Discussion of Stage Legality in Smash Bros. Ultimate

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Untouch

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I think if it never ends up getting fixed, what will matter is if it's consistent or not.
I've heard some theories that the middle is a semisolid platform to avoid issues when hazards are on.
If that's the case and this ALWAYS happens I think it shouldn't be banned.

I think we need to see the stage data for lylat, unfortunately it isn't up yet.
 

dav3yb

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Some People said:
Hey guys, what if this issues where people are literally falling through stages never get's patched?
Are we seriously ****ing discussing this?
 

ParanoidDrone

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Stop me if you've heard this one before, but I had a literal shower thought this morning.

Traditionally, the only real distinction between starter and cp stages is that cp stages can't be picked game 1. Meanwhile, starter stages can be picked during any game. This leads to the whole issue where it's strategically superior to practice on starter stages and only starter stages, neglecting the cp stages in the process which leads to a downward spiral and I'm not going to rehash that any further.

What if this was not the case, and starter stages were exclusive to game 1? If you really wanted, you could even have a cheeky sort of pattern in the starter list where each stage has 0, 1, 2, 3, or 4 platforms. (FD/SV/PS1(2?)/BF/Warioware) Game 2 onward would proceed as normal, but with starter stages completely banned at that point.

IDK, it was a thought.
 

Munomario777

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I mean that might help solve the problem, but also introduce new ones.
- The inverse is now true; it's better to practice on CPs than on starters. If you win on starters but lose on CPs, you lose sets 1-2. If the reverse, you win sets 2-1.
- Starters not being available on game 1 also limits the stage list a lot in subsequent games.
 

ShneeOscar

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You also have the issue where a character's best stage (i.e. the one they would want to counterpick to) might be a starter (e.g. ZSS and Battlefield)
 

J0eyboi

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Now, since there are issues with starter-counterpick which PoptartLord PoptartLord did bring up...

To encourage usage of the CP stages, we could add a clause that, of the three stages the loser picks, at least one has to be a CP stage. I don't think this brings up any significant issues.

This doesn't fix the problem with Starter-Counterpick. Under that system, you still win games on starters 2-1 and lose games on counterpicks 1-2.
 

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How about this as a solution:

We have no distinction between starters and CP.
First round has stage morphing where both players can choose any stage they want and the form they start on is determined by who won Rock/Paper/Scissor

On the flipside, the winner of RPS also has to declare their character first leaving the loser open to pick a character counter pick
 

Ctoan

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So what's the deal with hazardless Norfair? Too big?
 
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Ctoan

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As for this whole discussion in general, I honestly think TOs are just being lazy and don't feel like dealing with having more than 6 legal stages. Having more stage variety does nothing but improve things for spectators and deepens the metagame.

The stage design is too awkward in platform layout and very favorable for characters with great aerial speed over slower ones.
Understood
 
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ぱみゅ

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As for this whole discussion in general, I honestly think TOs are just being lazy and don't feel like dealing with having more than 6 legal stages. Having more stage variety does nothing but improve things for spectators and deepens the metagame.
Please don't say "TOs" as a third person when there are TOs reading this, or as if we don't care about the competition and fairness of all aspects of the game.

Also, please avoid posting multiple times in a row.
:196:
 

NewGuy79

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How about this as a solution:

We have no distinction between starters and CP.
First round has stage morphing where both players can choose any stage they want and the form they start on is determined by who won Rock/Paper/Scissor

On the flipside, the winner of RPS also has to declare their character first leaving the loser open to pick a character counter pick
Can we perhaps discuss this, I've mentioned something similar as well and I think it deserves some eyes. a well-made ruleset with stage morphing could very much remove the need for starters/counter picks, we'd be able to have a stage list as large as we want.
 

Frihetsanka

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As for this whole discussion in general, I honestly think TOs are just being lazy and don't feel like dealing with having more than 6 legal stages.
TOs spend hours every day discussing stage striking alternatives and specific stages and such, but sure, they're "lazy". How disrespectful.
 

Ctoan

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Please don't say "TOs" as a third person when there are TOs reading this, or as if we don't care about the competition and fairness of all aspects of the game.

Also, please avoid posting multiple times in a row.
:196:
I meant to quote that person the first time and didn't know how to fix it (still kind of new to how this forum works lol) but got it.
As for the other thing, I think I was being unfairly harsh and presumptuous and I apologize for that and to the TOs reading this.
 

PoptartLord

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So what's the deal with hazardless Norfair? Too big?
The stage design is too awkward in platform layout and very favorable for characters with great aerial speed over slower ones.
The platforms are more than wide enough for a proper neutral to be played (spoken from bracket match experience in 4), but what I really want to address is the second half of that response. Following this line of thinking there are exactly 0 legal stages in the game since literally any stage possible will, through a combination of factors, favor characters with certain traits over those without them. One can make the argument that wide, flat stages like Final Destination are very favorable for characters with great ground speed over slower ones because they can employ hit&run (or get hit & run) strategies more freely. By the proposed "greater air speed" logic FD should be banned as well
 

MrGameguycolor

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The platforms are more than wide enough for a proper neutral to be played (spoken from bracket match experience in 4), but what I really want to address is the second half of that response. Following this line of thinking there are exactly 0 legal stages in the game since literally any stage possible will, through a combination of factors, favor characters with certain traits over those without them. One can make the argument that wide, flat stages like Final Destination are very favorable for characters with great ground speed over slower ones because they can employ hit&run (or get hit & run) strategies more freely. By the proposed "greater air speed" logic FD should be banned as well
*Sigh*

No offensive, but you'd looked at this at the completely wrong angle and missed the point entirely.
Yes stages have factors that favor certain characters, Norfair's factors are just way too extreme and polarizing.

This post said it all:
Regarding Norfair:
Characters with bad air games would be absolutely screwed there. Characters with high airspeeds (Puff, Mewtwo, Yoshi, Roy, Limit Cloud, et al.) or moves that cover a lot of horizontal distance quickly (e.g. Fox Illusion, ABK, Monkey Flip, Bouncing Fish, etc.) can just jump between the two upper platforms every time someone tries to threaten them, and if you can't chase fast enough, you're out of luck. Lower-mobility characters and characters with bad aerials would just get camped to hell there.

Even without that, though, it's just way too different from pretty much every other stage being considered for legality. There's 6 ledges, and the main platform is tiny, which makes playing any sort of ground game on it nearly impossible. It would screw with neutral, combo structure, edgeguarding, ledgetrapping, and basically everything else, to the point where playing on Norfair would practically be an entirely different game than playing on every other stage.
I'm not using the "There's one minor issue with this stage, so it's banned." mentality.
I'm summarizing the stages flaws into one sentence.
 
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Munomario777

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Untouch

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Hey all! I've gotten access to the stage collision files from Ultimate. I'm working on a document to record data, and you can watch my progress live as I edit the document. Right now, I've got the triplats done as well as some of the other three-platform stages, and many more stages have the visuals already available to view!

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Sw0ofafHpNGknCBgGdomcVYKXoKMx1IprFaf4Cyvb0c/edit#
What do the red lines refer to?
That could explain what's happening with Lylat.
People should also test collisions on equally as angled stages, I don't see anything that should make clipping through Lylat possible compared to other stages.


On quick first look, it does look like they meet at about the seem.
CaOpO[1].jpg


I don't know if the seam intercepts here, but it seems that way.
If this is the case, this is going to impact a lot of stages.

Notable, PS2, PS1, Frigate, Green Greens, T&C, and Battlefield.
 
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Frihetsanka

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Seems like the "Lylat bug" might apply to many stages in the game. This is a very good reason to not be hasty, banning Lylat day 1 would be a mistake.
 

Munomario777

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Yeah we shouldn't ban Lylat because of this if it's cropping up on stages like PictoChat and WarioWare.

U Untouch It's not terribly consistent within Forge, but red lines generally denote ceilings. Testing on other stages with similar collision shapes is a good idea.
 

Frihetsanka

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People are trying to lab it on other stages as well, apparently. Anyway, at this point in time there's enough evidence to save Lylat, I think. See this:

 

Chaos_lord2

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I mean that might help solve the problem, but also introduce new ones.
- The inverse is now true; it's better to practice on CPs than on starters. If you win on starters but lose on CPs, you lose sets 1-2. If the reverse, you win sets 2-1.
- Starters not being available on game 1 also limits the stage list a lot in subsequent games.
I don't think it's quite that simple because while you can win only on counterpicks, to do so means you must win on an opponents counterpick.

This means that, for CP-focused strategies to work you must be better enough than your opponent to overcome the stage disadvantage. If the opponent is of similar skill and has put time into their counterpick choice(which is very likely as the list of stages you want to CP to is going to be reasonably small, you know what stages your character is good on, and it's very important to win on them as you'll be a game down and fighting to avoid a loss) getting such a skill difference through stage practicealone, when split between all of the CPs, seems unlikely.

If you can't win on the opponents counterpick you have to win the starter. In addition to being neutral instead of disadvantageous you are able to control the starter to a degree with your strikes, and you'll never see the stage on the CP, so you can neglect your bad starters almost completely. If the list of CPs is reasonably large compared to starters you should end up needing to focus on fewer stages with a starter focused strategy than a CP focused on.

Let's say you have 5 starters and 9 counterpicks with 1 CP-ban. A CP focused strategy would have to learn at least 8 stages (if you strike the same stage every time), but the nature of matchups means you probably have to learn all 9, while a more balanced strategy could learn 3 CPs they plan to take opponents to and 4 starters (ignoring your worst, as you'd always strike it with 1 of your 2 strikes). the balanced strategy learns 7 compared to the CP strategy's 9. I'm no pro by any stretch so my numbers may be wrong, but even if I'm off by 2 putting effort into starters is at least equally viable before you account for the need to overcome disadvantage, which tilts things further towards starters.

As for the second problem, I think I have an idea that both mitigates that and allows mixed hazards to exist in a way that reduces the amount of logistical errors: Split hazards on and hazards off between starter and counterpick while disallowing CPing to starters.

This would cause there to always be 2 settings changes: 1 before the set begins and 1 after game 1, making the settings change part of the routine. By making something routine it becomes easier to remember, the players no longer have to consider their hazards setting based on stages played, they just know to do it before the first CP (possibly while the loser is thinking about where they want to go). This also limits where issues can occur, it will either happen in game 1 where everything is still neutral (or even during a button check, where it affects nothing), or on game 2, which is to say it won't happen on a hype game 5 of grand finals or some other worst case scenario. Both of these things lessen the risks of mixed hazards.

In return, mixed hazards gives more unique stages, which allows for more stages left over to fill the counterpicks. FoD/either yoshis/SV/T&C is already 4 unique stages for the starter (assuming the issues on the former 2 are patched), and I haven't even used FD yet, leaving every stage allowed by hazards off to fill the CP selection. As a bonus, having both FD and battlefield on the CP list (very possible with a few more adventurous starter choices like prism tower) would let both battlefield forms and omegas to be counterpicked to, making them easily to make legal.

There are some compromises to this (you lose certain otherwise very neutral stages as a starter pick like hazardless PS, can't be too picky about stages in general for the starter list, requires accepting the odd mishap caused by mixed hazards even if it is reduced in frequency by routine) but the way it builds seems like a strong middleground between many of the current rulesets disputes.
 
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Untouch

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Putting aside the witchhunt for lylat right now.


Two stages people were having doubts about.
Castle Siege seems perfectly fine, blastzones are a bit big but I don't think that's killer.
Kalos seems a bit large, but not nearly as large as what people have been saying, 25% or so larger than FD, there's nothing wrong with it.
 

Skeleghost

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Howdy folks, I haven't posted here before but I started thinking about the issues this thread has been talking about. I think that there's just some fundamental problems with stage striking itself, and it sounds like I'm not the only one.

The solution I came up with seems to be almost the same as something Akiak said a number of pages back. Basically, each player should list all the stages in the order that they prefer, then we 'strike' the stage at the bottom of each player's list, until we have one stage left for each round in the set.

The main difference is that Akiak suggested using pencil and paper to keep track of this, which seems like a bad idea to me because of how much time and effort it would require. Instead, I made a simple utility program:
http://smashfilters.droppages.com/

Basically, the idea is you can click and drag to move stages around to create the order you prefer for stages.
You cannot create profiles with a phone at this point, but you CAN put the saved profiles on your phone and then load them up. So if someone has the profiles of everyone at the tournament on their phone, they can set up matches almost instantly (faster than stage striking with 5 stages, anyway).

I know it's a little rough around the edges, but does this seem like something that would work? I think it solves basically all the problems everyone is talking about here, assuming long as people find it intuitive enough that they can do it without wasting too much time (which might be a big if). If lots of people show interest maybe I'll try to update it so you can create profiles on a phone.
 

Munomario777

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Kalos seems a bit large, but not nearly as large as what people have been saying, 25% or so larger than FD, there's nothing wrong with it.
In fact, Kalos is the exact same width as Battlefield and Final Destination. (see the document I linked earlier for more info)
 

N-Boss

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How about this as a solution:

We have no distinction between starters and CP.
First round has stage morphing where both players can choose any stage they want and the form they start on is determined by who won Rock/Paper/Scissor

On the flipside, the winner of RPS also has to declare their character first leaving the loser open to pick a character counter pick
Can we perhaps discuss this, I've mentioned something similar as well and I think it deserves some eyes. a well-made ruleset with stage morphing could very much remove the need for starters/counter picks, we'd be able to have a stage list as large as we want.
Ok guys, for reals, are just NOT gonna address this?
 

Untouch

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WarioWare.
Richter kills Wolf at 34% at the ledge, with a sweetspot on FSmash. It doesn't look like he was DIng.
I don't think this should ban the stage but a lot of people are kneejerk, I've always thought it should be counterpick because of this instead of starter.

I think the difference between WarioWare and Delfino Smash 4 is that few characters could abuse the absurd blastzones in Delfino, where anyone can abuse the blastzones in WarioWare making it a fair stage.
 

Luigifan18

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Putting aside the witchhunt for lylat right now.


Two stages people were having doubts about.
Castle Siege seems perfectly fine, blastzones are a bit big but I don't think that's killer.
Kalos seems a bit large, but not nearly as large as what people have been saying, 25% or so larger than FD, there's nothing wrong with it.
Wow, lots of FE choking here.
 

WritersBlah

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Putting aside the witchhunt for lylat right now.


Two stages people were having doubts about.
Castle Siege seems perfectly fine, blastzones are a bit big but I don't think that's killer.
Kalos seems a bit large, but not nearly as large as what people have been saying, 25% or so larger than FD, there's nothing wrong with it.
I honestly never had doubts about Kalos, but it's nice to see Castle Siege doesn't look nearly as polarizing as people have been speculating. Seems like the stage is small enough where being on the lower end of the ramp is a positional advantage, but not one that's particularly strong.

WarioWare.
Richter kills Wolf at 34% at the ledge, with a sweetspot on FSmash. It doesn't look like he was DIng.
I don't think this should ban the stage but a lot of people are kneejerk, I've always thought it should be counterpick because of this instead of starter.

I think the difference between WarioWare and Delfino Smash 4 is that few characters could abuse the absurd blastzones in Delfino, where anyone can abuse the blastzones in WarioWare making it a fair stage.
This is slightly more suspect, but I don't think it's too huge an issue. Aside from being consistent, this isn't a stage where you can play lame and camp to fish for a kill; it's a super small stage, so interaction is practically enforced. I think that alone makes the stage non-degenerate.
 

Skeleghost

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Ok guys, for reals, are just NOT gonna address this?
At the risk of being a shameless self promoter, I'll mention that my solution does include a "use stage morph" option. The algorithm it uses to pick the stages becomes slightly more complex if you turn it on though, which worries me slightly. I feel like it's best if everyone understands exactly how the formula works.


If we aren't going to use my filtering solution, however, then I would say that, yes, stage morph could be used to solve some of the problems inherent in a starter/counter-pick paradigm. Allowing both players to pick a stage could be good. But it's also possible that the order of the stages ends up a problem because KOs are more likely to occur at certain times, and the stage might be more important at those specific moments that a KO occurs.

For example, lets say, for round numbers, that the first stocks are lost around 1 minute, the second stocks around 2 minutes, and the third around 3 minutes. If the stage morph occurs every 1.5 minutes, then 2 of the 3 KOs are more likely to happen on the second stage. Of course, it varies a lot from one match to the next, and I'm not even sure whether the first match or the second is more important... but the point is, the order of the two stages when using stage morph could end up mattering. I'm still in favor of giving it a try though, my point is that we may find that you can't just say 'both players get to choose a stage so it's perfectly fair'.
 

dav3yb

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Seems like the "Lylat bug" might apply to many stages in the game. This is a very good reason to not be hasty, banning Lylat day 1 would be a mistake.
You mean prerelease, unpatched gameplay isn't representative of the final product?

YOU DON'T SAY.
 

Frihetsanka

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You mean prerelease, unpatched gameplay isn't representative of the final product?

YOU DON'T SAY.
If you followed Twitter, a lot of people wanted to ban Lylat because of this bug (and now it seems it's not just Lylat, so maybe Lylat can be saved from those people).
 

Chaos_lord2

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Ok guys, for reals, are just NOT gonna address this?
In addition to skeleghost's points, there are 2 fundamental issues with stage morph: 1 stage must come first, and there is no "1-2-2-2 etc:" like setting for the morph timer that we know of meaning that the first stage's player as a difficult to quantify advantage and if the difference between stage advantages is great enough the player who is not on their stage pick is encouraged to camp and wait for the stage to morph into a more favorable stage.

Howdy folks, I haven't posted here before but I started thinking about the issues this thread has been talking about. I think that there's just some fundamental problems with stage striking itself, and it sounds like I'm not the only one.

The solution I came up with seems to be almost the same as something Akiak said a number of pages back. Basically, each player should list all the stages in the order that they prefer, then we 'strike' the stage at the bottom of each player's list, until we have one stage left for each round in the set.

The main difference is that Akiak suggested using pencil and paper to keep track of this, which seems like a bad idea to me because of how much time and effort it would require. Instead, I made a simple utility program:
http://smashfilters.droppages.com/

Basically, the idea is you can click and drag to move stages around to create the order you prefer for stages.
You cannot create profiles with a phone at this point, but you CAN put the saved profiles on your phone and then load them up. So if someone has the profiles of everyone at the tournament on their phone, they can set up matches almost instantly (faster than stage striking with 5 stages, anyway).

I know it's a little rough around the edges, but does this seem like something that would work? I think it solves basically all the problems everyone is talking about here, assuming long as people find it intuitive enough that they can do it without wasting too much time (which might be a big if). If lots of people show interest maybe I'll try to update it so you can create profiles on a phone.
A few things I want to point out: Firstly you can find the last-stage-to-be-struck faster by starting with most preferred and seeing which stage appears on both lists first, should you have to check manually for whatever reason. Secondly there is absolutely no reason why the computer tracking the bracket cannot track the stage lists and supply the first stage with the matchup automatically, making stage 1 selection take no time at all.

There are some issues with this system though: The first is that it requires people to have their list ready for signup, which can act as a deterrent for newer players, and the TO needs to get the tech programs in place for the event. Neither of these are a concern for higher end events which already have deep planning and an invested playerbase but it may make this system difficult to use for local events and put off spontaneous players from joining.

The second issue is how to handle a double tiebreaker situation. While the first tiebreak seems obvious (you use the stage that is most preferred by the less-preferred player) that can also be a tie, and something else must be used to resolve it. My ideas:
  • Coin flip: Randomly decide, not much else to say other than that some people won't like the addition of luck.
  • Go to the next stage down: not random, but a less neutral stage.
  • Stage morph between the 2: them both being neutral stages reduces the issues of stage morph, but they may still exist.
  • Add the 3rd most wanted stage and strike through them: Takes time, and could result in further ties.
The third, and probably biggest, issue is that it completely removes any consideration of the matchup from game 1. Say you are a character who generally prefers flats, so you put FD high up your list, however there is 1 match up (probably little mac) where you really don't want to go to a flat. Unfortunately you have to choose between putting your flat high for other matchups and keeping something else above them hope that the mac player is forced somewhere else at risk of ending up there instead on other matchups. This could easily result in pre-tourney information wars as players try to counter-list each other for game 1, making each players list a closely guarded secret until tourney start and bringing up the potential for espionage.

The only ideas I could think of for mitigating this are giving players some level of per-round list adjustment, which removes the massive time advantage of the system you gain from pre-generation and causes other logistics issues as a result, or taking the top 3 or 5 stages and then doing normal striking with those, which still costs you time and is only a mitigation but at least lets you keep pre-generation of some amount to limit it to normal striking levels.

Still one of the better systems I've seen though in that it is fast, non-random, can handle any number of stages, and has no other massive issues unless said espionage gets out of hand. There is no perfect system after all.
 

Skeleghost

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There are some issues with this system though ...
Your first and third points against the system are definitely downsides. But regarding the second problem, this system is no worse than stage striking, at least in regards to randomness. Many tournaments use rock-paper-scissors, or a coin flip, or some similar method to decide who strikes first in a Stage Strike system. Deciding a tiebreaker randomly is no worse than a Stage Strike system where you randomly decide who gets to strike first.

I'll also point out that the system is designed so that you should absolutely NOT be able to change your list in the middle of a tournament. For this to work, each player must stick with the same list for the entire event. If you allow them to change lists, it just degenerates into full-list stage striking, which defeats the purpose.
It is possible for players to try to counter a specific other player who they consider to be a top threat, but this will harm their matches against other players. That seems like an act of hubris to me, and you know what they say about hubris. I suspect a few players will, indeed, attempt this kind of list-countering, but I also expect it to blow up in their faces. But it could end up worse than I'm expecting. There really is no way to know for sure how well a system works unless it's tested multiple times.

I actually think that, in practice, the first problem you mentioned might be the biggest.
 

dav3yb

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After watching some footage, I now want 3v3 Squad Strike to be the default tournament mode. It looks so good, and add's so much subtlety to the game.
 

Akiak

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Your first and third points against the system are definitely downsides. But regarding the second problem, this system is no worse than stage striking, at least in regards to randomness. Many tournaments use rock-paper-scissors, or a coin flip, or some similar method to decide who strikes first in a Stage Strike system. Deciding a tiebreaker randomly is no worse than a Stage Strike system where you randomly decide who gets to strike first.

I'll also point out that the system is designed so that you should absolutely NOT be able to change your list in the middle of a tournament. For this to work, each player must stick with the same list for the entire event. If you allow them to change lists, it just degenerates into full-list stage striking, which defeats the purpose.
It is possible for players to try to counter a specific other player who they consider to be a top threat, but this will harm their matches against other players. That seems like an act of hubris to me, and you know what they say about hubris. I suspect a few players will, indeed, attempt this kind of list-countering, but I also expect it to blow up in their faces. But it could end up worse than I'm expecting. There really is no way to know for sure how well a system works unless it's tested multiple times.

I actually think that, in practice, the first problem you mentioned might be the biggest.
I'm really against locking the lists for the entire event. As long as players have their ideal list on their phone (either written down or with an app of some sort), there's no reason not to let them adjust it according to the match-up. It's an essential part of the game. This can also be done the moment the player knows who they're playing against, before they actually meet, so it isn't necessarily that time-consuming.

I've already said everything I wanted to say regarding the system (link) so I'll leave it there for now. I appreciate it though and I think it'd be really good to have a well-functioning website or app which allows for ranking the stages, and also maybe figures out the best stage automatically (although this would require having access to both lists).
 
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Skeleghost

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There is no advantage whatsoever to using a list if you allow people to change it for each match. If you do that, then the optimal thing is to change it in response to your current opponent's list. In other words, if you allow people to change their list for each new set, then the optimal strategy is to create an entirely new list for each set. That... would just be awful. You might as well just stage strike from a set of 25 stages at that point.

If you think that counter-picking stages is a core part of the game, then using lists to filter stages is a bad idea. I am arguing the opposite: counter-picking is by far the more flawed system! What I'm advocating eliminates counter-picking, and in exchange, it allows a wider variety of potential stages, and players are less likely to end up on stages they strongly dislike. I would also argue that counterpicking is not as fair as many players assume. I think that trade-off of switching to a stage filtering system would be easily worth it, but I'd like to hear the arguments against it.

What is your reasoning for why adjusting stage selection is a core part of the game? Why does that need to be preserved? And is it worth the downsides inherent in the striking/counter-pick system?
 
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