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Trainers and rivals in Scarlet and Violet

Daren

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Since S/V are going to be seamless open world games it raises questions about how enemy trainers--both the generic ones that just hang around and the probably player rival/rivals--will work in the game.

There are two broad methods--one is that they scale based off the player's progress (mostly likely story story based rather than directly using the player's level like many earlier games did--if there's a Gym or equivalent likely they'll use badges) or that they're static--Dragon Tamer Ralph always has a level 35 Altaria and a level 32 Dragonair and if you encounter him at level 10 that's your problem (how PLA did it).

However there is a secondary issue I spotted--if trainers scale it's theoretically possible to knock them all out early on and not have higher level ones around to battle, which is why if I were involved I'd suggest having trainers "respawn" at some point or to bring back one of Vs. Seeker, Match Call, or something similar to the Battle Chateau from XY.
Another alternate would be if trainers are no longer in set locations but spawn periodically over time.

The other issue is the rival--how they're handled will obviously be strongly affected by how the story works. For instance, can you tackle Gyms in any order? If so would it perhaps be set for the rival to battle you at certain intervals (for instance, before the second Gym, after the fourth, etc.)

What does everyone else think? It could be very interesting to see how this is handled.
 

Impy

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-we put trainers in the open world
-if they see you, they battle you
-fixed levels — if you’re too weak, maybe come around when you get stronger
-this will add a sense of exploration and pride;
as you progress, certain areas will have the usual higher level pokemon, as well as higher level trainers
-maybe a few dynamic encounter mechanics where trainers may appear or reappear other places or nearby after being defeated with higher level pokemon

-as for your rival, maybe they are like the miss fortune sisters, where they appear randomly in the open, except they get stronger as you encounter them
-they would stop getting stronger once it would surpass their fixed level on their next story encounter
ex: beating rival who uses level 20 pokemon would result in level 25 pokemon for your next encounter with them. However, since the next story battle they would be a level 28, beating them this time will not result in an increase past 28 when you encounter them in the wild until after the story event has been cleared

this is my ideal
 

There Is No Arceus

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ideally, i'd like something like PLA where if you stumble into an area with too high-leveled pokemon and trainers, you'll simply get destroyed. if everything is leveled, that takes away the sense that you keep getting stronger. after all, compared to those around you, you're not actually getting stronger.
 

Dorothy

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As I said in another thread, I don't think it's necessary to have Trainers be fully fixed encounters anymore. You can easily procedurally generate Trainers, giving them a pool of Pokemon to spawn with based on their class, and scaling their level to the area.
 

Articfoxgamez

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There could be a balance of scaling and not scaling. Like in one area the trainers pokemon can be between levels 5-20 based on what part of the game your in, while in another area they can have pokemon between levels 40-60.
So if you go twords that end game area at the start of the game you will be wrecked, but if you go there later on the trainers will scale appropriately.
Think like BOTW where although the game was open world some areas just naturally had stronger enemies than other (Like the section Hyrule castle is in i forget the name).

Edit: Might actually be better to make it so there's no leveling cap just a minimum? Not sure. Either way i hope there's some sort of scaling with both trainers and Pokemon, let me get cool normally late game Pokemon early darn it!
 
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Articfoxgamez

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if everything is leveled, that takes away the sense that you keep getting stronger. after all, compared to those around you, you're not actually getting stronger.
But isn't this just what the regular games were like anyways as long as you don't over or under level? You never actively go back to old routes to fight weaker trainers you just run into some you missed. While the new trainers are always around your level.
 

techitisJ

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Oh, I've never thought about randomly generating trainers, that's an interesting idea. I think I like that one more than the idea I originally had.

My idea is a mix. Every area has some fixed, high level trainers that you can attempt to take on, but you might not be ready for them, and some trainers who scale to you. These trainers would be located at various points and wouldn't challenge you, you challenge them. You can also just easily walk up and baffle them again.
 

Emmy

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The idea of Trainers having randomly generated teams is certainly appealing as it could potentially cut corners on having to program teams for every single NPC you meet on the road.

But I would be curious as to how they would implement the Trainers themselves. Re-spawing is great and all but I wonder how they would be placed. Since the game is now Open-World, it would presumably be easier than ever to simply walk around Trainers to avoid, so maybe give them some kind of animation cycle to move around maybe?

All I know is I'll be eager to see what the "open world" looks like in the next trailer.
 

There Is No Arceus

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There could be a balance of scaling and not scaling. Like in one area the trainers pokemon can be between levels 5-20 based on what part of the game your in, while in another area they can have pokemon between levels 40-60.
So if you go twords that end game area at the start of the game you will be wrecked, but if you go there later on the trainers will scale appropriately.
Think like BOTW where although the game was open world some areas just naturally had stronger enemies than other (Like the section Hyrule castle is in i forget the name).

Edit: Might actually be better to make it so there's no leveling cap just a minimum? Not sure. Either way i hope there's some sort of scaling with both trainers and Pokemon, let me get cool normally late game Pokemon early darn it!
this would kinda defeat the point of making them leveled in the first place. why would you make them leveled if not to allow the player to explore everywhere at once without making the enemies super weak everywhere?
 

Stef50S

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A simple way that I think trainer scaling can be done is if trainers are first fought at their original level and after you beat them you can return to fight them again at a later point. For example, once you've acquired a certain amount of badges, the early trainers that you fought at the beginning now have stronger teams. In others, the game can take the Vs. Seeker approach to trainers. You may even be able to fight the trainers over and over again before their teams improve to avoid having to grind on wild pokemon.
 

Articfoxgamez

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this would kinda defeat the point of making them leveled in the first place. why would you make them leveled if not to allow the player to explore everywhere at once without making the enemies super weak everywhere?
Not sure but its what a lot of open world games like to do so its a reasonable guess that this one might do the same.
 

There Is No Arceus

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But isn't this just what the regular games were like anyways as long as you don't over or under level? You never actively go back to old routes to fight weaker trainers you just run into some you missed. While the new trainers are always around your level.
in the older games, there was a sense of progress and growth because you regularly got access to a new area with stronger pokemon after defeating a particularly strong boss. now that the world is open, the game should try to give you that sense of progress in other ways. in my experience, open world games with leveled enemies completely fail to give me any sense of progress. in Skyrim i usually don't feel any stronger at the end than i do at the beginning, despite differences in gear and my skills being higher. contrast this with Skyrim's predecessor Morrowind, in which enemies were not leveled and you'd get slaughtered if you went to certain areas too early, and you see that Morrowind actually makes you feel strong when you can finally traverse those areas without issue.
 

There Is No Arceus

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Not sure but its what a lot of open world games like to do so its a reasonable guess that this one might do the same.
a lot of games do this, but i don't understand what advantages this has over straight up not making the enemies leveled
 

Articfoxgamez

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a lot of games do this, but i don't understand what advantages this has over straight up not making the enemies leveled
I think the problem is that, non leveled enemies somewhat defeat the point of an open world. Whats the point in having an open world if you cant survive if you try and go where your not supposed to yet.
Not saying I necessarily agree with this but this is what I think game developers are likely thinking.
 

There Is No Arceus

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I think the problem is that, non leveled enemies somewhat defeat the point of an open world. Whats the point in having an open world if you cant survive if you try and go where your not supposed to yet.
Not saying I necessarily agree with this but this is what I think game developers are likely thinking.
tbh i'm straight up not a fan of pokemon becoming open world. i'm just trying to think of ways to mitigate the damage that going open world will do to the series, so that there will still be a sense of progression.
 

Dorothy

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The idea of Trainers having randomly generated teams is certainly appealing as it could potentially cut corners on having to program teams for every single NPC you meet on the road.

But I would be curious as to how they would implement the Trainers themselves. Re-spawing is great and all but I wonder how they would be placed. Since the game is now Open-World, it would presumably be easier than ever to simply walk around Trainers to avoid, so maybe give them some kind of animation cycle to move around maybe?

All I know is I'll be eager to see what the "open world" looks like in the next trailer.
Spawn them when the player enters an area, and respawn them as needed. I dont see any problem with making Trainer battles optional for those who wish to avoid them.
 

Nicolas721

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Open world doesn't mean complete freedom. I'm sure that there will be an story and rivals to follow that will not scale to your levels and that many zones won't be available until certain moments.

As for the trainers, it's possible they just not want to battle you until you have x number of badges. The PLA/SWSH Wild Pokemon approach wouldn't work with them because you could run from those battles easily, and I don't think they'll break the "Never run from a trainer battle" rule now.
 

Articfoxgamez

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Open world doesn't mean complete freedom. I'm sure that there will be an story and rivals to follow that will not scale to your levels and that many zones won't be available until certain moments.
Please just don't lock off all the good ice types till right at the end of the game again I beg of thee gamefreak

As for the trainers, it's possible they just not want to battle you until you have x number of badges. The PLA/SWSH Wild Pokemon approach wouldn't work with them because you could run from those battles easily, and I don't think they'll break the "Never run from a trainer battle" rule now.
When the trainers can turn me away for not having enough badges but I cant do the same to them.
 

Dizzard

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The idea of Trainers having randomly generated teams is certainly appealing as it could potentially cut corners on having to program teams for every single NPC you meet on the road.

But I would be curious as to how they would implement the Trainers themselves. Re-spawing is great and all but I wonder how they would be placed. Since the game is now Open-World, it would presumably be easier than ever to simply walk around Trainers to avoid, so maybe give them some kind of animation cycle to move around maybe?

All I know is I'll be eager to see what the "open world" looks like in the next trailer.

Well, in Assassins Creed Odyssey (and probably other open world games too, I'm pretty sure Skyrim has travelling merchants at least) you can have NPCs traversing the open world. Specifically in Odyssey they're bounty hunters who hunt you down if you have a bounty on your head.

They could just have npc trainers just standing around as optional battles but I'd prefer if the AI for trainers was a bit more intelligent and they could traverse the region on their own. (or at least a specific zone) I mentioned it in another thread but I was thinking it would be cool if a trainer npc would attempt to approach and talk to you if you came within a certain distance of them.

I imagine your character would have some kind of trainer nav device that would give you a notification if a trainer was trying to approach you. Maybe it's something you could turn on and off if you wanted? (like, changing your status on the device from "accepting battles" to "not accepting battles".)

Maybe trainers could have different personality traits (I guess it could be based on class), some would ask you if you want to battle beforehand whereas others could just throw out a pokeball at you and force you into a battle. So for example a youngster would probably jump straight into a battle while a gentleman might ask whether you want to battle. Some trainers might try to catch you whereas other classes will just walk up to you calmly.

Whatever happens I hope we have npc trainer battles in this game, it was something I missed while playing Legends Arceus.
 
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blitzle stan

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Dizzard, those ideas sounds great! And things that you’d think a massive company like TPC would have put R&D budget into. We’ll see. lol

The idea of different classes treating battles differently makes sense, especially since rivals will probably always act like their own class and force battles for progression.
 
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