Firstly, I would like to apologise if this is not the time or the place to be bringing up doubts about decisions that have already made, or if you feel that this is not the sort of topic that I should be concerning myself with, given that I have never posted anything of note in the Inside Scoop before now. I cannot pretend that I have a fantastic track record of keeping to the new guidelines for analyses outlined in the newest batch of updates to be planned out. But I feel that Project Concision is a step in the wrong direction, as far as not only maintaining the quality and perfection that is remarkable to Smogon’s analyses, but also retaining the fullest support of the very best writers here on Smogon. If I may begin by quoting an example, we have here the Ninjask analysis that is currently on-site, written by myself, and underneath it the ‘concise’ version, written by Xia. I think that you will agree that, with no disrespect intended to Xia, there is a lot of information that has not slipped through the great net of concision. Relatively insignificant things, like a very rudimentary introduction to Baton Passing, for absolute beginners, descriptions of how each of the moves are used and benefit this Ninjask, plenty of examples of leads that Ninjask will have trouble with, and in particular, a good number of examples of Baton Pass recipients. Which adds up, if Xia’s calculations are accurate, to exactly 700 words cut straight out of the analysis. And in all honesty, if every single piece of information in the original analysis was put into the ‘concise’ analysis, I think that there would be less than a hundred words between them. (I haven’t actually tried this yet, but it’s only a rough estimate). And at that point, is there really any need to cut down on words? Cutting down on excess fluff is one thing, but cutting down on good information for the sake of aesthetics seems to be a ridiculous decision. Another point I would like to address is this, the seemingly universal agreement that short analyses are good analyses. Certainly, those that are straight and to the point gain merit over those that dawdle over certain points, or perhaps using three words more to address a certain point somehow makes an analysis boring or repetitive. But whenever I look at an analysis, what springs to mind is more often than not how much effort the writer has put into the analysis, rather than how pleasing it is to look at. Looking at Erodent’s Shedinja analysis for the first time, I profess myself quite amazed at how he managed it. Yes, Shedinja may need a lot of team options to be written about it. But Erodent obviously put the effort in to include as much of it as he could, leaving no stone unturned. And Theorymon’s essays never fail to astound me. Yes, they are long, but I cannot help feeling that the extra reading is worth it for those that want to read it. Smogon is publishing its analyses freely, but it doesn’t shove the analysis down their throats – they can read it if they want to, and the extra information should be there for those that want to read it – those people who are genuinely interested in the finer points of the Pokemon in question, not just the moveset. The contributors who write the analysis should not have to accommodate for those too damn lazy to read the whole thing – they should not be lazy themselves. This was one of my main thoughts while I was updating the Armaldo and Zangoose analyses – both were quite competitively viable Pokemon, yet neither seemed to have been written with enthusiasm or much effort (the latter in particular was limited on almost all of its sets to ‘Skarmory walls it, use Garchomp instead’). This seeming lack of interest (not an actual lack, but seemingly) is evident in some of the sections of the fully rewritten analyses, in particular the opinion section on Ninjask: The third and final point concerning these ‘concise’ analyses is the questionable message it is sending to those interested in contributing to Smogon. It is one thing to have a sizeable amount of quality control over the analyses submitted, in the interests of maintaining a reputation for eloquence and information in all analyses, and quite another to hold potential contributors on a leash and a strict word limit. Personally, I think that this unnecessary fluff may or may not be aesthetically pleasing, but they are very defining – those tiny little touches added, those 100 words in an analysis are the writer’s own special additions, that make it more an analysis and less of a bullet-point list. Perhaps they can be touched down a little, and in the case of the very best of concisions, such as Legacy Raider’s Zapdos, where a lot of effort is put into it, they may be the better for it. But everything in the world has a positive and a negative side to it – when you eat bread another goes hungry, by taking drugs for leukaemia you live, but lose your hair. These are considered acceptable because the positives outweigh the negatives, but we must ask ourselves whether this is the case with concision. The negative side being that, when crudely done, the analysis looks quite inexpert and is awkward to read, and even when expertly done, the results can look only so much better than what was there at the beginning. Simply put, where we could be allowing and advocating creative license to write well and informed pieces of work, we are restraining the amount we can put into our analyses and tying up resources and the very best writers trying to ‘write down’ work that took a lot of effort to construct, polish and finish. You may say that this fluff is unnecessary, and all we need for the analyses is not boatloads of information, but only what is strictly necessary. This would be perfectly acceptable, but… when you buy a car, do you buy one that is tarnished, scratched but essentially word-perfect, or one that has thousands of mod cons, polished surfaces, carbon fibre roof, every last nut and bolt given aerodynamic perfection? Which do you admire most? In the real world, this would all depend on the money you have, and your position in life, but then again, Smogon is rich. We have hundreds of talented writers, all capable of churning out accurate, superior analyses. Our position is as the premier competitive Pokemon site. We can afford the bells and whistles. If I may, I would like to add some suggestions as to how concision may be changed to a more suitable endeavour. Firstly, if nothing else is done, concision should first be properly defined and regulated. The instructions are quite clear – the following analyses need shortening, so please feel free to do so, and suggest any others that you want to – yet everyone who starts on an edit seems to have a different idea of what this requires. Personally I feel that the best policy to pursue is Legacy Raider’s ‘chop and change’ – that is to say, editing the original analysis to preserve content and weeding out the little, unnecessary bits, rather than completely rewriting them, although as I have already stated, I still think that there are some issues with this method, not least that the analysis looks not altogether different from simply adding the process to grammar checking. Setting an arbitrary word limit on analyses – perhaps 1000 words. This is by no means to long to read, and gives enough leeway for adding in any extra details that one may think necessary. The word limit would, of course, have to be increased for those with a presence in other tiers, such as Blissey and Porygon2, those with many different options and team structures, such as Heatran, or simply top-tier Pokemon that have a lot to be said about them. Make it an official topic of grammar revision to cut out awkward sentences, and in general do what Project concision does now, only without a new subforum, without a new individual topic for each Pokemon, and with all the changes under the control of the original writer. If it really, really concerns you, why not simply use hide tags? They cut out the aesthetic impurities, and anybody who wants to learn something can. Anybody who doesn’t can take a set and leave, without being blinded by science. Thank you for taking the time to read this.