Concept Revisited, Elaborating on Non-Player Characters (NPCs) & Titles

Hi Trainers,

I am writing this article on the back of a concept that stretched over two recent posts on the Hub. The first offering suggestion on a Single Player PvE story and the second with its conclusion leading to the Regional Champions and Red.

Part 1: Concept Revisited: Gym Leaders & Elite 4
Part 2: Path to the Champion, a Concept Revisited

To begin with, I would firstly like to thank the community for the feedback my initial articles got; this post is to answer some of the questions directly. I must emphasize that this is a CONCEPT and all imagery is mock-up.

In the first of the two posts, I introduced a mechanic focused around Non-Player Characters (or NPC’s) and in the second, Titles. This post is designed to elaborate on these mechanics, what they mean and offer as stand-alone features. 

As in my first article, the story begins with your Team Leader challenging you; this will last until you have the Bronze Ace Trainer medal to ensure you’re familiar with the established battling mechanic. Upon earning this medal, NPC Trainers will appear around the world.

The idea is that NPC’s appear alongside or separate from existing Pokémon spawns, not instead of. They will be interacted with when you “tap” them; they will not challenge you if you enter their field of vision like in the main series. This interaction will open the PvP/Team Leader challenge section with your opponent.

A mock-up image of how an NPC trainer might appear.

As with the main series, there are multiple types of trainers, specializing in different Pokémon Types. Each of these trainers has a distinct outfit which could, in theory, be added to our style menu as rewards from defeating a set number of trainers of that type.

In the main series there are hundreds of different trainers, but below are the classes and Pokémon Types I am suggesting for this mechanic. While I appreciate some Class Trainers multitask, these are the most iconic. Steel was particularly tricky to place.

Pokémon Type Trainer Class
Normal Backpacker
Fighting Black Belt
Flying Bird Keeper / Sky Trainer
Poison Ninja Boy / Ninja Girl
Ground Ruin Maniac
Rock Hiker
Bug Bug Catcher
Ghost Channeler
Steel Scientist
Fire Fire Breather
Grass Gardener
Water Surfer / Swimmer
Electric Rocker / Guitarist
Psychic Medium
Ice Skier / Snowboarder
Dragon Dragon Tamer
Dark Biker / Roughneck
Fairy Poké Fan or Actor / Actress

While some Classes such as Beauty and Fisherman were considered, I did have to apply a rule of whether it worked in a multi-gender scenario. Other titles such as Worker did not seem appealing.

Each NPC will offer a challenge in the Great, Ultra and Master Leagues to allow trainers of all levels to compete. I had given some thought to gating the leagues behind Trainer Level, but I don’t think it’s necessary. Players should have the choice.

Trainers will Block attacks; some may have two charged attacks.

Defeating an NPC will give awards similar to a Pokéstop. As I detailed in the initial concept, this will be in line with the awards and XP we see in the main series and LGPE. In some respect, these may, therefore, work as a temporary Pokéstop to areas which are not densely populated with stops.

There was also some thought to adding Veteran or Expert as a trainer class who would use Legendary Pokémon as they do in the main series. These would then award enhanced loot such as Rare Candy.

If the Player does not come to the Trainer, then the Trainer must go to the Player

Now, one of the questions asked of me was if incense would work to make a trainer spawn. The answer to that is no, however, I feel that the ability to “summon” a trainer would be a powerful ability, especially if we are to consider them a Portable Pokéstop.

I think that any mechanism introduced would need to be on a timer with a cool-down of 6-8 hours so as not to make them overpowered, with a “refill” via Pokécoin.

In another concept I did based on the Bug Catching Contest I suggested the Pokétch be used. It would have a rechargeable battery so as you move the cool-down reduces. This “device” seems suitable here where the default timer is applied after you contact a nearby trainer and as you walk around the timer decreases at an accelerated rate so you can interact with another. 

A separate screen could also give you options (am suggesting a selection of 3) on what trainer class to contact if you were having trouble in locating a particular trainer for a Task or Title.

For details of the Pokétch backstory, please see the previous article.

Gotta Beat em All

To tie into the new Title mechanic, I detail in the second half of my single player idea; I also would suggest that each Class of trainer is also a title you can earn by defeating {x} Trainers with only Pokémon of a specific type.

So, for example, defeating {200} Trainers (PvE or PvP) with just Dragon-types in your team would award the Title %name, Dragon Tamer.

Player Profile mock-up
including Title
Style collection screen including Titles mock-up Player Inspection screen including Titles mock-up Queuing for Raids including Titles mock-up

Conversely, defeating {200} Dragon Tamers would reward the full Dragon Tamer outfit.

So for those who love being themed with a specific type you can earn a Title and an Outfit with separate criteria, but it can be done at the same time if you wish.

To find nearby NPC’s the radar would work in the same way as it currently shows Pokémon in the Battle tab, with the QR Code either being listed at the bottom of the tab or being relocated on your Character Screen.

Dressing to Impress

The following are some of the different NPC Sprites taken from LGEP to give some context to the variety of outfits which could be available.

Coach Trainer NPC

Bug Catcher NPC

Scientist NPC

Rocker NPC

Channeler NPC

Bird Keeper NPC

Let’s Wrap This Up

I hope you enjoyed my further explanation on how the Non-player Characters could tie into the PvE story arc to the Champion. I know versions of this concept have been posted across the internet for almost as long as Pokémon GO has been available. This article is my take on how I see it possibly worked into a Single Player Story.

I would love to hear further feedback on this, so far its been encouraging so I am hoping to end on a high.

Here’s hoping Niantic is listening. Expanding content beyond the current story can only enhance the game for both the solo player and the overall community.

Venasto1se

Venasto1se

Writer, Conceptualist, Theorycrafter and Analyst. U.K. based level 40 trainer. Blizzard Entertainment fanboy and Game Freak enthusiast.

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