Let’s talk about Pokemon GO’s Combat Power: the re-balance and rework needed

Pokemon GO’s CP (Combat Power) system has been controversial since the launch of the game. Main series games fans weren’t pleased with this system and despite the first CP rebalance, there are things that make absolutely no sense like Suicune being weaker than Gyarados, Vaporeon or Milotic as water attacker (and a ton of other Pokémon), but in the end, CP is with us to this very day.

With games like Pokemon Let’s Go! Pikachu and Eevee adopting the Combat Power system, we were curious to see how could Niantic change / fix / adapt the Combat Power to tell a better, more comprehensive story about every Pokemon in the game. Let’s explore the possibilities together.

How can Niantic fix this?

1. Changing the CP formula to scale down from Mewtwo

Maybe that won’t happen anytime soon, but if it does (with the introducing of PVP, fingers crossed), this could be the simplest way to fix it. The problem is: without a battle rework, this change would only be visual.

Just look at Latias, Regice or Lugia. Despite being cool that they break the 3000+ CP barrier, it’s bittersweet, since their utility is very deficient. So, changing the formula would only hide the problem, rather than actually fixing.

Anyway, we think you should know how the CP’s could look like if this kind of “rebalance” was made. Assuming the CP from Mewtwo as the base CP to calculate all of the others (which would mean that Mewtwo would be the strongest Pokémon available), here’s all the CP’s if they were purely based on base stats from the main series games and how the Pokémon would rank.

*Victreebel, Electrode, Bellossom, Octillery, Ludicolo, Shiftry, Exploud & Glalie all follow Vileplume.

2. Without changing the formula

The same way Mewtwo, Ho-Oh or Rayquaza got nerfed (-9%) in order to balance the game, Niantic could simply change the base stats values in order to fix the utility of Pokémon like Suicune, Articuno or even Lugia, but mainly the Regi trio (players worst nightmare since the Legendary Raids were released).

That could be done in several ways:

  1. Swapping points from the Defense to the Attack
  2. Adding some points to the Attack
  3. Adding a different mapping between core and GO games
  4. Based on the final CP desired, calculate how much the attack value should be.

The problem is that this change would only work with the legendaries, due to prohibition to place them as gym defenders. But alas, a bit of a change goes a long way.

3. Making Pokémon GO a little bit more strategic

It’s well known that Niantic always wanted to Pokémon Go being a simple game, giving a valid argument to the present battle system. The problem is that it got so simple (after the removal of the Prestige System and changing the Charge Attack Dynamics from the well timed long press to a simple random tap) that the current system is mockingly called “tap tap win” in the hardcore circles. In a nutshell: it’s repetitive and boring.

Luckily, the core games have a feature in place that can easily fix this: effects and abilities.

Current “abilities” in GO

We had to wait some time for Ditto. The struggle got even more real to release Delibird (that came as a let down, even considering the creativity with the stardust bonus per catch) and no word on Smeargle.

Gen 3 got released, there’s rumours about how soon Gen 4 may be coming to the game and adding to that Smeargle problem, we have a Shedinja problem and a stranger Huntail and Gorebyss problem (still missing from our Pokedex, even with the recent flood of evolution items).

So similar with this strand that Niantic is exploring, they could use this to make some broken Pokémon useful by introducing simplified passive abilities:

  • Imagine giving a ice charge attack to Suicune that adding to the damage dealt, it would have an frozen effect on the opponent, slowing it down.
  • Or adding a fast attack to Registeel that with each strike it would boost his attack stat for that battle.
  • Or with the simple presence of Lugia or Hypno in the field, it would confuse the Raid boss, making him hit itself in confusion.
  • Or with Flygon on the field, all the ground attackers would be boosted by sandstorm (the same with Milotic, making rain fall in the middle of clear weather).
  • Or having Venomoth poisoning the opponent, or Magcargo burning it, taking a piece from its HP, every time the opponent attacks.

This way, the game would be more complex, but not that hard to understand nor to follow.

This way it would make us to start giving attention to the defenders, making them a valuable asset to any team. An improvement in the way we battle and a game changer to the Raid System! Groups of people would join and define strategies to defeat a raid boss wisely.


Post Author: PokemonGo

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