Not every Pokémon player is happy about the new gameplay details that are emerging for Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, the Switch remakes of Nintendo DS’ Pokémon Diamond and Pearl. In fact, a significant portion of the playerbase is currently upset because Exp. Share (a feature in which experience points are distributed among all members of a Pokémon party) is going to be permanently on.
The latest round of previews for the Pokémon Sinnoh-region remake games revealed that permanent Exp. Share will return and cannot be toggled off, which has prompted a lot of mixed reactions from the playerbase. Some welcomed the inclusion of a mechanic that would make it easier to raise Pokémon. Other players thought that spreading experience points across the entire party was a step backward for the remakes.
You might be wondering why this is causing a stir at all, since permanent Exp. Share was also a feature in Pokémon Sword and Shield. However, the difference is that those games were new titles in the series, while Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl are remakes of much-beloved Nintendo DS adventures. And if it’s always on, it also has gameplay implications.
In most prior games, battle experience was only distributed among the Pokemon who actually participate in a battle, which gave players more control over how their Pokémon were trained. And even when a game had Exp. Share, it was an item that would only grant non-participant experience points to the Pokémon who were holding one. So some players are worried that the developers are taking control away from them.
Another contributor to the outrage is the ongoing controversy over the main Pokémon games becoming “too easy.” Several commenters on the Serebii.net’s tweet about the news seemed aghast that the Sinnoh remakes would supposedly be capitulating to more casual Pokémon players (many of whom will be literal children). As ever, the community has no shortage of gatekeeping sentiments concerning whether or not players who haven’t experienced the older games can be “true” Pokémon fans.
Other players were more pragmatic about their complaints. Some were concerned that a permanent Exp. Share would interfere with “effort values” training. EV are hidden stat points that are distributed to Pokémon after each battle, and they vary by the Pokémon species. For example, defeating a Pikachu usually gives a Pokémon EV points for speed, while a Snorlax gives them points for health. Exp. Share in prior games distributed EV points across the entire team, and there’s a ceiling to how many points each Pokémon can obtain. Competitive players will closely micromanage EV gains to avoid ending up with awkward stat spreads, so some players are nervous that a permanent Exp. Share will make training competitive Pokémon even more annoying than before.
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Some people have pointed out that Pokémon can simply be placed in a box, where they would not gain any experience or EV points. Others pointed out that the far more annoying change was bringing back single-use technical machines (TMs), items that can teach special attacks to Pokémon. Personally, I just think we should stop arguing about a feature that’s been un-togglable for a whole mainline Pokémon game.
Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl will come out on November 19 for the Nintendo Switch.