A week of my pvp life


#1

So I thought I’d share my pvp life and some stats for last week. As well as playing Raid mode and dungeons and the odd TH, I decided to try my pvp week without switching team once. As Queen Titania and I are a thing (just ask @esslee) I went with Mercy Alchemist Hellcat QueenTitania with the Shentang banner. Here’s my week in some numbers and observations. I only play 3 trophy ranked pvp and never reroll the matches offered.

  • I won 360 matches and lost 9
  • of enemy teams:
    • 217 (59%) had Mab
    • 175 (47%) were TrollNyxMab
    • otherwise it was diverse-ish
  • of the 9 that I lost:
    • 6 were to sudden cascades and loops usually on AI first or second turn and I’d have lost whatever team or moves I’d tried
    • 2 were games where I got a bad start, got frozen, and a different team build would probably have turned it around and won
    • 1 was when my phone decided to power down and switch off even though it had 70% battery
  • also of the 8 actual losses:
    • 7 enemy teams had Mab
    • 6 were TrollNyxMab builds
    • 1 was PsionRagFamMab
    • 1 was TDS + Nax dragons that somehow looped consecutive casts
  • of my wins:
    • 117 (32%) had a good board to cast Mercy on the first turn and hold the turn
    • another 39 (11%) I could cast Mercy and hold turn within 3 turns from start
    • so 43% of games Mercy got me a fast start (and fills Hellcat and I generally now win)
    • 155 (42%) I won on my first turn, either from a Mercy cast or good 4s or 5s on the board
    • 322 (87%) I won in a single turn once I cast my first spell

@shimrra will be interested to note the Mercy impact - I’d note that her cleanse saved me (allowed me to loop and win) on many occasions

Meanwhile, for completeness, my defence team of Gorgotha Mercy Infernus QueenTitania scored 100 wins and 154 losses (39% win rate). I’m kinda baffled how that wins so much.

Just sharing.


The "Divine" Slayer team share
#2

If what you are getting at is that Mercy is strong and unique, no argument here. But for general PvP, the metric that matters is (resources) per hour, which is a function of match speed. Every time you use a converter, you have to check the board, and while this becomes easier once you “crack” the board, first casts are costing you a bit of time, occasionally a lot of time on a bad board. This is why, to most people, Mercy is not going to be considered “dominant” - brainless exploder spam, despite catching a 5-10% loss rate instead of a 2.5%, is much faster and takes much less effort. I don’t need a well constructed team where I control the pace of the match to win, I just need to outpace or outperform the team I’m facing, which, given the value of a “turn” in todays game, is fairly trivial if you have the right troops.

Personally, I find myself more engaged when I’m playing battles with control troops where the decisions I’m making actually matter. That is most likely what you are feeling with Mercy being dominant - if you play like this all the time, there is no better opener. But I can’t deny that playing the same ones get old, and the game seems to be trending away from this. Most other fast openers carry a fairly large element of risk or are sloppy and largely take away your agency and will only lead you into battles where you aren’t going through the motions as edge cases because you didn’t get the right cascades a lots a troop but are still somehow in a position where you can win (and most people retreat even before then). I can’t help but feel that this is also intentional.

Actually, for pretty much every mode in the game, “perfect” play (as in, every decision matters and playing to the best of your ability the entire time) is not properly rewarded in any of them. In PvP, speed trumps everything. In explore, speed also wins and it is trivial, and raising the difficulty to the point you have to think about anything ever just gives you less rewards. Guild Wars punishes the use of “safe” play by penalizing taking a bunch of match 4/5s as an “action” each and lowering your score. Raids and Invasions give almost nothing for individual battles, and take exponentially longer if you are trying to play well the entire time (in my opinion, prohibitively long, which is a huge block in my enjoyment of them). Treasure hunt you need to be moving quickly or you’ll have much less rewards per hour, regardless of how “well” you play the mode in general. Even bounties, “good” play with a 3 bounty troop team requring a ton of careful play versus braindead exploder chains with two bounty troops sitting there like lumps only have a potential reward gap of one tier for any given buy-in while costing you many hours.

Vaguely influencing individual plays toward the direction of a “win” through instincts is just far, far more efficient long term, and likely remain as such forever. That is why Mercy is not a problem, and converter looping in general is not (and never was) a problem. It isn’t dominant strategy for things that most people care about (unless you literally can’t win any other way, but then there is still a drive to get the troops and setups where you can). If we see a swing away from the exploder meta such that converters are actually dominant again for consistent speed and safety and Mercy is at the forefront of that again, we might need to see some options comparable to Mercy (no, I don’t think she’ll ever get nerfed, nor does she even need to be). But I’m not sure if that would be good for the game based on where we are now.


#3

Time is everything. I often find myself randomly clicking in places just so the game hints me at the nearest match 4.

If I cast an exploder or converter and the enemy gets one too many spells off, I retreat and try again. There is no penalty for losing, nor are the rewards for winning particularly special. Due to these two things, I click away at speed wins and get more glory per revenge battle for my retreats.

My win percentage, after finally bothering to put a real defense up, is 60.


#4

PvP is so boring nowadays. Always the same teams.


#5

So what you’re saying is:

Mab and Troll/Nyx/Mab dominate PvP representation, and your losses are dominated by Nyx or Troll/Nyx/Mab teams, so PvP is at least as balanced as Dawnbringer in Arena and no changes are needed?

On a more serious note:

Mithran, as usual, has said almost the perfect thing for me to agree with. I like the team you used in PvP and I think it’s more stable/consistent than the TDS/Worldbreaker combo I use. But the TDS/Worldbreaker team finishes 2-3 matches in the time it takes me to optimize my way through 1, and it wins often enough to make up for the losses.

I still don’t think the ideal solution is to nerf this iteration’s version of the griefer defense team. The problem used to be Kraken. We nerfed Kraken. Now the problem’s potentially three troops, or maybe Dawnbringer. What becomes the grief team 3 months after we nerf one of those? (And we all know it won’t be Dawnbringer that gets nerfed.)

Re-iterating for the dozenth time:

The ideal solution is giving people a reason to field diverse defense teams, or at least encourage them to change them on a weekly basis. They pick Troll/Nyx/Mab because there’s a giant Win/Loss ratio on their status. Even if they aren’t headed for the leaderboards, this has a psychological impact. As players, we want to minimize things that say we lose.

Some point to the rival/revenge battles as encouragement. I think it’s a good mechanic, but clearly the rewards aren’t significant enough to sway most players. I thought about it today: often, my choice is to take a 1-trophy match to get +3 glory. Technically I only get +1 glory there. Sure, eventually it turns into event keys, but it’s so negligible I don’t even know what it is.

I’d like to see ideas like:

  • Every 10 defense battles with an all-Event team is worth 1 sigil in a raid/invasion. Or a minor orb. Or some snotgems. SOMETHING tangible. Note this is “win or lose”.
  • Your attacking team gets a bonus in all modes if your defense team is an all-Event team that has participated in at least 10 battles. (This prevents you from swapping your defense team around so much.)
  • Remove the dang defense team record from the UI, and stop taking away PvP points if the RNG decides to make you lose.
  • The troops you used last week get a stacking -10% if you keep them.

It’s a big space. There are lots of ideas for what you can do. The idea is to make sure players see a clear benefit to running something that isn’t the T1 meta defense team.

Nerfing the current meta team is attacking the stem, not the root.


#6

To be fair this thread wasn’t intended at all to be a nerf call or complaint in any way. I’m actually finding the pvp meta currently quite varied - certainly versus some of its egregious past lows.

On team comp: I find that mercy+QT team my fastest, faster then exploder builds and also more reliable. I’m so accustomed to loop teams I think I can read the next colour to cast on autopilot…


#7

I agree converters cost some time for analyzing the board states, but it is far far far away from making games 2-3 times longer…
If it takes you that long reading boards for convert 4-matches you clearly don’t have enough practice in using converters.

As for the OP and the well disguised Mercy dominates the game agenda…so your 3 converter + 1 clearly overpowered extraturn damage dealer troop wins a lot quick huh? Big surprise…
You could replace Mercy with anything that supports the Alchemist/Hellcat synergy, switch banner and keep about the same average speed/success rate.


#8

I’ve been over my phenomenally bad luck with converters before. In 20-30 games with that team so far I think I’ve made a free turn off Mercy once, and I got to make matches with a turn-1 Mercy twice. So I’m frankly astonished to see the numbers above. I just read most converters’ ability as “Let your opponent’s Queen Mab freeze your team and collect 80 mana next turn.” or “You’ll never actually be able to use this skill because the board will never give you as much as a 3-match.”


#9

Fixed converters are quite dependent on board states indeed, but the universal ones are rarely unable to connect.
Especially between Alchemist and Hellcat you can basically cast them all day long. Mercy is merely there to kickstart the whole thing in case of an opportune starting board.


#10

Just to state: I had no such agenda for this thread. Was just sharing.

I’m going to repeat the exercise, stats notes and plan this week but fix on a Divines / Infernus team I also like. It also has Mercy in it, as I like her acceleration and also the cleanse.


#11

Then i apologize for reading this into it.


#12

Another note of merit is that the week in question gave a double-boost to Nyx. While her magic doesn’t really matter, the +20% health and armor, coupled with being immune to (faerie) fire, makes her a rational choice for a defense team last week, and one that’s more likely to counter you (As well as my Ketras/Infernus teams- oneshots be damned!). I still think FTNyxDBMab is overused, but there was slightly more significant reason to set it last week (Personally, I’m still a fan of the mythic gnome squad).


#13

did you manage to beat my gnomes in pvp during this? xD


#14

@Mithran I’ve complained about this for a few months now it doesn’t seem to register with the dev’s. Recently Bolatsi and I have more or less come to the agreement that the same holds true in Treasure hunt as well after some preliminary testing (more to follow but it’s trending for speed trumps everything as well very strongly).
What i miss most about the early game is the actual “turn taking” and strategy that is almost completely missing in the end game in all areas of the game (imo)

Cheers
Calvin


#15

Thanks for sharing and keeping such detailed stats Jainus, really interesting to read!

Just wanted to touch on this… As far as I’m aware your revenge battles have nothing to do with the games you retreat, you just get a revenge chance against people who beat your defense team, right?


#16

Don’t think I invaded you last week, tech. I’ll keep an eye out.


#17

Re Revenge battles: you are correct.


#18

That is correct. I knew that, but it somehow slipped my mind as I was typing. Either way, good catch and thank you.