With the new year comes new beginnings and new opportunities. Today I will share with you my personal resolutions for growth as a person, a writer, and a gamer. Please feel free to share your resolutions in the comments section below. I hope you all have a happy, healthy, and successful 2015.

My New Year’s Resolutions

Get Married in September

This one should be pretty easy to follow through on. The date is set and the venue is booked. There are still a ton of things my fiancee and I are planning and working on planning, but it’s coming together nicely. We’re mostly doing things with a DIY approach. For the next nine months we’ll be putting together invitations, favors, and decorations. Then, in one swift weekend it will all be over and we’ll be happily married. Of course, the most important part comes a few weeks later when we take a 10-day vacation in central Europe.

It is only coincidence that Mr. Garfield and I share the same first name. I did not propose to my fiancee in this manner.

Make Healthier Decisions

This is probably the most popular resolution in the history of New Year’s resolutions. Virtually everyone makes this one in some form or another and I’m no different. Eat healthier. Exercise more. Go to the gym. Stop eating fast food. These are all things everyone wants to do in order to maintain a healthier lifestyle. The thing is, different approaches are needed for everyone’s unique situation. Personally, I’ve discovered that incremental, measurable changes are the most effective way for me to improve my life. So I’m going to be implementing weekly improvements and hopefully after 50 weeks of this we’ll see some real progress.

A lot of drug companies swear by their miracle weight-loss cures but I’m going to opt for the road less traveled.

Get Promoted at Work

I’ve been working at my job for just over seven years now. Over the past year or so I’ve been taking on expanded roles with the goal of getting promoted to the next level. This year I plan on elevating my efforts to the next level with the intent of getting the promotion I’ve been chasing. It is going to require renewed focus and dedication but I believe my managers and co-workers are on-board and everything should fall into place so long as I put in the effort.

It would be very difficult to work at a computer all day with this creature in play on my side of the board.

Write More About Magic

I’m currently writing once a week, and that’s great. I’ve written consistently for over two years now and plan to make it three by the time 2015 is at an end. However, I feel it is time to broaden the breadth of topics I write about and expand my content. To that end I have been toying with a few ideas but plan to be writing a second weekly column here at Hipsters of the Coast within the next few months. I mean, Jason Alt writes something like 5 times a week.

There aren’t enough Magic cards to represent writing.

Build the MTG Pro Tour Database

This is something I’ve had on the back-burner for years, but I’d like to finally see it come to fruition. Currently it is very difficult for anyone outside of Wizards to provide comprehensive information about Magic tournaments, the results of Magic tournaments, the Pro Tour, the Player of the Year race, and so on. I am aiming to change all of this by building and populating a new database system to compile and track all of this information. The biggest roadblock right now is the integrity of the data source. Wizards’ tournament results are a mess. I’ve seen Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa show up at least a dozen different ways in tournament standings. This makes it very difficult to automate the process, but we’ll get there. It’s not exactly going to be the Elias Sports Bureau for Magic, but that’s the goal.

Knowledge is power and a database of Pro Tour information will make me the most powerful person on the Pro Tour, or something.

Continue Developing ‘Path to the Pro Tour’

Going along with the previous resolution is the continued expansion of my website at www.pathtotheprotour.com. The goal there is to improve the sharing of knowledge about upcoming tournaments and how they all ultimately feed the Pro Tour. The goal for 2015 is to expand the site to contain timely updated information about all PPTQ, RPTQ, Grand Prix, Pro Tour, MOCS, MTGO PTQ, WMCQ, WMC, and World Championship events. Building the Pro Tour DB will go hand-in-hand with this goal.

The Path to the Pro Tour is arduous and, let’s be honest, Wizards does a poor job of laying it out for the players.

Write Long-Form Pieces for the MTG Community

I read the New Yorker religiously and it is my dream to write similarly structured content about Magic the Gathering. I have a lot of ideas for these sorts of columns, and even began working on one in 2014. It was going to be an in-depth look at the growth of the game across generations through the work of the Gamers Helping Gamers charity. I had privileged access to one of their board meetings but unfortunately squandered the opportunity to write about the experience. What happened? I decided to dedicate my time to working on Modern Hero instead. It’s possible I’ll get another shot with GHG but I have plenty of other ideas. The one I’m most hoping to work out this year involves Grand Prix Las Vegas.

I always feel a bit pretentious reading the New Yorker on the subway, but honestly that’s part of the reason to read that particular publication. Also the content is pretty good.

Reach the Level Cap in Destiny

Right now I’m level 29 with Hunter and haven’t even begun to play with Titan and Warlock. Mostly I’ve just been inefficient with the time I spend playing Destiny. I really enjoy playing the game and now that I am raiding regularly with Matt Jones and our clan, the Doomed Travelers, it should be a walk in the park for all of us to reach the level cap with all three classes. Seriously, if you aren’t playing Destiny regularly, and you enjoy first-person shooters, then you’re just not playing with the right people.

The plot of Destiny summed up in the name of a single Magic card.

Complete a Full Hearthstone Collection

I’m an obsessive-compulsive collector. It has taken me a long time to start unwinding my physical collections. Honestly, the fact that I can collect digital things has been a major boon to my psyche. I don’t have to clutter the limited space in my apartment, but I can still satisfy my mental appetite. Completing a Magic collection would be too unwieldy for me on MTGO, so I’ll turn to the card game I actually play: Hearthstone. The trick is that I don’t feel like spending a lot of money doing this. Why? It isn’t as much fun. So I look forward to spending some of my free time in 2015 grinding those daily quests, running the arena, and cracking those packs.

Now that I’ve sold my Magic collection this card would be less good for me to play with.

The Quick Hits

  • Owen Turtenwald looks back at his successes and failures in 2014 [Owen’s a Win]
  • Corbin Hosler reveals the truth about Magic Online and why there’s no point boycotting [Quiet Speculation]
  • Abe Sargent shares his resolutions for 2015 [Gathering Magic]
  • Brian Kibler discusses the growing concept of “pay to win” in the realm of “free to play” games [BMKGaming]
  • Carsten Kotter becomes the latest pundit to throw their hat in the ring for considering cards to ban/unban [Star City Games]
  • Anthony Lowry has a two-step plan for attacking the grinding circuit of 2015: make better choices and have a better attitude [Star City Games]
  • Mark Rosewater presents the design team for Fate Reforged [Making Magic]
  • Adam Koska satirizes the game we all love with a look at Magic in the year 2064 [Black Border]
  • Matt Higgs becomes the latest advocate of the Tiny Leaders format [Star City Games]
  • Frank Karsten does the math on high-variance strategies [Star City Games]
  • Gathering Magic presents this guide on how to become a Judge [Judge’s Corner]
  • Mike Linneman wants kids and has begun researching what it will mean to be an #mtgdad [Gathering Magic]
  • Sylvain Lehoux is on a mission to stretch 100 tickets on MTGO for as long as possible in 2015. How far can he go? [Quiet Speculation]
  • Cliff Daigle shares his resolutions for 2015 [MTG Price]

Wallpaper of the Week

Whomever is in charge of this has apparently been on holiday since mid-December because we still have no new Wallpaper. Another week of this and I may start making my own.

Grade: F-

What We Learned is a weekly feature here at Hipsters of the Coast written by former amateur Magic Player Rich Stein, who came really close to making day two of a Grand Prix on several occasions. Each week we will take a look at the past seven days of major events, big news items, and community happenings so that you can keep up-to-date on all the latest and greatest Magic: the Gathering community news.

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