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Transparency in the OU Council

Discussion in 'The Policy Review' started by kd24, Dec 25, 2012.

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  1. kd24

    kd24 yo daddy musta been a drug dealer? why, cuz you're dope
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    After a heated IRC discussion in #pokemon, I'd rather let this spill onto the forums where we can discuss things respectably and we can say what we need to say.

    There is this trap we keep falling prey to and that is how we nominate suspects via Council without looking towards the real cause of problems. Obviously the elephant in the room is the ability Drizzle and how many people feel it's broken even at this point. You may notice the latest 2 OU Suspects are Tornadus-T and Keldeo, two of the most feared Rain Sweepers out there.

    The issue is, this kind of came out of nowhere. I had heard about it ahead of time but why wasn't Drizzle even a topic of discussion this time around? It didn't seem like the people I've seen talking on IRC even knew that Drizzle was yet again off the table and now we have a bunch of hatred from OU players because once again, Drizzle is going untested while yet more OU Pokemon are now up as a suspect (and I'm confident at least 1/2 of these are banned).

    I could make a post about why Drizzle has been absolutely broken ever since BW 1 came out and if that's necessary from several players I'm sure we could easily do this (just in the short conversation I saw, BKC, Ojama, mostwanted, TFC, and other high profile players have been in agreement about Drizzle being broken).

    So we aren't allowed to discuss Drizzle in threads according to OU moderators, and we aren't testing it either. How is it ever going to get put up as a suspect? There needs to at least be a way for us to see how the OU Council decides to suspect and maybe look at an alternative because I just can't believe Drizzle yet again is not a suspect with how vocal much of the community has been. Maybe we should have a discussion thread as a whole where people can voice their opinions on possible suspects and then the council lets us know which ones they see as the most viable one to suspect test.
  2. Pocket

    Pocket Apo, the astronaut's best friend >:3
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    kd24, Drizzle is a controversial topic - not everybody thinks the same way as you and other anti-Drizzle users. A lot of users can't be fucked to try to "out-shout" you in #pokemon, so they just watch you guys rant without sharing the same sentiments.

    Drizzle is complicated, b/c it affects more than just Keldeo, Tornadus-T, but a whole host of other Pokemon that benefit from it in less subtle ways. Hell, even Celebi appreciates Rain for negating Sand's residual damage and protecting it from Fire moves. It's also noteworthy that Drizzle alone has yet to be broken (arguably Rain was non-problematic post-r5 and pre-bw2, which were after we banned Thundurus and before the introduction of Keldeo and Tornadus-T). We all agree that a COMBINATION of Drizzle and powerful Rain abusers are the real issue here (if there's any issue at all) - whether to ban the handful of few abusers to preserve a playstyle or ban the playstyle for simplicity is up for debate.

    Personally, if there's no easy way to decisively pinpoint the problem, the next course of action would be to make the decision that would provide the most favorable outcome. Banning Drizzle has a threat of precipitating an imbalance in the currently balanced powers of weather. Without Rain, Sun may become OP, and we may end up banning Drought. With no Sun or Rain, Sand will become the "default weather," and our ban-happy selves may end up banning Stoutland, Landorus, hell even Terrakion, or maybe even Sandstream altogether. Thundurus and Manaphy will most likely return to OU. In the end, banning Rain would potentially precipitate more bans that will restrict the metagame to a few dominant Fighting-types, Dragon-, and Steel-types. Not my picture of a diverse or an enjoyable playstyle - more like stagnant and even more centralized around whatever OU mons that are left (Terrakion, Keldeo, Heatran, Scizor, Latios, Salamence, etc).

    If we can ban one or even two more abusers to make Rain less of an issue, I'd much rather prefer this than banning Drizzle just b/c 3+ mons are broken in it. Like I said above, there are many non-broken mons that benefit from Rain, and I don't believe it's desirable to lose such benefits rain bestow to these Pokemon for the sake of a few OP mons. Of course there comes a point where banning so many Pokemon broken in Drizzle will prove more damaging to meta diversity than banning Drizzle, but I personally think we haven't reached that threshold yet, especially with Manaphy and THundurus-I being the only Pokemon banished to Ubers because of rain. Is freeing Manaphy and Thundurus-I worth banning Drizzle and potentially Drought and Sand, thereby nerfing several Pokemon that benefit from these weather in the process?

    PS: This has nothing to do with OU Council transparency, but it's relevant to the other topic at hand (how-to-handle Drizzle)
  3. ala

    ala
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    I get what you're saying Pocket, but what really irks me is the fact that we aren't allowed to discuss what is a fundamental reason as to why these pokemon are being tested in the first place. Why is it so wrong to want to explore our options and decide what works better that way? To me, if we actually go through with banning Keldeo and Tornadus-T, it won't stop there. Next will be Tornadus-I, with nearly identical stats (even stronger Hurricanes). After that it could be Thundurus-T. How many bans will it take to keep Drizzle in OU?

    The metagame is an absolute joke right now, and it can't get much worse. Now is the time to try something different and test without Rain in the tier. Why can't we set up a ladder to see if the metagame is better without Drizzle? Wouldn't that put all of this theorymon talk to rest?

    I'm not trying to bash the Council here, but the idea of 5 people making the decision for so many is clearly not working. I'd rather have a system where the users vote on which suspects they want to test, with the Council having final say in extreme circumstances.
  4. Pocket

    Pocket Apo, the astronaut's best friend >:3
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    I would actually prefer a ladder without Keldeo and / or Tornadus-T first to see if what you proposed (Thundurus-T & Tornadus-I becoming Uber powerful) truly happens. This would indeed put a rest to such fears of the "never-ending Rain nerf"
  5. Aldaron

    Aldaron All da lil birdies chirpin
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    I actually agree with being allowed to publicly discuss whatever you want.

    Note this however: unless you are 100% civil, 100% reasonable, and 100% willing to provide logic based on justification past your personal preferences for a metagame, you won't be acknowledged.

    This of course means acting like mob crazies and ganging up on people like I witnessed in the "conversation" today in #pokemon...where (for I won't name names) pocket was banned simply for disagreeing with the current mob's opinion.

    So yea, ask the OU mods nicely if you can have reasonable discourse about whatever suspects you want, and I'm sure something can get worked out.

    Also, for what it's worth: [20:52:30] <&aldaron> for the record, once bw2 came around, before we banned genesect, i supported revisiting my proposal
    [20:52:34] <&aldaron> but it didnt gain traction
    [20:52:47] * ChouToshio (~choutoshi@synIRC-44B85AAF.hawaii.res.rr.com) has joined #pokemon
    [20:53:07] <&aldaron> ive publicly stated that i felt we already at the limit of banning components of rain in bw1, and banning more components to make it ok was going past my subjective line

    Also, I find it very disappointing, kd24, that instead of approaching me about your "transparency concerns" (you've never approached me personally), you decided to voice the standard not-involved-smogon's-policy-individual's go to talking point: transparency!

    I have always been 100% forthcoming with any decisions made behind closed doors, as anyone who has actually dealt with me in policy will attest to.

    Hint guys: you want to make the top more malleable to your ideas? Topics like this are not the way to do it.

    EDIT:
    Are you serious? This is what I'm talking about lol. No, we'll never have the option for the suspect voters to pick the suspects. That will never happen. You guys got a suspect - council hybrid, stop trying to claw for more. Don't blame the system for the metagame when the issue is clearly a metagame saturated with top level offensive threats: note even if you ban Rain / Sun, you'll have the DPP issues of Dragons, hazards HO, and the like. It never stops. Stop being so completely and utterly shortsighted.
  6. ala

    ala
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    Do you honestly think that the community are going to pick really stupid suspects to test? You're saying it would never stop if the users pick, yet your Council of 5 members had suspects to test for what; 2 years of BW1?

    If you don't agree with letting us pick the suspects, then at least let us discuss what we think about it in the thread. Censoring us to talk ONLY about the ones YOU picked is not helping. We should be working together here, but what you're doing is causing the users and the Council to drift further apart.
  7. Aldaron

    Aldaron All da lil birdies chirpin
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    You're aware the community picked Baton Pass as a suspect right.

    And please, don't give me the "2 years" of BW1 crap. It wasn't 2 years. BW1 might have existed for 2 years, but we didn't have the 2 years to test. If you don't know what I mean, you clearly don't have the information to make such a statement.

    And yes, like I said, I support an open discussion (note that's just me, I don't know if others support it) on suspects.

    keeping as a reminder of people who don't know what they're talking about trying to make legitimate points.
  8. ala

    ala
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    Ok, a year and a half of testing (being generous here). Happy?
  9. Pocket

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    What, the council system first started in Nov 2011, when they were tiering Deoxys-S, so you're off by a whole year.

    Get your facts straight, brother!

    A publicly open nom thread was the worst idea ever; that's what made the suspect test process shit. Let's not go there. People were nominating everything and anything (BAN ALL WEATHERZ and lol baton pass)
  10. Aldaron

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    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Aiuh9aCJ5V3bdHpLMWY2Z1d2MHk0akxiRDlvREVsSFE

    Made this spreadsheet about who qualified in the past 3 OU suspect tests.

    Not really too keen on having people who either:

    a.) did not qualify for 2 or more of them

    b.) are not Smogon upper staff

    chime in how OU policy works honestly...

    AND note pocket, about your 1 year marker, we actually shut down council itself for a good part of early 2012 because the news of BW2 coming out was released, and we determined there was little point to make changes to BW1 at that point. So it's actually less than even a year.
  11. ala

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    Well before that it was Phil iirc deciding on the suspects. My apologies, I should have cleared that up. I'm not saying that the Council or Phil did a bad job either, its just to say that the users would do a terrible job is kind of insulting. When I suggested to let the users pick suspects, I also said that the Council could have final say, basically picking the most obvious ones of the bunch for users to vote on. That way we could really see who wants Drizzle or Torn-T and Keldeo tested and feel confident that we have the majority of users happy with the decision.
  12. kokoloko

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    While I do agree with Ala and kd24 that Drizzle has been the problem all along (and I do realize banning Drizzle would lead to a ton of other bans, but I think its necessary at this point), the solution is most definitely not letting anyone and everyone nominate stuff. There's no real objective way of determining who is actually competent enough to have good reasoning behind their nominations (ladder ranking is "objective" but good at laddering =/= not stupid).

    I honestly think OU could benefit from the system we're using in UU at the moment, but in a different way. Every time there is a vote, RT. and myself let anyone apply to take part in the vote, then we pick a few good ones out of all the applications, and they vote as part of the Senate. For OU, you'd do that, but you'd do it at the end of every round and it would be for deciding what is to be a suspect for the next round alongside the Council, rather than for the right to vote (although maybe they'd get a guaranteed/easier vote or something idk).

    Granted, there's one huge drawback to using this system for OU--who the fuck wants to read that many applications? Even in UU I only get 15-20 on a good day, and usually its in the single digits, but I can imagine it'd be a lot more for OU. You could always try it a couple times and see how many you actually get and if its a readable amount (you'll get a ton the first time, but it'll die down a lot the next time), keep doing it.

    Anyway, that's just one idea to integrate the general userbase into the process of deciding what will be suspected in a more direct way (compared to just going by the np thread, I mean)-- because that's what we should aim for here, imo.
  13. JabbaTheGriffin

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    Okay this thread is too much to digest at once so I'm just going to post my personal opinions.

    There should be an irc channel where the council holds discussions on issues like these, occasionally other users (voters that qualified the previous round maybe?) will be allowed to chime in at certain times.

    Decisions like what to suspect should be held on this irc channel at specified times and the decision should go onto the forums (maybe PR specifically) a couple days before the round starts for last second discussions.

    I guess that's it really. I want transparency across the entire site and I think the way this decision was handled (while the right decision in the end) could have been done a lot better. So first I'd really like to push through the irc channel and we can work from there. I'd also love to engage in discourse about the current suspect test with anyone who wants to on irc.

    (also note I think kd was justified in making this topic and i'm glad he did)
  14. Neliel

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    Just want to say that if rain (and possibly sun) got banned, i dont care about sand being the default weather. If terrakion deserves a ban, then it should be uber with or without sand, as well as landorus, both does not really care that much about sand to justificate a ban of sand.

    As for the topic, i completely agree with kd24 and ala with everything they said. Im almost an unknow user here and its fine if i cant decide what should be banned or not, but when i read "if you talk about drizzle you will be infracted" then i thought what the entire community can do to say its opinion.
    I think that rain should be banned (as well as sun, hte majority of the dragons and some other stuff) because these things are what make a battle more matchup based than it should. You all know that 6 pokemon are clearly not enough to manage all the pokemon in existence, and with all this diversity a team with 6 pokemon just have to pray that it has a good matchup against the opponent. Dont think im bad at teambuilding or something like that, because im not, im just saying that the diversity that rain causes is not a good thing for the metagame, i've always thought that this site was for "competitive" pokemon battling, but honestly in these few months i havent seen any competitiveness at all. Come on, we are talking about a metagame where 6 dragons can reach something like 1 on the ladder, if you dont believe me ask lacerta. So should i ask, are these ban trying to make a more competitive metagame or not? In my opinion the ban of the rain should be the first step to reach a competitive metagame, because its true that without rain a shit load of things wont be used anymore, but is it something that makes a metagame worse? i think not. having less pokemon to care about when teambuilding its a good thing and will make the metagame more competitive. Obviously this is just an opinion of mine, i dont know if im exactly on topic but whatever, i needed to say this somewhere and this seemed the appropriate topic. Feel free to laugh at me, i dont mind.
  15. Haunter

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    I agree with this as long as:
    1) the people invited to participate in the discussion are relevant and reasonable (much like locopoke has been recently);
    2) the final decision belongs to us, council members.

    Transparency is fine, but just to echo what Aldaron said, we're never going back to the old system where people get to pick the suspects directly.
  16. Jukain

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    Just to clarify, would anyone be able to view the discussion or only the select people the council chooses to participate?
  17. elDino

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    Well from what I see the way we need to go from here is as follows:

    1.) The council should remain in power (because letting anyone nominate suspects clearly didn't work) UNLESS another method of choosing suspect nominations can be derived. I feel, however, that doing so could be rather time-consuming, and that the problem could be fixed with less difficulty by making the council less "secretive". This could be done using the public IRC chat that jabba spoke of, having a public forum that only council members could post in, etc. If there are any mass disagreements with nominations, then they can be voiced similarly to the way this one has or by other means (talking to aldaron for example) and then we can work together to go from there.

    2.) We should vote as a community on which "suspect path" we choose to travel down. By suspect path I basically mean how we're going to go about testing a potentially broken strategy. So in this instance, we vote whether or not to test drizzle as a whole or to test individual Pokemon. If we then go ahead to test drizzle and find it not broken, then we can then go ahead and test individual Pokemon (Keldeo, Tornadus-T, etc.) Of course choosing who takes part in this vote can be determined in many ways—though I think the "Glicko2 rating of 2000+" method works pretty well for that. Also, I believe that the council should have more power over the vote. Perhaps they can block a certain suspect path if all members are in agreement.

    I'm only spouting out ideas here; there are of course multiple potential ways in which this can be issue can be solved, and I'm not the one making decisions. Just my two cents.
  18. Iconic

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    i pretty much agree with jabba re: transparency and the irc channel, and i will concede we could have done a better job with that before this round started, but i just want to address this "Skrew Da Council!!!!!!!" mentality because it personally upsets me a lot considering all that the five of us have done to bring back suspect testing...

    you wanna make a big post about how broken drizzle is? cool, i can make one about how it's not. i mean, i don't feel particularly strongly either way, but i'm just making the point that there are very very very valid arguments on both sides. i thought we've been at this long enough for everyone to realize there is no 'right' way to tier. we could produce a huge number of different metagames and they would all be balanced, but we choose to create one that we deem 'best'. using the council as a scapegoat because you don't get what you want is stupid. though to be clear, testing drizzle as the whole is not and never has been completely off the table. testing keldeo and tornadus-t to begin with is just the way we decided to go about it first (i can make a long post with Proper Punctuation in the future with regards to drizzle / keldeo / torny-t if that makes people happy).

    seriously, i am clearly one of the biggest proponents to suspect testing (which is why i pushed so hard for its return even when i knew i was next in line for the council) but this is exactly what i was afraid of when i campaigned for its return. i honestly agree with aldaron, this is not the way to bring about your concerns. i'm sorry if i come off as abrasive and i'm sure (or at least i hope) most of you aren't intending to offend us, but this is just annoying. please guys, don't turn me into the one thing i was afraid of becoming with regards to suspect testing: a cynic
  19. kd24

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    iconic fwiw, i'm not angry with council or trying to scapegoat them for their selection. the point of this thread wasn't "i didn't get my way and now im trying to desperately change it!!" - in fact, i'm already in discussion in the current thread about why i feel tornadus-t is currently broken and keldeo isn't. it's that 5 people control how ou gets tested and what the format is like and no one knows how it happens (at the moment).

    yes, i personally can talk to aldaron, bloo, or jabba because they've all been very forth-coming, but the point is the discussion still happens behind closed doors. i agree with jabba that an irc channel open to the public (with restricted access to people who are known to be logical or calm when discussing things, and not become argumentative problems) goes a long way and that would be a huge step in resolving the transparency problem. along with that, maybe the council posts its reasoning for why they chose the current suspects over such and such, and maybe they can post their current feelings about other suspects not being tested in a different discussion thread.

    the only other issue was with the ou mods telling us don't discuss such or such or your post is gone via council's decision - aldaron, bloo, and jabba have assured me that they don't care at all what we discuss in the thread as long as we're reasonable and make our points clear and not just "BAN DRIZZLES LOL". with that behind us, i think this thread actually did serve a positive purpose if we've already come to both of these decisions moving forward.
  20. Iconic

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    The decision to disallow Drizzle-related posts was made by the OU mods to prevent discussions spiralling out of control, which is a very valid concern if history is any indication. I've always subscribed to the belief that you can say whatever you want as long as you're not an asshole, but since I don't readily moderate OU threads by deleting posts and whatnot, the decision lies in the hands of to the moderators that do.

    Also as I mentioned to jrrrrrrr, I'd like to reiterate that testing Drizzle as a whole is not and has never been off the table.
  21. Pocket

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    Just to clarify it was some of the OU council who told me to keep Drizzle talk off-limits, and you really couldn't blame them when the thread was derailed by "ban drizzle" posts with no substantial reasoning to justify their demand. I am sorry if you guys were offended by the initial strict moderation, but it was necessary to keep the thread from becoming an immediate shitfest. I am glad that it at least bought some time to yield something productive.
  22. Haunter

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    The way the OU forum is moderated has nothing to do with the activity of the OU council. I asked Pocket and ginganinja to start to enforce a more strict moderation in the suspect thread. We will continue to moderate our forum preventing people from derailing the topics.

    Glad this thread served its purpose, though the same result could have been achieved by just contacting us privately. Locking.
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