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Pokemon GO!


#41

I never played Ingress, but I’m quite happy with the foundation it’s built for PoGo.

That’s my new shorthand for Pokemon Go!

I don’t know that I could have taken the stress of Ingress from the sound of it. I don’t like the fact that I can’t keep a gym for longer than a couple hours (I lost two of the ones I took today within 15 minutes). But I don’t really care about the gyms and while I like the socializing and meeting other Pokemon trainers, I play solo. Mostly because I have a family and only play when the kids are in bed, I’m not working, and my wife and I aren’t hanging out. If the whole game was based on holding areas I’d quit cause that’s a level of organization and time I don’t have.


#42

Not to mention the paranoia factor. It was fun for me, but yeah, it’s pretty intense. It’s hard to describe the joy you get from making a control field that blankets most of your own hometown, though.

PoGo (I’m using that now, too. Thank you for that!) is much more Super Effective (eh? eh? see what I did there? :expressionless: ) for just taking a break, or strolling around town, or walking to the bus stop, or from the movie theater parking lot, going on a walk in the woods (which is the term I use for “hiking.” “Camping” is when you also spend the night)… whatever.

My 'dex is woefully empty. It’s just now become tolerable to wander around outside, here. It’s 25°c instead of 30 at night. Only at night, though. I dislike the concept of dying from heat stroke.


#43

I defended my first gym for all of about 30 minutes last night.


#44

Yeah. I just turn it on when I’m going to and from work and when I go out on errands. There’s a poke stop everywhere where I am, including right by my work and my house so I’ll never run out of pokeballs either. The only time I make special trips is when I want to go defend a gym. Which can be fun and there’re a ton in my area so I can do it while also doing errands. Just means specific spots are getting more of my business now than they used to :stuck_out_tongue:


#45

Ha! That’s awesome.

Augmented reality games often do make you change up your normal routine, I think that’s part of the appeal.

My nearest gym (within walking distance) is in a graveyard (see above). I have yet to go there to hunt, as it is private property, and I could get in trouble by night, and seem disrespectful during the day. That’s not stopping me or anything! I’m just waiting for the most satisfying moment to trespass :grinning:


#46

The graveyard is private?! Weird. I haven’t heard of that up north, but I haven’t had much occasion to visits many thankfully.

I’ve been doing most of my exploring during the evenings. Still seem to get less crashes and freezing at dusk. I did play a bit yesterday as a passenger while my wife drove. Saw a Jolteon and she graciously pulled into a gas station so I could catch it. She humours me for now and says she’ll give it a go once it releases in Canada.


#47

It’s of course open to the public during the day. But at night, I had a very friendly rent-a-cop explain it to me. He let me know, that similar to many public parks, it was “open” from sunup to sundown. But he was a player! He was Resistance, I was Enlightened. He had submitted quite a few of the Ingress portals himself. We hung out for a while. It was really super cool!

He doesn’t work there anymore, though, and I don’t want to be an annoyance. Well, maybe a slight annoyance ;D


#48

Fair enough. That makes sense. I’ve heard of people vandalizing gravestones for whatever reason.

Has anyone noticed any locations actually tailored to a Pokemon type? Like ghost Pokemon around graveyards, or water Pokemon around rivers and lakes?

Some kid was telling me that the weather affected certain Pokemon showing up. We had a huge rainstorm come through last night and he claimed because of it he caught two Krabby’s. I think he’s full of it.

As I’ve levelled up I’ve seen some new Pokemon appearing, but this area seems to be mostly pidgey, rattata, ponyta, abra, drowzee, geodude, and venonat. There are some rarities that show up like pikachu and vulpix, but they’re not common.


#49

I caught a Squirtle, Tentacool, and Goldeen, which are all water-type, by walking next to Sarasota Bay. Environments affecting the type seems to be pretty confirmed at this point, as well as the day/night cycles, from what I’ve read.

I may have to try out the graveyard theory tonight or tomorrow night! Because: how cool would that be!?!?!
Answer: Very cool.

I haven’t heard anything about weather, although that would be awesome! And then my phone would get wet, or blow away during a windstorm or hurricane or something, or I’d get struck by lightning, and I’d have to get a replacement phone for playing a f2p game. :expressionless:

(Edit:) OK, when are we going to break down and just start posting lists of what we have in our Pokédex? I see that on the horizon. It makes me… uncomfortable(?) but it seems inevitable.

(2nd Edit:) Just caught a Poliwag, another water type, while walking by the bay. That’s enough for me to confirm the local environment theory. (A lot of CP and three potential evolutions. So, that’s good? I think? God, when did I become this nerd…) It also looks like the color of the swirling leaves indicates the type of 'Mon that may be hiding in the tall grass nearby.


#50

This game is really interesting.

It’s pretty apparent that the game is a huge success. Nintendo shares up, millions of downloads, top grossing within two days of launch, and everybody is talking about it, it’s a massive hit.

It’s also pretty apparent that the game is crap. Despite the experience with Ingress, and the kind of money available for a Nintendo Pokemon game, this seems really rushed and badly produced.

  1. The servers are constantly down. I can condone this, they probably didn’t expect this much server load.
  2. The game is buggy as hell, it crashes constantly, it can crash when you catch pokemon, when you use the menu in battle, when you battle gyms in at least three different ways.
  3. The game doesn’t run in the background (I am aware this is part of the monetization strategy), and eats a lot of battery life while running. The battery saving setting is bugged and can crash the game on its own - it’s unresponsive when you turn it back up. It also overheats my phone for some reason, and it’s a pretty good smartphone, so I imagine it does that to other people too.
  4. The monetization itself is pretty crap. If this was half as hyped, the bracelet alone and the fact that you can’t run this in background would likely be a deal breaker for a lot of people. The store is pretty standard, but it doesn’t actually offer that much. No aesthetic changes, no clothes shop, just consumables of dubious utility. It doesn’t look like they put much effort there either.
  5. The graphics look terrible. They probably reused 3D pokemon assets from other games (and if they didn’t why the hell didn’t they?), and the rest of the assets could have taken a single artist about a month to make, tops. The integration of VR pokemon in the camera is disappointing. I understand the difficulties - recognizing graphics and adapting on the fly on phone is absolutely impossible. However I expected something a little better than just slapping the pokemon on top of the image from the camera and calling it a day. Why even do it then? Not to mention the game rewards you from turning the setting off (easier to catch, more battery life), which is kind of dumb when that’s your main selling point.
  6. The gameplay is terribly lacking. Capturing pokemon is ok, it has pros (it’s cool and what you’d expect) and cons (frustrating lack of reliability on pokeball controls, pokemon offer little to no resistance and it’s a bit shallow). Gyms are terrible. The combat system is a joke, and terribly unbalanced. I like that it rewards grouping up to take down an opposing gym, but it’s impossible to hold a gym when three people can show up spend 10 minutes bashing it down and take it with no possible counterplay. The whole combat system is practically just “click A really fast”, the special moves and dodging are unresponsive, unclear, and overall not that useful. It’s a bit of a mess and all over the place.
  7. The game is incredibly unbalanced with respect to your location. There is literally no reason for me to take a walk outside instead of driving to the most densely populated area in my city and walk up and down the street a few times. I will find a ton more pokemon, more diverse pokemon, more pokestops and gyms, and farm a hell of a lot better. Rural areas are out of luck - and that’s even just moderately populated urban areas. Pokestops are also placed in a weird and random way.
  8. The game is not good towards new players. If I started playing now I would have no chance to do anything to any gym near me. What about two months from now? How are new players going to feel when they come into the game? Of course, that’s assuming gyms are at all important. However…
  9. There is a surprising lack of content for a pokemon game. Collect items, collect pokemon, use the terrible gym system is literally all there is to the game. I didn’t expect a deep and complex game, but even just the systems currently in place could have benefited from a little more content variety. There is no real incentive to explore - pokestops reset way too fast. It takes me more time to walk to a new pokestop than it takes to wait for one to reset.
    The idea of regional pokemon is cool, but it is ultimately underdeveloped. I expected to have to go to the mountains to catch geodudes - instead, there’s a few nearby. Is my region a Doduo region? Sure! But I can still find Pidgey and Spearow and Rattata etc. etc. Why don’t I have to move a bit to meet new pokemon types? Why don’t I have to go near cemeteries to find ghost pokemon? Why don’t I have to go near garbage disposal sites and sewer entrances to catch Grimers? Why don’t I have to go near electric centrals to catch Electabuzz? Why aren’t Magmars exclusive to regions with volcanic activity?
    There is a trading system planned - it’s not like people wouldn’t be able to catch those pokemon without moving anyway. But if each area has exclusive pokemons, you start having some real interesting dynamics (and rural and marginal areas might become more relevant again). What if Pidgeys were exclusive to Europe, North America had Spearows, and Asia had Doduos? The possibilities are nearly endless. And if you run out of exclusive Pokemon content - there’s like a bajillion more Pokemon to include in the game.
    And besides, why is it that the terrible gym system is the only end goal for everybody? Catch 'em all is another, ok, granted. But Pokemon games are famous for having a lot of different ways to be played. Breeding, catching, fighting, stupid minigame contests, there’s always a ton of different things to do with pokemon. Not so much in Pokemon Go.

Is the plan to release more content with patches? Possibly. Surely. But the launch has been really rushed and terrible IMO. It seems like the game had a really low budget, low development time, low expectations. It looks like a cash grab based on IP alone, who cares about what you put in it.

But the game does a lot of good things too:

  1. The IP use is perfect. This idea has been around for a while (Ingress for example), but Pokemon is literally the perfect IP for it. It’s a match made in heaven. Everybody that knows what Pokemon is instinctively knows what to expect from the game, the mechanics don’t even need to be explained much at all. The tutorial in this game is not exactly well made either, but it doesn’t matter because the theme comes through to support it.
  2. This game proves how much a strong IP can boost a mediocre game. The amount of hype and nostalgia this game is powered by is astounding.
  3. This game has really neat social elements - the fact that you can hunt the same pokemon together, the fact that lures are shared, the fact that you can fight gyms together, the fact that you’re bound to meet up with other people playing by virtue of everybody going to the same place at once… that’s powerful.
  4. This game shows once again how powerful the drive to Collect All Things is in people. Collect all the things, click all the pokestops, catch all the pokemon - it drives people to keep playing over and over.
  5. This game got people walking and going out more than any New Year’s resolution ever.

Ultimately I’m fascinated by the game. Even without counting my own entertainment - which is relevant! I have never been as involved in a game that requires me to physically move - I’m still way beyond curious to see what happens in three months’ time. My money is on “this thing dies and nobody talks about it ever again in about 3 months” with “this thing dies and nobody talks about it ever again in about a year” a close second. The game just can’t sustain this amount of hype because there’s a lot that’s lacking. I fully expect this to be discontinued and patches not really fixing things because it’s a flash in a pan. But I am very curious, and not at all sure of my prediction. Maybe Pokemon Go actually manages to surprise me again!


#51

I think one of the reasons I love Pokemon Go so much, is that it has made Nintendo a whole load of money. I know this sounds weird, but even if Pokemon Go isn’t that great a game (which clearly isn’t the point anyway), if Nintendo have loads of money, then they can afford to take risks, and make more experimental things.

As one of the most impressively consistent innovators in games, this can only be a good thing for me.

Everyone plays Pokemon Go = More amazing innovation further down the line.


#52

This is what made me give up. I’ve been playing it since before it was released in the UK, but infrequently due to having other stuff to do, and I’ve just hit level 8. I checked a nearby gym the other night and it was being held by people who were up to level 24.

I just downloaded an emulator and started playing Pokemon Yellow.


#53

I heard someone (a friend of a friend) just hangs out at the pier all day to catch MagiKarps (sp?). Seems to be working out. :fishing_pole_and_fish:


#54

My wife just downloaded Pokemon Go, but is refusing to put on pants, so she’s wandering around the house going “Here, Pokemon!”

UPDATE: “I’m putting on pants. There’s an eevee.”


#55

Makes me wish we had some local body of water that registered with the game. All of our rivers and lakes are in coulees and have no cell reception. :frowning:


#56

Wow, that was a huge wall of text! (I did enjoy reading it, it was well reasoned and well written.)
Here’s a wall of text right back at’cha!

I’m not going to go through all your bullet points, just a few thoughts.

Yes, it is still glitchy as heck. And it does seem incomplete. And really unbalanced for newer players. I’m going to give Niantic the benefit of the doubt for right now, though. This is only their 2nd major, notable release, and they kind of cut their teeth on a hugely broad game that had a significant invite-only period to help iron out the kinks before going public. They also had the support of Google in the early days before spinning off from the company. They have continued to balance and improve Ingress on a regular basis, as well. I think that since that was their experience, they tried to do it again, and the game wasn’t quite ready for prime-time. They probably should have stuck to that formula of invite-only for a bit, but they may not have been given that choice from Nintendo. Hopefully, we’ll see more content in the future, especially the stupid mini-games!

My phone is brand new, and it overheats. This never happened with Ingress with any of my phones, but it did suck up lots of juice as well. The battery consumption did get better over time, though. There’s probably going to be a bit of optimization to come, with the wide diversity of phones providing more information about the hardware platforms that it’s running on now. Again, that could have been alleviated somewhat by an invite-only phase. Keep in mind, most GPS apps are fairly power intensive, although I never really had as much as a problem with things like Waze or navigation apps.

I don’t think I used the camera mode more than once. I didn’t even notice that until you mentioned it. It is a selling point, that’s part of the reason I got curious in the first place. So… I guess it worked? On me, at least. Eh, it’s a neat toy and it’s cool that the option is there, I guess.

As far as the weirdly random nature of the PokeStops, most of the Ingress Portals that the 'Stops are based on were submitted during the early days of the invite period. There were things like lag and GPS coordinate drift that sometimes threw off the coordinates of a submission, occasionally up to several miles. They sometimes had to push Portals around because a previously accepted one would turn out to be in the middle of an airport tarmac or someplace. Also combined with the fact that they were much more accepting of submissions so they could have more content during that early period, and that it is a much more secretive, grown-up game, there are a lot of creepier, possibly even unsafe for the general public, locations that show up on the radar.

I do think that location being more meaningful for different types available to hunt would be better. But seeing as how Niantic has an entire planet Earth to have to deal with, I can see how basing it on larger geological and natural maps may have priority over regional environment and political maps. I want to find ghost-types in a graveyard! But that’s just one small graveyard in a larger town in a larger county in a larger state in a larger country… nevermind, you get the idea.

Although Magmars being more common around volcanoes, etc. would make more sense. That being said, I do not feel the motivation to go to a different continent just to catch 'em all. I drove my scooter for an hour and a half in the rain just to Ingress before, that’s kind of my limit, and even then there was a sexy person on the other end of that journey waiting for me.

Alright, fine, I’m not going to lie… I would have done it just for the sexy person. ;D

What Niantic is doing is incredibly, almost unimaginably, large and complicated, given the global scope, the fact that AR is still relatively new territory, and what I suspect were severe limitations on development time. I expect this is still kind of beta. Just like the tons of MMOs have had major issues when they were released, this is no different.

I do think that, while it’s going to get (and has already gotten) a lot of backlash, it’s going to have players that will play for years. Right now it’s a flash-in-the-pan news item, eventually the hype will die, but there will be plenty of people still playing.

I agree wholeheartedly with your pros, and I’m sorry if I sound like a Niantic apologist. I got burnt out on Ingress quite a while ago, and that had me hooked for years. I didn’t even want to like PoGo. I never got into Pokemon (cards, videogames, or board games) because I thought it would just get dull and repetitive, and so far, this has happened in every Poke game I’ve tried. I’m not sure why this one has gotten me involved.

It’s still in the mid-30’s (90’s F) during the day here, with humidity nearing 100%, no one in their right mind should be outdoors in this weather. I must be insane.


#57

“I’m putting on pants. There’s an eevee.” would make a great t shirt slogan :grin:


#58

I’m on vacation! And as such am noticing regional differences in Pokemon populations.

Where I live in NE New Jersey, the most common Pokemon are pidgeys, zubats, spearow, doduo and goldeen. (Who keeps leaving goldfish on the sidewalk? That’s cruel.) Krabbys and rattata and weedle are fairly common too. Now visiting my parents near Toronto I’m noticing you can’t walk 5 blocks without tripping over a drowsee, and jynxes are fairly regular as well. Haven’t seen a spearow or doduo at all. My friends are crossing their fingers that they can trade with me before I head back so they can have my dodrio, haha.


#59

I’m leaving on a (mini) vacation tomorrow with my wife and kids. Hoping to catch some water Pokemon as my area has none!

Thus far I’ve got 87 caught Pokemon in my dex and 90 seen. Decent progress primarily due to some aggressive egg hatching!

Hatched a Jynx and a Magmar today!


#60

You have all the same commons as I do, in my Florida neighborhood! I need to try a different area soon. I want a bigger variety without needing to get a passport, and I’m wondering if just going out of the suburbs, and into the city, national park, or even just to a different neighborhood would help.

The last time I caught a new one was during the day (I’m a night-hunter, because it’s too hot). There’s a lot of swirling leaves nearby right now, which I thinks increase the chance of new 'Mons, but it’s right next to a marshy densely wooded area, and last time I tried night-hunting there I almost got eaten by raccoons.

@twispby that’s a lot more than I, for sure. What level are you?

Nobody walks in my state, for good reason (it’s sprawling, and summers and lightning storms can be deadly). But I can’t co-play with someone in a car, like a driver/navigator(s) team, with a navigator playing your own phone at the same time, because that just doesn’t work on a motorcycle. That’s a big reason why I wish there was a chat feature integrated into the game. Back with Ingress, it helped me to find groups, get and give rides with others (I had a car then), and team up in general. It was also an essential thing to do, and I hope PoGo will turn out to be more solo-friendly.

Maybe I can catch up to everyone during the winter, when it should be only around 27 degrees. Ok, sometimes it does get down to 16.