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Smogon staff vs the RBY community

Discussion in 'RBY OU' started by Ortheore, Jun 14, 2020.

  1. Ortheore

    Ortheore Host Emeritus

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    Following the decision of Smogon's staff to force the RBY council to exclude a broad swathe of the RBY community from having a say in the fate of their favourite format, it has become abundantly apparent that Smogon's staff care little for the needs of the RBY community, instead caring more about enforcing a monopoly on competitive pokemon and power play than actually supporting our community. As such, we as a community should take it upon ourselves to forge a new home, independent of Smogon and its toxic politics.

    For those out of the loop (and because I'll be c/ping this elsewhere online), it was found that the move Counter could cause desyncs in a way that players have no control over. This obviously required a response, either to patch Counter or ban it, but the community did not come to a consensus, so it was decided that a vote would be held. The initial voter list was picked by the RBY council, who are themselves active members of the community and know what's going on. This list was then scrapped at the whims of Smogon higher-ups and a new one created in order to remove players that were mostly known for their involvement with Pokemon Perfect, another forum dedicated to competitive old gen tournaments, in particular RBY.

    I want to make one thing clear from the outset- I have the utmost respect for the RBY council, and I am in no way blaming them for this atrocious decision. It is very clear that this decision was rammed down their throats by some aloof and out-of-touch admin(s). With that said, there can be no excusing this appalling decision. To my knowledge, there has been no point in the history of competitive pokemon where the competitive RBY community was confined to Smogon, and for most of the 10 years or so I've been involved with competitive pokemon, Smogon has made little or no effort to support RBY. Instead, that mantle was taken up first by RBY2K10, then by Pokemon Perfect, both of which became integral community hubs during their respective eras.

    Despite this, Smogon has remained relevant by force of name, propped up by the sheer weight of numbers and its prestige in other areas- its tight relationship with the only relevant pokemon simulator further reinforces this. In recent years, RBY on Smogon has seen a small resurgence, in no small part due to many active members of Pokemon Perfect also seeking to help with Smogon, no doubt under the belief that it would help the community at large (this is worth coming back to), however, with RBY apparently being the preferred choice when axing formats from large tournaments, it's clear that this resurgence is swiftly petering out, and that site staff have no interest in supporting RBY in general

    It is thus we arrive at the crux of our problem, and why the actions of smogon's staff in this matter are completely unacceptable. It's a decision that robs much of the regular RBY community of a voice, but with consequences that nonetheless threaten to be imposed on the community regardless, because if the community as a whole disagrees with it, there are few alternatives. Even for a community that isn't as closely tied to smogon as other generations, decisions made on smogon carry immense weight. Nowhere else in Smogon's tiering policy does it so blatantly ignore community feedback- no other past gen has as much of its community associated with other sites, making tiering decisions based on the votes of tournament players in those generations far less illegitimate. But even that is a sub-optimal compromise- current gen suspects of course have it much better, by giving everyone the opportunity to prove themselves worthy of being involved in the decision-making process.

    That smogon staff are willing to suppress the voices of people who make names for themselves on other sites demonstrates that they don't care about our community, and are totally disconnected from the reality that the RBY community was built independently of smogon, and that it's only recently that the community became less distant from smogon. Instead this comes across as an attempt to suppress what they seem to view as competition from another site. This isn't an isolated case either- site staff routinely silence users who refer people to other sites, even in cases where doing so is relevant and appropriate, as opposed to a promotional thing, never mind the fact that involvement in multiple sites has always been commonplace in the RBY community. These actions reek of a competitive mentality being applied to community management, which is utterly absurd. Developing a community isn't a game to be won or lost, it's something where positive action leads to everybody benefiting- look no further than the numerous figures from Pokemon Perfect who've stepped up to help both there and on Smogon. That's not some battle being played out, that's something that's done to benefit everyone.

    Suppressing other sites that seek to co-exist with Smogon by attempting to de-legitimise them is toxic to the community in general- as exemplified above, it stifles users that would otherwise seek to contribute and build a community. Furthermore, I'd argue that having a community that spans multiple sites is a positive thing- it allows multiple avenues for users to make names for themselves or find a spot in the community, rather than being seen as a scene dominated by exclusive cliques. All of this is to say that trying to stamp out other sites does more harm than good, as it alienates and disenfranchises much of the community, while doing nothing positive for regular users.

    So where do we go from here? Well one option would be for smogon's brass to reverse course to try to mitigate the damage done and not alienate much of the RBY community. Stop meddling in the affairs of our format, and leave the fate of RBY to its community, free from the influence of smogon staff that have nothing to do with us and prioritise some sort of agenda over the fate of RBY. Is that likely to occur? Who knows? But it's not something I believe we should rely on. Based on these actions, it seems smogon's staff will continue attempting to deny the existence of other forums, insist that smogon is the only legitimate hub for any form of competitive pokemon, thus stifling other forums, while steadily withdrawing support for RBY. This spells an end to RBY's community, unless we take action. Our community is bigger than any one site, and we've survived without smogon's support before, there's no reason we can't do so again. If smogon won't stop meddling in RBY and imposing their supposed hegemony over our community, then we'll have to take things into our own hands and invest fully in non-smogon communities. Pokemon Perfect is an option, though you may be surprised to find it's not my top choice for RBY's new home- many RBYers will know the project I'm referring to, but if you don't, I'm happy to discuss privately. Establishing an independent home for RBY would be difficult due to the monolithic influence of smogon, but with concerted action it can be done

    Please, let's take action to develop RBY, rather than leaving it to some out-of-touch staffers who have nothing to do with us and are content to let RBY start gathering dust.
     
  2. EB0LA

    EB0LA KING OF PP Member

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    Smogon has become quiet nice to RBY. I believe in main due to Lutra investing a lot of his time that was invested here in the past to there. Now, there is year-round tours on Smogon for RBY. It is interesting to me that when there was a RBY leader here on PP RBY thrived. Now that there is a ADV leader ADV is thriving. With this analysis I believe 2nd in command after Callous needs to be a strong RBYer. With RBY beginning to dwindle around here again this would hopefully spark the RBY community to unite. This would make ADV & RBY the major hubs on PP again. Then it would have 2 big old gen hubs of 2 gens, get 1 more and we have 3/5 (majority), then it will look more like the old gens hub instead of just an alternative forum. Need work from all the big names in all gens 1-5 to pull players here, and hosts to be chosen strategically to be inviting, active, promoting, and overall being fun hosts.

    edit: Also some sort of union with PO would be amazing for old gens too... maybe a PO+PP team tour merge would be a big boost of attention for both sites.
     
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  3. GGFan

    GGFan Member

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    Last edited: Jun 14, 2020
  4. Plague von Karma

    Plague von Karma Member

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    I don't know how to think of this. I feel the issue is a flaw in Smogon's policies regarding how votes are conducted. Can't really go back now, considering the damage has already been done. Going back would just make the process more confusing than it already is.

    I'm hoping that this atrocious handling of the situation results in a change or something. Will it happen? Probably not, but we can at least hope and try to signal boost it.

    I'm kind of confused as to why other sites aren't considered, actually. Competition spans multiple communities, right? Kind of defeats the purpose to discount them. If anything it promotes some kind of monopoly.
     
  5. Disaster Area

    Disaster Area Little Ball of Furr and Power Member

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    My comments:

    In full agreement with this.

    Lots of love for peas and lusch and no hard feelings towards anyone on or off the council, but every single person knows the new voter pool is inadequate and that the previous one was reasonable.

    I'm gonna address a couple of things in peas' second post which isn't correct to my knowledge, just to try and make things as clear as possible:

    Not entirely sure but I think this was probably Lutra's and my doing in some way or another, and more like 4-5 years ago rather than 15.

    That's not exactly right. Slightly more conditions need to be fulfilled... also, this was discovered 5 years ago. Video from Crystal_:



    It's not any one person's decision to make, about using PP, Smogon, RBY2k20, or any other forum, site, etc. to play RBY. They all have their various upsides and downsides, but I'll do my best to provide a good home for the RBY community on RBY2k20, whatever else everyone else decides. We had a survey on this topic and a few others very recently (Survey Link) so when it comes to the tournaments in our own tiers (i.e. tradebacks) we will be following the results of what the RBY community told us in the survey.
     
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  6. Lutra

    Lutra Site Founder Owner

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    No, Psywave has never been banned in RoA tournaments. I think you banned it on PP, and somehow it made its way into the tournament guidelines. I have never heard about the 15 year thing, but I hope it has a source and is not misinformation.
     
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  7. Disaster Area

    Disaster Area Little Ball of Furr and Power Member

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    Last edited: Jun 14, 2020
  8. marcoasd

    marcoasd P.I.P. PLAY IN PEACE Host Emeritus

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    I'll drop just a few thoughts here, shortly, simply because this is the place where it makes more sense for me to do it (out of the three or possibly more places where this thread has been started) and I also think I'll be nothing more than a lurker on Smogon from now on unless they'll do something.
    This should give you a big spoiler about the way I think this should be handled.

    "This is smogon, you don't like it? It's perfectly reasonable for you not to, make your own server and do things your way." - Troller

    Even though I don't like to hear this, I can't argue against this piece of truth being brought up.
    PP lost the exclusive on RBY the moment the discussion threads were archived and the playerbase started doing it on Smogon, and the tournament scene is lacking for the same reason: the playerbase just moved and the hard core that used to compete in tournaments can't be bothered with the routine of playing in torunaments anymore I guess.
    At the end of the day Smogon feeds off our posts and RBY wouldn't live long there without the guys in the council - ultimately it's all up to them in my opinion: their moves will decide the outcome, so I feel like you have to gather them and talk to them if you want to save time.
    And this is the only place to do that: rby2k20 is meant for a small part of the playerbase.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2020
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  9. Disaster Area

    Disaster Area Little Ball of Furr and Power Member

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    With time, we will have a playerbase of a similar size etc. to PP at its heights... maybe even higher if we can manage it

    but yeah it is true that smogon dont have to listen to other sites on making their rules if they don't want to. but if they have that stance at some point we will probably decide our own rules for OU on 2k20 (not a priority right now as we have soooo much else on our plate)
     
  10. Disaster Area

    Disaster Area Little Ball of Furr and Power Member

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    [​IMG]

    ah yeah enigami and marcoasd are not very important members of the rby community anyway

    sarcasm.
     
  11. SaDiSTiCNarwhal

    SaDiSTiCNarwhal Always tired Member

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    Who’s marcoasd? Never heard of the guy must be knew
     
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  12. magic9mushroom

    magic9mushroom BEST END. Member

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    What it all boils down to is Smogon administration having gone feral because their monopoly means they can. The only way to stop them forcing stuff on the community is to have a totally independent alternative that they can't smother.

    This means a simulator that they don't control, so that they can't simply ignore community input and pull the "what are you gonna do" card.

    This means an independent discussion board, where Smogon administration can't squelch a debate for the lulz the way they did with Freeze Clause shortly after Showdown was founded.

    This means an independent tiering, done with actual principles rather than Smogon's whatever-has-the-votes attitude.

    This means a site with admins with a spine, who have the balls to defy Smogon and don't cave in (CALLOUS, you did irreparable damage to PP when you abandoned independent tiering and archived half the site).

    And it means critical mass of players to survive all this and beat Smogon when they pull the "pick a site" card.

    Getting all of these is not easy. Getting all of these at the same time so momentum isn't lost is harder. But it's the only way to keep the bastards honest.

    Ortheore, please name-drop in public. We can't do this if you're talking in riddles, and I'm pretty sure Lutra won't allow someone to censor you.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2020
  13. Disaster Area

    Disaster Area Little Ball of Furr and Power Member

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    rby2k20

    site: RB2k20: Home
    discord: RBY2k20 (most relevant part of it from a participatory standpoint)
    simulator: (coming soon, awaiting server registration)
    forum: Home | Rby2k20 (don't expect tournaments to be hosted on this for the most part, will be a combination of the website + discord - but we have a tradebacks exploration tournament just opening signups now)
    youtube: YouTube

    for now though, we are just invested in having RBY OU seasons, RBY 1U (RBY OU with tradebacks enabled, and our own survey results on desyncs), and Violet, and maybe RBY UU + a rotating format season afterwards.

    Doing our own thing with RBY OU specifically could happen longer term but right now we have plenty on our plates.
     
  14. magic9mushroom

    magic9mushroom BEST END. Member

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    Tradebacks exploration is something I've wanted to see for a long time. I don't really think a single tournament suffices to explore anything, though; ladders and tournament series are really required.

    What are these survey results you speak of?

    (As I've said many times, I don't think cartridge accuracy should be negotiable i.e. Sleep Clause should be done via DQ and/or button removal rather than changing the result, and what to do about desyncs boils down to banning moves, inputting DQ conditions and/or actually implementing the desync.)
     
  15. Disaster Area

    Disaster Area Little Ball of Furr and Power Member

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    The exploration tournament is preliminary to regular seasons that will be occuring. Gives players time to practice and time for us to set up our seasons system.

    [Qupte]What are these survey results you speak of?[/Quote]
    RB2k20:

    Freeze Clause isn't (realistically) cartridge-enforcable and we surveyed this on PP years ago and the pro freeze clause side won by an extremely handy margin. Given that cartridge accuracy is already negotiable because of that, I don't see what's wrong with asking the community how desyncs should be handled - so long as they are given proper context on the pros and cons of handling desyncs in different ways. (as you can see this was done with the survey)
     
  16. magic9mushroom

    magic9mushroom BEST END. Member

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    "We incorrectly made X negotiable, the voters got it wrong, and we compromised our tiering principles, therefore we should incorrectly make Y negotiable" is not going to convince me, d00d.

    (I mean, a survey on "do we want to use Stadium mechanics or cartridge ones" is perfectly reasonable, but cartridge-with-Freeze-Clause is quite simply not RBY and I will never support a so-called RBY site that falsely presents it as such.)
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2020
  17. Disaster Area

    Disaster Area Little Ball of Furr and Power Member

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    I mean you're free to try and make your own community without freeze clause, lol. But next to noone will play. You remember that when I say that freeze clause got beaten handily, only about 3 or 4 people voted against it, me and you included.... I do have my own tiering values but for me having a cohesive RBY community is more important than the idea that everything I say goes, so I'm happy to resolve these things by surveying people.
     

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