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"What is the Create-A-Pokemon Project?" Workshop

Discussion in 'Create-A-Pokémon Project' started by DougJustDoug, Mar 20, 2008.

  1. Hyra

    Hyra
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    It does, but not to the extent that changing type charts does. And tell me how much of an effect Deoxys S or Wobbuffet had on your playstyle after the initial hype. If Dragon was suddenly resisted by and hit SE by Poison (just to address both of the types X-Act mentioned), don't you think Poison types would have a dramatic increase in usage. Gengar might replace Garchomp as number 1 (yeah, Gengar's a Poison-type, even though he never uses it). And that's just changing the relationship between only two types. Imagine trying to do this for all 17 types.
  2. Dane

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    If we were to make starters, we'd pretty much have to do all three at once to make sure they're similar enough to each other to be "starters" and not just three pokemon that seem like starters.

    1) Pick types. The most obvious types would be Fire/Water/Grass, but any Scissors/Rock/Paper triangle could theoretically work. The only other one I can think of off the top of my head would be Rock/Fighting/Flying. The problem with flying is it either has to have a secondary type, or not able to use Roost.

    2) Once that's decided on, secondary types can be chosen for the final evolution stage. These types could be anything, or even nothing. In my opinion though, if we give one of the three a secondary type that negates their starter weakness (Water against Fire, etc), both of the other starters need to be given that neutrality as well.

    This means for example, if a Fire/Grass was made (negating Fire's starter Water weakness), Water would need to be given either Bug, Dragon, Fire, Flying, Poison, or Steel. I left out grass, since if creating a Fire/Grass starter you wouldn't want to also make a Water/Grass.

    3) Create a purpose for each starter. Utility, Physical Sweeper, Special Sweeper, Mixed Sweeper, Tank, or some Hybrid thereof. Perhaps even specify a main tactic, similar to how we wanted a Bulk Up theme for Revenankh.

    4) Stats for the starters to correspond to their purpose.

    5+) Everything from this point onwards would be handled the same as if it were singular Pokemon being done, except Movepool.

    X) Movepool. Only reason to do this as a "group" setting is because you don't want one to be amazingly better than another, or one to be completely useless compared to the others, etc. Balance as much as possible, while still being competitive.
  3. Hyra

    Hyra
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    Dane, just a nitpick, but you couldn't have a Fire/Grass starter. It takes up the space of both the Grass and Fire starter. I would suggest changing this, since you don't want to have both a Water/Grass and Fire/Grass starter, but seem okay with having a Fire/Grass starter and a Grass/any starter.
  4. DougJustDoug

    DougJustDoug Knows the great enthusiasms
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    Even though I disagree with him, I am glad that X-Act posted his suggestions. Many people have made similar suggestions in the past. Since X-Act is a respected member of the community, it really "calls the question", so to speak. Here are the arguments I presented to X-Act privately, before he posted here.

    Agreed that Poison could use some help. I've seen suggestions to make it SE on Bug as the mirror to Poison's defensive resist of Bug. I don't personally like that, as Bug has enough problems with SRocks all over the place. Bolder suggestions are to make Poison SE on Water. This might have merit, but I haven't really looked at the impact of that.

    Dragon is broken as hell and I can't say enough about it. An Ice resist to Dragon would help a lot. I've also heard suggestions to make Rock carry a dragon resist. IIRC, a strong argument for that is to try and add some teeth to the Rock/Steel typing that Ninty obviously thinks is somehow a defensive force -- instead of the defensive joke it is in reality. Conveying a 4x dragon resist might give it the oomph it needs to make it viable in standard. I won't hold my breath waiting for Bastiodon in OU.....

    Despite these comments, I am not personally an advocate of changing any exisiting game mechanics (ie. type effectiveness) or altering existing pokemon. My opinion is not based on my desires as a player of the game, it is as a participant in the CAP project itself. Here's a few probems I foresee:

    1) The biggest problem with fakedex projects is that they are so easily dismissed as fanboy projects. This is often a reaction based not on merit, but out of "religious indignity". Metagamers treat the Nintendo game constucts as sacred cows, no matter how much they bitch about them publicly. Altering these concepts will be immediately met with mocking derision by the community at large. That, in turn, could have a demotivating effect on the project as a whole.

    2) There are many other customized servers with changes that alter the basic premise of the games. These servers attract very little traffic and are a novelty. The biggest reason is that people can't figure out the "rules" intuitively. More importantly, they can't figure out the impact on their battle style and strategy.

    When we create new pokemon -- new players, without instruction, can very quickly gain a decent understanding of the implications. All the data is immediately apparent on the pokedex entry. Typing, moves, ability -- got it, let's battle. Even small changes to certain mechanics, runs the risk of creating a perception that it invalidates all the existing knowledge players have learned/earned.

    4) Also, it could serve as a barrier to entry for new contributors to the project.

    A new member, well-versed in metagame battling, and confident enough to show off their hard-earned knowledge, decides to post, "Hey that Stenchtox you created will get pwned by every Gyarados in the book." He is quickly derided by the entrenched community with comments like "STFU noob. Everybody knows that Poison eats Gyarados and every other Water for lunch. Read the sticky next time before making an ass of yourself."

    Whether this is right or wrong, I don't want competent knowledgeable battlers feeling like they have to "start over" when contributing to the CAP project.


    I know X-Act emphasized the small and careful nature of the changes he is advocating. I'm not sure a community effort is capable of exercising the restraint necessary to make such precise changes in such a delicate area of the metagame. However, I have been surprised by the averaged intelligence of the community working as a whole. I honestly expected us to be collectively "dumber" than we are so far. (How's that for a back-handed compliment to the community?)

    In general, I would prefer we evolve pokemon rather than alter them. This is more of an implementation concern with the Shoddy server. Without going into details, by adding new pokemon, we can maintain a certain level of integration with the the Shoddy source code and players' existing teams. If we start altering existing species, it becomes potentially impossible to do that. Once again, that affects our accessibility to the larger metagame community.
  5. Hyra

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    Agreeing with Doug, making basic changes in the game makes it harder for people to get used. Remember how the type changes from RBY->GSC changed the game or how the Physical/Special split confused people for months before DP was released. That's the kind of change a change in the type chart is. The Stenchtox-Gyarados example is perfect for this, as much as it would help Poison in OUR metagame, it would shrink the number of players of our metagame overall. We will never become the standard metagame, but we should deviate as little as possible from it. New Pokemon are easy to learn, it's just one exists here and doesn't exist there. Type changes are harder, essentially requiring a player of the CAP metagame to keep two type charts in their mind, one for the CAP metagame and one for the Standard metagame.

    We should be making the transition between the two metagames as smooth as possible. So, I change my old position and say that we should only touch existing Pokemon, moves, and types (deargod, do not add more) only by using them to create new Pokemon.
  6. eric the espeon

    eric the espeon maybe I just misunderstood
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    agreeing with DJD
    i can think of fight/psy/dark.
  7. Hyra

    Hyra
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    I would say changing the starter types is going a little too far. They have been the same for four generations. That's not to say we couldn't do Fire/Psychic, Grass/Fight (erg... Grass already has all three combinations taken), and Water/Dark (see comment on grass). I just think it will look bad if we change the basic types of the starters. However, for the legendary trio, we have free reign.
  8. eric the espeon

    eric the espeon maybe I just misunderstood
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    fine Hyra, just a combination thet workes.
  9. Dane

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    Fire/Grass would be okay only if you then went and made Water/Fire and Grass/Water. It was a bad example, but still feasable.

    *editing so as to not double post*
    The problem with that though is it isn't the Starter Triangle. Dark is immune to Psychic, not resistant. That gives the Dark starter an innate advantage in this situation. The idea is the make Starter A strong against Starter B, and both weak to and weak against Starter C. Rotate A/B/C for each starter to have applicable typing.

    I personally don't mind if it changes away from Fire/Water/Grass, but there really isn't any reason to. I'd rather stick with Fire/Water/Grass, since that already negates initial typing and ability steps.
  10. latinoheat

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    meh i don't mind a change in the type chart, but the thing is it will take so much playtesting to see the full effects of it and consider whether it has made a fair impact, and how do we exactly judge if it has improved the metagame.

    Saying that i support the whole poison SE against water and the idea of ice getting another resistance(water or dragon)
  11. Gothic Togekiss

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    If we do make some Starter-like pokemon, would they have to have Blaze/Overgrow/Torrent ability? Also is the option of making new hold item within the project main goal(s)?
  12. Helios

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    There was a rumour that the three D/P starters would be fighting, psychic and dark (a kangaroo, a ceratopian dinosaur and a cat, respectively). Here are all the triangles I can think of currently.

    Grass>Fire>Water
    Grass>Flying>Rock
    Fire>Dragon>Steel (Pseudo, probably as a secondary typing, Grass/fire, Fire/Dragon, Water/Steel (I know we already have one))
    Fire>Rock>Steel
    Fire>Ice>Ground
    Water>Ground>Electric
    Ice>Rock>Ground (double weak pairings :))
    Fighting>Psychic>Dark
    Fighing>Flying>Ice

    Some of those aren't true 'starter' typings, since ice only got one resistance, but... eh.

    If we wanted to be different, we could have the 'in a pinch' abilities for the second typing, or we could get a whole new bunch of abilities. It'd have to be a set though. Maybe a grass with Fire absorb, fire with Water absorb and water with um... Nature absorb? I dunno.

    If we actually try for a generation like group, are we going to make some pokemon inherently crappy (like Masquerain), or are we still going to give them awesome stat placements/abilities?

    E.G. 50/20/45/135/90/45 (HP/Atk/Def/Spe/SpA/SpD with a grand total of 385 BS) bug/flying with an ability like 'ignore the priority of damaging moves' and the move set, hypnosis, glare, WOW and Air Slash maybe (U-Turn would do nothing from that awesome base 20 attack...)? 5 base speed more than crobat, the current fastest sleeper and all the survivability of a wet paper bag, use Pain split on him, I dare you ;) (This was just an example I took about 2 minutes on).

    I don't really like the current Type chart, but if we change even a small bit of it, the entire metagame will be thrown around. Well, you could probably get away with giving ice another weakness or something, but that's about it. Because we wouldn't be able to truly predict the outcome, we're trying to create pokemon geared at the current metagame aren't we?

    BTW, will we be considering the old CAP pokemon when we make new ones, like as counters or things TO counter?
  13. chronostrike

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    Grass/fire/water, steel/rock/fire, and rock/flying/fighting are the only triplets that have the proper effectiveness in both directions. Any other set has an inconvenient immunity or lack of resistance smuggled in.
  14. DougJustDoug

    DougJustDoug Knows the great enthusiasms
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    I plan to remove the line that specifically excludes building a new generation. Inevitably, we are creating bunch of pokemon -- whatever we want to call it. That line really just confuses things.

    I plan to leave in the section that focuses on the education aspect of the project. I think this allows the project mission to be truly open-ended and it dovetails perfectly with the overall purpose of Smogon University. It might prevent people from thinking we will be "done" when we create X number of pokemon.

    The "competive and non-competive facets" section is probably unnecessary. I think this starts getting into the creation process details. That will be covered by the guide Deck Knight is heading up.thinking that section should be deleted entirely.

    We need a new section that broadly outlines the kinds of pokemon we want to create. I think it should mention that the pokemon are intended to be usable in competitive play (we don't need to specify tiers). I also think there should be some mention about contributing to a more balanced metagame. Perhaps a sentence or two that says we may create individual pokemon or themed sets of pokemon, like legends and starters. If others agree on this new section, please write up a suggested wording and post it.

    Also, comment if you agree/disagree with the edits I am proposing.
  15. Brain

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    I'm going to throw my 2 cents in here, for what they are worth.

    In late 2003, I directed a project called PPC (Pokemon Project Creation) that I basically intended to make a new metagame out of the hundreds of fake pokemon I had made throughout the years. Having access to RSBot's source code (a text-based pokemon battle simulator for Ruby/Sapphire over IRC, for those who never used anything like it), I actually coded in a lot of new things. In a span of three months, the project ended up with 137 new pokemon, 95 new moves, 62 new abilities and 3 new types. Most of them by me, but I had some other contributors. I made a website in PHP to document everything that I had done (code that I recycled one year later to make Smogon's first pokedex, ironically enough).

    Despite that, nobody ended up playing it but 4 or 5 regulars. Part of the problem is that the community was nowhere as big as it is now; furthermore the lack of nice images (a visual always helps). But the real problem was accessibility. The existence of a full game that you can play to get used to all pokemon excuses the complexity of its simulators. People would look at what we had done and would not bother to learn it - they have to know what the new moves and abilities do, learn the new type chart, they have to pick moves, pick EVs. Competitive Pokemon is not very "pick up and play" without its RPG. Furthermore, I would say that whenever you stray from the official game, people get uneasy - it's just not Pokemon anymore, and it is Pokemon that they want to play. It's a bit like adding your own made up character to Smash Bros. Sure, it might be fun, but it's a "fake" and will always be considered as a curiosity rather than something worthy - nobody will use your character in "true" competitive play for sure. Same here. If you make "fake" pokemon, few people will take your "fake" metagame seriously, even if it is actually better than the "real" metagame. Also, in general, people care about their fake pokemon, not so much the fake pokemon other people made and that is why legitimacy is a very big deal. Your very community-centric system and Smogon's backing will help you a lot with that, hopefully it will be sufficient.

    Now, I'm not saying it is not worth it. It looks like a very fun project and I don't think you necessarily want a very big following. But what I would like to say is that there are two viable paths:

    A) Keep doing what you do now: a slow increment to the existing metagame. Adding carefully without breaking anything, so people can taste the novelty without getting lost in it. A viable competitive scene will develop with your additions and I think most people will give it a chance, if only out of curiosity, and they'll come back periodically. Smogon's backing will help you a lot by providing constant visibility.

    B) Change the core mechanics. The type chart, etc. But if you do that, realize that there is no going back, suck it up and change everything. Redo the type chart completely and by completely I mean from scratch with probably only half of the existing types. Radically simplify the stat system so people can run the math mentally. Flush Nintendo's pokemon because there's no way in hell you're fixing all of them. Wipe out both DVs and EVs. Start out with at most 50 critters. And once you've cleaned house, do yourselves a favor and rename the project to not use the concept of Pokemon anymore.

    Basically, if you modify the core mechanics/type chart even in small ways it will completely crash the current metagame. If it does not render it unusable, it will frustrate users because they have to "relearn" the whole game. BUT if you change everything then it pretty much becomes a new game and then people don't have to "relearn", they just have to "learn" and the psychological barrier is a lot lower. If you remove the existing 500 pokemon and most of the math, the game will be very easy to pick up and can still be quite fun. If you're clever, I don't think you lose a lick of competitive value either.

    So that's the two ways I think can be successful: slowly incremental or completely radical. Go in-between and you'll have internal problems (because everybody has a strong opinion about, say, the type chart) or problems to motivate people to try it out because it's too different yet not different enough. Personally, if I ever revive PPC, I am going for B). But that's just me and it might be a lot harder to do properly.
  16. Time Mage

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    I agree. We should only focus on creating one pokémon at a time, one that adds something to the metagame, rather than creating a whole new generation, with all the implications that means. I think it's more important to create a new useful spinner, or a special attacker that is not walled by Blissey but is by others, for example, than a new starting trio or a new legendary trio.

    I also agree. Competitive pokémon should be the focus, leaving the "flavor" aspects as a secondary decision after the role. And speaking of that, and although this probably fits better in the guidelines workshop topic, I think the first thing that should be decided for each pokémon is the role. typing affects greatly the roles the pokémon can play, so the role should be first, or we could find ourselves with a Fire/Flying pokémon, and people wanting a spinner, for example.

    Also, I'll do the formal writeup of this:

    "The pokémon created on the CAP project will always have a competitive focus. The goals when creating a new pokémon should be making a competitive pokémon, that adds something new or necessary to the metagame. Created pokémon should make the metagame more balanced, hopefully increasing the number of pokémon available in the OU environment. Creative decisions, such as its "legendary" or "starter" status should be an afterthought, and not the main goal of the project, as those designations doesn't mean anything in a competitive environment."


    I think THIS is the key. The pokémon crated here are not someone's pokémon, but a community effort. As such, there are much more people that are attached to them, and that is an important initial player base that will help the project being healthy.

    A) Is what we are doing now and what I consider the wisest solution. Both ways might lead to a better metagame, but the first one will be much more accepted by the community, and the community is vital for this things to succeed. Not to mention that is much easier to make one pokémon at a time than to make everything from scratch, of course.
  17. Brain

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    Flavor is more important than you think. If the first generation of pokemon wasn't so darn likeable (and wasn't backed by a large corporation), next to nobody would give a shit about competitive pokemon. The competitive aspect may be very important to the project, deep down it is flavor that reels people in and makes them care. Note that competitive worth and flavor are not mutually exclusive, just complementary. I suggest making all pokemon fit in some sort of pattern or story that doesn't have strong implications about their competitive worth but can help people like the new pokemon and care about them. Things that can make people care more about the project: evolutionary lines (even if only the full evo will ever be used), weird type combinations, fantasy pokemon like ditto/smeargle/castform, multiple evolution paths, starters, legends, background stories. You don't have to do all that, but just adding individual competitive pokemon will make the new metagame bland and you want to avoid that just as much as you want to avoid only caring about making a new set of starters, a new set of legends, etc.

    Obviously that is what you are doing now, I said that verbatim ;)

    I don't think B) as I described it would be less "accepted". Basically, and you have the right thinking there, changes like small modifications to the type chart are bad ideas because they break familiarity and hence people will be less likely to accept them. People dislike changes. But they don't shun new things. If you make everything from scratch, you're making something new and as with everything new the only criterion is that it has to be fun.

    Still, I agree with you. There's no reason to go radical about this. B) is a lot of work and honestly it would work best as a dictatorship. Ideally, make pokemon one (evolutionary line or small group) at a time, don't touch the type chart, add very few new moves, do add new abilities, do add new type combinations but not systematically. Do try to give each pokemon a unique flavor to motivate people to care about them. The key is to add motivating and enjoyable elements without changing what's already there.
  18. chaos

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    I agree fully with Brain, but maybe that's because I've been around long enough to see shit like this rise and fall.
  19. eric the espeon

    eric the espeon maybe I just misunderstood
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    I agree with this VERY strongly, we have almost done Revenankh yet Syclar is unfinisted and even those who participate in this progect misspell it "sylar" quite often. Syclants dex enters are contredictory, and it is missing some "unimportaint" data.
    YES! i the last poll "already used" type combos (and types that had even come close to wining the last CAP this was because there was not enough room on the poll it can have 10 options max) where excluded simply because hey had been used before, i think this is wrong.

    I was wondoring if it would be possible for you chaos (phew almost used C) to let polls have max 17 options, even for a few hours while the first typeing poll starts, so we can fit all type options on one poll. I think this would help us greatly.
    Also lol at your sig, I get the reference.
  20. Time Mage

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    I think I expressed myself wrongly. I do agree with what you have posted, in fact. When I say "secondary" I'm not discarding the flavor aspects, but rather that, by making the flavor aspects something chosen after the competitive decisions, we are assured to not limit the competitive options. If people first wants a certain typing "because it's cool" or a certain category (legend, starter or whatever) for the pokémon, without considering the competitive implications, then we are limited in the creation of the aspects that are the most important on Smogon: The competitive ones. I want the pokémon that are crated to look cool, even if that won't change its battling prowess, and to have a bunch of flavor moves in the movelist, even if those moves are useless. Even on pokédex entries, which I honestly think are not very important, I seek some consistency and flavor.

    What I wanted to stress is that flavor decisions shouldn't ever hinder our ability to make the competitive pokémon we want at each moment. If we want a spinner, let us decide that first, because if we first choose a design that has the shape of a dog, it would conflict with the move. So I'm just asking to decide things such as role, stats abilities and typing before things like design, typing (for flavor) movepool (the flavor part), and pokédex entries.



    Yeah, yeah, I was aware of that. It seems like I was telling you "hey, but A) is what we are doing now!", instead "As you say, A) is what we are doing now", as I wanted.
  21. X-Act

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    CAP is already irreconciable with the standard Smogon metagame, since the fake Pokemon do not exist there, and hence I believe that changing it slightly would not make it even more incompatible than it already is.

    I still think that a few Pokemon need to get nerfed a bit to have a more enjoyable game. I'd suggest that some Pokemon lose Stone Edge and that some others lose Fire Blast and Flamethrower, to make the game more competitive and enjoyable. For example, if Garchomp lost Fire Blast and Flamethrower, it would be easier to counter. It would still make Garchomp, for example, very usable (it still has Fire Fang and lol HP Fire) but not as powerful. It is a very minor change for the better.

    Together with somehow helping the Poison type a bit, those are the very minor changes I would make. But this is just my opinion.
  22. Time Mage

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    The problem with that is not the changes brought to the metagame. Yeah, those changes would be desirable and probably would make the metagame better. But that would cause a big perception problem. People react much stronger to changes on the existing metagame than to additions to it. Right now, what we do is what would happen if Nintendo revealed another pokémon: It would be added to the already existing pool of pokémon, but the core mechanics would not vary. That'd be the equivalent of discovering, say, Shaymin when Nintendo released it, in the case we didn't know about it previously.


    What you propose is a change as radical as the one that happened from GSC to RSEFRLG: Changing a lot of movesests, etc. People need a lot of time to get used to changes made by Nintendo, who are generally accepted, but I doubt they would take the patience to get used to our changes.
  23. X-Act

    X-Act np: Biffy Clyro - Shock Shock
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    Well, I knew that my position would not have been accepted, but, really, when a select few Pokemon (maybe 10 or 12) lose one or two moves, that's not a huge change. It's barely a noticeable change at all. I mean, Swords Dance Garchomp and Brightpowder Garchomp would still exist unaltered, for instance.

    And as for the Poison type, we could invent new, more powerful Poison moves (we invented a new ability so new moves seem to be acceptable as well) and give them to some of our new Pokemon and maybe to things like Swalot as well. I don't see this to be that radical.

    But anyway, that was my idea, and I'll shut up about it now.
  24. Time Mage

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    Don't get me wrong: I like the idea. But I doubt many people would accept it, along with the rest of the changes. If this project wants to have some kind of success, we have to be cautious.
  25. Helios

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    Well, If Garchomp, salamence and dragonite lost their ability to use Outrage/Draco Meteor and their booster moves, it'd be pretty noticeable, or if heracross lost it's ability to use close combat and brick break (this is an extreme case). It's like Time Mage said, people won't have the patience to adjust to the changes. The way the CAP will probably nerf garchomp is by making a counter that is to garchomp, as gliscor is to heracross.

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