EventLink Release Notes: June 8, 2021
By Bill Stark, EventLink Product Manager
Release Notes: June 8, 2021
Modern Horizons 2 Prerelease weekend is in the bag, and once again EventLink and Companion handily met their goals of 100% uptime and stability. To protect that stability, we held our new release until our next release date in June. That gives me a chance to talk about not what came out but what is coming out soon.
Recurring Event Creation
The final stages of our recurring event creation features are almost here! June 22 will see the delivery of duplicating event templates for things like Prereleases and Friday Night Magic. I've shown the designs for these new features before and am very excited they'll be here so soon. This will make it much easier to create events quickly for in-store play programs, even in regions impacted by COVID-19 restrictions.
Improved Player Entry
We recently completed the design phase of our next big feature, "Improved Player Entry," after detailed conversations with WPN retailers around the world to help guide us in making the process more efficient. Here's a sneak peek of the feature.
If a player has participated in an event in your store within the last 90 days and wants to join another in-store event but forgot their phone or otherwise isn't using the Companion app, you'll be able to use their name to add them to your event. In this example, "Henry Davis" is back to play at his favorite store:
As you type the "H" in Henry Davis, you can see a list of players who have played in your events within 90 days and whose names start with the letter "H." Using your mouse or the arrow keys you can select "Henry Davis" from the list of players. Continuing to type "H-E-N-R-Y…" would further narrow down the list of players until only "Henry Davis" remains.
Pressing "Enter" adds the player directly to your event.
Two notes: this feature will only work for players participating in your events with a Wizards Account, either through the Companion app or by you adding them directly; it will not work with guest accounts. Additionally, if you have two players with the exact same name, additional identifying information displays to help you differentiate. Now that designs are complete, the developers will begin work on implementation. We anticipate delivering this feature by the end of the third quarter this year or by the end of September.
End of Round Standings
Soon events will display standings at the end of each round before you move to the next round. This will allow your players using the Companion app to see their standings in the palm of their hands. You can also display the Standings using EventLink Mirror on screens in your store or print the standings and display them on walls. This helps solve several problems based on investigations with retailers, feedback from our communications channels, and research at events in the field:
- It reduces the likelihood of players not catching a mistake made in match reporting. Now players have three chances to make sure they got it right: when they report, by looking at the result on Companion during the round, and finally by checking the standings posted before the next round begins. If a player still fails to report an issue to you, you can still roll the round back and fix things after pairing the next round if you like.
- It fixes a confusing process for ending an event early that led to many retailers inadvertently ending the event too early or having to pair an extra round before ending things.
We're working on fixing an issue that has prevented us from allowing players to be "dropped" from events before the event begins. Typically, this is during the deckbuilding portion of a Sealed event or Booster Draft but will fix issues caused when a player wants to leave after getting their pool of cards or is called away for an emergency.
When the pandemic hit, we shifted EventLink's development trajectory to support stores during a trying time. That included de-prioritizing game-level draws, the ones that lead to match scores like 0-0-1. You can already record a draw as 1-1 or 0-0, but game-level draws are now back on the docket for implementation and will soon be added.
Late Registration, Names, and Timers in Companion
In addition to big upgrades to EventLink, we'll also be rolling out some big improvements to the Companion app for your players. Being able to late register for events using the app will end several issues with that behavior that occur right now, most notably leading to players disappearing from round pairings. An issue with a player's name not appearing in EventLink when registering for the event using the Android version of Companion is being worked on currently, which will also fix some players receiving an erroneous "Player eliminated!" message. Finally, we're just about done with adding the round timer into Companion so players can always tell how much time is left in their round.
While beloved by passionate fans, Two-Headed Giant (2HG) makes up a very small percentage of play. Because it's an intensive feature to implement and wasn't playable during the peak of the pandemic, we've prioritized several features in front of it. However, we plan to complete delivery of 2HG by the end of Q4 this year.
In the meantime, you can still run a 2HG tournament by using the regular Sealed Deck event setup. Simply register Player 1 for each team but seat both players at the table when paired. Matches are still reported the same which will get you by for now until the completed feature is ready in December.
Modern Horizons 2 is another record-breaking weekend for EventLink and Companion. The team is excited to start the next phase of development influenced by our ongoing conversations with retailers and players around the world. Remember: you can submit feedback directly to us using the "Submit Feedback" option in EventLink. See you in two weeks!