Why I've Begun To Hate Tier Lists

Birdygamer

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#1
To me, I always feel that characters should have an equal representation in Smash competitive yet I always feel that characters who are marked as low tier characters I feel are left behind, forever being in the shadows of higher tier characters, I just question of if these low tier characters will ever have even a small amount of fame
 

Xelrog

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#2
Tournament representation is what makes tier lists problematic to some degree. As soon as you start factoring in a variable of usage rate, on a list that is itself going to go on to determine usage rate, it becomes a weighted argument.

That being said, it's not as if usage and success in tournaments has no relation to a character's viability. And without that element, you're operating purely in the world of theory, so... it's not something with an easy solution. I think I'm of the opinion that even the highest levels of players don't play characters solely because of their tier list position or viability, and there will be representatives for most every character somewhere.

Except Miis. Everyone hates Miis for some reason. Poor things.
 
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#3
People hate Miis because in Smash 4 someone found a ridiculous kill setup with the Mii Brawler, if I remember correctly. Apparently so ridiculous they had to ban the character. On top of that you used to be able to customize your Mii the way you wanted with gear, then they changed it so you couldn't use gear but you could still change the size of your Mii. With all that in combination it was apparently enough to warrant a ban on all Mii characters.

Fast forward to Smash Ultimate. Since the Smash community usually just follows the status quo, the Miis already have a bad rep because they were banned in the previous game due to the above reasons and probably some I'm unaware of. Also, since the Mii characters were banned they didn't get as much lab time as other characters since there was no reason as you couldn't play them in tournament. All in all, they just got shafted and it's unfortunate. So it's up to Smash Ultimate to show that they can be good characters.
 

Crystanium

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#4
Master_Gamer Master_Gamer
You don't have epistemic access to other individuals, so this is a lot of conjecture. I don't like Miis because they're generic brands. I also fail to see the appeal in playing as some nameless character you can dress up.
 
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#5
Master_Gamer Master_Gamer
You don't have epistemic access to other individuals, so this is a lot of conjecture. I don't like Miis because they're generic brands. I also fail to see the appeal in playing as some nameless character you can dress up.
The point he was making is that due to that unfavorable view you and others have of them, they are seen as less powerful merely because not as many pros play them, which is not a good measurement of effectiveness. Unfortunately, people tie popularity with power really closely still, which is why people will still say less used heavies like D3, Ridley, and Ganon are not good in this game despite having favorable results in tournaments.
 

Crystanium

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#7
The point he was making is that due to that unfavorable view you and others have of them, they are seen as less powerful merely because not as many pros play them, which is not a good measurement of effectiveness. Unfortunately, people tie popularity with power really closely still, which is why people will still say less used heavies like D3, Ridley, and Ganon are not good in this game despite having favorable results in tournaments.
I never said anything about power. I just prefer the original over generic brands. I loathe the Mii Swordfighter, due to the whirlwind to up special. It's what I'd describe as "flow chart". As for the three big bodies, well, I think many people are expressing their early impressions. I've gotten my Ridley up to 4.06 mil. GSP in Elite Smash, but I'd prefer he had some buffs. My opinion about him has changed. Before, I didn't think he was so great, even though I wanted to use him.
 

Mischiiii

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#8
the problem with the pro scene is that they have to earn their money with smash. So basically they can’t afford to play low tier characters because every bit matters.

In the scene almost all smash boards people play it the tier lists probably don’t matter except for maybe little mac because he is so limited in his options. Every character can work on quick play or on not pro level locals. On my first local a shulk won the tournament beating a pichu and wolf player.
 

TheBeastHimself

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#9
There's one character that I feel is often left behind, and that's my boy :ultlucas:. He may not be as great as Ness, but he's very viable in my opinion and can easily go toe to toe with 90% from my experience. But rarely do I ever see people talk about him, or acknowledge his existence at all. And on the rare occasions people do talk about Lucas, they never seem too knowledgeable on him. I don't know.

I hope when people disregard Lucas as mid/low tier, they are actually taking everything he can do into account. He has amazing ledge guard options with PK Freeze, PK Thunder, and his two spikes. Like Ness, he can reflect any projectile and absorb some for health (lots of health the bigger the attack). He's got a viable neutral game and can be both very aggressive with short hop aerials, and also very defensive with PK Fire and PK Thunder. Not to mention, his tether recovery is long af and is often a much better option than being vulnerable with PK Thunder. Like most tethers, it can instantly taking him from falling to holding onto the ledge. The only real downsides I see with Lucas is his overall floatiness, which can make him easy to juggle when he's trying to land on the stage.
 

Coolboy

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#10
in all honesty i think that even competitive people should just ignore the tier lists..cause yeah why do you even let others decide for you who you SHOULD play? alot of competitive people i seen are kinda a sheep with this in my opinion..
so what the character you consider yourself real good with is mid/low tier according to others? if you still can get high into tournaments or even win it with a low tier/mid tier..then you already proved tier lists are just a myth..

instead of a ''official'' tier list.. just make your own..who you are good with is high tier to you..and who you suck with is low tier to you..seeing all these discussions about who is better and who sucks..is just annoying af cause everyone has a different opinion :l and there is just no ''right'' answer.
 
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JiggyNinja

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#12
Idiots misunderstanding what a tier list is supposed to mean is not the fault of the tier list, it's the fault of the idiots misunderstanding it.

To me, I always feel that characters should have an equal representation in Smash competitive yet I always feel that characters who are marked as low tier characters I feel are left behind, forever being in the shadows of higher tier characters, I just question of if these low tier characters will ever have even a small amount of fame
This game is still very young, so even the professional's opinions are not going to be very accurate yet. There's going to be large fluctuations as people find more techs and strategies to take advantage of your opponent (to say nothing of balance changes).
in all honesty i think that even competitive people should just ignore the tier lists..cause yeah why do you even let others decide for you who you SHOULD play? alot of competitive people i seen are kinda a sheep with this in my opinion..
so what the character you consider yourself real good with is mid/low tier according to others? if you still can get high into tournaments or even win it with a low tier/mid tier..then you already proved tier lists are just a myth..

instead of a ''official'' tier list.. just make your own..who you are good with is high tier to you..and who you suck with is low tier to you..seeing all these discussions about who is better and who sucks..is just annoying af cause everyone has a different opinion :l and there is just no ''right'' answer.
A tier list, ideally, is not an opinion. Ideally, it would be just as factual as the the periodic table of elements, but our knowledge of a game's most effective strategies and play styles will always be imperfect.

Most people don't use high tier characters just because they're tier whores, they use the high-tier characters because they're powerful. The tier list is just an attempt to try and document that reality.
 

Sean²

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#13
in all honesty i think that even competitive people should just ignore the tier lists..cause yeah why do you even let others decide for you who you SHOULD play? alot of competitive people i seen are kinda a sheep with this in my opinion..
so what the character you consider yourself real good with is mid/low tier according to others? if you still can get high into tournaments or even win it with a low tier/mid tier..then you already proved tier lists are just a myth..

instead of a ''official'' tier list.. just make your own..who you are good with is high tier to you..and who you suck with is low tier to you..seeing all these discussions about who is better and who sucks..is just annoying af cause everyone has a different opinion :l and there is just no ''right'' answer.
I agree that you should ignore tier lists, for the most part. 99% of the people who frequent this board are not going to be placing top 5 in supermajors. Play who feels right to you and work on developing them. It might work better for you than picking up a character based on who's good or bad. Only those looking to become top contenders should be looking deeply into how good or bad a character is.

But saying they're a myth is incorrect. There is a very clear difference between top tier and bottom tier in most fighting games. Whether it be higher damage output, speed, defense, or any combination of the three. There's always a vast difference. In Brawl, the difference between Meta Knight and Ganondorf was black and white. Basically good everything versus terrible everything. The balancing in Brawl was awful, with Melee not too far behind it. The thing about Ultimate, is that the balancing was already better right out the gate. Whomever is considered bottom tier in this game will probably never be as bad as Brawl Ganondorf, and the top tiers will hopefully never be on the same level as Brawl MK. Even the assumed top tiers in Ultimate are probably not as good as Smash 4 Bayo or Cloud.

But you can't do that. That's the problem.
You can do it. It just takes more work. Something a lot of people aren't willing to do any more. Renowned mid-tier users like Axe and Amsa exist, and while they're the exception to the rule, they put the work into their characters and perform very well using them. And are, in part, the reason their characters have moved up several spots in the tier list. The biggest issue, is that people are already putting too much value into tier lists for a game that is barely off the ground. All these day 1, week 1, month 1 tier lists created by top players kind of unintentionally create an echo chamber for those who follow them. Get enough people to talk about a character, some of them are going to give the character a try. Keep saying a character is terrible, people aren't going to parrot it, and the character won't get developed.

It doesn't end there, though. If you already use a character that top players suddenly consider really good, you get shamed for it. If you use one they consider bad, you're not taken seriously as a competitor. If you're not a mid-tier hero, you're nothing. People are stupid.
 

JiggyNinja

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#16
It doesn't end there, though. If you already use a character that top players suddenly consider really good, you get shamed for it. If you use one they consider bad, you're not taken seriously as a competitor. If you're not a mid-tier hero, you're nothing. People are stupid.
Breaking news! People are judgmental ******** that need to validate their own choices by disparaging people that make different choices for different reasons!

I am shocked. Why didn't anyone tell me this?
 

Mogisthelioma

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#17
You don't like tier lists?

Cool
In all honesty, tier lists are subjective and only apply to certain metas/metagames. But it's out of the question that some fighters have way more matchup advantages than others, thus resulting in the creation of tier lists.
 

Team Orchid

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#18
Even mid-tiers can get crap depending on what they do. If your main is better at playing defensively than aggressively expect to get a ton of hate. I'm honestly considering switching to Palutena from Zelda for this reason. If I'm gonna get ******* at anyway for my playstyle, I might as well play a top tier.
 

JiggyNinja

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#19
Even mid-tiers can get crap depending on what they do. If your main is better at playing defensively than aggressively expect to get a ton of hate. I'm honestly considering switching to Palutena from Zelda for this reason. If I'm gonna get ******* at anyway for my playstyle, I might as well play a top tier.
<--

I don't actually main her, I just think she's cute.
 

Xelrog

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#20
You can do it. It just takes more work. Something a lot of people aren't willing to do any more. Renowned mid-tier users like Axe and Amsa exist, and while they're the exception to the rule, they put the work into their characters and perform very well using them.
Mid-tier =/= low tier.

The point I was making is that "tiers don't exist and every character is just as inherently good as any other" is not a valid argument. It's not healthy to treat tiers (or the present idea of tiers in a game) as the end-all be-all, absolutely. That won't end well. I'm talking about the opposite extreme, which is just simply untrue. There are inherent balance differences between characters.
 

Sean²

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#21
Mid-tier =/= low tier.

The point I was making is that "tiers don't exist and every character is just as inherently good as any other" is not a valid argument. It's not healthy to treat tiers (or the present idea of tiers in a game) as the end-all be-all, absolutely. That won't end well. I'm talking about the opposite extreme, which is just simply untrue. There are inherent balance differences between characters.
Both Pikachu and Yoshi were considered low tiers prior to when each of those players picked them up. Yoshi was even bottom tier for a long time. Those two were the primary driving force behind them moving up so much. What I was saying, was we are stuck in the habit of writing off characters as bad too quickly.

But yes, I agree with your other point.
 

channel_KYX

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#22
The thing about Ultimate, is that the balancing was already better right out the gate. Whomever is considered bottom tier in this game will probably never be as bad as Brawl Ganondorf, and the top tiers will hopefully never be on the same level as Brawl MK.
That's a fantastic point I see rarely made when talking tier lists:
They list the order if how good the characters are compared to each other. They do not tell the relative strength of HOW MUCH better the mids are than the lows, the highs are than the mids, etc.

Unfortunately, that gap might widen as high tiers are played and developed more, while lows are left in the dumpster.
 

Birdygamer

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#23
That's a fantastic point I see rarely made when talking tier lists:
They list the order if how good the characters are compared to each other. They do not tell the relative strength of HOW MUCH better the mids are than the lows, the highs are than the mids, etc.

Unfortunately, that gap might widen as high tiers are played and developed more, while lows are left in the dumpster.
So Little Mac is low tier and Peach is high tier but don't know by how much?
 

Xelrog

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#24
So Little Mac is low tier and Peach is high tier but don't know by how much?
That is what he was suggesting could be the case, yes.

If the previous game's bottom tier was a 1 and top was a 10, and this game's bottom tier is a 5 and top is an 8, then the game has better character balance, even though the top tier is still the top tier and bottom is still bottom.
 

WumpaWolfy

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#26
That's a fantastic point I see rarely made when talking tier lists:
They list the order if how good the characters are compared to each other. They do not tell the relative strength of HOW MUCH better the mids are than the lows, the highs are than the mids, etc.

Unfortunately, that gap might widen as high tiers are played and developed more, while lows are left in the dumpster.
I watched every pro tier list I could find in the months up to and post Genesis and I was always amazed by how much each pro acknowledged the relative balance of the game, saying that no character is unviable except possibly Little Mac. If anything it was frustrating how the high and mid tiers were often one giant loosely ordered/unordered lump that the tier maker would admit could easily have almost any given high/mid tier shift up or down 10-20 slots. That's unprecedented in other smash games, and there is still little consensus as to the ordering of the very top of the tier list which is often the easiest part to figure out. So I'm going to respectfully disagree that the degree to which each character is better than the next hasn't been addressed by the creators of many tier lists, and that the lists often represent it themselves by having a rather limited level of stratification (number of tiers) relative to the number of characters in the game.
 

JiggyNinja

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#27
I watched every pro tier list I could find in the months up to and post Genesis and I was always amazed by how much each pro acknowledged the relative balance of the game, saying that no character is unviable except possibly Little Mac. If anything it was frustrating how the high and mid tiers were often one giant loosely ordered/unordered lump that the tier maker would admit could easily have almost any given high/mid tier shift up or down 10-20 slots. That's unprecedented in other smash games, and there is still little consensus as to the ordering of the very top of the tier list which is often the easiest part to figure out. So I'm going to respectfully disagree that the degree to which each character is better than the next hasn't been addressed by the creators of many tier lists, and that the lists often represent it themselves by having a rather limited level of stratification (number of tiers) relative to the number of characters in the game.
Is it really that unprecedented for the tier list to be this uncertain a mere 3 months into the game's life? Part of it might be because of exceptional balance, but a large part of that uncertainty is probably because things are still settling.

Is there even a backroom set up for this game yet?
 

channel_KYX

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#28
So I'm going to respectfully disagree that the degree to which each character is better than the next hasn't been addressed by the creators of many tier lists
I never implied that :)
I said that lists by themselves don't tell about relative power. Not many people do as you do and read on depth the background of a list. They just look at the list for 17.9 seconds and bam, got their opinion. The background info is lost.
 
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#29
Back from Diablo 3 on Switch. Great game. No microtransactions unlike the PC, all DLC, and Witch Doctor class is hilarious! :D

I've seen later tier lists and I still find some placements questionable. Mostly the heavies, again. And the thing about tier lists, as I keep saying, and as most people say, is that like channel_KYX channel_KYX said, people go by what the pros say without specifics or details or anything. And while the details that even pros give are incomplete, especially now early on in Ultimate's lifetime, tier lists are being used as a substitute for critical thinking about your characters or other characters. For example, Little Mac being bad, while I would agree he's the worst character, is not a hopeless case. His recovery, while pretty bad, is actually so much better and more varied than the last game that simply putting him offstage without chasing is not going to work anymore. On top of that, if you have a character that is higher up that relies on "outboxing" the opponent, a good Little Mac will just win, because he's meant to outbox boxer archetypes like DK and Mario, so him being the worst character in the game means little when he still can cause you a world of pain.

This is why I encourage anyone creating tier lists to not use all letter grades available. Really, there is NO F tier character in Ultimate, that much is certain. The lowest is definitely C, MAYBE C-. But this lettering causes tier list makers to explain what they consider their tiers to be, thus creating a discussion for both veterans and newer fans trying to get into competitive.

In short, tier lists are a horrible shortcut to conclusions without nuance when they don't have to be.
 

Circus Baby

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#30
If Miis didnt look so ****ty, they would be more popular, in my opinion.

That's part of what draws me, and most people I have talked to on the matter, a way from them.

As for tier lists, Peach is top tier. That's all you need to know. :troll:
 

channel_KYX

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#32
And the thing about tier lists, as I keep saying, and as most people say, is that like channel_KYX channel_KYX channel_KYX channel_KYX said, people go by what the pros say without specifics or details or anything.
4 times "say" or a variation thereof in one sentence. Impressive. Gotta get those expression bonus points :*

What I don't get is why everyone and their grandma is longing for tier list. Just let the game have its development...
 
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