Questions & Answers

Question asked by chaos, answered by tennisace.
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Teaching Alakazam
Since the advent of WiFi, Smogon's tiers have been misunderstood in every conceivable manner by outsiders to the competitive community. Do you believe some sort of cross-forum education program would be worthwhile to clear up misconceptions, and if so, how would you go about implementing it?" —chaos

Well, to answer this, we need to make something clear. Smogon is currently viewed as elitist for a reason, and the administration does nothing to help this image. There have been numerous instances of the administration encouraging it even. Now, this isn’t a shot at the administration (many of which are friends of mine), but a shot at the prevailing attitude of Smogon. You can be elitist without showing it. What I am saying is part of the misunderstanding is due to the “We’re right, you’re wrong” attitude of Smogon. People immediately get defensive of their beliefs when someone contests them, even more so in a headstrong manner. So I propose that we all tone it down a bit. I’m talking about a blanket “don’t respond to tier arguments” on both the forum and the server. The obvious exception is the current suspect, where debate is actually good to decide the tier. This should be coupled with expanding the “insulting other members” infraction to users of other forums. We’re all in the same boat here, as people who frequent a Pokémon forum. Why can’t we be the bigger forum and extend the olive branch?

After that, I would talk to the admins of the other main sites and ask them to follow our example. I’m talking about Serebii, Marriland, Antiquity, Team Uber, GameFaqs, and Libelldra. Ask them to make similar “no insulting other forums” rules. Once we’re all on the same page, we can get down to business. I would propose a standard tier list like the standard clauses, but people are so set in their ways about them that it would be met with heavy opposition from nearly every corner. However, I would ask all the admins to make an announcement/thread saying in effect the aims of the Smogon suspect test, and the best way to influence it is not to whine from a distance but to get out there and earn the right to vote. I think the requirements are a bit high for this purpose, and I’d like to see more emphasis on the Suspect EXP than there currently is. I digress. If we can all work together on this, it will be much easier to make a unified tier list, which is the main goal I’m driving at. One standard list will be hard to implement due to forums wanting their autonomy, but in reality it’s better for everyone if we all agree on what is or isn’t broken.

Now, how should we deal with the problem of not everyone wanting to come on Smogon to vote? Well, we could hold a simultaneous suspect test in which the Smogon vote is held on all forums with equal requirements on each. People would vote on ONE forum only, and all votes would count the exact same. As for the paragraph requirement, in order to make it more fair, I would have one admin/designated person per forum on a committee of sorts. Each committee member would look over the paragraphs of two different forums than their own, in order to stay unbiased and to have a second opinion. If the two disagree, it would go to a third. I know this seems complex, but I’m trying to make the process fair for all forums. Once all the people who qualified vote, the votes from the separate forums will be combined, and the master list will be edited.

To sum it all up, needless to say I do think a cross-forum education is both worthwhile and needed. We should go farther than that and strive for a unified tier list based on what everyone thinks. We are all one and the same; we are all competitive Pokémon players no matter which forum we came from.

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