It seems to me that we’ve moved to such blatant manipulation of the board in GoW that it’s almost to the point where battles are scripted and/or predetermined.
It’s now common for me to sit back and watch some combination of wisps or other looping combo cascade over and over until my team is destroyed in one move, often only two or three moves in… basically as soon as defense can charge anything.
While that is ridiculous by itself, it points to a larger and far more insidious problem: because the algorithm makes that possible at all, it implies that the only times it doesn’t do that is when it decides not to.
Because the algorithm has shown me again and again that it’s perfectly capable of destroying any team I might field in a handful of moves, when I manage to win a battle, it’s a rather hollow victory, because I’ve simply been allowed to win.
It’s as if I were playing chess against a grandmaster champion that could easily beat me any time he liked. Sure, I might beat him, but I can just picture him patting me on the head and saying “yes, nice job” when really he simply allowed me the victory, and could have defeated me at any time.
This whole situation makes the game very unsatisfying, like a child being handed victories by his parent or something. I really, really wish the Devs would go back to a manipulation-free algorithm that doesn’t just decide whether it feels like winning a particular battle, and utterly destroying me if it does decide to, or else sits back and lets me win if it decides that instead.
Now, obviously it depends on the Defense team. A poorly designed team may force the game to let me win regardless of how it manipulates the board. So it can’t decide to win every single match. I’m more talking about the defense teams that allow the algorithm to cascade and loop. Sometimes, it seems to not be paying attention, or else it’s decided to let things fall in a reasonably random fashion. But there are many games where it’s pretty clear the game has decided to crush me, and after letting me match a couple of times (typically 3-matches of a color I don’t need), it gets bored and proceeds to crush me in one massive, looping cascade of death.
And that would all be amusing and such if GW wasn’t involved. In PvP, I can just shrug when I lose three out of four troops in the AI’s second move, retreat, and start over. No big deal. But today I had to watch in GW while the AI took control of the board in move 2 or 3, and proceeded to wipe me out in a single long move, twice in a row (I may have been allowed to do 1 3-match or two somewhere in there before I was totally wiped out… I forget, it happens a lot). That really just sucks…
I would urge the devs to stop over-manipulating the board and causing these epic cascades all over the place, and looping mega-turns. By having that capability in there at all, not only is it incredibly frustrating when that capability is exercised, victories against teams that could exploit it are pretty hollow, since you know it could have destroyed you easily, and it simply didn’t… that time. There’s no real skill or even random chance involved - the result is really just based on whether the game decided to win or not.