I will be taking a long break from writing about Pokemon Go. Probably six months off, but maybe more. I may never write about Pokemon Go again, but probably I will.

The simple answer as to why this is happening: there isn’t much to write about. You still can’t find Pokemon easily. There are few strategy decisions to be made, and almost all of them are already mentioned here. I haven’t written much about gym battles because playing gyms mostly sucks.

A few overpowered Pokemon ruin the gym game for everyone. I look forward to seeing Vaporeons everywhere, forever. Arcanine and Exxegutor are decent, Snorlax, Gyarados, and Lapras are good, but Vaporeons rule them all. [BAD WORD] the idiot who chose to make them so much more powerful than anything else.


Pokemon Appraisals

Niantic made a game-changing update this week, adding an “Appraise” feature that gives us direct insight into the Individual Values (IV) of our Pokemon. Last week we worked with a combination of rough estimates and data analysis web sites to determine which Pokemon to evolve or power up. This week we have specific numbers, particularly for those Pokemon at with IV of 80% or higher.

Use the Game Info IV Calculator. Click on “Advanced Options” then enter CP, HP, and appraisal data, it’s that simple. I’ll post more details after I complete analysis of the 100 or so Pokemon I have been saving. I’ve been surprised by how relatively weak one of my Vaporeons really is. Just goes to show us that Vaporeons are still radically overpowered, even after Niantic weakened them a few weeks back. But you knew that already if you’ve been playing the gyms.

The Best: Nidoqueen 93%

nidoqueen-fcf23-93-320We have three windows into the potential power of our Pokemon: Combat Power (CP), Move Set, and Individual Values (IV). After 23 levels of collecting and analyzing Pokemon, this Nidoqueen is the best one I have. It isn’t the most powerful, I have a Vaporeon that does extreme damage in gyms to almost any other type of Pokemon. But that’s because Vaporeons have too much power as a class, relative to most other Pokemon.

The first step of evaluating any Pokemon at the final evolved state is Move Set, the two attacks every Pokemon has. Attack Moves are the most important attributes of a Pokemon. I use the last two characters of the Pokemon name for the moves, in this case 2 stands for Poison Jab, the best of two possible fast moves, and 3 stands for Earthquake, the best of three possible slow moves. “23” means this Nidoqueen has the two best attack types for its species. Watching gym defenders disintegrate in a cloud of dust is great fun, earthquakes are overwhelming for almost all species.

In terms of IV this Nidoqueen ranks at 93%. Translated to CP that means it can be powered up to 93% of the maximum CP value of 2485, or approximately 2311 CP. The GameInfo IV Calculator analyzed the underlying IVs after a couple of power ups, and found these values: 15 Attack, 13 Defense, 15 Stamina, where 15 is the maximum possible value in each category. It doesn’t get much better than that for a Nidoqueen, which is strong on defense to begin with. I use the first three characters after the name to track IV, using hexadecimal notation. In hex, A stands for 10, B is 11, and so on up to F for 15. FCF translates to 15-13-15.

In terms of game play, this morning she powered through three gym defenders boom boom boom. A Flareon, a relatively weak Arcanine, and a Jolteon bit the dust one after the other. Just about the time the Flareon went down, the slow attack was fully charged. The Arcanine was cut in half by an immediate earthquake, and the same thing happened to the Jolteon at the top of the gym. I healed the Nidoqueen and then used a Rhydon to finish off the remaining two defenders. The end result was what you see, the Nidoqueen sitting on top of the gym after about 3 minutes of play. If other solid Valor players add to the tower in the next few hours, it won’t be easy to tear it down.

Live on the Net

Aloha! The core site is complete, the menus are final, and search engines know we exist. It’s time to let the world in to play. Hope you enjoy what you find here, if you want something new or different, that’s what comments are for. Thanks for visiting!

Installation & Sign Up

pikachu-320If you have an iPhone installing the Pokemon Go app is simple. Pokemon Go is at the top of the free app charts in the App Store and all you have to to is click. Apple is very careful about keeping fake software and malware out of their store.

If you use an Android phone you need to be a bit more careful. Get the app from the Google Play store and make sure of two things: the developer’s name should be Niantic, Inc., and they are listed as a “Top Developer” on the store. Versions of Pokemon Go you get from other places and developers may come with malware. Counterfeit Android versions hit the net a few days after the game was released.

After installation, you have two choices for signup: a Google account or a Pokemon Trainers Club account. Your Google account is already embedded in Android phones, they make it simple to use that for Pokemon Go. You may also use a Google account with Apple phones, but it’s just as easy to select the Pokemon Trainers Club (PTC) on the game’s startup screen.

Some iPhone users don’t like being tracked by Google and if you are one of them, go for the PTC alternative. Using a Google account to play Pokemon Go on an iPhone results in having your Google account information embedded in the Safari browser app. To get rid of it you have to wipe your Safari cookies, history, and database.

After you login and are ready to start playing the game you’ll be asked to pick a game ID, which is different from your Google or PTC login ID. Think about your ID ahead of time, and be aware that all your friends and family will see it when you start playing in gyms.

Your Phone Battery

You will drain your phone battery playing Pokemon Go. It’s going to happen one of those warm evenings when you just don’t want to stop. Be prepared! Seriously, having one of these little rechargers in your pocket will save you from tossing a Poke Ball and catching a really cool Pokemon and watching your phone die before it ends up in your Pokemon storage. I watched that happen last night to someone super excited about catching Pikachu in the wild, until she didn’t. Be prepared!

Turn Off the Camera

rapidash-320Do you want to catch Pokemon? Obviously the answer is yes, or you wouldn’t be playing the game or reading this page. Turn off the A/R (Augmented Reality) setting the next time you select a Pokemon you want to catch, that will make learning to throw a Poke Ball much easier.

If you ever want to show people the cool place you were at when you saw Pikachu, turn on the camera, take a picture, then turn the camera back off to catch him. For some Pokemon, like Pidgey and Rattata, turning off the camera might not make a lot of difference, but for others, like Zubat or Ponyta, it makes a huge difference.

Someone I met at the park got really frustrated trying to catch Zubat. He got so mad he asked me if I could catch him and when I said yes he handed me his phone. I turned off the camera and nailed the little bugger after a couple of tries. He was happy, he left the camera turned off, and I’m sure he had a lot more fun afterwards.