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Is KI Aware of Puppet Teams?

Ivanna9Ivanna9 Menlo Park, CAPosts: 4Member Common

My family has been playing Wizards for almost three years. We love this game, play as a family, have several accounts, and are pretty happy with the game for its beautiful graphics, family friendly atmosphere, and wide range of activities (pets, housing, crafting, gardening).

That said, the Pvp section of the game desperately needs some attention. I belong to the Knights Who Say Ni, a social group whose sole purpose is to fight puppet teams in the arena and to push for a long term solution. What are puppet teams?

Basically, a puppet team is a team made up of high level (60-70) and low level(1-30) wizards who manipulate the current pvp matching system to try to get easy wins and accumulate rank quickly. Pure adept/magus teams facing these puppet teams have only a slim chance of winning, with the result being, adept/magus teams are being forced out of the arena.

A major exploit is happening in the arena. I am posting here in the hopes that a real person from Kings Isle will respond. Does KI know about this problem? The Knights Who Say Ni have an open letter (Is KI Aware of Puppet Teams?) in the Wizard101 Feedback section on the site. If you check out this thread, you will find a full explanation of the problem, with examples, and well thought out solutions. The problem has been going on for more than a year, with more than 80 threads collected related to puppet teams.

I cannot believe that J. Todd Coleman and Josef Hall would allow this problem to go unsolved if they knew about it. I believe their claims that they are committed to producing a quality, family friendly game. Knowing that they were hardcore pvp players themselves (Shadowbane), I believe they would be sympathetic to our plight. The Pvp section of Wizard101 is an important part of the game. Many people subscribe soley to pvp. Pvp players are KI's most devoted fans. Please do not abandon them.

In the best case scenario, we would love to be able to start a dialogue with KI and share our ideas, work together with the goal of making the arena a healthy, challenging, family friendly place once again. I and others will gladly provide examples and details. KI are you listening? If so, are you working on a solution for sometime in the near future?


  • azoresdogazoresdog Happyville, FLPosts: 1Member

    It's a HUGE question right now on players' minds.  Many long-time subscribers of Wizard101 have been asking if KI is going to correct the crippling problems in the PvP system, but KI has been silent on the issue.

    The PvP matchup system served its purpose in the past, but KI raised the level cap without making corresponding changes to the PvP system. Players can now quite easily "game the game".

    While there are other PvP arena glitches and probems, this latest exploit of "puppet teams" has many players in an uproar. Will KI fix it? We just don't know.

  • arkwayarkway placeton, ORPosts: 2Member

    Really disappointed by what's happened to Wizard101s PvP's virtually unplayable at the moment, due to the "puppet team" exploit. I can't tell if Ki is aware of the's been going on for awhile, but people have only recently begun to make noise about it. I think people were quiet about the issue for so long because most players just walked away from group're guaranteed to run into one of  these puppet teams, get wiped out by a lot of people just abandoned it. Been glad to hear people speak up about it these last few months.

    For me, PvP is the part of the game I enjoy the most...I generally prefer group pvp, so have been discouraged by the prevalence of the exploit. I still sign up for matches regularly...I would say 4 out of every 5 matches are against puppet teams. I can't tell if there are plans to fix this or not...I give Ki the benefit of the doubt, I'm hoping they will address this at some point, but I am definitely beginning to lose hope.

    I think if they could end the exploit, it would bring many, many subscribers back to arena, would be a great thing for the game.

  • ChoGath4everChoGath4ever Holly, MIPosts: 6Member

    Here's a good write-up of the problem, as described by "Nick" over at central:

    The Rank Dynamics of Team and Low Level PvP

    Lets start with low level rank and matching. At top level, as you rank up, you just face other top level duelists with higher rank. At low level, as you rank up, you often face higher level duelists with lower ranks. The matching system is extremely keen on adjusting for rank with a level raise in your opponents. The ranking system, however, doesn't take level into consideration. This means that a level 30 warlord gets matched up with a Legendary wizard who has maybe 300 rank, because the matching system thinks it is a fair duel. When the duel is over the rank system only sees a rank of 900 vs a rank of 300, and the low level duelist who just slayed a giant is likely to get 0 Rank for a win or -28 rank for a loss. Since Legendary wizards have access to the critical system while low level players have only conviction to save them, these mismatches often result in losses for a low level duelist. It takes a low level duelist about a 7:1 win/loss ratio to gain any rank at all. We call this situation the "rank wall" or "rank ceiling" for low levels. It is an extremely common complaint in PvP, and keeps many low level players from attaining the ranks necessary to purchase their gear once they have accumulated tickets.

    Let's move next to the team matching and rank systems. These work mostly like the 1v1 systems, except that they average the levels and ranks of the entire team, which opens up possibilities for more exploits. This dynamic first reared its ugly head when players started forming 4v4 groups where three of the wizards would down rank to boost the rank of a single player. In this situation, three players would have 0 rank while the fourth might have 3000 rank. This meant that the matching and rank systems saw the team as four players with roughly 750 rank, so they still got matches and faced fairly easy opponents. This was another of the many reasons that the top 100 list was skewed, and has never come back to date. Still, this only addresses rank spread, lets consider level spread as it compounds with rank spread in team pvp.

    It is important to note, at this point, the massive power jump between levels 50 and 60. Celestia more than tripled our attack boost, introduced the critical system, and gave us over 100% healing boost. Then at level 60, WaterWorks gear trumped even that quantum leap by adding general resist to the mix. The result is a new and interesting top level PvP experience, but a massive disjunction between low level and high level power. Now the level averaging of the match system becomes more problematic.

    A common construct in Team PvP today is the "Puppet Team". In this team, a level 70 wizard pairs with a level 1 puppet. Since the match system averages their level, they are effectively a pair of level 35 wizards where matching is concerned. Quite often they will literally be matched against a pair of actual level 35 wizards, and the transcended player quickly obliterates the magus victims with massive attack boost and critical. Now they've gained rank through an easy win, but it doesn't stop there. They eventually rank up and get harder fights, right? Wrong. One of the team members down ranks, usually the puppet, and adds another level of exploitation to the system. Generally the puppet ranks down to 0. Now they are not only seen as a team of level 35 wizards, but even if one is a warlord they are seen as having 450 rank each. They are getting lower than magus level opponents, and even then opponents with very low rank - new to PvP and clueless to the beating they are about to receive. It doesn't stop there though.

    Now lets refer back to the low level "Rank Wall" where the match system takes level into account, but the rank system does not. The puppet team has a cumulative rank of 300-450 on a good day, and generally face lower level opponents with 500-700 rank. The match system thinks this is a fair match and pairs them. Now let's say the fight is over, and the puppet team has won easily. The rank system forgets all knowledge of level and sees wizards of 350 rank vs wizards of 500 rank. If the puppet team wins, which they do a lot, they get rank gains of 25-30 points. If the low level victims are somehow able to muster a defense and actually win this match, they can look forward to a rank gain of 0-4 points. Even when they win, they lose. This is a serious and widespread problem in team pvp, and low level players have complained over and over again about the unfair exploit. Central has even had to limit the posting of these complaints because we were being overrun with them.

  • emeraldgreenemeraldgreen fresno, CAPosts: 1Member

    I am new to this site and only joined because of a Wizards promotion, then I ran into your letter. My family has been playing together on Wiz101 for years and we, too, are disappointed with the puppet teams so we no longer play pvp. We began writing post after post to KI way back and it still goes on today.

    We haven't joined in PVP for years now not only for that reason, but the puppeteers, the higher levels are so rude and inexcusably mean as to call my little ones quite grown up cuss names. Reporting, by the way, is futile as well.

    Surely there is a way to monitor the games and make them enjoyable again. I will go to the forums and try to find your posts and suggestions as well.


  • VrikaVrika FinlandPosts: 3,720Member Rare

    Even if I'm now replying to a necored thread: KI's upcoming patch notes say that they're (finally) making changes against puppet teams.

    What's up with two recently registered posters necroing 4 different threads on Wizard 101 and posting negative things about Wizard 101?

  • ideainsanity12ideainsanity12 Land O'' Lakes, FLPosts: 6Member
    They tried to end puppet teams. The thing they were working on was tested on Test Realm, but since it was so broken, they won't find a solution anytime soon until they can resolve everything.

    ~Been Gaming since I was born~

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