Part 6: Fish and Camp and Rough It OutsideUpdate 6: Fish and Camp and Rough It Outside
Railway Station - Pokémon Sword and Shield
For some reason, we get a slideshow about the Wild Area, an upcoming feature of the game, that reads a lot like advertising copy. It isnt very convincing
What are we stopped here for?
Mr. Station Master: Yes This is the wild area station, make no mistake. Im sorry to tell you that the train is halted, due to a flock of Wooloo on the tracks.
Whats there to be sorry about? This is brilliant!
This Wild Area is massive! There are loads of Pokémon to battle here! You get it, dont you, Gloria? This is the best possible place to put together the greatest team!
Look at that!
And between there and here are countless new Pokémon waiting to be met! Oh, hello. And if it isnt Sonia.
Those two young trainers are setting out on a journey, but what are you doing with your life? Ah Never you mind that! Nothing to worry yourselves over! Im looking into Zamazenta now; Ive got my eye on a few old libraries I can pop by. If I discover something really huge, then maybe even Granll admit Ive got some talent!
Sonia, you read Biology at one of the best schools in the Region. I think talent accurately describes it.
You know Gran, if Im not doing anything with it, I may as well not have it. But anyway, I said you neednt worry about it! Im glad to be on the road. Really! Its been ages. Itll be great fun to fish and camp and rough it outside again.
Well, Im off to go stick my head in as many of those red glowing dens as I can find. Im going to battle this not out of a bunch of Dynamax Pokémon and fill in another page in the tale of my legend!
Ha! Knew it!
What cheek! Dynamax Pokémon are really on another level, you know! Well, the wild area is waiting for you. This is the real start of your adventure!
I think this is where we part ways. Cant catch the same Pokémon, you know.
Im going to beat the snot out of your Pokémon.
Id like to see you try.
Wild Area (Version 1) - Pokémon Sword and Shield
Last update was pretty dialogue/plot heavy. This update will be VERY mechanics heavy. In fact, everything from here on out will be mechanics-related in some way, so if that isnt your thing feel free to skip it. Its why this update went up so fast.
The Wild Area. Hoo boy, the Wild Area. In older games, you had a thing called the Safari Zone, a place you went to catch unusual Pokémon in which the rules worked slightly differently; you didnt fight them, for one, instead fiddling around with ways to raise or drop catch and escape rates, and you only had so much time to wonder around before the game kicked you out. In many ways, the Wild Area doesnt look much like the Safari Zone; it involves combat like everywhere else, connects towns like a Route, and has trainers, wild Pokémon, and all the features youd find in any other part of the game. However, it has a few glaring differences that demand a different approach.
For instance, while the area has tall grass haunted by Pokémon same as everywhere else, occasionally youll run into something wandering well away from both tall grass and any other Pokémon like them. These guys are in a class of their own; theyre usually at least 10 levels above their neighbors, have moves and stats solid enough to paste half your party the first time you encounter them, and cant be caught unless you have Pokémon of comparable levels (which you probably wont for a while). With planning and leveling, they can prove some of the most potent members of any party. Without them, youre boned
Oh. Oh shit.
Let me tell you about Chungus. Chungus was the first permanent addition I made to my party my first time through Shield. I found her wandering the Wild Area and caught her to fill a gap in my team. She quickly proved her worth, outpacing the filler Pokémon I had with me at the time, and she ended up being my Grass and Poison standby. She was getting a bit long in the tooth by the time we reached the endgame Roselias arent exactly considered top-tier Pokémon but she still performed admirably in nearly every battle I fought.
What Im saying is I ended up reloading multiple times to catch this Pokémon.
Anyway, you know how Hop mentioned sticking his head in a Den? He was talking about the news. Normally, they dont have that glowing pillar in them; if you interact with those, they give you a few Watts (a special currency you can spend on vendors that only show up in the Wild Area). However, some have those pillars of light. Those ones are special. Those ones have Dynamaxed Pokémon.
Battle! (Max Raid) - Pokémon Sword and Shield OST
Look at that big mother. Its about the only way you can make that Pokémon look even vaguely intimidating.
First off, you always fight these Pokémon in Raid Battles, which pit teams of four Trainers against one colossal Pokémon. While you can team up with players if you can find them, for the most part, you usually just bring in a bunch of NPC Trainers for backup and you need it, because these Pokémon are usually strong enough (in this form) to take on all four of you. Of course, you have a secret weapon as well
You have the chance to catch it. Captured raid Pokémon are usually substantially stronger than those in the area around them, but thats not the biggest reason to fight them.
Those top two line items are. In older games, you could sometimes find items called Rare Candies; if you use them on a Pokémon, theyd instantly go up a level, no fuss. Those exist here, but you also get those little EXP candies from raid battles that give your Pokémon free bursts of experience. While potent, rare candies only boost your Pokémon off to the next level, meaning some inefficiency in EXP gain. EXP candies boost them up wholesale. You make copious use of them just keeping your Pokémon up to date.
*Turns out I was wrong!
The only stat that actually increases during Dynamax is your HP, which increases by 50% (+ Dynamax Level * 5%). The increase in power is directly tied to Max Moves having higher base power than the move that makes it (usually; there's two exceptions where this miiiiiight not always be the case Fighting and Poison Max Moves, since the basic versions increase your Attack and Sp. Attack).
Wild Area (Version 2) - Pokémon Sword and Shield OST
And speaking of keeping Pokémon up-to-date!
In case you somehow arent aware, some Pokémon evolve into new (usually more powerful) types upon hitting the appropriate level. Evolutions vary from type to type: some Pokémon dont evolve at all, some evolve at set points, some evolve more than once, some evolve depending on various environmental conditions. But in our case, Scorbunny evolves into Raboot at Level 16. Simple enough. If I wanted to, I could have canceled that evolution and kept Bruce a Scorbunny. I dont know why I would.
I also got this thing; I had a screenshot but my Switch ate it. The funny thing about Dragon types like Axew is that, well, theyre rare. Theyre very rare, always have been, and they and their moves tend to be very powerful. Like hell am I passing up the chance to have one on my team at this point in the game.
I found this bloke leaning up against a tree halfway through the area; hes is one of the many randos bumming around the Wild Area. Some of them challenge you to fights, but others try to extort you for Watts in exchange for some item. I honest-to-God forgot what I got from this guy. It really doesnt matter much.
Holy shit, I actually learned something about this game today. In the first several generations, at any point along a body of water you could throw out a lure and try and fish up some Water Pokémon. So far so good, but you actually needed to find a fishing rod first. In fact, you needed to find usually one of three, and the easiest to find only ever fished up Magikarp (Pokémon whose trademark move is Splash, which doesnt do anything). Id unconsciously assumed I needed to do something similar in Shield and never bothered with the fishing spots, catching Water-types through other means. But as it turns out, the game just kind of gives you a rod automatically and lets you fish from the start.
I fished up a Goldeen. It was garbage, so I didnt bother catching or screenshotting it. Instead (even though the Switch also ate this screenshot), I found one of these in a Den; apparently they evolve into these, which are good and Water-type, so it took Monsnapitan's place. Sorry, little buddy, but you just got upstaged.
Finally, I didnt think I would actually run into one of these. Berries first debuted in Gen 2 as special items that could either provide beneficial effects like healing or curing status effects and unlike other such items, your Pokémon could hold them and use them automatically or be planted in special furrows. If planted, watered, and left alone for a while, those Berries would grow into trees that would drop two or three more. At some point in the last few generations they dropped the formality and just had permanent trees that could drop every kind of Berry when you shake them.
If you shake them too much, though, a Pokémon falls out. I do kind of miss the whole raise-your-own-food aspect of Berry production, but I dont mind the streamlining. In this generation, though, you can do something a little special with them.
One of the things you can do outside of towns is set up camp. It isnt as impressive an experience as the advertising seemed to make it out to be. You can basically do two things; play with your Pokémon, or make them some food.
You have access to a few different kinds of toys you can use to play with your troops; aside from the factor, it gives them a little bit of free experience if they take the bait and come over to investigate. But the meat (lol) of the experience comes from the other option: making curry. Instead of eating up this post with pictures illustrating the process, Ill just direct you to this YouTube video (its the only one I could find that actually shows the process, bizarrely enough). If you do all of that right, your Pokémon are healed to full, gain some experience, and gain a nice boost to Affection and for once in this post, Ill hold back from explaining the mechanics involved in that subsystem. Good Lord, this post is nearing two thousand words of mechanics chat.
And weve reached the exit to Motostoke, beyond which lies the plot. As such, Im calling it here for today. As I mentioned before, we need names for a Roselia, an Axew (which is in fact female) and a Tympole.