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Proposal: How To Make Your Forum Not Mini-Smogon

Discussion in 'Pokémon Chat' started by Disaster Area, Mar 15, 2017.

  1. Disaster Area

    Disaster Area Badged Deucer

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    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!
     
  2. Professor Oak

    Professor Oak Pimp Hand Strong Forum Administrator Server Owner Social Media Rep Forum Administrator Server Owner Social Media Rep

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    I appreciate that this post has actually been made in a polite way, and not laden with insults like a few other posts have been lately. Also, I will thank you for not mentioning the community by name, considering your advertisement of it was why were banned last year :P

    We were discussing what the best method of tiering for Generation 7 would be in the lead up to us having Gen 7 on Pokémon Online itself. You can find various discussions on it in the Metagame Policy subforum. Ultimately, the decision taken at the time was that we were going to continue using usage-based tiers for the time being. This could end up changing in the future, but it is not the case at this very moment in time.

    With regards to development, we only have a couple of developers that are still active and trying to work on improving Pokémon Online. Considering it can feel like a thankless job at times, and that there isn't any reward other than having users use something you have contributed to, developers can feel demotivated to improving various parts of the simulator. With that said, development continues at a relatively slow pace, but it continues: the Android client was recently updated to v2.7.1, something I've yet to post a news article about, and we will officially announced v2.7.1 for Windows in the same post, though that has been available for a fair amount of time as I post. The Webclient, on the other hand, has never truly made it out of Beta at any point, which is why it is so unreliable. With PO being open source, we welcome any help to the major projects the PO Dev team create, including the Android client, the Webclient, or the main PC client.

    With regards to your issues getting PO to run on Ubuntu, I'm not aware of us having an active developer who could build a client on Ubuntu, so I can't currently offer any assistance with that.

    Finally, hi Lutra! I see you lurking :P
     
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  3. Disaster Area

    Disaster Area Badged Deucer

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    I forgot to mention one or two other ideas too, ones that we don't do on our community but you could try here. You could consider making it so that what you currently have for OU isn't your standard, primary format. Other options include stuff like having doubles or some sort of hackmons tier as your OU, for example. Pokebattle's primary format was something along the lines of what's sometimes called budgetmons. One more radical thing Pokebattle was willing to do was that their main metagame would be whatever metagame is most popular, even if that stopped being theiry budgetmons-style idea.

    Another idea from Pokebattle, which would require more development work, is to make it much easier for players to create their own metagames. In essence the idea they had on Pokebattle was to make it easy for players to make something new, on the main server; players could play it in challenge mode, and if it was popular enough it could get a ladder. Players would be able to write an introductory page to it basically within the client.

    ---

    Obviously my personal preferences are what we have going on in the comunity which I help run, I just want to put all of these ideas out there, and then see if any of them gain any traction.

    I don't really see PO getting revitalised unfortunately, but it's up to you to prove me wrong. :P
     
  4. Zoroark

    Zoroark Awoo Forum Moderator Server Moderator Forum Moderator Server Moderator

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    Quality post I'd have to say, I like it. To be honest my biggest concern with PO is the development part (mainly because I don't do competitive battling anymore but I do care about the Battling System's functionality and whatnot), since we only have a few active developers and the fact that they do what they do because they care for the community, but even so there's a huge delay in many aspects of the simulator and the server. The least I can do, and only when it becomes within my reach, is to do monetary contributions to -hopefully- boost the developing on PO in a way that battles can be held there without any noticeable issue, and well, since I don't have much to do lately I'm investing my free time learning Javascript....gotta say I'm sort of a slow learner when it comes to programming or anything similar but I'm putting my effort into it lol, I hope I can eventually help with Server scripting in the future.
     
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  5. Valhalla

    Valhalla Banned

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    Although this is a month old topic, and the OP has been banned, I think that their are some valuable points that need addressing. I came back to Pokemon for 2 reason.

    1) I was bored and needed something to do
    2) It was a pastime I was good at, and stimulated my mind and thinking

    While previously, I involved myself in Smogon tournaments and did fairly well in them, I was never fond of the hierarchy that was present; which has only been exemplified 4ish years later. I also do think the principle of usage is good for initializing a tier, but afterwards, flawed. I came back to PO forums as I feel it's much easier to make a change, and I was familiar with the old sim, along with liking a smaller community. I think that PO forums and tiers, now more than ever, is a niche Smogon. Nothing at all is different, which drives newer players to Smogon. This probably isn't the place to post, but after initial bans and tier lists for OU, UU, LU, NU and whatever else, I think we should ban and drop based on viability. I was, and would like to think I am a UU main and it seems to me that this would be an ideal way to start a differentiation between the two. Arguments such as stagnation of a tier aren't really valid, because 10 years later, DPP OU is still being innovated. What matters is that we aren't just a smaller version of Smogon or we can only make futile attempts at prolonging the death spiral of PO.

    Just some food for thought.
     
  6. Yttrium

    Yttrium Active Member Forum Moderator Channel Leader Developer Forum Moderator Channel Leader Developer

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    A different tiering system sounds interesting, but PO has other issues such as fixing game mechanics and getting a user interface that's at least as good as Smogon's. And it's hard to make something out of good ideas when there really aren't many people willing or able to implement them.
     
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