As someone who's not regular to this community, and often finds Pokemon's take on Turn-based combat to be extremely boring, I wanna ask you guys.
If you could redesign how turn-based combat worked in the game, what changes would you make?
I know there's a competitive scene in Pokemon, but I genuinely wonder how much of that is just slapping on a bandaid on what's fundamentally flawed gane design (see: Yu-Gi-Oh as another example).
Do you make double battles default? Do you change the turn economy?
Hard mode: no ATB or movement.
Doubles default with a polished PLA system.
Could you explain the PLA system to me? I looked up what it meant. I figure it's basically what I mean by "altering turn economy" so that battles aren't simultaneous turns, but rather far more variable like in other RPGs. I definitely agree that speed has always been too dominant.
I remember the GC games made doubles the standard, probably for the same reasons.
Do we keep 6 party members? Or bring it down to 4 like Smogon rules.
One change I'd probably make is alter the interaction between the types. One example could be like Octpath's break system. Rather than just being a multiplier that adds more damage, it being an effective way to "break" an opposing pokemon, maybe forcing a turn skip after enough damage is dealt to the weakness bar could be good.
Overall, I think there needs to be more strategy built around turn economy. Add more areas for strategic expansion rather than just "do damage and go first"
>I remember the GC games made doubles the standard, probably for the same reasons.
>Do we keep 6 party members? Or bring it down to 4 like Smogon rules.
Keep it as 6, like all of the other games.
Just two at a time instead of one.
>One change I'd probably make is alter the interaction between the types. One example could be like Octpath's break system. Rather than just being a multiplier that adds more damage, it being an effective way to "break" an opposing pokemon, maybe forcing a turn skip after enough damage is dealt to the weakness bar could be good.
While I love Octopath's battle system, it feels a bit unbalanced for Pokémon.
Freeze and Sleep are already annoying. So making it a core mechanic would be kinda bad.
>Could you explain the PLA system to me?
Instead of turns, the pokémon's speed determines who moves first and using stronger or weaker moves determines how often is your turn to move again. You can change the strength of moves to make them weaker or stronger with a gimmick, but that could be changed for mainline games.
Ok, I understand. So essentially a split turn structure on a timeline like most other RPGs than the simultaneous turn system we've had since gen 1. Yeah, I 100% agree. Speed is an overly centralizing stat in Pokemon due to how turns are handled.
The PLA system would be total shit for pvp. It's basically just trading constantly because the mon coming in has priority.
PLA = Legends Arceus?
Pretty Latina Ass
and boosted fast sweepers that just ohko an entire team and completely deny the opponent from playing the game is any better?
and because of those fast sweepers people have to fall back on bulky stall tactics that Ganker constantly shits on. at least with the PLA system if your opponent is stalling with a ferrothorn you can switch in and agile+strong style a fire move to stop stall cancer
>and boosted fast sweepers that just ohko an entire team and completely deny the opponent from playing the game is any better?
Yes, genuinely. PLA PVP would just come down to who gets the first kill or who can survive a revenge kill. At least you have to spend a turn doing nothing to set up in the current system, and if you let your opponent snowball like that it's your problem.
>PLA PVP would just come down to who gets the first kill or who can survive a revenge kill
maybe if both teams were entirely composed of frail fast attackers like deoxys-A, but running a mix of decently bulky pokemon to survive revenge attacks while also having some fast mons to find opportunities to gain more turn economy would work. and PLA didn't have abilities and were missing some other components from the mainline games like held items so there's still a lot more potential than just trading blows
at least with PLA every turn the game is progressing to the end state at a reasonable pace while 6v6 singles drag on so badly that even VGC decided to just do 4v4 doubles
>at least with PLA every turn the game is progressing to the end state
I'm curious what your logic is here. How does a free hit when something faints push the game any closer to the end than any turn in a regular singles match?
You want games to end quickly, but you also want everyone to run bulky offense.
if you outspeed your opponent, that's an opportunity to stall like spamming roost with zapdos. but with the PLA system you can bring in a Ttar and kill it. I'm also under the impression that situations like pic related can't happen under the PLA system because you're guaranteed to get hits off on your opponent so your team will always be whittled down every turn to where you can have a clear earlygame, midgame, and endgame. and not have a midgame that streches out for hundreds of turns.
>but with the PLA system you can bring in a Ttar and kill it
Have you actually played PLA? Switching manually doesn't give you a free turn.
no I mean a situation like if zapdos is at 60% hp that just killed your mon with a tbolt. then you switch in Ttar and with the PLA system you get to stone edge it to death before it gets a chance to roost
What about double battles? You know the official format, but with PLA.
You don't even compete.
It doesn't matter, it would work well.
>Do you make double battles default?
The biggest problem with modern Pokémon's battle system is that it's balanced for Doubles while the main campaign is in Singles.
Also I find Doubles to be more fun.
the worst part of Pokémon's system is how it feels the need to pop up dialog boxes for everything, which wouldn't be a huge deal if they were smart enough to play animations at the same time as they showed dialog boxes, for instance:
>dialog: "[pokemon] is confused!"
>chirpy bird animation
>dialog: "it hurt itself in its confusion!"
>HP deplete animation
this could be
>dialog: "[pokemon] hurt itself in its confusion!"
>chirpy bird animation plays at the same time as the hit and HP deplete animations, WHILE the dialog is up
if the pokemon doesn't hurt itself, just bypass the chirpy bird animation and say something like "[pokemon] is confused, but managed to use [move]!'
same thing with stat boosts, when a pokemon gets, say, an Ancient Power buff, you have to sit through each individual stat boost animation when you could just play one and have the text say "all of [pokemon]'s stats rose!"
it's these little touches (some of which PLA implemented) that would make battles feel much faster
I mean, a simple solution to this would be to have the text come up on screen as a visual effect right as the attack lands, and while we're at it, we could probably map all the menu options to buttons like in Persona to just speed up the combat all around.
>we could probably map all the menu options to buttons
I think the gamecube games did this for cable link battles so the opponent couldn't see what you click on tv?
>pokemon 1 damage animation
>Pokemon 1 was buffeted by the sandstorm!
>pokemon 2 damage animation
>Pokemon 2 was buffeted by the sandstorm!
>pokemon 3 damage animation
>Pokemon 3 was buffeted by the sandstorm!
>pop! chew chew chew. health recovery.
>Pokemon 3 restored health using its Sitrus Berry!
>pokemon 4 damage animation
>Pokemon 4 was buffeted by the sandstorm!
>Pokemon 4 fainted!
>pokemon 4 faint animation
>pokemon 1 health recovery
>Pokemon 1 restored health from the Grassy Terrain!
>pokemon 2 health recovery
>Pokemon 2 restored health from the Grassy Terrain!
>pokemon 3 health recovery
>Pokemon 3 restored health from the Grassy Terrain!
>leftovers activation. health recovery.
>Pokemon 1 restored health using its Leftovers!
>toxic bubbles and damage animation
>Pokemon 2 took damage from poison!
>Pokemon 2 fainted!
>pokemon 2 faint animation
>Please Stand By...
This is the only thing that really needs to be changed. Confusion could stay as a two-step thing, but everything should be condensed as much as possible. Paradox mons are just the worst example of this.
>[pokemon]'s booster energy activated!
>[pokemon]'s booster energy was used up
>show the ability name on the side of the screen
>[pokemon]'s [ability] activated!
>[pokemon]'s [stat] rose!
4 fucking lines, with pauses in between everything, to say something that could fit into one screen of dialogue.
And stuff like stat changes should just be listed under the Pokemon's HP bar. There's way more than enough screen real estate now and it saves people the button press through laggy menus.
This. I don't get why they are so stubborn about keeping all those messages where you could just use damage numbers.
The crazy thing is that PLA tried to condense these messages a bit. The super effective text would play as the HP bar was draining, for instance.
The main problem is that there is no sense of balance between the player and NPCs. Every single tool the AI has, the player also has along with all the advantages a human has versus a simplistic AI. When people talk about the GC games, it's not the fact they use doubles but the fact they are the only games that even try to limit the player by giving them access to only a preset selection of weaker Pokemon. Otherwise you'd get fights like Raihan which are still piss easy and braindead as singles because SwSh lets you be so brokenly overpowered.
The games should try to increase AI advantages (giving them stat buffs, strategies, attacks, Pokemon the player doesn't or never will have access to) while decreasing player advantages (heavily limiting the pool of available Pokemon at every moment, keeping players lower levelled than AI with exp gains, limiting resources in general) and also on a macro scale should try to veer away from things that just obliterate the AI like type advantages or overlevelling. Have the first gym or so be monotype, but the rest shouldn't, or if they are, set up or given advantages in such a way that they can't be swept through by spamming one move. Perhaps consistently use a variety of different battle styles throughout the journey to keep players on their toes and adapt as well.
None of this will ever happen outside of romhacks.
What about removing leveling all-together as a form of progression?
Now all evolution is done through specific means, and exp only serves to learn new moves. The option to overpower the opponent by having a bigger number is no longer there.
That honestly sounds like a pretty good idea, but it would require a great deal of balance to pull off. Like, you generally want later game Pokemon to be stronger than early game, but a huge draw of the series is that you can take that rat you caught on route 1 all the way to the championship.
Could maybe see a system where levels/stats are dependent on how many badges/plot checkmarks you've obtained and then wild Pokemon will globally become accordingly strong or there's a way to automatically increase Pokemon caught in earlier levels to your new level of power.
I suppose I'll just bring it up. So my ideal case for a Pokemon/Monster catching game is one where you start at the hub world, a location much like the Battle Frontier, let's just call it Battle City. And this place is where the main story progression Will take place. Ask you progress through here, be it through a gym system or the like, you unlock more "biomes" you're able to venture into, where you go to catch new Pokemon. Think Monster Hunter for example. Each biome also has multiple layers, which you can select to go to, at the mission/menu select. The deeper you go in layers for each biome, the stronger the Pokemon get, and gaining access to these stronger areas is unlocked through progression within Battle City.
Thus, the gameplay loop is effectively, trying to progress through battle city, going out to catch mons to help you progress through Battle City, and as you do, you gain access to areas with stronger mons to help you further progress through the battles. This helps encourage experimentation with different team combinations to climb up the ranks of the Battle City challenges, and you have a clear hub world with access to everything you'd need in order to help create the team you want. Likewise, because of how progress is segmented, it's easy to design the challenges moreso as puzzles by having a clear reference of the mons players would have access to.
I know people really like the journey of building their Pokemon team and travelling the world with them, but to me, that game, and the game focused on catching monsters to have them battle each other are at odds with one another. The "travel with your party" game doesn't really encourage much experimentation, or as much as it should for a game based around catching monsters, and it's much harder to design the challenges effectively based on the variables given to players, especially with a leveling system.
That being said, before that aspect of the game can be tackled, priority no.1 if the game is meant to hace a nuch heavier focus on battling, then combat better be extremely fun.
The first 2 fossil fighters games actually have a structure pretty close to this, it works pretty well.
Basically the only way to do that within extant mechanics is to give NPC boss battles perfect EVs.
The Battle Frontiers and E4 fights in BDSP do that, for example.
One huge thing that made the GCN games great was that you couldn't grind, so it was easy to have a set challenge. There was no wild Pokemon of any sort also money and exp were limited, and there were limited healing options. These factors helped add quite a bit to the challenge.
Mt. Battle was repeatable.
Iirc, that was at the end.
Nah, you could do it right after Dakim. And even before Dakim there's Pyrite's main square. Also there weren't limited healing options either.
Colosseum's big limitation was just that you could only use mostly shitmons and NPCs actually had real strategies with teams you could never have access to (like Dakim's Earthquake team or Ein's rain + Thunder spam). Combine that with a level curve that leaves the player mostly underlevelled and you had somewhat of an actual engaging game.
Did Gale have any similar grinding spots?
Mana Khemia has the best turn based combat system in any game ever.
Here's how it works
>at top of the screen is turn order represented by cards
>allies and enemies all have their own cards to represent them
>but there's a bunch of blank cards either side can flip for them
Like one character throws a boomerang, a card flips over showing the boomerang and when it gets a turn it attacks a random enemy.
Here's where it actually gets good though
>can switch party members mid-combat at any time even during enemy turn
>characters have tag in abilites like a free heal, instantly getting a turn, getting an immediate physical attack, etc
Once it gets going you'll be constantly engaged because you're always looking for a good time to swap and who to keep in.
>keep in healer? No instant party heal in case of emergency
>keep in MC? No instant turn
And the cards they flip over stay even when they tag out, so you can get these huge combo strings going.
Something they should do is QoL improvements as a base. Why do we get individual textboxes for every single stat raised and every stat lowered. Condense it down into two boxes, one for raised stats and one for lowered stats.
Make faster animations, and give a more fun UI.
>Condense it down into two boxes, one for raised stats and one for lowered stats.
We only need one box to show all alterations as shown in Pokémon Stadium 2 with non-Ghost Curse and Ancient Power. Only takes 3 seconds to show the stats getting changed.
Play the Genius Sonority titles if you want to understand what direction Game Freak should take the series - assuming that they want to create an engaging gameplay experience for players over the age of eight, that is.
Those two video games aren't great, mind you, but it's at least apparent that a modicum of thought went into how to innovate on the standard formula. There's a reason Colosseum and Gale of Darkness are both starting to emerge as the dark horses of the series: long-time fans have become fed up with Game Freak's total lack of care.
Can you explain what they do different exactly? Don't they just use the same battle system as the mainline games? I have never played them.
It doesn't do anything that new. It's just all double battles with competent boss parties.
all battles are double battles and the AI use actual doubles strategies. also you don't have access to overly overpowered pokemon so you gotta come up with your own game plan using what limited options you have.
colosseum was one of the few pokemon games outside of rom hacks that required me to think like if I was playing a mildly challenging RPG
Battles are made consequential via the Shadow Pokémon system: an encounter with a trainer is now also an opportunity to expand your repertoire of available monsters, and potentially build onto your party. As others have said, the monsters available to you are of limited strength, so your likelihood of success is determined more by your capacity for building synergistic, strategic teams -which the Double Battle system facilitates - rather than relying on high BST picks that you can just face-roll with.
It's not perfect, but it's better designed than every other mainline entry to date (in my opinion). Consider something like the Rocket Hideout in GSC, or the water routes in RSE: Colosseum/Gale of Darkness and their approach to battling are antithetical to those examples. It's a shame, really - an entry of their ilk in the newest generation could be great, given that Doubles options have expanded immensely, but Game Freak unfortunately hates fun.
Bump, I'll read the thread later. I love ones which focus on game design.
ATB would do nothing to make the Pokemon combat more interesting. All you're doing is adding a timer.
all battles are double battles for starters. there's a reason why typical rpgs have parties of 4, there's a reasonable amount of strategy the player needs to think about versus typical 1v1 battle.
then training pokemon should be streamlined and made easier to raise an army of pokemon all at once, like an exp share to the whole pc. then design the game around the fact the player has a wide variety of pokemon at their disposal, so when they run into a wall the game is pushing them to experiment and try out new strategies and team comps to counter the opponent. think radical red but tone down the difficulty.
what separates pokemon from other rpgs is that you have a large amount of party members and team comps at your disposal when other rpgs you usually just have a set group of 4 people that are stuck with a specific role, take advantage of the uniqueness pokemon has.
Just copy Mana Khemia's 2's battle system.
Are you making a YouTube video essay or some shit? This is a weird topic to throw out as an outsider without an ulterior motive.
I'm just interested in game design, and the guy spamming the Fusion Mod stuff on Ganker got me thinking about an old idea.