Magic: The Gathering Online 2.0 E3 2003 Preshow Report

Wizards of the Coast will release an upgrade for the online version of its card game, just in time for a new core set release.

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At this year's E3, Wizards of the Coast will be exhibiting Magic: The Gathering Online 2.0, the update to the online version of its popular card game, Magic: The Gathering. For those unfamiliar with the card game, it involves collectible cards that players use to build decks. Each card has special properties associated with it, such as mana, spells, or magical creatures. Players then use the decks they build in battle against one another, drawing cards from the deck to cast spells and summon creatures.

Magic: The Gathering Online 2.0 will improve upon its predecessor with a completely revamped interface that includes special options for both new and experienced players. An AI opponent has been added for the game's tutorial, and skill building features that teach you advanced concepts for deck building and combat have also been added to version 2.0. An expanded observation mode is also planned, for players to post their games online for spectators to view. You'll be able to acquire and trade avatars in the game, and participate in new tournament modes such as team tournaments and premier events for professional competition.

Magic: The Gathering Online 2.0's launch this July will coincide with the release of a new core set that offers 350 new Magic Online cards. If you're already playing the original Magic: the Gathering Online, you'll be able to upgrade simply by connecting to a game server after launch. Your existing card collections remain intact and unchanged. Version 2.0 will be available as a free download at the official Magic: the Gathering Web site or for purchase at retail outlets. The retail version comes with the software on CD, a manual, a rulebook, and two decks of physical Magic cards for tabletop play. Currently, there are almost 2100 digital Magic cards available for online play; players can purchase new booster packs of digital cards and trade them with other players online. We'll have more information on Magic: The Gathering Online 2.0 as it becomes available.

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