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Is power creep an issue in this game?


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18 February 2019 - 03:48 PM

#1

ThierrySchmid

    Rookie Trainer

  • ThierrySchmid

Before I come off as an inexperienced player based of my profile information and label as "rookie trainer".I want you all to know I've been playing the Pokemon trading card game back since Lucario LV. X came out during Diamond and Pearl and have been a casual/competitive player for many years now and have played hundreds of games in private events and online standard tournaments and quicklplay. This game is an amazing experience for me and I have gained many friends and gotten to know amazing individuals through this card game. I'm part of the Pokemon community back in Thailand where they recently got their own private rotation of Thai language sets and reprints.

Now before the 2019 standard rotation where they removed such cards like "N" and "Professor Sycamore". The game felt extremely balanced, though it may only be me but after recent expansions which i have noted which are "Dragon Majesty" up to "Tag Team", the game is feeling more and more unbalanced. With the inclusion of Prism Star cards and stadiums, it seems to be that there may be a balancing issue between certain types of Pokemon and the new cards which are included.

Now I do realize that each Pokemon type has it's own variant and playstyle in the game. For example: Grass Pokemon specialize in being bulky and energy efficient with low costs and capable of healing damage done to them. Fire Pokemon are known to dish out high amounts of damage at a high cost of energy which potentially can also be discarded such as Charizard GX and other basic fire mons.

There are cards which compensate for each type in Pokemon, like Kiawe for energy acceleration and Prism star Victini to retrieve all lost fire energy.
For Grass there are trainers such as Gardenia and Prism Star Stadium, "Life Forest" for the healing and bulkiness of grass Mons.

Now i see these as balanced and effective to promote each type of Pokemon in the TCG.
But now after recent Expansions, It feels like Pokemon has prioritized specific types and variants of Pokemon, such as the electric type with the inclusion of the card, "Electropower". and the stadium "Thunder Mountain". It feels as if other types do not receive any love when it comes to cards such as the dark type variant.

TL:DR

Maybe It may just be all in my head and I'm overreacting, but I do see that certain cards and types in PTCG have an advantage over the other and there is an uneven distribution of cards which favor specific types.

Note: This is my personal opinion and please do not start a flame war against me below. I would like to know your opinion on this.


Edited by ThierrySchmid, 18 February 2019 - 03:51 PM.

  • -1

18 February 2019 - 06:19 PM

#2

GR0

    Senior Trainer

  • GR0

Definitely. The set Evolutions proves it (compare Hitmonchan to its original for instance: the Evolutions version is so much better it's not even funny. Even worse: the original Hitmonchan was 1 of the best Pokemon back then, but the vastly superior Evolutions Hitmonchan has never gained any kind of popularity, proving how much everything else improved), not to mention how common 120 HP and even higher is compared to 120 HP back then, how 50 damage back then was powerful but is now laughable, etcetera.

 

But even when looking at a much smaller scale (only cards in this game) is the difference noticable. Look at Burning Shadows Lucario for instance: Stage 1's never got in the triple numbers for 3 energy unless it's through an effect that requires some setup or luck. 80 damage for 3 energy was pretty much the max. But now you have the aforementioned Burning Shadows Lucario, several Lycanrocs that deal 100 damage for 3, etcetera. Also, Stage 1's under 100 HP are getting noticably rarer and rarer


Edited by GR0, 18 February 2019 - 06:21 PM.

  • 0

18 February 2019 - 06:29 PM

#3

SuperStone

    Elite Trainer

  • SuperStone

Now i see these as balanced and effective to promote each type of Pokemon in the TCG.
But now after recent Expansions, It feels like Pokemon has prioritized specific types and variants of Pokemon, such as the electric type with the inclusion of the card, "Electropower". and the stadium "Thunder Mountain". It feels as if other types do not receive any love when it comes to cards such as the dark type variant.

They've certainly buffed 'lectrics of late, but I don't think it's anything to worry about.  Every type (well, most) have had a time when there were a ton of support cards.  Dark had patch, dark claw, and Dark Cloak darkrai released in one set; fighting had strong energy, fighting stadium, korrina, and focus sash in close succession.  Water had dive ball and rough seas- not that it helped them much; Archie's been their only real hero.  And there were shifts like these before the TCGO as well- though my query capabilities don't extend that far.

 

That's not to say that the creep isn't a bit problematic.  Personally, I don't mind it- but it is a bit disappointing to know my favorite decks from long ago are now completely obsolete.  And there is only so long they can continue it- when we start pushing 400 HP, we will pass the maximums from the video games, which have of course served as the rough basis for the card game.  And you can never un-creep; the new cards will then be useless outside of Standard.  So they really should start carefully examining the direction they're going now- Team Ups have accelerated things considerably.

 

Also- dark actually got some nice things from Team Up as well.  Hoopa-GX, the almost good Incin-GX, and of course that amazing prism star stadium Black Market.


Edited by SuperStone, 18 February 2019 - 06:31 PM.

The truth waits for no one.  That which you refuse to see, TPCi, slips past you.  The chat function was never your problem, yet through your blindness, you have made it one.

  • 0

19 February 2019 - 04:05 PM

#4

ShannonBK

    Junior Trainer

  • ShannonBK
It's a problem always but power of a type changes with every new release. If can be balanced is okay but the real problem is how to stop the increasing damage and increasing HP in future.
  • 0

19 February 2019 - 07:14 PM

#5

Otakutron

    Veteran Trainer

  • Otakutron

ThierrySchmid, on 18 Feb 2019 - 09:48 AM, said:

Before I come off as an inexperienced player based of my profile information and label as "rookie trainer".I want you all to know I've been playing the Pokemon trading card game back since Lucario LV. X came out during Diamond and Pearl and have been a casual/competitive player for many years now and have played hundreds of games in private events and online standard tournaments and quicklplay. This game is an amazing experience for me and I have gained many friends and gotten to know amazing individuals through this card game. I'm part of the Pokemon community back in Thailand where they recently got their own private rotation of Thai language sets and reprints.


Emphasis added, but before I explain, why I put your last sentence in bold text, let me give my own background. I began playing the Pokémon TCG as a high school student back in 1999. I have had to take a break every now and then, even quit twice, but I've always come back and caught up on what I missed, at least getting the abridged version. ;) I've never been a successful competitive player, though; I tend to choke under pressure, and I haven't even been able to attend a tournament in nearly a decade due to health and financial reasons. In fact, I've been a PTCGO-only player since 2015. What I have done is study and write about the TCG, though paid writing gigs have been few and far between.

Now, one of the things I know from having played so long is that not every area is managed the same. Especially the further back you go, where some sets would just be outright skipped outside of major Pokémon TCG markets. So... what has it been like for Thailand? What you experienced there may be very, very different than what we've experienced elsewhere.

 

ThierrySchmid, on 18 Feb 2019 - 09:48 AM, said:

Now before the 2019 standard rotation where they removed such cards like "N" and "Professor Sycamore". The game felt extremely balanced...

While you are not alone, that is far from a universal position. The short and oversimplified version is there are a lot of balance issues within the Pokémon TCG, and they've been there since the game was first released. They are easy to miss when you're new to the game, and they are not inherent to the modern rules but are caused by how the cards are designed and (supposedly) balanced within those rules. Two trouble makers are the Supporters you mentioned.

 

ThierrySchmid, on 18 Feb 2019 - 09:48 AM, said:

...though it may only be me but after recent expansions which i have noted which are "Dragon Majesty" up to "Tag Team", the game is feeling more and more unbalanced. With the inclusion of Prism Star cards and stadiums, it seems to be that there may be a balancing issue between certain types of Pokemon and the new cards which are included.

Again, I would disagree. I'd say things are more balanced, even though I have concerns about certain cards, both those already out and some scheduled for future release. I strongly suspect you just didn't notice the balance issues that were around in past formats, in part because there are four ways in which cards need to be balanced:

  • Pokémon Type
  • Stage of Evolution
  • Specialty Mechanics (like Pokémon-GX)
  • General cardpool

That last one has been pretty terrible for most of the time you've played. I used to think it was better during the mid-2000s but now I think it is just because it was more difficult to see winning decklists, and I didn't understand strategies as well as I do now. In other words, I thought more cards were competitive simply because I didn't realize how badly outclassed they were at the time.

The relevance of these four aspects of game balance is that it is easy to mistake things as being balanced when - for example - each of the first three categories has at least one representative deck for its subdivisions. It doesn't take into account, however, that a particular Type may be half the metagame, whether through one single, overwhelmingly good deck or just five very good ones. It can ignore things like Stage 1 and Stage 2 Pokémon having competitive decks due to a card like Broken Time-Space. Same thing with gimmicks; if a specialty mechanic has a major presence in nearly every competitive deck, and the exceptions are decks specifically countering the mechanic... probably a balance issue.

 

ThierrySchmid, on 18 Feb 2019 - 09:48 AM, said:

Now I do realize that each Pokemon type has it's own variant and playstyle in the game. For example: Grass Pokemon specialize in being bulky and energy efficient with low costs and capable of healing damage done to them. Fire Pokemon are known to dish out high amounts of damage at a high cost of energy which potentially can also be discarded such as Charizard GX and other basic fire mons.

There are cards which compensate for each type in Pokemon, like Kiawe for energy acceleration and Prism star Victini to retrieve all lost fire energy.

For Grass there are trainers such as Gardenia and Prism Star Stadium, "Life Forest" for the healing and bulkiness of grass Mons.

Each Type "sort of" has its own play style or theme, but a lot of that is "on paper". When we get to competitive play, you'll often see strategies resemble each other regardless of Pokémon-Type. Certain motifs are more or less common among different Types, but it isn't a hard and fast division like Magic: the Gathering. Though, as a non-MtG player, I'm going by what others have explained to me, often while flustered Pokémon doesn't really do this.

 

ThierrySchmid, on 18 Feb 2019 - 09:48 AM, said:

Now i see these as balanced and effective to promote each type of Pokemon in the TCG.

But now after recent Expansions, It feels like Pokemon has prioritized specific types and variants of Pokemon, such as the electric type with the inclusion of the card, "Electropower". and the stadium "Thunder Mountain". It feels as if other types do not receive any love when it comes to cards such as the dark type variant.

The Pokemon TCG has 11 different Pokémon-Types and likes to theme sets around one to three Types. Sometimes, they are slow about releasing new support for a Type or release more for one Type than another. As they can't (or at least, won't) release it all at once, they seem to favor giving each Type some time in the spotlight and sometimes? They goof; one Type's support is better than expected and another's is worse. Or the support is fine, but the Pokémon meant to use it are way better or worse than anticipated. Etc.

You just didn't notice until recently. :) Remember the Type-specific Special Energy cards which released during the XY-era? Every Pokémon-Type except Colorless had a Special Energy that only worked for Pokémon of that Type. Strong Energy, the first one released and meant for [F] Types, also proved to be one of the best! Herbal Energy, the Special Energy for [G] Types, released alongside it and... saw next-to-no competitive play. It was near the end of the XY-series by the time we'd gotten all 10 of them.

 

From 18 Feb 2019 - 09:48 AM:

TL:DR

Maybe It may just be all in my head and I'm overreacting, but I do see that certain cards and types in PTCG have an advantage over the other and there is an uneven distribution of cards which favor specific types.

Note: This is my personal opinion and please do not start a flame war against me below. I would like to know your opinion on this.

TL;DR: Power creep is real, but it also is not new; it has been happening since the beginning of the game, though not uniformly. You just missed it before; you're probably just becoming a skilled enough player to finally notice. Things may not be the best they've ever been... but they could be, and they definitely are better than the lowest points I've experienced.

 

Addendum: While I also hope no one starts a flame war, be careful not to say things like "This is my personal opinion..." when you're not describing mostly subjective things. If chocolate is your favorite ice cream flavor, that is a subjective opinion, even if you base it on some facts as well; it is silly to tell you that you're wrong. This was your analysis of the situation, and it could be mistaken. As could mine. ;)


Edited by Otakutron, 19 February 2019 - 07:18 PM.

If you do not have Private Messages enabled, it really limits you in discussing the Pokémon TCG. ;)

  • 0

05 March 2019 - 01:43 PM

#6

Spr1nter

    Novice Trainer

  • Spr1nter

Emphasis added, but before I explain, why I put your last sentence in bold text, let me give my own background. I began playing the Pokémon TCG as a high school student back in 1999. I have had to take a break every now and then, even quit twice, but I've always come back and caught up on what I missed, at least getting the abridged version. ;) I've never been a successful competitive player, though; I tend to choke under pressure, and I haven't even been able to attend a tournament in nearly a decade due to health and financial reasons. In fact, I've been a PTCGO-only player since 2015. What I have done is study and write about the TCG, though paid writing gigs have been few and far between.
Now, one of the things I know from having played so long is that not every area is managed the same. Especially the further back you go, where some sets would just be outright skipped outside of major Pokémon TCG markets. So... what has it been like for Thailand? What you experienced there may be very, very different than what we've experienced elsewhere.
 

While you are not alone, that is far from a universal position. The short and oversimplified version is there are a lot of balance issues within the Pokémon TCG, and they've been there since the game was first released. They are easy to miss when you're new to the game, and they are not inherent to the modern rules but are caused by how the cards are designed and (supposedly) balanced within those rules. Two trouble makers are the Supporters you mentioned.
 

Again, I would disagree. I'd say things are more balanced, even though I have concerns about certain cards, both those already out and some scheduled for future release. I strongly suspect you just didn't notice the balance issues that were around in past formats, in part because there are four ways in which cards need to be balanced:

  • Pokémon Type
  • Stage of Evolution
  • Specialty Mechanics (like Pokémon-GX)
  • General cardpool
That last one has been pretty terrible for most of the time you've played. I used to think it was better during the mid-2000s but now I think it is just because it was more difficult to see winning decklists, and I didn't understand strategies as well as I do now. In other words, I thought more cards were competitive simply because I didn't realize how badly outclassed they were at the time.
The relevance of these four aspects of game balance is that it is easy to mistake things as being balanced when - for example - each of the first three categories has at least one representative deck for its subdivisions. It doesn't take into account, however, that a particular Type may be half the metagame, whether through one single, overwhelmingly good deck or just five very good ones. It can ignore things like Stage 1 and Stage 2 Pokémon having competitive decks due to a card like Broken Time-Space. Same thing with gimmicks; if a specialty mechanic has a major presence in nearly every competitive deck, and the exceptions are decks specifically countering the mechanic... probably a balance issue.
 

Each Type "sort of" has its own play style or theme, but a lot of that is "on paper". When we get to competitive play, you'll often see strategies resemble each other regardless of Pokémon-Type. Certain motifs are more or less common among different Types, but it isn't a hard and fast division like Magic: the Gathering. Though, as a non-MtG player, I'm going by what others have explained to me, often while flustered Pokémon doesn't really do this.
 

The Pokemon TCG has 11 different Pokémon-Types and likes to theme sets around one to three Types. Sometimes, they are slow about releasing new support for a Type or release more for one Type than another. As they can't (or at least, won't) release it all at once, they seem to favor giving each Type some time in the spotlight and sometimes? They goof; one Type's support is better than expected and another's is worse. Or the support is fine, but the Pokémon meant to use it are way better or worse than anticipated. Etc.You just didn't notice until recently. :) Remember the Type-specific Special Energy cards which released during the XY-era? Every Pokémon-Type except Colorless had a Special Energy that only worked for Pokémon of that Type. Strong Energy, the first one released and meant for [F] Types, also proved to be one of the best! Herbal Energy, the Special Energy for [G] Types, released alongside it and... saw next-to-no competitive play. It was near the end of the XY-series by the time we'd gotten all 10 of them.
 

TL;DR: Power creep is real, but it also is not new; it has been happening since the beginning of the game, though not uniformly. You just missed it before; you're probably just becoming a skilled enough player to finally notice. Things may not be the best they've ever been... but they could be, and they definitely are better than the lowest points I've experienced.
 
Addendum: While I also hope no one starts a flame war, be careful not to say things like "This is my personal opinion..." when you're not describing mostly subjective things. If chocolate is your favorite ice cream flavor, that is a subjective opinion, even if you base it on some facts as well; it is silly to tell you that you're wrong. This was your analysis of the situation, and it could be mistaken. As could mine. ;)

The only problem is thst players are not recognizing that the game is broken.

Power creep is just a lazy excuse to release cards thst require no skill to use.
  • -1

07 March 2019 - 02:35 AM

#7

SuperStone

    Elite Trainer

  • SuperStone

The only problem is thst players are not recognizing that the game is broken.

Power creep is just a lazy excuse to release cards thst require no skill to use.

I mean, you know that's not true.  I don't think that argument really needs refuting.

 

Of course, one of the big drivers to keep creeping is to make new releases more relevant- so the meta changes more and printing isn't wasted, and of course to sell more cards.  But your extrapolations from that point are pretty ridiculous.


Edited by SuperStone, 07 March 2019 - 02:35 AM.

The truth waits for no one.  That which you refuse to see, TPCi, slips past you.  The chat function was never your problem, yet through your blindness, you have made it one.

  • 0

07 March 2019 - 03:38 AM

#8

Otakutron

    Veteran Trainer

  • Otakutron

I mean, you know that's not true.  I don't think that argument really needs refuting.

 

Of course, one of the big drivers to keep creeping is to make new releases more relevant- so the meta changes more and printing isn't wasted, and of course to sell more cards.  But your extrapolations from that point are pretty ridiculous.

 

Given set rotation, would power creep actually be needed to sell new product?


If you do not have Private Messages enabled, it really limits you in discussing the Pokémon TCG. ;)

  • 0

09 March 2019 - 04:17 AM

#9

SuperStone

    Elite Trainer

  • SuperStone

Given set rotation, would power creep actually be needed to sell new product?

TPCi doesn't need to do anything to sell their products. :P They know we're suckers for their brand images.  But to sell more?  Well, it's certainly not going to hurt, is it?


The truth waits for no one.  That which you refuse to see, TPCi, slips past you.  The chat function was never your problem, yet through your blindness, you have made it one.

  • 0

09 March 2019 - 05:42 PM

#10

Otakutron

    Veteran Trainer

  • Otakutron

TPCi doesn't need to do anything to sell their products. :P They know we're suckers for their brand images.  But to sell more?  Well, it's certainly not going to hurt, is it?

 

Is it likely going to hurt?  No.  Is it certainly not going to hurt?  Oh, it absolutely could; this is a big turn off for a small portion of the customer base.  If that sliver of people actually could persuade others, it could indeed damage their sales.


Edited by Otakutron, 09 March 2019 - 05:43 PM.

If you do not have Private Messages enabled, it really limits you in discussing the Pokémon TCG. ;)

  • 0

09 March 2019 - 06:17 PM

#11

SandaledOtter

    Elite Trainer

  • SandaledOtter

Is it likely going to hurt?  No.  Is it certainly not going to hurt?  Oh, it absolutely could; this is a big turn off for a small portion of the customer base.  If that sliver of people actually could persuade others, it could indeed damage their sales.

That never happens. Hundreds of thousands of people still pre-order games from Evil Associated, despite being burned repeatedly and having others tell them not just to never pre-order games, but to stay away from that company entirely.


"Swishonk!" That's what's happening!

  • 1

10 March 2019 - 02:30 AM

#12

Otakutron

    Veteran Trainer

  • Otakutron

That never happens. Hundreds of thousands of people still pre-order games from Evil Associated, despite being burned repeatedly and having others tell them not just to never pre-order games, but to stay away from that company entirely.

 

*shrugs* I said "if".  I'm just not convinced it is impossible, just incredibly improbable. ;)

 

Which is such a slight difference to what SuperStone said, it was pointless for me to even make the comment.  Sorry, all! >_<


If you do not have Private Messages enabled, it really limits you in discussing the Pokémon TCG. ;)

  • 1

16 March 2019 - 10:19 AM

#13

Spr1nter

    Novice Trainer

  • Spr1nter

I mean, you know that's not true. I don't think that argument really needs refuting.

Of course, one of the big drivers to keep creeping is to make new releases more relevant- so the meta changes more and printing isn't wasted, and of course to sell more cards. But your extrapolations from that point are pretty ridiculous.

There is no need to tinker with game balance to sell cards, unless it is a pay to win business model.

Which it is. Why else would GX cards need to be 100 hp more than non GX cards? Why else would you be able to use abilities despite status conditions like sleep or paralysis?

The next set of cards are going to have more hp and more damage with fewer energy, which will eventually destroy this game, if it isn't already wrecked.

Edited by Spr1nter, 16 March 2019 - 10:20 AM.

  • 0

16 March 2019 - 01:53 PM

#14

abinhathbour456

    Elite Trainer

  • abinhathbour456

There is no need to tinker with game balance to sell cards, unless it is a pay to win business model.

Which it is. Why else would GX cards need to be 100 hp more than non GX cards? Why else would you be able to use abilities despite status conditions like sleep or paralysis?

The next set of cards are going to have more hp and more damage with fewer energy, which will eventually destroy this game, if it isn't already wrecked.

.


Edited by abinhathbour456, 16 March 2019 - 04:41 PM.

Member Of Top Cut And Director Of Trades.

http://forums.pokemontcg.com/topic/25163-the-top-cut-trading-inc-2-ultra-prism-added/

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