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Old 12-20-2017, 11:03 AM   #1
Snorby
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Goomy ASB Revamp: ReFAQ

Hello friends!

We're excited to let you know that the ASB Revamp is entering its final stages! There's still plenty left to do, but we've made huge amounts of progress, and want to thank everyone who's given their input. One thing that's been conspicuously absent, however, is the much-requested FAQ for Referees to help get their feet on the ground. We're happy to oblige and make one, of course, and that's what this thread is for.

...There's one problem with us making it, though. The LOs have all been reffing for years and have been pretty good at it for much of that time. It's hard to go back in time to the newbie perspective. That's where you guys come in! We want you guys to post any questions you would like to see in the FAQ here. Whether they're questions you're still not sure on to this day or ones you remember having as a freshman referee, post them and we'll probably include them in the ReFAQ.

A few guidelines for questions:

Don't get too specific. The ReFAQ doesn't need to have a question about what happens in your weirdly specific scenario that will almost certainly happen like 3 times in all of ASB. That's what the Ref Q&A is for. Same goes for specific moves- we don't need an entire section dedicated to how Substitute works.

Make sure it'll stay relevant. Generally, try to stick with questions that will stay valuable overtime. This is another reason we don't want questions about specific moves- that move might change and the answer won't hold up anymore!

Minimize overlap between questions. We don't need three different questions about dodging, or exhaustion, or any specific mechanic. Some mechanics are complex enough they might warrant two questions, but anything beyond that is likely unnecessary.

With those guidelines in mind, ask away!
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Old 12-20-2017, 12:51 PM   #2
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I said it in discord but this is the biggest one for me: “What is Ref’s discretion, and what does it entail/cover?”
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Old 12-20-2017, 01:36 PM   #3
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When I first started I remember being frustrated over how daunting the differences ASB has from comp were. A few examples of that being the triple M's (Moves, Mons, Mechanics), as well as grasping battler freedom and to a lesser extent, ref's discretion.

In particular once you got past making a squad (thanks for that basic getting started post on sppf, concept), there wasn't really anything to guide you past that, it just kinda was a learn as you go. This isn't terrible granted, but given how many new players drop the game in the first few matches, a little bit of an extra hand wouldn't hurt.

See, people don't like asking for help. Especially from what equates to a bunch of strangers they're just beginning to interact with. They'd rather just drop the game than face potential embarrassment from asking a "stupid question" and getting ridiculed by the community from the get go. From this perspective, having a helping hand to early battling and getting in the groove of the game is fantastic.

This also doesn't extend just to new players, but old players as well. I recall in a match I had with Mozz him being frustrated over a usage of battler freedom that would have flied fine when he played, but was now deadweight and contributed to him ultimately losing the match. It wasn't some outrageous order to, say, have his Pikachu fly either, rather a mellow one. This, along with other changes to the game, seems to be a big thing that old players have issues grasping on return, and leads to many of them just dropping the game as newbies do. Part of this I feel attributes to a lack of a definite post as a helping hand.

The information is "all there" on the asb site, but not only is a decent chunk outdated, it's an enormous text wall. Simply throwing these folk at said wall isn't helpful, it's detrimental. There needs to be something to encourage them in baby steps. They don't just climb the mountain in one go.

I actually had a decent idea of how to make a post like this for a while now (and still can if it's not an LO priority), but it seemed like something that the game officials could address better than a shitty tl4 gl.

Depending on how this FAQ turns out, it may end up being the post I had in mind. But it also might not, and just be a general knowledge post for people to read over when they need it. At the very least, figured some attention could be brought to this.
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Old 12-20-2017, 02:11 PM   #4
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Solid suggestion Crys, though I feel like it's probably a little unrelated to this particular task. Once I'm done with my final (as I noted in Discord) I think I'll start pushing forward on some work on something like that (though I will need a lot of help as I am about as far removed from a newbie as you can get). Once there's a draft we can put together a new thread for it.

Re: the actual topic - I think the most helpful things will be things that you did not understand when you first started reffing.
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Old 12-21-2017, 02:13 PM   #5
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Some random ones:

1. Are a Pokemon's base stats taken into consideration in ASB? If so, how much of an effect do they have?

2. Should a difference in size and weight affect the damage dealt by a physical attack? E.g. Would a Caterpie's Tackle do the same damage to a Tyranitar as a Tyranitar's Tackle would do the Caterpie? If not, how should refs account for this?

3. At what point is an order considered complicated enough that it would impact on the Pokemon's execution of the order?

4. In general, what happens if two attacks clash? Should the more powerful attack punch through? Will the super effective typed move always win? Or will they cancel out with an animesplosion?

And lastly, this one isn't really something I can describe in a concise sentence but I think it's important to bring up...

5. Is there a standard which governs when moves occur one after the other vs. at the same time vs. as an interrupt? Consider the following orders...

Person A: Double Kick; Person B: Bulldoze

I'd ref this as one after the other. The first Pokemon uses Double Kick, then the second Pokemon uses Bulldoze. But if they said instead...

Person A: Double Kick; Person B: Bulldoze to interrupt Double Kick

...then here, Bulldoze would interrupt the second Pokemon as they charge in, provided there is enough distance between the Pokemon. But if we assume that's fine, then what's the limit on that? Does adding "to interrupt" give a person going second free reign to counter stuff like that?
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Old 12-22-2017, 06:08 PM   #6
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I'm gonna just throw some draft answers in the thread to get input on them. We'll collate them into a nice doc once we've gotten a bit more info.

Quote:
Originally Posted by biggggg5 View Post
I said it in discord but this is the biggest one for me: “What is Ref’s discretion, and what does it entail/cover?”
Ref's Discretion, broadly speaking, is the idea that each ref will have slightly different ideas of how rounds will play out and the exact details of the round are up to the ref. For refs, this means that if there is not a specific rule written on a scenario (such as move clashes and interactions), or if there is some room for interpretation (such as on move priority), you are free to make decisions that you think make the most sense in a given situation, and you are not beholden to how battlers want the round to go. For battlers, this means allowing your ref to be flexible. It's reasonable (and encouraged) to ask questions if things don't got as expected, but ultimately, if the ref has a reasonable explanation that is consistent with rules and descriptions, the ref is free to interpret thing as they see fit.

Ref's discretion encapsulates a number of aspects of ASB, including but not limited to exhaustion, effectiveness of statuses, enthusiasm effects, priority, timing, speed and movement, positioning, etc. It is worth noting that although refs will generally be deferred to on these matters, they must still follow move descriptions and rules, and asking questions about unexpected outcomes, particularly if it seems that a description or rule was not followed, is encouraged.


Quote:
Originally Posted by MCXD View Post
Some random ones:

1. Are a Pokemon's base stats taken into consideration in ASB? If so, how much of an effect do they have?

As a whole, base stats have little to no influence on Pokémon in ASB. That being said, there are some individual Pokémon who have had certain aspects of their base stats translated into ASB, which is reflected in their species characteristics. This also applies to other game mechanics that are not present in the ASB in the same form as the games, such as abilities.

2. Should a difference in size and weight affect the damage dealt by a physical attack? E.g. Would a Caterpie's Tackle do the same damage to a Tyranitar as a Tyranitar's Tackle would do the Caterpie? If not, how should refs account for this?

There are a number of moves/classes of moves on which size (be it overall height and weight or of a specific body part) have some bearing (i.e. Weight-Dependent Moves, Tail Moves, etc.). The influence of size is generally mentioned explicitly in these moves. However, for a majority of moves, size is not explicitly factored into things like damage, but it is not unreasonable for refs to make adjustments as they see fit. After all, it seems illogical for a Joltik to be doing as much with a Body Slam as a Snorlax.

When making judgments about the influence of size and weight on moves, it's smart to consider relative size and weight, and with the exception of extreme cases, only adjust up or down two or three levels at most on the scale. Pokémon are, after all, supernatural creatures, so they are going to be a bit more robust and less vulnerable to things that might otherwise decimate a regular animal.

3. At what point is an order considered complicated enough that it would impact on the Pokemon's execution of the order?

There are a lot of factors that play into the effect of complicated orders. Pokémon are relatively intelligent beings, but with limited exceptions, are not super-geniuses or even necessarily near human intelligence. However, they are much more intelligent than most animals and will be able to comprehend and execute complicated orders that involve multiple moves and tasks.

A good rule of thumb is - if it's not something an eight year old child (with supernatural Pokémon abilities) could easily understand, your Pokémon might have trouble executing it. Conditionals with a lot of possible triggers will likely confuse the Pokémon, as will more than a handful of non-move orders.

Pokémon are good at understanding orders about things like:
-environmental features ("rocks, walls, water, ground, grass, trees, if it's day/night, weather," etc.)
-directions ("move to the right/up/down/forward, move towards/behind the rock, move under the foe, jump/fly up, swim, dive, surface, go under, etc.")
-basic actions ("if the foe attacks, defends, uses a move, doesn't move, moves", etc.)
-types of moves, broadly ("X-type attack, projectiles, physical attack, special attack, shields, screens, punches, kicks, tackles, strikes, slashes," etc.)
-similar basic orders

These kinds of orders will generally not confuse the user unless they are given a complicated sequence of them ("move under your foe if it uses a screen, then hide behind a rock" is something most can get but "move on top of the rock under your foe if it uses a screen or physical attack, and then hide behind the rock until it moves behind you, then move behind it" would be a strain on their memory [and probably yours as well]). Pokémon might also be able to understand a few more complex orders as long as they're kept short or involve simple actions. In reality, most orders and sequences will be simple enough for Pokémon to understand - only when a lot of orders are layered together will they begin to falter.

One thing they will NOT be able to handle, however, are specific moves - Pokémon are not waking Pokédexes and cannot quickly enough tell the difference between a Thunderbolt and Thunder, or a move that does significant damage and one that does major damage. You can order them to dodge high power moves, but what exactly that is is up to the ref, and Pokémon may more often than not just dodge anything that seems threatening.

If a Pokémon doesn't understand an order, they might just try to do a simpler version of it they can understand easier. The Pokémon ordered to do the complicated sequence above might just choose to move under the foe and then move behind the rock instead of all the complex details. If the orders are extremely complex, though, the Pokémon might just do nothing or just attack instead. How this works out is ref's discretion.

It is worth noting that some Pokémon (such as Psychic Pokémon and a few others) have above-average and even superhuman intelligence, meaning they'll be able to digest more complex orders, but Pokémon can also only do so much in a round, so even intelligent Pokémon may abbreviate orders to achieve a similar effect if there isn't enough time for it all.

4. In general, what happens if two attacks clash? Should the more powerful attack punch through? Will the super effective typed move always win? Or will they cancel out with an animesplosion?

Move interactions, broadly speaking, aren't an easy thing to define, as there are thousands upon thousands of combinations. In fact, most Pokémon will generally act to avoid clashes or interactions, or won't use moves simultaneously, but this isn't always the case. That said, some basic guidelines can be followed to predict these more easily:

-Moves of higher power (roughly three or more terms of base damage) will win out over moves of lower power, but with a reduction in damage of half or more.
-Type effectiveness may play a factor, but usually will only tip the scales slightly (Flamethrower will probably clash with Energy Ball still, but Heat Wave may win out).
-Physical (non-projectile) will generally have one win over the other due to initiative and priority, but in the cases when they do not, will clash and deliver slightly reduced damage to both users.
-Physical projectiles and energy moves will generally pass through each other.
-Sound-based moves will clash normally, but secondary effects caused by the sound itself will still occur.
-Wind moves may disperse certain moves, such as flames, fogs, or powders, but will otherwise act normally.

Some specific type clashes:
-Water move will generally extinguish Fire moves, winning out more often than not and creating steam, but at a significant reduction in power.
-Electric moves will generally travel through water moves, but will not weaken each other more than a little.
-Fire moves will generally melt ice moves, but will lose power doing so.
-Ice moves will generally freeze Water moves, turning them into shards of ice, but will lose power doing so and may be blocked entirely in the case of pure energy moves like Ice Beam or Sheer Cold.
-Dark moves will generally eat through Psychic moves, weakening but not stopping them.
-Fire moves will generally burn up non-energy Grass moves (weakening but not necessarily stopping them) but will clash normally with energy Grass moves.
-Psychic moves will generally ignore other moves.
-Steel moves tend to more easily break through other moves, and if a non-Steel move would normally clash, Steel moves will win out.
-Physical Fighting moves will generally win out against other physical moves if they would have otherwise clashed.

Though these are useful guidelines, move interactions fall squarely under the umbrella of ref's discretion. When in doubt, an anime-style explosion that roughly splits the total damage of the moves between any victims in its radius is a safe way to go.

And lastly, this one isn't really something I can describe in a concise sentence but I think it's important to bring up...

5. Is there a standard which governs when moves occur one after the other vs. at the same time vs. as an interrupt? Consider the following orders...

Person A: Double Kick; Person B: Bulldoze

I'd ref this as one after the other. The first Pokemon uses Double Kick, then the second Pokemon uses Bulldoze. But if they said instead...

Person A: Double Kick; Person B: Bulldoze to interrupt Double Kick

...then here, Bulldoze would interrupt the second Pokemon as they charge in, provided there is enough distance between the Pokemon. But if we assume that's fine, then what's the limit on that? Does adding "to interrupt" give a person going second free reign to counter stuff like that?

(So this is really a question about the dynamics of initiative and priority, but also kind of about specific orders, so the question might need to be reframed a bit.)

When you're given a set of orders, determining the actual sequence of events can be a little tricky. Sometimes, Pokémon might just use their moves one after the other to avoid their moves clashing or failing, but ref's discretion may compel you to have Pokémon use moves simultaneously if you think it makes sense.

Occasionally, it's pretty obvious who will move before who (e.g. one 'mon is paralyzed, trapped, slowed, has lowered enthusiasm, is using a move that requires charging, is using a High Speed move, etc), but that's generally not going to be the case. The easiest way to figure out who goes first is to examine the possible influencing factors. Below, we've constructed a scale to give you an idea of what affects initiative and their relative influence (ordered from greatest positive influence to greatest negative influence).

This is NOT a rigid scale! Ref's discretion applies always, and additional factors may negate or change the impact of these possible influences! Each tier up or down from neutral represents things that have a significantly greater/less influence than the things in the adjacent tiers, and things ordered internally from faster-slower.

--Tier +3--
-using a High Speed move
-max enthusiasm/speed

--Tier +2--
-sharply increased enthusiasm/speed, Ninjask-esque speed SC
-using a defensive move

--Tier +1--
-ordering first/an attempt to interrupt
-slightly increased enthusiasm/speed, speed boosting SC

--No modifiers--

--Tier -1--
-ordering second
-discomfort from burns
-mild exhaustion
-slightly reduced enthusiasm/speed, speed lowering SC

--Tier -2--
-the effects of paralysis
-moderate exhaustion
-sharply reduced enthusiasm/speed, Slowbro-esque speed

--Tier -3--
-min enthusiasm/speed
-extreme exhaustion
-conditionals, waiting

All other things being equal, a Pokémon with one of the positive modifiers using a move will have greater initiative, and a Pokémon with negative modifiers will have less initiative. Initiative will generally determine if a move wins out when used simultaneously, and if there is enough of a difference in initiative, the faster Pokémon may be able to stop a move from being used entirely. Do note, you CAN order Pokémon to try to interrupt a move, but this more often than not will result in move clashing, unless the move is specifically intended as an interrupter.

Keep in mind, things like distance and the speed of the move being used also play into this, so even if a Pokémon with tons of speed boosts fires a Zap Cannon from a distance, it's still not likely to beat out even just a normal Thunderbolt. As stated before, this kind of thing is largely up to ref's discretion, but the factors listed above can give you an idea of roughly what to expect.
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Old 12-22-2017, 07:04 PM   #7
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Had a ref's discretion -esque comment here but it was stupid. Have this instead:

Often as a ref, I'll find myself losing the motivation to actually ref the rounds as matches go on. Especially when battlers order the same moves over and over (I'm looking at you, Psychic x2), resulting in basically the same round over...and over. As I can't tell my battlers to stop being unoriginal cunts, what can I do to keep interest in a match going, or to refresh it?
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Old 12-23-2017, 10:02 AM   #8
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I feel like I understand Refs discretion better than I ever have. Also just came up in the move rewrite talk but boosts and debuffs probably need a section
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Old 12-24-2017, 08:08 AM   #9
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Boosts and Debuffs will have a definition in the glossary.
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Old 12-26-2017, 08:43 AM   #10
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How do I ref exhaustion?
Exhaustion is one of those mechanics that has been notorious in ASB over the years as a point of confusion and controversy. It can be a bit complicated, so many refs end up struggling. However, by breaking it down into some easy-to-digest chunks, it becomes much more manageable as a mechanic.

There are roughly five states of exhaustion a Pokémon can be in. Firstly is fresh, where a Pokémon is not experiencing exhaustion effects, which only Pokémon right out of the Poké Ball experience. Secondly is "normal", a Pokémon that is not fresh but not experiencing significant levels of exhaustion. Next is light exhaustion - in this state, the user will be slowed somewhat, in speed, reactions and charging of moves. After is severe exhaustion, where the Pokémon will start to use more energy and be even slower to react, move or charge moves, and have high power moves potentially weaken or fail. Finally, there is extreme exhaustion, where a Pokémon will be unable to move until they have spent at least half a round resting. If a Pokémon rests or uses a low power (mild-moderate energy) move, they will fall roughly one tier down, leveling out at "normal".

There are also three ways exhaustion is influenced. It's easiest to look at the three types of exhaustion individually: short-term, mid-term and long-term.

Short-term is the simplest form to deal with, as it basically is a short, half-round-ish period when the Pokémon can't use moves over good energy without some trouble and an increase in energy use and will be unable to use moves over significant energy or that cause windedness. They'll also be slower to react and moves will take longer to charge. However, this state will fade after a short period, largely regardless of what happens. It's effects can be made more severe by other types of exhaustion, but an explicit rest is not needed like with the others (more because it's forced).

Mid-term exhaustion is the real sticking point for most, but the governing idea is simple enough - Pokémon need to use a less powerful move or take a rest regularly to keep fighting efficiently. On average, they should take a break once in the span of three rounds to keep from being exhausted. So, if a Pokémon uses significant level moves for two rounds of two moves each, on the third round, they can use one more significant level attack, which will push them over the edge, and have a break, which will help them feel refreshed. If, instead of that break, they use a good level attack, they'll tire themselves out, but will only be somewhat exhausted (light exhaustion). If they're even more aggressive and use four full rounds of significant level attacks without a break, they'll be even more exhausted and begin to strain (severe exhaustion), and using another round without a break will cause them to be so exhausted that they will be forced to take a break (extreme exhaustion). The time it takes to reach these stages will be longer if the user uses weaker moves and shorter if they use stronger moves (i.e. using all major level moves will exhaust the user after about a round and a half and severely exhaust them after three rounds, but good level moves will take four and five and a half rounds respectively).

Long-term exhaustion is a function of the user's overall health and energy, and mostly influences the other types of exhaustion. A fresh Pokémon experiences none of these effects, whereas a critical Pokémon will experience them intensely. The weaker the Pokémon is, particularly the less energy they have, the more intense the effects (i.e. the speed drop and energy use) will be.

Last edited by Jerichi; 01-07-2018 at 11:30 AM.
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