No Seriously… Walking Simulator
I named yesterday’s blog post “Walking Simulator” half jokingly, but after two days of Pokemon after dark… it is really a truthful statement. You can look at my activity tracker and see very clearly the impact of the launch of Pokemon Go. While my wife thinks I am insane, I am however outside and getting exercise without really noticing it. Last night for example I walked quite literally for an hour without really realizing it. Sure I had broken a sweat because it was 94* outside, but thankfully there was a nice wind to greet me oddly enough in pretty much any direction. The best part about this is… I am not the only one doing it. This is the second night I have gone wandering, and Wednesday night I was really hoping I would not run into server issues. However for the most part starting around 8 pm the server seemed to be more or less stable, or enough so for me to risk trying to find some of the night spawning critters. Additionally bolstering that confidence, my friend Void had posted a link to a fledgling server status page for the Pokemon Go gateways. So with all bars reporting green I ventured out into the world.
I had barely made it into the neighborhood next to mine when I saw a couple walking along staring at a phone… and a few minutes later I saw the unmistakable action of throwing pokeballs at some critter. I smiled and held up my phone and they held up theirs as a sign of recognition, which caused a round of chuckles from all of us. It turns out they too were trying to take advantage of the shockingly good server connectivity and had just managed to catch a Pidgeot. Unfortunately the critter did not seem to still be around but a few minutes later I found my own rareish Pokemon in the form of a Weepinbell. I say rareish, largely because don’t know how common this or that Pokemon is… but the pre-evolved forms seem to be significantly rarer than the base forms. I found this list last night which attempts to list the pokemon caught in beta based on relative rarity. Which also made me super happy about one of my finds earlier in the day. For the last several weeks I have been going by after work each evening to water the flowers of a friend of ours while she is out of town. I had just pulled into the parking lot in front of her apartment and thought… I should probably check to see if there are any cool Pokemon around. Sitting right there almost literally in the parking space was a Tauros, a critter I had never actually caught in any of the games. It took a bunch of tries but sure enough a mixture of RNG and finger crossing got me that third little twitch that meant it was captured.
At this point I have seen twenty eight different pokemon, and captured twenty six of them. I missed a Butterfree on that first lunch outing, and then failed to catch the Fearow Wednesday night due to server issues. I say not bad at all for two days worth of effort and doing all of this legitimately… aka not using the cash shop items to “attract” Pokemon. Some things I have learned through hitting Pokestops apparently forty seven times based on the stats kept within the app. Pokeballs are plentiful… I now have over 140 of them so don’t fret too much about tossing several to catch a single Pokemon. Potions and Revives are also plentiful given that I have 54 and 36 respectively. Pokestops also seem to have the rare chance of giving you some cash shop type items given that I have received at least one incense off of a stop, and one of the 3 charge extra incubators that let you keep more than one egg going at once. Things I have learned from friends is that apparently you can bolster the defenses of a gym held by your team if you place Pokemon on it as well. Right now the gym in my town is held by the team I ultimately chose, Mystic aka Team Blue. So on my way out of town this morning I plan on stopping by just long enough to slap that hefty Weepinbell I got last night on the roster. I have no clue if I will lose said Pokemon or if it will return to me if fallen, or if I can heal it with potions etc. I do however know that if you hold a gym for your team you can earn pokecoins the cash shop currency as well as other in game items.
The other thing worth talking about this morning is that through a combination of friends and a super helpful Reddit post I finally have a handle on what the tracking system in the game means. When you click in the lower right corner of the screen you can see which Pokemon are near you. Each of them will show a number of tracks out beside them with the default seeming to be three. Number one thing I learned is that the list is sorted in order of distance from you, meaning the ones at the top of the list are closer than the ones at the bottom. Second thing I learned is that if you click on a Pokemon it begins to track that specific one. If while tracking your bar flashes, that means you are walking in the direction towards the Pokemon, and as you get closer the number of tracks will start decreasing. When you eventually get down to zero tracks it should spawn near you, and allow you to try and capture it. This would have been extremely helpful to know last night as I seemed to be wandering around trying to find one of two Psyduck in my neighborhood. I will say years of seeing silhouettes of Pokemon have greatly prepared all of us for knowing precisely what might be in our neighborhood based on the outline. Last night there also appeared a blip of a Tentacool for a bit, but I never found it either. Hopefully you too are getting out and walking and finding your own stash of critters. If you are curious what I have actually caught I am for the moment keeping a crappy spreadsheet until I figure out what I want to do properly.