Done Selectively Reverting Past Nerfs

spoo

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Approved by snake_rattler

Hey all, I'm here today to talk about reverting certain nerfs that have not stood the test of time.

I'll keep it simple: I believe that certain nerfs we conducted in the past, such as Equilibra 2, parts of Astrolotl 1, and arguably others, no longer make sense in the current context of the metagame. As such, there is no reason for us to arbitrarily force ourselves to be beholden to them. These nerfs were done in metagames with drastically different power levels, largely due to DLC rollout –– while it's true that these nerfs were appropriate at the time, we now find ourselves in a metagame that's practically unrecognizable from previous DLCs and it now seems appropriate to restore these CAPs to their pre-nerf states.

Because nerfs are conducted by the metagame council, and because a reversion of a nerf is more straightforward in general, here is my proposal:
The metagame council internally discusses whether or not it would be appropriate to reverse nerfs of specific CAPs. If deemed appropriate, they discuss whether or not to revert the entire nerf package or just specific parts. The metagame council then presents their conclusion to the public for a vote, similar to the final step in the current buff process.

Specific parts of this such as whether or not we should be able to revert pre-gen 8 nerfs may be divisive, so I'll leave those up to discussion, but this is my broad proposal.
 

dex

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This seems like a very roundabout way of including the public in the nerf process. Just have it be a metagame council decision and vote and provide reasoning behind the decision to nerf or not to nerf. Make the process similar to the nerf process itself, with public input on the potential reversions and the final decision/vote/whatever up to the metagame council.
 
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Brambane

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With the addition of the buff process, this seems like a natural compliment. I see no issue with adding such fluidity to overall CAP metagame development process so long as there is community interest in doing so, committed contributors to facilitating these legs of the process, and a general desire to see adjustment to the metagame (or perhaps more accurately, a lack of desire to preserve the current metagame as much as possible.) Let's do this.

I think this is a fine process for complete oversight of the metagame council, since undoing any nerfs is likely to be spearheaded by vocal community input anyways and there isn't as much branching direction and discussions as the buff process.
 
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Not really going to touch on undoing any specific nerfs too much because that's sort of not really what this thread is about, but more just going to talk about the idea of undoing nerfs in general.

For the most part I would say that I'm on board with this proposal, but I really think it should only be done in situations where we either think it would ultimately affect the metagame positively (Giving Equilibra Bulletproof back would help reduce Dragapult's strain on teambuilding) and/or help bring an overnerfed Pokemon back into some form of viability (Mega Crucibelle if that was still around). There isn't really much reason for us to be undoing nerfs on Pokemon that are already good just for the sake of it in my opinion.
 
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spoo

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This seems like a very roundabout way of including the public in the nerf process. Just have it be a metagame council decision and provide reasoning behind the decision to nerf or not to nerf.
It would be a metagame council decision; the only role the public plays is a final vote of legitimacy.
The metagame council internally discusses whether or not it would be appropriate to reverse nerfs of specific CAPs. If deemed appropriate, they discuss whether or not to revert the entire nerf package or just specific parts. The metagame council then presents their conclusion to the public for a vote, similar to the final step in the current buff process.
This may have been unclear wording, so to clarify (using Equilibra for the sake of an example):
Under this proposal, the metagame council decides of Equilibra is worth "un-nerfing" or not, and if yes, which aspects to unnerf. They then present a decision to the public, say "+Bulletproof," or "+Bulletproof, +12 SpA" with some reasoning, and there would be a vote on whether or not to "accept" the proposal (the same as what happens at the end of the buff process).

For the most part I would say that I'm on board with this proposal, but I really think it should only be done in situations where we think it would ultimately affect the metagame positively. There isn't really much reason for us to be undoing nerfs on Pokemon that are already good just for the sake of it in my opinion.
I agree with this, and this proposal ultimately leaves it up to the discretion of the metagame council. The line on whether/when to revert a nerf is a subjective one, but I believe that there are situations in which it would be a clear net-positive, intuitive decision, and it would be up to the metagame council to identify if there is ever a situation like that and whether it's worth acting on.
 

SHSP

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Generally I think I'm a fan of this. Most things we do in CAP have the ability to be tweaked and adjusted at this point: most notably, the launch of the Post Play Lookback (which is really what the first pair of nerfs were for Libra and Lotl). As former Meta Council, though I'd stand by any of the nerfs conducted under my time as a councilmember, I can certainly see the desire for the ability to say "damn, this was a bit too heavy handed." Like Spoo's mentioned, the big ones under this proposal are Equilibra 2 and Lotl 1- and I'll focus on Libra to make my point here. Libra was a strong mon in a metagame with Z Moves, Megas, and a wide pool of OU and OU viable mons that then got put in a metagame with almost none of that. It was kind of inevitable that it was going to be on the nerfing suite as it was a dominant force, even after the nerfs- which speaks to the power level of the metagame surrounding it as much as it speaks to Libra. Assuming that current trends hold, which is admittedly a difficult assumption to make knowing Game Freak, we're looking at a gen 9 with a limited dex that is expanded on through suites of DLC, which is going to make Crown Tundra creations- Venomicon, a potential CAP 31 if it's strong in CT's meta- incredibly strong with removed checks in base gen 9. The ability to tweak nerfs later on allows us the freedom to make these early meta periods more playable and avoid having these CAPs be less effective or underwhelming in later metagames when the power level again rises.

I think there's a valid question as to why these would get undone- if it's too much immediately after, that makes sense to me, as it's a closely timed reaction a la a post play lookback. The nerfs like Libra 2 and Lotl 1 here are many metagames ago and both mons aren't in particularly bad states- the question here for me is why now? Is it as simple as "these overshot, and we have the power to fix them?" As much as I would personally adore having BP Libra back without question, I'd like to discuss the trigger for some sort of nerf revert here.

Additionally, I think nerfs should be locked when the gen shifts. Trying to navigate old gen CAP builders is already somewhat of a nightmare, and playing multiple generations of CAP (or learning them) can in theory become quite problematic when there's a hypothetical situation of "okay, so Cruci is fine here, but loses Low Kick and 30 BST next gen, then it has both again in the gen after." Having a consistent thread of "X loses Y going from G7 to G8" without overcomplicating when mons have access to what tools should be a focus, I believe.
 
Additionally, I think nerfs should be locked when the gen shifts. Trying to navigate old gen CAP builders is already somewhat of a nightmare, and playing multiple generations of CAP (or learning them) can in theory become quite problematic when there's a hypothetical situation of "okay, so Cruci is fine here, but loses Low Kick and 30 BST next gen, then it has both again in the gen after." Having a consistent thread of "X loses Y going from G7 to G8" without overcomplicating when mons have access to what tools should be a focus, I believe.
If we go this direction, this is absolutely necessary imo.
If a Mon got nerfed in a past generation it should stay that way to not further complicate the building environment for past gens, as retroactive buffs already are able to shake up the viability of mons in past gens.

I think we could add, that if a Mon got nerfed in a past gen and now is eligible for a buff, that the reversal of the nerf should automatically be on the slate for the buff.

Imo this idea also only applies to the new format of DLC affected Generations, as you basically get two or three sub gens with the introduction of the expansions.
Adjusting the power of a CAP within a generation is arguably necessary if we don’t want to start banning mons at the start of a generation, if we assume that all future gens will follow a similar restricted to open format as gen 8.

I do however have an issue with creating mons, that will yo-yo between nerf and unnerf depending on the powerlevel of a generation.
Imo this should mean, the option to nerf and then unnerf should only be available once.
If a Mon becomes unhealthy after a rolled back nerf in a future metagame a temporary dlc ban a la Clefable would make more sense.

For me this means, that nerfs should also only be rolled back, if it affects the meta positively and/or if the viability of the Mon is positively affected by the unnerf, while not being unhealthy, with an emphasis on the first part, to not create said Yo-Yo effect.

Going back to a previous example of Equilibra, reintroducing bulletproof to Libra would definitely have a positive effect on the meta as an incredibly reliable Pult Check.
This new exceptional role would easily improve Libras viability by a lot.
Astro on the other hand wouldn’t actually change much if for example we were to reintroduce Trick. While its Scarf set would become slightly more consistent and have increased utility, Idt it would improve its viability a lot compared to now and would not positively affect the meta in a meaningful way, which begs the question why roll back the nerf in the first place, if it doesn’t have a large positive impact on the meta or the Mon and the possibility exists, that we’d have to nerf again at the start of a new generation.
 
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To be honest I dont see the point of buffing mons that are already viable. I like when mons stay the same because it makes them feel official, allows the metagames to develop as naturally as possible without constant artificial tweaks, and allows new things to rise and fall. Why not just wait until mons fall off the VR and then get caught in the buff process and focus on introducing the unviable mons back into the metagame first, where nerf reversion could be part of a buff package. I dont like the buff process either, but at least it has some decent reasoning behind it, whereas any meta shifts that this can articifically grant (im assuming this to be the main sell of doing this) could also be the goal of any other CAP addition process for instance a buff process on an unviable pokemon or a new CAP project.
 

quziel

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I would like to propose that for any nerfing process, we take a look at the nerf after the next team tour after the nerf is put in place to determine if the mon is still over-performing, or has been pushed into under-performing. At this second look we would have ability to tune the mon slightly more, and would have a large quantity of high quality data to base this second tuning on.

Optionally we could also extend this second look to all mons nerfed in gen8 immediately, as they didn't have a chance for a second look.
 

spoo

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I'm happy with how this thread is going so I just want to respond to some points and hopefully push things along. It seems like people are on board with this proposal in theory, but the big question left to answer is why and when a nerf reversion would be justified.

Responding to some posts on this same topic:

To be honest I dont see the point of buffing mons that are already viable. I like when mons stay the same because it makes them feel official, allows the metagames to develop as naturally as possible without constant artificial tweaks, and allows new things to rise and fall. Why not just wait until mons fall off the VR and then get caught in the buff process and focus on introducing the unviable mons back into the metagame first, where nerf reversion could be part of a buff package. I dont like the buff process either, but at least it has some decent reasoning behind it, whereas any meta shifts that this can articifically grant (im assuming this to be the main sell of doing this) could also be the goal of any other CAP addition process for instance a buff process on an unviable pokemon or a new CAP project.
I follow the thought process in this post, but there are a few things that I personally disagree with. Going in order, I think the point about CAPs "feeling official" shouldn't really inform competitive- or policy-driven decisions. I also understand wanting to let metagames develop on their own; you're right that this nerf reversion process would be yet another kind of "artificial tweak" we add onto the large number of them we already conduct. That said, it's not a tweak for the sake of tweaking, but (as I will propose) a targeted change for the sake of the metagame's health, which I believe would be a good artificial shift for the meta as opposed to an unhealthy one. Something like Libra (a mon that this proposal is implicitly aimed at reverting) would also likely never fall of the VR and become a candidate for a buff process. I don't think I agree with the last point, either, as one goal of Libra's nerf would be to reduce Dragapult's strain on the tier, yet this is a difficult and often impractical thing to shoehorn onto whatever creation or buff process comes next just because we feel like it.

Maybe my biggest takeaway from this post is the very first sentence –– it's a legitimate objection that relates to why these nerf processes would even be justified. Like, if Libra and Astro are perfectly viable, then what's even the point of going out of our way to make them better? Well, this is what I propose:

A nerf reversion can be conducted under these circumstances:
1) The reversion in question wouldn't push the CAP back into the broken / unhealthy state it once aimed to fix (it's predicted not to result in something problematic for the tier)​
2) The nerf happened in the current generation​
And is justified by at least one of these two reasons:
1) We recognize that the nerf should never have even been conducted in the first place, and we're just aiming to clean up / correct a previous mistake. Hindsight is 20/20, and giving ourselves a safety net if we fuck up is a good thing​
2) The reversion is predicted to result in a substantial benefit to the metagame. This is a very subjective point and ultimately up to the discretion of the metagame council, but if the council concludes it would be a strong net benefit then that should be a very good indicator​

This kind of addresses the "What's the point in buffing already viable mons" thing. It would either be a direct correction of a mistake we made, or we believe that it would make the meta substantially better in some way, or both.

Also respond to quziel's post because it's related:
I would like to propose that for any nerfing process, we take a look at the nerf after the next team tour after the nerf is put in place to determine if the mon is still over-performing, or has been pushed into under-performing. At this second look we would have ability to tune the mon slightly more, and would have a large quantity of high quality data to base this second tuning on.

Optionally we could also extend this second look to all mons nerfed in gen8 immediately, as they didn't have a chance for a second look.
While I think this would work in many cases, it still doesn't really address the DLC issue that is the impetus for wanting to revert Libra. A nerf might hold up perfectly fine after just a single team tour, but when a massive metagame shift rolls out in the form of DLC, a hugely relevant ban or CAP release, or etc, the same might not be true anymore. My personal stance is that we don't really need to set a timeframe to look back on a nerf because of that reason. There's no telling how long it will take for a once-reasonable nerf to become worthy of reversion, and setting a hard timeframe could just lock us out of future options. I think I'd be more okay with "At least one TT must have occured for a nerf reversion to take place" rather than "We will conduct a lookback on the nerf after the next TT," which sets a waiting period but not a hard point in time where we have to make the choice.
 
Going in order, I think the point about CAPs "feeling official" shouldn't really inform competitive- or policy-driven decisions.
I can’t speak for Pips intentions behind the wording, but I think this really depends on what you understand as “feeling official”.
If it’s meant to say, that the Mon should ultimately feel and be presented like a game freak creation, I think Spoo is right. We aren’t bound to make everything we do make sense in GF canon, especially since the competitive aspect is the most important part of the project.
But I understand the phrasing differently.
“Feeling official” for me means being finished.
At some point in the process we want to leave the CAPs untouched for a (long) while.
They should be able to establish an identity throughout several generations if possible.
I do think, that adjusting CAPs with small tweaks for a period of time is healthy and lets us understand our creations even better.
I am however wary about continuously changing CAPs with never finalizing them, especially if they have been comfortably viable for a while.
The DLC system has introduced a new situation, where the CAPs don’t only have to deal with power creep and will fall off the VR, like a lot of old CAPs did, but also with likely power decreeps, that will leave them fairly strong or even overpowered for periods of time.
Are we going to nerf some mons at the start of every gen (I’m especially thinking about hard to handle mons like Jumbao, Astro or Ebook) just to realize at the end of the gen that they’d be fine without the nerfs?
I am not entirely opposed to this.
But if we end up doing this there has to be 1) a limited amount of times this can happen,
2) a limit to the power level the Mon can be at at the time of the possible change,
3) a limit to the amount of different changes a Mon can go through and/or 4) a durable positive effect on the metagame as a result of the buff/nerf.
If we assume that somewhere between b and a rank is the desired powerlevel for our CAPs I think that CAPs within that range of the VR should not be touched in any capacity.

This implies, that the buff/nerf should not happen just to fix a problem unrelated to the CAPs powerlevel.
Buffing a CAP to fix an element of the meta seems like something, that we are trying to avoid for our regular processes, so why would we do that with nerf reversions or buffs.

If the element in question leaves the meta for whatever reason the buff/nerfrevertion becomes meaningless and might leave the buffed CAP in a bad spot once again.
At the same time we’d introduce another element to CAP, that you would have to learn/remember between generations.

All this means to say I agree with Spoos idea to only revert nerfs for CAPs if the nerf happened in the same generation, and doesn’t create an issue again within that gen,
with the addition, that a buff worthy CAP could also undergo a nerf reversion in a following generation as well if it happens to fix its issues.
At the same time, we should try to lock in a CAP at some point, meaning, that a CAP that has undergone several changes back and forth already, should be left alone for a while
 
Yea just to clarify, I do think CAPs should be for the most part completely left alone, but I guess thats neither here nor there unless a lot of other people are the same way. If its generally accepted that CAPs should be a neverending process or tweaks and touchups, then it can go that way instead. But a lot of issues will probably come up in the future with metagame bloat and matchup fishing if everything is artificially pulled up the minute it starts to look like it might fall out of play. This type of thing is just not easy to have a discussion around that isnt pure theory though, so I'll just say my issues with the other points.

Wrt to meta fixing: I also dont really like how that sounds. If you have a Dragapult issue in the metagame, Dragapult needs to be looked at, and suspect tested. Making Equilibra a dragapult counter probably isnt the right solution there. If Dragapult is not an issue but simply "annoying", then yeah things are far too subjective and there's just no need for an artificial metagame change. Youd need a real reason as to why Dragapult is creating a negative environment, and at that point take it to suspect test.

On the topic of nerfs that were wrong: I could see this being a valid way to revert a nerf, if caught quickly enough. But Im thinking back to past nerfs and I dont really know where this would even apply. Trick Astro was arguably the best scarf user ever made, and Id be tempted to say itd be right back up there even without Toxic. Removing an ability from Libra definitely doesnt feel like a mistake either- at the time it was correct and I think two immunity abilities on a mon like that was (and still would be) degenerate. Like I said on showdown, I think you could make a case that the Libra mistake was removing bulletproof over levitate and go from there. Are there any others in mind?

One last thing: If these are going to be unnecessary changes, there's not really any reason why not to involve the community in voting for reversion packages. Its not a case of the metagame being punished by a "bad" decision (like urshifu-s being allowed to stay in the tier) because the council could poll only packages that are safe to move forward with and then let the community vote. CAP is supposed to be a community project so if theres space for people to vote and be involved, especially for changes that will not affect the quality of the metagame, then you should prob let them vote
 

spoo

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I don't know if I should tag folks / who all to tag, but I'm bumping this thread so it does not sit forever in the purgatory that is this PRC subforum

I've said about all I have to say already, but to recap:
  • This proposal is implicitly targeted at reversing Equilibra's nerf much more than others, but it is possible to argue for others as well. For simplicity's sake I will just be referring to Equilibra from here out, but again, this theoretically applies to others.
  • We nerfed Equilibra in a past DLC meta, and it made sense in that meta.
  • We were later hit with a new DLC wave, which changed the tier into a place where said nerfs do not make sense anymore (read: we almost surely would not have conducted these nerfs if the current DLC was here from the start).
  • These nerfs removed features from Equilibra that would plausibly be appreciated in the current metagame, while presumably also not causing any new problems if reversed. One could argue it is a low-risk and high-benefit reversal.
  • Reversing some or all of the nerfs would bring Equilibra closer in line to its SM self, thereby decreasing inter-gen differences between CAPs, while also benefiting the metagame on paper.
  • Equilibra's nerf reversion would be justified under these above reasons, but in theory this proposal could also be justified under a second reason: if the nerf should never have been conducted in the first place, and we are fixing a mistake we now recognize.
  • I propose that only current gen nerfs be considered, at least one team tournament must begin & conclude before a nerf reversion can be conducted, and it is internally conducted by the metagame council with a final "vote of acceptance."
  • This proposal has many benefits: it decreases inter-gen disparities between CAPs, makes our metagame a friendlier place, gives us the flexibility to respond to Gamefreak's ever-changing DLC release model, and grants us new power to fix mistakes instead of being permanently locked into misguided past decisions.
Some important counterpoints have been made above as well, and perhaps other objections to this proposal have not been brought up yet. However, we have a seasonal tournament that has just begun and a new CAP underway, so I believe if this proposal ends up passing, the sooner the better.
 

quziel

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Hey, so trying to do some housekeeping. I'd like to give a 24 hour warning on this thread before moving it to moderator voting. If you have anything to say about whether we should think about reverting buffs, the timeline for that, etc. then please say it here. Eg "nerfs should be looked at after DLC release/at end of gen/after a team tour".
 

MrDollSteak

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I agree with Reverting some current gen nerfs / adjustments on a case by case. Especially considering the upcoming CAP gap prior to Gen 9. I would say doing one per month from about August to October could work well, giving each meta time to settle.
 

spoo

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Hello, mods have voted on this and the proposal has passed.

The metagame council now has the power to revert parts of/entire current-gen nerfs, with the condition that at least one team tournament must begin & conclude between a nerf and its potential reversion. If the council decides to revert something, there will also be a final community vote on whether or not to accept their proposed reversion or not, which helps legitimize the council's actions + include the community in decision-making.

I'll leave this thread open in case anyone has something to add or suggest about how this process is structured, but this PRC has been open a while with broadly positive reception, so it has officially passed. Thanks for the discussion and input.
 

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