Sorry to be such a tease, I’ve just been really out of it today. To be honest, I’ve been blowing off my writing of the next part of “To Catch A Goat” because I’m not feeling it and I really don’t want it to suck. We’re heading into an explosive pre-climax climax-thing heading into the end. Plus, I’ve spent the last several hours sweating ’cause there’s something wrong with the air conditioning.

I have some problems with Magic: the Gathering, but it’s a mixed bag. I love to take things apart to see how they work, and it provides a never-ending supply of examples for How To Make Design Flaws Central To Gameplay. I’m probably a couple years out of date on the “color pie,” but the one that comes up when I Google it is the one I have problems with — the one that makes Black a Bad Guy despite Dark Not Being Evil.

Here’s a link to the color pie I find when I look for it, so you can see what I’m referencing. If you scroll down, you see Black’s “traits” listed as selfish, amoral, paranoid, and parasitic. While those may all be true of the color and its playstyle, those aren’t its viewpoints. Black doesn’t think of itself as selfish and amoral, and its philosophy should be described in positive terms.

Blue is described with the word “inaction,” which is central to why it’s generally considered boring to play until you realize just how much it breaks the game. Blue sits around and waits to exploit the other colors, at which point it dominates (see the “Power Nine” … Black Lotus, five Moxes, and three Blue cards). Who wants to play a color like White when it boasts “Uncreative” as one of its core traits?

The presentation of each color’s philosophy is uneven in this representation of the “color pie” and it comes across as naive (see: Green). Each color thinks of itself as the “good guys” and should be represented as such at all times when compared to the others. It’s even worse when their philosophy comes across in gameplay, where White is “grey” at worst, and Black is still the bad guy, even when it isn’t.

Part of what drove me to establish and understand each of the different philosophical outlooks for the Seven States cosmology was deliberately to avoid the hypocrisy in Magic’s design. While there may be a superficial resemblance to Magic’s color wheel, I’m going out of my way to determine the philosophy for each magic source to make sure it remains consistent at each stage of development.