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Edel Blau

How to Quickly Share a Netplay Set with Someone Else

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While it isn't specifically battle mechanics related, I figure this is enough of a guide explaining a part of the game to include here.


So you're playing in an online weekly, and you're on a tear, crushing all sorts of big threats, coming up on winners' finals, and it occurs to you: "I don't stream.  Most of these guys don't stream.  Heck, nobody in top 4 even makes any sort of content.  Nobody's gonna see my sets, this whole tournament is gonna be lost to history!  Online Pokkén is the worst."


Everyone always says that the biggest tragedy of Pokkén is lack of spectator mode, and that there's no good way to stream online tournies and that people have tried and failed and the replay upload system is just too dumb and etc.  I've been testing some things, and after doing a few dry runs with our wonderful Thunderdome host Jolts, I'd like to challenge some of those assumptions.  It requires a bit of discipline and 1:1 communication, but after practicing it just a couple times, it is entirely possible to reliably collect an entire Bo5 set's worth of replays from another player in less than a couple minutes -- short enough downtime for a streamer to reliably be picking up a string of sets live during an online tourney, and importantly, pretty much all of them when they become fully serialized (i.e. top 3-4).


Note that the criticisms of Pokkén's replay-sharing capabilities are ENTIRELY deserved -- this is quirky, non-intuitive, and way more rickety than it SHOULD be for a game this decade, but it CAN be done, and the process, while seemingly a little daunting at first, is really pretty simple.  To wit:


For the PLAYER:

  1. Go to Online Battle --> Replay --> Battle Log
  2. Locate the FIRST GAME of your set (by default, it will NOT be at the top)
  3. Select Upload Replay Data
  4. DM the streamer/recipient at least this much info: (Friendly/Group/Ranked) (Your name) (Your character) (Your letter rank) (Minutes portion of the timestamp)
    • E.g. Friendly, Cecily, Gardevoir, A, :24
  5. Wait for confirmation (e.g. "Cecily vs. Jolts, a Pikachu? Got it!") from the streamer/recipient
  6. Select the next game in your set, and Upload Replay Data
  7. DM the streamer the minutes portion of this new game (e.g. "next one is :26")
  8. Repeat steps 5-7 until all games from your set are confirmed.  You're done!


For the STREAMER/recipient:

  1. Go to Online Battle --> Replay --> Replay Theater, wait for a DM from the player with info
  2. Fill in Battle Type (most tournies require group battle, but if the tourney allows friendly codes or you're doing match analysis for viewers, get that info from the player too) and *Trainer 1* info for character and rank; leave trainer 2 blank
  3. Search for the game with that player *and the matching minutes timestamp*
    1. This should be narrow enough search criteria to find recent matches -- you likely don't even need rank.  If it is not found, fill in *Trainer 2* with the player's info and leave Trainer 1 blank.  If it is still not found, wait a minute or so, and repeat #2-3/3.1.  If Pokkén somehow becomes incredibly huge in a few years, you may also need to narrow the search criteria with their opponent info, too.  This is not currently the case, though.
  4. Select the game and choose the "P(1/2) Battle Trainer Information" which matches the player you're receiving from
  5. View their Replays, and you should see their specific game, just like in the search results.  Select and save this replay.  You may see other games from their set.  DO NOT save these yet.
  6. DM the player that you received their game.
  7. Back out of the player's profile so that you are back at your search results and await the next DM with a new timestamp from the player
  8. Repeat steps 4-7 until all games from the set are confirmed.  You're ready to stream a set!
    1. You only have 8 replay save slots.  If you are streaming grand finals and the match goes on for 9 or 10 games, you'll have to grab the first set and the reset separately.  Consider having the TO tell players to pause to collect replays if a reset happens.


Theory behind the process, why it works, and more caveats and limitations:

These instructions are designed for first-timers who haven't done it before; the important things to remember once you've practiced a couple times are 1) initial search for first game could be in the P1 or P2 slot, 2) use timestamps to confirm you're getting the right game, 3) back-and-forth communication to grab each manual upload by re-loading the player's profile.  Pokkén's online profile system will only show a maximum of 3 replay games from any given player in any given category (ranked, friendly, group, and....wireless, go figure), and even then there are two different kinds of profile screens, one of which doesn't let you get to their replays at all.  Worse still, two of those game slots are reserved for auto-uploads, if you have that turned on.  Only a single replay is shown, and this corresponds directly to the most recent replay you have manually uploaded via Replay Theater.  But the online system is actually very quick in updating this once you've successfully uploaded a new replay.  Someone actively looking at your replays while online need only re-load your profile in order to see the new upload (but the old one will consequently disappear) -- there doesn't seem to be much if any caching or delay associated with it.  The minutes portion of the timestamp is the important part of the "handshake" between player and recipient, because the full timestamp will be adjusted for your timezone.  This also means if either party's timezone has a half-hour or quarter-hour offset, you'll need to adjust accordingly.  But this is really only relevant for Newfoundland, India, and a handful of Australian and New Zealand territories -- everyone else has whole-hour offsets.


Sadly, there are several downsides.  Your battle log can hold only your most recent 16 games, and you can only upload from your battle log, not from your Saved Replays (of which you only have 8).  This means you cannot assign someone to "replay collection duty" during a tournament to make streaming even more seamless by always having an experienced replay-share-person on both sides of the exchange.  So if a player has never shared a set with anyone before, the burden falls on the streamer to coach the player along the way.  But even so, I brought Jolts up to speed in under 10 minutes, and we were testing hiccups and explaining theory along the way.  It also means that while you can always hold an entire FT5 friendly set in your battle log, your recipient cannot receive the whole thing if you went all the way to 5-4.  They'll have to stream or otherwise record at least one game first, then receive the rest.  Players should also be careful to pick rematch/change Pokémon/quit battle relatively quickly, as spending excessive time on the menu may end up failing to put a complete replay in the battle log.  Offline off-stream sets still don't get any benefit from this technique, either, unless you're playing actual sets with wireless mode instead of LAN mode (ew, no).  Also, of course, this doesn't work at all for 3v3, as for whatever reason 3v3 games are not replay-compatible.


I know several people have known this was roughly how the replay-uploading system works, but I've not seen anyone actually boil it down to a process and take advantage of it to date.  We do at least plan to try this out in practice for the next Thunderdome (major thanks to Jolts for guinea pigging this with me!), and I hope that having this guide/writeup in a permanent place will open up options for content creators and improvement discussions alike -- not just for streaming parts of online tournaments that would otherwise go unseen, but also for soliciting sets for match analysis, commentary practice, and anything that has needs beyond what posting a 30-second clip to Twitter can express.  Happy sharing!


P.S. Edited to add: if you'd like a pictorial explanation, turns out that Coro made one for PokkenSG and they've already been using essentially the exact same process for a while now.  See the attached image!


Edited by Edel Blau
Tutorial image from Coro for PokkenSG

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