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Results of 20 battles - why PvP is broken

The developers don’t seem to understand what is broken about PvP

Undoubtedly they do testing but to get a real feel for what is wrong for it you need to play consistently (and not with the devs choice of gear - with the average gear that a person at that trophy level would have)

Below is the results of 20 battles so they can get some sense of what is wrong

I have erred on the side of being conservative so when I say one side won the battle but was cheated of the victory no one in their right mind would say otherwise, likewise if I say one party had no chance it means they had less than 1% chance (only an astonishingly absurd combo of events could lead to victory)

I list the final results then what happened with brief description. Summary follows

  1. lost. I Won convincingly but was cheated by the old 4 versus 1 wizard maneuver (also all abilities stopped procing)

  2. won. But shouldn’t have, very favourable initiative, turn order

  3. won. Legit win

  4. won. Legit win

  5. lost. Won convincingly but enemy cleric did epic weapon cheat on 3 vs 1 (note I had no choice but to leave him to last due to taunt, stealth etc)

  6. won. Legit

  7. won. Legit

  8. lost. Won convincingly but enemy cleric rip off again in 3 vs 1.

  9. lost. No hope of win due to character mismatch

  10. won. Absolutely decimated me but My bard did 3 vs 1 rip off on them

  11. lost. Zero chance due to character mismatch, zero ability procs, zero crits, misses etc. comical match

  12. won. Opponent had zero chance, character mismatch, turn order.

  13. lost. Zero chance, character, turn combos

  14. lost. Zero chance, character, turn combos

  15. lost. Zero chance, character, turn combos

  16. won. Legit

  17. lost. zero chance. Dominated my wizard (no cleric)

  18. won. Opponent had zero chance, dominated their wizard

  19. won. Opponent had zero chance, dominated their archer and bad character combos

  20. lost. Dominated my wizard

Summary

Won 10
Of these 5 were legit wins (chess battles not determined solely in first few moves)
4 I won solely because of character combos/turn
order or dominating
1 I won with a 1 vs 3 rip-off

Lost 10
Of these in 5 I had zero chance due to character mismatches, turn order
3 I won convincingly but was ripped off in 3 or 4 (me) vs 1 (them)
2 they dominated my wizard

So:
25% actual matches where both sides had a chance
55% determined solely by character combos, turn order, domination (domination accounting for about 20% of total)
20% 3or4 vs 1 rip off (because of silly turn for turn system)

I won every battle in which both sides had a chance.
The rest of my wins and all my losses were just due to chance or rip-offs that follow from the silly turn for turn system.

So I had zero legitimate losses (non Chance, non rip-off losses) and five legitimate wins yet in total I won 10, lost 10 and made absolutely ZERO PROGRESS in trophies

So what you’re saying that the lack of player agency is causing you frustration.

Moreover, you have specified that there exists multiple elements within the current design of PvP that are taking away agency from the player:

  • Mismatch between character stength leading player decisions becoming irrelevant;
  • Overpowered “proc or suck” abilities that single-handedly determines matches, rendering player decisions becoming largely irrelevant; or
  • The one player turn at a time action economy causing imbalance in character strength due to faster cooldown or more powerful attack/ability use

If that’s the case, I don’t fully agree. For Domination, restore on the Fighter (with taunt), Paladin and Priest all provide a counter mechanism.

Dealing with the cleric is harder. My best tactic is to take the center, play slower (because fire is based on time first and then turns) and let the fire kill him. Alternatively, use action denial to wear off the death ward and then finish him. Lastly gambit by killing the character if you have a OTK character’s turn upcoming, they would need for the death ward to proc or get OTK’d.

Next, the heroic second breath turn sequencing is interesting and naturally suggests a strategy of saving the weakest for last, which isn’t always feasible. I don’t hate it, but I’m not in love with it either. I suspect that it increases player agency overall through a catch-up mechanic, but I can see how it can be unintuitive based on how it works on PvE.

Fully agree that matchmaking is currently pretty miserable.

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Yes to each of the three points but I or others have already mentioned all of them - wanted a portrayal of them in practise.

As to your other comments. I love how everyone assumes that other players need instruction. The results I gave are after doing everything you suggest

I always have maxed restore pants on cleric, In a few of the battles above I removed dominate with him (would have been worse figures without) in others I either don’t have him in party or he is frozen to spot by warlock or people dominate him. I don’t bother with restore gear on fighter as he doesn’t get dominated all that often and mine doesn’t do all that much damage. I use taunts to draw dominate. My paladin like most people’s isn’t ready to go yet. In any case dominate only accounts for the outcome of 20% of battles at most.

I know how to kill the cleric, move back save up your king hits, use ability block etc etc. however often you can’t, his stealth means you can’t hit him because stealth is broken, taunts protect him until he’s last, my 75% chance of restoring wizard abilities won’t proc, I don’t have characters in party or alive with 2 to 3 turn ability block etc etc

Fair. Although your reply then leads to the follow up question of for whom should these abilities be balanced for? The top end where players mostly have level 2 legendaries and unlocked the highest tier abilities of common, rares and Epics, mid range players who only have access to a handful of legendaries and some second or third tier abilities, or the unwashed masses of level 4-5 newbies?

I have an inkling from your response that you implicitly think it should be balanced around the middle of the road player base.

I haven’t read all of this post yet. I just opened it to the bottom and gotta run and will come back to it later.

So, speaking without knowing all of the context so I could easily be wrong, but in general, Yes things should be more geared to the middle of the road player base for two reasons. because that is where most of the players are and that’s where you have the most to gain. The higher end people are probably already buying things

To me it’s so obvious that the system is being artificially altered behind the scenes. Yesterday I won almost 300 trophies and was sitting pretty in Infernal League. Today, despite recognising a lot of the names I had wiped the floor with just the day before, suddenly my attacks are missing a lot, doing very little damage, being resisted, and initiative orders and groupings are all favouring my opponents, most of whom have lower trophy counts. I’m now on an almost 90% losing streak and have lost 250 trophy points in just an hour.

There’s just no possible way that this system is legit. Those kinds of incredibly wild swings simply don’t happen in probabilistic systems with such frequency and regularity.

Reading your initial post and not disagreeing with your opinions on whether or not fights were mismatches or bad turn order or whatever, I wonder how many of the ones where you lost the opponent said to themselves “it’s about time these went in my favor because I always lose to mismatches and bad turn order.”
You didn’t state whether these fights were against bots or humans, but taking bots out of the equation for sake of argument, for every person who gets screwed by bad turn order or seemingly lopsided crit percentages someone gains. Overall that breaks even

It’s not that hard to believe that you could beat a team easily in one battle and then lose easily to them the next. You have 10 different character choices of which you get 4 to fight with. There is in theory a 50/50 chance of who gets to go first. There are 24 different combination of the order your characters can appear and the same for your opponent. There are so many ways you get get a dominating start that is near impossible to overcome once and then just get junk the next time

Way to entirely misunderstand and misrepresent my points.

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In Blackjack, with variances for number of decks and other inconsistencies between casinos, if played correctly you will lose 49% win 42% and tie the rest. Ask any regular gambler how many times they have lost 4 or 5 or 10 hands in a row when the odds say that they will lose are less than a coin flip. They will tell you it happens all the time and how it must be the dealers cheating or the card shufflers, because there is no way possible the dealer can keep making their hand when the player keeps busting

I think your both correct

Random data is lumpy - it’s not unusual to gets runs of an unlikely event popping up.

I also have a lot of practical experience with random data

Did my first research paper using data from a “random” (about as close as you can get) biological system to simulate movement of gas molecules in a decision making study. Then much later lecturer in statistics, then later 2 post-docs in statistical genetics.

So unlike stress this is one area in which I do have expertise.

I detailed previously how a system can both be random in the long run (ie over 10,000 trials an item will proc at roughly proc rate, initiative will go roughly 50/50 etc) and be “rigged”.

I believe it incorporates randomness and rigged elements as indicated by the extreme lumpiness - this is in their best interests as it creates the most addictive reinforcement schedule

I wouldn’t be surprised, although I am not sure if I think it’s true, if there was a certain element of “rigging” to try and make things more even between teams to make them slightly more equal. I don’t think it happens nearly as much as other people seem to, nor do I think it is as extreme. Also, I don’t think it favors certain individuals over others. If it is rigged the rigging would be on a game by game basis and over the long run would be just as likely to go in any one persons favor as it is against them.

No definitely not to favour individuals and agreed in the long run it would be just as likely to go for or against them - just increased lumpiness, exaggerated runs for or against of initiative, proc, crits etc

Factor this into your data sets: start any level, any dungeon, with any set of characters. Play the first three rounds (not individual turns, but full rounds where each character gets three turns). Quit the game (not sure how it’s done on Android, but on iOS, you just double-click home and then swipe up). Restart the game immediately.

You do that often enough and you will begin to notice very distinct patterns. Patterns like this simply are not possible in a true random system. Now, this could be entirely innocent given the nature of pseudorandomness that is necessary for computer algorithms, however even then the pseudorandom algorithm being used would have to be set based on a non-random parameter for these patterns to emerge and be so incredibly consistent and persistent as they are. And that’s just super lazy programming.

Well obviously there would be a difference between the pvp game and the pve game. The main one being that if you disconnect for a minute in pve it doesn’t keep going without you and it doesn’t automatically push your guys forward.

It would be way different for them to set up circumstances to happen a certain way when it is you versus an AI than it would be for them to set it up when it is you against another individual

I am pretty sure this game is very far from being random. It’s not even close to that. Being lazily programmed is my well-disposed suspicion. My not so well-disposed suspicion is that it is purposely rigged. The game is obviously out for your money. A lot of your money for a mobile game. I don’t think it’s a long shot to presume it tries to manipulate you into buying more stuff. Of course, it is also possible that the game is simply designed stupidly.

Anyhow, I think it is not the randomness and lack of player agency that is frustrating many players. (I’m also totally sure it is true randomness that causes my characters to miss 5 times more often than my enemies, to lose initiative for a 3 to 1 basis, and to cause 10% damage to lower level characters per attack, while they do 60-80% to my higher level characters.)

It is the lack of transparency and accountability. We can’t just track random rolls to verify the correctness of probability in the long run. We don’t see the level of equipment the enemy is using. We are just paying, then losing hundreds of trophies after an update, and don’t understand what’s going on. I think the outrage of some people is understandable.

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Thec, exactly my suspicions. I have not only lost roughly 7 of the last 10 battles, but I can usually tell as soon as the two rosters appear that I am going to lose. In many I have been lucky to get a single kill.

The fact that my enemies get an awful lot more crits than I do, their special attacks almost always work, while mine are resisted 2/3 of the time, and that I will ALWAYS lose to a team with better gear (even if they are lower level) tells me that it is rigged in favor of gear (ie, benefiting those willing to spend RL money).

I realize the game is a grind. Okay. I realize they’re in the business to make a profit. Okay. But he complaints about battle mode are amazingly consistent and coming from people new to the game (like me) and the super powerful ones should be a sign that something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

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