Twelve years, huh?
Thursday, 31 March 2022
Hello again! This will be a relatively quiet birthday update in terms of new content, but I do have a few things to say!
For those of you who just want to see something new and shiny this Phoenixdex Birthday: while I haven't updated any actual pages today (for reasons I will touch on below), I did add some upcoming art and design revamps to the Previews page! Mandicore, Vulkhet, and Nekhetura will eventually be sporting some new designs, and I've decided I wanted to go with a regional form for Farfetch'd (and subsequently Rapscalion). Go check them out!
I've also added the new moves from Legends: Arceus to the Fakemon Generator. (None have pages on the site itself yet; they're all signature moves for Pokémon/forms that aren't on the site, and we don't currently have mainline game mechanics for them.)
I've mentioned several times that I've wanted to rethink some of what I'm doing here on the Phoenixdex. It's been a while, and it'll still be a while yet; there's a lot that I still need to figure out, and a lot that will need to be added, cleaned up, or moved once I'm ready to start applying these changes. But I have recently come to some decisions, and I figured now's as good a time as any to share what my future plans are likely to be.
Changes to teachable moves
The smaller one first: I'm going to be making some changes to the Phoenixdex's current list of TMs, HMs, and tutorable moves. I haven't been super happy with them for a while: there are too many, and some of them really have no business being TMs/tutors in my opinion, and it feels awkward to try and squeeze moves from newer generations in with them. I'm going to be condensing both the TM and tutor lists and swapping a few moves around—this should result in the lists taking up less space on the page for a good while, give more room to sprinkle in moves from newer gens as they arrive, and get rid of silly cruft like Confide that's been clinging to my list since Gen 6. I'm still polishing the lists, and implementing them on the site and all the pokémon will take some doing, but hopefully I've done a good enough job keeping a diverse and interesting set of options for these fakemon to learn!
Conversely, I'm actually going to be adding to the HM list. Every move that's been a canon HM so far will be there, from Strength to Defog. But this is going to be coming with some changes to the pokémon movelist as well, and how the HMs would "work" in the hypothetical "game world" of the Phoenixdex. I'll save the full details for when I'm ready to launch this, but in a nutshell, HMs (and other overworld moves like Dig) will be accessible from a separate "exploration move" movelist, so that they don't clog up your active team's battle movesets with junk like Flash. Unless you want them to, that is. This is going to require some additions to the backend Pokémon data and the visible page templates, so it'll be a while before it's ready.
Changes to New Logora
And then the bigger one: It is very likely that at some point in the future, I will be archiving the New Logora region. As I've thought about what interests me when it comes to projects like the Phoenixdex, and how my fakemon and region design sensibilities have changed over these twelve years, I've come to realize that I just don't feel the same excitement for New Logora that I did once upon a time, and I don't have the drive to continue working on the story and characters. (Especially not the story, which you should frankly be thankful you can't see most of because it was a wretched, shambling mess. A mess that could be cleaned up? Sure, theoretically; I'd imagine it's perfectly salvageable, albeit with a lot of work. But without the motivation to do that, it's not really going to happen.) The pokédex is full of fakemon that are plenty of fun individually—although many are in desperate need of an art update imo—but some of them just don't feel right in this particular region anymore, and the type distribution is a bit of a train wreck. And lots of other things besides, many of which might be small issues on their own but which start to add up, and result in a list of reasons why, ultimately, I believe that I would have more fun focusing on a different project instead.
So, what's going to happen? What does "archiving" mean in this case? It means that even though I'm no longer interested in actively working on NL, I'm still proud of the vast majority of what I was able to complete, and I have no intention of throwing it away. What I will likely do is create a new set of simpler pages to store all the important information about the pokédex, characters, locations, and lore—they won't be fully integrated into the Phoenixdex's database, and won't list all the tiny little details like egg groups or tutor lists, but the art and stats and dex entries and character descriptions will still be available if people want to see them.
In its place, there'll be a sort of "spiritual successor" project to New Logora. I still really like the Unown theme it had going on, and I do still want to work on a region that does something fun with those funky little dudes. This will be a new region with (most likely) a new name, a new map, a new regional pokédex (with new fakemon!) and so on, although parts of it may still be inspired by OG New Logora to varying degrees. This project is still in its very early planning stages and I don't have many concrete things decided about it yet, so exactly what will carry over remains to be seen.
I have no current plans to archive Accolanto-Calivera or Faelan, although they're probably going to see some big shakeups of their own as well.
But what about my favorite fakemon?!
Don't worry: most of the fakemon that are currently in New Logora's pokédex won't be going anywhere! There are a tiny handful that may be removed/replaced outright (e.g., I've already mentioned on the Previews page that a new fakemon, "Mandeglare", is very likely to replace the current Galaraud and Galoryph), and another handful of currently undetermined size that may be camping out on the Extra Fakemon page for a while/indefinitely, but NL's successor will be keeping a lot of its current fakemon, and most of the others will be swapped into the AC or Faelan pokédexes instead. For example, I still enjoy Dustley and Aculago, but they share a bit too much design space with the Buneary line for them to fit in the same pokédex comfortably; since AC is still missing a second "early mammal" line, they'll most likely move over there instead, while NL keeps Buneary and Jackravage. They'll still be a part of the Phoenixdex as a whole, just with new homes!
The current list of canon Pokémon is in a bit more flux. I chose a lot of the ones I did to fill quotas, flesh out type combinations, etc., and not because I was genuinely excited to include them in the region. While there are genuinely no canon Pokémon that I outright dislike, I do enjoy some more than others, and I'd like the canonmon that are part of my project to be ones that I really love, or that at least feel like they truly fit with that project rather than "well I needed a two-stage Psychic-type line from this gen so these'll do I suppose". So some canon Pokémon, in AC and Faelan as well as in NL, may disappear from the Phoenixdex in the future.
Well, that was a lot! As mentioned a few times, it will take a while to figure out how I want to handle setting this stuff up data-wise, finalize decisions, and figure out exactly what form the archived information will take. There likely won't be any substantial updates until I have that sorted out, to minimize the chance of spending time on something that ends up changing dramatically later. If I finish any new artwork or revamps, however—assuming I don't want to keep them a surprise—I'll continue adding them to the Previews!
This news might be a bit rough if you were attached to New Logora as it currently is, and I do apologize for that, but my goal is to replace it with something that I know I'll enjoy just as much, if not more, and ideally most of you fine folks will enjoy it as well! And remember, you will still be able to see the major parts of NL once it's been archived! Maybe I'm ready to move onto other projects, but I put a lot of work into New Logora, and I for one would still like to have an easy way to look back on it fondly.
Thanks, as always for stopping by, whether you're brand new or a twelve-year veteran of this whatever-the-heck-it-is. I'll keep refining these ideas, and I'll be excited to share them when they're ready—hopefully they're worth the wait!