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PvP is Horrible right now

There’s like five team variations in PvP right now, and I blame the horrifically bad AI for it.

  • Life and Death teams – the AI works great with this because it doesn’t have to make any decisions. The Empowered troops (either Lamashtu or Grave Seer) eliminate the need for smart matching to fill up Life and Death, and then Life and Death just repeatedly spams the back line while spiders flood out and web your entire team. The worst AI could play this team. Enemy hero is blessed, stealthy, gaining life, and sitting behind spiders.
  • Webspinner teams – very few troops are immune to web because almost no troops have good skull defense AND impervious, so Webspinner works very well. Just throw in an Empowered troop that converts gems to skulls and AI might get lucky and wipe out entire enemy team. Entangle the Webspinner? Nah, Moon Rabbit will Bless him! Very difficult for AI to mess this one up.
  • Goblin spam. Extra turn. Extra turn. Extra turn. Extra turn. There’s a lot of thinking going on with this team. The AI just repeatedly casts each troop’s ability and then casts the next one, and the next one, and the next one – meanwhile you watch all your life and attack slowly lower. Typical troops include Stringfiddler for silence, Nobend Brothers for removing Attack/dealing damage to all enemies, or exploding gems, and Norbert’s Turnip for more looping and damage!
  • Lust teams. Usually 2 of them with something that sacrifices to trigger them (Firebomb dies and two Charms go off). Some different variations of this team, but they all revolve around the fact that the AI doesn’t have to “think” about anything – its entire goal is to lose troops to trigger Lust, meanwhile charming and transforming your entire team into useless troops.

Notice a theme with these teams? They all capitalize on making sure the AI doesn’t have to think about targets or making correct matches on the board. More “advanced” troops are TERRIBLE for the AI to use because the programming is SO BAD:

  • Champion of Anu: Deal damage to the enemy and ALL ENEMIES BELOW THEM. AI: better hit the last enemy troop.
  • Gray King: “All enemies of that Color take true damage, mana drained, etc.” AI: better choose a color that is least used by the enemy

This is why troops that have fixed, random, or hit all targets are so good for the AI to use. Suna, Ubastet, TINA-9000, Infernus – great troops because the targets are randomly selected or are the weakest targets.

  • High King Irongut: 100% chance to devour enemy cuz of my attack? AI: Guess I’ll target the troop immune to devour
  • Phoenicia: If there is a Firestorm, deal double damage. AI: Looks dangerous outside, I better wait till it’s over before I cast my spell…

Any time the AI is given the option to “choose” something, you can bet it will make the worst possible choice. Players have a huge advantage in this regard, because our decisions are all “If then.” Emperor Liang would be great for the AI to use, but the reason no one uses it on defense is because the AI doesn’t think at all about how the gems will fall if it destroys specific colors. Your whole team could be YELLOW troops and there might be a stack of gems like purple, purple, yellow, purple, purple and a human player would destroy all the yellow gems to get an extra turn. AI? It’d probably destroy all the brown troops because it’s that dumb.

This is especially true with any troop that boosts damage or applies an effect based on gems destroyed from an explosion. Bone Golem applies Death Mark to a random enemy for every skull destroyed. I would absolutely never trust the AI to pick a spot where it sees 4 skulls. You’d think this would be a great troop – 50% skull damage reduction, gains armor and attack, inflicts death mark? How is this not used more? Oh right, the AI will explode a gem that hits 1 skull, just because.

This is exactly why there aren’t more troop variations in PvP, because the number of “usable” teams that can actually win on defense is so low. The only reason there is variation in Guild Wars is because it’s forced and the enemy team is color restricted (which inflates the win rates of the defending team – you could have a team that does great in guild wars on defense but is absolute trash in ranked PvP defense).

14 Likes

The root of so much PvP and GW woe is the ample supply of empowered converters. Mercy was a novelty in the past. Now there are 14 or so empowered converters as well as Leprechaun, an empowered exploder. And there are certainly more in the upcoming release pipeline. It simply makes PvP an unenjoyable, unmanageable mess at times. There is very little strategy involved. If the enemy team has a fortunate board alignment, it can often steamroll the most strategically, well thought out attack team. Not all of the time, of course, but much too often in my opinion. And now, many teams are designed with two empowered converters. This just adds to the PvP malaise.
Although, personally, I am seeing a fair amount of “surface” diversity amongst enemy team compositions, the general construction of them is often very similar - one or two empowered converters with one of the more powerful weapons (e.g. Life + Death, Rope Dart, or a Doomed Weapon) and then another troop either based around double gem conversion or additional gem spamming. Again, there are exceptions but this is the new “meta”. Not a specific team but a general type of team composition with a growing amount of somewhat interchangeable troops.
At the bottom floor of it all is the empowered converters. They are why I hardly even do PvP anymore and have grown to dread GW weeks.

6 Likes

My favorite thing about the Lust team is that it may look like an ordinary joke Fire Bomb team in the initial opponent selection. If you are breezing through easy matches and not paying attention to the scouting report you may accidentally run into trouble.

4 Likes

Favorite, or least Favorite? I’ve fallen into that Lust trap a few times…that little vixen.

As for that Gobtruffle team, we scoffed when the Paragon ran it on Brown Day. But 3 Mr. Chompers and a Frostmage are no match when an AI says “Nope” to 50% devours and Cedric Medal (or whatever they’re calling it these days) removes Freeze on first turn.

Still, even a bad AI will sit with a fully charged Moon Rabbit for 4 turns while the rest of his beast allies die one by one. But I suppose that is mostly when I’m using it for defense.
:axe::rage::shield:

3 Likes

Don’t forget that the ability to also start with 50% mana is ridiculously easy. How easy? Well, it so happens that exactly 50% of troop types have a 50% mana start:

Troop/Class Trait Text Affected Troop Type
Shaman Bullish Vigor All Allied Tauros start battles with 50% Mana. Tauros
Forest Guardian Lord of Beasts All Beasts start battle with 50% Mana. Beast
Divine Ishbaala Radiant Aura All Divine start battle with 40% Mana. Divine
King Highforge Stone Loyalty All Dwarves start battle with 50% Mana. Dwarf
The Maraji Queen Drowned Crew All Elementals start battle with 50% Mana. Elemental
King Avelorn Elven Kin All Elves start battle with 50% Mana. Elf
Titan Giant Lord All Giants start battle with 50% Mana. Giant
Holy St. Astra Inspire Hope All Humans start battle with 50% Mana. Human
Sir Quentin Hadley Griffon Commander All Knight Allies start the battle with 50% Mana. Knight
Mechanist Clockwork All Mechs start battle with 50% Mana. Mech
Gar’Nok Orclord All Orcs start battle with 50% Mana. Orc
Urskula Northern Clans All Urska start the battle with 50% Mana. Urska
King Silenus Wild Mana All Wildfolk start battle with 50% Mana. Wildfolk
Captain Macaw Ship’s Captain Give 50% Mana to all Rogue Allies when battle begins. Rogue
Centaur
Construct
Daemon
Dragon
Fey
Goblin
Merfolk
Monster
Mystic
Naga
Raksha
Stryx
Undead
Wargare

On top of that are the classes that start with 50% mana (for the hero only). There are six classes with the Arcane talent tree (Archmagus, Bard, Frostmage, Necromancer, Plaguelord, and Tidecaller). Those are extremely useful classes to have access to Arcane, given the troop type each one of those is: Mystic, Wildfolk, Fey, Undead, Human, and Merfolk. Of those six, four of them (Mystic, Fey, Undead, Merfolk) don’t have 50% mana start troops.

A further two other classes, Archer and Thief, have the Fast trait, which starts them at 50%, although those classes don’t see much use right now.

2 Likes

You are totally on point - the plethora of 50% mana start troops and Hero classes only compounds the empowered converters issue. Soon, all we will need is for the Devs to implement auto-play. It’s easy - go into a fight, hit the tab, and let the match play itself :laughing:

2 Likes

Absolutely. I’ve been shaking my head repeatedly for months as a result of the devs new love affair with empowered troops. Sometimes you just know it’s doomed when the turn zero board is revealed. Empowerment overload is designed to annoy and frustrate your best team building efforts. Pure sadism design wise.

1 Like

There’s actually different schools of thought going on with PvP.

Clearly the people that use these teams in the OP are aiming to WIN defensive battles and you’ve done a nice job highlighting how those teams typically can win.

However, there are those of us that purposefully set up easy to beat teams, because we don’t care if they win or lose, we just want the battle to happen. There are also those of us that disagree with recent changes and want others to be able to collect their gold quickly.

The devs changed it awhile back to remove certain teams from appearing more often. However, that was not a solution to anything and probably has made things worse overall, considering that they have mentioned they are looking for ways to make PVP more attractive…

:stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes::ok_hand:

:joy::joy:

I used to hate it. Then I started using it myself and watched my defense victory count go up. :grin:

1 Like

Now others start to hate you instead

1 Like

Avoiding them in pvp is easy but in guild war it quickly becomes nightmarish … :pleading_face: