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 Post subject: Re: List of retcons?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2016 2:17 am 
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Jman22 wrote:
And sometimes, Mark Rosewater ends up on Creative because the entire team quit over business stuff, and we nearly get a sitcom for the Weatherlight Saga story.

And while I generally try to be leinient towards Creative, especially recently, it is hard to argue in their favor when it comes to BFZ block. A TON of stuff got changed, and they could have pretty easily gone back and gotten some more of the major points correct.

I have apparently lost my Ravnica and Guildpact novels. Sad day.

And hilariously going back to Zendikar was completely bungled since they went back to RoE instead.
Whoops.

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 Post subject: Re: List of retcons?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2016 8:45 am 
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AzureShade wrote:
The 3 books you are missing, how much of that story, lore, or character have they brought up in the past 6 years?
I'm, missing Nemesis and The Moons of Mirrodin (I have read both, but they were not owned).

I'm just saying that not everyone has well stocked Magic library. People who do not horde Magic lore but are good game designers and great writers and story tellers do end up on the Creative team sometimes. People join the team with years worth of "blind-spots" and pressures to catch up to the current set designs and familiarize themselves with very recent sets that are not quite out yet. I can see where this sort of environment would cause some skimming errors or changes in story to ease current story concerns. Magic doesn't seem to have a MaRo "Guardian of the Color Pie" for story. And since, unlike comics, Wizards isn't resetting their entire universe every few years to retell the same stories in a fresh new way, sometimes things get the retcon scissors.



You are in luck:
https://www.amazon.com/Moons-Mirrodin-Magic-Gathering/dp/0786929952

https://www.amazon.com/Nemesis-Magic-Gathering-Masquerade-Cycle/dp/0786915595/ref=bseries_primary_1_0786915595

It also appears that many are on kindle if that is your preference. I think there was some PDFs coming up in my search too so in theory if you wanted to get such books to brush up on when making a story based on the material it could be free.

I don't expect them to hire only people who have read or up to date on the magic lore. Though since they are doing this as a professional and its their job, then I would expect at that point to show an interest in attention to details.

Your stance is kind of odd. Basically you are saying I can't comment on something unless I can do a better job. Are you suggesting we throw the entire division of labor thing out the window? In order for me to comment I have to preform every job imaginable? I can give it a go, but when I get to the medical field jobs I think we might end up with a high mortality rate.


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 Post subject: Re: List of retcons?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2016 9:22 am 
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My stance is, as someone who has immersed themselves in Magic lore for the better part of two-thirds of my life, I understand that the storyline is an unwieldy mess at times, between differences from various authors, sometimes a rather hands-off approach from Creative, or a disconnect between various teams and marketing. It does not surprise me in the last that, say for Mirrodin, that since Wizard always planned to go back to it, they just skipped over the part at the end of the book where the place is depopulated. It was a dumb idea to do that in the first place. When it comes to Zendikar, the eldrazi were basically an accident brought along by trying to find a way to explain the weird floating hedrons. Within Zendikar itself the relationship between the hedrons and the eldrazi is unclear. On some cards they are tools of the eldrazi, and on others they are weapons to fight them?

Anyway, my stance is that the storyline is, and has always been a semi-organized mess since before the Revision. Sometimes Creative has tried really hard to sweep it together into orderly piles (sometimes way less hard) but it never stays that way.

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 Post subject: Re: List of retcons?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2016 11:06 am 
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Jman22 wrote:
Well, ideally I'd like to construct a list of retcons in MTG, and from there categorize the extremity of each retcon. For example, something like "Battalion 5 was involved with this assault by the Boros Legion" compared to... Well, the Origins retcons. But stuff from, let's say, pre-Urza I think we could easily forgive. I'm mostly thinking Time Spiral (where they promised more story focus) forward.

Edit: Not to mention that this would help consolidate all the story in an easier to digest format.
I mean, the misportrayal of planes in Magic Origins is kind of tricky to evaluate because, as I said, I'm really not sure if we can count them as retcons in the sense of "This version is intended to replace previously established info on those planes and will be our reference point going forward". With Jace's story ignoring the Interregnum, it could well be a hamfisted attempt to just make his first trip to Ravnica feel as 'Ravnican' as possible by having him instantly come across the Guilds. It might just be an oversimplification for newer players/people not familiar with AoA for the sake of this one particular story. And I don't think Nissa's story means we should forget about all the Oona/Maralen stuff, and that they'll build on the new version if they ever return to Lorwyn (which is pretty unlikely anyway). It's not like those changes were in any way crucial for their respective short story to work. The question is, where do we draw the line? Does Gideon's story imply Theros isn't a bronze age civilisation after all because it mentions them using iron chains? Or that Theros has a moon after all although we were told it doesn't (there's a moon in onne of the images that go with the story)? Maybe I'm wrong and retconning those particular bits for no reason like they did with everything else is exactly what they intended, but I doubt we'll ever get an answer to that.

Jman22 wrote:
AzureShade wrote:
It can't be that hard to get and read the books though?
Do you have all 50-some Magic novels? Like, if you got a job working in Creative today, and found out that they did not have a novel library on-site, would your personal collection be sufficient enough, and if not, how hard do you think it would be to find 20-year old books that didn't sell well about lore from a collectable card game that wasn't even a cultural touchstone for about the first decade?

Even I don't own all the books yet (I'm missing like 3), and I scour the web and used book stores constantly.


A friend of mine has all 50, and I almost decided to start collecting them all myself.
I guess I own maybe half the books (constantly trying to catch up and get more, but I don't have unlimited time and money to buy and read them as quickly as I'd like), but then again, if Creative doesn't have access to a complete collection of storyline materials, I would blame them (or Wizards as a whole) for that in the first place. At the very least, I'd expect them to have a collection of the post-revisionist material that was published by their own friggin' company.

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 Post subject: Re: List of retcons?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2016 11:44 am 
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Jman22 wrote:
Well, ideally I'd like to construct a list of retcons in MTG, and from there categorize the extremity of each retcon. For example, something like "Battalion 5 was involved with this assault by the Boros Legion" compared to... Well, the Origins retcons. But stuff from, let's say, pre-Urza I think we could easily forgive. I'm mostly thinking Time Spiral (where they promised more story focus) forward.

Edit: Not to mention that this would help consolidate all the story in an easier to digest format.
I mean, the misportrayal of planes in Magic Origins is kind of tricky to evaluate because, as I said, I'm really not sure if we can count them as retcons in the sense of "This version is intended to replace previously established info on those planes and will be our reference point going forward". With Jace's story ignoring the Interregnum, it could well be a hamfisted attempt to just make his first trip to Ravnica feel as 'Ravnican' as possible by having him instantly come across the Guilds. It might just be an oversimplification for newer players/people not familiar with AoA for the sake of this one particular story. And I don't think Nissa's story means we should forget about all the Oona/Maralen stuff, and that they'll build on the new version if they ever return to Lorwyn (which is pretty unlikely anyway). It's not like those changes were in any way crucial for their respective short story to work. The question is, where do we draw the line? Does Gideon's story imply Theros isn't a bronze age civilisation after all because it mentions them using iron chains? Or that Theros has a moon after all although we were told it doesn't (there's a moon in onne of the images that go with the story)? Maybe I'm wrong and retconning those particular bits for no reason like they did with everything else is exactly what they intended, but I doubt we'll ever get an answer to that.



I think art is something we can largely ignore (Lemure is not Lemur after all) especially for Origins - I doubt they handed people doing art the entire book for the plane when they were doing the set. And I think the mention of iron chains in Theros could be one of two things: an error, WotC not doing a good job explaining what they consider (or not knowing) "bronze age," or a more minor retcon.

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 Post subject: Re: List of retcons?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2016 1:19 pm 
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AzureShade wrote:
My stance is, as someone who has immersed themselves in Magic lore for the better part of two-thirds of my life, I understand that the storyline is an unwieldy mess at times, between differences from various authors, sometimes a rather hands-off approach from Creative, or a disconnect between various teams and marketing. It does not surprise me in the last that, say for Mirrodin, that since Wizard always planned to go back to it, they just skipped over the part at the end of the book where the place is depopulated. It was a dumb idea to do that in the first place. When it comes to Zendikar, the eldrazi were basically an accident brought along by trying to find a way to explain the weird floating hedrons. Within Zendikar itself the relationship between the hedrons and the eldrazi is unclear. On some cards they are tools of the eldrazi, and on others they are weapons to fight them?

Anyway, my stance is that the storyline is, and has always been a semi-organized mess since before the Revision. Sometimes Creative has tried really hard to sweep it together into orderly piles (sometimes way less hard) but it never stays that way.

The problem with coming back to Mirrodin is they didn't plan to come back to Mirrodin. They planned to come back to new Phyrexia and then literally in the middle decided they'd made a mistake by planning to do that and hamfisted the repopulation in.

Mirrodin was a screw up, but let's be clear about why it was a screw up.

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 Post subject: Re: List of retcons?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2016 1:26 pm 
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But if the plane was depopulated, what were they coming back to for New Phyrexia? Like, what was around to be completed? With no leonin, no humans, no elves, goblins, or vedalken? Were we going to come back to a world of re-engineered Myr and various animals with even more robot parts than before? Where would the praetors even have come from? Nothing would have worked right if they gave us New Phyrexia as is and then went "It was Mirrodin all along everyone!" We'd be right back to where we are now but with even more complaining because the plane was supposed to be empty.

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 Post subject: Re: List of retcons?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2016 1:44 pm 
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AzureShade wrote:
But if the plane was depopulated, what were they coming back to for New Phyrexia? Like, what was around to be completed? With no leonin, no humans, no elves, goblins, or vedalken? Were we going to come back to a world of re-engineered Myr and various animals with even more robot parts than before? Where would the praetors even have come from? Nothing would have worked right if they gave us New Phyrexia as is and then went "It was Mirrodin all along everyone!" We'd be right back to where we are now but with even more complaining because the plane was supposed to be empty.

Considering the praetors are vat grown, I'd expect everything to just follow suit.
And it's not like anyone really cared that much about the races of Mirrodin in the first place. The design of that world was particularly simplistic and the success of the original block was all mechanical.

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 Post subject: Re: List of retcons?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2016 10:34 pm 
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Well, there were still Golems and Myr around, and they were sentient to a degree if I remember right.

Bosh would have made for a really good red praetor.

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 Post subject: Re: List of retcons?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2016 11:58 pm 
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Of course we have an extensive library of Magic fiction. At least one copy of nearly every book and comic. In my years of occasionally needing to research this or that, the only thing I've been unable to find was Time Spiral, for some reason (and I was provided with an ebook of that novel for my research).


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 Post subject: Re: List of retcons?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2016 12:43 am 
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he has spoken

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 Post subject: Re: List of retcons?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2016 12:44 am 
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 Post subject: Re: List of retcons?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2016 2:53 pm 
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It is remembered.

ANYWHO.

When I spoke to wotc people at PAX last year, I asked about retcons (I specifically referred to the Nissa origins thing because it was fresh and I was still really upset by it).
I was given one of two answers by various people throughout the weekend;
We retconned it because it doesn't match our current vision (ie, Nissa being a bigot).
We retconned it because the original bit of material was not widely known/accepted (ie, Nissa's single paragraph of introduction in Duels)

The former I can understand. Members of creative come and go, the old books were written by commissioned writers who didnt necessarily coordinate with creative, etc.
The later bothers me somewhat because it was important to SOMEONE, and in the cases of some details (changing Nissa from a reformed bigot to a granola girl), the end result was basically the same so I wonder WHY it needed to be done in the first place.

ALSO.
I've been followingseveral convos Kelly Digges has been having on twitter recently.
But basically, the way I'm interpreting it anyway, Nissa's intro in duels describing her as essentially an elf nazi was filler text. It was so small and inconsequential that they didn't really consider it much when they started developing her as a character in teeth forward.

So that brings us to a potential third reason for retcons
3. Fans latch onto inconsequential details and run with them before creative gets to set something in stone.

I am willing to attribute this to the darker times when magic creative was more of an afterthought than it is now, and the relative lack of communication between the fans (read; vorthos fans) and R&D at the time.
I feel like this sort of thing will be much less common going forward, now that creative is on basically equal footing as design and lines of communication are better.

Basically what seemed to happen was, Duels came out. Us vorthos jumped over the new character and what little we new about her. We obsess over it and digest it, as we do. Wizards figures out a good place to use Nissa. Severly underestimating the reach duels had at the time, they ignore her previous characterization there, thinking that it reached so few people it's basically worthless. They develop Nissa as they want to do, not directly contradicting her previous characterization as a bigot, but not directly supported by it either.
EVENTUALLY, Origins rolls around, and they retcon what they want to do, as is their prerogative for better or worse.
Some of us, me especially, perceive the Nissa retcon as being bigger than it is, because in our minds we perceived Nissa as one way (reformed bigot) and creative hadn't intended that to be her perception.

I might be overthinking some of this <_<


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 Post subject: Re: List of retcons?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2016 3:47 pm 
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While the retcons to Chandra annoy me, I don't really get why people are so upset about Nissa. I think we can pretty much burn Teeth of Akoum at this point (which is no great loss). And outside of that, Nissa didn't really have much to her.

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 Post subject: Re: List of retcons?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2016 4:29 pm 
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People latched onto the "Nazi elf" blurb from Duels and ran with it.
Teeth didnt really give her much of a personality.
Because it wasn't very good.


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 Post subject: Re: List of retcons?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2016 8:47 pm 
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People latched onto the "Nazi elf" blurb from Duels and ran with it.
Teeth didnt really give her much of a personality.
Because it wasn't very good.

And yet Nissahontas is the most saccharine and paper thin character that we have.
She wasn't a great character, but she's an awful one now.

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 Post subject: Re: List of retcons?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2016 9:27 pm 
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I'm not arguing that.

I never actually finished reading the BFZ block stories because I hated the Nissa stories so much.


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 Post subject: Re: List of retcons?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2016 12:29 am 
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Yah..she's offly dry now

Why Nissa makes me angry is because her old characterization actually had a lot of potential. First it was a green assh*le, which at the time was unseen in terms of green walkers, and second it had potential to be very complex and interesting. Wizards, by showing nissa as the person she was, gave her a chance to have some real character growth. Along with that, making someone like her, who then wasn't the best person, a planeswalker (and thus a recurring character) challenged the player to empathize with her, despite being an buttface.

Now she's your average nice elf™

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 Post subject: Re: List of retcons?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2016 7:30 am 
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It's only natural people will latch onto the only piece of info they have about a new character, though, simply because it's the only piece of info. It's also why I flinched when the Onakke were suddenly referred to as ogres when the deck insert said they were trolls. I still think they look a lot more like trolls than ogres, but that's a different topic entirely... And the 'reformed' Nissa they were going for in Worldwaker would have worked with the previous characterisation we had, but simply ignoring the info from Duels didn't. And I agree with Squid, Nissa would have been a lot better off as an amazing green villain/anti-villain/anti-hero/whatever rather than the sweet treehugger she is now.

Aaaanyway, I think I have another possible item on our list of retcons. The stuff from the webcomics that implies Bolas was behind Liliana getting the Chain Veil is obsolete now, isn't it? Like when Sarkhan follows her and says it's all going according to plan. Liliana's planeswalker novel was cancelled, and it was later implied in UR that the Raven Man is actually behind the Chain Veil plot, right? Or should we leave the scene with Sarkhan in limbo until the Chain Veil arc is resolved and we have all the relevant info?

Edit: Actually, wait, the Onakke thing I just mentioned is a retcon hidden in plain sight. I'll add that to the list.

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 Post subject: Re: List of retcons?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2016 10:13 am 
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Sigh. Do I really need to poke my head in this thread and make the point yet again that the Khalni Heart could be anywhere on Zendikar because the Roil causes massive landscape shifts on a planar level?


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