So right now PO's forums are basically treated like a mini-Smogon: the only active tournaments are their team tournaments and POT (with only 64 players), and the playerbase at least in the former case is largely players who spend most of their time on Smogon and Pokemon Showdown. Indeed, even playing in POT and the team tournaments, players often won't even play their games on PO. I know I won't be, in POWC, because it's too complicated to battle on the webclient and I can't figure out or get help to get a downloaded version running on Ubuntu, my OS. Players treat PO like a mini-Smogon because it doesn't offer any sort of a convincing alternative to what Smogon does, besides not being Smogon and being fairly well known. PO does have two advantages over any other English-speaking competitive community besides Smogon though: one is having its own simulator, and the other is that a large number of players are already familiar with it. Therefore, if the community or leaders of PO genuinely wanted PO to not just be Smogon-lite, they probably have the best chances of anyone to do so successfully. I am second in command in another competitive community which does some of these things which I'm going to suggest, and so I'm not going to really push for these changes to happen on PO: the community would need to do that. Our community has a good, unique thing going and we're growing and making a mark in the competitive community overall. It's a way of saying that I'm putting my money where my mouth is, and this is me telling the PO community what worked for us, so maybe you can be inspired by our ideas and run with it yourselves. One of the things which would be required to make PO successful as a community on its own would be improving the simulator: making the web-client work much better would be a big step in the right direction, but ultimately I'm not going to focus my attention on the simulator in this post, it's your job to make it better. Obviously the community I'm strongly involved in doesn't have its own simulator. Now onto tiering. There's a few different ways I've thought of that move PO further away from Smogon's model of tiering, and I'll throw in some ideas from Pokebattle too which maybe PO could run with considering Pokebattle is looking to never see re-release. One thing you could do is a different naming system for your tiers. Although it's not a very substantiative change on its own, it helps give your community more of a sense of identity. For example, in the community I help run, our 'OU'-like tier goes by the name of 1U, and then we have tiers below that following a numerical system of 2U, 3U, and so on. Another thing to consider is changing what your OU tier in at least some of the generations actually is. In some ways this risks alienating players from Smogon, but if you do it right then you may have your own dedicated following - which is kind of the idea of this whole thread and proposal. In my own community, in gen 6 and 7, we have a much smaller 'OU' ban-list: our ruleset is basically just Ubers without Primals, Mega Salamence, Geomancy, and Shadow Tag (including Gengarite). The SM version is currently untested however. I'm not necessarily suggesting that PO should copy this format, and there's other approaches that could work too, for example you could try even more bans since OU as it stands has a large proportion of legendary Pokemon per team anyway. I think you should talk amongst yourselves about what you see OU should be and whether a different starting list for your OU is wise or not. Another area where you could change things is how you determine lower tiers. On the community I help manage, we use a different system to usage, and PO might well want to consider that too. PO's userbase is currently so small and/or isn't so good at the game, that usage's flaws are really emphasised. I would argue against even Smogon using usage, but that's not my place. I'd like to say that the purpose of tiering is to have additional tiers with increasingly lower power levels, where people can use their favourite Pokemon without them being unviable. It's for this reason that on the community I am in, we use a combination of Viability Rankings and voting by the playerbase to determine the tiers. Maybe some sort of similar system - maybe using a council rather than the whole playerbase - could work on PO? That really is the main thrust of my ideas, which you can build on to create a vibrant community. Regular tournaments, analysis and guide writing, articles, and so on are all great things to do on top of these changes which give the community something to do on the forums and give them an opportunity to give back to the community too. I tried to write this post in good faith, even if I have little hope. I would love more diversity in the communities for competitive Pokemon with fan-made tiers, as well as for there to be more than one popular simulator. PO still has the numbers where it maybe could be revived, but without a conceited effort to make PO something different to Smogon, its current death spiral will not be stopped. Good luck!