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Arceus & the Uber metagame

Discussion in 'The Policy Review' started by locopoke, Dec 26, 2010.

  1. Mario With Lasers

    Mario With Lasers Why am I so shit
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    Unless it's something deemed as "uncompetitive", or "detrimental to competitive Pokémon", and thus gets restricted by a Clause (Evasion, OHKO). So, we could "ban" Arceus as long as we prove it to be uncompetitive, but not in the sense of being unbalanced, as both are not necessarily correlated, at least not in Ubers.

    I just don't know... how. My only experience with Ubers this gen was the official server's DW ladder, and I haven't found Arceus to be "broken" there (even then, there was no Team Preview and I used Ditto lol), even more "unbalanced" as in "use it or lose" or "Arceus is luck-based". I mean at least you know its typing, item and possibly moveset the moment you see it, you can't say the same of the other Ubers...
  2. capefeather

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    I was going to comment on the thread asking people whether they wanted to make a distinction between different degrees of "competitive richness" or "balance" or whatever, but it seems that people have gotten ahead of me. I'm glad that at least some people have chosen to admit that there is a difference between "playable" in the Ubers sense and "playable" in the OU sense. I generally choose not to make such a distinction because "balance" is such a subjective term, which is reflected in my no-banlist vote a while ago. I actually was motivated by the more "balanced" feel (imho) of pre-Arceus Ubers in comparison to post-Arceus Ubers.

    I don't know what I think about the OP in terms of supporting it or not. I do find it very interesting because it really does highlight the existence of (at least) two different mindsets claiming to be trying to make a "better" competitive game. Regardless, I really like that the two posts that I quoted were made, and I hope that they shine a light into something that is once again a fundamental difference of opinion and nothing more. I'm also quite pleasantly surprised that there actually is a difference in opinion because every time I entered #ubers the Arceus ban seemed to have unanimous support.
  3. cim

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    I'm confused.

    What do we ban for, if not because bans are to remove Pokemon that reduce the playability of the game?

    If the Pokemon in question don't reduce the playability of the game what benefit is their to remove them?

    If they do reduce the playability of the game, why do we competitively acknowledge the existence of such a metagame that should be by definition significantly less playable?
  4. DJXO9

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    Ubers is nothing more than a Ban List of OU that people have made into a tier, mostly because DPP Ubers was "competitive." Because it was "competitive", it was played in multiple tournaments, most notably Smogon Tours and SPL 1. Even then, the only reason it was "competitive" was because of a short-coming in the Shoddy's programming.

    The only Pokemon that should ever be banned are those that make the standard metagame uncompetitive. If Ubers indeed was competitive, that should be the standard. If we banned one Pokemon, I'm quite sure we would find more to ban, until we end up at the point we're at now.

    Edit: I just realized this conflicts with how UU is run. This can be closely compared though. When all of the UU Pokemon were dropped down, all OU and Uber Pokemon were banned, and a separate UU Ban List was started and called BL. No one ever expected BL to be competitive, and if a metagame happened to begin for it, it would seem fairly absurd to want to ban Pokemon from a ban list :/

    Edit 2: Another point I forgot to make is that is that it is virtually impossible for a metagame to be uncompetitive. The only way it isn't is if the opponents have different restrictions in what they can use, or the usual culprit, hax, even though that's present in every metagame.

    We should never expect a ban list to be competitive, nor should we work to make it competitive.
  5. bojangles

    bojangles IF YOU TRULY BELIEVE,
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    You're confused because you're still stuck in the OU frame of mind.

    Ignoring the fact that we're clearly still divided on the issue of whether Arceus requires banning, you're defining playability as balanced, which, as I stated before, is an incorrect assumption when considering Ubers. Ubers, by its very definition, is unbalanced, and thus another unbalancing factor does not make the game any less competitive or playable.

    In order to argue this point you're going to alter how you think about a metagame.
  6. cim

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    I intentionally did not define "playability".

    If Ubers is competitive (players can play to win and with a reasonable degree of reliability manipulate whether or not they do), and the metagame is competitive enough to hold accurate tournaments in (players that develop "more skill", however skill is defined, win), then what requires this metagame to not be the Standard metagame? Bans are supposed to fix problems in the game and enhance the game by making it more competitive, balanced, or however the common battler wants to define "playable" ... but if the Ubers metagame is so playable, why are bans necessary?

    On the other hand, if Ubers is not those things, it obviously shouldn't be played in official tournaments.

    It is my personal opinion that Ubers isn't playable enough to be used in official tournaments, and that if we actually do think the metagame is quite desirable enough to be official then something went terribly wrong in defining "Standard". Hence, "banning Arceus from Ubers" is unnecessary because Ubers is the ban tier; if the ban tier is playable / balanced / insert desirable traits of standard here then there is no reason it shouldn't be Standard. Basically, either Ubers isn't broken or it's broken...
  7. lati0s

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    Ubers is not the standard tier because it has traits that are undesirable to a large portion of this community and a large portion of this community prefers to ban pokemon so that we can have a standard metagame that includes traits such as balance and variety.

    Ubers however is still a metagame that is completely competitive, skill in playing and team building wins you games.
  8. franky

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    i have to agree with cim somewhat that the uber tier is able to hold its competitive scene very largely and its definitely competitive enough to hold accurate tournaments. however i think the problem here is that people are still in the mindset that the uber tier is simply a mere ban list. if something is obviously detrimental to the tier and yet you still have the mindset with the uber tier being a simple ban list then you're just slapping yourselves on the wrist. you're playing a competitive metagame with an infection in it - no matter the belief is, we have to shed through that belief sometime in order to make the metagame more playable. notice how i didn't say "stable", because it is in fact an unbalanced tier with, but since cim brought up the point that the tier holds this stiff competitive scene, it definitely deserves some sort of patch up to make it more playable.

    a lot of uber players with high profile can attest to competitiveness but i can't really vouch for arceus's ability to tear through teams, but it is obviously being brought up so in such cases like this and i think an exception would be suitable at this point. a little exception would not hurt at all if the reason behind it obviously is to make the tier more playable and we essentially need a major consensus from the community that arceus is in fact a problem to the tier. from reading a couple of post though, it seems as if people are defining the uber tier and they are losing focus on what they should actually do with arceus. there isn't really a super majority in the topic so the argument in this thread is moreover defining the metagame rather than focusing on the actual meat of the topic.

    my proposal is (assuming arcues is indeed claimed to be "overpowering") :

    -hold an "arceus clause". this should avoid adding another tier. this clause will turn off the use of this pokemon and is treated as an "evasion" or "ohko" clause.
  9. cim

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    Just to be clear, that's not what I was saying. I was saying that if this was the case, something probably went wrong with tiering, or we do tiering for strange, non-vital reasons.
  10. Chou Toshio

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    I explained this already. It's not just about making sure the best players win.

    It's also about avoiding over-centralization.

    You're making sure that you don't have Garchomp at #1 and Gengar at #2 at half Garchomp's usage. You are making sure that the meta doesn't comprise of only 15 pokemon with some extra gimmicks (the Ubers "OU" list was like what, 20 pokemon?). This does have to do with making the game more competitive, but it also has to do with ensuring a diversity and a desirable power level.

    Yes I'm aware that the above concepts are inherently vague and subjective, but tiering is inherently vague and subjective-- that's why we put it to a vote instead of using some sort of equation. Human input is needed to decide whether it is a "desirable game" or not.
  11. Delta 2777

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    This whole issue seems very simple to me. Yes, Ubers was never intended to be a balanced metagame, hence a tier with 'no bans'. However, considering that it is still [supposed to be] competative, and that it has been recognized in official tournaments (SPL and previously the Smogon Tour, although Arceus was never allowed there due to simulator restrictions) we should be allowed to make a clause or exception to the rule if needbe. The way I see it is that a line has to be drawn somehwere -- what if Arceus had a base of 255 in every stat? Would the reaction to Arceus's presence be any different then? If something is detrimental to the playability of a metagame then it is our responsibility to either fix it or not recognize it. I'm not saying an Arceus metagame is "unplayable", but it completely changes the tier, nearly doubling the number of threats that any good player wants to be prepared for.

    In my opinion it should be left to a vote, simple as that (obviously with only people that have PLAYED BW Ubers qualifying to vote; otherwise you're shaping a metagame that you know nearly nothing about, which is unfair to those who want to play a balanced metagame with "no bans").
  12. DJXO9

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    Since when has Ubers ever supposed to have been competitive? The very idea within itself is ridiculous, that a ban list would be competitive. They were banned because they were uncompetitive.

    The only reason it was included is because it just so happened that it was competitive enough for it to be included. Before DPP, the Tour was RBY OU / GSC OU / ADV OU, and now it will be ADV OU / DPP OU / BW OU, so none of that applies. The battles for SPL 2 are still in the works and are liable to change.

    This isn't a simple suspect test. It's about changing what "Ubers" is.

    People need to stop referring to Ubers as a tier. It was never intended to be a tier, let alone a competitive tier. It is nothing more than a Ban List for Pokemon too good for Standard. If said Ban List is competitive, good for it. But if it isn't, it's a Ban List of Pokemon banned because they were deemed uncompetitive for standard play -- why would we be expecting that to be competitive?
  13. Delta 2777

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    I dusagree with this. The distinction between Ubers and say, Borderline, is that Ubers isnt really regarded as a "banned from OU tier" (I mean, it is, but its more than that) but that it is a tier where no Pokemon are banned - a tier where any Pokemon goes - a tier where Smogon's tiers don't apply and anything you can use in a WiFi battle is ok. I don't see why something where all (or possibly all but one in the future) Pokemon are allowed should be considered a ban list for the "standard metagame" when it is so obvious that "Ubers" is so much more than that. You might say I'm digging myself into a deeper hole here by claiming it is a tier where all Pokemon are allowed, but even in a tier where anything is supposed to be legal, if something makes that unplayable (and it should be playable) - if there is one single Pokemon that overshadows everything else - it should be acceptable to restrict its use.

    If the word "Ubers" is the reason so many people are against this, maybe we should expand upon the Uber tier's definition/philosiphy.

    I'm probably alone on this but whatever.
  14. Fireburn

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    Ubers was a banlist, but over the years, as more Pokemon were added to that ban list, it actually became viable as a competitive metagame. A tier is defined by Smogon as a "rank for Pokemon into several groups based on their perceived power and usage in competitive play." That means, by definition, Ubers is indeed a tier, their is just no ban list on the Pokemon in place. It is still capable of producing a perfectly fun and competitive metagame. Just because they made the balanced OU uncompetitve doesn't mean they need to make the inherently unbalanced Ubers uncompetitive. Remember that a metagame doesn't have to be perfectly balanced to be competitive...or else would the OU metagame in 4th gen with Garchomp and Salamence be deemed uncompetitive, just because they contained Ubers?

    You contradict yourself here. You say that Ubers can't be competitive (because you say its just a ban list, which it isn't), but yet people still do play it, and when people play a game or some version of a game, obviously a metagame is going to develop. There doesn't have to be a tiering system or whatnot in place, people just have to play it. We could play Pokemon without any tiers at all, and a metagame would still develop. You also said in the same breath that no metagame is uncompetitive, which should also apply to the Ubers metagame as well. Its just a different kind of metagame.

    If you haven't played any Ubers before (which I doubt you have), I suggest you go play it for a good while before you just dismiss it as a mere ban list and say that its uncompetitive.

    (A bit off topic from the OP but I'm tired of the allegations that Ubers is not a competitive tier.)
  15. lati0s

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    whether or not we do tiering for non vital reasons depends on what you consider vital. tiering allows us to create a metagame that has traits such as diversity and balance that many people like and have come to expect. Our community would probably suffer if we did not do tiering. however if we did not tier anything and only played with all pokemon unbanned we would still have a perfectly competitive playable game.

    People who are saying ubers is just a ban list are missing the point. a pokemons status as an uber is defined by its exclusion from OU but ubers is also the name for a metagame with no pokemon banned.
  16. Firestorm

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    If Ubers was balanced without Arceus, then shouldn't that have been OU with Areceus as the sole Uber and UU as the old OU with the old UU + NU making up the new NU?

    This idea that you can't play Ubers competitively even with Arecus only exists do the the perversion of the word "competitive" in Policy Review and other boards on Smogon. If you're playing to win to the best of your ability within the rules of the game, you're playing competitively.

    I don't want to speak for people who play Ubers, but I always thought the draw to it was because there were no restrictions on Pokemon and it was about using all the powerhouses available? Are we going to bring Pokemon politics into that too?
  17. JabbaTheGriffin

    JabbaTheGriffin Stormblessed
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    Since you say you don't want to speak for people who play ubers but then try to define why we play it i thought i may as well jump in. As an avid uber player for years I play ubers because of the team limitations. There's very little variance in teams so it comes down to 1. sets and 2. skill. It's an entirely different monster from OU and it has nothing at all to do with the restrictions that are in place on it. It has to do with the resulting metagame. It's because of a smaller pool of viability. When only 20 mons are viable it produces a much different metagame that rewards different skills than the OU metagame does. I (and i assume many of the other uber players) appreciate what ubers in gen 4 rewarded. Ubers with arceus doesn't reward anything. It's pretty much a crapshoot and it's not fun at all to most of the people that have been playing ubers for the past several years. everyone that either has never really played ubers competitively on a high level tries to mindlessley throw out there that ubers is a banlist, not a metagame. But it has become a metagame. A metagame that a plenty of people play. I think for the sake of those players that play and appreciate the metagame we should do what they want, rather than trying to rigidly define everything. Who cares if ubers is nothing but a banlist. There are players that want to play it competitively. Let them decide how it's played. It's only fair.
  18. Chou Toshio

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    I hate to bring up the whole "philosophy v. pragmatism" argument again but that's really what we have here.

    Point 1) Obviously, allowing a "ban" in Ubers based solely on power (and not luck/uncompetitiveness) would irrevocably destroy the philosophy behind Smogon tiering-- this is where the big issue is. Banning Arceus is absurd philosophically.

    Point 2) We're talking about the simple in-out of a single pokemon in a circle of play the vast majority of us don't even play. Whether Arceus is allowed in or not has diddly-squat direct affect on OU, UU or any of their players. Speaking pragmatically, allowing the whole damn community to veto any decision by said circle about how said circle plays due to philosophy is equally absurd.


    There are so many players in the community who just want to have chance to lead by the voice of pragmatism (just look at the "follow game mechanics perfectly" poll), and yet we as a community end up falling flat-faced every time we try. In the end, Phil had to play babysitter.

    Frankly, it's embarrassing to eat dirt on this issue at every turn.




    Fortunately in this particular situation we can make a convoluted back-hole to have our cake and eat it too. We just have to play with definitions a bit. The below is for those philosophical die-hards who can't just chill out and let people play.

    1) Define OU and UU as "Standard Tiers" (or Standard Ideal tiers)

    2) Define "Standard Tiers" as being both Skill Based (better players rise to the top) and lacking over-centralization (built to have a certain degree of variety)

    3) At this point, Ubers is a ban list to make the "Standard Tier" OU. However, it is also played as a metagame by a circle of players.

    4) Separate the "ban list" and the "metagame" as 2 separate entities, you can even give them different names if you want like "Uber List" and "Uber Meta" for instance. Uber list serves as our list for OU, and Uber Meta goes and becomes it's own metagame like LC or CAP.

    5) Identify the Uber Meta as a metagame that is skill based but also overly-centralized. This is, in fact what Ubers is.

    6) Thus, define Ubers as a competitive metagame (able to have its own rules, bans, tournaments, etc.), while still leaving OU as the standard.

    7) Effectively, this allows OU players to do their thing and be the standard meta, while also giving Ubers freedom to make independent policy decisions.

    It should be noted that this does affect what types of bans that both are allowed to make.

    OU, UU, as standard metagames:

    A) Can ban based on uncompetitiveness (causes reduction of skill-based play)
    B) Can ban based on over-centralization (dominant to the point of reducing variety/balance)


    Meanwhile, Ubers, as a game that is only competitive, but not standard, can only make bans based on A, not B. In other words:

    A) Ubers can only make bans based on uncompetitiveness, not over-centralization.


    This is in fact, already how things work. Ubers has Evasion Clause, OHKO clause, Sleep-Clause-- it has all the regulations based purely on A and not B. All of the bans we made from 4th Gen OU (with the borderline exception of Wobb) were heavily contingent on B.

    Now, it's true that this still leaves interpretation as to whether Arceus can be banned under A. Under the above logic, it can be.

    Arceus doesn't reduce variety, it increases variety. That's why it's shaking up Ubers so much (if I am reading Jabba's and other's posts correctly)-- it's dramatically increasing the number of threats in a metagame that has been built around limited options. Adding variety inherently adds luck to the meta (the more variety, the more luck based on team-matchup becomes a factor). This added luck can be argued to be reducing the competitiveness of Ubers, or as Jabba has worded his complaint: "turns the match into a crap-shoot." That's a complaint about reduction of skill, therefore a nomination under uncompetitiveness, category A).

    The only things I have left vague and unanswered are what constitutes an infringement of A or B, what makes Double Team worthy of an A banishment while Discharge is not. What makes Groudon worthy of a B infringement while Tyranitar is not. The two terms are inherently vague here-- but this is where the judgment of the players comes in. The players themselves, have to decide what does and what doesn't infringe on A or B. This is why, despite any degree of theory and philosophy, all tiering decisions ultimately have to come down to subjective judgment-- to the vote system.


    Follow the above logic, and maybe we non-ubers players can live and let-live and let the Ubers guys do their own thing in peace. >___> Let's get out of the way and let them make the decision!

    Edit: On recommendation from Eric the Espeon, I changed the word "competitive" to the more concrete term "skill based"
  19. Blue_Tornado

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    I do get the idea of "Ubers is an official metagame so it should be competitive in some degree", but the whole idea behind the tier is that it's a 'everything goes' tier. If we want to balance it in any way possible, we may as well create another 'everything goes' tier which, eventually, will be made official as well. So, no.
  20. kd24

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    why would an "everything goes tier" with arceus allowed become official and played if the whole point of this thread is we are trying to get him banned from the 'everything goes tier'?
  21. jrrrrrrr

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    What metagame ISN'T dependent on team matchups? The issue Ubers players seem to have with Arceus is that it adds a bunch of new ubers to the mix, and they can't prepare for all of the new broken pokemon. What if instead of Arceus, they released 17 separate pokemon, all with great stats and great movepools and different types? Would you want to ban all of those new pokemon because it makes the game a "crapshoot"?

    There are plenty of luck-based elements in competitive pokemon, team selection is the one thing that you have complete control over. If you can't account for all of the threats, that is a problem on your part and not the metagames. It's perfectly acceptable to build a team without "countering threats" in mind, you can always just have an offensive strategy and stick to it. Does anyone else remember when finding new strategies was actually valued in competitive pokemon instead of banning everything new that turns out to be good? If people are seriously saying that team matchups are luck, then this whole community is screwed when the next generation of pokemon comes out.
  22. Aldaron

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    Um.........why are people even attempting to say that ubers (IN PRACTICE) is "just a ban list."

    We seriously need to get over this. Ubers is not a banlist; it is a metagame that has a significant enough following to worthy of expansive analysis and written work.

    Ubers may have started off as a ban list, but it evolved into a metagame.

    Let's also not forget that WE BAN THINGS IN UBERS ALREADY...NOTE CLAUSES.

    Don't cry to some (irrelevant now) reference about "ban list" when we ban things in an effort to make it playable as it is.

    This argument shouldn't even be about whether not we should ban something, because we already do and have for 7+ years now.

    It's about whether or not Arceus makes ubers unplayable, so let's keep solely at that.
  23. Philip7086

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    First, I wanted to thank Chou Toshio for making the best post in this thread. For those of you confused as to what's really going on here (and judging by a few posts in this thread, there are quite a few of you), please read his post for a good summary of what the real issue is.

    I've put a lot more thought into this subject, and I think I have warmed up to the idea of changing Ubers to a tier rather than a ban list. Even though it started out as a simple ban list, over the course of the 4th generation Ubers has grown into something so much more, and restricting ourselves by this old definition now puts us at risk of alienating a decently sized chunk of our community. Since Ubers is something we created as a community, I don't see any reason why we should not be able to mold it however we as a community see fit. I think there is definitely a large enough following to merit this "ban list" becoming a full fledged tier. This will require some redefining, and I think Chou started off on the right track. I'll leave things open to discussion for a bit here, but expect an announcement from me soon with instructions on how we'll proceed from here with regards to "Ubers".
  24. Kristoph

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    There is no "is Ubers a banlist or a metagame? Should we change it from one to the other?" issue here. It is already both (we just call them both Ubers), and now it's just a matter of whether the Ubers metagame (which already exists) gets an arbitrary restriction (which only exists because some people mistake the Ubers metagame for the Ubers banlist) removed from it or not.

    So there is no philosophical issue with banning Arceus. It would change the Ubers metagame, which already exists, from a metagame that uselessly mirrors the Ubers banlist, to a standalone metagame that once used the Ubers banlist as a baseline. It would also make is slightly more apparent that we should rename the metagame to avoid confusion. That's pretty much it, though


    I don't think these steps are necessary (obviously I already think the "separate Ubers into two separate entities" step is unnecessary because they are already separate). I think they only apply to people who demand that the "first balanced metagame is OU," which is a useless, insanely-outdated philosophy that we should all just ignore now. We don't have to define the Uber Metagame in any way, and can just let the people who are interested in "a metagame with no initial banlist" vote however they want. This will probably end up filling the same niche in the community that "banlist-mirroring Ubers" did, but it could instead change into some balanced "Ubers-lite" sort of environment that some old Ubers players don't like that much. Both of these results are totally fine as long as they're guided by a pool of players who care about the metagame and have a stake in its level of balance. There is no practical reason to outright define Ubers as imbalanced unless we're absolutely terrified of alienating a group of players (Ubers "purists") who may ultimately prove to have a much smaller presence in the community than we are led to believe.

    But if we really want to chain ourselves with outdated policy (the first metagame is the first "balanced" metagame! why? silly boy, that's just the way it is!), then I like Chou's solution. Seems like there's pretty much 100% no reason for that, though.
  25. locopoke

    locopoke indulges in unsavory behavior
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    If all 17 of those Pokemon had 720 BST and access to practically every move I probably would support banning them or taking Ubers out of every official tournament. But no, we don't have 17 separate Pokemon with great stats and movepools, we conveniently have one Pokemon with an ability that allows it to be compared to 17. I don't see any reason why we shouldn't be able to ban it if we deem it broken in the Ubers metagame. The enormous amount of support for carrying the Inconsistent ban over to Ubers proves that people are willing to customize the metagame to our liking.

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