Smaller Prereleases

05:30 Thu 03 Jul 2008. Updated: 18:16 28 Jan 2009
[, ]

Apparently when I considered the announcement regarding MTG changes coming with the release of Shards of Alara, I overlooked a major point: Prereleases as we know them are disappearing.

I initially thought that Prereleases would be a week later and that Wizards were expanding the in-store Release events, but apparently that’s not the case—instead, the expanded in-store events will replace the large region-wide Prereleases.

I don’t like this at all. I really enjoy Prereleases, and their large-event feel. Typically several hundred players show up at them, at least for the large sets, and as such they represent a great way to bring a lot of players from around the region together. In-store events will be much smaller, and it’s likely that the range of players present at each individual event will be less diverse.

Given that far fewer Pro Tour Qualifiers are being held at the moment, Wizards having cut down on those also, there are going to be far fewer region-wide events that bring together MTG players from far afield. I suspect that this will have a negative effect on networking and the ability to build communities of players, but I could be wrong—I could also be underestimating the extent to which such community-building now takes place online rather than at events.

I would love to be wrong about this move, and to discover that smaller, in-store Prereleases are superior. But having gone to plenty of Relese events, I have my doubts.

I also wonder about the fact that I object to almost every single change Wizards have made recently—including all of those in their recent “major changes” announcement. I don’t think I’m just a reactionary who wants things to remain the same, rather that I have a sense of what’s good for the game and they’re going against that for short-term gain. I suppose the only way to see if I’m right is evaluating things further down the line.

Leave a Reply