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Is Pokemon getting too easy?

AWACS SkyEye
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I definitely noticed the change in difficulty from Gen II to Gen IV when I was playing HeartGold. Seems like all the items you had to find in person in Crystal were just given away to you in HeartGold. Platinum and White also seemed to have this trend. I wonder if the Nuzlocke trend also has something to do with it...
 
Bringing the Thunder
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I definitely noticed the change in difficulty from Gen II to Gen IV when I was playing HeartGold. Seems like all the items you had to find in person in Crystal were just given away to you in HeartGold. Platinum and White also seemed to have this trend. I wonder if the Nuzlocke trend also has something to do with it...
I've never really noticed or cared for the accessibility of certain items in 3rd and 4th gen, it's what they've done in 5th and 6th that's bothered me more. Shrinking rosters, stripped down region design, and EXP gimmicks are a lot more noticeable.
 
Dieter
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Yes and no?

a lot of people seem to blame the Exp All, which I think is slightly ridiculous. I got AS and Y around the same time, used the Exp All in Y and didn't use it in AS. I was constantly over-leveled in Y, while in AS I was very much on par with gym leaders (sometimes even underleveled) Of course this is only my experience, but still, I don't think the Exp All is to blame entirely (because as many have said, you can turn it off)

I think the bigger issue is indeed the team rosters and the linearity of regions (which also makes them way less fun to explore)

and I definitely think the 'players have grown up' part is true. A decade ago, I had a lot more trouble with RSE than I do when I play them now. Tbh, I'm currently doing an Emerald Nuzlocke, and though it's a challenge, it isn't exactly hard either

Also, though I'm not exactly a fan of short-cuts, I do think we need them especially in pokémon training/collecting, seeing as we have over a 700 now, and though 'gotta catch'em all' is not really a thing anymore, to be able to try all these different pokémon, you'll need some help. And I feel that's also partly what GF has been trying to do?
 
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Shrinking rosters
Quality over quantity, girl. Wallace has five Pokemon in both the remakes and the original ORAS. One of them's a Luvdisc. Might as well have four. Cherry on top is that one of them is also an NFE. In the original RGB, Giovanni uses five Pokemon. One of these is an NFE. Who's considered to be one of the hardest gym leaders? Whitney. How many does she have? Two. In Ruby and Sapphire, Winona has four Pokemon. In Emerald, she has five, however she trades a Swellow for Swablu and Tropius. I guess to the Elite Four to prove a point: Aaron has five Pokemon in DP, but two of those are sub-400 BST Pokemon. Three of five of Bertha's Pokemon are 4x weak to Grass. (Both of these are fixed in Platinum at least.) Will uses two Xatus. Koga uses a sub-400 BST Pokemon. Glacia uses five, but two of those are NFEs. Drake uses an NFE as well.

The real issue is that most of these boss characters have terrible movesets. However, this issue isn't necessarily endemic to newer generations; it's been forever present in the series. The only reason you're noticing it now, is because you're better and smarter at Pokemon and Pokemon isn't as unforgiving as it was in the first two generations. I do agree that they need to step up their teams' movesets, but that's a tricky thing to do. There's a fun line between "fun" challenging and "frustrating" challenging, and on top of that they need to ensure that the series remains accessible to kids.
 
Bringing the Thunder
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Shrinking rosters
Quality over quantity, girl. Wallace has five Pokemon in both the remakes and the original ORAS. One of them's a Luvdisc. Might as well have four. Cherry on top is that one of them is also an NFE. In the original RGB, Giovanni uses five Pokemon. One of these is an NFE. Who's considered to be one of the hardest gym leaders? Whitney. How many does she have? Two. In Ruby and Sapphire, Winona has four Pokemon. In Emerald, she has five, however she trades a Swellow for Swablu and Tropius. I guess to the Elite Four to prove a point: Aaron has five Pokemon in DP, but two of those are sub-400 BST Pokemon. Three of five of Bertha's Pokemon are 4x weak to Grass. (Both of these are fixed in Platinum at least.) Will uses two Xatus. Koga uses a sub-400 BST Pokemon. Glacia uses five, but two of those are NFEs. Drake uses an NFE as well.
Why not both? We have 721 Pokemon now, they should have no trouble coming up with a team of 4 or 5 Pokemon that are appropriately challenging.
 
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Why not both? We have 721 Pokemon now, they should have no trouble coming up with a team of 4 or 5 Pokemon that are appropriately challenging.
Because most regions don't use all 721? Not to mention it'd wreck havoc on your Pokedex distribution unless your region's gyms, teams, and League consisted of common types like Flying, Ground, Grass. I suppose it'd be possible but then you have the next barrier of "one man's easy mode is the next man's challenge," finding a balance between ridiculously easy and a nuisance. Then I guess they'd have to bump up the AI to be a little less clumsy, which could also add insult to injury with whatever difficulty increase they go for.
 
Bringing the Thunder
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Because most regions don't use all 721? Not to mention it'd wreck havoc on your Pokedex distribution unless your region's gyms, teams, and League consisted of common types like Flying, Ground, Grass.
300/721 is still plenty to provide enough variety, that's enough for every type to have at least 5 families.

I suppose it'd be possible but then you have the next barrier of "one man's easy mode is the next man's challenge," finding a balance between ridiculously easy and a nuisance. Then I guess they'd have to bump up the AI to be a little less clumsy, which could also add insult to injury with whatever difficulty increase they go for.
This is why Challenge Mode needs to come back.
 
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To add to that, B2W2 actually did manage to make good Gym Roster/Elite Four teams in Challenge Mode. All of the Gym Leaders had 3-4 members of their type with no overlap in families (Burgh even dropped an overlap he had in the normal difficulty), Elite Four had 5 members of the same type with no family overlap, and most of them had items and movesets to help their difficulty. If it was possible to do in a game with only 300 Pokémon, XY could've done that and more with nearly 450 options available.

Really, Challenge Mode should've been an option that stuck with the franchise. B2W2's implementation was flawed, but it had the right idea, if XY and ORAS took that and improved on it fans would've been more satisfied in that regard.
 
Bringing the Thunder
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For that matter, even Platinum had no trouble assembling halfway decent Gym and Elite 4 teams and there were only 210 in that game's regional dex. They can get away with 200-300 so long as there's enough options for each type (which a lot of older regional dexes don't, but at this point there's enough options for everything that there's no excuse for them to anymore).
 
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To add to that, B2W2 actually did manage to make good Gym Roster/Elite Four teams in Challenge Mode. All of the Gym Leaders had 3-4 members of their type with no overlap in families (Burgh even dropped an overlap he had in the normal difficulty), Elite Four had 5 members of the same type with no family overlap, and most of them had items and movesets to help their difficulty. If it was possible to do in a game with only 300 Pokémon, XY could've done that and more with nearly 450 options available.

Really, Challenge Mode should've been an option that stuck with the franchise. B2W2's implementation was flawed, but it had the right idea, if XY and ORAS took that and improved on it fans would've been more satisfied in that regard.
good is a stretch. passable is perhaps more accurate. i mean, there are still a decent number of "but why" movesets in BW2 Challenge Mode. for example, Burgh does drop his overlap...but for a special attacking Shelmet (running off of 40 base Special Attack) and Karrablast. there are a number of other instances where they clearly just added another Pokemon for the sake of adding (Grimer for Roxie, Onix for Clay, Altaria for Drayden). i mean, the only place where there's a considerable improvement is the Elite 4 and Champion, where they at least add fairly decent Pokemon to their rosters.

Challenge Mode is a step in the right direction, but a very small one. though i honestly doubt i would even notice that Challenge Mode is harder than the normal mode of most games were it not for some of the items used. without the items, the teams are just as easy so long as you know what you're doing and/or aren't grossly underleveled. but i guess that's just me.
For that matter, even Platinum had no trouble assembling halfway decent Gym and Elite 4 teams and there were only 210 in that game's regional dex. They can get away with 200-300 so long as there's enough options for each type (which a lot of older regional dexes don't, but at this point there's enough options for everything that there's no excuse for them to anymore).
that's definitely a reach. (see: Fantina's Haunter with only Physical moves, Volkner's Jolteon with Iron Tail, Volkner's entire team only knowing three Electric moves and three Pokemon having Quick Attack, Crasher's Gyarados with two special moves, most of the Elite Four still being weak to one type.) okay, so it's not nearly as bad as some games and a marked improvement over Diamond/Pearl. you're right. halfway decent is still a reach. DPPt has always been one of the easiest games in the series for me (hell, a team of Starly, Chimchar, Shellos, and Shinx has most of the gyms and Elite Four on lock).
 
the shrine maiden
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I feel like it has gotten really easy. See EXP Share in gen 6. You can turn it off, sure, but it's still pretty stupid. I feel like they're handing us things these days instead of making us work for them, and that makes it kinda unfun. I can understand it a little bit since the games are rated E for Everyone and they're meant for little kids, but not this much. Maybe it's because I'm older now and have more experience, but I've had a lot easier time with games these days than I did with the older games.
 
We're very concerned.
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I would argue that the reason the games seem to be getting easier for veteran players is a combination of two things.

1) We're older now, we know the drill and know exactly what to do and when, especially in remakes.

2) The games now have to compete for your time with smartphone apps, which are now easier to access to pass time.

Smartphone apps like Candy Crush and such give you constant positive feedback; you are always making progress and getting a lot of points and earning power-ups and bright things are constantly flashing no matter how little progress into the game you are actually making.

Hence the introduction of the new Exp. Share mechanic. It ensures that, if you have a team of 4 to 6, your Pokémon constantly level up every few battles, creating the same feeling of continuous positive feedback. With Exp. Share enabled, there is no need for repetitive level grinding to ensure easy victories in Gyms, and there's almost no downtime at any point throughout the story where you need to take a break to train for a bit. In the middle of ORAS, you're randomly given a Lv. 30 Legendary Pokémon for your party.

Of course, it is always possible to (almost) recreate the same challenge the games used to have, by simply switching off the Exp. Share. (Personally, I prefer to play with it on, just to save time... but that's just me though.)
I have grown to accept that the games will never have the exact level of difficulty I perceived them to have when I was young, since I'm now in my early 20's and have 15+ years of experience under my belt.
 
#1 Wooloo Fan
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Speaking from my own experiences, the only really noticable difficulty changes for me came in Gen VI when the Exp Share became a bit ridiculous and we became able to rocket our team levels so quickly. While I think it was a good idea, as it makes team building so miuch faster/easier, I think it made the main story section of Pokemon far too easy. I wish it had been delegated to a post-game update of the original Exp Share.
 
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Personally, I appreciate the games being much easier than competitive play. I can use my favorite pokemon like Ledian, Corsola, and Farfetch'd in a game-play and not have to rely on using OP legendaries and pseudos. It's much more fun to defeat the champion with weak, cute pokemon, in my opinion!
 
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I would argue that the reason the games seem to be getting easier for veteran players is a combination of two things.

1) We're older now, we know the drill and know exactly what to do and when, especially in remakes.

2) The games now have to compete for your time with smartphone apps, which are now easier to access to pass time.

Smartphone apps like Candy Crush and such give you constant positive feedback; you are always making progress and getting a lot of points and earning power-ups and bright things are constantly flashing no matter how little progress into the game you are actually making.

Hence the introduction of the new Exp. Share mechanic. It ensures that, if you have a team of 4 to 6, your Pokémon constantly level up every few battles, creating the same feeling of continuous positive feedback. With Exp. Share enabled, there is no need for repetitive level grinding to ensure easy victories in Gyms, and there's almost no downtime at any point throughout the story where you need to take a break to train for a bit. In the middle of ORAS, you're randomly given a Lv. 30 Legendary Pokémon for your party.

Of course, it is always possible to (almost) recreate the same challenge the games used to have, by simply switching off the Exp. Share. (Personally, I prefer to play with it on, just to save time... but that's just me though.)
I have grown to accept that the games will never have the exact level of difficulty I perceived them to have when I was young, since I'm now in my early 20's and have 15+ years of experience under my belt.
While I agree with the above assessment (and the fact Masuda basically said that mobile gaming was the reason for a lot of changes) its still a bit weird that Game Freak expects us to pay $40 for the experience of a smart phone. Now, if they actually used this streamlining in a positive manner and gave us a better story, then yes, go for it. Gen V did that just great, Gen VI kind of flopped on all accounts. Even in ORAS, the [email protected] plot was just shoehorned in with a very superficial cover. They could have actually tried to tie it into the game's story better but they didn't.

It would be great if Game Freak could actually do difficulty levels properly (like they did in FE: Awakening) where you choose your difficulty level rather than have some weird game link mechanic to do it--except they probably won't now because people hated the Unova Link mechanic and rather than thinking "hey, maybe its how we implemented difficulty levels rather than the difficulty itself that was unpopular!" they'd just never revisit.

Can you imagine if X only let you play in Japanese, and French and Italian, and if you wanted to play in English, Korean, or Spanish, you'd have to find someone to "transfer" the languages to your game? Oh, and you can only play in German if you street pass someone with a Rosetta Stone.
 
We're very concerned.
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While I agree with the above assessment (and the fact Masuda basically said that mobile gaming was the reason for a lot of changes) its still a bit weird that Game Freak expects us to pay $40 for the experience of a smart phone.
I don't think it's so much that the whole game itself is the "same experience as a smartphone", but that for a game that your average casual player might pick up to pass the time, Pokemon now has a lot of competitors. Pokemon obviously has a lot of in-depth game mechanics and everything that smartphone apps don't, but if you're just battling a few trainers to pass the time while waiting in line or something, none of that really matters.
Essentially it has to try and stay visible on both ends with console video games and mobile game apps.
 
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I don't think it's so much that the whole game itself is the "same experience as a smartphone", but that for a game that your average casual player might pick up to pass the time, Pokemon now has a lot of competitors. Pokemon obviously has a lot of in-depth game mechanics and everything that smartphone apps don't, but if you're just battling a few trainers to pass the time while waiting in line or something, none of that really matters.
Essentially it has to try and stay visible on both ends with console video games and mobile game apps.
I think they could stand to do a better job at this. Something like BW2 was a largely linear game, but at least had a great deal of extra options with sidetracks and post-game challenges for people who wanted more. Gen 6 so far is largely pulling for one audience...

They did cater nicely to competitive by easing the grind, but single player activities and challenge in general are scarce.
 
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Now with a m̶e̶g̶a̶ Gigantamax
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Regarding the exp. share, I very much dislike the new way it works. I can see the validity of both sides of the argument, but I hate it for something else entirely. When I raise my Pokemon, I am very compulsive and have to level the entire team to the same level, except my starter, who has to be 2 higher. The new exp. share ruins that. Everything levels up differently, and then when I'm trying to level one up to catch up, the higher leveled ones just end up getting even more ahead. I much preferred the old exp share, it was perfect in my opinion.
 
¡Prepárate a morir!
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Why the hell do they want to cater to the mobile crowd anyway? The mobile crowd does not want to pay 40 bucks for a game, they will spend 5 bucks on the game at most (not counting the "freemium" bullshit). The guys like me who buy a console like a 3DS want to play games with lots of depth and aren't scams (like Candy Crush) nor the same thing over and over again (like Flappy Bird). And we don't want a ridiculously easy game, either. When we spend forty bucks on a game, we want it to have challenge so we get time out of the game. Easy games feel like a waste. If they continue on this path, they will end up losing their current audience while failing to gain a new one.
 
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Why the hell do they want to cater to the mobile crowd anyway? The mobile crowd does not want to pay 40 bucks for a game, they will spend 5 bucks on the game at most (not counting the "freemium" bullshit). The guys like me who buy a console like a 3DS want to play games with lots of depth and aren't scams (like Candy Crush) nor the same thing over and over again (like Flappy Bird). And we don't want a ridiculously easy game, either. When we spend forty bucks on a game, we want it to have challenge so we get time out of the game. Easy games feel like a waste. If they continue on this path, they will end up losing their current audience while failing to gain a new one.
There is no "we" and "they". It's not a case of people who own a smartphone vs. people who own a portable gaming device; almost all people who own a gaming device, handheld or otherwise, also own a smartphone with a couple of games on it. (I know most "hardcore" gamers like to think in an "us and them" mentality, but bare with me for a sec)
I'd hazard a guess that most people over 14 on this forum also have a smartphone.

Once you have actually sold somebody the game or console, the challenge then is to make sure that they are actually seen playing it. A huge part of electronics marketing is actually having your product be visible by people, ideally on an almost daily basis. I'll admit that this kind of "social" marketing is what convinced me to buy an iPhone; so many people seemed to have phones that could do more than my small flip phone. I was constantly being exposed to the product(s) wherever I went.

The same problem applies to portable gaming devices; they have to "compete" with phones, not necessarily for market share (they are not marketing like "Buy our product instead of a phone!"), but rather for your time and attention (as in, "Pass your time with me instead of with your smartphone!"). The time you spend on a device also helps justify new purchases for it.

The 10-tag-limit for StreetPass isn't actually because of any software or memory limit, I would assume. It's an arbitrary limit that ensures you have to check your 3DS every so often lest you miss out on one of those sweet sweet puzzle pieces.

So now if you're out and about, they need to motivate you to get your 3DS out and be seen with it. Say you're waiting for a friend outside of a store or missed your bus and need to fill in 20 minutes; do you check Twitter and play a few rounds of Peggle on your phone? Or do you check your StreetPass tags and get a few Pokémon battles in?
The more "grind-y" a game feels, the less likely you are to pick it over a game or app that can give you positive feedback, flashing graphics, and power-ups near constantly. In comparison to Candy Crush or Qiktionary (which is a really cool game btw, I recommend it) and all the other phone apps we "real gamers" consider low brow, training Pokémon can often feel like a chore, and getting your team knocked out and being sent back to the last Pokémon Centre can be a huge drag (emphasis on "in comparison").

Hence the apparent "need" for a quicker levelling system and faster game pace.

The problem with Pokémon being "too easy" is not that they are trying to steal part of the smartphone user demographic, but rather they need to make it easier than ever to convince people to begin playing a game and keep playing it, and the easiest way to do that is by speeding up the amount of progress the player can make in a shorter time.

That said, I'm totally up for a better implementation of the Exp. Share, and an option to increase the game's difficulty should the player so desire; a simple "HARD MODE" like in B2W2 which increases all Gym Leaders/Rival's teams by 5 levels or something would be good enough for me...

Either that or just overhaul how experience/levelling up works, eliminating the need for the Exp Share in the first place.
 
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