dreamshark: (Default)
 So, yesterday Eileen and I were hunting Pokemon. Parked on Nicollet Island, walked across the bridge to St. Anthony Main and turned right along the  walking path. We were immediately hailed by a frantic looking young guy in a bike helmet sputtering, "Wait! Don't go that way! WASPS!!" At first I thought it was somebody who had accidentally encountered a nest of some kind.  Scary, but it happens. Turns out it was much much worse than that. This guy had stopped at a picnic table by the bike path for a little picnic lunch when a few yellow jackets started going after his banana. One stung him on the leg, another on the back of his neck. He looked up from his lunch and realized that a HUGE SWARM OF WASPS had descended on the picnic table and was MOVING INTO HIS BACKPACK as he sat there!!  He ran for it, and they didn't follow. But there were literally hundreds of them swarming the picnic table, the backpack, and his bike. He had a long branch in his hand and seemed to think that he could chase them off or maybe rescue his backpack with it... but that really didn't seem like a good plan. We talked him out of attacking them with a stick, and suggested that what he needed was wasp spray. The guy wouldn't leave the area because he felt responsible for warning everybody that came near. And sure enough, as he was talking to us a jogger came along and got a little too close to the table, then looked alarmed and started swatting at the air, then turned around and ran. 

Eileen and I weren't sure what to do to help. We walked a ways upstream and attacked a gym while trying to think of someplace to buy wasp spray. Really, St. Anthony Main isn't the best place to look for useful stores, so we would have to walk back to our car. We headed back to Wasp Central to ask him if we should do that and saw that reinforcements had arrived. The poor guy couldn't get to his phone (we hadn't realized this, but it was in his backpack!) but a passerby had thought to call .... well who DO you call in this situation? 911? Animal Control? 

It turns out that the right call is the Park Department. Amazingly enough, a truck had showed up already and a guy in a Park Department vest was bravely emptying a can of wasp spray at the picnic table. Then he pulled out a long telescoping pole with a kind of double hook on the end, snagged the backpack, pulled it out and tossed it out of the way. Then he did the same thing with the bike. The spray didn't seem terribly lethal, but I think it slowed the wasps down considerably. There were still some buzzing around the backpack for a little while, but they eventually emerged and sort of staggered away (only flying). I asked the park guy if this happens often and he said (sounding a little shaken), "First time I've heard of." But they did seem to have the right equipment for the job, so kudos to the Minneapolis Park Department.

dreamshark: (Default)
 If you play Pokemon Go you might have noticed that on Monday all the gyms closed down, replaced by pathetic little gray tables. Yesterday they came back up, refurbished and (more or less) ready to play the new gym system that Niantic has been hinting about for months. As usual, info from Niantic is deliberately sparse and cryptic, leaving the details to the Silph Road scientists to figure out. Like millions of other rabid players I spent yesterday afternoon and evening out there trying out the new system. 

There are some glitches and a few dubious design decisions, but on the whole I think I like it (aesthetically, if nothing else). Instead of flipping through successive panels of gym defenders, you are now confronted with a big glass dome with all the defending Pokemon just kind of hanging out inside.They all have little hearts over their heads representing their current level of "motivation," the new game mechanism that replaces the hopelessly confusing old "prestige" system. They lose motivation when they lose battles, but also just from boredom. You can feed them berries to perk them up. 

Things I like about the new system:
  • Gym badges, including the ability to track what's going on with your pokemon defenders in distant gyms
  • The demise of the "Gym Prestige" system, which I hated
  • Finally, something to do with all those useless nanab berries!
  • Defending Pokemon are no longer ordered by CP (so I don't have to be at the bottom of the gym all the time, getting whaled on)
  • New diversity rules are already making gyms more interesting to fight
  • Gyms now have built-in Pokestops. It's like when your health club opens a shop in the lobby for workout gear, but it's all free!
  • There are more gyms now - a lot of Pokestops were converted
Things I don't like
  • The algorithm for motivation decay is way too harsh, esp. if Reddit is right about Pokemon >3000 CP
  • Gym defenders are ordered first come first served - but backwards!  First guy in is at the bottom, must fight every attacker first. And last guy in gets his picture displayed on top of the gym, even though he probably just waltzed in and took the last empty slot without fighting. There should be a reward for taking down a gym, not a punishment!
  • A depleted Pokemon cannot be retrieved from a gym until it is defeated by a rival team. It should just come home when it hits zero.
  • The 100-coin daily limit on rewards for gym defense - especially awful combined with previous bullet
  • Players no longer earn stardust for defending gyms. So sad.
  • It's really hard to keep track of how many coins have been earned by gym defenders. The journal needs a major overhaul. Stop logging every stupid Pokestop and put some real information in there. 
I got into more than a dozen gyms yesterday, mostly by just zooming around the neighborhood dropping into empty slots. I was lucky enough to be fiddling around with my Pokemon menagerie when the gyms came up, and got out there before all the gyms filled up. I'm still not sure exactly how many gyms I'm still in, because for the first hour the gym badge/tracking system wasn't operational. I think it's 6, but I cannot figure out where that 6th gym could possibly be. I've had about 6 mons come home to me bearing coins earned in battle. They've earned 63 coins since yesterday, and potentially could earn as much as 80 more if they all came home right now. Except that if they did all come home now, that would exceed the stupid 100-coin daily limit, so I would lose a bunch of coins. I guess the ideal outcome would be if a couple more came home this evening and the other 2 or 3 (where IS that Exeggecutor??) came home tomorrow. But it's mostly out of my control, which is why the daily limit is so unfair. 
dreamshark: (Default)
 Happened yesterday or the day before, actually. Time to head out and see what's new in my local hunting grounds. The Silph Road Nest Atlas shows Shuckles at Lyndale Farmstead and Girafirags at Lake Harriet. 
dreamshark: (Default)
Taken on New Year's Eve while hunting Pokemon.
Posted via email from my computer to Dreamwidth using Gmail. I had to resize the picture first: couldn't find any way to resize it appropriately from Gmail.
dreamshark: (sharon tire)
Two days ago a sneaky little Pokemon update that supposedly just fixed a couple of minor bugs (ha!) tweaked the base stats and Combat Power calculation of pretty much all the Pokemon. My beatiful double-grass Vileplume is nerfed. :-(   But my beloved Rhydon, FightQuake, is suddenly a beast! I have renamed him "SnorlaxKiller."
But wait, there's more!

The Thanksgiving Event started this evening: 7 days of double XP and Stardust!  But wait, there's more!

The new ingame tracking system went live at the same time. Not sure if it's an improvement or not, but it's different and will be fun to play with. But wait, there's more!

The elusive  Ditto Pokemon is now loose in the wild! I haven't seen it myself, but it's all over the Internets. It disguises itself as something harmless like a Pidgie or Rattata, but when you catch it, it transforms into a purple blob. Wow!

If only the real-life weather weren't drizzly half-frozen mess I'd be out there right now.
dreamshark: (sharon tire)
Before the Halloween Event my local spawn points mostly churned out urban vermin (rats, pigeons, worms). Since Halloween the spawn points have been upgraded and now are producing a more interesting mix. This is certainly the rarest one I have ever encountered in my house. I am pleased.
ETA: I sent the picture to Lena with a note along the lines of "Look at the Pokemon in Gamma's house" and last I heard she was marching around chanting "Po-Ke-Mon! Po-Ke-Mon!"
dreamshark: (sharon tire)
Just had my first Festival of Evolution. Cracked open a Lucky Egg (which doubles earned XP for 30 minutes) and started frantically evolving baby Pokemon. I evolved about 40 critters. Mostly worthless Urban Vermin, but also got a few evolutions that I had been saving up for on more valuable critters. The star of the show was a duck that unexpectedly evolved into the most powerful battle Pokie in my menagerie.

But the real payoff for this was the XP. Normally you get 500 XP for evolving a Pokie. Double, it really adds up! I leveled up from 14 to 15. Then to 16. And ended up at Level 17!
dreamshark: (sharon tire)
And once you get to the bandshell, you'll never get out of there until your phone goes completely, totally dead.

I got a bunch of Staryus, Polliwags, and Magicarp. Not one but TWO of those terrifying fanged jellyfish. 5 or 6 Psyducks. And a Squirtle, the first I've ever seen in the wild. Still Clefairies galore around the Rose Garden - I caught 3.

And I totally dominated a gym. There were a bunch of kids playing around with the Harriet Pavilion Gym, and they somehow whittled it down to a Level 1 gym (I still don't understand how that works, frankly. Maybe fighting back and forth between two teams?). Then somebody parked a pathetic little CP 27 Magicarp in the one defense spot. The Magicarp is the Pokemon that looks like a dying fish and is described in the official game literature as "a pathetic excuse for a Pokemon that is only capable of flopping and splashing."  I don't have much in the way of battle Pokies, but I figured I could beat that. And sure enough, I could. So for a short time my Flareon was king of the hill at the Harriet Pavilion. It wasn't long before she was dethroned, of course, but it was fun while it lasted. 
dreamshark: (sharon tire)
Yes, I am lucky enough to have a Pokemon spawn site in my house! It's not a particularly active or interesting spawn site, yielding mostly Urban Vermin (pigeons, rats, and worms). But now and then something unusual pops up. Yay!

So, who else is playing Pokemon Go, besides [livejournal.com profile] lydy and [livejournal.com profile] eileenlufkin?  When you post about Pokemon, could I trouble you to use a tag so I can find those posts easier? Now that I've been drawn into The Game I'm going back and looking for [livejournal.com profile] lydy's very interesting posts on the subject and wishing they were tagged.

I'm Level 14, but my progress has been so haphazard that I don't have enough powerful critters to do any fighting. If I ever manage to evolve my Dratini or Charmander I might consider it. I'm mostly having fun collecting. So far, my go-to hunting ground is Lake Harriet. The Roseway has possibly the highest density of Pokestops in the Twin Cities, and the lakeshore has tons of water creatures (including the elusive Dratini). There also seem to be a lot of Clefairies around the Rose Garden afer dark. Lately, anyway. Eileen and I couldn't find any trace of fairies during the last full moon, but now they are all over the place. When I came back from South Dakota with a cute little baby Rock Rhino, [livejournal.com profile] eileenlufkin took me to Loring Park to find more. Sure enough, they are quite common over there, although I have never seen one any place else in the Cities.
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