Project "Update Overviews" (post 1 updated with reservations)

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I'm gonna preface this with a FACT: The analyses are unarguably the best they have ever been.

I've been involved with this site since 07, and presided over C&C's revival from a purely dead state (with BK / Junior / Stellar / darkie / Caelum / jrrrrrrr... good times) and I can say that with confidence. I have adamantly disagreed with the standard talking point criticisms about "red tape" or "inefficiency" and all of that, and I will continue to do so. I think that throughout the years, whoever the active leadership, we have succeeded in implementing necessary projects / protocols / systems to resolve the needs of the time.

Our analyses are supposed to cater to the newer player, and having information that is relevant and specific is always a good thing, so I don't have a personal "length requirement."

That said, in spite of any hostility that may have resulted from the previous iteration of this thread, I still think it's important that the section responsible for a SIGNIFICANT number of this site's hits (dp/pokemon was #1 in dpp, not sure if bw/pokemon is the same anymore) be open to constructive criticism and be open to forever improving.

I'd like to take 2 posts from the previous thread to highlight where I feel improvements can be made to a system that is already very good and already pumping out what are bar none the best analyses Smogon has ever had.

I agree that there is too much fluff in a lot of analyses these days. Wordiness is a pretty common mistake for people who aren't experienced writers, especially in an environment like Smogon where we're insisting on a bunch of formal rules that don't matter in natural conversation ("like" vs "such as", for example). It makes people think they're supposed to use a bunch of stereotypical legalese to sound smart. You don't need to use the word aforementioned. Ever.

Adding some flavor/personality to analyses is a good thing when done well; it's a pleasure to read (at least for some people) and it keeps the writer from getting bored of churning these things out. But you can add personality without forcing in long side stories and cliches. It's hard to do well though, and when it isn't done well it just adds length without adding value.

The other problem is there seems to be a checklist of things people feel obligated to mention even when it isn't useful info. You never need to explain a 4/252/252 EV spread. You don't need to mention it in the writeup at all. Everyone reading these analyses knows what a 4/252/252 spread is for, even the noobs. You don't need to say that Adamant hits harder and Jolly is faster. You don't need to keep pointing out that _____ will perform better if it has Wish, Heal Bell, Memento, Rapid Spin, Pursuit, Encore, dual screens, and hazard support. You don't need to mention every mediocre move this Pokemon learns in AC and OO and then explain why it's not worth using.

On the other hand, there is a lot of potentially useful info that could (and in my opinion should) be included, but definitely wasn't in ADV and often isn't even now. It's the stuff that you actually need to test the mon, or run some calcs, or at least having solid knowledge of the metagame in order to know. If you're going to mention spin support, don't tell me Scyther needs spin support and then name all the spinners in the tier; just tell me the spinner that works best with Choice Band Scyther. That's actually useful for someone who isn't very familiar with the tier. If Scyther can beat some of its usual counters with a specific set of hazards on the field, and you have calcs to back this up, then mention that. It gives the reader actual data to help them make decisions both in teambuilding and in battle, whereas just saying Stealth Rock helps get "a number of OHKOs and 2HKOs it wouldn't otherwise get" doesn't really help anyone. Basically, I think our analyses actually need more info, but only if it's specific. If you're going to write a 2000 word analysis, it shouldn't be something that just anyone could have written. You should be an expert on this Pokemon, sharing what you've discovered so other people don't have to spend the time discovering it for themselves.
Honko's post was entirely constructive and well stated so I won't add anything to it; I basically agree 100%.


I just opened the OU Pokemon tab and went to Infernape to confirm my suspicions. Lo and behold, the very first sentence that greets me is:
This is a joke right? First of all, it's pretty fluffy, but whatever. The real problem here is that the analysis completely misses the mark. Infernape is one of the worst OU Pokemon in Gen 5 OU. I know maybe one successful BW1 team that used Infernape. One. But you'd never know it looking at this analysis. If I were your average player, I might leave this analysis thinking that Infernape is awesome. But then I'd be totally wrong, so the analysis has missed its mark.

Really, the analyses need to return to conciseness and quality. We need the facts and that's it. Tell me that Infernape is sub-par and that there are superior sweepers. Tell me that Salamence usually fits on a Dragon Spam or Heavy Offense team. Tell me what the most common Tyranitar set is. Tell me what people currently use to counter SD Breloom. All these can be accomplished in a sentence. We could be taking a 5000+ word Salamence Analysis and easily cutting it down to <2000 words.
I took out the first part of undisputed's post cause I didn't think it was necessary, but this last part is so necessary that I have bolded the entire part. IN BW OU...Infernape sucks lol. Ok it might not suck but whatever Infernape is, the reader, new or not, does not get that impression from the overview. I'm going to take a different route from undisputed and not pin this on the writer though, as counter-intuitive as that might seem. C&C throughout the past 5 years, ignoring who we cater to, has had significantly different needs and priorities. At one point, it was simply getting people to look at the forum (Bk will remember this). At another, it was getting people to explain how a Pokemon fit on a team. At another, it was making sure the analyses written earlier were still relevant. Different needs on an operational basis (again, independent of who we cater to) caused us to write analyses that, for whatever reason, may not correspond to our needs in the present.

This isn't the writer's fault imo. C&C should be a fluid system anyway (and from what I can see, it is), and I take this as an opportunity to continue the fluidity and just continue improving.

So, what do we need to do to improve? I can't agree with undisputed about length being bad, but I can agree with fluff being bad. I'd like to take a combination of both those posts and formulate the plan for a project with whoever can be bothered to help.

1.) Recruit active players who are willing to consult. <-- LOL Sorry, had to laugh, cause like, this has been a concern / desire forever and it kinda goes somewhere and then kinda dies. But o well..this is still a desire for the optimistic -.-

2.) Get a group together to work on the "overview" section for all analyses. First, we need to define what overview means for us at this time (and not go into hating on how it was implemented in the past, because again, different times mean different needs mean different results). Then, we go through and update (key word, update, not fix) them. Here, we channel the spirit of undisputed's post; in Infernape's BW OU overview, we say "this blows." In C&C talk of course.

1 and 2 work side by side, because the overview is probably all an experienced battler will look at lol.

3.) Get a group together to work on making the individual set descriptions concise. I feel like I'm beating a dead horse here, but again, I have to reiterate that this isn't blaming the writer at all; at the time it was written, the need was different, and the writer adapted to his time's needs / expectations. We're all volunteers working on a hobby we love; none of us are to blame. That said, I think, at the present, the needs are a.) be concise b.) be informative c.) be interesting

This means take out fluff (group might have to define fluff), add specifics, and try to keep the writer's personality evident.

#3 is a lot of work honestly, and, since I'm such a fucking realist, I don't really expect it to pan out. That said, we can make efforts to see something move in this general direction.

In fact, all I really want to see personally is #1 and #2 come to fruition. Since we have tabs / drop down menus for the analyses anyway, it's entirely up to the user what he chooses to read, but the overview should come straight out and smack the reader with a metaphorical cock and say "this is what the fuck this is." Since a person, whether new or experienced, bothering to read the analyses will always read the overview, I agree with undisputed in saying that at the very least, this part of the analysis should be clear, concise (yes, this might even mean emphasizing length and making explicitly short), and straight to the point.

So, unless someone really wants to take the lead on #3, you can refer to this as the "Update Overviews" project.

I'll even help whoever wants to volunteer to lead this in the right direction...

yee / undisputed / lavos / myzozoa are part of one group ("team west"); iconic / eo / tfc another ("nowhere / elsewhere"); jabba / locopoke / kd24 another ("strongs"); mcmeghan / ginku / cbb another ("etc"). Go to these groups of good players, ask for a few people to help writers in getting right to the brunt of what a specific pokemon's purpose is, and work with them to getting that down on paper in the Overview section. Actually don't go to tfc. But the rest, they're all part of different groups that frequently do well in high level competition, and I know that at least some members of each group will happy to provide assistance in getting to the core of what a Pokemon's purpose in a tier is.

  1. By user:

    Aldaron - writer and adviser - Sableye

    alexwolf - writer - Xatu

    Arcticblast - writer - Magneton

    ernesto - writer - Crobat / Slowbro / Tornadus

    Iconic - writer and adviser - Sharpedo

    JabbaTheGriffin - writer and adviser - Terrakion

    lord of bays - writer - Hydreigon

    myzozoa - writer and adviser - Deoxys-D

    Nachos - writer and adviser - Abomasnow / Metagross / Tyranitar

    nyttyn - writer - Blissey

    pokemon0078 - writer - Gastrodon / Lilligant / Smeargle

    undisputed - writer and adviser - Dragonite / Tornadus-T / Gengar / Heatran / Latios / Latias

    yee - writer and adviser - Infernape / Machamp / Tangrowth / Chansey / Jellicent

    By Pokemon:

    Abomasnow - Writer / Adviser: Nachos
    Aerodactyl - Analysis: ballabrown24
    Blissey - Writer: nyttyn
    Breloom - Analysis: Seven Deadly Sins
    Celebi - Analysis: alexwolf
    Chansey - Writer / Adviser: yee
    Conkeldurr - Analysis: ThePillsburyDoughBoy (Abandoned, needs to be taken over)
    Crobat - Writer / Adviser: ernesto
    Deoxys-D - Writer / Adviser: myzozoa, Analysis - ballabrown24
    Donphan - Analysis: Arcticblast
    Dragonite - Writer / Adviser: undisputed
    Gastrodon - Writer / Adviser: pokemon0078
    Gengar - Writer / Adviser: undisputed
    Gliscor - Analysis: Electrolyte
    Heatran - Writer / Adviser: undisputed
    Hydreigon - Writer / Adviser: Lord of bays
    Infernape - Writer / Adviser: yee
    Jellicent - Writer / Adviser: yee
    Latias - Writer / Adviser: undisputed, Analysis: shrang
    Latios - Writer / Adviser: undisputed, Analysis: Lavos Spawn (abandoned, needs taking over)
    Lilligant - Writer / Adviser: pokemon0078
    Machamp - Writer / Adviser: yee
    Magneton - Writer / Adviser: Arcticblast
    Metagross - Writer / Adviser: Nachos, Analysis: religiousjedi
    Roserade - Analysis: Arcticblast
    Rotom-W - Analysis: alexwolf
    Sableye - Writer / Adviser: Aldaron
    Salamence - Analysis: LucaroarkZ
    Sharpedo - Writer / Adviser: Iconic
    Slowbro - Writer / Adviser: ernesto
    Smeargle - Writer / Adviser: pokemon0078
    Tangrowth - Writer / Adviser: yee
    Terrakion - Writer / Adviser: JabbaTheGriffin
    Tornadus - Writer / Adviser: ernesto
    Tornadus-T - Writer / Adviser: undisputed
    Tyranitar - Writer / Adviser: Nachos, Analysis: Trinitrotoluene
    Wobbuffet - Analysis: pokemon0078
    Xatu - Writer / Adviser / Analysis: alexwolf
For what it's worth, writing, speaking, or any other form of modern English, "like" >>>> "such as"
(will respond seriously later; but good rebound of a discussion)
oh man i am so ready to help out with this project like you wouldn't believe.

not going to jump down anyone throats (like to be fair, even though Infernape is pretty mediocre nowadays, the analysis was made during the early parts of BW1) but this is something that definitely needs to happen.

Ray Jay

"Jump first, ask questions later, oui oui!"
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Some other people on the LC moderation team and myself actually did something similar to this a good while back, so of course I'm happy to help.


formerly MikeDecIsHere
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I'm a terrible writer, but I'm willing to offer my assistance wherever it need be.

Edit: would like to be part of the advisory team:

Done pretty well in tournaments and just qualified for the recent Suspect test.


be the upgraded version of me
is a Site Staff Alumnusis a Team Rater Alumnusis a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnus
For OU C&C, should we make an Overview revamp thread similar to the Checks & Counter revamp thread that was posted half a year ago? Of course it'll be open to anyone willing to provide their assistance, unlike the previous revamp attempt.


lurks in the shadows
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Great idea Aldaron! Making overviews more realistic and to the point is certainly something that needs to be done. I have caught myself sometimes, adding some unecessary fluff, and unconciously trying to make a poke seem better than it is. And this happens beause anyone that does a job voluntarily, likes what he does, and sometimes this gets to him unconciously (i don't know if this is true in general, but i always write analyses of pokes that i at least like a bit using).

I agree with Pocket that the way to go with this project should be something like the c&c project. Also i believe that the c&c project should get going again, as it was a very helpful project, that unfortunately has died out. Finally i also agree that anyone should be able to contribute to this project, regardless of badges or fame. If the text that he writes is good enough, then it will pass through GP, or else it will be simply disregarded.

EDIT: Oh and i will help too yeah :D
Just moved this over here to get any people who can't see Inside Scoop in the loop.

I guess I'll take the lead for the OU part of this project.

Post if you want to help, and specify if it will be advisory (you are a good player, as evidenced by qualifying on Suspect the past two times or doing well in tournaments recently) or actually writing.

I'll be asking the writers to take what the advisers say very seriously, as I expect the OU Overviews to represent, concisely, exactly what a Pokemon is in OU.


Steven Snype

Kunclord Supreme
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Heyo. I'm willing to help if you want some help w/how to word your analyses to fit these quality players' advice from a GP perspective, and also have experience w/OU as well.


i'd take the past and make it straight
is a Team Rater Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnusis a defending World Cup of Pokemon Champion
I may not be a good writer, but I am perfectly good enough to give advice on overviews and stuff. I would love to help out!
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