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Concerned – W101 PvP seems to be dying at the root

AuthorMessage
Survivor
Apr 01, 2009
36
A great thread is over at central
www.wizard101central.com/forums/showthread.php?430599-Concerned-%96-W101-PvP-seems-to-be-dying-at-the-root

TL;DR
The very 1st game we got paired with a 2x L50 double ice team that was ranked 2500+, with excellent gear, and with excellent pets. We got wrecked in 5 turns - "Gosh, that wasn't much fun." I suggested a few deck changes as we played out the next 4 games, but the outcome did not change. We got paired with similar 2x L50 teams in the 2100+ rank range and were dispatched in 4-5-6 turn disasters. In summary, we ended our 1st adventure together into the current PvP world at the 0-5 mark. We were completely outclassed in terms of gear, pets, and team abilities. Later, my daughter went to the practice arena to try some 1v1. She got paired with another wizard that was nearly immune to fire damage and lost horribly.

People have massively voted with their feet and left the arena. We certainly need to turn this around as a community.

My suggestions / ideas to help close the Gear/Pet gaps are:

Drop the rank requirements to buy the PvP gear. Good players (i.e. warlords) are rewarded plenty when they win by earning more tickets quicker. Participating in KI tournaments gets lots of tickets - winning currently gives bonuses too. The current commander/warlord rank requirements "lock in" the huge advantage to veterans and penalize the new people.
Create some additional set of Diego training missions - a mission after each 5 duels played (not won) up to (4x5) 20 duels played. After each 5 games, reward 1 Prickly bear seed and a crafting recipe for one piece of the commander gear, with the 4th reward being a new "Battle Cat" pet and extra prickly bear seed. Have the new "Battle Cat" pre-set to manifest Proof-Sprite-Defy. Make commander gear usable in PvE. These missions would grant useful stuff to all, regardless of their PvP skill. The Diego text / voice tutorial could explain the need to craft and get good pets to be successful.
Make the captain, commander, and warlord rank badges permanent. This would be the "status" symbols that everyone would strive towards.
Make a separate PvP queue for folks that have a rank <= commander and have a combined resistance of <= 40%. The key point here is to allow new people to learn steadily against new people who are reasonably similar in gear stats. Everyone would have a better, more even chance to win a decent set of games.
Make the current PvP queue for folks that have a rank >= commander. Leave the gear/pet options as they are - completely unlimited. Having a 3000+ rank against your fellow warlords would be a true accomplishment of dueling ability.

The key point here is that the commander gear is nearly useless these days, except for dueling < L49. Making commander gear useful to all, both PvP and PvE, would provide a nice treat. Getting a decent pet would be useful to all. Providing a decent base set of PvP able gear to most everyone would help the PvP community.

Survivor
Feb 13, 2009
44
As your proposal seems well intended, I'll have to say that some of the suggestions are just short term solutions. I can see as a long term goal you were aspiring for greater balance and equality, but what is equality? Humans don't want to be equal. They are driven by society to desire greater achievements than others. And children are at the forefront of that desire. I must admit the ideas do seem nice, but what then? When players gets this "battle cat" do you honestly think they would be happy with just that? They would go straight to the hatchery to get more traits for a bred pet. Sure, that looks good on paper, everyone having the chance to breed a nice pet, but what about the players that love to take advantage of an opportunity? They would want to be on better footing than the other players.

Other than that I think your ideas are nice. However, I didn't fully grasp the idea of the PvP queue. Will it be two separate rank queues? (i.e. one for non-ranked new players and one for those that have a rank) Or separate queues for each rank? (i.e. one for private, captain, warlord etc.) If it is the latter, then I support your idea, but if the badges are permanent what will happen to the ranking system? Everyone would then be a warlord in a few months of the update. How will the queues work?

Your suggestion of gear for PvE I certainly don't support. In so many ways... Previously outrageous low level bosses would be adjusted to accommodate the new influx of powerful gear with nearly 50% resist and equally powerful attack abilities. If you think KI would just let in PvP gear in the game they focus their energy and money on and not adjust the monsters then I'll have to say that's a pipe dream. Letting the chaos of PvP into the main game is not warranted. Though I see your point on the single use of PvP gear.

The reason match ups are so odd is because not many players play rank PvP anymore.KI just have to bring them back with something more enticing.

Survivor
Apr 01, 2009
36
Invitirion on Jan 9, 2015 wrote:
As your proposal seems well intended, I'll have to say that some of the suggestions are just short term solutions. I can see as a long term goal you were aspiring for greater balance and equality, but what is equality? Humans don't want to be equal. They are driven by society to desire greater achievements than others. And children are at the forefront of that desire. I must admit the ideas do seem nice, but what then? When players gets this "battle cat" do you honestly think they would be happy with just that? They would go straight to the hatchery to get more traits for a bred pet. Sure, that looks good on paper, everyone having the chance to breed a nice pet, but what about the players that love to take advantage of an opportunity? They would want to be on better footing than the other players.

Other than that I think your ideas are nice. However, I didn't fully grasp the idea of the PvP queue. Will it be two separate rank queues? (i.e. one for non-ranked new players and one for those that have a rank) Or separate queues for each rank? (i.e. one for private, captain, warlord etc.) If it is the latter, then I support your idea, but if the badges are permanent what will happen to the ranking system? Everyone would then be a warlord in a few months of the update. How will the queues work?

Your suggestion of gear for PvE I certainly don't support. In so many ways... Previously outrageous low level bosses would be adjusted to accommodate the new influx of powerful gear with nearly 50% resist and equally powerful attack abilities. If you think KI would just let in PvP gear in the game they focus their energy and money on and not adjust the monsters then I'll have to say that's a pipe dream. Letting the chaos of PvP into the main game is not warranted. Though I see your point on the single use of PvP gear.

The reason match ups are so odd is because not many players play rank PvP anymore.KI just have to bring them back with something more enticing.
Per the central thread author
www.wizard101central.com/forums/showthread.php?430599-Concerned-%96-W101-PvP-seems-to-be-dying-at-the-root/page7&p=5040413#post5040413

trying to focus on the "noob" experience ... believe that the lack of new players is forcing ... bad matches.

This proposal attempts to protect new players of all levels in the <= commander [rank] queue, while giving these new duelists a decent set of gear / pet. In the "old" days, there were legions of young kids that never became warlords, but they were content - they got to win half the time playing against others who were similarly geared and had the same skill level. This proposal protects the casual duelists of all levels from the (current) brutality of the Warlord queue.

This proposal actually will help the matchmaking for warlords too, but there is an underlying problem that needs to be fixed - Inflated rank scores due to queue watching and preying on higher level "noob" players. The anonymous queue has resolved one of the causes of rank inflation - you can see this on the leader board now - the highest level ranks are falling. It's no longer possible to "cherry pick" your targets with a "hard set" or bias your deck with a "soft set" based on the schools you see active in queue.

The biggest reason for rank inflation has been the unrelenting beat-down suffered by "noob" players at the hands of warlords. A new player starts at a rank of 500, with 35%-ish resist and a mediocre pet. The current pairing system sees the "noob" rank as filling in the gaps of rank, so proceeds to pair the "noob" against the warlords that are 10-20 levels lower. Warlords simply feast on these unfortunates, harvesting their rank points until they quit or they bounce off the minimum of 100-200. Even at the bottom, there is no rest - the ranks of 100-200-300 will get paired against warlords who are 30+ levels lower. Even these "fair" matches against 100-200 ranked "noobs" continue to feed the rank inflation of lower level warlords. The current "meta" for gaining ultra-high rank is to build a very tanky-high damage team, play control until the "noobs" pip exhaust themselves, and then deliver a massive blade stacked OHKO. It's no accident that Ice L50 is highly represented in the current leader board.

This proposal would (mostly) resolve this rank inflation by eliminating the 500-400-300-200-100 "noob" rank food. Warlords would have to gain rank by beating other warlords. The sum total of rank points would remain constant and the distribution of rank would be smoothed out by both skill (against warlords) and levels. With skill being equal, L100 warlords will always beat L60 warlords. The resulting warlord zero-sum-game is will create natural plateaus of rank by level - which forces L100s together, L60s together, L50s together, etc. It's only when the L50s are forced together in the same rank band, with no ability to inflate, that you will get L50 warlords consistently paired against other L50 warlords.

Explorer
Jan 05, 2013
66
I'm level 80 and I don't waste my time with PVP because at my level I suspect I'm one of those noobs who would just get crushed. Would love to go for arena tickets because I love the items and need the reagents but feel like I'm just too far behind because I didn't PVP from the beginning.

Champion
Oct 30, 2011
449
DerHundErste on Jan 9, 2015 wrote:
Per the central thread author
www.wizard101central.com/forums/showthread.php?430599-Concerned-%96-W101-PvP-seems-to-be-dying-at-the-root/page7&p=5040413#post5040413

trying to focus on the "noob" experience ... believe that the lack of new players is forcing ... bad matches.

This proposal attempts to protect new players of all levels in the <= commander [rank] queue, while giving these new duelists a decent set of gear / pet. In the "old" days, there were legions of young kids that never became warlords, but they were content - they got to win half the time playing against others who were similarly geared and had the same skill level. This proposal protects the casual duelists of all levels from the (current) brutality of the Warlord queue.

This proposal actually will help the matchmaking for warlords too, but there is an underlying problem that needs to be fixed - Inflated rank scores due to queue watching and preying on higher level "noob" players. The anonymous queue has resolved one of the causes of rank inflation - you can see this on the leader board now - the highest level ranks are falling. It's no longer possible to "cherry pick" your targets with a "hard set" or bias your deck with a "soft set" based on the schools you see active in queue.

The biggest reason for rank inflation has been the unrelenting beat-down suffered by "noob" players at the hands of warlords. A new player starts at a rank of 500, with 35%-ish resist and a mediocre pet. The current pairing system sees the "noob" rank as filling in the gaps of rank, so proceeds to pair the "noob" against the warlords that are 10-20 levels lower. Warlords simply feast on these unfortunates, harvesting their rank points until they quit or they bounce off the minimum of 100-200. Even at the bottom, there is no rest - the ranks of 100-200-300 will get paired against warlords who are 30+ levels lower. Even these "fair" matches against 100-200 ranked "noobs" continue to feed the rank inflation of lower level warlords. The current "meta" for gaining ultra-high rank is to build a very tanky-high damage team, play control until the "noobs" pip exhaust themselves, and then deliver a massive blade stacked OHKO. It's no accident that Ice L50 is highly represented in the current leader board.

This proposal would (mostly) resolve this rank inflation by eliminating the 500-400-300-200-100 "noob" rank food. Warlords would have to gain rank by beating other warlords. The sum total of rank points would remain constant and the distribution of rank would be smoothed out by both skill (against warlords) and levels. With skill being equal, L100 warlords will always beat L60 warlords. The resulting warlord zero-sum-game is will create natural plateaus of rank by level - which forces L100s together, L60s together, L50s together, etc. It's only when the L50s are forced together in the same rank band, with no ability to inflate, that you will get L50 warlords consistently paired against other L50 warlords.
This proposal would make it nearly impossible to get matches at higher ranks, and make the commander gear entirely too easy to get. Matches are often more unfair for warlords than they are for the privates; have you ever tried battling someone 40 levels higher than you, with advantages in just about everything but resist and possibly strategy? Any proposal that makes it difficult for higher rank warlords to play at all will make at least a large portion of the community that often works hard to get and pays money for their gear unhappy, which would probably not be beneficial to the state of pvp or the game overall.

Explorer
Jan 05, 2013
66
They could make it so pets and gear aren't used in PVP. Everyone is stripped down to basic Wizard City robes and wands then it's skill versus skill and levels match levels.

Champion
Jul 04, 2012
493
So agreed, i dont even do pvp anymore because of who i get matched against... REALLY KINGSISLE, PUT US AGAINST PEOPLE OUR SKILL LEVEL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Survivor
Apr 01, 2009
36
Aaron SpellThief on Jan 10, 2015 wrote:
This proposal would make it nearly impossible to get matches at higher ranks, and make the commander gear entirely too easy to get. Matches are often more unfair for warlords than they are for the privates; have you ever tried battling someone 40 levels higher than you, with advantages in just about everything but resist and possibly strategy? Any proposal that makes it difficult for higher rank warlords to play at all will make at least a large portion of the community that often works hard to get and pays money for their gear unhappy, which would probably not be beneficial to the state of pvp or the game overall.
Per the central thread author:
www.wizard101central.com/forums/showthread.php?430599-Concerned-%96-W101-PvP-seems-to-be-dying-at-the-root/page12&p=5041424#post5041424

... the commander gear (as opposed to the L50+ glendemming armor or latest dungeon dropped gear) is not the "best" gear. It was not created for battling higher levels. The commander gear was introduced when the level cap was L45-50. It's 4-5 year old stuff that most folks don't use any more. The proposed "Battle Cat" at the ancient (3rd) level with Proof-Sprite-Defy is no where near the "best" pet.

What the commander mission crafting "gifts" do is partially close the resistance, accuracy, and power gap. What the commander mission pet "gift" does is to partially close the resistance and healing gap, plus provide a solid base pet for mixing.

The need for hoarder pack wands and spells still remains. The need for a "perfect" pet, tailored to your deck/gear strategy, still remains. The need to grind for high level dungeon gear still remains.

... People trying out PvP for the 1st time are simply seeking to see if its fun and if they can improve their game. In the old days, when there were lots of PvP players, the new duelers would be paired against fellow beginners, who had the same PvE gear - similar resistance, power, and accuracy. Deck, card play, and Training Point strategy were primary. Squeezing gear advantage came later.

... The climb from private to captain/commander, in the L50 cap days, was about training points and deck play. Gear upgrade, plus more experience, was the key to moving beyond warlord.

This proposal simply provides a supportive environment that approximates the old training/learning with other "noobs". This proposal makes the "noob" experience similar to what happened in the L50 cap days.

Survivor
Feb 13, 2009
44
I would suggest settings that adds caps to levels and PvP ratings. So for instance if you are a level 70 with a rating of 500 you can choose a cap of level 70 and a rating cap of 500-550. Similar to how players adjust settings in Practise PvP. Of course a player wouldn't be able to go substantially lower than their rating. So a person with 2000 can't adjust their ratings to get a match with someone with 500. The biggest issue is if there is an available player that can correspond with your settings. Of course several would say this would decrease matches, and it is hard to get a match as it is now, and it would only make getting a match worse.

But if you can say any adjustment to the matching system will make getting a match harder than it already is, then you shouldn't be saying the matching system is unfair, since by saying "it will make getting matches harder" you have inadvertently agreed you like the matching system - since you like the amount of matches you can currently get. Because how else can you make the matching system fair without streamlining the amount of matches a person can join, due to the levels and PvP ratings?

The only way matches can be plentiful is if players see a reason to PvP and finds it to their liking.

Survivor
Apr 01, 2009
36
Per Milt et.al.
www.wizard101central.com/forums/showthread.php?430599-Concerned-%96-W101-PvP-seems-to-be-dying-at-the-root&p=5043302#post5043302

It feels like Wizard101's PvP is dying because players can't jump into its competitive circle as quickly as they could in other games. I believe the easy transition into the competitive scene contributes to what makes games like Smash and Pokémon popular, and why Wizard101's PvP has been struggling for these past few years.
...
The grind factor is HUGE in terms of both time and crowns. To add insult to injury, is all luck based. The grinds for loremaster spells, gear drops, and Hoarder Packs can go on forever with poor luck. Each new world released has reset the old time High level folks back to zero, forcing a new grind for new spells, gear drops, and hoarder packs.

Lots of people have simply given up on this grind and don't PvP any more - or simply leave the game all together.

Survivor
Feb 13, 2009
44
DerHundErste on Jan 12, 2015 wrote:
Per Milt et.al.
www.wizard101central.com/forums/showthread.php?430599-Concerned-%96-W101-PvP-seems-to-be-dying-at-the-root&p=5043302#post5043302

It feels like Wizard101's PvP is dying because players can't jump into its competitive circle as quickly as they could in other games. I believe the easy transition into the competitive scene contributes to what makes games like Smash and Pokémon popular, and why Wizard101's PvP has been struggling for these past few years.
...
The grind factor is HUGE in terms of both time and crowns. To add insult to injury, is all luck based. The grinds for loremaster spells, gear drops, and Hoarder Packs can go on forever with poor luck. Each new world released has reset the old time High level folks back to zero, forcing a new grind for new spells, gear drops, and hoarder packs.

Lots of people have simply given up on this grind and don't PvP any more - or simply leave the game all together.
I completely agree.