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How do you feel about competitive breeding and training?

How do you feel about competitive breeding and training?

  • I'm comfortable with it, and I've been playing since Gens 1-2

    Votes: 1 6.7%
  • I'm comfortable with it, and I've been playing from Gen 3 onwards

    Votes: 4 26.7%
  • I'm uncomfortable with it, and I've been playing since Gens 1-2

    Votes: 4 26.7%
  • I'm uncomfortable with it, and I've been playing from Gen 3 onwards

    Votes: 3 20.0%
  • I don't think about it much either way

    Votes: 3 20.0%

  • Total voters
    15
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Selective breeding and deliberate training (including the use of mints, feathers and vitamins) are thoroughly part and parcel of competitive Pokémon - to be blunt, you can't credibly compete without perfect or near-perfect numbers backing up your team. For many, this is simply the reality of the scene, but there are also swathes of fans who are less comfortable with these processes and their implications for the in-game world of Pokémon. Dumping imperfect hatchlings in the PC or altering the fundamental nature of individual Pokémon can leave a sour taste in the mouths of those invested in the world constructed by the games.

The ask, therefore, is two-fold; where do you place yourself on this spectrum of opinion, and how long have you been playing? I have a spurious hunch that younger fans may be less comfortable with competitive breeding given the increasing emphasis within the games on the individual personalities of the Pokémon themselves, with more ways to interact with them outside of battle - Amie, camping and the like. In older games, the titular creatures are vicious little monsters with nothing in the way of non-combat relation to the player outside of a threadbare friendship mechanic in GSC, and so more august fans might be more relaxed about pumping their companions full of steroids.

Myself, I'm firmly in the latter camp; my personal headcanon companions are quite divorced from the in-game, mechanical representations of those characters. I've bred multiple individuals of my favourite species and even those I've retained from decade-old playthroughs are merely bundles of data that trigger fond gaming memories, not true characters in and of themselves. Furthermore, my broader conception of Pokémon leans towards animalistic, rather than sapient. The Kanto roster remains my favourite and it's the least cuddly of the bunch; they're truly pocket monsters as opposed to anime cast members, and early Pokémon media (including the gnarly art of the cards of the time) seem to reinforce this notion.

The answers to this question will be highly subjective and personal; the more you can elaborate on your conceptualisation of the world of the Pokémon games, the more fascinating for the rest of us!
 
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I can't say I've ever thought about it, though that goes hand in parcel with never having done anything in the competitive scene. Things like IVs and whatnot still elude my understanding.

I only started breeding at all in SwSh for the first time (I've been playing PKMN since Gen 1 btw) because I found it to be way faster to get the alternate forms of Toxtricity and Lycanrock than having to capture them in the wild.
 
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Started with gen 1, find it unfortunate, for several reasons:

*It creates an artificially high time barrier to start competitive MP compared to many other games. As I've noted before, there's a reason battle simulators are so popular; you can design a team and test it out without hours of effort, like in many other multiplayer modes in video games. Now, I'm not a huge MP guy--nowadays I only ever do couch MP--but in the late 90s early 2000s and I did a decent amount of PVP, and none of those games did anything like that.
*Too much randomness involved; it's not even just grinding, but needing to roll the right IVs and ability set.
*Even as far back as gen 1 the game talked up loving your Pokémon and friendship and so on, so the story and the gameplay are thematically at odds, something I consider a weakness in a game.

Edit: To use a comparison I made before, I'm very fond of Koei-Tecmo's "Romance of the Three Kingdoms" series. In those games you play as ruthless and brutal third century warlords.
Those games treat your followers as less disposable than Pokémon does, despite the latter's love and friendship themes.
 
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I dont like it because I feel like it goes against the message Pokémon is trying to spread of friendship making your Pokémon stronger . I think they should just remove IVs for good and expand EVs so you can max out every stat. Not only would this give mixed attackers a niche but you can also choose to have 0 in an ev that you wouldn't want it in, such as speed or attack. The expanded ev system would be a replacement of both the current ev system and the iv system entirely.
 
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I don't care for competitive battling or training. I train whichever Pokemon I like and almost always get them to level 100, but I don't go out of my way to EV train or breed Pokemon with specific natures or IVs. Part of the reason is simply because I don't have the time or patience.
 
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I really dislike competitive breeding and training, as it simply is tedious and bad game design:

-The IV system was always a gatekeeping mechanic, as it makes us need very specific pokemon hatched from eggs, or use very painful efforts to level up and use very rare resources to control IV's.
-Breeding is also a very unfun and unnatural mechanic, as we have to just walk around in circles as the nonsense gameplay to get them hatched.

If it were me, I'd turn IV's into just a different EV system that's equally controllable, and remove egg moves as well. We shouldn't have to breed pokemon for competitions - we should be allowed to use any pokemon caught in the wild or given to us.
 
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I really dislike competitive breeding and training. I know that PvP games are often competitive, but it also ruins the message that Pokemon tries to establish. You're basically creating mindless killing machines when you competitively breed and train, at least in my eyes. It also causes absolutely no creativity in team building. Every OU team is basically the same with some minor difference here and there. Karen from the Johto games (one of the Johto games few redeeming qualities to me) summed up that well, as people should be more inclined to battle with favorites and not worry about "good" and "bad" Mons. I play Pokemon games for fun, but competitive breeding and training just drains all of that away. Yeah, sure, I do like having at least decent natures, but that's not a massive priority of mine, as I'll often take what I can get simply because it makes the games more fun. Plus, it took me until Gen 4 to even understand Natures and such. But, sadly, it's like competitive play is all that there is to the games nowadays. No one plays with favorites anymore, just what's "the best" and nothing more. It really ruins what Pokemon's main message is all about. While it took me until Gen 4 to actually realize that competitive battling was a thing, I quickly gained a hatred for it because it just zaps all the fun from the games. It especially plagued the Weather Wars in Gen 5, where every team was cookie cutter at best. So, yeah, I really don't like competitive breeding and training, as it just feels very unhealthy and can ruin a good game.
 
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I think they should just remove IVs for good and expand EVs so you can max out every stat.
This would just make the game even more biased toward base stats. Instead of having to choose which two stats you want to max out, leading to one or more stat being able to be exploited by another pokemon that maxed out the offensive equivalent of their defense stat (a pokemon with maxed attack attacking a pokemon with no defense investment) a pokemon being able to max out every stat doesn't have to make a compromise, they can just max out everything, and this further increases the gap between pokemon with mid tier BST and pokemon with high BST.

And yeah, you can max out every stat in Gen 1 and Let's Go, and those games are more broken than usual. The thing is that they only have the original 151 (and in case of Let's Go, Megas and Melmetal). Can you imagine this with every pokemon avaliable? It would be a mess and an even bigger power creep than recent generations.

The thought of having to deal with maxed out Garchomp or Dragapult is disgusting.

So, yeah, I really don't like competitive breeding and training, as it just feels very unhealthy and can ruin a good game.
I don't care much for competitive myself, but I find this statement completely silly. How can something that you don't have engage in any way ruin a good game? If you were forced to engage in it (like in an online only game), sure, but you're not. You can just play with whatever pokemon you want and not care about natures, IVs and EVs.

No one plays with favorites anymore, just what's "the best" and nothing more.
And as people are allowed to play with their favorites, people are also allowed to choose to only use the strongest.
 
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I went through a brief stint in competitive battling during BW2. Since then, pretty much everything about competitive battling factors has been streamlined, which is awesome. Mints, Bottle Caps, Egg moves, EV erasing, vitamins, Ability Capsules/Patches...etc. I really do enjoy the strides that have been made, even if I don’t participate in it much myself.
 
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I don't care much for competitive myself, but I find this statement completely silly. How can something that you don't have engage in any way ruin a good game? If you were forced to engage in it (like in an online only game), sure, but you're not. You can just play with whatever pokemon you want and not care about natures, IVs and EVs.


And as people are allowed to play with their favorites, people are also allowed to choose to only use the strongest.
First off, my statement isn't silly. It's unhealthy because people gain a single-minded obsession with getting the absolute best Mon out there. And I've dealt with players like that. While I praise the PSS, it often got me involved in battles with such players during Gen 6. It frankly disgusted and frightened me at just how far people will go. And have you seen Showdown and just how salty people get on it? THAT'S what I'm getting at. The obsession levels is what's unhealthy. I may not dabble in it, but I've often gotten unwittingly dragged into situations where I've had to deal with such players. I don't mind competition, nor do I mind losing (and trust me, I've lost a lot), but when it gets to an extreme where, to a player, losing is like how Yugioh manga Kaiba saw it, especially if it was at the hands of those who just play casually, then it gets out of hand. I may not engage in it on my own accord, but I've seen and experienced just what extremes people will go. I've actually gotten threats from some players like that because I somehow beat their perfect Gale Wings Talonflame with a wild-caught, non-EV trained, neutral Nature Noivern. Don't tell me you haven't seen a full shiny (and most likely hacked) team on a wifi battle before? That's what's unhealthy about it.

And secondly, yeah, I know that. People can choose what they want, I understand that. But is it really that much fun to annihilate your opponent with only the absolute cream of the crop? Do we all want to become Paul from the anime that badly? Freedom to choose is fine and dandy, but it still feels like it's violating the friendship message the series has been showing since Gen 1. I get the franchise also has a "To be the best" motto, but it feels like people have taken that too seriously. Plus, again, it just makes everyone a copycat battler at best. I praise the battlers like Wolfe Glick who routinely break the mold and use Mons that don't fit that criteria of "strongest". He's used Mons like Kantonian Farfetch'd in official battles and still gotten good results. And don't forget about that Pachirisu in 2014. It seems that the "freedom to choose" definition in Pokemon nowadays means every "competitive player" has to have the same exact team and only cares about beating the ever-loving snot out of everyone. Gen 5 was particularly bad about it, one of the few complaints I had with the gen. Is that really what the games are all about now? If so, it disgusts me at just how the player base has "evolved" into such overly obsessive toxic environment.
 
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Quick reminder on both of the fronts below; people are allowed to both enjoy and not enjoy things without aspersions being cast about them.

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It's unhealthy because people gain a single-minded obsession with getting the absolute best Mon out there. And I've dealt with players like that. While I praise the PSS, it often got me involved in battles with such players during Gen 6. It frankly disgusted and frightened me at just how far people will go. And have you seen Showdown and just how salty people get on it? THAT'S what I'm getting at. The obsession levels is what's unhealthy. I may not dabble in it, but I've often gotten unwittingly dragged into situations where I've had to deal with such players. I don't mind competition, nor do I mind losing (and trust me, I've lost a lot), but when it gets to an extreme where, to a player, losing is like how Yugioh manga Kaiba saw it, especially if it was at the hands of those who just play casually, then it gets out of hand. I may not engage in it on my own accord, but I've seen and experienced just what extremes people will go. I've actually gotten threats from some players like that because I somehow beat their perfect Gale Wings Talonflame with a wild-caught, non-EV trained, neutral Nature Noivern. Don't tell me you haven't seen a full shiny (and most likely hacked) team on a wifi battle before? That's what's unhealthy about it.
This makes it sound that pretty much every competitive player is an insane lunatic hellbent on winning at any cost, when the kind of people you are describing are the actual minority in competitive players. The group of salty people that get pissed at losing and start throwing threats is actually very small.

It's also inevitable in any online enviroment, you will eventually run into this kind of people sooner or later.
But is it really that much fun to annihilate your opponent with only the absolute cream of the crop?
It is fun to them.
but it still feels like it's violating the friendship message the series has been showing since Gen 1.
And this is the fault of Gamefreak for not doing anything about it, and they actively encourage it. Give players the tools to get the best results and they will use it to its full extent, even if it goes against any message.
 
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DCM

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I think Gamefreak has made major moves to increase accessibility to IVs, EVs, all of it, which is really great for getting more people involved in competitive pokemon battling. I wish they were more forthcoming with this information - even being explicit about it and how it works, for those who are more interested in playing competitively. I appreciate the introduction of all of the mints, how much easier it is to get bottle caps (and gold bottle caps!), how the pokemon jobs help EVing and hope that they continue to introduce items that make this easier.

I also think being as obsessed with pokemon IVs and EVs and how the math of pokemon works changed my relationship with math in a really positive way.
 
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I tried to do it in Ultra Sun to do well in the Battle Tree. It was not fun, and it didn’t really accomplish anything.
 
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In one hand it's just a game and people can do whatever they please with it. But in the other hand, things like people being excited when a mass release option was announced and a game dialogue mentioning Wally of all people doing competitive breeding really feel off to me. I think the fault is in the breeding system itself, which should have had some limitations from the start so you could only use it for giving your Pokemon a child every once in a while or obtain a baby species, instead of creating entire armies of Lv 1 Duraludon who are all related to one another. Fortunately, players have less of an excuse to use it nowadays.

Competitive training is fine, and even I sometimes get tempted to try it, but I won't until there's a better way to visualize EVs as there's no way I'm counting them myself.
 
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What do you mean people have less of an excuse to use it now?
In recent days, the mainline games have provided ways to make gearing your Pokemon for competitive play easier and without the hassle of RNG. Starting in Gen 6, regular Pokemon abilities could be switched around through an item called the Ability Capsule. In Gen 7 Hyper Training existed so that people could give Pokemon with imperfect IVs functionally identical with Pokemon with maximized IVs. Then, in Gen 8, there are special Mint items purchasable through BP that could change a Pokemon's Nature boost to how the owner sees fit; and through DLC, one could even give their Pokemon a Hidden Ability.
 
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To be honest, I don't think the original games really gave you this sense of "pokemon are your friends" or that the franchise is based on friendship (at least not the first 2 gens where there's very little to do with your pokemon that isn't breeding or fighting). Even in gens 3, 4 and 5 we have only limited interaction with them in the contests or musicals and the only time I felt they were more than battling machines was with the following mechanic in HGSS.

So starting in the franchise since the beginning where the only thing you could do with pokemon was battle and breed them, I always saw that "friendship with your pokemon" as more of an anime-only thing, and since anime=/= games, I am personally not bothered about mints, or breeding or IVs or any other aspect of competitive play.

I did participate in competitive during Gen 6 but I dropped it because I was really, really bored with it since you only use/face the same pokémon always, all the time (back then it was Landorus-T, mega Kanga, Aegislash, Primals etc).

I still do breeding/training even if I don't battle competitively anymore because I like having pokemon with gimmicky, strange or unique movepools to play with friends, even if they are bad for official competitions. So find all the QoL improvements to building competitive teams very good and player-friendly and I'm glad we have them.
 
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