I’ve been meaning to talk about the changes to Charge Attacks in Pokemon Go’s Trainer Battles but I keep on getting sidetracked by other things, like how cool Rayquaza is and how Suicune sucks. But I think this is worth talking about since it’s made Trainer Battles, both against Team Go Rocket, the three Team Leaders and other players a lot more bearable.
The original system for charge attacks meant tapping furiously on your screen. You’d get your charge attack ready and then you’d have to power it up by tapping like a fucking lunatic, something that you were basically doing already and wasn’t much different from doing raids. Frankly it was pretty boring. But the “Tap to Charge” mechanic was also reliant on your device and didn’t always seem to reliably measure whether you were tapping or not. Of course, this put you at a disadvantage if you have an older phone with a less reliant touch screen. On top of all the other drawbacks of not having the best smartphone, it was an all-round unreliable system.
This has been replaced with a “swipe your fingers” sort of thing. A pattern appears and you have to swipe and hit all the little symbols. There’s different patterns for different types. They’re not that difficult, but the big change is that you know whether you are doing good or not, since you are told Nice, Great or Excellent depending on how many little symbols you hit.
The pattern gameplay (if you can really call it gameplay) does mean that the damage you do is a little more reliable. I don’t know whether the amount of damage you do is based on how many symbols you hit or simply the Nice, Great or Excellent score you get but you have some idea of what’s going on. Like the change in the appraisal system (which frankly is a whole second article on its own), you have an inkling and know whether you are doing great or not but you don’t get concrete numbers.
On top of that, swiping means that trainer battles have a little bit of variation in them. They’re not just mini-raids where you tap furiously on your screen. While dodging in raids has been improved a bit, you can still end up taking phantom damage or take damage despite dodging anyway, and quite often you’re better off not dodging and just taking the hits so you deal more damage in total. But in Trainer Battles, you have shields which do as the name suggests and shield you from damage, and when you’re fighting against players, you need to use your shields wisely. Team Go Rocket Grunts won’t bother with shields though and Candela, Spark and Bitchy McBitchface will use all their shields pretty much as soon as they can. But still, there’s more to it than tapping wildly.
And of course the fact that all you have to do is swipe means that it’s more likely that the game will recognize swiping over furious tapping is good because you have to put a little bit of effort into it.
Of course, it’s not the greatest of plans. Because you can just be an idiot like me, swiping wildly on the screen and still getting Excellent charged attacks on a regular basis…