In-game tier list policy discussion thread

1. experience too? i'm not talking about levels, i would like to know how a tauros with 1000 exp points would compare to a raticate with the same.

2. that's good for rattata and hoothoot (or even bad for bellsprout), and i already explained what you can do with them.

3. exactly. so why would you not wait until falkner' done and dusted? i remember the mt. mortar golbat example and i definitely think that's a better choice than the early zubat capture - zubat really isn't worth using even against bugsy (to say nothing of any other gym leader), given that his stats are so bad that fury cutter could honestly kill you before you kill scyther. friend ball or otherwise, golbat is much better in every way.

4. concession accepted.
1. I think this has been discussed before in the RSE thread when comparing mons with different growth rates. The consensus at the time was nobody will bother to make sure that their mon receives the same EXP as opposed to the same level. Yes, level differences can be extreme (up to 7 levels I think) if you take the time to ration the EXP out but the primary point of comparison comes to how each Pokemon performs at comparable levels against the major boss battles, at which point the maximum level disparity you're likely to see does indeed fall within 2 levels. Pokemon who needs more efforts to raise has been penalised in such tier-lists because it is deemed inefficient.

2. You are correct here. If at a time of early capture, the mon has bad match-ups, it is better to wait to get them later (example: Bellsprout). However, mons like Hoothoot, Pidgey, Rattata, etc. do not have bad match-ups at the time so the player can either add them now or add them later in which case their new mon will be underlevelled and no fast levelling area.

3. I have addressed Zubat in the GSC thread.
 
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Ryota Mitarai

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My personal opinion in regards to optional trainers is that it is reasonable to skip them if you are using like only one or two Pokemon, since they can still be at appropriate levels for boss fights. However, if you are running a team of four or more, I think you have to resort to optional trainers to simulate a solo run for each Pokemon. I think this also comes down to the question as to what playerbase a list is catering towards; if the intended audience is more casual, which tends to fight even the optional ones, then fighting optional trainers will yield you experiences that will be closer to theirs. On the other hand, if the list is catered towards people that simply want to speedrun it to get post-game content or something, then yeah, skipping optional content is reasonable too. I don't think either style is invalid way of playing and each can reveal some traits of some Pokemon, both positive and negative, though I generally prefer fighting optional trainers too, as matching boss levels feels more natural to me and I would rather cater to a more casual playerbase than one that wants to just speedrun the game.

I agree that, no matter which way you play, backtracking significantly to fight optional trainers isn't really optimal e.g. backtracking to P2 Laboratory in BW or Melemele Sea in USUM

And even if you were to skip most optional trainers, I don't think fighting some is really that inefficient. For example, if you are using Bulbasaur or something, I don't think it'd be unreasonable to use it on Hikers or something, as beating a Hiker with a Grass or Water Pokemon takes less than 30 seconds, in most cases. Using Bulbasaur against Bug Catchers is a different story, though
 
My personal opinion in regards to optional trainers is that it is reasonable to skip them if you are using like only one or two Pokemon, since they can still be at appropriate levels for boss fights. However, if you are running a team of four or more, I think you have to resort to optional trainers to simulate a solo run for each Pokemon. I think this also comes down to the question as to what playerbase a list is catering towards; if the intended audience is more casual, which tends to fight even the optional ones, then fighting optional trainers will yield you experiences that will be closer to theirs. On the other hand, if the list is catered towards people that simply want to speedrun it to get post-game content or something, then yeah, skipping optional content is reasonable too. I don't think either style is invalid way of playing and each can reveal some traits of some Pokemon, both positive and negative, though I generally prefer fighting optional trainers too, as matching boss levels feels more natural to me and I would rather cater to a more casual playerbase than one that wants to just speedrun the game.

I agree that, no matter which way you play, backtracking significantly to fight optional trainers isn't really optimal e.g. backtracking to P2 Laboratory in BW or Melemele Sea in USUM

And even if you were to skip most optional trainers, I don't think fighting some is really that inefficient. For example, if you are using Bulbasaur or something, I don't think it'd be unreasonable to use it on Hikers or something, as beating a Hiker with a Grass or Water Pokemon takes less than 30 seconds, in most cases. Using Bulbasaur against Bug Catchers is a different story, though
I personally beat every trainer out there ever since I got locked out of the National Dex in Platinum because I skipped a Wormadam trainer and forgot about it.

Of course, as DHR and Merritt told me yesterday in the Discord, In-Game Tier Lists are supposed to be "minimal fights/XP" which also mean "if possible, don't take detours."

So honestly, if you do a detour, that's fine by me. Just tell people you're doing that so they can keep track of what you're doing to get your results.

Some times you do need those to avoid being severely underleveled, sure, but it is important to be transparent with your methods so people can accurately take your results into account.
 

Its_A_Random

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However, if you are running a team of four or more, I think you have to resort to optional trainers to simulate a solo run for each Pokemon.
I wanted to pick out this line in particular because it brings up a dilemma I am facing now I am focusing on BW2 Tiering at the moment.

Let's take BW2 Magnemite for example. In a vacuum, it is probably not S-Rank efficient, because while it walls 80% of the game, its lack of actually good offensive options to deal with major trainers for quite a sizeable portion of the game. On the other hand, because of its resists and Eviolite Magneton being a viable strategy in that game, it offers a team extremely useful support. Because it can wall things, it means you can afford to use turns to heal teammates and not have to use a HM Slave or something as death fodder. Furthermore, it's capable of crippling dangerous threats with Thunder Wave, and can win matchups against dangerous threats at lower levels relative to other Pokémon, allowing you to get away with doing things at lower levels than normal. Based on that, an argument could be made that it could be S-Rank because of the support and defensive backbone it provides an ingame team (whether you stick with Eviolite Magneton or evolving it into Magnezone for the extra power).

Essentially what I am asking is this: Should we be looking at tiering these Pokémon purely in a vacuum, or should we also be taking into account what a Pokémon has to offer for a team? Noting that isn't to say that Magnemite is definitively S-Rank or A-Rank in BW2 with or without considering its support, but it is going to be important nevertheless as I go through the list with a fine comb.

---

As for the topic of trainer fights, I'm not too worried with fighting optionals. In general it would be inefficient, but in some cases, it would be efficient to do so as that extra level could make the difference between winning and losing a critical fight. After all, there is nothing more inefficient than losing a fight. Even some speedruns might go out of their way to fight optionals for a long term time save (e.g. the Charmander Route in FRLG Speedruns fights most trainers in Viridian Forest so you can get Metal Claw for Brock and have an easier time on Route 3).
 
Essentially what I am asking is this: Should we be looking at tiering these Pokémon purely in a vacuum, or should we also be taking into account what a Pokémon has to offer for a team?
I'll use my RBY Bulbasaur example.

In a vacuum, it starts off nice, falls off badly until Razor Leaf, then it turns out rather mediocre.

But, picking Bulbasaur means that you don't need to be railroaded into picking a counter for Brock or Misty and it's also a solid defensive option against Lt. Surge.

The team flexibility it allows, plus the utility it provides with status and how it just only really needs Body Slam to perform decently makes it a decent mon out of what would be as useful as RSE Beautifly/Dustox. (Beats early matchups then falls off a cliff and is relegated to status spam.)

Iirc, I proposed it to be placed at B.

I think defensive value and team support should definitely be considered, even if it isn't as alluring as raw destructive offense.
 
I think the important difference is less about whether those trainers are optional and more about whether they're out of the way. I do not play GSC, so I'll use Emerald as my example.

Let's say you're on Roue 110. You just defeated Brendan/May, so your next major fight is Wattson. If you completely avoid all the spinners on Route 110 and walk around the gym trainers in Wattson's gym, and your Marshtomp can still solo Wattson, then that's great.

Another Pokemon, like Shroomish, probably can't do that. But if it can solo Wattson after you get experience from just approaching all the trainers that are already on your way to Wattson (which is probably easier than avoiding all of them), then I'd argue that Shroomish is just as useful against Wattson compared to Marshtomp. I'd even say that it's fine to fight trainers on routes 111 or 118. You have to visit those routes, fight those trainers, and take that experience at some point, so why not do it before Wattson?

On the other hand, let's say your third Pokemon is Kirlia, you have already defeated those technically optional trainers, and Kirlia still can't solo Wattson. If soloing Wattson with Kirlia requires sidetracking to places like Trick House or Route 117, backtracking to the bikers on Route 110, or generally defeating trainers that are obviously out of the way, then Kirlia's matchup against Wattson should be considered worse than Marshtomp's or Shroomish's, even if both Shroomish and Kirlia require defeating trainers that are technically optional.
experience too? i'm not talking about levels, i would like to know how a tauros with 1000 exp points would compare to a raticate with the same.
I do it by reading this table to see what their levels should be, and then putting those levels in Showdown!'s damage calculator. There might be an easier way that I don't know about.
 
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Concession? Pfft. I just don't feel like arguing with someone that will stick their fingers in their ears and whine for four entire pages despite being shot down by no less than 5 people.

You literally had mods called on you, but sure, nothing wrong. :psysly:
aren't you the one whining about me here, though? you and your buddies also whined plenty there - even when i tried to change the topic.

i didn't ''have mods called on me'', mods were called on all of us and in fact your bud who went after me was told to stop flaming by others.

I'll use my RBY Bulbasaur example.

In a vacuum, it starts off nice, falls off badly until Razor Leaf, then it turns out rather mediocre
no...it doesn't? rby bulbasaur can power through stuff with swords dance + body slam that resist grass - not all stuff but quite a few, and razor leaf's sheer power combined with sleep powder's utility allows him to power through lorelei and bruno while also doing well against some of agatha's pokemon (poke flute negs sleep if it's on you) and lance (admittedly his tendency to spam barrier against venusaur due to flawed ai helps).

that's an easy a-tier pokemon, solid in the beginning and in the end as well. you might need some healing but who doesn't really against the e4?

I think the important difference is less about whether those trainers are optional and more about whether they're out of the way. I do not play GSC, so I'll use Emerald as my example.

Let's say you're on Roue 110. You just defeated Brendan/May, so your next major fight is Wattson. If you completely avoid all the spinners on Route 110 and walk around the gym trainers in Wattson's gym, and your Marshtomp can still solo Wattson, then that's great.

Another Pokemon, like Shroomish, probably can't do that. But if it can solo Wattson after you get experience from just approaching all the trainers that are already on your way to Wattson (which is probably easier than avoiding all of them), then I'd argue that Shroomish is just as useful against Wattson compared to Marshtomp. I'd even say that it's fine to fight trainers on routes 111 or 118. You have to visit those routes, fight those trainers, and take that experience at some point, so why not do it before Wattson?

On the other hand, let's say your third Pokemon is Kirlia, you have already defeated those technically optional trainers, and Kirlia still can't solo Wattson. If soloing Wattson with Kirlia requires sidetracking to places like Trick House or Route 117, backtracking to the bikers on Route 110, or generally defeating trainers that are obviously out of the way, then Kirlia's matchup against Wattson should be considered worse than Marshtomp's or Shroomish's, even if both Shroomish and Kirlia require defeating trainers that are technically optional. I do it by reading this table to see what their levels should be, and then putting those levels in Showdown!'s damage calculator. There might be an easier way that I don't know about.
this is far more reasonable and i can agree with this in most games.

the thing is that gsc is so bad with its level curve that the tier list policy is to assume a standard team size of 4 mons. indeed, it's very easy to be underleveled during the mid-game and e4 with 6 mons even if you go out of your way to fight out-of-the-way trainers. even with 4 mons, it's far from guaranteed you'll be in shape in time, Random Passerby, the person in charge of that tier list, even with 4 mons somehow ended up with pokemon at only l37 tops by the elite four's door (the final gym leader has a l40 pokemon, in contrast) and he thinks detours are fine if they're not too out-of-the-way, pretty much like you do. no game really comes close to gsc in terms of having a broken level curve for four mons, forget six.

in emerald, your strategy would likely be fine. gsc, not so much...

I wanted to pick out this line in particular because it brings up a dilemma I am facing now I am focusing on BW2 Tiering at the moment.

Let's take BW2 Magnemite for example. In a vacuum, it is probably not S-Rank efficient, because while it walls 80% of the game, its lack of actually good offensive options to deal with major trainers for quite a sizeable portion of the game. On the other hand, because of its resists and Eviolite Magneton being a viable strategy in that game, it offers a team extremely useful support. Because it can wall things, it means you can afford to use turns to heal teammates and not have to use a HM Slave or something as death fodder. Furthermore, it's capable of crippling dangerous threats with Thunder Wave, and can win matchups against dangerous threats at lower levels relative to other Pokémon, allowing you to get away with doing things at lower levels than normal. Based on that, an argument could be made that it could be S-Rank because of the support and defensive backbone it provides an ingame team (whether you stick with Eviolite Magneton or evolving it into Magnezone for the extra power).

Essentially what I am asking is this: Should we be looking at tiering these Pokémon purely in a vacuum, or should we also be taking into account what a Pokémon has to offer for a team? Noting that isn't to say that Magnemite is definitively S-Rank or A-Rank in BW2 with or without considering its support, but it is going to be important nevertheless as I go through the list with a fine comb.

---

As for the topic of trainer fights, I'm not too worried with fighting optionals. In general it would be inefficient, but in some cases, it would be efficient to do so as that extra level could make the difference between winning and losing a critical fight. After all, there is nothing more inefficient than losing a fight. Even some speedruns might go out of their way to fight optionals for a long term time save (e.g. the Charmander Route in FRLG Speedruns fights most trainers in Viridian Forest so you can get Metal Claw for Brock and have an easier time on Route 3).
very good question. i personally think that as contributors to a tier list, we should encourage people on how best to optimize their teams without having to go really out of the way to do it. for instance, most people - i think it's fair to say, anyway - don't have any intention of speedrunning or solo running. most people generally fight trainers when they can and grind in the wild at least a little bit (i do both of these things in most runs), although they may or may not fight every out-of-the-way trainer. i'm almost certain that most people plan on having multiple pokemon in their team, 4 probably being the lowest common number in any game and most likely aiming for 5-6 outright. therefore, we need to advise players in a way that helps them optimize their gameplay in a way that doesn't tremendously change their normal gameplay behavior.

what does that mean? to me personally, that means we shouldn't be asking people to skip trainer battles or (slight) wild grinding, given that those are kinda the point of the game. yes, the less training required, the better - and mons that require less training to be awesome can refer to that as a plus point. however, the vast majority of mons will require some training to keep up with or surpass opponents, and when that's the norm and not the exception they shouldn't be penalized for it unless they're something truly awful like a l10 tyrogue from an endgame trainer. that means we shouldn't be asking people to speedrun or solo run. we can recommend a team size of 4 pokemon minimum - this is a good team size in any game and arguably even necessary in gsc/hgss, and a (mostly) happy compromise between having 6 underleveled mons and 1-2 overleveled mons.

now, to answer your question more directly - yes. as you said, magnemite isn't capable of reliably taking down a good number of trainers, but they do have excellent support options, very good resistances, and can be surprisingly good at defeating higher leveled opponents. these are all magnemite's own qualities making it excellent, not those of other mons. we have spearow as s-tier in the gsc tier list and while he also lacks the ability to take down a good number of trainers (probably even worse at the job than the magnet pokemon - few defensive benefits either), they benefit from normal + flying stabs in a game that hands you normal-type tms like swift and return early on, give you 24% boosts to both stabs by the 3rd badge, pit spearow against a lot of early foes that they have some advantage against - sprout tower, bugsy, and to a small extent falkner.

in keeping with that, i also am of the belief that slow growth pokemon that don't serve some important purpose or aren't particularly relevant against major ingame opponents should be penalized, while fast growth pokemon that aren't trash should be rewarded.
 
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Fighting optional trainers for the purposes of ingame tier lists should be regarded the same as grinding on wild Pokemon, with a minor caveat related to trainers blocking items that are particularly relevant.
Sounds more like a speedrun than a realistic playthrough. If actually exploring locations in a game is considered inefficient then I'm confounded. Most people will use fly to backtrack to previous locations or fight some wild encounters. It's ridiculous to me to tier Pokemon based on unrealistic scenarios (I say this while being aware of people who play for the postgame) - avoiding battles while tiering based on performance in battles is just so backwards.

I do personally feel that holding an expectation that all Pokemon are around the same level at all points during a run is a bit absurd though if that's actually happening. To give an RSE example, it's not particularly unexpected for a Grass-type to fall behind a little during the period after Norman until the ocean since so many of the wilds and major battles just aren't suited for them, but after that it's mostly ocean, caves, and major battles against Pokemon weak to grass.
In your example, you can use Exp. Share so it's not unreasonable to have your Pokemon on similar levels. If your team member needs Exp. Share to stay on level then this fact obviously hurts its tiering but the item exists for a reason. What you are doing is creating a snowball effect in which Pokemon becomes gradually worse due to lack of experience - first it has problems with bad match-ups and then it struggles with even match-ups.

I wanted to pick out this line in particular because it brings up a dilemma I am facing now I am focusing on BW2 Tiering at the moment.
[...]
Essentially what I am asking is this: Should we be looking at tiering these Pokémon purely in a vacuum, or should we also be taking into account what a Pokémon has to offer for a team? Noting that isn't to say that Magnemite is definitively S-Rank or A-Rank in BW2 with or without considering its support, but it is going to be important nevertheless as I go through the list with a fine comb.
From what I have seen... "if it ain't killing as fast as its peer, it shouldn't be in a higher tier" is a general rule in these lists. Which is sad because Forretress in HGSS is pretty good but it resides in lower ranks due to its bad offensive prowess.
 
Sounds more like a speedrun than a realistic playthrough. If actually exploring locations in a game is considered inefficient then I'm confounded. Most people will use fly to backtrack to previous locations or fight some wild encounters. It's ridiculous to me to tier Pokemon based on unrealistic scenarios (I say this while being aware of people who play for the postgame) - avoiding battles while tiering based on performance in battles is just so backwards.


In your example, you can use Exp. Share so it's not unreasonable to have your Pokemon on similar levels. If your team member needs Exp. Share to stay on level then this fact obviously hurts its tiering but the item exists for a reason. What you are doing is creating a snowball effect in which Pokemon becomes gradually worse due to lack of experience - first it has problems with bad match-ups and then it struggles with even match-ups.


From what I have seen... "if it ain't killing as fast as its peer, it shouldn't be in a higher tier" is a general rule in these lists. Which is sad because Forretress in HGSS is pretty good but it resides in lower ranks due to its bad offensive prowess.
1. Agreed completely. This is a game and part of it is not only battling and training but also exploring the world. None of those should be discouraged.

2. Yep.

3. I can kinda see their point to be fair on this one, though they should make a distinction between efficient and effective.
 
Would this be the right place to re-open the exp. rate discussion? I missed some of the fairly passionate discussion happening in the RSE thread.

The consensus at the time was nobody will bother to make sure that their mon receives the same EXP as opposed to the same level.
Was there a consensus? Me and Xator certainly didn't agree and at least some people were hitting "like" on our posts

Anyway I think a lot of what is to be said has been said but I still have a few questions about how people think through exp.

1. What mechanisms do you use to ascertain how good/bad a Pokémon's exp. rate is (if you don't give them equal exp.)? Do you have a concrete way of telling? If someone were to tell you that you were over- or underestimating the effect of exp. rate, how would you be able to tell who's right?
2. In the RSE thread, some people were upset that Xator was setting slow-exp. Ralts "up for failure." I get why you'd think that way (though I think Xator was very fair!)—you want to at least try to give each mon a fair run. So how do we be fair to a mon like RS traded Skitty or RB traded Farfetch'd? These two Pokémon can be decent if given equal exp. investment (Skitty also needs heavy TM investment, but is legitimately really fucking good against the Elite Four with extra levels + Calm Mind + boltbeam) but obviously don't have the stats to perform if they're forced to be at the same level as their non-traded teammates. How do we avoid setting them up for failure?
3. OK this one's rhetorical but: let's say I have two Pokémon called Long and Fellow. I'm doing a couple testing runs with them. In my first run, I give Long 150,000 exp. and Fellow 100,000 exp. Turns out Long is better! In my second run, I give Long 100,000 exp. and Fellow 150,000. This time, Fellow is better! So, who's better overall, Long or Fellow?
 
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Would this be the right place to re-open the exp. rate discussion?
Pretty sure it is. Definitely not the wrong place at least. :smogthink:

You already know where I stand on the discussion since I was the one who said this:
Xator was setting slow-exp. Ralts "up for failure."
Assuming one is leveling up all teammates equally, the impact of Exp. Groups is not related to an individual mon, but rather the team itself.

For example, in my current run of Crystal, I had significant issues at two times due to Exp. Groups.

Early on, Cyndaquil failed to reach Lv. 12 and get Ember after Sprout Tower because Spearow, a Medium-Fast mon, was taking too much experience to level up.

Then I had both Wooper and Spearow fail to evolve in time for Whitney because my team of Quilava, Snubbull, Wooper and Spearow had 3 mons that weren't Medium-Slow.

As you know, Medium-Slow and Fluctuating are the best Exp. Groups in-game. You can look at the table and reach your own conclusions.

https://m.bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/Experience#Experience_at_each_level

The issues I had with Xator's method were both how unintuitive it is for a casual player and how it leads to completely lopsided matchups like Ralts at Lv. 13 vs Brawly's Lv. 19 Makuhita and Lv. 32 Lanturn vs Juan's Lv. 46 Kingdra. (Don't quite remember the Lanturn level, but it was something like that.)

In a team, one is supposed to have basic synergy. You need to be able to cover your Pokémon's weakpoints as a trainer, and that includes the Exp. Group differences.

It is fair to treat these as negative points, no one is saying otherwise.
But when you're sending out a mon 14 levels behind a Leader's ace when there are no level spikes, I gotta call it out.
 
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Not the most experienced in these threads, but thought I'd weigh in since the exp rate discussion is interesting to me.
1. What mechanisms do you use to ascertain how good/bad a Pokémon's exp. rate is (if you don't give them equal exp.)? Do you have a concrete way of telling? If someone were to tell you that you were over- or underestimating the effect of exp. rate, how would you be able to tell who's right?
The way I view exp groups is basically "How long will it take for this pokemon to catch up with my team?", since I play by trying to make everything within ~4 levels of the ace of my opponent. This is of course also influenced by what part of the game I'm in and what level the pokemon is when caught, but basically slow exp groups are worse than fast ones because it takes more time/investment to make them comparable to the rest of my team. I don't like the idea of under (or over) leveling a pokemon to show the difference exp groups make, because I already take them into account by the real time they eat up when caught. I'll use my current Firered run as an example, Nidoqueen is in the medium slow group which is one of the fastest until ~level 50, it's also an in game trade so it gains exp faster. Nidoqueen has basically no period where you need to slow down and give it exp, even big level jumps like Erika -> Koga (~7 levels, relatively few mandatory fights in between) are handled by giving it a relatively small amount of trainers to fight. Compare this to Shellder/Cloyster, an untraded mon in the slow exp group. Cloyster mandates quite a lot of optional trainers in the routes between Lavender and Fuchsia, and takes a lot of investment to catch up to my team that I could otherwise skip to go faster. If I had just given everything the same total experience that Nidoqueen needed to get to level 39 (it's level vs Koga) then Cloyster would have been level 34, 9 levels beneath his ace. It's not fair to imply that everything should be rated based on that low leveled performance, because stats are determined by level, not exp.

2. In the RSE thread, some people were upset that Xator was setting slow-exp. Ralts "up for failure." I get why you'd think that way (though I think Xator was very fair!)—you want to at least try to give each mon a fair run. So how do we be fair to a mon like RS traded Skitty or RB traded Farfetch'd? These two Pokémon can be decent if given equal exp. investment (Skitty also needs heavy TM investment, but is legitimately really fucking good against the Elite Four with extra levels + Calm Mind + boltbeam) but obviously don't have the stats to perform if they're forced to be at the same level as their non-traded teammates. How do we avoid setting them up for failure?
The problem with this example is the opposite of the issue with using an under leveled Gardevoir (or anything) for testing. The problem is that unless a pokemon has box legendary tier base stats, under leveling will hurt it's performance drastically. Over leveling does the exact opposite, allowing a pokemon that is flawed in some way to just level up and perform far better than being at a comparable level to the opponent would show. For mons that gain exp really fast like in game trades, their advantage comes from needing little to no investment to stay near the opponents level. We avoid "setting them up for failure" by not letting them fall behind the rest of the team in levels. We don't just feed them exp either for the same reason we don't take solo runs into consideration, anything performs well when over leveled.

3. OK this one's rhetorical but: let's say I have two Pokémon called Long and Fellow. I'm doing a couple testing runs with them. In my first run, I give Long 150,000 exp. and Fellow 100,000 exp. Turns out Long is better! In my second run, I give Long 100,000 exp. and Fellow 150,000. This time, Fellow is better! So, who's better overall, Long or Fellow?
This depends on a lot more than just how much exp they were given, and since all I have is that whoever gets more exp performs better I can't really answer.
 
Was there a consensus?
Not really, however majority of people agreed that training by equalizing levels is much more viable way to test Pokemon.
1. What mechanisms do you use to ascertain how good/bad a Pokémon's exp. rate is (if you don't give them equal exp.)? Do you have a concrete way of telling? If someone were to tell you that you were over- or underestimating the effect of exp. rate, how would you be able to tell who's right?
I honestly do not take experience groups into the account while tiering. The only thing that matters to me is the performance of Pokemon in battles. If they struggle to win battles then they are bad. If they require a lot of experience on top of that then they are really bad. Pokemon like Entei, Gardevoir and Heracross take a long time to train but they sweep routes without problems.

I noticed that people have a tendency to spread experience in a way that help all team members stay on similar levels. This usually means that Pokemon in slower experience groups affect the whole team (usually decreasing the average level by only one-two in the midgame/lategame). I see it as a trivial matter because of that.
2. In the RSE thread, some people were upset that Xator was setting slow-exp. Ralts "up for failure." I get why you'd think that way (though I think Xator was very fair!)—you want to at least try to give each mon a fair run. So how do we be fair to a mon like RS traded Skitty or RB traded Farfetch'd? These two Pokémon can be decent if given equal exp. investment (Skitty also needs heavy TM investment, but is legitimately really fucking good against the Elite Four with extra levels + Calm Mind + boltbeam) but obviously don't have the stats to perform if they're forced to be at the same level as their non-traded teammates. How do we avoid setting them up for failure?
You can give those Pokemon a couple of levels more to accentuate their training potential, however you need to remember anti-overleveling policy.
3. OK this one's rhetorical but: let's say I have two Pokémon called Long and Fellow. I'm doing a couple testing runs with them. In my first run, I give Long 150,000 exp. and Fellow 100,000 exp. Turns out Long is better! In my second run, I give Long 100,000 exp. and Fellow 150,000. This time, Fellow is better! So, who's better overall, Long or Fellow?
Just give them both 125,000 experience points and see how they fare then. If we completely disregard their typing, moves etc., it becomes obvious that the Pokemon with more training will perform better.
 
A bunch of responses, I'm going to try to reply to the main ideas in them rather than quote everything (so sorry if I miss something)

I think my problems regarding the first question is that while in theory, y'all are saying you take exp. rates into account, I don't actually see that happening in practice, concretely. I don't see anyone putting things in their logs like "Ralts: does well against such-and-such a boss. Unforuntately, the level it stole from Marill prevents Marill from outspeeding so-and-so and from 2HKOing such-and-such." I don't see any analysis like "Ralts fought 150 more battles than Marill did during the course of the game." Volt in the RSE thread actually did come up with a concrete plan—run pokes of the same exp. rates together—though nobody seeemed to follow up on that idea.

We have ways of concretely addressing other parts of a Pokémon (we describe our boss strategies and post KO benchmarks; we post our IVs/natures so we have multiple points of reference or we just hack them to be average; we run mons with or without TMs), so I think it's unreasonable that when it comes to exp. rates, half of the runners kind of refuse to even look at other runs that make an adjustment for them (let alone do the equal exp. runs themselves).

The equal exp. teams give lopsided results but the whole point we're getting at is those lopsided results are the true reflections of a Pokémon's contribution to the team when you remove the bias of the previously unequal investments. Level 32 Lanturn vs. Juan is ridiculous—but it is a natural consequence of being a low-level late-game Pokémon that grows slowly, which is a very bad thing to be!

The idea about overleveling is that a poke's tier is relative to the investment you give them, right? A level 90 Unown is great but you'd need to grind for hours to get there. It's unreasonable to compare a level 90 Unown to a level 40 Lugia. But if it takes you an hour to grind your Rattata up to level 50 and in the same hour, you can grind your Skitty up to level 60, that would be a much fairer comparison, right?

(The reason I bring Skitty up is that while I do understand why people don't like keeping Ralts at a lower level than the team, it seems to me like the whole point of traded Skitty is to level it be "overleveled", i.e. "invested in equally to its teammates." And certainly if the tier lists are meant to be beginners guides, the advice I would give is "let Skitty be 5-10 levels above everyone else because it grows levels nutty fast and that's how to make it usable")

Just give them both 125,000 experience points and see how they fare then.
I think this is a great idea! ;)
 
The equal exp. teams give lopsided results but the whole point we're getting at is those lopsided results are the true reflections of a Pokémon's contribution to the team when you remove the bias of the previously unequal investments.
Not really. All mons require *some* investment. TMs, Exp, availability...

The thing is, assuming a team of 4~6 mons, how efficient is this mon?

The team cost should be noted, some mons will require one-use TMs and the like, these mons will require more Exp. than your starter.

This is why I said that any group that isn't Medium-Slow or Fluctuating is not optimal. Fast group is objectively worse than Medium-Slow for a significant chunk of the mid-game for example.

The problem with your logic is that you're not seeing an individual mon as part of a team.

It is a negative point. Everyone treats it as such. The difference is that instead it ends there instead of tossing mons under the bus like the Lanturn example.

When you pick a slow mon for your team, you know what you're getting into. Your mons as a team will be on average one or two levels lower.
Then you think about it. Is this Slow Exp. Mon worth this cost? The answer obviously will vary wildly. But what matters is that it's noted, so people know it's a negative point.
 
But what matters is that it's noted, so people know it's a negative point.
You're noting it but are you measuring it?

For instance have you (or literally anyone ever) noted, "this slow mon lowered my team by 1-2 levels, and the measurement of how bad this is is [maybe thresholds that failed to be met, or maybe calculating that it's the equivalent of x number of base points, etc.]"?
 
You're noting it but are you measuring it?

For instance have you (or literally anyone ever) noted, "this slow mon lowered my team by 1-2 levels, and the measurement of how bad this is is [maybe thresholds that failed to be met, or maybe calculating that it's the equivalent of x number of base points, etc.]"?
It's not something to be measured. It varies *wildly* depending on team comp.

3 Medium-Slow mons + a Slow one will not have the same levels as MS + 2 Medium-Fast + Slow.

And then there's playstyle. How many trainers you dodging? Who's getting the big payouts from Major Battles?

It's quite literally impossible to accurately gauge it, but it is possible to advise players that they'll have that issue to deal with.
 
Well, I guess I would just say that an equal exp. run would be one way to accurately gauge it ;)

The best way to test the impact of different exp. groups imo are to do simultaneous runs with logs and having mons with the same exp. group (or even the same mons, but this could get boring, outside of the one you want to test.
You yourself came up with another way in the RSE thread, too. I think it's an alright idea—the main problem being, equal exp. is an even better idea hehe
 
y'all are saying you take exp. rates into account
I honestly do not take experience groups into the account while tiering.
Jim.png


Anyway, I calculated experience distribution in Excel (using Bulbapedia's experience table) and here are the results:
Levels.jpg

I do not have all equations visible on the picture, calculations do not take into the consideration newly caught Pokemon having to catch up and the whole thing just compares specific team compositions, however I reckon it is a good food for thought anyway. Including Pokemon who level up slower in the team, does not change much. Being one or two level behind (relatively to other team compositions) is very trivial unless Pokemon miss vital level-up moves before a major battle. It is hardly worth discussing because, as Volt stated, there are too many different elements to take into consideration while playing. Team composition and playstyle may be different between some people. If someone decides to use 4 Pokemon who are in slow experience group while someone else picks 6 Pokemon who are in fast experience group, they may both end up with similar levels and the whole discussion about levels becomes irrelevant.

Additionally, what Xator did was just silly. If you want to distribute experience evenly then at least do so between only underleveled Pokemon. There is no need for 46lv Swampert to gain 2 level ups before Juan if Lanturn can gain 5 in that place.
 
Well, I guess I would just say that an equal exp. run would be one way to accurately gauge it ;)



You yourself came up with another way in the RSE thread, too. I think it's an alright idea—the main problem being, equal exp. is an even better idea hehe
Oh hell no...:psyangry:

Very well said.

That idea cuts a lot of factors that could cause variance.

The same player, running the same game, battling the same trainers, in relative parallel with each other, except 3 mons are on the same groups with only one being a differential. (X group vs. Medium-slow)

See how many variables you can cut like this?

And thinking about it, that wasn't even a very good idea. For it to work, you'd need to catch 2 mons at the same place and on the same level, but with them being of different Exp. Groups.

But judging by your giggling, I don't think you'll be satisfied with mere theory.

So here's an applied example. By the time I reached Whitney on my Crystal run, I had 4 mons.

Quilava (Med. Slow), Spearow (Med. Fast), Wooper (MF), and Snubbull (Fast).

I could post screenshots with exact numbers, but I'd rather not clutter the post.

Suffice to say that I got exactly 21790 Exp. Points by the time my team was at Whitney.

My mons were caught at levels 5, 2, 4 and 10 respectively and this will take into account the catching up process as levels will be equal or close.

By the time those screenshots were taken, everyone was at Lv. 18 and Quilava at 19. But what if I picked a Medium-Slow mon instead of Wooper?

At level 18 + Quilava at 19, this new team composition would have an adquired total of 17830 exp. That leaves 3960 unaccounted for. Let's split it up.

Putting everyone at Lv. 19 would leave 1334 exp points remaining. Spearow at flat 19 would require 1141 extra points to level up and evolve. The math isn't exactly this neat, there's always some overflow on level ups, but the remaining points can account for that.

Therefore, I'd be able to have my whole team at Lv. 19 + Fearow at 20. Exactly one level across the board.

You might have guessed it, but this was kind of a pain in the ass to calculate but before I continue, since we're mentioning their tests, Xator_Nova feel free to chime in if you'd like.

So no, you don't *need* to run counting exp point for point to figure out that Exp. Groups that aren't Medium-Slow or Fluctuating are harmful to your team as a whole but aren't crippling to the point you need to throw a Lv. 32 Lanturn at a Lv. 46 leader just because it's an underleveled at capture, Slow EG mon to be "fair".

This all boils down to one thing.

I made all these bullshit calcs to reach the same exact conclusion that I and many other veterans reached on the RSE thread and in countless other posts across all In-Game Tier Lists.

"Bad Exp. Groups account for like, one or two levels across the board for the whole team."
 

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Just throwing in a quick reply here:

The only games where this probably actively makes a difference is in games with the XP Share. Kalos/Alola. Because you end up in an odd position of never being able to actually use your fast levelling mons because you're stuck with your slow levelling one up front. This obviously only applies to people trying to keep their Levels on an even keel though, which I hazard a guess is what 99% of players do.

Honestly, I don't think it's a HUGE difference across a game, and if I was a level or two from an evo before a major fight I'd just go grind it out.
 
tbh i don't think that exp groups factor in for gen 5-7-8 simply because the experience formula readjusts the experience gain according to your level, so slow leveling pokémon end up gaining more experience and fast leveling pokémon end up gaining less, pretty much balancing their leveling rates out

also, a slow leveling rate isn't an intrinsic negative if the pokémon can keep up without that much training (such as the box legends, afaik people usually reserve them for the final battles because they don't need any training to have positive match-ups for the rest of the game)
 
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While the XP discussion is interesting, I wanted to pipe in here in regards to a run I was doing but stopped. And yes, it involved Ralts.

I noticed it was talked about quite a lot already but Ralts issue is that it affects the team a bit more than you’d ordinarily think. Around Roxanne I generally have my starter close to Evo. Around 14-15. Generally it evolved right after Roxanne (basically during the fight it hits 16.) I can reach this level with another member generally. Not with Ralts. To take care of Ralts it affected my starter to the point that it was 15 AFTER Roxanne. During Brawly Ralts only hit 15 and failed to sweep Brawly while my Starter was level 17-18. It essentially sucked a level off my starter to keep it on par with it.

Later on the game it wasn’t as bad due to the amount of trainers but the XP gap was huge.We are talking around 10k-13k~. That’s about 2 levels for the Starter if not really close to one. And yes, I level matched with my team. Made sure all of em were the same levels during MUs or at least really close to.

The point Xator had tried to make was the amount of effort it takes to keep levels matching with these types of Pokémon and how much it can affect your team. You guys just looked at the level disparity and went for his throat on that matter when all he was doing was showing the issues of Lanturn (seems to be the most prevalent mon) and the issue of such a late mon being obtained with one of the worst XP Groups to have at that point. While I will say 32 is incredibly low for Juan, remember it was placed at B Tier which means that it’s low level shouldn’t have been an issue as it’s supposed battle prowess would outweigh the level disparity. Even when it was at the 46, it was still failing to do things reliably.
 

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