Stop sharing your Teams

Status
Not open for further replies.

Triangles

That wasn't very dynamaxed of you
is a Pre-Contributoris a Past SPL Champion
The teams that top builders release to the public often aren't their best stuff, they keep that for themselves for the future. Nobody releases teams that they haven't got good use out of themselves first. Also by the time people put their teams out after a tournament or something they will be a bit outdated either due to metagame shifts or some surprise value diminishing by having techs revealed in their games.

There's nothing wrong in the tournament sphere with using other people's teams either, I do it a lot. If you have friends who are good builders, you may as well take advantage of the resources available to you. Being able to appreciate that other people sometimes have better creative ideas than you doesn't discredit your skill as a player at all. Selecting the right team for a given opponent whether built by you or not is an important analytical ability to have for a mons player.
 
I can think of 3 main reasons we play this godforsaken game:
  1. The inherent fun of a thrilling battle
  2. The pride of being considered great
  3. Camaraderie and making friends
All three of these goals are helped by team sharing. Note when I say team sharing, I mean public or widespread team sharing, not clique building groups.

You may think that battles would be more fun if people didn't share teams, forcing more players to build new stuff and increasing the variety of what they see. This is subjective, but I know that I reuse teams (mine or others') when I don't have any cool new ideas to show off. If I can't reuse others' teams, I'll just reuse my own from previous games. This might increase variety slightly, because there's a bigger pool of players' reused teams to draw from, but it won't be introducing cool new techs into the meta every game. The meager benefit you get from increasing the variety of reused teams is going to be counterbalanced by the fact that people are just plain using worse teams, so I think battles tend to be more fun when good players are sharing their teams around. I don't like fighting Drampa Room in DOU seasonals.

You get more clout from winning than sharing a team, that's true. But this game is such a crapshoot that anyone's odds of winning a bunch of tournaments is pretty low. And as Triangles mentioned, the damage you do to your own tournament run by sharing teams is actually pretty minimal. People don't share teams before they've already revealed all the weird techs in their own games, and if anything, knowing what your opponent is going to be using is better than getting surprised by some ridiculous off-meta bullshit imo. Sharing good teams is a great way to increase your renown in the community, which is all we care about winning tournaments for anyway. Sure pixels are forever while good teambuilders are forgotten after they retire, but who cares what people think of you after you retire?

Point 3 is so obvious I won't expound on it.

Even if we agree to kill team sharing culture, if you want to turn back the clock on this you'll need to do two things:
  1. Introduce a significant incentive for winning tournaments other than pride. That way people have better reason to not share teams, than to share.
  2. Make replays a pain in the ass to view. Otherwise people can easily steal teams from replays—sure they might not have exact spreads, but that's pretty minor in the scheme of things.
VGC does both of these things—tournaments have a significant prize pot, and matches are rarely publicly watchable. And guess what? I fucking hate it. It's nearly impossible to get into VGC as a newcomer because everyone is hiding strats and nobody good helps anybody bad. Everyone builds in their little clique and public info is months behind, leaving you picking up scraps. The only ways to get in front of the meta is by pulling yourselves up by the bootstraps (incredibly hard) until you get a good tournament result and getting noticed, or by making friends at locals. And Smogon doesn't have locals, so.... Sure it might not be the inevitable outcome of a team hiding culture for it to end up like VGC, and there are other reasons it ended up that way (like having no centralized website). But still, I'm pro team sharing.
 

Bedschibaer

NAME = FUCK
is a Smogon Social Media Contributor Alumnusis a Forum Moderator Alumnus
I mean technically all of the points from the OP are true. It's still going to be impossible to change the culture of this game. The OP works with the premise that people here compete for the sake of competition, for having good games and outsmarting the opponent to earn wins. In reality that is probably around half of the entire motivation of the average tournament player. There is just so much more going on psychologically. The regular tournament players here use this site and community as their social media outlet after all.

Building is hard. Making quality teams is hard. The thing is if you don't tell anyone the average spectator is just flat out not going to see all the work and effort you put into a specific team. Nobody is going to remember that one specific game in world cup quarterfinals or whatever where you put in the entire week to craft a team specifically tailored to your opponent, squeezing out a tight win for your team. It's a really big deal for you, it's a really big deal for your team. And in a week everyone forgot about it and the entire time you put in was basically to just have your name bolded in an internet thread. The amount of effort it takes to play this game on a high level is not proportional to the rewards you get because once a bit of time has passed people only remember the winners of the entire thing. Sharing your teams gives you a little bit of recognition. Actually it probably gives you quite a bit of recognition compared to winning a couple of games.

People still use several teams on showdown that I built years ago and that's probably going to be one of the bigger parts of my """legacy""" on this website. There is a reason why more and more people decide to dump entire team folders after whatever forgettable (or occasionally unforgettable) tournament finish. And trust me, being there to bless the plebs with your sacred teams is usually not the main reason. It's maybe a hard pill to swallow for people who do this or did this but you aren't some pokemon educator, you aren't sharing your team for the sake of pokemon pedagogics and didactics. Sure you help out a couple of kids with their own building and you help out a ton of kids with their playing since they can use solid teams they couldn't have built themselves. But let's just be real and admit that you (we all) do it for the recognition and the clout. There have been entire personas in this community built on the premise of "I build teams that are good".

We live in a time where people are just gonna netteam anyways. There really isn't even any shame in it, considering what technical measurements people use nowadays compared to a couple of years ago. The playingfield changes. It's not enough to build good teams anymore to be outstanding, you need to be able to build outstanding teams, build specifically for whatever opponent you face and try to gain marginal advantages as often as possible. What happened is that the threshold of quality goes up with information. You can't just magically undo that process. The truly good builders want recognition and you know what, all power to them.
 
But it starts being kind of an issue to when a lot of players with moderate success simply cannot build and dont build at all because building is hard as shit. But they dont have to.
This is the exact point of contention. WHY is this an issue? No one is born good at building pokemon teams, so why should a leading community of competitive pokemon restrict the resources it provides to players that want to learn or participate in the competitive aspects of the game? (against the original ambition of the builders -- people can be secretive if they want, too)

Furthermore, the OP is making arbitrary determinations of what constitutes a "good", skilled player. Preaching that a weakness in team building is inherently lesser and that "the builders" should preserve their advantage is, frankly, a very elitist stance, and once again, I'm surprised to see this remain on the forum, because it is neither fact-based, nor a resource or point of contribution. Just another "back in my day..."

Lastly, I don't see how the introduction of sucessful "new blood" into the smogon competitive scene is a sign of eroding player skill. It is inevitable that over time that average player skill will increase thanks to advancements in communal meta and game knowledge, which in part is due precisely to the sharing of knowledge by top players. A rising tide floats all boats, as it goes .
 
Last edited:

lighthouses

Chasing after dreamers in the clouds
is a Tiering Contributor
I dont know how relevant this would be to most lf u guys but i think it deserves mentioning: People build and share teams to get visibility.
A lot of dudes you commonly see in team tours first started out by providing support for other tournament players in their respective tiers. This i think is really important because we all know how hard it is to get into these tours and they are the by far the best avenue of access to 'top tier' competition for someone whos looking to improve.
And this is an aspect of smogon culture that i don't think is realistically changing any time soon.
 
This is the exact point of contention. WHY is this an issue? No one is born good at building pokemon teams, so why should a leading community of competitive pokemon restrict the resources it provides to players that want to learn or participate in the competitive aspects of the game? (against the original ambition of the builders -- people can be secretive if they want, too)

Furthermore, the OP is making arbitrary determinations of what constitutes a "good", skilled player. Preaching that a weakness in team building is inherently lesser and that "the builders" should preserve their advantage is, frankly, a very elitist stance, and once again, I'm surprised to see this remain on the forum, because it is neither fact-based, nor a resource or point of contribution. Just another "back in my day..."

Lastly, I don't see how the introduction of sucessful "new blood" into the smogon competitive scene is a sign of eroding player skill. It is inevitable that over time that average player skill will increase thanks to advancements in communal meta and game knowledge, which in part is due precisely to the sharing of knowledge by top players. A rising tide floats all boats, as it goes .
Nobody is talking about limiting resources in the forum to make it harder for new players. In fact i think resources such as team dumps or metagame posts by quality players should be very much encouraged. The thread is just worded very poorly and it comes off as very arrogant, etilist and dictating what a player should be doing I suppose, enough to make the community clown a multi trophy winner, but the message im getting is that if you can make your own good teams for competitive advantages you should be aware that you have a huge object of value in your hands, that's all. This was like an advice that sounded like an order or even a call for policy. And to your last point, well thats just plain wrong. A bigger active and not casual playerbase means more competition wich means the skill level of the "average player" will likely be bigger. The metagame advances happen naturally because there are more people playing and researching such metagame in the first place.
 

Shurtugal

The Enterpriser.
is a Tiering Contributor
Small point: entering tournaments takes a lot of time and dedication that some players do not have. In that sense, giving their teams to others that can commit to tournaments and be successful with them is more of a benefit than you might think. In some ways the builder is able to give their team the success they know it can have by providing it with others.

If you think of it that way... Maybe some teams/innovations would never have been discovered if it stayed in the closet of some player's teambuilder.

I personally do not have time to commit to playing tournaments, but i have always loved building teams and trying to be ahead of the meta/innovative. Giving them to my friends and letting them enjoy them or use them is enough for me. And maybe it is for others too.

Obviously if a player cannot build without others, then that is pretty sad imo -- but i also think, that a builder should be able to choose how they use their team, and they shouldn't be looked down upon for sharing with others.
 

GΔCT

once upon a time won't last forever
Small point: entering tournaments takes a lot of time and dedication that some players do not have. In that sense, giving their teams to others that can commit to tournaments and be successful with them is more of a benefit than you might think. In some ways the builder is able to give their team the success they know it can have by providing it with others.

If you think of it that way... Maybe some teams/innovations would never have been discovered if it stayed in the closet of some player's teambuilder.

I personally do not have time to commit to playing tournaments, but i have always loved building teams and trying to be ahead of the meta/innovative. Giving them to my friends and letting them enjoy them or use them is enough for me. And maybe it is for others too.

Obviously if a player cannot build without others, then that is pretty sad imo -- but i also think, that a builder should be able to choose how they use their team, and they shouldn't be looked down upon for sharing with others.
The flip side of this is that matches are pretty lenient to schedule in most tournaments, meaning that people who only have a few hours a week to play mons and thusly cannot build can get a team from somebody who has that time and still play in tournaments without sinking the time into teambuilding. I know from my own personal experience that teambuilding ends up being a larger timesink than actually playing in tours, though that to a degree likely comes down to player skill in teambuilding.

So, basically, encouraging team sharing is a tremendous help to both builders and players if they have limited time to play.
 
Trying to call for not sharing teams is an incredibly elitist attitude. Nobody owns the rights to a specific team, and sometimes playing another person's team helps someone understand the teambuilding process better from an objective point of view.
 

McMeghan

Dreamcatcher
is a Tournament Director Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis an Administrator Alumnusis a Battle Simulator Moderator Alumnusis the 5th Smogon Classic Winneris the Smogon Tour Season 14 Championis a Past SPL Champion
There were a lot of arguments posted in the thread, and it'd take too much time for me to answer them all. However, there are some things I'd like to adress. I recognize my tone was a bit patronizing and I believe some people took some of my suggestions (because yes, those were merely suggestions) the wrong way.

First of all, this thread was originally posted in the Tournament Policy subforum. I believe the "problem" I've been talking is only applicable to tournaments. It has been moved to OU (and they suggested Firebot first, of all places) because of the moderators thinking it didn't belong where I posted it.

Second thing, I would never try to decree some kind of policy against Team sharing. This is something everyone is entitled to do. My thread was, like I said, a suggestion. I also stand by the general sentiment behind it. If you're a top tier teambuilder, then I think you're better off not sharing your strongest builds to everyone. This is said with a competitive point of view. If I want to be the best, especially in a game as variable as Pokemon, then I'd rather not streghten the competition through my hardwork. A pretty selfish take I reckon and I can totally understand why some people would be against it.

Dice made a good job at summarizing the intent behind my post in his two messages in the thread, especially his second one. However, I will add some context and personal ideas to give you a broader picture of where I stand on this whole thing.

So I've seen people making memes about sampleteams threads deletion, or me thinking I'm against all kind of helping and team sharing. This is such an exageration from what I was trying to convey. It doesn't help that the thread has been moved to OU instead of a tournament venue. Everyone who knows me and interacted with me knows I try to always take the time to respond to everyone, whatever their level or reputation is, and it's often about helping people to get into a tier or to get them better at the game in general. Part of it is rating their teams, giving teams to get a start into a given tier, and all sort of things. I really want everyone to improve and find (even if guided) how to get better at this game.

Of course I also know that teambuilding with friends is a lot of fun and I'm not trying to turn everyone into a Pokemon Scrooge McDuck. Yes, I think having ressources available for everyone is amazing and should be encouraged. Yes, I love the idea of sample teams threads, as it allows everyone to enter into a tier with good teams so they can get their head around it. But like dice said: "culture of mass team pilfering that many tournament players engage in [i.e. relying solely on others to build teams, having the builder/player dichotomy, artificially closing the skill gap wherein b-tier players can pilot solid teams, a focus on social capital instead of individual skill to accrue teams which contributes to site-wide “cliqueness” and toxicity, etc.]"; this is what I'm mainly against, and tried to echo through my thread and my ideas. This is purely from a competitive standpoint too. In a "I want the best to succeed at this game, and I believe taking this approach will reward the best and more hard-working Players more often".

Oh and by the way, most of the people here are actually getting the short end of the stick in tournaments with teamsharing. A lot of "consistent" players that get results just beat you because they have better building support than you. Some of them have the latest made anti-metagame teams directly given to them after their creation so they can beat the cookie-cutter stuff thrown around. It's actually funny how a single guy like ABR can have so much impact and auto-win matchups in such a vastly played tier like OU, because most people can't build for shit and just use the teams they see or get given; thus always being one step behind the top players.

Going another direction, I also totally recognize it's a lot easier and profitable to ask for teams, and for a lot of reason. Less risk of being counterteamed/styled, less work needed, especially in long tournaments runs, better results, especially if you only want them over a short period of time, etc etc you all mentionned them. All those points are valid and there isn't much that I can say about it. But I will say that I still stand by my last point. If you wanna be at the tip-top of the game, you're better off being a builder yourself.

Another point brought up in that thread is that we cruely miss good teambuilding guides. As a result, it's a lot easier to ask people for teams.

So to sum it up. No I'm not against ressource making and ressource sharing. I'm also not an anti-fun type of guy. But I believe hard work should be rewarded and a way to do so in this game is not giving your latest and best to everybody (Charmflash post goes a bit more into depth about this).
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

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

Top