Unpopular opinions

So as someone who never really does Nuzlockes, why exactly is finding new ways to play games you already enjoy a bad thing?
It isn't, at least, I don't think it is, but for some people it actually ends up being a product of addiction.

Like most things, obsessing over a single thing (being it a game, a series, a movie, anything) is not healthy. Sometimes you gotta move on.

Personally, I consider it as silly as the now-with-its-own-thread "Pokemon fans and trying to not find patterns in literally everything challenge - level impossible".
 
Well now that we're on the subject and in the proper thread for it, Nuzlocke isn't a good playstyle. The games aren't designed well around them, and I don't know why people enjoy so much throwing 12 hours of game time down the sink so readily.
I think Nuzlockes present a more extreme version of a problem I encounter when playing pretty much any RPG: the more knowledge you have, the less exciting it is to play through the game. The feeling of discovery and improvisation in a world of boundless possibility is one of the main draws of the genre, so you get diminishing returns each time you replay it. It's worse for the Pokemon games because there's no execution element to the combat (not that I think there should be), so any battle you're familiar with from past experience will mostly be decided in advance by your team composition and intended strategy, just with the possibility of being helped or hindered by hax.

Nuzlockes encourage safe, careful play to protect your mons from 'death'. Provided you don't add rules to limit item use and/or overlevelling, there's no reason why you should lose any battle that you can grind for beforehand. If you do set reasonable limits to make it fairer, then you can definitely lose, but only as a result of bad luck (available encounters, hax) or a gap in your knowledge.

Some professional Nuzlockers optimise their play to such an insane degree that they're literally going into each major battle with a full list of how each turn could play out and how they'd respond. Every attack is calced and they have perfect knowledge of what the AI can choose to do in any situation. It's common to hear 'as long as X doesn't happen, we win' which means the entire battle is just waiting to see if they get crit at an inopportune moment or whatever. It works ok as entertainment because there's a sense of a community being bonded by the tension, but on your own I find it's mostly just frustrating or boring.

I much prefer challenge runs with pre-planned teams (which I'm sure have the same issues for other people), because I think it's more satisfying to have all your team limitations defined from the start so you're free to strategise as much as you like within that predefined space. Monotypes and other themed runs (genderless, specific animal types, stat trainer team, etc) have a fun little narrative element that isn't as serious as the forced attachment/tragedy aspect you often see in Nuzlockes.
Wow this thread blew up while I was away

Anyway here's my probably-awful game mechanic take: I've never really understood why Trick Room doesn't work on priority instead of on Speed stats. It's really weird to me that the move makes slower Pokemon move first but you can still use Quick Attack et al to get around that, sort of defeats the purpose.

I guess game balance is the reason because otherwise Iron Ball Rampardos would probably murder everyone and everything but idk.
I think it's more about preserving the mechanics of moves with negative priority, which are often either balanced around their priority bracket (phazing moves etc.) or require going second to work (e.g. Mirror Coat/Counter).
 
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So as someone who never really does Nuzlockes, why exactly is finding new ways to play games you already enjoy a bad thing?
You see, there is this thing called subjectivity that few people seem to understand correctly.
What is fun for a few people can be boring to others, and vice versa.
And Nuzlocke is one of several challenges built on the idea that restricting things can result in arguably more interesting stories, as seen with walkthroughs that follow the Nuzlocke rules.
 
You see, there is this thing called subjectivity that few people seem to understand correctly.
What is fun for a few people can be boring to others, and vice versa.
And Nuzlocke is one of several challenges built on the idea that restricting things can result in arguably more interesting stories, as seen with walkthroughs that follow the Nuzlocke rules.
I'm not sure you replied to the right person. I never said Nuzlockes aen't fun, in fact the implication was supposed to be exactly the opposite. While I personally don't much care for them, I don't see the problem if other people do. I don't think enjoying Nuzlockes necessarily implies addiction or anything like that and I'm not sure how you'd even make that logic follow.
 
I think Nuzlockes present a more extreme version of a problem I encounter when playing pretty much any RPG: the more knowledge you have, the less exciting it is to play through the game. The feeling of discovery and improvisation in a world of boundless possibility is one of the main draws of the genre, so you get diminishing returns each time you replay it. It's worse for the Pokemon games because there's no execution element to the combat (not that I think there should be), so any battle you're familiar with from past experience will mostly be decided in advance by your team composition and intended strategy, just with the possibility of being helped or hindered by hax.

Nuzlockes encourage safe, careful play to protect your mons from 'death'. Provided you don't add rules to limit item use and/or overlevelling, there's no reason why you should lose any battle that you can grind for beforehand. If you do set reasonable limits to make it fairer, then you can definitely lose, but only as a result of bad luck (available encounters, hax) or a gap in your knowledge.

Some professional Nuzlockers optimise their play to such an insane degree that they're literally going into each major battle with a full list of how each turn could play out and how they'd respond in each situation. Every attack is calced and they have perfect knowledge of what the AI can choose to do in any situation. It's common to hear 'as long as X doesn't happen, we win' which means the entire battle is just waiting to see if they get crit at an inopportune moment or whatever. It works ok as entertainment because there's a sense of a community being bonded by the tension, but on your own I find it's mostly just frustrating or boring.
Incidentally, I agree that this is a issue with... pretty much any turn based games.
These games tend to basically boil down on "do you know what the boss does y/n". When you don't, well, there's all the surprise factor and how well you can prepare for any potential situation at same time. Once you do however... they're all facerollable. This counts even for historically difficult RPGs which you can always break by just being patient and grinding beforehand.

I always feel that the lack of a actual real time thing is what really prevents turn based games to not get into that situation: since there's nothing really demanding you to not take your time over something, you don't really have a way to "test" the player skill during a battle, you can really only test their preparation.
 
In a way, this is why I tend to play only randomized nuzlockes. I know adding more rng to pokémon sounds annoying, but imo it tests your team building and on the fly strategy when you never know what you'll see next, so you gotta learn how to prepare for the worst and be aware of what pokemon can have which moves, etc
 
Idk, I think stress testing an RPG on multiple playthroughs is the only real way to figure out if it's good. If it holds up when you know a lot of the mechanics and how the bosses work, then it's a really great optimization problem.

Now I personally don't enjoy Nuzlockes because I find the play patterns really boring but I respect the effort. My personal challenge of choice is speedrunning. You're encouraged to fight at lower levels and minimal resources, you have to shortcut all the long cheese things that you might be able to do to trivialize the game, and there's literally an infinite amount of optimization you can do. I've gotten to enjoy many RPGs to the fullest this way, older pokemon games included.

As a bonus, you even add that active time component that's been mentioned. Often in a run you're rewarded for quick improvisation in addition to preparation.
 
It's called addiction.

"I'm so addicted to this game that I need to find new ways to play it to justify keeping doing it because I can't stop"

Incidentally also a problem that far too many people on these boards tend to suffer from :psysly:
Or, news flash, people enjoy challenge runs in video games, and like to do them in one of the most popular video game series ever made? I can’t imagine being so cynical about this series that you need to scorn people who find enjoyment in an optional ruleset, even if you don’t care for it yourself.

Even if this is tongue-in-cheek, it’s not only an absurd take but minimizes the actual impact that addiction can have on people. Enjoying a challenge run strictly for your own sake is not comparable to being so dependent on something to live that it tears your life apart, and frankly it’s shameful to even compare the two.
 
I find that I generally try to out-think an obstacle first rather than trying to out-level it just because I enjoy making strategies. With respect to Nuzlockes, the high (permanent) risk and limited options push it away from being able to use more interesting strategies unless the extra rules are at a point where brute force is completely disabled. I usually run with themed teams, restricting enough to have a real weakness (generally lack of type diversity) while still being capable of getting around a problem instead of through it. Though there was the one time I tried a damageless playthrough because I saw one that made heavy use of overleveling and thought I could do better.
 
As much as I'd love to play a more difficult main series Pokemon game, I've come to realise that when it comes to in-game trainer rosters, I prefer it when we get strong theming and unusual strategies, even if they compromise the overall strength of the team.

I've been playing some fangames lately and the trainers that stick out in my memory are the ones with a really fun and cohesive concept behind their team (ideally with a connection to their character and/or backstory), even if they weren't the most challenging fights to win.

I don't think you necessarily have to choose one or the other in every instance, but there's a lot of potential for indirect storytelling in these little details.
 
As much as I'd love to play a more difficult main series Pokemon game, I've come to realise that when it comes to in-game trainer rosters, I prefer it when we get strong theming and unusual strategies, even if they compromise the overall strength of the team.

I've been playing some fangames lately and the trainers that stick out in my memory are the ones with a really fun and cohesive concept behind their team (ideally with a connection to their character and/or backstory), even if they weren't the most challenging fights to win.

I don't think you necessarily have to choose one or the other in every instance, but there's a lot of potential for indirect storytelling in these little details.
I've been advocating for this for a while now.

The problem with most major battles in Pokémon is that they're quite frankly bland and not that different from what you do the entire game. At no point in a regular run you're encouraged to try and strategize even a little.

This is why Emerald Tate and Liza is one of the best battles in the franchise despite their roster being thoroughly trash. Sure, I'd appreciate a less convoluted difficulty setting than what BW2 had to offer, even though that was mostly a grindfest, but latest games just don't have enough memorable battles.

Want an example? Let's do a show of hands here, who remembers Melony's team without checking it? The steel guy in Alola's E4? (Man, I don't even remember his name :row:), Diantha's? Come on, she was the Kalos Champion, someone here gotta know, right?

Probably not.

Does anyone remember Raihan's gym battle though? Was that an unsurmountable challenge? Maybe mildly difficult? Nah, let's be honest, it was piss easy like the rest of SwSh.

I rest my case.
 
Let's do a show of hands here, who remembers Melony's team without checking it? The steel guy in Alola's E4? (Man, I don't even remember his name :row:), Diantha's? Come on, she was the Kalos Champion, someone here gotta know, right?

Probably not.
I'm trying my best.
Melony has G-Max Lapras. I believe she also has Eiscue, as her son has its counterpart Stonjourner.
The Alola PC guy... let's be real, naming any PC person other than Bill feels like an impossible question, and I read Bulbapedia a lot. But I got him in Pokémon Masters, so oooooo... Alolan Dugtrio?
Diantha has *deep breath* Aurorus, Tyrantrum, Hawlucha, Average Size Gourgeist, uhhhhhh... Goodra, and Mega-Gardevoir. Where is my prize?
 
Diantha's? Come on, she was the Kalos Champion, someone here gotta know, right?

Probably not.
This is the one I must disagree on.

Despite me bitching thoroughly about Diantha's difficulty recently, I actually like her team a lot even if it isn't that strong or well-utilised. It's diverse and colourful and uses a lot of Kalos's best-designed species. It's disappointing that it reuses Grant and Korrina's signature species, but I think it's a very well-balanced lineup (though it does give her an interesting bias toward Rock* which is unusual for a Champion).

Granted, this may be because I read a theory that her team reflects different film genres:
  • Hawlucha is martial arts/action
  • Tyrantrum is disaster/monster
  • Aurorus is fantasy/historical
  • Goodra is children's/family/comedy
  • Gourgeist is horror
  • Gardevoir is romance
Now, I've never seen this confirmed or even hinted at so it may be complete supposition on the part of the writer, but it does give the picks on her team some weight and some logic (much more so than Cynthia's underwhelming DP team, which likewise reuses signature species from Gardenia and Maylene).


*and Dragon
 
Want an example? Let's do a show of hands here, who remembers Melony's team without checking it? The steel guy in Alola's E4? (Man, I don't even remember his name :row:), Diantha's? Come on, she was the Kalos Champion, someone here gotta know, right?
Dianthea is easy ! 2 Fossils + M-Gardevoir and Goodra/Hawlucha/Gourgeist
Melony ... Has D-Lapras, and I think Frosmoth and G-Dardarmitan and Eiscue !
The Steel Guy in Alola 4 ? He's only in USUM IIRC It's Moleyne and ... Magnezone / Dugtrio / Metagross ? I forget others. And he gave us Z-Steal Crystal IIRC
 
Honestly, most champion's teams are pretty good. The exception is Wallace, with arguments for Alder, Lance, or Hau also being bad. Ignoring rematches:
Blue: Pidgeot, Alakazam, Rhydon, Gyarados, Arcanine, Exeggutor(sub in starter). So good that it became his official team. Lots of powerhouses given the generation, but even now they can show up as a high-end fight and be reasonably challenging(granted, gen 1 bias for improvements helps with that).
Lance(GSC/HGSS): Gyarados, Charizard, Aerodactyl, Dragonite x3. Ugh. Thing is, this is a scary team. And the movesets are actually good. But it doesn't have Kingdra, it doesn't have Tyranitar, and it does have 4 mons weak to ice and 3 weak to electric, so you can just sweep. It's mono-flying, not mono-dragon, which is a constant Lance issue.
Steven: Skarmory, Claydol, Aggron, Cradily, Armaldo, Metagross. More a mineral specialist than a steel specialist, but they're powerful mons with good coverage and no real shared weaknesses. All bulky enough to prevent just sweeping through, and with Toxic to prevent setup spam, it's about as good as you can do with the constraints of the character.
Wallace: Wailord, Tentacruel, Ludicolo, Whiscash, Gyarados, Milotic. Just what this region needed, more water. They're all good mons, and given they share types there's plenty of ways to avoid electrics or grasses, but mono-water after the player has beaten a bunch of water routes, a water gym, Team Aqua, and Kyogre is just sad. There's not even an attempt to make a viable rain team, which would at least have been interesting.
Cynthia: Spiritomb, Roserade, Gastrodon, Lucario, Milotic, Garchomp. The team and champion everyone talks about. So good they don't bother changing it for rematches. The first non-specialist champion since Blue, starting a trend of them. Good coverage, strong mons, and it tests your team in multiple ways. Perfect, no notes.
Alder: Accelgor, Bouffalant, Druddigon, Vanniluxe, Escavalier, Volcarona. All new mons is nice, the ones he chose are not. 3 bugs, no pseudo-legendary, and some baffling choices...I'm not surprised they replaced him for BW2
Iris: Hydreigon, Druddigon, Archeops, Aggron, Lapras, Haxorus. Dragon-focused, but with minimal type overlap, great coverage, strong mons, no repeats. It's not memorable, in that you're likely to remember it as Dragon spam and very offensive, but it's strong. And it actually has 2 ice resistances. Lance, learn from her.
Diantha: Hawlucha, Tyrantrum, Aurorus, Gourgeist, Goodra, Mega-Gardevoir. 5/6 mons are new to the region(and MGard is arguable), mix of physical and special offense with great coverage on each, some reasonable bulk, it's a solid team. It loses to good setup and this gen as a whole is relatively easy, but I don't think there's obvious ways to improve it.
Kuiki: Lycanroc, Ninetails-A, Braviary, Snorlax, Magnezone, Starter. Again, lots of fast powerful mons. But lots of non-Alola mons, no exploiting anything like Aurora Veil or similar, and it's mostly mons that go down fast. There's not even any subtle or strong theming to justify it. Of course, rival trainers were never the challenge of this gen. Fine, but could be better with a bit of effort.
Hau: RaichuA, Eeveeloution, Tauros, Noivern, Crabominable, Starter. It's not better. Still decent mons, no shared weaknesses, but also no theming, no major strategy, and not bulky enough to avoid being crushed. Given the higher power of the player in USUM, this is just not good enough. Needs a complete rebuild of Hau's team throughout the game to fix, though, so I get why they didn't do that. Oh well, title defense and Ultra-Necrozma are the real challenges of this game.
Leon: Aegislash, Dragapult, Haxorus, Charizard, Starter, Rando. I like this team because of what it says. This is a team you as the player might make. Pseudolegend, two broken mons, starter, Gen1 gift mon, fill out the type coverage. Going up against it, more than any rival, is supposed to be like going up against yourself. Every non-starter has perfect coverage, some of them are reasonably bulky, and there's very little way for the AI to screw it up. It can only be so challenging because Dynamax, but I really like this team.
 

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