Commanding and Battling with Groups of Pokemon

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Commanding and Battling with Groups of Pokemon

Post: # 14379Post Sn0wfa11 »

Hi everyone! This is post meant to clarify several important and related issues. The first and simplest is the difference between mechanical and rp battles. Mechanical battles (those fought using Pixelmon mechanics) and RP battles are simply different means of resolving the same thing. League or gym battles do occur in more controlled environments, but despite mechanics they are not Pokemon standing across from each other trading hits. With all the work we have done on making a functioning Toro League the last thing we would want to do is imply that the kind of battles you have with Gym Leaders are inferior or simplistic.

Second, let’s talk about commanding Pokemon in battle. Pokemon are not people. Well-trained Pokemon can be expected to clearly follow commands in battle. However, without ongoing trainer guidance they will act unpredictably- possibly fleeing or attacking or otherwise ending up confused. This is one of the primary reasons why trainers who carry six Pokemon will usually only send out one, or perhaps two, at a time. No human can constantly assess six different Pokemon’s situations in battle and simultaneously provide six different sets of commands to them fast enough. If you were to send out six and command 2, it would be hard to keep track of the other four and ensure their safety, that of the environment, and everything else.

Commanding multiple Pokemon at once is easier in a non-combat setting, where Pokemon may not require constant guidance- it’s okay to have six Pokemon out to play with. Coordinating six trained (emphasis on trained) Machoke movers to help you leave your apartment would not be much of a challenge, because your boxes are unlikely to attack them, and because they can simply wait between commands if they are uncertain of where to put a box or what might be fragile. It is also possible to command groups of trained Pokemon with certain simple tasks.

Pokemon species is important in large groups for several reasons. Some species are better at working together than others. Social bug types would work well, while something like Absol (which are not especially social) would not. Mixed-species groups generally cannot be organized effectively. Finally, the specific instincts a Pokemon would naturally have are important. They determine both their natural behaviors when they are not being commanded
and the possible behaviors they can be trained for. An army of Wurmple will always flee a Rhyperior.

Above all, Pokemon are not humans- who, incidentally, also struggle with this- and cannot be trained to learn complicated if-thens. They certainly cannot execute them reliably.

Let’s look at an example. A trainer with many Delibird could train them to fly over a broad area and dust it with snow. However, if they were attacked, they would likely scatter or in some cases counterattack individually, not as a perfectly-coordinated team. The moment anything unexpected and serious happens, like an ambush, these Pokemon are in trouble. Even if their trainer is in the area, since they cannot command them they will fall back on their own instincts, with some general influence from training. As a santa-bird Pokemon more inclined to delivering gifts than military discipline, Delibird in particular would panic and try to flee. A more suitable Pokemon, or especially fierce Delibird, could be trained not to run, but this presents different issues. They cannot be prepared for complex situations: “if attacked, fight” is an extremely broad lesson to learn, and could lead to a massacre of a lone Starly or something similarly unfortunate. Sending 40 Pokemon that know Earthquake off on an errand could be a horrible disaster of friendly fire and destruction if they were trained like this. Even trained Pokemon are dangerous when not under a trainer’s direct command- which is always the case in large groups. They are thus extremely unsuitable for battle situations.

Pokemon, in short, are not used like armies for the same reason animals are not used en masse in real life. Their increased intelligence gives them some capabilities as groups that real animals would not have, but this is still severely limited for all the above reasons.

Third and finally, you may only carry six Pokeballs at once. ICly, you can imagine this as a technical limit based on Pokeball technology. “Swarm” Pokemon would generally be Pokemon kept out of their balls, and would be only be released or retrieved slowly and carefully, one by one. In other words, you cannot carry a backpack of Pokeballs and then retrieve them all if and when things go wrong. This, of course, is yet another reason that large groups are impractical, ineffective, and risky.

All of this is based in IC logic and limits, but is also important for good RP in Toro! Thank you all for reading.
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