It’s garbage; I agree. Losing 50 points to three opponents straight, all of whom got all the RNGs, only to turn around and get the RNGs, but win only 10, is terrible. I hate the battle system now.
But, as for “what’s wrong again with the trophy system?”: while the current system is the worst, the previous system was also very flawed, and I’ve been calling for a revision for months. The problem is that the relative points won/lost in the previous system weren’t always appropriate given the matchups. My feeling is that the matchups were never the real issue, moreso, the points gained/lost.
The nerdy bits here are that trophy awards in both systems are based on a modified Elo Rating/Ranking system, which essentially counts net wins to come up with a final score, and where individual matches are scored based on how closely you perform based on an expected outcome, with more points awarded or lost for beating the odds, and fewer points where you perform as expected. Straightforward, and relatively easy to communicate to players. In the pre-1.7 system, that “expected outcome” was solely based on your gap in trophies vs. your opponents. In games like chess, where it’s commonly used, there are really no variables to influence the score other than a) wins/losses overall, and b) number of games won/lost against a specific opponent. That last bit is a key point, too, because it factors-in your under/overperforming when matched against a specific opponent, which is entirely feasible in a game like chess (where you can schedule matches). Using a modified Elo, as JWA does and did in pre-1.7, was flawed because a) if there was some measure of your outcomes vs. a specific opponent, it wasn’t apparent (@cincydave99, I swear, I’ve battled you a hundred times now, haha!), but most importantly, b) JWA has FAR more variables in-play aside from W/L ratio and trophies, such as, oh, I dunno, creature level, creature attributes (i.e. immune; has armor; etc.), type, and the rest of the RNG basket (cloak, stun, crit, and I might as well mention, the match timeout goblin). Theoretically, the more you play (in either system), the more you get a normal distribution of opponents, creature matchups, and RNG, such that your skill level is shown appropriately in your trophy score.
Except that it just didn’t work (or, it mostly worked okay, but when it failed, it FAILED). There were too many outlier situations, where you’d face a player around 200 trophies below you, but with a team that was all 2-3 levels above you. You might go 0-3 against this player because of team imbalance, along with RNG fails, and bang, you’ve lost 50% more points than average and barely got a hit in. Or, your opponent vomits-out that irritating, no-good, very bad, game parasite, Dracoceratops. Infuriating. Again, Elo Rating is flawed here because there are so many variables.
Enter 1.7, where Ludia - rightly - began to factor-in team strength to scoring as a way of making the points awards more fair. Conceptually, this is an awesome step, and one that I’ve been crowing-about for ages. But, the implementation was a major fail; specifically this “factoring-in” doesn’t seem to be adequately weighting the actual damage potential of opponents’ creatures vs. your creatures, regardless of boosts. When you add the effect of the runaway train that is stat boosts, though, you’ve got a 1-2 punch that broke the battle system, period. If they weren’t calculating creature strength appropriately in the first place (sorry guys, you got it wrong), the boost effects just magnified an already glaring miscalculation. Putting a collar on trophy wins/losses did little to fix things overall. The math should have been better in the first place, and that’s what we’re all seeing.
A small part of the angst we’re having lately is that we’re in this new battle system, and the disruption is a result of us all “normalizing” to the new system. There’s always some friction in those situations, just like in the first days of the original tournaments, where it was a bloodbath for most as it took a while for things to normalize. If 1.7’s changes were permanent, we would all, over time, settle into our new brackets/ranking, and things would feel normal-ish. But this friction, I think, is only a tiny part of the angst, since every part of the system has been shaken up: points are irrational (esp. in the beginning); leveling and DNA are irrelevant; matchups of creatures whose balance in the game was kept somewhat in check by speed tiers are now totally out the window (I mean, come on, >190 speed? SMH).
So, to wrap-up my blathering, the revision to points awarded to account for creature strength was a
good great and sorely needed change in concept, but sadly, the execution was poor. Ludia not only got the math wrong, but they never should have released two game-changers to battling at one time. Even if you get the math right, doing both at once is a bad decision.
Footnote: Elo also assumes zero-sum outcomes (i.e. the points you win vs. those lost by the opponent are equal in absolute magnitude, so the net effect to the game tally is zero). I’m not sure JWA needs to be zero sum, TBH. Sure, the 40K trophies marks from early tournaments are an example of what happens without a zero-sum constraint, but you can always do a graduated scale, and I think they should. The only downside that I see is that a graduated zero-sum situation actually makes advancing to higher tiers much harder than just gaining, say, 10 points to advance. But I’d take that.