Policy Review Movepool Issues

nyttyn

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I'm going to cut to the chase - Movepool is currently a mess. It's a flawed system, requiring users to vote with both competitiveness and flavor in mind at the same time. We've all seen the consequences of this, and the "hiss, snake" votes that have come about as a result. It simply skews voting in a unfortunate way, which is hardly the fault of the voters - after-all, we're asking both those who adore the flavor side of things and those who adore the competitive side of things to vote in the same poll.

Thus, this thread comes with one proposal - Split the Movepool stage into two. The proposed new way of handling movepool would look like this -

Competitive Movepool
  • Comes first
  • Attacking Moves Discussion --> Non-Attacking Moves Discussion --> Competitive Submission --> Competitive Polls
  • Operates off the RM limits
  • Handles RMs
  • Non RMs can also be added to the movepool, so long as there is sufficient competitive reasoning, but will still count towards the RM limits
  • No longer handles Egg Groups, as egg move illegalities are no longer a thing as of XY
  • Competitive moves only, zero flavor reasoning in this stage
  • Cannot dictate how moves are acquired, as it is no longer competitively relevant. Exception - moves may be designated as event only for the sake of fringe cases in which incompatibility is intended.

Example:

720noscopehyperbeam said:
Final Submission
Total Moves: 3 (out of a limit of 7)
Moves: Flamethrower
Hydro Pump
Toxic

Reasoning: We're a specially offensive tank, so these moves are designed to accomodate that.
Flamethrower: We need to kill the grass/steels, like ferrothorn, as we discussed in threats
Hydro Pump: We need STAB
Toxic: We need the stalling
Flavor Movepool
  • Comes second
  • Competitive Polls --> 24/48 Hour Period to Request Exceptions (See Below) --> Flavor Submission --> Flavor Polls --> rest of the CAP
  • Operates off of (Total Movepool limits - RM limits). RM slots left over do not carry over to this stage, to prevent users from voting for low RM-usage movepools for the sake of more flavor moves.
  • Handles flavor moves, not RMs
  • RMs may be designated as a flavor move by the TL if they are not competitively relevant (Ex. Return on a pokemon with 140 Special Attack and 60 Attack). There will be a brief period of time set aside to request such exceptions, which will be up to TL discretion. The TL will be required to go through the RM list and disallow all competitively relevant moves before this stage.
  • Non-competitively relevant universal TMs (at the TL's discretion) which are on the RM list are all automatically removed for the RM list during this step for the sake of flavor. As of XY, these moves are TM06 Toxic, TM10 Hidden Power, TM17 Protect, TM21 Frustration, TM27 Return, TM32 Double Team, TM42 Facade, TM44 Rest, TM45 Attract, TM48 Round, TM87 Swagger, TM88 Sleep Talk, TM90 Substitute, and TM100 Confide.
  • Can determine how both competitive and flavor moves are gained, with the exception of moves designated as event only.
  • Flavor moves only, zero competitive reasoning in this stage.
Example:

FishManiacSam said:
Final Submission
Total RMs: 3
Total Flavor Moves: 3 (out of a limit of 5)
Level Up
Level 32 - Hydro Pump
Level 99 - Splash

Egg Move(Fairy/Field Egg Group)
Fire Blast
Pay Day
Heal Pulse

TM/HM
TM06 Toxic
Blah blah universal TMs

Reasoning: I put Hydro Pump and Splash in level up, as I thought they would make sense for a fish to naturally learn. Egg moves include moves that a fish probably wouldn't learn in the wild, like Fire Blast, and Pay Day. Finally, for TMs, I gave it all the universal ones, as well as Hyper Beam and Giga Impact, as all FE mons get those.
Thoughts? Do any changes need to be made to this proposal? Or does anyone have any alternate suggestions to bring up? Is this proposal even necessary in the first place?
 
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Another thing I think would help idiot-proof this idea is to vote on art immediately after competitive movepool stage and immediately before flavor movepool, so nobody just coming in can get the wrong idea of how things are going to work at each stage.
 

ginganinja

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Agreeing with nyttyns base proposal. Anyone who knows me is fully aware that I stay the hell away from flavor discussions/threads and it allows someone like me (who prefers the competitive nature of a CAP) to not get confused or influenced by having to handle a flavor aspect as well.

Full Support.
 

bugmaniacbob

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The base proposal is a good idea, but I would venture to add that every CAP has a number of RMs that are added primarily for flavour reasoning despite being both competitively relevant and not competitively necessary. In the case of Volkraken, for example, we had Lava Plume and Overheat on top of Flamethrower and Fire Blast, and iirc we'll have Heat Wave once ORAS tutors are a thing. There's no real competitive justification to put Heat Wave in the movepool when Flamethrower exists, but it's still technically competitively relevant. Same to an extent with Lava Plume and Overheat. In this case it does not make sense to label them as flavour moves instead of RMs because, well, they aren't. Unless I misread your proposal and we are indeed allowed to add RM moves for flavour reasons, in which case you may want to add another point saying that you can't add obviously controversial competitive moves for flavour reasons ("Shell Smash Shelgon" etc)

Also not sure what you mean by saying non-competitively relevant TMs are removed from the RM count, since if they're competitively relevant they would presumably be RMs anyway? Please clarify what this means.

Finally, I think it'd be ideal if you tried to estimate the ideal timeframe for all of this, since we don't want the final competitive step to be dragged out. For example I really don't think that that 24-48 hour period to request exceptions is a good idea on its own, when it's basically bringing the process immediately to a halt for a prolonged period of time, but if it is timed to coincide with Art polls (as NumberCruncher suggested) it would be more palatable. The only problem this would mean would be that the entire flavour portion of the CAP would take place after the competitive steps (barring the art submissions), which would greatly extend the run of the project and more importantly mean that we'd be sitting on a competitive creation for a few weeks waiting for Name and Sprites to be sorted out, which risks alienating the people who want to playtest ASAP. So a better grasp of this angle would be good to hear.
 

nyttyn

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Unless I misread your proposal and we are indeed allowed to add RM moves for flavour reasons, in which case you may want to add another point saying that you can't add obviously controversial competitive moves for flavour reasons ("Shell Smash Shelgon" etc)
Again, TL discretion during the period for requesting RMs be allowed for flavor. Any TL worth their salt will be able to easily say "OK yeah we already have flamethrower, heat wave is okay." (Barring of course extreme edge circumstances ex. flamethrower barely misses a OHKO/2HKO on a check, and heat wave does not)
Also not sure what you mean by saying non-competitively relevant TMs are removed from the RM count, since if they're competitively relevant they would presumably be RMs anyway? Please clarify what this means.
Some of the universal TMs are RMs already, but aren't nessescarily relevant on every mon that could potentially gain access to them (for example, toxic on sharpedo is 100% not competitively relevant, and return on gardevoir is 100% not competitively relevant, in spite of the two being RMs).

Finally, I think it'd be ideal if you tried to estimate the ideal timeframe for all of this,
Last movepool stage took 3 days for attacking moves, 4 days for non-attacking, 3 days for limit, 4 days for submissions, and 3 days for voting, not counting any downtime between stages or polls, for a total of 17 days, or just over two weeks. Ideally, we should be able to get submissions for both stages done in ~4 days or less (preferably less but let's be generous here, as volkraken's lasted 6 days for submissions, and cawmodore's lasted one week). As movepool polls tend to be, averaged out, three stages, ideally we will be able to get voting for both stages done within a 72 hour timeframe, give or take a few hours to get polls closed and up.

We can have the art polls moved to after attacking moves and have the "RM-Flavor Exemption Request Thread" occur until those polls end, in the interest of conserving time. In total, assuming that we can get the thread wrapped up within...let's say five days, and polls done within three or at worst four, and adding a total of one day in case of scheduling woes / rainy day / whatever else goes wrong, we can get the Flavor Movepool Stage done within nine to ten days, adding exactly that much time to the project. As the average for post-DPP projects, ignoring Cawmodore and beyond, is 102 days, we will be adding roughly 9-10% more time to the project - well within acceptable boundaries considering the positives this would bring about.

The only problem this would mean would be that the entire flavour portion of the CAP would take place after the competitive steps (barring the art submissions), which would greatly extend the run of the project and more importantly mean that we'd be sitting on a competitive creation for a few weeks waiting for Name and Sprites to be sorted out, which risks alienating the people who want to playtest ASAP. So a better grasp of this angle would be good to hear.
Gotta pick our poison here, unfortunately. At any rate, this is only adding just under a week and a half to the project, and to the final leg of non-competitive stages. To help alleviate this, we could probably just start move the playtest up to before flavor ability and dex entry, as those have zero impact on playtests (flavor abilities could be argued for delaying I suppose to prevent the PS staff from having to edit in), but we can at the least easily just have dex entries go on at the same time as the playtest, and chop off a good 9 days (the time it took from pokedex submission of CAP19 to start to the final poll's closure) easily). We can also help with this by asking the TLs to schedule the inagural battle in advance, so we don't have a repeat of the usual post-final product pre-playtest lag, where it took 5 days from final project posted to playtest starting (CAP 18 took 3 days, and CAP6 took 5 days as well).


nyt edit: it seems I was mistaken on when the last few playtests started, my bad.
 
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jas61292

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To help alleviate this, we could probably just start move the playtest up to before flavor ability and dex entry, as those have zero impact on playtests (flavor abilities could be argued for delaying I suppose to prevent the PS staff from having to edit in), but we can at the least easily just have dex entries go on at the same time as the playtest, and chop off a good 9 days (the time it took from pokedex submission of CAP19 to start to the final poll's closure) easily).
Just a quick note, but this is actually what we have done for the past few projects. Final Products have been going up after the Sprites, and we just head into the playtest whenever we can after that.

Anyways, I do like the idea of this, but I think there are a bunch of details that would need to be sorted out for it to work. But I don't have time at the moment, so I'll have a post with more detailed thoughts on those a little later.
 

jas61292

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Well, finally getting around to replying here, and looking over it again, I really do like this general idea. There are really only two main things I want to comment on:

  • RMs may be designated as a flavor move by the TL if they are not competitively relevant (Ex. Return on a pokemon with 140 Special Attack and 60 Attack). There will be a brief period of time set aside to request such exceptions, which will be up to TL discretion.
This I don't really get. I mean, I get the intent behind it, but really I think the way we do competitive move discussions, this would be really unnecessary. The Movepool Leader should be specifying which RMs are allowed and which are not within the discussion. We should not need an extra step to do this, as it should be already done. I know occasionally moves are forgotten, but generally, almost all moves are covered at least in broad terms in the thread. If a move is competitively irrelevant, then it should be by default allowed. This is just something that should already be the case. If we want to specify that the Movepool Leader should be sure to cover all RMs rather than leaving some off as has been done on occasion, that would be a good change, but adding an entire step would not be, in my opinion.

  • Non-competitively relevant universal TMs (at the TL's discretion) which are on the RM list are all automatically removed for the RM list during this step for the sake of flavor. As of XY, these moves are TM06 Toxic, TM10 Hidden Power, TM17 Protect, TM21 Frustration, TM27 Return, TM32 Double Team, TM42 Facade, TM44 Rest, TM45 Attract, TM48 Round, TM87 Swagger, TM88 Sleep Talk, TM90 Substitute, and TM100 Confide.
This here is probably my main concern with the entire system. The Very Good Move (or Restricted Move, as it is now know) system was designed with both competitive and flavor in mind. Changing what moves are and are not RMs for a given project kind of defeats a bit of the purpose of the system, as it very much accounts for RMs that are not competitive.

This leads me into the more general concern about this: RM limits are designed with flavor in mind, but this system cuts flavor and RMs apart. My biggest hesitation is therefore that I believe we would need a complete overhaul of the RM limit system if this is to work. As is, RM limits take into account flavor moves, but in the new system, you cannot put in flavor move in the competitive section, meaning, with the current limits, every RM on every Pokemon would be a competitive RM. This is not good, for obvious reasons. Now, in conjunction with what you suggested in the first quote, this could work, but again, that would require a complete recalculation of what the limits should be, strictly competitively, in addition to what the limits should be, if any, on non competitive but still very good moves.

With that all said, I am certainly not against trying to rework the system to fit the goal of separating the competitive and flavor sides. I just think that there is a ton of system reworking that would be needed, and I myself cannot exactly think of a great way to do it.
 

nyttyn

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This I don't really get. I mean, I get the intent behind it, but really I think the way we do competitive move discussions, this would be really unnecessary. The Movepool Leader should be specifying which RMs are allowed and which are not within the discussion. We should not need an extra step to do this, as it should be already done. I know occasionally moves are forgotten, but generally, almost all moves are covered at least in broad terms in the thread. If a move is competitively irrelevant, then it should be by default allowed. This is just something that should already be the case. If we want to specify that the Movepool Leader should be sure to cover all RMs rather than leaving some off as has been done on occasion, that would be a good change, but adding an entire step would not be, in my opinion.
It's a bit on the awkward side of things, but the goal is to prevent any potential oversights. We could totally instead go with having the TL go over all the restricted moves at once, and that'd probably be a more elegant solution (something I didn't think of, actually). Shouldn't be too much extra work either. Unless anyone protests, I'll update the OP accordingly, as this seems like a better solution.

This here is probably my main concern with the entire system. The Very Good Move (or Restricted Move, as it is now know) system was designed with both competitive and flavor in mind. Changing what moves are and are not RMs for a given project kind of defeats a bit of the purpose of the system, as it very much accounts for RMs that are not competitve
let's be real here, RM movepool limits are already arbitrary in the first place. I mean this literally, just look at CAP 19.

srk1214 said:
Arbitrarily, I'll suggest a lowering of 5 RMs and 10 moves total, giving limits of 28 RMs and 55 Moves.
And axelwolf just kind of rolled with it because "why not, consensus."
literally the post after that one said:
Thank you everyone for your comments! Seeing as we have reached a consensus, the limits will be 28 RMs and 58 Moves. We obviously need very few moves to do our job, so there is still plenty room for flavor within those limits. Time to see some cool movepool submissions!
limits really are a non-issue. We can just keep on doing what we have been doing - use the BSR formula as a guideline, and adjust based on how many competitive RMs we actually wind up allowing.
 

Birkal

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I'd like to see jas61292 lead and eventually close this thread. I think most of us are in agreement with the OP, but I'll leave jas to decide where this conversation will head.
 

nyttyn

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paging jas61292 Birkal bugmaniacbob ginganinja NumberCruncher if none of you have any objections than I request we move ahead as planned because it has been a month and we need to wrap this up and either implement it or don't before CAP 20 starts.

if there are no further objections, i propose we go ahead and close this thread within 48 hours, implement this as-is, and see how the chips fall because the consensus right now is majority support.
 

ginganinja

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I think most of us were still waiting for jas61292 to finally make a closing statement but if he has lost interest...

Nothing changed for me from my previous post however, I still agree with the proposal, although I understand that jas61292 still had concerns. I'm happy with a 48 hour wait, even though that largely depends on the CAP moderators.
 

Bughouse

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Posting from the beach to finally chime in. I think a new process is needed. I don't think the one proposed here is quite right. I'll try to give more thoughts tonight when I'm at a computer again.
 

DougJustDoug

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I've been caught up in lots of other things, and finally found some time to post in this thread. I agree with the basic motivation of the proposal -- the CAP Movepool process is a mess. It's been a mess for a long time (as long as I can remember, actually) and is probably the single most tweaked and revisited part of the entire CAP process. And yet we just can't seem to get it working any better. nyttyn points out the mix of competitive and flavor concerns for movepool creators and voters as the biggest part of the mess, and his proposal seeks to address that. I think we should make changes to the movepool process to solve two major problems:

The process takes way too much time.
It's the longest section of CAP, by a mile. Movepool takes 2-3 times longer than any other section. And to make it even worse, it occurs at the end of the project, when everyone's interest and activity levels are at their lowest. This is a wicked double-whammy for the project. Not only do we get the least activity on the arguably "hardest section" (most threads and votes), but we end the CAP project on its lowest note. We have to figure out a more expedient way to create movepools.

The move/movepool voting process does not allow the community to make proper, focused decisions.
This a wider problem statement that encompasses the competitive+flavor concerns nyttyn raised in the OP, and more.

When we vote on a slate of "Allow/Disallow Moves", it's very hard to tell what the community really wants. Not the least of which, as pointed out in the OP, some people vote on flavor, some on competitive. Also some ballots are constructed on the assumption that certain moves will be allowed or not allowed, and if the assumptions don't pan out in the results, then the ballot contains a "flawed vote", to a certain extent.

Then when movepools as a whole are presented, everyone has to vote in an "all or nothing" style for each submission, which is, of course, incredibly inexact and it leads to some terrible movepool construction practices. All veteran movepool creators know that INCLUDING moves will typically result in a NET GAIN of votes in the poll (ie. it will attract more voters that like the move than it will repel voters who dislike the move). Therefore, most winning movepools include "everything".​

No polling style can alleviate these issues without making the movepool process much longer and more pedantic than it already is -- and I am NOT suggesting we make a bazillion little voting polls for moves and movepools. But we should consider if we are properly matching the polls to what people are actually voting on AND matching polls to what we actually need to decide as a community. I realize that is a complicated statement, I hope you understand what I mean.

My biggest issue with the proposal is that it adds more steps to our movepool process, and I think that will do more harm than good to the project. I agree with the desire to separate competitive and flavor concerns for movepools, but I don't like doubling our existing process to achieve that. The existing process sucks, IMO. The last thing I want is twice as much of it.

I don't want to derail the thread with any specific counter-proposal, but I will point out something I have been considering for a long time on CAP (a few years, at least) -- CAP should focus less on MOVES AND MOVEPOOL and should focus more on MOVESETS.

Let that sink in a little bit...

Competitive pokemon, particularly competitive pokemon in Smogon, almost completely revolves around MOVESETS. Just look at any discussion about a competitive pokemon, where moves are involved, and the ONLY listings of moves you see are the four moveslots (with slashes, sometimes) of one or move movesets for the pokemon. Movesets are the lingua franca for competitive pokemon players to discuss or describe a pokemon's movepool. Yes, Smogon has full movepool listings in the strategy dex, but they are intentionally at the bottom of the dex page, and are rarely consulted for most competitive purposes. I'm not saying the full movepool is worthless competitively, but it is obvious that movesets are far, far more important to competitive pokemon players when it comes to discussions or decisions involving a pokemon's moves.

CAP does not directly address movesets until AFTER the CAP process is complete. How backwards is that?!? We don't formally acknowledge the competitive movesets for a CAP pokemon until LONG AFTER the pokemon has been created and playtested, when we write the Strategy Analysis for the pokemon. And for most new CAPs, we NEVER formalize their movesets, because we can't muster up enough C&C effort to get a proper analysis written.

I can give a million reasons for WHY we don't put much focus on movesets, but most of them are simply byproducts of tradition not policy. We have always viewed the movepool process as supplying a foundation of moves from which several competitive movesets will emerge during playtesting and beyond. We view movesets as something to be DISCOVERED during playtesting, as opposed to being DICTATED during the construction process.

That is a fundamental flaw in our CAP process, IMO, because it creates a massive disconnect between how competitive players think about moves and how CAP submitters and voters must discuss and decide moves. We need to figure out a better way to map the CAP process to competitive pokemon movepools.

CAP has always tried to make movepools align more closely with competitive concerns. Look back at the first movepool guides for the early CAPs, and you will see our policies were mostly geared to make sure CAP movepools looked like real pokemon movepools in terms of ingame precedent. Then later we realized movepools were incredibly bloated from a competitive standpoint, so we used a combination of statistical and subjective measures (movepool limits, VGM/RM/ etc) to reign in movepools and make them look more like other OU pokemon movepools. I am suggesting that perhaps we need to make another big policy change in that same general direction.

We need to figure out some way to put Movesets at the forefront of our entire movepool process. I'm not saying we will not make a full movepool for our pokemon. I'm saying the current process focuses first on individual moves (which is too narrowly focused to be competitively useful) then focuses on the entire movepool (which is too broadly focused to be competitively useful). We need to first focus on something in between those two, which is Movesets. From a targeted list of Movesets, we can derive the exact moves and full movepool for our creations. This is the opposite of what we do today.

I do not have a concrete proposal to make, but I do have some ideas of how we could do this, and I think it could be more efficient and more understandable for newcomers and competitive players alike. I also can foresee a whole host of problems with a policy change along these lines. So I just want to put this general issue out there and see what others think about it at a high level.

Perhaps this is too much to digest at this time with CAP, but I see this as an extension of what nyttn is getting at with this Policy Review. We currently do not have the proper amount of competitive focus in our CAP movepool process, and that needs to be resolved. If that is true, then I'm suggesting we should look at the huge, obvious disconnect in terms of how CAP currently regards "competitive moves/movepools" versus the rest of the intelligent competitive pokemon world.
 

ginganinja

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I actually agree with what Doug just posted. I remember leading the Volkracken movepool, and finding myself in the awkward position of trying to limit move combinations, when it went to slate, simply because while individually such a move was perfectly fine and healthy, in conjunction with other moves, it was a potentially unhealthy combination. Something similar happened with Cawmodore / Aurumoth when people say "Move X and Y were totally balance/healthy on CAP X, just so long as it didn't get Z also". For instance, "If only it didn't get Drain Punch AND Acrobatics, or, If only it didn't get Hydro Pump / Thunder / Overheat AND Quiver Dance. At best, all you can hope for is to pray that the actual movepool submissions don't contain unhealthy combinations, but as Doug pointed out, submissions prefer to err on the side of "more" rather than "less", while voters tend to err on "power" while voting. I like the basic concept of this new idea, but I don't have a firm proposal to make on the subject yet, at least one that could address the potential pitfalls of the system change.
 

Bughouse

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For me the biggest issue is divorcing competitive from flavor, and so I was planning on only commenting on how to improve upon what nyttyn wrote in the OP. That said...

I like what Doug has said, in theory, but I too don't know how to turn it into a proposal. It seems to be almost unimplementable, since as I understand it, the goal is to create a POKEMON, not a SET.

However, I agree that overall movepool is a giant mess. If a proposal can arise to totally overhaul movepool, while not falling into the set/pokemon trap I highlighted above, I'm certainly interested in shaking movepool up. It needs it. Badly.
 

nyttyn

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While I agree with you fully and completely DougJustDoug, I think we need to have some priorities here. Being able to decide on a solution for that issue is tough. Making a few assumptions here:

  • We will not attempt to shift more power to the TL or TLT, as that should be avoided whenever possible, and is not necessary in this case.
  • We will still attempt to divorce flavor from competitiveness, as we can all agree that's an issue.
With these two assumptions in mind, we will still need to cleave the movepool stage in two, as that is the only way to seperate competiveness and flavor in this case - it's kind of 0 or 1 if a move is useful for competitive play (and I don't mean gimmicky crap like change type latias that can POTENTIALLY work if the meta favors it). True, a move can be good for flavor while still being competitively viable, but we can all agree that competitive concerns will always trump flavor concerns.

This being said, our potential solutions that I can think of are thus:
  • Vote on individual moves and combos first.
More or less, we would move 'movesets' to the forefront of CAP. This would still require three steps, however, as we would then have to vote on the remaining, not as important competitive moves, and then vote on flavor moves.
  • Disregard all but the best moves, and only vote on those competitively.
This stems from the root idea that most pokemon only use a handful of moves anyways, and our CAPs are rarely any different. We would simply admit that the only thing that matters is finding the right combo of competitive moves (usually less than 8), and then moving straight on to flavor from there. While this would cut our steps down to 2, it would also require a far more elitist view of move viability. I personally favor this solution,
  • Have the TL pick out the moves/movesets after competitive move discussion ends.
This is pretty much the only solution that can possibly reduce the amount of time we spend in movepool, and it is one I am strongly against. Nevertheless, shifting this responsibility to the TL would remove the need to vote on controversial moves, and remove the need to have a competitive stage for voting at all.


You may notice a recurring trend with these solutions. They all shift the movepool stage towards either taking more time, or being more in the hands of the TL/movepool TLT. That's because, as it stands, the movepool stage is frankly an incredibly unwieldy beast by nature. A pokemon just needs a lot of moves, and without taking drastic measures, any attempts to make it more accurate are simply going to come with increasingly high time taxes.


Perhaps there is some wondrous 'miracle solution' that will make everything all peaches and cream. For now, everyone needs to answer these questions:

  • Do you want the movepool stage to take less time? If so, how shall we pay for it - by shifting more power to the TL/movepool TLT, or by disregarding the 'lesser' competitive moves?
  • Do you want the movepool stage to be more accurate? If so, how shall we pay for it - by requiring more time to individually voting on moves, or by shifting more power to the TL/movepool TLT?

You can see how this is going to easily going to cause more and more debating, because there is no easy solution here. So I suggest we prioritize and focus on the goal of separating competitive moves and flavor moves for now - while trying to fix movepool entirely is a great goal, it's too great of one for us to tackle without an entire thread and more time then we have. Remember that greninja's fate will be decided soon, and after the results of that are out there is going to be increasingly high pressure to begin CAP 20. Yes, I know this isn't a perfect solution, but unless we can all quickly (that means people need to keep posting and we need to get this hammered out ASAP) come to some sort of accord as to what direction we want DougJustDoug's concerns to take (if we want them to take any direction at all, so far only myself, srk1214, and ginganigga have replied), this is going to wind up causing any potential attempt to fix movepool to not get finished before CAP20 starts.

I do want to touch on one last subject in this post - the concern of the "huge, obvious disconnect in terms of how CAP currently regards "competitive moves/movepools" versus the rest of the intelligent competitive pokemon world." It's simple, really - CAP attracts a lot of non-competitive users. I'm talking about both players who have no idea how to actually play competitive mons, and players who are only here for the 'Create-a-Pokemon' aspect of CAP. Call this a blessing, or call this a bane, regardless of how you see it, it is an undeniable fact. As such, it's a disconnect that can't really be solved, unless we want to get elitist, and I'm pretty sure that we all already agreed that is not the approach to take. The only step we could take to aleviate this would be a heightened emphasis on mentorship and getting mentors for inexperienced users, but that would be up to Birkal to implement.
 

Ignus

Copying deli meat to hard drive
Honestly my biggest concern with the changes proposed is close to the problems we've had with the ability phase of the project - defining what is uncompetitive and what isn't. if we aren't extremely specific about what's competitive and what isn't, may end up with something that resembles DJD's example of what happens every time such an argument comes up:

Just go read the post.
Next we may get in to the argument of whether or not we want more than one viable moveset, not even including lure sets, optional moves, or anything else that might be considered remotely viable.
So far, all we've
This, I think, is the largest drawback of using movesets as the basis for deciding movepools.

However, movesets do fix a large portion of the problems that are currently plaguing the movepool stage, which have already been mentioned. Because of this, I think we should take another hint from that same ability discussion and use some of the same fixes that we used there.
Therefore, I propose we add the following to the moveset idea:

  • Limit the number of competitive movesets allowed on one CAP Pokemon.
While I don't have a specific number in mind, limiting the number of movesets we talk about will not only limit the amount of time we end up spending on the stage, but will also allow us to better focus down on our concept. I can't think of a situation where a CAP needs more than two or three sets that are competitively viable to fulfill the concept.
  • Create secondary a banlist for competitive moves after a first set has been decided.
This comes from the issue we've been having with when it comes to move combination bans - Pretty self explanatory. We can either dump this on the TL or can have more discussions for it. This also helps with the "GUYS LETS GIVE IT BOOMBURST" problem.

Otherwise, I'm okay with everything else that has been said so far. Hopefully we can get this wrapped up relatively soon.
 

jas61292

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Ok, so... I think at this point it is fairly clear that we, as a PRC, like the idea of divorcing flavor and competitiveness with regards to movepools. And, if things were that simple, then I would love to conclude this thread right here and now. But the fact is, that really isn't the case. nyttyn's original proposal has some good ideas in it, but I think there is significant concern of what it actually would do in practice, as far as complicating the process. On the other hand, Doug's ideas for the most part seems to have pretty much universal support, but don't actually include any sort of proposal as to how to take those ideas and make a process out of them.

So, with that said, going forward, that is what I would like us to try and work out. Is there a way for us to make a process that focuses more on movesets than movepools and divorces flavor and competitiveness while at the same time does not over-complicate or lengthen the existing CAP process? Proposals are really what we need here, because it doesn't matter how much we like the ideas we have come up with if we don't have any way to implement them. Obviously, not everyone is going to have a complete proposal as to how to replace a long and complex part of the CAP process, but if we can shift the discussion away from the ideals that we mostly seem to agree on and more towards implementation, then we can come up with a solution much easier.

I myself do not really have any major proposals at the moment. With that said, I think one key to a moveset focused process will actually be to be less objectively restrictive, but more so subjectively. What moves are and are not good for a Pokemon are never as clean cut as our RM categorization. I think a good system focused on movesets will put more emphasis on defending individual movesets, and outside of that, allowing any other competitive moves should be more about proving that those moves do not have competitive use, then about fitting within a move quota.

One idea that just popped into my mind would be making movepools a three (or four, if you still want movepool limits) step process, with one identifying competitive movesets, a second determining which "competitive" moves (RM?), outside of those movesets, would not greatly effect the usage of the Pokemon, and a third taking the required movesets and the other allowed moves and forming a flavor movepool out of them. Again, this is not a concrete proposal or anything, but I think the general idea here would be to focus more on identifying those movesets and then requiring them, and leaving out other things that would be competitive on that specific Pokemon.

Regardless of what we do, biggest positive difference that I can see coming from any change we could make, no matter how small, would be to take the decision on competitive moves and push it forward in the process. It may be impossible to divorce flavor from competitiveness completely without over-complicating things, but if we can take all the most important moves and have a definite yes or no early on, we can stop our final movepool poll from being a referendum on both how the Pokemon looks AND how it functions.
 

DougJustDoug

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When I posted about changing the CAP movepool process to focus on Movesets instead of Moves, I mentioned I had some ideas about how to implement it. And since there seems to be some general agreement that this might be a good idea, here's a more fleshed out proposal.

I propose we get rid of the Attacking Moves, Non-Attacking Moves, and Movepool Limits steps, and replace them with a single Competive Movesets step.

Competitive Movesets Discussion

Think of this like writing an analysis, but in reverse. Instead of identifying movesets by looking at a pokemon's movepool and playtesting sets to see what works -- we will determine the key movesets for our pokemon IN ADVANCE of making the actual movepool. If it turns out our theorymon is bad, or the movesets don't play out as expected, that's fine. But this step of the process will yield two very valuable things:

1) We will clearly identify which sets we INTENDED to be useful for the pokemon.
Right now, we choose a bunch of moves and it's not clear to everyone how those moves will end up being used together on the final pokemon. By forcing the entire discussion to revolve around Movesets, with 4 moveslots, together with abilities, items, and EV's -- it will be much harder for us to "miss things" as a community.

I'm not saying the process will be perfect. Of course we'll still fail to notice some combinations or we will be surprised how effective or ineffective certain sets are in the playtest. But as a community, I think Smogon is fairly proficient in reviewing movesets and understanding the subtle competitive nuances. Even if the average CAP participant sucks at understanding movesets, surely you agree that everyone is MORE COMPETENT at evaluating structured movesets, than they are at looking at a big list of moves and envisioning all the competitive movesets that could emerge from that.

2) We will have a "Lightweight Analysis" for each CAP written before the playtest.
This is not the main reason to do movepool around Movesets, but as a community leader, I see this as a HUGE benefit. Right now, CAP struggles to get analyses written for our Pokemon. EVER. We just don't have the C&C manpower to pull it off. Or maybe we just aren't managing it correctly or whatever. Regardless of the reason, the analyses don't get produced. And even when we do produce the analysis, it is long after the playtest is over. This is TERRIBLE from the perspective of attracting newcomers to CAP.

The two most visible "jumping on points" for newcomers are at the start of the CAP process (typically when Concept Submissions are opened) and the Playtest. When new players want to play with CAP pokemon (ie. the playtest), it would be fantastic if we had an analysis sketch already written that contains the "best movesets for the new CAP". Obviously we won't truly know the best movesets until the playtest is completed and beyond, but if we DESIGNED the entire movepool around some theorymon sets -- I would think those theorymon sets would be more useful than the alternative, which is NOTHING.​

If the Movesets Discussion goes like I expect, there will be lots of details posted on each moveset (well, each moveset that gets traction in the discussion). People will post battle scenarios, team options and strategies, damage calculations, etc. It's inevitable, because that is the sort of information that must be produced in order to argue whether a given moveset is viable or not. That information should look familiar to everyone -- because it is EXACTLY the sort of information presented in a formal pokemon analysis! Agreed that the information will be strewn across a bunch of different posts in the CAP discussion thread, but if we structure the Movesets step properly, I think we can clean that up a bit too.

The Competitive Movesets Discussion will determine two things:
  • Standard Movesets
  • Other Options
The heart of the Moveset Discussion will consist of participants posting a structured competitive moveset, and proposing it to be a "Standard Moveset". I think these posts should be required to have a bit of structure and formatting, if anything to prevent people from spamming movesets without forethought and preparation. I think of this somewhat like a submission step, but not exactly.

We don't want to encourage people to think of a moveset as "my moveset that I created for this CAP". We'd like it to be more of a community effort. Once a competitive moveset has been posted, then others can critique, modify, and tweak it with slashed or replaced moves, additional usage information, damage calculations, etc. Basically, the community will flesh out the movesets as the discussions progresses. In this way, the viability of the moveset will be progressively proven or disproven (as much as you can with theorymon only) AND the community will collectively be "writing the analysis" for the pokemon as we go.

As for the amount of structure and formatting required for Moveset posts, I'll leave that for later. I know some people hate overly complicated rules on this sort of thing, and others hate unstructured free-for-all threads in CAP. We'll try to strike a balance, so as to not discourage participation, while still preventing rampant idiot spam.

The Movepool Leader should collect the movesets that gain meaningful intelligent support, and post those in the OP of the thread, not unlike they currently post Allowed/Disallowed moves, etc. The OP of the thread will be the place for people to see the current state of discussion. Also, as edits, tweaks, and additional info are posted to sets, the OP will serve as the "official writeup" for each moveset. See where I am going here? By the end of the Moveset thread, it won't require any significant effort to make a quick analysis for the pokemon -- we'll just copy the writeups for each moveset from the OP!

If people suggest new movesets that really are not "new movesets" but simply variations of existing movesets that have already been suggested, then the existing movesets can be edited with slashed moves OR we can add moves to Other Options. This is the sort of creative process that already happens in C&C for Smogon analyses, so I'm hoping it will be easy to adopt a similar cadence here in CAP.

If there are Standard Movesets or Other Options that are highly controversial, then the Movepool Leader can make a poll for the community to decide. I don't think we need to stipulate the conditions required to justify a poll, nor do we need to stipulate exactly WHAT can be polled. Maybe the section leader wants a poll for an entire Moveset's inclusion/exclusion? That's fine. Maybe they want a discreet vote on the inclusion/exclusion of a single slashed move in a Moveset or in the Other Options? That's fine too. We use polls to help decide close cases, where it is hard to determine the intelligent consensus -- just like we always have.

By the end of the Competitive Movesets Discussion, EVERY COMPETITIVE MOVE for the CAP will be explicitly decided, AND every competitive move will be clearly categorized with the INTENDED CONTEXT FOR ITS USAGE (ie. as part of one or more Movesets, or as part of Other Options).


Movepool Submissions

All final movepool submissions will contain the exact same key Competitive Moves, as determined in the Competitive Movesets Discussion. Submitted movepools will all be IDENTICAL from a competitive standpoint. The only difference will be FLAVOR, including "gimmicks".

A "gimmick" is a move that is NOT competitive according to our Restricted Moves rules, but possibly could be used in highly-situational competitive circumstances. Since these moves are NOT restricted, I normally wouldn't highlight the concept of a "gimmick". But since there is so much emphasis on the Competitive Movesets completely defining CAP pokemon, I don't want people to jump to the conclusion that we will set in stone every move that could conceivably be used, even by the stupidest of battlers. "Flavor moves" include more than just crappy moves like Splash or Peck.

But there should not be ANY moves left to the discretion of the Movepool creator, that has a meaningful impact on how intelligent competitive voters regard the movepool. Yes, this is a somewhat subjective call. But hopefully we have enough history, research, and rules on this sort of thing, that we can manage it.

Summary

So, the entire movepool process would be reduced to the following steps:
  • Competitive Movesets Discussion
  • Competitive Movesets Poll (optional)
  • Movepool Submissions
  • Movepool Polls
No more Attacking and Non-Attacking Moves discussions and polls. No move Movepool Limits. Just the steps listed above.

I think this would GREATLY SIMPLIFY the movepool process AND it will add a lot of much-needed clarity in terms of competitive focus and intent. I think it still leaves plenty of room for Movepool Submitters to have creative freedom, while eliminating the "include everything" arms race that has become the norm here in CAP.
 

jas61292

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Ok, so I really like this for the most part, but there are just a few concerns/questions I would want to take a look at before going with it.

1) Limits - how exactly are we limited when it comes to movesets. Can we have as many movesets as the Movepool leader wants, or should we limit the number of viable movesets like we currently do with moves. This is especially important in the case of where there are multiple controversial options. If we have no limits, and multiple options going to poll, then, depending on circumstance, we could either end up with a huge number of sets, or barely any at all.

2) Movepool Leader control - possibly my biggest concern here is how much power this gives the movepool leader. While in the past they could deny a move from being allowed, they could almost never force a move on us. I mean, technically, there were required moves, but those were rarely for anything other than concept defining moves or the most basic reliable STABs. Because this takes away the competitive side from the movepool poll, everything competitive is decided by leader discretion, which seems very much counter to the ideals of the project. With that said, it is based on discussion and I don't have a huge issue with this if it otherwise works well, but I can help but feel that we might be better suited by some sort of mandatory poll. I just don't see a good way to do that.

3) Topic Leader influence - in accordance with the TL + TLT system, in any competitive stage should, the Topic Leader should have some sort of ability to exercise their power. In most stages, that means the +1/-1/veto ability for a slate, but just like the old movepool process, there really isn't a slate here for them to do that with. As such, I think we would need to come up with something here. How I figure it would work best would be to allow them to +1/-1 a full set, or like we currently have it, a group of similar moves. But, until I see this in action, I would be unsure if allowing a -1 of a full set is too much (or even too little).

4) Competitive Moves vs Restricted Moves - from a flavor standpoint, this is probably the biggest issue I see, most notably with respect to Physical/Special RMs on Special/Physical Attackers. While I like the idea of saying "this is the competitive movepool," unless we have a way of separating competitive moves from restricted moves, we cut out a lot of flavor potential. For example, obviously Weavile is a physical attacker with pathetic special attack. But Nasty Plot, Dark Pulse, Surf, Focus Blast, etc are all competitive special moves. They add nothing to Weavile competitively, sure, but they are objectively competitive, and definitely add to it, flavor wise. How do we allow stuff like that while sticking to the ideal of not allowing any competitive changes to movepools at the submission stage? My preference would just be to leave something like that up to the Movepool Leader, and maybe the TL as well. Rater than trying to set objective limits, just have the leaders look at the movepool, and if they judge any individual moves competitive beyond "gimmick" level, then they can just tell the submitter to remove the move.

Or, in other words, lets forget about Restricted Moves all together. Nowadays they are just a subjectively decided on group of moves. Why bother using that generic list at all when we are also dropping the limits they were made with. Just do the exact same process with these moves as Doug suggested doing with non-RM but possibly "gimmick" moves. To make things easier for everyone, the Movepool leader could always make a list of specific moves they disallow at the stat of the submission thread, as they come up, though that might not even be necessary. I think that would probably be the easiest thing to do overall.

5) Movepool slating - if we are essentially taking the competitiveness out of full movepool submissions, then how does the slating work? As part of the TLT leadership structure transition, we took all non-competitive slating out of the hands of individual leaders. Is the potential for "gimmicks" enough to leave this in the hands of the Movepool Leader and TL, or should this become another "everything legal gets slated" poll. While I am not a big fan of keeping it in the Leader's hands if it is mostly flavor, I also dread the idea of a gigantic poll for movepools, and I absolutely hate the idea of trying what we did with names and making the rules overly specific to cull the number of legal entries. I guess I would prefer to have the Leader still slate, in this case, but I wish there was a better option.


Most of these issues are things I think we can work out fairly easily, so I am not too concerned. I really love the overall structure of this, especially the analysis part, and would love to see it in action.
 

DetroitLolcat

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I'm on board with Doug's proposal, it does a great job of divorcing flavor and competitive moves. I agree entirely with Moveset Discussion and Lightweight Analysis as they're proposed. The most important point that I'd like to see fleshed out more is how we limit the number of moves or movesets that a CAP can have. Under the current system, we have Movepool Limits to restrict the number of moves we can give a CAP. If we're going to define a CAP's versatility by the number of movesets it can have rather than by the number of moves it can have, should we limit movesets the same way we've limited moves in the past? If so, I think replacing Movepool Limits with Moveset Limits might be a good idea. Moveset Limits would function the same way Movepool Limits did in the past; a quick thread that decides the maximum number of sets/options a CAP should have. Whatever we go with, it's important to have some sort of limiting mechanism in place with the new system like we did with the old one. Other than that, I'm on board with the thread list in Doug's most recent post.

I agree with jas61292 on how to balance Competitive Moves and Restricted Moves. Just get rid of the latter and let the Movepool Leader decide what objectively good moves can be used for flavor purposes. It makes no sense to have Focus Blast count as a Restricted Move on a Pokemon with Base 50 Special Attack, so Focus Blast should count no different than an obvious flavor move like Leer or Tackle. When it comes to Movepool slating, I don't think we have any other choice under this proposed system but to slate every legal submission. If the only aspect of the Pokemon to be decided on during Movepool Submissions is flavor, then the step needs to be treated like other flavor steps like Art, Name, and Sprite. I don't think having too many Movepool submissions will be that much of a problem anyway even if all of the competitively relevant moves are prescribed. It still takes work to put together a list of Egg, Tutor, TM/HM, and Level Up moves; it's not like Name where you can just think of the coolest name that pops into your head.

I'll comment on how this can be incorporated into the TL+TLT system later; I'm still thinking that out at the moment.
 

DougJustDoug

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Movepool Limits
I thought about movepool limits quite a bit before I made my proposal, and ultimately came to believe that we should not waste time and dissipate project energy on limits. The benefit just isn't worth the cost. My big motivations for this are:

Movepool limits are boring to discuss and there aren't many objective arguments to be made anyway.

Remember the original driver for movepool limits was this thread. I know a ton about it, because I was the author of that policy review and the statistics and programming that went into it. It was a massive project, and I still stand behind the work we all did back then to analyze and discuss competitive pokemon movepools. But the effort was really to make CAP movepools objectively comparable to real pokemon movepools. So we developed a framework, based on statistics from the cartridge game, to quantify certain patterns we deemed relevant to movepools. This included:
  • The overall size of movepools
  • The number of powerful moves in movepools
  • Dependencies related to combinations of moves and pokemon typing
  • Dependencies between stats and movepool size

Even with objective statistics, there was still a lot of variations to ingame pokemon movepools. In other words, some ingame pokemon have really big, really good movepools and some pokemon have small, crappy movepools. So we grouped the objective statistics on size (total moves) and power (VGM's originally, RM's later) into ranges and added a step to the CAP process for selecting the ranges most appropriate for the CAP pokemon being created for a given project.

Looking back, that Limits step has not added much value. That is NOT to say that CAP Pokemon should not have a limit to size or power of their movepool. But discussing the limits is a boring waste of time. Discussing whether a CAP should have 30 RM's versus 33 RM's, or whether a CAP should have 64 total moves versus 72 total moves -- those discussions are about as exciting as watching paint dry. And can anyone honestly say it makes much difference on the resulting creation? Not really.

I think we should just accept the movepool limits associated with the BSR and go with it automatically. If during the movepool process, it becomes some huge tragedy that our 325 BSR pokemon can only have 33 RM's and the heavens will come crashing down if we don't give it another 2 moves -- I guess we could consider letting the movepool leader or TL make a call and give it 35 fucking RM's. But, I think it's much ado about nothing. We should probably just go with an assumption that the preset limit is set in stone, and deal with it.

Movepool Leader Control
The oft-mentioned, but ill-defined "intelligent community consensus" should be driving everything with Movepools, just like every other step. And if the Movepool leader openly disregards the intelligent community consensus, then the Movepool Leader should be smited by the hand of God, err... Mods.

I agree that by setting in stone all the competitive moves during the Moveset Discussion and Polls, we have removed flexibility from the Movepool Submissions and passed that "control" to the Moveset Discussion and Polls. But the Movepool Leader has always led all the steps anyway, and ultimately should be accountable to the intelligent community consensus on all steps. So I don't see how the proposed changes give any more or less "control" to the Movepool Leader.

If there is fear that the Movepool will just decide everything by themselves, ignore the intelligent community consensus and not make a poll for anything -- yes that could happen. But that already can happen in the current system. We need active, awake moderators in CAP to prevent Topic Leadership abuses on all steps, and hopefully it won't come down to that anyway.

I don't like the idea of mandatory polling, but my guess is that almost every Moveset discussion will have some grey areas and controversial calls, that will inevitably go to a poll -- just like it always happens in the current process. But we don't need a policy for that. It would be a messy, near-impossible-to-stipulate policy and we shouldn't bother with it.

I'd prefer to do a CAP with the change, and see how it goes. After that, if we need policy changes to handle additional problems -- CAP Policy Review says hi.


Topic Leader Influence
I agree we need to consider how +1/-1 should work with Movesets. My gut is the same as yours Jas, I think -- give the TL +1/-1 on a Moveset or group of related moves. This would probably cover all the big issues that the TL would want to handle. Most movepool controversies seem to center on two things

- A class of moves like Fire attacks, Paralysis moves, reliable recovery, etc.
- A combination of moves like Swords Dance + Outrage, BoltBeam, etc.

The current system gives the TL the ability to intervene on the first case, but it's hard to handle the latter. In the new Moveset paradigm, the latter case is probably represented by a single discreet Moveset. So the TL could +1/-1 it and away we go. I do agree it could be too much if the TL +1/-1'd a really critical Moveset -- but once again, if the TL honestly goes too far in terms of snubbing the intelligent community consensus, then the Mods should intervene. More likely is that the TL will +1/-1 something that was controversial in the first place, and their call just pushes things one direction or the other.


Competitive Moves vs Restricted Moves
I agree that the whole concept of Restricted Moves becomes much less of an issue if all the Competitive Moves are set in stone by the Movesets.

I think the Restricted Move list possibly still has value for all the reasons mentioned above under Movepool Limits which describes the original purpose of Restricted Moves in the first place (to make CAP movepools more like "real pokemon movepools", with a nod towards controlling "effectiveness" or "power"). But since our current Restricted Moves are NOT derived from statistical analysis of Gen 6 movepools (like the original VGM list was derived in Gen 4) -- it's hard to argue that our Restricted Moves are anywhere near making CAP Movepools conform to Gen 6 ingame norms. So yeah, if we ditched RM's as a binding list, and left it more to Movepool Leader direction, I'd be fine with it.

The Restricted Move List might still be useful as a informational guide to Movepool creators as to which moves are potentially iffy or not. So in that regard, we may still want to keep the RM list up-to-date. But I'm not adamant about it either way.


Movepool Slating
Ugh. This is a tough one. I really cringe at the idea of an "everything legal gets slated" situation. Mainly because I don't want to review that big of a slate in order to vote. It just... feels wrong. But I can't objectively argue against it. Maybe I'm just running out of gas after typing this long post, but I'm not really sure how we should handle this one. What are other opinions on this? (other than DLC, who already commented)
 
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nyttyn

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After a few days thought I can't think of any objections, full support to all of Doug's proposals. Screw limits, go ahead and set competitive moves in stone outside of pools in the case of controvesrial decisions, base our CAP's competitive movepool off of a few movesets, and move flavor movepool to its own stage.

Movepool Slating
Obviously, duplicate movepools should be a FCFS situation. That being said, I think we should have some basic "quality checkgates" like we do for names - simply require adequate reasoning behind why the movepool is why it is (why moves are given at XYZ levels, why moves are egg moves, why some strange moves were added, etc). Combined with the fact that we already don't get an overwhelming number of legal slates, and I think we should be able to keep them trimmed down to reasonable numbers.
 

jas61292

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Ok, with the new CAP getting close to starting I really want to be wrapping this up. So, while I'm not sure if I can make a definitive conclusion on everything discussed here, I would like to post conclusions for what I can. And thanks to nyttyn for giving me a second opinion on this post before making it.

Conclusion

1) The Movepool Limits stage will be eliminated. Limitations on overall movepool size will be derived directly from BST, while RM limits will be completely abolished (see part 4 below).

2) The Attacking and Non-Attacking Moves discussions will be replaced by the Competitive Moveset Discussion, where we will decided on all the competitive moves that the CAP Pokemon will have, as described by DougJustDoug:
The Competitive Movesets Discussion will determine two things:
  • Standard Movesets
  • Other Options
The heart of the Moveset Discussion will consist of participants posting a structured competitive moveset, and proposing it to be a "Standard Moveset". I think these posts should be required to have a bit of structure and formatting, if anything to prevent people from spamming movesets without forethought and preparation. I think of this somewhat like a submission step, but not exactly.

We don't want to encourage people to think of a moveset as "my moveset that I created for this CAP". We'd like it to be more of a community effort. Once a competitive moveset has been posted, then others can critique, modify, and tweak it with slashed or replaced moves, additional usage information, damage calculations, etc. Basically, the community will flesh out the movesets as the discussions progresses. In this way, the viability of the moveset will be progressively proven or disproven (as much as you can with theorymon only) AND the community will collectively be "writing the analysis" for the pokemon as we go.

As for the amount of structure and formatting required for Moveset posts, I'll leave that for later. I know some people hate overly complicated rules on this sort of thing, and others hate unstructured free-for-all threads in CAP. We'll try to strike a balance, so as to not discourage participation, while still preventing rampant idiot spam.

The Movepool Leader should collect the movesets that gain meaningful intelligent support, and post those in the OP of the thread, not unlike they currently post Allowed/Disallowed moves, etc. The OP of the thread will be the place for people to see the current state of discussion. Also, as edits, tweaks, and additional info are posted to sets, the OP will serve as the "official writeup" for each moveset. See where I am going here? By the end of the Moveset thread, it won't require any significant effort to make a quick analysis for the pokemon -- we'll just copy the writeups for each moveset from the OP!

If people suggest new movesets that really are not "new movesets" but simply variations of existing movesets that have already been suggested, then the existing movesets can be edited with slashed moves OR we can add moves to Other Options. This is the sort of creative process that already happens in C&C for Smogon analyses, so I'm hoping it will be easy to adopt a similar cadence here in CAP.

If there are Standard Movesets or Other Options that are highly controversial, then the Movepool Leader can make a poll for the community to decide. I don't think we need to stipulate the conditions required to justify a poll, nor do we need to stipulate exactly WHAT can be polled. Maybe the section leader wants a poll for an entire Moveset's inclusion/exclusion? That's fine. Maybe they want a discreet vote on the inclusion/exclusion of a single slashed move in a Moveset or in the Other Options? That's fine too. We use polls to help decide close cases, where it is hard to determine the intelligent consensus -- just like we always have.

By the end of the Competitive Movesets Discussion, EVERY COMPETITIVE MOVE for the CAP will be explicitly decided, AND every competitive move will be clearly categorized with the INTENDED CONTEXT FOR ITS USAGE (ie. as part of one or more Movesets, or as part of Other Options).
3) As with all competitive stages, the Topic Leader will have a form of +1/-1 power in the new Competitive Moveset Discussion. The TL will be allowed to add or remove a single move, group of related moves, or moveset.

4) Movepool submissions will become a largely non-competitive stage. All submitted movepools must contain all of the competitive moves decided on in the Competitive Moveset Discussion (and any subsequent polls), and no others. The only differences between movepools will be flavor moves and gimmicky competitive moves that will have little effect on its general use. Which moves fall into these categories for a specific CAP will be left to the discretion of the Movepool Leader. As such, the categorization of a move as a "Restricted Move" will no longer have any bearing on the rules of movepool submissions, though such categorization may be used by people to help make their movepool appear realistic, if they so choose.


----

I think that this covers a lot of what was discussed in this thread, and I definitely think we can function going forward with this. However, there are two main things that I do not believe there has been enough discussion of for use to really draw a conclusion at this time.

First, as Doug mentioned in the Competitive Movesets Discussion outline I quoted above, we need to decide on the structure and formatting of a moveset submission post. This has not really gotten any talk, so I would like to see people give some suggestions if they have any.

Second, deciding on how to slate movepool submissions. I personally don't like the idea of "everything gets slated", but like Doug, I find it hard to objectively argue against it. It we are to do that, though, we would probably want to outline some stricter guidelines for what makes a submission legal. Regardless, I would like to hear a few more opinions on this if we could, or at the very least some suggestions of such guidelines to make a "slate everything" system work.
 

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jas61292 said:
First, as Doug mentioned in the Competitive Movesets Discussion outline I quoted above, we need to decide on the structure and formatting of a moveset submission post. This has not really gotten any talk, so I would like to see people give some suggestions if they have any.
DougJustDoug said:
As for the amount of structure and formatting required for Moveset posts, I'll leave that for later. I know some people hate overly complicated rules on this sort of thing, and others hate unstructured free-for-all threads in CAP. We'll try to strike a balance, so as to not discourage participation, while still preventing rampant idiot spam.

The Movepool Leader should collect the movesets that gain meaningful intelligent support, and post those in the OP of the thread, not unlike they currently post Allowed/Disallowed moves, etc.
So I've had over a week to mull over moveset stuff, and I'm still not honestly sure about things. As Doug seems to be proposing, the moveset discussion thread will likely be a back and forth collaboration between different users and the Moves Leader. People will suggest sets, argue over sets/set details, and the Movepool Leader essentially has to mediate it all and decide what goes on in the OP. Because I expect any set "submissions" or proposals within the thread to be met with some sort of critique by other users, I think most super formalized posts will end up getting tweaked through the suggestions of others anyway. If there's a formalized post that follows very structured formatting rules, then it's easy to identify the key points that the poster is making. However, critiques are going to be difficult to structure no matter what we do, and I think that unstructured critiques by fellow users sort of defeat the purpose structured submission posts. A structured submission post I think is always going to be subject to less-structured changes... Essentially I don't think we can create a prefect neat-and-tidy format that will work throughout the discussion in it's entirety. Therefore, I'm more open to a more free-for-all type system. Perhaps we could implement a few simple rules such as all moves in a proposed moveset should be bolded for easy visibility, or maybe we could make full movepool suggestions follow the formatting of either teambuilder or Smogon's competitive analyses. But whatever we do for full moveset formatting, we have little control over critiques and edit suggestions unless we get far too technical. I'd rather be more open-air than suffocate the discussion with stuck up rules on how to "properly" critique a moveset.

But beyond just "how should moveset submissions be formatted" I think there's a much bigger dilemna regarding on how movesets should be finalized, or at least the steps that occur before finalization. Quite frankly, I think in Doug's proposal that the Moves Leader has far too much power. He/she gets to be the mediator of discussion, which is expected and a good thing for any topic leader to do within their field of discussion. However, in other areas the topic leaders ultimately end the discussion with slates to start off the following polls; they don't really make the final decision. In the current proposal, there is no mention of moveset slating. Yes, Doug's proposal does mention polls, but I think the conditions of polling are placed into the palm of the Moves Leader, even more so than in the past.

DougJustDoug said:
If there are Standard Movesets or Other Options that are highly controversial, then the Movepool Leader can make a poll for the community to decide. I don't think we need to stipulate the conditions required to justify a poll, nor do we need to stipulate exactly WHAT can be polled. Maybe the section leader wants a poll for an entire Moveset's inclusion/exclusion? That's fine. Maybe they want a discreet vote on the inclusion/exclusion of a single slashed move in a Moveset or in the Other Options? That's fine too. We use polls to help decide close cases, where it is hard to determine the intelligent consensus -- just like we always have.
Yes, I agree the polls are necessary to determine close cases, and there is precedent to back this up in past move stages of CAP. However, in the past the Move Leader's influence of required moves seems to be much less far reaching that what we are all of a sudden making the Move Leader do now. In the past, the Move Leader very rarely made required moves that were different that common/expected TMs learned by pretty much all Pokemon. Now, by deciding movesets, the Move leader thus makes all of the moves in the chosen movesets the equivalent as required moves (if the Move Leader passes a set, all of the moves in the set are required to make it onto the Pokemon; in fact, bar the TL's measly +1/-1, the Move Leader has almost all power to cast the competitive moves in stone).

Thunderbolt
Return / Frustration
Hidden Power
Facade
Hyper Beam
Round
Giga Impact
Rest
Toxic
Sleep Talk
Rest
Substitute
Protect
Confide
Attract
Swagger
Double Team


Return/Frustration
Hidden Power
Façade
Hyper Beam
Round
Giga Impact
Toxic
Sleep Talk
Rest

Aerial Ace
Return/Frustration
Hidden Power
Façade
Belly Drum
Toxic
Substitute
Protect/Detect
Sleep Talk
Rest

Seed Bomb
Payback
Sleep Talk
Substitute
Toxic


Plasmanta's only required move was pretty much Thunderbolt. Volkraken pretty much had no competitive required moves, Cawmodore only had Aerial Ace (and Belly Drum), and Malaconda had Seed Bomb and Payback. The Move Leaders decided these moves had to be on these Pokemon; for the last 4 CAPs, the Move Leaders only decided 1 or 2 worthwhile competitive moves that would be required (and a lot that were allowed, and a lot that were disallowed). The voters decided the rest. Now, with the current proposal, we're almost completely flipping this ratio, and I am not a fan of such a complete change in the tides.

In the past movepool stages, the voters had the opportunity to vote on which competitive moves the CAP should learn. Now, it seems all competitive moves are chosen/finalized by the Moves Leader, and he/she is only suppose to have polls on controversial moves and technically there's no rule to really force him/her to have a poll at all.

It's completely possible that I'm being overly cynical about this whole thing, as any good Moves Leader is going to try their best to cater to intelligent consensus. In fact, requiring people to actually post their thoughts regarding moves in the discussion thread helps the Move Leader to make a more focused decision on what the intelligent consensus is, as opposed to people who just vote without proving the merit of their opinion with logic and reason. But in the end, I still just think that so much rests on the judgment of a single person.

Ultimately, I really think it would be best for the competitive movesets stage to have some sort of required (and significant) poll, at some point. Competitive moves are just too important for CAP not to have some sort of community vote. Yes, we want to split flavor and competitive moves, but I don't see why we have to vote on only flavor movepools but not on competitive moves.

My proposal at this time to have a competitive moves discussion before the movesets discussion. The competitive moves discussion will combine both attacking and non-attacking moves of the past into a single thread. Throughout the discussion, the Moves Leader is to post disallowed moves that are believed to clearly break the concept or make the CAP too overpowered, etc., as well as a (small) list of required moved that have clear community consensus as being needed by the CAP. At the end of the discussion, a list of allowed competitive moves will be voted on by the community in a very simple yes/no/undecided fashion, similar to how PRC voted on RMs in the past (voters copy the slate of allowed moves in their vote, and write yes/no/undecided next to the move... or perhaps to better count the votes with the built-in script, voters could reply in bold with the list of only the moves they would like to have...whatever works). If an allowed move gets enough yes votes, then that move becomes a required move -- and since it is a competitive move poll, it would make sense that voted-in competitive moves then should be featured either in a moveset or in OO in the later moveset discussion thread. Later in the movesets discussion, if a particularly troublesome combination of 2 previously voted/approved moves become apparently overpowered (due to newly seen synergistic effects), then the Moves Leader or TL should have the right to strike one of the moves away from existence to preserve balance... Essentially, this competitive moves poll before the movesets discussion will give a pool of voter-accepted competitive moves than can then be mulled around and placed into certain sets or OO. The added benefit, beyond limiting the Move Leader's power, is that the movesets discussion will have a pre-defined list of moves to pull from, which should then make discussion smoother and more focused.

Sooo... Essentially, my thoughts of how the new moves process should go looks something like this:
  • Competitive Moves Discussion
  • Competitive Moves Poll (required)
  • Competitive Movesets Discussion
  • Movepool Submissions
  • Movepool Polls
While this takes more steps than Doug's proposal, it still takes less steps that we used in CAP19 and earlier move stages (which were RM limits-> Attacking Moves Discussion-> Optional Poll-> Non-Attacking Moves Discussion-> Optional Poll-> Movepool Submissions-> Movepool Poll).

jas61292 said:
Second, deciding on how to slate movepool submissions. I personally don't like the idea of "everything gets slated", but like Doug, I find it hard to objectively argue against it. It we are to do that, though, we would probably want to outline some stricter guidelines for what makes a submission legal. Regardless, I would like to hear a few more opinions on this if we could, or at the very least some suggestions of such guidelines to make a "slate everything" system work.
After some thought, while I don't like sounds of everything getting slated either, I think it would be best to try it out for at least CAP20. If it fails horribly, then we can and definitely should change it for CAP21. As it is now, it deserves a chance though. Basically in order to work for now, only legal slates should be slated, much like legal art. It is the submitter's responsibility to follow the rules of legality, and the mods shouldn't be explicitly responsible for warning all users of their illegal posts. Basic rules would be that all competitive moves in the movesets and OO should be present, with only flavor additions, etc. Level-up moves should be indicated as such with a proper level attached, TM moves marked as TMs, etc... Essentially it would probably be best to literally provide a format template for movepool submissions so that users can fill in the blanks and whatnot. If things get reeeally bad and we have too many submissions, we could be cruel and require posters to submit movepools in the literal javascript code format that PS uses for their learnsets.js files...
 

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