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SOS Battles - Frustration, Appreciation, and Bewilderment

Discussion in 'Pokémon Games Discussion' started by RLRL, Jan 4, 2017.

  1. I have just over 4 hours of play time on my Sun game, I'm on route 3 and decide, this time through, I'm going to use some pokémon you can only get through SOS battles, and you know what, there's salamence here!

    So I save in the grass, fully healed team after just saving lillie, and I begin the horrendous task, of not only finding a bagon (1%) but then it calling on a salamence (1%), on top of that, I only currently have 4 pokémon on my team, and a very limited supply of pokeballs and items.

    Needless to say, on 5 separate occasions in the last 24 hours, I have found a bagon, had it call for help, then proceeded to use every item I have and knock out chains of bagon in the thin vein of hope that I may find a salamence until eventually all my pokémon are knocked out one way or another, at which point I reset, and start again.

    Well moving on from my particular current gripe with them.... What's everyone's opinions on SOS battles?

    I get really annoyed a lot of the time if I'm actually trying to catch something and it calls for help, I know paralysis gets around it, but it's not always an option, especially if the encounter goes fast ball - attack - call for help.

    I did catch an umbreon on moon through an SOS battle with eevee, but it didn't have the hidden ability, or a good nature, I was mildly frustrated and didn't really do many more SOS battles until I finished the narrative of moon unless they happened naturally.

    I've been completely unsuccessful so far in moon to actually manage to get a single shiny from an SOS chain, and I've spent countless hours trying my damn hardest, although I did only ever manage a chain of 62 so I'm not shocked I didn't get one, as I've chain fished in the past for longer and got nothing, but I'm also disappointed as with the dexnav I found I'd normally get most shinies around the 40-50 region.

    Personally, I wish they'd kept the dexnav, and certainly, I miss horde battles, they were excellent for EVs (though I know chaining SOS is better), and I loved sweet scenting for them ^_^

    Has anyone else had a pokémon at full health call for help? I was trying to catch a geodude without doing any damage and after the 3rd pokéball it called for help, true it was about 30 levels lower than my mudsdale so I assumed that might have something to do with it =/
     
  2. I have a Magby named Nyeargh due to how many times it called for help while I was trying to catch it.

    Actually, come to think of it, I have a Paras named Nyearghghagh for the same reason.

    Anyway, long story short, SOS battles are a cool concept, but there needs to be an item that's the opposite of an Adrenaline Orb - something that makes it less likely that a Pokemon will call for help.
     
  3. Psycho Monkey

    Psycho Monkey Member of the Literary Elite Four

    SOS Battles are a cool concept that was executed poorly. For one they happen way too often. If they were rarer then I wouldn't mind so much but it can be quite the chore when trying to catch Pokemon only to have them constantly calling for help. I have however gotten a Whiscash, Magmar, and Dragonair while battling their earlier evolutions so that was a happy surprise. Level grinding isn't too bad but it can still be a bitch when your Pokemon start to get to low health. The one thing I am not fond of at all are Pokemon that can only be gotten through weather. It would be one thing if there was always a sandstorm in the desert or if weather was more reliably predictable in the other areas where such encounters were a thing. I would have much preferred it if SOS Battles didn't happen on their own and in fact required the activation of Adrenaline Orbs to occur.
     
  4. Overall, I'm fairly pleased with the SOS battle mechanics. It's a new thing, so there's that blasted learning process :D, but it's like the horde battles- once you do it a few times you got it down. Getting certain Pokes is a pain, but it feels so good once your efforts pay off. And you can get HA Pokes without Wonder Trading/Friend Safari/gen 5 transfers. Or without the internet at all, actually. That makes me a happy camper.
    For the most part, I agree. However, this is nice for those with limited (or none at all) internet or access to gen 5 transfers. In gen 6 we had Wonder Trading, Friend Safari and transferring from gen 5 to get the hidden abilities. This gen no longer needs these. Makes those HA Pokes more accessible, though you do have to work for it. I think this is a good move.

    As for health and status issues (& SOS overall, for that matter) this is where Smeargle really shines. I never put a thought into training a Smeargle for anything until this gen. It's a pain in the arse, but once you get the right moves learned it makes SOS battles A LOT easier. I'm so happy I put the effort into building one for catching HA Pokes. Skill Swap + Spore + False Swipe + whatever you need to OHKO the standard ability Pokes.

    And I like your thought of having Adrenaline Orbs initiating SOS. But this is also a way to make the game more of a challenge. Also, many other aspects of the games bring you closer to Pokemon and their universe than in previous gens. Going out on a limb here, but in creating a more "realistic" Pokemon world/reality it seems to me that Pokemon SHOULDN'T be so easy to catch. It's like fishing- in a game all you do is press a button and you caught something. In reality it's a bit more involved. Why shouldn't the developers make it more involved in order to create a more "realistic" Pokemon experience?
    Maybe I'm just alone in this. I personally am happy for the more challenging game mechanincs.
     
    #4 glaman5266, Jan 9, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2017
  5. The inclusion of SOS Battles has proved to be both a fantastic mechanic and a frustrating obstacle. To say I have mixed feelings about this new feature would be grossly understating my opinion of it. Honestly, I do have to agree with @Psycho Monkey -this is a poorly executed concept. And honestly, if could have been so much better with just a little bit of tweaking here and there.

    First off, I will start with the good. SOS Battles are a way for players to easily get Pokemon with perfect IVs, Hidden Abilities, and Shiny colorization(with the Shiny Charm assisting) that can save a Trainer hours of breeding. This does not replace breeding, as getting the desired Ability and Nature is more reliable with breeding, but it is a major time-saver.

    SOS Battles also have a chance of summoning evolved forms of the original Pokemon, including the rather absurd Level 10 Salamence sitting in my PC. This can be very helpful if some evolutions would otherwise take a while. For example, a wild Pichu on Route 1 can summon a Pikachu to help out. Using SOS Battles, one can obtain a Pikachu at Level 4 instead of maxing out Pichu's friendship and evolving it around, say, Level 20. Which would have been nice to know back when I tried raising a Pichu at the beginning of my first run. :p

    There are some glaring problems with this system, however. One misstep that the developers made was making certain Pokemon difficult or impossible to obtain without SOS Battles. Some Pokemon can only be caught by being summoned by other Pokemon in certain unpredictable weather patterns, such as Castform, and others suffer from similar issues. Happiny, for example, can only be caught if certain baby Pokemon call it to their side. Admittedly, it is a in-game-trade, and multiple Pokemon can summon it, but it should still be available to catch naturally at some point in the game. And, on the subject on SOS-exclusive Pokemon, I will talk about one of my biggest frustrations with this system: Mareanie.

    [​IMG]

    For those not in the know, Mareanie is one of the few base-form Pokemon who were not officially revealed before the release of Sun & Moon. So, like many players who did not look at the leaks, I did not know this creature existed. In fact, the only reason I found out about this thing or how to catch it was because the game slipped in a reference to its evolution, Toxapex, and this Pokemon's relation to Corsola. This would not be such a problem, except for the fact that Corsola is a rare Pokemon in this game that can only be found by Fishing, and if one does not fish for it in a bubbling spot, it has a 1% likelihood of appearing. Very few people would stumble upon it by chance, and even then, most would either run away, defeat it, or catch it for Pokedex purposes and never encounter a Corsola again. And even if that Corsola called for help and succeeded, it is more likely to summon its own kind than Mareanie. And Corsola summoning Mareanie is the ONLY way to catch one in the entire game. This is a prime example of this mechanic at its worst, and one that sent me into a storming rage . :@

    To add insult to injury, Mareanie and Toxapex are both pretty good Pokemon, with Toxapex in particular being a defensive monster with Baneful Bunker, an exclusive move that protects the user and poisons any Pokemon that come into contact with it during that turn. This goes hand-in-hand with Merciless, an Ability that guarantees a 100% crit. rate against poisoned Pokemon, making up for average offensive base stats. Its only problem is a lack of Water-type moves, although it can learn a few via TMs, including the powerful and incredibly useful Scald, which can be found fairly early on in the game. So, for such a fantastic and intriguing new critter, it is almost criminal to relegate its appearances to a possible summon in an SOS Battle against a rare and mediocre Pokemon and not mention it at all, excluding an in-game reference to its evolution.

    All in all, there should not be this many Pokemon that can only be found by being summoned in SOS Battles. I understand that some Pokemon need to be more difficult to obtain, and completing the Pokedex should be a challenge, but the amount of Pokemon that are near-impossible to find due to SOS Battling is ridiculous.

    Another, more common complaint about SOS Battling is that it can be frustrating to deal with sudden SOS summons when attempting to catch a regular Pokemon in the wild. This is something I feel decidedly mixed about. On one hand, I can definitely see where some people are coming from, and it can be incredibly stressful to deal with Pokemon that summon too successfully and too often, without even having an Adrenaline Orb in use. On the other hand, most of the Pokemon that tried to summon others to its side failed more often than not in my encounters with them, and there were plenty of wild encounters where Pokemon did not even try when it was in the red. My point is, sometimes these frustrations are more circumstantial than anything, although there should have been adjustments to mitigate this issue for that experience these circumstantial problems frequently. These frustrations with the SOS Battling system when trying to fill out the Pokedex makes Quick Balls invaluable, but for those who want to catch Pokemon in other types of Poke Balls, SOS Encounters are always a risk.

    Now, as for the suggestions regarding Adrenaline Orbs: while I do not believe the SOS Encounters should only be brought on by the usage of these items, as this system is a core battling mechanic in game, I do think that the chances of an SOS Encounter should have been lower naturally, and the Adrenaline Orbs should have caused SOS Encounters to occur even more frequently than in the actual game. This would take away a lot of the frustration players have while greatly benefitting the ones who want to find evolutions, HA Pokemon, Shiny Pokemon, and Pokemon with perfect IVs. That would be ideal for the best experience with this type of battle.

    Essentially, the SOS Battles are a fantastic concept on paper that should have been adjusted a little more for the convenience of the player before being released in the game. The shoddy execution and questionable decisions regarding this mechanic should have been fixed in order to let this aspect of battling truly shine. Alas, the game developers seemed to have treated SOS Battles as yet another one-and-done unique battling system that will in all likelihood not be appearing in future installments of the franchise. Which is a darn shame.
     
    Psycho Monkey likes this.
  6. Update. Despite not playing ridiculous amounts, I am STILL in that patch of grass, I've caught 2 salamence so far, both pretty terrible. Yesterday I got in a chain for several hours (i had to sleep it for a few hours for work in the middle), I was at over 70 before I was out of PP on everything, for every pokemon, except for 8PP on metronome, I was forced to either capture or reset, i went with capture.... Modest.... Effing Modest..... I am giving it one more try, without EXP share on as my rowlet is now lv25, my gumshoos evolved, the first crappy salamence i caught is now level 19, and I'm going to be seriously overlevelled....

    I am going to make it a challenge of mine to play through sun using as many of the SOS battle pokémon as possible, in particular, I am really not looking forward to catching Mareanie, and may have to concede to catch one then breed it to get something decent.

    I'm really enjoying them on a training front, if you can be lucky with SOS' and have a decent ohko move on a pokémon it's great to just quickly EV train and level up a few pokémon at once. Though as I've previously stated, you can easily get overlevelled with this approach, and a lot of the movesets in this gen seem to be aimed at lower levels unlike in X and Y
     

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