Concerned about the future of Paper MTG Balance
I'm concerned about the future of paper MTG balance after the announcement of Alchemy.
Since this format will likely be the new defacto digital format thanks to the swift rebalancing that will occur to overly powerful cards, I feel like there will be a greater chance that cards will be pushed to an even higher power level in general. This wouldn't be an issue for Alchemy, as that format can be balanced on the fly, but it could potentially damage the integrity of any other eternal paper formats. This is especially a concern when looking at the latest straight to Modern set, which essentially caused a soft rotation of the format because of the incredibly pushed power level of the cards included in it. That set was printed with the knowledge that cards couldn't be rebalanced, and the power level was through the roof, so imagine how pushed sets can be now that they can be rebalanced whenever!
I started playing mtg because of the ability to invest in cards I could play in eternal formats for longer than a standard rotation. I have 10 years of experience in the modern format. When looking at this experience, it feels like the product is being pushed in a direction where increasing overall power level of the standard/alchemy format is the main focus. Because of this ever increasing power level of cards, eternal formats are feeling less eternal nowadays, and to me that isn't a great thing.
An unrelated to paper MTG note: I've also not been a fan of really any economy decision that has been made for Arena. I think the word "Predatory" is really the only word that can be used to describe it. Not allowing the deconstruction of unwanted cards to get new cards, not allowing the direct purchase of wildcards, and not providing any sort of duplicate protection regarding a card that appears in multiple sets are all incredibly player-negative design choices that your company is well aware of, yet nothing has been done about those items either. With the announcement of Alchemy, showing the players that you really don't care if they invested their wildcards into cards for them to just be rebalanced into the ground is just yet another red flag as to how the direction of the company is going. The Arena client is the least player friendly economy in all card games (Next to Artifact, lol RIP).