All right; so in gen 6, gamefreak made obscure competitive phenomena like EVs and egg moves more accessible to younger players with additions such as super training and the DexNav. Now what I want them to do is encourage their use by allowing NPCs the same benefits. Rarely in the pokemon games do you even see in-game trainers using ITEMS. That needs to change. I want to see Sun and Moon trainers with EV-trained, egg-moved, battle-equipped mons. That’ll better prepare kids for competitive, no?
Mmm… well, sort of? I mean, we already have that in, for example, the Battle Maison; facilities like that have used all of those things for ages. And to be honest I’m kind of happy with that, as a step up in difficulty from what we see during the story portion of the games. I don’t want to throw all of this $#!t at you from the start; that’s just bloody overwhelming. And I think the increase in transparency that comes from Super Training is much more important to introducing the EV system than having NPCs with EV-trained Pokémon would be; you can’t see EVs in battle, so ultimately that just winds up as being “everything is now harder for reasons you don’t fully understand; hahahahaha!” The other thing there is that EV spreads for competitive movesets are often based on calculations around which Pokémon you can take down in X number of hits and which Pokémon can take you down in X number of hits, all assuming equal level and heavily informed by the current metagame, and that’s just not something that’s ever going to have any place in single player.
Now, doing more with the story to stress the natural progression from the Team Evil/Gym Leaders/Elite Four portion of the game into the elite battle facilities portion of the game, that I think we need, and having in-game events that explain egg moves (for instance) would be a good thing, but I don’t think having NPC trainers just start pulling out all these extra tricks is actually the best way to do that. Also, I actually think it’s kind of a bad thing if we create a situation where you need to be training optimal Pokémon just to finish the game, because a lot of the tools that allow you to do that easily are not all that straightforward to collect when you haven’t finished the storyline yet! Super training helps a lot with that, of course, but incorporating egg moves into your Pokémon’s movesets in a sensible fashion still requires you to have access to a pretty sizeable chunk of the Pokédex already, often including things from outside your own game. The other thing about giving NPCs smart movesets is that when a new generation comes out, no-one actually knows what’s going to be competitive until we’ve been playing for a few months, and Game Freak can’t necessarily figure that out ahead of time. Obviously they should be able to weed out some of the extreme cases – I mean, there was no excuse for Steven’s Aggron on Ruby and Sapphire, with its nutty [Earthquake – Dragon Claw – Thunder – Solarbeam] moveset, and I’m not sure why they keep giving things Hyper Beam, but I think they’re pretty good now at weeding out anything totally egregious now, for the most part.
Make it easier to graduate to competitive play, absolutely; Pokémon needs to work on explicitly introducing the totality of its game mechanics at a reasonable pace, and it has been, and I am glad for that. But also, I think, be okay with the idea that actually that’s not what everyone is here for, and don’t beat people over the head with it. If that makes sense.