Discussion of Stage Legality in Smash Bros. Ultimate

Amazing Ampharos

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First of all, we now have footage of play on Delfino Plaza:


Watch the movement of the camera carefully there while the stage transforms. It looks way more similar to Brawl than 4 to me; I think the tight blast zones while transforming issue is most probably not back in Ultimate. It's hard to be sure of course, but this is a pretty sound data point for "seriously, don't ban Delfino for no reason".

And ProfessorVincent ProfessorVincent here's basically the situation. So we have like 30 legal stages. Striking down to one would take an eternity no matter how you slice it, but the gains of striking reduce with time since in theory the value of the stages on the stage list to you should be about a bell curve. So at the start of the set, you struck let's say 4 stages each, presumably the four stages each that you would never want to play on. Then you get the data for two games of play each and remove four more stages (as well as the stages each of you picked which presumably were two stages considered very favorable to each side). This will drastically increase the efficiency of these bans and make them presumably very well targeted to the best stages for each side. In theory, out of your 30 stage list, you've removed the 9 best stages for each side. You then randomly select between the 12 stages in the middle of the value spectrum which should actually all be pretty similar in terms of fairness because that's how bell curves work, and even then, you can still react to the stage that is chosen by adjusting your character or squad as appropriate since stage always comes before character.

An alternate solution would be to make game three on a stage morph and each choose a stage from that pool of 12. The downside is that you'll have to adjust settings for game three, but with pre-sets that's not too hard. The secondary downside is that you'll presumably get the least fair two stages in that pool of 12 and will have to settle the question of order (IMO whoever lost game two in specific should get to decide whether his stage is first or second in the morph). This downside is also not too bad because like I said all 12 stages should be pretty good here so even if you optimize for the "worst" outcome it's still okay. I guess the third downside is that this guarantees game three is never on a "static stage" which has different gameplay implications, but as someone who likes dynamic stages, I'm okay with that.

Here are some realities I think we have to face though:

-We have close to 30 good stages. If we go with a smaller stage list, we're basically just banning stages for no reason other than trying to force the game to fit our procedural preferences.
-Stage strikes are a good system for small or mid sized lists but it scales poorly to large lists. Striking something like 29 stages down to 1, which is 14 strikes per side, would take a very long time across an event.
-Complicated solutions involving external programs calculating lists would be honestly too difficult to communicate at events.

I think the end result is that the only three viable solutions exist. You can just ban a lot which will work if you just don't care about making the game worse. This is the main thing I want to fight against because, well, it just obviously makes the game worse. You can rely on random at some point which is what FLiPS does. You can also rely on stage morph which it wasn't clear was going to be viable until a few days ago when we learned they actually fixed all the lag. Everything else is procedural optimization and can go any way; at the end, I think you simply must embrace one of these three solutions.

If you want something more traditional with no randomness going down the third route, I do think this is about the best you'll do:

For game one each side names five stages double blind. Then each side may choose one stage from the other's list and you will play game one on a stage morph between those two stages. Which stage is first in the morph can be chosen randomly if players cannot agree. In the event that the same stage is chosen by both players, simply discard stage morph and play on that stage. In the case of "clone" stages (like Battlefield and Fountain of Dreams or Final Destination and an omega stage), the "neutral" formation will be chosen (Battlefield, Final Destination, Pokemon Stadium 1).

For game two and onward, stage is counterpicked mostly as usual but when counterpicking each player will list three stages instead of just one. The other player (the winner of the previous game) will pick the one stage from that list of three to be the next stage or may instead choose to play on a stage morph of two of those listed stages (morph order decided by the original listing player in that case). In the case of "clone" stages, the loser of the previous game will specify which form is desired when listing the three stages.

DSR will always block you from listing a stage you won on previously in the set. If you win on a stage morph, you are blocked from listing both stages that were included in the morph.

In all cases, stage is chosen before character. You may always react to the chosen stage or stage morph with your character selection.
 
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Based on current discussion in several Discord servers, it's starting to seem more likely to me that we'll end up with something like this:

5 starters + x number of counter-picks, for a total of somewhere between 8-15 stages, hazards off. Stages that are similar to other stages will not be allowed, so stages like Midgar, Dream Land, Fountain of Dreams, and Yoshi's Story will be banned.

Assuming that this will be the case (and it currently looks very likely that it will be), which stages would you guys like to see?

Also, there's been some discussion on Smashville vs Yoshi's Island (Brawl). Some people argue that Smashville should be legal, some Yoshi's Island, and some both. What do you guys think?
 

Kleric

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In order to make this work, you'd probably have to bring a phone or have the lists printed out or something. Sounds messy.
True. I am trying to think of simpler ways of going about it.

Is there any real huge problem with just letting the person who's counter picking to simply choose any of the legal stages? I think I get the gist of it, but what is the true purpose of why stage striking is a thing during one's counter pick? What did people abuse without it?
 
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Based on current discussion in several Discord servers, it's starting to seem more likely to me that we'll end up with something like this:

5 starters + x number of counter-picks, for a total of somewhere between 8-15 stages, hazards off. Stages that are similar to other stages will not be allowed, so stages like Midgar, Dream Land, Fountain of Dreams, and Yoshi's Story will be banned.

Assuming that this will be the case (and it currently looks very likely that it will be), which stages would you guys like to see?

Also, there's been some discussion on Smashville vs Yoshi's Island (Brawl). Some people argue that Smashville should be legal, some Yoshi's Island, and some both. What do you guys think?
Well with the Battlefield reskins, for Hazards off, wouldnt need to ban if someone was to go to hazardless FoD as the Battlefield stage.

I could see the merit with both Yoshi’s and Smashville. 7-10 is the range I could deal with.

Starter: Final Destination, Battlefield (Fountain of Dreams), Lylat Cruise, Pokemon Stadium 1, and Smashville.

Counter: WarioWare Inc., Yoshi’s Island, Unova League or Kalos League, and Arena Ferox.
 
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Is there any real huge problem with just letting the person who's counter picking to simply choose any of the legal stages? I think I get the gist of it, but what is the true purpose of why stage striking is a thing during one's counter pick? What did people abuse without it?
I prefer the following: The person who won the last game bans two stages, and then the loser of the last game picks a stage out of the available stages. I think this is useful since it gives some control to the winner (being able to avoid their absolute worst stages) while still giving plenty of choices for the loser.

I think we should start with 13-15 legal stages (5 starters, rest counter-pick) and then cut stages as we go until we reach a good stage list (somewhere between 9-12 is my estimation). It's not 100% clear which stages should be cut and which should be kept so starting with slightly more than we want to end up with might be a good idea, gives us some room to "trim the fat", so to speak.
 

Kleric

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I prefer the following: The person who won the last game bans two stages, and then the loser of the last game picks a stage out of the available stages. I think this is useful since it gives some control to the winner (being able to avoid their absolute worst stages) while still giving plenty of choices for the loser.

I think we should start with 13-15 legal stages (5 starters, rest counter-pick) and then cut stages as we go until we reach a good stage list (somewhere between 9-12 is my estimation). It's not 100% clear which stages should be cut and which should be kept so starting with slightly more than we want to end up with might be a good idea, gives us some room to "trim the fat", so to speak.
That doesn't really answer the question though. I'm rooting for a stage choice system that doesn't cut any stage simply out of convenience to the system in and of itself (All 30 or whatever are available).
So I asked, why is the banning process in stage selection necessary? Does the original reasons it was in place still apply well to the new changes of a plentiful amount of perfectly fine stages, and choosing the stage first before characters?
 
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That doesn't really answer the question though. I'm rooting for a stage choice system that doesn't cut any stage simply out of convenience to the system in and of itself (All 30 or whatever are available).
The question isn't "should we cut this stage", but "Should we add this stage". Reducing redundancy is important, as is avoiding stages that are unfair due to asymmetry, etc etc. This has been discussed plenty of times in this thread before, by me and others.

This video might be worth watching: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=utHvoXKovhg&feature=youtu.be

So, every stage should, preferably, offer something interesting. Stages like Dream Land, Yoshi's Story, Midgar, and Fountain of Dreams are basically slight variations of Battlefield, so they're banned.

New stages have to add to the gameplay. Every additional stage added needs to make competitive play better, because if they don't, then why add them? The question you should ask isn't "This is a perfectly fine stage, why should we ban it" but "What does this add to the competitive meta, and and what cost".

People arguing that we should have 20+ stages not only need to create some kind of new convoluted (and, so far, all systems seem rather bad) system to implement it, they also have to justify adding all those stages (many stages flawed or too similar to other stages).
 
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Kleric

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The question isn't "should we cut this stage", but "Should we add this stage". Reducing redundancy is important, as is avoiding stages that are unfair due to asymmetry, etc etc. This has been discussed plenty of times in this thread before, by me and others.
I mean, both questions involve the same thing, it's just a glass half full or empty spin on it.

So, every stage should, preferably, offer something interesting. Stages like Duck Hunt, Yoshi's Story, Midgar, and Fountain of Dreams are basically slight variations of Battlefield, so they're banned.
Not sure why Duck Hunt is basically a slight variation of battlefield. Anyway, I get Midgar[Hazards off] (Because Hazards on is sure as hell never gonna be legal for good reason), but Yoshi's Story and FoD have more unique qualities to them if hazards are toggled on, which I consider part of the fair stage list.

People arguing that we should have 20+ stages not only need to create some kind of new convoluted (and, so far, all systems seem rather bad) system to implement it, they also have to justify adding all those stages (many stages flawed or too similar to other stages).
Convoluted? I am literally trying to propose ideas simpler than yours, and have opened up for answers on if and why that's a bad idea. I've never vouched for clearly flawed stages. Walk offs, cave of lifes, huge stages, and stages that heavily favor some boring, degenerate gameplay, yeah, ban those regardless.

To my knowledge, similarity to other stages only becomes a convoluted issue when it comes to counter-pick stage striking (as it becomes redundant when there are multiple stages that are alike). So again, my question is, why was counter-pick stage striking a part of the rules to begin with, and is it's original intention still relevant to the changes in ultimate???
 
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Akiak

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After a long discussion on the discord I have to agree that hazards-off is the best option (mainly because FoD, Yoshi's and DL have been resized to be much more similar to BF).

As for stages, this is imo the best option atm:

Starter:
-Battlefield
-Final Destination
-Pokémon Stadium 2
-Smashville
-Lylat Cruise

Counterpick:
-Yoshi's Brawl
-Arena Ferox
-Kalos League
-WarioWare
-Frigate Orpheon
-Brinstar
-Castle Siege
-Skyloft
-Halberd*
-Prism Tower*

*optional

Match 1 (starters only): RPS -> 3-2-1 (winner picks 3, loser bans 1, winner picks 1) OR 3->1 (winner picks 3, loser picks 1, i.e. 2 bans each) OR just 1-2-1.
Match 2+ (starters + CP): 4-2-1 (loser picks 4, winner bans 2, loser picks 1) OR n number of bans (might not be ideal with large stage list)

Open for discussion obviously.
 
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Zekersaurus

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In the E3 Treehouse Stream today it was officially confirmed that there will be a Hazard Toggle in the final version of the game. This might be the most dramatic change to have ever come to experiencing Smash Bros. at a competitive level. Just to show how insane this change is in the grand scope of competitive smash, let's look at the stage legality of previous installments.
Smash 64 (1 Stage):
  • Dream Land
Melee (4 Starters; 1 Counter-Pick)
Starters:
  • Battlefield
  • Dream Land N64
  • Final Destination
  • Fountain of Dreams
  • Yoshi's Story
Counter-Picks:
  • Pokemon Stadium
Brawl (6 Starters; 4 Kinda Trash Counter-Picks)
Starters:
  • Battlefield
  • Final Destination
  • Lylat Cruise
  • Pokemon Stadium (Melee)
  • Smashville
  • Yoshi's Island (Brawl)
Counter-Picks (Barely):
  • Castle Siege
  • Delfino Plaza
  • Frigate Orpheon
  • Halberd
Smash 4 (5 Starters; 1 Counter-Pick)
Starters:
  • Battlefield
  • Final Destination
  • Lylat Cruise
  • Smashville
  • Town & City
Counter-Picks:
  • Dreamland 64
As you guys can see, the maximum number of competitive stages we have ever had was 10 and that was in Brawl where some stages had hazards! With Smash Ultimate, the possibilities for stage selection has risen to an absurd level. Taken from the list on Smash Wiki.
Smash Ultimate (11 Starters; 9 to 11 Counter-Picks):
Starters:
  • Battlefield
  • Final Destination
  • Yoshi's Island (Brawl)
  • Lylat Cruise [Hazardless if it stops Tilting]
  • Pokemon Stadium 2 (Brawl) [Hazardless if it stops transformations]
  • Unova Pokemon League [Hazardless]
  • Kalos Pokemon League [Hazardless]
  • Castle Siege [Hazardless, if it doesn't change from first stage]
  • WarioWare, Inc. [Hazardless]
  • Smashville
  • Town and City
Counter-Picks:
  • Yoshi's Story
  • Frigate Orpheon [Hazardless]
  • Dream Land 64
  • Halberd [Hazardless]
  • Pokemon Stadium (Melee)
  • Prism Tower
  • Magicant [Hazardless]
  • Arena Ferox
  • Reset Bomb Forest [Hazardless] (Maybe)
  • Duck Hunt (Maybe)
  • Wily Castle [Hazardless]
As you can see, this list is massive in comparison to the other games. I made some liberties like considering Reset Bomb Forest despite the pit in the middle, Lylat Cruise potentially not tilting, and Duck Hunt being considered as possible legal stages. But without those this is looking to be an absolutely massive stage list.
With Stages being picked before Characters in Smash Ultimate, I hope we can find a way that we can incorporate the most amount of stages in competitive without ruining the integrity or slowing the Stage Striking process by too much. Because out of everything that was shown, this is what is really getting me excited for Smash Ultimate.
In my opinion, when it comes to competitive play, the stages in smash are almost, if not just as important as the characters themselves. As such, I believe that in order to have the healthiest competitive community possible, it's essential to have a stage selection that can accommodate such a large number of characters with different strengths and weaknesses.

That said, it may also be important not to overload players with choices, or have a stage selection that creates way to many variables for a player to keep track of. However, ultimately, I believe, if given a choice, the majority of players would enjoy too many stages over too little. Though conservative rulesets exist and I may be wrong.

Moving on to the stage list you have, though it's tentative, I think it works, and is probably similar to what we would see. Not sure why FOD is gone though. Anyway, striking and banning wouldn't be much of an issue either. You could strike 1> 2>2>2>2>1 then play on the remaining stage or 1>2>3>4 then pick a stage. As far as banning is concerned you could allow people to ban even in best of fives.
 

WiiNK

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I've come up with a possibly starting stage list to work off of. We don't have much info on a lot of the hazardless stages, but this is my best take from what I know/ have seen so far.
Thoughts anyone?? *121 striking
 
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Obligatory reminder that not everyone (such as yours truly) shares this view.
Even if you remind him he obviously doesn't get it. He's been talking the entire time as if what he wants is going to be done and is university agreed upon. He's also continuously appealing to authority and patting himself on the back as if the argument is won through such means.

This is really sad because a lot of the conservative stagelisters are playing political mind games. Within the last days a fake PGR stage-list was introduced and a huge amount of versatile variable are being treated and labeled and degenerate with pause for discussion or even given reasons as to why.
They are completely ignore the reasons for having dynamic stages with suitable transformations for the purpose of giving windows to adaption. I don't even feel like a discussion is truly happening.
 
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However, ultimately, I believe, if given a choice, the majority of players would enjoy too many stages over too little. Though conservative rulesets exist and I may be wrong.
I think this is false: I've mostly seen people on Smashboards and Reddit express this idea, not so much on Twitter or Discord (some are even more restrictive than I am!). Depends on what you mean with "Too little" I suppose: 9 or 10 stages would hardly be "little", it's more than any official Smash game has!

Anyway, striking and banning wouldn't be much of an issue either. You could strike 1> 2>2>2>2>1 then play on the remaining stage or 1>2>3>4 then pick a stage.
I think 1-2-1 is better for two reasons: It might be better balanced, and it's certainly faster and easier to remember. After that, players just have to remember to ban their worst remaining stages and picking their best remaining stages, which is easier.

I think we should start with a slightly more generous list than what we want to end up with (so we might start with, potentially, 13-15 stages, and end up with 9-12). People who think we should have lots of stages seem to want to include redundant stages and bad stages, and I don't agree with this. If what you want is music variety, couldn't we just let people pick Omega and Battlefield versions of the stages? What's the point of hazardless Fountain of Dreams when people could just play a Battlefield version of Fountain of Dreams? What's the point of Dream Land or Yoshi's Story when people could play a Battlefield version of it?

Not sure why FOD is gone though.
It's too similar to Battlefield, just play a Battlefield version of Fountain of Dream if you want the aesthetics.

I also think people should be able to Gentleman to illegal stages (but not hazards on, because we don't want another "0.9 incident"). So if both players agree to it, they can play on a banned stage, like Dracula's Castle or Halberd or something like that, that's fine with me.

As for stages, this is imo the best option atm:

Starter:
-Battlefield
-Final Destination
-Pokemon Stadium
-Smashville
-Lylat Cruise

Counterpick:
-Yoshi's Brawl
-Arena Ferox
-Kalos League
-WarioWare
-Frigate Orpheon
-Brinstar
-Castle Siege
-Skyloft
-Halberd*
-Prism Tower*

*optional

Match 1: RPS -> 3-2-1 (winner picks 3, loser bans 1, winner picks 1) (starters only)
Match 2+: 4-2-1 (loser picks 4, winner bans 2, loser picks 1) (starters + cp)

Open for discussion obviously.
First off, I think we should stick with 1-2-1 striking over your alternative, and I think we should stick with banning for counter-picks (2 bans probably).

As for the stages, the starters seem fine to me. Some of the counter-pick stages might not be, though. Skyloft, Halberd, and Prism Tower should probably be gone, Brinstar seems to have serious issues, Frigate Orpheon and Castle Siege are asymmetrical which might give one player an advantage due to spawning location, and Frigate Orpheon has a wall. Yoshi's Island (Brawl) runs the risk of being too similar to Smashville, but I think it should be illegal initially to test it, perhaps it's different enough to warrant a spot? Arena Ferox is potentially too big, but it might warrant testing. Kalos League has some interesting platforms which could potentially prove problematic, but it's worth testing. WarioWare is probably fine (do we know about the blast zones though?).

I've heard Pokémon Stadium 2 has better ledges than 1, so maybe we should use 2 instead of 1? Should be easy enough to test once the game is out.

Some other stages that might be worth considering: Unova Pokémon League (too similar to Pokémon Stadium 1/2?), Gamer (asymmetrical though).

So, stage list:

Starter:
-Battlefield
-Final Destination
-Pokemon Stadium 2
-Smashville
-Lylat Cruise

Counterpick:
-Yoshi's Island (Brawl)
-Arena Ferox
-Kalos Pokémon League
-WarioWare
- Unova Pokémon League
- Gamer

Hmm, that's 11 stages, and I've been advocating for testing lots of stages early on. Okay, so I suppose some of the following may be worth testing early on (and probably dropped quickly):

-Frigate Orpheon
-Brinstar
-Castle Siege
-Skyloft
-Halberd
-Prism Tower

Pick 2-4 from that list for early testing (they're pretty likely to end up banned but we could test them early at least, I suppose). Looking at the list perhaps we might actually end up with 9 stages or maybe even 8. If all stages are sufficiently different I don't think that's a bad number.

Also, people, remember that just because a stage is banned in competitive play doesn't mean you can't play it in casuals!
 

Quazwx

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So, every stage should, preferably, offer something interesting. Stages like Dream Land, Yoshi's Story, Midgar, and Fountain of Dreams are basically slight variations of Battlefield, so they're banned.

New stages have to add to the gameplay. Every additional stage added needs to make competitive play better, because if they don't, then why add them? The question you should ask isn't "This is a perfectly fine stage, why should we ban it" but "What does this add to the competitive meta, and and what cost".
I think if a stage is fair for competitive play, adding it is already doing more good than bad.
The only reason a stage of that type could do any harm is giving certain characters an advantage or disavantage, and that's something ALL stages do. Compare Little Mac in FD and Little Mac In Battlefield, for example.

Banning stages that are perfectly fine just because we put a limit isn't really fair, as it would make some people to ask to ban a certain stage to make room for another when we could just have both.
The only downside of larger lists (that I see at the moment) is stage striking taking longer in game 1. It has already been mentioned that we don't really need stage striking, and could use another system. We could use random (with some clauses to still give the player some choice.) Or one player picks 3 (or whatever number) stages and the other bans 1-2 ( I think this should be discussed if it's going to be used, because choosing the stage through bans, or limiting them is quite different.)

Also for similar stages, We could just use them as "skins" of the original, if Battlefield is banned, Dream Land and Midgar are too, that would be visual/musical diversity at least)

And, anyone has any thoughts about stage morph being legal, and when it should be use if it is?
 
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I think if a stage is fair for competitive play, adding it is already doing more good than bad.
Apologies in advance if I come off as a bit cross, I don't meant to but I want to be clear on these points (and we've had the same argument again and again, I kind of wish we could just move on to discussing realistic alternatives instead of discussing one more time why random stage select is a bad select or stage morph or things like that).

This argument, that if a stage is fair it adds more good than bad by default, is obviously flawed: A stage cannot just be fair, it also needs to be sufficiently different from other stages in order to improve the metagame. Let's look at Smash 4: Adding Miiverse, a perfectly fine stage, would have made the competitive metagame worse, because it would add redundancy and give a significant advantage to characters that benefit from Battlefield-like stages.

Which stage list is better:

One with 10 legal stages, all different, or one with 20 legal stages, 10 of which are Battlefield clones and the rest are different? So, adding a stage that is fair is not enough, it has to be fair and sufficiently different from other current stages.

We could use random (with some clauses to still give the player some choice.)
The fact that people keep bringing this up again and again showcases that we have to make great sacrifices in order to get 20+ stages or whatever number people want. Are we really desperate enough to consider adding more random elements for a competitive game?

Also for similar stages, We could just use them as "skins" of the original, if Battlefield is banned, Dream Land and Midgar are too, that would be visual/musical diversity at least)
Or we could just use Battlefield/Omega versions of the stage. I'm fine with that, assuming all Battlefield and Omegas are exactly the same gameplay wise. falln already pointed out the issues with allowing similar stages that differs slightly.

And, anyone has any thoughts about stage morph being legal, and when it should be use if it is?
It's been discussed quite a bit, and it's a pretty bad idea.
 

Lozjam

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Getting ready if stages to “trim the fat” is inherently a bad idea. It is making bans for absolutely no good reason. It reduces variety, it unfairly balances the game, and it quite honestly does not carry and evolve competitive smash.
At this point, we might as well ban half of the Smash characters and all echo characters to “trim the fat” so that pro smash players have less matchups to learn.

Amazing Ampharos Amazing Ampharos is right.
Our system for choosing stages is inherently flawed, and it will always produce the same miserly result. If we don’t change, and if we are banning stages to “trim the fat”..... we are definitely never going to evolve as a community. We have a chance here, the best chance to make Smash the most popular and biggest fighting game, by a large margin. That’s good for players, that means more streamers, that’s great for prize pools, and that means more tournaments. But doing the things we always have just for sake of tradition, especially when we have a better way, is going to keep Smash just the same.....

We have a huge shot at mainstream appeal here. Let’s not waste it. And that doesn’t mean putting up unfair stages. That just means, changing the system to make something great. If we play on the same 10 stages(more like 4), especially those that have been played for years and years. We will face even more dwindling numbers,

We have a chance to change things for the better.
Let’s take it.
 

Quazwx

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This argument, that if a stage is fair it adds more good than bad by default, is obviously flawed: A stage cannot just be fair, it also needs to be sufficiently different from other stages in order to improve the metagame. Let's look at Smash 4: Adding Miiverse, a perfectly fine stage, would have made the competitive metagame worse, because it would add redundancy and give a significant advantage to characters that benefit from Battlefield-like stages.

Which stage list is better:

One with 10 legal stages, all different, or one with 20 legal stages, 10 of which are Battlefield clones and the rest are different? So, adding a stage that is fair is not enough, it has to be fair and sufficiently different from other current stages.
Well, imo having variety is what I would call "improving the metagame" if you don't think so, what exactly would a stage need to improve the meta?

As for the lists, I actually prefer the 20 stages one, as I already said, more visual/musical variety.

The fact that people keep bringing this up again and again showcases that we have to make great sacrifices in order to get 20+ stages or whatever number people want. Are we really desperate enough to consider adding more random elements for a competitive game?
The random system was only an example to show that we can use something different from stage striking, take a look at the other alternative if you don't want random (I actually prefer that one too, tbh.)

Or we could just use Battlefield/Omega versions of the stage. I'm fine with that, assuming all Battlefield and Omegas are exactly the same gameplay wise. falln already pointed out the issues with allowing similar stages that differs slightly.

It's been discussed quite a bit, and it's a pretty bad idea.
Yeah, I don't really care if we use the battlefield or omega forms, just wanted to say It would be a waste to totally ban them.
 

ParanoidDrone

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Apologies in advance if I come off as a bit cross, I don't meant to but I want to be clear on these points (and we've had the same argument again and again, I kind of wish we could just move on to discussing realistic alternatives instead of discussing one more time why random stage select is a bad select or stage morph or things like that).

This argument, that if a stage is fair it adds more good than bad by default, is obviously flawed: A stage cannot just be fair, it also needs to be sufficiently different from other stages in order to improve the metagame. Let's look at Smash 4: Adding Miiverse, a perfectly fine stage, would have made the competitive metagame worse, because it would add redundancy and give a significant advantage to characters that benefit from Battlefield-like stages.

Which stage list is better:

One with 10 legal stages, all different, or one with 20 legal stages, 10 of which are Battlefield clones and the rest are different? So, adding a stage that is fair is not enough, it has to be fair and sufficiently different from other current stages.

The fact that people keep bringing this up again and again showcases that we have to make great sacrifices in order to get 20+ stages or whatever number people want. Are we really desperate enough to consider adding more random elements for a competitive game?

Or we could just use Battlefield/Omega versions of the stage. I'm fine with that, assuming all Battlefield and Omegas are exactly the same gameplay wise. falln already pointed out the issues with allowing similar stages that differs slightly.

It's been discussed quite a bit, and it's a pretty bad idea.
Battlefield
Final Destination
Smashville
Town & City
Lylat Cruise
Pokemon Stadium
Kalos Pokemon League
Skyloft
Warioware
Castle Siege
Frigate Orpheon
Dracula's Castle
Prism Tower
New Donk City Hall
Arena Ferox
Rainbow Cruise
Brinstar
Wuhu Island

That's eighteen stages with no duplicate layouts. Add Yoshi's Island if it passes the smell test for different layouts. Add Reset Bomb Forest if the gap and high platforms don't cause any problems. I'm still deliberately omitting a number of other stages I'd love to see but I'm keeping this list conservative.

Can you point to a stage and say "this stage demonstrably promotes degenerate gameplay that has no place in a tournament"? If so, ban it. Otherwise, don't. To do anything else is scrubby -- that's practically Sirlin 101.

Duplicate layouts are a separate issue.
 
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Quazwx

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Battlefield
Final Destination
Smashville
Town & City
Lylat Cruise
Pokemon Stadium
Kalos Pokemon League
Skyloft
Warioware
Castle Siege
Frigate Orpheon
Dracula's Castle
Prism Tower
New Donk City Hall
Arena Ferox
Rainbow Cruise
Brinstar
Wuhu Island
Actually, a lot of those stages are really dependant on how the hazzard switch affects them, I wouldn't say they're guaranteed stages.
I'm talking about:
- Kalos Pokémon League
-Skyloft
-Dracula's Castle
-New Donk City Hall
-Rainbow Cruise
-Wuhu Island

Do we already know the effects of the hazzard togle on those?
 
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DJ3DS

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Battlefield
Final Destination
Smashville
Town & City
Lylat Cruise
Pokemon Stadium
Kalos Pokemon League
Skyloft
Warioware
Castle Siege
Frigate Orpheon
Dracula's Castle
Prism Tower
New Donk City Hall
Arena Ferox
Rainbow Cruise
Brinstar
Wuhu Island

That's eighteen stages with no duplicate layouts. Add Yoshi's Island if it passes the smell test for different layouts. Add Reset Bomb Forest if the gap and high platforms don't cause any problems.

Can you point to a stage and say "this stage demonstrably promotes degenerate gameplay that has no place in a tournament"? If so, ban it. Otherwise, don't. To do anything else is scrubby -- that's practically Sirlin 101.

Duplicate layouts are a separate issue.
This is largely what I wanted to say to Frihetsanka Frihetsanka . I don't think our problem as a collective thread is how people have decided to deal with duplicates, it's the way the rest of the stages have been brushed aside without any cohesive argument for why not to test them (other than muh stage procedure). To argue that this is being less restrictive than previous games because of a raw number of stages is completely disingenuous because it ignores the proposal that we ignore so many other viable ones.

Basically, we need to actually be convinced that stages are worth banning, and I've not seen arguments that I find convincing. Please, give us them.

On the arguments I've seen, and why I disagree with them:
1) Temporary walkoffs (Prism) - I've seen no rebuttal to Amazing Ampharos' argument on the matter, so don't just quote this as a negative if you can't justify it.
2) "sharkable" platforms (Prism, Skyloft) - this was a serious problem in Brawl, but we're not playing Brawl. Ledge invincibility is gone for this now, and we even have a built in regrab limit. There is no evidence to suggest ledge sharking is a viable degenerate strategy at this point, so banning based on it is extremely premature. As for recovering through the platforms, I've seen repeated suggestion to keep SV and YS hazards on because their moving platforms make "offstage gameplay" more dynamic. Why can't I use these buzzwords here?
3) Asymmetrical layouts (Castle Siege, Gamer) - we have repeatedly had these legal in the past. Pokemon Stadium (Melee) is asymmetric in every transformation, so is FoD a significant proportion of the time. In Brawl, we had Delfino and I'd even argue Smashville, as the moving platform breaks the scenery. Nobody ever complained about the asymmetry of Duck Hunt either, just the tree. We need a reason why asymmetry is bad, rather than just quoting it as a reason and ignoring every time it's used in the past.
4) Moving platforms (Town and City) - These are not random, so whilst anyone advocates for SV, YS or FoD to retain moving platforms I will need a reason why these are any worse.
5) (Small) Walls (Dracula, Rainbow Cruise) - I appreciate these have caused significant issue in the past, especially in Brawl. But that's Brawl! Chaingrabs have been removed from the game. Multi-hit jabs push the user back. If the walls are small enough to DI or SDI over (which is something we need to TEST, not automatically ban) then what's the issue? Some characters might get a combo extension from them, but what is the difference between some characters getting platform extensions when others can't?

- - - - -

tl;dr: don't just say certain stages are bad, or banned. Prove it.
 

Untouch

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Actually, a lot of those stages are really dependant on how the hazzard switch affects them, I wouldn't say they're guaranteed stages.
I'm talking about:
- Kalos Pokémon League
-Skyloft
-Dracula's Castle
-New Donk City Hall
-Rainbow Cruise
-Wuhu Island

Do we already know the effects of the hazzard togle on those?
Kalos -> Stage never transforms, the platforms remain where they are.
Skyloft -> Stage never moves, spawns in the starting position.
Dracula's Castle -> Platforms don't move, no monsters appear, there are no hurtboxes that drop items.
New Donk City Hall -> Same stage with hazards off.
Rainbow Cruise -> Stage doesn't move, just stays where it starts.
Wuhu Island -> Stage never moves, spawns in the starting position.
 

ParanoidDrone

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Actually, a lot of those stages are really dependant on how the hazzard switch affects them, I wouldn't say they're guaranteed stages.
I'm talking about:
- Kalos Pokémon League
-Skyloft
-Dracula's Castle
-New Donk City Hall
-Rainbow Cruise
-Wuhu Island

Do we already know the effects of the hazzard togle on those?
Yes, we know how they all behave from Spain's special event.

Kalos doesn't transform, it's completely static. Platforms are over the ledge, so its layout is different from Pokemon Stadium 1/2/Unova.
Skyloft doesn't transform, it keeps its starting layout. Don't know if it flies around the island or not.
Dracula's Castle is static, no boss monsters or anything of the sort.
New Donk City Hall has no change -- it transforms, but it's like Prism Tower in that the transformations are fairly innocuous. Only two walkoffs (the starting point and one transformation) that I know of.
Rainbow Cruise is just the ship, which stays in place. No platforming all over the place.
Wuhu Island doesn't transform, it keeps its starting layout. Still flies around, but it's just scenery. The main platform is sharkable and longer in general than Smashville with raised edges to boot, so it's sufficiently different.
 

Quazwx

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Kalos -> Stage never transforms, the platforms remain where they are.
Skyloft -> Stage never moves, spawns in the starting position.
Dracula's Castle -> Platforms don't move, no monsters appear, there are no hurtboxes that drop items.
New Donk City Hall -> Same stage with hazards off.
Rainbow Cruise -> Stage doesn't move, just stays where it starts.
Wuhu Island -> Stage never moves, spawns in the starting position.
Wuhu especifically seems like it could be too big, but very nice otherwise
 

Untouch

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Unova, PS1 and PS2 are all different.
PS1 and PS2 are very similar, but the platforms in PS2 are higher it looks like. The platforms may be a different size as well.

In Unova, the platforms are significantly closer to the edge of the stage.

I still think they should be grouped, but not "obsoleted", minor differences can totally change stages. No one wants to make YI Brawl standard and "obsolete" Smashville.
 
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Getting ready if stages to “trim the fat” is inherently a bad idea. It is making bans for absolutely no good reason. It reduces variety, it unfairly balances the game, and it quite honestly does not carry and evolve competitive smash.
At this point, we might as well ban half of the Smash characters and all echo characters to “trim the fat” so that pro smash players have less matchups to learn.

Amazing Ampharos Amazing Ampharos is right.
Our system for choosing stages is inherently flawed, and it will always produce the same miserly result. If we don’t change, and if we are banning stages to “trim the fat”..... we are definitely never going to evolve as a community. We have a chance here, the best chance to make Smash the most popular and biggest fighting game, by a large margin. That’s good for players, that means more streamers, that’s great for prize pools, and that means more tournaments. But doing the things we always have just for sake of tradition, especially when we have a better way, is going to keep Smash just the same.....

We have a huge shot at mainstream appeal here. Let’s not waste it. And that doesn’t mean putting up unfair stages. That just means, changing the system to make something great. If we play on the same 10 stages(more like 4), especially those that have been played for years and years. We will face even more dwindling numbers,

We have a chance to change things for the better.
Let’s take it.
There's quite a few words in this post but you're saying very little of substance. It kind of reads like you're holding a motivational speech under the guise of a debate article. I can do that too.

It is time for a new beginning, a new chapter for the Book of Smash. We have been given an opportunity to create something greater, something pure, something pure, something not quite like what we've ever seen before. It is time for a new era of competitive Smash, an era of fierce competitions, an era where the best player wins, with little to no random factors playing a part. We can do it if we try to, and we can create hype, hype like you've never seen before! We will use this hype to create a competitive environment that truly makes Smash Ultimate the ultimate e-sport, with increasing prize pools, streamers, and even tournaments! Let us stand united, united as a community, and leave this squabble behind us. Let us select a stage select that is fair and balanced, that is easy for spectator and players alike to memorize, and that will provide the ultimate selection of good stages, with no bad stages left at all. Let us move forward for a new era of Smash!

... Anyway, pretty speeches aside, I suppose I should address some of your points:

Variety for variety's sake is not valuable. If it were, then Halberd and Delfino Plaza would still be legal in Smash 4, yet they aren't (and shouldn't be). Adding stages that are similar to current stages (such as stages similar to Battlefield, like Dream Land or Fountain of Dreams) would actually reduce variety: Instead of having only one Battlefield, we might end up with 4-5 stages that play like Battlefield, thus reducing variety. Music and aesthetics are largely irrelevant.

The "we might as well ban half the Smash characters" is a ridiculous argument and you know it is, and you also know no one here has advocated for it. Please don't create ridiculous, irrelevant arguments that have little to do with the conversation and only acts to create a straw man. And no, having 9 stages, more than ever before in a Smash game, is absolutely not going to lead to a "slippery slope" of banning characters or anything of the sort. We're not going to ban characters to "trim the fat", don't worry about that. In fact, I even argue that XXXX Miis should be legal.

Our current system for choosing stages is fine, and it's not producing some sort of "miserly result".

Well, imo having variety is what I would call "improving the metagame" if you don't think so, what exactly would a stage need to improve the meta?
Variety is not enough, by itself, to improve the metagame. Pokéfloats would add variety but it would be a terrible stage to add, for instance. A stage would both have to add some variety and useful gameplay, and at some point there's diminishing returns for variety (going from 5 to 10 adds more than going from 10 to 15, for instance).

As for the lists, I actually prefer the 20 stages one, as I already said, more visual/musical variety.
Visual/musical variety is largely irrelevant for competitive play.


Battlefield
Final Destination
Smashville
Town & City
Lylat Cruise
Pokemon Stadium
Kalos Pokemon League
Skyloft
Warioware
Castle Siege
Frigate Orpheon
Dracula's Castle
Prism Tower
New Donk City Hall
Arena Ferox
Rainbow Cruise
Brinstar
Wuhu Island

That's eighteen stages with no duplicate layouts. Add Yoshi's Island if it passes the smell test for different layouts. Add Reset Bomb Forest if the gap and high platforms don't cause any problems. I'm still deliberately omitting a number of other stages I'd love to see but I'm keeping this list conservative.

Can you point to a stage and say "this stage demonstrably promotes degenerate gameplay that has no place in a tournament"? If so, ban it. Otherwise, don't. To do anything else is scrubby -- that's practically Sirlin 101.
Thank you for your post. I will now rate them, from 1-3, based on how likely I think they will be as stages: 4 = Almost certainly dead. 3 = Probably dead. 2 = Probably legal, needs testing. 1 = Most likely legal

Final Destination - 1
Smashville - 1
Town & City - 3 (People have pointed out that some layouts promote degenerate gameplay, but we can test it)
Lylat Cruise - 1
Pokemon Stadium - 1 (Pokémon Stadium 2 might be preferable but yeah, 1 is fine too)
Kalos Pokemon League - 2 (I'm not 100% sure about the platform layout but it's worth testing)
Skyloft - 4
Warioware - 2 (It might be too small but it's probably fine)
Castle Siege - 3 (I think it has some issues but it's not obviously bad)
Frigate Orpheon - 3 (See Castle Siege)
Dracula's Castle - 4 (The wall and staircases kill it)
Prism Tower - 3 (It's a moving stage, although it might be the best moving stage, so it could be tested)
New Donk City Hall - 4 (It has some serious issues, see the Japanese tournament)
Arena Ferox - 2 (Might be too big, but it's worth testing)
Rainbow Cruise - 4 (Wall kills it)
Brinstar - 3 (Looks like it might be buggy/janky)
Wuhu Island - 3 (Looks like it might be buggy/janky, Isabelle couldn't use her down-B on the slants, and it's pretty similar to Smashville/Yoshi's Island (Brawl anyway)

Number of 1: 4
Number of 2: 3
Number of 3: 6
Number of 4: 3

That gives us a stage list of 7-13. Unova Pokémon League, Yoshi's Island (Brawl), Gamer, Halberd could also be considered, ranging from 2 to 3. That gives us a stage list of 7-17. I expect most of the 3s will be banned, which gives us a stage list of 7-13 or so, maybe.

Do we already know the effects of the hazzard togle on those?
Yes, we know how the hazard toggle works on every stage now.

[...]we have repeatedly had these legal in the past
We were desperate in the past and accepted bad stages just to have a stage list. We're not desperate anymore, thus "they used to be legal" is not really relevant.

Basically, we need to actually be convinced that stages are worth banning[...]
Not really. At this point, it's clear that we could, if we wanted to, have a list of 20 stages and each stage would still likely be better than some of the stages in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Instead, we need to argue that stages are worth playing. Why have 18 stages where 8 are mediocre when we can have 10 really good stages? Instead of assuming "We need a good reason to ban it" we should be assuming "We need a good reason to include it".

Unova, PS1 and PS2 are all different.
PS1 and PS2 are very similar, but the platforms in PS2 are higher it looks like.
In Unova, the platforms are significantly closer to the edge of the stage.

I still think they should be grouped, but not "obsoleted", minor differences can totally change stages. No one wants to make YI Brawl standard and "obsolete" Smashville.
I've seen some people argue YI over Smashville actually (though it could be because of the music). Anyway, initially Unova, YI Brawl and Smashville should all be legal; if needed they can be banned later.
 

ParanoidDrone

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Thank you for your post. I will now rate them, from 1-3, based on how likely I think they will be as stages: 4 = Almost certainly dead. 3 = Probably dead. 2 = Probably legal, needs testing. 1 = Most likely legal

Final Destination - 1
Smashville - 1
Town & City - 3 (People have pointed out that some layouts promote degenerate gameplay, but we can test it)
Lylat Cruise - 1
Pokemon Stadium - 1 (Pokémon Stadium 2 might be preferable but yeah, 1 is fine too)
Kalos Pokemon League - 2 (I'm not 100% sure about the platform layout but it's worth testing)
Skyloft - 4
Warioware - 2 (It might be too small but it's probably fine)
Castle Siege - 3 (I think it has some issues but it's not obviously bad)
Frigate Orpheon - 3 (See Castle Siege)
Dracula's Castle - 4 (The wall and staircases kill it)
Prism Tower - 3 (It's a moving stage, although it might be the best moving stage, so it could be tested)
New Donk City Hall - 4 (It has some serious issues, see the Japanese tournament)
Arena Ferox - 2 (Might be too big, but it's worth testing)
Rainbow Cruise - 4 (Wall kills it)
Brinstar - 3 (Looks like it might be buggy/janky)
Wuhu Island - 3 (Looks like it might be buggy/janky, Isabelle couldn't use her down-B on the slants, and it's pretty similar to Smashville/Yoshi's Island (Brawl anyway)

Number of 1: 4
Number of 2: 3
Number of 3: 6
Number of 4: 3

That gives us a stage list of 7-13. Unova Pokémon League, Yoshi's Island (Brawl), Gamer, Halberd could also be considered, ranging from 2 to 3. That gives us a stage list of 7-17. I expect most of the 3s will be banned, which gives us a stage list of 7-13 or so, maybe.
I'm completely unsure how either of Town & City's two layouts could be degenerate, but points for advocating testing.

You offer no explanation for giving Skyloft a 4. For reference, this is the layout: https://www.ssbwiki.com/images/thumb/7/7b/SSBU-Skyloft.png/800px-SSBU-Skyloft.png

You have no evidence that the walls and staircase on Dracula's Castle will be degenerate.

You apparently have evidence that New Donk City Hall is degenerate, but I haven't seen the Japanese event. Source, please.

You have no evidence that the wall on Rainbow Cruise will be degenerate.

You're basing your opinion of Brinstar and Wuhu Island on "probably" -- we need certainty. Also, source on Isabelle's down special being bugged on slopes.
 
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I'm completely unsure how either of Town & City's two layouts could be degenerate, but points for advocating testing.
People have been saying it is but I haven't seen enough to say. It might be fine, it's worth testing at least.

You offer no explanation for giving Skyloft a 4. For reference, this is the layout: https://www.ssbwiki.com/images/thumb/7/7b/SSBU-Skyloft.png/800px-SSBU-Skyloft.png
I was under the impression that the stage moved, but you're right, apparently I was mistaken on this point. As such, it's worth testing (sharking could be an issue though).

You have no evidence that the walls and staircase on Dracula's Castle will be degenerate.
We can test it and see, I suppose, although it was played in the Japanese tournament, wasn't it?

You apparently have evidence that New Donk City Hall is degenerate, but I haven't seen the Japanese event. Source, please.
Richter killed Sheik with an axe at 60%. Does that sound acceptable to you? See here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pr95LZJA2Es&feature=youtu.be&t=66

You have no evidence that the wall on Rainbow Cruise will be degenerate.
People played it in either the Japanese tournament or the Spanish tournament, and it's bad. Isn't the stage also really big?

You're basing your opinion of Brinstar and Wuhu Island on "probably" -- we need certainty. Also, source on Isabelle's down special being bugged on slopes.
There is a clip on Brinstar where Lucario uses up-B on stage and lands on the fleshy blob, which makes him bounce and SD. Looks really banned unless they fix that issue. Game with Isabelle and Ness on Wuhu Island: https://youtu.be/hLwg7gr8SBg
 

Akiak

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First off, I think we should stick with 1-2-1 striking over your alternative, and I think we should stick with banning for counter-picks (2 bans probably).

As for the stages, the starters seem fine to me. Some of the counter-pick stages might not be, though. Skyloft, Halberd, and Prism Tower should probably be gone, Brinstar seems to have serious issues, Frigate Orpheon and Castle Siege are asymmetrical which might give one player an advantage due to spawning location, and Frigate Orpheon has a wall. Yoshi's Island (Brawl) runs the risk of being too similar to Smashville, but I think it should be illegal initially to test it, perhaps it's different enough to warrant a spot? Arena Ferox is potentially too big, but it might warrant testing. Kalos League has some interesting platforms which could potentially prove problematic, but it's worth testing. WarioWare is probably fine (do we know about the blast zones though?).

I've heard Pokémon Stadium 2 has better ledges than 1, so maybe we should use 2 instead of 1? Should be easy enough to test once the game is out.

Some other stages that might be worth considering: Unova Pokémon League (too similar to Pokémon Stadium 1/2?), Gamer (asymmetrical though).
I don't mind 1-2-1 for the first match, with 5 stages it's not really a big deal what system we use.

For CPs though, the reason I picked that alternative was to accommodate the fairly large amount of stages. With something like 15 stages to choose from, using bans doesn't seem ideal to me. The player needs to be fully aware of the entire stage list, and think of the 2 stages they least want to play on. On the other hand, 4-2-1 means the loser starts off by picking 4 stages right off the bat that they most want to play on, then it goes from there.

With a reduced stage list though, bans are fine, so it depends. Maybe this is a moot point honestly, idk. I'll leave it to someone else.

Regarding stages, I agree with the points you raise up, although we shouldn't assume they have issues before we actually see them.

Skyloft as the only sharkable stage (and as a CP) is fine imo. That's why I got rid of Wuhu, as I'm really not a fan of sharkable stages, regardless of how effective it'll be in the meta. But one CP is fine imo, and the layout is pretty unique.

Halberd and Prism Tower are the crazier ones, but I still think they should seriously be looked into.

Brinstar needs testing but it might be fine, we don't know.

Frigate Orpheon is an awesome stage and also literally the only stage with moving parts (excluding Halberd and Prism). Asymmetry for a CP is completely fine imo, so I disagree there.

Yoshi's Brawl and Smashville can be switched around, or one could be banned (I'd rather ban SV myself honestly). Personally though I think Yoshi's as a CP is fine.

Ferox, Kalos, WW, again, fine as a CP. The issues are all rather minimal imo.

I think Unova is redundant personally. For Gamer it's too early to tell.

If anyone has questions about stages I cut by the way, feel free to ask.

I think most people want a larger stage list, given the massive pool we have to choose from. Also, with hazards off, almost every stage is static, which might be quite detrimental for spectators, and is also quite different from every past Smash game (exc. 64). Which is why I'm pushing for stages such as Frigate.
 

ParanoidDrone

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People have been saying it is but I haven't seen enough to say. It might be fine, it's worth testing at least.

I was under the impression that the stage moved, but you're right, apparently I was mistaken on this point. As such, it's worth testing (sharking could be an issue though).

We can test it and see, I suppose, although it was played in the Japanese tournament, wasn't it?

Richter killed Sheik with an axe at 60%. Does that sound acceptable to you? See here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pr95LZJA2Es&feature=youtu.be&t=66

People played it in either the Japanese tournament or the Spanish tournament, and it's bad. Isn't the stage also really big?

There is a clip on Brinstar where Lucario uses up-B on stage and lands on the fleshy blob, which makes him bounce and SD. Looks really banned unless they fix that issue. Game with Isabelle and Ness on Wuhu Island: https://youtu.be/hLwg7gr8SBg
New Donk City Hall: TBH I can't figure out WTF happened there, killing Sheik from 60% with the axe shouldn't be a thing. If I'm being completely honest, it looks like a Richter issue more than a stage issue because Sheik just straight up died lol.

Rainbow Cruise: Again, evidence. Also hazards-off Rainbow Cruise is just the ship (in case you thought it still moved) and IMO it isn't particularly big. Sample match: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9wMzBcstwTg

Brinstar: Video?

Wuhu Island: That's...weird, I'll admit. Slopes are hardly a rare stage feature so I find it hard to believe her down special would just...fail like that on one. I'll have to investigate once I get the game.
 
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For CPs though, the reason I picked that alternative was to accommodate the fairly large amount of stages. With something like 15 stages to choose from, using bans doesn't seem ideal to me.
We're probably not going to have 15 stages, but I do see your point. One alternative could be: Loser proposes 3 stages, winner picks one of those. That's similar to 2 bans but makes it harder for the winner to overlook one stage (like forgetting to ban Lylat vs Corrin or something). If we have something like 9 or 10 stages I think it should be easy enough to just go with 2 bans and then loser counter-picks.

Regarding stages, I agree with the points you raise up, although we shouldn't assume they have issues before we actually see them.
What follows could basically be summarized as "We don't know yet if these stages are bad, so we could test them". I don't necessarily disagree with this sentiment, we could spend a few weeks or even a month (or maybe longer) testing stages that are borderline viable. If they turn out to be fine, then perhaps we'll add them to the list. I think we're going to end up in the 9-11-ish range but we'll see, could be a few more, could be 8, probably not less than 8. Time will tell.

I think most people want a larger stage list, given the massive pool we have to choose from. Also, with hazards off, almost every stage is static, which might be quite detrimental for spectators, and is also quite different from every past Smash game (exc. 64). Which is why I'm pushing for stages such as Frigate.
I doubt spectators mind static stages, and I don't think it's true that "most people" want a larger stage list (although it depends on what you mean with "larger"). I think a lot of people will be really happy if we get 9-11 good stages this time, Smash 4 had 4 (few people liked Smash 4 Lylat).

New Donk City Hall: TBH I can't figure out WTF happened there, killing Sheik from 60% with the axe shouldn't be a thing. If I'm being completely honest, it looks like a Richter issue more than a stage issue because Sheik just straight up died lol.
Could be tested to see if it's a bug with Smashballs or something. Even without that early kill that stage seems to have some issues though (such as the wall).

Rainbow Cruise: Again, evidence. Also hazards-off Rainbow Cruise is just the ship (in case you thought it still moved) and IMO it isn't particularly big. Sample match: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9wMzBcstwTg

Brinstar: Video?

Wuhu Island: That's...weird, I'll admit. Slopes are hardly a rare stage feature so I find it hard to believe her down special would just...fail like that on one. I'll have to investigate once I get the game.
Rainbow Cruise: I know it's just the ship, and I've seen that video. The wall kills it. Look at 3:12, hits Richter, and normally that'd just push Richter away, but in this case Richter bounces back from the wall, leading to a folow up for King K. Rool (potentially a kill even, depending on the characters). The wall could also lead to some characters living for really long.

So... What about just removing the stage striking process?
There's no good reason to, and the alternatives are worse. I and other people have already explained multiple times in this thread why we shouldn't do that.
 
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ParanoidDrone

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Rainbow Cruise: I know it's just the ship, and I've seen that video. The wall kills it. Look at 3:12, hits Richter, and normally that'd just push Richter away, but in this case Richter bounces back from the wall, leading to a folow up for King K. Rool (potentially a kill even, depending on the characters). The wall could also
You, uh, accidentally a word there. Regardless, I actually see that situation as a positive because it opens up interesting options. It's not a giant floor-to-ceiling wall that blocks off a chunk of the stage like Princess Peach's Castle, which is a good thing, but it creates some stage-specific combos and followups similar to how ZSS could use Battlefield's platforms to extend her ladders.
 
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Untouch

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Sorry no, the 3-2-1 system is faster, easier and allows for more options.
Early discussions favoured this system, but it just seems to have totally gone away for some reason.

How is it worse?

Proof: The earliest ideas were being thrown around here. In the discussion thread it was being embraced, then when rulesets came out it seems no one cared.
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1nh0NkPu1uJcTHaaFVT62ngTC-iEYhBwHcz293FprBWc/edit

Even if we aren't going for a huge stagelist I feel it deals with duplicates really well too.
 
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