Tier Naming Policy

Status
Not open for further replies.

Quote

Cautiously Optimistic
is a Global Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Battle Server Moderatoris a Smogon Social Media Contributor Alumnus
LC Co-Leader
#51
I'd like to point out that the no change posts in the thread have the most likes, which is pretty meaningful since it shows that a lot of the userbase agrees that throwing out so much of our identity just so it's a little easier on new users (who very rarely have problems with it in the first place) is a bad idea.

If this comes down to a vote (which I really don't think it needs to) it should probably just be left to the tier leaders. However I really don't like the idea of a vote at all, since people are going to prefer some of the options but not others for entirely different reasons, and people can more or less agree with each other on most of it but their slight differences would split their vote completely. For example, all I want is for the current tier names to stay the same, but I really don't care what happens past that, so I'd vote "no change", but someone who agrees with me that the current names should stay the same but also thinks the currently non-existent tiers should just be named T6, T7, etc (this option should have PU keeping its current name plz) would end up voting for a different option than me and therefore our almost-completely-in-agreement opinions would be entirely different votes. "Which option does everyone like better" doesn't really fit for this type of thing.

Also option 1 vs option 2 is just something that should be left to the NU and PU tier leaders as we and the playerbases we represent are affected by it far more than anyone else on the site.
No, don't leave it down to a tier leader vote. I'm tired of not being able to have a vote on anything.

Something has to change. Something NEEDS to change. We cannot we going with our current system where we have arbitrary names attached to tiers, because we will have people old and new be confused, and it honestly comes off as immature having an official Smogon metagame named "PU" or FU". Mag, I get the attachment that you have to your name but you honestly need to let it go. It doesn't fit the scheme at all and we're at the point where you can't really have a proper naming scheme without changing some of the other names around.

Coming from the perspective of a Yugioh player, I'm used to referring to decks as Tier 0, Tier 1, Tier 2, etc. Option 3 would be my primary selection because while Option 6 is convenient for older players it will make the tiers under NU seem less important because they don't get their own name, and that goes against what we're trying to do here. By using Option 3 we create an organised system that doesn't discriminate against any of the tiers and at the same time doesn't have nonsensical naming.

Ultimately though this is just going to come down to preference. There are still numerous people that don't want change because they're attached to their tier names and I understand that, but something's gotta give here.
 
#52
I don't see why we need to rename PU the name has worked just fine this generation, and renaming just one tier between gens might *actually* confuse people. I do agree that using a different system for tiers below PU would be the best way to go, but don't have a huge preference on what that system is. I think the best way to vote would be doing two votes: one to determine if the current tiers should be changed or not, and another to determine what to do based on the results of the first vote.
 

Quote

Cautiously Optimistic
is a Global Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Battle Server Moderatoris a Smogon Social Media Contributor Alumnus
LC Co-Leader
#53
I don't see why we need to rename PU the name has worked just fine this generation, and renaming just one tier between gens might *actually* confuse people. I do agree that using a different system for tiers below PU would be the best way to go, but don't have a huge preference on what that system is. I think the best way to vote would be doing two votes: one to determine if the current tiers should be changed or not, and another to determine what to do based on the results of the first vote.


If you need to have this written in your Room Intro, I think there's a problem.

Why is the only argument against change holding onto tradition? At least in the case of OU and UU they've been around forever so I can partially understand not being as willing to give up their name, but PU has only been official this gen (not even the whole gen) and afaik only started last gen, so it doesn't have the storied history the higher tiers have.

We shouldn't hold onto a clearly flawed system because people are afraid of saying "I'm a Tier 3/4/6 player" instead of saying "I'm an RU/NU/FU" player, or the thought that old players will get confused. That one makes no sense, honestly. The traditional scheme worked for a while but it needs to be cleaned up.

I'm not against a vote at this point but I know what's gonna happen.
 
#54
How is putting a simple answer to a common question in the roomintro so we don't have to answer every time in chat a problem? It's really not a big deal especially because we're willing to make the answer very clear and available.

As I already said in my first post in this thread, it's much less tradition and much more identity. When people think of Smogon, they think of OU, and they think of our usage based tiering system. Abandoning a huge part of our history is a bad idea in general and I can't help but think it would cause a lot more backlash than the minimal amount of confusion that exists.
 

Zarel

Not a Yuyuko fan
is a member of the Site Staffis a Battle Server Administratoris a Programmeris a Pokemon Researcheris an Administrator
Creator of PS
#55


That is self explanatory, not just to my friends and myself, but to most newer people too. Ru is below UU, Nu below that, Pu below that.
Even if someone can reference that list, tabbing back and forth between that list and a dex entry or something is really annoying, compared to a system that's more intuitive and easier to memorize.

And if the help room is receiving these questions on a very regular basis, I would question why that isn't a part of an FAQ or similar command (/tiers is not currently adequate imo, the link to the smogon page covering the tiers doesn't even mention PU and the home page does not contain a summary for the tiers and their order). If the Never part of Neverused is that confusing, perhaps it could be changed to something not quite as absolute (Negligently Used? Closest thing I can think of that also starts with N) that retains the same letter. People also dont always understand some of the commands on PS (someone has just asked how to compare stats), and the nature of the Help room says that by its nature it will be answering the same questions over and over, cause people will have similar problems to other people. If you dont want the help room answering the same questions over and over, I wonder what you want the help room to do. If you specifically want this question to not be asked repeatedly, a) that's holding it to a higher standard than the other questions the help room will receive regularly and b) steps should be taken to make that so the question is answered easier (ie: adding an explanation to the FAQ thread, adding details to the /tiers page on smogon), not overhauling the tier naming policy.
The problem is, having an FAQ is symptomatic of failed design.

An FAQ should never be your first resort, it should always be your last resort. An FAQ means, "I don't know how to make this intuitive, so the only thing I can do is explain it." It means "I failed to make this obvious, so now I have to explain it."

FAQs take time to read. Let's say it takes five minutes to read an FAQ. PS has 10 million users. So you expect to waste 95 years of my users' time because you're too lazy to deal with a rename?

Most people don't read FAQs. FAQs are a last resort, not a first resort, and they're not even a very good last resort at that.

Have you ever read instructions for how to use the teambuilder? Did you have to read "to open the teambuilder, click the Teambuilder button" before you understood how to open the teambuilder? Or was it obvious? Something as complicated as building a team can be done without reading any instructions at all, because it's designed to be obvious how to do it. And yet you can't do something as simple as naming a tier without needing to give people instructions for it?

Answering questions is a last resort. Designing things so people aren't confused should always be your first resort.

How is putting a simple answer to a common question so we don't have to answer every time in chat a problem? It's really not a big deal especially because we're willing to make the answer very clear and available.
It's symptomatic of bad design.

Once again, notice how I managed to build an entire teambuilder without having anything so badly designed as to need instructions in allcaps. There's no "TO MAKE ANOTHER TEAM, CLICK NEW TEAM". The stuff we do warn about, like clearing cookies, is stuff out of my control.

The problem with making the answer very clear and available is that it's not actually clear and available. People shouldn't have to join the PU room to have that question answered. That shouldn't even be a question in the first place.

PU is a bad name. FU is a bad name. NU is a bad name especially if it's not even the lowest tier.

As I already said in my first post in this thread, it's much less tradition and much more identity. When people think of Smogon, they think of OU, and they think of our usage based tiering system. Abandoning a huge part of our history is a bad idea in general and I can't help but think it would cause a lot more backlash than the minimal amount of confusion that exists.
We're talking about PU, not OU. I don't want to change OU at all.
 

Aberforth

Californium is PoMMan now.
is a Smogon Social Media Contributor Alumnusis a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnus
#56
Even if someone can reference that list, tabbing back and forth between that list and a dex entry or something is really annoying, compared to a system that's more intuitive and easier to memorize.
The dex entries have the tier the pokemon is in, and if it is at all viable in higher tiers it has an analysis for that set on the dex page that can be easily seen. Not to mention, in the teambuilder the same tabs remain as exist in the 'look for battle button' and if you select something for a tier it is illegal in, it says that the pokemon is illegal. There should be very few times when someone is trying to reference the list without a lot of stages to help in that significantly.

The problem is, having an FAQ is symptomatic of failed design.

An FAQ should never be your first resort, it should always be your last resort. An FAQ means, "I don't know how to make this intuitive, so the only thing I can do is explain it." It means "I failed to make this obvious, so now I have to explain it."
I mean, we have one already. Lets see what other non-intuitive things are in there: how to find a battle, click the battle button. How to fight my friend, click on their name and click challenge. The 4th question on the FAQ as it is could easily be adapted to explain the tiering system. For reference, the current question and answer is:

question said:
What do AG, Ubers, OU, BL, UU, BL2, RU, BL3 and NU stand for?
answer said:
If you want to know more about a specific tier you can use the command /tier [tiername]; it will show you information about that format.
Now 2 problems with this, one being it doesn't explain the transitivity of the tiers at all, despite that apparently being a huge problem, and 2, for a grouped question, you have an answer for specific tiers rather than a general one. Adding in, 'if you want to know more about any specific tier, use the command /tiers and it will take you to a page that can explain everything about smogon tiering' would be minimal effort and would go a long way to making this even more of a non-issue. It would require work on the actual, hopelessly outdated page, but is a better solution than committing to a half-hearted change in nomenclature. I get that it says something that this has to be a question in the faq itself, but when you have such other questions as 'how to battle' 'click battle', it cant mean all that much.

FAQs take time to read. Let's say it takes five minutes to read an FAQ. PS has 10 million users. So you expect to waste 95 years of my users' time because you're too lazy to deal with a rename?
Tell me this is a poor joke, please. 1) Nowhere near 10 million users have asked for an in depth explanation of the tiering system, 2) We have an FAQ already, adding one extra line into it is not adding 95 years worth of time to it, it's adding about 2 seconds per person, 3) Even assuming a tiny fraction of what you're claiming there, 5000 (1/2000 of the number you claim) users asking for clarification since the start of the year, that would be about 21 people per day, or nearly one person confused about tiering nomenclature every hour. Now, if logs show I'm wrong and someone asks that every hour, I eat my words. But you're significantly exaggerating how widespread the 'problem' is.

Most people don't read FAQs. FAQs are a last resort, not a first resort, and they're not even a very good last resort at that.
Then why do we already have one? It's specifically designed for situations like this, where questions are frequently asked. Changing the way we name our tiers will potentially reduce one question we would have to have on there, but I and others like Magnemite dont feel like that very slight benefit is worth changing something synonymous with Smogon. Creating an identity is a valuable part of any venture, and removing something that has been central to Smogon since it's inception is not something that gives many benefits at all. I know you say you wouldn't change OU or anything, but then the question will be changed from "what's the order of the tiers" to "why do you change from a U to a T for no reason?"

Have you ever read instructions for how to use the teambuilder? Did you have to read "to open the teambuilder, click the Teambuilder button" before you understood how to open the teambuilder? Or was it obvious? Something as complicated as building a team can be done without reading any instructions at all, because it's designed to be obvious how to do it. And yet you can't do something as simple as naming a tier without needing to give people instructions for it?

Answering questions is a last resort. Designing things so people aren't confused should always be your first resort.
No, but I also never needed instructions to know the tiers further down the list were below the tiers higher up on the list. And I never needed instructions that the battle button found me a battle. But you answer that question in the FAQ that you so vehemently oppose adjusting one question very slightly to be better explained.

As for the second point there, if we were starting a new Pokemon Website I might agree with you. But we're not, we've already had this naming system for nearly a decade, and changing it now when it is such a fundamental part of the identity of the website is a bad idea, just from a marketing standpoint. The widespread confusion it creates, allegedly, is not more valuable to be rid of than removing the brand would be damaging, at least in my opinion.

It's symptomatic of bad design.
"Why are Subway Sandwiches called Subs? What bad design. They should just call them 'bread with condiments between the slices'."

Your argument is purely logically based on the idea that minimal confusion is the most optimal state, ignoring brand identity, brand history and the significance of the change. This is not a minor aspect of the website that we can do without, this isn't a wrongly spelt word that we all missed, its part and parcel of Smogon's identity and we should be hesitant at best before changing it drastically.

Once again, notice how I managed to build an entire teambuilder without having anything so badly designed as to need instructions in allcaps. There's no "TO MAKE ANOTHER TEAM, CLICK NEW TEAM". The stuff we do warn about, like clearing cookies, is stuff out of my control.

The problem with making the answer very clear and available is that it's not actually clear and available. People shouldn't have to join the PU room to have that question answered. That shouldn't even be a question in the first place.

PU is a bad name. FU is a bad name. NU is a bad name especially if it's not even the lowest tier.
I'm 99% sure I've seen people ask questions like "how do I make a team". I've certainly seen "how do I export/import the team". Some people will be dumb. You have people who dont know how to find a battle with the biggest button on the screen being the Find a Battle button. We can never account for all issues of people not understanding something, no matter how intuitive it is. Overreacting in an attempt to is an effort in futility that is at best misguided when there are other areas that could be focused on (ie, making the current system adapt to make it simpler, without outright abandoning it). I already pointed out how we could change the N from Never to Negligibly. P could even stand for Pathetically. F should be shown the back door and replaced, but there are pretty obvious reasons to not have a tier called FU.

We're talking about PU, not OU. I don't want to change OU at all.

In which case this isn't useful at all. You're keeping the fundamentals, and then abandoning them after an arbitrary cutoff date from when the new tiers that were added should not be recognised by their current names. Assuming you mean to keep NU as the lowest tier, you would have to rename PU to NU, something the PU Leader and Supermod has said he doesn't want, and then have a random T-tier sandwiched between NU and RU, or you want to abandon NU, something we've had for nearly a decade now as well, in which case the ones you're choosing to keep or replace are arbitrary. And if you want the current ones to stay aside from PU, you still dont solve the issue of why something that is NeverUsed cannot be used in every tier, because there will still be a tier below NU.

Turns out that that proposal wasn't Zarel's one, I explain why I dont like Zarel's post later on the page. This part can still be applied for the option that does suggest adding random T's into places.
 
Last edited:

Acast

Classy af
is a Forum Moderator
Moderator
#57
In which case this isn't useful at all. You're keeping the fundamentals, and then abandoning them after an arbitrary cutoff date from when the new tiers that were added should not be recognised by their current names. Assuming you mean to keep NU as the lowest tier, you would have to rename PU to NU, something the PU Leader and Supermod has said he doesn't want, and then have a random T-tier sandwiched between NU and RU, or you want to abandon NU, something we've had for nearly a decade now as well, in which case the ones you're choosing to keep or replace are arbitrary. And if you want the current ones to stay aside from PU, you still dont solve the issue of why something that is NeverUsed cannot be used in every tier, because there will still be a tier below NU.
Zarel happened to make this post earlier in the thread explaining how he thinks the tiers should be named.
Okay, seriously, we already start numbering BLs; I think we can number tiers:

(Ubers)
OU
(BL)
UU
(BL2)
UU2
(BL3)
UU3
...etc

Not only does it make it a lot easier to remember which BL is the banlist for which tier, it also retains the upper tiers' names, and it makes sense: overused, underused, more underused, even more underused...
I would argue OU is the only truly iconic tier to smogon. All other tiers (save for Ubers and LC) are simply part of the same usage-based system. Now I have to admit that Zarel's suggestion wouldn't be my first choice, but I would still be happy with it because at the very least it's sensical and better than the current system. He's not shuffling the tier names around to make sure NU is the lowest tier. He's not inserting random Tx tier names where PU used to be. He is modifying the existing system to accommodate future tiers without completely abandoning the backbone of smogon's tier naming system. OU stays the way it is. Everything below that is "underused" to an extent. The extent to which each is underused would be represented by the number next to UU. It's simple, straightforward, and maintains the iconic part of smogon's current system.
 
#58
Even if a new name "makes more sense", that doesn't change the fact that having different names for the same tiers across different generations absolutely does not make sense, and would cause tons more actual confusion than already exists. By renaming every lower tier to a variation of the same thing, you're just removing a lot of identity from what already exists, and people will still call tiers by the old names because they're either used to it, don't like the new names, or want to associate them with their existing old gen counterparts, which is something that has always been happening and will continue to happen even if you rename the tiers.

Appending "(Tx)" or something similar to the end of the current names and / or using a new system for new tiers that are created is absolutely fine and probably should be done. Completely renaming tiers that have already existed and have established playerbases is a terrible idea and should absolutely not be done.

edit: after talking people, even most of the people who want the current names changed would be fine with just appending "Tier #". I really think that this would be the least objectionable idea by far as it solves just about all of the concerns with the current system.
 
Last edited:

galbia

ARROWHEADS ARROWHEADS ARROWHEADS ARROWHEADS
is a member of the Site Staffis a Super Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Smogon Media Contributoris a Battle Server Moderatoris a Tutor Alumnusis a Team Rater Alumnus
PU Leader
#59
Ugh i have to say i have hated the name PU for i think as long as I understood it meant nothing and a lot of the points brought up in these pages (sorry i skimmed more posts than i liked but i was on vacation for most of the past month) really make me more and more sure it is a really bad name to have in a tiering system like smogon's, in which the flavor names have traditionally (ugh) meant something until we had to add more tiers.

for these reasons i would not be fine with just appending "tier #" to the current names that i believe don't work at least on the lower end that involves PU and, because i think i am relevant to some degree to this matter and i can't just not suggest anything else, i am going to discuss the other ideas briefly.

  • using "Tier #" or variants (3U-4U or w/e) of that that would reform the complete tier name even in the cases that do not require it is probably not an exceptional idea since the problem is really only in the lower end of the spectrum and the names are pretty boring i guess and on this i can relate to a few other posts here. so yeah disagreeing with the "utilitarian" solution
  • keeping the same "naming system" and traditional names, but changing PU into NU as the lowest tier while creating another on top of it, instead is also quite drastic but in my opinion makes more sense since we get to keep the flavored names that make sense in the smogon "tradition" while also removing the painfully bad name PU is currently, that requires an explanation as well. the downside is exaggerated by magnemite i think since i do not like to think players play a tier because of its name but rather because of the pokemon in it and i really think we should make this sacrifice especially considering most of the playerbase next gen will have not played get 6 likely
 

erisia

nyoen wnt an popsicel
is a Smogon Media Contributoris a Site Staff Alumnusis a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnus
#60
There's a lot of talk of tier identity being compromised by any naming system changes. One thing to consider is how long this could actually be said to last for; I can imagine players being peeved for about a month or so and then carrying on as they did before. People aren't going to stop playing Smogon because a tier was renamed. RU and PU are no more recognisable than UU2 or UU4 to seasoned players, and are more recognisable to new players. So changing the naming system to Zarel's suggestion or something else would have short term negatives but long term positives (if minor ones), whereas the negatives of the status quo will continue to increase long term forever.

Also, if we do come up with new tier names, NegligiblyUsed and PatheticallyUsed are terrible names for tiers. They're long, have negative connotations for the quality of the tier or its player base (which no other tier name has at the moment excluding PU, but that's a matter for PU to discuss), and will probably cause people to go "Huh?" and make many jokes about Smogon policy while they exist. If we do name tiers in the end, the names need to be simple and descriptive of usage only to be consistent with the others.
 

DTC

I'll be your 1-Up girl
is a Battle Server Administratoris a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Live Chat Contributoris a Pokemon Researcheris a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Smogon Media Contributor
Moderator
#61
My main problem with the "Tier x" system is it's not as quickly identifiable as the names we use now because the identifier comes after the first letter rather than before. "(O)U, (U)U, (R)U" are nice because you can clearly see from the first letter which format is being referred to. This is most relevant when, for example, scrolling down through the room list on Pokemon Showdown. It would become noticeably harder to find the tier room you're looking for when they all start with "Tier" rather than "OverUsed" or "RarelyUsed". In my mind, "T1, "T2", and the like also loses some "personality" and "flair" because the names become more homogeneous. The users who play these tiers often find the "brand" of the tier important, as silly and absurd that may sound, and homogenizing the names removes an identity of these formats.

That said, the effect of making the tiers more simple for newbies to understand is palpable. Compromising by changing the name UnderUsed (T2) and the like seems like the best solution, even though it is far less elegant than the others.
 

djanxo unchained

Junichi Masuda likes this!!
is a Battle Server Moderator Alumnus
#62
Okay I've read a lot of the posts in this thread and here's a suggestion:

Anything Goes
S Tier (Ubers)
A Tier (OU)
B+ (BL)
B Tier (UU)
C+
C Tier (RU)
D+
D Tier (NU)
E+
E Tier (PU)
F+
F Tier (FU)
G+
G Tier
.
.
.
LC

For Doubles you just have stuff listed as "Doubles A Tier" or "Doubles B Tier"

I think this system makes sense because you don't have to explain anything, it's pretty intuitive. Everyone knows A is going to be a higher tier than B, and I think it's safe to assume that B+ is going to include B Tier plus other 'Mons and stuff like that. The only confusion comes if we get to the 19th tier because I gave S Tier's name to Ubers. If you want to maintain "tradition" then you could literally name the tier "A Tier (OU)" instead of just "A Tier."
 

Aberforth

Californium is PoMMan now.
is a Smogon Social Media Contributor Alumnusis a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnus
#63
I had misunderstood what Zarel was arguing for (the Ts as opposed to UU#), but I still dont think his system is any better. I would think there would be plenty more confusion now over which mon is in a certain tier (Is Garbodor UU3 or UU2?) for people who dont play the tier, and it makes the tiers much more similar in name than what they are now (66% compared to 50%), creating more room for confusion and removing a fair amount of each tier's identity, while also emphasizing an implied lower importance than the tier above it. A UU3 player is superior to a UU4 player and so on. Removing tier identity in this way seems a sure fire way to lead to tier bashing.
 
#64
If we have to change tier system I believe we can't keep usage abbrevations, turning PU into NU would be too confusing for the whole tiering history ("NU through history.. well now it runs lots of NFE mons and it wasn't always the bottom tier but hey! just forget about it!"), so some number+letter tiering would be ok.
I like the idea of BL being "Tier+", since it's pretty simple to get that "B+" or "2U+" or "whatever+" means that it's not a playable tier.
That being said I would make system really easy to players. I started playing between Smogon and PO and all those signs as "RU" "LU" "NU" really confused me. "Under-Used" "Rarely-Used" etc don't really have a simple hierarchy and you just gotta learn them through experience. However, regardless of the naming system choice, I believe it wouldn't be hard for anyone to learn what tier stays above the other; you just have to take a look at all tiers and you'll learn them. Simple.
I don't consider the nomenclature being an "important" stuff as long as it's understandable, so just make it easy. For this reason I would go for stuff like "A, B, C," with S as Ubers (we won't really end having 18 tiers in any future I hope), or just 0 (Ubers), 1, 2, 3, 4...
 

starry blanket

nos quedamos solitos
is a Community Contributor Alumnus
#65
the "xU" tier names should definitely be kept because they're a pretty big part of smogon "tradition". OU & UU are definitely the most recognizable & easy to decipher, but that doesn't mean the others should be screwed over... i think totally changing the names right now would just lead to great amounts of confusion for more "lukewarm" players. same goes with always making the lowest tier's name "NU" (flipping things around to accommodate that) because that just leads to more confusion while killing the sense of identity or whatever with the affected tiers' communities. i'm assuming that when NU was added, it was assumed that it'd be the lowest tier. RU was added in gen 5, and it was placed in between NU and UU, showing that there was effort to stay consistent with this.

i think the best solution to this problem is to first start by planning for the possible edition of new tiers in the future. rather than saying "okay FU it is; this tier is now below PU", why not introduce whatever new tier is necessary at the beginning of a new gen in between the current RU and NU? this sorta goes with that previous idea thrown around of pushing things back a bit, but it doesn't totally change the name of a tier a community is built around. instead, at the beginning of gen 8 or whatever, it would be announced that "xU" is the new tier in between NU and RU; it'd have a name fitting this (seldom used or whatever else has been thrown around) rather than a name that doesn't have any meaning (PU/FU).

this helps to maintain smogon tier nomenclature tradition while ensuring future tiers have a meaning. PU is sorta the odd man out, but i don't think it's a big deal to have a tier with the name "pee ewww" as a tier that's even lower than never used... one tier with a joke name as the lowest isn't a big deal, but we shouldn't have to add tiers that also have meaningless names after PU.

with all that said, this obviously doesn't fix the issue of making things easier to recognize for newer players. i like the idea of just adding "(Tier 1)" next to these tiers both in the builder and on the forums for newer players to figure out more quickly; like Zarel mentioned, a naming system where people have to read an FAQ to figure out what the hell is going on isn't a good naming system. this maintains smogon tradition and culture while making things easier for new players to understand.

tl;dr: do what smogon did in the past and simply add a tier in between NU and RU at the start of a generation. furthermore, "(Tier x)" tags can be placed next to tier names on forums and in the teambuilder so newer players can figure things out quickly. this solution considers the addition of future tiers (and the meaningfulness of their names), the tradition of smogon tier names, and the confusion beginners might have with "xU" tier names.
 

Zarel

Not a Yuyuko fan
is a member of the Site Staffis a Battle Server Administratoris a Programmeris a Pokemon Researcheris an Administrator
Creator of PS
#66
The dex entries have the tier the pokemon is in
Yes, and if you don't recognize the tier name you're not going to be able to tell whether PU is better than NU or worse than NU, etc etc. You'd have to constantly tab back and forth between entries and the tier list.

I mean, we have one already. Lets see what other non-intuitive things are in there: how to find a battle, click the battle button. How to fight my friend, click on their name and click challenge. The 4th question on the FAQ as it is could easily be adapted to explain the tiering system.
Those are actually all intuitive things.

There's a huge difference between "obvious for most people, but some people need help figuring out really basic things" and "does not make sense to anyone until explained". FAQs should be for the former situation.

Tell me this is a poor joke, please. 1) Nowhere near 10 million users have asked for an in depth explanation of the tiering system, 2) We have an FAQ already, adding one extra line into it is not adding 95 years worth of time to it, it's adding about 2 seconds per person, 3) Even assuming a tiny fraction of what you're claiming there, 5000 (1/2000 of the number you claim) users asking for clarification since the start of the year, that would be about 21 people per day, or nearly one person confused about tiering nomenclature every hour. Now, if logs show I'm wrong and someone asks that every hour, I eat my words. But you're significantly exaggerating how widespread the 'problem' is.
We have an FAQ that practically no one reads. If people need to read the FAQ to play the game, something is seriously wrong with the game.

And the real problem is that a few people will read the FAQ, a few people will ask questions and annoy everyone else, a few people will eventually figure it out, and a a lot of people will just stay confused, maybe give up and play a different game made by people who can do simple things like name a tier something that makes sense.

Then why do we already have one? It's specifically designed for situations like this, where questions are frequently asked.
The purpose of an FAQ is to answer questions you have no better way of answering. They are a last resort, not a first resort because you're too lazy to deal with a new tier name. Did you even read my post? I actually said this multiple times in my post because it was very important and I didn't want people to miss it.

I literally said:
> An FAQ should never be your first resort, it should always be your last resort.

And then later:
> FAQs are a last resort, not a first resort

Changing the way we name our tiers will potentially reduce one question we would have to have on there, but I and others like Magnemite dont feel like that very slight benefit is worth changing something synonymous with Smogon. Creating an identity is a valuable part of any venture, and removing something that has been central to Smogon since it's inception is not something that gives many benefits at all. I know you say you wouldn't change OU or anything, but then the question will be changed from "what's the order of the tiers" to "why do you change from a U to a T for no reason?"
Uber, OU, and UU are all pretty decent tier names with a lot of history. OU in particular is basically synonymous with Smogon, has a lot of history, and should not be changed. Good thing I don't plan on changing any of those.
 

Zarel

Not a Yuyuko fan
is a member of the Site Staffis a Battle Server Administratoris a Programmeris a Pokemon Researcheris an Administrator
Creator of PS
#67
Let's talk about branding, tradition, and history.

"OU" is a very important tier name and is basically synonymous with Smogon. Especially with things like http://sounds-neet.tumblr.com/post/86509071675

The first tiers were Uber, OU, and UU. Eventually, it was decided that usage wasn't enough to balance UU, so BL came along.

NU was later introduced to mean "pokemon that did not meet usage cutoffs for UU". Its existence was so the UU tier could function as a threatlist for the UU format, the same way the OU tier functions as a threatlist for the OU format: Any Pokémon in the UU tier was a pokemon you would encounter on average at least once every 10 UU games. So you needed a name for Pokémon that weren't in the UU tier: thus, NU.

People started actually playing games with Pokémon in NU, and eventually NU got a ladder and went official.

Then gen 5 rolled along, and there were 649 Pokémon and tier leaders decided ahead of time that 3 tiers were probably not enough, so we made another official tier, RU, between UU and NU.

Then people started to want to play with Pokémon that didn't meet the cutoff for NU. Antar jokingly suggested the names "PU" and "FU". PU later became official in gen 6.

Uber, OU, and UU are fine names. Really, the problem started when people started playing games with Pokémon in NU. That was the point at which the tier names stopped being accurate. That wasn't a huge deal, though, it's not hard for someone to figure out that "Neverused" is less usage than "Underused". The next problem came when we introduced RU. "Rarelyused" is not obviously below "Underused". You can probably work out that "Underused" makes sense as the tier directly under "Overused", which only leaves "Rarelyused" one place to go between "Underused" and "Neverused", but it requires a bit of thinking; it's no longer completely intuitive. It's good enough, though, until "PU" and "FU". Those were joke tier names that were never meant to be official and don't even stand for anything.

PU has been confusing people ever since it was made an official tier, but this was recent, has not existed long enough to be a part of Smogon's "brand", and can and should be undone.

Antar's idea of renaming NU to SU (seldomused) and PU to NU is okay, but still has the problem that it's not clear to newcomers which of RU and SU is above which. Honestly, past RU, no matter how you do it, there are just too many tiers for a non-hardcore player to memorize (protip: if you have post access to PR, you are a hardcore player). Numbering tiers below UU is the best compromise between branding and removing dumb confusing names.

Calling something "PU (Tier 6)" does not fix the problem that PU is a dumb name. Don't get me wrong, it's a funny name as a joke name, it should never have been an official tier name.
 

Zarel

Not a Yuyuko fan
is a member of the Site Staffis a Battle Server Administratoris a Programmeris a Pokemon Researcheris an Administrator
Creator of PS
#68
Even if a new name "makes more sense", that doesn't change the fact that having different names for the same tiers across different generations absolutely does not make sense, and would cause tons more actual confusion than already exists.
NU is tier 4 out of 4 in DPP, tier 5 out of 5 in BW2, and tier 5 out of 6 in ORAS.

We already have different names for the same tiers across different generations. We might as well make them make sense.

By renaming every lower tier to a variation of the same thing, you're just removing a lot of identity from what already exists, and people will still call tiers by the old names because they're either used to it, don't like the new names, or want to associate them with their existing old gen counterparts, which is something that has always been happening and will continue to happen even if you rename the tiers.

Appending "(Tx)" or something similar to the end of the current names and / or using a new system for new tiers that are created is absolutely fine and probably should be done. Completely renaming tiers that have already existed and have established playerbases is a terrible idea and should absolutely not be done.

edit: after talking people, even most of the people who want the current names changed would be fine with just appending "Tier #". I really think that this would be the least objectionable idea by far as it solves just about all of the concerns with the current system.
You still have the problem that PU and FU are horrible names.

And what do you call future tiers? AU, BU, CU? Those are also horrible names.

Yes, yes, pat yourself on the back for doing absolutely nothing to solve the problem of "what do we name future tiers?" which is one of the problems we started this thread to solve in the first place.

And "NegligiblyUsed" and "PatheticallyUsed" are also dumb; even if you ignore that they sound like joke names, they have the same RU problem of "it's really unclear which synonym of 'uncommon' is above or below which other synonym of 'uncommon' "

NU meaning "Neverused" would be a good name if it was consistently the lowest tier, but people will always want to play games with Pokémon that are below NU in usage. Either way, I wouldn't be opposed to keeping "NU" to refer to the lowest official tier. (You could call unofficial lower tiers NU2/NU3/etc to match the UU2/UU3/etc convention.)

Really, my proposal keeps every single old name except maybe "RU" which can still be what everyone unofficially calls UU2 if you want, and solves the both of the problems listed in the thread OP, while your proposal solves maybe half of the first one.
 
Last edited:

Aberforth

Californium is PoMMan now.
is a Smogon Social Media Contributor Alumnusis a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnus
#70
You would have a significant problem with the lack of tier Identity there under that system Zarel. UU2 competing alongside UU and UU3 is going to be a lot harder to draw newer players and craft it's own identity than RU does competing with NU and UU. It's also harder to instantly recognize which is which in things like the teambuilder. Assuming the same font size between the two systems, it's much less noticable which tier a pokemon is in, and much less memorable at the same time. Identifying a tier by the first letter/symbol is better for both of those, and causes less confusion, especially around the time there would be tier shifts. Also a minor issue is naming the new rooms, from "RarelyUsed, come check out Druddigon ext ext" to "UnderUsed 2, come check out Druddigon ext" one sounds distinctly better and more unique than the other one does. (also I was being sarcastic when I said that how to find a battle was non-intuitive, I was basically saying that we have intuitive things on there too and it isn't much of an extra to add in a line on an existing question to clear up what many people apparently have significant problems with, should have made that clearer)

Also, this sort of change is going to effect those who actually play the game for longer then about a week much more. We've been used to the first letter identification system for a decade now, the unnecessary shift to a 3 letter system will just end up confusing the people who dont pay a significant amount of attention to the policy review forums.

And I dont think asking people to remember the order of a list of 5 things (IK we have 6, I'm excluding ubers here) to be that much of an ask. If we had, or conceivably would have 10 tiers below OU, I would agree that it would potentially be a problem, but that is not likely to be a thing for a long time, if ever, and preemptively solving something that isn't an issue now by changing it to something that makes the current situation worse (tier identity, tier history, ease of navigation and recognition) to solve a potential issue in the future is a poor way of doing things (another potential name for PU, Poorly Used and change it's location between the tiers RU and NU). If you had suggested a change that solved the potential issue in another two decades (the time it has taken to reach 5 tiers based on usage) while also not causing immediate problems, I would probably have agreed with it, but that's not the case.

It's like remembering the way the pieces move in chess. There's no extra intuitive way that all of the pieces move in the board game, it's simply something you're expected to learn. If someone is unwilling to remember the rather simplistic order we already have, with numerous tools along the way to help them do so, the formatting on both ps and smogon, the dex pages, the way the pages look for any pokemon viable in a tier higher than the one it is in, the format pages for the tiers (although as I have said, not the tier page which is still outdated) and the structure of the teambuilder (going downwards as you scroll from the tier you are in to lower tiers, never reaching illegal ones). If someone is unwilling or incapable of learning this rather simple process, I dont particularly care about them sticking around, chances are they wouldn't be a good contributor if they cannot figure out something that we make as obvious as possible when it is remembering a very easy to remember list of 5 tiers. People remember Do Ray Mi Fa So La Ti Do with little problems, even if they are not involved in singing/performance/ext. That's 3 extra things, not particularly intuitive, about the same length as our current system is in terms of words. People remember the first 6 numbers in Pi all the time without any need to. We're not asking people to learn Dutch or anything to make sense of our current naming system, and it takes at most minimal effort. Changing things to suit the lazy will not give us benefit.

As for changing the way we name our future tiers, how about going alongside the orbital naming system until we run out of them? Add in an 'S' Tier between NU and PU if we're so certain we will have enough mons for a new tier next generation and then go with the remaining orbitals (SPDF) until we run out of them. By that time we'd have 9 usage based tiers and the people attached to the PU name can even retain it. Yes FU would eventually become a tier name, but at least there's a reason for it rather than it just being a joke this way. And this way we also keep each tiers identity distinct and easy to recognise, while keeping primacy of identification (first letter is the distinguishing one), which should, in my opinion, be one of our priorities beyond simply making a list that is even more intuitive than it currently is.
 
#71
Instead of renaming, can't we just cap off after NU? I agree with Zarel that RarelyUsed is ambiguous, so I'm proposing OU, UU, and NU to be our only official tiers. We would still have ubers lc whatever, but this is it for lowtiers. NU would essentially become what RU is now if that wasn't clear to anyone.
 

Acast

Classy af
is a Forum Moderator
Moderator
#72
That would eliminate two metagames with huge followings. The point of the usage-based system is so that as many pokemon have a chance to be viable as possible, even if they have to be separated into multiple metagames. Removing 2 out of 5 of those metagames (not counting LC and Ubers) means we're abandoning the reasons for the usage-based system in the first place. That creates a bigger problem than it fixes.
 
#73
NU is tier 4 out of 4 in DPP, tier 5 out of 5 in BW2, and tier 5 out of 6 in ORAS.

We already have different names for the same tiers across different generations. We might as well make them make sense.
That's literally the only example of this. Not at all worth switching everything over, especially when it's between two relatively dead oldgens. I also don't see why 5 of 5 vs 5 of 6 matters, that would be the case with any name system.

You still have the problem that PU and FU are horrible names.

And what do you call future tiers? AU, BU, CU? Those are also horrible names.

Yes, yes, pat yourself on the back for doing absolutely nothing to solve the problem of "what do we name future tiers?" which is one of the problems we started this thread to solve in the first place.
FU has never been used in any official capacity and can be easily changed, so it is irrelevant to this discussion. PU being a horrible name is really subjective as most of us PU players have grown attached to the name and it has worked just fine as an official tier this generation (oh no! we have to have a single line in our room intro and put explanations in a few other places! the end is nigh!). The system I'm supporting works just fine for new tiers when they're created because you can either ditch the first part and keep them as "tier 6" etc, or just come up with something arbitrary, which is also fine as the number attached to the end removes any of the potential confusion.

And "NegligiblyUsed" and "PatheticallyUsed" are also dumb; even if you ignore that they sound like joke names, they have the same RU problem of "it's really unclear which synonym of 'uncommon' is above or below which other synonym of 'uncommon' "
I agree that they sound stupid, which is why I never suggested anything about them in the first place. Also, RU has existed for two whole gens without once having anyone bring its name up as a problem, the fact that people are bringing it up now is ridiculous and just supports my thought that this is a solution looking for a problem with regards to the current tier names.

NU meaning "Neverused" would be a good name if it was consistently the lowest tier, but people will always want to play games with Pokémon that are below NU in usage. Either way, I wouldn't be opposed to keeping "NU" to refer to the lowest official tier. (You could call unofficial lower tiers NU2/NU3/etc to match the UU2/UU3/etc convention.)
Then we would have to rename more tiers once new ones became official which would just make everything worse.

Really, my proposal keeps every single old name except maybe "RU" which can still be what everyone unofficially calls UU2 if you want, and solves the both of the problems listed in the thread OP, while your proposal solves maybe half of the first one.
Congratulations, you've just brought up one of the biggest problems with changing the current tier names. Tons of people who either don't like the new names or aren't used to them will continue to call the tiers by their old names (this is a non-issue with my proposal, which isn't actually my proposal at all but I'll call it that because it makes things easier). This will also happen because especially with gen 5 and 6 and now 7, each tier has a pretty strong association with its past generation counterparts. Now people will have way more to remember and keep track of than they ever did before because the old names they keep hearing aren't actually officially used anywhere, and there will be much, much more confusion than exists now, especially among the people who you were trying to help in the first place. Also this proposal satisfies both the concerns in the OP as this post explains so I'm not sure what you're trying to get at.
 

erisia

nyoen wnt an popsicel
is a Smogon Media Contributoris a Site Staff Alumnusis a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnus
#74
Tons of people who either don't like the new names or aren't used to them will continue to call the tiers by their old names (this is a non-issue with my proposal, which isn't actually my proposal at all but I'll call it that because it makes things easier). This will also happen because especially with gen 5 and 6 and now 7, each tier has a pretty strong association with its past generation counterparts. Now people will have way more to remember and keep track of than they ever did before because the old names they keep hearing aren't actually officially used anywhere, and there will be much, much more confusion than exists now, especially among the people who you were trying to help in the first place. Also this proposal satisfies both the concerns in the OP as this post explains so I'm not sure what you're trying to get at.
This is a really good point. If people aren't 100% on board with a new system, they'll just refer to the old one whenever possible and cause more confusion. This could very well undermine the whole point of numbered tiers if this persists for a long time after the switch. That said, if we do introduce new names, I reckon that NeverUsed should be the default name for the last official tier, and we insert tiers as necessary. BarelyUsed, HardlyUsed, and SeldomUsed are three good descriptors that don't have negative connotations and could be inserted fairly easily between RU and NU. If we do decide overall to go with new official tier names, we should have a big discussion to decide which names are the clearest / least terrible so that we minimise the immediate problems of this naming system in the future. Obviously non-official tiers can have whatever names they like and will just be assigned one of these when they are made official.
 
Last edited:
#75
Read most of the thread but not all of it. All I have to add really is that I'm not letting go of NU any more than Magnemite is letting go of PU, and I'm also not going to lead what is effectively PU but named NU, particularly not because of the minor inconvenience that new players experience in learning the simple tier order.

This is a non-issue.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.