Role Playing Approval Center (Update 5-12-13)

Birkal

We have the technology.
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Thank you all for the positive feedback! When I wrote the original post, I wanted to pitch the idea more than anything. It will be up to the RP Committee / Mods to decide on things like UC payout, prizes, etc. I just provided what I thought would be a good base. Let me answer a few of these questions.

- Please for god's sake remove the movepool limit. Why are we punishing users for having well trained Pokemon? It makes sense in the case of rental tournaments and what not, but the challengers train their own Pokemon, so it makes no sense to tell them they have to limit their movepool. That's not a thing I want to see become more common in non-Rental settings because a big pull for me (at least personally) towards ASB was the fact that there was the large flexibility of movepool to work with, and limiting movepools down to 40 moves, you often miss a lot of that, especially in a setting that seems quite difficult honestly.
I think this was answered well on IRC, but I thought I'd address the main idea here on the forums. The movepool limit serves to diversify our competitive attractions in ASB. Almost everything runs full movepools (tournies / halls / gym / TLR / raids / etc), so I feel that it would be a good change of pace to switch to 40 moves. It also allows newer players to have a bit more skin in the game by being able to participate early on. Finally, 40 moves is still largely generous, especially since you can select which 40 moves to bring. As Zarator pointed out on IRC, Tier 1 Pokemon all have massive movepools, and that is no coincidence. I am hoping this will be an exercise in something new and exciting. And if that still bugs you, you can still fight with full movepools everywhere else in ASB.

- Prizes I'll leave to RP Committee/Mods when they get here, but I will say I think Ferry Passes (assuming they lead to UBs) need to be tied to Grand Trials, not the individual Island Challenges.
Yes, this was a typo/misunderstanding on my part. You get a Ferry Pass for beating a Grand Trial. You get to go to a Grand Trial by defeating the individual island challenges. If you lose a Grand Challenge, you may rechallenge without having to go through the previous island challenges. I hope that clarifies it!

15:28:38 <ooraloo> hm, what happens when a captain/kahuna wants to challenge their own island
A fair question, Ooraloo. The answer is simple: they cannot. If you really wanted to challenge your own island, you would need to forfeit your position and then battle your replacement. This may sound harsh, but consider that each island gives you the same prize: a Ferry Pass. You do not gain anything specifically from beating each island, so you can really challenge whichever one you like. There may be a few people who churn out Ferry Passes by battling the same island over and over, but I think most will enjoy the variety of travelling to different islands for a challenge. If this becomes an egregious issue (i.e. down the road, you get something for clearing all four islands), we'll let those who lead an island (captains / kahunas) automatically qualify for their island.

1) Should people be allowed to hold a position in the Gym League (gym leader) AND in the Island Challenge?

Pros argument: There are not THAT many talented ASBers (or ASBers, period) around. Just looking at the sign ups for the latest tournament, we are around 35-40 active players, at most. If one were to count (without overlaps) the spots for gym leader (18), plus the island challenge ones (4 kahunas and up to 16 captains), that'd comprise the entire population of ASB - maybe even more! Not to mention that we're already having trouble as it is to fill all the spots in the Gym League... I'm not sure it would be a good thing if several more gyms were to go vacant all of a sudden

Cons argument: Judging from how you described them, both the Kahuna and the Captain positions are pretty hands-on. They require quite a significant investment not only in terms of battling (like a gym leader), but also in terms of development and reffing. Can we be sure somebody may be able to withstand such a burden while not giving up on his gym leader's duties? Plus, don't we run the risk (especially in the case of Kahunas) of the gym leader basically "doubling up", making his kahuna challenge almost a carbon copy of his gym battle? That sounds less than exciting to me (then again, one could argue that even if they were to pick another type, they would end up being a carbon copy of THAT type's gym... but that's more debatable).
I'm glad you're on board with the idea, Zarator! That means a lot coming from the guy who invented Raids. People will be allowed to be a Gym Leader and a Captain/Kahuna, of course. I wouldn't want to force users to choose between Gym and Island Challenge. That being said, I will be banning Gym Leaders from specializing in their Gym type on the Island Challenge. The reason for this has been listed on IRC: variety. If the Ground-type Gym leader just copies and pastes their team from Gym into their Grand Trial, that isn't adding any variety.

In response to your cons, kahunas should know what they are getting into when they apply for the position. It is a manager position, so they will need to work hard to make sure their island challenge is a success. I would argue that new Gym leaders should not apply for the position and focus on strengthening their gym and applying here as a Captain. The position of kahuna will probably be the easiest one to feel burn-out, so they will need to be users looking to bite off something big. The bolded rule I mentioned above should answer your "carbon copy" argument as well.

2) What exactly would the Aether Paradise be, in your plans?

Should we expect something akin to a TLR? Something like a gift (similarly to Victini in the Gym league)? Something in-between? Something totally different? I understand this is not what you may want to focus on, but I believe it'd be best to at least iron out a direction before releasing this thing
I have very little planned for Aether Paradise as of right now. It is not a gift, and it certainly isn't the length of a TLR. I would expect something in-between, but this information will be kept strictly guarded by the kahunas. I will say this: I have always felt miffed that the Capture Mechanics are so expertly crafted, yet see almost no use in ASB. I would like to change that ;)

3) How much time would people have for applications? And what would applications really look like?

Building up a team in a certain type takes quite a bit of time, even with the 40 move restriction. So, how much time would people be allowed, between being chosen as a candidate and asked to start hosting battles? Not to mention that, given the extensive skills (ref, battling, development) required to be a Captain or Kahuna, I guess the application would look quite different from the one for a gym leader. Could you say something more about it?
This is a great question that segues into what I'd like to post about here. As the creator of the Island Challenge, I will work extremely hard to get this started off right. I would like to position myself as the initial kahuna and test the position. As this initial kahuna, I will serve as a mentor to the other kahunas, from helping them create their Grand Trial, to choosing captains, to balancing Island Trials. To help balance the requirements of this initial kahuna position, I will only take on one captain at a time; seems only fair, right? That way, I will have more time to dedicate to other kahunas and their Island Trials. Eventually, I will retire from the position and hand off the initial kahuna position to the most senior and/or most capable existing kahuna. If you question my qualifications as a leader and battler, please post about it. I have multiple tournament wins, run a successful and creative gym, and serve as a super moderator on this site. But still, I believe that my most important credential is I really want this thing to succeed and will go to great lengths to do so.

Therefore, I am asking the RP Committee / Moderators to approve me to test the position of kahuna to get this thing started. I will post applications for captain, select one, and work on developing a single Island Trial and Grand Trial. Once completed, we'll give it a dry run test (no prize included) to the public, and receive feedback about it along the way. Once we feel generally stable with it, I will select three more kahunas and we'll get completely started. To answer zarator's initial question, I will not be looking for captains nor kahunas with a specified type. In fact, I am barely prepared to run a type that isn't Fighting-type myself! Rather, I will be looking at other leadership skills, popularity, activity, the ability to train Pokemon, battling ability, and flavor. At least, that's the standard I will hold for kahunas and my captain. Other kahunas may value other skills more than others! But for me, the training of a type can come at a later time, whereas important leadership skills cannot.

So please let me know if we're approved to give this a test run. I am always interested in more feedback, so please post here if you have more! Thanks again.
 
All right, so this is Maxim from the RP committee to talk about some of the proposed RPs here. I'll be going over these one by one. Note: This isn't the opinion of the entire council, this is only my opinions as being on the RP Council. With that out of the way, let's get started.

Dungeon of the Unown:

This idea isn't very detailed, and the person who made it hasn't been on since July, so this will probably be scrapped.

Battle Factory:
Exclaimer

The idea itself is pretty neat. The good stuff is that this is a roleplay that even relative newbies can get into thanks to the rental Pokemon. This means it fills a unique niche in teaching people sort of intermediate battling skills once they have all the basics down. The random Pokemon also provides a lot of variety in the roleplay so as to give it a lot of longevity. Neutral wise, I think the data will take a long time to complete, but that's easily solved by using scrubs people to make the profiles for you for UC. Rewards and ranks and such seem fine at first glance. My major issue with this roleplay though is the size of the battles. If gyms are anything to go by, 3v3 Singles matches take a long time. Having 5 matches per challenge? I feel like the duration of the challenges would just be too long to work.

That being said, I wouldn't oppose trying a beta test of a challenge, just to see how it works and what size matches would be feasible.

Orre Colosseum
Ooraloo Toon

I rather like this concept, being a big fan of the Orre games myself. The mechanics and such all look quite solid, and it does seem reasonably different from most other roleplays to warrant consideration. While I have some concern with the format like I mentioned in the Battle Factory, the "pause" function seems to alleviate this quite a bit, and there's only 3 battles per challenge. I am slightly worried about the limited healing, given these are all 3v3 matches that typically have a high KO count. I realize that the B5P3 option probably makes it more viable, but I'd still like to see a beta test just to make sure it's not so challenging it's impossible.

ASB Alola Island Challenge
Birkal

This...looks like a really great idea! Most of the concerns I've had have been addressed by others. I do have a few questions of my own though.

First, who does the reffing? Is it restricted to the kahunas/trail captains of each island, or will there be a list ala the Battle Hall of approved refs?

Second, more of a recommendation than a question, but I'd suggest having Aether Paradise at least written out in concept before going further. Take it from somebody who knows, half baked ideas never end well for an rp.
 
Maxim I am going to abandon Battle Factory as an RP for now until our committee's plate is emptied a bit and I'm in a state to actually maintain and build an entire RP facility. Also, I don't want to oversaturate the forum with different RP's and would rather polish the existing ones and build the one proposed by Birkal. Apologies to everyone looking forward to it, but it's gonna have to wait until other things are developed further.
 
All right, I finally have some actual updates for everyone! Let's start them one by one.

Battle Hall Ownership
So as you all know, we sent out a request for somebody to take over the Ownership of the Battle Hall after Dogfish declined to keep running it. In the end, we ended up with only two candidates. Since the other candidate is about to run another roleplay, we've decided to award the ownership to Someoneelse at this time! His duties will include editing the Hall data to meet Generation 7 standards and updating the list of hall ranks for newly introduced Pokemon. Afterwards he will be in charge of upkeep and the like. Obviously he can recruit help, but if he wishes to change the rewards or hand out UC prizes for new profiles he will need to pass that by us first.

Orre Collusseum
Toon Ooraloo
This roleplay is suitable for a beta test at this time. We feel that the concept is pretty strong and entertaining enough to put into practice. The main purpose of the beta test is to suss out any potential problems, particularly with the format of BXP3 as I've noted in my Battle Factory feedback. To run this beta test, the two co-owners will need to send us an example set of profiles (like the one in the proposal) that we can look over, or simply post here that they intend to use the exact profiles posted. Once that has been approved by me or another comittee member, then one of the co-owners will need to find a willing contestant (not the other co-owner) to run through the beta test, with one of the co-owners reffing. The profiles to be used will need to be posted in the thread so the contestant can look at them, since presumably they will be visible in the soon to be signup thread. Depending on how this goes, the idea will be given the go ahead to either change part of the concept, or post an official singups thread.

Alola Challenge
Birkal
A lot of people have had their eyes on this one, myself included. Suffice it to say it's approved for a beta test as well. Birkal's previous post mentioned his methodology for beta testing this one, and it seems suitable to me. Just keep us informed in the process and it should be fine.

That should be everything, sorry it took us so long. Just needed to discuss this with my companions on the rp committee. Evening news from Oklahoma, Maxim signing out.

*Maxim leaves the room, and two muffled voices in chairs can be heard trying to scream for help.*
 

Birkal

We have the technology.
is a Top Artistis a Top CAP Contributoris a Top Smogon Media Contributoris a Site Content Manager Alumnusis a Battle Simulator Admin Alumnusis a Super Moderator Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnus
On that note,

I am looking for my first (and potentially only) captain. If you are at all interested in the position, please send me a private message within the next five days (by 1/9). Please only apply if you are interested in working with me directly. The top requirement I have for a captain is that we are able to get along. So ideally we'd at least be on speaking terms, if not outright friends. I'd also like you to include any of the following information:
  • A link to what you consider to be your best battle, and why.
  • A link to what you consider to be your best flavor work, and why.
  • A link to what you consider to be your best refereeing, and why.
  • A preferred type (or two) that you would like to have as a captain. Do note that you do not need to have this type prepared at all at this moment.
  • A brief outline of what your Island Trial would look like (just a rough draft).
  • Any other accomplishments you've made on ASB.
  • What your schedule will look like in 2017.
Again, you do not need to include all of these, but any information you can provide would be helpful. You could just send me a PM saying you're interested in general, and that is fine by me. As a final note, do not apply if you do not intend to fulfill the position; if you are selected, you will be bound to it. Don't feel like you have to be overly formal -- just be yourself and send me a message :>

Once I've decided on a captain, we'll move forward with selecting and island and building our challenge. In the meantime, I'll do some work on getting the rewards nailed down for beating a challenge. Thanks RP committee!
 

Birkal

We have the technology.
is a Top Artistis a Top CAP Contributoris a Top Smogon Media Contributoris a Site Content Manager Alumnusis a Battle Simulator Admin Alumnusis a Super Moderator Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnus
I am accepting Dogfish44 as my captain. As many of you know, Dogfish has a steeped history of battling at high levels, creating flavorful roleplays, and serving as a level-headed individual. I think him and I will pair nicely for setting up a balancing mechanism for other kahunas and captains. We will spend about a week woodshedding ideas, another chunk of time playtesting, and then move forward with getting finalized approval from the RP committee.

Huge thanks to all who applied; I was tempted to go with any and all of you. I am thinking between Dogfish and I, we will likely need another captain to help keep us a bit more active, so I will keep you all posted if another opportunity arises.
 

cityscapes

Take care of yourself.
is a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributor
Hello everyone! I had an idea for a new RP based on what's considered the most difficult battle facility of all. That's right, I'm talking about the Battle Factory.

The basic premise of the Battle Factory is that at the beginning, the player is given six rental Pokémon to choose from and some information about the trainer they're up against. (This information becomes less helpful with the streak length.) The player chooses three Pokémon from the six to battle the opponent, and after their victory, they can exchange one of their Pokémon for one that they just battled.

Since the player knows what Pokémon they're up against, they can adequately prepare by picking a Pokémon with an advantage against their opponents; however, a nerf (less moves) might be needed to compensate for the lack of exploitable AI.

After 20 battles (which would probably be 2-3 here), the player is up against the Factory Head. Since this battle is meant to be more difficult, the Pokémon on both sides should be equally competent.

I'm thinking that we should incorporate a Bronze Rank, Silver Rank, and Gold Rank, just like the Pike, to emulate the different set numbers. Stronger Pokémon, such as Megas and Legendary Pokémon, can show up in the higher ranks to set them apart.

What makes it appealing?
Since the Factory is used with rental Pokémon, it means that new players have a way to immediately experience the feel of a battle with fully evolved Pokémon. Additionally, it allows experienced players to use Pokémon they normally wouldn't bother raising. I'm not talking about trash mons here, instead referring to stuff like less used Megas, Pokémon that are shadowed by popular counterparts, etc.. To give an example, a player might take a liking to Floatzel if it carries their team through a battle or two and be inclined to buy/use one. There Toon are you happy now

However, the main reason I think this would be a good idea is because in addition to these other traits, it allows people to have FE battles without using slots. Due to the growing popularity of triangles over flashes, it's been even harder to find slots purely for battling, which is why I think this would see popularity.

If this is the wrong place to post this kind of thing or I did something wrong, sorry. Otherwise, I encourage you to post feedback for this idea.

Thanks.

Edit: APPARENTLY EXCLAIMER POSTED THE EXACT SAME THING ASDF
 

Birkal

We have the technology.
is a Top Artistis a Top CAP Contributoris a Top Smogon Media Contributoris a Site Content Manager Alumnusis a Battle Simulator Admin Alumnusis a Super Moderator Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnus
On a new note,

I am looking for my second (and final) captain. If you are at all interested in the position, please send me a private message within the next five days (by 2/16). Please only apply if you are interested in working with me and Dogfish44 directly. The top requirement I have for a captain is that we are able to get along. So ideally we'd at least be on speaking terms, if not outright friends. I'd also like you to include any of the following information:
  • A link to what you consider to be your best battle, and why.
  • A link to what you consider to be your best flavor work, and why.
  • A link to what you consider to be your best refereeing, and why.
  • A preferred type (or two) that you would like to have as a captain. Do note that you do not need to have this type prepared at all at this moment.
  • A brief outline of what your Island Trial would look like (just a rough draft).
  • Any other accomplishments you've made on ASB.
  • What your schedule will look like in 2017.
Again, you do not need to include all of these, but any information you can provide would be helpful. You could just send me a PM saying you're interested in general, and that is fine by me. As a final note, do not apply if you do not intend to fulfill the position; if you are selected, you will be bound to it. Don't feel like you have to be overly formal -- just be yourself and send me a message :>

Once I've decided on a second captain, we'll move forward with selecting and island and building our challenge. In the meantime, I'll do some work on getting the rewards nailed down for beating a challenge.
 
Proposing a ASB Day Care.

The concept and pitch are simple.

You can deposit a Pokemon (Maybe two), and every day you have it deposited in the Day Care, it will gain one KOC. When you want to retrieve the Pokemon, you pay CC equal to the KOC earned. This will allow people to train Pokemon slowly over time, without flashing or any real effort.

Secondary functions that could be deliberated on:

- Prevent pokemon in day care from being used in battles
- Allow two pokemon for newer/less trained players, one for older/well trained players
- Make it free instead of costing CC, or reduce price (newer players have less CC)
- One KOC every two days instead of one
- breeding? no idea why you would but maybe

Retrieving the counters could be easy. Just quote the post you deposited in the thread, post saying it is being withdrawn, and then claim the KOC at the PCT.
 
There seemed to be a small amount of interest on Discord, so I may as well post it here.

I'm interested in offering a Profile Refurbishing Service:

For the low cost of 1 CC per three pokemon profiles, I will offer a complete refurbishing of the requested profiles to my client's specifications. Options included for this service include (but are not limited to):
- Reorganizing movepools by category, learn type, Energy Cost, BAP, etc.
- Determining current and max movepool counts as well what moves are missing.
- Color coding movepools by type
- Creating copyable ref-ready condensed profiles
- marking moves for specific properties (eg technician boosted, or useable while sluggish)
- adding descriptions for types and abilities

EDIT: I've been told I'm underselling the value of the service (of course if approved my actual rates are at the discretion of the RP community) but perhaps 1 CC per profile or 3 Profiles for 1 UC might be reasonable for a complete refurbishing (including pricing out the cheapest methods to max a mon)
 
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Birkal

We have the technology.
is a Top Artistis a Top CAP Contributoris a Top Smogon Media Contributoris a Site Content Manager Alumnusis a Battle Simulator Admin Alumnusis a Super Moderator Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnus
I'm a huge fan of both of the above ideas.

Also, The Alola Island Challenge is rebooting! If you are interested in being a Kahuna, PM me over the next several days. Qualifications are written in my post on the previous page. If you're unsure, apply anyways!
 

Birkal

We have the technology.
is a Top Artistis a Top CAP Contributoris a Top Smogon Media Contributoris a Site Content Manager Alumnusis a Battle Simulator Admin Alumnusis a Super Moderator Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnus
Use these to guide you application PM.

  • A link to what you consider to be your best battle, and why.
  • A link to what you consider to be your best flavor work, and why.
  • A link to what you consider to be your best refereeing, and why.
  • A preferred type (or two) that you would like to have as a captain. Do note that you do not need to have this type prepared at all at this moment.
  • A brief outline of what your Island Trial would look like (just a rough draft).
  • Any other accomplishments you've made on ASB.
  • What your schedule will look like in 2017.
Again, you do not need to include all of these, but any information you can provide would be helpful. You could just send me a PM saying you're interested in general, and that is fine by me. As a final note, do not apply if you do not intend to fulfill the position; if you are selected, you will be bound to it. Don't feel like you have to be overly formal -- just be yourself and send me a message :>
 
For those of you who are not following the #tlr channel on Discord, there has recently been a lively discussion, starting thanks to input from Exclaimer which I think is worth analysing (at least for those of you who, again, are not up to date with this discussion). For those of you who don't care - or read it all on Discord already, you can skip the HIDE tag

An Excursus on the Meanings of Difficulty and Fairness

Basically, as I'm sure many of you may have noticed, one way or the other, there is a significant problem of balance with several of our end-game challenges - such as Legend Trainer in ASS, Argenta Rank 5 in Battle Hall, or many TLRs. In short, these RP challenges have been poorly balanced, to say the least. While they have been understandably created to be hard, little to no effort has been put in making sure that they could be beaten. But as Exclaimer put it so well on Discord, this only compounds the major problem: namely, that they are hard in an unfair way.

How can we define this "intuitive" idea of hard-but-fair (or hard-and-unfair)? I think a promising way is to compare one of the above challenges to some of our other major ASB challenges, such as the Gym League and Tournaments. Few would argue, for example, that winning a large ASB Tournament is generally harder than many TLRs. At the same time, few would (again, intuitively) dispute that ASB Tournaments (well, maybe except Factory, but I digress) are hard in a fair way. But why? What is the fundamental difference between the two?

I think that the main difference lies in the fact that, while playing in Tournaments (and, arguably, in most gyms as well), there is a distinct feeling that both players are ultimately playing the same game, on the same foot, by the same rules. Though one player may have the upper hand in teambuilding or RNG, ultimately both players have access to the same means, and they're equally liable to be punished for their mistakes. The same is generally not true for the aforementioned "end-game" challenges. While the player has incredible pressure not to make any mistakes, the ref has such a built-in advantage that he simply does not have the same degree of pressure. They're not playing the same game. Whereas the player can throw his entire game down the can because of a single game, the ref can afford a single mistake (sometimes even multiple ones) and still come out on top. What's worse, often the refs who we choose for said end-game challenges are among our best players - the kind who does not make mistakes (at least, not anymore than other players). When combining all these factors, you can see how the whole game ends up feeling extremely unfair - one player is just not playing by the same rules as the other, and has it much easier.

It may be wondered why, after all, we should care so much about fairness. After all, these are supposed to be the hardest challenges in the game, with incredible rewards. Aren't they meant to be unfair? Isn't the reward enough to justify it all?

Well... no. It is not.

In fact, something which always baffled me about the designing of such challenges is how little concern is put into the enjoyment aspect - namely, into making sure the challenge is fun for players. Though I cannot certainly speak for every single developer of these RPs, it seems a common theme that, when it comes to designing such challenges, the first and only concern is to make sure these challenges are hard. As if that alone sufficed. Well, as any game developer would tell you, it does not suffice. In order for a game to be played by players, it must be not only hard, but also fun. While a game is hard simply in the sense that it takes a great amount of skill (or luck) to win it, a game's "fun" is based on other criteria, such as a sense of control over the choices made, a fresh and engaging gameplay which rarely if ever goes stale or repetitive, and so on. Be it a TCG or a MMORPG that you're developing, you should concern yourself not only with making sure that players are having a hard time, but also a good time. A good hard time, I guess.

Ironically, while there has been some talk about the enjoyability of some of these RPs, like TLRs, the talk has been almost always about the enjoyability for referees, not for the challengers. For example, there have been complaints about how some TLRs are just annoying or boring to ref for various reasons, such as the shallowness of some Pokemon's movepools. And yet, it seems people keep forgetting that said refs get a reward (and a pretty large one, actually), regardless of whether they win or lose - whereas the challenger gets almost nothing (and sometimes actually loses something permanently, in the case of non-purchasable TLR items) if he loses. The mind boggles


The case of TLR

Now, generally in the case of unfun games, they just get scrapped. And, in fact, quite a lot of RPs have been scrapped in the past, too, partly because of how unpopular they became (such as, arguably, Battle Subway). However, sometimes, it just happens that some of these RPs are so integral to ASB as a whole, because of their role or what they give, that they cannot (or we'd rather have them not) be scrapped without a suitable replacement. One such case is The Legend Run. As the aforementioned Discord chat revealed (if one did not suspect it already), TLRs are hardly regarded as a fun experience by most players, and the few who try them do it generally only for the reward. Now, since the reward is a good reward (or at least one we'd like to keep rare), we obviously want such a RP to be hard. But, as you may guess by this point if you read the previous paragraphs, the feeling that there's something "unfair" or plain "unfun" about TLR's difficulty is also being a factor. In particular:

1) The ref has simply too many advantages - often of a kind which go way beyond the typical ASB match. The ref doesn't simply have a wider bench, or better trained mons. The ref generally has access to unique arena effects, which grant boosts significantly beyond what a challenger can have. But most importantly, the ref has the freedom to use a variety of techniques (such as combos) which are simply unviable for the challenger. While the challenger has to conserve energy, and sometimes to hit lightly in order to ensure a capture, the ref can spam any kind of high powered or drawback-laden move to his heart's content. This leads to a significantly unfun experience for the challenger, who often has to play in an unnaturally conservative fashion, leading to (sometimes literally) stale rounds that drag on and on... and on

2) As mentioned many times so far, there is little to no sense of progression, of the "I lost this time, but I feel I'll have a better chance at winning next time" variety. Compare it with gyms, for example. While a gym leader often has quite the large pool of Pokemon, and may even swap his roster repeatedly, you can often learn something about the Gym leader's playstyle when you lose - something which may lead you to plan your next challenge better. Moreover, you generally have a large pool of previous challenges to that gym leader to check, in order to improve your planning and "test" strategies in your mind. In TLRs, you generally have none of it. First of all, you generally confront a different ref each time, and we all know that each ref has a wildly different playstyle. When said playstyle is applied to some of the more diverse Pokemon of the TLR, this often means that TLR runs vary wildly between each other. To compound this problem, the reference pool for all but the oldest (or easiest) TLR is ridiculously small or non-existent, meaning that you have no way to test or plan but to, you know, actually try said TLR - which 90%of the time means you'll miss something and waste another 1-2 months planning more, only for another ref coming by and exposing another dozen things you could not realize from the previous run because the previous ref simply didn't care about them (ex: you may think your plan which defeated the guardians the first time will work just as well, but instead it crashes horribly).

In conclusion, while TLRs are not necessarily harder than, say, ASB Tournaments, they are so in a way many people find questionable. This is what led me to the proposal below


So, regardless of whether you skipped the explanation, read it, or knew about it already, here we are. The bottom line, as you may or may not imagine, is that I intend to propose an RP with the explicit intent of constituting an alternative to The Legend Run in its role of rewarding Legendary Pokemon. I'm not good at names, so I'll propose a very cheesy one:

The Trial of Myths

Are you done laughing? Ok, let's get started.

The Trial of Myths (ToM in short), as I anticipated, is meant to be an RP with the explicit "job" of rewarding winners with Legendary Pokemon. However, it intends to do so with a very different gameplay than TLRs. First, I will explain how this RP works, then I'll analyze how it differs from TLRs and which advantages it offers.

In its simplest form, a ToM would be a gauntlet of battles, with the last one involving the legendary which is the ultimate reward of the entire run. Upon challenging a ToM, the player would need to submit a team of six Pokemon. These Pokemon constitutes the player's "battle box" and will be locked for the entire run (think like in ASB Tournaments). As I'm about to describe, however, there're more constraints involved here.

Prior to the first Gauntlet battle, the challenger selects four Pokemon, which will be the actual team he fields for that battle. Then, the first Gauntlet battle (a 4v4 Doubles with B7P4 for the ref) starts. If the challenger wins, his team is fully healed and advances to the next battle. However, he gets to swap up to one Pokemon from his chosen four with one from his "battle box", if he desires so. The last battle of the Gauntlet would pit the challenger against the Legendary Pokemon itself (plus a roster, like the previous Gauntlet battles). If the challenger wins, he gets the Legendary Pokemon.

NOTE: The aforementioned numbers (such as the size of the battle box or the format for battles) are just a suggestion. It can be changed subsequent to playtesting, and doesn't need to be the same for every ToM.

So, what are the major differences with TLRs, and how do they improve the challenger's experience?

The most profound difference, and I think the biggest selling point of ToMs over TLRs, results arguably from the fact that the player is allowed to heal between rounds. A common complaint with TLRs is that (as mentioned in the HIDE-tagged explanation) the TLR ref is just not playing by the same rules. While the player is limited in the combos he can perform and the mistakes he can afford, the ref has much more resources up his sleeve (especially in the harder TLRs) and much more leeway in using them. While the challenger can counteract this disadvantage through several means (healing items, careful teambuilding), the resulting gameplay is still quite frustrating - for both sides. The challenger (even with a good team and backpack) has to play extremely conservatively, often spending entire rounds just plain stalling. Meanwhile, the ref doesn't have it any much more fun: while the ref's Pokemon can go all-out, they are often at a severe disadvantage in comparison with the challenger's team, and the ref basically must not play to win, but simply "not to lose too hard" - i.e. to deplete the challenger's resources to the point he can be actually defeated.

Nothing of this is the case with ToMs. On the one hand, the challenger is free to go all out (combos, Explosion and all that) without holding back (heck, he actually must if he wants to win), since he is healed after every fight - though there are constraints on his choices like in TLRs, they do not bog down the actual game. On the other hand, the ref doesn't play 4 out of 5 games "not to lose too much" - every game is a play-to-win for him as much as for the challenger, and gone is the sense of powerlessness that often plagues TLR refs who stand there as the challenger is forced to stall. As a side advantage, we no longer have to worry about any such thing as the ref not KOing his own mons before a certain round passed.

Another secondary, but perhaps not so minor, advantage is that the gameplay of ToMs would resemble "normal" ASB much more than TLRs. A common problem (and source of mistakes) in TLRs - both for the challenger and the ref - is that the mentality required to beat TLRs is way different from the one required in standard ASB matches. It may be argued that this is not a flaw, and is indeed a source of appeal - much like in the case of Raids and other "feel-different" RPs. However, unlike at least Raids, TLRs require a ref, and that ref is often a different person each time. Finding a ref who not only is a good ASB player, but also has experience with TLRs (let alone the specific TLR he's reffing), is as hard as it sounds. This results in many TLR games arguably being decided simply by being matched with a ref who does more mistakes than you do - since, inevitably, both of you are gonna make some.

Naturally, even ToMs would involve different refs, but since the gameplay would be closer to what normally ASB offers, it would make it easier to "catch up and play", both for challengers and for refs. Hopefully, this could also make more people willing to ref this, as well as lowering a bit the bar for admission into reffing since it wouldn't be so hard to be a good ref at this as it is with TLRs.

Finally, ToMs would arguably be much easier to balance out and playtest than TLRs. Unlike TLRs, in fact, each ToM battle in the same gauntlet would exist as a separate battle. There is no need to make hypotheses about how much HP or En a team would have at the beginning of the battle, or to work out the consequences of one battle throughout the whole run. Moreover, the reduced reliance on non-combat RPs and strange arenas will contribute to make things easier on playtesters, and also to make it easier to judge whether or not a certain ToM is balanced.

What about the catching system?

As you may or may not have realized, this RP does away with capture mechanics, as the need to actually capture the legend was a large part of what makes the gameplay of TLRs so "stale" and unfun, as described before. Nevertheless, some may lament that this is a flaw. Either because capturing is a part of the Pokemon experience, and we must have it somewhere in ASB; or because it may be claimed that legends "ought to be" captured.

Personally, I don't think it's that big of an issue. On the one hand, most of our Pokemon are already obtained without a capture system, and we lived without one for years before TLRs even existed. On the other hand, we already hand out legendaries through means other than capture (such as tourneys and the gym league), and even in-game, several legends are handed out through means other than battle.

Nevertheless, I'm sure somebody will claim that this is a mechanic which would be missed. Personally, I think it's one of the many sacrifices which need to be made because of how different a forum game like ASB is from a console game like Pokemon (imagine if you could only throw one Timer Ball per day to the Tapu Fini you're trying to catch... and that if you fail you must wait one month before retrying), but I can see others will inevitably disagree. I'm open to suggestions to try and implement a capture system back into this RP, but I feel it shouldn't be done for its own sake - rather, only if it actually leads to more enjoyable gameplay.

What about all the non-purchasable TLR items?

As far as the ASS and Gym rewards go, I don't see any harm in them being changed to something else. To my knowledge, only two ASS (one of which has never been defeated) offer such items, and a similar point holds true for Gym rewards as well, so I don't see much harm in changing them.

A bigger problem is represented by those who already have such items - Master Balls especially. However, it's not like TLRs will shut down in the current short-term, and as long as there will be the willingness to keep developing (and running) new ones, ppl inevitably will. This RP just offers an alternate take on the same reward which may cater to another segment of the base. Only time will tell if one of the two RPs ends up actually replacing the other, I guess, but I can't imagine this process taking any less than a couple years (if ever)


So... this is it, pretty much. If there is interest, I will soon post a sample ToM to give a better idea of what I have in mind, but I'd like to hear some feedback if possible. In fact, even if this RP is accepted, I do not intend to (and do not have the time to) develop and manage it alone - as some of you know, I also have another kinda big RP to worry about^^ Rather, much like what's been done with TLRs and other opensource RPs, I'd rather have multiple people cooperate to create the various "instances" (though I would obviously volunteer to work, especially in the early stages).
 
Here are my two newbie cents about Zarator's suggestion for those who didn't read the discussion in Discord:

I like this idea because it'll create an enjoyable RP for everyone, the ref and the challenger. As long as we can input some flavor into it, I'll gladly give a little hand to help out. I'll be a bit sad if we can't implement the capture mechanic in an enjoyable way, but I can survive through this.
 
I'm giving my approval for the above proposal. This needs some heavy playtesting, as I'm sure you're aware (and experienced in doing). There are some minor points I disagree with in your pre-lude but I'm not gonna bother. Thanks for putting my thoughts much more eloquently than I can.

However, if this does get approved, this will not replace TLRs, for those who might have gotten that impression. It would co-exist with TLRs, so that those who enjoy the mechanics and planning of the TLR format can keep going if they please (I will be).
 

JJayyFeather

Drifting~
is a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributor
Moderator
One thing to nitpick at here...

What is the point of the first battle in the Gauntlet if the Challenger's team is restored to full health afterwards? That's just the definition of either a gear check or a time sink, both of which are not what ASB needs more of imo.
 
JJayyFeather the fact is, unlike in TLRs where the battles are increasingly difficult, here each step of the gauntlet would be equally challenging (with the possible exception of the final battle being a bit harder). It would not be a "time sink", as each step of the gauntlet would involve a different kind of team, and so the challenger would have to make sure he has a team balanced enough to take on all the steps of the gauntlet (with the 1-swap rule allowing for more choices and thus more strategy on part of the player even throughout the run itself).

A good comparison could be ASB tournaments - basically, each step in the gauntlet would feel like a tournament match, where a victory makes you advance to the next step but where there is no real "progression" in difficulty built into the system (except maybe for the finals which, even in some ASB tournament, sometimes followed a slightly different format to make things more interesting than the previous rounds).
 
Well, Exclaimer is currently retired, and Dogfish44 has been unresponsive so...

#PowerAbuse

Agender Nerd Profile Refurbishing Service

I do not see any reason why this should not be a thing. I know it will be a good thing for a lot of people. I will go ahead and Approve this.

IMPORTANT: Agender Nerd needs to respond either by VM, DIscord, or some other means that he is willing to run this. If I do not hear from him in a week, I will open this for somebody else to run

zarator The Trial of Myths

There is a lot of potential here I will admit. While there are some very minor worries about overlap with The Legend Run, I think it is a good thing to at least attempt. In particular, I like the idea of having multiple ways of getting legends, particularly if you do not like TLRs. For these reasons, I will Approve this for a Beta Test

HOWEVER!

There are a few caveats. First, you will need to approve with me which legend to give away for this beta test. Second, by the time this beta test ends, you need to find somebody to run it in your place. While I am very confident in your balancing abilities, and would not mind you designing some Trials in the future, you already have your hands full with the Raid Zone. Because of this, I cannot in good conscience let you run if there is somebody else that is available to run it. If you follow these two things and the Beta Test is a success, I have full confidence that this will become a pillar for ASB roleplays.

That will be all. If you have questions please feel free to let me know! (I'm still on semi-retired mode but I have enough time for these sorts of things).
 

TMan87

We shall bow to neither master nor god
is a Site Content Manageris a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Top Smogon Media Contributor
Moderator
Here's my take at a beginner-friendly, easy-to-ref RP: Super Balloon Training. Derived from XY's IV Training, it aims to help beginners understand the core mechanics of ASB, including those that already exist on cartridge but differ here.

Here are the core principles for every Balloon Training:
  • Every Balloon Training will have a different goal. This goal is to be attained by the challenger to effectively complete the challenge.
  • The Balloon itself never acts. As such, every round only sees the actions from the challenger.
  • The challenger can use 2 substitutions per action.
  • However, each challenge can have Balloon Effects specified. These are ways the Balloon can carry out its learning purpose. For example, a Balloon can make the challenger's Pokémon lose some EN per turn.
  • Every Balloon Training will have an associated timer. The challenger must complete the corresponding challenge before the timer runs out.
  • If, at any moment of the challenge, the challenger fails to fulfill the condition (such as getting KOed), the run ends immediately. There is a cooldown of 1 day for a failed challenge; however, a challenger is free to challenge another Balloon immediately.
  • Unless specified otherwise, a Balloon will always be
    type, meaning that all attacks will be neutrally effective against it, and will never have any Ability. Stats will be specified for each challenge, and as a Balloon never acts, they will not have stats for Atk, SpA and Spe.
  • The challenger may only challenge a Balloon with a LC Pokémon. Said Pokémon will be specified within the challenge post.

Challenger: 2CC + 2KOC
Referee: 4UC


Challenge: Deal 100 damage or more
Timer: 3 rounds
Balloon Effects: none
Stats: 100 HP | 3 Def | 3 SpD | Size 4 | Weight 10
Challenge: Avoid getting KOed until timer runs out
Timer: 4 rounds
Balloon Effects: The challenger's Pokémon loses 20 EN at the end of a turn. Any Commands other than Chill are disabled, and Chill can only be used once per round. This Balloon has infinite HP.
Stats: Inf HP | 5 Def | 5 SpD | Size 2 | Weight 2
Challenge: Bring the Balloon's HP to 0
Timer: 3 rounds
Balloon Effects: This Balloon will hold on to 1 HP if its HP would be brought to 0. The only exception is if it is hit with a combination.
Stats: 100 HP | 3 Def | 3 SpD | Size 2 | Weight 2
Challenge: Deal 90 damage or more
Timer: 4 rounds
Balloon Effects: The Balloon disappears at priority 0 and reappears (without dealing damage) at priority -2 each action. This Balloon is always considered faster than the challenger's Pokémon.
Stats: 90 HP | 3 Def | 3 SpD | Size 2 | Weight 5
Challenge: Deal 100 damage or more
Timer: 4 rounds
Balloon Effects: The challenger's Pokémon is Sluggish every other action
Stats: 100 HP | 3 Def | 3 SpD | Size 2 | Weight 2
Challenge: Deal 100 damage or more using only super effective moves
Timer: 4 rounds
Balloon Effects: The Balloon takes 0 damage from an attack if it's not super effective against it. This Balloon starts with a random single typing at the start of the battle (roll a d18 before the challenger orders in the first round) and randomly changes type at the end of every action.
Stats: 100 HP | 2 Def | 2 SpD | Size 3 | Weight 3
 
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TMan87

We shall bow to neither master nor god
is a Site Content Manageris a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Top Smogon Media Contributor
Moderator
Alright since the above has been completed Maxim and I are announcing a beta-test to see how it reacts to actual challengers.
 

F Amadon

formerly Florina Liastacia
is a Pre-Contributor
  • Are you young players sad you never got to participate in a TLR?
  • Are you old players sad that we won't have anything resembling a TLR until 2020 because we are (very fairly, this is not me complaining or throwing shade) waiting to revamp fully until Gen 8 comes out and then we have to actually revamp everything?
  • Do you want to celebrate CAP25 becoming available in BBP?

If the answer to any of these are yes, then I have the mini-adventure for you to tide you over until November!

Birch has had his new, rare starters stolen from his laboratory, and the Pokemon Center in Oldale Town had its PC stolen! The suspect is a man in a baseball outfit seen carrying them north of Route 103, but Pokemon Rangers are tied up in other things and very slowly making their way over! The Pokemon Center has posted a reward to whatever trainer can get their PC back, and Birch will personally escort you if you're willing to help get his starters back! If you're lucky, you might even find something useful along the way...

This system will use TLR's item system, and will have a few rules added on, to fit the adventure:

For 5 UC (the entry fee for the RP), you get a Training Backpack, with 2 Potions, 2 Ethers, and 2 Full Heals in it. You also get your choice of 6 CC worth of Pokeballs!

For the most part, 3 LC Pokemon only- this is balanced around having LC Pokemon. This is meant to be in contrast to the huge, world-defining legendary TLRs. You can take a Pokemon that doesn't evolve and isn't evolved into along with one LC Pokemon (the same way you can, for example, choose Absol alongside Bulbasaur as a starter), but that isn't necessarily recommended, because

All battles are multi-battles! Bring your entire team to bear down on your enemies at once; they'll be doing the same to you!

1 Healing move and 3 Chills per non-boss battle- You'll be healed some after every battle, and no one wants to sit around and watch you guys heal each other around a sleeping Pokemon. Boss battles will be 2 recovery/5 chill like normal.

I have the entire adventure written out and can send it to approvers as needed, so I can be lectured about adventure design can show them what I'm planning and can do feedback and stuff. All I haven't done is Pokemon profiles.
 
I think community-based events are fun. I remember lots of people really enjoyed that Christmas Secret Santa event that we did a few years back. Big limited time events help provide some variety and excitement to a game that can get stale over time, and I'd like to introduce more of that to BBP.

I'd like to propose a community-wide Mystery Dungeon Brawl RP.

Players would start at the beginning of a large Mystery Dungeon style maze, about 40 by 40 units large. Like in the MD games, the full map of the dungeon won't be available to the players at first. Each round, they would have a limited number of actions to traverse the map and explore the dungeon. Scattered throughout the dungeon are various boons and hazards: chests that contain HP or EN recovery items; a drill that lets you go through a single wall; a wandering horde Pokemon that players would need to flee from or fight. The primary objective of the RP is to first find the key in the center of the maze, then find the exit, unlock the door, and escape.

Of course, this is a brawl. The players won't be alone in the RP. Although the players all begin at the same point, the players will start off invisible to each other and given a limited number of rounds to explore the dungeon alone. After the end of this transition period, everyone will become visible to one another. You'll be able to launch attacks at your opposing players and try to KO them, keeping them from reaching the goal before you. You can team up too: heal other players with Heal Pulse or defend them with a well-timed Light Screen. A lone player has little chance if a group of two or three opponents gangs up on them. Forming effective teams is crucial to success, but trust your "allies" at your own risk.

All orders would be PMed to the ref. Secrecy is a big part of this RP. You generally will not know what another player is doing unless they're in your field of vision. Every player would receive a personal reffing, describing what happened to them over the course of a round. However, there would also be a public reffing each round as well, which might briefly reveal small details of interesting events going on throughout the dungeon, like if a player finds a particularly powerful item, or a 3v3 team fight breaks out.

Attacks would follow BBP's damage formula of course, but positioning on the map would be an added element to the battle system. Targeting would follow Mystery Dungeon style range, with close-range attacks like Hammer Arm or Psychic able to attack 1-2 spaces away and larger moves like Blizzard or Earthquake able to affect everyone in a certain radius. Substitutions would be able to take range into account as a chance clause like: IF Regice is within 3 spaces AND is not under P/E, THEN Flamethrower (Regice).

Escaping the maze isn't the only path to victory though. Players will be rewarded points for various accomplishments that perform during the RP. Getting a KOC would award a point to the player. Dealing the most damage to a KOed Pokemon, even if you do not get the final KO, would also yield a point. Finding items would also give you points. However, finding the center of the maze and escaping would provide a large number of points: large enough that you cannot simply ignore the objective and go on a murder spree, but not large enough to allow you to forgo fighting entirely.

The players with the most points at the end of the brawl would receive a very special prize.

Let me know if you have any interest at all in participating. I would be happy to take on the reffing for it if people are interested.

Also, potentially looking for a co-host. I would take care of the vast majority of reffing, but you'd help me with writing flavor and secret events. You wouldn't be allowed to participate as a player, though. Please PM me if you're willing to do this.

i stole this event from PASBL
 
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Mystery Pyramid

The Mystery Pyramid is a facility inspired by the Battle Pyramid from Pokemon Emerald, and the Mystery Dungeon franchise. In the Mystery Pyramid, you take two of your Pokemon with you into a randomly generated maze, and explore in the darkness, fighting wild Pokemon and strong Trainers in an attempt to find the exit.

Along the way, you'll find items to give your Pokemon to heal them and make them stronger in battle. You can't bring any items with you, and what you find in the dungeon is all you have at your disposal.

With each fight, you'll be able to see a little bit more of the upcoming paths than before. When you start, you go in completely blind. After one battle, you can see one tile ahead; with two battles, you can see two tiles ahead.

Once you reach the exit, you may think you're free of the challenge; but in order to truly be victorious, you'll have to defeat the owner of the facility (tbd). Only then can you claim the grand prize.

There will be two modes for the Pyramid: Normal and Veteran. Normal mode is available for Stage 3 Pokemon, and features Stage 3 opponents. Veteran mode is for Stage 4/5 Pokemon, and features Stage 4 opponents.


An example of a potential map layout. Each map will be semi-randomly generated on a 5x5 grid but with 1-5 blank tiles.

Wild Pokemon will be randomly selected from a trimmed down selection of Battle Tree's data pool (If the data is already available, why not?). I will create a large pool of trainers (Ballpark of 40-50 per mode).



Mystery Pyramid is a high variance facility, that shares a lot of the randomness featured in facilities like Pike, but with a twist in that, the further in you go, the more information is available to you, and the more you have to assess the risks of certain paths. If there's a trainer blocking the path, is it worth trying to find items in unexplored areas? Or should you not risk bumping into even more unnecessary battles? Should you stock up as much as possible for the final battle? It's up to the player how much they explore and how much risk they take.

This facility will require a lot of data creation on my end, but I'm fine with spending the time doing so. It's not as much of a time investment as Pike would be, since creating maps will be very easy and all of the Pokemon data required is just copy/pasted from Battle Tree's data (when that becomes available).

This proposal is a bit light on concrete data, but I want get some feedback on the idea itself before I invest more time into this.
 

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