Policy Review Post-Post Play Lookback


I am the Scientist now
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I feel like the post play lookback for Chromera was partially effective but was hamstrung because it did not adequately separate process frameworks from meta strength concerns. Additionally, it was placed too early after release before the meta had adequate time to adapt to Chromera's strength. A final issue I have with it is that we had one chance to correct, which is an additional issue we faced with Miasmaw.

My proposal is the following:

Hold two Post Play Lookbacks where the first is focused on both process evaluation and immediate strength, and the second is focused only on fixing the mon if necessary. Allow for the second PPL to be cancelled if the mon is clearly on par with where it should be.

I think I should be frank. The best way to ensure that a CAP is usable, relevant, and fun for ages to come is to release it in an overpowered state, and then allow the meta council to nerf it slightly over multiple nerf processes. This is obviously not desirable, but compare the current state of Equilibra and Astrolotl to Miasmaw and Chromera. This is because multiple nerf processes are the only real way we have to do a truly iterative process where we slowly adjust the mon back to where its balanced. The release process before PPL was especially bad for this because there was legitimately no way to bring a mon back to mean.

My thesis here is that we should have multiple chances to correct a mon to the mean rather than the current single one we have. A second, purely meta focused PPL would allow us to identify if the mon is keeping up with the meta, correct any emergent problems, and hopefully have a better end product.


Additional changes I'd like:

Buffs/changes should be conditional (aka assemble packages for voting based on consensus):

This is something I've had in mind for change processes for a while, but frankly, with most changes we want a mix of buffs and nerfs. With Chromera we had the problem that it simply had too much coverage, but also (as we would later discover) it was a bit too weak. CAP's current process only really allows for one change at once, and as such its difficult to do detailed tuning. This was also present with Voodoom where we had to vote for +25 SpA or eg No Guard, where No Guard realistically needs an additional 10 SpA to really compete. Aka we should use our abiltiy to have live chat debates to create specific packages for voting that can consist of multiple buffs, a buff and a nerf, or multiple nerfs, and then vote on a mix of Packages and optionally single changes.

Have the TL lead the PPL in conjunction with 2 Meta Council Members

This is more a bit of load sharing, but the PPL is largely a meta focused endeavor, so having a 3 man leadership for it with the TL (process focused) and 2 Meta Council members (meta focus). The previous PPL had 2 stages, one which was very process focused (What can we learn from Chrom, Does it fulfill Setup Sweeper), and one that was meta focused (actual changes). Having 2 separate leaders for these stages, and having a balance here could help us. This would also help for TLs who have more of a process focus than meta focus who are thrust into leading a primarily meta focused stage to get input.

This is explicitly me in like burnout mode, so I apologize if there are any issues here, as I am not thinking hyper well atm. I am definitely not phrasing this perfectly



Yo, do one of these for Chrom and Mias as they're both clearly having issues atm.


I should clarify:

Given that the only tool we have available atm to adjust a mon's power post-release is a single PPL and then nerf processes, under the current system, mons that are released slightly overtuned are more likely to be viable once the meta settles because we have more levers we can push. A second PPL would mean that we have more tools to adjust a cap that is slightly underperforming, thus changing the incentives.

[9:39 PM] Queso Zone London:
I feel like I should clarify
[9:39 PM] Queso Zone London:
that I do not like the status quo
[9:39 PM] Queso Zone London:
that is
[9:40 PM] Queso Zone London:
I do not like the fact that a slightly OP cap is the most likely to be balanced 6 months down the line
[9:40 PM] Queso Zone London:
compared to a regular or subpar cap
[9:42 PM] Queso Zone London:
I'm just trying to comment that a cap that is released slightly overtuned has lead to the cap being more usable once the meta settles
[9:43 PM] Queso Zone London:
I realize I made a mistake with phrasing
[9:46 PM] Queso Zone London:
with the current system
[9:46 PM] Queso Zone London:
where we have "unlimited nerfs"
[9:46 PM] Queso Zone London:
an incentive absolutely exists for us to release stuff slightly overtuned and then bring it back into line as a way to ensure a cap is performing as it should
[9:46 PM] Queso Zone London:
this is because we have one limited mechanism to bring a mon's power up, and many to bring it down
[9:47 PM] Queso Zone London:
so because of that, a mon that is released at say a 11/10 ideal power rating is more likely to end up at 7/10 6 months down the line than a mon that is released at a 4/10 ideal power rating
[9:48 PM] Queso Zone London:

I am not arguing for releasing mons slightly overtuned, I am saying that under the current system there definitely is an incentive to do so
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Yeah, I think the main issue with the process is that the lookback happens way too soon after release, so there really isn't enough time for the metagame to adequately figure out how to adapt to the presence of the new CAPs. I think Equilibra and Astrolotl have shown that multiple nerf processes are a fine way to bring overpowered CAPs in line with the rest of the metagame, although it's pretty unideal to have to run through these multiple months after the product is released.

Also, god please nuke Aromatherapy from Miasmaw and give it more speed instead. That buff was legit such a poorly thought out one that really had no reason to even be slated in the first place.


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I definitely understand the need for this proposal, and agree with many of the points. However, I think a more elegant solution, rather than having an additional post-play lookback would instead be to just delay the post-play lookback by another few weeks / month to give it time to settle. I think having too many adjustment phases apart from diminishing interest, also does risk invalidating too many aspects of the process itself.
I have to agree that our current method is rather flawed, as we only get a few weeks of playtest, which is only enough for glaring issues like Toxic Astrolotl (its first nerf wasn't a real PPL but this still applies). A second opportunity to revise our project should certainly fix that issue, although I'm not completely sold this would be a good use of our resources. Doing this 6 months after the first PPL seems like the best schedule for this, as this should coincide with the end of the next main project. As for leadership, the idea of picking 2 meta council members strikes me as a bit arbitrary, I think it would be more natural to let the entire council lead the process alongside the TL in a similar way we do nerfing processes, picking a slate at the end of discussion. The TL should probably have the option to not participate if they wish, as I feel like while it would be optimal to have their input, the position is already in charge of way too much and we shouldn't burden it with even more responsibilities.

I think I should be frank. The best way to ensure that a CAP is usable, relevant, and fun for ages to come is to release it in an overpowered state, and then allow the meta council to nerf it slightly over multiple nerf processes. This is obviously not desirable, but compare the current state of Equilibra and Astrolotl to Miasmaw and Chromera. This is because multiple nerf processes are the only real way we have to do a truly iterative process where we slowly adjust the mon back to where its balanced. The release process before PPL was especially bad for this because there was legitimately no way to bring a mon back to mean.
I'm sorry but I strongly disagree with this reasoning, I think purposefully trying to make CAPs even slightly overpowered on release is a terrible idea. While it's obviously true that Astrolotl and Equilibra are currently in a better place than Chromera and Miasmaw, those 2 caused severe problems in the meta on release, having really disgusting options like Toxic and Doomphasing, and were still problematic for months before finally being properly balanced. It's also important to note that these two were supposed to be balanced on release but some CAPs are just always going to overperform while others might fall short of our expectations. If we actually try to make CAPs even more powerful than we do now, I think that would cause much more damage than good and it could damage our metagame for years because we would have even more cases that would require multiple nerfs and could be even more broken on release. I know that some people might be disappointed that we had 2 underwhelming CAPs in a row but there really hasn't been any concrete changes that wouldn't allow CAP 30 to be just as powerful as Astrolotl, Equilibra, or Jumbao so changing our philosophy now doesn't seem justified.
I think Quzs proposal has a lot of value. Similar to being able to nerf a mon into line within several attempts, we should be able to balance a CAP, that was underpowered on its release, with multiple ppls.
It seems very unlikely, that we will always be able to hit the exact powerlevel we want, even if that would be the most desirable outcome of every process.
Being able to bring a mon in line after its initial release with nerfs or buffs or nerfs and buffs simultaneously, would not be a failing of the process. It means we over- or undershot our goals, which frankly is going to be a pretty regular scenario, because none of us can foresee all consequences of our design decisions.

Releasing a finished product and then tweaking it after live tests is a design practice, that is practically the norm for almost anything.The nerf processes were the first part of this, now The PPL is the next step in this direction.

I think the idea to push back ppl a couple of weeks more is solid. Imo we still could manage with only one scheduled ppl say after 6-8 weeks (or imo after having the mon available during a good amount of tour play), with the option to hold an emergency ppl if the mon is drastically underpowered after it’s release.


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I'd like to return to this proposal since there hasn't been much recent discussion or consensus, and suggest that a trial of Quziel's original proposal be enacted to address Chromera. I think that Chromera is in a particularly interesting space at the moment in regards to having a second Post-Play Lookback for the reasons that Quz previously identified. Beyond this, however, there have also been a variety of oddities, particularly concentrated in the movepool section, in the months since Chromera was released as a result of process and implementation technicalities, that I think would be important for us as a community to address during this process. I am referring specifically to Ice Beam, Blizzard and Copycat.

The first move was removed as part of Chromera's first PPL. As a consequence of this decision it was also decided that Blizzard would also be removed. At various stages since the process, particularly when Chromera was experiencing periods of unviability there has been discussion about the necessity of the decision. As a result, when Chromera's final movepool was recently uploaded and by technicality, Blizzard was still included, the Moderation team voted to preserve Blizzard in order to maintain its current level of viability. There has been recent experimentation to show that Blizzard is actually a usable move on Chromera and that Ice coverage in general is appreciated with its current toolkit. As a result, I think a second PPL should consider addressing Ice Beam. Copycat is in a similarly ambiguous space. The move was originally part of Chromera's large preliminary movepool and deemed a "flavour" addition. The move was then removed from the winning final movepool. However, because it took a while for the final movepool to be implemented on showdown, Copycat saw play in CAPPL to decent success. While not the most impactful move by any means, the fact that it has some competitive applications in conjunction with Color Change, has positioned it rather oddly in terms of its later removal with the correct implementation of the final movepool. While it's quite possible for the community to cope with Chromera in the state that it currently is in, I believe it would be appropriate to allow the community some input on these specific moves.

All that said, these specific moves should not be the only focus of the lookback here. There have been broader discussions about what Chromera might require to be a more viable option in the metagame that should also be considered as usual. That being said, we should also not be afraid to use this process to make no additions or changes whatsoever. I think that in the particular case of Chromera, it is important for us to take a definitive stance, and that this stage be the final look at the CAP and the various issues that have surrounded it more than anything else. I think that considering how tricky Chromera is, it will provide us with a good precedent for how to approach future CAPs and whether a second PPL is useful, or even necessary.
My current preference is Amamama's suggestion of one scheduled PPL 6-8 weeks after 1.0 release, with an emergency one allowed sooner if the CAP is ridiculously overpowered or underpowered on release. The existing PPL already suffers from lowered participation due to burnout from the preceding process, and depending on the timings of the PPLs, it might either have even more issues from burnout or instead end up with a lack of interest due to the length of time spent waiting, in addition to needing to time these without running into the next CAP process. As a result, I'm not particularly convinced of the practicality of running two, especially when pushing the existing one back would help with the current issues.

As for applying a second PPL to Miasmaw and Chromera, even on a trial basis, I think the timing for that has passed. I strongly dislike the idea of trying to run another process-related project before the 1.0 release of the current CAP, and CAP30 in particular is more demanding due to the multiple forms being juggled, so I disagree with doing any kind of test now. CAP30 is releasing in 3 weeks at the absolute soonest (most definitely later than that), and by then Chromera will be out for over 6 months and Miasmaw will have been out for over a year. Doing it later wouldn't cramp on CAP30's process as much, but it furthers the issue of the timing. I think that it would be nice to have an official way of reevaluating Blizzard, given the awkward circumstances of its addition, but I don't think trying to fit it into the post play lookback framework is a good idea.
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