CAP 30 - Part 1 - Concept Assessment

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MrDollSteak

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After two days of polling, we have CAP 30's concept, Optimized Ability! Submitted by Mr Holiday, the post is included below. This is a very important stage: we're now going to discuss the concept and determine the direction of the project, and how to fit the concept to our framework! Be sure to review the concept and the guidelines below as well.

  • Name - Optimized Ability
  • Description - This CAP would seek to utilize one or more Abilities which are, at face value, competitively viable, but which are only found on unviable or excessively niche Pokémon, or are paired with objectively better Abilities. The goal is to explore how these Abilities could impact the metagame if they were properly utilized.
  • Justification- Archetype: This CAP seeks to explore one or more underutilized Abilities which could have a meaningful impact on the metagame, but are rarely or never seen because of the Pokémon they are found on, or the other Abilities they have to compete with. With two Forms we can explore the same Ability from two differant angles, or explore two differant Abilities, providing us with greater insight into how these traditionally neglected Abilities could function.
  • Questions To Be Answered-
    • Why are some Abilities seen as better or more viable than others? Is it strictly a function of the Ability itself, or are other factors involved? What are those factors?
    • What new strategies become available with optimized Abilities? Are these strategies competitively viable, or just gimmicks?
    • Are there Abilities that may have been overlooked or disregarded because of poor utilization? Are some worth a second look, even if they lack immediate competitive merit?
  • Explanation -This is, at it's core, a pretty simple Concept. There are various Abilities which, at least to me, seem to sit somewhere between being considered competitively viable and not being competitive at all. Abilities like Steam Engine, Merciless, Heavy/Light Metal, etc., all have a strong competitive impact at face value, but never seem to make it into our discussion during the Ability Stage. While there are probably many factors involved, I think at least some of the issue may simply be a matter of false equivalence; the idea that, since X Ability sucks on Y Pokmon, it must be bad in general. It's understandable. Why would you pick Merciless for Toxapex when it has access to Regenerator, which is an objectively better Ability for a Tank/Wall? At the same time, I think it's important to understand what the real value of some of these Abilities may be, and how they can effect the metagame if they were used "correctly". If given everything they need to succeed, could these Abilities prove to be viable, or are they truly flawed? That is the crux of this Concept.
Guidelines:
1) Pay close attention to the Topic Leader during this discussion. Their job is to keep us focused and to bring insight.
2) Do not poll jump. Poll jumping is a serious offense in these threads, and you can get infracted for it. Poll jumping is when you discuss something that should be discussed in the future, like specifying a CAP's stats or typing. You're allowed to hint at such things to conclude a point or to provide an example, but do not centralize your post on a poll jump. Poll jumping hurts the focus of early threads and can cause us to go off on a tangent. If you're not sure if a particular argument is poll jumping or not, err on the side of caution and don't post it.

CAP 30's TL Wulfanator will open the thread with their thoughts and a series of questions and considerations. Please make sure to read their initial post and subsequent posts carefully and follow them for discussion! Keep posts civil and on topic, or else they will be deleted.

CAP 30 So Far
 

Wulfanator

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Optimized Ability is our concept and leaves us a lot of space moving forward. However, this does mean assessments will be more involved in narrowing the scope of the project. I will occasionally be covering some of the elements of our framework over the course of this thread and how it feeds into our concept, so treat this as a light framework assessment alongside concept assessment.

I need to start off by establishing that our item will be locked to 1.2x stab boosts. The mod team approached me the other day recommending we simply use reskinned Griseous Orb mechanics, and the majority of the TLT supported this idea. This decision was based on early conversations held in the main channel of the Discord. There appeared to be 3 camps of thought: reskinned Griseous Orb, an unknockable version of an existing item, or an item that mimics an existing ability effect. We have worked to remove custom elements from the CAP process so the meta is easier to learn for new players. An unknockable item that mimics an existing ability effect risks reversing those efforts and creates an overly complicated stage when we attempt to pick the mechanic. For those reasons, this would have been disallowed regardless of locking our item. This then shifted conversation to reskinned versions of existing, non-consumable items since consumables would need to function more like an ability (i.e. Berserk). When considering what items were available, many of the offensively-inclined items were not substantially different from Griseous Orb. We then considered the design space for a defensively-inclined item where we realized that there are few non-consumable, defensive items. Most of them are replicated with existing abilities anyways. Using all this information, I made the final call to set our item’s effects and not have it be a distracting element of this project.

With that out of the way, there is a lot we need to establish before moving on to other stages.

Given the ambiguity of the term “optimize,” it is probably in our interest to define what it means in the context of this project. This would establish uniform criteria for determining success or failure. What qualifies as optimization, and how will we know we have achieved it for CAP 30? It may seem obvious, but from what little I have seen already, some users are beginning to operate under different interpretations of our concept.

Our concept provides two paths for executing optimized abilities. “With two forms, we can explore the same ability from two different angles or explore two different abilities.” Ignoring the precedent set by Giratina’s forms, should we build both forms around optimizing the same ability but in alternate directions? Do we stand to learn more from fully exploring one ability or balancing multiple abilities simultaneously?

Given our item effect is now locked, we have some information to begin defining roles for 30 and 30i, but it is not much. Since we are aiming to optimize ability, would it be better for us to define our roles before or after we select our ability? This will dictate how much freedom is granted in the ability stage and the need for a concept assessment 2. At this time, I am not looking for specific role suggestions.

Good abilities struggle to find viability for a plethora of reasons. Of typing, stats, and movepool, is there a main culprit for an ability’s lack of success or is it a mix of problems? Is the culprit different depending on the mechanics of an ability? I want us to be mindful of what stages may have greater emphasis placed on them during our project. Examples would be helpful but be sure to refrain from egregious poll-jumping.

Building off the previous question, the current plan is to run ability before any other stage in the project. Is there any reason to not have ability first in stage order? Are there any other stages that need to have their order altered to better accommodate our concept, especially if one stage is considered to determine the success of an ability more than the others?
 
What qualifies as optimization, and how will we know we have achieved it for CAP 30?
I think there are two things to consider with this question, how much a Pokémon‘s success is contingent on their ability and how effectively the other characteristics enable that ability to succeed. Role is a big part of this. My example here is Magnezone. Magnezone fills the very specific niche of a steel trapper, and it would not be a successful Pokémon without Magnet Pull. No one is going to be running Sturdy Magnezone on a serious team.

However, I would not say that Magnezone is the optimal user of Magnet Pull. If the role is to eliminate Steel type Pokemon, Magnezone does not have the speed, typing or movepool to be the best possible user of Magnet Pull. You would likely want something with fire or ground coverage, much higher speed and a typing that won‘t crumble to Heatran or Excadrill. The optimal implementation of an ability is when a Pokémon has a specific role, that ability is essential to succeeding in that role, but it has the other requirements it needs to succeed. An optimized ability is one where the other attributes make for the best possible expression of that ability (within reason for obvious balance concerns). Magnet Pull is strong enough to justify the use of Magnezone but it does not have the resources to use the ability to the fullest. A more obvious and weak example is Shuckle with Contrary - it’s an amazing ability but it has zero tools to use it, a generally lackluster typing, no offensive stats and no moves that activate the ability in a meaningful way. This is a case of a completely viable ability that is not remotely optimized.

A good example of an ability being optimal is Rillaboom and Grassy Surge. Rillaboom’s typing, stats and movepool all work very well to create a cohesive breaker with Grassy Surge. It benefits from both STAB and the terrain damage boost, the priority Grassy Glide, the healing helps with pivoting and sustainability from its powerful Wood Hammer, and its stats are the perfect balance of potent but manageable with smart teambuilding. Rillaboom is nothing without Grassy Surge - but it benefits so much more from it than his counterpart Tapu Bulu. It is an optimal implementation that feels cohesive with the role.

Do we stand to learn more from fully exploring one ability or balancing multiple abilities simultaneously?
Multiple abilities simultaneously. As I’ll say further down, I think stats are huge here, along with role selection. Two abilities will let us explore two different roles that can be fulfilled by a shared typing and movepool. Shared typing is definitely not enough of a restriction that we can’t have very unique end results, the same with movepool. I believe we’ll learn much more by using two abilities and potentially creating two very viable formes. Given that we will be doing stat swaps because of the item, I don’t believe there are many options where one stat spread will not default to being superior to the other for the ability. For an example that we wouldn’t be slating, lets say we use Moxie. If the formes do not share an attack stat then one will always use the ability better. This is a pretty black and white example but I think it makes my point as I don’t believe many abilities can truly be optimized in two ways.

Would it be better for us to define our roles before or after we select our ability?
Before. The knock off protection 30i gets is a huge difference that makes role selection for 30/30i critical. That alone will be a defining discussion point for the whole process, and knowing what role 30i will benefit from due to keeping their 1.2x item is critical. Once we know roles for each forme, we can safely have ability conversations - and then pick typing, stats, etc. that will actually enable that ability to be optimized.

Of typing, stats, and movepool, is there a main culprit for an ability’s lack of success or is it a mix of problems?
I believe stats are the main culprit for an ability not succeeding. Obviously having a terrible defensive typing doesn’t help a lot of abilities succeed, looking at you Frosmoth with Ice Scales. But there are so many Pokémon with incredible abilities and fair typing where the main detriment to success is lackluster stats. A more defensive Espeon with Magic Bounce, a faster Diggersby with Huge Power or a bulkier Quagsire with Unaware could all shine in their respective roles, but the primary thing is just their weak stats.

Is there any reason to not have ability first in stage order?
So long as roles are addressed in concept assessment, no.
 
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Estronic

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Firstly, I'd like to thank everyone who supported my concept, getting it to the top three options. It may need some tweaking for it to be used again, but hopefully you all will get to see some sort of reincarnation of it in CAP31.
Given the ambiguity of the term “optimize,” it is probably in our interest to define what it means in the context of this project. This would establish uniform criteria for determining success or failure. What qualifies as optimization, and how will we know we have achieved it for CAP 30?
"Optimization" in the context of this concept I believe would involve taking an ability that's barely seen or not seen at all in OU (or CAP OU, rather) and creating a Pokemon in way that would make the ability a core factor into the Pokemon's viability. For example, one might say Regenerator is greatly optimized on Toxapex thanks its entirely defensive playstyle, supported by its good typing, great defensive stats, and access to good utility like Knock Off, Recover, and Toxic Spikes. Thanks to all of these attributes, Regenerator's purpose, keeping Toxapex in a healthy condition to maximize its defensive capabilities throughout a game, is practically fully optimized. Of course, we don't think need to go such a route of optimization, but the ability or abilities we choose should a fairly large part in making CAP30 and CAP30i viable.
Ignoring the precedent set by Giratina’s formes, should we build both formes around optimizing the same ability but in alternate directions? Do we stand to learn more from fully exploring one ability or balancing multiple abilities simultaneously?
This question is a bit tough to answer, though I did compile a list of some abilities that I think would be eligible for this concept. Each ability is followed by what I believe is its most viable user and why the ability might not see that much usage (from an OU standpoint).

Adaptability: Crawdaunt, which is UU but is ranked C+ on the OU Viability Rankings
Berserk: Galarian Moltres, which is UU but is ranked B- on the OU Viability Rankings
Competitive: Milotic, which is RU and runs Marvel Scale instead
Contrary: every usable Pokemon is untiered
Corrosion: Salazzle, which is NU but is ranked C on the OU Viability Rankings
Cotton Down: Eldegoss, which is untiered
Download: Porygon2 and Porygon-Z, which are RU and NUBL, respectively (Porygon2 also would prefer to run Trace)
Filter: Mr. Mime, which is untiered
Fluffy: Bewear, which is NUBL
Fur Coat: Alolan Persian, which is untiered
Gale Wings: Talonflame, which is NU
Gooey: Goodra, which is NU
Heatproof: Bronzong, which is NU
Ice Scales: Frosmoth, which is untiered
Innards Out: Pyukumuku, which is untiered (it is sometimes used on stall teams, but it would run Unaware instead)
Justified: Terrakion, which is UUBL but is ranked C+ on the OU Viability Rankings
Liquid Voice: Primarina, which is UU and runs Torrent in OU instead
Long Reach: Decidueye, which is NU
Marvel Scale: see Competitive
Mega Launcher: Clawitzer, which is PUBL
Merciless: Toxapex, which is OU but runs Regenerator instead
Mummy: Cofagrigus, which is untiered
Pixilate: Sylveon, which is NU
Reckless: Rhyperior, which is UU and runs Solid Rock instead
Refrigerate: Aurorus, which is untiered
Scrappy: Exploud, which is NU
Solid Rock: see Reckless
Stakeout: Thievul, which is untiered
Triage: Comfey, which is NU
Wandering Spirit: Runerigus, which is untiered

It's pretty notable that most of this list can be split into mainly offensive abilities (Adaptability, Mega Launcher, Merciless, etc.) and mainly defensive abilities (Filter, Fluffy, Heatproof, etc.). The abilities that may not fall directly into one of these two categories offers some very useful utility regardless (Gooey, Long Reach, Triage, etc.). I don't mean to set an early precedent that we should make the two formes split into offensive and defensive roles, but I do would like to establish how we do have a lot to work with, no matter if we decide to use one ability or more.
Since we are aiming to optimize ability, would it be better for us to define our roles before or after we select our ability?
I believe we should. Building off my answer to the last question, a lot of these abilities can be easily categorized into roles they would work best in, so establishing our roles we'd like to use will give us a lot more ease in narrowing down our ability choices.
Of typing, stats, and movepool, is there a main culprit for an ability’s lack of success or is it a mix of problems? Is the culprit different depending on the mechanics of an ability?
It's definitely a mix of problems, but I do think it goes beyond just typing, stats, and movepool. I believe there are three different reasons why an ability may not see viable usage:

1. The Pokemon simply has a better ability (i.e. Toxapex has access to Merciless but runs Regenerator instead).
2. The Pokemon does use it as its main ability but isn't as viable (i.e. Crawdaunt runs Adaptability but is only ranked C+ on the OU viability rankings).
3. The Pokemon is simply unviable in most aspects (i.e. every user of Contrary in SS is untiered).

I don't really see the mechanics of the abilities I've listed being the reason why it doesn't see viable usage, at least. Merciless could theoretically work alright with Toxapex, but there's literally no reason to run it over Regenerator. Adaptability works very well to make Crawdaunt a good wallbreaker, but not enough to make it fairly viable. Contrary, alongside other abilities like the -ate abilities, Triage, Mega Launcher, and many others, is a very great ability for any Pokemon, but its stuck to Pokemon that you should never use to hold yourself well at a viable standpoint.
Is there any reason to not have ability first in stage order? Are there any other stages that need to have their order altered to better accommodate our concept, especially if one stage is considered to determine the success of an ability more than the others?
There's absolutely no reason to make the first stage not decide the ability or abilities. Depending on what ability or abilities we choose though, I can definitely see the need to adjust the stage ordering to optimize the ability or abilities in the way we'd like to.
 
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LucarioOfLegends

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Kind of need to stew on Question 1 a bit more, so we'll start at Question 2.

Ignoring the precedent set by Giratina’s forms, should we build both forms around optimizing the same ability but in alternate directions? Do we stand to learn more from fully exploring one ability or balancing multiple abilities simultaneously?

This question opens the quality vs quantity debate in terms of abilities, and I am adamant in the fact that exploring two abilities would be far more interesting. Based on the preliminary differences between CAP 30 and CAP 30i, I think it is somewhat likely that they will naturally divert in their roles. While focusing on one ability is certainly easier, I think offering each form a different ability will help make each form a but more distinct in its workings and give us a much more comprehensive look at the different ways to optimize abilities that may not always be used on the Pokemon they are present on. Additionally, there is the possibility that a single ability for one form may not work nearly as effectively on the other, which I believe may hurt the framework. Two abilities makes the most sense to me.

Since we are aiming to optimize ability, would it be better for us to define our roles before or after we select our ability?

I think defining our roles first might be a decent idea, at least to some vague extent. I think at least a tiny idea on how we want these forms to work will help us decide on what abilities will work best for 30 and 30i.

Of typing, stats, and movepool, is there a main culprit for an ability’s lack of success or is it a mix of problems? Is the culprit different depending on the mechanics of an ability?

Depends pretty hard on what has it, but it tends to be a mixture, and absolutely depends on the mechanic. A lot of them tend to have more conditional effects, but a lot that get overshadowed tend to be so by abilities that are much more generally advantageous. Sure Cotton Down on Eldegoss is a really neat ability and could be seriously useful, but does it really hold any candle to the unmatched sustainability of Regenerator? A lot of the mons that hold these abilities also just tend to be kinda bad, mostly for a variety if factors but for the most part simply because they dont really have the stats either in number or spread to effectively work in the CAP meta.

Is there any reason to not have ability first in stage order? Are there any other stages that need to have their order altered to better accommodate our concept, especially if one stage is considered to determine the success of an ability more than the others?

Can't really think of any rebuttals aside from my answer to the roles question. It's an ability-centric concept just like Chromera before it, and it makes the most sense to have it first as to not shoot ourselves in the foot in later stages. I also dont think the other stages need to change order either, although I can see an argument for like moves and stats to swap.
 
Given the ambiguity of the term “optimize,” it is probably in our interest to define what it means in the context of this project. This would establish uniform criteria for determining success or failure. What qualifies as optimization, and how will we know we have achieved it for CAP 30?
I'm going to take a bit of a moderate route and say that optimization in this case means that the Pokemon consistently and actively engages in their ability as part of a viable, but not broken, niche in the CAP metagame. This is worded in order to avoid two scenarios. The first scenario is taking certain underutilized abilities and pushing it to its absolute maximum, leading to a Pokemon that optimizes its ability too much. Flower Veil is an example here, as while it has only been seen on non-Grass types and thus easily fits the underutilized bill, the immunities to status and stat lowering it offers to a Grass type could easily get out of hand if pushed to their limits. On the other hand, the "consistently and actively engages" part is meant to prevent scenarios like Sturdy Skarmory, where the Pokemon is viable in CAP, but simply runs the ability because it happens to be the most useful choice out of an underwhelming pool (Skarmory's other options are Keen Eye and Weak Armor), and doesn't actually use the ability much besides the rare clutch 1 HP survival.

Ignoring the precedent set by Giratina’s forms, should we build both forms around optimizing the same ability but in alternate directions? Do we stand to learn more from fully exploring one ability or balancing multiple abilities simultaneously?
I feel that it is better for us to try to balance multiple abilities simultaneously. I can see the argument that singling out one ability would keep the project focused and potentially allow deeper exploration of that particular ability, but this also could have the effect of shrinking the pool of abilities we can actually work with, since for a number of abilities, they are best optimized in a particular way, and other ways end up falling short or being very difficult to execute by comparison. With multiple abilities, we can lean into each ability's particular strengths without necessarily worrying about whether we can squeeze two directions out of it.

Since we are aiming to optimize ability, would it be better for us to define our roles before or after we select our ability? This will dictate how much freedom is granted in the ability stage and the need for a concept assessment 2. At this time, I am not looking for specific role suggestions.
I'm inclined to agree with everyone that's posted so far that it would probably be best to get an idea of what kind of roles we want each form to play, especially given how the item already helps distinguish the two forms already. Most of the benefits that picking roles after ability could offer are generally replicable by picking role before ability, and having the role, or at least some inkling of the role, in mind would help focus ability discussion as well.

Of typing, stats, and movepool, is there a main culprit for an ability’s lack of success or is it a mix of problems? Is the culprit different depending on the mechanics of an ability?
I feel that it is very much dependent the ability, as well as what Pokemon has that ability, and in some cases it is a mix of issues. To list some examples:
  • Merciless on Toxapex falls victim to Toxapex's awful offensive stats (on top of having competition with Regenerator).
  • Corrosion is potentially rather strong, but Salazzle's Poison/Fire typing and offensively biased stats mean it is much better suited to simply using its Fire STAB against most Steel types, rather than trying to Poison them.
  • Though Technician isn't exactly underutilized (see Scizor), Technician Smokomodo is a rather notorious example of movepool failing to provide sufficient tools to make a Technician set preferable to its current Blaze wallbreaker set.
Is there any reason to not have ability first in stage order? Are there any other stages that need to have their order altered to better accommodate our concept, especially if one stage is considered to determine the success of an ability more than the others?
Given that the project is entirely based on optimizing the ability(s), I think picking the abilities as early as reasonably possible is pretty central, so I feel like having ability as the first stage is the best choice. I could see an argument for having typing first, so that we are not stuck trying to reconcile two very separate typings, but I think it runs the risk of either encouraging polljumping or picking typings that are generally good instead of having potential synergies with the abilities that are chosen later, and I think I would rather have the opportunity to pick a typing knowing how it syngerizes with an already-chosen ability instead. The other stages seem like they would best operate in "standard" order after typing and ability (typing/ability, defining moves, stats, etc.), so I don't think there needs to be any other alterations.
 
First off, I think the decision to lock 30i's item to re-skinned Griseous Orb will prove to be a wise choice. It was not my personal preference, but I do think it would have distracted from the process, given we would have been trying to optimize both an ability and an item for 30i.

To answer the discussion questions:

What qualifies as optimization, and how will we know we have achieved it for CAP 30?

Basic definition: to make the best possible use of an ability while still remaining balanced in the CAP metagame. I don't know where the boundaries on this are though. I am considering synergy vs optimization vs goodness-of-mon. For example, Tapu Bulu's typing, movepool and stats have pretty good synergy with its ability already, but it would be a better mon if it had Grassy Glide or Knock Off. If giving Bulu either of these moves makes it a better pokemon, does that automatically signify optimization? Clearly, one of these moves interacts with Bulu's ability in a more meaningful way.

For example, a mon with Water Compaction might be strictly better if it had a 4x water resist, 140/140 offenses and V-create, than if it had a 2x water resist, reliable recovery and Body Press with 90 in every stat. However, I would argue that the latter case is actually working with the ability, and is thus optimizing it. Optimization necessitates synergy between ability and stats/typing/movepool. It is possible to take this too far. The optimal usage of Magnet Pull would be if any opposing steel type was instantly doomed upon being trapped. I'm not personally a fan of making a mon super strong then handicapping it until it is balanced, but whatever works works.


Ignoring the precedent set by Giratina’s forms, should we build both forms around optimizing the same ability but in alternate directions? Do we stand to learn more from fully exploring one ability or balancing multiple abilities simultaneously?

Firmly in the multiple abilities camp. Is it safe to assume we are setting an upper limit of one competitive ability per forme? Given we are already going to be sharing a typing and movepool between the two mons, sharing an ability would mean that the only formal space we will have to differentiate the two into their roles is the stats stage (and the item thing, I guess).


Since we are aiming to optimize ability, would it be better for us to define our roles before or after we select our ability?
I do think deciding basic roles is useful because it gives each of these mons a direction to follow. However, I think getting too specific in our roles too early on will constrain our ability choices, which is supposed to be the crux of this project. I think something like "This one will be defensive and will maybe pivot" and "This one will be offensive and will maybe boost stats" would be decent middle ground, though I don't know how this would work logistically.


Of typing, stats, and movepool, is there a main culprit for an ability’s lack of success or is it a mix of problems? Is the culprit different depending on the mechanics of an ability?

Going to echo others here and say it depends. But in general I think it goes typing < movepool < stats. Off the top of my head only Adaptability explicitly depends on typing. A whole bunch of stuff like Sheer Force, Contrary and Strong Jaw depend on movepool. Pretty much every ability depends on stats, at least implicitly. These are not mutually exclusive, of course.


Is there any reason to not have ability first in stage order? Are there any other stages that need to have their order altered to better accommodate our concept, especially if one stage is considered to determine the success of an ability more than the others?

Ability first should be fine, as long as there is clarity on what kinds of abilities are being considered for this process. Do obviously powerful, formerly explored, but currently underutilized abilities count (Tough Claws, Adaptability, Contrary)? Do obviously powerful abilities that are distributed to weak pokemon count (Stakeout, Steam Engine, Simple)?

The only minor qualm I have is considering that the typing of 30 and 30i will be shared. Is that a consideration that will hamstring us while deciding abilities? I think it might, but I think the alternative is even less desirable; if typing is chosen first, it will definitely hamstring us when choosing abilities.
 
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Since we are aiming to optimize ability, would it be better for us to define our roles before or after we select our ability?
I absolutely believe we should choose the ability first, at least for one of the forms. Our goal is to optimize an underused ability, and picking a role first will railroad us down a track that will prevent many of the most interesting choices from being considered. This is especially true for "gimmicky abilities" like Mummy, Dancer, Perish Body, and many status, terrain, and weather-based abilities. With unusual abilities like these, it is the ability itself that defines the role we should pursue. If we try to go the other way around, we will automatically eliminate many interesting options. And if we pick the role first, depending on how specific we are, we risk shoehorning ourselves into a specific unoptimized ability.

Also, I don't really think the known requirements of 30i are enough to go on for picking roles upfront for both forms. There's still a lot of flexibility with 30i, and Vanilla 30 can be anything under the moon at this point, so it seems more natural to let our ability choices drive the discussion and then let the constrains of 30i lead us to pick a complementary or contrasting ability to go alongside it (or find an alternative angle from default 30).


Ignoring the precedent set by Giratina’s forms, should we build both forms around optimizing the same ability but in alternate directions? Do we stand to learn more from fully exploring one ability or balancing multiple abilities simultaneously?
In most cases, two different abilities is better. While a 1.2 STAB boost is certainly something, 30i will still be at the disadvantage of not having the flexibility to run multiple item strats. Since 30 and 30i will have the same typing, different abilities will go a long way toward differentiating their roles and providing reason to use the more linear 30i version over 30. This is especially true since many abilities need certain stat characteristics to function well (e.g. both forms of a Pokemon with Poison Point or Shed Skin will need to be able to take hits) so if we pick one of these abilities, we'll risk having a situation where one form has a more ideal stat spread, leading the other to be less used, especially if it overlaps with the item disadvantage. Some abilities also simply don't have the design space for multiple forms to make use of them in distinctive ways, due to the situational nature of those abilities (e.g. Suction Cups, Sniper). That said, there are certain strong abilities where we could easily choose multiple avenues for abusing it (e.g. two forms with Cotton Guard, where one is a wallbreaker to abuse the ability and the other is a pivot to allow a teammate to do so). So deciding whether we give the ability to both forms is only a discussion we should have after we pick the ability.
 
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Given the ambiguity of the term “optimize,” it is probably in our interest to define what it means in the context of this project. This would establish uniform criteria for determining success or failure. What qualifies as optimization, and how will we know we have achieved it for CAP 30?
I think regarding abilities, optimization has to mean making the most out of using it. This is pretty straightforward and means we need to make sure, that every aspect of the 30 and 30i plays into using the ability to its fullest extend. Similar to Chromera I think we want this ability to be picked over anything else available.
Wrt the Concept requiring us to use an „underutilized“ ability, optimization should mean, building a CAP-viable Chassis, that perfectly supports the ability, for an ability, that is either not used bc it has to compete with better options (I.e Merciless on Toxapex:Toxapex:or Sand Force on Excadrill:Excadrill:), is not paired with optimal traits (see Corrosion on Salazzle:Salazzle:) and/or is on a not CAP viable Pokémon (like Stakeout on Thievul:Thievul:)
Ignoring the precedent set by Giratina’s forms, should we build both forms around optimizing the same ability but in alternate directions? Do we stand to learn more from fully exploring one ability or balancing multiple abilities simultaneously?
I think, that it would be more interesting to incorporate two different abilities, as we will have to work with a lot of shared traits already (Requiring abilities to be the same would only leave us with Stats to differentiate the two forms, which honestly might not be enough) and it also would obligate us to think about what synergies the picked abilities have (regarding moves, types, threats or stats) and how they can be leveraged to differentiate the two forms.
Since we are aiming to optimize ability, would it be better for us to define our roles before or after we select our ability? This will dictate how much freedom is granted in the ability stage and the need for a concept assessment 2. At this time, I am not looking for specific role suggestions
I think a general direction before ability selection would be nice, because it can help focus the discussion on fewer options. I do think, that it still would be best to step back after ability and reevaluate if and/or how the chosen abilities work into the picked direction and refine the roles once we know the abilities we are working with.
Of typing, stats, and movepool, is there a main culprit for an ability’s lack of success or is it a mix of problems? Is the culprit different depending on the mechanics of an ability?
I think this is different from case to case.
I do think that there are like three main categories, which I brought up earlier, which are abilities, that are outclassed by a different ability on the mons that have it, abilities, that don’t synergize with the other traits of the mon and are just stapled on but basically unused, and abilities, which are held back by the lack of other powerful enough traits on their users.
Is there any reason to not have ability first in stage order? Are there any other stages that need to have their order altered to better accommodate our concept, especially if one stage is considered to determine the success of an ability more than the others?
I think This is tough to really answer. In general I think the concept wants US to pick abilities first so we can build around them. That said, Some abilities might only make sense with a given typing. Additionally having to possibly optimize two abilities for the same type and movepool, without knowing said type, could end up with one ability being more optimized, because the two abilities required wildly different elements, that didn’t mash well and were hard to balance.
 
Of typing, stats, and movepool, is there a main culprit for an ability’s lack of success or is it a mix of problems? Is the culprit different depending on the mechanics of an ability?
From my experience with multiple generations of Balanced Hackmons, I've personally found that a mix of problems tend to be to blame for an ability's lack of success. This mixture can be wildly skewed towards any of movepool, stats, and even typing for any given ability, though.

As a more extreme example, the only BH mons that run Normalize are fast Ghosts - who all run Entrainment or Skill Swap to grant the opponent Normalize and thus make them immune to all that opponent's attacks - and very occasionally Regigigas - a stunning Normal-type wallbreaker. Even with fast Ghosts in the meta, Normalize would definitely not be used on them without the ability to put Entrainment or Skill Swap in their movepools.

A less extreme example is Gen 7 BH's Merciless Gengar-Mega. This shows that, at least IMO, the primary factor holding back Merciless from seeing OU play is that all its users' stats are too defensive to support it (as a fellow mon that also has Poison STAB is viably using Merciless).

Gen 8 BH has banned Contrary, which goes quite a way towards showing that Contrary's current lack of presence in OU is due to a mixture of stats and movepools. But perhaps the snapped Serperior making it to OU on the back of Contrary shows that better. Perhaps Serperior even makes that mixture lean towards movepools, as for a snowballing sweeper, its offences are quite wanting, and only its access to Leaf Storm is salvaging it.
 

dex

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Given the ambiguity of the term “optimize,” it is probably in our interest to define what it means in the context of this project. This would establish uniform criteria for determining success or failure. What qualifies as optimization, and how will we know we have achieved it for CAP 30?
Optimization in this case would mean that we have realized the potential of our chosen abilities to the best of our power in CAP 30. That is to say, CAP 30 will take advantage of this ability maximally. An example I would bring up of this is Nidoking with Sheer Force: its expansive coverage options that all get a Sheer Force boost lets Nidoking make the most of its strong ability.

Ignoring the precedent set by Giratina’s forms, should we build both forms around optimizing the same ability but in alternate directions? Do we stand to learn more from fully exploring one ability or balancing multiple abilities simultaneously?
I am personally of the opinion that the two forms are going to play differently no matter what. The lack of being able to use a different item may decrease the viability of an alternate form if they have the same ability, so I would lean towards building each form with a separate ability.

Since we are aiming to optimize ability, would it be better for us to define our roles before or after we select our ability? This will dictate how much freedom is granted in the ability stage and the need for a concept assessment 2. At this time, I am not looking for specific role suggestions.
I think it absolutely would be best to define CAP 30's roles before the ability stage. There are a lot of abilities that could fall under our definition of allowable for this concept, so narrowing down that list would be conducive towards having a more directed, productive ability stage.

Of typing, stats, and movepool, is there a main culprit for an ability’s lack of success or is it a mix of problems? Is the culprit different depending on the mechanics of an ability?
I'd say the "culprit" really just depends on the mon. Neutralizing Gas, an extremely strong ability, on Weezing-Galar, for example, is never run because Levitate, in accordance with its typing, helps the mon fulfill its defensive role much better. Another example of this would be Justified on Keldeo. It just doesn't have the stats to take advantage of being able to come in on Knock Off and get an Attack boost. I don't think any one ability has a main reason for not being used over others: stats, typing, movepool, and maybe most importantly, role, all have a hand in determining what ability choice is best.

Is there any reason to not have ability first in stage order? Are there any other stages that need to have their order altered to better accommodate our concept, especially if one stage is considered to determine the success of an ability more than the others?
The ability stage should absolutely be first: it will define the rest of the concept. There are some cases (for example, Water Absorb), where this ability might shoehorn us into some typings; however, I think this is actually not that bad of a thing considering we want to optimize the ability. Additionally, I think there may be some value in moving at least part of Defining Moves to before Typing, as whether we have access to Recovery and what Utility we will have access to might impact Typing decisions, though I don't see this as wholly necessary.
 

Brambane

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What qualifies as optimization, and how will we know we have achieved it for CAP 30?

Optimization is a spectrum, and how much you want to optimize an ability, or if you want to optimize an ability at all, should be case-by-case basis. Some abilities would probably produce a Pokemon that is not very fun or engaging to play against if they were fully optimized. With those conditions in place, imo optimization means creating a Pokemon that utilizes as many aspects of its abilities it can in a way that directly impacts the state of the game or the process of teambuilding.

Based on the original post, the concept focuses on abilities that are unrepresented in CAP OU. An important part of optimization according to the concept is "explore one or more underutilized Abilities which could have a meaningful impact on the metagame." How exactly we interpret meaningful metagame impact is also up for debate, but in the process of optimization, the ability should be the focal point of the final product, and the ability should interact with the current metagame in some capacity. Good examples of abilities that interact with the metagame in a meaningful way are:
- Dragapult's Infiltrator (useful against Screens HO)
- Heatran's Flame Body (useful against U-turn stacking teams with Torn-T/Urshi/Scizor/etc, and vs Jumbao)
- Miasmaw's Neutralizing Gas (does this by design)
- Magnezone's Magnet Pull (targets specific Steel-types common in the meta)
- Kyurem's Pressure (combined with its stats and Roost allows it to leverage PP stalling vs Mooblast Clefable and Body Press users)

Ignoring the precedent set by Giratina’s forms, should we build both forms around optimizing the same ability but in alternate directions? Do we stand to learn more from fully exploring one ability or balancing multiple abilities simultaneously?

There is only a small smattering of abilities that would be interesting to build in alternate directions, especially given that then the ONLY difference between the forms would be item and base stats. Granted, those few abilities would make for a REALLY interesting project, but realistically I think it would deflate and stagnate the project somewhat. Optimizing multiple abilities simultaneously with the same typing and movepool will lead to more fun and dynamic process for the most people imo. In terms of what we learn, I don't think we stand to learn more or less regardess of which one we choose, so long as don't pick dud abilities.

Since we are aiming to optimize ability, would it be better for us to define our roles before or after we select our ability?

In a non-framework CAP, I would say there is equal merit to either choice. With the given framework, defining what traits separate our forms outside of the 1.2x STAB item early on will be helpful for establishing direction, especially with such an open concept like this. The only trait we can reasonably determine at this point without massive polljumping is role.

Of typing, stats, and movepool, is there a main culprit for an ability’s lack of success or is it a mix of problems? Is the culprit different depending on the mechanics of an ability?

For almost every Pokemon that has an awesome ability but sees no use in CAP/OU, giving them a raw stat buff solve most problems. Unless you have the most horrid of movepools (like an early game caterpillar), stats are realistically what hold them back since its the easiest thing to fix. With that being said, there are definitely examples of Pokemon with cool abilities that would see a solid bump if they only had a slight adjustment to typing or movepool. Recovery outside of Rest would go a long way for Mudsdale, and Toxtricity would love some additional coverage options. But really, its mostly stats. Thievul with better stats would be monstrous.

Is there any reason to not have ability first in stage order?

Yes, one of which is the signature item for CAP30i. 1.2x boost to both STABs is nothing to scoff at, and the offensive STABs of 30i may be highly relevant to deciding abilities depending on what what we want CAP30i to do. With that being said, doing typing first might screw over some abilities that are reliant on leveraging CAP30's typing and lead to a degree of a polljumping in order to justify a typing for an ability, especially with an ability-centric concept. With that ALSO being said, both forms are going to have to share a typing, and establishing that early alongside roles may lead to a more focused and productive ability stage, where we slot in complimentary abilities to our typing and role that can be optimized given the already existing parameters.

The concept is ABILITY focused, so ideally our starting point should be ability. Realistically, our starting point has already been established as a 1.2x STAB item and immunity to item removal. Do we want to build off the framework first, which almost certainly benefits more from typing first, or the concept, which focuses on the ability? Personally, typing first makes the most sense, even if it might screw over some abilities during the ability stage.
 
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quziel

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Yo, we should not lock ourselves into much this early on. That was a major mistake with the Starters, that is, defining our roles before we really discover much about the mon. Blindly locking ourselves into "Reg is Defensive, Alt is Offensive" could really impact the quality of the end product by constraining our options too early before we really know much about the mon.

edit: I also worry that deciding role first will be treated as a "we must fulfill this role" rather than "this role is a useful way to conceptualize our mon and can help us make informed choices". The first of this could and has meaningfully damaged caps in the past.

--

Also I think we should do Ability 1 => Typing => Alt Ability

This would allow us to choose an ability to be optimized, find a workable typing for it, and then choose another ability with significantly more information about the mon.

--

I also believe any ability that does not see regular usage in CAP OU in either gen 8 or gen 7 should be eligible for consideration here. While gen7 doesn't map entirely onto gen8, eg, we should look at Gliscor as an optimized Poison Heal user, and imo that should disqualify Poison Heal for consideration.
 
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Yo, we should not lock ourselves into much this early on. That was a major mistake with the Starters, that is, defining our roles before we really discover much about the mon. Blindly locking ourselves into "Reg is Defensive, Alt is Offensive" could really impact the quality of the end product by constraining our options too early before we really know much about the mon.

--

Also I think we should do Ability 1 => Typing => Alt Ability

This would allow us to choose an ability to be optimized, find a workable typing for it, and then choose another ability with significantly more information about the mon.

--

I also believe any ability that does not see regular usage in CAP OU in either gen 8 or gen 7 should be eligible for consideration here. While gen7 doesn't map entirely onto gen8, eg, we should look at Gliscor as an optimized Poison Heal user, and imo that should disqualify Poison Heal for consideration.
I definitely agree with point three wholeheartedly and can see the benefit of point two here.
Point one I’m kinda torn about. I agree with quz, that getting too specific, will probably influence our decisions later too much and choke the process or railroad us into situations where we’d have to compromise too hard.
At the same time though I think we need some direction for Ability discussion to not be an uncharted Wild West, where discussion suffers because we have trouble nailing down a good pair of abilities because there are just too many options and little to no direction.
 
First off, thank you to everyone who voted for my concept! I've been involved with CAP off and on for a long time, but I've never been able to meaningfully contribute before, so this is really cool for me. Again, thank you!

What qualifies as optimization, and how will we know we have achieved it for CAP 30?

Since I'm kinda late to the party, I won't say much about this particular question. A truly "optimized" Pokémon would have everything it needs to fulfil a certain role, playstyle or strategy, and nothing that it doesn't need. It's Ability would mesh perfectly with it's Stats, Type and Movepool, providing it with all of the tools it needs to operate effectively right out of the box. However, it is highly unlikely that we will ever reach this level of optimization, and questionable if we really want to. Thus, I think we should just be looking at how CAP 30's Ability/s interacts with its Stats, Type and Movepool so that we can utilize it's Ability to the fullest. In other words, we should be focusing on the Ability/s as the centerpiece of what makes this CAP viable, and everything else should fit with the Ability/s

My original thought process when submitting this concept (outside of the competitive implications) was to explore rarely seen or used Abilities and see what could be possible if these Abilities were used "correctly". I think as long as we produce a competitively viable mon that fully explores how one or more underutilized Abilities "should" work, we can all it a success.

Ignoring the precedent set by Giratina’s forms, should we build both forms around optimizing the same ability but in alternate directions? Do we stand to learn more from fully exploring one ability or balancing multiple abilities simultaneously?

As many others have said, picking one Ability for both forms would mean the only practical differences between them are Stats and the custom item on CAP 30i. For this reason alone, I think we should probably aim for differant Abilities on either form. Additionally, this gives us more opportunities to explore the implications of these underutilized Abilities, and can help us understand how these differing Abilities can interact on the same mon. Maybe if we decide to give CAP 30 a non-competitive Ability later on both forms can share it.

Since we are aiming to optimize ability, would it be better for us to define our roles before or after we select our ability?

I'm actually not sure it matters which comes first. We know that we want to optimize CAP 30's Abilities, meaning that the Ability and role will have to be very closely aligned, but I don't think there's any particular benefit to picking one before the other. If we define our roles first, we will likely end up selecting Abilities that align with the roles; if we pick Abilities first, we will likely end up selecting roles that align with the Abilities. As long as we are all on the same page and working with the same goal in mind, it think it will work out wither way.

Of typing, stats, and movepool, is there a main culprit for an ability’s lack of success or is it a mix of problems? Is the culprit different depending on the mechanics of an ability?

I think it's a mix of problems that causes these Abilities to fail. More accurately, I think it's a lack of proper alignment between these factors that causes them to fail. Merciless Toxapex doesn't have the stats to be offensive, Steam Engine Coalossal is 4x weak to one of the Types it wants to be hit by, Strong Jaw Tyrantrum doesn't have any STABS that benefit from it's Ability, etc. These are the kinds of problems that plague underutilized Abilities.

Is there any reason to not have ability first in stage order?

EDIT: Actually, after thinking about it just a bit longer, I kinda feel like we should do the Ability stage after Typing, just to help make sure the Ability/s work across both forms. But, I still don't think it's THAT big of a deal if Ability goes first.
 
It seems that one of the main arguments for choosing a role before an ability boils down to "we have so many options, picking a role first will help narrow it down." To reiterate my opinion, I think this will cause us to miss out on many of the most interesting ability choices. I think a more targeted way to narrow things down would be to first categorize the wide range of unoptimized abilities. Doing so will enable us to quickly identify large swaths of abilities that don't seem interesting or clash with the item-based framework, and make it easier to hone in on the really interesting choices. For instance, we could decide we want to focus on one category of ability, or we could slate one or two interesting abilities from multiple categories. I think that we will quickly

After we pick an ability we want to optimize, we can identify the role the Pokemon would need to fulfill to make use of it and decide whether we want to put it on 30 or 30i. I agree with quizel that we should then choose a typing that would be good for that ability, and then identify a role and underused ability for the other form.

We could start with either 30 or 30i. Starting with 30i would enable us to maximize the benefits that come with an item-locked form, while starting with 30 may make it easier to optimize a specialized ability like Mummy, Dancer, or Steam Engine. It's a choice of prioritizing the framework or the concept. So far it seems the consensus is to build around the item-locked form.

So here is my own categorization of underused abilities. This is by no means a complete list, and we may make new categories or swap abilities between them. But I think this will make it easier for us to identify the kinds of abilities we want to build this CAP around, and I think we will quickly find that many of them are not very interesting candidates, so narrowing it down won't be so bad.

Categorizing the abilities also helps answer the the ability portion of the question "Of typing, stats, and movepool, is there a main culprit for an ability’s lack of success or is it a mix of problems? Is the culprit different depending on the mechanics of an ability?"


Unimpressive
- Abilities with an effect that is consistent, but underwhelming
Anticipation
Forewarn
Frisk
Rivalry
Wonder Skin

Resistances and Status Immunities - Abilities with a consistent effect that makes them more resistant to damage from certain types or immune to certain status
Filter / Solid Rock / Prism Armor
Flower Veil
Heatproof
Immunity / Pastel Veil
Limber
Thick Fat
Water Veil

Opponent-Punishing - Abilities that apply consistent detriment or a consistent risk of detriment to the opponent, provided they are attacking with the appropriate moves
Aftermath
Analytic
Cotton Down
Cursed Body
Cute Charm
Effect Spore
Flame Body
Gooey / Tangling Hair
Poison Point
Sand Spit
Static

Move-Dependent - Abilities that provide a consistent effect, but only when using certain moves or after other move-based conditions have been met
Compound Eyes, Victory Star
Dark Aura
Fairy Aura
Dragon's Maw
Heavy Metal
Iron Fist
Liquid Voice
Long Reach
Merciless
Mega Launcher
Poison Touch
Reckless
Rock Head
Sniper
Steelworker, Steely Spirit
Strong Jaw

Field-Dependent - Abilities that only activate under specific field conditions, constraining them due to the need for field support, the finite duration of the field condition, or a general lack of benefits from the field condition
Cloud Nine / Air Lock
Grass Pelt
Hydration
Ice Body
Leaf Guard
Mimicry
Overcoat
Rain Dish
Sand Force
Sand Veil
Snow Cloak
Solar Power
Slush Rush
Surge Surfer

Strategy-Dependent - Abilities that only activate when the user is utilizing a specific strategy that often has weaknesses or detrimental qualities to the user
Cheek Pouch
Flare Boost
Gluttony
Harvest
Super Luck
Toxic Boost
Quick Feet
Ripen

Situational - Abilities that provide a clear and solid benefit, but are only useful in certain situations, often ones that are dependent on the opponent or successful prediction of the opponent
Aroma Veil / Oblivious
Berserk
Blaze, Overgrow, Torrent, Swarm
Competitive
Damp
Early Bird
Gale Wings
Hyper Cutter
Insomnia / Vital Spirit / Sweet Veil
Justified
Rattled
Screen Cleaner
Shed Skin
Steam Engine
Sticky Hold
Water Compaction
Weak Armor

Niche - Abilities with benefits that only trigger in extremely rare circumstances (usually related to RNG or uncommon moves) making it hard to benefit from them
Anger Point
Battle Armor / Shell Armor
Big Pecks
Inner Focus
Keen Eye
Liquid Ooze
Light Metal
Magician / Pickpocket
Magma Armor
Mirror Armor
Own Tempo
Shield Dust
Soundproof / Cacophony
Steadfast
Stench
Suction Cups
Tangled Feet

Unusual - Abilities that provide an extremely specialized effect that probably requires a very targeted approach to optimize. Most of these can also qualify under "Opponent-Punishing" but have stranger effects
Dancer
Mummy
Perish Body
Wandering Spirit




EDIT:
I have added several additional abilities to the above list and have added a new category (type resistances and status immunities).

Also, I compiled an additional list of abilities that I had intentionally left out of my classification, because we know these abilities are very good. We know that these abilities are excellent based on their frequent usage in (or even bans from) ability-based OMs like Shared Power, AAA, and Balanced Hackmons, and from their OU usage in previous generations. They are shown below in list form, and are not categorized in any way.

I had left them out of my category system because in my opinion, "optimizing an ability" means that we should explore an ability that does not have evidence of excellence, and identify the traits that are needed to make it succeed, as opposed to making a smashing mon with an ability that we know is good, but currently only exists on suboptimal mons. However, since some may disagree with my definition of optimization, I have now added the below list for the sake of thoroughness. We could certainly explore on of these abilities, but I personally think it would be less interesting.

Adaptability
Aerilate
Comatose
Contrary
Corrosion
Dazzling / Queenly Majesty
Fluffy
Fur Coat
Galvanize
Guts
Hustle
Ice Scales
Illusion
Imposter
Innards Out
Libero / Protean
Magic Bounce
Multiscale
Neutralizing Gas
No Guard
Pixilate
Poison Heal
Prankster
Punk Rock
Quick Draw
Refrigerate
Scrappy
Serene Grace
Sheer Force
Simple
Skill Link
Speed Boost
Stakeout
Stamina
Sturdy
Tinted Lens
Tough Claws
Triage
Unaware
Unburden
Water Bubble
Water Absorb, Dry Skin, Storm Drain, Volt Absorb, Lightning Rod, Motor Drive, Sap Sipper, Flash Fire, Levitate
 
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Given the ambiguity of the term “optimize,” it is probably in our interest to define what it means in the context of this project. This would establish uniform criteria for determining success or failure. What qualifies as optimization, and how will we know we have achieved it for CAP 30?

Optimize is a pretty scary word for this process. I don't think that it was a bad title for the concept, as it was both clear and concise in what we'd be doing and the idea of taking an underutilized ability and giving it the "perfect" user is very attractive in a game where there are lots of great abilities and unfortunately poor Pokemon that have them. To optimize, however, implies that we need to explore every avenue and potential benefit a Pokemon can have from an ability, which simply takes things too far.

If you wanted to optimize Protean, what would that look like? Since the ability lets you change typing whenever you use a move, you'd want a move from all 18 types in the game. But just having those moves isn't enough: they'd need to be useful moves to have. The next step would be making a Pokemon that can use a move from each type properly: for example, we make a strong Physical Attacker that has access to a Physical move of every type. But is only using one half of the attacking spectrum "optimized?" A mixed attacker with access to one good move on both the Physical and Special would be more optimal than one that can only use Physical moves. Of course with access to all 18 types and an ability that gives you STAB on all attacking moves means you wouldn't have much need for the weaker offensive types, so you could optimize further by making the less offensively potent moves more utility focused, such as U-Turn instead of X-Scissor for pivoting, Toxic Spikes instead of Sludge Bomb to set hazards, Rapid Spin instead of Hyper Voice for team support, and so on. We've not even begun to discuss the defensive applications of Protean. Basically, optimizing is going much further than "making the ability useful;" it's making a Pokemon that utilizes it to the maximum possible.

Now not every ability is as intricate in its effects as Protean. Optimizing Adaptability would literally just be making a powerful attacker as all the ability does is increase your STAB damage. But the term "optimized" is very strong in its connotation, and we would be wise to ammend its meaning to one that better reflects the goals of the CAP Project.

kjnjkmjk1's definition is perfect for our purposes in this regard.
optimization in this case means that the Pokemon consistently and actively engages in their ability as part of a viable, but not broken, niche in the CAP metagame.
What we want to do is have our chosen Ability (whether shared or exclusive) for 30 and 30i help define how they operate in the metagame, and explore the niches they can satisfy because of said Ability.

Ignoring the precedent set by Giratina’s forms, should we build both forms around optimizing the same ability but in alternate directions? Do we stand to learn more from fully exploring one ability or balancing multiple abilities simultaneously?

The direction this question seems to be heading in is Two Abilities, but for sake of discussion I think it is beneficial to outline two pros and cons of each. If you're on mobile this probably looks awful.

One Ability Pros​
One Ability Cons​
Two Abilities Pros​
Two Abilities Cons​
+More focused project, exploring the many ways an Ability can be defined as "optimized"-One form might be better suited to its Ability and outclass the other, leaving it without a solid niche in the metagame+More diverse project, exploring how two Abilities can be "optimized" on fairly similar users-Could split discussion of Abilities unevenly: one ends up less developed as the other is more "interesting" to discuss
+Can explore uses of an Ability to a greater extent, as we don't have to make everything work on a single Pokemon-Not all Abilities have a lot of room to explore, so we might accidently limit ourselves to those with a greater depth+Forms won't have as much competition with one another-More strenuous workload and effect on process as both Abilities need to work with elements shared between forms

I don't have much else to say on the matter as personally I think both are viable and interesting directions to take.

Since we are aiming to optimize ability, would it be better for us to define our roles before or after we select our ability? This will dictate how much freedom is granted in the ability stage and the need for a concept assessment 2. At this time, I am not looking for specific role suggestions.

This is a hard question to answer because going one route over the other fundamentally changes the course of this project.

Consensus right now seems to be that defining our roles first will make the process flow better as we can pinpoint which Abilities mesh well with our roles and go from there. It also addresses the issue of 30 and 30i having to compete with one another for a teamslot; if they both have different roles best suited to their inherent design (30 being a wildcard while 30i is item-locked, and both share typing) we can better ensure they each have a solid niche.

I didn't have any disagreement with that stance until reading this post by flying moose, which makes a pretty strong argument for chosing our Ability first instead. The idea of potentially doing ability first for one and the other way around for the other is also good insight on how we should approach this project: we're making two separate Pokemon here, and the needs of each Pokemon are not mutual.

quziel's post later on touches on similar aspects of looking at this from a different angle than usual.

My opinion is that, if we want to optimize an Ability, we should do whatever we can to square away what Ability we will be optimizing, and from there decide which direction is best at making use of it.

Of typing, stats, and movepool, is there a main culprit for an ability’s lack of success or is it a mix of problems? Is the culprit different depending on the mechanics of an ability?

The nuances of what makes an otherwise good Ability fall short are pretty complicated and as a result I want to go through a few examples of official Pokemon to show why and how an Ability is able to succeed or fail.

The following three Ability analyses will have these rankings, in order of "optimization." I sure hope you like reading, if not you can just skip the three tabs.
  1. Useful and Viable: The user makes good use of its Ability, and has had significant play in the highest tiers.
  2. Useful but Unviable: The user makes good use of their Ability, but the user itself has little to no place in higher tiers.
  3. Outclassed: The user can make good use of their Ability, but would often rather use a different Ability.
  4. Useless but Viable: The user can't make good use out of their Ability, but itself is not a bad Pokemon despite this.
  5. Useless and Unviable: The user can't make good use out of their Ability and also is bad.
Technician is a pretty powerful Ability when given the right tools, as its boost to power is the among the highest of all Abilities, tied with Strong Jaw and Mega Launcher; of these it has the widest array of moves which get boosted. The caveat is that only moves with 60 BP or less are boosted, which means it can be difficult to justify Technician if you could just as well use naturally-high BP moves.

  1. :scizor: Probably what everyone thinks of when Technician's power is brought up. Has an extremely strong Bullet Punch that has helped it both clean late-game or serve as a dangerous Revenge Killer. Boosting a weak move with valuable additional utility is Technician's biggest upside and Scizor does it best. Bonus points for the other moves it can run like 90 BP Bug Bite.
  2. :scyther: The addition of Dual Wingbeat makes Technician the obvious choice for Scyther. Multi-hits take advantage of Technician's effect, as normally a move with an effective 80 BP is not eligiable. This provides an exceptionally strong STAB move that was previously lacking. Scyther unfortunately suffers from a poor typing and still has movepool issues, limiting its performance outside of the lower tiers.
  3. :cinccino: Multi-hits are Cinccino's forte and Technician is quite powerful on it as a result. A 50% to the damage of a 125 BP move like Tail Slap or Bullet Seed is no laughing matter. However, Cinccino has access to Skill Link, which is vastly preferred for its consistency. In order for Technician to outperform Skill Link, it would need to hit at least four times, which is much rarer than two or three. If Cinccino didn't have Skill Link it would obviously go for Technician, but as it stands it gains more from the guarantee of landing all hits of its vast multi-hit movepool. Even with Triple Axel, which hits all three times more often, having Skill Link is beneficial for consistency.
  4. :roserade: Following the removal of Hidden Power, Technician is easily the worst Ability of the three. The only moves you can get any real benefit out of are either redundant Normal moves or Magical Leaf, whose accuracy-ignoring effect and higher PP is not exactly worth losing out on Energy Ball's SpDef drop chance, plus the fact that this only works if you use Technician instead of the much better Natural Cure. As a result it has no practical application. Roserade on its own isn't a terribly bad Pokemon, not suited for modern OU but it has historically been an integral part of whatever tier it ends up in since being introduced.
  5. :grapploct: Faces severe competition from the like ten other bulky mono-Fighting types, generally worse than them, and doesn't really gain much from access to Technician. I would rather use Limber.
One of the strongest and most widespread Abilities in the game, thanks to it facilitating both defensive and offensive play by lowering the opponent's Attack stat. Easy to use and has a multitude of benefits.

  1. :landorus-therian: One of the best OU Pokemon since debut. Intimidate lets it serve as both a powerful offensive mon able to force threats out through dropping their Attack alongside its own superb strength, and a versatile defensive role as a physical pivot able to come in on many Physical attacks and either retaliate with a strong move, maintain momentum with U-Turn, or even set/remove hazards. Intimidate is its only Ability so there's not much to compare that isn't speculative, but it is pretty safe to say that Lando-T showcases how Intimidate can assist in making a good Pokemon that much better.
  2. :incineroar: While its weakness to hazards and lack of recovery as a result of wanting HDB hurt it enough to keep it from OU, Incineroar is good in RU, used as an effective pivot that can maintain momentum, provide team support, and still hit hard all in one slot. Its much more successful in Doubles-based formats due to its kit, but as far as Singles is concerned it has a lot of issues which plague it despite a unique typing and solid stat line.
  3. :tauros: A lacking defensive profile leaves Intimidate less appealing than Sheer Force on Tauros, whose movepool, good Attack and Speed let it tear up in the lower tiers in conjuction with the power boost, and if you really wanted to use it in a higher tier you probably could and get away with it. Intimidate can still be good on it but Tauros would rather hit hard and leave than try to serve as a pivot.
  4. :staraptor: Pretty much a more extreme version of Tauros. Staraptor's defensive qualities are limited by a SR weakness and poor bulk, but with Reckless it is a ferocious wallbreaker. Access to Intimidate has little to due with its legacy of being banished to UUBL.
  5. :masquerain: Intimidate isn't helping it survive much it wouldn't normally and an uninspired typing + unimpressive stats severely hold it back from finding a place to settle down.
An extremely simple, yet unassumingly powerful Ability that makes the user immune to Ground-type moves and certain field effects like Spikes or Misty Terrain: essentially just mimicking how the Flying type works without the rest of the type chart. Does not have a lot of interaction, but it does the job well and helps the user switch into a couple more things with greater frequency.

  1. :rotom-wash: An excellent defensive typing in conjunction with Levitate leaves Wash with a single Grass weakness, which when combined with its decent stats and movepool lets it serve as a deadly nuisance. It has fallen off more in recent years but is rarely an awful pick thanks to how annoying it can be to take down, and in previous generations has always pulled its weight in the pivoting department, where it excels due to only fearing Stealth Rock as a hazard and having a wide array of useful resistances.
  2. :bronzong: Removing the Ground weakness of a Steel type is great for enhancing their already impressive defenses, but Bronzong can be a pretty heavy momentum drain and doesn't have the best utility options. A secondary Psychic typing also leaves it at the mercy of Ghost and Dark moves without too much in return.
  3. :weezing-galar: Most Pokemon with Levitate tend to only have Levitate so this one is a bit of a stretch, but essentially if you are using Weezing-Galar in regular OU it's because of Neutralizing Gas, not Levitate.
  4. :azelf: Azelf isn't really harmed by the existence of Levitate, but it's huge offenses and massive movepool would have greatly appreciated an ability that let it do more than just float above the ground. It's defenses are too low to benefit from the defensive bonus Levitate provides outside of being immune to grounded hazards. Its Ability has a lot less to do with the success it has seen compared to everything else about it.
  5. :rotom-fan: Levitate does absolutely nothing for this Pokemon outside of the most specific and largely pointless scenarios. Also, it's not a good Pokemon, probably in part because it doesn't have a real Ability.

For a couple more specific examples of great Abilities which lack a similarly great users:
  • :frosmoth: Ice Scales is unquestionably one of the best Abilities in the game, but Frosmoth struggles to use it. Its typing leaves it weak to a ton without many resistances to back it up, it has no reliable recovery to let it abuse its good SpDef, its statline and movepool let it down at every corner, and its set-up set is not nearly strong enough despite Ice Scales helping it fascilitate use of Quiver Dance.
  • :palossand: Water Compaction may not provide an immunity, but +2 Defense upon taking a Water attack would be really powerful on the right Pokemon. Palossand simply lacks the tools to make the most of this Ability and being weak to Water moves certainly doesn't help. Special mention goes to :coalossal: who also has an Ability that buffs you upon taking Water damage yet struggles to make said Steam Engine work in Singles; honestly, however, after seeing what that thing has done to VGC it makes me feel they probably got something right with it.
  • :comfey: Triage is a phenomenal Ability that has a huge impact on both passive and aggressive styles of play, but Comfey itself isn't best suited to abusing its strengths due to being built more supportively, and its offensive sets being too slow and lacking in coverage to really leave an impact outside of lower tiers.
  • :shedinja: This Pokemon is legitimately made to be awful because Wonder Guard is that overpowered.
From this we can narrow down what exactly needs to happen in order for an Ability to not just be good, but good on its users:
  1. The base Pokemon needs to have some sort of niche it can perform: if its stats, typing, or movepool are lacking, its probably too late.
    • A good example is Frosmoth, as despite its powerful ability and amazing move in Quiver Dance, it's too slow to serve as an effective sweeper and is walled too easily by Fire and Steel to make significant progress against most teams.
  2. The Pokemon needs to interact with its Ability in a meaningful way. Having a good Ability doesn't mean you exactly benefit from it that much.
    • A good example is Rock Head Aerodactyl, which would get a lot out of its good offensive stats and typing in conjunction with Rock Head if it actually learned recoil moves that weren't Normal-type.
  3. The interaction between a Pokemon and its Ability has to accomplish something that isn't already done better by something else, even if the latter does so in a different way.
    • A good example is Alolan Marowak, which might as well be the scariest wallbreaker outside of Ubers in terms of raw damage and coverage, but it's annoying Fire/Ghost typing, low Speed, use of lower accuracy/self-damaging moves, and absolute reliance of Thick Club makes it hard to get good use out of compared to a breaker like, say, Specs Lele, which may not be as powerful but outperforms Alolawak in terms of flexibility, practicality, sustainability, and reliability.
      • The whole of "wallbreaker syndrome," where a lot of Pokemon are good at punching holes but only those that can do more than that are actually good, fits in this category as well.

Is there any reason to not have ability first in stage order? Are there any other stages that need to have their order altered to better accommodate our concept, especially if one stage is considered to determine the success of an ability more than the others?

I maintain that, for an Ability-based concept, we stand to gain more from figuring out our Ability for each form first. Any other approach isn't necessarily bad, but pretty unintuitive: why would we design stats to optimize an unknown Ability when we can design stats to optimize a known one?

That said, typing first has its perks in leveling the playing field for both forms, as it could be an issue to find a typing that works for both if they don't share an Ability. Still, I don't think we can go wrong with Ability first.
 

MrDollSteak

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Given the ambiguity of the term “optimize,” it is probably in our interest to define what it means in the context of this project. This would establish uniform criteria for determining success or failure. What qualifies as optimization, and how will we know we have achieved it for CAP 30?

This has been hashed out a lot and I don't want to tread too much old ground, but the main thing I think we should be aiming for with this concept, whether or not that specifically accounts for all of the semantic implications of "optimised" is that we are dealing with abilities that have not received substantial play in the OU or CAP metagames in both this and previous generations. I think this is an appropriately focused while still broad category that ensures we are thinking about how to bring an ability into the metagame to some level of viability. Abilities such as Adaptability and Scrappy I argue, while technically not currently represented in the OU or CAP metagames to a particularly substantial degree, should not be considered because they have previously had what I would argue are optimised users, in that they were successful depending on their availability and the metagame circumstances such as Mega Lopunny, Mega Beedrill, Mega Lucario and Crawdaunt in no particular order. An ability like Stamina on Mudsdale, while optimised for the metagame that it does exist in, is simply not viable in OU, so even though we know that it can be run well and how it might want to play from that example, we will still have to design it differently to ensure viability in the current CAP metagame.

Ignoring the precedent set by Giratina’s forms, should we build both forms around optimizing the same ability but in alternate directions? Do we stand to learn more from fully exploring one ability or balancing multiple abilities simultaneously?

I believe that building using the same ability is as others said a complete waste of the concept, even if it is mentioned as a discussion question, for the reason that our typing and movepool are already shared. This would severely limit the project and serve to make the differentiation between the two formes exclusively stats and the item (which in itself is not even a competitive stage for us to consider). With this in mind I think it's clear we should be focusing on at least one primary ability for each form. Although we are not necessarily bound by Giratina as precedent, I also do not believe that both forms should really need secondary or flavour abilities if we are doing our job right, but that's more a question for a later stage.

Since we are aiming to optimize ability, would it be better for us to define our roles before or after we select our ability? This will dictate how much freedom is granted in the ability stage and the need for a concept assessment 2. At this time, I am not looking for specific role suggestions.

I don't think so. In fact I believe dictating roles first would severely limit the extent to which we could explore our abilities. Rather than a bottom-up approach to selecting how to make use of an ability we should really be going top-down, because in my mind, we cannot be seeking to optimise an ability before it has even been chosen. I think the most prudent way for us to go about running this concept would be to have the abilities stage run first, wherein a slate of abilities that fit the eligibility criteria that we decide on is made and voted in. In the case that we are looking to choose two abilities, I think this approach also has the benefit of ensuring that two solid and appropriate abilities are chosen, as opposed to one that has been forced to fit a predetermined role and another.

Is there any reason to not have ability first in stage order? Are there any other stages that need to have their order altered to better accommodate our concept, especially if one stage is considered to determine the success of an ability more than the others?

Absolutely none whatsoever for the reasons mentioned before. I believe following ability a standard order of typing, stat, moveset is totally appropriate. The only stage that I believe might need alteration is ability itself, in that we will need to determine how we want to select the abilities in the first place and for which forms, in that should they be concurrent or sequential. Personally I believe we would better off voting on one ability, and then running a second ability stage afterwards or possibly a Concept Assessment 2, to on the one hand make sense of the ability that we have chosen, work out whether it would better suit one form or the other and what role it can lean into, and on the other todecide how we will be determining the eligibility criteria and slate for the opposing form. This is just one possibility, there are of course a lot of ways to run this, but from a process standpoint the main thing we really need to nail is the ability stage to ensure the project runs smoothly.
 
I am slowly reconsidering my stance on the stage order, since in the past couple of posts, there have been some compelling arguments to do ability first.

I like MrDollsteaks idea in particular, to go with ability one first and then take a step back, to figure out what roles CAP30/30i can perform with it and which of the two Pokémon forms it would fit best.
That way we can find out, how or where we want to differentiate the two forms, without prescribing a role first.

From there, I could both see, either deciding the second ability next, in accordance to how we want to set the two forms apart (which would only slightly limit the set of abilities we can chose from), or moving typing before the second ability, which considerably would limit our choices for the second ability, but would at the same time ensure, that both abilities interact well with the chosen typing, without having to compromise.

I definitely want to caution us from discussing and deciding both abilities at the same time, unless we thoroughly use the ability stage to discuss, how abilities can flex into specific roles and what abilities generally synergize with similar typings, so that we can find an ability pair that doesn’t limit us or force compromise in the following stages.
 
Ignoring the precedent set by Giratina’s forms, should we build both forms around optimizing the same ability but in alternate directions? Do we stand to learn more from fully exploring one ability or balancing multiple abilities simultaneously?

There is so much potential to be had with giving this CAP multiple abilities. I really don't want to beat a dead horse since so many people have argued for using multiple abilities, but really, a different ability for each form synergizes so well with the framework and what we're trying to accomplish. Giving each form of CAP 30 a different ability will allow them to fill different roles/niches and prevent one form from possibly being overshadowed by the other.

Speaking of roles...

Since we are aiming to optimize ability, would it be better for us to define our roles before or after we select our ability? This will dictate how much freedom is granted in the ability stage and the need for a concept assessment 2. At this time, I am not looking for specific role suggestions.

I think it would be much better to decide our abilities before we decide our roles. Deciding our roles first, in my opinion, will pigeonhole us and result in a CAP that really can't function outside of certain team archetypes. CAP 25 (the starter CAPs) had a very similar concept to this (Astounding Ability Actualization). During the Concept Assessment of those CAPs, the roles were decided before anything else pertaining to those CAPs. Due to this, the entire process was somewhat limited because the contributors were trying their best to make sure their suggestions worked with the pre-assigned roles. CAP 25 ended up focusing more on the roles of the Pokemon, rather than their abilities. And because the process was so limited, all three starter CAPs ended up becoming highly mediocre in the long run, to the point where none of them are currently ranked on the SS CAP viability rankings.

To prevent this, I think that we should pick at least one of CAP 30's abilities before we discuss roles. This will allow us to analyze all of the potential roles a Pokemon with the chosen ability/abilities could. It could allow us to find previously unthought of uses for certain abilities, which will allow us to fulfill the concept as much as possible and lead to some interesting end products.

Of typing, stats, and movepool, is there a main culprit for an ability’s lack of success or is it a mix of problems? Is the culprit different depending on the mechanics of an ability?

Looking at previous examples, most of the time stats seem to be the culprit for an ability's lack of success. Most of the time GameFreak "balances" very strong abilities by giving them to Pokemon with terrible stats. Contrary, for example, is one of the best abilities in the game if used right, but the two Pokemon in the game with that ability that can actually utilize it (Lurantis and Malamar) have such poor BSTs that they still remain in ZU despite their great ability. Same with Stakeout: an amazing ability with deadly potential, but the only mons that had/have it (Gumshoos and Thievul) are early-route trash with piss-poor BSTs, so they ended up in their gen's ZU. Low BST isn't the culprit all the time, though; sometimes the Pokemon has a great BST, but the distribution of those stats means that it can't utilize its ability properly. Toxapex is the best example of this: Merciless is a very interesting ability, but Toxapex's stat distribution skews much more towards the defensive side, so it can't utilize the offensive-based Merciless that and Regenerator is way too good of an ability anyways Contrary also works well with this: Shuckle's stat spread is way too defensive to utilize it, and Sturdy just synergizes with it better.

Of course, typing and movepool can also effect an ability's lack of success: Solid Rock would work so much better on Rhyperior if its typing didn't give it two 4x weaknesses, and Transistor and Dragon's Maw could have sent Regieleki and Regidrago to Ubers had their movepools not been more barren than an Instagram influencer's personality. Sometimes two or all of these factors work together to contribute to an ability's lack of success (see Frosmoth and Coalossal). But most of the time, it's stats.

Is there any reason to not have ability first in stage order? Are there any other stages that need to have their order altered to better accommodate our concept, especially if one stage is considered to determine the success of an ability more than the others?

I think that we should decide the ability of at least one of our forms before we do anything else. Chromera just showed us how well a concept can be executed if the stage order is messes with a little bit: choosing our 'defective ability' first allowed us to create a CAP that completely revolved around pushing that ability to its limit, and the result both fulfilled the concept and was viable in the metagame. There's also our form-changing item to take into consideration: an additional x1.2 boost to both STABs could be absolutely devastating combined with the right ability, and we have to choose CAP 30i's ability carefully to make sure that doesn't happen. As such, my suggestion would be to choose CAP 30i's ability first, hold a Concept Assessment 2 to discuss said ability and how we move forward with both forms from there, then choose CAP 30's ability. This would give us a good starting point while also making sure one form isn't potentially broken.

To close this post off, I have a request pertaining to the process as a whole, which is to refer to the itemless form of CAP 30 as CAP 30b (as in base) for the remainder of the process. I think that it would be really helpful for distinguishing the two parts of CAP 30 and will be less confusing to newcomers who come upon the process in the middle of the later stages (particularly ability and stats).
 
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Wulfanator

Clefable's wish came true!
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I have let you all stew on these questions long enough, and it is time for me to share my thoughts on the discussion so far.

From the answers regarding definition of optimization, it would appear everybody is sharing similar thoughts. We want the ability to be a leading element of the mon’s functionality. The example shared by The Metric System better shapes this expectation. Magnet Pull established the primary function of Magnezone for the past several generations. Magnezone lacks the tools to fully punish steels, especially with the removal of hidden power, but the ability is still integral to how the mon is used. Trace on Jumbao is equally defining regarding how it is used in CAP. Part of kjnjkmjk1 answer established that optimizing does not mean having the ability selected. We want to avoid a situation that we create mons and the ability is only situationally relevant/has no meaningful contribution to its success.

Full optimization appears to be an extreme some users are wanting to avoid, at least in the case of specific abilities. We would rather prioritize a healthy final product as opposed to meeting concept to the nth degree. This has led Brambane to voice that optimization is a spectrum and we will need to address each ability on a case-by-case basis. The ability will determine how much exploration can be done before the developing a toxic result. Using inspiration from NitioWO post, that spectrum should be bound between simple synergy of mechanics to characteristics that compound on one another to maximize the significance of the ability. Where the extremes to avoid are equivalent to when we considered Merciless Smokomodo (free toxics/crits on everything or SE hits on toxic-immune mons)

Question 2 asked about exploring one ability two ways or different abilities. The unanimous opinion is that multiple abilities is the preferred method of exploring our concept and will be the intended path moving forward.

Defining roles before or after ability
has been a mixed bag up until now. Some users want a more focused discussion as we move forward. There is always value in weeding out extraneous conversations from the project. Others have pointed to our mistakes from past projects and make a compelling argument to maintain the flexibility. After all, emphasis of the project is placed on the ability and not roles, so we want to complement our ability with an appropriate role as opposed to the other way around. I am still willing to hear arguments on this topic, but I am leaning towards defining roles after ability.

If we want to narrow the scope of our ability conversation now, the categories flying moose began suggesting would probably be a better way to navigate it. We took a similar approach with Chromera’s assessment and used it to establish what abilities fell within the scope of the project. These categories would want to avoid listing specific abilities and create a generic definition/criterion to compare abilities to at a later point. This would allow us to start removing less-promising avenues from that list without locking us into anything.

The answers regarding stage order have been equally unanimous. I am really liking the proposal by quziel to run the project Primary Ability 30b => Typing => Primary Ability 30i. I went ahead and assigned the order of the forms to avoid confusion, but this can be altered. I think this will better ensure we have two different abilities that are compatible with some of the shared elements. I would like to see more thoughts on this idea.

I think StarFalcon555 makes a good point on using 30b to help further distinguish between the forms. From now on use 30b and 30i to indicate the base form and the item form.



Some things I want to know based on the conversation we have had and some other issues that may be important:

If we ultimately decide to go the Primary Ability => Typing => Primary Ability route, which form should we focus on first, 30b or 30i?

The framework only mandates one typing be shared between the forms, at least from my understanding. Given any possible ordering of stages, how would we need to account for this?
 

dex

As far as I know, I'm immortal
is a Pre-Contributor
If we ultimately decide to go the Primary Ability => Typing => Primary Ability route, which form should we focus on first, 30b or 30i?
While the item form may have some restrictions on it, I think there's a lot we will learn about 30i from the typing stage due to the nature of its held item, so its ability stage should be after typing. Therefore, I am in favor of focusing first on 30b's ability.
 
If we ultimately decide to go the Primary Ability => Typing => Primary Ability route, which form should we focus on first, 30b or 30i?
Absolutely 30i, it having an unKock-Offable, x1.2 STAB item already makes certain abilities, if not unviable for it, much harder to pull off

just by being able to change items 30b has far more flexibility; if we don't define 30i first we run the risk of either restricting its concept too much or making it an inferior and therefore unused option compared to 30b
 
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If we ultimately decide to go the Primary Ability => Typing => Primary Ability route, which form should we focus on first, 30b or 30i?
I think that since 30i has an overall disadvantage of being item-locked (while also having the perk of being immune to item removal), we would maximize our chances of creating an effective 30i by first focusing on its ability. 30b has plenty of flexibility at this point by merit of being able to hold whatever it wants, so we will still have many choices to explore even after determining the typing dictated by 30i's ability.

IMO the only reason to pick 30b's typing first would be if we want to focus on truly bizarre or niche ability that will be challenging and will require all the optimization flexibility it can get. These include abilities like Dancer, Mummy, Suction Cups, and Perish Body. This could be super interesting, though the process would start to have some overlap with that of Chromera's. Also we can't say "let's start with 30b on the condition we only consider certain abilities." It seems like this is a situation where we should start with the framework and then do the concept.


The framework only mandates one typing be shared between the forms, at least from my understanding. Given any possible ordering of stages, how would we need to account for this?
I actually think sharing only one typing adds some extra complication. It would probably force us to choose: 30i Ability --> 30i Typing --> 30b Ability --> which half of 30i's Typing is shared with 30b --> 30b's secondary typing. I'm not sure it's worth all the extra discussion when we could just pick an unoptimized ability for 30b that benefits from the typing we gave to 30i, similar to a traditional CAP process with a typing-->ability order. There are a lot of ability choices so I don't think having a dual typing already set is going to disable the prospects of a viable 30b.
 
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