Discussion What's the best way to add difficulty? Pros & Cons Page 2

Started by Meister_anon~Master_o f_None January 6th, 2021 2:30 PM
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Pallet Town.
Seen January 17th, 2021
Posted January 17th, 2021
8 posts
8.8 Years
^Thats not true. If you raise a pokemon stats it will cause unbalance to the point of being so broken. No pokemon is meant to have perfect stats just for the sake of difficulty.
ex. A Drowzee that out-speeds your Raichu and spams Psychic.
Adding in potions is useful, but obviously changing the enemy's move set would give a new experience. I'm saying that adding in potions is the most you need for difficulty without programing new AI.

I stand by my statement with open worlds. Putting in level cap areas is too linear and boring AND REPETITIVE. The only solution is adding in road blocks like Nintendo does with HM 1 trees and NPCs.
Hack games I recommend-

GB-GBC

Pokemon Grey
Pokemon Kaizo
Pokemon Prisim
Pokemon Grape
Pokemon Crystal Clear

GBC

Pokemon Ash Grey
Pokemon Radical Red
Pokemon Blazed Glazed
Pokemon Delta Emerald
Pokemon Theta Emerald
Pokemon Victory Fire

wally-217

Male
Yorkshire, UK
Seen 3 Hours Ago
Posted 1 Day Ago
109 posts
8.4 Years
I think most of these points have been touched upon already but I'm a big advocate of Flow Theory and Dynamic Difficulty Adjustment. One of the driving forces behind my rom hack is that I want experiment with how you could implement DDA into Pokemon (And hopefully, later, Open Worlds). One thing I really liked about the wild area is that it gave me control over my flow. So instead of grinding on low-level pokemon that you can OHKO, I could spend 30-60 minutes trying to take down a level 50 Rhydon with my level 25 Grookey. The amount of XP I recieved was actually very similar to what I got from grinding over the same period but it was so much more satisfying because I created that challenge and landing that critical hit when my pokemon was about to die creates good player narrative.

For me, I have always been the type to overlevel my starter and if the gym leader is too difficult, I just grind until I have a pokemon capable of sweeping their whole team. I started watching VGC last year and the games really seem to hold back on teaching the player the actual battle mechanics. I imagine this is done because the player is likely 7 years old but simply conditioning the player to think tactically would turn the "difficulty" from 'who is the higher level?' to 'oh this gym leader uses a physical team, maybe I should prioritise burn'. I would like to see Gyms used in this way, with the Elite Four being the real challenge. Things like soft level caps work really well here because they show the player that they can't just power their way through.

One thing I would like to try that's a bit more experimental is using the gym trainers to hone the difficulty for the gym leader. For instance, if the player defeats the first trainer and at the end of the battle they still have 6 pokemon with full hp, you could set a variable to increase the AI difficulty and/or buff the opponent's damage output. If the player gets to the last trainer and gets fainted, you could set the difficulty variable to be lower. If the Gym leader's first pokemon gets OHKO'd in the first turn, you could increase the level of their second pokemon by a few, etc. I am hoping that I can incentivize losing enough that they don't just soft reset every time they white out (maybe by increasing prize money with every attempt) as then you can track their attempts and give them positive boosts too! Disabling in-battle items would be essential for this to work though.

In my hack, the gyms are not tied to the story and HMs aren't tied to gym badges so there's no risk of stalling the entire game if a gym is too difficult. In this instance, soft level caps could be set based on gym badges (if required), with each gym having 3 difficulty levels (so with one gym badge, they might use 3 unevolved pokemon and at 7 gym badges, they might use 6 fully evolved pokemon with competitive items). If needed you can also scale their pokemon's level to around the player's level, preferably dynamically, using the player's performance and type matchups. It is more work but I also feel that it saves a lot of time in trying to perfect the level curve.

NPCs and Wild Pokemon could be handled this way too. You could even scale them by class or by area. Routes can be designed so that there are 'easy' paths and 'hard' paths. Skyrim does pretty well by just scaling NPCs to the player's level, until the player reaches the level cap for that NPC. They also have some enemy types like giants that have static levels. Difficulty settings typically just buff or nerf the player's damage input/output which is pretty doable for pokemon hacks/fan games.

Sorry for the long post! I've been wanting to do a write up on this topic for a while! And I should reiterate that this is all theoretical as far as pokemon goes but Jenova Chen (Journey and FlOw) has some good research on this on his site if anyone's interested in further reading.



TL/DR

Use gameplay to teach strategy. Scale trainer levels to player to encourage strategy over grinding. Cater game to different FLOW preferences.
Seen 13 Hours Ago
Posted 20 Hours Ago
657 posts
115 Days
Sorry for the long post! I've been wanting to do a write up on this topic for a while! And I should reiterate that this is all theoretical as far as pokemon goes but Jenova Chen (Journey and FlOw) has some good research on this on his site if anyone's interested in further reading.


Use gameplay to teach strategy. Scale trainer levels to player to encourage strategy over grinding. Cater game to different FLOW preferences.
It's all good man, anyone that's gotten into this stuff can appreciate a well thought out argument/comment. Thanks for adding to the discussion.
Seen 4 Weeks Ago
Posted February 11th, 2021
20 posts
3.3 Years
Currently for my Crystal hack, I've implemented a new gym gauntlet system where you have to beat the whole gym in one go, as in, if you leave the gym the trainers reset. Because of that, they don't give money or exp, but beating the leader gives a lot of money and exp to the whole team

Usually people just use the trainers in the gym to level up, then leave to heal and then fight the leader. My goal with this system is to create a "mini elite 4" experience
Seen 13 Hours Ago
Posted 20 Hours Ago
657 posts
115 Days
Currently for my Crystal hack, I've implemented a new gym gauntlet system where you have to beat the whole gym in one go, as in, if you leave the gym the trainers reset. Because of that, they don't give money or exp, but beating the leader gives a lot of money and exp to the whole team

Usually people just use the trainers in the gym to level up, then leave to heal and then fight the leader. My goal with this system is to create a "mini elite 4" experience
That sounds a little terrifying but also interesting, are you doing the normal only difference between gyms is type, or are you doing something different like maybe each leader has a preferred battle style/strategy that the underlings apply to varying/lesser effect? That combined with how your gym is setup would be really cool imo.

Since you can't grind exp with the early trainers, you can at least gain something from the fights, a bit of strategy.
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Seen 4 Weeks Ago
Posted February 11th, 2021
20 posts
3.3 Years
That sounds a little terrifying but also interesting, are you doing the normal only difference between gyms is type, or are you doing something different like maybe each leader has a preferred battle style/strategy that the underlings apply to varying/lesser effect? That combined with how your gym is setup would be really cool imo.

Since you can't grind exp with the early trainers, you can at least gain something from the fights, a bit of strategy.
A little bit of both, it's an open world hack so if you fight Falkner at a higher level he'll have a more varied team, like an Aerodactyl or something. I'm trying to theme it based on type and the trainer's personality
Seen 13 Hours Ago
Posted 20 Hours Ago
657 posts
115 Days
A little bit of both, it's an open world hack so if you fight Falkner at a higher level he'll have a more varied team, like an Aerodactyl or something. I'm trying to theme it based on type and the trainer's personality
Nice, keep us posted, or just me, I'm definitely interested. So the rom base is actually pokemon crystal?
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Age 26
Male
United States
Seen 3 Weeks Ago
Posted March 10th, 2021
36 posts
6 Years
Squirtleinatorinator got it right

Battle Style Set, No spamming items, and give the pokemon EVs/IVs (or removing EVs from your game so you dont overscale too hard)

Then give gyms and other rival battles full teams and you got something thats engaging but still lets you use a team you want to use, instead of it turning into a 'lets farm this section of map for the meta counter to this OP settup the enemy has'
Seen 13 Hours Ago
Posted 20 Hours Ago
657 posts
115 Days
Squirtleinatorinator got it right

Battle Style Set, No spamming items, and give the pokemon EVs/IVs (or removing EVs from your game so you dont overscale too hard)

Then give gyms and other rival battles full teams and you got something thats engaging but still lets you use a team you want to use, instead of it turning into a 'lets farm this section of map for the meta counter to this OP settup the enemy has'
I can see that but I'm not sure about giving every important person a full 6.

just looking at gen 1 and its remakes, I'm pretty sure if brock and misty had full teams most people would have never beaten the game.

Those first gyms were rough, as they were meant to be, because looking back like 90% of the pokemon you'd encounter before them, are either weak to or lack an advantage against their pokemon.

The only useful pokemon you'd find on your way, would have been mankey, pikachu, and paras. All rare encounters (for the most part)
Lacking the type advantage was a smart move because it forced most players to strategize.
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