Doubles Circuit Feedback Thread

MajorBowman

ain't signed to jay-z but I can still rock a fella
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Doubles Colonel
#1
Hi all, we recently posted a survey geared towards getting feedback regarding the 2018 DOU Circuit. The responses were great, so we decided to open up the floor to more long-form feedback. We are interested in making the Doubles Circuit as great as it can possibly be, but we can't do that without your help!

Some possible talking points:
  • Doubles Ladder Tournaments
    • Almost unanimously unpopular, is there any reason for this other than people generally disliking playing on ladder for extended periods?
    • Is there an alternative to DLT that you might want to see implemented or is this just a function of ladder tournaments in general being a necessary evil?
  • Smogon Doubles Tour
    • Participation in live tournaments this year was borderline abysmal, whereas 2017's had very good participation. What was different this year?
    • (More on this later but) Is inclusion of old gens hurting participation?
    • The idea of running a Doubles Classic in Doubles Tour's place has been casually thrown around, but the survey seemed to indicate that Doubles Tour was still preferred. Any reason why?
  • Seasonals
    • Will remain the flagship circuit tournament
    • Had good participation this year but slightly less than last year, what can we do to attract more players?
    • Is three per year enough? Too many? Just right?
  • Point Structure and Best Finish Limits
    • Were any tournaments weighted too heavily? Too lightly?
    • Should we change the BFL structure at all?
  • Invitationals
    • A little premature for feedback on this one since 2018's hasn't happened yet, but most people seemed to think 16 was a good number
    • Some talk of incentivizing better performance with 1st round byes, but that would require increasing to 24 or decreasing to 12 unless we drastically change the format. If you want to see byes implemented, how would you do so?
  • Old Generations
    • Yay or nay?
    • With Gen 8 on the horizon (next November ish) this is likely the last year it would make sense to include BW DOU in circuit tournaments (specifically Smogon Doubles Tour)
    • Is it worth dredging up an old format for the sake of it when there isn't really a playerbase outside of our circuit tournaments?
  • Doubles Premier League
    • Not technically part of the circuit so the details don't need to be ironed out anytime soon but if anyone wants to provide suggestions they'll certainly be taken into account when the time comes
    • Major questions are # of teams, players per team, inclusion of old gens/DUU, managers playing/price for managers to buy themselves
This is by no means a comprehensive list, if you have anything you'd like to say about the circuit you're more than welcome to discuss it here. Thanks for a great year of tournaments everyone, looking forward to some great games in the invitational!
 
#2
I filled out the survey but I’ll publically post some thoughts. Also, I think it’s great we’re taking feedback like this, the communities input on these types of things is super valuable.

DLT: I just do not like laddering, it’s tedious to either wade through nonsense or play the same 3-4 people over and over when you get past nonsense. The ladder quality is actually improved a lot in the past year or so, and there’s genuinely good games to be played even at like 1600, before the top 20 or whatever. Its just not how I enjoy Pokémon, I like to play games that, for lack of a better term, “matter” in the sense that you would generally try to bring your best teams and play your best, which doesn’t really describe ladder, to me.

Doubles tour: I think the best way to promote the participation in these live tours is a shorter “season” and the removal of old gens. I enjoyed hosting them and would plan to do so again!

Seasonals: always well run and I would not change the structure at all

BFLS/points: I’m gonna throw out a super drastic change that I have not thought through entirely so don’t crucify me if it’s really stupid: what if DLT was replaced as a circuit tour by a doubles classic? This way we could have a classic style tournament and run a current gen only doubles tour?

Invites: I think top 16 is fine, I don’t think changing the format to make room for byes is worthwhile

Old gens: currently things are fine imo, we can hash out if bw should be in dpl later but I wouldn’t have a problem including it again

DPL: I’ll just throw out what I think the basic structure of DPL should be this year: 6 teams, 6 format slots (SM, SM, SM, SM UU, XY, BW). Managers should be allowed to play if they buy themselves for a price around 12k, can be ironed out later when the managers are decided. I really wish I could support 8 format slots but I don’t think we can support it whilst keeping it a mostly in-community tour, which is what I love about DPL.
 
#3
Doubles Ladder Tournaments
Rather than try to improve on something that no one likes just replace it with a totally new format tour. Although I do think this tour would be well suited for DUU, it might help the DUU ladder grow.

Smogon Doubles Tour
I dont even know what this is. I guess other people dont either since you say it had bad participation or maybe I just wasnt active when this was going on. Either way the simplest way to get more people to participate is advertise and tell people that have not signed up to go sign up on Showdown Doubles Chat.

Seasonals
Its good. Its the classic premier event. edit: more streams

Invitationals
This comment is my most important comment in this post and applies to more than just invitationals:
I believe that elimination tours and invite/draft tours leave out too many players too soon. Yes, I know thats the nature of the tour but it presents a problem.
New players get discouraged and do not stick around if they get knocked out early and then dont get invited to anything.
Solution: maybe something like an on going Farm League type of tour - will keep a larger amount of people engaged and help them get better.

Old Generations
There is enough of us veterans around for these to happen once in a while. It would be quiet sad to see BW and XY go compelete dead :(

Doubles Premier League
Everyone knows this tour was never the same after I was snubbed. Besides that this tour is really special for combining the old Gens and DUU, when I participated in this I remember so much the Old Timers had so much excitement about Gen5. Also DPL2 made many more people interested in DUU, after the tour DUU just became so much more active, so keep including it, it generates a lot of interest for the emerging Doubles meta
 
Last edited:

GenOne

DOU ladder guy
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#4
My responses below in red.

  • Doubles Ladder Tournaments
    • Almost unanimously unpopular, is there any reason for this other than people generally disliking playing on ladder for extended periods?
    • Is there an alternative to DLT that you might want to see implemented or is this just a function of ladder tournaments in general being a necessary evil?
I like these. Ladder is bad but this tour is at least incentive for more good players to participate on it. On the flipside, it is a tour that punishes good players while rewarding those that simply have more time to kill.
  • Smogon Doubles Tour
    • Participation in live tournaments this year was borderline abysmal, whereas 2017's had very good participation. What was different this year?
    • (More on this later but) Is inclusion of old gens hurting participation?
    • The idea of running a Doubles Classic in Doubles Tour's place has been casually thrown around, but the survey seemed to indicate that Doubles Tour was still preferred. Any reason why?
Have you ever been bummed because you missed a room tour and wanted matches? Yeah well SDT is like that, except it makes or breaks your chances of making invitationals. Just take a hiatus during the summer; that's when most people don't have time to commit to mons, and SDT literally just rewards users with more time to kill at the expense of actually skilled players.
  • Seasonals
    • Will remain the flagship circuit tournament
    • Had good participation this year but slightly less than last year, what can we do to attract more players?
    • Is three per year enough? Too many? Just right?
Ssnls is great as it is. Just stream more. The recent increase in room tours seems to be increasing overall interest in this meta, so keep that going.
  • Point Structure and Best Finish Limits
    • Were any tournaments weighted too heavily? Too lightly?
    • Should we change the BFL structure at all?
Make it so only your top 5 of 7 tour scores count or something like that. This way engaged users aren't punished if they have to miss 1-2 tours because they have other engagements, but are overall engaged users that are positive influences on the community.
  • Invitationals
    • A little premature for feedback on this one since 2018's hasn't happened yet, but most people seemed to think 16 was a good number
    • Some talk of incentivizing better performance with 1st round byes, but that would require increasing to 24 or decreasing to 12 unless we drastically change the format. If you want to see byes implemented, how would you do so?
Format's fine, but see my above response re: criteria for getting in.
  • Old Generations
    • Yay or nay?
    • With Gen 8 on the horizon (next November ish) this is likely the last year it would make sense to include BW DOU in circuit tournaments (specifically Smogon Doubles Tour)
    • Is it worth dredging up an old format for the sake of it when there isn't really a playerbase outside of our circuit tournaments?
Yay.
  • Doubles Premier League
    • Not technically part of the circuit so the details don't need to be ironed out anytime soon but if anyone wants to provide suggestions they'll certainly be taken into account when the time comes
    • Major questions are # of teams, players per team, inclusion of old gens/DUU, managers playing/price for managers to buy themselves
I'm happy with the format of DPL.

This is by no means a comprehensive list, if you have anything you'd like to say about the circuit you're more than welcome to discuss it here. Thanks for a great year of tournaments everyone, looking forward to some great games in the invitational!

Being a TL is an often thankless job so thanks for all you do.
 
#5
I like DLT as I feel like it is the best way for newer users to get into the circuit/involved in DOU as a whole/make themselves known of DPL and stuff. The format is mostly fine as is, with just reward for finishing highly in a week.
The one issue I have is that I don't find it fair that someone can finish 3rd in a week with 1800+ while someone can get a bye with 1750. I would consider deciding the 24 players the same way as now (6 per week), but then ranking them all together based on ELO to give more meaning to getting a high rating. Maybe also consider a 20 man playoffs with top 5 (+1 bye in current format) per week, as I feel like there were some very low qualifiers in the last DLT.

Not quite sure why DOU tour failed as hard as it did in terms of participation, but this needs to be the focus of improvement going into the next circuit. I don't think its down to old gens because typically lots of people liked gen 6 a lot and BW tours had barely fewer players.
I think the number of weeks needs to be shortened, to what I'd imagine would be 6 weeks. The tour seemed to drag on a bit, which was a point made last year but with so few people playing this year it was clear. The number of qualifiers needs to be decreased, since 16 was basically who turned up each week, we had maybe 25 players who even played enough to justify qualifying.
In terms of a 'DOU Classic', I don't think its a bad idea at all and probably a good fallback option; just run them all with a week between signups or smth. However, I think the DOU tour idea is good and we should strive to fix the issues first. I don't have the answer but someone else might.

Seasonals are well run and I think 3 per year is a good amount. The numbers for the most recent (or 2nd?) seasonal of 92 players was what I'd imagine to be an anomaly and might warrant looking at closer should it happen early next year too. But this is more of a matter with promoting DOU first and foremost.

I think DOU tour was far too heavily weighted for what amounted to a 16 man single elim seasonal between the players who had the most time each weekend. The 92 man seasonal as well was weighted a bit heavily in comparison to the other two.
I might consider coming up with a more detailed scoring system dependent on signups? Though that would only work for seasonals so not sure. I would lower the points for DOU tour in conjunction with the shorter season and smaller playoff bracket.

BFL I think was fine but I would adjust the invitational playoffs a bit (elaborated on below).

I put this in my survey too but I feel like invitationals needs a little adjusting. This year I felt like we had more players in our top 16 who either played in 2 early tours and stopped for months (or the other way round), or had slightly average performances overall and tool advantage of the BFL.
We should either have a set points total needed for invites and create our playoff bracket from that, I was thinking around 20/21 points? This was a system used in the 2014(?) DOU circuit and I thought the idea then was quite a good one. The other option is to reduce the playoffs to a top 8 but I'm not sure if this the best idea.

Last DPL was great and I wouldn't change what we did last year.

I see no reason to axe old gens from anywhere in our circuit. As stated earlier, XY has a sizeable following still, the only issue being people don't build/play it really until DPL, though I don't see this as such a problem. BW is having a tour with a massive prize pool which has seriously generated some interest in the tier. Now with gen 8 aroumd the corner I don't see why we wouldn't keep BW in for the next year, and have this discussion in more depth then.

Edit: n1n1 makes 1 good point: we definitely need more streams. This last seasonal was very unhype and lots of times we had no idea when the big games were going on. A stream every round/other round would definitely aid this and bring back the hype, which in turn will increase signups, even if just marginally.
 

miltankmilk

**hypnotic recorder plays in background**
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#6
My strongest thoughts are on the livetours. I think its absolutely ridiculous how much weight the tournament with the lowest regular participation holds. The playoffs are very competitive but dragging through 9 weeks of 12 person tournaments is sad. I really think these should be scrapped, its not like this year's participation is some crazy outlier, it was low last year too. I don't think changing times will help, we're a relatively small playerbase and there aren't casual players hanging around and playing in these tours: its the same 12 people twice a weekend and then 8 people the next day. I really just think it should be replaced by an additional seasonal and add smaller point value old gen tournaments somewhere else. Mixing old gens and livetours is a recipe for no participation and we should move away from it
 
#7
DLT
I don't like it, but I don't like laddering in general so I am biased

Doubles Tour
I personally don't hate old gens, but I feel like it is the reason that the participation rate is so low. 7 players signing up only for BW2 DOU is really just bad tbh. Should really just cut them off from this tour and do full current gen.

Seasonal
Everything is great about it
nothing to change

Point Structure/BFL
BFL is fine but the point structure is unreasonable. Winner the whole DLT gives u less points then top 16 in seasonal. That to me is just bad.

Invitational
16 is fine, feel like there isn't that much good players for this.

Old Gens
I feel like old gens can still be a thing, but they should be separated with the current gen. Maybe do a old gen grand slam type of thing like what the NU circuit have been doing.

DPL
put DUU and DUbers in. All I have to say.


Thanks for the great year of DOU tho
have been enjoying it :)
 

Pocket

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#8
I agree with miltankmilk that live tours may not be a conducive format for Smogon Tour. I believe the "Smogon Classic" format may be more suited for our circuit SM/XY/BW tour.

I also second Aurarayquaza's suggestions for improving DLT.

Thanks for taking feedback, Majorbowman!
 

MajorBowman

ain't signed to jay-z but I can still rock a fella
is a Smogon Social Media Contributoris a Super Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributor
Doubles Colonel
#9
Make it so only your top 5 of 7 tour scores count or something like that.
This is already the case in the form of Best Finish Limits. You can only get points from 2 seasonals and 1 DLT, which cuts down on point inflation and allows users to take a break for a tournament if they'd like. It kinda has to be this way as opposed to a blanket "best 5 of 7 tournaments" because otherwise it more heavily skews the weighting of certain tournaments.
This year I felt like we had more players in our top 16 who either played in 2 early tours and stopped for months (or the other way round), or had slightly average performances overall and tool advantage of the BFL.
One thing to note is that the point cutoff to qualify for invitationals was the exact same this year and last year (with the caveat that there was a very slight change in CP payout that was overall neutral - high end of seasonals went up and high end of dou tour went down). The only two people who qualified with less than 4 tournaments this year made the finals of one of them (Kaori in winter seasonal, nvakna in DLT), so I would argue that this invitational is just as competitive as last year's. Another thing you suggested was using variable CP payouts based on signups for seasonals, but that's both something I heavily disagree with personally and something that we can't do because of circuit standardization requirements in place on Smogon. CP payouts need to be consistent for tournaments of the same caliber, so dropping the value of one seasonal out of 3 because a few less people signed up is infeasible.

One thing discussed in Discord yesterday was the idea that too many people qualify for DLT playoffs considering the size of our playerbase. Any thoughts on shrinking playoff size to make it more competitive?

Thanks for all the great feedback so far yall, keep it coming!
 

miltankmilk

**hypnotic recorder plays in background**
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#10
One thing discussed in Discord yesterday was the idea that too many people qualify for DLT playoffs considering the size of our playerbase. Any thoughts on shrinking playoff size to make it more competitive?
I feel like much of the criticism surrounding DLT is “i hate the ladder its so bad omg!!”. This isn’t very productive as its clearly one of the best tournaments to bring new players in, even if they dont always stick around. Because of this I think its best to rework the playoffs and seeding rather than the basic framework of the tournament: here are two ideas

Now i don’t abhor laddering like some but one possible solution would be to have one, longer laddering period with fewer people qualifying. This way you could reward the actual top finishers with byes. Something that OLT tried this year was a swiss format among qualifiers which I thought was really cool, although it may take longer.
 

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