(Little) Things that annoy you in Pokémon

Samtendo09

Ability: Light Power
is a Pre-Contributor
Zacian/Zamazenta are probably one of the joint biggest failures of balancing Pokemon has ever seen. I honestly believe that considering the visible troubled development scars of SWSH elsewhere that it's a sincere possibility that the dog pair just straight up were not playtested. Zacian-C is so disgustingly hyperoptimized in every conceivable aspect, and as for Zamazenta I REFUSE to believe that it not having Body Press isn't an oversight that Game Freak stubbornly didn't fix during SWSH's lifespan due to being resistant to mid-gen balance changes of that breed.
I believe that Pokémon themselves are never playtested at all considering the vicious cycle of intentional power creep. If playtesting on the Pokémon happened after say Gen 2 or 3, the power creep wouldn’t be so bad so quickly.

Right now it’s like GF can’t really decide whether or not they should really care about balance - not making all Pokémon equally viable but keeping the weakest from being complete garbage and the strongest from being disgustingly annoying to deal with - or if they, in the end, are all about style over substance.
 
I believe that Pokémon themselves are never playtested at all considering the vicious cycle of intentional power creep. If playtesting on the Pokémon happened after say Gen 2 or 3, the power creep wouldn’t be so bad so quickly.
To be fair at this point one big question would be, how exactly do you "playtest" a pokemon?

Like sure, you could try to stage some PvP matches between the devs or some testers, but that's the same problem that big MOBAs/MMOs have where you only get a limited samplie size who also has confirmation bias to deal with.
One option is to do what for example League did occasionally, to invite over pros to actually check their designs for some champions and gather their feedback, but even then, *eventually* people find out ways to break stuff that would look balanced. Remember when everyone had a laugh at how terrible Spectrier was going to be and then it released and it got itself nuked from OU for being able to single handedly terrorize the tier with a single attack type? And how the reverse happened for Regieleki, when everyone was like "zomg this thing is fast and strong must be broken" and then now it barely holds OU usage and it's only a support pick in VGC.

And playtesting "for ingame" is almost pointless as due to the nature of pokemon games, pretty much any Pokemon can be used no matter if you're a complete newcomer or a pro, due to the games inherently being very easy.

Right now it’s like GF can’t really decide whether or not they should really care about balance - not making all Pokémon equally viable but keeping the weakest from being complete garbage and the strongest from being disgustingly annoying to deal with - or if they, in the end, are all about style over substance.
Honestly I think until before SwSh they werent particularly bothered by "game balance". Yes there's been a few cases of generational nerfs but they seem to not mind the power creep at all, in fact support it by releasing progressively stronger legendaryes every new game.
They are more interested in creating designs that sell and are well appreciated by the intended playerbase (aka kids and young adults), pleasing the competitive fanbase is just an extra. They have thrown a few bones to competitive players with SwSh, mainly with QoL stuff and ways to help

Which also really isnt exactly a huge deal, to be fair, you know what I think, that even if they were to limit powercreep, due to the nature of competitive, it'll always have a handful of particularly strong pokemon with > 70% usage, and then everything else being niche or worse.
You can change who the pokemon with 70% usage are, but won't change the results.
(I don't even need to search for a proof, you can look at any given Smogon metagame, and you'll have a handful meta defining pokemon, 10-20 "strong but not quite S tier" pokes, and rest being fringe or niche or unviable).
It's just the nature of competitive, if you're playing to win, you'll usually use the very best and not purposely nerf yourself. Even the famous Pachirisu usage wasn't out of "hey it's cute I'll use it" but was a calculated pick because Pachirisu just happened to have all the qualities to dick on the competitive meta of that year.

Overally, I think Pokemon is in that weird spot where unless they actually start to actually do balance patches, it's kinda pointless to bother with balancing it, cause realistically it doesnt matter at all, and due to it not having microtransactions that would want you to "keep people playing", all that really ends up mattering is initial sales and eventual future sales (which are usually supported by cross-game compatibility, pokemon home transfers, and game save rewards).

Incidentally, lack of balance patches is also one of the aspects that's severely gating Pokemon from becoming a real E-sport, but honestly, I really doubt GameFreaks or TPCI would be able to handle a real pro-scene for it anyway.
 

Samtendo09

Ability: Light Power
is a Pre-Contributor
Honestly I think until before SwSh they werent particularly bothered by "game balance". Yes there's been a few cases of generational nerfs but they seem to not mind the power creep at all, in fact support it by releasing progressively stronger legendaryes every new game.
They are more interested in creating designs that sell and are well appreciated by the intended playerbase (aka kids and young adults), pleasing the competitive fanbase is just an extra. They have thrown a few bones to competitive players with SwSh, mainly with QoL stuff and ways to help

Which also really isnt exactly a huge deal, to be fair, you know what I think, that even if they were to limit powercreep, due to the nature of competitive, it'll always have a handful of particularly strong pokemon with > 70% usage, and then everything else being niche or worse.
Not prioritizing competitive is understandable, but keeping power creep up and up just because it happens is just bollocks, since that means Pokémon that were either average or even straight-up awful only feels worse and worse over time. Plus we might reach a scenario where the next set of Legendary Pokémon being or becoming so powerful that they become essentailly an auto-win.

The 70% Pokémon used all the times is because of the competitive playerbase’s mindeset, nothing else, so calling every other single Pokémon niche or worse is just insulting for competitive players who wanted to experiment. That issue is not my concern and neither should anyone in the end, but it should be pointed out.

Again, it bears in mind what I said before; if you can’t make the games hard, then make them fun. There are reasons why certain Pokémon are hated for being too weak or too strong; some proved not fun at all to use due to how difficult or excessively weak they are, and some are disliked for turning the metagame into a sweep-fest / severely limited one where you have to use the same overpowered Pokémon in hope to win at all.
 
The 70% Pokémon used all the times is because of the competitive playerbase’s mindeset, nothing else, so calling every other single Pokémon niche or worse is just insulting for competitive players who wanted to experiment. That issue is not my concern and neither should anyone in the end, but it should be pointed out.
You may feel it's insulting, but that is how it works.

Pokemon, Moba, MMO, same scenario, if you want to win, you use the top percentile, you don't use your favourites if they're bad.
 
Complacent Gaming Syndrome, in other words.

In every game where characters have different stats, someone will get overused and someone will get underused.
Pretty much.
Which bear in mind, CAN be extremely limiting, because once a meta develops, people will often face resistance in using "off meta" picks and so good stuff can remain dormant for months. This even extends to card games, anyone who for example plays YGO knows that realistically speaking there's only a handful of meta relevant deck (often even sharing a good 10-15 cards between each other) and everything else is either rogue, unviable, or dies-to-Nibiru tier.

A pokemon related case for example is Arctovish in Smogon: the Pokemon has been in game from the very start of SwSh, and has had its HA for ages, and it was basically never used cause lul ice type, to the point it had dropped all the way to PU iirc.
Then someone actually tried it and boop, oh hey it's actually good!

Point being, that yes, people *will* generally look to only use the top percentile of any multi-character environment and look at everything else as fringe or niche or unviable.

That won't prevent some people from experimenting, obviously, but in 99% of the situations, using a so called "meta pick" will be better than using your favourites.

One can like it, or hate it, but as I said, that is how competitive gaming works.
 
To be fair at this point one big question would be, how exactly do you "playtest" a pokemon?

Like sure, you could try to stage some PvP matches between the devs or some testers, but that's the same problem that big MOBAs/MMOs have where you only get a limited samplie size who also has confirmation bias to deal with.
One option is to do what for example League did occasionally, to invite over pros to actually check their designs for some champions and gather their feedback, but even then, *eventually* people find out ways to break stuff that would look balanced. Remember when everyone had a laugh at how terrible Spectrier was going to be and then it released and it got itself nuked from OU for being able to single handedly terrorize the tier with a single attack type? And how the reverse happened for Regieleki, when everyone was like "zomg this thing is fast and strong must be broken" and then now it barely holds OU usage and it's only a support pick in VGC.

And playtesting "for ingame" is almost pointless as due to the nature of pokemon games, pretty much any Pokemon can be used no matter if you're a complete newcomer or a pro, due to the games inherently being very easy.
When designing Dynamax, GF did a playtest to makes sure that it is balanced. So they do indeed test out their mechanics according to the interview. Of course, we don't know what kind of tournament it was; was it BO1, BO2, Singles, Doubles etc so we can raise the question on the proper evaluation, interestingly enough though, they were well aware of the unpredictability factor Dynamax, but unlike Smogon, which views sheer unpredictability as a bad thing, GF views as a good thing and believes that it adds another layer and is not " cheap ".
 
When designing Dynamax, GF did a playtest to makes sure that it is balanced. So they do indeed test out their mechanics according to the interview. Of course, we don't know what kind of tournament it was; was it BO1, BO2, Singles, Doubles etc so we can raise the question on the proper evaluation, interestingly enough though, they were well aware of the unpredictability factor Dynamax, but unlike Smogon, which views sheer unpredictability as a bad thing, GF views as a good thing and believes that it adds another layer and is not " cheap ".
Which to be fair was an interesting thing at start... back then, "you can dynamax anyone at any time" felt like a interesting choice over already knowing beforehand who the Mega was, and it did spark "interesting" strategies to deal with enemy dynamaxing at wrong time.

I would suspect their playtesting is limited to their own format though, so BSS and VGC doubles.
In which *to be fair* Dynamax isnt anywhere as broken as it is in singles. Ultimately even as far as Smogon doubles goes, the only thing that really made Dmax broken were certain interactions due to both transferability of old moves and lack of item clause.
Beat Up Terracott was fun and viable but didnt really pick up as meta defining for example, nor did Weakness Policy abuse.
 
Much as I prefer Crystal's approach of giving Suicune, Entei, and Raikou their own specific overworld sprites instead of the generic cat/dog sprite GS used, I also... hate them.

Well alright, Raikou's is okayish, and gets the major features of its design across passably. You might not instantly get that it's a big catlike thing, but the fangs and claws stand out. B- for this one.

Entei is... meh. Again, if you look at this and instantly know what it's meant to look like you've got better eyes than I do. It's got more black in the centre of its design compared to the others so looks slightly more mysterious and again the major features of its design come across passably well. C+ for this one.

And then we come to Suicune. Just an absolute trainwreck of a design. I am not joking when I say that for a long while I thought it was an octopus - the side ribbons look like additional arms and the crest piece looks like an octopus' elongated head. It's not clear where or what the head of this creature is and the two yellowish pixels combined with the downward dip of the crest make it look like it has two large, glaring eyes. I have to really stare at this to perceive Suicune's actual design. This design gets an F.

I know they were limited in what they could do with Gen II pixels. But... lord, these are abysmal. I'm not a sprite artist but I hate to say "this is rubbish" and not provide any constructive criticism so I'll say that I think Suicune's sprite could have been saved. Raikou's doesn't include its thundercloud and Entei's doesn't include its volcano cloud, so perhaps Suicune's could have foregone the side ribbons or significantly downsized the crest, making room to showcase its legs and body shape better.

But yeah. I look at this and just see octopus. It creeps me out no end.


3 beasts.JPG
 
I'm disappointed that many of the Pokemon that would thrive under the stat system of Legends: Arceus are not in the game. Due to how damage is calculated, attack stats barely matter, which means Pokemon like Serperior with high speed and defenses but meh or outright bad offenses are absurdly powerful under the Legends forumla.

While there is stuff like that like Uxie, Pachirisu, and Lopunny there are far more glass cannon Pokemon in the game, and having good offenses barely effects how much damage you do and bad defenses just means you get one-shot since stuff will very often survive no matter how high your attack is.
Honestly can use this logic for Mystery Dungeon given how speed was completely refactored

The talk of GF never thinking of meta balance makes the whole "early route mons are perpetually weak 90% of the time" honestly hurt more. It shows they can "nerf" a mon, but ultimately do it for traditional spite, regardless of the starter literally being a better mon

Granted, Guts Swellow, Staraptor, and Scolipede are great. But that's the exception, not norm

I honestly think the balancing issues really set in place in Gen 4 due to
-Hyper distributions of good moves (Why does Infernape get Grass knot!?)
-Not fully compensating the special/physical split (We still have no physical variant of hidden power)
-Stealth Rock being massive for damage if your typing sucked
-Lots more setup moves, or better distribution of setup moves (Nasty Plot)
-Minmaxing (Granted, certain Gen 1 mons had it and lasted as a result)
-Way more weaker Legendaries or event mons


Actually, for Gen 3 OU (since that's before 4), let's look at the viable mons
For the 27 OU (well, 28 given Chansey is still good) staples + 77 other viable UUBL mons, we have 104 (or 105) to choose from

Of the 27:
Gen 1 - 12 (13)
Gen 2 - 7
Gen 3 - 8

Of the 104 (105);

Gen 1 - 42 (43)
Gen 2 - 28
Gen 3 - 34

It seems mostly balanced, Gen 1 having more due to having more pokemon than others...but! This is current OUs! Well after influence from later Gens, which GF won't have for ref of Gen 4s dev. As such, this data is biased! If anyone has 2004 OU data, please add!

Gen 4 I recall being more aggressive, let's just look at OU staples only (again biased via later gen influence)

Of the 49;

Gen 1 - 11 (12 Chansey)
Gen 2 - 10
Gen 3 - 7
Gen 4 - 21

Yeesh, Gen 3 mons took a hit. It's clear a lot were built on pre split. There's almost twice as many OU 4 mons than 1s! I blame Rotom forms partially too

There's probably other factors, but it gets more how noticeably abrupt this is
 
Last edited:
I found a holdover from the gameboy days that I actually take issue with: boxes only holding 30 mons. More specifically, the 5 rows by 6 columns layout of those boxes.

It's very useful to be able to easily store mons in groups of 6 when you're dealing with multiple teams. The only space-filling way to do that is to put the mons in a row. However, when you would actually put that team somewhere it's being used, it's not in a row format. Earlier gens used 2*3 arrays, while gen 8 uses 1*6 column vectors. So a player has to manually rearrange the mons every time they move their teams in or out of a box. This has become worse in gen 8, because 2*3 sets could at least be (inefficiently) stored in 6*5, but 1*6 cannot. One of several easy solutions would be to expand to a 6*6 square area, but that hasn't happened because the devs forgot that they can use more than 5 bits for indexing.
 
Much as I prefer Crystal's approach of giving Suicune, Entei, and Raikou their own specific overworld sprites instead of the generic cat/dog sprite GS used, I also... hate them.

Well alright, Raikou's is okayish, and gets the major features of its design across passably. You might not instantly get that it's a big catlike thing, but the fangs and claws stand out. B- for this one.

Entei is... meh. Again, if you look at this and instantly know what it's meant to look like you've got better eyes than I do. It's got more black in the centre of its design compared to the others so looks slightly more mysterious and again the major features of its design come across passably well. C+ for this one.

And then we come to Suicune. Just an absolute trainwreck of a design. I am not joking when I say that for a long while I thought it was an octopus - the side ribbons look like additional arms and the crest piece looks like an octopus' elongated head. It's not clear where or what the head of this creature is and the two yellowish pixels combined with the downward dip of the crest make it look like it has two large, glaring eyes. I have to really stare at this to perceive Suicune's actual design. This design gets an F.

I know they were limited in what they could do with Gen II pixels. But... lord, these are abysmal. I'm not a sprite artist but I hate to say "this is rubbish" and not provide any constructive criticism so I'll say that I think Suicune's sprite could have been saved. Raikou's doesn't include its thundercloud and Entei's doesn't include its volcano cloud, so perhaps Suicune's could have foregone the side ribbons or significantly downsized the crest, making room to showcase its legs and body shape better.

But yeah. I look at this and just see octopus. It creeps me out no end.


View attachment 416371
The problem with all three of these sprites, IMO, is that they're the only sprites that look like they're facing the camera. You're looking at the three of them head on when for every other sprite in the game you're looking from above.
 
The problem with all three of these sprites, IMO, is that they're the only sprites that look like they're facing the camera. You're looking at the three of them head on when for every other sprite in the game you're looking from above.
Mmm, not really - about half of the Gen II menu sprites for Pokemon are head on. The beast trio use the "animal II" sprite in menus which looks more like a head on sprite than a top down one; the "quadruped II" sprite is one that's viewed from above, and that looks most similar to the trio's Crystal sprites.

https://archives.bulbagarden.net/wiki/Category:Generation_II_menu_sprites

As I said I think with Suicune in particular they should have made it look more like the quadruped II sprite and put less emphasis on its crest and streamers - making the head bigger and the crest smaller would do the trick. It doesn't look remotely like a quadruped at first glance as it is.
 
Mmm, not really - about half of the Gen II menu sprites for Pokemon are head on. The beast trio use the "animal II" sprite in menus which looks more like a head on sprite than a top down one; the "quadruped II" sprite is one that's viewed from above, and that looks most similar to the trio's Crystal sprites.

https://archives.bulbagarden.net/wiki/Category:Generation_II_menu_sprites

As I said I think with Suicune in particular they should have made it look more like the quadruped II sprite and put less emphasis on its crest and streamers - making the head bigger and the crest smaller would do the trick. It doesn't look remotely like a quadruped at first glance as it is.
But those aren't menu sprites. They're sprites that are seen on the overworld that are head on when almost if not every other overworld sprite is seen from above, making them look out of place.
 
Incidentally, lack of balance patches is also one of the aspects that's severely gating Pokemon from becoming a real E-sport, but honestly, I really doubt GameFreaks or TPCI would be able to handle a real pro-scene for it anyway.
It's also bothers me why Gamefreak waits until generation change to patch problematic pokemon. Why didn't you just nerf Parental Bond in gen 6 instead waiting gen 7? Why didn't you nerf Aegislash stat right away when you realized its too strong when developing gen 8? Oh right, because single player campaign will be too much affected
 
But hey, they nerf Mimikyu when, while legitimately powerful (topping the Battle Spot Singles usage stats for nearly the entire Gen 7 and at around 40% usage, and is consistently in the Top 20 in Gen 8 despite the nerf), it wasn't very relevant for the official tournament format.
 
GF: We care about Single player campaign
All games: can just solo with starter

It's been noted that the meta became more hyper offensive over the years, and defense gets more and more worthless as a stat compared to offense. It could be they...just want a faster meta to get over it?
On the other hand, Ferrothorn and especially Toxapex exist, and Aeigslash line are ridiculously bulky, so maybe not
I dunno, GF are weird
 
Rillaboom is a massive, burly gorilla whos entire theme is that it plays a drum, and yet it can't learn a SINGLE rock type move???
I'm more surprised that it cannot learn Round, which is a move about multiple Pokémon joining in to sing.

... actually, Toxtricity, another instrument-based Pokémon, cannot learn Round either. Neither can Obstagoon, and all three of them are themed around music!
 
I'm more surprised that it cannot learn Round, which is a move about multiple Pokémon joining in to sing.

... actually, Toxtricity, another instrument-based Pokémon, cannot learn Round either. Neither can Obstagoon, and all three of them are themed around music!
I think you messed up your search, Round wouldn't show up on some lists since it's considered a universal TM. When I checked all three could learn it (and bizarrely, Honedge and Doublade couldn't until gen 8).
 
I fought Whitney in HGSS. I have a Heracross. That's the Gym battle.

I feel cheated. Like, that's it? No unstoppable Rollout chain? No Stomp/Attract stunlock? No Scrappy reveal to outsmart your outsmarting of bringing a Gastly? No laughing and drinking milk as your attacks bounce off her 95/80/70 defenses?

I guess you're supposed to feel cathartic from sending the demon of your childhood to the Shadow Realm, but...I just feel sorry for her.
 
I fought Whitney in HGSS. I have a Heracross. That's the Gym battle.

I feel cheated. Like, that's it? No unstoppable Rollout chain? No Stomp/Attract stunlock? No Scrappy reveal to outsmart your outsmarting of bringing a Gastly? No laughing and drinking milk as your attacks bounce off her 95/80/70 defenses?

I guess you're supposed to feel cathartic from sending the demon of your childhood to the Shadow Realm, but...I just feel sorry for her.
Actually miltank's defenses are 95/100/70. Just an addendum.

Edit: I remembered wrong, defense is actually 105. That's goofy for that point in the game.
 

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 6, Guests: 10)

Top