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Kingsisle, Deckathalons Need a Revision: A Long Discussion

AuthorMessage
Survivor
May 01, 2010
19
Ok, so I'm relatively new to the Deckathalon Events. This current Fire one is my second overall since I got back into playing the game about a month ago. I figured it'd be cool to try them out and try my hand at the Mythic Hands of Fate, which is currently the only thing left I'm trying to grind for in this game. I started playing through the Deckathalons and I realized that I was only given three attempt credits per day, which seemed odd to me at first, but I didn't think much of it. I assumed I just had to make the most out of each run and I would be handsomely rewarded with runes along the way. The more I progressed through the Fire tower, the more I started to discover the problems that plague this event, and prevent it from being fun and worthwhile for the player.

I am at Stage 9 in the tower as of typing this, and right now, my drive to continue this tower is so low because of how dauntingly cost and time-demanding this event is for the player. It's borderline unfair.

DECKS AND RUNES

First off, the Deck system. Let me start by saying that I can dig the way that you upgrade your decks in this event. Using your Runes to create stronger versions of your previous deck is cool, and gives a nice sense of progression for the player, but like... why are the recipes so demanding?

Starting from Deck 3, not only do you need your previous deck to upgrade to the next level, but you need THE DECK BEFORE IT. At earlier Deck levels, this problem isn't too bad because of the small amount of runes required, but as you progress, continually having to basically craft a second deck causes an exponential material curve for runes that unforgivingly bloats the deck crafting process for no good reason.

Why do you need to craft and upgrade an entire new deck EVERY TIME you want to craft and upgrade one??? There are SEVEN Deckathalon events, each with their own class-specific Decks. How is the player expected to do this for every single Deckathalon event? It's maddening. The only way I could see someone going beyond Deck 6 for any class is buy spending COPIOUS amounts of Crowns on Rune Packs.

It would be understandable if the player was rewarded with more runes per battle, but that is never the case. The amount of runes players receive for defeating enemies in this tower is laughable, ESPECIALLY at higher levels. There is virtually no reward for doing the tower normally, because every enemy gives you the same chance of getting maybe 8-9 runes tops? And only a handful of those will actually be runes you need to work towards your Deck. The reward factor for the Deckathalon is HEAVILY disjointed considering the effort it takes.

To this day, I haven't met a single person beyond Deck 6 because is it not worth it to grind for that many runes for such a minute improvement. The average player isn't going to have that much time on their hands. The worst part is that time alone isn't the only issue standing in the way of the player.

THE CREDITS SYSTEM

My view on the Credits system quickly changed after only Stage 3 of this event. I find it completely baffling that players are only permitted 3 attempts per day. For the people who are looking to gather materials to craft their Hands of Fate, this adds a whole new layer of padding and bloating to an already slow progression system. It makes no sense to me. Not only are you:
  • Requiring players to set aside time to play Deckathalon as much as they can in one week.
  • Requiring players to farm and spend large amounts of Gold on ONE-TIME USE Treasure Cards
  • Requiring players to upgrade their decks with an exponentially slower upgrade curve every time.

But now you are pressuring players to use every attempt like their life depends on it. This event gives me so much anxiety because all I want to do is continue farming to get materials for my Hands of Fate, but the looming danger of getting bad luck in a pull, or fizzling, or any of the other extraneous luck-based factors in battle costing me one of my three attempts per day just makes the whole process so unnecessarily nerve-wracking.

I understand that you have the leaderboard system in place for the Deckathalon, which means that Wizards are encouraged to get the most points to get themselves to the top. But it feels like you put the Credits system in place SOLELY so the people who already have higher decks don't curbstomp the leaderboards. Why is this in place for a single-player event? There are people who play Deckathalon who don't care about their placement compared to others. They just want to grind on their own accord so they can craft their Hands of Fate or Treasure Cards. By designing this system around leaderboards, you are compromising the quality of play for casual Deckathletes who just want the materials.

I don't think Deckathalons need to be competitive. I don't think the event in of itself encourages that kind of play. To me, the Deckathalon caters to a single-player PVE experience whose focus should remain solely on its individual players. I'm not saying you have to remove leaderboards, but I really don't see the point in limiting those who aren't interested in placing high, as it bloats the already sluggish progression system. I recall some players saying that there was a way to purchase credits with Gold in the early days of Deckathalon, and I'd honestly welcome that back if it means getting more chances to try and improve or farm Runes.

2v1 BATTLES

Now, I want to preface this by restating that I am currently at Stage 9 in the Fire Deckathalon. I feel like I've gotten far enough to understand what the difficulty of the Tower is looking like, so I feel like this needs to be said. For the Fire event, the difference between the enemies in Stage 7 and Stage 8 is STAGGERING. The health pool of the mobs suddenly DOUBLES for no reason, and this sudden spike in difficulty applies tenfold to the 2nd floor battles where you are up against two mobs. Even with minions, optimal shield placement, and a full Maycast pet, there have been times in the later 2v1 battles where I have just straight-up had a run killed because I wasn't able to act in response to anything I was faced with. I feel so underequipped for a battle against two enemies with 2K - 3K HP and a wealth of starting pips. You have to focus on shielding, getting a minion up, and building up for an attack, all the while you are getting pelted by two enemies at a time, both of which have the potential to just annihilate you if their AI goes on the offense. You essentially have to rely on your pet and minion to do everything for you at that point, and if their AI doesn't play nice and give you the heals/support you're looking for in a pinch, then there's really just no way to succeed.

It's already bad enough when considering this difficulty spike, but the fact that you also have to make use of a limited deck in the process just puts so much pressure against the player, more than I'd expect from this game. Luck is too much of a deciding factor for late-tower 2v1 stages, and it is extremely frustrating to deal with.

CONCLUSION

I could go on about other minor nitpicks I have with this event but I think this covers my major issues, and I want to keep things brief. I REALLY want to like the Deckathalon events, Kingsisle, and I think they have the potential to be great. But, in their current state, I don't think they are enjoyable or worth my time and effort. They're resource-demanding, unforgiving, painfully sluggish, and offer next to no incentive or reward for new players to keep on going. I encourage you to please consider looking at the community response for the Deckathalon events and hearing what they have to say, so that we can make this event fun and worthwhile for everyone. Not just for those who want a spot on the leaderboards, not just for those who want to farm for Hands of Fate reagents.

I make this thread with no ill intent, but rather, as a chance for others who are frustrated with the quality of this event to let their voices be heard, so that hopefully it can be improved moving forward. If you are a player who is disappointed with the Deckathalon event and you have been reading this long, I encourage you to provide your feedback so it can be easily accessible. Please cover any bases that I didn't get to in this thread. I look forward to hearing more from this thread and community. Thank you for your time.

Hero
Aug 18, 2011
776
Keep in mind that it's three credits per day per character. If you are rune farming, there's no need to get to the top of the tower, or to limit yourself on runs. The decks can be traded, so craft what you can, run the lower levels as efficiently as you can, then pass off the deck to another char and run again.

The events rotate, and you get off-school runes as well as the featured ones, so it's not that hard to get better decks if you stick with it.

Best of luck!

Adherent
Mar 18, 2009
2727
The decks are intentional with the reagents. KI specifically built the rune farming aspect so no player would have the Ulimate Hands of Fate with just a few runs of the tower. The built this event so that the "grind" (for the average player) would last beyond a year.

I agree with some changes to the credit system. I personally believe that you should be awarded 21 total credits at the beginning of the event that way you have more freedom to pick and choose the days to do the event. The bonus from TCs each day should remain the same. The whole reason there is a limited credit system is to create a boundary for the leaderboard tally. You have to have some sort of baseline credit system to compare the results of players within that system (in other words, the leader board reflects how well players maximized their 3 credits a day through planning and strategy). Do players who started Deckathalon events earlier have an advantage with starting the event with a higher level deck....yes, but consistent participation in the event will eventually even the playing field.

For the 2v1 battles, I would encourage KI to review several of the combinations possible for the enemies in the same round. Many times I have been defeated due to undefendable combos that 2v1 provides the opposition.

Survivor
May 01, 2010
19
Oran of Urz on Oct 23, 2020 wrote:
The decks are intentional with the reagents. KI specifically built the rune farming aspect so no player would have the Ulimate Hands of Fate with just a few runs of the tower. The built this event so that the "grind" (for the average player) would last beyond a year.

I agree with some changes to the credit system. I personally believe that you should be awarded 21 total credits at the beginning of the event that way you have more freedom to pick and choose the days to do the event. The bonus from TCs each day should remain the same. The whole reason there is a limited credit system is to create a boundary for the leaderboard tally. You have to have some sort of baseline credit system to compare the results of players within that system (in other words, the leader board reflects how well players maximized their 3 credits a day through planning and strategy). Do players who started Deckathalon events earlier have an advantage with starting the event with a higher level deck....yes, but consistent participation in the event will eventually even the playing field.

For the 2v1 battles, I would encourage KI to review several of the combinations possible for the enemies in the same round. Many times I have been defeated due to undefendable combos that 2v1 provides the opposition.
Yeah, I can agree with your points here. Honestly, I feel like I may have jumped the gun a bit with this thread. It was a bit misinformed, and I was less experienced. Since then, I have beaten both the Fire and Myth Deckathalons, and I am really close to crafting my Hands of Fate. However, there's still the huge overarching issue of 2v1 battles as mentioned.

Yes, I won both Deckathalons, (I beat Myth's Stage 10 twice actually) but not once did I feel like either of my victories were earned. It just kind of happened, and that's because of the ridiculous amount of random chance you are faced in the 2v1 battles in the later stages.

The fact that both enemies, who individually have disproportionally large health pools compared to you, ALSO start out with enough pips to be able to defeat you within the first round shouldn't even be a thing. I just don't think that's sound design, and it makes for really stressful and frustrating instances where despite how careful you plan when to use Shields, attack, or summon a Minion, there is just no room for you to GAIN momentum. That's the big thing here.

I'd be more understanding of the decision to keep the double battle health pools if the enemies started on the same playing field as you pip-wise, because at least then you'd have a guaranteed chance to pick up steam at the start of a battle. With the way double battles are now, what happens is both enemies IMMEDIATELY have the momentum to defeat you, and you just have to hope that the AI doesn't get a good dice roll on the first turn.

Re-iterating on an earlier point, I don't feel like any of my double battle victories in Stages 9 and 10 were earned. They were honest flukes that came down to AI incompetence, which happens at random.

I don't feel like the double battles need to be as frustrating as they are. The final battles with the professors almost feel like a joke compared to what you're faced with on these floors. To me, it doesn't really make sense to have these battles require so much more attention and chance than the decisive final encounter with the Professor. It makes grinding those later stages for those Superior and Strengthening Runes much more painful (The Strengthening Runes especially, as the only chance to get those is on the last floor of each Stage, AFTER the double battle).

I've started to have more fun with the event over time, but I cannot in good faith say that all of my qualms with it can be solved with experience alone. Luck is an integral element to Wizard101, but the extent at which that luck is pushed in late-stage double battles is too excessive. If double battles are ever revised in the future to even out their difficulty with the other floors, then I would be satisfied.

Adherent
Mar 18, 2009
2727
DeddoRain on Nov 16, 2020 wrote:
Yeah, I can agree with your points here. Honestly, I feel like I may have jumped the gun a bit with this thread. It was a bit misinformed, and I was less experienced. Since then, I have beaten both the Fire and Myth Deckathalons, and I am really close to crafting my Hands of Fate. However, there's still the huge overarching issue of 2v1 battles as mentioned.

Yes, I won both Deckathalons, (I beat Myth's Stage 10 twice actually) but not once did I feel like either of my victories were earned. It just kind of happened, and that's because of the ridiculous amount of random chance you are faced in the 2v1 battles in the later stages.

The fact that both enemies, who individually have disproportionally large health pools compared to you, ALSO start out with enough pips to be able to defeat you within the first round shouldn't even be a thing. I just don't think that's sound design, and it makes for really stressful and frustrating instances where despite how careful you plan when to use Shields, attack, or summon a Minion, there is just no room for you to GAIN momentum. That's the big thing here.

I'd be more understanding of the decision to keep the double battle health pools if the enemies started on the same playing field as you pip-wise, because at least then you'd have a guaranteed chance to pick up steam at the start of a battle. With the way double battles are now, what happens is both enemies IMMEDIATELY have the momentum to defeat you, and you just have to hope that the AI doesn't get a good dice roll on the first turn.

Re-iterating on an earlier point, I don't feel like any of my double battle victories in Stages 9 and 10 were earned. They were honest flukes that came down to AI incompetence, which happens at random.

I don't feel like the double battles need to be as frustrating as they are. The final battles with the professors almost feel like a joke compared to what you're faced with on these floors. To me, it doesn't really make sense to have these battles require so much more attention and chance than the decisive final encounter with the Professor. It makes grinding those later stages for those Superior and Strengthening Runes much more painful (The Strengthening Runes especially, as the only chance to get those is on the last floor of each Stage, AFTER the double battle).

I've started to have more fun with the event over time, but I cannot in good faith say that all of my qualms with it can be solved with experience alone. Luck is an integral element to Wizard101, but the extent at which that luck is pushed in late-stage double battles is too excessive. If double battles are ever revised in the future to even out their difficulty with the other floors, then I would be satisfied.
I totally agree with you on the "feel" of battles not being earned in the later stages. It's almost as if certain NPC turn actions will doom you no matter your deck setup (for example getting earthquaked then mino/athena/cerberus in the same round of the 2v1). It doesn't feel like the enemy outplayed played my strategies with so much cheat mechanics occuring on the opposite side.