Update: As you'll know if you've started playing Pokémon Sword and Shield's Isle of Armor expansion, the game doesn't appear to scale enemy Pokémon levels as we were first told.
It is now believed that the Pokémon you battle are more likely levelled in a similar way to the base game's Wild Area, scaling to the number of gym badges you own or by another similar method.
Original Article: Pokémon Sword and Shield are the first games in the mainline series to be treated to a large-scale expansion, with new content taking place alongside the games' main events. As such, we have plenty of questions regarding how it all works, and one of the most important questions has now been answered.
In a new report, IGN has confirmed that Pokémon Sword and Shield's Isle of Armor and The Crown Tundra DLC will feature 'level scaling', which means that the levels of Pokémon you meet will differ depending on your unique circumstances.
As an example, IGN notes that while watching footage of the new DLC, they found that the first trainer battle featured Pokémon at around the Level 60 mark - the same as the highest Pokémon in the player's party. Presumably, this would mean that a player who had Pokémon at Level 30 would come up against trainers also at around the Level 30 mark.
IGN says that Nintendo product marketing specialist Demetrius Boggs confirmed that the trainers in Sword and Shield's Expansion pass will scale with your own monsters' levels.
As a reminder, Pokémon Sword and Shield's first chunk of DLC, The Isle of Armor, launches on Wednesday 17th June. You'll be able to play the DLC even if you haven't beat the main game.
The main concern I have with this DLC is whether it expands the Pokédex or not. Adding hundreds of Pokémon that weren't previously in the game is cool and all, but if the Pokédex won't have entried for them, I'll have no drive to actually get them.
Plus new Pokémon and forms really need Pokédex entries, so we actually get to know stuff about them.
It'll be interesting to see if their IVs and EVs also scale accordingly.
It's one thing if the trainers in the story mode are all the same level, but they can either be low grade or high grade based on their base stats as calculated from their IVs and EVs.
Demetrius Boggs is an excellent name
@Dogorilla sounds like something from Harry Potter.
@Krisi since there will be new Galarian forms for a number of those old Pokemon I don't see why they wont have Pokedex entries.
Hmmm... Interesting. I wonder if they're experimenting with this mechanic for future mainline games.
So that, in the future, Gym leaders scale to your team?
That would be an interesting challenge.
Open world could work in a future Pokemon generation if they use this kind of level scaling, instead of just the Wild Area.
That actually sounds neat, and is a good way to ensure a consistent level of difficulty across the DLC.
It'd be very cool if you couldn't just easily overlevel all of your Pokemon (which happens pretty much by accident in this game, because it's SO easy to overlevel) and instead actually had to pay attention to team composition and change up your skills in order to conquer particularly tough trainer battles.
Please, I just want a smidge of challenge in these games.
Please make the next game totally wild like the wild area in the base game and these two expansions and then some light level scaling.
@Krisi both DLCs will have their own pokedex
@mariomaster96 Really? Did they state that somewhere?
Anyway, great news then.
I like this idea I haven't played All of Shield so it's nice I can jump into the Isle of Armour the level adapt Reminds Me of Final Fantasy 8
@Krisi yes on the official pokemon site:
if you scrool down to "Planned Content" it says new pokedexes for both expansions
Yes, it's called level scaling and it's been a thing in rpgs for over a decade now. You know Pokemon has fallen way behind the curve when level scaling is touted as a big new thing. It's a pretty controversial mechanic with a lot of players hating it and a lot of players loving it. It became something of a meme with Skyrim because of how disproportionately strong some of the regular enemies were compared to the fixed level bosses. Not sure how well it'll work in a Pokemon game but it could prevent issues that we've seen in the past where the game becomes a cakewalk, or encourage people to use something other than their starter.
I'd be more interested in seeing an entire Pokemon game designed more like the wild area, personally.
@Krisi There is an information page for the DLC that says there is an Isle of Armor Pokedex and a Crown Tundra Pokedex.
Sounds like the regular Wild Area to me. That one started of at level 10, but once you beat the game EVERY Pokemon is level 60.
@Octane On the article where IGN talks about it, they said that the trainers' matched the level of the highest level pokemon on the player's team, whether it was 30 or 60 or 100.
I guess I’ll make my own team as I go along the way, starting with a level 5 Pokémon.
New adventures, etc.
Hell yeah level 100 wild Pokémon
A welcome change, and something they should have implemented in the main games some time ago IMO. The closest thing we've had to this IIRC are the difficulty settings in Black/White 2.
Do they mean the levels will scale to the Pokemon you have in your team or that the levels will scale to the level of Pokemon you have access to?
Like if I've completed the main game but I show up with level 5 Pokemon will they still throw out level 60 Pokemon?
@mariomaster96 Awesome, thanks!
Ehh...not a fan of this mechanic. I hope there's an upper cap on the enemies...
Even scaling won't make it that difficult if you've played even 1 pokemon game before, don't know why they can't just introduce difficulty modes like B&W2 (limited though they may be) and expand. Instead they've gone the opposite way over the generations to make it baby proof to the point that even the postgame offers zero challenge.
@ChibiNinja well we know there's a cap to the level of the Pokemon already
Honestly this should have been in the game from the start. Actually should have a been feature like 4 games ago. Considering how easy it is to level up you break the game in the first hr
Yeeaah, they're clearly gearing this franchise to go full open world in a generation or two. They're trending towards more open ended design like the Wild Area, now level scaling? Those are some of the major pieces of the puzzle in making an open world Pokemon game work. I think they're using the DLC as an opportunity to experiment more with open world design and slowly transition the series in that direction. It's slower than I'd like, but it does seem like that's where the series is heading.
Cool, since many who wished a higher challenge wanted that feature. It was present on the Wild Area, but the highest level for Pokémon was 60 (65 for roaming Pokémon). But I'm not fully commited, I want to see how much the level can scale when it launches.
I need to get my head around which team to use. Most of my new shinys are now 100 so I guess I’ll build around them.
You're asking if said added Pokémon will not have a Dex entry...
Are you hearing yourself?
Sounds really dumb if you ask me.
@Zorothex I don't think so. There are Pokémon in the game that currently don't have Pokédex entries (like Mew, the Bulbasaur family, the Squirtle family, and Slowpoke), and actually, there were tons of Pokémon in Sun/Moon and especially Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon that you could easily capture in-game, and didn't have Pokédex entries at all. I guess the logic was that Pokémon Bank had entries for everyone, so that was the new place for you if you wanted a complete Pokédex.
I think it's not that outlandish to assume that Game Freak would do something similar this time around.
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