Smash Ultimate Ruleset Philosophy

falln

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#1
The Smash community (speaking from the Wii U scene transitioning to Ultimate. I can't speak for the Melee community) has been in dire need of a forum for centralizing information for a long time now. Somewhere conversations regarding tournament rulesets, stage/character legality, seeding discussions, tournament calendars, and other miscellaneous topics can be tracked easily and transparently.

Just a quick bio since I don't know every major TO across all smash scenes and thus wouldn't expect all to know me. I am falln, a top Smash 4 SoCal player. I meme about my PGR longevity (4 times soon to be 5 btw) and up til now I've been holding conversations re: smash community infrastructure primarily on Twitter.

The topic on Twitter today has been about how to best handle the smash Ultimate stage list, given our current information. The hazards toggle button presumably will blow the door wide open on what stages could qualify as legal. Here are some ideas that have been floated around so far:

-One giant list. follow standard procedure, but takes longer to sift through and increases burden of knowledge for new players
-One small/medium list. Keeps things simple, but requires discussion on what elements we no longer wish to have in competitive Smash.
-Rotating stage list. Keeps overall stage list small, but subjectively enforces a meta based on season.
-Lumping stages into categories and banning clumps of stages (I ban tri-plat layouts, etc). Not something I have fully formed an opinion on yet
-One giant list, but loser picks 2-3 stages as a counterpick and the winner agrees to one stage from that subset. also not something I've currently formed a full opinion on yet.

I'm sure everyone is of course open to other creative ideas, and of course there are a lot of variables we won't know until the game is fully released. That being said, it is important to begin these conversations early so we can hit the ground running by 2019. Smash Ultimate is a huge opportunity for us to grow as an esport, and I would love to see a unified front on putting Smash in the best possible position moving forward.
 
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TLTC

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#2
Seeing as we are doing introductions I will hop on that train as well.

I am TLTC, a Smash 4 SoCal player. I am one of the original members of the Smash 4 Ruleset Committee and one of the people that worked on the Smash 4 recommended ruleset. Along with this, I have seeded multiple national events with Zan.

From what ive found so far, many of the top players would like to keep the stagelist small. I ran a poll with a couple of options regarding this.

On stage amount - https://twitter.com/ImTLTC/status/1007330782610747392


I know twitter polls arent exactly the best option for getting information due to how information is viewed on twitter but a decent rule of thumb is you can take a +/- 10% as long as you get enough votes.

As for a stage rotation, I think the idea has merit but I dont see it panning out in the long run. Logistically it comes up with some scary issues and there is nothing stopping a TO from just ignoring it and doing their own thing. Both Canada and Texas are good examples of this.

With the inclusion of a hazard toggle I think the most important thing is keeping it consistent. Its not going to go well if we include a set of stages with hazards on and then some that require a toggle off. Most likely, its going to be set off and any stages that need it on will just not be used. We hopefully get to pick and choose this time for stages and we don't have to be desperate to keep bad ones.

Finally, the last thing I would like to approach is the Omega/Battlefield Omega stages. I am personally super happy if all of these are the exact same layout so we can use them as substitutes to FD and Battlefield. One of the major challenges with this though, is going to be music licensing. For every stage that is used at a major, the TO needs to get the OK to use this music. 2 series that have been notoriously against this are the MOTHER series and the Sonic series. There are going to need to be some of these banned due to this restriction but its not because we want to its because we have to.
 
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#3

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#4
I've been thinking about this as well, and even doing a bit of analysis as to which stages could potentially be legal, comparing the list of stages in Ultimate that we already know about with stage lists from previous Smash games. It's definitely something interesting to think about, and while I don't think the stage list will end up being be as huge as some people are worried it might be, it's still a major concern.

To introduce myself, I'm Scribe, the current editor-in-chief of Smashboards' news team. My involvement here is probably kinda shaky, since I'm mostly a content creator and am currently unable to compete on a national scale, but an eye for ruleset philosophy is part of why I was brought onto the team in the first place, so hopefully I'll be of some assistance here.

I think one of the big things that gets overlooked is looking at the stage list and stage pick process separately - a lot of people seem to operate on the assumption that we have to stick with stage striking as it has been across all previous installments when, as the latter two proposals show, it might be worth considering using a different system.

I think a lot of people are focusing on trying to tailor the stage list to the existing stage pick process (alternating bans for starters, winner bans then loser picks for counterpicks), when I think we might want to try doing the opposite - determine a list of which stages should be banned outright, which ones are perfectly fine, and which ones are somewhat tenuous, then work on a selection method from there that's both fair and logistically sound.

On top of that, I think we're gonna have a good number of redundant stages - ones with pretty much the same layout as an existing stage, but maybe a different main platform shape or slightly different blast zones, so we might want to keep that in mind. Off the top of my head, I've seen three sets of stages with essentially the same layout.
  • Flat stages: On top of Final Destination and Omegas, Hazardless Wily's Castle is confirmed to not have any of the extra platforms appear, and Hazardless Pictochat will likely be the same. The main difference there seems to be the presence of walls on Wily's and Pictochat and the size of the their blast zones.
  • Tri-plats: So far we've seen both Battlefield and Midgar. Yoshi's Story and Hazardless Dream Land could tenuously be in the same position but I think the smaller size on Yoshi's and the different blast zones on Dream Land might differentiate them enough - Dream Land did count the same as Battlefield for the latter half of Smash 4 (tho the decision certainly was a contentious one)
  • Duo-plats: Not only do we have both Pokemon Stadiums, we also have Unova Pokemon League, which has the same basic layout with a walled platform.
I might be getting ahead of myself by bringing this up so early in the conversation, but I think it's an important thing to take note of while outlining the philosophy behind which stages are legal and how our stage pick process works, and depending on what the community does with redundant stages, it might cut down on the effective number of stages - or it might not even matter depending on the selection method (e.g. the idea of lumping stages into categories).
 

Max Ketchum

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#5
Yo guys, Max Ketchum here.

I'm a commentator, TO, and competitor from NJ. The ruleset affects me in multiple ways at tournaments, and I want to keep it as clean and uniform as possible after the first few months of narrowing down the stages. I'm not a huge fan of forums, as I don't have the bandwidth/attention span to use them properly to keep up with these discussions, but I'm happy to participate in any public voice calls about the rules going forward.

I'll start by saying that our absolute minimum criteria for a stage to be legal is that it can't have any hitboxes and can't kill you without direct input from your opponent. For example, Town and City would be banned under these criteria because the platforms can take you all the way out and remove a stock without your opponent hitting you. This stage was pretty questionable and was probably only legal in Smash 4 because of the utter lack of alternatives.

Also, any stages with glitches/clipping like Lylat should go immediately as well.

Looking forward to the game coming out so we can all contribute more meaningfully!
 
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falln

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#6
I agree with banning stages that involve clipping and direct hazards, and of course the community recognizes walls/walkoffs/circles/cave-of-life/overly strong camping spots (DH tree) as degenerate features. Assuming that we do truly end up with a surplus of potentially viable stages, these are other gameplay elements that I think warrant a closer look:

-permanently sharkable bottom floor (think delfino, halberd, brinstar).
-stages with low ceilings (to this day i dont think Smash 4 was balanced with any ceiling height TC sized or lower in mind)
-stages with asymmetric spawning points (consider the strength of villager's rocket and other projectiles if he spawns uphill or downhill on castle siege, or how approaching a snake changes if he spawns on the left vs right side of frigate)
-possible foreground or background aesthetics (the right side of omega castle siege has obstructive foreground. s4 FD background has a blinding sequence, etc).

these are all elements i think aren't preferred, but have at one point or another been "put up with" in previous titles due to a lack of choices otherwise. i believe that the more stages we have available, the harsher we can begin to be in our requirements for a competitive stage
 

Max Ketchum

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#7
I don't think we need to worry too much about certain characters being strong on certain stages. That's going to happen regardless of what we allow--even the most unquestionably legal stages (Battlefield, FD) will have impacts on the metagame, so I'm not worried about how Lloid Rocket starting on a slant will affect things. That said, the RNG associated with it is potentially problematic (if this game is anything like Smash 4, ports don't determine where you spawn), but probably not significant enough to warrant a ruling.

Boundary size is probably a case-by-case basis--if the stage is completely fine but people are dying to strong uthrows at 30 near the top, might have to go.

Permanently sharkable bottom probably falls under this category. Yes, it'll be abusable by some characters, but that's fine. Three static platforms can be abused by Cloud or Fox in Smash 4. I'd say any stage with such a floor should probably be a counterpick, but if it's a really good stage overall, then maybe it could be neutral.

Annoying aesthetics are probably fine, unless they're found to cause seizures or legitimate problems. If it's on FD again, we should just universally agree to an Omega stage.
 
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#8
Sup. PracticalTAS here, I've been around the block a few times. Melee analyst/content creator/rankings guy, PGR algorithm writer, a few other hats.

1) I've been working on a few assumptions so far, the most important of which is that the hazard toggle will be a system-wide setting (like setting the time limit) instead of a per-game option (like selecting Omega stages), and thus that we will not have to decide between a stage's hazardous and hazardless forms - the hazardous form will always be banned, as the complexity cost of keeping track of the setting will introduce too much friction to the process to be viable. This is important, because it means we won't need to worry about, say, the merits of Town & City's platforms subtly shifting; the version with shifting will not be an option.

In addition, the fact that we're expecting a significant number of potentially legal stages (ie ones that would be unquestionably legal in WiiU if they were the only addition to the stage roster) means that we can be very strict when it comes to stages with matching functionality: the ruleset doesn't need a place for hazardless Dream Land if we have 10 other equally good stages with unique layouts.


2) With these assumptions in mind, we specifically want to look for stages with unique platform layouts. For instance, all of the following stages (hazardless) would need to have some critical flaw in order to not be considered viable, and I expect the starter stages upon the game's release to be a subset of them:
  • Battlefield (or another triplat)
  • Final Destination
  • Smashville
  • WarioWare
  • Lylat Cruise
  • Yoshi's Island (Brawl)
  • Pokemon Stadium (1 or 2)
(In a 5-starter ruleset, I figure the most likely of these two to be moved to counterpick would be FD and YI, but that's obviously very open for debate and dependent on the exact implementation of the hazard toggle, as well as our tolerance for 4-6 more years of Smashville)


3) Furthermore, I think we should reconsider the counterpicking process. Selecting a single ban from any more than 6 stages is tedious and unfriendly to newcomers; I'd like to float the idea of:
  • all stages that the loser has previously won on cannot be chosen (DSR),
  • the previous match's loser selects 3 stages,
  • the winner bans one of those 3,
  • and the loser selects from the other 2,
as a universal counterpicking process regardless of the number of legal stages or the length of the set. This would require about 9 legal stages to be necessary. As mentioned, the benefit is that it removes the onus from the previous game's winner to consider the entire legal stage list before banning; it also keeps agency in the hands of the previous game's loser (unlike the pick-2-ban-1 system that I was initially considering), and removes the pressure that the counterpick process currently applies in favor of continuously making the stage list smaller.

Of course, the players can always gentleman back to any legal stage, but any combination of stage list and counterpick process should seek to minimize that behavior whenever possible, as I believe this does.
 
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Xiivi

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#9
Yo. I'm Xiivi, Midwest (Indiana) TO and longtime Smashboards GM.

PracticalTAS PracticalTAS brings up a good point and something I've been dwelling on since the knowledge that we might have an abundance of stage options. That being: With an overabundance of stages, what actually would be an ideal stage count, striking/banning method, starter/counterpick classification, etc...

If we somehow had 30 unique stage/platform layouts with no issues; having all 30 as legal stages wouldn't best the best for competition. There comes a point where too many options becomes a burden to players being able to effectively practice and prepare for match-ups. So if we aren't limited by the number of unique competitive stages available to us, what would be an ideal stage format for competition? 5 Starters? 7 Starters? 9 Starters? 1-1-1-1 Striking? 1-2-2-1 Striking? Should we even have Counterpick-only stages? If so how many? Etc... We might have a real opportunity to determine what is actually best for competition.

Right now we don't know the full stage list and don't have full details on how the hazard toggle is going to function and how it will affect certain stages. Trying to determine what stages are legal now is a stretch; but determining what type of stage system is ideal for competition ahead of time could be and could also help for unification purposes. If we head into game's releasing telling TOs "Hey a system where X stages are starter and Y stages are counterpick and you strike in Z manner is best for competition", gravitating towards a universal stage list and system could be easier. If it turns out that there aren't enough viable stages to fit that format, we can then take it from there and cut down as necessary (like how the Duck Hunt stage eventually got cut because it just wasn't a good competitive stage and we had to change the format to account for the fact we didn't have as many stage options available to us as we'd have liked).
 

Smash G 0 D

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#10
Hi all, I'm Rishi (otherwise known as SmashG0D). I wear a lot of hats in multiple games but most people know me as a top Melee player.

I want to throw my support behind a few points, and provide brief elaborations:
1) Let's start from scratch with what we consider to be "viable" stages.
Max touched on this - no stages that can kill you without your opponent inputting a button (e.g. T&C platforms, Yoshi's Island (Brawl) platforms). In the past, we have had to stretch our definition of viable in order to scrounge up a sufficient number of legal stages. In the ideal case, we are working with a multitude of options in SSBU. We should start from the bottom up in any case.

2) Starters --> Unique Platform Layouts, "normal" blastzones | Counterpicks --> Blastzone variation
As PTAS mentioned, we are possibly looking at multiple unique platform layouts. Given an idea selection of stages, our list of "neutral" stages would include unique platform layouts, and our counterpicks would be minor variations to layout and blastzone size. Our traditional idea of a counterpick is a stage that has an element or two that precludes it from being a neutral. This doesn't need to be the case with a broad selection.
An example might look like this - Starters: Battlefield, FD, Smashville, Stadium (Frozen), Lylat (Frozen). Counterpicks: Yoshi's Story, Dreamland 64, WarioWare.
WarioWare is a unique platform layout, but historically has been very small - the extreme blastzone would lead it to the counterpick. Again, this is just an example of how we would apply this philosophy based on historical stage data. For all we know, the WarioWare blast zone could be normalized, in which case it may replace FD as a starter.

I want to clarify - I'm not assuming an infinite selection of viable stages. Rather, I want to use that hypothetical as a means through which we develop our idealized stagelist philosophy. Once we learn about the stages upon release, we can measure what is available to us against the philosophy we develop, and trim or tweak as necessary. I said this in the Twitter thread, but if you missed it: "arguing hypotheticals" about SSBU stages is distinctly different from "debating a ruleset philosophy." I'm trying to engage in the latter as much as possible.

3) We may have to explore other counterpick methods, but it depends on presentation.
This falls more into logistics than philosophy for me. A cumbersome stagelist with small icons or a lot of scrolling will make counterpicking a tiresome process. It's nice if we have few enough stages that you can easily visualize them in your head, but there's a decent chance we end up with more than 7 legal stages. This is important to consider not just for the huge influx of newcomers, but for veterans trying to keep track of a stagelist that might change multiple times early in its life. If there is no in-game way to easily keep track, I might look into coding/outsourcing an app that does stage striking automatically. This is a long way off, but it's something I've been thinking about for a while(and that would probably be easy to program - could also include a 50/50 on who gets first strike).

That's all for now, looking forward to some productive discussion. At the very least, there's no way we can degenerate as much as the MK ban discussions did in the BBR ;)
 
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#11
Sup, Tantalus here. I've been running smash tournaments for almost 10 years and as far as I know from a sheer number perspective i've run more events than anyone in the smash scene currently. I've made rulesets for Brawl, Project M and Smash 4, and i'm one of the main reasons 2 stock became a standard for Smash 4.

I'm looking forward to discussing and proposing an ideal competitive ruleset that the competitive scene at large can get behind. I'm looking to start liberal from a ruleset perspective and then tighten down the reigns as we find what is or isn't working. I don't really have any concrete thoughts behind the current stage possibilities as there are too many unknowns that factor in currently. I have tons of ideas and have been reading the suggestions put forth by many folks.
 

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#12
From what I've heard the stage hazard switch is an option on the stage selection screen, not in the match rules section, so allowing some stages with hazards and others without may be an option.

In terms of breaking down stages to understand which ones should be legal and which ones shouldn't, I've been working alongside Hangman, Yankee and Kokopuffs from Long Island on compiling a list of each legal stage from past Smash games, breaking down what makes each stage unique, and looking at . It's incomplete, since the original plan was as a proposed plan for stage rotations that we since abandoned when we realized that such a format wouldn't be suitable for Smash. You can find it here. idk how useful it'll be and the readability of it is... not great, but it could work as a jumping off point.

After breaking stages down by trait, I'd consider flagging certain traits in terms of how they may affect legality - e.g. Large stages or ones that can harm players? Definitely banned. Platforms that move past the blast zone? Questionable. Asymmetrical layouts? Either Questionable or Counterpick-Only.
 
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#13
So, Project M had plenty of legal stages but not all of them are used. When I was doing rulesets we based the rules on balancing the sizes of the stages compared to the layouts. You consider Small, Medium and Large stages as well as tri plats, twin plats, and FD. For matchup purposes, if we felt stages were accomplishing the same thing, even if the layouts or ledges were slightly different, they got axed.

For example, their 2017 ruleset was 9 stages:

Starters:
  • Battlefield (tri plat, medium size)
  • Pokemon Stadium 2 (dual plat, large size, short ceiling)
  • Smashville (1 plat, small size)
  • Green Hill Zone (1 plat, medium size)
  • Delfino's Secret (tri plat, large size)
Counterpicks:
  • Final Destination (no plat)
  • Fountain of Dreams (tri plat, small size)
  • Wario Land (quad plat, small size)
  • Dreamland (tri plat, large size)

That was whittled down from originally 14 back in the day. I'm sure we can come up with something similar with what is available via the hazards off. When there were 14 stages I believe there were 2 or 3 stage bans. Stages are one of the things that makes smash unique compared to other fighters, so if we restrict them down to just a few, I think we'd be doing ourselves a disservice. I'm looking to end up at a 9 stage sweet spot at some point but I'm willing to start as large as 14 or 15 to make sure we factor in all possible elements.
 

falln

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#14
My main concern (and also the main reason I've been wanting this conversation to be fleshed out this far in advance) is the time it's historically taken to make these decisions and refinements.

I don't have the experience in the PM scene so feel free to correct any holes in this thought process, but it sounds like the stages themselves were designed in a conservative manner. Was there an issue of actually talking through given game elements (permanently sharkable floors, etc) when axing stages? It appears likely to me that in addition to dealing with stage redundancy, we will really need to sift through where we draw the new line on acceptable and unacceptable stage elements.

And as one last thought, I do like PracticalTAS's proposal for a new ban/counterpick system. We ran into an issue early in Smash 4's lifetime with multiple stage bans running alongside wackier legal stages. There were frequently situations where someone could lose game 1 on a neutral, use their counterpick to go somewhere crazy, then combine their multiple bans and DSR immunity to effectively strike out all neutral stages for the opponent's counterpick. I do like that the system proposed earlier would help players not get boxed in on what should be their own counterpick.
 
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#15
Hi everyone! I'm Kurogane Hammer. I'm from the Australian competitive scene and I'm a frame data and stage mechanic expert.

Organizing how stages will be picked is something that probably won't be easy to decide now since we don't have all the info like how many stages will be legal. We can probably safely assume 20 at least with the hazard toggle (which is another topic I'd like to discuss later in this post).

If we're assuming 20 stages are potentially legal, then I personally like the stage rotation idea. Having say 13 legal stages and then swapping certain stages in every few months especially if the stage layout is similar, however this may come with the problem of getting TOs to cooperate with an "official" list. I don't think there's a right or wrong answer currently with how we choose the stage striking system, but I would like to not get ourselves locked into a decision that ends up bad in the long run and is hard to overturn later in the games meta (see: 2 stock; picking stages before characters in Smash 4 for example are decisions that made sense when the game came out, but nowadays a fair amount of people don't agree with them).

The hazard toggle is hard to discuss without knowing all the details on it. I'm going to assume that we can toggle them off at stage select since that would be logical. I feel like it's beneficial to have the toggle legal in this case, but I hope there's some form of visual indicator (like customs vs no customs in Smash 4's CSS) because I can see a lot of restarts happening when BayonettaMain02 and XZeldaMaster14 play on Hazardless Midgar only for Odin to chop the stage in half or something lol. If we have to pick one then I think ultimately the hazardless toggle will need to go.

Since we're talking about ruleset philosophy, I want to take a bit of time to save us a year of screwing around with a bad stagelist. We can do this by following certain principles:

• Does the stage have anything that can kill you or deal heavy damage to you? (Halberd etc)
• Is the stage a side scroller? (Rainbow Cruise, Pokefloats etc)
• Is there a chance you may fall through the stage? (Lylat, Delfino, Wuhu Island, Skyloft etc)
• Does the stage have any other negative stage mechanics or areas that can be abused, including, but not limited to: Caves of life, camping certain areas of the stage for long periods of time (includes walkoffs, the tree on Duck Hunt, the rock on Kongo Jungle), absurd ceiling heights, or circle camping?

I personally feel that if the answer to any of the above bullet points is "yes" then the stage should be considered as a "hazards off" stage (if that fixes the problem) OR banned entirely.

That's all I have for now. I'm looking forward to working with all of you <3
 

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#16
To my knowledge we're already treating "hazards off" as the default - i.e. we're basing each stage on what it's like with hazards turned off, and treating any "hazards-on" stages as the exception

and in regards to the rotating stage list proposal, I have to ask: From a competitive perspective, what are the actual benefits of using a rotating stage list over other solutions? Because the problem it aims to solve (keeping the size of the stage list from getting too big for our current stage striking system to be viable) - might not actually be a problem, and if it is, there are other proposed solutions that solve it with fewer downsides (using a different stage striking system, like PracticalTAS suggested).

Because, so far, a rotating stage list doesn't really have anything to offer that other proposals don't, and comes with a host of issues in terms of stuff like the validity of results or getting different regions to switch to the same new stage list every season.

On a tangentially related note, to throw an extra bit of reading on the pile, Equin0x put together a blog post about how the hazard switch affects different stages.
 

falln

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#17
oh boy

final smashes in meter form

potentially toggleable rage

and >100 stages to sift thru


im just going to go ahead and open with im going to need to see some final smashes heavily nerfed before considering it for tournament play. there are some final smashes that are not reasonably dodgeable (bayo, peach, etc). i believe in nintendo to tone down knockback from the legit 1-shot final smashes (even if the video showed marth killing lucas very early), but i think it's unlikely that they will properly address the mechanics for the instant-advantage final smashes.

if the custom balance thing does allow us to choose between rage and no rage, i think it'd be easy to get most people to agree that no rage is better than smash 4's levels of rage. if ultimate has rage toned down then i could better entertain a pro-rage argument, but if we start seeing shine sparks and 1-shot parasol kills and early death ladders again then i think it should be easy to put rage to rest.
 

B.A.M.

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#18
Yeah Im in agreement with my boy falln. Most people are going to defacto to turn off rage, Im hoping the balancing that we see can allow us to do so (its a bit more complex than just the toggle imo). At any case I think most of us lean toward an anti-rage argument. After taking the time to address such features I will be very shocked if we didnt have the knockback tweaked for things like Marth Final Smash in the final product. I just feel they have learned their lesson with haphazard implementation. Hoping we can have some implementation of Final Smashes in a constructive way.

Stages are looking amazing. Finally great music, and a myriad of stages to choose from. This will help us all spectator wise so much.


Also hi! My name is BAM, Im the Esports Arena's Global FGC Project Manager. Ive been in the scene for over 10 years now. I was a part of Smash Labs back in the day, 2GG and am one of the leads out here on the West Coast. Looking to continue to help the community any way I can and be and advocate anyway I can for the familia.
 

suarsuar

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#19
suar here from PGStats.

I'll begin with introductions, I've been in the scene for 3 & half years now with Smash 4 being my first true game as a competitor/community member.
Things have rocketed since then and now I'm behind the PGR for Smash 4 as well as the MPGR for Melee in terms of the creative direction, management, and leadership of the whole outfit.

Apart from that, I currently reside in NY after having lived in Connecticut for a few years, Maryland for half of a year, and Florida which is where I was raised. So it's needless to say, but I've seen/been a part of multiple communities and it's been a blessing seeing all the differences and similarities between them.

As for the discussion at hand, however, I'd like to highlight the fact that regardless of what ruleset is proposed/adopted/declared/etc. we have the unique addition this time around of the PGR nomenclature and overall system -- namely the Tournament Tier System.

Now, this isn't to say I'm going to act however I'd like to and just structure PGR events around one particular ruleset, I just mean that this in and of itself is valuable in centralizing how we'd like the competitive side of things to develop.

I believe one of the main reasons S4 fell into free-fall when it came to rulesets was due to a small group of people deciding things for a larger group of people whose needs they did not immediately understand. There is much to do region-wide and I think that multiple rulesets/side events can coexist with the proper framing considering the fact that many places understandably would like to experiment with all of the tools Ultimate has to offer.

Bottom line, the PGR has always been a reflection of the scene and what it values and we try each iteration to match those values and bring about the most we can in worldwide exposure. That being said, I am at the ready to trade intel with TOs, players, etc. as to how the PGR-centric rulesets can be best applied.

Once more, this isn't to say that the PGR is the final say when it comes to rules, I just mean that it can be a potential vehicle by which change can be enacted through for the high-stakes events we hope to hold.
 

TLTC

Smash Rookie
Joined
Jan 26, 2015
Messages
10
#20
There are way too many variables for me to have a solid opinion on the meter FS. The main ones im considering are as follows.

1. How many times you can get it in a 1v1 match
2. How is meter generated? Is it passive/active? Would the optimal way of generating meter promote degenerate play?
3. FS imbalance. If bayo is getting AOE unavoidable WT and Marth getting OHKOs I dont see much of a good future for it.
4. Do you add an extra stock with it to offset?

Loving the stages, but keeping things simple should remain the priority. Keep hazards off and only get the best of the best when it comes to stages.
 

Vayseth

Smash Master
Writing Team
Joined
Jul 28, 2005
Messages
3,015
Location
Southeast Michigan
#22
Hello! I am Vayseth! I run large events on my own, am hired out to do large events for others and am probably the most connected organizer from a global perspective.

Here are the things I want to make sure we all accomplish:
  • Like Suar said, using the PGR as a vehicle to define specifically what a "competitive event" is.
  • Clearly defining a barrier to entry so people can get in on this discussion and gives people something to strive for. Examples being... you get in if you ever make the PGR. You get in if you have ever run a PGR event. You get in if you have commentated X final brackets at PGR events. Whatever the definitions end up being, there needs to be a clear objective line for how people can join the conversation. Voting can turn into a popularity contest and some people who put in hella work but who are not really well-known will never make it.
  • Having a page (like this one) where anyone can view but only those allowed in can post. This accomplishes multiple things. Accountability due to the public being able to see how active or inactive someone is who was supposed to be here to represent them. Limits the chaos that a public forum would have. Clearly shows where people stand on things because a decision from a group means something very different if it was close than if it was near unanimous
  • A way for the entire world to get involved. The majority of large events happen in North America. Specifically the USA. There needs to be some way for people from Europe, Japan, Canada, the Middle East, Australia and any other region that hosted PGR-level events to have their voices heard.
  • An infraction and penalties guide. Professional Athletes get fined when they step out of line. The best we can do is ban people from entering our clearly defined "competitive events." Specific time periods for specific penalties. League fines their players if they put headsets down angrily after a match. If they grief people online. They have fines for almost anything. We need a clear guide that our competitive events can rely on in case something happens at them and we can hand down punishments as necessary.
We all saw the direct and I am still going to have to watch it a few more times before I see exactly what it is we will be dealing with so I will hold off on game-specific functionality at this time. I just want to be clear that we have to define "the competitive scene" first. I don't think we can even begin on a ruleset until we have a clear and understood group that will be held accountable and has clearly defined rules touching on everything I just listed.

Talking about hazards on/off, what stages are going to be used, and other gameplay specific topics should be secondary to actually setting up things that do not involve the actual game at all first.
 

Mayday

Smash Cadet
Joined
Mar 20, 2014
Messages
57
Location
Charleston, SC
#23
Hey all! I'm Mayday - writer and analyst for the PG Stats team (my opinions are my own and not that of the PGStats team). I've been around the competitive Smash scene for nearly 10 years now, though I've only been active in it for about 6 years. I originally started with the MLG/competitive Halo scene way back during the Halo 2 days which ended up becoming my gateway to the Smash community. Also was an ex-local TO for my home state of Ohio before I moved out to South Carolina.

In terms of FS meter, I'm completely in the same mentality as TLTC. There are so many questions that we don't have answers to to make any kind of rational judgement atm.

The biggest issue we have right now seems to be our time frame. Bear has stated that he will not be confirming any ruleset for Genesis 6 until January 1st - making Jan 1st (unless that date is tentative) our deadline to have some semblance of a ruleset in place. Gives us a little over 3 weeks from launch.
 

falln

Smash Ace
Joined
Nov 2, 2008
Messages
627
Location
san diego, California
#24
Hello! I am Vayseth! I run large events on my own, am hired out to do large events for others and am probably the most connected organizer from a global perspective.

Here are the things I want to make sure we all accomplish:
  • Like Suar said, using the PGR as a vehicle to define specifically what a "competitive event" is.
  • Clearly defining a barrier to entry so people can get in on this discussion and gives people something to strive for. Examples being... you get in if you ever make the PGR. You get in if you have ever run a PGR event. You get in if you have commentated X final brackets at PGR events. Whatever the definitions end up being, there needs to be a clear objective line for how people can join the conversation. Voting can turn into a popularity contest and some people who put in hella work but who are not really well-known will never make it.
  • Having a page (like this one) where anyone can view but only those allowed in can post. This accomplishes multiple things. Accountability due to the public being able to see how active or inactive someone is who was supposed to be here to represent them. Limits the chaos that a public forum would have. Clearly shows where people stand on things because a decision from a group means something very different if it was close than if it was near unanimous
  • A way for the entire world to get involved. The majority of large events happen in North America. Specifically the USA. There needs to be some way for people from Europe, Japan, Canada, the Middle East, Australia and any other region that hosted PGR-level events to have their voices heard.
  • An infraction and penalties guide. Professional Athletes get fined when they step out of line. The best we can do is ban people from entering our clearly defined "competitive events." Specific time periods for specific penalties. League fines their players if they put headsets down angrily after a match. If they grief people online. They have fines for almost anything. We need a clear guide that our competitive events can rely on in case something happens at them and we can hand down punishments as necessary.
We all saw the direct and I am still going to have to watch it a few more times before I see exactly what it is we will be dealing with so I will hold off on game-specific functionality at this time. I just want to be clear that we have to define "the competitive scene" first. I don't think we can even begin on a ruleset until we have a clear and understood group that will be held accountable and has clearly defined rules touching on everything I just listed.

Talking about hazards on/off, what stages are going to be used, and other gameplay specific topics should be secondary to actually setting up things that do not involve the actual game at all first.
i am open to all of these conversations and im also happy to see more people give this forum a whirl. suarsuar suarsuar B.A.M. B.A.M. Mayday Mayday TLTC TLTC PracticalTAS PracticalTAS KuroganeHammer KuroganeHammer Scribe Scribe Max Ketchum Max Ketchum vVv Rapture vVv Rapture TheTantalus TheTantalus Smash G 0 D Smash G 0 D Xiivi Xiivi , thank you as well

For point 2, my understanding was Warchamp7 Warchamp7 was also working on a system to streamline access to the forums. i know a wave of perms were given out to PGR players (which is how I got mine), but im unsure specifically what the conditions were for non-players. however, i think out of each group there is only a subset of people that are truly willing to get into the trenches when it comes to hammering out conduct, rulesets, etc. so promoting and encouraging those passionate and active in their community is good enough for me. i dont know if it needs to be locked behind PGR events specifically. anyone who can articulate their thoughts with logic, set aside their biases, and do so without being antagonistic is welcome in my book.

As for representation (point 4), I think sticking to a central and accessible system (such as this one) provides an outlet for anyone regardless of region to come and contribute. if they like how things are going then there's no need, and if they don't, then they know where to go to voice their concerns. I think it's ok to put the impetus on less developed regions to check in on this thread as long as it's publicly understood where the discussions are taking place. If you build it they will come, as they say. As for coordinating with Japan, I would imagine you are more suited to determining the best method of communication and gathering feedback than myself

Point 5 definitely needs to be addressed and is a long time coming, but I'd like to preface by saying no code of conduct will work without everyone being on the same page and enforcing it. Back in Brawl there was an attempted yellow/red card system in place by the URC. The moment a prominent player (m2k) got red carded, the entire system fell flat when TOs chose not to enforce it because they wanted m2k at their events. This is where, for serious offenses like Hyuga's and JK's, PGStats may need to exert its authority and leverage the legitimacy of events.
 
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Joined
Nov 25, 2015
Messages
30
#25
Is the potential for PGStats to
exert its authority and leverage the legitimacy of events
something that you guys want, though? What would that look like? The only thing I can imagine is us taking events off the PGR if they refuse to play fair, which isn't a position I'd want to be in if I didn't have to be.
 

Hylian

Oops
Administrator
Premium
Rankings Team
Joined
Sep 9, 2004
Messages
23,185
Location
Missouri
#26
Hey guys, I'm Hylian. I've been going to tournaments since 2003, am a Smashboards admin, was a high/top level brawl player, high level PM player/PMDT, MBR/BBR member/leader and helped shape the brawl ruleset. I did not play smash 4 nor am I intimately familiar with its ruleset/stages so I will be deferring to others a lot when it comes to that area of knowledge. I do have a lot of experience making/working on rulesets though so I'll help out when appropriate. A lot of good stuff has been said already, so I'll just continue to observe for now, just wanted to introduce myself and offer any help that was wanted :).
 

falln

Smash Ace
Joined
Nov 2, 2008
Messages
627
Location
san diego, California
#27
Is the potential for PGStats to

something that you guys want, though? What would that look like? The only thing I can imagine is us taking events off the PGR if they refuse to play fair, which isn't a position I'd want to be in if I didn't have to be.
it's a conversation worth having. i was very uncomfortable with the fact that jk was allowed at evo. but what else can be done if the local scene chooses to support their boy? what if the AZ scene does the same thing with the players that were caught alting at hyrule saga? Edit: Coco, one of the alters, did end up being able to serve as a pool captain at evo

i think one of the things that is slowing down the scene is that no one wants to step on anyone's toes. but that's the exact reason there's such an uproar over lack of leadership in the first place
 
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BearUNLV

Esports Manager, Tournament Director
Premium
Joined
Aug 7, 2014
Messages
115
Location
Las Vegas, NV
#28
Greetings everyone!

I'm Bear. I'm currently the Esports Manager at Esports Arena Las Vegas and I'm a Tournament Director for Genesis, COMBO BREAKER, CEO, and Evo.

I'm still very much tired from Evo but I'd definitely love to collaborate with everyone with Ultimate incoming. There's a lot of noise on Twitter, Facebook and Discord. But I'd love to use this forum for thoughtful discussion.
 

BearUNLV

Esports Manager, Tournament Director
Premium
Joined
Aug 7, 2014
Messages
115
Location
Las Vegas, NV
#29
Also just so folks know as of now I would be the one who decides what we use for Genesis 6 by January 1st, 2019. I would like to source the ruleset from trusted folks in this forum along with players as I do not want to run something that wouldn't be trusted by the majority of folks.

I'm really looking forward to working with everyone here and I'll be hosting locals in Vegas for Ultimate to do my testing as well.
 

falln

Smash Ace
Joined
Nov 2, 2008
Messages
627
Location
san diego, California
#30
there is also a PGStats ultimate ruleset discord for pgr players/commentators/TOs to contribute to. because the chat room type setting makes it hard to really keep up with everything that's said or even stay on topic, i asked for someone to summarize any relevant developments in their sequence of thought.

duncathan was kind enough to curate such a summary which is accessible here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1nh0NkPu1uJcTHaaFVT62ngTC-iEYhBwHcz293FprBWc/edit
 

BearUNLV

Esports Manager, Tournament Director
Premium
Joined
Aug 7, 2014
Messages
115
Location
Las Vegas, NV
#31
there is also a PGStats ultimate ruleset discord for pgr players/commentators/TOs to contribute to. because the chat room type setting makes it hard to really keep up with everything that's said or even stay on topic, i asked for someone to summarize any relevant developments in their sequence of thought.

duncathan was kind enough to curate such a summary which is accessible here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1nh0NkPu1uJcTHaaFVT62ngTC-iEYhBwHcz293FprBWc/edit
sweet ty
 

Virum

Smash Ace
Joined
Jun 1, 2010
Messages
682
Location
London, England
3DS FC
3368-3441-2801
NNID
SiLeNtDo0m
#32
Hello lovely people! I'm assuming a bunch of you already know me but I'm Virum, a competitor (since 2012) and commentator (since 2014) based in the UK. In terms of our overall philosophy towards ruleset creation I believe we should attempt to establish clear goals for what we want the ruleset to achieve in a competitive environment, particularly more major events that will contribute towards a global ranking. Primarily, I feel it comes down to striking the balance of appealing to both competitors and spectators (favouring competitors). I believe we should consider the following:

1) A stock count that allows a substantial gameplay experience for competitors while maintaining a good level of pace for logistics and spectator enjoyment
The common view so far seems to favour 3 stock going into this game since the game seems to flow at a faster pace, in order to offer a more potentially more consistent competitor experience than Smash 4. I'm personally for this as well.

2) A stage selection that offers a good amount of variety, aesthetically and gameplay wise, for both competitors and spectators that also feels streamlined enough to avoid redundant and glitchy stage picks as well as an excessive counterpicking process
This one is a more complex issue. The game has ~100 stages and of course has the hazard toggle. As a result people are naturally excited to try a broad variety of stages but this may not serve as something truly beneficial to the competitive dynamic of the game in the long term and it may end up undermining the value of stage counterpicking due to an overabundance of stages. In addition there are concerns of redundant picks. Yoshi's Story, Dreamland 64 and hazardless Midgar are all, by our previous definitions, "viable" stages but if they all share the same layout, similar blastzone data and the like then they simply end up bloating the stage list. There are also a lot of uncertain factors with stages and how the hazard toggle will affect them, leaving a plethora of "potentials" that we won't be able to judge until game's release (though I believe some of these we may be able to sift through fairly quickly).

The big thing is that this is the first official Smash game where there actually may be the potential to opt for the "less is more" approach. All previous Smash titles had to deal with compromise in their stage lists for the sake of enough variety and stability. Smash 4's list was 6 out of 50+ stages, 2 of which were glitched and subjects of debate for years (Lylat in particular). Instead we may have the option to focus solely on the stages that are stable and clean while offering a good amount of variety.

Oh and on the subject of Omegas/BF forms, I'm personally very much for them provided they actually do have identical blastzone and collision data. These are a wonderful way to keep standard picks aesthetically interesting without affecting competitive integrity.

3) Additional rules toggled in such a way to focus rewarding good fundamental and competitive play while still maintaining that element to help further engage the spectator
The new game obviously now has a bunch of new additional toggleable rules such as Final Smash meter, Stage Morphing etc. For the most part it feels far too early to be able to comment properly on these things, though I do feel we don't necessarily need force ourselves to dive into these adjustments simply because they're there. Some elements may be worth testing, while others may simply generate rather extraneous results that end up feeling forced rather than an organic addition to the competitive experience. Closer to the time of release I think we'll be able to better apply our judgement here.
 

Hylian

Oops
Administrator
Premium
Rankings Team
Joined
Sep 9, 2004
Messages
23,185
Location
Missouri
#33
A couple of things I want to bring up:

Making a ruleset is very difficult as you all know, and I just want people to keep in mind that everyone just wants what they think is best for the game. I've seen many heated arguments devolve into almost bitterness, and I hope to not see it happen again with SSBU's ruleset. There will always be controversy surrounding the ruleset, especially considering the amount of variables and different mindsets going into it, so we need to stay humble and try to understand each others points to their fullest extent. This more applies to after the game comes out and everyone is arguing intensely about rulesets in the community. Sometimes there is no right answer, sometimes compromise has to be made, but at the end of the day we all have similar goals and wants for the game/community.

The second thing I wanted to mention is just that smaller events testing different rulesets will be Crucial for ruleset development. Things are certainly not going to be done right the first try, and I think doing something akin to making multiple rulesets and having different smaller tournaments try them and collecting feedback could do a lot of good. Things like testing stage morphing for first pick(assuming it doesn't lag), testing different stagelists, testing FS meter with more stocks, etc. Early nationals can adhere to more conservative rulesets pretty safely, but we should't miss the opportunity to get feedback from smaller tournaments like locals and even possibly regionals to expand our knowledge and understanding.
 

falln

Smash Ace
Joined
Nov 2, 2008
Messages
627
Location
san diego, California
#34
just to copy paste some quick twitter discussion on metered FS,

I made a twitter video arguing against people who are willing to sacrifice a bit of game health for an extra setting: https://twitter.com/fallnaway/status/1027738926650351619
Some either got the impression that I'm against testing (or they just didn't watch), but just to be clear. I am obviously for testing. Everything should be tested, and I believe that should be implicit at this point. I'm more concerned with establishing what exactly we're looking for while testing so the actual testing phase is efficient and productive.

To that extent, B.A.M. B.A.M. started another twitter thread asking for people to weigh in on what metered FS would need to look like for it to be tolerable. The results tweet is here, and you can see the polling itself by following the quote tweet: https://twitter.com/BamOfThePpl/status/1027977752694022144
 

TLTC

Smash Rookie
Joined
Jan 26, 2015
Messages
10
#35
I think since we are at a impasse for the rage and meter FS settings (until we get more information/testing) I think we should move on to stage discussion. We know pretty much all of the stages that are going to be present in the game at this point. Its pretty easy to start sifting though and picking out the quality ones.

I made a quick picture where I went through the stages and classified them.

Green = Starter
Yellow = Fine with hazards
Orange = Requires hazardless but possible additions
Red = Banned
stage edited.png
Here is a list of stages since trying to get a HD image of the stage screen is pretty much impossibleGreen = FD/BF/SV
Yellow = Town/Yoshi Story Melee/Yoshi Island Brawl/PS1/Dream Land/FOD/Lylat
Orange = Frigate/Warioware/PS2/Halberd/Kalos
Red = Everything else
IDK = Dracula's Castle

Out of these, Halberd is far and away the most questionable as it depends on how big of an issue sharking is on the new version. Its probably an easy ban but its got some potential if sharking isnt that effective due to its unique layout.

From the 14 stages that are possible, its pretty easy to remove some that are too similar.

Triplat = BF/DL/Yoshi Story Melee (FOD is kinda triplat?)
PS = PS1/PS2

This leaves us with about the stages we were looking to aim for (9-12 even removing halberd).

I think even with the massive stage amount cutting down is going to be a pretty easy task.
 
Joined
Nov 25, 2015
Messages
30
#36
The Ultimate website has a reasonably high-quality look at all the stages (https://www.smashbros.com/en_US/stage/index.html). I agree that we can have a healthy-sized stage list relatively quickly. Since the hazard toggle was confirmed to be a setting like time/stock instead of a per-match toggle, I think it's only sane to have that set to "on" permanently and let the chips fall where they may. Not about to change the rules so T&C can have moving platforms, then forget to change the rules back for the next match so we see a WarioWare minigame.

1533934667067.png
 
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TLTC

Smash Rookie
Joined
Jan 26, 2015
Messages
10
#37
I agree with the need of keeping the hazard toggle either on or off but the first thing that needs to be checked is if toggling hazards off actually changes moving platforms or if that was a byproduct of a very old beta build.

I think hazard off is going to give us a better stagelist overall and with hazard on we are going to be stuck with either running moving stages or questionable stages.
 

falln

Smash Ace
Joined
Nov 2, 2008
Messages
627
Location
san diego, California
#38
hazards off is going to give us a lot of battlefields. in addition to the fact that battlefield can already be played on every stage, what will be our metrics for deciding if a hazardless BF variant is different enough to warrant its own stage?

one of my concerns is if something like hazardless midgar has slightly different edges/lips than omega BF midgar. it can serve to mess players up without really providing anything positive in return. before it was banned, people would counter pick omega SV because the wall turns into a ceiling significantly earlier than regular SV without a visual cue.

therefore, unless there's something really special about the triplat, i think just defaulting to omega BF forms will be a more concise choice than leaving up all the hazardless BF variants
 

Scribe

I wanna say I'm sorry for stuff I haven't done yet
Administrator
Writing Team
Joined
Apr 2, 2015
Messages
318
Location
Pine Bush, New York
3DS FC
5241-1937-7022
NNID
KipShades
#39
Does Mushroom Kingdom U still transform in hazardless? Because if it's just stuck on the grasslands form, it might be viable. It's another tri-plat but the side platforms are at uneven heights and the top platform is off-center, so it might be worth using as a counterpick.
I'd also say FOD isn't quite a triplat if only because it isn't only a triplat. Not only do the side platforms change elevation, sometimes they recede into the stage entirely.
 

Virum

Smash Ace
Joined
Jun 1, 2010
Messages
682
Location
London, England
3DS FC
3368-3441-2801
NNID
SiLeNtDo0m
#40
Assuming Mushroom Kingdom U doesn't transform with hazards off it's a rather large stage. There's potential there though especially for doubles, definitely something that would need to be tested.
 
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