RBY Community Survey Results
One thing that sets competitive Pokémon apart from other competitive games is that, for better or for worse, the rules of the game are up for debate. In RBY, there are many points of contention. Some are age-old debates such as the inclusion of Freeze Clause or the legality of Wrap, but many of these debates are newer too. The latest point of contention is regarding a discovery by Enigami of the fact that using Counter against a paralyzed opponent who has selected a Normal- or Fighting-type move, but is then fully paralyzed, causes a desync.
At the time this survey was distributed, this last issue was unresolved – what should be done about Counter causing a desync? There were discussion threads on the topic on Smogon, as well as many conversations had elsewhere, but Smogon’s RBY council hadn't yet made a decision. However, at time of publishing, the RBY council has shown desire for a vote on the matter.
The survey not only touched on the topic of desyncs, however. As RBY2k20 will support RBY with tradebacks in addition to RBY OU, I was led to asking another question of the community. In the GSC community, there has been some debate at times over the inclusion of event moves, due to the extreme levels of difficulty in obtaining Pokemon with those event moves on cartridge, and hence it seems reasonable to ask the RBY community of their stance on including these moves, when playing with tradebacks enabled.
We also asked about Stadium moves as they are unobtainable on the Virtual Console, although it is so generally accepted that they should be included that it is almost never a topic of discussion in the community.
The survey was initially conducted using SurveyMonkey; however, the survey was so successful that it received over 40 responses – at which point I discovered that we could not see more than 40 responses to the survey without paying a rather significant sum of money. Because of this, the survey was reproduced and redistributed using Google Forms. There, questions were a little different, following discussions with Lusch and others in the RBY2k20 Discord server.
According to this survey, the RBY community:
- prefers for desyncs to be patched out of the game on the simulators over other alternatives,
- prefers for event moves to be included when playing RBY with tradebacks, and
- prefers for Stadium moves to be legal for RBY tiers in general.
A desync is a situation that occurs on cartridge where what occurs on one player’s screen is not mirrored by what happens on the opposing team (for example, a Pokémon could appear to have a different amount of HP remaining on either screen).
There are a number of situations in RBY where it is known that desyncs will occur – this information was detailed in the first question asked in the survey, and is available in the appendix for reference.
The question asked that respondents rate the different methods of handling desyncs, and provided supplementary material not only explaining the known situations where desyncs can occur, but arguments for and against each option presented to to respondents as a method of dealing with the current situation. This information is available in the appendix.
- Option 1: Whenever link battles would desync, patch it in the simulator.
- Option 2: Any move that can in any way cause a desync should be banned, even if it is a competitively relevant move.
- Option 3: If a move could cause a desync, that is the player's risk. They should be warned that they could cause a desync, but if they do cause a desync they lose the battle.
- Option 4: If a single move is responsible for a desync, then it should be banned, but if multiple moves could cause a desync it should be patched.
|1st Choice||2nd Choice||3rd Choice||4th Choice|
From the responses given to this survey, it is clear that the RBY community would prefer that whenever desyncs would occur in a link battle, the simulator patches them. However, while it is clearly the most preferred option, it was not selected as first choice by a slim majority of respondents, with only 47% of respondents putting it as first choice.
Respondents were also given the option to leave any other comments on this question; these additional comments can be read in the appendix.
Event Moves in Tradebacks
The question asked:
In the RBY tradebacks format, Pokémon have access to moves that are available to them in GSC. Some moves, such as Lovely Kiss on Snorlax or Amnesia on Hypno are only legally accessible via events that occured over 15 years ago. Furthermore, if you were to play RBY on virtual console, tradebacks Pokémon are accessible, but not with event-exclusive moves unless ACE (arbitary code execution) is used. Some players oppose event moves being legal in RBY tradebacks, because they are so inaccessible, and because there exist so few legitimately acquired Pokémon exist with any given event-exclusive move. Should event-exclusive moves be legal in RBY tradebacks?
|Option||% of Responses||Response Volume|
|I would prefer to allow event-exclusive moves.||54.1%||20|
|I would prefer not to allow event-exclusive moves.||29.7%||11|
|I don't have a preference / I'm unsure.||16.2%||6|
Even allowing for people to express a lack of preference, over 50% of respondents prefer that event moves be included when playing RBY with tradebacks. Excluding those who expressed a lack of preference, nearly 2 in 3 respondents are supportive of RBY with tradebacks being played with event moves legal.
The question asked:
Stadium-exclusive moves are easily accessible on the original RBY cartridges, but aren't accessible without ACE (arbitary code execution) on the virtual console. The only stadium-exclusive moves are Surf on Pikachu and Raichu, and Amnesia on Psyduck and Golduck. Should stadium-exclusive moves be legal?
|Option||% of Responses||Response Volume|
|I would prefer to allow stadium-exclusive moves.||78.4%||29|
|I would prefer not to allow stadium-exclusive moves.||2.7%||1|
|I don't have a preference / I'm unsure.||13.5%||5|
|Depending on the metagame, sometimes I prefer to allow stadium-exclusive moves and sometimes I don't.||5.4%||2|
The results are extremely clear. Nearly 80% of players say that we should include Stadium moves in every RBY tier.
While my personal perspective is not entirely in line with the majority point of view of the RBY playerbase, I am happy, at least, that this survey is conclusive. We will be following the whims of the playerbase in response to this survey in all formats played on RBY2k20.
Written by Disaster Area
Grammar Checked by Eseque
The list of respondents to the survey (as could be identified) are as follows:
Amaranth (aka TIN), BAHAMUT, Bomber, DarkCyborg, Disaster Area, DR Caetano93, ErPeris, Girthquake, Heika, Ika Ika Musume, Koalacancee, Hipmonlee, Huston, lilyhollow, lotuspirate, Lusch, marcoasd, Marilli, Melanie, Mirabel, mmf, Oiseau Bleu, Ortheore, Rojo, SadisticNarwhal, Salwen, Shellnut, Stockings, TFL, The K Tank, Trace, Troller, Unowndragon, Volk, WreckDra, XLP
One respondent did not choose to identify themselves.
Known Desyncs in RBY
Bide – If a Pokémon is using Bide, and the opponent faints due to burn or poison, this causes a desync. For more information, see this video by Crystal_.
Counter – Using Counter against a paralyzed opponent who has selected a Normal- or Fighting-type attack, but whose last move was not a Normal- or Fighting-type attack, or vice versa, and is then fully paralyzed, causes a desync. For further details, see this post by Enigami.
Mirror Move – Using Mirror Move when the opposing has started a partial trapping sequence causes a desync.
Psywave – 1 in 151 chance of causing a desync at level 100 in a link battle.
Thawing – If a Pokémon is frozen, does not switch out, and is thawed out by a faster Pokémon, this causes a desync. Any move that burns and Haze can thaw a Pokémon, and only Ice Beam, Blizzard and Ice Punch can freeze a Pokémon. For more information, see this video by Crystal_.
Additional Information Supplied in Question 1
Whenever link battles would desync, patch it in the simulator.
- It allows major game elements like Counter to stay (unlike the banning approach) and is a smooth experience for players unfamiliar with RBY's intricate mechanics (unlike the warning approach).
- Largely the status quo. If this approach was taken, the only change that would be made to the standard ruleset is that Psywave would be allowed.
- Not strictly adherent to what's possible on cartridge (with the exception of using viral ACE [arbitary code execution] patching).
- "Slippery slope" argument - if we can patch the game to deal with desyncs, and to limit freezes, it gives more ammunition to people who want to patch out other aspects of the game.
- When a desync occurs, there are by definition two different ways the game could go, as each player sees a different scenario playing out. In patching the game, we would have to decide which option we go with.
Any move that can in any way cause a desync should be banned, even if it is a competitively relevant move.
- Cartridge faithful
- There would be a quite drastic competitive impact to prevent the thaw desync, thereby eliminating most Fire- or Ice-type moves from the game.
- Would lead to a significant number of move bans.
If a move could cause a desync, that is the player's risk. They should be warned that they could cause a desync, but if they do cause a desync they lose the battle.
- Remains faithful to cartridge while leaving as many options available as possible.
- Could easily be very confusing for newer players to get to grips with.
- Lot of effort to implement on the simulators.
- Creates alternative win conditions (i.e. if you cause your opponent to cause a desync, then they lose the battle).
If a single move is responsible for a desync, then it should be banned, but if multiple moves could cause a desync it should be patched.
- Depending on your interpretation, this is either the status quo, or the status quo with perhaps Counter or Mirror Move banned. This makes implementation easy.
- Inconsistent. If you can patch in some instances, why not patch in all instances?
- Not cartridge faithful
Additional Responses to Question 1
Responses are not linked to the respondents in the data. All responses are included below:
Just don't put in desyncs period
Ban it if it's irrelevant, patch it if it's relevant in any way. This is kinda a poor stance I admit, cause what's the point of not patching Psywave and banning it, when it probably wouldn't be used anyways. But I feel like moves like Counter just can't be banned and have to be patched, meanwhile a move like Psywave wouldn't affect the metagame at all if it remained banned
Patch all desyncs
Although Option 3 is the best one listed, I would prefer if all desync scenarios were unrestricted and resulted in a draw (not a loss, or a washed game, but a draw, which showdown's rating system among others was designed to accomodate). The simulators should never take it upon themselves to represent something that would never happen on cartridge.
ban Counter Psywave etc, patch defrost etc
These are genuinely difficult questions to answer. The only thing I would absolutely NOT do is make desyncs an automatic win/loss/tie. Games should only be decided in one of three ways: (1) one or both players run out of Pokemon, (2) agreement (forfeits and draws), or (3) endless battle ties (like two frozen Pokemon). Anything else is noncompetitive; if a player that is clearly losing can abuse the possibility of a desync to force a draw, or worse, a win, that is unacceptable from a both a competitive and sportsmanship perspective. Another idea I had (that is also an excuse for me to talk about freeze clause) was replaying a battle up to the point of the desync. This is really far from ideal for multiple reasons, but it at least accurately reflects cartridge. This is how I reconcile freeze clause by the way. I do not agree that freeze clause is not faithful to cartridge – it can be recreated extremely easily. Because RBY does not force healing before a battle, players could recreate the exact point at which the battle reached when freeze clause activated. Whenever the "Freeze Clause Activated" Message appears, just imagine both players quit the battle, recreate the current state of the battle, and do it again, but this time without the freeze. This is perfectly consistent with cartridge.
Desync detection in the simulator and flags that tell you there is an imminent desync if a certain move / move sequence is chosen. Something like the warning exclamation mark + bright colored triangle combination over the moves. This can either lock them out of selecting the move, or warn them that if they use the move, there is a distinct chance that they can lose the game. If it is related to having in the move selection UI, then it should probably be banned. Divide by zero softlocks could also be handled in a similar way in both the teambuilder as well as in game. (all of this is a lot of work though)