let's brainstorm snake replacements!

snake sucks! we all know this! help me draft some new ideas.

results so far:

*mini team tournament! 15-20 teams of smaller sizes, 5-7 ppl each, perhaps with some sneak level individual/team mechanics? idk but a small team situation seems kinda fun imo
*help plz spitball any idea
 

n1n1

the real n1n1
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snake sucks! we all know this! help me draft some new ideas.

results so far:

*mini team tournament! 15-20 teams of smaller sizes, 5-7 ppl each, perhaps with some sneak level individual/team mechanics? idk but a small team situation seems kinda fun imo
*help plz spitball any idea
if every teams plays each other you are talking about a 4 to 6 month long tournament. no one wants that
 

Kingler12345

levi when we win ekans
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i haven't really explored much into snake alternatives (even though i think it should probably be looked at harder); if we're looking at changing the tournament itself, though, could we discuss moving it a month or 2 back? A lot of people within snake are current gen players who all play slam, so reducing the overlap between snake and the later half of slam regular season (which feels like not only a million games but also pretty important games) could be a nice alternative for most players involved, simply because it helps reduce the insane amount of games a player has to play in a week. I feel like having snake a month and a half earlier or so (middle of July) is better because it's likelier to coincide with summer break for a lot of players, myself included.
 

Triangles

That wasn't very dynamaxed of you
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Well the issue with Snake aside from its branding is that it's not special in any way because SPL (mostly) has lower tiers. This is fixable with the following change:
SPL CG OU and all old gens, WCOP all CG OU, Snake CG OU and lower tiers.
Another thing that might help Snake not suck is switching Slam and Classic around time wise, because right now Snake coincides with Slam.
With these changes every chunk of the year has a bit of everything.

Or just get rid of snake lol
 
First of all I'd like to say that I am quite fond of the tiering representation our three team tournaments are constructed on. One for lower tiers, one for older gens, and one for the creme de la creme, where the best of both worlds work together, of course always mixed with a good chunk of current gen OU. What I am not so fond of are some structural elements of the former two. Firstly, the Smogon Snake Draft (or whatever we call our lower tier team tournament in the future) has a pretty linear and boring drafting system as of right now. There is very little room for managers to express their drafting prowess, players can get taken away from under your nose depending on draft order or unexpected picks, and the lack of retains resets any form of team identity yearly (being a new tournament does not help this whatsoever either). Fortunately, we at the very least got rid of the vastly inferior 'pools' system in favor of a weekly schedule. This allows for much more accurate scoreboards, as well as a more focused and engaging player experience, not having any 'irrelevant games' until potentially at the very end. Unfortunately I also have to add the World Cup of Pokemon here, despite having the greatest team identity. Since that tournament still uses an individual player pooling system, it misses out on all the aforementioned upsides. Personally I would suggest a team pooling system for this tournament (think champions league style), as that will keep every series interesting and hold telling scoreboards at all times (plus group/playoff draws are fun to follow). Lastly, I believe that the more established lower tiers (UU, RU) are on par, if not of higher quality than certain older generation OU metagames. Additionally (to clarify, this point is standing on it's own, it is not the reasoning for my previous sentence), their playerbases are way higher individually, and there is no reason why there shouldn't be a team tournament focused around the inclusion of this enormous part of smogon, any less than one focused around old gens.

In terms of tournament timing, I can say that in my experience, having to prepare a two digit number of teams, three for OLT, five for Slam, several for Smogon Tour, and several for Smogon Snake Draft in one week has severely impacted my ability to perform at my best in all of those tournaments. I suppose the gravity of this isn't as powerful for the majority of players, but for the ones that experience this at least to some degree, I think that any sort of help (moving the tournaments a bit, swapping certain team tournaments around so that things like Slam and the lower tier team tournament don't overlap, allowing for more time in case a certain player is packed with games) would be greatly appreciated.
 
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Put classic, olt and slam after wcop, before SPL, essentially replacing SSD. Spring tour is the “main” tour and cutting it to one tour a year would make make tour more alluring to play. Burnout is a thing and signing up for classic+tour immediately after or coinciding with OST/SPL with World Cup on the horizon requires you to put aside a lot of time for mons if you want to do well in all these tours. In this schedule you have a much needed one month break between wcop and classic/slam with the option to ladder for olt+whatever side tour is going on. Putting the focus on these individual tours will increase participation and improve competition, ideally. With this schedule, lower tiers will still see adequate representation - in the form of spl, side pls and circuts - as they did for years before snake existed. I think another option is to delete classic all together, leaving second tour in the fall alongside slam olt and whatever else is going on. Either way I think the current team tour schedule of 3 big team tours+all these individuals+whatever else is way too cluttered and often leads to people losing motivation and snake being a way less hyped tour than spl or wcop. I really don’t care what happens so long as there aren’t three big trophy team tournaments. Bring back frontier!
Also the snake draft format is so fucking dumb my god just make it an auction like every other tour on this site.
 

soulgazer

I FEEL INFINITE
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The tournament calender definitely needs to be changed.

An example is the following, but correct me if I am wrong: currently, slam seems to overlap with snake and classic seems to overlap with wcop, right? shouldn't we change that up so old gens get their indiv during the cg only team tour (snake) while cg lower tiers indiv could be played during wcop?

I also agree with kingler that snake begins too late.

E: fuck mannat
 

Skipkan

vlci vrčí, kvítí vadne
is a Tiering Contributor
I came up with a loosely constructed idea for an individual/team tournament mixture a few months ago.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1q8ff5apyi1GsmfpMJfeoqYnEPyQPb057S8_letRVhF0/edit?usp=sharing
Please, pay a bit more attention to this, a tour with a similar format (well, imo there is no point in trying to preserve the snake draft in this) would solve quite a few issues..

First of all, a new tour - any new tour - would be simply more interesting - the problems with Snake are that the teams have nothing that differentiates them, nothing that would make them more than just a random collections of players that change every year - so this would be a good opportunity to fix that, rebranding all snake teams doesn't sound like a realistic.. or a good idea, and without that, not much will change. Auction draft from a pool of qualified players is obviously better than snake for spectators, especially because of the qualifying phase, and it may be an interesting challenge for the managers, too.

Another thing that might be irrelevant to you, but I'll mention it anyway is that this would be an team tournament open to anyone skilled enough to qualify. The third team tournament will never reach the level of.. prestige, hype of SPL no matter what it will be - so maybe a format that would be very attractive for the broader playerbase as well as shorter and less demanding for the better players (i assume they won't struggle to qualify, and live tours short time after Slam would not really require a lot of building) is not a bad idea?
 

Earthworm

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I came up with a loosely constructed idea for an individual/team tournament mixture a few months ago.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1q8ff5apyi1GsmfpMJfeoqYnEPyQPb057S8_letRVhF0/edit?usp=sharing
Seconding that this kind of open qualification into some kind of draft format would be an interesting departure from existing formats. I would suggest live swiss for the weekly qualification tours followed by an auction draft rather than a snake draft. This format would give managers an immediate and relevant point of reference (the qualification live tours) from which to formulate a draft plan.

I too hope this idea receives due consideration.

Apart from this one idea, I would suggest scrapping the tour.

Not necessarily directly relevant, but as I've previously brought up in relation to the tour circuit, I like the idea of alternating between current Tour format and a lower tier Tour format (similar to the one I won my Tour trophy in) rather than two of the gen 6 7 8 OU Tour formats. I also prefer all CG OU WCoP.
 

MajorBowman

take a sip babes
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Doubles Colonel
Snake is a tour that isn’t particularly compelling and never has particularly great storylines, so getting rid of it wouldn’t really hurt anyone in particular.
Only if you count booting DOU down to representation in one official tournament as not hurting anyone :blobpensive:

I've never quite understood the disdain for Snake, even entirely separated from the fact that DOU is involved. I've had just as much fun participating in Snake as I have in SPL all things considered, and I can't remembering noticing a big difference in how I've perceived my teammates' enjoyment between the two team tournaments either. I kinda feel like the general issue with Snake is purely just everyone's attitude about it and not anything inherently wrong with the tournament itself. If some top players start saying "man snake sucks let's get rid of it" then the masses will agree without really thinking about it much themselves. Is Snake actually problematic in its own right or do people just not regard it as highly as something like SPL or the individual trophy tours?
 
Only if you count booting DOU down to representation in one official tournament as not hurting anyone :blobpensive:

I've never quite understood the disdain for Snake, even entirely separated from the fact that DOU is involved. I've had just as much fun participating in Snake as I have in SPL all things considered, and I can't remembering noticing a big difference in how I've perceived my teammates' enjoyment between the two team tournaments either. I kinda feel like the general issue with Snake is purely just everyone's attitude about it and not anything inherently wrong with the tournament itself. If some top players start saying "man snake sucks let's get rid of it" then the masses will agree without really thinking about it much themselves. Is Snake actually problematic in its own right or do people just not regard it as highly as something like SPL or the individual trophy tours?
Very low hype, the draft plays itself and there are no team identities. A lot of people remembers the SPL teams names and forgets all the snake names for example. The comencement thread for snake 3 had a whooping 3 pages whereas SPL ones usually have 20 pages or more. It's just not regarded as high as SPL is and feels like a SPL warmup or a team tournament that exists just to fill the calendar.
 

MajorBowman

take a sip babes
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Very low hype, the draft plays itself and there are no team identities. A lot of people remembers the SPL teams names and forgets all the snake names for example. The comencement thread for snake 3 had a whooping 3 pages whereas SPL ones usually have 20 pages or more. It's just not regarded as high as SPL is and feels like a SPL warmup or a team tournament that exists just to fill the calendar.
That's kinda my point though, the only thing you mentioned that has to do with the tournament itself is the draft and everything else is just people's perception of it. Obviously that's still important for what is meant to be a premier tournament, but I have a hunch that people mainly dislike Snake because they see other people not liking it and not because there's actually something wrong with the tournament. Not saying there's an easy fix because just saying "care more" is definitely not a long term solution and probably wouldn't even come close to working, but I don't think removing snake altogether is the right answer either.
 

Genesis7

LOIC stay loaded
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That's kinda my point though, the only thing you mentioned that has to do with the tournament itself is the draft and everything else is just people's perception of it. Obviously that's still important for what is meant to be a premier tournament, but I have a hunch that people mainly dislike Snake because they see other people not liking it and not because there's actually something wrong with the tournament. Not saying there's an easy fix because just saying "care more" is definitely not a long term solution and probably wouldn't even come close to working, but I don't think removing snake altogether is the right answer either.
I agree, you guys act its some crime that with 3 team tournaments one is going to be the least popular... like ya thats kind of how things work.
 

Finchinator

IT'S FINK DUMBASS
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OU & NU Leader
Removing Snake now would be a poor decision on the basis of being premature and overly reactionary.

There are a number of plausible suggestions to improve the overall situation surrounding Snake, which many do not even believe is that bad to begin with. A lot of the reason why some people are not content with it is because they are using SPL as a measuring stick. Snake has been around for only 3 years and has a lot more turnover due to the nature of new generations relative to old generations. Plenty of people have unrealistic expectations about team identity, tradition, and other things that they developed a liking towards because of SPL. I think that Snake is just bound to fail if we employ this type of logic. So let's stop doing so.

The most obvious "fix" would be re-arranging the official tournament schedule -- specifically team tournaments. I do not think it would even require a drastic departure from current norms in order to balance things out a bit. Some suggestions involve pushing Snake or SPL a couple months in order to give a little more time between the two and more balance overall. This could also help SPL as the draft overlapping with holidays causes issues. This would make it so that people are less likely to sit out one or the other as they have actual time in-between, which would be quite good for both tournaments.

Another suggestion that may be a bit less popular would be moving Snake down from 10 to 8 teams. While downsizing has been frowned upon in some circles recently, I think that this would address the quality concerns and it would also probably help the Snake draft improve in quality marginally. I am aware that this would make the tournament smaller, but let's face it: the 9/10 slots in lower tiers have been historically bad and a lot of people log onto discord, open their little circlejerk chats, and mock the games involving those players and then are like "look at how shit SSD is" -- well I feel like doing this would eliminate that, improve the overall quality, and fit the lower tier playerbases nicely (not like it would hurt OU too much as there would still be 4 full slots).

All things considered, I think that removing the third team tournament would be a mistake. It is clearly salvageable and even TDs admit that the current tournament schedule could use some optimizing in future years. Let's try to find improvement before scrapping an entire tournament that dozens of people look forward to each year.
 

Oglemi

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Something to consider for fixing the draft itself: What about limiting the draft pool? One thing that always made irl schoolyard picks exciting was you knew everyone was going to get picked, but you didn't know where everyone would end up. I think in order to add hype to the tournament/draft you could have a preliminary draft cut where the pool of signups is condensed to the exact number of players needed per team, and then from there the official draft starts. Idk how the cut would work exactly (perhaps a preliminary poll of the managers for choices to add to the pool, dupes between managers are tossed, and the remainder added either by a second poll or something TD-side).

Just throwing the idea out there don't shoot
 

Bughouse

Like ships in the night, you're passing me by
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Something to consider for fixing the draft itself: What about limiting the draft pool? One thing that always made irl schoolyard picks exciting was you knew everyone was going to get picked, but you didn't know where everyone would end up. I think in order to add hype to the tournament/draft you could have a preliminary draft cut where the pool of signups is condensed to the exact number of players needed per team, and then from there the official draft starts. Idk how the cut would work exactly (perhaps a preliminary poll of the managers for choices to add to the pool, dupes between managers are tossed, and the remainder added either by a second poll or something TD-side).

Just throwing the idea out there don't shoot
I like this limitation since it adds a layer of strategy to the snake draft not currently present. If you think there’s 12 viable UUers out of 50 signups, you don’t currently have to put much value in the slot. After 9 have been taken, take one of the other 3 at your leisure with the last pick. There’s no fear of them being upbid, etc.
In this new regime, the player pool has been narrowed to maybe 12 people who play UU total, and maybe you only like 8 of them. Now you have to draft more carefully. It’s a good new limitation. I suppose it does reduce some “hype” on draft day in that people who aren’t in the first cut are less likely to watch, but I don’t think that’s a huge loss.

I also think it’s silly to hate on snake as a concept. There’s nothing inherently better about auction drafts as compared to snake drafts. Plenty of people play fantasy sports every year in snake drafts and enjoy them, far more than play with auction drafts. The issues with the tournament here are more perception than reality and it should not be axed.

I don’t like limiting the size to 8 teams since, assuming people will always view Snake as SPL tryouts anyway, I don’t see how taking away 2 teams and thus removing opportunities to play is a good outcome.
 

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