Anonymous asks:

A common problem of turn-delayed moves (things like Fly, Bounce, Dive, Dig) is that they’re too predictable. I wonder, would that remain so if these moves had variants whith different typing? Things like Secret Blade (steel dig), Vine Trap (grass dig), Burning Dive (fire fly) meteor drop (dragon fly), etc, whith identical preparatory turn but different execution. Also, do you think such additions would be justifiable fluff-wise? And what would it say of a pokemon to be specialized in such moves?

So, if I’m understanding this right, the idea would be that the move looks exactly the same on the first turn?  Fly and, say, Meteor Dive or whatever we call it both give the message “the Pokémon flew up high”?  I think that does help a lot, at least for Pokémon that can learn multiple versions of the same move.  You can’t see “the Pokémon dug underground” and just say “HAHA I’ll switch in a Flying Pokémon and their attack will do nothing!” because it might turn out that your opponent is actually using, like, Stalagmite Crush or something.  I think you’d probably find that there are a lot of Pokémon for whom it wouldn’t be possible to justify including two versions of the same move (like, clearly you can’t give a Fire-type Fly variant to Delibird) but in most cases it’s probably no crazier than a typical Pokémon movepool (I mean, Pidgeot already gets Heat Wave).  You don’t even need to teach a Pokémon more than one of these moves to get the benefit, because it’s the possibility that you might have that deters the opponent from trying to exploit the delayed attack.  Adds a whole new dimension of bluffing and mind games.  Of course, you still get royally screwed over by Protect, but I think that’s sort of fine; this addresses what is probably the most important reason that Fly, Dig et al. don’t get used.

Anonymous asks:

How do you feel about reworking natures entirely? Half of the natures are useless (neutrals and – Defense / -Sp Def). Some examples would be Hasty – Slower Pokemon take 10% more damage from the user. Brave – Critical Hit damage increases by 50%. Bold – Both defenses increase by 15% before the user attacks. Aggressive – Both Attacks increase by 20% if the user was attacked this turn. Certain Pokemon would only have access to some natures too, like Shuckles can’t be Hasty.

Hmm.  So instead of just giving a flat bonus and penalty under all circumstances, each one confers a situational bonus?  I think I quite like that.  It’s less obvious which one is the “best” for any given Pokémon, it helps to avoid the situation we have now where there are some that are just clearly far more useful than others, and it reduces the number of individual Pokémon who just get thrown out without a second thought because (e.g.) Impish is a garbage nature for Alakazam.  My biggest concern is that I think it’d be tricky to come up with 25 of them and make them all roughly balanced (balanced enough so that for any given species there are at least five or six good choices that you can argue for).  Other suggestions: Modest gets larger bonuses from stat boosting moves; Impish gets an accuracy bonus for moves in the “status” category; Lonely gets bonuses to everything when it’s the last Pokémon standing on its team.

VikingBoyBilly asks:

What if pokémon could have 2 natures and/or 2 abilities? The neutral natures might actually get used if they have to be 2-dimensional, and get stats boosted by 20% for an extra nerf.

Hmm.  Well, multiple abilities (heck, why stop at two?) is an idea that I like a great deal in theory; I think it could be particularly interesting for combining very powerful and very strongly negative abilities on a single Pokémon (say, Truant and Sheer Force, or Speed Boost and Defeatist).  In practice I think you would have to run through almost every Pokémon that currently exists and give some careful consideration to how this kind of thing would affect their power levels.  Some Pokémon like Zubat just have two crappy abilities and kinda get dicked over by this; other Pokémon have two really insane abilities and become significantly more powerful – imagine Reuniclus with Magic Guard and Regenerator, Yanmega with Speed Boost and Tinted Lens, or (gods forbid) Excadrill with Sand Rush and Sand Force.  You’d need to be careful with it.

Continue reading “VikingBoyBilly asks:”

VikingBoyBilly asks:

If you could add one or more new stats to the game, what would it be? (My first inclination is Luck, Accuracy and Evasion stats)

Well, I’ve talked about accuracy and evasion before here, and luck here, and my general inclination is that I don’t like any of them; I think the game is actually probably worse, not better, if you make those things into trainable stats.  I’m honestly not sure I would change anything unless I were rebuilding the entire battle system to function in a different way – like, I’ve vaguely toyed with the idea of having more of a 2D tactics-oriented system on an isometric or hexagonal grid, sort of like what Conquest has, and in that case you might, for instance, want separate stats for movement speed and initiative (for determining turn order).  Or you might ditch the idea of separate defence and special defence stats, and instead split HP into toughness and will, where low or zero will doesn’t actually knock a Pokémon out but does impose steadily worsening penalties.  There’s a lot of different things you could do that might be interesting, but I don’t think any of them would necessarily involve just slapping on an extra stat without reshuffling a bunch of other things; the basic system is pretty solid, I think.

Anonymous asks:

In regards to your Seven Types, how do you feel about adding Waste, Wind, and Sonic? Waste represents the trash side of Poison, something that would effect Pokemon heavily in-tune with Nature and Magic. Wind would have a greater effect on in-flight Pokemon and light weights while little to no effect on heavy weight or submerged Pokemon. Sonic would effect Pokemon differently based on how sensitive their hearing is. Can you see these three as having a fillable spot in your system?

In reference to this, where I outline a radical condensation of Pokémon’s type chart into just seven attack types (Might, Finesse, Nature, Water, Energy, Magic, Spirit), where Pokémon themselves have no type at all but have weaknesses and resistances by individual species.

So, in regard to these three suggestions – the point of what I was trying to do was have as few types as possible (well, actually, the real point was to think about how I would do a Pokémon game if I were starting completely from scratch, which I’m still thinking about, with a view to maybe writing a long screed of rambling nonsense at some point in the future, but let’s not go down that particular rabbit hole right now).  I wanted to see how little I could get away with.  So just on philosophical grounds, I don’t think any of these things need to be types.  I do think they can be effects that are attached to specific attacks.  Sonic I would probably deal with by putting in a Deafness status condition that, say, causes Pokémon to disobey (because they can’t hear your orders properly) and make a couple of Pokémon either especially vulnerable to it (e.g. Zubat, who ‘sees’ with sound) or resistant or outright immune to it (anything with the Soundproof ability, like Mr. Mime).  The attacks themselves, I think can just be typeless (which is a thing my system has; they just do normal damage to everything).  Wind is similar; I mostly imagined wind-based attacks as belonging mainly to Finesse, with some being dual-typed (another thing my system has – Hurricane as Finesse/Nature, Twister as Finesse/Magic), and all having effects much like the ones you describe; they’re not universally more effective against certain Pokémon, just more effective given certain environmental conditions.  Waste… waste is a weird one because one of the ways I wanted to flip things on their head was by having pollutant Pokémon like Koffing and Grimer be vulnerable to Nature attacks, not resistant (not all of the Pokémon that are “Poison” in the existing system, mind you, just those specific ones; other Poison-types could have different vulnerabilities).  Poison, like the others, doesn’t need to be a type in itself; just keep it as a status condition that can be worsened or prevented by the traits of certain Pokémon.

Anonymous asks:

The name ‘Tough Claws’ is such a waste, in my opinion. It could and should have been used for an Ability that increases the damage output of scratching or clawing moves, like Scratch, Cut, Metal Claw, Shadow Claw, etc. (like Iron Fist or Strong Jaw) rather than use it for an Ability that raises any generic contact move. What do you think?

Well, I only think the name would be a “waste” if it meant that they couldn’t then make another ability like that at a later point, if they so choose.  They could just call it something different – “sharp blades,” maybe?  Potential ability names are a pretty broad possibility space.  “Tough Claws” is not the greatest naming choice, I’ll give you that; I think I would have called it something that sounded less specific, like “Brute Strength,” but I’m not particularly bothered by it.

Anonymous asks:

My nidorino was put to sleep in battle and then got its defense lowered by leer. How does that work? How do things like leer, scary face, or mean look work on sleeping pokemon?

I dunno.  Magic?

Truth is, the battle mechanics of the Pokémon games are not really meant as a 100% accurate simulation of anything, and there are probably a million and one things that don’t make too much sense when you look too closely at them, but which we just accept because the game needs to have understandable and predictable rules in order to be playable.  I think this is best illustrated by looking at what happens when you run the exact same imaginary scenario (a Pokémon using an intimidation technique like Leer on a sleeping opponent) through a different set of rules – those of the trading card game.  Exactly what Leer does in the TCG varies slightly depending on the Pokémon using it, but basically it tends to stop the target from attacking, and sometimes also from switching out, during its next turn (Mean Look only seems to prevent switching; Scary Face always prevents both).  So what happens when it’s used on a sleeping Pokémon?  Well, sleeping Pokémon normally can’t do either of those things in the TCG anyway, so the answer is “nothing,” much as you’d expect.  Neither system of rules is ever going to be complex enough to provide the intuitively “correct” answer to every possible imagined scenario; there are always going to be weird corner cases that throw up an interaction that just doesn’t seem to make sense.  I think in those situations the best thing to do is ask “what would probably happen in the anime?” because the anime is less constrained by the need for absolute consistency in the rules – and in this case, I suspect the answer (if anyone ever actually made a move like that, which strikes me as unlikely) is, again, “nothing.”

Anonymous asks:

What IS PP? How is it that a Pokémon can’t use e.g. Cut or Rock Smash in battle because they’ve run out of PP but they can still use them outside battle?

Well, there are gameplay reasons it has to be that way – if field moves were dependent on PP you could become trapped in certain areas and unable to return to a Pokémon Centre.  In any case, for a lot of field moves it’s not like the combat and out-of-combat uses are actually the same or even similar – clearly we’re not supposed to imagine that using Surf (a special attack usually depicted as a powerful wave) involves vigorously swimming at the opponent with your trainer on your back.  Even when the two actions are basically similar, I would imagine that doing something in the middle of a fight is a good deal more stressful and difficult than doing it any other time.  Me, I think of PP as a vague measure of a Pokémon’s energy or exhaustion, the same way as HP is a vague measure of a Pokémon’s health or injuries.  Obviously HP was never meant to be a realistic and precise account of the billion and one different kinds of godawful nonsense that can happen to a Pokémon on a daily basis; it’s just a number that answers the question “can I or can I not keep fighting?” and we accept that without thinking, even though it clearly doesn’t make much sense, because HP is an abstraction that literally everyone has been using for decades.  PP is the same kind of thing.

Anonymous asks:

I know you don’t like to speculate, but what would your opinion be on Sun and Moon bringing in facets of the Ranger games / mentality into the main series (as some people apparently think due to similarities between the ranger regions and alola)? It’s pretty unlikely, but what do you think such a thing could add to world-fleshing-outness, conflict, story, et cetera?

Well, I think you’re right about it being unlikely – the fact that Alola is an island region (if that’s what we’re getting at?  Not sure what else there is) seems like a pretty flimsy reason to make a prediction like that to me.  But having said that, I don’t think it would necessarily be a bad idea to, say, replace HMs for field moves with a minigame where you convince a wild Pokémon to temporarily join you and help you to clear an obstacle.  HM moves are a pain, and you can potentially get a nice sense of negotiation with the wild Pokémon, show how they fit into their environment, and emphasise that wild areas really belong to them.  Other parts of the Ranger philosophy, like having only one partner Pokémon rather than large teams, seem incompatible with the basic assumptions of the gameplay; you could have characters who live with Pokémon in that way, but I suspect that much of the significance of that would be lost if the player wasn’t the one doing it.  If you don’t actually play from the Rangers’ perspective, they probably just seem from the outside like trainers who only have one Pokémon.  You can’t really make the Rangers the villains either, for obvious reasons, although a faction like that certainly would have been an interesting presence in a story like that of Black and White, just to make things more complicated for everyone – what would they have thought of Ghetsis’ rhetoric of Pokémon liberation?  It would be also interesting to introduce some new mechanics that emphasise the uniqueness of the player’s relationship with the starter Pokémon in the same way as the Ranger games do, but that’s probably something you have to build from scratch to serve the very different gameplay of the core series.

Rockcutter64 asks:

If you could give any three pokémon mega evolutions, which would you choose?

I suppose ones who need it.  The main benefit to mega evolution is the huge pile of stat bonuses that gets heaped on top of you, so ideally you want to be giving them to a Pokémon who a) mainly suffers from a low base stat total, and b) is an unlikely candidate to ever receive a conventional evolution.  So, for instance, Klinklang is a poor choice because Klinklang’s problem is having a minuscule skill set, not lacking the raw power to use that skill set, while Dunsparce is a poor choice because, as a one-stage Pokémon with lower base stats than Sneasel, Gligar and Tangela, there is still plenty of room to just evolve him.  There are better answers than mega evolution to their problems.  

So which ones do I think would be the best choices…?  Hmm… Scanning down the list of Pokémon in the same general area as Beedrill (the Pokémon with the lowest base stat total to be given a mega evolution so far)… well, I think Ledian, with her interesting and diverse offence/support movepool and total lack of the kind of power necessary to back it up, is a natural choice; Bibarel has a unique type combination and interesting abilities, but they just don’t compensate for the fact that Bibarel sucks all around; and… let’s say Delcatty; Delcatty has a ridiculous movepool that she’s incapable of using, and we have a built-in excuse to rework Normalise into something actually decent while we’re there.   I’m also going to break all of my rules and offer Plusle and Minun, because there you could do something interesting with their teamwork theme by allowing them both to mega evolve off of a single mega stone if you use them together in a double battle (I mean, let’s be honest, they’ll probably still suck but at least it’s interesting).