Part 43: Catching Stuff Maybe Less Glitchy This Time?Side Notes #02: Catching Stuff Maybe Less Glitchy This Time?
Alright, Gen 3 is when a lot of stuff got overhauled and improved, so let's see what they did to the capture formula. It was pretty easy to game in Gen 1, it was annoyingly broken in a few places in Gen 2, and in Gen 3? Well it works just fine and is used in Gen 4 too, so I can just copy this over if I do those games, haha! Anyway, what's the formula?
a is the modified catch rate, which is used after we've gone over the individual components. HP max is the number of hit points the Pokemon has at full health, while HP current is the current hit points the Pokemon has. Aren't you glad I detailed that for you?
rate is the catch rate of the Pokemon, between 3 and 255 and can only be modified in the Safari Zone, since the Apricorn Balls (or more specifically the Heavy Ball) don't exist in Gen 3. bonus ball is the Pokeball modifier, while bonus status is multiplier for status conditions, which work and are x1.5 for paralyze, poison and burn, and x2 for sleep and freeze.
Once that number is obtained, a is then put into a small formula to determine b, the shake probability.
b = 1048560 / sqrt(sqrt(16711680/a))
All divisions and square roots are rounded down to the nearest whole number. From there, the game generates a number between 0 and 65535 and compare it to b. If that number is greater than or equal to b, then the Pokemon will break out of the Pokeball. Four numbers are made and if all of them are lower than b, the Pokemon is caught. If not, it'll shake for however many checks were made. Also, if a is 255, the Pokemon is automatically caught and no checks are made.
Seems simple enough, so let's talk Pokeballs, since HP reduction and status are simple enough. All the OG Pokeballs are the same, so Pokeball, Great Ball, Ultra Ball, Master Ball and Safari Ball have a x1, x1.5, x2, x255 and x1.5 modifier as per usual. Since this modifies the catch rate, any Pokemon with a catch rate of 255 are unaffected by Pokeball modifiers.
Now we skip the Gen 2 balls and move straight to the Gen 3 ones. The Premier Ball is x1, the same as a Pokeball and only obtained after buying 10 standard Pokeballs at once. That's it. The Repeat Ball is x3 if the Pokemon has already been registered in the Pokedex, x1 otherwise. The Timer Ball is calculated at ((number of turns passed in battle + 10) ÷ 10), with a maximum of x4, at 30 turns. It's the best Pokeball in the game, but it takes SO LONG to reach 30 turns. You might catch it before then with other, stronger Pokeballs and if you get to that turn number, then the Pokemon could start running out of PP. Still, it's the strongest Pokeball aside from the Master Ball, so I guess it's worth it if you remember to turn count, though it is equal or better than the Dive Ball past 25 turns and equal or better to the Nest Ball on a level 2 Pokemon past 28 turns.
The Nest Ball is calculated at ((40 - Pokémon's level) ÷ 10), with a minimum of x1. For a level 2 Pokemon, it gives a x3.8 rate, but a lot of those Pokemon have high catch rates anyway and are thus unaffected by this ball. Still, for low levelled Pokemon with low catch rates, this is pretty damn helpful. The Net Ball has a x3 catch rate on Water or Bug type Pokemon, x1 otherwise, which is pretty handy, but doesn't stack for Surskit, sorry. The Dive Ball has a x3.5 catch rate when used underwater, x1 otherwise. There are some tricky underwater catches, so these are pretty nice. Finally, the Luxury Ball has a x1 rate, but every action that raises happiness raises it by an extra point as well, making it nice for the... ONE line you can use this on to fast-track evolution (Zubat or Golbat). It does make Return stronger that much quicker, though, so it's a nice ball to use for that if nothing else.