So I want to give this a full response as I think it’s entirely fascinating and we deliberated over the subject a lot.
One of the areas the sim results tends to fail us is when considering an actual match (3v3) instead of just a single matchup (1v1). Things with bleed tend to lose or tie, at the expense of doing a large amount of damage to the opposing creature and – frankly – sacrificing itself.
Look at a situation like this. You enter a battle with Erlikospys vs Trykosaurus (a matchup that Erlik loses 1v1 like 90% of the time). You Lethal Wound T1, and are either distracted or take a big bite. Then you swap in a Monostegotops for a stun, another tick of damage, and likely remove Trykosaurus’ option to rampage. The sim – it can’t simulate this on 1v1 matchups alone. All it can do is simulate two dinosaurs in a locked in battle until there’s a winner.
Let’s look at the opposite situation.
Say we have a dinosaur that wins EVERY SINGLE 1v1 matchup in the game. All of them. But it’s slow, and always ends up with not a lot of health left – having burned all its big moves, and can barely scratch the next dino in (if at all). This dino would do INCREDIBLE in the sims, but that doesn’t make it tyrant either. Because we’re not playing a 1v1 game. We’re playing 3v3. And something like this is going to be prone to setup by stuff like Tryostronix, or Dilorachierus, or Thor. So if you lead this dino, people will sacrifice one dino in order to bring in a perfect setup dino that can crush the next 2 and win. And if you close with this dino, people will still swap to a 4th dino just before death after the best moves are used up and win the match.
The point is, being excellent in 1v1 is an indication that a dino is excellent for sure. But how we have always done our tier lists is like this –
We all (usually 20 people from GamePress and from other competitive alliances) blind vote on 200 dinos to see where we all think they belong about a week or two after playing tons of arena matches (and lots of friendlies). Then we look at every creature we disagreed on (anything that didn’t get an 80% vote in favor of a tier) and we argue about them for another week. Then we allow each person to veto anything that they believe is wrong – let them present their case and deliberate again. And after all that – then we bring in the sim results and look for instances where the 1v1 matches seem to disagree.
I then build a comparison with the new tiers – considering every dino versus every other dino from sim results, and see how close we are to a threshold. In an ideal world, if we hit a dino right, it SHOULD beat around 50% of the tier it’s in, and rise from there below it. If it beats less than half of the tier it’s in, we need a decent explanation as to why (like Erlikospyx being one of the best supplimental dinos in the game because it forces actions with lethal wound, can’t be slowed, and can ensure a trade occurs with something like Thor/Tryko – or force a swap).
It would be far easier to build the tier list off the sims entirely. I’d have the tiers ready a day or two after the new patch. But 1v1 sims are only a part of the full equation.
I hope this helps!