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Serious concerns regarding the incentives of recent changes in the game

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11 March 2018 - 12:42 PM



    Senior Trainer

  • Sadra

I am making a dangerous assumption here so please correct me if I am wrong and I mean no offense against anyone here.


I remember that I have seen this statement on a random post of this forum: PTCGO is a platform for attracting new players into the real card game.


I have started playing the online game since 2016 and after a few years of playing, encountering a lot of problems as well as weird decisions made by the devs I felt that what if: the online game is deliberately made this way so that it will ONLY serve as a place for attracting new players and for casual deck testing?


Think it this way: the aim of the pokemon company is to make profit, what will happen if the online game becomes as or more popular than the real card game? They will lose money.


It can possibly happen due to the following reasons: (1) people can collect cards online and virtual cards are way cheaper (2) players can play matches against each other regardless of geographic barrier, time zones, etc. (3) Players can play against a wider variety of decks and players (larger population).


I have been a serious collector since the release of base set in 1999. While I loved to play this game, I still collected MORE than I played because not a lot of people played the game and sometimes playing against the same group of people can be quite boring. However, this is not the case when I started to play the online game two years ago as I came across a wide range of decks and people with different mindsets and skills. A lot of my friends had the same opinion and while we still played in real life, we also enjoyed playing online.


However, if the online game can actually be extremely similar to the real life game, newer player who gets introduced to the online game first may stick to the online game instead. Pokemon may not want this to happen.


This may be the reason for why many interesting features of the game have been removed, why many problematic changes were implemented, despite facing the opposition of many players. For example, the chat. Since the removal of chat, the game became really boring for me and I only logged online to complete daily challenges and to get versus rewards. My incentive of playing online changed. I began to play more in real life again. Pokemon removed one of the most important factors of games: interaction. (I won’t go into details of this since this is off-topic).


Now, the worsened tournament rewards, and the seemingly easier methods the obtain the cards you want. While it is great to get better rewards, I do not know what will happen to the trade market (I saw a post online saying that the trade market will die more, do not know if this will be true). Personally, compared to those big traders, I do little trading online myself as I have excessive amounts of codes. However, I wonder what will happen to those online collectors if the market dies and with the increased difficulty to obtain tradable packs. With collecting and interaction being removed, little is left.


I never would think that the devs are stupid or dumb. I believe that they are intelligent and know what they are doing. However, the decisions they make seem to improve the game but actually destroys it more and this makes me wonder if they are deliberately doing this.


It is common to see that when 10 people oppose one thing in a thread, the devs usually do not reply OR give an extremely ambiguous or dodgy explanation (e.g. I have forwarded your suggestion to the team). However, once in a while, when someone agrees, they will immediately reply in detail, stating how logical their decision is and keep on referring to a ‘representative group’ that probably does not exist.


I feel really sad about this. Of course, I may be completely wrong and I hope in the end, the best will happen. 


I really wish the devs could bring back the following:


1. Bring back the interesting features of the game (tournament rewards, chat , etc.)


2. Do not destroy the trade market.

Edited by Sadra, 11 March 2018 - 10:08 PM.

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11 March 2018 - 05:45 PM



    Junior Trainer

  • picsupes

This is concerning paranoiac thinking. Come on, the devs are not trying to turn players away from the game because it is hurting the real life TCG! More people are playing the paper TCG today than ever before. 


A few things:

1) I agree that the recent changes have not been great. We are still waiting for them to make some of the additions they announced but all the features that were removed were gone before we were even told about it. While I understand the rationale for some of the decisions others seem curious. I think the decision that has received the most negative feedback is the randomization of event prizes. I have no idea what this was meant to achieve.

2) I am not very sure how these changes will affect the trade market. I do not subscribe to the full-blown hysteria that has overcome many of the outspoken members of this community. Those whose primary means of obtaining tradable packs was by grinding events are understandably upset but I feel like this is far from universal behaviour. Free packs are free packs. So the fact that it's harder to get one of a handful of packs that the trading community values does not mean that trading will die out or that this game has suddenly become P2W. We as a community decided to severely undervalue the majority of packs while simultaneously overvaluing certain cards. If the changes to event prizes do affect the market, it is up to us to adjust to that scenario, but I don't think it will come to that. If the trading economy as a whole was so deeply invested in event prizes to sustain itself, it would've crashed long before this.  

3) Too many people who are posting their feedback on these forums and on reddit seem to assume that their experience of the game is the only possible experience. Even if they are forced to acknowledge that some of the changes might be positive they do so with so many qualifications you can tell they only care about how the changes have disrupted their PTCGO habits and routines rather than how it might've improved someone else. Here you are outright denying the existence of people with opposing views ("a ‘representative group’ that probably does not exist").


 If I am wrong and the devs wish the game to be as good as I wish to be, please carefully consider the following:


1. Bring back the interesting features of the game (tournament rewards, chat , etc.)


2. Do not destroy the trade market.


Basically what you're saying is that if the devs don't make the changes you want there is a massive conspiracy on their part to discourage players from playing PTCGO. Perhaps, they are also responsible for the recent hacked accounts? 

Edited by picsupes, 11 March 2018 - 09:25 PM.

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11 March 2018 - 08:25 PM




  • SingingFlyEx

Interesting theory :)

I rather think they want the game more popular though. Popular, free to play but with incentives to get codes would fit their mission imho.

I like your idea that they canned the chat to keep people close to the physical cards. But we don't know. It could be that they don't want stories of users having no life because of chatting on ptcgo, or that parents complained about chat contents that their kid wants to see but they don't, or for no reason. Us humans tend to make theories to grasp at the unknown but we go astray when we lack data and often enough it's just a big boss' ego fart.


As for the trade market I didn't get your point. They made changes, the market may or may not change as a result, players who want to exchange their buzzwoles to build a golisopod deck will still be able to, so why should they care?

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