You mentioned a while back that if you had your way, Pokémon would have less types, and Water would be one of the types on the chopping block. Can you elaborate more about which types you’d cut and why, and what would remain in your ideal type chart?
It goes through… iterations, depending on how much wild abandon I’m feeling from day to day, and what kind of scope I’m imagining for whatever hypothetical redesign of the Pokémon games that would give me this opportunity. The common thread of my logic is that (contrary, I think, to a lot of fans) I don’t believe more types actually make the game better. Once you have about seven or eight you’ve probably already exhausted 90% of the strategic depth they add to the battle system (compare the TCG, which originally had just seven, although it was more or less forced to expand to eleven by the introduction of new types in generations II and VI, as well as the proliferation of Dragon-types starting in generation III). Having more just makes it harder to memorise all the relationships, and makes the game harder to get into. Like, I get it because I had the bulk of it seared into my impressionable child brain when I was nine, changes in generations II and VI notwithstanding, but if I picked up my first Pokémon game today, in my late 20s, I’m not sure I’d think that was worth my time (though I admit it helps that recent games in the core series display the type effectiveness of your moves against your opponents). There’s an argument that more types enable a wider range of creature designs, but I think you can actually achieve the same result with fewer types more broadly defined. But let’s actually take a stab at answering this question.
Sometimes I just want to get rid of types that seem thematically redundant or confusing, which means getting rid of either Normal or Ground (both of which seem to function as “miscellaneous” types) and probably Flying (because no one knows what that type means). Other days I want to imagine a revamped battle system where terrain plays a greater role (possibly even with tactical movement à la Pokémon: Conquest), and then I’m inclined not only to merge Ground with Rock and then give a “burrow” movement type to whichever specific Pokémon seem to deserve it, and fold “Flying” into Levitate, but also to replace Water with “swimming,” and have Water’s traditional vulnerability to Electric attacks apply instead to any Pokémon that happens to be in the water (even Pokémon that are normally resistant or immune to electricity, which is part of why “Ground”-types hate water so much). You can ditch Poison too, honestly; there’s no good reason for “Pokémon that use poison” to be a category that shares common weaknesses and resistances, and poison can still be a property of attacks that some Pokémon are immune to. Then some days I want to think about the most parsimonious type chart you could reasonably create while still having all the existing Pokémon make sense. The most condensed I ever got it was by having types be a property of attacks, not Pokémon, where each Pokémon has its own unique set of weaknesses and resistances, and attacks can be dual-typed. The attack types are then “Nature” (Grass, Bug, some of Ground, a little of Fairy), “Water” (including Ice and some of Poison), “Energy” (principally Fire and Electric), “Magic” (Dragon, some of Dark, most of Fairy), “Spirit” (Psychic, Ghost, some of Fighting), and two “physical” types whose names I go back and forth on but basically represent speed/precision versus strength/power. You could use those in a system where Pokémon have types as well, but you’d probably need to also incorporate a “typeless” or “Normal” category, as well as some of those vulnerabilities associated with movement types that I mentioned before.
So there is no “ideal,” I’m afraid, because it depends on what we’re doing and what the point of it is, but those are some possibilities.