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If we were to keep gyms in the long run, I suggest this instead of the usual.

PageEmp

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And I mean instead of gyms based off types, we have gyms based off concepts. So we don't have to get mons of a certain type advantage just to power through gyms, instead most of the game's main bosses would have more flexible teams than that.

So for example, we can have gyms using mons only based off animals, gyms with mons only based off various objects, gyms using mons of not a type but a theme based on anything, gyms based off the weather, or certain stats, or even whatever kind of battle gimmick or something.

I know you can make gyms using a shared type work, but overall it seems more interesting to not just use mons that have super effective attacks and then win immediately. That's just what I think anyway.
 
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i think the closest we got was normans gym from gen 3 were you pick an opponent who specializes in a stat, but ultimately is still the normal gym. But it would absolutely be possible to make concept gyms.

Speedster gym: Uses fast pokemon or utilizes moves that raise or involve speed
Forest gym: Uses flying, ground, rock, bug, grass(might be too much)
Wall gym: uses pokemon with high def/ sp def, uses moves to max def/ sp def

these are just three im sure craftier people could come up with more
 
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A quick note to start - We already have a set of bosses that specialize in a certain stat, the Stat Trainers from Sinnoh.

This is a subject that I've put some amount of thought into.

I've been of the decided opinion for a year or two now that this is a good thing to do, but that if you're going to do it, you should do it right. Don't half ass it. Or at least, you can't half ass it and still consider yourself any better than a monotype specialist. For example, Pokemon based on animals or on objects are categories far too broad. Maybe a team of Pokemon based on particularly iconic zoo animals, or animals from different parts of the world; but you can't just pick 6 random Pokemon from the set of "Pokemon based on animals" and call it a theme.

I'm going to continue to talk for a bit about what NOT to do, since again I've given this matter some thought, and then get into some positive ideas.

Pokemon Uranium does this, but I don't think it does it very well. I've seen six Gym Leaders in that game so far, four of those have a theme that isn't monotype, and of those four I feel that only one of them does it right; the second Gym Leader, who has a "cave" theme. He has two Ground types, and Rock/Steel type, and his ace is a bat-like pure Poison type. This is fine. The other three I've seen, I don't like. One thing that I feel you need to watch out for is that if you're going to "not have a type theme," you need to actually do that. The third Gym Leader in Uranium is supposedly "beach themed," but three of her four Pokemon are Water type; that's no good, especially where there are so many non-Water type beach-themed Pokemon already in the main games. Similarly, the fourth Gym Leader is supposed to be themed after "technology" and generally being a smart guy, but he only has one Pokemon that isn't a Steel type. Now in this case the game at least admits that he's mostly a Steel type user, but it's still not a good example of what you're asking for.

Another thing you need to be careful of is to not reverse-engineer the Pokemon available for your theme based on what Pokemon you want the boss in question to have. For example, I wanted to make a swamp-themed boss for the game I'm working on, and I tried to make a point of not creating a new swamp-themed Pokemon to be found in the area just because I wanted my boss character to have a Pokemon of that type combination. I feel that the sixth Gym Leader in Uranium is guilty of this. She's supposed to be a Gym leader who uses both Psychic types and "illusion" or "mask" themed Pokemon, and one of her Pokemon is a Fairy/Fighting type based on a jackolope, which I feel has no reason to be there other than that its pre-evolution is found in the area; and I highly suspect that what happened here is that the devs wanted her to have a Fairy/Fighting type as a "gotcha" to players who brought Dark (and to a lesser extent Bug) Pokemon to this ostensibly Psychic-type Gym, and then justified it by putting that Pokemon in the wild nearby. Now having "gotcha" Pokemon based on the player's expectations is fine, but for a supposedly "themed" team it's a cop out.

With all of that in mind, I'd would be wary of deciding that every Gym Leader in a game is going to have a theme other than a single type, because I would question whether you actually have eight good ideas. A not-so-good idea for a theme, like those described above, isn't necessarily worse than a monotype specialist, but I don't think it's much better either, and if you come across as patting yourself on the back for having supposedly more interesting themes (as I feel Uranium somewhat does) it would annoy me, especially when I think that this kind of thing can be done so much better.

I also think that one should be willing to have two-type specialists - without necessarily pretending that their theme is any more complex than that - if the opportunity calls for it. For example, in my game, one of the Gyms is located on top of a mountain, and I debated for a while whether to have it be a Fire or Ice type Gym, before I came to my senses and went with the El Paso solution - why not both? Another good example of this IMO is Anastasia from Pokemon Insurgence, who is engineer/technology themed and uses Electric and Steel types. Unlike the mostly-Steel Gym Leader from Uranium, she has a better type composition - two Electric types, three Steel types, and one Electric/Steel type - and I think her team is about as good as can be expected without using new Pokemon (which Insurgence generally doesn't for its Gym Leaders). The only change I would make would be to swap Klefki for Klinklang, to be more on brand.

Finally, relating to the point about how many good ideas for themes your game actually has, I think that one should consider the question of whether non-monotype-themed specialists are better off as other types of bosses rather than Gym Leaders; since you can get away with a monotype specialist more easily for a Gym Leader than for other bosses, and so this approach might enable you to have more bosses in total. In my game, the only Gym Leader who isn't a single-type specialist is the Fire/Ice one, and while I COULD make my beach, swamp, or desert specialists be Gym Leaders, that would just mean removing some single-type specialists and having fewer bosses overall.
 
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With all of that out of the way, here are some themed bosses I've come up with.


Beach specialist:
Kingler
Pelipper, Cramorant, or Mantine
Crustle
Pallosand
Pincurchin (rematch only)
Ace - Mega Tropius


Swamp specialist:
Quagsire
Toxicroak
Salazzle
New Bug/Flying mosquito Pokemon
Vileplume (rematch)
Ace - New Water/Dark alligator or crocodile Pokemon with Strong Jaw


Desert specialist:
Hippowdon
Cacturne
Drapion
Krookodile
Ace - (regional?) Flygon

In my game I would replace Hippowdon, which isn't really necessary alongside Krookodile, with a new Ghost/Fire type mirage Pokemon. There's also some strategies worth mentioning involving sunlight and sandstorms, but I don't have time to get into that right now.


Sound specialist - This one is a bit more complicated. There are a lot of existing sound-themed Pokemon, but a lot of them have something that I feel holds them back. In short, the three that I really like are Exploud, Noivern, and Toxtricity, the last of which I currently plan to give a Mega Evolution and make it their ace. I'm filling out the other two slots with new Pokemon despite other options existing, since this specialist is supposed to be the final Elite Four member, so my standard for what Pokemon are both cool enough and strong enough is higher than for other bosses. If this were earlier in the game they could use Hakamo-o; I feel that a fully evolved Kommo-o is better off relegated to a rematch or Hard Mode. If I had to pick a fifth Pokemon from existing ones it would be Pyroar; which doesn't do much that Exploud doesn't, but it can use Noble Roar more appropriately than most anything else, and as a Fire type it has super effective damage against Steel types which resist all of the Normal type sound attacks.


"Underwater" specialist, Elite Four member that replaces another character in the postgame (long story):
Milotic/Wishiwashi/Gyrados (preferably not Gyrados since it's somewhat overused)
Dhelmise
Grapploct
Huntail if this team were in isolation (since I think it's cool enough that it deserves to be used by a major boss); in my game it's new Water type that relates to this specific character.
New Bug/Poison Pokemon based on a bobbit worm
Ace - New Water/Dragon type evolution of Dewgong based on a narwhal. Another idea that could have been this character's ace is a giant Water/Dark shark Pokemon called Armegalodon (I'm currently thinking of using that concept for the Water starter instead).
 
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PageEmp

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Yeah, things like the stuff mentioned above was a bit of what I was thinking of.

I don't know if this might be too hard for inexperienced players, but I can also see some 'challenge gimmick' gyms being a thing, where the opponent has some kind of hard programmed advantage over the player, like say the opponent's team always goes first, or something like that.
 
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Well, personally, part of the fun in Pokémon comes from building your party and putting it against the different tests you find in the game. I mean, facing a Flying type gym doesn't mean that I'm going to fill my team with Electric and Rock types, and I highly doubt anyone would do that either, unless you're playing an insanely difficult rom hack that requires it.

Even in difficulty-based hacks I allways try to stick to my team as much as possible, and only make changes if it's totally necessary, because I think it's more fun to stick with your chosen party and overcome the different challenges with it, even if you sometimes may only have one Pokémon with a type advantage against your opponent. I prefer succeeding with what I have than picking ideal counters against each 'boss'

Type-based gyms can definitely be made a lot more interesting and challenging (GF just doesn't want to). But I like the idea of themed gyms as well and think it would be nice for a change, bringing potentially interesting and fun ideas.

But it's most likely never going to happen. We grew tired of the cliché type-based gym formula after so many Pokémon games, but the developers design the games to be as beginner-friendly as possible, so this is another way to keep things simple and easier for new players to understand. Remember that new players will probably even need to learn the type chart.
 
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I don't know if this might be too hard for inexperienced players, but I can also see some 'challenge gimmick' gyms being a thing, where the opponent has some kind of hard programmed advantage over the player, like say the opponent's team always goes first, or something like that.

I don't think that handicapping the player is necessary; I would rather draw on the extensive tools that the games already have. The difficulty level of most main series Pokemon games may not be set very high, but when one is using all of the tools at one's disposal, Pokemon is in fact a very complex and deep game. The wide array of options available for moves and abilities can produce some very effective combos and team lineups, similar to a smaller scale version of Magic The Gathering. The pro tournament scene is a testament to this.

If you want some examples of strategically challenging teams that still play by the rules, check out the Elite Four from Pokemon Insurance. You also might find this video interesting.
 
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Even in difficulty-based hacks I allways try to stick to my team as much as possible, and only make changes if it's totally necessary, because I think it's more fun to stick with your chosen party and overcome the different challenges with it, even if you sometimes may only have one Pokémon with a type advantage against your opponent. I prefer succeeding with what I have than picking ideal counters against each 'boss'
I personally disagree; I prefer to use an extended roster of Pokemon, from which I use whichever ones are most effective against a given boss. I don't view this as "deviating from" or "not sticking to" my team, because I don't really have a consistent "team" in the first place. I don't do this because it's my preferred method of dealing with single-type bosses; I do it because the number of Pokemon in the game that I'm interested in using is greater than 6, and my ability to taylor my team that given boss is a byproduct of that.

But it's most likely never going to happen. We grew tired of the cliché type-based gym formula after so many Pokémon games, but the developers design the games to be as beginner-friendly as possible, so this is another way to keep things simple and easier for new players to understand. Remember that new players will probably even need to learn the type chart.
Well, keep in mind that the main series games do have bosses that don't stick to a single type, they just aren't Gym Leaders. Bosses like your rival, or the main villain. You can use themed teams for the non-Gym bosses with necessarily making the game any more difficult. See my last paragraph in my first post.

For example, my beach specialist is a character similar to Wally; a seemingly weak recurring character, "a kid playing in the sand" whose team is a pushover, who then comes back near the end of the game with a much stronger team to kick your ass.
 

PageEmp

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I can't believe I forgot to mention it earlier but something like type based gyms but having it made like the opponent only takes super effective damage every other turn or something could work as well. Maybe difficult for some people but I can imagine it being interesting.
 
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So, the Gym Leader has a single type inviting the player to try to exploit that, but then the battle has a magic rule that says their Pokemon are immune to super effective hits every other turn?

IMO that sounds like a cop out, especially since, again, Pokemon has the tools to be strategically difficult without "cheating" like this.

If anything, I might have a Pokemon with a very strong signature ability that does something like this, and then that Pokemon appears twice in the fight; as the first slot, and then its evolved from in the last slot. The type theme would probably be one with a lot of weaknesses, like Rock or Grass.
 

Explorer of Time

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I know I'm a little biased because I'm the person who runs the challenge forum's monotype thread, but I do really like type-based gyms. Monotype teams usually have options to mitigate weaknesses, whether with dual-type Pokemon, abilities, or held items. A team of Emolga, Mow Rotom, Galvantula, Eelektross, Arctozolt, and Lanturn is not exactly sweepable by a single good ground type, for example.
 
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