"Up the Ante" – Building a Better PTCGO

This is the companion discussion topic for this article.

I’m glad somebody is bringing up the combee issue. The issue of people “farming” has been a growing problem over the last few months. To me the easiest way to eliminate this problem is to actually write code that detects people attempting to lose. It’s quite easy.

if (Attack == StingMissle && PokemonOnBench == 0) PrizesAwarded = 0;

Seriously…these people are trying to lose…nobody should be rewarded for trying to lose…and it’s easy to prevent it by patching the software, without changing the structure of everything

I believe that Casual should remain mostly unchanged but reward 2 Trainer Tokens for a win and 1 Trainer Token for a loss. This would incentivize casual players to play their games as there would be SOMETHING on the line, but it wouldn’t be enough that Combee would re-emerged just to farm rewards.

I don’t play PTCGO, so maybe someone can fill me in: What are the current rewards for a win and a loss?

They already fixed the Combee issue. http://forums.pokemontcg.com/topic/27680-timer-for-game-loss-bonus-wheel-eligibility/

I would say the easiest way to improve the PTCGO experience is to address a problem that the actual TCG has had to address:

Make the default for playing a Ranked game (and especially in tournaments) a best two-of-three match, even if the time limit makes getting a full three games in nearly impossible. So much of my frustration would be lessened if I had less “full” losses due to bad luck or because I got taken by surprise (mostly the former).

It’s 1 token for playing, 2 more tokens to the winner if his opponent is decided to have an advantage and a prize wheel spin.

The prize wheel can contain either 1-5 tokens, 1 tournament ticket or a mystery box. The mystery box’s prize varies over time, but it usually provides either 1 of a booster pack, a card, 25 tokens or 4 tournament tickets.


To be clear: @OshaWaterBottle references a “soft” fix: The timer to the Prize Wheel is approximately two minutes on a game loss (the winner always gets wheel). This significantly lengthens the amount of time it would take to accrue prizes by rapid concession. But it does not eliminate the problem entirely: 1) instead of Combee getting 45-50 prize wheels per hour, it gets 18-20 (meaning its still possible to autodonk for prize wheel); 2) persons playing legitimate games with a donk loss in two minutes don’t get prize wheel.

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I participated in a string of online tournaments last weekend. I provided feedback via the Pokemon TCG forums, and I suggest you guys do the same if you aren’t already. If enough players are voicing their desires for the game, and there seems to be a common thread, I think it will be hard for the developers to ignore. They do seem to take feedback into consideration, I have seen suggestions come to fruition over the last few years.


I feel that people should be able to use trainer tokens to buy specific cards. For example, you could spend 15 tokens for a locked common, 25 tokens for a locked uncommon, 50 tokens for a locked rare, etc. I hate needing something tiny for a deck, and the only way for me to get it is to trade WAY too many packs for it along with 70 other junk commons.

To be honest, I’d love to see a system where you could buy cards with real money, something like
ultra rare- $3
secret rare- $5
Rare- $2
Uncommon (set of 2)- $1
Common (set of 4)- $0.50
I’d probably drop a pretty large amount of money if they did IAP’s like this
Trading for packs is always a drag, sometime’s I’d rather just drop the cash for cards.

Yeah… but you could just buy booster codes and get cards for that price or less via the trading. Also are you trading on your own or using trading houses?

Note that I don’t entirely disagree; I just think it makes more sense to allow people to buy cards with Tokens, turning them into a universal currency and thus unit of trade.

I usually try to get a slightly nicer price than what the “trading companies” on the official forums use, as that’s usually what shows up on the public trades. I also understand why TPCI would use tokens (or maybe gems, as that appears to be what they’re trying to go with for their premium currency.) I could see them doing IAP’s to get tokens, and setting singles to be around that much money’s worth if you just want to buy the cards outright. I can think of a lot of players that I know that don’t really want to deal with TCGO because it’s kind of a drag to trade for a collection of staples again, and IAP’s could probably get at least a few more people to jump onto the bandwagon.

I think some kind of crafting system would do them well (like @JayHornung suggested here). It would be pretty easy to theme within Pokemon lore too; the storefront could be a Poke Mart that will buy your extra cards for a secondary currency which can be used to purchase individual cards.

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After re-reading this and @JayHornung’s article on PTCGO (http://sixprizes.com/2014/12/17/mind-if-i-roll-need-what-ptcgo-can-learn-from-hearthstone-blizzards-latest-cash-cow/), I believe that trading is one of the areas that PTCGO could improve most. I would like to be able to list a card I would like - say Max Potion, which in “real life” I have 4 copies of - without having to identify what I am interested in trading. It takes time to annotate “for trade” on every card I have more than 4 copies of, and think it would work well if I could annotate a card I would like, and then any player with that card could see the cards I have marked for trade and cards that I have more than 4 of, and make me an offer. Right now I have to create both sides of the trade.

The current daily prize and bonus for first game played each day keep me coming back daily, and it seems like the more you play the pairings keep getting better.