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.