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Other Proposal: Making CAPs for metagames other than OU (24 Hr Language Amendment)

Discussion in 'CAP Policy Review' started by Deck Knight, Aug 9, 2012.

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  1. Deck Knight

    Deck Knight A Knight for the Aegis
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    Approved by Elevator_Music

    This subject has been approached multiple times, I think we're finally ready for something like this. There are a number of questions that need answering:

    1. Should we allow the submission of concepts for tiers other than OU?

    This question is the crux of the matter and will define the rest of the discussion. Essentially we choose OU because it is the metagame most accessible to the highest number of people. The project is designed to be competitive and competitive in our current understanding is Singles OU.

    If we change that understanding, the following questions ensue:

    1a. Which tiers should we allow submission for?
    Uber, UU, RU, and NU seem the most pertinent here, though there is space for concepts that also exist in banlist environments. There is also the thorny issue of whether Gen 5 CAP counts as its own tier, and Little Cup is obviously its own tier, but its rules put huge pressures on the process and it is much more obscure. To maintain a decent playerbase I think we should stick with Uber, UU, and NU as the start of our exploration and move outward from there based on the success of such a project. Other thoughts are appreciated.

    1b. When and by what mechanism should the tier be decided?
    Once we establish that other tiers can be explored, we have to decide when we decide this tier. One option is a decision at the outset of the project by either a popular vote or the topic leader. The second option is to tie the tier directly into the concept and have concepts in different tiers compete with each other in the concept phase. The final option is to decide the tier after the concept through either popular vote or the topic leader.

    My personal sympathies lie with tying the tier to the concept so that a submitter can fully flesh out their specific vision for the Pokemon and issues of that tier, and let people decide on which concept they would like. OU does have a built-in numbers advantage, but I think a concept that was interesting enough would merit a lot of attention for looking into a lower tier.

    Additional thoughts and discussion welcome.


    Language Considered for a Vote (Under Amendment Review):


    Should we, at any point in the time in the future, have a dedicated Forum-wide CAP Project for a tier other than OU of the most current generation, with the timing and parameters of such Project to be decided in a future PRC thread?

    There will be 24 hours to amend the language.
  2. Pwnemon

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    why the heck not - but see my second part, because this agreement is very conditional on the tiers we use!

    I already voiced my opinion in the chat, but I'll say it again here: OU has a number of things going for it that make it better than other tiers.

    1) Accessibility. Without a doubt, OU is the most common meta on Smogon. Even those who don't regularly play OU have a working knowledge of the meta simply because of its popularity and the fact that it's constantly discussed. When we do an OU CAP, the largest number of people are able to participate because OU is the most popular meta (and even if you don't play it, it has the most resources so you can learn how)

    2) Stability. The performance of CAPs created for OU has a reasonable expectation to stay consistent over time - with few exceptions due to bans, a Pokemon can be expected to stay in OU, a characteristic not found in any lower tier. We've already seen the disaster that amounts from a CAP's meta drastically changing *cough Tomohawk;* when we use lower tiers we open ourselves up to so much more of that due to usage shifts. While this is cool and all for lower tier players who never have a stale meta with things rising and dropping, it unfortunately makes meta very unstable, with constant suspect testing and tier shifting, and is not even slightly conducive to maintaining the integrity of the CAPs.

    3) CAP Meta Compatibility - pardon the rampant fanboyism, but if we do a CAP in a lower tier, we can't release it in the CAP meta and that would make Pwnemon a sad cookie.

    None of the lower tiers provide these benefits - most are hard to get into and have a small playerbase; all are far less stable than OU, and none of them would create a CAP truly able to compete in the CAP meta (unless we made something super broken for UU). Heck, by the time we finish a lower tier CAP, new tiers will be out and it will ALREADY be obsolete.

    There are two tiers I can think of that would work for an Other Metas CAP, however - ubers and CAP meta.

    UBERS Pros:
    -Super duper stable: the last thing to be banned from ubers was Moody. All Ubers has to worry about is the introduction of new legend formes because nintendo is all gay over these things nowadays but i don't think much more will be released between now and Gen VI so this shouldn't be an issue.
    -Possibly more CAP Meta compatible than OU: let's face it, we tend to make OP mons. As long as we manage not to make it too OP for OP, an ubers cap should fit right in. I've always dreamed of seeing how our beloved CAPs would fit in with the Ubers meta and this is a brilliant excuse.
    -Ripe with possibilities for new CAP contributors: Ubers has one of the wider playerbases for an "Other Meta" and most of these players are well respected contributors who could fit right in with the CAP community if given a chance. I like the idea of bringing in new, yet already knowledgeable, people into CAP (HI BIRKAL HOW ARE YA)

    UBERS cons:
    -Less Known: Let's face it, a lot of us would have to learn Ubers if we wanted to make an Ubers CAP; therefore, it would probably be way off-target and fail at its goal.
    -We Would Have To Rewrite All Our Formula Crap: Doug and X-Act are heroes for the work they did for the CAP Community in making things such as a BSR calculator and VGMs and stuff. Sadly, X-act is no longer with us, and while i'm sure we could all help Doug out to try and figure out the Ubers-compatible numbers, it would certainly take time and be prone to errors.

    CAP META pros:
    -FUN: Let's face it, we wouldn't be doing cap if not for fun, and cap meta is fun.
    -Uses Same Numbers as OU: so we don't have to rewrite all that stuff like we would with any other meta.
    -We all Know the Meta: If we want to do an OM, we want to do one that we CAP regulars all know fairly well. The only one we can with any certainty say a majority knows is the CAP meta
    -i had others but i forgot them

    CAP META cons:
    -No New Participants: the odds that there's somebody who's been lurking on the CAP meta and knows it well, but does not participate in CAP, are slim (i actually did this, but that was COPPA's fault, not mine :|). This means that if we decide to make a CAP meta CAP, that CAP probably won't see any fresh blood (or at best very little) unless CAP meta becomes a DST-instated metagame (and sorry tmon but that's not likely)
    -Slightly Less Stable: It operates under the same banlist as OU, but the fact that new mons will be introduced every three to four months means that the CAP meta will be consistently in upheaval and mons will lose their original niche. This could be fun, however, as with the power creep, mons will probably not become broken with the introduction of others and seeing how they shift would be fun
    -It's not a "real meta": but if you think this will stop me from supporting it then you can shove it.

    There are compelling reasons to support any of the above three options, i'll have to see more arguments proposed before i can choose my own position here
  3. capefeather

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    I mostly agree with Pwnemon, except I think Little Cup is a good choice for a CAP project, too... well, other than the whole relative unpopularity part. LC has that problem worse than Ubers, which is a shame (plus there seems to be a damage calculation error on PS! that balloons with Level 5 multi-hit moves).

    I also think a better case can be made for Ubers. Ubers may not be nearly as popular as OU, but honestly, I think an Ubers CAP project is more than doable. Pwnemon refers to BSR and VGMs, but the quantitative VGM work was from Gen 4 (and thus not used) and BSR accounts for every Pokémon regardless.

    I also think it might be better to designate a metagame before concept submissions instead of packaging metagames with concepts in submissions. Some concepts are metagame-dependent, but others aren't. It seems as if people are going to end up voting for a metagame rather than a concept. Plus, OU submissions may be more popular than Uber submissions by default.
  4. srk1214

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    Without having time to craft an elegant response, I'd like to throw in my two cents and say that I think the best meta by far to attempt this in is Ubers. This would also open up the door to maybe having a CAP ubers ladder, where presumably Kyogre and Tomohawk are even more popular than they already are in Ubers and CAP, respectively. Of course, our Ubers CAP creation could combat that... uber-caliber Hail starter perhaps? A hard counter to Kyogre if that's even possible?

    The only other tier in which I can even fathom organizing a project is LC. It would simply be a role reversal, building a LC CAP for the LC meta, and then building the (required) 1-2 evolutions afterwards, which may or may not be good enough to cut it in OU.

    I just think there is a very slippery slope building CAPs for tiers as movable as UU/RU/NU at least at this point.

    Yes, Ubers and LC see the smallest userbases (afaik,) but they really are the only tiers I could see a non-OU CAP working in.
  5. jas61292

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    The topic of CAPs for other metagames has always been something I have been conflicted on. When it comes to CAP in general, I have always been liberal in my policy views, but conservative in the specifics of a CAP, and my feelings here follow a similar pattern. I definitely think that it would be a good idea to allow us to have the option to make Pokemon for different tiers, but I'm honestly not sure I would want to do any tier other than OU right now. The main problems always brought up with this one relate to participation drop we would see as a result of a different tier CAP, and while I honestly think this is a reservation I have that I will never get truly over, if the potential benefits of a non OU CAP are indeed great, then I see no reason not to at least try it. Is now the right time for that? I don't know, but it should definitely be an option. That being said, we need to determine how it would be done if we do allow it.

    First of all, sorry for going out of order, but I think the last question asked is by far the more important one.

    I'm just going to start by saying that I think Deck's idea of simply having people submit the tier with a concept is very flawed, and would not be a good way to determine the tier. The main reason for this is due to the TL being selected prior to the concept phase of a CAP. Simply put, it is not a good idea to have a TL who is not familiar with the metagame of the CAP. Now I know that a TL doesn't have to slate a concept for a tier he is not familiar with, but that seems unfairly limiting. For example, if I were the TL, I would be fine with OU concepts and probably RU (and maybe NU) concepts as well. However, what happens if someone submits an absolutely fantastic concept, but it happens to be for Ubers. It seems unfair to everyone to lose out on a great concept because the TL is not suited to it.

    Additionally, TL tier preferences could end up having a significant effect on the TL vote. People may choose to vote for a candidate based not on who they think would be the best TL, but based on whether or not they like/are good at the tier that they want to make the CAP for. Now I know that no one will ever make it to a TL poll if we don't think they are qualified, however, I think it would be bad for the process if people are voting for a TL based on tier and not the TL themselves.

    Now, this holds true for any method of tier selection that takes place after TL selection. As such I believe that it is necessary to decide a CAPs tier as the very first part of any CAP. Not only will this prevent people from skewing the TL vote based on personal preference, but it will make sure the TL slate is higher quality. The number of people who would throw their name out there as a TL candidate in the current system is fairly small, and when the tier of the CAP is not known at the time of selection, that only serves to scare candidates away. However, if it is known prior to TL nominations that we are doing a CAP for a different tier, some highly qualified people who might not normally thing about being TL might give it a shot. I believe I have heard from Theorymon that he and/or some of his Ubers buddies might be willing to TL an Ubers CAP, when they wouldn't normally want to for a regular. If it is known before hand that the CAP will indeed be Uber, then we can get a slate of TLs who are highly qualified to lead it, rather than a slate that might, maybe, include an uber knowledgeable person mixed in with people of various tiering preferences.

    That being said, if tier is chosen before TL, we still need to decide how. Public vote is one option, but I feel that will end up as OU most every time, due to it having the largest player base. On the other hand, it could be up toe the mods or PRC. Both of these have the unfortunate side effect of taking it out of the hands of the community at large, and it was for similar reasons that we stopped using the PRC to elect the TL starting with last CAP. However, I don't see any fair way of doing it that won't have that problem. And honestly, if the community does want to always do OU, I really don't see why we should force them to do otherwise. I have always thought it would eb a challenge for us to do a non OU CAP, and personally, I have always thought that unless we can get two CAPs going at once, with one always being OU, it would be nearly impossible to keep up user support with an different tier CAP. But that is another issue entirely.

    So yeah, I really don't see any good way of doing this, and until we can find such a way, I'm just gonna have to say that I think it should be up to a community vote. And if that means we never actually do a non OU CAP, so be it.

    But anyways, assuming other tier CAPs do happen, I'll move on to the other question.
    This is a very important question that needs a definitely answer before we even start considering a CAP outside of OU. But, in my personal opinion, I see no reason to limit this at all, as long as the selection process for the tier is good. Any tier that people can get behind is fine with me. However, if we want to restrict it a bit to make things easier, there are definitely a few things we should be looking for. I think Pwnemon nailed the two most important ones. Stability and Accessibility. However, as I said, if people get behind it, any tier should be allowed, because if they are getting behind it, that means it is accessible. Yet, I doubt any tier outside of official smogon ones will fit this criteria.

    Stability of the tier we choose, however, is very crucial. We don't want the tier we end the CAP with to be very different that the one we started with. However, while things may be turbulent now, I feel that all smogon official tiers will be stable enough in a few months, and see no reason to eliminate any of them based on this factor. However, it may mean that we favor the higher usage based tiers (OU, Ubers, LC), over the ones who's members are more dependent on multiple factors (UU, RU, NU).

    Outside of official smogon metagames, there is no real tier that I feel is a potential CAP environment, other than the CAP metagame itself. However, I have serious reservations about using it as the basis for a CAP. I went over this in great detail back before CAP3 when we were discussing the mission of the CAP project, but to summarize, the CAP meta, in addition to not being popular, at all, which will likely mean few people interested in a project about it, it lacks any sort of stability that the other tiers have. CAPs are always high in usage regardless of ability, and so it makes it impossible for a classic metagame to really develop in it. As I said back then, the problem is that, while most tiers are played by people trying to win, the CAP meta is played by people wanting to use CAPs. That is not an environment conducive to a competitive Pokemon project.

    So, in conclusion, I think that it should only be limited to official tiers. Within that it should be up to the community what we want to make.
  6. nyttyn

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    Dangit deck! I was making a thread!

    Oh well.

    1. Yes. The point of CAP is to learn - and every tier is a seperate metagame. For example, no tier under OU has access to auto/permweather, which is huge. Also, total lack of good spinners in NU, etc etc - every tier plays differently and as a result deserves a shot at having a CAP built or it.

    1a. I believe that we should entirely scratch off the question of a CAP built for the CAP Meta. Part of the thing CAP has always had going for it was that you didn't need knowledge of prior CAPs to jump in to the debates or the playtest - just knowledge of pokemon. Plus, the CAP Meta has a extremely poor playerbase at the time of writing this.

    1b. Public vote, just like any other stage of CAP. We even opened up TL to the public - I see no reason to start going back to private votes now. In addition, I believe that Tier and Concept should tied together, due to how different each metagame is. But at the very least tier needs to be the very first thing we vote on if it is not tied to concept - I agree that it would bias TL towards the TL that has the most metagame knowledge, but honestly I fail to see how that's a bad thing. We want the TL who can do the best job, no? Ergo, to ensure our TL and Concept are best suited to the task, Tier should be the very first thing that gets voted on, preferably in conjunction with concept.
  7. uwnim

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    We should be allowed to make CAPs for non-OU metagames.

    I feel that the best ones to start with would be Ubers or UU maybe LC. LC would be good, but stats are more complicated at level 5 so it would be much less accessible. LC also has very different move legalities and while it wouldn't affect the CAP, it would make the playtest harder for people to get into.

    Ubers CAP would be as stable as a CAP metagame could get. There are no banned Pokemon there, so we wouldn't have problems with a CAPs counters or checks getting banned. Making an Ubers CAP would also let us see how existing CAPs perform with various Uber Pokemon.

    Out of the tiers below OU, UU would be the best to start with. It only has one tier above it, so it is less affected by bans in higher tiers. It would be the easiest tier to make a CAP that is still usable in the regular CAP meta so it could still be used even if we only make one UU CAP. Other tiers would be fine later on if there would be enough interest in them.

    The metagame choice should be made either before the TL is picked or be part of the concept submissions. If placed after concept submissions, we could end up with a concept that doesn't work with the chosen metagame. After TL and before Concepts results in the same process as Metagame->TL but has a higher chance of us ending up with a TL that doesn't really know anything about the metagame we are making the CAP for.
    If the metagame is not selected as part of concepts, then it should be decided by a vote from the community.

    The poll could either have all the metagames that the PRC has approved in a slate, or there could be a vote between OU and other metagames with a second poll if other metagames wins.
  8. bugmaniacbob

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    No nein niet never and other negative words

    Largely because I don't want to have to miss an entire CAP Project because I have nothing positive to contribute to any metagame besides OU and even that is tenuous at best since all the new releases came out.

    I haven't yet been able to think of any stand-out reasons why we ought to go through with this (and no, I don't count "why not" as a reason), but if anybody has any they would like to share, I'm all ears. Naturally this is something we've wanted to do for a while. Yes, I'd be interested in seeing what we could come up with. But these all hinge on our ability to actually gather together enough interest and momentum to make the Project worth while - even if the Project runs to completion, I would not count it as a success if the number of voices in the discussion threads was half that of the current, OU threads. Hence unless there is something I am missing here, alienating a large portion of current CAP contributors cannot be justified by any illuminatory benefits that I can see.

    One thing that has not been brought up yet, as far as I can see, is the issue of archiving said creation within its own distinct metagame. This is more of an issue with the concept of an Ubers or Little Cup CAP than any other tier, though of course it could easily apply to any of the other tiers should it be desired as such. Essentially, we still need a DPP CAP ladder on Showdown!, as well as possibly another ladder for the updated CAPs with Gen 5 moves / tutor moves, depending on future policy. Another ladder for CAP Ubers or Little Cup adds another spanner to an already far too complicated set of works, especially when we are trying to encourage participation in the CAP metagame. As far as I can see, this ladder for 1 CAP will be fairly dead, and as such, there won't be much of a legacy for it, and there's little we can learn from it. You may well say "just don't make a ladder for it, then", but really, if we're not using it, what was the point of making it? The CAPs should be an archive as well as a learning experience, and I have made my feelings clear about just tossing them away and starting again many times before. This is even without mentioning the whole issue of where to put them on the site.

    In short, I really can't see the appeal of the whole idea of making CAPs for different tiers, beyond "this is different to what we usually do". I don't want concept submitters to specify the tier that their concept is placed in - the concept should take precedence, and if people start voting for the tier's sake rather than the concept's, we have a problem on our hands. The same applies to a popular vote for the tier.

    I've run out of time so I'll update this later.
  9. nyttyn

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    Bob, that's a extremely selfish stance to take. The point of CAP has not, and never has been, to be a popularity contest in which success is gauged by the number of participants we have. While it is always preferential to have as many voters as possible, that doesn't mean we should restrict ourselves just because something wouldn't be as popular as something else. While that doesn't mean we shouldn't completely ignore what the people want, what will be 'popular' should never be the first concern.

    The appeal in this lies in the fact that every single tier has a different meta, meaning we would learn entirely new things then if we just kept doing OU over and over again. Just because we have a deep rooted tradition in asking questions on the OU metagame doesn't mean we need to exclusively continue to ask questions in the OU metagame.

    In addition, can't your argument be used the other way around in that people who do not have a extensive knowledge of OU cannot contribute to the current CAP projects? CAP has always been a project dominated by the OU metagame - thus leaving people who choose to specialize in other metagames out in the cold unless they learn about the OU metagame. By expanding our horizions, we get to experience other metagames, something that won't be possible if we just go 'la la la other metagames don't matter la la la OU is best.'

    And you don't have to be left out if you refuse to learn the metagame of the current CAP either. For example, the art polls/discussion tend to be the most popular part of CAP, and they require zero metagame knowledge. Ditto on flavor ability/moves discussion - you don't need to know the meta to contribute to those.

    Moving on to the ladder argument, we don't need a DPP CAP ladder. It would be nice, sure, but who the hell cares honestly? Nothing new will ever be added to it, so it will forever be stagnant, thus providing zero benefit. However, if we had a ubers ladder, we could finally have the option banning things that are unhealthy for the CAP meta. We don't need ladders under OU - DW certainly doesn't. And we certainly don't need to bother with a DPP CAP ladder just for 'archive purposes.' All of the gen 4 CAPs are currently perfectly serviceable in gen 5 save for perhaps pyroark.

    Finally, we should never consider how used a pokemon will be in the CAP meta when we consider concepts. Never. I understand that the CAP Metagame is currently really, really suffering from a poor userbase, and that this would just split it further, but its at the end of the day a entirely separate beast from the main CAP project. As far as I am aware, not a single CAP has ever at any point considered how well the CAP would fare in the CAP metagame, instead of the metagame it was built for. If we decide to make a NU CAP and then make a NU CAP tier to match, and nobody plays that tier, so be it.
  10. bugmaniacbob

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    You appear to have misinterpreted my argument, so I'll try again.

    I did not say that success was gauged by number of participants, but the relationship between success of a Project and number of participants is very strong indeed; ergo, the loss of a large number of participants who would otherwise be able to contribute in a worthwhile fashion should absolutely be avoided. "Popularity" is not the word to use. It's not about what the people want, but rather about what will allow the most people to contribute, to the greatest efficacy. This isn't about the "point" of CAP or anything like it, it is an entirely practical concern. And this concern is that it is not fair in the slightest to marginalise the vast majority of new, potential contributors, and importantly, those who may well come back again for the next CAP. If the NU chaps come round for the NU CAP and then wander off, while everyone else stays away; well, I mean, why could they not simply conduct this affair in the NU forum? It's not like we gain anything meaningful from it.

    Quite, but we cannot answer questions or learn effectively if we aren't interested in learning about it or, more importantly, if we don't have a particular focus in that area. The fact that it is a "different metagame", unsubstantiated, is not a valid reason for this Project, or at least, it is not sufficient to negate the loss in participation from CAP's core, or the questionable legacy of any CAP that we produced from this Project. What exactly are we learning, really? At least with the OU CAPs, we can compare them to one another. If we have a single, mini-tier CAP, nobody will know of its existence, really, and any experimental lessons we learn are forgotten after the fifty or so CAPs that result before it's that tier's turn again.

    OU is the largest metagame by far and I would be greatly surprised if there were a significant number of people who had no familiarity with it whatsoever. Most people immediately go to Smogon's "standard metagame" when they arrive, irrespective of the choices they later make about tier specialisation. The same cannot be said in reverse. Besides, as I said earlier, there is no guarantee that the people who come for the Project would stay afterwards or have that much interest in CAP's mission or the point of building a CAP in the first place.

    Oh goody. I can vote in the art polls! All is not lost after all!

    I jest. But seriously, there are some people, myself included, who very much enjoy discussing the competitive side of the CAP. And no, I don't want to have to learn an entirely new metagame purely to contribute to one single CAP which will probably never be revisited again.

    Yes, we do. And yes, there are a LOT of people who care. Particularly the people who do, in fact, want to keep some sort of archive for the DPP CAPs, and more importantly, to enable people to understand that these CAPs were not, in fact, all created simultaneously and for the BW1 Metagame. Whether or not the ladder is stagnant is irrelevant. Whether or not the DPP CAPs are usable in BW is irrelevant. A ladder has to exist, or else there will be absolutely no work performed on the CAP metagame at all. It cannot happen unless the DPP CAPs have their metagame, as the two generations of CAP need their archives for posterity.

    When did I ever say that how used a Pokemon would be in the CAP metagame would dictate concept? I said that we should not make another ladder for a metagame that nobody plays and nobody cares about, but if we were making an Ubers or Little Cup CAP, we would have to make a new ladder for them. Hence, from a practical perspective, we have nowhere useful to put this hypothetical CAP once we are done with it. This is coming from the assumption that we don't want to overburden Pokemon Showdown! with irritating niche ladders.
  11. nyttyn

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    In light of a redefinition of BMB's argument, as well as discussion on IRC as well as a bit of internal discussion, I think i'm going to change my stance to oppose. I realized I really only wanted a non-OU cap for the sake of variety - which was rather shortsighted of me. I still mandate that we shouldn't stick to OU simply because we want to participate, but at the same time, it can just screw up in so many ways. Better to play it safe then risk a entire CAP going to crap because we wound up bandwagon voting for a tier not enough people know how to play.

    honestly, too much risk, not enough reward.
  12. capefeather

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    Well, to be fair, I'm not sure if even the current CAP metagame is more than an "irritating niche ladder" as far as anyone other than the dedicated players is concerned. In terms of battles, it's dwarfed by Hackmons of all things. I'm saying this not to offend people, but just to point out that the creation of a metagame as a byproduct of these CAP projects strikes me as a rather trivial concern when the kinds of numbers we're looking at are already nowhere close to breaking four digits per month.

    I'm not asking people to agree with me in what I am about to say; if you don't then this post is pretty meaningless, but I'm just putting this out there. For me, CAP is an opportunity to get rid of misconceptions about how Pokemon metagames work. I think that this is the most effective way for people to learn anything meaningful about the metagame, or at least feel like they did. There really are a lot of misconceptions about Pokemon floating around even among good battlers. Even with CAP 3's concept, as bad a rep as it has gotten, I think in the end, we still got something out of it, getting closer to eliminating the idea of absolute bad typings.

    From this viewpoint, making Pokemon for other metagames is well worth it. People tend to have bad preconceived notions of metagames other than OU. More than that, though, each metagame has its own quirks, which people who only play OU have no practical access to when theorymoning about elements of the OU metagame. Learning about other metagames absolutely helps us learn about the OU metagame. Sure, participation will most likely be much lower, but it would be great if CAP could provide the excuse that someone needs to play more than just the OU metagame, and get a better appreciation of the OU metagame in turn. There shouldn't be so much emphasis on the OU metagame above all else, anyway, considering that was such a large reason as to why Nugget Bridge exists for VGC now.

    I think that we really need to be bolder with CAP's scope. I know we like to look at failed side projects like Evo, and even CAP projects often perceived to be failures, but this really should not be a deterrent in itself. We can learn from failures without being afraid to do something similar. The same goes for making supposedly "broken" CAPs. Let's face it, we have no precise conception of what makes a Pokemon broken.
  13. Deck Knight

    Deck Knight A Knight for the Aegis
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    A few points need to be brought to the fore on this:


    1. Inclusion is a factor, not a requirement.

    We would certainly prefer the maximum number of people can access the CAP Project, but the purpose of CAP is not to maximize participation, it's to learn about competitive Pokemon by introducing a single new threat into a metagame and looking at its effects. Obviously a project that brings in more participants helps enhance the forum experience, but I don't know how much impact it would have on the playtest. My sense is that people will want to try the CAP out in that metagame and play by said metagame's rules.

    2. The unfamiliarity issue is overhyped.

    I'm not a top tier OU player and never, ever have been, in any generation (Hell, I'm not even mid tier). Yet I've won plenty of polls in my day for stats, movepool, etc. because I have a very solid understanding of the game and its mechanics. A CAP project lasts for roughly 2.5 months, which is more than enough time for someone to familiarize themselves with a metagame. The ban list is longer, but nothing stops us in OU from having discussions without bringing up Thundurus, Blaziken, or Excadrill. Ubers obviates that particular problem entirely since the only thing banned is Moody.

    To that end we could easily establish a threat list (if it doesn't already exist) and use that as our basis for a different tiered CAP discussion. It would require more thought and consideration to go into posts, but we've already had discussions like that and have come to the conclusion that in order to post effectively in CAP without feeling intimidated requires a higher floor on general posting intelligence. I still like the changes to the main Forum, mind, but it's just an issue we have to work with.

    - - -

    To me, this has always been a mechanical/implementation issue. It's more about HOW and WHEN we determine the tier than whether we should or not, since it's well within the boundaries of the project to explore different metagame scenarios. Arguably we've already done it historically because up through Arghonaut we already considered previous CAPs in our thinking.

    Always remember that OU is not an official Nintendo tournament metagame. There is nothing officially special about OU save its popularity and its basis as Smogon's standard play environment. If CAP were all about testing official tournament metagames we'd be talking a lot more about VGC scenarios.

    I think deciding a tier at the outset of the project, before we pick the TL would be healthy. Since the public vote is easily more comfortable with OU to an overwhelming degree, I think having the PRC make that decision might be a preferable middle ground solution rather than just the mods. I can adapt to any metagame fairly easily as far as post content, I'd just rather not be 1/5th of the decision on something like that.
  14. Theorymon

    Theorymon ☄☄☄☄☄☄☄☄☄☄☄☄☄☄☄☄☄☄☄☄☄☄☄☄☄☄☄☄☄☄☄☄☄☄☄☄☄☄☄☄☄☄☄☄☄☄☄☄
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    Man I was going to make some giant post supporting exploring other metagames, but you pretty much said exactly what I was going to say x_x. I got a few other things to add though, mostly about the process itself.

    One of the biggest issues is going to be deciding the process of how we explore metagames other than OU. We've already discussed the idea of having a vote before TL from either the public or PR, but something I think needs more discussion is the idea of having 2 CAPs running. This way, when we have to vote for a metagame, we won't have the issue of OU winning almost every time. Yes, there's the issue of getting users to partipate in both CAPs, but I do have an idea that may help against that. I think the best way to go about two CAPs at once would be to time it so that the meat of the CAP happens during the downtime of another. This way, instead of having annoying wait times between each CAP, after one CAP is over, people can hop on in the other metagame CAP to pass the time! Another way to go about this is to have a subforum for other metagames. This would make the timing less important, but I fear that putting the other metagame stuff in a subforum is going to kill activity.

    I'll probably post more in this topic later as I think of more ideas, but these are just my thoughts for now!
  15. nyttyn

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    Right now as it stands the big thing keeping me from supporting this is that CAP projects take up a huge chunk of time before a new CAP starts, and people are --quite fairly- afraid of being left out because they don't fully understand a metagame. Due to the rather minimal benefits of doing this, I am hesitant to support any process which has such a small potential gain for such a large potential harm. Low reward, high risk. While we should never be afraid to innovate, I feel the pros just aren't really there.

    However, let us look at how we're currently making the pre-evo CAPs and the LC CAP tier entirely separate from the main OU CAP forums. This solves two birds with one stone - the LC players are happy because they get focus, and the OU players are happy because CAP proper isn't taken over by LCs.

    As such, I would like to bring up the rather radical possibility of having a separate CAP project for every tier. Yes, this would require huge structure changes, and runs the very real risk of any one project facing a dry spell as people focus all in favor of one particular CAP, but it would make everyone happy. Really I don't suspect this to be a hugely viable option, but I want to at least bring up the possibility.
  16. Deck Knight

    Deck Knight A Knight for the Aegis
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    I don't exactly see what "harm" could possibly come. There's always a crowd that believes "X project has failed." In this case what we're essentially doing is using a different banlist than OU's for the basis of our presumptions. I don't even really see it as higher or lower risk, just different. Could you clarify what you mean by harm and risk?
  17. bugmaniacbob

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    To quite a few people, the playtest has always been the perfunctory endnote to the learning experience of the Project itself, which will be marred if we happen to scare off the vast majority of eligible contributors. The loss of participation is a legitimate practical concern, even if it isn't written down somewhere in black and white that we absolutely must strive to achieve high participation as a goal.

    Unfamiliarity breeds lack of conviction, particularly when part of this project's product package appears to be the mass migration of that tier's dedicated playerbase to CAP to bless us with their esteemed knowledge. Furthermore, the vast majority of the competitive discussion happens within the first few weeks of the CAP Project. Perhaps you have a solid understanding of the game and its mechanics, and are confident in your abilities (and I can't blame you) but you can't expect everybody to think that way. Smogon has a culture of "lurk more" that is somewhat unhealthy in this particular instance.

    Right, this is what I wanted to get on to. I fully expected to be overruled when I made the original post, but I still made it in the hope that we could start discussion on how exactly we are going to go about dealing with the inevitable problems that this Project has compared to the CAP Project proper - and yes, there will be some - and not automatically working under the assumption that there are none. The questions in the OP - which tiers, decided when - should be entirely disregarded until the essential questions of implementation are considered. Should this be a one-off Project (yes, it should) or implemented as a process at the start of every CAP (no, and on another note, I'm slightly alarmed to see people proposing measures to ensure that we get a tier other than OU in this eventuality)? How do we compensate for possible lack of participation? Should we host a tournament in the chosen tier to give people a chance to play, before the Project starts? What should we do to drum up interest, both before and during the CAP? Should we advertise that we are doing a CAP for a particular tier in that tier's subforum, perhaps? What do we do with the CAP once the playtest is over? How do we retain potential CAP contributors hailing from this other tier once the Project is over? Do we count this as part of the CAP canon or as a side-project (with Smog article to match)? Where do we put this on-site? And any other questions that I haven't thought of on the spur of the moment.

    Perhaps a fresh look at a different metagame would be nice. I'm not going to pretend I'm not interested in seeing what we can produce. All the same, I don't want to see this being put into practice without having been thought through. We have just lost a large number of our contributor base - I think this is the wrong time to be thinking about trying out other tiers, and thus risking a further loss in participation. Particularly when we haven't even made a BW2 OU CAP yet.

    Nobody cares what is "official" or not. What matters is that OU is the most-played and most accessible metagame with the greatest amount of support and arguably greatest store of built-up knowledge, which no other played tier, with the possible exception of VGC, comes mildly close to (feel free to disagree with me on this, this is only a common-sense judgement; I am sure that Theorymon knows a lot more about Glitchmons than the average OU battler knows about OU, but this is more about confidence than experience) - hence it is the fairest tier to use, since few persons have views that are worth "less" than others'.

    If we go ahead with this Project, then OU should NOT be an option for the vote under any circumstances. This should be kept entirely separate from the main CAP Project - for a number of reasons. The Topic Leader for this Project would have to be familiar with the metagame from the outset, hence we are limited immediately to only a few people. OU should still be the tier of choice for the majority of Projects - that is the fairest choice, especially if the justification for investigating other tiers is to learn more about OU.

    Even though I object to talking further about general implementation, it's necessary to make this point. Hence, I should say that the choice of tier should be put up to the public vote, every 3, 4, or 5 CAPs, or so, as a separate Project, with the options of Uber, UU, RU, and NU (I would avoid Little Cup for the first round, as it's arguably the most difficult tier to customise for).

    It needs to be a public vote, if it is going through, as this is an important gauge for the public's interest in any tier. If we are going to decide on the tier as a committee beforehand, though (Nobody cares what I think, but), I'd say that Ubers and UU are the best two choices, purely because they are easier to begin with than any of the other tiers - it's easier to make something broken in OU than not broken, and it's easier to make something substandard in OU and viable in UU than it is to make something substandard in OU, UU, and RU, but viable in NU.

    So, yeah.

    - Not now - wait until we've attempted BW2 OU and the community has grown a bit
    - Discuss problems now rather than later
    - I'll willingly support this if we've made an effort to sort out the problems associated with the idea

    I don't have a lot of time / facilities for discussing this at the moment, so apologies for lack of clarity.
  18. Birkal

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    I'm basically in agreement with this. While I'm not inherently opposed to creating a Pokemon for non-OU, I really do not think CAP4 is the right time. We have an entirely new BW2 metagame to explore, so that is where I'd recommend we go next. Perhaps during and afterwards we can discuss this.

    Does anyone have any objections to the above quote? If so, please post.
  19. DetroitLolcat

    DetroitLolcat Maize And Blue Badge Set :)
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    I would like to keep the door open on making CAP4 not for OU, simply because there's not much of a point not to. There is a sect of CAP, most likely a small minority, that would prefer to delve into Ubers, UU, or any other tier for a variety of reasons such as believing that Ubers and UU are better/more enjoyable metagames, growing stale of BW2 OU, or are more acquainted with other metagames.

    BW2 is probably a superior option, and it seems that the prevailing mindset among the PRC is just to keep CAP an OU thing for now and sort out the details of expansion for a later time. However, now that the community has entertained the idea of other metagames, there's little point in arbitrarily taking that option away at this moment. I propose opening a CAP for Future Metagames thread and seeing how it fares (heck, I should do that myself :O), and then deciding a metagame for CAP4 by community poll, much like how the community decides on other aspects of the CAP, e.g., concept, typing, and stats.

    It's likely in the future that when CAP does eventually expand into other metagames that the community will end up deciding the metagame through popular vote, as it should (in my opinion). I see little point in not keeping the door open for CAP4 to be a non-OU CAP and think it's a good move to get the community's input on this before we continue, especially since we haven't set a timetable for CAP4 to begin.
  20. jas61292

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    Well, first off, I pretty much agree with everything there. I do think there is much to be discussed before we get this to happen, and that now is probably not the right time to do it. But before I let this thread die, I promised Theorymon that I would post today elaborating a bit on what I briefly mentioned regarding multiple CAPs at once and how it relates to this issue. To quote my first post: "I have always thought it would be a challenge for us to do a non OU CAP, and personally, I have always thought that unless we can get two CAPs going at once, with one always being OU, it would be nearly impossible to keep up user support with an different tier CAP."

    Now, doing two CAPs at once is definitely a challenge in and of itself, but I believe that it may almost be necessary to do in order to keep participation up with a non-OU CAP. The fact is OU is by far the most played tier, and even if the percent of a tier's players who participated in the CAP was the same, the overall participation would drop drastically if we were to do any tier other than OU. But that is a concern that has been expressed many times already. What I want to talk about is how having a second, OU CAP going on at the same time would hopefully help prevent this.

    Some people have expressed beliefs that having two CAPs running simultaneously would actually hinder participation. That it would splinter the userbase and while overall participation might go up, many people would participate in only one or the other, lowering participation in individual CAPs. However, I do not believe this to be the case, especially if the two CAPs are of different tiers. I believe that the key to increasing participation in any CAP is to increase overall forum traffic. Now I don't really think anything in this conversation would increase traffic, but I do believe that one of the reasons participation in a non-OU CAP would be lower is that people not interested in the tier won't even visit the forum. However, if an OU CAP is going on at the same time then, ideally, forum traffic will stay at the normal high level of an OU CAP, despite the other, non OU CAP going on. People visiting the forum will take an extra minute or two and check out what is going on with the second CAP, and are more likely to participate than they would be had the OU CAP not brought them into the forum to begin with.

    Basically what I am saying is that I believe that instead of two CAPs splitting the playerbase it would actually increase it, especially for a non OU CAP, as the two projects would feed off each other, each bringing in participants for the other.

    Now, I do not think that we are ready to try something like this, as doing two CAPs at once itself may have more problems to work out than trying to do a non OU CAP. However, I believe, in the long run, it is definitely the idea way to do things if we do want CAP to be a project for more than just OU.
  21. DougJustDoug

    DougJustDoug Knows the great enthusiasms
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    At the time this thread was created, I was curious if the discussion would yield any new insight or reasoning different from the previous dozens of times we have discussed non-OU CAPs over the years. Unfortunately, this thread did not reveal anything new.

    I completely understand the sentiment of this. I personally have launched discussion of making CAP's for other metagames, dating all the way back to when LC first got off the ground and the CAP Shoddy Server was the host of the official LC ladder. At that time, I was thinking of doing a Little Cup CAP project for three reasons:

    1) As a way to switch things up a bit and do something exciting and new
    2) I wanted to help give some support to the LC community, whose leadership had a lot of crossover with CAP leadership at the time
    3) I wanted to increase visibility of the CAP Community and the CAP Server, so a cross-pollination with LC seemed like a good way to achieve that​

    Ultimately I decided against it because it tends to run contrary to the CAP mission. The CAP project is, and always will be, a COMMUNITY project. As such, we try to cater to a large audience and to be very INCLUSIVE with our project rules and structure. By intentionally designing a project for a small subset of competitive pokemon players, we include a new participant base, but we tend to exclude the largest participant base, which at Smogon is current gen OU players.

    The CAP project, by its very nature, will branch itself off a larger player base, and create a smaller player base. There is no way to avoid that. With every new CAP we move further and further away from the general pokemon masses. Even though we effectively "reset" every CAP, and build them in isolation from all other CAPs, the reality is that every CAP builds on the history and learnings of past CAPs. Even if past CAPs are not a competitive issue for the current project -- past CAPs are an accessibility limitation for new participants. It is not insurmountable, but it is intimidating for new people to participate when it is plainly obvious that there is years of history and rules and traditions that they are unfamiliar with.

    The easiest way to combat that inherent accessibility problem is to appeal to the largest pokemon player base possible, and present them with the implicit message, "If you know how to play competitive pokemon, then you have everything you need to be a valued participant here in CAP. Come join the fun!" If we make a CAP for any metagame other than OU, we are not reaching out to the broad competitive pokemon community, we are reaching out to a small subset of players. Considering the amount of time and effort that goes into a single CAP project, it just doesn't make sense to do anything other than "make the most of it" in terms of appealing to the broadest possible audience.

    At some point in the future, we may have special circumstances that lead us to do a non-OU CAP (see my post in the Competitive CAP PR thread where I showed a log of me proposing an Uber CAP project). But as a matter of standard CAP policy and process, this community needs to continue to focus only on OU.
  22. Birkal

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    If no one has any comments in response to DougJustDoug within the next 48 hours, I'm going to lock this and call it a day. The reasons laid out by him and bugmaniacbob's first post are largely why this idea could harm the project. I don't think a single CAP member isn't intrigued by doing a non-OU CAP, but the division that it could cause in our userbase is certainly worrisome. This is something we can look at in the future, but in our current position, I see very few benefits to doing a non-OU CAP.

    Note that if even after the lock, if you have some revolutionary post to make, you can always PM it to me and I will unlock this thread for you. Thanks for your understanding!
  23. capefeather

    capefeather YOU CAN'T STOP ROB
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    I would comment on any of the stuff that Doug has said, but considering that most of the points are going to be recurring themes in future PR threads, I will postpone my responses to them for the future. For now, I thought I'd just quickly throw one idea out there. The pre-evolution project has really gotten off its feet and even has its own subforum in CAP. Yet, it appeals to a specific subset of people (and I'll be honest, it hardly appeals to me at all), so for many people, a period of just making a pre-evo is no different from complete downtime. What if we do a "niche" project like this one or the pre-evo projects during that downtime? In terms of being something that appeals to a subset of potential participants, it would really be no different from the pre-evo project, except it would be more like the OU CAP projects in its competitive goals. The big objection I see here is that the pre-evo projects were started out of popular demand, and I'm not sure of how popular the notion of an alternate-metagame CAP project would be. Moreover, the pre-evo projects might be seen as part of the problem of public relations and potentially making people feel more excluded, which would make my suggestion worse.
  24. srk1214

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    I think the reason that the prevo projects have been so well-received is that we have done them from a pure flavor perspective. It gives people a chance to have fun and not worry about competitiveness in OU or fulfilling a concept. It also gives artists a chance to practice and submit more and more stuff.

    At the same time, I think we could have (though we didn't) focused the prevo project competitively with an influx of LCers who could help make the LC mons viable if we wanted them to be (heck even the middle stages of the 3-stagers in NU or RU or whatever.) That probably would have been the best way to start the initial exploration of whether or not making a CAP for an alternative metagame would garner support and have a viable outcome. Of course, this would have required much lengthier processes in the prevo subcategory and would likely have driven some people off, so I don't know if it would have worked. Also, no competitive project is finished without a playtest, and I don't think we have enough LC-knowledgeable members to have a good LC CAP playtest. So maybe it's for the best prevo has remained pure-flavor.

    tl;dr

    We probably just will never know if it's a good idea to try one and without knowing, we won't do it.
  25. Pwnemon

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    Cape, the difference between doing a prevo in a subforum and doing an othermeta cap in a subforum is that one requires a LOT less intensive care and involvement than the other. There is such a huge gulf between a silly little prevo and an entire CAP, which would go on-site in theory. Unless you want to marginalize the OM cap until it's just a fun flavor gambit like the prevo, i'd say that your proposal is more detrimental than doing none at all.
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