Even those of us who weren't involved in GDS3 directly took interest, most notably PVDDR:
The answer to this question is baffling to me. It just seems... false. 4/4 flying vigilance is simply more likely to be an UW card than a BG card. Like, it could literally show up next set as UW, but not as BG. pic.twitter.com/fSN2dyTmRH— Paulo Vitor (@PVDDR) February 14, 2018
Thus began a long Twitter discussion over whether that 4/4 flyer question was sloppily worded or downright incorrectly worded, or something else.
I thought the question was so poorly worded that if the test actually mattered, and I was in charge, I would throw it out. But today I'd like to point out that this wasn't even the worst offender on that same test! If I could only throw out one question, I would throw this one out:
32. You've designed a card, and you want the Play Design team to like it. How should you choose your casting cost?
a. Ask someone from the Play Design team to choose the casting cost.Here is Mark Rosewater's notes in the answer key:
b. Find a similar card as a basis for the casting cost and then make it one cheaper.
c. It doesn't matter; they'll fix the cost if you get it wrong.
d. Pick the strongest cost that isn't broken.
e. Use your intuition.
Making Magic is a collaborative process. To best accomplish this, you need to learn to let people play to their strengths. Could I cost a card? Sure, but I won't do it as well as a play designer who was hired specifically for their ability to judge power level. By asking them first, I lessen the chance that playtesting gets affected because of poor costing. Also, if your goal is to get Play Design (or anyone, really) to sign off on something, it helps to involve them in the process.I don't think MaRo's answer is the best or even the second best answer among the choices given.
The biggest problem with this answer is that asking another team for help is absolutely part of a healthy exchange of ideas and part of solving complex problems in a collaborative way, but it's a very dangerous hammer if even routine daily tasks such as picking a casting cost for a card you want spikes to like start to look like nails.
"Who should write the first draft?" is an important question in many contexts. "Who should review that first draft and help improve it?" is a separate and equally important concern. But the answer to these challenges is certainly not to collapse them into one question or one step. It's fine if Play Design has early and frequent input into the design of casting costs, and it's even fine if there is an exceptional circumstance in which they do get first crack at it (if the card has "Emrakul" in it's name for example, maybe we can shortcut right to Play Design input), but the question's only parameter here is that the designer wants Play Design to like the card. That's way too broad a category of designs to be going out to a team whose primary job isn't design and asking them to do the initial design work.
One answer (not my favorite) that is still better than MaRo's top choice is "Pick the strongest cost that isn't broken." This isn't an ideal starting point since you won't always be right about what is broken, you might not even have enough context to know what broken means in the world the card will be released into, and not every cost should be near the maximum power level anyway, but your best guess at strongest not-broken cost is a better starting point for Play Design to work with than no starting point at all ("you pick it"), especially if you just interpret "isn't broken" conservatively. So if you're using this sparingly (which you better be - see above) then "strong but not broken" plus your intuition (hmm, what's that?) about where that line is, applied conservatively, leaves you at least actually attempting to do your job before handing it off to QA.
Because the other answers are all deeply flawed, "Use your intuition" is the best answer among those presented, even though it's a weird answer in the context of multiple choice. You don't think your best designers can create casting costs that please the Play Design team within the boundaries of fair power level, even as a first draft that will get additional testing? That's a depressingly low bar for design. And if you're thinking, "'Intuition' is just too ill-defined to scale properly or be consistent designer to designer" or something like that, my response is, "If intuition wasn't involved in a big way, they'd be tweaking algorithms instead of interviewing humans for the design roles." Let me get this straight, intuition is something we all know is a major asset your strongest designers have, but incoming designers are scored INCORRECT if they say they intend to use their intuition to design a card?
I"ll end with this: The Legal team (my team) where I work often reviews marketing materials before they are released, to check for claims that might not be well supported, IP issues like use of trade names & media, trade secret/confidentiality concerns about the level of detail in any description, among other issues. If I'm interviewing a marketing candidate and I ask them, "How would you make sure that marketing descriptions of, say, certain security features are satisfactory to the Legal team?" the answer, "I'd use my intuition about what Legal is looking for, then have Legal review a draft before it goes out" is a pretty good answer (not quite as good as actually unpacking what the issues might be or how to find out, but pretty good). On the other hand, "I'd ask Legal to draft the content for me" would be a horrible answer.