My Ideas For Pokémon GO Generation IV Evolutions

With Generation IV just around the corner I’ve been thinking a lot about how that roll out will look.  Sure, we’ll have plenty of new Pokémon to catch and hatch, but what about all the evolutions from Pokémon that are already in the game?

There are 21 Pokémon from Generations I through III that will evolve in Generation IV.  In addition there are seven baby forms.

When Generation II launched I remember one of the most anti-climactic things was simply evolving the Pokémon where I already had the candies.  I had a Crobat immediately and evolved both Espeon and Umbreon the same day as well.  Hitmontop was a challenge because you needed to hatch the right Tyrogue and Blissey was also challenging in that Chansey candies were so ultra rare at that point.

As we’re over two years into the game at this point, even casual players should be sitting on a decent number of candies for a lot of these Pokémon.  Additionally, with the introduction of raids, rare candies are not exactly hard to come by and anyone can dump candies into any Pokémon they choose.

Evolving these next generation Pokémon minutes after Generation IV launches and adding 21 Pokémon to your Pokédex would be a considerable letdown.  Not only do I have all the candy resources I need, I’ve got all of the Pokémon in the list ready to go with either good or great IVs at this point.

Even the Mew quest was a little bit of a letdown.  As a serious player there were so many items in that quest that I just automatically accomplished.  If quests had launched on day one it would have taken me months to get my Mew.  I would have felt so much more accomplishment at getting Mew, and probably even more anger at the fact that his IVs were at 76%.

I’m hoping they utilize Special Research to get some or all of the Generation IV evolutions.  Research has been out for months and my Special Research tab is looking pretty sad.  That’s eve though I’ve had the opportunity to do twice as much Special Research projects as most players by attending Go Fest (i.e. two).

Potentially you could have a quest for each evolution item.  Completing the quest would give you the evolution item, then maybe even introduce it into the pool of evolution items you get during your 7 week streak.  A challenging quest would be a great way to get your first Pokémon for the Pokédex.  Let’s face it, with evolution items at this point I’m trashing them to make space in my storage as there’s no real reason to evolve more than one or two of any of the Gen 2Pokémon that require them.

The staggered roll out of Gen 3 did a lot to keep things interesting but I think we need more.  In order to make Gen 4 a fun and engaging roll out, here’s my proposal to ensure that no one is able to complete 20% of their Sinnoh Region Pokédex within minutes of launch.

Generation 1 Evolutions

Gen 1 Pokémon have been out for more than two years.  I’m all for making things accessible to new players but there needs to be some challenge to evolving any of these in Gen 4.  These are all screenshots of Pokémon from my collection.  Even for the super rare Tangela I have 156 candies, that’s without ever using a Pinap berry.  I went months to hatch my first Tangela and I think I’ve only ever seen one or two in the wild.  To just evolve it instantly would be too easy.

Here’s a breakdown for how I’d like to see the Gen 4 evolutions for Gen 1 to work out.

Magneton to Magnazone

  • Candy Cost: 100
  • Walk Magneton 10km
  • Complete Evolution Item Research Task
  • Evolve During Rainy Weather
  • Must have Gold Rocker Medal
  • Must have Gold Depot Agent Medal

Lickitung to Lickilicky

  • Candy Cost: 50
  • Must Defend Gym(s) for 12 Hours with Lickitung

Rhydon to Rhyperior

  • Candy Cost: 100
  • Win 100 Gym Battles With Rhydon Before You Can Evolve
  • Must be Trainer Level 35 or Higher

Tangela to Tangrowth 

  • Candy Cost: 50
  • Gold Gardener Medal
  • Special Research Task to Unlock Grass Evolution Item

Electabuzz to Electivire 

  • Candy Cost: 50
  • Gold Rocker Medal
  • Gold Pikachu Fan Medal
  • Special Research task(s) to Unlock Electric Evolution Item
  • Evolve During Rainy Weather

Magmar to Magmortar 

  • Candy Cost: 50
  • Gold Kindler Medal
  • Gold Sinnoh Medal
  • Evolve During Sunny Weather

Eevee to Leafeon 

  • Candy Cost: 25
  • Walk 10km
  • Evolve as Buddy in Sunny Weather
  • Gold Gardener Medal
  • Gold Backpacker Medal

Eevee to Glaceon 

  • Candy Cost: 25
  • Walk 10km
  • Evolve As Buddy in Snowy Weather
  • Gold Skier Medal
  • Gold Backpacker Medal

Porygon2 to Porygon-Z

  • Candy Cost: 50
  • Gold Pokémon Ranger Medal
  • Walk Porygon2 10km
  • Evolve During Partly Cloudy Weather

 

Generation 2 Evolutions

Not being in the game as long as Gen 1, the Gen 2 evolutions could potentially be a little easier to achieve.

Aipom to Ambipom

  • Candy Cost: 50
  • Can Only be Evolved from Aipom Received in Trade

Yanma to Yanmega

  • Candy Cost: 50
  • Gold Bug Catcher Medal
  • Win 20 Gym Battles Using Yanma

Murkrow to Honchkrow

  • Candy Cost: 50
  • Gold Delinquent Medal
  • Must Trade 5 Murkrow
  • Must be Evolved Between 12am and 1am

Misdreavus to Mismagius

  • Candy Cost: 50
  • Complete Ghost Pokémon Special Research Tasks
  • Can Only Be Evolved on Halloween

Gligar to Gliscor

  • Candy Cost: 50
  • Gold Ruin Maniac Medal
  • Gold Bird Keeper Medal
  • Walk Gligar 10km

Sneasel to Weavile

  • Candy Cost: 50
  • Evolve During Snowy Weather
  • Gold Skier Medal

Piloswine to Mamoswine

  • Candy Cost: 100
  • Gold Skier Medal
  • Must Win 3 Piloswine Raids

Togetic to Togekiss

  • Candy Cost: 100
  • Complete Research to Obtain Fairy Evolution Item
  • Use Fairy Evolution Item

Generation 3 Evolutions

Gen 3 have been around for around eight months.  These are the least likely for players to have tons of candies for but I’m certainly not hurting for candies on any of these Pokémon.  It would be great to see some challenge brought to these evolutions as well.

Kirlia (Male) to Galade

  • Candy Cost: 100
  • Gold Psychic Medal
  • Gold Fairy Tale Girl Medal
  • Kirlia Must Be Male for Galade (this seems to already be the case)
  • Gold Hoenn Medal
  • Trainer Level Must Be 35 or Higher

Nosepass to Probopass

  • Candy Cost: 50
  • Gold Hiker Medal
  • Gold Hoenn Medal
  • Must Defend Gym with Nosepass for Combined 12 Hours

Roselia to Roserade

  • Candy Cost: 50
  • Gold Gardener Medal
  • Gold Hoenn Medal
  • Must Win 20 Gym Battles with Rosella to Evolve

Duskclops to Dusknoir

  • Candy Cost: 100
  • Gold Hex Maniac Medal
  • Gold Hoenn Medal
  • Must Evolve During Foggy Weather

Snorut to Froslass

  • Candy Cost: 100
  • Gold Skier Medal
  • Gold Hoenn Medal
  • Must Evolve During Snowy Weather

New Baby Pokemon

Baby Pokémon will most likely hatch from eggs.  This makes sense but it was a little unsatisfying in Gen 2 when you were just incubating eggs to try to round out your Pokédex.  Much the way the Alolan 7km eggs were fun for a week or two then got really stale.  It would be very interesting if they considered bringing out breeding in Gen 4.  This would make for an interesting extra element of game play.

The following baby Pokémon are who we will see introduced in Gen 4.

  • Mime Jr. (baby Mr. Mime)
  • Bonsly (baby Sudowoodo)
  • Happiny (baby Chansey)
  • Mantyke (baby Mantine)
  • Munlax (baby Snorlax)
  • Budew (baby Roselia)
  • Chingling (baby Chimecho)

Some ideas for how to potentially introduce these new baby forms:

1.) Hatching

This is the obvious, if boring, way to introduce the new babies.  You simply release them into 2km eggs, presumably during an event, and we just get them randomly.  This is usually not very satisfying.  Who among us did not hatch an unwelcome number (more than one) Mantine during Gen 2?

2.) Breeding at Pokémon Centers

To be honest, I’m not a scholar of the original games so I’m not fluent with the game play dynamic of how breeding worked in the original series.  The idea of having Pokémon Centers is something I heard floated a while ago for Pokémon GO but I haven’t heard mentioned again.  It would be interesting to introduce this new mechanic in the game as a place to heal, train, and breed Pokémon.

Perhaps leaving two Pokémon at a Center (a male and female) for a specified time would result in gaining an egg that you’ll have to walk and hatch.  For Happiny maybe you need to leave it at the Center for a week then walk it 20km.  For Mantyke maybe you leave it at the Pokémon Center for ten minutes and walk it for .5km because, let’s face it, who will ever want more than one baby Mantine?

3.) Research Tasks

Additionally there could be research tasks though I think the breeding requirements would be the best options.  Happiny and Munchlax should be the more difficult to obtain as they are meta relavent.  The rest of them I can’t see anyone wanting more than one for the Pokédex.

4.) Encounters in the Wild

Encountering babies in the wild may be my least favorite option but it’s something we haven’t seen before.

The Mime Jr. Dilemma

Mime Jr. poses and interesting dilemma.  This is the only region exclusive baby form being introduced. This does make things a little uneven as far as all other regions are concerned.  I suppose with trading it is more possible to obtain a Mr. Mime so maybe that doesn’t matter.  I still do not have Mr. Mime but admittedly I haven’t really made any effort to obtain one either.

Still, it seems odd that one region essentially gets an extra exclusive.

In Conclusion

Some may not think some of these ideas are fair.  For example, evolving only during snowy weather is hard for people who live in Southern California.  Currently shiny Snubbull is released in the game and I live in an area where I never see Snubbull.  I’ve caught a total of two during the event and they were from research tasks.  Like with region exclusives there would be some unbalance, but that’s part of what makes getting the rarer Pokémon such a challenge.

Ideas like only being able to evolve Pokémon during a specific day (like the Halloween idea) may seem very rigid, however, I think that paired with an event this would be very doable even for a new player.  Getting your Gold Hex Maniac medal during a Halloween event would be pretty easy, then concluding it with getting the super rare evolution on Halloween would be interesting.

With trading now in the game, these limitations could exist for people who want a challenge without training.  Anyone else that simply doesn’t want to jump through these hoops would need to go the trading route, potentially as a special trade.

If everything is just released with a simple candy cost then I guess I’ll join millions of others in just going through the motions and evolving 1/5 of my Gen 4 Pokédex in ten minutes but I’m really looking for something more interesting and challenging in this release.

And I’m really looking to never have more than one Mantyke.

 

 

Eevee’s Last Resort

This coming Saturday and Sunday we are seeing our first ever two-day community event with the featured Pokémon Eevee.

This has been one of the most hotly anticipated Community Days yet with Eevee potentially evolving into five different Pokémon currently with two more on the way soon.

A couple of things are different about this event.   It lasts two days, presumably to get you more opportunities to catch shinies.  It features an exclusive move that will carry over with the evolved Pokémon rather than getting the move upon evolution.  And, finally, we are being allowed until Monday to evolve Eevee to retain the exclusive move Last Resort.

I’m very much looking forward to this event, just like the previous Community Day events, because it’s a great way to grind XP, hunt shinies, and collect stardust. That being said, there are some glaring issues with this upcoming Community Day.

Firstly, it seems at this late stage in the game that it is unlikely they are releasing Leafeon and Glaceon.  This would have been a perfect way to introduce Gen IV Pokémon but with everything else going on in the game they may just be waiting until December again to release the new generation.  Personally I’ll be hunting for a minimum of eight shinies to include an evolution to Sylveon in the distant future.

Secondly, Eevee’s evolutions are still random.  Sort of.  Unless you haven’t used the naming trick yet you’re going to need dozens of shiny Eevees to ensure one Vaporeon, Jolteon, and Flareon.  Umbreon and Espeon will also need to be walked 10km each before the cutoff on Monday in order to be evolved with the exclusive move.  This brings me my last concern.

The special move is useless.  As far as I can tell there is no good reason to want to evolve anything with this move unless you just want that Pokémon evolution as a collector’s item.  Last Resort is a normal type move which means you’ll lose STAB on any Eevee evolved form unless in Gen XI they release a normal type Eevee evolution.  We’ll call it Leon.

In the absence of Leon there will be no STAB for both attacks on any Pokémon evolved from this.

In other news . . .

The only thing that could work is saving up all your evolved forms to trade with friends later (much later if you want Lucky evolutions) to complete your shiny Eevee collection.

Lucky Pokémon have been interesting if not game changing.  The current evolution event has been a little strange and has lacked the fanfare of previous events.

I was left with about 175 Larvitar from the Larvitar Community Day so I’ve been trading them frantically to get between four and six candies each.  It sure beats the double candy event I’d been waiting for.

Other aspects of the event have been a little underwhelming.  The introduction of shiny Houndour and shiny Snubbull have been barely noticeable.  I’ve come across exactly one wild Houndour and one Snubbull from a research task, both not shiny.  Seeing either of those Pokémon in this area virtually never happens.

Additionally the Spinda research tasks have been just as hard to find.  I’ve finally nabbed a couple but it seems only the eighth form is released with no real idea of when future forms are showing up.

The Ultra Friends have been pouring in lately and with a lucky egg that means a sort of obscene amount of XP as a reward.

Unfortunately, after more than a year of raiding, the process has become a little stale.  It doesn’t help that the latest round of legendaries are legendarily bad.  With only high level attackers being worth raiding I’ve been just catching one or two and calling it quits.  I actually completely missed Regice and will be happy to just trade some stardust for one in the future.

Actually “happy” may be a little strong.

Pokémon GO Fest Was Almost Pokémon NO Fest

When it was announced earlier this week that GO Fest was returning to Chicago this year I wasn’t sure or not if I’d be able to go. In fact, I’m still not entirely sure.  Regardless I waited by the computer for the countdown and dove right in to buy tickets.

Last year I was fortunate enough to get my tickets within about five minutes.  This year it was a bit of an emotional rollercoaster.

There were numerous errors but after forty-five minutes I was able to secure my tickets for the 2018 version of Pokémon GO Fest.  Given the backlash last year I am pretty confident that they’ll have worked out a lot of the kinks for a smoother event this year.

What they’ll need to do this year to ensure a smoother experience:

1.) Figure out the lines.  The two hour wait was a little crazy.  On top of that the line just snaked around endlessly.  Despite getting there two hours ahead of the event we still had an additional two hour wait and it was four hours until we were able to start playing, albeit intermittently.  Two entrances should help some of this but, honestly, I don’t understand why there needs to be a line at all.  Letting people just check themselves in whenever or wherever they want seems like it would be much more efficient.

2.) Figure out the cell service.  This was the main issue with last year’s event.  There were too many people in too small a space calling on too much data from cell providers.  Hopefully with the event being much more spread out this year it won’t be as much of an issue.  Lincoln Park appears to be about 5-6 times the size of Grant Park so I’m hoping that keeps things running.  Luckily with the lessons learned last year I know that Niantic knows what to do if things fall apart.  Hopefully they’ll do it a little earlier this time.

3.) More diverse spawns.  I’ve seen screenshots of the Safari events in Europe with several Chansey and Larvitar on every screen.  I’d really like to see rare spawns and have the opportunity to catch stuff I don’t see every day.

4.) Exclusive Shiny Pokémon.  I haven’t seen a single Unown since last year’s GO Fest and I’m assuming we’ll be seeing a return this year.  Shiny Unown would be a great start.

5.) Go Fest Research Quests.  Having some specific quests to accomplish, rather than just wandering aimlessly through the park, would be great in having the event be a success.

6.) Mystery content release.  It would be great if some brand new feature would see a debut at, or slightly before, GO Fest.

The idea of what they are doing with habitats sounds like fun.  It would be great to be able to pick certain habitats to explore and stock up on Pokémon and candy we’re missing.

The challenges last year were worldwide but this did not work out in anything approaching the grand fashion Niantic had planned.  It would be great to see something like this pulled off properly even with in game notifications.

Research and weather are the two major new features since last year.  It will be interesting to see how they play into this year’s event.

And then there’s photo ops.  Personally, I’ll trade my photo ops for a Chansey with 93% or higher IVs.

I definitely feel the same feeling I felt in the lead up to last year’s event.  Last year I had this curious feeling about what a live Pokémon GO event could be like.  This year I have the same curiosity about what will be different paired with a hope that it doesn’t have the disastrous start hat last year did.

Pokémon GO Fest 2018 and Pokémon GO Safari Zone!

Last year I was so psyched to get tickets to Pokémon GO Fest.  I had imagined what it would be like.  The event ended up being nothing like what I, or anyone else, imagined.  The day started with about 6-8 hours of the most frustrating experiences I’ve ever had and concluded with about 6-8 hours of the most fun game play I’ve ever had in the game.

It’s looking like Niantic has really learned from the mistakes it made in 2017 and that this event should go off much more smoothly.  Eliminating the two-hour line (hopefully) and expanding the radius of the event should drastically reduce the frustrations from last year.

Last year began with the two-hour wait in line, but the promise of the day ahead made it seem like it was going to be worth it.

The excitement of approaching those GO Fest Pokéstops made it seem like something major was about to happen.

Everyone was absolutely packed into the park, ready to play.

This is what most of those in the picture where looking at on their phones.

As you can see by the timestamp on this screenshot, I got the badge for successfully entering my QR code, four hours after arrival at the start of the line.

This is one of the four Pokémon I caught in Grant Park during the event.

Hours later the event spilled out onto the streets and Lugia and Articuno made their first appearance in the game.  This was nearly twelve hours after arriving and it was a pretty exciting moment for the game.

Here’s some brief footage I took of the first ever Lugia raid in Chicago.  I’m not sure, a year later, if they can recapture this participation and excitement but I’m really looking forward to seeing.

I’m hoping there are some other cool items this year, such as the regional they brought in last year.  At this point there is only one available Pokemon in the came that I do not have, Cradily, and that will almost certainly be not true by GO Fest.  With special events I’m sitting on thousands of candies for all the most useful Pokémon in the game.  Aside from ultra rare spawns, really only Chansey and Snorlax, there aren’t really any candies I need.

Here’s a brief wish list for what I’d like to see this year:

  • Ultra rare spawns
  • High IV Pokémon
  • New shiny release(s)
  • Rare candy rewards
  • Limited edition movesets
  • New Unown letters
  • BIG Margikarp
  • Increased overall shiny spawns
  • Bonus (Double XP, Double Candy)
  • Reduced km for hatches and buddy
  • Include rare raids
  • Something to do in gyms to make them relevant
  • Beginnings of Gen 4
  • Quests specifically for GO Fest
  • Quests for region exclusives

That’s an awful lot, but at this point at level 40 with my Pokédex missing only one of 362 Pokémon available to me, there needs to be something great at GO Fest this year.  I’ll be at 362 by the time GO Fest comes so I’d really like something exciting to keep me interested.

Just looking through my screen shots from last year it looks like a totally different game.  Niantic continually tweaks and improves this game so who knows what surprises are in store for us in the lead up to July.

 

Pokémon GO’s Kanto Event Starts in a Matter of Hours

It’s official!  After my speculation the Kanto event begins later today, in just a few short hours.  Here’s the official announcement.

Trainers,

The appearance of the Mythical Pokémon Mew has attracted Pokémon that were originally discovered in the Kanto region. These classic Pokémon will be seen more frequently starting April 10 at 1 P.M. PDT, so you’ll have the perfect opportunity to earn a gold Kanto medal and even complete your Kanto Pokédex!

What’s more, certain Pokémon such as Aerodactyl and Snorlax will be featured in Raid Battles across the world. Keep an eye out for one you haven’t encountered yet!

As you encounter and catch more Pokémon originally discovered in the Kanto region, all actions will be rewarded with double Candy. So, not only will you be able to catch Pokémon you might not frequently see, but you may also get the chance to register their evolved forms in your Pokédex as well.

During this event, there will also be special boxes containing Raid Passes! These boxes will give you an opportunity to challenge many powerful Pokémon originally discovered in the Kanto region.

This special celebration ends on April 17, so get out there and make some more discoveries. If all goes well, you may be able to finish your first Special Research request and encounter Mew!

—The Pokémon GO team

It’s not quite the shiny extravaganza everyone was hoping for but the double candy will be enough to get me to transfer several hundred rare Pokémon and clear out some slots for Sunday’s Community Day Event.  I may also be rewarded with double candy if I’m fortunate enough to catch Mewtwo on Saturday.

We may still get surprised with shinies.  An interesting theory I’ve seen is that they’ve released all the shiny sprites just so they can surprise people instead of everyone always being able to predict what’s coming next.

Honestly I’d be happy to finally find a shiny Magikarp at this point.  Shinies are rare enough that I have a lot more hunting to do before I even collect half of the currently available ones in the game.

Who knows?  Shiny Pidgey may be mere hours away.

 

Catching Mew in Pokémon GO

Now that we’ve had a little over a week to fully explore research in Pokémon GO, I am pretty happy with the update.  The only thing that has me feeling a little let down is the fact that now that I’ve completed the quest for Mew and there’s no event going on it doesn’t feel like there’s anything to do in the game at present.

I stumbled upon a shiny Murkrow, the April Fool’s joke that they added to the came last week.  I hadn’t tapped on a Murkrow since I was trying to get my gold Delinquent medal.  I’m happy to not have to tap on any Murkrow again moving forward barring any necessary field research assignments.

Niantic also announced a cool Earth Day Cleanup event which I thought sounded like it could be fun.

Upon perusing the North American map of event locations my excitement faded pretty quickly.  I’m all for the premise but I don’t know that I can travel 1200 miles to clean up a beach.

I was able to complete my week of field research which unlocked the first field research reward.

It’s a really great additional that they’re adding legendary Pokémon through the research rewards but the surprise was spoiled by hundreds of people on Twitter who live in time zones ahead of mine.  Still, it’s a great addition to the game.

I completed the more difficult task for the Mew quest and that lead me to the final stage which, quite honestly, was supremely easy.  Catching a Ditto was the only difficult part of the entire quest which I was able to do at the very leisurely pace of about a week.  Honestly, for the final stage catching Pokémon with berries was very easy and did it mostly from my house by just opening the app once or twice and hour.  It was a little tedious but not really that challenging.  I made the single excellent throw on my first throw after the research was assigned and I got the gold Kanto medal about eighteen months ago.

When the quest was complete it was extremely confusing as to what was going on as I didn’t realize I’d be forced to catch Mew in AR mode with no choice of balls or berries.  After a few tosses I picked him up pretty easily.

The whole thing was a little anti-climactic as my Mew ended up having almost the worst IVs possible from a Mew catch.  I think the lowest possible IVs are around 73%.  I would have been pretty happy with at least 80% but since I’m probably not going to end up actually doing anything with this other than holding it as a trophy I guess it doesn’t really matter.

The more exciting news of the day was later that earlier that afternoon I finally got my first ever EX Raid pass.  What’s even more exciting is that it is at a time I was not scheduled to work or previously engaged.  Finally, I will get a shot at attempting to catch Mewtwo, something that most of the people I raid with have already done multiple times.

Overall the Mew Quest was pretty fun but my main gripe would be that this feature should have been available to the game from launch.  I remember how long it took me to evolve my first Gyarados which I powered up to be my first Pokémon over 2000 CP.  I remember how long it seemed to take to hit level 25 and how long it took me to register 100 Kanto region Pokémon in my Pokédex.  All of these things were instantly checked off my lists.  How much more exciting would it have been to have been working towards the greater goal of catching Mew while I was doing all that.  Evolving my fifth Gyarados, which I didn’t need, sitting on 2300 Magikarp candies wasn’t quite as exciting.  Actually I was a little annoyed because I didn’t need it and was hoarding the candies.  Catching my 98th Ditto wasn’t quite as exciting as it was catching my first.  Generally I’m annoyed when I ever see Ditto these days.

It was nice to have things to shoot for though.  I could have easily knocked this quest out in a day or two (you know, if I didn’t have a family or a job) but I took my time with it and it made the game more interesting.  I’m hoping future quests will have some slightly more challenging elements to them.

Even with how quick this quest could be knocked out I saw plenty of players on Twitter tweeting coordinates to Gastly nests so that people could spoof to the location and catch ten ghost Pokémon within minutes.  I can’t even imagine how that could fun for anyone, knocking this quest out in hours rather than enjoying it.  I was disappointed that I was able to catch my ghost Pokémon in one morning of casual play.

In the never-ending onslaught of recent developments in the game has been that there’s rumor of an event starting on April 10, this coming Tuesday.  The only information is that the event will focus on the Pokémon of the Kanto region.  However, recently, shiny sprites for over 100 Pokémon have been detected which means that the quest for shinies may be about to get crazy this week.

This event is likely to be announced tomorrow so we’ll see shortly what it’s all about.  One thing I’m eager for is another double candy event as I have over 200 Bulbasur and Dratini to transfer.

Even with nothing else my week will end with a Mewtwo raid and the Community Day Event.  It’s going to be very exciting to see what other surprise gets thrown into the mix.

 

 

The Last “Fortnite” in Pokémon GO Reviewed

Now that’s a headline full just brimming with SEO juice.

I can’t say that I remember a week of news like the one we’ve just had in Pokémon GO.  It seems like after nearly two years that Niantic has finally hit their stride with this game.  It’s almost as if it’s finally coming out of beta.  At this time last year I was so bored with the game that I created a second account just to do something different.  I’m not sure why I figured having two accounts would make it more interesting but I really love the game and I wanted to have something to do!

Let’s take a quick moment to review and grade what’s happened in the past couple of weeks.

1.) Shiny Lugia

When we heard that Lugia was coming back for another stint in raids a lot of players (myself included) breathed as sigh of relief.  Finally, I thought, I can take a break from raiding to catch the latest and greatest Legendary.  It was then discovered that there’d be a small chance that Lugia would be shiny which meant that no such rest would be coming.  Luckily for me I caught a shiny on my second attempt and was able to take a much needed raid vacation after that.

I’m not looking forward to subsequent legendary re-releases as I’m sure my lucky will not be quite as good in the future.  I think Niantic has very carefully done this in order to extend the interest in raids and, of course, purchase of raid passes.  I very rarely raid enough to even use a premium raid pass so generally my raids are from my daily raid passes.  Raids are pretty stale at this point and, unfortunately, have gone from being great fun to feeling a bit like a chore.

Still, I’m glad I got my shiny Lugia.

Grade: B

2.)  Eggstravaganza Event

This is a bit of a rehash of last year’s similar event.  The added excitement this year is that the Pokémon Togepi, Magby, and Wynaut have a possibility of hatching as shiny versions.  Additionally all Pokémon are hatching from 2k eggs.  While this is pretty nice and I’ve hatched a few rare tier Pokémon it also means that I’m going through incubators pretty quickly.  There’s an advantage to the player but Niantic is the real winner being able to sell a lot more incubators

Grade: C

3.) Gym Leader Wardrobe Items

It was announced that if you win the gym leader badge you would unlock new apparel for your avatar.   This was pretty underwhelming news that only got worse when it was revealed that you still had to buy the new apparel.  You were merely unlocking the option to buy something in the store.  This didn’t feel like much of a reward.

Grade: D-

4.) March 25th Community Day (Bulbasaur)

The March 25th event was pretty gun, though not quite as exciting as the shiny Dratin event a month earlier.  I can’t tell if that’s because Dratini is a more relevant and rare Pokémon or if it’s because the difference between regular Bulbasaur and shiny Bulbasaur is barely perceptible.  It may be a little of each.

At any rate the improved charge move and 3x XP made the event a lot of fun.  I’m looking forward to seeing how they develop this event moving forward.  By my calculations if they continue to release shiny Pokémon during these community events and do nothing else to release that will carry this gimmick for approximately thirty more years.

Even so, I can’t imagine ever getting excited about the release of a shiny Venonat.

Grade: B

5.) Official Research (Quests) Announcement

This is not only the biggest and best news of the past two weeks but quite possibly since the game’s release.  The fact that this new research feature will allow Mew to show up is exciting but far more than that is just having these ongoing challenges.  The game has desperately been missing this since day one and I feel like this genuinely completes the first version of the game.  They can call it 1.0 now as far as I’m concerned.  If done correctly this is going to be incredible.

This is another boon for rural players as well as there seems to be indication that research will allow you to finally catch Legendary Pokémon without participating in raids.  It’s unclear which ones exactly or if Mewtwo may be included.

As it’s scheduled to be released on Friday I am just hoping it is earlier in the day than the normal 1PM PST release we tend to see.

Grade: A+

6.) April 15th Community Day Announcement (Mareep)

The release of Mareep is pretty exciting for me, being one of my favorite Pokémon.  The only disappointing thing is that, along with Pikachu, it’s the least relevant Community Day release yet.  I’ll be excited to encounter tons in the wild and catch a few shinies, but I’m hoping the special move will allow Ampharos (one of the rarest and hardest to get Pokémon in the game) to be a useful attacker in gym battles.

There was a bit of disappointment in that many people were suspecting Charmander would be the release for next month but I’m pretty psyched about this one.  No doubt, many players who have yet to get an Ampharos will be equally excited.

Grade: B-

The end of March has been incredible and I’m really looking forward to April being a sort of rebirth for the game.  There have been some very frustrating and very boring stretches with this game.  There is no indication that we’ll be bored with the game at all as we enter into spring with the information we now have.

Now, can we please talk about EX Raids?

The Road to Level 40

The latest Pokémon GO special event has just concluded.  I had carefully calculated my XP gains so that I would reach level 40 late this morning.  Due to a miscalculation in my grinding schedule I hit level 40 late last night instead, unexpectedly after a binge evolution session gained me slightly more XP than I had planned on.

Events continue to be the only time I seriously play the game.  The rest of the time I am merely catching a few Pokémon and spinning a few stops to keep my streaks alive.  If Niantic were a little quicker in implementing quests I may be more apt to fire up the app during regular play.

When Pokémon GO first came out there was a sight with a calculator to estimate when you would reach level 40.  My estimation was mid 2019.  My grinding sessions over the past nearly two years must have really paid off.

There are people who hit level 40 mere months after the game was released.  It has been a long road but it’s pretty satisfying to finally be at he final level.  I am regularly in raid groups with people I see out all the time that are still in the mid 30s so knowing how much they play underscores the achievement of hitting level 40.

After all this time, here are my achievement medals and stats after hitting level 40:

Start Date: 7/9/2016
Total XP: 20010070
Medals
Jogger: 1,698.2 km
Kanto: 147
Collector: 29,678
Scientist: 5,226
Breeder: 1,003
Backpacker: 21,230
Youngster: 310
Pikachu Fan: 436
Johto: 98
Berry Master: 2,030
Gym Leader: 5,566
Hoenn: 103
Fisherman: 97/300
Battle Girl: 950/1000
Ace Trainer: 252/1000
Battle Legend: 108/1000
Unown: 6/10
Champion: 90/100
Schoolkid: 12,797
Black Belt: 291
Bird Keeper: 8,787
Punk Girl: 7,512
Ruin Maniac: 1,327
Hiker: 988
Bug Catcher: 5,488
Hex Maniac: 1,208
Depot Agent: 332
Kindler: 1,328
Swimmer: 5,182
Gardener: 2,737
Rocker: 1,014
Psychic: 2,687
Skier: 1,030
Dragon Tamer: 242
Delinquent: 785
Fairy Tale Girl: 983

I even finally retired my buddy, the Pidgey who had been my companion through all of level 39.  The need for Pidgey candy for grinding is now taking a backseat to finishing off my Pokédex.

I run into a lot of people who take months off then come back.  I guess the key is that I have played the game every day since it was released in July of 2016.  Sometimes it’s for ten minutes.  Today, for example, I have barely played as I take a break from the week long grind to complete level 39.  Other days, like yesterday, I’m opening the app every ten or fifteen minutes to get some valuable XP.

On Monday, only a few weeks before he was about to leave the game, I finally caught my first Rayquaza.  It was a little more difficult than normal given that everyone’s pretty sick of Rauquaza after a week.  Luckily there were some people grinding that were just there for the XP.

On Wednesday, my last full day of level 39, I randomly encountered my first ever Dragonite in the wild.  I nearly got him with my GO plus as I wasn’t really paying attention at the time.  I’ve never used a tracker to hunt down Dragonites and I had thought I’d never run into one.  I remember the odds of this were calculated somewhere around 1:1,000,000 so I was pretty psyched, even though I’ve evolved more than enough for my needs.  On top of running into it he ended up having very good IVs.  Even if he was 32 CP I would have kept him, excited to finally run into a wild one for the first time.

After hoping we’d get a bit of a legendary break it was announced yesterday that Lugia was coming back.  This wasn’t terribly exciting.  I have plenty so I was excited to have a break from all this raiding.  Then came the news today that there will be shiny Lugia.  Whether they are all shiny I am not sure at this point but it looks like  I will not be getting a break after all.

Back to the grind.

Pokémon Go Community Day Impressions

Saturday marked Pokémon GO‘s first Community Day.  Community Day was announced more ahead of time than a normal Pokémon GO event, however, it only lasted three hours.  This was a bit of a bummer for those of us that were working between 1:00 PM and 4:00 PM CST.  This seems to be something they’ve already remedied for the next event giving us over a month to plan for February.

I was able to play for about 20 minutes on my way home from work, largely while I was getting gas.  Luckily for me this particular gas station is always a hot spot despite being sort of in the middle of nowhere.  I was able to catch two shiny Pikachus which wasn’t too shabby.

It’s worth noting that I’m seeing a ton of Tauros around after not having seen them at all in about six months.  My theory is that they may be rotating Gen 1 Pokémon soon.  I have nothing to back this up but that’s what I’m going with.

The February event, announced today, will feature Dratini as the special Pokémon.   With a month’s notice I’m looking forward to actually participating this time around.  Despite Dragonite no longer being the most sought after Pokémon in the game this should still be fun.  I must admit I don’t care all that much about the special moves but to catch a ton of Dratini would always be welcome.  Considering my record for Dratini caught in a single day probably stands around three I’m looking forward to bulking up on candies.  Rumors are out that this may mean shiny Dratini as well, something that would be very nice as a special release.

I was finally able to get out and do my first Kyogre raids this morning and things worked out very well.  It was unusually warm and the forecast said rain despite not much more than a drizzle.  This lead me to catching two weather-boosted Kyogre, matching the number of Groudon I caught during the incredible harsh weather we had here the month it was out.

This also took me up to 100 Legendary Raids.

The new update has some great features.  The best feature is fixing the bug where you scroll to the top of your Pokémon screen any time you do anything.  Additional features include sorting the Pokédex by region and finally grouping the incubators together.

One odd change is the size of Pokémon.  For some reason Pidgey now is about half the size of Snorlax.  They listed this as an improvement to the way Pokémon scale.  This seems much more like a bug to me.

But nothing makes me prouder than finally completing my 300 Tiny Rattata Medal.  The reward for this medal is that I can resume ignoring Rattata again and I’ve got to say it feels pretty good.

I’m 2.5 million XP away from Level 40 and I’m looking forward to ignoring a lot of Pokémon after I hit that milestone.

I’m looking at you, Weedle!

Pokémon GO Generation 3: Round 2

After the initial launch of Generation III Pokémon GO has now seen the addition of more ice and water type creatures into the game.  The introduction of more Pokémon has definitely been exciting.  More exciting still is the new weather system which means the possibility of catching more powerful (up to level 35) Pokémon in the wild as well as overall higher IVs.

Delibird has been released and if most players are like me then most players are already sick of catching them.

Exciting for me is that I managed to finally get my steel gold medal, catching 200 steel Pokémon in the game.

The next day I rounded everything out by finally getting my gold fighting type medal.  This is largely thanks to the influx of new fighting types in Generation 3 such as Makuhita and Meditite combined with them spawning more often in the frequently cloudy weather here in the Midwest.

This leaves me with dragon type being the only gold medal I need.  Unless Generation 4 releases some common dragon type Pokémon I shouldn’t see that until some time in 2021.

Wailmer raids have started showing up in the game.  This is exciting as Wailmer’s evolution, Wailord, takes 400 candies to evolve.  There is a great nest nearby but with temperatures in the negatives it’s unclear whether I’ll be able to spend any time there to eventually evolve my Wailord or if it’ll take me several months like my first Gyarados.

Only 3 million XP stands between me and level 40.  So basically I only have to do the entirety of level 38 again and I’ll be there.

I have about 12-14 evolutions ready to go for the Pokédex at this point.  So far the pacing of this generation has been pretty good.  It’s not taking as long as the first two but still a challenge.

At this point recent updates have left a few annoying things with the games, some of them bugs.  These things desperately need to be addressed in a future update.

1.) The transfer/appraisal bug.

On the surface this sounds minor but it is a huge hassle once you get to playing.  Any time you appraise, transfer, or evolve a Pokémon it takes you all the way back to the top of your Pokémon storage screen.   If you have maxed out your storage to 1500, or even at any amount, it means a lot of scrolling, searching, and wasted time.

2.) Scrolling between battle teams, Pokémon, and eggs.

For some reason scrolling between them now requires an extremely delicate touch.  It’s easy to be on your battle party then slide all the way over to eggs.  It’s not the end of the world but it doesn’t match the scrolling in any other section of the game and is frustrating when you’re just trying to get to your Pokémon.

3.) Battle parties not allowing additions.

Some battle parties I have will not allow me to add a sixth Pokémon.  This didn’t happen when the feature was initially released, it only started happening with the recent update.  It pretty much makes some of my custom parties useless.

4.) The Pokédex page.

With nearly 400 Pokémon currently accessible this page is a mess.   With images loading server side it takes forever for them to all populate.  The ever-so-slight color variance between generations makes it difficult to figure out where one ends a new one begins.  Tabbing them by generation seems like a very easy and minor fix to implement.  Additionally a search feature or ability to select by type may be in order.  Anything to make finding who you are looking for easier.  Additionally there seems to be a bug where an additional Barboach shows up after Groudon is unable to be clicked on even though that is not the correct spot in the Pokédex.

It’s been pretty common place that with every new update comes a handful of new and frustrating bugs but as we approach the year two mark for Pokémon GO I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect some of these things will be changed for the better.

I anticipate two things from 2018: a fix for some of these frustrating bugs and finally hitting level 40.

Happy New Year!