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ThinkNicer

The tier council needs a revamp because its stuck in 2012

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34 minutes ago, ThinkNicer said:

But that's not all the changes we need, we need changes to tiering policies, like what the definition of Ubers are. Because they are outdated

facts (ban electrode heuuu) 

Edited by Quinn010

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35 minutes ago, ThinkNicer said:

Frequent checks on the activity of council members. If you are in a tier council you should have at least 100 games played in that tier for that season. Checks can be made per season and these checks need to be publicly available. Overseeing council members need to have general knowledge of all the metagames, so having around 40 matches in every tier per season is a fair thing to ask for.

Not entirely sure how you would check these or that i agree this is relevant. I would view one deep tournament run or a handful of practice battles against a competent human far better for learning the meta than spamming 100 games of ladder, especially if they just spam the same teams for most of the battles. quality > quantity 

 

Agree with the premise of the post though

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Agreed with pretty much everything said.

 

But with the addition of functional matchmaking, I'd also bring up the possibility of Smogon-like "player-met requirements" to vote for a tiering decision. I think something like 70% winrate over 100 games for the tier in that season is enough to have a vote in a tiering decision. The Tier Council would still have a veto-right for every player base vote, for example if they had planned different kinds of actions in order to make the metagame better and that player base vote would interfere with that. But having said vote system would at least push for things to happen to some direction - either the Tier Council agrees with the playerbase vote or they would have to provide good explanation why they decide to take a different route.

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12 minutes ago, redbluegreen said:

Not entirely sure how you would check these or that i agree this is relevant. I would view one deep tournament run or a handful of practice battles against a competent human far better for learning the meta than spamming 100 games of ladder, especially if they just spam the same teams for most of the battles. quality > quantity 

 

Agree with the premise of the post though

The point is that you need to have a feel for the metagame. One tournament run or a handful of practice matches does not give you an overview of the metagame. You can check it by requesting screenshots, easy enough. TC members that don't play the game will not be invested enough to make decisions that influence players that put hundreds of hours into the game.

 

3 minutes ago, OrangeManiac said:

Agreed with pretty much everything said.

 

But with the addition of functional matchmaking, I'd also bring up the possibility of Smogon-like "player-met requirements" to vote for a tiering decision. I think something like 70% winrate over 100 games for the tier in that season is enough to have a vote in a tiering decision. The Tier Council would still have a veto-right for every player base vote, for example if they had planned different kinds of actions in order to make the metagame better and that player base vote would interfere with that. But having said vote system would at least push for things to happen to some direction - either the Tier Council agrees with the playerbase vote or they would have to provide good explanation why they decide to take a different route.

Good point, something like this should be valuable for suspect tests. *cough* MIENFOO *cough*

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1 hour ago, redbluegreen said:

Not entirely sure how you would check these or that i agree this is relevant. I would view one deep tournament run or a handful of practice battles against a competent human far better for learning the meta than spamming 100 games of ladder, especially if they just spam the same teams for most of the battles. quality > quantity 

 

Agree with the premise of the post though

I think this would only matter if it was a requirement to join TC, as opposed to a measurement of their activity and participation within the current meta. We can assume that the people joining TC are already competitively successful and widely regarded as competent, so I think the ladder is fine for the sole purpose of assessing someone’s activity once they’re actually in the council. But I guess there’d be no harm in also including a minimum number of tournaments entered per month as part of that measure

 

E: Would also like to express my support in what’s proposed in this thread - this is long overdue.

 

E2: Let’s also try to refrain from derailing the thread with personal attacks and snide comments towards staff/TC members and keep this a civil, productive discussion

Edited by Zymogen

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tbh I have like 50 matches in NU ladder and I'd still be more qualified to oversee that tier than people with 500 matches. But I agree with everything else, especially that the council needs to be separated, it's ridiculous having the same 5 people vote on every tier.

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37 minutes ago, LifeStyleNORE said:

tbh I have like 50 matches in NU ladder and I'd still be more qualified to oversee that tier than people with 500 matches. But I agree with everything else, especially that the council needs to be separated, it's ridiculous having the same 5 people vote on every tier.

if you wanna become tc going for 100 games is not hard if you really want it

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1 hour ago, ThinkNicer said:

The point is that you need to have a feel for the metagame. One tournament run or a handful of practice matches does not give you an overview of the metagame. You can check it by requesting screenshots, easy enough. TC members that don't play the game will not be invested enough to make decisions that influence players that put hundreds of hours into the game.

 

1 hour ago, Zymogen said:

I think this would only matter if it was a requirement to join TC, as opposed to a measurement of their activity and participation within the current meta. We can assume that the people joining TC are already competitively successful and widely regarded as competent, so I think the ladder is fine for the sole purpose of assessing someone’s activity once they’re actually in the council. But I guess there’d be no harm in also including a minimum number of tournaments entered per month as part of that measure

The point is there are countless ways to view activity. For example in PSL you can see countless players with low ladder ranks still doing well in their battles. It would be naïve to assume that their knowledge about the tier is insufficient just because they don't have 100 ladder games. Even if aren't actively playing ladder they talking about teambuilding and practicing battles against friends and team mates.

 

I just think using the given criteria you could miss out on potentially good candidates just because they don't see a benefit to playing ladder. Lifestyle pointed out that he would be a good example and I think most people would agree with that and honestly there are lots of good examples of outliers like this in every single tier. I agree that current TC members should be active in some form, I just don't believe that amount of ladder games should be the deciding factor about activity.

 

However I do like the idea of having separate TCs for each tier. And I would also be in favour of allowing more of the player base to vote. However I would prefer it to be an opt in system where reputable/knowledgeable players can write a short description of their accomplishments (which can include matchmaking) for the TC to then decide if they should be eligible or not. Instead of just amount of matchmaking games/win rate, I don't trust some guy who was given a pokepaste of a team to copy and spam for 100 games to have any influence over a tier and to not be biased.

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23 minutes ago, redbluegreen said:

 

The point is there are countless ways to view activity. For example in PSL you can see countless players with low ladder ranks still doing well in their battles. It would be naïve to assume that their knowledge about the tier is insufficient just because they don't have 100 ladder games. Even if aren't actively playing ladder they talking about teambuilding and practicing battles against friends and team mates.

 

I just think using the given criteria you could miss out on potentially good candidates just because they don't see a benefit to playing ladder. Lifestyle pointed out that he would be a good example and I think most people would agree with that and honestly there are lots of good examples of outliers like this in every single tier. I agree that current TC members should be active in some form, I just don't believe that amount of ladder games should be the deciding factor about activity.

 

However I do like the idea of having separate TCs for each tier. And I would also be in favour of allowing more of the player base to vote. However I would prefer it to be an opt in system where reputable/knowledgeable players can write a short description of their accomplishments (which can include matchmaking) for the TC to then decide if they should be eligible or not. Instead of just amount of matchmaking games/win rate, I don't trust some guy who was given a pokepaste of a team to copy and spam for 100 games to have any influence over a tier and to not be biased.

The example of 100 ladder games is arbitrary and clearly needs refining, and I agree that it should be weighted more towards tournaments than ladder. But the idea is that it wouldn’t be a requirement to join the TC in the first place (which should based on stricter criteria such as tournament success and other accomplishments), but simply a standardised method of tracking the activity of the players whilst actually in the TC because, as Think said, how could someone who doesn’t want to actively participate in the metagame be invested enough to take on the job of tiering? Take Zebra for example - great player historically, clearly would still be a great player if he chose to come back, but since he no longer plays, why should he still be in the TC? I think turnover of players who are no longer active is nothing but a good thing

 

Regarding the point about outliers, it’s clear to see who is active and who isn’t when you also account for tournaments and big unofficials like PSL, so I agree in that I don’t think it should be as simple or as black-and-white as playing X amount of games on the ladder. It should be assessed on a case-by-case basis

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Isn't the 100 ladder games criteria in order to filter out people who are qualified to vote on tiering decisions? Because if that is for the selection of TC, then it is grossly inadequate imo. 

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I don't think that 100 minimum battles should be a requirement, I just don't want to have a TC that has 100 battles but more battles lost than won, (if I mean the win rate)

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Yeah great shout here.

 

Further to lifestyles point i dont think someone necessarily needs to play a tier to be able to make tiering decisions, granted it is usually more helpful but i think there is also some value in objectivity. Being active in discussions can be enough for someone who doesnt play a tier to be familiar with it. 

 

PvP looks hot right now with the updated matchmaking, TC could probably do with an update to go along with it. 

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10 hours ago, DaftCoolio said:

Yeah great shout here.

 

Further to lifestyles point i dont think someone necessarily needs to play a tier to be able to make tiering decisions, granted it is usually more helpful but i think there is also some value in objectivity. Being active in discussions can be enough for someone who doesnt play a tier to be familiar with it. 

 

PvP looks hot right now with the updated matchmaking, TC could probably do with an update to go along with it. 

I think the part of objectivity would come from the overseeing council, which should function as a final check for things to go through. 

 

And about the checking of activity of TC members. I think its important to have some kind of objective measure that you can judge someones activity on. And ladder is the easiest way to do that. Going case by case will be too time consuming when you have a tc of 20+ members.

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This is going to sound awful rich coming from me of all people, so let me just premise this by saying that OF COURSE tc members should have a working knowledge of the current metagame in their respective tier. That being said, these activity checks don't seem like a good idea, and could potentially just lead to chaos. We have a nice sized competitive community here, but do we really have the depth near the top to be constantly shuffling players in and out of the TC if they fail to meet their arbitrary "games played" requirements? Why not just give the overseeing counsel the discretion to ask someone to step down from TC ("ask") if they don't believe they're keeping up with the current metagame trends? We could sit here arguing for days about how many games you have to play, 50, 100, 75? winrate? 70%+, 65%+, on and on and on. It's a "I know it when I see it" situation, we can tell when someone's out of touch with the current meta (ie when I try to chime in on tier threads nowadays). Just my two cents, overall though yea this is loooooong overdue

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Posted (edited)
On ‎9‎/‎30‎/‎2020 at 5:33 PM, Quinn010 said:

if you wanna become tc going for 100 games is not hard if you really want it

really? in NU not easy.

 

edit: and in LC even less xD

 

 

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Edited by XondeX

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Posted (edited)

I agree with basically all of the criticism in this thread, and I already ditched the TC a couple months ago because I don't foresee the TC getting fixed anytime soon (or ever). However, I think a good amount of solutions in this thread are missing the mark to some extent, which is reasonable, since I don't think people realize how deeply fucked the TC currently is. So, let me go into it:

 

First of all, I'm going to go ahead and point out the system is structured in such a way that makes it heavily resistant to change. To be frank, tiering is extra work, and the staff seem significantly more interested in having the formats be literally playable with all pokemon at least theoretically usable than actually making competitive, you know, good. Notice the operative word here is "staff"; for a while, the TC has been basically hammered into complete non-choices, as tiering decisions have been basically made by higher staff. The obvious example is the individual pokemon changes, the first notable one being removing Draco Meteor from Hydreigon's movepool. You could say the TC made that decision, sure, but the answer is not really. A more accurate breakdown is we were told we 100% shouldn't let Hydreigon be banned, and they don't want to remove Draco from Hydreigon later if they add it and it ends up broken. So, we were forced to agree "okay, yeah, don't release draco on it". In a technical manner, we made the judgment call that Draco Meteor Hydreigon would be too much, but in reality, we really had no choice in the matter. The limitations we were handed down basically made it the only possible option, and negotiating other solutions (just ban hydreigon/add it and remove it later if it's a problem) were basically no sold as possible options.

 

This trend of "Yeah, you guys decide, but there is literally only 1 conceivable choice" has resulted in basically every single OU related decision since Unova, and quite frankly, kills any drive to actually care about anything tiering related. If there's only 1 option that's even being considered, why even have a TC to make that decision? This is obviously exacerbated by the fact that banning is something to be avoided whenever possible, and bans are typical placed with the idea that at some point an update/nerf will be released to undo the ban at some point.

 

Of course, this only really addresses the issues plaguing OU tiering, not the rest of the tiers. To go into that, we have to go over the fact the TC is basically unchanged in policies and structure despite being like, half a decade old. The biggest issue is the massive emphasis on forum engagement and participation; discussions take place on the forums, when adding TC members, some level of involvement on the forums is preferred/expected, etc. This might have been fine before, but quite frankly, the forums here are extremely dead. Forums (no, reddit doesn't count) just aren't really used anymore, and making them so integral to the tiering process is a ridiculous oversight. The fact you basically can't get involved in tiering in any meaningful way other than messaging TC members without getting on the forums is absolutely ridiculous in current year. TC and tiering communication in general is awful, and it's caused partially by apathy on the TC's side (massive inactivity btw, but this is an old horse), but also by the fact policies basically push communication to threads in a forum people who play the game don't even use. It's pretty telling that a lot of the people I'm seeing in this thread are people who were using the forums years ago, when it was actually, uh, useful.

 

Even ignoring that, there is basically no meaningful structure to the tiering process itself. The definitions of banworthy are literally irrelevant, since the rules for banning have heavily changed since staff became more involved, and the process of requiring a forum thread for suspects and such is literally laughably pointless. At present, it's just whoever actually cares to say or do anything throwing out a vote on things people are mildly vocal about. The literal 2.13 active TC members scream about something that they want banned ASAP, and bring it up every month until something changes. That's about it. It's not like there's much structure on what to do, and most people just aren't involved enough to generate structure. There's not really any guidelines on what's considered acceptable to ban other than "try not to touch OU", so the discussions quickly turn circular with only 2 or 3 people actively participating to any extent, and none of them really agreeing on the line for banworthy, even if half the time they agree something might be strong.

 

Ultimately, all of these things are only issues as long as they persist. If they can be fixed, there isn't a problem, but as I said originally, the system is heavily resistant to change. Removing old, irrelevant TC members is more work for staff (read: Munya), and quite frankly, from their perspective, isn't even necessary if the TC is still working "fine" (which it isn't). To be fair, I'm sympathetic to Munya & staff in general on this point, since the way the system is structured and the fact staff hide in a brimstone bunker as far away from the playerbase as possible makes picking out new TC members a huge hassle. Not only that, but in all the time TC has been around, it's absolutely been common that someone new is added to the TC to replace an inactive/quit/removed member, and then proceeds to just not participate at all. At a certain point, cycling through TC members can feel pointless, when you end up replacing an inactive player with an active player who doesn't participate, and then turns inactive. However, ignoring this doesn't make it not an issue, it just guarantees it will literally never get fixed.

 

Since TC inevitably ends up clogged with inactives who can't be bothered to do anything, and replacing them with active members is an exercise in futility, nothing meaningful gets changed since the TC itself isn't willing to instigate any change. Not to mention that actually enacting meaningful change requires active discussion and cooperation with higher staff, which effectively makes doing anything a million times more difficult and frustrating. It's not uncommon that we had to force Munya to float an idea higher up the river, just to get told a flat "no" with little else. I'm also gonna throw a disclaimer here; it's not that higher staff never engage or discuss with the TC. For example, Kyu would frequently show up whenever we had to discuss something related to an ingame change he'd have to push (ie, modifying how an ability/move works) that had relevant competitive impact. However, normally these discussions are instigated by the higher staff themselves, and things as vague and open ended as "The TC is completely broken and needs to be changed completely" isn't going to garner much traction.

 

So, what are we left with? A system that, as is, is broken in the following ways:

  • Communicates through an irrelevant channel (Forums) for announcements, community engagement, and identifying potential members.
  • Ends up clogged with inactive users without any failsafes to handle them, so that even when they are replaced, the issue quickly repeats.
  • Has rules and guidelines, but basically none of them are followed due to being some combination of outdated, wrong, or bad.
  • Is extremely resistant to change, due to being comprised of inactive users, the difficulty of pushing forth actual change, and lack of receptiveness/attentiveness to these problems by staff.
  • Is left with extremely little freedom in making independent decisions, due to constant (generally poorly defined & understood by the TC) restrictions imposed by higher staff.
  • Lacks any drive, ability, or function with which to push back and address any of these issues.

Ultimately, splitting up the TC into subdivisions of ideally more informed/active players won't fix anything in the long term. Even if it temporarily helps address the stagnant state of the TC, it doesn't fix any of the other fundamental problems. While something like the activity checker ThinkNice mentioned would ideally help combat the inevitable stagnation issue, in practice, I see it requiring too much staff involvement/effort, since any member purged by this system must then be replaced by someone staff deems "acceptable" and meets stringent activity requirements. There's just like 0% chance something like that would really get enforced long term, if at all; it's just too much of a hassle for them to upkeep.

 

So, in order for a proposed TC rework to be viable imo, it would need to meet these requirements:

  • Deal with not only the current TC stagnation of inactive users, but provide a method of cycling out inactive ones in the future. The system needs to be flexible enough to not just remove inactive users, but easily be able to replace them. The second part is both extremely important to actually making it feasible long term, and also probably the most difficult required change tbh.
  • Actually allow/give the TC more meaningful/varied options for dealing with tiering policies independently. I legitimately don't think there's much point in having a TC if a lot of decisions end up being made half by default due to restrictions imposed on how we can/can't handle potential or currently problematic pokemon. Stuff like "Suspect Tests" as done in PokeMMO where someone throws up a thread and says "we might ban this, discuss" are so pointless that I can't even fathom why we still bother, a far cry from suspects performed by Smogon. This doesn't just have to mean being more open to just banning pokemon (since I sincerely doubt anyone high up will change their mind on this for some reason), but having actual tools to make better tiering decisions would be a significant boon.
  • Completely rework the currently written/codified TC guidelines. And by "rework" I mean literally delete every tiering policy thread I've ever written, they're like half a decade old and nobody follows them anymore, write something else ffs. Especially regarding the vague guidelines brought down by higher staff, since even looking back I'm still not 100% sure on what we were/weren't allowed to do.
  • SIGNIFICANTLY IMPROVE COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT AND INTERACTION. This is literally the most important thing, and I wouldn't really give a shit about anything else if this could get fixed. The forums are not a good way of involving the community in tiering anymore, because the game playing community largely doesn't give a shit about this place. I am 100% convinced the best way of handling this would be having Smogon style Suspect Tests where players who meet specific requirements could vote on proposed suspects, but the last time this was suggested, I was hit with a pretty fat "no". I don't expect this to ever be compromised on, but it is such a fucking good idea holy shit just do it already ffs. If staff is still insistent on being against this, then come up with something else, but the current system of sitting in a shitty chat on the PokeMMO discord and memeing once a month before writing up garbage and posting it in a thread nobody cares about is terrible for getting people to actually care about tiering.

Some of these have some proposed solutions already in the thread (and in the bullet points themselves), but not all solutions are perfect. Either way, these are all major, fundamental flaws with the TC that need to be addressed to have any hope of it not being completely worthless garbage. I probably missed some stuff in writing out this post, but I think these four bullet points succinctly cover the current issues that need to be addressed. If you get nothing else out of this post, at least read those four bullets. Frankly, I don't have super high hopes for most of this, but I saw this thread and figured I should probably comment on the issue, since the sad state of the TC has been apparent for a while, and I don't see anyone from the TC saying or doing much about it.

 

Also, I'm gonna throw out a disclaimer. I left the TC a few months ago, and it's entirely possible some of this has been addressed since I've been gone. I HEAVILY doubt it, especially given the existence of this thread, but it's worth mentioning before I get dogpiled for outdated information.

 

tl;dr: haha no, read it. alternatively, read everything starting from the sentence above the last set of bullet points.

 

Spoiler

tbh this post could probably do with some proofreading/refining, but I think I got the point across fine, and this took long enough to write anyway. gl to actually fixing this for anyone who really cares to, hopefully this has been helpful in giving some insight to anyone outside the TC.

 

Edited by Senile

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1 hour ago, Senile said:

Of course, this only really addresses the issues plaguing OU tiering, not the rest of the tiers. To go into that, we have to go over the fact the TC is basically unchanged in policies and structure despite being like, half a decade old. The biggest issue is the massive emphasis on forum engagement and participation; discussions take place on the forums, when adding TC members, some level of involvement on the forums is preferred/expected, etc. This might have been fine before, but quite frankly, the forums here are extremely dead. Forums (no, reddit doesn't count) just aren't really used anymore, and making them so integral to the tiering process is a ridiculous oversight. The fact you basically can't get involved in tiering in any meaningful way other than messaging TC members without getting on the forums is absolutely ridiculous in current year. TC and tiering communication in general is awful, and it's caused partially by apathy on the TC's side (massive inactivity btw, but this is an old horse), but also by the fact policies basically push communication to threads in a forum people who play the game don't even use. It's pretty telling that a lot of the people I'm seeing in this thread are people who were using the forums years ago, when it was actually, uh, useful.

This is the best point in the entire thread, and one I hadn't quite been able to put my finger on until now

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