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Author Topic: 5 Pages of Pokemon schtuff I wrote a litetime ago
Tghost
Farting Nudist
Member # 1418

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posted 07-21-2003 06:25 AM      Profile for Tghost   Author's Homepage   Email Tghost   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
tl;dr

Anyway, it's like, 5 pages of schtuff I wrote, hmm, September/October last year when I was still into Pokemons. Posting here for sheer reason that I found it again filed under "OMG I wrote this" and felt like sharing with people who also didn't care.

So, just to repeat; tl;dr.

This team is an effort to fully document the thought processes that go into creating a new team. And, to begin with, I am going to define some goals for my team to accomplish.

Firstly, Iíve found a major flaw in Pokemon teams has always been redundancy and reliance on sole purpose Pokemon. A brilliant example of this would be Skarmory, a single role counter-defensive Pokemon. Using Skarmory, while it may provide a team with counter-defense, also provides a team with a weakness in the deadweight of Skarmory should the need not arise for counter-defense, and would lead to a team high and dry should the counter-defense of Skarmory be defeated.

Sole purpose Pokemon are actually extremely risky to use - they can quickly shift from extreme redundancy to extreme reliance during a battle. This provides the opponent with opportunities to simply whittle down a sole purpose Pokemon to the point of non-effectiveness and then use any Pokemon they have that you relied on that Pokemon to counter.

As such, one of the goals for this team of mine is to not have Pokemon for a sole purpose, and to try and spread tasks such as counter-defense across a few Pokemon to share out the risk of the counter-defensive portion of my team being rendered ineffective.

While counter-defense specifically has been my example, the same concepts and goal can be spread to the slightly broader category of disrupting the opponent - a category of which counter-defense falls under.

Having said that, it is also the goal to share out the risks of offensive tasks, and defensive or supportive tasks across a few of my Pokemon as well. While I will not provide concrete rules such as ďEach Pokemon must have one or more physical attacks"Ē, I would like for each Pokemon to be capable of mounting an offensive on their own, whatever that offense be.

Having a capacity for offensive on every Pokemon of my team would aid me in another goal I wish to have - the ability for my team to press any advantage gained by disruptive techniques. While there is definitely a need for disruptive techniques, the soul of Pokemon battling lies in offensive techniques.

My two goals so far can be further simplified into a single goal - To have a disruptive element spread among the team, with a main focus on the offensive.

While the main focus of my team may be offensive, sometimes the best offensive is disruptive, be it via a counter-defensive or plainly disruptive move. And there is certainly a lot to be said in that offensive is best served with supportive and defensive moves backing them up - A Pokemon with four offensive techniques may look like a good attack platform, and may provide a wide range of type coverage and deal a lot of damage before it falls, but without support, will fall quickly or provide an opportunity for the opponent to enact a strategic plan.

Going back to my point on single role Pokemon, a goal for my team is to have all Pokemon capable of performing broad roles. By broad roles, I refer to a number of specific roles, as with the restrictions placed upon movesets, it is rather impossible to design a Pokemon capable of taking absolutely everything on. So, the context of broad roles is not to attempt to handle everything, but to attempt to handle a multitude of roles and situations. By doing this, I may overlap roles in my Pokemon, but at least I will not create the risk of relying on a sole Pokemon for a single role.

This too can be simplified into a single goal - To have a team that spreads disruptive and offensive elements across the entire team.

Yes, it may be a rewording of the last simplification of the goal for my team, but at least to me it is clearer on the idea of not relying on single role Pokemon.

While having this goal may be all well and good, it is nothing without the implementation, and the team. However, I cannot just jump into creating this team now - I am still yet to decide on the structure of the team.

The structure of a Pokemon team is mostly to do with the concept of roles of Pokemon - a concept Iíve talked with but not defined. Roles are certain tasks in battle that a Pokemon is capable of fulfilling. They can be based on a single move, such as Heal Bell, or based on a full moveset combination, such as a Pokemon in the role of using Perish Song.

Roles have been arbitrarily assigned to a lot of Pokemon at design time, but they are actually dynamic to battle in a lot of cases, and more diverse than a rigid table which separates Pokemon - a Miltank defined as a Heal Beller may become an attacker, or a paralyser when using Body Slam. As such, my goal to have a Pokemon that is not a single role Pokemon is not referring to broader roles such as attacker or sweeper, but to specific roles such as Heal Beller or Hazer.

Most teams I see, including older teams by myself, are structured so that there is a starting Pokemon that works in the early game, a key group of Pokemon, usually two to three that make up the core of the team, and then utilitarian single role Pokemon to fill in the gaps, so to speak. This is the structure I am aiming to not have.

The structure I would like to have is one where there are no single points of reliance, or gaps to fill. This of course is a very broad idea to hold, and will require implementation itself. The first thing to look at is the restrictions on structure itself.

To begin with, a team definitely needs a starter. This is generally a broad enough role in itself to not stifle the development of my team, and as a starter is generally a microcosm of a team, and would benefit from the goals for my greater team being assigned to it, a starter may be a good place to begin designing my team from.

Having the starter as the beginning point of the design, though, may add a structural defect of relying on the starter too much - a design which is created with losing the starter in mind can generally perform better than a design which ends up relying on the starter in some way. Saying that, a starter shouldnít be designed with itís own demise in mind, and that the continual survival of the starter should become a bonus to the team.

The inherent effects of the Pokemon game, however, will put single weaknesses onto my team, and indeed into the structure - with the limited selection of Pokemon that learn moves such as Roar and Whirlwind and especially Heal Bell, there are bound to be bottlenecks that are naturally incorporated into teams. Attempting to use two Heal Bellers would not only lead to redundancy, but would introduce weaknesses in duplication. This will be something my team will have to overcome, by attempting different approaches at countering status effects, or deciding whether it is worth countering status effects and to rely on a metagame to sandbox the team away from a weakness. Decisions on bottlenecks are needed on all Pokemon teams, although in many cases certain moves seem obligatory to usage, Heal Bell being the prime example.

A definite trend in creating Pokemon teams is that nothing is ever created from a blank slate - movesets are used from the past - this is basically the sole reason for the rise of standards and the metagame of Pokemon.

It is beneficial to when creating a new team to look at teams from the past. Most of my past teams are divided into two eras, and further into lineages. The first era is pre-November last year, and marks a time in which I was reasonably active in creating teams. During that era, I created several lineages of teams - lineages being marked by the starter, or main Pokemon on that team.

My first lineage began with a modified Gravewatching Umbreon known as Insomniax. The second lineage began with Crystal and focused on Baton Passing Eeveelution combinations, first with a combination that became known as JoltWak, and then with a combination of a passing Umbreon with a target Nightmare toting Exeggutor.

This lineage lead on, through the need for a false starter for Umbreon into the Encore Alakazam lineage, which marked a new era of my team creation in November - first of all a departure from conventional and simple team design to more specialised and complicated, and a change in the frequency of team creation, and length of description of said teams.

What can be learnt from a brief history lesson is suprising. Firstly, it marks a progression of strategy both with myself and with the Pokemon metagame in general - Insomniax would no longer work with the prevalence of Roarers, especially Skarmory. Secondly, there is a plethora of working movesets contained within all said teams, indeed I have already crafted a number of off-shoot teams from the main lineages that got absorbed back in - and this team will mark the beginning of a new lineage, although it still may borrow elements from the wealth of that history.

But, I digress to the point of standards and the metagame - they are based on the fact that there is never a blank slate in creating a team.

It would be an interesting exercise to merely define what the concept of a metagame is. To begin with, the concept of a metagame is of a structure above the game - this comes in the form of restrictions imposed upon the game. These restrictions can be posed in a number of ways, and indeed mean that a metagame is a multi-layered concept.

The very first layer of the Pokemon metagame is the external layer, and is defined as any Pokemon with a moveset that can be legally raised. This layer is quite literally the Pokemon game in itís purest form, which itself is not only about the battling at the end of the day from the ingame - a definite trend in the Pokemon games is balancing via the difficulty of raising a Pokemon in the game, or obtaining a moveset because of tradebacks required.

The layer in from that can be referred to as the sandbox layer. This is where the metagame defines itís own illegalities, through clauses. Clauses are developed on some part to remove the uncounterable, or at the very least difficult to counter elements of the Pokemon game - such as sleep inducing, or OHKOs. In such a way, viable strategies are excluded from the metagame, hence the sandboxing nature of it - as people do not design to counter moves they will not encounter in the protection of their sandbox, those moves will constantly remain outside the sandbox. A brilliant example of this is sleep inducing - there are enough counters to sleep in the metallic games to open up the sleep clause as it is no longer as uncounterable as it was in the chromatic games. In actual fact, sleep clause only works to the detriment of everybody, as several of the counter-methods to sleep inducing are powerful and already in place on their own accord - Sleep Talk, Heal Bell, Mint and Miracle Berries. Many other Pokemon would also be viable should they be able to use their sleep inducing moves - which themselves are naturally balanced by survivablity of the Pokemon that use them and the accuracy of sleeping techniques.

However, I digress. The metagame in the sandboxing layer is exclusionary, but that layer is only a shell to the dynamic metagame within the sandbox. This dynamic metagame is the response of counter-strategies to strategies - in the Pokemon game there is a counter to everything, with the exception of properly managed OHKOs (apart from accuracy and PP, which can be overcome by mass usage of OHKOs). Indeed the dynamic nature of the game over time is created when people move to counter common strategies which then leads to the downfall in their popularity as strategies, which leads to the downfall of the counter-strategy in usage, which in turns leads to an upsurgeance in the use of the original strategy - it is a dynamic cycle. This layer of the metagame is often referred to as the metagame, and is different from battling environment to environment - infact, it is the battling environment.

By environment, I would be meaning the difference of battling technique and strategy among different groups - such as forums, local trainers or online battling arenas such as GSBot or NetBattle. The battling environment is the sum of the teams and strategies used by those within it, and playing to the battling environment is the simplest way to win.

An example of this would be a person using Electric or Grass Hidden Power on a Zapdos because it is super-effective against Suicune with the addition of Hidden Power being unable to be Mirror Coated. This is only a viable strategy if Suicune is sure to be packing Mirror Coat, as otherwise it would be wiser to test for Mirror Coat using Drill Peck and then use Thunderbolt when all is believed to be clear - however that may be foiled by prediction and timing within battle.

Further in from the dynamic battling environment shell of the metagame is the different sects of battlers that arise in those environments - people only battling against a small group develop a smaller metagame of their own. These are microcosms of the battling environment in the most case, and change more rapidly, slowly spreading change to the entire battling environment.

This is a trap of team design that many fall into - playing to a battling environment only skews your team to countering strategies of the time. While it may increase the chances of winning in the battling environment of the time, this leaves the teams wide open to be countered with other strategies. Infact, the battling environment only works because people play solely to it - it is how the battling environment shifts from strategy to strategy, constantly striving to counter itself.

Countering itself, however, is more stable in the greater metagame of the Pokemon game, and even in the sandboxing layer expressed on GSBot, as it has stabilised to the point that to break it open with a new strategy would require something exceptionally obscure. By metagaming to the greater metagame, a team is able to function in a wider range of battling situations - and that is an implied goal in my goal of being disruptive and offensive across the entire team.

Of course, now I have introduced the concept of metagaming. Metagaming can be defined in two different ways, but unlike a metagame it is not layered, it is two totally separate concepts that fall under the same name.

The first definition of metagaming is playing to a specific layer of the metagame - be it the outer layer, a sandbox or battling environment, or a microcosm of a battling environment. This is a direct influence on team design, and is generally written into the goals (whether they be written or not themselves) of the team - countering a specific strategy or range of strategies.

The second definition of metagaming occurs after a skeleton of a team design is created - it is the improvement of a team by attempting to counter the strategies that counter the team. This can be done with respect to the popularity of said countering strategies, or to the viability. With respect to the popularity of strategies is, of course, one and the same trap as designing to a specific battling environment - viable strategies would still remain to counter the team, and playing to popularity would often lead said viable strategies to be unexpected, and hence even more viable. Metagaming with respect to the viability of strategies, on the other hand, does a better job of allowing a team to counter the unexpected, however it can fall short when dealing with popular strategies - which may or may not be tremendously viable overall, but are in the sandbox of the metagame.

However, I digress back to the skeleton of this team design - so far I havenít really defined the structure of my team. The structure, though, is easier implemented not through theoretical pontificating above a team design, but through the actual process of team design. This will bring me back to my initial diversion from the structure of a team - looking into teams from the past.

If we take the concept that a starter is a microcosm of a team, that the goal of my team is to be disruptive and offensive, and that looking into teams from the past is beneficial - then the conclusion that an Encoring Alakazam is a good starter for this team and a good starting place for the team design becomes reasonably evident. As such, it could be claimed that this team is not a new lineage, but a rebirth of an old team lineage, no less than a year on.

- - - - -
My brain went on vacation and left my pancreas in charge

From: Auckland, New Zealand | Registered: Jan 2001  |  IP: Logged
TeLeFonE
X-treme rotary telephone
Member # 2293

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posted 07-21-2003 11:41 AM      Profile for TeLeFonE   Email TeLeFonE   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Oh.. this thing. Yes, I remember glancing at this way back whenever you wrote it or whatnot. I stopped I think after the first or second paragraph.

Still looks as long as it was before ._.

- - - - -
fuck this username is gay

Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
MK
is somewhat large.
Member # 1445

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posted 07-22-2003 08:57 PM      Profile for MK     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I read like 95% of it, very well done...

What does "tl;dr" mean?

[ 07-22-2003, 08:58 PM: Message edited by: MK ]

Registered: Jan 2001  |  IP: Logged
Tghost
Farting Nudist
Member # 1418

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posted 07-22-2003 09:32 PM      Profile for Tghost   Author's Homepage   Email Tghost   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
too long; don't read

If you read 95% of it, how much of it made sense? Since some of it doesn't make sense to me anymore, especially the parts about roles of Pokemon.

From: Auckland, New Zealand | Registered: Jan 2001  |  IP: Logged
MK
is somewhat large.
Member # 1445

Member Rated:
posted 07-23-2003 04:21 PM      Profile for MK     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Almost all of it, if not all of it made sense to me. You had some good ideas in there, you should read it again sometime yourself, I was able to grasp it...
Registered: Jan 2001  |  IP: Logged


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