There's one thing Ortheore
talks about in the OP that I really think should be discussed.
There is one detail on the sim that I feel a huge amount of people overlook. Due to Sleep Clause making your sleep moves fail, you can do something on the sim that you cannot hope to do on cartridge: effectively skip a turn.
The way Sleep Clause is enforced on-sim is inherently different from cartridge because the way it was designed is inspired by the Stadium games: they will fail when they're in a situation where Sleep Clause would be violated. On cartridge, you cannot get this. Instead, you will literally just put the opponent to sleep or miss. There is no scenario in any Gen 1 cartridge game where you can experience a move being forced to fail should it violate a rule. I'm not entirely
sure whether it's possible in some later cartridge games...I think
there is an instance somewhere, but it slips my mind. Here's the thing though, you can basically skip a turn here.
The ability to skip a turn, while undesirable most of the time, is a technically
usable technique. Of course, it's only in exceptionally
niche circumstances. Two such examples can be PP Stalling and PP Conservation. While skipping a turn is generally awful as it's a free turn for the opponent, it is a strategy. An impossible
strategy on a cartridge. As we know, it's very possible to end a Gen 1 OU game with two PP Stalling Chanseys. You can spam Thunder Wave to PP Stall as Chansey if you're in a situation where doing nothing is favourable. It'll either fail or you paralyze something when they switch to advance the game state. Against a sleeping opponent, this can turn into a game loss as the opponent just switched out and purposefully put their own mon to sleep. These two cases should have entirely different risk-reward factors.
The situations where you have no choice but to violate Sleep Clause are incredibly rare and extreme; I can't really think of a game loss situation that isn't deserved when you're in a situation like that. Here's my counterpoint: why should you get a situation where you can Struggle for free thanks to infinite failures/misses when you cannot get that on the cartridge end? Is this or is this not a simulator of the actual games? Let the dice roll, and hand the game loss. The only way to feasibly violate Sleep Clause if you're not a drooling idiot is to be in a last Pokemon situation with only Sleep move PP left, and the opponent has a slept Pokemon in the back. I'm 90% sure you would lose that game anyway. If you were in a situation where winning was mathematically possible, then you just got the short end of the deal, just like any other game where you lose to hax.
Let's say there's a Chansey mirror going on. PP Stalling is afoot. One player has their own Sing Chansey left. The other has a healthy Counter Chansey, and an Exeggutor slept by a now-fainted Jynx in the back. On cartridge, this is a super good situation for the Counter Chansey player, as they can just PP stall until the Sing Chansey is forced to violate Sleep Clause. There is no scenario where Sing Chansey can win in this situation unless Counter Chansey saw exceptionally
heavy usage prior. Sing is likely to hit as it was likely used like, twice at most during a real game. However, there is a chance they can Struggle if they somehow miss all 22 times in the scenario I'm setting out. On the sim, however, they are guaranteed to get to Struggle as they are barred from violating Sleep Clause: Sing will always be forced to fail. The inaccuracy here is very clear. This also draws out the game even more than it needs to be, and Chansey mirrors can take an upwards of 100 turns sometimes. Allowing Sing to fail infinitely will add 22-23 turns to these mirrors. It's made worse by the fact we can't modify PP to reduce the chance of a Sleep Clause violation (though this is planned to be added to the sim eventually).
As Ortheore suggested, it is very easy to grey out the option until you are in a situation where you have no choice but to violate Sleep Clause. I, however, believe it should be left available and have a warning before clicking it. Y'know, the second option. This allows players to take the risk to violate Sleep Clause for the sake of skipping a turn. This would be accurate to cartridge situations, as having the option greyed out is essentially handing a Disabled status to the Pokemon in play. Thus, you lose this objectively bad option. The issue here is that it is
Here's how my proposition should play out, in my opinion.
- The opponent has a slept Pokemon. You try to click a Sleep move again.
- Flash a window saying "Choosing this option risks violating Sleep Clause, potentially losing you the game. Proceed with the action?"
- The following happens:
- If they're slept: you lose the game.
- If they're not slept: the game continues as normal.
Fairly straightforward. Greying out the option removes a part of the game, in my opinion. This would remove the ability to take a calculated risk - a bad one that isn't in your favour, I might add - to skip a turn. It would also essentially be backseat play, as you're essentially saying "hey you should never do that" and "physically" forcing the player to not do something that is possible. As such, it isn't simulating a real competitive game. Allowing players to try and use that option is fair. Let them give the opponent some free elo for taking a horrid gamble that's a free turn for the opponent anyway.
I'm sure many will say that the Sleep Clause "Mod" is fine as-is and has been used for ages, but I feel that there should be some discourse on this. Pokemon Showdown is lauded as the most accurate to Pokemon Cartridge simulator out there. Tons of research on mechanics are done every day to have it meet this reputation. However, there is a lot of occasions where there are archaic, years-old rulings and "mods" are applied. Where do we draw the line for accuracy? This is a fundamental mechanic of the game, after all.
I am personally for Sleep Clause, I feel it's a very important rule that props up the competitive integrity of the game. However, I feel it should be accurate
to how it would be enforced in a real-life event. It's been done for years, after all. Of course, these rare situations where players have no choice but to violate Sleep Clause will happen, and those who try to miss (if the grey out option isn't used) will get their just desserts, but isn't this literally how it would work out on cartridge? Reality can be sad sometimes.