Proposal Establishing an Uniform Format for Circuits

kjdaas

this girl rly slapped some letters together huh
is a Community Contributoris a Tournament Director Alumnusis a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Top Dedicated Tournament Host Alumnus
Circuits are becoming more and more ingrained into the smogon culture and it is good to see that there is now a prize, ribbons, for being consistent in a tier throughout the year and rewarding players for joining these tours year-round. Because the circuits were made by all tiers separately and were modified from the old system where are all tiers did their own thing, there is no uniformity in the formats of the circuits. The main two things that are important and need to be addressed are: who gets points and how many does one get for winning a certain tour.

So as the past gen circuit host, I know in RoA everyone who wins a round of a Cup, Global Championship, Seasonal and Smogon/RoA tour gets points. This was the original idea of the Smogon Championships and of the circuits, as can be seen here. However, the system RoA uses differs from the original one that by using scaling factors instead of equivalent points. We have adopted a system where winning a Cup or GC is worth 6x as much as winning a single Smogon or RoA tour and a Seasonal is worth 5x as much. In this way, we have made it a lot easier to see how many points one has during the year, although the ratios are fairly arbitrary chosen and some people like false, SamuelBest and Alice have already complained about the relative weights of RoA Tour compared to the other tours.

Recently, I became more active in the 1v1 community and saw that their format is completely different from the one that I was used to in RoA. For example, they only give points for making top 16 in Seasonals and their ladder tour and top 8 for Classic. Furthermore, the amount of points one get from winning a tour is also 5 times less in comparison to the lowest worth tour in RoA, which means their scaling is also completely different. However, they are not alone because they got this format from the UU circuit after contacting Hogg in 2018. I know that 1v1 is not unofficial metagame yet, but UU is an official core metagame with a fairly large circuit, so such a big difference between RoA and UU is very surprising.

After checking the other tiers it seems that OU, Ubers, LC, RU, NU, Doubles OU follow a similar but differently scaled system, whereas both 1v1 and UU both use the other format (other OM's or PU might follow first or second one as well, but I haven’t checked them). However, the scaling is different for most tiers, for example RoA gives 5x as much points for a seasonal as LC and OU do, but also favours bigger tours like Classic or GC more than LC and OU do for their bigger tours (LC Open and OST respectively). This year LC and OU seems to have included different amounts of points for A, B, C type tours, but LC give 500, 333 and 167 whereas OU use the equivalent point system of M Dragon.

Personally, I think it is best to make a uniform format so that all circuits give points in the same way and that all tours that are similar give the same amount of points in every tier. This makes it much easier to understand for newer players to learn how all the circuits work. Moreover, players that want to branch out do not have to learn a completely different point system, but can just use their intuition from their old circuit. It also makes more sense and there is no reason why it should not be uniform, especially if they all give similar prices (ribbons). Therefore, we should try to find a uniform format for when to give points to players and how many points a certain tour gives. I am not a big fan of forcing all circuits to have the same amount of tours, because for example OU and RoA circuits cannot fit that many Seasonals in their calendar and other tiers might have legacy tours that they want to keep hosting. However, for Seasonals, opens, cups or live tours the amount of point one gets for winning them should be uniform.

So, for when to give points there are just 2 options:
  1. Giving everyone who wins a round points using the scaling system of M Dragon.
  2. Giving only the top x points and using the same scaling system, where x is number for example 16 or 32.
The former has advantages that everyone gets points and that it does matter if you reach top 16*x or top 2*x, whereas in the other system you only get points if you reach top x. However, a disadvantage of this format is that rewards consistently mediocre player, whereas the other one promotes players that have only 1 amazing run. Personally, I prefer the first one because it gives people more points and means that fairly consistent players can scramble points more easily for higher seeds. It is also more forgiving when you get harder matchups, because you still get a small amount of points for facing a tough opponent round 3, whereas in the other format you get none.

For how many points one should get for a certain tour, there are many possible scaling factors possible. So, for this I think the TDs or tier leaders need to decide with each other how many points a seasonal should give, a live tour, Cup or Open. However, before this can be discussed properly, we need to establish if we want either:
  1. The equivalent point system by M Dragon, read here.
  2. A scaled system, similar to the ones that LC and RoA are using.
The former one has the advantage that the number of points does not explode and one player cannot have so much more points than the rest, but it's much harder to see how many points you have a certain time. Another issue is that the amount of points changes even if you are not playing, therefore you are never sure if you earned enough points to qualify and want to sit out a tour. It does give a limit on the amount of points one can get from small type C tours, so one cannot farm them very easily. Fortunately, most circuits only host a handful of type C tours and only RoA Tour has this problem afaik, which can be fixed by changing the scaling again. I think M Dragon's originally idea was to put a limit on the amount of points one can get from type B and C tours, without making it so that people stop playing after reaching this limit. However, most circuits do not have the same amount of smaller unofficials that the Smogon Championships had, making it so that this limit will never actually be reached. Therefore, just giving type C tours 1/x of the points of a type A tour seems to give the type A tours enough weight, but makes the format a lot easier to understand.

Personally, I do not like the mercantilist system of M Dragon, where you need to increase your share of the points, thus lowering the points of the other players, to get a higher seed. Especially if you use the system that Ubers was using, because one can lose their playoff seed due to someone else winning a tour. For example, if someone else, who was already qualified via type A points, wins a type B tour, your equivalent value of type B points might drop and cause you to lose your playoffs spot, without it being your fault directly. I think the system is to convoluted and not necessary for our circuits and making it easier for people to understand where they are and how many points they need to qualify, seems much better.

tl;dr: What is your opinion about having a more uniform structure for all our circuits? Also, who should get points and at which round should they get them? And how many points should a certain tour give relative to other ones with a different format?

An unrelated thing, but I saw that some circuits include their classics, so that people can get points for doing well in that tour. However, the playoffs format does not contain any of those old gens, meaning that people can qualify due to tiers that are not included in the playoffs. A rule of thumb should be that tiers that are not played in the circuit playoffs should not count towards qualification for said playoffs. I can understand that tiers want to include their classic in the circuit, but I think giving other prices like signature trophies or, preferably, a banner for winning such a classic sounds much better in my opinion.
 

Merritt

no comment
is a Tournament Directoris a Site Content Manageris a Member of Senior Staffis a Community Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Top Dedicated Tournament Host
Head TD
To provide some clarification on the LC Circuit tournament point splits, it's based extremely heavily on the M Dragon system example point distribution, with Type B and C being worth 66% and 33% respectively (the M Dragon distribution is 68% and 32%). To clarify, this is purely to explain the "why" behind the LC Circuit's exact weighting.

We decided to go with scaled point distribution this year to allow for more unusual format tours (ladder, swiss, and majors this year, but other tours were considered) to be a part of the circuit while also lessening worry that people would be able to utilize these tours alone to quality for playoffs. There was also the goal of providing somewhat more emphasis and motivation behind our seasonals.

The plan was to look at the circuit results after this year ends to refine point distribution and tour inclusion, since this is the first year the LC Circuit did different point weighting for different tournaments. As such, I can't really definitively say whether or not there are benefits to what we've done this year.
 
Last edited:

Stratos

Banned deucer.
I don't see any real benefit in standardizing circuits. It takes five minutes to learn the circuit structure of any given tier, and regardless, do you even need to know the exact minutiae of the circuit structure? "Enter tournaments and place well."

The downside seems way larger than the upside. It reduces the flexibility of every community to try new things and see what works for them. Having to get any alterations to your circuit approved by the majority (or all?) of Smogon metagames would stifle innovation. So many things on Smogon started by someone just trying something out and other people copying it because it was a good idea--circuits themselves included. I don't think we should be stifling this unless we have a good reason.
 

kjdaas

this girl rly slapped some letters together huh
is a Community Contributoris a Tournament Director Alumnusis a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Top Dedicated Tournament Host Alumnus
I don't see any real benefit in standardizing circuits. It takes five minutes to learn the circuit structure of any given tier, and regardless, do you even need to know the exact minutiae of the circuit structure? "Enter tournaments and place well."

The downside seems way larger than the upside. It reduces the flexibility of every community to try new things and see what works for them. Having to get any alterations to your circuit approved by the majority (or all?) of Smogon metagames would stifle innovation. So many things on Smogon started by someone just trying something out and other people copying it because it was a good idea--circuits themselves included. I don't think we should be stifling this unless we have a good reason.
As I said in my post, "I am not a big fan of forcing all circuits to have the same amount of tours, because for example OU and RoA circuits cannot fit that many Seasonals in their calendar and other tiers might have legacy tours that they want to keep hosting." I'm not asking RoA to stop hosting GC's, not asking LC to not make their own ladder like last year and also not asking you to stop adding new innovations. I'm just arguing for points to be given in the same way for all circuits and also for a single or double elim tours to give the same points in all circuits. I don't think having this uniform over all the circuits would stifle innovation, except if your new tour ideas include modifiers to points of other tours...

My title might be to grand and should just mention points alone, but I assumed that people would understand that from reading my post.

Edit: If your point is it is not worth the hassle and/or useless to do and therefore we shouldn't change it, then fair cop. I can get behind that conclusion.
 
Last edited:

kjdaas

this girl rly slapped some letters together huh
is a Community Contributoris a Tournament Director Alumnusis a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Top Dedicated Tournament Host Alumnus
The worst thing on this site is when busybodies try to influence circuits that they don't play in or host for. Let Pokemon players play their Pokemon tournaments in peace and have agency on how their tournaments are structured.

Cheers,
I understand the sentiment of this post, but again I'm not saying which tours you should host or how your circuits are structured. That is not my goal and never was or never will be, because I believe the tier leaders and councils alone have the best idea on what the playerbase wants. The only thing I trying to establish is that circuits give points either to all players or only top 16 and that a seasonal should give the same amount of points in all circuits. I don't see how this would have any effect on innovations or removes fun for players or hosts. I appreciate if you could give me one reason why having an uniform way to give points does these things, because I really can't see it.

Also on a side note, the original goal of the tds was always to have uniform way of giving out points as stated here. Furthermore, the TDs have said that they want to make the circuits more structured (but still give some leeway) as stated here. I'm just wanting to see if at least for handing out points, we can go all use the same method.
 

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 1, Guests: 1)

Top