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Lord_Brand

Idea: Composite Types (A + B = C)

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This is an idea I struck upon recently, the concept of "composite" types that represent a combination of two "basic" types mixed together. This is intended mainly for Pokemon that really want to be three or even four types, but are unable to because of the current dual-type limitations. A Pokemon that's only two basic types would just have those types listed separately.

My proposed combos:

Spoiler
  • Normal + Ground = Plain
  • Normal + Dark = Cambion (a half-human-half-demon, usually the product of an incubus or succubus mating with a human)
  • Normal + Fairy = Elf (a being similar to both humans and fairies)
  • Fighting + Flying = Acrobat
  • Fighting + Ground = Golem
  • Fighting + Dark = Vigilante
  • Flying + Bug = Insect (insects are the only arthropods capable of flight)
  • Flying + Electric = Storm
  • Flying + Dragon = Drake
  • Flying + Fairy = Sylph (the classic air elemental)
  • Poison + Ground = Marsh
  • Poison + Steel = Junk
  • Poison + Fire = Smoke
  • Poison + Psychic = NeuroTox ("neurotoxin")
  • Poison + Dragon = Wyvern
  • Ground + Rock = Earth
  • Ground + Ghost = Grave
  • Ground + Fire = Desert
  • Ground + Grass = Meadow
  • Ground + Water = Mud
  • Ground + Psychic = GeoKin ("geokinetic")
  • Ground + Ice = Tundra
  • Ground + Dark = Cave
  • Ground + Fairy = Gnome (the classic earth elemental)
  • Rock + Ghost = Tomb
  • Rock + Steel = Ore
  • Rock + Fire = Lava
  • Rock + Water = Pearl
  • Rock + Psychic = LithoKin ("lithokinetic")
  • Rock + Ice = Crystal
  • Rock + Dark = Obsidian
  • Rock + Fairy = Moonstone
  • Bug + Ghost = ExoSkel ("exoskeleton")
  • Bug + Water = Crab (I would use Crustacean, but Crab is shorter and easier to pronounce)
  • Bug + Psychic = HiveMind
  • Ghost + Fire = Pyre
  • Ghost + Psychic = Medium
  • Ghost + Dark = Shade
  • Ghost + Fairy = Spirit
  • Steel + Fire = Forge
  • Steel + Electric = Tech
  • Steel + Psychic = MetalKin ("metallokinetic")
  • Fire + Grass = Solar
  • Fire + Electric = Plasma
  • Fire + Psychic = PyroKin ("pyrokinetic")
  • Fire + Dragon = Dragonfire (not creative, I know, but it gets the point across)
  • Fire + Dark = Inferno
  • Fire + Fairy = Ifrit (a type of djinn associated with fire)
  • Grass + Fairy = Dryad (a forest nymph)
  • Water + Psychic = HydroKin ("hydrokinetic")
  • Water + Ice = Slush
  • Water + Fairy = Undine (the classic water elemental)
  • Electric + Psychic = ElecKin ("electrokinetic")
  • Psychic + Ice = CryoKin ("cryokinetic")
  • Psychic + Dark = Nightmare
  • Dark + Fairy = Imp

For each type, I'd thought of a naming convention I try to use if at all possible:

  • Normal - Plain or mundane concepts
  • Fighting - Warriors or martial arts
  • Flying - Aerial phenomena or flying creatures
  • Poison - Toxins and other hazardous phenomena
  • Ground - Terrain types, such as desert and tundra
  • Rock - Mineral forms
  • Bug - Different kinds of bugs or phenomena relating to bugs
  • Ghost - Supernatural phenomena or tropes related to death or the undead
  • Steel - References to metal or objects made of metal
  • Fire - Heat and hot phenomena
  • Grass - Plants and life
  • Water - Aquatic creatures, environments, and phenomena
  • Electric - Electricity, lightning, and electrical appliances
  • Psychic - Psychic abilities or professions
  • Ice - Coldness
  • Dragon - Draconic or otherwise reptilian creatures
  • Dark - Criminal or underhanded concepts
  • Fairy - Fantasy creatures such as elementals and nymphs

I haven't bothered to come up with a "composite" type for every possible type pair as of yet because of my reasoning that, in a given trio, some type pairs just make more sense than others. For example, let's say Beedrill is Bug/Flying/Poison. Insect works perfectly here since Insects are the only bugs that fly. Thus, Insect/Poison would be the ideal type combination for Beedrill. Indeed, any Bug/Flying/X combination most likely equates to Insect/X. By the same token, Rock/Ground/X most often will end up as Earth/X, because Rock and Ground combine so readily.

Pokemon with dual composite types might be another matter, but those would be quite rare and probably best handled on a case-by-case basis.

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So... basically, I have fifty new type names to remember? I can't say I'm a fan. At a certain point, I think just allowing Mons a third type would be preferable. Like, hearing "oh Beedrill is Bug/Poison/Flying" might be tough, but hearing "Beedrill is Insect/Poison, wait how does Insect work again?" is so much worse.

Alternatively, what if we introduced Moves that gave "missing-a-type" Pokemon the chance to sort-of gain that typing? In Beedrill's case, it could get a move that I'm calling "Flying Free". It's a status move that makes the user immune to Ground-type attacks, and grants a 1.5x multiplier on Flying-type attacks. It would be accessible to other "wannabe Flying-types" as well, like Venomoth, Celebi, and Empoleon, but not to any Mons who are already Flying-type. Perhaps old moves like Water Sport andud Sport could be reimagined as Water- and Ground-type equivalents, respectively? This way, Mons who are "missing a type" could enjoy the benefits of a third type, without the drawbacks (at the cost of a moveslot). And we'd only need 18 such moves, as opposed to potentially hundreds of dual-type names.

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There's a reason I didn't bother coming up with names for every possible pair. ; ) Like in the case of Bug/Flying/Poison (which should be a fairly common trio by all rights), there's no need for a Bug/Poison or Flying/Poison composite when Bug/Flying works perfectly. I guess we'd need to run down a list of every possible type trio to determine which type pairs don't really need a composite? The fewer, the better.

For what it's worth, I picture the composite type symbols using a horizontal color gradient to serve as a reminder of which two types they represent. I also aimed for names that clearly conveyed the constituent types (Insects are flying bugs, Lava is fiery molten rock, Mud is water mixed with dirt, etc). I also tried to establish a naming convention for each type, such as Ground-type composites mostly being named after types of terrain (like desert and tundra) and Fairy-type composites all being named after some kind of fantasy creature, preferably humanoid (Gnome, Undine, Imp, etc).

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Sounds interesting, but might be a little too complex. I had a thought before about the Plates, that changes Arceus' typing to enable an additional typing to Pokemon who hold it. It wouldn't add a fully third typing, but add like a half type so that it wouldn't be too strong.

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4 hours ago, Lord_Brand said:

There's a reason I didn't bother coming up with names for every possible pair. ; ) Like in the case of Bug/Flying/Poison (which should be a fairly common trio by all rights), there's no need for a Bug/Poison or Flying/Poison composite when Bug/Flying works perfectly. I guess we'd need to run down a list of every possible type trio to determine which type pairs don't really need a composite? The fewer, the better.

Ironically, I feel like Bug/Poison would be an obvious "composite" candidate. Ariados could be BP/Psychic, for instance, while Scolipede goes BP/Ground. Lines like Weedle and Venonat, too, would work better as "BP -> BP/Flying" than "Bug/Poison" -> "Insect/Poison", since IMO primary typing should be preserved as much as possible. 

4 hours ago, Lord_Brand said:

For what it's worth, I picture the composite type symbols using a horizontal color gradient to serve as a reminder of which two types they represent. I also aimed for names that clearly conveyed the constituent types (Insects are flying bugs, Lava is fiery molten rock, Mud is water mixed with dirt, etc). I also tried to establish a naming convention for each type, such as Ground-type composites mostly being named after types of terrain (like desert and tundra) and Fairy-type composites all being named after some kind of fantasy creature, preferably humanoid (Gnome, Undine, Imp, etc).

I think you had a lot of good names, sure, but it just feels like more work. If I see "Rock/Fire/Ground", it's annoying, but I can math the type effects out (i.e. Water is 2 x 2 x 2 = 8, Grass is 2 x 1/2 x 2 = 2). If "Lava" is added in there, it's an extra step to say "wait, Lava is... Rock/Fire, right". It'd also have me wonder "wait, does this thing get SpDef x 1.5 in Sand?" or "can I burn this?". If the type is really just a composite of two existing ones, then I don't see the advantage of combining them into one name, when I'm ultimately going to have to mentally deconstruct it to derive useful information from it.

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10 hours ago, Shanty Pete's 1st Mate said:

Ironically, I feel like Bug/Poison would be an obvious "composite" candidate. Ariados could be BP/Psychic, for instance, while Scolipede goes BP/Ground. Lines like Weedle and Venonat, too, would work better as "BP -> BP/Flying" than "Bug/Poison" -> "Insect/Poison", since IMO primary typing should be preserved as much as possible. 

I think you had a lot of good names, sure, but it just feels like more work. If I see "Rock/Fire/Ground", it's annoying, but I can math the type effects out (i.e. Water is 2 x 2 x 2 = 8, Grass is 2 x 1/2 x 2 = 2). If "Lava" is added in there, it's an extra step to say "wait, Lava is... Rock/Fire, right". It'd also have me wonder "wait, does this thing get SpDef x 1.5 in Sand?" or "can I burn this?". If the type is really just a composite of two existing ones, then I don't see the advantage of combining them into one name, when I'm ultimately going to have to mentally deconstruct it to derive useful information from it.

Question is, what do you call the Bug/Poison composite?

Type composites could cut down on steps once you have their own type interactions memorized. If you know that Water is ×4 damage against Lava, then you don't really need to constantly remind yourself that Lava is Rock + Fire combined. You just check the composite type against the type it's paired with; Water is ×6 damage against a Lava/Ground type. Same goes for an Earth/Fire type, another logical expression of Ground/Rock/Fire (and probably the preferred option).

I guess we could try to come up with exactly one composite pair for each type? That would result in 9 pairs, ideally three physical, three special, and three mixed.

  • Normal + Fighting = ???
  • Ground + Rock = Earth
  • Flying + Bug = Insect
  • Fire + Dragon = ???
  • Water + Ice = ???
  • Psychic + Fairy = Mystic
  • Poison + Grass = Ivy
  • Ghost + Dark = Shade
  • Steel + Electric = Tech
Edited by Lord_Brand

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What exactly is the intention? If it's just to come up with a name for a type combination, then cool, I guess. But if the idea is to put it in an actual game then it would be antithetical to streamlined design. I know what types fire and electric etc are weak against. But it'd be an nightmare trying to remember what Pearl and Vigilante are weak against.

You also seem to be wanting to go triple barrel on types (is that something they've done in the newer games? No the the worst idea ever if it's mostly involves adding flying to something, but also something that should be restrained)? Beedrill isn't a bug/poison/flying type. It's a bug/poison type, the wings are an aesthetic. In fact, it's even weak to ground attacks. But if we do go through with  making triple types, but then combining two of the types then I can only see that as limiting design. Like, for the Beedrill example, maybe all bug/poison types with a flying aestetic that could neatly be fitted into bug/poison/flying are, currently insectoids (maybe, I haven't checked, though I do know that the scientific class for bugs actually refers to flying insects, to further confuse things, though Pokemon is already being inaccurate in that regard). But what if I want to have a flying spider based off kiting? I can't really since spiders aren't insects. Or at least I could only it wouldn't be a great name (and that's not even considering the massive number of insects that don't fly at all, making it quite a non-indicative name).

And even some of the exiting Pokemon I can see don't fit into the naming conventions. Like you have Bug Water as Crab, but Surskit, based off a Water Boatman, is a Bug Water Pokemon that isn't crab like at all. And the actual Crab Pokemon aren't bug types because, well while there's some connection between bugs and crustaceans as invertebrates, they're not really the same thing. And sure we could make Krabby or Crawdaunt a bug type retroactively, but that's kind of pigeonholing the idea of crabs into a water/bug mold. Paris would have to become a bug/water/grass type to fit into the crab mold even though it has no water association at all.

As ShantyPete says, calculating any types would inevitably lead to breaking down the component parts of the type anyway. Simply learning the new type combinations doesn't really work as there are over 300 potential type combinations in Pokemon (while maintaining the concept of a primary type). Learning the strengths and weakness for 18 types is difficult enough for new and inexperienced players, learning the type combinations for over 300 is verging on impossible for the average human, and even half that would be unreasonable. Just listing two or three types is much more succinct and easier to make calculations for.

Now that's all coming from the pre-established system that is Pokemon. If put into another system where type effectiveness isn't nearly as crucial an aspect of combat (because in Pokemon there's really no difference between *4 damage and *6, that's a downed Pokemon regardless) then I could see it working, just so long as the player isn't required to remember multiple type combinations. I think if you put it in a scenario where there are no type resistances or imunities to offset things, only weaknesses, and typing went beyond three into four or five combined types, then you could have a system based around stacking as many weaknesses together as you can find. You could even have a Shin Megami Tensei style fusion aspect to it so that the types are the actual names of the creatures. Though that's me kind of going to far up my own idea as if it's their names then it would revert back to having to list what types make up any given creature for it to make sense and thus wouldn't really be what's described here.

Edited by Jotari

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6 hours ago, Lord_Brand said:

Type composites could cut down on steps once you have their own type interactions memorized. If you know that Water is ×4 damage against Lava, then you don't really need to constantly remind yourself that Lava is Rock + Fire combined. You just check the composite type against the type it's paired with; Water is ×6 damage against a Lava/Ground type. Same goes for an Earth/Fire type, another logical expression of Ground/Rock/Fire (and probably the preferred option).

Wouldn't it be x8? Because 2 x 2 x 2 = 8.

Anyway, sure, I'll grant that I've memorized certain matchups (i.e. Water is 4x effective against Fire/Rock), but only through literal decades of play. And there are still matchups I have to "math out" each time - i.e. Steel is strong against Rock, but weak against Fire, so it's neutral to Fire/Rock.

6 hours ago, Lord_Brand said:

I guess we could try to come up with exactly one composite pair for each type? That would result in 9 pairs, ideally three physical, three special, and three mixed.

Even with this relatively conservative push, you're still widening the matchup table by 50%. And if we assume that these "combo" types will function as attacking moves, too, then that's another 50%. Essentially, there would be 2.25 times as many matchups than there are currently. That's a lot to ask seasoned fans to commit to memory, much less kids who are just coming into the series. I don't see what this adds to the experience that simply allowing three-type Mons would not.

3 hours ago, Jotari said:

You also seem to be wanting to go triple barrel on types (is that something they've done in the newer games? No the the worst idea ever if it's mostly involves adding flying to something, but also something that should be restrained)? Beedrill isn't a bug/poison/flying type. It's a bug/poison type, the wings are an aesthetic. In fact, it's even weak to ground attacks. But if we do go through with  making triple types, but then combining two of the types then I can only see that as limiting design. Like, for the Beedrill example, maybe all bug/poison types with a flying aestetic that could neatly be fitted into bug/poison/flying are, currently insectoids (maybe, I haven't checked, though I do know that the scientific class for bugs actually refers to flying insects, to further confuse things, though Pokemon is already being inaccurate in that regard). But what if I want to have a flying spider based off kiting? I can't really since spiders aren't insects. Or at least I could only it wouldn't be a great name (and that's not even considering the massive number of insects that don't fly at all, making it quite a non-indicative name).

This is a "well, ackshyually" moment, but because Bug resists Ground, Beedrill will take neutral damage from Ground-type attacks. Which serves to highlight how obscure many of the existing matchups on the table are (who's expected to remember that Ghost resists Poison, or that Steel is weak against Water?).

Also, in an ironic twist, one of the most obvious candidates (IMO) for adopting a Bug/Flying combo type, Gligar, is loosely based on the Scorpion (an arachnid).

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2 hours ago, Shanty Pete's 1st Mate said:

This is a "well, ackshyually" moment, but because Bug resists Ground, Beedrill will take neutral damage from Ground-type attacks. Which serves to highlight how obscure many of the existing matchups on the table are (who's expected to remember that Ghost resists Poison, or that Steel is weak against Water?).

Also, in an ironic twist, one of the most obvious candidates (IMO) for adopting a Bug/Flying combo type, Gligar, is loosely based on the Scorpion (an arachnid).

Curses, my Pokefu is too weak. I haven't played in a while, don't judge T.T But yeah, that unintentionally shows how complex Pokemon is already without adding another layer to the naming scheme. To just demonstrate, even with just a dual type system before adding in a third, there are 3078 different type match ups when attacking in Pokemon. 18*17/2= 153 dual types + 18 mono types for a total of 171 different type combinations (and yes, almost all of them are used, I've just made a thread to talk about the dozen and a half that aren't). That's how many Pokemon are defending, but then it needs to be multiplied by 18 because there's 18 different types for attacking too, for a total of 171*18 = 3078. So yeah, that's a hell of a lot of stuff to institutionally have to remember, even about half of them are only normal effectiveness (that's something that has to be easily worked out too, as in the case of this Beedrill, it's normal effective by way of a resistance cancelling out a super effective).

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9 hours ago, Shanty Pete's 1st Mate said:

Wouldn't it be x8? Because 2 x 2 x 2 = 8.

Anyway, sure, I'll grant that I've memorized certain matchups (i.e. Water is 4x effective against Fire/Rock), but only through literal decades of play. And there are still matchups I have to "math out" each time - i.e. Steel is strong against Rock, but weak against Fire, so it's neutral to Fire/Rock.

Even with this relatively conservative push, you're still widening the matchup table by 50%. And if we assume that these "combo" types will function as attacking moves, too, then that's another 50%. Essentially, there would be 2.25 times as many matchups than there are currently. That's a lot to ask seasoned fans to commit to memory, much less kids who are just coming into the series. I don't see what this adds to the experience that simply allowing three-type Mons would not.

Hmm, perhaps you're right. It all depends on whether damage is doubled each time or the multiplier is increased incrementally.

To help with the complexity, the game could calculate weaknesses and resistances, then let you know how effective an attack is going to be so you don't have to spend too much time thinking about it.

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5 minutes ago, Lord_Brand said:

To help with the complexity, the game could calculate weaknesses and resistances, then let you know how effective an attack is going to be so you don't have to spend too much time thinking about it.

That could help, and is basically what started happening in Gen VII. I'm not so "back in my day" crotchety that I'd pour cold water on a quality-of-life feature. Though I do think the option to turn those kinds of "battle hints" ON/OFF should be there.

Of course, if I'm designing a moveset based on anticipated future encounters, I'll have to figure out the matchup values myself. Unless the player were given a "Type Matchup tester", basically a Poketch app that allows you to see type effectiveness, for an input offensive type and defensive type(s). That could be a neat tool, even without any "combo types".

Of course, it'd certainly be simpler to choose between 18 types for a given slot than 27, no? Or when I'm doing a "search" function in the Pokedex or Box, it'd be quicker to have fewer types to choose from. If I wanted to highlight all Bug-types, would it include the "Insects", or exclude them? If I highlight only the "Insects", would an errant "Bug/Flying" type still be picked up? These are some of the questions that will be rsised by giving a new title to an existing type combination.

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My intuition says the system should work as would be most convenient. So, highlighting Bug would also highlight Insect, Crab, etc. and highlighting Insect would also highlight any other Pokemon that are both Bug and Flying-type, in the event they have a different composite type listed than Insect (say, a Bug/Storm type or something like that). I feel a composite type priority listing would be useful. The priority system would emphasize more similar types over less. Earth takes priority over Lava, for example, so a Ground/Rock/Fire type would be Earth/Fire rather than Ground/Lava. By the same token, Insect would probably be the dominant pair in a given Bug/Flying/X combination, the only possible exceptions I see being Normal/Flying or Bug/Grass. And I don't have a resonant name for those combos at this moment, so that right there suggests Insect/Grass is more likely.

I dunno, I guess at the end of the day simple triple-type Pokemon are more likely. I just thought there might be potential for "metatypes" that ideally would allow them to convey more information in a smaller space and with fewer words. Bug/Flying/Poison just feels like a mouthful compared to Insect/Poison. Is there a better way to justify the existence of composite types? Something that would mitigate the complexity or make it worthwhile?

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2 hours ago, Shanty Pete's 1st Mate said:

That could help, and is basically what started happening in Gen VII. I'm not so "back in my day" crotchety that I'd pour cold water on a quality-of-life feature. Though I do think the option to turn those kinds of "battle hints" ON/OFF should be there.

Of course, if I'm designing a moveset based on anticipated future encounters, I'll have to figure out the matchup values myself. Unless the player were given a "Type Matchup tester", basically a Poketch app that allows you to see type effectiveness, for an input offensive type and defensive type(s). That could be a neat tool, even without any "combo types".

Of course, it'd certainly be simpler to choose between 18 types for a given slot than 27, no? Or when I'm doing a "search" function in the Pokedex or Box, it'd be quicker to have fewer types to choose from. If I wanted to highlight all Bug-types, would it include the "Insects", or exclude them? If I highlight only the "Insects", would an errant "Bug/Flying" type still be picked up? These are some of the questions that will be rsised by giving a new title to an existing type combination.

Fire Red and Leaf Green's help system by pressing L or R is usually an annoying mispress that isn't useful, but when using it in battle it did have a section for type match ups and I found that incredibly useful for checking the obscure match ups. Like even a seasoned player would rarely have had cause to use a ghost attack on a bug pokemon (at least back in Gen 3 when Bug Pokemon still sucked and Shadowball was the only Ghost attack).

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13 hours ago, Jotari said:

Fire Red and Leaf Green's help system by pressing L or R is usually an annoying mispress that isn't useful, but when using it in battle it did have a section for type match ups and I found that incredibly useful for checking the obscure match ups. Like even a seasoned player would rarely have had cause to use a ghost attack on a bug pokemon (at least back in Gen 3 when Bug Pokemon still sucked and Shadowball was the only Ghost attack).

Haha, I forgot about that. To clarify, though, it's Bug-type moves that aren't effective against Ghost-type Pokemon. Of course Bug-type moves (and Ghost Pokemon) were rare in the first three generations.

15 hours ago, Lord_Brand said:

I dunno, I guess at the end of the day simple triple-type Pokemon are more likely. I just thought there might be potential for "metatypes" that ideally would allow them to convey more information in a smaller space and with fewer words. Bug/Flying/Poison just feels like a mouthful compared to Insect/Poison. Is there a better way to justify the existence of composite types? Something that would mitigate the complexity or make it worthwhile?

On a more fundamental level, I think the problem with "composite types" is that they're changing what types actually are. Previously, they were independent fundamental building blocks, which could be combined uniquely in various ways. "Composite types", however, are necessarily dependent on the types that make them up. What's more, they're no longer unique descriptors: Insect/Water is functionally identical to Crab/Flying, for instance. It creates unnecessary redundancies, to little end other than additional flavor text.

A bit of a weird metaphor, but it's like putting Water (H2O) on the Periodic Table of elements. No one would contest that water is a vital component of biological and geological processes on Earth and beyond. But in spite of its abundance and significance, it's not an element, because it's derived from two other elements in Hydrogen (H) and Oxygen (O). I see any attempt to put a derived type (Insect) on the same level as independent types (such as Bug and Flying) as inherently misguided and bad for game design. I'm sorry if that comes across as overly harsh, but it's just honest to where I'm coming from.

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I guess I've just always loved gameplay mechanics where you mix Item A with Item B and get Item C as a result, and this was an attempt at implementing that. Maybe if we were looking at a game with fewer basic elements, like Earth/Water/Air/Fire, then composite types could have worked. But with 18 types already present, it seems there are too many "basic" elements to mix and keep track of. Guess I'll chalk this one up as a failure, then.

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14 hours ago, Lord_Brand said:

I guess I've just always loved gameplay mechanics where you mix Item A with Item B and get Item C as a result, and this was an attempt at implementing that. Maybe if we were looking at a game with fewer basic elements, like Earth/Water/Air/Fire, then composite types could have worked. But with 18 types already present, it seems there are too many "basic" elements to mix and keep track of. Guess I'll chalk this one up as a failure, then.

For the record, I don't think it's wrong to consider, I just wouldn't see a fan of it being implemented. And I do think we already have some of the "type mixing", in the form of Dual-type Pokemon. You mentioned Fire/Rock as a "Lava" type, and the most notable Pokemon with that typing, Magcargo, is in fact made of lava! I don't think it's wrong to consider how two types would mix with each other, and what sort of Pokemon would come out. I just disagree with the convention of granting new type names to certain combinations, since I think it obscures the (relative) simplicity of the existing system.

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