Like, finally. Now everybody, buckle down for a nice massive news post, because I have a lot to go over.
League has been out since October, and that is, to use the technical term, way too long. So whaddya say we get some leaders back in the server, and some badges back on y'alls cards?
Firstly, in case anyone missed it, we are going into what we'll consider Season 3 of the Reborn League. Although we don't have nearly a complete reshuffle of leaders like between the first two, we are newly joined by Adrienn and DJ Arclight. Because of the inclusion of an 18th type, we had to redo pretty much all of our systems, and suffice it to say it's a good thing there were no particular great objections to having a badge reset, because it probably would have been necessary regardless.
But that's all behind us now! So let's talk about the changes for the 6th Generation league.
Firstly, we have an 18th leader now, and this has kind of upset our previous set up with how the League's Blocks and Ranks worked.
If you're newly joining us and are unfamiliar with our previous system, here's a quick run-down:
With 17 types we had a system where a challenger could fight up to four badges above their lowest missing badge. So, if you have zero badges, you can face the first four leaders. If you have the first badge badge, you can face up to the fifth leader. If you have the first and the third badge, but not the second, you're still capped at the fifth leader until you get that second one.
Setting it up like this created 'Blocks ' that were important for how we scored each leader (based on their wins, losses, and skill level of their challengers). With 17 types, these blocks became 4-4-4-4, and then 1 champion at the top whom you needed all other badges to face.
So with adding one extra leader, the base-4 block system no longer works out quite so nicely. However, 18 is a much neater number and allows us to divide the leaders into blocks that match-up with our 3-line system very neatly. As such, we're shifting down to a 3-block system. What this means for you as challengers is that, whereas in the past, you could challenge 4 places above your lowest missing badge, you will now only be able to go 3 places above. This change will also help us out with mitigating traffic on lines, so it's not all bad.
Essentially, instead of having 4 blocks of 4 + 1 champion, we now have 6 blocks of 3.
"But wait," you ask, "What about that champion?"
Good question! Unfortunately, the numbers we have no longer allow us to neatly fit in one single champion-position leader. Instead, the highest block of leaders will be considered the Champion block. In other words, we now have 3 champions, one for each of our lines. None of them can be challenged until you have all 15 previous badges. Once you do, you're free to challenge any of the three. Once you beat all three of them, you've cleared the Season 3 Reborn League!
The Block Breakdown:
As an addendum to this base-3 change, previously in the Site Shop we had a rather expensive item, the 5th degree token, which allowed an extra space to challenge leaders. So instead of 4 places, you could go up to 5 places above the lowest missing badge. Since the default is now 3 instead of 4, that item now allows challenges up to 4 instead of 5. To compensate for that change, the new 4th Degree Token's price has been lowered significantly. It now costs only $R 2,000.
only, she says
Moving on from that, we've had a lot of questions about one of the most popular new mechanics of 6th gen: Mega Pokemon. Namely: Can challengers use them? Can leaders?
One of the things that has historically diversified the meta of League from the meta of general battling is our blanket ban on Legendary Pokemon. With Megas, it has been said by developers of the main series that Megas are somewhat equivalent to legendaries- and indeed, they often surpass them in strength. As such, we have unfortunately decided that challengers may not use Mega Evolution in the Reborn League.
Do keep in mind that this is a challenge on a competitive simulator. As I have explained before, it is our job to make, and keep it difficult. Challengers have more threats than ever that can take down a team, and as such, we do need to give our leaders the tools to keep pace within their monotype limits.
Your Reborn League team should be prepared to deal with a few threats... including Mega Pokemon. Gym Leaders in the Elite Block and higher will be permitted to use Mega Evolution. Remember, too, that historically our Champion has been allowed a single legendary. So this means that Champion Block leaders will each be allowed one Mega and one Legendary from their type.
In X-League, all leaders and challengers may use Mega Evolution. Remember, too, in X-League Leaders may use up to 3 Legendary Pokemon (or as many as they like, in the case of the Champion Block)
Now, with no apparent segue whatsoever, I want to talk about a different change we've made for League this season (and the reason that it's taken us so long).
In past years, our league has, shall we say, suffered from a bit of backlog when it's come to badges and, specifically, distributing them in timely manners. This has been a burden on us as staff and disappointing for challengers looking to see the token of their victories.
Well, no more! Henceforth, thanks to the magic of Nyu, badges will be automatically recorded onto challengers' cards and should be updated by the end of League each night.
However, this does come with a caveat: Challengers will need to battle leaders under the name that their Trainer Card is registered with. Because this is now an automatic system, we no longer have the liberty of knowing people's aliases as we go through and add badges. You'll want to either challenge your trainer card to match your PO name when you fight, or visa versa.
This is also going to alleviate past issues where we've had to ask several times in a given night, "Hey what's your trainer card name?" which sometimes can slow things down quite a bit. In all, League will definitely run smoother from now on.
Speaking of running smoother! How about those Rankshifts which all but crashed and burned for the better part of Season 2? A large part of that was because of how we had to handle logs at that point, which was incredibly ineffective. However, with the automatic badge system, we now have an automatic tally of each Leaders' stats. I may see if I can get those totals up on a statistics page for challengers to peek at some day, but the more important thing is that it means we will always be able to do Rankshifts right on time from now on.
If you're not familiar with how our Rankshifts work, this is for you:
In a typical Pokemon game, or something like Pokemon Reborn, each gym leader becomes more difficult than the next solely based on the merit of their levels. On a simulator where everyone has level 100 Pokemon, however, we don't have this liberty. So, it's important that the progression of leaders from Entry to Champion is always properly ordered from least to most difficult. In order to achieve this, we actively track the win/loss ratios of each leader, weigh them against the expected difficulty of their competition, and Shift their Rank in our leader line-up accordingly. Typically Leaders will only move one or two places, but if a leader does exceptionally poorly, or exceptionally well, they may jump right across blocks. As time goes on, the best of the Leaders will always rise to the top.
In the past, just due to the way the numbers have worked out, the champions have always been locked into their position for the duration of the season. But hence forth, that's no longer so! If the statistics work out, it's possible we might see a new leader rise to a champion position. What about the Elite-Mega block? If a lower leader is able to climb into there, they might suddenly become even more dangerous. Keep an eye on the Rankshifts we'll be doing each month to see how each leader is doing!
Additionally, everyone should realize that there will always be some variance in scores, and Leaders may dance around quite a bit, especially at first. Since we're starting from point-blank with a full reset, it may seem a bit volatile. Read up on our news posts about rankshifts to make sure you're in the know about how things are moving along.
Further! As I just said, we're starting from a clean slate, and in a new meta, no less. As a result, we have completely thrown Season 2's order to the dust, and rearranged all leaders based on their previous performance and new meta changes. As this is largely theory-work on our part, don't be too surprised if some leaders rise or fall drastically. But for now, take a look at Season 3's starting Rank Order, including our 3 opening Champions!
Starting Monday, March 3rd, Reborn League's Season 3 will be open for business! Join us on Pokemon Online's Reborn Server between 8 and 11 PM EST to begin your climb to the Hall of Fame!