Gen 1 Smogon Staff vs The RBY Community

Following the decision of Smogon's staff to force the RBY council to exclude a broad swathe of the RBY community from having a say in the fate of their favourite format, it has become abundantly apparent that Smogon's staff care little for the needs of the RBY community, instead caring more about enforcing a monopoly on competitive pokemon and power play than actually supporting our community. As such, we as a community should take it upon ourselves to forge a new home, independent of Smogon and its toxic politics.

For those out of the loop (and because I'll be c/ping this elsewhere online), it was found that the move Counter could cause desyncs in a way that players have no control over. This obviously required a response, either to patch Counter or ban it, but the community did not come to a consensus, so it was decided that a vote would be held. The initial voter list was picked by the RBY council, who are themselves active members of the community and know what's going on. This list was then scrapped at the whims of Smogon higher-ups and a new one created in order to remove players that were mostly known for their involvement with Pokemon Perfect, another forum dedicated to competitive old gen tournaments, in particular RBY.

I want to make one thing clear from the outset- I have the utmost respect for the RBY council, and I am in no way blaming them for this atrocious decision. It is very clear that this decision was rammed down their throats by some aloof and out-of-touch admin(s). With that said, there can be no excusing this appalling decision. To my knowledge, there has been no point in the history of competitive pokemon where the competitive RBY community was confined to Smogon, and for most of the 10 years or so I've been involved with competitive pokemon, Smogon has made little or no effort to support RBY. Instead, that mantle was taken up first by RBY2K10, then by Pokemon Perfect, both of which became integral community hubs during their respective eras.

Despite this, Smogon has remained relevant by force of name, propped up by the sheer weight of numbers and its prestige in other areas- its tight relationship with the only relevant pokemon simulator further reinforces this. In recent years, RBY on Smogon has seen a small resurgence, in no small part due to many active members of Pokemon Perfect also seeking to help with Smogon, no doubt under the belief that it would help the community at large (this is worth coming back to), however, with RBY apparently being the preferred choice when axing formats from large tournaments, it's clear that this resurgence is swiftly petering out, and that site staff have no interest in supporting RBY in general

It is thus we arrive at the crux of our problem, and why the actions of smogon's staff in this matter are completely unacceptable. It's a decision that robs much of the regular RBY community of a voice, but with consequences that nonetheless threaten to be imposed on the community regardless, because if the community as a whole disagrees with it, there are few alternatives. Even for a community that isn't as closely tied to smogon as other generations, decisions made on smogon carry immense weight. Nowhere else in Smogon's tiering policy does it so blatantly ignore community feedback- no other past gen has as much of its community associated with other sites, making tiering decisions based on the votes of tournament players in those generations far less illegitimate. But even that is a sub-optimal compromise- current gen suspects of course have it much better, by giving everyone the opportunity to prove themselves worthy of being involved in the decision-making process.

That smogon staff are willing to suppress the voices of people who make names for themselves on other sites demonstrates that they don't care about our community, and are totally disconnected from the reality that the RBY community was built independently of smogon, and that it's only recently that the community became less distant from smogon. Instead this comes across as an attempt to suppress what they seem to view as competition from another site. This isn't an isolated case either- site staff routinely silence users who refer people to other sites, even in cases where doing so is relevant and appropriate, as opposed to a promotional thing, never mind the fact that involvement in multiple sites has always been commonplace in the RBY community. These actions reek of a competitive mentality being applied to community management, which is utterly absurd. Developing a community isn't a game to be won or lost, it's something where positive action leads to everybody benefiting- look no further than the numerous figures from Pokemon Perfect who've stepped up to help both there and on Smogon. That's not some battle being played out, that's something that's done to benefit everyone.

Suppressing other sites that seek to co-exist with Smogon by attempting to de-legitimise them is toxic to the community in general- as exemplified above, it stifles users that would otherwise seek to contribute and build a community. Furthermore, I'd argue that having a community that spans multiple sites is a positive thing- it allows multiple avenues for users to make names for themselves or find a spot in the community, rather than being seen as a scene dominated by exclusive cliques. All of this is to say that trying to stamp out other sites does more harm than good, as it alienates and disenfranchises much of the community, while doing nothing positive for regular users.

So where do we go from here? Well one option would be for smogon's brass to reverse course to try to mitigate the damage done and not alienate much of the RBY community. Stop meddling in the affairs of our format, and leave the fate of RBY to its community, free from the influence of smogon staff that have nothing to do with us and prioritise some sort of agenda over the fate of RBY. Is that likely to occur? Who knows? But it's not something I believe we should rely on. Based on these actions, it seems smogon's staff will continue attempting to deny the existence of other forums, insist that smogon is the only legitimate hub for any form of competitive pokemon, thus stifling other forums, while steadily withdrawing support for RBY. This spells an end to RBY's community, unless we take action. Our community is bigger than any one site, and we've survived without smogon's support before, there's no reason we can't do so again. If smogon won't stop meddling in RBY and imposing their supposed hegemony over our community, then we'll have to take things into our own hands and invest fully in non-smogon communities. Pokemon Perfect is an option, though you may be surprised to find it's not my top choice for RBY's new home- many RBYers will know the project I'm referring to, but if you don't, I'm happy to discuss privately. Establishing an independent home for RBY would be difficult due to the monolithic influence of smogon, but with concerted action it can be done

Please, let's take action to develop RBY, rather than leaving it to some out-of-touch staffers who have nothing to do with us and are content to let RBY start gathering dust.
 

Earthworm

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As far as I am aware, the tiering admins required the RBY Council to come up with more objective criteria to allow people to vote. I think taking this approach is well-intentioned, although I didn't initially like the way it was addressed. I was at least somewhat satisfied with the second list the RBY Council produced, which took into account recent participation in PP seasons as well as Smogon RBY tournament participation. The criteria required either being chosen to play RBY in a high level team tournament (e.g. SPL) or achieving good results in a solo tournament /season (RBY Cup, Global Championship, PP Player Rankings) within the last three years. This did take PP into account to some extent albeit probably not enough. edit: Apparently I didn't read the PR thread closely enough and this is inaccurate; they didn't end up using the PP data in the final criteria.

I assume the objective of producing a list in the first place is to ensure that only players who have a genuine interest in participating in RBY OU going forward can vote. As this vote is not based on competitive viability / judging how broken a game element is at all, it doesn't seem completely necessary to limit the vote to players who know what they are doing, but we don't necessarily want Atticus's dog voting to decide the fate of the tier either. So I think the way the new list was come to is not ideal personally and would have preferred some kind of more open participation method that makes the vote accessible to a wider portion of the player base. Allowing players to post the details of how they have participated in RBY in the past few years in a verifiable manner would probably be enough, and then the RBY Council could set some minimum requirement alternatives from there. I posted some of my thoughts in the Old Gens Council discord but as the tiering admins aren't in the server I doubt the relevant parties were aware of this.


Regardless of this, I don't think there is a need to frame this as "Smogon Staff vs The RBY Community". I don't think the Smogon Staff are out there trying to crush RBY, prevent people from participating, or overly restrict other communities as your post seems to suggest.


I'd like to invite my friend Hogg to post his thoughts on this.
 
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Plague von Karma

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I did air my thoughts out on Pokemon Perfect, but I feel I should make a post here.

I've followed the Policy Review thread ever since it was posted, and I feel that the handling of this issue has been atrocious. While I trust the Smogon staff to be in touch with the community, I feel there was a large blunder here. The RBY Community has a good few websites where it does its business and has a long history of hopping from place to place. I feel that this should have been taken into consideration in the first place when developing the requirements for this vote, and I believe it originally was before the staff intervened. I believe there is a large misunderstanding on both sides here, and while I'm very sure that the vote will be changed again once it's cleared up, it'll complicate the issue even more than it needed to be in the first place. The end justifies the means, I suppose. As long as it just finally gets done, that's all I care about personally.

It does beg the question though...I'm sorry if I sound uninformed here, but what is the policy on handling out-of-Smogon tournaments such as Pokemon Perfect's? I feel it should be reviewed given how this situation came about. Perhaps it could give us some understanding?

EDIT: So some digging turned up that PO Forums has historically been used alongside Smogon for credibility in the past. While the community was small and weaker on average, notable players would go between both communities. So, the results would be considered. The Pokemon Perfect exclusion seems even weirder with this under consideration, as it's almost solely inhabited by really good Gen 1 players. I'm still not sure if there's a policy in place for this, but there is history at the very least.
 
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Smogon has a tried and tested very successful method of policing things and the infrastructure here is wonderful, way more advanced than any of the RBY offshoot sites. Splitting off and giving up on these powerful resources seems like a very unnecessary thing to do. No one is being silenced by Smogon staff, we're just being asked to follow procedure - and they demand us to follow these procedures because they are good established ways of doing tiering.

I can agree to the idea that the criterias for voting should have been expanded to include PokemonPerfect results, sure, but this idea that somehow Smogon staff is holding our community back is nonsense. We're being held back by a lackadaisical council with no regards for proper policy or any sort of initiative, not by the Smogon infrastructure, which is miles better than the "let's gather in a town hall and vote by show of hands" alternatives that are being proposed here. Could we live with such methods? Yeah sure, but why should we give up on Smogon? There's no censorship from the site staff here, there's just a council that doesn't play by the rules and rightfully gets called out on it.

I guarantee you that IF an offshoot site were to pick up and IF they were to address all these pressing issues quickly and in a satisfying manner, it would not be because they're not held back by Smogon, it would be because they actually give a fuck about making stuff happen. I know a guy who gives a fuck about making stuff happen, has made stuff happen outside of Smogon for a few years now, and is back to try and make more new stuff happen again - RBYers probably know who I'm talking about. If the council cared to take initiative nearly as much as he does, we wouldn't be here discussing issues because they'd all already be taken care of.
 

Alumn

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I want a ladder suspect test for the Counter thing :swole::psyangry:

Edit: We all know that RBY ladder is a little bit dead because no one is really playing there (challenge someone or tour is way better). Making a ladder suspect would help revive the ladder and more people is doing oldgens content on YT so it would help them a lot too with instant battles (and no waiting 10 min for a 1300 elo ladder match)
 
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EDIT: So some digging turned up that PO Forums has historically been used alongside Smogon for credibility in the past. While the community was small and weaker on average, notable players would go between both communities. So, the results would be considered. The Pokemon Perfect exclusion seems even weirder with this under consideration, as it's almost solely inhabited by really good Gen 1 players. I'm still not sure if there's a policy in place for this, but there is history at the very least.
Interesting :smogthink:
 
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This is a very dramatic post and I feel like it doesn't need to be.

Hand-picked voter pools are bad. The council shouldn't be able to just go "here are players we think are good" without objective criteria, and I'm surprised that you can't understand why the Site Staff would feel that way. Its far too easy to miss people of comparable skill, or for someone with other intentions to sneak in a friend who probably shouldn't be on the list to sway the vote. I'm not saying that this happened here, but the Site Staff need to have a system in place in order to prevent that happening.

Counting tournament results on off-site is also slippery. I think a lot of people see this purely from the point of view that "Smogon is a dictatorship and wants everyone to use their site", but I think its more that you also lose the ability to stay objective when you consider results from off-site. We'd all agree that top-X from PP tours have enough metagame knowledge to have a say on Counter, but where does that stop? (edit: according to replies on your post on PP, that forum actually no longer considers itself a great home for RBY anymore anyway?) Are there top RBY players that aren't on Smogon or PP and do we have a duty to scour Marriland, Serebii, PokemonOnline RBY tours for other top players? How do we know those tournaments are held to the same standard that we hold our own Tournament Directors to? Saying it should be Smogon+PP voting only is incredibly subjective and I can understand why Site Staff are hesitant to go down that route. Ultimately this is a Smogon tiering system, the best way to keep everything balanced from the eyes of the higher ups would be to draw out strict voting criteria based on performances in Smogon tournaments, and I don't think you can really fault them for that opinion.

That said, I have full sympathy with the players over on Pokemon Perfect who are truly skilled and passionate about the game but were cut out from having a say. Its far too easy to say "well if you wanted to vote, just be active on Smogon then" but that also misses the point that RBY hasn't been voted on in eons so there's been no real need to be active here until now. The counter post went up a few weeks ago, and its been impossible to actually earn voting reqs in that narrow timeframe.

As Alumn said, best way to move forward on this, and maybe the best way moving forward for several old gens, would be to have auto-voting earnt by the top tournament players as has been done so far, but also just set up a way of earning reqs through the ladder. This at least acknowledges the fact that past gens have dedicated communities off Smogon, but that its difficult to include their tour results whilst maintaining objectivity.
 
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Plague von Karma

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As Alumn said, best way to move forward on this, and maybe the best way moving forward for several old gens, would be to have auto-voting earnt by the top tournament players as has been done so far, but also just set up a way of earning reqs through the ladder. This at least acknowledges the fact that past gens have dedicated communities off Smogon, but that its difficult to include their tour results whilst maintaining objectivity.
I really like this idea from a long-term perspective, especially considering the fact that RBY gets almost no big tournaments on Smogon anymore. This would theoretically solve the problem.

However, it also feels like it's masking the problem that led to this, and that's the lack of tournaments for RBY on-site. The kind of "culture shock" that the RBY Community is experiencing is how many notable players were axed due to their smaller results pool on Smogon. But, if you look at their Pokemon Perfect history, it's quite extensive. I understand your perspective that off-site tourneys are dubious in credibility, but at the same time, there's very little RBY tournaments here. I feel it's difficult to work with such a small results pool while remaining objective as well, and that's exactly what happened. Some of the players listed for voting aren't even that active on the community anymore.

So while ladder reqs would help the issue, it also doesn't directly tackle what led to it in the first place. I feel this may require a bit more work. I will say it's absolutely a step in the right direction, though.
 
I feel that the criteria used was bad which is part of the reason why posts like this are being made.

One can definitely point to examples of players who did not get onto the list such as Alpha Male Psyduck who are heavily entrenched into the RBY community but haven't played many of the Smogon Tournaments whilst also pointing to several players who are on the list who are not invested in RBY in any meaningful way but are rather just generally good pokemon players who have happened to gotten results due to their general skill. I think these are lesser examples to show why the criteria is flawed. Ultimately no list based on an arbitrary criteria is going to be perfect so you cannot blame a few exclusions/inclusions as evidence for poor criteria.

What really shows it is when you go down the list. Lets imagine for a second that Lusch and Roudolf did not play in SPL 2018, a tournament that took place over 2 years ago. They would not be on the list. Think about that for a second, then you realise what a joke this criterion is. It should include Pokemon Perfect accomplishments and investment in RBY in general, not just investment in RBY on Smogon. The RBY community has made pretty significant efforts to actually integrate more onto Smogon and it is shit like that makes sites like Pokemon Perfect the place to play RBY OU Tournaments (and there have been others in the past).

Some people have argued that RBY tours on Pokemon Perfect are dubious in credibility. I'd argue that RBY tours not on Pokemon Perfect other than SPL are dubious in credibility. I mean, the criteria has ROAPL on it, come on guys, I've played in that once for RBY and a lot of people were just memeing and not taking it seriously.

I think Smogon has made big steps fwiw, but yea this isn't the smartest decision.
 

Plague von Karma

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What really shows it is when you go down the list. Lets imagine for a second that Lusch and Roudolf did not play in SPL 2018, a tournament that took place over 2 years ago. They would not be on the list. Think about that for a second, then you realise what a joke this criterion is.
This is more important than people think, and illustrates my point about the sheer lack of tournaments causing the list to fail.

There is, and always has been, at least some demand for RBY Tournaments. Otherwise, Pokemon Perfect wouldn't have hosted them for years. It's obvious, right? It wouldn't have been a successful forum otherwise. Surely you all understand this. While it's certainly been declining these days, I feel that is irrelevant considering the years of tournaments that the Smogon staff had to look at. The gradual decline of Pokemon Perfect is due to many factors, none of which are related to tournaments. This is why RBY 2k20 is happening, and all the big players have been flocking there in preparation for something better.

The Tiering staff absolutely knew about the lack of RBY Tournaments on Smogon - this is common knowledge - but chose to use solely Smogon as the criteria for qualification. As a result, years-gone tournaments had to be used. A lot changes in a few years; this is why some inactive players got put on the list. The insistence on slowly axing RBY from active tournaments on Smogon feels very wrong; why not rotate the attention on formats every so often or something if it's that necessary? There shouldn't be such a massive drought, especially when there's such a dedicated community. Otherwise, things like this happen. It's gross mismanagement.

I completely understand peng's points about objectivity, and that using outside websites can mean a wild goose chase for other results elsewhere. However, when you have so few tournaments to choose from, what happens here? I can understand that participating in Smogon Tournaments implies investment in topics such as voting on format issues, but if you can't even get tournaments to participate in and show your dedication and skill, what are we supposed to expect from the playerbase? There's so few used here, hell I'm sure at least a few players lost their qualifications due to being busy on an important day for this or something. Some of these excluded players are extremely good players, and the ones Ika Ika Musume mentioned are incredible: they just barely got in. This all comes back to a loss of objectivity in the criteria, solely due to a lack of good data. As a result, the criteria is out of touch. There is no winning here, no matter what you choose, it's a bad situation.

I feel that given PO Forums has history of being used (I have noticed it get used all the way into BW RU in its heyday), there isn't a reason why Pokemon Perfect can't either. Both of these have been very close to Smogon's community, and I don't think it would be abnormal or contribute to a "slippery slope" given that factor.

I seriously want everyone to take in the quote for a moment, though. It's very important.
 
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This rant is nonsense, let me say beforehand that i was on board with the handpicking and took part of it. When the greater council stepped in to change that, i couldn't disagree with them. Everyone who's threating this as if smogon is globally changing "rby" is plain wrong. Smogon is tiering smogon's rby, and any other site is free to play their own rby, make their own servers and do whatever they want. The fact that smogon holds the only simulator doesn't change anything. I wanted pp guys to vote, but it would be delusional to state that they deserve to decide on smogon's rby, because they can make pp's rby (and if they don't, it's not smogon's fault). This is smogon, you don't like it? It's perfectly reasonable for you not to, make your own server and do things your way. There is no obligation for smogon to care about pp or anything else, as it should be. And i mean, i don't even care about smogon either, i just pop up when there are team tours twice per year, it's just plain logic from a neutral guy.
 
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Hogg

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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 of 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.
 

Plague von Karma

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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.
Thank you for clearing this part up, Hogg. It was bothering me for a while and I greatly appreciate the transparency. While I won't argue, my personal stance is this: if a website focuses on a Smogon format and has a large participation rate, it should at least have some considerations made for it. Perhaps it could be on a case-by-case basis, but that may be a bit more trouble than it's worth, and only complicates the process further.
 
This rant is nonsense, let me say beforehand that i was on board with the handpicking and took part of it. When the greater council stepped in to change that, i couldn't disagree with them. Everyone who's threating this as if smogon is globally changing "rby" is plain wrong. Smogon is tiering smogon's rby, and any other site is free to play their own rby, make their own servers and do whatever they want. The fact that smogon holds the only simulator doesn't change anything. I wanted pp guys to vote, but it would be delusional to state that they deserve to decide on smogon's rby, because they can make pp's rby (and if they don't, it's not smogon's fault). This is smogon, you don't like it? It's perfectly reasonable for you not to, make your own server and do things your way. There is no obligation for smogon to care about pp or anything else, as it should be. And i mean, i don't even care about smogon either, i just pop up when there are team tours twice per year, it's just plain logic from a neutral guy.
Ok, so I think this is a really myopic take and a large part of the reason I felt the need to be sensationalist. Do you really believe that if another site supported a ruleset that diverged from Smogon's that it would actually be viable and gain significant support? I think it's theoretically possible, but incredibly unlikely to succeed- how would such a format have a future when the largest competitive pokemon site in existence is telling (new) players the rules are something different? In that way, Smogon's policy decisions are almost required to be enforced by other sites. It is subsequently unacceptable that policy-makers would deliberately ignore significant portions of the community, when they can't help but have a stake in the outcome of the decision
This is a very dramatic post and I feel like it doesn't need to be.

Hand-picked voter pools are bad. The council shouldn't be able to just go "here are players we think are good" without objective criteria, and I'm surprised that you can't understand why the Site Staff would feel that way. Its far too easy to miss people of comparable skill, or for someone with other intentions to sneak in a friend who probably shouldn't be on the list to sway the vote. I'm not saying that this happened here, but the Site Staff need to have a system in place in order to prevent that happening.

Counting tournament results on off-site is also slippery. I think a lot of people see this purely from the point of view that "Smogon is a dictatorship and wants everyone to use their site", but I think its more that you also lose the ability to stay objective when you consider results from off-site. We'd all agree that top-X from PP tours have enough metagame knowledge to have a say on Counter, but where does that stop? (edit: according to replies on your post on PP, that forum actually no longer considers itself a great home for RBY anymore anyway?) Are there top RBY players that aren't on Smogon or PP and do we have a duty to scour Marriland, Serebii, PokemonOnline RBY tours for other top players? How do we know those tournaments are held to the same standard that we hold our own Tournament Directors to? Saying it should be Smogon+PP voting only is incredibly subjective and I can understand why Site Staff are hesitant to go down that route. Ultimately this is a Smogon tiering system, the best way to keep everything balanced from the eyes of the higher ups would be to draw out strict voting criteria based on performances in Smogon tournaments, and I don't think you can really fault them for that opinion.

That said, I have full sympathy with the players over on Pokemon Perfect who are truly skilled and passionate about the game but were cut out from having a say. Its far too easy to say "well if you wanted to vote, just be active on Smogon then" but that also misses the point that RBY hasn't been voted on in eons so there's been no real need to be active here until now. The counter post went up a few weeks ago, and its been impossible to actually earn voting reqs in that narrow timeframe.

As Alumn said, best way to move forward on this, and maybe the best way moving forward for several old gens, would be to have auto-voting earnt by the top tournament players as has been done so far, but also just set up a way of earning reqs through the ladder. This at least acknowledges the fact that past gens have dedicated communities off Smogon, but that its difficult to include their tour results whilst maintaining objectivity.
I think you raise a lot of good points regarding the process of earning reqs. I can also agree regarding hand-picking voter pools, however based on Peasounay's post, there was some peer review involved, which I think goes a looooong way in mitigating their awfulness. The main objection I have to your post is that I don't believe counting external sites is a slippery slope. The key difference is that you characterise it as a proactive process whereby we scour random other sites to find potential voters. I think that this is very different from the case of Pokemon Perfect, which is an already established and significant part of the community, whose members have proven themselves to be capable players and heavily invested in their format and the community as a whole. This description can be applied to most of PP's active RBY community, in contrast to your depiction of combing through sites for worthy individuals

Frankly, I'm not aware of any of these other sites having any significant impact on the competitive community. Not to mention that competitive RBY is a unique case in that the community was built almost entirely independently of smogon, which can't be said of any other format that isn't an official Nintendo format. If theoretically any of these other sites became relevant, I believe then it would be a discussion worth having, but that hasn't happened and I'm not aware of any indication that this might ever occur. If you argued that this is still a subjective judgment, I wouldn't disagree, but I think the differences between PP and its comparables are stark enough that this should be overlooked, as I believe the case would nonetheless be sufficiently well-founded. I don't think you can ever remove subjectivity from community management entirely.

=====================

Anyway, I'm getting a headache so I might come back to post more on this at a later date, but I suppose I must address the elephant in the OP- the assertion that smogon staff are taking these actions with the intent of stifling other communities. I'm not going to bother defending the assertion that this is their intent, although it did feel like that was what was being done. However, I believe that this kind of action as well as my previous experiences discussing or referring to Pokemon Perfect on this site is in no way inconsistent with that intent, and I believe could potentially have that same effect. The reason I think that assertion is not worth defending is because there are far more plausible thought processes that were likely in play, and because it's an excruciatingly absurdly cynical position in the first place, but again, I don't think it's technically inconsistent with the actions that I've observed

Also I think the people pointing out that the metric used was terrible have a really strong point. I also think that pinning the choice of metric mostly on the rby council may be a little unfair, as to use a new metric would've required new ideas that defied established convention, and it's hard to imagine these circumstances fostered that kind of approach

Sorry for not fully responding
 
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Having done some more reading, I feel even more strongly that Pokemon Perfect tournament results should not contribute to Smogon tiering policy.

I think what is particularly interesting about this is that yourself and Disaster Area, who have been most vocal about the lack of support for Pokemon Perfect tournaments when considering voter pools, spent 2015-2019 using that site to establish your own tiering system for generations 1-6 (https://www.pokemonperfect.com/forums/index.php?forums/tiers.13/). You've attempted to frame this argument as "we just started a second site to play RBY OU and Smogon is trying to shut us down" but very clearly this is not true - it seems a large part of Pokemon Perfect's philosophy is based on the fact that they are not chained to Smogon's tiering policy, and you have used this in order to try and generate a competing tiering system. I am very confused that you're now turning around and claiming that Smogon staff are alienating the Pokemon Perfect playerbase, when it looks like for much of the last 5 years, you've been out the door anyway?

Disaster Area, again very outspoken about how Pokemon Perfect should be considered by Smogon when making tiering decisions, has previously said of Pokemon Perfect tiers "its not like Smogon doesn't exist if you want to play Smogon". (https://www.pokemonperfect.com/forums/index.php?threads/official-tiering-philosophy.4290/#post-21346) Clearly, he doesn't feel as though Smogon should have an influence on Pokemon Perfect's tiering system, but that his tournament results should influence Smogon's? It is interesting that when Troller mimics this exact phrase but in reverse, suddenly you disagree with it?

So ask yourself this question - should Smogon show official support for tournaments held on a site that has been actively attempting to undermine Smogon tiering with its own tiering system up until a year ago? From my, and I suspect many others' point of view, as soon as you attempted to distance yourself from Smogon's tiering and make your own for Gens 1-6, the chances that your tournament results would be officially considered by anyone on Smogon hit zero. In this case, I fail to see why Smogon staff would want to count tournament results from a site that 1) partially serves as a home for banned Smogon users and 2) has actively sought to compete with Smogon's own tiering philosophy.

I want to make it absolutely clear that I have nothing personal against any individual member of Pokemon Perfect - you, Disaster Area, anyone. But although you play Smogon's RBY OU (despite historically being named 1U for your own tiering) over there, in just about every other aspect, your home has tried to distance itself from Smogon as much as possible, going so far as to try adopting its own tiering approach. I think that RBY on Smogon is clearly very limited and using Smogon tournament results has generated an insufficient voter pool, and that Site Staff should consider other criteria to expand the pool. The noticeable absence of several high-profile players (who happen to be active on Pokemon Perfect) is clear evidence that new criteria should be introduced. But I firmly disagree with any claim that Smogon should be officially endorsing tournament results from a site that has actively attempted to compete with its old gen tiering and poach their playerbase.

edit: actually even in RBY, which I thought was identical between the two sites, you have Psywave banned whereas it is not officially on Smogon. Again, it is interesting that Pokemon Perfect feels it acceptable to make decisions regarding desyncs for their own ruleset, but insists that Smogon cannot make its own changes without hearing the voices of the Pokemon Perfect playerbase?
 
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I definitely agree with quite a lot being said here. I too believe it is true that some of these sites did/do, at least originally, aim to create a community for a scene that was neglected on Smogon outside of Smogon. I would also say that there definitely does exist some malice, for valid or invalid reasons towards Smogon on these sites and that dates back before PP and will undoubtedly continue to these future offshoots such as RBY2K20. I can definitely understand that, I do hold some dislike for certain people on this site, but I think Smogon itself isn't generally to blame for the silly actions of individuals. Pokemon Perfect has actually, for whatever its intent, achieved the opposite of what you are claiming. It has brought top RBY players to Smogon Tournaments such as SPL and increased the overall level of the Smogon RBY playerbase. The difference between the resources for RBY and the players participating in RBY tournaments from 2018 to 2020 that I got to tangibly see in my own playing career of RBY is huge, due in part from players who originally refused to play on Smogon actually playing and contributing to the platform.

There is also something really significant that you do not mention that actually makes Smogon different from a tier made on Pokemon Perfect or anywhere else and I've been saying this for a while. If Disaster Area, or anyone, wants to create their own tier and mess around with it, that is fine with me. I've played their lower tiers a few times for fun, but I do not take them with any seriously. I've never played RBY 1U, I understand it exists as a tier and I essentially follow that ruleset since I never use Psywave and the like, but every semi-serious tournament I have played on any site follows the Smogon RBY OU ruleset. This is because of Pokemon Showdown being the Premier battle simulator and implementing Smogon rules and nearly every tournament being played on PS. It does not implement Disaster Area or Ortheores rules or my rules. Rather than thinking of it as Smogons tiering alone, think of this as how the mechanic will appear on Pokemon Showdown. I do not believe you need to play on Smogon Tournaments to be invested in how RBY is presented on Pokemon Showdown, as whilst the two sites are interlinked, they are not the same thing.

Ultimately, I'm at least personally not too militant about this. If it was up to me, I'd think it would make logical sense to include PP rather than ignoring it as some bogeyman, but I'm okay either ways. It does just seem a shame since the handpicked list seems a lot better than the current one at least from my eyes.
 
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Plague von Karma

Diolch am eich amser!
is a Community Contributoris a Pokemon Researcher
There's a lot of odd stuff here.
Having done some more reading, I feel even more strongly that Pokemon Perfect tournament results should not contribute to Smogon tiering policy.

I think what is particularly interesting about this is that yourself and Disaster Area, who have been most vocal about the lack of support for Pokemon Perfect tournaments when considering voter pools, spent 2015-2019 using that site to establish your own tiering system for generations 1-6 (https://www.pokemonperfect.com/forums/index.php?forums/tiers.13/). You've attempted to frame this argument as "we just started a second site to play RBY OU and Smogon is trying to shut us down" but very clearly this is not true - it seems a large part of Pokemon Perfect's philosophy is based on the fact that they are not chained to Smogon's tiering policy, and you have used this in order to try and generate a competing tiering system. I am very confused that you're now turning around and claiming that Smogon staff are alienating the Pokemon Perfect playerbase, when it looks like for much of the last 5 years, you've been out the door anyway?

Disaster Area, again very outspoken about how Pokemon Perfect should be considered by Smogon when making tiering decisions, has previously said of Pokemon Perfect tiers "its not like Smogon doesn't exist if you want to play Smogon". (https://www.pokemonperfect.com/forums/index.php?threads/official-tiering-philosophy.4290/#post-21346) Clearly, he doesn't feel as though Smogon should have an influence on Pokemon Perfect's tiering system, but that his tournament results should influence Smogon's? It is interesting that when Troller mimics this exact phrase but in reverse, suddenly you disagree with it?
I don't understand why two outspoken members of a forum should dictate whether or not said forum should be part of tiering policy. Disaster Area has been banned from the Smogon forums for quite a while if I recall correctly. Just try to look at his profile that I linked. While I have immense respect for his contributions to the community, given his ban, why would his voice matter so much on this topic? He's not even staffed on Pokemon Perfect (unless he was in the past and I'm missing something big, but even then, he's banned so...idk?). It seems if anything you're trying to undermine the whole argument with the opinions of two. This isn't about Disaster Area and Ortheore, this is about whether Smogon should expand its horizons in regards to wider community support on voting. I would also strongly advise against using quotes from 3 years ago. I won't speak for Disaster Area, but it goes without saying that opinions change. And going by the website's changes since then, it appears the opinions have in fact changed.

So ask yourself this question - should Smogon show official support for tournaments held on a site that has been actively attempting to undermine Smogon tiering with its own tiering system up until a year ago? From my, and I suspect many others' point of view, as soon as you attempted to distance yourself from Smogon's tiering and make your own for Gens 1-6, the chances that your tournament results would be officially considered by anyone on Smogon hit zero. In this case, I fail to see why Smogon staff would want to count tournament results from a site that 1) partially serves as a home for banned Smogon users and 2) has actively sought to compete with Smogon's own tiering philosophy.
Why should a website that has users banned dictate whether another should ban them there too? That feels a bit much. Unless there's something they've done that is extreme (which I don't know of, I will admit this), I do not see why they should be auto-banned. I don't even know how this could remotely be enforced as well, as it's subject to the staff's knowledge. Let's a minor user out there - let's call em Zardmain302 - was banned on Smogon in a day, and went to Pokemon Perfect 3 months later. I highly, highly doubt the Pokemon Perfect staff would even remember their name if they were notified. The amount of work one would need to do to enforce something like that is absurd.

The idea that Pokemon Perfect undermined anything relating to Smogon's tiering is questionable to me as well. How did they if they actively support Smogon play? Smogon's tiering system, while among the best out there, is not the only one. Does this mean that any other tiering system undermines Smogon's? Of course not. The only thing I would agree with you on regarding this topic is the naming conventions. Changing the name to 1U, etc, is definitely not points in their favour, you could call that a ripoff. Personally, if I were to make a different tiering system, I would go with something like Tier 1, Tier 2, etc. But anyway, that's not what this is about.

A big thing I think you missed is the fact that the tiers you pointed out are not at the site's forefront. You can see, right here, that RBY OU is supported by Pokemon Perfect and on the front page. You have to actively look for their alternative tiering system. In fact, it's in an archived section (that you can message for some reason..?). I don't really see the whole argument here. Why should a separate tiering system run by the website mean they should be discredited, especially if it isn't on the front page? It's legit hard to find. I think you're misrepresenting this a bit. I feel that there was no direct competition here. Offering an alternative is inherent competition, but I don't think this was active competition.

I want to make it absolutely clear that I have nothing personal against any individual member of Pokemon Perfect - you, Disaster Area, anyone. But although you play Smogon's RBY OU (despite historically being named 1U for your own tiering) over there, in just about every other aspect, your home has tried to distance itself from Smogon as much as possible, going so far as to try adopting its own tiering approach. I think that RBY on Smogon is clearly very limited and using Smogon tournament results has generated an insufficient voter pool, and that Site Staff should consider other criteria to expand the pool. The noticeable absence of several high-profile players (who happen to be active on Pokemon Perfect) is clear evidence that new criteria should be introduced. But I firmly disagree with any claim that Smogon should be officially endorsing tournament results from a site that has actively attempted to compete with its old gen tiering and poach their playerbase.
One of the reasons Pokemon Perfect was made was to supplement the lack of active support from Smogon. I have to say, if Smogon made more active efforts to support RBY, the website would not have been seen as necessary by players. Thus, there would be no ""poaching"". I do not see why something that is partially a result of Smogon's own shortcomings should be looked down on like this. Given the support they have provided Smogon on their website - active support I might add - I think this is ok. More tourneys for RBY has been something the playerbase has wanted for ages, and PP provided it.

Let's look at a player such as SaDiSTiCNarwhal. Their trophies are mostly OU and Ubers; Smogon tiering conventions. Then we see Disaster Area, who has a large mix of Smogon and PP trophies. Different players have different tastes. I feel this shows that if anything, PP has a variety of tournaments and participants, who will go to Smogon if they prefer it, and PP if they do not. This is natural. They provide options.

I do not see how Pokemon Perfect has distanced itself from Smogon when it has actively provided support for years. The result of adding new criteria should be simple: if a website has tournaments with a high participation rate, regardless of personal stigma, they should be allowed for objectivity. If going on some wild goose chase to find results is difficult, make it an opt-in system for websites. This would, theoretically, make the process easier.

edit: actually even in RBY, which I thought was identical between the two sites, you have Psywave banned whereas it is not officially on Smogon. Again, it is interesting that Pokemon Perfect feels it acceptable to make decisions regarding desyncs for their own ruleset, but insists that Smogon cannot make its own changes without hearing the voices of the Pokemon Perfect playerbase?
From my prior points, I believe this doesn't require much explanation. If it's insufficient, I would happily explain.
 

Lutra

Spreadsheeter by day, Random Ladderer by night.
is a Community Leaderis a Community Contributor
RoA Leader
Changing the name to 1U, etc, is definitely not points in their favour, you could call that a ripoff. Personally, if I were to make a different tiering system, I would go with something like Tier 1, Tier 2, etc. But anyway, that's not what this is about.
I’ll explain since some people are misunderstanding. 1U is OU, 2U is UU, 3U is UUU (UnderUU) etc. It’s to prevent ambiguity of what level RU or NU is at. Tier 1, 2 etc. is missing the point because the letters have meaning. A is anything goes or alpha, and P is the tier with all available pokemon for that tier level. U is the used or universal (balanced) tier. It is nomenclature that is compatible with Smogon tiers.

The point of the re-tiering (which 1U doesn’t necessarily indicate) was to not start off with a list of ubers banned without assessing them first.

You could call it a different tier philosophy, or system etc., but on this very site, there’s pure hackmons and balanced hackmons. If you are balancing from Hackmons AG, surely you should go to Hackmons Ubers and then Hackmons OU? This seems more of a difference than the re-tiering.
 

Zarel

Not a Yuyuko fan
is a member of the Site Staffis a Battle Simulator Administratoris a Programmeris a Pokemon Researcheris an Administrator
Creator of PS
This is because of Pokemon Showdown being the Premier battle simulator and implementing Smogon rules and nearly every tournament being played on PS. It does not implement Disaster Area or Ortheores rules or my rules. Rather than thinking of it as Smogons tiering alone, think of this as how the mechanic will appear on Pokemon Showdown. I do not believe you need to play on Smogon Tournaments to be invested in how RBY is presented on Pokemon Showdown, as whilst the two sites are interlinked, they are not the same thing.
People have mentioned PS a few times and I've thought about speaking up a few times, but this is the point where I think something needs to be corrected.

PS is very carefully designed so the barriers to creating your own community is as low as possible. The official server is owned by Smogon, but that's only a very small bias towards Smogon.

We allow group chats, private rooms, tournaments with custom rules, other registered servers... (And we did in fact register a server for PP, it's owned by Lutra.) And our custom rule syntax is designed to be easy to understand so you don't need to be a programmer:

https://github.com/smogon/pokemon-showdown/blob/master/config/CUSTOM-RULES.md

But the point is, it's all there, as many tools as you need to build your own community. We encourage that! A lot of the code is built around flexibility so other servers can customize it for their own purposes.
 
Having done some more reading, I feel even more strongly that Pokemon Perfect tournament results should not contribute to Smogon tiering policy.

I think what is particularly interesting about this is that yourself and Disaster Area, who have been most vocal about the lack of support for Pokemon Perfect tournaments when considering voter pools, spent 2015-2019 using that site to establish your own tiering system for generations 1-6 (https://www.pokemonperfect.com/forums/index.php?forums/tiers.13/). You've attempted to frame this argument as "we just started a second site to play RBY OU and Smogon is trying to shut us down" but very clearly this is not true - it seems a large part of Pokemon Perfect's philosophy is based on the fact that they are not chained to Smogon's tiering policy, and you have used this in order to try and generate a competing tiering system. I am very confused that you're now turning around and claiming that Smogon staff are alienating the Pokemon Perfect playerbase, when it looks like for much of the last 5 years, you've been out the door anyway?

Disaster Area, again very outspoken about how Pokemon Perfect should be considered by Smogon when making tiering decisions, has previously said of Pokemon Perfect tiers "its not like Smogon doesn't exist if you want to play Smogon". (https://www.pokemonperfect.com/forums/index.php?threads/official-tiering-philosophy.4290/#post-21346) Clearly, he doesn't feel as though Smogon should have an influence on Pokemon Perfect's tiering system, but that his tournament results should influence Smogon's? It is interesting that when Troller mimics this exact phrase but in reverse, suddenly you disagree with it?

So ask yourself this question - should Smogon show official support for tournaments held on a site that has been actively attempting to undermine Smogon tiering with its own tiering system up until a year ago? From my, and I suspect many others' point of view, as soon as you attempted to distance yourself from Smogon's tiering and make your own for Gens 1-6, the chances that your tournament results would be officially considered by anyone on Smogon hit zero. In this case, I fail to see why Smogon staff would want to count tournament results from a site that 1) partially serves as a home for banned Smogon users and 2) has actively sought to compete with Smogon's own tiering philosophy.

I want to make it absolutely clear that I have nothing personal against any individual member of Pokemon Perfect - you, Disaster Area, anyone. But although you play Smogon's RBY OU (despite historically being named 1U for your own tiering) over there, in just about every other aspect, your home has tried to distance itself from Smogon as much as possible, going so far as to try adopting its own tiering approach. I think that RBY on Smogon is clearly very limited and using Smogon tournament results has generated an insufficient voter pool, and that Site Staff should consider other criteria to expand the pool. The noticeable absence of several high-profile players (who happen to be active on Pokemon Perfect) is clear evidence that new criteria should be introduced. But I firmly disagree with any claim that Smogon should be officially endorsing tournament results from a site that has actively attempted to compete with its old gen tiering and poach their playerbase.

edit: actually even in RBY, which I thought was identical between the two sites, you have Psywave banned whereas it is not officially on Smogon. Again, it is interesting that Pokemon Perfect feels it acceptable to make decisions regarding desyncs for their own ruleset, but insists that Smogon cannot make its own changes without hearing the voices of the Pokemon Perfect playerbase?
Psywave is a poor example imo, since it's so irrelevant I didn't even realise there was a difference between communities, and furthermore I'm reasonably confident that was a decision made in an era where RBY on smogon was incredibly undeveloped. For years no-one did anything about rby on smogon- no-one addressed any ruleset issues that arose, no-one discussed the tier, and resources such as analyses and VR were consistently outdated and inaccurate. In such an environment, why wouldn't we take initiative and resolve issues that arose?

Similarly, when we started our tiering project for rby, it was done purely to experiment with lower tiers that literally didn't exist on smogon at the time. As for the other generations, it was basically just an experiment to explore the results of a differing ideology. You'll also note that at no point did any of our tiering projects grow to the point where it could be described as a sizable portion of our community, and I'm not going to argue that this subset of our community deserves extra recognition or anything.

The real issue I have with the criticism of myself and DA explicitly trying to differentiate PP from Smogon is that your reasoning that a community should consistently follow smogon doctrine is incredibly stifling. If merely attempting to do something different from smogon is enough that any common ground is meaningless, then that's a situation that implies that other sites should become some sort of smogon-lite, which greatly diminishes their viability of the community as a whole, and of their potential to test and explore new ideas. Barring a major community from decision-making because staff and a minority of their players tried something different is grossly unfair. Likewise, I don't think anyone's arguing that participating in say, ORAS 1U, should give any rights for pretty much anything on smogon, because it doesn't make sense, that doesn't translate in any way. Our tiering projects were (thankfully) independent from our support for old gen ou, and I think it's unreasonable to pretend otherwise

I will admit that we did say stuff to try to distance ourselves from smogon, but for me personally, that was largely because I felt that we needed to maximise the ways in which we differentiated ourselves from smogon because I felt that the alternative seemed like little more than a tournament proxy for smogon- things like tiering and our own resource projects I saw as ways to fuel discussion and do more things than just tournaments. Furthermore, although myself and DA were previously staff members of PP, we were ultimately just two individuals- for years now we've had multiple people contributing to both communities.

=======
Honestly I have surprisingly little to respond to in Hogg's post, since it seems to be focused primarily on explaining what happened in getting us to this point on a largely factual basis, most of which I can't really comment on since I don't know myself what went on behind the scenes. On that note, I think debating the practical significance of excluding PP in this instance is heavily metric-dependent, however in principle I think it bears a far greater significance.

Obviously though, I adamantly disagree with where you choose to draw the boundaries of what constitutes a community, especially in this case where it's standard for people to casually flit back and forth between sites. In that sense I'd argue that many people on PP have already proven themselves "active and engaged in the community", even if this activity skews more towards one site than the other. Not to mention that tournament activity might work for evaluating competence, but not activity or engagement. And, obviously, I believe in reciprocating this- I think in general, PP's tiering efforts have had minimal barriers to entry, but the process was so much less formalised that a comparison might not be quite as useful

The ironic thing is that I personally thought an executive decision could've been made for the Counter desync problem, but it somehow became a contentious enough issue that a community vote was something of a pragmatic compromise. I am curious as to potential research into desyncs, as Peasounay mentioned offhandedly that their anecdotal experience was that it's far more common than we know about, and a while back someone else posted on PP something along those lines, so maybe there's a fire behind all that smoke.
 
If the council does decide to patch counter instead of ban it, can we request to fix all the other game issues, like focus energy too? Or is there some unspoken rule that we’re only allowed to keep unfaithful mechanics if we didn’t know about them at the start?

If counter gets patched, we need to ask ourselves at what point do we acknowledge that the game is now a mod an no longer a faithful recreation of cartridge mechanics.

If counter gets patched, we’ll have freeze and sleep clause, the counter patch, and perfect DVs. These mods all significantly deviate the Showdown meta from what a real cartridge meta would be.

If most people want the official OU to be a mod that picks and chooses what gets fixed and what doesn’t based on when it was discovered, that’s fine, but could we look into the possibility then of making a separate game mode for real RBY. Maybe keep the mod called RBY OU, and real RBY as RBY Cartridge or something.

Of course the other option is to just make Stadium the official meta, seeing as that’s basically the meta the designers intended to have once they removed all the glitches.
 

Plague von Karma

Diolch am eich amser!
is a Community Contributoris a Pokemon Researcher
I did some pondering on the concept of patching Counter, but I think there is something that may solve the divide.

Many players say "Go to Stadium" and RBY players respond with "I dislike how much Substitute warps the game".

I think there may be a solution. How about Pokemon Stadium "Zero"? This is the Japanese Stadium game that is kind of a bridge between RBY and Stadium 1, AKA the one we got first. This game has some mechanical differences (stat re-application no longer exists, Explosion kills you on Substitute), but it lacks some changes Stadium made that are seen as bad (Hyper Beam doesn't recharge on KO, Substitute doesn't block status, Crits are the same as RBY). The mechanics were made by Satoru Iwata when he imported the entire RBY battle logic in a week. I believe Counter was fixed. All these "RBY-Stadium love child" traits while fixing desyncs, as they literally cannot happen here.

It should be noted that this does have some Japanese mechanics (Swift accuracy glitch), but it does have the Blizzard nerf and a lot of stuff us international players are used to. There are some of the "bad" changes though; the 1-3 (move last) turn Sleep nerf is there, the Wrap change is also there, etc. There's also the Japanese legality factor, as Blue JP does have a few changes there. They're mostly minor, though. There is one elephant in the room in the fact some Pokemon are missing, but for OU purposes, basically all the staples are there. I do think this would be the big deal-breaker as well as the Sleep if a specific missing Pokemon causes a big issue (personally I think it's fine).

I think this may be an avenue for you all to try out. Pokemon Battle Historia has a (Japanese) table showing the mechanical differences here. Give it a look if you understand Japanese, I think you'll find it interesting! Enigami has pondered working on a sim for it since a few of us players want to add Nintendo Cup 98 to a project that's being worked on. I seriously think this may be the way to go if it means solving all the issues and roadblocks the community keeps running into. There's some stuff that'll take some getting used to, but I just thought I'd put the idea forward.

I may look into doing some mechanics research for this should it gain traction. It seems super interesting.
 
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Lutra

Spreadsheeter by day, Random Ladderer by night.
is a Community Leaderis a Community Contributor
RoA Leader
The Stadium sleep is so bad (0-2 turns if faster, 1-3 if slower), I don't actually use it in my Stadium OU team. I assume it's like 1/3, 1/3, 1/3 chance wakeup, so it's safer to paralyze most of the time. It is therefore not incredibly different from the effect of banning Sleep moves from RBY. I think a lot of players would be uncomfortable with that unfortunately.
 

Plague von Karma

Diolch am eich amser!
is a Community Contributoris a Pokemon Researcher
The Stadium sleep is so bad (0-2 turns if faster, 1-3 if slower), I don't actually use it in my Stadium OU team. I assume it's like 1/3, 1/3, 1/3 chance wakeup, so it's safer to paralyze most of the time. It is therefore not incredibly different from the effect of banning Sleep moves from RBY. I think a lot of players would be uncomfortable with that unfortunately.
I agree with this; it is by far the biggest negative Stadium Zero has as an alternative. I do believe players underrate Sleep despite the nerfs, but the fact you can wake up on the same turn is a problem. You're essentially giving yourself only -1 PP as a "reward" for hitting it. If the victim couldn't wake up the same turn, I think it would be fine, but we don't live in an ideal world. The devs essentially murdered the status.

I believe that should RBY players want to move to Stadium Zero, you're essentially nerfing Sleep mechanics for the sake of avoiding issues with the cartridge format and its implementation. Moving to another game is, and always will be, a last resort.
 

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