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Octavius

A Letter Concerning the Custom TMs in Rejuvenation

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Dear Rejuv Dev team,

As a concerned player, I write this on behalf of a player community that wants nothing more than to see your game be the best it can be.

 

So first of all, getting a half-decent tm should be the reward for beating a gym leader. Period. So when the player doesn't get anything right away after beating Narcissa (for example), that's a bit off-putting (Yes, I know you get shadow ball later, but that's not the point). 

 

Second of all, I absolutely hate how the player receives a random, sub-par custom tm after beating (certain) gym leaders, especially after the gym leader you just beat was using a different and better custom move than the one the player gets. Strictly from a game design perspective, that's something you want to avoid. Teasing a player with a custom move that they've never seen before will make them curious to know its specifics--what it does exactly. I.E., "Ooh, Gale Strike... that sounds cool! I wonder what it does???" Or, "Cold Truth! That sounds awesome! I want my (x pokemon) to know that!" Instead, the player never has that fantasy fulfilled and is instead given (in most cases) a lackluster, uninteresting, and cheap, second-hand custom move instead. Instead of "Gale Strike," the player gets "stacking shot." How can that be taken as anything but a letdown? Or the player receives no custom move at all and is left wondering about the Multi-Pulse or Venam's Kiss that never was. Either way, player expectations fall short and player satisfaction falls flat.

 

Speaking of falling short and falling flat, let's take a look at the custom tm Douse. First, if custom tms are going to be implemented into a fan game, they should bring something to the table that wasn't there before. Otherwise, they have no business being there. So, in the name of constructive criticism, I'm going to put it like this: If I had a pokemon fangame that implemented Douse in the way Rejuv implements it, I would be embarrassed. Sorry, but let's be real, here: the player finds Douse after the tm/hm Surf, and quickly discovers it is merely a weaker version of Surf. Douse is a 70 base power Special Water-type move with no additional effects. This brings nothing new or interesting to the table, the move itself is completely unusable (like most custom tms the player receives), and it should not be in the game. 

 

Look, here are 3 Water-type moves that I can come up with that are more interesting than Douse and aren't direct competition with Surf:

  • Holy Water: cures the party's status and lowers effectiveness of Ghost- and Dark-type moves for 3 turns
  • Depth Charge: 120 Power, 100 accuracy, Physical, damage occurs two turns later (like future sight)
  • Siren's Tears: 50 power, 100 accuracy, Special, changes the target's ability to Defeatist

 

In summary, either give the player the same custom move the gym leader uses (as their tm reward for beating the gym), or if not, at least step up your game  with some of the custom moves. Irritation is great, don't get me wrong, but most are awful. Apologies for the harsh criticism; it is meant to be constructive and to promote helpful conversation.

 

Thank you for your consideration,

~Octavius

 

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13 minutes ago, mario98 said:

not only this but most of the early game there are only bad bad TMs to be found

Both Reborn and Rejuv do this.  It's kind of the point.  You can only make an A.I. so challenging, so a good difficulty buffer is restricting good TM's to mid or late game.  While annoying, it is honestly a good decision.

 

 

Honestly, I don't see the issue with the first part here.  The whole point of Gym leader's custom moves seems to be to give the A.I.s  an easy STAB move to spam.  While not always overpowered, giving the player that move seems counterproductive  difficulty-wise, especially early game.   Maybe later in the game, though I imagine to fit in with the fact they are moves the gym leaders invented,  they might only be available from a move tutor.     That being said, I honestly don't really like the concept of custom moves in general.

Edited by seki108

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@seki108 I'm pretty sure that flame charge, no matter what you think should be witheld until you beat Ciel for balance reasons.  Also Ame said that she kept tm's back because it is the only type of progression that can progress in the later levels of the game.

 

Ok now onto the custom moves. I really really don't like these things. First I'm annoyed by the lack of information on this move. I don't know the base power and the side effects. This is worse when you try to use a ditto.

The second thing they do make me feel annoyed by the unfairness of it all. I don't mind difficult but fair. Rejuvenation already is a lot more moved in the direction of unfair and the custom moves don't help (on the contrary).

Finally I don't get how Jan makes very good gym moves and barely gives something interesting to the player. For instance a good tm doesn't have to broken there are a lot of good designed custom moves given to players without being broken. 

Edited by FairFamily

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Reborn and Rejuvenation are designed to be challenging. Trying to defeat the gym leaders who are armed with high powered moves with mediocre Pokemon and moves is part of that challenge. A player has to be innovate and intelligent. Dishing out decent moves to a player early on takes away a lot of the difficulty.

 

Oh I love your custom moves.

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regarding the TMs im on angie and i can count on one of my hands the good TMs up until now(frost breath, brick break, facade, surf, thats that)

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5 minutes ago, mario98 said:

regarding the TMs im on angie and i can count on one of my hands the good TMs up until now(frost breath, brick break, facade, surf, thats that)

Work Up and Hidden Power are good TMs available from the start of v9. Nature Power, Shadow Claw, Thief, Flame Charge and Irritation also all have uses and are available before Angie. You can also have Rock Climb before Angie, which is pretty potent.

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1 hour ago, Dai Laughing said:

Reborn and Rejuvenation are designed to be challenging. Trying to defeat the gym leaders who are armed with high powered moves with mediocre Pokemon and moves is part of that challenge. A player has to be innovate and intelligent. Dishing out decent moves to a player early on takes away a lot of the difficulty.

 

Oh I love your custom moves.

Sure let's be inteligent about the move that literally can't be prepared against. You don't even know what it does.

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9 minutes ago, FairFamily said:

Sure let's be inteligent about the move that literally can't be prepared against. You don't even know what it does.

100% agree, either the field effects being completely in their favor OR the cheap custom moves, both is just annoying

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1 hour ago, Dai Laughing said:

Reborn and Rejuvenation are designed to be challenging. Trying to defeat the gym leaders who are armed with high powered moves with mediocre Pokemon and moves is part of that challenge. A player has to be innovate and intelligent.

There are plenty of canon moves that work just as well, but aren't easily spamable or crippling.  I can stand the Legendaries being used later on, but the custom moves are more a cheap gimmick than anything.

 

1 hour ago, Dai Laughing said:

Dishing out decent moves to a player early on takes away a lot of the difficulty.

Like I said in my first post, I agree with this statement entirely.

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So how many of you actually know about the TM shop in HC? Overall, it didn't affect the gameplay all that much so having these moves helps weaker Pokemon out but not overshadowing the strong ones (learnset is how you base how good a Pokemon is in these kinds of games sadly). I'm pretty sure Ame was trying to figure out where to put certain TMs in the game (and not give out good TMs too early) which has backfired hard imo. Nobody really uses TMs outside the few good ones and for niche strats like Charge Beam.

 

We're not here to talk about that. We're here to talk about fake moves. It's not unheard of in RPGs that bosses have skills an abilities that the player can never use or obtain. I'm a bit more against it in Pokemon since the original design was that it was an even playing field. It's also kind of just thrown in for Rejuv especially a certain one with an asspull move (cough *Melia* cough). Not going to judge it all that much and I'm not against them being unobtainable.

 

Now for the fake moves the player gets. They're pretty meh and usually are based on regular moves with a different typing slapped on them like poison sweep. If it was a bit more creative or unique I'd be more for it but the moves are just not worth even worth considering to use. I'd honestly be okay with leaders not giving TMs out at all. A little jarring but not that bad.

 

It all grinds down to enjoyment though and if the battles are fun. The moves don't change that much since only one or two Pokemon even know them. I don't like them, but I don't think it's so bad you need to change or remove it.

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so, custom moves aside, we forget that quite a bit of Gym Leaders in the Canon give you moves that are much worse as well? To name a few: Chuck gives Focus Punch in gen4. Bugsy in gen 2 gives Fury Cutter. Falkner gives roost in gen 4 (why is this bad you ask? why to heal up 50% with a move when you can heal to 100% with an item?), WHITNEY Gives attract (Wow... I'm just hating on gen 2 right now...). Gardenia gives Grass Knot, which one rarely uses. Roark gives Rocks, which in game is about as useful as roost unless you're expecting sashes. hell, the FIRST gym leader TM was BIDE. Misty give BUBBLE BEAM!

 

In short: Gym's giving bad TM's is nothing new. It's a decent (if not annoying) way to help balance your game. Early gym leaders give Bad TM's because if you get let's say Psychic at the second gym leader it's just stupidly easy. Is it fun? no, hell to the no it's not. But would you rather have a game that just gives you good TM's and makes it easy as hell to get through or a game that doesn't do this and makes it more balanced?

 

Well, here was my little counter rant to your letter. Feel free to chew me out over what I said because "This is a fan game, so that should be something that fan should fix!", but just know that it will have about 0.00% effect. If I made you mad with how I reacted, be as mad as you wanna be, it doesn;t effect me at all.

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OK, so the tm thing that was brought up is pretty much settled. Most understand the idea from a game development standpoint as to why the player gets bad-mediocre tms (and move tutor moves, etc.) early on, and eventually gets good to great tms later. Me saying "a player should be given a half-decent tm as a reward for beating a gym leader" does not equate to me saying "the tm reward for beating the 2nd gym should be on par with a tm like psychic". I would hope everyone understands that... 

 

Anyways, the main point of this post is addressed at criticizing the way custom moves are implemented in Pokemon Rejuvenation.

In this game custom moves are either:

1. Used exclusively by bosses (dimensional thrash on rift gyarados, for example) or gym leaders (venam's kiss, gale strike, etc.)

2. Given as a tm to the player as their reward for beating a gym leader

 

Here is my problem with the way these custom moves are implemented:

The gym leader and boss custom moves (venam's kiss, gale strike, etc.) are exclusive to that one fight (largely) and are not part of the pokemon 'universe' in any other way. If implementing custom moves into a game, it is my opinion that they should be integrated fully, be it as tms, move tutor moves, or even as level up and egg moves (if that's possible; I'm no coder). But as a result of this exclusivity, the gym leader custom moves actually make the gym leader battles less interesting. Instead of highlighting each pokemon's individual qualities, movepools, strengths and weaknesses, the custom moves can actually make each gym feel like 6 pokemon that spam tidal wave and don't contribute anything much unique. Again, this is not universally true, but it is in some cases.

 

Furthermore, the player doesn't even know what these custom moves do prior to seeing them. This creates an expected outcome where the player wants to know what this new move they've just seen does. For example, after I saw Venam's Kiss for the first time, my reaction was, "Oooh, I've never seen that move before. I wonder what it does!" But never finding out left me disappointed, which is poor game design because it fails to satisfy a player's expected outcome. I was further disappointed by being given Poison Sweep as my reward tm instead, which sounds less cool and interesting than Venam's Kiss (even if Sweep is actually a better move). Whether Poison Sweep is a better move than Venam's Kiss is irrelevant, however, because the player has no way of knowing how strong Venam's Kiss was in the first place. Therein lies the problem.

 

To fix this, either give out the leader-specific moves (Venam's Kiss, Gale Strike, etc.) as the tm reward OR tell the player ahead of time what each gym leader's signature custom move does. Either way, this eliminates the problem of the player being disappointed by never figuring out what any of the gym leader custom moves do. Furthermore, if each gym leader is going to continue using a custom move on nearly all of their Pokemon (and if they are going to be given to a player as a reward), they should be more interesting than basic Vanilla STABs. Crawli's gym does a fine job of this, but most do not. On the other hand, if the current system of giving a completely new and unique custom move to a player as a reward for beating a gym leader is going to continue (as in Poison Sweep, Stacking Shot, etc.), then devs need to step their game up because those moves are largely uninteresting. Douse is the worst offender in this regard. 

 

And once again, not saying the tm rewards from gyms have to be game-breakingly powerful. That would obviously be poor game design. But giving a player Douse after you've already given them Surf is also bad game design. 

 

Lastly, @Wolfox

21 minutes ago, Wolfox said:

Well, here was my little counter rant to your letter. Feel free to chew me out over what I said because "This is a fan game, so that should be something that fan should fix!", but just know that it will have about 0.00% effect. If I made you mad with how I reacted, be as mad as you wanna be, it doesn;t effect me at all.

No one is chewing anyone out. I am offering constructive criticism in the hopes of making Rejuv as good a game as possible. If you are offended, I apologize, but hopefully we can both learn something from this discussion. Take care.

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Just some things I wanted to note:

- The gym leader moves will be available at some point in the game, most likely post game.

- Poison Sweep and Stacking Shot were made as weaker TMs that could be given out early game, since other TMs of the same type could have been too good for that point. There was no real plan for gym leaders to give out "cool custom moves!"

- Why has no one mentioned Slash N Burn that's a cool move :(

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Sometimes, we complain about the bad TMs in the early game and the difficulty of the Gyms. I do sometimes complain about the difficulty of the game, but I think it's okay to consider the game to be hard. When I was in Narcissa's Gym, I've had many difficulties to beat that Gym. I've beaten it only in Normal Mode, because it was impossible for my team to defeat that Gym in the Intense Mode. And now, I do regret it, because the Gym was way easier, but still, I suffered a bit, but I survived with two Pokemon. Also, the team I was using was pretty bad, Torracat (I don't want to evolve it into a ugly monster), Talonflame (no move stronger than 50 BP), Banette (Shadow Sneak was the best option), Lunatone (I've got nothing better), Oricorio (one of the strongest ones in my team) and Stoutland (the second best Pokemon in my party at the moment, but in that Gym, it was completely useless). All of them had no good EVs, IVs and Nature. Then, I swapped to the Intense Mode again and things work more competitively. Sometimes, I suffer to beat a trainer, but I told my reasons. If I had perfect Pokemon, I would beat them easily.

 

About the moves, I think you should start with the bad ones to reach the good ones. You might know that the same work if you start doing something, you start with the worst and then getting the best. You start being poor and then, after a hard work, you become rich. It's a mere example. The Rejuvenation Dev Team won't change their opinions, just to make it to the likes of few players, not being offensive. If you think it's too hard for you to handle, try breeding Pokemon, EV training, or maybe put it in the Easy or Normal Mode.

 

I'm sorry if you've got offended by this. I don't want to offend anyone, but this is my opinion about this.

I hope you understand.

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Stacking shot on a speed boost Blaziken = Easy Mode

 

Also Poison sweep isn't bad by any means. You just have to know how to make use of what's available to you.

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There's really only one custom move I've had an issue with and that's Narcissa's Custom Move. Seemingly 90% chance to raise defense. Combined with a field that blocks one of the two only weaknesses the type has while the only "good" attacker of that type you can have is a Mismagius if you wait long enough for it to learn a good ghost type move... (been stuck on her for YEARS, tried pretty much everything. Actually surprised her fields hasn;t been nerfed yet.)

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I do agree that douse sounds stupid particularly if you already have access to surf. That being said I do agree that good tms shouldn't be available in the beginning. That is part of the difficulty which is to work with what your mon naturally learns rather then just slap a bunch of tm moves on it. That being said, as you get farther in the game, the tm quality should gradually improve.  Now I'm not saying to throw tms like earthquake or ice beam at us, but perhaps some like dragon tail, focus blast, grass knot and scald? The first one has low base power, but is excellent for phasing out enemy pokemon. Focus Blast is a solid move, but it comes with a significant accuracy problem which can make it unreliable. Grass knot is a more situional move, but can be amazing for the right pokemon to remove what would normally be a counter. Lastly scaled has lower base power then surf, but a potent 30% burn chance that can make it strategic pick over surf.

 

@Wolfox  While I agree with the sentiment, I would like to disagree in regards to two of the moves you mentioned. 1. Roost. You are forgetting a very important detail about that move which is that it allows flying types to drop the typing for the turn. While yes feel free to use the max potion just to get blasted down with ice beam/stone edge/thunderbolt again while with roost those attacks are no longer SE. Besides sometimes you don't need more then 50% anyway and 10 roost are a lot cheaper on the budget then 10 hyper potions. 2. Grass knot, this move has actually been popular on competitive move sets as a check for bulky water/rock/ground types. A lot of the really defensive water types tend to be pretty heavy and we all know rock/ground types tend to be on the heavy side as well. Now you don't teach this move to grass type pokemon, you teach it to stuff like infernape as a coverage move for stuff like swampert.

 

@Alex As for the custom gym leader moves. Perhaps in the interest of saving coding time, a guide could be written explaining what each move does would be in order? That way if people want to know what they are facing they can look it up and for those who don't want to know, they can simply not read it.

 

 

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19 hours ago, Octavius said:

Dear Rejuv Dev team,

As a concerned player, I write this on behalf of a player community that wants nothing more than to see your game be the best it can be.

 

So first of all, getting a half-decent tm should be the reward for beating a gym leader. Period. So when the player doesn't get anything right away after beating Narcissa (for example), that's a bit off-putting (Yes, I know you get shadow ball later, but that's not the point). 

 

Second of all, I absolutely hate how the player receives a random, sub-par custom tm after beating (certain) gym leaders, especially after the gym leader you just beat was using a different and better custom move than the one the player gets. Strictly from a game design perspective, that's something you want to avoid. Teasing a player with a custom move that they've never seen before will make them curious to know its specifics--what it does exactly. I.E., "Ooh, Gale Strike... that sounds cool! I wonder what it does???" Or, "Cold Truth! That sounds awesome! I want my (x pokemon) to know that!" Instead, the player never has that fantasy fulfilled and is instead given (in most cases) a lackluster, uninteresting, and cheap, second-hand custom move instead. Instead of "Gale Strike," the player gets "stacking shot." How can that be taken as anything but a letdown? Or the player receives no custom move at all and is left wondering about the Multi-Pulse or Venam's Kiss that never was. Either way, player expectations fall short and player satisfaction falls flat.

 

Speaking of falling short and falling flat, let's take a look at the custom tm Douse. First, if custom tms are going to be implemented into a fan game, they should bring something to the table that wasn't there before. Otherwise, they have no business being there. So, in the name of constructive criticism, I'm going to put it like this: If I had a pokemon fangame that implemented Douse in the way Rejuv implements it, I would be embarrassed. Sorry, but let's be real, here: the player finds Douse after the tm/hm Surf, and quickly discovers it is merely a weaker version of Surf. Douse is a 70 base power Special Water-type move with no additional effects. This brings nothing new or interesting to the table, the move itself is completely unusable (like most custom tms the player receives), and it should not be in the game. 

 

Look, here are 3 Water-type moves that I can come up with that are more interesting than Douse and aren't direct competition with Surf:

  • Holy Water: cures the party's status and lowers effectiveness of Ghost- and Dark-type moves for 3 turns
  • Depth Charge: 120 Power, 100 accuracy, Physical, damage occurs two turns later (like future sight)
  • Siren's Tears: 50 power, 100 accuracy, Special, changes the target's ability to Defeatist

 

In summary, either give the player the same custom move the gym leader uses (as their tm reward for beating the gym), or if not, at least step up your game  with some of the custom moves. Irritation is great, don't get me wrong, but most are awful. Apologies for the harsh criticism; it is meant to be constructive and to promote helpful conversation.

 

Thank you for your consideration,

~Octavius

 

Amen.  By the time I found Douse on that island, most of my Water types got better moves just from leveling up.  For Pete's sake, NPC-only moves are as unfair as NPC-only species; as long as a move isn't exclusive to some legendary, all of a player's eligible Pokémon (in terms of species and level) should be able to learn that move.  (On a related note:  Will a future version ever include all the "standard" Gen 7 TM's?  I miss being able to teach Smart Strike and Steel Wing without hacking my team.)

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8 minutes ago, ISNorden said:

Amen.  By the time I found Douse on that island, most of my Water types got better moves just from leveling up.  For Pete's sake, NPC-only moves are as unfair as NPC-only species; as long as a move isn't exclusive to some legendary, all of a player's eligible Pokémon (in terms of species and level) should be able to learn that move.  (On a related note:  Will a future version ever include all the "standard" Gen 7 TM's?  I miss being able to teach Smart Strike and Steel Wing without hacking my team.)

The TM list has been updated for the next version.

Goodbye Telekinesis, we will always miss you :c

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muh difficulty

I do hate how worthless the custom TM moves the gym leaders give you are, but I liek chalking it up to the gym leaders being even more unlikeable than they could possibly seem.

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Honestly, I can't agree more. The TMs you get are disappointing, some are outright useless douse or at best niche stacking shot, and generally aren't interesting. And as for the balance issue with giving out the Leaders' actual moves: what? What's stopping them from being balanced, exactly? The field effect system even helps with this - if a move isn't powerful enough at base for a Leader to effectively use it but you can't improve it without giving too powerful a move to the player, the field can boost it. Example: say Venam's Kiss was 40 BP/100 Acc (this is theoretical ofc). That's a tad weak IMO when she could easily be spamming Venoshock or even just Sludge, but it's also the only Special Poison-Type TM besides Sludge Bomb and Venoshock (way too strong for when you fight Venam) so it's a bit slanted in the player's favor if it's any stronger, so you could have the field give it a 100% Badly Poisoned effect. I feel this is just a case of wasted potential and disappointment.

Edited by Seel The Deal
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Lot of great comments in here, which is great.

I've said all I've wanted to say in my previous posts already, so with this I simply offer my personal recommendations based on what @Alex seems to be saying from the dev perspective.

 

1. If the gym leader specific custom moves are not going to be awarded to a player until end game, you need to take the advice of @Katia. These means, either include a guide in-game (like on the screens that tell you about the gym leaders right before you fight them) or outside the game (like a field effect manual) that tells players the specs of the gym leader's (and boss fight's) specific custom moves. These include Venam's Kiss, Gale Strike, Dimensional Thrash, etc. Because as a player, when I came across these moves and never got to find out what they actually did, that was actually a huge disappointment for me.

 

2. Make the custom moves used by gym leaders more interesting and varied, or at least don't give the custom move to all 6 of the gym leader's Pokémon. Simply loading up an entire team with Tidal Wave users actually makes the fight less interesting because it takes away from the individual qualities and movepools of each individual Pokémon. Like @Seel The Deal said, you can make even make custom moves interact with that gym leader's field effect in some way. Great advice. Or even take these simple suggestions: give Venam's Kiss a chance to infatuate (40% opposite gender, 20% same gender), or have Cold Truth, instead of having a high freeze chance (fun), be negative priority but also disable your opponent's last-used move. 

 

3. Similarly, make the custom tm rewards have more interesting effects and sound more interesting. As a player, it is a major letdown when a gym leader uses a cool-sounding custom move like "Gale Strike" or "Tidal Wave," but gives the player a lame-sounding TM like "stacking shot" or "douse." Again, in the name of constructive criticism, Rejuv can do better with its custom moves. And while I've already offered some more interesting Water type custom moves because Douse needs to go, here are a few more to show that yes, it is indeed possible to make custom moves that aren't just spammable vanilla STABs:

  • Mirror Shield: ice - protect move, but does not protect against status moves. Instead, if foe uses a non-contact move, this move returns 12% of their max HP as damage
  • Seismic Slash: ground - 60 power, physical, has priority if opponent is above 50% Max HP
  • E.M.P. (electromagnetic pulse): electric - 70 power, special, deals double damage if opponent has no held item
  • Soul Sucker: ghost - 80 power, physical, restores 75% of damage inflicted as health to the attacker if it knocks out a Pokémon
  • Elder Spear: dragon - 60 power, physical, changes target to dragon-type
  • Mass Production: steel - gives leftovers to all Pokémon in your party without items

I could go on. Point is, realistic moves like these can be made and implemented. They can be used by gym leaders to make their gym fights more interesting, not less. Moves like these can be given as cool-sounding (and hopefully not as disappointing) custom TMs. And if you think these moves are too powerful for the first or second gym, then simply adjust the base power or accuracy (or make it so only a handful of Pokémon can learn the tm, like with Frost Breath) so that they are sufficiently balanced.

Edited by Octavius
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@Octavius:  If I were designing a "Holy Water" TM, I'd think in these terms:

 

  • Make the base accuracy/damage/PP stats similar to Water Pulse (which has been a mid-game TM in Gen 4).
  • Give it super-effective damage vs. Ghost and Dark types, but no side effects (to balance it against Water Pulse); I see this as a type-specific weapon akin to Freeze Dry.
  • Improve its power in blessed terrain; lessen its power in haunted/corrupted terrain.

I do wonder which species should be able to learn this TM though; the official Pokédex has no Water types based on priests or angels.  Only a few legendaries come to mind as aquatic "good guys":  Suicune, Manaphy, Keldeo.  But adding Holy Water as a TM move wouldn't help players much unless some ordinary Pokémon could learn it too.

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