Welcome to Nugget Bridge - Premier Competitive Pokémon VGC Community

Register now to gain access to all of our features. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to contribute to this site by submitting your own content or replying to existing content. You'll be able to customize your profile, receive reputation points as a reward for submitting content, while also communicating with other members via your own private inbox, plus much more! This message will be removed once you have signed in.

  • entries
  • comment
  • views

How Disconnections Affect WiFi Tournaments and Why That Matters

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0


blog-disconnectionsandwhytheymatter2.pngAnother season has passed us by and with it another announced plans to hold even more tournaments of the Global Battle Union just like the Friendlies but for actual stakes: Byes in Regionals. TPCi is right to raise the stakes for participation in these events as it increases competition and makes for a more enjoyable tournament for everyone involved (because who really wants to grind through tens of in-game teams?). However, TPCi must address the flaws built into the GBU format before hosting WiFi Tournaments for more than bragging rights: chief amongst those flaws are disconnections.

Disconnections are disruptive to the tournament process and violate good WiFi etiquette, a fact TPCi has acknowledged. In attempting to lessen the impact of disconnections on the 2012 Autumn Friendly, TPCi came up with a formula to identify those who are disconnecting more than the average. To wit, TPCi's formula looks like this:

(Disconnections) / (Wins + Losses + Disconnections) = Disconnection Rate

For players with a Rating of 1600 or higher:

Excluded from the Rankings if their Disconnection Rate is at least 10 points higher than the overall average across all players.

For players with a Rating of 1599 or lower:

Excluded from the Rankings if their Disconnection Rate is at least 20 points higher than the overall average across all players.

It's a start. Tying the disqualifying rate to the average is particularly clever as it shows that TPCi recognizes the major complaint of competitors: both parties are faulted when one party disconnects. Ignoring the fact that Game Freak apparently doesn't have access to the same technology the original Netbattle did and is unable to pinpoint which party disconnected, tying the disconnect rate to the average is the best short term fix for a long term problem.

However, there are still problems with this: it allows disconnections at all. Under this system, disconnections become a part of the game and managing your disconnection rate becomes more important than the actual Pokémon being played. Okay, that's a bit of an exaggeration, but the point remains: with current disconnection rules, avoiding battles can sometimes be as important as finishing them. Instead of finishing out every battle, like you would be forced to at any VGC event, you now have the option to disconnect and avoid the loss at the risk of increasing your disconnection rate above the average. In practice, assuming that a player plays 100 matches over the course of the tournament (a not unreasonable number if you desire top placement) and you match the average disconnection rate, you have 10 free losses that you can essentially drop. While not a factor at lower rankings, upon hitting the higher 1800s on into the 1900s and 2000s, any loss is potentially disastrous to your final ranking. If you have losses to spare, you're going to disconnect to protect your rating and your shot at the prizes. What this means is that players who place at the top of the bracket aren't necessarily the strongest Pokémon battler, though reaching that high a rank does require some Pokémon ability, but instead the players who were smartest about managing their disconnects and protecting their ranking.

Disconnections don't only affect the competitive side of the WiFi Tournaments, though. For those of us who are less concerned about our standings on the leadership and more concerned about playing some solid Pokémon, win or lose, disconnections sap all of the fun out of these tournaments for even the casual player. Using the data from our (admittedly small) sample of players final standings and records on the forums, the average disconnection rate is around 21% after excluding the highest and lowest disconnection rate. That's one out of every five battles that doesn't complete. While you can interpret a disconnection as a forfeit, the fact is that Pokémon is a game where anything can happen on any given turn and players looking to learn how to maintain their advantage and not give any ground will find themselves out of luck one out of every five times as they look to the GBU for practice. In terms of sheer "fun," there is nothing enjoyable about being disconnected on in the middle of the battle.

Pokémon Black and White 2 have been billed as introducing new, anti-disconnecting features for the GBU. While reports indicate that B/W 2 have introduced a feature that makes people who disconnect wait an hour before they can find a new battle, there are other reports that suggest that the major flaws of the original Black and White GBU remain, most importantly that B/W 2 still cannot tell who disconnected and who was disconnected on. This would actually make the problem even worse for players whose opponents disconnect. In this case, not only would they be taking a hit to their disconnection rate, but they'd also be booted from participating in the tournament for a whole hour through no fault of their own. What's more, this discouraging factor isn't reported to apply when the connection is lost, either because internet connection is spotty or your opponent has killed his internet, but only when your opponent actually shuts down and restarts his DS during the battle, leaving us back on square one.

Still, I'm optimistic about the next round of GBU tournaments to be played on Pokémon Black and White 2. Even assuming the worst, waiting an hour in between matches is a strong discouraging factor for those who play more casually and who won't want to go through the trouble of restarting their router, drastically reducing the average disconnection rate. Ideally, this will mean that players who maliciously disconnect from battles will be easier to catch and reduce the amount of disconnections available to players before they are disqualified, both of which heighten the competition and make the results more legitimate.

Ultimately, if TPCi wants to begin giving out Regionals Byes and potentially Championship Points for WiFi tournaments, they are going to need to address disconnections much more diligently than they currently have. While there are reasons for optimism and TPCi has made baby steps towards addressing the issue of disconnections, the problem is not solved, and fixing that problem only becomes more urgent as TPCi increases the stakes for WiFi tournaments by adding real prizes beyond bragging rights. Until Game Freak is able to upgrade their WiFi capabilities with the ability to detect who has disconnected, however, this is probably about as close to legitimate as TPCi can make the tournaments. TPCi has shown a willingness to learn from past mistakes with the guidance of the community, which makes me hopeful that each WiFi tournament will run more smoothly than the one before. While prizes for WiFi tournaments are perhaps coming a bit too soon, maybe that was the impetus needed to make the community care about the tournaments so we could make them better. Either way, I look forward to a new VGC season both in person and on WiFi.

Do you have thoughts about disconnections in the 2012 Autumn Friendly and their impact on WiFi tournaments as a whole? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

1 Comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Similar Content

    • VGC '16 - Regionals - Kansas City - May 28-29
      By TeeJay
      SATURDAY, MAY 28th - Swiss   10:30am - Check-In 11:30am - Check-In closes -- Any players not checked in by this time will be entered with a First Round loss 11:45am - Player Meeting 12:00pm - Play begins SUNDAY, MAY 29th - Top Cut & Premier Challenge Top Cut start time TBD PC start time TBD Location: Overland Park Convention Center. 6000 College Blvd, Overland Park, Kansas, 66211 (same as last year) https://goo.gl/maps/fQzH4AC1HaM2
      Registration: ALL PLAYERS MUST register at this link http://labs.pokegym.net/register/16-05-000063
      Entry Fee (Cash only): 
      $20 per player, all divisions $10 if you are a parent with a child playing in any division (limit 1 discount per person) Hotels: Group rates coming soon. Many hotels are in the area. The Sheraton is attached to the center. https://goo.gl/maps/rwKd2ugeeyJ2 
      Nearest major airport (40 minute drive): Kansas City International (MCI): https://goo.gl/maps/iWS6fWxQ1JG2
      Useful Links
      Play! Pokemon link: Tournament ID 16-05-000063 https://www.pokemon.com/us/play-pokemon/pokemon-events/16-05-000063/ KC Pokemon Event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/635201656648230/ Player information/preparation sheet: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ubGGjKrq6nrc67uoYL7pyyidhzO8JlUO3QhM3ea4-cY/edit Registration (required): http://labs.pokegym.net/register/16-05-000063 PTO's website: http://www.feralevents.com/default.cfm Note-worthy food nearby
      Joe's KC BBQ (formerly Oklahoma Joe's) (CLOSED SUNDAY): https://goo.gl/maps/58tNXxxAGG32 Fast Casual World famous - Check out the others on this list from Bourdain: http://www.menshealth.com/nutrition/must-visit-restaurants Fiorella's Jack Stack BBQ: https://goo.gl/maps/c3Cu1VGsqF42 Upscale sit-down Generally considered the highest quality "gourmet" BBQ in KC Nearest Planet Sub: https://goo.gl/maps/izxNzMBhkr62 Stream: Yes. Details TBA.
      Welcome to my hometown. 
    • VGC 16 - Seattle Regional Championships - SATURDAY May 14
      By pokeMATHter
      Will you be the Seattle Regional Pokemon Video Game Champion?
      DATE:  SATURDAY MAY 14.  We will play the Swiss rounds on Saturday, and the finals on Sunday.  Swiss competition will be Best of 3, as will the finals.
      REGISTRATION:  All players must register on line through the following link:
      CHECK-IN: 9:30 AM to 10:30 AM on SATURDAY May 14.
      COST: There is a $20.00 entry, and all players will get a TCG promo card and gaming mat, while supplies last.
      Also on Sunday, we will have a Premier Challenge, as well as other side events.
      Here is the official announcement page that should include a list of the prizing.
      LOCATION:  Seattle Center Exhibition Hall.  The Seattle Center's official address is 305 Harrison Street, Seattle, WA 98109. but the Exhibition Hall is located at Mercer and 3rd Avenue.  The closest parking is in the Mercer Street Garage.
    • LF: As Many Near Perfect LEGIT Telepathy Dialgas I Can Get FT: Link In Thread
      By Garchompguy
      Hi there I really need a 31/xx/31/31/31/31 (or as close to) LEGIT Telepathy Dialga. I currently have two but I don't want to take a risk at the Sutton Coldfield Regional I am going to. I can offer several of these plus a couple extras (I have nearly every nature of Kyogre and Groudon with IVs)
    • Is there any new info for Seattle Regionals? (Hotel Room blocks, etc?)
      By nikkielovespokemon
      I've been looking everywhere but cannot find any updated (Seattle Center has a link but it connects to the 2010 rules and info) information on Room Blocks for Seattle Regionals.  I'm coming from Cali and this info would be greatly appreciated for planning purposes. Also if anyone is looking for an extra roommate and already has a hotel booked, I would prefer that over being in a room by myself (plus it's more cost effective).  I will most likely be flying in, as most of my group remains undecided on whether they are going or not.
    • Vendors at the Collinsville/St Louis Regionals
      By Yeti Gaming
      The Playmats arrived today!   5 days folks!!!
      The Registration Numbers are looking GREAT!  Registration will continue through Check In, but we are encouraging everyone to Register by February 17th (7:00 CST). We will have a special Drawing for those Registered by then.
      We wanted to give everyone a heads up on the Vendors and other Activities taking place at the Collinsville/St Louis Regionals!
      We are so happy to have with us this year:
      Build a Bear has just started producing the official Pikachu Plush item, and he will be there at our Regional for sale! There are outifts, plush, and other items from Build a Bear, which is one of the biggest names in Plush in the United States! ell!
      Cerulean City Collectibles:  Special trips have been made to Japan just for this event....bringing back plush, supplies and other items only available for retail sale in Japan, but now coming to this Regional! From Japanese Pokemon Center items to player survival boxes to exclusive tournament items, if you're looking for something Pokemon Cerulean City Collectibles will have something special for you!
      Collectors Cache:  They bring a brilliant selection of English and Japanese packs, supplies, and singles. They are buying bulk, singles, and all sorts of cool things. Collectors Cache always seems to come up with unique Japanese items, plush and other items that most people just can't find.
      No Limit Gaming is a major Trading Card Dealer that will be buying and selling singles, bulk, and sealed product all weekend long! They have a great selection of sealed, including some PSA graded cards, and other items you have to come and see!
      ~ All Players will receive a Promo Card at Check In. Some Players may also get a Golden Ticket! Take your Golden Ticket to the Creative Side Tables to Play Pokemon Plinko! Plinko Prizes include Special Items from our Vendors including Build a Bear Pikachus!, Tickets to the Pokemon Symphony graciously donated by the St Louis Symphony, Items from Anime St Louis, Yeti Gaming, TPCi +++
      ~Creative Side Events Area includes Nintendo showing off their newest games!, Anime St Louis with a Pokeball Toss Game, Extra Life.                                                                  Art Contest-All Pokemon Related Art Welcome! Prizes for 1-4th in all age divisions, Cookie Decorating, Creative Area +++                                             
      Side Tournaments Include Premier Challenge on Sunday, with Visa Gift Card Prizing! Pick up Tournaments, Mat Tournaments, Team Tournaments through out the weekend!!
      Of Course the Official Stream Team will be here with Great Commentators!
      One last note, don't forget Prizing for the Regional Championships included Visa Gift Cards for 1-4th in all divisions and the New Nintendo 3DS XL.
      Registration Link and More details at http://www.yetigaming.com/pokemon-vgc-regionals-2016.html                                                                                                              Up to date Announcements at: https://www.facebook.com/StLareaPokemonRegionals2016/
      We Can't wait to see everyone next weekend!!! If you have any questions, please contact us at info@yetigaming.com                                                                                                
  • Blog Entries