Ability Balancing

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JJayyFeather

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Discussion So Far
Stat Changes
Ability and Item Tenets Discussion

Ability Balancing

Okay, let's get straight to it here.

First Change: The Gen 8 Transition nerf is fully reverted. The short of how this works is all the offensive abilities get +1 BAP back and the defensive abilities that worked against only super-effective attacks get -1 BAP back.
Second Change: No more than one ability that increases the BAP of an outgoing attack or decreases the BAP of an incoming attack from a single Pokemon can take effect. In cases where more than one ability from the same Pokemon would take effect, the effect with the highest absolute value takes effect.

This thread serves as a thread for the community to propose and discuss nerfs and buffs that they feel are worth making with regards to abilities. As with everything else currently, the changes will still be finalized by the moderation team.

Approved Changes
Currently none.
 

JJayyFeather

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Starting Questions
Q1:
Should Rivalry be left at +2/-2, its new value after the nerf is reverted?
Q2: How do you feel about the idea of potentially buffing every ability +1 or -1 further?
Q2.1: Related to the above, what about just the defensive abilities?

These are just conversation starters, anyone can feel free to propose any buffs/nerfs or pose questions as they please.
 

nightblitz42

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Q1: Definitely leave Rivalry at +1/-1. Rivalry is already bad enough as it is to warrant gyms with Rivalry mons considering 1 Ability formats to avoid it. Changing to +2/-2 would arguably be a nerf because the average BAP boost still remains at +/-0 and yet the Ability becomes more random.
(Side-note: +2/-2 Rivalry would be awful for the Nidos because they have Sheer Force for +2 BAP with no stacking, so the -2 side would matter way more than the +2 side.)

Q2: I don't really see a need to go super-far with Ability BAP boosts. if we go +2 instead of +1, then Strong Jaw goes to +4 BAP, for example, which seems like a bit too much of a boost before item-equip. Maybe if the boost were outside of the damage formula I could go for another +1/-1, but even then I don't see what makes that change necessary right now.
 

JJayyFeather

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Q1: Should Rivalry be left at +2/-2, its new value after the nerf is reverted?
+1/-1 definitely would be better for the affected Pokemon. However, I'd be open to the possibility of +2/-1, leaving it a meaningful offensive bonus when active while limiting the ability of it to just screw over the Pokemon.

Q2: How do you feel about the idea of potentially buffing every ability +1 or -1 further?
Q2.1: Related to the above, what about just the defensive abilities?

I think pushing everything one further is a bit much. However, the defensive abilities, namely Sturdy/Solid Rock/Filter/Anticipation, could stand to see an increase in their efficacy. Maybe. It's a tentative thought of mine.
 
Q1: Should Rivalry be left at +2/-2, its new value after the nerf is reverted?
Q2: How do you feel about the idea of potentially buffing every ability +1 or -1 further?
Q2.1: Related to the above, what about just the defensive abilities?

I agree with Jay's post above about all this stuff. Rivalry being +2/-1 seems great. Buffing defensive abilities while keeping offensive abilities the same seems the best to me.

Other Abilities:
-Gorilla Tactics desperately needs a buff, but after some discussions on Discord it seems like this and Choice Items are going to get a proposed revision soon. I'm just not sure how much we can buff this ability before this + Choice Band becomes overwhelming.
-Huge Power and Pure Power probably need buffs since the stats are being changed significantly. Offhand maybe buffing each stage by +2 (First of three +3, Second of three +4, Fully Evolved +5) might help represent the standard attack buff you get from these abilities better.
-Something that came up in Discord was that Color Change acts weirdly around Protean, which makes Kecleon perhaps too strong. Not sure what to do about it but figured I'd mention it here.

Apart from that and what has already been proposed I don't think there's much we need to change regarding abilities.
 

JJayyFeather

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re Huge Power/Pure Power:

First, here's the mons with these abilities and their new Attack rank after the stat changes (assuming a +Atk nature)
:azumarill: 5
:azurill: 3
:bunnelby: 4
:diggersby: 5
:marill: 3
:mawile-mega: 9
:medicham: 6
:medicham-mega: 8
:meditite: 4

Here's a proposal

Huge Power/Pure Power: This Pokemon's Attack Rank is increased by 100%. If this Pokemon does not naturally have this ability, its Attack Rank is instead increased by one (1).

That's it. No fancy doohickeys, no levers or tricks or anything. Just bring it over raw. This lets the two megas that have it truly have devastating potential offensively, and every Pokemon that has this ability gets a very reasonable targeted buff, considering their stats are adjusted around these abilities.
 
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JJayyFeather

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Another suggestion set

Ripen: This Pokemon increases the number of uses on Berries it holds by 100%.
Fur Coat: This Pokemon's Defense Rank is increased by 100%. If this Pokemon does not naturally have this ability, its Attack Rank is instead increased by one (1).

Fur Coat goes hand in hand with the HP/PP buff. Ripen is just undoing a pre-emptive nerf because clearly that nerf was a bit heavy-handed.
 
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Dogfish44

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I'm.... really not sure how I feel on Ability Stacking. Can I check that the current definition of 'Ability Stacking' as as-on Discord;

things that numerically add their effects together, which is just things that adjust bap
I just want to make sure I'm not barking up the wrong tree before I go any further here.

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e: okay we're apparrently using the one in the OP. Rant time!

This is a targetted nerf. Like, there's no denything that, yes? This is a nerf that specifically targets Conkeldurr and Mega Aggron... and yeah, anything else being hit is being done so by proxy.

Now, I know a lot of us know Conkeldurr from the era of it being obnoxious, but honestly if other abilities are being retooled to be stronger (and really maybe we need to make 'utility' abilities into stronger things), getting a +4 really shouldn't be a problem? The more I look at it, the more I'm thinking that it's damage output is now reasonably comparable to other mons. Conkeldurr is a slow and very predictable opponent in terms of item choice - I don't think we need to be nerf-targetting it specifically.

I also worry that the proposed definition in the OP is blurry. How will this work with multiplicative abilities like Technician - do we need to special case that and Stakeout, or will having those abilities remove other boosting abilities? Will this interact with Skill Link - is that a special case, or are we just saying 'that's a BAP increase for all intents and purposes'.

And, of course, it does ignore most interactions, which I believe is going to be confusing. Porygon-Z will still get Download boosted Skull Bash/Hyper Beam, whilst Gigalith's 3 abilities all combine with one another. Mega Mawile will still get Sheer Force boosts onto it's now 18 Atk, and so on. I think that if we need to target nerfs onto Mega Aggron (I think item power increases help make MAggron less scary ngl) and Conkeldurr, we can do that in a less ham-fisted way.
 
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JJayyFeather

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I also worry that the proposed definition in the OP is blurry. How will this work with multiplicative abilities like Technician - do we need to special case that and Stakeout, or will having those abilities remove other boosting abilities? Will this interact with Skill Link - is that a special case, or are we just saying 'that's a BAP increase for all intents and purposes'.
This, is potentially the biggest issue with the change. There's a large amount of offense+offense and defense+defense ability combinations that get left untouched by the current definition. And as it stands currently, only things that additively increase/decrease BAP (so not Technician, Stakeout, etc) are affected by this change.
And, of course, it does ignore most interactions, which I believe is going to be confusing. Porygon-Z will still get Download boosted Skull Bash/Hyper Beam, whilst Gigalith's 3 abilities all combine with one another. Mega Mawile will still get Sheer Force boosts onto it's now 18 Atk, and so on. I think that if we need to target nerfs onto Mega Aggron (I think item power increases help make MAggron less scary ngl) and Conkeldurr, we can do that in a less ham-fisted way.
Honestly, this started as a targeted nerf at overly powerful Pokemon. But two things changed that for me:
- Those Pokemon are things of a previous meta and we already took corrective measures to minimize their impact in current state, this being the overnerfing of ability values.
- These Pokemon aren't actually being nerfed in most cases. As I stated in the wrap-up post for the previous thread, Pokemon that rely on putting together 2 +1 or -1 BAP abilities are actually at worst (exception for Sturdy + Overcoat/Magma Armor currently) completely untouched. Yes, they lose out on what they could have been, but what they could have been, both current Pokemon and future ones (CAP and Gamefreak don't exactly make our job easy on this one), could have ended up being a problem that would stifle our willingness to issue buffs to abilities.

In essence, the existence of these more direct overlaps made it really hard to justify passing numerical support over to Pokemon that actually could have really benefitted from better abilities, simply because we had to worry about the implications of other Pokemon being able to stack up the effects. I think it is healthier to approach this with no stacking being the rule, and making exceptions as we see necessary, rather than the other way around.

This being said, there definitely still are some very powerful ability pairings out there that we will need to keep an eye on, but that might end up having to be a policy discussion for the future when we're done trying to predict the overall outcome of this massive batch of changes to the game. And who knows, maybe Conkeldurr will actually be underperforming for once, and we can just give its abilities a codification to work better together if necessary.

Overall, this change is less about targeting a nerf at those Pokemon and instead much more about opening up design space to give buffs over to other Pokemon.
 

JJayyFeather

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Double posting because separate thought-

Huge Power/Pure Power: This Pokemon's Attack Rank is increased by 67%, rounded normally. If this Pokemon does not naturally have this ability, its Attack Rank is instead increased by one (1).

It hurts me to dial back on such a dope ability, but I think this is likely a healthier proposal. Even on the non-mega Pokemon, this was posting up to be a +5 BAP ability, which I think is a fair amount over the mark for an ability so general. At this value, it's +3/+4 BAP instead on them, which is still higher in magnitude than basically every generic ability, to pay respect to its intended volatility, but without going overboard.

Medichamite's effect will likely be to have it maintain my original proposition, boost by 100%.
 
I would just like to say that I disagree with Pure Power/Huge Power being dialed back to 67%. If its an issue to let mega Mawile have such an intense boost, make it scale from Basic mons to stage 1 mons or do something. But base Medicham, Azumarill and Diggersby having 7 or 8 attack is a huge and unneeded nerf to them compared to now. These pokemon should be hitting 10 Attack, and I see no reason to not let them have that. I think just as we are semi targetting nerfs related to ability stacking these pokemon should get to have a reasonably high Attack because that is what Pure Power/Huge Power is supposed to do.
 

JJayyFeather

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Wrapping this discussion up.

Approved Changes
Huge Power/Pure Power: This Pokemon's Base Attack Rank (e.g. before nature) is doubled. If this Pokemon does not naturally have this ability, its Attack Rank is instead increased by one (1).
Ripen: This Pokemon increases the number of uses on Berries it holds by 100%.
Fur Coat: This Pokemon's Base Defense Rank (e.g. before nature) is doubled. If this Pokemon does not naturally have this ability, its Defense Rank is instead increased by one (1).
Rivalry: This Pokemon increases the BAP of its attacks by two (2) against Pokemon of the same gender and reduces the BAP of its attacks by one (1) against Pokemon of the opposite gender.
Gorilla Tactics: Increases the Attack rank of this Pokemon by 33%, rounded up (e.g. 9 * 1.33 = 11.97 -> 12). This Pokemon has its substitution limit reduced by two (2).
 
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