Really, who's to blame. (Hint: Not TPCI)

Discussion in 'Feature Articles' started by Scipio, Mar 8, 2011.

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  1. Scipio

    Scipio New Member

    I been meaning to type up this little...well, call it a rant, if you will, about the direction the game has taken. I've stepped out of it so this might be considered hypocritical, but those are just opinions. This is just something I want to have other people consider.

    Now, over the past months, TPCI has been given a lot of flak for the way the current format is handled, and, more importantly, people fear what will happen with Black&White and most importantly the new rules it promises to implement - first turn trainers being the big one. When combined with Sableye Stormfront, as well as all the donk engine cards released in Legends Awakened, Stormfront and Platinum, people look with fear at BW.

    In the meantime, we have a format that is kept in a chokehold by Luxchomp, a deck that uses ridiculously cheap attacks. 1 energy drop on a virtual stage 1 for an 80 damage snipe? WHA?! Free retreat on him to a poketurnable poke AND DO IT AGAIN? Not to mention the ability to pull up any heavy retreat tech and make it be stuck? And while we're at it, heal any form of damage that doesn't one shot? Dear lord, who came up with that monstrocity?

    A lot of blame is put on the format. It is supposedly too big, thus giving this deck the room to get all it wants. A common culprint is Uxie (Legends Awakened, the second oldest set still present). In the meantime, a lot of hate also goes out to the Stormfront trio Gyarados, Machamp and Sableye, while the Gengar from the same set is also much loathed (Though the hate for him seems to have died down a bit). Without all these cards in format, people say, the format would be better.

    But can we truly blame TPCI for the current state? Methinks not.

    Let me explain. For those of you who are...relatively new to the game, before 2009 every season would start out with like 6 or 7 sets, expand to 10-11, then shrink back down again. In September 2008, we got a format consisting of a grand total of 6 main expansion sets - Diamond&Pearl, Mysterious Treasures, Secret Wonders, Great Encounters, Majestic Dawn and the freshly released Legends Awakened.

    2008-2009 got off to a rough start, but soon it was found out that there were plenty of decks competing for high spots. The only slight issue was the sudden high amount of donks courtesy of Kingdra and Machamp, but aside from that the format was pretty wide open. With SP thrown in the mix, the format got even more diverse. SP was touted as being strong, sure, but not extremely overdominating.

    By the end of the season, there were a lot of viable decks, and other decks had their moment in the highlights and fizzled away. In the latter catagory we'd find Regigigas, Dusknoir, Kingdra, Toxitank and a few other decks. Those still viable (and newly viable) included Gengar, Machamp, Flygon, Luxape, Dialga, Palkia, Gyarados, Beedrill...and then some. Then the announcement came; there was to be no rotation at all in the next season. People rejoiced, nothing had to be tossed and with the format as wide as it was, no issues.

    At that point, SP was, as noted, good but not broken. The new Blaziken FB was hyped up, Relicanth SV was touted as SP Killer, Spiritomb AR was on the horizon as well should SP get out of hand and the new season started. But something happened that TPCI could not anticipate at the time because even in Japan nothing was known about it - Heartgold/Soulsilver.

    While often called a highly mediocre set, HGSS brought to us the monstrosity that is Double Colourless Energy. By the time the set was released, Garchomp had pretty much replaced Blaziken, making Luxchomp the best deck in the DP-AR format. It was good, yes, but not unbeatable and didn't sweep stuff like it does now. The release of HGSS and that one card in particular changed it.

    HGSS further added a great aide to all things donk - Pokemon Communication. This enabled stupidly fast swarm decks (Jumpluff says hi) to take control. Luxchomp and Jumpluff went crazy, and the monstrosity that is our current format was born.

    However, TPCI couldn't do that much about it. The only solution to really stop Luxchomp from keeping up its dominance would be to rotate out pretty much the entire DP block, cutting off its support, and then preferably Platinum as well. Think about that for a second, that would've meant them cutting 8 sets from the block at once. Can you say marketing disaster? Not to mention all the disgruntled players who can tos about 70% of their collection in one fell swoop?

    So TPCI went for the MD-On format. Not the best solution, but they just couldn't do anything else. And then we got news of BW...and the rulechanges it brings. Which brings us to present time.

    If we get BW in our current format with the rule changes, I can pretty much make a safe bet on Sableye swooping up the games, since if your opponent starts Sableye, you best have at least 4 Pokemon on the field if you want any form of a chance. It operates much like Uxiedonk, and if you ever played a GOOD Uxiedonk list, you know how painful that can be. Now increase that level of pain with a complete disability to use the ONE lifesaver MD has given us - Call Energy. If faced with Uxiedonk, the SP player can use Call Energy for 2 SP's, and then throw down a Power Spray. Good luck doing that against Sableye...

    Getting back at the start, we cannot blame TPCI for this. I think that they made a GOOD decision to not rotate out anything at the end of the first DP-On season. The format was wide open and predictions with the stuff the next set would bring us looked good. They didn't know about HGSS yet, and due to that set we now have the format we have now - riddled with donks and solitaire games. Even if they DID have insight to HGSS by that time (doubtful), they could never have anticipated BW. Japan tossed away a lot of sets at once. TPCI wouldnt get away with that, since USA/EU players seem a lot mouthier then the Japanese.

    TPCI can't win. But it isn't their fault.
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2011
  2. Austino

    Austino New Member

    This post seems more like card history lesson than trying to shift blame anywhere. When a company produces the cards, it's on them. Look at the presidency; he can't make all decisions regarding the country, we have a senate, however that doesn't take away that when something goes wrong that he isn't going to be responsible as well.

    It's really the development team that's responsible for card actions. I think the problem really comes down to the fact that cards like Uxie, Sableye, and Double Colorless make some decks ridiculous. No other TCG or CCG has the amount of draw support Pokemon has, yet we get these cards that allow T1-T2 explosions of getting what you need.

    I'm not going to say it's not the company's fault OR put the blame on them,but they obviously see the issue and are fixing it with things like nerfing Rare Candy's ability, rotating out BTS and the Cyrus Engine, as well as allowing the player going first to not be stuck with a lone basic. People touting call energy/sprays are can run 4 spray/4 call, but that doesn't mean you're going to start with both, and people act as if you start with a call every time even if you run 4.

    I think a rise in the amount of starter pokemon would be nice as well, because even with cards like smeargle, you can get to play two supporters going first now, which could pose an issue for future formats.
  3. Scipio

    Scipio New Member

    I just posted this mostly because a lot of flak seems to go to the way of P!P, TPCI, however you want to call our English distributors (hint; I really dont know anymore >.>) while in reality its just the way stuff got released, in what order, combined with decisions made without pre-existing knowledge of certain gameshifters.
  4. Austino

    Austino New Member

    The order of their release was mostly irrelevant, to be honest, we'd have them all in the same format regardless.

    The problem is that SP and Gengar have been CONSTANTLY handed things to only make them better. They seem to have ignored the competitive aspect of certain cards that were already semi-broken and given them more fuel to keep those decks at the top. Luxchomp/ape, dialga/palkia, palkia/lux were all manageable decks pre-DCE. Losing things like night maintenance while SP still has Aarons also affected Stage 2's ability to recover against them. Then giving SP promos like toxicroak, techs like lucario, bronzong, and crobat G make their decks even more able to take advantages and bend typical rules of the game only break their playability and is the reason Lux and/or Garch variants have won every event for the past two years.

    Gengar's consistent boosts in playability (SF, then AR curse + Lv X + spiritomb, Prime, Lost World) have constantly kept a great deck staying new and getting better with it's interchangeability.

    The card makers should, IMO, play in these formats at least 3 tournaments per season...getting the creators involved would be a shining example of how to create balanced cards.
  5. Scipio

    Scipio New Member

    You forget here that the card creators create the cards for a different format then we play in. In the Japanese format, the release of DCE mightve been a good idea at that time. Same as how they didnt have the GG issues we had.
    This is also why they did the cut to HS-On, something P!P can never do because of the outrage that'd cause.
  6. Tagrineth

    Tagrineth New Member

    Wait, wait, who called DCE a mediocre card? I think that was on most players' top 10 "PCL will NEVER reprint this card" lists. >_>
  7. so was gust oak er ser and a few other broken cards
  8. bullados

    bullados <a href="

    Along with Energy Removal (ER2-ish), Gust of Wind (Catcher), Item Finder (Junk Arm), Bill (Bill-ish), and Professor Oak (Professor Juniper-ish). Heck, even Genesis Cleffa got a spiritual successor recently. Of all of those, Catcher and DCE are the only two to not get nerfed in some way. Any others make that list only to come back in some way, shape, or form?
  9. Chairman Kaga

    Chairman Kaga Active Member

    True, but for a different reason. GG never got big in Japan because at the time they had a larger format than us. Banette ex kept GG pretty well in check. Now for bonus points, guess what half of Japan brought to Worlds that year when they conformed to our format.

    With BW we are faced with the issue of cards designed for a smaller format than what we have. As you pointed out, Japan did not consider balance with the older sets because they had already planned to excise the older sets.

    As for DCE, they didn't cut to HS-on the instant HS came out -- that would be silly -- so presumably Luxchomp et al were significant decks in their meta for a while.

    Who knows, maybe the Japanese players were outraged too. We rarely hear about their thoughts.

    The difference is that we Americans go grab torches and pitchforks upon any perceived slight. Or we grab lawyers.

    It would all be a lot easier if we just stayed synchronized with the Japanese sets and format, but apparently there are enough logistics to make that infeasible.
  10. Caveman

    Caveman New Member

    No Problem Here

    I honestly dont see much wrong with this format. Luxchomp can easily lose to decks just as much as it wins. Gyarados is no simple matchup. Vilegar is tough, as well as dialga chomp and it straight loses to machamp. I think the format is pretty good right now with the expection of Lostgar. Personally I don't agree with the decision to make lostgar, but I don't have much of an issue with it cause it still loses stright up to anything dark-type. I think the game is in a good place right now.
  11. Chairman Kaga

    Chairman Kaga Active Member

    We're not talking about this format. We're talking about what it turns into on April 25th.
  12. PokePop

    PokePop Administrator

    I can't see how reprinting DCE could be good in any format.
    It's basically a broken card.
    I was shocked when I heard they were reprinting it.
    My only consolation was that they would never be crazy enough to bring back Gust of Wind.

    Oh.... wait...

    I don't know how the new design team goes about designing the cards and format, but I'd love to have some input.
  13. PokePop

    PokePop Administrator

    I think he meant to write "mediocre set"
  14. Prime

    Prime Content Developer<br>Blog Admin<br>Contest Host

    In my opinion, the largest reason for the uneven format we have is because of the different formats.

    And it will continue to happen as long as our format differs from Japan's format.

    Japan designs cards for their format.

    Regardless of whether a card is "broken" like DCE, it can be abused more in certain formats.

    We'll probably have SP around for a whole other year, and in that year's time, we may see more cards to give SP more oomph, and SP will probably dominate just as much as it has this season, and just as much as it did last season.

    The game is literally broken when the producers of the cards aren't designing for the same game the players are playing.
  15. chrataxe

    chrataxe New Member

    So, the pokemon offices here in the US dont have a clue as to what the Pokemon offices in Japan are doing? I Find that almost impossible.

    Sent from my LS670 using Tapatalk
  16. Rainbowgym

    Rainbowgym Active Member

    I have another view on some parts of the game.
    I still feel we rotate sets to slow.
    By keeping cards year after year the format doesn't really change fast enough.
    Which results in people not even building their own decks anymore.

    They play deck A for more than a year (even 2) go online to find a new deck after a rotation and can use that again for a year (or more).
    I think this game has several "problems" and rotation is one of them.
    It simply isn't worth the time to really create a new deck anymore.
    Even worse, many player cannot even build a deck themselves (serious I am not joking)

    When sets are rotating faster, there will be at least one "skill" which might shine again => deckbuilding.
    One set in, the oldest set out is very good possible.
    I haven't seen a store selling any of of the older sets. New players most times can buy sets/boosters from recent up to a year old but not 2-3 years old boosters.
    So why do they have to stay in the format. ( we are told so many times the big sales are not done by players)

    Of course there will be formats with some overpowered combi, but they will not last to long with faster rotations.
    For me this game should be about deckbuilding/playing/anticipating and not only about playing.
    So beside the existence of "overpowered" cards (which we can't do much about) I would love to see players being forced to learn what deckbuilding is again.
  17. Kayle

    Kayle Active Member

    I'm sure they have a clue what Japan is doing.

    I just doubt they have any say.
  18. tpci defientily is partially to blame they could have given a slower format that the donk fest of this year.
  19. Scipio

    Scipio New Member

    Sorry, meant "Mediocre SET" indeed.
    @ Lucario: And how would they have done so without angering everyone?
  20. they could of just rotated to rr-on cut 4 sets doubt many would be upset by that

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