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"The Win Formula" -- Lights, Camera, Action!

Discussion in 'Smogon's Greatest Hits' started by DougJustDoug, Mar 7, 2009.

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  1. DougJustDoug

    DougJustDoug Knows the great enthusiasms
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    It looks like there's lots of interest in "The Win Formula" as an April Fool's joke. And since I seem to be ringleading this particular idea, I might as well do it right. This joke needs a lot of setup, otherwise it will probably fail horribly. This needs an organized approach. I'm going to treat this like a performance -- an "April Fools Play", if you will. And like any good performance, we need a script and we need a cast.

    For those of you who hate tl;dr and don't really want to get too deep into this -- just skim the script and cast, you'll get the gist of it.


    Here's the general outline of the script:

    Introduction
    (~March 10th)
    X-Act makes a new thread in Policy Review. The OP follows this general outline:
    • Smogon has had a long-standing dislike of hax, and has used clauses and bans to curb luck's influence over battle outcomes
    • He has an idea for a mathematical formula that could be used to ensure battle outcomes are more fair
    • The formula would be calculated at the end of a normal battle, and would be used to declare the winner.
    • "Fainting your opponent's team will end the battle -- but it will not necessarily mean you won the match." The formula will determine the winner.
    • List general variables and assumptions for the formula
    • Ask for input and help
    • Do not make any assumptions about the formula being implemented on the battle server. Just get the conversation started.

    Act 1
    (March 10-15)
    Badgeholders comment on X-Act's proposal.

    • Since this is so controversial, almost everyone needs to express initial hesitance about this idea. But two things should be the foundation for optimism:
      • A total hatred of hax
      • Confidence in X-Act and others that the problem can be solved
    • The early discussion should focus on the primal question, "Is hax an inherent part of competitive pokemon?". This question is debated from time to time anyway, so I don't think you guys will have much trouble putting on a good show here.
    • Later in the week, we need to introduce some of our "Heroes".
    • Early on, heroes will not get emotional in the debate, but will focus on wanting to help develop the formula.
    • Heroes need to have a history of contributing in detailed Smogon projects

    We need to make sure not to post too much in the early going. It needs to be realistic. If X-Act really posted something like this, many of you would probably ignore it or pass it off as stupid math mumbo-jumbo. So that's exactly what we are going to do here. Things will start heating up in Act 2.

    Act 2
    (March 16-22)
    This is where we start talking about implementing some form of win formula on the Smogon University server.

    • I'll make a post that I've been thinking about something like this for a long time, and X-Act's formula has piqued my interest. I'll say that I'd love to implement it, if we can make a workable formula.
    • As soon as I "jump the gun" and start talking about implementing it, that's where we introduce our "Villains".
    • These people may have commented in the previous act, but preferably not.
    • They are going to be vehemently opposed to the idea.
    • They've ignored the idea because it's dumb. But now that it's getting serious, they have to speak up.
    • Comments should not get too nasty at this point, since nothing has been committed
    • The Heroes will continue to develop the formula -- introducing new variables, and working out the specific mechanics of the equation. By the end of Act 2, the formula should have the appearance of being quite thorough and robust.
    • The regular "Hax vs No-hax" debate should continue normally. People with a history of playing quote-reply ping pong in PR debates, should do so here. It helps spam up the thread sufficiently to make it difficult for the general public to really get any good grasp of what the hell is going on.
    • For the casual, uninterested Smogoner, the thread should look like some "boring theorymon debate in PR".

    Act 3
    (March 23-31)
    Here's where the setup really gets some momentum.
    • The Admins (preferably Jumpman and Aeolus) decide that this idea has enough community interest to warrant testing. It will be inserted in the order of operations.
    • It will be mentioned that it would not impact any current suspect testing, so it could take place in parallel on the Suspect ladder.
    • To really light the afterburner on this, The Admins decide to implement the Win Formula on the Suspect ladder after the close of monthly stats.
    • People need to be careful to avoid specific mention of the date "April 1st" -- it's too much of a reminder about April Fools Day. Instead, use phrases like "beginning next month", "when the new ladder opens", etc.
    • The Villains kick into high gear in the latter parts of Act 3. As it becomes imminent that this is really going to happen, the Villains need to turn up the drama.
    • Near the end of Act 3, The Admins will announce how long the test will take place, and it will be very short.
    • The short timeframe and the assumption of community support should piss off the silent majority to no end.
    • A strategically-placed thread should be opened in Stark Mountain by someone without PR access who opposes the idea -- if it doesn't happen naturally. Let the thread get a couple of posts and then lock it, with some heavy-handed comment by a moderator.
    • At this point, we should dust off a few "Wise Old Veterans". They will lament about the historical impact of hax on the metagame. They will reassure the community that this formula is simply the latest step in a long line of measures Smogon has taken over the years to ensure that skill is the primary deciding factor in competitive play. Phrases like "Even though I don't play Pokemon any more..." and "I remember back in GSC..." -- will probably be used liberally.

    Closing Act
    (April 1st)
    • As an April Fools red herring, the Smogon front page will be translated into Portuguese.
    • Jumpman will make an official discussion thread in Stark Mountain titled "np: Anti-Hax Clause". This will be the thread for the general public to discuss the new "Win Formula".
    • The OP of the thread will contain the first mention of a "unpublished variable" in the formula.
    • A new clause will be implemented on the Suspect Ladder.
    Some people in IS have been confused about the clause that will be implemented, so let me be clear -- we WILL NOT implement any fancy formula in Shoddy battle. We WILL tell the community that we have implemented the elaborate formula on the server. What we will REALLY implement is a very simple formula that does the following:
    If the battle ends 2-0 or 1-0, the system will randomly choose the winner - each player has a 50-50 chance. That's it. No complicated math, no logic whatsoever.

    The first time a player "loses" a match where they fainted the opponents team -- they will go ballistic. The "winner" will likely defend the "quality of their play", and accuse the other side of "getting too much hax". Others will investigate the details of the formula and call the formula designers idiots. Other people will accuse the system of being glitched. Hilarity ensues.

    Finale
    • The play ends with the arrival of the "White Knight".
    • The White Knight will reveal the "hidden variable" in the formula.
    • They will also publish the formula for a win in simplified form, so even the layman can understand it.
    • They will assemble pieces of information from the formula thread and other discussions, but will keep it very straightforward as they present each key variable in the formula. Something like this:
    The End.
    (roll credits)

    ---------------------------

    So that's the general script. What we need now is a cast. Since this isn't really a play, the roles are very vague. We're all "playing ourselves". But, I think it would help if we have an idea of the general roles we need fulfilled to pull this off. I envision the following roles listed below, but there may be more. Feel free to post ideas, if you think something is missing. Like everything else, I'm sure we'll make it up as we go along.

    In general, there are two classes of characters in the play:
    Heroes - People in favor of the formula, and working to get it implemented.
    Villains - People opposed to the formula. ​

    Here are some of the roles that need to be played. With the exception of the White Knight, each role can (and should) have more than one actor. Some people will play multiple roles.

    "Action Hero" - They help out and work to implement change in the community. They move the story along by causing things to happen. Action heroes probably need to be members of forum staff.

    "Mad Scientist" - Technical types that are fascinated with the formula, implementation, and theory. Should have a certain detached aloofness as it pertains to the real impact on battlers and the metagame.

    "Melodrama Hero" & "Melodrama Villain" - They add drama by getting emotional with their arguments, and/or personal with their attacks. We can't have too many of these, or it will look contrived.

    "Theorymon Hero" & "Theorymon Villain" - Characters with little current battle experience that support/oppose the formula based on theory. They use hypothetical situations and not-always-current battle strategies to support their arguments.

    "Battling Hero" & "Battling Villain" - People that battle actively and support/oppose the formula based on their assumptions of how the formula will impact their actual teams and battles. They refer to the latest-and-greatest battle strategies to support their arguments.

    "Drive-By Hero" & "Drive-By Villain" - Periodically make very short, unsubstantiated posts to support/oppose the formula.

    "Wise Old Veteran" - Lends sage advice and historical perspective

    "Grumpy Old Veteran" - Opposes change. Wishes we could go back to the way things were. Crotchety assholes.

    "Pedantic Ping-Pong Poster" - People who spam up discussion threads by quote-replying to their opponent repeatedly. At least two are required for a game of ping-pong. They endlessly argue over near-irrelevant nuances of words and arguments.

    "Extras" - General discussion posters who amplify high points of the story by posting "on cue". Whenever something impactful is posted by the main actors, we may need to have some "filler" posted by the Extras, in support or opposition to the key post.

    "White Knight" - The deus ex machina of our play.
    --------------------------------

    So, that's the plan. I'm totally open to suggestions, and I'm sure we'll change this up as we go.

    I don't want to be a drill sergeant, since this is meant to be fun. For those of you interested in playing a part, post in this thread. The post immediately below this one will list the specific members of the cast, so we'll know who is who. Be aware that we need more heroes than villains, since the basic premise of this joke is that we are actually supporting this ridiculous idea.

    Also, when asking for a role, try to make a realistic assessment of your general public profile. If you are traditionally "logical" on Smogon, you can't play a "Melodrama Villain". If you are a newcomer to Smogon, you can't play a "Wise Old Veteran". If you haven't been active in Policy Review or the Smogon battling community, then don't think you can suddenly spring up and be a key actor here. Be realistic. Feel free to suggest people that you think would be good for certain roles.

    Lastly, please don't reveal this to anyone. Keeping a secret like this for an entire month will be quite difficult. But, if the secret gets out that it is a prank, then it will all be for naught. Hopefully, everyone reading this will keep this discussion STRICTLY in indiescoop.

    As directors like to say, "Quiet on set!"
  2. DougJustDoug

    DougJustDoug Knows the great enthusiasms
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    Cast

    Here's the initial cast. I am sending a PM to everyone on this list to make sure they know the general expectations, roles, and timeline. Cast members need to check this thread regularly, since this will be "the green room" for our production. Do not randomly post in the discussion threads without checking here to see if it is the right time. If you have an idea and want immediate feedback, just PM me or get on #insidescoop and chat with me there.

    Let's have some fun!

    Mad Scientists
    X-Act
    DougJustDoug
    Caelum
    Obi
    RB Golbat
    Brain

    Heroes
    Tangerine - Melodrama
    Aldaron - Melodrama
    Twash - Drive By
    Jibaku - Drive By
    reachzero - Battling
    Tay - Battling
    Jimbo - Drive By
    maddog - Drive By
    darkie - Battling
    Ancien Regime - Melodrama
    Jumpman16 - Theorymon
    Blue Kirby - Theorymon
    Kevin Garrett - Battling
    Twist of Fate - Melodrama, Battling
    QibingZero - Battling
    MS - Battling

    Villains
    JabbaTheGriffin - Melodrama
    Lee - Melodrama
    Hipmonlee - Theorymon
    Articanus - Battling Villain

    Ping-Pong Poster
    Calciphoce
    RB Golbat
    Jumpman16

    Wise Old Veteran
    Articuno64
    Hazerider
    Doomsday
    Kumar

    Grumpy Old Veteran
    zerowing
    cookie
    AvatarST

    Extras
    Imran
    Colonel M
    august
    Misaki-Chi
    Elevator Music

    White Knight
    To be decided
  3. Tangerine

    Tangerine Where the Lights Are
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    I'm more than willing to play any of these

    "Melodrama Hero" & "Melodrama Villain" - They add drama by getting emotional with their arguments, and/or personal with their attacks. We can't have too many of these, or it will look contrived.

    "Theorymon Hero" & "Theorymon Villain" - Characters with little current battle experience that support/oppose the formula based on theory. They use hypothetical situations and not-always-current battle strategies to support their arguments.

    This is great btw :P
  4. Aldaron

    Aldaron All da lil birdies chirpin
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    I think I'm pretty much perfect for melodrama villain considering how people view me on these forums.

    Since I have publically feuded with both Jabba and Tang, I think either of these two should be my opponents.

    Jabba would be better though, lol.

    EDIT: This will also be great for all the users I hope should naturally take the opposite idea that I do, specifically Cynthia-, Umbarsc etc.

    I might be the hero just to induce these users to publically oppose me again.
  5. Doomsday

    Doomsday
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    The Best. April Fools. Ever.
  6. cookie

    cookie Administrator
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    <cockie> i could be an grumpy old veteran
    <cockie> i could even wax nostalgic about the good old days of GSC

    i hate DP and shoddybattle as it is so it'd be perfect
  7. twash

    twash
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    This is guna be hilarious.

    I wouldn't mind being either:
    "Drive-By Hero" & "Drive-By Villain" - Periodically make very short, unsubstantiated posts to support/oppose the formula.

    Considering a lot of my posts are pretty short and don't go into detail, especially in Stark.
  8. david stone

    david stone Fast-moving, smart, sexy and alarming.
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    I think I obviously fit the role of mad scientist. However, at some point I'll unhappy with the "secret variable". I'm thinking I might receive a PM explaining everything to me, at which point I'll withdraw my objection.
  9. JabbaTheGriffin

    JabbaTheGriffin Stormblessed
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    i'll gladly argue against aldaron heh
  10. Hazerider

    Hazerider

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    seconded, I could also play the wise old veteran but I'm not very good with theory stuff so I wouldn't be able to support it

    also willing to translate the front page into senseless portuguese blabber with doomsday's help
  11. Tangerine

    Tangerine Where the Lights Are
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    Here's the thing - if you want to take a part in this, make sure you took part in PR before, as in posted a few times. If someone like cookie or Hazerider starts posting and they've never posted before, then it's obvious "something is up"
  12. Hazerider

    Hazerider

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    you have a point, and I'm not really willing to start posting in regular PR threads just to prevent suspicion so

    [22:33:08] <+Hazerider> best I can do is talk/whine about it in #smogon
  13. DougJustDoug

    DougJustDoug Knows the great enthusiasms
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    We may want to do a "Curtain Call" thread in Stark sometime shortly after the "big reveal". Have a full disclosure of the joke, and let everyone "take a bow". It will also serve to confirm to the community that it was a big joke, and that it is over.
  14. Imran

    Imran
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    I am happy to play the "Extra" role. I know the sort of things that I generally blabber on about, so simply posting "my thoughts" will not be hard for me to do.
  15. Jibaku

    Jibaku Not taking FS requests atm.
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    I can do this, preferably the hero since I hate losing to hax so much >_<
  16. reachzero

    reachzero the pastor of disaster
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    I think I best fit the description of "Battling Villain" and so would prefer this role, but am willing to play "Battling Hero" if we don't have enough. The biggest problem with playing the Hero role is my current sig; I've had it quoted back to me quite a few times, so most people know my attitude toward hax. I think it would be much more believable if I came out against the formula than if I supported it.
  17. TAY

    TAY You and I Know
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    I'll take battling hero if no one has any problem with that! I play on shoddy quite a bit and I have been looking forward to supporting the amazing win formula anyway; also I am the opposite of reach in that most people would probably expect me to come out against hax...

    Reach can be the villain ; ]
  18. Calciphoce

    Calciphoce

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    Haha I could do either of these. They'd fit me enough to work.
  19. RBG

    RBG It feels like a perfect night to dress up like hipsters
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    I want to Ping some Pong

    Actually, i think I could be a Mad Scientist since i can act pretty alloof and I am facinated with numbers
  20. Jimbo

    Jimbo take me anywhere
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    I really really really would like a part in this (I've been thinking about April Fools since February!) My first choice would probably be Drive By hero/villain, but I'd be fine with anything :)
  21. makiri

    makiri My vast and supreme will shall be done!
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    I think I would rather enjoy playing the grumpy old vet, some people (Jackal comes to mind) often considered me a Lesm Jr during the RBY Smogon tours which extended to casual ADV play. There was a long period in which I was incredibly lucky and snatched quite a few wins from people with timely crits and fps. So I could seriously oppose this with little to no acting, and a good foil would be someone claiming this could fix RBY for Competitor while I totally oppose it due to my history of haxy victories in my favorite generation.
  22. Hipmonlee

    Hipmonlee Have a rice day
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    I guess I cant not take part in this. It would be hard for me to be a convincing supporter of this idea, just based on the fact that I am generally a supporter of luck in pokemon..

    I think I'd probably be best as a theorymon villain. Though I dunno if much theorymon will be involved in the process.

    Basicially I figure I'd offer a bit of help until it became clear it might become implemented, then I would become a vehemently opposed to the idea.

    Have a nice day.
  23. Legacy Raider

    Legacy Raider
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    I think I'd fit quite well as a Battling Hero / Villain. I'm not sure what my public image on the forums is, but I do battle quite a lot and rant about my battling experiences, and so this is probably the role that would fit me best.
  24. Aldaron

    Aldaron All da lil birdies chirpin
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    hip stop avoiding you know you're gonna be the white knight
  25. Tangerine

    Tangerine Where the Lights Are
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    also - i dont think there should be "specific" roles, just whether "you will agree with it" or "you will disagree with it" and then let it loose from there.

    We'll probably need more people to agree with it though, i can see a huge shitstorm, lol
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