Monday, February 15, 2016

Thoughts on PePe & the Adjusted List

Today I'm going to go over some of the implications of Konami's new Adjusted List. Yeah, I'm aware that this blog is basically dead and that barely anyone will see this. Also, keep in mind that I quit playing in the summer of 2014, so take my opinions with a HUGE grain of salt - but I'm here to offer them anyways.

The idea of an Adjusted List is probably not a bad one in and of itself, but Konami really screwed up the implementation of it. It's essentially an emergency banlist change to prevent PePe from ruining the playing experience, but they're also trying to compromise by allowing it outside of high-level events in an attempt to soften the impact on the people who invested in the deck.

So how did they screw it up? Well, the entire point of using PePe is to win, and winning is most important at the very kind of events that are affected by the Adjusted List - YCS, Regional, and UDS events. Meanwhile, regular people who go to locals expecting a lower level of competition can still get their asses destroyed by PePe decks.

In other words, they got it backwards - destroying the value of the deck by preventing people from using it where it has the most worth, while still allowing regular people to be crowded out of their local scenes because of their inability to compete with PePe's power. Nice job, guys.

Anyways, let's talk about the deck itself for a moment and how that relates to the creation of the list in the first place.

The simple fact of the matter is that PePe is your stereotypical alpha-male Yugioh deck: too expensive for your average player to be able to justify picking it up, and too powerful for almost any other deck to compete with it. Allowing the deck to remain playable essentially ruins the experience of playing the game, because you either have it and win, or don't and lose. But at the same time, as we discussed earlier, freeing everyone else from the deck's wrath then proceeds to sink the investments of the small minority of the playerbase who decided to pick the deck up.

If you're the (rather common) type of player who just doesn't like meta decks or the abundance of a specific kind of deck, then it's easy to just laugh at people who invested in the alpha-male deck and scold them for having done so. But in reality, not getting the deck is not always that simple. Yugioh is just not that much fun when you lose. Personally, as much as I hate the prevalence of strong decks that make it difficult to enjoy the game because they deal you losses all the time, I find it hard to blame people for trying to use whatever they think will reduce the chances of them losing the most.

After all, deck choice is like an arms race. Just because you decide to try and protect your wallet doesn't mean anyone else will do the same - in fact, the more people shy away from powerful decks out of the fear of them getting hit, the easier it is for people who continue to play such decks to win. Conversely, once some people get these decks, more and more people will need to get their own in order to stay competitive, fueling a preponderance of the same strategy which everyone then begins to hate.

One of the only ways to stop this cycle is by using the banlist to weaken things. So in the end, Konami made the right decision to stop the PePe train quickly before things stayed out of hand for too long. We just have to remember not to blame people who obsessively reach for whichever decks they feel are the best, because at the end of the day, they're just trying to make this experience suck a little less.

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