To all our readers, happy Easter! Whether or not you celebrate it religiously, we hope you have a great day surrounded by family and friends. My biggest regret about being here in Japan today, besides not seeing my family, is that there are no Marshmallow Peeps to enjoy. I will try to survive.
Thinking about bunnies and eggs made me wonder about what Pokémon Sword & Shield will bring us when it comes to breeding. It has been an important part of the games since the mechanic was introduced in Generation II, but the effort required to get a Pokémon that was competitively viable has long been criticized.
One thing that I hope Game Freak borrows from Pokémon GO is the automatic high IVs (individual values for stats) given to hatched Pokémon. It does not guarantee a Pokémon will be perfect, but it certainly makes it more likely. This would decouple the offspring from its parents as far as IVs go, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing, nor do I think it is lore-breaking. Even with a Destiny Knot there is an inherent randomness to breeding even in the latest games you can breed in, Pokémon Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon. Lowering the difficulty of hatching competitive Pokémon is not only easier for players, but also could make them less likely to resort to hacking their games and passing generated Pokémon on to those who may not want them in their game.
Ideally though I’d like to see breeding become a mechanic that is removed from creating statistically superior Pokémon to something that rewards players in different ways. After all—many competitive players would rather pour their time into creating strategies, not hatching. The prevalence of hacked Pokémon in the VGC circuit makes that pretty clear.
Rewards from breeding could come in the form of cosmetic items. Trainer customization was introduced in Pokémon X&Y and there’s a ton of potential there if the developers would add outfits that could be unlocked by breeding and hatching Pokémon.
Bred Pokémon could even have special animations when coming out of their Poké Balls. Remember the Seals you could put on your Pokémon’s Poké Ball back in Generation IV? Having a special animation when a Pokémon is sent out in battle would be a great way to show that a trainer put effort into breeding it and wouldn’t affect its potential.
A very far-fetched idea would even be to let Pokémon’s color schemes be transferable through breeding. This would probably need to be preceded by a change to the ‘shiny’ Pokémon mechanic, but being able to influence the color of your favorite pocket monster would be pretty amazing. It would unlock a completely new goal to strive for and be completely optional. On a similar note, perhaps the increased size of Totem Pokémon could be folded into breeding as a randomly occurring trait.
As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts as well, so please leave them below! Do you think the eggs and breeding mechanics are fine as-is or would you like to see a major overhaul in Pokémon Sword & Shield?! Write your opinions in the comment section!