The GGN Pitch: Pokemon MMO

-Written by Eric Lee Lewis
-Additional information provided by Jovan St. Lawrence

Throughout the years gamers have thought about the perfect game in their heads. Here at Galactic Gaming News, we do the same. Luckily, one of us has thought to write it down and share it with the world. I bring to you Galactic Gaming News’ first pitch.

While I was an adolescent/teenager, I loved Pokemon. Then again, who didn’t? As time passed by, I had trouble following Pokemon anymore. The numbers were multiplying too fast and I didn’t yet know how to handle my ADHD. Mating Pokemon was becoming too complicated for me and trying to have a connection with the Pokemon themselves was becoming a hassle. With all of this being said, I am now a 24-year-old man that has a great idea for a Pokemon game that may never come to be, but I would love if it did, even if the games are aimed at a younger age group (this would mean that the game would need a profanity filter).  

Currently, there are 649 Pokemon (not including Missingno.) and 48 of these Pokemon are considered “legendary”. Not surprisingly, most players love and want to obtain the legendary Pokemon. Some players just don’t have the patience to hunt them down and collect them on their own. So, if Nintendo made an MMO, wouldn’t it be great to buy and sell Pokemon through a market? If you said no, what about wagered battles or a simple trade?

  • Doing battle:

Pokemon has always had a battle screen that has rarely changed. When a Pokemon attacks, that Pokemon just tends to rock back and forth or the monster in question, in a stiff manner, shakes toward the opponent when an attack is unleashed. Instead, since this is an MMO and no longer on a cartridge, the Pokemon can have full animations for each attack. Some Pokemon man have the same mannerism, but it adds something that was never there before. This solves a lot of the issues that some have had with the combat before, whether or not Nintendo/GameFreak would want to change the battle menus all together. 

How would battle work in a fair manner? While moving around the world or even dedicated fighting stadiums, players could be allowed to click on other players to see what Pokemon they have gathered in their Pokedex, stats on clothing, or the items the other player has. Players would quickly be able to know if the battle could work out fairly or if it is a good idea to just forget about accept or initiating the battle in the first place. Also, the battles could simply be against one of the world’s non-playable characters. 

Imagine it; You see another player doing battle against one of the hundreds/thousands of NPCs. You see that he/she has the Pokemon you have been seeking out and you may have what he wants. You could challenge that person to a battle and wager the exact Pokemon or item that they want while they wager what you want. These ideas are especially more simplistic when you think about the amount of players that would be interested in the franchise’s first MMO. 

Adding to the people that could battle one another is the ability to fight in the world’s gyms. Every gym could be set up much like the non-MMO Pokemon game iterations. To get badges (which could be earned to finish quests) you must fight through some of the trainers in the gym and ultimately fight the gym leader to gain the badge of that gym. Badges may also allow for the player’s character to change their appearance a little. Whether these changes would simply add the badge to their jacket or whether the badge would drastically change the character’s clothing would be up to the discretion of the creators. 

Like other MMOs this game would obviously need multiple servers to cut latency issues. With a franchise as big as Pokemon, many people would be interested. This would even include players that would be willing to pay a monthly fee. Sure, at his point and time, pay-to-play games are quickly fading. The only game that seems to succeed at this genre is World of Warcraft and Pokemon is arguably a bigger franchise that has an easier barrier of entry. 

  • Traversing the world:

The world would almost be as simple as bringing in the same regions from previous games in the series. And traversing the land would be just as simple. There are different types of bikes. Bikes can be as simple as being dedicated to jumping, which could nab small amounts of experience. Though a key lock would have to be put in place to fight against bots that are paid to level up a character. Bikes would mainly serve to give a speed boost and could even include a bike that has much more speed. Bikes could be obtained through a premium shop that players use real money for, or the bikes could be obtained through quests or side-quests. 

Since Pokemon can learn special skills that are called TM skills (can be unlearned) and HM skills (permanent skill), the Pokemon themselves can also be used for traversal of the game. These modes of transportation can be in the form of flying, swimming, cutting trees, grass and other types of terrain, or even a rock-breaking skill. Traveling the game could be fun, especially when your Pokemon learn skills that can add to your character’s arsenal. If it cam down to not having the skills or bikes, a train or airplane could be used to get from region to region. 

  • Quests and gym battles:

Questing in MMOs is an absolute must and in the Pokemon MMO, this would remain the case. Quests could even be as simple as collecting certain Pokemon. Depending on the difficulty of capturing the Pokemon, the experience points gained would be greater. Other quests could be finished from discovering locations, fighting in different gyms, or even just from meeting key characters in the game’s history.

So what is the point of the experience points, you ask? Pokemon usually level up to 100 and on the way to hitting that maximum level, their hit points raise along with the skills that can be learned. While the Pokemon level up, the character that the player uses never levels up in the handheld games. In the Pokemon MMO, this definitely has the ability to change. Allow the players to progress to a maximum level of 200 and along the way they can gain the ability to use different types of items or enter different types of gyms. 

Once a player does reach 200, allow the player (as long as they had played in a legitimate fashion) to become a gym leader. Of course there has to be other catches though. Allow around 30 player-occupied gyms per server. These gyms, which would be the game’s equivalent to guilds, could add a whole new experience to gym battles and even wagered battles and completing the gyms could allow other players to become the new gym leader based upon the players wins and loses in previous battles. If these gyms don’t add enough to the formula of the game, allow these gyms to do battle with other rival gyms. This could work much like guild/faction battles in other MMOs. 

Quite simply, Pokemon would make a great massively multiplayer online game. The franchise has been around long enough to fill out an entire MMO’s storyboards and the amount of characters can also add to the world’s amazing fiction. It all comes down to whether or not Nintendo and GameFreak would commit time to the project.

What do you think of the idea of a Pokemon MMO? Would you like to see future installments of “The GGN Pitch”?