Continuing my rant

So, I’m going to proceed as though we’ve established that the philosophy of Magic: the Gathering is biased toward life. This might seem pithy or unimportant because the players are alive and in order to relate to the game, it needs to be in a form they can understand. I’m going to set this topic aside for a bit, declaring it a “can of worms” topic because it dives into the undesirable “Viewers Are Morons” territory.

Guild Wars 2 is making some very interesting movements toward truly variable player powers, and if you’re interested in game design, I recommend reading up on them and seeing what their new professions are about. I’m sure I’ve probably mentioned them at some point, but instead of all professions using “Energy” (their catch-all for “mana” or “magic power”), they utilize different resources for their abilities.

For instance, necromancers draw energy from the death around them as “Life Force,” which they can then use for spells. Thieves have “Initiative,” a resource mechanic that allows them to perform attacks in rapid combination unlike other classes that must wait for cooldowns. Magic describes itself as an exception-based rule system, though the exceptions are few and not terribly varied. GW2 is shaping up to be a better example.

Every Magic player needs lands to play. They might not need creatures, sorceries, Planeswalkers, artifacts, instants (by which I mean “sorceries with the Flash ability”), or even enchantments (by which I mean “the original colored artifacts”), but they will always need lands. Unless Phyrexian mana sticks around. We’ll see.


The Seven States (as it applies to the game system) will differ in its approach to how it presents itself. Each State’s philosophy will be represented in mechanics, but it’ll be abstract like “ignores summoning sickness” or “deals combat damage first.” (Perhaps not the best examples for the current Magic generation, but Haste and First Strike used to be primarily the forte of Red and White, respectively.)

…Ah, this is going to take a bit longer to explain…