Back when Pokemon Go first launched, two and a half years ago now, I thought there might be some advantage to my wife, my daughter, and myself all being on different teams. The game was new and raw and clearly was going to develop over time.
And, it was always possible that it might not stick with us. In fact my daughter, the Team Valor leg of our family team triad, stopped playing not too long after the game launched, never to return.
The surprise was more that my wife stuck with it. It has become something we do together and really the only video game my wife plays with any regularity.
But by the time I figured out that she was going to stick with it and that being on different teams wasn’t going to given much in the way of advantage, I was already far enough in that I did not want to wipe my account and start again from scratch.
We still played together, me on Team Mystic and her on Team Instinct, seeking out Team Valor gyms to take down. But then only one of us could take over and be in the newly conquered gym.
We tried fiddling with using each other to clear out a spot in gyms already on our teams. She would knock out a somebody in a Team Mystic gym so that there would be a spot for me. However, Niantic seemed to be wise to this idea and there was quickly a lockout timer that would keep you from joining gyms under attack.
Actually, that was probably just to keep people from piling right back in a gym as they were knocked out, but it prevented our scheme as well.
So on we went, playing together on two different teams.
And then Niantic finally announced a way to change teams. Back in February they posted that a new item would soon be available from the in-game store, the new Team Medallion.
The Team Medallion was going to cost 1,000 coins and could only be used once every 365 days.
The time limit wasn’t a big deal, as I only wanted to change once so my wife and I could be on the same team. And the cost… well, as it happened I was closing in on that many coins as they announced it. There is a gym at our office campus that I get in almost daily, so I earn coins pretty regularly. I was saving up for the gift box with all the incubators they had at one point, but this was a bigger deal.
So I bought the token and did the big switch. Then I had to change my outfit, which was pretty blue, to something more in keeping with the new team. Team Instinct is all about the yellow.
Yes, Team Instinct has a bit of a reputation, to which I have alluded in the past.
But that doesn’t matter so long as my wife and I can go drive around together now and take down gyms.
It did take me a few days to get used to not seeing the blue of Team Mystic as my colors… I tend to be very opportunistic about jumping into gyms that have a free spot… and my change clearly messed up the cycle of the gym at the office. There used to be a regular point in the day when Team Mystic would take over, but now I need to either kick them out or find my own time slot to jump in.
Other than that it has been the usual routine for Pokemon Go.
I did luck out recently though. Niantic released a new Pokemon, Smeargle, with a new catching mechanic. You have to use the new camera item… yeah, I needed something else taking up space in my bag… to take AR pictures with some of your current Pokemon. When you do that there is a small chance that Smeargle will photo bomb your picture.
When that happens Smeargle will show up around your area on the map and you can catch him.
The luck was that it happened for me on the third try.
My wife is still taking pictures of Pokemon everywhere, but no Smeargle so far. I cannot help her with that, even if we are on the same team.