- Pokémon Trading Card Game Live was barely functional as a new expansion of cards was released.
- Players encountered all manner of errors, some caused by heavy traffic and some by sheer bad implementation.
- Problems were worsened by the dropped support of the previous client, PTCGO.
The Pokémon Trading Card Game (TCG) has released a new expansion in the form of Scarlet & Violet but, what is supposed to be a happy day in the world of the TCG has turned sour due to technical problems in Live.
As a quick primer Live is the online client that allows Pokémon TCG fans to play against each other from all over the world. Live has been in beta for more than a year now and is infamous for its shoddy construction, non-functional code, appalling graphical design, a UI that seems incompatible with humans and much more.
For the majority of the community Live has been avoided up until now by simply using the older client, Pokémon Trading Card Game (PTCGO). Unfortunately official support for PTCGO has now ended and the new cards from Scarlet & Violet – as well as a host of gameplay changes that accompany this expansion – have not and will never be added to PTCGO.
This leaves players with only one option: migration to Live. With al the aforementioned problems with Live now worsened by this influx of new players, the launch of Scarlet & Violet has been disastrous.
We’ve been following Live’s development and jumped in ourselves to see how bad it is last month, sacrificing a PTCGO account that is more than a decade old in the process, as moving over to Live requires the migration of accounts (this is a whole other mess we won’t get into now).
We personally watched the launch of Scarlet & Violet late into the night and it truly was a train wreck. Below here are some game-breaking problems that we either experienced ourselves, or saw unfold in the community. Please keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive list, which makes it all the more “impressive” –
- Inability to log into Live,
- Rewards of all kinds not being given to players, with the biggest offender being the Miraidon deck,
- Several new and old search cards producing the “no valid cards” error,
- New cards stating that they have actually been subtracted from collections, instead of being added to them,
- Extremely slow animations on some new cards,
- Non-functional new cards, or new cards not working as intended,
- The older card Scoop Up Net is so broken it has been temporarily banned,
- Older card Golurk V is also broken but has not been banned yet,
- Rotation was implemented early without warning players,
- General game crashes.
On top of this we also have to mention that the release of Scarlet & Violet does nothing to address long-running problems with the game that would have been unacceptable when the beta first launched, let alone now.
Problems like massive overheating and battery draw on mobile devices, for one. We booted up Live to check some of the aforementioned problems above and our gaming laptop that runs proper games ramped up its fans and it got hot to the touch just looking at menus. When a piece of hardware made to run AAA games can’t even smoothly play a piece of TCG software, you know something has gone wrong.
Pokémon is one of the biggest franchises in the world and, by some metrics, the biggest media company ever. The TCG is also more popular than ever before, experiencing a second wave of hype that has not been seen since the original mania in the late 90s and early 2000s.
Live would have been an embarrassment for a first year university student, or a gamejam title made in 24 hours. For Pokémon to continue fumbling with it after more than a year of beta is simply inexcusable.
The disastrous launch of Scarlet & Violet is just another sign that this ship won’t be righted any time soon.
For more on Live and its failings so far, check out the video below from TrustYourPilot. This user has been an advocate for fixing Live since its launch and, at one time, as the most popular Twitch streamer of Live in the world. As admitted by TrustYourPilot multiple times this “achievement” is a joke, because TrustYourPilot was the only Live streamer in the world for much of the last year.