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  1. Welcome to the eighty-third week of my Pokémon feature here on Game Podunk! In case you missed last week's, check it out. Stay tuned for future entries coming every Friday. Keldeo will be available via the Nintendo Network from October 1st through 24th. Furthermore, the final 6th Generation Pokémon, Volcanion, will be distributed at GameStop sometime this month. I'll let you know when, as soon as we know more. Every single Mythical Pokémon will be distributed during a specific month for the remainder of this year. Now may be your only chance for a really long time, to actually catch them all! -------------------------------- Server-side Structure I“m about 55 hours deep in Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past. So I don“t really have anything new to report on the Pokémon front this week. However—more news has been hinted for October 4th, so I won“t rest on my laurels for too long. The spin-off series is still continuing, and you can use Mystery Gift & enter the code Darkrai20 to claim the Mythical Pokémon Darkrai, which was distributed at GameStop earlier this year. If you already got a code from GameStop earlier, you won't be able to use this one. That should have y“all about current! Let“s talk about part of last week“s news that The Pokémon Company kind of glazed over, and didn“t choose to devote parts of a trailer to it or anything. Verified here: an update to Pokémon Bank in January 2017 will allow you to port Pokémon from XY and ORAS over to Sun & Moon via a one-way transfer. Indeed: once again, Game Freak is choosing not to let you port your all-powerful critters from past games to the brand new ones until about two months after release. I get why that“s kind of necessary: it“ll stop people like me from becoming a Pokémon Master again in just a couple of weeks, right? It gives everyone ample time to enjoy the Alola Region as a whole, and catch everything we can there before Lv100 Mewtwos plague the GTS forever. It“s interesting to me, though, that once Pokémon are transferred over from Gen6 to Gen7, they can“t be brought back to the games they came from. It“s not a new practice for the series, but...I kind of anticipated Pokémon Bank to make things more uniform, and allow the first 721 critters to move freely between all past and present Pokémon games starting with XY/ORAS. Guess I thought wrong! Furthermore: [an updated] PokéTransporter is going to be the means by which critters from Red, Blue and Yellow can be brought over to Sun & Moon, also restricted to a one-time transfer. Once they leave the Kanto region, they can“t go back! I“m probably going to wait a while before I transfer my full batch of RBY Pokémon over, until I“m fully aware of what moves are going to be viable in Alola. My dreams of a battle-ready No Guard Machamp with Fissure may yet still come true! And last but not least: a new National Pokédex feature is coming to Bank with the latest update. Using it will analyze the save data(!!!) from any game you use with Bank in order to generate a Pokédex that will tell you what games you can find critters you may be missing. That“s kind of crazy! Seems like they genuinely want folks to “catch ;em all”, since they“ll be able to use data from multiple games to do it. All this Bank stuff begs the question though, considering my previous thoughts on backing up save data. Can Pokémon Bank be accessed in a new way, starting with the Generation 7 games? Picture this: You walk into any Pokémon Center and access your PC, as always, which features 30+ unique boxes of offline storage, ready to be grabbed at anytime. However: what if they were to add a separate tab onto the Pokémon Center PCs that let you access your data on the Pokémon Bank servers without ever leaving your game to go into the app? Not leaving the main games to access Bank would remove a largely inconvenient, [seemingly] unnecessary barrier preventing folks from simply storing every Pokémon they have on Pokémon Bank“s servers, just in case of a data loss. Being able to grab Pokémon freely from “the cloud” without ever having to leave my game to go into an app and prompt ten different loading cycles...would be the single most welcome change to come to the franchise, for me personally. If my 3DS is ever lost or stolen--as long as I have all my existing Pokémon saved to the server instead of the games, I could conceivably get every critter back, once I“ve migrated to a new system. I wouldn“t mind a brief lag to connect to the Internet every time I used the PC, as long as there was always an offline option to use in case I“m not around Wi-Fi. So there we have it! A little Bank-related PSA, and some hopeful speculation on my part. How do you all feel about my idea? Disappointed you have to wait a few months before porting critters over from previous games? Be sure to let us know!
  2. Welcome to the forty-first week of my Pokémon feature here on Game Podunk! In case you missed the last one, check it out! Stay tuned for future entries coming every Friday. -------------------------------- Pokémon Bank and Friendship I“ve been accomplishing two main goals in my Pokémon-related downtime, lately. Inspired by the first Region Spotlight and my many “conspiracy theory” pieces, I restarted my copy of Pokémon Y with hopes to play through the game again prior to the release of “Pokémon Z” (I still think that announcement is coming by October 29th, by the way). And...as always, I“m forming new teams to use in whatever competitive battle that comes my way. I“ll talk up my new adventures in Y and my “Fossil Maniac Gym Leader” team in the not-too-distant future. But for now, I want to talk about my two Shiny Eevees. Not necessarily because I“m bragging, but… I caught one of them in a Friend Safari prior to erasing my Y file. And the other, I hatched naturally in Omega Ruby using the Masuda Method. I evolved the baby into Umbreon with no trouble, and I wanted to raise an Espeon for fun Doubles antics. I used Pokémon Bank to safely transport my Eevee, Axiom, to Hoenn some time ago. Then I EV trained and raised it, expecting the evolution to occur eventually because Friendship isn“t too hard to raise in the modern era. But when it got to Lv90 or so without ever evolving, I got worried. A quick aside for those who don“t know: Eevee evolves into Espeon and Umbreon when it has max Happiness/Friendship, depending on the time of day. This isn“t to be confused with Affection, the Pokémon-Aime trait that allows Eevee to evolve into Sylveon. A lot of the popular search results for “Eevee won“t evolve” on Google were just people confusing happiness for affection -- an easy mistake to make. But, as you can see in this video I posted when making an inquiry over Twitter, Axiom“s Friendship was indeed at maximum, and no evolution occurred. My system“s clock was correct (another thing that stops time-based Friendship Evolutions), and none of my Pokémon are hacked. So...what was going on? As it turns out, Pokémon Bank may be the cause of a glitch when it comes to Friendship Evolutions. Here“s a thread with someone who experienced the same problem I had. Using Pokémon Bank to transport Pokémon should normally work like trading from one game to the next would. I“m not sure if the glitch is caused when two trainers share the same name, since their Trainer IDs are always different. But -- just be careful when transferring Pokémon that evolve based on Friendship, because something related to Pokémon Bank may cause them to not evolve despite Friendship being at maximum. Something in the game“s code may get lost in translation when transferring Pokémon. The way I fixed the problem and eventually got my Eevee to evolve was by trading it back and forth to my lady. Trading a Pokémon resets its base Friendship value, and you can work on maximizing it again without increasing the Pokémon“s level. Thanks to the Soothe Bell, Befriending O-Power, and biking lots of circles around the Battle Resort, I had Axiom“s Friendship back at maximum in less than half an hour. After making it as happy as possible, it evolved without anymore complications. So! This week“s Individual Values is just a friendly PSA for those who use Pokémon Bank regularly, like I do. Something is off about it and Friendship-based evolutions. After you transport your Pokémon from one game to the next, be sure to physically trade it back and forth to yourself with a friend“s help to actually reset its Friendship to what it should be, if you want to guarantee not getting stuck in evolution limbo like my Eevee was. Save yourself a headache or two by trading after transferring! Are you folks still playing Pokémon before “Z” and Super Mystery Dungeon come around? Share your stories!
  3. Welcome to the thirty-third week of my Pokémon feature here on Game Podunk! In case you missed the last one, check it out! Stay tuned for future entries coming every Friday. -------------------------------- Saving Grace Last week, the Japanese Pokémon Global Link service issued an announcement regarding stricter hack checks coming to the sixth generation (and presumably future) Pokémon games. If you“re caught with a modified save file or modified Pokémon, you won“t be able to participate with the rest of the community via Rating Battles or the Battle Competition. While the nature of these “checks” are ambiguous, much less how loosely or tightly defined the term “modified Pokémon” is — why this is all happening is very clear. Apparently the save data of innocent players is being at best affected, and at worst corrupted/deleted, just by encountering hackers with modified saves via random battling online. It“s unknown if (and probably not likely that) the hackers were doing this on purpose, knowing that encountering them would lead to a loss of data... but the point still stands. Junichi Masuda actually commented on this issue via Twitter. It“s really crazy that the hacking scene — at least at one point — has gotten so bad that it“s literally corrupting or destroying the experience of other innocent players. Maybe I“ll get into the cheating/hacking scene in these games in a future article. For now, though, especially given the recent news, I wanted to spend some time talking about save data. In case you didn“t know already, the Nintendo 3DS features a Save-Data Backup tool that you can find under the 3DS tab via System Settings & Data Management. You can effortlessly backup and restore data from almost all of your 3DS games here, in case something goes wrong... say during a System Transfer, for example. But...there are exceptions. You can“t back up Animal Crossing data, and you can“t back up Pokémon. I mean, I certainly get the point. If you backed up your Pokémon save data, then traded away any Pokémon to another person“s game, then restored it & traded them back... it would make Pokémon cloning and cheating easier than ever before. But at the same time... people have been able to transfer their Pokémon from one game to the next since the third-to-fourth generation, which started all the way back in 2003. Whether it was through Pal Park, the PokéTransporter, or recently Pokémon Bank... a small group of people (like...me for example) could potentially own Pokémon special to them, Pokémon that are over a decade old. The Time Travel Award offered to players who bring over Pokémon from the original Ruby & Sapphire to ORAS lends credence to the fact that Game Freak knows this. I think the time has come to offer the ability to backup your Pokémon data, even if it“s to a digital cloud and behind a paywall of some sort. Call me crazy, but I would happily pay the price of a full retail game or more to recover over 719 lost Pokémon and ten years of hard work, if my 3DS were ever stolen or my data corrupted. I don“t know what I would do if my save data suddenly disappeared. I can guarantee I wouldn“t start all over again, though. Mark my words — the day Pokémon stops allowing transfers from one game to the next and forces players to start all over again... is the day I make my exit from the series. Thankfully, with a subscription service like Pokémon Bank being commonplace, I don“t foresee that ever happening. Bringing up Pokémon Bank is how we solve this saving problem, though. What if you could create backups of Pokémon through Pokémon Bank that could be restored in the event of a crisis? It could reduce cheating if you put something like this behind a paywall, and if players were only allowed to restore a certain Bank Box from a backup once per Pokémon Pass period. Reduce the temptation to cheat by making restoration cost $20-60, and only able to happen once a year. Surely this idea has potential, right? Do you have any ideas as to how to solve the saving problem without an easy exploit for cheaters? Do you think I“m wrong to keep Pokémon that are important to me in my games, where I can play with and use them, versus stored away in the cloud of Pokémon Bank where no data corruption can touch them? I“d love to hear your thoughts.