There’s a person in my local Pokemon Go community that complains — loudly and annoyingly — whenever people split into teams for raids. She doesn’t understand why people take the time to set up private raids based on teams. The reasons have been explained to her multiple times by multiple people. Hopefully, you don’t have to suffer similar idiocy in your Pokemon Go community…but just in case you do, here’s some explanation ammo.
It’s All About Bonus Balls
After a successful raid, bonus premiere balls are awarded (partially discussed here). There are three ways to acquire bonus balls. The team that controls the gym gets extra balls. Players that inflict the most damage on a raid boss gets extra balls. And the team that does the most damage gets extra balls. The bonus balls can be anywhere from one to three, depending on the percentage of damage dealt to the raid boss.
Bonus balls are especially essential for catching legendary pokemon. (Legendaries are difficult to capture by design.) Let’s look at Rayquaza, for example. Using a straight throw that just makes contact gives you less than a two-percent chance of catching. The catch rate only gets as high as a shade over 12 percent when using a golden raspberry and throwing an excellent curveball.
Looking at those numbers, the chances of catching a Rayquaza are small. You can give yourself more chances of catching it — and other legendary pokemon with similarly low catch rates — by splitting into teams during raids. If there are six Team Mystic players and six Team Valor trainers at a raid, it would be wasteful for them to raid as a group of 12. By splitting into two raid groups based on teams, each trainer will get more precious chances to catch rare pokemon.
Finding the Right Raid Partners
As a Team Intinct trainer, it was tough when raids first started in Pokemon Go. Most of the players I met were on Team Mystic or Team Valor. As I got to meet more people in the local community, I found some fantastic Team Instinct trainers. There’s a core group that’s an absolute pleasure to raid with. They’re all high level, they have great pokemon, and they have a strong understanding of the Pokemon Go metagame. (i.e. They don’t do stupid things, like fighting Latios with a Lugia.) Raiding with these types of trainers makes battles easier and ensures that all of us get more chances at catching legendary pokemon.
Now just in case you play with an overly loud and whiny trainer in your community, here’s the tl;dr response of why you should split into teams for raids — you get more bonus balls ergo more chances at catching rare pokemon. (This response can be yelled and ended with “stupid!” or “idiot!” for maximum effect.)
Pokemon Go recommends some truly questionable teams for battles and raids. The suggestions are especially problematic for the latter. The game seems to favor survivability over damage output, which…isn’t the best. Recently, I’ve done a few four-person raids against Latios and have seen fellow trainers achieve suboptimal results thanks to Pokemon Go’s team recommendations.
One trainer I bumped into was perfectly happy with his recommended team, which was full of steel pokemon. He was content to battle Latios with a team full of Aggrons and Steelix. Those pokemon are great for enduring a battle and saving some healing items, but they’re poor at damaging Latios. In fact, I wouldn’t even put them in the top 20 pokemon to use against Latios.
Pokemon Go is a game full of numbers and stats. Many players overlook important numbers and place too much of an emphasis on certain stats. Two of the most common mistakes I’ve seen from dedicated players (that aren’t quite hardcore trainers) are ignoring energy person second (EPS) and overvaluing combat points (CP). The former is often ignored in favor of damage per second (DPS), while the latter can obscure the value of certain pokemon in some trainers’ eyes.
The Value of EPS
Ignoring EPS is a mistake many Pokemon Go trainers make when choosing a quick move for their pokemon. Some trainers look at the DPS number and assume that the move with the higher DPS is superior, simply because it does more damage. For many pokemon, the point of the fast move isn’t to inflict damage, but to generate energy.
Neither response is terribly helpful. While it’s nice to know the number of players that can help out and what their levels are, there’s more useful information. The person with four accounts could have four level 25s, which isn’t the best help for raids. The level 35 players could be a trainer that doesn’t bother to level up his or her Pokemon. Maybe the players on the way don’t have the right counters or they always use Pokemon Go’s recommended raid counters (which are rarely optimal). You’d be better served raiding with four high-level players that understand the Pokemon Go metagame than nine casual players that simply follow in-game recommendations.
The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences has announced that Nintendo’s Genyo Takeda will receive its Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2018 DICE Awards. Currently a Special Corporate Advisor at Nintendo, Genyo Takeda has been with the company since the early ’70s. He’s considered Nintendo’s first game designer. A pioneer in both videogame software and hardware, his achievements include:
Creating the first battery save system for console cartridges (The Legend of Zelda)
Designing the first successful analog controller for consoles (Nintendo 64)
Leading the hardware teams for the Nintendo 64, GameCube, and Wii consoles
Creator of the Punch-Out!! games for arcade, NES, and SNES
My first season as manager of Manchester City in FIFA 18 has come and gone. It was a resounding success. Silverware was won, older players were dumped, new blood was brought in, and some pleasant surprises happened along the way. Here’s a brief rundown of Kun RPadTV’s inaugural season.
Missions Accomplished: Man City won the Premiere League, UEFA Champions League, FA Cup, and Carabao Cup. The owners were happy. The players were glorious. It was great fun using FIFA 18 to terrorize the entire football world.
I’ve just hit the January transfer window in FIFA 18 as “Kun RPadTV,” the newest manager of Manchester City. In addition to playing out the football games, it’s been great fun developing new talent, handling disgruntled players, one-upping other coaches, and handling the day-to-day operations. While I’m an ardent Man City supporter, there have been several times I’ve had to turn off the fanboy switch in order to do what’s best for business (Triple H ™). Here are some of the moves I’ve made in FIFA 18 halfway through the season.
Sold Sergio Aguero — Some Citizens would consider this sacrilege. Kun Aguero is a legendary Man City player, holding the club record for scoring and responsible for the most significant goal in team history. That said, he’s almost definitely leaving the club when his contract is up. Aguero wants to wind his career down in his native Argentina. As a fan, I respect that he wants to play his final games for his boyhood team Independiente. As a gamer, I ain’t got time for that. Besides, Gabriel Jesus is set to become the team’s primary striker of the future, but just in case, I…
Lidwine Sauer is the director of insights and trends for Ubisoft’s Strategic Innovation Lab. A relatively new department at Ubisoft, the Strategic Innovation Lab monitors and analyzes trends in technology, society, and business in an effort to anticipate the future and stay on the cutting edge. At DICE Europe 2017, Lidwine Sauer will be discussing how creative organizations can best take advantage of rapid changes and innovations. Here are some excerpts from my conversation with Lidwine Sauer.
On technology from the outside permeating gaming:
We feel that it’s very important for game developers to understand that the industry doesn’t exist in a vacuum. The industry is shaped and influenced by lots of different things. Innovation in technology, of course, translates well into what we do in games. Our gamers are also consumers of other products in other industries. Their expectations will be shaped by what they experience outside of our industry.
One of the trends we talk a lot about it is the development of artificial intelligence — more specifically, the development of machine learning. That’s an example of something that’s developed by the tech giants, mostly the Internet giants like Google and Facebook. They’re very much at the forefront of these AI developments. That’s going to spill into the gaming industry; it’s already changing how we make games and changing how we play games. For example, we have a game that’s called Star Trek: Bridge Crew that offers the opportunity for players to interact with the game AI through natural language. The technology behind the game is derived from things that have been worked on in other industries.
Mike Bithell is a British game designer best known for the BAFTA-Award winning Thomas Was Alone. Recently, his company released Subsurface Circular, which was quickly met with positive acclaim. At DICE Europe 2017, he’ll be talking about offering high-quality entertainment through small games with small budgets. Here are some excerpts from my conversation with Mike Bithell.
On Subsurface Circular:
It’s a detective game about robots riding an underground train network. You play as a detective. You have to have various conversation with colorful characters who are also on that train with you. You’re trying to get to the bottom of a series of disappearances. Various robots have gone missing, something seems not quite right, and you’re trying to get to the bottom of it. You play through a series of a dialogue sequences — kind of like a conversational puzzle game, at some level, but with a level of visual polish that hopefully makes it satisfying to a broad audience.
On whether videogame creators can switch between small projects and big-budget products, similar to what movie directors do in Hollywood:
Sigurlina Ingvarsdottir is quite charming. She has that cool Icelandic accent, produces excellent games, has traveled Thailand extensively, and raises environmental awareness through The Future is Ours. Oh yeah, she’s also the senior producer of the FIFA franchise at Electronic Arts. Prior to working on FIFA, she was senior producer for Star Wars: Battlefront. She also served as producer for CCP on the EVE Online franchise and Ubisoft on Tom Clancy’s The Division.
At DICE Europe 2017, Sigurlina Ingvarsdottir will be talking about the importance of diversity and inclusion in both videogames themselves and the gaming industry. To generate interest in her DICE Europe 2017 session, I had a conversation with Sigurlina Ingvarsdottir on behalf of the (excellent) Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences. Here are some clips from the interview.
On the importance of diversity:
Diversity is important in games as it is with any other media. As human beings, we engage with content that resonates with us — content that makes us feel invited and included. For the past 15 to 20 years or so in the games business, we’ve mostly seen the representation of a particular masculine protagonist in games. We’ve seen less diversity in terms of people of color and less gender diversity, although some franchises, such as the SIMS have stood out as inclusive in terms of gender, sexual orientation and race. This has started to change over the past few years. There’s work to be done still, but it’s moving in the right direction.
Looking at the movie industry, as an example, movies that have a broad representation of cast appeal to a broad audience. I don’t believe that’s any sort of rocket science. I believe very strongly that games have the same correlation. In games, we have a chicken-and-egg problem. We’ve narrowly defined the core gamer as an 18- to 25-year old male and have a wealth of content that appeals to that particular audience. Historically, other groups have felt less invited and less included by that content.