Last updated on November 9, 2023
Ormos, Archive Keeper | Illustration by G-host Lee
Y'all remember internet forums? Way back in the wild west days of the internet, forums were the best way to communicate and for communities to grow and flourish. In the early days of MTG Arena's development, Wizards created a forum for players to give feedback and communicate with other players while the game progressed.
But Wizards decided to close the forum in October 2021 to promote better communication on other platforms and because the forums had become a vacant website (like most forums).
But was it a good idea? What did we lose with the closure of this forum?
What Happened to the MTG Arena Forums?
Propaganda | Illustration by Clint Cearley
The MTG Arena forums were shut down on October 20, 2021 like many other forums in its past and many more in its future.
As the internet evolves, so do its communities. Way back in the olden days, things like IRC and Usenet were the standards for fostering a community and communicating. These slowly became chat rooms and internet forums as the ‘90s grew into the era of massive social media platforms that we see now.
So why would WotC kill off the forums?
Well, forums aren't really popular anymore. You can see the impact of social platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Discord, and even Reddit. Each of these platforms has grown and surpassed forums from almost every angle. While Reddit is probably the closest spinoff of forums and this one focuses on Arena, each of these platforms is immensely more popular than any forum.
Heck, everybody is closing their forums. Sony closed their PlayStation forums in February of 2020, and most new products, websites, and games never even had forums to begin with. I feel like Discord and Reddit are the major players in this thanks to their popularity and how they can be broken down into niche communities.
But not all is lost thanks to the Wayback Machine, which lets us glimpse from beyond the grave to see the final day of the forum's operation.
What Did The MTG Arena Forums Look Like?
Lo and behold the MTG Arena Forums. It's uh… kinda bland, right?
That's all you get; a couple of generic subforums and a preview of recent posts or Wizard's official replies. Even if you dive a little deeper you'd just get a list of threads, much like any other forum.
Now, I wasn't really one to use the forums. I probably haven't used a forum since the mid-2010s since I mainly stick to Reddit, but looking at these pages from the Wayback Machine makes me pretty sure that I didn't miss anything.
But I have seen some complaints on Reddit about the removal of some older posts on things like Arena's hidden ELO, how the shuffler works, and some behind-the-scenes posts from the developers. There was also a thread with over 21,000 posts about Arena's shuffler that apparently devolved into chaos, but I wasn't able to find it anywhere. Thankfully my mulligan decisions these days aren't too bad.
Was It a Good Decision to Shut the MTG Arena Forums Down?
As I mentioned earlier, the internet is constantly evolving and so are communities and their communication methods. It's no secret that forums have been on their way out for the last five years, especially with how popular Discord has become. Why would a company spend money and resources to maintain a forum that people won't be using, when they could just set up a free Discord server or a subreddit and moderate that?
While the loss of some developer feedback and hidden mechanics isn't great, it's pretty clear that Wizards hasn't been paying much (if any) attention to the forums as many users have pointed out. I don't see any reason for these forums to still be around when all of the conversations and feedback have shifted away.
What Alternatives Are There to the MTG Arena Forums?
Impassioned Orator | Illustration by Mark Zug
Reddit is just too popular to ignore, in fact, three subreddits see plenty of use for the Commander community. Some of the best conversations and strategy comes from it. I've got a list of some of my favorite places to read and keep up with Magic:
- MagicTCG: The main MTG subreddit. While it occasionally has drama and a plethora of art I don't care about, it's a great resource to see what's going on in the community.
- Spikes: This is a great resource for discussion around competitive Magic for all formats if you wanna play to win. It's a little drab at times because post requirements are high, but it's good content.
- MagicArena: Strictly about MTGA and what's going on there. A few more memes than other subreddits but it's still got some relevant info and discussions.
- Draftsim: Yes, we have a subreddit too! This has a feed of articles about MTG, MTGA (just like this one) and feature updates for Arena Tutor.
Discord is also massively popular, probably more so than Reddit. I'm terrible at keeping up with Discord because I'm a bad millennial, but it's still massive. Here are a couple of servers to get you started:
- Draftsim's Discord: A great place to talk about Magic, Draftsim itself, or catch me cursing about how I forgot when Arena's seasons end.
- Magic's Official Discord: A little newer but still packed full of fellow players and WotC reps.
Closing the Chapter
Learn from the Past | Illustration by Chase Stone
The official MTG Arena forums have been on their way to the coffin for some time now. Whether you were a fan of them or not, there's still a little something lost when online communities like that shut off. Discord and Reddit now reign supreme but it's nice to reflect on what came before.
How do you feel about the Arena forums? Do you wish they were still open? Do you just hate Discord's never-ending notifications? Let us know in the comments below, or tell us on our own Discord server or even over on X (formerly Twitter).
Now if you'll excuse me, I'll just be ignoring Discord and lurking Reddit until the end of time. Keep your hands clean and your cards sleeved. I'm out!Follow Draftsim for awesome articles and set updates: