[Suggestion/Idea] Rental Pokemon system
If anybody has played the Pokemon Stadium games, you might have a pretty good idea of what I'm talking about. Basically, the game gives you a set list of stock Pokemon to use in battles (if you don't port them over yourself from your handheld games). These Pokemon usually aren't all that good compared to personally trained Pokemon but the game is still playable with them.
Why would PMU want to implement this?
I feel like it might be fun to have something like this if the stock Pokemon have decent variety to them. Arena or Stadium tournaments could be set up where people could only pick from the rentals, and there could also be a few fun options tossed in like Pokemon that only know Metronome (in all four move slots) or one-hit KO moves (in all four slots). Having such a feature would ensure every player is on the same level (assuming items are disallowed) for competitive play.
Also, this could be one way to create dungeons that require a bit more thought (people wouldn't be able to run comfortably with their own Pokemon, they'd have to adapt to this new restriction).
There could also be potential for players to take specific Pokemon for a spin, even those that haven't been released (inb4 Gible rentals).
How could this work out mechanically?
The important thing to make this idea work is getting the distribution of rentals right. Unfortunately I lack knowledge of PMU's current backend, but I have seen enough things in the game to think that it could be possible (either now or in the future with enough work done on the code).
The first method I thought up would be to create a "rental assembly/shop" so that players may choose which rentals they wish to use. Pokemon in this special assembly should be tagged to leave the party when taken outside of the map (Arena/Stadium/etc) they are being used for, similar to how escort missions have it set up.
One large drawback to this method: The rental Pokemon cannot become the party leader. To address this, you might restrict the player to use one of their own Pokemon and set it to level 1 (similar to how Pitch-Black Abyss requires only one Pokemon, no items, and sets that Pokemon to level 100). The player could then enter an instanced room (a pre-battle lobby of sorts) where they would find the rental assembly. Since the rentals would be obtained after entering the instance, they could be set to level 50.
Another potential method would be to temporarily replace the player's party with rental Pokemon. As for how the player selects rentals, perhaps there could be a user interface similar to the "Team" option in the main menu. However, where there would be the Switch and Send Home options, the player could be presented with a "Choose Rental" option that opens up the list of rental Pokemon. This would take care of the drawback that comes with the first method, but it would also likely end up as something a bit more ambitious than merely setting a Pokemon's level and even randomizing their moveset. One issue to watch for would be when the party of rentals occupies a team slot that is empty in the player's own party (potential remedy: allow a temporary rental team of only one rental Pokemon, since the player party must always have a leader).
Feel free to comment on this idea, and toss in your own suggestions/feedback. I may edit this post later on if there's new information I feel is relevant.
Interesting and good Idea I think. Reminds me of the Battle Factory in PKMN Emerald. That along with the Pyramid was my favourite.