It’s been about a month since I’ve seriously played Pokemon GO to any extent. I was mildly interested in the Valentine’s thing, but had other things on my mind at the time, so it passed me by.
I did know, however, that a few things were going on this week. First, Gen II Pokemon were released yesterday. This was the big thing everyone has been waiting for, naturally.
To go along with that, they also cut the cost of the Pokemon storage upgrade in half. Seeing I don’t have that many coins since I’m not a very competitive player, I was happy to pick up the first upgrade at 100 coins.
On my lunch break today, I decided to see what new Pokemon I could wrangle up. This was my first Gen II:
What I found interesting here was rather than just needing candy to evolve, this Pokemon also requires a Sun Stone. Looking around, I read that these are new drops at Pokestops. I like this idea, as long as they aren’t too hard to get.
I then caught a:
Then, something completely unexpected happened. I tapped on a Sentret with the thought of “Ooh, Gen II!” in mind. I noticed that it was kinda pink in color, but didn’t think much about it (I’m not super familiar with Gen II).
Turns out, Sentrets can be Dittos in disguise! And yes, this was my first Ditto, after all these months of Pidgies and Rattatas.
The rest of my lunch break went like this:
So there seems to be a pretty good selection of Gen II out there even in what you’d consider the “normal” spawns.
I also noticed the other week that the Sprint/Radio Shack store in our local mall now has a new Pokestop. This makes me super happy, because our mall was, strangely enough, a dead zone to Pokemon unless you were in the parking lot. This made no sense at all, and was super discouraging because I was looking for a cool place to walk at the end of last summer, and had to rule the mall out.
Now, not only does it look like we have spawn there, but a Pokestop as well. I really need to start walking and catching Pokemon again!
Oh, I also noticed they significantly changed my trainer’s outfit!
The newest updates to Pokemon Go have renewed my interest in the app once again. The rain, however, has kept me inside and unable to go walking/hunting as much as I’d like.
Most notably, the holiday event has brought us a Pikachu with a Santa hat. I’ve only ever caught/seen one Pikachu before this, so they’re pretty rare here to start with. In fact, they’re still fairly rare here, even with the event happening.
I’ve seen a Pikachu show up on my tracker twice since the update, but have been unable to find it both times. Yesterday, while shopping for groceries at the nearest Target (which has a Starbucks that did not become a Pokestop… bummer…), I saw a whole slew of Pokemon hanging out.
It’s nice that there does seem to be an increase in spawn, but none of these were what I was looking for.
Still haven’t found a Ditto, either!
Speaking of the tracker, I’m finally seeing the new tracking system they’ve added to the game. Honestly, it doesn’t do much to help me. If you’re close enough to a Pokestop, the tracker lets you know what’s hanging out at the stop. Everything else is still pure guesswork.
Since I’m rarely at a place that is near enough to a Pokestop, I’m still just as much in the dark as I’ve always been about Pokemon location. I guess it’s nice if you live in a city, though.
Gen 2 Arrival
We’ve also got new Gen 2 Pokemon in the game… but only from hatching eggs. And only from eggs that you received after the Gen 2 update. This is where I stand on this…
Old eggs. Every one of them.
Thankfully, I do have a few incubators that are working to speed up the process. I was using those even before the update came out, so I hope I can get to walking and get some of these hatched to pick up some new eggs.
Also, is it just me, but I haven’t found a 10K egg in a LONG, LONG time…
Those who are playing, are you having any luck scoring a Pikachu?
I’d heard about the Pokemon Go update previously, but lots of thanks to Wilhelm for reminding me about the Halloween event! I know that it only lasts for a few days, but I have to say that the bonuses it gives was enough to entice me to pick the app back up (though I already had plans to use it more with the cooler weather rolling in).
So they’ve added a number of spooky Pokemon to the list that show up more often, and you get double the candy for captures and transfers. Your buddy Pokemon also gains candy at a highly accelerated rate. See video below.
While they list a number of ghost type Pokemon here, I’ve also noticed a vast increase in Meowth and Cuebones.
How is this working? Oh man… the game is so much more fun this way. I launched it to see what I could see and actually have been able to catch Pokemon from my desk at work, which was never the case before this. I can walk around my work parking lot and just rack the catches up because the spawning Halloween Pokemon have a high rate in between the Pokemon who are generally out there.
Look at this guy. Right out there in the parking lot next to my desk at work.
I took advantage of the double candy rates, too, cleaning out my stock of commons and earning some evolutions I didn’t have before.
And, of course, catching all the ghost type Pokemon that I’ve never seen anywhere else before…
It’s exciting to see my Buddy Pokemon earning candy so fast. I’ve been out there walking as much as I can since the weather is nice and the rewards are high.
I earned a new achievement from all this yesterday…
And I leveled up, too!
Yes, I know. Only level 19. But I’m not in a rush. 🙂
Pokemon Sun and Moon Evolutions
So it seems that the final evolution for the Sun and Moon starters have been leaked, and then released right after I wrote this. I’m a little disappointed that the previously-leaked designs were actually true. Early stages mean nothing if the final evolution, which you’ll be looking at for the rest of the game, isn’t appealing.
I wanted to pick Litten as my starter, but I’m just not a fan of the final evolution. I loved it all the way up until that point. So, while I’ve never picked a grass type Pokemon starter before, I think this time around, I’ll go with Rowlet. I was teetering on picking him anyhow, so let’s see how this goes!
I haven’t yet checked out the demo, but I hope to this weekend.
If I haven’t been playing Pokemon Go as much as used to… it’s not so much that I’m done with the game, but that I’m waiting for the weather to cool down so that I can enjoy my time outside without melting in the summer heat. I really can’t wait for fall to get in swing so that I can catch Pokemon more comfortably.
When Syn visited a few weekends back, I took her out to our local Veteran’s Park and we had a good time as I taught her the ropes of the game. There were happily some lures out and enough Pokestops, one which surprisingly spawned Psyducks consistently (it never had before). She was able to level up to 5, whereupon she chose to go with Instinct of all teams. Ah, well.
But in playing that weekend, I found I was still excited about catching Pokemon and having a good time. That’s why I’m happy I finally got the Buddy Pokemon update yesterday.
If you haven’t heard about this newest feature, this allows you to choose one of your Pokemon to make a walking buddy. As you walk with them, they will find candy, which you can use to evolve them and make them stronger over time. Different kinds of Pokemon find candy at different rates, with the rare Pokemon taking longer. You can change your buddy at any time, so no worries about picking the “wrong” Pokemon.
I really like the idea behind this system because it does several things:
Level up Pokemon when you’ve only ever seen/caught/hatched one of them
Level up Pokemon that take a long time to earn candies for (Magikarp)
Encourage people to move around and not just sit and farm a few adjacent Pokestops
I knew exactly what I was going to do with my Buddy Pokemon slot.
The Starter Buddy Challenge
I chose Charmander as my starter, just as I did back in the Pokemon Blue days. I’m happy I did because in all this time that I’ve played, I haven’t seen a hint of another Charmander anywhere nearby. Not even a shadow. I’ve caught a Pikachu, Bulbasaur and Squirtle in the wild… but never another Charmander.
This means I’ve never earned any candies for my Charmander, nor have I found a stronger one to replace my starter. He remains in my roster, one of the weakest Poekmon that I own, just like this:
For me, my starter is special and I’m sorta glad that I haven’t found any to replace him. Because now, with the Buddy system, I can challenge myself to level up my Charmander purely from walking and traveling around with him! I know it’s going to take a long time to do as I’m not always the most active person, but this gives me a goal and an incentive to get out and be more active on top of just catching Pokemon in general.
In fact, I’m pretty stoked about this prospect and hope that I don’t accidentally hatch another Charmander along the way. I’ll let you know how the challenge progresses over time. Don’t look for any updates soon, though. I have a lot of candy to gather…
This post is a part of Blaugust 2016!
I began my Pokemon GO journey back on July 6, the night of release in the US. So it’s officially been over a month since I began playing. I wanted to check back in on the game that’s become a phenomenon, and talk a bit about the progress I’ve made.
I’m currently level 17. However, I’ve long since stopped trying to level. I heard too much about how Pokemon get harder and harder to catch as you keep leveling, and that just doesn’t sound like fun. I know that there’s currently a bug that makes catching things more difficult than they need to be, too. I’ve felt it myself as I’ve played, and I’m hoping they squash that bug soon.
I still play a little bit every day, even if it’s to stop and snag some Pokeballs from the local Pokestop on my way home from work. Pokeballs are my number one issue in this game. I don’t live in a big city, and to hit a place with several Pokestops, I have to actually go to a park or some place that I wouldn’t normally go on my daily routine.
Unlike some lucky folks, there’s no Pokestops within walking distance of my house. My Pokeball stash tends to run on the low side, which is stressful with the current bug that has me wasting way too many Pokeballs on low level catches.
So, playing this game takes travel and effort on my part. Now, this wouldn’t be a problem except for the fact that it’s the dead heat-stroke of summer in the deep south of America. I understand that the team wanted to release the game when kids were out of school and people were traveling.
However, common sense tells you that when the heat index is 106 degrees outside, it’s not a healthy time to be touting around the park in the sun. The past few weeks have been so hot that we’ve hardly seen it cool down at night. But you’re not supposed to be in the parks at night, anyhow. My town doesn’t have any Pokestops that I’m aware of in a sane indoors area, like some malls in other cities have, either.
So, though I may not agree with all the changes the devs introduce to the app, the major thing that’s keeping me from playing is summer heat right now. It’s been a really fun experience, I’ve had a great time at the Pokehunt event my company held a few weeks back, even. Once fall comes around, and the weather cools down, I’m going to be all over exploration and stopping by the park for walks after work.
Until then, here’s a list of my best Pokemon so far. I don’t have any of those super-powered Pokes, but my collection is improving slowly every day. That’s all I really need to keep me playing.
That Bulbasaur up there got away, even though I used Razzberries and got two “Nice” throws. Oh well.
The important thing is that this picture was taken at a place in my town I didn’t even know existed until yesterday, and was taken on a Sunday… when I would usually never have left my house.
I’m a creature of habit and a bit of a hermit. I go to work, do a few errands, but spend most my time off at home. On weekends, I usually don’t have the energy or social bandwidth to do much. I just want to loaf around and play games.
But something about Pokemon GO has changed all that. My FitBit testifies to this.
Friday after work, instead of coming straight home, I drove around to see if I could locate Pokestops. Saturday, early in the morning, I drove back into town a different way to scope out Pokestops. It’s rather sad in my town if you look at just the normal places people go… there just isn’t much.
So, I got online to research parks, and discovered some really neat places, some I didn’t even know about. Not but 2 minutes from my work, there’s a Florence Veteran’s Park, that looked like a prime location for Pokemon catching. So, on Sunday, I decided I needed to get some cat food, and while I was out, I would see if I could find this place.
Only, I ended up getting distracted by the fact that someone had dropped a Lure on the Pokestop at the Mellow Mushroom. Actually, it’s not the Mellow Mushroom that’s the Pokestop, but rather the water sculpture outside of it, titled “Grotesque Snail.” Yeah, that’s how hard up this side of our town is for landmarks.
The very first Pokemon the Lure netted me was my first Meowth!
I hung out in my car until the Lure ran out, then I dutifully went to get the cat food I was after. Coming back out of the pet store, I noticed another Lure was popped at the Mellow Mushroom. I hadn’t planned on eating pizza that day, but I felt a little bad about just hanging out in the parking lot without being a customer, and I was getting hungry. So I went inside, and noticed a group of college students sitting and playing while eating pizza. It was certainly their Lures.
I had to fend off the wildlife while eating my meal.
Get away from my calzone, you rat!
Once I finished lunch/dinner, I decided I should probably walk it off a bit, so I went in search of the park that had actually been my goal. I did find it, and it, too, had a Lure.
The neat thing about this park is that it has several very cool monuments to visit. The area isn’t huge, but there are 4 Pokestops and 1 Gym there, and a nice sidewalk path that loops around the area. It’s just large enough that by the time you come back around to the first Pokestop, it’s ready for you to activate it again.
Despite being over 90 outside, there were several college kids and older teens out there walking and catching Pokemon. I didn’t really socialize with them, but it was neat to see other people involved in the game.
Plus there were just some thought-provoking monuments to visit.
I never even knew this place was there — I drive past it every day.
I can see myself visiting this place more often.
I can also foresee more walks down the neighborhood street after the sun goes down, like I did last night. It’s just too hot to be out there in the afternoon. I like that Pokemon GO is released, but I wish it wasn’t the dead center of summer when it’s seriously dangerous to be going out there in the heat.
Anyhow, this game has got me moving and planning things (like trips to the park, or maybe the beach) that I wouldn’t have done before. I know I’m not the only one. I’m looking forward to seeing where this game leads in the future – more activity for me is a good, healthy thing!
I know it’s been a quiet week here on this blog — I’ve had a ton of challenges to overcome IRL that has left me tired and low on energy for blogging or gaming. Despite being super tired last night, the release of Pokemon GO had me excited.
I’ve been looking forward to the release of Pokemon GO because I’ve always wanted to get into an Ingress type game, but just never have for whatever reason. Anything that gives me an excuse to get out and about is probably good for me. So, last night when the game finally rolled out for iOS in the US, I was all over it.
Of course, mostly what I ended up seeing was this:
However, I managed to get it downloaded and registered as Aywren before the crashes came later at night.
Now, I went into this game knowing what it was and what it wasn’t. This isn’t the traditional Pokemon game where you battle wild Pokes to catch them. This is more about traveling around, exploring IRL, and finding Pokemon in your everyday world. Some people are grumpy about this. I’m okay with it.
Starting Out in Pokemon GO
The first thing the game has you do is catch a starter Pokemon of your choice. I chose Charmander, who happened to appear sitting on top of my printer at home. The game teaches you to swipe the Pokeball at the Pokemon, which tosses the ball (do not toss your phone!), as demonstrated below.
Annnnd… I caught my starter Pokemon!
From there, I had no idea what I was doing. The game just kinda plops you down, with not much information on how to find new Pokemon. I could see that at the golf course not far away, there was a Pokestop, which is nice. And I could see the Pokemon that were in the vicinity, but there’s no real indicator which direction to walk to find them.
I wandered around my front yard and along the road in the dark and muggy night to no avail. I’m so jealous of people who say they found a Pokemon on their back porch or in their bathroom. 😦
The server was also having issues, so I kept getting logged out and dumped, which didn’t help. So I gave up for a while, and did some research online about what I needed to do to actually find Pokemon.
Seems there’s some grass out there that rustles that indicates Pokemon activity. This doesn’t promise there’s a Pokemon exactly on the grass, but possibly somewhere nearby. Also, I discovered that the footprints next to the Pokemon indicate how far they are from you.
Armed with this information, I noticed some grass at the very end of my road, and went out hunting once more. This time, I was rewarded with my first wild catch – two Pidgies!
That was good enough for last night, so I decided I’d wait to see what’s happening when I got to work this morning.
So I’m still a bit confused about how some of this works:
Does the game have push notifications for Pokemon if the app isn’t running?
Does it only alert me to Pokemon if the app is fully open and on screen?
What if it’s open but at the lock screen?
So far, it doesn’t seem like the closed app pushes notifications. I didn’t get a single alert while driving to work today, for example. But I’m still uncertain about this.
It’s pretty much confirmed that the app has to be open and displaying on your phone for it to work. The Pokemon Go Plus add-on accessory may change this a bit once it’s released.
Do Pokemon ever just wander into your range? I’ve left the app on, but haven’t seen a Pokemon come into range around my house or work, so far, if I’m not using incense.
Anyhow. Sitting at a stoplight near work, I fired up the app and saw that “Welcome to my City” sign/fountain right up the street from work is a Gym. It’s currently held by the Blue Team, which makes me happy, since that’s the team I expect to join. If the guy with the Raticate at the fountain holds on a few more days, I’ll be able to back him up.
Walking through the parking lot at work, I noticed a Rattata nearby, and hunted it down for a catch. I also learned how to use the built-in camera to take the picture.
I decided to burn one of my free incense and caught a bunch more pidgey, a venonat and a pidgeotto!
I also got a few medals today after taking an early afternoon walk around my work parking lot.
And so far, this is my trainer. Going team blue as soon as I can. Looks like a number of my FFXIV FC members will join me, and we will dominate Vegas during the FFXIV Fan Fest! 😄
After work, I’ll be checking out some of the nearby Pokestops I saw on the map on my way home from work. Leveling up earned me some Pokeballs, but I could always use more.