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CAP Project Status

Discussion in 'Create-A-Pokémon Project' started by DougJustDoug, Sep 21, 2010.

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  1. DougJustDoug

    DougJustDoug Knows the great enthusiasms
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    Since the release of Black and White, there have been many changes and surprises. We still aren't sure how these changes will affect the CAP project in the short term or long term. This thread will serve to keep the community informed about what we are going to do, and allow the community to give feedback on our plans.

    CAP Server, Revisions, and the CAP Metagame
    The release of BW has swamped Smogon with forum traffic. The server can barely handle the load of forum traffic alone, and the SU Shoddy server has been shut down temporarily while we figure out a solution to the performance issues facing the server. This has led many users to the CAP server. We have appointed several temporary mods to help keep the CAP server running smoothly.

    Unfortunately, all the additional traffic can be a problem for normal CAP ladder play, since most of these users are just spillover users and they have no intention of battling with or against a bunch of fakemon. Some of you may think "Screw 'em. If they come to the CAP server, they need to deal with CAP pokemon." That's not really a solution to anything. Because, the surprised users end up trolling the server, they bad-mouth CAP pokemon and the CAP project, and create a general public relations nightmare. "It's bad for business", so to speak.

    So, there is a bit of a dilemma in moving on with playtesting reversions and trying to figure out how to handle our unbalanced complete CAP metagame. We didn't have any firm plans for managing the overall CAP metagame, but we wanted to look at it after CAP 11 completed. With all the random activity on the server, it has complicated things considerably. I don't know what we are going to do about it -- but I do not think it is a good idea to simply proceed like normal, as if nothing is different than before.


    Starting a new CAP
    Black and White has put the CAP project in a weird position.

    The 4th generation just became irrelevant. Not literally, but hopefully you get the point. For the near future, all the energy, interest, excitement, and focus of the entire competitive pokemon community is on the 5th generation. I don't know if this is a short-term thing that will die down in a week or two, or if this is the way things are going to be all the way through the US release of BW in Spring 2011. But the way it stands right this moment -- no one really cares about anything associated with the 4th generation metagame. Since the CAP project is deeply embedded in the 4th generation metagame, it is not terribly important for us to continue our "lab experiments" with that metagame.

    Even if we do decide to forge ahead and continue cranking out 4th generation pokemon, anything we do will be constantly questioned and compared to all the new stuff happening in the 5th gen. We could try to make big bold advertisements saying "CAP 12 is 4th generation only -- please do not make posts, comments, or questions that derail the project into 5th gen concerns". I think that is a hopeless endeavor. The CAP project has a HUGE number of new users every time. It is ridiculous to think new users will assume that we are making new pokemon for the old metagame. It's borderline trolling for us to make a new CAP and then tell people that it has nothing to do with the 5th generation.

    Just in case anyone is thinking, "OK, then let's make a 5th gen CAP" -- forget it. It will be quite some time before we know enough about the metagame to actually experiment with it, and even after we know about it, it will take even longer for the metagame to develop sufficiently for CAP to have a clue what to experiment with. And on top of all that -- we still are a long way from having a working simulator for the 5th gen and for CAP. The CAP project is not moving forward into the 5th generation any time soon.

    And to top it all off -- why would anyone get excited about a new fake pokemon for an old version of the game, when they have new REAL pokemon in a NEW version of the game? Yes, there are diehard CAP members that probably want to keep making new fakemons, regardless of what else is happening throughout the rest of the competitive pokemon universe. But, the reality is that the entire Smogon community is basically one ENORMOUS multi-faceted CAP project right now. The entire community is swamped with new pokemon and new mechanics, and are investigating how the metagame will be changed and how the pokemon should be played. I think it would be very strange for us to pop up and say to Smogon, "Hey everybody, let's make something new and exciting in competitive pokemon! Come check out the CAP project!" If I were outside the CAP project, I would probably think -- "Hey dorks, crawl out from under your CAP project rock and take a look at what is going on right now. Get a clue."


    What do we do from here?
    So, I really don't know how we should proceed. I have mentioned these issues on IRC and I have not gotten much in the way of helpful suggestions. Most responses have been along the lines of:

    That's not a solution. That is burying your head in the sand, and acting like the problems don't exist.

    CAP does not operate on a quota, and we do not have a mandate to simply keep cranking out pokemon every few months, no matter what. There is considerable time and effort that goes into the underpinnings of the CAP project and community. If we aren't in a position to conduct a meaningful project -- then I do not want to proceed forward to make a new pokemon simply because we have nothing better to do with our time. Because right now, with all the new activity in the 5th generation, I know I have plenty of other things to do with my time. And I suspect anyone else that can meaningfully contribute to the foundations of the CAP project has plenty of things to do as well. So, if there are people sitting around pining away to make a new fakemon, right in the face of an avalanche of 5th gen metagame activity -- then I'm not so sure we should really care to engage that audience here.

    Right now, we are going to "wait and see". I want to get a better idea of how the 5th gen is going to settle down. I want to see what happens with all the forum traffic and server resources, before we make a determination of how to proceed with the existing CAP metagame on the server. I want to see how much longevity all the 5th gen hype can sustain. Once we get a better idea of how that will play out, we can make a better assessment of how Create-A-Pokemon fits into the long-term outlook.
  2. Boss jr.

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    Well, you've already stated that it'd be a wast of time to create another 4th gen CAP now so that's not going to happen..... obviously. And as you've said it's going to take a while before the 5th gen settles enough to make 5th gen CAP's.... *waits patiently*

    So, what I would suggest is, if and when the gen v simulator is up and running then get a gen v CAP server (only after there are no more pokemon in the Limbo tier (the tier for pokemon with no current tier standing (suspend the CAP project until then))) and see how all of the CAP'mons fare in the updated metagame. Once we've established where everything stands (by then the metagame should be starting to take shape) start discussion on -possible- revisions of old CAP creations one at a time. Once that's all finished (which should likely take a while) hopefully by then we'll understand the fith gen metagame enough to actually create a new CAP.

    The process should hopefully keep CAP interest high until the community feels comfortable enough with the metagame to create a new CAP all while keeping the project involved in the whole 5th gen discovery process.

    During the suspension phase theory discussion could be allowd involving CAP pokemon so as to keep the community involved and inspire interest from anyone "new" to the project.

    Anyway.... that's my 2 cents.
  3. smallvizier

    smallvizier

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    I know traditionally, we've playtested using a ladder period - and that's difficult right now.

    How about instead, we playtest using pre-arranged tournaments? It would mean fewer matches, but a lot more planning for each one if people only got three or four matches a week and had to adapt to a new theme in the process. There's also the potential that a carefully chosen ruleset would make the tournament *more* illuminating than simply playing the vanilla CaP metagame.
  4. Chispy

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    To give the diehard CAP fans something to do, perhaps their efforts could be poured into making 5th-gen-styled sprites, adjusting their movelists based on what we've seen so far, and maybe discussing potential Dream World abilities?

    It's something to pass the time for those only interested in CAP, at least.
  5. Boss jr.

    Boss jr.

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    ^^ All could be included in the Theory discussion etc., additionally if revisions were made we'd have to consider whether or not the CAPmons are going to be treated as though they're being transfered into B/W and if so are any new ones to be treated as not being obtainable in previous games? But I'm sure we'll get to that later.
  6. Deck Knight

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    We have to wait for the "Euphoric Period" to die down before we do anything. Implementing a Standard OU Ladder on the server as a stopgap until SU gets its bytes together is just common sense.

    We can have reversions on our own Full CAP ladder anyway, and if people ARE interested in CAP they can use that ladder. There's no reason to suspend everything on that front just we're in the "Euphoric Period." We still have a ways to go on getting our own CAP metagame straight anyway, and that doesn't need to stop right now.

    5th Gen CAP is completely nonviable. We can't even think of doing anything with 5th Gen until we get a 5th Gen simulator up for at least a month or two, and currently we have nothing there. Thus CAP is basically entering the same phase as Stark. It's the only widely playable metagame at the moment unless you live in Japan. This cannot be forgotten because as exciting as 5th Gen is, for the overwhelming majority of users it's all theoreymon.

    Once the "Euphoric Period" is over we can use the interim time to make one last 4th Gen CAP. Eventually people will come to realize as awesome as 5th Gen is, 4th Gen is the only metagame they can actually play. Since it takes about a month and a half to make a CAP and two weeks to playtest, we can put it up about the time we have our 5th Gen simulator up and running and by the time we finish the final 4th Gen CAP (CAP 12) Playtesting the metagame will have stabilized enough for us to consider 5th Generation CAPs.
  7. tennisace

    tennisace
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    No and no. CAP Pokemon were made for the 4th gen metagame, with roles relevant to the metagame. Just retooling CAP Pokemon for BW is pointless since the roles could either: A. be filled by new Pokemon, or B. be outdated and useless. Retooling CAP Pokemon is like putting a Square peg in a Round Hole, it fits sometimes but it isn't correct. What could be done in BW is reusing old concepts provided they're relevant to the future current metagame. We could then compare how we accomplished that goal in DPP to how we accomplished it in BW, to get a small sample on how the metagame has changed. However, what won't happen is retrofitting CAP Pokemon. They will stay as relics of the past metagame.

    As for our dilemma here, I'm thinking of a solution now but gimme a day or so to fully flesh it out. I just know that revising CAPs isn't going to happen.
  8. Mektar

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    We should most definately wait for the metagame to stabilize before we do anything. The new items, abilities, and moves have not even been confirmed yet due to the translation prosess! Here is an example. Let's say that the Ghost/Fire type Candelabra with Shadow Tag sees massive usage, and the CAP concept of 'Anti Trapper' is selected for CAP12. But then, people realize that the Dark/Ground type Gator Pwns the thing with STAB Crunch, and the Candelabra dissapears from the metagame. Do you see where I'm going with this?
  9. ungulateman

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    Use this wonderful, wonderful time to get work done on Battle Capacity.

    On a more serious note, I agree with what Deck Knight has to say - we still have time, assuming Pokemon Online doesn't ninja out Smogon's entire userbase by getting a B/W simulator up posthaste.
  10. Urza

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    i think one of the other important things to note is that several CAPmons have been effectively modeled in some of the BW pokes...most notably collosoil and wariubarisu (dark ground croc). others have a lot of overlap. so, some CAPs might still have a place, and others might just not be interesting anymore.
  11. Boss jr.

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    I think at the very least we should be able to playtest the old CAP's in the updated metagame. Taking pokemon created with a specific goal in mind and introducing them to the new generation could tell us something very important about how the metagame has/(will) changed and what drives these changes.

    With a project dedicated to exploring and learning about the Pokemon metagame, retooling isn't really what I had in mind. Even revamping wouldn't be accurate.

    The point is that I think we can still learn alot from the current CAP pokemon and -that- was the point all along anyway. Scrapping them now because the new games came out seems both counter intuitive to the goal of CAP and just plain wasteful.

    No need to simply throw away all that hard work..... they should have a place in where the CAP project goes from here.

    I think..... but that's just me.... *shrugs*
  12. tennisace

    tennisace
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    It won't tell us anything specific about how the metagame's changed. Presumably, the old CAPs won't work anywhere near as well in BW since they were designed to fit into the DPP metagame. This is why we would only recycle the concepts of older CAPs: so that we can compare the end result. For example, lets look at Fidgit. Its concept was ultimate support mon. Fidgit itself might be ineffective in the BW metagame, due to Doryzuu hitting it super effective then spinning in its face. So, introducing Fidgit into BW won't tell us how the role of ultimate supporter has changed, since it gets beaten by a (theoretically) common threat.

    Now, if we build another ultimate support mon with Doryzuu in mind, then we can see exactly how effective an ultimate support mon is in its own environment.

    And I quote:
    Why would you go through the process on possible revisions if you weren't going to go through with them. That's even more of a waste of time.

    We aren't wasting anything. All the work that went into CAPs will be preserved. Said work was dedicated to and specifically tailored to a soon to be dead metagame however. We can still learn a lot from the former CAPs' concepts, because concepts are somewhat independent of generation. Concepts are roles in the metagame, and those won't really expire. They may change slightly, but they're fluid, so it doesn't matter. CAPs cannot easily shift from metagame to metagame because they're intristically tied to one metagame. To shift CAPs to another metagame requires a large amount of revisions, and the end product probably won't look anything like the original CAP anyway. In addition, CAPs carry the name with them, and along with the name comes some expectation of performance. If we expect Fidgit to easily control entry hazards and provide Wish support, we will only use it as such. However, a supporter could look much different in the BW metagame, due to all the new support moves. A bulky/speedy Poison/Ground may not be the best supporter to add to the metagame.

    The old CAP Pokemon will have a place, just not in the BW metagame.
  13. Boss jr.

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    Thanks! I couldn't think of the appropriate term at the time.... but you hit the nail on the head..... Recycle! *slaps forehead* Sorry, "Revamp" was the best I could come up with at the time :/ .

    The CAP is already there, concept and everything. Why make an entirely new pokemon when one already exists? We could take what each one is and use them like a Base to update the concept for the new generation..... except we already have sprites and at least partially completed movepools already.

    It's just that before it sounded like the plan was to start again from scratch. And I really think that would be a waste of everything CAP has accomplished. Had I been here for any previous CAP's and had any of my contributions been implemented I personally would like to see them still utilised in the generation shift.
  14. Jebus McAzn

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    Like tennisace said, it doesn't make sense to revamp CAP pokemon that were designed with the 4th generation in mind for the 5th generation. No matter how much we change the CAPs, it is impossible to make all of them a perfect fit into B/W without changing something fundamental about them, and at that point, it makes more sense to create a new Pokemon. Take Voodoom as an example; it was designed to support Togekiss and to counter the common switch-ins to Togekiss. How is Voodoom supposed to do that with new threats coming in that could potentially render its movepool obsolete, its stats in the dust, and its typing not advantageous? If we change the movepool, the stats, and the typing, it's a new Pokemon, and as I've said, we need an entire CAP process for that, not just a "revamp poll".

    And like Doug said, it also doesn't make sense to continue pumping out 4th gen CAPs, nor does it make sense to create new Pokemon for a generation already teeming with new creatures in a yet-to-be-defined metagame.

    The wait-and-see method seems to be the best course of action; as it is, the CAP community should be satisfied with exploring the wonders of B/W for a few months, at the very least. Until the metagame stabilizes and we have something to actually work from, there is no point in continuing CAP.
  15. Tortferngatr

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    Why not just update the Gen IV CAPs' movepools, similarly to the CAP 1-10 movepool revisions? Power creep will still occur, but we can at least USE a Gen V metagame with our CAPs in it. It's also relatively simple: once Gen V stablilizes and move/type and move/move requirements are established for Gen V, we can simply engage in a mere fraction of the CAP process for updates. It also gives us practice for Gen V movepools.

    EDIT: Alright, we might also have to do Dream World abilities for the new stuff. It's still only a fraction of the total CAP process.
  16. Jebus McAzn

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    Because the existing movepools are tailored to Generation 4 and its OU metagame, not Generation 5 and the developing metagame there. Because the existing base stats, abilities, and typing were designed with the same goal in mind. What many are suggesting, revamping the CAP Pokemon for Gen 5, would involve changing (in many cases), the stats, the abilities, the typing, and the movepools. And then, I ask you, would that still be the same CAP? It makes no sense to do a total revamp of a Pokemon rather than just to create new Pokemon in the exact same process.

    So no, it's not just a fraction of the total CAP process. The movepools aren't the only things inhibiting these Pokemon. I guess what I, along with others, are trying to say is: It's hard to tailor existing Pokemon to a new metagame without fundamentally changing them.
  17. CRASHiC

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    I don't believe you'd need a complete revamp, just do what nearly every other pokemon this gen was given: a dream world ability and new moves.

    I think the discussion on just what new moves and dream world ability each Pokemon would receive would provide great insight into the kinds of discussion that designers at Gamefreak must have. As someone who lurks but does not frequently post here, I think this is what I enjoy learning about the most from CAP, insight into the development process of a Pokemon.

    Will your Pokemon be outclassed? With something else fill its role? Perhaps, but this happens all the time in Pokemon, and I would like to see how the think tank here could approach this problem and differentiate these Pokemon from their competitors, keeping both viable. I want to see CAP go through the same struggles that the designers at Gamefreak must go through each generation, and not copout by discarding all the previous CAPs.
  18. Boss jr.

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    ^^

    That defies the purpose of CAP which is to Learn about the Competitive Pokemon MetaGame, not the development process. The argument here is that thrusting 4th gen CAP's into the currently unstable and unbalenced 5th gen MetaGame doesn't teach us anything about it except how pokemon created for previous generations fare in the updated environment. And that can easily be viewed by playing with any of the almost 500 other pokemon that already exist.

    This renders any further argument to the contrary invalid.

    The point being that in order to learn anything new about the new MetaGame we have to start creating new CAP's and we can't do that until the environment settles enough to where we understand enough of it to do that.

    That doesn't mean we can't re-use the same ideas (which is also borderline pointless since re-using them only tells us if they're still valid). But revamping them isn't going to happen and probably won't ever be approved by the CAP officials.

    So there's really no point in continuing to suggest it since it's not going to happen.

    Don't get me wrong.... I've defended updating the old CAP's and I hold to that, if for no other reason than pride. But the reality of the situation is that the process just can't be justified. No matter how nostalgic we get over the old CAP's, it's not going to happen and at some point we have to see it from tennisace's, Jebus McAzn's and everyone else's side who's made a similar argument.
  19. CRASHiC

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    And seeing how a Pokemon adapts to a new environment isn't learning anything? You can learn a lot about Pokemon by taking note of how a single pokemon has faired through the generations, and seeing how there place in the metagame has changed.
  20. Boss jr.

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    It's pointless to argue this. This matter has already been resolved.... repeatedly. And not by me. It's a moot point. Acceptance is the only option left.
  21. Aqueos

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    We could just let the cap pokemon loose in the metagame with one or two adjustments (required movepool changes) just to see if they would still work. (Almost zero effort and it is interesting) In any case, we just will have to put this at a total halt, for the time being. Once the fifth generation metagame settles down we could begin making caps again (albeit with only new ones included)
  22. BuddyBlueBomber

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    I think that revising the Gen. 4 CAP pokemon to the new generation is a bit pointless. They were made for to fill a specific role in a metagame that is now overshadowed by the fifth generation. I don't see any reason to stop using them in the new metagame, if only for fun. Moves and abilities could be re-done but this would not accomplish much, and would deviate from their purpose of filling a specific niche in the 4th gen. metagame. New roles will need to be filled, and any new CAP project will be done to fit in just like before. I suppose the only thing that can be done is to wait and see for a stable B/W metagame to show up before brain storming on what can be done to further our understanding of said metagame.
  23. Veedrock

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    One of the biggest turn-offs to the CAP metagame is the sheer number of new threats when coming from standard play. Be your reasoning fun, obligation, or "learning," leaving them behind will be the most beneficial thing to CAP.
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