legalize macros or ban wobbling

or, the 'theres two of them' rule

wobbling is a problem in a competitive 1v1 environment. this is apparent to any person who watches a match in which wobbling occurs, even if they lack the game knowledge to understand what’s happening. there is the counterargument that ‘ice climbers need wobbling to succeed in the 1v1 meta’, however this is not convincing; who’s to say that ice climbers’ success – or even their existence – is necessary to the 1v1 meta?

instituting a ban on wobbling has been problematic for other reasons. it is difficult to define: the infinite can be performed with any sequence of a variety of moves. it is difficult to enforce: no in-game rule exists to force a grab release, hand-off, etc. (in fact, wobbling overrides the grab release mechanic). it bumps up against community philosophies: ‘no johns’, ‘play to win’, ‘developer’s intent’, etc.

an argument can be made for a ruleset that would eliminate wobbling without actually addressing the legality of wobbling itself: ice climbers should be banned because the nana-popo pair is inherently unfair. nana is a hybrid AI/player-controlled character; by allowing nana (attached to wholly player-controlled popo) in 1v1 we are essentially saying that we accept a certain degree of participation outside of the direct participants of the match. it is generally agreed that it would violate the conditions of 1v1 for a player to, at various intervals, hand their controller to another player and take turns playing. the fact that nana is at certain points (which may not be determined by the ice climbers player) performing actions independent of the player’s inputs represents a trade of this sort (between player and cpu) and violates the conditions of 1v1.

if, however, we determine that ice climbers (or nana attached to popo, or hybrid AI-player controlled characters) are legal, why is this advantage only given to ice climbers and denied all other characters? what is the difference between selecting ice climbers in 1v1 (nana attached to popo) and teaming with a level x cpu? (cpu attached to hmn) to extend the comparison, why not allow an individual character to be given hybrid AI-player controlled characteristics, such as predetermined sequences of moves (ie. macros)? we may distinguish between nana AI (complex scripted behaviour), macros (simple input sequencing), and pure randomness (RNG), but the factor which links nana AI and macros is that they are either determined or held only by one participant—unlike RNG which is an external factor which is not controlled by and does not show preference toward either participant. if, on the other hand, we agree that cpu attached to hmn in any form violates the conditions of 1v1, ice climbers are not legal in this format by default.

this brings to mind the ‘developer’s intent’ objection: ice climbers are an element of the game, and surely it is unreasonable to ‘play developer’ ourselves and say they are not allowed to be used. of course, this sort of judgment has been a part of the development of the 1v1 format since the beginning: use of items has been controlled, ‘fair’ stage conditions have been determined and used to modify the stage list, standardizing stock count, timer, striking and banning, etc. i suppose that ice climbers were not initially seen to violate fair 1v1 conditions as clearly as items and unfair stages were due to a lack of understanding of game mechanics in the early days of the competitive scene. characters are different from items and stages, of course: players attach themselves to their characters and identify with them; they do not ‘main’ stages. it may be that we have long since passed the point-of-no-return when it comes to instituting an outright ban on ice climbers.

植松伸夫 – 目覚め

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