Alchemy - Give Your Players the Choice between Digital Only Cards In or Out
Dear MTG Arena team,
most recently Alchemy has been added as a new format to Magic Arena. By rebalancing already existing cards and adding new digital-only cards exclusive to the format to Arena, the intention here is to keep Standard a fresh and ever-evolving format for players to enjoy. While I do welcome the idea of keeping Standard fresh, introducing digital-only cards to the format is the biggest mistake for card design and hurts Magic as a franchise and game experience.
I have tried a variety of card games before, most notably the popular Hearthstone by Blizzard. I specificially changed to Magic, because Magic's design was bound by the physical reality, meaning that "digital-only" mechnanics, which most often just come down to making effects random, could not exist there. However, with the introduction of the digital-only mechanics in Alchemy, you are destroying the very fabric that makes Magic as a game great and turn Magic into just another dumpsterfire of random effects.
However, the idea to rebalance cards later is great. This would actually transfer Magic into the digital age and use the biggest advantage of a digital card game (rebalancing).
So here is my wish that I think would make a lot of players happy: give players to option to choose between an "Alchemy" format that ONLY rebalances cards WITHOUT introducing digital-only cards. Introduce a second new format called "Alchemy Plus" that also introduces those digital-only cards. This way players can choose what kind of Magic they would like to play - classical Magic with balance tweaks or basically a complete different game with digital-only mechanics.
Lastly I would like to add that I am one of those Arena players people like to call "whales", since I have put more money into this game than probably 95% of other players. Your decision-making around Alchemy by introducing digital-only mechanics makes me want to quit the game and not touch it until I get to play a Standard-environment that is both regularly balanced and fresh and has NO digital-only mechanics. Since you have just introduced Alchemy, I know that you can easily do that. Until then, I am not going to put more money and time into this game.
I hope you consider this feedback and listen to your playerbase.