With Diablo 3 being released last week I highly doubt that there will be no new Mist of Pandaria news for a few weeks. (watch that come around and bite me in the ass come latter in the week) I decided that I am going to bring back an idea that I had during spring break, a week of blog posts with a continuing topic
Last time was focused on what Blizzard can learn from the Doctor Who show, and this week is going to be what Blizzard can learn from the Pokemon franchise.
Today’s topic is what Blizzard can learn from Pokemon about the level of complexity that players can and will find in their turn based strategy games.
With Pokemon, in the old 8-bit Red and Blue games when two players battled there was not that much complexities to the fight. The strategy was to use moves that was weak to the enemy Pokemon or at least use same types moves as your Pokemon to get the Same Type Attack Bonus. That was it Pokemon Red and Blue had no meta/high-end number crunching math for the PvP.
As new installments of the games came out the game designers added more layers of gameplay to each one. Silver/Gold had the ability for Pokemon to hold items plus they added a daycare where Pokemon could make eggs, meaning that you could have more than one rare Pokemon and breed Pokemon with moves that would would not be able to learn on their own.
In the next game (Ruby and Sapphire) the game added Pokemon passive abilities and Pokemon natures, when the personalities of Pokemon influence what Stats gets increased more with each level up.
Now this brought Pokemon battles to it’s deepest in terms of complexities there are now websites that have crunched out what combination of move sets, abilities, natures and items for each Pokemon to have them be the most optional. (See http://www.smogon.com/) People will spend hours of gameplay just to get the right Pokemon combination to have built just one Pokemon for their competitive Pokemon team.
All this math and hard work for a children’s video game
The point of that I’m trying to get across is that Blizzard should be wary about the PetBattle system, because there will be people who dedicate their gameplay time to find the optimal combination to get the Pet team that is just slightly better than the average player
While blizzard has encountered Min-Maxers in PvE and PvP, they are going to have to remember that now they are going to give some extra work time to balance the pet battle games. With a poor implementation of Pet Battle System we might see an end game where players are forced to pick one out of a handful of ‘the best’ cookie cutter team builds in order to stand a chance next to players who have already chosen other cookie cutter builds, which is what Blizzard is trying to move away from in these past two expansions.
Be MOP focuses on the lead up to the next World of Warcraft expansion with my own reflections about the last dying moments of the Catalysm’s Twilight Hour as we look into the Mist of the new day. Updates Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays