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Policy Review An Adjustment in Direction Part 2

Discussion in 'CAP Policy Review' started by HeaLnDeaL, May 30, 2017.

  1. Deck Knight

    Deck Knight RIP DryPass Vaporeon
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    The community is fostered either way, as noticeably every cap after Arghonaut and before Kerfluffle was made for OU.

    Some might then be concerned if we build for OU then the Pokemon we create might suffer in CAP. To which I wryly reply "if only we had a mechanism to acclimate OU projects to the CAP Metagame." Which of course now we do :).

    I also don't view the PRC as a bureacracy as much as a sounding board. We don't ask PRC members to implement thread conclusions and indeed in most policy threads we don't make decisions democratically but rather by intelligent consensus.

    There is no reason we could not conclude this particular thread by making future decisions subject to a 48 hour discussion and possibly a vote, which would be novel but also efficient.

    It should also be noted we have a policy cooldown period between each CAP anyway, it is not as if this thread or any others like it would be an unnecesary and unforseen impediment.

    Lastly, as far as consistency I prefer CAP be consistently flexible, because that flexibility has always served us well and allowed us to course correct, often in drastic ways (See the TL PRs.) I can't agree with rigidly setting us on a path of "forever OU" or "forever CAP." The Kerfluffle project proved there are benefits to either. It's senseless to suddenly now want rigidity to establish a "consistency" that has never previously existed.
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  2. SHSP

    SHSP

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    I don't think the argument of "we have updates now, if we mess up a mon we can fix it later" is a good line of thought in the slightest. Updates are A: limited in scope- no stats changes, limited competitive detail, etc and B: planned to be done once a generation or twice, after tutor moves are implemented. Is CAP as a project willing to create something either underwhelming or broken because we can tune it down later, regardless of how far "later" will be? The way I see it is like revisions on an essay or project- if you know revisions are possible, there's still no reason to put something together that's your not best work and bank on revisions saving you- if you don't need to do revisions you shouldn't, and we certainly seem to idealize that with how CAP as a project is focused on conservative changes in updates.

    The idea we're so totally beholden to OU as a whole is flawed in my view as well. We're based off of OU, sure. We're at the will of OU tiering decisions, regardless of how effective/needed they are in our meta- see BP and Gross bans this gen alone, and going back far enough you'd be sure to see how unnessisary CAP bans of mons that were OU banworthy effected our metagame. What we have that OU doesn't is 22 additional pokemon created specifically for competitive purposes. Especially with updates coming, 22 new viable pokemon to handle is going to warp the metagame of OU or any tier for that matter. OU and CAP aren't fundamentally different like how OU and something like M&M is, but the metagame is different. It seems foolish to assume we have to build for OU when because of our past projects CAP has it's own meta, that is stable and different than OUs. We're accomodating as a community- we're often eager even- to guide new cappers, explain process and metagame. If we build for OU, it hides a whole element of who we are as CAP. We're not so far away from OU that players will be turned off from the project as a whole, but we're different enough to stand alone(ish) with our process and metagame. That's why I support building for CAP so much- you don't need to play OU to play CAP. It helps- I myself play several other tiers on and off although my main is CAP- but it isn't a necessity.
  3. Broken Phobias

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    I agree with SHSP this just seems incredibly reckless childish and downright irresponsible of us say this. I understand you saying we need to be conservative with our updates but wouldn't it be better if our Pokemon didn't need a buff or nerf at all?

    As i stated in my last post it makes the most sense to build for CAP and not OU because of these extra 22 Pokemon we have in our tier. We are completely different from OU and that is not an opinion that is a fact. When we take a look at Syclant, it was created for OU in order to get rid of some of the pressure Garchomp put on most teams back in DPP. This makes a lot of sense because it was our first CAP and we had nothing to base it off of so we chose OU the most popular and one of the only tiers back then. What I think you are failing to understand is that 22 Pokemon later we are now about to begin on our 23rd. We are now our own meta-game not just some OU meta-game but our own. I really thought I was going to win people over with that "FUN" argument but now it seems I have to resort to making people use their common sense. Just because wisdom takes a long time to get here doesn't mean we should reject it when it comes.
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2017
  4. jas61292

    jas61292 used substitute
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    There are a lot of arguments in favor of both metagames, and I am not about to start rehashing them all. With that said, I personally am going to throw my support behind building for the CAP metagame, because I really feel like the main arguments in its favor have been demonstrated to be true by the last CAP Project, while many of the arguments in favor of OU, while great in theory, are tired old arguments that have been repeated now for years, and never pan out in reality quite like the theory suggests. Yes, OU is, in theory, the more accessible metagame. Yes, it is more settled and yes, there are far more people who play it. So, yes, in theory, we should get more participation, and better participation, if we build for OU. But this theory is simply not the reality that I have experience with. Time and time again when we were building for OU, we kept coming back to how we are not attracting people who are quality OU players and who know what they are talking about. And I really don't think anything has changed in that regard. When we build for the CAP metagame, while we might not have as large a player base to draw on, what we do have is a player base that actually deeply cares about the project, and is more likely to be active in discussion. And that is what I personally find more valuable.

    If this were years ago, when only a small number of metagames existed and OU dwarfed them all, I would hesitate to ever consider making a CAP for anything other than OU, if only because that was really the only meta that would be accepted by the competitive community as a whole. But that is an era that is long past. We have dozens of metagames on smogon, many of which are far more out there than CAP, and all of them are accepted nowadays. So, with that being the case, I think we should take advantage of the fact that things have changed and build for the metagame that our existing base is most interested in.
  5. Ignus

    Ignus Copying deli meat to hard drive
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    To follow this up (even though I mentioned in my other post that I believe OU is a better place to start for 23 and it might sound like I'm contradicting myself), it's worth mentioning that while Smogon usually hits 6 million pageviews monthly, PS actually hits closer to 10 million - meaning that more people interact with CAP through Pokemon Showdown than through Smogon. By extension, many new participants end up exposed to the CAP metagame chatroom before they're even exposed to the CAP process.

    As I said before, if the consensus is that the CAP metagame's 'settledness' isn't actually that important to the process, I think building for CAP is fine. Our new participants these days generally come from PS, not Smogon's OU playerbase.
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2017
  6. Frat Dude

    Frat Dude I COULD BE BANNED!

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    Build it for the cap metagame.. if Smogon was a family and OU was the prodigal son, we would be the weird foster child. To put it simply unless you like cap you don't care at all about it and why would tbh. Creating pokemon isn't for everyone and I've had numerous friends over the years tell me that were "tainting" the OU metagame with our fake mons.

    That being said, if we are going to do this for the cap metagame we should shouldn't flip flop back and forth in the following cap projects to come. The decision while it might not be totally agreed upon, should be final to prevent any regression. Furthermore, I also think we should take a look at some of the larger problems. Like how you can build for a "cap" metagame when we don't actually have a established metagame? We are still tethered to OU in to many major ways like, banlist etc.
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2017
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  7. ZergoTheFinal

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    I believe we should lean towards more on building for the CAP metagame, than the OU Metagame. My reasons would be that the next CAPs in the future would be more flexible if they are built in the CAP Meta rather than the OU Meta which changes way to frequently for, let's say older CAPs in which they are forced to have changes made to just have any usage. However building in a CAP Meta it would be less taxing on the older and new CAPs as they won't have to change too frequently if the meta they are in is more stable. We should also have our own list of Pokemon like OU, but for a CAP Meta instead of an OU oriented meta.
    Thank you for giving me a chance to help and I hope we do some greatly needed changes.
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  8. DetroitLolcat

    DetroitLolcat Maize and Blue Badge Set 2014-2017
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    I believe it is imperative for CAP to develop for the OU metagame in the short and long terms.


    Building for the CAP metagame isolates the CAP project from the rest of Smogon. Right now, to effectively participate in the CAP project, you have to be one of a handful of people with substantial knowledge of the CAP metagame. To enter the CAP project from the outside, you first have to learn the CAP metagame and familiarize yourself with twenty-two new Pokemon and how they interact with one another in the metagame. Most people come to Smogon for OU; building for OU allows anyone who's played OU for to come on over and help build a Pokemon for the most accessible metagame on the site. OU has a player base orders of magnitude larger than CAP does. OU has a metagame that is being pushed and developed much more thoroughly than CAP does. CAP It is inarguable that building for the CAP metagame constitutes the biggest barrier to entry in the history of the CAP project.

    Furthermore, CAP's mission, for a long time, has been to learn about competitive Pokemon by building our own. We accomplish this much more by developing for a metagame on the forefront of competitive Pokemon rather than a metagame with a small playerbase that has but a handful of competitive players. Developing for the CAP metagame is a refusal to challenge ourselves to explore competitive Pokemon as deeply as we should. Our project can be much more rewarding if we put ourselves at the cutting edge of the game of Pokemon rather then embrace insularity and just build our own thing. There's more risk - conflict with more competitive players, the need to keep up with OU - but the rewards of building for OU are far greater than those of building for CAP. I'd rather build for OU and fail then build for CAP and succeed.

    And just as importantly, I want to point out the circumstances that led to CAP's recent shift away from OU.

    Prior to CAP 22, there was a policy review thread that concluded that many of CAP's problems were a result of the friction between the competitive players and the CAP metagame players. The result was essentially to blame the competitive players (barely even OU players, but they definitely preferred OU to the CAP metagame) for bringing toxic OU culture to the CAP project. The implemented solution was to shift the CAP project to build for the CAP metagame; this decision essentially scapegoated OU players for CAP's problems and was a clear message that "OU culture" is not welcome in the CAP project. There were numerous users smearing the OU community for bringing "elitism" and "toxicity" into our forum, when in reality it was just a couple of users with sticks up their asses. I firmly believe that the decision to switch to CAP was little more than a witch hunt against some of the more knowledgeable, but arguably less agreeable, members of our community.

    In short, the "Adjustment in Direction" thread was a revolt by non-competitive players to force out the "competitive elite". That thread was the venue in which the people of CAP "took their project back" from "competitive culture". The result was to build a giant barrier from entry to keep out the OU players. It's no surprise their slogan was Make CAP Great Again. Personally, I think CAP and OU are stronger together ;)

    EDIT/Clarification: By "competitive players", I mean people that played tournament metagames at a high level such as OU, DOU, etc. I am by no means saying that the CAP metagame is not "competitive".
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2017
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  9. HeaLnDeaL

    HeaLnDeaL Reluctantly Having Fun
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    I believe DLC's characterization of the end of the last thread is very inaccurate.

    Any discussion regarding the toxicity of certain players was short lived and I don't believe it had any impact on the conclusion. As far as I was aware, the issue was never the attitudes of certain "OU" players and I have defended some of the behavior of these "OU" players to the CAP moderation team during other disputes (hell, I've been more kind to these users than even DLC has been in certain discussions). Did we have "toxic" OU players participating in CAP? Maybe, I don't know. There were barely any "OU" players in CAP throughout Gen6, so any "misbehavior" from a few of them would admittedly cause more negative attention to the group as a whole than it deserved. So uhh yeah I guess I agree with DLC that building for CAP just because a few OU players dissed our forums would be a silly thing to do. However, I strongly disagree that this is what happened in the least.

    Bringing up an unfair toxicity argument does zero to help the "build for OU argument" imo. The only thing that would ever convince me (personally speaking) to flip sides and to build for OU again would be if there was a sizable userbase that had interest in wading through 3 months of discussion to then actively playtest with a mon for 2 weeks. And the "OU" players have argued time and time again that OU would be the only way to increase our influence, that anything else is isolationism. And time and time again throughout Gen6, building for OU did not result in the level of engagement that was expected. Some "OU" players claimed this was because of a bad ladder based playtest system. Well, we changed that and every CAP playtest in gen6 was more tournament-based than the previous. And if anything for some weird reason this just made the playtests more accessible to the CAP metagame players and let them branch into the CAP forums.

    I find it incredibly unfair to say "build for OU" when the people just aren't there. There's a few very vocal people wanting to build for OU, and many of these people in the past have demonstrated that they themselves don't have the commitment to see all the way through an OU CAP or an OU CAP Playtest.

    Building for the CAP metagame has proven not to be isolating ourselves from the rest of the site. Building for OU, over the course of Gen6, has proven to isolate the forum CAPpers from the metagame CAPpers and to drastically decrease longterm interest in the project. As a project that only happens twice or so a year, it is incredibly counterproductive to split our resources in two. If we build for OU, then during the creation process and the OU playtest, the CAP metagame will suffer. Birkal has requested multiple times for the CAP metagame ladder to go down when the OU playtest is ongoing to actively force the metagamers to play the OU playtest. And as we can see with Kerfluffle, the fact is that the playtest interest for actually playing in the CAP metagame is far greater (and I argue this is because such an environment has the full interest of BOTH the casual metagame players and those that actively helped create the mon on the forums). I saw a ton of hype and involvement in Kerfluffle at every level that I did not see at all during any of the other gen6 CAPs. Hype and inter-community involvement is more important, imo, then trying to sell our "product" of CAP to an audience that doesn't buy it.

    I believe we saw a huge amount of growth this last CAP. I believe DLC's assertion that we learn more by building for OU since it has a larger competitive playerbase is completely and totally moot when we look at the playtest numbers and see that the large OU playerbase is not interested in playing with our one-off, two week mon (and barely anyone is brought into CAP from OU, whether it be the playtest or the forums). And I believe that DLC's point to bring back "user toxicity" is also irrelevant because I don't see how that subject had much of an impact in the past conclusion. Last time, we didn't decide to build for the CAP metagame because we were fed up with one or two "OU" players who were dissing on other users. We decided to shift because we took a look at what CAP's targeted audience was and what our actual audience was and realized they were two different things. We looked at how OU's schedule did not mesh well with CAP's schedule and that the constant changes and bans disrupted the flow of the project and prevented us from exploring everything we set out to.
  10. LucarioOfLegends

    LucarioOfLegends Has both direction and magnitude
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    This is honestly a very tough question to answer, because there really isn't a win/win scenario that can come from either outcome. There will always be consequences to the actions that are made. Either way, we are excluding a different base of players whichever decision we go, and will get some sort of bad image either way. If we choose to go with the CAP Metagame, we will exclude the entirety of the OU Metagame and lose the possibility of gaining large competitive OU players to our humble project. And once again, we are involuntarily promoting the image that we are exclusive and fanboyish with our "fakemons". On the flipside, building for the OU Metagame excludes our own metagame players who may not know OU as well as CAP. This would likely be slightly angering to them, as the choice would be seen as strictly political and not in the best interests of the community as a whole.

    However, my view is that we should build CAP 23 for the CAP Metagame. I think it is not that great of a decision to build CAP 23 for OU because this interest from OU players will only last so long. The mon won't have an impact in the metagame that they usually play in, since it will never be implemented in the actual OU metagame. And since these players were not exposed to the CAP Metagame, they have no interest in sticking around to experiment with the mon that they made as a community. As such, they will just go back to OU once the playtest is over, and won't actually contribute to CAP in the future. If we build for the CAP Metagame, we will not only be able to draw in new players but will also get them to stay for the Metagame itself. Building for the CAP metagame will draw in players who are interested in CAP but don't know the metagame, and will also interest them in learning the metagame so they can contribute to the discussions with higher quality posts. Yes, it certainly does create a learning curve of sorts to properly participate in the discussions with high quality posts. But we are also attracting a group of people who are far more likely to permanently stick around in CAP instead of just a mass of OU players who will revert back to OU once the project is over. Quality over quantity is incredibly important for CAP Projects and CAPs growth alike, so building for CAP in my opinion is the right decision.

    As for CAP's long term stance, I think that we should remain flexible on this subject. While getting a rigid unchanging stance is good in some cases, remaining rigidly on one side or the other will only ever have a negative impact for the future of CAP. If we have decided that we are going to build for OU 'till the end of bloody time, and we don't gain a lot of new people over the course of three projects with this stance, then it is a bad idea to stick with this OU-only mindset as it will only cause further turmoil. Same applies to CAP. Adaption is incredibly important for the future of CAP, and keeping our minds open will continue to ensure the success of the project.
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  11. Bughouse

    Bughouse Like ships in the night, you're passing me by
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    I hadn't posted yet because honestly I don't care a ton. I agree with DLC about how the last thread went, but don't ultimately think it matters a ton if it was an emotional decision in the past. It's a sunk cost. CAP could be done in any metagame really. And I get the desire to keep our 20-odd creations relevant in a greater sense to the project, not just as relics.
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  12. Deck Knight

    Deck Knight RIP DryPass Vaporeon
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    I want to bring up something that occurred to me just yesterday. It's about timing and something that's been unique in SuMo.

    Serial release of Mega Stones has made it so that SuMo has never really matured the same way as prior generation OU metagames. The only ones that are not currently available are Aggronite, Altarianite, Ampharosite, Diancite, Latiasite and Latiosite. I think only Altarianite and Diancite would have actua metagame impact upon release (Maybe Aggronite too, just because Fairies are so prominent and crushed by Heavy Slam).

    Timing-Wise this really means that between Smogon's suspect process and what basically amounts to 3-5 new "Legendary-Level" Pokemon being released a month (via Mega Stones), SuMo has been very unstable and CAP hasn't really had a chance to comment on in.

    One major benefit to building for OU is that CAP takes the opportunity to comment on SM's mature metagame (or as mature as it's going to get before USUM). I think it behooves us to build for OU for this reason, because timing-wise this is the only chance for CAP to "put its mark" on this generation's OU. Just like we did with Tomohawk in BW, just as we did with Malaconda in BW2, and Naviathan for ORAS. Assuming we start the project immediately after updates, we finish by mid-September, a month and a half before USUM. We can either build for CAP which will be much more stable in the interim period (we'll already have more new, major threats than USUM tutors will add, most likely). We had great discussions on those metagames because we challenged ourselves to learn and adapt to them, and it made our participant base stronger.

    I'm adamantly opposed to any "forever OU" or "forever CAP" proposal. They're far too inflexible for the kind of project CAP is. Rather, I think it wisest for both project integrity and identity that we build CAP 23 for the Mature SM OU Metagame and CAP 24 for CAP, since CAP will be much, much more insulated from USUM additions than USUM OU will be. Our project really should not be silent on the largest individual metagame of a generation. I understand this puts PRC members that are primarily CAP battlers out of their comfort zone, but I would point out we've had updates ongoing and interest has dwindled to lower and lower levels as time progressed. I do not want to focus so exclusively on CAP that we burn out our own playerbase and have no secondary interest valve to fall back on.

    I suggest this not because I believe this time will be different and OU players will start flooding in the forum, I say this because I already see the burnout we've had on focusing 100% of the existing CAP creations, and I do not want the project to weaken to "The Only Other Meta with Permanent Front Page Presence." CAP is not "The Original Other Meta" or "The Most Permanent Other Meta" and I implore the PRC to take this into mind, and build for the mature SM OU metagame for CAP 23.

    As a matter of overall project integrity, I would like the PRC members to also address the concerns with insularity and attrition that come from repeated and exclusive focus on the CAP Metagame. You see the number of votes in polls for updates as well as I do, if CAP becomes rote and set in keeping to its own instead of novel and innovative, not only will we have sealed off our participant's ability to engage with broader competitive players, we will shrivel up and burn out our own core base of support. That can't be allowed to happen for us to be a successful project.
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2017
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  13. HeaLnDeaL

    HeaLnDeaL Reluctantly Having Fun
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    I don't really get the above argument. Deck openly states that GameFreak's periodic releasing of mega stones has made OU more unstable and yet he wants to build for it? Also, Deck said Naviathan was the first CAPmon to put its mark on Gen6, when if anything all of Volkraken, Plasmanta, and Naviathan's playtests sunk our generational momentum (Navi arguably less so than the former too but not by much).

    I think it's backhanded and misleading to say that CAP update poll numbers have shrunk and that therefore the people in the CAP metagame are not enough to sustain a main CAP project, as Deck seems to be suggesting. The reason why CAP update participants have shrunk is because CAP updates have been a long, boring, painful process that has drastically warped the goals that we set in the update PRC into a free for all personal viability updates. Updates talk in some form or another has dragged on for over 6 months, oftentimes over 5 updates were being worked on simultaneously, and many metagamers have become dissatisfied with the performance. Whenever I talk to someone about updates, it's filled with more complaints than anything else and I really can't blame the complaints for surfacing when I think as a whole this has been a flawed process. I mean, I am hopeful that when it's all said and done people will actually play with the mons and have fun again (with only minor grumbling about how the world was turned upside down). But if you're going to claim that low thread response or poll votes in some of the CAP updates is because our base is shrinking, then your narrow focus is clearly ignoring the logistics problems of the way in which updates are set up. I'm burned out from updates and I've been burned out for quite a dang long time.

    Working on 5 or 6 or whatever CAPs at the same time is exhausting and for the smaller updates that are almost pure flavor, hell yes it's expected that the number of interested participants is less than a main CAP stage. In main CAP, we make everything from scratch; there's more work to be done, there's more discussion to be made, and there's arguably higher stakes at play that create higher interest. Comparatively, the stakes of whether or not Tomohawk learns Flying Press or Kitsunoh learns Play Rough iare way less that the stakes of what the entire movepool for idk Cawmodore is or what the movesets for Kerfluffle would be.

    Deck Knight is making broad brushstrokes trying to compare apples to oranges and is missing out on the true reasons why update numbers have been smaller. Smaller update participation in no way means that CAP is isolating itself because update participation is a very different beast with different goals and different hype levels and different results (and I personally think updates were poorly organized).

    Building for OU was not a relevant accessibility factor when those most of those interested in OU stopped caring about CAP. You can't claim that building for OU gives us more numbers when in the gen6 CAP's it was proven that this was not the case. Interest in CAP comes from a variety of sources and a variety of tiers, not just OU and not just the CAP metagame. We have a bit of everyone ranging from OUers to NUers to LCers to OMers, and while the numbers from each camp might be small, together we can come together, understand the similarities in our metagames and with the basics of competitive play in the forefront we can build some really cool mons.

    I think metagame stability is one of the biggest factors to determining which metagame to play. Easily the most stable metagames that I've witnessed throughout ORAS and SUMO have been CAP and LC, not OU. Building for CAP also creates a sense of continuity and allows us to more fully explore our creations rather than dumping the mon into a metagame playtest for 2 weeks and hoping it makes enough splashes. I don't want to keep repeating past arguments, so I'm just going to end it here.
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  14. Deck Knight

    Deck Knight RIP DryPass Vaporeon
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    It's not just the shrinking poll numbers, the complaints that the CAP Ladder is dead were issues from well before updates. We can't just hand wave away the fact that CAP burns itself out over time unless it focuses on something new at regular intervals, and in this case we have new CAP in updates meta which we'll be playing on PS! and an OU project that would give us something else that's new to focus on.

    Insularity and burnout are legitimate problems that building for CAP exacerbates rather than alleviates. The journey for our CAPs no longer ends at the playtest now that we have successfully established an updates process. If we take the sole project we've made for a modern CAP era, Kerfluffle, we are not and have not learned anything new about it in the time it has been available because it's concept was centered around a move, a move which it obviously still uses to great effect, but this notion that if our concepts are OU based then suddenly we stop learning things when the mon is introduced into CAP is silly. Volkraken is one of our top meta threats and it was built for OU. To the extent we're still learning anything about Volkraken, the metagame it was built for has had zero bearing on the fact we still learn from it in CAP meta.

    Obviously every new process we come up with is flawed and needs tweaks, but you've avoided the central issue I brought up which is why we should allow SM OU to be uncommented on by the project, which I think sets a bad precedent. The key focus of the project is making a concept we think fits in a metagame we want to alter. SM OU is a highly competitive metagame and we should seek to brainstorm concepts to find something new to impact that metagame. This is far more important than the supposed "community building" benefits we get by making a brand new CAP for a metagame where we just revamped many of our former CAPs to be all new, revlevant, powerful threats. Objectively speaking we cannot make an effective concept for this metagame because it has not had any chance to settle whatsoever. It would actually be much more comprehensive for our efforts on analysis writing and community building for us NOT to add a Pokemon that will possibly or even perhaps by explicit deliberation effect the threats, checks, and counters of our newly updated CAPs. A two and a half month hiatus working on an OU project allows CAP to stablize and serves maximum utility for the project as a whole.

    Building for SM OU not only allows us to make a mark on that metagame before it expires, it also maximizes stability in the CAP Post-Updates metagame and allows us to accomplish more of our tasks as a forum. Building for SM OU in this instance is not only more in line with project principles and project precedent, but is also the most functional thing we can do while we sort out our initial CAP Post-Updates Metagame.
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2017
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  15. snake_rattler

    snake_rattler CAP23 Topic Leader, Pun-isher of Evil
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    I do agree with DK's point on how the metagame will be unstable after updates. In addition, the CAP Metagame should be and will be extremely busy with updating our resources (VR, Gen 7 Analyses), etc. Building for OU would give the CAP metagame time to stabilize, and would make CAP24 a much easier process since we won't be distracting with generating important resources for our metagame. I support building CAP23 for OU, but CAP24 for the CAP Metagame.
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  16. HeaLnDeaL

    HeaLnDeaL Reluctantly Having Fun
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    The metagame being "unstable" after updates is a both inflated in actual impact and alleviated by waiting a little bit. The problem with building for OU in terms of stability is much more severe; after the CAP metagame settles from updates it will be more stable than OU could ever hope to me (and it shouldn't take more than a month for the CAP metagame to settle enough to the point where a CAP can be built for it). We still have a few notable unreleased mega stones and Marshadow is coming next month. I don't buy any arguments that OU will be more stable than the CAP metagame. An OU ban will impact OU far more than it will impact CAP and it's not like we can just go to the OU council and ask them not to suspect something just because a CAP is being made for a two week OU playtest.

    For what it's worth I certainly don't buy any part of the supposed claim that we can easily start a PRC before each cap and decide which CAP will be made for in these ever renewed PRC threads. These discussions are exhausting and rather than try to reopen a can of worms all over again, there's a huge chance of people just not wanting to deal with it. Whatever CAP 23 is made for will very likely be what we build for during the entire generation, regardless of whatever anyone tries to claim otherwise in this thread. It's quite frankly a trap to think CAP 23 can be for OU and that the rest will be for CAP. I think the majority of us even hate the existence of this very thread and I don't trust our future selves to have the patience to deal with it time and time again. Furthermore, the month+ that it takes to solve these PRCs is a huge limiting factor that diverts our time from actually building a CAP, and part 1 of this is a prime example. Waiting a month for updates to settle and building for the CAP metagame throughout gen7 would save much more time in the long run than building for OU now and having month long (and longer) arguments every time we want to build something new.

    Also, I think Quanyails made one of the best posts in this thread and the pro OU side seems to be ignoring the points she made. I'm posting it again below.
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2017
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  17. Deck Knight

    Deck Knight RIP DryPass Vaporeon
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    There's a PR period inbetween every single CAP, which is part of the process itself and why we have a PRC to begin with. Not only can such threads easily be made, they can become rote. It isn't a "supposed claim" that a PRC thread can be made, it is an basic reality that there's a period inherently established for it. If a single PRC member or moderator feels the need to revisit which metagame we're building a CAP for, all that policy thread needs is approval. Since we ought to be a dynamic project, I can personally assure the PRC that any such thread is going to be approved for discussion, even if we decide to build for the same metagame two, three, or even five times in a row.

    The present mindset is to treat discussing which meta to build for like it's a taboo. Instead, we should take an active interest in the core game of Pokemon and Smogon's ruleset and when it suits our purposes to make an entry that declares we can make that metagame better by addition.

    Now, the idea we're going to be deciding what metagame to build for over the entire rest of time has already been discussed in this thread, and no such decision is going to be made here. This thread is building off the last one to assess how things went with a CAP created for the CAP metagame. Obviously the project was success and has its positives. CAP does not ever make decisions, especially important ones, now and then forever more. If we did we wouldn't be as democratic as we are or have a PRC like we do.

    Moreover, since CAP changes with every single iteration, the metagame we built Kerfluffle for is now irrelevant and outdated. To use the pessimistic description above, we just have CAPs built for a point in time in the CAP meta and then retire to whatever metagame state they end up in after each new release. There is no way to avoid the fact that out process is one of snapshots in time. Whether its a snapshot in time of OU, of CAP, or some other meta has no bearing on the fact the CAP retires to irrelevance in the countours of metagames that come into existence after release.

    Furthermore, the purpose of the PRC is to be a constant resource in making such future decisions, and if members are to be exhausted by making a time investment in ensuring CAP adheres to its principles as a project and remains flexible, that is just a burden that comes with the territory.

    Personally I believe the merits of building for OU at this vantage point align themselves more with overall project goals and our mission statement. I think it would be a tragedy if CAP did not tackle SM OU and came up with a new idea to influence or alter that metagame as a testament to being able to balance it or open up new strategies by addition rather than suspect tests, ban lists, and the usual rigmarole.

    So really the subject at hand can be boiled down to a single concrete question:

    Do we take the opportunity for CAP to comment and place it's mark on the SM OU meta before it expires or do we not take that opportunity?

    As I said earlier in the thread, building for CAP will always be the easiest and safest decision. The PRC itself has a sort of built-in institutional bias towards building for CAP because to qualify for PRC you need to have demonstrated interest in the project, and that includes metagame battlers as well as forum participants. All of those voices are important for addressing many of the policy issues that might come up in CAP.

    It's our goal here to build excitement for the next project, and I think making a mark on the SM OU Metagame is the single most exciting thing we can do as we also test out the threats and choices available in the CAP Updates Meta.

    Let me address the concerns brought up for negatives to that proposal:
    Each of our projects is always going to be limited by being a snapshot in time.
    Each of our projects inevitably "retires" from its target metagame into the current meta's full CAP, with the decisions made in that project possibly not corresponding to whatever new threats come up, including subsequent CAPs built around entirely different concepts and needs. It should not weaken our resolve that a Pokemon made for SM OU will not be tailored for CAP any more than it should bother us that any CAP we made can be supplanted in relevance even possibly by the next project or by a new game release.
    We don't dwell on what our past CAP's weren't built for, we enjoy the journey of building them for the conditions that existed when they were made.

    On Other Mod Metas:
    Other Mod Metagames address tweaks to OU by fundamentally changing the banlist, rules, game mechanics, and often the canon data of Pokemon. CAP tweaks OU by creating entirely new cohesive Pokemon from scratch. Not only do we do that better than any Other Meta, it is our exclusive monopoly. We should sell that more. I believe there are a host of people out there who would like to take a shot at shaping OU through addition, and Quanyails post is a little too dismissive of that.

    CAP is unique, we shouldn't discard that uniqueness on the basis that making this an active and dynamic project that routinely considers where to apply out process is harder than just ossifying ourselves in our own metagame and waiting a month for us to be able to add more new to our brand new metagame. We can start a relevant, dynamic OU CAP next Monday, by your own admission we'd have to wait until some time in July to do a CAP Metagame Project, and I for one think we should do something more exciting, sooner! :)
  18. Birkal

    Birkal caw
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    Holy crap this thread exists. Awesome; thanks for getting this running, HeaL.

    I've pulled out two lines from Deck's previous post. To respond to the first, I agree that it should not be taboo to discuss which metagame we should build for. That is why I am very happy that this exists! If I had it my way, we'd discuss it at the start of every CAP, just to get on the same page. In fact, I once championed the idea that TLs could run on the platform of whichever metagame they wanted to build for. I'd still be behind that mindset, although it would significantly decrease the viable candidates for being Topic Leader.

    The way you've framed this question is deceptive. Your bias is heavily present in it, as you make it sound like if we build for the CAP metagame, we are missing a big opportunity. The question could be phrased in a way that equally biases the other side:

    Do we take the opportunity for CAP to comment and place its mark on the brand new CAP metagame that we've worked on for months, or do we not take that opportunity?

    Do note that I've used the contraction "we've" loosely there; I personally have done almost zero work on the revisions. But I feel that all of the hard work that has gone into them is extremely admirable. For years, I was told no one would have interest in reviving our CAPs, our brand, and yet here we are, fleshing out the final details with enthusiasm. To me, suddenly building for the OU metagame detracts significantly from all that hard work that just happened. Why are we even updating the CAPs as an official part of our process if we're not even building for it? To me, it seems like a huge slap to the face to those users. If I were more involved in the revision process, I'd be pretty darn offended and what you're proposing here.

    I think it is almost humorous that you bring up this point, because to me, it is one of the greatest strengths of building for the CAP metagame. By building for the CAP metagame, our creations are no longer a snapshot. Think about it. We create a Pokemon for our metagame. We launch the Pokemon into that metagame that we specifically control to not change during the development process (sidebar: this is a huge point that is worth addressing -- no one likes building for a metagame where Garchomp, Deoxys-D, or Genesect or whatever is suddenly banned, and yet we have to build with that broken threat in mind). And once the playtest is over, that metagame continues to thrive and exist. It leads to exciting conversations about broken threats, about our banlist, about new threats, about an entire ecosystem of a metagame. To me, that was a huge reason in switching over to the CAP metagame. By building for OU, we essentially cut off all access to those conversations. Building for CAP is an inherently more deep process, which is why I think we should build CAP23 for the CAP metagame.

    I've addressed the issue of accessibility that reachzero brought up at length before. In a nutshell, veteran players (often the ones we want contributing) can find it easier and more fun to learn a new metagame that is constantly playable than a slightly different metagame from OU that exists for only two weeks. And for newer players, it has never been easier to get involved in a new metagame, especially with the popularity of OMs and the kindness of our growing community at CAP. I can elaborate on this if needed, and I think reach's points are valid, but so are the points of the opposition.

    While I am a sucker for launching into a new CAP as quickly as possible, we are already ingrained in a new process that is engaging (that being, updates). We all know that as soon as we start CAP23, the revisions will take backseat and lose steam. Let's finish strong with our revisions and launch into the new era of CAP as soon as it is complete.
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  19. Deck Knight

    Deck Knight RIP DryPass Vaporeon
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    The problem with your rewrite to benefit Biasing CAP is that updates literally are the mark we've made on the CAP Meta. Revenankh, Voodoom, and Naviathan alone are going to play significantly differently that it's as if we introduced three new CAPs.

    Moreover, CAP Meta exists in a sort of time-resistant state so there really is no missed opportunity to not build for it. In fact the chief argument in favor of building for it has been that it won't be bothered as much by "snapshot syndrome."

    Stated simply:
    The timeframe of a full project means this (CAP 23) is our only remaining opportunity to weigh in on SM OU. If we do a CAP Meta project now, we will not be able to complete another before USUM's release in November.

    So while I appreciate your alternative question, it doesn't follow or speak to the urgency of the decision at hand. All our former projects and the updates are "our mark" on the CAP Metagame. The opportunity cost for choosing CAP is very steep in my view, I just want the discussion to reflect that before we go about making a determination. The opportunities between choosing OU and choosing CAP this time around are not symmetrical.

    Just to game this concept of opportunity cost out to the near future, the opportunity cost for metagame choice will be symmetrical if we hold off on CAP 24 until after USUMs release, but will be asymmetrical if we begin CAP 24 before that release (SM CAP to USUM CAP will be more stable than OU's shift from SM to USUM.)
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2017
  20. snake_rattler

    snake_rattler CAP23 Topic Leader, Pun-isher of Evil
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    Instability isn't just how balanced the metagame is. We're also looking at a ton of analyses to work on and other resources for our metagame subforum. I'm not saying it's impossible for us to work on CAP23 for the CAP Metagame while we complete these resources, but building for OU would be much less of a distraction. Also, if we're saying it's equally easy to learn the CAP Metagame as it is OU, we need to have these resources to actually see what the metagame is. How is someone new supposed to learn the metagame efficiently and enough to contribute to a CAP Project when we have outdated analyses? Don't get me wrong, I loved building for the CAP Metagame for Kerfluffle and would love building for it for CAP24, but we should build CAP23 for OU and work on fleshing out our resources in the meantime.

    I wouldn't mind either way which metagame we work on honestly, but I have my concerns for building for CAP at the present moment.
  21. reachzero

    reachzero the pastor of disaster
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    I think the biggest issues for me about building for the CAP metagame, the ones I have a hard time getting past, are the deadness of the metagame and the fact that it will mean conceding marginalization.
    I am not saying that I think the CAP metagame is bad or not fun; in fact, I think only Heaven Jay plays CAP more than I do. I am saying that the ladder is definitely dead and has little prospect for improvement, with little hope in sight. HeaL mentioned on Discord that for Kerfluffle the ladder spiked up to 11,000, which inspired me too check the usage stats. In May, we had 5, 940 battles. For comparison, Mix and Mega, an extremely far departure from OU, had 42,786 battles. Balanced Hackmons had 117,713. OU had well over a million. 11,000 is still barely a drop in the bucket, not even half of what Last Will had last month (23,009). Casually assumed throughout this thread had been the idea that we have an established user base for the metagame. I question this. Building for CAP makes the process dependent on the metagame, so I think it should worry us that very few people are playing our metagame. I wish this was not so. I wish I could jump on the CAP ladder and know I'm not waiting ten to fifteen minutes for a game. But it clearly is so, and we must respond to that.

    The other thing that worries me is that building for CAP makes us an OM, and that cheapens the process. The CAP Project is a strong forum presence, and being placed on the same level as Balanced Hackmons, a metagame which is fun but on the margins of the competitive community, is a clear backwards step. Our metagame is dead, but our process is very much alive, and I worry that by building our process to the CAP metagame we will actually kill interest in our process.
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  22. HeaLnDeaL

    HeaLnDeaL Reluctantly Having Fun
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    The main reason why the metagame is currently dead is because people have been sitting on their hands waiting for updates to be implemented. No one wants to put a ton of time and resources into it currently when we all know things will be fairly different as soon as updates are implemented. Kerfluffle's introduction and even the birth of gen7 showed massive spikes in interest in the CAP metagame and calling the CAP metagame forever dead simply because of momentary damage caused by updates is very different from my own interpretation.

    Very few people play our metagame? Well, very few people who built the gen6 CAPs actually played OU, so I don't see how that argument makes sense and if anything I'd say way more people who built Kerfluffle actually played the CAP metagame than the number of people who built Crucibelle (or any other gen6 CAP) actually played OU. Yes, more people play OU than CAP. No, these people who play OU do not actually come and participate in CAP in the numbers that the Build for OU Camp is implying.

    And I don't see how at all building for CAP "cheapens the process." CAP is somewhere between an OM and a standard competitive meta. It's an alternative meta. Comparing CAP to Balanced Hackmons is very confusing when obviously the most direct comparison to CAP is OU. We're a unique project with a unique product and I think building for the CAP metagame actually allows us to care for that product rather than mis-marketing ourselves as OU fanatics.
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  23. Deck Knight

    Deck Knight RIP DryPass Vaporeon
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    I want to briefly go back over and summarize where we've been.

    The last Adjustment thread was all over the place until its conclusion, and I can safely say building for CAP alleviated a lot of the cultural issues brought up in that thread. I do not think anyone will argue there were not serious benefits to branching out to our own and making a CAP for our meta.

    In this thread we covered an arc of discussion that was much more focused on whether Kerfluffle was a success for the project to now deciding what to build for next, as well as whether that decision should be permanent or on a per-CAP basis.

    There has been significant support for both Building for CAP and Building for OU in this thread. There will always be some healthy tension there and there should be, because we should be adaptable as a project to analyzing the game of Pokemon in whatever format is most helpful to enhancing the project. Most importantly, in neither this thread nor the previous thread did we establish any kind of "always build for X" mentality.

    So to repeat, this thread was to assess the impact of Kerfluffle as a project and is now about our build choice for the Next CAP. As is our policy, a Moderator will be concluding this thread just after the July 4th Holiday (US Independence Day).

    Before that conclusion, I would again like our PRC members to weigh in on the question of whether missing the opportunity to have a CAP Project build and implement a concept for the mature SM OU metagame is an acceptable opportunity cost. It would be the first time we have decided as a project to not comment / address the most popular / played competitive metagame in favor of focusing on our own.

    This is not an insignificant opportunity cost or insignificant change in CAP's philosophy or policy.


    I want to make sure we are breaking from what we've done as a project in previous generations for the best possible reasons, should we choose to do so.

  24. Drapionswing

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    There is nothing special about building for SM OU. If we don't leave our marks on it I don't think anyone will care about it.

    Build for CAP. A lot of the reasons why people want to build for OU is a lot of "in theory" reasoning, or at least that's how I see it. It's a more popular metagame, however it doesn't guarantee more support, in fact it doesn't affect our support at all. If it did, this thread wouldn't exist and we wouldn't be so concerned about our support. Whether or not it's more stable than CAP is a very debatable topic.

    Another big thing about these building for OU arguments I don't understand is you want us to build for the OU metagame because it'll be more stable and explored than cap after updates. But the CAP is still going to end up in our metagame, where +3 priority Drain Punch's and hazing birds exist so that will impact on the effectiveness of the CAP a lot. Whereas building it for our "unstable" metagame prepares it for such threats (if need be) therefore it would be more effective to build for CAP anyway.

    Lastly, newcomers don't care about what metagame we build for they're not going to learn a metagame to contribute, they're just gonna look on the teambuilder list and use common sense or shitpost. It's a weakness of the process. Reality.
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2017
  25. Ignus

    Ignus Copying deli meat to hard drive
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    I think it's relatively straightforward to decide whether or not we're 'losing' anything by building/not building for OU. I care about what we lose long term, but CAP is still CAP regardless of what metagame we build for.
    Instead, let's talk about what we'll lose short term. As far as I'm concerned, we just have to ask ourselves two questions:
    1. What kind of projects do we think will be the most interesting / most likely to be picked in the new generation?
    2. Do we alienate those projects by building for CAP/OU?
    ~~~~~
    To help answer those questions, I'm gonna define some real abstract shit about CAP projects real quick. Let's break down projects into a few categories based on what they explore in Pokemon. These aren't catch-all, but they're useful when describing what we 'learn' from a project.

    Mechanic Exploration Projects
    A mechanic exploration project, to me, would be any concept centered around a move, ability, or other physical part of the game. Good examples would be Necturna's Sketch concept, Cawmodore's 'underused move' concept, etc. These projects dig into a specific of the game and try to create a Pokemon that's centered around it.
    Mech. exploration also doesn't have much variation depending on what metagame it's built for. Cawmodore's Belly Drum project, for example, would probably be a fast, defensively typed CAP regardless of what metagame it was built for.

    Metagame Exploration Projects
    These projects are centered around a concept that explores the metagame (E.G. CAP, OU, Doubles, whatever). Good examples are any of the 'core' oriented concepts like Volkraken or Voodoom. They explore the game in a broader sense, on a pattern level.

    Projects designed to explore metagame will vary widely depending on the metagame being built for. Imagine if Volkraken wasn't built to work with Lucario + Lati@s (I'm not misremembering the core, right?), and instead was built to work with Colossoil + RANDOM_GENERIC_MON. There'd be a completely different output for the project.
    ~~~~~

    So which of these are we more likely to end up doing for Gen 7's first CAP?
    In my opinion, we're almost guaranteed to do a mechanic exploration project for this first one. We've got new toys to play with - Z Moves, new moves, new abilities - and we're probably going to mess with them.
    This is part of the reason I don't think it matters which metagame we build for this time around. Mechanic exploration projects hardly differ in output depending on the metagame they're built for, because they're tied to the base mechanics of the game. Flyium-Z is going to work the same way it does in OU that it does in CAP, even if it's used by a different pokemon.
    If we were likely to do a metagame exploration project straight out of the gate for gen 7, I'd care a lot more about which metagame we build for.

    Purely from a project standpoint, building for CAP and building for OU will be extremely similar.
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