1. Welcome to Smogon! Check out the Smogon Starters Hangout for everything you need to know about starting out in the community. Don't forget to introduce yourself in the Introduction and Hangout Thread, too!
  2. Welcome to Smogon Forums! Please take a minute to read the rules.

Research Group Reflection

Discussion in 'BW NU' started by DTC, Sep 18, 2012.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. DTC

    DTC ˢᵉʳᶦᵒᵘˢ
    is a Smogon IRC SOPis a Battle Server Admin Alumnusis a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Researcher Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnus

    Joined:
    May 8, 2011
    Messages:
    1,705
    Hello NU'ers. Research Group has been the longest standing NU project. It has a changed a ton over the course of a few months. Right now it's in a bit of a hiatus because I'm waiting until we figure out the NU hub and what exactly we're going to do with it. In the meantime, I'd like to have a discussion on a few things regarding Research Group.

    Here are questions that it'd be helpful for you to answer:
    • What do you think was the most successful Research Group?
    • What do you like better: when we look at three Pokemon or four?
    • What do you think of the Pokemon challenges? Do you think that they have been successful in making people try new sets and have overall had a positive impact on Research Group or are they, for the most part, useless, or even have a negative impact on Research Group?
    • What do you think is better: Pokemon being included into Research Group because they're underrated or unexplored? Should there be a mixture of both?
    • Should Pokemon that have previously been in Research Group be candidates for future Research Groups if either a) they get significant new move options or b) the meta has drastically changed around them and said Pokemon needs to adapt?
    • What do you think makes a successful Research Group?
    • What are some ways I can improve Research Group?

    You don't have to answer all of those. Please provide reasons why you answered whatever way you answered. Feel free to bring up something else that isn't on this list that you feel needs to be mentioned. Hopefully we can get some insightful discussion about this.
  2. Zebraiken

    Zebraiken GANONBOARF
    is a member of the Site Staffis an official Team Rateris a Super Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Pokemon Researcheris a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Battle Server Moderator
    NU Co-Leader

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2011
    Messages:
    3,371
    1. What do you think was the most successful Research Group?

    Several of them were actually incredibly successful in my experience, although I can't say I've been the most active or best participant in these. I guess this really depends on how you would determine 'successful' - I'd say any Research Group that identified and established what was previously an underrated Pokemon as a main NU threat would have been incredibly successful. Even if none of the suggested Pokemon really had an impact on the metagame, it's understandable since we can't always produce a new, meta-changing threat out of PU Pokemon. I'd define success in RW/RG as "clearly establishing whether or not Pokemon x, y, and z are viable in the metagame and why or why not". In that light, many of the RW/RG threads were absolutely successful.

    As far as the most successful, whichever ones indicted the most discussion and playing would have obtained that title, in my eyes. RW 6 was the first that really went above and beyond what we had seen before and I'd love to see a lot more of that - just simple, dedicated posts about mons. It's really not much you can do on your part except for encouraging good posts, though. :(

    2. What do you like better: when we look at three Pokemon or four?

    I have no particular preference. It shouldn't really matter all too much, imo.

    3. What do you think of the Pokemon challenges? Do you think that they have been successful in making people try new sets and have overall had a positive impact on Research Group or are they, for the most part, useless, or even have a negative impact on Research Group?

    It's a neat idea, but often a little too hard to reach or "not worth trying". They make you think, but... like, why would you ever legitimately want to use Work Up Simipour in lieu of Nasty Plot? I get that the idea is to answer that question, but in all reality there's absolutely no reason that you'd want to do that. I think RW/RG should be primarily geared towards finding new and effective sets / mons in the current metagame - not saying that they should be removed, or anything, but I know I certainly wouldn't go out of my way to test and use obviously inferior sets to the existing ones, you know what I mean?

    4. What do you think is better: Pokemon being included into Research Group because they're underrated or unexplored? Should there be a mixture of both?

    Both. No explanation is really necessary, haha.

    5. Should Pokemon that have previously been in Research Group be candidates for future Research Groups if either a) they get significant new move options or b) the meta has drastically changed around them and said Pokemon needs to adapt?

    As long as we're not using the same Pokemon within a month or so, I'm perfectly fine with anything being reposted.

    6. What do you think makes a successful Research Group?

    Oh... I answered that, up there.

    7. What are some ways I can improve Research Group?

    I'll think of some stuff and get back to you on this one.
  3. FLCL

    FLCL
    is a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Team Rater Alumnusis a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnusis Smogon Frontier's Salon Maidenis a Past SPL Winner

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2010
    Messages:
    2,374
    What do you think was the most successful Research Group?

    Research Week #7 really helped popularize Kangaskhan and Shelgon by a huge margain. Research Week #11 was responsible for Piloswine's drastic increase in usage among better players. Research Week really helped bring these Pokemon into the limelight. There was nothing wrong with the other Research Weeks; it's just that those Pokemon were simply outclassed, which dictated their low usage.


    What do you like better: when we look at three Pokemon or four?

    3. What do you think of the Pokemon challenges? Do you think that they have been successful in making people try new sets and have overall had a positive impact on Research Group or are they, for the most part, useless, or even have a negative impact on Research Group?

    This adds an interesting aspect to Research Week, but using gimmicks such as Shell Smash Omanyte and No Attack Gothitelle doesn't help these Pokemon perform become more popular at all. In fact, people losing with these gimmicks could regard these Pokemon as bad, even though it was because they weren't using them properly.


    4. What do you think is better: Pokemon being included into Research Group because they're underrated or unexplored? Should there be a mixture of both?


    Sure


    5. Should Pokemon that have previously been in Research Group be candidates for future Research Groups if either a) they get significant new move options or b) the meta has drastically changed around them and said Pokemon needs to adapt?

    I wouldn't be very motivated to use something such as Eelektross in two different Research Weeks unless it either fits extremely well synergy wise on my team or has received massive boosts move-pool wise.


    6. What do you think makes a successful Research Group?

    I think this depends on personal preference. Research Week itself is pretty stale since one usually ladders for one or two days, writes up a few paragraphs, and waits for it to end. However, if there is a certain Pokemon that one really like included in it, it will be be much more enjoyable for them.
  4. Sweet Jesus

    Sweet Jesus Neal and Jack and me, absent lovers...

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2012
    Messages:
    521
    I didn't really participate in research groups, but I still liked those projects and enjoyed reading peoples advice about the pokemon they tested.

    1. What do you think was the most successful Research Group?

    Haven't been around for so long, I saw 4 maybe 5 research groups. I think Eelektross got a pretty big boost in usage after the RW, it's in the top 20 in august usage stats iirc.

    2. What do you like better: when we look at three Pokemon or four?

    I prefer four, the more the better :). Really, I don't see many resons to put only 3 pokes, 4 gives more choices to people and increases the participation. It also makes the comments less redundant because the fewer pokemon, the more people repeat thereselves.

    3. What do you think of the Pokemon challenges? Do you think that they have been successful in making people try new sets and have overall had a positive impact on Research Group or are they, for the most part, useless, or even have a negative impact on Research Group?

    Cool idea, but as zeb said, most of the time they're too hard. I don't think the pokemon game is complex enough to run these challenges, there's not enough possible effective sets for each pokemon. I think specifying that the goal of research week is not just to use underrated pokemon but to try originial sets would be enough.

    4. What do you think is better: Pokemon being included into Research Group because they're underrated or unexplored? Should there be a mixture of both?

    What zebraiken said.

    5. Should Pokemon that have previously been in Research Group be candidates for future Research Groups if either a) they get significant new move options or b) the meta has drastically changed around them and said Pokemon needs to adapt?

    Pretty much what zeb said once again. There still needs to keep a variety of new pokes though, old ones making a second appariton should be occasional.

    6. What do you think makes a successful Research Group?

    How much people participate, don't think you can change the concept too much. I like it like it is.

    7. What are some ways I can improve Research Group?

    Personaly, I'm not a big fan of the point system, I don't see this as a competition but as a way to share knowledge about the metagame and increase the size of the NU community. But if some people do like the point system, I guess you might as well keep it and I'll just continue ignoring it.
  5. WhiteDMist

    WhiteDMist PU! We don't stink though!
    is a member of the Site Staffis a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Team Rater Alumnus
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    Messages:
    1,240
    I don't participate in all the Research Weeks, but have participated in enough to know what I like seeing as a result. Good discussions about how the picked Pokemon work in the metagame, good sets, etc. are key to a good research group, imo. I'm not saying that there hasn't been good discussions; I'm just saying that adding a competition to a research group is a bit like compromising the goals of research week (especially the challenges).

    What do you think was the most successful Research Group?

    Week #11 brought Piloswine more limelight, #7 gave Kangaskhan some nice poplularity, and I'm sure that #5 made people look at Emboar more even though Magmortar was still in the tier.

    What do you like better: when we look at three Pokemon or four?

    I doubt it really matters, but like Sweet Jesus said, the more options, the more interest Research Week will attract.

    What do you think of the Pokemon challenges? Do you think that they have been successful in making people try new sets and have overall had a positive impact on Research Group or are they, for the most part, useless, or even have a negative impact on Research Group?

    I like the creativity it inspires, but most of the challenges force the Pokemon into using sets that are far inferior to their more standard sets. I don't see the point when these Pokemon are already considered inferior, since it's not really using them to the best of one's abilities. I think that when you gave people a chance to find sets on their own, effective sets/niches were found.

    What do you think is better: Pokemon being included into Research Group because they're underrated or unexplored? Should there be a mixture of both?

    Definitely both. Underrated Pokemon may be just as good as the most popular Pokemon, just lesser used. That was how people found (and remembered) Emboar's potential while Magmortar was still in the tier. Unexplored Pokemon may have just as much potential, and I think that the terms are a bit hard to separate in any case. Regardless, aren't these kinds of Pokemon what Research Week is all about?

    Should Pokemon that have previously been in Research Group be candidates for future Research Groups if either a) they get significant new move options or b) the meta has drastically changed around them and said Pokemon needs to adapt?

    Yes, because they would technically fall under unexplored would they not? Regardless, they provide an interesting new learning experience that allows us to discover new sets and their effects on the metagame.

    What do you think makes a successful Research Group?

    More discussion rather than point collecting. The points system and challenges seem to distract people from the goal of Research Week, which is to learn about what can be effective in the tier. A lot of the posts I see are about people reaching a certain rank more than the Pokemon themselves (though I may not be giving the good posters enough credit).

    What are some ways I can improve Research Group?

    Other than removing the challenges and/or points system? I feel like summarizing what the community has learned when the Week is over would be helpful in letting everyone see the underrated stuff in a new light. Trying to piece together all the discussions is a bit tedious I know, but it would be especially helpful to newer players.

    My final suggestion is to promote a more controlled learning environment by having players utilize the research Pokes individually. A lot of people tend to use multiple research Pokemon on the same team, and it's hard to say how effective they work together since they are picked randomly. This would skew the results if one undeniably poor research Pokemon affected another Pokemon. Maybe suggest that people first test each Pokemon out by themselves before the try them together at the very least? Obviously it can't be a requirement in order to promote good discussion, but a controlled environment would be very effective I imagine.
  6. Django

    Django
    is a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnus

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2009
    Messages:
    1,819
    I won't answer all the questions because people have already said what I think.

    What do you think was the most successful Research Group?


    The ones that produced Kangaskhan and Piloswine mainly. The effects of those can still be seen today; Kagaskhan is roughly where it should be in usage, even if the Choice Band set has fallen in popularity, while Piloswine is among the best Pokemon in the tier that can effectively function as a "lead".


    What do you think of the Pokemon challenges? Do you think that they have been successful in making people try new sets and have overall had a positive impact on Research Group or are they, for the most part, useless, or even have a negative impact on Research Group?

    As I said when you first set these up, I really don't like the Pokemon Challenges. I think most of them can be determined to be pointless with just a few minutes of thinking about it, like using Work Up Simipour > Nasty Plot. I think they slightly pigeon hole people into trying one set, rather than discovering something for themselves, which is what I feel the whoel point of RG is. As for a negative impact, I'm not so sure. I can see where people are coming from when they say the point system (and thus the points gained from Pokemon Challenges) takes away from discussion, but it certainly does encourage activity. I'll expand more on this later.

    What are some ways I can improve Research Group?

    I actually agree with the above posters that the excessive points system takes away from the discussion somewhat. I think the points from laddering are fine, as it encourages people to actually play and not just theorymon. The points gained from laddering should stay, as long as its made clear you cannot simply ladder and then gain the points; you must actually post about the Pokemon you are using. The other awards given (IRC, forum poster etc) are somewhat redundant in my opinion, but if people feel the need to have an e-peen enlargement before they contribute to a discussion thats fine too. As for Pokemon Challeneges, perhaps they could be adapted somewhat? Instead of providing a list of set ideas and points you can get from them, just provide a short list of moves, items, abilities whatever that aren't currently used that might have potential. This just gets people thinking about new things, and doesn't necessarily force them into using a select few sets if they want to win the thing.

    I might add some more later ^_^
  7. Ewil

    Ewil

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2010
    Messages:
    467
    1)What do you think was the most successful Research Group?

    Kangashkan and Shelgon are really good pokes and they have the light that they deserves, so #research week #7.

    2)What do you like better: when we look at three Pokemon or four?

    three+1, explanation in the question #4

    3)What do you think of the Pokemon challenges? Do you think that they have been successful in making people try new sets and have overall had a positive impact on Research Group or are they, for the most part, useless, or even have a negative impact on Research Group?

    Personally i didn't partecipate a lot because i'm really busy, but i saw many players running this and they came out improving the RW pokes and posting good set about them.

    4)+5)What do you think is better: Pokemon being included into Research Group because they're underrated or unexplored? Should there be a mixture of both?
    Should Pokemon that have previously been in Research Group be candidates for future Research Groups if either a) they get significant new move options or b) the meta has drastically changed around them and said Pokemon needs to adapt?

    I prefer a mixture of them all, that's why i choose that i want three+1 RW mons. For me they should be catalogated. Every week the research group should propose (in my opinion) two unexplored pokemons, an underrated one and, if it is the case, should propose an old RW mon (the +1) if he has gained new ability/moves, if there's no one that deserves a new research, then you can stop to three mons. That's my idea.
  8. Annoyer

    Annoyer =)~

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2012
    Messages:
    660
    What do you think was the most successful Research Group?

    Since I started Research Group pretty late (Research Group #1), my experience with all of the Research Groups/Weeks is quite little. Out of the 5 that I have participated in, Research Group #2 (Magmar, Lapras, Exeggutor) was the most successful. Pokemon like Exeggutor were known for their pure power from Specs set, but this Research Group showed that Eggy had a lot more potential such as Sunny Day sweeping or being a unique defensive sun threat. Lapras also got quite some love as a unique user of Hydration+Rest which it could abuse offensively and defensively. Magmar also became a unique defensive fire type that could use it's attributes such as Vital Spirit to become a great counter to the likes of Amoonguss. This Research Group was also very active and I saw many of these pokes on the ladder during the time (and still do).

    What do you like better: when we look at three Pokemon or four?

    Either one is alright, but if I had to make a choice, I would choose three Pokemon. I don't know why but it just feels better with three Pokemon.

    What do you think of the Pokemon challenges? Do you think that they have been successful in making people try new sets and have overall had a positive impact on Research Group or are they, for the most part, useless, or even have a negative impact on Research Group?

    Most of the Pokemon challenges were pretty good such as Rain Dance Lapras and Stun Spore Exeggutor. It brought more thinking to the table instead of just using standard bog sets. Some though are pretty dumb, and they shouldn't be put since it's very obvious that they wouldn't work well the majority of the time. I don't know who makes these challenges, but just put some though before you pick them (not like you aren't already, but you get the point).

    What do you think is better: Pokemon being included into Research Group because they're underrated or unexplored? Should there be a mixture of both?

    Both are alright with me, but if it's obvious that a Pokemon won't do well such as Delcatty or Watchog, those Pokemon shouldn't be picked.

    Should Pokemon that have previously been in Research Group be candidates for future Research Groups if either a) they get significant new move options or b) the meta has drastically changed around them and said Pokemon needs to adapt?

    Both. Significant move options obviously make mons like Band Eelektross much more viable than before and meta changes always affect Pokemon in one way or another and Research Group is a perfect way to find out how.

    What do you think makes a successful Research Group?

    I think a successful Research Group is one with a lot of discussion since that is the main way people can get their ideas and sets around. It also pretty nice when new viable sets are found as well.

    What are some ways I can improve Research Group?

    First off, end last RG :P. Anyways, I don't think the point system is too bad since it gets more players in and makes them try out new sets that they normally wouldn't use otherwise. It makes the ladder much more fun as well. Laddering also promotes people to actually try out their set. Not too much to improve since it is by far my favorite project in this forum right now.
  9. Raseri

    Raseri here to help
    is a Tutoris a member of the Site Staffis a Smogon Social Media Contributoris a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Researcher Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnus
    NU Co-Leader

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2007
    Messages:
    3,690
    What do you think was the most successful Research Group?
    • Some of the older ones, like the one that had Kanga and Shelgon, as well as the one that had Rapidash. They've all been reasonably successful, I just think those to epitomize what we were looking for.
    What do you like better: when we look at three Pokemon or four?
    • I don't think this makes a huge difference, it could be 2 or 5 and everything would work.
    What do you think of the Pokemon challenges? Do you think that they have been successful in making people try new sets and have overall had a positive impact on Research Group or are they, for the most part, useless, or even have a negative impact on Research Group?

    • Some are great, some are just dumb(reversal Fraxure).
    What do you think is better: Pokemon being included into Research Group because they're underrated or unexplored? Should there be a mixture of both?
    • Clearly both should be, I think leaning more towards unexplored is the way to go, since with underrated threats we tend to know what their best sets are, RG just reveals them to the public.
    Should Pokemon that have previously been in Research Group be candidates for future Research Groups if either a) they get significant new move options or b) the meta has drastically changed around them and said Pokemon needs to adapt?
    • They should always be available to be used again
    What do you think makes a successful Research Group?
    • particpation. You could have the best Pokemon ever, perfect challenges, but without participation nothing happena
    What are some ways I can improve Research Group?
    • rename it Research Week
  10. DTC

    DTC ˢᵉʳᶦᵒᵘˢ
    is a Smogon IRC SOPis a Battle Server Admin Alumnusis a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Researcher Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnus

    Joined:
    May 8, 2011
    Messages:
    1,705
    Thanks for the fantastic feedback guys. Closing this thread now.

    Following up from this discussion, I will be making the following changes to Research Group:
    • Taking a more active role of leadership in Research Group discussions
    • Removing the points mumbo jumbo. I was never a fan of doing them and there was mixed reviews about it anyways. I may do Pokemon challenges of sorts in the future, but it's going to be different and much less of a focus.
    • All Research Group's from now on will have 4+ Pokemon (usually 4)
    • At the end of the Research Group, outstanding contributors and a paragraph or two will be written about each Pokemon and what we discovered in that particular Research Group will be posted.
    • ^ will go on a page in the hub specifically for Research Group
    • It will be named Research Week

    Next Research Group will start soon!
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Users Viewing Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 0)