Sand Discussion

Are in favor of testing Sand in UU without Stoutland?


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Pocket

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Oh, sorry, Ace Emerald, you provided compelling examples last time, but I forgot to respond to them, because I was trying to respond to other posts.

Yea, that's a good team. It's beatable, too. Shaymin only needs a 40% special defense fall from Seed Flare and Spikes support to get past Cradily and Escavalier. Chandelure with Energy Ball or Will-O-Wisp can start punching holes into this team, too, starting with Escavalier or Golurk. Same goes with Mixed Victini. Taunt + Toxic Gligar can stall out most of this team. It's party time for Mienshao and Heracross once Golurk is eliminated, which is not a particularly hard task to accomplish. Toxic Spikes Roserade and Specs Empoleon may see a return, since a lot of this team are weak to it. Nidoking / Nidoqueen with Focus Blast can do a number to this team.

I concede that I underestimated Sand's potential, but Sand is certainly not this unstoppable force that you're making it out to be. You convinced me that there are many defensive potential to a Sand team, but without the flexibility and immediate nuking power provided by Stoutland, I doubt Sand would ever reach the same level of potency as it did a year ago. I personally would love to put all this theorymon to rest with this suspect test.
 

Ace Emerald

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Oh, sorry, Ace Emerald, you provided compelling examples last time, but I forgot to respond to them, because I was trying to respond to other posts.

Yea, that's a good team. It's beatable, too. Shaymin only needs a 40% special defense fall from Seed Flare and Spikes support to get past Cradily and Escavalier. Chandelure with Energy Ball or Will-O-Wisp can start punching holes into this team, too, starting with Escavalier or Golurk. Same goes with Mixed Victini. Taunt + Toxic Gligar can stall out most of this team. It's party time for Mienshao and Heracross once Golurk is eliminated, which is not a particularly hard task to accomplish. Toxic Spikes Roserade and Specs Empoleon may see a return, since a lot of this team are weak to it. Nidoking / Nidoqueen with Focus Blast can do a number to this team.

I concede that I underestimated Sand's potential, but Sand is certainly not this unstoppable force that you're making it out to be. You convinced me that there are many defensive potential to a Sand team, but without the flexibility and immediate nuking power provided by Stoutland, I doubt Sand would ever reach the same level of potency as it did a year ago. I personally would love to put all this theorymon to rest with this suspect test.
If you think I'm trying to paint Sand as an unstoppable force, we're still at a little bit of a misunderstanding with respect to argument. You're right, it has checks and counters. Some can be avoided by switching teammates (Bulky SubSeed Shaymin with Air Slash over Cradily helps with Virizion and reduces Fighting weakness, for example), some will always be a pain. My point is that Sand does scary well vs common teams. I'm not confident enough to say if it does well enough to be broken, but I'm confident enough to say I predict it will do well enough to be scary, which I felt necessary to state cause I didn't think everyone was taking the natural synergy of Sand teams into account.

PS:
252 SpA Life Orb Victini Grass Knot (120 BP) vs. 248 HP / 244 SpD Solid Rock Rhyperior in sand: 328-386 (75.75 - 89.14%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
4 Atk Life Orb Victini V-create vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Cradily: 259-305 (68.88 - 81.11%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
252 SpA Life Orb Sheer Force Nidoking Focus Blast vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Cradily in sand: 153-182 (40.69 - 48.4%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
252+ SpA Choice Specs Empoleon Ice Beam vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Cradily in sand: 140-166 (37.23 - 44.14%) -- 100% chance to 3HKO
252 SpA Life Orb Shaymin Seed Flare vs. -2 252 HP / 252+ SpD Cradily in sand: 195-230 (51.86 - 61.17%) -- 94.92% chance to 2HKO
252 SpA Life Orb Sheer Force Nidoking Earth Power vs. 248 HP / 244 SpD Solid Rock Rhyperior in sand: 213-253 (49.19 - 58.42%) -- 65.63% chance to 2HKO
252+ SpA Choice Specs Chandelure Energy Ball vs. 248 HP / 244 SpD Solid Rock Rhyperior in sand: 357-420 (82.44 - 96.99%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

I'm not saying they're not threats cause a low health Rhyperior is no good and Cradily is a little weak before set up, but considering the risk involved with some of these moves (locking into nonSTAB Ice Beam or Energy Ball, counting on SpDef drops, needing Focus Blast to hit a lot) you can't say that those mons alone will clinch a win against Sand. Again, Sand isn't unbeatable, certainly it can be done. But its a scary threat that should be handled with care.
 
If you think I'm trying to paint Sand as an unstoppable force, we're still at a little bit of a misunderstanding with respect to argument. You're right, it has checks and counters. Some can be avoided by switching teammates (Bulky SubSeed Shaymin with Air Slash over Cradily helps with Virizion and reduces Fighting weakness, for example), some will always be a pain. My point is that Sand does scary well vs common teams. I'm not confident enough to say if it does well enough to be broken, but I'm confident enough to say I predict it will do well enough to be scary, which I felt necessary to state cause I didn't think everyone was taking the natural synergy of Sand teams into account.
This is why we need to test sand, to determine if it is broken, even WITHOUT Stoutland. I don't think it will be, since Omastar perishes to powerful Grass attacks anyway, and many of the abusers share common weaknesses. I still see Cradily being a major annoyance, maybe Barrier/Toxic/Recover/Giga Drain with Storm Drain, because of the Special Defense boost. Rhyperior's two 4x weaknesses are also heavily compensated by Solid Rock and the SpD boost, making it harder to take down (its stats already let it qualify as a physical wall if it wishes to be one).

Also, is it possible for a Pokemon to jump right from NU to BL, or can it only rise one tier per shift?




Sidenote: Oh, if Torterra got Sand Rush, it'd be the new Stoutland, with better attack and better coverage. SD + 3 attacks + LO would find itself on every sand team. I don't think it's feasible to test this though, right?
 

ScraftyIsTheBest

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Well tbh there are quite a lot of factors that need to be considered here. UU is imo at its most enjoyable state, and is a really fun metagame, which is the first thing to note. Sand does have quite a few powerful abusers, with Sandslash, Omastar, Rhyperior, and Cradily to name a few. The latter two would be really annoying to take down, and even strong special attacks can't break them. There's also the fact that Sandslash is an extremely powerful physical sweeper with the Speed, and can set up SD and freely pick moves while packing few checks. Omastar also has many weaknesses and Sand teams do share them. Then there's also residual damage, which restricts what can successfully be used on a Sand team, and also prevents use of Sash Azelf and the likes. Though Sand is a pretty scary force and although it is stopped by Bronzong, there's some danger to it, though there are the bad points mentioned before. I'm torn here on whether Sand would be broken, I'm not totally sure if it deserves a retest, but it might very well be worthy, so I guess I'm not totally opposed, since we have really yet to see how it does in this current metagame. It would affect RU and NU too, causing Sandslash to rise from being one of the worst Pokemon in its tier, but I don't know really.

And yes a Pokemon can go all the way from NU to BL since the Borderlines are banlists, for example Gothitelle was NU but was deemed broken here so it went BL.
 

Pocket

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ScraftyITB, you don't need to worry about RU and NU tiers - Oglemihttp://www.smogon.com/forums/showpost.php?p=4493968&postcount=4 already outlined the action to take when something like unbanning sand happens. Basically, the ability Sandstream would be unbanned in UU, with Hippopotas entering Limbo state (aka only playable in UU), until the next tiering shift occurs (i think).
Oglemi said:
Should a condition, such as Sand Stream, be banned from an upper tier, the Pokemon associated with the condition is consequently available in lower tiers due to usage stats (but not the condition that was banned). However, should the condition be unbanned from an upper tier (Sand Stream), it will not be allowed in the tiers that it was previously not available in. If the conditions are made available through the next tiering shift (should Hippopotas not reach the UU threshold), they will be made available at the next lowest tier (Hippopotas would follow the normative fall into RU). During the time between the unbanning and the tiering shift, the Pokemon (Hippopotas) will be placed in Limbo, and not allowed for play in RU and NU, as the Pokemon (Hippopotas) was not previously available for play in RU and NU. The reasoning for this is that the condition that has been unbanned is now technically available in all tiers at the time of the unbanning, as the next lowest tier has not banned it yet, and because the Pokemon that creates the condition is available through usage stats. However, the conditions were not previously available.

In effect, where the conditions were available when they were banned is where they are placed when they are unbanned (as other examples: Gothitelle will be placed back into NU if/when it is unbanned from UU as that is where it was previously available; Vulpix will be placed into Limbo and Drought made only available to UU when/if Drought is unbanned from UU).
So if we unban sand, Hippopotas wont drop to NU, but to UU where it was last tiered before ban. Only when Hippopotas usage doesn't rise to UU threshold will it be dropped to RU in the next tiering shift.

Thus, it wont be affecting the lower tiers, because Hippopotas would most likely see enough usage to stay in UU if it's as good as we think. It's not even guaranteed that sand would pass the suspect test to begin with - let's not worry over issues that don't exist.
 
The point you're missing is that dropping sand is change for the sake of change (a change for the worse, I might add). I have some questions, Pocket; why do we want to re-introduce sand so it can rub 6% in your face every turn? Why do we want to add more weather abusers? Half the reason UU is so great is because it doesn't have any of the weather bullshit that OU does, why change that? Why does anything have to be tested at all? There aren't any BLs who deserve a second chance, there aren't any unfairly strong powerhouses ruining the current meta... there is nothing wrong with UU right now. Stop making tl;dr bullshit posts where you twist others' arguments and just enjoy what is arguably the best BW metagame.
 

kokoloko

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I think I get it now, kokoloko. It took me awhile, because usually suspect tests involve banning or unbanning suspects on the ladder, but apparently you're telling me to find another way to test it without affecting the UU main ladder. It's a weird suggestion to make, because you're essentially saying you are not open to giving sand the standard suspect treatment (meaning, you don't want the entire UU community to be involved in it), no matter how convincing the argument for testing it.

If you insist on not giving this the standard test, you can ask Zarel to make a wholly separate UU suspect ladder. Senators and qualified others who wish to vote will play on both main and suspect ladder in order to come up with a tiering decision. This will allow UU players who wish to not participate on the suspect ladder to continue playing on the main ladder.
You still don't understand. And on top of that, you're making a really sketchy--and pretty insulting--assumption here.

First of all, you're wrong in your assertion that there even exists a "standard treatment" for suspects, there's no such thing.

Second of all, a lot of people I've spoken to agree with me that polluting the standard ladder with sand at the time would be a bad idea--in fact, a few of them believe separate, isolated tests should be the standard (including reach, btw).

Third, your assumption that I don't want the entire community involved is baseless and, quite frankly, really fucking insulting.

Fourth, it's not as simple as "just ask Zarel to make a secondary ladder". Historically, only OU has been allowed to make separate suspect ladders because only OU has enough of a playerbase that it can afford to split it.

But anyway, I have a rather obvious "solution" in mind that I will discuss with senators tonight when I get home from work. Until then, feel free to argue your little hearts out.
 

shrang

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Hm, I don't play UU, but can someone explain to me why sand is actually so broken? From what I could piece together about banning sand was 1) Stoutland, 2) Sand Veil and 3) recoil damage. Well, Sand Veil is gone. If you ban Stoutland, that removes (1). Recoil damage is just a bad argument full stop. If you want to know why, I'm just going to point to the fact that you have hail in UU. So what else could really make sand broken? Sandslash is probably the elephant in the room at the moment, but if you ban Stoutland, why can't you ban Sandslash if it's too good? You've banned 2 Sand Rush users. Is that really so hard? There are only a grand total of 5 Sand Rush users in the whole game. Excadrill is Ubers. Stoutland and Sandslash we can presume that we ban. What's left? You have Drilbur and... Sandshrew. Drilbur's cool and all, but that's broken in the same way Combusken is broken.

So what else could be broken? In the OP, I see Cradily, Rhyperior, Regirock and Omastar. Omastar is the only one I can really see being a significant threat. How can I say this despite not playing UU? Well, we had every one of those threats, sans Shell Smash Omastar, back in DPP UU. We had sand in DPP UU and we had all those threats. The average power back in DPP UU was also significant lower than what we have in BW2 UU. The strongest commonly seen spammable attack was like, Leaf Storm from Venusaur. We have shit like Victini, Darmanitan, Virizion and half of DPP OU in BW2 UU and all sorts of way more powerful Pokemon in BW2 UU. If Cradily and co were able to be handled in DPP UU, why can't BW2 UU handle them? I guess Omastar is cool as well, but really, I really doubt +1 SpD in sand would really break it. It's not like that it's going to take Thunderbolts, Giga Drains, etc any time soon. This is not to mention that it's still revenged by your average Scarfer anyway.

Just my 2c
 
I'm 100% against allowing Sand to be tested. As Kokoloko said, UU doesn't have a large enough playerbase to split up, so that's out of the picture. The only other option is to test Sand on the regular UU ladder, and that would completely ruin the near-perfect metagame we have right now.

My second point; why the fuck would you want to add something that is potentially broken into a metagame? This might be a stupid example, but it's like saying 'oh let's unban Gothitelle in UU just for shits and giggles. The metagame might be able to handle it.' Why would you want to test the limits of a near-perfect metagame? Why would you want to see if you can break it? It just doesn't make sense to test it. I don't know about you, but i'd like to spend my last few months of BWUU in peace, playing the same fun, versatile, and balanced tier, not playing a renamed OU with residual damage.
 

TPO3

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I'm 100% against allowing Sand to be tested. As Kokoloko said, UU doesn't have a large enough playerbase to split up, so that's out of the picture. The only other option is to test Sand on the regular UU ladder, and that would completely ruin the near-perfect metagame we have right now.

My second point; why the fuck would you want to add something that is potentially broken into a metagame? This might be a stupid example, but it's like saying 'oh let's unban Gothitelle in UU just for shits and giggles. The metagame might be able to handle it.' Why would you want to test the limits of a near-perfect metagame? Why would you want to see if you can break it? It just doesn't make sense to test it. I don't know about you, but i'd like to spend my last few months of BWUU in peace, playing the same fun, versatile, and balanced tier, not playing a renamed OU with residual damage.
There are a couple things I want to point out, I'm seeing plenty of arguments similar to this one. "The meta is fine atm let's not fix it" etc etc.

What's wrong with taking something for a test drive if it might result in a better metagame overall? Yeah, I get that the metagame is pretty damn good right now. There's balance, variation, and creativity among teams, but that doesn't mean it can't be better. Everybody is acting like if we take sand for a test drive then it's the fucking apocalypse and that immediately means it's unbanned and that the stable metagame is ruined for the rest of BW history. I think everybody is forgetting that it's just a test. If sand ends up being broken, then we just get rid of it, and enjoy the last few months of BWUU in peace. There's a difference between a test and outright unbanning something; some people (in general, nobody specifically) need to learn the difference.

I think it was Ace Emerald (could be wrong) who said earlier in this thread that we can theorymon about Sand all day, but until we test it we will never know how good it is. Look at hail, for example. Several people were against Hail being tested, and theorymoned that it would be broken because of the amount of Blizzard spammers able to run unchecked in the tier since there was no weather to counter it. Instead we tested it and it ended up with around 5% usage. Who says sand won't do the same? You can theorymon at me all you want, and yes, there's a very convincing argument based on theorymon that it will be broken. But until we put it into action we just don't know. If there's even the slightest chance that we can make the metagame more enjoyable, I don't know why there's even consideration of not trying it.

Ask anybody who played about DPP UU. I guarantee if that person has any sense at all, they will tell you the metagame was extremely balanced, extremely versatile, extremely (if not the most) enjoyable, and allowed for a ton of creativity. How did we reach that point of balance? Through suspect tests. Don't tell me it's because of the power creep from dpp-bw, it's because the people who ran DPP UU worked for years, testing all possibilities. Even in the very final stages (like we're in now) when we thought the tier was done, Heracross was tested, and ALMOST allowed to stay. (iirc, shot down by a 5-3 vote.) The metagame was very balanced before it dropped, and there was a large portion of players who thought it was balanced after it dropped. So why test what isn't broken? Because it's still possible to make it better.
 
As an UU player, I would like to see Sand being tested.
The main two reasons not to test, as I understand are :
- Ruining the stability of the metagame, that was very hard to establish, just a couple of months before the release of the new metagames. The ideal is to leave each metagame, and especially UU, as much stable and fun as it could be before the massive upgrade to XY.
- There cannot be a split meta, so for at least a month or so, the metagame will be somewhat ruined if the test isn't essential which it probably isn't.

Stable and Fun are two very different things. One is a lot more objective than the other but the consensus of fun in UU in the lack of massive weatherwars that exist in OU. If proving sand is a stable addition, so would fun be a more important factor than stability?

Assuming Sand, with or without Stoutland, will be tested, I want to add some possible threats/abusers.


Gigalith / Sand Force
- Stone Edge/Rock Blast
- Eq
- Iron Head/Heavy Slam

135 attack is no joke, with all this moves getting additional 33% boost. 85/130/70(+1) Defences are very much solid. Rock typing adds to the mutual weaknesses of the other sand abusers. 25 Speed can ensure attacking first if a teammate sets a Trick Room, thus making room for a sweep maybe.


Probopass / Sand Force
- Head Smash / Stone Edge / Power Gem
- Earth Power / Eq
- Flash Cannon / Iron Head

With merely 55 atk and 75 spa, probopass seems much less of a threat but with massive 60/145/150(+1) defences, it might perform well as a bulky attacker. Ofcourse, it's x4 shared weaknesses to Ground and Fighting with addition to other common weaknesses might cut his usage in sand.


Sand playstyle could also mimic Hail's and be stall based. Sand doesn't have a recovery ability like Ice Body and thus a stall abuser like Wallrein, and also a lot less pokemon take residual damage from Sand but it can perform the same job with having a lot more diversity. With hail, you're forced to result with Overcoaters, Regenarators and such.

Nidoqueen or Omastar can set up Toxic Spikes and Feroseed/Torterra could Leech Seed away. Rest of the team will need to cover each other weaknesses and have a way to deal with Ground/Rock/Steel types that won't take residual damage and with Steel/Poison/Flying/Levitaters that won't be affected/absorb the Toxic Spikes.
 
I am for Sand. Honestly, weather blows, but since we have hail, sand will balance it out. Hall is for stall, and the only way to counter hail is to use rain dance Kingdra. The residual damage is huge for Hail, and having blizzard and such is pretty good. Ice Body etc etc makes it favor stall, a fairly decent meta to play in; however, if sand is introduced, it will give hail a run for its money. Everyone is getting all wet about how weather wars will be introduced, but the weather inducers are THAT great without their ability. Please, use Abomasnow without Snow Warning.
There's no need to 'balance out' Hail, because as you said, it only has about 5% usage. It's not overpowered at all, so you shouldn't use it as an argument for bringing back Sand. Anyway, the reason why I don't want the test is because Sand has a very good potential to be broken. And since it has been previously stated that we can't divide the UU ladder, this scares me a whole lot. What if it is broken? Then we have to play one of our last months of BWUU in a shithole of residual damage, weather wars, and OU-like conditions. We will see the gem of the current metagame fall apart for a whole month just because someone wants to 'make it more fun'. I don't know about you, but I don't like the chances of losing an entire month of stability and near-perfection just to test something that was overpowered in the past. I know this has been said, but don't fix what isn't broken. There's no need to do this, just leave the metagame how it is and get excited for the new metagames coming out in a few months.
 
Assuming Sand, with or without Stoutland, will be tested, I want to add some possible threats/abusers.


Gigalith / Sand Force
- Stone Edge/Rock Blast
- Eq
- Iron Head/Heavy Slam

135 attack is no joke, with all this moves getting additional 33% boost. 85/130/70(+1) Defences are very much solid. Rock typing adds to the mutual weaknesses of the other sand abusers. 25 Speed can ensure attacking first if a teammate sets a Trick Room, thus making room for a sweep maybe.


Probopass / Sand Force
- Head Smash / Stone Edge / Power Gem
- Earth Power / Eq
- Flash Cannon / Iron Head

With merely 55 atk and 75 spa, probopass seems much less of a threat but with massive 60/145/150(+1) defences, it might perform well as a bulky attacker. Ofcourse, it's x4 shared weaknesses to Ground and Fighting with addition to other common weaknesses might cut his usage in sand.


Sand playstyle could also mimic Hail's and be stall based. Sand doesn't have a recovery ability like Ice Body and thus a stall abuser like Wallrein, and also a lot less pokemon take residual damage from Sand but it can perform the same job with having a lot more diversity. With hail, you're forced to result with Overcoaters, Regenarators and such.

Nidoqueen or Omastar can set up Toxic Spikes and Feroseed/Torterra could Leech Seed away. Rest of the team will need to cover each other weaknesses and have a way to deal with Ground/Rock/Steel types that won't take residual damage and with Steel/Poison/Flying/Levitaters that won't be affected/absorb the Toxic Spikes.
There are some interesting points here--let me give feedback:

1. The Gigalith set- use Explosion as the fourth move, or Stealth Rock. The former can bring a sweeper in freely, and the latter is great for any team to have.
2. Probopass- Why would you try abusing Sand Force? Probopass's defenses are incredible, even outside of sand, and it can Volt Switch too. Maybe something like Power Gem/Earth Power/Volt Switch/Toxic would better fit what it is built for.
3. Why would anybody use Torterra in BW2 UU when Torterra didn't get Sand Rush? I wish it did, but that obviously isn't going to happen unless XY gives it to it as a special ability. Use Amoonguss, which has Spore and Regenerator, and resists Water-type moves.
 

Pocket

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I am sorry, kokoloko, that you find me fucking annoying - I wish we can have some honest talk about this some day, if you're willing, because let it be known that it isn't my intention to offend you.

All I am proposing here that we should ban Stoutland and test Sand again. Significant events took place since the ban of sand last summer that have made this move justified; I am not merely and arbitrarily demanding re-tests for random BL mons "for the sake of change" (-__-). Whether the changes to the metagame due to this move being good or bad none of us can know until we test it. I do agree with TPO3 that some users here should stop acting as if I am unleashing this irreversible plague into UU. 1) It's reversible (it's only a test, and we can always re-ban it at any time after the test) and 2) again, nobody knows what the effect of sand would be in UU, so stop pretending that it will turn UU into a "weather meta."

As for the specifics as to how to test Sand - I didn't suggest anything. I merely proposed the concept of the test. I'll leave the test procedures up to you and the senators to decide, since you know above all what's best, and I'm looking forward to your instructions.
 

kokoloko

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I just had to delete 6 posts and ban someone so yeah I'm locking this for now. I obviously didn't get a chance to talk to the senators yet because something came up after work which prevented me from going on IRC. I will, though, so don't think I'm just locking this and ignoring the issue.
 

kokoloko

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Okay I've discussed it with as many people as I could yesterday, including Pocket, and this is what is going to happen:

Sand will be re-tested under the following premises:

1. It will not be done until after the final BW tier shift (which happens on July 1st). This erases any concerns about the test creating artificial drops into RU--which, despite it being a small risk, is still one I'm not willing to take.

2. It will be put on the back-burner. What I mean is it will not be done until we are 100% sure there is nothing else that needs to be suspected (whether it be out of some drops we get or random DW abilities getting released).

3. It will be done on a separate ladder. I'm not willing to pollute the standard ladder and alienate the part of the playerbase that plays UU because it's virtually weatherless.

4. We will be testing a metagame with Stoutland and one without. The order is yet to be decided.

I feel like I've forgotten something but I'll edit this post later if I did.
 
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