The Enforcer blogs about Pokémon Go!

Hello and welcome to Enforcer's Pokémon Go fanpage! Blog subsection! Here, you can find Enforcer's thrilling accounts of their adventures and in-game events. Newer posts will be at the top.

My Journey

6 Years of ElapheGutatta


My official account start date is today, marking 6 years of progress. In practice, I didn't really start actively playing for about a week and a half after then because I needed to wait to acquire a phone that could run the game. At first, I attempted to play on an iPad because it was the only device we owned with the computing power to run Pokémon Go. Since the GPS was even worse in 2016 on tablets than it is now and we didn't have any option for external WiFi hotspots, it didn't work very well.

I'd write a retrospective on how much Pokémon Go has changed my life over the past 6 years or draw some deep symbolic picture of Elaphe, but honestly, I don't really want to. So this announcement is all you're getting. Deal with it.

In-Game Events

Deino Community Day


Hey, ya liege actually remembered to write a blog post! So, Deino. I like Deino. It's a cute little emo baby dragon, plus Brutal Swing Hydreigon is actually good. Really, it's the only PvE-relevant Community Day we've gotten since Earth Power Garchomp and Rock Wrecker Rhyperior, so I'm totally down for it. So, I wasn't in my usual hangouts today, but was in somewhere that's probably better. I was able to get in range of and lure 4 Pokéstops from the same spot and run an Incense. After the Community Day, I did some trades in hopes of maximizing my candy yields and getting some super cool Lucky specimens to evolve. For full disclosure's sake, I did do the special research. Rhi continues to be adorable. Here's the haul - I did some evolutions and such during the Community Day so I'm not solid on the precise stats, but anyway...

  • Total Caught: ~248
  • Shinies Caught: 7
  • Hydreigons Evolved: 6
  • XL Candy Gain: ~390

I've gotta say: while I vastly dislike XL Candy as a mechanic, the Mega Evolution boost is the best improvement to it yet. It actually makes getting Pokemon to Level 50, at least from Community Days and such, manageable even with a relatively casual amount of grinding like I did. To whom it may concern, I was using a Mega Level 3 (High Level) Mega Charizard X. I'd already gotten a shiny Deino which I fully evolved from Go Fest 2021 so was mostly concerned with getting XL candy, which catching Zweilous really helped with. I didn't do the post-Community Day raid hour (btw, Niantic, despite Zweilous raids not being joinable remotely, people kept inviting me to them with invites I couldn't take. you might want to fix that), but the Zweilous being summonable from lure activity was really fun. Not only was it helpful for XL Candy, it's just nice to see something slightly different. My only concern is that it would be nice for my shiny hunting peeps if Zweilous could spawn Shiny in the wild. I don't know if it can or not, but I know that unless they can Mega Evolve, evolved forms don't by default.

Anyway, I overall deem this Community Day a success. It's an already-released shiny, but one that many trainers didn't get, relevant to PvP and PvE, just plain cute, and I think the new mechanics around raids and Lure Modules and expanding the evolution and trade bonuses to 5 hours afterwards are really good. Even with relatively casual grinding, I was able to get enough XL Candy that I can definitely get my best Brutal Swinger to Level 50 and another one most of the way there.

My overall rating of Deino Community Day has to be around 8/10, and I'm only taking off the 2 points because it's not a new shiny. Good show!

My total haul. Click on the images to view at full size!

P.S. : If we take Pokémon Go's Twitter to be canon (which I honestly do; Nia is doing a better job with Pokémon than Game Freak at this point), at least as of the Season of Heritage research challenge, Deino being emo is canon. That is all.

Not linking to the tweet itself, but if you want citation that this is a real tweet, contact me with one of the outlets on the homepage. Also, click to view at full size, as always.

Misc. Rants

How I'd Improve Username Changes


TLDR: 3 username changes total is unreasonable for folks who've had accounts for 5+ years. Changing your username should have a time cooldown like changing teams instead.

6 years is a long time. It's long enough that someone could have made a Pokemon Go account in high school and still have it, being an entire adult now. And under the current username change system, where you get 3 name changes, total, over your entire career, if they named themself something stupid in high school with their last name change, as high schoolers are wont to do, they have no way to change that. Let's explore the current options if you don't like your username and you're out of name changes:

1. Report yourself for having an inappropriate name. This only works if your username contains profanity, a racial slur, or something else Niantic unambiguously considers inappropriate. If it doesn't, tough beans. Also, the timeframe for getting a response on this greatly varies even if your username is unambiguously inappropriate and I'm not sure if reporting yourself is even possible.

2. Make a new account. This is a violation of the Terms of Service and also means that you'll lose all your progress on your original.

Neither of these options are ideal, and even outside of cases like the high schooler example or more dramatic examples like folks with usernames that contain their deadnames or an anecdote a friend told me about someone in their Discord who butt-dialed a username change to a random keysmash and can't undo it, changing your display name is a fundamental part of curating your experience on an online service. Unless there's a good reason in the service architecture why you can't, there's no excuse to be unable to do that.

I understand the reason why username changes are limited. Having them be unlimited could allow bad actors to repeatedly change their names in order to harass or impersonate other players or dodge reports. However, changing the system from "3 name changes total unless your name gets reported as inappropriate" to using a time-based cooldown of a reasonable length would still prevent abuse of the system since if you name yourself something to be a jerk to another player, you're stuck with that for 6 months while allowing folks with usernames that make them uncomfortable, who misspelled their usernames, or otherwise have issues to remedy them.

I have two ideas for how this could be implemented in-game: one that would be optimal and one which seems more likely given Niantic. Either would be better than what we have now.

The Good Option

The "3 changes total" current system is axed entirely. You can change your username every 6 months from Account Settings, free of charge. Your current cooldown is displayed in Account Settings, along with your Team Medallion cooldown if applicable.

The Niantic Option

As in the current system, your first 3 username changes are free of charge and can be done at any time. Future name changes cost Pokecoins and have a 6-month cooldown attached.

In conclusion, the current username change system is unreasonable. Changing your name 3 times 5 years ago shouldn't lock you out of ever changing it again.

My Scarlet/Violet Opinions


Greetings and salutations, friends and alibis. So, I played the Pokemon Scarlet leak last week and it was...interesting. Now that the game's officially been released, I feel justified in posting my opinions. This list is mostly lacking in lore spoilers, but you still may wish to avoid reading it if you want to be surprised by the experience. So, here's what I noticed while playing through the story as I usually do in Pokemon games.

  • The player character and other human characters being more androgynous is nice.
  • Hairstyle/eye color at start of game is convenient. I appreciate the hairstyles being less gendered.
  • Having multiple mouth/eye shapes for the player character makes it easier for the player to represent themself. Likewise, I appreciate the more diverse NPCs.
  • Distribution and level range of wild Pokemon is good.
  • The freedom of movement and more hidden items makes the open world elements more fun than the Wild Area.
  • Koraidon is pretty charismatic and cute and riding it and parkour-jumping is fun.
  • Seeing what Pokemon schools actually look like is some nice worldbuilding. Being able to actually go to class feeds my soul.
  • Nemona is cute.
  • Camera controls are way smoother and less nauseating than L:A.
  • Autohealing is a nice QOL feature.
  • Graphics are, put shortly, disappointing. The lack of detail is unacceptable for a game from this big of a franchise in 2022.
  • This might be my emulator, but graphical glitches are rampant. If you're going to do an open world game with 3D movement, maybe make your engine capable of smoothly handling said movement.
  • As compared to X/Y and S/M, the world design and Pokemon designs feel less regionally cohesive. Other than the gratuitous Spanish in dialogue, nothing about it really speaks to me as "Spain" vs. Kalos and Alola showing their inspirations to the core.
  • The Pokemon designs don't work. The lack of detail and overly rounded features make them not feel like they're from the same world as the earlier generation additions and not really work with the more realistic environment. Also, Pokemon that are recolors of Kanto Pokemon and the much-hyped Dunsparce evolution being literally named Dudunsparce and just Dunsparce but with two feels like a literal joke. When did you become a parody of yourself?
  • Koraidon is cute, but if it gets introduced to you with a trainer within the tutorial and then serves as your bike substitute, it's not legendary. Nebby at least tried to be subtle.
  • WHY CAN'T YOU CHANGE YOUR OUTFIT? I understand the worldbuildy reason for the school uniform when you're at school, but it doesn't make sense outside and given that the rest of the character customization is so good, its absence sticks out.
  • The NPC trainer classes are way less interesting than previous games. They don't have the same variety of outfits and different personalities.
  • The story can't seem to decide if it's taking itself seriously or not. You can't pull dramatic cliches using characters with patently ridiculous designs.
  • The lack of NPC interactions makes the world feel much more like it revolves around you. It doesn't feel like a world people live in as compared to S/M. Related to "why can't you go in buildings".
  • At some points, navigation on the in-game map is unintuitive. It would be nice to not have it say you're at your destination when it's above or below you and you don't have a good way of getting there.
  • Star Barrages are a cool concept, but the controls are clunky. When Pokemon come out doesn't seem to have much of anything to do with when you push the button. (might be my emulator)
  • I think that after 25 years, we can actually show people handing you the model for the item when people hand you things.
  • Why can't you sit?
  • Given that the player character is more androgynous and Pokemon has carefully foregone "are you a boy or a girl" in favor of "what do you look like" since S/M, everyone automatically pronouning you feels out of place. Either let the player choose their pronouns, refer to them neutrally by default e.g. ACNH, or avoid pronouns in dialogue entirely.
  • Either make TMs infinite again or make them drop in multiple copies from raids like TRs in Sw/Sh. The crafting mechanics are unnecessary, unfun, and frankly disturbing. Pokemon dropping body parts feels out of place given the lack of that sort of thing in the entire rest of the franchise and also how the fuck do you make CDs out of Pokemon parts.
  • The focus on vehicles and vehicle-like Pokemon doesn't make sense with previous worldbuilding. If it's still a world, like the rest of Pokemon, built to be traversed on foot, Pokemon equivalents of cars and motorcycles don't make sense.
  • Youngster students are half your height, which means either our preteen player character is very tall or they're literal toddlers. I thought we left the proportion problems in OR/AS.
  • The gratuitous modern references e.g. Pokemon named after memes/slang and Iono being a streamer just don't work. All they do is date the game. Also, the meme Pokemon and characters using modern slang don't make much sense seeing as presumably, characters are not speaking English and those memes wouldn't exist in-universe.
  • Past and future Pokemon are a cool concept. However, many of the past Pokemon blatantly contradict preexisting lore and Pokemon mechas are just blatant pandering. Anime Team Rocket could get away with it because the anime plays much faster and looser with in-universe reality vs. the core series games.

I'm gonna put it shortly: do not buy this game. Fun fact: I assumed that the drops in framerate to 15 FPS or below at seemingly random intervals, including during such important things as cutscenes and catching Pokemon, were caused by my emulator. It turns out, now that it's been released, that the game is just like that. It's clearly rushed, running on a 5-year-old console, shows no regard for lore or worldbuilding or anything that makes Pokemon what it is, and is just kinda generally bad.

Despite that, I still had fun. Being able to run around on my motorcycle dragon in a world that looks like it's from a game from 15 years prior and seeing all of these ridiculous designs completely blind was fun. It was fun in that I could easily make fun of it, but it was an enjoyable experience. I enjoyed seeing what would come next if only to see how ridiculous it would get. It looks and plays like a tech demo and feels like their only focus group was a 12-year-old who enjoys cars, trucks, things that go, and sandwiches. My inner dudebro enjoyed it. It's kinda got a...Tyrannosaurs in F-14s vibe about it, you know? Dinosaurs. That are also Motorcycles.

Figure 1: You know, come to think of it, Koraidon totally looks like the kind of thing Calvin would come up with. Maybe I'm overestimating the age of the focus group? Click to view at original size.

So, yeah! If you like ridiculous designs and you've always wanted to fight someone who dresses like every Valor's ultimate fantasy girlfriend on top of a pimped-out car that is also a Pokemon and then ride off into the sunset on your motorcycle that is also a dragon who likes sandwiches and makes distinctly Toothless-esque noises, then you'll probably enjoy this game. But seriously. Do not spend money on it. The crunch that is visible in every aspect of it and the complete disregard for everything Pokemon has built up is, put shortly, unacceptable. Do not tell Game Freak that this is what you want. If you want to play the game, email me and I'll send you the ROM, prodkeys, and firmware I'm using. With Ryujinx on Windows 11, powered by NVIDIA, running graphics with Vulkan, things worked pretty well. I've heard Yuzu is also good, but I couldn't get it working.

Also, to whom it may concern, here's me and my team after having finished the main storyline. Being able to have emo bangs and red eyes is nice. If I could change my outfit (Cobra Tank and distressed black jeans from Pokemon Sun and Moon, my beloved), then it would be even better.

Figure 2: the version of Arlo who lives in my head rent-free loved this.

The Team Leaders' New Outfits


Figure 1: the team leaders' new outfits

Get ready, citizens, because I was rudely awakened to this when I appraised something this morning and hoo boy, do I have opinions. (sample from "Sink Or Swim") Brace for impact.



Sorry, had to get that out of my system. But, yeah! The team leaders have new outfits. And I hate them. Admittedly, take my appraisal (heh) with a grain of salt. Seeing as I've been deeply attached to these characters for the past 6 years, I'd probably be mad about any changes to them for autism reasons. But this one seems especially bad! Here are my problems with it and descriptions of both why I personally dislike the outfits and why they're out of character, backed up with canon content from my archives. So strap yourself in. We're full Rant Mode now.

Spark: Okay, this is the team leader I'm most personally attached to (yes, even more than Blanche as my wife) so this is going to be one of the biggest discussions. Really, my number 1 problem with these outfit revamps is that they were completely unnecessary. Remastering the 3D models was warranted, but I don't get the "changing for the seasons" concept applied here. The team leaders already were wearing jackets. They don't need to change for fall. If anything, a sweater and shorts is less seasonally appropriate.

Figure 2: the team leaders were already wearing jackets.

In terms of redeeming qualities...Spark's hat is pretty cute, I do appreciate the team emblems appearing in different places, and him having pins on his bag is nice. However, the vibe is completely off. While I'm obviously biased and adore the idea of my team leader being vaguely edgy, look at Spark's old oufit. Forgive me for using an immature phrasing, but it fucks. The tight pants. The bright color contrast. The black vest with the pins over a hoodie. That iconic necklace. The buckles that don't attach to anything. I'm not saying that Spark's a scene kid, but he's got a much more palpable vibe here and it fits his rather random and impulsive nature in canon way more than the more muted color scheme sweater does. He likes sour candy and dances when his team succeeds. The old outfit with the bright, flashy colors demonstrated that. The Season of Light one doesn't.

Figure 3: Spark with tight pants and a glittery guitar. can you imagine Season of Light!Spark doing this?

Following up from the matter of the team leaders already wearing jackets...even if they wanted to take off Spark's vest, his old sweater clearly had a hood on the orange part and the current one doesn't. It seems to be implying that either the artists forgot about Spark's hoodie or that the man owns two distinct sweaters of the same color and texture, one of which has a hood and the other doesn't. Which is valid, but still. I understand them wanting to revamp the 3D models and I do like the idea of the team leaders changing outfits for the seasons; it could help things feel more alive. However, I think that they should have kept the little details from the team leaders' old outfits that communicated their personalities more.

TLDR: Spark is a scene kid and you can never take that from me. Season of Light Spark is not. At least bring back his necklace and turn up the saturation.

Blanche: I'm just going to come right out and say it. Is Blanche a nerd? Yes. Is Blanche a stereotypical nerd who'd wear unflattering glasses and a sweater vest? No. I can get behind them wearing glasses and having a more practical outfit (those long coattails in the old one, as cool as they are, do seem like they'd get in the way), and even the sweater vest doesn't seem unreasonable, but if they wore glasses, they'd be the small, possibly scary shiny anime glasses version. Blanche is smug and chill and elegant and forgive me for saying this, cool. They are not the kind of nerd to wear nerd glasses.

Figure 4: Blanche, about to steal your girl.

I can accept Blanche wearing a sweater vest. If anything, them having a more practical outfit is more in character for them. However, their sleek professional vibe is absolutely demolished here. Blanche is many things, but they are not going to collapse their professionalism. Canonically speaking, maintaining their professionalism and serious nature is clearly important for them. They would never be caught dead looking like they do in the Season of Light outfit.

Figure 5: Blanche is invested in keeping their cool.

I can talk all day about how cool and sleek and pretty Blanche is, but really, I don't dislike the revamp that much. While I think turning them into a cliche nerd is out of character and Niantic could do better, the sweater vest itself actually seems pretty reasonable. I like their hot-librarian vibes. My critiques are that #1, the glasses should be thinner. Thin, metal frames are pretty in character for Blanche. That's actually what I applied to them when I made them in The Sims. And #2, they are an Ice type trainer. They hang out in cold environments with cold Pokemon. Why are they wearing shorts. Give them pants, ideally their pants from the old outfit, and make the glasses thinner, and I'd be pretty fine with this.

Candela: In all honesty, I'm actually fine with this one. The goggles/sunglasses/whatever they are fit her vibe, her getting more red in her outfit makes sense, and overall, the new outfit generally looks more practical to fight in and fits her female-dudebro energy. While I still prefer the classic outfits just because they're iconic, this one doesn't bother me. It actually seems like the kind of thing she'd wear.

Really, for all my vitriol, the only outfit I feel is actually bad is Spark's. While I think giving the team leaders new outfits was overall unnecessary seeing as they already had outfits that would be fine for fall and their more iconic, animeesque look was cool, I don't mind the concept of them changing outfits for the seasons. It might make the seasons more tangible and I am all for team leader content; we haven't had anything good since the Season of Heritage. (On that note, as much as I love Rhi, I am very disappointed that we didn't get a glimpse into how the team leaders functioned without their dad during the Season of Go) However, Blanche and Spark's outfits simply don't fit their personalities. Here's what I would tweak to improve the new outfits:

Give Spark back his hoodie and necklace and dial up the saturation a bit. The hat and pins on his bag are cute, they can stay. He should also get pants because a sweater and shorts is never seasonally appropriate unless you're me and need to have at least one set of limbs uncovered to not overheat.

Blanche is basically fine, just make the glasses frames thinner and give them pants.

Candela is pretty okay, actually.

So that's the gist of it. I guess I might have led you on with my saying how I hated them, but seriously. These outfits seem just plain out of character in their current forms for Spark and Blanche. While I know that I know these characters better than Niantic does, I'd rather not have it confirmed. No offense to the artists and 3D modelers; the rendering is really good, but y'all can do better.