Clarity on criteria for determining official categories

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Clarity on criteria for determining official categories

Post by entrpntr » Sun Nov 08, 2015 3:12 am

Figured it would be a good time to raise this request, with the Bike Shop Instant Text discussions for Red/Blue Any% Glitchless still fresh in mind.

When I asked why the arbitrary eyesore that is the 151 category (specifically, the ruleset) was official the other day, Leaderboard Admin Keizaron relayed to me it was because it was considered a 'valid' category and had a sufficient number of completed runs before it became official (whereas Any% NSC is not considered a 'valid' category, and thus not official in spite of having more runners on the speedrun.com leaderboards than the combined categories of all but ~60 games at this writing). However, quick research shows that 151 was deemed an official category at a time when only werster had completed a run. See here and here on the PSR wiki.

Now, Leaderboard Admin Keizaron made several convincing points about why 151 should be considered an official category that we recognize WRs for, which were (paraphrased): (1) the simplicity and meaningful nature of the goal, (2) the high quality of the routing, competition, and completed runs to-date, (3) significant differentiation from the standard categories for the game, (4) the sufficient length of the category (particularly to ensure that knowledge/routing/execution are the primary components in attaining a top time), (5) the moderate length and non-repetitiveness of the category (unlike recent suggestions for new categories in the forums—specifically Crystal 251 and Emerald '4-Star'). Another possible consideration that I had figured was a reason for 151's existence was that TASvideos had an official publication for the category.

I don't think there needs to be a massive community/leadership discussion, but some clarity on what criteria must be satisfied for a main series Pokémon game category to be ruled 'official' would be beneficial for future discussions (especially since we operate much more conservatively than most other speedrun communities when it comes to categories). For instance, Leaderboard Admin Keizaron's 5 points above provide sufficient justification in my mind for why we don't consider Any% or Any% NSC official Gen 1 categories (and why the glitched Any% categories in other generations are considered official), why Fire Red E4R2 is the only official category with post-game content, and why Catch 'Em All is the only 'Full Completion' category considered valid. For the Johto games, an explanation that 'beating Red' is the official criteria for 'beating the game' would also answer the occasional questions that pop up about why the HOF credits don't conclude the Any% categories.

Basically, my aim is for there to be something in writing (maybe on the wiki?) that outlines what we look for in official categories and that accurately reflects why the current leaderboard categories are considered official (as well as why a few chosen other categories are not). It could be however brief and open for future revision as necessary. The point is to have something to more assuredly invalidate the masturbatory 'because werster/SDA made it so' claims and to provide guidelines we can reference for future conversations/decisions. Thank you in advance for considering this.

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Re: Clarity on criteria for determining official categories

Post by Keizaron » Sun Nov 08, 2015 12:21 pm

First point, saying "Leaderboard Admin Keizaron" over and over sounds condescending.

Second point, the PSR wiki isn't necessarily the best thing to use in this case, because the PSR wiki existed long before our boards on speedrun.com did. There were wiki-leaderboards for both "official" and "miscellaneous" categories listed. Don't know if using the wiki in general is a good argument/counter-point/whatever word best fits here.

Third point, the paraphrased bits are pretty accurate. However, I think the word "official" is kind of putting an umbrella term on what is considered "main" categories, while at the same time leaving "miscellaneous" categories out of it. Every category listed on speedrun.com, both main and miscellaneous, is an official category. Miscellaneous categories, however, are typically left invisible by default, a speedrun.com feature. We could turn that off, but that affects three(?) total categories, those being the two generation 1 categories and Yellow's version of Catch 'Em All. NSC will most likely never be considered a "main" category, since the purpose of it is to provide an Any% style run without the pointlessness of Any% length. If I recall correctly, Dabomstew mentioned making Yellow Catch 'Em All after it had sufficient runs; it fits the paraphrased criteria of differentiation, nature of the goal and the routing quality, but doesn't fit the competitive value of it quite yet.

Fourth point, on the "because werster/SDA made it so" point, category basics are indeed provided by what has been an established norm, but ultimately it is up to the remainder of the staff as to how everything is named, categorized and displayed. It isn't just a werster-said-so thing, in fact I probably do the most in terms of brainstorming and discussion when it comes to the leaderboards, with werster bringing a great focus on quality and Dabomstew doing a great job of mediating and balancing anything werster or myself overlook.

Fifth point, I'm not sure what having writing on how categories are defined would accomplish other than add some form of transparency? For the most part, asking why category X is this way and category Y is that way is either self-explanatory or a simple question that can be answered if asked.

I don't think I quite understand that last sentence in your second to last paragraph though, about "why the HOF credits don't conclude the Any% categories". Could you clarify that a bit?

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Re: Clarity on criteria for determining official categories

Post by entrpntr » Sun Nov 08, 2015 6:59 pm

Thank you for the very prompt reply.
Keizaron wrote:Second point, the PSR wiki isn't necessarily the best thing to use in this case, because the PSR wiki existed long before our boards on speedrun.com did. There were wiki-leaderboards for both "official" and "miscellaneous" categories listed. Don't know if using the wiki in general is a good argument/counter-point/whatever word best fits here.
It showed up on the World Records page as well as the leaderboard page (those were the 2 links I included). Indeed, August 2013 was a much less active time though. FWIW, there were 11 runs on the 151 leaderboards when switching to speedrun.com (6 Dec 2014).
Keizaron wrote:Fourth point, on the "because werster/SDA made it so" point, category basics are indeed provided by what has been an established norm, but ultimately it is up to the remainder of the staff as to how everything is named, categorized and displayed. It isn't just a werster-said-so thing, in fact I probably do the most in terms of brainstorming and discussion when it comes to the leaderboards, with werster bringing a great focus on quality and Dabomstew doing a great job of mediating and balancing anything werster or myself overlook.
This is useful to know and is part of the clarity I was requesting. The point was, I think general community consensus agrees with the categories we have, regardless of where they originated, so having that cleared up is nice.
Keizaron wrote:Fifth point, I'm not sure what having writing on how categories are defined would accomplish other than add some form of transparency? For the most part, asking why category X is this way and category Y is that way is either self-explanatory or a simple question that can be answered if asked.
Right, transparency was the point, and as long as there is convo on the forums, that's all the 'writing' I feel is necessary (seeing as the standard I'm used to is IRC discussion). I've seen several times where people have asked legitimate questions about categories and received extremely dismissive answers, and without having some type of written criteria they can reference, I can understand why they think things might be more arbitrary than they are in actuality. Having a user whose name appears in Manganese Blue lend credence to the 5 above points helps establish them as legitimate criteria.
Keizaron wrote:I don't think I quite understand that last sentence in your second to last paragraph though, about "why the HOF credits don't conclude the Any% categories". Could you clarify that a bit?
I think I've mainly seen it pop up in Twitch chats, but was also brought up here. Just another thing that breaks from the mold of many other games, but with good reason. Any% just refers to "beating the game", often interpreted as "triggering the [initial] credits" by others, which is why I suggested the bit about Red. As long as it's made clear somewhere on forums/wiki, that's good enough to me, but this was a pretty minor add-on compared to the other stuff. Having the general process explained for future reference is the main thing I wanted to accomplish, and for the most part I think your response meets that aim.

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Re: Clarity on criteria for determining official categories

Post by Keizaron » Sun Nov 08, 2015 7:59 pm

entrpntr wrote:Just another thing that breaks from the mold of many other games, but with good reason. Any% just refers to "beating the game", often interpreted as "triggering the [initial] credits" by others, which is why I suggested the bit about Red.
To be fair about this, as far as I'm aware, it's faster to trigger the Red credits than the Elite Four credits anyway. And I think their identical credits? Not 100% sure.

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Re: Clarity on criteria for determining official categories

Post by entrpntr » Sun Nov 08, 2015 8:10 pm

Oh sorry if I wasn't clear, was referring to Any% Glitchless ending at Red, not at HOF credits (and both HGSS categories for that matter).

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Re: Clarity on criteria for determining official categories

Post by Keizaron » Sun Nov 08, 2015 8:16 pm

The Johto games are unique in the sense that there a fully functional second region that can be accessed, so they're kind of in a unique situation. If the Kanto section were a much shorter and much more trivial extension of the game, like a post-game sidequest of some sort, I would imagine the argument to be a bit different, but it seems pretty clear (at least to me) that the developers intended for you to continue on because there was still a "main" quest to finish.

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Re: Clarity on criteria for determining official categories

Post by entrpntr » Sun Nov 08, 2015 8:49 pm

We are in complete agreement, and this is probably one of those things that is easily enough explained without having to spell it out explicitly. The point is we made a judgment call and determined that—in spite of the HOF credits—Kanto is still part of the main quest (hence why it is an Any% category). As opposed to Fire Red/Leaf Green E4R2, which we determined constituted a post-game quest (hence why Round 1 is considered "beating the game" and thus concludes Any%).

Only reason I brought it up is because I've seen it be a sticking point to a few people at various times in the last couple years. But it was a minor thing for me, and the community is on the same page with this, so dissecting it further probably can't be that productive.

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Re: Clarity on criteria for determining official categories

Post by werster » Fri Nov 20, 2015 8:00 am

entrpntr wrote: The point is to have something to more assuredly invalidate the masturbatory 'because werster/SDA made it so'
I just find this really funny given I go on and on about how much I fucking hate 151 and think it is the most arbitrary piece of trash lol.

Other than that, this just really isn't needed for Pokes at all. I think just about everyone knows exactly where meme stuff belongs and whats is/isn't a main category (the only other one I disagree on is that Gym Leader Castle should be misc for Stadium games, but I'm in the minority of people when I think that sensible/rational goals should take precedence over competition). Overall we have like 0 issues when it comes to category stuff, our leaderboards are cleaner than anything else especially when you take into consideration the popularity of the series, and new issues are dealt with in a civilised swift communal manner.

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Re: Clarity on criteria for determining official categories

Post by Amoeba » Fri Nov 20, 2015 1:31 pm

To jump on this discussion while it's (sort of) active with a couple of questions that have bugged me:
1. Why was Challenge Mode accepted as a category for White 2?
2. Why was emerald any% added as a leaderboard (not arguing its definition as a category here) with only one runner? (no that 7 hour run doesn't count). A certain previous emerald leaderboard was removed from the psr wiki a long time ago for a lack of active runners (or actual completed runs, to be fair, but I'm arguing the "lack of competition/runners" bit here).
3. Related to the 2nd question, if any% leaderboards should be up because of the reasoning "its the fastest way to beat the game of course it is a category" why don't we have RTA (misc) leaderboards for red/blue any% and yellow any%?
4. Related to 3, why do we consider red/blue any% and yellow any% in terms of IGT when the run save and quits?
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Re: Clarity on criteria for determining official categories

Post by werster » Sat Nov 21, 2015 10:19 am

1) Hard mode as a seperate category is pretty obvious to go in, threw this question to gen 5 & admin groups, no one spoke up against it
2) ...this has to be a joke, ofc "Beat the game" is a category. Just cause yall are too scared to run it doesn't make it not legitimate
3 & 4) This is literally done to discourage people trying to run shit for nothing and so everyone can have a free best time, cause competition on that is absolutely pitiful

Again, categories should be put in for legitimacy with common sense, -not- popularity. More people have run fucking Rattata% than have done Any% Glitchless on Pearl, it means absolutely nothing

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Re: Clarity on criteria for determining official categories

Post by Amoeba » Sat Nov 21, 2015 12:54 pm

1. Sounds fair, didn't know you'd asked people, though a point I'm about to make in 2 applies here.
2. Yes, "beat the game" should be a category, I did say I wasn't arguing it as a category, but as a leaderboard. It has absolutely no competition. The only other person I know that has tried runs is me, and possibly exarion? Could be wrong there. I'm fairly sure we've had the conversation multiple times across the wiki and forums that a category has to gain interest and a number of followers to get a leaderboard.
3+4. Why stop people running a category? And I don't think "everyone gets best time" is a satisfactory reason. I'd personally like to see how fast people could push the menuing in any%, but purely as a "ohh that's interesting but its really a misc category because it doesn't take that much skill. Taking that away from people but leaving in mostly rng-based categories like red/blue and yellow NSC seems off.

Finally I don't think your last point should be that black and white. There should be a level of how non-arbitrary or how much sense the category makes in combination with the competition it creates. "Black 1 any% glitchless" would be a perfectly legitimate category by your logic, but no one would bother running it because it's just the current any% route minus running through a rock to skip a trainer. Speedruns are meant to be interesting and competition driven ways of playing games, they should fit more around what is interesting/fun/unique to run, rather than what fits in the box well.

Edited for less aggressive language :?
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Re: Clarity on criteria for determining official categories

Post by Keizaron » Sat Nov 21, 2015 11:51 pm

To further clarify some things...

1) In terms of something like White 2 Hard Mode, since BW2 has no second category, it's almost a no-brainer. That goes with Emerald's Any% as well. That kind of goes further with point 2.

2) Each game that can have some form of Any% on our leaderboards has it, and typically there are two "main" categories total per game. This isn't a set rule or anything, but rather how the leaderboards have always been handled, and there's no real need to change it. If somebody is discouraged to run a category because it's "miscellaneous" instead of "main", then in my opinion they didn't really want to run it that badly to begin with.

3 & 4) We already have two 151 categories. We don't need any more arbitrary stuff. ;)

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Re: Clarity on criteria for determining official categories

Post by Amoeba » Sun Nov 22, 2015 2:19 am

Keiz:

1. We shouldn't be adding leaderboards in just because the game didn't have a 2nd category on there. As it happens I think the hard mode equivalent makes sense for BW2, but again still question its place on there due to lack of competition, as with emerald any%.

2. See above, we shouldn't be sticking to 2 set leaderboards per game, if there's possibilities for more, or not enough reason for more, where applicable.

3+4. A-are you calling any% arbitrary here?
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Re: Clarity on criteria for determining official categories

Post by Decon082 » Sun Nov 22, 2015 5:28 am

Reminder that Any% is the least arbitrary category in Gen 1. Kappa
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Re: Clarity on criteria for determining official categories

Post by Sanqui » Sun Nov 22, 2015 12:48 pm

Gonna note here that the barrier of entry for Challenge Mode is pretty high... You need White 2 and you need access to a second DS and a Black 2 cartridge with a beaten game.
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Re: Clarity on criteria for determining official categories

Post by Keizaron » Sun Nov 22, 2015 7:19 pm

Amoeba:

"This isn't a set rule or anything"

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Re: Clarity on criteria for determining official categories

Post by Amoeba » Mon Nov 23, 2015 12:03 am

Then it shouldn't be used as reasoning to limit the number of categories or create new categories, as I said. My other points still stand too~
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Re: Clarity on criteria for determining official categories

Post by Keizaron » Mon Nov 23, 2015 6:01 am

Other games do not have a second category. Clearly it isn't being used as the only reason to add something.

As for your "other points", they're all connected to one, so I'm not sure what you actual other points are, unless you're actually oblivious to the arbitrary joke, in which case, it's a joke and now you know.

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Re: Clarity on criteria for determining official categories

Post by Amoeba » Mon Nov 23, 2015 9:59 pm

The lack of competition for emerald any% and white 2 challenge mode? The lack of leaderboards for any%? The fact that we time any% with IGT when it save and quits?
And I get the joke. I'm not laughing, but I get it.
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Re: Clarity on criteria for determining official categories

Post by Keizaron » Tue Nov 24, 2015 1:47 am

"That kind of goes further with point 2."

" Related to the 2nd question"

"Related to 3"

Sorry if taking you literally meant that I didn't get that your other points weren't all related or connected.

That last comment is pretty cute, but it won't make much difference if you're going to talk the way that you do.

Edit: I suppose I should clarify/further werster's sentence a while back. If a category is suggested and there isn't any argument in its implementation, then there isn't a reason to not include it unless it's incredibly stupid (which is a judgemental call). There were apparently no complaints for BW2 Hard and as far as I know (which I admitedly haven't paid much attention to Emerald), only Amoeba seems against Any%. I honestly would argue that both categories should be listed as Miscellaneous, though, to further my original points near the beginning of the thread.

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Re: Clarity on criteria for determining official categories

Post by Amoeba » Tue Nov 24, 2015 12:56 pm

I'm not going to pick apart most of that, if you can't tell that 'related' doesn't mean 'equal too' there's little point me trying to explain it to you.

As I said before, I'm not against either categories (once again I'm talking about leaderboards here), I'm curious why they were implemented with little to no competition. I have nothing against either categories as categories (quite like the sound of challenge mode actually) and after werster saying that he spoke to most involved with gen5 I don't have much issue with that at all (shouldn't have really included it in my last post but I was tired/irritated, my bad). I don't like running emerald any% but I wouldn't let that affect my opinion on whether it should have a leaderboard. My thinking is, once again, that they have no competition, and leaderboards (back in the days of wiki leaderboards) have been removed before due to lack of competition.
Just wanted some clarification on this, or discussion. I haven't come wading in here expecting all to be changed to suit my opinions, I just wanted to talk about this and get other people's opinions on it.
And to repeat myself one more time; what about red/blue + yellow any% ? What about its timing? I've mentioned it separately in 3 different posts now. But I guess that's just me being cute, banging my head against that wall and all.
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Re: Clarity on criteria for determining official categories

Post by Keizaron » Tue Nov 24, 2015 1:39 pm

Amoeba, not once did I say "equal to". Quit being an ass trying to argue for the sake of arguing, it makes you look angry and stupid over something completely insignificant.

If you weren't expecting changes to come from this, then why argue to a level that you appear annoyed or frustrated? It makes your posts look far more aggressive than you're probably trying for.

There isn't any discussion on RBY Any% timing because, as simply as possible, we don't support that category. If that isn't a good enough answer for you, that's unfortunate for your curiosity.

"leaderboards (back in the days of wiki leaderboards) have been removed before due to lack of competition." Nothing is stopping that from happening with the current leaderboards. We just haven't gotten to a point where there's actual outcry for something's removal yet.

I need to emphasize that everything is always subject to change, and healthy discussion about things is always welcome. There just isn't much issue with the things you've recently brought up is all.

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Re: Clarity on criteria for determining official categories

Post by Amoeba » Tue Nov 24, 2015 2:10 pm

I'm not posting my reply to the first half of that post here, to hopefully put the thread back on track.

Why do we not support any%? Is this something the community has talked about before and decided, or was it something decided by the admins, because if so I'd like to see how the community feels about it being a recognised category.

That's a fair point for the leaderboards with a lack of competition. I don't think I'd personally want them removed, but thinking about that is good.

And for "There just isn't much issue with the things you've recently brought up is all.", that's why I'm bringing them up. They're far from huge issues, more little niggles, but that shouldn't stop us from talking about them.
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Re: Clarity on criteria for determining official categories

Post by Sinstar » Tue Nov 24, 2015 2:50 pm

Sanqui wrote:Gonna note here that the barrier of entry for Challenge Mode is pretty high... You need White 2 and you need access to a second DS and a Black 2 cartridge with a beaten game.
Don't forget the "internet that makes your stream not look like a rats arsehole" requirement, that's the one I'm missing.
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Re: Clarity on criteria for determining official categories

Post by entrpntr » Wed Nov 25, 2015 3:45 am

Well, I had been satisfied, but I'm going to have to support Amoeba here.

I think it's fine to do whatever the hell we choose to with the leaderboards, and I don't think Amoeba (or anyone else for that matter) has [explicitly] disagreed with decisions that had been made. I gather Amoeba, like myself, was primarily expressing concerns about the process behind these decisions. The primary reason this topic exists is because I was a bit miffed when the initial explanation I got for 151 was demonstrably inaccurate. I really don't care about the decisions made so long as their justifications make sense. Amoeba asked some pretty simple questions, and as far as I can tell, some of werster and Keizaron's answers are self-contradictory and/or unsatisfactory.
werster wrote:1) Hard mode as a separate category is pretty obvious to go in, threw this question to gen 5 & admin groups, no one spoke up against it
2) ...this has to be a joke, ofc "Beat the game" is a category. Just cause yall are too scared to run it doesn't make it not legitimate



Again, categories should be put in for legitimacy with common sense, -not- popularity. More people have run fucking Rattata% than have done Any% Glitchless on Pearl, it means absolutely nothing
I think it's fair to say we draw up categories in general accordance to SDA guidelines, correct? As a general rule, we'll have an official Any% category, and if there are game-breaking glitches/skips, we'll add an Any% Glitchless category (this ignores trivial stuff like the BW rock clip / GSC Poke Doll / all the marginal stuff in Red / etc). These exist regardless of popularity/competition, barrier of entry, and so forth.

Moving past the obvious stuff, B2W2 Challenge Mode makes sense as an official category per SDA guidelines ("different difficulties" criteria), as do RBY 151 and FRLG E4R2 ("full completion"-ish). There may be judgment calls on whether to make something an official category, a miscellaneous category, or leave it as a challenge/novelty category, and that's where we'd start considering popularity, arbitrariness of the goal/ruleset, and the other criteria spelled out in my first post. That's my sense of how we're operating, and should explain pretty much everything Amoeba has asked about, but please correct me if any of this is off-base.
werster wrote:3 & 4) This is literally done to discourage people trying to run shit for nothing and so everyone can have a free best time, cause competition on that is absolutely pitiful
Keizaron wrote:There isn't any discussion on RBY Any% timing because, as simply as possible, we don't support that category. If that isn't a good enough answer for you, that's unfortunate for your curiosity.
These responses are what have me alarmed. Not having RBY any% on the leaderboards definitely runs against the grain; I don't know other communities that leave out the any% category from their leaderboards even if it's purely academic. I agree with Amoeba that these are insufficient explanations.

I'd like to echo Amoeba's question of whether it's been discussed before. The only substantial discussion on categories I'm aware of was back in this thread, but I see no mention of RBY any%. If there was community discussion and a decision was reached, then I'd certainly be satisfied (and I imagine Amoeba would be too). I'm perfectly fine with a few people calling the shots, so long as the justifications for the decisions are coherent. But if all that's out there is werster saying "because competition on that is absolutely pitiful", then you might understand the concern (especially when it is immediately preceded by the declaration that "Beat the game" is obviously a valid category). Our other leaderboard admin's complete dismissal of the matter certainly doesn't help.

That said, adding more work for leaderboard mods for a category generally considered as pointless does strike me as pretty dumb (I'd imagine they'd have even more submissions than the NSC categories). And making it IGT is a clever solution; my sense is that most people don't think "how fast people could push the menuing" is interesting enough to introduce the headaches that would come with making it RTA. People are free to optimize their real time for any% regardless of the official treatment of the category.

Knowing what is possible on speedrun.com could help a lot in coming up with a potentially more agreeable solution. For example, could we add it as a category and lock submissions, with an explanation of why we don't recognize it as a competitive category (and possibly link to a 0:00 run on SDA or youtube)? That way we would be acknowledging the fastest way to technically "beat the game" without engendering such "pitiful" competition and without adding more work to the mods' plates. Just spitballing here, but a solution of that sort might cause less grievance (or less niggling, if that's the particular sensation we're dealing with).
werster wrote:Other than that, this just really isn't needed for Pokes at all. I think just about everyone knows exactly where meme stuff belongs and whats is/isn't a main category (the only other one I disagree on is that Gym Leader Castle should be misc for Stadium games, but I'm in the minority of people when I think that sensible/rational goals should take precedence over competition). Overall we have like 0 issues when it comes to category stuff, our leaderboards are cleaner than anything else especially when you take into consideration the popularity of the series, and new issues are dealt with in a civilised swift communal manner.
I think my OP was worded badly and made it look like I was looking for something way more formal than I actually was. Keizaron's first response met my threshold for having something 'in writing' and his endorsement of the criteria I spelled out was enough to satisfy me. But with the preceding conversation, I think it's pretty evident that there are some reasonable concerns about the process for deciding categories.

I guess now I'm kinda interested to hear more on RBY any%, but the original intent of this thread was not to get specific explanations on decisions made to date on leaderboard categories. However, for the sake of posterity, I would be in favor of having something posted to the forums in the future whenever there is a change in leaderboard categories (whether something is added/removed/whatever). That would help make the process for adding categories less of a black box and make justifications for specific decisions much easier to reference in the future. The instantaneous nature of Twitch/IRC/Discord/Twitter may make them more suitable for soliciting quick feedback on some of the simpler decisions, but once a decision is made, posting an official notification to the forums with a brief explanation could help in avoiding misunderstandings in the future.

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