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The solution to ( almost) everything - Felidae_'s magnum opus


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18 May 2017 - 07:18 PM

#1

Felidae_

    Elite Trainer

  • Felidae_

Introduction



Beware, this text is going to be extremely long and I honestly don't expect many player to take the time reading through all of it ( or maybe I do and I simply try to use reverse psychology on you, who knows).

Anyway, over the course of the last weeks and months I tried to come up with solutions that tackle a lot of problems the game currently has, both on the reward ladder and on the forums. I should note that those are things that I personally consider to be problematic, which doesn't necessary reflect the opinion of the entire user-base, yet it is safe to say that a lot of those things are mutual annoying.

I also don't believe for a second that anything is going to change, or that any of us really has the power to change the course of this game, yet I still want to get this off my chest, because eventually I'll leave this game for good and when the day comes, at least I can look back at posts like this and say “I did all I could”.



But enough pathos for now, lets dive right in.



In-Game



Remove the current reward ladder and replace it with a monthly versus ladder



We start with the biggest issue the game is currently facing. If you like it or not, the reward ladder, as good as the intentions initially were, has slowly but steadily corrupted the whole game.

In a world were points matter more than exciting games and were racing to the top feels more like a tedious grind, than an enjoyable experience, something is clearly wrong.



If you take a look at the forums, you'll see complains about donk decks, gents and the over usage of “uncreative” top tier decks. While I personally will always defend meta decks and competitive play, I can understand that players are repelled by this environment. Add in difficulties to complete your challenges and other annoying factors and you arrive at a state of the game, that simply doesn't feel right.



Onwards to the solution ( please read the entire thing before starting your rage filled comments :D)



Instead of the current reward ladder, you implement a monthly ladder that initially doesn't even display the prizes. Instead we get a 3 layers system: Pokemon League, Top 4 and Pokemon Champions.

In the Pokemon League, you have to collect 8 gym badges. Prior to each badge are 3 stars ( representing the small fries you have to defeat, before you can battle the arena boss).

For every win you get a star and defeating opponents who had the advantage over you will even give you two stars. After 3 wins ( or collecting 3 stars) your next match will be an arena boss match ( you can even have a small animation “boss match!” before the start of the game).



Winning those games will reward you with the corresponding badge and also work as a save point for your progress. Why save point ? Because every time you lose a game, you'll also lose a star!

Alright, before you grab your pitchforks and try to chase me out of town, let me explain:

Losing a match doesn't feel good. We all know those long battles, that come down to the wire and we just needed one more turn, but unfortunately our opponent was faster. So, we spend all that time, gain little to no reward and even lose a star on the ladder ? What a bummer.

However, here's the catch: that's how life works, in fact that's how every other game out there with a ladder system works. You win the game, you get points, you lose the game, you lose points.



The current systems biggest flaw is the lack of punishment for running super risky decks, a donk deck or being a straight out gent. If we want to go back to a game where everyone is keen on actually playing the Pokemon TCG, we have to implement a way that stops players from carelessly throwing away games.

Yes, if your winrate isn't 100%, you'll go back and forth between the stars, until you eventually clear the gym leader, but don't tell me that something like that, finally achieving victory over many failures, doesn't sound much more rewarding than mindlessly grinding until you reached a certain number of points.

With the gym leader battles, you furthermore have a much better narrative for your games. Suddenly you don't just play any ordinary game against another player, but rather fight for your badge and the corresponding save point. This can also work both ways, because the opponent ( who's representing the gym leader) could get a small visual indicator as well, which also helps with the narrative on his side of the field.



Once you cleared all of the 8 badges ( that's 32 straight wins btw) , you move onto the 2nd stage, the Top 4. Same procedure as with the last stage, however this time you'll have to take 6 stars before each member of the top 4 and you only get a save point in the middle ( after defeating the 2nd member).

Arguably not everyone will reach this stage, hence we'll have to reconstruct the prizes a little ***** more on that later).

After clearing the top 4, you reach the final state: Pokemon Champions. At this stage the best players duke it out on the leader boards, to find out who's the best amongst them. This portion is reserved for the top 1% and in terms of prizes you are only looking and visual items ( deckboxes, sleeves and coins), alongside fame and exposure of course.

Exposure isn't something to underestimate by the way, because many of the great Pokemon TCG players also play online, but you'll hardly see them on the current “leader boards”; because they are mainly for people who grind 24/7.

Just imagine the Pokemon Champions leader board and the race to the top spots and the end of each months. Suddenly who have Ryan Sabelhaus, Chris Fulop and Jason Klaczynski, playing alongside online veterans and newcomers alike, don't tell me that doesn't sound cool.

Let's go even one step further and say that the top ranks earn points for real life TCG events ( be it the invitation to Worlds, Nationals, etc.). Suddenly you'll not only get more players to participate, but you also give players the opportunity to show their skills, who don't have a local scene near them. ( Yeah, I know the different age divisions could be difficult to handle, but I'm sure there is an way solution for that as well).



Let's move on to the prizes.



As I said earlier, I think the initial idea of the reward ladder was great. Giving beginners access to strong Pokemon and staple trainer cards, alongside packs, tickets and coins is great and we should definitely keep this trend going. As mentioned earlier, the majority of the prizes should be obtainable by completing the 8 badges ( let's say this is equal to 1000-1300 points on the current ladder). Since we're looking at a monthly interval, we should also increase the prizes a bit more.

Top 4 gives out the remaining prizes after clearing the 2nd and 4th member ( more packs / coins / tickets and an FA trainer at the end).

This means that players will have more time during each ladder, will hopefully have more fun playing ( mainly because the prizes aren't shoved into your faces 24/7) and even players with a small collection / players who play with Theme decks (which might be an issue, due to the high variance – we maybe have to implement a separate ladder for Theme decks, where you only lose a star after two consecutive loses, or something like that) are able to compete, due to the save points.



Oh, and by the way: yes, the visual implementation of this system was deliberately stolen from Hearthstone, however the main concept is as old as competitive video games it self and in my opinion the gym leader / top 4 / Pokemon champion stages fit the game perfectly.



I'm aware that you probably can't use the official gym leaders, due to licensing issues, but I'm sure you'll come up with adequate substitutes ( just get rid of those nameless cartoon characters ;) ).



The casual mode



You want to complete your daily challenge, test out your new fun deck, or simply have a relaxing round of Pokemon, without having to fear losing progress on the ladder ? Well my friend, then casual mode is the right place for you.

Select your preferred format and deck and play a fun match against someone from around the world. Arguments can be made that this is dividing the player base, but in my opinion a game mode like this is going to be beneficial for everyone. Yes, there is a chance that players will just bring their donk decks and play them here, but I believe that a lot of players, who are running those decks currently, would switch to real decks and play on the ladder, rather than running rampage through casual for a couple of coins.

Contradicting to the point I just made, I'd argue that the casual mode should hand out better rewards for both players ( no matter if you win or lose [though you need to play the game, so no coin flip concedes for you]). This way it will be a a good opportunity for beginners to earn currency, while also provide a cool environment for people who don't like the idea of the ladder and subsequently losing points for losing the match. Again, the ladder should always give out a lot more prizes than simply playing casual for an entire month, but you don't want to alienate the pure casual community either, as they are the back bone of your franchise.



That's all for the game, the rest of this post will be exclusive for the forums.



The Forums



Alright, now we get to the real juicy stuff. Pretty much all of the suggestions I'm going to make don't require any kind of development, or restructure of the forum, they simply require the moderators to do their job and actually moderate.

I'm aware that having this forum is kind of a luxury, compared to other TPCI products, but keep in mind that you also represent the company here. This is no fan made project, but rather the official forum and I have to admit: a lot of the fan made forums are better organised, better moderated and overall much more appealing than this.



Let's start with one of the most important points, that oddly enough hasn't to do anything with the forums at all:



Tutorial



Get someone like me to write a detailed tutorial, or the likes of Pooka ( c'mon, he freaking works for you) to produce videos. No, I'm not talking about the very basics of the game, how to attach and energy and what not, I'm talking about a real tutorial / FAQ. How does the trading system work ? Why does the trade-lock exists ? How do the different formats work ? Where can I find information about tournaments in my era, results from major events and so forth ? What do I have to keep in mind when I build a new deck ? How should I spend my coins ? How does the ladder work ?



You know, questions that come up time and time again. Every day, every week, every month. Questions that won't stop, because each day new players will download the game, so the next time you see a beginner with a lot of questions ask yourself this: why do we lack the ability to simply re-direct said player to an in-depth guide, that will fulfil all of his demands ?



Onwards to the actual forums.



Separate the deck building sub-forum into Competitive and Casual



Buildings decks, sharing ideas with other players and discuss those ideas is part of the fun for any TCG/CCG. However, we really need two separate sub-forums, in order to smooth out the discussion and be able to give every player the feedback that is best suited for them ( more on this later on).

When a new user posts his first deck in the casual section, there won't be any posts that suggest adding 4 of any staple trainer card, 2 Shaymins and a set of Pokemon EX / GX, but rather comments that hopefully try to improve the deck in a frame that is manageable for said user.

Likewise, if a player seeks advice on his current meta deck, it's much easier to go into detail, discuss about certain picks and so forth.

It's not so much about being snobbish and going :”Oh, those filthy casuals should stay away from me and my glorious competitive decks”, but rather about giving the forum a sense of structure, which makes it easier to navigate and subsequently easier to moderate as well.



Rewards for active users



I can't believe you haven't used this before. What's the biggest advantage the official forum has over any kind of fan made project ? You can freaking create resources for the game. Coins, Tickets, trade-locked packs, everyone of those are mere virtual items, that can be created at your will.



We want players to create content for the forums. We want good writes to create primers for the different archetypes ( sort an an overview of the entire archetype with card choices, game plan, match-ups, etc.) and we want fun and interactive discussions. This forum should be the prime source for any information about the Pokemon TCG ( more on that later, again), but therefore we need more users, more content and, above all, a higher quality in said content.

Just imagine the following:



- rewards for reaching a reputation of X “Hey there, you just reached a reputation of 200. Thank you for your ongoing work on the Pokemon TCG forums. Take these 5 packs ( trade-locked) as a token of our gratitude".



- rewards for the number of posts “ Wow, you just reached 500 posts on the official Pokemon Tcg forum. Take these 500 coins and celebrate!



Each month will also feature a special give away for stuff like “funniest post”, “new user of the month”, “best post – deck construction”, “best post- feedback” and so forth. You don't even have to moderate that much, just scan through the forums on a regular basis, look out for posts with a lot of reputation and find your favourite.

It's all about creating an environment where people are encourage to post meaningful content, ********* with others and overall have a good time doing so.



Have monthly writing / creative contests on the forum



Tying in with the idea of given away rewards to the users, why don't we have a monthly contest, where the contestants can win all sorts of in-game goodies.

One function that is severely underused is the ability to share decks ( mainly because everyone can use that tool, no matter if they actually have the required cards or not).

So we create a deck building challenge. Build a deck around a certain theme, write a short introduction to the deck / the strategy and then let the jury decide the winners. The main criteria here shouldn't be focused on competitive viability, but rather on the narrative of the deck.



Example:

Create a narrative deck that centres around Ash's first experience in the Pokemon league.

Create a deck that can deal the most damage on turn one, without having to attack ( none of your cards is prized for this challenge and you'll always draw perfectly)

Create a deck without a single supporter card.

Create a narrative deck centred around the evolution of a Pokemon.

Create a water based deck, using only cards from the S&M sets.



You get the idea. It's fun, it's creative, it's for everyone and you get a chance to win cool prizes on top ? Sign me in.



Other contests could include: write an exciting battle report ( they are more common in the VGC, but I'm sure you can tell an epic tale of your card adventures as well), create your own Pokemon card ( given a certain Theme), Puzzle challenge ( you are given a screenshot of a board state and you need to find a way to win the game in your turn) and many more.



The Pokemon TCG forum



Get rid of the O. Pokemon TCGO will always be an advertisement for the real card game ( and vice versa), so get those players on board. In fact, the majority of the forum already works for both games. Deck construction ? Rumours has it that both games feature the same cards. Player vs. Player ? It even says “Discuss upcoming official tournaments” so why don't we bring in the TO's / Profs. from local events, in order to promote their tournament and give players a platform to discuss / organize. They get exposure, you get new players and in the end everyone is happy.

Trainer challenge discussion ? Re-name it to beginners /casual lounge and you get yourself a nice place for beginners to be introduced to the game, have a spot where parents can socialize and where you can simply have a casual talk about Pokemon, without going full nerd mode ( sort of like the off-topic sub-forum).

Feedback forum ? Just add sub-forums for online and offline feedback and we are good to go.



Listen: You want people to buy your product, play your games, attend the events and watch the streams.

Therefore you need to ***** little more effort into all of this. Maybe you need to hire extra stuff, or reschedule your priorities, but there is no way in **** that the current product, both online and on the forums, is the best thing you guys can produce in terms of user friendliness and also in terms of market value.



I haven't gotten to the many minor issues ( weird profanity filter, canned chat and all of that), because even I won't read this entire thing ever again, so kudos to you, if you somehow survived until this point.



I need a glass of water now.



Yours truly,



Felidae_


The shadows of the abyss are like the petals of a monstrous flower that shall blossom within the skull and expand the mind beyond what any man can bear, but whether it decays under the earth or above on green fields, or out to sea or in the very air, all shall come to revelation, and to revel, in the knowledge of the strangling fruit - and the hand of the sinner shall rejoice, for there is no sin in shadow or in light that the seeds of the dead cannot forgive...

 

  • 18

18 May 2017 - 07:47 PM

#2

ahoodedman

    Elite Trainer

  • ahoodedman

the up-vote button is broken it can only be pressed once


I can't think of a signature  :(

  • 0

18 May 2017 - 08:52 PM

#3

Rainbow-XN

    Expert Trainer

  • Rainbow-XN

Can we print that in a handbook and pass one copy to each of the developers of the game please?

 

Also, may I call you TPCi_Felidae from now on?


All time favorite:

Steelix, Haunter, Scizor, Beedrill, Crobat, Gyarados

 

 

  • 2

18 May 2017 - 09:40 PM

#4

SuperStone

    Elite Trainer

  • SuperStone

Well, Felidae, I like a lot of what you said.  I also don't like a lot of what you said.  Let's break it down. :)

 

-Badge-based rewards

I really like the idea of getting to three wins to earn a prize.  But fighting for gym badges...  Isn't the TCGO supposed to mirror real life?  It would just seem too artificial to fight gym leaders.  But the system could definitely work for ordinary prizes, with some tweaks.

 

 

-Full-month challenges

Like it.  Makes more sense that three weeks anyway.

 

 

-Casual Mode

It sounds fun, but I really don't think it would work to have better prizes there.  That would just incentivize people to run Yveltal/Darkrai, Night March, etc.  You would really have to have less good rewards for the system to work.  However, I do like the idea of similar payments for winning and losing, and nothing for concessions.

 

 

-Tutorial

I saw Pooka's name.  I like it.  :cool:  

 

 

-Droppin' the O

This is a good idea.  It would help bring in more people, and allow for more serious discussion

 

-Best Post awards

Hmm... Nah.  It just seems too organized, ya know?  And also, it would require TPCi to judge RPs, which I'm sure they don't want to do.  But perhaps we could find some other way of rewarding quality posters?

 

 

-Creativity Contests

It seems like these would be better organized by the players, as has been done a couple of times.  However, the moderating staff could decide to occasionally 'donate' prizes to the cause.

 

Overall, I like most of your ideas.  Just make sure that you're not being superficial, and that everything is grounded in the mirror of reality.  I really hope that this gets "forwarded to the proper channels for review" and that that jazz. :D 


The rest of the world must act as they see fit.  If TPCi insists on keeping the Chat canned, that is their decision.

 

But that does not stop me from opposing it.

And I will oppose it forever.

  • 0

19 May 2017 - 04:16 AM

#5

BowserLuigi

    Elite Trainer

  • BowserLuigi

I really don't like monthly ladders (the top 1% people ones). But it's probably just me. Even as I sit here right now with a staggering 2880 points this would not be possible if not for the sheer amount of concedes I make every day (yeah I'm pretty selfish aren't I?). Doesn't monthly ladders promote even longer play hours? I'm pretty sure the devs don't want that (seeing that they changed the vs reward wheel). At least with the current ladder people would be compelled to slow down after they claim their precious FA trainer. Not with monthly ladders. Slow down and you'll fall down for sure.

 

Yeah I don't like monthly ladders at all. But I know many people like them. I just...can't bring myself to like them. Ever (mostly due to Injustice Mobile leaving a bad taste in my mouth).


  • 0

19 May 2017 - 12:07 PM

#6

Adhir1995

    Elite Trainer

  • Adhir1995

The problem I have with your gym battle idea, if its emulating the game then I cant just build a counter deck for it, which removes the "Pvp" aspect and just makes it a farming simulator

 

For the other suggestions I like the rewards for active users and making it mirror the TCG itself for deck suggestions and what not


  • 0

19 May 2017 - 01:16 PM

#7

UselessEX

    Veteran Trainer

  • UselessEX

the up-vote button is broken it can only be pressed once

indeed 


  • 0

19 May 2017 - 08:14 PM

#8

TPCi_Samhayne

    TPCi Staff

  • TPCi_Samhayne

Nice post, thanks for writing it all out.

 

Last year we lost our dedicated Community Manager on the team. We haven't had as much resources to devote to nurturing the community that you might like.  We do have a great group of moderators that pass along feedback and do a lot of hard work here on the forums that isn't always apparent.  

 

Currently, our main development direction, besides the volume of work to keep up with implementing new cards and supporting the many code card products, is addressing the tech debt that has built up over the years and improving processes and systems to run the game.  I touched on this back in February here: http://forums.pokemontcg.com/topic/50476-update-on-rotom-dex-and-next-game-version/

 

We do have some interesting refinements in work for our June release, version 2.45, but it is still a bit early to as some features are still in implementation.  

 

Thanks again for your thoughts!


Alex Leary
Pokémon TCG Online
The Pokémon Company International

Need help from the support team? Visit the [url="http://www.pokemon.com/support"]support portal[/url] and submit a ticket!
  • 0

19 May 2017 - 08:52 PM

#9

Felidae_

    Elite Trainer

  • Felidae_
Thanks for the nice words and the feedback guys :).




Can we print that in a handbook and pass one copy to each of the developers of the game please?



Also, may I call you TPCi_Felidae from now on?


If only that would prevent me from getting warning points for my posts... xD.








-Badge-based rewards

I really like the idea of getting to three wins to earn a prize. But fighting for gym badges... Isn't the TCGO supposed to mirror real life? It would just seem too artificial to fight gym leaders. But the system could definitely work for ordinary prizes, with some tweaks.




In the end it's just a visual representation. In a game like Hearthstone you get your ranks from 25 to 1, in other games you have Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum and Diamond, or another form of visual representation of the rank.



Personally I just felt that earning a “badge” fits the Pokemon theme better than just climbing a ladder like in HS ( although the system is technically the same).








-Casual Mode

It sounds fun, but I really don't think it would work to have better prizes there. That would just incentivize people to run Yveltal/Darkrai, Night March, etc. You would really have to have less good rewards for the system to work. However, I do like the idea of similar payments for winning and losing, and nothing for concessions.


Yeah, it's difficult to find a fun and fair middle ground here. Maybe you could start of with the normal reward wheel in casual mode and in the next month add more rewards to it ( both for winners and losers). Over the course of one month this would probably give enough data to evaluate how many hours players spend in each mode and how the general feedback turns out.

Trial and error I guess :D.


-Tutorial

I saw Pooka's name. I like it. :cool:


His videos originally brought me to the game :D.








-Best Post awards

Hmm... Nah. It just seems too organized, ya know? And also, it would require TPCi to judge RPs, which I'm sure they don't want to do. But perhaps we could find some other way of rewarding quality posters?





-Creativity Contests

It seems like these would be better organized by the players, as has been done a couple of times. However, the moderating staff could decide to occasionally 'donate' prizes to the cause.



Overall, I like most of your ideas. Just make sure that you're not being superficial, and that everything is grounded in the mirror of reality. I really hope that this gets "forwarded to the proper channels for review" and that that jazz. :D




My initial though was to base this indeed on RP, but then I immediately went “Hhm, then I just create 20 smurf accounts and up-vote all of my posts every day”, which actually happened more than once in the past btw^^).

Maybe a system could work where the community members nominate certain posts, or where a community jury (hard boiled guys ********** corrupt) would each nominate a post.

That part is something I'd deem the least important though



Yeah, you are totally right. I think we all know those community events in the off-topic forum ( huge shout out to guys like Rainbow-XN for organising those), I'd simply love to see it on a bigger scale, especially when the amount of effort you have to invest to create such a contest in fairly small, compared to the possible benefits.



Thanks for your feedback and I hope that I didn't went overboard with any of those ideas :D.






The problem I have with your gym battle idea, if its emulating the game then I cant just build a counter deck for it, which removes the "Pvp" aspect and just makes it a farming simulator



For the other suggestions I like the rewards for active users and making it mirror the TCG itself for deck suggestions and what not


Ah, sorry, I think I explained this wrong. The “gym battle” is just a regular match against any other player. It's a mere visual indicator that you advance on your way through the ladder by winning your next game. In other games this is usually called a “promotion match”, that determines if you advance to the next league ( i.e. from Gold to Platinum in League of Legends).



I basically just took the same ladder system that every other game has and tried to fit it thematically into the Pokemon universe, in order to make it visually more appealing and to give a sense of meaning and dramatic to the games :).






I really don't like monthly ladders (the top 1% people ones). But it's probably just me. Even as I sit here right now with a staggering 2880 points this would not be possible if not for the sheer amount of concedes I make every day (yeah I'm pretty selfish aren't I?). Doesn't monthly ladders promote even longer play hours? I'm pretty sure the devs don't want that (seeing that they changed the vs reward wheel). At least with the current ladder people would be compelled to slow down after they claim their precious FA trainer. Not with monthly ladders. Slow down and you'll fall down for sure.



Yeah I don't like monthly ladders at all. But I know many people like them. I just...can't bring myself to like them. Ever (mostly due to Injustice Mobile leaving a bad taste in my mouth).


I don't think you are alone with your concerns and there are many valid points you bring up.



For me, the whole appeal of this kind of ladder system, is the way you approach it.

Instead of tackling it with a mentality of “I have to get those 2000 for my FA card”, I'd love to see a mentality of “Let's see how far I can climb this month”. Maybe on your first try you only clear the 8 badges. Next month you focus on a different format / different decks and make it all the way through the top 4. Two months later who have finally found a perfect deck for you ( or you simply grind 24//7 ^^) and you reach the prestige ranks of the Pokemon Champions.

I personally feel that it is more rewarding to achieve something where you have the chance to fail, rather than simply let time be a factor that determines how many games you can grind in a single day.

That's just me though and your point of view is totally understandable as well.



As for the concedes: I think the game would benefit a lot if players were a bit more keen on playing with bad hands, rather than throwing the game away when they open with a Shaymin in the active spot, or a hand without draw supporters.

I can understand why people choose to play donk, and other risky decks and if that's what they enjoy I'd be the last person on earth to spoil their fun, yet I feel that we need a system where players are once again encouraged to play Pokemon TCG, rather than solitaire :).



As for the time / risk to fall

Keep in mind that you can't lose points if you don't play and that you have a lot of save points along the way. If you are fast I'm sure a deck with a 70+% win rate can clear the badges and the top 4 in 2 weeks, maybe even quicker. (you'd need 32 wins for the 8 badges and 28 for the top 4, with a 70% win rate that's 100 games, half of the needed wins to clear the current ladder) Of course numbers can and need to be tweaked, but in essence I think this system would feel less of a tedious grind, compared to the current reward ladder.

The 1% / Pokemon Champions is furthermore just a prestige rank. The regular rewards will be cleared once a player finishes the top 4. When you get to the ranks of Champion, you can neither fall back, nor do you get more / less prizes, based on your rankings among those champions. The top spots would essentially just for exposure (streamers, bloggers, Pokemon pros) and bragging rights.

Given that I've borrowed the majority of my ideas, this one is basically the Legend rnak from Hearthstone ^^.

The shadows of the abyss are like the petals of a monstrous flower that shall blossom within the skull and expand the mind beyond what any man can bear, but whether it decays under the earth or above on green fields, or out to sea or in the very air, all shall come to revelation, and to revel, in the knowledge of the strangling fruit - and the hand of the sinner shall rejoice, for there is no sin in shadow or in light that the seeds of the dead cannot forgive...

 

  • 1

19 May 2017 - 09:10 PM

#10

Felidae_

    Elite Trainer

  • Felidae_

Nice post, thanks for writing it all out.

 

Last year we lost our dedicated Community Manager on the team. We haven't had as much resources to devote to nurturing the community that you might like.  We do have a great group of moderators that pass along feedback and do a lot of hard work here on the forums that isn't always apparent.  

 

Currently, our main development direction, besides the volume of work to keep up with implementing new cards and supporting the many code card products, is addressing the tech debt that has built up over the years and improving processes and systems to run the game.  I touched on this back in February here: http://forums.pokemontcg.com/topic/50476-update-on-rotom-dex-and-next-game-version/

 

We do have some interesting refinements in work for our June release, version 2.45, but it is still a bit early to as some features are still in implementation.  

 

Thanks again for your thoughts!

Thanks for the response and thanks for the 15 warning points for disrespectful behaviour ;).

 

Jokes aside, I know that you guys don't sit on the very end of things, especially when it comes to finances. Many of the ideas ( especially those concerning the forum) would require additional staff, which would require your bosses to grand your team more resources, since community manager is a full time job like any other.

 

Arguably a drastic increase in activity / number of members on the forum would help to convince them, thus, I'd really love if you gave the idea of a “Pokemon TCG Forum” a chance (if that is even possible, since I obviously don't know many details of the restrictions that go on behind the scenes).

 

However, if there is a way for something like this to be realised, I can't see a possible scenario that wouldn't have a positive impact on the forums, both in terms of content and in terms of active users.


The shadows of the abyss are like the petals of a monstrous flower that shall blossom within the skull and expand the mind beyond what any man can bear, but whether it decays under the earth or above on green fields, or out to sea or in the very air, all shall come to revelation, and to revel, in the knowledge of the strangling fruit - and the hand of the sinner shall rejoice, for there is no sin in shadow or in light that the seeds of the dead cannot forgive...

 

  • 1

20 May 2017 - 02:48 AM

#11

Adhir1995

    Elite Trainer

  • Adhir1995

Ah, sorry, I think I explained this wrong. The “gym battle” is just a regular match against any other player. It's a mere visual indicator that you advance on your way through the ladder by winning your next game. In other games this is usually called a “promotion match”, that determines if you advance to the next league ( i.e. from Gold to Platinum in League of Legends).



I basically just took the same ladder system that every other game has and tried to fit it thematically into the Pokemon universe, in order to make it visually more appealing and to give a sense of meaning and dramatic to the games :).

 

Ahh ok that makes more sense, That sounds exactly like the ranking system for the Yugioh Duel links game, I can see this, although 1 advantage to this ladder is for a person who has a lot of things to do like work/school this ladder is more of an advantage.

 

The one you are suggesting will take a lot of time considering what is being offered which I think might a big turn off to many people


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20 May 2017 - 04:17 AM

#12

BowserLuigi

    Elite Trainer

  • BowserLuigi

I don't think you are alone with your concerns and there are many valid points you bring up.



For me, the whole appeal of this kind of ladder system, is the way you approach it.

Instead of tackling it with a mentality of “I have to get those 2000 for my FA card”, I'd love to see a mentality of “Let's see how far I can climb this month”. Maybe on your first try you only clear the 8 badges. Next month you focus on a different format / different decks and make it all the way through the top 4. Two months later who have finally found a perfect deck for you ( or you simply grind 24//7 ^^) and you reach the prestige ranks of the Pokemon Champions.

I personally feel that it is more rewarding to achieve something where you have the chance to fail, rather than simply let time be a factor that determines how many games you can grind in a single day.

That's just me though and your point of view is totally understandable as well.



As for the concedes: I think the game would benefit a lot if players were a bit more keen on playing with bad hands, rather than throwing the game away when they open with a Shaymin in the active spot, or a hand without draw supporters.

I can understand why people choose to play donk, and other risky decks and if that's what they enjoy I'd be the last person on earth to spoil their fun, yet I feel that we need a system where players are once again encouraged to play Pokemon TCG, rather than solitaire :).



As for the time / risk to fall

Keep in mind that you can't lose points if you don't play and that you have a lot of save points along the way. If you are fast I'm sure a deck with a 70+% win rate can clear the badges and the top 4 in 2 weeks, maybe even quicker. (you'd need 32 wins for the 8 badges and 28 for the top 4, with a 70% win rate that's 100 games, half of the needed wins to clear the current ladder) Of course numbers can and need to be tweaked, but in essence I think this system would feel less of a tedious grind, compared to the current reward ladder.

The 1% / Pokemon Champions is furthermore just a prestige rank. The regular rewards will be cleared once a player finishes the top 4. When you get to the ranks of Champion, you can neither fall back, nor do you get more / less prizes, based on your rankings among those champions. The top spots would essentially just for exposure (streamers, bloggers, Pokemon pros) and bragging rights.

Given that I've borrowed the majority of my ideas, this one is basically the Legend rnak from Hearthstone ^^.

 

Yeah it's mostly just my own selfishness. Still, I can't bring myself to like a system where you'll be punished if you lose, however minor. I think I concede around half of my matches with a volcanion deck, and with any other deck I use just to complete challenges and whatnot my concede rates skyrocket. I suppose I can sacrifice two matches and build an evo deck to complete those evo challenges but still I don't think this is very 'healthy' for the game.

 

Also, getting a shay/hoopa start/dead draw for many turns is hardly my idea of fun. I would rather concede and find a match that I can enjoy, not sit there praying for sycamore or N to show up while the other guy sets up and ravages my team. It doesn't happen all the time obviously, but if I were to lose points for every concede I make then I would be sure to die a little inside.

 

Also, the majority of my wins outside of theme don't even come from taking 6 prize cards. Most of them are from concedes when I utterly overwhelm probably new players with my volcanion/darktina/some other deck. Assuming that I lose/concede 50% of my matches, it may not be faster at all since the other guy is compelled to not concede.

 

As much grindy the current system is I still prefer it. I don't say to myself "I MUST win 10 times a day". It's more like "I MUST get at least 7 boxes from the prize wheel". So I tend to play much more than I needed to get the FA. Again more selfishness. Heck, without the current ladder in no way on this planet will I ever get 2 FA Ns.

 

I think the 'right' thing to do is to welcome such a change. But for my own and my own sake only I would have to stay 'wrong'.


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20 May 2017 - 05:15 AM

#13

harshu

    Elite Trainer

  • harshu

Introduction



Beware, this text is going to be extremely long and I honestly don't expect many player to take the time reading through all of it ( or maybe I do and I simply try to use reverse psychology on you, who knows).

Anyway, over the course of the last weeks and months I tried to come up with solutions that tackle a lot of problems the game currently has, both on the reward ladder and on the forums. I should note that those are things that I personally consider to be problematic, which doesn't necessary reflect the opinion of the entire user-base, yet it is safe to say that a lot of those things are mutual annoying.

I also don't believe for a second that anything is going to change, or that any of us really has the power to change the course of this game, yet I still want to get this off my chest, because eventually I'll leave this game for good and when the day comes, at least I can look back at posts like this and say “I did all I could”.



But enough pathos for now, lets dive right in.

[................... referred to post 1]


I need a glass of water now.



Yours truly,



Felidae_

 

No I need a dinner from you, for actually reading this all through on my first day of course.. :D

Forgive me if I pointed out something that has already been pointed out, but after reading the first post - I didn't had the stamina to read the others and then write this post. So basically you got to reply to me again - yes that is your duty as the OP :D !

 

Okay.. starting of with Casual and Ladder modes.

 

To be honest i really like the idea of casual mode. But for me casual mode should be like the PVP used to be before the ladder was introduced. I really loved those PVP days --> No donk decks and all. Great way to complete challanges/ test decks and great reward wheel. Sounds nice :)

 

 

Ladder mode --> its pretty nice and wrecked idea. But I didn't like yours much either -> specially about resetting on losing. This is Because it will definitely go against the RNG. I think you already know that winning 2-3 matches on a streak will match you will much better players than your own skill. Totally donked for a new guy. because if he needs to win 4 matches.. its a very high probability that he will lose the 4th one because he might be facing a really tough guy who had lost his last match or something like that.

 

I would rather suggest these changes -->

  • 1 month ladder -> Yes sir (or you can make the ladder short, but still 1 month is better to be honest)
  • Reset on lost matches -> No sir
  • gym badges structure -> Not a problem, but might be too much hassle for developers and not really a good option "My personal opinion" here sir

So now after saying no to lost matches, the question arises how do we counter the donk deck.. or risky decks.

Well I can't think of it.. Really need help on it. Because that is the reason I always opposed to the idea of Ladder anyway. I really liked the pre-ladder PVP era. because of these risky/fast/ donk decks you spoke about.

Help me on this one somebody.

 

 

 

Now lets move to Forums suggestions

 

A TOTAL BIG NO ON THE SUGGESTION OF GOING OR DEPENDING ON THE REPUTATION POINTS AT ALL

 

No don't judge people on that at all. Because I have seen people making duplicate accounts/ asking friends to down vote others.. or upvoting themselves. Right now there are more than 50% people upvoted like this (Sure downvote me on this one, I won't mind)

 

Rather I say just remove this reputation thing from the forums. Just keep the report button. In case of some bad messages ( this is because there was a formu massacre a year ago, by a player who got banned - pretty famous case which no one would want to be mentioned so lets leave it here itself)

 

I don't believe in reputation points system anymore.

 

Rewards for active users -> Umm.. then there might be people trying to mess up the forums even more than it is now just to get those rewards, of course moderators will do their job, but might just increase the hassle of it.

 

Monthly contests can be a great thing top promote the forums and writers and the people with creative minds. People used to this long back as a personal tournament or something like that ( I remember you or someone else doing this a year back or so.. ) If this is controlled by PTCG staff members even greater (no partiality issues which could have been there with private tournaments )

 

Great about invitations to the events (For people like me even more :D - Don't have real cards sold in my place, chances of something like an event happening is a far dream !

 

Tutorial things - AlexManectric made up some good guides (they have been pinned and have come to great use)

I too made up some guides mostly for new players - apparently even after requesting about them a ton of times - they never did it (still in my signature you can go ahead and read them) and so now they are pushed back to some 20 pages or something like that (didn't check) but they are absolutely in no position of helping new players now, even though thats what was intended for them to do.

(For reference of the guides, 1st guide is on the second post of the thread Best decks in TCG and the 2nd guide is a thread named New Player Guide ! )

 

 

To Conclude -->

 

  • Casual : Yes !
  • Ladder : No - too much of restructuring, just improve the ladder's time and a tiny bits of imrpovements that can be done, as suggested by the OP.
  • Forum : Reputation points thing (No, just remove them completely), Monthly Contests (yes), rewards for active users (No - pointed out already)
  • Tutorial : Already tried all I could, no one supported me, go ahead try if you can, I will support you ^_^

If the OP doesn't reach here by reading everything then I will really fine you for 100$ - JUST KIDDING :D :D

 

*On a side note - Glad to meet you ^_^ *


Edited by harshu, 20 May 2017 - 05:33 AM.

Probably the MOST HATED WRITER on PTCGO !
If you need any Deck help just visit this thread - The Best Decks in TCG - http://forums.pokemontcg.com/topic/28694-the-best-decks-in-tcg/
If you are new, and looking for a Beginner's Guide, click the following topic, to get reach to a Helpful Guide. - New Player Guide - http://forums.pokemontcg.com/topic/31931-new-player-guide/
Click the names, and you can reach those Topics :)

  • 1

20 May 2017 - 02:20 PM

#14

SuperStone

    Elite Trainer

  • SuperStone

My initial though was to base this indeed on RP, but then I immediately went “Hhm, then I just create 20 smurf accounts and up-vote all of my posts every day”, which actually happened more than once in the past btw^^).

I think we have a discrepancy on what "RP" stands for. :P  I use it to mean "Random Persons."

 

It sounds like you prefer "Reputation Points."


The rest of the world must act as they see fit.  If TPCi insists on keeping the Chat canned, that is their decision.

 

But that does not stop me from opposing it.

And I will oppose it forever.

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21 May 2017 - 05:30 PM

#15

theotherguytm

    Expert Trainer

  • theotherguytm

the up-vote button is broken it can only be pressed once

Solution: up-vote all his posts.

I really feel this could work.

My only issue is with the Deck Construction split because I'm not sure which my thread would go into. But I still like it.

 

Off topic-Aside: My new Aerodactyl deck is working better than I could have hoped.


This is my OTHER signature.

 

http://forums.pokemontcg.com/topic/42500-the-mindless-nonsense-begins-my-ideas/

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21 May 2017 - 08:14 PM

#16

Felidae_

    Elite Trainer

  • Felidae_






The one you are suggesting will take a lot of time considering what is being offered which I think might a big turn off to many people


Does it take more time though ? I'm terrible at math, so there is a more than likely chance that I missed something obvious, but if we take 70 wins ( required to clear all) and add 1 more win for every round that we lose, even at win ration slightly above 50% that should still be less wins than the 200 you currently need for the reward ladder ( and you'd get 7+ more days time on top).






I think we have a discrepancy on what "RP" stands for. :P I use it to mean "Random Persons."



It sounds like you prefer"Reputation Points."


I totally thought you meant reputation points, my bad xD.




Yeah it's mostly just my own selfishness. Still, I can't bring myself to like a system where you'll be punished if you lose, however minor. I think I concede around half of my matches with a volcanion deck, and with any other deck I use just to complete challenges and whatnot my concede rates skyrocket. I suppose I can sacrifice two matches and build an evo deck to complete those evo challenges but still I don't think this is very 'healthy' for the game.


As I said, for challenges, fun decks and other shenanigans I'd just add in a casual mode




Also, getting a shay/hoopa start/dead draw for many turns is hardly my idea of fun. I would rather concede and find a match that I can enjoy, not sit there praying for sycamore or N to show up while the other guy sets up and ravages my team. It doesn't happen all the time obviously, but if I were to lose points for every concede I make then I would be sure to die a little inside.


I can see your point, though how often do you really start with absolutely nothing in the first two turns, while the opponent has the complete nuts ?

In my experience, based on 4000+ games, I can say that those games are a rare exception. Usually I'm able to find at least some form of gas on the 2nd or 3rd turn. Sure, you are behind at this point, but with solid play, a well timed N and so forth nothing is impossible.

Keep furthermore in mind that your opponent sits in the same boat, Sometimes they'll draw ******* well, so it all evens out eventually.

I'd also argue that there is nothing inherently wrong with conceding, as no one wants to be the goldfish, it's just a matter of at least trying to bounce back. It's a card game after all and sometimes RNG back-stabs you:D.


Ladder mode --> its pretty nice and wrecked idea. But I didn't like yours much either -> specially about resetting on losing. This is Because it will definitely go against the RNG. I think you already know that winning 2-3 matches on a streak will match you will much better players than your own skill. Totally donked for a new guy. because if he needs to win 4 matches.. its a very high probability that he will lose the 4th one because he might be facing a really tough guy who had lost his last match or something like that.



Harshu, now that's a name I haven't heard in a long long time. Where have you been mate :D?



A bit of topic, but that's no really the case. The matchmaking is based on ELO and a short while ago they even made some adjustments to the match making system, in order for it to be more precise.

As with the current ladder, you'll always be matched against someone who's close to your ELO. Ranking on the ladder ( both on the current ladder and on “my” version aren't factored in by the ****. You could face a Pokemon Champion, while only being at the second badge, if your ELO correspond, just as you can play against someone who already cleared the current ladder, while you only just started playing again.



I'll defend the principle of “lose a match, lose some points” though. It's more exciting, more challenging and more rewarding than grinding, while simultaneously eliminating a whole bunch of annoying trends on the grind ladder.

As for beginners. Actually I don't think a beginner should be able to clear the whole ladder. I mean can you name any other game, sport, occupation, whatever where you can clear every challenge ahead of you right from the start ? Of course not. Taking the challenge and eventually overcoming it, seeing your own growth and progression,



As for the forum:



Personally I think it all depends on the scale. Yes, the system is flawed like **** and there are many ways to ***** it for sure, but think about it from this perspective: Would you rather give the majority of real users a cool tread for their effort ( something rather marginal, yet still representing a nice gesture of gratitude), even though a couple of rotten eggs could decide to mess with it, or would you continue like it is ? For me I'd definitely go with option one ( though it could use some fine tuning for sure xD).



Tutorials: Yeah, you were always someone who helped newcomers :).

The shadows of the abyss are like the petals of a monstrous flower that shall blossom within the skull and expand the mind beyond what any man can bear, but whether it decays under the earth or above on green fields, or out to sea or in the very air, all shall come to revelation, and to revel, in the knowledge of the strangling fruit - and the hand of the sinner shall rejoice, for there is no sin in shadow or in light that the seeds of the dead cannot forgive...

 

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21 May 2017 - 08:57 PM

#17

Adhir1995

    Elite Trainer

  • Adhir1995

Does it take more time though ? I'm terrible at math, so there is a more than likely chance that I missed something obvious, but if we take 70 wins ( required to clear all) and add 1 more win for every round that we lose, even at win ration slightly above 50% that should still be less wins than the 200 you currently need for the reward ladder ( and you'd get 7+ more days time on top).

 

That is true for someone that owns 4 shaymins, but lets look at someone who doesn't own 4 shaymin and plays theme deck format, win, lose, win, lose, win, win, lose, win

 

This does actually take twice or thrice the amount of time for beginner to complete the ladder 

 

With the current system atleast when you win, it sticks until the ladder itself is reset which is very appealing to many people who just start the game or for people who don't have dedicated time to make up for 20 minute game losses


  • 0

21 May 2017 - 10:39 PM

#18

Felidae_

    Elite Trainer

  • Felidae_

That is true for someone that owns 4 shaymins, but lets look at someone who doesn't own 4 shaymin and plays theme deck format, win, lose, win, lose, win, win, lose, win

 

I addressed the issue with Theme decks, as I have to agree with you, that system would be more than annoying for the format:

[...] players who play with Theme decks (which might be an issue, due to the high variance – we maybe have to implement a separate ladder for Theme decks, where you only lose a star after two consecutive loses, or something like that) are able to compete, due to the save points.
 

That part about Shaymin is rather superficial and you know that :D. Between a solid number of good budget decks, replacements for Shaymin, ELO and MMR usually don't matching beginners against fine tuned decks ( at least if they keep loosing some initial games) and Shaymin rotating out of Standard fairly soon ( fingers crossed).

Also, I currently only own 3, because Awesome_Guy still owns me an FA one :D.


The shadows of the abyss are like the petals of a monstrous flower that shall blossom within the skull and expand the mind beyond what any man can bear, but whether it decays under the earth or above on green fields, or out to sea or in the very air, all shall come to revelation, and to revel, in the knowledge of the strangling fruit - and the hand of the sinner shall rejoice, for there is no sin in shadow or in light that the seeds of the dead cannot forgive...

 

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21 May 2017 - 11:58 PM

#19

Adhir1995

    Elite Trainer

  • Adhir1995

I addressed the issue with Theme decks, as I have to agree with you, that system would be more than annoying for the format:

That part about Shaymin is rather superficial and you know that :D. Between a solid number of good budget decks, replacements for Shaymin, ELO and MMR usually don't matching beginners against fine tuned decks ( at least if they keep loosing some initial games) and Shaymin rotating out of Standard fairly soon ( fingers crossed).

Also, I currently only own 3, because Awesome_Guy still owns me an FA one :D.

 

Ah, You are suggesting different ladders for different people! Now I understand. Also the theme deck punishment is more lenient which is good

 

I also just thought of Legacy, each match is 15-20 minutes because of its slow format.a loss would be devastating in this ladder 


  • 0

22 May 2017 - 02:28 AM

#20

harshu

    Elite Trainer

  • harshu

Harshu, now that's a name I haven't heard in a long long time. Where have you been mate :D?

 

A bit of topic, but that's no really the case. The matchmaking is based on ELO and a short while ago they even made some adjustments to the match making system, in order for it to be more precise.

 

As with the current ladder, you'll always be matched against someone who's close to your ELO. Ranking on the ladder ( both on the current ladder and on “my” version aren't factored in by the ****. You could face a Pokemon Champion, while only being at the second badge, if your ELO correspond, just as you can play against someone who already cleared the current ladder, while you only just started playing again.

 

I'll defend the principle of “lose a match, lose some points” though. It's more exciting, more challenging and more rewarding than grinding, while simultaneously eliminating a whole bunch of annoying trends on the grind ladder.

 

As for beginners. Actually I don't think a beginner should be able to clear the whole ladder. I mean can you name any other game, sport, occupation, whatever where you can clear every challenge ahead of you right from the start ? Of course not. Taking the challenge and eventually overcoming it, seeing your own growth and progression,

 

As for the forum: Personally I think it all depends on the scale. Yes, the system is flawed like **** and there are many ways to ***** it for sure, but think about it from this perspective: Would you rather give the majority of real users a cool tread for their effort ( something rather marginal, yet still representing a nice gesture of gratitude), even though a couple of rotten eggs could decide to mess with it, or would you continue like it is ? For me I'd definitely go with option one ( though it could use some fine tuning for sure xD).

 

Tutorials: Yeah, you were always someone who helped newcomers :).

 

 

Okay, didn't know about ELO because in the past it did use to function a bit differently. Understood that and since I have no alternative to totally 'GRINDY' BEHAVIOR Decks and players, I do think that this maybe the best alternative, but as for the beginners to win everything.. the ladder isn't everything to be honest. The beginners can't win those cool legacy and other types of tournaments and for them to win it, they should be able to win the ladder.

 

Trust me allowing them to win the whole ladder is kind of a good thing. I do understand the point, but will stand by my opinion of having their equal chance of winning the ladder.

 

Another thing, sometimes it maybe quite frustrating when you are on a losing streak - of course good players will take it a need to improve their decks (casual mode is where they would go to test it) but most players would just get frustrated and you know how bad it may end up.

 

Another thing, streaks of 6 wins on a go with players of same level is mostly an impossible task for many players. The players after earning the top 4 'save point' will just lose plenty of matches to drop their ELO and then win 6 against low players, which will be another issue on this structure. Kindly address this. Other than this, it looks a quite fantastic structure. My suggestion on this would be, to maintain a win/loss ratio rather than relying on streak. Its like, you should win 6 matches and only have like chances to lose 2 times (kind of lifelines you have before you reset) This to me is more better than trying to achieve a 6 winning streak.

 

One more suggestion, SCREW THIS CENSOR (I am telling you, it takes more time to figure out a censored word than to read one of your long posts :D )

 

For forums, I would still won't rely on Reputation points though, try to think of something else. What I have thought is, since moderators do read the forums anyway, give them the power to award reputation points or down vote authority only. (Might sound like taking away the power to vote from the people in a democracy, but don't have another solution to this problem)

 

* I had studies that were important so chose to stay away from the game. I may have a bit long time holidays this time. So I am gonna enjoy myself :D *

 


Edited by harshu, 22 May 2017 - 02:33 AM.

Probably the MOST HATED WRITER on PTCGO !
If you need any Deck help just visit this thread - The Best Decks in TCG - http://forums.pokemontcg.com/topic/28694-the-best-decks-in-tcg/
If you are new, and looking for a Beginner's Guide, click the following topic, to get reach to a Helpful Guide. - New Player Guide - http://forums.pokemontcg.com/topic/31931-new-player-guide/
Click the names, and you can reach those Topics :)

  • 0