Distilled, 80 proof
Join Date: Mar 2009
Hello everyone, I know we've only very slightly begun with this whole gymstravaganza business, but I think even at this early stage it's apparent to me at least that there are a few problems with the way things are playing out. First and foremost, imo, are the clear and formidable arena advantages of several of these gym arenas for the Gym Leaders. Now I'll preface the rest of this post by stating that I do not think my own arena is immune to some of these concerns, but I will reference its particular qualities as examples, since I know them best. I'm not trying to be an asshole. That said, when I look through some of the arenas I see quite a bit of overcompensation for potential counter-teaming, and the overcompensation takes on pretty much two forms.
The first is the "B8P3vB3P3" format. This system is admirably designed to avoid counterteaming by the Challenger, but when you look at the diversity of secondary typings, the uniquely advantageous Abilities, and the vastness and variety of movepools for most of the GLs' Pokemon, the B8P3vB3P3 format actually seems more like an opportunity for the GL to counterteam the challenger.
The second is the nerfing of types that can damage the gym's theme-type super-effectively. While I understand the anxiety around having a Steel or Electric or Rock-type gym and facing a team of all Ground-types, there just isn't any way that three or more Pokes on a GL's team can't handle a type disadvantage in any way, be it by secondary typing, movepool, Ability, or even by Item. Cutting the BAP of incoming SE attacks is skirting the line of unfairly removing legitimate tactical options from the challengers, while all the while the GL is free to pick on every last weakness the challengers' Pokes may have.
Most of the gym battles so far have included both of these elements, and from the (not-completely undeserving) blowouts (but still...) we've seen so far it's clear to me that together these GL advantages make the Gym League pretty futile to try and get through unless your plan is to mirror-match every gym AND outplay "the best" battlers in ASB. If I were to make a suggestion, then I'd say one or the other of these things is just fine because having both breaks your gym and each are tremendously advantageous if you agree with my previous two paragraphs. In my gym I've given myself a sizable advantage by allowing myself two teammates with which to counterteam my opponent and an extra mindgame boost with Zoroark's Illusion Ability. Beyond that, I am aware that, exactly like the other GLs, my Darkmons are amongst the "best-trained" Pokes in ASB and have the movepools, stats, typings, etc. to not get dumptrucked by a team of Heracrosses (my match with Rediamond will be a close and fair fight, despite his counter-teaming me probably as best as possible, because of my aforementioned advantages), so I leave it at that. Electric-types have Magnet Rise, or better yet Levitate. Flying-types have Roost. Bronzong has no weaknesses. Everything learns Counter. You get the point.
That's not even considering perma-weather or made-up weather or arbitrary move restrictions based on typing or other things that add even further to the uncompetitiveness of the Gym League as it stands. The root of the problem, in my opinion, is the pressure on us GLs to win 3 out of our first 5 matches (or 50+% of total matches at all times) or else face deposition or challenge for our positions. Of course, given near-complete freedom to manipulate our own battle conditions, we would overcompensate for theoried weaknesses, especially since monotype teams are more or less a competitive joke in every other aspect of Pokemon and that's how we all think of them.
There is another problem with this 50% rule in that I imagine we will one day expect to have an E4 and an ASB Champion, but with overwhelming arenas and each GL winning a majority or vast majority of battles, there won't be anyone around long enough to spend the years, yes, calendar years it would take to challenge and rechallenge (statistically likely due to the rule) the gyms, wait in the queues, go through the weeks-at-time battles, and actually earn enough victories to get to that point. Players with the goal of becoming Champion would be too easily discouraged by 17 gyms where you strategically suffer for using SE moves AND get counterteamed by 50+ move monsters. As the League stands so far, I don't think I would be very hopeful trying to make any kind of progress toward earning "badges" (not mentioned anywhere, btw; maybe no one's expected to ever get one?); instead I would probably just use it for the counters and a neat, one-or-two-time experience.
50% W/L should not be the minimum; it should be the goal. If you've won 10/10 gym matches as GL, your gym is broken and needs to be fixed, and if you're 1/10 as GL, you are being too easy on your opponents. I don't see anyone out there spending months and months building up a strong team of Dark-types just in case I lose my first 3 battles as GL, so I think this rule should be abolished along with any shame or hurt pride or whatever that could come out of losing a gym battle as GL. A "lifetime appointment" as GL in this forum is not going to step on anyone's toes; in fact, most of the folks who lost their GL battles have quit or politely stepped aside (I said most), so the next time the issue of "taking turns" comes up will be when we've already got 17 full gyms up and running AND THEN someone new wants in on the GL game. In the meantime we can enjoy an RP that is damn near impossible to beat instead of completely not worth trying at all.
EDIT because Jesseus mentioned it on IRC: To any "just testing so chill out" responses, I would just respond that you don't test out different cars by driving them all at once. How will you know what to cut when any one aspect could push your advantage overboard? The goal of this post, besides to take the weeks-long conversation off IRC and onto the forum, is to remind the other GLs and gym mods that ASB is designed mechanically to limit unfairness and inequality as much as possible while still allowing for variety and strategy to keep things interesting. That is why I belive it's so unessary to take such strong precautions against potential threats. I like clever and/or unusual arenas, but when it comes to an arena's competitive aspects I'd rather lose a fair fight than win a fixed one, and I think the arenas currently being "tested" and counted toward the GLs' official W/L records are more fixed than they are fair.
"You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not." - John Lennon
Last edited by Korski; Mar 22nd, 2012 at 3:33:40 AM.