Hats Off! New Pokémon make Pokémon Go feel like a whole new world!

Hats Off! New Pokemon make Pokemon Go feel like a whole new world!

The Search Continues - Pokémon Go

Yesterday morning I was feeling really bored by Pokémon Go. It’d been so long since I caught any new Pokémon, I was thinking of giving up the hunt. By late afternoon, however, everything changed when Niantic rocked the Pokémon Go world with a megaton update. It feels like a whole new world.

The 1.27.2 update for Apple, 0.57.2 for Android, includes oodles of new Pokémon (Generation 2), additional evolutions for several existing Pokémon, special items you’ll need for some of the new evolutions, 2 new Pokémon treats, more ways to customize the appearance of your Trainer avatar (hats off if you want), and an enhanced user interface.

There’s so much to talk about, but let’s start with the most exciting: 80 new Pokémon!

shadows in my Sightings window

shadows in my Sightings window

80 New Pokémon

Did I say eighty new Pokémon? Indeed I did and purportedly the new Pokémon were discovered in the Johtu region. Apparently we’ve all been hunting in the Kanto region. One thing I know for sure is that the new Pokémon are really cute!

New Encounter Mechanics

It’s so exciting to see shadows in my tracking window! What will it be, what will it be? And they’re even more interesting to catch because they’ve got new encounter mechanics. For example, the chocolate-striped Furret slips around your screen just like a ferret, while the ladybug-like Ledyba dodges side to side. Throwing distance seems different, too. The first several balls I threw at some of the new critters sailed right over their heads and landed behind them! I had to dial back my throws considerably.

Sentret

Sentret

New Pokémon!

My first new catch was a Sentret. The fat, rabbit-earred brown marmots with a bushy racoon tail look like they’ll become as prevalent as Pidgeys. I sure saw a lot of them last night! The new starters are supposed to be Chikorita, Cyndaquil, and Totodile. I caught a Chikorita last night, my husband caught a blue Totodile – which looks like a cross between a dinosaur and a squirtle – this morning.

some of the new Pokémon I caught

some of the new Pokémon I caught

I also captured a tiny bird-like Natu, an urn-potted plant called Sunkern, an adorable Murkrow – looks like a crow with a hat, the beetle-like Spinarak, the devilish-looking Misdreavus, a wise old Hoothoot, a spiderish Ariados, the whirly-top Hoppip, a Skiploom – think green Kool-Aid Guy with a yellow spinning-top on his head, and a cute blue toy named Wooper.

Nevertheless, new Pokémon are just the beginning of the changes brought by the February 16, 2017 update!

New Evolutions

In addition to the 80 new Pokémon, several existing Pokémon received new evolutions:

  • Chansey can now evolve – into a Blissey.
  • Eevee got two new possible evolutions – Espeon and Umbreon – to add to its old three – Flareon, Jolteon and Vaporeon. Now you’ve got a 1 in 5 chance of getting what you want.
  • Horsea still becomes Seadra, but can further evolve into Kingdra with a Dragon Scale.
  • Oddish turns into Gloom which may bloom into either a Vileplume or a fresh Bellossom with a little Sun Stone.
  • Onix has an evolve now: Steelix. You just need to give him a Metal Coat with his candy.
  • Poliwag still evolves into Poliwhirl, but Poliwhirl can evolve into Poliwrath or the new Politoed (King Rock required).
  • Porygon has a new edition available with an Up-Grade: Porygon2.
  • Scyther finally shows his mettle. With the help of a metal coat, he can evolve into Scizor! I got the candy saved up, I just need some metal coats!
  • Slowpoke can become a Slowbro or a Slowking if you have a King Rock.
  • Zubat still evolves into Golbat, but now further evolves into Crobat with four wings. I evolved one last night!
Name an Eevee Tamao to evolve an Umbreon

Name an Eevee Tamao to evolve an Umbreon

Name an Eevee Sakura to evolve an Espeon

Name an Eevee Sakura to evolve an Espeon

Some of these new Pokémon have gender-specific variations. I noticed that both of the Eevees I evolved last night, using the new Naming Easter Eggs, were both male. Naming an Eevee “Sakura” before evolving it gets you an Espeon and “Tamao” an Umbreon. Aren’t they cool? I expect this will only work once per name, just like the old Eevee-naming Easter Egg did.

Unfortunately I went a little overboard and used up what little stardust I had Powering Up my new Espeon to see how he compared with my new Umbreon. The Eevee that became an Umbreon had an 87 IV, but a higher CP than the 91 IV Eevee that turned into an Espeon. My Espeon ended up with a higher CP than my Umbreon at the same level, but the Umbreon has more hit points.

Onix detail page

Onix – note the shadow of the evolved form on the Evolve button and the new item required.

Special Evolution Items

You may have noticed that I mentioned some new items when I was describing the new evolutions available for Gen 1 Pokémon. In addition to a particular quantity of breed-specific candy, you’ll need to acquire a few special items to evolve some Pokémon, both old and new. There are five that I know of: Dragon Scale, King’s Rock, Metal Coat, Sun Stone, and Up-Grade. They’re all supposed to be one-use item. Only time will tell how rare they’ll be to find, but it’s not looking good. I hit 12 Poké Stops on my way to work this morning and didn’t get a single one.

On the other hand, Poké Stops are definitely dispensing the new berries.

2 New Pokémon Treats and a Candy Incentive

new Berries

Yep. The February 16 upgrade includes two new treats to entice Pokémon with: the pink banana-shaped Nanab Berries and yellow, pineapple shaped Pinap Berries. The former calms a Pokémon down, making it less erratic – and hopefully easier to capture, while the latter makes it drop more candy if your next catch attempt succeeds.

Plus, to encourage us to catch more evolved Pokémon in the wild, Niantic now awards 5 candies instead of the usual 3 when you capture them.

new Carousels in the Encounter Screen

new Carousels

New Carousels in Encounter Screen

Niantic has also made it easier to grab a berry treat from your backpack or switch balls with its new Carousels in the Encounter Screen.

The Carousels display on either side of your Poke Ball when you’re in the Encounter Screen. The one on the right gives you access to your inventory of Berries, while the one on the left to your Poké Ball collection. It’s so much simpler and intuitive to grab a treat or switch balls on the fly now. I love it!

open Berry Carousel

open Berry Carousel

And as if all of the above wasn’t enough for one update, Niantic also added lots of new ways to customize your Trainer avatar’s appearance.

New Ways to Customize Your Avatar’s Appearance

It’s Hats off if you want. Not only can you take off your hat, you can also dump your backpack, shed your gloves and take off your shoes and socks and walk on the lovely grass barefoot if you want. I’m definitely planning on ditching my shoes and socks as soon as the weather warms up!

Hats Off! - new hat wardrobe options

Hats Off! – new wardrobe options

Of course, if you like trying on new outfits, you can go wild with all the new wardrobe options, including: hats, glasses, necklaces, tops, backpacks, gloves, belts, bottoms, socks and footwear. According to Niantic’s web site, many of the customizations are free and you’ll be able to unlock – as you level up – and purchase others.

Apparently, they’re still rolling them out, or a glitch last night due to server overload didn’t show them all, because this morning there are a whole lot more options than there were last night. They seemed to have changed the coloring a bit, too. I noticed my original bright blue outfit, had turned a duller, more muted blue, so I made a few changes.

To access the new wardrobe, look for “Style” with a hanger icon in the same window where you access your Journal and Buddy.

Other Changes

Niantic included a few other changes in the new update, including:

  • New night-mode map and encounter music.
  • Apple Watch connection stability improvement.
  • Various bug fixes.
  • Minor text fixes.
new Encounter Screen shows when you have an active Berry

new Encounter Screen shows when you have an active Berry

Some changes that weren’t mentioned in the patch notes, include:

  • Each Pokémon’s detail screen now indicates its gender (to the right of its name).
  • The Evolve button displays a shadow depicting the next form.
  • When you’re in the Encounter Screen, if you have an active Berry, an icon now appears under the CP to indicate that.
  • The values of some attacks have changed. For example, Thunderbolt decreased from 100 to 80, while Dig increased from 70 to 100.
  • Lots of new sound effects.
  • New animations.
  • First Throw bonus of 50XP when you catch a Pokémon with the first ball you throw.

Summary

All in all I think the new update is GREAT! I feel like I’m experiencing a whole new Pokémon Go world and I’m not bored anymore.

I hope the new evolution items don’t turn out to be too hard to acquire, because I’ve got at least three good Onix ready for evolution. And Scythers – I’ve been collecting those since my first week in the game when one taunted me at home late one night and I used up all of my Poké Balls trying to catch it. I vowed and exacted revenge and now have tamed several.

I’m a little annoyed that they changed some of the attack values, but the Encounter Screen interface improvements, new Pokémon and other enhancements that Niantic made more than make up for it. Hats off to Niantic for such a great update!

I gotta go now. It’s a new world with all these new Pokémon. Gotta catch ’em all!

 

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Copyright © 2017 by Tina G. McDuffie. All rights reserved.
Photo rights retained by their respective copyright holders.