Alright. I finally have my hands on Violet Version, and I've got to say the progression is scuffed
Like, I knew from this thread that there would be a nonsensical level curve and no sense of direction... but even so I am flabbergasted.
By simply filling my Dex en route to Katy and reaping the rewards of a single 2-star raid, I had a Lv. 24 Quaxwell on hand for the first gym. I hadn't interacted with Team Star at all. I hadn't undertaken any titan battles up to that point. I just caught some tiny bugs and did a Salandit raid, and poof!—I had a nine-level advantage over the first Gym Leader.
But that's not even the dumb part. My actual goal on that outing was making a blitz on the Dark
Team Star guy because it's well-documented that he's the weakest, and Katy happened to be along the way. Holy Smokes, is he out in the backwoods.
To reach him from the south (i.e. the starting area), the player has to ford a river into the territory of the second
titan battle (Bombirdier), find a single bridge on the westernmost edge of the continent that leads to the north bank of the main channel, and then make a u-turn back into the heartland. Meanwhile, the Team Star Fire
Squad (six levels higher) is only a brisk stroll away from the first
titan battle (Klawf) and the second Gym. What?
The player can knock out all three of those things without walking a hundred yards, but the actual basic Team Star guy is all the way on the opposite side of the country behind another titan boss.
This was the route I followed, after being shown the map earlier.
Note that I did Mela first on the star route after Brassius because I didnt know lmao, and I did the 5th Titan after the 6th gym because I just really wanted the damn Rock Climb ability.
I honestly wonder if the map had a typo to begin with because all the sushi i was fighting was around 45 and the stuff on land capped around 51~52 and Arbolivia really barreled through the titan's first phase. Like Dodonzo's sp def is bad but its HP is great and I dunno. Just felt off.
Serebii's moveset listing, now that I look at it, also feels wrong. It absolutely used Order Up in phase 2.
This post showcases the nonsense that is the level progression, but I want to hammer in a point. That ridiculous spiral around the starting area that spans the whole southern half of the continent? That is the only
way the player will encounter the Dark Squad before the Fire Squad, bar skipping Titan 1 for ten levels or circumnavigating the entire crater. It's like GameFreak heard "BW is too linear" and decided the proper way to serialize story beats in a ring-shaped region is by throwing everything at a dartboard and withholding from the player where everything landed.
How is a game this
densely tutorialized so barren of structure? If you follow the game's own advice, you could be fighting Dark Squad at Lv. 40.