On a mechanical standpoint, do you think the gameplay would suffer if there were no chance involved with the pokeball successfully catching the pokemon (aka 100% capture rate for all pokeballs)?
Excluding legendaries from the discussion for the moment, the catch rate mechanic seems a unnecessary clunky relic. I liked how they simplified the TM/HM system and move deleter/rememberer in Sw/Sh and made managing teams and trying new combos much easier.
Not to mention from mid game onwards you usually have a surplus of pokeballs anyway, particularly Ultra and Quick balls, that when a capture fails it feels more like a waste of time than anything else.
So… not going to lie, my reaction to this suggestion was more or less:
“What? No, that’s obviously dumb.
…wait, hang on, is it?”
Because there is definitely a part of me that rebels against the whole idea that you can just… go out and point at wild Pokémon and say “right, you, come on; we’ve got brunch in an hour and I want you dressed.” Or. Y’know. Words to that effect. But at the same time, the random binary success/failure of Pokéball captures is… not particularly elegant or interesting. There’s really only one variable that the designers can use to make captures harder or easier – the “catch rate” of a particular species. And trying to catch a Pokémon (like, say, a legendary Pokémon…) with a very low catch rate, while the random number generator laughs at you and throws day-old noodles in your face, is downright miserable and always has been. Maybe in the 90s that $#!t counted as an interesting challenge, but frankly gaming has moved on since then. Unfortunately there isn’t a whole lot else in the core series’ toolkit to make capturing Pokémon difficult; the games sort of recognise now that the painfully low outputs you can potentially get from the catch rate formulas of generations II-IV are just pointlessly brutal, but what else is there? Nor, for that matter, do players have a lot of options for responding when a Pokémon is difficult to capture. We have the same status effects we’ve been using since Red and Blue, a selection of specialised Pokéballs, most of them introduced in generations II and III… and that’s about it.
I think this is part of why Dynamax raid battles have been so well-received by most players of Sword and Shield; they present catching a Pokémon as a challenge that isn’t just the same “whittle down their health, apply Sleep Powder and throw Ultra Balls” routine that we’ve been doing for literally 25 years. And I think that’s a better direction than just making all captures automatic: increase the range of different things that you need to do, or can do, to have captures be successful.
I’ve been playing a Pokémon-esque monster-catching game called Nexomon: Extinction recently and… well, it has a lot of failings, which I might eventually be convinced to expound on at length, and its capture mechanics are still based around binary success or failure with a variable percentage chance, just like Pokémon. But, one decent thing it does is recognise that captures need to be more interesting; it has a little quick-time minigame that lets you boost your catch rates, as well as a system where you can feed Nexomon to make them more amenable to capture, and each species has different reactions to different foods. If you just toss around Nexotraps (Nexomon’s reflavoured Pokéballs) willy-nilly, your odds of catching almost anything are very hit-and-miss, but if you stack all the modifiers that are available to you, you can pretty easily get close to 100% for all but the most intransigent legendary creatures. Nexomon is also a lot more liberal with its Master Ball equivalents, Golden Nexotraps; you can collect a couple dozen over the course of a game, so you have a lot more opportunities to just say “fµ¢£ this $#!t, I want my life back.” I don’t think Nexomon’s solutions to this problem are particularly close to the best possible version of the mechanic, but I think they’re going in the right direction: a wider range of modifiers that the player can exert control over, plus greater specificity in the particular actions that will work against each kind of creature.