Pokémon GO: Raids and Feeding Captured Pokémon

Pokémon GO: Raids and Feeding Captured Pokémon

Pokémon GO: Raids and Feeding Captured Pokémon

Bob McFadden

Trainers over in the Pogodev community have noticed the addition of several new notification toasts to the game. There brief messages will notify the Trainer of certain events that happen in-game. There are five different classifications of events that the player may be notified of, and there are three different phrases for each classification, adding variety to these notifications. These will be a fun and useful addition to the game, but in the meantime, they provide some interesting insight into what is to come.

Notification Toasts

  • Gym removal 1: “[Pokémon name] has fought hard and returned!”
  • Gym removal 2: “[Pokémon name] is back after a hard battle!”
  • Gym removal 3: “[Pokémon name] was forced off the Gym!”
  • Pokémon lost 1: “[Pokémon name] lost a battle!”
  • Pokémon lost 2: “[Pokémon name] was defeated in battle!”
  • Pokémon lost 3: “[Pokémon name] fainted at the Gym!”
  • Pokémon won 1: “[Pokémon name] defended the Gym!”
  • Pokémon won 2: “[Pokémon name] was victorious in battle!”
  • Pokémon won 3: “[Pokémon name] has triumphed over your opponents!”
  • Pokémon hungry 1: “[Pokémon name] is hungry!”
  • Pokémon hungry 2: “[Pokémon name] needs a pick-me-up!”
  • Pokémon hungry 3: “[Pokémon name] wants a berry!”
  • Nearby raid 1: “Nearby raid starting soon!”
  • Nearby raid 2: “There’s a raid about to start near you!”
  • Nearby raid 3: “A raid’s going to start nearby!”
Discovered code
"gym_removal_notification_toast" "{0} has fought hard and returned!" "{0} は 
"pokemon_hungry_notification_toast" "{0} is hungry!" "{0} はお腹が空いている"
"pokemon_lost_notification_toast" "{0} lost a battle!" "{0} は負けてしまった"
"pokemon_won_notification_toast" "{0} defended the Gym!" "{0} はジムを守った!" 
"nearby_raid_notification_toast" "Nearby raid starting soon!" "近くのジムでバ 
"gym_removal_notification_toast|1" "{0} is back after a hard battle!" "{0} が 
"gym_removal_notification_toast|2" "{0} was forced off the Gym!" "{0} がジムか 
"pokemon_hungry_notification_toast|1" "{0} needs a pick-me-up!" "{0} のお腹が 
"pokemon_hungry_notification_toast|2" "{0} wants a berry!" "{0} はきのみを欲 
"pokemon_lost_notification_toast|1" "{0} was defeated in battle!" "{0} は負けて 
"pokemon_lost_notification_toast|2" "{0} fainted at the Gym!" "{0} はひんしになっ 
"pokemon_won_notification_toast|1" "{0} was victorious in battle!" "{0} はバトル 
"pokemon_won_notification_toast|2" "{0} has triumphed over your opponents!"
"nearby_raid_notification_toast|1" "There's a raid about to start near you!"
"nearby_raid_notification_toast|2" "A raid's going to start nearby!" "近くでバ

Gym Removal Notification: This is the most useful addition for gameplay as far as the portions that we can understand right now. Trainers will now be alerted when their Pokémon has been booted from a Gym, so that they are aware that their Pokémon has returned and can respond accordingly. They may have been waiting for this Pokémon to come back so that they can power it up with newly gained Candy and Stardust, or perhaps it is just useful for them to know that there is an attack taking place on their Gym that is to be taken seriously. Some Trainers may even be close to claiming their daily Pokécoins and Stardust, and it may be vital for them to know that the expected reward may have just dropped.

Individual Gym Wins and Losses: Previously, the only ways to know that a Gym was under attack was for you to either be within range-of-sight and see the battle animation and declining Prestige, or for you to notice that a fainted Pokémon had returned to you. Now, Trainers will be equipped with a sort of early-detection system that alerts them more quickly. This can take place as soon as the conclusion of the very first fight of the assault. In addition, this will help Trainers understand the role that their individual Pokémon plays in defending the Gym. The only existing system for this used to be the sparsely-understood “Battles Won” stat that would rarely appear beneath a Pokémon in a Gym. But now, you can take pride in your Pokémon with every successful defense of the Gym, or feel empathy for them with each and every loss.

Pokémon Hungry Notification: The Trainer will also now be notified when one of their Pokémon is hungry. This will be a new game mechanic, as it is currently impossible to feed anything other than Wild Pokémon. Some trainers on The Silph Road reddit are concerned that you will now have to feed Pokémon in Gyms in order to keep them as defenders. They are already speculating on whether you will have to visit the Gyms in person, and considering the potential implications that this could have for giving spoofers advantage. But I think that we may be getting way ahead of ourselves. Of course, it is easy to fall into the mindset that this must be related to Gyms, as everything we have talked about so far has been. But I have a more optimistic prediction, and I think that this is more likely to be related to Buddy Pokémon. Perhaps every once in a while this toast will pop up and give us the opportunity to get a bonus candy for feeding our Buddy Pokémon, or maybe it will just be for fun. Either way, hopefully this can provide SOME use for Nanab berries, other than always immediately trashing them.

Nearby Raids: The most intriguing aspect of this discovery is the mention of “Raids”. The buzzword for Niantic at conferences and in press releases since the Gen 2 release has been “new cooperative social gameplay experiences”. This phrase was even used again in a Niantic blog post today. This is generally assumed to be related to the gym rework that is expected to be the next big quarterly update, but adding this new “Raid” term to the mix might change that expectation a little bit. Perhaps the next big thing isn’t (just?) an overhaul of the existing Gym system, but a new addition to the game entirely. Will this be similar to the Mewtwo Raid in Times Square in the trailer, or some completely different group activity? Let the speculation begin!

New Berries to be Added to Pokemon GO

New Berries to be Added to Pokemon GO

New Berries to be Added to Pokemon GO

Bob McFadden

The first new items are finally coming to Pokemon GO. As we mentioned over half a year ago, many berries in addition to Razz have had both text references and image assets in the underlying game code ever since the early beta. A huge update today suggests that we will soon actually have access to these in-game.

An update to the Game Master file adds item effects for new berries, increasing the total number of boost-modifying berries from one to five. All of these berries have also had a new attribute added called “growth percent”, suggesting the new ability to grow your own berries.

Based on the names of the effects found in the code, these are our best educated guesses on the effects that these berries will have.

  • Razz berries, as we have already experienced, increase the catch chance for a wild Pokemon by a modifier of 1.5 on your next successful hit.
  • Bluk berries will cause a Pokemon to jump less frequently, and by so doing, make the Pokemon less likely to avoid incoming Pokeballs.
  • Nanab berries will cause a Pokemon to initiate their attack animation/defense less frequently, which will cause less Pokeballs to be rejected and bounce back at the Trainer.
  • Pinap berries will slow the shrinking of the capture circle, making it easier to hit the Pokemon with the desired timing.
  • Wepar berries will enlarge the capture circle, making it more likely to score an accurate throw modifier.
Valentine’s Day Event: Details Announced!

Valentine’s Day Event: Details Announced!

Valentine's Day Event: Details Announced!

Bob McFadden

Pokémon GO had been feeling a little stale for the last month, but now the long-anticipated Valentine’s Day Event is here to clear the drought!

Boxes of chocolate won’t be the only candy around this week. Pokémon GO players will get all of the double-candy benefits of the Halloween event, (although the buddy-walking benefits got cut in half from its 4x boost, and it hasn’t been 100% confirmed that you get double candies for evolving, yet). In other words, you get twice as much candy for most things, such as catching Pokémon, hatching Pokémon, walking Buddy Pokémon, and transferring Pokémon to the Professor. And lure modules last SIX HOURS, which makes them twelve times more valuable for the course of this event than they were before.

Confirmed increased-frequency event Pokémon are cute Pokémon like Chansey, Clefable, Cleffa, Igglybuff and Smoochum, but it says that there are other pink Pokémon that will appear more often, as well. If I had to guess, I’d say that we will also see more Clefairy and Jigglypuff. And perhaps we might even see some Nidoran, which is the only Pokémon that currently has male and female genders in the game? Slowpoke is a possibility, and I think it might be funny to see some extra Lickitung, as well. When Gen 2 comes out, Chansey’s evolution (Blissey) will literally be the most formidable gym defender in the game. With all of this extra Chansey candy floating around… may God have mercy on all of our souls.

Here in Utah, the event starts at noon today and goes for exactly a week. So get out there and make the most of it!

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Don’t Evolve Yet: New Movesets Coming to GO

Don’t Evolve Yet: New Movesets Coming to GO

Don't Evolve Yet: New Movesets Coming to GO

Bob McFadden

With the latest notable update to Pokémon GO last week, we were able to take a peek behind the scenes to see what Niantic is working on for future updates of Pokémon GO. Aside from all the Gen2 hype, all signs seem to indicate that they will be making changes to the movesets of some of our favorite Gen1 Pokémon that already exist in-game. Among the moves that have been added to the game code, there are some moves that cannot be learned by any Gen2 Pokémon. If Niantic continues their current pattern, Pokémon in GO will only be able to learn moves that they currently can in the main-series games. This means that some of these moves are intended for a Gen1 moveset rework.

Here are all of the Pokémon that could potentially receive new moves: Venusaur, Charizard, Blastoise, Butterfree, Beedrill, Pidgeot, Raticate, Fearow, Arbok, Raichu, Sandslash, Nidoqueen, Nidoking, Clefable, Wigglytuff, Ninetales, Golbat, Vileplume, Parasect, Venomoth, Dugtrio, Persian, Golduck, Primeape, Arcanine, Poliwrath, Alakazam, Machamp, Victreebel, Tentacruel, Golem, Rapidash, Slowbro, Magneton, Farfetch’d, Dodrio, Dewgong, Muk, Cloyster, Gengar, Onix, Hypno, Kingler, Electrode, Exeggutor, Marowak, Hitmonlee, Hitmonchan, Lickitung, Weezing, Rhydon, Chansey, Tangela, Kangaskhan, Seadra, Seaking, Starmie, Mr. Mime, Scyther, Jynx, Electabuzz, Magmar, Pinsir, Tauros, Gyarados, Lapras, Vaporeon, Jolteon, Flareon, Porygon, Omastar, Kabutops, Aerodactyl, Snorlax, and Dragonite.

But more important than which Pokémon can learn new moves, might be which types of moves that they are. Generation 2 approaches, and with it comes a new king. Tyranitar will be the most powerful (non-legendary) Pokémon in the game, with a maximum CP of 3,670, which outranks the current leader of the pack, Dragonite. It is going to become crucial to be able to take this guy down, and it won’t be easy with his seven type-resistances. But Tyranitar has one major counter: Fighting. Both of Tyranitar’s types (Rock and Dark) are weak to Fighting-type moves, which gives him a double-weakness in battle.

However, there just isn’t a lot to work with right now as far as Fighting types go. The most powerful Fighting-type Pokémon is Machamp, and I was lucky enough to get one with the best moveset currently possible. This includes the most efficient move in the game, the charge move Cross Chop. But his best quick attack, Karate Chop, is the least effective quick move in the game aside from Magikarp’s splash. In my experience, since most time fighting is spent using quick moves, this has led to Machamp being a very underwhelming fighter. Recent signs show that Niantic may try to remedy this imbalance. They have done so multiple times already in the short history of this game, adjusting move and base stat calculations, trying to find a balance where as many Pokémon as possible are viable in battle. This is why I am waiting before I evolve my next Machoke.

Machamp, Hitmonchan, and Primeape can all learn the quick move Counter, which was discovered to be newly added to the game code. Perhaps this could be the strong quick move that Fighting types are currently lacking. Also, there are a bunch of new Fighting charge moves. Primeape, Poliwrath, Machamp, Hitmonlee, and Hitmonchan can all learn the new charge move Focus Blast. But the new move Close Combat might even be more powerful, and it can be learned by Primeape, Hitmonlee, Hitmonchan, and Machamp. Poliwrath and Machamp can also learn Dynamic Punch on top of it all.

Probably most exciting is the chance to have more same-type-attack-bonus quick moves, since that is generally how Pokemon deal out the most damage. In addition to the fighting moves already mentioned above, we’re also getting awesome additions in the useful Electric and Grass types. Raichu, Magneton, Electrode, Electabuzz, and Jolteon all might be able to learn the new moves Charge Beam or Volt Switch. And a bunch of Grass-types might get some much-needed love with Venusaur, Vileplume, Parasect, Tangela, and Exeggutor all able to learn the new move Bullet Seed. (Exeggutor might also learn a new Psychic move called Extrasensory, as well.) These new Electric and Grass quick moves will prove invaluable at taking out the extremely common gym defender Vaporeon.

We will also see some love for my favorite type of Pokemon, as Beedrill, Venomoth, Butterfree, Parasect, Pinsir, and Scyther all might be able to learn the new move Struggle Bug. Butterfree and Beedrill and Venomoth will also be able to learn Infestation, which could be an impressive move. Don’t forget, bugs are double-super-effective against those Exeggutors that you see in gyms, so whip out those Pinsirs. (Pinsir is totally underrated. It has a higher CP than any of the three final-starter-evolutions.) Also, if you prefer your Exeggutors burnt to a crisp rather than eaten alive, a big group of Fire types may be receiving the move Fire Spin: Charizard, Ninetales, Rapidash, Magmar, Flareon, and Arcanine. Another group that can take down those Exeggutors (in addition to Machamp and other Fighting types) is the Flying types who can learn the new move Air Slash: Butterfree, Scyther, Charizard, Pidgeot, Golbat, and Farfetch’d.

That’s almost it for STAB quick moves. The only stragglers are Jynx, who will be able to learn another Ice type quick move called Powder Snow. Ice moves are key because Dragonite has a double weakness to them. Speaking of Dragonite, they will add another solid move to their repertoire with a Dragon Tail quick move, and Gengar may learn a new quick move called Hex.

If you’re interested in learning more about which Pokemon might end up learning new moves, you can check out the spreadsheet that Nick from Trainer Tips made about it.

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Big Updates Coming to Pokémon GO

Big Updates Coming to Pokémon GO

Big Updates Coming to Pokémon GO

Bob McFadden

Many people were very upset to see the scant patch notes for the Pokemon GO update today (17 Jan 2017). But underneath the minor text fixes is firm evidence that there is much more going on behind the scenes. Gen 2 is right around the corner!

Quick Moves

Air Slash
Bullet Seed
Charge Beam
Dragon Tail
Fire Spin
Iron Tail
Powder Snow
Struggle Bug
Volt Switch

Charge Moves

Aurora Beam
Brave Bird
Close Combat
Dynamic Punch
Energy Ball
Focus Blast
Foul Play
Grass Knot
Gyro Ball
Heavy Slam
Mirror Coat
Night Shade
Rock Blast
Sand Tomb
Silver Wind
Sky Attack
Wild Charge
Zap Cannon

Research from The Silph Road suggests that we are in the final stages for not only Gen 2, but a lengthy list of other exciting updates. 38 new moves have been added to the game. This is the first time that new moves have ever been added to the client, aside from Ditto’s Transform. The names of the new moves can be seen in the table next to this paragraph. For some, the addition of new moves was the last sign that they were watching for before the full addition of Gen 2. So the new Pokémon could be EXTREMELY close.

Certain evolution items now appear in the game code. In the main games, the specific items mentioned were used to obtain Bellossom, Politoed, Slowking, Steelix, Scizor, Kingdra, and Porygon2. That is their most likely purpose in Pokémon GO as well, so these new Pokémon will probably need more than just candy to evolve. This is an interesting mechanic, as the candy that many have been hoarding for Gen 2 Pokémon will need to be accompanied by another item in order to be used, which will serve to limit everyone’s ability to get these Pokémon immediately, which will keep the excitement and rarity of these new additions going a while longer. In some cases, this also gives an increase in the player’s ability to choose which Pokémon they want, as compared to the only such process currently in-game which is the completely random assignment of Eeveelutions (except for the one-time-use nicknaming Easter Egg).

Another sign that Gen 2 is almost ready is the Pokémon “forms” that have now been added to the game. Specifically, forms for Unown have been added for every letter of the alphabet, as well as the question mark and exclamation point. This suggests that you will be able to catch Unown in 28 different forms. It remains to be seen how/if Niantic will prevent players from getting together to spell out words in gyms.

Some quality-of-life improvements aside from Gen 2 have been added as well. A new button is being prepared for the main menu, which currently contains the Pokémon, Shop, Items, and Pokédex buttons. The new button is “News” and will contain a much-needed official reference for updates and events in GO. Also, more options for new avatar customization are referenced. We should soon be able to add gloves, socks, belts, glasses, and necklaces for a more unique look. This is a continuation of a pattern that we have seen in all recent updates. Likewise, there is even more evidence of Genders and Shiny Pokémon, which is another aspect that has been seeing ongoing development. All of these features are getting closer and closer to completion.

It seems like all too often people are looking for reasons to get discouraged, but there is so much to be excited about on the way! GO, like any game, is as exciting and as fun as you make it. Two friends and I were out until late last night catching Pokemon and destroying gyms, and it was the most fun that I’ve had in a long time. But Niantic is constantly working on the game, and it will only get better as time goes on.

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