Policy Review Historically Document CAP Playtests

Status
Not open for further replies.

bugmaniacbob

Was fun while it lasted
is an Artist Alumnusis a CAP Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnus
#1
Approved by Birkal

Introduction

One of the large gaps in the pool of information provided by our resource areas, such as the CAP main site and the EnCAPlopaedia, are simply the records of what went on during the project and the playtesting, and the lessons that we learned or did not learn from it - we have all the details, the moves, the art, the weight, and how to play the Pokemon in the metagames they were designed for, but short of the odd Smog article there is no written record of what went on and what was concluded from all the effort - hence, the only people who really know much about the goings-on of the past are those who were there and those who are sufficiently interested in the topic to spend their rainy Sundays trawling through the PR and process archives. To my mind this is a serious oversight and one which should be remedied as soon as possible. There are three components that I would like to talk about here: Concept, Execution, and Playtest.

To begin with the last: The concept of a playtest for each created Pokemon has been in existence ever since the genesis of Doug's Create-A-Pokemon server way back in the day. When it was set up in early 2008, playtests for Syclant, Revenankh, and Pyroak were conducted almost immediately, while Fidgit, Stratagem, and Arghonaut were also given a playtesting period once they were created and implemented. Note that for the first six CAPs, the metagame they were introduced to was pretty much the CAP metagame of DPP, with a view to, at least for the first three, implementing revisions now that they could see how the Pokemon actually performed in battle. These revisions aren't particularly important to this thread. Now, mid-way through Kitsunoh, Doug proposed a new way of doing things - for the duration of the playtest, the normal CAP ladder would be replaced by a Playtest ladder which was essentially standard OU plus the new Pokemon, as well as the person at the top of the leaderboard being crowned "playtest champion", and this caught on - Kitsunoh and Cyclohm both received these playtests, which were documented in this Smog article in July 2009. Soon after, it was decided that the first 6 CAPs should also have a 10-day playtest period for 2 months of excitement - Syclant, Revenankh, Pyroak, Fidgit, Stratagem, and Arghonaut were all tested between June and August 2009. Subsequently, we have continued the policy for all CAPs since, namely Colossoil, Krilowatt, Voodoom, Tomohawk, Necturna, Mollux, Aurumoth, Malaconda, and Cawmodore.

So, that's the history lesson out of the way. As you might expect, each of the threads gives a large amount of data on the way the CAP was played, the sets that were suggested or commonly used, and the attitudes towards the CAPs and interpretations of their position in the metagames they were designed for. Hence, they are a useful source of information that is lying tucked away in the back of the collective CAP fridge, as it were. Now, it's at this point that I want to bring in one of my old PRC topics from the past, which is part of the overall package. In this thread, I suggested the introduction of paragraphs or a page on the strategy dex to include information such as the concept, how the CAP was created with reference to that concept, some of the alternative ideas that were considered but rejected, what the verdict was on how the CAP performed at that time, and a record of the revisions that were made since its creation. I think the person who made the most cogent suggestion in the whole thread was DougJustDoug:

DougJustDoug said:
I would like to see us add a new tab called "History" or "Background" or something like that -- which goes into much more detail about the backstory of the project that created the pokemon. Ideally, this would be written by the TL at the conclusion of the CAP, summarizing key events and decisions during the project. Then it could be added to later, if we revise the pokemon (but I'm hoping we stop that sort of thing in the future, because it has been far more trouble than it is worth). For past CAPs, we'd obviously have to write them up from memory and reading old threads.
Proposal

Ideally, I feel there should be some part of the strategy Pokedex that deals with the process, playtesting, and appraisal of a particular CAP. Now, for the remainder of this thread I'm going to take the previous statement as a given; it has, I feel, been justified, but briefly: the most important parts of the CAP should be given a more visible pedestal, the important information learned in the past should be compiled and given a place where it can be referred to easily, and there should be a way to log the various changes that have been made to CAPs in the past, ne obliviscamur. So, the proposal I am going to put forward will be suggesting mode of implementation as well as the decision to actually implement, which I hope is not too premature. In the event that this is not approved in any way, then this will not matter. To my mind, both the concept and the playtest deserve their own tabs, but what to include where is more problematic. For the concept tab, I recommend that all the details of concept and execution are given, in the following way: that the first heading, "Concept", give the concept's title and a short explanation of it (as well as possibly the "questions to be answered" from the later CAPs), as well as a short summary of the Concept Assessment, if applicable, and a description of the current metagame at the time of creation. For the first three CAPs, we can still give a description of the "function" aimed for by the CAP creation process. As for the typing, abilities, stats, and movepools, there is ample material in the discussions and potential options we could have gone with, and explaining why we went with what we did, to give each of these their own sub-section. Naturally, these would be ordered depending on the order in which they were decided in the process of the time.

<h2>Concept</h2>

<p>Squiggle was the ninth CAP of the XDS generation, and was created just after the banning of Shucklenite and the subsequent fall of Groudon to UU, where it would remain for the rest of the generation. Because of this, the metagame regained some of the fast pace and offensive predominance that had characterised it prior to Game Freak's reveal of the sixteenth wave of Mega Evolutions, alongside the release of Pokemon Snap XDS, a few months before. As such, Squiggle's concept was always going to be one that revelled as much as the players did in the freedom to break opposing teams apart in a few brief turns, now that the removal of Mega Shuckle and its easy supply of entry support moves made stall teams far less potent. Squiggle's concept was a relatively simple one with the title of "Blood for the War God" - a Pokemon that could make good use of the move "Blood Contract", a move which raised all of the Pokemon's stats by three stages apiece but gave it the perish count condition, and thus only three turns in which to make use of its move, and prevented it from switching out. This was a move that had previously been restricted to the Rumprat and Flugit families, and consequently was not of any particular importance in the metagame, but would undoubtedly be extremely powerful in the right hands. The questions to be answered by this project were as follows:</p>

<ul>
<li>Can a Pokemon using Blood Contract be both usable and not overpowered in the OU metagame?</li>
<li>What would be the most favoured strategy for said Pokemon? Would it be most effective as a late-game cleaner or an early-game wallbreaker?</li>
<li>What difficulties might we come across in trying to make such a Pokemon balanced?</li>
<li>Will such a highly specialised Pokemon still be useful even when it has essentially only one strategy?</li>
<li>Will this Pokemon find other strategies that it can also use that we have not yet thought of?</li>
<li>What teammates and playstyle best allow such a Pokemon to succeed?</li>
</ul>

<p>In a close-run poll, "Blood for the War God" was voted as XDSCAP9's concept over "Let it Snow" with six hundred and twenty-two votes to six hundred and twelve, making this the fifty-third straight CAP in which the hail concept had been defeated in the final concept poll. The Concept Selection Committee praised the concept for its unique direction and specialist interest, and sheer difference from CAP8's concept of "Ultimate Torment User". The concept assessment was a fairly quick and painless affair, as the vast majority of contributors opined that the CAP need not be particularly strong in any area, but that it should be exceptionally strong once boosted, and yet hard to set up successfully. Hence it was decided that a frail sweeper build would be ideal, but with relatively low Speed in order to limit its potential setup opportunities. A few members voiced objections on the grounds that Squiggle would have no use for the rest of the battle if it was designed for one single suicide run with no application besides that, but were overruled by the Concept Appreciation Committee, who agreed with the majority that Squiggle would be far too powerful if it were given alternative uses, and more importantly that the objective of the concept was to work out how this single strategy and this one move worked, and thus making the Pokemon reliant on the move was the best option available.</p>

<h2>Typing</h2>

<p>From the outset, there were vocal disagreements on what the typing should set out to accomplish. One school of thought suggested that the Pokemon should have an exceptionally poor offensive and defensive typing that granted many weaknesses and would allow many Pokemon to resist its STAB moves, hence giving Squiggle's opponents a way to fight back against it and making it heavily prediction-reliant. From this camp, the typing Bug/Grass would eventually be put through onto the final slate. A related school thought along similar lines, but were more lenient in what they thought should be allowed, and instead pushed for complementary but individually limited STAB attacking types, such that CAP9 would have a vast range of super effective coverage, and so still be prediction-reliant, but not to the extent that the first camp were convinced was necessary. This group gave rise to two potential typings, Ice/Fighting and Electric/Fighting. Finally, the last school of thought wanted overall neutral coverage so that the Pokemon could simply spam its STAB attacks to execute its strategy, while trusting to the Pokemon being extremely defensively compromised and limited in its Speed in order to compensate. This was the reasoning behind the proposal of the mono-Ghost typing. Eventually, the winner in the final poll was Ice/Fighting, beating out mono-Ghost by sixty-five votes to nineteen.</p>

(you should be able to see where this is going)


In the second tab, the "playtest" tab, we would have details of the dates and duration of the playtest (and possibly the inaugural battle), some battle logs, proposed sets that people liked at the time, and the like. In the first sub-section, "The Playtest", we could have dates and duration, information about sets and an overview of how the Pokemon performed, what was popular, and how the Pokemon affected the metagame. Further, we could have additional sub-sections to detail the appraisal of the CAP based on the opinions of the playtest at the time, and also possibly in retrospect, with reference to the way other CAPs were handled or any policy decisions that were made following the playtest as a result. One interesting point that might be raised is that the playtest section as I currently envision it would be rather similar to the current on-site analyses, but less rigidly formatted, to such an extent that they may be redundant. This may be a topic for another CAP, but I foresee a possibility that the on-site analyses could be removed and replaced with analyses for the CAP metagame, while the useful information they contain could be transferred to the playtest tab. This may even be beneficial in the case of the first 6-8 CAPs of DPP, whose analyses do not reflect the metagame they were created for regardless, but perhaps this is best left here for now. I would see the playtest tab looking something like this:

<h2>The Playtest</h2>

<p>The Squiggle playtest officially began on January 4th 2023, with Prime Topic Leader yamchafan1337 and Vice Topic Leader GroovyGreenGoblin facing off against Deputy Topic Leader Irrelevance and Assistant Topic Leader Don't_tell_the_wife in a multi-battle featuring four Squiggle in total. Unfortunately, all of the Squiggle were sent out on turn one and all held a Focus Sash, so were all eliminated by turn 2 courtesy of GroovyGreenGoblin's Protect Tyranitar. As such, the inaugural battle told us little about how Squiggle worked in practice. Over the first week, it rapidly became clear that Squiggle was immensely difficult to set up against the majority of offensive Pokemon, and given how the metagame was extremely biased towards offensive teams at that time, trying to set up Squiggle seemed almost to be a lost cause. In addition, even when set up successfully it was easy prey for priority users such as Scizor, Breloom, Talonflame, and Quiche, all of whom could hit it super effectively with their STAB priority attacks, and Squiggle had no way to retaliate thanks to its lack of priority of its own. After about a week, the initial furore over Squiggle, and most battlers putting Protect on any Pokemon that could spare a moveslot, had abated, and most teams after this point tended to resemble those more commonly seen in OU at the time - without Squiggle. The playtest concluded on January 25th, with OwMyFace being declared the CAP playtesting champion for the twelfth time in a row, a record at the time.</p>

<h2>The Verdict</h2>

<p>In all, many thought that the measures taken to make Squiggle not broken had been far too excessive. While perhaps this is an exaggeration considering its impact in the more defensive CAP metagames, it was still a sentiment shared by the majority. Squiggle couldn't switch in, couldn't set up, and if it did manage it it was dispatched all too quickly. Furthermore, it lacked the means as a standalone Pokemon to support its team and its typing belied a number of easily exploitable weaknesses that made it even less trouble to take down. Even so, once it ceased to be in the spotlight and every single battler on the Playtest ladder stopped running teams to counter it, it seemed to greatly increase in effectiveness, to the point that at one moment during Generation IX it was considered thoroughly broken in the CAP metagame. Perhaps the lesson that we learned from it, then, was that niche strategies of this nature require scarcity in order to function properly. They certainly can be effective; whether or not Squiggle was such a Pokemon, however, remains open to interpretation.</p>

<h2>The Sets</h2>

Squiggle @ Life Orb<br />
Ability: Refrigerate<br />
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Def<br />
Adamant nature (+Atk, -SpA)<br />
- Blood Contract<br />
- Double-Edge / Return<br />
- Close Combat<br />
- Power Whip / Giga Impact</td>

<p>Squiggle only ever really had one set for the duration of the playtest, as its low Special Attack made sets with that stat in mind implausible, and though its Attack stat was low at only base 95, after a boost it was more than sufficient to OHKO just about the entirety of the OU tier with the appropriate attack, even when resisted. Thanks to Refrigerate, Return and Double-Edge both become absurdly powerful Ice-type STAB attacks, with Close Combat a nice secondary STAB move with virtually no side-effect thanks to the short-lived defensive boosts from Blood Contract. Return was seen as the safer option thanks to the fact that it had no recoil, but Double-Edge was often far too powerful for Squiggle to do without. In the final slot, Giga Impact was often used at the beginning of the playtest for a last-ditch suicide bomb on Squiggle's last turn of play, but eventually Power Whip began to see more use as a way of beating Unaware Quagsire and Mega Slowbro.</p>

<p>Attack was maximised in order to allow Squiggle to OHKO bulky Pokemon such as Skarmory and Mega Gulpin after a single boost in conjunction with Life Orb, and the rest of the EVs were added to HP and Defence to increase the chances of surviving an attack and continuing its rampage, as well as to soak up Double-Edge and Life Orb recoil. Thanks to Squiggle's base 70 Speed, it required no EVs at all to outspeed Timid base 150 Speed Pokemon such as Mega Mewtwo Z after a boost, although some preferred to add 140 EVs in order to outrun Timid Choice Scarf Latios and other base 110s. While some tried running extra EVs to try to get the jump on other base 70s such as Breloom, it was often far less successful and these EVs went to waste. The final 4 EVs could be useful in Speed in order to get the jump on other Squiggle that did not bother with them, however.</p>

<h4>Other Options</h4>

(insert as appropriate)

<h4>Checks and Counters</h4>

(insert as appropriate)


Though obviously, the above would be in more detail and much less resemble something I dashed off hurriedly to illustrate a point.

One final suggestion is that we have a separate page in which to record revisions and the dates of revisions for those CAPs that need it. This requires little explanation and it would be useful to have this resource somewhere easy to find.

<h2>Revisions</h2>

<h4>January 2023</h4>
<p>Squiggle creation process finished and Final Product thread posted.</p>

<h4>October 2024</h4>
<p>Squiggle updated for Generation X. Receives new TM moves Ice Meteor, Frozen Wind, Volley, and Tornado Fist. Receives new level-up move Broad Stroke.</p>


Motions

- That we commit to the production and writing of a Playtest documentation page for the CAP site for each CAP.

- That we commit to the production and writing of a Concept and Execution documentation page for the CAP site for each CAP.

- That we commit to the production and writing of a Revision documentation page for the CAP site for each CAP.

The above are assumed in the preceding discussion, but before discussion of the individual elements or implementation begins it is worth opening the floor to any objections to these suggestions that any PRC members have, and possibly rejecting one, two, or all of them. If there is any level of opposition then a vote on these suggestions will be held following discussion.

It should be noted, finally, that all writing for the site, including both the cataloguing of future information and the writing up of past information must go through the analysis coordinator before it goes on-site, and hence the analysis coordinator will ultimately be the leader of both of the finalised processes, assuming the response to this thread is positive.
 

jas61292

used substitute
is a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a CAP Contributoris a Battle Server Moderator Alumnus
Moderator
#2
Well, I suppose it would be good to get some responses here. I don't have a ton to add here, but I would like to say that I completely support all three motions, and would be very willing to help out writing things where I feel I am knowledgable enough. I see little reason not to do all this, assuming we have people willing to help out, and I'd like to think the lack of responses so far is indicative that no one really has any objections to these.
 

bugmaniacbob

Was fun while it lasted
is an Artist Alumnusis a CAP Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnus
#3
So, it's been more than a week and nobody seems to have any objections to this. Or many thoughts at all, but I digress.

So, I'll assume that we are all agreed on the following three points:
  • That we commit to the production and writing of a Playtest documentation page for the CAP site for each CAP.
  • That we commit to the production and writing of a Concept and Execution documentation page for the CAP site for each CAP.
  • That we commit to the production and writing of a Revision documentation page for the CAP site for each CAP.
I was going to suggest that these be polled for sake of PRC resolution, but this seems to be something of a waste of time if nobody wants to object to them; if somebody does indeed have some reservations or slight quibbles with the above then please do say something so we can discuss and poll the issue. Note that we can come up with names for the tabs later; the names given above are merely descriptive.

-----

So, with that said, I will just repost the formats for the three tabs that I was envisioning:

<h2>Concept</h2>

<p>(Introduction)</p>

<blockquote><p>(Concept goes here)</p></blockquote>

<p>(Slate, poll, evaluation, feelings)</p>

<p>(Concept Assessment)</p>

<h2>Typing</h2>

<p>(Suggested options, evaluation, poll)</p>

<h2>Abilities</h2>

<p>(Suggested options, evaluation, poll)</p>

<h2>Stat Spread</h2>

<p>(Suggested options, evaluation, poll)</p>

<h2>Movepool</h2>

<p>(Suggested options, evaluation, poll)</p>
<h2>The Playtest</h2>

<p>(Description of general metagame trends, etc)</p>

<h2>The Verdict</h2>

<p>(Evaluation)</p>

<h2>The Sets</h2>

<td>(CAP Name) @ (held item)<br />
Ability: (ability)<br />
EVs: (EV spread)<br />
Nature: (nature)<br />
- (move 1)<br />
- (move 2)<br />
- (move 3)<br />
- (move 4)</td>

<p>(brief description)</p>

<h2>Other Options</h2>

<p>(goes here)</p>

<h2>Checks and Counters</h2>

<p>(goes here)</p>
<h2>Revisions</h2>

<h4>(Month) (Year)</h4>
<p>(Reason, additions, removals)</p>

<h4>(Month) (Year)</h4>
<p>(Reason, additions, removals)</p>


I am not certain that it is wise to mandate a particularly strict writing form or format given the large number of differences between the processes for different CAPs, but it should not be too onerous a task to construct a list of everything that should be included in the various tabs, and from there finalise a draft format for the pages. I have constructed a preliminary list as follows:

Code:
"Concept and Execution"

- Fully quote the concept in its entirety, including the questions to be answered
- Give an introduction including the state of the metagame and any recent developments pertaining to the OU metagame, as well as any PRC business, and the prevailing inclinations of the community
- Give a brief evaluation of the selected concept and of the other concepts slated alongside it
- Give a brief account of the polls and the results
- Give a brief description of the discussions that took place during Concept Assessment, if applicable

- Give a brief evaluation of the selected typing and of the other typings slated alongside it
- If applicable, split into primary and secondary typing discussions
- Give a brief account of the polls and the results

- Give a brief evaluation of the selected abilities and of the other abilities slated alongside it
- Give a separate paragraph for primary and secondary ability discussions, as well as tertiary if applicable
- Give a brief account of the polls and the results

- Give a brief account of the stat limits discussion, if applicable
- Give a brief evaluation of the selected stat spread and of the other spreads slated alongside it
- Give a brief account of the polls and the results

- Give a brief account of the movepool limits discussion, if applicable
- Give a brief account of the attacking moves discussion, if applicable
- Give a brief account of the non-attacking moves discussion, if applicable
- Give a brief evaluation of the selected movepool and of the other movepools slated alongside it
- Give a brief account of the polls and the results
Code:
"Playtest Documentation"

- Give a brief account of the inaugural battle, if applicable
- Give a brief evaluation of the CAP's initial, midway, and final impact and performance in the metagame from a purely competitive standpoint
- Give a brief account of the opinions of battlers and community members regarding the CAP's performance, if applicable
- Mention in passing the most noteworthy sets, strategies, or metagame shifts from standard OU
- Give a brief description of the discussions that took place within the playtest threads

- Give a brief evaluation of the CAP's performance in terms of its ability to fulfil its concept
- Give a short discussion of the questions to be answered and how the CAP addressed or failed to address these questions, if applicable
- Give a brief account of the prevailing community opinions regarding the CAP at the time
- Give a brief account of the current community opinions regarding the CAP
- Mention in passing the contribution of this CAP to the process or to our philosophy behind the process

- Give a number of commonly used sets in the playtest metagame and give a brief description of their purpose and function, as well as their performance in the playtest

- Give a short paragraph on other sets or strategies that were attempted in the playtest metagame but failed or were not taken up readily
- Mention strategies that were brought up as feasible in movepool discussions but which were found to perform poorly in practice

- Give an account of how the metagame adapted to deal with the new threat and the Pokemon that gave it a hard time
- Mention which of the Pokemon that were specifically designated in the threats or counters discussions to be strong opponents to this CAP ended up being what we had or had not expected them to be
Code:
"Revision Documentation"

- Give a short summary of why and how revisions were introduced
- Note which game elements were added or removed or altered
- Repeat ad infinitum
I think the first order of business, then, is to decide which points in the above should be kept or removed, and to add any points that I've left out, and so to construct the most comprehensive resource that we can. I've noticed a similarity in format to the Smog articles for each CAP, only these would be more focused on what happened at each individual stage as opposed to a general overview of the entire process in more paragraphs, so if you're familiar with those it might be worth reading them to see if you can get any ideas about what else might be nice or appropriate to include.

-----

Finally, as jas reminded me on IRC, it would be a good idea to start thinking about the process for writing these up. Now, as these are going to be written for the site they will all naturally be checked by the analysis coordinator before being uploaded, and I also think it would be a good idea to make sure that each page is checked by one or two individuals who were around at the time; if current PRC members could list which CAPs they would feel comfortable checking over or sharing their memories of, it would be invaluable for seeing how resources can best be allocated. I don't think we have a shortage of writers, but if you are prepared to contribute a page or two you can say so.

Hence, I feel that the way this could best be organised would be as follows: that we open a reservation thread where a suitably qualified writer can nominate themselves to write one page at a time (so "Arghonaut, Concept" or "Tomohawk, Playtesting") - I say one page so that people aren't taking on too much at once by reserving an entire CAP or five. I also feel it would be best to leave the revisions tab for later, as this is purely a research issue and doesn't require nearly as much effort, and more to the point is an entirely separate issue from the other two tabs, so can be organised as such. Oh, and focusing on the concept and playtesting is in our best interests as these are really the most pertinent. Now, once someone has reserved the page they can post a new thread with a skeleton according to the format we decide upon, or rather a bullet-point arrangement of every point they intend to make or include within that page, and it can be looked over by the gentlemen who were there as well as the enterprising process archive spelunkers (you know who you are) for content and accuracy. It would probably be best to do this in the main forum so that people who do not have PRC access but who might have been around a while ago can chip in, or maybe even agree to write them up. Once the page is checked thoroughly it can be written up - as to when exactly "checked thoroughly" is achieved, I think it best that it gets a thumbs up from three or four of the people who set themselves down as being willing to inspect threads about that CAP, as well as a nod from a moderator or whoever is organising the write-ups (which I believe is the analysis coordinator, though I would like to volunteer for any organisational tasks that can be delegated to underlings) - and myself and somebody else from the GP team will happily check it before EM sends it off to johnny scms.

For writing up later CAPs, it would appear that our best option would be to run a modified version of the same, but where the Topic Leader and Section Leaders look over and approve the content of their respective sections, rather than an arbitrary number of veterans of past projects. As for the playtest analysis-style areas, we can easily arrange this in much the same way that playtest analyses are currently arranged.

If anybody has any qualms with the above or additions to make, please do say something. On the subject of who would update the reservations thread, I'd happily do it myself if nobody else wanted to but I'm sure a moderator or two would be more suitable. In any case, if there still aren't any posts regarding the above in another week or so I'll begin writing up a formal proposal, but hopefully there will be some feedback to chew on.
 

Elevator Music

63194
is a Forum Moderatoris a Site Staff Alumnusis a CAP Contributor Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnus
Moderator
#4
Do we have necessary resources for Playtest documentation? While I think that most of what is needed for the Playtest documentation can be taken from the analyses already onsite, I'm not sure if we'll be able to find people with metagame knowledge for the earlier CAPs. I think writers should have actual metagame experience for these (similar to the way we don't let people just theorymon C&C analyses). However, in my opinion it's unrealistic to expect to find people to write about metagame impact for early CAPs. This is only an issue for (part of) the Playtest documentation section; everything else can be easily gleamed through forum threads.

Aside from the fact that this will require a lot of effort, I don't have any other objections. We have an excellent userbase, so I'm sure it won't be impossible to do the Concept sections for our 17 past CAPs. It's purely the Playtest section that I'm skeptical of.

Otherwise, I think this is a great idea, and I would definitely love to see this for our future CAPs.
 

bugmaniacbob

Was fun while it lasted
is an Artist Alumnusis a CAP Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnus
#5
Do we have necessary resources for Playtest documentation? While I think that most of what is needed for the Playtest documentation can be taken from the analyses already onsite, I'm not sure if we'll be able to find people with metagame knowledge for the earlier CAPs. I think writers should have actual metagame experience for these (similar to the way we don't let people just theorymon C&C analyses). However, in my opinion it's unrealistic to expect to find people to write about metagame impact for early CAPs. This is only an issue for (part of) the Playtest documentation section; everything else can be easily gleaned through forum threads.
After a little bit of searching through old threads to work out what is there exactly, my answer to this would have to be a resounding "um". As far as Syclant is concerned (the one I picked on to examine this question), we have the playtesting thread, and all the varied opinions and experiences attached, plus the logs and sets being proposed, a few warstories, a few RMTs, the analysis workshop and all the discussion therein, and for what it's worth, the pre-playtesting theorymon analysis via archive.org here. Whether or not you think that this is sufficient information with which to compose a playtesting documentation tab isn't really something that I can say for you; personally, I view the tab as being wholly about transferring the information that we actually possess onto the site, not about - as would certainly be cause for concern if it were the case - priming the reader to use Syclant properly in a now defunct metagame. To that end I don't see it as a problem that we don't have very many people who playtested the original CAPs; there are plenty of proposed sets and discussion about how good Syclant is or isn't, or what people wanted or did not want it to be, to at least compose a page with most of the information specified in the previous post.

From what I could tell from a cursory examination of the threads, Syclant was an able revenge killer or cleaner, and possibly sweeper, though there seemed to be a lot of discussion on just how well it could actually sweep, with these fears apparently going up and down as the playtest went on and better sets seemed to be discovered, or people got used to having to include a check for Syclant, or whatever it might be. Bearing in mind that I still have a reasonable working knowledge of early DP, I can't say that I could add anything specific about metagame trends without finding some substantiated posts on the subject, but we do have the server usage statistics at the very least, from which perhaps something concrete could be gleaned (I haven't checked). Either way, the point is that nothing should be added to the playtest tab, including "metagame impact", that had not been an observation from the time. At least, that's how I feel. With regard again to the comparison between these pages and analyses, well, these aren't analyses, and I consider them more akin to a report than an analysis. Yes, it would help to have at least a working knowledge of the backdrop to the creation process, but I feel that documenting what exists really only necessitates a critical eye and a little bit of help from primary source individuals.

That's all I have time to say right now - if I get some more time later I can try to post a mock-up of a Syclant playtest documentation thread and we can try to work out whether or not having the playtest documentation tab is feasible as it currently stands or whether it would be better to take certain parts of it out, or rework it in some other fashion.
 
#6
Forgive me for having skimmed this a little...

I think playtest documentation is a terrific idea but I worry about its feasibility. It strongly depends on having a knowledgeable and willing person to write this stuff up, and I don't think such a person is necessarily going to exist for every future CAP unless we make an effort to recruit them before the playtest begins. I know that Quanyails watched a lot of battles during the CAP 6 playtest, and it might be a good idea to recruit more people like this to observe and take notes, whether when battling themselves or just spectating. If the person(s) writing up the playtest documentation had notes like this to work with it would probably make things easier and more accurate.

Also, if battlers could save their favourite battles to post in the playtest thread more often, that would be handy for observers too. It would still be important to write it up and not depend on replays though because we can't guarantee that replays will always be viewable in the future.
 

bugmaniacbob

Was fun while it lasted
is an Artist Alumnusis a CAP Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnus
#7
All right so, this took me rather a long time to do and probably bears more than a few scars from my trying to write it while exceptionally tired.

<h2>The Playtest</h2>

<p>Syclant experienced something of a time-lag between the end of its creation process and the beginning of its first playtest, for the very simple reason that, for almost exactly a month after Syclant's conclusion on January 17th 2008, there was no simulator on which to test it. Finally, with the advent of Doug's Create-A-Pokemon Shoddy Battle Server, Syclant burst onto the competitive scene, and the CAP Project finally had a place to break in its new toys. To a great extent, the purpose of this testing period was really to see if Syclant was, as many thought it would be, horribly broken, and what would need "fixing" in order to make it a stable yet threatening presence in the metagame. To an extent, this could be because many members still harboured their ill-conceived dreams of sending Syclant to Nintendo and getting it into the games, but also because to an extent the conventional wisdom of the time seemed to suggest that something with such high sweeping stats, plus a huge movepool and an effective immunity to entry hazards would be close to Garchomp in efficacy, if not outright beyond beatable. Even so, this view was not shared by everybody, but it was against this backdrop that Syclant took the plunge into the maelstrom of early DP OU.</p>

<p>At the beginning of the playtest, the most vocal reactions fell predictably in the gush-or-damn camp. A good many felt that Syclant, and in particular its pure Tail Glow set, was far too good at sweeping to be balanced, and should therefore have Tail Glow removed; indeed, once Tail Glow was set up, there was very little that could actually take an attack from Syclant, depending of course on the coverage moves chosen. On the other hand, a second group were fairly disappointed by how Syclant seemed to be turning out, remarking upon its lacklustre defensive stats, the difficulty of getting the free turn to boost in the first place, and the lower-than-expected damage output without any boosts on board. It is worth remembering the context of early DP in this regard - it was a metagame full of both powerful sweepers and strong walls, but the idea of a Pokemon without dedicated counters was still one that was relatively new and not wholly ingrained, such that Syclant's Tail Glow set was somewhat uncomfortable from a philosophical perspective. In hindsight, however, it would seem that Syclant was really somewhere in the middle. If it could get a Tail Glow set up it was a huge threat - indeed, to many, one of the biggest threats in the entire metagame - and there was no doubting, after extensive testing, that it was one of the better offensive Pokemon in OU at the time, particularly as a revenge killer or a Pokemon that could capitalise on the common, offensively blunt Pokemon that were more common then, such as Dusknoir lacking Fire Punch. And yet it was comparable, in this regard, to other offensive Pokemon of the time such as Nasty Plot Azelf and Mixed Infernape. The big question, then, was whether or not its sheer unpredictability and associated difficulty in dealing with it constituted grounds for serious complaint.</p>

<p>It is worth noting that a number of issues were prevalent throughout the Syclant playtest, insofar as they relate to its effect on the standard metagame of the time. At this point, Deoxys-S and Wobbuffet had been unbanned and not yet re-banned in standard OU, but these Pokemon were not present for a large part of Syclant's playtesting period. Mountaineer was, for a large part of the test, frequently subject to bugs and glitches associated with its implementation that made Syclant sometimes take damage in specific scenarios when it should not, ideally, have done, but then, Syclant tended to only require the Stealth Rock immunity to function regardless. Another problem was that far more battles on the server did not involve Syclant at all than did, possibly as a result of a large number of people having migrated from the Official server without any knowledge of what the CAP Project actually was, which meant that any and all usage statistics gathered were skewed - both the stats in total, and those ignoring all battles where Syclant was not involved. This became even more noticeable in March, where Syclant clocked in at twenty-ninth in total usage on the server, to the point where deducing metagame trends became something of a tricky business. With that being said, a comparison of the February and March CAP server statistics with the July 2008 Smogon server (note that this was different from the Official server. Interesting titbit, that) can reveal some interesting, if minor trends (we assume that the July 2008 stats accurately reflect the Official server stats from February and March, which is reasonable given that there were no great metagame shifts).</p>

<p>There were no colossal movements, which was reasonable considering that most of the Pokemon relevant to Syclant were already top-level OU threats - Heatran, Blissey, and Metagross increased slightly in usage at the expense of Gengar, but since these all remained top-level threats (and these changes seemed to revert in March), the movement is not particularly noteworthy. Even so, it is worth mentioning that Syclant and Heatran were lauded as working exceptionally well together, in addition to Heatran's status as a good check to any Syclant lacking Earth Power, Focus Blast, Superpower, or Brick Break (which was, admittedly, very few of them). In the early days of Syclant's existence, niche Pokemon such as Registeel appeared to jump up in usage, only to fall back down again as the furore over attempting to counter Syclant died down. Abomasnow, too, experienced an increase in usage, largely to provide support for Blizzard and to cancel sandstorm damage, hence preserving those Syclant that ran Focus Sash, and even reached the top ten in usage in March for battles including Syclant. Oddly, on this note, Tyranitar appeared to experience an immense fall from grace in these same battles that included Syclant, which would be surprising considering its high special tankiness and ability to summon sandstorms. Hippowdon was similarly affected; it is possible that battlers' preconceptions of how Syclant's presence would affect Garchomp might have precipitated a fall in these Pokemon as well.</p>

<p>Indeed, any account of Syclant's playtesting period would be incomplete without addressing the elephant-sized shark in the room. Garchomp was, at that point, the single most deadly Pokemon in the entirety of OU; it would be difficult to find anyone who could disagree with this statement. High attacking stats, bulk, and the horrifically irritating Sand Veil, all wrapped up in one delicious package; whether Yache Berry Swords Dance, Choice, or Chain Chomp, Garchomp was in every sense the pinnacle of Pokemon-building. Even during Syclant's creation process, it was perhaps impossible to not draw parallels, or indeed perpendiculars. Would Syclant be as good as Garchomp at its job? Did people want it to be as good as Garchomp? It's faster than Garchomp and can OHKO with Ice Beam; it can even OHKO through Yache Berry with Blizzard; is it possible that it could break Garchomp's stranglehold on OU? In practice, it's hard to say. It is, generally speaking, agreed that Syclant was not Garchomp's equal in terms of raw sweeping or wallbreaking ability, since it lacked Garchomp's bulk and resistances, but did it affect Garchomp's usage at all? Certainly, it was capable of revenge killing, or forcing Garchomp out if it could just get in successfully, but Syclant tended to take far too much damage to be able to switch into Garchomp comfortably, so in that sense had little effect on the land shark. Possibly the largest effect was, as mentioned earlier, simply the expectation of Syclant's being able to take on Garchomp that meant that fewer people used it relative to other Pokemon in the metagame, such as Gengar. Even so, it doggedly remained as the most-used Pokemon on the server, and retained second place in battles where CAPs took part (since Syclant had to be in all of these battles by definition, this is to be expected).</p>

<p>The pre-playtesting analysis, developed on theory alone, is revealing for its differences to the version written during the playtesting period, and with the benefit of both real experience and hindsight behind it. In the original, a mixed attacking set similar to what one might expect Infernape or Electivire to have been using at the time was favoured, with Substitute seemingly favoured over Tail Glow; this seems to resonate with the idea that special walls (namely, Blissey) would be the Pokemon most likely to give Syclant trouble, and indeed, Syclant would want to avoid paralysis at all costs; hence, Superpower, which was illegal alongside Tail Glow, would be favoured. Swords Dance is also given space, as well as Choice sets, most notably Choice Specs, but also Band and Scarf. Possible other sets, such as those making use of Spikes or Counter, were mainly discounted. When the Syclant test began, it rapidly became apparent that pure special Tail Glow was an exceptionally powerful set, and replaced the mixed set on the analysis; even so, most of the other sets remained as they had been. As the Syclant train rolled on, ever more funky sets were dreamt up that had never been thought of in the pre-playtesting era; in addition to the ever-common Tail Glow, Swords Dance, mixed attackers, and Choice sets, we were also treated to Substitute + Petaya, mixed Swords Dance, and Taunt + Tail Glow. Others experimented with support moves such as Spikes and surprise sets such as Focus Sash + Counter. These did not, however, grab the public imagination so greatly as did the more common sets.</p>

<p>As previously mentioned, the majority of the discussions tended to revolve around whether or not Syclant was broken, more so than the lessons we could have taken away from the process. By the latter stages of the playtest, this fixation had not quite abated, but it had perhaps been broken down into concrete complaints about Syclant, the most notable of which were its access to Tail Glow, Superpower, and its high stats, most notably the eyebrow-raising 121 base Speed. Tail Glow was seen, in the eyes of many, as a step too far in terms of power, while Superpower allowed Syclant to bypass Blissey without too much EV investment (unlike Brick Break), and its Speed stat seemed calculated to render Starmie, Azelf, and even Dugtrio incapable of revenge killing, which was a great deal when combined with its offensive stats. The conclusion of the pro-revision camp seemed to be that, while none of these traits individually pushed Syclant over the edge, removing one or more of them might go some way to making it more bearable. However, no revisions were ever implemented as a direct result of the experience of the playtesting period.</p>

<h2>The Verdict</h2>

<p>In many ways, Syclant was a parallel to a large philosophical transition that, even before it had been let loose on the dedicated Shoddy server, was gaining momentum on Smogon's boards and would lead to a lot of changes that, with the benefit of hindsight, it is hard to imagine ever not having been in place. But that's another story for another time. In short, then, Syclant was another of those Pokemon that rocked the old, established ideas of every Pokemon needing to be countered directly, and relying on revenge killing to be an illegitimate strategy. Along with Pokemon such as Nasty Plot Infernape and Swords Dance Garchomp, Syclant was one of those Pokemon that was very difficult to wall or counter, and as such required checking, whether by revenge killing or some other appropriate means of prediction. It was also a Pokemon that entered competitive battling at a turbulent stage of affairs, where soon, Garchomp would do what GSC Snorlax and ADV Tyranitar did not, and get itself banned from the metagame for its ability to almost guarantee the removal of one Pokemon on the opponent's side, thanks to the newly implemented Suspect Testing system. In any case, Syclant was controversial, and remained so right up until - well, there was never strictly an end to Syclant's playtesting period. Eventually, revisions were made, but these were due more to a desire to bring Syclant more in line with the standards set by the more recent CAPs than any response to competitive imbalance.</p>

<p>So, in the end, what was Syclant really? The only thing that had been decided upon during the process was, really, that it should be a mixed sweeper. Other strategies were added on during the course of events, such that here was a Pokemon that could do a heck of a lot in theory - Tail Glow sweeping, Swords Dance sweeping, mixed wallbreaking, Spikes supporting - but public opinion became consumed by a few very good sets, despite the abundance of potential sets it could run, and it was towards these that the accusation of overpoweredness - or, indeed, impotence - were directed. The reception at the time was mixed - many considered it perfectly balanced, some considered it weaker than they had wanted, and still others thought it a borderline Uber - much like any contentious Pokemon of this period. In short, what can definitely be said about Syclant is that it was, well, the first. It established the CAP project and, to a large extent, demonstrated that it was possible not to go completely overboard when building a fan Pokemon, even if it got rather close to it. Syclant is a Pokemon who, for this reason, is often looked on with fondness even by those that never experienced its early days first-hand - it is endearingly flawed, and indeed still bears the distinctive print of an eager yet naive CAP community. It has lost much - Bullet Punch Scizor would see to that - but it gained much as well, such as the large increase in the power of Tail Glow. Overall, Syclant did what it was supposed to do, and in hindsight was probably as balanced as it could have been hoped it would be, such was its creation process.</p>

<h2>The Sets</h2>

<td>Syclant @ Life Orb / Focus Sash<br />
Ability: Mountaineer<br />
EVs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe<br />
Nature: Timid<br />
- Tail Glow<br />
- Ice Beam / Blizzard<br />
- Bug Buzz / Focus Blast<br />
- Focus Blast / Hidden Power Ground</td>

<p>The Tail Glow set was, in many respects, at the epicentre of the controversy surrounding Syclant, given the colossal power it could drum up at a turn's notice and the difficulty in revenge killing in the days before ubiquitous priority. Ice Beam, Bug Buzz, and Focus Blast took care of pretty much everything that was foolish enough to get in Syclant's way, and those exceptions, such as Tentacruel, were dealt with by Hidden Power Ground. It is worth noting that Earth Power (and, indeed, Superpower) were illegal alongside Tail Glow prior to the introduction of Platinum Tutor moves, hence the reliance on the notoriously inaccurate Focus Blast. Its accuracy could, admittedly, be remedied by Compoundeyes, which also made Blizzard a great choice over Ice Beam without Hail support, but this would force Syclant to forgo its custom ability, Mountaineer, which not only made Syclant immune to Stealth Rock but also allowed it to possibly gain a free switch on a predicted Rock-type attack. This ability not only entirely negated one of Syclant's biggest weaknesses, but also made it able to viably run Focus Sash (Spikes and Toxic Spikes tended to be uncommon, so the Sash was rarely prematurely broken) to get a boost off without worry. 4 Defence EVs allowed Syclant to switch into Stealth Rock twice without fainting, which would be important if it were running Compoundeyes, or an unfortunate glitch were to be invoked.</p>

<p>One notable variant of the above set swapped Bug Buzz for Taunt and ran with only Ice Beam and Focus Blast as attacking moves, and enough HP EVs to let Syclant take four hits from Seismic Toss, allowing Syclant to shut down defensive threats almost entirely and then proceed to set up on them, although one had to watch out for Blissey with Flamethrower.</p>

<td>Syclant @ Life Orb / Focus Sash<br />
Ability: Mountaineer<br />
EVs: 200 Atk / 56 SpA / 252 Spe<br />
Nature: Naive / Rash<br />
- Ice Beam<br />
- Bug Buzz<br />
- Brick Break<br />
- Substitute / Tail Glow</td>

<p>Mixed sweeper Syclant did indeed lose its top spot as the most threatening set soon after the playtest began, but that doesn't mean it was in any way ineffective or lacklustre. The addition of Brick Break and a healthy dollop of Attack EVs enabled Syclant to 2HKO its arch-nemesis, Blissey (assuming Life Orb), but necessitated large inroads on the possible investment in Special Attack. Another notable change from the above set was that Substitute could be used over Tail Glow to ease prediction and, perhaps more importantly, avoid Thunder Wave from bulky Pokemon such as Blissey and Cresselia. The rest of the set was, indeed, largely the same; Focus Sash could give a one-time setup opportunity or Life Orb could give the raw power that Syclant desperately needed (Focus Sash was, naturally, not to be used with Substitute), and Ice Beam and Bug Buzz were the healthy STAB options. Blizzard could, of course, be used over Ice Beam with Abomasnow support taken for granted.</p>

<p>This was not, however, the only mixed Syclant set ever used. Superpower was also used over Brick Break, and notably could defeat Blissey with the use of far fewer Attack EVs, but its being illegal alongside Tail Glow made it a lesser option for sweeper sets, as opposed to wallbreakers. X-Scissor was sometimes used as an alternative Bug-type STAB to take advantage of the higher Attack stat and investment, while U-turn was also available as a scouting tool, particularly as Syclant was immune to Stealth Rock thanks to Mountaineer. Earth Power was, again, an option in order to take care of Tentacruel and Heatran consistently, but was also illegal with Tail Glow (and also illegal with Superpower, more to the point).</p>

<td>Syclant @ Life Orb / Expert Belt<br />
Ability: Mountaineer<br />
EVs: 4 Def / 252 Atk / 252 Spe<br />
Nature: Adamant / Jolly<br />
- Swords Dance<br />
- Ice Shard / Ice Punch<br />
- X-Scissor<br />
- Brick Break</td>

<p>Despite Syclant's higher Attack stat and access to physical priority, Swords Dance sets undoubtedly played second fiddle to Tail Glow throughout the playtest, leaving many to bewail Syclant's exoskeletal projections not being sufficiently chitinous to warrant the ability to wield a weapon of greater potency. Or, that Swords Dance Syclant was left with the rather weak Ice Punch, X-Scissor, and Brick Break as its attacking moves, which were a far cry from Blizzard and Focus Blast. Even so, access to priority in the form of Ice Shard was useful, and meant that Choice Scarf Pokemon were no longer all thorough checks to sweeper Syclant. The rest of the set was fairly straightforward, but was augmented by such moves as Fire Fang, Night Slash, Thunder Fang, and Stone Edge in places. Superpower was another occasional choice, despite the stat-lowering side effect, particularly on one memorable set, which used Swords Dance alongside Bug Buzz in place of X-Scissor in order to defeat physically defensive foes, as well as Cresselia, while Superpower took care of Steel-types.</p>

<td>Syclant @ Choice Specs<br />
Ability: Mountaineer / Compoundeyes<br />
EVs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe<br />
Nature: Timid<br />
- Ice Beam / Blizzard<br />
- Bug Buzz<br />
- Focus Blast<br />
- Earth Power</td>

<p>Finally, we have Syclant's most viable Choice set. The boost to Syclant's Special Attack made facing a Blizzard a frightening prospect, while 4 attacking slots meant that there was very little that could come in on Syclant perfectly comfortably. Superpower was occasionally used over Focus Blast in order to surprise Blissey, but altogether this was a very straightforward set. The most interesting part of it is, perhaps, the choice between the two abilities. Mountaineer is a great ability for a Choice user, as Stealth Rock damage is no longer a limiting factor, but Compoundeyes is also excellent, not least because it makes Blizzard and Focus Blast less of a coin flip for the user. Using Compoundeyes meant that Syclant could not repeatedly switch in and out without dedicated Rapid Spin support, but using Mountaineer meant that Syclant's damage output was compromised, either through having to use weaker moves such as Ice Beam, or simply missing.</p>

<h2>Other Options</h2>

<p>Sets that have not been mentioned above include support sets that made use of Spikes, though these were very little-used in early DP owing to perhaps a prevailing underestimation of their efficacy when paired with Stealth Rock, and also perhaps the feeling that to relegate Syclant to a support Pokemon was a waste of its other, exceptional talents. Roost was another move that was occasionally mentioned, but ultimately Syclant was too frail to make good use of it and had too many other options to be able to afford losing a precious coverage slot without good reason. Choice Band and Choice Scarf were occasionally used, but both tended to fall short of the power needed to make them worthwhile, compared to Choice Specs, which better used Syclant's talents as a wallbreaker. One other set that bears mention is a SubPetaya set that could bring Syclant down to 25% HP in one turn, with a well-timed switch into Stealth Rock, with far less risk than that required to set up Tail Glow, and proceed to break the opponent with Compoundeyes Blizzard and Focus Blast, possibly with the Substitute intact if the opponent switched out; however, it was not one of the more common sets.</p>

<h2>Checks and Counters</h2>

<p>There were very few Pokemon that could counter all versions of Syclant 100% of the time, save possibly a specially defensive Registeel with both Thunder Wave and Iron Head. Even so, Syclant was hardly unstoppable, and even without going into the Pokemon that could check or revenge kill it, there were indeed some defensive threats that could also give it pause for thought. Tentacruel was perhaps foremost among these, thanks to its resistances to all of Ice Beam, Focus Blast, and Bug Buzz, only fearing the rare Earth Power. Heatran was similar and had the benefit of super effective STAB Fire-type attacks, but since nearly all Syclant carried a move to hit it with, switching in could be treacherous. Metagross, too, was able to take almost any of Syclant's attacks, and could retaliate with STAB Bullet Punch (though this would not OHKO Syclant from full health), while Bronzong could do the same with Gyro Ball. Finally, we must mention Blissey, who indeed walled pretty much all purely special sets, or at least those without both Tail Glow and Taunt or Substitute, and even then could still win if it had Flamethrower. If Syclant lacked Taunt or Substitute, it could be paralysed with Thunder Wave, and while Brick Break or Superpower could KO, Syclant had to predict well in order to catch Blissey on the switch.</p>


And yes, before you say anything, I know this is long. Quanyails has already chopped out a large part of the first few paragraphs, which are the ones most in need of concision, as detailed here, so massive thanks for that:

&lt;p&gt;Syclant experienced something of a time-lagdelay between the end of its creation process and the beginning of its first playtest, for the very simple reason thatbecause, for almost exactly a month after Syclant's conclusion on January 17th 2008, there was no simulator on which to test it. Finally, wWith the advent of Doug's Create-A-Pokemon Shoddy Battle Server, Syclant burst onto the competitive scene, and the CAP Project finally had a place to break in its new toys. To a great extent, t as Syclant burst onto the competitive scene. The purpose of this testing period was really to see if Syclant was, as many thought it would be, horribly broken, and what would need "fixing" in order to make it a stable -yet -threatening presence in the metagame. To an extent, this could be because many members still harboured their ill-conceived dreams of sending; Syclant to Nintendo and getting it into the games, but also because to an extent the conventional wisdom of the time seemed to suggest that something with such's high sweeping stats, plus a huge movepool, and an effective immunity to entry hazards would be close toparalleled Garchomp in's efficacy, if not outright beyond beatable. Even so, tThis view was not shared by everybody, but it was against this backdrop that Syclant took the plunge into the maelstrom ofered early DP OU with this comparison in mind.&lt;/p&gt;

&lt;p&gt;At the beginning of the playtest, the most vocal reactions fell predictably in the gush-or-damn (flavorful) camp. A good mMany felt that Syclant, and in particular its pure Tail Glow set, was far too good at sweeping to be balanced, and should therefore have Tail Glow removed; indeed, o. Once Tail Glow was set up, there was very little that could actually take an attack from Syclant, depending of course on the coverage moves chosen. On the other hand, a second group wereas (Britishism) fairly disappointed by how Syclant seemed to be turning out, remarking upon its lacklustre defensive stats, the difficulty of getting the free turn to boost in the first place, and the lower-than-expected damage output without anystat boosts on board. It is worth remembering tThe context of early DP in this regard - it was a metagame full ofhad both powerful sweepers and strong walls, but the idea of a Pokemon withoutand Syclant, having no dedicated counters was still one that was relatively new and not wholly ingrained, such that Syclant's Tail Glow set was somewhat uncomfortable from a philosophical perspective, unsettled playtesters. In hindsight, however, it would seem that Syclant was really somewhere in the middle. If it could get a Tail Glow set up, it was a huge threat - indeed, to many, one of the biggest threats in the entire metagame - and there was no doubting, after extensive testing, that it was one of the better offensive Pokemon in OU at the time, particularly as a revenge killer or a Pokemon that could capitalise on the common, offensively blunt Pokemon that were more com(offensive?) Pokemon then, such as Dusknoir lacking Fire Punch. And yet it was comparable, in this regard, to other offensive Pokemon of the time such as Nasty Plot Azelf and Mixed Infernape. The big question, then, was whether or not its sheer unpredictability and associated difficulty in dealing with it constituted grounds for serious complaint.&lt;/p&gt;

&lt;p&gt;It is worth noting that a number of issues wer
&lt;p&gt;The prevalent throughout theissues in Syclant's playtest, insofar as they related to its effect on the standard metagame of the time. At this point, Deoxys-S and Wobbuffet had been unbanned and not yet re-banned in standard OU, but these Pokemon were not present for a large part of Syclant's playtesting period. Mountaineer was, for a large part of the test, frequently subject to bugs and glitches associated with its implementation that made Syclant sometimes takeook damage in specific scenarios when it should not, ideally, ha. Eve done, but then, Syclant tended to only require the Stealth Rock immunity to function regardless. Another problem was that far more battles on the server did not involve Syclant at all than did, possibly as a result of a large number of people having migrateding from the Official server without any knowledge of what the CAP Project actually was, which meant that any and all usage statistics gat. Thered wefore skewed - both thusage stats in total,with and withose ignoring all battles whereut Syclant was not involvere skewed. This became even more noticeable in March, where Syclant clocked in at twenty-ninth in total usage on the server, to the point whereand deducing metagame trends became something of a tricky business. With that being saiddifficult. However, a comparison of the February and March CAP server statistics with the July 2008 Smogon server (note that this was different from the Official server. Interesting titbit, that) can reveal some interesting, if minor trends (we assume that the July 2008 stats accurately reflect the Official server stats from February and March, which is reasonable given that there were no great metagame shifts).&lt;/p&gt;

&lt;p&gt;There were no colossal movements, which was reasonable considering that most of the Pokemon relevant to Syclant were already top-level OU threats - Heatran, Blissey, and Metagross increased slightly in usage at the expens, while of Gengar's usage decreased, but since these all remained top-level threats (and these changes seemed to revert in March), the movement is not particularly noteworthy. Even so, it is worth mentioning that Syclant and Heatran were lauded as working exceptionally well together, in addition to Heatran's status as a good check to any Syclant lacking Earth Power, Focus Blast, Superpower, or Brick Break (which was, admittedly, very few of them). In the early days of Syclant's existence, niche Pokemon such as Registeel appeared to jump uped in usage, only to fall back down again as the furore over attempting to countering Syclant died down. Abomasnow, too, experienced an increase in usage, largely to provide support for Blizzard and to cancel sandstorm damage, hence to preserving those Syclant that ran's Focus Sash, and even reacheding the top ten in usage in March for battles including Syclant. Oddly, on this noteIn contrast, Tyranitar appeared to experience an immense fafell from grace in these same battles that included Syclant, which would be surprising consideringdespite its high special tankiness and ability to summon sandstorms to oppose hail. Hippowdon was similarly affected; it is possible that battlers' preconceptions of howabout Syclant's presence would affect from Garchomp might have precipitated acaused these Pokemon to fall in these Pokemuse. (You mention as well.this later, so you could mention Hippowdon alongside Tyranitar.)&lt;/p&gt;

&lt;p&gt;Indeed,Garchomp has been any account of influence on Syclant's playtesting period would be incomplete without addressing the elepcreation and subsequent playtest. (You may want to chant-sized shark inge the structure of the room.se paragraphs, actually. You mention Garchomp prevalently before.) It was, at that point, the single most deadly Pokemon in the entirety of OU; it would be difficult to find, anyone who could disagree with this statement. H had high attacking stats, bulk, and the horrifically irritating Sand Veil, all wrapped up in one delicious package; whether Yache Berry Swords Dance, Choice, or Chain Chomp, Garchomp was in end multiple movery sense the pinnacle of Pokemon-building. Even dts. During Syclant's creation process, it was perhaps impossible to not draw comparallels, or indeed perpendicularscontrast it with Garchomp. Would Syclant be as good as Garchomp at its job? Did people want it to be as good as Garchomp? It's faster than Garchomp and can OHKO with Ice Beam; it can even OHKO through Yache Berry with Blizzard; is it possible that it could break Garchomp's stranglehold on OU? In practice, it's hard to say. It is, gGenerally, it'speaking, agreed that Syclant was not Garchomp's equal in terms of raw sweeping or wallbreaking ability, since it lacked Garchomp's bulk and resistances, but did it affect Garchomp's usage at all? Certainly, i. It was capable of revenge killing, or forcing Garchomp out if it could just get in successfully, but Syclant tended to take far too much damage to be able to switch into Garchomp comfortably, so i. In that sense, it had little effect on the land shark. Possibly tThe largestr effect was, as mentioned earlier (Why mention earlier if you're going to mention it here?), simply the expectation of Syclant's being able to take on Garchomp that meant that fewer people used it relative to other Pokemon in the metagame, such as Gengar. Even so, it doggedly remained as the most-used Pokemon on the server, and retained second place in battles where CAPs took part (sinceith Syclant had to be in all of these battles by definition, this is to be expected).&lt;/p&gt;

&lt;p&gt;The pre-playtesting analysis, as it was developed on theory alone, is revealing for itsnstead of experience and hindsight, differencesd to the version written during the playtesting period, and with the benefit of both real experience and hindsight behind it. In the original, a mixed attacking set similar to what one might expect Infernape's or Electivire to have been using at the time's sets was favoured, with Substitute seemingly favourused over Tail Glow; this seems to resonate with the idea that s. Special walls (namely, Blissey) would be the Pokemon most likely to give Syclant trouble, and indeed, Syclant would want to avoid paralysis at all costs; hence, Superpower, which was illegal alongside Tail Glow, would be favouredsuggested to remove this threat. Swords Dance iwas also given space, as well as Choice sets, most notab - especially Choice Specs, but also Band and Scarf. Possible other sets, such as those making use of Spikes or Counter, were mainly discounted. When the Syclant test began, it rapidly became apparent that pure special Tail Glow was an exceptionally powerful set, and replaced the mixed set on the analysis; even so, m. Most of the other sets remained as they had been. As the Syclanplaytest contrain rollued on, ever more funky vesets were dreamt up that had nediver been thought of in the pre-playtesting era; in addition to the ever-commonged beyond Tail Glow, Swords Dance, mixed attackers, and Choice sets, we were also treated to; Substitute + Petaya, mixed Swords Dance, and Taunt + Tail Glow grew in popularity. Others experimented with support moves such as Spikes and surprise sets such as Focus Sash + Counter. These did not, however, grab the public imagination so greatlyained use as much as did the more common sets.&lt;/p&gt;


Anyway, the point here is that the above is something of a mock-up of what I envision the Playtesting Documentation page would look like, using the specifications I previously named. Yes, I know it's far longer than is desirable (still shorter than Shell Smash Necturna) but the point is that I'm trying to illustrate the information that is available within the playtesting threads, and also so that we can all come to a conclusion as to what we do and do not want in there. From this thorough examination of Syclant's discussion threads, playtest logs, RMTs, and indeed server statistics, there was plenty to talk about. So, to that end, I don't think that there's any danger of our not possessing the necessary resources to document them thoroughly, or even to a small extent. Of course, if I've made some huge mistake in evaluating the accounts I could find of how Syclant performed, then please do mention it, particularly if you were around at the time.

I responded partially to psg on IRC, but essentially the same arguments could be as readily applied to playtest analyses as they could be to Playtest Documentation.

In any case, I'd like to see some more discussion particularly of the outlined process for how these would be written up and checked, as well as what points should ideally be included in each section.
 
#8
bugmaniacbob said:
Like really. I know you know we think this is too long. You are right. I even find it daunting to comment on this thread.
Can we perhaps make it wayyyyy less formal, maybe in bullet point form? I mean this is a great idea but it's currently being bogged down by way too much detail.
As far as I'm concerned, in the interest of keeping things readable, the main things I'd care about in the playtest documentation are:
- Give a brief account of the opinions of battlers and community members regarding the CAP's performance, if applicable
- Mention in passing the most noteworthy sets, strategies, or metagame shifts from standard OU
- Give a brief evaluation of the CAP's performance in terms of its ability to fulfil its concept
- Give a short discussion of the questions to be answered and how the CAP addressed or failed to address these questions, if applicable
- Give a brief account of the prevailing community opinions regarding the CAP at the time
- Give an account of how the metagame adapted to deal with the new threat and the Pokemon that gave it a hard time (and if that was expected or not)
 

jas61292

used substitute
is a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a CAP Contributoris a Battle Server Moderator Alumnus
Moderator
#9
I don't really have anything to add, but that quanyails edit is pretty much impossible to read as is with all the color and cross outs and words made of single letters across multiple crossed out words, so I took the time to clean it up. Here is what it would look like in readable form:

Syclant experienced a delay between the end of its creation process and the beginning of its first playtest, because, for almost a month after Syclant's conclusion on January 17th 2008, there was no simulator on which to test it. With the advent of Doug's Create-A-Pokemon Shoddy Battle Server, the CAP Project finally had a place to break in its new toy as Syclant burst onto the competitive scene. The purpose of this testing period was to see if Syclant was, as many thought it would be, horribly broken, and what would need "fixing" in order to make it a stable -yet -threatening presence in the metagame; Syclant’s high sweeping stats, huge movepool, and an effective immunity to entry hazards paralleled Garchomp's efficacy. This view was not shared by everybody, but Syclant entered early DP OU with this comparison in mind.

At the beginning of the playtest, the most vocal reactions fell in the gush-or-damn (flavorful) camp. Many felt that Syclant, and in particular its pure Tail Glow set, was far too good at sweeping to be balanced, and should therefore have Tail Glow removed. Once Tail Glow was set up, there was little that could take an attack from Syclant, depending on the coverage moves chosen. On the other hand, a second group was (Britishism) fairly disappointed by Syclant, remarking upon its lacklustre defensive stats, the difficulty of getting the free turn to boost, and the lower-than-expected damage output without stat boosts. The early DP metagame had both powerful sweepers and strong walls, and Syclant, having no dedicated counters, unsettled playtesters. In hindsight, however, Syclant was somewhere in the middle. If it could get a Tail Glow set up, it was a huge threat as a revenge killer or a Pokemon that could capitalise on the common, offensively blunt (offensive?) Pokemon, such as Dusknoir lacking Fire Punch. And yet it was comparable to other offensive Pokemon of the time such as Nasty Plot Azelf and Mixed Infernape. The big question, then, was whether or not its sheer unpredictability and associated difficulty in dealing with it constituted grounds for serious complaint

The prevalent issues in Syclant's playtest related to the metagame of the time. At this point, Deoxys-S and Wobbuffet had been unbanned in standard OU, but these Pokemon were not present for a large part of Syclant's playtesting period. Mountaineer was, for a large part of the test, glitched so Syclant sometimes took damage in specific scenarios when it should not. Even then, Syclant tended to only require the Stealth Rock immunity to function. Another problem was that far more battles on the server did not involve Syclant at all, possibly as a result of a large number of people migrating from the Official server without any knowledge of what the CAP Project actually was. Therefore usage stats with and without Syclant were skewed. This became even more noticeable in March, where Syclant clocked in at twenty-ninth in total usage on the server, and deducing metagame trends became difficult. However, a comparison of the February and March CAP server statistics with the July 2008 Smogon server (note that this was different from the Official server) can reveal some interesting, if minor trends.

There were no colossal movements, as most of the Pokemon relevant to Syclant were already top-level OU threats - Heatran, Blissey, and Metagross increased slightly in usage, while Gengar's usage decreased, but since these all remained top-level threats (and these changes seemed to revert in March), the movement is not particularly noteworthy. Syclant and Heatran were lauded as working exceptionally well together, in addition to Heatran's status as a good check to any Syclant lacking Earth Power, Focus Blast, Superpower, or Brick Break. In the early days of Syclant's existence, niche Pokemon such as Registeel jumped in usage, only to fall back down again as the furore to countering Syclant died down. Abomasnow experienced an increase in usage, largely to provide support for Blizzard and to cancel sandstorm damage to preserve Syclant’s Focus Sash, reaching the top ten in usage in March for battles including Syclant. In contrast, Tyranitar fell from grace in these same battles despite its high special tankiness and ability to summon sandstorms to oppose hail. Hippowdon was similarly affected; it is possible that preconceptions about Syclant from Garchomp caused these Pokemon to fall in use. (You mention this later, so you could mention Hippowdon alongside Tyranitar.)

Garchomp has been an influence on Syclant's creation and subsequent playtest. (You may want to change the structure of these paragraphs, actually. You mention Garchomp prevalently before.) It was, at that point, the single most deadly Pokemon in OU, as it had high attacking stats, bulk, Sand Veil, and multiple movesets. During Syclant's creation process, it was impossible to not draw compare or contrast it with Garchomp. Would Syclant be as good as Garchomp at its job? Did people want it to be as good as Garchomp? It's faster than Garchomp and can OHKO with Ice Beam; it can even OHKO through Yache Berry with Blizzard; is it possible that it could break Garchomp's stranglehold on OU? Generally, it's agreed that Syclant was not Garchomp's equal in terms of raw sweeping or wallbreaking ability, since it lacked Garchomp's bulk and resistances. It was capable of revenge killing or forcing Garchomp out if it could just get in successfully, but Syclant tended to take too much damage to be able to switch in comfortably. In that sense, it had little effect on the land shark. The larger effect was, as mentioned earlier (Why mention earlier if you're going to mention it here?), simply the expectation of Syclant's being able to take on Garchomp that meant that fewer people used it. Even so, it remained as the most-used Pokemon on the server, and retained second place in battles with Syclant.

The pre-playtesting analysis, as it was developed on theory alone instead of experience and hindsight, differed to the version written during the playtesting period. In the original, a mixed attacking set similar to Infernape's or Electivire’s sets was favoured, with Substitute used over Tail Glow. Special walls (namely, Blissey) would be the Pokemon most likely to give Syclant trouble, and Syclant would want to avoid paralysis at all costs; hence, Superpower was suggested to remove this threat. Swords Dance iwas also given space, as well as Choice sets - especially Choice Specs. Possible other sets, such as those making use of Spikes or Counter, were mainly discounted. When the Syclant test began, it rapidly became apparent that pure special Tail Glow was an exceptionally powerful set, and replaced the mixed set on the analysis. Most of the other sets remained as they had been. As the playtest continued, movesets diverged beyond Tail Glow, Swords Dance, mixed attackers, and Choice sets; Substitute + Petaya, mixed Swords Dance, and Taunt + Tail Glow grew in popularity. Others experimented with support moves such as Spikes and surprise sets such as Focus Sash + Counter. These did not, however, gained use as much as the more common sets.


This probably is still too long though. I do like prose, but I'm not sure if it necessary. But I don't have a lot to say about this otherwise.
 

Stratos

Banned deucer.
#10
The point should be to say what must be said as quickly as possible; these are historical documents, not novellas. I rewrote from scratch using the data in quan's edits, so sorry if there are any inaccuracies here caused by my misinterpretation. DLC suggested 500-700 words, a ballpark that sounded pretty good to sum up pre-test expectations, uses of the CAP, and effects on the metagame. This rings in at 570:

There was a month's delay between Syclant's conclusion and the creation of Doug's CAP server, so this CAP had an obscene amount of pre-test theory. Most believed it would be broken, since its stats and movepool were amazing for sweeping, and wanted the playtest to determine what would need to be fixed before it could be usable in the metagame—the concept of preserving CAPs was not introduced until much later.

Once the playtest started, opinions became quite polarized. Some cited its crazy power after Tail Glow as broken and called to remove Tail Glow, while others thought that its poor defenses and surprisingly low damage output before a boost made it unusable. Though the idea has grown common, back in Syclant's day it was unheard of to have no 100% reliable counters, so it was somewhat overrated by most players. It was a potent revenge killer (designed as a Garchomp counter, after all) and could sweep easily if it set up a Tail Glow. Unfortunately, it had trouble setting up on all but the least powerful Pokemon in OU, and competed for a slot with other, similar Pokemon such as Azelf and Infernape.

It's hard to track Syclant's effect on the metagame for a couple of reasons. Deoxys-S and Wobbuffet were unbanned for a part of its test. Mountaineer was glitched, so Syclant sometimes took Rock-type attacks when it switched in. Since many people only interested in OU chose Doug's server over the ban-happy "Official Server," Syclant was not even one of the top 20 most used Pokemon at one point! Still, some trends can be found in analyzing stats.

Heatran, Blissey, and Metagross all slightly increased in usage during their playtest, due to their status as Syclant's best counters and (for Heatran) also one of its best partners. As per usual, certain Pokemon (e.g. Registeel) spiked in usage at the start until people realized that countering the CAP in question did not suddenly make them good. Abomasnow rose to boost Blizzard's accuracy and preserve Syclant's Focus Sash. Gengar, Tyranitar, and Hippowdon all fell in usage, being top OU Pokemon that unfortunately lost to Syclant. The latter two also suffered from Abomasnow's rise and the fact that they were often used solely to support Garchomp, who was intentionally Syclant's #1 target.

Speaking of Garchomp, it's impossible to discuss Syclant without mentioning it. Garchomp was OU's premiere sweeper; since CAP was making a sweeper, many comparisons were drawn between the two. Would it be as good as Garchomp? Did we want it to be? In the end, it wasn't, since it wasn't nearly as bulky. Despite its Ice typing, it couldn't even counter Garchomp, since it wasn't bulky enough to switch into Dragon-type moves. Only the psychological effect of an Ice-infested metagame even caused Garchomp's usage to deflate, though it was still the top-used Pokemon on the CAP server.

Unsurprisingly, the theory from before the playtest was proved wildly wrong, as always. Most imagined a mixed set would be most effective, using Superpower to break Blissey and Substitute to ease prediction, but Tail Glow ended up being the best offensive set. Other predicted sets, such as Choice Specs and Swords Dance, turned out to be pretty bad, while a suicide Spikes lead, which had been discounted at the beginning, proved itself to be viable. Gimmick sets, such as Taunt + Tail Glow, Sash + Counter, and SubPetaya, were used, but remained gimmicks.
What little flavor there is should be just enough to form paragraphs with the rest being info. Em and some others think paragraphs are negotiable even, but I think it's hard to convey more complex connections with bullets. This could be further culled if I cared, I'm sure.

tl;dr: i love your willingness to find the data for us but not your verbosity.
 

bugmaniacbob

Was fun while it lasted
is an Artist Alumnusis a CAP Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnus
#11
I don't really have enough time to formulate a proper reply

But just quickly, you are all perhaps missing the point, which is that the exercise above was to hopefully alleviate any doubts over the issue of contention, which was that we wouldn't have sufficient information to formulate a proper Playtest Description section on the page - I wasn't actually intending for that section to be 2000 words long at all

If you direct your attention to the Squiggle example given at first, I estimated the average length of that section at around 250 words. This was a gross underestimate, but even so I placed a mental maximum of 750 words at the most for this section after doing the research. If anything this means we'll have more information than we'll be able to fit into that space.

jas I had the readable version already, the point was that it could easily be shortened if necessary and I didn't want Quany's work to go to waste (I posted this in #cap hoping for veteran feedback and Quany very sweetly decided to do a QC, which wasn't what I had had in mind but is very much appreciated all the same)

Pwnemon, thank you for the mass culling, though yes, you have rather misinterpreted or overextrapolated for rather a large part of the revised page (I don't think anyone thought that Syclant was unusable, having no 100% counters wasn't exactly unheard of what with Garchomp and MixApe, never "designated" as a Garchomp counter, and so on).

So yeah discuss the proposal not the mock-up please

------

RE: Bullet points, no. Just no. I've had this argument with C&C plenty of times, but bullet points are unhelpful and unbecoming of an information page and more to the point would probably make a pretty long wall of points, and there is nothing wrong with paragraphs

RE: PSG - thank you, seeing what people most want in the playtest documentation page is exactly what needs to be decided upon. I'm not certain if you intentionally only picked two points for the Playtest Description section, but I can't help but feel that this would make the page rather more... bare-bones than is desirable. Certainly, if our intention is to document playtesting, we might as well try to get all the reliable information we can rather than restricting ourselves to battlers' opinions alone (well, that and metagame shifts, but still). Even so, if others agree that inaugural battles, impact and metagame performance, and discussion documentation are unimportant or not worth documenting, I'm more than open to the idea of chucking them.
 

bugmaniacbob

Was fun while it lasted
is an Artist Alumnusis a CAP Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnus
#12
So, once again it has been a week since the last comment on this thread, so I'll make an effort to push this a tad forward.

Here are some skeletons for your viewing pleasure.

<h2>Concept</h2>
  • Describe the state of the metagame, including:
    • Time of commencement
    • Recent suspect decisions
    • Recently developed popular sets
    • Recent event Pokemon introductions
    • Relevant PRC decisions
  • Describe the prevailing inclinations of the community
  • Mention the area of expertise or experience of the topic leader (if applicable)
  • Give a very brief overview of the concept
<blockquote><p>Full quote of concept in its entirety, including questions to be answered</p></blockquote>
  • Briefly evaluate the concept for its strengths and weaknesses, and do the same for other slated concepts
  • Describe the polls and their outcome
  • Summarise the discussions in Concept Assessment (if applicable)
  • Describe the Threats/Counters discussion (if applicable)
  • Describe any other discussions that took place around this time (e.g. Multitype for CAP10 and CAP13)
<h2>Typing</h2>
  • Evaluate the typing for its strengths and weaknesses, with specific reference to the discussions taking place at the time, and do the same for other slated typings (note that older CAPs will have had primary and secondary typing discussions)
  • Describe the polls and their outcome
<h2>Abilities</h2>
  • Evaluate the abilities for their strengths and weaknesses, with specific reference to the discussions taking place at the time, and do the same for other slated abilities (note that CAPs will have separate primary, secondary, and later tertiary ability discussions)
  • Describe the polls and their outcome
<h2>Stat Spread</h2>
  • Describe the Stat Limits discussion (if applicable)
  • Evaluate the stat spread for its strengths and weaknesses, with specific reference to the discussions taking place at the time, and do the same for other slated spreads
  • Describe the polls and their outcome
<h2>Movepool</h2>
  • Describe the Counters discussion (if applicable)
  • Describe the Attacking Moves discussion, with emphasis on any controversial moves
  • Describe the Non-Attacking Moves discussion, with emphasis on any controversial moves
  • Describe the Movepool Limits discussion (if applicable)
  • Evaluate the movepool for its strengths and weaknesses, with specific reference to the discussions taking place at the time, and do the same for other slated movepools
<h2>The Playtest</h2>
  • Give a brief account of the inaugural battle (if applicable)
  • Describe the CAP's metagame impact, with reference to battle statistics if available
  • Document the opinions of battlers and community members regarding the CAP's performance
  • Mention the most notable sets and strategies used, both by this CAP and other Pokemon if significantly different from what they would use in OU
  • Mention any prolonged discussions in the playtest threads that do not fit into the above, if applicable
  • Link to any historically significant RMTs or warstories from the period
<h2>The Verdict</h2>
  • Briefly evaluate the CAP in terms of its fulfilling its concept
  • Discuss the questions to be answered and whether or not the CAP addressed them, and what was learned from the CAP
  • Compare the contemporary and current opinions of the CAP and its process
  • Mention in passing the contribution of this CAP to the process or to our philosophy behind the process
<h2>The Sets</h2>

<td>(CAP Name) @ (held item)<br />
Ability: (ability)<br />
EVs: (EV spread)<br />
Nature: (nature)<br />
- (move 1)<br />
- (move 2)<br />
- (move 3)<br />
- (move 4)</td>
  • Give a brief description of the purpose and function behind some of the commonly used sets in the playtest, as well as their performance therein
  • 2-3 sets maximum for sake of grammar checking
<h2>Other Options</h2>
  • Discuss other popular sets or strategies involving the CAP
  • Mention proposed strategies that were either rare or failed to work, and explain why
<h2>Checks and Counters</h2>
  • Give an account of how the metagame adapted to deal with the new threat
  • Evaluate how faithful this CAP was to the lists drawn up in the Threats Discussion and Counters Discussion
<h2>Revisions</h2>

<h4>(Month) (Year)</h4>
  • Start by giving the date at which the final product thread was posted

<h4>(Month) (Year)</h4>
  • Describe what was changed and summarise why this revision was introduced

---------------------

Now please, please, if anything in the above is unclear or intimidatingly long make sure that you post here so that I can describe it in simpler terms. I'd like to make sure that everybody is on the same page before proceeding.

On-Site Documentation Reservations Index

What ho. This index is primarily designed to keep tabs on the progressing project to implement documentation tabs for previous CAPs by delegating work to the brave souls willing to take on a part of this shared burden. It will also give you an idea of the process involved and what you need to include if you decide to take one of these pages to write up yourself.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Format and Information to Include

<h2>Concept</h2>
  • Describe the state of the metagame, including:
    • Time of commencement
    • Recent suspect decisions
    • Recently developed popular sets
    • Recent event Pokemon introductions
    • Relevant PRC decisions
  • Describe the prevailing inclinations of the community
  • Mention the area of expertise or experience of the topic leader (if applicable)
  • Give a very brief overview of the concept
<blockquote><p>Full quote of concept in its entirety, including questions to be answered</p></blockquote>
  • Briefly evaluate the concept for its strengths and weaknesses, and do the same for other slated concepts
  • Describe the polls and their outcome
  • Summarise the discussions in Concept Assessment (if applicable)
  • Describe the Threats/Counters discussion (if applicable)
  • Describe any other discussions that took place around this time (e.g. Multitype for CAP10 and CAP13)
<h2>Typing</h2>
  • Evaluate the typing for its strengths and weaknesses, with specific reference to the discussions taking place at the time, and do the same for other slated typings (note that older CAPs will have had primary and secondary typing discussions)
  • Describe the polls and their outcome
<h2>Abilities</h2>
  • Evaluate the abilities for their strengths and weaknesses, with specific reference to the discussions taking place at the time, and do the same for other slated abilities (note that CAPs will have separate primary, secondary, and later tertiary ability discussions)
  • Describe the polls and their outcome
<h2>Stat Spread</h2>
  • Describe the Stat Limits discussion (if applicable)
  • Evaluate the stat spread for its strengths and weaknesses, with specific reference to the discussions taking place at the time, and do the same for other slated spreads
  • Describe the polls and their outcome
<h2>Movepool</h2>
  • Describe the Counters discussion (if applicable)
  • Describe the Attacking Moves discussion, with emphasis on any controversial moves
  • Describe the Non-Attacking Moves discussion, with emphasis on any controversial moves
  • Describe the Movepool Limits discussion (if applicable)
  • Evaluate the movepool for its strengths and weaknesses, with specific reference to the discussions taking place at the time, and do the same for other slated movepools
<h2>The Playtest</h2>
  • Give a brief account of the inaugural battle (if applicable)
  • Describe the CAP's metagame impact, with reference to battle statistics if available
  • Document the opinions of battlers and community members regarding the CAP's performance
  • Mention the most notable sets and strategies used, both by this CAP and other Pokemon if significantly different from what they would use in OU
  • Mention any prolonged discussions in the playtest threads that do not fit into the above, if applicable
  • Link to any historically significant RMTs or warstories from the period
<h2>The Verdict</h2>
  • Briefly evaluate the CAP in terms of its fulfilling its concept
  • Discuss the questions to be answered and whether or not the CAP addressed them, and what was learned from the CAP
  • Compare the contemporary and current opinions of the CAP and its process
  • Mention in passing the contribution of this CAP to the process or to our philosophy behind the process
<h2>The Sets</h2>

<td>(CAP Name) @ (held item)<br />
Ability: (ability)<br />
EVs: (EV spread)<br />
Nature: (nature)<br />
- (move 1)<br />
- (move 2)<br />
- (move 3)<br />
- (move 4)</td>
  • Give a brief description of the purpose and function behind some of the commonly used sets in the playtest, as well as their performance therein
  • 2-3 sets maximum for sake of grammar checking
<h2>Other Options</h2>
  • Discuss other popular sets or strategies involving the CAP
  • Mention proposed strategies that were either rare or failed to work, and explain why
<h2>Checks and Counters</h2>
  • Give an account of how the metagame adapted to deal with the new threat
  • Evaluate how faithful this CAP was to the lists drawn up in the Threats Discussion and Counters Discussion
<h2>Revisions</h2>

<h4>(Month) (Year)</h4>
  • Start by giving the date at which the final product thread was posted

<h4>(Month) (Year)</h4>
  • Describe what was changed and summarise why this revision was introduced

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tags and Process

UNRESERVED
- The page in question has not been reserved, and is freely available for reservation (permission must be given by the analysis coordinator for the page to be assigned).

RESERVED
- The page in question has been reserved and the analysis coordinator has approved the user's reservation.

SKELETON
- Once the page has been reserved, you should begin to write out a bullet-point summary of each section on your page, according to the page guidelines above. You should aim to include as much information as possible - it is easier to remove information than it is to find it once the outline has been prepared. Please include links to all of the threads you used in constructing this outline. Once the outline has been written up, you can post your page in a separate thread and the outline will be critiqued and checked for accuracy between the users who were there at the time and any others who are familiar with the threads or have spent time examining the archives. Once you feel your page has been sufficiently checked, you can petition the analysis coordinator to allow you to write it up in prose format, or alternatively the analysis coordinator may decide instead, with the aid of the stated approval of veterans of that CAP, to put it forward for writing themselves.

WRITTEN
- Once the page has been fully approved for quality of information, you can begin to write it up in prose format. We expect fully-formed paragraphs and a reasonable command of the English language. If you are not comfortable with writing it up yourself, either because of ability or because of a lack of time, you can request that another member writes up the thread based on your outline, but it is preferred that you make this clear before you try to reserve any of these pages. Once fully written up, you require 2 checks by the grammar-prose team before this can be marked as done. Remember to post in the grammar-prose team queue in C&C so that they will know that your page needs checking.

DONE

- The page is complete and ready to go on-site.

ON-SITE
- Speaks for itself, really.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Page Index

Syclant
- Concept and Execution.............UNRESERVED
- Playtest.................................UNRESERVED
- Revisions................................UNRESERVED
Revenankh

- Concept and Execution.............UNRESERVED
- Playtest.................................UNRESERVED
- Revisions................................UNRESERVED
Pyroak

- Concept and Execution.............UNRESERVED
- Playtest.................................UNRESERVED
- Revisions................................UNRESERVED
Fidgit

- Concept and Execution.............UNRESERVED
- Playtest.................................UNRESERVED
- Revisions................................UNRESERVED
Stratagem

- Concept and Execution.............UNRESERVED
- Playtest.................................UNRESERVED
- Revisions................................UNRESERVED
Arghonaut

- Concept and Execution.............UNRESERVED
- Playtest.................................UNRESERVED
- Revisions................................UNRESERVED
Kitsunoh

- Concept and Execution.............UNRESERVED
- Playtest.................................UNRESERVED
- Revisions................................UNRESERVED
Cyclohm

- Concept and Execution.............UNRESERVED
- Playtest.................................UNRESERVED
- Revisions................................UNRESERVED
Colossoil

- Concept and Execution.............UNRESERVED
- Playtest.................................UNRESERVED
- Revisions................................UNRESERVED
Krilowatt

- Concept and Execution.............UNRESERVED
- Playtest.................................UNRESERVED
- Revisions................................UNRESERVED
Voodoom

- Concept and Execution.............UNRESERVED
- Playtest.................................UNRESERVED


Tomohawk
- Concept and Execution.............UNRESERVED
- Playtest.................................UNRESERVED
Necturna

- Concept and Execution.............UNRESERVED
- Playtest.................................UNRESERVED
Mollux

- Concept and Execution.............UNRESERVED
- Playtest.................................UNRESERVED
Aurumoth

- Concept and Execution.............UNRESERVED
- Playtest.................................UNRESERVED
Malaconda

- Concept and Execution.............UNRESERVED
- Playtest.................................UNRESERVED
Cawmodore

- Concept and Execution.............UNRESERVED
- Playtest.................................UNRESERVED

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[insert incentive here]


The above is a brief explanation of how the process would work, in the format of a revisions OP so we can discuss two matters (how the process will work, and how the reservations will be structured and assigned) in one.

-----------------------

Now, here is what has yet to be discussed:
  • What points do we want to add or remove from the section guidelines given above? (Remember that these are suggestions for what to include, not hard requirements)
  • What changes should be made to the process laid out above?
  • Do we want to include artwork on these pages? (I wouldn't suggest this ordinarily, but since these are going to be in an article-like format it might be something worth thinking about)
Short discussion from IRC on the last point:

Code:
<paintseagull> just like, the official art for the CAP displayed? or something that we ask artists to do just for that page?
<bugmaniacbob> the latter, preferably
<bugmaniacbob> we already have the official art in the description page
<paintseagull> what kind of art do you have in mind?
<paintseagull> and who's going to do it?
<bugmaniacbob> just pictures of the CAPs
<bugmaniacbob> preferably in non-standard poses
<bugmaniacbob> and that's kind of why I'm asking, I'm wondering who would want to have their art on-site
<bugmaniacbob> as in, I'm wondering what you think of the logistics of the proposal
<paintseagull> there are logistics in place already for that sort of thing that you could mimic
<paintseagull> I could see people wanting to contribute to it
<paintseagull> and if they did I think it would be appealing
<bugmaniacbob> mhm
<bugmaniacbob> so do you think it's worth bringing up?
<paintseagull> maybe. it is another thing to organize on top of all the other things
*** DarkSlay [DarkSlay@synIRC-A9112DBD.cc.gettysburg.edu] has joined #cap
<paintseagull> and I feel super short on organizational manpower most of the time
<bugmaniacbob> well, if it was approved, I'd think it would be wise to arrange it after the bulk of the writing work had been done
<paintseagull> brb
*** Birkal [Mibbit@synIRC-BF8FDD0E.luther.edu] has joined #cap
*** mode/#cap [+ao Birkal Birkal] by BarackObama
<paintseagull> bugmaniacbob: ok. so my next question would be, would you envision the articles waiting for the artwork to go onsite or would it be optional?
<bugmaniacbob> preferably optional
<paintseagull> like, would we *require* it?
<paintseagull> and would we have a minimum standard?
<bugmaniacbob> as with C+C articles
<bugmaniacbob> well, depends on demand
<paintseagull> or can any artist claim any article
<paintseagull> does it?
<bugmaniacbob> preferably I'd go with
<bugmaniacbob> "any artist can claim any article, but this can be veto'd by a less aesthetically challenged person than me"
<bugmaniacbob> which amounts to yourself, birkal, and possibly doug
<bugmaniacbob> or to phrase that another way, it's hard for me to define minimum standard because I'm not the person who says whether or not something's good enough to go on-site
<bugmaniacbob> I'd hope that, if something atrocious were submitted, we would not feel obliged to upload it
<Birkal> ohh we're putting CAP art on site?
<Birkal> that doesn't need to be a formal process with red tape
<Birkal> at all
<Birkal> some one makes it, we say "cool" and put it up
<Birkal> bing
<bugmaniacbob> oh birkal's here
<bugmaniacbob> no we're discussing whether or not the documentation pages should have art accompanying them
<bugmaniacbob> and I was asking psg's opinion
<bugmaniacbob> and we were having a most productive conversation
<Birkal> ahh cool, I'll leave you two to it then
<bugmaniacbob> I'd love to have your opinion as well
<paintseagull> basically my opinion is that I think it would be cool, just wondering if it's too much too add to our plate and just picking at potential problems, but overall it's a good idea
<bugmaniacbob> at the moment I'm just trying to find a sounding board for the idea
<bugmaniacbob> that seems like a fair assessment psg, thanks
<paintseagull> I think the way it works for on-site articles is that any artist can make artwork for it, but if two artworks are submitted for one article, the person in charge of the article picks their favourite
<Birkal> my opinion?  art is awesome.  requiring it slows down the process.
<bugmaniacbob> well we were never contemplating requiring it
<paintseagull> if we made it super casual I think it'd be fine
*** Canis_Majoris [Mibbit@synIRC-DB2D58D6.cpe.netcabo.pt] has quit [Quit: http://www.mibbit.com ajax IRC Client]
<paintseagull> I'd probably contribute
<bugmaniacbob> yes super casual would be the way to go if any
<bugmaniacbob> <Birkal> some one makes it, we say "cool" and put it up
<paintseagull> I can see Kadew doing that, since she tends to do "fanart" anyway and puts it in the kitchen
<bugmaniacbob> so does this mean we can finally put elagune's are on-site
<bugmaniacbob> *art
<bugmaniacbob> is kadew here atm
<paintseagull> and artists might want to do it for their own winning designs anyway
<paintseagull> no
<bugmaniacbob> oh well
<bugmaniacbob> I wonder if
<bugmaniacbob> Mos_Quitoxe
<bugmaniacbob> would this be something you'd contemplate contributing to
<Birkal> artists will draw
<Birkal> they always do; they are all so friendly n__n
<Birkal> but it has to be on their on volition
So, that's that. Please discuss the points above.
 

Birkal

caw
is a member of the Site Staffis an Artistis a Super Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a CAP Contributoris a Battle Server Admin Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnus
CAP Head Mod
#13
Looks great, especially your last post. I'm comfortable moving forward with this, no changes. No artwork please. If CAP artists are drawing stuff, there are plenty of other places to draw them onsite. Even if the process seems highly formalized right now, that is a good thing. It is always easier to cut string then add it, as my sewing friends say. If we end up having an overabundance of information, it wouldn't be too difficult to remove some of it.

If there are no objections in 48 hours, I'll go ahead and implement this with the Analysis Coordinator. Thanks for all of the discussion and thought that went into this, friends!
 
#14
BMB, I think we can continue the discussion of artwork for these articles in a less formal way once some of these articles start going up. I agree that there are lots of other places onsite that need art and we mightn't want to compete for artist time. We can see what the situation is later when we have some articles up.

I still think these are a bit overdetailed maybe but they are very well thought out so I trust bmb on it. And like Birkal says we can always shorten them later if it's not working out.
 

Birkal

caw
is a member of the Site Staffis an Artistis a Super Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a CAP Contributoris a Battle Server Admin Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnus
CAP Head Mod
#15
Much of what you read in this post has been provided by the discussion in this thread.

As a result of this Policy Review thread, we will now document our CAP Playtests. This effort will be threefold. We will be composing documents describe the playtest, discuss the concept / execution, and potential revisions of the CAP. This will require considerable historical research, which may include reading past threads and interviewing players. The general format for these three documents is as follows:

<h2>Concept</h2>
  • Describe the state of the metagame, including:
    • Time of commencement
    • Recent suspect decisions
    • Recently developed popular sets
    • Recent event Pokemon introductions
    • Relevant PRC decisions
  • Describe the prevailing inclinations of the community
  • Mention the area of expertise or experience of the topic leader (if applicable)
  • Give a very brief overview of the concept
<blockquote><p>Full quote of concept in its entirety, including questions to be answered</p></blockquote>
  • Briefly evaluate the concept for its strengths and weaknesses, and do the same for other slated concepts
  • Describe the polls and their outcome
  • Summarise the discussions in Concept Assessment (if applicable)
  • Describe the Threats/Counters discussion (if applicable)
  • Describe any other discussions that took place around this time (e.g. Multitype for CAP10 and CAP13)
<h2>Typing</h2>
  • Evaluate the typing for its strengths and weaknesses, with specific reference to the discussions taking place at the time, and do the same for other slated typings (note that older CAPs will have had primary and secondary typing discussions)
  • Describe the polls and their outcome
<h2>Abilities</h2>
  • Evaluate the abilities for their strengths and weaknesses, with specific reference to the discussions taking place at the time, and do the same for other slated abilities (note that CAPs will have separate primary, secondary, and later tertiary ability discussions)
  • Describe the polls and their outcome
<h2>Stat Spread</h2>
  • Describe the Stat Limits discussion (if applicable)
  • Evaluate the stat spread for its strengths and weaknesses, with specific reference to the discussions taking place at the time, and do the same for other slated spreads
  • Describe the polls and their outcome
<h2>Movepool</h2>
  • Describe the Counters discussion (if applicable)
  • Describe the Attacking Moves discussion, with emphasis on any controversial moves
  • Describe the Non-Attacking Moves discussion, with emphasis on any controversial moves
  • Describe the Movepool Limits discussion (if applicable)
  • Evaluate the movepool for its strengths and weaknesses, with specific reference to the discussions taking place at the time, and do the same for other slated movepools
<h2>The Playtest</h2>
  • Give a brief account of the inaugural battle (if applicable)
  • Describe the CAP's metagame impact, with reference to battle statistics if available
  • Document the opinions of battlers and community members regarding the CAP's performance
  • Mention the most notable sets and strategies used, both by this CAP and other Pokemon if significantly different from what they would use in OU
  • Mention any prolonged discussions in the playtest threads that do not fit into the above, if applicable
  • Link to any historically significant RMTs or warstories from the period
<h2>The Verdict</h2>
  • Briefly evaluate the CAP in terms of its fulfilling its concept
  • Discuss the questions to be answered and whether or not the CAP addressed them, and what was learned from the CAP
  • Compare the contemporary and current opinions of the CAP and its process
  • Mention in passing the contribution of this CAP to the process or to our philosophy behind the process
<h2>The Sets</h2>

<td>(CAP Name) @ (held item)<br />
Ability: (ability)<br />
EVs: (EV spread)<br />
Nature: (nature)<br />
- (move 1)<br />
- (move 2)<br />
- (move 3)<br />
- (move 4)</td>
  • Give a brief description of the purpose and function behind some of the commonly used sets in the playtest, as well as their performance therein
  • 2-3 sets maximum for sake of grammar checking
<h2>Other Options</h2>
  • Discuss other popular sets or strategies involving the CAP
  • Mention proposed strategies that were either rare or failed to work, and explain why
<h2>Checks and Counters</h2>
  • Give an account of how the metagame adapted to deal with the new threat
  • Evaluate how faithful this CAP was to the lists drawn up in the Threats Discussion and Counters Discussion
<h2>Revisions</h2>

<h4>(Month) (Year)</h4>
  • Start by giving the date at which the final product thread was posted

<h4>(Month) (Year)</h4>
  • Describe what was changed and summarise why this revision was introduced


This process will not begin immediately. We are at a time of transition in terms of CAP leadership. Our current Analysis Coordinator, Elevator Music, is resigning from his position. I will be serving as the interim replacement until we find someone else to fill the position. The beginning of CAP 1 will also distract many of our writers from focusing on this project. As a result, this might not see the light of day for a month or two. But by then, we should be ready to go with this entire process. At any rate, we're about done here. Thanks for leading the thread bugmaniacbob.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 1, Guests: 0)