Magic Online 2.0 to launch on Monday, July 28

We get an update on the next edition of Magic: The Gathering Online at Gen Con Indy 2003.

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We caught up with Wizards of the Coast at Gen Con Indy 2003 for an update on Magic Online 2.0. The new version of the game will launch at retail in the form of Wizards' new "core game" product, a box that will include both the game CD and various instruction books, as well as two 40-card "starter" packs and a smaller "expansion" pack. However, these card packs will not be filled with random cards--they'll actually be matched up with the starter cards contained on the game CD so that players will essentially have the exact same cards both offline and online. The version 2.0 client is scheduled to go live around 12:00am Monday in preparation for the formal launch of the 8th Edition of Magic: The Gathering's "basic" card set, which will be available in paper cards at that time and will be for sale at the online magic store at 9:00am Pacific time. The new set will feature about 350 additional cards, including many of what Wizards representatives described as "old favorites," including the Rukh Egg card and the Royal Assassin card. The online client itself already supports the "Scourge" expansion pack set.

Magic Online 2.0 will also feature an enhanced interface, as well as more preset stock decks (that serve as good examples of how to build a decent deck) to help beginners become acquainted with the game. Experts will also be able to use the new 1800 Room, an area reserved for players with a rating of 1800 points or higher from online tournament play. Wizards hopes that this new play room will help experienced players find good, competitive matches quickly, without terrorizing beginners, who can still stick to the beginner rooms.

Magic Online 2.0 will launch at 12:00am on Monday, July 28.

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