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On Assist and Sleep Talk

surskitty

「にがいのは いやだ」って…
Pronoun
they
I think we can all agree that using random moves from the entire movepool is hard to strategise with, yes? How would anyone suggest adjusting them to be more interesting in ASB than they are currently?

Some stuff to keep in mind:
- In-game, Assist is used with teams specifically designed for it, so that most of the moves your pokemon know can't be called by Assist, except for the moves you specifically want. In Gen V, it was often used in teams that set up entry hazards and then had Liepard call a Prankster Assist so that you can use Whirlwind or Roar as priority moves. Gen VI moved them to the list of moves Assist can't call, though. So Assist teams in-game have extremely limited movesets to try to keep it predictable.
- In-game, Sleep Talk is either used by pokemon specifically designed for it or if you need a pokemon to eat up sleep moves. So you generally know that you can't put Explosion on the same pokemon, for example. You're once again making a trade-off between versatility and reliability.
- Sleep Talk and Snore are the only moves that can be used while asleep, and Snore is kind of bad.
 

nastypass

that bitch what arranges the blocks
Pronoun
they/her/hers
...eh? Nah, I think Assist and Sleep Talk are fine as they are. Randomisation moves aren't really meant for strategising. Even from a ref's point of view, you could just use a metronome randomiser until you hit something eligible.
 

surskitty

「にがいのは いやだ」って…
Pronoun
they
There's a difference between 'not really meant for strategising' and 'completely random', though, and I figured it's worth discussing.

Like, this came up in the Direct Healing thread, after I suggested possibly giving Sleep Talk vague directions, like "buff yourself" or "attack the opponent".
I don't mind making sleep talk more viable, or at least more limited and predictable. Not related to rest's usability, but in general. Selecting 3-4 moves makes it too easy to get what you want though, because you don't have to go through the effort of building a moveset around sleep talk in order to make sleep talk useful when you do need it; maybe a list of 6 moves so you're less likely to get what you want, or x number of moves previously used in the battle (precedent: similar to imprison), or else you can only specify a vague category like surskitty suggested. I'd want the database to be pretty clear about how vague the category must be though; it could be as simple as choosing the type or choosing whether it's physical/special/nondamaging but not both at once, or whatever.

For that matter, assist.
 
"Not meant for strategising" is completely different from "not too different from using metronome with regards to usability". Ingame metronome already chooses from a massive pool of moves and that's its whole shtick. Meanwhile, sleep talk chooses from three and assist from up to twenty - that makes them far more predictable than metronome even if you didn't actually design your movesets around it.

For sleep talk I'm leaning towards "moves the user previously used in this battle" because then it lines up nicely with imprison, and the range of specific possibilities is somewhat under control of the trainer. You can even strategise with it somewhat while not being in full control. Flavour-wise, it can be that the moves recently used are at the forefront of the pokemon's mind so it calls on those more easily. (The edge case of "but no sleep talk-appropriate move was used thus far" can result in doing the "any move in movepool" thing.)

Assist should be broader than sleep talk, of course, but ideally not, say, hundreds of moves. Limiting it to the level-up movepool might be okay, but it's not just about the numbers. So the "choose a vague category" thing might work better here, and it's still going to be rather unpredictable while probably not exploding you. That works out flavour-wise anyway, since the pokemon apparently has some control over what move it's using.
 

surskitty

「にがいのは いやだ」って…
Pronoun
they
"Not meant for strategising" is completely different from "not too different from using metronome with regards to usability". Ingame metronome already chooses from a massive pool of moves and that's its whole shtick. Meanwhile, sleep talk chooses from three and assist from up to twenty - that makes them far more predictable than metronome even if you didn't actually design your movesets around it.

For sleep talk I'm leaning towards "moves the user previously used in this battle" because then it lines up nicely with imprison, and the range of specific possibilities is somewhat under control of the trainer. You can even strategise with it somewhat while not being in full control. Flavour-wise, it can be that the moves recently used are at the forefront of the pokemon's mind so it calls on those more easily. (The edge case of "but no sleep talk-appropriate move was used thus far" can result in doing the "any move in movepool" thing.)

Assist should be broader than sleep talk, of course, but ideally not, say, hundreds of moves. Limiting it to the level-up movepool might be okay, but it's not just about the numbers. So the "choose a vague category" thing might work better here, and it's still going to be rather unpredictable while probably not exploding you. That works out flavour-wise anyway, since the pokemon apparently has some control over what move it's using.
I like these both a lot.
 
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