Pokemon Sword/Shield (Switch)

  • @bard91 It is more of a time problem than a resources problem. In the two years development, they want to focus their time elsewhere versus balancing soon to be over 1,000 creatures, as well as making animations for them all, when they could spend the time making better custom animations for a smaller group. The effort is there. They just are placing it elsewhere versus maintaining all the creatures but having very little time to flesh out any other aspect of the game.

    Home will be the place designed to longterm carry all the monsters and hopefully maintain certain aspects like the Gotta Catch 'Em All™ (this catchphrase was actually invented for the west, in Japan it is basically just "Get Pokemon") National Dex, hopefully with accompanying certificates of accomplishing the task. Since Home isn't an every other year release and works more like games as a service, they can just keep updating and supporting it as new content is released instead of having to redo everything every two years, which makes the workload actually feasible.

    I just hope Home is fleshed out enough to make up for problems that occur when all the Pokemon aren't available through each mainline game anymore, like the ability to battle and breed Pokemon through Home where all of them are available to you. I don't even mind if the battling aspect has extremely basic animations. It can be like Showdown. Just needs to be there for people who want to battle with the full National Dex at their disposal in an official manner, kind of like an Unlimited format in a TCG game. That way Home can continue the "Unlimited" Meta as previous games did in the past, while new mainline games act as "Sets" with their own specific Meta developing around their limited Pokemon choices, which actually could be a huge boon for competitive variety if handled properly instead of always seeing the same Pokemon dominate the Meta.

    Breeding is the much harder thing to save through Home. Not every Pokemon available in the mainline games means certain breeding pairs that'd result in Egg Moves won't be possible to do through those games, which is where Home could come in and allow you to instead breed those pairs through that, with the ability to transfer a resulting Pokemon with an Egg Move from one of those pairs back into the mainline games, given they appear in the Galar or whatever region we're on's Dex. Previously, eggs took steps to hatch, but I feel like this might need to be adapted to a timer for mobile. Maybe they could offer connection with the Pokeball Plus (sold separately!) to act as a pedometer for those who'd prefer step hatching as an alternative to waiting though. This would be the ideal feasible solution, but hacking has become so out of control in the Pokemon community that hardly anyone legit breeds stuff anymore, so GameFreak might just think it isn't worth bothering with, and sadly I can't even really blame them if they come to that decision given the situation.

    If they wanted to get really nuts they could add an Amie / Refresh / Camping (according to rumors) type feature to Home too, however this immediately runs into the same animation problems preventing all the Pokemon from appearing in every new mainline game. The only workaround I could think of to this is just having it act as a copy database for animations that appeared in previous titles, but there's still some conversation work for mobile to be done there probably, so it is probably more hassle than it is worth and would also probably be seen as a primary feature for why you'd be getting the games themselves.

    Now the point this all comes down to however is a price point. This is a service, potentially greatly expanded from the capabilities of the Bank service before it. Bank was only $5 a year, but it was also simply storage, acting as PC boxes. I can't see them implementing some of this stuff without at least bumping that subscription up to $10 a year, but I feel like anymore than that and people will become upset at having to pay this amount on top of their $60 for every new game as well. Another thing that I feel needs to be outlined when it comes to Pokemon Home is the EXACT length of the grace period when you stop subscribing to the service before they wipe your Pokemon off their server. It has been kept ambiguous throughout all of Bank's lifetime, although most forum posts you'll read about lapsed users later resubscribing will suggest they maintained years long lengths of lapsed subscription Pokemon for users. That's great, but I feel like we need a hard deadline to put the cases of users who did have their Pokemon deleted from lapsed subscriptions entirely at blame for that. You could make many arguments for what period of time would be fair. I'd personally say two years from lapsed subscription date. That gives people about two to three games to remind them to resubscribe before losing them all, which seems fair to me and allows skipping a game or two that doesn't seem interesting to you while maintaining your collection.

    We just need to wait for when they're ready to market Home and announce its full feature set. Isn't really worth getting upset about the National Dex situation until we know the true extent of what this entails for the future.

  • @mbun haven't read everything you said because it is a lot and seems to go about unrelated things about Home, but just the very first part, I could concive something like that being the case if they showed something, anything that were even a little bit impressive in regards to the animations or the how game looks, but it looks as basic as it always has so I honestly can not see the effort.

    And part of my point is, this game is gonna break the bank, like Pokemon games always do but probably much more, it should not be difficult to get more hands on board be it within GameFreak or with external help to ramp up the quality of really everything and not have to leave one of the most important things of these games aside, it is an excuse I could buy for other franchises, not for Pokemon.

    Sadly we likely have a good idea why this is, Gamefreak is a developer that is not interested in moving forward with their games, and really why should they when their minimal effort continues pulling in millions without failure, so again this comes to what I said about disinterest and mediocrity, if they didn't want this to be an issue it wouldnt be, and it wouldn't prevent them from making mad profit on this either.

  • @bard91 Where does it end though?

    Let's say for the sake of argument that they could, by hiring more people / delaying the game (which for business reasons is inconceivable), cram in all existing 1,000-ish Pokemon.

    Next-gen, there will be 1,200 Pokemon, and the graphical expectations will be higher. The gen after that, there will be 1,400 Pokemon, which again will each need even more work. And so on.

    It is simply an unsustainable model, no matter how much money/effort/good will you throw at it. They said it was already difficult for Sun/Moon, so they had to rip the band-aid this time.

    As a developer myself, if there's something I hate, it's reading accusations of "laziness" whenever some feature goes missing from a game. I can guarantee you that not a single thing has ever been cut from a game because the devs thought "Eh, can't be bothered". On the contrary, you can bet that every game that came out had extra stuff and ideas the devs desperately wanted to add and had to abandon for lack of time.

    Hiring extra hands is not an easy, magical process. Any new staff need to be identified, interviewed, tested, selected, hired, then onboarded and trained before they can even be put to work. And once you're done needing this huge new hit squad you just hired to model 500 Pokemon, what do you make them work on? You've employed them now, can't pay them to sit on their hands. Do you fire them? Or were they just contractors or an external "3D modeling/animation" outsourcing company that just happened to be available and have the required staff/skills to work on your game, and you'll just do business with that next company for your next game? Will they still be enough next time?

    Things are not that simple, things cost money, things take time, things can go wrong, things must be prioritized, things must be sacrificed.

    I have my own issues with Pokemon and I can understand saying there's nothing mind-blowing in Sword/Shield that compensates for the missing Pokemon.

    But on this specific issue, I feel it's unreasonable to blame Game Freak, it's simply an impossible task no matter how you cut it.

  • @bard91 said:

    seems to go about unrelated things about Home

    Home is basically a new branch to the games. It is more a paid subscription app for your game than a separate thing.

    it looks as basic as it always has so I honestly can not see the effort

    Not true. Just from what we've seen so far the trainer characters actually have facial expressions and emote now, to the point where people are speculating whether or not this game has spoken dialogue because of the mouth flap movements. In previous games people constantly made fun of the characters' static faces with a stupid psycho smile through every situation.

    And part of my point is, this game is gonna break the bank, like Pokemon games always do

    They actually make peanuts compared to mobile money. Pokemon GO earned a ridiculous amount more than GameFreak's games ever pulled in. I get that the gist of your point is they make enough, so I'll move on.

    it should not be difficult to get more hands on board be it within GameFreak or with external help to ramp up the quality of really everything

    More hands doesn't necessarily mean a better product. They have hired more people as time has gone on, and that's why they have two teams who trade off on projects, so they can each get an extra year of development time for their own. There's also smaller teams who work on stuff outside of Pokemon. Lots of features currently get lost between games because of the multiple team thing, so if they added another team so everyone gets another year, then even more would get lost from game to game. Again, it is a time issue, not a money one.

    Sadly we likely have a good idea why this is, Gamefreak is a developer that is not interested in moving forward with their game etc.

    Sorry, but this is uninformed, ignorant, bullshit speculation you're making here. They're always moving forward. They put lots of effort into their games. They're always time crunching and held back by the shackles of being part of a huge multimedia franchise however. There's way more obstacles to continuing to consistently release these games every year or two most with upwards of 800 creatures you have to balance and make animations for than you're giving them credit for. Until recently they were pushing extremely outdated hardware to the literal breaking point, and now they're forced into the new battle of having to learn to make games with much higher definition assets on way more powerful hardware while they also adjust to this new hardware. They don't get time to gradually adjust to this. That's why Let's Go was so shitty and derpy. They have to learn by doing and do it fast, because they cannot afford delays. You said you'd buy excuses for other franchises and not Pokemon, but that's very backwards. Pokemon as a multimedia franchise has been consistently trucking along with a massive presence longer than just about any other game franchise. There's so many times they could've failed and disappeared, but they've maintained a constant presence. You should cut them more slack and understand their work conditions more.

    if they didn't want this to be an issue it wouldnt be

    There's absolutely no benefit to them for having an issue they could easily solve. Sorry, that simply doesn't make sense.

  • @axel you are right in saying it is not as easy as I'm necessarily saying it is and you as a developer obviously a much more informed perspective, as to it not being possible, again for some other franchises I could agree with it but in this case it is hard for me to agree to that point, and to me a big part of this is the mediocrity with which Gamefreak has operated for years now is what is ultimately leading to this.

  • @mbun I don't agree with most of what you are saying but there are some aspects I can kinda concede, other not so much, the part about cutting some slack to them primarily is where I don't agree, and I obviously don't want to hear about them overworking to try and deliver, I never want to hear that being the case in any industry, but I can't help see that for decades they have settled in just reusing the same model (something I believe you don't agree with) and failed to plan ahead on how they would handle it on the long term.

    And if you are impressed by what they have shown good on you, to me it honestly looks very bad and it doesn't show the effort of a big team behind it, and not even in comparisson to what other big teams do, but when comparred to the effort of much smaller and resource limited developers, I'm sure the individual developers of the game put in the effort into it, and I don't blame them, I blame the lack of vision and ambition the project as a whole has.

    Anyhow we can keep going like this, and I honestly don't want to just hijack this thread to continue shitting on the game despite how bad I think it looks so I won't reply further to this but feel free to reply and I'll at least read it, I won't play these games and likely future Pokemon games, which makes me sad as I do care about the franchise, but I'm not going to support something I think doesn't deserve to be supported.

  • @bard91 said:

    I can't help see that for decades they have settled in just reusing the same model (something I believe you don't agree with)

    That's what the mainline games are supposed to be though. Spinoffs are the ones that are different takes on the franchise. Mainline is a new adventure with new Pokemon in a new area. (unless it is a remake or third version) People like that formula for Pokemon. It was never supposed to be radically different battle systems from game to game like Final Fantasy or something. You might as well complain about Dragon Quest staying relatively the same for so long too.

    failed to plan ahead on how they would handle it on the long term

    They've tried man. Mega Evolutions were clearly a way of adding new designs that they thought they could ditch after a game as to not add more to the Pokedex. That's why XY had such a small amount of new Pokemon outside them. The problem is people fall in love with those designs and expect them back no matter what, to the point where they had to ruin Pokemon's timeline to make excuses for keeping them around. After this, they tried regional variants, which clearly in the name imply they would only appear in the specific region, but once again people aren't willing to let go of designs they love. There's basically nothing they can do to prevent it, and this isn't the first time they've thought about doing this. They're just finally committing to it, because they know this problem needs to be solved before it gets any worse.

    if you are impressed by what they have shown good on you

    It is looking to be what I want out of a new Pokemon entry, which is something I can't say about Ultra SuMo or Let's Go, both of which I skipped.

    not even in comparisson to what other big teams do, but when comparred to the effort of much smaller and resource limited developers

    You can't compare it to those games when some of those games get 4+ year development cycles, more than double the time GameFreak gets to make theirs. GameFreak is constantly going through this cycle where the first couple games they make on new hardware is worse than the last one they make on it too. They're having even more trouble than usual adapting to high definition textures and the Switch according to interviews they did after Let's Go.

    I blame the lack of vision and ambition the project as a whole has.

    I'm not sure what you consider vision and ambition, but as I went into before, people would be pissed if they change the mainline games too much. They're supposed to be a certain formula to some degree. They can iterate on it different ways and usually do (see mega evolution, z-moves, and dynamaxing on top of other stuff) but they aren't the place for drastically radical change nor has GameFreak ever implied that was the direction of it. That said, there are still games with better ideas and worse ideas through the process of iteration. Sun and Moon had a horrible iteration idea for the online component after X and Y had pretty much nailed it perfectly. Right now people are complaining Dynamaxing is boring compared to Mega Evolution and Z-Moves, but according to leaks there's more to Dynamaxing that they haven't revealed yet and also Mega Evolutions broke the Meta, so Dynamax is clearly designed as a halfstep between Z-Moves and Mega Evolution for balance reasons.

    I honestly don't want to just hijack this thread to continue shitting on the game despite how bad I think it looks so I won't reply further to this

    I don't mind discussing the stuff you think doesn't look good about it. It just doesn't need to be sprinkled with shots at the developers throughout.

    I won't play these games and likely future Pokemon games, which makes me sad as I do care about the franchise

    Hey, there's always spinoffs. Mystery Dungeon series is great! Better story and arguably music than the mainline games.

  • Youtube Video

    Gigantamaxing was yet another part of the mega dyna z-confirmed rumor at this point, so I can't wait to see some of the other stuff mentioned in that leak.

    Boy is this lore weird.

    Additional Version Exclusive differences here, including a choice between Gym Leaders.

    Only certain species of Pokémon can Gigantamax—and even among such species, only rare specimens will be able to Gigantamax. The majority will keep their usual appearance when they Dynamax.

    Sounds like distro event exclusive stuff... (at least for some of the rumored ones) ...but also:

    You can catch Gigantamax Pokémon for your team by participating in Max Raid Battles, but it seems they’re very rare—finding one won’t be easy!

    It (Gigantamaxing) also allows each Gigantamax Pokémon to use a unique move known as a G-Max Move! Each G-Max Move is particular to a specific species of Gigantamax Pokémon, and regular Dynamax Pokémon can’t use G-Max Moves at all!

    So straight up Z-Moves again. So far the 3 G-Max Moves we know sound super broken:

    Fairy-type moves used by Gigantamax Alcremie will change to G-Max Finale. G-Max Finale will heal all Pokémon on Alcremie’s side while dealing damage to an opponent!

    Water-type moves used by Gigantamax Drednaw will change to G-Max Stonesurge. G-Max Stonesurge doesn’t just deal damage to an opponent—it will scatter sharp rocks around the opponent and cause Pokémon entering the battlefield to take damage!

    Flying-type moves used by Gigantamax Corviknight will change to G-Max Wind Rage. G-Max Wind Rage deals damage to an opponent, but that’s not all—it will also remove any effects of moves like Reflect, Light Screen, Spikes, and Electric Terrain that the opponents may have!

    We get to pick our own numbers:

    During the Gym Challenge, each challenger wears a special uniform for the occasion. You can choose the combination of three numbers on your own uniform!

    You have to be sponsored to participate in the League this time:

    The Gym Challenge is a true celebration of Pokémon battling! Participating Trainers strive to collect all eight Gym Badges, and only Pokémon Trainers who have been endorsed by specific people, such as Gym Leaders, can join in. You and your rival Hop will receive your letters of endorsement from Champion Leon himself, kicking off your journey to challenge the Gyms of the region!

    Elite Four might be more of a tourney this time:

    Once a year in the Galar region, a series of Pokémon battles are held with the League Championship on the line. This is the Champion Cup! The Champion Cup is the tournament to decide who will be able to challenge the reigning Champion for their seat. Exemplary Trainers throughout the region, such as those who successfully complete the Gym Challenge, are allowed to participate in the Champion Cup tournament.

  • Youtubers have realized now that they can milk fake outrage videos for more views and channel attention than covering Pokemon news or any critical look at the games or discussion around them, even more than reactions. If you look at these Youtubers' channels you'll see that all their videos previous to this have much lower view counts while the really easy to make outrage videos get over a hundred thousand views typically. Outrage videos are the new reaction videos. There's things people are upset about Sword and Shield, but people are bandwagoning and exaggerating outrage now for monetary gain. Be very wary of the opinions you expose yourself to out there, and as always try to view the content in question as a whole and think critically for yourself rather than just believing the mass public opinion or even worse cherry picked slander pieces out there.

    *this has been a PokéPSA

  • Context?

  • @dmcmaster I don't want to blast individuals' Youtube Channels, but there's many of them doing this. If you're the type inclined to watch outrage videos that come up in random suggested Youtube recommendations, open up their Channel page yourself and get a good look at the views for the outrage videos compared to the views for previous stuff of theirs yourself.

  • https://www.usgamer.net/articles/game-developers-weigh-in-on-pokemon-sword-and-shield-national-pokedex-cuts-im-surprised-they-didnt-cut-it-years-ago

    Some professional opinions about the Pokédex cuts, hopefully people start realizing that it's been a long time coming and it's not as easy as they think.

  • @axel I honestly never cared about transferring pokemon between games, every game is 100 percent stand alone fresh. i do think its odd though that people are paying for pokemon bank and so many of your pokemon are just gonna sit there

  • @bigdude1 They changing Bank to Home soon, and Home is going to have more features to interact with your Pokemon while they're being held in that service. Just waiting for them to announce it all.

  • That's SIR Weezing to you!