Chronos asks:

So, do you have any thoughts on some of the more “loose” interpretations of moves in the new Pokemon Unite? For example Defense Curl, Hex and the three different Surfs?

I haven’t actually looked at Unite.  I don’t really enjoy MOBAs as a genre; I kinda find the design of character abilities interesting from an abstract perspective and I can see why people like them, but the fast-paced team combat just doesn’t play to the things I enjoy about games or have any aptitude with.  So, yeah, I haven’t looked at it.  I was thinking maybe I should, specifically so I can talk about this kind of thing with reference to the portrayals of specific Pokémon across different media, but I doubt I’m going to get really into it.

The other thing on my mind at the moment is that I’m hearing Pokémon Unite is extremely microtransaction-heavy, even more so than Pokémon Go or anything else in the franchise.  Which… well, given that Pokémon (even though it now has a lot of adult fans) has always consciously marketed itself as being for preteen children and still makes a lot of major decisions from that perspective… seems a little bit on the evil side, and maybe represents something that I shouldn’t be giving oxygen to?  I dunno; I am willing to be guided by my readers on this.

2 thoughts on “Chronos asks:

  1. As a player of Unite, the microtransactions thing is being exaggerated by non-players who only dipped their toe in. The only advantage paying players can get is in upgrading their three equipped items. As a free player, I have most of the items my mains care about between levels 10-20 (30 is the max) and I have been missing a lot of my dailies. I know other free players who focused on free items and had their three all past level 20 in a couple of weeks. And while the difference between level 1 and level 30 are huge, the difference between level 20 and level 30 are mostly only relevant if you’re playing someone of equal skill level (which isn’t very common in standard modes and isn’t relevant in ranked until you’re in the top ranks). Additionally, if you can get some friends to play with, using an outside source of voice chat will give you an advantage many players lack (two coordinated players with level 20 items can usually beat two uncoordinated players with level 30 items, for example). And, if you get into it enough to get to higher ranks, you’d probably be sticking around long enough to max out items anyway – the fact that you can reuse them on different mons gives you more options as you do so.

    So it’s slightly pay to win but not nearly as bad as people are insinuating. Is that good? Nah, it’s shady, but it hardly is worse than some big games out there, and the devs have indicated they’re listening to feedback by already sending out pretty exhaustive surveys – and fans have been loud about their annoyance over any pay to win. I wouldn’t be surprised if the system gets reworked. And it doesn’t hurt to at least try it out as long as you have fun – I don’t think time is wasted if you enjoy yourself, and if it becomes a chore that’s when you move on.

    Otherwise, all microtransactions are cosmetics, and honestly plenty of MOBAs make all of their money from cosmetic microtransactions meaning removing the pay to win is not only possible, it’s realistic if they want the game to succeed long term.

    Final note: I’m not a MOBA fan. I tried League and didn’t enjoy it. I’m having fun with this game. Thus far I’ve enjoyed Eldegoss, Crustle, Cramprant, and a bit of Zeraora. Dabbled with Slowbro and Talonflame too. This game definitely has fun for people willing to give it a chance. Just don’t get suckered into forking over money, everything is obtainable with in game currency and be cautious on how you spend your item upgrades. If you try it, once you settle on a main or two I recommend looking up builds to play your item upgrades. Doesn’t mean you need to take the game super seriously, but you’ll have less frustrating moments then.

    Final final note: generally, I’ve had way more losses due to uncooperative teammates than pay to win players.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. “an outside source of voice chat”
      Being within earshot is a particularly amazing one. Kind of tricky to set up, though. 😛

      (Not even talking about COVID with that last sentence; I have friend-ish people in Spain and Australia, not even counting Chris himself in NZ)

      Liked by 2 people

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