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Pokémon Sword & Shield (Expansion Pass Part 1 Releases June 2020)

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Personally speaking, I don't like being able to access the box anywhere. I understand that it's not giving you the ability to heal anywhere, but it still means that you can carry around a party of more than six Pokémon on your adventures. It removes the potential of having to plan ahead when you've got cave or dungeon to tackle. It does encourage raising multiple teams though, and there have been very few caves and dungeons in recent Generations. I'll probably just ignore the feature, just as I did in LGE.

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But wait! There's more!

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In Max Raid Battles, four Trainers team up to take on a wild Dynamax Pokémon. But in extremely rare cases, a Gigantamax Pokémon can appear instead of a Dynamax Pokémon. Normally, your chances of encountering a Gigantamax Pokémon are very, very small. However, we’ve discovered that certain Gigantamax Pokémon become more common during specific time periods!

From Friday, November 15, 2019, until early January 2020, players will be more likely to encounter Gigantamax Butterfree in Max Raid Battles.

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During this same period, players of Pokémon Sword will also be more likely to encounter Gigantamax Drednaw and players of Pokémon Shield will be more likely to encounter Gigantamax Corviknight!

And it seems there may even be other Gigantamax Pokémon that could appear more often than usual, so be sure to give Max Raid Battles a try!

We suspect that the Gigantamax Pokémon you’re likely to encounter will change over time, too, so stay tuned!

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We’re proud to announce the first official competition for Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield!

  • Sign-Up Period: Friday, November 15, at 00:00 UTC, to Thursday, December 5, at 23:59 UTC
  • Competition Period: Friday, December 6, at 00:00 UTC, to Sunday, December 8, at 23:59 UTC
  • Battle Format: Single Battle
  • Eligible Pokémon: Pokémon obtained in Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield
  1. Certain special Pokémon will not be allowed.
  2. Register three to six of your Pokémon to your Battle Team.
  3. All Pokémon in this competition will automatically become Lv. 50 for the duration of each match.
  • Ranking Results Announcement: December 2019

Notes:

  • Membership in the Nintendo Switch Online (paid) service is required for Online Competition participation.
  • You’ll be able to join the competition by opening the X menu in your game and selecting VS, Battle Stadium, and then Online Competitions. There’s no need to register on the Pokémon Global Link.

In the Galar Beginnings competition, you’ll be able to make your Pokémon huge by Dynamaxing them—or even have their form change by Gigantamaxing them! These effects will last for only three turns per battle, so be sure to use them wisely!

Further details on the competition regulations will be released in the coming days.

 

....also, there was that thing about breeding....but I'm not sure what's different...

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Sometimes, a Pokémon hatched from an Egg will know unusual moves called Egg Moves. These Egg Moves are moves that the Pokémon wouldn’t normally be able to learn through more common means, like leveling up or using TMs. In these games, if you leave two Pokémon of the same species at the Pokémon Nursery together, an Egg Move that one of them knows can be passed on to the other Pokémon!

It appears that a Pokémon can only learn an Egg Move this way when it knows three or fewer moves.

Wait a minute...

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Serebii.net: There is a new feature now where Pokémon of the same species can now pass Egg moves onto each other in Day Care without breeding.

Oh! NICE! :D

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33 minutes ago, Blue Blood said:

Personally speaking, I don't like being able to access the box anywhere. I understand that it's not giving you the ability to heal anywhere, but it still means that you can carry around a party of more than six Pokémon on your adventures. It removes the potential of having to plan ahead when you've got cave or dungeon to tackle. It does encourage raising multiple teams though, and there have been very few caves and dungeons in recent Generations. I'll probably just ignore the feature, just as I did in LGE.

That makes sense. I just prefer having that option there instead of having to fly back to a Pokemon Centre just to switch teammates.

I wonder if a decent compromise could've been to allow access to the PC almost anywhere, but removing access in particular areas such as caves, thus keeping some element of strategy.

32 minutes ago, Mythical Panda said:

I think you should be allowed at least one nickname change for traded Pokemon that already has one.

For the ones you get that have unflattering nicknames.

Definitely! I hate seeing shiny and/or powerful Pokemon up for grabs online, only for them to have nicknames ranging from "1" to "AAAAAAAAAAAAAA" (and that's just the tame ones...)

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Well, what they say is that you won't be able to access your boxes in "mission areas", including gyms; so I'm guessing that you'll be locked out anytime when the game is meant to be getting serious, and only allowed free access in areas where you shouldn't be in danger anyway.

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48 minutes ago, FFWF said:

Well, what they say is that you won't be able to access your boxes in "mission areas", including gyms; so I'm guessing that you'll be locked out anytime when the game is meant to be getting serious, and only allowed free access in areas where you shouldn't be in danger anyway.

Yeah, I caught that they said you access your box almost anywhere. Not being able to access it in gyms is great, although nothing is stopping you from leaving and switching up your team halfway through. I'm pretty sure that every player would leave the gym to heal at least once anyway.

I'm trying to look at it this way - training up am entire team will be easier thanks to the experience share system of this game, so maybe I will try to train up mood than just a team of six. With new Pokémon to use, it could be fun. 

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As an outsider I see a lot of big general and technical improvements, and even without those the game feels more fresh than the Pokemon stuff I played, particularly Let's Go Pikachu which I realize is not much but, it's the most recent one (excluding Masters mobile app) and even then I'm still having fun playing Let's Go, I stopped playing it months ago but I'm having a great time now, since there are various Pokemon news I got back to it and it's still fun despite the fact that I see its limitations. It's okay not to be excited for SwSh I guess because of the quantity of the content, maybe? Still, I'm an outsider so I don't care about numbers, there is plenty of great stuff here for me, new Pokemon, new transformations, new features, and that's why I'm very excited, more than other upcoming games from other series...

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I continue to get more and more excited for the release of Sword and Shield, despite loathing Gen VII and the fact that SwSh don't look like they're going to deliver on all of the most important ways. In fact, they look downright lazy in some aspects, such as when it comes to visuals. Can't really explain my unfounded optimism. I think it's just because I'm craving a new Pokémon experience. I guess I've come to accept that Pokémon has moved in a direction that's not what I would personally like to see, and am just taking it for what it is. 

And I'm still undecided on who to start with. In terms of first playthroughs, the only fire type that I've ever picked is Litten. Otherwise it's usually Water and occasionally Grass. I really don't like Scorbunny so that's definitely not on the cards. Sobble was my first choice but Grookey is growing on me a lot. I might just have to get both. Don't suppose I could trouble someone to help me transfer Grookey from one game to another on Friday? Lol

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There was a period where I wobbled, but I've made a point for a long time of only choosing Fire-type starters; I suppose you could call it a curse...  In any case, it means I'm picking up Scorbunny, for good or ill.

So far as the game is concerned, there are certain major elements about which I have far fewer qualms than other people.  While I am absolutely sure that the game will disappoint me in some respects, overall I see no reason not to expect to have a good time the way I have in every mainline game so far.  (...I didn't get Let's Go.)

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James Turner, the art director for Sword/Shield, responds to the awesomeness of the #ThankYouGameFreak on Twitter.

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Wow...#ThankYouGameFreak is trending all over the world!
It’s lovely reading all of your kind messages. And it’s lovely to hear that so many of you are looking forward to the launch of #PokémonSwordAndShield next week!! We’re all excited too! 
Sending the love back at you 💖💖

 

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19 minutes ago, Mythical Panda said:

Was #ThankYouGameFreak made specifically as a counter to the whole national dex controversy?

That, and just the general fact that Junichi Masuda has mentioned that morale at the company has been very low because of the criticism of these games. It looks like James Turner (SwSh art director) may have fanned the flames though. Anyone know what the post that he liked was? Nintendo Life purposefully omit it from the article, and I don't use Reddit.

I think that the criticism is very warranted. I'm not backing up people who have been directing inflammatory remarks towards Game Freak, but Pokémon has looked lazy and half-arsed in many regards for some time now. It's off the best selling franchises of all time, it's basically annualised, and it continues to have scummy practices (like releasing two to four virtually identical games each generation) in a world where consumers are becoming more aware. And yet despite that, SwSh have really dated graphics, cut out swathes of Pokémon and only really take tiptoe steps to progress and enhance the gameplay. It just baffles me that Pokémon is a franchise supposedly needs to cut corners. 

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41 minutes ago, Mythical Panda said:

Was #ThankYouGameFreak made specifically as a counter to the whole national dex controversy?


It's a LEAVE BRITNEY ALONE being brought up to try and bury how shitty the leaks are making the game look. I've seen very similar things happen with other popular game series with a new entry that looks like cynical crap.

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@Blue Blood The tweet the article talked about called Redditors c*nts.

I kinda feel numb to the whole Dexit thing, to be honest. It just feels like the logical conclusion to something that has build up over the past few generations, something that just had to happen at some point, and now it did. People criticize the same stuff over and over, and nothing changes, despite it often being something relatively simple (like a difficulty select). The whole Dex Thing is just the straw that broke the camel's back.

It's especially weird since, looking at the competitive side, GameFreak has made it super easy to get your favorite Pokemon to be like you want it to, especially with the new mints they introduced in this game. Each game in the series kinda improved on that. So they obviously see the feedback and react to it, which is great, but it weirdly only seems to apply to that aspect, while people who are more interested in the whole package kinda seem to get ignored? Things like taking away the EXP-Share completely just seems tonedeaf - it honestly seems to me at points that they think that the older fans are just interested in the competitive aspect and cater their main campaign to solely young audiences. 

GameFreak has brought me some of my fondest childhood memories, but I feel like the whole criticism they've gotten is pretty warranted. Not the absolutely shitty pestering of the private accounts of some of the devs, obviously, that's just sick, but most of the criticism I've seen was pretty darn warranted - often not packaged nice, but warranted. 

Let's see how Sw/Sh is gonna do. I'm more than willing to give it a shot and see if they can win me back over. Maybe they made some changes I'm super down for. I don't know. I'll see later this week.

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Regarding the experience share, yeah Game Freak is dumb and totally tone deaf.

Those who have it turned off want to train one specific Pokemon. We thought: is there a way to achieve that? There is, simply by putting the rest of your Pokémon in the PC.

That's so dense and wrong that I don't know where to start. I played through Ultra Moon recently with the Exp Share turned off at first, and later realised that the game is actually better balanced to have it turned on. But the game is actively less fun like that. I realised that I was barely using my full party. There was never a time when I felt like the game was challenging me to train up team. And I realised that because of the way that levelling up was such a passive effort, I wasn't ever using some of my Pokémon's attacks even once before they were replaced. 

If they want to put the experience share on by default, that's fine. But there should definitely be an option to turn it off.

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Those who have it turned off want to train one specific Pokemon. We thought: is there a way to achieve that? There is, simply by putting the rest of your Pokémon in the PC.

Stuff like this is starting to read like a parody except Game Freak is absolutely serious.

I actually appreciate the way Exp. Share was handled in gens 6 and 7, especially because I could tailor my experience to not have my Pokémon run through everything like a goddamned train, so it's pretty annoying they decided to remove an option because "hey, you can access your box anywhere now." A lot of the other QoL adjustments they've shown off seem fine so it baffles me they threw out an obvious solution for a much more tedious one.

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So this might be a controversial... Something else that I've noticed through Ultra Moon is that the regional Dex might just be a bit too big. I'm not defending Dexit because it's still the dumbest shit and should never be a thing. But I've noticed that there's a certain lack of obvious progression because there are just so many Pokémon.

For example, in Gen 3 you'll find Zigzagoon and Poochyena very commonly throughout the game. Eventually you'll find trainers with their evolved forms, and finally you'll find their evolved forms in the wild instead of their base forms. You definitely feel like you're making progress as the wild Pokémon become progressively more threatening. That's somewhat lost in Gen VII because the focus is put on making every route provide a new selection of Pokémon, sometimes even introducing multiple stages of evolutionary families all at once. Even trainers classes use a wider arrange of Pokémon.

Nobody wants to fight the same Pokémon repeatedly throughout the games. Zubat, Tentacool and Wingull are fucking boring; there shouldn't be any Pokémon you find basically everywhere. I remember it being a particularly big issue in Gen IV with things like Kricketune and Bidoof. But if the regional dex is actually smaller this time, maybe the issue of progression won't be so apparent? I dunno.

Dexit is the worst. Doesn't bother me very much at all, but it speaks volumes about Game Freak resting on their laurels and I agree with the furore that it's resulted in. The situation might just force Game Freak to better balance the Pokémon available if they're not focused on quantity.

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The whole Dexit thing is whatever to me. It sucks, and I agree that it sucks, but the QoL changes in the game are enough for me to be interested. 

But honestly, this whole thing feels like something that was unavoidable; Pokemon has literally gotten too big for its own good, to the point where games are constantly expected every couple of years to keep the ball rolling. Some of you might say "Oh, just delay the games" but I've been in fandoms long enough to know that people would eventually start getting impatient new content. Granted, this whole shitfest might mean they will take more time  for consideration into their games, so who knows.

But on the other hand, the morale at Game Freak is not just because of the whole shitstorm they've gotten. Some of them are probably just tired of making Pokemon games; they have had to release a game every couple of years for the past decade and probably have little to no time to work on anything else. And because of the multimedia aspect of the series, they are probably forced to meet certain deadlines to get the merch.

 

 

Basically, the whole thing sucks and nobody on either side is happy and all we're doing is throwing shit at each other. 

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3 hours ago, Blue Blood said:

That, and just the general fact that Junichi Masuda has mentioned that morale at the company has been very low because of the criticism of these games. 

Wasn't that a rumor started by a claim by someone else on a podcast instead? As far as I've seen, it's pure speculation. Unless there's an article I missed; can you point me where Masuda mentioned this specifically?

We can assume their morale is low, but we need to take other things into account like the yearly releases, their small development team, the flop of Little Town, not just BBND.

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22 minutes ago, Sapphirine Wind said:

Wasn't that a rumor started by a claim by someone else on a podcast instead? As far as I've seen, it's pure speculation. Unless there's an article I missed; can you point me where Masuda mentioned this specifically?

We can assume their morale is low, but we need to take other things into account like the yearly releases, their small development team, the flop of Little Town, not just BBND.

You're right. Looking into it, it's a rumour as far as I can tell too. But either way, the whole #ThankYouGameFreak thing is a response to the criticism and supposed low morale.

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One thing to consider regarding the morale rumors is that the entire game was basically leaked well in advance.

 

Even if the game was uncompromisingly fantastic instead of the phoned-in bare minimum that the leaks are suggesting it is (despite Game Freak's insistence that cutting so much out allowed them to focus on expanding elsewhere), that kind of thing can be devastating to the people working on the game. The rumors insist that it's just because of all of the negative response gotten since E3 (which, if true, boo hoo), but even if we assume the rumors are true we can't assume that the reason given for the rumors are. This is a long time ago, but even though the game ended up being one of the biggest of the decade, the infamous Half Life 2 hack/leak basically destroyed the morale at Valve when that happened until the game finally came out.

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I don't really buy accusations of GameFreak being lazy.  Dexit in particular has seen pretty comprehensive breakdowns which have shown GameFreak's remarks on the amount of work involved to be essentially true; could they have put in all Pokemon regardless by delaying the game, technically yes, but the problem would never go away and would only ever get worse.  So long as those players to whom it's important have tools with which they can preserve old Pokemon, it would be better for GameFreak to focus on a smaller and more select regional dex and execute that as best they can.  Indeed, I'm in agreement with the comment above that Sun/Moon's regional dex is just too big, with the new Pokemon being frankly drowned out.  It's absurd that, for instance, Alolan forms were outnumbered almost 4:1 - just by other Kanto Pokemon, not even counting those from other generations!

...However, that doesn't mean I disagree with accusations that the games have grown slimmer on content.  I don't know anything about Sword/Shield, but such accusations are on the money so far as ORAS and Sun/Moon go, and as the price for the basic editions has grown higher it's become more obvious that we're simply getting the unfinished version of a game one year and then the feature-complete version another year or two later (if ever).  But this I put down to mismanagement of the development team.  GameFreak does a lot of outsourcing but their core staff is surprisingly small, and it seems unlikely they receive a budget that corresponds particularly to the amount of money they make.  They've been releasing a game a year for quite some time now, and while they do work on multiple games simultaneously such that the dev cycle is longer than it appears, this only implies further subdivision of their limited resources!  Some of their sillier decisions (see the discussion on Experience Share above) may equally well come down to having too much on their plate to spend as much time as they should on actual focus testing, for instance.

So my take is that the games aren't lazy; they're rushed.  GameFreak needs to step back, develop fewer games at a time, probably release games only every two years at most and lean more on third-parties to make spin-offs if they insist on plugging the gap - and release games when they're done, rather than releasing them and then continuing to work on them for another year or two before releasing them again.  Past gap years didn't make people suddenly forget about the franchise, and the gaming community has become increasingly sympathetic in the HD era to the idea of games remaining in development longer if the end result is worth it.  Pokemon is the most profitable franchise in the world.  Take a risk.

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1 hour ago, FFWF said:

Dexit in particular has seen pretty comprehensive breakdowns which have shown GameFreak's remarks on the amount of work involved to be essentially true;

"Essentially true" if you ignore that these are the second set of games Game Freak has made on the Switch, and developer claims that they are being redone from scratch (as blindly parrotted by news sites) are irrelevant to whether they actually were.

Now, even sidestepping that...

 

"Essentially true" if one assumes that all of these great new animations and graphical details outlined as possible reasons to the Pokémon actually exist in this game.

"Essentially true" if someone wants to defend that Game Freak needs to keep their profits up on their low budget near-yearly 15 million+ sellers that they are now charging 30% more for than before.

"Essentially true" if someone wants to make the argument in 2019 that the only way anything can be added to a game with set release requirements is by dumping stuff piecemeal in a sequel.

"Essentially true" if you want to make the argument to defend Game Freak releasing these fucking things nearly yearly in the first place.

This isn't the first time something like this has happened in a console generation. Game Freak aren't the first developer where it looks an awful lot like they were caught lying about porting assets while claiming they were all new (though the leak hasn't thus far made that as clear as it was with, say, Forza 5; so hackers will need the actual game files to be sure). And that guy would do well to not assume that he's the only one on the internet who knows anything about game development; because while everything he says is valid, he's speculating about things possibly being too difficult that we already know Game Freak have done successfully.

 

 

 

 

Everyone I've seen has not been arguing that all Pokémon must be in every game ever. It's very true that surely there must be a breaking point for that, and most people I've seen shouting loudest about Dexit have recognized that. But Game Freak probably shouldn't have chosen their line in the sand to be this game; on a console that already has a Pokémon game with ported assets, with increasingly terrible PR defending their design decisions, and from the leaks doesn't sound like it's the redefined console Pokémon experience (that they've been using to justify their increasingly terrible PR since Let's Go was announced). Arguing that it would have had to been done eventually (as that link is also doing) is foolish when people are talking about this specific game where it doesn't seem like it did have to be done but they did it anyway and then made a bunch of bad excuses for it.

It all coalesced, and the conclusion for why (even if it wasn't from a company with a history like Game Freak's) could naturally be made that it's because they wanted to cut corners when making the game without it being found out. It would have been a better bet in Game Freak's case to just shut the fuck up and try and bury the bad reactions with time and lack of news before release, than to keep trying to head it off by conducting interviews and releasing materials that seemingly vindicate those you're trying to say are wrong about your game.

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