Are battle pets a disappointment?


#1

Battle pets. When I heard about them on the roundtable, I was quite sceptical about introducing automated AI into a competitive game, but at least I was positive that each of them will have unique behavior and that will make the game more interesting/fun. After I heard they’ll all work the same (even ranged ones), my excitement fell even more. Now that I tested them, I’m just disappointed.

Let’s have a look at their cons/flaws:

  • ranged pets don’t make any sense whatsoever. Whoever thought that moving towards enemies should be their job was unbelievably wrong. I’m sure that most newbies are scratching their heads when they notice how counterintuitive their AI is - they should obviously do the opposite or at least not move. CP coded Rok to not move, so I’m not sure why they couldn’t code ranged pets to do the same. At this moment Ace and Ion are at the power level of Swamp Entangler (not to insult Swamp Entangler, which at least doesn’t suicide into everything).

  • the majority of other pets is not really playable. Neither on the ladder (well, you can create meme decks), nor in Gauntlet. They are way to easy to play around - just place a big enough minion to make them suicide into it and lose value. Placing a 3+ attack pet near your minions in Gauntlet is very risky since they can work for your opponent and clear your stuff by suiciding into Gnasher. And even if you want to totally avoid drafting pets, it’s sometimes impossible because you are offered 3 or 2 and another card you’d never pick, e.g. Ion, Sol and Fountain of Youth.

  • most of pet-related spells and Minions are relying on RNG, a big part of them is terrible and unplayable too. Did we really need so many “put random battle pet(s) into your action bar” cards? There are 5 of them, one of them is neutral. I’m sure that CP could come up with more varying effects, General Zendo is a great example and one of my favorite cards of the set. Then apart from random draws we have random spawns - Nature’s Confluence, which can be great or awful depending on the dice roll and situation you’re in, and Rawr, which is basically worse Nimbus. I don’t understand why nearly all of them had to be randomized.

And now at their pros:

  • their pixel art and names are decent, I guess

  • Pax is OP when not silenced (is that a pro?), some other faction pets are more or less playable thanks to their synergistic effects

  • ???

  • they are cute

Do you think battle pets were overall a good expansion theme and other themes should be designed similarly?

  • Yes
  • No
  • I’m indifferent

0 voters

If not, what would you expect CP to change?


#2

pax, gro, dex, gor, ooz, slo, and oni are the battle pets that arent that bad. the rest of them suck (i haven’t tried rawr, its too expensive for me)

Edit: and xho


#3

Agree with @oranos, but to add to that, I like the originality, the novelty, of battle pets- except for ranged pets. Ranged pets need fix!

Also swamp entangler saved me in gauntlet once :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:


#4

I think they are great. Are all of them great? No, but some of them really are. I was kinda sceptical too about them, but i got some nice surprise. The amout of value that they usually provide is very good, and though they act on their own (and i find this very unique to this game, which is good), their actions are very predictable, so even you can play around them.
It is true that i find some of the pets themed cards really bad, but for pets themselfs, im totally in for now.


#5

I like them. They add an interesting dynamic and some needed variety in minions and deck styles.

Some of them need adjusting but that’s true of everything.


#6

wha’happened to Xho man? cant forget Lantern Fox jr.


#7

Woops, forgot xho existed since I never ever play songhai. I’ll edit it in.


#8

Well i belive all your flaws are true, but their are pets, and the ideia of them is that. Their have all this disvantages but cost less, is okay i guess


#9

Haha, I completely understand your points. They’re actually pretty good. Yeah, maybe they aren’t made for competitive play or whatsoever. But Duelyst at heart is a game. We all may play against each other to rank up but it’s still a game. So I like to have fun by putting lots of Battle Pets in my deck, they didn’t disappoint me ( probably because I knew about them about a day or two pre-release ) . If something has to change, it definitely is ranged minions’ move pattern. It’s pretty dumb.


#10

You forgot one pro:

  • Interesting game mechanic never done before in the history of CCGs that can largely and positively impact the way the game is played and thought about, without changing the core mechanics and the feel of the game itself.

Sure, I agree. Ranged pets moving in to attack is a big design flaw and could probably easily be fixed by changing the pet’s code in a way so they check are they in range to attack before moving and altering the tool tip accordingly.

And yes, tokens could use some work, especially the arguably bottom tier Rok and high tier Dex. All the tokens should have similar power levels in order to reduce the swingy-ness of the RNG involving them.

Are those some huge issues that make pets a failed experiment? Fuck no. It’s something new never done before so of course there are going to be some fuck ups. There’s definitely lots of room from improvement. But calling them a disappointment is just not fair imo.


#11

Well it is simple I have made a topic stating the exact opposite of you:

Have a good read.


#12

And yet you voted “No” in the poll. :oncoming_police_car:


#13

Sorry thought It was the answer to : “Are battle pet a disappointment?”


#14

Even if most of them are pretty bad, it’s still a fun mechanic. It brings more variety to the tactical thinking, instead of “oh I should position this so and so because he will move so and so if I do so i can win on the board” you now have these minions that move on their own, including attacking into other units so you can position based on that fact, plus the stats being unusual for their mana cost makes it even more unorthodox. The AI shouldn’t have been all uniform though, would be nice with pets that have different patterns of behavior.


#15

Overall, I like all the battle pets, except the ranged ones. The concept is neat, just the implementation of it has some flaws here and there in the coding. Having a ranged battle pet move into melee range, and then attack, is just… ugh.

I think, if they continue with the current implementation of battle pets, all they need to do is change the ranged battle pet AI, so that it doesn’t move. it just shoots. Because they are really the only “facepalm” aspect of battle pets at the moment. I would even program them to move away, to the nearest corner, instead of towards the opponents minions.


#16

Currently, if you’ve seen the battle pets move/attack sequence a few times, you can predict every battle pets movements & attack priorities. This allows players to correctly place minions/general to properly counter the enemy battle pets.

The difficult part of having every battle pet with a different behavior, (aside from the coding time required), is that newer players would have difficulty with this aspect of the game. If you had to associate each named battle pet with a different action, while a novel and exciting idea in theory, would be hard for beginners to track/understand what is going on. It would require players to be well versed in every battle pet, including the ‘token’ pets that you don’t see in the collection manager. Which is a high hurdle indeed.


#17

Are you guys serious? I have counted roughly half of them see plays in the competitive scene. (Pax, Xho, Gro, Rex, Rawr, Gor, Ooz, Fiz, Slo…)


#18

Pets need individual A.I. The general idea of pets moving foward is fine but different behaviour are needed

General behaviour- move forward always

Ranged behaviour-always move to the futherest corner

Flying behaviour- fly to the closest minion and attack it

Survial behaviour - move towards hit the thing with smallest attack.Rawr,Bur,Hydrax

Special behaviour 1-Move towards a minion that can be dispelled. Rae

Special behaviour 2 -Attack the thing with smallest attack and don’t attack if this minion will die.Gro

It doesn’t make sense for pets to move the same,I hope they add different behaviours.I hope someday they can combine these behaviours or have pet specific behaviour like couple I mentioned but at minimum range needs to be different.


#19

No, I didn’t forget that since as I said at the beginning I’m not a fan of an automated mechanic which is as basic as it could be and thus can easily be played around. Of course they are an interesting experiment, but IMO a failed one.

The issue is that no matter how hard you try to position your pet, in most cases it can be directed to lose its value (unless it has DW), be it a turn or two later if not immediately, which is mainly an issue in Gauntlet as I mentioned, where you can expect everything from your opponent. Gnasher, Taygete, Nimbus, Lantern Fox, Battle Pando, Spectral Revenant, Grasp of Agony, Azure Horn Shaman, Sojourner, Purgatos, Eclipse, Khymera - attacking any of these can lead to a game winning sabotage depending on the pet in action and since it’s a CCG in development there will surely be more cards with similar negative effects.

I don’t think Rex is in any way competitive (it suicides into whatever and then you can kill its egg for free), neither is Rawr (too much RNG), which makes the word “most” usable in this case. The ad hominem at the beginning wasn’t necessary either, was it?


#20

It’s supposed to be an automated mechanic that you can play around. Specifically because of that negative side the pets have really good effects and stats considering their mana cost. Fact that you personally dislike the idea behind it doesn’t mean how it’s not innovative or interesting.

It’s a bit more complicated than that. Also read the point above when it comes to “value”.

Yeah, okay.