So what are the mechanics of Pokemon? For its combat alone...
- Turn based combat
- The priority of moves can affect who attacks first
- The Speed of the Pokemon can affect who attacks first
- Abilities can affect the battle depending on the specific ability
- The Status condition of the Pokemon can affect who attacks first
- Each Pokemon move is assigned a type, this type can either be strong against or weak against the defending Pokemon
- Moves have a chance of negative repocussions depending on the strength of the move (low hit rate, inflicting confusion, skip next turn ect)
- Each pokemon has an experience bar that can be filled to earn a new level, granting stronger stats
- The amount of experience can be affected by items (Lucky egg boosts, EXP Share (prior to gen VI) would split the XP by a varying degree)
- The higher the level and the stronger the Pokemon's species Base stats are, the more experience required to level up
Lets look at an example from Zeta, the Delta Temple Look here for official information. Based on what we know.
- It is a late game dungeon, meant for Level Grinding before the final boss
- If the player is going into it, chances are they have several, if not their entire team needing to be leveled up to the games new cap of Level 120 (which the final boss has a full team of Max Level Pokemon)
- The Dungeon is split into types (Grass, Fire, Water, Psychic, and Steel) allowing for great level grinding potential for Flying, Poison, Bug, Ice, Fire, Ground, Rock, Water, Grass, Electric, Ghost, Dark, and Fighting
- Thanks to the Wiki, we know Odin has a Jolteon, Divaevus, Shaymin, Salamence, Escavalier and Mega Gengar at level 120 each
Their strongest weaknesses are
Jolteon: Weak to Ground
Divaevus: Weak to Fighting
Shaymin: Weak to Fire
Salamence: Weak to Ice
Escavalier: Weak to Fire
Mega Gengar: Weak to Dark
- Because almost all the trainers are mandatory to complete the dungeon, the player is going to have a large stockpile of money and as the expansion, items going into not only the Odin battle, but the Aroma Region
- To conserve as much money as possible, players are going to use the nearby Pokemon Center to heal their pokemon, which it a tedious process to complete
- As a designer, you DON'T want your player to look up guides unless they have to, its better to keep a surprise, as such you can't expect them to know what's ahead, which leads to
- If the player has raised the wrong Pokemon, you're forcing them into a wall with these three trainer battles, meaning that they may need to raise a brand new team, which at that point in the game isn't a practical solution. You're building it up as the end of the game and if the player has to stop and Level Grind even more, they may go "I'm not playing this anymore" and stop completely.
- The percentage of Hyper Mode: In Zeta, the percentage of status conditions are drastically different (from personal experience) then the main games. Confusion, to me, felt like it was a 90% chance of hitting myself, Paralyzed triggered more often, Sleep was longer ect. If my theory is correct, Hyper Mode in the code is also affected by those changes. There were several times where I had just gotten them out of Hyper Mode, only for them to return to it that same turn.
- The requirements for Purification: There are a lot of trainers to battle before you can purify a Shadow Pokemon and with the nature of Shadow Pokemon in Zeta, it seems to be an impossible challenge to complete the Aroma Region with only Shadow Pokemon because again, they can't level up and the region feels like it was made with level grinding in mind so if you can't level grind, you're once again forcing the player into a brick wall
With that, look into other games, see how the Mechanics have been integrated into the world. Next time, difficulty and how to adjust for skill.