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PVP Gold Exploit and Fix Clarification (Further Info Inside)

It looks like there have been some misconceptions about the purpose of the the changes to PvP Gold Rewards against easier opponents, so I thought I would clear up a few things.

  1. We were a little slow to update the patch notes to include a mention of the change. That was our mistake, partly due our silly Wordpress site not saving some updates that were made. Have you noticed occasionally since we did the new site that images go missing? Same deal. We’re working through that. Obviously we WEREN’T trying to hide the change from you! It’s pretty obvious, and we know you’d spot even a 10% decrease in something, so that’s not something we’d try to hide.

  2. There were 2 main intentions behind the change - a fix to an “exploit” in Casual PvP AND a decrease of Gold against enemies that were considerably weaker than you. Let’s deal with them separately below, and then discuss our fix:

CASUAL PVP “EXPLOIT”: Without going into too many details about the exploit, it could be triggered by players setting up weak defense teams, fighting one Ranked PvP battle, waiting to lose a few defense fights, and then jumping into Casual for the rest of the week. This would assure an endless stream of very easy opponents that could simply be refreshed with Gold, and due to some buffs to Gold made a few months back (to fix an issue with Team Scores of 11000+, simply too much gold was being given away here.

LESS GOLD FOR WEAKER ENEMIES IN RANKED PVP: Meanwhile, Ranked PvP had a similar, but less drastic issue. The fix for Team Scores of 11000+ was giving away too much gold against very easy enemies here too. This wasn’t close to the severity of the Casual PvP loophole above, but it was a still a thing that needed to be addressed.

I think we all want a healthy game that lasts for many more years, and when we look at the issues above, they’re not good for long term game health. It should be evident that the players who put the most effort into their collection should get the most rewards! But when the most efficient way to earn Gold, is against the easiest opponent, there’s suddenly a lack of incentive to complete those collections. It doesn’t make sense to leave loopholes like this around, and it’s also disrespectful to our end-game players and all the effort they’ve put in. It had to be addressed.

When we made the change we knew that it would apply to both Ranked and Casual PvP. Casual PvP was our primary goal because the issue was more severe. We checked Ranked PvP, and the rewards were still the same for Team Scores 2000 below our own, and dropped off sharply after that. What we didn’t realise was that on the live servers, due to some subtlety in our matchmaking algorithms, opponents are regularly chosen that are 5000 or more TS lower than ourselves. When that was brought to our attention, we immediately addressed the gold rewards (within a couple of days - it takes a while to pull and examine data in the middle of update week) in Ranked PvP, and smoothed out that drop-off considerably. We’ve had a chance to examine match-length vs. reward there now, and we’re happy those rewards look about right to us.

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Thank you for clarifying.

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I don’t even know where to start. The data do not support your claims. I have spent the afternoon plotting some battles. In the first graph you can see the precipitous drop off in gold payouts for teams WITHIN 2000 points of my attacking team. Clearly I still have an issue with matching because you almost never offer me teams at the top, and clearly you can’t offer me teams exceeding my team strength.
Btw the solid line is my attack team and the dotted line that value -2000

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In the second and third graph you can see that there is only a very weak correlation between opponent strength and time in battle.
This correlation is predominantly driven by teams < 7000, that’s half my score, and not by teams that are only 2000 weaker than mine.
You can also see that there is NO correlation between time in battle and gold. And this is the real issue. Your gold nerf has “fixed” an issue where there is no causal relationship. image image
Disclaimer: I used my fav PvP team, might not have been ideal for all opponents and you can probably squeeze a few seconds out here and there.

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I thought you covered this fairly well in your stream Salty. Thank you for taking the time to post on the weekend.
We appreciate you doing so.
I think it just seemed too much a coincidence to some players after the changes to Guild Tasks and felt like a betrayal.
Thanks for fixing and for being on top of addressing this.:green_heart:

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I did 40 pvp matches and wrote down the names. Mostly tier 3, some tier 2 and 1. I seem to have some resentment against Layzee (marked with yellow color) that im not aware of. The pattern of same high end opponents running against again and again and again is boring. And seems to be part of the gold problem. Find me some new friends to play against, please!

2019-12-14

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I made note of this same situation earlier today. Seems that in ranked and casual pvp combined I have only 12-15 different possible opponents today. Win/lose/refresh all the same

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My defenses wins 2:1 of the time so evidently a hard defense. I still got easy opponents.

I win one ranked battle, but it wouldn’t matter if I did or not. I do it out of curiosity to see how much the AI is favoring my defense or not. I would still get easy opponents in cPvP.

Because they are casual players. The only way their defenses could enter the PvP pool is to do a ranked match. That’s by your design and now accusing folks of exploiting the game by broadening your PvP match making.

Not given away. EARNED. And the gold per second EARNED was parralel with Ranked PvP. Without forcing players to face the same endless metas in ranked PvP.

Are 4 fire bomb defenses a disrespectful and exploitive strategy made by your players?

In that Class XP can be easily farmed. Yes. I can see how that is “severe”.

Which is exactly why you shouldn’t do things without testing it fully. It was a last minute addition to 4.7 that could have easily waited until 4.7.5 before implementation.

Your match making was and is still broken. It’s not the players fault. It’s your own. It’s still not an Exploit to play cPvP. But you sure as hell nerfed folks for playing too much cPvP.

You based your decision of Epic Tasks gold costs on the current gold income. That should of been a sufficient nerf. But that wasn’t enough for the 505 greed machine. You also reduced by 50% players ability to earn gold in cPvP (that’s the final reduction.)

So you raised taxes and cut our hourly wages.

I agree. It’s 100% disrespectful to nerf two major parts of the game while never mentioning the word “nerf”.
Instead you use the word Exploit like using it will absolve you of any sin.

I’m not calling the devs a child. I’m not trying to be disrespectful by using this example.
But the way the cPvP nerf (not fix) is being handled. Appears to me very child like. Like you’re a child caught in a lie. And all you do is dig yourself deeper and deeper the more you try to justify your life. When all we want to hear is the actual 100% truth.

TL:DR - Just tell us that you have no clue how casual PvP match making works. But you weren’t happy with how much gold and hero class XP could be earned. So you nerfed it. You regret that the decision since it came when at the same time that you made LT cost 32 million more to achieve. But here we are. The GoW economy version of the great depression. :man_shrugging:

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I can’t wait for 4.8 when they label that an Exploit as well. :roll_eyes:

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So I can play orbweaver for 1239 gold (tier 3 within 2000 points of me) or 647 gold tier 2 if I don’t want orbweaver. I consider PvP currently broken. Briefly I could get 2000 gold tier 3 matches after the patch. Now it’s gotten really bad after the “fix” to the patch.

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Which they would of found themselves if they bothered taking their time with it.
If you would please. Do a chart comparing class XP between ranked PvP and Casual. And you’ll see the real reason for the “fix”.

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In the future, I will only play pvp to get to tier 1. After that it’s not worth it. Fighting easier teams? Of course I am. When everyone runs a Gobtruffle or L&D defense, you’re damn right I’m going to look for something a little easier.

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So wait - people who put the most effort in the game should get the most rewards, but not the most gold? If they would get the most gold, that would be disrespectful to them?

Team points have nothing to do with match length, as @MagiBelgr nicely demonstrated, and as all of us who actually play the game know. If you would actually play the game on a normal account, you would know that without even looking at data (or maybe actually listening to that one poor person in dev team who actually plays the game without dev perks). Also, if you played the game, you wouldn’t need a few days after messing up to gather the data to maybe sort of figure how you messed up.

You are just confirming that “the way this game is actually meant to be played” is to spend real money to be an end-game player - you are happy with ETs the way they look now and you are happy with the gold nerf - which means you are happy with the fact that all the low and mid range players will have much much harder time to complete their card collections for free.
Please just don’t insult our intelligence anymore with explaining how you’re increasing the fun. Only thing that is really increasing here is greed

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So this is directly correlated to people finding legitimate ways to farm gold and class xp via casual PvP. Yes, you can say that that needs changing, but trying to run us in circles when we actually did know what was going on made me personally feel that there’s a lack of accountability and respect there. I may very well be wrong here, but the first edit only talked about an “exploit” and not high payouts for gold. This seems like an additional argument for holding your stance as the “exploit” alone didn’t seem solid enough.

Just my single opinion here, but I feel really crap as an endgame player that that has been taken out, I never saw any opinions of people against others using the tactic either, making me grind more is literally making the game more intrusive towards other obligations in my life. If i was bought to consult about this I would have strongly advocated against this move. End game players got the most out of this method and frankly, I think it’s fair that end-game players get rewarded for spending time and resources to buff up stats that increase the range where I can easily wipe teams with more stats. Developers have their own set of visions and data I get that, but I wouldn’t have made the decisions I would have made if I had been informed that this is the way the game is going to go.

Theoretically this shouldn’t happen at all if you’re worried about “exploitation”. No one would complain as badly if matchmaking more strict towards player power. The drop in rewards from beating a T1 team that was offered felt like a statement of “stop cheating loser”, rather than a solution to matchmaking in general.

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First off, thanks for being honest about this finally. No idea why it took so long, or why you had to vehemently deny that it wasn’t an intended nerf several times in the first place.

I actually agree with the sentiment behind the change. But the current state of things is still not good if this is your intent. Particularly the comment about endgamers, and I’ll get to that later.

Since I’ve gone over this back and forth for more times that I can even remember, because it is an ongoing issue that happens every time more score is introduced, I’ll start with this.

Just two, very simple things:

  • The criteria for who is considered a “much weaker” opponent at endgame are basically broken. They get increasingly broken every time new stats (and connected team scores) enter the game. A 13k score opponent with a “meta” team comp is effectively just as threatening and time consuming as a 15k score variant of the same. The former pays out half as much, or lower, once youve reached a certain score threshold.
  • Matchmaking continues to serve the “much weaker” opponents to endgame players, and endgame adjacent players, even as your strongest possible match and therefore all three matches sometimes but very frequently the one and two trophy slots, thus you have three bad options.

I know my previous posts on this issue weren’t read at all because they were “too long” (or were not absorbed or communicated or whatever), because they repeatedly mentioned the matchmaking issue that was somehow missed when testing the initial change and why this still an ongoing issue.

Basically this right here:

Combined with this right here:

I’ve been trying to say both for forever. I’m not sure what else I can do. Another huge data collection thread and a week of parsing data and scouring the forum for historical examples? Please no. I just don’t have the time (nor honestly, the drive) to do so right now.

So to this:

I’m not sure what was “examined” but this does not line up with my experiences as an endgame/(endgame adjacent, with additional accounts set up for “mid game” and “low stats”) player. The chart above is also my experience - no strong correlation between defense team score and match length, even when I’m fighting two of the same exact teams with different scores. Short term, starting board and drop RNG are much much bigger factors. Super long term, the higher score team takes slightly longer or might win slightly more due to maybe having a break point where I have to hit them or cast one more time to clear the match, or they have to hit me one less time to ruin my setup/kill me, but definitely not to the tune of a 13k score match being worth half of a 15k score one. If I’m playing a completely sub-optimal team and the team in question is a meta team, so if this data gather is player wide telling you to balance rewards like this it just tells me that a lot of people really need help building teams. Or a bunch of people left their matches running 15 minutes (you are measuring time, right, not number of actions taken? Time is what we care about) or tried to win “lost cause” life and death fights.

To this:

The “status quo” issue where payouts take a dive in this matter whenever new score introduced is an ongoing issue. The close you are to the highest possible score, the less strong opponents there are period and the matchmaking frequently serves you opponents that aren’t those as well. Since the cost to refresh is gems (and there is no guarantee your next picks will be better), it is even more strongly deincentivized to repick than it is just to fight one of your current options. Since you don’t consistently have opponents that give good payouts and the team score doesn’t have a strong correlation to how long/diffcult the match will be (its all about team comp of the opposing team and starting board, the two biggest influences on how long/difficult a match will be particularly at 11,000+ team scores)

The “PvP gold exploit fix” isn’t the cause of the ongoing issue I am describing and this ongoing issue is the thing that most the current payout complaints are still about. It did exacerbate the issue because previously there was a “silver lining” to increasing your score - your absolute minimum gold payout always trended upward, therefore, if you could get in a matchmaking pool where you had only weak opponents (this happened “exploiting” or not), occasionally the weakest one would be completely trivial and that would give you a similar gold payout schedule as if you had consistent access the strong opponents. That “silver lining” is now a “dark cloud”, as your battles continue to scale down, so any increase in your global score as you approach endgame basically means “less gold in PvP from every choice.”

The current state of things, whether it is the mostly just continuing status quo or not, whether it is intentional or not, is that your gold payouts shrink as you approach the highest possible score in the game. This is not “more rewards for more effort”, its “less rewards for having previously put in more effort”. And it isn’t respectful to the endgame players because this effectively punishes progress.

I had recently been assuming, after last bringing this up a bunch of times during the “pvp points fix” issue, this was something that was going to be finally fixed completely when the PvP revamp hit, which is why I haven’t brought this up (again) until this recent issue appeared. But since time has already been taken to examine the way gold payouts work to discourage seeking out stomping super weak teams, shouldn’t it also be addressed to make sure your gold payout schedule doesn’t decrease as you approach endgame even when you are seeking strong opponents? I keep saying this is as much of an issue because near across the board lowering your gold payouts the more score you get deincentivizes raising your score, and nearly every measure of what is considered progress in this game does that. Why this is not considered a major issue is beyond me. You should be doing everything you can to encourage progress, because thats a major step in the core loop of the game.

Prepare for a new wave of complaints on Monday, by the way. Thats when the amount of guilds that have Epic Tasks completed drops from “all of them” to “a fraction of a percent”, with probably only about 1% of them having any completed, and thats another score gap of up to 980 points if you are at the top. Any given defense team won’t be appreciably easier or faster to fight come Monday without the epic task stats to back it, but it will pay out probably about 60% of what it will today for those near the top, if that. If you aren’t in that fraction of a percent, you’ll get better payouts fighting people in that fraction of a percent… if you are served them in matchmaking. If you are in that fraction of a percent, well, I guess you won’t be playing much PvP. Which means you won’t be available as an opponent for others to fight. Which makes the problem worse for others. Oops.

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@saltypatra please check my graph above. This is most definitely untrue.
If the gold payout dropped off after the 2000 cutoff it would not nearly be as much of an issue.

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Amen to this!

This issue still boggles my mind. This is literally the only game that I have ever played that gives you less gold in PVP once your hero progresses too much. I always assumed they would gradually fix this issue. However, this update is a regression.

RE: Team Power Scores vs Time in Battle
Everyone that plays this game knows that the way team power scores are calculated are extremely flawed. The L&D meta at 13,000 team score can kill you just as fast as the 15,000 version give or take some seconds. This is true of every meta team. Yet, the difference in gold does not reflect this reality.

If the devs truly want fairness with gold payouts, they need to create a more sophisticated algorithm for team scores that take the actual power potential of troops into account.

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Nice move gating LTs behind a wall of gold, then cutting income and at the end calling it “fixing an exploit for the heathyness of the game”.
I’m not shure if you believe what you say or if you think we’re all stupid.

As I was starting with the game I thought: “Who is this guy @awryan that he’s ranting against everything?” OK - “ranters gonna rant” I thought. Now - knowing what he’s talking about - I couldn’t agree more with him.
“505 greed machine”
“The GoW economy version of the great depression.”
This is just… nailing it.

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Here’s the deal. I’m sure this applies to most people. It’s a game where there’s a strong community, good players being innovative making good teams through progression/expenditure/resource acquistion - governed basically to some degree by their own time, and most importantly by luck - i.e. chest pulls/orbs et al.

We play the game to progress.

The key barometer of progress is/are the troops we acquire. Everything else, whilst governed by the controls placed on in game, is/are borderline superfluous. Various things give us greater benefits such as stats, which can be important, but bottom line 'we want to use our shiney toy’s.

Explore at high levels means fighting opponents with several times your stats. It’s not really fun, we do not even know if it works properly - like ‘Agile’ on a level 150 opponent. We know it’s full of clicks and loops, designed to impede speed and confirmed as such, which for the player experience greatly and I mean greatly, impacts fun and enjoyment. That there is so much time and RNG behind it to acquire the mythic value token (not had one for 3 weeks) makes it, how can I put it politely… let’s say unappealing.

So to me explore is broken, because it’s designed to more or less screw you over. Sometimes 2 token’s for example, it’s not sometimes it’s probably about 50% of the time. Then you look at your collection, and see that you will never upgrade more than a few basic troops and probably none of your favourite ones (see Guild Wars). For every upgrade, it’s a net loss of more time going against something ‘gamed’ to give you insanely poor odds, while at the same time set so it’s clunky, awkward and bereft of fun.

All that’s before you get to the explore troops that have been ‘gamed’. Like let’s say Stormheim, a blue kingdom. When you explore for blue troops in there, there’s 1 (saw 2 once) blue troop in all of the explore battles, yet there’s now 12 with blue colours, half of the kingdom. It’s actually a bad example as it has only half blue (enchanced by the 3 blues from the faction this weekend), but I’d wager a bet if I have a red task, a red kingdom will give me 1 or 2 at the most red troops in battles. - all of them.

So explore - the revamped version has been completely designed to thwart progess. Playing explore really is the game cheating on you.

Going back to PVP, I’m close on 70K ranked PVP battles, so I’ve played it. I just rank PVP, I don’t casual, in fact if I could I would avoid certain game modes if it was not for the game controls placed.

One reason I rank PVP is because of the rewards, glory and gold. Trophies, have no impact on players, other than climbing ranks, as they barely get you any more rewards, 10 million trophies gives more rewards, which no-one on PC has got yet.

More glory and gold, allows me to maintain and progress ever so slightly. As a result of PVP playing, I can spend my glory on each new troop each week and ascend it. That’s progress, it took maybe 2 years to do that, 2 years of playing.

Gold generally allows me to either spend in guild, or raise hoard. Hoard raising by and large is a fool’s errand, as it has ever diminishing returns and there’s only so treasures you can use to upgrade it, before you run out. So 2 of the treasures never get used, and they happen to be the ones which we have thousands of.

Gold gets spent on guild tasks. The last patch asked us to contribute 32 million extra gold to get to the point we were at before the patch… Forget what we get from the tasks for a minute, it’s asking each guild member to contribute 1.5million + gold on a weekly basis. A lot of us get more than that, but what about those people that can only play 4-5 hours tops a week, they will eventually either have to quadruple their play time, or find they get further behind, or quit. That’s the bit I don’t understand, driving players away…

Then on top of that we have this ridiculous PVP situation with gold, which lowers your gold and the casual pvp nerf that is basically also ridiculously addressed.

As other poster’s have eloquently commented on this, I won’t other than to say, there’s a significant problem…

We know that there is the pursuit of revenue, but trampling all over the customers in the process eventually will reduce that.

We don’t get proper explanations, because they are RNG based…

The reason we don’t is a bit like listening to a politician and asking them for a answer…

Bottom line - a complete attack on all player’s gold acquisition, nothing else.

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Hi Salty, one thing I really respect from you is that you Face all criticism head on, and you even go live streaming, knowing that you will be criticized.

this Update, 4.7, i mentioned again and again on sarcastic tone, is just slowing players progression while not adding a real content to the game.

Epic task, pvp gold nerf, adventure board writs…

as @xolid99 mentioned, we players want progress and this update is everything but progress

plus the pvp matching system isnt really good as points doesnt really define difficulty of the match. what this new system do is just slowing down people with high points, people who played your game for quite some time, this is just like increasing your price to long time customers, and it’s just not right.

I don’t really know what action you can do to rectify this, just talking without action won’t really satisfy your customers at this point.

goodluck

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