Pokémon Go: a 0xGG Journey to Level 40 Twice Over

Still zero money spent. Still zero third-party apps. Still 0xGG.

0. Contents [topp]

0. Contents [topp]
1. Introduction and General Statistics [ints]
1a. Preface [egbd]
1b. Level 40 Again [eity]
1c. General Statistics [gens]
2. Gym Statistics [dazz]
2a. Gold Gym Timeline [psyc]
2b. Stats per Gym [hype]
3. Notes [gbdf]
3a. Maintenance of Established Goals and Play Style [zer0]
3b. Thoughts on the Current Gym Coin Reward System [$$$$]
3c. MILOTIC IS SO BEAUTIFULLLLLLLLL [^_/~]
3d. Raid Optimization [3553]
3e. Espeon [4eon]
3f. Cars [4to5]
3g. Squirtle Community Day at Tufts University [shvl]
3h. Screenshots of Notable and Funny Moments [pics]
4. Thoughts on New Gameplay Elements [argh]
4a. Intricacies and Curiosities in Weather [boom]
4b. Nothing Good About It: Utterly Perverting the Concept of Friendship [xxxp]
4c. Devaluation of Rarity [unon]
5. Other Statistics [##%%]
5a. Bag Contents [brry]
5b. Most Represented Pokémon Species by Total CP [++cp]
5c. Catch Rates [%cch]

1. Introduction and General Statistics [ints]

1a. Preface [egbd]

Due to a variety of factors, this is a ridiculously long post, and also took me a ridiculously long time to write (even more the latter, due to factors like getting sick over the course of writing this post). In fact, while writing this post, I’ve earned another over 4.4 million XP above two Level 40s worth of XP, or in other words, almost as much as where I’d make the next post given my pattern (every 5 million XP) so far.

IMG_3409

As such, I will not make a 45 million XP update, and I might not even make a 50 million XP update. If I decide to opt out of the latter, see you again at Level 40 times 3, at 60 million XP.

Like my Level 40 post, this post will contain not only the usual deluge of tables and charts, but also plenty of thoughts and opinions on the game (sections 3 and 4).

Use the bracketed entities in section headers with Ctrl+f to quickly navigate to the section you wish to read.

1b. Level 40 Again [eity]

At 1858 on 09-19 (2 minutes before ESP worksession!), I reached 40000000 XP, via spinning the PokéStop for the Alchemist at MIT gym, just southeast of the MIT SIPB PokéStop, the first Stop I spun and the Stop that took me to Level 40. Since Level 40 comes at 20000000 XP, I’ve now accumulated two Level 40 equivalents in XP.

Since that was Day 754 of me playing Pokémon Go, and I reached Level 40 on Day 543, the second 20 million XP took me 211 days.

Here’s a chart of XP over time.

main

1c. General Statistics [gens]

Here’s a table of general statistics at 12 snapshots in time so far.

general_table

Here’s a comparison of the change in quantity of these statistics over the second 20 million XP versus over the first 20 million XP, both in total and normalized per day. Note that Berries Fed at Gyms, Hours Defended at Gyms, Raids Won, and Legendary Raids Won are statistics not available for increasing for much of the timespan of the first 20 million XP.

general_comparison_table

Here’s this data as a couple of charts.

general_chart_1

general_chart_2

Here’s a table of total catches per type at these snapshots.

type_table

Here’s that as a chart.

type_distr_chart

Upon level up, all of my Pokémon were fully healed. My six strongest by CP:

Kyogre (CP 3760)
Groudon (CP 3696)
Slaking (CP 3682)
Tyranitar (CP 3670)
Mewtwo (CP 3622)
Ho-Oh (CP 3613)

2. Gym Statistics [dazz]

2a. Gold Gym Timeline [psyc]

I now have 30 gold gyms. Here’s the order in which I got them gold. Day numbers in this section reflect days since the motivation-based gym system began.

#1: Alchemist at MIT, on Day 28

#2: Transparent Horizon, on Day 53
#3: Kresge Auditorium, on Day 54

#4: Vine Wall Art At No 6, on Day 82
#5: In Memory of Dorothy P. Simmons, on Day 94
#6: Cosmic Ray Chandeliers, on Day 102

#7: Community of Cambridge Super Awesome Mural!, on Day 137 [removed gym]

#8: Officer Sean Collier Memorial and Plaque, on Day 173
#9: DeWolfe Boathouse, on Day 190
#10: Martin Annis Crossing, on Day 191

#11: Smoot Plaques on Mass Ave Bridge, on Day 213
#12: Miracle of Science, on Day 227
#13: Fort Washington, on Day 241

#14: This is Where We Live Work Create Mural, Day 259
#15: Column of Faces, Day 265

#16: Jimmy Johnson Street Hockey Court, Day 288
#17: Not Art, Day 295
#18: The Apple Tree at MIT, Day 295

#19: Police Memorial, Day 342
#20: Putnam School, Day 351

#21: Danny Lewin Park, Day 387
#22: Cambridge Public Library – O’C, Day 387
#23: Flapper Mermaid, Day 388
#24: Dewey Library, Day 394
#25: Polygon Rope Gym, Day 398
#26: Vellucci Fountain at Cambridgeside Galleria, Day 399

#27: Skating Rink, Day 419
#28: Meadhall, Day 436
#29: Sloan School Spring Sculpture, Day 439

#30: Galaxy: Earth Sphere, Day 451

2b. Stats per Gym [hype]

Here’s a table of my stats at my top gyms. The three columns from left to right are battles won, hours defended, and berries fed.

Orange highlighting indicates where hours defended alone is enough for a gold badge (≥500).
Magenta highlighting indicates where berries fed alone is enough for a gold badge (≥3000).
Tan highlighting indicates where hours defended and berries fed together are enough for a gold badge.

gym_table

Here’s a comparison of these stats to the corresponding stats at these gyms 20 million XP ago.

gym_table2

3. Notes [gbdf]

3a. Maintenance of Established Goals and Play Style [zer0]

I tried to maintain the goals and play style with which I went through the first 20 million XP, but I found myself unable to resist a small number of changes, as well as some changes-in-spirit.

I still spend $0.00 on the game, and still in the “purist” sense: no buying a GoPlus, no buying charging equipment, no paid transportation just for playing Pokémon Go.

Nevertheless, I have arguably strayed from this standard in spirit, despite strictly adhering to it in word. Countless friends have been willing to lend me their battery pack for my use while I went on Pokémon Go expeditions with them. I have indeed not spent money on a battery pack, and arguably it’s better for both my friend and I (and Team Instinct) for my phone to have power, but do I really get to say that I manage to play Pokémon Go without spending any money on it when in reality I get many of the benefits of the results of paying anyway, and rather it’s that I’m valued sufficiently that other members of Team Instinct are willing to provide me aid? Should I feel guilty about my zero-cost style ending up translating as a burden on others of Team Instinct?

In a particularly amazing situation, here’s a picture of me playing on my phone powered by uewaxod’s battery pack via foxott’s cable.

(If you can guess which hallway of MIT that is just from that picture, that’s incredible.)

It’s even become a running joke in some sub-communities of Team Instinct Boston of how many different people have lent me a battery pack, like how many different people have taken Shinigo’s car for a Pokémon Go party. Many people have done both. Several people have done both at the same time.

But which side of the zero-cost fence I land on gets even blurrier than that. A few months ago betaveros bequeathed me a battery pack. He warned me it might not be too functional, and indeed it kicked the bucket after just a few runs. But a couple months later BeanWorshipper bequeathed me a well-functioning battery pack. And a short while after, Conglaser was nice enough to get me another battery pack from the MIT career fair. I can now literally be playing with a battery pack while another is charging. This feels really wrong for being “zero-cost”.

One thing’s for sure, though: I have very solidly spent absolutely nothing on in-game items. $0.00 there. And neither have I bought a Go Plus or will be able to reap benefits of having a Go Plus without paying. Nor am I interested in being able to do that: it’d be nice for me, but not directly benefiting for the people I’m playing with. I’ll stick tightly to $0.00-and-$0.00-in-spirit on that front. (Although…does playing in an urban area count as pretty much having several Go Pluses?)

During this time, I learned that 17500 is also a purist-zero-cost player like me! It’s great to know there are others that share my path in this game.

I still do not ever nickname Pokémon, in the spirit of respecting them and knowing them without making their names strings that remind me what they’re for. If someone trades me a Pokémon they nicknamed, the first thing I do is remove the nickname.

I have relaxed my never-transferring-legendaries rule twice: first to never transferring legendaries acquired from raids, and then to never transferring non-Articuno legendaries acquired from raids.

(On the topic of transferring and associated allegations of what the professor does to transferred Pokémon: how edgy, Niantic, making a “Transfer Pokémon” field research task and then rewarding completing the task with an encounter with a Ghost-type Pokémon.)

I still do not transfer Pokémon of CP at least 2048, although I have cut it rather close by occasionally trading away a Pokémon of CP higher than 2048. As my Pokémon of CP at least 2048 start numbering into the multiple hundreds, it becomes increasingly hard to follow this principle. I will probably settle for never transferring Pokémon of CP at least 2048 and never transferring or trading Pokémon of CP at least 3072.

I still have a substantial quantity of evolutions of common Pokémon, though not as many as I used to.

I still have never used a third-party app to aid in playing Pokémon Go.

I maintained preventing any one Pokémon from being present in my attacking team for more than 25% of battles. In fact, I improved on this. No one Pokémon has been present in my attacking team for more than 15% of my battles so far now. I intend to keep lowering this threshold.

I still aggressively keep my Pokémon healed, and preferably fully healed. When I reached 40 million XP, not a single of my Pokémon was below full health.

3b. Thoughts on the Current Gym Coin Reward System [$$$$]

First of all, the necessary acknowledgment: the Pokécoin reward system based on amount of time spent defending gyms is extremely demotivating for players substantially below optimal strength. It’s really cold in delivering the message that until you’re strong enough, slotting after someone strong has such better expectation for results than taking down a gym to slot. It rather annoys me how many top-level players I’ve known just tell these players they aren’t motivated enough or should work harder. I’m glad I wasn’t exposed to many people that spoke like that as I was trying to fight my way up flailing through MIT’s seas of blue; the condescension really might’ve convinced me to stop playing.

It’s a tough road up. It’s better for people in local minority teams than the previous system, but it’s still really harsh.

That having been said, I do like the current coin system in the aspect that by rewarding coins upon Pokémon leaving the gym, it incentivizes playing in denser-activity areas and thinking about the appropriate choices for the particular environment of a gym. One doesn’t get to slot a Pokémon in the middle of a forest and get free coins without doing anything for days now. There’s a balance to be reached for considering how long a gym will last, and I like that it’s a balance.

I have thought about whether it would overall be a good or bad thing if instead of a 50-coin daily hard cap Niantic implemented a diminishing-returns curve. A nice thing would be a higher or nonexistent limit to the number of coins a day someone who doesn’t spend money on the game could make. But on the other hand, people seeing these additional rewards to chase after may very well be greater incentivized to make life even harder for people on minority teams in an area, something that’s already a problem that doesn’t need to be larger. Also, I’m pretty sure Niantic as the company doesn’t consider what I’m calling a good thing here a good thing.

But now for an interlude of…

3c. MILOTIC IS SO BEAUTIFULLLLLLLLL [^_/~]

Generation III introduced Milotic into Pokémon. And my is the Pokémon a pristine beauty. Just look at it.

milotic

Thanks for being such a kind buddy to this dramatically uglier human standing next to you, Milotic. =)

Milotic is so freaking beautiful. Those wavy head attachments, that smoothly serpentine body, and on top of all that the tail: if I hadn’t seen one, I wouldn’t have guessed that there could be a being so beautiful.

A more gameplay-relevant thought on Milotic: I like the choice of mechanism for evolving Feebas to Milotic. Given what happened with Magikarp and Gyarados, one could have expected the evolution mechanism to just be 400 Feebas candy, but instead there’s the curious requirement of walking the Feebas as a buddy. It’s a refreshing way to show this evolution is special.

Milotic’s even a really good defender in addition to being ridiculously beautiful. It’s, like, unfair.

3d. Raid Optimization [3553]

In optimal irony for a player that spends no real-world money on the game, I’ve taken a large curiosity to raid optimization. There’s several statistics that can be quite interesting to optimize for a given raid: time to finish, minimal resource usage, minimal number of Pokémon involved, etc. As someone who loves optimizing speed, I spent most of my thought on raid optimization on the first item, but I’m sure the others make for really interesting problems as well.

Weather definitely makes for an interesting twist to the speedrunning problem, which I will cover in section 4a [boom]. A substantially more subtle and interesting aspect to reducing time to take a raid boss down, though, is choosing which attacks to tank. It’s sometimes better to be able to pump out a charged move sooner, but sometimes that next charged move won’t even happen after tanking an attack. And because probability plays into whether raid bosses attack at a particular moment in time, a boss fight is not calculable ahead-of-time and refreshingly requires on-the-spot judgment for an exciting challenge to hardcore optimizers.

3e. Espeon [4eon]

Long after reaching Level 40, among other ways in which I highly deprioritized completing my Pokédex, I played without ever having an Espeon. Eventually, I decided to just stick with this as a running joke, thus continuing to not work towards an Espeon, even after I eventually decided to evolve an Umbreon.

Alas, evolving an Espeon was required research on the path to obtaining Celebi, and I decided the cost of both never having Espeon and never having Celebi was too much for this running joke, and I evolved one of my shiny Eevee to become an Espeon. 17500 pointed out, though, that I could still keep a running joke, that I still don’t have a non-shiny Espeon. Indeed, that’s how it’s been going now.

espeon.png

3f. Cars [4to5]

Until people started taking me on car rides to play Pokémon Go, I did not realize how much of an advantage being on a car was. Even in Cambridge, where driving is patently a hellish experience, so much in Pokémon Go was so much nicer when you’re playing as a passenger on a car. The sheer increase in available range is just so incredibly helpful. Unlike when walking, when there’s a region that’s too dominated by an opposing team to make much progress, one can just zoom away somewhere else. It’s incredible.

Nevertheless, I’m thankful this progression came rather late in my Pokémon Go timeline so far, and thus really helped me appreciate how different the game on a car and the game on foot were.

Major thanks to Shinigo, RllyLoudLaugher, and IndiGal2456 (and after starting to write this post, Mahanubhava) for being willing to drive me around for Pokémon Go. I hope my help, my conversation, and my helping IndiGal2456 learn that Alchemist and Athena were not the same thing made it worth it.

3g. Squirtle Community Day at Tufts University [shvl]

On Squirtle Community Day I walked (because taking the T would be spending money indirectly on Pokémon Go) to Tufts University to meet and spend the Community Day with ImASteamShovel, the highest-XP Boston area Instinct. I’m really glad I went; ImASteamShovel was an utter delight to meet up with, and I got to meet several others in arguably the most intense geographic concentration of hardcore players in the Boston area as well.

It was also cool to check out the Tufts campus, which I somehow have never been to before. I learned about The Cannon. It conveniently has a gym. MIT’s campus has a “Building 3 Skull” PokéStop. Tufts has “The Cannon”. Why I’m bringing this up is left as an exercise for the reader.

Niantic messed up with the sunglasses Squirtles. The feature was clearly in reference to the Squirtle Squad, and the shape of the sunglasses were not right for that. The sunglasses ended up having the lackluster feeling of a half-cooked idea.

On that Community Day, my starter learned Hydro Cannon.

3h. Screenshots of Notable and Funny Moments [pics]

When I finally achieved a gold badge on every gym on MIT’s campus, I took a screenshot of the badge of the last gym, newly gold, to capture the moment of the achievement.

ssss

(In fact, when JasonLYH17 returned to Singapore, he had not yet gotten the gold badge at every MIT gym (for instance this one right above). I was still not the first Instinct player to get all of MIT’s campus gold, though: Conglaser made it before I did.)

This Blissey accumulated a double-digit number of victories defending Officer Sean Collier Memorial and Plaque.

11_victories

MissionDog also had a Blissey that achieved this, at Kresge Auditorium. I managed to take a screenshot of this situation when all the digits in its statistics were either 1 or 2.

11_victories_missiondog

I noticed this Gyarados racking up 4 victories in 5 minutes…at Galaxy: Earth Sphere, of all gyms. Was some attacker continuously getting Network Errors?

galaxy_gyarados

This is hands-down the most surreal glitch I’ve seen so far playing this game. (Is Niantic subliminally paying respects to Yemen or calling for the return of the Deutsches Kaiserreich?)

image0

image1

Here’s another glitch: ‘Artistic’ Light Box indeed.

artistic_light_box

In this screenshot, it appears a certain gym has momentarily vaporized (don’t worry, it came back), despite gyms clearly still being present on either side of it. Don’t worry about me being embedded in a Wailmer.

missing_gym.png

This was my fastest solo raid completion ever: a Sunkern in 8 seconds.

sunkern.png

And finally: I am so proud of my CP 98 Ponyta which gained a victory despite…well, being CP 98.

ponyta

4. Thoughts on New Gameplay Elements [argh]

4a. Intricacies and Curiosities in Weather [boom]

The implementing of a weather-based contribution to gameplay was the best feature to be added to Pokémon Go. The Hoenn update in which this feature came was in every aspect an excellent update, considering how that update happened smoothly as opposed to the other updates which were usually  broken and broke other features. It’s almost like a completely different engineering team worked on that one. But I digress, for I’m here to talk about the weather factor.

I really, really like it. It causes players to account for another factor in game strategy that before could use a slight extra tinge of complexity, and this factor provides it. And what better way to provide it than to strengthen the link of gameplay in this augmented reality game to noticeable features of the real world? With a weather factor, a player can feel not just the relatively static elements of the landscape being traveled across tying in to the game; one could feel, say, in sunny weather, that fire Pokémon are now stronger, fueled by the uninhibited heat of the sun that the player could feel too while playing the game. This is the best part of augmented reality.

One interesting twist of the presence of weather effects is causing a mental reinforcement of the difference in dealing with weather in the real world versus in a virtual world of a video game. In a typical video game, if you want a different weather than where you’re presently situated, it’s usually not that time-consuming to just travel somewhere with the right weather (sometimes somewhere known within-world for that particular weather). Not so with the real world. For most people, their day-to-day lives do not afford them traveling to the proper weather for what they want in Pokémon Go. In the typical place in the real world, there’s a weather distribution that’s handed to a person, and while people already have had to adapt to what weather in a location is like in the real world, a player needs to adapt to what the tendencies of weather mean for their strategic plans.

Of utmost notability, I believe, is implications for strategizing around the Fairy type. The Fairy type is boosted by Cloudy weather, and has just two weaknesses: Poison and Steel. Poison shares Fairy’s weather class. Steel is boosted by Snowy weather. So the only weather in which one could utilize a weather-backed type advantage against the Fairy type is when it’s snowing. That is, in a place like here, Boston, one is guaranteed unable to see the optimum condition in half the year. And much of the world would never see the optimal conditions against the Fairy type.

This means there’s significant potential for certain possible speedrun conditions to be really interesting. A challenge for the fastest total time to complete all presently available raids on a book-your-own-plane-ticket basis could be a spectacle with the right type distributions of available raid bosses.

In short, the weather factor dramatically increased strategic possibilities and linkage to reality. In my eyes, it’s easily the best added feature up to date.

4b. Nothing Good About It: Utterly Perverting the Concept of Friendship [xxxp]

I’ll actually put off my main point a paragraph and spend a little bit to talk about something I’ve talked about with regards to other features: implementation. It’s horrible. It’s getting better, but it’s still horrible, and it started worse. What’s fixed by now is that there’s at least some level of indication of whether interactions have happened. What’s somehow not fixed yet is having an existent search function. It’s not like Niantic is unable to make good search functionality: the Pokémon search functionality is quite awesome. Why do we still have to resort to grinding finger scrollbar dexterity for friendship?

But now for the central issue. For a feature about friendship, Niantic tried really hard to design it in such a way that in no way promotes a healthy concept of friendship.

The most common interaction among most friends is probably gifting. And the way this works, one spins PokéStops to get randomly generated gifts to send to friends. This is the exclusive way in which one obtains gifts to send to friends. A player can’t send over items from that player’s own inventory, like, you know, how gifts should work. This not only significantly reduces the amount of caring that goes into gifting, which should be an action of at least some degree of emotional value, but also makes it nigh impossible to personalize a gift; not only can a player not care about specifically what’s given to a friend, but this player can’t even care if they wanted to.

Heck, the biggest way a gift can be personalized is the PokéStop or gym it was obtained from; I’ve actually occasionally utilized sending a gift of a specific PokéStop to a specific friend in a desperate search of making some form of meaning from the act. It’s also quite a moment when one receives a gift from a friend from another team from a gym one’s currently defending. I’ve heard of some players who like to knock friends on other teams out of gyms and then send them a gift for that gym. Nice.

It’s not even just the void of meaning that makes the gifting system terrible; I would actively prefer to be able to send my own items to friends rather than random items from a gift that I can’t see. I’ve got quite enough items now (see 5a. Bag Contents [brry]); many of my friends have shortages; I want to be funding them what they need. The friend system was a great opportunity for Niantic to show some care for players that didn’t live in cities, and they quite failed it.

The format of a gift is like a postcard, which has the potential to be a good idea, if only enough PokéStops had associated images of high enough quality or were of sufficient significance to be used as a postcard. Did I mention that gifts can’t be discarded yet? Niantic might’ve specifically made gifts undiscardable foreseeing players otherwise discarding all their Starbucks gifts for how ridiculous it feels to send a friend “Greetings from Starbucks”.

On top of all this, friendship can only increment once a day, so Niantic promotes not only a version of friendship where the easiest form of building friendship is via thoughtless gifting, but in particular rewards unrequited friendship interaction. After a you open a gift from a friend, it helps neither you nor your friend for that friend to promptly afterwards open a gift from you, and vice versa.

Sometimes, a gift will come with an egg. Of course, the egg only comes if you have less than nine eggs at the present, which means that the contents of a gift are not determined at send time, very definitely not how gifts work, and to me an absolutely horrendous and unacceptable break from reality. Maybe there’s some creep that very efficiently travels around opening, en-egg-ifying, and resealing gifts about to be opened by someone with less than nine eggs; I’m not sure whether this is a more or less realistic explanation.

There’s also trading. Trading’s not as bad as gifting, for as much as that says anything at all. There’s some nice things about trading. My thoughts on trading are rather amorphous, but I will mention one particular negative in 4c. Devaluation of Rarity [unon].

This is already a heap of ridiculousness, but Niantic makes it even worse by promoting such lines of action using laughably high rewards for friendship. You can get +4 premier balls in a raid for being best friends with someone? Efficiency in battling a gym with a friend when playing with a friend is already the least-effort way to quickly make gym progress in Pokémon Go? I guess Niantic wants to really promote the mindset of making friends for the benefits above all else.

But the in-game rewards don’t even stack up to the ridiculous XP reward for friendship.

I remember back when legendary raids first existed there arose the term “Raid 40”. It referred to a player who (relatively) quickly rode to Level 40 due to taking advantage of legendary raids, which offered a disproportionate 10000 XP for completion. These players were usually at least noticeably and sometimes horrendously weak for their trainer level, and made estimating whether enough power was present to complete a high-end raid more difficult, as treating all Level 40s as having approximately the same power could easily lead to insufficient strength to win the raid.

Legendary raids now utterly pale in comparison to friendship bonuses. Raid 40s now seem normal compared to Friend 40s. The level cap of 40 comes with an experience total that is 40000 evolutions worth, or 2000 legendary raids worth, but only 125 full friendship completions worth.

Maybe that’s why the implementation is so horrible; it’s to make up for how overpowered friendship is. Niantic’s totally going to start using this as an actual defense, aren’t they?

Here’s a modest proposal for the XP a player should gain for obtaining friendship levels:

Good: 0 XP
Great: 0 XP
Ultra: 0 XP
Best: 0 XP

Why should this quantity even be positive? Friendship is supposed to be its own reward, and it’s not like Niantic doesn’t already provide outlandish benefits for having high-level friends.

Regardless, it is now essential to partake in friendship interactions to stay top-tier in many gameplay aspects, so off to making friends I went. The effect of this on rapidly propelling my XP upwards is very visible (see the first paragraph of 1a. Preface [egbd]). My first Best Friend was ssfreeman, who I became best friends with at 0009 on 09-19.

4c. Devaluation of Rarity [unon]

I’m quite upset by the rate at which Niantic has allowed a devaluation of rarity.

The field research tasks were a cool idea, giving the game a quest-like feature. What wasn’t cool was that it made lots of cool rewards drastically easier. It could have been that rare candies and golden razz berries were items one could only get from raids, but now they aren’t that special anymore. And I’m saying this as someone that baseline gets one raid a day due to zero-cost playing. It also eventually led to excessively easy means to get substantially rare Pokémon, somewhere where a feeling of rarity matters even more.

Niantic decided to make Unown really, really rare: awesome! (I so far have zero, incidentally.) But then they also made them easily obtainable at some events. Make specials rewards for attending certain events? Sure, but one of the cool things about Unown was that it was that ridiculously rare.

Remember when nearly all the Pokémon in the game were Pidgey, Rattata, and Spearow? I thought Niantic understood something there, but it appears that understanding was abandoned, or maybe they caved to a certain type of impatient loud player. It should be mostly Pidgey, Rattata, and Spearow out there: that’s what real life is like. The experience of collecting anything is supposed to be an experience where there’s some collectibles in the set that are really common and just come to the collector, whereas some are really rare and require making one’s way through many rounds of the common stuff before stumbling upon a unit for. Now, Niantic schedules events back-to-back, presenting a moderately-rare set now, and another moderately-rare set later. What a time when one usually has to go on a search for a Rattata.

I liked the idea of region-locking Pokémon. They gave a trainer a sense that one would actually need to travel across the land, searching far and wide, to be able to obtain each one. Now, with trades, that’s just not the case anymore. Sure, I could now finally fill in nagging holes that have been there in my Pokédex since the beginning of Pokémon-Go-time, but this ease definitely comes with a sense of lack of fulfillment. Even if Niantic had to make region-locked Pokémon tradeable, couldn’t they’ve at least made them cost as much as legendaries, which are, well, much easier to obtain? Speaking of which…

You know what’s a sign Niantic made some very questionable choices in rarity? When players are no longer excited for Pokémon that are legendary. And this clearly happened with most legendary Pokémon. This is what happens when they are available from a highly lucrative raid every several blocks in a city one or two times a day.

Here’s what I expected to pop up as the mechanism of getting at least some legendary species (I was really hoping this would be, for instance, the way Lati@s happened): there’s only about a dozen in the entire world. As a trainer, one has to take actions in-game that would be the sort of actions the Pokémon in question would approve of. Then, there’s a chance the Pokémon finds its way to you, and is willing to be yours for a while. The amount of time it stays with you depends on whether you continue to act in ways the Pokémon likes. But after this amount of time, the Pokémon flies/runs away to find its next trainer to be with for a while. This is a mechanism that would cause trainers to value and respect their Pokémon, and see legendary Pokémon as legendary.

And now one can even get legendaries as a special reward from research tasks. And because Pokémon from research tasks are guaranteed catches, these are guaranteed legendaries. You know what makes guaranteed legendaries different from participation trophies? Participation trophies aren’t fucking legendary. Not only do research rewards provide guaranteed Pokémon, but those provided are often ones that are supposed to be really hard to obtain.

5. Other Statistics [##%%]

5a. Bag Contents [brry]

bag_table

bag_chart

5b. Most Represented Pokémon Species by Total CP [++cp]

pokemon_by_cp

5c. Catch Rates [%cch]

Probably most notable in the below: my Lapras catch rate taking a substantial hit, and my Hitmonchan catch rate substantially increasing due to having encounted more than 2. I’m not sure when I’ll bother to go get more Volbeat.

catch_rates_table

Here’s a table showing my catch rates for common species at various snapshots in time, followed by a chart for the most common species.

common_catch_rates

catch_rate_over_time

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