Saturday 25th July 2020
Pokemon GoFest 2020 Day 1
A year ago, I flew to Germany with my friend to take part in GoFest
I’ll confess. I never was a huge fan of Pokemon when I was working in pop culture. It just never grabbed me the way some other IPs did. And when Pokemon Go was first released I played it for a month, thought it was fun and then stopped.
But more to get a friend out the house, than because I wanted to play it, I went out in the snow one March a few years back to hunt a snowy castform, and it’s been pretty much a game I play hardcore now.
I still really don’t get PvP, but I do enjoy shiny hunting and taking gyms. And there’s also the community surrounding it. We have a fun group of characters locally and I’ve missed them during lockdown.
Last year, the annual gathering took over huge parks in Germany, US and Asia and created a virtual play area for Pokemon trainers to catch rare and exclusive spawns. I’d been the year before when 300,000 people descended on Dortmund and basically swamped the city. Someone found a 100% IV larvatar and suddenly the police were closing roads as several thousand pokemon players were running to get it.
With these big events, I enjoy the strategy. We played in the park at the GoFest one day and then spent a few days in the city playing there. We came away with a load of shiny variants (although never as many as a community day) and (my personal favourite) a few 100% IV pokemon. What was even more fun was meeting up with members of our community to do what we do around town but in Germany.
This year has been a bit different. The game, which had always been about getting out and teaming up with people in person, has had to pivot in lockdown and offer options for people stuck at home. They’ve done a pretty good job, and whilst it still needs a bit of strategy to ensure you don’t run out of Pokeballs, it can be done. Whereas we used to go out nearly every night, we’ve driven around town to hunt and collect resources only twice since mid-March.
I like spoilers with these events. I want to know what’s coming so I can plan and optimise my playing. Friends prefer to be surprised. But it meant I was up really late last night, watching live streams from New Zealand to get an idea of what was coming so I could prepare. 12 new shiny variants were discovered, which meant I knew which Pokemon I should be focusing on.
I’d already stocked up on Pokeballs. My item inventory management is really good and I never really struggle keeping a thousand pokeballs. My Pokemon storage on the other hand… I’m glad they announced a 500 space increase as I was struggling finding the 500 – 700 space I need for an event like this.
This year, the spawns worked off of incense, which meant there was no real need to travel. We did venture out in the late afternoon to a spot where I put in a load of Pokestops, but mostly we played at home.
As boring as it might sound, my strategy for these types of events is to catch them all. If I’ve done my prep right then I don’t have to worry about inventory or storage. I can focus on catching and then sort them out afterwards,
If I’m driving I will use a gotcha or some other similar device to catch without my interaction. These generally catch more pokemon because of the area you cover, BUT you have more flee. I personally prefer to catch manually for these events so that if I do encounter a shiny I can berry and use a better class of pokeball to help guarantee a catch. And because this event was primarily driven by incense, it made little sense to do anything other than play at home.
Playing non-stop for 10 hours is a marathon, so we did break it up by travelling to one of our new local hot spots. You can sit in the car and catch so it was possible to social distance but we met a few other Pokemon players there and it was good to catch up after so many months.
I ended the day with a number of shinies but no perfect IVs. I never seem to get a load of shinies from these type of events when compared to others but the ones I got were ones I needed so I was happy. It was then a case of checking them so I can clear some space down for tomorrow.
You used to have to check every pokemon manually and that was very time consuming when you had 500 in your inventory from a GoFest. Then there were new tools and tricks that allowed you to identify and mass delete Pokemon with poor IVs. But with the advent of PvP and the weird IVs you need for those to be optimal, we’re half way back again. The tools have improved but you still need to manually check.
As a result, after 3 hours sleep last night and a lot of focus this evening, I’m wiped and have another day tomorrow. I’m hoping to pick up some of the shinies I’m missing.
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