- July 8, 2020
- Last Update July 5, 2020 10:32 am
Wizards of the Coast and Hasbro share COVID-19 response for Dungeons and Dragons and MTG
In addition to the clear focus on employee well-being and safety, Wizards of the Coast (WotC) and Hasbro have offered suggestions on how to continue to engage with their games and access content to keep the community aspect of gaming at play for their Dungeons and Dragons, Magic: The Gathering and video games properties during the COVID-19 era of social distancing
Last week, Wizards of the Coast announced that they were discontinuing their live streaming schedule on Twitch in response to the implications from the COVID-19 outbreak and how the pandemic affects their associates. They have since resumed most of their first-party streamed content, namely Dragon Talk and the D&D News with Greg Tito coming in remotely.
In addition to these practices, WotC has also re-imagined some of their other more community-based gaming activities with online options, content offerings and deferrals where and as needed for community gaming events like tournaments and Adventurer’s League play.
Typically, in a weird way, it seems that gaming and self-isolation or social distancing go hand-in-hand; however, tabletop gaming and TTRPGs, in particular, don’t fall into the same convention. That said, the popularity of and ready access to modern remote options for tabletop play are positioning games like Dungeons and Dragons and Magic: the Gathering to be the perfect weapons to combat quarantine blues and stay close to the games we love.
Wizards official position, released on March 19, 2020, focuses on tips and resources to bring your friends (virtually) closer from tabletop to video games from the D&D and MTG landscape, despite the heavy cancellations and deferrals of in-person events and engagements.
Magic: The Gathering
Magic: The Gathering has been hit hardest, as it relates to events and tournaments cancellations, but Wizard’s has, fortunately, built up the virtual platform for their mammoth card battler. While fans will definitely lament the nixing of long awaited drafts and tournaments, they will hopefully seek sanctuary in the many content offerings and play opportunities offered by the Magic: The Gathering – Arena online play platform. Here are some of the cancellations and deferrals:
- In-person tournament and draft events, national and regional tournaments and gatherings
- MagicFests through to mid-April
- Regional Players Tours through to May – an online presentation/option is being explored
- Mythic Invitational for May cancelled and all remaining invitationals shifted (TBD)
Dungeons and Dragons
The two biggest cancellations in the D&D consumer world were probably the announcement that WotC was cancelling all of their live, in-person streams on the heels of a statement from Critical Role saying that Mercer and friends were doing the same. Since then, D&D News and Dragon Talk have resumed, but here are a list of Dungeons and Dragons events and presentations that will not continue:
- In-person games, Adventurer’s League gatherings and epics, in-store or otherwise sanctioned for official AL play
- WotC official actual play, in-person streaming games and interviews
- Gary Con has been cancelled, with the next WotC convention presence (Comic Con-SDCC) to be determined
- Critical Role stream and related streams are cancelled until further notice
Magic: The Gathering
Dungeons and Dragons
There are lots of ways to both enjoy D&D content during this extended schedule, as well as run your own games through online virtual tabletops (VTTs) or voice and web conference platforms like Discord and Zoom. Here are some official content offerings for Dungeons and Dragons fans:
- Affiliate hosted streams are still running on the D&D Twitch channel (based on individual streamer schedules)
- D&D News with Greg Tito on Thursdays 6pm ET
- Dragon Talk on Fridays at 3pm ET
- Roll20 and Fantasy Grounds Virtual Tabletop (VTT) D&D games online
- FREE Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount Adventure – Frozen Sick on Roll20
- FREE DMsGuild Titles to play
- FREE playable scenarios from Dragon+ Magazine
- Remote D&D Tips and Tricks from Wizards of the Coast
Dungeons and Dragons video games
If you want to switch out your virtual tabletop for a console break, these are a few of my favourite D&D (or Dungeons and Dragons-like) games that will help get you into something new, or rekindle an old flame, perhaps:
- Neverwinter from Arc Entertainment and Perfect World is an online massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) version of the Dungeons and Dragons ruleset in an MMO. It’s light, fun and has lots of monthly themes and events to experience with friends. massively multiplayer means it’s about the best way to get together with friends in a COVID-19-free setting! It’s available multi-platform, which means consoles and computers, so jump on your PC, PS4 or XBOX and get to adventuring. Oh, it’s also COMPLETELY free to begin! Check out where Neverwinter is available here!
- Dungeons and Dragons Online provides a more traditional MMO experience, so if you’re used to World of Warcraft or Guild Wars, you might prefer this option. As an added bonus – they’ve just announced that all their in-game content, raids and events will be completely free until the end of April to help social distancing adventurers crush their COVID-19 quarantines. Check out the free offerings from DDO here!
- Okay, hear me out – Divinity: Original Sin 2 is not ‘actually’ a D&D video game, but it does have very Dungeons and Dragons-like mechanics, adventure, party systems and role-play. I believe it feels most like a D&D gaming experience, AND it is basically the springboard for the upcoming Baldur’s Gate 3 release by the same dev company, Larian Studios. If you want high-fantasy, rich, party-based adventure, Divinity: Original Sin 2 will deliver. Be warned, however, I and many like me would consider this a very complex more advanced type of RPG, which can be daunting for a lot of players. If you are bored easily by optimization, deep strategy and mechanics then it might not be a great fit. Check out the Divinity: Original Sin 2 trailer below!
Keep an eye out for more updates on what’s new (and not yet cancelled) as more options come down from Wizards of the Coast to help you combat Carona blues and stay virtually closer to your adventuring buddies during this hopefully brief era of social distancing.
Until then, keep your head up, wash your hands and happy gaming!