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Old 01-25-2011, 01:33 AM
madk Offline
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Question I'm working on a pokémon game engine, want some advice concerning balancing

I'm working on a Pokémon game engine, and I'm starting by writing the battling portion of it. I want to know whether the following changes seem useful, balanced, and keeping in the spirit of the game.

Critical hits: As of gen IV, there is a 1/16 chance of scoring 2x damage (a critical hit). I want to change this to a 1/20 chance of scoring 1.5x damage.

Party Pokémon: As of gen IV, a maximum of 6 Pokémon can be carried with you at any time. I want to alter this - the trainer will be able to carry nine Pokémon, three of which can use HM moves but not be used in battle. The player can transfer Pokémon from the regular six and the extra three at any time while not in a battle. The intention is to allow the player to carry two HM slaves and one spare Pokémon separate from the main party, though numerous other applications would be possible (including carrying eggs with minimal interference with regular gameplay).

Non-volatile status ailments: As of gen IV, there are two major categories of status conditions: volatile and non-volatile. While volatile conditions, such as confusion and infatuation, are removed upon switching Pokémon or finishing a battle, non-volatile conditions remain attached to your Pokémon until you use a healing item, visit a Pokécenter, or in the case of a few ailments (such as paralysis) clear up automatically. I want to change this; non-volatile status conditions would behave normally throughout a battle, even after switching out, but would be removed upon finishing a battle.

Shiny Pokémon: As of gen IV, the chance of encountering a wild shiny Pokémon is 1/8192. I want to change this to 1/4096.

Additional types: As of gen IV, there are 17 types. I have three that I'm considering adding. A light type: not attributed to holiness, mind you, but rather to the stuff you see. A sound type to cover Pokémon such as Whismur and its evolutions and moves such as Sonicboom, and possibly a magma type; I reason that because Rock and Ground types and Water and Ice types are separate, so should Fire and Magma be.

Held items: As of gen IV, a Pokémon can carry no more than a single held item. I want to increase this to a maximum of two held items per Pokémon.

Pokémon abilities: As of gen IV, a Pokémon can have one of several possible abilities assigned to its species. I want to adjust this so that a Pokémon has two abilities: one inherent to all members of its species, and another which is randomly selected, just like they currently are. This is most remarkably relevant to non-flying Pokémon which are plainly capable of floating above the ground yet do not possess the Levitate ability.

Level cap: As of gen IV, the highest level a Pokémon can reach is level 100. I want to raise this limit to level 120, and scale the EV limits accordingly: max EVs per stat would be increased from 255 to 306, and overall total would be increased from 510 to 612.

Last edited by madk; 01-25-2011 at 01:42 AM.
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Old 01-31-2011, 11:08 PM
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Viva la Gofre Offline
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Default Re: I'm working on a pokémon game engine, want some advice concerning balancing

If your intent is balance, then everything aside from the crit rate is (In my opinion) essentially useless. My thoughts on each of your proposals:

Crits: Lowers the impact of hax on the game. Fair enough.
Party size: Largely irrelevant. In battle, team size would be identical. Out of battle, use of Fly allows for pretty limitless switching of team members anyway, unless you're in a cave or progressing to a new area. Seems like a needless complication to me.
Non Volatile Status: This would in no way balance anything. For the most part, non-volatile status are non-volatile because their effects are, by and large, more crippling. Paralysis has a 25% of stopping a Poke from attacking, while infatuation has a 50% chance, and confusion is a 25% chance coupled with recoil. Burns reduce the effectiveness of your attacks, Taunt and Encore dictate your attacks completely. Toxic's counter can be reset, Curse calves 25% of your HP every turn. While most of these do run on a timer, they can effectively shut a Pokemon down while in effect. Putting their counters on hold until they switch back in will imbalance the game substantially.
Shiny Pokemon: Irrelevant to balance, given that shinies are only different in their aesthetics
Additional types: Ask yourself, how on earth would adding additional types aid in balancing the battle system? In short, it won't, and will more than likely have the opposite effect. There are no unbalanced types, and advantages one type may have is complemented by some sort of drawback. Including more types does nothing to aid the game, but simply convolutes it further while risking imbalances creeping in elsewhere.
Held items: Again, ask yourself how this balances the game? If you figure that out let me know, because I have no idea.
Abilities: You want to balance the game by giving Pokemon multiple abilities, only one of which you have any predictive ability against? No offence, but it seems like you're just throwing as many things into this as physically possible, regardless of the implications. Introducing random things like this does not aid the game's balance.
Level Cap: Could extend the in-game experience, but seems largely pointless for PvP battling where everything gets auto-levelled to the maximum.

To answer your original question "whether the following changes seem useful, balanced, and keeping in the spirit of the game", I personally feel it's a resounding "no" on all counts aside from Crit rate. Adding pointless variables, needless stat increases and decreasing the values of shiny pokes seem counterproductive to what I'd want out of a Pokemon game. But I'm coming from the position of a competitive player, younger children hellbent on maximum customisability and individuality would probably love them.
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Old 02-01-2011, 03:54 PM
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Default Re: I'm working on a pokémon game engine, want some advice concerning balancing

Wow! Most of the additions would confuse many players, and a lot of them would even rise the current near perfect balance.

And stop using "As of..." because its repetitiveness really gets annoying, fast.

Critique time:
Modifying most of the mathematics involved in the chance of the game would most likely land you in a horrible spot. Honestly, they are non-volatile for a reason. Would you want to have two Pokemon, one that is both poisoned and confused? The confusion would not go away even without a switch? Not only does that unbalance the game (you would need to come up with a way to counter that without jeopardizing the game balance), it would be overly difficult to battle if so.

The reason shiny Pokemon are so rare to find is because they want them to appear special. Why in the hell would you make it easier?

DO NOT add anymore types. This will destroy the game, and giving it the unbalancedness of Modern Warfare 2's maps and weapons.

Additional Party slots sounds like a great idea at first... Until the part about the thing with the thing and the womp. Point is, that sounds confusing too. Six Pokemon to train, then 3 more JUST to lug around? It seems pointless. You might as well create key items that destroy these obstacles and create an extra slot that can only an egg can reside in.

You have to keep in mind that the level caps are set to 100 because not only would it take a SUPER LONG time to level up, it would make Pokemon too overpowering, you would also need to develop a way for trainers to train relatively easily.

You think increasing the held items will balance it out... How about making two slots for items that are devoted to two uses. One that is devoted to battle usage (berries, power bands, leftovers, heal bell, etc.) and then one that is dedicated to peaceful use (silk scarf, friendship bell, etc.). Adding more than one battle item would make some Pokemon overpowered.
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