Policy Review Delay CAP 32 Until Gen 9

spoo

bike ride in the rain
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Approved by quziel and also myself ? I don't know if I can do that now

Title says it all. Right now, precedent would suggest two caps in 2022, with CAP 32 starting roughly in September. If Gen 9 releases before Christmas as we expect it to, this will be a massive headache for the project, potentially even releasing in the middle of 32's process. CAP 32's "current" schedule also poses problems for the tournament circuit, which I will let Tadasuke elaborate on if he wants. I suggest we postpone CAP 32 to be the first CAP of Gen 9, and use the new free time on smaller projects such as an extra buff process.
 

Brambane

protect the wetlands
is a Contributor Alumnus
Agreed. In addition to ending the generation with a buff process instead of CAP32, I would like to see an "End of Gen Survey and Review." This would consist of two surveys:
  • a survey dedicated to the CAP and buff process, including all the Gen 8 projects and procedural changes during this timeframe
  • a survey dedicated to the CAP metagame, including reviewing the overall performance of all Gen 8 CAPs, buffed older CAP, tours and ladder
Following the results of the survey, I think there should be an open forum discussion on final adjustments to be made to any CAP created or buffed via process during Gen 8. Instead of a CAP32 process and playtest, this process and possibly a third major buff process could take its place as we close out Gen 8. I think it would be a nice time of reflection, and a chance to leave some of the weaker CAPs (i.e. Voodoom and Miasmaw) in a slightly better place before moving onto Gen 9. This idea could merit its own thread but I wanted to toss it out there here since it feels like a viable and worthy substitute to project 32.
 
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Would just like to bring something up briefly in support of this proposal that I feel is relevant.

Toward the end of Cawmodore's process, we had was a problem with trying to keep people's interest in the project since Gen 6 just came out and we were still stuck in Gen 5 with the process (I don't really remember the extent of it since I was still lurking at that point, but it was significant enough for capefeather, the Topic Leader, to bring it up in the Final Product thread if that's any indication of something). I would rather we not repeat a situation like this, especially since we care far more about how the CAP metagame develops over time and with new releases as a whole then we were in 2013.

Anyways outside of that, I think that the most reasonable course of action to take after what I will assume will be a third buff process is mostly just to focus more on any outstanding PRC threads that have yet to be resolved. At the moment, I do feel as though there is a bit of a backlog with the threads in this section, and I would rather try to clear out as many outstanding issues as possible so we can divert all of our attention to Gen 9 updates and anything regarding the actual process that might need to be updated with the new generation. Brambane's proposal is also very much something that we can consider as an alternative to my idea, although I would like to see a more concrete time table of how long the process for last-minute adjustments to weaker CAPs would take and what the process might look like before I can really say I support it.
 

Tadasuke

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Just to briefly elaborate on what spoo mentioned, if we keep with standard scheduling for CAP 32 our estimated timing for the 32 playtest lands in mid-late December, assuming we keep up with the average 6 months between TL/TLT applications being posted and playtest signups getting posted 3.5 months after that. The playtest falling at that point in December is incredibly awkward since they generally take 1-2 months to resolve depending on the number of signups, which effectively delays the 2022 CAP Championship until February of 2023. Although the last championship was an exception, our ability to give out the prize of a custom avatar for winning our circuit exists as a function of the PS! room prize system, of which each room can give out only one per year. With this in mind we generally want our championships to conclude within the year listed in their title, as to avoid delaying distribution of the prize for winning them.

Edit: I do want to say that I fully support the motion proposed in this thread. I think we can use the time that would have otherwise been taken up by CAP 32's process in 2022 to resolve our backlog of PRC threads, as well as implementing an additional buff process and conducting extensive user/player surveys as Brambane mentioned above.
 

dex

And then, Hefest got this run
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I absolutely agree that CAP 32 should start with the next generation. I don’t have much more to add, but the additional time off would be helpful not only for getting through some PRC threads but also to help ease the burnout CAP has taken on recently.
 

snake_rattler

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Just a quick thought in here - if we take a break after CAP31 until then the new gen, we need a concrete plan for what’s going to fill in the gaps. It’s gotta be more specific than just “finish analyses” - more like “write analyses for all A-ranks on the VR” or something. Maybe do more than one buff process since those cycles are shorter.

I support the proposition if the thread closes with the plan.
 

Voltage

OTTN5
is a Pre-Contributor
Just a quick thought in here - if we take a break after CAP31 until then the new gen, we need a concrete plan for what’s going to fill in the gaps. It’s gotta be more specific than just “finish analyses” - more like “write analyses for all A-ranks on the VR” or something. Maybe do more than one buff process since those cycles are shorter.

I support the proposition if the thread closes with the plan.
Seconding snake's sentiment. CAP is at it's best when it has something to work on, and if it isn't CAP32 (which for the record, I agree should be held until gen 9), then IMO it's gotta be something more concrete than "let's see what our options are after CAP31". A dedicated end of gen 8 buffing and nerfing process might be useful so that we dont necessarily end up with a solved meta by the end of the gen they way we have with SM, though there are plenty of other options as well (updating prevos, etc.)
 

Wulfanator

Sableye used Foul Play!
is a CAP Contributor
I support postponing CAP 32 until the next generation. It is the most logical thing to do given the projected completion of 31.

Buffs are the easiest thing to preoccupy ourselves with since it is relatively fast but, in a lot of ways, feels like the closest option we have to an actual project. I remember being very bored the last time we had an extended period of housekeeping. Working on analysis and other resources is great, but I would like for us to at least be actively working on mons in some capacity along side these other tasks.

If buffs are the route we end up going, I would recommend looking at the 3 CAP starters as 1 extended buff process. They have all appeared on both buff polls and it seems weird to not address them together given the fact they were all built within the same project. Plus, this would require more time than a typical buff process which we can support in the larger window we are creating.
 
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Zephyri

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If buffs are the route we end up going, I would recommend looking at the 3 CAP starters as 1 extended buff process. They have all appeared on both buff polls and it seems weird to not address them together given the fact they were all built within the same project. Plus, this would require more time than a typical buff process which we can support in the larger window we are creating.
I disagree with this take; each of the starters are entirely distinct Pokemon with problems that are entirely detached from each other; merging their buffs into one process sounds like a recipe for thinly spread community bandwith and a lack of nuanced discussion on each Pokemon's buff, leading to lackluster final products. One of the main problems with CAP25 was the fact that the community was spread too thin over 3 concurrent creation processes; why would we want to do the same thing again?

Additionally, the impact of releasing 3 new viable Pokemon into the metagame is far more volatile, significant and unpredictable than that of releasing only 1. We can predict how the metagame would react to 1 Pokemon; it's harder to predict how the metagame would react to 3 separate ones and how those 3 Pokemon would interact with each other.

I agree with the idea that we should spend the post-CAP31 break on buff processes though; maybe do 2 instead of 1? There isn't a CAP 2022 Tour circuit thread afaik so I don't know the exact timeframe for CAP31 but based on Mera's process it took ~4 months to get from the TL poll (Jan15th)->CAP Playtest signups (Apr19th). Assuming TLT signups will end up closing 1 week after the thread went up, that's March 8th->July 8th, leaving us with 4 months of break. Considering this buff process took 1 month (Jan 17th (BL signups) -> Feb 10th (Final Poll)), and the reworking of the buff took 2 weeks (Feb 28th), its safe to say that 1.5 months need to be timeblocked for a single buff process; a month of discussion+0.5 months of testing/rework.

Considering that, here's my proposal:

Buff Process 3~July 15th - August 15th
Rework Buffer~August 15th - August 29th
Break (metagame development/PRC/analyses)~August 29th - September 13th
Buff Process 4~September 14th - October 14th
Rework Buffer~October 14th - October 28th
Break~October 28th - Gen 9

lmk if any of the timeframes look off or if I messed up while calculating the dates for the thingies

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HAVE TIRED, LIFELESS EYES CUZ YOU BURNED THEM OUT
but i took your matches before fire could catch me
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OVER YOUR SAD EMPTY TOWN


 

spoo

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I had a previous draft laying out a lot of long logistical timeline details that ended up getting deleted (:blobsad:) so I've been slow to respond here, but I've tried to reconstruct most of what I had. The numbers in Zephyri's post ended up being pretty close fwiw but I thought it was still worth it to double check everything. Long post, get ready.
======
Okay, CAP 31 wise, here's about when we can expect this project to come to a close. (All timeline calculations from here on out are rough guesses, stuff like that is obviously prone to change - think of them as general guidelines, not hard and fast deadlines).
30: TL Apps = Aug 10, Playtest Signups = Dec 5 | 4 months 25 days
29: TL Apps = Jan 7, Playtest Signups = Apr 18 | 3 months 11 days
28: TL Apps = Jul 6, Playtest Signups = Oct 26 | 3 months 20 days
27: TL Apps = Feb 1, Playtest Signups = Jun 12 | 4 months 11 days
26: TL Apps = Feb 10, Playtest Signups = Jun 21 | 4 months 11 days
Averaging this out, we get roughly 4 months and 3 days for a CAP process. CAP 31 began on Feb 28, so we can (again, roughly) expect it to end on Jul 3.

Some stats on Gamefreak's recent release dates:
BDSP Nov 19
SWSH Nov 15
USUM Nov 17
SUMO Nov 18
ORAS Nov 21
Obviously the trend here is mid November, and I'm just gonna call the Gen 9 release date Nov 15 to make our lives easier.
======
That leaves us with 4 and a half months after CAP 31 closes to do something with these buff processes. Now some more numbers (yay) on their length.
Voodoom:
CAP 29 Playtest Signups = Apr 18, Buff Leader Apps = Apr 26 | 8 days
BL Apps = Apr 26, Polls Close = May 15 | 19 Days
Pyroak:
CAP 30 Playtest Signups = Dec 5, Buff Leader Apps = Jan 16 | 1 month 11 days
BL Apps = Jan 16, Polls Close = Feb 9 | 24 days
Initial Tuning = Feb 27 | 1 month 12 days
Final Tuning = TBD (3 months 3 days as of today, Apr 19)
Ignoring the buffer for Pyroak's council tuning (this will become relevant later...), I'm gonna say the buff processes are 3 weeks long on average because we don't have many to go off of. There's also a weird discrepancy between how quick the buff processes for Voodoom and Pyroak went up after the previous processes finished, but I'm calling it 2 weeks post-process bc it seems reasonable? Finally, this will become relevant at the end, but I will suggest/assume a downtime of 3 weeks between buffs should we decide to do more than one of them.
======
Ok, now for the fun part where we put the timelines together and assess our options.
Stuff we could do during the extended 4.5 month break between CAP 31 and Gen 9:
  1. The standard, single, post-process buff. (Aka we vote on which mon we're buffing)
  2. Two standard post-process buffs.
  3. Two buffs for Miasmaw and Chromera (I believe it was quziel who first suggested this outside the thread).
  4. Triple starter buff process(es), as suggested by Wulfanator.
  5. End of gen review for CAP process and metagame, as suggested by Brambane.
I excluded other things from this list such as PRC and analysis work because of Wulfanator's sentiment earlier in this thread, which I fully agree with: during this extended break, there should be process activity occurring where we are actively working on our mons. I can promise we will be working on analyses during that period regardless, and we should definitely be pushing through the giant backlog of PRC threads, but all that shouldn't take the place of process stuff. Here are my (very subjective) thoughts on each option and their rough timelines:
This is the easiest, and makes a lot of sense in many ways, but is also the least exciting.
Pros:
Metagame development- this grants the meta the most time to settle (IMO it's good to be developing SS while it's still the main gen and people are interested)​
Least risk of burnout- realistically, interest in the project & meta will wane as Gen 9 comes closer, so not trying to accomplish too much is nice in some ways​
Most flexible timeline- no worries about fitting in the meta council tuning, we can stretch deadlines where needed​
Cons:
Still a lot of time wasted- we've got 4 and a half months, so why not make the most of it?​
Timeline (as mentioned in pros, these dates can be stretched as needed):
CAP 31 ends: Jul 3​
BL Apps: Jul 17​
Buff ends: Aug 7​
Pre-Gen 9 break for meta development, analyses, whatever: 3 months 8 days​
A more fun and ambitious option, but naturally has greater time and meta development stresses.
Pros:
We get to buff an extra mon- well, this one's obvious, but we get to leave SS and start Gen 9 with one more hopefully-usable CAP in it. This is pretty cool, I think.​
Making better use of time- again, just takes better advantage of the full break we've allotted ourselves.​
Cons:
Basically the opposite of option #1's pros- we have less time for metagame development, we're taking on a more ambitious project while end-of-gen boredom sets in, and there is more worry about w.r.t. fitting meta council tuning before Gen 9​
Timeline:
CAP 31 ends: Jul 3​
BL 1 Apps: Jul 17​
Buff 1 ends: Aug 7​
BL 2 Apps: Aug 28​
Buff 2 ends: Sept 18​
Pre-gen 9 break: roughly two months​
Ain't this just so fitting? We had two unviables (sorry, quz and darek) come out of SS, so what better time than now to give 'em the treatment they deserve?
Pros:
Same as option #2's pros, but there's something more intuitive about it- it just makes sense IMO to leave off SS by repairing the CAPs that, for whatever reason, just didn't weather the storm. I consider it a strict upgrade to option #2 for this reason​
Cons:
Same as option #2's cons- self explanatory​
Timeline:
See option #2​
This one's funky, and requires some more brainpower to make it work... still, it's a really satisfying option.
Pros:
We are giga productive- self explanatory, this is an incredibly efficient option where we are doing The Most​
There's the same kind of nice, intuitive symmetry as in option #2- as Wulf said, each starter has appeared on both the buff polls so far; they all clearly need help, and doing the three of them in one go is quite a satisfying proposal​
We get to buff an EXTRA extra mon- pretty cool, I think​
Cons:
What Zeph said- Zeph made some good points! The productivity that this proposal encourages could ultimately backfire in the same way it did during CAP 25. Even more, a big point of the revamped buff process's philosophy is to introduce minor changes at increments in order to have controlled, predictable effects on the meta. Who knows what buffing all three starters at once could lead to? God forbid we get three different Pyroaks roaming the tier at once. This is a very high risk, high reward choice.​
Timeline!- there are questions to be answered here.​
Timeline:
Right, so... here's where things get weird. As in line with Wulf's proposal – where all three starters are being buffed simultaneously – I'm going to count this as a single buff process but add two weeks for extra discussion and polling. This is a totally arbitrary amount of time to add, I don't know what would actually happen should we attempt this process (as I said, there are some questions to be answered).
CAP 31 ends: Jul 3​
BL Apps: Jul 17​
Buff ends: Aug 21​
Pre-gen 9 break: 2 months 24 days​
ALTERNATIVELY, we could go about this in different ways to reduce the issues Zeph brought up- spreading ourselves too thin, poor discussion, etc. One way this could look is highly sequential buffs: eg, Buff 1 ends Aug 7, BL 2 apps begin Aug 8, and so on. Another way is overlapping buffs: eg, BL 2 apps begin one week after BL 1 apps, Buff 2 begins while Buff 1 is ongoing, and so on. There may be other ways. Again... timeline stuff is potentially up in the air.
Honestly this feels like a very large proposal that would require a ton of organizing, probably to the point where it should get its own PRC thread (IF we want to pursue it). Don't have the brainpower to think this through by myself
General thoughts: my order of preference is #3 at the top, #2/#4 pretty much tied, #1, and then the #5 review. A big concern, across all options (#1 the least so, but still), is the meta council tuning. Pyroak is still in production three months after its buff began; this hasn't been a problem because we currently have enough flexibility to afford the extra time, but I shouldn't need to explain why this will need to be streamlined if we attempt end-of-gen buffs.

Whew, that was a lot. Anyways, moral of the story, let's buff Chromera and Miasmaw before Gen 9.
 
I definitely agree with Spoo, that the focus of our downtime projects before gen 9 should be Miasmaw and Chromera.
Leaving the current gen CAPs in places where they are all viably usable at the end of the gen and probably viable for gen 8 as an oldgen feels very satisfying.
In a way this also has overlap with Brambanes proposal as we can reflect on changes made during or after these CAPs such as Post Play Lookback and Defining moves, look at why the CAPs didn’t make it and if there are options in the future to prevent such issues etc, etc.
I think a full review might be a bit much and tbh probably boring, not to mention that we kinda still don’t know what a generational review would actually look like.
But if a buff process for maw and mera is successful and also yields insights into the way we handled gen8 and we can take that to gen 9 and develop it further, we might be able to lay the groundwork for a structure for dealing with the “end of gen” of coming gens.
 

Brambane

protect the wetlands
is a Contributor Alumnus
Yeah if I had to pick one I would rather look at Maw and Mera than buff an older CAP.

This might be idealistic, but my perfect standard for each CAP would be reasonable viability in the generation they were introduced. Old gen support is stronger than I can ever remember in CAP, and the generation they were added should be (imo) their spotlight setting. I think the end of gen adjustments would also be a nice safeguard to have for the upcoming Gen 9, since it is a buffer against an DLC release patterns we may see again in the future.

And obviously I would rather buff a CAP while the gen is still current gen, so for me it's now or never for these two.

As far as surveys go, I make a lot of surveys at work due to the nature of my job. Making a good survey is tough, but thankfully the people filling out this survey are going to be people invested in the topic already, so that helps a lot. We won't have to deal with as much apathy.
 

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