Time to finally get things started!

Hey team, so as you should be able to see, I have a pretty big majority of the community's support in my Moving On thread. Hopefully this will quiet the doubters so we can move along peacefully from here on out. This also means that Smogon will officially start adhering to strict in-game mechanics, which will effectively cut out all the time consuming debates about whether we should "improving" the game or not. Since that is now out of the way, here's what I want to see happen:

  1. The Tournament Directors need to officially decide whether or not we're allowing preview teams. I'm pretty sure Earthworm and I are both for previewing teams, so that should be settled, but our official announcement is necessary for releasing our server to the public and moving on with suspect testing.
  2. Do we need to re-evaluate our Uber characteristics? If so, how much time should we spend trying to come up with something, and what other methods of judging a Pokemon do you have in mind?
  3. We need to decide how people will qualify to vote in 5th gen's suspect testing. I really liked how UU suspects and voters in 4th gen were decided, and I think that's how we should go about things in 5th gen. Opinions? If we use SEXP of any kind, the formula will be made public. I think a pure rating/deviation req should suffice though, and I don't think paragraphs should be necessary if we are following 4th gen UU's suspect nomination process.
  4. If at all possible, I'd like to get our official server public and start testing for suspects by Monday. I realize this is very soon, but I like setting ambitions goals (it's no big deal if we can't get things running that fast, especially if we decide to re-evaluate our Uber characteristics, but it's something to shoot for).
I will still keep our IRC channel running for real-time discussions, but for the most part, I want to see major ideas and points posted in this forum for every member of the team to see.
1. It's pretty much 100% confirmed at this point that we are going with what's used ingame, which is previewed teams / lead switching.
2. I don't have any ideas about how to change them, I'd like to see everyone else's opinions first.
3. Agreeing that rating requirement is fine by itself. I'm open to ideas though if anyone disagrees.
4. Sounds good, as long as the bug testing is all finished.


the pastor of disaster
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1. I like the previewing teams feature very much, and I'd be in favor of having it included.
2. If we're committed to opening up all our philosophy to evaluation, then we should open this up to the possibility that Pokemon could be banned for any reason (though I am personally utterly against this). However, there is nothing really new about Gen 5 itself that should make the characteristics we used in Gen 4 invalid. They are pretty universal! The only real quality that they may be missing is "this Pokemon literally breaks the game", i.e. Castform in Acid Rain, and that shouldn't be a problem in Gen 5.
3. As much as I hated reading and evaluating paragraphs, I feel that paragraphs are important. A person that votes Lugia OU because it is their favorite Pokemon, or because they feel that they can ride it to the top of the ladder, etc. should not be allowed to abuse the system. Force them to come up with a coherent reason.
4. The sooner the better. The farther ahead of us the Beta Server testing gets, the more we will see opinions crystallize, and the more criticism we will take. Whoever gets solid tiers in place first will influence the other, and the latecomer will be the one to be criticized if there are differences.
3. As much as I hated reading and evaluating paragraphs, I feel that paragraphs are important. A person that votes Lugia OU because it is their favorite Pokemon, or because they feel that they can ride it to the top of the ladder, etc. should not be allowed to abuse the system. Force them to come up with a coherent reason.
If someone wants to vote one way, it's usually easily justifiable anyways IMO (especially considering the way we'd do suspect nominations), and adding paragraphs just weeds out the players who are too lazy to write them. Paragraphs also make our system subjective, which I'd like to stay away from as much as possible, and also slow things down. I'd like to hear what the rest of our team thinks about paragraphs please.


Have a nice day
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I dunno if you want my input here or not, but I had a couple of points I would like to make.

Paragraphs also discourage people from contributing.

But I really wanted to point out the current characteristics probably dont cover ditto. I mean, ditto isnt really a sweeper, and it certainly isnt a wall or a sweeper supporter. But it can revenge kill pretty much any sweeper.. I mean, I am not trying to say I think ditto is uber, but like, with the characteristics as they are, I dont think you could even begin to argue it. You could find a similar situation with dory. It hasnt got the sheer power that got the dragons banned, but it could be a situation where everyone uses it just for its revenge killing and spinning, but no one ever sweeps with it because everyone is fully aware of its limitations. I mean I havent been playing bw, so I dont really know if this rings true or not, but like, this is the sort of thing the characteristics dont really dealing with.

Have a nice day.


formerly david stone
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Like Hipmonlee, I don't know if my Supermod access means I should be posting here, but here it goes:

I would favor a process similar to Cathy's suggestion, but if we're starting off with an initial ban list, a few things would have to be changed. However, the fundamental process seems pretty much the same.

1) We start out with some number of weeks as an initial amount of time before the process begins, so people can kind of just play. In theory this could be 0 weeks, but I'd prefer it to be a little longer. After this, we move on.

2) We begin the testing process, which lasts some number of weeks (or months). After that period of time, people who have high enough rating nominate in two stages. First is a vote for "ban something" vs. "don't ban anything". If "ban something" wins, those same people nominate what to vote on. The top few nominations are then "suspects". People with an even higher rating then vote on whether each individual suspect should be banned. Any Pokemon receiving a super-majority are banned. Something I would like to see added to the nomination process is the ability to nominate something that is currently banned, in which case it would be treated exactly like a Pokemon that's not banned (2/3 makes it banned, otherwise it's not banned).

3) We could slowly increase the time between votes or increase the proportion of votes required to ban something to stabilize. Cathy proposed increasing the super-majority to 70%, 75%, 80%, or more, as time went on, but I prefer simply voting on bans less often.

This requires very little administration and would not take huge amounts of time. The "ban or no bans" vote could be up for 24-72 hours and still give people a chance to log in and do it. The nomination process could be opened for the same amount of time afterward, and then the final vote would last just as long as well. This means that the "voting" time would be 3-9 days.

When I say "high enough rating" I'm using that as shorthand for high rating / low deviation.

/edit: However, I'd be happy if the nomination group were the same set of people as the voting group. However, the way I envision it would be that the nomination rating allows a significant portion of the population, but the voting group is more selective. In other words, nominations allow the informed public to have their say, and then the elite group of players makes the final determination.


Who let marco in here????
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My two cents. Don't kill me.

1. As I've mentioned a few times already, I like team preview.
2. The 4th Gen characteristics are fine for the most part. If one were to argue that Doryuuzu is Uber, the offensive characteristic can work for it (not saying that it is Uber, but its sweeping power is undeniable). Ditto's a tough cookie though - you could say it fits under offensive or support characteristic because of the way it revenges things - it takes the boosted sweeper's power against it and can poke major holes or even sweep back without much of an effort. Ditto can sometimes even psych the opponent out by not holding a Choice Scarf and get unexpected kills as a result. I'm not saying it is Uber, but the current characteristics *may* be able to be used against it.
3. I prefer no paragraphs if possible. By the looks of it, we *may* have a lot of things to suspect test in this generation (not listing them atm), and paragraphs slow down the process.
4. Yes please.


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1.) Obviously go with previewable teams. We'll have the conversation about whether to apply the "simulator is a judge" "fix" if and only if this new concept is deemed completely terrible after actual significant play experience.

2.) No comment. Just kidding. I mean...I never referenced those things in the past gen and only did so when I was told by certain users that my paragraphs wouldn't be accepted if I didn't. A pokemon's uber status, as shown by community opinion throughout 4th gen, obviously isn't solely due to power, but also due to what the community wants in a metagame. Having characteristics that too heavily lean in the "too powerful" category is limiting. If we do bother with something silly like characteristics, I'd say make sure to focus on Doug's "what do we want in the metagame" topic and recognize this "want" is dynamic, so our characteristics should attempt to be dynamic as well.

3.) Please, please let's emphasize practicality and efficiency. Just a rating / deviation (or whatever the new rating system's equivalent is). If ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY, and I mean like so necessary someone thinks we're committing a philosophical crime on humanity by not forcing written justification, I could see us adapting the "upper requirements and extremely brief explanation" and "lower requirements with more in depth but length limited explanation" standard. Again, I want to emphasize we should move the process as quickly as possible, and removing paragraphs (and the problem the subjective judge seems to give us) helps significantly.

Also...No silly sexp. Forcing someone to use a suspect is questionable as is, as I argue the significant experience is with the metagame it causes, not with it individually (or not only with it individually). People see they're rewarded for using the suspect and use it more than they would normally, causing a saturation of usage for the suspect, its common teammates, and its counters. This tends to get people annoyed with an artificially "centralized" metagame and definitely contributes to a "ban bias." No god damned sexp please.

4.) Yea, let's get it started asap.


nice times all the times
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1) It seems pretty clear that we'd go with the game's actual format, even without the "Putting My Foot Down" topic still in the rearview. I agree with ronald that we'll worry about the quality once we've actually played it. I'm assuming this point is only relevant to suspect testing and the existing trophy tournaments, since there's no reason why battle format shouldn't be up to individual tournament hosts.

2) I don't have much to say about improving these as they are. In fact, please just get rid of them entirely. The less pages of people quoting ambiguous one liners, and arguing whether Gyaramence sweeps a significant portion of teams or just a notable portion we have, the better. Requiring votes to cite either offense, defense, or support pigeonholes thinking and almost (inadvertently) encourages people to not look for the overall impact of the suspects. If you need to guide people toward solid reasoning, I'd much rather have a stickied thread that outlines a ton of ways to analyze a Pokemon's impact on different aspects of the game, written by someone who really understands how to battle and approach team building. Using an accessible, almost stream of consciousness style would work best imo.

3) Judging voters' reasonings opens up a can of worms that we should be avoiding whenever possible, and slows the process to a crawl. Rating + deviation works fine and brings some easygoing fun back into supporting the process (this is a good thing on a Pokemon site).

4) Yes, you have my blessing. The development of a Smogon server may now begin.

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