In last weeks Making a Pokemon MMORPG, I discussed how leveling your favorite critters would work in a massive setting. With all of the focus on leveling your team of pokemon over the years, there hasn't been much innovation on building a unique trainer. Taking the classic RPG to an MMO level would be the perfect opportunity to finally provide unique character development in Pokemon.
An MMORPG for Pokemon would run under a different paradigm than past games. You may be able to name your pokemon trainer, choose your gender, and even be dedicated enough to change the color of your trainer card. There is no real level of customization though when it comes to playing a Ketchum-esque protagonist. Fans are sure to see some changes in the series eventually, but they have waited long enough. It's rare to find an MMORPG without customization options for your character. The mere creation of this game would give fans something they have probably always wanted, even if they're complacent with the amazing accomplishments in the series thus far.
It's not just about the esthetic character qualities though. There need to be goals and accomplishments for characters so that players will be distinguished by more than the pokemon they use. The most important aspect to look at in trainer development is the ability to level on a distinctly separate scale than their pokemon. Trainer levels have never existed, but it shouldn't be difficult to implement them. Trainers can range from level one to ten, unlocking changes in their gameplay along the way. Nintendo would just need to figure out how to allow trainers to achieve these levels though.
One idea would be to improve characters as they catch more pokemon. It's odd but the original Pokemon games actually stress the "Gotta Catch Em' All" mentality very poorly. Professor Oak clearly asks you to fill his pokedex with as many creatures as possible. Instead, players could realistically fight with one creature, while only needing others for their abilities outside of battle.