Codraroll
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  • What the hell is up with the current games obsession with limiting enemy movesets? Some trainers have mons with only two or three moves...
    Would love to see a pokemon on switch / future article from you :)
    Codraroll
    Codraroll
    Would love to write one, but until December 1st I'm kind of swamped with work as it is! Turns out that "office hours" and "weekends" aren't necessarily things for PhD students. I think it'll get considerably better from then on, though, so I'll let the idea stew in the back of my head in the meantime!
    Seeing your recent post on the usage thread, I see you share my disillusionment with competitive battling. There's a reason why I don't use Legenderies and Mega's, despite the obvious limits it puts on me.
    Codraroll
    Codraroll
    My main reason not to is because of the absolute tedium of getting anything worth using (SRing for natures. Hidden Power and, until recently, IVs), and the fact that you can only catch them once (so you only get one shot). Megas are fine enough, though, but I mostly play in-game where Game Freak suddenly decided to abolish Megas altogether.
    I heard that's it's illegal to provide money for ESports in Japan. Might that be part of the reason why Gamefreak currently gives such poor support to the competitive scene?
    Codraroll
    Codraroll
    Nah, I think it's just that Nintendo doesn't have a culture for professional esports yet. Besides, it's not like such a law would prevent the developers from tuning their games for competitive play. I just think they don't consider it important enough to spend such a large amount of money on balance.
    I wonder if anyone's realised PU's intent was being the "bottom-tier" for Pokémon, because it looks like everyone's forgotten that. Smogon really needs to actually keep its power creep in check.
    Codraroll
    Codraroll
    Eh, I've never played competitively, so it's not a big issue for me.
    Gamefreak has to pull a Breath of the Wild and properly adapt Pokémon to the modern industry. Without, the franchise is on a one-way-trip into a brick wall.
    I find it amazing that Gamefreak is so lax with VGC to the point of basically not giving a shit about balance, while Yu-Gi-Oh has an official ban list enforced in official tournaments. Smogon is more professional than Gamefreak TBH.
    Codraroll
    Codraroll
    Indeed. It seems like some thought is given to balance, but not much rigor. Stuff like Mega Kangaskhan was approved and implemented seemingly without any analysis of its powers. Smogon continually implements data from experience in its ruleset, although even with all the work done here, it still takes months or even years for a metagame to settle. So it seems like proper analysis would cost Game Freak too much to perform rigorously.
    Rain Spectre
    Really? Because Yu-Gi-Oh updates its official banlist every few months. And it introduces new cards and playsets quite frequently, verses Pokémon which only releases new mechanics, balance shifts and mons every three years on average. There's not really an excuse. Gamefreak designing the games as games first and meta second doesn't work either IMO when there are real tournaments that give winners real money.

    The problem with Smogon is more the broken and highly exploitable suspect test system that, in an attempt to involve the community, basically sabotages any fair play and results in giant flame wars. If the council just did quickbans, things would be much happier. (Though, with the way YGO bans work, Landorous-T would've been banned long ago under such a system)
    Rain Spectre
    Lemme put it like this, the reason why Smogon takes so long isn't some mystical "complexity", it's that it's a fan community founded and run by fans. And yet it has to basically do the job any other competitive community gets from the people running official parts of said meta.
    I've lately been wondering if the reliance on Legendries, Pokémon who aren't "balanced" in the same way as normal mons, is the root problem of competitive play (both Smogon and VGC). Thoughts?
    Codraroll
    Codraroll
    I've been thinking about the same myself. Getting a competitive-grade specimen of a "regular" Pokémon species is a manner of some breeding, hatching and EV training, which can be repeated as many times as necessary in one game. It's even possible to train IVs nowadays, so really the only worry is Nature and Hidden Power.

    But legendaries require you to seek out one-off Pokémon (which are often game exclusive) and roll the dice over and over again until the stats match up with what you want, and when you have accepted an outcome you won't get any more chances. So if a Jolly nature is all the rage one year, you have to start the game over if suddenly Adamant turns out to be a better option. Or woe is the one who tries to get into competitive battling after already catching the one-off Pokémon.

    This, combined with the fact that legendaries are usually so strong that they're practically required for success in high-level play (Landorus, Heatran, Cresselia, Tapu Koko...) really raises the treshold for competitive cartridge play. You can raise regular Pokémon with some reliability at almost any time in the post-game (barring unfortunate incidents such as trading away your Destiny Knot or something like that), but you have one and only one shot at the legendaries - often not even that, if you don't own the games they come in. And don't even get me started on Event Pokémon...
    Rain Spectre
    It's not just that. I saw False Swipe Gaming's video on Arcanine, and something that stuck out to me is the point that it was knocked down in tier because of Heatran doing it's job better. I'm like, why should that matter? Why should it's use be diminished because of something that is not even supposed to be balanced?

    The problem I see ties to fighting games IMO. Fighting games are notorious for extremely powerful bosses, but they're either tournament banned or severely nerfed from the boss versions. Pokémon don't have bosses like that, because bosses (bar Battle Facilities) don't have legendries. No battle that isn't Pokémon catching expects you to properly "fight" a Legendery, with proper AI and tactics.

    It make it blunt, Legendries feel like a fighting game where every character played is a boss character. Maybe it's because the Pokémon tournament scene is way more undeveloped (VGC has nothing on EVO), but it feels like a weird and pretty careless idea to judge everything based on something that relies on a completely different spectrum.

    Also, I am really sick of seeing Landorus in battles.
    Made a rather nasty revelation. Factoring perfect IV's, best nature and the preferred ability (with the numeric of Pokémon having two abilities on average), the chance of getting a "competitive" Pokémon ingame is 0.39%, even without factoring in EV training. And people question why Smogon is vastly more popular to VGC and why Showdown is so widely used.
    Codraroll
    Codraroll
    What is the scenario? Breeding two perfect parents, wild capture, or just the total chance to find a good 'mon given X number of encounters while playing?
    Rain Spectre
    The last one, for simplicities sake.
    Have to say, I really don't get people who claim Gen V is the worst in Mons. Honestly, a huge amount of my faves come from Gen V, both in design and battle ability.
    Codraroll
    Codraroll
    Thing is, Gen V is almost 50/50 fantastic and terrible. For starters, the starters are awful. Bland designs, mediocre battlers. Then almost all the early-game Pokémon are parallel to previous-gen Pokémon: Rock type that evolves at level 25 and then again by trading. Three-stage humanoid mono-Fighting with the same evolutionary pattern. Blue, three-stage Water-type that evolves from a tadpole. Two-stage bat living in caves. Ground-type bipedal mole. Two-stage elemental equine. A pair of humanoid Fighting-types that wear clothing and focus on different martial arts. Even something as specific as a Psychic-type tapir with a design focused on dreams was copied wholesale. It was as if the encounter tables for each area were written based on previous-gen Pokémon, and then new Pokémon were created to match their roles.

    But after Nimbasa City or so, Unova starts presenting entirely new and unique designs. In the dex, you can see mostly "unoriginal" designs up to Crustle or so, but from Scrafty onward it seems like the designers let their creativity loose. As if they filled their obligations and were then allowed to be original. I think whether or not you like Gen V's Pokémon is a question if you think the amazing latter half weighs up for the mediocre first one.
    Rain Spectre
    I get the point that a number of mons are based on Gen I, but I don't think that make them all bad. Excadrill is one of my fave Ground types, and I and many others vastly prefer it to Dugtrio.
    Codraroll
    Codraroll
    Actually, I was comparing it more to Sandslash, but I guess it takes elements from Dugtrio as well. Either way, the fact that it executes the concept better than those two doesn't mean the concept is not unoriginal.
    Which Gens mons would you say still need the most buffs?
    Rain Spectre
    Which Gen VII mons fit the "decidedly" average category? From where I'm standing, a fair amount are perfectly fine IMO.
    Codraroll
    Codraroll
    I'd say there's little reason to jump for joy over, say, Lurantis or Shiinotic. Bewear is a big cartoony gimmick, Silvally might as well have been an alternate form of Type: Null, and both Salazzle and Toxapex are held back by availability (well, for now at least). And there aren't that many other two-stage families in Alola, the dex seems dominated by single-stage 'mons nobody seem to bother with, since they're too hard to find in-game compared to the utility they provide in battle. The designers kind of dropped the ball this generation.
    Rain Spectre
    Yeah, I get your there regarding mons like Lurantis. It's pretty much the embodiment of being outshinned, considering the same gen introduced a Mono-Grass in Tsareena that's far more memorable and useful in battle.

    Bewear's a pretty solid Fighting type IMO. Don't see how it's a "gimmick".

    I don't see how there are any less efficient mons that, say, Gen VI. And Rhibombee, Mudsdale, Lycanroc, Aquarid and Golisiopod are plenty effective as well. Or does this go back to the "Aslowla" accusations? Because I blame that on the competitive communities warped view of speed in general.
    BTW, what Gen VII Mons you think will benefit from Move Tutors? I'm thinking Drain Punch for Bewear and Knock Off for Mimikyu would be deadly.
    Legit, if I had to label the biggest problem with Pokémon right now, it's Gamefreak's stubborn refusal to remove anything they added yet willingness to stop supporting anything battle related if it doesn't get an 100% positive reception.
    Rain Spectre
    Yep. Walking Pokémon is the one feature that will never return. Could you imagine trying to get Alola Eggs to scale properly?

    Z-Moves are utterly doomed to fade once Gen VII ends, and it just perpetuates to me this as a problem that's going to infect the games, at the rate we're going at, the battle system is going to be stuffed with ideas discontinued and left on the cutting room floor after the single generation. If Gamefreak is so willing to stop giving those ideas support, why even keep them in the game?
    Codraroll
    Codraroll
    Actually, unused walking animations for every Pokémon were found in the code of Sun/Moon, so never say never on that first one.

    As for whatever replaces Z-Moves, I think Game Freak will either go all out with "Check out this new cool thing? Also, Z-Moves, what's that?" similar to what they did with Megas this gen, or they will care about fans seeing through the charade and go back to build further on the old concepts instead. Personally, what irks me the most (second to Megas) is that they never made more than one dual-typing move.
    Rain Spectre
    TFW when a fangame (Pokémon Reborn) puts more effort and hard thought into a battle mechanic than Gamefreak themselves.
    In light of Junichi Masuda's statement regarding the staff disliking Mega Evolution (due to it being limiting itself to a handful of Pokémon and breaking competitive play), do you think Gamefreak should continue the mechanic?
    Codraroll
    Codraroll
    They should. That bit about being limited to a handful of Pokémon would be less serious the more Pokémon who got it, and competitive play has other problems than Mega Evolution anyway. The beauty of Mega Evolution was how previously-considered-unusable Pokémon got a huge power boost, drastically shaking up our ideas about some of the worst 'mons out there.

    By the way, do you have a direct source for that statement? I'd be interested in reading it.
    Rain Spectre
    The problem is that, it's a nice prospect for fixing some mons (Mega Mawile is my child), the problem comes when Gamefreak gave Pokémon that were already more than powerful enough (like the pseudo-legenderies) or horrifically overpowerd (Mega Kangaskhan was acknowledged as horribly OP by Gamefreak itself). That's likely why Gamefreak's barred it from VGC, a good deal of them break the balance of the game in half (I'm pretty sure VGC is Gamefreak's main reference for game balance as well). Any idea how to comprise the concept to fix things?

    I heard it on these very forums. Considering how many interviews Masuda has done, I feel like it be difficult to find even if I knew the source.
    I'm kinda surprized you didn't mention how mayor publications like Eurogamer and Fobes are convinced that Pokemon Stars for the Switch is gonna happen, if only to point out they're being silly
    Something I've just realised...why doesn't Gamefreak do DLC? That would fix the common complaint regarding Event and Mythical Pokémon, as well as get them more money. It's not like Nintendo is unwilling to do DLC either (look at Fire Emblem and Breath of the Wild).
    Codraroll
    Codraroll
    Probably because it's much easier logistics-wise to just front-load everything on each cartridge. No need to work out connectivity, compatibility and troubleshooting with downloaded content to each individual cartridge, if you can just put everything there from the beginning and do the bug hunt before release.

    Besides, the broadest appeal of the Pokémon games has always been the adventure. Starting from humble beginnings with tiny, weak critters, then watching them grow as you rise to greatness and become Champion. Most fans like to play that story rather than stretching out the postgame the way we do on Smogon. The demand is for new adventures from rags to riches, not additional postgame areas to steam through using your fully-trained and optimized 'mons. So Game Freak puts in a handy little "one game per cartridge" limit, and sells more cartridges at full price instead of adding content to already-sold games. It's all about getting you to buy the next game, instead of extending your experiences with the previous ones.
    Cool (sorry) article on the Ice type. Was a fantastic read and such trivia found at the end of the article is always fascinating. Ice really is screwed...
    I would really love to see more similar articles on other things or types, they might not be as interesting as Ice, but they will surely have something interesting, such as the exclusivity of the Ghost and Dragon type in the 1st generation games.
    Codraroll
    Codraroll
    Thanks! I've thought a little about the poorly represented types in Gen I, but I don't think I know enough to make an article on them. I think Ghost can be seen as a "novelty type" created solely to give the Gastly family more flavour (and add further content to the Pokémon Tower "quest"), while Dragon was created to give Lance's Pokémon more of an oomph. A powerful Pokémon hit super-effectively by only one other type, which is quite rare in itself? That sounds a lot like a traditional boss trope from Japanese RPGs. Still, these observations aren't enough to base an article on... unless I do something similar for all types, their early archetypes, and what they evolved into across the generations... That way, only a brief blurb on every type would be enough...

    Hmm... might be an idea worth considering...
    Rain Spectre
    Out of curiosity, what's your feelings on the sheer amount of Water mons?
    Codraroll
    Codraroll
    Basically, that water is a too diverse thing to be represented by one type of average size. The type comprises every kind of sea creature, alongside animals who live *near* water (like Bibarel and Wingull), and somewhat-random things like Ludicolo and Palkia. If it is a creature, natural formation or *abstract concept* that has any affiliation with water in any form in any way (except if it is frozen - usually), it usually gets the Water-type. And there's a lot of water around the world. Clouds, waterfalls, oceans, rivers, lakes, and the creatures that live in and around them, PLUS that Japanese fascination with guardian spirits that potentially adds a bunch of ethereal stuff too (Tapu Fini, Milotic, Palkia).

    It's simply a case of the old trope "Water Is One Biome", giving Game Freak a too big box to stuff 'mons into. It is like if Ground, Rock, Grass, Bug, and Normal were one type. But I can't see any sensible way to split it either, so... eh, Too Much Water seems like the least bad way to address it. At least there is amazing variety within the type, something not all types can boast.
    Loved your article on Ice! Kinda explains why I use so few Ice-Types myself XP Would love to see another article from you on the subject of types. Maybe the fall of psychic and rise of bug over the years?
    Codraroll
    Codraroll
    Hm, maybe? I've been toying a little with ideas on more type articles, but I don't think any single type has as much to write about as Ice, due to all its problems - other types have problems too, but they are usually balanced out by some other great traits. Ice has problems, but not enough awesomeness to make up for them - far from it, actually. But I kind of like the Bug and Psychic idea. Bug started out very weak and Psychic very strong, but they've sort of switched positions as time went by. It would be interesting to compare their situations now vs. back then. The Ice article compared the Ice-type to a standard of, well, the general average, but since no other types have that same relationship to the average they will have to compare to each other instead. Bug and Psychic is not a bad pairing.

    I've also toyed with the idea of looking at Steel, Ghost, Rock and Electric, as these also often tend to get the short end of the stick. Steel has no good moves, Ghost tends to have an availability problem, Rock has no move options (Stone Edge, Stealth Rock, Power Gem, forget the rest), and Electric appears to be the only typing Game Freak likes less to create new 'mons for than Ice. But neither problem is big enough to warrant an entire article on its own. I'll consider the Bug/Psychic one, though.
    Rain Spectre
    Electric wouldn't have so many problems if Gamefreak stopped stuffing it with Pikaclones . It's weird, because Mimikyu's existence kinda proves that Gamefreak is aware that people are sick and tired of it milking the mascot...only the same generation gave us Togedamaru, who doesn't even have a unique typing.
    N-ice article (another thing ice has against it, the horrible puns)
    (also get well soon)
    Codraroll
    Codraroll
    Thanks a lot! For both things! Or all three, if you count the pun!
    hey, since idk if you missed my tag, are you good with moving your article to GP?
    Codraroll
    Codraroll
    Yes, I think so. I was just going to make some final adjustments before replying, but that took longer than anticipated to get started. Fixed it now, though.
    So are people not allowed to criticize Pokemon on this forum? Or is there a forum here that isn't an echochamber?
    Codraroll
    Codraroll
    You are allowed to criticize, of course, but wishlisting for specific features is frowned upon. Try out the "Little things that annoy you" or "Unpopular opinions" threads in the Orange Islands subforum.
    Codraroll
    Codraroll
    Weird, I seem to be "banned from accessing" 4chan and that file. Strange, I never posted anything there...
    Kurona
    Kurona
    Strange, I'm getting the same... oh well.
    Someone had uploaded unused walking/running animations for all Pokémon in Sun/Moon (including Megas) and that was Venusaur's. Guess they've been taken down now
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