Eagle-eyed Pokemon fans have clocked a major difference in the Stealth Rock ability in Legends Arceus, and it has the community asking questions about what that means for the rest of the gameplay.
Pokemon Legends Arceus is the series’ first foray into true open-world adventuring, and with that big change to the game comes some equally big changes to the gameplay.
While Stealth Rock might not be the most iconic move on the series’ long list of attacks, fans were still upset to notice that the classic ability seems to be taking a different form entirely in the upcoming release.
How Stealth Rock is changing in Pokemon Legends Arceus
This difference was pointed out in a Reddit post that showcases the entry ability’s surprising explosive animation in an early gameplay clip.
Instead of doing damage as a ‘mon hits the ground like usual, Stealth Rock triggers multiple sharp rocks to appear and fly into its target.
On top of looking completely different from normal, the move also does a jarring amount of damage to the poor Psyduck that gets hit by it.
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While some of the damage can be written off to the level difference, the change in animation has players guessing that entry hazard moves as a whole are being redesigned for the open-world game.
One user pointed out that this may be due to differences in the game’s most common combat experiences, as fighting singular Pokemon is different than taking on another trainer’s squad.
“With Trainer Battles not being a very big thing in PLA, Entry Hazards would be pretty much useless (they’re already really only useful against other players), so it looks like Stealth Rock is being reworked to a damage-over-time move or something similar,” they said.
If this theory is right, that means that moves like Stealth Rock and Toxic Spikes would work similarly to a trapping move like Fire Spin which deals damage over multiple turns.
There hasn’t been any official word from Nintendo about whether or not this will apply to all of the entry hazard moves, but players don’t have much longer to wait in order to find out for themselves as Legends Arceus releases on January 28.