In the largest Twitter poll we ran to date, almost 16000 votes were cast by Trainers all around the world, answering one simple question: “Which content update should be released next?”
Which content update should be released next?
— Pokémon GO Hub (@PokemonGOHubNet) October 6, 2017
Given the provided options, the results were not surprising – 54% voted Gen III, 24% voted PvP and 22% voted trading. While we agree with this poll, we strongly believe that a Gen III release without Abilities could be detrimental for the game.
Don’t get us wrong, we’re on board the hype train also, but there is a few key points that need to be discussed. A huge shoutout to Trainer Tips for summarising the underlying issues in just one tweet:
We need a battle system update before PvP or Gen 3. Too many Gen 3 Pokémon would be broken or useless without their abilities.
— Nick ۞ Trainer Tips (@trnrtips) October 6, 2017
We completely agree.
The battle system needs to change
The current battle system is underdeveloped, repetitive and limits the potential of all current and future Pokémon families. One can even argue that if Niantic doesn’t introduce Abilities, there is no point of releasing new Pokémon generations.
Abilities are a huge part of what made the Generation III games so appealing, giving more usage and power to a large number of Pokémon families that would otherwise be considered completely useless. They provide depth, strategy and more than anything else: variety.
Without abilities, we are afraid that the game could face one of the lowest periods to date. For us, the discussion about the new Gen III meta, attackers, raiders and defenders makes absolutely no sense without them.
Why you may ask? Well, if you’ve been following the Hub, you are aware that we’ve been writing previews for every upcoming Gen III family for months. Let’s just say its not looking good.
Literary, dozens and dozens of Gen III Pokémon are trivialised and made useless by the current battle mechanics in GO. For example, consider Milotic, a bulky Gen III staple that usually works good on almost any team.
Why would anyone decide to farm for a Milotic, when they’ve already got a number of strong Vaporeon in your water team? There is too little differentiation between these two Pokémon in GO, as they are just both bulky water types with a rather good movepool.
Luckily, Smogon has an answer, but that answer requires abilities to make sense:
If there was one word with which to describe Milotic, that word would be “resilient.” Thanks to Recover, Marvel Scale, and great defenses, Milotic is not easily taken down. With investment in Defense, many of the game’s best attackers will fail to bring it down. As a bonus, Hypnosis lets it shut down whatever the opponent brings in to try to stop Milotic. In short, Milotic is a great bulky Water-type.
So, to conclude, where does this leave us? We’re not sure, honestly.
One one hand we feel that without Abilities Gen III will be a wasted opportunity and potentially the biggest disappointment in the game’s lifespan. On the other hand, it sounds like the community isn’t vocal enough about these issues.
Well, we’re doing our part. Let’s be heard — we don’t want just Gen III, we want the real deal: Gen III with Pokémon abilities.