Meta Competitive Smash Ruleset Discussion

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#1
Hey guys, for those of you who don't know me I'm SamuraiPanda. Old school smasher who played a role in the original rulesets of Brawl and helped TO many different tournaments in the past (although never ran my own). I'd like to open a discussion on the rulesets that we should use going forward with Smash 4. I'll outline each section with a header and give my 2 cents. A lot of this includes options hat we have and then my personal opinion. Some topics are too large to discuss in this thread and I'll try to provide a better place to discuss them.

And if I'm stepping on any toes here Shaya, then just give it a lock. I'll just shift my reasoning to respective threads that already exist later on.

KEEP IN MIND that 3DS tournaments will likely be few and far inbetween once the Wii U version is out, so many of these rules are tailored for the eventual Wii U tournament scene rather than specifically playing to the strengths of the 3DS. Also if you have options or ideas other than those stated here then please share them!

FORMAT

How many stocks/how much time should we run?

Options:
- 3 stock 8 minutes (Brawl rules) best of 3
- 2 stock 5 minutes (Sakurai's For Glory mode format) best of 3
- 2 stock 5 minutes best of 5

Arguments =
- [3 stocks]
Many pro players like M2K advocate that 3 stocks is the most "fair" in a competitive match. They believe this is the best test of skill and allows appropriate time to read your opponent, get read, and read back in return. They believe combacks are more possible and leads to closer matches overall. 3 stocks were first used as tournament standard at the beginning of Brawl's life. IIRC we either rarely used or never used 4 stocks in Brawl tournaments because it was clear at the beginning of the game's lifespan that Brawl was not as fast as Melee and so Melee's rules should not apply.

- [2 stocks bo3]
(a) Competitive Smash Bros tournaments take a VERY long time. Absurdly long compared to other modern fighting games. 8 minutes is the length of a best of 3 set normally. Smash tounaments run all day and night while other fighters can be fit in half a day's time. 2 stocks would alleviate a lot of that. It would be easier to find venues because they don't need to be open so early/late, more players would have time to attend, etc
(b) It is much easier to go UP on stocks later in a game's life than go DOWN on stocks. This is because the relative impact on competitive gameplay of going UP on stocks is much less than the impact of going down.
(c) [thanks to @ popsofctown popsofctown for this] Players in the future who have trained on For Glory mode and are now looking for in-person tournaments to test their mettle will find this to be easiest to transition to, and players who want to practice online will be able to practice in this format as well.

- [2 stocks bo5]
The time equivalent of 3 stocks best of 3. This format is simply a variance on the current default Brawl ruleset that some believe could lead to more exciting matches, larger variety of stages/counterpicks/characters used, and other various things which would improve the overall competitive metagame. Still has the advantages of B and C from the previous argument.

My personal preference = 2 stocks bo3 at the beginning of Smash 4's lifespan. Even if Smash 4 turns out to be a SIGNIFICANTLY faster game than we currently have, I think 2 stocks would help alleviate many of Smash's underlying tournament issues. I believe that fatigue in tournaments is a very important and very real problem in Smash. The number of people getting to grand finals and just wanting to split because its 2am and they're exhausted would be cut down, and I've seen perfectly legitimate grand finals have absolutely no hype at all because a best of 5 set followed by a reset to another best of 5 set when each game was nearly 8 minutes long is draining to both players and viewers. Additionally, finding venues that are open early/late enough and running tournaments all day long would be a concern of the past.
\
EDIT2: Thinkaman and Amazing_Ampharos also a thread with data illustrating that times are not too different between 2 stock and 3 stock.

How should we run the tournaments?

Options:
- Swiss format for pools/early matches, then top 8/16/whatever uses traditional double elimination
- Double elimination for full tournament
(Open for more suggestions)

Arguments =
- [Swiss to double elim]
This format favors the 3DS. To be honest it is not very viable for tournament play on the Wii U simply because of time it would take to run a tournament. Inifinty, a TO from Texas, did a great write up on why Swiss would be ideal for 3DS (among other things). Some arguments brought against this idea by people who have run large scale Mario Kart and Pokemon 3DS tournaments are that Wifi instability is very difficult to deal with, and Wifi tends to become unstable with a large number of people connecting at the same time. The conversion to double elim later on is to preserve hype and interest.

- [Double elim]
Traditional format, time tested to be more-or-less one of the best ways of testing skill (Swiss is superior here though) while running a smooth and fast tournament. For logistical issues, this will likely be the de-facto format for Wii U tournaments in the future.

Personal preference = Double elimination. People playing the 3DS version are practicing Smash 4 for the eventual Wii U release. I don't think people should have to adapt to new formats they are uncomfortable with just for a month.


STAGES

What stages should we use?

Let's not discuss this huge topic here. Please refer to this thread for further discussion.

How should stage selection work?

Options:
- Random stage selection from a given "starter" list
- Rock Paper Scissors for first stage selection from a given list prior to selecting characters
- Stage striking
- For Glory Mode (IE ONLY FD AND OMEGA STAGES)
(Open to more suggestions)

Arguments =
- [Random stage]
You will have to pick a character for your first match with enough versatility to fit all stages in this "starter" list and not be signfiicantly weak to one. Limits character selection.

- [RPS]
Both you and your opponent have time to consider who to play on the given stage. Player who wins the RPS can clearly choose the stage best for them.

- [Striking]
This is the given format for Smash tournaments now for a reason. While not a perfect solution, it is by far the best option we've had in tournament play since the inception of competitive Smash bros.

- [For Glory Mode]
(thanks to @ popsofctown popsofctown for this) Players in the future who have trained on For Glory mode and are now looking for in-person tournaments to test their mettle will find this to be easiest to transition to. This severely limits viable character choice and limits variety in competitive play. It may allow for a larger early and middle-lifespan fanbase, but it would likely severely hinder the longevity of the game.

Personal preference = Yeah I didn't really hide that clearly stage striking is the best from this list in my opinion. I'd find it hard for anyone to argue that one of the other points here is superior to striking. There are other suggestions I've seen floating around for a ruleset superior to stage striking but nothing viable quite yet.

How should stage banning work?

This is really up to the TO for how many stages they allow you to ban. I believe this should reflective of the number of stages they have but again its up to them. However, in this section I'd like to address a big issue people have been sleeping on (IMO). Omega stages, which are the "FD" versions of almost all the stages in the game. They have SLIGHTLY different properties form FD. There may or may not be differences in blast zones (yet to be tested extensively) but stage length is the exact same among all of them. They have 5 different platform types apparently though; Pillar, Floating, and Wall formats. The exceptions being the Mother stage and Arena which may have slightly different properties to these three (thanks to @ ParanoidDrone ParanoidDrone for the info).

How should we address Omega stages in tournament play? Specifically in banning?

Options:
- Banning FD bans FD+all Omega stages
- Banning Omega bans ALL Omega stages, but they are separate from FD
- Omegas are all individual stages
(Open to more suggstions here)

Arguments =
- [Ban FD+Omega together]
When banning stages in competitive play, you are USUALLY banning to get rid of a "type" of stage. When someone bans FD against the Ice Climbers, that means they want a stage with platforms to utlize vs the ICs. Similarly, some characters will be extrodinarily strong on flat stages vs flat+plat stages and otherwise. Little Mac is the perfect example of a character who will without a doubt thrive on a flat stage. By combining the ban, you are allowing players to ban the entire flat stage "type" at once. In tournaments with only 1 stage ban but allowing FD and Omega, how can ban out that type?

- [Banning Omega bans ALL Omega stages]
Yes Omega stages have different properties between them so lumping them all together may be "unfair" to certain stages. However this may be the best solution for the aforementioned "type" banning.

- [Omegas are individual stages]
If you run this, then your tournament better have 20 stage bans.

Personal preference = Banning Omega bans ALL Omega stages. This does not mean you cannot ban individual Omega stages you may not like (Warioware's Omega seems HUGE) but it allows you to ban the full "type". Lumping FD+Omega together IMO causes an unfair lumping. Not all Flat+plat stages are lumped together (i.e. Brawl Smashville and BF) so why should one ban cover every single version of a single, often-used type? Given, if there is only one version of a single type on a stage list (i.e. only one walkoff stage) then they suffer from that issue.


CUSTOM EQUIPMENT

This discussion should be focused in this thread. My favorite quote from the thread that perfectly reflects one of the biggest reasons I'm personally against equipment is from @Tristan_win :
I am absolutely against using equipment in tournaments for so many reasons but the flavor I'll bring up right now is how they would make the game less deep on the mid to high level. As someone gets better and better at smash they tend to naturally learn how to better manage not only their percentage but their opponents as well. 'I can kill them at X%, I can combo them from X%, he can't kill me until X%, he can't combo me until X%' I feel this plays a big part in the mid to high level of smash and by everyone adding equipment it would expend the amount of information you would need to know to unreasonable amounts.

Sure people might die faster and matches would be quicker but the thinking involved to win those matches would be a lot less, in a way it would make smash4 the worst smash due to inconsistencies from match to match.
CUSTOM SPECIALS

Discussion regarding SHOULD they be allowed should go to this thread. I also believe that Thinkaman's thread regarding the issue is a wonderful overview of the potential merits they could have for the competitive scene.

CAN they be allowed in tournaments?

Oh boy this is a loaded question that proves a large dichotomy between 3DS and Wii U. As it is now, YES they are easily possible for the 3DS and should be a TO decision whether they are or not.

However, for the Wii U to have Custom Specials usable in tournaments there will have to be a quick way to unlock everything for every Wii U. Likely if the 3DS can transfer unlocked specials over to the Wii U (and can do so for multiple Wii Us) then logistically they could work. If every Wii U requires as much time as it currently does on the 3DS to unlock custom special attacks for every single character in the game, then it is unlikely for custom specials to ever be legal in large-scale tournaments simply due to the difficultly and time required for unlocking for all of the Wii Us.

Miis Plz??
Should they be allowed in tournaments?

Ugh another loaded question. I wish this had its own thread to discuss I could redirect to.

Okay, again I'm going to talk about the LOGISTICS of Mii fighters in Wii U tournament play. There is NO ISSUE with Mii fighters for the 3DS and that is a TO-dependent decision to make. There IS however an issue for Wii U tournaments:

The balance of the Mii fighter depends on the height (and width??) of the Mii fighter.

Taller ones have longer reach and shorter ones are faster. If you were to main the Mii fighter, you would have a specific size you want to use. Logistically allowing Mii fighters for the Wii U would require standardized Miis to be used. And how to you make sure that PlayerXX who graciously brought his Wii U for you to use in your tournament is using the CORRECT standardized Mii and didn't paste the standardized Mii's face on a different size body? As a TO, checking every Wii U has the correct standardized Miis is absurdly difficult. And then you have to figure out WHO makes the standardized Mii and which Mii becomes the standard. That is a huge logistical nightmare.

There are TWO scenarios (I can think of) where the Miis would pose no issues being part of the Wii U tournament scene. The first lies in the reliability and speed of connecting a 3DS to the Wii U. If you can quickly connect to sync your Mii fighter via your 3DS without adding much time to a tournament, then they could work. The second is if they give us premade Miis with the Wii U version as well, allowing us to simply chose one of those to play with.
 
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Hoser

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#2
And so it begins.

I'm in favor of customization. At first I was unsure, but now that we've seen most of it, none of it seems very game-breaking, and can in fact help out some characters that would initially play low on the tier list.

I'll update this post later when I have an opinion on stages.
 
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#3
And so it begins.

I'm in favor of customization. At first I was unsure, but now that we've seen most of it, none of it seems very game-breaking, and can in fact help out some characters that would initially play low on the tier list.
I agree. Personally I'd love to see custom specials in tournament play. From a technical standpoint though, it has yet to be seen if Wii U tournaments could possibly run them.
 

Hoser

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#4
I agree. Personally I'd love to see custom specials in tournament play. From a technical standpoint though, it has yet to be seen if Wii U tournaments could possibly run them.
True, but if we're going to begin discussing rulesets this early, I don't think it's fair to use the "Wii U might make it harder to do," as we have almost no knowledge about how the Wii U will function. I think we should assume it will be similar enough to the 3DS version (minus Smash Run of course)
 
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#5
True, but if we're going to begin discussing rulesets this early, I don't think it's fair to use the "Wii U might make it harder to do," as we have almost no knowledge about how the Wii U will function. I think we should assume it will be similar enough to the 3DS version (minus Smash Run of course)
As I mentioned in the thread, in the event that there is no quick way to unlock all specials in the game for every Wii U then I sincerely doubt there will ever be large scale tournaments that allow custom specials.
 

ToadsterOven

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#6
I agree. Personally I'd love to see custom specials in tournament play. From a technical standpoint though, it has yet to be seen if Wii U tournaments could possibly run them.
*shrugs* IIRC, you can transfer all your custom stuff over to the Wii U version and I would imagine it would hardly take a minute if that as when you customize your characters on the 3DS version, it remembers what customs you have chosen for future uses of said characters.
 

Hoser

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#7
As I mentioned in the thread, in the event that there is no quick way to unlock all specials in the game for every Wii U then I sincerely doubt there will ever be large scale tournaments that allow custom specials.
True, and if that's the case then that's that. (For the first 6 months or so at least. After that amount of time, it's not unfair to expect most competitive players who intend to use their Wii U's for tournaments to have all moves unlocked)

That's why I think we should assume they are easy to unlock though. Because if they're not, then there's really no discussion about it.
 

Sendo Roba

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#8
If the 3DS>WiiU data transfer is good enough, you should just be able to use any Mii you want at a tournament. Same goes for custom characters
 
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Noa.

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#9
The potential for custom moves excited me a lot. Their accessibility on the Wii u is what hurts them the most. Otherwise I don't see a problem with them.

I don't think equipment would be healthy just because it would change the fundamentals of a character too much. While changing special moves would change a lot about a specific matchup, equipment would effect every single facet of the matchup. Having to relearn kill percentages, combo possibilities, juggling etc and with so many variables seems to place a significant burden of knowledge for players. You could argue the same for custom special moves but that amount of new information would be significantly less than that of equipment.
 

Hoser

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#10
The potential for custom moves excited me a lot. Their accessibility on the Wii u is what hurts them the most. Otherwise I don't see a problem with them.

I don't think equipment would be healthy just because it would change the fundamentals of a character too much. While changing special moves would change a lot about a specific matchup, equipment would effect every single facet of the matchup. Having to relearn kill percentages, combo possibilities, juggling etc and with so many variables seems to place a significant burden of knowledge for players. You could argue the same for custom special moves but that amount of new information would be significantly less than that of equipment.
Before a decision is decided about equipment, I think we need to fully understand how many different pieces of equipment exist, and what the difference is between them. From my understanding, there are 3 types of equipment categories, but items of the same category effect their stats by different %s. If it turns out there is too much differing equipment, then I agree they should either be banned, or limited to certain ones.
 

popsofctown

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#11
I think you don't seem to be sticking to one particular philosophy, Samurai Panda.

Banning equipment sacrifices variety in exchange for allowing players to master it more easily, have fewer variables to measure and few enough variables that they can prepare for each of them in their own personal dojo.

Legalizing specials, if they are feasible on the wii U, does the opposite. If you want to give players just what they can handle, why not ban them anyhow, so that players can easily calculate what they're up against.

Legalizing non for-glory stages also increases variety, but creates a lot of variety that players have to control. This one you took as a given, just because of past game practices, but you shouldn't. Players will have a lot of access to practice opponents in for-glory modes, and using a for-glory ruleset opens the game up to a lot of people who aren't living in a smashfrathouse.

I think either equipment and movesets and miis of all kinds should be used, and players should be expected to handle anything thrown at them in a game that is stoked with variety, or a ruleset close to for-glory mode should be used, and players should handle a predictable game that they have a very accessible way of practicing and improving for tournament play. Other rulesets strike me as worst-of-both-worlds.
 
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#12
I think you don't seem to be sticking to one particular philosophy, Samurai Panda.
GAH

There is no space in my name :X

Banning equipment sacrifices variety in exchange for allowing players to master it more easily, have fewer variables to measure and few enough variables that they can prepare for each of them in their own personal dojo.

Legalizing specials, if they are feasible on the wii U, does the opposite. If you want to give players just what they can handle, why not ban them anyhow, so that players can easily calculate what they're up against.
You do raise a good point here that I skimmed over, but the basics for my personal preference are because of relative number of variables. By allowing custom specials, that means you'll have to learn the intricacies of 12 different special attacks (likely less because there will be specials clearly better than others in competitive play) per character instead of 4. But when your opponent adds just a single +attack equipment, they are changing the properties of 12 normals and 4 specials that you now have to take into account in different ways. One is an acceptable number of changes for competitive play, the other isn't really acceptable.

If you'd like to get into a discussion about my definition of "acceptable" that would require more time that I don't believe I have at the moment (although is the understandable direction to take this point). I do apologize for that.

Legalizing non for-glory stages also increases variety, but creates a lot of variety that players have to control. This one you took as a given, just because of past game practices, but you shouldn't. Players will have a lot of access to practice opponents in for-glory modes, and using a for-glory ruleset opens the game up to a lot of people who aren't living in a smashfrathouse.

I think either equipment and movesets and miis of all kinds should be used, and players should be expected to handle anything thrown at them in a game that is stoked with variety, or a ruleset close to for-glory mode should be used, and players should handle a predictable game that they have a very accessible way of practicing and improving for tournament play. Other rulesets strike me as worst-of-both-worlds.
I actually think you include a very interesting argument here. I will be adding it to the OP as I think that is a compelling reasoning for another viable option I did not think to include. Well done here.
 
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#13
Regarding Omega stages, Raziek has a post in the Stage Analysis Thread regarding some experimentation he did, and all the Omega forms seem to be the same size (5 of Robin's side rolls) and pretty close to the same blast zones (eyeballed double jump + Elwind > float offscreen, check the height of the explosion FX). Therefore any differences between the various Omega forms and FD itself should boil down to the shape of the under-platform area (solid, floating, or pillar) which IMO is not sufficient grounds to distinguish between Omega stages and the real FD. For characters with an advantage on FD, it also gives them a second chance to counterpick what is almost exactly the same stage. (How many strikes does the winner usually get?) While it's true that wall clings and under-stage traversals exist, I'm not convinced they're of such importance that we need to treat Omega stages as a separate entity, either as a whole or as individual stages.
 

skstylez

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#14
I prefer the 2 stocks, 5 minutes at least for pools. Maybe finals and grand finals can run 3 stock, or they can just switch to a best of 5. 2 stock is very entertaining and will be the meta online. I don't think we need stage bans on the 3ds version, the stage selection is so limited! And chain grabs/FD exploits no longer exist.

Another thing to bring up is teams, will this change? For glory mode has team attack off by default
 

Amazing Ampharos

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#15
Stage bans are very important, but I feel like there's good room for improvement in the system. Thinkaman proposed to me a few months back what I thought was a pretty good idea. There are no stage bans, but the loser picks a few stages (2 or 3 depending on how many stage bans you want to simulate) when counterpicking and winner picks a specific one of those along with his character. This is pretty much the same thing as a stage ban except it means the winner can read the loser's mind and always ban the stage the loser might have picked that the winner wanted to play on least. There are two main reasons this is desirable:

1. A lot of players are really bad at using stage bans intelligently and get blindsided. "What do you ban?" "I ban Halberd." "Okay, we're going to Green Greens." "That's legal!?!" This happens all the time (at least at events with more than 5 stages legal), and it leads to badly played games and very upset players. This system guarantees no surprises.

2. A lot of players find the decision of which stage to ban very, very hard. Let's say you have a list of 20 stages and have to pick just one or two you want to play on less than any others. You think and think about specifically what match-ups you might face on each one, and it's even harder since most people find the decision of what they want to play on least a lot harder decision than figuring out what they want to play on most. It takes forever; figuring out stage bans takes on average something like double the time of stage striking even from a pretty large list at every tournament I've ever been to since most players just plain don't know what to pick. This removes that problem completely.

As per FD + Omega forms, I support this clean approach to handling them. In game one with striking, Final Destination's real form is the only such stage we consider; none of the Omega forms can be picked. If Final Destination is ever counterpicked, the loser of the previous game (the one doing the counterpicking) can specify form. If we combine with my previous system, it would be something like this for a procedure:

Loser: I pick Flat Zone 2 Omega Form and Prism Tower
Winner: I pick Bowser Jr. and Prism Tower
Loser: I pick Dr. Mario
(custom move stuff)

---

Early measurements suggest that, while the differences between Miis are real, they are not that large (a max weight Mii has a weight of 102 while a min weight has a weight of 97 which is the difference between Mega Man/Shulk and Luigi/Villager). We still don't know if arbitrary weight Miis are possible or if all Miis are in one of the three groups (default is 100 weight). If there are only three weight classes, we could just cover every possibility. Even if there is a sliding scale, it is likely reasonable to guarantee the free selection of max, min, and default weight Mii Fighters at tournaments (very easy to make the largest possible, smallest possible, and default Miis); it will require some degree of trust by competitors that whoever supplied the set-up was legit, but with how sophisticated Brawl hacking was, we're already well used to applying that kind of trust that the set-up is not designed to interfere with the proper flow of the game. Mii Fighter is 3 characters which is an awful lot; I find the logistics as we understand them a bit of a pain to be honest, but it's just too much content to accept losing unless the situation is really, really dire which I don't think it is.
 

Raijinken

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#16
While SDing affects a 2s match far more than a 3s match, I think the 2/5 is a good place to start. If there's some apparent meta resulting in players getting faster kills, maybe 3/8 would be good then, but for now, mimicking For Glory seems like a good way to go. It also allows people to practice tournament format with anyone, which is a strong argument.

As for stages, I would suggest following For Glory on that as well. At least from what I've seen, the game DOES seem to be made with Final Destination in mind, and no character has seemed to me like they have a clear advantage or disadvantage on it (though it can be argued that Mac NEEDS FD because any platform will basically ruin his hopes). Of course, it would also be reasonable for certain FD forms to be preferred for tournament play.

The three types of FD seem to be "Has sidewalls", "Is a rectangle without walls", and "Is shaped like FD." I haven't seen decisive evidence suggesting that they have different blast lines, ceiling heights, or other significant differences, but those could come into play and it could theoretically boil down to selecting types of FD for battles, instead of selecting from other stages. Alternately, simply doing what For Glory does and randoming amongst Omegas would be a "fair" way (if, for instance, you toggle the random select so that the various types of FD are in equal probability).

For custom moves, I support those, but acknowledge the potential logistical issues in tournament settings. Depending on the number of savable presets, it COULD be possible to pre-set each combination of moves (you'd need eleven slots per character, since one combination is pure default), or at least the most "likely" ones, saving a lot of time mid-tournament.

For custom equipment, I personally think adaptability should carry a bigger weight in a tournament setting than heavy memorization of combo and hit percents, but that's a matter of personal taste, and the memorization-heavy approach is equally valid. I feel like that one could be left up to the TO, but should definitely be restricted to 3DS versions for logistical reasons.

For Miis, I hope they'd be legal, even if they must be restricted to, for instance, default weight and height (the easiest to build). But again, the logistical issues are noteworthy, and there'd have to be a pretty close eye on each system to ensure fairness. Not a big issue in tournaments with few setups or lots of spectators, I suppose.
 

mimgrim

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#17
Personally, I'm a bit annoyed they don't have premade Miis for us to use. I have 0 Miis on my 3DS because I think they are stupid. I would have much rather have had them give me ones to use.
I only wanted to address this part specifically. Because, in fact, they do give you premade ones to use if you want to use them. When you go to use the Mii and need to make chose a new one there was a second tab that showed you to the a small selection of premade Miis you can use, or something like that. I know because I got a chance to play the full Japanese version and when I went to miis the person only had 1 Mii on it and I somehow figured out how to get to premade Miis, I just can't remember how I did it.
 
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#18
Stage bans are very important, but I feel like there's good room for improvement in the system. Thinkaman proposed to me a few months back what I thought was a pretty good idea. There are no stage bans, but the loser picks a few stages (2 or 3 depending on how many stage bans you want to simulate) when counterpicking and winner picks a specific one of those along with his character. This is pretty much the same thing as a stage ban except it means the winner can read the loser's mind and always ban the stage the loser might have picked that the winner wanted to play on least. There are two main reasons this is desirable:

1. A lot of players are really bad at using stage bans intelligently and get blindsided. "What do you ban?" "I ban Halberd." "Okay, we're going to Green Greens." "That's legal!?!" This happens all the time (at least at events with more than 5 stages legal), and it leads to badly played games and very upset players. This system guarantees no surprises.

2. A lot of players find the decision of which stage to ban very, very hard. Let's say you have a list of 20 stages and have to pick just one or two you want to play on less than any others. You think and think about specifically what match-ups you might face on each one, and it's even harder since most people find the decision of what they want to play on least a lot harder decision than figuring out what they want to play on most. It takes forever; figuring out stage bans takes on average something like double the time of stage striking even from a pretty large list at every tournament I've ever been to since most players just plain don't know what to pick. This removes that problem completely.

As per FD + Omega forms, I support this clean approach to handling them. In game one with striking, Final Destination's real form is the only such stage we consider; none of the Omega forms can be picked. If Final Destination is ever counterpicked, the loser of the previous game (the one doing the counterpicking) can specify form. If we combine with my previous system, it would be something like this for a procedure:

Loser: I pick Flat Zone 2 Omega Form and Prism Tower
Winner: I pick Bowser Jr. and Prism Tower
Loser: I pick Dr. Mario
(custom move stuff)

---

Early measurements suggest that, while the differences between Miis are real, they are not that large (a max weight Mii has a weight of 102 while a min weight has a weight of 97 which is the difference between Mega Man/Shulk and Luigi/Villager). We still don't know if arbitrary weight Miis are possible or if all Miis are in one of the three groups (default is 100 weight). If there are only three weight classes, we could just cover every possibility. Even if there is a sliding scale, it is likely reasonable to guarantee the free selection of max, min, and default weight Mii Fighters at tournaments (very easy to make the largest possible, smallest possible, and default Miis); it will require some degree of trust by competitors that whoever supplied the set-up was legit, but with how sophisticated Brawl hacking was, we're already well used to applying that kind of trust that the set-up is not designed to interfere with the proper flow of the game. Mii Fighter is 3 characters which is an awful lot; I find the logistics as we understand them a bit of a pain to be honest, but it's just too much content to accept losing unless the situation is really, really dire which I don't think it is.
Interesting ideas here and I agree stage counterpicking can definitely be refined and revisied. Playing devil's advocate though I can see that this wouldn't work great for tournaments with smaller stage selection, and assuming there are no bans I could say something like "I pick FD and Wily Tower Omega". I just picked 2 flat stages so no matter what you have to go to a flat stage. Whereas if there were 2 bans in the tournament instead then you could presumably ban both. You could argue that forcing the players to have 3 choices would fix the problem but being part of the competitive scene I can definitely tell that many players won't have 3 CP stages they are particularly good with and would want to counterpick to. It would dramatically increase stage knowledge requirement. Still, you could see if there are TOs willing to try the idea. It has some viability but there are inherent problems I believe would limit it from becoming the standard.

As for the Miis, even if the differences are minor there should still be a standard. If there are truly default Miis in the game then they should by all means be what we use as our tournament standard. I agree that removing 3 entire characters is excessive, but at the same time that choice also ties into the ability to quickly set your specials and the viability of custom special moves in the tournament scene. I could see a default Mii with a 1/1/1/1 setup being the tournament standard even for tournaments with custom specials banned though. We'll have to see how it turns out.
 
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#19
Interesting ideas here and I agree stage counterpicking can definitely be refined and revisied. Playing devil's advocate though I can see that this wouldn't work great for tournaments with smaller stage selection, and assuming there are no bans I could say something like "I pick FD and Wily Tower Omega". I just picked 2 flat stages so no matter what you have to go to a flat stage. Whereas if there were 2 bans in the tournament instead then you could presumably ban both. You could argue that forcing the players to have 3 choices would fix the problem but being part of the competitive scene I can definitely tell that many players won't have 3 CP stages they are particularly good with and would want to counterpick to. It would dramatically increase stage knowledge requirement. Still, you could see if there are TOs willing to try the idea. It has some viability but there are inherent problems I believe would limit it from becoming the standard.
FD and Omegas can be solved by lumping them together, i.e. you can't give your opponent a choice between FD and an Omega stage, or two different Omega stages.
 
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#20
Interesting ideas here and I agree stage counterpicking can definitely be refined and revisied. Playing devil's advocate though I can see that this wouldn't work great for tournaments with smaller stage selection, and assuming there are no bans I could say something like "I pick FD and Wily Tower Omega". I just picked 2 flat stages so no matter what you have to go to a flat stage. Whereas if there were 2 bans in the tournament instead then you could presumably ban both. You could argue that forcing the players to have 3 choices would fix the problem but being part of the competitive scene I can definitely tell that many players won't have 3 CP stages they are particularly good with and would want to counterpick to. It would dramatically increase stage knowledge requirement. Still, you could see if there are TOs willing to try the idea. It has some viability but there are inherent problems I believe would limit it from becoming the standard.

As for the Miis, even if the differences are minor there should still be a standard. If there are truly default Miis in the game then they should by all means be what we use as our tournament standard. I agree that removing 3 entire characters is excessive, but at the same time that choice also ties into the ability to quickly set your specials and the viability of custom special moves in the tournament scene. I could see a default Mii with a 1/1/1/1 setup being the tournament standard even for tournaments with custom specials banned though. We'll have to see how it turns out.
The question about the six Default Miis pretty much boils down to "do the six defaults cover all possible weight classes". If this is the case — which it easily could be, since from 97 to 102 the number of integer options is precisely six — then we have no problems at all, and we also don't care if people decide to bring their own Mii Fighters on their 3DS for the sake of personality.
 

Chauzu

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#21
Very nice post! I'm going to be boring and say I basically agreed with all you wrote in the op.

Starting close to the Nintendo format and taking it from there sounds like a good approach to me.
 

Starbound

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#22
Stage bans are very important, but I feel like there's good room for improvement in the system. Thinkaman proposed to me a few months back what I thought was a pretty good idea. There are no stage bans, but the loser picks a few stages (2 or 3 depending on how many stage bans you want to simulate) when counterpicking and winner picks a specific one of those along with his character. This is pretty much the same thing as a stage ban except it means the winner can read the loser's mind and always ban the stage the loser might have picked that the winner wanted to play on least. There are two main reasons this is desirable:

1. A lot of players are really bad at using stage bans intelligently and get blindsided. "What do you ban?" "I ban Halberd." "Okay, we're going to Green Greens." "That's legal!?!" This happens all the time (at least at events with more than 5 stages legal), and it leads to badly played games and very upset players. This system guarantees no surprises.

2. A lot of players find the decision of which stage to ban very, very hard. Let's say you have a list of 20 stages and have to pick just one or two you want to play on less than any others. You think and think about specifically what match-ups you might face on each one, and it's even harder since most people find the decision of what they want to play on least a lot harder decision than figuring out what they want to play on most. It takes forever; figuring out stage bans takes on average something like double the time of stage striking even from a pretty large list at every tournament I've ever been to since most players just plain don't know what to pick. This removes that problem completely.

As per FD + Omega forms, I support this clean approach to handling them. In game one with striking, Final Destination's real form is the only such stage we consider; none of the Omega forms can be picked. If Final Destination is ever counterpicked, the loser of the previous game (the one doing the counterpicking) can specify form. If we combine with my previous system, it would be something like this for a procedure:

Loser: I pick Flat Zone 2 Omega Form and Prism Tower
Winner: I pick Bowser Jr. and Prism Tower
Loser: I pick Dr. Mario
(custom move stuff)
I really like this system. However, I've got one question. How is the stage decided game one? Are all stages possible for stage striking game 1? Or is this assuming that a list of starters has been determined and players only strike from the provided list of starters?
 
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#24
How do you know fd limits character viability so far ever seems to work just fine on fd.
It's a technically out-of-date (since Smash 4 =/= Brawl or Melee) but still fairly justified (because we have years of experience supporting it so far) idea/notion/belief/assertion that some characters have an advantage on FD as opposed to literally any other stage since FD is unique in that it has no platforms or other elevation changes. Ice Climbers are a good example although they're not in 4, and projectile users in general like it because the lack of platforms makes it much harder to get through their spam.
 
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#25
It's a technically out-of-date (since Smash 4 =/= Brawl or Melee) but still fairly justified (because we have years of experience supporting it so far) idea/notion/belief/assertion that some characters have an advantage on FD as opposed to literally any other stage since FD is unique in that it has no platforms or other elevation changes. Ice Climbers are a good example although they're not in 4, and projectile users in general like it because the lack of platforms makes it much harder to get through their spam.
Just saying zero said everyone fairs pretty well in fd. plus villager craps all over projectile users xd.
 
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#27
Zero is one person and Villager is one character. Not to put down Zero's skill or Villager's power, but a sample size of 1 is not enough to make a claim.
true its its also known that that 1 person word could mean alot more than others. plus i think some people here just don't like change. m2k agrees that everyones pretty good on fd as well. (though m2k thinks bowser is best xd.)
 

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#28
I'll throw in my two cents as I did in a different thread, but this one makes more sense in context.

I play and spectate several different fighters competitively. Primarily I watch Blazblue, Marvel, SF, and Smash. I have always been an advocate of reducing the stocks, even for Melee. Smash tournaments just take way, way too long and I don't feel that it's necessary, regardless of what Smash competitors are saying. 4 stocks at 8 is largely a tradition thing. People read their opponents just fine in other fighters and there are plenty of chances for comebacks in those games, despite them taking almost half as long to play through. I mean, just look at Evo14. I was there and Smash went far beyond it's allotted time. Was this a problem for Smash fans like myself? Of course not, but after chatting with the competitors and spectators of other games, they don't understand why it has to be 4 stocks per round, and I agree with them. For the sake of time I really think 2 stocks at 8 or even 5 should be the tournament standard for Smash 4.

TLDR: 2 stocks at 8 or 5 is what I believe should be standard for Smash. There isn't really a good enough reason to have more.
 

Amazing Ampharos

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#29
"I pick FD and Wily Tower Omega". (You say other stuff too)
Sorry, I wasn't clear. I consider FD and every omega form the same stage, and to me, saying "Final Destination and Wily's Castle Omega" is like saying "Rainbow Road and Rainbow Road". They all have the exact same dimensions (both the stage itself and the blast zones); the only difference is the shape of the bleow stage area which can possibly matter but isn't really enough to consider them distinct (as you demonstrated, it can be pretty unfair if you treat them as distinct) though a person doing some counterpicking should definitely be able to specify which of Final Destination's 35 forms they favor. Of course, as a minor related point, since they are the same stage, DSR should apply to them collectively. You win game one on Final Destination, and you can't counterpick an omega form in game three because you already won on that stage.

Likewise, the total number of stages you pick as your collective counterpick pool is just equal to the number of bans that otherwise would have been but plus one. So if you would have one stage ban, you instead don't get a ban but when countepicking name two stages. If you would have two bans (ideal for larger stage lists), you instead don't have any ban but when counterpicking name three stages. This actually does really decrease the needed stage knowledge versus a ban system. From the perspective of the picker, you already have to be ready to pick two different stages under a one ban system (or three stages with two bans) since an opponent might ban all of your counterpicks otherwise. You also have to know your order of preference among those stages in case your opponent wastes their ban on something you wouldn't have picked anyway. With this system, you still have to have that many counterpick stages, but you don't have to have any particular order to which of your counterpicks you like more than others so that's just a little less you have to know (this comes up: in Brawl early on I knew my best two stages were Norfair and Green Greens but often agonized over which particular one I favored more in a given match-up). From the other side, you no longer have to have a good knowledge of every stage in the game at all times when analyzing your opponent; you just have to be able to assess the merits of the 2-3 stages that actually got picked which is a lot easier.

I really like this system. However, I've got one question. How is the stage decided game one? Are all stages possible for stage striking game 1? Or is this assuming that a list of starters has been determined and players only strike from the provided list of starters?
Sorry, I was just assuming stage striking and clarifying there that the real Final Destination should be the only form of the stage included in stage striking (unless both players agree, but both players could agree to anything and it would be okay). My post wasn't otherwise addressing game one and was instead talking about how we handle game two and onward, but if you're curious my personal position is stage striking from the full list of legal stages (other than omega forms) is the best approach for game one.

How other fighters work
While I agree with the premise that other fighters are very instructive, I'd raise the following point. Conventionally fighters in which rounds flow together fully (MvC3, Killer Instinct, Mortal Kombat, etc.) play best of five sets since the variance in match results gets very large otherwise while fighters in which the rounds are pretty much completely independent other than meter mechanics (Street Fighter, BlazBlue, Tekken, etc.) run best of threes. I feel like smash with two stocks is basically analagous to a game like Killer Instinct where the rounds flow together; it's fine and a great competitive game, but if you want to really use that format to its maximum potential, you need to play best of five sets.

In terms of the time it takes, 2 stock best of five and 3 stock best of three are actually really close to equivalent with 3 stock best of three having more potential for comebacks within each game but also a greater punishment for large mistakes since if you blow a game you blow 1/3 of the set instead of 1/5 of it (Bo5 sets also emphasize more stage diversity since you'll play on 5 different stages instead of 3; this could be interpreted as either a pro or a con). I don't have a strong preference one way or another between these two options and feel that both are great formats for smash, but I feel that going to a Bo3 2 stock format is likely to lead to significantly higher variance in match outcomes... just like Bo3 in MvC3 and Killer Instinct has shown itself to play out.
 

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#30
My thoughts on stage lists

I actually want to experiment with 3 stock 5 or 6 minutes. I love the idea of 5 minutes but I think 8 minutes is just too long. I believe (correct me if I'm wrong) smash has always been played with the intent of winning before stocks are done. I believe that is why the timers are so long. (8 minutes for melee? time out almost never happen) I think timing your opponent out SHOULD be a viable option from the start of the match. Personally I think a shorter time limit will make for a more aggressive game. players will naturally try to advance their lead or close the gap because the time is a real threat for them. There will be less waiting for opportune moments, less wall of paining, and more meaningful pokes and pressure because ever moment is precious.

It seems to me like a lot of the stalling mechanics (I define stalling as creating a situation where little to no meaningful character interaction can happen) have be cut. Chain grabs (which we've in the past had to put percentage or "time limits" on), Ledge stalling, planking, sharking. Gliding has been cut which is a huge thing to speed up games and prevent stalling.

I'm all for camping as a viable winning strategy because there is player interaction there. You have to approach my advantageous position if you want to win! And regardless of time or stocks that is going to be part of the game whether you are playing on Hyrule temple or FD. But I believe time limits do more to force those interactions and make them more interesting which would naturally speed up how quickly a stock plays out.
If some how this becomes some over baring strategy (and I doubt it will) Characters or strategies who can't beat this will be replaced with consistent ones/ways to get around it. With a cast of 50 very different characters I'm not really all that worried about it. The spammers are all slow, especially in the air laterally. The melee in your face guys (including bowser and DK) are all pretty quick and cover a lot of area.

A match with Bowser trying to get into Villager's zone might be fun to watch for a few minutes for new people if the commentators are hyping it up and explaining the mindset behind the players instead of moaning and groaning about it. (It might be fun to watch even if they are though...) Its way less fun for everyone when Bowser is trying and failing for a few minutes and then getting frustrated because he has try deal with it for another 4.

I know it is early for this kind of thing... its way out of left field. But I think trying to make campy game styles less appealing for the player by increasing time limits is the worst ways to attack that play style, it doesn't make it any less fun for them.

Another obvious pro here that still applies to 2/5 is that it shrinks set time from 4-28 minutes to 4-18 minutes. which make events MUCH easier to plan out with that smaller window.

TL;DR
Even with 3 stocks I think 8 minutes is too much.

Separate notes.
  • I'm open to swiss in to brackets for 3DS, Double elimination is still a must for WiiU
  • I am on the no Starter/CP boat. I agree with having a large pool of diverse stages and striking down to one.
  • I like the idea @Thinkaman proposed on what would typically be the counter pick phase. Loser selects 2-3 stages. Winner picks one of the stages and character. Loser picks Character.
  • I'm actually all for custom equipment on the 3ds since everyone will be able to poor as much time as they feel is worth into the game. I'm more iffy on the WiiU because it will be harder to set up, especially at larger events.
  • I want to see custom specials allowed at events for both systems... but the rate it takes to unlock them is a little scary... hopefully something like this can work https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JHlDWN1B198&list=PLDB15A29FB045836C
  • Again customization of characters on the WiiU would likely be a big issue adding 3-5 minutes to each set... it isn't a problem on the 3ds
 
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#31
Sorry, I wasn't clear. I consider FD and every omega form the same stage, and to me, saying "Final Destination and Wily's Castle Omega" is like saying "Rainbow Road and Rainbow Road". They all have the exact same dimensions (both the stage itself and the blast zones); the only difference is the shape of the bleow stage area which can possibly matter but isn't really enough to consider them distinct (as you demonstrated, it can be pretty unfair if you treat them as distinct) though a person doing some counterpicking should definitely be able to specify which of Final Destination's 35 forms they favor. Of course, as a minor related point, since they are the same stage, DSR should apply to them collectively. You win game one on Final Destination, and you can't counterpick an omega form in game three because you already won on that stage.
I actually addressed Omega stages in the OP but the gist of it is that until I see definitive evidence that the blastzones are equivalent on all Omega stages, I have the personal preference to treat them as separate from FD. If the blastzones are proven to all be the same (as stage length has turned out to be), then I agree that the under-the-stage style is not an important enough difference to separate Omega stages from FD (albeit a difference that can definitely have an impact on the outcome of competitive matches).

That said, the inherent problem still exists from what I was referring to. Let's say I'm a Metaknight player in Brawl. In your system, my opponent could say "Rainbow Cruise or Brinstar" (presumably 2 bad MK stages) and then I would be forced to either lose that match because of a subpar stage for my character, or be forced to switch away. In a traditional format that has 2 stage bans, those are the exact 2 stages I would ban as a Metaknight player.

Yes, this format would encourage you to play more characters but I don't believe we should be forcing some players to switch characters or be given a near auto-lose.

Likewise, the total number of stages you pick as your collective counterpick pool is just equal to the number of bans that otherwise would have been but plus one. So if you would have one stage ban, you instead don't get a ban but when countepicking name two stages. If you would have two bans (ideal for larger stage lists), you instead don't have any ban but when counterpicking name three stages. This actually does really decrease the needed stage knowledge versus a ban system. From the perspective of the picker, you already have to be ready to pick two different stages under a one ban system (or three stages with two bans) since an opponent might ban all of your counterpicks otherwise. You also have to know your order of preference among those stages in case your opponent wastes their ban on something you wouldn't have picked anyway. With this system, you still have to have that many counterpick stages, but you don't have to have any particular order to which of your counterpicks you like more than others so that's just a little less you have to know (this comes up: in Brawl early on I knew my best two stages were Norfair and Green Greens but often agonized over which particular one I favored more in a given match-up). From the other side, you no longer have to have a good knowledge of every stage in the game at all times when analyzing your opponent; you just have to be able to assess the merits of the 2-3 stages that actually got picked which is a lot easier.
Again, I'd like to counter that most competitive players when I was an active participant in tournaments did not have 3 stages they were comfortable with counterpicking. They had 2 stages usually. This system forces them to learn 3 stages if there is a large stage list. The result will be competitive players ignoring the rule and just saying "Just wanna go to BF?" You are saying that under the ban system they would have to learn other stages. In competitive play when you would ban your opponent's preferred CP stage, they almost always revert back to a "neutral" or "starter" stage with a few exceptions here and there.

If I had 2 CP stages I truly felt comfortable with but was forced to pick 3 stages, then I'd pick a starter stage as my 3rd choice. The result? My opponent will always select the starter stage instead of the two CPs that benefit me. If you were forced to pick 3 stages and you picked Norfair, Green Greens, and Brinstar, then I would ALWAYS choose the stage I have the most experience on which would be Brinstar. I also don't think the majority of players would choose 3 stages like that and this system moreso fits a minority of players.

Its not a bad system, I just find it flawed from a player's perspective.

In terms of the time it takes, 2 stock best of five and 3 stock best of three are actually really close to equivalent with 3 stock best of three having more potential for comebacks within each game but also a greater punishment for large mistakes since if you blow a game you blow 1/3 of the set instead of 1/5 of it (Bo5 sets also emphasize more stage diversity since you'll play on 5 different stages instead of 3; this could be interpreted as either a pro or a con). I don't have a strong preference one way or another between these two options and feel that both are great formats for smash, but I feel that going to a Bo3 2 stock format is likely to lead to significantly higher variance in match outcomes... just like Bo3 in MvC3 and Killer Instinct has shown itself to play out.
[/QUOTE]

I actually never even considered 2 stock best of 5 as an option. I added it to the OP.

Smash has ALWAYS had a problem of tournament times. Many players complained and grumbled about this. As fun as it was hanging out with people, most tournament players are exhausted by the end of a tournament day. Among other major issues with time including majors with multiple games (Smash runs over at every EVO).

This is a problem that should be fixed with Smash 4 instead of allowing it to continue.

And I do have personal gain from this change as well. I've gotten older. I started competitive Smash with Brawl as a junior in college. I'm a doctor now. I don't have time for tournaments as long as Brawl took but I would have time for a SF4 tournament. I want to be part of the scene again. If its 3 stock bo3 or 2 stock bo5, I don't think I could manage that sort of commitment. I know I'm not alone.
 

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#32
That said, the inherent problem still exists from what I was referring to. Let's say I'm a Metaknight player in Brawl. In your system, my opponent could say "Rainbow Cruise or Brinstar" (presumably 2 bad MK stages) and then I would be forced to either lose that match because of a subpar stage for my character, or be forced to switch away. In a traditional format that has 2 stage bans, those are the exact 2 stages I would ban as a Metaknight player.
For however many stages you want "banned" just add one two that number. with three stages "Rainbow Cruise, Brinstar, FD, pick one" You could go on until you feel the selection pool is large enough.



Again, I'd like to counter that most competitive players when I was an active participant in tournaments did not have 3 stages they were comfortable with counterpicking. They had 2 stages usually. This system forces them to learn 3 stages if there is a large stage list. The result will be competitive players ignoring the rule and just saying "Just wanna go to BF?" You are saying that under the ban system they would have to learn other stages. In competitive play when you would ban your opponent's preferred CP stage, they almost always revert back to a "neutral" or "starter" stage with a few exceptions here and there.

If I had 2 CP stages I truly felt comfortable with but was forced to pick 3 stages, then I'd pick a starter stage as my 3rd choice. The result? My opponent will always select the starter stage instead of the two CPs that benefit me. If you were forced to pick 3 stages and you picked Norfair, Green Greens, and Brinstar, then I would ALWAYS choose the stage I have the most experience on which would be Brinstar. I also don't think the majority of players would choose 3 stages like that and this system moreso fits a minority of players.

Its not a bad system, I just find it flawed from a player's perspective.
I'm not a huge fan of this "top players are lazy lets baby them" mentality. I love top players, I want to be one! But top players do not make up the majority of the community. If they want to continue to be top players when a ruleset like this becomes popular they will either need to learn more than the flat plat stages or hand over the top spots to people who are willing to learn them.

And I do have personal gain from this change as well. I've gotten older. I started competitive Smash with Brawl as a junior in college. I'm a doctor now. I don't have time for tournaments as long as Brawl took but I would have time for a SF4 tournament. I want to be part of the scene again. If its 3 stock bo3 or 2 stock bo5, I don't think I could manage that sort of commitment. I know I'm not alone.
3 stock, 5 minute, best of 2
 
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#33
3 stock, 5 minute, best of 2
Sorry <3 I forgot to respond to this point. I believe 3 stock 5 minute format would be horribly favoring campy players learning to time out, and actually would enforce a defensive playstyle after gaining a lead. A long timer actually discourages camping because the offensive player has so many opportunities and so much time to get in. A shorter timer wouldn't actually encourage aggressive gameplay in a "play to win" mindset.

Best of 2 also would have no counterpicking? Like having a single elim tournament but more extreme lol.
 

Amazing Ampharos

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#34
I know it's not culturally acceptable to say this, but IMO most tournaments that run late are because TOs aren't nearly strict enough. Like I know the timers in most Capcom fighters actually run slower than real time (so those 99 seconds generally represent more than 2 minutes, and that's per round with a set taking up to 9 rounds) and often a large percentage of the available time is used (a larger percentage than smash tends to use). It's still faster than smash, but it's really not as much faster as you might think. The big difference is that TOs for those events don't play around; if you're late to a match, they don't go looking for you. They DQ you. They have short to non-existant food breaks (if you want food in the middle of a tournament, find a way to get it without stopping the event!). If we were half that hardcore, we'd never have tournaments run past midnight or honestly even close. Every tournament I've been to that ran late (almost all of them) was always for out of game reasons; I'd be inclined to give smash 4 a good shot with a long timer and do some measuring of the time it takes when the TO is really hardcore (I'm talking "missing for 15 seconds when your game is up DQ" hardcore). If your singles event is under 6 hours (and therefore doubles adds at most 2 hours since you obviously start singles before doubles finishes), your noon starting tournament will never run past 8 which I feel is a fair amount of time for a tournament to take on a Saturday. If we can't get it that fast, then I'd be more welcoming to entertain shortening the game as a further solution, but I suspect we will.
 
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#35
I know it's not culturally acceptable to say this, but IMO most tournaments that run late are because TOs aren't nearly strict enough.
Ehhh I actually don't think you can a) universally apply this to all Smash tournaments that run long, and b) You can't reasonably expect to transform every TO in the country to this magical golden standard you've made for TOs. There are hundreds of people who would want to run a tournament with varying levels of experience and making competitive Smash easy to run tournaments for should be one of the tenants we strive towards when making a ruleset because it will increase number of tournaments.

The game runs long. Whether that is an inherent problem with the game or substandard TOs or a combination of both (most likely case here), ALL can be solved with 2 stocks 5 minutes best of 3.

What do we really gain by running such long tournaments anyways?
 
Last edited:

BRoomer
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#36
Sorry I meant best of 3 mistype there.

I think defensive play should be a viable win option, why is that a bad thing? Its okay in games like Street Figher 4, why is it bad here?
I think you are right once someone got a lead they would want to maintain it much more. but I think there would be much more pressure on the player who is behind to be aggressive because they don't have time to wait for an opportune moment to go in.
For example think melee during the fire transformation... no one goes over the tree because both players have a powerful defensive position the match just stops and people practice tech skill for a bit. Now think melee during the fire transformation with 1 minute left on the clock, people are much more willing to approach even into situations that aren't in their advantage. Yes, a lower time limit may increase defensive play styles (which there is nothing wrong with) but it will also increase aggressive styles as well.

I've been to a lot of events in FL and CT. Most events that ran over did so because we'd wait for top players to show up for their games and we'd play friendlies on the set ups after our matches, or someones would jump on a TV after a match was reported and the TO wouldn't realize a tournament match wasn't being played. Things like this happened all the time in both regions. We were doing this for brawl at MLG orlando, if memory serves I got on stage and played a friendly set against NEO at MLG orlando.

AT GAME TIME
I'm sure it doesn't happen at every event, because I've been to events where TOs didn't play around, but in my 6 or 7 years playing these games in two very different regions I've seen much more of the former.

I do think shorter game times would help to alleviate a lot of the stress in both situations, though TOs and players do need to be more consistent across the board with how the events happen if you really want to see things move.
 
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#37
Sorry I meant best of 3 mistype there.

I think defensive play should be a viable win option, why is that a bad thing? Its okay in games like Street Figher 4, why is it bad here?
I think you are right once someone got a lead they would want to maintain it much more. but I think there would be much more pressure on the player who is behind to be aggressive because they don't have time to wait for an opportune moment to go in.
For example think melee during the fire transformation... no one goes over the tree because both players have a powerful defensive position the match just stops and people practice tech skill for a bit. Now think melee during the fire transformation with 1 minute left on the clock, people are much more willing to approach even into situations that aren't in their advantage. Yes, a lower time limit may increase defensive play styles (which there is nothing wrong with) but it will also increase aggressive styles as well.

I've been to a lot of events in FL and CT. Most events that ran over did so because we'd wait for top players to show up for their games and we'd play friendlies on the set ups after our matches, or someones would jump on a TV after a match was reported and the TO wouldn't realize a tournament match wasn't being played. Things like this happened all the time in both regions. We were doing this for brawl at MLG orlando, if memory serves I got on stage and played a friendly set against NEO at MLG orlando.

AT GAME TIME
I'm sure it doesn't happen at every event, because I've been to events where TOs didn't play around, but in my 6 or 7 years playing these games in two very different regions I've seen much more of the former.

I do think shorter game times would help to alleviate a lot of the stress in both situations, though TOs and players do need to be more consistent across the board with how the events happen if you really want to see things move.
I certainly don't disagree that poor TOs or idiotic top players delay tournaments significantly. I was a Michigan Smasher. Lain was the bane of every TO's existence because he would constantly disappear to smoke and delay every.single.tournament he was a part of. But because he was consistently one of the top placing players we all had to wait for him. It was painful. We had to eventually make Lain-specific rules lol. Doesn't change the fact that 2 stocks 5 minutes best of 3 would make tournaments run much faster in all scenarios though.

Now as for your defense of defensive play, I do concede that defensive play should be a viable option but what I think is worth preventing is making it too strong of an option. The question then becomes HOW viable do we want it to be? We are effectively balancing this ourselves by setting a time-to-stock ratio. I believe if it becomes a predominant strategy it would be a poor competitive outcome for Smash 4. It would result in less interesting matches -> less hype -> less viewers on stream + less pot feeders going to tournaments -> less money in Smash -> less longevity and exposure. Basically it would cascade into the worst case scenario for the competitive future for the game if defensive play becomes too strong for winning.

Maybe our definitions of "how strong is too strong" or "how prevalent is too prevalent" may differ. I concede I don't know the answer to these questions and my answer is simply my personal preference.
 

Amazing Ampharos

Balanced Brawl Designer
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#38
The game runs long. Whether that is an inherent problem with the game or substandard TOs or a combination of both (most likely case here), ALL can be solved with 2 stocks 5 minutes best of 3.

What do we really gain by running such long tournaments anyways?
Less variance in match outcomes is the purpose. I was about to slam this discussion into the ground with some numbers, but well, I suppose I'll post what I was going to anyway with full disclosure.

Let's assume once in a set players in both formats (3 stock Bo3 versus 2 stock Bo3) make a full stock mistake, somehow dying at the very start while inflicting no damage on the opponent but otherwise the two play equally. It's about fair to say there's a 25% comeback chance in the 2 stock game while there's a 33% comeback chance in the 3 stock game. The odds of the player who messed up winning the 3 stock set overall are 41.25%. The odds in the 2 stock set are 37.5%. These numbers were supposed to be a lot different and prove my point; they may actually have ended up as a compelling argument for your point since it's not hard for me and probably everyone else to see that it's not actually a very big difference (it's actually only 40.625% for a 2 stock Bo5 if you're curious).

I will at least add that the communities for MvC3 and Killer Instinct, the traditional fighters most analogous to 2 stock smash, found match variance unacceptably high with Bo3 and went to Bo5. Other than relying on their experiences and my own vague intuition, I don't think I have a real argument at this point though.

I can at least claim the little moral victory in that, if you have sloppy TOing, I don't think 2 stock will save very much time. I mean, if a player you need for a match takes a half an hour to start playing and the TO lets him get away with that, that takes a half an hour no matter what the rules are. Your point that we can't just make all TOs instantly perfect and that we will necessarily have a lot of inexperienced TOs in a new game in a large community is a pretty fair point, but I definitely still feel that as we prepare the BR styled materials we'll inevitably make as a community for this game that a strong emphasis to TOs about how to run events more quickly (good, clear explanations of where time is commonly lost and how to avoid it) should definitely be included and will probably do the most good of all the things we could do.
 

Raykz

Tier Lists? Foolish...
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Zykrex
#39
I've been reading this thread and here are some of my own opinions:

I think the new stage ban method proposed would actually save a lot of time. If you have "number of bans allowed + 1" then this system will always work flawlessly exactly like how CPing works. Basically if you wanted to give 3 bans to a player then the loser picks 4 stages and the winner chooses one of those 4 stage.

In effect he is just "banning" the other 3 stages and the stage picked is what the loser would have picked anyways after the bans were done.

It simulates the banning process but saves a lot of time.





As for stocks. I feel 2 stocks is just too little for a satisfying game. I feel it doesn't allow for several great plays and/or comebacks in a given match. I am all for lowering the timer to 6 minutes though.

Right now on wifi most of the 2 stock matches are on average around the 3 minute mark give or take 30 seconds. Interpolating we could assume 3 stock matches would be around the 4-5 minute mark, give or take a minute. I think 6 minutes is completely fine.

I understand there are always "campy" matchups (like what DHD, Rosalina and R.O.B. seem to be in Smash 4) that might go into time, but I think that that's fine and that as long as over 90% of the game's match ups can finish 3 stocks in under 5 minutes then we should just allow the other sub 10% of the match ups to end in time anyways.
 

Chauzu

Smash Ace
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#40
I can't really see 3 stock / 6 minutes working unless we want a lot of games going to time.

Like for example I main Duck Hunt and played a good Mega Man in For Glory. Mega Man's projectiles not only shut down Duck Hunt's projectiles but make approaching hard. Duck Hunt can short hop side special to get past though so it becomes a bit like chess with trying to win ground. Out of 20 games we had like 4-5 going to time, and if we had played 3 stock / 6 minutes, like 12-14 would have gone to time.

Ofc this was on Omega Stages so I can't really comment on how it would play out on Battlefield but I can't see it being that more fast paced so that we avarage taking a stocks every two minutes (this due to overall lack of kill options, espescially from Mega Man's side). And the game is still fresh and this might change but I just have a hard time seeing it being a succesful format. I'll happily be proved wrong though, I'm all for shorter games and I feel like 8 minute time limit is too long!
 
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