Description: Zebstrika NXD 48, Exeggutor PLF 5, Seismitoad-EX FFI 20, and Luxio ULP 47, as well as Pokemon with similar attack effects and Pokemon who can copy the attacks of these Pokemon can cause a major softlock bug to occur in which neither side is able to play the game, and the opponent is forced to close and reopen their game as conceding does not work. This is a major problem as it can heavily disrupt regular gameplay and force people to close and reopen the game against their will. It also means that players can use the bug to force people to lose win streaks.
Conditions to replicate:
1. Have one of the previously mentioned Pokemon or a Pokemon that can copy the attack of one of them in the active position with the required energy to use the attacks “Blockade”, “Quaking Punch”, or “Disconnect”.
2. Have damage given modifiers in play that cause the total damage dealt from one of the previously mentioned attacks to be equal to 0 or lower. No damage taken modifiers can be present, as it will cause the softlock to not occur. The differentiation is that damage given reduces how much damage the attack does, whereas damage taken reduces how much the Pokemon attacked receives.
3. Use the respective attacks. When the attack is used, the animation will initially start fine, however the card at the highest point of its animation will freeze in place, and the attack will never actually end. The animation will be stuck.
Easiest ways to replicate:
1. Have Parallel City BKT 145 in play, with the effect of reducing grass, water, and fire type Pokémon’s damage output by 20 on your side of the field. Get Exeggutor PLF 5 with energy to use its “Blockade” attack in the active position. Ensure no damage taken modifiers are present (for example Hard Charm, etc). Once the Blockade attack is used, the softlock should occur.
2. Have Parallel City BKT 145 in play, with the effect of reducing grass, water, and fire type Pokémon’s damage output by 20 on your side of the field. Get Seismitoad-EX FFI 20 with energy to use its “Quaking Punch” attack in the active position. Have your opponent’s active Pokemon be one with a water-type resistance (for example Exeggcute PLF 4). Ensure no damage taken modifiers are present (for example Hard Charm, etc). Once the Quaking Punch attack is used, the softlock should occur.
Details of the softlock:
- Both sides are unable to normally play the game, as the game is stuck on the respective attack used to softlock the game.
- Chat may still be used in friend battles. I am unsure whether emotes may be used in actual ladder or tournament gameplay, or whether you can send a friend request/block a player.
- If the opponent who is against the softlock player attempts to concede, the concede is unsuccessful and the game remains stuck. However, now, if they try to chat, chatting does not work. This is because when the process of conceding is in place, chat is shut off for both sides.
- To remove the softlock, the opponent must close, reopen, and log back into the game, which could take upwards of a minute, and the game will not be available to resume once they get back in.
Suggested temporary solution to ensure bug does not occur in regular gameplay:
Temporarily ban Zebstrika NXD 48, Exeggutor PLF 5, Seismitoad-EX FFI 20, and Luxio ULP 47 from gameplay. These Pokemon can all cause a softlock to occur with very few, if any, conditions met by the opponent. Other Pokemon such as Dragonite PLF 83 and Noivern-GX BUS 99 can cause a softlock to occur with the same circumstances, but it’s much more difficult as there are more conditions that must be met by the opponent to reduce higher damage quantities to 0. This means that the latter two examples will rarely if ever occur in normal gameplay. If the four Pokemon that were previously listed or all Pokemon with similar attack effects to them are temporarily banned until a bug patch can occur, then the bug should be very rarely, if ever encountered in actual gameplay. Temporarily banning Exeggutor PLF 5 and Seismitoad-EX FFI 20 will have a temporary impact on the PTCGO expanded metagame, however it is necessary to ensure that a major softlock bug does not impact players. Another potential solution would be to temporarily ban Parallel City BKT 145 from gameplay, as this is the main root of the problem and makes the glitch far easier to perform in regular gameplay. However, Parallel City being temporarily banned would not eliminate the problem fully, and the glitch could still occur within regular gameplay.
Edited by LiquidLutetium, 23 December 2018 - 12:44 AM.