Have you ever done well in a tournament, only to find that the prizes were from old sets with cards you didn’t need? Or maybe you’ve purchased packs from the wrong set. These are problems we’re going to solve with our Smart Packs, so let’s take a deeper look at how they work!
First, a quick summary. A Smart Pack is just like any other trading card game pack: it’s a pack, and inside the pack are cards (in our case, twelve). It’s different from any other trading card game pack in one, key way: You get to decide which card set it comes from when you open it. This means no getting stuck with an “old,” “useless,” or “undervalued” pack. It means never accidentally buying 50 packs from the wrong set. And it means no worrying about what prizes you win in a tournament, or which packs to buy in the store – especially if you don’t want to open them right away.
In addition to being able to be opened as any pack available in the store, Smart Packs can also be used as a partial entry fee for drafts (where you will gain cards from the draft, as well as win more packs as prizes). This gives a couple of very clear uses for the packs, and helps keep packs valuable to all kinds of players.
We picked this system because it’s player-friendly and because it helps us manage the economy in various ways (or, more accurately, Smart Packs help us not have to do as much to manage the economy). On our end, we don’t have to figure out the right sets to give away in tournaments. And we don’t have to carefully manage the supply of any card set and make changes when things are going wrong, because the market will prevent things from going wrong.
In each case, this boils down to the market itself doing the work for us. Players make the choices that would be made by game designers and product managers in a more traditional system. And, though designers and product managers are smart people, players will make the choice that’s best for them. That gets us to the best possible balanced economy we can have, and smooths out any kinks that might show up in supply or demand. It’s a win-win.
All this ties into our goal of creating a game that’s “friendlier towards players” as well. Tournament prizes are a great example. Rather than defining a specific set of packs that are won, we award Smart Packs as prizes, and the prizewinners can decide what packs they want to open. This means tournament prizes will match what people want, more players will be willing to enter tournaments, and we’ll be able to run more interesting tournaments. And that means a richer, more vibrant tournament scene for everyone.