Discussion of Stage Legality in Smash Bros. Ultimate

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SmashChu

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"I ban Battlefield!" "Okay, let's play on DL!". That's the issue (and grouping is bad, either keep them legal or ban them, no grouping).
I get that, but I disagree with the all or nothing approach. You can have maybe one or two. Smash 4 had Dreamland legal with Battlefield and Melee had Battlefield, Yoshi Story and Dreamland. I don't see why stage strikes are a big issue now. Easy solution would be to try and limit how many of the Battlefield gang can be on at the same time but otherwise allow them for play.
 

GUIGUI

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Um, most TOs I've talked to seem to think grouping should be banned for redundancy.
That's not really how logic work, it's literally redundancy that cause the necessity of grouping. it does not cause the need to ban.

That's the issue: Imagine there are 1000 echo stages. Perhaps you are fine on 999 on them, but the 1000th is bad for you. Now you're forced to ban Battlefield.
And like I have explained previously, a perma-ban does not improve that situation in anyway, the winner can still not play to the stage he'd be fine with if there were a perma ban. The perma ban does not make thing fairer than grouping. In other words, it's a ban that is useless.
Secondly, if the stage are different enough that some might actually skew the game, then they shouldn't be grouped in the first place, making the whole thing moot. Either they are too close, or they aren't, you can't dance from a position or an other to justify the perma-ban.

Assuming the winner knows the MUs, why would the loser pick an echo favorable to the winner?
You do realise that preventing the loser from being able to pick the stage the winner would prefer the loser to not pick is the very reason you would like grouping to be forbidden, right ? Anyway, the Loser won't pick a stage the winner has removed.

But you seems to miss my point, that you proceed through either grouping, or permaban, the winner will NEVER get the the loser to pick the BF-echoes he would prefer, that means the perma ban is useless.
 
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Frihetsanka

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I get that, but I disagree with the all or nothing approach. You can have maybe one or two. Smash 4 had Dreamland legal with Battlefield and Melee had Battlefield, Yoshi Story and Dreamland. I don't see why stage strikes are a big issue now. Easy solution would be to try and limit how many of the Battlefield gang can be on at the same time but otherwise allow them for play.
It didn't work well in Smash 4 and it also doesn't work well in Melee (Melee greatly benefits characters good on Battlefield-like stages, but there's a lack of good stages in Melee so there's not much they can do about it). Even having two Battlefield (let's say, Battlefield and hazardless Dream Land) would benefit whoever is good on such stages: I ban Dream Land, my opponent picks Battlefield, or vice versa. Also, the hazardless variants of Battlefield add very little variety, so it's not even remotely worth the cost.

If we do end up with switching between hazards on and off, then it seems likely that Battlefield and Fountain of Dreams will both be legal. If so, they should still not be grouped; if Fountain of Dreams turns out to end up unbalancing the metagame, it should be banned rather than grouped with BF.

That's not really how logic work,
What's illogical about it? Does the conclusion not follow from the premises? Or are the premises faulty?

Secondly, if the stage are different enough that some might actually skew the game, then they shouldn't be grouped in the first place, making the whole thing moot. Either they are too close, or they aren't, you can't dance from a position or an other to justify the perma-ban.
So we should just allow people to pick Battlefield, hazardless, Midgar, DL, Yoshi's Story, and Fountain of Dreams? No, of course not, that would be unbalanced and would ensure that mostly characters good on Battlefield-like stages would be good in the meta (and it would greatly reduce stage variety).

Anyway, let's assume there are 1000 echo stages. Perhaps you are fine on 999 on them, but the 1000th is bad for you. Now you're forced to ban Battlefield.

You do realise that preventing the loser from being able to pick the stage the winner would prefer the loser to not pick is the very reason you would like grouping to be forbidden, right ?
Yes, so, again, why would the loser pick a stage that the winner is good on?

But you seems to miss my point, that you proceed through either grouping, or permaban, the winner will NEVER get the the loser to pick the BF-echoes he would prefer, that means the perma ban is useless.
The loser wouldn't do that anyway. If there are 1000 BF stages, the winner is okay with 800 of them, bad at 100 of them, and good at 100 of them, why would the loser pick one that the winner is good on?
 

Ulevo

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GUIGUI GUIGUI the reason you cannot group multiple Battlefield variants together is because the differences in the variants give an advantage to the player who could opt to pick any of them.

If you just have Battlefield, then you only need to consider banning Battlefield. If you have other triplats grouped together, now you have to think “wait, do I want to play on Battlefield with a lower ceiling agaist x character?” or “is giving them a Battlefield with walls a good idea?” or “this Battlefield slants, is this going to affect my projectiles?” or “this Battlefield has a narrower blast zone at the ledge, and they are strong at the ledge, do I ban this?” or [insert any other consideration that adds to the list].

The more differences you include into what would normally constitute a single ban for a single stage the more weight that single ban holds, and it will draw more attention to banning triplats than is healthy for the list.

The reason you cannot have too many triplats legal and count for individual bans is because then you have no way of ensuring you do not wind up on a stage that heavily favours your opponent every time.

It’s not complicated.
 
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GUIGUI

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Or are the premises faulty?
The premise that grouping give unfair advantage is faulty.
So we should just allow people to pick Battlefield, hazardless, Midgar, DL, Yoshi's Story, and Fountain of Dreams?
We simply group them as a single pack, and if BF is remove, all of its echoes are removed too. It's as simple as that.
Anyway, let's assume there are 1000 echo stages. Perhaps you are fine on 999 on them, but the 1000th is bad for you. Now you're forced to ban Battlefield.
Allow me to make yourself ask you one question
Yes, so, again, why would the loser pick a stage that the winner is good on?
You can't bring the argument that the winner should be allowed to maintain the stages he is good at then next dismiss that scenario and say "why would the loser pick a stage the winner is good at ?" the moment that argument work against you. Please, have a little of good faith, there.
The loser wouldn't do that anyway.
My point exactly. Therefore, banning grouping doesn't solve anything, it is a usless rule that doesn't bring anything, nor does it make the game fairer.

The more differences you include into what would normally constitute a single ban for a single stage the more weight that single stage holds
And my point is that is that banning grouping does in no way make a difference.

Let's see the two cases
1. Grouping is allowed:
Winner would like some BF-echoes to remain available, but don't want the Loser to pick one of the BF-echose. So he removes BF (and all the echoes grouped with it) and the BF-echoes he would have preferred to remain available aren't available anymore.

2. Permaban on all the Echoes:
The BF-echoes the winner would have preferred to remain available aren't available anymore.

Conclusion ? Banning groupig didn't solve anything. And the Loser didn't get any advantages in either ways. Group banning is useless.
 
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Veggi

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There are multiple factors that make additional triplats more centralizing or less centralizing.

Melee has an extremely bad scenario in which 3/5 neutral stages are triplats.

In the first round, if there are a large amount of starters, the player who doesn't like triplats never has to go there. The more starters there are, the less it matters that there are three triplats.

For counterpick:

1.) A player has to dislike triplats more than any other stage, which becomes more and more unlikely the more stages there are.

2.) The opposing player would have to believe triplats are their strongest option against their opponent, which becomes more and more unlikely the more stages there are.

This problem, I feel, is really not that devastating in practice. Especially considering Melee has already seen the worst of this and Ultimate is not going to be anywhere near as centralizing. We have like 17 viable neutrals.
 

J0eyboi

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The problem with echo stages is that they're too similar to be separated, and too different to be grouped. Keep BF echoes separate, and characters who benefit from staircase layouts are immensely advantaged. Group them, and a different issue comes up: The minute differences in the stages will mean that unless you are a character that benefits from staircase layouts, your opponent going to BF will basically always be bad for you, because at least one of the layouts is likely to favor them in some way.

To illustrate what I mean, let's imagine a theoretical match of Shulk vs. Falcon. Let's then say Shulk wins game 1, and that Dreamland, Battlefield, FoD, Midgar, and Yoshi's are all grouped into one ban. Battlefield is fairly neutral for the two, but Yoshi's is less so, as the wall and platforms near the ledge drastically improve Falcon's ability to recover, an area which is normally a struggle for him in this matchup. The small size also makes it harder for Shulk, who enjoys having space to, well, space with. So Shulk bans Battlefield because of Yoshi's, even though Battlefield itself was fine.

Let's say later, that same Shulk has to fight a Sonic, and that for the sake of argument Sonic is Smash 4 Sonic because idk how Sonic's gonna play in Ultimate. Yoshi's is less of a problem for Shulk here, but now Midgar is an issue, as its large size lets Sonic run from Shulk more easily, so once again, Shulk bans Battlefield because one of the stages in the grouping is an issue.

This continues for the entirety of the tournament. The Shulk player finds that he basically always has to ban Battlefield because one of the stages in the grouping is always a bad stage for him in each matchup, even when other stages in the grouping would be neutral or good for him. Battlefield essentially always favors the loser, unless the winner is a ZSS main.
 
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WritersBlah

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On what grounds?
If you don't mind, I'm going to use your question as a jumping off point for a much broader point I want to make about this whole discussion, and why this underlying sentiment of Frihetsanka Frihetsanka vs. Smashboards seems to be so prevalent. I'll first start by addressing the actual question, as to why Umbra Clock Tower was banned.

Consider the then legal stages of Smash 4: Battlefield, Final Destination, Smashville, Town & City, Lylat Cruise, Dreamland 64, and Duck Hunt (which was banned briefly after Bayonetta rose to prominence). Of all these stages, the only ones that have anything resembling dynamic platforms are Smashville, T&C, and Lylat (unless you count the rising dog on DH as a dynamic platform.) Smashville has a single moving platform that has a consistent, predictable pattern of movement. The time it spends offstage is 3-4 seconds before returning to hovering over the main stage. This is usually seen as just enough time to set up a creative kill or method to camp without being considered broken, because it last no more than four seconds. Town & City has its two transformations cycle every 30 seconds, and only the second has platforms that ever briefly go offstage. Otherwise, the movement of the platforms is both over the main stage and within a low enough jumping distance that heavies and Little Mac can reach them without expending their third jump. Also consider the fact that despite all this, people legitimately began considering banning the stage due to the stretcher platforms being able to kill mid-transformation, and this sentiment has only increased since Ultimate's hazards off version has those second transformation platforms permanently offstage. Lylat has the entire stage tilt, which is its own kind of movement and was already seen as unfavorable by much of the competitive Smash community, only being kept around because they NEEDED five legal stages.

Now, look at Umbra Clock Tower. Aside from the base form which is similar to Final Destination, the stage includes seven different randomly transforming platform layouts, of which three include permanently offstage platforms, one includes a moving cave of life, and two include asymmetrical layouts. Though none of the transformations (aside from Platform Layout 6 imo) can be viewed as game-halting, and is tame even compared to Pokemon Stadium, which is still legal in Melee, the fact that none of the other stages include elements that allow these strats to be used at all, even temporarily, causes the stage to be viewed unfavorably. Also consider the fact that these transformations do not follow a set pattern, unlike Town & City. This becomes an annoyance to players as planning ahead to utilize a specific transformation at a specific point in the match is no longer a viable option, and the players must instead adapt to the stage around them. All of these things combine together to create a stage that simply does not fit what is usually viewed as the competitive meta of Smash 4.

Now, you may be asking yourself, aren't these transformations temporary anyway? If a player decided to camp on one of the more dangerous transformations, isn't it alright since the transformation is on a time limit and the player will eventually be forced to return to the main stage? The answer to that, theoretically, is yes. But see, the more involved, dynamic nature of this stage immediately sets it apart from Smash 4's five/six legal stages, and these elements contribute to the stage being viewed as inconsistent, or "janky." The Smash Bros. meta, ever since the tail-end of Brawl's lifespan, has been pursuing a meta that is safer and more consistent than competitive Smash had been in the past.

A lot of debating in this thread has centered around how the starter/counterpick distinction is a flawed concept that only serves to create stages that don't get practiced on and eventually get banned anyway. This has historical precedent in its reasoning. Early Melee stagelists included Brinstar, Corneria, Green Greens, Jungle Japes, Kongo Jungle 64, Mute City, Poke Floats, Princess Peach's Castle, and Rainbow Cruise all as legal counterpicks, until issues reared their head which threatened tournaments' competitive integrity. Since then, Pokemon Stadium got moved from a starter to a counterpick, and has mainly been kept around exclusively because of its historical longevity as a stage in competitive play and players' familiarity, though now is beginning to see a push to ban as well. Brawl, by contrast, had a much less agreed upon set of stages for competitive play, and saw stages like Castle Siege, Delfino Plaza, Frigate Orpheon, Halberd, PS2, Brinstar and Rainbow Cruise as relatively common stage picks, and even then, some regions were even more liberal with their allowances, including stages like Bridge of Eldin and Pirate Ship as legal stages.

Many of these stages stayed for decent periods of time into their respective games' competitive lifespans, with many of Melee's being utilized by as late as 2006, five years into the game's life. As more stages became banned however, an attitude shift in the community sought to "normalize" stagelists by only including the safer, more static stage layouts as legal. This became very apparent at the beginning of Smash 4's life, which decided to cut many "fringe" stages like Skyloft and Wuhu Island off the bat and only play on the safer choices. This change in the competitive mindset has changed the way in which stages, and to a certain extent, Smash Bros. in general is viewed. Plugging in stages like Skyloft, Wuhu, and Umbra into the current stagelist for Smash 4 creates a shakeup in the meta that de-emphasizes consistency and rewards environmental adaptation, or stage knowledge, if you will.

This is why I find a lot of the "testing" that many TOs and top players claim they will do for stages in Ultimate to be somewhat disingenuous. Honestly, the truth of the matter as to why we just can't seem to see eye-to-eye on this subject has a lot to do with our competitive upbringing. To address Frihetsanka Frihetsanka specifically, notice that he considers 12-16 stages as a liberal amount of stages, whereas many people in this thread are arguing for 30, or even 40. I want to try to understand his perspective and allow it to inform the rest of you, so let's try a little exercise.

Let's work under the presumption that 12-16 stages is indeed a liberal amount, and a good number of those stages are bad anyway and will quickly become banned. What then would be a more normal stage number? Let's work with 7. So five starters and two counterpicks. Sounds reasonable from this perspective. The five starters are nearly guaranteed to be Battlefield, Final Destination, Smashville, Pokemon Stadium 2, and Lylat Cruise. These stages all have relatively similar blastzones, small-medium stage sizes, whole shebang. Now what qualifies as a counterpick? Under the commonly understood definition, these would be stages that provide a slight edge to a more specific playstyle. So let's go with some safe options, WarioWare Inc. and Kalos Pokemon League. Not bad, right? Well, except for the fact that WarioWare has much smaller blastzones than the five starters, AND has a walled underside allowing for walljumps, which none of the other five stages allow. Suddenly it looks a lot less consistent. And Kalos, despite technically being a unique stage layout, has two platforms a similar distance away, like PS2, and also has a walled underside. This could, by some definition, be seen as a PS2 echo, which overcentralizes a meta with only seven stages. This would likely be precedent for these two stages to get banned in the end. Other stages have even more deviations from the five starters. T&C has an entire 30-second transformation (of two!) which has offstage platforms, leading to better camping ability than the five starters. Yoshi's Island is just a larger hazardless Smashville with a walled underside. Too similar. Skyloft has a sharkable main platform, which you can't do anywhere else. Frigate and RC both have a wall. Arena Ferox, Mushroom Kingdom U, and Wuhu Island are much bigger than any other stage. And you can forget about any transforming stage having a shot at legality. They have walkoffs, and that is never okay, even temporarily!

When you start to see stages under this light, suddenly a lot of stages seem to look inconsistent, and the counterpick category begins to look shoddy in general. Why did we ever even allow counterpicks in the first place? No, we as a community have had our standards grow since our silly bouts back in the mid-aughts, and now we can REALLY see what constitutes a proper legal stage in competitive Smash Bros. Now, let me be clear, I do agree with a lot of the stage bans that eventually happened in Melee, as they really did cause a lot of matchups to become overcentralized. However, I feel like the environment that this reasoning created got severely out of hand, and it makes me question the intentions of players who hold these perspectives so strongly. It makes me question why it simply isn't universally agreed to play on one stage exclusively. After all, Smash 64 holds this ideal as their meta, and they get along just fine. This would allow the sometimes lopsided nature of Battlefield, Final Destination, and Lylat Cruise to no longer have a stranglehold on the competitive community, and simply do games on Smashville or hazards off PS2. This would increase consistency and reduce the potential jank that can occur during a match.

What we're looking at here is a perfect example of culture/generational clash, and the reason why this is so pronounced here on Smashboards has a lot to do with the site and its history in the Smash community. Smashboards was the first major discussion platform for competitive Smash Bros., spanning all the way back to the early Melee community for sharing tech, matchup knowledge, and tournament results. Since then, community discussion has shifted to more modern, quick forms of communication like Discord, Twitter, and Facebook. That means that the people who still use Internet forums are people who have been with the competitive community for a long time; ergo, their ideals also hold true to what was considered the standards for those times. You only need to look at a user's join date to quantify that much. The intense desire of the Smashboards (and Reddit, to a lesser extent) community to see a stagelist that reaches 30-40 stages speaks a lot to what we wish we could have had when we played Melee and Brawl competitively, and now see an opportunity to make reality. However, this stands in opposition to the newer community who place predictable and safe stage interaction above all else, and include many of the players who rose to prominence in Smash 4. Of course these newer opinions are going to hold more weight; they are who currently consist of the top of the Smash community.

So after this major wall of text, do I have any conclusions to draw? To be honest, the only thing I can really say is that the competitive Ultimate community doesn't truly exist yet. Like every Smash sequel, it will likely draw much of its competitive ruleset philosophy from the immediately preceding Smash game, and will evolve from there. It is entirely possible that the players we don't even know exist yet will end up preferring one style over the other. Which style that is, I can't say for sure. This is why the beginning of this game is so important to me. If we act rashly and hold fast to the ideals that grew with competitive Smash 4, it will color the entire competitive experience of Ultimate irreparably. I urge all of you to think about what you really want the competitive landscape of this game to look like, and act accordingly. We've only got one shot at this.
 

ParanoidDrone

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WritersBlah WritersBlah (I'm not going to quote that whole wall) thanks for explaining why UCT was banned in the first place. From the way you phrased it, it sounds like it was done without any actual games played? (My memory is failing me here even though I was still active-ish at the time it released.)

My main takeaway from the rest of your post is that being flexible or adaptable is not a skill that current competitive Smash seems to value. Which...would explain a few things.
 

Luigifan18

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See, I think players being forced to adapt to the stage they're on is good, as it broadens the skill set required to win, so I favor dynamic stages like Umbra Clock Tower. Then again, I like walk-off stages because it creates an environment where characters with poor recoveries, like Little Mac, don't have to worry about getting humiliated by being forced out of their element, so they can have a chance to shine and not be seen as trash.
 
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lmntolp

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My main takeaway from the rest of your post is that being flexible or adaptable is not a skill that current competitive Smash seems to value. Which...would explain a few things.
The way I see it, top players from the previous games have an incentive to keep the status quo. If they won a lot with a restrained stagelist, why jeopardize their consistency by adding new stages to the mix? Every new feature or "jank" is a potential point of failure, or at the very least forces them to practice a new skill, adaptation. So a lot has just been ported over from Brawl to 4 and maybe to Ultimate partly for this reason.

People who are best at adaptation probably don't have much of a voice right now, because Smash 4 didn't have a meta to let those people rise up. If the stagelist is going to be less restrained, it would be due to pressure from viewers and lots of lesser-known players imo. I'm personally not sure what the meta would be like if adaptation was encouraged, because Brawl's early relaxed stagelist just made Metaknight totally oppressive due to being the most adaptable to every stage, but I'd like to see it tried in Ultimate.
 

Beatrice

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The way I see it, top players from the previous games have an incentive to keep the status quo. If they won a lot with a restrained stagelist, why jeopardize their consistency by adding new stages to the mix? Every new feature or "jank" is a potential point of failure, or at the very least forces them to practice a new skill, adaptation. So a lot has just been ported over from Brawl to 4 and maybe to Ultimate partly for this reason.

People who are best at adaptation probably don't have much of a voice right now, because Smash 4 didn't have a meta to let those people rise up. If the stagelist is going to be less restrained, it would be due to pressure from viewers and lots of lesser-known players imo. I'm personally not sure what the meta would be like if adaptation was encouraged, because Brawl's early relaxed stagelist just made Metaknight totally oppressive due to being the most adaptable to every stage, but I'd like to see it tried in Ultimate.
Honestly, it's not even that brawl's original stagelist made metaknight totally oppressive. Metaknight continued to be totally oppressive, and it was a huge failure of the community to not ban him earlier. It's weird looking back and realizing that brawl Metaknight is essentially what drove having such a small legal stagelist for the purpose of nerfing metaknight, which failed. Instead, it made Ice Climbers absolute cancer since they could no longer really be stage counterpicked.

I really like that WritersBlah WritersBlah points out the differences in values between different demographics of players, and I think it points out pretty thoroughly why the discussion about stages is so heated. The reason so many people who have been around for a long time want to see larger stagelists is because we've been around long enough to know that it's been done, and one of the few reasons stagelists are in their current state is because of a misstep in handling brawl metaknight. Younger players who came in around the end of brawl's lifespan or rose to prominence in 4 would have experienced a lot less competitive smash on stages that were once legal. Having only played on a small list of "neutral" stages I think would definitely color players' opinions on what a competitively playable stage looks like.

I don't think there is an objectively correct answer to how stages should be handled since it's going to come down to what the community/TOs/whoever has the most influence values, but I think more conservative stagelist advocates are too quick to dismiss the idea that borderline stages that are relatively polarizing to "neutrals" should be given a chance to be tested. I think giving players agency to not play on stages that are bad for them through strikes/bans is more appropriate than preemptively deciding that some borderline stages will just never be tested.
 
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WritersBlah

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WritersBlah WritersBlah (I'm not going to quote that whole wall) thanks for explaining why UCT was banned in the first place. From the way you phrased it, it sounds like it was done without any actual games played? (My memory is failing me here even though I was still active-ish at the time it released.)

My main takeaway from the rest of your post is that being flexible or adaptable is not a skill that current competitive Smash seems to value. Which...would explain a few things.
I attended one of the very few tournaments that had Umbra Clock Tower legal when it was first released alongside Corrin and Bayonetta. Watching the stream back on playback mostly consisted of the commentators saying, "This stage is really jank," "Yeah, it is pretty jank." No real discourse of why they thought that. Every time any unusual interaction happened, the stage would immediately be blamed for it without going into what the players actually did. Needless to say, the stage only lasted 2-3 weeks.

I feel like the real truth of the matter has never been whether or not a given stage is competitively viable. I think it's always had more to do with "What's the least amount of effort I can put into learning the interactions of this game while still being competent," and dynamic stages throw a whole wrench into that philosophy. Any kind of logic or argument you bring forth as to why a stage should be legal really doesn't matter. If the community doesn't want to bother learning a stage, they're just not going to.
 

ParanoidDrone

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I attended one of the very few tournaments that had Umbra Clock Tower legal when it was first released alongside Corrin and Bayonetta. Watching the stream back on playback mostly consisted of the commentators saying, "This stage is really jank," "Yeah, it is pretty jank." No real discourse of why they thought that. Every time any unusual interaction happened, the stage would immediately be blamed for it without going into what the players actually did. Needless to say, the stage only lasted 2-3 weeks.

I feel like the real truth of the matter has never been whether or not a given stage is competitively viable. I think it's always had more to do with "What's the least amount of effort I can put into learning the interactions of this game while still being competent," and dynamic stages throw a whole wrench into that philosophy. Any kind of logic or argument you bring forth as to why a stage should be legal really doesn't matter. If the community doesn't want to bother learning a stage, they're just not going to.
Maybe this is me being contrarian but I see nothing wrong with asking people point-blank if that's why they don't want a stage like Wuhu Island or Prism Tower to be legal.
 

Ulevo

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Adaptation is an essential top level skill. Top players are more capable of adapting to items and stages than anyone in this thread claiming otherwise. The reason intrusive stages are not valued in competitive Smash Bros. is because the ability to adapt to your opponent is more important than the ability to adapt to the stage. While it is fine if players have to adapt to both, if the requirement to adapt to a stage starts to detract from the need to adapt to the opponent, it ruins the integrity of the competition. Most stages banned from competitive play are banned for this reason.

If you want to argue for the inclusion of a stage then I don’t think throwing top players who maintain the status quo under the bus by ignoring their reasons and motivations is going to get you anywhere.
 

ParanoidDrone

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According to GameXplain, you can set stage morph frequency to 30 seconds. https://youtu.be/Q0yW8cI-enw?t=233

There was also a mention of blast zones feeling bigger than usual, so there definitely needs to be some testing done at launch. Particularly on known close blast zones like Warioware, Yoshi's Story, or Halberd.
 
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Untouch

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Looking at some of the new footage, it looks like spirits can start you in certain transformations in stages, notably I've seen Mushroom Kingdom U and and Wuhu Island, both seem to have their hazards turned off as well.
I wonder if that can be done normally.
 

WritersBlah

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Adaptation is an essential top level skill. Top players are more capable of adapting to items and stages than anyone in this thread claiming otherwise. The reason intrusive stages are not valued in competitive Smash Bros. is because the ability to adapt to your opponent is more important than the ability to adapt to the stage. While it is fine if players have to adapt to both, if the requirement to adapt to a stage starts to detract from the need to adapt to the opponent, it ruins the integrity of the competition. Most stages banned from competitive play are banned for this reason.

If you want to argue for the inclusion of a stage then I don’t think throwing top players who maintain the status quo under the bus by ignoring their reasons and motivations is going to get you anywhere.
I don't think anybody is arguing that top players lack the capacity to adapt to dynamic stages (or items I guess), as that's a ridiculous proposition to make. I'm more than certain that a large chunk of top players would be able to maintain their dominance on a more liberal stagelist. But your question seems to lack perspective on the top players who existed (and many who continue to maintain their dominance) during the times of Melee and Brawl when stagelists weren't so restrictive. Or did the large stagelists somehow invalidate their skill or effort as players?

See, it's the second part of your post that bothers me. The competitive standard on what counts as an "intrusive element" has degraded over the years, and I can't really see a way to argue against that point. Realize that for almost the entirety of Brawl's competitive life, Delfino Plaza remained a legal stage. A transforming stage with walkoff transformations in a game where chaingrabs were a thing was acceptable, but now in a game where nothing equivalent to chaingrabs are a thing, temporary walkoffs are degenerate? This is the part that bothers me; we have had competitive success on stages like this before, and now that the mechanics have been improved to make these stages more competitive, suddenly they're less viable?

I will never suggest that the efforts of top Smash players to maintain their dominance do not require countless more hours and effort than most of this board has ever approached accomplishing, but you can't deny that the definitions of what is considered intrusive over the years have tightened immeasurably. I guess you can argue that's a good thing, but I don't understand why you would.
 
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Frihetsanka

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Let's make one thing clear: Previous Smash games (not counting Project M) had pretty bad stage lists. Beggars can't be choosers, so the competitive scene decided to settle for some pretty bad stages in order to fill the stage list. We won't have to do that in Ultimate, so we shouldn't. I think Rivals of Aether and Slap City (and Project M) are better examples of what kind of stages we should accept in a Smash Ultimate stage list.
 

WritersBlah

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Let's make one thing clear: Previous Smash games (not counting Project M) had pretty bad stage lists. Beggars can't be choosers, so the competitive scene decided to settle for some pretty bad stages in order to fill the stage list. We won't have to do that in Ultimate, so we shouldn't. I think Rivals of Aether and Slap City (and Project M) are better examples of what kind of stages we should accept in a Smash Ultimate stage list.
I don't buy the argument that subpar stages were chosen to fill out the stagelist in previous Smash games for one simple reason, and that is the number of stages legal. Smash 4 effectively only has five stages in legality (skipping DL64 since it basically acts as a Battlefield clone), and people still complain about some of those stages. Brawl had nine stages MINIMUM, including Delfino, Castle Siege, Frigate Orpheon, and Halberd. Many other tournaments had even more stages legal than that. Let's be honest, if people genuinely thought these were bad stages, then they would have been banned relatively early on. As Smash 4 has proven, you can have a legal stagelist with only five stages and have a meta all your own. I'm trying to show that these stages were not kept around for any kind of necessity to have a functional stagelist, they were kept because people genuinely believed they were good stages.

I also don't appreciate trying to get around my arguments by diverting the discussion to say, "well, previous Smash games had pretty bad stagelists" as though that undermines my arguments, nor do I find the use of "Let's make one thing clear," to frame your argument as objective, when this entire argument has been about the subjective philosophies going into what makes a good stagelist.

Heck, I can turn around and say, "I think one thing that should be clear is that Smash 4's legal stage choices were awful. The banning of Skyloft, Wuhu Island, Umbra Clock Tower, and Castle Siege had no good precedent and only served to make Smash 4's meta revolve around static interactions and nothing more," and that wouldn't make me any more "right" than you. It's been proven multiple times throughout this thread that the underlying issue here is one of philosophy, so it baffles me as to why you're still trying to frame your perspective as objectively superior.
 

NocturnalQuill

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Messages
281
We have additional information from all the gameplay footage that we got today. Custom rulesets can be given custom names. This means that it's literally two clicks to turn of fhazards, and iirc there is an indicator on the stage select screen that tells whether hazards are on or off.
 

ParanoidDrone

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Ooh, the custom names is a fun tidbit. That makes me feel a bit more optimistic about selective hazard toggle.

BTW, is there a reason we got a flood of new footage today from various sources? Was there a media embargo or something that just got lifted?
 

WritersBlah

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WritersBlah999
We have additional information from all the gameplay footage that we got today. Custom rulesets can be given custom names. This means that it's literally two clicks to turn of fhazards, and iirc there is an indicator on the stage select screen that tells whether hazards are on or off.
Dang, that sounds rad! I hate to be a bother, but do you have a source on that? I haven't seen that mentioned in the footage I've checked out so far.

Ooh, the custom names is a fun tidbit. That makes me feel a bit more optimistic about selective hazard toggle.

BTW, is there a reason we got a flood of new footage today from various sources? Was there a media embargo or something that just got lifted?
Review copies finally got sent over to the press, so you can likely expect more footage to be shown in the coming days.
 

ParanoidDrone

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Minor wall of text incoming.

The new (well, "new" since we've technically known for a while but it jogged my mind somewhat) information about saving separate hazards-on and hazards-off rulesets has made me more optimistic than I was previously that we might have a mixed hazards ruleset. At the very least, it's more feasible than it was before. This is unequivocally a good thing in my book.

Between this and the rapidly approaching release date, I took the opportunity to revisit the stage list and try to classify them based on what we know, what we don't know, and what is likely. Please note that while I am unabashedly in favor of a large stage list and think we should at least test all but the most egregiously bad stages (e.g. New Pork City), I'm mostly writing this up to organize my thoughts. Take it how you will.

Battlefield: Obviously legal.
Big Battlefield: Obviously banned, but maybe good for doubles? I admit I don't pay much attention to doubles.
Final Destination: Obviously legal.
Peach's Castle: Almost certainly banned. You can make a case for hazardless if you squint, but I don't think it'll happen.
Kongo Jungle: Probably banned. One of the few stages that's worse when hazardless. If Dr. Mario, Ganondorf, and Little Mac are able to reach the top platforms without using their up specials, it might have a slim chance. Maybe.
Hyrule Castle: Banned.
Super Happy Tree: Banned. Hazardless doesn't get rid of the clouds. If it did, it might have a stronger case (especially for doubles) but it's still pretty big.
Dream Land: Obviously legal with hazards on. Even with Whispy Woods enabled, you might argue that it's too similar to Battlefield, but it's a sight better than hazardless.
Saffron City: Banned.
Mushroom Kingdom: Banned.
Princess Peach's Castle: Banned.
Rainbow Cruise: Maybe. Hazardless is just the ship and really the only issue is the wall on the right side. It's about a character tall, so not big enough to really be an obstacle. The primary question is whether it can be exploited to a degenerate degree.
Kongo Falls: Banned. If only the rock went away when hazardless...
Jungle Japes: Probably banned due to the double whammy of flowing water.
Great Bay: Probably banned due to characters like Fox being able to circle camp the laboratory area.
Temple: Banned lol.
Brinstar: Probably legal. The main platform is sharkable, but the lack of ledge invincibility on regrab and hard ledge grab limit both do a lot to limit that tactic's risk/reward ratio. Possible collision issues with the cylinder things that need to be tested properly.
Yoshi's Island Melee: Banned.
Yoshi's Story: Obviously legal with hazards on. Randall lovers rejoice. Like Dream Land, still might be too similar to Battlefield but an improvement over hazardless.
Fountain of Dreams: Obviously legal with hazards on. Usual spiel about Battlefield.
Green Greens: Maybe, maybe not. Midstage gaps are pretty much uncharted territory since all stages with them have been banned for their unrelated hazards. I really want to see a pair of competent players do some exhibition matches on hazardless stages with gaps using a variety of characters to see if they're broken or not. Notable characters to experiment with would include Little Mac, Ness, Lucas, anyone with a tether, and anyone with a good meteor.
Corneria: Banned.
Venom: Banned.
Pokemon Stadium: Obviously legal when hazardless, but if we adopt a mixed hazard ruleset we could plausibly use it with hazards on and go to Pokemon Stadium 2 for hazardless instead.
Onett: Banned.
Mushroom Kingdom II: Banned.
Brinstar Depths: Banned.
Big Blue: The hazardless version is a completely unknown quantity at this time. If it's just the Falcon Flyer, it should be an easy shoo-in for legality. If it includes the track but not the racers, it becomes questionable. If it includes the track and the racers, banned.
Fourside: Banned.
Delfino Plaza: Maybe. This is held back mostly by its baggage from Brawl/4 where specific characters were really good at exploiting it. (Meta Knight via sharking, ZSS et al with ladders.) If the ceiling shenanigans are fixed, I think it deserves another look. One of the few stages where I don't think the hazard toggle makes a difference.
Mushroomy Kingdom: Banned.
Figure 8 Circuit: Banned.
Warioware: Obviously legal when hazardless.
Bridge of Eldin: Banned.
Norfair: Maybe. Probably banned due to the layout, but again, I'd like to see an exhibition match between players who are honestly trying to see how much they can break the stage.
Frigate Orpheon: Legal when hazardless. You could argue hazards on is also acceptable depending on whether it can kill you for standing in the wrong place when it flips.
Yoshi's Island: Obviously legal. Hazardless would be preferable to eliminate the Whimsical Support Ghosts.
Halberd: Maybe. Like Delfino Plaza, held back by ceiling baggage. Whether that becomes an issue again will depend entirely on how the Ultimate meta develops, which isn't something anyone can seriously claim to predict at this point.
Lylat Cruise: Legal when hazardless.
Pokemon Stadium 2: Obviously legal when hazardless. Possibly redundant with Pokemon Stadium 1 if we don't adopt a mixed hazards ruleset or if it's decided hazards-on Pokemon Stadium 1 is banned.
Port Town Aero Dive: Probably banned due to the track still being a hazard when it flies around.
Castle Siege: Probably legal when hazardless. Asymmetrical, which some people don't like, but that's pretty much the most nitpicky of nitpicks, seriously guys come on.
Distant Planet: Probably banned. I could maybe see an argument that since the walkoff is a vertical slope, trying to camp it would be less effective than usual and puts you in a disadvantageous position, but I doubt that'll fly.
Smashville: Obviously legal. Hazards on preferred to avoid possible redundancy with Yoshi's Island. I point-blank oppose any suggestion to have both hazards-on and hazardless Smashville in the same stage list together.
New Pork City: Obviously banned.
Summit: Banned.
Skyworld: Banned, although if the platforms weren't solid it would be legal.
Shadow Moses Island: Banned.
Luigi's Mansion: Probably banned. One of the few stages made worse by the hazard toggle. Could be argued for with hazards on since you can destroy the mansion (and thus the ceilings) but that's probably never going to happen.
Pirate Ship: Maybe. The layout is fine but the water is a concern. Camping concerns are one thing (that I'd still like to see in action) but the fact that water uniquely inflicts a DOT on Sonic, Inkling, Charizard, and Incineroar is questionable.
Dream Land GB: Banned.
Unova Pokemon League: Obviously legal when hazardless, but extremely similar to Pokemon Stadium 1 & 2. Might end up banned anyway for redundancy.
Prism Tower: Probably legal. Has the fewest objectionable forms of any transforming stage.
Mute City SNES: Probably banned due to the damaging track, but AFAIK the platforms and racers are static when hazardless. I'd be interested in trying a game or two on it, at the very least.
Magicant: Unknown due to lack of information when hazardless. Namely, does the small platform under the main stage exist when hazardless or not? If it does, banned. If it doesn't, it could be legal.
Arena Ferox: Probably legal when hazardless. With hazards on, I think its case is worse due to 3/4 of its transformations featuring solid objects for techs and runaway strats.
Reset Bomb Forest: Maybe. Again, gaps are uncharted territory, although this one also has a platform covering the whole thing so that ground-focused characters have a way across. There's a high platform that may or may not prove troublesome, but unlike Duck Hunt there are sufficient platforms to reach it with any character.
Tortimer Island: Maybe. The random layouts are all pretty safe, since trees are nothing but regular platforms, but the water makes it questionable.
Balloon Fight: Banned.
Living Room: Banned.
Find Mii: Maybe. Usual spiel about gaps. The Mii's cage is solid but it's also pretty small so I don't know if it would have the same impact in terms of cave-of-life effects.
Tomodachi Life: Probably banned. I've admittedly never seen a match where anyone exploited the layout (if anyone knows of a video I'd love to see it) but I can see how the structure makes it easier to avoid conflict.
Pictochat: Technically unknown since I don't think we have footage of it when hazardless, but I'm willing to bet it'll be flat with no drawings and thus extremely similar to Final Destination.
Mushroom Kingdom U: Legal. Its size is a concern, but it should be good for doubles at the very least.
Mario Galaxy: Banned.
Mario Circuit: Probably banned due to the track being a hazard in motion and a wall when stationary.
Skyloft: Legal. Sharking isn't the same threat it was in Brawl.
Great Cave Offensive: Banned lol.
Kalos Pokemon League: Legal. The platforms are positioned differently compared to Pokemon Stadium.
Coliseum: Banned. I wish the hazardless version stripped the walkoffs and left just the center section intact with the rising platforms. That would have been cool.
Flat Zone: Banned.
Palutena's Temple: Banned lol.
Gamer: Unknown, I think? I've heard the layout is consistent with hazards off but haven't seen any proof yet. Reserving judgment.
Garden of Hope: Maybe? The gap is pretty big, although my usual spiel about that still applies, and it's on the larger side besides. Is there any potential here for doubles?
Town & City: Obviously legal, hazards on preferred.
Wii Fit Studio: Banned. Like Coliseum, I wish the hazardless form stripped the walkoff and kept the center section intact with the platforms that come and go.
Boxing Ring: Banned.
Gaur Plain: Banned.
Duck Hunt: Probably banned, but I still want to check if anything's been adjusted to allow all fighters to reach the tree without using their up special. I'm actually not sure if hazards on or off would be better for it.
Wrecking Crew: Banned.
Pilotwings: Banned.
Wuhu Island: Probably legal. Sharkable, but see my repeated spiel about that. The ledges are sloped in a unique way, but we have no evidence that it will be problematic yet.
Windy Hill Zone: Probably banned but I don't think we've actually seen it when hazardless yet. Reserving judgment.
Wily Castle: Redundant with Final Destination when hazardless, banned with hazards on. I wish the hazardless version kept the platforms...
PAC-LAND: Banned.
Mario Maker: Unknown. Like Gamer, I don't know if we have hard evidence of the layout being consistent or not when hazardless.
Suzaku Castle: Banned.
Midgar: Redundant with Battlefield when hazardless (like, completely, down to the blast zones) and obviously banned with hazards on.
Umbra Clock Tower: Redundant with Final Destination when hazardless. You could argue for it with hazards on since none of its forms are damaging, but I'm not entirely hopeful anyone will bother trying.
New Donk City Hall: Probably legal. It has one weird transformation (the one with the wall) but is otherwise fundamentally similar to Prism Tower.
Great Plateau Tower: Banned when hazardless, maybe legal (but still probably banned) with hazards on. It comes down to the top structure being destroyable. One of the few stages made worse when hazardless.
Moray Towers: Banned.
Dracula's Castle: Maybe. The biggest question is whether the stairs is too strong of a camping position. We need to see.
 
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Veggi

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Honestly the idea that a smaller stage list exchanges fun for competitiveness is extremely unreasonable. It exchanges fun for the fallacious idea that more simple stages are more fair, so adding a few simple stages and nothing else makes the game more fair. That's objectively false.

In a small stage list environment, it means that competitive players are given a few stages that are considered "the most fair" for an unbelievably large amount of matchups. Which would have some basis in reality if we're talking 5 stages set to random vs 15 stages set to random but we're not.

In a large stage list environment, it gives players the option to decide for themselves what the most fair stage is for the matchup they are playing. So if we give the players more options, they have a better chance of playing on a stage that is more fair.

If two people are given the same 11 options and are allowed to remove 5 of them each, it is a fact that they will be more likely to be closer to the middle than if each player gets the same 5 options and are allowed to remove two each. It's statistics. Not a matter of opinion.
 
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dav3yb

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Dec 7, 2014
Messages
431
If you'd like to see Nairo describing how it works: https://twitter.com/BearUNLV/status/1064618492450619392
I will remain cautiously optimistic about this. Although everything he said would certainly make WAY more sense if it were included than if it weren't, I'm not sure we've seen any HARD evidence of being able to name the sets, or what all options are included. Certainly not doubting him, but sometimes nintendo can surprise us in bad ways (like freezing some stages w/ hazards off)

Edit: I didn't realize he had a chance to play the final build. I'd still like to see all the options available, but I certainly am more confident in what he's reporting now.
 
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NocturnalQuill

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Apr 10, 2014
Messages
281
Personally, I'm less interested in the number of stages and more in the quality of stages. So long as we have a minimum 4-5 neutrals and 4-5 counterpicks, I'm happy. My primary concern is quality. If we can't have a gigantic stage pool, then I want the absolute best quality possible. Fixed hazards is immediately detrimental to the quality of a number of stages, which is why I am so vehemently against it.
 

Akiak

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Messages
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In my secret laboratory.
So I've been spending a bit of time theorising game one alternatives to striking, and have come up with something worth considering imo:

1) Both players rank the available stages from most to least preferred, stopping when they've passed the halfway point (i.e. 5 for 9 stages, 6 for 10).
2) Remove stages which aren't present in both lists.
3) Find the stage with the highest 'lowest ranking' between the two lists (if there's a tie between two or more stages, choose randomly).

This is equivalent to using the following formula to 'score' each of the stages (thanks Amazing Ampharos Amazing Ampharos ):

P1Rank + P2Rank + abs(P1Rank - P2Rank)

This seems to work pretty well, although there are some scenarios which appear to be problematic, for example:

Our stages are: A B C D E F G H I

P1: ABCDE(IHGF)
P2: EFGHA(IDCB)
(from most to least preferred)

In this case, the result is a tie between A and E. Choosing randomly would give one player a pretty sizeable advantage. So is I a better pick here?

However, I decided to compare this to regular striking, and simply assumed that the players would strike starting from the absolute bottom of their lists (which makes sense):

P1 strikes F, P2 strikes B&C, P1 strikes G&H, P2 strikes D&I, P1 strikes E, and the winning stage is A.

Essentially it comes down to a gamble depending on who goes first and the ranking of the last four stages in both lists. Basically even with regular striking, the result is still a toss-up between A and E. The only way you could get any other stage was if one of the players changed their mind during the striking process and decided to strike something higher up on their list.

This all leads me to believe that the formula is essentially equivalent to 1-2-1 striking, with the important distinction of being completely double-blind. This means that no information is exchanged during the process, so there's less room for strategy (which is definitely an improvement).

Going back to the example above, if we decide that A/E isn't the best choice, and a stage such as I is a better 'neutral' pick, then we can modify the formula to give more 'weight' to the second part (the 'distance' part), thus giving I a higher score. This would also mean that the method would necessarily require an app of some sort to do the calculations (which in my opinion would be a great thing to have regardless of what method we end up using).

Wether these changes would be beneficial or not I'm not really sure, but we should keep in mind that, as is, the formula appears to give the same exact results as regular 1-2-1 striking (I've tested this a few times). So if we are to make any changes, then we're essentially looking at something potentially better than regular striking (if those changes are truly beneficial).

Pros:
- Additive rather than subtractive: you need to think about the stages you want to play on, as opposed to those you want to avoid (more newcomer-friendly)
- 100% double-blind: this means the lists can be made even before the two players have met, as long as they know they're playing each other. This also means that there's less room for strategy and gamesmanship, since no information is exchanged during the process.
- Works with any stage amount, even or odd (no more 4n+1 crap). Also scales nicely with larger stage lists, since you no longer have to go through the entire list. This also means we can ditch the starter-counterpick dichotomy entirely.

Cons:
- Requires pen & paper (or a phone)
- Might be a bit complicated for new players (but then again so are bans)
- Deciding on your rankings might be time-consuming (although you'd be encouraged to do it in advance whenever possible)

So yeah, I'm aware that this has a few issues, but the main advantage here is that we can have as large a stagelist as we want, with no starter-counterpick distinction, and we can keep adding/removing to it as often as we want. Might be worth exploring.
 
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Shog

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May 13, 2014
Messages
926
To me the bigger problem with limiting the stage type to one only is one that's part of a bigger issue. That issue is that I feel we are purposefully alienating ourselves as the competitive community from the rest of the player base. Essentially, we are systematically rejecting features that were made specifically for us, and I think it's irresponsible.

All these features we've been seeing since Smash 4, from an actual care for balance to Omega Stages without forgetting the removal of a lot of inherent randomness mechanics, all these take real development time. Whereas the Smash team used to not even consider competitive play as a viable way to enjoy Smash pre-Smash 4, they have since then had us in mind and prepared features, some of which take a very long time to make, specifically for us. And for some odd reason and what I perceive to be the overly conservative spirit of the competitive community, we're dead set on making that effort worthless.

And to be clear, I'm not preaching to play Smash "the way it was intended". Smash is a huge game and many things need to be restricted from the game for it to be viable for us. But what happens when you repeatedly try to reason with a stubborn person? You eventually stop reaching out to them. You stop taking them into account. If that's not clear enough, I'm specifically saying that we as a community may lose standing in the eyes of the Smash team, and this may manifest in later games through much less support for competitive play. And we're dealing with Nintendo, it's not exactly an unlikely scenario. This issue happens a lot in other communities, but I suspect that the recurring problem of exceptionalism the Smash community suffers from makes us numb to it.

And the thing is, as much as we'd like to assume that the Smash team is making these competitive features because they've got a lot to gain from it, I really don't think that's the case. If not for the casual market and the ridiculous amount of content in Smash games, they'd be selling like classic fighting games. What we want from Smash doesn't necessarily take priority.

So when I see rulesets that severely limit the number of stages "for convenience and logistics", I see this as a petty refusal from us to meet the Smash team halfway and preserve our standing. And I say petty because the decision is based on (admittedly very knowledgeable) people theory-crafting.

Alternatively, what if Smash Ultimate was the first Smash game ever made? If that was the case, a community would form around the game and, soon enough, a competitive subset would start playing the game more seriously. At first, we would be trying to play with most of the game, then gradually set rules and ban unviable aspects of the game. The point is, we'd take a restrictive approach instead of a selective one. In the former case, we would at least have tried out a lot of the game. The problem with the other approach is that we get comfortable very easily. We only allow what we know works, and while we keep hearing that "if things turn out viable, we'll just add them in", that's generally not true. We don't just add things, because when we're comfortable with a meta, there's no budging unless we really have to.

Right now, I think we're on auto-pilot, allowing only what we know will work. But this means we're casting Smash Ultimate, a game we have not yet played, into the mold of every past Smash game, and I think that's detrimental to everyone's experience, be it competitive player or viewer. The community TOs and figureheads are very knowledgeable, more than me or any other random redditor. But I think this knowledge should be used to guide or decisions instead of snuffing out possibilities. We know for fact Ultimate is not Smash 4, but we may be making it into Smash 4.5.

Games with tons of content like Smash Ultimate are inherently going to be hell to manage at first, but I think we need to challenge ourselves and tackle it in its entirety rather than theory-craft. Not only for a better competitive game, but for a better relationship between us and the people making the game.

I'm obviously no pro, but I think there's at least a bit of truth in what I'm saying.

TL;DR: Trigger-happy removal of viable features may weaken the credibility/standing of the competitive community and as a result put us lower on the priority list of players to consider for future games. If we won't use features due to factors that are outside of the game (such as logistics), there's no reason for them to come back in the future, and this inevitably hurts the community in the long run. We should IMO take an approach that narrows down what is viable rather than selectively adding things drip by drip, because that never works. Smash Ultimate is a huge game, so it's going to be a huge challenge to organize. But this is no ordinary game, so I think we should be up for the challenge instead of taking the easy route of casting it into the previous Smash games. Let's put that experience to limit our missteps rather than our possibilities.
Just want to leave the quote from reddit here, because I wholeheartedly agree.
 

ParanoidDrone

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The problem with the other approach is that we get comfortable very easily. We only allow what we know works, and while we keep hearing that "if things turn out viable, we'll just add them in", that's generally not true.
I'd also like to add that it's extremely difficult to prove a stage is viable and shouldn't be banned if no one's playing it. (Because it's banned, duh.)
 

Beatrice

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TN
I’m glad the thread gained as much traction it has. At this point I think it’s obtuse to be unwilling to test mixed hazards. The community desire for mixed hazards has to be large enough for TOs to be willing to handle some slight administrative issues to cater to the playerbase, and I think maybe that threshold is being reached.

I think the contingencies for dealing with people messing up are not even really that hard to come up with. It’s the players’ responsibility to ensure the correct stage is played, just like the players are responsible for their controller layout.

Potential solutions:

1) if players play on the wrong stage, they’re forced to just play it out. I don’t think people “accidentally” forgetting if hazards are on or off is an issue if the burden is clearly placed on each player to ensure it’s correct. I guess it could come with the issue of people gentlemaning to otherwise banned versions of stages, but I don’t think the solution leads to an unfair scenario.

2) simply restart when a mistake is realized (this is something I’ve seen a lot of complaints about, which I totally agree with. I think this is a poor solution that’s extremely unfair to someone who has gotten a lead and has momentum, but it is nonetheless a solution)

3) incorporate checking for stage correctness into button checking time. It would slow a set down by ~1 minute worst case scenario and might ~feel~ additionally cumbersome depending on how fast our stage selection process ends up being, but it’s a thorough solution that mitigates almost all of the risk of player error in stage selection
 
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Iron Kraken

Smash Journeyman
Joined
Oct 13, 2014
Messages
381
My inner troll likes the idea of telling players who accidentally used the wrong hazard setting for their match to suck it up and play it out.
I’ve heard the argument that malicious people may take advantage of this to intentionally play with the hazard toggle in the wrong position.

First of all, I’d like to believe there aren’t so many people who would be so terrible. But second of all, the other person has plenty of opportunities to not be taken advantage of in this way. There’s a visible indicator of the hazard toggle available on the select screen.

It shouldn’t be difficult to get this right. But if two people are a minute into the match before realizing that hazards were toggled incorrectly? Yeah, let them play it out. They’ll learn their lessson.
 

Munomario777

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Accidentally left the thread for a while, came back to awesome posts by WritersBlah WritersBlah and a mysterious, unnamed Redditor :eyes:

(This is already implied, but I overwhelmingly agree with both posts!)



Regarding mixed hazards, the ruleset naming deal makes it more viable, but I still have my concerns. No harm in testing it though. My main concern is that h-off stages could be left to the wayside in favor of h-on stages, since "we already have these stages, we don't need to test Mario U" or etc.

One thing that should be mentioned is how the feature interacts with online. Here's the menu for setting up a custom online lobby, to play with either friends or anyone around the world:


The lobby system looks pretty cool overall! What I'm interested in is that "Rules" setting. From what I can gather, I'm pretty sure that "2:30" is one of the custom rulesets saved on this console, just like how the Direct showed rulesets named after the stock count and timer.

It appears that the rules setting is per-lobby. Unlike Smash 4, where you could change the rules after each round within an online room, here the rules will persist until the lobby is deleted and a new one is made. This is consistent with Ultimate's offline VS mode, where iirc it's been reported that you have to exit out of the Smash mode entirely to change the rules.

This is a pretty big blow for h-mixed in online play. If you're playing on PS2 and then want to play on Fountain of Dreams, you have to quit the lobby entirely and start a new one with the hazards-on rules, which isn't streamlined at all. For this reason, as far as the online tourneys I plan to host, hazards universally off seems optimal. And as far as offline tournaments go, I think that compatibility with online play is a desirable trait for a ruleset. Hazards-off has this trait; hazards-mixed... not so much.



On that note, since I haven't posted it here IIRC, here's my current working stage list + stage selection system for that online tourney. The goal here is to be pretty liberal and experimental, so there are some weird stages on here. :)



edit: small update
 
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ParanoidDrone

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Small question: I've seen several posts (here and elsewhere) make the implicit assumption that Gamer and Mario Maker's layouts are standardized with hazards off. Is there evidence for this? (That doesn't involve "person X said so.") Because I haven't seen any.
 
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Munomario777

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As far as I’m aware, there’s no proof right now. I’m pretty confident in it though, since
- Gamer, SMM, and Ferox all showed arbitrarily-chosen, competitive-friendly layouts
- Ferox’s seems to be constant (see Ganon’s character trailer)
 

ShneeOscar

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I'm still not sure that Mario Maker and Gamer are consistent. I feel that if Nintendo were to create a fixed layout for gamer, it would likely not have the gap on the left. As for Mario Maker, the whole gimmick of the stage is the randomness, and even if it were removed in the hazardless version, the fixed layout would not be so simple, not to mention asymmetrical. We'll find out soon enough, I guess.

Anyway, here's a simple website for dealing with stage striking.
 
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