As you may now it's been a while that Wizards of the Coast changed the prize payout on MODO and introduced something called Play Points.
Why did this happen? For some time now or rather since Khans of Tarkir the price of booster packs was decreasing. It decreased to 1.5 tix or so at one point which was really ridiculous. Paying 6 tix for a constructed event and winning 11/6 packs was a very huge difference in gain/loss (and that is when the prices of actual KTK cards started to go up). I'm not going to talk about expected value but you can easily see that there is a one time huge difference in what you get (3*11 or 1.5*11) and that if you play regularly and your win percentage is lower (let's say 55%) you can even get to the point in which you 'lose' money by playing Daily Events.
When playing on MODO what I care about is to have enough tix to play and win enough tix to continue playing and to have some spare tix I can use for building my constructed decks. I don't really like DTK so I was playing KTK/FRF. In the past few months I was capable of buying a set (not that I would need it) for 7 tix. For all those KTK/FRF packs I won and cards I opened I bought a whole constructed deck (Junk Midrange, and I still kept some cards like Monastery Mentor). But for someone playing constructed this was rather impossible. Because for 6 tix one could get 11 packs (I'm not a person who would be getting 4:0 all the time). With 55% win rate a constructed player got nothing out of daily events and that is probably why the change has come. Wizards were listening to the players complaining about the packs' price but decided not to lower the redemption fees back to its original fee. When the redemption went up from 5USD to 25USD the prices of sets just went down. It wasn't profitable that much to redeem so way more cards stayed in the system, thus lowering the prices of cards and packs. This had even a greater impact. Before the redemption tax went up one had to wait ages to join a DE, after it became quite simply and did not really require much time. Many players stop playing those events and even SE were firing less frequently. Some did not even fire (Block constructed). Those people probably left because getting packs of less than 2.5tix value were simply not worth it (and I don't even speak about FRF). So WotC was looking for a solution to this problem, since raising the prize payout in packs would hurt even more (more product -> lesser value of it) they had to come up with something else.
Wizards of the Coast introduced Play Points. Something that one wins in constructed events and something for which one can enter events. It has a downside though. It is not tradeable/sellable. I already hated the notion of Phantom Points. Entering a Phantom Event for 10 tix and then winning only Phantom Points did not seem worth it even though I would use that solely for cube. Phantom Points could be avoided if one did not want to play Phantom events but that is not the case with Play Points.
The prize payout and entrance fees are now different, check out WotC page for more info. But in general playing 8-man SEs is way more profitable than it used to be and the prize payout is very close to DEs. Daily Events now cost 12 tix or 120 points which is twice as much and this might turn away some of the players. The prizes in general are higher for someone with higher win rates but for those more casually playing it gets worse and double entry is not worth the risk for some. (Does that mean that more casual players are supposed to play single elimination events??) The prizes consist of few packs and many player points. In SE you pay 6 tix/60 Play Points and you can get 2 packs+140 pts for 3:0. 1 pack and 60 pts for 2:1 and those who managed to win a game get 60 points. In DE for 4:0 you get 6 packs and 360 pts and 3 packs + 180 pts for 3:1. In a two man the winner gets 30 pts and the loser gets 5 (still costs 2tix/20 pts).
So what does this mean? Well, those who actually are good in constructed will get a lot of Play Points they won't need. Those points have an imaginary value of tix but one cannot trade them or sell them. The only way to turn them into money now is to play limited and hope to get something close to what they won or more. Now what if one needs to actually buy cards for a deck? I'm supposed to get them by turning 6 packs into tix and get my cards? Imagining that I need 500tix out of that...For a more casual player this may be even bigger problem. Because if you win at least something you don't get packs but points so you can continue in playing. This is something WotC was emphasizing. One gets the possibility to play all the time and does not need to care much about getting tix somewhere and play (seriously???). They also said that they would still be providing players with packs but getting them is now 'way more difficult' (if one is an average constructed player and does not play limited at all this is near to impossible). If one decides to go play in limited event he or she pays 140 points which equals to the real price or 14 tix which up to now wasn't needed (I know this brings more money to WotC all the time but for the players that got used to the model of not paying 14 tix..it's not a good news.). The good thing is that the price of booster packs should rise because those won't be distributed in such quantity as before. But that could also mean the rise of single card prices. We will have to see, people are now selling their collections and that showed up on the card prices (they went down - tix went down as well). If the prices of singles go up it will be even more tougher to get your 'hands' on them.
A fairly good limited player should be profiting the most out of this because he won't need to use the play points and should win more in limited events (as the price of packs should rise).
Anyway we will see where all this will lead. I hope that WotC will at least allow us to buy something from their own shop for the Play Points but since Phantom Points were practically useless anywhere else...I very highly doubt that.
It is good that Wizards of the Coast listens to the players and tries to keep their business together (what is the income from MODO, 30%?) but there is still room for improvement especially in the DE. Those where the tournaments one wanted to compete in to get the best prizes. Now it is better to play SEs.
In short, good players both constructed and limited will be rewarded more. For average or worse player it will be harder to build their collection and it will be more expensive to enter an event. For players that are only interesting in playing (and not having any interest in growing a collection etc) it is a better system. Turning constructed prizes into money/tix/packs will be way more difficult because the only way is through limited events or PPTQs and such. This not only costs us money but it will also cost us the active time we spend playing those events. In terms of money for WotC all this is better but in terms of player base I'm not really sure about it and wasn't it WotC's desire to make the player base bigger? They should certainly make the DEs more appealing now.
Seriously why impose such a thing on Magic players? Isn't MODO a place that is known to be full of grinders etc? Because these people can do the maths and as far as I know the majority of Magic players participate in events because of the prizes they can get. If the expected value goes way too down for them they will simply stop playing in those events and this could clearly be seem when the redemption fee went up.
Also I wonder about one more thing...why does not WotC promote Magic Online a bit more (is it because it's one big mess that deserves reworking and now it is definitely the wrong time)? I mean since the revenue from MODO is actually quite big why not try to show it to players? Advert in booster packs is not something that works I guess? Judges get free drafts so they are exposed to it why not do something with the players as well? Showing that something like this exists and that people actually play on it would be enough I guess... (I know that this is difficult especially with target group being completely different from what normally WotC targets, but I think it could generate more money if done right. Wouldn't it be better than to tax all the current players?). But whatever it is not my concern...(my only concern with MODO is that WotC can do anything they want with my account and I really don't like that...).
hm that's about my two cents...I guess? Let's see how all this will work in the near future.
EDIT: It obviously works for Wizards of the Coast. They say that both constructed and limited is played way more than before...