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Community Thoughts on Staff Situation + Expanding Beyond Tournaments

Discussion in 'Chat' started by Ortheore, Mar 4, 2019.

  1. Ortheore

    Ortheore Leader

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    Hey all I just wanted to post about PP as a whole because I think there's some stuff worth talking about. However, I've got to preface this post by saying that I'm out of the loop in terms of what happens on Discord- it's never been a platform I've paid a great deal of attention to, and I've now abandoned it entirely and I don't see myself returning to it. So because I'm not active there, I may be off the mark with some things. Also idk if the title is misleading, but these are really two separate issues

    ========================
    The first thing is that the forum's leadership has really been a bit tumultuous, as DA and Sceptross have both stepped down in the past year or so, while although I haven't formally quit my position, I am on something of a hiatus. I'm honestly unsure where we're at now, and I think something needs to be done to address that. But the real issue as I see it is burnout- Sceptross cited this as the main reason they left iirc, while that's also been a massive factor in my decision to step back from the site.

    So what can be done about burnout? I think we need to do a better job spreading jobs amongst ourselves. Prior to me stepping back from things I was a season host, in charge of the tiering project and also one of the more senior staff members on the site. We need to separate things as much as possible imo, in terms of both jobs and platforms- I think Discord should be treated as separate from the forums. Additionally, season hosts should be separate from any tiering stuff, and should also be separate from global tours as much as possible, and if there's anything discussion-specific, that should be separate too. Any "exec" position that assumes responsibility for the whole site I think should not have any direct responsibilities, instead only providing decision-making where required.

    Admittedly, when it comes to these kinds of things, people will naturally tend to pick additional things up, whether through circumstance or because they don't foresee any issues with an additional role. This is fine, we should not stop people from contributing, but we MUST plan for people only doing one thing at a time, and we MUST provide some way for people to signal in advance that they might've bitten off more than they can chew. Additionally, maybe making a post somewhere about warning signs for burnout/overload and stuff, though as always it becomes a question of whether people will actually read it or not

    ============================
    Another point I'd really like to bring up is the question of how we can fuel discussion, rather than just running tournaments. I feel like this has always been a weak point of the site, but as someone who loves just talking about competitive pokemon I feel like we could do more here, especially when it comes to things like VR threads. As it stands, VR threads that aren't RBY 1U just don't receive that much discussion, and even with RBY 1U, discussion has been a bit erratic and hasn't really lead anywhere- my recent attempt to resolve things got almost no response. I like to consider our RBY VR thread authoritative but I think it's needed an overhaul for months now, but again, discussion has lead nowhere.

    Unfortunately, I haven't got any good solutions here. What are your thoughts on how we can improve discussion?
     
  2. Lojh

    Lojh Above Average GSCer Member

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    Quantity
     
  3. FriendOfMrGolem120

    FriendOfMrGolem120 aka. "FOMG" Moderator

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    I don't think we should treat discord that differently from the forum as a forum banned player would also be banned from discord, at least in the cases I have seen. Season hosts announce new rounds/signups on discord (and often talk to players there to remind them about scheduling).
     
  4. Disaster Area

    Disaster Area Little Catto of Furr and Power Member

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    I would like to say although I left of my own accord for reasons unrelated, I was feeling and am feeling quite burnt out with Pokemon / Pokemon Perfect. Part of it is being more busy irl - got my first job out of uni at the start of November - and part is an increasing interest in Yu-Gi-Oh (goat format or nova) - and part of it is seeing, well, I've really tested the limits of what I can make happen and accomplish. Grow a forum, create a hub away from smogon, create and get others to create advanced analyses, revamping the medal system, establish a meaningful tournament scene - I've managed with the help of all of you to achieve these things. Creating a tiering system, well, I think in some ways I've been successful but I ultimately have felt hampered by:
    - It takes a lot of times to reset things and things at the boundaries are often up in the air. Also hard to agree on a non-arbitary initial banlist or lack there-of and to agree on what makes something either broken or banworthy.
    Plus boosting any non standard meta to be taken as seriously as it should be is difficult and requires so much effort. Also making the PP server into what it could be is not something I have the skillset for, tutoring was a dud, haven't really had the best ideas for unique team tours, and the more interesting ideas never made it to execution or sucked because the forum wasnt really ready for it. The youtube ideas I had never panned out because they're a lot of effort and not really my forte. Keeping spreadsheets up to date is a lot of effort - it's cathartic but few people ever really learnt how to do it. And there's probably more I forgot to talk about...

    I don't know how to reignite discussion, I've tried my best to make things happen but u can only lead horses to water. If u really nag people to do things on here that can make things happen, but someone has to be willing to be an annoying mofo like yours truly
     
  5. Ortheore

    Ortheore Leader

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    Oh I was just talking strictly in terms of who assumes responsibility. Punishments should definitely transfer over. Speaking personally, I'd rather not touch Discord altogether, even as someone who has hosted a season, but I guess for most people it's too important to overlook so idk, I guess if it's within that role its ok.

    ===========
    DA those are some pretty good points you bring up in that a lot of them I hadn't even considered. Youtube and maybe Twitch are pretty obvious things for us to do, but tbh I hadn't even considered them. I've actually been quietly contemplating starting up a personal youtube channel that would probably cover stuff that might otherwise appear on PP, but even if I were ready to commit to it, there's a ton of issues, such as my lack of video editing skills (I was planning on picking this up as I went along), the fact that the only OUs that I feel qualified to comment on are 1 and 2, as well as the fact that my take on things would have a very specific dynamic that's not really universally suitable (I cannot for the life of me get hyped about watching matches, but I think I can do a pretty decent job providing in-depth analysis). It would need to be a multi-person project.

    Spreadsheets are another thing worth noting, but that's ideally something to be automated, rather than being an ongoing role (the WCoPP one was cool, but too much work due to manual inputs).

    Tutoring should unfortunately be left by the wayside, it was a nice idea, but I guess we'd need to be much bigger to pull it off. I actually haven't logged on to the PP server in ages (basically since I stopped playing tours) so idk how it's faring, but it and our non-OU tiers are things that I think are worth pursuing, even if they might be in a bit of lull.

    All of these projects are fairly ambitious goals that'll require a committed collaborative effort. In my view they're in a similar position as my earlier point regarding general discussion, with the primary difference being that discussion is far from an ambitious goal. Either way, there's not a whole lot that can be done on your own, we need to get people interested, I just don't know how. Maybe I'm just out of touch lol, like I love talking about pokemon and I love the idea of pursuing alternate tiers, but I don't get the sense that heaps of other people are, or at least that they're interested to the same extent that I am
     
    Disaster Area likes this.
  6. Chrysalis

    Chrysalis libertine Host Emeritus

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    I'm trying not to be cynical in this post for once, I promise. Even though I predicted over a year ago that this exact situation would happen, and I will tell you the same things I said back then. Take this as a response to both Orth's OP and G7's thread.

    PP needs to downsize in order to survive, and by that I mean severely downsize. Tutoring died because there was no functioning system, and players subsequently started tutoring each other on Discord instead. Retiering has been dead since it started. Side tiers never functioned on a regular schedule because we made the mistake of letting unexperienced people run it and the playerbase never cared enough to play out whole seasons. It's fine that PP has all these options, but if the administration doesn't devote the adequate attention, they will go nowhere, and if the players don't have enough passion, they turn into subfests where no one has any sense of competition whatsoever and the person that wins the tour is the one who actually gets all their games done.

    PP needs to stop separating itself from Smogon with a toxic elitist mindset. Our nominal admin is 80% involved in RoA rather than PP, and I assume he would be happy to bring the two sites closer together. This whole separation seems to stem from a personal grudge of some former leaders years ago, and there is literally no point in continuing it. PP has always thrived off of recruiting Smogon/RoA RBY players that wanted to get better (with the main goal of winning important Smogon tours), and don't forget about the ADV situation where the seasons are mostly a training ground for veterans with the occasional invitational.
    We should no longer view ourselves as a community that extracts members from RoA. Because we've never been. Most people stayed Smogon players first and foremost. Instead, we should collaborate and view ourselves as just another training institution, without any sense of competition against big bad Smogon.

    For the last half year or so, I personally have viewed PP mostly as that - a training ground with regular MTs in RBY, ADV and maybe GSC, an active Discord server with a lot of unofficial tutoring going on, and two major team tours per year that attract outsiders in the same vein as POWC/POCL/EGL. This is one functioning identity for the site, and in order to succeed, we should limit ourselves to that.
    I didn't have enough time or motivation to keep my involvement going beyond 2018. But if I had done that, my main goal would've been to set up a bot that automatically parses signups to create and post MT brackets. That reflects the direction I think we should be going. Scrap the 12 player BW tours that have 8 actcalls in the first round. Scrap the retiering, or put it into a "side projects and games" subforum that is clearly marked as such. Scrap the attempts to get new, creative stuff done. Small experimental tours from time to time are cool, but we shouldn't expect them to get more than the usual 8-10 signups. PP is amazing at the few things it does well, and if we - both the administration and the playerbase - focus solely on these, there is no question it will keep succeeding as a site and as a community.
     
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  7. Ortheore

    Ortheore Leader

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    This is a very fair point regarding downsizing. I can agree that we need to prune many of our projects. I think everyone agrees tutoring hasn't panned out. As for the tiering project, I disagree that it was dead as soon as it started, we had some success with it, most notably the first run-through of RBY, but I do agree that it's currently dead. I'm not sure I'll ever give up on it, just because it's something I'm really passionate about, but at the same time, I'm not going to try and run stuff if no-one's interested... so I don't know if it'll ever be rebooted. Tbh my personal philosophy is becoming increasingly more ban-averse to the point where I honestly don't know if I'd want to deviate from ubers, except for RBY (RBY ubers is baaad, and I don't see much point running mewbers) and DPP (why the fuck is arceus banned lmao). I'd even consider just running ubers tournaments, which would be far more popular than a "tiering project", but as you say, we need to move away from where we've overextended, so I'm in no rush even if I do commit to this path.

    Having said that, in theory there should be a niche for us as a regular tournament scene for all past gens (hell, I don't see why it wouldn't work with current gen stuff as well). Clearly, other gens haven't quite worked out and I honestly don't know why, as I've not been involved with them. But I honestly feel like our core niche (tournaments) should be broadly relevant, so I think it's well worth potentially covering these things... so long as we're able to.

    Regarding the whole separation from smogon, I've never been deliberately anti-smogon, and I've never sought to "extract" players from smogon. However, my actions might be a bit mixed in this regard, because to me, if we're just running tournaments and not really doing a whole lot else, things just feel hollow, like we're merely a proxy for smogon. It should be noted that I think it's here that my aversion to chatting on PS and Discord is most pronounced- I basically stick to forums so I'm likely missing out on a lot of the community aspects. In any case, I feel like there are plenty of ways to have our cake and eat it too- as long as we're providing consistent OU tournaments for however many gens is feasible, I think we're free to do whatever else that might differentiate us, if we can actually get it off the ground and so long as it doesn't compromise the OU tournament thing. At the very least, discussing the games isn't unreasonable, and something we should be trying to facilitate as something that develops these forums as more than just tournaments.

    I agree with the idea of putting any side projects in their own subforum. Regarding the experimental tours, if you're meaning the tournament structure itself, I don't mind dropping most of them, but I'll never stop searching for a feasible format to supplant the cancer that is single elim.

    I'm on board with the idea that we should be focusing on our core tournaments. However I'm at something of a loss when it comes to ways of being more active in developing them, aside from the obvious stuff- make sure they run smoothly and everyone has a good time. However while I agree with shelving stuff that can be considered a "project", whether permanently or until they become feasible, I do think we should aim to become a major discussion hub.
     
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