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  #1    
Old March 6th, 2011 (07:24 PM).
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The previous thread about fixing the forum quickly turned into an indictment on the intimidation in the forum. It's a good thing that we confronted that long-standing issue, and we all obviously want to keep the positive trend going.

But the forum is still inactive. And it shouldn't be. There have been well over a dozen RMTs posted in the past week and D_A was the only regular who has responded to any of them except for one rate by Vrai. The forum is never going to get active with such low participation.

Just being honest, for well over a year now the staff has been completely perplexed as to why this has happened. I mean really, we have no idea. I know that D_A and I both think that participation by the regulars is crucial if this place is ever going to become active again.

This thread isn't the rip on the regulars/each other for not being active. Much like with the last thread, the problem is obvious and we just need to figure out how to solve it. Black and White has just been released. This is *THE* opportunity to bring activity back. Unless we want to go another four years with a dormant forum, we probably ought to do something about the low activity!

So we ask everyone...why don't you guys participate? It's not meant to be a question soaked with an accusatory tone but rather one that will give insight as to how to get regulars' participation up. Maybe a bit about what would motivate you to rate (and post in general) more would be constructive.

But we've gotta get active, so...let's do eet.
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  #2    
Old March 6th, 2011 (07:37 PM).
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"Im scared of being wrong and being corrected" is the jist of everything ive heard as to why people wont rate.

Idk about you but there is no such thing as a perfect rate really, we have all been wrong as some point so uh yeah.

As i said on PO to address this i think that a "rating teams tutoring class" type thing might increase confidence.
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  #3    
Old March 6th, 2011 (07:49 PM).
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Not to sound like a total tool or anything, but many of the RMTs that are posted make me feel like the poster put next to no effort into the build and I feel it's "beneath me" to waste my time trying to help when the only effort they put into was posting the thread.

I know this isn't always the case, but it's one of the main reasons I don't do rates.
  #4    
Old March 6th, 2011 (07:58 PM).
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I kinda agree with BlaQk(in the sense of sometimes the OP doesn't seem to care, like edit the OP with current changes, doesn't test things etc), but the stars rating has encouraged some nice regulars rmt's from what ive seen.
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  #5    
Old March 6th, 2011 (08:21 PM).
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Eh, I just haven't been as active lately with APs and stuff all over the place. I'll try to rate more when I get online lol
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  #6    
Old March 6th, 2011 (08:29 PM).
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Can we get a rating tutorial? I mean, I consider myself good at Gen 5 I guess, at least I was, getting there again after that break (thanks LBP2), but I don't feel confident in rating teams just yet. :x I think my major problem at the moment and in the past was that I wasn't aware what the current threats were. I also think team building process parts help a rater get the idea of what a team builder is going for, and such a section should be encouraged as it assists in the rates (at least I think so).
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Old March 6th, 2011 (08:37 PM).
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Well hey, I am definitely gonna be helping out. (To some degree) I personally love the PS/M section. :D /Suckup
This is the perfect timing for it, I imagine this section shall be getting a lot more traffic, for the obvious reasons. Black and White are gonna be huuuuge.

Though, I cannot say I could be a good rater. I agree with mister DA, a tutoring class is in order.
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  #8    
Old March 6th, 2011 (08:59 PM).
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The team rating tutorial/guide/whatever you want to call it is something that was agreed on a few months ago. Personally, I never really considered it urgent since there's one on Smogon that works fine, but of course it's something good to implement.

And yeah D_a, I've heard the same sentiment of being worried about being corrected from a couple of people (probably the same people you talked to). I hate to rehash this issue AGAIN (since it's such a boring topic), but isn't intimidation still in some way a problem if people are afraid of being embarrassed for posting something that might be considered wrong or foolish? I mean, there is a rule that says not to rate rates, and respect is supposed to be something that is required here now. I don't know if it's all of the unnecessary sarcasm on the server (like wanting to use Heatran and then someone randomly spouting IDK LOOKS KINDA BLISSEY/WATERS/METAGAME WEAK LOL) but that really shouldn't be problem. I can only hope that some sort of help for team rating will boost confidence, but if the problem is still at least in part fear of other users' responses, then that's a problem that we should revisit. As "fun" as that will be...

In terms of the lack of motivation to rate poorly constructed teams/RMTs, I can't say I don't sympathize with that point of view. At the same time though, the respect members here all started off with bad teams and often times very bad RMT threads. It's not like you have to write an essay. Pointing out obvious stuff takes about five minutes and at least increases the chances that the OP will become engaged and will try harder. I mean, I can't go after anyone for ignoring awful RMTs/teams, but we should probably pay a little time and effort. Also, don't confuse not editing the OP or testing things extensively with a lack of effort. I can remember back long enough to recall when I put a lot of thought into the teams I made but little into the testing or RMTs themselves. It wasn't a lack of effort but rather that I didn't really understand what a difference testing makes. Just like how new users now won't understand the new reality that if you don't have a sparkly threat list and unique pictures and color schemes in your RMT, it's not a great thread. But that's another discussion entirely.

Maybe that's just me though. The really important things is that the workable RMTs aren't being ignored...as they currently are =/
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  #9    
Old March 6th, 2011 (10:04 PM).
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Quote originally posted by blaQk:
Not to sound like a total tool or anything, but many of the RMTs that are posted make me feel like the poster put next to no effort into the build and I feel it's "beneath me" to waste my time trying to help when the only effort they put into was posting the thread.

I know this isn't always the case, but it's one of the main reasons I don't do rates.
This is the case sometimes for me as well. Especially since we don't have to encourage fully-fleshed out RMTs like Smogon does, it's a lot harder to look like you've actually put a lot of effort into your team, I suppose.

Quote originally posted by Anti:
And yeah D_a, I've heard the same sentiment of being worried about being corrected from a couple of people (probably the same people you talked to). I hate to rehash this issue AGAIN (since it's such a boring topic), but isn't intimidation still in some way a problem if people are afraid of being embarrassed for posting something that might be considered wrong or foolish? I mean, there is a rule that says not to rate rates, and respect is supposed to be something that is required here now. I don't know if it's all of the unnecessary sarcasm on the server (like wanting to use Heatran and then someone randomly spouting IDK LOOKS KINDA BLISSEY/WATERS/METAGAME WEAK LOL) but that really shouldn't be problem. I can only hope that some sort of help for team rating will boost confidence, but if the problem is still at least in part fear of other users' responses, then that's a problem that we should revisit. As "fun" as that will be...

In terms of the lack of motivation to rate poorly constructed teams/RMTs, I can't say I don't sympathize with that point of view. At the same time though, the respect members here all started off with bad teams and often times very bad RMT threads. It's not like you have to write an essay. Pointing out obvious stuff takes about five minutes and at least increases the chances that the OP will become engaged and will try harder. I mean, I can't go after anyone for ignoring awful RMTs/teams, but we should probably pay a little time and effort. Also, don't confuse not editing the OP or testing things extensively with a lack of effort. I can remember back long enough to recall when I put a lot of thought into the teams I made but little into the testing or RMTs themselves. It wasn't a lack of effort but rather that I didn't really understand what a difference testing makes. Just like how new users now won't understand the new reality that if you don't have a sparkly threat list and unique pictures and color schemes in your RMT, it's not a great thread. But that's another discussion entirely.

Maybe that's just me though. The really important things is that the workable RMTs aren't being ignored...as they currently are =/
Yeah, I agree with you. I've kinda been trying to up my own activity here (yeah one rate! more with the threat list too, though...) and I honestly think that the most encouraging thing to get me to rate more is to have D_A or someone who recognizes my problems come by and correct my rate. Not like "hahaha don't use Gyarados it's awful in this metagame hahaha" but like actually encouraging and hopefully adding new direction or something to my thoughts. My biggest fear honestly isn't me saying something stupid that's going to be made fun of by the rest of the S&M community, it's that whatever I suggest is going to be awful and not even help the OP at all. I always feel like I'm unfamiliar with the metagame, hardly able to identify big threats with ease unless it's simply things like "oh you don't have an excadrill check". I'd rather have someone come by and tell me, "hey man, you could have said something about this and this too" or something. I don't know exactly what I'm looking for, but I hope I kinda got through there a bit maybe.

My other thing is that I always kind of feel like D_A gets everything covered when he posts. I look over what he said and I'm like yeah, I can see that threat and that one and that one and damn, I don't know how else to help this team.

But yeah, I'm really interested in activity coming back to S&M. I really want it to be a goal for us to have at least three or four rates per thread by regulars. I mean, there's no reason for a thread to not have at least a couple of legitimate rates, so long as they aren't just rehashing of other rates.

also b/w is the cause for me not posting earlier. :(
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  #10    
Old March 7th, 2011 (10:56 AM).
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I've had a ton of stuff to deal with at college, so I really haven't been able to battle/rate much. An unfortunate necessity of life.

The bottom line is interest creates activity. Clearly, very few people at PC are interested in competitive battling, and those that are can't really do anything with that interest since there aren't many teams to rate, and as others have stated the quality of these teams may discourage veterans from posting.

Honestly, I'm starting to think that this is out of our control. Yeah, it's ultra-pessimistic, but this has been a problem for, what...coming on two years? We've tried a ton of stuff, and none of it has worked. I think it's just a matter of PC not being the type of forum that attracts those that have a core interest in competitive battling.

However, I think anything is possible now that B/W is out. Hopefully the tournament we're holding in a couple of weeks will alert PC of S&M's presence, lol. I think as more and more people start to play the game, they'll eventually be tempted to move onto competitive battling. Then it's just a matter of S&M regulars creating a healthy atmosphere that makes new players want to post and get involved. Beyond that, I don't think there's anything else we can do beyond what we've already tried.

I think Anti forgets I'm on staff since I'm never mentioned in his OPs lol ;o;
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  #11    
Old March 7th, 2011 (02:41 PM). Edited March 7th, 2011 by Opposite Day.
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You'll have to pardon me for not excusing myself at the beginning like everyone else for my "inactivity".

Me? I'm a pure PC product (lol 0 posts on smogon), but that's not to say that I'm the most avid poster on here either. Lurking is what I do, and if nothing else I prefer to give advice over the server or in irc chats, rather than posting in the actual forums. (I'm PROUD of my 0.8 posts per day, thank you very much.) If anyone would care to remember what the DCC was like, remember that it always seemed to get a sudden boost in activity when the Shoddy server was down? Well, we now have a PO server that works quite decently (we all love you Petie), and I'd dare say that the same thing happened. People hang out at the server, which is semi-reflected in the forum as it in itself might not have received the same activity boost, since we just post/chat on there instead of on threads. There are still several "new" people on that I've never seen before, that if nothing else appears to enjoy hanging out/ taking part in the jackassery that is S&M the way I've grown to endorse it, so I'm not losing faith just yet.

I'm sort of with Aura on this, but in a more optimistic way. I wouldn't necessarily be too worried right now, as I think that the people that are interested in B/W might also eventually move on to check out competitive, especially if we sort of arrange a forum-wide tourney at the same time or something. If nothing else I've started hanging out at the pc irc server, infesting that server as well with silly competitive talk (cooperating with Luke on this part woo), and I'd say that eventually, people will come to realize that it might be fun to try out competitve mons as well if they enjoyed playing through b/w. Generating interest should be the focus if we are to sustain activity, aye?

And on the part of rating RMT's, it's a mix of "man, I've forgotten a ton of Platinum", and "wow I wish I were a better player in my own eyes so that I could give decent advice". I mean, would you accept the advice from the guy that used Magic Coat Zone in order to steal hazards from Ferro/Forry? However, that is entirely my own fault, and I'll get better at rating teams, I promise.


Tl;dr - Endure.
Remember that with every empty shell of what things used to be (lolol Shedinja), there comes a free boost as well (NINJASK YEAH).

Oh, and Anti, PO sets happiness to 0 by default, if activity were to use Return it would do next to nothing :x
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  #12    
Old March 7th, 2011 (03:30 PM).
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@Vrai

Okay, that clarifies some stuff for me, thanks. There seems to be a greater demand for a team rating help resource than I thought or than D_A or Wolf thought probably...otherwise we would have gotten it done by now, lol.

We are going to replace Compiled Guides with a "resource thread" that just links to each guide plus some minor useful stuff like Low Kick mechanics, that typing chart thing that's in a lot of RMTs, and damage calcs. Hopefully that will at least make rating (and making) teams/RMTs a tad more convenient and orderly.

@Aura

I never get to talk to you anymore. =(

I agree with the idea that we're never going to have a big community since very few people on PC are competitive battlers. That shouldn't stop our small community from interacting with each other though. We're never going to get a huge core of players but those we do have should anchor the forum rather than ignore it. Even WITH Black and White, I see virtually no opportunity for growth if the forum remains neglected. I mean, if a bunch of randoms come along and post a lot (as we expect), there will be a lot of traffic, but the community will still stay the way it is. A healthy atmosphere is necessary for getting new people motivated to get involved but that alone won't do it--if their RMT is ignored, why stick around? That's my issue.

***************
You said that poorly constructed RMTs discourage regulars from rating, and you're right. But are we really at a point where we have the luxury of picking which RMTs to rate? Obviously we can't go in-depth with new player teams, but as I said before, RMTs from new players always look bad. Mine did. D_A's did. We got involved because better players interacted with us and made us better. I really don't see the harm in taking 5-10 minutes max to just go through something like...

Blaziken @ Leftovers
- Fire Blast
- Blaze Kick
- Double Kick
- Overheat

Altaria
- Dragonbreath
- Fly
- Perish Song
- Earthquake

...and correct it. Just a simple explanation as to why three STABs are unnecessary, why Double Kick is outclassed, and why Fly is bad but more importatnly that Altaria is an inferior Dragon. Everyone starts somewhere. We have to recognize that. And yeah, no EVs is annoying, but it's not like any RMT without them should just be instantly ignored. New users don't know the norms that have become second nature to us (since no one reads the rules, lol).

Hopefully the team rating stuff we're going to implement will help with that. I'm confident that it will...team rating is very straightforward.

(I don't mean to imply that you endorsed the viewpoint I've criticized...I just wanted to emphasize this point.)
***************

@Oppo

I respectfully disagree (well, partially disagree) about the server sapping forum, if only because there was a time when both coexisted and were very active. Maybe times have changes a lot, but maybe not. I don't entirely disagree though. If you're involved in the chat or are battling, you're not going to pay attention to the forum. That's a simple reality. But even though team rating is something that seems to intimidate/overwhelm a lot of regulars at first glance, it's about five minutes (maximum) of thought and the rest is just typing it out for another 5 minutes. I have faith that both can be active.

Aura mentioned interest too and at least right now, I think that's the main thing we have going for us. Black and White will give us an opportunity to engage the new people who post in the main forum. Just from a new user point of view, I'd imagine that coming onto a server full of members who know each other well is intimidating whether or not we justify their fears. The main forum is very controlled and "safe," and if they do their job and post (even if it's an unimpressive thread), we need to reach out or they'll leave. =(

Activity used Frustration!?!? dfghbheriugberiug


Also I feel the need to apologize more than anyone here for being basically gone. I'm almost done with my make-up work after being gone for quite some time from school. With English names (FINALLY!) and free time from break, I'll return and will cease being a stick in the mud.
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  #13    
Old March 7th, 2011 (05:15 PM).
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I think I'll start rating finally. :x I just rated a team a few minutes ago. :]
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Old March 8th, 2011 (04:53 AM).
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Quote originally posted by .Aero:
I think I'll start rating finally. :x I just rated a team a few minutes ago. :]
Same. I'm still not comfortable at all with Gen IV teams but I'll try to get all of the Gen V ones that pop up on the radar here.
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  #15    
Old March 8th, 2011 (12:59 PM).
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Yeah, I'm not so good with Gen 4 either. I certainly hope that Gen 5 teams start popping up soon enough. :x Usually the Gen 5 teams that are posted come from members who consult each other about their teams on the PO server first, where most advice is given prior to an RMT. I think once non-regulars start posting teams, I'll be more encouraged to get out there and rate. :]
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Old March 8th, 2011 (04:21 PM).
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I feel that I'm fairly familiar with the 5th Gen Metagame. I play a lot as most of you know. So I guess I could go through and rate a few teams. I'm scared of being wrong, leading someone down the wrong path, and then they would quit playing because of having listened to my bad advice. :/ I'll do my best to help revive S&M/keep S&M active though.
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Old March 8th, 2011 (04:56 PM).
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Quote originally posted by AngelXavier:
I feel that I'm fairly familiar with the 5th Gen Metagame. I play a lot as most of you know. So I guess I could go through and rate a few teams. I'm scared of being wrong, leading someone down the wrong path, and then they would quit playing because of having listened to my bad advice. :/ I'll do my best to help revive S&M/keep S&M active though.
If we become not afraid of being corrected by others, then everyone can be able to rate more freely because they probably have solid advice and if there is something wrong with it, then someone else can come by and help fix it. This, I think, will not only promote activity kinda but it'll help the OP as well as the rater who messed up a little bit. As long as we don't get all jerkish and start laughing at some slightly incorrect or straight-up bad rates like we always do on the server, I think that we could turn things around, if not simply improve our own abilities.
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  #18    
Old March 9th, 2011 (10:26 AM).
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I don't really understand why people are so intimidated by being incorrect, when rating new users' teams is very easy and straightforward. It's pretty obvious what to change if say, Skarmory with Fly is posted (Brave Bird / Drill Peck > Fly). When I rated teams back then, I wasn't very good and DA never attacked me or anything haha. And even if you are wrong, no one is going to assault you like old S&M (or well, shouldn't at least). Maybe DA can stop rating as much and let others rate first to give them practice too?

Also, to the time consuming complaints, if we had more people rating, the standard raters wouldn't have to rate as much. Rating teams might give us a few more members as well, and then that might mean more future raters to help.

I haven't read all of this thread, but I still think the biggest issue with the forum other than there being no rates is that no regulars actively post teams anymore. From what I remember, pretty much half of S&M was regulars' RMTs, so it contributed a lot to the forum activity. I hear all the time on the server with people making new teams but...no one ever posts to make their team better? You don't need to have an amazing team that reached to #5 on the leaderboard to post it. You don't need to make it pretty either, just add your movesets, descriptions, and six sprites lol (threat list isn't even that necessary). Sorry for restating that, but it's still a problem. S&M would be much more active if we had people posting teams more and everyone contributed to rating teams in my opinion.
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Old March 9th, 2011 (10:48 AM).
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Well as i said, the rating classes would help with confidence. Sample RMT's with flaws would be great for people to practice on.

Though if we do do this, the "pair up with a pro" type of format the rest of our tutoring based courses had needs to go. That doesn't work at all, period. Too many things go wrong with those.

I think its time to see ideas like for example;

- Everyone go on PO
- Couple of sessions (time and date specified), tips and the like by me, Anti, Luke, Wolf, Aura etc.
- People ask questions if unsure or want to clarify anything.
- Give people sample RMT's to go over and get back to us when they have rated via PM.
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Old March 9th, 2011 (01:42 PM).
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Wolf is definitely right about regulars posting teams. He really hit the nail on the head--RMTs are called RMTs because it means that you want people to rate your team. It's as simple as that. I have always hated the obsession with format/aesthetic stuff that isn't necessary at all. Even sprites aren't necessary. "At A Glance" didn't even exist when I first got here. The stress on having a beautiful little RMT has got to go. Why people don't post more teams...I don't really know. But the main purpose of this thread is mostly to make everyone aware of how necessary it is that our regulars are active. How pretty your posts are does not factor into that equation.

As for the RMT tutoring stuff, I don't plan to have too active of a role in it but I'll weigh in here. Organizing everyone to get on the server at the same time is often difficult. That was the main issue with Community Night. I can't really argue against the idea that one on one pairing are any better though. That's why I just don't really support an RMT tutoring program as it has been presented...we can't do tutoring activities because no one ever commits to them. Sure ,the current tutoring program's issues have largely been the result of users who are not established members dropping out, but it has been our regulars who have ditched Community Night and, back in the day, ducked tournament commitments.

I don't really see the need for a program at all. The server is the most interactive thing we have, but why bog it down with scheduling and having to teach people who will probably have different needs? I don't see the problem with providing a comprehensive rating resource (AKA update the team rating stuff we have now) and just being around to answer questions. Being able to confide in veteran team raters is a great way for users to have reassurance, without the inefficiencies (and what will likely end up being failures) of scheduling and all of that.

As for confidence, that's just something that comes with practice. No program is ever going to replicate what practice can do for you in any truly meaningful way. If I may use an analogy, I used to have a hilariously poor jump shot. Like, Rajon Rondo bad (that means really bad). I didn't take open shots in games because I was afraid I'm missing, which (I think) is analogous to the the fear that some have expressed here. Soon I got to taking 10-footers and games, and despite some misses, I made the majority of them. A 10-footer is an easy shot...it's just like rating a new user's team, as Wolf pointed out. Once you get comfortable with the easy stuff, you extend your literal/figurative "shooting range" until you can hit 20-footers and beyond pretty consistently. It's not even a matter of "practice makes perfect" but rather that practice will boost confidence. People just need a push to get started. That's what this thread is for. While I am all for team rating help so that people won't be spewing out crap for the sake of posting and being active (though I emphasize how extremely unlikely it is that anyone can post a crappy rate of a new user's team), this is just a matter of doing. Even the best team raters make solutions that don't pan out. It's not the end of the world.
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