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5.2 PTR: Massive changes inbound for fan favorites

Discuss pet battles, strategy and theorycrafting.
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Gendou
 
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5.2 PTR: Massive changes inbound for fan favorites

Postby Gendou » January 30th, 2013, 4:24 pm

Major changes to pet battles on the latest PTR Patch Notes:

  • Reflection has been replaced with Deflection, an ability that always attempts to go first and causes the pet to avoid all attacks for that round.
  • Thunderbolt has been redesigned. It is now a powerful team-damage spell.
  • Mr. Bigglesworth's Prowl has been replaced with a new ability, Ice Barrier, which blocks two attacks.
  • Fluxfire Feline's Wind-Up has been replaced with a new ability, Flux, which deals damage to the enemy team.
  • The Tuskarr Kite has a new set of abilities that's more appropriate for a Tuskarr Kite.
  • Pets that had been affected by a crowd-control ability will now be granted Resilience, making them immune to crowd control for a short while.
  • Arcane Explosion’s damage to back-line pets has been increased by 20%.
  • Frost Shock now properly chills targets of 2 rounds (was 4).
  • Deep Freeze now has a cooldown of 4 rounds (was 3).
  • Blocking abilities that last for 2 turns like Decoy, now have a cooldown of 8 rounds.
  • Feign Death now has a cooldown of 8 rounds (was 5).

Major nerfs to Reflection, Decoy and Fluxfire Feline. :cry:
Last edited by Gendou on January 30th, 2013, 4:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Imthedci
 
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Re: 5.2 PTR: Massive changes inbound for fan favorites

Postby Imthedci » January 30th, 2013, 4:28 pm

Deflection.... ewww!

Remember: Nothing's set in stone until it goes live...

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Re: 5.2 PTR: Massive changes inbound for fan favorites

Postby Stabya » January 30th, 2013, 4:30 pm

Thats affects two of the most OP pets FFF and Anub Idol

Im guessing the anib idol will be using stoneskin instead?

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Gendou
 
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Re: 5.2 PTR: Massive changes inbound for fan favorites

Postby Gendou » January 30th, 2013, 4:36 pm

Stabya wrote:Im guessing the anib idol will be using stoneskin instead?

Actually, there's a really good Anubisath Idol strategy involving Stoneskin and Sandstorm.
The combination of damage-reduction abilities negates most Damage-over-Time and Multi-Hit attacks, and severely reduces everything else.
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Dragonwizard
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Re: 5.2 PTR: Massive changes inbound for fan favorites

Postby Dragonwizard » January 30th, 2013, 4:37 pm

For me the Anub one sucks but isn't a deal breaker as I dont really use it as a damaging ability (that's just a perk) but more of a ability to avoid those huge hits like burrow, whirlpool, takeoff etc.

Now the decoy nerf really hurts and makes pets like the DM Zep pretty much useless for anything but a beast and even with beasts I'm sure there would be something better to use now. This will also probably make Major Payne almost impossible to 2v3 especially with the whole forfeit dmg thing.
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Drudatz
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Re: 5.2 PTR: Massive changes inbound for fan favorites

Postby Drudatz » January 30th, 2013, 5:27 pm

Why is the renaming of Reflection to Deflection called NERV when its justa RENAME? :?

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Exel
 
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Re: 5.2 PTR: Massive changes inbound for fan favorites

Postby Exel » January 30th, 2013, 5:36 pm

Looks like they are on a crusade to purge overpowered and overused pets and they're doing an excellent job. Wish also needs a cd increase, most probably.

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Gendou
 
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Re: 5.2 PTR: Massive changes inbound for fan favorites

Postby Gendou » January 30th, 2013, 5:40 pm

Drudatz wrote:Why is the renaming of Reflection to Deflection called NERV when its justa RENAME? :?

Because it doesn't reflect the spell anymore. It just prevents the damage.
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Re: 5.2 PTR: Massive changes inbound for fan favorites

Postby Knotrandall » January 30th, 2013, 5:48 pm

And nothing for poor old BONESTORM. Sad.

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Re: 5.2 PTR: Massive changes inbound for fan favorites

Postby Poofah » January 30th, 2013, 7:15 pm

Anub will still be pretty good at what he does--Deflection is actually pretty useful since he's slow. Flayer will not fare as well. He's a speed pet, and for him Deflection is just a very bad version of Dodge.

The Bigglesworth change is pretty interesting. He's fast, so Ice Barrier, then Ice Tomb, then backrow him--against most opponents, you could get off an Ice Tomb while taking no damage, and do it again after your next pet dies.

Good riddance to old FFF. It looks like they're trying to boost AoE strats, so maybe he'll find a niche there with his new ability, plus his high speed and pounce for sweeping low health pets.

The 'resilience' change is excellent. This stops the current stupid stunlock comps, and also preempts any stunlocks that happen to crop up later, so we don't have to wait months for targeted fixes.

Exel wrote:Wish also needs a cd increase, most probably.


I don't think this is the case currently. They did a good job of targeting most of the current OP pets/comps. But tanking/healing strats really haven't made much impact on pvp as of yet, even though Wish is extremely overpowered from a pure numbers perspective. The PTR changes will nerf a lot of the burst damage, which will encourage tanking, so maybe that will change. But until a Wish comp starts dominating, I'd hate to see them nerf it prematurely.

Also, two major burst damage comps are almost completely untouched. Conflag and Darkness teams received essentially no nerfs (except Soul of the Aspects got slightly weaker, for Darkness, but he's not essential to the comp). And Reflection, the most effective counter to burst damage, was nerfed to the ground. In the absence of further changes, these teams are going to be monsters, and they really wreck Wish comps--they can overwrite Sunlight with their own weather, they can easily eat up 1800 health in 4 turns, and they both have access to flying damage to beat up Crawdad even more.

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Quintessence
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Re: 5.2 PTR: Massive changes inbound for fan favorites

Postby Quintessence » January 30th, 2013, 9:04 pm

While I can understand how these changes might benefit PVP pet battles, I have to wonder if and how it will affect PVE pet battles. Most of these abilities weren't gamebreakers in PVE, so will nerfing/changing them create gaps or holes in PVE gameplay? Just a bit? Quite a lot? I guess it's something we'll have to test on the PTR.

Sidenote: PVE vs. PVP balancing is something that I often worry about for Pet Battles. Much like player PVE and PVP, it's tough to create attacks and abilities that are balanced and work well for both aspects of the game.
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Re: 5.2 PTR: Massive changes inbound for fan favorites

Postby Poofah » January 30th, 2013, 11:49 pm

Quintessence wrote:Most of these abilities weren't gamebreakers in PVE, so will nerfing/changing them create gaps or holes in PVE gameplay?


Maybe these are the abilities you're excluding when you say 'most', but Wind-Up/Supercharge and Reflection are both overpowered. They provide far more benefit than the other abilities we can choose from. If the game is supposed to involve choosing pets to counter the tamers' pets, then they really are gamebreakers--instead of caring about type advantages/disadvantages, it's become easier to just plow through tamers with FFF/Anubisath. These are definitely hurting PvE as well as PvP.

I agree some of the other changes are questionable. Decoy in particular seems odd--I can understand some concern about a triple-Zeppelin team that just swaps out constantly and puts up Decoys, but I haven't seen anybody demonstrate that this was overpowered or even competitive.

Quintessence wrote:Much like player PVE and PVP, it's tough to create attacks and abilities that are balanced and work well for both aspects of the game.


This is true to an extent, but pet battles are balanced in a more simplistic and conservative way than the regular game. 1 power = 5 health; on average, 1 attack = 1/5 of a pet's health bar. Whenever an ability deviates from that, it incurs a drawback (Alpha Strike is 24% of an average pet's health bar, but only 16% if you don't go first; Surge of Power is 50% of an average pet's health bar, but costs you 3 turns instead of one, etc.). By balancing abilities in isolation and avoiding obviously OP combos, they managed to make a reasonably balanced game: pre-5.1, I think it was remarkably well-balanced for a completely new feature. The drawback on Ghostly Bite and Conflagrate was too small, and Reflection was too adventurous, but otherwise it was pretty good.

In 5.1, they either decided to push the envelope, or else they lost track of how they'd balanced things in the first place. Pre-5.1 they avoided allowing Supercharge/Prowl/Howl in the same moveset as a high-damage ability like Wind-Up/Ice Tomb/Surge of Power. In isolation, these are all fine, but when you pair Wind-Up (45% of avg pet's health) with Supercharge (+150%), you get 112.5% of an average pet's health for the cost of 3 turns. This is nearly double the damage that 3 turns is supposed to get you. So, based on how every other ability was balanced, it was completely predictable that Wind-Up+Supercharge would be overpowered, in both PvP and PvE.

Anyway, I think the PTR changes are addressing things that, in general, are overpowered in both PvE and PvP. But I also think your concern is valid. I think that tank pets like Magical Crawdad are pretty OP in PvE, but not great in PvP; similar with evasion pets like Rabbits. Since tamer AI is so bad, it's very easy to time heals and evasion moves, making these guys very good; PvP is just the opposite. But buffing these guys for PvP would then make tamers even easier. So it feels like PvE is holding these pets back.

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Gendou
 
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Re: 5.2 PTR: Massive changes inbound for fan favorites

Postby Gendou » January 31st, 2013, 1:24 am

I have nothing of substance to add, really.
I just want to say, Poofah's analysis is awesome.
Maths generally hurts my brain, but this is just sexy.

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Gromagrim
 
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Re: 5.2 PTR: Massive changes inbound for fan favorites

Postby Gromagrim » January 31st, 2013, 4:39 am

Time to Relearn.

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Imthedci
 
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Re: 5.2 PTR: Massive changes inbound for fan favorites

Postby Imthedci » January 31st, 2013, 9:40 am

Imagine if Pokemon had to go through the constant buff/nerf cycle...

At least with the changes, each patch is like a whole new game! :lol:

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Talmar
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Re: 5.2 PTR: Massive changes inbound for fan favorites

Postby Talmar » January 31st, 2013, 4:31 pm

I personally am not thrilled with the changes. I totally understand the FFF nerf but he seams well more than neutered. In a PvE environment I'm not sure I'll even use him anymore. I'll go back to my Clockwork Gnome vs Beasts.

Reflection to Deflection totally blows. I could understand some level of nerf, maybe reflecting only 50% of the damage but I thought it balanced out pretty well the last nerf it got, not reflecting healing and such spells that didn't affect the pet.

My poor Flayer Youngling may not see near as much combat as it does now. I use to love timing my reflect for Burrow/Fly by attacks. Even at 50% it would still be a good but not sooooo good ability.

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Re: 5.2 PTR: Massive changes inbound for fan favorites

Postby Jrshoe » January 31st, 2013, 4:53 pm

I saw someone state that the Decoy nerf seemed a bit unusual. Ask my opponents from Season 1 of the GPBL just how good Decoy is for PvP, and you'll see why it was justified. The move is far too good for that low of a cooldown.

However, that said, this actually increases the potential for pets such as Mech Pan Dragonling and DM Zepp to be damage type pets by swapping Decoy with Flyby. Both of them have solid attack stats, and the additional nerf to Reflection increases their versatility. Furthermore, this really opens the doors for more pet options that can take some punishment. Someone brought up Crawdad, which is nice but does incredibly low damage output. Oozes, however, are incredibly versatile and have high survivability. They may see more play now.

I am VERY curious about the Resilience buff. If it lasts 1-2 turns, then high crowd control use pets still see a lot of play. If it's higher than that, however, pets such as Wolpertinger, Infinite Whelpling, and frogs will see drastic declines in versatility, since crowd control was really the thing they brought to the table.

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Re: 5.2 PTR: Massive changes inbound for fan favorites

Postby Catalytic » January 31st, 2013, 7:27 pm

Is anyone actually on the PTR? If so, can anyone share how much XP a pet battle (PvE) is giving to under 90s?

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Re: 5.2 PTR: Massive changes inbound for fan favorites

Postby Poofah » January 31st, 2013, 8:07 pm

Jrshoe wrote:I saw someone state that the Decoy nerf seemed a bit unusual. Ask my opponents from Season 1 of the GPBL just how good Decoy is for PvP, and you'll see why it was justified. The move is far too good for that low of a cooldown.


I guarantee this was nerfed to prevent an infinite stall team of multiple Zep/Dragonling. I agree that Decoy is good, but it's not overpowered until you start swapping pets to chain cast it. Feign Death got a similar nerf for the same reason--you could stack basilisks and continuously backrow them to circumvent the cooldown. With a 5 round cooldown, you could pull off an infinite chain of Decoy swap Decoy swap Decoy swap repeat; with an 8 round cooldown, you can't (alternatively: Crystal Prison Thrash Feign Death Crystal Prison Thrash Feign Death repeat, for the basilisks).

Even given the possibility of an infinite Decoy cheese comp, I'm not sure why they nerfed it so quickly. I haven't seen any reports or complaints about such a team, and Decoy is efficiently circumvented by multi-hit abilities (Flurry/Blitz/Thrash, Arcane Explosion, Flamethrower, Scorched Earth). Decoy only really shines against single-hit burst attacks (Ghostly Bite, Spectral Strike, Pump, Wind-Up, Ice Tomb, etc.). Considering that burst attacks are far more prominent than Decoy right now, I don't see how this nerf is productive, except as a reaction to chain Decoy spam.

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Re: 5.2 PTR: Massive changes inbound for fan favorites

Postby Catalytic » January 31st, 2013, 8:42 pm

Catalytic wrote:Is anyone actually on the PTR? If so, can anyone share how much XP a pet battle (PvE) is giving to under 90s?


OK, replying to myself, finally got enough of the PTR client DL'd to log on.

Level 85, full rested, using 3 level 1 cats against level one wild pet is netting 49,448xp per battle.

Using two level 25 pets versus a 25 wild team gives 52,050xp (also on that rested 85)

So roughly 265 pet battles from 85 to 86...dang, I could have leveled all my alts on pet battles by now if it had been this way all along! :lol:

Adding to this as I get more on the PTR: Level 87 full rested gets 92,150xp for a level 25 battle.
Last edited by Catalytic on February 1st, 2013, 12:46 am, edited 2 times in total.

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