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The Problem with Talking About the Pet Battle System

Discuss pet battles, strategy and theorycrafting.
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Flopsyhunt
 
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The Problem with Talking About the Pet Battle System

Postby Flopsyhunt » February 7th, 2014, 2:22 pm

I wonder if we can ever have a solid conversation on the quality of Blizzard's implementation of the pet battle system.

Some of us are very frustrated. We like some aspects, so keep coming back, but many things are really annoying.

Some often respond with "be better" as the solution to what we see as poor design, rather than really thinking about about what is said. Thus they label those who are frustrated and complain as trolls, even though that is not accurate, at least not in the sense of just trying to create an argument. This is not helpful and can create more frustration when done on a forum meant to discuss the system.

Some of you really need to come down to earth and realize that Blizzard is still staffed by humans and thus doesn't always make things perfectly. Frustration over lack of information or the wall nature of certain aspects is not unexpected and is harmful if it impacts too much of the game population (at least the part that even tries pet battles.

Posting "n00b" in other words in response to posts showing this frustration is not helpful. Note how the idea is wrong if it is wrong, but don't just fall into claims of "you just want things handed to you" and "it is wonderful as it is" if you want to claim to be more than a troll yourself.

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Liopleurodon
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Re: The Problem with Talking About the Pet Battle System

Postby Liopleurodon » February 7th, 2014, 3:26 pm

The disagreement comes from the fact that it's really not poor design, at least in my opinion. It's actually kind of similar to how the game as a whole was at launch. While, say, Hunters and Warlocks were both ranged damage dealers, but, eg, bringing extra Hunters to the Garr fight, which involved banishing adds, did nothing, where Warlocks were heroes (and awful the rest of the time because of debuff caps BUT I DIGRESS). In this case, an aquatic Crab is a hunter and an aquatic Strider is the warlock. They're in the same family, but each has different fighting styles and bonuses. This is not pokemon, and saying that something in WoW is poorly designed because it isn't pokemon is really misguided.

I will say though, that part of the blame for the 'decoder ring' issue you keep on about in your various Tourney threads can be laid at the feet of discussing strats, oddly enough. As a personal example, the strat I was the proudest of presenting & figuring out was for Chi-chi. While I go into verbose explanations of why I chose the pets I did on my blog, with lots of alternatives, not many others do (with good reason, because verbose takes far longer and generates less traffic). When I see it quoted now, it's not 'a pet with an additive debuff if you're good at counting but Lio is always drinking boxed wine when she streams so she picked this specific pet that doesn't require that as much and then some kind of ooze or another pet with a lot of DoTs and preferably some additive stacking debuffs.' It's 'senjin fetish and disgusting oozeling.' And that's fine, because this forum is generally geared toward brevity and frequented by long-time avid battlers. When I say, 'oozeling 1/1/2', people know what I mean, and (maybe after a glance at the pet journal) they'll know what strategy I'm about to use. But, it does lend to the feeling that you *have* to go out and level this one random special pet in order to succeed.

In general, though there are some things the devs don't do well (and the whole Sandstorm/Elemental thing is clearly long neglected, eg) they do care about making a fun game. If they didn't, they wouldn't bother with trying to balance things at all. While I get that you're frustrated, throwing up your hands and saying the entire thing is broken isn't really productive either.
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Re: The Problem with Talking About the Pet Battle System

Postby Nagini » February 7th, 2014, 3:55 pm

having seen your last couple of posts, i can see why you think it's hard to talk about the pet system and the things you consider flaws. You have to realise that this wonderful, amazing site and it's great community are for the most people who are fans of pets, and everything that comes with it, including the petbattle system.
Does this mean we have no critique? no. You yourself are referring to a 'we' who agrees with you, and we have had several constructive(!) threads on the CT, that include pointing out things we do and don't like about it. We discuss improvements, future changes, and pick apart anything being said about pets by mods in great detail so also by no means do most of us think the system is above change.
But when you post that you hate an aspect of petbattling because you feel its too hard, most of us will see this as a call for help, and try to help you with our own strats and techniques, not start a discussion. If you want to have a bit of a rant or complain about/to blizzard, however, the general forums of wow may be a better place for this.
Lastly, If petbattling is at its very core frustrating you so much as you claim, perhaps you should consider that you're not the target player for the system. It's a tiny, tiny part of a very diverse game with many more options, and even outside of WoW there will be plenty of little games like this if you really want to play a pet battle game. There are many ways to enjoy pets, and even more ways to enjoy WoW as a whole, and maybe this isn't the way for you?

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Re: The Problem with Talking About the Pet Battle System

Postby Shikon01 » February 7th, 2014, 4:12 pm

I did a really nice post for this topic but don't know what happened to it :(
Doing mini version.
Last edited by Shikon01 on February 7th, 2014, 4:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Shikon01
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Re: The Problem with Talking About the Pet Battle System

Postby Shikon01 » February 7th, 2014, 4:38 pm

I understand your frustration w/ the wow forums. Its one of the reasons I don't visit or leave much input on the site, but that being said, there are a handful of well known posters who do spend a great deal of time and energy help putting together teams w/ what pets new players have as well as assisting new players w/ their collection and battle pet experiences and those w/ the expertise and professionalism are the ones I read and gain helpful insight from. Unfortunately, they tend to be the exception to the rule. Its one of the reasons I find warcraftpets.com a breath of fresh air. This site meets all my pet needs through an exchange of friendly and helpful people. That being said, I wish the wow forums were monitored better, but w/ hundreds of millions of users I do not know what the corrective options are to address these issues. With extremely large forums come extremely large problems. My concern as an adult, parent and police officer is the profound affect some of these forums have on children. I'm sure most of us have been shocked at some of the things we have come across at some point, but there's no escaping the rude and arrogance of others on most forums. I personally feel wow is a great way to channel the inner beast in all of us and take a break from the stress and RL issues and problems if but for a little while. The thing that I have found that seems to work best is when both parent and child explore the world of warcraft together.

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Re: The Problem with Talking About the Pet Battle System

Postby Kpb321 » February 7th, 2014, 6:23 pm

I debated as to whether I should respond or not as I may be part of the "them" you seem to have a problem with. I'm certainly not trying to make you feel unwelcome or that I think you are a troll but when you make comments like the celestial tournament being broken and just being a magic decoder ring of having the right pets and moves that doesn't match my experience at all I going to disagree with your statement and not try to find solutions to what I see as a non-existent problem.


Yes you need a team and a strategy to beat the celestial tournament. Yes it is best to plan it a head of time given the requirements of the tournament but not required. This really isn't that different than most things in WoW really. You can't just charge in and pull a raid boss with out first having a plan in place, assignments done and some expectation on how things are going to work. You might get away with that in LFR if you out gear it but not really anyplace else. The harder the difficulty and the fight the more of this there typically is. A heroic fight requires a lot more planning an execution than a flex raid.

The same is true of pet battles and hits well before the celestial tournament. I still remember when I was leveling up my first team and working on the tamers. Most tamers I'd just go in with my random team of three blue pets I picked and see how it went. If I failed I come back after getting another level or two for my pets and beat them no problem. Then I hit Antari and that didn't work anymore. I simply couldn't kill his pets. So what I did I do? I decided it was time to start using some strategy. I did some research and found that snails were pretty strong against elementals. I went out and captured one and leveled it up and beat him. Then it was more of the same for the northrend trainers. Frogs are good against undead. A mechanical is good for beast on through beating the pandara trainers/spirits and the beasts of fable.

You've got over 120 pets at max level which should be a pretty solid amount for working on the celestial tournament. You might be missing some specific ones using in particular strategies or guides but that just means you have to look for an alternative pet that can fill the same role or a new strategy. As I said in my post on the CT thread I looked through someone else's pets and built teams to beat all of the fights in the CT except for one of the undercard tamers with their pets and they only had about half the pets you do. Of those teams I'm sure the 4 teams for the celestials would work because I've done them before or because they are a commonly posted strategy and I'm sure the first of the two undercard teams I posted would work. The second I actually tested and won with on the first try. Can't say how reliable it is but it didn't feel like it was just barely winning.
Last edited by Kpb321 on February 7th, 2014, 8:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Problem with Talking About the Pet Battle System

Postby Badpathing » February 7th, 2014, 6:36 pm

I agree with kpb321. I think if you take the content in this forum at face-value, and assume that the strats listed in the strats thread are the ONLY strat, and that is your only road to success, then you are just setting yourself up for failure.

Personally, I get a little giddy thinking about a new pet being released, creating some crazy meta combo that trumps an existing, difficult fight. I am ALWAYS looking for faster, easier, more dependable ways to do the dailies; tramers and tourney alike. If you go exploring on wowhead, do some playing yourself, you might find that while there is a guide here, there are certainly many, MANY ways to do the fights.

There is a jumping point given to you. If you do not like it, then don't use it. But you certainly cannot claim that the tourney is an exercise in leveling a specific set of pets to win. Sure, you need enough pets, and sure it takes time, but honestly if you are not interested in doing that, why are you interested in pets?
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Shikon01
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Re: The Problem with Talking About the Pet Battle System

Postby Shikon01 » February 7th, 2014, 9:08 pm

I agree with both kpb321 and badpathing in that these battles do require strategies, planning and research as well as some trial and error based on what pets you have in your stable. There are various guides and sites though time consuming they are very helpful, but its part of the learning process. What I do know is there's no one size fits all solution when it comes to wow in general. My issue was when you have exhausted all your resources and still had questions it can be understandingly frustrating attempting to obtain assistance on some of the wow forums while sorting through all the rude, hateful garbage .

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Re: The Problem with Talking About the Pet Battle System

Postby Flopsyhunt » February 7th, 2014, 9:20 pm

I would agree with the points here if I were the only one with these frustrations. I am not however, both here or at the WoW forums. I suppose it should be expected for this to be a "it is all great" site, but that is too bad.

I did not reasons why I felt that it is not good end game content and no one addressed those (that I saw), they just ignored them and went on with "level more of the right pets" while asserting that it is not a question of "only certain right pets." (Hence the idea of a secret decoder ring, or even several possible ones.)

It is not perfect, yet that is the message. Ah well.

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Re: The Problem with Talking About the Pet Battle System

Postby Tiggindy » February 7th, 2014, 9:26 pm

Flopsyhunt wrote:Some of you really need to come down to earth and realize that Blizzard is still staffed by humans and thus doesn't always make things perfectly. Frustration over lack of information or the wall nature of certain aspects is not unexpected and is harmful if it impacts too much of the game population (at least the part that even tries pet battles.

Posting "n00b" in other words in response to posts showing this frustration is not helpful. Note how the idea is wrong if it is wrong, but don't just fall into claims of "you just want things handed to you" and "it is wonderful as it is" if you want to claim to be more than a troll yourself.

I think you're talking more about the WoW forums than here. I haven't seen anyone here doing name calling, or even thinking that Blizzard is the be-all/end-all for game design. I know I tried to help in my advice thread as much as I could.

The WoW forums are best described by the star wars quote about that city on tatooine, it's a hive of villainy and scum. The signal to noise ratio is terrible.

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Re: The Problem with Talking About the Pet Battle System

Postby Tiggindy » February 7th, 2014, 9:33 pm

Flopsyhunt wrote:I did not reasons why I felt that it is not good end game content and no one addressed those (that I saw), they just ignored them

Not sure I saw that, but that may be because peeps feel that you're entitled to your opinion and want to focus more on what they feel they can help you with.

and went on with "level more of the right pets" while asserting that it is not a question of "only certain right pets." (Hence the idea of a secret decoder ring, or even several possible ones.)

I think peeps might be telling you it's not "certain right pets" because there's more than one working strategy for any fight. However, you're right too because technically it really is "certain right pets", because there are strategies that are known to work and far too many tries that don't. So, for any fight there's a handful of strats, which means a finite number of pet combos to work every time 60% of the time. ;)

Unfortunately, there really isn't much better advice than to level more pets, level pets that others have used for strats that have worked for them, and then try those strats for yourself. The alternative is to level everything, and then just brute force it til you win, which has it's own frustrations.

*edit* and I've been corrected, there's more strats than I thought for winning.
The important thing to remember is that sometimes breed matters, so knowing what specific breeds they use vs what breeds you have available can make a difference.

For less generic advice, find someplace that shows what moves the npcs are making (family of the attack, and the order of attack), then focus on counters to those moves (pets that are resistant to those attacks, but that have attacks that do well vs the family of the opponent), while considering Cooldowns and such. Sometimes a single counter is enough if you can't find a one that counters both.

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Re: The Problem with Talking About the Pet Battle System

Postby Luciandk » February 7th, 2014, 10:26 pm

I think an underlying issue is that many people might find it difficult or too time consuming to level up large amounts of pets to have a sizeable stable of them.

Sure it grows a lot easier when you become used to dealing with the Pandaren trainers fast and having their specifcic counterpets to thump them hard and fast. Which I would say encourages such a decoder ring style of thinking.

But if you keep at it and leveling pets whom you find interesting and having unusual abilities, it steadilly gives you more room to experiment. Though at that point I think we are into the field of seriously dedicated pet battler, which might be beyond the common wow player, whom just wants to be told what pets he should level to jump through the hoops in the easiest way and the rest be damned.

The exact same mentality that was in play with the old Talent system ingame. Most just looked up the ideal builds to take and ignored any attempts at customization, after having been told off for being a bad a couple times. And why we have the more slimmed down talent system to encourage more flexibility in choices.

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Re: The Problem with Talking About the Pet Battle System

Postby Eekabu » February 7th, 2014, 11:08 pm

I think it's safe to say that bad manners, mouthing off and a general crap attitude are quite common on the internet, especially on forums. There are always those who have nothing else to contribute but trolling.

That being said, I went through some of your posts to understand where your frustration comes from. You mentioned 'poor design' a couple of times and there were numerous people who have given you their strategies on how to win the Celestial Tournament for example.

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=8647&p=69591#p69591

Now, I rarely ever comment on discussions about game design. They are endless and at one point most of these discussions derail anyway.

But I think Liopleurodon nailed it with his very first sentence in his reply to your post.

The disagreement comes from the fact that it's really not poor design, at least in my opinion.


What may be poor game design for you, is not for him, in his opinion. I agree with Liopleurodon. It's not optimal but I enjoy the pet battle system, pve as much pvp. Now, you have given your reasons and you've been given reasons to the contrary by people who disagree with you. And from what I can see most replies to your posts were very constructive as well as quite detailed as to why they disagree with you. Nothing wrong with that. I accept that it is your opinion that the pet system is a poor game design, but I don't accept that it is a poor game design. But that is my opinion. And that's what it all comes down to: we disagree.

As to the Celestial Tournament: I do it every week. First, because I like it and secondly, because I need the food buff. That doesn't mean that I don't find it hard or don't spend a good hour or two every now and then due to bad rng. However, when 5.4 was released I had a quick glance at it on the first day. I had around 50ish lvl 25 at that time and after a few tries, I knew straight away that not only did I need strategies but also certain pets and breeds. I found it very frustrating that I had to spend lots of time on leveling new pets or pets that I had already leveled but the breeds were wrong, just to be able to win the tournament, and my pets were still dying left and right. But, and here's the big but, I didn't spend as much time as those who actually did the ptr testing and came up with all the strategies. I couldn't be more thankful to them.

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Re: The Problem with Talking About the Pet Battle System

Postby Shikon01 » February 8th, 2014, 7:45 am

I am a new level 90 so I haven't done the tourney yet, but I have studied the guides and most every ones strats to know I'm strong in some areas and very poor in other areas. With that being said, I know there are certain pets I have to get level in order to increase my chance of beating the tamers and it does take some time to do that, but I love pet battles so I have no issue w/ that. Just like when we battle each other, there are certain strats and pets we use because certain family of pets do better than others ( yes, those battles are random, but after some experience you get a feel on how to put together an overall well rounded team for that). There's no one pet fits all and there's always alternative options. My thing is w/ the tourney we know about the tamers, their strengths and weaknesses, maybe not so much about their rotation until we just in the fire and gain the experience and hope the "miss gods " aren't against use. Again, certain families of pets do better than others and strats as well as rotation does matter in my opinion from my limited pet battle experience. A degree of luck is involved as well...that makes it fun and challenging ...1 love surprises, but I'm not going to frustrate myself if I'm ill- equipped and don't have the overall pets needed to give me a chance to win. For me personally, I know my issue will be learning the rotations and how they fight. I'm no expert and I certainly don't have the experience as most of the others do here, but I know from my experience that sometimes we have to find our niche for what works well for us on an individual basis. Sure pet battles has a few issues, but what game doesn't ? I'm not going to allow it to steal my joy and enjoyment of the game .I will be printing out the strats and trying different ones and if the overall opinion is a particular pet can one or two shot a tamer then yes I will be sure to level that particular pet in that family. Its all in how you view the game, and for me I'm always open to input and grateful to learn from the more experience players whose been there and done that. We are here to help each other and learn from each others experience :D

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Re: The Problem with Talking About the Pet Battle System

Postby Harpua » February 10th, 2014, 8:54 pm

If this is poor game design, what do you think of the rest of the game?

The CT is end game content. It is the SoO of pet battles. If you went into heroic SoO with an unenchanted weapon, ungemmed chest piece and 2 470 level trinkets, would anyone be surprised that your DPS was weak? Yet this is roughly equivalent to not having the right pet or right breed when you fight the CT.

And the constant complaints about RNG drive me crazy. No one complains about RNG when they get a big crit or the right piece of loot drops the first time through a dungeon. It's frustrating when it feels like it never goes your way, but we often overlook it when it does go your way.

If you think about it, the pet battle system isn't that much different from the rest of the game.

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Re: The Problem with Talking About the Pet Battle System

Postby Digem » February 11th, 2014, 9:42 am

Harpua wrote:If this is poor game design, what do you think of the rest of the game?

The CT is end game content. It is the SoO of pet battles. If you went into heroic SoO with an unenchanted weapon, ungemmed chest piece and 2 470 level trinkets, would anyone be surprised that your DPS was weak? Yet this is roughly equivalent to not having the right pet or right breed when you fight the CT.

And the constant complaints about RNG drive me crazy. No one complains about RNG when they get a big crit or the right piece of loot drops the first time through a dungeon. It's frustrating when it feels like it never goes your way, but we often overlook it when it does go your way.

If you think about it, the pet battle system isn't that much different from the rest of the game.



Couldn't have said it better myself.
This person is posting the same thread over and over and then claiming they aren't a troll.
That is the definition of a troll.
Don't complain what they do to your posts on wow forums and compare it to here.
You have gotten multiple helpful solutions to your problems from this site in all, now three threads complaining about the CT.
But, you do not want to do the work to make the CT easier.
Instead you would rather complain.
Sorry their is no "easy" button.
Like all end game materials in this game you have to put the work in and be prepared or you will struggle like you are.
Maybe the problem is the man in the mirror?

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Re: The Problem with Talking About the Pet Battle System

Postby Denarian » February 11th, 2014, 5:37 pm

Digem wrote:Maybe the problem is the man in the mirror?


Michael Jackson is the problem!?

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Re: The Problem with Talking About the Pet Battle System

Postby Awq » February 11th, 2014, 9:46 pm

I did not reasons why I felt that it is not good end game content and no one addressed those (that I saw), they just ignored them

Could you copy paste your arguments of why the content is not good to this thread?
I had to read another thread to find your opinions. If you title a thread 'Help me with Celestial Tournament'you will get help how to beat the Tournament. This thread is better suited to discuss the design of the tournament.

I personally belief that there is a wall and that PvE pet battles aren't dynamic enough. You either destroy the wall, forever, or you keep hitting it until you find a crack.
My problems with this system derive from the moment where you destroyed a wall. I basically made 4 different teams/strats for the first four times that I've done the tournament. If you beat it, you have bested it. You have to improvise to make new content, by finding different strategies or using lower level pets. I have problems with this. I have not found a wall, so PvE offered me little compelling (and lasting) content.

I personally would like pet battles to be more dynamic. Implementing a dynamic system is very complicated and there might be a lot of bugs. It would not suit your ends. It would be expensive and it would most likely not be worth the effort. I stick with PvP Battles. You do not have to do PvE battles.

This isn't supposed to be a big puzzle game, it is supposed to be something we can play at and have fun with. Poorly designed end game content that is not compelling for long (for most) is just that, poorly designed.

I personally am glad that Pet Battles has puzzle elements. I do not find it compelling if a turn based RPG does not offer elements of strategy.

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Re: The Problem with Talking About the Pet Battle System

Postby Sanzul » February 12th, 2014, 3:37 pm

Harpua wrote:If you went into heroic SoO with an unenchanted weapon, ungemmed chest piece and 2 470 level trinkets, would anyone be surprised that your DPS was weak? Yet this is roughly equivalent to not having the right pet or right breed when you fight the CT.

The problem is that parts of the CT are totally random even with the perfect setup. Most times Chi-Chi is a cakewalk. Some days Chi-Chi is an impassable wall of death who will pretty much kill your entire team before you get a chance to do anything. There is no preparation possible in pet battles that will let you win an unlucky fight. People put up with those outcomes outside the CT because they can just bandage and try again, but the CT's no-healing mechanic highlights all the bad things about pet battles.

Harpua wrote:And the constant complaints about RNG drive me crazy. No one complains about RNG when they get a big crit or the right piece of loot drops the first time through a dungeon. It's frustrating when it feels like it never goes your way, but we often overlook it when it does go your way.

It's pretty basic psychology: people notice unlikely negative outcomes far more than unlikely positive outcomes. Good game design understands and accepts this and designs the mechanics around it, generally trying to eliminate those unlikely negative outcomes.

Note how missing taunts and interrupts were removed from the game and how DPS have been designed around the assumption of being hit-capped since TBC (to the point where misses on special abilities are being removed altogether in WoD). Tanks have been immune to critical hits since Molten Core, simply because tanks getting crit wasn't fun. Heals have never had a chance to fail. NPC spells haven't been able to crit since vanilla beta. For loot the most likely outcome by far is not getting anything from a boss - you have a chance to get lucky and get something, but there's no chance to ever get unlucky and losing an item you had.

There are standard outcomes and better outcomes, but very rarely are there bad outcomes.

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Re: The Problem with Talking About the Pet Battle System

Postby 3wd » February 12th, 2014, 4:24 pm

CT is not the end game for pet battling, it fact, there isn't really something can be called end game for PVE pet battling.

The thing is : PVE pet battling in the current stage is so scripted and almost 99% of the fight can be calculated and be beaten without the effect of RNG.

Someone mentioned Chi Chi as an example in the CT that RNG may play a role, actually it won't if you can find a better combo to use.

Chi Chi is a joke facing the water spirit and Chom setup, 2 delayed damage plus the hawl plus the nuke from the Chom will guarantee 100 win out of 100 times. That even include the possibility of the cri damage from Chi Chi.

The way of pet battle had been designed has a great limitation how the end game can be.

Its all about numbers, you can only buff the boss to a certain range because once over that, they are unbeatable.

Unlike the real 25 men / 10 men / or even the old 40 men raid in wow, the range for you to design with the RNG factor can be much wider, why? because you can not control all 25/10/40 players at the same time to reach the maximum performance.

In pet battle, you can. Hence there is actually less RNG involved.

Some people keep saying RNG is bad for pet battle, hence the hit chance should just go away.

But you know what? If we will get rid of the hit chance, this game (pet battle) will be just boring as hell as most of the moves can be calculated and most of the battles can be decided from the first 2-3 moves.

In my opinion, there isn't really much "wrong" about the current system, because it was designed as a mini chess game from the get go, and I think it does reach its intend so far.

Please don't set your goal too high.

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