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Fixing UU

Discussion in 'The Policy Review' started by jrrrrrrr, Jul 11, 2009.

  1. jrrrrrrr

    jrrrrrrr wubwubwub
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    If this would be more appropriate in The Policy Review, can someone move it there please? I just figured posting it here would get more attention.

    Ok, first of all, this topic is not designed to offend anyone running the current UU process. I was originally supposed to be running it but I ragequit so yeah...it would be pretty hard to criticize the people that volunteered to fill in for me once I left.

    With that said, the biggest mistake people make when discussing UU is automatically assuming that it is "OU lite", so they think that the same things that work for the OU suspect tests will work for the UU process. This isn't OU, it is an entirely different playing style with entirely different pokemon and strategies, not to mention that the tier is constantly undergoing huge changes unlike Ubers and OU. The current suspect test process is extremely flawed, and me and jabbathegriffin have come up with a solution to fix it:

    - Be a little different with nominations, taking more of a "common sense" approach rather than a "strict adherence to characteristics" sense. This might mean being a little more strict, it might mean being a little more lenient, but the point is that this aspect of the process needs to be tweaked. Once again, no offense to the people in charge, but I don't see how people who don't play the tier could be qualified to know if someone's reasoning is legitimate. Like, this example: http://www.smogon.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1939869&postcount=7. Here, we have a bunch of damage calculations sorted out really nicely, and a "good looking" nomination for Mismagius. However, if you actually look at the calculations together instead of individually, you would see that Mismagius actually loses most of the matchups that the poster is talking about (most notably those against Umbreon, Crobat and Registeel). Someone who had actually played the metagame would know that Mismagius doesn't stand a chance against those pokemon and would have been suspicious of that post from the get go. Most of the comments left on the nominations were along the lines of either "I wish you explained this more (not specific enough)" or "a more general explanation would have been nice (too specific)". I feel that having a group of people that consistently plays the tier doing the reading would avoid those explanation problems and make the nomination process easier for everybody. If someone reading the nominations actually plays the tier, it should be pretty obvious if a voter knows what they are talking about. This is the least important of the concerns and the easiest to fix, so I figured I'd get it out of the way as a precursor to the more serious problems.

    - The one-month period where we play a metagame without the suspects in it needs to go. It is completely useless, and it skews the voting to an immeasurable degree.

    First of all, having this one month testing period leads to people who get access to vote, but do not have any idea of what the metagame was like BEFORE the suspects were banned. This leads to a lot of eligible users who either decline to vote (as evidenced by the current uu voters thread), or the opposite problem, people who vote based on what I would call "improper knowledge".

    Secondly, removing the suspects turns the question people are voting on from "is this suspect broken?" to "which metagame do you prefer?". The whole point of the suspect nominations is because people do not think they belong in UU. Letting people play an entire month without them in UU is obviously going to skew the opinions towards voting the suspects BL (because they just played an entire month in a virtually non broken metagame). The nomination process is supposed to be about investigating the suspects, not the metagame.

    Finally, since they can't play with the suspect during this one month process, how are they supposed to know if its broken or not? The very idea of taking the suspects out compromises peoples opinions on the matter. Could you imagine if Jump and Aeolus made a post tomorrow saying "ok, to see whether or not you think Garchomp is broken, we are going to prevent you from using it"? That is what the current UU process is doing. Jabba and I propose removing this part of the process completely, since it is not only useless but it also goes against the entire idea of a suspect test.

    - There needs to be a process of bringing back things that were voted BL back into UU. Since the metagame shifts every single time there is a new tier list put out, and every time there is a suspect test, the tier is constantly fluctuating. There are some things that are currently BL that many people do not feel are BL anymore, and this problem is only going to grow as more things are voted out of UU. For example, Raikou and Froslass were both hotly contested before they were even banned, and now that things such as Registeel, Chansey, Rapid Spin Hitmontop and Dugtrio are popular in UU, there is a pretty good chance that these pokemon may not even be broken in the tier anymore. The current system has no way of accounting for this, making the same obviously flawed assumption that sparked this UU testing process in the first place: that something that was once BL will always be broken in UU.

    Jabbafat and I have been talking about this for a while, we'd like other people's opinions on this.
  2. cim

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    This all sounds good on the first read through. Anyone who's talked to me knows I like the UU process a lot more than the OU process, but these are all valid criticisms.

    I think the current system could be tweaked to something like this:
    6 weeks normal play
    Week 7: UU ban nomination Same process, but instead of a 10% of nominations thing, any sensible nomination goes through. After all, the vote is the "popularity contest", not the nomination. The nomination shouldn't be one too, just because some people are more pro-ban than others.
    Week 8: Gap. Time for people to try Pokémon they haven't tried before.
    Week 9: UU ban voting. Same low requirements, heavily reasoning based system. Simeltaneous nomination of BLs to reconsider.
    Week 10-12: BL testing and voting. This has less priority as the suspects were (albeit briefly) tested in UU before.

    I think for UU in particular we keep the "pokemon power relative to the metagame" concept and do not do isolation testing. In case anyone had any ideas.
  3. Seven Deadly Sins

    Seven Deadly Sins ~hallelujah~
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    I agree with everything in this, with one stipulation.

    I think we need to take care of getting a balanced UU before even THINKING about what to do with former BL Pokemon. We can't fully gauge stuff's power until we look at it in a metagame that is stable.
  4. X-Act

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    Just a small question to UU guys out there:

    Since the calculation of the OU tier would potentially introduce new Pokemon to UU every 3 months, would that mean that UU would need testing every 3 months?

    If that's the case, how are you guys ever going to stop testing? (I'm assuming you're all going to finish testing at some point!)

    I think this is the most important point you need to have an answer to first.
  5. cim

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    I don't think there are ever plans to stop testing; i.e. there will be nominations every 6 weeks until eternity. This was at least how I thought it was originally planned. This is one of many reasons there is no suspect ladder or emphasis on testing a suspect.
  6. ToF

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    How can there ever be stability in the metagame if stuff constantly pops up as a suspect. As you've seen with Crobat, it was once voted UU, and might now be voted BL (from my impressions it will be BL). I think jrrrrrrr is right in saying we need to accomplish both parts of testing simultaneously. Playing with ALL the suspects in a metagame will make it easier to pinpoint what is broken and what isn't, either from the UU or current BL tier.

    I agree with your post wholeheartedly, look forward to this being implemented.
  7. Caelum

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    The post you're referencing the poster specifically was addressing checks and only checks. I read it completely different as an attempts to illustrate that even though those checks exist they can be seriously damage by Mismagius. I never read that as claiming Mismagius beats any of them. I probably would've gone back and examining it and rejected it, if it mattered. Any vote marked with "borderline" gets reviewed if I discover it'll even make a difference on its status. That vote was irrelevant to Mismagius' status so I didn't bother reviewing it and I probably would've rejected it anyway. I have other real-life commitments and it's designed so I don't waste my time on reviewing nominations that don't even matter.

    On the note of my comments, I'm not going to write an essay when I have to do them all by myself. If you want to make a comment on a decision, try PMing me when I can actually do something about it. I'm honestly indifferent to whether someone else wants to read them with me so "whatever".

    I like the assumption that I don't play and watch people play frequently, though.

    Or, the decline in people wanting to vote could be the product of the fact we don't use a suspect ladder. When you play the suspect ladder, you make a deliberate effort towards voting and understanding the metagame. With a singular ladder you are bound to get a good number of people that could care less. With the low participation on the suspect ladder, is it all that surprising there are a handful of people that could care less about this process?

    It exists because we are removing multiple suspects simultaneously. When multiple Pokemon are removed at once you run the risk of banning a Pokemon based on the group dynamic of when all of them were existing. By removing other potentially broken Pokemon, I'm asking the voters to ask themselves whether or not the metagame would be acceptable with "pokemon x" if "pokemon y and z don't exist in it"; if so, it's worthy of being looked at again, more closely. This process is establishing a prototype BL tier and the questionable ones will be just dropped down and examined again without a removal period. The voting for this was never "Is this BL?" the voting was "Is this acceptable in UU?". As a side note, if you've only played a broken metagame; how would you recognize a non-broken metagame? If you only played ubers and didn't have any idea what a non-broken metagame was if would be incredibly difficult to create one. That point is secondary anyway.

    That said, the tier is settled enough such that I was under the believe that the situation could be determined without necessarily the month of removal and was planning to discuss with GS / RB about either significantly reducing it or just removing it entirely in the next bout (if there is one). I 100% stand by the method thus far, but it's unneeded at this point anyway so I guess you'll get what you want for completely different reasons.

    On the note of "metagame preference", I ask them how they will be voting; just as you do in OU. If someone has a metagame preference, I can't stop them from lying. For example, the Deoxys-S vote I voted in. I was one of the few who originally voted OU. I felt it wasn't broken at the time and while I would prefer the metagame without it I didn't think it was broken. I could easily completely bullshit a characterisitic of how it's broken and gotten voting rights (this process didn't exist at the time) and then just voted on preference, but I didn't. That ultimately comes down to trust and I, nor anyone else, can fix that flaw in the system. If you think they are too stupid to be able to discern between preferance and "what is broken"; then you can be the carrier of that message when explaining the change because I'm certainly not coming out and saying that.

    And the suspects and the metagame are entirely intertwined. You can't examine a suspect without examining the metagame and vice-versa. I can study an electron by observing how it interacts with other forces, objects - this is no different.

    OU doesn't run into the same problems of incorrect removing due to a group dynamic when a group is not being removed and deciphering a non-broken OU metagame is substantially easier than something you have no experience with. It's a completely unrelated situation and isn't comparable.

    What makes you think we aren't re-examining Raikou and Froslass ? That's pretty much been the intention from day one that none of the rounds of voting were guaranteed permanent.

    -----

    Well, the formalities of it will be done probably be done by the summer and if things drop down we'll deal with it on a case-by-case basis. Testing won't technically "end", but it will for most purposes. Some things we might just ban outright if they are clearly absurd or if once they are dropped down they become a clear problem, just gauge public opinion and get a handle on what to do with it.

    -------

    Your post doesn't make any sense. I have no idea what your example of Crobat has to do with anything. Do you remember the Deoxys-S affair? I remember people first having it in uber, then OU, then uber overwhelmingly.

    You've played with all the suspects, I don't understand your point.
  8. ToF

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    The point that was trying to be conveyed was the idea that as of now, there is no way to test those Pokemon that have been voted BL back into UU. As the metagame changes, so might the tiering of those Pokemon that have already been bumped up. The example with Crobat was referring to the initial batch of suspects it was tested with. With the combination of Froslass, Gallade, and Staraptor, Crobat seemed underwhelming at best. However with their removal to BL, Crobat was the number one threat in UU, and immediately retested. With the addition of Dugtrio and Donphan, say Staraptor and Gallade are easier to deal with. There's no current system to retest these Pokemon based on the UU metagame we are dealing with. There needs to be a method implemented that allows both the Pokemon we've voted BL as well as a new batch of UU suspects to be tested to create the most 'stable' metagame.
  9. Caelum

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    If we deem they have another shot at UU with metagame shifts and changes (or if the vote was excrutiatingly close regardless of my opinion) we'll re-test them. That was the position from day 1 and has never changed. Froslass, Gallade, and Staraptor weren't notable as checks for Crobat anyway so that made no difference(if they were, I would've modified this to deal with it) and if voters are using a comparatively broken scale to determine a status; there is nothing that can be done about that. That's democracy and no model can fix the mindset of a voter.

    Something dropping down to UU can't make a Pokemon "more broken" (Abomasnow being the sole exception). If it was broken without it, it is broken with it. The only thing that it can do is create a road block to its ability to sweep. I've never bought into the theory that one or two Pokemon can make another Pokemon non-uber / BL if they didn't exist. If there was a substantial shift in the tides of the metagame, I would just accelerate the process and drop something down earlier.

    Sorry, but I still don't see your point =/. Maybe we are just on a completely different philosophical belief and I won't ever get your point so "meh".
  10. X-Act

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    Well, if that's the case, enjoy testing until eternity. I, for one, wouldn't enjoy doing that!
  11. jrrrrrrr

    jrrrrrrr wubwubwub
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    That is exactly my point. There are people who are eligible to vote that couldn't care less, only because there is a random one month time period in between using the suspects and voting on them. If we got rid of that useless one month time period, not only would people have a better idea of how the suspects actually play in the metagame, they will have a higher chance of actually caring...since their actions have a direct impact on the game theyre playing. With a singular ladder and a one month time period where nothing is happening, the number of people that don't care just skyrockets.

    This problem is easily remedied by retesting things individually, especially if people feel that the pokemon was banned for that reason. The current process doesn't do anything to show people what a metagame with one suspect but not the others would be like, anyways, so that group mentality is still going to be there. On top of that, the current process still doesnt account for the fact that things can be banned for reasons that aren't constant. We aren't only dealing with the removal of pokemon, we are dealing with the addition of them as well. Umbreon's removal, and Dugtrio+Donphan's addition into UU are going to have an impact on peoples opinions of some of the BL and BL suspects, and those huge additions looming in the background are going to be playing into people's minds as well to skew the vote, but that wouldn't even be an issue with the new process.

    We aren't looking for a "prototype BL tier", we are looking for a functional UU tier and an appropriate BL tier.

    Those are the same questions, if something is acceptable in UU then the answer to the other question is obvious.

    Once again, we are not looking for one magical fix that will instantly make UU not broken because that is impossible. We can't make a non-broken metagame in just one vote, we have to make it *less* broken, which is fairly easy to tell.

    I understand that you can't stop people from choosing the metagame that they prefer (especially under the current system), that is why I support making the voting process as quick and painless as possible...to stop that question from entering peoples heads before it even gets there. The one month testing period changes the focus of the game from "how does this suspect perform in the metagame" to "how do I think it will perform in a metagame that doesn't exist yet"

    If we were voting on whether or not the metagame is broken, then this would be more relevant...but we aren't. We are evaluating the suspect's performance in the metagame to determine whether or not it should be banned. We aren't evaluating the metagame in terms of "is the tier broken or not", we are looking to see if the pokemon are broken amongst its tier peers.

    That is because we specifically accounted for that group dynamic with stage 3, which is also accounted for under this new proposal. How does one potential way that someone could vote make the situations not comparable?

    Playing a metagame without a pokemon does not tell you anything about the pokemon's performance in that tier. How are we supposed to tell if Froslass is capable of enabling a teammate to sweep easily if we can't even use it to find out?

    The fact that there isn't a plan to reexamine these pokemon led me to believe that we aren't...which is why me and jabba thought it would be a good idea to propose.

    Yeah, that is what I think the main issue with the test is...we are only looking forwards and not backwards as well. Testing all the time is cool, but we need a system to go back and make sure that the tests are still relevant. That was the whole reason why we revamped UU and BL to begin with, because the BL list didn't make sense from a competitive standpoint. Most people would argue that the current BL list doesn't make sense from a competitive standpoint, and the number of people who would support a retest of BLs in UU is only going to grow after every vote. There is currently nothing in place to make sure that the new BL list consistently makes sense, and having the UU->BL votes is just as important as maintaining BL->UU...hence this topix

    If this is the case, then we need to start figuring out how we are going to retest them, which is one of the main reasons why I made this thread
  12. Great Sage

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    I'm trying to arrange talks between RB Golbat, Caelum, and myself to resolve how we should retest stuff.
  13. DougJustDoug

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    I've spoken with a few other admins about this, and we agree that the issues and disputes regarding the UU process need to be resolved ASAP. We also need answers about Dugtrio and Donphan, since speculation and theorymon has been rampant in the forums on the fate of those two.

    There are several compelling arguments presented in this thread -- but I am not going to judge which ones are the best right now. I'd prefer to see this situation resolved amongst the key participants here, and any other interested badgeholders that play a lot of UU. I think a chat on IRC would move this along a lot further than continuing debate here on the forums. But, we need a clear direction forward, and it needs to get moving now.

    Caelum, RBG, and Great Sage are currently in charge of the UU process, therefore I expect to see one or all of those people step up and get these matters settled without too much more dispute. If that doesn't happen soon, then I will consider alternative courses of action.
  14. Caelum

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    I'll respond to this tomorrow since I have to go see my brother who gets out of surgery in an hour-ish. Just a quick reply, Donphan and Dugtrio really aren't a big concern to me Doug. Most of the speculation is just questionable theorymon which won't pan out. They'll be fine in UU as far as I'm concerned.

    I'll discuss this tomorrow when I get a chance, though.
  15. jrrrrrrr

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    Would you mind keeping people up to date on this? Can other people help push those talks along?

    I really don't know how to say this without being blunt. Dugtrio and Donphan might not be a concern to you, but they are a huge concern to people who are actually playing the tier and they are an even bigger concern to people who are voting. This is a perfect example of what I was getting at, UU is changing far too much to have a lackadaisical testing process with no way of going back and changing things after the tests. Keeping this one month period only makes more speculation...
  16. Seven Deadly Sins

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    With all due respect, this is a terrible attitude to take, and is actually harming the tier more than helping it. There was a consensus between people that actually PLAY UU (me, jabba, ln, j7r, etc) that the more time Donphan and Dugtrio spend in the theorymon "think up reasons to ban me" stage, the less likely it is that there will actually be decent opinions formed. It's been my opinion, and IIRC, the opinion of all concerned parties (actual UU players) that delaying dropping Donphan and Dugtrio is just giving people a chance to get the wrong impression about it, and having some kind of floaty attitude about this is the wrong way to go about the test. In fact, if you've seen the UU threads right now, you'd know theyre full of random irrelevant bullshit that 1: skews perspective, 2: causes people to form opinions based entirely on theorymon, and 3: wouldn't be there if you hadn't told Doug to delay their drop.

    Also, about this one-month "testing period". A cursory glance at the UU Voters list shows one of the main issues with this: out of the people there (I would say 60 is a decent estimate due to alts), 12 people have already come out saying that they simply aren't voting because they qualified in a metagame that is irrelevant to the suspects themselves. On top of this, I'm willing to bet that there are many people that would have qualified in the relevant metagame (the one with the suspects present), that didn't now for various reasons, which does skilled voters a disservice. Finally, those that played in both months have been given an alternate metagame that not only proves nothing about the suspects themselves, but also puts a skew on their vote by allowing them to get a feel for which metagame they "like better". And while you can say "that's what the paragraphs are for", it's not hard using a bias like "I like this metagame better" in order to cause people to just root around for as many arbitrary reasons they can to vote something BL because they don't like having it around.
  17. RBG

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    I'll have time to post later with more detail, (and maybe be on IRC as well) but I agree that we should have the vote start as soon after the nominations as possible rather than waiting the month. As for pokemon that fall or rise out of or to OU, I will need to think a little more about that.
  18. Jimbo

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    I definitely agree with jrrrr/Jabba about the process. My main gripes include people not getting voting rights for not using the suspects...before they were defined. I think that's kind of unfair to people - They got the deviation so obviously they played a lot to see all types of Pokemon/teams, but if they didn't use a Pokemon that was deemed broken they can't get voting rights?

    Tbh I'm not quite sold you have to even use the suspects a lot even if they were defined. For example, you could say "I really think Shaymin is broken. To maintain a consistent win record I had to use a good 2-3 counters/checks to Shaymin because it dominates the tier so heavily" (Now this is just a hypothetical example) I think a person saying that with the required Rating and Deviation (and good paragraphs obviously) deserves the right to vote on whether Shaymin is BL or not.

    I also don't see the point of the one month period without the suspects, as others have said (all it does for me is make activity wane).
  19. kd24

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    I agree that right now, the prioity it Dugtrio/Donphan, tbh it seems like we are just sitting here waiting for very little reason. I also agree, with the fact that only holding voting for when the suspect is gone seems like a mistake to me, and I think some requirement or something needs to be done so people actually play with the suspect before wasting time on a ladder without it.

    However, if something is about to be done, I won't try and argue about this, but I still wanted to show my support for these issues.
  20. reachzero

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    I agree with Gay Dolphin that the month-long testing period is rather ridiculous; it really does not help us to determine the power of the Suspects, or give us any helpful information regarding the Suspects themselves. I also see no reason why Dugtrio and Donphan shouldn't be thrown right into UU if their usage currently dictates that they should be UU; there are no Suspects in the current UU metagame to be tested in isolation, or anything along those lines. It is also unreasonable to expect Dugtrio and Donphan to be Suspects until they are actually used in UU, regardless of what theorymon says they will be like.

    Regarding re-testing previous Suspects, I think we all agree that some sort of review procedure will be necessary, yet it seems that no one really knows how that would be done. The "when" seems pretty clear to me: "when there are no longer any new UU Suspects to test". I believe that we are already fairly close to that point, so I doubt that will take anywhere near as long as it sounds. The only new Suspects that I forsee are those that could drop back down into UU from OU (like meargle), and usage is stable enough that we can predict which Pokemon those are fairly easily. It seems to me that until we have the current Suspects clear, there is little point in re-testing the old Suspects.
  21. cim

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    Caelum's already said that he plays and watches UU all the time (and by the way he has alts), so I don't get why people are randomly throwing out "you don't play the tier" as an insult to him even after he's stated that he feels he has done enough. All the name calling will do is polarize the thread, and tiering issues are already tense enough.

    The best way to fix the Dugtriphan situation, in my opinion, would be to hold votes on the eliminated suspects now, then drop them in after they are gone, unless there's a really strong checking argument for any of them (in which case introduce the newly checked Pokémon in with Dugtriphan. We'll have to use theorymon to save time, but I don't think anyone really wants to retest EVERYTHING just because "oh shaymin might be affected by dugtrio" or something.

    Before anyone says it, no BL should be theorybanned.

    This should probably definitely be in Policy Review, by the way, unless an admin's noticed something the general public shouldn't see.
  22. jrrrrrrr

    jrrrrrrr wubwubwub
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    I wanted to wait until jabba and I actually ironed out our process before moving this to the public spectrum. This thread was more of an "are our ideas on the right track?" thing. And we weren't insulting Caelum specifically, I just feel it should be fairly obvious that the people running the tier should be active in it. The people running it have only good intentions but when the people in charge are saying things like "donphan and dugtrio arent a big deal" when literally every UU player has had them in the back of their minds for the last 2 weeks, then something needs to be fixed because it is clear they are out of touch. Now, not only has it been more than a month since anybody has even used the suspects, there are now 2 pokemon in the tier that are going to affect things even more. How are we supposed to tell if Honchkrow, Shaymin or Crobat are broken in the metagame when the metagame hasn't even been relevant to them for more than a month? Considering that GS and RBG hardly ever play UU and Caelum hasnt been on irc or shoddy in at least two months, I don't think the claim was that off base....It's not even meant as an insult and nobody took it as one.
  23. cim

    cim happiness is such hard work
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    I think what Caelum meant by them not being a big deal is that they don't need to be treated any differently than any other OU dropping into UU. That's what I got from it, at least. I can't speak for GS or RB, but I think Caelum kind of does a Jumpman and lurks on the server watching battles and whatnot.

    Anyhow I agree with your sentiments that shit needs to get fixed and done.
  24. Jumpman16

    Jumpman16 np: Michael Jackson - "Mon in the Mirror" (DW mix)
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    It was my understanding that Doug could use the Suspect EXP formula I made to gauge this kind of experience. No matter what tier you're talking about, there is now no longer any reason to rely solely on Rating and Deviation to determine a Suspect's tiering. I mentioned the applicability of the formula to Doug when we spoke on the phone in March and he agreed, and though I haven't yet posted about it in relation to UU it seems like common sense to me. What reason does the UU Suspect Test have for not utilizing the Suspect EXP formula to determine experienced voters?
  25. DougJustDoug

    DougJustDoug Knows the great enthusiasms
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    I can generate Suspect EXP for any pokemon on a specific ladder over a specific period of days. If it's not a long list of suspects, then it is not too hard to do. Heck, we are using SEXP for the some of the playtesting we are doing right now on the Create-A-Pokemon server.

    Do not misinterpret this as an open invitation to ask for SEXP reports on tons of pokemon all the time. For some reason, every time I mention some programming utility in relation to UU -- it turns into a request for a flood of data and work on my part (like previous requests for new ladders, constant ratings resets, special ratings calculations, etc). But, if we have a few suspects and we want to run the existing SEXP reports -- I can do that without much trouble.

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