Unpopular opinions

Focusing exclusively or heavily on the casual audience also does not work that well in the long term in terms of sales. Yes, it would increase sales even more-in the short term. But that's the thing: casual audiences will not stick around for the long term. For many reasons stated above, making the games to focus on casuals means that you focus on an audience that will gain interest quickly for the short term, but then lose interest just as quickly. At the same time, the content would not be enough for more core players (and by extension, hardcore players), and it would eventually heavily alienate them. This isn't going to work well long term because in the long term you will lose the core players quickly, and you will eventually lose the casual players at some point because Pokemon won't be "cool" to them anymore at some point, and then it will struggle to gain the interest of either crowd. Ultimately leading to them actually getting less long term sales as they will eventually fall down.

Look at the Wii U for instance. One of the big reasons it failed so miserably commercially is not just its bad marketing (attachment to the original Wii name), but because of the way the original Wii itself was marketed. The Wii was a prime example of a thing that was designed to heavily pander to the casual crowd. Yes, it was financially extremely successful, but it was so heavily pandered to the casual crowd that it alienated most of the core audience who did not like it, perceived it as a "kiddy console", and shunned it in lieu of the PS3 or 360. So while it sold many units, most of the people who actually bought the Wii (note, I am not saying all that there were no core/hardcore Wii players: there were still core players who enjoyed the Wii and its first party stuff, but they were a minority) ditched it in a few years, it became a dust-gathering thing in the closet of many homes, and most people moved on to the next fad like Angry Birds or whatever was popular later. Then the Wii U came out, and people thought it was an add-on to the Wii because of the way it was marketed. Why was that a recipe for disaster? Because the Wii name had more or less died out: no one in the casual crowd cared about the original Wii anymore, and the core players had a bitter taste in their mouths because of the Wii's casual pandering alienating them from Nintendo and especially the Wii name. Ultimately leading to a struggle for the Wii U to sell well in its entire lifespan, and despite being a great console with a lot of awesome first-party exclusives, it sold poorly and died an early death.

This is relevant in that if you were to pander Pokemon to make it focus exclusively on the casual crowd, it would not only homogenize the franchise and make it unable to improve, this would lead to two things: the core players who are invested in Pokemon in the long term will get mad and start complaining, and after a while will dissociate with the franchise out of frustration, and the casual players will lose interest at some point because to them, "Pokemon" will one day cease to be "cool" to them and they will move on to the next cool fad or whatnot. Meaning this would lead to Pokemon titles eventually struggling to succeed in the long term as future games will eventually start struggling to sell well, and eventually you'd start reaching a point where it'll start having repeated failed titles over the years. Point being, it's not a good strategy for the long term and it will only garner in higher amounts of cash in the short term but failure in the long term. Maybe it will take a loooong time for casuals to lose interest, but still: it will happen at some point in time.

If Pokemon wants to survive for the long term, and actually work to be better quality in the long term, at the same time it still needs to acknowledge the criticisms from the "loud minority" in some way, shape, or form. The core and even the hardcore audience is what will keep the franchise sustainable in the long term because there will be people who are interested in sticking with the franchise for the long haul, and they will want the franchise to be better and the games to be better quality. It needs to work towards being better quality for core audiences if it's going to stay around long term and not just rake in cash for the short term, because core players can and will be fed up at some point otherwise, and casual fans will one day lose interest too because the "fad" value of Pokemon cannot last forever: the fad value will one day die and not many people will care about it anymore.
While I would prefer to keep most of the currently existing depth in Pokemon myself, the franchise is 24 years old, about 3 months away from 25 years. You are talking about it like the fad phase of the franchise hadn't died by 2002. You are confusing casual fans for fad-chasers. On top of new blood in the form of kids, there are plenty of people that have bought every game since Gen I that could give less of a hoot about the complaints thrown in Sword and Shield's direction. I know plenty of those in real life. I understand if this being primarily a competitive/non-casual website makes this seem not likely due to the people we regularly see on here, but it is the reality of things.
 
Considering what we've seen going in the Dynamax Adventures thread, and mixed with my own personal experiences, I am still convinced that they aren't actually wrong on this.
Todays kids *are* dumb and lazy. (not all, but on average yes)
I've definitely been burned by Dyna Adventures teammates so I want to agree, but if anything today's kids have much greater access to info than we ever did. Like we can trash talk them all we want but I clearly remember putting 40 hours into Pokemon Red without beating the Elite 4, only finally breaking Lance after my friend taught me how to make a deal with the Missingno to get a few hundred Rare Candies. What little unreliable info I could find off Internet Explorer via dial-up on my Windows 98 just led me on endless goose chases hunting Chrono Mew under trucks and the illustrious Pokegods. I remember begging my Mom to stay at EB games a few more minutes so I could read how to finish the puzzle in Victory Road. Also Special stat? What the fuck even was that? My Surf Kingler and Ice Punch Hitmonchan don't care, high attack is all they need!!

If I was to play any of the newer games at the same age I was when I first played Red I absolutely would have been more successful. Guides, Youtube, and resources like Serebii would allow me access to a wealth of reliable info that 9 year old me would have killed for.

Also contrary to what people seem to claim games now are a LOT harder than in at least Red / Blue and G/S. With the exception of Misty there's almost literally zero difficult battles. Many of Gary's Pokemon don't even have STAB moves... Only Lorelei is vaguely difficult in the Elite 4 and most of that is just from Lapras being so fat. G/S is only vaguely difficult due to the weird level curve but if you know the type chart as per usual it's just a matter of "bring something they're weak to". It was only gens 4-5 that had any real amount of difficulty and with some planning even a child should be able to do just fine. But like, the gens we grew up with were easy. Just look at the R/S Elite 4 and tell me it's as tough as we remember. Even D/P and B/W were quite a bit easier than nostalgia tells us. Cynthia is tough for a teenager but most of her Pokemon aren't THAT hard to defeat if you know what to hit them with. Her Milotic doesn't even have a healing move! I actually think the hardest Pokemon game I ever played was Ultra Sun because on more than one occasion I was totally team wiped, knocked on my ass so hard that I actually had to stop and re-evaluate my strategy. Those totem battles were hard! I cheesed through SwSh with a level 100 Greedent but I have to respect that Leon is probably the most difficult champion ever. At least most of his Pokemon understand the physical / special split!

I think in reality Pokemon is a deeply complicated game. Everyone reading this has probably mastered at least the basics of competitive battles and thus likely knows by heart the movepools, abilities, typing, stats and so on of nearly every single Pokemon in the game. That's a LOT of info to learn!

tl;dr newer players are most likely better than we were at their age, but we're grown ass adults playing a child's slave rancher game so it's kinda hard to trash talk them for not memorizing every single Pokemon's type weaknesses when we've been learning for the past two decades.
 
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Also contrary to what people seem to claim games now are a LOT harder than in at least Red / Blue and G/S. With the exception of Misty there's almost literally zero difficult battles. Many of Gary's Pokemon don't even have STAB moves... Only Lorelei is vaguely difficult in the Elite 4 and most of that is just from Lapras being so fat. G/S is only vaguely difficult due to the weird level curve but if you know the type chart as per usual it's just a matter of "bring something they're weak to". It was only gens 4-5 that had any real amount of difficulty and with some planning even a child should be able to do just fine. But like, the gens we grew up with were easy. Just look at the R/S Elite 4 and tell me it's as tough as we remember. Even D/P and B/W were quite a bit easier than nostalgia tells us. Cynthia is tough for a teenager but most of her Pokemon aren't THAT hard to defeat if you know what to hit them with. Her Milotic doesn't even have a healing move! I actually think the hardest Pokemon game I ever played was Ultra Sun because on more than one occasion I was totally team wiped, knocked on my ass so hard that I actually had to stop and re-evaluate my strategy. Those totem battles were hard! I cheesed through SwSh with a level 100 Greedent but I have to respect that Leon is probably the most difficult champion ever. At least most of his Pokemon understand the physical / special split!

I think in reality Pokemon is a deeply complicated game. Everyone reading this has probably mastered at least the basics of competitive battles and thus likely knows by heart the movepools, abilities, typing, stats and so on of nearly every single Pokemon in the game. That's a LOT of info to learn!

tl;dr newer players are most likely better than we were at their age, but we're grown ass adults playing a child's slave rancher game so it's kinda hard to trash talk them for not memorizing every single Pokemon's type weaknesses when we've been learning for the past two decades.
While the earlier games can be easy with enough planning, keep in mind that newer players most likely would not be planning to build a cohesive and balanced team. Newer players would usually pick the Pokemon they like aesthetically, whether cute or cool, and these can be a challenge to newer players if they stack up weaknesses or pick weak Pokemon. I remember a friend who was new to Pokemon: picked Squirtle as a starter then also had Kingler and Seaking on the team because that person loved Water Pokemon. That person would end up struggling to break Lorelei and Lance. Newer players most likely wouldn't be able to tell the difference between physical and special moves along with its relation to the Attack at Special Attack stat so their Pokemon might end up having suboptimal movesets (e.g. Surf Rhydon, STABs on Sneasel). The TMs back then were also one time use, so that makes it more difficult to give optimal movesets for your Pokemon. You used your Earthquake TM on Rhydon? Now your Charizard won't have good coverage against Rock-types.

Also, one of the things that made earlier gen games difficult was that there were no route NPCs to heal your Pokemon. Your rivals won't give you the chance to heal before battle either. This means that your team can be worn down by route trainers then your rival can just pop up and challenge your weakened team. Even if your rival's Pokemon had mediocre moves, they would still be able to overwhelm your worn down team. You can buy a lot of potions to remedy this but that would drain the limited money you have. That's what made the earlier games challenging and thrilling in my opinion.

TL;DR While it's easy to underestimate the difficulty of the earlier games, the lack of NPCs healing your Pokemon every 15 minutes made the games more challenging. The newer players' lack of knowledge also bites since move information was not presented to them on the spot unlike today's games.
 
While the earlier games can be easy with enough planning, keep in mind that newer players most likely would not be planning to build a cohesive and balanced team. Newer players would usually pick the Pokemon they like aesthetically, whether cute or cool, and these can be a challenge to newer players if they stack up weaknesses or pick weak Pokemon. I remember a friend who was new to Pokemon: picked Squirtle as a starter then also had Kingler and Seaking on the team because that person loved Water Pokemon. That person would end up struggling to break Lorelei and Lance. Newer players most likely wouldn't be able to tell the difference between physical and special moves along with its relation to the Attack at Special Attack stat so their Pokemon might end up having suboptimal movesets (e.g. Surf Rhydon, STABs on Sneasel). The TMs back then were also one time use, so that makes it more difficult to give optimal movesets for your Pokemon. You used your Earthquake TM on Rhydon? Now your Charizard won't have good coverage against Rock-types.

Also, one of the things that made earlier gen games difficult was that there were no route NPCs to heal your Pokemon. Your rivals won't give you the chance to heal before battle either. This means that your team can be worn down by route trainers then your rival can just pop up and challenge your weakened team. Even if your rival's Pokemon had mediocre moves, they would still be able to overwhelm your worn down team. You can buy a lot of potions to remedy this but that would drain the limited money you have. That's what made the earlier games challenging and thrilling in my opinion.

TL;DR While it's easy to underestimate the difficulty of the earlier games, the lack of NPCs healing your Pokemon every 15 minutes made the games more challenging. The newer players' lack of knowledge also bites since move information was not presented to them on the spot unlike today's games.
Most trainers in R/B just had their level up moves meaning the average battle consisted of fighting against Pokemon who's strongest attack was Peck, Sludge, or Horn Attack... literally up until the Elite 4. Just look at the Gym Leaders. Giovanni, the ground type gym leader, has one single ground move on his entire team. If we assume a player is able to at least access a type chart beating Red / Blue is easy. Suboptimal movesets isn't a measure of difficulty it's just bad game design. I don't think there's any single point in Red / Blue where they explain to you what the Special stat is. Everything you mentioned about inexperience applies to newer games just as it does older gens. The difference is that movesets are genuinely terrible in R/B. So incredibly bad that only about half the Elite 4's Pokemon have STAB moves. Far worse than any other game. That's not to say an inexperienced player won't have trouble, just that as far as difficulty goes R/B is probably the bottom of the barrel.

I never found NPC healing to really matter. I mean what, it just saved me 30 seconds reaching into my bag to find a potion or maybe 5 minutes flying back to the Pokémon center. It doesn't make it easier, just slightly less frustrating now that you're less likely to backtrack.
 
Both Hau and Hop have a comparable "plot point"
- Both live in the shadow of a strong trainer that's a relative of them (a Kahuna / the Champion)
- Both are overconfident in their abilities as trainers due to having lived at close contact with Pokemon thus convinced that simply befriending them is sufficent to be good at battling
- Both end up having their belief crushed, Hop expecially after being crushed by Bede who completely destroys his self confidence
- Both have to face personal growth of stop living in the shadow of their relative and accept that becoming a good trainer requires effort and confidence
You don't actually remember S&M's plot do you?

because Hau doesn't care about being a strong trainer at all until his characer development all the way at the very ending of the game

from your very first fight Hau compliments you for being stronger than him and is happy to just go along the ride, he doesn't consider himself strong as evident from his scene with Olivia where she has to tell him to be proud of his own accomlisments
if anything living under Hala's shadow (and whatever happened to his father) made him give up on even trying to become a strong trainer, he even made his peace with that before you met him!

Hau treats the whole trial as an oportunity to see the islands and catch a few friends along the way until he fails to stop team Skull and Lillie gets kidnapped, heck it's the first time we see Hau not smiling (not counting his shock at Lusamine being 40); it's only after that and Lillie's rescue that the realization that he needs to be a strong trainer in order to protect those he cares about that he takes the whole trials thing seriously

Both Hau and Hop are excitable and friendly but their character development is the exact opposite of each other

and yes they use the same animations for their "excited" state but that's neither here not there
 
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You don't actually remember S&M's plot do you?

because Hau doesn't care about being a strong trainer at all until his characer development all the way at the very ending of the game

from your very first fight Hau compliments you for being stronger than him and is happy to just go along the ride, he doesn't consider himself strong as evident from his scene with Olivia where she has to tell him to be proud of his own accomlisments
if anything living under Hala's shadow (and whatever happened to his father) made him give up on even trying to become a strong trainer, he even made his peace with that before you met him!
I may be misremembering, but I remind Hau being always going how he wants to be as good as Hala, and he's convinced that "as long as he keeps having fun he'll be ok".
Until he finds out that's not how it works. (That mostly happens on USUM iirc)
If Pokemon wants to survive for the long term, and actually work to be better quality in the long term, at the same time it still needs to acknowledge the criticisms from the "loud minority" in some way, shape, or form. The core and even the hardcore audience is what will keep the franchise sustainable in the long term because there will be people who are interested in sticking with the franchise for the long haul, and they will want the franchise to be better and the games to be better quality. It needs to work towards being better quality for core audiences if it's going to stay around long term and not just rake in cash for the short term, because core players can and will be fed up at some point otherwise, and casual fans will one day lose interest too because the "fad" value of Pokemon cannot last forever: the fad value will one day die and not many people will care about it anymore.
Here's the thing though...

Why would Pokemon need "long term sales plan" when their new model with DLC seems to be guaranteeing sales over 2-3 years, just in time for the next game of the series to launch?

SwSh so far has beaten the *lifespan sales* of most other Pokemon games in 2 years.

Think about it.
 
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ScraftyIsTheBest

Rin Tohsaka Fan
is a Top Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnus
While I would prefer to keep most of the currently existing depth in Pokemon myself, the franchise is 24 years old, about 3 months away from 25 years. You are talking about it like the fad phase of the franchise hadn't died by 2002. You are confusing casual fans for fad-chasers. On top of new blood in the form of kids, there are plenty of people that have bought every game since Gen I that could give less of a hoot about the complaints thrown in Sword and Shield's direction. I know plenty of those in real life. I understand if this being primarily a competitive/non-casual website makes this seem not likely due to the people we regularly see on here, but it is the reality of things.
Oh I'm aware. Pokemon is a case where it manages to live by "recruiting" new fans into the franchise almost regularly. Personally I'm in that crowd who still buys the games regularly and still enjoys them in spite of their flaws. And more or less, what they've been doing is largely fine. The games are still objectively solid, and they've kept the core experience and depth of the game intact over the years, which makes the games still engaging and incredibly fun to play. There's enough of a solid core audience as is that enjoys it that the franchise will survive for decades to come. Sword and Shield may not be perfect, but I still absolutely enjoy them for their own reasons. I'm sure many other non-casual fans do too.

I was speaking more or less in terms of a hypothetical. If they did, hypothetically speaking, decide to almost completely stop caring about the core audience and just exclusively make it a casual game and start hard pandering exclusively to them to the point where they dumb down the experience (like for example, every future game in the franchise basically becomes like Let's Go Pikachu and Eevee), it would lead to Pokemon being perceived as a casual franchise eventually which...would not bode well for it eventually. All I'm saying is that it should at least keep a solid core experience that keeps core players engaged, and I'd rather not see the games dumbed down in terms of content. Crown Tundra was a step in the right direction in that regard, even if it was DLC, so I'm not too worried about Pokemon if they can keep that kind of content around for future games. As for what you you said, I agree: I would prefer to keep most of the currently existing depth in Pokemon.

Here's the thing though...

Why would Pokemon need "long term sales plan" when their new model with DLC seems to be guaranteeing sales over 2-3 years, just in time for the next game of the series to launch?

SwSh so far has beaten the *lifespan sales* of most other Pokemon games in 2 years.

Think about it.
Once again I am speaking in terms of hypotheticals. It's an *if* situation where while getting casuals is in fact a good thing for sales, it's not really a good idea to focus *exclusively* on one audience or the other. To start, let me point out that Sword and Shield is barely one year old: so no, it actually beat the lifespan sales of other games in just one year. Second, as controversial as Sword and Shield is reception wise you cannot deny that it still had a lot of incredible ideas, is still a fun game in its own right, and it also brought in a slew of QoL improvements that make it even easier to get into the competitive scene, which is one of the big draws of a good deal of more dedicated players, whether it be the battle facilities or VGC. So I wouldn't say it's anywhere near "casual pandering" as it keeps most of the core content largely intact, side activities aside. Crown Tundra brought in the kind of post-game you'd expect from stuff like Platinum or Emerald as well, with legendary hunting and whatnot. I am personally not too concerned with how well Pokemon will do financially and I think what they're doing right now will work very well. Knowing them I think the next Gen 8 game and Gen 9 will likely be a step up from Sword and Shield. I was simply speaking in terms of a theoretical situation: it's better to try to draw in both core audiences and casual audiences to a healthy degree than to pander exclusively to one crowd or the other if you want the games to sell well and still have people continue to be invested in it: after all, attachment value is still very important.
 
Once again I am speaking in terms of hypotheticals. It's an *if* situation where while getting casuals is in fact a good thing for sales, it's not really a good idea to focus *exclusively* on one audience or the other
I do not disagree with this, but consider that in fact SwSh design does actually cather multiple audiences.
On top of everything that cathers the "lazy / bad / whatever" casual player who's going to play the story and never touch it again, they introduced a ridicolous amount of QoL features, as well as the compatibility with Go, that are a godsent for competitive players.

While obviously one can like or not like VGC and specifically the way Dynamax warps it, there is no denying that the amount of effort that went in SwSh to make the life of VGC players easier AND ease the entry in it is incredible.


Realistically speaking, I think the only ones peperaging at SwSh are people who weren't going to buy it anyway, either cause they don't have a Switch and never planned to get one, or because they haven't bought a single pokemon game since gen 5 and are still busy yelling that Black & White were the last good games of the series.
Sure, there's a bunch of people who actually bought the games and, like Pikachu315111 said, have all the right to complain, but even with the complaints we still enjoyed the games and still more or less are ok with our purchase.

In the end, I don't think the way GF is handling this generation is inherently wrong. I think they hit (most) of the flags they needed to, marketing wise.

All they would REALLY need is working on their PR so episodes like Dexit's"""announcement""" and everything that followed don't happen again.
 

pokemon4eva

LET'S. GET. DANGEROUS!
is a Pre-Contributor
There are more casual Pokemon players then most people think, ones that don't go to Pokemon or even gaming-themed websites to discuss the series in-depth They buy the games, beat the main story, and then put them down after that, not bothering with PvP or post-game content.
It reminds me to this excerpt from TvTropes:

  • Within the games themselves, you'll find plenty of complaints about the post games of Gens VI and VII being "too short" or lacking in extensive battle facilities that Generation III, IV and V had. What isn't mentioned is that Game Freak has noticed that most fans don't even participate in them since they're often far too difficult for most of the player base to even attempt, and to do well, you'll need to understand the ins-and-outs of game mechanics that the game doesn't mention at all. This all indicates that those who actively completes these areas are unfortunately a minority of players. Generations VI and VII, in fact, got more sales and mainstream recognition than the previous few generations, indicating that ultimately the changes made in them resulted in wider overall appeal and all but confirming said fans as a Vocal Minority.
I'm afraid I also qualify there since I never bothred to do Crystal Battle Tower because I didn't know how to breed for good mons. I didn't bother with completing the Battle Frontiers at first because I had no idea how to EV train, or breed for good IVs since the game never teaches you that. This is why I prefer the PWT, since the battles consist in just winning 3 matches, which is a more welcome challenge than trying to keep a long streak against AI opponents with perfectly trained mons, a difficulty that the adventures never prepare you against. So is it any wonder why few people bothered with the Frontier challenges?

Maybe if we had challenges like making you choose only 3 mons from your team for boss battles, restricting items, putting everyone at the same level; and of course, the features and QoL that allow you to train mons, more people would have tried more these challenges.
 
It reminds me to this excerpt from TvTropes:

  • Within the games themselves, you'll find plenty of complaints about the post games of Gens VI and VII being "too short" or lacking in extensive battle facilities that Generation III, IV and V had. What isn't mentioned is that Game Freak has noticed that most fans don't even participate in them since they're often far too difficult for most of the player base to even attempt, and to do well, you'll need to understand the ins-and-outs of game mechanics that the game doesn't mention at all. This all indicates that those who actively completes these areas are unfortunately a minority of players. Generations VI and VII, in fact, got more sales and mainstream recognition than the previous few generations, indicating that ultimately the changes made in them resulted in wider overall appeal and all but confirming said fans as a Vocal Minority.
I'm afraid I also qualify there since I never bothred to do Crystal Battle Tower because I didn't know how to breed for good mons. I didn't bother with completing the Battle Frontiers at first because I had no idea how to EV train, or breed for good IVs since the game never teaches you that. This is why I prefer the PWT, since the battles consist in just winning 3 matches, which is a more welcome challenge than trying to keep a long streak against AI opponents with perfectly trained mons, a difficulty that the adventures never prepare you against. So is it any wonder why few people bothered with the Frontier challenges?

Maybe if we had challenges like making you choose only 3 mons from your team for boss battles, restricting items, putting everyone at the same level; and of course, the features and QoL that allow you to train mons, more people would have tried more these challenges.
Game Freak simply went with the easy route:

You have a very thoughtful set of advanced challenges where players have to know the mechanics to their deepest, but few even bother to try these challenges. Do you...
a) Explain the mechanics in a better way and make the tools to beat the challenge more accesible?
or...
b) Remove the challenges entirely?
 

pokemon4eva

LET'S. GET. DANGEROUS!
is a Pre-Contributor
Game Freak simply went with the easy route:

You have a very thoughtful set of advanced challenges where players have to know the mechanics to their deepest, but few even bother to try these challenges. Do you...
a) Explain the mechanics in a better way and make the tools to beat the challenge more accesible?
or...
b) Remove the challenges entirely?
More like they did both of them. We got better explaining thanks to iv judges and effort training features...buuuuut none of the challenges aside from the tower clones and competitive battling. Sometimes an extra challenge that fans dont mind like Battle Agency (loved it but you need help from other players to advance), Restriced sparring (fun but feels a bit short) and Master trainers (-_-).
 
More like they did both of them. We got better explaining thanks to iv judges and effort training features...buuuuut none of the challenges aside from the tower clones and competitive battling. Sometimes an extra challenge that fans dont mind like Battle Agency (loved it but you need help from other players to advance), Restriced sparring (fun but feels a bit short) and Master trainers (-_-).
The mechanics are more accessible, yes, but the explanation is still extremely lacking.
 
Honestly even when gen 8 introduced
- multiple ways to easy the breeding / preparing of competitive pokemon
- a very easy battle facility anyone can realistically tackle
- a second battle facility that's more challenging and has you to think out of the box
- a third pseudo battle facility that uses rentals and has a infinite mode *that you can also tackle with friends*

The interest for those is still... very lacking.

Let's be honest, almost noone cares for the Battle Facilities more than "eh i'll try it once or twice then never again".
"Higher explanation" of the training mechanics would have changed nothing.
 

TROP

DRUDDIGON SHOULD BE BANNED
is a Tiering Contributor Alumnus
"Higher explanation" of the training mechanics would have changed nothing.
I agree because 3 out of the 7 facilities in Emerald (palace, pike, and pyramid) are the kind of thing that can easily frustrate the average player in some way, with another facility being way too easy to end up playing as if it was just the tower (arena). The remaining 3 are the tower that has been the standard for every other game since then, dome is probably the best because at least you know what you will fight against and have an additional mon to potentially use, and factory is better than what it should be just because of how absurd getting a good mon in gen 3 is without knowing how to rng manip.

For gen 4 ignoring factory and tower because they are repeats and when the former is in dp with some differences. Arcade is just tower with added rng that can easily fuck you over or force you into using specific mons if you want to avoid those bad rolls as much as possible and that is not a really good thing when the average player doesn't really like the tower that much. Hall is fine, but the incredibly low bp and slowness of 10 battles and choosing the type per run can easily lead to the average player quitting it because they feel like they are not making any real progress. Castle is interesting at least, but seriously doubt explaining/making the best use of the hidden mechanics would have changed anything here when the more hardcore version of this that has people using really weird things for high streaks and good bp payouts is not that popular with the masses.

There are other more "minor" things like good tms (the average player would have used the good one of exploration tms long before they even get to the battle frontier), some good items, and tutors needing a good amount of bp that would need multiple runs (and when you have to win the entire thing just for bp) before you can even think about getting a single of them.
 
I agree because 3 out of the 7 facilities in Emerald (palace, pike, and pyramid) are the kind of thing that can easily frustrate the average player in some way, with another facility being way too easy to end up playing as if it was just the tower (arena). The remaining 3 are the tower that has been the standard for every other game since then, dome is probably the best because at least you know what you will fight against and have an additional mon to potentially use, and factory is better than what it should be just because of how absurd getting a good mon in gen 3 is without knowing how to rng manip.

For gen 4 ignoring factory and tower because they are repeats and when the former is in dp with some differences. Arcade is just tower with added rng that can easily fuck you over or force you into using specific mons if you want to avoid those bad rolls as much as possible and that is not a really good thing when the average player doesn't really like the tower that much. Hall is fine, but the incredibly low bp and slowness of 10 battles and choosing the type per run can easily lead to the average player quitting it because they feel like they are not making any real progress. Castle is interesting at least, but seriously doubt explaining/making the best use of the hidden mechanics would have changed anything here when the more hardcore version of this that has people using really weird things for high streaks and good bp payouts is not that popular with the masses.

There are other more "minor" things like good tms (the average player would have used the good one of exploration tms long before they even get to the battle frontier), some good items, and tutors needing a good amount of bp that would need multiple runs (and when you have to win the entire thing just for bp) before you can even think about getting a single of them.
Theres a reason Werster spent over 3 months for HGSS Gold Print runs...
 
This might be less of an unpopular opinion and more just a general truth that people, like me right this exact minute as I type this, eventually learn but...

Actual Pokemon cartridge games aren't very good for us competitive players. Let's be real, NONE of them are hard by any serious metric. Fire type gym leader? Use Water / Rock / whatever. Dragon type? Fuck em up with Ice Beam. Mixed champion? Put literally the slightest amount of brain power into it and use intimidate + setup Pokemon to just sweep them with zero losses regardless of levels. When competitive players actually play against brain dead AI the only thing limiting us at all are levels and that's generally pretty easy to handle with the game's rock-paper-scissors type thing or if extreme simple strats like Toxic + Revives or whatever can break the game's toughest of challenges. Even competitive players rarely seriously invest their maximum into the games. None of us have ever EV trained or bred for an in-game challenge right? Even with a "good" in-game team we're never truly pushed to do anything more than grind. Frankly I'm at a point where I don't even enjoy the cartridge games. My point here? Well that's the wild world of randomizers. Despite the name Randomizers are basically just a custom ruleset that has like 8 pages of options.

As an example I'm currently playing Soul Silver with the following options:

-Opposing trainer / gym leader levels increased by 50%.
-Trainer Pokemon are randomized but with comparable BST... So Falkner will still get shitmons but Lance will be strong.
-Wild Pokemon are also randomized but still scaled by BST. Gift and "interactable" Pokemon are unchanged.
-Any opposing Pokemon level 30+ is automatically fully evolved.
-Pokemon movepools, stats, and so on are not changed. Only trainer Pokemon, levels, and catch locations have been altered.

My starter Pokemon were Larvitar, Bagon, and... Oddish. I actually picked Oddish lol because I figured it would be reasonably useful for longer, and status effects are strong. Probably the only time in my life I willingly turned down a Psudo-Legend for a weed. I think I made the right choice though as Stun Spore has absolutely been a game changer against opponents who at times out-leveled me by 15 or more. So here's the tl;dr version of my journey so far.

Oddish did fine pretty much up to Falkner. Early game trainers are so laughably under-leveled that even with a 50% bonus they were crushed under the mighty foot of Ass Kicker the Oddish. Sprout Tower similarly was fine. Again the low BST and level of G/S trainers made the randomization and level bonus pretty insignificant. Falkner hilariously replaced his level 13 Pidgeotto with a level 20 Luvdisc... Good thing I picked Oddish.

The journey from Falknerville to Bugsy was uneventful. I caught a Gible in the whatever cave and thanks to Dragon Rage cheese walked all over Bugsy. I don't even remember what he had. Also I was really drunk. Oddish Stun Spore + Gible Dragon Rage killed off whatever it was.

Goldenrod city had the legendary Whitney. I grinded every possible trainer I could and caught a Butterfree in the bug catching contest... and lost to a Venonat(?). I didn't even get third place! I forget Whitney's first Pokemon but her level 19 Miltank was replaced by a level 29 Rhyperior lol. Once again, Oddish was great. I still nearly lost to a Stomp flinch though.

Pokeathelon with a mouse and keyboard is absolute hell. I almost used my drawing tablet to play but I was concerned that I would get angry enough to break it. But you know. Gloom needs a Leaf Stone.

Morty on the other hand utterly team wiped me. Or should I say a random trainer in his gym with a level 30 Togekiss did... I took some time to grind through Olivine's lighthouse a bit before returning. I evolved a Gyarados and Oddish / Gabite hit their second forms. Morty's final team ended up being a level 32 Roserade, 38 Venusaur, 35 Pachirisu, and his final was a Qwilfish. Gloom completely swept him lol.

Instead of having two level 30 Magnemite Jasmine has a level 45 Altaria and 45 Bronzong, and instead of her lvl 35 Steelix she has a level 53 Ludicolo lol. Ice fang + Dragon Rage Gyarados beat the first 2 and Stun Spore + literally the rest of the team dying barely was enough to break Ludicolo. But like, I actually had to plan my attack. It's such an amazing feeling vs just "use dig twice, Surf the Steelix".

I still haven't managed to beat piece of shit Chuck as his first Pokemon is a Walrein with Rest / Snore / Ice Fang / Swagger. Gloom 4-5HKOs so I can't really break through Rest without taking a lot of damage in the process. So I'm currently fighting rockets in their Mahogony hideout to try and level a bit more. Most of my opponents are around 30-40 and I'm *barely* in the early 30s. My team is Gyarados / Gabite / Gloom with two HM slaves but I'm looking for a good steel type to round off the 4th. I'd like to run 5 Pokemon but I'm afraid of dividing up the XP too much. With just 3 mons I'm grossly underleveled as is. Each random trainer is about as strong as a gym leader and each gym leader requires planning to even have a chance to face. I nearly got team wiped by a Recover Milotic at the Lake of Rage. Just a random trainer nearly fucked me raw. Amazing.

Anyway with extremely small amounts of changes older games can be made ridiculously difficult and fun. I no longer have any confidence that Gamefreak can deliver a truly enjoyable single player experience that actually test my skills. And I don't mean that as a jab at Gamefreak not am I intentionally jerking off my own shaft. I think we, as competitive players, just have to accept that Gamefreak isn't making games for us. But that doesn't mean we can't have fun with the Pokemon formula it just means we can't expect Gamefreak to hand deliver it to us.

tl;dr version actual Pokemon games are very easy and criticizing a child's game for being designed for children is a waste of time. Just play some kind of fan-made game / program if you want difficulty. This whole experience blew my mind and I say with full confidence that the past 24 hours of playing a randomizer have been the most unstructured, difficult fun I have ever had playing Pokemon in single-player mode. I would almost push this to the point where between Roms and Showdown I'm not even sure what newer Pokemon games can offer us.
 
I agree that Randomizers can allow for new experiences, especially since the randomizer generators have been improved to a point you can make them fit up to what you want. I've never completed a Randomizer playthrough (because the game is set up to eventually make me want to use something I don't like) but it's some fresh air.

That being said, one of your points reminded me of something that I know is fairly unpopular...

-Pokemon movepools, stats, and so on are not changed. Only trainer Pokemon, levels, and catch locations have been altered.
... and it's that I don't like when ROM Hacks want to "balance" the official Pokémon. I mean things like changing typing, abilities, base stats, or learnset, or modifying the moves or abilities themselves.

I know they want to make the joke Pokémon viable (a pre-Sirfetch'd classic was vastly buffing Farfetch'd's stats and make it Fighting/Flying), but it feels really wrong to me... for some reason. And yet I don't find creating Fakemon, new moves or abilities as wrong as that.

Which is why I appreciate when "vanilla" options exist (say, the Drayano ROM Hacks).

Maybe it is because I disagree with the buffs themselves?
 
... and it's that I don't like when ROM Hacks want to "balance" the official Pokémon. I mean things like changing typing, abilities, base stats, or learnset, or modifying the moves or abilities themselves
I agree. My friend introduced me to randomizers and kind of turned me off at the same time. His first match he got a Hydro Cannon Psyduck and lost to a Wonderguard Caterpie. His next game he had a Cubone and lost to Levitate Mawile. That's cool I guess but it barely resembles the Pokemon game I've known for most of my life. I'd rather play with what I know and fight strong opponents. I'd feel shitty if I lose to a Speed Boost Tyranitar or a Steel / Dragon Blaziken with Shell Smash. That's just not... Pokemon.
 
tl;dr version actual Pokemon games are very easy and criticizing a child's game for being designed for children is a waste of time. Just play some kind of fan-made game / program if you want difficulty. This whole experience blew my mind and I say with full confidence that the past 24 hours of playing a randomizer have been the most unstructured, difficult fun I have ever had playing Pokemon in single-player mode. I would almost push this to the point where between Roms and Showdown I'm not even sure what newer Pokemon games can offer us.
(emphasis mine)
I've been repeating this for the past year, I am glad you too saw the light at this point
Welcome to the club of reasonable people (for now) :mehowth:
 
This might be less of an unpopular opinion and more just a general truth that people, like me right this exact minute as I type this, eventually learn but...

Actual Pokemon cartridge games aren't very good for us competitive players. Let's be real, NONE of them are hard by any serious metric. Fire type gym leader? Use Water / Rock / whatever. Dragon type? Fuck em up with Ice Beam. Mixed champion? Put literally the slightest amount of brain power into it and use intimidate + setup Pokemon to just sweep them with zero losses regardless of levels. When competitive players actually play against brain dead AI the only thing limiting us at all are levels and that's generally pretty easy to handle with the game's rock-paper-scissors type thing or if extreme simple strats like Toxic + Revives or whatever can break the game's toughest of challenges. Even competitive players rarely seriously invest their maximum into the games. None of us have ever EV trained or bred for an in-game challenge right? Even with a "good" in-game team we're never truly pushed to do anything more than grind. Frankly I'm at a point where I don't even enjoy the cartridge games. My point here? Well that's the wild world of randomizers. Despite the name Randomizers are basically just a custom ruleset that has like 8 pages of options.

As an example I'm currently playing Soul Silver with the following options:

-Opposing trainer / gym leader levels increased by 50%.
-Trainer Pokemon are randomized but with comparable BST... So Falkner will still get shitmons but Lance will be strong.
-Wild Pokemon are also randomized but still scaled by BST. Gift and "interactable" Pokemon are unchanged.
-Any opposing Pokemon level 30+ is automatically fully evolved.
-Pokemon movepools, stats, and so on are not changed. Only trainer Pokemon, levels, and catch locations have been altered.

My starter Pokemon were Larvitar, Bagon, and... Oddish. I actually picked Oddish lol because I figured it would be reasonably useful for longer, and status effects are strong. Probably the only time in my life I willingly turned down a Psudo-Legend for a weed. I think I made the right choice though as Stun Spore has absolutely been a game changer against opponents who at times out-leveled me by 15 or more. So here's the tl;dr version of my journey so far.

Oddish did fine pretty much up to Falkner. Early game trainers are so laughably under-leveled that even with a 50% bonus they were crushed under the mighty foot of Ass Kicker the Oddish. Sprout Tower similarly was fine. Again the low BST and level of G/S trainers made the randomization and level bonus pretty insignificant. Falkner hilariously replaced his level 13 Pidgeotto with a level 20 Luvdisc... Good thing I picked Oddish.

The journey from Falknerville to Bugsy was uneventful. I caught a Gible in the whatever cave and thanks to Dragon Rage cheese walked all over Bugsy. I don't even remember what he had. Also I was really drunk. Oddish Stun Spore + Gible Dragon Rage killed off whatever it was.

Goldenrod city had the legendary Whitney. I grinded every possible trainer I could and caught a Butterfree in the bug catching contest... and lost to a Venonat(?). I didn't even get third place! I forget Whitney's first Pokemon but her level 19 Miltank was replaced by a level 29 Rhyperior lol. Once again, Oddish was great. I still nearly lost to a Stomp flinch though.

Pokeathelon with a mouse and keyboard is absolute hell. I almost used my drawing tablet to play but I was concerned that I would get angry enough to break it. But you know. Gloom needs a Leaf Stone.

Morty on the other hand utterly team wiped me. Or should I say a random trainer in his gym with a level 30 Togekiss did... I took some time to grind through Olivine's lighthouse a bit before returning. I evolved a Gyarados and Oddish / Gabite hit their second forms. Morty's final team ended up being a level 32 Roserade, 38 Venusaur, 35 Pachirisu, and his final was a Qwilfish. Gloom completely swept him lol.

Instead of having two level 30 Magnemite Jasmine has a level 45 Altaria and 45 Bronzong, and instead of her lvl 35 Steelix she has a level 53 Ludicolo lol. Ice fang + Dragon Rage Gyarados beat the first 2 and Stun Spore + literally the rest of the team dying barely was enough to break Ludicolo. But like, I actually had to plan my attack. It's such an amazing feeling vs just "use dig twice, Surf the Steelix".

I still haven't managed to beat piece of shit Chuck as his first Pokemon is a Walrein with Rest / Snore / Ice Fang / Swagger. Gloom 4-5HKOs so I can't really break through Rest without taking a lot of damage in the process. So I'm currently fighting rockets in their Mahogony hideout to try and level a bit more. Most of my opponents are around 30-40 and I'm *barely* in the early 30s. My team is Gyarados / Gabite / Gloom with two HM slaves but I'm looking for a good steel type to round off the 4th. I'd like to run 5 Pokemon but I'm afraid of dividing up the XP too much. With just 3 mons I'm grossly underleveled as is. Each random trainer is about as strong as a gym leader and each gym leader requires planning to even have a chance to face. I nearly got team wiped by a Recover Milotic at the Lake of Rage. Just a random trainer nearly fucked me raw. Amazing.

Anyway with extremely small amounts of changes older games can be made ridiculously difficult and fun. I no longer have any confidence that Gamefreak can deliver a truly enjoyable single player experience that actually test my skills. And I don't mean that as a jab at Gamefreak not am I intentionally jerking off my own shaft. I think we, as competitive players, just have to accept that Gamefreak isn't making games for us. But that doesn't mean we can't have fun with the Pokemon formula it just means we can't expect Gamefreak to hand deliver it to us.

tl;dr version actual Pokemon games are very easy and criticizing a child's game for being designed for children is a waste of time. Just play some kind of fan-made game / program if you want difficulty. This whole experience blew my mind and I say with full confidence that the past 24 hours of playing a randomizer have been the most unstructured, difficult fun I have ever had playing Pokemon in single-player mode. I would almost push this to the point where between Roms and Showdown I'm not even sure what newer Pokemon games can offer us.
The thing with Randomizers is that opponents usually have level-up movepools. In some of the newer generations, that might not be so bad, but level-up movepools in older games are often terrible. You can also run into problems like facing a Pokemon with dragon rage in the early game, which has no counterplay at that point. Using a randomizer to make the game more difficult doesn't always work in my opinion, because you're also randomizing the level of difficulty itself.

I think a nuzlocke is a much better way to make Pokemon more difficult. You don't have to change anything about the games to do a nuzlocke, so it's ultimately much closer to the intended Pokemon experience than playing with a randomizer. The enemies stay the same as well, so you can still plan ahead and train specific Pokemon for specific matchups, which is one of my favorite parts of Pokemon. This aspect is really rewarding to people who have good game knowledge. It's also easy to make a nuzlocke hard (heh). You can add extra rules like no-items, level caps or team-size matching. Actually, you can add these rules to a normal playthrough as well, which is also a totally valid way to make the base games more challenging without altering them in any way.

Don't get me wrong, if you like randomizers, that is totally cool. I just think it's not a very consistant and rewarding way to increase difficulty.
 
So, on the topic of difficulty...

For all the talk about how Pokémon is incredibly easy, and that Game Freak does not want to make it challenging, I kind of think not many appreciate how heavily customizable Pokémon's difficulty is, and that's something that should be noticed.

The immense roster is already a big factor on how your experience is going to be, and then you have all other sorts of restrictions (say, Nuzlocke) that the game allows you to do without much effort.

Out of the games I play, I think only Football Manager comes close to that.
 
RE: Increasing difficulty: Or you could just be a loser like me and make your own hard mode hack... With a bad base game. I like what we did with our hack, but geez fuck, Gen 7 loves its useless cutscenes.
That being said, one of your points reminded me of something that I know is fairly unpopular...



... and it's that I don't like when ROM Hacks want to "balance" the official Pokémon. I mean things like changing typing, abilities, base stats, or learnset, or modifying the moves or abilities themselves.

I know they want to make the joke Pokémon viable (a pre-Sirfetch'd classic was vastly buffing Farfetch'd's stats and make it Fighting/Flying), but it feels really wrong to me... for some reason. And yet I don't find creating Fakemon, new moves or abilities as wrong as that.

Which is why I appreciate when "vanilla" options exist (say, the Drayano ROM Hacks).

Maybe it is because I disagree with the buffs themselves?
For me, it's the opposite. I like seeing Pokemon getting changed and buffed. Why accept mediocrity in this case when someone else can do it better? Also nice to see what people can do with various Mons to make them stand out more.
 

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