Maybe you are not aware that group PvP has been rendered virtually unplayable by a PvP exploit for over a year now. This is the so-called "Puppet Team" exploit, where a high level wizard (lvl 60 to 70) teams with low level partners (lvl 1 to 10) for the purpose of getting low level opponents... opponents that cannot survive the massive damage from criticals and upper level cards.
This has been a long-standing issue in the arena that has damaged the playability of PvP. Numerous players have described their experiences on forums, message boards, and fansites, with several well thought out methods for correcting the exploit.
Puppet teams are clear exploits, victimizing inexperienced, under-equipped mid level teams. The hardcore puppet teams 14 tickets and over 30 rank points per game - against teams that are quick joins just starting out with dueling. Does anyone think it's right or fair for a puppet team with full commander/crafted gear to be awarded 30 rank points for beating a pure magus team with only krok or marlybone loot drop gear .. all in two or three turns? seriously?!
KI, please make PvP playable for your lower level subscribers.
Dear KI, Perhaps you don't realize the damage that stacking, or puppet teaming does to the players, and most of them are kids. It teaches them that either as a victim, they must become a puppet team member themselves, or that they will have to quit playing either team pvp or the game itself.
You must have data showing that the majority of players don't play pvp until they have leveled up as much as your spirals will allow them. However, there are thousands that play pvp as they are leveling up too. These play at levels of adept and magus and these are the ones that get matched up with the puppet teams. Since I'm sure you crunch numbers for data mining, I will bet that the younger the player, the more likely it is that if they play pvp, that they will want to play in a team. My point is that you are allowing young kids to be either be corrupted or exploited.
There are two basic types of puppet teams. Those that willingly go into it because with the current pvp system of mismatching, they have little chance to rank up in 1v1. They learn from others and put together a team on their own. This exploits those honest adept and magus teams.
The second type are the ones that I can't believe you as a responsible company will allow to happen. There will be one high level leader who recruits members for their puppet team, sometimes asking for crowns or gifts to guarantee the recruited player a chance to win and rank up. In my ten year old son's case, one even asked him to ask me to change his security so that he could gift him.
If you care about not only fairness, not only honor, but also of having an environment of a crime free place for your members to play, then you will put a stop to puppet teaming.
It actually gets worse than that. Many pros demand account information so that they can run the puppet matches on their own. I've heard this called an "access fee" . This does violate TOS, but it is probably hard to enforce. Kids sometimes lose their accounts entirely because some puppet teamers will change the passwords.
And this is why rank is such a joke now. EVEN if you want to say that puppet teaming is a legitimate "strategy", how can anyone think that rank is any kind of indication of a player's ablility?. Players who pay for puppet team services don't even play the games themselves, the puppets are running their accounts. Even non pros sometimes take this route, where someone who doesn't pvp at all, has no interest in actually playing the game, but really wants the status of a title or arena gear, simply lets a friend who does know how to play puppet their wizard to the desired rank.
This is why I would discourage new players, especially young players from starting to play pvp. This system is so broken and so over-exploited now it is not likely to turn out to be a positive experience. Puppet teamers actively recruit new players. They prey on their victims who complain about how they we just cheated out of their rank and tickets. They have the answer- just join us kid, we'll show you how to rank up. They are right when they tell kids its the fastest way, and just about the only way, to rank up. They are very persuasive. They talk about rank being glorious. They themselves think of themselves as "famous". They find people admiring their 3000 rank. The present themselves as pvp role models. It's very alluring. Kids who get drawn into this behavior rarely walk away denouncing it, unless they ae the ones who lose their accounts. They walk away beaming with their new robe and shiny warlord badge and enjoying their newfound status and fame.
The knights put a serious dent into the pros' bottom line. We are bad publicity for them, we cost them wins and large chunks of time. They don't have an hour to spend in a puppet match. They promised their customers results, and knights matches are painfully slow for them. Puppet teamers have made serious efforts to derail the knights, posing as knights to act atrociously, posting phony threads on this forum to generate sympathy for puppet teams and more. Anyone who thinks that the knights are nothing but a glorified clan in a petty clan war should know that knights do far more than fight puppets, and its not at all as nasty as I think many percieve it to be. We know a lot of the information we know about them from talking to the puppets themselves. We have successfully engaged in dialogue with them to explain our concerns and to understand theirs. We are not all BFF by any means, but we have a pretty accurate understanding of the situation. It's not likely at all that we will ever be able to persuade them to stop for moral reasons. Many of these pros are also griefers who think its great fun to beat down weaker players. Appealing to their morality is pointless. They won't stop until they are forced to. One told me that if Ki bans puppet teams, he will quit this game. He runs his business in other games too, so he will just move on.
This is by no means a "dirty little secret" in a dark corner of the Wizard 101 arena. Its a profitable, viable business that can be duplicated in any game that doesn't adequately safeguard their system from stacking. I find it hard to believe KI knows nothing about this. As time goes on, even in the few short months I have been a part of the knights, I have seen pro puppet teamers growing bolder, making their deals very openly in front of others. They can clearly see that Ki has no interest in stopping them. At this point, as much as I would hope for that, I don't expect it. All I can do is keep helping the knights to find ways to improve the situation, to find ways to make pvp fun and rewarding again, and whenever I can, to throw myself up as a roadblock against the puppet team tank army.
Does the real life bully take pleasure in picking on people who are weaker or younger than they are? Does the real life bully feel bad calling you names or demeaning others? Does a real life bully take into consideration how the other person feels after being bullied and preyed upon? Does a real life bully voluntarily bully someone who is older and stronger and they know they have no chance to bully?
Do you see any similarities between a real life bully and a Puppet Team?
You often see on the news these days so many stories about schools having a Zero Tolerance Policy with bullying, trying to protect our children. Probably because of this policy, that is why there is such an influx of cyber-bullying in this game. Kids who used to bully in real life, but can't, are just venting out because they know there will be no repercussions.
It seems to me that if KI does not fix Puppet Teams, institute their own Zero Tolerance Policy, that's their way of saying they promote bullying. What a wonderful message to be sending children who play this game in a Kid Friendly Environment.
But then again, KI's definition of a Kid Friendly Environment is by having 1) Ultimate Secure Chat 2) Pre-Generated Player Names 3) Moderated Forums and 4) Forum Filters. That's the extent of their obligations.
From what I know, there's been a national movement against bullying and cyberbullying. I sincerely doubt there's anyone who wants to promote bullying in a game and if they do, they should expect outrage.
There are several easy ways to fix this horrible scamming of kids called puppet teams. Segregate the levels is the easiest way I think with the least amount of programming for KI. Simply have level 49 and below only duel each other and levels 50 and above only duel themselves.
This would stop a level 70 and soon to be level 80 from partnering with a level 1 to get an average of 35 team to play a normal magus team. The system wouldn't allow it because there is a level 70 in the mix.
This would limit some downranking because a lot of that is done for reasons of puppet teaming. This would stop the numerous complaints of criticals against lower level players. This would stop the many calls of unfair when a high level private is matched with a low level player, and that happens frequently.
If the low level commander, for example, advanced to level 50, he could get a badge for his low level pvp rank.
This is just one example of many others that have been posted in the past year and a half as puppet teaming has become rampant. It is simply not safe for a young kid to try adept or magus team pvp. There will almost certainly be not one, but many scam attempts. Don't believe me? Try it yourself.
I am against puppet teams also and am aware of the nights with my account on central, however I think you are being a little dramatic with your plea to change.
The use of puppets is an flaw in the matching system obviously not intended by kingsisle. Obviously it's a problem in group matches and like all other problems in pvp they usually get fixed. I just think your approach is a little too much.
These puppet teams are annoying and its very unfair. I will not do any more 2v2 on my baby ice. I have lost so much rank to these people. So now i only 1v1, which is no fun. I like being on teams, but until this is fixed i will not do anymore 2v2 on my baby ice.
There is a total scam happening with puppet teams. In exchange for ranking up a wizard, they expect to receive Crown gifts.
A few of the "pro" puppet masters would "rent" their Level 1 wizard for various gifts, in compensation for their "help" in getting the victim up to warlord / commander gear.
Some of the pros are quite brazen about it. They won't deny it and make deals in the arena in front of others. You see some of these guys in the queue day after day, hour after hour, week after week. They are warlords, they must have countless tickets, obviously something is motivating them to spend all this time "helping" others.
But, the thing is, they have no fear of KI because as they like to brag, they all pay for multiple accounts to run their business, and, KI is making money on it because players spend crowns on gifts to the puppet teamers who help them. There is no financial incentive for Ki to stop puppet teams. The bottom line is a trade off. Sure players who like to play fair will leave the game over it, but I'm sure they aren't seeing a decline as puppet teams open new sub accounts to run their business and crown sales are up due to all the gifting going on...
This has to be something KI decides to fix because it’s the right thing to do, and with every day that goes by with no word, their integrity sinks in the eyes of players who like pvp and want fair games. Some kids, after trying hard for months to play fairly to rank up, are recruited by puppet teams when they give up waiting for KI to fix this, and so the problem grows. The puppets have a strong case that what they are doing is quite legitimate. KI has never spoken out against it. KI has no restrictions on gifting others.
It has been confirmed that no fixes were introduced during the Avalon update. There were numerous 70+ puppet teams in the arena last night matched up against mid-levels.
A dismal day, in deed.
Saw my first 80 puppet team last night as well. An Ice that had 87% Fire & Storm resist. The rest was 47%. Health of 4889. Casting quadruple and triple-bladed Snow Angels, laying down endless Tower Shields. Good luck Knights and all the Adept and Magus teams stopping that. :(
I joined the game a few months before Celestia came out. I saw how neat pvp was but I didn't get into it much at that time. Someone wrote how sad it was that the new players couldn't have seen how wonderful pvp used to be before Celestia came out. Each update since I've been on has made pvp worse. Puppet teams have been around a while, but good grief, there's tons of them now. How can KI not see them?
Did you guys notice, that the two measly updates to pvp were under the heading, Miscellaneous Updates, near the bottom? That's how much they think pvp is important.
Are there any other online games that have similar pvp, but much much better? Well, somewhat better? At least not one where puppet teams abound and take advantage of kids?
I'm depressed. No amount of messages here or on wizard101 forum has any impact. Meanwhile, the slaughter continues in magus and adept team play and kids still get scammed. It's unconscionable. I hope if they ever do anything while I still play this game, even a one sentence acknowledgment, that you guys post it here.
First off, I think it's great that KI keeps providing new worlds and areas for their subscribers to explore. It's fun to take my high-level wizard through these areas and conquer whatever challenges are presented to me.
But after I'm done with Avalon, then what? Am I expected to take my next wizard and do the same thing? Then my next wizard and so on? What if I don't want all my wizards to become Archmages?
After you are done with a new world, waiting for the next one to be released, there's really not much to do but PvP. Sure, I could garden, decorate my house and assorted other mind-numbing tasks.
What if I want to keep the level of some of my wizards as Journeyman, Adept or Magus for the sole purpose of PvP, namely Team PvP?
Sure, I could do 1v1 and I'm pretty sure I won't run into a puppet team, except maybe for an extreme down-ranker once in awhile. But sometimes it's just no fun doing solo PvP. It can get pretty boring and monotonous after 1500+ matches.
That's where team PvP comes in. It's fun being able to team up with your best friend. But Kings Isle, with the release of Avalon, you just have made it impossible to have fun doing mid-level ranked PvP. How will a Fire or Storm Adept team defeat an Ice Archmage puppet team that has 87% resist and 4800 health with Immolates or Krakens?
For someone that has played this game since Beta, you're really doing a great job of making me dislike it more and more each day.
Again, I implore you Kings Isle, fix Puppet Teaming so I can enjoy this game like I once did.
KI, please respond in some manner to this issue, given the seniority of the OP and the others in this thread, including myself, we deserve a response. Anything KI, just a few ...... from Diego would at least let us know you read this thread.