Discussion of Stage Legality in Smash Bros. Ultimate

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Let me clarify the player simply selects randoms 5 times ( or however amount of times is deemed fair for the meta) and the 5 stages selected through the process become the natural pool that the players then pick/ban through.
Still means that RNG plays a role and that someone could be really unlucky. Imagine if, for instance, three triplats stages show up, you'd only be able to ban two of them. ANTi wrote on Twitter that he doesn't want a system where you can be forced to choose between two triplats if his opponent is good on them. I'm inclined to agree with this.

Yes, if 15 stages are deemed "neutral" they would go into the pool for random selection for game 1.
I think random select is dead on arrival (aside from during an initial experimentation period). It seems to be more popular amongsts spectators than competitive players. I highly doubt that many of the PGR players would support such an idea, I have a hard time seeing players like ZeRo, ANTi, Nairo, or Tweek rally behind such an idea (which I think is a good thing, since I think random stage select is bad for competitive gaming*).

*Assuming stage select matters, in some 2D fighters it doesn't really matter.

I personally don't see why any legal stage shouldn't be available for game 1, but I'm just looking for an opinion on this as a more compromised solution.
The main reason is that it would be hard to fit every stage in initial striking, although I suppose we could strike from 9 stages and have exactly 9 stages, thus not differentiating between starters and counter-picks. If we're using a different system, then having a distinction between starters and counter-picks might be less important. So far I haven't seen any alternative system that I think would work better than the current system, though.

2 big changes happened with the new game. a hazard toggle, and the switch of character pick/ stage pick.
Nothing says that we have to pick a character before stage in game 1. I thought of a potential solution to this: What if each player signs up with a "starter" character (presumably their main). That way, whenever they start a set, they already have a character pre-selected (so, for instance, Nairo would pick Zero Suit Samus, and Ally would pick Snake). This would also remove the potential issue of people counter-picking each other character (technically, you're supposed to not counter-pick characters in game 1 at all, though some people still do this). Most players just play one character anyway, and those that don't should probably start with their main anyway. Perhaps we could allow for a rule that a player could state that they change character before stage striking starts for game one. If they do that, then the opponent may change character as well (potentially counter-picking). The player who first stated that they wanted to change character would then be stuck with whatever character they chose. I think this would be a better system than first selecting stage and then character for game 1.

* Next games: loser chooses a small set of stages, winner picks which one from that set.
I could see this working if there were safeguards against picking too similar stages (like Battlefield, Midgar, and Dream Land 64), perhaps by grouping similar stages into different groups, and having a rule so you may only select one per group.

Because we pick stages before characters (yes, I know we've always picked stages before characters,) we might see the meta evolve into a counterpick-heavy game, which in turn boosts individual player skill if everyone needs to play multiple characters.
I think this would suck, actually. Since most people have limited time to spend on the game, it's better for them to focus on one character. I think it's more interesting to watch someone be really good with a character than seeing someone pick up their decent secondary. Solo-maining is better for most players who don't have 8 hours to spend on Smash every day.

I also think this applies to top level play as well. Watching Kameme play Mega Man is much more interesting to me than watching him play Sheik (especially since his Sheik isn't as good as VoiD's or Mr R's), for instance. There are a few instances where I like counter-picking (mostly when they're counter-picking with an uncommon character, like Captain L and Jigglypuff or Nairo and Bowser or Tweek and Donkey Kong). I think Smash Ultimate, like every previous Smash game, will benefit solo-mains at most levels of play (perhaps not at the absolute top level though).

The best solution is to simply have seasonal stages that tries to accommodate all basic designs of stages so we can still have some form of consistency why having variety with time.
I'm not 100% against seasonal stages but I think there could be some issues, like it'd suck if my favorite stage were legal for a few month and then not legal for a few months and then legal again, I'd probably prefer not having it legal at all then. Also, this could mess up character viability.

Top level players care about these rulesets. They care about consistency and not having to memorize 20-something stage layouts when all they want to do is fight their opponent. More layouts means more variance, and that means more complication, on top of a game that is already complex through it's base gameplay. Even if we try to pull an EVO again to get Mr. Wizard to legalize a larger stagelist, top players will only lobby and rally against it, because it jeopardizes the game they enjoy playing.
Replace "Top level players" with "Competitive players in general". Most competitive Smash players want to fight their opponent, not the stage (which is one of the reasons why Lylat Cruise is commonly disliked). Sounds like you're inadvertedly making an argument against a huge stage list here.

Starters: Smashville
Counterpicks: Battlefield, Final Destination
I don't like this, some characters benefit too much from Smashville (like Sheik and Captain Falcon) while some really struggle on it (at least in Smash 4). I think you're being a tad bit too pessimistic here, even Smash 4 ended up with 5-6 legal stages in the end (despite both Lylat and Dream Land 64 having major issues).

as for selecting stage at random, on game 1 it works because both players pull for the same pool of stages and both players know what the stage is before their character is selected.
Since most probably should be solo mains, I'm not really convinced that this makes much of a difference.

[...]basically no criticisms for the veto system.
It's still too random (if you mean the "pick random stage and veto"). If you mean the "Player A suggests a stage, B vetos or not", it'd have similar issues to just having a large number of bans. Let's say you have 20 legal stages and 10 bans, even then the loser will have 10 stages to choose from! In Smash 4, you'd have 1 ban and 5 stages, so 4 stages to choose from. I suppose you could run with like 15 vetos or something like that, but that'd be a mess to keep track of. In short, I think this system would benefit the loser too much, while also not being significantly better than regular counter-picking (with bans).

I feel if we're going to be limiting the amount of stages to 9 or whatever, we should prioritize variety in layouts.
This makes sense to me. Let's kill Dream Land 64 once and for all! Should be pretty doable to find 9-12 stages with sufficiently different layouts.
 

Skitrel

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If you mean the "Player A suggests a stage, B vetos or not", it'd have similar issues to just having a large number of bans. Let's say you have 20 legal stages and 10 bans, even then the loser will have 10 stages to choose from!
That's absolutely not how the Veto system that people are calling for works.

The veto system is very simple.

1. Player 1 suggests a stage.
2. Player 2 has 3 vetos. They either agree to the stage or use a veto.
3. If Player 2 used a veto, player 1 chooses another stage.
4. Repeat until player 2 uses all of their vetos or accepts a stage.

Please read the veto system thread instead of talking about something completely different.

It is fast. It is simple. It has mind games in which player one could leave their best stage for 4th choice but player 1 might accept one of their first 3 picks. Etc etc.

It really concerns me that you didn't actually read anything about it before dismissing it.
 
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That's absolutely not how the Veto system that people are calling for works.

The veto system is very simple.

1. Player 1 suggests a stage.
2. Player 2 has 3 vetos. They either agree to the stage or use a veto.
3. If Player 2 used a veto, player 1 chooses another stage.
4. Repeat until player 2 uses all of their vetos or accepts a stage.

Please read the veto system thread instead of talking about something completely different.
How is that different from what I wrote? And, besides, you'd still have the same issue. 3 vetos just isn't enough. Let's say there's a 20 stage list, Player 1 could just suggest 3 terrible stages and Player 2 would be forced to play on their 4th worst stage, which is pretty terrible in a 20 stage list (less terrible in a 6 stage list). You'd need something like 15 vetos to make it work, and that'd be kind of a mess.

It really concerns me that you didn't actually read anything about it before dismissing it.
I did read it, you just didn't understand what I wrote.
 

KanataLen

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what about a player's choice option? We keep the current ruleset, prioritize variety in our list of say 5 or 7 stages, and allow each player to add one stage of their choice as a counterpick that isn't already listed (granted it has to be legal). This gets done as a blind pick before the rps and is the only addition for the entire set, and allows for more stages to be used without adding too much time and keeps people from getting too much strength in the counterpick scenario like vetoing. (and keeps players from having to learn a whole new set of rules for 1 smash game).

we would need to take the time however and see what every potential legal stage would be first, and have a safeguard in place to avoid the whole multi-triplat issue. But this would make it so that both parties have the option to bring their specialty stage to the game without getting too much power from the large selection.
 
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what about a player's choice option? We keep the current ruleset, prioritize variety in our list of say 5 or 7 stages, and allow each player to add one stage of their choice as a counterpick that isn't already listed (granted it has to be legal). This gets done as a blind pick before the rps and is the only addition for the entire set, and allows for more stages to be used without adding too much time and keeps people from getting too much strength in the counterpick scenario like vetoing. (and keeps players from having to learn a whole new set of rules for 1 smash game).
Sounds a bit redundant, since chances are the opponent will strike that stage anyway. I'm not necessarily against it though. Players should also be allowed to Gentleman to any stage they want (barring copyright issues, I suppose).
 

KanataLen

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Sounds a bit redundant, since chances are the opponent will strike that stage anyway. I'm not necessarily against it though. Players should also be allowed to Gentleman to any stage they want (barring copyright issues, I suppose).
Definitely the gentleman thing! and I forgot to consider striking, whoops. I guess 2 then. 1 to account for the strike, and the other would get used up in the "you can't go the stage you just won on" rule.
 

Munomario777

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One big advantage that vetoing has over traditional striking, for counterpicking from a large stage list, is that it's a lot less time-consuming in nearly all cases.



Player A just beat Player B in game one. Player A gets ten bans out of twenty legal stages.

Player A doesn't feel like he needs all ten of those bans, since he thinks his character will do well on the majority of stages, and that his opponent won't have a huge advantage on many stages. Despite this, the striking system would have him pick ten stages to ban. He could, if he wanted, simply ban fewer stages, but that's strictly a disadvantage, as it does nothing but expand his opponent's options.

Player A finishes compiling his ban list, and Player B chooses from the remaining ten stages. Meanwhile, both players must keep track of the large ban list, including how many bans Player A has used up so far and which stages are included. This list changes for every game in the set (if it works like current striking), and is quite impractical to keep track of without using aids like pen and paper or the random stage select screen.



Alternatively, Player A just beat Player B in game one. Player A gets ten vetoes, and there are twenty legal stages.

Player A doesn't feel like he needs all ten of those bans, since he thinks his character will do well on the majority of stages. As a result, he may not use all ten of his vetoes. Using a small amount of your vetoes is not a strict disadvantage, since doing so isn't a commitment. That is, the decision to use only three vetoes is not locked in at any point until you know for sure that you'll be fighting on a stage you're comfortable with.

Player A suggests stages, and Player B vetoes until they arrive at an agreed upon stage. In rare cases this may take all ten vetoes, but in many cases it would happen quickly, potentially as early as Player A's very first stage pick. The only thing players need to keep track of during the process is how many vetoes have been used, and which stages have been already mentioned by name at all in the process (which is a notable distinction).



Fundamentally, both of these systems are about Player B picking certain stages and telling Player A, "No, I don't want to go there." Stage striking is a preemptive form of this, in that Player B must consider every possible choice of stage from Player A. Vetoing happens in real-time and is reactionary, so the number of vetoes used is adjusted according to how much the two players' interests align. As a result, unlike with bans, the number of vetoes is not always the maximum amount allowed by the ruleset.

In a nutshell, vetoing is faster because making a list of every stage you don't want to play on is slower than disagreeing to stages as they're suggested.

I used ten vetoes and ten bans here, but this number could of course change in an actual ruleset. My point is that, if Player A is always allowed to deny the same number of stages from Player B, vetoing is likely to play out more quickly and practically.



As an aside, the whole "mindgame" aspect is neat. On the one hand, Player B must kind of give away his intentions, e.g. if he chooses FD first he might want to choose a zoning character and camp Player A out. So Player A can shape his vetoes around that a little bit, e.g. keep vetoing until Player B is forced to pick a triplat. On the other hand, Player B can kind of make a "fake" suggestion, such as choosing a triplat first to throw Player A off... at the risk of Player A actually not vetoing the stage. This fake-out strategy is much more effective when combined with a character change, e.g. Player B goes a ladder-combo character game one, chooses a triplat first, gets vetoed to FD, and then switches to a zoning character.

It's a neat aspect I reckon. I don't have a particular interest in actively defending it beyond that, though, because I think that the main body of this post is already a good argument for vetoing over striking for counterpicking from a lot of stages. So this is just a side note. :)
 
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How is that different from what I wrote? And, besides, you'd still have the same issue. 3 vetos just isn't enough. Let's say there's a 20 stage list, Player 1 could just suggest 3 terrible stages and Player 2 would be forced to play on their 4th worst stage, which is pretty terrible in a 20 stage list (less terrible in a 6 stage list). You'd need something like 15 vetos to make it work, and that'd be kind of a mess.
That's...literally the point of the counterpick process, though. To give a stage advantage to the loser, with a small number of bans/vetoes/whatever to handle edge cases where a character's performance on a stage is completely ridiculous and ensure the loser doesn't have too strong an advantage.

Your proposal of 15 vetoes on a 20 stage list means you're letting the winner, who is supposed to be at a disadvantage in this process, get a stage in the top 25% of his personal stage ranking. 3 bans on a 6 stage list means he still gets a stage in his top 50%.

Historically, the number of bans allowed to the winner has worked out to roughly 15-25% of the legal stage list for a given game. So for a hypothetical 20 stage list, that would suggest 3-5 vetoes is appropriate to keep the same ratio. For a 6 stage list, that would be 1 or 2.
 
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One big advantage that vetoing has over traditional striking, for counterpicking from a large stage list, is that it's a lot less time-consuming in nearly all cases.
No doubt. 20 stages and 10 bans would not be a very good system for partly that reason. While a veto system would be better, I worry that it could have similar issues as having a large amount of bans. Keeping track of vetos might be annoying ("Have I used 6 or 7 vetos now?") and could take a while (many players might not accept until stage 8-10 or so).

Could we do something like 5 starters, Dave's Stupid Rule, and then a veto system with 15-20 stages or so? Could be worth trying out, I suppose, though I'm inclined to believe that 5 starters + 4-7 counterpicks with 2-3 bans is ideal.

Your proposal of 15 vetoes on a 20 stage list means you're letting the winner, who is supposed to be at a disadvantage in this process, get a stage in the top 25% of his personal stage ranking.
Maybe 15 vetoes would be a bit much, maybe 12-13 would be better?

Historically, the number of bans allowed to the winner has worked out to roughly 15-25% of the legal stage list for a given game. So for a hypothetical 20 stage list, that would suggest 3-5 vetoes is appropriate to keep the same ratio.
I think it's more about number of stages than % of stages. I want to be able to get rid of all janky stages + all stages that are really bad for my characters (well, to some extent, at least). Ultimately I should end up on a stage that is slightly bad for my character. I'm not sure what the numbers would look like, but if my opponent has 15 stages to choose from I'm in a pretty bad spot, potentially (depends a bit on what the stages look like, perhaps there'll be fewer wonky stages than I expect).

I admit it doesn't look like the worst system. I'll take that over random stage select, at least.
 

NewGuy79

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Still means that RNG plays a role and that someone could be really unlucky. Imagine if, for instance, three triplats stages show up, you'd only be able to ban two of them. ANTi wrote on Twitter that he doesn't want a system where you can be forced to choose between two triplats if his opponent is good on them. I'm inclined to agree with this.
I will admit that the idea does not actually solve the problem, I'm just brainstorming potential ways to solve the game one problem with the veto method. would you consider a simple RPS/toss a coin method to be more suitable to pick Veto order, its what we use already for ban/pick order would that be more beneficial?

But anyways I do agree with ANTi and your point, that situation would be unfair.

Since most probably should be solo mains, I'm not really convinced that this makes much of a difference.
I actually really doubt that most competitors at top level fit as solo mains, they may perhaps play a single character primarily but Very rarely do I see a complete lack of secondary characters from them. also If you were to ask the less competitive crowd I could see solo mains becoming even rare.

either way, aren't we just playing favourites here? why do solo mains get so much consideration instead of players who would like to implement strategies from less played stages? is it really necessary to restrict the stage list so drastically to accomplish this?

while I cant come up with a justification why one should be considered more than the other, I don't see the idea of limiting options as being a particularly beneficial one, especially when said solo mains characters may potentially benefit from some of the stages outside your limited list.

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you know since I started following this thread Iv been trying to pinpoint why I'm even arguing this, logically none of your points are wrong and they all fit in nicely with the conventions we've built within the past smash games.

but honestly that's the problem, we are acting as if Smash Ultimate is "solved" per say and simply attempting to transfer the strategies and play habits we've used for Smash 4 into this game.

If we start this games life with a limited stage list I can only imagine the amount of wasted opportunity for character to stage interaction simply because we think that we already know every method of approach for a smash character on Ultimate's stages. for example say we have BF, Yoshi's, Dreamland, Fountain of dreams and Brinstar all in the game, all of these stages are Triplates but having all 5 of them in a 9 stage roster would be unfair right? so which of these stages do we cut? how exactly do we communicate to players that cutting these stages is the correct course of action when they all have unique benefits and disadvantages, all play statically with hazards off and we have literally no gameplay of the game to show why such a decision would be justified.

simply put we cant, the only justification we could possibly give would be based on past games, making such talk dubious within the context of Ultimate.

a limited roster is a symptom of a solved smash meta where other available strategies in the form of stages and characters have been deemed irrelevant. It's far to early to consider this especially when this is the first time we have had such a breadth of options to chose from.

Ideally, I would hope for the begging month of this games life would be used for experimentation, I know I cant come up with an option that satisfies absolutely everyone, but I feel the best approach for this new game is to focus on a method that helps facilitate said experimentation.

in the end, I'm just thinking aloud and this is just my opinion.
I'd probably need more time to come up with a suitable method that's not just off my head.

EDIT: spelling
 
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Maybe 15 vetoes would be a bit much, maybe 12-13 would be better?
You're missing the point. Stage counterpicks are supposed to favor the loser. Giving so many vetoes flips the advantage to the winner because it lets them force a stage the loser wouldn't want.

To put it in mathematical terms: For any list of N stages, you can order them based on how much of an advantage it gives one player or another, 1 to N. Game 1 is ideally played on the stage at position N/2, and this is the theoretical purpose of stage striking. Allowing more than N/2 bans means that one player can completely and utterly prevent the other from counterpicking an advantageous stage, which defeats the purpose of counterpicking in the first place.

If the loser's counterpick stage is to provide them an advantage, the winner must be allowed no more than (N/2 - 1) bans/vetoes as a strict upper limit. In practice, it's better for them to get even fewer than that, otherwise you're still playing on "neutral" (for the matchup) stages when the process is trying to favor the loser. Limiting the winner's bans/vetoes to N/5 strikes a good balance between giving the loser an advantage while guarding against egregious cases of character-specific stage abuse.

Plugging in N = 20 for a hypothetical 20 stage list, we have (N/2 - 1) = 9 for our strict upper limit and N/5 = 4 for a good starting point for the number of vetoes allotted to the winner for the loser's counterpick.
 
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WritersBlah

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[Y]ou'd still have the same issue. 3 vetos just isn't enough. Let's say there's a 20 stage list, Player 1 could just suggest 3 terrible stages and Player 2 would be forced to play on their 4th worst stage, which is pretty terrible in a 20 stage list (less terrible in a 6 stage list). You'd need something like 15 vetos to make it work, and that'd be kind of a mess.
I think it's more about number of stages than % of stages. I want to be able to get rid of all janky stages + all stages that are really bad for my characters (well, to some extent, at least). Ultimately I should end up on a stage that is slightly bad for my character. I'm not sure what the numbers would look like, but if my opponent has 15 stages to choose from I'm in a pretty bad spot, potentially (depends a bit on what the stages look like, perhaps there'll be fewer wonky stages than I expect).
This is probably the most contrived scenario you've presented so far. Let me break down exactly why, because I don't think you've realized exactly what the conditions for what you're saying to be true would have to be.

First of all, this would have to presuppose that some characters are better on more stages than others. No problems there, so far so good, that's what tiers are. Realistically, this scenario could only take place in a situation where the matchup is a player who mains a high-tier character versus a player who solo-mains a low tier. So in your example, game 1 took place on a neutral stage and the low-tier character won. Maybe it was marginal, maybe it was a landslide, doesn't matter. So now it's the high-tier player's turn to counterpick using the veto system. What you're suggesting is that in order to not be completely steamrolled by the opponent, you need to have the ability to ban 80% of the available stages, despite winning game 1 and proving you can certainly hold your own against a higher tiered character ON A NEUTRAL STAGE. This leaves the player at a severe disadvantage when the reality of the situation should be that the counterpicking player should have an advantage.

"But if they're a high tier, they have an inherent advantage, so it is fair to ban the majority of stages!" No, it isn't. Imagine if the scenario were reversed, and the high tier player won game 1. You are seriously arguing that, in a game 1 where the high-tiered player won, the high tier player should have the ability to ban all the potential stages where the low tier might have even had a slight advantage and would more than likely go to a stage where the high tier would curbstomp the low tier, completely invalidating the purpose of counterpicking in the first place. This perspective completely destroys the purpose of the veto system, not to mention would make it incredibly unwieldy in terms of mere time management. A shorter list of vetos meanwhile, would likely ensure that the players go to a stage where the low tier at least doesn't get massacred (he won game 1 on a neutral presumably, after all), while the high tier (hopefully) can't get to a stage where they have even more of an overwhelming advantage, and is merely at a base advantage, as high tiers naturally do against low tiers. I mean, you could argue for a proportional number of vetos depending on the tier of the character you main, but that still seems somewhat complicated. And that's assuming both players are solo mains, considering you choose the stage before the character anyway.

Replace "Top level players" with "Competitive players in general". Most competitive Smash players want to fight their opponent, not the stage (which is one of the reasons why Lylat Cruise is commonly disliked). Sounds like you're inadvertedly making an argument against a huge stage list here.
Okay first of all, the hazard toggle essentially prevents any player from having to "fight the stage" like they have in the past. Sure, certain layouts naturally benefits certain character types more than others, but that's more the stage helping a character than actively engaging in gimmicks to act as an outright hazard (ergo, Lylat's tilting). But more to the point, your use of the word "inadvertently" honestly baffles me. That entire post was a pessimistic concession that despite the nature of our arguments, or whether one side is "right" in this debate, that more than likely, most players won't want a larger stage list anyway. How exactly did you interpret that as inadvertently arguing against a larger stage list? I have enough self-awareness to acknowledge what opinions outside of my own are, and I'm not sure whether to feel perplexed or insulted that you didn't pick that up.

I don't like this, some characters benefit too much from Smashville (like Sheik and Captain Falcon) while some really struggle on it (at least in Smash 4). I think you're being a tad bit too pessimistic here, even Smash 4 ended up with 5-6 legal stages in the end (despite both Lylat and Dream Land 64 having major issues).
That was not a legitimate argument. I was being purposefully reductionist based off of common competitive player attitudes. Not to mention, I honestly still don't get your angle. You say that some variety is good and even necessary for competitive Smash, but then you state that Lylat and DL64 had "major issues" which implies that you wish they were gone and only had to play on BF, FD, SV, and T&C. Like, do you believe your own opinions on the matter are objectively wrong and that Lylat and DL64 should remain legal despite your dislike for them? Or am I missing something?
 

Skitrel

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How is that different from what I wrote? And, besides, you'd still have the same issue. 3 vetos just isn't enough. Let's say there's a 20 stage list, Player 1 could just suggest 3 terrible stages and Player 2 would be forced to play on their 4th worst stage, which is pretty terrible in a 20 stage list (less terrible in a 6 stage list). You'd need something like 15 vetos to make it work, and that'd be kind of a mess.

I did read it, you just didn't understand what I wrote.
I completely understood what you wrote, you just don't seem to get that it's not the same as bans.

If player 1 chooses 3 terrible stages then they run the risk of player 2 accepting any of those stages. It implements the same mindgames that striking has in a far far stripped down system that allows for a full stage list.

You acted like something like this would require 5+ vetoes. You absolutely don't need more than 5 vetoes for a list of 35 stages.

It's interesting. Opens up the stage list and implements the same mindgames we have with strikes in a system that's likely to be quicker than striking.

15 vetoes? Are you insane? The winner is not supposed to be the one with the advantage. I don't know why you think that many vetoes would ever be necessary. For STRIKING you would need 15, because the loser is the one in need of the advantage. In vetoes the loser gets the advantage in a quicker system.

Everything you're saying has literally already been discussed in the original veto thread. Please read it before repeating ground that's already been gone over.
 
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dav3yb

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Maybe 15 vetoes would be a bit much, maybe 12-13 would be better?
The entire point of the veto SHOULD be to prevent a character from getting thrown onto a stage that SEVERELY puts them at a disadvantage, such as Ness being forced to go to Saffron City, where he could get knocked down between the buildings and have a 0% chance of recovery. It shouldn't be used to completely nullify every stage until one is selected that the winner likes. Giving the winner so much control over the stages is the worst idea i've heard for a new stage process yet. For a list of 20 legal stages, it should be 5 vetoes AT MOST.
 
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You're missing the point. Stage counterpicks are supposed to favor the loser. Giving so many vetoes flips the advantage to the winner because it lets them force a stage the loser wouldn't want.
Yeah, you're right. I'm a bit worried that having too few bans/vetoes would lead people to play on really bad stages (compared to Smash Wii U, anyway), but having too many vetoes/bans is not good either (that favors the winner). So I guess I keep coming back to "9-12 stages is probably ideal", eh? I don't want the loser to get to choose between 10 stages freely, that seems like a bit much (in Smash 4 the loser got to choose from 4 stages).

I actually really doubt that most competitors at top level fit as solo mains, they may perhaps play a single character primarily but Very rarely do I see a complete lack of secondary characters from them. also If you were to ask the less competitive crowd I could see solo mains becoming even rare.
Even at top level around half are solo mains in Smash Wii U and those that use secondaries often use them sparingly. Most tournament players aren't top level players though, and if they aren't then they likely benefit from solo maining. I think most tournament players benefit more from solo maining in practice.

either way, aren't we just playing favourites here? why do solo mains get so much consideration instead of players who would like to implement strategies from less played stages? is it really necessary to restrict the stage list so drastically to accomplish this?
Not sure what you mean with this? I've seen a lot of people in this thread argue something akin to "Now that we select stage before character it doesn't matter that much which stage we pick" as a way to support random character. In practice, most tournament players likely will be (or should be, anyway) solo mains, so this argument doesn't hold much water. Maybe at the very top level it would, but most players aren't playing at that level.

If we start this games life with a limited stage list I can only imagine the amount of wasted opportunity for character to stage interaction simply because we think that we already know every method of approach for a smash character on Ultimate's stages. f
Yes, I agree, and I think having some initial alternative systems (like random select or something) can be acceptable in order to test a variety of stages. I suspect it won't take very long to get the data we need in order to trim the stage list down (and with "we" I really mean the TOs that make such decisions). I'm mostly looking at the big picture and the long run, which I think will be and probably should be 9-12 stages in total and probably 5 starters. Exactly which stages should be on that list is yet to be determined.

"But if they're a high tier, they have an inherent advantage, so it is fair to ban the majority of stages!"
I never said anything remotely like this.

Okay first of all, the hazard toggle essentially prevents any player from having to "fight the stage" like they have in the past.
I would hope so, but I've seen people argue that stages like Pokémon Stadium with hazards on should be legal, so who knows?

How exactly did you interpret that as inadvertently arguing against a larger stage list?
Let's look at what you wrote, shall we?

"Top level players care about these rulesets. They care about consistency and not having to memorize 20-something stage layouts when all they want to do is fight their opponent. More layouts means more variance, and that means more complication, on top of a game that is already complex through it's base gameplay. Even if we try to pull an EVO again to get Mr. Wizard to legalize a larger stagelist, top players will only lobby and rally against it, because it jeopardizes the game they enjoy playing."

With that being said, I'll admit that I should have elaborated. You brought up some good points (that you didn't actually dispute in your post), though whether it was intended or not isn't terribly important, I suppose. I think the last point is probably the most important, actually: If a large stagelist jeopardizes the game they enjoy playing, isn't that a really good reason to avoid having a large stagelist?

That was not a legitimate argument.
I know, I probably should've stated more clearly that I knew you weren't serious but I didn't.

You say that some variety is good and even necessary for competitive Smash, but then you state that Lylat and DL64 had "major issues" which implies that you wish they were gone and only had to play on BF, FD, SV, and T&C. Like, do you believe your own opinions on the matter are objectively wrong and that Lylat and DL64 should remain legal despite your dislike for them?
Lylat needs to be legal in Smash Wii U in order to retain a 5 starter list. A 3 starter list would be pretty bad since it would give a notable advantage to whoever bans second. For this reason alone we need a 5 starter list. Dream Land 64, on the other hand, should probably have been banned in Smash Wii U (for several reasons), but it wasn't.

That's an issue with a low number of good stages: We have to swallow some mediocre stages in order to get a decent stage list. That was the case with Smash 64 (which only has Dream Land 64), Melee (Yoshi's Island and Pokémon Stadium both have some issues, though neither is terrible), Brawl, and Smash Wii U. It looks like we could avoid mediocre stages for Smash Ultimate, which would be nice.

You acted like something like this would require 5+ vetoes. You absolutely don't need more than 5 vetoes for a list of 35 stages.
It doesn't work like that. Player A could suggest Player B's worst stage, then second worst stage, etc, until Player B runs out of vetoes, and then Player A picks the 6th worst stage. On a list with 35 stages (!) that would be pretty bad. Couldn't this lead to situations where Player A only suggests triplats, and player B eventually runs out of vetoes and is forced to play on a triplat?

The entire point of the veto SHOULD be to prevent a character from getting thrown onto a stage that SEVERELY puts them at a disadvantage, such as Ness being forced to go to Saffron City, where he could get knocked down between the buildings and have a 0% chance of recovery.
Do you agree with the following statement?:

Stages in Smash Ultimate should not play a larger role than in Smash Wii U for determining the winner of the set.

I'm fine with some stages giving small edges to certain characters, but I don't like it when stages are a huge part of the matchup. I think Smash Wii U does a pretty good job at avoiding that issue, but I'm worried having a huge stage list could throw that balance out of the window (especially once you start considering stages like Saffron City).
 

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One minor remaining issue with stage striking that still exists with sequential stage vetos is requiring knowledge of the stages and ruleset.

Totally realistic example that happens all the time, 2-veto version:

"I pick Final Destination."

"Veto."

"I pick Yoshi's Story."

"Yuck, veto that too."

"Okay, I pick Green Greens."

"Crap, I forgot about Green Greens. Is that even legal? That's not legal where I'm from. I would have not vetoed that other stage if I had known you could pick Green Greens! Can I repick, and we just go to Yoshi's?"


Obviously "Ha, you screwed up remembering the stage list for this tourney, therefore I deserve an advantage!" is asinine and silly. Fortunately, this is easy to fix:

"Okay. FD, Yoshi's Story, or Green Greens?"

"Uh... let's go to Yoshi's."


Easier, faster, and does not incentivize silly superficial "mindgames" in a multi-step stage selection process. It's exactly the same as sequential vetos for perfectly informed actors, so the only reason to do anything slower is if we intentionally want to penalize less-informed newer players.
 
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infomon

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* Next games: loser chooses a small set of stages, winner picks which one from that set.
I could see this working if there were safeguards against picking too similar stages (like Battlefield, Midgar, and Dream Land 64), perhaps by grouping similar stages into different groups, and having a rule so you may only select one per group.
Nah "grouping" is not needed and would always be a huge point of controversy. This system's already self-regulating. Loser is picking let's say 5 out of 30 stages. That's equivalent to the winner having 4 bans on the opponent's counterpick -- more than even the veto people are asking for. If the winner doesn't think they can legitimately play on 5 out of 30 stages, that tells me there's some fundamental aspect of the game that they're bad at, so they deserve the L. Those are 5 legal stages and it's the opponent's counterpick.

If you start grouping things, you're artificially rebalancing the game. If the designers only put water in 3 stages, but there are 7 tri-plats, that's a suggestion that tri-plat gameplay is more important than water. We should assume that the characters are balanced against those parameters, and similarly, that skill should be measured against what the game is (proportionately) giving us to work with.

The only important parameter is how many stages does the loser get to pick. It's a single number that lets us choose the balance between counterpick-strength vs only competing at neutral-fundamentals.
 

Skitrel

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It doesn't work like that. Player A could suggest Player B's worst stage, then second worst stage, etc, until Player B runs out of vetoes, and then Player A picks the 6th worst stage. On a list with 35 stages (!) that would be pretty bad. Couldn't this lead to situations where Player A only suggests triplats, and player B eventually runs out of vetoes and is forced to play on a triplat?
That's what striking does too. 3 strikes on a 12 stage list only eliminates Player 1's 3 worst stages. Player 2 then takes Player 1 to the 4th worst stage for Player 1.

It's precisely what happens in the existing system we've been using for a decade already and is entirely the point of the system, for Player 2 to take Player 1 to a stage that Player 1 is worse at.

"Okay. FD, Yoshi's Story, or Green Greens?"

"Uh... let's go to Yoshi's."


Easier, faster, and does not incentivize silly superficial "mindgames" in a multi-step stage selection process. It's exactly the same as sequential vetos for perfectly informed actors, so the only reason to do anything slower is if we intentionally want to penalize less-informed newer players.
That's a great way to cut it down in time even further.

If veto of all the above, then the blind pick is what they go to.

I'm pretty sure nobody will want to go to the blind pick if they 3 picks. It's a really interesting psychological way to look at it actually. In the step-by-step style of vetoing I would expect things to end up at stage 4 quite often. But in this style of vetoing I would expect player 1 to pick one of these 3 stages rather than the blind unknown choice.

I like it.
 
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Thinkaman

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I'm pretty sure nobody will want to go to the blind pick if they 3 picks. It's a really interesting psychological way to look at it actually. In the step-by-step style of vetoing I would expect things to end up at stage 4 quite often. But in this style of vetoing I would expect player 1 to pick one of these 3 stages rather than the blind unknown choice.
There's no blind pick "wild card unknown option", it's just a simple cake-cutting algorithm.

"Here's 3 stages. Those are your options. Pick 1."

Edit:
This is a well-known algorithm among computer scientists, game theorists, and people who try to take their family to a restaurant.
 
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Skitrel

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There's no blind pick "wild card unknown option", it's just a simple cake-cutting algorithm.

"Here's 3 stages. Those are your options. Pick 1."

Edit:
This is a well-known algorithm among computer scientists, game theorists, and people who try to take their family to a restaurant.
Another thing that hasn't been discussed yet - How many stages should be offered in X number of legal stages?

I would actually be a little upset if we have 3 legal transformation stages and all 3 options presented to me were all transformations. So perhaps something should be done to account for that? I could imagine it being a point of contention.
 

NewGuy79

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There's no blind pick "wild card unknown option", it's just a simple cake-cutting algorithm.

"Here's 3 stages. Those are your options. Pick 1."

Edit:
This is a well-known algorithm among computer scientists, game theorists, and people who try to take their family to a restaurant.
while I do kinda dislike that this method won't allow for pick by pick mind games, the way You put it in your previous post is more than likely whats going to happen for the majority of players. it's probably too idealistic to think that the majority of local players will be considered fake outs and gambles when it comes to picking stages.

so im fully for this: players have complete control, it facilitates a large stage list and rewards players that know the stage list in depth.

That all being said it still suffers from the game 1 problem, any suggestions for this?

Another thing that hasn't been discussed yet - How many stages should be offered in X number of legal stages?

I would actually be a little upset if we have 3 legal transformation stages and all 3 options presented to me were all transformations. So perhaps something should be done to account for that? I could imagine it being a point of contention.
I'm pretty sure that the 3 is simply used as an example, we still need to see what the stage ls actually like before we can think about that. also isn't the winner's opinion on the losers picks irrelevant? if the loser thinks that they will have an advantage on 3 transforming stages then, by all means, they should be able to bring game 2 to one of them.

or would this be giving to much power to the loser? the only solution I can think of would be to increase the pool of choices but then we also need to consider the time naming more stages will take.
 
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MaestroDavros

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Another thing I would like to propose, and this goes back to something I talked about briefly prior. I'll be the first to admit that we don't know everything about how Omega and Battlefield mode stages work in Ultimate, but by what we've seen so far unlike SSB4 all Omega's are identical between each other and to to FD and in turn all Battlefield mode layout's are the same to Battlefield proper. If once the game arrives and analysis proves this to be the case, would it not be prudent to simply have the Omega's stand for FD layout and Battlefield mode stand in for Battlefield. Unlike SSB4 you wouldn't need to only have a small group of Omega's because of differences, they would be nonexistent. Instead if you want "Final Destination" you would simply toggle the cursor to "Ω" and select random there. Same procedure with Battlefield/Battlefield mode.

After thinking it over reading the comments here I agree that randomizing stages during selection is maybe a bad idea for Smash due to the layout differences. But with this we aren't dealing with a difference like Pokemon Stadium vs. Yoshi's Island, because this type of RNG would simply change the stage "skin". And if this is like SSB4, Omega's and now Battlefield mode stages will have separate random stage toggle option screens, which means that if there is a stream music issue, simply turn that stage (or "skin") off. This would be a win-win in my opinion.
 

infomon

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Another thing that hasn't been discussed yet - How many stages should be offered in X number of legal stages?

I would actually be a little upset if we have 3 legal transformation stages and all 3 options presented to me were all transformations. So perhaps something should be done to account for that? I could imagine it being a point of contention.
Check the conversation between me and Frihetsanka just a few posts up :)
 
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a lot of the arguments demonstrate a fear of not knowing what to strike. i dont buy that as a reason to say we shouldnt use this system. Striking is part of competitive smash. smash 4 players didn't develop that skill much as the stages weren't very diverse. You need to hone that skill as well. When you win game1 you are up 1-0 that is your advantage. Stage striking is not meant for you to basically pick round 2 after a win. you dont get control. the counterpick bans or strikes should be limited. When proposals list the losing player getting struck down to a hand full of stages that doesnt sit well with me.
Also, someone needs to explain to me what a "neutral" stage. I feel like the term doesnt match what my eyes and experience tell me. In the last 2 smash games and ultimate is closest to 4 the top tiers had a noticeable advantage on the starter stages: BF, T&C, SV. The people i knew that played shiek, cloud, or zss. felt the same. Being quick to want these stages that require actual stage awareness and knowledge is NOT good long term for the meta game. What is laso not good is just allowing one of these stages to be legal because it will just always be struck.

Part of me has a feeling that we're going to end up with an even more conservative stage list this time around (I can't think of a time where that didn't end up being the case a year after release). The amount of potentially viable stages is the largest it's ever been and I don't see TOs & players wanting to deal with many of the stages that were reluctantly made viable previously both for practicality and conservatism. I'll be surprised if any transitioning stages make it into tournaments. I think we'll see a rule about the Hazard Toggle always being set off.

Starter:
Battlefield, Final Destination, Pokemon Stadium*, Smashville,

Counterpick:
Dream Land 64*, Yoshi's Story, Lylat Cruise, Yoshi's Island (Brawl), WarioWare*, Unova PL*, Kalos PL*, Town and City,

Midgar would be redundant and could spark problems with Square Enix. I can see Frigate Orpheon, Arena Ferox, and Magicant being up for debate. Brinstar depends on the toggle. Duck Hunt I can ironically see being worse off with the Hazard Toggle.
Yep this will happen for sure. But it will happen because the top players dont want to have to learn more stages. The absolute competitive mindset will come through.
 

Skitrel

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or would this be giving to much power to the loser? the only solution I can think of would be to increase the pool of choices but then we also need to consider the time naming more stages will take.
I don't know. That's kind of the issue. It's a little unprecedented and hard to draw conclusive judgement about. With that said, the stage list as I see it looks something like this:

Definitely Legal (hazards+none)

Battlefield
Final Destination
Great Plateau
Dream Land
Frigate Orpheon
Lylat Cruise
Pokémon Stadium
Prism Tower
Smashville
Town and City
Yoshi's Island Brawl
Yoshi's Story

Possibly Legal (without hazards)

Arena Ferox - Won't have bad transformations or hazards.
Brinstar - May have none of the issues it usually has
Castle Siege - If it keeps first transformation it will be well liked.
Find Mii - Nice layout without the Dark Lord
Halberd - Will be less contentious without the bomb/arm, but will depend on bugs/ceiling that were in Smash 4.
Kalos Pokémon League - Nice stage without the pokemon
Mario Circuit - Nice stage without the hazards.
Midgar - Nice stage without the materia.
Norfair - Probably still banned when people argue about all the ledges. But will get debated.
Port Town Aero Dive - Nice stage without the vehicles or ground hazard.
Skyloft - Nice stage without the travelling stage hazards.
Unova Pokémon League - Nice stage without the pokemon
WarioWare, Inc. - Nice stage without the wario games.
Wily Castle - Nice stage without yellow boss.

By my count I think we're at around 20 to 26 legal stages currently.

Another thing I would like to propose, and this goes back to something I talked about briefly prior. I'll be the first to admit that we don't know everything about how Omega and Battlefield mode stages work in Ultimate, but by what we've seen so far unlike SSB4 all Omega's are identical between each other and to to FD and in turn all Battlefield mode layout's are the same to Battlefield proper. If once the game arrives and analysis proves this to be the case, would it not be prudent to simply have the Omega's stand for FD layout and Battlefield mode stand in for Battlefield. Unlike SSB4 you wouldn't need to only have a small group of Omega's because of differences, they would be nonexistent. Instead if you want "Final Destination" you would simply toggle the cursor to "Ω" and select random there. Same procedure with Battlefield/Battlefield mode.
I generally agree with you except there is an area of debate still to have regarding them. Stages with different surfaces. Grass stages have a different surface friction to regular stone floor stages. This affects how some characters perform. One example being Yoshi's egg roll is faster on grass, turnarounds are slower and a few other things.

Might be minor but some people will dislike having their muscle memory for dashing/other things altered ever so slightly by the surface friction difference.
 

MaestroDavros

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I generally agree with you except there is an area of debate still to have regarding them. Stages with different surfaces. Grass stages have a different surface friction to regular stone floor stages. This affects how some characters perform. One example being Yoshi's egg roll is faster on grass, turnarounds are slower and a few other things.

Might be minor but some people will dislike having their muscle memory for dashing/other things altered ever so slightly by the surface friction difference.
I'd just untoggle those stages. There weren't too many in SSB4 so it isn't a great loss.
 
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Yeah, you're right. I'm a bit worried that having too few bans/vetoes would lead people to play on really bad stages (compared to Smash Wii U, anyway), but having too many vetoes/bans is not good either (that favors the winner). So I guess I keep coming back to "9-12 stages is probably ideal", eh? I don't want the loser to get to choose between 10 stages freely, that seems like a bit much (in Smash 4 the loser got to choose from 4 stages).
Why is 10 stages too much? Why is any number of stages too much, for that matter, assuming the individual stages are all legal on their own merits?

Besides, Thinkaman's method, which I find myself liking the more I think about it, would trim down the option space significantly.

There's no blind pick "wild card unknown option", it's just a simple cake-cutting algorithm.

"Here's 3 stages. Those are your options. Pick 1."

Edit:
This is a well-known algorithm among computer scientists, game theorists, and people who try to take their family to a restaurant.
I believe that if the method works for family outings, it can probably work anywhere. Because families, of course, are the hardest group of people to wrangle together.
 
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dav3yb

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Hazards off makes the large top piece unbreakable right now, so it's too cave-of-lifey for people.

Arena Ferox - Won't have bad transformations or hazards.
Are you assuming some of the transformations will be absent with hazards off? there aren't any real hazards here anyway.

Midgar - Nice stage without the materia.
Battlefield Echo

Wily Castle - Nice stage without yellow boss.
FD Echo.
 
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No, i do not. Smash is a platform fighter, with unique stages. Being able to adapt to those stages is part of the game.
I think being able to adapt to your opponent is far more important, and I'd rather stage pick played a marginal role and player skill played more of a role. I don't think it's really much "Being able to adapt to those stages" as much as those stages being good or bad for different characters. I think our different perspective on this issue is one of the major reasons why we disagree with each other: You want to make stages play more of a role, I want them to play as much as in Smash Wii U or less.

Easier, faster, and does not incentivize silly superficial "mindgames" in a multi-step stage selection process. It's exactly the same as sequential vetos for perfectly informed actors, so the only reason to do anything slower is if we intentionally want to penalize less-informed newer players.
This is the same as the loser offering a bunch of stages and the winner picking one of those, correct? I could see that option having some merit, although we'd probably have to ban stages that are too similar (to avoid situations where the loser offers something like Battlefield, Midgar, Dream Land 64, and Yoshi's Story). You shouldn't be forced to play on a triplat or Final Destination Omega (though chances are only two of those will be legal, Final Destination and potentially Wily Castle). This could be solved by either adding a rule like "If you've already offered Battlefield, then any similar stage, i.e. stage X, Y, and Z, won't count towards the minumum number of stages listed". So that way, if you offer Battlefield and Midgar, then that would still just count as one stage.

If you start grouping things, you're artificially rebalancing the game. If the designers only put water in 3 stages, but there are 7 tri-plats, that's a suggestion that tri-plat gameplay is more important than water. We should assume that the characters are balanced against those parameters, and similarly, that skill should be measured against what the game is (proportionately) giving us to work with.
I think you're assuming too much when it comes to deliberate design. Just look at Smash Wii U as an example: We didn't legalize Miiverse since it's too similar to Battlefield, and if you ban Battlefield you automatically ban Dream Land 64. I find that reasonable, yet you could make a case that we were "artificially rebalancing the game". I think that's fine. Do you think we should have gone with a stage list like this in Smash Wii U:

Battlefield
Dream Land 64
Miiverse
Lylat Cruise
Town & City
Smashville
Final Destination

It seems pretty clear to me that such a stagelist would heavily favor characters good on Battlefield-like stages. Let's assume we go with 7 starters, if someone is facing someone good on triplats they'd be forced to strike Battlefield, Dream Land 64, and Miiverse, and any set they win they'd be forced to play on a triplat. Meanwhile, when they lose a set the opponent could easily ban their best stage (let's say it's Final Destination) and they'd be force to go to Smashville or Town & City (and, because of Dave's Stupid Rule, they might not be able to go to one of them, thus severely limiting their options compared to the opponent's).

I would actually be a little upset if we have 3 legal transformation stages and all 3 options presented to me were all transformations. So perhaps something should be done to account for that? I could imagine it being a point of contention.
If we assume that there will be 3 legal transformation stages (I don't think there will be), then perhaps we could make a rule like "You may only suggest one/two transformation stages". Perhaps this rule could be used for triplats as well (and other similar stage layouts, if there are any). Might be a good idea to limit it to one, or else characters good on Final Destination could suggest Final Destination + Wily Castle + a third stage, thus basically either guaranteeing FD or their second best stage (and getting the second best stage in a larger stage list is generally better than getting their second best stage in a stage list with 5 stages).

That all being said it still suffers from the game 1 problem, any suggestions for this?
Create a list of 5/7/9 starter stages and strike as normal.

Also, someone needs to explain to me what a "neutral" stage.
There are two meanings, as far as I know. The first is (mostly) as a synonym to starter (as opposed to counter-pick). The second means that the stage is neutral (or fairly neutral) in the context of the matchup. If both characters benefit roughly equally from Battlefield, then that stage is neutral in that matchup. Both Sonic and Little Mac benefit from Final Destination, so in that matchup, it's a neutral stage*, but Charizard doesn't benefit from Final Destination, so with Charizard vs Little Mac, Final Destination is not neutral.

Whenever I use the term "neutral" I will use it in the second sense. If I mean "starter" I'll just write "starter" and avoid confusion.

*Reservation: I'm neither an expert on Sonic nor Little Mac, so I could be mistaken on how neutral FD is in that matchup.

If once the game arrives and analysis proves this to be the case, would it not be prudent to simply have the Omega's stand for FD layout and Battlefield mode stand in for Battlefield.
If they are exactly alike in every aspect aside from aesthetic, then this seems like a non-issue either way. I imagine some stages could be an issue on stream because of copyright issues, but if people want this rule on local tournaments, go ahead. I assume you'd want it for the difference in music? Either way it doesn't seem to matter much (assuming the stages are exactly alike).

Why is 10 stages too much? Why is any number of stages too much, for that matter, assuming the individual stages are all legal on their own merits?
I've mentioned this several times: It would give too big of an advantage to whoever is counter-picking, at least unless we add some rules to circumvent stacking (like rules against multiple triplats or multiple FD clones).
 

Skitrel

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Hazards off makes the large top piece unbreakable right now, so it's too cave-of-lifey for people.
Fair. Maybe an edge case where hazards on is legal while the hazards off versions is not then.

Are you assuming some of the transformations will be absent with hazards off? there aren't any real hazards here anyway.
I had actually assumed that transformation stages would probably just stay in their first transformation permanently. I haven't seen how transformation stages are handled with hazards off but the very act of transforming causes deaths sometimes, I would think this would fall into the definition of "hazard" to Nintendo.

Battlefield/FD Echo
I agree on FD, disagree on Battlefield. If the platforms are at a different height then it's unfair to call any stage an echo of battlefield. A very slightly different height results in needing to burn a second jump to get on some platforms. MiiVerse wasn't really a Battlefield Echo for that reason either in my opinion. I would consider Midgar a counter pick though for that reason, not a starter.

The rest of the currently known stages are definitely un-debateable. I struck them off one by one for either walk offs, too large or random stage layouts. I intentionally left in the stages that would be more heavily debated so that the list would be as complete as possible.

EDIT: May be wrong about Midgar platform heights. Points about it making a difference remain though. Midgar itself might be gone but I hope we'd be more nuanced and don't just blanket-remove things because they're superficially similar looking but mechanically different in practice.
 
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Fair. Maybe an edge case where hazards on is legal while the hazards off versions is not then.



I had actually assumed that transformation stages would probably just stay in their first transformation permanently. I haven't seen how transformation stages are handled with hazards off but the very act of transforming causes deaths sometimes, I would think this would fall into the definition of "hazard" to Nintendo.



I agree on FD, disagree on Battlefield. If the platforms are at a different height then it's unfair to call any stage an echo of battlefield. A very slightly different height results in needing to burn a second jump to get on some platforms. MiiVerse wasn't really a Battlefield Echo for that reason either in my opinion. I would consider Midgar a counter pick though for that reason, not a starter.

The rest of the currently known stages are definitely un-debateable. I struck them off one by one for either walk offs, too large or random stage layouts. I intentionally left in the stages that would be more heavily debated so that the list would be as complete as possible.
In Smash 4, Midgar was identical to Battlefield in basically every aspect I could feasibly test by myself, with the obvious exception of the Summon Materia. Maybe the underside of the stage had slightly different collision but that's about it. The platforms and blast zones were a perfect match.

EDIT: Miiverse's differences are a little more obvious (namely the shape of the main stage and the lack of a gap between the platforms) but its blast zones are also pretty damn close -- as in, +/- 1% close -- and I'm not convinced the differences are significant enough for it to count as a separate stage. (This also assumes Miiverse will return as a stage in the first place, since the Miiverse service itself has been shut down for a while now.)
 
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NewGuy79

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I had actually assumed that transformation stages would probably just stay in their first transformation permanently. I haven't seen how transformation stages are handled with hazards off but the very act of transforming causes deaths sometimes, I would think this would fall into the definition of "hazard" to Nintendo.
We do know that Pokemon stadium 1&2 stay on their first form when hazards are off, so transforming stages remain on the Spawn layout per say. Its however unclear what travelling stages do with hazards off, while they may turn off hazards like the arm and cannon on Halbred they may not disable the travelling itself.
 
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Thinkaman

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Thinkaman
Good reasons to ban a stage:
  • Loops
    • Hard loops
      • Temple
      • Summit
      • New Pork City
      • Palutena's Temple
      • Jungle Hijinx
    • Soft loops
      • Wrecking Crew
      • Tomadachi Life
      • Hyrule Castle
      • Wooly World?
      • Windy Hill Zone?
      • Luigi's Mansion?
      • Great Bay?
      • Peach's Castle (64)?
      • Mushroom Kingdom II
      • Spear Pillar
      • Big Battlefield
      • Moray Towers (most likely)
  • Random events that can directly kill (or stun/bury) a player without reasonable warning
    • All Bosses
      • Wily Castle Yellow Devil
      • Gaur Plain Metal Face
      • Pyrosphere Ridley
    • Certain stage hazards
      • Hyrule Castle tornado
      • Saffron City pokemon
      • Big Blue track is a weird case but almost certainly qualifies
      • Green Greens bombs?
      • Pictochat spikes?
      • Wario Ware challenges?
      • Frigate flip?
      • Spear Pillar lasers + control changes
      • Unova Pokemon League hazards + control changes
      • Garden of Hope crab?
      • Kalos Pokemon League swords + rayquazzy
      • Mute City (3DS) car transitions?
      • Gamer mom
      • Norfair plumes
      • Distant Planet Bulborb?
  • Permanent unapproachable locations
    • Permanent walk-offs
      • Flat Zone
      • Wii Fit Studio
      • Onett
      • Yoshi's Island (Melee)
      • 75m
      • Bridge of Eldin
      • Mario Circuit (Brawl)
      • Green Hill Zone
      • Mushroomy Kingdom
      • Boxing Ring
      • Gaur Plain
      • 3D Land?
      • Paper Mario?
      • Shadow Moses Island
      • Balloon Fight
      • Gerudo Valley
      • Living Room
      • Reset Bomb Forest platforms (various)
      • Coliseum
      • Pac-Land
      • The Great Cave Offensive
      • Mario Galaxy
      • Mushroom Kingdom (Melee)
      • Mario Bros
      • Dream Land (3DS)
      • Golden Plains
      • Pac-Maze
      • Distant Planet? It's a weird case
    • Permanent positions with no or limited ground approach options
      • Havenbow platforms
      • Kongo Falls rock
      • Suzaku castle platforms
      • Yoshi's 64 clouds
      • Pilotwings engines
      • Venom corners
      • Fourside corners
      • Corneria corner?
      • Hyrule Castle corner?
      • Saffron City platform?
      • Many Super Mario Maker layouts
      • Great Bay platform?
      • Peach's Castle (64) lower area?
      • The Great Cave Offensive
  • Prevalent lack of ledges
    • Poke Floats?
      • ...Poke Floats.
      • Also Brinstar Depths
Debatable reasons to ban a stage:
  • Random, unreactable event that grants advantage
    • Rewards stage position/control with a random, long-lasting advantage
      • Wario Ware microgames
      • Midgar materia?
      • Halberd hazards?
      • Find Mii boss
      • Magicant Flying Man
    • May suddenly interrupt players with light hitboxes
      • Pictochat
      • Mushroom Kingdom U?
      • Planet Zebes
  • Rapid transitioning stages that have been shown to unduly penalize slower characters and new players
    • Vertical scrollers
      • Icicle Mountain
      • Rumble Falls
    • Rapid transitions that force constant aerial relocation
      • Orbital Gate Assualt
      • Spirit Train
      • Poke Floats?
      • 3D Land?
      • Paper Mario?
      • Umbra Clock Tower? mostly the randomness

Not reasons to ban a stage:
  • You don't like it
  • Because it was banned in a previous game--especially if that game had waveshining, planking, water-stalling, or gliding
  • Literally any other reason

New players tend to just emulate the modern status quo, which has a hard-on for "eSports" and simplifying the game as much as possible to act like other fighting games. Y'all playing dress-up in your parents clothes.

These stages were all tournament legal at times in my life, and were fantastic competitive experiences:
  • Melee
    • Brinstar
    • Green Greens
    • Jungle Japes
    • Rainbow Cruise
    • Mute City (Melee)
  • Brawl
    • All of the above (obv sans Mute City)
    • Pokemon Stadium 2
    • Delfino Plaza
    • Frigate Orpheon
    • Halberd
    • Luigi's Mansion
    • PictoChat
    • Norfair
    • Pirate Ship
    • Skyworld
  • WiiU
    • Delfino Plaza
    • Wuhu Island
    • Skyloft
    • Duck Hunt
    • Mario Circuit (WiiU)
    • Mushroomy Kingdom U
    • Windy Hill Zone
Additionally, I play a lot of WiiU competitive friendlies on Peach's Castle (64), and they are consistently good matches. I also play a decent amount on Super Mario Maker, but those are obviously very hit or miss.

Nowadays people are so scrubby that they want to ban Pokemon Stadium 1 and Lylat Cruise, and GOD FORBID there be a single hitbox or hint of randomness on the stage. (No matter how much warning time is given or how tactical the situation becomes.)
 

Jamisinon

Smash Apprentice
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The veto system is very simple.

1. Player 1 suggests a stage.
2. Player 2 has 3 vetos. They either agree to the stage or use a veto.
3. If Player 2 used a veto, player 1 chooses another stage.
4. Repeat until player 2 uses all of their vetos or accepts a stage.
SIMPLER PROCESS:
1. Player 1 bans a stage.
2. Player 2 chooses a stage.

what about a player's choice option? We keep the current ruleset, prioritize variety in our list of say 5 or 7 stages, and allow each player to add one stage of their choice as a counterpick that isn't already listed (granted it has to be legal). This gets done as a blind pick before the rps and is the only addition for the entire set, and allows for more stages to be used without adding too much time and keeps people from getting too much strength in the counterpick scenario like vetoing. (and keeps players from having to learn a whole new set of rules for 1 smash game).
I think you would sadly find most people would always use their ban on whatever extra stage their opponent introduced. I think it theory it would interesting but both players would obviously add in a very strong counter-picks and since it's very likely going to be less practiced by their opponent it's the most likely to be banned every game.
One big advantage that vetoing has over traditional striking, for counterpicking from a large stage list, is that it's a lot less time-consuming in nearly all cases.
Most proponents of striking are still advocating for a smaller stage list. Counter-picking will be faster with banning then choosing as opposed to choosing, vetoing then choosing again. I don't think this will be a major issue either way as stage selection has historically been done fairly quickly in sets. But the current method would still most likely prove to be quicker.
You absolutely don't need more than 5 vetoes for a list of 35 stages.
This would make counter-picks VERY strong.
Another thing I would like to propose, and this goes back to something I talked about briefly prior. I'll be the first to admit that we don't know everything about how Omega and Battlefield mode stages work in Ultimate, but by what we've seen so far unlike SSB4 all Omega's are identical between each other and to to FD and in turn all Battlefield mode layout's are the same to Battlefield proper. If once the game arrives and analysis proves this to be the case, would it not be prudent to simply have the Omega's stand for FD layout and Battlefield mode stand in for Battlefield. Unlike SSB4 you wouldn't need to only have a small group of Omega's because of differences, they would be nonexistent. Instead if you want "Final Destination" you would simply toggle the cursor to "Ω" and select random there. Same procedure with Battlefield/Battlefield mode.
I'd be totally okay with this assuming the stage/platform layout and blast zones were identical. Let the person selecting the stage choose any stage in Omega or BF mode simply BC they like the music or the background. Sm4sh to a small extent used this at times but there were a lot of minor differences that could impact gameplay like a stage technically being 2D, an area under the stage where you could wall jump/wall cling to that wasn't present in FD. But if they are identically I'd see no reason not to allow this.

Now let the quoting me in posts and arguments for large stage list commence.
 

NewGuy79

Smash Journeyman
Joined
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Messages
204
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In the mountains, training....
Ya know while we're on the topic of stages again, can we discuss the prospects of Green Greens being legal?

I feel like out of all the Hazardless stages that we have Green Greens is the most unique while also being a relatively stable pick. the removal of the boxes and apple take out most of the RNG within the stage.

the gaps between the side platforms and the main platforms are probably one of the best examples of what a "legal" gap would be sized, as all characters can mack the gap by simply short hopping or better yet simply running off and grabbing the ledge.

the short blast zones also add a fair bit to the stage (if they are kept), something that I didn't like about Wii U's stages was that the blast zones for all of them were heavily homogenized, it kinda took away a lot of the charm from certain stages (looking at you dreamland), here's hoping that Yoshi's keeps its blats zones.

So am I crazy or can Green Greens potentially become legal again any thoughts?
 
Last edited:

infomon

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I think you're assuming too much when it comes to deliberate design. Just look at Smash Wii U as an example: We didn't legalize Miiverse since it's too similar to Battlefield, and if you ban Battlefield you automatically ban Dream Land 64. I find that reasonable, yet you could make a case that we were "artificially rebalancing the game". I think that's fine. Do you think we should have gone with a stage list like this in Smash Wii U:

Battlefield
Dream Land 64
Miiverse
Lylat Cruise
Town & City
Smashville
Final Destination

It seems pretty clear to me that such a stagelist would heavily favor characters good on Battlefield-like stages.
Yeah, Smash Wii U gave us a terrible situation. We can hardly judge "who's the best at the game" when most of the game can't be legal. We have to ask "who's the best at the legal parts", and they're a skewed sample. So the game's balance is already screwed up due to that.

Consider: if those were the only stages in WiiU, then yes we should include them all, treating them as separate stages. It's only awkward because we banned most of the stages, so we know this is a biased subset that hardly reflects skill at the whole.

There isn't a great answer here, and thankfully we're expecting much better from Ultimate. Let's hope that the legal stages are generally reflective of the whole stage-list, and in appropriate proportions. I think we have good cause to be optimistic. My only worry is that "hazard toggle" will be an excuse to neuter valid parts of the game.


We'll probably just end up debating what the starter set should be. Community divided between "small set of simple stages" vs. "larger set of stages that represent more diversity from the full (legal) stage-list". I'll be in the latter camp.

We have to work-around the fact that we can't stage-strike from the full list of legal stages, because there's too many. Honestly I think the best way to pick the first stage is to randomly select 9 stages, and stage-strike from there. I'm anti-randomness, but that's using randomness effectively to get a better outcome than if we have a biased static set of 9 starters.

But since there's no convenient way to do that, we'll be stuck with arguing over a starter list.
 

Thinkaman

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I don't support random first stage, but I will point out that we did it for years and years in Melee and Brawl without incident.

Blind random first stage.

Widespread stage striking only really emerged in, idk, 2010? I was the guy who spearheaded it in my city as a TO.
 
Joined
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We can hardly judge "who's the best at the game" when most of the game can't be legal.
The question has never really been "Who is the best at the game" but rather "Who is the best at competitive Smash", which is a different story. You could make the case that in order to be best at the game one would have to beat All-Star-Mode on the hardest difficulty level with 1 stock with every character really fast, or do well in 4 player FFA with items and time, or coin battle, etc etc. We're already establishing a bunch of rules and restrictions when we talk about competitive Smash, so I don't think that's much of an issue anyway.
 

OhMyBanana54

Smash Apprentice
Joined
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Messages
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Here’s a crazy new idea: what if before two players do any matches in a tournament, they each draft like 3 stages to play on?

Stages that are selected by both players will be considered starters or neutrals, stages selected by one player will be that player’s counter pick and stages selected by neither are banned.

Now if neither player shares stages with the other, they’d draft again, picking slightly less this time. Before any matches after the first one, the winner bans one counterpick and the loser selects a new stage from his draft picks.

I think this is a good way at keeping things quick while not limiting the stage list but it’s a little overwhelming so I’m open to criticism of course.
 
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