Pokémon GO is a mobile "game" and cultural phenomenom for iOS and Android (Windows Phone users get fucked) that came out last Thursday, 2016. The "game" is a copy-carbon of Ingress, so the company spent 6 years coding some Pokéman figures. In Pokémon GO you walk around meat space with your phone in front of your face using the GPS and the camera to look for Pokémons in an augmented reality setting (or a boring field if you don't want to look like a spazzing autist waving your phone around in public, which is what 90% of "players" do). It uses a Google Maps-type interface to lead you to different Pokémon, "PokéStops", and "Gyms" based on landmarks, parks, statues etc. Already, this autism-tier "game" has surpassed the Tinder app and is soon to surpass the Twitter app in daily users, so thank Arceus for that.
Encouraged by the hope of catching a Dratini, former shut-ins are walking into the sunlight for the first time in years and attempting to hold actual conversations with others. This has sparked an unfolding lollercaust on multiple levels all in the name of enslaving imaginary beasts then making them battle.
Pokémon GO started as a prank made by Google. In 2014 a special video was uploaded entitled Google Maps: Pokémon Challenge in which various people raced to check points highlighted on their maps in order to catch Pokémon on their phones. The associated app actually existed for a single day and awarded a "Pokémon Master" message for the morons who downloaded Pokémon Challenge in hopes of playing Pokémon in real life. Over 13 million people watched and liked the video. Google Poked Nintendo, asking them if they could make this "game" a reality. Astonishingly, Nintendo actually pulled its head out of its ass for half a moment, took note of the popularity, and agreed to allow a third party Niantic to produce a "game" with one of their most popular franchises on a non-Nintendo system for the first time in known history.
When Pokémon GO launched very few countries could access it. Even if the "game" was downloadable in your country it also had to be playable in your area of the country. Let's say you lucked out and you lived in the right country in the right area. Only Android and Apple phones could actually run the "game". Windows users were screwed! All one dozen of them! Many people in an attempt to get over the insane number of restrictions downloaded versions of Pokémon GO from various shady websites. These sites are run by hackers looking to rob you blind and so far are working as planned. Even the legitimate Pokémon GO application gives itself maximum privileges on your phone, allowing it to download and read the contents of your e-mail. As a bonus feature Pokémon GO can drain a fully charged battery in less than an hour regardless of the version used.
Ironically Japan did not get Pokémon GO at launch even though they beta tested the "game". People in the homeland of Pokémon at first were confused: traditionally Japan always gets first crack at a new Pokémon title! Weeks went by and the official word was "Wait a little longer, please". The Japanese response can be translated into the screaming of small spoiled children accompanied by flipping a table. Almost as if to punish their own people for being spoiled brats, the Europeans got Pokémon GO before Japan did. Officials apologized for the delay and were met with intensified screeching.
Meanwhile, Nintendo's stocks take a ride on a rollercoaster in all this, simply because Nintendo's investors are impatient sunsovbiches. Get this:
> Pokémon GO does insanely well
> "Who owns Pokémon? Obviously Nintendo does. So let's by a shitton of their stock!"
> Nintendo's stocks skyrocket almost over night.
> Nintendo opens its big mouth and reveals that 1) Go was developed by Niantic in the US, 2) since it's a free "game", there really isn't much profits to be made to begin with, and 3) even if there were massive profits to be made, it'll be split between Niantic, Google, Apple, etc.
> "B-But... at least this could translate into increased sales of 3DS units and the new Sun/Moon "game" coming out in four months!"
> Investors realize they blew their wad, combined with the fact that they don't feel like waiting four whole months to see any profits, and dump Nintendo stock as quickly as they bought it
> Nintendo's stocks ultimately tank big time > All of this happened within a week.
TL;DR: N00bs should not do stock market.
Niantic released the game over most of the world, including Japan. They made sure to release to Brazil earlier than planned because people from that hellhole kept chanting "BRAZIL BRAZIL BRAZIL BRAZIL BRAZIL BRAZIL BRAZIL" forever and ever and it was getting on everyone's nerves. Then Niantic did some IP bans to try to kill the botters. Naturally Brazil was almost entirely banned along with most of South America because the ISPs out there are stupid and funnel everyone under a single IP. This lead to spamming of "UNBAN BRAZIL UNBAN BRAZIL UNBAN BRAZIL UNBAN BRAZIL UNBAN BRAZIL UNBAN BRAZIL UNBAN BRAZIL" despite the fact that most Brazillian players also were complaining that there were no PokéStops, no Gyms and no Pokémon in their area. In the month that it took Niantic to unban Brazil millions of players quit and nothing of value was lost.
Development and updates
Pokémon GO was buggy at launch with things like tracking being glitchy and servers going down constantly. No, the servers weren't being DDOS'ed even if a few hacker groups pretended they were: Niantic's servers just sucked. The developer's web site had various useful features like the ability to request a team change, the ability to remove a PokéStop, and the ability to add a PokéStop. It was rough going, but the "game" was playable. Then things began going wrong.
First Niantic removed the ability to add new PokéStops and Gyms. The player figured that maybe they were deluged with requests and, though disappointed, did not mind. What did bother them was that zero new Gyms or PokéStops were added from these requests. Literally zero! Not even the promised PokéStops at Game Stop stores were honored despite Game Stop waving lots of cash under Niantic's nose. In fact, the number of Gyms and PokéStops began to actually decrease as various building owners and even entire towns decided they didn't want Pokémon hunters freaking everywhere. These removals weren't all private property: public parks, libraries, and other public spaces were hit by removals with zero say from the players.
Players tried to find out why PokéStops were being removed wholesale but none were being added only to learn that Niantic literally ignores its support address and never answers any emails at all except to remove PokéStops. This was no surprise to Ingress players who already knew Niantic's support strategy is "Ignore it and it will go away. If it goes away it's all better!" This was bad enough, but the three steps bug made it explode.
Pokémon GO showed how close Pokémon were to your location by showing foot prints next to their picture. Three steps meant they were within 0.4 km of your current position. Two steps meant they were within 0.3 km of your position. One step meant they were within 0.2 km of your position. Zero steps meant "It's right behind you, nigga!" Within the first week the "game" was stuck with three footprints always showing regardless of how close the Pokémon were. Various programmers decoded the source code and figured out how to fix the three steps glitch, but Niantic didn't fix it. It became a running joke that tracking has been broken longer than it has been working, but players weren't mad as they could always visit a Pokémon tracking site like PokéVision or use one of the many Poké Radar apps to see what was nearby. Players felt it was a fair trade: they could find Pokémon while Niantic could take their time stabilizing the serves before they worry about the tracking glitch. Niantic said "No! Not wanting to wander blindly is cheating!"
On July 31, 2016 Niantic removed tracking altogether and sent out cease and desist notices to all third-party Pokémon tracking apps and web sites. They also made all patches of shaking grass invisible outside of a few in public parks. These patches of grass were the only remaining cues of where Pokémon might appear. Literally overnight it became impossible to actually find Pokémon outside of accidentally stumbling on them. They also made it harder to catch Pokémon in general by increasing the escape, attack, dodge, and flee rates on all Pokémon, even the very common ones. The "game" was now fully unplayable.
Pokémon GO's rating dropped from 3.5 stars to 1.5 stars within six hours of the change. Millions of angry players demanded a refund only to find out that Niantic's Google and Apple store email returns an auto responder message...
— Niantic wants you to use the form on their site to contact the email address they never check for that refund they won't give you.
Then they dug deeper and found out that, in contradiction to Apple and Google guidelines, Niantic refuses to honor refunds in any form at all. Also breaking the rules: not having a working contact email, never answering support emails, having a misleading product description/claims (like all the removed/changed features), and selling a defective product. Apple allows a 90-day refund policy while Google has only 48 hours, although some people claimed to be able to call Google to get a refund even though it has been longer than that. The refunds were coming in so fast that Apple and Google couldn't keep up with them. Within 24 hours of the update Google put an apology notice in the Play Store and refused to deal with any more refund calls despite the fact that Niantic was breaking their TOS in multiple ways, least of which being the fact that they totally ignore all contact from the players.
And why wouldn't Niantic reply to anyone? They have no community manager. The one that didn't suck stepped down because Niantic sucks and the one that should have handled Pokémon GO "suddenly" gave birth to a baby and they never got a fill-in guy to handle anything even though they had nine months warning. They said they stuck the Ingress guy on it instead and he said he isn't the one in charge and that they had a position open for community manager for Pokémon GO.
Pokémon GO's next big update was to remove all traces of the remaining tall grass patches. They also added a super glitchy "you're going to fast" popup warning that would appear if players so much as breathed too fast. Eggs also wouldn't hatch if players were going "too fast" so once that popup appeared it was a crapshoot if anything would incubate at all. Niantic also scrapped the foot system and added a "sightings" tracking system that now showed whatever PokéStop the Pokémon was closest to. All you had to do was go to the PokéStop and walk around in a fifty-foot radius to find the Pokémon! There was one problem: many places had removed PokéStops or just plain never had them to start with. This meant that Pokémon appeared with a "tall grass" icon meaning they were near a patch of tall grass. You know, the things that Niantic had made 100% invisible with the update.
Fans were happy to see a tracking system but that happiness didn't last. The new sightings system was useless for everyone outside of those in big cities who already had it easier thanks to an abundance of PokéStops. The vast majority of players did not have every single patch of tall grass memorised and had access to few if any PokéStops. Players tried to walk around in hopes of finding the hidden grass but that didn't work. The new sightings system only showed one Pokémon for each type. If there were two of the same kind around or more it was impossible to know what direction to go as the game wouldn't give any hints at all. When there was just a single Pokémon of a type it still didn't tell you if you were getting closer most of the time.
The new tracking update only increased the number of people botting and using map scanners to find Pokémon because the "sightings" method was just as effective as the three steps glitch for most players. Niantic first throttled the number of requests that could be made per minute to the server per account. Botters simply made more fake accounts. Niantic banned all cloud hosted IPs from accessing their servers. This shut down only legit tools like inventory checkers and IV calculators as bots don't tend to use the cloud. Niantic's response from there was to send cease and desist letters again. The map and bot creators just went underground using torrents, TOR, and Dropbox instead of having actual web addresses.
From there bans started to come in waves focusing on the IP addresses of known botters/mappers. The problem? It was just an IP ban that didn't look at system or device information. This banned thousands of legit players who were playing on shared wifi around colleges, libraries, and on busses who now were on bad IPs. Some cell phones share IP addresses with multiple customers and all Internet providers are known to recycle IP addresses. This meant that literally anyone could now wake up to being banned for no reason at all.
The botters were not hit by any of these bans. They simply changed their IP addresses and kept on playing as the bans were done manually. Many botters also got bolder and decided to take over as many Gyms as possible just as a "Fuck you" to Niantic and the remaining fair players. As a further Fuck You they also put 0 CP Eggs in at Gyms. These Eggs can not fight therefore can not be defeated leading to highly contested Gyms in big cities clogged with unbeatable Eggs for weeks on end. Niantic upped their game by perma-banning accounts on bad IP addresses.
People who travel a lot like members of the military, truckers, people with distant family, people scouting out colleges, and pilots were screwed as not only could they land on a banned IP, they also move quickly across the country which trips the "it's a bot! BAN IT!" signal. Players started reporting other legitimate players to take them out of the game. Niantic just banned them without bothering to check anything. Bans were becoming more common than Pidgey.
It took over a month for Niantic to realize that IP bans are a bad idea leading to a mass unban wave of thousands of accounts, spoofer and non-spoofer alike. While they were in the midst of reversing all their previous bans, Niantic decided to start sending Cease and Desist letters to people running online IV checkers. Many of these IV checkers would let the player log in using their Pokémon GO info, would ping the server just once to get the player's Pokémon list, then would spit the list back to the player with clearly listed stats for all their Pokémon.
Niantic started banning players who had ever used an IV checker as apparently any third party app that tries to access their system means the player is cheating. Players began to panic because just wanting to know your Pokémon's stats could now get you banned. Nobody had thought that one of the most basic parts of any RPG (knowing your stats) could ever possibly be cheating. Niantic countered this by adding all of ten lines of code to create an "IV checker" in game that gives vague hints as to your Pokémon's stats. Naturally all the noobs were confused as to why a tiny Pokémon with "the best stats I have ever seen" was only "pretty decent". Of course the game itself doesn't explain what any of this crap means which makes the IV checker not very useful.
Niantic claimed they were "rebalancing the combat system". By rebalancing we mean they removed some attacks but didn't fix the broken stat pool. The Pokémon games use six stats per creature. Pokémon GO smashes that into three and ignores the speed stat entirely. This causes Pokémon that are powerful in the main games due to high speed and sheer attack power to be turned into useless weaklings in Pokémon GO and slow fat turds with huge HP and no speed to become gods. Let's take Gyarados as an example. In the main games Gyarados is a decent fast attacker and Vaporeon sucks due to low speed, high HP and crap attack. Thanks to Niantic fucking up the stats and removing attacks your average Vaporeon can easily destroy a Gyarados. You need to catch over a hundred Magikarp to make one Gyarados. It takes only seven Eevees to make a Vaporeon.
Players also have discovered that higher levels makes it harder to catch even the most common Pokémon. Niantic never fixed the flee rate or the breakout rate as they promised they would. What did they do to make it easier to get candy? They added a Pokémon buddy system where a cute little Pokémon follows the player around occasionally finding prizes like candies! Oh, and it comes with a hidden change that locks out all phones that are jailbroken or rooted. Fun fact: most spoofers don't use jailbroken phones. They use computers or layover apps that simulate movement on their regular non-jailbroken phones. The update also didn't fix the tracking errors. Most of the distance traveled by the players isn't recorded. The update also causes the program to constantly force mini-updates on the system eating more battery life and bandwidth than ever before.
Wait... you have to go OUTSIDE?!?!
Due to its completely unwarranted popularity, Pokémon GO has turned regular 3DS-wielding Pokémon nerds into a new species of turbo nerd. Suddenly everyone with a phone can "play Pokémon" without all of the grinding, time spent creating a carefully balanced team, time spent researching moves and type effectiveness, gathering actual Gym Badges, time spent battling and trading with other players, and other boring shit that happens in the actual Pokémon "game". These newly reclassed turbo nerds are very pissed off that Pokémon GO is pretty much a baby toy with Pokémon in it while Pokémon GO players laugh at the actual Pokémon players for being turbo nerds. No matter who wins the argument that day, both groups are still losers spending hours playing a "game" made for small Japanese children.
In an effort to be less of a turbo nerd the previously shut-in Pokémon nerds now find themselves forced to actually leave their house and explore their neighborhood in order to get anywhere with the "game". There is no way to "trade Pokémon with people over the Internet" (read: inject hacked Pokémon into your "game") for Pokémon GO. True, they could just NOT play the "game"... but that just means there's all that Pokémon out there... not getting caught... and that just doesn't feel right to any Pokémon nerd out there.
Ok, so there might be a way to spoof your GPS location so that the "game" thinks you're actually out doing shit while you're still at home, but that tends to lead to catching the ban hammer instead of some sweet virtual critters. A few lucky bastards live under a PokéStop or maybe even a Gym where they can endlessly mine for items and Pokémon without getting off their couch. Everyone else actually has to visit the real world and move around among actual humans. The horror!
Playing the "game"
First off, Pokémon GO is a HEAVILY casualized version of the actual Pokémon video games. Now while some lil' whiners complain about this, this is basically no different than any other Pokémon spin-off "game", like the card "game", Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series, and Pokémon Conquest. The overall objective is to go out into the world, explore your neighbor's backyard in ways you've never done before, meet new people and enjoy their company. If you don't like that part of the "game", then what the hell are you doing playing Pokémon in the first place? This has been the whole point of it since the beginning, which is why Pokémon exploded and reversed the fortunes of the aging, eight-year-old Game Boy console.
OK so, as if it isn't obvious at this point, playing the "game" requires the player to go outside and WALK. To do that, you take one foot and place it in front of the other, and then slightly fall on the foot that is in front. You then take the other foot, place it in front of the previous foot, and then slightly fall on that one in turn. By repeating this motion, you are able to transport your body from one place to another. Pretty neat, huh? Best of all, unlike other freemium games, this feature is ACTUALLY given to you for free.
The whole time you're walking, you need to have your phone not be in sleep mode. Obviously this means that you need to stare at your fucking phone like a mindless retard while your walking even though the phone vibrates whenever a Pokémon is nearby. When you find a Pokémon on the overworld, you tap it with your dick, and try to fix the zoom after you immediately fuck it up trying to put your fat, meaty finger on top of Pikachu.
Then, you enter capture mode, where you can try to use a few tools at your disposal to catch the wild Pokémon. To throw a Poké Ball, you either swipe your finger upwards to toss it, or you spin it around like a special needs child pretending to be a helicopter, then toss it to the side and hope it curves into the Pokémon. Occasionally, the Pokémon will do a boring static attack animation, which for some reason makes Balls not work. After you smash the little dicken's face in with a metal ball, it then breaks free and immediately runs away.
Repeat ad nauseum, since you'll get raped by Gyms if you don't catch 200 Eevees.
Once you've acquired the walking feature, you now are able to do one of a few things:
- Catch Pokémon: Any wild Pokémon you find can be caught using a Poké Ball. When you catch them they give you three "Candy" and a certain number of "Stardust" which can then be used to strengthen it or another Pokémon (the Candy can only be used for a member of the same species). The more Pokémon you catch, the more likely it is that a Pokémon will break free in one second and flee right after that, so your odds of wasting fifty Poké Balls on one Pidgey greatly increases.
- Visit a PokéStop: PokéStops are based on real-world locations of particular note, like statues, artwork, or churches. By visiting them, you can acquire items, like Poké Balls, Potions, Eggs, etc, which you would otherwise need to spend real money on to get. If you live in or near to a major city, then chances are you'll never need to spend a single red cent on this "game". If you're a ruralfag, on the other hand, feel free to shell out all of your jewgolds for this "game"... either on PokéCoins to buy items, or gas money to drive your ass to a major city. But hey, at least you can enjoy the company of your friends on a ROAD TRIP!
- Battle at and/or run a Gym: Each Pokémon has a single stat to determine its strength, its CP, or Combat Points. If your Pokémon is strong enough, you can use it to battle Pokémon at your local Gym, which, like PokéStops, are located at various real-world locations, but are fewer and further apart. Normally a Gym is controlled by one of
threetwo teams; by battling and beating Pokémon at the Gym, you can lower its Prestige until it has none left, thus allowing you (or any lazy fuck nearby who snipes it as soon as it's open) to take it over. You in turn will leave a Pokémon at the Gym, and hopefully other teammates leave Pokémon there as well in order to defend it. As long as you and your team maintain possession of your Gym, you gain all kinds of kickbacks and benefits, like items or PokéCoins. Unfortunately, Gyms are 99% inhabited by over 2000 CP Vaporeons, Lapras, Dragonites, Arcanines, Exeggutors and Snorlax that literally kicks your Pokémon out in seconds before you can even switch so if you are not a hardcore cyber-zombie, forget about it. And if you leave anything other than any one of these six Pokémon above that has least 2000 CP into a Gym, it will be kicked out by Gym raiders in less than three seconds.
- Tap: Tap the loving shit out of your screen to kill that little shitmouse on the other team, maybe if you tap enough your mommy will love you. But hey, at least you've had plenty of practice moving your hand up and down in a quick, successive series of motions.
Doing any one of these allows you to acquire Experience Points, which levels YOU (the Player) up, instead of the Pokémon. As you reach higher and higher levels, larger and better Pokémon are made accessible to the player. Aside of making Pokémon larger and better, they also make the 99% of common Pokémon you see uncatchable with two Poké Balls at least and all of your 150 Poké Balls at worst. But you should have no problems unless they fly or have hitboxes the size of the cut section of a paper.
Also, while technically the max level is 40, it is impossible to acheive without capturing at least 122,500 Pokémon past level 35 and if you really get to there, the next Pokémon you will catch is the banhammer.
On top of this, because the "game" requires you to go outside and socialize, you might make new friends, forge new alliances... or find other sad fucks who are trying to battle at a Gym at 3:00 AM while hiding in their car because it's not like anyone knows why you're there (FUN FACT: people DO know why you're there.)
When you reach Level 5, you are able to choose your team and battle at Gyms. The teams are:
- Team Instinct: Represented by Zapdos, meant for special snowflakes, Tumblrfags, and spineless pussies.
- Team Valor: Represented by Moltres, it's intended for normies, children, and teenage edgelords who won't shut up about being a member of Team Valor.
- Team Mystic: Represented by Articuno, the team for neckbearded memesters, weeaboo, furries, and Anonymous fags.
Once you choose your team, you're set with it for life, and thus begins your eternal struggle of shitposting in support of your team.
You won't get any bonuses for each team, but if you chose Team Instinct, too bad for you, 80% of players are on the opposite 2 teams. Have fun forever alone for an eternity.
Shut-ins are wandering into dark alleys alone and walking into traffic looking for Pokémon. These are not isolated incidents: many, many injuries and near injuries are happening as morons are too busy chasing Pokémon to heed reality.
People have even been known to ignore important events like their wife giving birth in order to catch Pokémon. There are even people walking in to other people's back yards and hanging in the the porches and driveways of strangers all in the name of digital beasts. They have even given Juden something new to whine about by charging around Auschwitz looking for fictional monsters. Noticing that people will go anywhere and do anything for Pokémon, clever apes have learned to use the promise of Pokémon to lure rich nerds into alleys so they can rob them.
First the thieves used a Pokémon Lure. This shows up in the "game", drawing other players and Pokémon closer. They then watched the screen for other Trainers to appear. Once a Trainer wandered down an alley or walked somewhere secluded they simply jumped the Trainer and took all their stuff. And where did this happen? Saint Louis, of course! If a bunch of single-digit IQ thugs from St. Louis can figure this out, expect more gangs using Pokémon to do robberies nationwide. In fact, Pokémon GO has already been used to aid a carjacking in California and traditional muggings in Maryland and Texas. At the rate Pokémon-assisted robbery is spreading you would think the thugs might even band together into some sort of Pokémon thieving ring. Team Rocket is now real. Hooray?
It's not all free iPhones and stolen Mewtwos for criminals, however! All of this wandering is making it a lot harder to hide a body. One girl in Wyoming hopped a fence to follow a river and found a dead body. Another player found a trove of free stuff spots all in one place! As it turns out it was a graveyard. The dead were calling the living to them with the promise of Poké Balls and Potions.
All of this stupidity is a wonderful boon for weeding out some of the morons from the breeding population, but as the news frowns on people dying over Pikachu or scaring cops and being shot at over Zubats, police have been forced to release public statements to remind players to not walk in front of cars, not walk into strangers' homes at random, and generally avoid doing anything stupid. Does it work? Nope.
Pokémon GO: Zombie Apocalypse-style mind control?
- Dying alone
- Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series
- Smogon University
- What is Brock?
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