holy shit it's done
like we haven't bugtested it yet so there's probably some kinks to work out
been working on this thing for five months
oh, right, post. sorry. *ahem
hi there i am cass and today i'd like to tell you about how i built a tower.
it is a long story.
(editor's note: so there's basically two parts to this- there's the story part where I talk about the development of the tower, and there's the part where I talk about the tower itself and what exactly you get to do in it. i am very worried that the first part is boring. thus, i would like to direct those who want to get to the good stuff down to where I say "it's time for the good stuff". there are some line breaks near it. you can find it. i believe in you.)
you may recall my original Postgame Announcement where I said this: "this FITE will include a Battle Tower- style system. i'd be more specific about it but, uh, we, kinda, sorta, maybe, uh, like, y'know, don't....know what we're doing for it?"
you see, this was around the time that i was finishing off some of the theme team and boss rush trainers and had taken exactly one glance into the default essentials implementation to see what exactly it was that I had to work with.
now, there are a lot of files that define pokemon sets and trainers for various battle tower rulesets. there's, like, the fancy cup, the pika cup, the little cup, the pokecup. no one cares about those, though. the Big files are bttrainers and btpokemon. bttrainers is what defines the actual people that you fight. btpokemon is what defines the pokemon that they use. each trainer has a list of sets that they can pull from btpokemon- for example, default trainer zero is defined to pull from sets 0-65.
this probably all sounds pretty fine so far, right? well.
the first set from btpokemon is this:
you might notice a few issues.
the first is that there's not a great way to define forms and abilities.
the second is that a lax incense is kind of an annoying cheese item.
the third is that it's a fucking sunkern.
this is not a one-off thing. sets 11 and 12 are:
has anyone ever woken up in the morning and thought "hello yes I am a Real Person and I definitely want to fight a Silcoon and a Cascoon"
now, the default sets are organized roughly in order of difficulty. so, sure, you might assume, the lower sets are horrifically disgustingly bad, but they must get better eventually! there are 882 sets, after all!
well, here's set 854:
first of all, this set is kind of silly. who uses hyperbeam as an actual serious move? let alone the only way to deal damage. but then, you see dragon dance. dragon dance is a good move, right? boosts attack and speed! great for sweeping!
but the only attacking move is Hyper Beam, which is a special attack. so dragon dance doesn't even help!
the realization hits.
it doesn't work now.
but it used to.
because all of these movesets
are for gen 3
irl pic of me upon realizing this:
like omg it's like these were made out of pure, concentrated, ass.
so even if we were okay with godawful pokemon, the mechanical changes since gen 3 limits the sets so severely that even the hardest sets would be a cakewalk. that'd be unacceptable for any game, but y'all are playing reborn. y'all have beaten shelly. you're here for a challenge. you do not want to fight a dragonite that uses fucking hyper beam.
thus, btpokemon had to be remade from scratch.
so i sat down. for months. going through pokemon by pokemon, moveset by moveset. it was grueling. i've almost memorized every single pokemon's smogon tier. eventually i had to enlist the help of ame's patreon so i didn't die under the monotony of the whole thing. they cranked out ~500 sets which, combined with 1000+ that I had written, reached a total of almost 1600 sets. and these sets are good. I cut a lot of sets that were really similar to each other, there aren't any sets that use bullshit items like bright powder or quick claw, and there aren't any sets that just kind of sit there and harden until they get killed. these sets are made to kill you and kill you good. and, honestly? it's probably still on the lower end of what we could put out. there's probably more creative sets, especially towards the end, that i just missed out of exhaustion. i could've probably drawn from a wider pool of items. hell, we don't even have z-moves and megas implemented. (hey, that's why this is v1.0, y'know.)
but 1600 is a lot. if a trainer could pick any set with the only limitation being that you can't pick the same species twice, you would have 203,114,206,600 ways to fight that trainer. and yes, that trainer does exist! it's a clown.
if each trainer was allowed to have four pokemon, the number of possibilities would increase to over 160 trillion. TRILLION. gosh, look at all of that content.
speaking of content: trainers.
the original trainer system, as i mentioned earlier, draws sets based on their line number in the PBS. this is a good method for picking and choosing your sets very specifically. however, it has a pretty key flaw. as I mentioned earlier, we could easily put out more sets. and i definitely plan to. but if we do, where would we put them? want to organize by difficulty? sorry, fucko. the moment you change a single line, you have to change every line after that for every trainer. it's a goddamn nightmare. to fix this, Nerd Captain Marc of the Cello wrote up some scripts to change how trainers drew set from by line number to by pokemon species.
and it was a miracle.
now, all the trainers from before were coded for sets made in gen 3, and we have massively expanded the set list from there. constructing sets based around individual trainers would have taken a lot of decision making on each individual pokemon they should be able to use. in order to make set creation easier, i extracted some data from btpokemon. i grabbed the number, species, types, total number of sets, and added a value for the relative difficulty of every single pokemon on the list and threw it all in a spreadsheet. i added some checks to eliminate pokemon of certain types, and used the sheet to manipulate the list into only spitting out pokemon that matched certain types and only pokemon of a certain difficulty level.
after this i could whip out trainer sets like they were nothing.
see this trainer here?
had to type in six words and click maybe 10 things and boom. four lines of pokemon.
there's still a few problems with this method. it doesn't really play nicely with alolan forms with completely different types. if i make a mistake somewhere on the spreadsheet, i have to correct it 20 times. the difficulty could probably be stratified a little better. but, like, this is still definitely the preferred way to have to remake 300 trainers.
next time this will absolutely be handled by a script. i'll just have to plug in some types and difficulties and boom. every trainer completed while i sit and play more three houses. what a good game.
so. it's time for the good stuff.
you, dear player, will find the battle tower on the upper level of the nightclub. it's a little more like a battle arena than a battle tower, but, y'know, details.
currently, the tower is only setup for singles. the sets are specialized for singles, the scripts function with singles, and we really have no idea how well anything works with doubles. it's ok, that's why this is v1.0.
but it's okay because boom:
it's an actual arena and not just some fuckin floor of a tower. we got seats. we got colors.
and we got
(also please excuse the text we're still working on it)
that's right, kids. every seventh battler is not a randomly generated trainer, but a precoded, randomly chosen boss.
i won't spoil the list of bosses for you.
but you saw which one i fought up there, right?
we live in a world where they are in the boss list.
anything can happen.
...well, not anything.
there are simply some toys you just aren't allowed to bring into the battle tower:
- pokemon with a base stat of 671 or higher
- kyogre and groudon
- mega evolutions
- terrain change abilities
- the ability power construct
- the ability beast boost
other things are cool though. feel free to bring marshadow in with you. idc.
you'll also have the option to fight with or without fields. fields would be randomly generated with each trainer, throwing yet another layer of RNG into the mix. we understand you might not be into that. so we won't make you deal with it.
...so imma be honest here, i've spent so much time on the battle tower and on pokemon and on bosses and on trainers and on this post that i literally don't know what to talk about anymore. so the rest of this post is just going to be an ongoing Q & A. feel free to drop a question in the comments! i'll respond there too, and then copy my answer into here. i'll also add in questions and answers that i think of along the way.
Q & A:
Q: Cass, do you plan to add in Gen 8 when it comes out?
A: fuck no. i am not redoing all of this because some new move came out and fucking broke everything.
Q: Okay, sure, but would you consider adding minor things like moveset changes?
A: so our current position is that, for all intents and purposes, gen 8 will have no impact on the gameplay at all. only doing a partial implementation of the new mechanics and movesets would be confusing to players since you'd never know if something was included or not, and a complete implementation would add a lot of work to e19. and, like, i'm sure y'all actually wanna play this some day. it also gives a slight advantage to the pokemon that are in swsh over the ones that aren't.
so, y'know, maybe when the gen 4 remakes come out and they have all the pokemon in it. kinda like in the GBA days.
Q: Madame Meganium is a boss!? Gosh, who else are you going to have there!?
A: mr bigglesworth
Q: Which Patreon submission made you groan the loudest, but you still put it in?
A: toss up between
Q: Are y'all gonna incorporate items or some other kinda rewards into the battle tower?
A: you bet we are. we just...haven't gotten that far into thinking about it yet.
Q: Does Madame Meganium's ownership of other Pokémon count as slavery?
A: no. they are a team united behind the common cause of kicking your ass.
Q: Aside from battle tower, battle factory is probably my favorite format in the battle frontier so will that ever be implemented considering all the new sets you created?
A: so i mentioned that it took a lot of work to get the battle tower functioning despite the basic framework being there.
battle factory does not even have a framework to start off with.
we also think it'd be cool
but it'd be so much additional work that it's not really worthwhile.
Q: Just so I'm absolutely clear on restrictions, the Mega-Z Ring is pretty much disabled during Battle Tower matches for BOTH the player AND the AI correct? Meaning no Mega Evolution for either side and no Z-Moves for either side?
A: okay, this is a good question and i should've said this earlier: z-crystals and megas do not work with team generation. they are banned for you mainly because they aren't an option for the generated trainers.
Q: I know it will take still a lot of time but will there be a lvl cap for the pokemon for example 50 or 100?
A: both of those will be the level cap.
Q: Will it only be 6vs6 or will we be able to choose the number of pokemon we want to battle against for example 3vs3?
A: the battles will also be 3v3 only since a.) making the battles too long would make the climb to get to a boss significantly more difficult, and b.) if we did 6v6 i'd feel legally obligated to tell you how many combinations there were- and the 4v4 calculation literally took an entire day. 6v6 would take three years to calculate.
Q: Why does Madame Meganium wear specs?
A: madame meganium is a professional who requires glasses to read small print.
Q: Also, what how can a tower/arena fit on top of such a smol building?
A: it goes down instead of up. it's like an inverse tower.
Q: How did you manage to get bosses added in?
A: Script Maniac Nerdcello whipped out some cool new methods to get that shit up and running.
Q: What kind of things will we get from the battle tower?
A: good things. like that stuff earlier in the game where you were all like "man i so wish i had more of those" yeah well you're gonna get more of those k
Q: Are the battle tower bosses only fightable in the battle tower?
Edited by andracass