in… you get the picture. It’s not great.

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Hikari Kenzaki

Say it with me. “It’s Magic the Gathering.”

A system that is almost by definition, pay to win. And calling it booster packs isn’t some mad conspiracy to dodge MOP’s anti-lockbox reporting… it’s just what you would call them in Magic. For the last 27 years.

Like every other Cryptic game, there will likely be a way to trade with players using earned currency. Trading and selling cards to other players is another staple of MtG.