Pokemon BDSP Playthrough Discussion

Does anyone know how to trigger the postgame Barry and Dawn/Lucas fights? I've done pretty much everything else there is to do in this game bar rematch the Champion a third time, but Barry doesn't show up in the Battle Zone and Dawn doesn't seem to want to fight me at all.
 
Does anyone know how to trigger the postgame Barry and Dawn/Lucas fights? I've done pretty much everything else there is to do in this game bar rematch the Champion a third time, but Barry doesn't show up in the Battle Zone and Dawn doesn't seem to want to fight me at all.
Barry was a weekend fight in the originals, I believe. I imagine that's the same here.

Might be the same for Dawn/Lucas?
 
Welp, that's Cynthia and the Elite Four down yet again. As expected, she was no joke, with her Garchomp outlevelling nearly my entire team. I led with Infernape, and thankfully I was able to U-Turn onto Electivire when she switched into Milotic, letting me get the big roadblock out of the way early on. It still wasn't easy, though, and it made me wish that every battle made me think as much as Cynthia did. The one that gave me the most trouble, oddly enough, was Flint; my team doesn't really have a good answer for Fire-types, so I ended up having to play hopscotch with my mons a lot and blew through two Max Revives just to come out on top. (Although realistically, I probably could have done it in less.) I didn't expect Cynthia to give me a sticker, of all things, for beating her a third time, but hey, that's fun, I guess.

I also snagged all the legendaries in Ramanas Park earlier, which gave me surprisingly little trouble for the most part. Regirock, Raikou, Suicune, Mewtwo, and Kyogre all got caught in one ball, and Groudon and Rayquaza kindly put themselves to sleep for me so I could catch them. Registeel and Entei were kind of annoying, mainly because the former kept Struggling himself to death and I kept accidentally killing the latter, but other than that, I didn't run into any major issues. I can confidently say gathering the shards I needed to summon the legendaries was way more painful of a process than actually catching them; seriously, if you plan on getting all these guys, be prepared to mine for shards for legit HOURS. (I will say, though, that the special rooms they made for each of the legends are pretty baller, and that Giratina fight alone was worth every second of the grind.)

But yeah, that's the ball game. My teammates and their final levels were Infernape at level 85, Mamoswine at level 86, Electivire at level 86, Bronzong at level 87, Spiritomb at level 87, and Rampardos at level... 96. Yeah, Rampardos must be in a really good experience group or something, because that guy quickly became my most overlevelled party member and stayed that way going into the postgame. (And he was still probably the least useful, all things considered... sorry, Roark.) Overall, I really liked this team; it was kind of unbalanced and had some glaring weaknesses, but it allowed me to use some mons I never have before (this was actually my first time using a trade evo, since I knew I'd have friends picking up the game at launch for me to trade with) and I'm glad I opted to do something new for once with the options available in this game. If there was any party member who surprised me with just how good they were, it was Spiritomb; there weren't a lot of Fairies or Fairy-type moves to worry about for obvious reasons, so I could pretty much always count on Spiritomb to tank a hit on the switch and either cripple an attacker with Will-O-Wisp or pick 'em off outright with any of Shadow Ball, Dark Pulse, or Shadow Sneak in a pinch. Easily my star player and a mon I'm super glad I decided to use this time. (I've also decided that if I ever do replay Platinum, I'm going to exclusively use mons that aren't available in BDSP [starter notwithstanding], both to dunk on this game's mon selection a bit and to make my next run through Sinnoh just a tad different.)
 
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Some various things I noticed while trouncing through the climax and related bits:
1. Byron's Bronzor is actually incredibly similar to a lot of other "major" Bronzors you fight, but unlike a lot of others it has 2 extra IVs that they dont which combined with its defensive ev spread means it can, in fact, survive even an over leveled rapidash. It lasted 3 turns because of this: Byron kept using Full Restore & Hyper Potion after getting Trick Room off lol
1a. It's really sad that Flamethrower & Flame Wheel kind of even out to the same damage on Rapidash
2a. The extra EVs and IVs on all these major bronzors actually do a lot to keep them around for at least one extra turn, to get some annoying thing off despite the level curve being decimated. Defensive pokemon in general probably benefit the most from EVs in the main campaign; extra power doesnt mean much when you die, you know?
2. Sturdy my beloathed
3. There was this fascinating encounter with an ace trainer's Seaking who somehow survived Jirachi's Shock Wave despite being like 10 levels lower. I checked the trainer dump and it didnt even have IVs, much less EVs. Considering Jirachi's ability to otherwise punch through things with shock wave it was very impressive!
4. Barry's Partner AI is smart enough such that after being hit by Bulldoze from my Mamoswine he swapped Munchlax out for Staraptor. It was very appreciated and I am guessing that if I had used Surf or whatever he'd at least swap to something that resists it
5. So let's talk Affection bonuses, because earlier I had described it basically as something i can kind of separate in a way that exp all can't and now that basically everyoen is at or near max affection i should mention
-I've only seen about like...6 crits or so, and comically all but one of those was on something i know for a fact would have died anyway. & one of those was against Dialga with a NFE move so it still barely did anything. Would I prefer if there WASNT an innate Crit Chance +1 effect? yes, but it's not so high that it's a guarantee every time. And if you're against it in general its inconsistent enough you could reset a major fight if yo udidnt like it happening.
-I've only recovered from 2 statuses, but I also barely get statused in general. The game usually rolls with Confuse Ray or other support moves before it bothers trying to stun or burn or poison you and of those poison's the one that happens the most. Kind of a net neutral, honestly.
-Only about 2 "avoids" in various normal battles. And funnily enough they were on moves with lower accuracy to begin with. If it didn't have a special messag to go with dodges I'd probably have not even noticed. This Dialga battle has happened to have 3 of them but that says more about HOW DAMN LONG IT TAKES TO CATCH THIS WHY IS IT CATCH RATE 3 AGAIN
-The added exp is probably definitely in effect by now but honestly 20% is just a drop in the bucket. I'd still be super over leveled with out it. This is the one that bugs me the most but it's also the one where Im just like yeah sure whatever this may as well happen

Basically affection is in the camp, to me, of "I would rather this not be here and if its ever made optoinal again i will avoid it" but "Also the effects are not guarantees and like anything with a % of happening you can be extremely lucky and see them all the time, extremely unlucky and never see them but on average you will see them occasionally and also any critical hit that happens gets the affection dialog now so how much of it is because of that roll and how much isnt is kind of obfuscated anyway"
 
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Apparently it's possible to get soft-locked (if you autosave on) in Candice's gym.

Instead of battling you Candice just forces you to restart your entire game
Autosave won't save there. It only saves after you do specific things, mainly catching a Pokemon or exit/enter an area.

You can apparently also access your back-up save manually in this game so you need to manually save there multiple times to truly get stuck.
 
Autosave won't save there. It only saves after you do specific things, mainly catching a Pokemon or exit/enter an area.

You can apparently also access your back-up save manually in this game so you need to manually save there multiple times to truly get stuck.
Occurs to me that, while in this game the softlock potential is relatively small (if yo usave here multiple times as you say there's no way out, it's something kind of have to be unlucky to land here without clearing out other snowballs, etc) this is almost certainly why the puzzle was changed in Platinum to this

You can't get to the middle without either destroying a snowball (giving access to one at least one of the stairs) or being on the right side of the pit where while you cant destroy a snowball you can easily retreat to the stairs and escape.


Gardenia & Maylene's gyms may have been changed just for the sake of having something different, and Fantina's changed to not be..........a weird out of place math quiz.... Candice's seems like something done SPECIFICALLY to avoid the situation here. (huh all the girls had changes huh? weird.)
Feels similar to the fact that they put Drifloon on a normal trainer in Platinum, and one very pointedly NOT in a gym, instead of a missable trainer


Really the thing I've come from this game the most is just an appreciation for a lot of things Platinum did. We focus, I feel, a lot on the Dex Expansion & Leader changes for obvious reasons, followed probably by the aesthetic changes & Fantina, but Platinum really did do a lot "smaller" changes that did just improve things across the board. We've kind of litigated this enough this year but I want it out of my system so I'll put it in a spoiler tag
Ignoring how they had to add a bunch of evolution items and shards around in Pt, Sinnoh has a TON of hidden items but in DP so many of them are shit. Platinum overhauled almost every single hidden item and added new ones and about all of them are way more enticing
A lot of normal trainers got team overhauls too, not just for the sake of adding the platinum pokemon to the rosters for dex seeing purposes but just like....in general. Byron's gym is no longer one trillion Onixes, 2 Steelixes, a skorupi and a woman with just an Azumarill (seriously why is this here at least all the water types in candice's gym have the excuse of water being closely associated with water), there's now a bunch of magnemites, steelixes, bronzors, even a scizor. All those fuckin galactic grunts with the wurple line get broken up with various other pokemon, or just swap out for their old standbys.

It applies to game sequence, too. The Fantina roundabout wasn't just done because it made "more sense", it really did make way more sense in terms of story and gameplay. The way it works in DP is kind of nonsensical. She arbitrarily doesnt fight you and there's no indication of when she returns because you need to hit 2 more plot triggers after beating Wake; I remember going ???? when i beat wake, went back up to hearthome and she still wasnt back. You have to go back, do the grunt chase sequence, then go to celestic town THEN you can fight her and your'e not even given a reason to why she's back. Making her the third leader in Platinum just gets rid of all that nonsense and clears the way for another bit I'll get to after.....
The grunt sequence, by the way! It is insane to me that this is a needed trigger but does nothing to point you that it's there (BDSP at least has a "hey you should explore pastoria more" flag on the town map) and even if you spotted the grunt before there's no reason to think that talking to him after beating wake woudl do anything. There's a reason this entire squence became a more elaborate cutscene in Platinum, it means you cant miss it, it adds more character (both Wake & Barry get involved), it adds a bit more immediate danger to something called "The Galactic Bomb", and it gives an actual excuse why Barry doesnt help since he's making sure no one is hurt (wake, incidentally, isn't chasing because he's prioritizing the damage that just happened and making sure the marsh is safe, that no one was hurt and that there arent more bombs) and no one goes into the Marsh where a bomb just went off (in DP he literally ambushes you at the gate, then leaves while commenting on the grunt). Also changing it to "The grunt used the marsh as a teast bed and is running away to give the results" is wayyyy better than "HE HAS A BOMB AND IS DELIVERING IT TO THE LAKE AND NO ONE STOPS HIM and hten no one talks about it ever"
Now let's take down the pin and how in DP the entire hearthome to pastoria circuit flattens the level curve like this is Johto. The route on the west to pastoria/hearthome has super low levels on par with if you went to Maylene and Wake is actually on par with Maylene level wise. Which is....a cute idea i guess, but has repruccsions on the level curve (and also I dont think you can even take the west route to Pastoria until you arrive there normally??? someone confirm this, please, i might be confusing with Platinum since they wanted a more linear path) not just for that entire chunk of game but the parts right after it (everyone on the surf routes got a level bump to accommodate in Platinum).

or how the Mt Coronet climb was tweaked here and there to add more markers on where to go, which just leads to a more pleasant experience
or how Cyrus got a lot of extra little scenes for his motives and geting a feel for him, almost entirely on the back of feedback from DP about him.

And then you add a lot of little tweaks like avoiding softlocks and drifloon and junk. So on & so forth


There's going to eventually be a point where SM get remade (my hands are turning to dust while i type i must hurry), and while USUM added a bunch of things that (even ignoring the story) would be good to have in it, I don't think anything is on par with the sheer overhauls DP got with Platinum and just should have been at least partially incorporated in BDSP full stop, even if they wanted to exclude stuff like Looker. Crystal, Emerald, USUM...those are just their Base Game+; most likely a better experience with more to offer and tweaks to what was there before while they were at it. Yeh it was lame ORAS didnt have all the Emerald goodies, but playing it never felt like it was super lacking, it was just a nagging "but come onnnnn" feeling. Platinum specifically feels like DP 2.0, just a complete overhaul and because of that BDSP can FEEL the abscence way more.
 
So I’m behind — I got this game late and I’m also still in uni term and busy, but I just got to Veilstone and the TM shop here is absolutely insane? Like, I almost feel like the level up movesets of my team are now obsolete, these are viable end-game movesets:

Finneon - Water Pulse (will ofc become Surf), Ice Beam, Payback, U-Turn

Cherrim - Bullet Seed, Solar Beam, Growth, Sunny Day

Chingling - Psychic, Dazzling Gleam, Grass Knot, Calm Mind (one of 2 underground TMs I found, luckily)

Kricketune - Fury Cutter, Slash, Swords Dance, Sing

Murkrow - Wing Attack, Thief, Psychic, Steel Wing

Gligar - Acrobatics, Bulldoze, Stealth Rock, U-Turn

FWIW, the U-Turns are because I’m playing on Set Mode.

I’m fine with it, since these games are quite directly engineered for casual play considering things like the affection mechanic, but it does feel weird having Gligar and Murkrow with 3 TM moves and even Chingling with 4. On the other hand, movesets seem to largely be the same as SwSh who kinda messed them up completely, so I’m fine with the workaround. Gligar learning Acrobatics in the low 20s and Kricketune learning Fury Cutter immediately is certainly because of listed base power being lower than in practice, so giving other Pokémon equally broken options almost feels like an intentional choice to even the playing field. I guess the odder thing is the price — there are some extremely powerful moves for 1,000-3,000 Poké, and I could buy every TM I wanted after hitting the outfit store first. I’m doing a catch ‘em all run as well, and have spent a lot on PokéBalls.

Edit: Ayyy turn that Chingling into a Chimecho, first Veilstone Gym Trainer!
 
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Barry's pre-league fight is weird with Torterra

Why does Staraptor have Sunny Day? It doesn't...do...anything for the team. Torterra doesn't have Solar Beam, no one has sun-boosting abilities, it's not providing cover for anything. At least with Empoleon-Barry, Rain Dance will boost Empoleon as an ace. I guess Sunny Day boosts Rapidash but....???

Torterra, which Staraptor u-turned into, has a Stealth Rock/Roar combo, which is cool, but I think the AI messed up its order of operations. For some reason it used Roar first (against my Jirachi so it prioritized this over both Stealth Rocks AND Earthquake??), then stealth rock, then roar but then used wood hammer instead of keep on roaring against a neutral/resistant target.

Also going straight for Torterra's interesting in general, I imagine he goes for it 9 times out of 10? To set up Stealth Rocks early on? Or maybe he only did that because I had Jirachi out and that was just a fun coincidence.

I'm also pretty iffy on Snorlax having Covet & Heracross having Thief. They didn't use it on me, but this is outside of the battle facilities I am pretty sure if they steal an item from you it's gone forever.
 
Is it?
I know that you cannot steal a trainer's items (probably didnt like you stealing good items from rematches like in HGSS), but I'm not sure how it works the other way around.
I had a trainer use Knock Off on one of my Pokemon and I can confirm you get your item back at the end of the battle. I imagine it's the same for Covet and Thief since, at it's core, it's removing your item.

Anyways I'm fighting the Elite Four right now and I'm getting my ass kicked. I was overleveled against Volkner but now I'm UNDERLEVELED??? I couldn't even effortlessly sweep Aaron. You know, the guy with Dustox and Beautifly on his team. Cynthia is going to make me her bitch

Side note I like how the other E4 members talk about what type they like/use and all Flint says is "hey I know you! let's battle!" can't even bring himself to admit he's lacking
 
Is it?
I know that you cannot steal a trainer's items (probably didnt like you stealing good items from rematches like in HGSS), but I'm not sure how it works the other way around.

Interestingly, this isn't on Thief's page. However, on Thief's page is the edit that items stolen from trainers are now returned at the end of the battle as you noted (and is what I read from Gen V, assuming player counted as trainer). Perhaps Thief does steal permanently but Covet doesn't? Honestly seems likelier that Bulbapedia just forgot to put it on Thief's page; mechanical inconsistencies between Thief and Covet would be bizarre since I assume they're coded identically.
 
I had a trainer use Knock Off on one of my Pokemon and I can confirm you get your item back at the end of the battle. I imagine it's the same for Covet and Thief since, at it's core, it's removing your item.

Anyways I'm fighting the Elite Four right now and I'm getting my ass kicked. I was overleveled against Volkner but now I'm UNDERLEVELED??? I couldn't even effortlessly sweep Aaron. You know, the guy with Dustox and Beautifly on his team. Cynthia is going to make me her bitch

Side note I like how the other E4 members talk about what type they like/use and all Flint says is "hey I know you! let's battle!" can't even bring himself to admit he's lacking
The Elite 4 levels just really highlight how messed up the level curve in this game was to begin with. Like you're probably going to be within spitting distance of Aaron at BEST but then bam, like 10-16 levels away from everyone else.

Interestingly, this isn't on Thief's page. However, on Thief's page is the edit that items stolen from trainers are now returned at the end of the battle as you noted (and is what I read from Gen V, assuming player counted as trainer). Perhaps Thief does steal permanently but Covet doesn't? Honestly seems likelier that Bulbapedia just forgot to put it on Thief's page; mechanical inconsistencies between Thief and Covet would be bizarre since I assume they're coded identically.
I see, okay, that's good then. Yeah Bulbapedia probably just have an oversight (there's a lot of those...the poor berry pages).
 
Me fighting a wild Pachirisu: "Torterra landed a critical hit hoping for praise! Torterra endured the attack so you wouldn't feel sad!"

Me fighting the E4: "Torterra doesn't give a shit, prepare to lose to Minimize spam Drifblim"

Seriously without Affection boosts this would probably be one of the hardest Pokemon games. I didn't even get any during these E4 Fights I'm pretty sure. Luckily Flint got unlucky with his Evasion spam (I mean what else was he supposed to do, Driffy was his last Mon) but man. One more E4 to go and then we fighting Cynthia...mom pick me up I'm scared

Update: She fucking murdered me.
 
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everyone's freaking out over the nonsense that is Drifblim but fu nfact: DP Flint was the same strategy.
wil o wisp & baton pass stuck. Double Team was swapped with Minimize (kind of...the same thing, but sure).

The biggest change are an unburden combo (since the trainers didnt typically have items to begin with; had aftermath instead) and swapping out Ominous Wind procs for Strength Sap
 
everyone's freaking out over the nonsense that is Drifblim but fu nfact: DP Flint was the same strategy.
wil o wisp & baton pass stuck. Double Team was swapped with Minimize (kind of...the same thing, but sure).

The biggest change are an unburden combo (since the trainers didnt typically have items to begin with; had aftermath instead) and swapping out Ominous Wind procs for Strength Sap
No, the biggest change is the AI. Regardless of what moves the original DP boss mons had, it was all for naught since the boss AI had the intelligence of a fetus.

Say what you will about BDSP but the AI appears to be phenomenal, perhaps surpassing even Platinum's AI let alone DP's.
 
No, the biggest change is the AI. Regardless of what moves the original DP boss mons had, it was all for naught since the boss AI had the intelligence of a fetus.

Say what you will about BDSP but the AI appears to be phenomenal, perhaps surpassing even Platinum's AI let alone DP's.
They must've put something in the AI that made Milotic's Scald burn every single Pokemon I sent out against it :(
 
PHEW

beat cynthia

Did i spend THIRTY MINUTES pp stalling milotic because i just did not have a safe option to get around it? yes, yes i did. Thank you Empoleon for hard walling Milotic. It literally went on SO LONG that at one point after running out scalds and doing more ice beams/mirror coats that Cynthia switched to Lucario.

Special shout out to Cherrim who survived Poison Jab from Garchomp despite being 3 levels lower, then did 2/3rds damage with Dazzling Gleam.
I suspect Mamoswine would have survived Earthquake enough to get the kill with Icicle Spear (even with the Yache berry that first hit did a lot of non-crit damage, lol) but affection decided to say hi for a climactic finish.


honestly very similar to the first time i fought her all those years ago, but with less spamming revives until her garchomp missed long enough for me to do things. That Milotic....always manages to be a pain in the ass, no matter the circumstance or game. The other pokemon exist, i guess.
 
I'm gonna give Cynthia another try tomorrow but man she's a huge pain in the ass. Hopefully Gardevoir with Grass Knot can help take out that stupid Milotic.

Half my team is weak to Scald and Ice Beam, the only ones not are Gardevoir (who can't hit hard enough back, until I try out Grass Knot) and Floatzel (who also can't hit back since the only move it has that Milotic doesn't resist is...dig. also it's so frail and dies anyway. Not to mention it's physically based so Flame Orb fucks me up majorly). And that's just half the battle. Her Lucario absolutely wiped me the first attempt since it got a Nasty Plot boost and outsped everything (including my Jolly Floatzel and +Speed Houndoom). I haven't even gotten to Garchomp yet.

I might have a Thief TM somewhere, maybe I can steal Cynthia's Orb and Full Restore the burn away
 
So I’m behind — I got this game late and I’m also still in uni term and busy, but I just got to Veilstone and the TM shop here is absolutely insane? Like, I almost feel like the level up movesets of my team are now obsolete, these are viable end-game movesets:

Finneon - Water Pulse (will ofc become Surf), Ice Beam, Payback, U-Turn

Cherrim - Bullet Seed, Solar Beam, Growth, Sunny Day

Chingling - Psychic, Dazzling Gleam, Grass Knot, Calm Mind (one of 2 underground TMs I found, luckily)

Kricketune - Fury Cutter, Slash, Swords Dance, Sing

Murkrow - Wing Attack, Thief, Psychic, Steel Wing

Gligar - Acrobatics, Bulldoze, Stealth Rock, U-Turn

FWIW, the U-Turns are because I’m playing on Set Mode.

I’m fine with it, since these games are quite directly engineered for casual play considering things like the affection mechanic, but it does feel weird having Gligar and Murkrow with 3 TM moves and even Chingling with 4. On the other hand, movesets seem to largely be the same as SwSh who kinda messed them up completely, so I’m fine with the workaround. Gligar learning Acrobatics in the low 20s and Kricketune learning Fury Cutter immediately is certainly because of listed base power being lower than in practice, so giving other Pokémon equally broken options almost feels like an intentional choice to even the playing field. I guess the odder thing is the price — there are some extremely powerful moves for 1,000-3,000 Poké, and I could buy every TM I wanted after hitting the outfit store first. I’m doing a catch ‘em all run as well, and have spent a lot on PokéBalls.

Edit: Ayyy turn that Chingling into a Chimecho, first Veilstone Gym Trainer!
A lot of pokemon have insane level up movepools as well. Machop learns revenge at level 8, so it can straight up one shot Mars' Purugly. Gyarados gets waterfall at 21. Noctowl gets air slash and extrasensory at 18 and 21 respectively. Mothim and the Wormadams get quiver dance at evolution. Onix gets rock slide at level 20. A lot of Pokemon get engdame viable moves before level 25 naturally, so the tm's don't even make that much of a difference.
 

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