At its core, Pokémon is all about trading. It’s about swapping Pokémon in much the same manner that car keys are swapped at certain kinds of parties, except you’re happy when you wake up the next morning with a strange virus such as the Pokérus. To make that concept work, the various games have always had some form of trading, with Wonder Trading being a favourite amongst fans. It’s also a completely broken system.
Never heard of Wonder Training? Here’s how it works. It’s essentially gambling, as you can choose any of your Pokémon, and send them to a recipient from wherever, while they do the same. You have no idea which Pokémon you’re getting, so it’s a risk. And that’s kind of cool actually. Maybe you’ll get a run of the mill Bidoof, or a high level Scyther. Maybe you’ll be lucky, and some generous sod will send you a Mew. Pokémon that you normally can’t obtain in the game, which makes the idea exciting.
Unfortunately, you’re guaranteed to get crap trades whenever you try a Wonder Trade.
I ran an experiment this week, to see how bad the trades really were. I’m the kind of guy who wants to give out cool Pokémon. I like being nice like that, despite what Geoff may say about me being a mean-spirited c**t. So I bred a Charizard, one of my finest with super high EV points mind you, to get some Charmanders. That’s a rare Pokémon for most people in the new Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire games, as well as a fan favourite. So good breeding stock, and the little fire lizards came with moves such as Flare Blitz and Flamethrower so training them would be fun.
I bred 30 Charmanders. Here’s what I got back in Wonder Trades:
- 8 x Zigzagoon
- 2 x Ralts
- 3 x Magikarp
- 3 x Electrike
- 4 x Poochyena
- 2 x Shroomish
You don’t need to be an expert to realise that those trades, were pretty much terrible. The only decent ones there, were Gurdurr and Bouffalant. Gurdurr was nice, because that’s a Pokémon that needs to be traded to be evolved into a Conkeldurr, while I’ve yet to encounter Bouffalant outside of Pokémon Black/White. Those are great trades, so if you were the guys that sent me those and got a Charmander in return, I thank you.
But look at the rest of them. Rubbish Pokémon, easily caught within the first hour of the game. Those are terrible trades, and not in the spirit of Wonder Trading at all. And yes, I do realise that Reddit and Pokémon forums are filled with guys and gals who will help you complete a Pokedex with rare legendary trades such as Deoxys or Celebi. But I want to see Wonder Trades work. And I’ve got an easy solution.
A karma system is needed, but one that shows off the previous trades from another player, before the swap happens. Here’s a mock-up that I made:
Now I’m not saying that this kind of system won’t result in you trading a Genesect and getting a Bidoof in return. But it sure as hell would make me sleep easier knowing that I’m sending a rare Pokémon to someone who has saved up enough positive karma to be allowed to eat a live baby sammich and still get into heaven.
As I’ve said, I like the idea for Wonder Trade. I just wish it wasn’t completely broken. Time to fix this Game Freak.
Last Updated: December 3, 2014