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Hax In Pokemon Battles

Discussion in 'Smogon's Greatest Hits' started by X-Act, Mar 12, 2009.

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  1. RBG

    RBG Got a long list of ex-lovers, they'll tell you I'm insane.
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    Despite the influx of my favorite Pokemon to use (Tri-Attack Togekiss) to test the hax clause, not much has changed. Most battles end with the person who is winning getting credit for the win anyways. Even the battle when my Togekiss team was fighting Tangerine's Togekiss team that had absurd ammounts of hax (2 burns, a freeze with 5 tri attacks from me and 4 boosts from his AncientPower Togekiss) still ended with it counting him as winning.

    And while I'm am testing my Serene Grace pokemon, I want to ask Doug a favor. Would it be possible to unban Shaymin-s from the test ladder? Since one of the primary reasons it was banned was because of the "hax factor", testing the clause with it available would prove how fool proof it is.
  2. tennisace

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    I'd definitely support temporarily unbanning Skymin, the new clause could cancel out the hax that Skymin inevitably brings. Also: since my first battle was overturned I've been battling for hours without a hiccup, winning and losing when I should have. There was one case where I had a long shot of winning if something didn't crit and it did, but the clause didn't trigger. It may be something to look into, maybe tighten up the qualifications? I don't think the clause will come into play too often, but when it does it's always for the better.
  3. SoT

    SoT Yes please!
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    I'm all for this test. Hax has simply ruined to many battles, and has taken all skill out of the game, it gets old seeing people win when they're not supposed to. I know upsets are what make things interesting, but it's not the same as winning fairly, or getting some luck to help you win. As a matter of fact, I have quit Pokemon or left on extended breaks due to frustration over hax. I see many a people complaining on shoddy to so this test only looks like it will do good.
  4. Lorak

    Lorak *leekspin*
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    Now, I've got to be honest, I'm not really a great battler. I'm not too competitive, and I play more for the fun of catching and breeding for the best Pokemon that I can. What I do have to say, and what I hope is relevant is this...

    I came to Smogon through a friend. At the time, I had been into the Pokemon Trading Card Game, of all things, and enjoyed playing quite a bit. However, a new set of rules changed all that. Weakness and Resistance, which had always doubled damage and subtracted 30 damage from a given type, respectively, were suddenly going to be different. Weakness would now add a set amount of damage instead of doubling if it came from a type, and Resistance might be only 10 or 20. I was shocked, outraged... how dare the trading card game change a fundamental rule on how damage was done! I gave up the card game, and haven't set a finger on a deck since then.

    It's fortunate that this is only a peer idea from the community, but it's shocking that such a thing would even be considered. Besides the competitive level? There's a children's game to be played here. I'm sure ten-year-old Timmy would love to hear that he, in his pristine Action Replay-less state, has lost a game because of "hax". That he has lost for reasons out of his control, that it was unfair for his Fire Blast to hit four times and cause a Burn to two of his opponent's precious Physical Sweepers. Imagine Nintendo having to explain this to Timmy and all of his friends (or lack thereof :V) that he lost because he was lucky.

    If it weren't for my Artist badge, I probably wouldn't even be heard, because I wasn't in the competitive scene enough. I'm not even sure about those who say they support the game, but I know this: if such an idea were to be implemented in the video games, I'd likely pick up a new hobby.
  5. makiri

    makiri My vast and supreme will shall be done!
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    I've decided to finally chime in here because it seems to be gaining some support. Hax has never really bothered me and I can bring up the common cliche "hax is part of the game," and I will. RBY is considered by many to be the most hax intensive generation of all 4, games were decided by FPs and Crits, especially with how the Critical Hit rate was determined then. It was part of the game and you learned to play with that in mind, play like you won't get that timely CH and that your opponent can CH you at any time. I've played by this philosophy from almost day 1 and I've done pretty well for myself.

    The quality of wins during RBY is probably the lowest it will ever be, and if we were to utilize or test such a formula it belongs in RBY first. But because we have tried to emulate link battles as much as possible with fixes like legendary IVs, this formula has little place except in a clause that can be removed and added at will. We have our species clause, sleep clause, etc for competitive balance, so we have to ask ourselves, does this "hax clause" promote competitive balance or not? To be perfectly honest, no it does not.

    Hax is not broken, it is complete chance and the closest you can get to manipulating are abilities and moves like Serene Grace, Confuse Ray, and manipulating evasion (which is already banned). I go back to the ever common cliche, hax is part of the game, deal with it. You may feel sorry for your opponent when you freeze their Tyranitar with Porygon-Z's Tri Attack, but a win is a win and whether your opponent likes it or not it happened. Taking away a win because of hax like that is exactly like when a referee in a sports game blows a call and causes one team to win. Pokemon doesn't need refs so why add them now who knows when this "ref" will blow a call, the finals of a Smogon Tour?

    Hax has been there since RBY and we've even eliminated major parts of it (OHKO and Evasion clauses), changing the requirements that have been installed since day 1 for a win now would be completely and utterly ridiculous, be the first to faint your opponent with hax or no hax should be the one and only win condition.
  6. X-Act

    X-Act np: Biffy Clyro - Shock Shock
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    I'm chiming in briefly from my hiatus because I've seen something being recurred over and over.

    The rating and deviation of a player ARE a measurement of how good the player is. If you tell me "but what about alts?" I'll just respond with "that's the exact reason why I want alts banned!"

    I have never seen a chess player have an alt rating in my life. Alts really ruin the concept of a competitive ladder, simply because you can't be rated 1478/77 and 1565/48 at the same time. You are either one person or the other.

    About the formula iplemented in the new server, I'll just say that it is a combination of my ideas posted in the original post and Caelum's. Caelum did contact me with his ideas, and I told him that since this is just a test server, it doesn't hurt to try his ideas out together with mine. I'm glad that it seems like it's been working fine, judging from the posts I've been reading here.

    Back to my sabbatical.
  7. Calciphoce

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    I just have to speak up. Some of the replies in this thread are absolutely absurd and need to be dealt with.

    So? The fact of the matter is that your skilled manipulation of variables in the pokemon game didn't turn to you winning. Tough luck. Sometimes, luck can be manipulated into your favor. Such as is when "parafusion" takes place in a battle. One could argue that the hax is what screwed them over, but at the same time the skill needed to use such a great set is undermined. Furthermore I think that quite a lot has changed. I've been losing random battles left and right, simply because of this new clause. I won the match! The way Pokemon has always been played is that if I faint your 6 pokemon before you faint mine, I win. It feels wrong to change that.

    Need I remind you that Shaymin-s is still an amazing pokemon even without its "hax"? It's an amazingly speedy sub seeder with equally amazing special attack. This thing is still unstoppable. I ran a few tests on the private server and it even seemed like Skymin players won more often than without the hax clause.
  8. reachzero

    reachzero the pastor of disaster
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    I believe that at this point, it's pretty clear to those of us that have been using the hax-free server that it's simply a better game than the metagame without it. Every time I come back to the Smogon server (mostly to play Suspect), I find myself telling my opponent "too bad this wasn't on the hax-free server". With this is mind, when can we move on to talking seriously about implementing this on the main Smogon server? It seems pretty ready to me.
  9. Imran

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    I agree with reachzero, from my experiences of this formula it is not the monster that some users have made it out to be. The only matches that I have seen it turn around are those that are seriously in need of it. I see no reason not to talk about implementing it on the SU server, but I think we should consider fitting it in order of operations first. We should be diplomatic about this. That way, people can experience it themselves and then vote on it, which seems only fair considering we have given people the choice on every other "metagame change" so far.
  10. jrrrrrrr

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    If this formula doesn't actually do anything, what is the point?

    Yeah I used to think like this too, but then I realized that hax doesn't take skill out of the game. Hax IS the skill in this game. Obviously, getting a last turn crit against you is a pain in the ass, but we all know the risks are there.

    Would you drink something if there was a 6.25% chance it was poison? No, I personally wouldn't take that risk. Would you leave your Gyarados in on a Scizor, knowing that there was a 6.25% chance that you'll get critted? If you do that and lose, then you deserved to lose. I don't understand where people are getting this "i SHOULD have won" philosophy from, because the only person that SHOULD have won is the winner.

    Fair enough. At least if we adopted this position it would be consistent, unlike every other argument in favor of this formula.

    I'm not trying to attack you or anything, but if the formula doesn't actually do anything...then how is it better than what we currently have?
  11. RBG

    RBG Got a long list of ex-lovers, they'll tell you I'm insane.
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    Frankly, I find this bogus, many times when I use Togekiss, I find my self getting timely chains of 6 flinches on things that would have killed me. I don't call that "luck". It is a reckless abuse of chance. Why should we reward that?

    I would also add that many of the times that I use Togekiss and hax a win, it just doesn't feel like I actually won. Its like X-Act's situation he listed a while back about his Scarf Gar critting with a thunderbolt to win the game he would have otherwise lost. That isn't to say everytime hax happens it doesn't feel like I won. Only when it happens in large streaks and I know that the hax was the only thing that saved me.

    Also, do I need to add that when people use Evasion Moves, OHKO Moves, or break Sleep Clause while on wifi, they still lose, according to our standards, despite the fact that the game might say otherwise?

    Hi, please go back and look at how many votes in the Shaymin-s vote seemed to be because people were haxxed out of a few wins. It's like Jrrrrrr suggesting that Jirachi and Togekiss should be out because of the hax factor. I believe that Shaymin-s hax happens just barley enough to piss off people. Maybe it is because they weren't expecting you to use Shaymin-s and hadn't fought it in a while that their teams were not I would like it on the ladder because

    1) It is very much not unstoppable
    2) It would be the ultimate test.
    3) I think it is OU (bullshit reason, I know)


    @DougJustDoug: Last Night I was fighting Blue Kirby on the ladder and we had what appeared to be a relatively hax free battle. We each got equal crits that both KOed a major threat to our team, 2/3 Air Slashs flinched, and there was only one Fully Paralyzed that happened. As I KOed Blue Kirby's Skarmory with my Infernape, I fully expected that it would end up as a Win for me, when it actually gave the win to Blue Kirby. I got so mad that, without thinking, I quit without saving the log. Could you look at the formula and see what could have gone wrong with it?
  12. Calciphoce

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    At the point that you're getting 6 flinches in a row and your opponent stays in to get flinched all of those times, it's his own fault, not yours. Again, the SKILL of the player is what comes out here. It doesn't matter that you get lucky every once in a while, it evens out. Honestly I don't see how anyone can miss this key piece of information. It's so basic. Anyway scarf gengar isn't great to begin with.

    If someone thinks to use such pokemon that obviously turn the tide in their favor, they should win the match. Plain and simple. It's a competetive game, and it doesn't matter what it takes to win, it should be used. If that happens to be "hax" then so be it. Point is, you get haxed, you lose. Shame on that, but it happens. Get used to it. Play chess if you want something without any luck at all. Without "hax" pokemon becomes little more than chess, in fact. Though I know that if this clause were to be implimented, the more skilled players like myself would certainly raise to the top.
  13. Jibaku

    Jibaku Not taking FS requests atm.
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    Hello

    For the most part I haven't paid a super close attention on this thread to argue for anything, despite how interesting it is. However, if I'm not too late, I'd like to post my opinion in this matter.

    I have often felt what it is like to be at the end of a hax, and I've told people that I'm sorry if they get haxed by me in a battle. One side now tells me that this implementation is necessary. Hax is a leading reason why I can't ever reach the top five in Uber ladder, and the influence of hax is a lot, where offensive Pokemon run amuk and a single critical hit can easily put you out of commission. Inside of me, I've always kept the memories of terrifying hax, from the times I've been flinched to death and to one match when Maniac's Deoxys-A lead paralyzed and critical hitted about half of my team with Thunder (believe it or not, this happened). But I can not hold on to that forever, so I wish to speak.

    However, upon more critical pondering, I've gotten to feel a bit shady about all of this. One that can express my concern is the philosophical target of Smogon, which aims to replicate game mechanics as accurately as possible in a simulator (which, in this case, is Shoddy). In the game, your match doesn't get swayed if you lost due to hax. You just have to accept the loss. The screen does not say "You win" when you are haxed by six Sheer Colds in a row and lost. I understand that Shoddy has tweaked its ruling a bit, with a Sleep Clause not in Link Battles, time restrictions, etc, but the potential gamebreaking effect of this formula can be off putting. You might end up with a crazy list of haxes and you can lose a lot of battles. I'm also concerned that there are possibly some overlooked factors inside the formula that I'm not aware of, as noted by RBG's complaint.

    I'm not sure what to pick. At times, I wish I could've won, pondering for hours after the match is complete. Then I wish for the formula, but at other times, I think the implementation of it is ridiculous, because it just doesn't happen in game. My brain hurts from all of this. Hopefully, in a couple of battles I can solidify my thought.

    That is all
  14. reachzero

    reachzero the pastor of disaster
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    With respect to you, Jibaku, and all the members arguing from the standpoint of "the game cartridge doesn't care whether you win or lose", the game cartridge doesn't test Suspects based on rating and deviation. Because rating and deviation are so important to us in terms of voting eligibility, I think it to be particularly important that our ratings are as competitively accurate as possible. If I recall, Twist of Fate lost the upper requirement in the last day or so of Latios testing because of getting haxed badly in the last match he needed to play, then getting haxed again until he was well out of range. On the Standard ladder, rating may just mean bragging rights, but on the Suspect ladder it is serious business. Why not use the formula to make sure that our ratings actually mean what they seem to mean?
  15. Lemmiwinks MkII

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    If this is the main reason for the formula, then I don't see why there is the need to alter the win condition at all. What was wrong with my idea of using a formula that calculated an alteration to rating changes by taking into account the relative hax in any given match?

    By changing the win condition, you are not only leaving the system open to manipulation and abuse, but also it is naive to think that there is a formula that can determine who should have won any given match with 100% accuracy, simply because there are psychological factors involved in the way people adapt their play as a result of a random instance of hax, and these cannot be accounted for mathematically. The difference between a win and a loss is huge in terms of ratings, and this formula, no matter how much it is tweaked, will get some of these decisions wrong every once in a while. By keeping the win conditon as it is but instead changing the rating system to account for hax, such huge discrepancies have the potential to be minimized.

    And I ask once more, has anyone who has played on this server actually seen the formula, and do they know under what circumstances the win condition is reversed?
  16. DougJustDoug

    DougJustDoug Knows the great enthusiasms
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    Okay, I checked into your battle RBG. The formula actually worked great, but not in a way that is immediately obvious.

    In your battle, the "Alternate Damage Accumulator" variable was WAY off in favor of Blue Kirby. In very rare circumstances, if one player gets a huge number of near-max damage calcs on hits, AND receives a huge number of near-minimum damage calcs on hits received -- then the hax formula can overturn the loss. If you aren't keeping close track of your damage -- then it may not be obvious how much the luck is swinging for or against you.

    I just PM'd you and BK the log of your battle. Go back through the log with BK and compare notes on the stats of your pokemon, offensively and defensively. You should notice that you got an amazing number of damage calcs in your favor. If, upon further inspection, you still think the formula was unfair, then get back to me and we can discuss tweaking the formula. But, based on my investigation -- you actually haxed him a ton!

    All testers battling on the hax-free server, need to be aware of this possible outcome from the formula.
  17. Elevator Music

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    I'm pretty sure no unless Caelum/X-Act/Doug/Brain count. I wouldn't want to know, if just so that I'm still playing pokemon (I'm sure if I saw the formula I'd alter my gameplay significantly so that I can win via the formula and not by fainting 6 opposing pokemon).
  18. Lemmiwinks MkII

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    That is exactly my concern regarding this. I mean, changing what is ultimately required to win a match, no matter how small in practice, is controversial by itself. But to make it so that it is theoretically impossible to know, with 100% confidence, who has won the match the moment the final turn ends is simply unacceptable IMO. That is a complete violation of Smogon's philosophy whichever way you look at it. As far as the player is concerned, the final verdict would, in a way (don't take this analogy too literally), be conceptually similar to that of gymnastics or boxing (in the absence of a knockout), where the decision rests on a panel of judges. Although the decision is ultimately objective in this case, the fact that the player has no knowledge of the process that leads to the ultimate decision, and therefore no opportunity to manipulate said process in their favor, means that the final result brings with it the illusion of 'chance', which is exactly what this process strove to minimize in the first place.

    There can in fact be no doubt in my mind right now that this formula will permanently change the fundamental nature of competitive Pokemon, whether the player has knowledge of the formula or not. At least with the former condition I can somewhat be open to this idea, as long as everybody is aware of the implications that this will have on the fundamental principles of the game.
  19. ToF

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    After playing a lot of matches on the private server, I stand by my initial opinion about the formula. I enjoy a metagame where I know that my play will determine my wins and losses, as opposed to ridiculous amounts of luck that end up mattering the times you need a break the most. Reachzero already pointed out my Suspect test match, I'd rather not discuss that; its more reason for me to support a formula like this because that match was complete bullshit, and I got lucked not once, but three times if I remember correctly resulting me getting swept.

    Matches that I've seen overturned on the server are ones that deserve it. Most battles in this game aren't even in terms of hax content. One side usually ends up receiving more luck than another, its just the nature of the game. This formula changes around games that result in complete nonsense and small-percent chances that seem destined to occur. Every overturned match has been something like one side getting three or four crits over the course of an offensive battle with the opponent (yeah, not support to happen with the amount of turns these matches take). The formula hasn't harmed anything, but merely given those that get wins snatched from them a way to still be credited with a victory they deserve. Pokemon is not about hax, its about the way you control the game and play around your opponent. A mental game such as this should have little consideration for extreme hax; otherwise, what's the point of playing, to see who's the luckiest?

    I'd like this formula to be implemented after even more tweaking on Smogon University. I feel nothing but good can come with this change, and fully support the move as soon as possible.
  20. august

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    Seconding the point about implementing this on the server. From what i feel it's as ready as it's going to get (although that is up to DJD). This way people will actually get to play matches with the formula, and some people may say "Oh, well this isn't so bad". Since obviously a lot more matches will be occuring on SU than the Private Server, there will be a greater chance that we can see if any bugs need to be worked out as well.
  21. QibingZero

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    I've been wanting to post something in this thread for quite some time now, but I've unfortunately been too busy to collect my thoughts into a quality post. Most of my recent 'Smogon time' has been spent working on my article for The Smog. However, the past couple days now I've taken the opportunity to get on the private server and test this thing out.

    I'm sure it's not surprising that I'd be open to a concept like this, as I've always had issues with pokemon not being as competitive as I think it could be. I also feel like I'm one of the worst victims of game-changing luck out there. I think that, to an extent, my playstyle increases the potential for that to happen, but I'm sure that people who regularly watch me battle can attest to seeing plenty of more-than-ridiculous situations nonetheless. I think the arguments made in favor of this idea are compelling enough - the only real worry is that of 'changing game mechanics', which seems to have been adequately dealt with. We're only changing how the system rates each player, and I consider that a necessary and worthwhile change.

    I mean, let's face it, a win in Pokemon means less than it ever has these days. There are even more alternate effects this generation, including moves for Serene Grace pokemon that they can actually abuse. Add that to the unavoidable fact that there is much more variety in each pokemon's usable movepool, and it becomes quite difficult to truly prepare. While we will always have to deal with the more dynamic factors (movepools and general unpredictability), I really think that if we can do something to curb the increasing 'luck-factor' of pokemon, we should.

    Now, while I'm open to the idea, and I trust the ability of those involved to get the formula right, I'm actually a bit disappointed in the formula in it's current state on the test server. I really don't think that it goes far enough, at least not in the key aspects. I've yet to have a single battle overturned in my games, including a couple wherein I lost multiple key pokemon to hax. Right now, the formula doesn't seem to be able to take into consideration the potential 'lopsided' losses wherein you lose important pokemon to hax early on, and then end up losing 0-4 or so. From other observation, it does work well in closer games, but I can't help but feel like we're weighing certain types of 'hax' too heavily. For example, the situation regarding BK vs RBG is problematic. Regardless of the min-max on damage, pokemon still rewards you for making good switches. The crits and random burns/freezes/drops deserve a lot more focus than that. A fire move doing max damage instead of min to my Kingdra is almost never going to be an issue, but that same move burning Kingdra is a serious, serious problem.


    However, as I said before, I have the utmost trust in you guys to be able to get this working correctly. I know how hard you've been working on the formula and it's implementation, especially this last week. I think that, with time, we can even find a solution for how the formula weighs close battles and hax which occurs early on. We might have to do something more along the lines of Obi's suggestion eventually, but for now I can see how a formula which overturns less battles would be preferable. It's better to go under than over for something like this, especially if there are actual plans to test this on the public server soon. Also, although it may seem like it doesn't do enough while battling, I know that in reality it's much closer to being workable than it seems. I'll try to follow this thread more than I have been, and, as always, I'll be around on IRC to discuss things.
  22. Stallion

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    I've been on the hidden server for the last few days and I must say it is quite the enjoyable metagame, with the formula not making as big a difference as people thought it would. For extreme examples like a Jirachi's Iron Head flinching a Magnezone 10 times in a row (which believe it or not, did happen to me) are remedied by the formula. I lost the match 1-0, but because of the extreme hax removing my best revenge killer to the pokemon that ended up sweeping me (Scizor), the formula determined that I was the winner.

    Normally I'd be swearing about having lost the match, saying the hax was gamechanging, but now the formula pretty accurately determines who the rightful winner is. I only have two minor gripes with it:

    1) If the other player ends up winning 5-0 or something because of a key crit, does the formula take that into account. Surely the player on the receiving end wouldn't end up losing that badly, but conversely its no guarantee they would have won either.

    2) How lucky is "too lucky"? Sorry if this has been stated already but is there a variable that takes into account abilities such as Serene Grace (although my example was extreme, 2 or 3 flinches in a row are regular) and Super Luck?

    Hoping it will be implemented on the main ladder at least as a clause so people can see that its not all that "game ruining".
  23. Jibaku

    Jibaku Not taking FS requests atm.
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    This reminds me. How accurately will the formula be able to tell the gamebreaking effect of hax? I've had one instance where I was defeating Maniac's Uber team (using Roar Kyogre; this happened a long time ago) 5-0 until his very last Pokemon, and if it wasn't for a crit the game would've turned around and he would've won (his last guy was a CM Kyogre of his own). Would the formula be able to identify this and give Maniac the win? Or will it give me the win?
  24. jrrrrrrr

    jrrrrrrr wubwubwub
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    This is confusing me. Did you "know" you were going to win when this hax occured? Probably not. Your determination of who "should have won" was determined AFTER THE MATCH. Having this formula, which assumes that people know each other's teams and skill level beforehand, is a completely unreasonable way of determining who "should have won" If your team is 6 water types and my team is 6 grass types, who should win? Oh no, you got a DD in with Bounce Gyarados and you swept me even though I had a clear team advantage! (that situation is just trying to point out how irrelevant the "better team argument" is. We all say that theorymon means nothing, so how can you just say that a team is better or worse just by looking at it. I'm pretty sure me, you, or anybody on this forum could use an "awful team" and beat less skilled players. imo, team strength on paper is one of the least relevant judges of how a match goes. In a game full of unknowns like pokemon, all it takes is one weird moveset or one well timed pokemon to completely sweep you. It really is baffling to me how people could argue that "paper counters dont matter" and then support something like this, which basically says "my paper team was better so i deserved it more" =\

    Also, can anyone explain why the person who fainted 6 opposing pokemon first doesn't deserve to win? Or, why if a "luck loss" shouldn't count, why should a "luck win" count?
  25. Jumpman16

    Jumpman16 np: Michael Jackson - "Mon in the Mirror" (DW mix)
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    Yeah, me too. Checking your record confirms you have a 91% win percentage over 194 battles...not surprising that over a relatively large sample this is higher than your record on the Standard Ladder given your track record as one of the best battlers we have.

    Talking about this with Doug and X-Act for a few weeks now has shown the three of us that we are just about ready to put this on the Smogon server. We just have to doublecheck a few things on the formula now that it's been in place on the server for a decent amount of time.
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