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Frisco Del Rosario writes about chess960, women's basketball, minor league baseball, unsupported collectible card games, lettering in comic books, and Golden Age movies

Mr. Hankey knows when you’ve been tanking / he knows when you’re a fake 12/22/2017

I thought today I might’ve earned a South Park: Phone Destroyer PvP pack just for showing up.

Short of spending real money, the PvP packs are the best way to acquire useful cards. Each player vs. player win enables the opening of “loot lockers”, then three wins is rewarded with an additional pack of cards (which are said to include the rarest cards, for which I cannot vouch).
During events like PC Principal Shades Week and Pirate Week, another bonus pack is offered — PvP wins confer points toward earning those special event bonus packs.

The special event bonus packs foment sandbagging like nothing else. Players who don’t want to compete at whichever PvP level they’ve reached dump matches. After they’ve dumped themselves into lower ranks, they more easily win the points needed for PvP and especially special event packs.

This week’s special event revolves around Mr. Hankey the Christmas Poo. PvP matches award poo nuggets. Yup, win at SPPD, and receive pieces of shit. Win enough shit, and special event packs plus other prizes come available. Each bonus level is more difficult than the last, so players are sandbagging like crazy in the pursuit of bonus poo nuggets.

For two consecutive matches, my opponents stood there and waited to die. When the third came, I wanted him to tank also, because that would’ve been a better story.

I’ve requested a resignation button. Players who are tanking don’t have to waste time, and players who recognize that they’ve fallen too far behind in a legitimate match resign themselves to motionlessness. There should be an option for shortening this process.

My second tanking opponent died in 58 seconds to a combination of Hookhand Clyde, Dogpoo, Angel Wendy, and Buccaneer Bebe. 58 seconds is a big improvement over the earlier record, which was 1:15.

Playing against tankers is weird. For a few seconds, both players assess their draws, and figure whether they should make the first move. Nothing happens for an awkward number of seconds, until one character ventures into battle. Then there’s a little trepidation over the opponent’s reply, backed by maximum saved energy.

The first character reaches enemy new kid. Pow. Pop. Bang. No response.

Maybe you send another character to fight. Which reaches the new kid. Crash. Boom. When the enemy makes no move until the shockwave at the end of a health bar, then you can think about which of your cards will quickly get this crap over with. It’s then I enjoy  watching Mimsy plus Hyperdrive, which resembles the Hulkbuster Iron Man suit.

You have to wonder: What happens when both players want to tank?

I think that should result in an abbreviated bit of violence. If you’re watching your opponent do nothing while you’re doing nothing, you might think if you can score one energy bar before the time limit, you get something better than tanking, an actual victory. But he’s thinking that, too.

When both players recognize that the other is trying to tank, they might make bad moves on purpose, weakening their position for easier death. Then you’ve got players casting effects like Poison and Freeze Ray with no one on the field.

Bridge tournaments sometimes have flawed seeding mechanisms, putting teams in position where their prospects of winning the tournament improve if they lose a match. Of course, there came the time when both teams wanted to lose, and they had the integrity to insist on reseeding or re-pairing, whatever would prevent a fiasco.

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