Keeping Communities Close Through the Pandemic: A 1st Step
Like you, we've watched the COVID-19 pandemic escalate. Here in Washington, that escalation was most sharply felt this week.
Amid all this, we know that WPN members face uncertainties. Many of you are looking at a big upcoming release, uncertain if it'll be safe to keep your doors open for it. Will Wizards reschedule Ikoria? Many of you are looking at POs placed before the crisis, uncertain how you'll serve that product to your community. Can Wizards intervene?
We are working around the clock—collaborating with our global counterparts, conferring with our Retail Advisory Panel, coordinating with distribution—to find the right answers to the above. Nothing is off the table.
But impact varies wildly by region. The situation changes by the minute. We must put the most possible care into our decisions as we go forward. So, as you await word on these questions from us on the WPN team, please know that we are in this together.
It is crucial that Magic’s social infrastructure, the WPN, remain sound through this crisis. We will do everything we can to see that it does. Today, we want to share with you a first step toward that goal. It won't be the last.
Friday Night Magic at Home, With Your LGS
Next week, we will roll out a program on Magic Arena to help keep your communities together, even while they're apart. Here's how it works.
Step 1: Create an Online Hub for Your Community
Many of you already have one, on Facebook or WhatsApp or VKontakte. For those that don't, we’ve partnered with Discord to make it as simple as possible. They've put together a template just for WPN members that will build a community hub in a single click.
Just use this link and your store’s Discord server will automatically be set up for you. You’ll need a Discord account in order to open a server.
The template includes spaces for your community to arrange orders with you, coordinate on curbside pickup where safe and appropriate, trade with other players, or challenge one another to a battle—whether on Arena, Magic Online or via webcam ("lfg"—"looking for a group/game"). The "M:TG Tables" automatically connect participants into a voice chat.
If you're not familiar with Discord, don't worry—your players probably are (at least here in North America). You might reach out to your community for help managing the server. You can also find a great breakdown on the app on Discord's blog here, plus some template "welcome" and "server rules" text here.
And North American WPN members can reach out to us for any help they need.
Once you create your server, you'll want to share an invite link for your players and set the link to not expire. Right click on your server icon and select "Invite People."
You’ll see a note that your link will expire in one day. Click "Edit Invite Link" at the very bottom of the popup.
Set "Expire After" to "Never." Under "Max Number of Uses," choose "No Limit." Click "Generate New Link." Now you've got the link you’ll want to share with your community!
Step 2: Add Your Community's Hub to the Store and Event Locator
We're telling players they can connect with their LGS community through our Store and Event Locator (SEL), so you'll want to add a link to your Discord server—or Facebook group, or WhatsApp—to your SEL page. Just go to this form and put your hub's invite link in the "Description" field. We'll do the rest.
Step 3: Give Out Exclusive Arena Rewards
For the next three weekends (and possibly beyond), we will be holding Friday Night Magic events on Magic: The Gathering Arena and letting stores give out some of the rewards through their online communities. Get information on dates, times, and formats at Magic.Wizards.com.
Here's what players will do:
- Play in the event (win or lose, doesn't matter)
- Take a screenshot of their event page
- Go to Locator.Wizards.com to find and join your social media channel
- Share their screenshot with a nice message on your channel
- Receive a message, from you, with a code to unlock their reward
Step five is where you come in: you'll send them a code to unlock special sleeves on Arena. We'll send you the codes via email, and you'll share them with players via direct message (please avoid sharing them in public spaces). The sleeves look a little something like this:
A First Step
There is so much more we’re working on to connect players to their local stores and communities and to give players more opportunities to support their communities during the crisis. Stay tuned—there's more coming.