The Trashalanche Pokemon Podcast

Events and CP, Game strategy and design, Poker, Arceus

February 02, 2022 Brent Halliburton Season 1 Episode 73
The Trashalanche Pokemon Podcast
Events and CP, Game strategy and design, Poker, Arceus
Transcript
Brent:

Welcome to the Trashalanche. We are back to a hundred percent attendance, Brit Mike Fouchet, myself, Brynn Halliburton. We're sponsored by channel fireball. Five star review update. Alex Wilson is still the last person to leave a review. Do not let Alex Wilson when I know that people listen to as Potter competitive people. I know you do not want to let Alex Wilson win. You got to post your own review, so you can be the most recent person. If you leave a review, we read on the pod.

Brit:

How about, you know, you you've mentioned before how people have like solicited you to be on the podcast. You leave us a review that next review, maybe that's our next guest,

Brent:

Oh,

Brit:

but it has to be a good year of you.

Brent:

Brett's really going out there. All right. Guys, I thought we should start with, I saw Natalie Molarz post talking about how they had apparently updated the CPS, which they had not kind of done. Like there'd been one last weekend of events before COVID shut everything down two years ago. And they had never really like rerun the numbers and it made me realize obviously, I think we're all wondering our event's going to go. It kind of seems like they might, although I had tickets to a concert at the end of February that just got, they just canceled the concert in here in DC. So

Mike:

Oh, wow.

Brent:

no sleigh bells for me, it's the lamb.

Brit:

Are the, is like OMA crowds still trending like that badly. Like, I, I don't, I haven't sort

Brent:

I think the numbers are turning around,

Brit:

what I thought. Yeah.

Brent:

so yeah, I mean, I was, I was surprised to see that they would cancel a concert end of February, but I, I also think they, they canceled the whole tour. So. Yeah, maybe they had events coming up and they'd decided to get ahead of the whole thing. But yeah, there's, there's like, so on. the one hand, I guess I feel like maybe they're thinking yeah, events are going to happen. So here was the question that occurred to me when I saw Natalie's post, which was about them updating the CP. I immediately went checked, cause I thought. this is not going to be on Natalie's radar, particularly because OSI is such a small market, but it's going to be on, you know, everybody in Americas, which is, did they move seniors over in the masters? Like people at an aged up, have they resolved that? And they have not like done anything there yet. Will they do anything before the first regionals? Or is this going to be one of those things where like we go to like months and months of tournaments before we find out what like. Like my initial reaction was there must be all these announcements that are just about to come out. And the second we published this pod, there's going to be like a huge wave of big announcements. And, you know, we got to get this pod out so we can get to those because they will not do it before our pod. But, but then I was like, you know what? I know Pokemon. And I know that like, just because there's an event and people need points, doesn't mean they're going to give us insight into how points work now.

Mike:

Yeah. Hi. I wouldn't be surprised if we don't get any answers. Before, like there was that one season where we went like a third of the way into the season without even knowing the CP threshold. I bet we're in that, in a camp, more like that, like in a situation where like that.

Brit:

Yeah. Yeah. I mean, it does seem, I not, I was trying to think if there's any sort of point of evidence other than Natalie's posts. But when I saw that this morning, I definitely started to make me think like a little less pessimistically, like, all right. Like maybe that's a sign. Maybe, maybe I think there was something else. Maybe it'll come to me. But another just like tinfoil hat, like maybe, maybe it's indicative of something, but like, yeah. I mean, we're just too close. It feels like, I just think if they weren't going to do it, we'd know already. Maybe we're still playing chicken. I don't know, but I'm a little more optimistic about. Things getting rolling, but yeah, like the, and we've talked, I've talked about this before. Like I don't, I don't know what they want to do with worlds and if they're not going to change like CP drastically, like no one's going to qualify, especially because leak cups and leak challenges still seem to be up in the air too. And that's like, you know, love it or hate it. That's a necessary ingredient. And a lot of players sort of qualification route, like plenty of players. Like, I don't know, Mikey, what do you think is like a standard, like low goal from like the cities? Like, or not cities, but like lead cups, like 200 points, like w w what is four topic areas? Eight top eights. That's

Mike:

That's 200 points. Yeah, because I'm pretty sure 25 is for top eight.

Brit:

Right. So, yeah, like, I mean, I think that's pretty standard, but like, if though, if those don't exist and it's still like a 500, 5 50 threshold, like who's qualifying, unless someone, someone who already has points. Venturing out into the world, every single weekend, traveling, traveling, traveling, traveling, and I guess not catching COVID the whole time too. Like.

Mike:

Yeah. Yeah. It's true. Like wheat cups or both for, for, for like that, the types of player that are well, there's kind of like two types of players that really need the leak cups. It's the people that don't travel a ton. Maybe they just do like two or three raise your dose per year. But our PR like top tier or very good players, I would put myself in that camp. Like I need league Cubs to be able to qualify. And then there's the players that maybe aren't like, you know, the highest tier of player, but they're still like, well, above average, they're good players. They might travel to four or five regionals, but they need those like a bunch of top forests for elite cups to get there. And yeah, I don't know. I.

Brent:

then the third bucket that I think about when, when we talk about like seniors aging up and what they'll do with like the preexisting points that exist is. I mean, there's there's guys that are super on the grind and, you know, they need to, they need those points to kind of goose their way into top 16. And they, they view it as like, you know I don't want to say it's like a God given right to Windley cups, but like, they've got to go to Lee cups and get points because they can't be letting like the grand Manley's of the world go clean up their local league cups and get a ton of points and them not get points, you know?

Mike:

Yeah, that's true. That's true too. Yeah. And especially if they're like, you know, being run somewhat inequitably and maybe that's why Pokemon is hesitant to let lead cups triggers because they don't want, you know, the Northeast running lead cups, but Arizona not, or something like that, you know, those are just random things and states, but which I understand, I get that point, but they have to, they have to do something else then.

Brent:

But Yeah, that's I had started putting the show notes, then I was like, I guess they're going to explain to us how CP works and how things are rolling over and how people are aging up and all that stuff. Like there's going to be this huge wave of announcement the next couple of weeks. And then I thought about that, that season, like two years ago, where I was like, you know what? They might be like, what you guys could just go to a bunch of tournaments. We'll figure it all out later. We'll tell you later. I, you know, on the one hand, I think we all feel like Pokemon has, has dramatically improved since then in terms of like communication and, you know, we know they've added great, like new staff members and team members to the organization. So, so you hope that those people are all trying to figure this stuff out, but like, you know, also maybe, maybe they're like, you know what, we should let a regional or two happen and then see how it goes. And then we'll let that inform what we ended up deciding to do. Like, I, maybe that's the thing.

Mike:

it's true. We'll see.

Brit:

Yeah, I really don't have any sense of how it's gonna go down. I'll I'll stand firm on my position that they, the best decision. I think that could make assuming you know, a healthy world or what have you is world is open or worlds is really easy to qualify for. I think there's the best thing for the game right now is putting people in seats and like, something like that. It's just one of the easiest ways to do it, especially if you can springboard from. The live launch or something, as we've seen, like with the Yu-Gi-Oh game that launched a week or two ago that like, I dunno if you've seen the like search metrics and things like that, but it's for the first time, in a very long time, it's like the most searched card game over magic and, you know, things like that. You know, we'll be curious to see if like, live has something similar with like, I don't know, like, like random, like less than a fighting game player, a melee player that I follow and he's like streaming it and stuff. So it'll be, I don't know if like, kind of just like bigger name content, like Twitch people would try it out. I don't think so. Because like, with Pokemon is like, obviously its own thing. You can play Pokemon and you can play Pokemon the card game. Whereas with like, Yu-Gi-Oh like, there's just So I think it like translates a little better to just like, Hey, I'm a content creator. This is what I'm doing this week sort of thing. Whereas like. Live from might not, I just I'm skeptical that it would. And on top of like, I just think, why are the duals, I think it's called or dual link. I don't know. I just would also speculate. It's just like a lot better. I mean, just like, not that like not to down talk live, we haven't even seen it yet, but I just like, no, there's more money being fielded, far more money being fueled into this game than Pokemon. Like I saw some sort of outlandish speculation, like, ah, Yu-Gi-Oh has 10,000 cards in it. That means a live must. Oh, it was it was Gearhart. One of his just terrible, terrible takes. Was it just like, that's the precedent now if live doesn't have 10,000 cards, it will be bad. So something to that effect.

Brent:

So I wanted it because you work in the industry, but so I wanted to get your take. I mean, the Yu-Gi-Oh thing has been so extraordinarily well received. If you were the Pokemon people, like let's say that, you know, 30 days from now you have a shippable version of PTCG Live, but it's like, it's shippable. Like, it's that it's like a minimum viable product. Like it's probably not as good as Pokemon go in like game play, but like, it's got, you know, it's got some things to kind of show a little bit better and you kind of see the promise, but it's not there. Or you say we could wait another like six months and then ship the mat.

Brit:

I mean, I think the sort of ultimate arbitrator on this sort of quandary with. Honey. It's just purely actually a finance question at the end of the day. And I don't that's I dunno, always above my head, like so much of just like in my own work is like, Hey, can we do this? Or like, Hey, we're like, what if our mode could do this instead? And like, at a certain point, it's just not up to the designers anymore. Like were sort of like given our direction mostly from like business and finance and things like that a lot of the time. But I don't know. We see, we see this sort of all the time, just in the gaming industry at large, like you know, the cyberpunk, all sorts of games come out on finish. Now these days and other games, other games are delayed. And there's the, I forget who it was. Was it or it was a Nintendo person is the famous quote. That's like a rush game, you know, is bad forever, but like, you know, I'm, I'm botching it, but it's, it's something like that. You know, a delayed game is, is good. Eventually a rush game is like always bad or, you know, something to that effect.

Brent:

Yeah. I was kind of thinking that's true. Like, I think cyberpunk 20, 77 is a perfect example of like they'll, they'll never recover. And if they had just like, held off for another year, I don't know if that would fix their problems. I mean,

Brit:

Yeah. And like, that's sort of the story with.

Brent:

but.

Brit:

Yeah. Like with like street fighter five, which is like the main fighting game I play. And it sort of has this like terrible launch. Like it just didn't have character. It didn't have very many characters when it came out, didn't have modes, it didn't have features. And that's just like, even though, like, I think if you like talk like purely about it, like everyone really likes the game now and thinks that it's a great iteration, but it just will never escape its poor launch. And so many people just like will never think positively ever because of, because it like launched poorly and mechanically, it was, you know, different from the previous iteration and things like that. But I don't know with live, like you've delayed it once. Can you really like, at that point, I feel like you should just keep delaying it. Like it would just be embarrassing to delay it and then ship something that's still unfinished. I would think like that seems like, like even more of a nail in your coffin than really singing it. Like. Now, like, say it's out already and just like a little buggy, a little, a little unpolished or something. I would think that is preferable to releasing it a few months whenever. And it's, it's still in like, roughly that stay, like, I don't think anyone expecting like new bells and whistles on it because of the delay as we've set out here before I think it was wrong. I think it will, it'll be standard and nothing else at least to start. But yeah, I would think like delaying it more was right, but we're seeing it on the the new set, just like a fusion strike had it. There's Irish Sama home. There's the PTCG Live code, like are on the box for the RCS set and stuff. So like maybe that's also a sign.

Brent:

So, so you guys have been thinking about game design. Do you want to talk a little about.

Brit:

Yeah.

Mike:

Yeah, sure. So I actually wrote this as a series of tweets cause I was thinking about tweeted it out, but I don't know. I didn't. And it didn't, it didn't sound exactly like how I wanted to do it. So I'll just talk about it here and we're saving some good, some good stuff for the pod. So I saw a couple of weeks ago, I saw a lot of discussion both in the Pokemon community and in the Hearthstone community about game design. At the time Hearthstone standard format was very, very centralized on this one deck. And it might still be, but I think they Nerf throw a little bit. Does that sound right? Brit? I don't know.

Brit:

Yeah, they did. I don't know. I don't, I like, I don't really keep up with the metagame, like I know decks and I net deck, but I don't, I don't, I don't know, like the win rates and things like that. I usually just like learn one deck for format and like hit legend a time or two. And then onto the next set

Mike:

Yeah, sure. It makes sense. So anyway, there was a lot of discussion there there's discussion in the Pokemon card game. There there's been discussion like about V maxes and especially with the new sec coming out like R B star is going to be the savior that we need. And blah there's, there's always talk about, you know, if tag teams were good, it, all that stuff. But also kind of an interesting thing that happened in the last few weeks is the game Wordle has become ridiculously popular. And so thinking about why that game became so popular is kind of an interesting question. And then it got me thinking. Math problems. You don't have a math teacher. So what makes like a good math problem? And so here's kind of the intersection that, that I was thinking about in math. A lot of the most engaging problems are very, very easy to state. Even if they're extremely hard to solve. So for example, consider the question. Are there infinitely many prime numbers? It's not a, it's not a very difficult question to prove you've been, if you're a high school student that there are infinitely many primes and then, but it's a pretty interesting question to think about at least, but then you consider another question that looks just as simple. But it's still a completely open question. So it's very, very, very hard problem to solve. And that question is, are there infinitely many twin prime numbers and twin primes are prime numbers that are exactly two away from each other. So like 17 and 19 or five and seven, you know? And that question is actually, it's still an open question in the mathematical community. Nobody has been able to prove yes or no. There's infinitely many primes. There's a consensus that they think, yes, there are, but I mean, you also think about it from the other direction that you know, as numbers get bigger and bigger and bigger, you know, they have more factors and therefore primes become more sparing. So maybe there is some threshold where you cross and there's no. that will ever be exactly two from, from the next one. So, but it's an extremely easy problem to understand, even for someone that's, you know, a ninth grade kid can understand that problem really easily. But the answer eludes, the best mathematicians that have walked the earth and there's something really elegant about a problem that can engage a very elementary student and it's, you know, and it's disciplined yet. Yet challenged, you know, the people that are really, really into it. And so I think we can think about games in a, in a similar way. Some of like the most engaging games have been like in history, not just video games, board games and whatnot have been games that are like, are really pretty easy to learn how to play. Very complex for those that want to go really deep into them, you know, things like Tetris or chests, or even like candy crush or street fighter and smash brothers. Like these games are, anybody can play them and pick them up, but like to get really, really, really good at them. It takes a lot. So if we think, and, and that kind of brings like to Wordle, like Wordle is a super interesting example because it combines a lot of other things that make it a good game and it has a good game design, but like at its core, it's you know, it's very what's the word I'm looking for?

Brent:

Accessible.

Mike:

Accessible. That's the word. Yes, that's what I'm looking for. Thank you. So it's very accessible, but you know, their strategy, you can optimize your optimize your strategy. And so that, that's kind of been an interesting thing. And now you know, taking that to, to back to our topic, Pokemon Hearthstone both our card games, which inherently have a much higher barrier of entry compared to other games like you need to actually have the cards, but still game designers kind of have to be aware of this and strike some balance between making it inviting and accessible for new players yet deep enough to maintain for dedicated players. I think Hearthstone has done probably a better job of this than almost any other card game. I don't know how familiar familiar you guys are with artifact that tried to come out like a year and a half ago or so. And it was created by, it was created by valve and they promised a lot of like very well known and respected game designers in the card game community. And I, I never played it, but the people, the very like competitive card game players that played, it said it was a great game, but it never had more than like a couple hundred people playing it because it was so complex that nobody could really get into it. And it died within, you know, there was huge hype around it, like months and years of waiting for this game to come out and then like, it was dead within six months.

Brit:

It was huge. Yeah. Like when they, when they, the first beta keys went out for it at like packs at penny arcade and P uses is selling for hundreds of dollars and things like that. Like I remember, I think I got one from Ray, just like in his DMS, like, yo hook me up, but I actually did play artifact. And sort of just like, almost just to reiterate most of what you said is that, like, I remember after playing my first game or something like that and my like, oh, my tape was like, like, that was fun, but I don't want to play a second game. Like. It's a board game is what I think it's much closer to it's it's like a board game that you would play. And like, you'd probably be, you know, you'd be sitting around playing with three or four friends and like, you'd, maybe you play that first game and it would be kind of like a learning experience. And then like, you'd play the second game. And that would be like that's game night, shut the box. Like come back next week for the next game. And like, yeah, like artifact is I've I've, I've heard a little bit from the people at my work about valve and it's sort of just like in the same way that like their decisions seem like impenetrable from the outside is that they're equally impenetrable from the inside too. Like they're just like making weird decisions. Someone I worked with someone I worked with like worked on the Dota, like auto battler game and just like, it just like got killed just like for no reason. Even though it was like pretty popular. They just like decided they didn't want to keep working on it. And that's just something to that effect sort of happened, which again, probably financially motivated more than anything, but yeah, like as artifact was, it was going to be the next big thing. Yeah. I think it was I'm forgetting the name. I want to see it's like, no, Alex Garfield, something like that, but I think it was like one of the original sort of designers of magic was the big name, like touted on the project. And yeah, it was just not good. And I, I think I actually sell them on the subreddit. I think there's like, you know, as these niche games, these cult games become eventually over time. Like I think it has a pretty loyal following for like what's there, but like, I think there were, I can't remember if it was speculated that they would do like a 2.0 and like try to relaunch it again. And I think they were, but then they just like killed it halfway through or something like that. And it's just like fully tabled at this point, but yeah, that's definitely just like one of the like biggest like failures certainly of all time when it comes to card games, I think. But just in video games in general, I would be, I'm very curious as to what happened because it was, you know, so hyped for so long and just died within weeks.

Mike:

Yeah. Yeah. And so like kind of bringing my whole thesis back to Pokemon it's like in, in 20 10, 20 11, when black and white came out, the Pokemon designers made a very, very conscious decision to align itself to this goal of trying to get more players into the game. They felt like the game was not accessible enough for people to start playing. And so they started designing it to be more accessible and sometimes the pendulum is swung. From a competitive, competitive player standpoint. Sometimes the pendulum has swung a little bit too far into, you know, accessibility and simplicity, but I feel like they've really been trying to balance that, you know, be inviting and accessible for new players while also still catering to a higher level player. They've really tried. I think over the years we've seen good and bad. But I think before like 2010, the game was very much, the pendulum was all the way over to not really that accessible. And it was only being really designed for competitive players. And we've seen the fruits of their labor, right? The game has grown a ton in the last 10 years. And I don't know, I don't think that's really a bad thing. It can be a little frustrating, but you know, every card is Dusknoir level as, and Reggie Gigis level X, like the people aren't going to. I want to actually learn how to play. They're gonna be like, this is, this is too complicated. So I guess that's kind of that, that that's the end and how I've been thinking about this, but I just think there's an interesting connection between what, what makes a good like academic problem and what makes a good game they're accessible and yet interesting at the same time.

Brent:

You know, guys, I read two articles that, that you made me think of that you were talking recently. I think they were both in the New York times. So one was on AI solving monopoly. And the the, the gist of it was monopolies. Like I was like, ah, this makes me feel better about my life choices. The gist of it was interestingly like monopolies, like a terrible game.

Mike:

Yeah. Not

Brent:

Yup. He was like, so the first versions of my AIS that I trained to play monopoly at, I didn't know, didn't do any trades and like 70% of all games never finished and went on infinitely because if you don't get hotels, You can never bankrupt someone else. They're always collecting $200 faster than they spend $200 without houses and hotels in the game. So the only way to win

Brit:

balance specialists.

Brent:

well, so the only way to win is be able to build houses and hotels on your properties. So it turns out the best strategy, best it like big air quotes. Yeah, blues and Browns, because those are the only ones. Like you only have to have two before you can start building. So that's like your only hope for naturally landing on them is because you're never going to like land on all three of something else and get those properties. So like, I, I read it and I was like, okay, have so monopoly sucks. And what's interesting is monopoly is an example of like a game that's so easy to explain and understand. And you're like, oh, okay. This seems like a game. And then like three hours later, you're like, what are we doing? Why are we doing this?

Brit:

I remember this, I think hopefully will be a funny story that I think it will reflect. Well, just like on my character, that in my undergrad, I worked at the boys and girls club. Just one of several that were in the town that I went to college at. And I was, I was always, I worked in like the computer lab game room kind of area. And I just remember fondly, like just playing candy land with a group of kids and just being like, this game is bad. Let me explain why this game is awful. Like, all it is is like I would chef in because for those who. Are you doing candy land is flip over a top deck and it has colors and you just moved to

Brent:

skill. There's no

Brit:

And I was just trying to explain to them, like the game is in this sequence. It's right here. We don't need to play. Let me just flip over the cards like

Brent:

Yeah, exactly.

Brit:

like 10 and 12 year olds or something like that,

Brent:

I chutes and ladders is exactly the same game. Right?

Brit:

Yeah.

Brent:

You, you just spin the thing and it tells you how far you're going and then you have to go up or you go down and like, it's just how well you spend dollars to it. I, you know, so, so what's interesting is as a parent, I would tell you the point of those games. The point of those games is teaching kids how to follow rules. Well, it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter who wins. In fact, the whole point is we can't have skillful play because if mom and dad are playing with you and there was skillful play, you would lose because you're too. But like as a two year old, you can follow the rules and if you follow the rules, you're just as likely to win as I am, because that's all there is to it. you know, so, so it's interesting because I mean, maybe there's some underlying metaphor there of like, you want games that level up, right? Like, it's great to have the game that teaches you how to follow the rules of games. But Yeah. within 30 seconds you're like, okay, we're going to need better games. The other, the other article that I read was how and this was definitely in the New York times, Sunday edition was like how AI is solving poker. And I thought it was really interesting because it made me think about poker in a way. I hadn't really thought about it. I mean, apparently the way AI has solved post. Is for any given hand there's no right answer. There's a probability distribution of things you should do. And, and that's critical because you can't have like, oh, in this situation, you always bluff in this situation. 30% of the time you have left

Mike:

Yeah.

Brent:

and you know it, and you know, every time you get like two ACEs, you can't just like go all in because everybody will know you've got to get two ACEs. So, you know, 0.1% of the time you fold 5% of the time, you'd just check 10% of the time you go all in, like, there's this whole distribution of outcomes for any given hand, because your play at some level kind of has to look like it's random because you can't give away what your cards are by what you're doing. It's all just. Random random, random, random, random. And I was like, that is absolutely wild to me. I had never really thought about how like the point of poker is to make it look like your play is random while having some optimal strategy.

Mike:

Yeah. I mean, that, that makes sense to me a much simpler, I can't think of like an example game right off the top of my head, but I remember when I was studying game theory a little bit I don't know if you ever took a game theory course, but there's lots of games where the optimal strategy, like the, the quote unquote Nash equilibrium is a probability distribution exactly like that. You do this action. One third of the time you do this action, two thirds of the time. And that is like the equilibrium that both players are supposed to abide by in order to like, you know, get the same expected value from the game. So, yeah, that makes total sense to me. That's cool.

Brent:

Well, it's interesting. I feel like I have to kind of evolve my thinking. Like, I mean, chess is one where all of the information is known. Poker is a game where like most of the information is not known, I think. And like, as a result, whereas chess and life, like Pokemon, generally speaking, there's like an optimal play every time. And like so much of it is like sequencing, sequencing, sequencing a game like that is different,

Mike:

the

Brent:

like I have tried to think of situations where Pokemon would have a distribution curve like that. Whether or not that's like a good game design attribute. I don't know. That's interesting problem.

Mike:

well, so that, that reminds me grant had a funny tweet the other day. That kinda makes me think of that almost what I'm trying to look at

Brent:

yeah. He was, he tweeted each. We did some, sometimes you, you have to do the optimal play to to like throw your phone and off the suboptimal. play to throw your opponent off the center. Kind

Mike:

Yeah. Very, okay. Yeah. Sometimes it's correct to do suboptimal plays. So it's not to clue in your opponents where they should be doing depends on the situation. And I think that's true. I've definitely like in random games, like done things to not give away information or to make them think that, you know, I have something else, even if it's like a worst play immediately, it might be if, if I've convinced them that I have, or don't have something, then they make that play than it was. Then it makes me, you know, my next turn, a better play than I would've been able to do or something. Yeah. It's very weird. So, so in that sense, I do wonder if there's like sometimes where it is a probability distribution.

Brit:

That's why I like the complainer's people who are very vocal are usually the easiest to play against because they just Telegraph things like that for you just like camp, like they'll just verbatim and be like, my hands sucks.

Mike:

Yeah.

Brit:

Heard. But yeah, I mean to come back there's, I mean, tons to pick apart or just to sort of focus a little more for conversation, but I think so much of it, like, I mean, it just goes a little deeper, I think, or at least like your, your foundation is one level lower, like, and so like what you want to accomplish, but then your game is just some positional. Like you just got to kind of decide what you're aiming for and what your goals are. And like, I think, and again, I think sort of to come back to something that you were saying too, I want to say that like, if it's like a slogan, a catch phrase, something that just like used to be used a lot more in Hearthstone is that it was the, you know, easy to like easy to play, difficult to master. So it was some quote, I can't not remembering

Brent:

what everyone does aspiration and their games are right.

Brit:

Right. And w and I think,

Brent:

that's like everything right.

Brit:

and I think Hearthstone accomplishes that well, just because, and I mean, I think we've talked about it before. I think it's, it's fine. Is it like kind of the randomness that gets like a ragdoll for being like why the top tier ladder stakes is like part of actually why the game is good at the same time too. And so there's often that like dichotomy between like, what's fun, what is good? And like, what is the chest simulator of, of this game? You know, what is just like pure skill, pure, raw, like intellect, where do I, where do I go to match wits? But anyway, so in Hearthstone, there's just always been so much attention on like, not wanting to change certain cards, just because. If you've grown, like familiar with the car and it suddenly does something new, that's just like a sort of bad moment for you. And like for better, for worse. I know, like, I think that like plenty of people complain about that and like, and in Hearthstone and games, like magic that have these like core sets that just like, regardless of where we are in time, like a handful of cards are always going to be illegal. That sort of concept, which Pokemon of course is doing now, but not kind of as explicitly, but yeah, so like they just, they put so much emphasis on those cards then, you know, last year for the first time in the history of Hearthstone, like there's finally a new core set and which again, just like opens up more design space and things like that. But I do think they do really prioritize things like, like new player experience, first-time player experience. And what's the other one that I'm looking for. Average sort of just like not, you know, they're not sort of predicating all of their decisions on this is some of what I talked about. I think the last time I was on, but it's just not designs are not made with the top tier play as sort of the only consideration. Yeah, and I mean, I, I do, I've complained about this too. So many, so many times when people are complaining about Pokemon or maybe other card games, like they want the solved game. And I just don't think salt. Like I think we, I mean, I'm sure some people are different. Like, I'd be curious to ask like Magnus Carlsen or something is like, it's chess, fun to you. Like something like that. But I just don't think that solve games are maybe fun. Isn't the right word, but there's this particular quality that they have. Or that they don't have the soft games that the unsolved games, I think just because they can always be, you know, it's a unique outcome every single time or something. Relatively speaking, like I think that's just why we gravitate towards these games, whereas like go and chess and, you know, are never going to be at the top of Twitch. And so it's, then, then just kind of an issue of like, how, how, like, unsolvable do you want your game to be like, is it just like figuring out sequencing? Is it flow charts? Like, is it, is it like sort of solved and kind of gamified way that it's just like, once you know, the flow chart, you, you don't actually have to play anymore. Things like that. And like, and I think that's where randomness plays such a vital role. Like we hate it, we hate it when we're on the bad side of it. But randomness is sort of like so much of like what makes the wheels sort of turn on these games? Is that like, without our sort of, you know, this version of it. I just don't think any of these, any of these games could exist. And like, I know there's like, you know, there's always randomness here and there. And like, like even, even fighting games, which usually are construed as like, just being like pure mechanical skill or something like there's, there's randomness in there, like there's combos that are, you know, that are called 50, 50. Isn't what a 50 50 combo means is that you know, the button that you use previously, it can combo into like multiple options. And so like, and those options might be like one might be high and what might be low. So you still just have to guess. And that's so random at the end of the day, sort of in some sense of the word, but people, you know, myself included very obviously just like keep coming back to those games for a particular reason. Yeah, I mean, I also, also too, like, you could probably be pretty reductive about it and be like, It's just all math, even still like all game design is just problem solving, which in some sort of senses, just like numbers. And obviously like in the coding side of things, it's just logic and so forth. But.

Brent:

Yeah. Yeah. I, I, I, I think I've already seen the articles about people like building programs to solve Wordles,

Mike:

Yeah.

Brent:

right. Cause it's too obvious, right? You're like, okay, like, realistically there's only so many, five letter words. We can, we can build a thing. I, you know, I realized, yeah, what I, what I didn't like about Wordle. We did Wordle for like, I don't know, a week. And I knew what was funny about it, even now, when I see people post their like Wordle results, every time somebody gets, gets like a black square and then like four green squares and then five green squares, I'm always like, I'm gonna give you a pass. Assuming people are playing in hard mode and they're always putting in words as opposed to just random characters like that. There's no reason why that word couldn't have been the word. Like,

Mike:

Wait, wait, what do you mean?

Brent:

like, like, like if, if, if you got, if you got four greens for like blank race and then you guess grace and they're Like. no, and then you get trace and they're like, well, you're right. Like I was Like I'm always like, ah, yeah, I'm going to give you a pass because

Mike:

Like you could have gotten to one more

Brent:

yeah, Like why, why was it tracing that grace random.

Mike:

yeah, yeah, yeah. Okay. Yeah. Th th th the one cool thing that I do like about Wordle is that there's like two pretty, I'm sure there's many strategies, but I feel like there's two pretty distinct ones in that I know. So like Sam Chen, for example, he always does the first two words so that it has 10 distinct letters. And it, no matter what, even if on the first one, he gets like two letters right. In the word, we'll always do a second one with five different letters, and that's like one way to do it. And he's pretty much guaranteed to get. In like five, then he can almost never get it in like three or four, but almost always get it in five. But the way that I do it is, you know, we just pick a random word to start with every day. And then we actually use the information from the first word and then go on. So in that sense, like it can be, you can approach it different ways, which is cool. And depending on whatever fun means to you, you can like do it differently.

Brent:

I, I like, I like how you're so open-minded that you can say whatever fund means to me, I feel like bed seems a cheating. a betrayal of a trail there. There's like, yeah. My personal feeling, it's hard motor bust. Like you can't just put in random letters, you have to put in words and like, you have to try to use the information you've been given because you're trying to solve it, you know? Yeah. This like, it's like optimal pathing is a, is a silly, but, so, so the one thing that is interesting there though is so you just put it in a random word to start.

Brit:

yeah.

Mike:

I mean like random, but we try to, we try to do a different word every day to make it a little more interesting. But in generally it ends up being something that has a lot of common letters though. So, you know, like cheat or clean or shame, like those are all things, ones that we've used recently, but often they all have like, you know, two or three vowels and some other common letters.

Brent:

right. So I, I had read an article saying that they had crunched the numbers and Solara. It was the best, first word.

Mike:

Nice.

Brent:

And so we, we, we have fallen into the, we always use the same first word trap, but I, I feel like I'm fine with that because otherwise you're random. Like, I feel like you're randomly picking a word. I don't understand how, like contributes to solve. Like that's not part of solving it because you're just randomly picking a word, you know,

Mike:

Yeah.

Brent:

just, just like the end, when you're picking viable words that like fit the information you've been given and they tell You like, you totally struck out and like could have been okay. I'm fine with that too. You know, I think one of the seductive things about Wordle. So I obviously I worked in online advertising for many, many years, and I was always telling people the thing that people love about Google ads as an advertiser is everybody thinks they're a great writer. Like Google ads is like, okay, you got to put it in like three words and then a sentence. And if somebody says, can you write three words in a sentence about your business? Everybody's like, yeah, I'm great at that. I can write the best sentence about my business or my product or whatever it is I'm doing. Like everyone thinks are great. So like the beauty of Wordle, it definitely fits into that like super easy to learn in that. Like you're like, do you know what any five letter words you probably could do hurdle? Like if you're like, guess this five letter word, like I'd be great at guessing five letter words. Cause I know words.

Brit:

I have like sort of a hot take on Wordles and these, these sorts of games. And I feel, I feel like the certain sort of like class of people who just like have this like deep deep-seated urge to present themselves as intelligent and they see something like this and they say, I have to be good at this. I have to sort of demonstrate my intelligence. And so, so for whatever reason, it's like, it's like, it's like a word game, something, something that's just like, like, if it were a number of game, likes to Duco or something too, it's just like, how do I, how do we just use like something so simple and sell it in a way that I'm like a savant about it? And I feel like, I feel like so many people are just like, look at how intelligent I am. I'm good at the Wordle. And it's just like, it's just like, you know, redundancy and pattern matching and things like that. It's not like a math problem or something. I mean, I guess it is a math problem, but it's not like sort of the proofs or something. I don't know. I just. I am cynical. I don't know why it's so popular. I guess it's fun. I guess I believe that.

Brent:

because people are like, I know words, therefore I'm probably going to be able to demonstrate how smart I am.

Brit:

Oh, I know where it's, but I know better words, something, something like

Brent:

Yeah. like everybody, everybody looks and says, my God, it took somebody four guesses to guess a five letter word. I know. Lots of five letter words.

Brit:

tell you who I, who I'm, who, or who I think this applies to afterwards.

Mike:

I don't know if you guys have seen, there is a, there's a Pokemon Wordle as well, Squirtle and I do that some days. It is significantly harder.

Brit:

That sounds fun. I might do that one.

Mike:

And so the hardest part of that for me, Is thinking of the Pokemon. There's also a large set of Pokemon that I don't know. So like if that, if it hasn't been a good card, I probably don't know it. So like for example, the, the, the squirrel, the other day was the pre-revolution of orbital. I knew what orbital was, but the only good orbital was the V in the VMX. So never had to know the three evolutions. And there was like the you know, the, the, the expanded one, but you only needed the basic. And so I still couldn't tell you what the

Brent:

Right, right. I, I rare candy and orbital every time. Why would I know. what the stage one of our beetle is?

Brit:

That's definitely something to stump me on. Like newer Pokemon that have had their evolution cards be good. And so I've never had a single reason to know the other ones. Yeah. I like, I definitely, definitely am not the encyclopedia that I used to be. Like, I, I mean, I just don't really even play the Pokemon games anymore, I guess. Like I don't, I haven't gotten diamond and Pearl or RCS. I don't really plan to, I might, I might get one of them eventually, but there's just a, it's not, I'm not, I don't consume it. Like I use.

Brent:

that's a perfect segue into talking about the, a Pokemon legends, RCS. We should talk about that for.

Mike:

So I, so Brett, you said just said, haven't you haven't gotten it. I also have not gotten it yet, but I intend to, I am a little busy this week, but I'm probably going to get it next week, maybe two weeks from now. It, the reviews have been really good. It feels

Brit:

Yeah, I actually don't like, think it's bad. Like I don't, I don't like, that's not my reason for not getting it. I actually do think it looks good. Do you assume it's a lot of fun. I just like, I don't have, I don't have a lot of time at all. And I'm just like happy with the one other game that I'm playing right now. And similarly, like, it's like, I guess, I don't know. So a lot of games there's always like a big gaming trend or something. Right. And so like, it was battle Royales at least in terms of like the multi-player games, but like where the single player games are as it's all just like, like breath of the wild Zelda sort of like knockoffs or like inspiration of just like this like new sort of way to present like a big open world with like all the like crafting and climbing and stuff. And I'm just like, frankly, like at ad nauseum, like with that like template I've, I've done it in the. I don't want it to do it again. There's there's other games coming out this year that I'm more interested in that I will be doing it again. And so I'm just like taking a break from the sort of concept of games. That's the only reason why I haven't played RCS. I think it looks great. I think it's like happy to see the game going in new places and like actually no cynicism on my part for not having it currently, but not.

Mike:

Yeah, right. What about your guys? Tell me, did you

Brent:

Liam has been playing it? a bunch, not, not as hardcore. I think as the Twitterati community that he plays for like an hour a night or something like that. But, but he's really, like, he says really good.

Brit:

That's something I've tried to catch myself that's recently because I mean, my Twitter is just largely the Pokemon community. I have like, I'll get like caught up in the hype sometimes and be like, and then like when it's done and be like, I didn't want this in the first place. Like, and that's what happened with me with like Pokemon snap, the more recent one, I was like, ah, it's not going to be a full game. I'm not interested. I'm not going to get it. And then, and then it came and everyone was odd is the best thing ever. You got to get it. You got to get, and I got it. And it was just every, it was just an hour long. Like it just nothing to it. And I mean, for some people like taking pictures, getting the best picture he can get. That's the game they're looking for. It's not the game I'm looking for.

Brent:

I was happy to watch other people's videos of their Pokemon snap highlights. And then I was like, okay, got it.

Brit:

Yeah. I mean, and that's what I knew. Like, I knew that I knew that and like, and just got suckered in with the hype with everyone else. And I like did that with like, I bought like celebrations and things like that. And I just like, I don't collect things. I don't have big ears or, you know, I don't know what I'm going to do with these. And just like getting better at it, learning not to be a victim of the hype.

Brent:

Yeah. I, I can't, I can't tell how like real or not real the hype is and how like different and not different, but Yeah. it seems breath of the wild Pokemon, but like, you know, my son was like, oh, you know, first of all, Pokemon I'll do that

Mike:

Yeah.

Brent:

totally down with it. Speaking of things, we're not doing a team challenge three. I feel like I've not heard, I've heard, like I've seen like one tweet of someone doing team challenge. I get the feeling that team challenge three just doesn't have a lot of like universal momentum in the galaxy this time.

Brit:

No. Yeah. I've seen Stephanie Ericsson posters you know, the, the league or the, the store that he's doing, because like you asked for one and, you know, but the virtually all I've seen about it, which is, which is much less even than team challenge too. I feel. Several people who definitely were all isle all in on the first few team challenges. And haven't said a word about it now. And like, I wonder if that just has to do with like the, that they changed the rules for some reason like that they sort of state your, your geography suddenly mattered for it.

Brent:

Yeah, I, and you know, I wonder if, Yeah, I don't know that's for a question. I got nothing.

Mike:

Yeah, I dunno, either. I looked briefly to see if there's leads in New York that I wanted to go and play on. And then I S I find them, I finally found where you can look to figure out, but then I decided to not to do it.

Brit:

It seems like a good, good point to end. And we'll have some like next set and talk about that next week

Mike:

Yeah.

Brent:

Yeah. It's it's coming, changing, changing the Metta is coming very slowly.

Mike:

Yeah. Actually I think like next week is like an acceptable time to actually look at the new set.

Brent:

Yeah, totally.

Mike:

not three weeks ago and two months ago. Like everyone else.

Brent:

Exactly. All right. So people, we like, we might work on live streaming the sun Twitch next week, and people can be leaving reviews and trying to be a guest on the show next week. And we'll be talking about the new set next week. Ish, lots of good stuff coming. And I assume Pokemon is going to be breaking tons and tons of announcements about the regionals in like just a few hours from

Brit:

tomorrow as you're posting

Brent:

Exactly, exactly. Right after I hit the post button, all the breaking news will happen. Easy stuff, guys.