Pokemon Sword & Shield Discussion RD: 15/11/2019 **Official news only**

Hey. Potentially large post coming through but I discovered something in-game that I wanted to share to hear some other thoughts on.

View attachment 207203

So. Here is my level 60 Skwovet. I did not evolve him because I love Skwovet. But what is so special about a simple level 60 Skwovet? The answer: I only have 3 gym badge.

Yes, despite not even making it halfway through my gym challenge I now have a Pokemon at an end-game level. Did I do an obscene amount of grinding to get this? Not really. It only took me about 2 hours of playtime.
This occurred through playing dynamax raids. As you probably know, the rewards of such raids include, among other things, Rare Candies and Rare Candy pieces, of various sizes. Rare Candy pieces grant a certain amount of EXP, depending on how big they are, with bigger candies granting more experience. I heard through the grapevine that it was possible to get an absurd amount of levels just from playing dynamax raids, and I wanted to try that out. I did not anticipate how successful (and easy) it would be.
So, with only about 2 hours of playing dynamax raids (which came out to probably around 10 - 15 actual raids) I was able to increase my precious Skwovet from level 32 to level 60. That is almost a 50% increase. And I didn't even use Skwovet in any of the raids. I do not know of any game, RPG or otherwise, that lets you drastically increase your strength by that degree so early in the game.

Now, I know what you might be thinking. "Of course if you powerlevel you're going to end up with an overleveled Pokemon." But here's the thing: I do not consider what I did to be "grinding." Dynamax raids are a highly advertised and highly anticipated mechanic. They are available to you very early in the game. 2 hours, in video game time, is not a very long time, either. I do not consider it grinding. I consider it just playing the game. I did not do use any kind of game-breaking exploit or get lucky with some crazy RNG. All I was doing was playing the game as it was intended to be played and using the rewards as they are meant to be used. I generally feel like it would be possible for someone, without knowledge of this strategy, to accidentally stumble upon it just by playing raids for fun.

Obviously, this method completely dismantles the game itself, since now its virtually impossible for me to lose any battles with my hulkingly powerful Skwovet. But I am not using this to complain about the game's difficulty. Even before this method, the games were easy. I don't have too much of a problem with that, per se. I'd prefer them to be difficult, sure, but Pokemon is interesting because it puts the difficulty of the game in the hands of the player. You have a lot of options to go about configuring your team, so you can sort of decide your own difficulty through the various options you can choose from. Nuzlockes are huge, monotype runs, etc. etc. If I want a hard Pokemon game I'll just log onto Showdown.

BUT, I just can NOT overlook this as a massive design flaw. The methods absurd ease just by playing the game this early-on makes it feel almost completely trivialized. RPGs are already difficult as hell to balance, and throwing this completely puts a wrench in the system. Allowing the player to strengthen themselves up to overcome a challenge is one thing, but allowing them to completely trivialize the main game by blowing passed every obstacle is just poor design, in my opinion. Balancing not only requires the game to be fair - but the tools available to player to be fair, too. Otherwise everything just falls apart.

Im not trying to shit on the game too much, I am genuinely enjoying my playthrough of it. I am a little upset that my Skwovet hero is useless now, since I don't want to completely blow through the game with an absurdely powerful 'mon, but I do want to here your thoughts on this. Am I just lucky to have gotten so many Rare Candy pieces? Am I making a big deal over nothing? Should Game Freak (and game developers in general) be more responsible for keeping their players in check?
I mean yeah maybe they should only drop XS/S candies at best and save the bigger ones for later raids/post-game, but you could have just.... not used them either? Of course if you pump your Pokemon full of EXP Candy it will be grossly overleveled. You made that decision, its not like all that EXP is from actual unavoidable battles. GameFreak has said before that players set their own difficulty (a cop out for not including a hard mode, but also true in a way).
 
I'm really annoyed that the mints are Battle Tower prizes only/cost 50 BP. I was hoping to use them during a playthrough to fix up some shitty natures, or at least have them be way more accessible. I wasn't expecting them to be easy but maybe have them be rare shiny spots or Raid rewards?? What a bother. Two sets forward one step back.
 
I'm really annoyed that the mints are Battle Tower prizes only/cost 50 BP. I was hoping to use them during a playthrough to fix up some shitty natures, or at least have them be way more accessible. I wasn't expecting them to be easy but maybe have them be rare shiny spots or Raid rewards?? What a bother. Two sets forward one step back.
I gotten a fair amount of mints via streaks through the Battle Tower as well as rare candies.
 
they did!!!
Eh, kinda sorta. Zacian is definitely the offensive juggernaut that everyone predicted, but Zamazenta doesn't really have a wide range of support moves or a good defensive typing by Ubers standards to really pull off a defensive set. No recovery and no Toxic (along with just about every non-Poison-type now) to put the icing on the cake. In fact, its stats actually make it a decent offensive Scarfer than anything else despite not being in Shield form.
 
I gotten a fair amount of mints via streaks through the Battle Tower as well as rare candies.
That's good to know, but is there any way to collect mints outside the Battle Tower? I was hoping they'd be items you could collect on a regular playthrough/without the Battle Tower.
 
Hey. Potentially large post coming through but I discovered something in-game that I wanted to share to hear some other thoughts on.

View attachment 207203

So. Here is my level 60 Skwovet. I did not evolve him because I love Skwovet. But what is so special about a simple level 60 Skwovet? The answer: I only have 3 gym badge.

Yes, despite not even making it halfway through my gym challenge I now have a Pokemon at an end-game level. Did I do an obscene amount of grinding to get this? Not really. It only took me about 2 hours of playtime.
This occurred through playing dynamax raids. As you probably know, the rewards of such raids include, among other things, Rare Candies and Rare Candy pieces, of various sizes. Rare Candy pieces grant a certain amount of EXP, depending on how big they are, with bigger candies granting more experience. I heard through the grapevine that it was possible to get an absurd amount of levels just from playing dynamax raids, and I wanted to try that out. I did not anticipate how successful (and easy) it would be.
So, with only about 2 hours of playing dynamax raids (which came out to probably around 10 - 15 actual raids) I was able to increase my precious Skwovet from level 32 to level 60. That is almost a 50% increase. And I didn't even use Skwovet in any of the raids. I do not know of any game, RPG or otherwise, that lets you drastically increase your strength by that degree so early in the game.

Now, I know what you might be thinking. "Of course if you powerlevel you're going to end up with an overleveled Pokemon." But here's the thing: I do not consider what I did to be "grinding." Dynamax raids are a highly advertised and highly anticipated mechanic. They are available to you very early in the game. 2 hours, in video game time, is not a very long time, either. I do not consider it grinding. I consider it just playing the game. I did not do use any kind of game-breaking exploit or get lucky with some crazy RNG. All I was doing was playing the game as it was intended to be played and using the rewards as they are meant to be used. I generally feel like it would be possible for someone, without knowledge of this strategy, to accidentally stumble upon it just by playing raids for fun.

Obviously, this method completely dismantles the game itself, since now its virtually impossible for me to lose any battles with my hulkingly powerful Skwovet. But I am not using this to complain about the game's difficulty. Even before this method, the games were easy. I don't have too much of a problem with that, per se. I'd prefer them to be difficult, sure, but Pokemon is interesting because it puts the difficulty of the game in the hands of the player. You have a lot of options to go about configuring your team, so you can sort of decide your own difficulty through the various options you can choose from. Nuzlockes are huge, monotype runs, etc. etc. If I want a hard Pokemon game I'll just log onto Showdown.

BUT, I just can NOT overlook this as a massive design flaw. The methods absurd ease just by playing the game this early-on makes it feel almost completely trivialized. RPGs are already difficult as hell to balance, and throwing this completely puts a wrench in the system. Allowing the player to strengthen themselves up to overcome a challenge is one thing, but allowing them to completely trivialize the main game by blowing passed every obstacle is just poor design, in my opinion. Balancing not only requires the game to be fair - but the tools available to player to be fair, too. Otherwise everything just falls apart.

Im not trying to shit on the game too much, I am genuinely enjoying my playthrough of it. I am a little upset that my Skwovet hero is useless now, since I don't want to completely blow through the game with an absurdely powerful 'mon, but I do want to here your thoughts on this. Am I just lucky to have gotten so many Rare Candy pieces? Am I making a big deal over nothing? Should Game Freak (and game developers in general) be more responsible for keeping their players in check?
GF already answered this by saying the players have the freedom to choose their own difficulty. Sure, you can run through the whole game if you want to turbo to the end game. But you can also make the game more challenging by not using the gifts they hand out.

Short answer: no, its not really a problem because this game can be pretty challenging if you pass on the power ups. More options to play is always nice.
 

Pikachu315111

JAPE Judge!
is a Community Contributoris a Smogon Media Contributor
Am I just lucky to have gotten so many Rare Candy pieces? Am I making a big deal over nothing? Should Game Freak (and game developers in general) be more responsible for keeping their players in check?
Yeah, I don't think the Raid Battles were fully baked. In addition to being able to get the experience candy if you're savvy enough you can get a really powerful Pokemon early on. After getting the third Badge I unlocked 3 star level Raids and the first one I did was that Steelix you saw in the trailers. Now normally none of my Pokemon probably would have been able to stand on even ground with the Steelix... but I was stubborn determined enough to try and catch all Pokemon on a route before moving on (only one I didn't do (that I know) is Pikachu because it was a 1% spawn (seriously GF? And yes, I know in Sword it's 5% while Eevee is 1% but I'm more annoyed they're still doing Pokemon with low encounter rates...)). So I ended up having I think it was a level 25 or so Wishiwashi that knew Brine. The battle was tough but I was able to catch Steelix which was Level 35 (I think my main Pokemon were nearing level 30 at the time). Plus taking it to the move reminder revealed I could teach it Rock Slide, Crunch, and the Elemental Fangs.

May I also mention another seemingly broken thing: getting money. Right now I have over 150k. I don't think any other game I would have that much after two days of playing at my 3rd Badge. The Wild Area is just filled with the expensive items, completing Raids also earns you expensive items, and you meet several characters you wants a few Watts (which are really easy to collect) and they give you expensive items (or experience giving candy). Notably there's these "Digging Bros" who for 500 Watts will probably dig you up a few Rare Bones (also Evolution Stones).

Speaking of how easy it to get Watts, while I haven't done it I wouldn't be surprised you can probably spend a few hours just running around earning Watts to get the notable TRs so your team is OP before the fourth Badge (I noticed a lot of early stage Pokemon don't learn the powerful TMs and TRs so I guess GF knew this, of course by the time you get the 3rd Badge most of your team would be fully evolved).

I'm really annoyed that the mints are Battle Tower prizes only/cost 50 BP. I was hoping to use them during a playthrough to fix up some shitty natures, or at least have them be way more accessible. I wasn't expecting them to be easy but maybe have them be rare shiny spots or Raid rewards?? What a bother. Two sets forward one step back.
Yeah, rather annoying you can't optimize your in-game team. As you said, they could have made them Raid rewards or you could buy them for Watts if they didn't just want to put them in normal shops. Though that said, why not just sell them in Marts or have a candy shop or street cart selling the candies?
 
Allow me to enlighten you on some parts.

But a TLDR: Wild area is mostly balanced for postgame, and can *easily* break your playthrough if you do lot of raids in middle of it due to feeding you a lot of exp candies, valuables and more importantly, 90+ BP TRs.

So I ended up having I think it was a level 25 or so Wishiwashi that knew Brine. The battle was tough but I was able to catch Steelix which was Level 35 (I think my main Pokemon were nearing level 30 at the time). Plus taking it to the move reminder revealed I could teach it Rock Slide, Crunch, and the Elemental Fangs.
The level of the Pokemon you catch from raids is both based on the raid tier and the part of the story you're at.
The raid tier gives it a maximum level, while the story point gives it a minimum level.

For example, when I've done some raids with DHR, for me (in postgame) a tier 5 raid would provide a lvl 60-70 pokemon, while for him (who was at 6th badge) would be level 50ish, while a tier 3 raid would be level 40ish for both of us.

Note that relearner can easily be "gamebreaking" on stone and trade evos, due to those pokemon often having very strong moves as lvl 1 moves, and it being actually free and available from start in SwSh.

May I also mention another seemingly broken thing: getting money. Right now I have over 150k.
Re: raids break your money.
But, that amount of money is actually very low in postgame.
Without spoiling why, you'll need a LOT of money if you want to be efficent in setting up your postgame mons, where "a lot" is often 500k+ per pokemon, without factoring in BP.

Speaking of how easy it to get Watts, while I haven't done it I wouldn't be surprised you can probably spend a few hours just running around earning Watts to get the notable TRs so your team is OP before the fourth Badge (I noticed a lot of early stage Pokemon don't learn the powerful TMs and TRs so I guess GF knew this, of course by the time you get the 3rd Badge most of your team would be fully evolved).
The amount of Watts you get bumps up significantly in postgame (up to 2000 per active den and 200 for inactive den). It's unlikely you can really afford any expensive TR or wishing stone in normal playthrough unless you REALLY spend a lot of time in the Wild Area, but they become extremely accessible in postgame.
Which for once is a fine balance attempt from GF.

Why do I love him?
This gen fossils are begging to be shot down and put to rest, please save those abominations from living :(
GF already answered this by saying the players have the freedom to choose their own difficulty. Sure, you can run through the whole game if you want to turbo to the end game. But you can also make the game more challenging by not using the gifts they hand out.

Short answer: no, its not really a problem because this game can be pretty challenging if you pass on the power ups. More options to play is always nice.
Very true for SwSh: opting out of the raids / camp is enough to not make the game a cakewalk, but they *will* make the game a cakewalk if used during the story.
 
May I also mention another seemingly broken thing: getting money. Right now I have over 150k. I don't think any other game I would have that much after two days of playing at my 3rd Badge. The Wild Area is just filled with the expensive items, completing Raids also earns you expensive items, and you meet several characters you wants a few Watts (which are really easy to collect) and they give you expensive items (or experience giving candy). Notably there's these "Digging Bros" who for 500 Watts will probably dig you up a few Rare Bones (also Evolution Stones).
I was the opposite of you. Even with raids and a fair share of exploration, I was quickly running out of money all the time because I spent it all in clothes. Then when you reach post-game and want to EV-train, you'll notice that EV training is a huge money sink, because each supplement costs $10,000 and you need around 50 to fully EV train a Pokémon. I've actually recurred to farming money with the event Meowth, because it's more efficient than raids/Wild Area.

But a TLDR: Wild area is mostly balanced for postgame, and can *easily* break your playthrough if you do lot of raids in middle of it due to feeding you a lot of exp candies, valuables and more importantly, 90+ BP TRs.
Totally agreed. Although I must say that used sparingly, the Exp. Candy give you the opportunity to add a new mon to your team and even out its level with that of your teammates. For instance, I used the ones I had to make my Lv. 10 Dracovish match the level of my other team members.
 

Pikachu315111

JAPE Judge!
is a Community Contributoris a Smogon Media Contributor
Okay, this is Tauros Mulch. So apparently the Toxtricity forms learn different moves. Amped is focused on offense and Low Key on Status, I think. Anyway, what this means is that Low Key doesn't learn Venoshock like Amped as it gets Venom Drench instead. Thing is, there's a Venoshock TM... Low Key STILL can't learn it.

WHAT?! Like, okay, Meowtic also had the different forms learning different moves, but they both still shared TMs. Actually, aside from the missing Venoshock TM, all the other TMs they both learn, Low Key doesn't get any exclusive TMs.

Now thankfully it can learn the Sludge Wave TR, but still this is just dumb to not just let it learn Venoshock from TM.
 
I believe the 2 Toxtricity are basically treated as 2 separate pokemon with completely separate movesets. Which is "shocking" :P
 

trubbish

Banned deucer.
I mean yeah maybe they should only drop XS/S candies at best and save the bigger ones for later raids/post-game, but you could have just.... not used them either? Of course if you pump your Pokemon full of EXP Candy it will be grossly overleveled. You made that decision, its not like all that EXP is from actual unavoidable battles. GameFreak has said before that players set their own difficulty (a cop out for not including a hard mode, but also true in a way).
Yeah. Thats what I said and I'm cool with that. Even still, I see this has just straight-up flaw from a game design perspective, not a balance one. I can't not see it that way.

GF already answered this by saying the players have the freedom to choose their own difficulty. Sure, you can run through the whole game if you want to turbo to the end game. But you can also make the game more challenging by not using the gifts they hand out.

Short answer: no, its not really a problem because this game can be pretty challenging if you pass on the power ups. More options to play is always nice.
More options to play is always good, but I do not think that any of those options should be "completely break the entire game with only a few hours of playing a side mechanic." Thats just me, though.
 
Just became the champion. Quite liked the game overall. At first I wasn't sure about the whole dynamax gimmick but they turned out alright. GameFreak got balls with that story (if you can even call it one) though. Oh, and this was basically Oleana's face when you battle her:


Also I have to say, I was disappointed with the OST, none of them really stood out to me.
 
Also I have to say, I was disappointed with the OST, none of them really stood out to me.
I actually quite liked the OST for this game; the wild area theme in the later half was nice because I could finally hear some of that sweet bag pipe music that I had been craving; the gym theme was actually a pretty fun banger and I loved the transitions that they made when ever leaders dynamaxed their signature mon because they incorporated the crowd chanting along into the music to help bring out the feeling that your actually involved in a national sport like past time (one of my friends who knows some of the dev's in game freak told me that several of the lead sound and art designers actually had to make trips to the UK in order to observe football matches there so they could try to recreate that atmosphere in game. Aside from the lack of riots happening after the home team looses I do feel like GF did a good job recreating the spirit of that idea with the music and the environment for the gym battles.

Also the battle tower theme is a huge banger to listen to; but that just might be because it was composed by Toby Fox and ever since I've had the chance to listen to some of his video game music I've been hooked as a fan for his composition style (Side note; this year has been the year for Toby Fox for music design; first Smash and now Pokemon: He's definitely showing what an indie game dev can accomplish if they have both the talent and the drive to make the most out of the cards they've been dealt.
 
I actually quite liked the OST for this game; the wild area theme in the later half was nice because I could finally hear some of that sweet bag pipe music that I had been craving; the gym theme was actually a pretty fun banger and I loved the transitions that they made when ever leaders dynamaxed their signature mon because they incorporated the crowd chanting along into the music to help bring out the feeling that your actually involved in a national sport like past time (one of my friends who knows some of the dev's in game freak told me that several of the lead sound and art designers actually had to make trips to the UK in order to observe football matches there so they could try to recreate that atmosphere in game. Aside from the lack of riots happening after the home team looses I do feel like GF did a good job recreating the spirit of that idea with the music and the environment for the gym battles.

Also the battle tower theme is a huge banger to listen to; but that just might be because it was composed by Toby Fox and ever since I've had the chance to listen to some of his video game music I've been hooked as a fan for his composition style (Side note; this year has been the year for Toby Fox for music design; first Smash and now Pokemon: He's definitely showing what an indie game dev can accomplish if they have both the talent and the drive to make the most out of the cards they've been dealt.
The battle music was good, but the town OST were kind of subpar I think. Might have to go back to them to give them a few more listens, perhaps they'll grow on me.

I'll give the Battle Tower a visit soon.

In other news, Sword and Shield sold a combined 1,364,544 copies domestically within the first three days of release. This shatters the Switch record for first week sales, but #BBND LOL

Including the Switch Lite, Switch sales have surpassed 10,000,000.
 
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That reminds me -- have we just stopped getting Super Music Collections now? We didn't get one for USUM's extra tracks, and I haven't seen any indication that one for SwSh is forthcoming.
 
That reminds me -- have we just stopped getting Super Music Collections now? We didn't get one for USUM's extra tracks, and I haven't seen any indication that one for SwSh is forthcoming.
There's one for Let's Go! Pikachu/Eevee at least, so maybe it's a bit early to announce a new CD collection?
I've always waited a month or so before checking for a new Super Music Complete/Collection.

(I do think it's a bit weird they didn't have one for USUM though, since they released one for B2W2. I'd really like to have a USUM CD set for my collection~!)
 

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