Anonymous asks:

You should give Z-Splash a try. Use Normalium-Z on the move Splash and see what happens. 😉

Oh my god I hadn’t even thought of that

I’m doing it right now

Huh.  I’m… not sure what I was expecting, but… hmm.  I guess I figured either it would turn into a devastating super-move, or it would still just be completely useless.  +3 attack isn’t even bad, though – just not really worth using your Z-power.  I feel like this is a missed opportunity for some really kooky easter egg.

RandomAccess asks:

Huh, for some reason I thought you were playing Sun, but since the normal trial featured rattatah instead of yungoos, I imagine you’re actually playing Moon. How do you feel about the inverted clock feature?

Well, those entries are titled “Pokémon Moon: Episode 1, 2, 3, etc”…

Anyway.  It actually took me a little while to figure out what was going on, because at the moment I’m in New Zealand for Christmas with my family, but my DS was still set to US eastern time, so in practice the game was… I think six hours behind the actual time of day?  Which is sort of how the game justifies it, of course – Alola is so far away from everything that it’s in a different time zone, and Professor Kukui actually asks you if you’re feeling any jet lag following your arrival from Kanto.  Anyway.  It seems perfectly harmless, and a nice way of emphasising what I assume will be a prominent day/night theme in the games (Yungoos’ Pokédex entry specifically talks about how it’s very active during the day and promptly collapses from exhaustion at dusk, so it makes a sensible opposite to the nocturnal Alolan Dark Rattata).  Depending on your typical play schedule it might become inconvenient, but that’s true of the basic day/night system as well, and you can circumvent it easily enough by just lying to your DS about what time it is, if you really need to.

Anonymous asks:

How do you envisage the ability Speed Boost working? Most other boosting moves and abilities have a description of how they work; Agility’s move description states that the user relaxes to lighten itself; Calm Mind is a meditation; Autotomize has the user shed body parts to reduce its weight. But Speed Boost just… happens, without the user doing anything? Any theories?

I suppose it just takes them a while to get “warmed up,” as it were.  It could also vary between species – Blaziken perhaps entering a sort of martial trance that rapidly improves her reflexes, Sharpedo going into a battle frenzy, Scolipede gathering momentum as he rolls around the battlefield (not unlike the logic behind Rollout).

VikingBoyBilly asks:

How much do you think the game would change if, say, pokémon had six moves? Or two tabs of “attack” moves and “no damage” moves?

I suppose “quite a bit.”  I’m actually on the record as being against increasing the number of moves Pokémon can learn, largely because – contrary to what you might intuitively expect – I think it would reduce strategy and diversity in the game, not increase it.  I expect it would slant the game towards the Pokémon with the largest and most diverse movepools, and reduce the trade-offs and calculations that go into building a team that covers its most important weaknesses with its limited resources.  I also suspect you might see a fairly dramatic increase in the importance of self-buffing movesets (which could, say, include a set-up move and some way to heal while still having room for four attacks) and consequently also things that counter those strategies (Haze, Whirlwind, Unaware, hell, maybe people would even start using Punishment).  Choice Band/Specs/Scarf, by contrast, probably gets slightly worse.  I could be completely wrong about all of this though; it’s the sort of thing might be interesting to see playtested.

VikingBoyBilly asks:

I got an idea to rebalance natures. Let’s take, say, a bold pokémon. The attack stat is reduced by 10%, minus 10% of the neutral defense stat. The defense stat is boosted by 10%, plus 10% of the neutral attack stat. What you get is a compound boost/debuff so the give and take is actually even (Like, if both attack and defense were 100 neutral, it would result in 80 attack and 120 defense). Of course, a stat can never be lower than 1.

Ehhhh… I think if you’re going to do this you should really commit to it and get rid of the flat 10% entirely (and maybe change the proportional part to 15% or even more).  It’s not a terrible idea, and it solves the problem of natures that sacrifice your unused attack stat being obviously the best choice (Alakazam, for instance, no longer gets very much out of sacrificing attack, and needs to sacrifice special defence to get a meaningful boost to speed or special attack). On the other hand, I think it’s significantly harder for new players to understand than the current system.  It also discourages using Pokémon as mixed attackers, which is unfortunate – a Pokémon that actually does have two high attack stats, like Infernape, can get a lot more out of its nature than most Pokémon do by focusing on just one attack stat, which seems contrary to what Game Freak actually want us to do with Pokémon like that.

Anonymous asks:

Game Freak often do event giveaways of Pokemon with special moves. What if they did the same thing, but with abilities? I.E. a Pikachu with an ability it couldn’t normally get (say Adaptability, for example) that it couldn’t pass on by breeding? I think this would make the games even more interesting, and be another way of giving older Pokemon access to newer abilities.

Eh… to be honest I’ve never really been fond of event-exclusive Pokémon; it annoys me when companies put things in their games that you can’t get by playing the game.  I don’t quite see what those things add.

VikingBoyBilly asks:

What if abilities were split into “traits” and “skills,” where “traits” are permanently stapled onto the species due to it being inherent to their physiology (stuff like levitate, iron barbs, liquid ooze, etc.) and “skills” being ones they have to learn and are limited so if they want another skill, they have to replace the old one? (stuff like technician, super luck, moxie, inner focus, etc.)

Seems legit.  It’s sightly awkward in that you wind up creating this major gameplay distinction between learned and inherent abilities that is based entirely on aesthetics (like, as far as I can tell there is no mechanical criterion that separates the two groups you’ve outlined).  Maybe at some point the developers actually want to have a Pokémon that can get Levitate but doesn’t have it automatically (the way Bronzong is now)?  Of course, you could just rule that things which are inherent “traits” for some Pokémon can be learned “skills” for others.  You also need a mechanism for learning skills (but that could be as simple as having them be learned on level-up like moves).

VikingBoyBilly asks:

If you were tasked to think of one idea to make Eevee completely overpowered and broken without evolving, what would you come up with?

…well, without thinking too hard about why we’re doing this, I’d probably give her an ability that sort of combines Conversion 2 with Protean – Eevee, the ultimate adapter, automatically shifts her type to gain resistance or (if possible) immunity to all incoming attacks.  That’s immunity to 8/18 types and resistance to everything else.  Slap an Eviolite on that and it’ll survive damn near anything, up to and including Primal Kyogre’s Origin Pulse.  Of course, I don’t exactly know what you’d do with Eevee at that point other than maybe Baton Pass some Curses, but you said “one idea” so that’ll have to do.

Anonymous asks:

How do you feel about the idea of Game Freak making more dramatic changes to rebalance weaker Pokemon? For example, switching Flareon’s Special Attack with HP or Speed, and giving it access to Earthquake? I know they don’t do this, but should they?

I don’t think it’s unreasonable.  I mean, I’ve sort of given up caring about game balance in Pokémon, because – in my opinion, at least – Mega Rayquaza pretty much puts it beyond doubt that Game Freak certainly doesn’t care, and doesn’t regard a balanced competitive metagame as a significant goal of what they’re doing.  More importantly, I suspect that, given the sheer number of Pokémon we have now (or, good heavens, the number we will have by the end of the year – have they announced a number?  No, don’t tell me, I don’t even want to know), even a more aggressive balancing strategy like what you’re suggesting would probably not be sufficient.  There aren’t all that many viable roles a Pokémon can fill on a team (special/physical sweeper, Rapid Spin support, tank, pivot, wall, etc), and when you have 700+ of the damn things, it’s sort of inevitable that some will outstrip others at pretty much everything.  On top of that, some Pokémon that are bad on their own somehow become good when partnered with certain others through the strange alchemy of team-building.  So in short, I don’t think it’s a bad idea, I certainly don’t think it would hurt, and some of the really unfortunate Pokémon like Wigglytuff or Ariados could do with just having some big numbers slapped on them, but I’m also not convinced it would actually solve anything in the long term.

Anonymous asks:

Would Regigigas be more usable if instead of Slow Start, it began with very low Attack and Speed, and very high Defense and Special Defense- but every turn, the offensive stats go up +1 and defensive go down -1?

I feel like the answer is probably “no,” because I think with a set-up like that you run into the Darmanitan problem, where you have one Pokémon with two radically different strategies and it’s impossible to commit your moveset and EV spread entirely to one or the other.  Also, part of the problem with Slow Start is that the clock resets when you switch out, and in a game between two human players it’s actually not all that easy to guarantee that Regigigas will be able to stay in play without being killed for long enough to turn off his ability – this way of doing Slow Start has the same difficulty.  You can’t really play defensive because you get weaker the longer you stay in, and you can’t really play offensive because it takes you so damn long to set up.