- Jul 9, 2021
this is such a long textdump i ended up having to cut out the intro, oopsies! if i refer to anything from it you should ignore itLet's start with the definition of a competitive environment. It varies greatly depending on the person, but the general consensus is that the more skilled player should win more often against a less skilled opponent. There are disagreements all the time on whether or not something is competitive or not, but some aspects (such as evasion) can be universally agreed upon to be uncompetitive.
What is a competitive environment?
What is a competitive environment?
The Uber tier is for Pokemon that are designated "too powerful" for the OU tier. Below is the exact definition of an Uber provided by Smogon University. Keep it in mind; it will come up again later in this thread.
A Pokemon is considered Uber if it is too powerful to be reasonably handled within the bounds of the standard metagame. Uber status is determined by this factor alone; it does not matter if a Pokemon is worthless in the Ubers tier, or if it is outclassed by anything already in Ubers. In Ubers, a strategy or Pokemon may appear to be broken; this doesn't matter as Ubers is essentially a ban list for OU, and nothing is currently too broken to be used in Ubers. Uber Pokemon generally have extremely large movepools and very high Base Stats when compared to OU Pokemon.
When the definition says Ubers are too powerful to be reasonable handled in a standard metagame, it is partially referring to overcentralization. Overcentralization is a complicated topic, so I will do my best to explain it thoroughly. Overcentralization is when the metagame evolves in a way that ends up restricting viable teambuilding options. This typically means you are forced to run specific Pokemon/moves unless you plan on losing most matches.
A somewhat recent example of overcentralization can be found in Spectrier. Spectrier in OU was extremely restricting, forcing your opponent to run a Blissey or a bulky dark-type such as Mandibuzz or Tyranitar. Aside from those three, there was no viable way to check Spectrier. Many Blisseys began running Shadow Ball over Seismic Toss, signifying that Spectrier was overcentralizing OU. This led to Spectrier being banned in an 81.6% majority vote. If you would like to learn more about Spectrier's overcentralization, I highly recommend reading through the suspect test article found at https://www.smogon.com/forums/threads/np-ss-ou-suspect-process-round-9-old-town-road.3676744/.
Healthy centralization is when you have to consider possible threats to your team when teambuilding. An example of this could be Rillaboom. Many bulky resists can tank his hits, and many different Pokemon can pressure him offensively. This is different from Spectrier, as Rillaboom doesn't necessarily force you to use any specific Pokemon as a check.
With the definition of overcentralization out of the way, I hope everyone can come up with their own definitions of an uncompetitive environment.
In my personal opinion, an uncompetitive environment is when less skilled players can frequently beat more skilled opponents by abusing overcentralization.
Are the gyms on PokeLegends competitive?First, it's important to recognize the objective advantages and disadvantages of the current format.
+ Have a general idea of what the Gym Leader's team will be
- Challenger can use nearly any Pokemon in the game
+ Can scout the Gym Leader's team through multiple attempts
- Challenger can change their team each battle
+ Can adjust team over time to counter the Gym Leader
- Can't adjust team after each battle
- Must lead first
+ Can adjust lead to get advantage
Objectively speaking, Gym Leaders are disadvantaged before the battle even begins. Gym Leaders are forced to play in predictive ways due to the monotype restrictions along with scouting. An unpredictable team is only unpredictable once, reducing creativity and making the position of being a Gym Leader unappealing. If you choose to build your team in a way that makes it unpredictable multiple times, it will more than likely end up being unviable in a normal matchup.
It's impossible to create a 6v6 team with no objective weaknesses, much less in a 3v3 format while being restricted to one type. This puts the Gym Leaders at a severe disadvantage, leading to Gyms such as Poison (vs. Mega Medicham), Ice (vs. Scizor), and Dragon (vs. Tapu Lele) that are impossible to have a fair fight against a smart player regardless of skill. This can be incredibly frustrating for the leaders. What is the point of requiring applicants to be knowledgeable and skilled only for it to not matter in the presence of a smart player?
Then you add Ubers into the mix. Ubers, as defined previously, are too powerful to be reasonably handled in the standard metagame. Not all Legendaries are Ubers, but most Ubers are Legendaries. As discussed previously, Ubers overcentralize the metagame, requiring you to bring specific counters. As of right now, 92 Ubers (including different forms) are allowed in Gyms. It is literally impossible to prepare for them. A common argument I have seen is "the Gym Leaders can also use Ubers, so what is the problem?". When a Gym Leader uses an Uber, they steamroll any new player who tries to challenge them. But when a smart player comes along, having an Uber makes little to no difference. The Uber rule only benefits the players smart enough to abuse it, not the Leaders nor the new players.
In the end, I can conclusively say that the gyms on PokeLegends are extremely uncompetitive. Is that an objectively bad thing, though? No,
ConclusionYou may be asking, "Weather, I thought the entire point of your thread was that an uncompetitive meta is bad!". Yes, an uncompetitive metagame is generally bad. That said, are the gyms even meant to be competitive? No, they aren't. I talked about it briefly with some of my friends, and we agreed that gyms, to some extent, are meant to be beaten. That said, Gym Leaders are still feeling frustrated, so some sort of change needs to be made.
Potential Gym SwapsFittingly, both the Omega and Alpha leagues have nine gyms each. The reward for getting your 10th badge is a random shiny legendary, so I think it's fair to say your 10th battle should be a bit more of a challenge.
I believe the Omega and Alpha league positions should be swapped, meaning you start with the Omega league instead of the Alpha league. This means the first gyms will have level caps. After beating all of the Omega league, you can fight the Alpha league and then earn your 10th badge.
This is more beneficial for a couple reasons. It will be easier for newer players to beat, as the restricted movepools on unnaturally spawning Pokemon such as low level Legendaries make it less likely for newer players to be dominated early on. With the current positions of the Omega and Alpha leagues, after beating one gym in the Omega league you will have a shiny legendary to use throughout the rest of the league. It wouldn't be fun having to face a low level legendary every single battle, so that's another benefit. It also means players need to prepare for the first gyms instead of using random Pokemon they happened to have.
Some gyms would also benefit greatly from switching leagues. Poison, for example, automatically loses to Mega Medicham. If you swapped the Grass and Poison gyms so that Grass was level 100 and Poison was level 35, Mega Medicham would no longer be a problem. There are a handful of gyms like this, so I think something like this being considered wouldn't be a bad idea.
Potential Gym Rule ChangesI think that Team Preview should be allowed in gyms, but only for the Alpha league. As stated earlier, I think the Omega gyms should be easier to beat than the Alpha gyms. Enabling Team Preview helps lessen the disadvantage Gym Leaders suffer from, as well as benefit the Challenger in terms of scouting. Yes, this would make the Alpha gyms more difficult, but considering the rewards I think it is fair.
Because most Ubers are Legendaries, I think re-adding the Legend rule would help ease some of the challenges. This means you can only use a legendary if the gym leader is using a legendary. People can argue about whether or not they think the rule is fair, but guess what? There can be more than one gym leader! If you want to use a legend, you can fight the leader who uses a legend. If you would prefer to not use a legend, fight a leader who doesn't use a legend. It's a simple solution that would ease some of the frustration while also allowing for more options instead of restricting gyms through rules. I don't think this should be controversial, and I believe this should be implemented.
Conclusion: The SequelIf you would like to further discuss some of the things I talked about, you can comment on this thread or DM me on discord (silver#3582). At the very least, I hope you learned something new if you had the willpower to read all the way through. I'm passionate about this sort of thing, so if it appeared as if I was heated while writing this I apologize in advance. Regardless of how you feel about my take, cheers!