Magic design continues to push new boundaries... I had to pick up my jaw off the floor after reading today's Future Sight preview.
In case you're not familiar with the current Time Spiral block: it is themed like this. The three sets represent past, present and future.
The first set, Time Spiral, deals with the past, and has a strong "nostalgia" theme; it reintroduces old cards and old mechanics, and some well-known characters finally get their own cards (like Jaya Ballard and Teferi).
The second set, Planar Chaos, deals with the present. The design team has chosen to represent this as an alternate reality... choices that reasonably could have been made, but weren't. For example, Wrath of God (a white card) could have shown up in black instead, without running into too many problems, flavor-wise.
That leaves the third set, Future Sight. It hasn't been released yet, so how they chose to represent the future, has been a mystery. Until today, when a tip of the veil was lifted.
According to the article, there will be ton of new mechanics in Future Sight... like, fifty. What does this have to do with the future? Simple: players will get to pick the mechanics they like, and they will actually appear in future sets. Well, sort of. As MaRo puts it: "Normally when the audience reacts to a card, its biggest impact is that in can affect whether and how soon to repeat certain themes or cards. But in Future Sight, if the audience likes something, they have the ability to actually influence the future. If the players, for example, take a shining to one particular mechanic, the odds of that mechanic being from a "near future" go way up."
How cool is that? Not bad at all. ;-) It's stuff like this that sets Magic apart from other CCGs. It makes me look forward to the next set very much. (The names sound somewhat medieval and/or like classical fantasy. Hmm...)
(Oh, yeah, and there's also the new layout of the preview card... not that much of a surprise, since Wizards has been playing with the look of the cards for a while now. It does make these cards look like they're from a different game, which is of course exactly their intention.)