With the release of the Onslaught expansion in Sept 2002, Wizards of the Coast officially discontinued support for the Magic Interactive Encyclopedia, though patches through Judgment are still available on the Wizards Electronic Media website. Terminating support for MIE seems to have been a prelude to the launch of Magic Online.
Whatever Wizards' goals, the Magic community was clamoring for Encyclopedia updates, and several folks stepped in to provide compatible updates based on the official Wizards spoilers. Unfortunately, these grass-roots efforts brought with them some degree of confusion, since these unofficial patches differed considerably in both quality and content. Most notably, some patches included the card images (of variable quality), while other patches contained only the database changes.
Since the Magic Analyst provides better database functionality than the Interactive Encyclopedia anyway, users of the Analyst were most interested in Encyclopedia patches for the sake of the card images, with which the Analyst is compatible. The best image patches of this era were developed by a Magic Analyst fan in the Netherlands. Check out Arrian's MtG:IE Patches, and if you like his work, be sure to send him a thankyou!
Arrian also assembled image patches for the Kamigawa and Ravnica sets, so be sure to check out his website and tell him how much you appreciate his work.
Installing these patches is easy: just unzip them and drop the "##xxx" folders into the \Images\LargeJPG folder of your Encyclopedia directory. Done! Now you'll see actual card images for those sets instead of proxies!
Other good image patches were developed by fans of the now-defunct MTGPlay software, which provided improved head-to-head Magic play online. These required some tweaking, though, because the indexing standard is different. For instructions on using these patches with the Magic Analyst, click here.
(If you happen to be a Magic database developer, please see our proposed standard for key values, aimed at preventing these indexing problems.)
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