Credibility in the Pokémon TCG

Discussion in 'PTCG Competitive Play' started by Otaku, Nov 16, 2015.

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  1. Otaku The wise fool?


    I will begin by admitting that the title is a bit misleading; what I am about to state actually works for all TCGs with which I am significantly familiar and unless there is something radically different about a particular game it should work for that as well.

    This is a discussion about how we the players* have a need to convince others that our thoughts and opinions are worth consideration; the basic need when trying to persuade another. It is different than someone feeling they can "relate" to you, at least most of the time; unless dealing with something more of an emotional state, it doesn't matter if someone knows how you "feel" on the matter.

    Instead this is about successful communication, as well as how to evaluate credibility, both your own and others. Some may find this harsh, even judgmental but... that's the point. For your own sake and the sake of anyone who trusts you, you must learn to distinguish between not only a good point and a bad point, but between good messaging and bad messaging: sometimes a bad idea will be presented in an enticing way and sometimes a very good one will be rejected because the one delivering the message butchered the point.

    The first component is being understandable. If people can't comprehend what you are saying, how can you persuade them? This includes basics like grammar, spelling, message length but also includes proper argumentation. Just the presentation of your message matters, as if you don't care enough to make something "look good", it can lead others to question whether you value your own message.

    Second is when we get to experience, something that includes both general knowledge of the game as well as accomplishments within the game. Having an awesome first year in competitive play? While that is great it also isn't as compelling as someone who has done it multiple times, including in vastly different formats. Likewise older accomplishments are not the same as current ones; both have value but should not be mistaken as interchangeable. Knowing the history of the game helps for a variety of reasons; the game reuses a lot mechanically, even apart from reprints and it can help you with evaluating how relevant a player's particular accomplishments are to the discussion at hand. If you haven't encountered both long time players that don't know what they are talking about and "up and comers" that have a hot season before burning out and also didn't know what they were talking about, just keep paying attention because I've seen this in Pokémon as well as other games.

    If you lack any of these, it will be difficult to establish credibility, but still quite possible; you simply need to acknowledge what you lack and make sure your arguments rest upon reason and not just personal experience as well as making sure you can easily be understood. I have seen skilled players "lose" arguments because they just couldn't explain why what they said should work, only maintain that it does. Sometimes they were proven correct because events unfolded as predicted, other times they had it wrong. Either way, people couldn't understand them or had someone else making a good counterargument they could follow.

    *As opposed to the-powers-that-be such as Pokémon R&D, TPCi, etc. trying to convince us of something.
    Empoleon_master, tototavros and Asmer like this.

  2. Yo-yos DP and hoenn era, when tcg was dope


    You see none of that matters, all that matters at the end of the day is CP from the stand point of a majority of the high ranking player base. Punctuality, grammar, experience doesn't mean anything unless you are an actually good player, you gain your cp for worlds by either topping or beating high ranking event's. I can talk about all the extremely skilled players in my area that made worlds last year and how they suck at typing and conveying themselves as a solid player over the internet such as this but in real life are very kind genuine individuals, how does that equate.

    Take myself for instance, I'm a wild card otherwise referred to as an animal or something much worse in my league, I'll go 16 weeks and never lose a game to anyone, attend a tournament and go 2-3-0 for 6 rounds or 3-2-1 bubble and play smash with all the other high ranking players in my area who I seem to know. It's not the fact that tournaments bore me it's just that I don't care, but even my friends that do get the CP to attend these high ranking events such as winning the Boston open or etc will not think any less of me for that reason, definition of how good a player is isn't measured by achievement it's measured by who they actually are.

    And even if we were to do things by your initial factor Otaku the biggest flaw is a lot of players base how good they are based upon their area, not necessarily based off of actual skill of game. And then you go onto a forum and I notice a lot of players basing skill off of perception of playing not actually based off of the difference both players bring, and if it doesn't work by their specifications it's known as a "I'm justified" not willing to see both side's of the picture. Funny thing is I used to be one of those players once, now from my perspective it's just seeing the difference in level. Like the other day for instance where I mentioned prioritizing deck thinning. On a computer it's harder to understand that difference. I recall back in 2010 we used to have deck building competitions on pokebeach, that might be a good place for us to understand and see just how good we are by comparison I don't see how you can get a sense of competitive value for the tcg over the forums if your just talking about it or you'll never end up playing against these people.

    Yes there is a vast amount of intentional errors.
    Otaku likes this.
  3. Otaku The wise fool?


    Thank you @Yo-yos for presenting the main opposing position. If I had tried to present such things myself I feared it would appear to be a strawman created for my convenience.

    Quick point though; I wasn't discussing the definition of a "good player". I was discussing credibility for making an argument. While related, the two are not the same thing.
  4. Yo-yos DP and hoenn era, when tcg was dope


    Credibility and a good player are the same thing, how else are you know by anything, without a name for yourself your just a known unknown. Credibility if you were Jason klazynski you would be considered one of the best players in the game 3 worlds titles, but what else would we call him other then one of the best players in the game but that title in it's entirety. So how does credibility not state how good you are as a player? By definition it's the same thing it's more of a ranking board, for instance, Sosa is the darkrai king, Costa is the people's champion, I'm not defined by humanity anymore, but what does that mean credibly speaking? It's nothing more then who or where we place that person or something to call them by we don't even make these titles for ourselves other then by attending event's and playing the game but on a forum we never meet these people so how do we know this by difference.
  5. Otaku The wise fool?


    @Yo-yos once again, we aren't discussing the same thing.

    Credibility, the quality of being believed or accepted as true, real, or honest, is not the same thing as actually being true, real or honest. If you are correct about something, demonstrate proficiency in that area, etc. it adds to your credibility, but other factors can detract from it to the point where you have no credibility. I started this thread to discuss its importance because I have run into several Pokémon players who are game far better at the game than myself but even when they try to share this with others they fail miserably.

    Usually this is because they are horrible at communicating. If you are right but no one can understand you, how can you prove you are correct? By winning events? If you are giving good advice but no one understands it so that everyone who applies it does worse and not better, you will lose credibility; if you're new enough people will assume your wins are due to luck and if you have an established record, the logical conclusions are either you don't know how to communicate or that you are intentionally sabotaging others.

    A good record in Organized Play indicates you have done well there, but lacking a good record doesn't prove that you lack skill or knowledge in the game. Not everyone plays the game of course, and when someone first starts they may be far, far better than the evidence suggests. Even those that have played for some time may not be able to participate in as much organized play as is needed to rank highly. Just because extensive play in tournaments helps a person develop skills and learn the game does not mean it is the only way.

    And again, this is a discussion about credibility when trying to persuade others; not every instance of this will be of a higher skilled player trying to convince the less skilled. No person playing this game is perfect; even Ness makes mistakes. Your comments do lead me to wonder if I should discuss more about presenting one's record. I know who Ness; he may have no clue who I am but we've bumped into each other online before in discussions going back to when WotC ran the game and I believe I met him once at a tournament (no surprise; he won the event XD). His greatest accomplishments are a matter of public record. Claims like

    are much harder to substantiate and generally counterproductive to demonstrating one's credibility. I believe I've gone undefeated for that long... because it was during a period when unfortunately I was unable to play anyone. ;) If you wish for such a thing to be a serious testament to your ability and not an example of a "Don't" when debating things online, you must prove the claim and its relevance to a particular discussion. If not it is a lot like me mentioning I've been playing since 1999; not particularly relevant even if it is true.

    TL;DR: If people don't understand what you are saying, being an accomplished player won't grant you much credibility when trying to persuade someone online. It still means you're a credible threat at an event, but that isn't the same thing. If people don't understand what you are saying, you can't prove people should listen to you even if you win. As for those who don't have great records in Organized Play (or any record at all), they may still have a valid point but must go about establishing their credibility in a different manner.
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2015
    Asmer likes this.
  6. poke4trade Raising Ash


    What an interesting topic! Otaku it sure takes some courage to bring up this conversation. I appreciate this kind of articulation. And Yoyo establishing a line of credibility through CP is a very natural approach. As someone who works in the competitive world of Engineering, dealing with day in and day out information of whether credibility is true or hearsay for a device, you find that credibility comes from different angles. Credibility should not be based alone on specific accomplishments alone but on the reason and thought process put behind for the particular function off output.

    Take for instance Charles Barkely, Yes, he knows the game of basketball, but is he always the most creditable source. Ernie on the hand, who wraps himself up in the stats usually can outplay Charles on picks. (TNT Basketball analysis) Why? Well Charles, though picks very well himself, gets wrapped up in the emotion of the game. Where Ernie sees from outside perspective. Having an outside perspective on things is refreshing, because the outside person works a bit harder to earn their credibility. And it's not to say their always write, it's the mixture of both that gives credibility to the final output. So if they are both saying it, well then, that's something.

    Articulation is the key to credibility, if one cannot articulate their thought process the credibility is unreliable. It doesn't matter how man rings/trophy's they have -- they must articulate. However, because they are unable to articulate the method this creates a vacuum for the on looker. An On Looker is one that can explain a thought process that normally a season person of expertise could not. In a sense, the On Looker becomes the expert. In competitive competition of any type, it is actually common -- sometimes it is better to have someone that knows the game, but does not actually play it. The On Looker usually backs his response up not by emotion, but through a system tests and reasons.

    In short, credibility is actually a mixture both. At least, in my line of work, I sometimes will take someone with a detailed analysis and tests over someone that has a high success rate and expects me to work off his credibility. However, one needs to hear both sides of the equation to really get a good output.

    Sorry, I'll plead the 5th now. Great Topic!
    Otaku and Mora like this.
  7. Machamp The Champion TCG Articles Head
    Machamp The Champion

    Forum Super Mod Articles Head Member

    This thread doesn't have much to do with playing the TCG competitively, and I don't feel there is much to discuss with this topic, so I am going to lock this thread. For those of you that would still like to discuss this topic, you may do so in private conversations or profile messages.
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