Issues concerning Project Concision

bugmaniacbob

Was fun while it lasted
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Firstly, I would like to apologise if this is not the time or the place to be bringing up doubts about decisions that have already made, or if you feel that this is not the sort of topic that I should be concerning myself with, given that I have never posted anything of note in the Inside Scoop before now. I cannot pretend that I have a fantastic track record of keeping to the new guidelines for analyses outlined in the newest batch of updates to be planned out. But I feel that Project Concision is a step in the wrong direction, as far as not only maintaining the quality and perfection that is remarkable to Smogon’s analyses, but also retaining the fullest support of the very best writers here on Smogon.

If I may begin by quoting an example, we have here the Ninjask analysis that is currently on-site, written by myself, and underneath it the ‘concise’ version, written by Xia.

<p>Ninjask is renowned as the best Baton Passer in the game, and rightly so. It has all the necessary tools to pull off a successful Baton Pass, the most important of these being Swords Dance, its Speed Boost ability, and its own overkill Speed, meaning that Ninjask is nearly impossible to outspeed and can usually pull off a Baton Pass with next to no trouble. This is the classic Baton Pass set, so named as it is practically a carbon copy of the set Ninjask would almost always use in Advance, and which of all the variants is the simplest to comprehend – by setting up repeated Substitutes, and hopefully clinching a Swords Dance on the way, Ninjask can Baton Pass out to a powerful physical sweeper who promptly tears the opponent’s team apart. While this seems like an easy way to gain a win, it is, in practice, a fairly difficult tactic to successfully pull off.</p>

<p>Substitute is one of the most important moves on the set, as it can block attacks that would normally kill Ninjask, and unlike Protect, it can be used in succession – with Leftovers one can generally create five Substitutes per game, which works in tandem with its ability, Speed Boost, to give the Baton Pass recipient a massive boost to its stats without having to use a single set-up move. If you can successfully pull off a Swords Dance without dying, which can be a very risky job indeed, a sweep is made even easier. Baton Pass is the core move of the set, switching out Ninjask while passing on all its boosts to your next and hopefully more physically robust Pokémon. Lastly, you have a choice of attacking moves in case you manage to keep Ninjask in reserve for the remainder of the battle, and a troublesome sweeper needs revenge killing. X-Scissor is listed as the main option as it is both its most powerful and its most useful offensive option, being able to revenge kill weakened sweepers that are also weak to it, like Alakazam, and if you get a Swords Dance in you also have a shot at OHKOing Tyranitar with no defensive investment. Aerial Ace, on the other hand, can be used to remove threats such as Heracross and Breloom, but its low Base Power makes it unappealing. Ninjask is so fast you can afford to not invest heavily in Speed EVs – the spread given allows him some bulk, while still giving 413 Speed, enough to outrun Adamant Choice Scarf Heracross as well as 0 Speed Swift Swim Kingdra, and everything this side of Electrode, who is not commonly seen in OU play. Ninjask can outrun just about everything in the game after a Speed boost.</p>

<p>On nearly every other Pokémon with a massive quadruple Stealth Rock weakness, Rapid Spin support is either necessary or advisable, but Ninjask can often get around this by simply working as a lead, therefore arriving straight into battle unscathed. This creates other problems – chiefly with common leads being able to best you, such as Metagross, which can beat Ninjask with a combination of breaking two Substitutes with Meteor Mash, leaving you with about 60% health, and then attacking with Bullet Punch, stopping you from creating a third Substitute, as well as it being able to kill you on the next turn. Infernape can use Fake Out against you before setting up, and Weavile and Mamoswine both have access to Ice Shard; Weavile in particular has both Fake Out and Ice Shard to utterly destroy you with before you can make a single move. Swampert and Hippowdon can simply use Roar to force you out and cause you to lose all your boosts, and there is nothing stopping any other lead from simply switching to another pseudo-hazer like Skarmory to do the same thing. Skarmory can be trapped and finished off with Magnezone, and if you pass the boosts to a physical Cradily or Octillery, you need not fear pseudo-hazing, as neither can be forced out due to their shared ability, Suction Cups. Other options for dodging this trap include adding other Baton Passers to create a chain and try to save your boosts. Mr. Mime is immune to Roar thanks to its ability, Soundproof, and can pass on the boosts again with its own Baton Pass. Smeargle can add Ingrain to the chain, making the entire chain immune to pseudo-hazing as a result. Also, passing to a powerful Taunt-user, such as Gyarados, if you predict a switch, can work as you can use Taunt to prevent their attempts to Roar, then set up or sweep. As for an eventual recipient for your boosts, something slow and powerful off the bat works best, as Ninjask’s trademark is passing Speed boosts. Rhyperior is quite slow and has impressive defensive stats, especially in a sandstorm, and so is easy to bring into play. It also has the benefit of a gargantuan base 140 Attack stat, STAB on Earthquake and Stone Edge, and being able to easily come into Electric-, Rock-, Flying-, and Fire-type attacks aimed at Ninjask. Also, since barely anybody would think to aim a Ground, Fighting, or Grass attack at Ninjask, owing to them all being quad resisted or having no effect, Rhyperior can often switch in without fear of consequence. They do, however, share an Ice weakness and Rhyperior cannot come into Meteor Mash from lead Metagross, but these situations can be avoided. Tyranitar, Rampardos, Armaldo, and Marowak all work similarly, with Marowak having the highest initial Attack of them after factoring in a Thick Club. Other Pokémon with high Attack stats or powerful STAB moves, as well as sub-par Speed, but with no notable switch in opportunities, include Machamp, Dragonite, Metagross, Salamence, Ursaring, Heracross, and Breloom, all of whom benefit enormously from the extra Speed given.</p>
<p>Ninjask’s signature RSE set, geared towards passing Speed and Attack increases, makes a comeback in the DPP metagame. Substitute is used to block status and provide Ninjask with the free turns it needs to boost its Attack, something very risky to try without a Substitute in play. Once Ninjask boosts its stats, it can Baton Pass them onto its teammates, or can try to net a quick KO first with your choice of STAB attack.</p>

<p>The EV spread allows Ninjask to reach 416 Speed, enough to outspeed everything this side of Electrode (who is rarely seen in OU play). The HP investment and Leftovers allows Ninjask to Substitute five times, equating to a guaranteed +5 Speed boost, thanks to Speed Boost. Max Attack adds bite to either X-Scissor (the more powerful, more useful option) or Aerial Ace (used to hit threats like Heracross and Breloom super effectively).</p>

<p>Though Ninjask has a 4x weakness to Stealth Rock, its usage as a lead nullifies this hindrance. Therefore, Ninjask’s biggest concerns are common leads, like Infernape and Metagross, who have access to priority attacks. These priority attacks can be used to push Ninjask’s HP below 25% prematurely, cutting the number of Speed boosts Ninjask can pass off significantly. Roar users also cause problems, forcing Ninjask out, and its stat boosts with it. To combat these two threats, having appropriate Baton Pass recipients is ideal. Combating the lead threats is as simple as having a check to them, while bypassing phazers can be done through the move Ingrain (available only to Cradily and Smeargle) or abilities like Soundproof or Suction Cups that block a phazing moves.</p>
I think that you will agree that, with no disrespect intended to Xia, there is a lot of information that has not slipped through the great net of concision. Relatively insignificant things, like a very rudimentary introduction to Baton Passing, for absolute beginners, descriptions of how each of the moves are used and benefit this Ninjask, plenty of examples of leads that Ninjask will have trouble with, and in particular, a good number of examples of Baton Pass recipients. Which adds up, if Xia’s calculations are accurate, to exactly 700 words cut straight out of the analysis. And in all honesty, if every single piece of information in the original analysis was put into the ‘concise’ analysis, I think that there would be less than a hundred words between them. (I haven’t actually tried this yet, but it’s only a rough estimate). And at that point, is there really any need to cut down on words? Cutting down on excess fluff is one thing, but cutting down on good information for the sake of aesthetics seems to be a ridiculous decision.

Another point I would like to address is this, the seemingly universal agreement that short analyses are good analyses. Certainly, those that are straight and to the point gain merit over those that dawdle over certain points, or perhaps using three words more to address a certain point somehow makes an analysis boring or repetitive. But whenever I look at an analysis, what springs to mind is more often than not how much effort the writer has put into the analysis, rather than how pleasing it is to look at. Looking at Erodent’s Shedinja analysis for the first time, I profess myself quite amazed at how he managed it. Yes, Shedinja may need a lot of team options to be written about it. But Erodent obviously put the effort in to include as much of it as he could, leaving no stone unturned. And Theorymon’s essays never fail to astound me. Yes, they are long, but I cannot help feeling that the extra reading is worth it for those that want to read it. Smogon is publishing its analyses freely, but it doesn’t shove the analysis down their throats – they can read it if they want to, and the extra information should be there for those that want to read it – those people who are genuinely interested in the finer points of the Pokemon in question, not just the moveset. The contributors who write the analysis should not have to accommodate for those too damn lazy to read the whole thing – they should not be lazy themselves. This was one of my main thoughts while I was updating the Armaldo and Zangoose analyses – both were quite competitively viable Pokemon, yet neither seemed to have been written with enthusiasm or much effort (the latter in particular was limited on almost all of its sets to ‘Skarmory walls it, use Garchomp instead’). This seeming lack of interest (not an actual lack, but seemingly) is evident in some of the sections of the fully rewritten analyses, in particular the opinion section on Ninjask:
<p>Ninjask is the resident Baton Passer in OU. It is unmatched in ease of use and overall effectiveness when used correctly, though it doesn't excel at much else.</p>
The third and final point concerning these ‘concise’ analyses is the questionable message it is sending to those interested in contributing to Smogon. It is one thing to have a sizeable amount of quality control over the analyses submitted, in the interests of maintaining a reputation for eloquence and information in all analyses, and quite another to hold potential contributors on a leash and a strict word limit. Personally, I think that this unnecessary fluff may or may not be aesthetically pleasing, but they are very defining – those tiny little touches added, those 100 words in an analysis are the writer’s own special additions, that make it more an analysis and less of a bullet-point list. Perhaps they can be touched down a little, and in the case of the very best of concisions, such as Legacy Raider’s Zapdos, where a lot of effort is put into it, they may be the better for it. But everything in the world has a positive and a negative side to it – when you eat bread another goes hungry, by taking drugs for leukaemia you live, but lose your hair. These are considered acceptable because the positives outweigh the negatives, but we must ask ourselves whether this is the case with concision. The negative side being that, when crudely done, the analysis looks quite inexpert and is awkward to read, and even when expertly done, the results can look only so much better than what was there at the beginning. Simply put, where we could be allowing and advocating creative license to write well and informed pieces of work, we are restraining the amount we can put into our analyses and tying up resources and the very best writers trying to ‘write down’ work that took a lot of effort to construct, polish and finish. You may say that this fluff is unnecessary, and all we need for the analyses is not boatloads of information, but only what is strictly necessary. This would be perfectly acceptable, but… when you buy a car, do you buy one that is tarnished, scratched but essentially word-perfect, or one that has thousands of mod cons, polished surfaces, carbon fibre roof, every last nut and bolt given aerodynamic perfection? Which do you admire most? In the real world, this would all depend on the money you have, and your position in life, but then again, Smogon is rich. We have hundreds of talented writers, all capable of churning out accurate, superior analyses. Our position is as the premier competitive Pokemon site. We can afford the bells and whistles.

If I may, I would like to add some suggestions as to how concision may be changed to a more suitable endeavour.

  • Firstly, if nothing else is done, concision should first be properly defined and regulated. The instructions are quite clear – the following analyses need shortening, so please feel free to do so, and suggest any others that you want to – yet everyone who starts on an edit seems to have a different idea of what this requires. Personally I feel that the best policy to pursue is Legacy Raider’s ‘chop and change’ – that is to say, editing the original analysis to preserve content and weeding out the little, unnecessary bits, rather than completely rewriting them, although as I have already stated, I still think that there are some issues with this method, not least that the analysis looks not altogether different from simply adding the process to grammar checking.
  • Setting an arbitrary word limit on analyses – perhaps 1000 words. This is by no means to long to read, and gives enough leeway for adding in any extra details that one may think necessary. The word limit would, of course, have to be increased for those with a presence in other tiers, such as Blissey and Porygon2, those with many different options and team structures, such as Heatran, or simply top-tier Pokemon that have a lot to be said about them.
  • Make it an official topic of grammar revision to cut out awkward sentences, and in general do what Project concision does now, only without a new subforum, without a new individual topic for each Pokemon, and with all the changes under the control of the original writer.
  • If it really, really concerns you, why not simply use hide tags? They cut out the aesthetic impurities, and anybody who wants to learn something can. Anybody who doesn’t can take a set and leave, without being blinded by science.
Thank you for taking the time to read this.
 
Another point I would like to address is this, the seemingly universal agreement that short analyses are good analyses. Certainly, those that are straight and to the point gain merit over those that dawdle over certain points, or perhaps using three words more to address a certain point somehow makes an analysis boring or repetitive. But whenever I look at an analysis, what springs to mind is more often than not how much effort the writer has put into the analysis, rather than how pleasing it is to look at. Looking at Erodent’s Shedinja analysis for the first time, I profess myself quite amazed at how he managed it. Yes, Shedinja may need a lot of team options to be written about it. But Erodent obviously put the effort in to include as much of it as he could, leaving no stone unturned. And Theorymon’s essays never fail to astound me. Yes, they are long, but I cannot help feeling that the extra reading is worth it for those that want to read it. Smogon is publishing its analyses freely, but it doesn’t shove the analysis down their throats – they can read it if they want to, and the extra information should be there for those that want to read it – those people who are genuinely interested in the finer points of the Pokemon in question, not just the moveset. The contributors who write the analysis should not have to accommodate for those too damn lazy to read the whole thing – they should not be lazy themselves. This was one of my main thoughts while I was updating the Armaldo and Zangoose analyses – both were quite competitively viable Pokemon, yet neither seemed to have been written with enthusiasm or much effort (the latter in particular was limited on almost all of its sets to ‘Skarmory walls it, use Garchomp instead’).
I wouldn't argue that short analyses are "better", I would argue that they are more attractive aesthetically and more pleasing to newer viewers of Smogon, which is a considerable selling point.

The general consensus in the project: concise thread was that the analyses could be shortened without losing information. If this isn't happening then either the aim of the project is wrong, or the project is not running as successfully as possible.

The third and final point concerning these ‘concise’ analyses is the questionable message it is sending to those interested in contributing to Smogon. It is one thing to have a sizeable amount of quality control over the analyses submitted, in the interests of maintaining a reputation for eloquence and information in all analyses, and quite another to hold potential contributors on a leash and a strict word limit. Personally, I think that this unnecessary fluff may or may not be aesthetically pleasing, but they are very defining – those tiny little touches added, those 100 words in an analysis are the writer’s own special additions, that make it more an analysis and less of a bullet-point list. Perhaps they can be touched down a little, and in the case of the very best of concisions, such as Legacy Raider’s Zapdos, where a lot of effort is put into it, they may be the better for it. But everything in the world has a positive and a negative side to it – when you eat bread another goes hungry, by taking drugs for leukaemia you live, but lose your hair. These are considered acceptable because the positives outweigh the negatives, but we must ask ourselves whether this is the case with concision. The negative side being that, when crudely done, the analysis looks quite inexpert and is awkward to read, and even when expertly done, the results can look only so much better than what was there at the beginning. Simply put, where we could be allowing and advocating creative license to write well and informed pieces of work, we are restraining the amount we can put into our analyses and tying up resources and the very best writers trying to ‘write down’ work that took a lot of effort to construct, polish and finish. You may say that this fluff is unnecessary, and all we need for the analyses is not boatloads of information, but only what is strictly necessary. This would be perfectly acceptable, but… when you buy a car, do you buy one that is tarnished, scratched but essentially word-perfect, or one that has thousands of mod cons, polished surfaces, carbon fibre roof, every last nut and bolt given aerodynamic perfection? Which do you admire most? In the real world, this would all depend on the money you have, and your position in life, but then again, Smogon is rich. We have hundreds of talented writers, all capable of churning out accurate, superior analyses. Our position is as the premier competitive Pokemon site. We can afford the bells and whistles.
Again, I go back to the keeping information idea. The plan was not to lose valuable information - just cut out the unneeded extra parts that don't actually help the analyses (besides proving the fact that the writer can well, write a lot).

I'm just going to quote a small section of the above passage again:
The negative side being that, when crudely done, the analysis looks quite inexpert and is awkward to read, and even when expertly done, the results can look only so much better than what was there at the beginning.
We face the same issue when writing longer analyses though - they can still be done awkwardly and inexpertly. Those analyses generally get re-done or helped with. Why can't we do the same with this? The simple fact is we have a quality check via proofreading and uploading to the SCMS - I don't see why that cannot happen with this project? On top of this, if we can make the analyses better, we should.

If I may, I would like to add some suggestions as to how concision may be changed to a more suitable endeavour.

  • Setting an arbitrary word limit on analyses – perhaps 1000 words. This is by no means to long to read, and gives enough leeway for adding in any extra details that one may think necessary. The word limit would, of course, have to be increased for those with a presence in other tiers, such as Blissey and Porygon2, those with many different options and team structures, such as Heatran, or simply top-tier Pokemon that have a lot to be said about them.
  • Make it an official topic of grammar revision to cut out awkward sentences, and in general do what Project concision does now, only without a new subforum, without a new individual topic for each Pokemon, and with all the changes under the control of the original writer.
  • If it really, really concerns you, why not simply use hide tags? They cut out the aesthetic impurities, and anybody who wants to learn something can. Anybody who doesn’t can take a set and leave, without being blinded by science.
Thank you for taking the time to read this.
An arbitrary word limit is awkward, because new sets are always being discovered, and some Pokemon will always have more sets than others. I really don't see the need for a word limit, we just need to make sure we are doing the best possible job.

Personally, I don't like the hide tag idea, just because I don't see a reason to hide anything. The problem in my view isn't so much the aesthetical purposes of scrolling through to the next set, it's the aesthetical purposes of somebody wanting to actually read it. No player is going to want to look through 22 pages of text about Heatran just to find out information which could be found in less than a quarter of that. Why should we extend the time they have to spend reading for no real reason? Nowadays a lot of people don't have time to read 22 pages anyway; I think we need to remember that we are trying to help people, and I think chucking a ridiculous wall of text in front of them is clearly the wrong way to go about it. Why portray the same information in a ridiculously longer piece of text? Is it supposed to make the writer look clever or something?

I would also like to point out that nobody wants to rewrite an analysis of 22 words completely, especially as it may lead to comments of how it isn't as in detail as the old analysis (when actually it is, just in less words). I think toning it down and shortening it all now will lead to less problems in the future.

Overall, I think there just needs to be more people professionally checking that the same information is there. Comparison between the original and the latter should be paramount in my opinion; that way we can keep the same information but use less words. Thanks for posting this, by the way.
 
The general consensus in the project: concise thread was that the analyses could be shortened without losing information. If this isn't happening then either the aim of the project is wrong, or the project is not running as successfully as possible.
This is precisely it. I think the problem with this project may have been the "Project" tag it was given, which makes people assume as many analysises as possible need to be revised. In reality, though, only select few needed editing. This might have worked out better as a more private project to ensure that every write-up was as accurate and high-quality as its original (this project makes drawing concrete lines of what's acceptable and what isn't tough). If you feel information is missing in an analysis, though, just post in the thread saying so and giving suggestions. That's literally half the point of Contributions & Corrections.
 

Colonel M

I COULD BE BORED!
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This is precisely it. I think the problem with this project may have been the "Project" tag it was given, which makes people assume as many analysises as possible need to be revised. In reality, though, only select few needed editing. This might have worked out better as a more private project to ensure that every write-up was as accurate and high-quality as its original (this project makes drawing concrete lines of what's acceptable and what isn't tough). If you feel information is missing in an analysis, though, just post in the thread saying so and giving suggestions. That's literally half the point of Contributions & Corrections.
This is exactly what I have been following, for the most part. Granted, there was a couple that slid through my mind (and I corrected the vast majority of them), but if I felt that they needed something shortened, I at least requested it. In fact, I have an ACTUAL RESERVE LIST (which has the analyses that need concising IMO) in the OP to prevent such a thing.

The goal is to keep everything a bit more appealing to the eye. Yes, I don't mind reading something that has detail, who doesn't? It's stuff such as Scizor (and guess what, I wrote about 30% of that analysis, btw so I know I'm victim of it), Heatran, and others that really need the shortening. Of course, if you feel that there is actual information MISSING or NECESSARY, then simply point it out in the thread.

I'm trying my best to look through these, honestly I am. It's not as easy as it sounds. Take SD Rayquaza for example. Though it seems very long, try making it shorter without making it sound extremely dull or without information. Which is why it's not just my goal, it is other's to help point things out. I apologize for the further inconvenience otherwise.
 
While concerns about losing information are valid, there are cases which, to be very blunt, read like the work of a college student trying to get past a word limit. Ergo, they could be summed up much more succintly. For example, take a look at Curselax below.

Curselax Essay said:
While Curselax has historically been the epitome of power and durability, it has become far less stable in the highly offensive D/P metagame; however, it still poses a significant threat to unprepared individuals. As expected, Curse is the crux of this set; it boosts Snorlax's mediocre Defense and good Attack while dropping its useless Speed, so that Snorlax is reasonably good at taking attacks from both ends of the offensive spectrum, and can deal decent damage itself. Whether to use Body Slam or Return for its Normal-type STAB is purely a matter of power versus paralysis. Generally, the paralysis is more useful for Snorlax, but if one feels that a bit more power is favorable, Return is available for 20% greater force. One may note that Double-Edge is sadly absent from this set; unlike as in previous generations, Snorlax can't afford to squander as much of its HP on recoil damage.

The next choice is whether to attempt to remain alive longer with Rest and risk the opponent setting up while Snorlax is asleep, or to shirk longevity and destroy something on the way out with a STAB Selfdestruct. Prior to D/P, Rest was overwhelmingly more useful, but in D/P, Selfdestruct has risen to a level plane with it, as sleeping for two turns is a significantly greater liability, whereas Selfdestruct is the emergency resource so many teams need in order to combat an unexpected reversal. The last move is also quite variable. Earthquake is often the preferred option to hit Tyranitar, Metagross, and others, but leaves Snorlax completely vulnerable to Mismagius, and to some extent, Gengar (note that without Focus Blast or Perish Song, Gengar will be stalled out of PP by Snorlax if the latter has Rest). Crunch hurts the Ghosts at the expense of being futile against the first group. Fire Punch is the compromise option, which deals well with both the Ghosts and Metagross; Tyranitar still switches in with impunity, however.

The EVs on this Snorlax are configured for optimal defensive efficiency; while displacing 4 EVs from Special Defense to HP would provide a slight amount more of overall defenses, that course has not been taken because if it were, Snorlax would have 504 HP, which is divisible by 8 and therefore would make it more susceptible to residual damage than if the current 503 HP spread was utilized. This spread focuses primarily on improving its special defensive capabilities, but also maintains a solidity in its physically defensive sector to make switching in and taking attacks after few Curses easier. While investing some EVs into Attack may seem tempting, the fact is that Snorlax simply can't afford to do so in D/P; even with this spread, Snorlax can take up to 54% from a Choice Specs Modest Salamence's Draco Meteor, 60% from a Life Orb Timid Azelf's Nasty Plotted Psychic, and 83% from a Life Orb Modest Porygon-Z's Nasty Plotted Adaptability Tri Attack.

Physical Fighting-type Pokemon stop this set cold. Fighters such as Heracross, Machamp, and Lucario can switch in on Snorlax while it Curses, then scare it away with Close Combat or DynamicPunch. Even at +1 Defense, Fighting-type moves will still do heavy damage to Snorlax. Obviously, Pokemon that resist Fighting moves support Curselax well. Dusknoir, Rotom-A, and Weezing do a good job, as they resist Fighting-type moves and can threaten the Fighters with Will-O-Wisp. While Heracross loves taking Will-O-Wisps, it will not like taking Fire Punch, Overheat, or Flamethrower, respectively. Gliscor is another great counter to these Fighting-types; it can easily counter Heracross and Swords Dance Lucario, provided the latter lacks Ice Punch. In addition, Snorlax resists Ice-type moves, which is one of Gliscor's major weaknesses.

Celebi, Suicune, and Swampert also stop Curselax. Each of these Pokemon has high Defense, and they all have the ability to pseudo-haze (Celebi with Perish Song, the latter two with Roar). Heatran, Heracross, and Infernape do well to stop Celebi. However, Heatran and Infernape need to watch out for Thunder Wave and Earth Power (or, in Infernape's case, Psychic). Heracross can obliterate Celebi with Megahorn or Pursuit it as Celebi switches out. Scizor also scares Celebi away if it lacks Hidden Power Fire. Magnezone, Celebi, and Roserade stop Suicune (though Ice Beam does a hefty amount to Roserade and Celebi) because they can hit Suicune with powerful, super effective STAB attacks. The latter two also counter Swampert easily.
I can honestly state that I wouldn't go to the effort of wading through all these unnecessarily long sentences just to get information that could be given to me in a few sentences on IRC or (god forbid) the shoddybattle chat.

This is my concise version of it.

In the highly offensive DP metagame, Curselax has unfortunately become far less potent as both a wall and an attacker. However, it still retains the potential to decimate unprepared teams. Curse boosts Snorlax's Attack and Defense, making it better at taking both physical and special attacks. For the second moveslot, Body Slam is preferable for the paralysis chance, but Return has higher power.

Traditionally, Rest was used in the third slot, but in the current metagame, one cannot afford to give free setup opportunities to enemy sweepers, so SelfDestruct is an excellent option to take out an enemy Pokemon with you. For the last move, Earthquake can be used against Tyranitar and Metagross, but Crunch, despite being useless against the two, is necessary to avoid being walled by Gengar and Rotom-A (although Gengar without Focus Blast or Perish Song can be PP Stalled by Rest). Fire Punch can be used for Ghosts and Metagross, though Tyranitar still switches in easily.

The EVs are designed for optimal defensive efficiency, with the odd-numbered HP to ensure that Snorlax avoids being worn down as much by residual damage, which is dealth in eigths and sixteenths. The Defense EVs ensure that after a few Curses, Snorlax has an easy time taking physical hits. This Snorlax cannot afford to put EVs into Attack, since it still takes up to 54% from a Choice Specs Salamence's Draco Meteor, 60% from a Nasty Plot Azelf's Psychic, and 83% from a Nasty Plot Porygon-Z's Tri Attack.

Despite the use of Curse, physical Fighting-types, such as Lucario, Machamp, and Heracross, can still defeat you with Close Combat or DynamicPunch. Therefore, the use of Pokemon that resist Fighting-type moves can can handle such threats, such as Dusknoir, Rotom-A, Gliscor, or Weezing, is advised.

Celebi, Suicune, Skarmory, and Swampert can also stop you with their high defense and ability to phaze you out with Perish Song, Roar, or Whirlwind. Heatran, Infernape, and Heracross can all defeat Celebi, though the former two must watch for Earth Power or Thunder Wave. Scizor can defeat a Celebi that lacks Hidden Power Fire. Magnezone, Infernape, and Heatran are useful for defeating Skarmory, and Roserade and Celebi are good candidates to deal with Swampert.
I understand that I am sometimes also guilty of having too-long analyses, such as Tentacruel, but the point still stands. Sometimes, we get too prosaic with our writing, and it needs to be trimmed down. The hope is that the trimmer can see what needs to be kept (calculations, discussions of other threats, etc.) and what needs to be chucked (which usually has its basis in sentence structure).
 

bugmaniacbob

Was fun while it lasted
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Firstly, I would like to say that I was nearly finished making a long reply, when naturally my computer closed down the internet. So, in an act of supreme irony, I will have to make this post concise.

I wouldn't argue that short analyses are "better", I would argue that they are more attractive aesthetically and more pleasing to newer viewers of Smogon, which is a considerable selling point.
That's true, but having a short analysis is not the only option to have selling points. There are also more advanced options to consider, for those that are slightly further on than being a newer viewer and also willing to read the analysis, vague descriptions of the set and tactics commonly used are simply not enough. Perhaps it would be better to split basic tactics and advanced tactics into two separate paragraphs or tabs, I don't know... in extreme cases, such as perhaps the Heatran analysis, I would tend to agree with you that they need trimming. But I would only have this reaction for those that took up significantly more than a whole browsing window on my screen (such as the Heatran analysis, but not incorporating Zapdos, for example), which many of those submitted for concision do not. Otherwise, we are losing good information for the sake of aesthetics, which I do not like the sound of.

The general consensus in the project: concise thread was that the analyses could be shortened without losing information. If this isn't happening then either the aim of the project is wrong, or the project is not running as successfully as possible.
I am not going to refer to the overall drive of the project, as I do believe that the job it is doing is well executed and efficient in most areas, nor the philosophy of the project itself. I shall only say that the analyses could be shortened without losing information. Whether they could be summarised without losing information is another matter entirely, and I shall not pretend that I would consider a summary that incorporates all the information from the original to be a complete logical paradox.

Again, I go back to the keeping information idea. The plan was not to lose valuable information - just cut out the unneeded extra parts that don't actually help the analyses (besides proving the fact that the writer can well, write a lot).
There is, as of now, no guidelines or help beyond the personal opinion of those involved in the project as to what these 'unneeded extra parts' stretch to in terms of legitimacy. And thus, almost all of the concisions follow the editor's own opinions on it - some are completely summarised, some trimmed down to an acceptable length. If there was a universal standard to this I would not object, but there isn't, or does not seem to be. In any case, as I have already mentioned, summaries have a remarkable tendency to lose good information, whereas trimmings, while keeping all the information, do not seem to satisfy the requirements for the concision of analyses in terms of their length, not making much difference especially to the much longer ones (here I must draw your attention to the Blissey concision).

We face the same issue when writing longer analyses though - they can still be done awkwardly and inexpertly. Those analyses generally get re-done or helped with. Why can't we do the same with this? The simple fact is we have a quality check via proofreading and uploading to the SCMS - I don't see why that cannot happen with this project? On top of this, if we can make the analyses better, we should.
Fair enough, but the summarised analyses lack the detail and information of the finished analysis. A much bigger issue I would have with this would be the difficulty by which the proofreading system is woven for concise updates. It's all very well to suggest the addition or removal of something or correct some grammar, but the quality check for concise analyses is quite different - 'suggest a sentence to be picked over from the original'. These may seem quite similar, but I would consider them worlds apart - one is a top-down approach, the other a bottom-up approach. I also would not agree that writing a similar, generalised analysis is necessarily better than a more detailed but wordy one (and neither do you, if your first sentence is to be believed), especially when the wordy one can be cut down by trimming rather than summarising (I tend to favour the former as the most practical, if not the most aesthetically pleasing, option).

I would also like to point out that nobody wants to rewrite an analysis of 22 words completely, especially as it may lead to comments of how it isn't as in detail as the old analysis (when actually it is, just in less words). I think toning it down and shortening it all now will lead to less problems in the future.
Toning it down I have no objection to, but summarising is what I have a real issue with. The problem being that, from what I have seen, simply toning it down is not enough to make it short enough on its own, especially when the original analysis is, as you say, 22 pages long. At that point it seems logical to summarise parts, but the problem comes, not only in the form of consistency, but also in deciding where and when an analysis requires summarisation to make it acceptable.

Overall, I think there just needs to be more people professionally checking that the same information is there. Comparison between the original and the latter should be paramount in my opinion; that way we can keep the same information but use less words. Thanks for posting this, by the way.
I completely agree. But I would stress that the focus should be primarily on those doing the concision, rather than those professionally checking it - keeping the same information is important, but the job of doing so is made easier for those trying to correct it if they have the information already in front of them, that is to say, if the analysis has been concised rather than summarised.

This is precisely it. I think the problem with this project may have been the "Project" tag it was given, which makes people assume as many analysises as possible need to be revised. In reality, though, only select few needed editing. This might have worked out better as a more private project to ensure that every write-up was as accurate and high-quality as its original (this project makes drawing concrete lines of what's acceptable and what isn't tough). If you feel information is missing in an analysis, though, just post in the thread saying so and giving suggestions. That's literally half the point of Contributions & Corrections.
I don't honestly believe that suggestions are enough to maintain the entirety or majority of the information within the analysis, especially when contributors take the word 'concise' literally to heart. In my Claydol Update, there are several requests for it to have the fluff removed, but few actual recommendations for how to go about this. I am not complaining, as in this situation it is completely my responsibility to get the analysis in perfect condition, but I feel that this effect can be felt at the other end of the scale as well, particularly with regard to the suggestion of things to keep in. Try as you might, you cannot quite readdress the specifics of what you are trying to say while keeping it concise, or so I have found, and for me they are some of the most important parts of an analysis

This is exactly what I have been following, for the most part. Granted, there was a couple that slid through my mind (and I corrected the vast majority of them), but if I felt that they needed something shortened, I at least requested it. In fact, I have an ACTUAL RESERVE LIST (which has the analyses that need concising IMO) in the OP to prevent such a thing.

The goal is to keep everything a bit more appealing to the eye. Yes, I don't mind reading something that has detail, who doesn't? It's stuff such as Scizor (and guess what, I wrote about 30% of that analysis, btw so I know I'm victim of it), Heatran, and others that really need the shortening. Of course, if you feel that there is actual information MISSING or NECESSARY, then simply point it out in the thread.

I'm trying my best to look through these, honestly I am. It's not as easy as it sounds. Take SD Rayquaza for example. Though it seems very long, try making it shorter without making it sound extremely dull or without information. Which is why it's not just my goal, it is other's to help point things out. I apologize for the further inconvenience otherwise.
I do not doubt for a single second that certain analyses require shortening of some description, nor that you are in any way less than committed to the project, nor that the guiding aims of the project are fundamentally flawed. The issues I have with the process of concising analyses at present, put simply, are Summarisation, Information and Continuity. Summarisation and Information are pretty much one and the same, that rewriting analyses from scratch and then attempting to splice in extra bits that are needed is a bad way of going about making longer analyses more focused. Not only that, but also incorporating the issues that arise from shortening analyses without direction, such as how short exactly, and debate over what or what not to keep. Continuity issues refer to the slightly mishmash way that the community as a whole approaches Project Concise, without any real starting guide beyond 'Pick, Shorten, Post'.

While concerns about losing information are valid, there are cases which, to be very blunt, read like the work of a college student trying to get past a word limit. Ergo, they could be summed up much more succintly. For example, take a look at Curselax below.

(Curselax)

I can honestly state that I wouldn't go to the effort of wading through all these unnecessarily long sentences just to get information that could be given to me in a few sentences on IRC or (god forbid) the shoddybattle chat.

This is my concise version of it.

(Curselax concision)

I understand that I am sometimes also guilty of having too-long analyses, such as Tentacruel, but the point still stands. Sometimes, we get too prosaic with our writing, and it needs to be trimmed down. The hope is that the trimmer can see what needs to be kept (calculations, discussions of other threats, etc.) and what needs to be chucked (which usually has its basis in sentence structure).
Some of the stuff you have missed out on:

  • Curselax history
  • Why you should use Curse on Snorlax rather than anything else
  • Double-Edge comments
  • More emphasis on the context in which different options are advantageous
  • Curse does not boost Special Defence – your concision of this sentence means that the meaning becomes less clear
  • More specific reasons for the odd HP
  • How, precisely, Gliscor/Heracross act as notably good partners for Curselax
Plus all of the little details that you may have considered irrelevant. The analysis itself is very good, but in comparison with the original Curselax analysis, yours seems generalised and non-specific – the concise version flows but does not strike, so to speak. This seems to be the problem with all ‘summarised’ analyses – they can and will lose information in the transition, and even if you included every last bit of information in the analysis, I still firmly believe that you will have accomplished very little that could not have been done by simply trimming down the analysis – that you will have lost little more than a hundred words for all your work – quite disproportionate to the amount of effort you put into it.
 

Colonel M

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I'm not wasting much more time with this, but I might as well nitpick here.
Curselax history
This isn't necessary.
Why you should use Curse on Snorlax rather than anything else
Also question how "necessary" this is.
Double-Edge comments
Name someone who's honestly used Double-Edge? This can be covered in Other Options.
More emphasis on the context in which different options are advantageous
- Traditionally, Rest was used in the third slot, but in the current metagame, one cannot afford to give free setup opportunities to enemy sweepers, so SelfDestruct is an excellent option to take out an enemy Pokemon with you. For the last move, Earthquake can be used against Tyranitar and Metagross, but Crunch, despite being useless against the two, is necessary to avoid being walled by Gengar and Rotom-A (although Gengar without Focus Blast or Perish Song can be PP Stalled by Rest). Fire Punch can be used for Ghosts and Metagross, though Tyranitar still switches in easily. -

What more do you want?
Curse does not boost Special Defence – your concision of this sentence means that the meaning becomes less clear
- Curse boosts Snorlax's Attack and Defense, making it better at taking both physical and special attacks. -

???
More specific reasons for the odd HP
- The EVs are designed for optimal defensive efficiency, with the odd-numbered HP to ensure that Snorlax avoids being worn down as much by residual damage, which is dealth in eigths and sixteenths. -

Seems pretty dead-on to me.
How, precisely, Gliscor/Heracross act as notably good partners for Curselax
Perhaps one of the few things I agree on, though he did put some emphasis on it:

- Despite the use of Curse, physical Fighting-types, such as Lucario, Machamp, and Heracross, can still defeat you with Close Combat or DynamicPunch. Therefore, the use of Pokemon that resist Fighting-type moves can can handle such threats, such as Dusknoir, Rotom-A, Gliscor, or Weezing, is advised. -

I did at least try to emphasize that the Team Options stuff didn't need a whole lot of cutting unless the writer felt it was absolutely necessary. Though I do agree that it should have a little bit more reasoning (i.e. Gliscor can lay Stealth Rock, Rotom-A can set up Reflect and Light Screen and possibly Will-O-Wisp, etc.).
 
I should probably mention that I'm still undergoing edits on Curselax. However, let's zoom in on this particular paragraph.

The EVs on this Snorlax are configured for optimal defensive efficiency; while displacing 4 EVs from Special Defense to HP would provide a slight amount more of overall defenses, that course has not been taken because if it were, Snorlax would have 504 HP, which is divisible by 8 and therefore would make it more susceptible to residual damage than if the current 503 HP spread was utilized. This spread focuses primarily on improving its special defensive capabilities, but also maintains a solidity in its physically defensive sector to make switching in and taking attacks after few Curses easier. While investing some EVs into Attack may seem tempting, the fact is that Snorlax simply can't afford to do so in D/P; even with this spread, Snorlax can take up to 54% from a Choice Specs Modest Salamence's Draco Meteor, 60% from a Life Orb Timid Azelf's Nasty Plotted Psychic, and 83% from a Life Orb Modest Porygon-Z's Nasty Plotted Adaptability Tri Attack.
Why is it necessary to have all these extremely long and convoluted sentences? I stand by my previous point that many things that are too long are more a result of grammatical structure and redundancy and less a matter of content.

Concise version.
The EVs are designed for optimal defensive efficiency, with the odd-numbered HP to ensure that Snorlax avoids being worn down as much by residual damage, which is dealth in eigths and sixteenths. The Defense EVs ensure that after a few Curses, Snorlax has an easy time taking physical hits. This Snorlax cannot afford to put EVs into Attack, since it still takes up to 54% from a Choice Specs Salamence's Draco Meteor, 60% from a Nasty Plot Azelf's Psychic, and 83% from a Nasty Plot Porygon-Z's Tri Attack.
 

bugmaniacbob

Was fun while it lasted
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I should probably mention that I'm still undergoing edits on Curselax. However, let's zoom in on this particular paragraph.

(yada yada yada)

Why is it necessary to have all these extremely long and convoluted sentences? I stand by my previous point that many things that are too long are more a result of grammatical structure and redundancy and less a matter of content.

Concise version.
And that section was probably the best instance of concision that you had in the entire piece. Notably, because you seemed to have simply trimmed the longer sentences rather than completely rewriting them - I notice that though it is not all that shorter than the original, all the information is still there, which is great.

It certainly isn't necessary to have long or convoluted sentences - I stand by my point that trying to explain this more thoroughly, adding the little bits of information that may not matter to some people, makes the analysis much better than keeping a limit of 300 words your first priority. Sure, some of these analyses may have to be shortened, but a lot of the ones I've seen could be kept clean by just trimming.

This isn't necessary.

Also question how "necessary" this is.
In all honesty, by that reasoning you could claim that most of the analysis isn't necessary - if you cut out everything that seems obvious you aren't left with much. The Curselax set played a big part in previous generations, so why should it not be included? It's interesting, and it doesn't need more than a simple sentence or two to explain. The bit about Curse being used rather than anything else - If Tyranitar could use Curse to a greater extent, that would surely be mentioned. Snorlax has good Attack, great natural Special Defence, and doesn't mind the Speed loss. Which is why Curse is better on Snorlax than say, Aerodactyl.

Name someone who's honestly used Double-Edge? This can be covered in Other Options.
Fair enough.

- Traditionally, Rest was used in the third slot, but in the current metagame, one cannot afford to give free setup opportunities to enemy sweepers, so SelfDestruct is an excellent option to take out an enemy Pokemon with you. For the last move, Earthquake can be used against Tyranitar and Metagross, but Crunch, despite being useless against the two, is necessary to avoid being walled by Gengar and Rotom-A (although Gengar without Focus Blast or Perish Song can be PP Stalled by Rest). Fire Punch can be used for Ghosts and Metagross, though Tyranitar still switches in easily. -

What more do you want?
I was actually referring more to the differentiation between Body Slam and Return there, but in any case you could say that Selfdestruct is better if you require a reliable revenge to most set-up sweepers, or else don't consider Curselax your main sweeper (whereas Rest would be better if you did, most likely). You could also discuss the main team types that either move would be advantageous against. You would probably disagree on this point, but it doesn't really matter that much.

- Curse boosts Snorlax's Attack and Defense, making it better at taking both physical and special attacks. -

???
As in, "making it better at taking both physical and special attacks", which makes it sound as though Curse raises Special Defence. I would have put, "making it better at taking physical attacks, which in addition to its already impressive Special Defence...etc."

- The EVs are designed for optimal defensive efficiency, with the odd-numbered HP to ensure that Snorlax avoids being worn down as much by residual damage, which is dealth in eigths and sixteenths. -

Seems pretty dead-on to me.
Perhaps it's just me, but "residual damage, which is dealt in eighths and sixteenths" sounds just a tad ambiguous - If you stated that Sandstorm took away an sixteenth, and Stealth Rock an eighth, etc, then it would start looking a lot less confusing to newer battlers.

Anyway, most of those were just slight nitpicks, I didn't want to start a war over them. I suppose this slightly illustrates one of the points I have been trying to make - If we have unified guidelines to the extent at which information should be removed, and a consistent degree to which analyses are trimmed down, the project and the analyses would be much the better for it.
 

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