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CAP 4 (Aurumoth) Post-mortem: Which competitive step did we screw up on the most?

Discussion in 'Create-A-Pokémon Project' started by Theorymon, Dec 29, 2012.

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  1. jc104

    jc104 Humblest person ever
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    I think this one went wrong right at the concept stage. The idea of "risk without luck" just makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. Not even the concept assessment, but rather the concept itself (incidentally, it is hard to tell how much difference the concept assessment even makes, bearing in mind that a lot of people voting might not have even read it). That one paragraph by itself is not workable. As much as I like BMB, I'm afraid that letting such an ill-defined concept slip through the net was a grave error. I can't believe I actually voted for it in the final stage - obviously I didn't read the concept carefully enough!

    This is also quite true, although I think some of the blame lies with the process, as for some reason only a very small number of options are made available for voting each round, when there is really little reason for that number to be limited much at all.

    Oh and of course no guard was a ridiculous decision, but I think we knew that already. The other two abilities were both good choices, but not together because illusion is so obviously superior. When deciding which abilities fitted the concept, people seemed overly concerned by the weakness of weak armor, when this easily could have been made up for at a later stage. People kept talking about a lack of "reward" that it offered, which was totally irrelevant - not to incur a negative effect could be considered a reward. And then they seemed to completely forget about its weakness when picking a second ability. All of the options in the second poll were WAY too strong - BMB effectively invalidated the first poll before the second poll began (not deliberately, I'm sure).

    The solution, IMO, is largely just to have more options in all of the polls. The added comlpexity would be more than made up for by removing needless additional polls (you only need one round of voting each time - the slightly exploitable part of IRV is in early eliminations, and having extra polls afterward does nothing to help this). We likely would have ended up with the same results, yes, but at least we could then see that the community as a whole was to blame, voting for the wrong options. As it is, the TL can easily screw up, and leave noone else to blame but himself.
  2. Nyktos

    Nyktos Custom Loser Title
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    That depends what you mean by "luck", but there's no contradiction in the idea of risk without random chance. Risk simply means not being in full control of the results of one's actions (which is incredibly broad, obviously, and that was certainly a problem).
  3. jc104

    jc104 Humblest person ever
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    I think we decided at a later stage that "luck" meant the RNG (which would otherwise be the bulk of risk/luck in pokemon). This is not what luck normally means; the paragraph in the original concept submission is self contradictory and should have been rejected (or at the very least, a request for clarification made.) The concept that people actually voted for didn't make sense; can you not see the problem there? Anyway, it was quite clear that even at a late stage, we didn't all have the same idea of what risk was. Some people seemed to take it to mean advantages and disadvantages, which it just isn't, at least if they're both active all the time. I took it to mean something along the lines of accentuating "prediction"/mind-games. Some people focused more on team matchup risk/luck. Other people still seemed to think it meant the RNG. It was doomed right from the start.
  4. Deck Knight

    Deck Knight A Knight for the Aegis
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    A point of order is I don't think it's really possible to go wrong competitively at the concept itself. Ever since we made concepts more concrete in asking for questions and descriptions, I think all of our concepts have been up to snuff.

    I think we were on track when we selected Weak Armor, but ironically since that wasn't one of BMB's favorites, at that point he lost all appetite for guiding it because it wouldn't end up with whatever he wanted. I still think the concept assessment was where it went wrong because we ended up with nothing concrete we could use to hold BMB accountable, but I don't think the concept itself was necessarily the error.
  5. capefeather

    capefeather YOU CAN'T STOP ROB
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    Look, the concept of risk is universal regardless of how much luck a game is perceived to have. There is luck that you cannot control at all: the hand you get in poker, your starting position in StarCraft, the kind of turnip that Peach will pull out in Super Smash Bros., whether Focus Blast will hit or not in Pokemon. On the other hand, there is skill in the ability to make smart decisions. Sure, there still is luck involved whenever you make a decision. Why did that guy raise? Is my opponent going to go standard build against me or try some ballsy play like Dark Templar rush? Will Fox recover high or low? Notice that there is luck involved even in these "skill-based" situations, such that sometimes the end comes down entirely to the equivalent of a rock-paper-scissors throw. But surely you see the difference between luck as something that no one controls, and luck as a psychological factor?

    Sure, there are things about my concept submission that I felt could have been clearer. For example, I kind of regret mentioning prediction at all, even though my submission was meant to be an improvement on similar submissions that had been made in the past. So I understand the two or three people who have come up and asked for clarification on what I meant by risk without luck. I was happy to explain it to them. Yet, it puzzles me that someone would so fervently deny the very existence of a concept that is universal in games of strategy, including something as simple as iterated rock-paper-scissors or iterated prisoner's dilemma.

    I'm not suggesting that my concept was the best concept that could have been chosen. I'm saying that blaming the concept in post-mortem sets what I think is a dangerous precedent. If a concept is along the lines of what people want to explore, but it's not clear to some or many people, I'd still consider that a good concept worth pursuing. The whole point of concept assessment is to set a clear initial direction. To me, blaming the concept for being unclear (and it's difficult to be completely clear to everyone) is tantamount to saying that concept assessment is a pointless stage and that concepts themselves should be severely limited to exploring things that are already clear to us. That, to me, would be just kind of fun at best, and a counterproductive circlejerk at worst. I'm not saying that doing what we already know is bad, just that doing what we already know all the time is pointless.

    What I don't get is when people go along the lines of, "This concept is pointless without factoring in luck. Isn't risk all about luck? In high-level play, both players are aware of the potential consequences of..." Wait! IN HIGH-LEVEL PLAY! Why didn't this come up during the project? Ever? Why did we not have a legitimate discussion on how high-level play works? Didn't people see that this is what concepts like momentum and risk aim to achieve?
  6. jc104

    jc104 Humblest person ever
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    I suppose you could blame the concept, for being unclear, or the assessment, for failing to make it clear. They're the same thing really. However, having thought about it a little bit, the concept assessment would be the easier place to fix the issue.

    The problem with the concept assessment is that, to actually find out the conclusions, the clarified concept, it seems that you have to read an enormous wall of text (aside from those actually posting in the thread, I'm sure I read more than most). One should not have to delve into such a long thread to find clear definitions of the words used in the concept.

    Perhaps if a short summary of the concept assessment could appear in the OP of each thread, along with the initial submission? Because at the moment, I'm sure most people are interpreting the concept based merely on the post initially submitted by capefeather.
  7. srk1214

    srk1214 You are people yes ou no?
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    I would just like to emphasize that there was absolutely nothing wrong with capefeather's concept. And to suggest that those two ideas are equivalent is patently false. We have taken less clear concepts (see Momentum and Tomohawk) and done fantastically. We also have taken very specific concepts (see Sketch Artist and Necturna) and done fantastically. The success of a project has to do with clear assessment of concept and an at least somewhat sense of unity behind a general path to take.

    There is no need to stick to plain, obvious, straightforward concepts when we are a community about learning and pushing boundaries. We should be capable of doing better when taking that route than we did in the case of Aurumoth. I will not argue that point. But the issue has absolute zero relevance to the concept itself.

    What took over Aurumoth was a vague and nearly useless concept assessment stage that basically enabled the TL to continue to push an agenda, since no clear path had crystallized with which to oppose him.
  8. Spiffykins

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    Back when Aurumoth was just a concept and some numbers, I was a bit naively optimistic. I wasn't sure how it could be anything other than risky with a Bug/Psychic typing. I thought No Guard would be the most viable and popular ability. I voted for the absurd movepool it ended up with. It wasn't until I dove into the new post-CAP4 playtest meta and started battling against it that I realized what Aurumoth was.

    I remember there was sort of a new concept floating around during the movepool stage, that Aurumoth should have no hard counter but plenty of situational checks. That is much closer to what Aurumoth ended up being than the original concept, and I believe this divergence is what harmed it the most. Facing Aurumoth forces me to play extra safe until it is eliminated, and that alone mitigates risk somewhat for the Aurumoth user throughout much of the battle whether they realize it or not. The sheer number of possible sets makes hard prediction (and thus, hard counter) all but impossible. When used smartly, Aurumoth has consistently guaranteed at least one KO against my team, and I suspect it does the same against many other teams/battlers. I've rarely found it to be devastating but I see very little "risky business" in using it the way most players do.

    However, I think Aurumoth being so versatile allows for a lot of creative set and team building, and several Aurumoth users have gotten a "that's pretty clever!" out of me. I don't see Aurumoth as a complete failure competitively and I don't think its boosting moves are the worst part of its movepool. I also don't find it to be anywhere near as annoying as Krillowhatthefuckthisthingneverdies, so I guess that's something.

    EDIT: There's something else I forgot to mention. I think the rule about the number of total moves and very good moves allowed was unhelpful. Rather than a large, suitable movepool that fit the flavor and didn't necessarily have all that many amazing options, Aurumoth's movepool ended up getting stuffed with nothing but the very best. I did attempt to create a movepool for it but found the limits to be restrictive. I know I said the boosting moves weren't the worst part, but consider this: Swords dance, agility, calm mind, nasty plot, and cosmic power are all VGMs and none of them are as good as what Aurumoth ended up with. It would have required much more thought and consideration to use Aurumoth effectively if it had gotten all of those instead of just the big three. These kinds of changes from top to bottom would have been beneficial. Submission, Reversal, and Superpower instead of CC, Flame Charge instead of Overheat, Aqua Tail and Water Pulse instead of Surf, Grass Knot, Charge Beam, Ancientpower, Signal Beam, and so on.
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