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Crys 09-13-2017 08:20 PM

Heather just wants loser compensation so when she goes 0-32 again she can actually level up this time.

Anywho, expect a mini proposal from me soon. It'll be nothing special and probably a bit memey but hey at least it's something.

biggggg5 09-14-2017 01:32 AM

As someone who also loses more often then not, should we decide to keep the current system I would also like to see "progress" despite losing.

Also I see your points Connor and I have a slightly clearer idea on what to say now. Maybe direct numbers for terms aren't quite the answer (i would again point to dnd as a model of what works but its nbd) but maybe we should standardize some other things. I want to point to one of the questions I received in my reref test as an example.


Anna has a Female Nidoqueen (Level 6)
Johnson has a Male Poliwrath (Level 6)
Lawn Arena

"Nidoqueen, use Earth Power, then remain evasive."
"Poliwrath, use Surf to ride over that Earth Power, then charge him with Waterfall."

Both are fresh into battle.
Now I am going to post the current descriptions of the moves Surf and Earth Power.

Surf (WA) -- The user forms a large wave that heads out to wash over the opponent, dealing heavy damage for heavy Water energy. If the user is not in a large body of water, it must create the water from thin air and the wave will be smaller than it might otherwise be, dealing only considerable damage. The user may send a Surf wave out ahead of it or choose to ride on it as it travels.

Earth Power (GD) - The user stomps on the ground and channels a stream of ground energy towards the foe, which erupts out from under them in a narrow column, dealing significant damage. Energy usage depends on the type of terrain - for example, thick clay will be more difficult to channel through than soft dirt, the attack generally requiring significant energy. It can also be used to manipulate the ground's shape somewhat, though more than slight alterations will tire the user significantly. This attack only works if the energy is sent through the ground - it cannot be used directly on an opponent. This attack has a 10% chance to lower the target's special defense.
The issue I have is that the size and range of neither move is quantified. How large is a "large wave"? How tall should that narrow column of earth reach? Should the earth power scrape the poliwrath's feet or should it be dodged entirely? And does evasive mean? It's spending a whole move to do so does that mean a good clean partial dodge? (I was going to say nidoqueen would be a larger target to the obviously smaller poliwrath but turns out they are the same size, who knew?) But that's not the case for something like raichu vs aggron where aggron really doesn't have a lot of business dodgeing the smaller and quicker raichu without things like teleporting or agility.

What I am realizing is, maybe I'm not as pro mathasb as I thought and maybe I'm more anti-ref's discretion. And I'm not saying it should be done away with entirely (I realize how unfun that would be.) but more things should be standardized and defined. Again I look to DND where spells have not only their own description and damage but also ranges and areas of effect. For example I will give a surf-like spell from the current dnd handbook. I'm not saying it would be one to one but the ranges give an idea of what I've talking about.

Spoiler: show

A wall of water springs into existence at a point you choose within range. You can make the wall up to 300 feet long, 300 feet high, and 50 feet thick. The wall lasts for the duration.

When the wall appears, each creature within its area must make a Strength saving throw. On a failed save, a creature takes 6d10 bludgeoning damage, or half as much damage on a successful save.

At the start of each of your turns after the wall appears, the wall, along with any creatures in it, moves 50 feet away from you. Any Huge or smaller creature inside the wall or whose space the wall enters when it moves must succeed on a Strength saving throw or take 5d10 bludgeoning damage. A creature can take this damage only once per round. At the end of the turn, the wall's height is reduced by 50 feet, and the damage creatures take from the spell on subsequent rounds is reduced by 1d10. When the wall reaches 0 feet in height, the spell ends.

A creature caught in the wall can move by swimming. Because of the force of the wave, though, the creature must make a successful Strength (Athletics) check against your spell save DC in order to move at all. If it fails the check, it can't move. A creature that moves out of the area falls to the ground.

I'm saying let Ash thunderbolt the sprinklers, but quantify what it means to "Quick! Dodge it!"

As for the second part Connor I see your point and counter with this: make the challenger squad first. It's what you do in the gym leader tower in stadium (provided you aren't looking up the roster online) They will already know what type of Pokémon they are battling, and maybe have an idea of what sigged Pokémon the leader would bring (although ideally a gym leader would have more than 6 sigged Pokémon of the type) and it will be a greater test of ability making the badges truly special achievements.

Snorby 09-14-2017 08:09 AM

The problem here is you can't quantify how tall exactly a surf is- Is it a magic surf or a surf using water? Is it a water type using it? Is the mon using it water familiar maybe? What's the weather, if there is one? That DnD description is longer than our descriptions for both Surf and Earth Power. We don't want to write a novel about every one of the hundreds of moves in Pokemon, and nobody wants to read it either. Besides, you aren't expected to get everything on the ref test correct. As time goes on, as you ref more matches, as you get more advice from vets you ref for, as you ask more questions in Q/A, you pick up knowledge and your grade goes up with it. If you were able to look up the interactions of every move on the site, what's even the point of ref grades? You're grading people on their ability to read words in front of them at that point, and you've lost much of the charm ASB has to boot. Part of what makes ASB special is that not every high level ref refs everything exactly the same. I don't ref everything like Sneaze and neither of us ref everything like Connor. To get rid of ref's discretion is to make the referee basically meaningless- the battlers could just look up what happens at that point.

And the challenger squadding first doesn't help, really. You know what type the gym is.
"Oh, this is the water gym, let me pack my Ludicolo, my Lapras, my Lanturn, my Eelektross, my Mega Glalie, and my Octillery."

"Oh, this is the rock gym, let me pack my Machamp, my Ludicolo, my Torterra, my Mega Swampert, my Lucario, and my Steelix."

"Oh this is the dark gym, I'll pack my Clefable, my Wigglytuff, my Forretress, my Infernape, my Mega Gallade, and my Scolipede."

You don't have to know anything about the opponent's squad to rent out a basically impenetrable squad, as long as you know the type.

Also Heather my point was that literally every proposal posted at the time had what you seemed to be asking for. Iron's proposal did what you wanted. As did mine. As did Concept's. Nobody else's was even posted yet. So I think asking what you're looking for is a pretty valid question in that case and wondering if you've read everything in all the proposals is also pretty valid. It certainly doesn't warrant any rude and overly aggressive responses, much less three of them after you've been asked to tone it down not once, but twice.

Ironthunder 09-14-2017 10:42 AM

RE: Zelphy's proposal

This is actually pretty decent tbh. I mean a good chunk of it is similar to the fluid levels system I've been putting into my proposal (A points-based system does seem to be the general agreement here, so I decided to edit my proposal to accommodate this), and I like the sigs plan. The DQs is a bit harsh but probably necessary. The events thing is pretty decent too, and farming out HPs/item attachments to trustworthy non-LOs is probably a good call.

Chalis 09-15-2017 12:36 AM

stop ordering stab x 2 and you'll win

Jerichi 09-17-2017 07:48 AM

Ok let's keep this discussion moving.

I'm not really fit to comment on much else re: full proposals but I like the idea of a point system for Pokémon acquisitions/etc. so let's elaborate on that.

The system I had in mind would basically be similar to what was described by a few people all mashed up - have an allotment of points you can spend on a set of Pokémon, all of whom have values assigned to their base forms. I think this would also help with the balance issue as we could have battles also be restricted through these point values, so you can set a value that will make it tough (or even impossible?) to bring your crushy mon without sacrificing the rest of your team.

Questions for you:

1) What criteria should be used to assign values to mon? Keep in mind, if we're going to do this, I'd like to see evolution take at least minimal effort to keep NFEs somewhat relevant.

2) Relatedly, how should evos work?

3) How much do we want to have to make people sink into new Pokémon? Do they have to buy a slot and then a Pokémon to fill it? Can they just buy 100 Caterpies if they can afford it?

4) How variable do we want to make the point rankings? 1-10? 1-100? How much nuance do we want to show?

5) Will point values be adjustable? How? When? I know that I don't want to fight over a single Pokémon's value for 10 pages, but I also know mistakes can be made or Pokémon can be reanalyzed as useful.

6) Do we want to try to balance clusters of Pokémon with similar values against each other or balance broadly?

I might have more questions later but this is a good start.

Ironthunder 09-17-2017 10:24 AM


Originally Posted by Jerichi (Post 802311)
Questions for you:

1) What criteria should be used to assign values to mon? Keep in mind, if we're going to do this, I'd like to see evolution take at least minimal effort to keep NFEs somewhat relevant.

2) Relatedly, how should evos work?

3) How much do we want to have to make people sink into new Pokémon? Do they have to buy a slot and then a Pokémon to fill it? Can they just buy 100 Caterpies if they can afford it?

4) How variable do we want to make the point rankings? 1-10? 1-100? How much nuance do we want to show?

5) Will point values be adjustable? How? When? I know that I don't want to fight over a single Pokémon's value for 10 pages, but I also know mistakes can be made or Pokémon can be reanalyzed as useful.

6) Do we want to try to balance clusters of Pokémon with similar values against each other or balance broadly?

I might have more questions later but this is a good start.

Honestly, price bracketing is almost always going to exist- I doubt we can be arsed to assign an individual, specific price to every single one of the 800+ mons in existence when we could just throw out 'this is 30 points, this is 70 points'. And chances are it'll be based upon the current level acquisitions for translation convenience, either a direct carry-over or a re-analysis of what we have. Evos will probably require point investment, but equally I think they should be more of a banked system, so if you decide to devolve or drop stuff then you don't lose points. Depends how the system ends up working.

Buyable slots should probably take a hike or be limited in some way. If the main motivator for progression is slots, then unlimited buyable slots is sort of counterintuitive.

Reanalysing the point values, honestly it should probably be a case-by-case discussion for a set period of time before people/LOs vote on it.

Snorby 09-17-2017 10:39 AM


1) What criteria should be used to assign values to mon? Keep in mind, if we're going to do this, I'd like to see evolution take at least minimal effort to keep NFEs somewhat relevant.
I feel like values should be assigned based on how strong the mon is compared to both mon in general and similar mon. "How strong the mon is" is purposefully vague because really all aspects of the mon should be considered- movepool, SCs, mobility, typing, size, the whole shebang. It should also include the ability to mega evolve if stones are still bought through SP and not just additional points. How they should be priced related to their NFEs gets tricky real fast. There's gonna be evos like Eelektrik to Eelektross or Mime Jr. to Mr. Mime than necessitate massive jumps in price because the final form is excellent and there's a huge benefit to evolving. Other mons, like Krokorok to Krookodile or Sneasel to Weavile, are just kind of bigger versions of themselves and the final form isnt amazing anyway so a small jump is fine. Then you'll run the gamut between those two- sure, Monferno and Chinchou don't gain that much when evolving, but Infernape and Lanturn are both amazing. On the flip side, Seismitoad and Breloom aren't all that great, but Palpitoad and Shroomish gain a huge amount from evolving.


2) Relatedly, how should evos work?
I figure something like, "Use the form you have now in 1-2 battles, then you can drop more points to evolve it or take more out to devolve it as you please". I don't want it to be as easy as moving the points because, as I mentioned, you'll have people switching from Gardevoir to Gallade every ten minutes.


3) How much do we want to have to make people sink into new Pokémon? Do they have to buy a slot and then a Pokémon to fill it? Can they just buy 100 Caterpies if they can afford it?
Definitely no need to buy a slot and then buy the mon you fill it with. If they want 100 Caterpies that's fine as long as they can field a squad of 6 while using only one Caterpie.


4) How variable do we want to make the point rankings? 1-10? 1-100? How much nuance do we want to show?
Uh... I might want something in the middle, tbh. 1-10 doesn't leave room for anywhere near enough nuance, but by the time we get to 1-100 we're splitting hairs. 1-20 sounds good to me in theory but I think this is something we can workshop as we work on the values themselves.


5) Will point values be adjustable? How? When? I know that I don't want to fight over a single Pokémon's value for 10 pages, but I also know mistakes can be made or Pokémon can be reanalyzed as useful.
I figure every year or so the LOs can put out a thread for people to suggest changes in, then take a look through everything (not just suggested changes, the community could miss things) and, taking those suggestions into account, release a list of changes or say that no changes were deemed necessary.


6) Do we want to try to balance clusters of Pokémon with similar values against each other or balance broadly?
We definitely need to have similar value 'mon balanced against each other, lest you end up paying the same for an Audino as you do an Aegislash because there's a whole lot of normals better than Audino even though it's way better than Aegislash will ever be.

Concept 09-17-2017 09:24 PM

I'm too ill to sleep so I'm going to post my thoughts about pokemon on the internet at 3am instead. Also because of all the stuff here this one is the one I'm most interested in even though it's not the most important.

Do we significantly benefit from more nuance than the 1-7 TL range already gives us? I feel like the more nuance we get the more quibbling we're asking for, with no real gain. My initial reaction was to translate TLs directly into points for simplicity. My second reaction was to amend it slightly to a 1-10 to make it nicer to look at. It also means we can easily repurpose TP into acquisition points. Starting with 15-20 allows a newbie to build a broadly similar squad to what they could now whilst severely limiting their other options if they do pick up one uber mon right off the bat, and the TP for current level thresholds added onto that starting amount almost exactly buys the squad you'd have once you reached the the Trainer Level that amount of TP gets you.*

As for how to assign point values, I figure it's fairly similar to what we do now with acquisition levels. Venusaur and Vileplume occupy a similar role but Venusaur is better at it, similarly CSnorlax is better at its role than the comparable say Miltank but the latter niche is better than the former niche so Snorlax>Venusaur>Miltank>Vileplume in terms of point costs.

I also don't favour forcing people to use their mon before they can evolve them. I feel like the system naturally increases the usage of NFEs anyway because that's the trade-off you pay for making your squad bigger and for rushing a couple of high level favourites. Much better than right now where a TL4 has no incentive to use anything below its TL4 form. If we're worried about people swapping up their squads too freely for gym matches etc then just have all de-evo's/dropping rubberstamped once a month or something. People don't get the points back for stuff they've dropped/de-evolved until the end of the month.

I agree with Snorby on the not needing to buy slots thing. I'm also coming around to his idea of keeping TL milestones for non-squad related stuff. In video game terms, the continual drive of getting slightly better gear/levels (ie marginally improving your squad after every match) is nice, but so is the rush of beating a boss and getting a nice shiny milestone (ie reaching a TL and getting access to *insert thing here*).

*Assume we translate 7 trainer levels into a 1-10 points system. The average level X mon would cost 10X/7 points. By taking the number of mon you have at each level and the level of those mon - a TL2 currently gets 18 level 2 mon and 2 level 3 mon, for example - we can assign a points value to each level that looks like this (which also accounts for the extra slot every 50 TP):

Spoiler: show
TL1 = 27
TL2 = 60
TL3 = 104
TL4 = 159
TL5 = 230
TL6 = 313

Meanwhile taking TP being directly translated into acquisition points plus a starting value of 15-20 when a player reaches what is currently the TP threshold for each TL they'll have the following points;

TL1 = 15-20
TL2 = 45-50
TL3 = 90-95
TL4 = 135-140
TL5 = 215-220
TL6 = 315-320

The new system would lag behind slightly for the most part but that's offset by two things. A) currently you're stuck at the value until you reach a new threshold (a TL2 player with 74 TP still has a squad "value" the same as a guy who's just reached TL2, whereas in the new system they have essentially the exact same value as someone just reaching TL3) and also that a TL3 or 4 player will still have a number of acquisition level 1 or 2 mon on their squad that either don't evolve further or that they haven't reached the next evo form for yet). Someone who's just reached TL2 would be better off under the old system, someone just barely shy of TL3 is better off in the proposed new one, and someone halfway through TL2 is about on par with both. Similar progression with the spikes smoothed out.

Jerichi 09-18-2017 07:40 PM

Ok, I'm reasonably satisfied with what's been proposed so far. I like the idea of a point system where you buy individual mon with whatever currency you have and then matches are balanced by point limits in the matches. Let's assume that system (or something similar) going forward. I also like the idea of TLs as sort of a progression thing; maybe we still tie Legend Challenges and other things that might be good to lock away to those.

I think the next problem to tackle is reffing and reffing accessibility. I know we've already begun working on that to some extent and the suggestions I've seen (FAQs, coaching, etc.) are all good but I'd like to expand. A few more questions:

1) What specifically about reffing is most unappealing that discourages you from reffing?

2) What is the hardest thing to learn about reffing?

3) What could be simplified without detracting from fun/interest?

4) What incentives would you like to see tied to reffing?

I'm sure there are other questions to be asked but these feel like the most basic.

Snorby 09-18-2017 10:36 PM


1) What specifically about reffing is most unappealing that discourages you from reffing?
It's a terrible mix of boring, frustrating, and time consuming. There's little room for creativity in actually writing reffings up, so you're stuck with the same drab thing over and over unless you want the battlers bitching at you for writing too much about simple orders- their poor eyes apparently can't handle more than 100 words or so.

It's also frustrating, not only because of battlers who nitpick every little thing and try to force their opinion onto you, but because sometimes move descriptions don't give you too much of any idea about how the move and another move/mechanic interact. I've gotten good at figuring that out for myself by now but that's an issue for a whole lot of folks.

And then for me personally one thing I hate about it is having the notes done and knowing exactly what's gonna happen but then having to spend 25 minutes writing up a bunch of uninteresting fluff to go with the meat of it. I can deal with barebones reffings (though I wouldnt like it) and I'd love to make reffings a creative outlet in terms of the actual writing, but neither of those are acceptable in the current climate, so you're stuck with a shitty mish-mash of the two.

2) What is the hardest thing to learn about reffing?
As mentioned earlier, subtle nuances in how moves/mechanics interact and work. This goes beyond something like "What screen protects from Water Gun" where the answer is simple, it's more like "How does the battle change when the battlers cant see eachother due to Haze/Mist/whatever?", "How does freezing work?", "What are the effects of intimidation?"- frequently asked questions with difficult, far from uniform answers.

3) What could be simplified without detracting from fun/interest?
I think we could pretty easily have effects defined without losing too much. We should be able to tell people what freezing does, how intimidation changes the battle, etc. We don't need to tell people exactly when Bulldoze should and shouldn't be interrupting, but they probably need to know how interruption itself works.


4) What incentives would you like to see tied to reffing?
I'm gonna drop an unpopular opinion: Some things NEED to be gated behind reffing. Whether you like reffing or not, and very few people do, it's objectively a necessity for the game to function. We need people to do it, and a way to make that happen is to make sure that if you don't contribute to the game by reffing you can't get ALL the coolest toys. I'm not saying we should gate Pokemon behind reffing, in fact I'd advocate against that (except in the case of legend challenges or something like that that's decidedly a luxury) but there needs to be a tangible benefit to reffing that you can't get without reffing, and ideally it should be significant enough to make people actually ref so that they can have said thing.

Legend challenges, tokens/items, the highest TL or highest couple TLs, maybe participation fees for cool events are the things that come to mind immediately, but there could be more stuff.

biggggg5 09-19-2017 03:29 AM

I don't have much to add from Snorby's except that move ranges and sizes and maybe speeds could also stand to be defined. (At least an "average" example of the move) and that if we really want to motivate reffing we put sigs behind it. Maybe start out with some free ones but have to pay for them will force a lot of people to ref.

Concept 09-19-2017 08:04 AM

I think a main thing to address is helping newbies feel like they have a solid grasp of what they're doing. A proper Reffing 101 would go a long way. Set out how it works clearly with all the stuff a solid C grade should be sticking to, with links to things like attack descriptions, such species characteristics, a rough nguide to how statuses work. Make it clear throughout all this that more experienced refs may invoke the pony to add more nuance. It would also help to codify Muyonese whispers a bit more and change things up less often. A lot of good improvements have come from rewrite but parties but it's all for naught if refs get tired of having to check through four pages of a thread to make sure Ice Beam still works the way they remember it. Bring these rewrite parties down to every six months or so, make then an open discussion on the forum, and when they're done release a complete new attack and SC list (including every move, even if only a handful have changed) dated so people know that the one place they have to look. Keep old lists archived for people involved in matches started before the rewrites.

Beyond that, there needs to be a certain amount of culture shift in how battlers approach disagreements with their ref. I still support a challenge system a la tennis to formalise it as a thing that will happen while restricting how often it happens. Perhaps with extra allowances for stuff like gym matches, etc. If we properly codify everything and make a good Reffing 101 the number of technical issues with new refs should drop anyway, and the majority of complaints as I remember them are either the pony or battlers being salty things didn't go their way. A challenge system encourages battlers to prioritise issues which are a) actually significant and b) they're reasonably confident the ref is actually wrong about rather than just hoping to swing the refs discretion in their favour.

Also let refs do cool shit. We have a nice progression system for battlers getting access to legend matches etc. Refs need the same kind of thing. Higher rank refs should get things like being able to ref legend matches, run DMs and mini-tournaments, do exhibitions outside the normal rules etc. Some of that already exists but we could expand on it). People want to be GLs etc so they try hard to improve their battling. I think there'd be a decent amount of enthusiasm for doing that kind of thing which would work well as an incentive if we tied it to getting better at reffing, particularly if we make the work of reffing less of a pain in the arse as I said above. This does rely on regular ref evals though (3-6 monthly say).

An additional more punitive option is to tie battle slots to reffing. Say two battle slots standard plus one for every match you're currently reffing up to some cap (five total excluding special matches like gyms etc?).

Snorby 09-19-2017 10:12 AM

Iron, we just said we're gonna assume we don't have squad slots, so I'm gonna just assume you mean a small 'mon point bump.

Codifying stuff like ranges and sizes and speeds is a little to extreme for my taste. You quickly start losing the little things you have control over as a ref that can make reffing fun.

More or less agree with pretty much everything else that's been said. Though I think we should be careful not to gate TOO much behind reffing- it could either be tied to battle slots or sig moves, but certainly not both. And I'm not sure there's a need for a point bump if you have one of those gated behind it.

Oh, and I also want to say that while I'm fine with the concept of "Good refs getting to ref cool shit", we need to have much more than just that. A: It's not really an incentive for mediocre refs, B: Gifting refs who fundamentally dislike reffing more opportunities to ref isn't gonna motivate all of them. Since they're cooler opportunities it will definitely motivate some of them, but lots of people won't care.

biggggg5 09-19-2017 08:29 PM

I'm not sure how defining some ranges and sizes of moves would hurt. Or at least better approximations. Maybe it can even help differentiate some moves that are too similar.

Shuckle 09-20-2017 03:40 PM

Shuckle sez: I used to want to be an LO so that I could push some of this through
Papa bless. I've been thinking about this for YEARS.

I'm not super great at details so please try to direct most of your attention to the general structural changes, namely the trainer level changes and the gym battle changes.

THE THRUST OF SHUCKLE'S ARGUMENT: Rewards are essential. ASB's current rewards system is only good for people who put out quality, fast work over a long period of time. We definitely want to move away from that system towards one that rewards people for picking up 1 or 2 reffing matches alongside their battles.

Progression should be FAST, and even faster for those who put that little extra time and effort into reffing or winning. Rocketing through the ranks shouldn't just be for Dave, Connor, and TKF; it should be for anyone who is active in battling and reffing.

Competitiveness is important for the activity of the league, but casual play is also important. The competitive structure as described might be a little bit too much for such a small and casual forum, but in general, it rewards ambition and provides clear benchmarks for when you can start challenging gym leaders and E4 members. That's probably the most underestimated issue with gym battles at current - nobody is quite sure when it's okay to start taking on gyms or becoming a gym leader. Gating it behind a quick progression directs new players to start being more active in the gym and tournament side of things, which leads to a healthier scene there as well as in casual play.

Hopefully this is enough to articulate the ideas I had in mind for the league. :)

MCXD 09-20-2017 08:04 PM

Just some general thoughts of mine. I know they may not be worth much since I'm not active, but this whole thing really interests me because I do want to see the ASB succeed. This isn't an actual proposal, though I could make one sometime if people want.

My philosophy is that the battles are the most important thing. The main attraction of all this is the battles themselves. It's the core gameplay element which will keep coming back. All this stuff about progression and ranks is all good, but if both battlers and the refs aren't coming out of a battle feeling fulfilled, then all the work in the world can go into acquisition and competitions, but at the end of the day the league won't function. There won't be enough people wanting to battle and wanting to ref. I would go as far as to say that if the trainers and refs aren't interested in a battle with no rewards at all, then the whole thing just isn't fun enough. That may be an unrealistic expectation, but it's an ideal which I vehemently believe we should be at least aiming for.

Of course, I'm not just talking about the in-battle mechanics, but also league mechanics (acquisition for example) which directly impact upon how people consume and enjoy battles. It all comes back to the battling in the end.

With that in mind, I think our focus should be:

* Streamlining registration, acquisition, battle formation, conducting battles, concluding battles and recording results as much as possible.
* Removing barriers which prevent people from battling how they want to (e.g. with Pokemon they like).
* Removing barriers which prevent people from reffing how they want to (e.g. freedom of creativity, within reason).
* Providing positive support to trainers who wish to learn how to battle, or learn how to ref.
* Consolidating, clarifying and simplifying rules surrounding battle, to reduce complexity and confusion for everyone.
* Adjusting round to round battle mechanics to better reward adaption and creativity, rather than punishing it.
* Balancing Pokemon and moves so people don't feel forced into particular Pokemon or strategies to compete.
* Reducing undesirable aspects of Unstable Equilibrium, both in battle and across the league.
* Ensuring that both winners and losers in battle feel a sense of progression and satisfaction.
* Ensuring that refs leave a battle feeling fulfilled, rather than scrutinized or antagonized.

I'm very much in favor of the proposals that I've read which reduce the number of statistics that are floating around, like SP, TP, TL and KOs, and remove their absolute importance towards enabling someone to battle how they want (e.g. by locking Pokemon behind TL levels). The commitment required currently, and the fact you pretty much must win, makes it feel incredibly daunting as a new or returning trainer, and makes loses feel really brutal. Besides, less stats is good, because the ASB should be about battling, not bookkeeping.

That said, I do think there needs to be more serious discussions about how battles are run and how reffing is done. Right now it feels like ASB doesn't know whether it wants to be a serious business, no-nonsense competitive league with very well established rules and mechanics, or if it wants to be an RP battling league with flashy and creative battle scenarios that are about being fun to read and write. I know that in an ideal world, it would be both, but right now it just seems confused, and that's a major source of tension and tedium when it comes to reffing and battling. Right now, it's too complicated and rigorous, both in and out of battle, to enjoy as creative writing, and it's too inconsistent and ambiguous to enjoy as a competitive game without a lot of butting heads... or without sticking around for 10 years to learn all of the subtleties. It needs a clearer identity, and that's especially important because whether it's trying to be hardcore competitive or creative will impact upon what the best decisions are regarding acquisition, gyms, competitions, etc. Everything stems from that.

Shuckle 09-20-2017 09:34 PM

In the interests of promoting discourse, I'm gonna toss out some words and you can read them and see if you agree.


Originally Posted by Snorby (Post 801746)
Proposal #1- Snorby
Spoiler: show
>Linked Here<

-Loosen restrictions on Type Changes
-Separate Level Purchases and 'Mon Purchases
-Use a points allocation system rather than a proper spending system for Pokemon
-Don't add incentive for longer Reffings
-Strictly enforce ref DQ system
-Slots being harder to purchase (supposed to be in there I just forgot it but yeah)

Trainer Levels and Acquisitions. Imagine you had to buy access to creatures in Pokemon Showdown, and could only use Scizor if you had won at least 500 battles. That's my issue with buying stuff using TP.

I do love that you want newbies to be able to get their favorites. However, I'm actually thinking that this might make it slightly more difficult for newbies to get their favorites, especially if they're TL5 or TL6 kind of favorites (Kingdra, Gengar, Gardevoir, etc.). Also, it would lead to people being picky with their pokemon. One of the things I love about level acquisitions is that they let you experiment with pokemon that you wouldn't ordinarily be interested in. Can't get Alakazam yet? Try Grumpig or Elgyem! Hardcore Banette fan? Ever used Cofagrigus? Under a point buy system, that spirit of exploration could disappear as people go for the viable stuff + their favorites. I think it could really centralize usage around a few good pokemon, which is something I would want to avoid.

ALSO, on reread, you still have to buy slots on top of buying your pokemon. I'm sorry, but that's a straight-up grind. Grinding TP for slots, pokemon to fill the slots, and level ups may provide a big TP sink, but that's not exactly a good thing.

Reffing and SP. Love the idea of consistent reffing assistance, but we already have the ref test. I think the only issue with reffing is that the battle system is chock-full of weird errata that refs have to know.

I also love the idea of the per-reffing SP reward. I've said in my own proposal that you don't see reffing rewards until after like 10 matches; this is a good way to implement rolling rewards that keep refs posting. If my proposal still had SP in it, I might add this to it.

One really nice thing that I like about this is that it promotes longer matches. Reffing anything longer than a 3v3 can be a slog for refs, who are committed to a month-long creative endeavor. If you're getting an SP for every post, though, you don't mind as much if something takes a long time, since you won't have to wait until the match is over to get your SP.

Gyms, E4, etc. I like the idea that GTs step in for the GL while they're away, but honestly GTs are a weird system as implemented anyway. I never saw the point to forcing newbies to win 2 matches for a badge while more powerful trainers got to just fight the gym leader and be done with it.

Wait, so the gym leader has 1 GT, but it's not a mentorship role, but it prepares people for GL-dom? That seems backwards to me. It seems like the GL should be MORE of a mentor to their GT, not less!

Trainer Rankings and the E4. I like that this is about prestige, but I feel like it's a clunky system.

Sigs. I love really weird sigs, as you know, so seeing a limit on weird sigs will always make me sad. But it doesn't matter that much to the health of the League.

The remainder. I feel like, since you're an LO, you understand what needs to be done here better than me. A lot of this stuff is just detail work and can be changed basically on a whim. I think your new items are cool but they could happen under any kind of system so it's not really the right place to discuss them.

Also, how is Lucky Egg supposed to work if you don't ever need to level up your pokemon? You can't evolve them through leveling up, so there's literally no point in leveling them at all. Unless Equinone has taken the PASBL by storm since I last got here...

Jerichi 09-20-2017 09:54 PM


Originally Posted by biggggg5 (Post 802442)
I'm not sure how defining some ranges and sizes of moves would hurt. Or at least better approximations. Maybe it can even help differentiate some moves that are too similar.

The problem with approximations is that people will tend to gravitate to them and eventually the potential variability fails to exist.

Ref's discretion is a thing for this very reason.

(I'll respond to more things soon)

Snorby 09-20-2017 10:05 PM


Not gonna quote because this post will suddenly become ridiculously large, but..

TLs and Acquisitions:

Yeah honestly I really like Concept's Acquisition system better than the one I started with. I will say that, if mine makes it sound like you buy both slots and mon, that's not supposed to be the case lol. I think I mentioned in another post that it's definitely a one or the other thing in my book.

Reffing and SP

You're right that we have the ref test but honestly... I don't like the ref test system we have right now. There's nowhere to really learn reffing, so you end up just looking through a couple pages on the site and reading the reffings from your past battles and hoping for the best. The tutorial would be much like the Getting Started thread, but exclusively for reffing. It makes the ref test something that nobody should be failing (since it's basically just a "can you read? ok you passed" type thing) but it still matters insofar as if you have a real handle on nuances of the game that the tutorial doesn't outright spell out, or you're a natural at systems that are typically reserved for higher quality battlers, you'll get a grade to reflect it.

Gyms and GTs

It's sort of a mentorship role I suppose insofar as "here's some helpful tricks I've learned in running this gym/about this type", I suppose. The point I was making is that the GL isn't teaching the GT how to battle well because the GT should be someone who can reasonably take over for the GL as needed, so they'd already have to be at least passable GL quality.

Trainer Rankings
Yeah definitely some kinks to work out there.

It's important to note that power and creativity are two very different things when it comes to sigs. You can have a godawful sig that's cool as fuck and really creative, and you can have a ridiculously boring sig that breaks the game. That in mind, I don't think skewing the better sigs toward crappier mon stifles creativity on the better mon- if you want to give your Snorlax some sort of crazy sig, be my guest, so long as it's not breaking the mon.

Also just in general- things like the lucky egg and whatever minor contradictions there might be in there is because I don't expect any one proposal to be picked up in full. The ideal here is to take the best things we come up with as a community and mold them into a cohesive proposal. With that in mind, I included the lucky egg as sort of a "hey my proposal doesn't have levels but if we end up using a proposal that does then this is something we could do" type thing. There's probably more stuff like that scattered throughout I'm just not recalling offhand.

Shuckle 09-20-2017 10:06 PM


Originally Posted by Altocharizard55 (Post 802154)

Acquisition System. I like this more than point buy. I especially love that C2 trainers can have whatever they want.

A really good thing about this system is that you can restrict the overall power level of a squad without actually restricting the power of any individual member. I am slightly concerned about Dnite/caterpie/weedle/magikarp/feebas/beldum lineups, though. I also share Snorby's concern of the free editing of a squad - I feel like at that point, you're basically choosing a squad of whatever you want from every pokemon anyway. Why have the allocation system at all?

Signature Moves. 100% agree. I have 0 complaints with how sigs are handled right now. It really shouldn't be discussed here, because there's no systemic changes to make - nobody's complaining about the review system, or the nature of sigs, or any of those deep issues that would be fixed by an ASB revamp.

Reffing. I like the Per Round bonus, since I'm one of those people who is super guilty of losing the bonus and then immediately giving up on the match completely. Even if you still only get the SP at the end, it still encourages people to ref quickly since you just lose the bonus for that round, not in general.

However, it's not actually going to solve the problem of "Oh shit I missed the bonus; oh well, now I guess there's just an indefinite time period where I ref when I feel like it."

DQ. I like that DQ'd gym leaders get fired. Keeps em on their toes. However, casual DQs shouldn't be that big a deal. I feel like the "glacial ASB pace" is a non-issue for casual matches, but it's irritating as all hell when Handy goes afk for 6 months because he discovered pot, only to come back and order Psychic x2. If it was a casual match, I wouldn't care, but that really adds a lot of time not just to my badge challenge but also to all the people's queue times behind me!

Casual matches don't have to be fast, but serious matches like gym matches and legend challenges ABSOLUTELY do. If someone is waiting in line to do it, it needs to happen at the correct pace.

SE system. I agree, but let's move back to 4/6 if we do this, since I don't think I could handle a 6/9 slog without the 2/3 SE chart.

Honestly, I'm not very good at battling, but it seems to me that the problem is, "I want to use a super effective move because it is the move that deals the most damage to you." Perhaps a system where repeatedly using moves of the same unfamiliar type weakens them considerably? Idk I didn't suggest anything battle related for a very good reason.

Species Characteristics. YASS. GIRL PREACH. Gimme interesting niche SCs. Reward people handsomely for playing in weird ways with weird 'mon.

Events. I love tournaments and GMs! Anything that increases the number of people involved in a given thing will always be exciting.

Rankings. I don't really like this idea. I feel like doing things in a more anime way would be better, ya know? Trainer rankings would just be whoever is a strong position at the time, and beating them would only really count in an official setting, which would already give rewards anyway. Casual trainer rankings are kinda a crapshoot anyway, since people can "fluctuate in skill" based on what they're trying to bring or do; if Kush is testing his bid for Psychic gym, he's obviously not going to win as often against Dave or whatever. That shouldn't affect his rankings, right?

If we really want to rate people for casual matches, I guess that's fine, but don't involve me :p

MCXD 09-20-2017 11:11 PM

I read through Alto's and was going to make a bunch of comments too, but it pretty much matches Shuckle's, so I'll just say I agree with them mostly, with this amendment:

I'm not a big fan of the CX system. Transitioning to AP was designed to open Pokemon up more so people could use the ones they like... but then you immediately go and soft gate them again behind CX requirements, which completely defeats the purpose and arguably makes Pokemon acquisition even more complicated than the current system. Also, the fact you're still relying on all of SP, TP and KO is a bit of a missed opportunity to cut down on how many statistics we're juggling about.

biggggg5 09-21-2017 04:19 PM

Oh. I remember I had an idea to help with Reffing quality and confidence. Reffing driving school. 3 real matches. 1 where the “teacher” refs and explains the whole thought process to the student. 1 where the student is Reffing and goes to the teacher for help and the teacher can catch mistakes. And then a third where it’s much more hands off to serve as an actual test and the teacher only intervenes to catch major mistakes.

Ironthunder 09-22-2017 03:46 AM

Nice idea in principle, but equally I'd be wary of timescale on that. Three matches, likely back-to-back, we're looking at the best part of three-four months before someone's reffing independently. Maybe cut the first step and have the middle step be 2 battles instead? Because it currently runs the risk of 'Oh hey you can ref, but first you have to sit back and watch someone else do it, and that has to end before you can do anything'. Let them be reffing from the off, but give them the safety net (assuming of course we can get someone to do that).

Altocharizard55 09-23-2017 06:41 PM

I think that there's a good point to looking into ways to restrict people from swapping in and out their squads for gym leader/E4 abuse, but I don't feel like punishing people for changing their minds/testing things out is the way to go about it. By not returning the full value of AP (in my system) for Pokemon returns, players (especially newer players) would be punished for reworking their squad if they decide that something isn't quite working out for them. I actually really like that in the current system there's a lot of freedom in that regard.

At the same time, there is definitely a problem to be addressed. The easiest (IMO) suggestion to mitigate the aforementioned abuse in the system I proposed would be to require 'mon to be on one's squad for either X battles or T time until they are eligible for use in Gym matches. Having said that, this introduces another degree of bookkeeping.


Why I don't like a straight up purchase system: I've mentioned it before, but these aren't going to be very amenable to change. Let's say we "price" a 'mon at 10, and later decide it is too good for that price range and increase the price to 15. What happens to everyone who bought it at 10? Going back and making them pay a permanent 5 extra to keep the 'mon seems bad. There's a lot more freedom in an allocation-style system, as a player could simply modify the rest of their squad to accommodate the 'mon being increased in price. Plus, we don't have to worry about sellbacks, sellback pricing, etc. I just see it as being a lot more of a pain in the ass than the system I proposed (or something similar).


SE system: Switching to 4/6 would more or less nullify the point of swapping over in the first place numerically. Having said that, I agree with Snorby that a change like this would require testing beforehand.


Reffing Challenges: I can see the merit in implementing a system like this, but I'm also on the conservative end of things. While such may make reffing less of a pain for some refs, it also incentivizes battlers to not let newer refs take their matches, which ultimately ends up being unhealthy for the league. I think there are better ways to go about curbing argumentative behavior, and I feel that this is really only detrimental on the extreme end (A big one is that there should be more consistent disciplinary action taken against battlers who are warned for being overly argumentative).

I'm open to talking more about this, but I think it would come down to the exact implementation for this to be okay. I have a few other ideas as far as ref training goes, but those are still a bit unformed and I want to flesh them out a little more before trying to discuss them.

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