Tournament 2018 Battle Spot Singles Circuit Feedback Thread

DragonWhale

It's not a misplay, it's RNG manipulation
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Hello! BSSC 2018 is nearing the end as we are already into the Invitational, and I wanted to hear some feedback from you guys about this year's circuit so that we can create an even better circuit next year! Here are some possible talking points that can be discussed.
  • Cartridge Ladder qualification system
    • It goes without saying that the number of people participating in the cartridge ladder race was terribly low (not blaming anyone, I didn't participate either)
    • Is this worth keeping next year or should qualifications be purely based on our tournament performance?
    • The highest level of play that this format offers is most certainly in the cartridge ladder, so will it affect us if we remove it?
  • Tournament types
    • What are your thoughts on single elimination? Should we implement double elimination or maybe even swiss?
    • Should we have a bo3 teamlock tournament?
    • What are your thoughts in involving past gens in the tournament circuit?
  • Point structure
    • What do you think we should do to improve the point structure?
    • What can be improved with the Invitational qualification system?
  • What do you think we can do to welcome more new players into the circuit? (most important)
These are only some of the examples. If you have anything else you want to discuss, feel free! Don't discuss BSPL here, as BSPL is technically not part of the circuit.
 
I'd like to keep cart. It has the highest level of play like you said. Player base was low but I think the six players that made it in from cart all earned it.
 

Charlotte

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Cart
I appreciate that cart play generally has a higher level, but I don't think that's the case for what's required to qualify through cart play currently. The situation at the end of the last season was that someone who got 1827, just once, would grab them selves the final cart invite. I personally don't consider 1827 to be particularly high level. Someone could have gotten in with much lower scores with repeat finishes; 1743 3-times would have been enough. An idea might be to scale the point gain after the threshold, such that 3-times 1800 < 1-time 2000 (example using the current system and bfl). This weakens repeat low finishes without removing the bfl. Not having the bfl doesn't promote continued play, which is the point of a circuit, while also not reducing the value of fantastic high finishes for people who can't commit to multiple seasons of laddering. Of course, just a more basic reworking of the bfl and point threshold is also a worthwhile consideration.

Seperately, I've been thinking about moving the ladder tour to cart. Focusing it on one season with 4, 6, or 8 highest placements for that season (depending on how you want to play it) get to play it out in the bracket. I'm not sure what the itention of using the ps ladder was originally but if there's a better ladder that you want to promote the usage of, why not use it for the ladder tour?

Ultimately the biggest issue is simply that too few people are playing, or submitting scores when they are (me).

Tournament
Double > Single >>>>>>>>>>> Swiss. Swiss is awful for online tours with weekly rounds. It's fine for live tours, everything is done and over in a few hours, but when it drags on week after week it can be pretty hard to find the motivation to continue. Double can carry the same risk with lengthy tours, but that predominantly only affects people that fall into loser's very early and then have a long win streak, which helpfully carries good motivational momentum. Single too often feels like walking on a tightrope, the second chance with doubles is much valued to me. Especially when the possibility of being paried with greil or chem r1 and losing would otherwise cut someone the chance of getting any cp at all.

I'm personally pro-teamlock, and I think a substantial amount of the problems people have expressed about it come from them not knowing how to play teamlock properly. Also as a dreamy idea for me, the later parts of tours where we've been switching to Bo5, we could use a variation of the n1n1 format, a Bo3 of [teamlocked] Bo3s (so you can switch your team after each sub-Bo3). That would range from 4-9 games, which in other pokemon formats I might consider too long, but BSS tour games have been consistently short with time as practically no issue. I couldn't imagine a 9 game BSS sets being longer than your average bo3 in OU, and most would be shorter than 9 games anyway that anyway.

I feel like I get to say this from a good position as the Classic winner, I'd rather past gen stuff was kept out circuit. We could instead have some mini-tours on the side to bring past gen play to people more often than just once a year for BSPL, and I'd be happy to host them. For the circuit itself though, I'd rather it was just played in the same format the invitational is.

Points
Already spoke with you ages ago about the 3-way final points situation. The rest I will think about some more and hopefully come back to.

Getting new players
This is something I worried about when I saw the 'Other Circuits' sub-sub-sub-forum made, it's so comparitively hidden that I can't imagine too many people happily stumbling upon it. The only potential new source of advertisement is through cant say , 11oyd and others' streams/youtube stuff. Y'all get a lot of viewers not from our community, mentioning the tours around the time sign ups are open might bring in some new friends.
 
I just love playing the catridge ladder and watching others trying to climb it. So I like that there is some incentive for people to play and share their experience. I think the system with the 1700 points threshold was good to reward above average players. Maybe it would make sense to give CP only to the best three players in the season instead of basing it on points, since it's easier to get many points in inflationary seasons where many people are playing.

Really liked spectating BSSC tournaments, just hope that there will be more people participating in cartridge laddering next year.
 
  • Cartridge Ladder
Personally, while I haven't really played much cart atm, I still like the idea of having some sort of event where we ladder on cart. I really like the idea to do something like BSSLT on cart so there's a larger pool of players, and the ladder won't be as dead as the PS! BSS ladder can be.
As far as the affect on the community when it comes to removing the ladder qualification system I feel like it will make it less compelling for everyone to ladder on cart, especially if there's no place to put your rankings because there's no way for you to really show people what score you got, so why ladder.
To explicitly answer whether or not cart laddering should stay, I want it to stay. Unless there is another type of cart laddering that is better than what we currently have I don't like the idea of throwing cart out of the picture.

Another thing that I thought of reading 11oyd's post is that, despite only a few people playing the cart ladder, it's not like those accomplishments made weren't impressive. 1700+ is nothing to sneeze at, and it takes a lot of effort to get up that high, especially for the people that got 1850+.
  • Tournament type's
I think that Single Elim is fine as is. I would like to see a double elim tour at some point, but I don't really want the typical BSSC tour to have it at this point in time.
Teamlock sounds pretty ok, as the level of play is probably about the same as without teamlock, and having variety without sacrificing quality is pretty cool.
As much as I like GBU, I think that having minitours that feature past gens would be better. I did enjoy the classic (I don't remember if that counted for qualifying in BSSC), but it feels like its isolated from the other tours because it's not gen 7 only.

Wtf was I saying right then the classic is the best and I want mintours outside the classic to hone my GBU skills.
  • Point structure
I guess if we kept cart ladder, it would be good if it counted toward the same points (If i understand it correctly tournament and cart are different types of points), and have cart worth less. I'm not sure if that would even work, but it might solve the cart ladder problem assuming we kept it the same way it is now because, while cart would still make you able to be higher on the rankings than players who don't play cart, it's possible that someone who does reasonably well in tours, but doesn't play cart could get in.
  • What do you think we can do to welcome more new players into the circuit? (most important)
Of course the most important one is the hardest question :(
Anyways, The biggest problem I see is that typically all of the people that join the BSS circuit tours are REALLY GOOD. Most of the time I look at round one of every circuit tour and I think to myself, "Dang this is a loaded bracket". That's really good for spectating because we get big matches as early as round 1, which is insane and hardly seen in most tours that I look at (granted I don't look at many). This is a problem for new players though because typically you stop following the tour if you lose R1 in a meta you aren't invested in. And before anyone thinks that Double Elim would solve that problem, I don't feel like it would. My reasoning is that people don't know how to read and don't realize that they have another chance before being eliminated and don't ever look at that tour again. Now I have no idea how this could be changed to give someone new to BSS enough of a chance to win a round, which I know from personal experience was enough to hook me into BSS and therefor play in more tours.
 
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marilli

two, but one.
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Generally agree with jhon's posts about cart laddering, i feel like we need to hold ourselves to a higher standard of play and the cartridge ladder does that. During ladder tours i've consistently faced multiple players repeatedly and this really put me off of actually getting to ladder in a consistent fashion, so moving the ladder tour to cartridge is an idea i can get behind, too. Just the higher number of population on cartridge drives the competition higher. I think a lot of people overblow the 'ps ladder is bad' but there's no denying that the higher population naturally drives up the quality of play, and the cart requirement is a very healthy thing for the community.

However, I'm not sure jhon's suggested solution will work as well as it should in the current state of our community. While the theory is obviously sound, at the same time the main problem there's only a few players in the community that ladder on cart often enough and are in genuine contention for 2000, mostly just chem / greil / lloyd. The players who were, as long as they posted their ladder scores, ended up qualifying with high seed through cartridge requirements. The remainder of the players, no matter how we restructure the qualification format, were going to be from the 1800-1850 level. At that point qualifying through a single 1850 performance isn't the main problem - the main problem is that there's not enough good scores being posted at the first place aside from the said group of select players.

If you were personally discouraged from posting / laddering the first place because a repeated 1800 performance would be able to beat a single 2000 performance, we can definitely change that, because more entries is definitely a good thing.

Without either being able to entice more higher-level players of Battle Spot Singles to post their scores and play in our circuit, or being able to nurture more players in our own community to pursue a higher level of play and reach 1900-2000 on cartridge, this is gonna be really hard to fix. I really liked how lloyd really pushed himself to improve his level of play through playing into the 1900s and I thought it was really good to encourage that kind of development. But right now it feels like it's not going to matter how much we restructure the qualification system. This is what dragonwhale is obviously concerned about, too, which is why the most important section of this feedback thread is "What do you think we can do to welcome more new players into the circuit?"

just a rant cuz i really don't know to get a good solution to this
 
Maybe only counting your two best seasons could be a good idea. That way any players who are kind of thinking about going down the cart road won't have to commit to as much time. It really is a big time commitment especially for newer players trying to break 1750-1800 for the first time etc.
 
As a relatively new player, here's my thoughts on activity.

Nothing is going on!!! I want nothing more than to join BSS stuff, but the forums aren't active, tournaments are too infrequent (both smogon tournaments and BSS room tournaments), the ladder kinda sucks due to just a lack of players in general (lot of repeated matches, and having most of the players not speak English). In fact, the only reason I'm still playing is because I really like the few people that are really active in the chatroom, meanwhile you can play basically any other format without having the chatroom as your main form of interaction with other players.

In all honesty, none of these problems for circuit/tour activity are gonna be solved until the bottom line of overall activity is solved. I know this isn't a solution I'm presenting, but literally all the questions posed above the fourth bullet point are all micro issues ignoring the larger macro issue of activity. Maybe we might need to wait until a new gen/game update comes out, but I think we are better than that. We need more people like Ika/Bobo who are always actively engaging others, coming up with things to do, and generally making something out of nothing.

I think it comes down to the general mindset of the top players here: being amazing at a dead game is not really satisfying/fun, and I believe that the top players need to take their roles as ambassadors of the game more seriously, rather than being invisible till the tours come. We aren't Smogon OU, this kind of behavior, while there is nothing really "wrong" with it, is contributing to the near death of BSS, even if it might be totally fine for other formats.
If you are a top player suggesting something to increase activity in this thread, take the initiative yourself rather than hoping things get remedied over time. I've tried coming up with ideas and messaged mods to no avail, but if players with clout actually suggest things to host, it will get done.
 
^ I do echo the above, the only person who does BSS tournaments in room pretty much is Solerme and he is hardly active anymore. I'll try be more demanding on my end to get moderators who are online to host tournaments, because I do think it is good to do. If we could even organise something similar to that done by RoA for example with scheduled old gen room tournaments that happen weekly/daily (they go 1-6 on mon-sat though they are a far bigger room) would be an idea.

Friendlies between players within in the scene are pretty rare, which is a shame because they are a great way to learn about matchups and play quality opponents and then potentially discuss the games if you need to and see stuff from both ends.
 
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Another idea that some of us were talking about a while ago (although requires a lot of effort) was to have an ongoing gym leader style challenge where members could opt in as mono type type gym leaders and players could challenge them for badges once per week. We could have an accomplishment board where players can list their badges and perhaps after that they could attempt a team lock style challenge where they must beat the E4, perhaps jmal bobochan, jhon, chem and greil consecutively to become the bss pokemon master. I would be happy to get heavily on board with something like that or even just get more on board with reaching out to new players in a general sense in 2019. 1_TrickPony is right, we could certainly do more as a community to attract new players.
 
I know this isn't exactly the point of the thread to see how we can fix activity, but I'm gonna list all the different things that we can host as a group, separated by type of activity, and whether they exist or not (and level of activity).

Forums: Projects/Resources
Exist: Active-ish/still usable
-Speed Tiers
-Sample Teams
-Intro to 3 vs 3
-3 vs 3 General Discussion
-BSS VR
-Team Help
-Role Compendium (slightly out of date)
-Good Cores

Exist: Inactive
-Lure that Threat
-Community Create a Team
-Build Around That
-Next Best Thing
-Victim of the Week

Not Started:
-Break That Team/Core (OU)
-Bazaar (Large Teambank, OU)
-Spread Compendium (OU)
-Sets VR (OU)
-Biweekly Research (Research a mon and say what sets, how it fits in meta, team options, etc, OU)
-Player Spotlights/Interviews (Ubers)
-Secret Santa (Choose a core, another person is assigned to build a team around it, UU)
-Dark Horse Project (UU, Build a team around a pokemon that has less than 2% usage)
-Creative and Underrated Sets (OU/UU)
-Ladder Challenge (Do fun dumb things on the ladder as a challenge, many formats)

Tours: Mini Tours
Exist: None LMAO

Not Started
-Low Budget Tournament (certain amount of $ to make a team, get $50, cost for mons based on VR placement, RU)
-Best Buddies Tournament (pair with a partner and play paired matches against other pairs OU, tiebreaker in another gen)
-Team Tour (Like Best Buddies but 3 players)
-Counterteam draft Tournament (draft 8 mons in pools of ~8 people, make a team based on the mons you draft, RU)
-Gods Among Us (For each round, a new banned mon is made legal to play, OU/UU)
-Essence of the Ghost Reaper (Opponents get to ban mons to use each round, OU)
-Colosseum (Official Room Tour, have room tours where winners battle off in a bracket, OU)
-King of the Hill (Community votes for 3 players to be king, top 2 vote getters battle. Winner becomes king, and new player is voted to challenge them each week, LC)

-Swiss Tournament

Tours: Big Tours
Exist: Active
-BSPL
-BS Seasonal

Exist: Inactive-ish
-Cartridge Tournament

Not Started
-World Cup (Make squads based on region (USA East, USA Midwest, USA West, Canada, Latin America, Europe, Asia as regions? RU)
-Snake Draft

I'll keep adding to the list, going to take a break for a bit, but this is just a little bit of what we can do. We as a community need to step up, and hopefully this gives people ideas of what they can do.
 

cant say

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Just wanted to get my thoughts written here. While I have talked to both DragonWhale and Psynergy about the replies in the thread so far this is not meant to be the "mod's reply" or anything lol.

First off though, some history about myself/the forum. I somewhat feel the need to "reintroduce" myself since I have very much been a behind-the-scenes style leader for most of this year, and I was already pretty quiet before then for the first half of this generation. I was promoted to co-leader at the start of ORAS BSS during the peak of my activity, back then Hulavuta and I were mostly concerned with forum activity and just growing the community. Back then, the thought of on-site analyses, seasonals, premier leagues, ribbon tours, or a hugely active discord server hadn't even crossed our minds. We were just a big group of friends playing a format we all liked, and making new friends all the time. Eventually we did get all those things I mentioned, and now we have what I consider (due to our humble beginnings) a huge community, a lot of which are new users who I'm worried think that BSS has always been like this, rather than understanding how new it all is and that we're still actually growing... We certainly aren't "dying" like I've read here

I will admit the forum is quiet these days. One reason is because everything happens on our discord now, if you haven't checked that out yet then of course things seem quiet (this extends to the "inactivity" of the showdown room, it's just much easier for people to check discord discussions on their phone, not to mention people mostly join the room when laddering on showdown, but those that normally ladder there are starting to ladder on their 3DS) The other thing is.... what is there left to discuss?? We're entering our third year of the same exact format, all our resources are (mostly) done, there's enough information for people to get into BSS. The current forum projects (victim of the week etc.) have all run their course, we did CCaT a couple times but interest waned so I stopped. If people have ideas for new projects then host them. Nothing frustrates me more than people saying nothing is happening when they aren't doing anything. Expecting the mods / top players to run everything is idiotic (sorry for bluntness). Some interesting ideas have been put forward and I'm actually excited to see how some of them work out.

I also just want to address this in case anyone got the wrong idea:
1_TrickPhony said:
I've tried coming up with ideas and messaged mods to no avail
You messaged us about a draft-style tournament where people draft their pokemon, similar to what is popular one youtube. We turned it down because we couldn't fit it into our busy tournament schedule and it would be unfair to everyone except the guy who drafted mega salamence. don't make it sound like we ignored you.

speaking of our busy tournament schedule:
Nothing is going on!!! ... tournaments are too infrequent
Dude you joined one tournament all year. maybe that's because you joined the scene late and missed out on everything else, but suggesting our "official" tournaments are too infrequent is just objectively wrong. If you want more room tours then ask for them when you're on showdown.

Now that was a lot about stuff that has nothing to do with what this thread is about. We may make a general community feedback thread where we can discuss forum activity there so we aren't derailing this thread. Yeah I know you could argue that forum activity is related to "how do we get more people to enter tours" but I think we want more circuit-specific feedback here.


---

Now ika brought up some stuff regarding cart ladder vs showdown ladder which kinda had me baffled. I get that they're both their own things with different pros/cons and people have their preferences, but to suggest that the cart ladder standard is worse than showdown's is a bit silly. Our best players have only been able to get 2000 on cart 2-3 times (and that's not even the top of the ladder, it's just a nice round number), but a bunch of us have been able to top the showdown ladder. If the cart ladder is so easy then why aren't we all getting 1900 on the regular? Now you all know how much I've struggled with cart low ladder this gen so I don't feel like I have the most authority here, but 1700 is not high on cart. We made that the threshold for cart ladder points to encourage more people to do it, not because that's what we want everyone to aim for and be proud of. 1750 can be achieved with a clean 17-2 run in a day. Maybe we should raise the cart theshold, but we're worried that may deter more people rather than raise the competition. The idea for scaling the points (so singular fantastic results outweigh many average results) seems pretty solid so maybe we'll look into that.

This also comes back to what I wrote in my first paragraph. Mine and Hulavuta's vision had always been to get everyone playing the cart ladder, to us that is the epitome of BSS and the reason we play it at all. Tournaments are fantastic and a natural part of our growth on Smogon, and the reason we promoted DragonWhale, but we don't want to move away from the cart ladder at all. I mean, if you aren't interested in the cart ladder then why play BSS over a Smogon metagame anyway..? If getting teams/pokemon together to use on cart is too hard there is a whole community dedicated to helping you on here. We can also set up a dedicated channel on our discord for pokemon requests if that would help too.


Now I want to throw in my support for BSS Classic. That tournament was the next best thing behind BSPL imo. From a spectator's point of view I loved it. From a player's perspective it was really refreshing to have something different but familiar to break up all the current-gen-BSS tours we had on (it also served an important purpose in prep for BSPL). To cut it out of the circuit would be a huge shame.


I think that's about it for now. I'm at work so writing this in spurts rather than trying to put all my thoughts in a neat manner so I definitely missed something. It just bums me out when people play it out like the BSS section is dying when us who have been here forever think the opposite. Sure there are things that can be done but there's no need for the dramatics :blobthumbsup:
 

DragonWhale

It's not a misplay, it's RNG manipulation
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Alright taking a break from smash while I write my takes on the topics brought forth in this thread lol.

Cart
I appreciate that cart play generally has a higher level, but I don't think that's the case for what's required to qualify through cart play currently. The situation at the end of the last season was that someone who got 1827, just once, would grab them selves the final cart invite. I personally don't consider 1827 to be particularly high level. Someone could have gotten in with much lower scores with repeat finishes; 1743 3-times would have been enough. An idea might be to scale the point gain after the threshold, such that 3-times 1800 < 1-time 2000 (example using the current system and bfl). This weakens repeat low finishes without removing the bfl. Not having the bfl doesn't promote continued play, which is the point of a circuit, while also not reducing the value of fantastic high finishes for people who can't commit to multiple seasons of laddering. Of course, just a more basic reworking of the bfl and point threshold is also a worthwhile consideration.
Making cart harder to qualify is definitely something that needs to be looked at but at the same time the primary reason that it is so is because there aren't that many people playing on cart. If we, say, make the threshold 1800, simply succeeding to surpass 1800 once would qualify you for the Invitational, which is lower than the 1827 requirement that we were looking at the end of the season. There just isn't really a good solution points-wise when only 5 people have posted points above 1800.

So naturally, the next option is going to be to limit the number of slots in the Invitational that is acquired through cartridge ladder performances. In this regard I'm thinking of going from 6 -> 3, with the number 1 seed getting a bye to round 2 of the Invitational.

Seperately, I've been thinking about moving the ladder tour to cart. Focusing it on one season with 4, 6, or 8 highest placements for that season (depending on how you want to play it) get to play it out in the bracket. I'm not sure what the itention of using the ps ladder was originally but if there's a better ladder that you want to promote the usage of, why not use it for the ladder tour?

Ultimately the biggest issue is simply that too few people are playing, or submitting scores when they are (me).
Using the ladder tour for cart is not feasible for the reason you described. Also, the most important aspect of the PS tournaments in the circuit is that there are no barriers to entry. Unfortunately, this is something cartridge play will have, and perhaps always will. The PS ladder has the added benefit of creating alts for the sake of the tournament and easily seeing how your competition is faring, which is great from a tournament perspective. Yes, I know cart ladder > ps ladder but it's far better than the alternative.
Tournament
Double > Single >>>>>>>>>>> Swiss. Swiss is awful for online tours with weekly rounds. It's fine for live tours, everything is done and over in a few hours, but when it drags on week after week it can be pretty hard to find the motivation to continue. Double can carry the same risk with lengthy tours, but that predominantly only affects people that fall into loser's very early and then have a long win streak, which helpfully carries good motivational momentum. Single too often feels like walking on a tightrope, the second chance with doubles is much valued to me. Especially when the possibility of being paried with greil or chem r1 and losing would otherwise cut someone the chance of getting any cp at all.
I'm actually thinking about using a similar system to what the VGC tournament used, where people will just drop after going x-2. This will create a tournament where you have the same amount of breathing room as a double elimination tournament, with the length of a single elimination bracket (+ maybe a few more weeks for a playoff bracket of some kind), without the drag of needing to continue the tournament when you're already 0-4. The only downside is that the number of players in playoffs depends on cutoffs and potentially on the results of paired down matchups, but I'm still crunching numbers to figure out what works best if we do end up going down this path.

I'm personally pro-teamlock, and I think a substantial amount of the problems people have expressed about it come from them not knowing how to play teamlock properly. Also as a dreamy idea for me, the later parts of tours where we've been switching to Bo5, we could use a variation of the n1n1 format, a Bo3 of [teamlocked] Bo3s (so you can switch your team after each sub-Bo3). That would range from 4-9 games, which in other pokemon formats I might consider too long, but BSS tour games have been consistently short with time as practically no issue. I couldn't imagine a 9 game BSS sets being longer than your average bo3 in OU, and most would be shorter than 9 games anyway that anyway.
It might still be a little too early to jump all the way to bo3 bo3s lol, especially when a lot of the community is still divided when it comes to whether to have teamlock in the first place. I do see potential in teamlock bo3s, and I do think if an officially sanctioned singles tournament would ever be considered by TPCi that would be the format that would be played (though not bo3 bo3s obviously lol), but it's definitely better to ease into it.

We had BSPL with teamlocked singles games and a lot of people had differing views from before and after the tournament. We will have a teamlocked bo3 tournament next year, and I'm contemplating what to do for the Invitational format of 2019. Of course with the Invitationals being a single elimination tournament having a teamlock would involve a lot more risk since it's close to a bo1 at that point, so if anything that's where a bo3 bo3 could be a possibility. I may end up creating some kind of voting system for the players that qualify.

I feel like I get to say this from a good position as the Classic winner, I'd rather past gen stuff was kept out circuit. We could instead have some mini-tours on the side to bring past gen play to people more often than just once a year for BSPL, and I'd be happy to host them. For the circuit itself though, I'd rather it was just played in the same format the invitational is.
I'd like you to elaborate a bit more on why you think past gen BSS formats should be left out of the circuit. I personally think if we left it out of the circuit it would just die out. Side mini-tours doesn't seem like it would do much especially considering the tournament burnout that comes up often in discussion. It would also make it a harder choice to include in BSPL, with the limited growth that we can expect to see in those formats.
Points
Already spoke with you ages ago about the 3-way final points situation. The rest I will think about some more and hopefully come back to.

Getting new players
This is something I worried about when I saw the 'Other Circuits' sub-sub-sub-forum made, it's so comparitively hidden that I can't imagine too many people happily stumbling upon it. The only potential new source of advertisement is through cant say , 11oyd and others' streams/youtube stuff. Y'all get a lot of viewers not from our community, mentioning the tours around the time sign ups are open might bring in some new friends.
Yeah I'm not a fan about the placement of the forum (and we're mixed in with a bunch of other tournaments), and I fought for it but senior staff wasn't having it :(. Advertisements aside there really isn't a lot of opportunities on this site to get our circuit out there. I even tried to get our format involved in this year's Exhibition tournament (a tournament with other smogon formats that aren't included in SPL) but that ended up not working out either. Maybe Smogon itself is just not an ideal place for BSS to grow, who knows.
I just love playing the catridge ladder and watching others trying to climb it. So I like that there is some incentive for people to play and share their experience. I think the system with the 1700 points threshold was good to reward above average players. Maybe it would make sense to give CP only to the best three players in the season instead of basing it on points, since it's easier to get many points in inflationary seasons where many people are playing.

Really liked spectating BSSC tournaments, just hope that there will be more people participating in cartridge laddering next year.
I'm not much of a fan of the "top 3" rewards system. Sure rating inflation is slightly a thing but with the ratings that people are reporting it's not that big of a factor. If it's people submitting getting first place 2200 scores and first place people in later seasons getting 2150 because of deflation yeah I understand but our scores are something that can be exchanged with one more or less battles won.

Glad to see you're enjoying the tournaments though.
  • Cartridge Ladder
Personally, while I haven't really played much cart atm, I still like the idea of having some sort of event where we ladder on cart. I really like the idea to do something like BSSLT on cart so there's a larger pool of players, and the ladder won't be as dead as the PS! BSS ladder can be.
As far as the affect on the community when it comes to removing the ladder qualification system I feel like it will make it less compelling for everyone to ladder on cart, especially if there's no place to put your rankings because there's no way for you to really show people what score you got, so why ladder.
To explicitly answer whether or not cart laddering should stay, I want it to stay. Unless there is another type of cart laddering that is better than what we currently have I don't like the idea of throwing cart out of the picture.

Another thing that I thought of reading 11oyd's post is that, despite only a few people playing the cart ladder, it's not like those accomplishments made weren't impressive. 1700+ is nothing to sneeze at, and it takes a lot of effort to get up that high, especially for the people that got 1850+.
See above for my thoughts on a ladder tour for cart.
  • Tournament type's
I think that Single Elim is fine as is. I would like to see a double elim tour at some point, but I don't really want the typical BSSC tour to have it at this point in time.
Teamlock sounds pretty ok, as the level of play is probably about the same as without teamlock, and having variety without sacrificing quality is pretty cool.
As much as I like GBU, I think that having minitours that feature past gens would be better. I did enjoy the classic (I don't remember if that counted for qualifying in BSSC), but it feels like its isolated from the other tours because it's not gen 7 only.

Wtf was I saying right then the classic is the best and I want mintours outside the classic to hone my GBU skills.
I..uh...am not really sure what you're trying to convey at the end there. You want past gens in the circuit or nah?
  • Point structure
I guess if we kept cart ladder, it would be good if it counted toward the same points (If i understand it correctly tournament and cart are different types of points), and have cart worth less. I'm not sure if that would even work, but it might solve the cart ladder problem assuming we kept it the same way it is now because, while cart would still make you able to be higher on the rankings than players who don't play cart, it's possible that someone who does reasonably well in tours, but doesn't play cart could get in.
That's the way we do it right now...if I'm understand this correctly?
  • What do you think we can do to welcome more new players into the circuit? (most important)
Of course the most important one is the hardest question :(
Anyways, The biggest problem I see is that typically all of the people that join the BSS circuit tours are REALLY GOOD. Most of the time I look at round one of every circuit tour and I think to myself, "Dang this is a loaded bracket". That's really good for spectating because we get big matches as early as round 1, which is insane and hardly seen in most tours that I look at (granted I don't look at many). This is a problem for new players though because typically you stop following the tour if you lose R1 in a meta you aren't invested in. And before anyone thinks that Double Elim would solve that problem, I don't feel like it would. My reasoning is that people don't know how to read and don't realize that they have another chance before being eliminated and don't ever look at that tour again. Now I have no idea how this could be changed to give someone new to BSS enough of a chance to win a round, which I know from personal experience was enough to hook me into BSS and therefor play in more tours.
Please don't throw away your games just so newcomers can feel happy LOL.
Generally agree with jhon's posts about cart laddering, i feel like we need to hold ourselves to a higher standard of play and the cartridge ladder does that. During ladder tours i've consistently faced multiple players repeatedly and this really put me off of actually getting to ladder in a consistent fashion, so moving the ladder tour to cartridge is an idea i can get behind, too. Just the higher number of population on cartridge drives the competition higher. I think a lot of people overblow the 'ps ladder is bad' but there's no denying that the higher population naturally drives up the quality of play, and the cart requirement is a very healthy thing for the community.

However, I'm not sure jhon's suggested solution will work as well as it should in the current state of our community. While the theory is obviously sound, at the same time the main problem there's only a few players in the community that ladder on cart often enough and are in genuine contention for 2000, mostly just chem / greil / lloyd. The players who were, as long as they posted their ladder scores, ended up qualifying with high seed through cartridge requirements. The remainder of the players, no matter how we restructure the qualification format, were going to be from the 1800-1850 level. At that point qualifying through a single 1850 performance isn't the main problem - the main problem is that there's not enough good scores being posted at the first place aside from the said group of select players.

If you were personally discouraged from posting / laddering the first place because a repeated 1800 performance would be able to beat a single 2000 performance, we can definitely change that, because more entries is definitely a good thing.

Without either being able to entice more higher-level players of Battle Spot Singles to post their scores and play in our circuit, or being able to nurture more players in our own community to pursue a higher level of play and reach 1900-2000 on cartridge, this is gonna be really hard to fix. I really liked how lloyd really pushed himself to improve his level of play through playing into the 1900s and I thought it was really good to encourage that kind of development. But right now it feels like it's not going to matter how much we restructure the qualification system. This is what dragonwhale is obviously concerned about, too, which is why the most important section of this feedback thread is "What do you think we can do to welcome more new players into the circuit?"

just a rant cuz i really don't know to get a good solution to this
Well damn this is basically what I have been writing about until this post LOL. But yeah this is why the new players part is labelled as most important, as it is probably the biggest obstacle that our community faces from a competing aspect. Getting them involved in BSS is one thing, but getting them involved with the cartridge ladder is another thing entirely as well. With the game being over a year old and the release of LetsGo means the only people who are still in there are the serious competitors, and most newcomers are going to face several losses from the get-go unless they are really proficient in other formats (and even then have a hard time climbing).

Alright will get to the latter half later. Gonna go back to playing some Smash.
 
posting for visibility:


[03:02] +Teryx38: id rather battlespot format tours than cc1v1 tours tbh
[03:10] Ika Ika Musume: Im making sure
[03:10] Ika Ika Musume: theres one every day
...
[03:10] Ika Ika Musume: eventually when things are kinda reliable, will try think of setting a date/time for tours like on a weekly basis
[03:11] Ika Ika Musume: and proposing it to mods
[03:11] Ika Ika Musume: and having some sort of thing
[03:11] Ika Ika Musume: https://www.smogon.com/forums/threads/roa-room-tour-nights.3615570/
[03:11] Ika Ika Musume: like this but a once weekly thing
...
[03:15] Ika Ika Musume: I reckon tho, if we had like something on like one day a week set time set place, 3 tours (usum bss and then perhaps two different formats (old gens, bssf, bsd etc.) and just had a leaderboard go up on forums
[03:15] Ika Ika Musume: for weekly winners
[03:15] Ika Ika Musume: that would be cool
 
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DragonWhale

It's not a misplay, it's RNG manipulation
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I'm down for the idea to include roomtours in some fashion in bssc, but there are a few large issues around them that needs to be handled before it can be considered:
  • Upkeep. Pretty self explanatory. If we don't have people (or a bot) that is capable of maintaining some kind of schedule over a given period of time then it's not going to work.
  • Participation. This is similar to our cart ladder situation, but if there arent a lot of people participating and the leaderboard race isn't much to look at, it's harder to validate for bssc. Also need to consider the wide range of timezones of the people in the community.
  • Scorekeeping. Probably the thing we are lacking the most for this to work. We need a point system and some way to maintain it, because PS doesn't really keep track of roomtour results.
If we are to count roomtours then I'd much rather just have SM BSS involved due to the increased number of variables involved with scoring different formats in roomtours.
 
I'm not thinking BSSC or anything grand. I don't think tournaments should not be made in the room dependent on whether a random dude shouts for one. That does not happen in any other room, they have a schedule or the ros/mods/drivers are actively involved in fostering growth within their respective community and create tours.

We could get new people involved in the community as simple as having a consistent schedule and then posting a sentence or two in the tour room when a BSS tournament comes up with a link to a pastebin with teams accompanied with a quick sentence description on what BSS is, basically advertising our format to a wider community with the second or third biggest playerbase on showdown. I even went through the trouble of asking a Tournament Room Mod about it to make sure it was ok:

[17:04] Ika Ika Musume: hey king leo v are you here
[17:04] King Leo V: yes i am
[17:04] King Leo V: sup
[17:04] Ika Ika Musume: you're mod of tour room right?
[17:04] King Leo V: yes
[17:04] Ika Ika Musume: would it be alright if like we made a bss tour like once a week and someone came from here and posted like a pastebin and a sentence description in tours
[17:05] Ika Ika Musume: just so people knew what the format was and had sample teams
[17:05] King Leo V: It is already there Ika
[17:06] Ika Ika Musume: I mean rather than people having to search for it, I know it exists
[17:06] Ika Ika Musume: lets say I made a message and just said, heres some teams
[17:06] Ika Ika Musume: Im not going to be doing it obviously, but thats just an example
[17:06] Ika Ika Musume: Im just asking for reference as Im trying to get some of the people who run the room here to get some stuff sorted for the room to revive it a bit
[17:07] Ika Ika Musume: I know it already gives a link to our room when a tour happens
[17:07] Ika Ika Musume: just make it easier for people
[17:08] King Leo V: Ye , if you are interested , pasting team links with new teams is totally fine


To use an example from 10 minutes ago of why having tours in the room is important, with no advertisement or anything in any room, the room is boosted by around 10 users just by starting a tour.
 
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  • Cartridge Ladder qualification system
    • It goes without saying that the number of people participating in the cartridge ladder race was terribly low (not blaming anyone, I didn't participate either)
    • Is this worth keeping next year or should qualifications be purely based on our tournament performance?
    • The highest level of play that this format offers is most certainly in the cartridge ladder, so will it affect us if we remove it?
Even though i didn't ladder too this year, i'd honestly keep the cartridge way of getting points. Since our community is what connects smogon to the singles 3ds metagame, it is pretty important to keep this link active with a major tournament, even if there aren't many people laddering.

This being said, now there are 2 ways of getting points to qualify for the Invitational: cart points and tour points. I'd add a third way to make things more exciting and also lighten a little the role of cartridge points, to deal better with the few number of 3ds players. Maybe something connected to the smogon ladder? I don't know, but we can think about it later on.


  • Tournament types
    • What are your thoughts on single elimination? Should we implement double elimination or maybe even swiss?
    • Should we have a bo3 teamlock tournament?
    • What are your thoughts in involving past gens in the tournament circuit?
Sadly right now we actually don't have that much impact on the community. I've seen general hype from who is already part of it, and some hype from who isn't. Making it a double eli tour would probably just make it longer and less exciting. I won't honestly introduce it now.

As for the bo3 teamlock, if it were for me i'd honestly play it this way just for egoistic purposes, since my playstyle opens for easy cts. Now jokes a part, no teamlock is much more entertaining to see, but teamlock can lead to scenarios where well made teams can be broadcasted after the tournaments, and this is another fun part of this game in my opinion.


  • Point structure
    • What do you think we should do to improve the point structure?
    • What can be improved with the Invitational qualification system?
The points are fine as they are now. As for the quali system, as said above i'd add another way to gain points.

What do you think we can do to welcome more new players into the circuit? (most important)
More streaming / Better prices.

Examples:
  • Broadcast the/a team of the winner of a tour (or the interview of the player) in the smogon main page ( that would also show that we have an active community)
  • Create a little space in the forum nouthuca-like from the teams of the community (nothing huge, but the sample teams thread isn't enough imo). This could be done in the hall of fame thread i guess
  • The invitational should have something more than the banner it gives imho. We're talking about our main tournament, which is won after taking part of a 1 year long trip. Of course i'm not talking about money, but something smogon-related. [i'll finish the post this evening]
 
Thoughts on having some sort of "wild card" round for lower placing Cart participants?
Maybe we could have the top 3 automatically qualify, and the next 6 ranking players play a qualifying best of 3? This could also be modified if we wanted to reduce Cart participants to 4 or 5, still doing top 3 qualify, and next spots have playoffs.

Also, idk if this is always how its been, but I'm not a huge fan of players qualifying through both Cart and Tour. I feel like the higher of the qualifications (whichever gives you the better seed) should be your placement, in order to avoid repeat matchups, free byes (outside of first round bye, and allow more entrants into the invitational.

Just 2c ofc.
 
I just have one topic to give feedback for. And I felt attacked for this back in 2017 which frustratingly made me quit the rest of that bssc season and mock bssc for the rest of that year.

For cart qualification, how about we use Cart Peaks? For screencapping cart peaks, you can make a requirement to screencap with the time and date showing which can make it simple to keep track of since in 2016 I was told it would be hard to keep track of for everyone participating. For ladder tour qualification, you already need people to screencap their alt while showing time and date anyway so I don't see what makes screencapping points on pgl page any different as long as time and date is shown in that screencap. Regardless, it is extremely easy any way you look at it.

I believe counting the best peak regardless of time during or end of season for cart qualification promotes more laddering because you have to really look down on others to not keep trying to get higher than your previous peak and as someone new, you can gradually improve until you reach a point where even you can come close if not surpass the highest peaks of the community (ika was gonna replace me in cart qualifiers if he just wanted to but earlier on in the year if he bothered laddering on cart, I doubt any1 would expect anything from him). In gen 6, I don't know of anyone other than MythTrainerInfinity in XY on these boards getting a few points higher than my peak somewhere in the 1900s. In gen 7, only greil and chem have higher peaks than me. In 2018 bssc, I had no reason to ladder other than getting minimal points and trying to face whoever I want from the 4 tour r1 seeds. Risky but I infinitely would have anyone other than Psynergy as my r1 opponent and I was able to do that (sorry marilli, shoulda NOT laddered last season). If we were looking at peaks though, I would either be at 2nd place or 3rd place as I definitely peaked higher than 11oyd but I don't know chem's. But everyone who didn't have such high points could always just keep pushing instead of trying to cash out with however little if peaks are encouraged. Your boy 11oyd was still gunning for 1900 even after he had the bye locked-in. But that was because of his own personal drive for wanting 1900+. I can't see anyone else be a reasonable person and even bother participating when they have little to no chance of being rewarded for at least showing significant progression by the end of the year. As far as laddering is concerned, I've been stagnant since battle spot was even a thing back in XY. Forever 1900s and never higher. But for BSSC, no "dream" of getting 2k+ is about to be anything worthwhile to pursue unless peaks are rewarded and those pesky drops that happen to just about everyone aren't blown to the side. Peaks would only mean something if you are personally trying to gauge your peak OR if your peak DOES mean something as far as something like BSSC placing is concerned AND is high enough for that matter.

I casually brushed off 1880s peak and 1917 peak in s9 and s10 because I knew peaks would not matter at the end of the day and I'm personally of the type to keep on playing as opposed to sitting on a number unless I need to screencap it. I would still continue playing after screencapping the pgl update with that peak though. I'd need something 2k+ to screen cap or at least higher than the ole Vet in my signature OR, just maybe, a BSSC that looks at peaks. I do know that I have no motivation to gun for 2k (probably have no ability to get it anyway) as things are unless BSSC looks at solely the highest peak a player achieves for the year. That would be the only way to topple chem and maybe greil but otherwise this sack of crap can just play the system and laugh at 11oyd's seemingly eternal 1900s struggle.

Again for emphasis, I believe that if I was a new player interested in BSS, I would look forward to participate in something like BSSC if the highest peak of the year was looked at only and not just end-of-season points as I'd freely and with full enthusiasm, enjoy laddering the game and grind without feeling too butthurt over those crazy L streaks. I could be confident going in to the year starting with a peak of about 1600 and try to improve it by 50-100 points every month, participating more in forum/discord/ps chat along the way to help my growth and 5 seasons later, hope for a peak that is at least 1850s+ which can put me in contention for a deserved spot in BSSC. This is what I imagine I'd think if I were to be even remotely interested in something like BSSC and BSS in general as a new player.

We can also have a most improved ladderer of the season recognition (highest: new peak minus last peak) and end of year BSSC most improved ladderer recognition (highest: highest peak minus earliest peak) of some sort

If you're going to reply to this, please don't use any snarky remarks or harsh words. I still avoid DW and my discord pm log because we can't delete those and I have terrible flashbacks to that morning to things that looking back at em won't necessarily show.
 
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I'll have to be honest GE, it took me less than a day to get to 1760 when the qualification barrier was about 1820 points. I think it was at that point I chatted to you a bit on one of 11oyds streams and decided to stop laddering. I basically didn't like how it was so easy to qualify to play on the highest level of bss play of the year with guys like chem, psynergy, greil etc. via. cart even if you were not necessarily of the same skill level which is why I did what I did anyways. I don't even like cart laddering and didn't really deserve to be in invitationals since other than fall seasonal I had not gotten a single cp the entire year.

Asides from that, I agree with everything GE said or at least the sentiment behind the words (I'm not sure about how practically it can be applied).
 
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DragonWhale

It's not a misplay, it's RNG manipulation
is a Top Smogon Social Media Contributoris a Community Leaderis a Community Contributoris a Battle Simulator Moderator
Battle Spot Leader
I had to go back in my discord PM history to find our conversation because I don't remember what I said, and after reading through I'm not entirely sure what it was that made it some traumatic experience for you, but I'm sorry you felt that way about me regardless.

Anyway, for the sake of context it was GE telling me he dropped from 1890 to 1700 and then bringing up the peak rating idea up to me, which I denied because it's difficult to keep up with and ending results are what matter in competitions (and this isn't just for Pokemon). Just FYI I take the screenshots at the end of each cycle for the ladder tournament. Peak elo is not a thing.

Tilting and going into a losing streak sucks, but it's part of what every competitor has to deal with.

Not entirely sure why this is what makes it easier to game the system though. The people who qualified via PGL ladder will do so the exact same way through midseason peak scores. I'm pretty sure the rankings will hardly budge, if at all. The relative low barrier to qualification via PGL is an issue that's more significantly caused by other factors at play, most notably the participation to qualification ratio.

Anyway, I'm giving a hard no to midseason scores. Being in first halfway through a race and being the first person across the finish line are two different things, and from a competition standpoint we are looking for the latter.

I am however looking for ways to improve the cart qualification system to seem more rewarding. For starters, the number of cart slots will likely decline from 6 to 3 (with first place getting the round 1 bye), to better reflect the number of participants we have and to foster more competition. I am also looking into decreasing the bfl from 3 to 2, or maybe even 1 (ie the highest end season rating that year). This will make it a lot easier for other/new people to "catch up" to the people up top which addresses one of the concerns you brought up.
 
You have raised an interesting point here GE. I feel like I need to point out that BSSC has greatly influenced the way that I have laddered.

I only had two seasons worth of laddering where I was willing to shoot for the moon. These were seasons 10 and 12 where I peaked 1888 and 1891. In season 8 I parked on 1800 because I wanted to open bssc with a flat 100 points. In season 9 I parked it at 1843 because I just wasn't sure if I'd fluked getting there but I knew that 143 points was great for bssc again. That was the season that I got my alt cart for streaming and I followed it up with a streamed run to 1800 on my alt cart in under 40 games. I honestly believe that season 9 was my first and best shot at breaking 1900, because Suropoke was still somewhat unknown to the meta.

In season 11, I stopped at 1899 because I made an agreement with myself that if I won that last game, I would finish (believing I'd land on 1900 haha).
So yeah, in the space of six seasons I was only willing to blast for the highest achievable peak in two of them.

On one hand, you're right it kinda sucks that bssc is conducive to settling early but I think that part of a ladderer's grace is where they chose to close. It would be interesting to see just how high Chem and Greil would go if we did it your way though.
 

chemcoop

When in doubt, Rock Slide out!
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Cart qualifying does need to be made harder for 2019, I absolutely agree with that. Having one or two "okay" seasons and getting low 1800s/high 1700s and qualifying doesn't seem right when qualifying through the tours bracket takes a year's worth of solid performances. Although cart ladder is the toughest and best way to improve at BSS imo, the difficulty of making it to the 17/1800s doesn't really compare to trying to beat top BSS players round after round, tour after tour. As DW pointed out, the qualifer-to-participant ratio was laughably low in 2018, so the most obvious solution is just to cut the number of qualifying slots down. I do think that people like greil, 11oyd, and mishimono played on cart enough and performed well enough throughout the year to earn a spot in Invites, but one or two slightly-above-average finishes shouldn't be rewarded with an Invites slot (not saying those players are bad - I thought marilli/Psynergy was one of the best sets of Invites - but the level of effort involved in qualifying doesn't stack up to the higher seeded qualifiers in the cart bracket).

The way I see it, we either cut the number of cart ladder spots in Invites, or do something to improve the qualifier-to-participant ratio. This might be done by hosting more BSS battle-ready mons giveaways or doing weekly/monthly laddering hangouts on Discord. If we go the latter route, we could structure the Invites cart slots similar to VGC events. In VGC events, CP is awarded down to x-th place based on the number of overall participants in the tour. So for a small regional, maybe only the top 32 walk away with CP while in a huge regional maybe the top 128 get CP. We could structure Invite cart slots such that 2 slots are available if only 10 players post scores over 1700, 4 slots if 20 people qualify, etc up to a max of say, 6 slots. A system like this would make cart slots harder to get in 2019 assuming the same number of people that participated in 2018 play in 2019, and would allow for more slots to become available if we as a community can succeed in convincing more players to ladder successfully. As cant say mentioned in an earlier post, this community started around playing on cart, so it would be great to get more people laddering again and more players qualifying for the years biggest tournament through solid cartridge performance throughout the year.

Other thoughts:
- RE: midseason peaks. No. Not really much to add to what's been said already. No other ladder tour on Smogon works based on mid-cycle peaks, and no IRL competition rewards people with a trophy for being in 1st halfway through a competition but finishing 4th. Part of the skill involved in laddering is setting reasonable goals and having the self-control to either stop when you reach that goal or understanding what the next reasonable cart goal should be. Similarly, tilt is pretty inevitable in laddering and good ladder players know when to call it quits during tilt. Try and win those points back the next day/week/whatever. If you're laddering on the last day of the season and that's not an option, then either keep gambling those points while on tilt (not a great idea) or just cut your losses and throw in the towel.

- RE: Devilican's post. Yeah I agree that qualifying for cart shouldn't be as easy as it was this year, hence my two big paragraphs above. That being said, I don't really like your implication that "I got 1760 in less than a day" so cart laddering is too easy. Getting 1760 in a day isn't that unreasonable if things continually go your way across the laddering session (or if you're getting to that point over 12 hours worth of playing in a day lol). I've certainly had seasons where I start 25-2 and cruise to the 1850s thanks to good matchups/bad opponents/favorable hax but I wouldn't say that's typical of cart laddering. It's easy enough to hit a good streak like that and rocket up the ladder, but it's also just as easy to hit a streak of misfortune and plummet 100+ points. If you play 100 or so games in a season and end up at 1750, then there's a good probability that your luck averaged out and that that rating accurately correlates to your skill as a player/teambuilder.

Definitely nice work on getting to mid 1700s, as that is worth being proud of. As you can see based on the 2018 cart scores, getting to/through the 1700s is an accomplishment because cart laddering as a whole is tough. I wanted to tack this section onto my post because I wanted to make it clear that laddering on cart isn't an easy undertaking and that it is challenging. I firmly believe that this is a challenge worth taking on if you want to improve as a BSS player, and I find the challenge involved with playing on cart to be one of the most enjoyable aspects of BSS.
 

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