In-game tier list policy discussion thread

Colonel M

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The main issue I have with the lists is that they serve no purpose.

If they're supposed to be a guide towards an efficient run-through, there's nothing much to measure efficiency by; it's subjected to whatever arbitrary restrictions the writer assumes "sensible" from the view of the conjured-up Everyman, such as trading for Kadabra or Kingdra being plausible, but not for Seel, Houndour or Kangaskhan, or for a Metal Coat before Falkner; and that the Average Party shall be composed of 4-6 pokémon, not 1-3, and they are all being kept at the same level, no matter their EXP growth curves, due to the allure of superficial symmetry.
I think you miss the entire earmark of the average tier list that is designed by people (especially by myself) considering that the maximum I ever see a party is ever at 4, and most of the time I would argue 2-3 is a lot more efficient. You also will notice I point out things such as Experience gains fairly often in some of my arguments (though not as of late, only because I've been tied by other means). One of those times I mentioned how Cranidos's Erratic EXP gain can be really detrimental to it sometimes (though it can be a benefit) whereas I also will argue that there are times where Gyarados's Slow Experience Gain can really hold it back and, sometimes, keep it from getting up to the critical levels it needs to get. But, at the same time, if it soloes at a certain point in the game (which some can) there's also where EXP gain has a slightly lowered playing field over a Pokemon so long as the stats and move distribution back up the Pokemon. Typing too, to a lesser extent.

The solo play is an interesting theory, but the problem is that it requires a specific setup and usually only has a couple Pokemon that really benefit from it. Even then, it doesn't necessarily rank them accurately as a whole by solo play as some of these Pokemon listed also do more than fine on their own in solo play (Totodile in GSC for example, which is already in S). Solo play has skewered results as can be shown in games like Fire Emblem where it's usually more efficient to have at least a second or third Pokemon. Knowing one of the original pioneers of this list, he certainly did not assume all 6 Pokemon being used and probably would argue that 4 was a bit too much in RBY as an example. Even though he isn't around IOS and I have discussed at great lengths about solo play with things such as Tailow in HGSS and how Poplio is also a highly used solo candidate (at the time) for SM. But at best it could argue Tailow higher with Poplio... well... already Top Tier. It's something that could be used to help strengthen a Pokemon higher for example.

If a tier list is ever assuming more than 4 Pokemon, the chances are it's probably incorporate HM Slaves, something that has had a significantly lower ranking throughout the years since there is arguably a lot of room for HMs (it just compresses in situations where you have a party of 2-3 and you catch a legendary) and some of your party is arguably having some of the benefits like Surf or Fly used anyway (Fly may be weaker than Drill Peck, but Fly has a wider distribution than Drill Peck). A person in a tier list may showcase off a party of 6, but that does not mean a tier list should ever follow in an example that a person uses all 6 slots for Pokemon for battle.
 
it's subjected to whatever arbitrary restrictions the writer assumes "sensible" from the view of the conjured-up Everyman, such as trading for Kadabra or Kingdra being plausible, but not for Seel, Houndour or Kangaskhan, or for a Metal Coat before Falkner;
(trade should be tiered separately, that is sensible, but not when including some species and excluding others).
I agree with this part. Why can we assume that players can trade, but can only trade to evolve stuff? I'm pretty sure there are very few players for which this assumption is exactly true, so tiering anything based on this assumption is pointless. It would be a lot easier for us if we simply assume that every player has access to one and only one cartridge.
 

Merritt

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I agree with this part. Why can we assume that players can trade, but can only trade to evolve stuff? I'm pretty sure there are very few players for which this assumption is exactly true, so tiering anything based on this assumption is pointless. It would be a lot easier for us if we simply assume that every player has access to one and only one cartridge.
We do somewhat cater to this by having a notation for both the traded evolution rank and the no trade evolution rank. In addition, it's also much easier to find a person who's willing to give you 5 minutes to do a tradeback to evolve your Kadabra than it is to find somebody who's willing to give you a somewhat rare item like an early Moon Stone for example.

The limitations as I understand them on trading is that it's all resources that rely on the original game that is being played, with no assumptions on what the other cartridge may or may not have beyond the ability itself to trade - something that's generally obtainable within the 10-20 minute mark.
 
We do somewhat cater to this by having a notation for both the traded evolution rank and the no trade evolution rank. In addition, it's also much easier to find a person who's willing to give you 5 minutes to do a tradeback to evolve your Kadabra than it is to find somebody who's willing to give you a somewhat rare item like an early Moon Stone for example.

The limitations as I understand them on trading is that it's all resources that rely on the original game that is being played, with no assumptions on what the other cartridge may or may not have beyond the ability itself to trade - something that's generally obtainable within the 10-20 minute mark.
Would this extend to Karrablast and Shelmet, then? Most games have them in the same area; but in BW, would it be assumed you can't evolve Karrablast until you get to Iccirus City where you can catch a Shelmet?
 

cityscapes

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another reason why we don't factor in trading stuff for purposes other than evolution is because that opens up the can of worms that is trading in different mons. and trust me when i say that those worms are better off canned.

Would this extend to Karrablast and Shelmet, then? Most games have them in the same area; but in BW, would it be assumed you can't evolve Karrablast until you get to Iccirus City where you can catch a Shelmet?
you have a good point here. i really hate this because i'm so used to allowing shelmet/karrablast to evolve immediately, but at the same time i don't see why they deserve this over mons that evolve with stones.

on the purpose of tier lists: i think that it's reasonable to use them for planning out your party based on the amount of challenge you want. it also gives you a good description of what you should expect out of a mon, and how to use it most efficiently (get x tm, use move reminder for y move, buy z item, etc) to help in nuzlockes and stuff.
 

Merritt

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Would this extend to Karrablast and Shelmet, then? Most games have them in the same area; but in BW, would it be assumed you can't evolve Karrablast until you get to Iccirus City where you can catch a Shelmet?
I wouldn't be opposed to that idea honestly, it seems fair to me, but at the same time I could see why people would object to it.
 
another reason why we don't factor in trading stuff for purposes other than evolution is because that opens up the can of worms that is trading in different mons. and trust me when i say that those worms are better off canned.
How does any trading, even if it's for evolution, not open that can of worms?
 

Colonel M

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In fairness trading does open the can of worms, hence why questions come from sumwun and Coeur7 exists. That isn't to say that these questions are invalid or anything, and they definitely were discussed at great lengths throughout some time.

The simple answer is, while the player does have the option to trade for virtually anything that they want within the game's limitations, it also does bring up another can of worms on why we don't rank someone like traded Mewtwo Top Tier or even High (High considering that it is rather disobedient) or why you couldn't trade an egg earlygame and, thus, have a Pokemon that is specialized for in-game pummeling. The truth of the matter is by allowing trading the limitations are eased on; however, a line in the sand is drawn that the use of trading with others is used strictly for evolutions that are physically possible at the time.

Furthermore, consider at one point some of these games, DPP in particular, could use the GTS to evolve a Pokemon without having to physically use another cartridge; however, the method is no longer possible in that the GTS is currently shut down. It would be a weird move to retroactively prevent traded Pokemon from existing in some of these games where it was actually possible without another cartridge.

If you must know, the main argument back at the time to help create the (Trade) and (No Trade) was actually due to the physical limitations at the time when you had to be right next to someone to trade. While this still is true for some generations such as Generation 3, other generations have much easier access to online play nowadays to do these trades. In the tier list threads there should, at minimum, have a rule that allows a player to trade a Pokemon purely for evolution that is within physical means at the time of trade (i.e. no Metal Coat bullshit before it's available) and to use trading only for that specific instance.

Honestly (Trade) and (No Trade) with a solid rule in place already solves the loopholes that are potentially caused by allowing tradebacks. I don't see the reason to suddenly change such a policy.
Would this extend to Karrablast and Shelmet, then? Most games have them in the same area; but in BW, would it be assumed you can't evolve Karrablast until you get to Iccirus City where you can catch a Shelmet?
This, on the other hand, opens a rather different can of worms in my opinion. Shelmet and Karrablast being obtainable in two different areas of the game in Black and White and there are definitely instances where the Shelmet Player at the time could naturally be ahead of the Karrablast player. Honestly, I would argue the ruling to favor Karrablast in that the traded evolution can happen as soon as its obtained, but I'm curious to hear what others have to say on this as well.
 
the main thing is that the trading rules as they are right now only depend on the act of trading, plus a trading resource from the game doing the run. this means I could have a cartridge on standby and use it for tradebacks every time I play, no need to farm out new items or go catch something for the other cart to use. The (Trade) ranked mons only require a trading partner be available, not that they have anything besides the ability to trade, often available within 15-20 minutes of play at a stretch.

For Karrablast and Shellmet, I think they're fair to rank as "trade/no trade" entries, just perhaps treat their evolution point as when a cart could obtain both at once, and thus provide both necessities for the evolution.
 
With regard to evolution, in which games of the series do players still have the option of trading with somebody to evolve, say, Kadabra? If it's hardly possible in 2k17, perhaps trade evolution shouldn't be considered in these games? Referring to the older gens here.
 
I don't know if people see it as I do, but regarding Pokemon that evolve through trading while holding an item makes me wonder if the items required should be ranked too based on that you have to get them. Otherwise you could argue that your trade partner has the chance to any time provide you the resources you need to beat the game (which still is true if we rank items individually).

On another note, Pokewalker tiered for HGSS vs. Pokeradar untiered for B2W2 also seem contradictory since both use external resources but don't require a second DS. I know some people might thing the answer is obvious, but can we have a discussion on that topic later regardless?
 
On another note, Pokewalker tiered for HGSS vs. Pokeradar untiered for B2W2 also seem contradictory since both use external resources but don't require a second DS. I know some people might thing the answer is obvious, but can we have a discussion on that topic later regardless?
Right away to me there's a very clear distinction there -- Dream Radar is a completely different game, while the Poké Walker comes with the game. It's still technically an external resource, but in a much more diminished way compared to Dream Radar.
 
I don't know if people see it as I do, but regarding Pokemon that evolve through trading while holding an item makes me wonder if the items required should be ranked too based on that you have to get them. Otherwise you could argue that your trade partner has the chance to any time provide you the resources you need to beat the game (which still is true if we rank items individually).
The current policy already assumes that players can't use items from another game, so for example, getting a Scizor requires the player to provide his own Scyther and his own metal coat.
 
Some games have post-game opponents that are stronger than the champion. For example, the Johto games have Red, Emerald has Steven, and the Sinnoh games have the rival. In which cases should we assume the player wants to defeat those opponents in his/her/its playthrough?

By the way, this thread should be sticky.
 
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Merritt

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Some games have post-game opponents that are stronger than the champion. For example, the Johto games have Red, Emerald has Steven, and the Sinnoh games have the rival. In which cases should we assume the player wants to defeat those opponents in his/her/its playthrough?

By the way, this thread should be pinned.
Not unless explicitly stated imo - for example I believe the Johto tiering threads do go through Red, but generally we just go through the Champion, since that's the point at which you've beaten the game. We need to cut off somewhere and the Champion is pretty consistent and also doesn't bloat some lists with a massive number of postgame Pokemon (looking at you BW). I don't really think adding postgame in really adds anything to the lists.
 
Also beating Red gives you the credits again, making him feel more important than Emerald Steven or BW2 Alder for example.
Don't the credits play after the player beats Alder? For BW, we can just set a policy to only tier Pokemon on the local Pokedex, like how they did with ORAS.
 

Merritt

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Don't the credits play after the player beats Alder? For BW, we can just set a policy to only tier Pokemon on the local Pokedex, like how they did with ORAS.
For a large number of postgames it would devolve into the most efficient way to grind your team to level 65-70ish to take on the sudden level spike. Also, we're tiering ingame, not postgame, which by name is after the game is done.

Also like 90% sure that beating BW2 Alder doesn't give you credits.
 

Karxrida

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iirc the ORAS list ignores the National Dex largely because almost nothing is worth getting due to lateness and the backtracking required, and even then those Pokémon are technically all ranked at E and just unlisted.

Can we get back to finalizing a standardized write-up format? No offense to the other list organizers, but I'd like to not let the Colosseum thread stall for several years.
 
For a large number of postgames it would devolve into the most efficient way to grind your team to level 65-70ish to take on the sudden level spike. Also, we're tiering ingame, not postgame, which by name is after the game is done.
Isn't all of this true for Red as well?
 

DHR-107

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Okay so this thread has weaved/moved around somewhat.

I can agree with "tighter" write ups on Pokemon, I have no issues with that. Honestly, I don't see the issue with ones like the BW2 tier list in terms of length/info. A lot of people seem to be thinking that the huge "posts about X mon" seem to be what goes into the final product, when its more a breakdown of how that particular Pokemon worked throughout the game. These get broken down and re-written and updated to a much shorter prose.

If we want to make what is considered "End Game" more clear, I believe that is fine too. Honestly, in most instances this is beating the E4 Round 1 and becoming the champion (RBYFRLG/GSCHGSS [With an additional note about Kanto]/RSEORAS/DPPt/BW2/XY/SM). The only real outliers to this list are Black/White, where the game "Ends" with you beating Ghetsis at the Pokemon League and stopping Plasma's plan, and the GameCube games Colosseum and Gale of Darkness, which end when you defeat "The big bad".

I agree with Colonel M in that if we do have a hard trade rule, we need it to exclude Pokemon who are not in the game already. We cannot rank every Pokemon in every game, that is sheer madness. And I do agree that a Trade rule should be considered, so we can discuss exactly how this stuff will be limited/assessed going forwards.

I can't see us dropping from our "recommended" 3-4 Pokemon with 2 backups. The best way to deal with this is simply a disclaimer at the top saying these are just for fun/informational purposes and using less/more Pokemon is always an option. I've always played with a full party of 6 and never had issues with XP (apart from in GII). I think we should highlight HM Compatibility when extreme cases present themselves (such as with Bidoof in Gen 4). There aren't really any other Pokemon who are as easy/as useful to get in any other games (Tropius is not an easy find in RSE and isn't available until after 5 badges). Gen 5 onwards massively reduced the need for HM's to progress the story anyway, so this is only a consideration in Gen 1-4.
 
Do we assume that players play while constantly looking stuff up (especially NPCs' movesets) on Bulbapedia? This question is especially important for tiering Shedinja, which as you may guess, is probably by far the most matchup-based Pokemon in the whole series. Shedinja may rank pretty well if the answer is yes, but if the answer is no, then it will be bottom tier in every game.

Also this thread really should be sticky.
 

Karxrida

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Looking up every trainer's moveset sounds like a huge hassle.

Besides, Shedinja's movepool is garbage (e.g. it can't really do shit in RSE until you get the Shadow Ball TM or learn it naturally, both of which come after Gym 6), so you'll end up just cherry tapping your targets to death.
 
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