So, as many of you noticed, the last post I made (featuring the lovable Meech) was actually just a cleverly disguised teaser for the level cap increasing. This post is going to be a bit more about the level cap itself, why increasing it can make things annoying for anyone actually trying to level up past 100, and probably some nerd stuff on top of that.

First: the level cap.

Changing the level cap is incredibly easy.

In the game files, there's this single line of code:

Increasing that number increases the maximum level. It's really that uncomplicated. You could even increase the level cap to 1,000,000,000,000 if you want to, and it works!

...in theory.

Changing the level cap itself doesn't affect anything in-game since it's, effectively, just a number. The problems with an infinite level cap start to emerge when you have an actual pokemon try to reach it.

Which brings us back to our dear friend Meech.

Instead of explaining this, I'll just show you what happens in game when Meech starts to become Too Stronk (volume warning!):

You can see in the video that Meech is now a level 950,095.

You can also see in the video that the menu lags to hell and back. This lag is what effectively creates a soft limit on the level cap- if I levelled up to the 1,000,000 mark, the game would start crashing every time it tries to load the pokemon screen. The soft limit also varies based on your CPU- forcibly limiting the performance on my laptop also limited the extent to which I could raise Meech's level. The script crashed around level 600,000 when limited, for an example. That said, it's worth nothing that my game crashed literally the moment after I stopped recording the video, so it's not like there's a hard level cap in practice- it all just depends on whether or not your CPU can handle the load.

Some caveats:

So: obviously there's a problem with making the level cap too big, but there's not really a technical issue with setting it to, let's say, 50,000. So why don't we? (I rhetorically ask myself in order to set up the next part of this post)

The first issue is EXP.

If you watched the video above to the end, you'd see what the EXP requirements were to level up to 950,096. It takes over 2 trillion points. Meech's level there is, of course, unreasonably high, so here's the EXP values at level 50,000:

Compared to the numbers at level 950,095, this is technically more manageable, but still effectively impossible to reach in-game. To explain why this is the case, I'm going to talk a lot about EXP formulas and... well, I'm going to have to use some math, and I understand that math might not be what you all bargained for by reading this post. In order to spare those you might otherwise be overly startled by the presence of math, I'm going to throw up my specially patented Math Barrier, and those of you who wish to avoid the math can just rejoin the post after the second line of stars.

******************************* MATH BARRIER™ **********************************

Alright, nerds.

There are six types of EXP growth. In order from least EXP needed to most EXP needed, they are:

Erratic, Fast, Medium, Parabolic, Slow, and Fluctuating.

For my own sake, I'm going to be focusing on the middle four growth types, since Erratic and Fluctuating are, uh, really weird and I don't quite know how to make them work for hypothetically high numbers.

Here are the EXPgrowth formulas for the EXP needed to be at a given (level):

Fast: (level)3 * 0.8

Medium: (level)3

Parabolic: (level)3 * 1.2 - (level)2 * 15 - (level) * 100 - 140

Slow: (level)3 * 1.25

(Meech, for reference, is Fast.)

The EXP gain formula- what determines how much EXP you get from battle- is why I made a Math Barrier earlier. It is a mess.

EXPgain = (A / B)2.5 * C * D + 1

A = Lvopp * 2 + 10

B = Lvopp + Lvplayer + 10

C = BaseEXP * Lvopp / 5

D is just a catchall value for things like Lucky Egg boosts, traded pokemon boosts, EXP Share drops, etc. No one needs to see those.

I've tried to make this as readable as possible but it's...it's still a mess. Lvopp is your opponent's level and Lvplayer is yours.

It's worth noting that when Lvopp = Lvplayer , A / B = 1 and the formula basically becomes C * D + 1 = EXPgain. To make things easier for the rest of the explanation, I'll be calculating EXP gain as if Meech was the same level as its opponent.

Anyway, hope you nerds enjoyed the knowledge dump. I'll call the normies back in now.

******************************* MATH BARRIER™ **********************************

The issue here is that EXPgain increases linearly and EXPgrowth increases cubicly. This effectively means that more pokemon will have to be fought in order to level up the higher your level is.

I'll demonstrate this by having Meech fight a bunch of hypothetical Reshirams at the same level in order to level up.

Level 50 Meech needs: 6120 EXP or 2 Level 50 Reshirams

Level 75 Meech needs: 13680 EXP or 2.98 Level 75 Reshirams

Level 100 Meech needs: 24240 EXP or 3.96 Level 100 Reshirams

Level 300 Meech needs: 216720 EXP or 11.8 Level 300 Reshirams

Level 1000 Meech needs: 2402400 EXP or 39.25 Level 1000 Reshirams

And, finally...

Level 50000 Meech needs: 6000120000 EXP or 1960.8 Level 50000 Reshirams

This is basically the EXP crunch that you normally see in the later areas of Reborn taken to extreme levels. The reason you don't see this any earlier is because the base EXP a pokemon gives also depends the sum of its base stats and whether or not it's evolved, with higher base stats and later evolutions having higher base EXP. The increase in EXP for a level up is mostly covered by the fact that the pokemon you're fighting are evolved and give more EXP. But as you can see, when the base EXP of the pokemon you fight isn't increasing anymore, leveling up starts to get harder and harder.

This brings me to my second issue: Leveling up becomes pointless

When you level up, you typically see growths of 1-5 points per stat. At the beginning of the game, this is pretty significant- A 5 point growth when your stat is at a total of 80 is a 6.25% increase. These level up growths effectively always stay the same- whether you're at a level 50 or 75 or 50000.

So let's check MegaMeech's stats.

A level up at 50000 does effectively nothing for MegaMeech, and it takes much much more effort to get one. Level differences between pokemon would also have to be larger to maintain any sort of significance.

So we're still looking into what we'll do with increasing the level cap as far as Reborn is concerned. The main point of it is to make it so there's at least some kind of a challenge with Legendary battles and other postgame shenanigans. I'm also working on tweaks to the EXP formulas so that leveling up isn't such a pain while also making it so that further levelups aren't absolutely necessary to complete the main postgame content (and overleveling won't even be possible before you finish the League).

There's no way we'd push the cap over 200 though. Nuh-uh.

If we're getting to that point and can't increase the challenge without pushing the cap up further then we completely lack creativity and I will personally fire myself.

So, yup, that's my TED Talk. Thanks for listening!

**Read more...**- 12 comments
- 1,169 views