Go go gadget pokémon!

Are you folks tired of me talking about Pokémon Go yet? Good. Please note that I’m not entirely sure what your response is, but that only reinforces my mandate that this is a personal project, not swayed by trifling things like audience expectations or propriety. Now that I’ve cultivated the image of a rebel paragon, let’s now devolve into discussion of a hyper popular social phenomenon.

According to the internet community, the sky is falling. A new update has been released that has irrevocably changed the nature of the game. Everything has gone to shit. We’ve reached ragnarok and people armagettin outta here. People are deleting accounts, asking for reimbursement, etc etc yadda yadda yadda. It’s become an amazing clusterfucking of whiny fandom entitlement and the definition of privilege culture. Things were one way, they’ve been altered and now the world is ruined. Abandon all hope, Pokémon trainers, because rare pokémon are becoming rare again. The footprint tracking (that wasn’t working) disappeared. So effectively nothing has changed, they just removed the illusion that it did. How am I gonna get my team of six snorlax now? Fuck this free game and that piece of shit company providing me with tens of hours of entertainment and an excuse to get out, get fit and have friendly interactions with strangers.

I’d feel guilty about making this strawman rant if I hadn’t seen so many people get basically paraphrased by what I said in jest.

Here’s the deal. People are packing a shitfit that sites like Pokévision and Pokélocate were shut down. If you’re not sure what they were, the aforementioned sites scraped the game’s data to give you perfect locations of every pokémon spawning and the time left to grab them before they disappeared. It made tracking rare and exclusive pokémon a cinch, because it eliminated the need to actually track them. I’m not gonna sit atop a high horse here. I used the sites a fuckton. How else was I supposed to find that cp 150 lapras within the reach of a short five minute jog? As a user who avidly followed and directly benefitted from them, I say good riddance.

It was cheating, whether you wanted to call it that or not. You were using sites that exploited the code and spirit of the game to give yourself an advantage. I hear all these complaints saying “I work a full time job. It’s unfair that people who work less get an advantage.” That’s a shitty excuse. If it means something to you, make the time for it. If you want to be the very best, then spend more time training. If the only way you can possibly have fun in something is to negate hard work and take the easy path, perhaps you don’t deserve to get what you want. Is it unfair that athletes using steroids get banned? The parallels aren’t so far off. The way I saw it, that kind of perfect tracking created an arms race that made playing by the rules untenable. It was no way to keep up. I’m very happy to have my snorlaxes and other rare pokémon, but I’m even happier to return to a game that actually has peaks and troughs rather than a number crunching experience. Nothing has given me more joy in this game than the organic experience of surprise. Rare pokémon showing up in public, total strangers helping each other out, giving advice and getting excited together. That’s where the magic is and I’m stoked to have it back.

The other functionalities of the update are pretty rad. Moves have been overhauled and balanced. The Damage Per Second of quick moves have dropped and the DPS of charge moves has jumped dramatically. Tiers have shifted and the possibility of alternate strong breeds of pokémon rising through the ranks has come to the fore. Rather than settling into a comfortable groove, this has shaken up the competitive gym structure and allowed for new strategies to become viable (as much as the combat involves strategy anyway). I know I’m tired of seeing only vaporeon, snorlax, dragonite and Lapras holding gyms (I say this as the owner of a 98% IV vaporeon). Has Jolteon’s time come? Will a grass type actually be viable for once? Can someone please think of the fighting types?

The new context menu when viewing pokémon is excellent. It’s quicker to transfer a pokémon after catching them. In fact, everything seems to have smoothed out with the game. I’ve noticed fewer glitches. The loading screen is faster than ever. My game doesn’t crash even half as often as it did.

Wait, maybe the game is running smoothly because everyone else quit. Maybe they got tired of me talking about the game.

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