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Closing thoughts on the Celestial Tournament.

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Azrile
 
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Closing thoughts on the Celestial Tournament.

Postby Azrile » January 30th, 2014, 9:43 am

So I am curious what every one else thinks now that we are nearing the end of the expansion. I took a couple months off, but will be finishing next week getting my final pet. I have to admit, I loved the idea of the tournament, and the rules and all that.. but in the end, even by the 3rd or 4th week, it was something I was not looking forward to doing.

I can´t even put my finger on why I didn´t enjoy it after the first few weeks. I have a ton of level 25s ( I think over 300 now), but in the end, the fights were just too scripted and some were balanced too closely where even if you had the perfect team and had the sequence memorized, you were one RNG roll away from losing. I didn´t like that fact that I had to store like 15 different teams, plus a few backups for the RNG fights and then go by my guide of what moves to make in what order, where being off by one meant you lost.

I am not complaining, the devs did a great job with it, but for me, it just wasn´t fun after the first cycle.

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Index
 
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Re: Closing thoughts on the Celestial Tournament.

Postby Index » January 30th, 2014, 9:58 am

I think what put a lot of people off the CT, was the fact that it was linear. One screw up cos of bad RNG, and you had to either pray you had a strong back-up plan, or quit and re-do the whole thing!

They should have made it more like a scenario, so if you managed the 3 undercard teams, even if you quit or failed, you would start at the 4 celestials. Would make it slightly more forgiving.

That said, I enjoyed the challenge, but as you say once I got my "go to" teams, it became a 15-20 minute weekly grind, subject to RNG!

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Re: Closing thoughts on the Celestial Tournament.

Postby Ruststorm » January 30th, 2014, 10:09 am

I'm close to getting my 2nd pet from there. So I actually started quite late with the Tournament... But i have to admit that i'm not looking forward to the 7 weeks i still have to run it... I mean, it's a real challenge, and i like that for a change, but the RNG is just a poke in the eye so often...

Oh well, just 7 more times and i'm done with it...

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Re: Closing thoughts on the Celestial Tournament.

Postby Kring » January 30th, 2014, 10:28 am

The CT is terrible.

On one side it encourages us to play with more pets then just Anub and Emerald Whelp. That's cool. But on the other side, the stupid cannot heal requirement makes it no fun to try things out. If a team didn't work you have to leave the scenario, heal your pets up, requeue and restart. That's like if you couldn't rezz in a raid and after every wipe you have to leave the instance, rezz everyone and restart the raid from the first boss.

Getting a puzzle is cool. Being forced to jump through hoops to solve it isn't.

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Re: Closing thoughts on the Celestial Tournament.

Postby Denarian » January 30th, 2014, 10:55 am

Well, they did give you the ability to heal your pets on certain fights. (in which the first turn, they would use a two round move, enabling you to heal your team with a move like Bleat) So, after learning that, it made the tournament a lot easier, but not faceroll easy. If it was too easy, you'd see everybody walking around with all four Celestial pets. It's supposed to be a challenge, so, overall, I am happy with the difficulty of it.

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Re: Closing thoughts on the Celestial Tournament.

Postby Kpb321 » January 30th, 2014, 12:53 pm

It was interesting at first but the challenge quickly passed. I never felt that it was overly difficult or too subject to random losses and can't recall ever having to leave it and restart it. I'm sure part of that is my healthy, 250+ at when the tournament was released currently over 300, supply of level 25 pets giving me plenty of options for pets. To date I still do the Tournament every week and most of my teams are teams I put to together on my own and I don't have any presaved backup teams. When I do get an occasional failure I just build a new team on the spot and I haven't had any problems doing that. This week I build a new team for one of the trainers using the 55 pets someone else had at level 25 because they were complaining about how hard and random the tournament was. I can't say how reliable the team is but I won the fight on the first try and seemed to have a room to spare so to speak because I won even with an attack missing and my last pet was ~40% and was a mechanical with a rez left still.

I think the can't heal/use bandaids during the tournament was a necessary part of the challenge. If you could heal up when ever you needed it really wouldn't be any more difficult than working through the Pandara trainers and legendary beasts and it was suppose to be a step up from there. The rotating under card helped to make it a little more interesting for a little longer as it took at 3 weeks to even see them all and probably 6 weeks before I was sure I had solid teams/strategies for everyone.

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Re: Closing thoughts on the Celestial Tournament.

Postby Opallena » January 30th, 2014, 1:05 pm

If you had solid teams, the CT wasn't too awful. There were a few tamers that always gave me trouble (Wrathion was one, Xu-Fu was the other and I swear they upped Zao's power because he nearly one shotted my zandalari hatchling) but overall if you had a strategy it wasn't so bad.

Most of the tournament was based on RNG, such as Xu-Fu's fight which made him the hardest of all the fights which I wish they would change that, because having something like that semi-based on RNG is frustrating. One wrong crit on your pet from the opponent, or one missed/dodged attack, and you were done for on most of the fights.

I just hope if they have something like this in warlords, they reconsider dampening the power a bit on the tamers you fight or atleast lower their health. The no healing was good, I particularly liked that part because it forced me to find alternatives if on the off chance one of my teams did get bulldozed, and I got to use pets I normally never would have considered using in a tournament like this.

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Re: Closing thoughts on the Celestial Tournament.

Postby Kpb321 » January 30th, 2014, 1:21 pm

Azrile wrote:n the end, the fights were just too scripted and some were balanced too closely where even if you had the perfect team and had the sequence memorized, you were one RNG roll away from losing.


I'd argue that your statement is self contradictory. A perfect team isn't one bad roll away from loosing. It may be the best team you can build but none of the fights are tough enough that the best you can do is barely win. I'll admit that my blingtron team is subject to a bit of random as I use a snail with dive against his first pet and if that misses I don't think I can win the fight but I'm okay with that as it is the first move and I can quit the fight, throw in another random snail and start over. That doesn't mean that this is a perfect team, just that it works well enough I haven't bothered to try to find another team.

Heck I could have used carry teams on two of the undercard trainers this week.

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Re: Closing thoughts on the Celestial Tournament.

Postby Poofah » January 30th, 2014, 1:56 pm

First off, this is a great topic: it's a great time to look back and talk about what worked and what didn't, in the first xpac of pet battles.

Azrile wrote:balanced too closely where even if you had the perfect team and had the sequence memorized, you were one RNG roll away from losing.


I agree with Kpb here -- if you're one RNG roll from losing, then there's room to build a better team. Having a robust strategy is part of the challenge.

However the way they enforced that challenge was terrible. Making you start over from the beginning if you fail on the 7th fight is frustrating and demoralizing, and that's at the root of 90% of the complaints I see here and on the WoW pet forums. This simply needed to be implemented better. If the intention was that we use diverse teams, then fine: disqualify a pet from further fights after it wins a battle. If the intention was to encourage consistent strategies, then give us a rez timer or something.

The current system is unacceptable, because it doesn't allow you to iterate on an almost-winning strategy. This is the key to PvE raids: you try something, it sort of works, and you keep working on it. In pet battles, you find 1 pet that's good, then you find a 2nd, then you experiment with the 3rd. The current CST forces you to start over with 3 completely new pets if you fail. So whatever progress you made is lost. That in turn causes less-serious pet battlers to say F it and quit. It pushes people away from pet battles, and that's the last thing we need.

CST was a great idea and a nice addition for the serious pet battlers, but I think it's been actively harmful for less-serious battlers and for pet battles overall.

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Re: Closing thoughts on the Celestial Tournament.

Postby Kpb321 » January 30th, 2014, 2:45 pm

Poofah wrote:If the intention was that we use diverse teams, then fine: disqualify a pet from further fights after it wins a battle. If the intention was to encourage consistent strategies, then give us a rez timer or something.


Those are interesting ideas and the first definitely seems like a better balance than what we currently have but it would have been a new mechanic that would need to be implemented and they may not have been able to do that. I'm not really sure that a rez timer would have been better. Lets say they just disabled the ability to use band-aids and left the pet rez in place. That's an 8 minute timer already. The first use is "free" as your timer should already be done but the second time is a pretty long wait. Sure if you have other opponents left you can spend some time doing them but if your on your last one sitting and waiting for 8 minutes seems only slightly better than starting over again and would still be extremely annoying.

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Re: Closing thoughts on the Celestial Tournament.

Postby Peanutty » January 30th, 2014, 2:47 pm

I enjoyed the "challenge" of it the first week, where I refused to look at any strategies and had to push my way through by trying to solve the puzzle myself. But then again I also went in with a full stable of 25s so I had the advantage of simply throwing pets at each of the fight, knowing that if I messed up and lost a few moths or something, I had a dozen more in my pocket.

After that I read up on strategies and it became far easier and then it was simply a matter of "I want those four new pets, when will this end?"

The one change I would make would be to put in a "save point" or something, where you could leave and then come back either after the first 3, or to be used once per week at the player's discretion. Nothing was more frustrating than losing based on RNG or one wrong button press and then having to redo the entire thing. And it was inconvenient sometimes being stuck in the tournament scenario when someone suddenly would say, "Hey anyone want to do Ordos?" :(

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Re: Closing thoughts on the Celestial Tournament.

Postby Pinyin » January 30th, 2014, 3:02 pm

The first time I tried it, I found the CT extremely difficult. I didn't have enough of the right pets to stand a chance. It was frustrating.

What I do like about the CT was that I had to level quite a few pets (I think around 27 more to level 25) in order to have viable teams. I have now completed four CTs and have only six more to go to get the last two pets. Once that's done-I doubt I'd ever go back in there-I just found the trainer fights too frustrating...but conversely I found the mini-celestials fairly easy. Go figure.
Last edited by Pinyin on January 30th, 2014, 3:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Closing thoughts on the Celestial Tournament.

Postby Luciandk » January 30th, 2014, 3:31 pm

Stopped bothering with the Celestial tournament after I got all four pets and collected 20x 50% pet xp treats.

And people collecting the coins in the hope it will be relevant in the future, you are wasting your time. Blizzard have always been adamant on the stance that old content will never be mandatory for future content, aka stuff in previous expacks.

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Re: Closing thoughts on the Celestial Tournament.

Postby Nagini » January 30th, 2014, 3:59 pm

At first, the celestial tournament was challenging, maybe a little frustrating. I was trying to work with the few pets i had maxed (75, i stopped after getting the achievement before, most of them pets from pandaria) and it took me some days of trying before i had teams that even managed to beat the first couple of trainers.
Having to drop/reque out of the tournament was very frustrating for me, it just felt annoying. I don't see at all why the trainers would have to have an instance, you could have just put them out there, which would let you watch your friends fight the trainers too. I really think that is a missed oppertunity, because i would have loved to see my pet-collecting friends with more 25's try the celestials first, and get ideas for teams. I also felt that having to leave the instance and having to reset my progress felt much more like a defeat then just normal losing/running away in pet battling. Especially for the inexperienced/casual pet-battler, i can see how that could have ment them losing the fun in it.

My second point was the healing. While i get why the mechanic is in there, we all know the ways around it. for the last weeks i did the tournament, I used the same chrominus/water elemental team, healing them up at Yula after each fight. This was faster and cleaner than any of the teams i had put together, even though i did have alternate teams incase of an unlucky crit. If they wanted the mechanic to work well, in my opinion, a 'use every pet only once' mechanic wouldve been much better, compared with a slight reduction of difficulty on the trainers. This would allow people to mix and match and explore teams more freely, without forcing us to level 3x chrominus/waterspirit.

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Re: Closing thoughts on the Celestial Tournament.

Postby Mwebly » January 30th, 2014, 4:16 pm

I really looked forward to the idea of end-game pet-raid content, but I think the CT fell short of that experience for many of the reasons stated already. I am glad they created it and it was certainly entertaining for the first 3 weeks trying to perfect the strategies, but after that it became just another pet tamer grind that you had to do.

It's certainly in the nature of a turn-based, 3 pet, 3 ability limit encounter that things are to some extent predictable, so part of the uphill battle the developers face is how to fit the model into a new meta that adds something essentially new and hopefully exciting. Their choice of no healing and a random set of preliminary opponents was not a bad start. I think the central problem with the current pet battle system is that it is stuck in a rut with few choices other than what 9 abilities you are going to bring to an encounter.

I would like to see them twist the meta into new shapes in the next expac. Why not pet encounters open to teams of 2, 3 or 5 pets each, similar to arena matches. Imagine how the dynamics of synergy would change when limited to 2 pets or open to 5? For a truly epic experience the new pet raid model could feature multiple players teaming up against a single raid boss, with each player controlling 1-3 pets in the raid. Mix in a few twisted models and add that to the traditional pokemon system and you have a whole new ballgame.

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Re: Closing thoughts on the Celestial Tournament.

Postby Azrile » January 30th, 2014, 5:11 pm

Kpb321 wrote:
Azrile wrote:n the end, the fights were just too scripted and some were balanced too closely where even if you had the perfect team and had the sequence memorized, you were one RNG roll away from losing.


I'd argue that your statement is self contradictory. A perfect team isn't one bad roll away from loosing. It may be the best team you can build but none of the fights are tough enough that the best you can do is barely win. I'll admit that my blingtron team is subject to a bit of random as I use a snail with dive against his first pet and if that misses I don't think I can win the fight but I'm okay with that as it is the first move and I can quit the fight, throw in another random snail and start over. That doesn't mean that this is a perfect team, just that it works well enough I haven't bothered to try to find another team.

Heck I could have used carry teams on two of the undercard trainers this week.


I think Bling and the Tiger Cub were the two where I felt the most ´rng challenged´. If you have a miss, or the tiger crits, you won´t win.

You are right about carry teams though. 2 of the 4 celestials I could carry a pet and a few of the underfights.

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Re: Closing thoughts on the Celestial Tournament.

Postby Ishildur » January 30th, 2014, 6:55 pm

Got all my pets. Did one more week. Then went "y'know, it's really boring to have to restart this whole damnable thing because of one unlucky crit on my 4th fight leaves me unable to beat the last guy before celestials. Again! I think I'll just go kill moths in jade forest instead. Now that I have the pets it's better rewards for the time.".

It just takes a little bit too long to do the tournament for me to do it every week, especially when 70% of that time is spent on the 4 pre-celestial guys as the celestials themselves are much easier IMO. After you have the pets chances are you'd rather spend the time it takes to do beasts of fable + tamers because it's better rewards. Would more pet biscuits be nice? Sure, but eh, it's one lousy biscuit per coin and unlike pvp weekly no chance to get stones out of the fights along the way (or progress for achievement/pet).

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Re: Closing thoughts on the Celestial Tournament.

Postby Kpb321 » January 30th, 2014, 7:07 pm

Azrile wrote:I think Bling and the Tiger Cub were the two where I felt the most ´rng challenged´. If you have a miss, or the tiger crits, you won´t win.

You are right about carry teams though. 2 of the 4 celestials I could carry a pet and a few of the underfights.


I think the only time that Xu-Fu was even close for me was the first week or two but since then all the celestials are easy with no real risk of a loss. Personally I use a Tranquil Mechanical Yeti, Firefly and Custodian on Xu-Fu. Open with Call lightning, Hard swap to the firelfy, swarm until dead. Bring in Custodian and finish him off. The firefly does pretty solid dmg between the call lighting adding dmg to each hit and the swarm debuff. The firefly is faster than Xu-fu so when he dies you usually have 2 rounds with the debuff up and call lighting mechanical buff still in effect. As strong mech at that point blows him up. I've had the custodian's zap activate the you can't take more than 35% of your health in a single hit buff on xu-fu.

Bling is probably the one where my undercard team is the weakest and I'm not sure you could come up with a team to carry a pet vs him but even there it's still good enough I haven't bothered to change it.

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Re: Closing thoughts on the Celestial Tournament.

Postby Domie » January 30th, 2014, 9:50 pm

The event was pretty fun to do the first time, and to try and figure out the best way to do it with what you had, but even as a person that enjoy doing dailies each day for a month, i really disliked having to do it every week.
Going in and knowing you could have to start it over if you did just one mistake, or even if you just got a bad crit or miss, was really obnoxious. It was never that bad to actualy do it, but i never wanted to go in there, past the first few times.

That said i would like to see something like this instead, but maybe with less really awesome rewards you feel you had to grind for, and better rewards for when you have gone those others first. Like having only 1 or 2 pets as the rewards, and maybe more than just 1 pet treat for the weekly reward, or give the pet treat for completing on top of getting currency to buy the main attraction.

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Re: Closing thoughts on the Celestial Tournament.

Postby Badpathing » January 30th, 2014, 11:30 pm

I'm not trying to be that guy that comes in and says "Oh man it's easy why are you guys crying", but I honestly never thought it was that tough. The FIRST time I tried it, I went in knowing nothing. Quickly I figured out that there was little room for mistake, so I did some reading, and I finished the tourney on my 3rd or 4th try. Seriously, that was all there was to it.

Granted, I started the tourney a bit late relative to release of the content, so there was plenty out there to read up on, meaning I did not really have to struggle like the trail-blazers. So, my perspective may be a bit skewed.

My only complaint was the lack of interesting rewards. Doing the whole tourney for a single XP biscuit never seemed like a good value to time ratio, to me, so after I had the pets I just stopped doing it. I think that is the misstep (among others, but primarily that one that irked me). The pets are amazing that you can get, but the biscuit and hotdogs are woefully inadequate for the investment you put in to do the tourney. I want them to blow my panties off, and do something AMAZING. Keep the token, but also give us a week-long XP pet buff when we do it. Or, make the quest turn in reward a token OR 7 pet biscuits. Anything to keep us doing it. Hell, put some stones on there.

I did not mind the lack of healing, and I did not find RNG to be too terribly problematic, but I like many of you have an ample supply of pets diminishing the affect of a loss. I can imagine this tourney is a nightmare for some.
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