Potential Changes to Grand Slam / Snake

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I'm going to address key stuff and not going to repeat myself

- Adding another usage-based tier into the tournaments circuit lays a dangerous path for future generations to come. Once the hype over PU dies and people get sick of it, ZU now becomes pushed for inclusion with 5 CG OU tiers. In Generation 10 when ZU is old news, are we pushing for HU and 6 OU? This is all hypothetical in the end, but I can say with confidence that I see no benefit to adding more usage based tiers to the circuit when we already have 3 (non-ou).
PU has existed for four years and has managed to consistently have more ladder games than all lower tiers below UU. That's not "hype", that's a tier with a significantly large playerbase.

Tiers need to meet very strict requirements to become official, which doesn't even come with tournament representation. There's no space in the current circuit to fit all official tiers, hence why this thread exists, so even if Senior Staff were to add more official tiers, the TD team wouldn't even entertain the idea of giving them tournament representation.

In the hypothetical case ZU (or whatever Grovyle tier is below PU) manages to meet all the requirements needed to become official, the tier doesn't die after a couple years and keeps an active playerbase during that time, and the tournament circuit gets some major changes that focus in inclusiveness, we might consider adding ZU to the circuit. However, I don't see all those things happening in the next 5+ years, so ZU inclusiveness is a non-issue that has no business being discussed here.

It's absurd that the negative mentality toward Ubers has continued to persist and curtail the tier's representation for several years. The OP fails to make any coherent argument to support its egregious and defamatory claims. No examples, evidence, or specifics are used because there's no concrete evidence to support any of these toxic mentalities that people out of touch with the tier continually parrot without a second thought.
The argument isn't if Ubers has a toxicity problem or not, because the problems clearly exist and I don't have to prove myself they do by posting evidence in this thread. This thread exists to help us decide if Ubers in its current state is worth keeping over PU.

However, if you really want evidence of problems within the Ubers community, I have a very lengthy post that talks about cheating in UPL to the point it completely ruined a team: https://www.smogon.com/forums/threa...-community-center.3630110/page-2#post-7720230

Does your own post count as concrete evidence?

While this type of attitude persists against every community of every competitive game there is, in regards to Ubers the mentality in question seemed to have originated near the end of XY when a group of has-beens circle-jerked each other in an attempt to push bans through the tier for game elements they didn't like. This attempt failed and the majority of these players did not see major tour success again. And yet this toxic mindset of "amg Ubers sucks" has continued to proliferate and perpetuate in the minds of non-Ubers players, not unlike a silly chain email. It's delusional to think this mentality has anything to do with a legitimate decline in the competitive merit of the tier, or a decline in comparison to neighboring tiers.
Why are you talking about "XY has beens" and non-Ubers players pushing for bans? This policy was posted 6 months ago and it was made / pushed by Fireburn, Hack and Nayrz with the finality of making Ubers better by potentially banning Pokemon. If you reach a point the people running your tier feel the need to change the core tiering policy of Ubers and the community isn't against it, implying "irrelevant" people are the only ones who want changes is kinda silly.

You'd be hard pressed to support the claim Ubers "lost its identity", much less argue what that even means and why it would be bad. Did someone steal the tier's ID card? Is tiering policy not established or inconsistent? Policy was established before the OP joined Smogon, and the only examples you could even begin to argue are inconsistent with pre-established policy were forced on the tier by non-Ubers players.
The original policy, the other that predates my join date and probably smogon's creation, was "Ubers is OU ban list". What's the point of pretending that's still the case when it clearly isn't? Ubers has tested clauses, suspected abilities, banned a Pokemon, banned a move, banned the combination of a move and ability, and there's the current policy in place that exists to potentially ban more Pokemon.

Ubers isn't OU ban list. Ubers isn't the tier with the most Pokemon available. Ubers isn't the most balanced tier. Ubers isn't the center of our tiering system. The latest policy defines Ubers as "the tier with the least amount of bans needed to maintain a playable tier competitively", but since the the introduction of that definition, no serious attempt has been done to even try to address the potential problems that were used to justify the creation of that policy.

Ubers introduced a new definition to try to establish a proper identity, but we are 6 months in a no progress has been made.

There has yet to be any evidence to support the claim "the tier has stagnated or gotten worse" or even "it definitely hasn't seen improvement". The best USM players would argue the contrary, but it seems nobody has bothered to ask their opinions. Regardless, there is not a single player on Smogon that has such a theoretical mastery as to be able to formulate an argument based in game theory to support generalized statements such as these, and certainly not in a Gen 6 or 7 format. There is no argument and there is no evidence, so there is no validity in the claim.
Ubers players ask for a policy to make the tier better > nothing gets done and people keep talking about making changes (in this thread, even) > no progress has been made to improve the issues the leaders and a significant part of the community believe exist. Where's the improvement?

There is no citation of what Ubers tour players are troublesome, or are we referring to the OU player who used a bot to invalidate SPL VIII, or the non-Ubers main who cheated through the same tour to a perfect record, or the other non-Ubers player who has been forum banned multiple times for poor behavior? But never mind all of that, big Ubers names such as Level 56, Hack He Must, Fireburn, Pohjis, and so on are clearly the problem, not the non-Ubers players. If we're seriously going to represent tiers based on subjective behavioral evaluations of their communities, OU would be the first to go by simple virtue of being the most popular. This is a silly argument to being with, much less one that can be supported with any objectivity.
Oh ok we are acting like Mazar, the member of the clan that has been closely involved in all Ubers tournaments in the past few years, isn't an Ubers player because he also played OU. What about the last Ubers open being rigged by members of the same clan? the bot made and used by members of the same clan? the people involved the incident you brought up yourself in your UPL post? the UPL manager and "ubers player of the week" who has been doxxing people for the past 6 months? the other ubers player who also got involved in the doxxing and planned, which his Ubers clan buddies, to ghost in the exhibition tournament after getting permanently banned?

Judging a community for the behavior of random members isn't the same as judging a community for the behavior of a significant chunk of their tournament specific playerbase, many of which act as the face of the community in Ubers tournaments and official tournaments.

More than anything else I don't appreciate the clear and outright stated mission to make this an Ubers vs. PU argument.

This type of forced aversion has become so prolific in the last few years when it comes to tournament representation that one can only conclude that TDs do it in part to shift argument and responsibility away from themselves. They want everyone to argue with each other instead of with them. They want the little tiers to sharpen their pitchforks and burn each others villages while everyone else watches the show from their comfortable castle. There does not exist argumentation as to fairly judge one tier as definitively superior and hence worthy of all the representation while the other gets nothing, especially if the status quo is changed. You'd be better off arguing that race X should be given employment over race Y, or gender A should be given medical treatment before gender B. The only thing that happens is people post on what tier they prefer based on what they have a bigger stake in and then TDs decide based on a subjective evaluation of what coincides better with what they have a stake in. That is no way to make a decision such as this. There must be a compromise for a change to happen.
How is this shifting the responsibility if in the end we are the ones making the decisions? the only way of not making this an Ubers vs PU argument is by having this decision behind closed doors, which I am certain you wouldn't appreciate if it didn't go your way.

Almost everything subjective on this site, including Ubers being included in anything at all. It's in the nature of communities like this. We aren't talking about racial or gender discrimination, we are pretty much saying "what do we think is better for our tour circuit, x or y?". I can see you really like Ubers, but get a grip.

I doubt it's much of a surprise that I would be posting here in defense, but this idea is crazy to me. We are talking about deleting Ubers as a tier ENTIRELY here. You can hit me with the "its just tournament representation", but we all know that if Ubers is removed from tournament circuits it is truly dead and buried. Being kicked down this hard doesn't have a happy ending and that means losing Smogon users that only wanted to deal with Ubers, myself included. Driving people that have contributed to the site for years away is just a bit of collateral damage?
We aren't talking about deleting Ubers, we are talking about removing it from two tournaments. PU thrived with less and that before having circuit ribbons, which both Ubers and PU have. If the only thing that keeps people interested in Ubers are trophies, which I don't think is the case, there is no reason to keep it in the official tournaments circuit.

So we're talking "identity" first up. Ubers has been scrambling to find itself since the ban of Mega Rayquaza, and we finally started to get a grip on being "the tier with the minimal amount of bans to be competitive", and instating this policy. This is a policy that Hikari, as tiering admin, approved. I don't understand why this is being used as an argument against us, honestly. Is it because we "haven't shown improvement"?
Because the policy was posted 6 months ago and was created to give the tier the opportunity to try to address potential issues, and we haven't seen any progress whatsoever. For the record, there are more ways of showing progress than banning things.

The kicker in these two arguments I went over above is that inaction is being used against the tier. I haven't kept it much of a secret that I planned to talk with the playerbase of Ubers and Smogon at large about beneficial tiering actions after the latest Ubers Premier League edition. A noteworthy point is that I was led to waiting this amount of time because we were excluded from SPL, also for subjective reasons. We had no high level games, and our playerbase took a hit. Why would I start tiering the Ubers metagame off complete guesswork? Ubers leadership has struggled to keep itself active enough to do what is required, this is pretty clear. However, I have not been given enough time to change Ubers for the better with the options available to me as solo tier leader, and I haven't even been in this position to move without the restrictions of red tape and an inactive co-leader for more than a month yet. I'm left defending the actions of a past I had little true say in, and facing the punishment of the tier's death if I can't convince the masses that doing this is a massive mistake.
You could argue you were given a shitty hand and that you haven't had enough time, that's fine. But you aren't the only one working with limited time here.

As for the entire direction of this thread, wtf? Are the TDs and even Tiering Admin down for another round of the "Smogon Hunger Games" even after the chaos of SPL 9's format? Even above me I have the PU TL jumping at the chance to walk over the grave of Ubers with regard for nothing else, and folks are already coming to the Ubers server in an almost propaganda-esque move to spread awareness of PU. This thread would not exist if not for some backing already going on behind the scenes, and you would have a hard time selling me otherwise. I guess drama is what runs the place after all.
I'm down to give PU the opportunity to make a case for themselves, while at the same time make it very clear the current state of Ubers is not acceptable. Generally speaking Ubers is fine, but acting like there aren't some major issues going on are only hurting the tier. Even if Grand Slam or Snake don't change this year, Ubers has to change and now you, Nayrz, are in a position to make it happen.

This thread exists because I, the person who officially ended PU chances of being in trophy tournaments, suggested the the potential change, the TDs weren't against it, and wanted to gather the general opinion of the public. You care about Ubers, Galbia cares about PU, I have to care about tiering and tournaments in general.

I think there's some questions that need to be answered to inform a decision on this, probably by Hikari:

- How are core metagames treated? Are they intended to be static across time or flexible based on the state of the metagame? If the latter, are there any restrictions on metagames who are not core metas becoming one and later losing that status repeatedly?
They are meant to be static for long periods of time, but with the possibility of seeing promotions / demotions after x amount of time. No one likes this kind of threads, but they are necessary sometimes and the core metas policy helps us decide when we want to have them.

There are no restrictions regarding what you mentioned, but changes are never going to happen on a semi regular basis. At best, we'll be considering changes once a year.

- How is Ubers viewed holistically from the administration? Is it seen as a core part of Smogon identity, or as a historical relic that has lost it's relevance? Is priority to be given to tiers that can be curated to create the greatest competitive environment and does that necessarily mean tiering based?
Ubers is as important and relevant as all the other tiers. As long as it has an active playerbase and community, Ubers will have nearly the same tools all other tiers have to grow and develop competitively. Official ladders, ribbon circuits, analyses on the dex, etc. However, we cannot realistically include all tiers in the official tournament circuit without generating many other issues (it was tried in the past and slam became unbearable for the participants). You could say priority will be given to the tiers that have the biggest potential to make the circuit tournament better, but that's not from the administrative side.

- What is the cost to cutting Ubers? What is the gain from rewarding PU? Can either tier be compensated for losing/not gaining core metagame status?
Some people will lose motivation to contribute to / play Ubers, some people will gain motivation to contribute to / play PU. Their ladders will see no real changes. As of right now, there's no compensation, but all tiers were given ribbons to fall back on.

Even if TDs claim that having both PU and Ubers in Grand Slam / Snake Draft is impossible; all it does is make the decision to pick either of the tiers even harder. How can anyone even judge the recent growth if the tiers aren't involved in a tour side by side? If we see both PU and Ubers in Slam, then we can see which open has more success, both numbers wise and competitively. If we see both PU and Ubers in Snake, everyone can openly gauge how competitive either of the tiers are and the level of the players participating. Without either of these things, I'm confused on how anyone can present a direct stance favoring either tier, leading to the aforementioned "PU vs Ubers" mentality when it should be PU or Ubers.
Slam with more than 5 tiers is extremely awkward for most of the participants. It was tried before (with PU even), it didn't work and people started asking for Grand Slam to be axed because of it. Fucking around with Slam to see if PU deserves being added is not worth it. A side to side comparison is not the most reliable option either, as many things depend on the schedules of the opens and PU has the disadvantage of having less tournament history. Adding PU in Snake without having it in Slam is awful for the managers, as they have even less available info to decide which players to pick.

At this moment, there's no real way of making the decision easier. Tier specific circuits are probably our best change of having some sort of objective comparison without fucking too much with our official tournaments, but those circuits end in December. I can afford waiting till next year, but the negative side of that is that PU is forced to wait 16~ months for a chance, because of the timing of the core metagames policy and the creation of ribbons.

Right now we don't have the best tools to have this discussion, but something is better than nothing for PU.


Anyway, there was not much to work with here except public perception. The TD team was willing and the chance for PU truly existed, but there's not enough support to justify making a big change like this at this moment. Ubers will remain in Grand Slam and Smogon Snake Draft.

We won't be having a discussion about representation for a long while, but I strongly recommend Ubers and other tiers to not get complacent. If a tier is negatively affecting our official tournaments, it risks losing representation. The only tier entitled to official tournament representation is current gen OU.
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