Pokemon Go celebrated its third anniversary last month, but I started playing a month late. That was still early enough to have witnessed the huge initial popularity of the game, though possibly without a few of the initial teething issues.
And I have been playing it pretty much daily ever since. Granted, it probably helps that our office campus has five Pokestops and a gym, which makes playing daily pretty easy. The field research thing also puts a little pressure on to play daily as well, so my wife and I still go out on weekends together to go do a raid or two or to spin some Pokestops downtown or around the community center. That my wife plays too has also helped its longevity around here, especially since we’re now on the same team.
As a game it has evolved and grown over the last three years, mostly for the better. The change up to gym battles and the expansion of gyms to more locations was a pretty big deal when it hit… almost two years ago now wasn’t it? And the events have gotten better over time. The recent Team Rocket event was interesting, if a bit confusing for me at times. I spent some of my Pokecoins on the Team Rocket outfit for my avatar, so there were a couple of times where I was wondering why there were two Team Rocket grunts hanging out by a captured Pokestop.
One thing that Pokemon Go has that will be familiar to MMORPG players is inventory management. You have limited bag space, though it can be expanded by spending coins. Yet somehow, no matter how much bag space I have, I always managed to fill it all up. I am currently at 950 slots and I still end up getting a message about my bag being full when I spin a Pokestop now and then. Oddly, I don’t have a similar problem with the Pokemon storage, which likewise has limited space. I have upgraded that a couple of times, but mostly I am pretty harsh about who gets to stay and who gets transferred. But in my inventory, I cannot bring myself to delete any of my huge pile of full revives and full heals. I might NEED those some day! As it always goes with inventory management.
What I haven’t managed to to in three years it get to level 40, the level cap for the game. It took me a bit over a year to hit level 30, but as I pointed out in a post about that, the exp required to get there was only 10% of the total required to get to level 40. At that pace, getting 10% of the way in 14 months, it should take me nearly twelve years to get to level 40.
I think I am a bit ahead of the twelve year pace though. I currently stand at about 10% of the way into level 37. That is largely due to Niantic adding in additional ways to earn experience. The friends list, where you can exchange gifts with your friends daily, is of particular note, since you earn 100,000 exp when you achieve maximum friendship.
I don’t really focus too much on exp. I remain, as in the core Pokemon games, focused on catching and evolving Pokemon. My stats there are not too bad, since the other thing I don’t do much of is big raids.
The game also gives you a bunch of other stats, which I suppose you can compare with my one year post. Where I stand.
- Level – 37
- Total XP – 9,710,552
- Pokedex – 436 unique caught
- Pokedex – 460 unique seen
- Total Pokemon caught – 8,721
- Highest CP Pokemon – Slacking, CP 4,163
- Total Pokemon evolved – 1,157
- Pokestops visited – 9,401
- Distance walked (with the app open) – 1081.7 km
- Eggs hatched – 858
- Gym Battles won – 1,638
- Hours of Gym Defense – 4,462
- Berries fed at Gyms – 1,884
- Field Research Tasks Completed – 430
- Best Friends with – 9 trainers
- Gym Raids won – 100
- Pikachu caught – 119
- Pokemon Traded – 18
I suspect that my wife and I will carry on until we at least hit level 40 due to habit or sunk cost theory or some such.
We did consider jumping on Niantic’s latest game, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, but the large similarity to Pokemon Go, including the need to keep the game open on your screen in order to play, pretty much meant choosing between one or the other, so we decided to stick with Pokemon Go for now.