Policy Review Defining Moves

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quziel

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Rationale:

As can be seen in the process for Smokomodo and Jumbao, there are multiple cases where the stat spreads submitted are too strong for certain concept relevant moves to be added to the pokemon without breaking it.

In Smokomodo's case, we have Bonemerang and Flame Charge as the most relevant examples; two moves that interact wonderfully with its ability Technician, and the centerpiece of the "Move-Ability" interaction concept. However, despite being heavily concept-relevant, these moves were both too strong for the resulting stat spread, and Smokomodo now runs Blaze instead of Technician.

In Jumbao's case, Weather Ball interacts very favorably with its desired concept as "Dual weather abuser", giving it very customizable coverage depending on the team its used on. However, because of the overall strength of Jumbao's stat spread, it was deemed too strong to be included (to be fair, Drought Weather Ball is an incredibly strong option).

Proposal:

The TL along with the Moves and Stats TLT should create a list of Defining Moves before the Stats stage begins, which statspread creators should draw one or more from to use explicitly when creating spreads, and calcing spreads. This process has already been somewhat present implicitely (see Head Smash Cruci implictly, and Shackle Paj and DD Libra explicitly), and formalizing it should result in more concept-fulfilling CAPs.

Defining Moves here are those which heavily impact the limits on the stat spread, and are taken to be exceptionally powerful STAB moves and Coverage moves, Boosting moves (calcing for Belly Drum ~= calcing for Bulk Up), and Recovery Moves (Calcing for Recover vs Calcing for Leftovers + Protect). Knowing the limit on STAB moves is extremely important for attack limits; imagine calcing for Hyper Voice vs for Boomburst, same with Coverage and Boosting moves, and Recovery places important limits on bulk, specifically needing to survive 2hkos vs 3hkos with and without recovery.
 
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Deck Knight

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I feel like this is a solution looking for a problem.

Smokomodo's primary issue is that its framework combined with the imposed stat limits really did not allow for the "slower, bulkier" spreads many hypothesized. Its maximum defensive limits for example were still 2HKO'd by Ferrothorn Power Whip. Even though I submitted the winning, "too offensive," spread I did argue for higher defensive limits.

I also think the ensuing Flame Charge discussion was one of the best in CAP, even if the result was ultimately to prohibit the move. I don't think Bonemerrang was ever balanceable by comparison. It also had Weather Ball Drought levels of power, but with even less counterplay or drawbacks.

+1 Speed from Flame Charge and calculations for Tech moves were also included in the submission (and every other submission), so it is not as if the move slipped under the radar.

I suppose if the idea is we break out such a discussion before stats for the purposes of guaranteeing the move that is one thing, but that just makes the process much more convoluted.

I think Jumbao just ended up too strong period. I can't really blame Gen 7 because of all the extant power creep, but nobody can look at a Pokemon that fast, powerful, and bulky with two amazing abilities and tell me the problem is we didn't define it's SpA by Drought Weather Ball calcs by discussing Weather Ball as Defining beforehand.

Even creating Defining Moves creates a decision point where we could select the "wrong" Defining Moves or encourage even greater polljumping. For many concepts it isn't even particularly relevant.

I don't see how this can be added into the existing CAP Process without causing more issues than it might resolve.
 

Mx

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I have a few caveats, but I'm mostly in favor of this idea, as in many concepts, this could be very beneficial to the final product. Since at least Gen 7, there has been a noticeable tendency in CAP to favor incredibly strong stat submissions that then force us to be extremely careful during movesets, so this new stage could serve as a way to mitigate this trend, which can be extremely useful in cases where it could cause problems for the concept, like in the examples the OP provided.

Something that I think it's very important to note is that, as Deck Knight pointed out, this stage might not be relevant in some concepts. Let's look at Pajantom for example. Which move could we put in this category on this project? Besides obviously Spirit Shackle (which would be an automatic inclusion with zero discussion) I don't really see many good ideas. Coverage like Ice Punch, Earthquake and Brave Bird are good, but they're not vital to the concept and didn't really cause any issues in the normal process anyways. Other notable types of coverage that Pajantom didn't get in the end like Poison, Fire, and Fighting would have clearly gone against the goals we put on the threat discussion, so it would have been very hard to argue in their favor. Something like Taunt could have been added to completely shut down the passive walls we were supposed to trap, but I don't think that is worth adding an entire new stage to the project.

For this reason, while I think this is a great idea, it should still be handled with care. I believe the better solution would be the make this an optional stage, similar to the current Counters Discussion. Therefore, before moving to stats, the TLT would have the option to make a Defining Moves thread. I think that the most important cases where to consider using this stage would be when certain moves can directly help our concept, but there are other uses like better defined STAB moves, like the Hyper Voice vs Boomburst example in the OP. Making this stage optional achieves the best of both worlds in my opinion, we can pick our moves much more precisely in cases we want to, and when this is not as important, we can easily skip it and continue with our normal process without wasting any time. I personally believe that by default this stage should be skipped if there are no moves that can make or break our concept, but I definitely can see arguments for using this stage unless the discussion is very trivial.
 

snake_rattler

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TITLE: CAP XX - Part Y - Defining Moves Discussion

(This stage may be placed anywhere between Concept Poll and Stat Limits at the TLT's discretion.)

-----

(link to CAP X so far)

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In this stage, we will develop sets of moves that will meaningfully affect future stages of the process for this CAP. These moves will need to be addressed in the stat limits and stat submission stages in order to contextualize submitted spreads. For example, a stat submission that elects to choose stronger Defining Moves will be put under heavier scrutiny than those without them. The chosen Defining Moves should be considered essential to the CAP's concept and/or chosen role. Defining Moves does not necessarily exclude moves from consideration in the Movesets Discussion, so not all of the CAP's viable moves need to be decided in this stage. The Movepool SL will organize these moves into the following lists:
  1. Required: Stat spreads (or other future stages) must account for this move, these moves, or a choice of moves.
  2. Optional: Stat spreads (or other future stages) can elect to use this move, these moves, or a choice of moves.
Moves that can be chosen as Defining Moves should be in the following categories:
  • Boosting Moves
  • Recovery Moves
  • Extraordinary Damaging Moves (moves with strong ability interactions, moves with strong secondary effects, high-Base Power moves, absolutely essential coverage moves, etc.)
  • Strong Utility Moves (self-switching moves, hazard setting/removing moves, status-inflicting moves, etc.)
Controversial moves or moves' placements in the above sets can be sent to poll if the Movepool SL deems it necessary.

Please do not polljump by talking about specific stat spreads or suggest specific abilities.

-----

Hey all, you have about 48 hours to discuss any issues with the defining moves OP, at which point it will be passed. This thread is being resolved differently from our recently passed PRC proposal because it's necessary for CAP 29's process to continue in a timely manner. We understand that this may seem contrary to the aim of the recent proposal and as such will be considering a more transparent and comprehensive "Emergency PRC Passage" for future PRC proposals that need a quick resolution.

EDIT: implemented first round of edits at 22 hour mark.
 
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dex

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Something that should be mentioned in terms of Strong Utility Moves is Toxic. We've already seen the havoc Toxic can cause when on a strong pivot (see Equilibra, Swampert, etc.). Toxic, and poison in general, is a fairly defining feature of a mon that should be taken into account.

I would additionally like to see Sleep-inducing moves included there too. Miasmaw's moveset discussion, for example, had a lot of back and forth about Sleep Powder. Sleep, particularly consistent sleep, can be extremely defining.

While not obvious, these status moves can be extremely strong given the bulk and/or defensive ability to use them, and could be constricting on the stats stage if we essentially need certain checks to outspeed and OHKO to avoid status. Perhaps Toxic is not too problematic in this regard, but Sleep 100% is and should be included in defining moves.

TLDR; Sleep is defining, Toxic is maybe defining.
 
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Zetalz

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Something that should be mentioned in terms of Strong Utility Moves is Toxic. We've already seen the havoc Toxic can cause when on a strong pivot (see Equilibra, Swampert, etc.). Toxic, and poison in general, is a fairly defining feature of a mon that should be taken into account.

I would additionally like to see Sleep-inducing moves included there too. Miasmaw's moveset discussion, for example, had a lot of back and forth about Sleep Powder. Sleep, particularly consistent sleep, can be extremely defining.

While not obvious, these status moves can be extremely strong given the bulk and/or defensive ability to use them, and could be constricting on the stats stage if we essentially need certain checks to outspeed and OHKO to avoid status. Perhaps Toxic is not too problematic in this regard, but Sleep 100% is and should be included in defining moves.

TLDR; Sleep is defining, Toxic is maybe defining.
I'd like to echo this sentiment, although my priorities are somewhat inverse of dex's. Toxic is without a doubt a very defining move that can, easier than most other options, overshoot a mon's trajectory and land it in the realm of being an unhealthy addition. We have plenty of experience in this regard with how 2 of the 3 most recent caps turned out.

As the person who brought Hypnosis back into discussion after it had already been approved during Miasmaw, I feel much the same about reliable sleep in regards to it's ability to define a mon. Trying not to regurgitate what dex has already stated, but it's pretty clear to me that reliable sleep setting and toxic can be not only integral to mons ability to function, but have the capability to fully define it.

Having said all that I think either adding Reliable Sleep & Toxic to Strong Utility Moves, or perhaps to a sub-section of it might be in order. Another possibility that I prefer is the creation of a section dedicated to Strong Status Moves, as there are of course other mon defining status options besides these two (off the top of my head stuff like Glare) that can be tossed in as well.
 

snake_rattler

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Something that should be mentioned in terms of Strong Utility Moves is Toxic. We've already seen the havoc Toxic can cause when on a strong pivot (see Equilibra, Swampert, etc.). Toxic, and poison in general, is a fairly defining feature of a mon that should be taken into account.

I would additionally like to see Sleep-inducing moves included there too. Miasmaw's moveset discussion, for example, had a lot of back and forth about Sleep Powder. Sleep, particularly consistent sleep, can be extremely defining.

While not obvious, these status moves can be extremely strong given the bulk and/or defensive ability to use them, and could be constricting on the stats stage if we essentially need certain checks to outspeed and OHKO to avoid status. Perhaps Toxic is not too problematic in this regard, but Sleep 100% is and should be included in defining moves.

TLDR; Sleep is defining, Toxic is maybe defining.
I'd like to echo this sentiment, although my priorities are somewhat inverse of dex's. Toxic is without a doubt a very defining move that can, easier than most other options, overshoot a mon's trajectory and land it in the realm of being an unhealthy addition. We have plenty of experience in this regard with how 2 of the 3 most recent caps turned out.

As the person who brought Hypnosis back into discussion after it had already been approved during Miasmaw, I feel much the same about reliable sleep in regards to it's ability to define a mon. Trying not to regurgitate what dex has already stated, but it's pretty clear to me that reliable sleep setting and toxic can be not only integral to mons ability to function, but have the capability to fully define it.

Having said all that I think either adding Reliable Sleep & Toxic to Strong Utility Moves, or perhaps to a sub-section of it might be in order. Another possibility that I prefer is the creation of a section dedicated to Strong Status Moves, as there are of course other mon defining status options besides these two (off the top of my head stuff like Glare) that can be tossed in as well.
First, strong Status Moves can be added into Strong Utility moves. Thanks for this catch, you're very right about this. Edit in italics (will be un-italicized in final version). Another edit I'd like to make is to replace "High-Base Power moves" with the following italicized category, just to be more accommodating to things like Technician-boosted moves and the like.
  • Boosting Moves
  • Recovery Moves
  • Extraordinary Damaging Moves (moves with strong ability interactions, high-Base Power moves, absolutely essential coverage moves, etc.)
  • Strong Utility Moves (self-switching moves, hazard setting/removing moves, status-inflicting moves, etc.)
Second, I'd like to add the following language (new text italicized, will be un-italicized in final version):

In this stage, we will develop sets of moves that will meaningfully affect future stages of the process for this CAP. These moves will need to be addressed in the stat limits and stat submission stages in order to contextualize submitted spreads. For example, a stat submission that elects to choose stronger Defining Moves will be put under heavier scrutiny than those without them. The chosen Defining Moves should be considered essential to the CAP's concept and/or chosen role. Defining Moves does not necessarily exclude moves from consideration in the Movesets Discussion, so not all of the CAP's viable moves need to be decided in this stage. The Movepool SL will organize these moves into the following lists:

This language should set the expectation that these moves are meant to be essential to CAP's role, and just because we didn't pick a move to be "Defining" doesn't mean it's not allowed for discussion in Movesets - at that point, it will probably be disallowed for being too strong in relation to the chosen stat spread. In my eyes, the required/optional sets of moves shouldn't be long and complex.

I'll add implement these changes at the ~24 hour mark if there are no objections!

EDIT: made some changes to the first set of proposed edits.
 
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snake_rattler

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Alright, to make sure the Defining Moves thread isn't posted too late at night, I'm calling a 22 hour warning here before the thread closes. I have implemented the round of edits detailed in the previous post into the OP on Post #4.
 

quziel

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Hey, so we did our first time around of Defining Moves in Chromera, and while I think it definitely helped us craft spreads, it was imperfect, so I'm reopening this thread. I"ll have some discussion points set up this afternoon, but just want to get it open now.
 

dex

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If it’s alright, I’d like to make a first point about defining moves. I’d like to see the stage be more structured. We can go through each part of defining moves (i.e. coverage then utility and so on).

What this would mean is that we first discuss one category of defining moves, finish discussion, vote in any polls that arise because of the discussion, then move on to the next category, doing the same thing.

The defining moves stage was a success for Chromera in my opinion, but the chaotic nature of it led to a sort of uncontrolled discussion.

I propose the following order:

Coverage
Utility
Boosting
Recovery
 
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If it’s alright, I’d like to make a first point about defining moves. I’d like to see the stage be more structured. We can go through each part of defining moves (i.e. coverage then utility and so on).

What this would mean is that we first discuss one category of defining moves, finish discussion, vote in any polls that arise because of the discussion, then move on to the next category, doing the same thing.

The defining moves stage was a success for Chromera in my opinion, but the chaotic nature of it led to a sort of uncontrolled discussion.

I propose the following order:

Coverage
Utility
Boosting
Recovery
To be a little more flexible wrt concepts, I could see the actual order of the subsections be decided during concept assessment.
Taking Chromera as an example, since we decided to build a bulky sweeper, we would have probably determined and fixed boosting as our first option, then coverage or recovery, then utility.
For Astro we might have started with Utility or recovery options, while for Miasmaw starting with coverage might have been the way to go.

If the concept is open ended with regards to these kind of options (say like with Equilibra)
I would propose this order:
  1. Boosting (this has the biggest influence on the power of the CAP and the subsequent options imo)
  2. Coverage (heavily influenced calculations during stats and abilities if moves are defining chosen first. I’d split this into 1) STAB moves or Coverage with Special Ability interaction like sheer force Earthpower or Triage Drain Punch and 2) strong essential coverage, which is likely to be part of some movesets)
  3. I don’t have a preference for which of utility or recovery should go first.
 
I agree with Amamama on letting the order of the parts of Defining Moves be flexible based on the concept, and I also like their breakdown of "coverage" into STAB (and coverage with special ability-move interactions) vs strong essential coverage in general. (The stage might need a renaming, though; "damaging" seems appropriate, if maybe too general) I do think it's fine to just let the Moves Topic Leader decide a prospective order based on how the process has gone so far and check for any objections at the beginning of the Defining Moves section, rather than doing it during concept assessment (especially if we don't continue to have another concept assessment directly before defining moves itself).

I also want to bring up the establishment of expectations. There was definitely a disconnect between the initial definition of "defining" that people ran with (basically any move that seemed relevant and was particularly powerful) and the actual definition of "defining" that was intended and eventually enforced (moves that are specifically useful for stats calculations and aren't overshadowed/replicated by other, more pertinent moves), which I think was a rather large cause of chaos in the thread during the coverage part, as people (including myself) just threw out moves left and right because they seemed rather powerful. We should try to establish this during the process in the future to prevent a repeat. I think a sentence and an example in the OP would suffice (something like, "When considering coverage, keep in mind that we are selecting moves that are relevant for calculations during the stats stage. If the move can effectively be replaced with another move for the purposes of stats calculations, it is better suited for the moveset submission stage. For example, Boomburst, while a rather powerful move, often overlaps in power with a Pokemon's STAB moves, and so is generally not a defining move unless it itself is STAB or has some kind of special ability interaction.").
 

Estronic

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Previous discussion in regards to this during CAP30's current creation process leads me to suggest to make Priority one of the sections alongside Coverage, Utility, Boosting, and Recovery. While priority as a whole can technically fall under utility, it's such a unique and integral part to Pokemon that commonly run it, which I believe warrants for it to have an entire category to it. I don't really see it as a problem in terms of it being too specific; Boosting and Recovery are in a similar boat because a good number of Pokemon can work around not having reliable access to such moves. Many Pokemon can work fine without reliable priority moves, but since priority can be incredibly important in many ways, it should have its own category of discussion during the Defining Moves stage. Since it's not as important, it could very well be the last category in terms of importance (going off of the levels of importance provided by dex), but that order, especially Boosting, Recovery, and (potentially) Priority, can easily be changed around to be the best fit for our creation process thus far.
 
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Mx

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Alright, let's try to wrap this up before we need this for CAP 30. Here's my proposed changes to the categories after everything that has been proposed here:
Moves that can be chosen as Defining Moves should be in the following categories:
  • Boosting Moves
  • Recovery Moves
  • Extraordinary STAB Moves (only moves with strong ability interactions, moves with strong secondary effects, and high-Base Power moves that might be relevant for stat calculations) [New, replaces extraordinary damaging moves]
  • Extraordinary Coverage Moves (only moves with strong ability interactions and moves that directly affect our concept) [New, replaces extraordinary damaging moves]
  • Strong Priority Moves [New]
  • Strong Utility Moves (self-switching moves, hazard setting/removing moves, status-inflicting moves, etc.)
Hopefully this should make the stage run much more smoothly. I've discussed the possibility of having a fixated order with the rest of the mods but we agreed that this was better left to the TL's discretion. If no one has any issues with this, we're going to be closing this thread during the week.
 
To bring something from Discord into this thread:
"Strong Priority Moves" is a bit vague by itself, so someone suggested using the definition of "effective BP of 60 or more". This basically includes any STAB 40 BP priority move (Ice Shard, Aqua Jet, Quick Attack, etc.), as well as stronger priority moves like First Impression, Sucker Punch, and Extreme Speed regardless of STAB. Water Shuriken (which has inconsistent power due to its multihit nature) and Fake Out (whose flinch effect can be very powerful under the right circumstances) don't fit neatly into this definition, but I'm potentially willing to include both of these moves.
 

Mx

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Okay, after some more internal discussion, here's the final changes we agreed on:

Moves that can be chosen as Defining Moves should be in the following categories:
  • Boosting Moves
  • Recovery Moves
  • Extraordinary STAB Moves (only moves with strong ability interactions, moves with strong secondary effects, and high-Base Power moves that might be relevant for stat calculations)
  • Extraordinary Coverage Moves (only moves with strong ability interactions and moves that directly affect our concept)
  • Strong Priority Moves
  • Strong Utility Moves (self-switching moves, hazard setting/removing moves, status-inflicting moves, etc.)
The TLT has the final say over which moves fall into which category, if they belong to one at all. Controversial moves or placements in lists can be sent to poll if the Movepool SL deems it necessary.
We decided to keep the "Strong Priority Moves" category a bit vague on purpose, as there isn't really an objective threshold for something to be considered strong priority and also added a note below the categories making clear that at the end of the day, the TLT has the final say on whether or not any moves can be considered for certain category, which should help resolve conflicts on border cases.

Thanks to everyone who participated in this discussion, this thread will be closed for now but it might be reopened after CAP 30 if people propose further changes.
 
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