This is just guide for everyone on what I personally view to be allowed, when it comes to questions where you are needed to give advice on supplied in-game teams or movesets. This concerns our stance that some of these questions are 'open-ended' or opinionated, and therefore don't fit on this platform.
The best definition of an open-ended or opinionated question is one where one single answer cannot be agreed upon as correct. For example, we'd all recognise that questions like 'What is a good nickname for Ninetales?' would fit into this category, because there is no way to 'correctly' answer that question. (Actually, that's a lie: the best nickname for Ninetales is Mozilla.)
However, there always seems to be lack of clarity on when in-game team or moveset questions count under this. Mike posted a notice about this a few years ago, but it lacked clear distinctions between what is allowed and what isn't. I'm posting this now as a reference, as I feel it's valuable that I be transparent on this.
If the asker has made no effort to give directions or restrict the options, the question is not allowed. This is because the question is essentially open-ended and could have any answer, ranging from one change to a move or replacing the whole thing. This isn't the intent of the platform. Examples:
- When someone lists out the Pokemon on their team and asks you to rate it or give advice. This encourages discussion, and has no direction for your answer.
- When someone supplies a moveset and asks for improvements. Again, if they haven't been specific on what they need help with, the post isn't allowed.
However, not all posts that supply an in-game team or moveset are disallowed. If the asker has actually outlined what they need, or restricted the options, then the post is allowed. Examples include:
- When a team has been provided, and someone asks how they can use it to beat a certain story point. This can be answered objectively, and promotes expertise.
- When someone gives an incomplete team and asks for suggestions on the last member/s. Asking for a final member is sufficient direction, and you can use the existing members to find a good fit.
- When someone asks for a final team member, but have restricted the options to a few, or described what kind of Pokemon they want (e.g. type or ideal stats).
- When someone initiates a direct comparison, such as asking which Pokemon can be replaced for a specified Pokemon, or which of a few Pokemon would fit the team best.
- When someone supplies a moveset, and asks for advice on something particular, e.g. what item is best, or a decision of which move (e.g. Dragon Claw or Outrage?)
- When someone asks for advice on the use of a set: for example, what format it would be effective in, what can counter it, what its strong points are, whether it's good in a specified format, etc.
This isn't an exhaustive list, and case-by-case assessments will be made to determine if a question is 'answerable'. If you're ever unsure, it is helpful to leave a flag: we'll get to it and make a judgement.
My ruling here is quite lenient, and it does differ from our approach in the past (including Mike's post). The reason for that is, going back to some older threads of the above descriptions, all of them had good explanations and a solution the asker was happy with. Therefore, I think they fit with our other content here.
At the very least, I think it is worth trialing formats we've banned in the past, like 'Final team member for...' to see if we can allow them. Based on what I've observed, I think they work. However, this is always subject to change, and we can keep discussing what content we think has a place in our community.
Feel free to post your thoughts!
Also stay tuned: I have some more exciting threads coming in the pipeline :)