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All Gens My Banworthiness Guidelines

Discussion in 'Tiers' started by Ortheore, Mar 5, 2018.

  1. Ortheore

    Ortheore Leader

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    Banworthiness Guidelines

    Core ideology

    A ban is required when the tier is determined to not be adequately competitively deep and that this lack of depth is said to be caused by one or a handful of individual elements. A Pokemon or other element should be banned if it is considered to be the most significant reason that the tier is inadequately deep.

    Note that for the remainder of this post I will often refer to pokemon, as it’s usually individual pokemon that are broken, but I can also mean moves, abilities, etc.

    Competitive depth

    Competitive depth refers to the extent to which players who invest time and effort into the game can be rewarded with significantly greater skill at the game and thus gain an edge over their opponents.

    There are actually several components to this, not all of which are relevant to a discussion on banning things. Physical skill can contribute to depth but is not relevant in a turn-based game. Mental skills such as pattern recognition, risk-reward analysis and generally outwitting your opponent do play a role in pokemon, but usually do not have any implications in banworthiness discussions as they are universal to most competitive games regardless of how deep its mechanics are (consider that competitive scissors-paper-rock is a thing). Instead, when discussing bans, we should be examining how deep its mechanics are, and the metagame depth that arises from those mechanics.

    In terms of a player’s skillset, metagame depth is reflected in their understanding of the game, its components and how they interact. This means knowing what is effective, planning for specific scenarios, understanding how specific conditions impact the progress of the match as a whole and so on. In a shallow game, players might easily reach a point where this understanding cannot be further developed in any significant way.

    So what traits might be used to describe a metagame in terms of its competitive depth? First, I would like to point out that over the course of a typical battle a player will create a number of sub-goals in order to win (e.g. land paralysis on pokemon X, so that my pokemon Y can attack more easily). This is significant because they usually demand players apply their understanding of the game. With that said, here are some traits a deep metagame might possess:

    · Players have access to lots of substantially different options for achieving a victory
    · Over the course of a typical match, players will generate a significant number of sub-goals.
    · Events that occur over the course of a match will frequently impact sub-goals and/or impact a large number of sub-goals at once
    · There is significant complexity and diversity in the metagame. These are arguably covered by the preceding points, but it is worth noting that complexity and diversity do correlate with a game’s depth (not perfectly, but the link exists)

    Acceptable standards

    A tier should be sufficiently deep to continue to reward players even after many years of scrutiny by elite players. This definition may seem not very useful because of the massive timeframe it involves, but it nonetheless serves two purposes. First, it illustrates that the requisite depth of a tier should be extremely high. Second, if a tier has been scrutinised for many years, to the point where it begins to feel thoroughly explored, then even though it may feel somewhat static, players should not implement bans unless they are certain that some element is problematic, as the tier could otherwise be said to have met this standard. Basically, don’t implement bans just because you’re bored.

    Note that these standards are implemented by the community, and as such are likely to vary based on the expectations of the playerbase for that given generation/tier- players for newer generations are more likely to have a higher standard of what's adequate than older generation players. Also note that there is the potential for the community to be split (e.g. between players familiar with ubers and those familiar with OU), however this would in theory resolve itself organically in the voting process.

    Further details on what might be considered problematic are listed below.

    Identifying problematic elements

    There are a number of ways in which an element may undermine competitive depth. These should be considered in the context of the question of whether a tier's depth is adequate. These include but are not limited to:

    · Certain “cheese” strategies may undermine competitive play, as they may present scenarios where players could hone their skills and then lose regardless to questionable strategies which may require low amounts of skill to execute (e.g. SwagPlay).
    · If a pokemon is simply too powerful it can reduce the number of viable options available to players, as it may require players to utilise a small pool of checks and counters and restrict otherwise top threats from seeing use.
    · Furthermore, if a pokemon is too powerful it can reduce the extent to which events impact player sub-goals or reduce the range of sub-goals. For instance, if M-Rayquaza is permitted in singles, battles hinge solely on who can abuse it the best, which devalues the importance of every other potential sub-goal.
    · Pokemon can also be too powerful in the sense that they punish imperfect play extremely heavily. In such cases, teams can be said to have limited options for dealing with that threat, and there are few turns that are impactful on the course of the battle, as that single instance of imperfect play represents the only meaningful turn over the remaining course of play.
    · Pokemon can explicitly restrict the options the opposing team has in dealing with them, as is the case with abilities such as Shadow Tag.
    · If a pokemon has numerous different sets, such that it is difficult to cover them all and/or deduce which set it has over the course of a battle that can indicate that the options for dealing with it are limited and it can also devalue skill by forcing players to guess blindly.

    A pokemon can form a key part of a broken strategy without otherwise being considered broken. Such strategies tend to appear optimal or otherwise superior, causing alternatives to be suppressed and thus reducing depth. Examples include Deoxys+Bisharp teams in early XY OU and Sableye+Dugtrio stall in later ORAS OU. In such cases it falls to the community to identify the component of the strategy that is the most broken and take action against it.

    A problematic pokemon or element may be easier to characterise as overcentralising. This can describe a pokemon (or small group thereof) that forces teams to select from a limited pool of checks and counters (some of which may not otherwise be viable), thereby constraining options, or elevates the power level of a tier to a point where few pokemon are effective which again, constrains options. It can also cause battles to revolve around abusing that element to an extent, which as mentioned previously, limits depth. Although most of these points are already described above, it's nonetheless worth explicitly noting the effects of overcentralisation and how it can potentially be problematic.

    Undercentralisation is also something that is theoretically a problem, though not one that's likely to be encountered any time soon. In such cases it becomes unreasonably difficult to cover every significant threat adequately with a single team, often resulting in complaints about matchup. It's unclear what the solution to this is.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
  2. Disaster Area

    Disaster Area Little Ball of Fur and Power Member

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    I don't think I have anything to add to or comment on in this. I think this would serve as adequate guidelines for banworthiness. Does anyone have anything to contribute to this or disagree with any part of this?
     
  3. Disaster Area

    Disaster Area Little Ball of Fur and Power Member

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    I've written out some largely more technical comments to make minor improvements. I agree with the core of the text and just want to do some tweaks around the edges, at most.

    The thing about having a core ideology is that it asks us to reflect on what tiers are for and hence why we demand the ability to ban things. I guess the most literal answer is that we want a metagame that is enjoyable and has depth over a long period of time. And I think that what you suggest does fundamentally address that, so I don't see any problem with it.

    With that of course, the idea of having the next section also makes sense.

    I think that I would use a different word to mechanics here. I understand what you're trying to say, but I think given the way in which mechanics is usually used within the world of competitive Pokemon, we need a different word. Maybe we could talk about "how deep the gameplay is" and talk in terms of "gameplay depth" or even use the word metagame there instead of gameplay?

    I think that regarding complexity and diversity, you could simply say that they have some relationship with the game's depth, but they are not the only factor.

    I think use the word problematic rather than toxic, since that is the language you use in the subsequent section.

    I think use the word problematic here too, since you talk about problematic elements rather than in terms of stuff that results in not meeting an acceptable standard.

    I would remove "that are unreliable", I think it's not necessary or even necessarily right. Once you take it out though it makes sense.

    Change M-Rayquaza to Mega Rayquaza maybe? I guess this is ultra nitpicky lol.

    I don't think this should be a bullet point, but should instead be a remark afterwards. (Basically, make it a new paragraph instead of a new bulletpoint).

    To be honest though I think this last point maybe needs to be rewritten. I think the middle part is not necessary, and maybe the last part isn't totally clear either. Maybe mention Bisharp instead, and then maybe say that in cases like these it is up to players to determine which aspect of the broken strategy is most responsible. Presumably, it involves something having a unique and possibly novel niche in the metagame. A more complicated example to untangle is when a certain sort of stall was essentially considered broken in ORAS OU. Mega Sableye and Arena Trap/Dugtrio were both considered possible culprits, and both are so unique that from a glance it is not easy to tell what should be to blame, whereas in the case of DeoSharp it's quite clear that having an incredibly reliable hazard setter that can set up both SR and Spikes is more problematic, and that Bisharp without Deo-S would be far more innoccuous than Deo-S without Bisharp.

    I think it touches on a very interesting point though overall at the end.

    ...

    Also, put full stops at the end of the various bullet points at the end of the piece. :)
     
  4. Disaster Area

    Disaster Area Little Ball of Fur and Power Member

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    I see you've made some changes.

    On any of the small things you haven't changed, what's the reason why?
     
  5. Roostur

    Roostur Member

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    Our core values are different. The way I see it is we have a game that we like to play with each other called pokemon. There are things that are in the game that make it unplayable competitively. We should fix those. For example sleep inducing moves. You could put all of your opponents pokemon to sleep and there isn't really a good strategy around this. So we introduce sleep clause. Well, game freak introduced it actually which gives it needed legitimacy as a rule.

    We should only fix things that make the game unplayable competitively. Because we aren't coming here for the most competitively deep turn based game. If we were we'd be playing chess. We're coming here to be the best at a game that we like/love. That game may not be the deepest game naturally, but that's not the point. The point is playing game freak's game together to see who the best is at it. Not to create our own, "more competitive" , version of it. And tbh in some cases it can be very arrogant to suggest certain bans. Because with some bans you're assuming you're so great and you have optimized your play so much to the point that you know there is no way around this certain strategy and therefore it should be banned. And most people are not any where near the level to do this when it comes to certain bans.
     
  6. Ortheore

    Ortheore Leader

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    I didn't see any real need, since they don't substantially alter anything. I suppose I'll go back and modify it.
    Go is significantly more deep than chess, js.

    Anyway, I just wanted to point out that the point of my guidelines is not to maximise depth, but to ensure there's enough of it to be worth playing competitively, which is not really different from only banning stuff that makes the game unplayable

    That said, I do disagree with the general reverence for GF and the assertion that it's arrogant to ban things. GF may have made enjoyable games, but that doesn't mean that they were both infallible and focusing on competitive gaming. Hell, half the reason pokemon is so popular is that there are many ways in which people can find enjoyment in the games, only one of which is competitive play. So yes, we should absolutely be prepared to ban stuff regardless of what we think GF intended, as GF both get things wrong and are trying to cater to multiple groups which necessarily demands the inclusion of elements that don't have a place in competitive play. As for arrogance and banning things, you don't need to be some competitive-pokemon-deity to recognise when a strategy is too strong and furthermore in any discussion on banning you're expected to provide reasoning as to why you think a ban should be implemented, thus demanding that your reasoning be of a high level to withstand scrutiny from your peers. And if a community that dedicates a lot of time and effort to winning competitive battles is collectively too ignorant to implement a ban then I don't really know what you're after.
     
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  7. Roostur

    Roostur Member

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    I find that in general there is a great level of disrespect for the makers of competitive games. Not just in Pokémon but in fighting games as well. People think “well I could beat the developers so I know more than them” . But remember, they made the game you’re playing competitively and it wasn’t an accident. They didn’t accidentally make a good competitive game. LOTS of thought and effort went into it. We don’t have the level of competitiveness and depth we have by accident. Game freak knew what they were doing when they were attempting to balance their game and their battling system.

    I’m for as little bans as possible. And if we do ban something it should have to go through crazy amounts of testing. It should be incredibly hard to ban something. Especially if there are people who disagree with the ban. Because the people against the ban have more leverage. Because changing something dear to people should be seen as blasphemous. And if you’re going to change something people love you have to have a REALLY GOOD reason. The people against the ban also have the developers intended ideas on their side. So you have to make an incredibly strong case to ban something. Isa’s argument for banning Chansey is an example of a weak argument that should be completely disregarded off the bat because it is an attempt to change something people love without a strong argument that that particular Pokémon is making gen 1 an uncompetitive mess. If you don’t like the gen you shouldn’t play the gen. Not try to change it to what you subjectively like.
     
  8. Sevi 7

    Sevi 7 Member

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    I actually wholeheartedly disagree with this, and I want to give an opposing viewpoint, because I have a lot of friends in the industry (and at one point considered going in myself). I think it needs to be understood that the people who play games competitively, put WAY more time into certain aspects of a game. Balance and competitiveness are generally not worried about too much until the end of alpha or even beta -after everything has been created and is functioning. And unless the game has a very competitive nature to begin with, QA and bug testing is given about 90%+ of the effort in that time, and everything else is given the scraps.

    Furthermore, a lot of companies only care about balancing in the sense of how enjoyable they find the game. This subjective issue is one of the reasons people used to do open betas. To give people the chance to test the game and give their opinion about what they felt was enjoyable. Again, unless the game is attempting to be competitive from the beginning, any changes to the game for the sake of competition is usually not implemented as much.

    Finally, I just want to point out that game freak, at least in the beginning, seems to have put the a very small amount of time into the testing for the game. All the bugs and "patches" in the generation really make the original generation look like a rushed job. This obviously improved after Pokemon's success and Nintendo either: allowed more time or put more money into other things. However, the first generation is obviously an important one on here, for discussion.

    tl;dr Game companies actually don't have a science to balance and sometimes players do know better, because they've put a lot more times into that aspect of the games then the developers.
     
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  9. Roostur

    Roostur Member

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    The point being they know their own game. It isn't a coincidence that we keep getting pretty good competitive gens. They obviously do put some effort into the competitive side of things and balancing even if it isn't their first priority.
     
  10. Disaster Area

    Disaster Area Little Ball of Fur and Power Member

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    proposing a change to the core ideology part of it:
     
  11. Ortheore

    Ortheore Leader

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    Hmm I think that's a much better way of wording things tbh. Now that you point it out, I think the existing definition could be exposed on some technicalities, like if there are multiple problematic elements it might fall apart when you single out one of them, or it could be used to justify banning something that is a lesser priority.

    Implementing now

    edit: dislike the generational thing, which I overlooked initially

    edit2: I modified it slightly so that the ban is required when it can be traced to specific elements like if something is broken. The reason for doing this is that the definition you proposed would've mandated a ban even in the case of RBY 6U, even though 6U's problems probably aren't going to be solved by a ban (imo).
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2018
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  12. Disaster Area

    Disaster Area Little Ball of Fur and Power Member

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    Edit: merging 3 posts into 1.

    Alright well I'll review it later, what you've changed. I think the generational element is really required though; a tier like RBY 1U with 4 Pokemon near 100% usage and about 15 viable Pokemon would just not be acceptable in USM or even ADV... later generations can achieve greater levels of competitive depth, so when considering bans to increase competitive depth you have to consider it in the generational context: how much more competitive depth is actually achievable?

    In RBY 6U, I think that someone could make an argument that banning one or more of the top Pokemon could lead to a better tier. On the other hand there is an argument, which I do buy, that given the pool of remaining Pokemon and so on it's difficult to achieve a tier which is significantly competitively deeper. This does make me think that maybe even better than talking about competitive depth in a generational context (which I think is absurd to try and entirely overlook), one could talk about competitive depth in the context of what the pool of legal Pokemon remaining is. I think this makes it easy to justify doing no bans in either RBY 6U or RBY 1U: in both cases, it's unlikely that by doing a few bans that one could create a tier which is significantly more competitively deep. And I think that really gets to the core of what we're trying to get at.

    I briefly re-read parts of it after I made that suggestion and whilst I didn't feel like anything that was written after the core ideology part was wrong per-say, in changing the core ideology to reflect that the issue is about the tier being inadequately competitively deep, rather than of an element limiting the competitive depth of a tier, it made the following comments seem inappropriately focussed.

    ---

    Suggested change again to the core ideology:

    A ban is required when the tier is determined to not be adequately competitively deep, given the pool of legal Pokemon remaining. A Pokemon or other element (such as a move or item) should be banned if it is considered to be the most significant reason that the tier is inadequately deep.


    Also, I think there should be some mention of overcentralisation in the "Identifying problematic elements" section. I think it's really important actually as I think it's far easier to argue that a Pokemon is overcentralising (and using that to hence argue that banning it is the best option in order to produce a tier which is adequately competitively deep) than that it's broken.

    ---

    I wonder, since we should be looking at whether a tier is adequately competitively deep versus whether an individual element is broken, does it perhaps make sense in many instances that we should instead of asking whether an individual element is broken, ask whether a tier is adequately competitively deep, and if a majority agrees then hold some sort of vote where we determine, given that, what should be banned?
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2018
  13. Ortheore

    Ortheore Leader

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    The generational thing I'm opposed to because I'm asking the question of whether there's adequate depth, which can be answered independently of generation. I guess an analogy would be to say that after eating a pizza you're not going to feel less full if there are still pizzas left on the table. By factoring things like the pool of remaining pokemon, it's instead asking the question "how deep can we make things?". Then it's not a question of necessity, but of optimisation, which bears an entirely different mindset. That's still a valid approach, but it's one I disagree with and I don't think it's compatible with the approach of banning out of necessity.

    I think it might just be better to simply note that the standards are likely to vary based on the playerbase for a given tier and leave it at that. After all, for all my talk of this core question being independent of the given generation, that's probably what's going to happen anyway, as ADV players are going to have different expectations and standards to RBY players and so on and nothing's realistically going to change that.

    Regarding overcentralisation, although it's not explicitly mentioned, I think most of the traits that define it are listed imo. I don't mind adding it if there's stuff missing. How would you define it?

    Regarding your last point I think that's a fair call, but in most scenarios the culprit would be fairly obvious I think, so I think we should retain the option to either do what you describe or jump directly to a suspect.
     
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  14. Disaster Area

    Disaster Area Little Ball of Fur and Power Member

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    I guess having the point of view of banning for competitive depth optimisation (although it is only up to a certain point too) versus for necessity can lead to very different outcomes, and banning for optimisation increases the amount of bans... which is something I want to do, because I guess the way I see things is that a metagame is not adequately competitively deep unless it's about as competitively deep as is possible given the context. So I guess I equated the two in my head because I did see them as the same thing. If a Pokemon does have a clear net megative effect overall on competitive depth, only with my standard would that then require a ban (like with Kyogre in ADV Ubers, which in private you did argue).

    Maybe we should hold a vote on this point?

    I think it might just be better to simply note that the standards are likely to vary based on the playerbase for a given tier and leave it at that. After all, for all my talk of this core question being independent of the given generation, that's probably what's going to happen anyway, as ADV players are going to have different expectations and standards to RBY players and so on and nothing's realistically going to change that.

    · If a Pokemon is or small group of Pokemon are overcentralising (that is, that Pokemon or those Pokemon have outsized usage and success in the metagame revolves around using that or those Pokemon more effectively, or raise the power level of the tier so significantly that a significant number of Pokemon are made unviable because of it), that can undermine competitive depth, unnecessarily restricting the amount of viable options available to a player. A ban is usually merited unless there is a good argument that, even if a metagame with greater bans could be less centralised, it would not be more competitively deep, due to some traits (such as abilities or access to moves) that the Pokemon which would be banned possess.

    How's that?

    Sounds good to me. In ADV Ubers I think it was more obvious that the tier was not adequately competitively deep / as deep as could be, imo, than that Kyogre was the Pokemon most responsible for it, so I think that's one case where I'd used it.

    Also in the meantime one could cut down the core ideology to:

    A ban is required when the tier is determined to not be adequately competitively deep. A Pokemon or other element (such as a move or item) should be banned if it is considered to be the most significant reason that the tier is inadequately deep.

    And then in the acceptable standards part, elaborate on what that means (particularly if going by my preferred option, which would say that it is also only acceptable if it's pretty close to the limit of what's possible in terms of competitive depth in that generation, given the pool of pokemon remaining etc.)
     
  15. Ortheore

    Ortheore Leader

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    Added the following notes:

    I opted for something similar to your proposal on overcentralisation, but added a few other details and omitted the stuff on a ban not being required if there's a good argument that it wouldn't help depth- to me this point violates the idea of not theorymonning the result of a suspect- if there's a problem take action and then if it didn't make things better take further action.

    Regarding other stuff, if you do decide to ban for optimisation, where do you draw the line? I think this would need to be defined more precisely

    I didn't reword the core ideology bit because to me it prescribes a ban without evaluating whether or not that's the correct course of action
     
  16. Disaster Area

    Disaster Area Little Ball of Fur and Power Member

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    Well the thing is, what do we do when you have an overcentralised metagame that is clearly overcentralised, but other traits of the Pokemon that are legal make it clear that the metagame is about as deep as you can get.

    I mean, look at RBY 1U. So there's a decent argument that the metagame is overcentralised around some members of the big 4. Do you think under the current standards we should be banning something then? Because overcentralisation means in some sense that the competitive depth of the tier is unnecessarily restricted...

    I guess if we went for (near-)optimal instead of acceptable, we would have to ban probably Chansey and maybe some other Pokemon from RBY 1U.

    I guess if you also go by (near-)optimal instead of acceptable, that does force some limited theorymonning (though it can be backed up by data). Luckily I guess since Smogon tiers exist, for all their flaws, that gives us some more data points on achievable levels of competitive depth.
     
  17. Disaster Area

    Disaster Area Little Ball of Fur and Power Member

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    Think I need to think about this even more, it's pretty complicated, ugh.
     
  18. Ortheore

    Ortheore Leader

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    I'm in two minds about RBY 1U. I think that, from a purely rational perspective, it needs a ban, probably three (the normals). However I'm also fine with what we have, and I just don't feel strongly about that position at all, nvm the idea of pushing it when it's so likely to be wildly unpopular. Not to mention the fact that we've already tried discussing ban from rby 1u, but look how well the Chansey suspect turned out. No philosophy is going to change that strong an opinion imo
     
  19. Disaster Area

    Disaster Area Little Ball of Fur and Power Member

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    Hm, yeah that's kinda true.

    Also, I think that thinking about the "optimal" standard, since it's just optimal up to a certain point, it's basically just the same as or stronger than acceptable. I guess the question is if the standard is just to be acceptable, well, I guess, what's acceptable / how far away is acceptable from completely optimal.

    The thing is also it's really hard to define. But I guess the "acceptable standards" thing you wrote is adequate from a philosophical perspective. The trouble is then how do you apply that standard... and I think it is generational too. "A tier should be sufficiently deep to continue to reward players even after many years of scrutiny by elite players." ... outside of RBY 1U perhaps, I think this isn't really very possible in RBY. At the same time I guess you would be right that by that standard, even ADV Ubers probably is adequate. That metagame could be made more competitively deep by some amount of bans (certainly few enough that it wouldn't become a tier below the current OU), so if one would argue that no Pokemon is broken there (which is debatable but far easier to argue than it would be to argue that a significantly greater depth could be achieved with some amount of bans) then ADV Ubers would become ADV 1U using this standard. I guess the question is, can we give a stronger philosophical position that would make it easier to do bans in metagames that are quite centralised and contain Pokemon that are arguably broken like that, or not? I'm also thinking about ORAS Ubers... Primal Groudon is quite clearly overcentralising and very restrictive, but there are still enough Pokemon at that power level that one could argue that ORAS Ubers is adequately competitively deep. At the same time it is plainly clear that with a very small number of bans, a significantly more competitively deep metagame can be formed (and I'd argue it's far clearer than it even is in the case of ADV).

    So I guess I'm saying that the acceptable standards that you've made are actually too strong for RBY (because almost all RBY metagames fail to meet it) and too weak for most later generations (because almost every metagame in later generations without something that is clearly very deeply broken will meet it).

    Also, one other thought: one could argue that RBY Ubers meets the standard of adequate competitive depth, in my opinion. Look at how the metagame has evolved over the past few years (and really it's not had much to do with the mechanics changes I think?)... new sets have been thought up, different approaches to the game are being explored, and this is with the metagame having been around for around about two decades. I guess the metagame has received far less scrutiny overall by elite players, but surely it's not incomparable to say the level of scrutiny that the lower tiers we have formed thusfar have received?

    I dunno, there's probably a bunch of stuff in there you will disagree with ... why is making a sensible banning philosophy so hard lol.
     
  20. Disaster Area

    Disaster Area Little Ball of Fur and Power Member

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    The more I think about this the more I realise I can't think of any tiering system where I can't make a reasonable good-faith argument that RBY Ubers should be RBY 1U. :/ I think any system relies on everyone sharing a sense of what the 1U tier ought to be like, more than any coherent philosophy.
     
  21. Ortheore

    Ortheore Leader

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    Not necessarily. In examining RBY Ubers we divide ourselves into two camps- those in favour of ubers and those against it. Those against it might want 1U or they might theoretically think we should make 3U or 5U the primary tier, whereas those in favour of ubers might just want standard ubers, or they might want RBY 1A. In the end you'd probably reach some midpoint where those in favour of bans are outweighed by those against, so it's theoretically possible that there would be no need for a shared ideal of a tier. That said, this is a theoretical scenario, in practice we've got at least one "ideal" tier for every generation, usually two.

    Regarding the main post you made, that's a very fair call on acceptable vs optimal. Both are really difficult to define and I think the whole point of community-based tiering is that that's the area where we ask everyone and we collectively come to an agreement (that said, I would much prefer a more detailed definition, I just don't know how to go about it). I disagree that "acceptable" is impossible in RBY though, as 1U has proven that it meets that definition imo (its current state might be pushing the definition, but I think that's a product of the fact that it's been played for many years), while certain lower tiers (5U) also comfortably meet that standard. Otherwise if it was impossible for a game to reach an adequate standard through various rulesets, that would be an indicator that that game is simply not fit for competitive play. But as I said, I don't think that's the case for any pokemon game. As for later generations, I'm not sure this is something that can be resolved at this point. Maybe if we put this to a vote of some sort?

    Actually, I was just thinking of how you'd frame your perspective in such a vote, because I think your perspective can best be described as a compromise between my perspective and a theoretical perspective where you ban to achieve 100% optimisation. The latter is an absurd example, but I think it highlights that we use the same philosophy (?) we just have different approaches in determining what's "acceptable". That might be a better way to describe your perspective tbh? So although I'll point out that your perspective is somewhat about optimisation, being able to characterise your perspective in that way helps define a limit on how much optimisation is appropriate, so it's arguably tolerable, although I personally disagree with it. It occurs to me now that that's what you were probably originally saying before I brought up the point of optimisation lol

    One thing I will note is that although I said optimal and acceptable are incompatible, that really only goes one way- if you're wanting to ban for optimisation that can easily be translated to whether something is acceptable, whereas in the reverse case someone who only bans based on whether things are acceptable will always oppose bans for optimisation. Just a random thought I guess...
     
  22. Disaster Area

    Disaster Area Little Ball of Fur and Power Member

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    To be honest the more I think about this the more futile it feels to me. I had a read through Smogon's tiering policy and it seems to me they've gone for a similar idea (but go for optimising player skill rather than competitive depth) & place the onus of change always on the person arguing for change, and don't start with no Pokemon banned. I think without that last part they could end up with Ubers for their OU in most gens, lol. I dunno I just feel like any philosophy is pretty limited. We can't really make a philosophy where it's inarguable that RBY Ubers could be 1U, let alone the Ubers tier of a later generation. So, whatever our tiering philosophy ends up being, I think it literally can't overrule people's prior convictions about what 1U ought to be, and how balanced ubers is. I think the banning philosophy laid out in this thread is about as good as we can get, and is certainly adequate for dealing with the tiering of lower tiers, and I don't think we can make one adequate for overcoming people's incoming biases to determine 1U. I think maybe we need to think about some sort of alternative tiering process perhaps to determine 1U, but honestly I don't know how we could do that in a way that doesn't ignite another shitstorm.
     
  23. Ortheore

    Ortheore Leader

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    I mean the rby ubers point is only arguable if you flagrantly misinterpret "adequate depth" in such a way that it loses all meaning. At that point anything becomes arguable. As for the ubers in other generations, there's nothing wrong with them being arguable. However it's important to remember that something being arguable does not mean that that's what we adopt.

    As for overcoming biases and all that, I think it's foolish to expect anything to "overcome" such things, because they're inherent to literally everyone. That doesn't mean we can't have guidelines to give people a framework for discussion and to help mitigate those biases to whatever extent is possible.

    To be quite honest I think my guidelines are applicable to all tiers, and the core concept is applicable to all video games, so I'd be adamantly opposed to relegating this to lower tiers.
     
  24. Disaster Area

    Disaster Area Little Ball of Fur and Power Member

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    Yeah, I just don't think that any tiering guidelines we create will adequately overcome players' biases such that we actually reach the right result.


    One thing I also have thought about a little bit is wanting "OU-like balance/competitive depth"... it's something which I want, but also it's not something we can/should put in our tiering philosophy. I think that in most cases (I think BW is probably an exception) Ubers is less competitively deep & balanced than OU. At the same time, it's still oftentimes very competitively deep to the point of being "sufficiently deep to continue to reward players even after many years of scrutiny by elite players". At the same time, I can't figure out a way of describing OU's level of competitive depth without simply speaking with regards to OU.

    Imo, ADV Ubers is not as competitively deep as ADV OU. To me though, it also meets our current standard. I also think that there is probably a tier in between ADV OU & ADV Ubers which is as or more deep than ADV OU.
     

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