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Why does Sheer Force+Life Orb affect items and abilities in such strange ways?

2 votes

Sheer Force has a load of strange side-effects and interesting quirks. For example, Meloetta cannot transform with Relic Song if it
has Sheer Force (via an ability-changing effect, such as Skill Swap).
Sheer Force also negates the effects of items that occur after damage,
such as Red Card or Eject Button on the defending Pokemon, and Shell
Bell or Life Orb recoil on the attacking Pokemon, so long as the
attack used has a secondary effect. It also negates the effects of the
ability Color Change on the defending Pokemon, so long as the attack
used has a secondary effect.

Smogons article about Sheer Force and Life Orb. Why is does this combo creates such strange effects? Is in good old Game Freak logic or is ther an actual reason?

asked Apr 14, 2013 by Flafpert

2 Answers

2 votes
 
Best answer

My guess is that it's programming doesn't just eliminate secondary effects, but all other effects besides dealing damage on the affected moves. It's subtle enough that this hidden glitch likely didn't show up in playtesting, and as a cartridge type thing Gamefreak can't patch it. In short, sheer force moves deal damage and nothing else, as the same programming that cancels the secondary effects also removes the hidden effects every other move and ability has, like say, activating colour change. Items that boost ally damage still work, though, and i'm not sure if rocky helmet hurts sheer force 'mon or not so while it could be deliberate, the scale and pattern of it's effects suggest it's not.
Basically, my moneys on a programming quirk that either went under the radar or is too tricky to correct, so Gamefreak went with it, thinking it not a big deal and/or interesting enough to keep. I guess whether it's tweaked/fixed in X&Y will answer how intentional it's effects are (or whether Gamefreak wanted to fix it, as an ability that ignores game mechanics in that way could require an overhaul just to fix one ability). But, yeah, my money's on a glitch.

answered Apr 15, 2013 by Mechanism L
selected Apr 15, 2013 by Flafpert
3 votes

Well, just look at what the ability is called: "Sheer Force".

It means nothing other than brute force and force alone. That's why secondary effects are omitted, because the Pokemon with the ability is incapable of using any other method of attacking other than "sheer force".

As for Life Orb and misc. effects on items - it's the same logic. When a Pokemon w/ the ability uses a move that activates it, the Pokemon uses pure power and therefore anything that has a secondary effect is ignored, because otherwise it wouldn't be using 'pure' power.

That's how I saw it anyway.

answered Apr 15, 2013 by fondant
Yeah, but theres a difference between magical creatures and glitchy side effects. It is a game, after all. And neutralising ALL effects after damage instead of just secondary effects like poison on sludge bomb like the game says, whether ally or enemy, is a fairly obvious glitch.
You can try and reason with the battle mechanics however you like, but at the end of the day the only reason is "because Game Freak made it that way". I gave you my take on Sheer Force, but if you don't buy it then so be it.

+ you're not using the term "glitch" correctly. Sheer Force negating the effects of items is not a "glitch", it's an effect. If'd only be a glitch if those side effects weren't supposed to happen in regular game play.
Yeah but sheer force is supposed to negate a moves side effects for a damage boost, not ALL effects after damage. The abilitys effect is meant to trade ally side effects for power, not cancel all of them. Relic song is the best example. Gamefreak wouldn't have made Moloetta skill swappable if they knew sheer force would cause it's main draw to fail. It doesn't matter how many inverted commas you feel like using. It is obvious this is not intentional. And something unintentional that affects gameplay is a glitch.
"Sheer Force has a load of strange side-effects and interesting quirks." That quote from Smogon pretty much sums it up. It's not a glitch that Meloetta cannot transform because of Sheer Force - it's just how Sheer Force was programmed. Every move that has a secondary effect is treated the same in how its effects are ignored, and Relic Song is no different. Why should it be? Wouldn't it be even stranger and more of a "glitch" if Meloetta did manage to transform even with Sheer Force?

Also, Sheer Force isn't the /only/ ability Meloetta can swap with. It's pretty one-minded to assume that the only reason you want a Meloetta is to use Skill Swap & get Sheer Force. And the reason Meloetta has so many moves with side effects? Serene Grace.
Sheer force trades side effects for power. Simple. THATS what it was programmed to do. Losing flinch and burn etc. effects from the attack are meant to be detrimental tradeoffs. Gamefreak's twisted logic is not an excuse you can call out every time a hole wide enough to question the already strained suspension of disbelief that is Pokemon. Not everything they do is intentional and "that's how they made it, so there" is not so much a bulletproof counter-argument as just being stubborn.
Hell, I like the little quirks that unintentionally crop up in games from time to time. Games without little holes to poke are boring, and it can add something sometimes. But it's still a glitch. A spade's a spade and a glitch is a glitch. And this is an obvious glitch.
Sheer force is not a logic singularity for the rest of the gameplay to revolve around, it is an ability with shoddy programming which I have exploited for laughs to hell and back. For an "expert" (see, I can use quotation marks too) you seem to have a mental block for evidence that disputes your opinion.