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Shards of Alara Coverage and New Website Thoughts September 5, 2008

Posted by Norm in Shards of Alara, Spoilers.
Tags: , , , ,

First off I’ve got to say I know I’ve been slacking on my Shards of Alara spoiler coverage. I’ve got a few other things going on this week so bare with me (I’ll let you in on one of them in a few weeks). I just checked in with the Official Visual Spoiler and there hasn’t been any additions since it went live. However if you have been following any other magic blog you will see there are many spoilers floating around check out this post on MTG Realm, oh and don’t miss this one or that one about mechanics. 

I also want to take a second to thank everyone who visits Casual Magic on a regular basis. Yesterday was my best day ever with over 1200 visitors. You guys rock, thanks for coming back!

Finally I need to say that overall I’m not to excited with the functionality of the new official magic the gathering website. I find it really hard to navigate and find specific features (like the Shards mini site for example) and there are places where there is information promised and it just isn’t live. I’m talking about the Explore Shards of Alara section coming on September 3rd (today is the 5th). 

I guess my biggest let down with the new site is the Daily MTG section. On the old homepage I could get to almost anything that I needed to from the homepage. Yes it was cluttered and way too busy but the new navigation doesn’t seem intuitive and I just don’t know where to start looking for some stuff. I really think that Wizards dropped the ball on this one. Right after the site launched a friend sent me an email that summed it up pretty well, 

Don’t get me wrong, they both look nice and all, but do we really play Magic or read Magic articles because their websites look cool? It feels to me like they are a little insecure about something. Wizards should leave the “changes” to Barack or Bowie and outsource their site design to someone who can create an easy to navigate sight. Don’t sacrifice accessibility for aesthetics. 

I don’t like to be negative but I really think that there isn’t an excuse for poor web design now a days. Especially when you are a large organization with a corporate owner. But that maybe the issue, corporate types making decisions about brands they don’t truly understand. I’m sure that they put a lot of thought and effort into this redesign and Wizards seems to try to make the best decisions for its products so I’m willing to stand by them. Just make the website easier to use.


1. CopySix - September 5, 2008

Thanks for the plug Norm !
I completely concur with your opinion on the new WoTC MTG site – I had ease of navigation previously and now my clicky finger is getting an extra workout.

2. dillon - September 5, 2008

i think the main thing that they will change is ‘trading card game’ and ‘daily mtg’ not being different sections. other than that, i am pretty fine with it. of course the flash at the beginning is unnecessary after one view. there is a lot to the site and having two different tab sections seems a bit excessive. they will work it out.

3. Joe S - September 8, 2008

i dont think they should change it. i think its okay the way it is right now.

4. twfrankl - September 12, 2008

My concern is that they used to have the minisites for each release with the visual spoilers, but now all they have is Alara. What happened to Shadowmoor/Eventide/Morningtide visual spoilers?….

5. Norm - September 12, 2008

I wondered the same thing about the visual spoilers. I did read that there is a new gatherer due out soon. It will be a better search and view database. So I’m assuming that the visual spoiler will become obsolete after a set is released.

In the past I have referred to the visual spoiler especially when looking for an image of a card.

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