What happened to the game?

Discussion in 'TCG News & Gossip Discussion' started by Absoltrainer, Mar 5, 2008.

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  1. Absoltrainer

    Absoltrainer Active Member

    Ok well as many of you know, or anyone who can read my signature for that matter, I was banned a little less then three months ago from POP. That ban ends in 13 days. During this “forced break” from the game, I kept up with the goings on of the game, and kept in contact with all my friends. I got a lot of time to think. I watched how the game was changing, and the more the season progressed, the more I wondered if it was even worth to coming back. I look at all the changes made to the game, and how it has affected the game and the people who play it.

    2 Seasons ago

    This will be my second year in the Master’s (15+) Category. I entered it right after regionals, almost 2 years ago. That was back when we still had Gym Challenges. I liked GC’s because they provided worthwhile tournaments between regionals and nationals. Interestingly enough my first 15+ tournament was a GC. It was in Dallas, Texas. I had heard all the rumors about how competitive the 15+ category was and I was really nervous. However as the tournament went on, I realized that despite the prize being a trip to Worlds, and despite the new category of older people, everyone was very friendly. We would sometimes chat during matches, and people shook hands, even if they lost. No one cussed at you, or resented you because you got lucky and won. If someone lost, more often then not, they accepted it, maybe with disappointment, but without anger. The one thing I saw was that EVERYONE in the game was holding Spirit of the Game in full context. There were rivalry and people who disliked each other, but in general people were all in a good mood, it was very rare people ever dropped, so no one ever felt “cheated out of the top cut.” The top cut was awesome too. The more people their, the bigger it was. Top 16 tournaments were a lot of fun and less stressful to think about. The prizes too were really good and given out to Top 4. Not to mention how versatile the format was. People encouraged each other to play rouges, just for fun. Winning was awesome back then, but it was not the “only thing worth going to a tournament for.” I did absolutely horrible that season. I made a bunch of top cuts, but rarely made it past top 8 or top 4, however, it was one of the most fun season, I ever had.

    Last Season

    Suddenly, and out of the blue, POP made some of the biggest changes to the game we have ever seen. They implemented the ELO ranking system, eliminated Gym Challenges, added Battle Roads, and limited Worlds to 64 people. The Pokemon community was shocked to say the least, but after a few sour grapes, and complaints we accepted the new system and decided to give it a chance. From my experience, the atmosphere of all Pokemon events changed from there on out. I noticed how much more serious all the players were. The general Pokemon society changed as well, people became a lot more competitive, and in many instances, my closest friend ended up being the only ones who I could trust, and who trusted me; ones in different age groups. I noticed a lot less hand shaking, and more anger at losing. SotG seemed to have lost its footing somewhat. It was an obvious foreshadow of things to come. People were making enemies left and right. People who dropped were hated, and those who face an opponent with bad resistance were angered. Deck lists also stopped appearing in tourney reports. There was a long period of boredness between states, regional and nationals. The battle roads, were pathetic, they at most times had very little people, and were not big events, and thus short or boring. Nats, and Worlds I paid very little attention to, but from what I heard, it was mostly more sour grapes and complaints. I did ok during this season, and won my first event, a BR, but a win non the less. This was an enjoyable season, but at times somewhat rough. Many players ended the season, hoping POP realized their dismay.

    This Season

    Well this season had many players hoping for change. After the badly received system of the last season, many were hoping for something better. This did not happen. Instead many things changed for the worse. There were a few better things, such as evening out states and regionals to give fair chances, but other then that many players were disappointed. The prizes for all tournaments were cut and most invites to worlds lost and winning money for the trip. Even worse was that ALL tournaments, no matter what they were, had to be cut to Top 8. This meant states, large cities, and soon to come regionals will leave a very bad taste in many people’s mouth. Invites to Worlds became even harder to obtain, and ranking meant EVERYTHING. In the battle roads I went to, I noticed how few people showed up. They were pretty useless, as few wanted to compete fro a trophy card and that’s it. Cites were disturbingly the same, and I noticed many things. First, a lot of people had quit. Second, hand shaking was extremely rare and often done with a grimace on the loser’s face. SotG was hanging on by a thread. People were dropping left and right. Anger flared, even seniors and junior, who normally ALWAYS had fun no matter what, were crying about losing in Top 4 or accusing people of using rigged die. It was a very disturbing state of competition. During the 8 or 9 events I have attended this year, at least half of them have had people get in to arguments or fights about matches. It was the exact same as last season, except now it was to a degree much more extreme. It seemed like the entire game as a whole was falling apart, and still seems that way today.


    You most likely noticed that I did not once mention the current format in my above paragraphs. That is because, the format it a lot more based on the players and the current sets we have. POP does control what sets we gain and lose each year, but decks take time to develop, and I hardly think POP studies EVERY CARD and thinks of all the combos that will happen before the players do.

    2 seasons ago we had HL-on, and it was a really balanced season. There were TONS of decks, even if some were more over used then others, there were still at least 15 viable decks, and red face paint decks worked on many occasions. The trainer lines worked, and people were content.

    Last season we had DX-on and the Holon engine was god-speed. The Holon engine literally allowed ANY DECK to work. Some worked batter then others. But on a whole, I do not think we have EVER had a more diverse deck pool then last season. It was nuts. You actually had surprise in some decks that would show up or win. It was really fun.

    This season we have HP-on, a format very few like. While most people understood the need to outlaw the Holon engine, many people disliked how it was done. HP- PK became obsolete the moment DP-on was released. The cards including exs were almost completely abandoned. Of course some still remained useful, but on a whole, most of the cards died, especially ones that worked with the Holon engine. Most of the time people were ALL using rouges of sorts, and eventually blissey was released and EVERYONE used either it or Empoleon or Mario. Then SW came out and GG was added to the mix. The deck pool kept thinning, and now we have literally 3 decks available in the format. GG, Queen, or Mag.


    Well what can I say, in recent times it seems that the game has seriously gone down hill. Before I finish I would like to point out that the fact that PUI/POP keeps the game alive is amazing. This is not in anyway supposed to insult any members of PUI or POP and I am glad that they run the game and events.

    I was banned for 3 months, and I had a long time to think. I have yet to decide if I will return to the game after I compete in regionals, or if it will be my last tournament. From what I have seen, and from what I have heard, and from what I can feel, the Pokemon atmosphere is a lot different. The game in general has lost its heart. SotG is hard to find, and the player elites think they are superior. New players have a much harder time joining the game, and few people are willing to help them anymore. The game has become too serious. SotG is dying, and the game no longer has heart. Where did the fun go? Why was it taken away? What good has come of it?

  2. Jason

    Jason New Member


    MD will change the format big time.

    maggy will scoop to glaceon
    gardelade will scoop to better banny list
    etc etc etc

    jjust stop complaining
  3. Absoltrainer

    Absoltrainer Active Member

    This isn't a sour grapes thread, I accept what is happening and what has happend, and I move on. I am just posting my thoughts on where the game once was and where it is now. I am not complaining, so much as thinking about the game's current atmosphere.
  4. Ignatious

    Ignatious New Member

    Kudos to you. I agree completely.
  5. SlimeyGrimey

    SlimeyGrimey New Member

    I honestly don't think the game is in bad shape. Attendance is up and I haven't seen any of the "flaring tempers" you mention.
  6. Chairman Kaga

    Chairman Kaga Active Member

    We're still having fun here. What's wrong with your area?

    I'll concede that the format as it stands today is made of fail, but I only see it improving with the next two or three sets. The log jam of good decks will start breaking with Majestic Dawn.
  7. Nu Gundam

    Nu Gundam New Member

    Well, it really depends on the area. My area is relatively fine, though I have to occasionally nudge/smack a particular person to have him behave and not scare the kids :tongue: Though it somewhat depends on the player base too since having more people means it will be easier for one to find those who are overly competitive.

    However, I will have to agree that the deck-pool currently is pretty shallow at the moment as there are only a few dominant decks out. It feels like it is DP-on with only 4 sets to work with + some Supporters from EX sets as almost everyone and their cousins played the same decks with the exception of some red face paint decks. So I hope Majestic Dawn will fix that ...
  8. homeofmew

    homeofmew Active Member

    I agree partially, flaming tempers only occur when some people (plural/ more than one) show to events. This usually happens when people can't flip coins, or there is desputes on RPS cards or whatever. According to some PTOs you have a right to use RPS cards. Some players (not you Jeff) have a problem with me doing this. At one event someone accused me of not attacking (new player).
    At a different event someone accused me of cheating for t1 Candy Infernape DRE.

    I wouldn't talk about SOTG if I were you. Your attitude to me and other people (in real life)
    and other people (on pokegym) has been less than courteous.
    This sure sounds like sour grapes to me.

    Where is the fun: I am not sure of this either playing this game has is ups and downs for sure making friends, loosing friends, situations, whatever. From Pallet town, oh I remember when I got my first Boulder badge I was sooo Happy! Well I was 13 :/ . "Yay I got all the stickers" - me ^_^. I still want Orange Islands Badges T-T~ (Would be overly happy if POP did that)

    To prevent a post like this again I won't even talk about my ban --;
    (and "limited roles" in PoP)

    Even though I would like to point out there is always reason to have a positive attitude in a bad situation.
    Since 2 years ago I have started going to multiple conventions, play and top cut in many events,
    and deal with the situation in the best way I can (I guess/ well i try). I am really excited about going to Origins.
    Hopefully the person who said they will take me actually DOES.

    May i note people still shake hands in pokémon TCG. We do it too in MTG.
    What makes this game worth playing is fun. If you don't think it's fun don't play :/

    Indomitable Spirit for Pokémon.
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2008
  9. chriscobi634

    chriscobi634 New Member

    i don't think most of his "complains" were done about the format but rather how people are acting now. I for one still endorse a lot of SoTG. Even Chuck said this to me once:

    "Dude, if you were a little bit more of an explicit, you would make a lot more top cuts with us."

    The reason he said this was in back-to-back tournaments I gave the benefit of the doubt to my opponent. In one I let him retreat a pokemon he mistakenly send up when I KOed one of his pokemon. Then the next day my opponent picks up his prizes instead of his hand, instant game loss. But I didn't want to give it to him, we play 1 more turn where he T3 my lone Magmortar.

    So this goes to show that it's not always about winning. Both tournaments I went 4-2, missed cut. So today it's completely gone is not 100% accurate, while it is diminishing.

    About the format give it, just wait until Majestic Dawn is realised.

    Actually, Jason assumptions aren't the only ones that are going to happen. Fossil decks will most likely and finally be good. Eeveelutions will be out, so that's another fun/competetive deck. Garchomp Lv. X is going to have so many variants, then the hidden combos/SDs always have to be taken into consideration.

    So you add those to the mix and we will mostly likely and finally have an awesome format.
  10. Team Cook Mom

    Team Cook Mom New Member


    Battle Roads were meant to be small events, held in small venues like gaming stores. And because they were in small venues, players had to preregister as we had limited seating. Preregistration closed weeks before the event for some of the our more popular Battle Roads.

    As for the other things you mention -- gross exaggerations. Believe me, we don't hesitate reporting problem players to PUI. If we had all those problems you claim, there might have been more suspensions (not just you).

    There's nothing wrong with our area. We're having a lot of fun over here, too. Yes, just like any other area with a large player base, we've had our share of difficult players. Some are never pleased, and find things to gripe about ALL the time. OTHERS just like the drama and attention. Yet others CAUSE the drama.

    In any case, Pokemon has been great for ou area, and the events have been a lot of fun -- especially the last few months. Cities were great, and we're looking forward to a great Regionals.

    You seem to be confused. The fun didn't go away. You did.

    The game is fun! The events are fun! Players are having a fun time!!!

    FUN! FUN! FUN!
  11. Absoltrainer

    Absoltrainer Active Member

    I was not reffering specifically to my area, I was talking about the Pokemon community in general. Looking back on my post, I probably did blow things a little out of proportion. I normaly don't "rant" about these kind of things. My post was more negative then postive, and I am sure people have fun, but the way I look at it, the game was better, back in the day. On the other hand it could just seem like things are going bad, simply because of my particuarly stressful season thus far.

    Also please do not get the idea that i dislike change, or can't stand it. I just noticed these things. But I think that a combination of a stressful season, boring format ATM, and getting ready to get back in the game pushed all the negativity up front.
  12. homeofmew

    homeofmew Active Member

    Drama= Amusing = Fun
    well not really.
    Poor Mia has to deal with it T-T

    I agree with this statement. I don't think your opponent HAS to shake hands, in the
    Japanese rule book, I know you HAVE to do it ( the US version may be different)

    There are only a scarce few times where I had a problem with a player with (the accusation of) rigged dice flips and/or cheating has been very dramatic for me (and other players). To be honest if someone is going to cause Drama make sure you are calm as possible.

    However Jeff, I do not think it is wrong to be upset when one looses a game.

    Or one is disappointed. Sometimes I am scared or upset to do things.
    December 2000 I failed my Black Belt test and for a style that teaches Perseverance I was still on the verge of tears and overly disappointed.
    Not having Indomitable Spirit? yes!

    homeofmew makes stuff happier edit:
    I did earn my Black Belt on March 10th 2001 almost 7 years ago :D
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2008
  13. LionheartEX

    LionheartEX Active Member

    I love you Absoltrainer

    The Format is one of the BIG things I have had a bone with this season. Right now that has been a minor concern however.... many more OP issues have arisen here down under :\ Aside that your post hit the nail on the head and I agree with you.

    Of COURSE I still have fun and love the game unconditionally, but it is certainly not as good as it was when RS-On was out, or HL-On for that matter.
  14. Krucifier

    Krucifier New Member

    I do agree with you, Absoltrainer.

    I remember in 2006, everyone here was happy whether they won or lost, they shook hands, heck, everyone showed the most brilliant SoTG. (Although, we did not have GC's. :p)

    In 2007 it was a little bit less SOTG'y. But still very very good.

    And now in 2008, if you win, you are branded a cheater. And nobody shakes hands anymore. Heck, people just carry on and on and on about you and how 'bad' you are.

    It's the limited card base that is doing it, in my opinion. You abuse Gardelade or Magmortar or you lose. And if you do abuse them, for a shot at winning, you are a 'cheater'. >:/.

    Legend Maker on would have been better. And even then...
  15. Absoltrainer

    Absoltrainer Active Member

    I never said people were branded cheaters....I said I noticed people making a big deal out of losing, and some people getting really peeved.

    It's not that people are shot for winning by using the same card pool, it's that the format is so boring. Everyone and their grandma uses the same deck.

    As i said before, I probably did blow things out of proportion a bit. However, I still think the old system worked fine. I am curious however, if anyone knows why POP started to focus so much on ranking all of a sudden?
  16. (TYranitarFReak)

    (TYranitarFReak) New Member

    Well, you can start testing ideas from MD. There's tonnes of possibilities!
  17. bullados

    bullados <a href="http://pokegym.net/forums/showthread.php?

    The reports of SOTG's death have been greatly exaggerated.

    IL states. Allow me to relay something one of my Leaguers said going to his first big Pokemon event:

    When I was at the top tables (the highest table he got to was 8), the players behaved much like the hardcore gamers in pretty much any other game. When I was playing in the lower tables (never lower than 24 out of about 35 tables), the players were civil. No, that's not a good word for it. They were having FUN!! I have never played a TCG where the vast majority of the players were there for the fun of the game. If only the players at the top had the same attitude.

    The top players are acting like the top players in any other game. It's the players who are NOT in the top that you have to look at. These players are having fun! Attendance is up all across the board! IL states had almost 20 more people on a day when we had to compete with two neighboring states compared to last year when we had virtually NO competition from nearby states! Every game that I've watched, top players or not, always ends either with a handshake or a "Good Game". Usually both.

    I've always said that the Gym and the Elites do not represent the overall attitudes of the average player. They represent the attitudes of those who like to have some Cheese with their Sour Grape Wine. There are almost 10,000 members of the Gym right now. Less than 5% of them have posted in a Sour Grape thread in the last year. It's just a vocal few (including yourself) that make the game seem worse than it actually is.
  18. chriscobi634

    chriscobi634 New Member

    Chuck wasn't there so that's another easy going elite player. He's always cracking jokes and stuff like that. Really funny guy. Ness is pretty much the same. Ballard can have his comical moments as well.

    IDK how Ness was doing w/o Chuck though. Those guys usually feed off each other for their comedy.
  19. Naki Feralkin

    Naki Feralkin New Member

    Its more an act of common courtesy and good sportsmanship. I know the way I was raised by my parents was to be polite at work and at play.

    I think the English rule book has the shake hands thing too, but its not required. I do it before every match as an act of politeness and because I follow SotG.

    I personally hate the current format and miss my Holon Engined R-gon. But, I'm trying to make due by trying crazy new ideas and waiting anxiously for Majestic Dawn for this reign of Gardylade to end.
  20. meganium45

    meganium45 Active Member

    If I have said it once, I have said it a MILLION times.

    The TRULY elite players are always having fun, and playing in the SOTG from what I have seen.

    I have seen a lot of elite players lose, get up, and shake hands, even at times get emotional win or lose.

    The lack of sportsmanship is not from the elite players.

    The lack of sportsmanship is from the players who think they are elite.

    When you think you are better than you are, you do whatever it takes to make you be as good as you think you are, even bending some rules.

    Some people put in the hard work to get there, others use shortcuts to do it.

    What are the shortcuts? Stalling. Gamesmanship. Rushing.

    These are cheap tactics that I have seen go almost away from last year to this year.

    Maybe we are less tolerant of clown shoes. I certainly am.

    Maybe players have figured it out.

    You want a great time, play with Ness, Dolzeal, Fulop, Pooka, Ballard, Lucas, Chuck, the Silvestros, the Peruccas, the Craigs, most of the better Junior and Senior players, and a ton of players I am probably missing out on! They go into every match knowing they have a shot to win or lose, and accept losses, for the most part, in a superior way.

    One of the coolest comments I ever heard from one of them, playing against someone they thought was stalling was, "Dude, beat me if you are going to beat me...but don't beat me THAT way!"

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