Stage Competitive Legality & Tournament Selection System

Which selection system do you prefer?

  • Other (specify in post)

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#1
At the moment, most people here are leaning towards a 3-stage striking system for the first stage. From this, we can say that Hyrule, Kongo and Dreamland are to be kept in the competitive stage list. Past that, I'd a simple vote for which stages are to be kept in as tournament stages. List the stages that you think are to be used, aside from Hyrule, Kongo and DL. Reasons may be added if you so wish.

The stages are:
  • Peach's Castle
  • Planet Zebes
  • Mushroom Kingdom
  • Yoshi's Island
  • Sector Z
  • Saffron City
Add gameshark stages if you wish, but we may or may not implement them.

To get things rolling, we'll discuss the competitive viability of everyone's favourite (or at least Isai's favourite) 'neutral' stage, and whether or not it really is neutral. It's already been disputed to the point where boom (was it boom?) made a thread about how the stage is basically a promoter of camping. That thread had some valid points, so I'll summarise the ones on the first page quickly (a bit busy atm, will update later).

These points are only a starting point. You have been chosen for your knowledge and intelligent posts, so please don't only rely on these points for discussion - there is no way I've summarised all the viable arguments.

The Good
  • Makes certain characters more viable - Link, for example, has a lot of ok matchups here, whereas he has maybe one 'good' matchup on Dreamland.
  • Serves as an equaliser - Samus can use the tent to combo, many characters can deal with Pika better here, etc.

The Bad
  • Facilitates camping - good camping is well-rewarded, as waiting for someone to approach affords a lot more options and opportunities than being the approacher - see Kirby U-Tilt, etc.
  • Left side is incredibly easy for many characters to abuse - right next to an edge and 'protected' to an extent by the little ledge.
  • The platforms in the middle facilitate air camping, and characters with poor upwards hitboxes can have trouble (eg. Jiggs vs Samus or something).
  • **** tent facilitates grab-only combos, which can't be reliably DI'ed and essentially make the victim helpless as they are chainthrown into fairly easy death.
  • Tornadoes are cheap. They act as disruptors of combos/techchases/etc, they can sometimes force you to roll/tech in one direction or risk being tornado'd into just as bad a situation and random speed-tornadoes are just stupid. Being hit into a tornado, especially when you are, say, Jiggs or Kirby, can end your stock at a very low percentage, when a lack of tornado would have let you recover back to the middle of the stage easily.

At the moment, Hyrule is NEUTRAL. As to whether it should keep this status, be slanted into a counterpick or banned outright...we'll discuss that. That's our collective job, remember :)
 
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#2
I like Hyrule. Sure, you can camp there, but honestly you can camp on any stage. Everyone's other neutral stage, Dreamland, facilitates easy gimp combos that aren't much different from tent combos. In fact, they are probably easier on Dreamland.

Hyrule evens out Pikachu and Kirby's advantages. One of the strongest points of these two characters is their ability to gimp, and Hyrule lessens this, while also providing an area where they can be "gimped" (the tent area).

Overall, I feel like some of "The Bad" applies to any stage.
 

dandan

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#3
I do not see it as a discussion of whether Hyrule is neutral or not, as I believe that based on matchups alone, it is probably the most neutral stage (I guess we will see if my belief is true when we start discussing matchups). The real underlying question is whether it facilitates so much camping that it makes it pretty much unplayable, as for example, if a player camps with fox in the tent area and keep lasering, the other player would prefer not to approach as this would give him a great disadvantage and make him susceptible to tent combos (there is a new, quite decent, player in Europe who only plays on Hyrule and only camps with fox there, he never leaves, I have played 3 matches with him spanning more than 25 minutes, before deciding never to play with him again).

This same situation arises on saffron, as you can camp just as much on the helipad section, and this along with it not being as neutral, have contributed for it being a counter pick stage.

The real dilemma here is whether a rule against overly camping is applicable (the same notion that there is against DK's infinite grabs). I believe camping is a legit tactic (as is any other tactic that can be done in this game), as it can give you a more advantageous position, but the question is whether it is game breaking.

I personally believe that a rule vs over camping can be implemented, and if it is, then I see no reason of not keeping Hyrule as neutral, but if you believe it cannot, then a counter pick would be more fitting.

As ballin said, the issue of camping can arise on every stage, for example, on dreamland (which I think we all can agree contributes least to the campy play style), a floaty match (Kirby and Jigs) is mostly based on air camping and can take a really outrageous amount of time.
I think we have too low of a stage count to allow ourselves to lose another, but you can think about making dreamland a starter stage.
 
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#4
Tornadoes don't bother me much at all. Sure, the random popping up element of it is annoying and takes away some skill, but when you already know that there's one there, then it can create some very interesting dynamics, which I think adds more than detracts from them.

What if there was a cheat that made the tornado knockback to a constant amount, like moves such as Yoshi's up/down tilts, DK's down-B, etc., so that a medium-weight character would be sent up about as high as the **** tent is? The intention would be to help prevent tornadoes from making/breaking a match.
 

SheerMadness

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#5
Hyrule might promote camping with certain characters/players but I think it has to remain neutral.

There simply aren't enough tournament viable stages in the game to delegate it as counter pick only.

I don't have a big problem with the tornado either. I rarely ever find that it changes the outcome of a match.
 

KoRoBeNiKi

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#6
I feel that the issue is not that Hyrule is a neutral
it is more of an issue that Hyrule is the only neutral that people play on in the United States.

Why do we have a system that promotes a neutral that gives campy characters an edge.

In other words, Hyrule is a neutral but add other stages and just strike neutrals (ala Melee/Brawl)

Or how about all of the allowed stages are neutrals, it isn't like anyone bans any stage.
 

dandan

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#7
I too believe in using striking as well. I would say hyrule, dreamland and kongo as neutral (though personally I would always strike kongo because I cannot see anything on that stage, and I have sharp eyes).

I guess that we will see just how much neutral each stage is when we start discussing each matchup.
 
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#9
Peach's Castle: LEGAL CP
Kongo Jungle: LEGAL CP
Hyrule Temple: LEGAL NEUTRAL
Planet Zebes: BANNED
Mushroom Kingdom: BANNED
Yoshi's Island: BANNED
Dream Land: LEGAL CP
Sector Z: BANNED
Saffron City: BANNED
My next paragraph isn't really Hyrule-specific, I'm just getting this out of the way for anybody who wants to argue for a certain stage being a counterpick.

The status of "counterpick" shouldn't be used for stages at all. The only reason any Smash game uses counterpicks is because of when Melee still used Random for the first stage of the set - the counterpicks were considered a tad too radical to be selected randomly. However, with a stage striking system these counterpick stages are pretty pointless, since in theory stage striking should come down to the most neutral stage anyways. Stages should be either legal or banned. The only valid reason I can think of for announcing a stage as a counterpick is to ensure that there is an odd number of stages for players to strike from for the first stage of the set.

Anyways, while camping is certainly an effective strategy on Hyrule, it doesn't strike me as overpowered enough to ban Hyrule. However, I certainly don't support some tournaments/the Galaxy ladder stating that the first stage MUST be on Hyrule, since it skews sets to the favor of characters that benefit from camping, most notably Fox. I think a three-stage system of Hyrule-Dreamland-Kongo is the best possible system for the overall neutrality of this game's matchups.
 
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#10
My personal view is that there simply aren't enough viable and diverse stages to stop Hyrule being a potential first pick.

I think a striking system would be good, but let's leave discussion of such a system until we discuss other stages' viability.

I'm waiting on boom's input...he's the most outspoken critic of Hyrule, as far as I know.
 
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#11
I don't believe that hyrule should be a neutral first pick stage either. The way I see it, pretty much any matchup (except for extreme ones like Link vs anyone or pikachu vs anyone) will have the same results on dreamland as on hyrule. Except that it takes a lot longer on hyrule.

If someone wants to camp within the tent area, there's nothing that can be really done to draw them out unless you have projectiles. In a matchup like kirby vs falcon, there's no reason for falcon to ever dare jump in the pit, and likewise kirby isn't forced to jump out and attack falcon, even if he is at an advantage by doing so.

Or in a case like mario vs fox, where mario has to take cover on the left edge while fox bombards the top area with shdl. Both players risk a huge amount by trying to approach the other first, which makes their optimal solution to stay put.

I've also been trying to figure out what a ness player is supposed to do against a samus player that decides to take control of the top 2 platforms in hyrule. Maybe you guys can help me.
 
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#12
All of your examples are valid, but I don't see why a system of, say, Dreamland as first stage only is better than a three stage striking system. In, say, your Mario vs. Fox example, Hyrule is an obvious ban for the Mario player. If a player is worried about not being able to deal with camping on Hyrule, he can simply strike it.

Just to clarify, if you don't want Hyrule as an option for the first stage, what system do you want for the first stage of the set? Dreamland only?
 

Marc

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#13
A few remarks I'd like to make:
1. Camping being overcentralizing: I'm not much of a SSB64 player, but relating the stage layout to Melee/Brawl I can tell that camping the tent would be a good strategy. However, don't the tornadoes break this up at some point? I'm not sure if they spawn completely randomly (in that case you'd be screwed if one simply never appears near the tent zone), but if it's realistic to assume they break up the camping at least once or twice every match, wouldn't that be enough?
2. The purpose of counterpicks in Melee and Brawl kind of depends on what region you're from. Europe generally only has counterpicks because you need an uneven amount of starters for stage striking and/or what's left is a tad too radical (like said before), but there are also regions who believe in stage diversity and allow many more stages. Generally consensus has moved towards more limited stage lists, but it's not necessarily right (though what I prefer).
3. I've never quite understood why Hyrule Temple is the starter in SSB64 when you have Dream Land. Randomly spawning tornadoes, camp spots... Apparently it's the most neutral matchupwise, but what's so bad about DL64 in that regard? Educate me.
 

dandan

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#14
1) The tornadoes do spawn using a pseudo random algorithm (so, sort of randomly) and yes, they can force the camping player to move, but not to get out of the tent area, as you can simply jump over, roll through the tornadoes. take fox for example, he can just jump over the tornado while shooting lasers such that his camping is not hurt in the slightest.
The only exception to this is the fast traveling tornadoes, that kind of force you to get out of that location, but the chance of a fast tornado in the tent area is slight.

3) The major gripe I think people have with dreamland is the gimping. I do not know a lot about melee nor brawl, but if my memory serves me right, gimping is much weaker (as in you try to hit them offstage to add damage until they recover, and not just flat out kill them). In 64, and on dreamland particularly, gimping take a major role. Certain matches can be centered on throwing the opponent off stage, and then just intercepting him while he tries to recover, and getting kills at really low percents.
Whether it is better or worse than camping is subjective, some people get annoyed with dying so quickly.
In addition, dreamlands strengthens some characters while making others weaker (I prefer not to get into specifics as we will probably discuss this further in the future).

Taking all this into account, I personally view the 3 stage striking choice as the best one (you can do a 5 stage striking system, but then what will be the other 2 stages, as peach for example might feel too far from neutral).
 

Marc

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#15
Gimps are very important for Melee and in that respect it's much closer to SSB64 than it is to Brawl. All of Melee's neutral stages accomodate gimping to at least a certain extent, it's not a factor for determining stage legality at all. It's just that in SSB64 it's more often a "get hit once and you're done deal" while in Melee you typically have to make several reads for a stock (though really only a few with the good characters...) and gimps are more about covering options than that they're guaranteed (but once certain situations come up, they often are).

The way I understand it, Hyrule Castle promotes camping while DL64 promotes gimping. I honestly don't think you can flat out call one superior or more competitive, but you have to take the community into account to a great extent here. To me, it seems more just to have more than one possible starter, but I don't know what the third stage would be and I don't want to impose too much on this discussion. :)
 

King Funk

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#16
There are indeed not enough stages in this game for us to be even able to do something against Hyrule. Furthermore, there are no real fair stages in Smash 64:
  • Hyrule does not necessarily promote camping, as it is really a matchup-related issue that concerns mostly characters with projectiles such as Fox and Link. In my opinion the real main issue with the stage is the tent area which players love to use way too much. It becomes a whole "don't go down there" problem, where one player will take refuge in it and wait until his opponent just comes down out of impatience. By doing that, the latter takes a severe risk of getting grabbed or hit, and against a good player, that can usually lead to a very damaging wall combo or a lost stock. And the process is accelerated by Fox for example, because lasers can pressure the opponent into approaching whether he is in the tent or not. There are ways of getting around that strategy but they are certainly not risk-free.
  • Dreamland usually has many people reacting badly to how "easy" it is to just throw and gimp someone on it. I think that aspect of the stage is slightly overrated in a few ways. Most players don't even use the platforms enough to avoid getting grabbed (obviously getting on platforms is not recommended against all characters, especially not Falcon). And also, I don't believe that DL over centralizes gimping, but rather that the whole game does. Many people are so used to playing on Hyrule, a large stage where gimping opportunities come only whenever the battle reaches the edges. Suddenly they get to Dreamland and it feels like it's all about throwing out. But remember, if this game was any similar to Melee in terms of stage selection, people wouldn't complain so much about gimping and would get used to it (some of the most played stages in SSBM are very similar to Dreamland [which is also in Melee] like Yoshi's Story, Fountain of Dreams and Battlefield). The relative easiness of edgeguarding and gimping combined is an enormous part of the game and people have to accept it. Kongo Jungle is an extremely underplayed stage where you can basically achieve similar results to Dreamland.

Most people like to call those two stages equal in their flaws. In all honesty, I'll always have a slight inclination for Dreamland as a neutral rather than Hyrule. However, I can accept both if most people will.

To give my overall opinion: I believe that Hyrule, Dreamland and Kongo Jungle should all be neutrals and that there should be stage striking in tournaments for the first round of each set (but I suppose the ruleset will be discussed later so I'll wait until then).
 

SuPeRbOoM

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#17
We need to stop thinking in the mindset of "Oh, we only have a limited number of stages so let's keep Hyrule neutral anyways" and start thinking about the real pros and cons of Hyrule so we can assess whether it's neutral/cp/ban. I say for a starter/neutral we definitely need the stage to be evenly fair(mostly), as in no excessive camping, no unpunishable stalling, or just making it viable to approach at any time.

Let's take a look at Hyrule...

Tornados are a big hazard for Hyrule. Tornados are a random spawn from my knowledge. There are 4 spawn locations for these tornados, one on the left side, middle, secoond platform, and under the tent. On average the tornado will KO you around 100-130% from the middle area tornado, while the second platform tornado will KO you far earlier; under 100% most of the time(50ish for jiggly LOL). Fast tornados are truely random from the looks of it and can be fast at any time during a tornado spawn.

The layout for Hyrule is an awkward and uneven fighting battlefield. Left slope, middle platforms, and tent area are the most prominent Hyrule camping/stalling places. I'll get into this later.

I like Hyrule. Sure, you can camp there, but honestly you can camp on any stage.
What are you comparing Hyrule camping to?

Hyrule evens out Pikachu and Kirby's advantages. One of the strongest points of these two characters is their ability to gimp, and Hyrule lessens this, while also providing an area where they can be "gimped" (the tent area).

Overall, I feel like some of "The Bad" applies to any stage.
You should know pika is broken on any stage so it doesn't matter for where you vs him really. What Hyrule really does is make matches longer than they should be making it seem like you're doing better vs the top tiers.

As ballin said, the issue of camping can arise on every stage, for example, on dreamland (which I think we all can agree contributes least to the campy play style), a floaty match (Kirby and Jigs) is mostly based on air camping and can take a really outrageous amount of time.
Kirby vs Jiggly is far worse on Hyrule mainly because of the 3 platforms to provide higher ground and limited access to the top. I've had 15 minute matches on Hyrule and it wasn't using these characters, the thing about those 15 minute matches is that I was the one approaching and trying to continue the battle.
 
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#18
The assumption behind the "camping is bad" mentality is that it is an advantage to not approach. In certain character matchups, you can not approach on any stage.

What specifically about Hyrule makes it easier or better to not approach? Why can't you do the same on DL (and get a free gimp, rather than just a combo opportunity on Hyrule)?

Also Pika is way more broken on DL than Hyrule (at least against Fox heh). But since recovery is so much more important on DL it accents Pika's advantage of having the best recovery in the game.
 
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#20
Boomfan, I'd like to know why Dreamland only is better than a Hyrule-Dreamland-Kongo stage set to strike from? (If not Dreamland only, then whatever starter stage set you support)

Before you guys say that we're supposed to be discussing specifically Hyrule and I'm going a bit off-topic, I think it's important that we discuss how we're going to be determining the first stage of the set first. Whether I want Hyrule as a neutral or not depends on how the first stage is chosen. If I had to pick one stage as a neutral, then yes, I would choose Dreamland over Hyrule, but I think a stage-striking system is better than any one stage. Being forced to play on a single stage for the first game of the set skews the metagame in the favor of the characters that do well on the certain stage (i.e. Falcon, Pikachu, and Yoshi for Dreamland).
 

King Funk

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#21
Before you guys say that we're supposed to be discussing specifically Hyrule and I'm going a bit off-topic, I think it's important that we discuss how we're going to be determining the first stage of the set first. Whether I want Hyrule as a neutral or not depends on how the first stage is chosen. If I had to pick one stage as a neutral, then yes, I would choose Dreamland over Hyrule, but I think a stage-striking system is better than any one stage. Being forced to play on a single stage for the first game of the set skews the metagame in the favor of the characters that do well on the certain stage (i.e. Falcon, Pikachu, and Yoshi for Dreamland).
I completely agree with this. It's hard for me to determine whether Hyrule should be a starter or CP unless we have an overall view of the stage system and match ongoings.
 

dandan

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#22
I think we started from the wrong direction, maybe we should start with each matchup on each stage, to determine exactly what stages are more neutral than others, and then after having all that data, trying to figure out a way to incorporate that in the selection of a stage.
 

KoRoBeNiKi

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#23
if we have a Hyrule, Jungle, Dreamland list, I do find that at least for Kongo Jungle, people should also be required to not use the "dark" characters (as in the Samus, Mario, and Falcon suits).


I believe this topic should just be changed to a stage legality discussion, not just Hyrule.
 
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#24
Each matchup on each stage? That's going a bit too far IMO, and is going to take way too long. I'd rather just talk about deciding what our starter stage set as a whole will be instead of doing one stage a time.

Ninja'd by Koro because I'm slow.
 
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#26
Eh only if the other person requests it, similar to the rule in Melee/Brawl where people can request certain team colors if they're color-blind.

I personally have no problem seeing anything on Kongo.
 

King Funk

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#27
Matchups is a project I wanted to work on. And by working on it I mean every single one of the 78 matchups. But it might not be necessary to talk about them before we get a new and better stage list. I think we could start off with making that new stage list and then discuss matchups. And then, maybe in a year or so, we might change that stagelist based on what we've found and analyzed.
 

SuPeRbOoM

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#28
I support both Dreamland only and a stage striking system.

What we want to do is discuss the stages first and then find which method is best for starting the set, whether it be one stage or a striking system. If we get the stages discussed maybe we will consider a different 3rd stage or something along those lines, and I'm not saying that will happen SHEESH.
 
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#29
I support both Dreamland only and a stage striking system.

What we want to do is discuss the stages first and then find which method is best for starting the set, whether it be one stage or a striking system. If we get the stages discussed maybe we will consider a different 3rd stage or something along those lines, and I'm not saying that will happen SHEESH.
@the first part - Huh? Contradiction much?

@the second part- How can we discuss the stages without discussing how we choose the first stage of the set first? Whatever system we choose changes my stance on Hyrule. If sets are started with specifically one stage (which is a dumb idea), then I wouldn't want Hyrule as the starter stage, but if sets are started by striking staged then I DO want Hyrule as a starter stage.
 

Marc

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#30
It's getting somewhat disorganized. I'll leave my 2 cents for the room leaders regarding the procedure:

The first thing people want to know is whether there's going to be just the one starter or a stage striking procedure (which would need at the very least three stages, but any higher seems unrealistic for this game anyway, your call though). Why not poll these two options first, without specifying the stages? Discussion and voting can then move on towards which stage or stages.

Also, stage lists for the other games are never made based on matchup charts and "neutral" is a misleading term in that no starter will ever be perfectly neutral. It usually refers to stages with little to no hazards or heavy requirements on character movement (aerial mobility and the like). Camp zones tend to also be avoided like the plague, there is actually not a single stage in modern Melee and Brawl stage lists with a (permanent) wall, not even in the counterpicks. Not saying this is the norm the SSB64 community needs to subscribe to, but having a camp spot skews the matchup in favour of characters who are good at gaining leads fast (Fox in every smash game, lol), so in a theoretical sense you could wonder if Hyrule Castle is even that neutral provided people play the matchup to the maximum of their efficiency (laser and run for the tent). You will have to weigh this against the pros and cons of other contending stages. Finally, you shouldn't try to compensate for inherent character weaknesses because fighting games simply aren't balanced, but you can compensate for characters being overpowered.

Fun fact: No matchup chart has ever been made for any of the smash games by a Back Room. We're working on one in the BBR and that will be a historical first. Since SSB64 only has 12 characters it's very feasible to do one at some point, but it really should have no bearing on the ruleset.
 

dandan

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#31
The thing about camp zones in the other smash games is that the matches are timed, and as such, as you say, if you can get a lead soon, then the other character has to approach.
As there is no feature to add time to a match in 64, the influence of camp zones differ, as both players can just, not approach.

I personally believe then that you can make a rule against outrageous camping, but then the question arises about how to enforce it. Of course you can also think about using stop watches for games, but that seems less feasible.
 
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#33
Sorry Marc, I'm gonna step a bit out of line and say that you should learn a bit more about 64 :p From your posts you still only have an outsider's perspective. Everything else you say is appreciated though.

Working on matchups to determine stage legality is illogical and almost unfeasible, given the sheer amount of time you'd have to invest. We already know that some characters are better on Hyrule/Dreamland, and those characters' matchups are generally pretty clear (Fox > Link on Hyrule, Pika > Falcon > Yoshi on Dreamland, etc).

Before we discuss this, I want preliminary discussion on Peach's Castle and Zebes at least to be completed (every other stage is imo clearly not neutral). I think we understand why Hyrule is argued to be skewed.
 

King Funk

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#34
Just determining who wins matchups was not what I initally meant by "discussing matchups" but I'll talk about that later (or on msn if you want).

Will you make another thread for Zebes and Peach's Castle, or should it be discussed here?
 
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#37
It's getting somewhat disorganized. I'll leave my 2 cents for the room leaders regarding the procedure:

The first thing people want to know is whether there's going to be just the one starter or a stage striking procedure (which would need at the very least three stages, but any higher seems unrealistic for this game anyway, your call though). Why not poll these two options first, without specifying the stages? Discussion and voting can then move on towards which stage or stages.
I agree with this. Knowing how the first stage of a set is determined is essential to discussing the tournament status of individual stages (see previous post). I would much rather talk about that before discussing each stage.

Sorry Marc, I'm gonna step a bit out of line and say that you should learn a bit more about 64 :p From your posts you still only have an outsider's perspective. Everything else you say is appreciated though.
Why did you suddenly call Marc out on this? I saw nothing wrong with his post - he wasn't trying to act like he was experienced in this game. Yes, he has an outsider's perspective, but that's to be expected because he IS an outsider. As far as I can tell, he wasn't admitted in the 64 backroom because of being knowledgeable about Smash 64, but so that he can help guide us in our procedure (he's in the MBR and BBR too, so I'm sure he can help).
 
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#38
Me neither, I don't get why people get so whiny about the colors on Kongo.
Uh, I think we've explained a million times that it's because WE CAN'T SEE ANYTHING ;)

Seriously though, are you playing on a TV? Because I can see much much better on Kongo on my computer screen, but TVs tend to be dimmer (it depends on the TV as well).

Plus when I have my recording set up hooked up, that dims the TV a little bit more as well.

Anyway, I don't see why it's a big deal to make people not use dark colors on Kongo.


On topic: It's interesting that on the Melee boards there is a big fight over banning Rainbow Cruise and Brinstar. It comes down to what you are looking for in a stage. I actually disagree with "you shouldn't use character matchups to determine stages". I'm pretty sure certain stages in the other games are banned because of their effects on character matchups.

I want some more explanations of how camping really affects Hyrule. If it is someone just stalling to be annoying, that is one thing. But I don't see how camping in a certain area gives someone an insurmountable advantage. Nearly every character can do combos in the tent area. If someone is in there and you manage to get the first hit, you can start your own tent combo.
 
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Nov 6, 2007
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#39
On topic: It's interesting that on the Melee boards there is a big fight over banning Rainbow Cruise and Brinstar. It comes down to what you are looking for in a stage.
Nah, the people supporting Rainbow Cruise/Brinstar are just silly :awesome:

But I shouldn't talk about that here.
 
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