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Jerichi 11-03-2014 10:36 PM

The Trouble with Doubles
We, like the rest of the Pokémon world, are being forced to face facts in that the Doubles Meta is being shoved down our throats by GameFreak and is here to stay. For years, our system has been built almost exclusively around Singles, and though we've had Doubles likely before the game has, our system has never supported it in any sort of balanced manner. Nearly all our moves are written with Singles in mind, even shoehorning Doubles moves for use in Singles if we can manage.

However, as it stands, GameFreak has begun to balance for Doubles and do so hard. We as a community should embrace this change and seriously look at our Doubles Meta. As you all are aware, I've already started to push some more change to the meta but the recent bloom of Doubles (and similar matches) has only shown the problems we still face.

At the moment, the rules for Doubles are as follows:


Double Battles have the same rules as Single battles, but with each side using two Pokémon at once instead of one. In Double Battles, some moves work slightly differently, and some moves are only effective in Double Battles. When ordering, battlers must specify the target of their moves; if not specified, they will target the nearest foe. Pokémon may also target their allies with attacks and moves if desired. Moves that effect a wide area, such as Earthquake or Surf, can be targeted to hit Pokémon for full damage and cause reduced (approx. 50% the full damage) damage to all others, allies and enemies, or used spread for 75% damage to all foes. In Hidden Order rounds only, trainers may order their Pokémon to target the Pokémon on which moves are most effective. Reffing a Double Battle will grant the ref an extra 1 SP for every 2 Pokémon used, though it is not affected by multipliers.
Of course, this has not totally mitigated the issues. As I see it, there's two problems we need to face to balance the meta a little better.

1) "Nuking"

The ability for two Pokémon to target one in a Double Battle can create some problematic situations that grants a huge advantage to Pokémon with a type advantage, especially when going second. It is entirely possible and frighteningly common to see ORKOs in Doubles, even with the power creep in play. If we want any sort of balance in the meta, it would probably be a good idea to find a way to dial this back a bit, since currently type advantage can become wildly overpowered in many situations, even if one only has off-type moves.

2) Doubles Moves

Although I've been trying to fix up some moves that are either Doubles-exclusive or function primarily in Doubles, there are still a number that are Doubles-friendly in the games that don't translate to ASB. I'd like to fix that, but I need some help figuring out what to fix and how to fix it. Additionally, I think it would be worthwhile for the League to establish some common idea of the functioning of moves in Doubles.

Of course, I am open to discussing other issues as they arise. I hope at the end of this we can construct a ruleset that will keep to the spirit of both the format and the ASB as a whole.

Slash 11-03-2014 10:44 PM

Of course, my primary suggestion would be, as I've stated, a change in type effectiveness mods in Doubles to 1.5x/2x. It's a legit scale even without Doubles and I think it would help encourage more varied play.

Related, I'd put up the idea of being able to have the option to do type-effectiveness-neutral Doubles without it being an exhibition for us. This would also help us make the most out of the support of the format.

Aside from that I'm not quite sure what we can do to prevent turreting that actually makes sense and is that enforceable.

Kindrindra 11-03-2014 11:02 PM

Readily agreeing that reduced type modifiers is probably the most feasible way to cut back on the ORKOs commonly seen in doubles. When they occur, it's always from both pokemon spamming SE moves on the target- Without the ability to inflict damage as effectively, while 'Nuking' is still possible, it's no longer quite as effective at putting the target out of commission.

The only other thing I could think of to fight the issue of Nuking would be implementing some sort of clause where Pokemon grow more wary/self-preserving when struck multiple times in a round, giving a bonus to passive dodges when being ganged up on. Admittedly this is far less certain to produce results than the former, and is kinda harder to implement (where do you draw the line?), but addresses Nuking directly rather than the mechanism which makes it effective. While I'd actively support the SE modifiers, this one is more of a throwing-ideas-at-a-wall suggestion.

Jerichi 11-03-2014 11:06 PM

I'm warming up to modifier changes, but I really like Kin's second suggestion too. Perhaps we can expound on that a little?

Emi 11-03-2014 11:17 PM

I had actually thought of the same thing as Kin. Basically, a Pokemon who is getting hit repeatedly would be able to read an opponent's movements better, or something along those lines. It's a solid way to directly stop nuking, but its complicated to ref and it won't always work, and I'm pretty adamant that nuking is something that should be heavily discouraged.

I also brought up the idea of limiting the SE moves that each side can use in one round. Realistically, you wouldn't be able to use more than 2 or 3 moves in singles and it's applying the same principle here. This will directly stop nuking, but its also hard to justify and I'm not articulate.

Sneaze 11-04-2014 01:50 AM

While I agree that getting ganged up on by both opponents is a large problem, it really seems less than likely that a 'mon would become suddenly more reactionary. If we were going to do this there would need to be a sudden jump in energy usage, but at the same time it does devalue a lot of the doubles usage recently given to defensive moves. I would instead propose we make the other mon more important to the fight. We should make it more obvious that when focused on one opponent a mon is more likely to be interrupted by the moves of the one they aren't focused on. I mean it should be this way as is but it rarely if ever comes up and should be expanded upon. If you're about to wail on one foe you should first have to incapacitate the other or risk your beatdown being ruined. I mean, there are many other issues that need handled but we should attempt to move more towards the idea of allied mon actually doing what they can to help each other.

Mercutio 11-04-2014 04:50 AM

Agree with Kin's second suggestion. Playing with type modifiers is probably not a good thing to do as standard but given that we let people play with type modifiers themselves the suggestion is kinda moot anyway.

Shuckle 11-05-2014 11:20 AM

Kin's idea was my first thought, actually. The issue is when you get hit with Electroweb or Grass Knot while getting nuked...how do you dodge after that?

What if we took Jeri's "fluid battle" idea from a while back and applied it to Doubles? Person ordering first gets 2 orders, then the second orderer gets 4 orders, then the first orderer gets 2 more orders (or a straight up 2-2-2-2 to preserve the spirit of ordering second). It is a weird idea, yes, but nuking would happen a lot less because of reactionary orders.

Ultimately nuking is a problem because of lack of response. It's hard to say "protect all 4 incoming attacks" - Protect doesn't work that way. Bide doesn't work if you die. Endure isn't a great option. There's no way to fix that so much as well make it so that you can do something about being nuked.

Concept 11-05-2014 12:25 PM

Is this about your Dugtrio, Jerbear?


I actually quite like that idea. The doubles nuking issue is essentially the advantage of going second on crack, so switch the ordering up. So say Trainer 1 has pokemon A and B and Trainer 2 has pokemon C and D. Currently orders work like this;

Spoiler: show
A gets orders
B gets orders
C gets orders
D gets orders

but we could switch it to;

Spoiler: show
A gets orders
C gets orders
B gets orders
D gets orders

or even;

Spoiler: show
A gets orders
C gets orders
D gets orders
B gets orders

Trainers could select which of their pokemon they give orders to freely each time.

Aposteriori 11-05-2014 01:03 PM

The staggering of orders would be the ideal solution without straying further away with additional complex rulings/semantics of different type modifiers or ways a pokemon might react.

My question is,

Who maintains initiative? I would like to have that idea expanded on please.

Concept 11-05-2014 01:11 PM

Initiative is as simple as "which pokemon got orders before which pokemon". It has nothing to do with trainers.

Jerichi 11-05-2014 01:36 PM

> Is this about your Dugtrio, Jerbear?

It's actually about Blaze's Greninja, lol.

Also I quite like that idea; even if it does complicate doubles a little bit, it's such a fast format that even with the four posts per round, it'll probably prevent the battles from lagging too much. I'd like to see it in action, first though.

Sparkbeat 11-05-2014 01:48 PM

I'd say the best example of Doubles being dumb is this "match", if you can call it that, between MtG and Lost. A 6/9 4v4 ending in 4-5 rounds is just stupid, and making both parties manage their off type through the flow system would help immensely.

Stealthy 11-05-2014 01:49 PM

Obligatory lolrangeet

Sparkbeat 11-05-2014 01:51 PM


Mercutio 11-05-2014 03:41 PM

Yeah that staggering idea works really well I'd think. Also it has plenty of anime precedent.

Slash 11-05-2014 06:56 PM

I feel like it's pretty overcomplicated an idea, myself. Definitely would not enjoy seeing it made standard

Shuckle 11-05-2014 07:44 PM

I can't believe that match was only 4 years ago. Just reading through it makes it seem so much older.

Rangeet 11-05-2014 08:24 PM

Believe it or not I was actually about to post that.

Anyway I agree with Kairne that the staggering idea is overcomplicated and simply not that fluid. Double mechanics don't need to be ridiculously different from single mechanics. We're looking to solve just one problem, because that one problem really is the main problem. No need to completely overhaul the ordering system- which is hard enough for newbies to understand as it is.

Sneaze 11-05-2014 08:30 PM

Also I'd like to point out that we literally just moved tag matches AWAY from that sort of mechanic because it was absolutely ridiculous, and with the idea of moving doubles to such a standard people will likely want to try doing tags the same way. It just doesn't work.

Mercutio 11-06-2014 04:26 AM

Good point.

Concept 11-06-2014 05:48 AM

I thought the main issue with old!tag was that every time it was tried we insisted on using people like Zora and Alto.

Also looking back what was stupid was that it was treated the order like four people rather than two teams. Working out which order players 1, 2, 3 and 4 order in every round is complicated. Working out which order teams A and B order in is simple. Leave it up to the players which one of them specifically orders when.

Spoiler: show
Pokemon 1 gets orders
Pokemon 2 gets orders
Pokemon 3 gets orders
Pokemon 4 gets orders

Is complicated, because there's no intuitive way of seeing from that what order those four people act next round.

Spoiler: show
A member of Team 1 orders
A member of Team 2 orders
A member of Team 1 orders
A member of Team 2 orders

Is simple, as you just switch 1 and 2 each round. Let the teams decide amongst themselves which of them orders when.

Sneaze 11-06-2014 05:59 AM

Still, I am far and away from being okay with the idea of making ever round take twice as long to get to. There's no real easy way to make any form of modified DQ rules for it so half the time you're looking at 72 hours between each post, and barely anybody actually keeps up with DQ timers anymore so good luck with that.

What I'm trying to get at here is that there's probably a better way to handle it and we should at least explore the options before getting tunnel vision.

Concept 11-06-2014 06:04 AM

Tags wait for four sets of orders either way. It wouldn't make doubles any slower than tags.

I think it's worth trying - I really don't want to go messing about with any fundamental elements of pokemon like messing with type modifiers and such unless we have to. Like I'm not really comfortable with saying that the presence of more pokemon on the field magically makes SE moves do less damage or arbitrarily become better at passively dodging things. This is a fairly minor change in how we translate the anime into a forum game.

The other option I can think of is to say that two/three movers applies to teams, rather than pokemon. Or maybe that that for doubles each team (not each pokemon, each team) can order a total of three moves a round, with four movers in doubles working like three movers in singles.

Sneaze 11-06-2014 06:14 AM

Eh, I'm not saying it's an inherently bad idea, but kinks need worked out and while the match in and of itself may be shorter it could still be a crippling break in the leg of the system. I want Doubles to work as much as the next guy given I plan to do it as a Gym, but this just sticks out as a big red flag. We just started moving away from rounds taking forever to get to, I'd like if we to remain on that path.

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