Throne of Eldraine was released last weekend in spite of the fact I wasn’t able to attend. My brother was kind enough to snag me a pre-release kit when he played on Saturday. I opened it on Sunday and was disappointed in some of my pulls. In my pre-release kit was a code for six free Throne of Eldraine boosters on Magic the Gathering: Arena. This caused me to re-download Arena even though I had already uninstalled it twice from my laptop. I have mixed feelings around Arena which caused me to type this post today.
I first downloaded Arena because of time. I barely have time after work to exercise, cook dinner, do laundry and go to sleep. Playing Magic in person, at a local game store, doesn’t fit into my after work routine. I appreciate the convenience of logging into my account and getting matched with another player in the comfort of my apartment. Completing the daily tasks is motivating due to the reward of extra coins. This in turn can be spent on booster packs. It’s a way where I can earn cards without having to put actual money into the format. That’s about the only positive things I can say towards Arena.
It boggles my mind how there isn’t a mobile version of Arena. It would be 1000 times easier for me to get a game of Magic in on my lunch break versus having to pull out my laptop after a long day at work. Many other competitive card games utilize a phone app including Eternal published by Dire Wolf. Many other Magic players would play Arena if it was available as an app. For a well established, gaming company, Wizards of the Coast has been missing the mark in terms of making Arena accessible.
Another mild inconvenience is Arena takes up a bit of memory. I don’t have a gaming laptop, so my memory is precious. Arena has many network patches and updates which causes the game to grow in size. This helps with the realism of the game, but also doesn’t work the best for me. If Arena was available in a mobile platform, I could play the game on my phone versus my limited capacity on my laptop.
My last negative critique in Arena is the game has a few glitches. I have played in games before where my “hand” or my seven cards in my hand doesn’t load. Therefore, the game can’t continue. I have had to concede numerous games where this happens and it’s annoying.
At this moment, Arena is front and center on my home screen. I’m getting enough boosters to build a Throne of Eldraine Black / White Knight deck. I’m hoping to use that deck in standard play if I obtain enough Black & White cards. Arena has kinks to work out, but it has loads of potential to become a legitimate, online gaming experience. If only Wizards of the Coast would listen to their fans.