Why do people oppose Tiers? Why do some people misunderstand the Smogon Tiers? Why is their so much discontent with some people about Tiers? All of these questions are easy to answer. Please read ahead. Tiers: to some it is something needed, to others it is abominable, and to others still, they don't exist. 1.What are tiers? Tiers are mainly used on the internet by gaming communities for one main purpose: to determine what is the elite and what is not. This is the main cause of people misunderstanding the Smogon Tiers, and claiming them to be like every other tier that separates the best from the rest. With the majority of tiers that exist, they separate the best of alot of aspects of a game into different levels that determine their worth. Weapons, general items, characters, play styles. Tiers can be applied to just about any aspect of a competitive game you can look at. The two biggest examples of this are the Super Smash Bros and Halo, which have tiers for Characters and Weapons respectively. While it has some positive effects on the game, such as keeping up with the Best of the Best. It has some negative effects as well. 2.What positive effects do Tiers have? The positive effects of a tier put into place in a competitive game depends on what type of tier it is. As with Smogon's tiers, it helps keep track of the most used Pokemon in the Competitive metagame, and it also sees who are the most used leads in the meta-game. With Tiers like with Smash Bros. and Halo, they tell what character/ weapons are better than others, and which ones would be a good idea to use. Tiers also refer to player Levels in MMO games, which are used to keep players of the same level in certain areas sot hat they will not be overwhelmed. Role-Playing games in general have tiers built into them, in the form of weapon strengths, armor strengths, accessory strengths, etc. Tiers also sometimes help the metagame, so tiers in cases have a few positive effects. However, there are darker sides of tiers that many do not see, the next section refers to these in parts, because these can be diverse. 3.What negative effects do Tiers have? While Tiers indeed have their benefits, alot of them have the same negative effects. These affect the metagame, players, how the game is played, and the mindsets of players. These negative effects cannot be dispelled by people by simply stating something along the lines as "its his/her fault for not being as skilled" or "Tiers are there for a reason", or anything in defense of tiers. These negative effects exist and must be noted. These negative effects are the most prominent effects of most, if not all tiers in many cases. "ITB Syndrome" Evolution and Stagnation Hate, Drama, and Alienation Let us look at these. ITB Syndrome - There is a bigger world... This is my personal little nickname for this phenomenon. I call it "Inside-The-Box' Syndrome". This phenomenon is very prominent in many competitive settings and is noticeable almost instantly when talking to people of various communities. This stems from tiers in general, whether it be about usage, performance, or skill, this phenomenon will exist. This "syndrome" causes people to limit their thinking down to what could be called a variation of the "And/Or Fallacy". Tiers usually end up creating the illusion in peoples minds, be it a conscious thought or otherwise, that in order to be any good at a game, you either have to use what is popular or struggle. In the Pokemon community, there are many instances that this can be considered true. However, many of these problems can be overcome. An example is Primeape vs. Scizor. In the usual battlefield, Primeape stands no chance against a Scizor. However, a Primeape that is trained to have a Special affinity, and equipped with the move "Vacuum Wave", has the potential to defeat Scizor; the lower Special Defensive stat is Scizor's biggest weakness, and in the current meta-game, a Scizor never carries a Special Defense higher than 196. Which makes it weak against such a Primeape, even if Lucario can potentially fill this role. Another example is Luvdisc, a Pokemon considered by the majority of people to be useless...but is it really? Like a lot of Pokemon that exist, it is a Water-type, a type that typically has few weaknesses. However, its Base Stats take a gradual climb from the bottom-up. Its highest Base Stat is its Speed, while everything else mediocre or sub-par. Offensively speaking, Luvdisc can be useless...but this is the result of this syndrome as much as it is the Base Stats that Luvdisc possesses. In a similar vein as the Special Primeape, Luvdisc can be augmented by a Baton Pass partner to make it into the Pokemon people wanted out of it. Luvdisc can be as powerful as any Pokemon with augmentation from a partner. It is the narrow-mindedness created by this "Inside-The-Box' Syndrome" that does not allow such weaknesses to be exploited in new ways, and allow the usage of more Pokemon in Smogon's current metagame. It is also because of this type of thinking that some people dislike tiers. As long as this problem exists, the next issues will affect the metagame. Evolution and Stagnation - The ups and downs of the metagame It is said by some or many that the metagame is always evolving and changing. Yet the statistics and other tiers say otherwise. While the metagame does indeed evolve, it also stagnates. It could be said about the current metagames of Smash Bros. and Smogon's environment that they are currently stagnating. In the usage tiers, the tier is stagnating, not only in the sense that Pokemon positions are changing, but also the relative positions of those in the Top Six have stagnated. The most used is always Scizor, Latias is usually in third place, and not too long ago, Tyranitar has -or has come close to- entering the Top Six. These changes overall are minor, as they are not some major upheaval in terms of usage. The less-used Pokemon remain less-used, and nobody does anything to change that simply because of numbers that can be modified through normal game play. In a similar vein, the Super Smash Bros. tiers are also stagnate, as the tiers have not changed much at all for a very long time. This is because it has been found that some characters perform better than others. However, this is because the characters are usually tested in a controlled environment that gives little-to-no hazard to their movement or playing style. Thus, because of this, the character's strengths and weaknesses against one another become unbalanced. This stagnation is largely created by narrow-mindedness stemming from ITB Syndrome, affecting people's mindsets and limiting their minds from other possibilities beyond what usually allows them to win. These above two problems contribute to the negative side of Tiers, and are what generate some of what comes next. This problem creates alienation among members of a community, and is the cause of the notoriety of some communities for being hostile to newer members not well versed in the games, such as GameFAQs. Hate, Drama, and Alienation - Nobody wants these... Whether it be GameFAQs, Smash World Forums, Serebii.net, etc. Wherever you go, Hate and Drama are something that always follows. No matter what form it takes, or how it is done, Hate and Drama are evident in alot of places in different communities. The most severe cases of such hostility usually stem from gaming communities that hold a competitive vein, and when they are unleashed on newer members, another problem sets in: Alienation. Alienation is known far and wide by people, it happens in schools, it happens in real-life communities, it happens in society in general, no matter how "civil" a society is. Alienation will appear in some form, just like Hate and Drama. Most competitive tiers result in this, and create a mentally-induced caste system. While this is not prominent on Smogon or Serebii.net, or some other communities. The happening of such can end with the afflicted person or persons resulting in falling into complete conformity in order to fit in with a community, or abandoning the interest completely. This kind of treatment of newer members is wrong and uncalled for. No matter what the given reason is. So they were unaware of some basic principle of game play? Does it hurt one to explain it? No, which is why such things should be frowned upon and actively so. While Smogon does not have the stigma of the third problem, the first two are prominent. The Smogon Tier lists are in stagnation, and the players mindsets are limited, disallowing new and exciting ideas to be thought up by the players whom enjoy the Pokemon metagame, and people whom do not come up with new things that coincide with what is 'Standard' are usually chided upon. That is the end of this, and always remember. Whatever the tier's function, a problem will always arise from it in some form, whether actively discussed or not. I thank you for taking the time to read this all the way through before you post. If you have not, I highly suggest you do so. However, in the case of the usual stuff. TL;DR: Tiers, no matter their function, will create a problem of some form or another, even if not widely discussed. Please have good Christmas Day.