RBY Counter

Counter causes a bug? Counter should be banned.
Psywave, Fly and Dig never got patched, as much as i like Counter's role in the meta i'd like to keep the tiering at least somewhat coherent with itself, it's not like we can arbitrary decide that THIS move is too good for our ends to get the same treatment every other move had prior. If you want to go for the most enjoyable metagame and twist your own rules, fine by me, but then i want to have a good talk of 1/255 misses and other stuff as well following. Because you all know if it was any other move it was getting a quick ban and be done with it instead of this roundabout way to keep it where it is, coherence above all i say.
On principle, I agree with you. I want coherence as well. But we gotta have some sort of consideration for the consequences that this would have on the metagame. No-one can predict those for certain, but from my and other opinions I have heard the metagame surely would not change for the better. To scratch the surface of the consequences: You gotta give Snorlax a reason to think twice before spamming Bodyslam at least. And Gengar is not the answer. It is a nice Pokemon to have once in a while vs Snorlax, but I think we can all agree that it is rather underwhelming most of the time, not to mention that it still does not deal with the combination of Chansey and Sorlax. The scouting of the Chansey moveset is an integral part of RBY, and one that adds some depth to the metagame. If Counter is banned, all that will be gone. It would be a significant loss for the matagame to see that go.

I too want to have a coherent solution, though. That is why I suggested modding Psywave in my previous post at the end as well. It is not consistent with the principle of being coherent if we mod Counter, but keep Psywave banned (no matter how unimportant that move is). Putting it in the same sentence as Fly and Dig is wrong in my opinion when it comes to modding them, though. I'll explain why:
We can group bugged moves into two groups. The first being moves that make the game unplayable (by causing desyncs), the second being moves that are bugged but the game remains playable (they do not cause desyncs). Counter and Psywave belong in the first group. Moves like Fly or Dig (and Hyper Beam or 256 misses if you wish) belong in the second group.

A simulator is not expected to preserve desyncs, I think we all agree on that. A sim gives us the freedom to take the moves from the first group and mod them (yes, Psywave got banned, but I fully agree that it should not be, and we should mod it!) The simulator is, however, expected to keep the specialties of the given generation intact (so long they do not make the game unplayable). We still ban certain things on our simulator or make clauses for them. These things include stuff that we deem necessary to keep the game competitive, but we generally keep them to a minimum. Hence there is a freeze clause, a sleep clause, OHKO moves are banned, we cannot bring pre-statused Pokemon into battles (which is possible in RBY) etc. Moves of the second category should be dealt with the same method: They do not make the game unplayable, but their bug might be broken in a competitive sense. That is exactly the case with fly and dig. It is coherent to ban those moves, instead of patching them by the logic I underlined.

To summarize:
Modding is the tool to deal with cases where moves make the game unplayable due to causing a desync. Banning (and clauses in extreme cases like freeze and sleep) is the tool to deal with things and moves that are broken in a competitive sense. Applying that policy would allow us to mod Counter while keeping moves whose bugs are broken (in the competitive sense, not in the "making the game unplayable" sense) banned. We must then unban Psywave, though, and mod this as well. Don't get me wrong, from a competitive sense, I could not care less if Fly and Dig got modded as well. But that, on the other hand, would indeed be incoherent.

This seems like an overwrought solution to something that is not a problem. There is a trivial solution here, which is on cart battles you ban players from changing the selected move in the attack menu before switching. This is implemented by default on Showdown.

I get that we would be changing the mechanism of counter anyway, but the goal should be to keep things as similar to the cart as possible. Where there's an easy win we should stick with that.

There is no counter desync on that turn without that specific counterplay, and that specific counterplay is trivial to ban. Patching in that situation takes us further away from how the game would be played on the cart.

To justify your scenario we have to assume one of the players is intentionally trying to cause a desync, therefore the way the game is played between cart and showdown is suddenly very different. One player could be incentivised to use a move in the cart game (countering to cause a desync) that they would be incentivised to not use on Showdown (counter would just waste a turn). If we went down this line then I would be in favour of counter being banned.
Fine, that is reasonable. You are right, that a knowledgable player would only make that move on cart to make the game desync in case the opponent counters. It is not a valid counterplay in the spirit of the game. We should probably go with your version of Option 4 then. Just speaking from personal preference, the "being able to kill the switch-in with Counter" thing is something that rubs me the wrong way and I'd like to see it gone. But I agree that there is no logical path that could lead us there, so I gladly give in on that one.
 
Last edited:
Now don't go around exaggerating to the extreme lol, as if Counter holds rby together and is the sole reason the tier is exist. First of all when Counter wasn't used we still played around Snorlax, Reflect Chansey got really popular and we had a good rby. If anything Counter Chansey is really cancerous and uncompetitive in itself just by virtue of sitting there and ice spamming everything with Counter blocking Snorlax from coming. I also find extremely funny how Gengar was MASSIVELY UNDERATED when you needed to keep wrap around and now it's "underwhelming". At least be honest and say that you like Counter for your own end, i can understand that. 3hko Chansey is everything but competitive, although i would have not acted against it normally, saying that it damages rby to lose one of your favorite ways to fish games is a lie, and not a good one either.
 
Last edited:
Banning counter as a whole seems best for multiple reasons.

1) It is the cleanest, and most true to cart option. Every other implementation of counter enters the territory of editing mechanics, and if we go down that path we should definitely edit out 255 misses as well. But I don't think we're doing that, so.

2) Banning counter helps the RBY metagame. As Heroic Troller alluded to, the fact that Snorlax is scared of body slamming Chansey until all moves are revealed forces many unpleasant scenarios. It means more ice beam wars. It means more PP stalling between paralyzed Chanseys. In isolation, I wouldn't say that this is the best reasoning for banning counter. However, because we have additional reasoning with the game desync existing, the metagame benefits can be seen as an extra incentive to go with this option.

Banning counter brings us closer to the cartridge and improves RBY. It's a win win.
 
Banning counter as a whole seems best for multiple reasons.

1) It is the cleanest, and most true to cart option. Every other implementation of counter enters the territory of editing mechanics, and if we go down that path we should definitely edit out 255 misses as well. But I don't think we're doing that, so.

2) Banning counter helps the RBY metagame. As Heroic Troller alluded to, the fact that Snorlax is scared of body slamming Chansey until all moves are revealed forces many unpleasant scenarios. It means more ice beam wars. It means more PP stalling between paralyzed Chanseys. In isolation, I wouldn't say that this is the best reasoning for banning counter. However, because we have additional reasoning with the game desync existing, the metagame benefits can be seen as an extra incentive to go with this option.

Banning counter brings us closer to the cartridge and improves RBY. It's a win win.
And you are sure that deleting a doubt around what is useful doing vs Chansey (EQ or BS) and having a free Body Slam on it, give you less PP stalling between par Chansey or less ice beam war?

I think you'll have always a body slam free on Chansey and nothing at all.

Do you want a gen more competitive? Delete freezing "for ever", that's really uncompetitive. You lose a pokemon for entire match, without no way to use it again. That's sick, not Counter.

(and I'm still curious about sleep ban in BW..........)
 
Last edited:


Voting on Counter

As you may or may not know, it has been discovered that PS has had an inaccurate counter implementation. In fact, the correct implementation causes a desync. You can read more about it here and here.

As something should obviously be done about this, the RBY council has decided to put it within the hands of the RBY community to decide what should happen with the move. To do so, we gathered the following list of voters based on their activity, history, and results in the tier:


You can only vote if your username is on this list

Here are the two options regarding the fate of Counter:

Code:
Option 1: Ban Counter

Option 2: Patch Counter so that it will fail whenever a desync would occur
Here is what patching Counter so that it fails whenever a desync would occur means:

1. The simulator won't take the possibility to hover over moves before switching into account.
2. Currently the simulator only checks whether the last move EXCECUTED by the opponent was counterable. This would still be the case but in addition to that, it now checks whether the last SELECTED move by the opponent was also counterable. Only if both of them were, Counter will not fail and otherwise work the same way as under the current mechanics.
3. If a pokemon is already asleep or frozen, it won't be able to select any move in the cartridge games. However, if a pokemon would have moved second during a turn but just got frozen or put to sleep, making it unable to execute the attempted move, that move will still be considered the last selected move.

Here are some examples:
Turn 1: Chansey switches in, the opposing Snorlax uses Body Slam and does not miss.
First scenario for Turn 2: Snorlax tries to use Earthquake or Harden but is fully paralysed. Chansey uses Counter but it fails.
Second scenario for Turn 2: Snorlax tries to use Body Slam or Hyper Beam but is fully paralysed. Chansey uses Counter and does twice the damage Body Slam did to it on the previous turn.

Turn 1: Chansey switches in, the opposing Snorlax uses Body Slam and does not miss.
Turn 2: Chansey uses Ice Beam, the opposing Snorlax tries to use any move but is fully paralysed.
Turn 3: Snorlax tries to use Body Slam or Hyper Beam but is fully paralysed. Chansey uses Counter and does twice the damage Ice Beam did to the opposing Snorlax.

Turn 1: Chansey switches in, Snorlax uses Body Slam and does not miss.
Turn 2. Chansey uses Sing and puts Snorlax to sleep. Snorlax tried to use move X.
Turn 3: Chansey uses Ice Beam. Snorlax remains asleep and the move Snorlax clicks now is completely irrelevant.
Turn 4: The move Snorlax clicks is irrelevant. Chansey uses Counter. If move X was counterable like Body Slam, Hyper Beam or Self Destruct, Counter will work and do twice as much damage as Ice Beam did. If move X was not counterable like Harden or Reflect, Counter will fail.

The scenario above works exactly in the same way if Chansey would have frozen Snorlax with Ice Beam instead of clicking Sing.

Turn 1: Chansey uses Ice Beam and freezes the opposing Chansey.
Turn 2: Both players switch to Tauros
Turn 3: Both players use Body Slam and hit
Turn 4: Both players switch to their Chansey
Turn 5: Now Chansey can use Counter without it being possibly prevented by the opponent since their Chansey is frozen

Please send your vote via private message on smogon to the RBY Council members by using this link here. The results will be published and made public once the process ends.

You are obviously free to abstain. If you wish to do so, please say it explicitly in your vote.

The option which receives the most votes will be chosen.

To ensure the integrity of the Suspect Process, voters won't be allowed to change their vote once they submit their post. Think carefully before casting your vote, because you won't get the chance to change it.

We would also like to point out that because this is such a unique case, it will not be used as a precedent for future votes. If Counter ends up being banned, it does not mean that every single situation occurring a desync will end up involving a ban, and vice-versa in the case of a Counter patch. Even though consistency is usually preferred and is what the RBY Council will do its best to strive for, we prefer taking a case by case approach that involves the community as much as possible.

Voting stage ends on Monday, June 22nd at 1pm UCT, the result might be announced earlier if the missing votes won't have an impact on the decision anymore.

Finally we, the RBY Council, would also like to apologize for how slow this process was.
 
I'm perplexed by the argument though that Counter should be banned to stay true to Cartridge because I'm not sure that RBY OU is anything even slightly similar to the experience on Cartridge. For example, another thing that can cause a Desync on Cartridge that isn't replicated on Showdown is defrosting frozen Pokemon. If this was correctly implemented, either moves causing Freeze or Thawing would have to be banned which clearly is not the case currently. In fact there are numerous of these examples similar to this where Simulator play does not line up with Cartridge.

EDIT: Tried to clean this up since my English is terrible...and cleaned up even further to remove what others have said already
 
Last edited:

Hogg

grubbing in the ashes
is a member of the Site Staffis a Social Media Contributoris a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris an Administratoris a Tournament Director Alumnus
UU Leader
Thanks for your patience, everyone.

This vote was locked because of some issues with the method used to generate the voter list. While the council worked hard on creating a list of voters that they felt were representative of the tier, votes like this typically require a set list of objective criteria based on Smogon accomplishments. Finch, Tony and I have been working with the RBY Council to come up with a new list that meets those standards.

Unfortunately, the new list will exclude some otherwise talented and thoughtful people. Please know that this is in no way an attempt to call those voters unqualified or unfit to vote. However, because this is a Smogon vote, we need to base our list of voters on Smogon-based criteria. I encourage those who are active in the tier outside Smogon or who have a lot of history with this tier but whose recent activity places them below the voting threshold to still stay involved by voicing their opinions on this thread.

I want to thank the RBY Council for being accommodating; I know they worked hard on their original list of voters, and I’m sure it was not pleasant having a tiering admin come in and tell them they had to re-do things. They were all extremely respectful, though, and worked hard to quickly generate a set of objective criteria and create a new list of voters.

This thread is now unlocked, and I believe someone from the RBY Council will be posting the updated list of voters shortly. If you are on both lists and you have already voted, you do not need to cast your vote again.
 
Hi,

Following-up on Hogg's post, here is the new list of voters for the Counter vote :

Alexander.
Amaranth
Bedschibaer
BIHI
bro fist
EB0LA
ErPeris
FriendOfMrGolem120
Heroic Troller
Hipmonlee
HML am
Kaz
Lusch
MetalGro$$
Meru
Mister Tim
Nails
Peasounay
Pohjis
roudolf13
rozes
Sceptross
SMB
SoulWind
teal6
The Quasar

voters.PNG
This is how the process went:

First, we gathered the main Smogon RBY tournaments and gave a weight to each one of them depending on their importance:

SPL was given a weight of 3
RBY Global Championship Quarters AND RBY Cup Quarters were given a weight of 2
Wcop, RoAPL, and the Seasonal Tournaments were given a weight of 1

Then, we also gave a weight to years : 2018 was given a weight of 1, while both 2019 and 2020 were given a weight of 2. We did want to take into account both history and activity and this felt like a good compromise.

We then weighted the sum. Let's take an example :

SoulWind reached at least RBY Cup quarters in 2018, 2019, and also reached at least RBY Global Championship Quarters in 2019, which gives us :

- RBY Cup 2018 (2*1) + RBY Cup 2019 (2*2) + RBY GC 2019 (2*2) = 2 + 4 +4 = 10. SoulWind has a weight of 10.

We then decided to give all players who had a least a weight of 5 a vote, as it sufficiently shows both results and regular RBY play.

This is know the new list of voters. To the players who were originally on the list and got removed : we deeply apologized. As Hogg said it has nothing to do with you as a player or as a person but our original list did not match the standards Smogon strives for when it comes to processes such as this one. Your vote will be removed, but do not restrain from posting your opinions regarding the future of Counter on this thread.

If you are on both the original list and this one and you have already sent your vote in, it is still registered. Nothing changes for you and you basically have nothing to do.

As for the rest of the process, nothing changes, the options remain the same, and you are invited to send in your vote to the RBY Council using this link here

This caused a delay that we would like to apologize for once again. To make sure everybody still has enough time to make a thought-out decision, the voting stage will now end on Thursday, June 25nd at 1pm UCT.

Thank you very much
 

Hipmonlee

Have a nice day
is a Super Moderator Alumnusis a Live Chat Contributor Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Top Contributor Alumnusis a Battle Simulator Moderator Alumnusis a Past WCoP Champion
Excluding PP achievements seems ridiculous when Smogon has all but abandoned official tournament support for rby. It doesnt really inspire confidence that the outcome of the vote is actually representative of the will of the community.

The vote is also not really a question of RBY skill as much as a question of the philosophical desire of the rby community.

Anyway, an objective metric that excludes RBY community mainstays like SadisticNarwhal or AMP seems like it might just be the wrong metric.

I don't like this decision at all.
 

rozes

is a Top Tutoris a Social Media Contributoris a Community Leaderis a Tiering Contributoris a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Past WCoP Champion
NU Leader
while i do appreciate what the tiering council did to come up with a list that i personally do like a bit more as it is more up to date with how smogon voting happens across the board, im stil questioning the validity of having this being treated as a "suspect test", in a matter of speaking, for counter. where im coming from here is that from the people ive talked to about this test, there is a clear bias for a lot of people who are taking this as a vote to remove a part of the metagame that they are not a fan of in counter. this completely goes against the spirit of what this test actually is, and what it holds weight for in regards with how desyncs are dealt with. counter is not being suspect tested here, the vote should not be about whether or not the voter likes the move and how its being popularized and spammed in modern rby, but the vote is quickly devolving into people wanting to either keep or ban the move based on this bias.

i am urging that the tiering council deals with this by having a vote either among the members of the council, or even better the tiering admins deal with this in a way that is fair/keeps up to date with how smogon deals with cases like this. desyncs may only really happen in rby, but that doesnt mean that the rby community should be having a vote like this. for example, if it was discovered somehow that in ss or sm that a desync could happen in a similar fashion, it would likely be up to the council/admins on how they wanted to deal with patching and dealing with the move in the first place, it wouldnt be a suspect test that people would get reqs for and then vote, as metagame knowledge has nothing to do with this vote, its purely a vote based on mechanics/policy. a more similar decision would be the case with dpp acid rain where it is just patched out of the simulator.

this vote is huge for the rby metagame, and i dont think its fair to let people have more or less free reign to ban/dnb a move based on whether they enjoy playing against it, which is happening here. this vote has nothing to do with peoples metagame knowledge of rby, so this shouldnt be a suspect test that the community can deal with.

im open to discuss this with anyone, but i didnt want to just sit here and let this vote go through with how much ive enjoyed rby/the community lately.
 
Last edited:

Hipmonlee

Have a nice day
is a Super Moderator Alumnusis a Live Chat Contributor Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Top Contributor Alumnusis a Battle Simulator Moderator Alumnusis a Past WCoP Champion
There is clear precedent for patching when there is an in game behaviour that is significantly detrimental to play. We patch switching in ADV, acid rain, freeze clause and sleep clause. If we were making that decision then it should probably include more than just the RBY community, but that isnt really at issue here. The question we are currently asking is:
Is a Counter ban so significantly detrimental to RBY that we should patch the game in order to avoid it?

Which is definitely a question for the RBY community, not anyone else. And it is, in a lot of ways a suspect test on Counter. Except that the default option here really should be a ban. The extraordinary measure in this case is a patch.

You could argue that we are asking the wrong question, I could see in the future we may need to find a solution for all desync cases, but at the moment the only other desyncs are basically competitively irrelevant. When we need a universal solution we can have another vote that involves the wider community. But for now this is a question for RBYers.
 
counter is not being suspect tested here
Just want to publicly echo this. Even as someone who's pro-ban for both competitive and policy reasons, it is important that the two don't get conflated.

--

Frankly I cannot hide my disappointment in how this is being handled. The amount of time this has taken plays a large factor that I feel should be brought up. The council has taken half a year to come up with a vote that not only doesn't follow Smogon protocol in how the voter list was selected, but also doesn't really make sense from a policy perspective, because as rozes explained, it's a policy issue being treated as a suspect test. Now compare this to the BW sleep vote, for instance, which was proposed on December 14th and in twelve days plenty of suspect tests were ran to allow players to qualify for reqs if they wished to (this also addresses Hipmonlee's concerns) and an agreement was reached. The BW council has done an exemplary job in listening to their playerbase and addressed a pressing concern excellently in less than two weeks. The RBY council... well, we can all see the pace at which it moves.

I would also like to remind the general public about two other problems:

- There is a 2016 discovery about how, on some pokemon such as Gengar and Golem, a full spread of 15 DVs in every stat is impossible without resorting to tradebacks. This, to my knowledge, was simply ignored by everyone, and we continued on with our merry ways without even bothering to make a policy statement on how we are handling this. Could be as simple as reworking our no tradeback rule to include "tradebacks that don't bring illegal moves over are allowed", but nevertheless it is something that we should get an official ruling over. The fact that an issue so trivial from 4 years ago remains unsolved speaks for itself.

- A 2019 survey stated, amongst other things, that over half the players believed the tier could be improved by some changes, with a further third being unsure. Specifically, nearly half the players believed some form of Wrap ban would improve the tier, a third believed some form of Reflect ban would improve the tier, and a non-negligible number of players stated that exploring tradebacks would improve the tier as well. Another 42.5% of players stated that although they believed the tier is fine currently, they could agree to one (or more) of these options improving the tier. The post goes on to explain how this particular chunk of players stressed the importance of suspect testing before voting, but they are open to the ideas proposed if they are properly explored. Since these results were collected, no initiative has been taken to respond to the wishes of the players at all. When I have previously brought this point up (in this very thread, as a matter of fact) I have been told that the council did not want to take action because "it is an oligarchic way of doing things", but I don't understand how this approach makes any sense. You have sent out a survey that already confirmed the people's will, and the people's will was a pretty clear "please run some suspects, we think things could get better". This has not been acted on.



I don't dislike the people on the council. Anyone who knows me probably knows I'm a massive fan of Troller and Nails, and I greatly respect the other three council members for what they have done for our game. But it is evident, after observing it operate for a while now, that something is not working properly, and if you compare it to any other oldgen council the agonizing slowness is really quite clear - not to speak of the questions that this Counter vote has raised. Perhaps this is the straw that will finally break the council's back. I believe something needs to be done.
 
while i do appreciate what the tiering council did to come up with a list that i personally do like a bit more as it is more up to date with how smogon voting happens across the board, im stil questioning the validity of having this being treated as a "suspect test", in a matter of speaking, for counter. where im coming from here is that from the people ive talked to about this test, there is a clear bias for a lot of people who are taking this as a vote to remove a part of the metagame that they are not a fan of in counter. this completely goes against the spirit of what this test actually is, and what it holds weight for in regards with how desyncs are dealt with. counter is not being suspect tested here, the vote should not be about whether or not the voter likes the move and how its being popularized and spammed in modern rby, but the vote is quickly devolving into people wanting to either keep or ban the move based on this bias.

i am urging that the tiering council deals with this by having a vote either among the members of the council, or even better the tiering admins deal with this in a way that is fair/keeps up to date with how smogon deals with cases like this. desyncs may only really happen in rby, but that doesnt mean that the rby community should be having a vote like this. for example, if it was discovered somehow that in ss or sm that a desync could happen in a similar fashion, it would likely be up to the council/admins on how they wanted to deal with patching and dealing with the move in the first place, it wouldnt be a suspect test that people would get reqs for and then vote, as metagame knowledge has nothing to do with this vote, its purely a vote based on mechanics/policy. a more similar decision would be the case with dpp acid rain where it is just patched out of the simulator.

this vote is huge for the rby metagame, and i dont think its fair to let people have more or less free reign to ban/dnb a move based on whether they enjoy playing against it, which is happening here. this vote has nothing to do with peoples metagame knowledge of rby, so this shouldnt be a suspect test that the community can deal with.

im open to discuss this with anyone, but i didnt want to just sit here and let this vote go through with how much ive enjoyed rby/the community lately.
Even though it seems like this takes the form of a suspect test it clearly isn’t. In this post I will detail our thought process that made us go with the option of a community counter vote rather than a council vote or a desync policy vote.

First, it is important to know there is no precedent in RBY for a case such as this one:
  • No relevant cases of desync ban happened before. Dig/Fly do not cause a desync, and we believed Psywave was a horrible precedent to use because it was decided 15 years ago by people who do not play anymore and who, since the move was irrelevant, most likely did not care ultimately whether the move got patched or banned (making it that the decision to ban it was made quickly by few people) so we decided not to impose anything based on that to the current community.
  • No relevant cases of desync patch happened. The main patch RBY has is freeze clause which has nothing to do with desyncs.
Anyway no precedent felt strong enough to make a decision solely based on it, both decisions have merit, and although I would tend to say that the patching option has a slightly stronger background given how we generally handle our game, some players immediately voiced the opinion that a case such as this one should result to a ban, hence why it had to be put through a vote. Two options were possible: a council vote, and a community vote. Frankly, no options are completely ideal.

The obvious problem with a Council vote is that you end up with 5 people deciding for an entire community. I know Smogon generally doesn’t mind picking oligarchic routes but on such a huge, new, and impactful matter it just felt wrong. Remember, we don’t have strong precedents so it would literally be the subjective opinion of 5 people deciding for an entire community. You might answer that it’s the role of a council but our role, in our eyes, is to serve the community. Even if we have strong history and results in the tier, it does not make our opinion more valid than the rest of the RBY players on wether it is preferable to patch desyncs or ban what causes them. You said it, this is about mechanics, not tiering or metagame balance, so only picking people who supposedly “know better” is not the move. If you decide to go with the council route it is usually to avoid having players who have a lesser understanding of the game voting to ban something that, once you’ve reached a certain amount of skill, you realize is not broken. Since it is a mechanic vote it doesn’t not apply here, it feels better having the community choosing if they want to patch a desync occurrence or ban what triggers it.

In this case, had we gone with a council vote, it would have end up with 3-2 for one of the two options. Yup. 3-2, for a matter as huge and new as this one. It simply felt wrong. We did believe that asking for the community about this was the move, and I still believe it is.

About the issue of players voting ban or patch depending on their liking on the move: it is a risk and it is why none of the two options are ideal. At some point you just have to trust people to vote based on their stance regarding desyncs and not their liking of the move. Not trusting them to do so means taking this issue completely out of their hands, which we do not want. If they still do then it’s genuinely disappointing but we don’t have a solution for that, and we scrapped out the council vote options for the reasons I mentioned above. I personally still trust the community and apart if you are able to give me like 10 screenshots of people explicitly saying they are voting only based on their liking of the move, this vote will go through. I do think a majority of people will vote from the mechanic point of view and even if you told me that 10% of voters won’t do that I would still stand with the community vote option. Obviously, to the players who thought of doing that, please don't, as you are doing yourself more harm than good.

Why we did not have a general vote about how to handle desyncs:

The problem about having a general vote about desyncs is that every desync case is different. I know in theory it sounds simple and more reassuring to have a general rule that we can then apply for future desync discoveries but here is why we did not go with this option:

Recently someone discovered that a frozen pokemon thawing by having a fire move used against it causes a desync. If we had a general policy it would be easy right? If it is “Desync = Ban”, we ban fire moves, and if it is “Desync = Patch”, we patch it. The thing is that while the Counter desync is unavoidable on cardridge, this Fire Thawing desync is avoidable: both player just have to switch out and come back to the same pokemon and the desync won’t happen. So here even if we had set a precedent “desync = ban” by having a community vote, it would not feel right to apply the exact same strict process for both Counter and Fire-Thawing as one is unavoidable while the other one is not. A policy saying “Ban desyncs except when it is card avoidable” is also not ideal as “card avoidable” is an unclear term: if avoiding a desync in a specific scenario takes you 40 minutes, do you consider it card avoidable? Would you take, IRL, 40 minutes to avoid it? Most likely not, so it would be put in the same category as Counter, and Counter’s desync is not avoidable… The policy would still not feel reassuring. This is simply why we decided to go for a more case-by-case approach and why we did not go with a total “Desync Policy vote”.

The second reason will be obvious to anyone who played RBY link battles on their Gameboy when they were kids: the game desyncs A LOT. I myself have a lot of memories seeing the game desyncing with my friends (and we did not use Counter or Psywave). We do not know the full scope of RBY desyncs for sure, chances are a ton of them exist so going with the route of a universal policy right now sounds extremely dangerous (and again, all these cases might be different). For now, we will stick with a case-by-case approach (after the Counter vote ends, we will handle the Fire-thawing one). If the RBY scientists discover 20 mores ways to desync RBY then we will resort to a general policy after discussing it with the community but for now it does feel needed.

Finally, a general vote about desync policy does not solve the issues you mentioned, because if people are willing to vote on a Counter ban/patch based on their liking of the move (which is genuinely disappointing once again) they can also vote Desync ban/patch based on what they want to happen with Counter since it is the only concerned move for now…

I hope I covered everything you said in your post.

PS : I also wanted to answer tin but this took me a while to write already and I don’t have more time so I will answer it later
 
Just want to publicly echo this. Even as someone who's pro-ban for both competitive and policy reasons, it is important that the two don't get conflated.

--

Frankly I cannot hide my disappointment in how this is being handled. The amount of time this has taken plays a large factor that I feel should be brought up. The council has taken half a year to come up with a vote that not only doesn't follow Smogon protocol in how the voter list was selected, but also doesn't really make sense from a policy perspective, because as rozes explained, it's a policy issue being treated as a suspect test. Now compare this to the BW sleep vote, for instance, which was proposed on December 14th and in twelve days plenty of suspect tests were ran to allow players to qualify for reqs if they wished to (this also addresses Hipmonlee's concerns) and an agreement was reached. The BW council has done an exemplary job in listening to their playerbase and addressed a pressing concern excellently in less than two weeks. The RBY council... well, we can all see the pace at which it moves.

I would also like to remind the general public about two other problems:

- There is a 2016 discovery about how, on some pokemon such as Gengar and Golem, a full spread of 15 DVs in every stat is impossible without resorting to tradebacks. This, to my knowledge, was simply ignored by everyone, and we continued on with our merry ways without even bothering to make a policy statement on how we are handling this. Could be as simple as reworking our no tradeback rule to include "tradebacks that don't bring illegal moves over are allowed", but nevertheless it is something that we should get an official ruling over. The fact that an issue so trivial from 4 years ago remains unsolved speaks for itself.

- A 2019 survey stated, amongst other things, that over half the players believed the tier could be improved by some changes, with a further third being unsure. Specifically, nearly half the players believed some form of Wrap ban would improve the tier, a third believed some form of Reflect ban would improve the tier, and a non-negligible number of players stated that exploring tradebacks would improve the tier as well. Another 42.5% of players stated that although they believed the tier is fine currently, they could agree to one (or more) of these options improving the tier. The post goes on to explain how this particular chunk of players stressed the importance of suspect testing before voting, but they are open to the ideas proposed if they are properly explored. Since these results were collected, no initiative has been taken to respond to the wishes of the players at all. When I have previously brought this point up (in this very thread, as a matter of fact) I have been told that the council did not want to take action because "it is an oligarchic way of doing things", but I don't understand how this approach makes any sense. You have sent out a survey that already confirmed the people's will, and the people's will was a pretty clear "please run some suspects, we think things could get better". This has not been acted on.



I don't dislike the people on the council. Anyone who knows me probably knows I'm a massive fan of Troller and Nails, and I greatly respect the other three council members for what they have done for our game. But it is evident, after observing it operate for a while now, that something is not working properly, and if you compare it to any other oldgen council the agonizing slowness is really quite clear - not to speak of the questions that this Counter vote has raised. Perhaps this is the straw that will finally break the council's back. I believe something needs to be done.
Regarding the pace issue :

There definitely was an issue with how much time this took. There are two reasons for that :
  • We took an awful lot of time starting to work on this. I will be fully transparent: I scrolled up through our discord chat and we started taking this matter into our hands on the 8th of April, which leaves 4 months of complete inactivity (do not blame FOMG though, he was not part of the council yet). I know you guys will probably jump out of your chairs reading this, but it is true and inexcusable that it started so late. There is nothing we can do besides apologizing and promising it will not happen again, though we cannot blame the community if the trust is broken after reading this.
  • Once we started, it is unavoidable that a matter such as this one takes so long (here, a bit less than 2 months). The steps we went through are the following (might be unordered) :
- Deciding if we handle this among the 5 of us or if we go with a community vote
- If we go with a community vote, do we go with a Counter vote or a Desync vote
- How does the result of this vote should affect how we handle future cases of desync which meant discussing Psywave and Fire-Thawing as I mentioned in my answer to rozes.

Trust me, these questions don’t take 2 days to answer especially when we did not agree among ourselves.

- Our original list, besides the criticism we received afterwards, did take us a very long time to put together because we wanted to make sure people present on it matched our criterias (history, activity, results) and we did not want to forget people who did match them (usually at least 2 of these 3). We did take contact with current active RBY players to have their opinion on our list. Overall, this rightfully took a lot of time.
- We were ready to send in the vote earlier than it was sent, but the council above us also wanted to validate the process and they wanted to discuss things among themselves as this was a very particular issue. This roughly took them 2 weeks while we were already finished. I think it’s once again fair for them to take this time to discuss and make sure there is no issue.

There is no way you can compare this to BW Sleep vote as it was a simple “sleep suspect” whereas this brought up a much more variety of questions and things we had to discuss.

Overall, I believe the 2 months it took us from start to finish to get this done were justified. What is not justified are the 4 months before that where we basically did not do anything.

Regarding the full 15 DVS spread

This was completely forgotten but keep in mind that it was discovered in March 2016 whereas the OGCs were formed in December 2017. This was most likely “retroactively forgotten”, and I will say you are literally the first one I see talking about it since the thread got up 4 years ago which more than anything shows the community does not care that much about it. Anyway you are right that it should be addressed (it is on our to-do list after Counter) and it will.

Regarding the survey

I understand your frustration since the survey was a respond to your original thread, but I believe there was a massive misunderstanding of what this survey was about.

Step 1: You started your thread because you believed some things were wrong with RBY

Step 2: People chimed in and gave their opinion about different things (Wrap, Reflect, Tradebacks, etc) and it went all out of place because people believed in different matters being problematic

Step 3: We sent out the survey so that we got actual numbers on what portion of the community thinks X and Y issues are problematic

Step 4: The debate could continue in a more structured way because we had actual data. “Banning one or more pokemon” received a poor score and thus were pretty much out of the debate, whereas 45% of players thinking some form of Wrap ban could improve the tier deserved to be more deeply discussed.

My honest to god expectation once the results were published was that the discussion would spark again more specifically on the issues that got the highest scores. If we take Wrap for example, I expected people to discuss things like Wrap vs Wrappers vs Partial Trapping moves as a whole, of course alongside how balanced is Wrap in the metagame.

Looking back on it, I feel like we should have sparked discussion more than we did, but whether it was on the thread or even in the various RBY discords I was in, literally nobody besides marco discussed anything. This survey was not an end to anything but a way to continue discussion, and that was stated from the start…

Also from a quantitative perspective, the 45% score of Wrap (since it is what got the highest score) is actually pretty low. You have to take into account that on surveys such as this one, most answers are inflated because it is easy to click “do something” while not feeling strongly about it as it showed here: only 30% of players actually felt strongly about a Wrap ban, and that is just not a good enough score. You also bring up that 42.5% of players stated they could agree that some of the options could improve the tier but it only represented 3 or 4 players per option.

Those scores and the fact that the community did not seem to spark a lot of interest about this survey just made it impossible to throw any form of suspect test based on it. Our mistake was that we did not post something such as “hey guys I see you’re not saying anything about this survey, but you need to know that these results are not sufficient for us to take any further action, especially if none of you discuss them”, but frankly given how we got pretty much no feedback from it I doubt this would have changed much. Still, we should have and we’ll take the blame for that, but overall there was a clear misunderstanding although we did our best to clarify what the purpose of this survey was from the start.

Anyway its results are dead now because the metagame evolved a lot from what it was when the survey was originally sent out. The point we will watch closely is Tradebacks as it is something overall unrelated to the state of the tier. Hopefully the new RBY2K20 community will help us see how much the RBY community is interested in them and might open the debate on whether or not it should come to Smogon, but that is a question for another day.

I hope I answered all of your points.
 
I appreciate the transparency, and I appreciate admitting fault with regards to the 4 month waiting period, but words are not enough for me at this point. Council members should actively discuss a plan on how to address the present issues and publicly share what's on the radar as soon as they agree on a route forward, as is good practice for tier leaders across all of Smogon, or if they have no interest in doing that they should resign. To admit fault and then continue using the same faulty methodology would be profoundly dishonest.

Another thing that the council needs to improve on dramatically is communications. I have no clue if Peasounay is speaking for himself or for the entire council, and I have no clue on what the other council members think, because they hardly ever bother to make a post - which is fine if someone else is delivering official communications for them, but it is not fine if it is left unclear.

I am content with this reply presently and trust that it will be followed by appropriate actions, but I do want to bring up one thing regarding the survey. You make the valid point that its results are irrelevant now because of metagame evolution, but I do not agree with the notion that the ideas it brought up should be taken off the board now. Wrap has evolved but it has not disappeared - I don't have data on my hands but I would guess that Dragonite has made more appearances in top level competition in 2020 than it has in the last few years, for instance - it shouldn't be a foregone conclusion that people are fine with it now. If the previous survey is so old that its results are outdated now, then the natural follow up shouldn't be to discard everything it uncovered, rather it should be to update its results with a new survey. Perhaps one that the council actually uses to take decisions this time around, rather than to spark discussion.

I also have no issue with using tournaments outside of Smogon to run tests on things like tradebacks, but if they are to hold relevance towards any future Smogon policy decision, then I ask that they are properly advertised by the Smogon council so that Smogon users may join them if they wish to. Not everyone with an interest in RBY also has an interest in RBY2K20.
 

Hogg

grubbing in the ashes
is a member of the Site Staffis a Social Media Contributoris a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris an Administratoris a Tournament Director Alumnus
UU Leader
Cross-posting from the "Smogon Staff vs the RBY Community" thread, just in case people are following this thread and not the other:

Thanks for tagging me in, Earthworm.

Just to clear a couple of points up:

Yep, I'm the tiering admin, and ultimately responsible for the decision to exclude PP tournaments from being used in the objective criteria to determine voters.

As tiering admin, for the most part I pretty firmly believe that tiers/metagames should be able to operate independently, as long as they do so within our general tiering standards. I don't play every single tier, and while I generally follow every tiering decision, I try not to pretend that I know better than the community. In this particular case, one of the reasons I approved the RBY Council's request to hold a vote on how to implement the Counter desync (rather than having it be a policy decision, as is usually the case) is that this is a metagame with over twenty years of history behind it, and one that developed at a time when the tiering philosophy was very different than it is now. Forcing them to adhere to a policy decision made by people who may have only minimal direct experience with RBY felt like a mistake.

When the RBY Council posted their voter list, they did so without any metric of how voters were determined. While we do allow old gens a decent bit of latitude in how they select their voters, we have always required an objective set of criteria: rather than handpicking voters, which could potentially lead to small councils deciding the outcome of a vote based on the voters they picked, we always require this. (As a quick aside I do not think that's what the RBY Council was doing. They clearly put a ton of work into selecting what they believed was a fair cross-section of people invested in the tier, and I have no reason to doubt their intents.)

It's worth noting that a set of objective criteria does NOT necessarily mean that the only way to determine voters is to go by official tournament results. It's what the RBY Council chose to go with in this case, and it's what most other recent old gen votes have defaulted to, but that does not mean it is the only option. I worked very closely with the DPP Council to create their Latias test and suspect ladder, for example.

The first thing I asked the RBY Council was what they wanted to prioritize when determining voters. Their answer was "history, results and activity." When I asked them to drill down and define that, the definition for history was from late 2017 to now, results included tournament results across the board, and activity included participation in community events such as RoAPL. Based on that, they developed the weighting system that was used in the final vote. Lusch was fantastic and put a spreadsheet together collating everything. (I believe that's the criteria that Earthworm mentioned in his post.)

One of the categories included was the PP top 8 players rankings #14-17. It's at this point that I said I was wary of including off-site results, which is I think where the main issues come up that have led to this thread. My goal wasn't to put PP down or attack any of the players included. When I looked at the results without PP included, 5 players would no longer qualify under their standards, some of whom I know personally and believe would have good insight in a vote like this. (Yes, the exclusion of PP results that according to the OP removed a broad swath of the community removed a total of five people.) Two of those excluded players qualified 100% on the back of their PP rankings, without any Smogon results at all. But yeah, I do have concerns with including off-site results. As far as I'm aware, we've never allowed people to vote in a Smogon suspect test or policy decision based solely on their success in off-site tournaments. I know Plague von Karma referenced PO players having some say in tiering decisions, and I know that a lot of prominent folks developed their reputations on PO, but I'm not aware of any case where we've made an exception to our tiering policy to allow people to vote based solely on PO tournament success. (Not saying it never happened, since I only started participating in tiering decisions in the ORAS era it's possible I'm wrong about this.)

Relevant log said:
Anyhow, I'm not going to pretend that everyone on the RBY Council was happy with it, but eventually they decided on keeping the objective criteria they developed but without the PP top 8 player rankings, and kept the threshold for voting at 5 points.

Was it the right decision? Honestly, I'm still not sure. I stand by the claim that Smogon participation should be a vital part of any suspect test or tiering vote. I'm not saying this to disparage any other community, or to create any sort of divide, but it is something I feel pretty strongly. To me there's no better way to show that you are fit to participate in a tiering decision than to be an active and engaged part of this community. (Similarly, I wouldn't expect to automatically be allowed to participate in another site's tiering process just because of my experience here.)

On the other hand, RBY is in a unique place. That same 20+ year history that led me to saying yes to a community-based vote rather than just making a policy decision from on high also means that other communities have a prominent role in the RBY community in a way that they maybe do not for most other gens. I don't want to put down PP, because from the bit I've lurking I've done there when scouting out SPL players or out of sheer curiosity as a tier leader/tiering admin, they've done a lot of really interesting things with metagame development and they've built up a great community.

So yeah, that's where this decision came from. I'm not attempting to stifle any community or prevent the growth of RBY. If it was the wrong decision that's fine, I'll own it and I'm happy to re-address it. But I think it's pretty unfair to say that this was some attempt from "Smogon brass" to "suppress the the voices" of the RBY community. This wasn't an attempt to suppress anything, just to make sure that we're developing clear and consistent standards for who can and can't vote.
 

chaos

is a member of the Site Staffis a Battle Simulator Administratoris a Programmeris a Live Chat Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis an Administratoris a Tournament Director Alumnusis a Researcher Alumnus
Owner
I appreciate the transparency, and I appreciate admitting fault with regards to the 4 month waiting period, but words are not enough for me at this point. Council members should actively discuss a plan on how to address the present issues and publicly share what's on the radar as soon as they agree on a route forward, as is good practice for tier leaders across all of Smogon, or if they have no interest in doing that they should resign. To admit fault and then continue using the same faulty methodology would be profoundly dishonest.

Another thing that the council needs to improve on dramatically is communications. I have no clue if Peasounay is speaking for himself or for the entire council, and I have no clue on what the other council members think, because they hardly ever bother to make a post - which is fine if someone else is delivering official communications for them, but it is not fine if it is left unclear.
We're currently discussing changes to better integrate old gens into our leadership, which should hopefully address some of these problems
 

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 1, Guests: 0)

Top