For as much as I’ve enjoyed Palworld, I did not imagine it would have a terribly large amount of longevity in its early access form. It’s missing a ton of features and anything approaching an “endgame” in the traditional sense, and I wondered when it would start to slow down.
I feel like I’ve found that point.
What I’m running into now is a mechanic that may be somewhat traditional for survival games, but it not the case for most Pokémon games, one where resource collection dramatically overtakes actual exploration, battling and catching.
In Palworld, once you start moving into 30+ monsters, unless you want your capture percentages to be impossibly low, you have to start using higher end balls, namely Hyper Spheres but better yet, Ultra Spheres. Past that, from level 40-50, it will be Legendary Spheres.
But even at the Ultra Sphere level, to make one ball it requires four different ingredients using seven different other ingredients.
Paldium can only be mined in small chunks outside of larger dungeons deposits, or over time, be refined in a Crusher.
Refined Ingots require double ore compared to normal Ingots plus Coal.
Carbon Fiber requires either Coal or Charcoal, where Charcoal requires Wood.
Cement requires Stone, and then Bone and Pal Fluids, farmed from a small list of specific Pals.
Even with some amount of automation, it’s exhausting to try to get a reasonable supply of the level of spheres you need. It’s not difficult per se, it just takes forever, unless you want to deal with 14% capture percentages of lesser spheres.
I understand that this is a survival game thing, where building higher and higher quality stuff requires more investment in better materials, but if you’re approaching Palworld from a Pokémon point of view, it slows down the action too much, that you can capture a scarce handful of Pals before starting the entire process over again.
There are mitigations for this, changing around settings in the editor to simply…make the game easier, but if Palworld is trying to be balanced at baseline, it does feel like there’s more work to do on that end. As such, what feels like a bunch of fun exploration, fighting and catching initially will slow down into tedium in relatively short order. There are a lot of great things produced with Palworld blending all these different games and genres together, but this is one piece that I think does not fit particularly well, depending on how you’re approaching the game.
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I’ve been writing about video games, television and movies for Forbes for over 10 years, and you may have seen my reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic. I cover all manner of console and PC games, but if it’s about looting or shooting, I’m definitely there. If I’m watching something, it’s usually science fiction, horror or superheroic. I’m also a regular on IGN’s Fireteam Chat podcast and have published five sci-fi novels.
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