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I want to see games set in already existing regions with already existing Pokémon. Legends Arceus was a good example of this: it's set in a past version of Sinnoh, with the majority of its Dex being old Pokémon. And even then, the new Pokémon are forms of the older ones.
I also want them to bring back all of the cool little features that got dropped for some reason. Day/night cycle, seasons, following pokemon, pokeathlon (or an equivalent), contests (or an equivalent), secret bases, berry growing, pokeball seals, creating rare pokeballs from apricorns, acro bikes, making flutes from ashes, and many things I'm probably forgetting. A game with all of those included, instead of the current trend of bringing back only one or two per gen, would keep me entertained for a long time.
Updating my list now that SV's released with new ideas based on how the series has progressed:
Implementation of a level scaling system. All trainer battles will be scaled based on how many badges you have instead of having a fixed level. Wild Pokemon can also temporarily scale down if you have lower level Pokemon in your party (I'm conflicted on the best way to do this, based on your highest level, lowest level, or average level).
Summary screen is updated to include a Pokemon's friendship level, IVs, as well as the type matchups of your Pokemon and their moves' types
Difficulty settings are back and now available from the start without any restrictions. You can change them at any time in the Options menu.
Bring back Let's Go mode but expand on it so your Pokemon can also clear overworld obstacles and you can ride suitable Pokemon instead of relying on designated NPC Pokemon. You could also clear different obstacles in multiple ways. You could cut down, ram, or burn a tree, cross a river by surfing across, jumping across, using a vine or web to grapple across, or creating an ice bridge. Here are the various field abilities you can use in Let's Go mode:
Ride- Player can ride this Pokemon. This Pokemon can dash and jump over small gaps.
Break- This Pokemon can break small rocks, cracks in walls, and cracked ice. Materials can be collected from the rubble and Pokemon will sometimes appear.
Ram- This Pokemon can ram into trees to knock them over and spawn materials, berries, and Pokemon. It can also push boulders to move them out of the way
Cut- This Pokemon can cut trees, bushes, and vines to clear them.
Burn- This Pokemon can burn trees, bushes, vines, and ice to clear them. Pokemon will sometimes appear when cleared.
Dig- This Pokemon can dig through cracks in the walls and dirt. Materials can sometimes be collected.
Climb- This Pokemon can climb walls.
Cross- This Pokemon extends a vine to latch onto faraway poles/trees/branches and pull you across.
Freeze- This Pokemon can temporarily create ice paths over water and short gaps, as well as temporarily cool lava into stone, so that the player can cross them.
Float- This Pokemon can levitate their trainer in the air for a short period of time, allowing them to cross gaps.
Swim- This Pokemon can carry its trainer across the water.
Dive- While swimming, this Pokemon can dive underwater and explore the seas. Unlike previous games, you can freely control the depth at which you swim underwater. Pokemon and materials can be found underwater.
Lava Swim- This Pokemon can carry its trainer across lava.
Fly- This Pokemon can be ridden to freely explore the skies. Unlike previous games, you can freely control the height at which you fly through the air. Pokemon and materials can be found high in the skies.
Add a trainer class system where you can select a certain trainer class for both in-battle out-of-battle perks. For example, you could choose to be a Swimmer which would increase your Pokemon's Speed in the rain in battle and increase Surf speed out of battle.
Expand Pokedex functionality so it's actually, you know, a useful resource instead of just a list of Pokemon with lore blurbs and location data. Including move data, evolution data, breeding data, etc. (if necessary, they could have it fill in as needed to prevent spoilers) would make it a REAL Pokemon encyclopedia instead of just a joke of a device that you'll barely ever use.
A.I. based NPCs that you can dynamically talk with instead of having scripted responses. Instead of your character being a blank slate that never speaks a word, you could supply your own dialogue with a microphone and the NPCs would react to it (this one probably wouldn't happen anytime soon, but I think the technology is there or at least pretty close).
Rotom becomes an A.I. personal assistant (as in, like Siri, Alexa, etc.). You can use voice commands to perform quick tasks and look up useful information (examples: "Rotom, save my game" "Rotom, where can I catch a Pikachu?"). Its personality can also automatically adapt to your preferences so it becomes the companion it was actually meant to be instead of a preset annoyance shoved down your throat like in SM and USUM. The Rotom Phone also includes the following apps in addition to the ones from SV:
A clock/calendar app. Will also record the duration of in game events.
A map that includes a list notable locations in the area, a habitat list, and a quest list with hints that tell you where to go to progress the storyline and sidequests
Type chart app.
When you catch a Pokemon, you now have an option to go directly into your boxes to deposit it in whatever box you want.
More dynamic rulesets for battling with other players. You can choose how many Pokemon to battle with on your team and how many Pokemon can be on the field at once.
New regional stones (Kanto Stone, Alola Stone, Galar Stone, etc.) are introduced to make it easier to obtain regional variants. If a Pokemon has a split variant evolution (for example, Pikachu) and the Pokemon holds a regional stone, it will evolve into the corresponding variant. Whereas if a Pokemon has a split variant base form (for example, Meowth), if the mother holds a regional stone while breeding, the child will hatch into that corresponding variant.
The Safari Zone returns in a new way as the Daily Safari (although functionally it's more like a combination of Mirage Spots and Dynamax Adventures). Each day you would be able to explore a short dungeon filled with Pokemon (which rotates daily). In addition to catching as many Pokemon as you can there, you also want to try and progress through the dungeon to fight a rarer/stronger Pokemon waiting for you at the end.
The next gen Amie/Refresh/Camping equivalent now includes decoration features to function as a Secret Base equivalent.
The return of Shadow Pokemon, possibly also bringing back the ability to snag them from the evil team.
Return of the Battle Frontier with a mix of old and new facilities. In order to make it more accessible, you can choose rental Pokemon at any facility. Here are the facilities:
Battle Tower (updated with the same settings on number of Pokemon in your team and number of Pokemon on the field at once)
Battle Factory (you still cannot use your own Pokemon here, you have to use rentals)
Battle Dome (doubles as a PWT-esque facility now where you can rematch gym leaders)
Battle Hall (updated to work more like Restricted Sparring, you can now choose 3 Pokemon but they are all of the same type)
Battle Circuit (Rotation Battle facility)
An Inverse Battle facility (can't think of a good name for this one)
Return of the Trick House, perhaps as a battle facility that's timed and gives rewards based on how quickly you finish.
A team battle mode similar to Splatfests from Splatoon or Team Rally from Mario Kart Tour. Every so often you have an event where you have to choose a theme between two conflicting concepts (some examples from past Splatoon games include ketchup vs. mustard, order vs. chaos, and in Splatoon 3 they had three-way Splatfests such as Grass vs. Fire vs. Water). Then you battle with players from the other side and whichever side gets the most wins is declared the winner. You get rewards for participating, and you get more if your side wins, but even if your side loses you can still get higher rewards by contributing more individual wins to your team.
Again, probably going to take several generations to realize all of this, but I would like to see at least like, 3 of these crossed off each gen.
The VS Recorder NEEDS to return to the mainline games. I don't understand why they would even remove such a useful feature :shrug:
Gameplay wise, I would say seasons. They really brought a whole new kind of aesthetic to the Generation 5 games, and I would love to see what Game Freak can do with the seasons mechanic in the newer games.
A perfect game for me now after open world war flashbacks would be some hardcore, polished remake with expanded story, like a 3D BW remake.
Strictly linear paths/world but with even more story, more adult protagonists or even ability to choose your own age, ability to flirt with Ghetsis, maybe even small story-altering choices. Maybe you will be able to fight N as someone who somewhat shares his ideals or someone who opposes him completely. BW remake would also be a perfect time to introduce something like 'professions' - you don't necessarily want to challenge the League but maybe you want to become a ranger and etc. (Maybe even you being a Ranger and therefore, closer to nature may influence your relationship with N, I don't know, maybe he won't be as harsh with you as he is with trainers) Yes, ScVi does indeed do something similar but you still have to finish all three stories to understand what's going on. But here only the Team Plasma episode is necessary to progress, everything else is linear but tied to your profession.
I wish the outfits and character events from Pokémon Masters were in the mainline games. It's a shame to keep them in a mobile game with mircotransations. Maybe something like the Memory Link in BW2 but better.
I would like to play as a character that isn't a silent protagonist. I think some stories could benefit from that like SM or PLA. Why not make characters like Lillie the protagonist of the story (the one that you play as)?
I would also like them to stop removing the following Pokémon feature and trainer customization. If they could get it right in older games why do they keep messing it up?
I'm not a fan of auto battles, I want PLA catching mechanics back. Legendary events and secret events are also fun. Now when Pokémon movies are a thing of the past (or so it seems?) they should focus on making the event Pokémon stand out in the games.
I also liked the Totem Pokémon in SM especially Mimikyu. It's fun when even the actual Pokémon have stories to tell. I wish we got more of that kind of environmental storytelling.
All I ask is that there not be anymore action RPG or real-time or whatever it's called--you know, like the boss fights in PLA. Those were so frustrating. I'm really not geared toward that kind of gameplay and don't want it in my Pokemon games!