Pokemon Sword and Shield are coming to Nintendo Switch this November, and developers have taken some bold decisions regarding some old-school Pokemon gameplay features. For example, Pokemon Sword and Shield won’t have Hidden Machines a.k.a HMs which have been a staple part of the series for a long time (minus some other recent entries). But beyond HMs, Pokemon Sword and Shield are making some other big changes as well, some of which are a bit more controversial.
Change is not necessarily a bad thing, but sometimes drastic changes can alienate a specific part of the fanbase. Pokemon Sword and Shield are going to make some changes to the gameplay, and these changes have not been received well by some fans. One of the biggest and most controversial changes is the removal of the Exp Share item from Pokemon Sword and Shield, making Exp Share automatic instead of letting players turn it on and off.
The removal of the Exp Share item doesn’t sound too bad on paper, as it will certainly make the game easier for new players. Still, hardcore Pokemon players have always liked the challenge of training the perfect Pokemon, and being allowed to turn Exp Share off allowed them to focus their training on individual Pokemon they wanted to train. Players no longer will have control over which Pokemon gets experience and which one doesn’t because the entire party will gain the same exp points. Some fans have been vocal about their disappointment with the change.
Guys! Don't worry! It's not bad game design! It's a feature!— Jerm D. Kingdom (@DistantKingdom) October 1, 2019
No nat dex? That's a feature!
No follow Pokemon? A feature as well!
Want exp share off? Oops sorry, that's a feature!!
Want to play the game you want? Nope! A feature! : )https://t.co/gtNWV2XxWt
Luckily, not every fan feels the same way; there are numerous fans who believe that the new changes are part of improved game design. Some players think that providing Exp to the entire party makes it easier for trainers to train all their Pokemon at once while cutting down the grind. Some fans are completely fine with the change, but all they want is an option to turn automatic Exp Share off/on. However, almost the entire fanbase is unhappy about the fact that Sword and Shield will only have a limited number of Pokemon available to catch.
"Edit @ 18:17: They also reveal that EXP Share is automatic, without use of an item in Pokémon Sword & Shield. It's currently unclear if it will be able to be turned off."— Bota 🎃🍬🐦 Pretty Witchy Birdy (@HimboBird) October 1, 2019
this is SO stupid if it can't be turned off.
IDK much about coding but I imagine having the option of turning exp share off isn't that hard. Again, if you're fine with getting more exp that's fine. But others want a "hard" mode. The ability to turn exp share off will give them a hard mode as leveling Pokemon will be hard— Eris (@Chibi_eris) October 3, 2019
Dude honestly the exp share being able to level the whole party is probably one of the better design choices in Pokémon cause it’s a time saver I don’t have to spend 70 years just trying to make my Pokémon better like I get having to earn your Pokémon but like there’s a limit-— FectorVonFireEmblem (@Slikside99) October 3, 2019
Pokemon fans being mad about EXP share is just further confirmation that they don't play any other games.— gameonion (@gameonion1) October 1, 2019
Most JRPGs have something like EXP share now. Look at DQ.
This controversial change has undoubtedly caused a rift between the community, and players are going up against each other in heated arguments. It remains to be seen if Game Freak listens to the feedback and makes some changes to appeal to both the grinders and casual players.
Pokemon Sword and Shield launch on November 15, exclusively for the Nintendo Switch.