Pocketpair’s Palworld is certainly a successful mashup of many different design decisions. Some Arc, some Rust, lots of creature catching Pokemon, but even with all those well-working pieces, the world and exploration itself could be stronger on its own. So, here’s 10 ways Pocketpair could improve Palworld’s sense of exploration.
More Types of Rare Pals
It was a really good call for Pocketpair to launch Palworld with over 100 Pals that also includes legendary Pals. They also deserve some brownie points for having an equivalent to shiny Pokemon with larger lucky Pals. However, while it feels great to find and capture these special glowing Pals, Palworld is the perfect kind of game to introduce even more varied kinds of Pals. Especially when Pal evolution isn’t much of a thing.
Filling the open world with other kinds of lucky Pals that might have different color schemes beyond just being large and that also come with special intrinsic properties seems like a win/win for better exploration.
Wandering NPC Pal Trainers
This is probably one of the most requested features that players want as it harkens back to the old days of Pokemon battles. All where exploring the world would let you encounter NPCs with bits of interesting dialogue and creature team compositions that could cause anxious tension depending on your own team’s lineup. In Palworld, this kind of feature is missing from its open world and really only exists when fighting against the five gym leaders in their towers.
By adding wandering NPC Pal trainers, Palworld exploration could be much more engaging.
New Weather Types That Influence Pals
While Palworld’s day and night cycle is appreciated, there is a distinct lack of weather effects like rain, snow, fog, and others that we, as humans, have come to expect from real life regularly. Knowing that Unreal Engine 5 is more than capable of producing these effects has given me the idea that Pals in the wild could change when weather happens.
For example, it would be neat if during the rain, fire type Pals become easier to catch and fight, while water types are harder to deal with or move faster and attack faster. Bonus points if these weathers are localized to different islands in Palworld’s open world.
Evolving Human Settlements
As you explore Palworld, you may find small human settlements that are either home to a few humans and some merchants, or small camps of enemy human factions. These small human camps in particular allow you to fight the humans and rescue the Pal that they have captured. That said, how much fun would it be for these faction’s camps to slowly increase in size, complexity, and difficulty?
Much like how you and your friends increase your own base, these humans could do the same with theirs, and when you finally raid them, they could have multiple Pals needing rescue or rarer/stronger Pals based on how advanced their camp is.
Alternate/Changing World Bosses
Aside from the few main bosses in Palworld, the open world bosses in Palworld are thankfully varied and plentiful thanks to them being bigger, stronger versions of normal Pals. It was also a nice touch for Pocketpair to let us catch said bosses. So that got me thinking. Wouldn’t it be a good idea to allow for alternate open world bosses based on time of day or weather? Maybe during the night, Chillet and Penking decide to change places.
Alternatively, maybe at night, a Pal boss like Katress could have a color change with added perks and properties. A change like this would only add variety and agency to players from my point of view, because time of day and even weather would be more meaningful other than “Oh, it’s dark now.”
Floating Islands with Difficult Content
An interesting idea for a kind of extra difficult end game content could come in the form of randomly generated floating islands. These sky islands could slowly float above the open world and be reachable by flying pals (or by gliding from tall places). Inside of them could be special temporary, and quite high leveled, Pals, bosses, and even dungeons.
Then, say, after 24 in-game hours, these floating islands would have traveled from one side of the map and disappear. To then be replaced by another new island with its own random encounters. Such a system could help bolster the endgame experience with more engaging difficult encounters that require certain flying Pals.
Rabid Pals that Eat Other Pals and Gain Power
As you play Palworld, you may come across some Pals naturally fighting other Pals, and that can be exciting to witness as you decide whether to just watch or engage and catch both parties. What would be neat is if there were rare spinoff events of this kind of natural interaction where the Pal that wins the fight continues to seek out and fight other Pals. By beating and consuming its opponents, the winning Pal could level, become stronger, gain abilities, perks, and even potentially change color.
As this continues over time, an icon could be added on the map where this cannibalistic Pal becomes a pseudo boss that you can catch. Allowing you to reap the rewards from owning a Pal who’s gained new strength from its rage-induced battles.
Dynamic Trading Routes Between NPC Settlements
The human NPC settlements that I mentioned earlier could be overhauled with some new features that would make sense for Palworld’s world. It makes sense to me to allow for these settlements to ship and trade resources between one another by a caravan system. Pocketpair would likely have to add some more advanced pathing to make this a thing, but such a new feature could create new emergent gameplay that would let players attack or defend these caravans with appropriate repercussions and rewards.
Seeing these trading routes attacked by enemy human factions and groups of wild Pals could help make Palworld’s open world and exploration feel more alive.
Aggressive Gym Leaders that Seek Revenge
Palworld features some fairly interesting boss trainer encounters via towers across the landscape. However, once beaten, there isn’t too much to interact with. So how wild would it be if these trainers decided to occasionally seek you out and your base(s) one you’ve beaten them? Much like how groups of wild Pals and enemy human factions attack your base periodically, these vengeful gym leader bosses could do something similar.
If you’re able to fight off these invading gym leader bosses, maybe you could catch the Pal that they are using and those Pals could have special properties that you can’t get anywhere else.
Dynamic Pal-Protected Zones
Palworld’s expansive and eventually more dynamic open world could also benefit from utilizing the crime system a bit more. Pocketpair could accomplish this by introducing small, but dynamic, zones where friendly human factions guard the pals of that area. If you decide to fight and capture pals in these protected zones then that would be a crime and the humans would fight back.
One reason you might want to do this though, is that the Pals in this area may have a higher chance of being rare or lucky. Or there could be other special Pal spawns that normally don’t happen in that location.
Ultimately, these 10 suggestions would bolster Palworld’s open world and exploration by making the world feel more alive thanks to further mechanics, discoverable emergent gameplay opportunities, and more varied and difficult content.
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