What is Magic the Gathering (MTG in short) and Arena?
MTG is first paper collectible card game that was released in 1993 and start whole genre as we know it today. It remains one of the most popular (or even the most popular) "analog" card game. Despite this popularity stupidity of WoTC and Hasbro caused various Magic games to be crippled by design since they always were made to never damage popularity of paper version with one exception - that exception is Magic Online which offers perfect 1:1 experience with paper in the same way Arena does. So why did they decide to develop Arena? Well do you see that windows 95 reference in OT title ? Magic online looks like something from win95 era:
And requires players to spend a lot of money to keep playing since winning can translate in money gains for players as it allows full trading of cards.
Arena on the other hand is modern good looking F2P game where we can collect and play MTG without spending single dollar since we are rewarded with cards and in game currency for playing.
Why play MTG when Hearthstone exists?
Magic is on completely different level when it comes to complexity of mechanics and unlike digital first card games it is designed with interaction with opponent during his turn in mind with counter spells or spells that do something to opponent cards.
Sounds complicated - how can I learn how to play MTG?
Arena has built in tutorial to teach basic rules and interactions. It’s not very good but since there’s 25 years of history behind paper MTG net is full of various guides and tutorials.
What does open beta mean ?
As usual for modern online games it’s in fact soft launch hidden behind beta name - game had final planned wipe of collection and cards that we earn now will stay with us unless there’s some catastrophic collapse of economy system. Also while gameplay is fully implemented the game isn't feature complete as devs are still adding new modes, social features, improving deckbuilder etc.
There are two currencies - gold which is F2P currency you get for doing quests, winning games and as reward for various play modes. The other is gems which is premium currency - you get it for cash and also as reward for some of the events.
Wild cards - instead of using dust system you get wild cards (usually you get them from opening boosters) - 1 wild card (wc in short) can be used to craft any card of the same rarity.
Normal Booster contains 8 cards: 5 commons, 2 uncommons, 1 rare/mythic (1 in 8 chance for mythic). Each of those cards have random chance of being replaced with wild card of corresponding rarity. Also you get additional uncommon, rare and mythic wc just for opening several boosters. It costs 1000 gold/200 gems.
There are also draft/sealed boosters which are part of special game modes that include 14 cards (10 commons, 3 uncommons, 1 rare/mythic) without any wildcards but those can only be obtained in the own game modes and cannot be bought.
How do we get stuff:
Playing tutorial (can also be skipped) it grants 5 starter decks which are our initial collection
New player quests - those are once per account - they give gold, boosters and another 5 pre-constructed decks. It will take several days to clear them.
Weekly rewards - each week we get free booster from newest expansion for 5, 10 and 15 wins
Daily quest - each day you get one new quest which gives 500 or 750 gold, clearing them doesn't require winning at all, they can be re-rolled once a day and we can have 3 of them open at the same time
Daily wins - first 15 wins each day are rewarded with gold and random card rewards (at least uncommon rarity with chance of something better). Those rewards are front loaded since you get most of them for first 4 wins (250+3x100g) , then for win 5-11 we get 3x50 g + 4 cards, and then last 4 wins only give 2 cards and 2x25 gold.
to be continued- I have to admit I greatly underestimated amount of things than need to be covered so I'll be expanding on this OT in the next few days/weeks