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Sunday, June 29, 2014

Pirate101: Doubloons in PvP

At this point, most of us know the power of doubloons. If you don't, follow that link above to the Doubloon Database and take a look around, particularly at the Jackrabbit Ju-Ju, Sluggish, and Spell Power / Damage Doubloons. So, with all of this power, should doubloons be allowed in PvP? They are now, but there's no real system in place. Central has already banned them from tournaments there. So... what do you think?

Treasure Cards Set the Stage

Treasure Cards in Wizard101 are very much a part of PvP. Not using them is like not using a pet or not using a specific piece of gear. I always get a little bit bent out of shape when someone says that treasure cards are "cheating," or "underhanded," or otherwise something that is frowned upon in PvP.

The truth is that many simply want to pick and choose which parts of combat work for them and call all other parts cheating. Everything you have the ability to take advantage of shouldn't be ignored in the world of PvP. Just like the fact that you need to quest, gather reagents, craft, farm, hatch pets, get gold, manifest certain talents, and develop a strategy and play style to be successful in PvP, you also have to get the TCs. Even though all of those things are separate activities, they all become components of PvP.

What I'm talking about is high-level player versus players matches, though. What about those low-level fights? Using rank ten treasure cards isn't entirely fair there, is it, as you need another account or character or arrange for you to have those cards and certain pets, and so on. Or is it all fair?

Doubloons in Play

Doubloons are very much the same way. They're a part of PvP, and they're something that can't be ignored simply because it's an element of the game that you don't like or don't want to participate in. Trust me, I'd love to avoid hatching and re-hatching (and re-hatching and re-hatching and re-hatching) for a decent PvP pet in Pirate. But that's part of the game, and I don't intend to fall behind.

But doubloons do have their drawbacks. They can be very powerful and obtained in any level tier by any level. When low-level players get their hands on them, that's okay - they might need for PvE, questing, farming, or whatever else. But it's a bit unfair when they suddenly start throwing out major damage with doubloons that other new, low-level players have never heard of. So where's the balance?

A Solution to Low-Level TC/Doubloon Use

My feeling, in terms of treasure cards and doubloons, is that you can't use any card or power that's more than five levels above your own. This works well with doubloons, because they're already in tiers at every 5th level. You could obtain doubloons beyond your limit, just not use them (at least in PvP) until you were five levels under their tier. Otherwise, it just becomes a game of who can use the most doubloon attacks and summon the most doubloon minions.

Arguments For Allowing Doubloons in PvP


  • They're a part of the game like anything else.
  • Treasure Cards are allowed fully in PvP even without level limits, so why wouldn't doubloons be?
  • Doubloons are not incredibly powerful at maximum level, save for a few.
  • Doubloons can be obtained by anyone at any time, they just need a friend or someone around to help.
  • If everyone can have the same thing, what's overpowered?

Arguments Against Allowing Doubloons in PvP


  • You can't get doubloons on your own; not everyone has people available to help
  • Doubloons are incredibly powerful, and used in addition to your turn
  • Doubloons drift away from skill, and learn toward luck and "who was the most/best shiny coins?"
  • Solo players are forced to work in groups to obtain doubloons
  • Low-level pirates can take advantage of high-level doubloons


An Inevitability?

Many seem to think that regardless of our opinions, doubloons will be allowed in PvP. After all, treasure cards were and are, and though they create problems left and right, there's been no fix or limit. However, Ratbeard repeatedly stresses that he's not yet started balancing for PvP. That, and I think Pirate will learn from Wizard's mistake.

MY Solution

In addition to the restriction of only using doubloons up to five levels (one level tier) above your own, I think that what Pirate needs is a system like other games. One where both opponents get a check-box upon entering a match. They'd choose whether or not to allow certain things, like pets, items with cards, doubloons, Nausica, etc. When one person "unchecks" a box, it is also unchecked from the opponent's screen. When both players are happy and have hit Done, the match begins.

This allows for a number of things. For one, it prevents cheating in all forms for when you say you're not using one thing or another. For example, Central has banned Nausica's charge. But with all the movement increases (powers, doubloons, etc.), and her outrageous movement range as it is, who knows whether or not they actually used it? With these tools, there are no "what ifs," and everyone gets to choose the specifics of their match, or back out if their opponent doesn't agree.

Perhaps Pirates could even place stakes. They'd offer up certain amounts of gold that the enemy would match, and whoever won kept both piles. There'd always be a "Just for Fun" option, of course.

Your Opinion?

How do we handle doubloons in PvP? Will they have to be completely overhauled to be allowed? To what extent should they be permitted?

Thanks for reading and see you in the Spiral!

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