Balancing gen 1 races

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Mountebank
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Balancing gen 1 races

Post by Mountebank » Fri May 16, 2014 3:53 am

Just wanted to make a post of problems I noticed in gen 1 races and possible solutions which I think could improve them. Would be interested in hearing people's thoughts.

- Problem: One pokemon is significantly better than everything else. If there is an alakazam with psychic in the wild for example, the only viable strategy is to catch and use it. This tends to lead to stale races where everyone catches the same pokemon and because the pokemon is so strong, there are few opportunities to make up time.
- Solution: Prevent overpowered pokemon from becoming starters and from appearing in early encounter areas. I prefer this solution as opposed to something like giving giving them slow exp curve, reducing number of starting moves, or nerfing stats because it does not change game mechanics and require memorization of which pokemon have which characteristics. What overpowered and early mean is up for debate, though one possible starting point is to define early as up to and including Mt. Moon and to define overpowered as any pokemon on the following list:
Mewtwo, Alakazam, Kadabra, Abra, Gengar, Haunter, Zapdos, Moltres, Articuno, Mew, Jolteon, Vaporeon.

- Problem: Cut walls. It is not uncommon for people to have 4 or more pokemon in their party and be cut walled, and the probability is way too high. On the one hand, the existence of cut should reward people who catch more pokemon, but too often close races are ruined because someone is unlucky and the pokemon that they caught do not learn cut. Cut walls are also the worst HM wall by far because you cannot progress until it is learned, whereas with fly, surf, or strength you have a lot more time to find something that learns it.
- Solution: Increase compatibility rate, something like 70% is probably good enough. At 50% compatibility, with 4 pokemon, the chance of not learning cut was 1/16. With ~8 people per race, in expectation the number of people cutwalled per race is approximately 8/16 = 0.5, and this number is way too high. At 70%, the chance of cut wall drops to about 1/128, which drops the expected number of people cutwalled per race to about 0.065, which means that in at least 14 out 15 races there will be no cut wall for anyone with 4 pokemon, and this significantly better.

- Problem: OHKO moves. Seriously, why have these been unbanned. More often than not, it creates unnecessary variance when the enemy pokemon has them (Brock is one of the worst offenders) and can cause random deaths out of nowhere due to paralysis or fast encounters.
- Solution: ban pls

- Problem: Freeze status. Getting frozen in the early game almost always means a slow death and the loss of several minutes while everyone else gets through the fight with no problems.
- Solution: No idea. This one is hard to fix easily :(

- Problem: Moon stone pre-evolutions. The randomized items setting has made many pokemon terrible because there is no longer any guarantee that a moon stone will even exist in the rom.
- Solution: No idea. It is difficult to fix this in a way which will not screw people over who do not know about the fix. Maybe have Oak give a moon stone as part of the pokedex event?

That's all I have for now. If there is enough interest, I could implement some of these fixes and we could hold experimental races to test them.

luckytyphlosion
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Re: Balancing gen 1 races

Post by luckytyphlosion » Fri May 16, 2014 11:24 am

If Vaporeon and Jolteon have Slow Exp. Group, then Eevee does too, which means Flareon need Slow Exp. Group for compatibility. So now Flareon and Eevee are now harder to use, just because Vaporeon and Jolteon are too OP and need to be given Slow Exp. Group.
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Cooltrainermichael
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Re: Balancing gen 1 races

Post by Cooltrainermichael » Fri May 16, 2014 1:41 pm

Mountebank wrote: - Solution: Prevent overpowered pokemon from becoming starters and from appearing in early encounter areas. I prefer this solution as opposed to something like giving giving them slow exp curve, reducing number of starting moves, or nerfing stats because it does not change game mechanics and require memorization of which pokemon have which characteristics.
I am slightly confused by your post Lucky, Mounte suggested without using slow exp curve, were you just trying to reinforce his point?
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Mountebank
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Re: Balancing gen 1 races

Post by Mountebank » Fri May 16, 2014 9:44 pm

Just another random thought I had:

- Problem: Some pokemon evolve way too late. Stuff like dragonair, larvitar, bagon don't achieve their final evolutions until the 50s, and their stats are nowhere near good enough in the lategame.
- Solution: Perhaps make any pokemon that would evolve later than level 37 evolves at level 37. I don't like how this change can fool people into thinking that dragonair is useless if they don't know about the change, but these pokemon are already punished enough in the early game and I don't think having them evolve earlier would make them overpowered.

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Sinstar
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Re: Balancing gen 1 races

Post by Sinstar » Fri May 16, 2014 9:53 pm

problem 1: agree with solution

problem 2: agree with solution

Problem 3: ohko moves definitely don't add anything

problem 4: very rare, a solution would probably be welcomed however.

Problem 5: the oak thing seems interesting.

problem 6: mounte has a very good point, dragonair gets punished enough by being bad and doesn't need a level 55 evolution, same with shelgon, metang etc. This could definitely add more interest to races.
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Dabomstew
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Re: Balancing gen 1 races

Post by Dabomstew » Fri May 16, 2014 10:10 pm

Hmm, this is difficult. I agree with most of these issues but getting fixes for them into the mainline randomizer will be difficult because some would be hard to justify as features (though some I have thought about as features already like the Cut thing)

luckytyphlosion
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Re: Balancing gen 1 races

Post by luckytyphlosion » Sat May 17, 2014 12:06 am

Cooltrainermichael wrote:
Mountebank wrote: - Solution: Prevent overpowered pokemon from becoming starters and from appearing in early encounter areas. I prefer this solution as opposed to something like giving giving them slow exp curve, reducing number of starting moves, or nerfing stats because it does not change game mechanics and require memorization of which pokemon have which characteristics.
I am slightly confused by your post Lucky, Mounte suggested without using slow exp curve, were you just trying to reinforce his point?
No, I am trying to say you can't apply Slow curve to only Vaporeon and Jolteon without applying Slow curve to Eevee and Flareon, which aren't as broken.
However I totally agree applying slow curve to Alakazam, Gengar and Mew Kappa.

Another thing is, maybe you could replace the PC Potion with a Moon Stone/Add a Moon Stone to the PC because Prof. Oak giving you a Moon Stone would require adding an event (judging my non-asm gameboy skills Kappa).
Jack-Flys are OpieOP.

"GO ASK SANQUI" - luckytyphlosion whenever someone asks about how something in Pokémon Red/Blue works. (this means you exarion Kappa)

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