Hey guys! I want to talk about in-game teams on PokeBase, so we can decide exactly what our rules are for them. Hopefully this thread will give you some points to discuss. There is an anonymous poll at the end, so you can make your thoughts count even if you don't want to write something.
In-game team questions are an awkward fit on PokeBase. They come in many shapes and forms, are quite repetitive, and are often of poor quality. Let's make sense of it with some categories:
- Some questions about in-game teams are quite general, and can be 'reused' by other people, e.g. "What's the best strategy to beat Totem Lurantis?" or "Is Gallade or Gardevoir more useful in Platinum playthroughs?"
- Other in-game team questions are limited only to one person's team, e.g. "What should my last member be?" or "What Pokemon should I replace?"
- Some in-game team questions meet in the middle, e.g. "How can I beat Totem Lurantis using my team?"
- There are also completely open-ended "Rate my in-game team" posts, which we currently don't allow anywhere.
I want us to decide finally where each of these questions belongs on the site, if anywhere at all.
A lot of people think in-game team advice/rates are not important or needed. Our own rules list says in-game teams "do not need much work, just a variety of types and moves". However, I don't completely agree with this, and would like to know what other people think. Here are my arguments:
- The people who come to us asking for in-game team advice probably already know that they need type variety, etc. They are here to learn the most effective and most efficient techniques available. That information should be within PokeBase's capacity to provide.
- Deciding upon good/ efficient strategies for in-game is not a trivial process. Here is an example on Smogon (main board) showing the research and optimisation that can go into this topic. None of it is required to beat Cynthia or whatnot, but it certainly could make the process easier.
- Common concerns, e.g. people being uptight about replacing Pokemon or not giving enough detail, could be stamped out in the rules.
- "Rate my in-game team" posts haven't been given a proper trial run, at least not under any modern ruleset. We don't know if it would work until we try it. We can stop if it doesn't work.
The fact people ask questions about in-game teams at all shows there are people who value the advice. The question is whether we, as a community, value giving out the advice. What do you think?
I expect people's response to that question will depend on which 'category' of in-game team questions (as described above) we're talking about.
Another factor that I expect will sway people's opinion is whether they enjoy having the questions on PokeBase. This comes down to how well-written they tend to be.
A lot of people, myself included, have a negative view of "help me with my team" questions (i.e. category 2, 3 and 4) because they lack detail and effort. However, we can use the rules to force people to put in effort and detail, or else we can remove the posts. Would these rules give some assurance?
- Questions asking for help with in-game teams must include levels*, items, abilities and moves for all Pokemon on the team. (Add natures?)
- For totally open-ended "Rate my team" posts, the asker must indicate how far through the playthrough they are, or clearly state that the team is a plan.
- The asker must give a brief explanation of each Pokemon on their team, or an equivalent description that gives some context for the post.
- The post must specify the exact game being played (e.g. specifically Sapphire, not R/S/E).
* levels are not needed if the team is a plan
Do you have other ideas for requirements? Is this too much, too little, or just right? Would you enjoy giving in-game team advice if these requirements were added?
Where should they go?
If we allow any in-game team questions, then we need to decide which section they should be posted on. Each category potentially fits somewhere different. I have some opinions on this topic -- feel free to give your thoughts, too.
- The goal of the main section is to be a collection of information, advice, and solutions to problems. Category 1 certainly fits the brief, and category 3 possibly does. However, I'd say #2 and #4 don't, because other people can't always use advice for other people's teams.
- The RMT section currently houses "Rate my competitive team" and "Last member for my competitive team" questions, which have a lot in common with category 2 and 4. These could be grouped together on the RMT section, under the identity of "open-ended advice for teams".
- I think a helpful way to draw the line would be to say, "Any question that compels you to include your team belongs on the RMT section". This would give category 3 a home.
Then, there's the question of which categories we allow at all.
- I think category 1 questions are good quality, so they should be allowed (as they always have been).
- Category 2 and 4 questions were banned in the past, but I think with the new rules set out above, they would be OK. What do you think?
- Category 3 questions should be OK with the new rules, but there might not be much point having them. For example, "How can I beat Totem Lurantis with my team?" (#3) is possibly made obsolete by "What are the best strategies to beat Totem Lurantis?" (#1). Do you think so? Maybe it's OK if category 1 and 3 are on different sections.
Another possible issue is that mixing in-game teams with competitive teams on RMT could be disorganised and distracting. However, this could be limited somewhat with additional rules: e.g. question titles must clearly indicate what the team is. Would it still be a dealbreaker?
(Example: "[White in-game team] What changes can I make before the Elite Four?" v. "[Gen 8 OU] Trick Room offence with Melmetal")
To get a full picture of the everyone's thoughts, I made a poll where you can give your opinions on these topics. I'll share the results in a few days, and that will combine with the discussion to make a final viewpoint.
Click here to vote in the poll!
Feel free to give written feedback as well, as lengthy as you want it to be. We'll be using your opinions to make suggestions for a revamped rules page (coming soon), so tell us what you think.