This past February 20 at 1228 Eastern Time, I spun the MIT SIPB PokéStop (the first PokéStop I spun in Pokémon Go) to reach 20000025 XP, thus ending a 543-day journey to Level 40. During this journey, I walked 2690.1 km (as logged by Pokémon Go), caught 36291 Pokémon, won 11487 battles, and obtained the gold gym badge at 13 gyms.
Here’s what the top of my Pokémon page looked like:
Here’s what the top of my Gyms page looked like:
This will be a post saturated with charts of relevant statistics, but unlike my previous posts partway along this Pokémon Go adventure, I will first talk a bit about my goals in this Pokémon Go journey, and thoughts and decisions along the way.
Since this post is long, I will give each section a short string that could be used to navigate to the section using Ctrl+f.
I. My Goals and Play Style [gaps]
II. Choices and Thoughts [chat]
III. All the Stats [alts]
I. My Goals and Play Style [gaps]
These were my decisions as to how I’d play Pokémon Go.
- Play against the stereotype of Team Instinct as the team that just merrily hatches eggs and doesn’t bother to fight for gym territory; help spread a presence of Team Instinct in gyms. [pats]
- Spend $0.00 on the game. [0x$$]
- Play at not just a community-accepted standard of ethics, but Niantic’s prescribed standard of ethics; play such as to approximate the experience of an actual Pokémon trainer. [nomap]
- Treat my Pokémon as well as I could, as far as possible while still participating in the essentials of Pokémon. [<3<3]
- Record ample statistics along the way such that eventually when I reach Level 40, this post would be possible. [++++]
Here’s some elaborations on these.
1. Play against the stereotype of Team Instinct as the team that just merrily hatches eggs and doesn’t bother to fight for gym territory; help spread a presence of Team Instinct in gyms. [pats]
This one’s probably sufficiently self-contained and self-explanatory.
2. Spend $0.00 on the game. [0x$$]
In the spirit of zero-cost gaming, I didn’t spend money towards Pokémon Go that I wouldn’t have wanted to if Pokémon Go did not exist. I decided that that means:
- I never purchase in-game items with real money. All Pokécoins I ever had I earn through in-game mechanisms.
- I never purchase a GoPlus.
- I never purchase a battery pack, as I wouldn’t have spent money on that if I didn’t play Pokémon Go.
- I don’t increase my data plan from my original 1 GB/month plan I had before starting to play Pokémon Go, and that 1 GB was to be shared with Ingress, as well as the non-gaming functions I perform on my phone.
It turned out that over 50% of my data usage (and over 75% of my battery usage) in many months was Pokémon Go, even when including Ingress. Of course, even though I never purchased a battery pack, I’ve gotten offered one several times; I decided if I actually get offered one I’ll allow myself to use one. Thanks, all you kind trainers.
Until the new gym system, I consistently had barely any Pokécoins, due to the Mystic dominance of my play area. The new system was a great relief for me, after which I consistently earned the ceiling of 50 Pokécoins nearly every day. To be frugal with Pokécoins, I only ever bought the following items:
- Premium Raid Pass
- Lucky Egg
- 8x Lucky Egg
- 25x Lucky Egg
- Bag Upgrade
- Pokémon Storage Upgrade
I prioritized purchasing Pokémon Storage Upgrade for quite a while (see item 4 [<3<3]), and only made my first Bag Upgrade purchase at Level 38. I never spent any Pokécoins on style, although now that I’m Level 40, I plan on eventually purchasing some outfit components. In total, I only ever purchased about 5 Premium Raid Passes.
Luckily, I live in an urban area. Without this, I may have needed to spend Pokécoins on Poké Balls, and I shudder at that thought. I’m pretty sure in such a world my $0.00 run to Level 40 would have been severely hampered, in more ways than one.
Also luckily, as I’ve been a busy MIT student anyway, most of my playing occurred walking from place to place within MIT’s campus, which allowed me to utilize MIT’s WiFi networks instead of data, as much as it was tempting to use the more reliable option. Playing Pokémon Go on campus mainly on WiFi has helped me discover the locations of all the WiFi holes on campus. For instance, there’s a lot of holes around the Cosmic Ray Chandeliers gym. Along with the high drift around that gym, it makes playing there often quite frustrating. Also, Building 36 is nearly always a pain to play while walking through, due to the different main WiFi network, since RLE isn’t happy using the main MIT WiFi network for some reason.