1. Welcome to Smogon Forums! Please take a minute to read the rules.
  2. New to the forums? Check out our Mentorship Program!
    Our mentors will answer your questions and help you become a part of the community!

Lifting the burden of rulemaker

Discussion in 'The Policy Review' started by Articuno64, Jul 18, 2010.

  1. Firestorm

    Firestorm I did my best, I have no regrets!
    is a Site Staff Alumnusis a Smogon IRC AOp Alumnusis a Super Moderator Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnusis a Battle Server Moderator Alumnus

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2007
    Messages:
    7,304
    This is what I think I've been trying to get at.

    I disagree with this as I think what we're currently doing is really bad PR for us. People think we're insane and I can see people getting tired of this. Eventually it could result in Smogon OU not being the competitive standard. We already have an alternate metagame officially supported by Nintendo these days so turning off other players isn't something we should be doing.
  2. Kristoph

    Kristoph

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2005
    Messages:
    1,725
    If Smogon wants to be "cutting edge," I would suggest that it do so by supporting competitive tournaments in any way possible, not by playing mad scientist.
  3. DM

    DM Ce soir, on va danser.
    is a Site Staff Alumnusis a Super Moderator Alumnusis a Smogon IRC SOp Alumnus

    Joined:
    May 24, 2005
    Messages:
    12,759
    I'm confused. Why isn't this our standard? The game makers themselves support it, and they are the ones running the worldwide tournaments, we should do our best to follow their lead. I have no problem with people who want to experiment with their own tourneys, but I think our status quo should closely resemble Nintendo's.
  4. Mekkah

    Mekkah
    is a Super Moderatoris a Tutor Alumnusis a Site Staff Alumnusis a CAP Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis an Administrator Alumnus
    Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2005
    Messages:
    14,006
    Because we made "our" ruleset first, so it kinda stuck. And because theirs is 2v2 and until recently we didn't even have a simulator for it.
  5. Firestorm

    Firestorm I did my best, I have no regrets!
    is a Site Staff Alumnusis a Smogon IRC AOp Alumnusis a Super Moderator Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnusis a Battle Server Moderator Alumnus

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2007
    Messages:
    7,304
    Like Mekkah said, Nintendo didn't really start consistently supporting Pokemon until recently. Also, due to Smogon makes its ruleset first and the in-game mode reinforcing Singles as the primary battle mode rather than Doubles, I think a lot of the community wouldn't be happy with us moving to Doubles (or maybe Triples) as our primary metagame.

    There's also the problem of Nintendo changing the rules slightly every year and people being very secretive about teams due to how much is at stake. Our analyses and articles would probably suffer as a result.
  6. X-Act

    X-Act np: Biffy Clyro - Shock Shock
    is a Site Staff Alumnusis a Programmer Alumnusis a CAP Contributor Alumnusis a Researcher Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis an Administrator Alumnus

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2006
    Messages:
    4,675
    There must surely be a much less time-consuming way to put a Pokemon in the Uber tier than what was employed in Gen. 4, and that appeals, more or less, to the competitive community. I don't agree with someone waking up in the morning and saying "hey I'm going to ban Garchomp since it seems horribly broken" and he duly does that. I don't agree much with taking 3 to 6 months to ban a Pokemon, though, either.

    A process to ban a Pokemon should take one week, at the very most. To those that say that we don't turn into 'mad scientists' to ban a Pokemon, well, to be honest, the Generation 4 method of banning a Pokemon didn't involve much 'mad science' at all (except for SEXP and the rating requirements, maybe, which surely isn't that much). Basically what happened was: people test Pokemon, then people vote - I don't see science going much into that at all. We didn't use any game theoretic terms to ban a Pokemon AT ALL, for instance. I suppose I'm not very familiar with game theory, so, of course, I couldn't contribute with game theory and stuff, but I can see the relevance of applying game theory to the decision to ban a Pokemon or not, and I'm sure that the decision won't take months if we apply this technique.

    So, all I'm saying is, if 'mad science' helps us to ban a Pokemon in 4 or 5 days rather than in 4 or 5 months, then I'd rather apply 'mad science' to ban the Pokemon.
  7. Synre

    Synre
    is a Smogon IRC SOp Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis an Administrator Alumnusis a Past SPL Winner

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2005
    Messages:
    3,588
    I think I'd like to go somehwere in the middle of the OP and the gen 4 method. I really hated the feel of how temporary the OU(and UU, once I picked it up) metagame was. I'm enjoying this metagame more than the previous incarnations of Gen4 OU, so I agree it helped on some level, but I don't think the community would be less happy if we'd just kept Garchomp and Salamence the whole time and never done this whole thing. I think it was a really wild and amazing experiment, and it was really cool to see how much community involvement we could get, but I think in the end we learned what we got wasn't worth what we put in.

    In my ideal Gen 5 fantasy world we end up with a standard ruleset/banlist a month or two in that isn't planned to be tested further unless it becomes obvious that a test needs to occur. And if the situation arose, I'd like to use the Salamence model, perhaps with a better PR spin and a few more members than last time. It's hard to trump efficiency.




    I doubt we'll ever be completely on the same page as Nintendo for a variety of reasons - we play year round, and we predominantly play singles. Our OU game isn't that far from what they had us playing a decade ago - we just kept going with 1v1 mons after they abandoned us. I think singles is in some ways the best format for us, since we're creatures of habit, while still being the worst for them, because it's dramatically more time consuming. It is also nice because it gives us some autonomy, since our ruleset isn't really competing with theirs due to the singles/doubles thing.

    I do think once we have a sim that features Gen 4/5 doubles that Smogon officially supports(which is apparently not far off) that not only should we support doubles, we should support TCPI's doubles ruleset. There isn't much benefit to competing with the real life metagame when they're giving out fabulous prizes(!) and when we stand to earn prestige if we continue improving our presence there(and frankly our image is always something we could stand to improve a bit). We don't really have the authority we do in singles with the doubles game, anyway. But this is a problem for another day.
  8. cim

    cim happiness is such hard work
    is a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnus

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2007
    Messages:
    5,412
    I feel it's worth noting why we had the Suspect Test process in the first place. We started it because we had a bunch of theory bans and then questioned whether or not those theory bans went too far. To all of the people saying we should make some initial cuts and then be done with the tier list, what do you propose to do when a significant portion of the community or theorymon suggests "Latias" would be just fine in OU? Right now it just sounds like people want to backpedal to the method that for whatever reason didn't seem to work for us before. We need to figure out why it didn't work and why that won't happen again before we go back to it.
  9. Synre

    Synre
    is a Smogon IRC SOp Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis an Administrator Alumnusis a Past SPL Winner

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2005
    Messages:
    3,588
    I would disagree that it didn't work fine before. Lots of people thought Ho-oh would be fine in early DP with SR in the game(and before it got Brave Bird), but we didn't suspect test it to assuage them. It was never a big deal in any of the first three(not that Mewtwo, Lugia, or Ho-oh were super contentious) gens that we didn't give every Pokemon a fair shake. There isn't a whole lot of benefit in "making sure" we have everything that might maybe fit in OU in OU. The game will go on without them. What little benefit we gain from spending another couple years testing mon by mon is more than exceeded by the drawbacks of the constant state of testing, I think. Plus, this is anecdotal, but if anything we theorymon banned too little this gen, since nothing we tried out in OU is going to end the gen there and we lost two mons to uber.

    Additionally, I for one never backed suspect testing to begin with, so we aren't all flipflopping. I didn't care that we never tested Mew or that we unbanned Jirachi and Celebi(though we'd have to test them nowdays) on a whim in ADV, because it was fine that we just had what we had. The game would have been different without them, but different usually isn't "significantly better." It's easier to stay in the mindset of adapting to and dealing with shit when that option of removing stuff you're having trouble with isn't as feasible, too.

    I didn't see all of gen 2, but being here for all of both 3 and 4 I liked the old method a lot better. Good or bad, someone is always going to question the decisions we make... I think we let that pressure worry us a bit too much. Democracy(and bureaucracy) isn't the solution to every problem.
  10. Aeolus

    Aeolus Bag
    is a Tutor Alumnusis a Tournament Director Alumnusis a Site Staff Alumnusis a Battle Server Admin Alumnusis a Smogon IRC SOp Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis an Administrator Alumnus

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2005
    Messages:
    3,636

    This is incorrect. The previous method DID work... it was a shift of attitude that caused the change... not a non-functional metagame.

    At some point it became generally accepted that if something isn't absolutely broken it must be allowed and the only way to know if something is broken is to test it. Prior to the implementation of the new system, nobody really made any assertions about the intrinsic "uberness" of Latias/Latios or the brokenness of OHKO/Evasion. People just accepted that the call had been made on those items and played the game they were given... which functioned perfectly well. It may not have included every possible option available in the cartridges... but it was good enough and stable. By changing the system, we've completely traded stability for an uneasy assurance that our game is "better". A balance between those goals (stability and "assurance through testing") is what needs to be sought for Gen 5.
  11. cim

    cim happiness is such hard work
    is a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnus

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2007
    Messages:
    5,412
    If it was purely a shift of attitude that motivated the change, then a change motivated by a second shift in attitude would make perfect sense. I just wanted to make sure we didn't have any other reasons to go along with the suspect test, in case we go too far back and realize we lost something we overlooked earlier.

    I'm a little curious as to how the OU metagame was viewed as "unstable" compared to the third gen. I honestly think 90% of the "instability" people complain about was brought out by Nintendo and not really by the changes to OU.

    Here's a timeline of moves that actually changed what was legal in OU. I don't take into account how often the Suspect ladder changed.

    March 2008: Wobb and Deoxys-S unbanned
    July 2008: Wobb is banned
    October 2008: Deoxys-S and Garchomp get banned
    October 2008: Platinum launches, changes everything a lot, introduces Skymin
    December 2008: Skymin gets banned
    Februrary 2009: Latias is voted OU
    September 2009: HGSS Changes
    May 2010: Latias gets banned
    July 2010: Salamence gets banned

    If you ignore 2008, which was very early in the process when about half of the decisions were holdovers from Colin's Official Server, and one of them was a new Pokemon, OU's ban list changed only 3 times. Another thing worth noting is that Stage 3 "only" took 6 months, so a streamlined stage 3 only test in Gen 5 would take only a fraction of the "active life" of the metagame.
  12. Synre

    Synre
    is a Smogon IRC SOp Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis an Administrator Alumnusis a Past SPL Winner

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2005
    Messages:
    3,588
    That simplified timeline completely ignores Latios and Manaphy being tested, and certainly makes Latias seems as though it happened much quicker and seamlessly than it did, since it was rumored/desired to be banned by a lot of folks for most of the time it was in OU. We've spent basically two years straight with some sort of suspect ladder and its everpresent threat of changing the OU tier, which is as much a factor toward instability as the Pokemon that actually entered and later left the tier, as well as the two Pokemon who started in it and wandered off. Two years of a generation is an awfully long time for players not to be able to know for sure what the tier list would look like in a few months, and we're still debating about testing shit in PR. That to me is pretty much the definition of unstable.

    By comparison ADV's tier list only really changed once, when Celebi and Jirachi dropped down around the time FRLG came out, and the non-RS-200 mons were all illegal before then, anyway. Gen 3 had even more move additions, too, with Colo, XD, FRLG, and Emerald all changing movepools somewhat. Hell, even GSC had to deal with the always well received NYPC moves, but the type of tier volatility/juxtaposition we got this gen remains exclusive to this gen.
  13. cim

    cim happiness is such hard work
    is a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnus

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2007
    Messages:
    5,412
    Those Pokemon never entered OU, so they never affected OU play.

    I didn't account for rumors because I didn't think battlers change their teams based on heresy, and I didn't account for the "Suspect metagame" because people volunteer to play that.
  14. Synre

    Synre
    is a Smogon IRC SOp Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis an Administrator Alumnusis a Past SPL Winner

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2005
    Messages:
    3,588
    And if you think that those things you just mentioned do not change the perceptions players have about the OU metagame you should probably consider spending more time around people. The threat of change is nearly as impactful as actual change. That is a lot of why I think it would behoove us to avoid having planned tests and to make it a little more challenging to get a vote rolling on a Pokemon already present in the metagame. It is to the point where players expect frequent change by bans where once that would have been completely unheard of... it's not a change I think is great for the game.
  15. Firestorm

    Firestorm I did my best, I have no regrets!
    is a Site Staff Alumnusis a Smogon IRC AOp Alumnusis a Super Moderator Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnusis a Battle Server Moderator Alumnus

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2007
    Messages:
    7,304
    Can this post be moved to Policy Review please? Or at least the OP?
  16. RBG

    RBG It feels like a perfect night to dress up like hipsters
    is a Super Moderatoris a Smogon Media Contributoris a Site Staff Alumnusis a Smogon IRC AOp Alumnusis a Researcher Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Battle Server Moderator Alumnus
    Facebook Manager

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Messages:
    3,336
    Finally moved for all to read!
  17. Delta 2777

    Delta 2777 Machampion
    is a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor Alumnusis the Smogon Tour Season 10 Champion

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2009
    Messages:
    1,239
    I could've sworn on my life there there was a thread like this from a month or two ago started by mien, but I guess it must have been deleted or something...

    Anyway, like I was in the other thread I'm pretty much against this. Using Nintendo's ruleset is pretty much out of the question, since not only is their metagame completely different from ours (Imagine using the VGC 2011 banlist >_>) but they also ban certain Pokemon based on characteristics rather than through testing (all event Pokemon are also banned, including Phione). Because Smogon has the playerbase for it, what exactly is wrong with testing to see if something is broken? Yeah, it will start disagreements at times, but the result is actually knowing that the metagame will satisfy as many people as possible. If we start setting up arbitrary limits, the metagame completely changes, and usually for the worse. For example, take a 600 BST as a limit for the OU tier. This would mean that Shaymin-S, for example, would remain OU - and keep in mind that Shaymin-S was voted Uber in Generation V by a 100% supermajority. On the flipside of the coin, Kyurem has a BST of 660, yet despite this it is rarely if ever seen in OU play (and it doesn't have a hindering ability like that of Slaking or Regigigas). Testing is the best way to establish a satisfying metagame, and in my opinion at least is worth the issues presented in the OP.

    It should also be pointed out that the Generation V tiering process has been running relatively smoothly thus far.
  18. Firestorm

    Firestorm I did my best, I have no regrets!
    is a Site Staff Alumnusis a Smogon IRC AOp Alumnusis a Super Moderator Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnusis a Battle Server Moderator Alumnus

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2007
    Messages:
    7,304
    I'm not sure if you read the OP. Smogon having the playerbase for it has nothing to do with it. Neither does the reasoning behind the bans differing between Smogon's current bans / Nintendo's Singles Battle Subway bans. Nor did it actually state definitively that we should use that list.
  19. jrrrrrrr

    jrrrrrrr wubwubwub
    is a Tiering Contributoris a Battle Server Moderatoris a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnus

    Joined:
    May 23, 2006
    Messages:
    3,172
    I've agreed with this for a while now, although I didn't at the start of DP. If I had known that suspect testing would have turned into what it is today, there's no way I would have supported banning Garchomp in those early stages of our testing. Even though at the time we were forced to deal with Garchomp, I admit now that opening the doors to "just ban it!" was a mistake. I miss the days where our rules were static, and we all knew what we were getting into, and we didn't have to make teams knowing that in 2 weeks they would be useless. It really does just drain all the fun out of pokemon for me.

    The problem is that there is no objective way to do these things, and our process is going to be controlled inevitably by whoever the loudest subset of people is at the time. We've allowed subjectivity into the rules, so we should expect these problems. The worst part is that we don't even know if the metagame that emerges after our bans even is "more competitive" or "more desirable" since there's no way to measure those things. Who actually knows if DP was better off without SDless Latias? We never gave it a chance because as soon as it was allowed it was already being put back up for bans. And as soon as it was taken out, we were already discussing our next round of bans.

    I'm sure I don't have to explain why defaulting to Nintendo's rules or using an arbitrary stat cutoff line would be unfavorable, but I do agree that we need some stability so that "we can finally just play the damn game".

    We definitely need our own set of rules, because it's difficult overcoming people's preconceived notions of what should and shouldn't be there. Allowing people to just do whatever they want only leads to conflict and instability down the road, as suggested by the paradox in the OP's link. For example, the only things that got banned in the first 2 gens were Legendaries that appeared at the end of the dex...which is why it was so hard to convince people that Garchomp, a 3rd stage evo that isn't difficult to obtain in-game, might be Uber. Sure it was the most used and most dominant pokemon in the game, but the same could have been said about RBY Tauros, GSC Snorlax, or ADV Tyranitar. They were all pokemon that would have certainly been banned (or at least suspect tested multiple times) if we played those gens under our current system. I can hear the arguments now: "I'm sick of Body Slam luckfests", "Snorlax is on every team and now it even gets LK!", "TTar forces you to use Swampert, and Dugtrio can't even guarantee the OHKO!".

    Maybe we just need to accept that any game has its driving forces, and to compromise maybe we should put a serious limitation on how many suspect tests we do, to reflect how serious we used to take banning things. Maybe one every 6 months instead of one every month? That would actually give people a chance to play the game instead of constantly thinking about banning things they don't like, and it would certainly detract from the ban-happy attitudes that I know I'm not the only person complaining about.

    Anyways, I blame Cathy for this. If she didn't unban Wobbuffet and Deo-E out of the blue, none of this would have ever happened =P
    I disagree, I think that constant testing has created an unstable and therefore unsatisfying metagame. I'm sick of having to learn a new threat list every month, I'm sick of having to play against the same pokemon on every team because everyone has to use it in order to test it, and I'm sick of having to care more about what shouldn't be in the metagame instead of what is there. Assuming we can even call it a metagame anymore considering how much it changes every month.
  20. Mario With Lasers

    Mario With Lasers Self-proclaimed king
    is a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a CAP Contributor Alumnus

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2006
    Messages:
    7,131
    While I don't fully agree with the ban-happy sentiment some users have with the current Suspect test, I agree that we need them to be less frequent. Our first suspect test this gen was weeks after the Smogon Server was up, with the second one coming right after the end of the first one. I don't think anyone would complain about the bans in the first Round (fuck you Skymin), and few would disagree Round 2 wasn't just too chaotic, but... Round 1 should have been an emergency ban, called only by whenever (if?) we realized Darkrai and Skymin were "too much".

    Instead of letting the metagame develop, we instilled into the community the notion that something was wrong with the metagame before it even existed. Then Round 2 came and while we still had what many considered a legitimate threat, we never played the metagame, but tested it instead, and now, with Round 3, even with many claiming the metagame has no suspects, we are for some reason still "testing" it, and then we have people nominating Latios and Reuniclus and Excadrill and Blaziken wtf and... after one week of Round 3. Can't we just... call it done, abort this Round and come back for discussion only a couple months from now?

    Our problem isn't that the community is too ban-happy these days, it's that we tell them we need to ban things. It kinda happened in 4th Gen when PR posters came around with the Order of Operations thread, but even then it was "okay" because those were Ubers the community felt could have a chance of being demoted to OU in a metagame they were playing for years; now we have people testing the metagame non-stop for a couple months, believing "we have a problem" because we told them so and having issues with a certain pokémon/playstyle because they're seeing them all day long because everybody else is laddering to get voting rights to ban something (because we have a problem, after all), so they also ladder night and day so, by the end of the Round, they may finally have their say on the pokémon. By banning them. And then a new Round starts, apparently with us still having a problem, then someone blitzkrieg the ladder with some absurd strategy involving some top-OU pokémon, and we get back to the starting point.


    Uncharted Territory should be a subforum for metagame discussion, but the only relevant thread there is the Suspect one. Why don't we delete UC and move the Suspect thread to Blind Voting? By doing so, people can discuss and bandwagon their votes easier, and we don't get to read any more horrible warstories. Win-win situation.

Users Viewing Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 0)