A Change to Ref/Battler Pay for 6v6s
Hiya. Gonna try to keep this as memeless as possible because I am 100% serious about this.

So I just want to lay this out as clearly as I can; I only present this because I want completely balanced and fair rewards for all sections. I wouldn’t put in as much time as I do (810k worth at the time of this posting) into this section if I did not believe in and enjoy the section as much as I do. I absolutely guarantee that I’m going to be reffing for the rest of my time on URPG and I will be the first to a second legend or whatever, so I 100% acknowledge and accept that this change will affect me too, as did the Judge pay change which I wholeheartedly accepted as well.

I will be candid; a lot of the pushback about the battle section is aimed at 6v6s. This is understandable; 6v6s are the most lucrative and arguably the most cutthroat gamemode (I know we’ve all seen insane comebacks in 6v6s.) However, I’m here to argue that 6v6s are too lucrative in their current form, and I believe the problem not to be in the referee pay, as has been targeted in the past, but rather in the fact that they pay too much to the winner and loser in the amount of time that they take.

We’ve all seen the stories on the ref pay thread a few months ago; the amount of time and effort that any given battler would put into any given battle was more often not nearly as much as the referee would put into reffing said battle. The believed solution was bumping ref pay to 4k; however, I really don’t think it’s a coincidence (and I’m really trying not to target anyone here) that the Ref Wage record was immediately broken after the change was instituted, and 2 ref legends (which before the legend change were around middle of the pack) were completed in record time after the change. Hell, there’s even a possible 3 month legend that might be awarded by the battle section in the next few weeks as a direct result of this change (and believe me, I know I put in the work, but this is still insanely lucrative for the effort you put in [and again I do NOT want to discount all the work the awesome refs do for the section]). This leads me to believe that ref pay was NOT the problem; but rather, the lucrative battle pay was the issue.

I think if the battle section wants to continue to be balanced in terms of payout, and in line with other sections, battle pay has to come down. My idea would be, for Winner/Loser/Ref respectively: 4k, 2k, 3k. Not only does this maintain the ref getting the median of the battlers pay, it also continues to differentiate it and possible enable 5v5s as a format as well (I have seen this exact quote or something similar about it related to 5v5s for months: “5v5? / ok / that pays bad but if you want”) This also returns us to the standardized format of 500 for the ref per mon on one side (This is the standard for every other format; I think that if this is how it should be for 2v2-5v5, 6v6s shouldn’t differentiate from this standard because, in my honest opinion, they aren’t different). Finally, this will balance the lucrativeness of battles, and hopefully helps balance some of the outliers (like randoms battles, and “basics vs FEs”), which is 100% my end goal.

I’d love to talk this out! I’m always free on Discord or here, and thank you for lending me your time reading (what I am sure is a mess) above.

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It's always worth asking ourselves if battles, like anything, are too lucrative. We'll always tinker! That being said though, after all the tinkering we've done and bearing in mind the reasons behind them, I firmly believe they're in an acceptable place at this point.

The reason we originally wanted to have the bump in pay for 6v6s is because, as the largest standard format, we want to encourage players to do longer battles. There's no reason to do a 5v5, really, other than convenience -- in which case, power to you if you only have time for a 5v5 and insist upon it. You still get paid a reasonable amount. But, and especially coming from a time where nobody used to do 6v6s and even many gym battles were only 4v4, I would say the jump from the standard "500 per mon on each side" has been successful for 6v6s and one worth maintaining.

How we connect effort to commensurate money reward is tricky and probably subjective, but let's say your standard 6v6 runs two hours. I've seen some go to three, and others down within one. My guess is that a lot more lean towards one hour than three, but the specific reason for that being battle types such as randoms which -- opinion alert again -- don't really lead to thorough, strategic battling proportionate to your standard 6v6. Is that acceptable? Honestly, there's a pretty compelling reason to say that nah it really isn't, and that we should nerf 6v6 pay for randoms, but it's taking quite a step to place rules around an informal rule like that. It has to be something we keep on the table, but first, I would love to see if placebo fixes (like Elrond's completely so much better Private Preview randoms or Battle Frontier as a casual format) solves the problem.

I look at ref wages, and I don't see too many outrageous numbers outside of the 200k unicorns. Speaking out of my experience, getting to 200k was crazy enough that, by the end of it, I was literally a shittier ref / making waaaay more mistakes from the burnout. When I see that something in the $30-50k range is what a ref makes for what I would call two weeks of regular reffing activity and compare it to the price of items in the store, I think that's fine.
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[18:11] [Ranger Alliance]: (webdragoon1337) nitro, you in here?
[18:11] Nitro: hello
[18:12] [Ranger Alliance]: (webdragoon1337) knew there was another cool guy in here
This thread frustrates me. That isn't your fault, I don't necessarily disagree with you. I was against the 6v6 buff for a long time, and I argued that they were fine, but refs wanted more money for them and stopped reffing them. Trying to maintain balance in this community frustrates the hell out of me. Sometime the systems are broken, sometimes they become broken BECAUSE of the community. It's impossible.

>nobody did 6v6s
>refs didnt want to ref 6v6s cause they didnt pay enough to be worth the time
>I pushed against bumping pay for several months
>eventually agree, bump 6v6 pay
>everybody refs 6v6s and they become new standard battle format
>mission accomplished
>6v6s get quicker / more random because thats the best way to profit
>records broken repeatedly
>6v6s now paying too well
>gotta nerf

We get this problem a lot. How much something should pay and how often it pays out are REALLY hard to balance. Not enough 6v6s means they need to pay more when they happen, and so they happen all the time and need to pay less.

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This might be the right time to nerf the wages slightly, based on the "the buff had the desired effect" approach. That approach seems to have worked in Contests - we're still reviewing the removal of the higher payments and attempting to maintain balance. But we always run the risk of history repeating itself.

Honestly, no matter what anybody on Staff does, people are constantly looking for the most efficient ways to profit. I think everyone is well aware on my opinion on how profitable Contests was and we made very drastic changes there - as I said, I'm still looking to make sure that gets balanced correctly.

6v6s are the most efficient method in battling right now, and within reason I think that should be the most common battle format. A couple of years ago, all the profit came from basics and it was a mess.

Unfortunately, I think we have a lot less room to tweak Battle payments than in other areas. They're arguably fine, arguably ALMOST fine. Maybe a nerf is the right approach. Maybe treating the randoms differently is the right approach - attempt to steer them towards being that bit more competitive and therefore being worth the current pay.

Gonna wait and get a few more opinions on this before debating points with anybody.
Honestly I considered other, alternative solutions like treating randoms differently much to two primary counterarguments: "People are gonna abuse it because they're greedy", or "It forces people to be competitive."

People were going into this debate with a primary assumption about urpg.

>People want the most bang for the most buck and will even throw a battle to make some cash when given an opportunity

The current pervading plan of a blanket drop in 6v6 also is harsh because it does discourage people to try and be competitive or work on team building without going to a gym and getting creamed. People who are making an effort to get better at team selection currently are losing out to the people just abusing the system to make a quick buck. No matter the solution I think it will be imperfect.

There are too many conflicting interests at stake: the people who are in it to try and team build, and the people for fun and randos. Currently, and as Fabled, so well described on discord, that the overwhelming majority of the 6v6s currently going on are that.

Morru and Seppe explained at that randoms are for people who want to do it just for fun and urpg is a big game that appeals to tons of diverse interests which can't all be properly satisfied without leaving large areas of abuse open. Personally, I don't think staggered pay for randoms/non randoms discourages fun, as it has weeded out the people in contests who did it for pay and left those who genuinely like it for fun.

Unfortunately, yeah, staggered pay does open large areas of abuse open, especially emphasized by Ksariya and Dash, and as I've argued, that gym battles also have profitability potential, but they're too infrequent to make a dent.

So, unless someone comes up with another, alternative solution, I must concede that a blanket pay reduction is the only thing we can do, even if it isn't perfect. I think the general consensus among people here in URPG agree with the blanket reduction.
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I'm not so sure a blanket reduction is really necessary. I think that might be overreaching and nerfing something not needing a nerf. Long 6v6 competitive battles can sometimes feel shorthanded when lost when they only give you 2.5k, but currently that's a fair well rounded number (imo) to compensate the other end of the spectrum which is losing a random battle (where you take out certain competitive aspects in picking which mons to use/counter with). It's a fine balance, and I agree with nitro in the sense that I think where we're sitting at is okay.

If we had a ton of activity and large numbers of 6v6 randoms or other gym/non-random battles were happening daily or so, then I'd be more open to a nerf, but as we are currently, I don't feel it's deserved.

However, there does seem to be a significant amount of you that aren't fans of randoms being a thing or think they are too lucrative (which isn't unreasonable), to which I'd argue, why not try and change the culture? Start doing open/private preview randoms, or start refusing to do randoms (some already do this). I think open/private preview randoms would still be fun, if not more so because then you actually start with a randomly rolled team and use mons you wouldn't normally use/see (which is the reason behind why I enjoy random battles, I'd probably not see 60% of my mons otherwise).
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Senior refs can get me hip to what the current discussion is in our Discord chat privately, but I'm gonna offer my thoughts here in the meantime and apologize for repeating anything.

Gonna get this out of the way: I am 100% super-duper mega incredibly could-not-stress-this-more against any decrease to ref pay. It just should never go down unless we accidentally bumped it way too much to make up for shoddy activity or something. We didn't bump it up to 4k to make up for activity. I know this has become a meme but Seppe (among others) made a good argument for raising them which you can find on BMG.

As time goes on, Pokemon introduces more and more Pokemon, items, moves, and a whole lotta other hoopla that we have to spend money on. Sure someone broke the reffing record recently, but 200k today is certainly not the same as 200k last generation or the generation before that. I'm not here to go super in-depth into inflation and economics and blah blah blah nor do I think it should play a huge part in determining wage increases, but I do think it's a good reason we should not be lowering ref wages just because numbers seem high.

If you're comparing it to judge wages (not saying you are but for anyone that is): dont. Judge wages were purposely made high at one point to make up for the almost 0 activity in the contest section. That's why they were nerfed, and then nerfed again (they weren't nerfed enough). Battles were never like that.

Now for battler pay, that's a different story. I'm not as rigidly against adjusting it. Here's an idea everyone hates: randoms should not pay the same as regular battles. They aren't skill-centric and make up the majority of these 6v6s that end up being silly, often fast-paced battles that pay the same as real ones. I won't fight for this, though. I guess I dont have the same urgency to adjust things that Weir does; I dont even really think payouts are in a bad place right now. But from experience most of these battles that winners are making quick-easy money from are either a) sweeping people of low-skill (which we cant really make hard-rules against; just regulate as we see it) and b) poor randoms rolls (and, yes, I'm talking specifically about public-open).
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