Starting Pokemon Go a month and a half after it launched meant missing out on a few things. I wasn’t around for the initial hype and camaraderie. Of course, I wasn’t there for a lot of the initial network problems either. I can play most hours of the day without problems.
But I am still behind the curve when it comes to levels. My wife, who is still using the account I initially started on my phone, was nearly level 20 before I even started. She made it to 20 as I was climbing up the levels and said that I appeared to be catching up fast.
However, like most games involving levels, higher levels require more experience to attain, so while the gap between our levels was closing, the difference between our actual experience count remained about the same. Last week I finally made it to 19, where the gap to the next level was 25,000 xp.
Up until about 18 or so, advancing through levels by simply catching Pokemon was a viable route. But after that the level curve starts to get steeper. 250K exp means catching 2,500 Pokemon at 100 exp a catch. Even if you manage bonus points on each catch, that still only gets you to 160 exp and leaves you looking at almost 1,600 catches to level up.
Gym battles can provide more experience, though at level 19 your Pokemon are likely low enough level that you will burn through revives and potions with every attempt. And then there are Pokestops, but those only get you 50 exp, so you need to spin a lot of those to make much progress.
Evolution though… using the accumulated candies to evolve Pokemon into a new type… that earns you 500 exp a go. So with an eye towards the steeper experience curve I had been hanging on to a pile of Pidgeys and Rattatas, everybody’s favorite trash Pokemon, along with some others.
Once I could feel my momentum slackening at level 19, and I had some time to sit down and evolve, I used one of my lucky eggs… they double your exp gain for 30 minutes… and evolved my way into level 20.
Level 20 is good because you get a pile of items when you get there… I also made sure I had space in my inventory, one of the things that makes Pokemon Go an MMO to my mind is inventory management… along with access to ultra balls, which have a better catch rate, and a fairly sizeable boost in the combat power of the Pokemon that show up.
I rolled through well into level 20 with my lucky egg, covering a lot of the ground to 21.
The levels begin to really ramp up from 20 forward, adding 25K for each level, then 40K, and on on through up to level 40. (Level chart here on the wiki.)
Level 20 also opened up 10km eggs, which syncs up nicely with the two egg incubators than came as part of the level 20 reward. 10km eggs give access to some different Pokemon, including the elusive Snorlax, the capture of which my wife has set as her personal goal. Hatching one seems to be the best bet as, in all of this time, I have only ever gotten a single glimpse of a Snorlax on the nearby list.
My own top six Pokemon, while no great shakes as far as combat power goes, are at least now high enough to take on lower level gyms with a good chance of success.
Arcanine is easily one of the most common Pokemon you run into in gyms in our area.
So we carry on with Pokemon Go at our house.
I did notice a recent change where Pokemon you have “seen” but not caught now include Pokemon you have seen in gyms, so my “seen” list saw a big bump over the weekend. That is more in line with the core Pokemon RPG games, where you you get credit for having seen any Pokemon that you fight. To get them all, however, you have to catch them.