Yesterday’s Weekly MTG video interviewed Jay Parker, the new MTG Arena game director that replaced Chris Clay, who left the development team recently. The community had their concerns on this matter, and here are some summarised answers from him, courtesy of /u/arthurmauk:
- Standard rotation will come in with the set codenamed “Archery” (expected September 2019), and there will be a new format (like “Arena Modern/Wild”) to allow playing with your rotated cards. Nothing mentioned about Kaladesh block or prior.
- They would like to put Arena on all other platforms wherever people would like to play Magic, but it may be a while yet.
- They have no intentions of allowing people to disable animations.
- Popular one-off events (e.g. Singleton) are not expected to become permanent right now to avoid the player base from being stretched across multiple queues. Follow up quote: “We’re interested in offering more ways to play that stick around longer, but there are factors we need to weigh to do that properly. We’ll keep watching the key numbers here for opportunities to do more like that, we just need to be careful to keep the whole experience playing well for everyone.”
- Friendlists will come hopefully soon.
- They would like to implement multiplayer but it will require a huge overhaul so might be a distant project.
- They would like to implement non-AI drafts but it would be difficult from the back-end, and even if it’s possible, human draft queues may not fire as frequently as people would like. May be more likely once friendlists get released.
- No plans for in-game chat against strangers, chat between friends are coming.
- There are plans to enable changing of keybinds.
All in all nothing too groundbreaking but still interesting to have an update on their direction. No information on Brawl or Commander formats.
It does sound like a number of things holding MTG Arena back from what the we want is the playerbase size, so if we grow the player base through positive word of mouth and the new Netflix show, we will scale up to a point where WotC doesn’t have to worry about stretching the player base too thin or slow queues. The future looks bright for us!