Level Curve/ Balance issues when playtesting

lichenprincess

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This is a private project I'm doing for some friends that makes them into the gym leaders and adds some memes and whatnot.
Originally it used something juuust above FR/LG's level curve, since it's based in Kanto itself, but while I've been trying to playtest it I've just noticed I've been curbstomping everything with this one Torracat. I tried to reshuffle its IVs a couple times, raise enemies' levels, and try again, but no luck. I only managed to make the third rival battle in Cerulean hard at all by blasting enemy IVs way up to the point where it's impossible, and it's really frustrating.

So...what gives, and what do I do? Are there any tips for level curve and this sort of thing? Is it just this one Torracat getting too much coverage? Absolutely stumped here.
 

TechSkylander1518

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It's kind of hard to know what's exactly the problem in cases like these- level curves (and difficulty as a whole) are kind of the sum of a lot of different elements in the game, so it's hard to know if the issue starts at a specific battle or if it goes back to how many battles the player had to go through before, or if it even goes back to defining the stats for Pokemon. I'm gonna just go down a whole list of ways leveling/difficulty might be affected that might help out-

  • The number of trainers in earlier routes- Obviously grinding against wild Pokemon is still a thing for players who want to cheese, but if you cut down on trainer battles, that does remove some of the player's chances for
  • Access to the Lucky Egg/Exp Share- I'm sure you've considered this but I'll add it on the list just in case lol
  • Upgrading the rival's team- You already mentioned raising their levels and IVs, but what about adding in held items or better moves? (assuming you haven't already, of course)
  • Counters to specific Pokemon- Maybe it's possible that Torracat specifically is just really well-suited to the trainers you've set up? Maybe you can include more Water or Rock types before the rival battle so that players can't rely on Torracat as much.
  • Nerfing a specific Pokemon- If counters aren't working, maybe we need to change something about Torracat itself- does it get a good coverage move too early? Should you trim down some of its base stats? (I was gonna suggest maybe it was outspeeding opponents but then I remembered it's an Alolan starter so that's probably not it, lmao) And of course this does still focus on Torracat, so if you have to do it with another Pokemon, it's probably not the best solution.


A few resources I know that deal with difficulty-
 

lichenprincess

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That all is super helpful, thank you so much! I think Double Kick might be Torracat's problem spefically, but I'll definitely try some other things as well in case it's not just that.
 

TechSkylander1518

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Oh, yeah, Double Kick definitely sounds like it'd be too helpful in the early game- lots of Normal-types to breeze through, and it'd get past Rock, too, which otherwise could be a good buffer against Torracat's Fire and Normal moves. Hope that goes well for you!
 
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