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Zane0144

Opinions on the Gauntlet (E18 Spoilers)

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Spoiler

 

So, I was just thinking about the monstrous 3 part battle from this episode. It is by far the most difficult challenge the game offers. It is the ultimate wall to overcome thus far. However, I can never help but feel that it isn't satisfying as it should be.

 

Let me compare it to a gauntlet that I feel is near perfect. The Fiore Mansion Raid. In this gauntlet you are in an all out fort defense against Team Meteor. You are in a double battle teaming up with gym leaders to take on the following

 

1. Meteor Grunts - A warmup battle for variety and to "wear you down". Granted you are healed after the battle, but from a story perspective it make sense.

2. Fern and Blake (the trolls) - Two characters who share a chemistry of being the guys you love to hate. They are well established as formidable foes. Fern, being the one rival who has managed to keep on par with you, and Blake, who you battled not too long ago. This battle is satisfying. You get to take these two down and puts them in their place.

3. Solaris and John - The long awaited rematch with Team Meteor's leader and his dreaded Garchomp. This ending is bitter sweet and makes you itch for the one-on-one battle that finally takes place in this episode. It seems like John is just there to attempt to even the playing field since you have a team mate as well. But he is just there to deny your long-awaited 1v1 against team Meteor's "Leader?" and Solaris later states that it held him back. This battle leaves you wanting more and pushes you to want to keep playing.

 

 

Now let's list off the gauntlet participants in this episode.

 

1. Shelly and Cain - Both of these characters have had prominent roles in the game and have proven to able to pull their weight just fine. They both recognize you as a superior battler and their team is really the only way they could be a challenge to you at this point. 6 on 12 proves to be challenging but not impossible. This I feel is the one match in the guantlet that works.

2. Mystery battle 1 (Luna) - We haven't seen her since in the Valley but she's back and has diversified her team. She serves the purpose of softening you up for the next battle.

3. Mystery battle 2 (Radomus and Serra) - Two more characters we haven't seen in a while. But they team up to provide one last push to take you down. Both are likeable characters and Radomus definitely needed more screen-time to close up his story arc. Yet a battle against him and Serra just feels so out of place.

 

Right off the bat we can see that this battle seems to be stacked against you. You need to take down 30 pokemon in a row. Each one with similar levels to your own team. However, many of these characters have been absent for a while and have been reintroduced to the story so suddenly. Especially Serra, who as far as we know has just been in her gym until now. Now I love myself a challenge. But there is a lack of emotional impact here when compared to the Fiore mansion raid. Much of the difficulty in this battle feels undeserved. When did Radomus and Serra get so strong? Granted we have had 2 v 1 battles before like with you and Cain vs Sigmund or Sirius. In these scenarios I always imagine that their team's levels are artificially lowered to simulate their disadvantage of being in a 2 v 1 battle. So I could see Radomus and Serra getting a decent power boost on their end since it is 1 v 2 versus you now. But then why in Luna so strong? These people don't seem like they should be as much of a challenge as Cain and Shelly who have been on the front lines alongside you. So when you get wrecked by them over and over it is frustrating.

 

However, imagine if this battle went a different way. Imagine if everyone's pokemon were maybe 5-8 levels lower. In this scenario the fights would still be slightly challenging. But the odds would be in your favor. Does this ruin the difficulty. Absolutely. No question. But it serves a different purpose. This would change from just another difficult battle into a show of growth. You are sitting here and showing just why you are one of the top players in this region. You feel like a wrecking ball going through all these gym leaders like they're nothing. Remember when Amaria had that one awesome moment where she took on like 15 grunts at once? Well, this wouldn't be quite like that but man it would be so satisfying.

 

This would also help with another issue that I feel plagues this episode. It would shift the attention from the gauntlet as the ultimate challenge and bring focus back to Solaris and Hardy. To opponents who have been hyped up for a long long time and are unfortunately overshadowed by the gauntlet. Because honestly, battling Solaris after that gauntlet was like a breath of fresh air. All of his hype and intimidation are nearly gone because you are just glad you don't have to fight 30 pokemon in a row again. Making the gauntlet easier would help keep up the hype that he deserves as team meteor's "leader?".

 

 

So, okay I'm glad I finally got that out of my system. Thanks to anyone who took the time to read this! I can't wait for the final episode and I will be on the edge of my seat until it is out. This is one of my favorite games ever and I just want the Devs to know the only reason I would make a rant like this is because I am a huge fan of all their hard work. I can only write rants like this because you all give me so much to dig into and think about!

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Let's break this down a little bit differently from a mechanics standpoint:

 

Spoiler

The Player Level

 

Something that I think gets overlooked is what the average Player's level is going to be. Nobody is going to go out of their way to grind if they don't have to and...we had a little bit of an Exp drought recently which what is supposed to be 75-78 is more like 70-72 which is about the same levels they have if not lower. That is an important little detail later. Another thing to make note of is that we had one really long segment of only single battles. We also have had cues that a very strong boss Pokemon most likely a pulse was being advertised so teams would be prepped to handle a single strong Pokemon and possibly one other battle. There is a very scarce amount of exp outside of painful grinding in the desert. Grinding is a last resort due to how tedious it is with the only good method is Audino grinding due to how hard to get to the Glass Factory is (and it's easy to get lost). Now let's dive into the actual battles:

 

Cain and Shelly: This is the easiest fight but is regarded as one of the hardest in the game due to one single reason. A Sticky Web Sash lead. Shelly is almost guaranteed to set this off unless you have a team built to take it down fast. If that happens, you're about to be dogpiled with damage as more likely than not you're our going to go after all the Pokemon on the field. They might not hit too terribly hard, but it's enough to 2-3 Hit KO your Pokemon. Just drop the sticky web and the problem solves itself since it's not easy sponging 12 Pokemon while try to go for KOs. It's still not a cakewalk fight but that's one less fight you need to prepare for as much.

 

Luna: Honestly, she's just right...during the beta. What happened during the beta was that you healed inbetween and it worked as the fight was kind of hard, but not really as the only things to worry about were nukers ready to KO your Pokemon. Apparently it had to change because the heal inbetween "didn't make sense." I prefer the full heal but of course a small minority won and now we have one of the most confusing heal mechanics in the game. I...don't really understand why fainted Pokemon stay fainted and all the rest get fully healed which makes less sense to me. And it's not going to click for someone playing the game for the first time. It's just going to leave a bit of confusion and possibly a restart purely due to an unexplained mechanic they had to worry about when they didn't even know there was a third wave. I think a majority of people are more worried about a third fight then logic at that point because NOTHING in the game was thrown at us before like that or even close.

 

Serra and Radomus: This fight is actually exploitable but only if you have the right Pokemon on you. Unlike Cain and Shelly, you don't have to worry so much on taking a Pokemon down turn one, but you do want to keep Either Clefable or A. Ninetales on the field. If you have a Metagross or good fire type, you can probably go to town on Serra and take her down. They don't make so much use of the field as Cain and Shelly did which you can use to your advantage and chip away Serra. The problem is if you don't have a good lead. You are locked into the same lead for all three fights. I can't really say much as all I did was have Metagross spam attacks while having my other Pokemon spam heal items. We do have heal items and this fight is probably the best time to really abuse them...especially X items. That's kind of why I won it on the first try...even being completely unprepared.

 

If you knew what was coming, this fight would have been significantly easier which is something that can't really be tested unless you just casually design a team for a fight and not the strongest. There's plenty of simple things that can be done to tone down the fight so it doesn't feel as brutal. First one is to cut EVs in half. Instead of 252 in stats, give them 128. It won't really do much other than let more Pokemon survive more turns which is really needed and more Pokemon will still outspeed theirs and still do damage. No healing items is another thing that can be done to nerf them a bit but that's a debate on whether or not it'd make them stronger or weaker. The bigger point is that there's really nothing gained or lost with how difficult or easy they are story wise. All it really does it add a layer of frustration for the unprepared which is most people because you never see this in a Pokemon game.

 

I'm not going to jump the gun and say that the fight has to be nerfed as we still have the finale to go through which if it's a joke thanks to that, then we should absolutely push to nerf that fight more. Solaris and Hardy are both great and well done fights...nobody talks about them though or are pumped to talk about that climatic finish. Nerfing the gauntlet though would have backlash. Been here long enough to know any nerf is going to have a huge crowd cry out on why the game is so easy now. It's a war no matter what you do, but I do think Ame kind of got the message and it'll likely be toned down again for the finale. She did nerf it twice already. Due to that, I probably should retest it one of these days to see where it can be toned down other than dropping their levels even more. The fight should at least preserve some difficulty at the very least.

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1 hour ago, Zane0144 said:

Especially Serra, who as far as we know has just been in her gym until now.

If you've been paying attention to the tv then you'd see Serra setting out to track down Bennett after finding out he's joined Team Meteor.

 

1 hour ago, Zane0144 said:

However, imagine if this battle went a different way. Imagine if everyone's pokemon were maybe 5-8 levels lower.

Err...they are. Your level cap is 90. Their Pokemon are between 80 and 85.

 

As for my general views, eh. The Gauntlet is hard, but nothing awful. As with all challenging moments in the game its about picking your tools, determining the most efficient strategy, and then knowing the mechanics, your team, and being able to work out what your opponent's are up to. Radomus and Serra are a joke if Ninetails doesn't get Aurora Veil up. Luna is a pushover regardless of what she does. And since she has her tanky Umbreon that can't really do anything the player really has no excuse for going into the last battle without a team at full strength after the first time you go through the section. I see no reason to make it easier.

Edited by wcv
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Frankly it's gotten ludicrously nerfed since I played in Alpha and even then I thought it was manageable and a lot easier than some fights earlier in the game. Frankly Shelly/Cain are the HARDEST of the 3. Luna is a joke. Serra and Radomus are MASSIVE jokes. Meanwhile Shelly's Webs alongside their hard hitting Pokemon can leave a massive dent in even the strongest of teams usually. Meanwhile most of Luna's team while good is rather frail and Radomus/Serra have like 0 IVs on most of their Pokemon which alongside the lower levels really kicks them hard given they miss out on a LOT of speed tiers and KO's. Frankly I'd go as far as to say they're quite easy as fights taken seperately. People just mess up with preserving things or having a bad lead, which is kind of the point.

3 hours ago, Commander said:

 

  Hide contents

Luna: Honestly, she's just right...during the beta. What happened during the beta was that you healed inbetween and it worked as the fight was kind of hard, but not really as the only things to worry about were nukers ready to KO your Pokemon. Apparently it had to change because the heal inbetween "didn't make sense." I prefer the full heal but of course a small minority won and now we have one of the most confusing heal mechanics in the game. I...don't really understand why fainted Pokemon stay fainted and all the rest get fully healed which makes less sense to me. And it's not going to click for someone playing the game for the first time. It's just going to leave a bit of confusion and possibly a restart purely due to an unexplained mechanic they had to worry about when they didn't even know there was a third wave. I think a majority of people are more worried about a third fight then logic at that point because NOTHING in the game was thrown at us before like that or even close.

 

That's literally the point though? Luna takes you on to weaken your team while Bennett drops you the few Full Restores he has on hand to allow you to keep your team healthy. It makes no sense for you to get fully healed as that would completely irrelevantize Luna's spot in the gauntlet.

 

Them overshadowing Hardy/Solaris is also the point. Solaris is one of the strongest if not the strongest trainer outside of the Elite Four(Not including Lin and the Player) but at this point that just means he's just another obstacle. There's nothing really special about him and that reflects in his team which is just made out of strong Pokemon with offensive synergy and the fact that he never actually uses a field; Superheated was a coincidence by location. It's just a normal fight, which is a huge breath of fresh air to for once have a fair fight,Hardy is bloody mono rock lol, obviously he'd be overshadowed.

 

All things considered it's quite a bit easier than I'd have liked but that's OK, you gotta try and appease everyone and the current gauntlet does that fine.

 

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I see glass gauntlet arguments,  meanwhile i found the Fiore Gauntlet when i first played in e15 harder than the first experience of Glass Gauntlet, and i still to this day lose more pokemon when i fight the Fiore Gauntlet than when i fight the Glass Gauntlet,  except during the Serra+Radomus one i guess.   So hearing people asking to nerf something that is already easier than earlier segments of the game just doesn't sit well with me.

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I don't agree with nerf, either. Especially since ep18 gives us access to all (non-legend) pokemon, anyway.

 

Building a good team, training them well (ev/iv/moves), is all that needs be done. Besides, we already had a similar gauntlet, in Titania/Amaria house, with Blake/Fern/Julia/Florinia, before... Good to see that not only a nice feature returns, but is actually intensified! Honestly, can't wait to reach that part!

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Story-wise, the glass gauntlet is the best piece of staging in Reborn in my opinion.

 

I was defeated during my first try against the last opponents (curse you Gear Grind miss three times in a row). I went to sleep and kept thinking about who the hell I had been fighting. There were a big smile in my face one hour later. And it's worth everything.

 

Yeah it's difficult but "victory without risk brings triumph without glory". And we're acknowledged by everyone for this achievement.

 

Don't complain yet because E19 will have tougher challenges.

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I feel like it makes perfect sense for Gym leaders to actually be at full level.

In my mind at least, they are after all all Ace members, fully leveled. They just use lower level teams for the Gym Fights, so that their team matches the level of the challenger (dictated by the level cap).

 

After all, no matter what some of the leaders whine about not being good enough, their purpose is to be defeated by someone worthy.

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Spoiler

By the time you get to the Gauntlet, you likely have at least half a box full of high leveled pokemon which you can use for strategy. Many strong mons are available on the wild too, if that's not the case for you.

I think given you can practically use any strategy you want for the Gauntlet (unlike early game where items and mons were limited), I don't think nerfing the fight is at all necessary. The game is supposed to get harder as it progresses, and if it's nerfed further I think it'll be easier than Julia lol The fight's incomplete healing mechanics make it harder, encourages you to strategize so that you lose as few mons during the fights as possible (so that they'll be healed), and makes sense afterwards when the game uncovers what was going on while we were under the spell of the PULSE Hypno.

 

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I honestly think the Gauntlet is great the way that it is, even as headache-inducing as it can be. Everyone is lower leveled than I am when I go in to fight, but at the same time, Ame giving them tactics and thinking means that I (and everyone else) can't just bulldoze my way through everything. (In my second run at Cain and Shelly, my first move was to swap in my Espeon and bounce Sticky Web back at them. The first fight was very easy from that point). And it makes sense that Luna, Radomus, and Serra are all much stronger - these are their actual teams, not just the monotypes they stick with in their gyms. Cal was at first monofire, but that was changed later.

 

You have to think in order to win unless you're bringing in a team of pseudo-legendaries at or near the level cap or something, and that is the whole point of this game unless I am mistaken. You usually can't just muscle your way through everything unless you're thinking about how to do just that, and it is not easy to do.

 

I think Solaris was pretty well done - his team is about "strategic muscle" in a sense, basically using stat-boosting moves and bulky offensive pokemon to overwhelm you.

 

As for Hardy, well... If i heardright, his preferred format online was triple battles, which it appears will not be involved in Reborn. His original strategy was apparently a Trick Room focused Rock team. So the "outspeed" theme he has here makes sense with that mentality, since it has a similar principle. But yeah, if you can outspeed him or survive his hits and avoid flinches, he doesn't have much left, it seems.

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I think something important to keep in mind, especially for discussion of late game fights like the Glass Workstation Gauntlet, is the sort of playstyles people have. Some people don't EV train, some people don't breed, some people play on set and some play on shift, some don't use potions/X-items, and some don't keep a bench. This is all going to heavily impact how the difficulty of a fight is viewed, because someone struggling through the game with their team of favorites is going to have a much different perception than someone who will go catch a pokemon and grind it to up to counter one fight. A lot of my friends that tried this game got frustrated because they aren't into all that grinding, and their team of favorite pokemon wasn't enough to muscle past early fights like Aya

 

People that lean towards the latter end of the spectrum (maintaining a big team) are naturally going to have an easier time with later fights, because they have both increased quality and increased quantity of options to counter whatever that opponent is trying to do. Obviously, Hardy is going to be much easier if you EV trained a Scizor, Breloom, and Excadrill specifically for that fight, but is this something we should expect and balance the game around? The EXP curve, especially late game, is so harsh that even doing all sidequests and maintaining no bench, I spend a lot of my money on Rare Candies to keep my team at a good pace, and even then I sometimes have to fight some Grand Hall trainers.

 

With that in mind, I think the difficulty of the Glass Workstation is fine. Yes, if you have two fast attackers that can KO the lower IV mons (in public release, nothing has 0 IVs, iirc lowest is 15 and those exist in both double battles) before they can do anything, it's easy. If you have a small team, you had a good matchup for this encounter, which is inevitable in a Pokemon game with type matchups. It happens, you probably struggled with another encounter. If you have a big team, this is the choice you made. You've willingly made the game easier by grinding up other pokemon so that you could make strategy easier on yourself by bringing a better counterteam. Now, there's a big discussion to be made about self imposed challenges vs. what's actually possible in the game and things like that, but maybe I'm getting offtopic there.

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@Paperblade Thank you for being a voice of reason. I think the main issue we both agree upon is there is an issue with the exp drought and perhaps not the battle itself. If I'm making a poor assumption that's fine too. I try to think of the perspective of the average player playing this game for the first time and not go with my own personal thoughts because hell, I think pretty much all of us here would have an easy time going at it again since we know what to expect and can prepare.

 

One thing not mentioned is that we can get access to so many good healing items like revival herbs which can make fights much easier. I think with that you can plow through with an underleveled team. 

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55 minutes ago, Paperblade said:

I think something important to keep in mind, especially for discussion of late game fights like the Glass Workstation Gauntlet, is the sort of playstyles people have. Some people don't EV train, some people don't breed, some people play on set and some play on shift, some don't use potions/X-items, and some don't keep a bench. This is all going to heavily impact how the difficulty of a fight is viewed, because someone struggling through the game with their team of favorites is going to have a much different perception than someone who will go catch a pokemon and grind it to up to counter one fight. A lot of my friends that tried this game got frustrated because they aren't into all that grinding, and their team of favorite pokemon wasn't enough to muscle past early fights like Aya

 

People that lean towards the latter end of the spectrum (maintaining a big team) are naturally going to have an easier time with later fights, because they have both increased quality and increased quantity of options to counter whatever that opponent is trying to do. Obviously, Hardy is going to be much easier if you EV trained a Scizor, Breloom, and Excadrill specifically for that fight, but is this something we should expect and balance the game around? The EXP curve, especially late game, is so harsh that even doing all sidequests and maintaining no bench, I spend a lot of my money on Rare Candies to keep my team at a good pace, and even then I sometimes have to fight some Grand Hall trainers.

 

With that in mind, I think the difficulty of the Glass Workstation is fine. Yes, if you have two fast attackers that can KO the lower IV mons (in public release, nothing has 0 IVs, iirc lowest is 15 and those exist in both double battles) before they can do anything, it's easy. If you have a small team, you had a good matchup for this encounter, which is inevitable in a Pokemon game with type matchups. It happens, you probably struggled with another encounter. If you have a big team, this is the choice you made. You've willingly made the game easier by grinding up other pokemon so that you could make strategy easier on yourself by bringing a better counterteam. Now, there's a big discussion to be made about self imposed challenges vs. what's actually possible in the game and things like that, but maybe I'm getting offtopic there.

To note the 0 IVs statement was due to me last having dl'd the game in the community release, and in that+beta their IVs were actually set to 0 from what I remember.

 

What I will completely agree with is that the Exp Curve is garbage. I've played through the last couple runs trying to minimise grinding period and most of the time i'm enterring Neo-Reborn in my low 60s. I don't like grinding at all so I often just don't bother and use debug to level my Pokemon up to the appropriate level, saves me a lot of time really. The issue comes from Agate Circus I feel, since Indra is super RNG reliant depending on the team you end up with and frankly I don't think having to reset to get a good option to do the already mind-numbingly boring task of grinding up levels is a good system. Those are just my two cents on that matter however.

 

For the more broad appeal aspect the game should aim for, I do feel the current difficulty is just right. I personally liked it being tougher back in the Alpha incarnation and quite enjoyed the challenge but I'm also quite the addict to that type of stuff, not everyone is. At the same time however this is meant to be a surprising and brutal part of the game and that shouldn't change at all.

 

 

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@not Azery Yeah, it was increased in the public release, I think it was when it was changed so you got the full restores after Luna. I consider myself pretty hardcore, but I mostly play through the game without a bench+set mode+no items in battle and I'm probably gonna do some challenge runs whenever final version comes out. I did a playthrough in E17 with set/no items with only 6 pokemon ever seeing any combat which I'll have to revisit in E19, since Ame pushed back a third of the Pokemon I used there (rip budew and magnemite)

 

@Commander The healing items thing is definitely true--I play without healing items for the challenge so I didn't really think about it, but it's definitely something that makes the game a lot easier if you use it and is a much more efficient way of spending money than Rare Candies (you can get like 30 Full Restores and 20 Revives for the price of 6 Rare Candies, and on most of my playthroughs coming into E18 I was buying 15ish)

 

Having played as much as I have, that biases my own views on the early encounters because I know what's coming and that if I grab X, Y, and Z species that will make the encounters much easier which a new player won't because they might not know about a detail of a field or boss encounter or that a pokemon is even obtainable

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>Hardest challenge in reborn so far

 

I respectfully and strongly disagree. a fair few of the gyms were challenging regardless of what pokemon types you brought or strategies you tried (Amaria springs to mind) the glass gauntlet was a gauntlet in the literal sense, but at the end of the day there was no "Strategy" to the teams. if you had the right pokemon with the right moves, you won. the field didnt matter, they didnt work particularly well together like in some double battles through the game. it was a tough fight but nothing about it complimented each other to make it any more difficult than 3 standard battles in a row.

 

i'm personally glad it wasnt any harder since it still took me a few tries, but i had a tougher time strategizing for the episode's gym than i did for the battle itself

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