Using the forums for transparency

Feedback relating to the forum and wiki.
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Veedrock
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Using the forums for transparency

Post by Veedrock » Sun Mar 22, 2015 3:25 am

Sorry transparency isn't quite the right word, but I can't think of a better one.

Anyways, as somebody that's trying to get into Pokemon speedrunning, the lack of consistency and transparency on the forums (and to a lesser extent the wiki) is kind of ridiculous. There have been breakthroughs and discoveries for games across all generations (even brand new game releases!), but the information just is not present here. Where is the activity at? I imagine the response to this would be "IRC" but that's not acceptable for major points of discussion if this site is meant to be the go-to resource.

Let me explain a few of the instances I've run into to demonstrate the frustration.

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First example I came across was for Pokemon Colosseum. It'd been awhile since I watched any kind of speedrunning so I thought I'd check the wiki entry to see what's new and I discover this:
Current World Record uses Espeon and Feraligatr, but recent testing has concluded that Typhlosion may be a better second starter. More testing is required, however, as each second starter has major advantages over the other.
Ok cool, that's an interesting development in the time I was away. But then I check the last edit date, May 2014, 10 months ago. Where's the progress since then? Well naturally I head to the forums in hopes of finding more information; as expected I found a topic about it, but the last activity in the thread is the same date as the wiki edit. The topic did serve a good purpose, generating observations and theories for a month, but the topic then went unfinished. It's been 10 months, even if this is one of the less popular games there should have been something new concerning this topic, so where did the conversation go?

===
Next example is fairly new but that's just makes it all the more concerning. While reading new posts on the forums Fretzi made a post which mentioned a major breakthrough for PMD Red/Blue. I was intrigued by this, so I went searching for information but came up empty as the forum has barely been touched at all. It wasn't until another controversy later that GarfieldTheLightning explained what the discovery actually was.

So the discovery appears to be known at least within the core runners, but where was the discovery posted? Where was the conversation about it? Without an open platform of discussion it's very intimidating for somebody new to try to break into the game.

===
And the last one which I think is the biggest example is Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire. This game is brand new, it just came out so there's a lot of areas of discussion and policy to debate, yet there's little to no documentation about it. The forum has one topic of importance in which users discussed timing, both RTA vs IGT but also when timing should stop since the game doesn't define that clearly. A lot of good points were made and not everybody was on the same page, yet the conversation died out. Some players are currently running the game so is there actually a consensus or are they just playing by their own rules until it's formalized later on? The wiki says these things haven't been finalized, so a newcomer will not have any kind of guidance on how to time their run or even where to end it.

Then there's the ingame material that offers up even more discussion; in particular there's version differences that are worth discussing. JTMagicman's FAQ says Ruby is more consistent but Sapphire may be faster, but where's the topic analyzing pros and cons of each? Then there's Eekcast who's working on (worked on?) another strat altogether but with no explanation or discussion about the pros and cons of the Dexnav approach. I mean the game is brand new, the forum should be bumping with routing ideas and the like but it's not.

===
There are other examples but I'll cut it there. I should also state this doesn't apply to every game/subcommunity, the Sapphire board is one example.

This is frustrating, there's no other word to describe it. There's need-to-know info out there, but it's nowhere to be found on this site. That means the site is not fulfilling its purpose. The site doesn't host the leaderboards anymore, so if this site isn't a bevy of information and discussion, what good is it actually doing? The pokemon speedrunning community is already pretty small, and when you break it into the subcommunities each game has it gets that much smaller, so keeping information within nonpublic platforms like IRC or twitch chat is extremely harmful to expanding the playerbase.

I understand there's not really a way to "fix" this, all I can hope is that the regulars and prominent runners understand this plea and start using the forum for any serious areas of discussion.
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Re: Using the forums for transparency

Post by Amoeba » Sun Mar 22, 2015 11:56 am

To put it simply, it's time consuming for runners to find or learn new strats, and there's little reward in writing them up when most of the time the community as a whole will just talk to each other to understand something new. I've personally spent quite a lot of time keeping the emerald information up to date, but when shit like https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... edit#gid=0 takes multiple hours to create, and no body seems to use/need it, there's very little drive to keep up with maintaining detailed information.
Also, and to use your PMD example, some discoveries take time to figure out. The PMD one came to the light on the forums quickly because of an as-yet unresolved issue with the leaderboards, but no one has actually finished routing the rng manip route out yet, so apart from the very brief explanation that garf gave in the post you linked there's not much to tell. And the PMD is (surprisingly) a fairly large community, Colosseum on the other hand basically has one active runner at the moment, so you can imagine how long it could take for newer discoveries to come to light. Also, because of the "wiki"-ness (great word) of it, I know personally I'd be hesitant of writing unfinished/untested strats on there.
And as a final point, why should any of the runners -have- to write up their knowledge? Thankfully the pokemon community as a whole is a fairly welcoming one, and I can't think of a runner that would expressly avoid helping a new runner, but at the end of the day we're all indiviual people with our own lives and time constraints, and for a lot of us updating the informaton on a wiki (especially when we can just go to a skype group and chat about new strats with other runners) is low on the list of priorities.

Edit: Skype/irc groups also have the added appeal that responses, for the most part, are instant. Forum responses can take a long time, just because people aren't actively updated on when new replies are posted.

Hopefully because you've expressed an interest in certain new knowledge people from those respective games will have the drive to update the info, but in all honesty if you want the information quickly, just go ask an active runner of the game.
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Re: Using the forums for transparency

Post by GarfieldTheLightning » Sun Mar 22, 2015 12:00 pm

Hey Veedrock, welcome to the community!

I think in a lot of cases, the kind of topics outlined in your post get talked about elsewhere (usually on someone's stream or maybe in a Skype group) and then people kind of forget about/neglect the forums just because it's easier to discuss things with people in real time. But you're right, this can make the community seem a bit insular to a newcomer. We're very welcoming really, though - just pop into a stream and start talking, and you'll get a lot of discussion that way!

As for things I can do about this accessibility issue, the X/Y route on the wiki is in need of an update. When the strats changed, I didn't update the route myself straight away because being relatively new to the game, I wasn't sure that I was best suited for the task. After that, it slipped to the back of my mind. I think my knowledge is now good enough to type up an updated route, though, so I'll see what I can do over the next week or so!
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Re: Using the forums for transparency

Post by astralslide » Mon Mar 23, 2015 5:54 am

As an ORAS runner (and apparently the only active one left) I have to agree that the route in the wikis is terribly unoptimized and can only be used as a "reference" of sorts. It's a very safe route, using many superflous X items that are ultimately not needed if you want to get an optimal time, but it's still a very good resource for people who want to start speedrunning the game, which IMO is the whole point on having such a detailed route on the wiki. if you're already familiar with the run and want to get a competitive time rather than just finishing a run, you end up knowing and talking to other runners directly. Also reviewing VODs in the leaderboards is a very good way to learn small optimizations individual runners use in their runs, many things like movement can't be explained in words easily, and only practice makes you better.

But I do agree that I miss having more discussion about the topic in the forums themselves rather than on Skype or Twitch chat/PMs.

I have very quick and dirty notes for both games, especially Alpha Sapphire, which is completely absent from the wiki, if anyone here is interested I can format them in a way that doesn't look terrible and post them on the boards. But they're still slightly incomplete (makes many assumptions about stats)

So, to recap, the ORAS route in the wiki is still a very good starting point for people who want to start running the game, and that's the public it's directed to.

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Re: Using the forums for transparency

Post by Sinstar » Tue Mar 24, 2015 2:45 am

Hi

You have to realise (particularly with brand new games) that there are literally only a handful number of people that have done any work on routing these games. This takes an enormous amount of time and effort, often when routing the notes some of us make are either confusing or non existent (in my case when I route a new game I do it purely by memory and only make very short notes with fiddly details such as shopping or the occasional important reminder, this is just something I have always done since I started running pokemon a couple of years ago, as eventually I want to run without using notes to make my play better and find it easier just to skip the step of running with notes altogether.) For this reason it isn't surprising that there is very little documentation, simply we don't necessarily have everything mapped out in detail on paper to share with others. I can at least speak for myself when I say this.

Thankfully for people who want it people such as MoneyHypeMike are more methodical in routing and use notes and very generously publish their notes. He personally lists all his notes on his twitch page so you can check those out if you want a route for newer games.

I think my point however is that it shouldn't be taken for granted that someone else routed a game for you, if you want to do anything more than do a fast playthrough of a pokemon game for fun you should always do some routing yourself, the routing is part of the speedrun! Part of the reason I think there is often a gulf of time difference between on off runners of games and those who routed the whole thing methodically over a long period of time is that this routing is a vital step of familiarisation with the game, and all the strategies employed throughout the run are influenced by the knowledge you gain during routing that might be impossible to write down in a way that can be then reconsidered effectively in a time sensitive environment of a run.

In terms of ORAS specifically I know the route seems like it's a big community route but what it basically is is a large bunch of people all individually routing the game based on the same general idea, maybe getting ideas from here and there fro watching each other/ skype chats but I think most of the people who routed the game in the first week went through the game by themselves first and had some idea of what they were planning to do without there being some big community decision as to what the route would be. I went through both games a few weeks after relase and wrote down timings for every significant battle in each version, I posted this on my twitter had I posted it to the forums the readership would have probably been something like 5, rather than the 20 or so that saw it via twitter, here's the pastebin: http://pastebin.com/4mW4i54k. At the same time as this before the game came out I personally was thinking about Taillow strats and how it might work, when the game came out I started chatting to Eekcast and Mike on skype about using the dexnav for it, I made a vague pastebin route that I still have on my pc for Eek and I think he then made his own route from there. But pretty much all this route ever was was a very early philosophy of how to get through the game fast a different way, this is just an example of how what might seem like a route that *really needs to be put on the wiki* all it ever was was something that was "scribbled down on a notepad" as a vague idea, there is no way something like this would be worth putting out there as some kind of official guide to speedrun, it's just too rough.

All In all my main point is just that if a route is written up on the wiki or talked about in depth on the forums this should be seen as amazing and helpful, something that requires a considerable amount of time, dedication and effort to produce, particularly if someone doesn't need such detailed notes to run with, the lack of such information shouldn't be frowned on, if you really want to see this kind of info, see it as an opportunity to route something out yourself and share your own knowledge and experiences.
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Re: Using the forums for transparency

Post by Veedrock » Tue Mar 24, 2015 7:09 am

You're getting a little carried away Sinstar, what exactly triggered that response? My initial post has exactly one instance of the word "routing," and it was just a mention of activity that could/should be taking place on the forum, not a plea for people to publish routes. Information is not just about the end product, but also the process. Obviously for older games there's not much need for an ongoing topic for routing (even though improvements continue to be made in gens 1/2 :P), but those kinds of topics are very desirable for new games like ORAS or old games with new developments like PMD Red/Blue.

I appreciate the responses, I'm glad you guys understand, but I need to restate my point one more time, which are discussions on the forums. I understand why the wiki doesn't get regular updates, worthwhile information takes time and effort to ascertain, and even more to properly format cleanly for a wiki entry. But the forums don't have that kind of restriction, posts don't need any kind of formal structure and you can post even the smallest inquiries or information. Delegating important topics strictly to IRC/Skype/Twitch/pastebin isn't ok; I'm not trying to discourage real time discussion per se (used it all the time when I was a competitive player), but the information still needs to find its way onto the forums.

For bigger communities this stuff comes naturally, as forums are the best way for information to get around quickly. Heck we're seeing that for gens 1 and 2 because there's so many active players. But for the small subcommunities it may be easier to use direct networking to share information, but it's discouraging for anybody trying to get in. It'll take a conscious effort to adjust, but should be worth it.
Last edited by Veedrock on Tue Mar 24, 2015 11:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Using the forums for transparency

Post by Amoeba » Tue Mar 24, 2015 9:00 am

Veedrock wrote:Delegating important topics strictly to IRC/Skype/Twitch/pastebin isn't ok
To put this bluntly; Who are you to decide that? No runner is under any obligation to share their information, even though most do. I know for myself, and imagine its the same for others, that its a bit of a ballache to type out your thinking into a forum post when you're not actively sat on the forums 24/7. I know it would be nice to have all of the information readily available, but you're just gonna have to suck it up if you want it and ask people, like other new runners. If someone is kind enough to put their information down in a post or wiki entry, be thankful, but no one is under obligation to.
At the end of the day, unless the game is extremely well routed already you should look at doing some basic routing yourself. There's only so much other people's information can tell you, as contradictory as that sounds.
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Re: Using the forums for transparency

Post by Veedrock » Tue Mar 24, 2015 9:56 am

Amoeba wrote:To put this bluntly; Who are you to decide that?
Veedrock wrote:The site doesn't host the leaderboards anymore, so if this site isn't a bevy of information and discussion, what good is it actually doing?
The thing is, there are good topics on the site. Just nothing even remotely recent outside Gold/Crystal routing and Sapphire Mudkip manipulation. Those guys get it.
Amoeba wrote:At the end of the day, unless the game is extremely well routed already you should look at doing some basic routing yourself.
There it is again, where is this coming from? You guys are extremely defensive, borderline hostile. Does every new poster have to justify themselves to you?

Image

There you go, some notes from segment 1 in my early days of routing Sapphire. Now stop hiding behind that flimsy line.

I am not asking people to publish their routes; for example werster doesn't do it. That's fine. But when there's a routing discussion or inquiry, he still gives input and contributes to the topic (examples: Gold/Crystal and Ruby discussions). I am all aboard the "route for yourself" train, but that doesn't justify the lack of important topics on the site. Going back to your first post:
Amoeba wrote:Also, and to use your PMD example, some discoveries take time to figure out. The PMD one came to the light on the forums quickly because of an as-yet unresolved issue with the leaderboards, but no one has actually finished routing the rng manip route out yet, so apart from the very brief explanation that garf gave in the post you linked there's not much to tell.
Right out of the gate you demonstrated that all you care about is the route. Before the route there's nothing to talk about, and after the route there's nothing to talk about. Do you really not see the flaw there?

For PMD, the route doesn't need to be finalize or published for there to be a discussion about the glitch, or an open discussion about routing with it. Discoveries do take time to figure out, but you know what speeds it up? Crowdsourcing. As a matter of fact this is the kind of thing that might attract more players, but instead of being open about it the tiny PMD subcommunity kept it to themselves until it was forced out.

The thing is, there are good topics on the forums. Useful tweeks in Platinum, Mudkip manipulation in Sapphire, even the Colosseum thread I mentioned in the first post is good (my peeve was that the conversation disappeared despite there probably being a verdict). None of them are directly related to making a route, though they can be applied to routing (as can everything).

===
I want to be involved, but currently that's not easy. Your posts are telling me that's my problem and not yours. That's not ok.
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Re: Using the forums for transparency

Post by Sinstar » Tue Mar 24, 2015 10:26 am

Veedrock wrote:You're getting a little carried away Sinstar, what exactly triggered that response?
Maybe my main point was a little lost in my post, routing doesn't happen in some public domain of discussion, it is a largely individual activity that isn't written down like the whole gold silver thing because it has been almost 100% been done in private by individual people, any collaboration has always been very rare. This is just a product of how there never used to be more than 1 person routing any game at once, or very occasionally maybe 2 people. It's not realistic to expect everyone to suddenly change their method of routing games and post every single idea they have on the forum or something. I see streaming runs as how you should showcase your own routing, I mean, I'd say 70%-80% of the detailed routing after the initial route change for g/s/c was done in Exarion's chat, it's just much more convenient to discuss things with someone being there with the game to go try/talk through it. And if you wanted to see the products of the routing, you can just watch one of Exarion's finished runs.
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Re: Using the forums for transparency

Post by Amoeba » Tue Mar 24, 2015 11:59 am

"information" and "routing" are one in the same in this regard. Any info being talked about on here or elsewhere is likely being talked about because it could or will be worked into a run's route.

If you think something could be discussed on here, why aren't you discussing it? People will come to the forums if you insist on talking there and nowhere else, as long as you have something interesting to say/provide. People are going to stick to the instantaneous methods I've already mentioned though if given that alternative, because it's more convenient.

Also please stop mixing up opinions for hostility, advising new runners to do some of their own routing is hardly a defensive statement. Its to encourage people to explore the games and options themselves, rather than blindly following what someone else has written.

"Right out of the gate you demonstrated that all you care about is the route." Err, yes of course. I'm speedrunning this game, not playing it casually. And there have been discussions about the Rng Manip (it's not a glitch, though I wouldn't expect you to know that tbf) in the skype group. Because answers and discussions are faster there.

"I want to be involved, but currently that's not easy."
1. Speak to any runner of the game you're interested in about info/strats
2. Find out if there's an irc/skype group, if not consider making one
3. Talk
4. Repeat step 3
If you find that hard then speedrunning is going to kill you.

To be fair I'm not completely against what you're saying here, I love this site and I'd love to see it more active, but frankly forums aren't a useful medium when IM exists. The wiki is extremely useful once information is discovered and properly tested as a collection of information, and provided someone is willing to post that information it can be an amazing tool, but you're never going to be able to force people to do this, and having the attitude of "well you should be posting this information" is just going to stick people's backs up. Ideally we need something like a instant chat on the forums, that allows us to save important messages/ideas as forum posts, but that's probably too contrived/complicated.
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Re: Using the forums for transparency

Post by G_heinz » Thu Mar 26, 2015 8:46 pm

veedrock, your points are well made.

first thing you should gather from this thread is the community is not much of a community. the successes of sapphire's "transparency" as you call it is much more a product of our small group talking privately in a public domain (i.e. the threads are available to everyone, but no one participates in the discussion except us), but certainly also with the assistance of mountebank most recently, and in the hope that others would become more interested in our game (spoiler: not so Kappa ). however, because the larger PSR "community" is rather fractured, the public availability of these discussions is merely an added bonus for a rather unique individual as yourself (that is, not many people are interested in speedrunning in the first place, let alone pokemon speedrunning, and let alone actually DOING it rather than just watching). in that sense, you are quite in the minority, and so not something a lot of people want to cater to.

the point being missed here i think is that i'm sure veedrock understands the concept of contacting runners of games that he might like to run. perhaps he's not a total idiot and can derive the logical conclusion that, hey, these guys are just nerds talking to a computer in an empty room, i bet they wouldn't mind sharing! i'll hit them up for some info. makes sense. but in any case that doesn't make the "community" any less insular as it appears, to borrow the word garf used. it is very insular--i would argue at best, and at worst exclusive. perhaps not in the sense of information-hoarding (m2k don't reveal his new technology right before a national Kappa ), but in the sense of an overall inclusive, communal atmosphere. a lot of prominent members (by which i mean those whose voices carry loudest and furthest, not those who run/stream most) are very quick to quite ruthless displays of wanton wickedness or just small acts of belittlement, and this discourages new runners not just because it could be intimidating, but also because it makes ours a "community" of people that newcomers don't want to associate themselves with.

i might be a bit old-fashioned, which is why i do post on the forums a fair bit if i think there's something worth sharing. mooba's point that such communication is cumbersome in the age of ubiquitous instant-messaging is certainly well-made, but being one who spent a great deal of my teens communicating on invisionfree-based boards, it strikes me as a still-faithful mode of interaction. in any case, if it wasn't clear to the OP, this thread will go nowhere, and there is no engendering the kind of inclusiveness and widespread availability of information he speaks of in a group of people such as this. as such i would take the advice of most of the preceding posts and merely contact runners of any games you would like to run, and i'm sure they would be more than accommodating.

EDIT: also, it's worth noting that a lot of people won't even know what games they would be interested in running if all the information available for those games is potentially outdated. in that case, they won't contact the runners of some of those games without knowing everything about them that might attract their interest. for example, if mountebank hadn't posted the RNG manipulation guide, i'm sure many prospective sapphire runners might have looked at the prospect of resetting for stats and ran for the hills, even though as pokemon runners that's something we take for granted. i understand that the main purpose of the community isn't to turn pokemon speedrunning into some kind of global phenomenon by attracting as many people as possible, but it is something to consider.

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Re: Using the forums for transparency

Post by Keizaron » Fri Mar 27, 2015 4:36 pm

Amoeba wrote:
Veedrock wrote:Delegating important topics strictly to IRC/Skype/Twitch/pastebin isn't ok
To put this bluntly; Who are you to decide that?
Somebody with a point.

I agree with Veedrock, to be honest, and I think the focus of his point is being completely lost. PSR is supposed to be a hub of information, but we hardly have the newest routes available to the public. It honestly isn't the most difficult thing (somewhat time consuming, yes) to write up a quick set of notes for a newer route to supplement an established route, then slowly fix it up. I made my Red notes public to a few new runners and it helped them (lose more quickly).

If we want to be an open, friendly community, we need to put the work into making a community, not acting like a country club. The plethora of different Skype groups fragments the community enough, so saying IM is the way to go is silly, in my opinion. I don't even know all of the groups, for god's sake.

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Re: Using the forums for transparency

Post by Amoeba » Fri Mar 27, 2015 5:05 pm

Keiz, I'm not saying that IM is the right choice, I'd love to see more activity on here, but people are nearly always going to choose the most convenient option; why go through the extra hassle that is checking forum posts and waiting on other people to check the forums and reply when IM exists.
If we want this site to be the go-to for information and talks, somethings got to change with its structure.

I'm sorry if my point got lost in being antagonistic, but I felt like Veedrock was being demanding of the community, almost "why wont you all provide the information I need". I want the same thing he wants, but demanding other people change their ways for our convenience isn't the way to do it.
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Re: Using the forums for transparency

Post by Magicbarrier » Sat Mar 28, 2015 3:18 am

Amoeba wrote:I'm sorry if my point got lost in being antagonistic, but I felt like Veedrock was being demanding of the community, almost "why wont you all provide the information I need". I want the same thing he wants, but demanding other people change their ways for our convenience isn't the way to do it.
I've gotta unlurk for a second.

Veedrock was not being "demanding" at all; he had a very good point. The wiki is fine, but it's constantly being updated and there's plenty of outdated information. The forums, on the other hand, are very sparse in later gens. So if you have an outdated wiki and no one posts on the forums, how the hell can you call this site an information hub dedicated to new runners? If you're going to say "Just go on Skype", at least be honest about it.

There was nothing with Veedrock's posts. You, on the other hand, come off as very confrontational, with posts such as:
Amoeba wrote:To put this bluntly; Who are you to decide that?
It seems like you and Sinstar think that Veedrock is "too lazy" to come up with a route or something. First off, he was just stating that information should be more widely available. Second, who the fuck cares? It's a Pokemon speedrunning route, get over yourselves.

This thread reminded me why I'm not a part of the Pokemon speedrunning community.

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Re: Using the forums for transparency

Post by Mountebank » Sat Mar 28, 2015 4:40 am

Don't be mad, be happy. Here's a kitten :)

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Re: Using the forums for transparency

Post by Amoeba » Sat Mar 28, 2015 11:54 am

Magic did you only read the past few posts before replying? Because that's what it sounds like.

EDIT: Fuck it, I've gotta break down your post because it's missed basically every point I've made.
MagicBarrier wrote:Veedrock was not being "demanding" at all; he had a very good point
If you read what I actually put, you'll see that that's what I thought he was doing, and have realized that I was wrong. That post was admitting what you're now trying to tell me.
MagicBarrier wrote:how the hell can you call this site an information hub dedicated to new runners?
Is it called that?
MagicBarrier wrote:If you're going to say "Just go on Skype", at least be honest about it.
See
Amoeba wrote:"I want to be involved, but currently that's not easy."
1. Speak to any runner of the game you're interested in about info/strats
2. Find out if there's an irc/skype group, if not consider making one
3. Talk
4. Repeat step 3
Amoeba wrote:you're just gonna have to suck it up if you want it and ask people, like other new runners.
(The last one was not the most classy response on my part, but it was because I thought he was being demanding, as I've previously said)
MagicBarrier wrote:You, on the other hand, come off as very confrontational
Which I was apologizing for, in the post I made, right above yours.
MagicBarrier wrote:It seems like you and Sinstar think that Veedrock is "too lazy" to come up with a route or something.
Yes, that's how it came accross, and I was wrong, and I apologized for that. As above.
MagicBarrier wrote:Second, who the fuck cares? It's a Pokemon speedrunning route, get over yourselves.
I'm not entirely sure of the relevance of this sentence, but I'm going to infer that you think runners like myself are hoarding our routes for only the special few who come and talk to us. I'll direct you to this: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... edit#gid=0
which I wrote out, by hand, for current and new runners of the pokemon speedgame I love, and this: http://wiki.pokemonspeedruns.com/index. ... uaza_Route
which has mostly been written and updated by me, with a large amount of help from the rest of the emerald group. I did this because I want to see new people in the emerald community, I wanted to help a couple of people who, at the time were getting in to the run, and in general because I fucking love emerald and others should too. I'm very much not trying to be elitist and "hurr its our information what right do you have to take it" because that's not the right attitude, however the point I was trying to make before this shitstorm was that people don't have to do, what a lot of runners have done, and share any of their information at all, and you can't expect to come in and make them spend the time doing it just because. There are plenty of routes and lots of information for (I'd estimate) around half of the games, written by runners who, like me, could have likely spent the time better by practicing or running the game.

As a final note, I am sorry I've come across antagonistic, but I feel the pokemon community as a whole gets a lot of shit despite the huge number of people in it working to make it better, and that makes me cranky.
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Re: Using the forums for transparency

Post by Sinstar » Sat Mar 28, 2015 2:33 pm

Magicbarrier wrote: Veedrock was not being "demanding" at all;
he was a bit lol
Last edited by Sinstar on Sat Mar 28, 2015 2:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Using the forums for transparency

Post by Sinstar » Sat Mar 28, 2015 2:34 pm

lol these forums are more harmful than helpful at times, people need to stop wanting everything to be perfect and just have fun doing whatever.
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Re: Using the forums for transparency

Post by Amoeba » Sat Mar 28, 2015 6:25 pm

sinstar I'm having fun arguing don't ruin my vibe Kappa
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Re: Using the forums for transparency

Post by Sinstar » Sat Mar 28, 2015 8:17 pm

I only just noticed mounte's post lol too good haha.
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Re: Using the forums for transparency

Post by entrpntr » Sat Mar 28, 2015 9:31 pm

I agree with the spirit of Veedrock's OP and with Garfield/Heinz/Keizaron. I don't think this was meant as a demand for perfectly up-to-date resources; it's just as a community, we should be encouraging things that are good for the present/future of the community (and having reasonably up-to-date information on the forums/wiki certainly falls under that category). Veedrock’s frustrations are completely reasonable.
Amoeba wrote:"I want to be involved, but currently that's not easy."
1. Speak to any runner of the game you're interested in about info/strats
2. Find out if there's an irc/skype group, if not consider making one
3. Talk
4. Repeat step 3
This is all fine advice, but you should see why this might turn off new runners. Up-to-date information on a game as well as a basic route goes a long way towards bridging the information gap. Otherwise, new runners need to rebuild the wheel for themselves, or ask dozens of questions of other runners (and get helpful answers) just to have a good foundation. It’s not a massive tragedy when someone has to put in work that others have already, but improving the knowledge base for these games has obvious value. Granted, you've already addressed most of these points elsewhere in your posts, but I think you might be underestimating the barriers in place that might be discouraging potentially valuable community members.

Laundry list of unrelated points:
  • Forums/Wiki > Pastebin/Twitter/Skype/IRC/Twitch chats. Not for everything obviously (as others have pointed out), but their permanence and searchability makes information a lot easier to find for new runners starting out (and will be just as easy to find for people entering the community years from now when 95% of us will have moved on).
  • Live Twitch streams and VODs of top times are one of the better ways to glean useful information if you are a new runner, but they lack explanations for all decisions, gloss over some of the nuances, and certainly aren’t always free of mistakes. It’s also understandable that some new runners might be turned off by having to watch hours of videos just to be able to run a game at a basic level.
  • Recently, when Keizaron was doing his first Gold runs, he was looking through like 5 different sets of notes at the same time. Werster’s notes were good for their detail, Exarion’s were good for having a few more recent improvements, Lembox’s were great for the visuals, and there were some pastebins with good supplementary information. It’s great that there is so much information out there, but it would be nice to be able to consolidate it onsite in a meaningful way.
  • It might be helpful to have a way to maintain “Community Routes”. Right now a lot of us write our own notes for ourselves, but it’s a lot harder to translate this information into something that would be useful for new runners (how much information to include, how to separate things into beginner/intermediate/advanced strats, etc.). As far as I know right now, even though there are plenty of publicly available routes, they are for the most part owned/editable by a single person. I don’t know the best way to implement it (I’m thinking like a pull request model, but maybe standard wiki functionality is enough), but it would be nice to have pages somewhere onsite where it was obvious that anyone could easily contribute information to an existing route. It would take some brainstorming to figure out how to do this right, but could make it a lot easier to keep routes from becoming too outdated.
  • No one should expect the information to be perfect (it's Pokémon speedrunning, not National Security), and not everyone is going to be onboard/willing to put the work in to contribute every last bit of information they have. The best we can do is encourage certain things be done in the interests of improving the community.

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Re: Using the forums for transparency

Post by Amoeba » Sat Mar 28, 2015 11:25 pm

I can understand how new runners would see that as a bit daunting, and I'd love to see more information easily accessible, but it really is game dependent. Take one of veed's initial examples; Colosseum. There's currently one active runner (BlueEagle) who does runs offline. Unless I'm mistaken he doesn't have much of a forum presence, and even if he did who would he talk to? And while he could just post his information on the forums/wiki as he wants, for others to use whenever, it again rolls around to my earlier points; he doesn't have to/might not want to, and probably has more valuable ways to spend his time.

Looking at the selection of games they seem to fall mostly into three categories:
A - Nearly always has regular runners, new strats often found and discussed by runners. (Think Red, Crystal, Sapphire, Emerald, PMD: B/R)
B - Occasionally has more than one regular runner, tends to shift between being dead and having multiple runners because of new findings (recent example is Gold, fairly dead for a while, new strats mean multiple people are running it now)
C - The eternally quite games, extremely rare to have more than 1 active runner at a time (XD, Colosseum, any Gen4+ main game)
Group A games seem to have a lot of wiki information, mostly because the games were around before the forums even existed and thus relatively well-optimized routes existed beforehand too. However because of this there is little for them on the forums, because anything new tends to be discussed amongst the already established community.
Group B seems to have the opposite problem, that a lot of people have discussed potential new strats for these games on the forums, but because of either strategies "in limbo" (see all the new Gold strats) or possibly untested strats (because the game went quiet again) there's no "finalized" information on the wiki.
Group C games tend to not have any info at all, mostly because of a lack of interaction from other runners, because there aren't any other runners at the time.
Obviously the games don't fit perfectly into these groups, and some often shift around but you get the idea. Group B games will likely eventually move to A because people are often kind enough to write the info up, but I feel this could be helped along a ton by removing what I think is a presumption that the wiki is only for finalized ideas. Maybe if even potential untested ideas could be posted up, people will take the que to add their own info as and when.
The lack of forum posting from Group A communities isn't something I think that is going to be easily worked around (that sentence had amazing grammar), as it basically falls under my earlier point that IM-ing is easier. I'm going to try and make a conscious effort to post new emerald stuff as I think/talk about it, but it would require a mass-effort from a lot of people to get this to work. Not impossible, but again comes under my point of "people don't have to".
Group C I have no idea how to solve, bar getting more people interested in the quieter games so that there's always someone to talk to.

EDIT: I think the timing of the forums' creation has made this awkward as well, as a lot of the newer main-series games had already been released and had runs done, but at that point were quite quiet (I'm thinking Gen4, and Gen5 to an extent). What little info there was was in pastebins and saved on the comps of the few runners that did runs, and because they weren't actively running the game, nor had the games gotten any newer runners, there's been little to no discussions/info to post.

Congrats if you made it all the way down here, this has been Amoeba's dissertation on pokemon speedrunner's forum posting habits.
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Re: Using the forums for transparency

Post by entrpntr » Sun Mar 29, 2015 6:58 am

I’m a big fan of dissertations, so I’ll have a go at one myself:

Up to this point, people have done what is most natural/convenient, and who can blame them? The site is also still relatively young and small, as is the community itself really. This is the Suggestions sub-forum, not the “Indictments of the Community” sub-forum (although that would be an interesting one to consider adding). I think we agree that a good goal for the site to have is to endeavor to retain as much knowledge as possible, and to keep it reasonably updated. This may have been in the backs of people’s minds until recently, but now someone’s said something.

The examples Veedrock mentioned all have some knowledge base, even if they were unpopular or newish games. As a community, I think it makes sense to have a push to capture this knowledge, and a push towards documenting things onsite a bit better in the future. It doesn’t need to be a cult of people pushing for open knowledge, but making friendly suggestions to other runners can’t hurt. Making the site more conducive to this (however that may be) is also a worthy idea. Not everyone is going to buy in 100% or have an active wiki/forum presence, but the point is things can almost certainly improve.

Ideas are going to continue to be bounced back and forth in the most convenient manner (Skype groups/Twitch chats/etc), and there’s not a whole lot the site can/should do about it*. But forums are a great tool for preserving knowledge as it evolves in semi-real time, and I think it’s a great idea to use them to document ideas that pop up in Skype/Twitch chats/wherever. The SDA forums are pretty neat as an archaeological trove of how speedgames evolved over the years, and it would be cool to see PSR turn into that to some degree.

Again, the site is pretty young, and the recent Gen 2 stuff may have been the first major routing effort that made its way to the forums, so people may not have consciously thought to use the forums this way until recently. People seem to like the idea, so maybe it will be more common in the future. As for the wiki, I’ve definitely shied away from posting stuff on Gold since things haven’t been stabilized/finalized, but maybe this another expectation that needs to change. It’s probably better to have information be temporarily suboptimal/underexplained than to go uncaptured or left buried in the forums.

*Possibly the IRC channel could be advertised/utilized more; #pokemon would seem to be a natural place to discuss things for new runners, but it is alarmingly dead 98% of the time (which I can only imagine is a huge turnoff). Maybe it would make sense to have channels for the different games to specialize the discussion and keep #pokemon as general community discussion, but perhaps IRC is just out of vogue these days.

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Re: Using the forums for transparency

Post by roushmore917 » Tue Mar 31, 2015 10:12 pm

Well, it seems that I am a bit late to the party this time around, but I think it right to make an apology to people here (not knowing whether or not any of you care about Emerald, but I digress).

I do a ton of in-game research on Emerald, but I do tend to freely post information on the skype group we emerald runners have set up. Now I want to make a point that this group is probably one of the most active game-chat groups that pokemon speedrunning has to offer. These points being made, I want to make a couple of counter-arguments to some of the posts i've seen here.

One: "Go find a skype group or runner's chat"
This is kinda tough for a couple of reasons... One of which is that most of the groups are EMPTY or INACTIVE. People seem to be taking more individual routes of finding out about their own games rather than doing full-on discussions (I am very much guilty of this). However, with games that aren't as popular, we find the predicament of not having ANYONE to talk about those games with. I'd like to make a suggestion here for people who want to search for other runners who are looking for routing help and support.

UPDATE THE ROSTER! The best way of finding people who run your game SHOULD BE to go and have a look-see at the list of runners (with twitches, Youtubes, maybe add skype names as well). Finding the active runners now shouldn't be too hard to do, or at least those who know and remember routes well enough to assist.

Another way of going about this (a suggestion to all the newer runners) is to go onto speedrun.com, search for your game, and hunt out the moderators of that game (MINUS WERSTER, DABOMBSTEW, and COOLTRAINERMICHAEL, they are pokemon mods in general, and sometimes not the best resources, no offense)


Two: "The community is not a community"
I kind of have to agree with anyone who believes this... It does seem that pokemon speedruns is NOT very coordinated as a group (in general, the individual game communities might still be just fine). I would like to see the different games become closer together, but I feel that the best way of doing that would be to have a few people start going out to the game groups and start dragging us together... This is extremely hypocritical on my part, mainly because i find myself with the lack of courage to do it myself, that and maybe the emu issue and my part in it still haunts me... but I digress...

One thing that I was extremely HYPED for last year was when TigerKyle and a few other people (I can't remember specifically who, and it doesn't matter) came together on the site with the idea of doing a community marathon, with a ton of the "best" runners of each game taking turns on racing each other or playing their game on-stream. I would LOVE to try and have this sometime... It could be a great opportunity for Speedruns.com, SRL, SDA and other groups to see that "hell, maybe they are a community, they're doing something together besides arguing, for once". It doesn't even have to be a charity event for crying out loud, just a series where we can get the word out about our community to other people, and grow closer as a group besides.

Note: I might want to position part of this post elsewhere as well... but I wanted to get a few cents in, sorry.

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