Pokemon GO: Working with IV


I found this Jynx wandering around Main Street in Hartford this morning outside a sportswear shop. She was getting depressed at how thin all the mannequins in the window display were, and I was getting depressed right along side her. As we munched Razz Berries in shared suffering, she probably never even saw that Great Ball coming at her.

Yay! A rare! But that corner is a good place for them. But so she’s rare. Is she going to be any good in a gym battle, or is she just going to spend a lot of time sitting in her Pokeball. For that, I’d need to know her IV — her Individual Values. These are hidden scores for attack, defense and health that are assigned randomly when the Pokemon is encountered, and cannot be changed. If you have a weak Pokemon, all the stardust and candy you can throw at it won’t make it a star. But if you can find a perfect one, well… it’ll hit way above its weight.

If you’re just looking to catch them all, then IV isn’t important. But you know you’re going to want to do a gym someday. Some other team has six Vaporeons and a Snorlax in the gym right outside your bedroom window, and whenever you see that, you dream of taking them down.

You need to look at the IVs.

There’s two sites that, together, do a fairly decent job of determining just how uber your Pokemon is. Both are more accurate the higher level they are; if you have a 10CP Rattata, you’re just not going to be able to predict its potential.

Poke Assistant
Poke Assistant

Poke Assistant takes your Pokemon’s stats and gives you a range of possible IV. In this case, there were only two possible matches, and both are pretty decent; 80% perfect. 100% would be better, but 80% isn’t bad for a Pokemon I’ll likely never see another of. She’s near the top of her game. But while 665 is a decent CP, it’s nowhere near high enough to compete in local gyms, where the lowest CP defenders are 1100CP and above. Poke Assistant to the rescue again; it tells the potential CP and health for any level up to 40.5.

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The Jynx is 14 now. If I had enough candy to bring her to my current level, 17, then according to this table, she’d have 807 CP. And that’s just not enough to compete.

The Silph Road is another way to get pretty much the same information. It uses a graphical slider to position the arc above the Pokemon’s picture exactly as it appears in the game, giving a precision (if you position it correctly) that can give a more exact reading. I typically use Poke Assistant to get the Pokemon’s level, then put that into Silph Road to help narrow down the sometimes very many possible solutions to the IV equation.

Here’s what I get when I put her numbers into Silph Road:

She looks so happy!
She looks so happy!

Pretty solid ‘mon, there, right? Almost perfect battle stats. Her health is a little off, but she’d make her attacker remember they’d been in a fight. That they won.

IV isn’t the only thing that matters when choosing a Pokemon to power up for gym battling. The normal and special attacks matter quite a lot, and also how good you are at making your Pokemon dodge attacks. (Me = terrible at it). But if you’re planning to spend ten or twenty thousand stardust powering up a pocket monster, you want to be sure you’re powering up the right one. These tools can help you choose, and they do not break the Terms of Service!

Tomorrow: Maybe I’ll blog about an MMO! Maybe! And maybe it will be DC Universe Online!

Burnin’ the Barn. Again.

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Thought it was time for Kasul to get star billing. As he and Shandra say their tearful goodbyes…. for now, folks. For now. Those two crazy kids will meet again, I promise.

But what’s happening? You thought Kasul and I were playing FFXIV? Well, *I* am, sometimes. Kasul and I decided that we needed a break from MMOs, and decided to go back in time and replay Neverwinter Nights 2. I’d played this a LITTLE bit with Team Spode years and years ago, but we didn’t play long before we decided to switch over to Dungeons & Dragons Online. The character movement was tough to deal with, everyone was splitting up and going everywhere and, personally, I had a lot of trouble keeping track of what was going on.

When Kasul and I group together, we go at a comfortable place. Kasul keeps me honest, reminding me to talk to every NPC, read every scroll, open every door… so I really, finally, know what’s going on. (And a lot of the time, it’s hey, I remember this from Neverwinter Online!).

The first chapter had us journeying from our home in the Mere of Dead Men to Neverwinter to discover the secret of a silver shard we had. The second chapter had us allying with the criminal element of Neverwinter in order to gain access to the quarantined Blacklake district (a den of the Nasher in Neverwinter Online; in the era of NWN2, Lord Nasher is still alive).

We’ve finally gained that access. We had to kill several hundred Neverwinter city guards (no hard feelings, though). We may have started a war with the corrupt city of Luskan to the north. We have completely humiliated the lesser crime lieutenants, and I’m sure that won’t come back to haunt us at any point.

And the reason for all this work, getting into the Blacklake district? So we could use the library. No, really.

The librarian immediately pegged us as non-readers, and directed us to the porn section. Tempting, but we’d been told that a document in the library’s vault would give some explanation for why the extra-planar githyanki and their bladeling servants were pursuing us across Faerun. After killing a few hundred githyanki, we managed to corner their leader in the vault. He got away, somehow. We killed everything else with a pulse in retaliation. They left behind a charred book that said that Ammon Jerro — the person we’d heard would have some sort of explanation — had left behind two living descendants. One was unknown, the name was torn from the book. But the other… the other was Shandra.


One of the last tasks we had to do before we could get to Neverwinter was to drive away some Sahuagin (D&D Murlocs) that were trying to drive out human colonists because the colonists were trying to take their land. Among the people at the front lines of this tug of war was Shandra the Farmer. Her neighbors had been burned out. But she was fine.

This, she explained to us, as we watched two Sahuagin run from the forest and torch her barn. Does nobody have a Wand of Halon in Faerun? She was pretty mad at us, insisting we brought the Sahuagin, and the drove us off. We eventually made peace with the Sahuagin, and they promised not to torch any more barns (or ships to Neverwinter) if the colonists would just stay to the lands they’d already settled. So that made us right with Shandra, right?

Yeah, maybe not.

She was NOT happy to see us. We arrived at her farm to find her being chased around by Githyanki. We killed them, but not before they torched her HOME. She blamed us for everything, ordered us gone, but we persisted in killing Githyanki until she finally agreed that maybe coming with us was preferable to being taken by those shriveled ex-humans.

So to our party of a dwarf fighter who wants to be a monk, tiefling thief who wants to be a bard, a gnomish bard who wants to be suffocated, a druid who REALLY loves bears, and a sorceress who is followed around by Mean Girls… to these, we add a farmer, which are, in these sorts of games, the stereotypical level 0 character, or the fabled hero that will save the world (if you’re playing Dungeon Siege, anyway).

Our road leads to her grandfather’s home, Ammon’s Haven, which sounds like a sweet, safe place. Unfortunately, we’ll have to go through Luskan to get to it….

…. next week :)

D&D Liveblog!

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I’m going to try and liveblog tonight’s adventure! I’ll be appending things to the start of this entry, so if you’re reading this after the fact, it’s going to look a little backward.

11:09PM. We’ve run over time and that’s the game for tonight! I had fun live blogging it, but I think, next week, I’ll just go back to the recap the day after….. ;-)

10:58PM. I was turned into a pincushion by one of the Yuan-ti. Zalandrin “Silenced” a good portion of the room. Another Yuan-ti tried to shoot me but fumbled, was embarrassed to see that he forgot to put an arrow to the bow! I made some funny faces at the nearest snake person, but it resisted Tasha’s Hideous Laughter. I, with some disgust, sung a bardic inspiration at Dinwuddle and moved back out of the room. The Yuan-Ti missed Zalandrin, hit Ellryn, and the battle was well and truly joined.

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10:46PM. Lokvir turned the priestess into… a bunny rabbit. Well, now the snake folk know we’re fighting, too. They shot me! With an arrow! Does that mean I can’t be an adventurer any more!

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10:42PM. Voice chat is back.

10:39PM. Back to typing! Seems so slow after voice chat. The Priestess yells ENOUGH! and demands to know why we have interrupted the ceremony. Her yell breaks my concentration and I look up, a little lost in the music. Dimsdale decides to attack, doing a “magic missile” with a crossbow.

I guess we’re fighting! Lokvir shrugs. “Ah yes, this should go well…..”

10:37PM: Everyone else passed to me, so I sang a song about the bravery and wisdom of the Yuan-Ti, mixing in all the things that had happened to us in this dungeon as tests of our worthiness to approach them. No reaction because, just then, voice chat died!!!!

10:29PM: A pureblood is about to sacrifice a dwarf on an altar. All the Yuan-Ti have paused, and are staring at us, daring us to make the first move.

10:23PM. Uh-oh….

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10:08PM. Battle done, we’re returning to the cell area to take a short rest. I play Song of Rest while the rest of the party heals up. Dimwiddle claims he is the most powerful wizard in Cell Block A. Meanwhile, the tiefling leafed through his spellbook until we asked him how the heck he came to be there. He saw the cultist party at the bridge and tried to infiltrate their band. The halfling, who had been sure that the tiefling was magically disguised, was forced to admit that the tiefling was, in fact, a demonspawn.

The door at the far side of the cell block was locked. The halfling went back to his cell and found the cell keys where he threw them. Nonetheless, instead of using the keys, he uses his quarterstaff to beat “Flight of the Bumblebee” on the door.

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9:54PM. The tiefling’s eldritch blasts did little against the creature. The helmed horror stood up. Its helmet spun around and came to rest looking straight at the halfling barbarian (who thinks he’s a wizard). It attacked; Dimwiddle jumped back, unready. I took this chance to Viciously Mock the creature, giving it disadvantage on its next attack, along with four points of psychic damage. Zalandrin’s swords made no dent on the monster, but Ellryn managed to knock off one of its gauntlets, spilling snakes onto the floor. Dimsdale knocked its codpiece off with a staff blow (apparently!). I couldn’t watch! The tiefling used a vampiric touch that was quite effective. Before long, the armor crashed to the ground, and the snakes that had animated it slithered into the walls.

We were tired and looking for a place to rest.

9:29PM. The Tiefling groggily came to and was immediately put to the question by Zalandrin, swords drawn, and a good amount of bluster from Dimsdale. I cast Healing Word to help with his wounds. Ellryn reminded me that he was low on health, so I used my magical lute to Cure him of four hit points of damage. We would have done more, but snakes poured out of everywhere and animated a discarded suit of armor. The tiefling has the first reaction…..

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9:20PM. Dimwit dressed in his recovered gear (a patched up bedsheet AKA “wizard robes” and a tall stick which nonetheless glowed magically) and cast the “KNOCK” spell on a couple of unlocked doors, leading us to a chapel with statues of Yuan-Ti nobility and an unconscious tiefling. Could this be our new party member? He is dressed as a cultist so…..

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9:10PM. Finishing up the Fantasy Grounds tutorials. Those monsters on the map, btw, the group up above us is that horned demon guard group that we talked our way past, and over on the left is the library ghost. DM doing the recap!

9PM. People starting to show up. New character Lokvir is working out how to cast spells as a warlock in FG2 with the DM and Michael, Zalandrin’s player and an expert GM in his own right. Lots of call-outs to Peren, our previous warlock-paladin (“waladin”).

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8:45 PM. About fifteen minutes to go, I’m the first one here. The DM is testing out his Hunter’s Mark macro with Gina, our ex-tank. We’ve had issues applying effects that aren’t set automatically in a consistent way that takes into account their in-game bonuses.

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D&D — Where We Are Now

Our new best friend!
Our new best friend!

I want to try an experiment tonight — I want to try and “live blog” tonight’s D&D session here on West Karana. But I haven’t blogged about our ongoing D&D campaign in so long, that the very least I can do is reprint my write-up of last week’s session. My dirty secret is that I blog a LOT, I just do it during breaks at work. And this blog… is blocked at work, so I do my blogging on Google+.

I may backfill previous weeks, but for now, here’s LAST week.


“The Rise of Dimsdale”

Six deadly, bloodthirsty, snakey Yuan-Ti fell before our righteous wrath. Well, one ran off, so five. FIVE deadly, bloodthirsty Yuan-Ti fell and… well, technically that one in the corner there wasn’t ENTIRELY dead. So FOUR deadly, etc.

I still had TONGUES running on myself from the parley with the bearded demon guards which sounds kinda yucky now that I say it out loud. I thought the surviving Yuan-Ti would want to lighten the burden of his poisoned heart by explaining all the plots and machinations that brought he and his group here, but after explaining that we would soon meet our end in the POOOOOOOL (he pronounced this with six syllables for extra emphasis), he seemed more concerned with his impending death.

I shrugged and gave Zalandrin the look that says “you can kill this one now”. To be honest, Zalandrin interprets most looks that way. This time, though, the psycho-ranger (which sounds like an awesome job title now that I say it out loud like that) declined to kill a monster that wasn’t fighting back, and just knocked him out and piled the corpses of the remaining Yuan-Ti on top of him for some reason.

This, by the way, is the same psycho-ranger who killed someone for simply looking in our tent once.

In any event, we were all headed down a slippery slope to our own destruction.

I mean that literally. The way forward was down an actual slippery slope that widened out to a super slippery bridge over a pit so deep that no 10′ pole could touch its bottom. There were three Yuan-Ti stationed on the bridge, looking generally our way but seemingly not terribly concerned about us.

I did a little bardish geometry in my head. If I were at the origin, O, of a circle with a radius r of 15 feet, and the radii of force intersected the positions of YT 1, 2 and 3 in such a way as to continue them off the bridge, then… aw heck. I ran up to the edge of the bridge and shouted THUNDERWAVE!!!!!

A gentle breeze softly caressed the scales of the three Yuan-Ti. They smiled sibilantly and rolled their saving throws and stayed planted on that bridge. One walked up and casually nicked my arm with their blade.

That was my favorite lute arm, too! Well, now I was angry. But not as angry as Zalandrin, who angrily planted arrows into the walls. Not as angry as Ellryn, who angrily ran down onto the bridge and slipped off the edge.

Ellryn managed to grab at the side of the bridge just before he plunged to what might have been his death, and barely dodged the Yuan-Ti trying to help him down the rest of the way.

Well, we gnomes have to look out for each other. I ran down, ducked beneath the attack of a Yuan-Ti and dimension doored the both of us back up the stairs.

Ellryn looked almost disappointed. Shouting “AGAIN!”, he ran down — again — and fell over the side — AGAIN. This time he couldn’t grab the edge. It was a fall of 120 feet, but he sprang lightly to his feet and was ready for more. More POISONOUS SNAKES! This was a SNAKE PIT! BWAHAHAHAHA! — is what the DM was saying!

Ellryn started climbing the walls of the pit as Zalandrin and I worked on the remaining Yuan-Ti. He couldn’t get all the way up, but got close enough that some rope could bring him up the rest of the way.

With him back in the game, we were able to take out the rest of the Yuan-Ti and the more human-like one that showed up to trade arrows with Zalandrin.

We tied ourselves together to make the perilous trip over the bridge to the other side.

Ellryn fell over the side. AGAIN. But he did not manage to pull the rest of us over with him, and we managed to get past the bridge with minimal additional death.

We’d been hearing some yelling for quite some time, and it got louder as we headed deeper. Past a room filled with pits and snake totems, we found a block of cells. One of the cells held an emaciated dwarf that nobody wondered at the time if he might be the dwarf we’re looking for. (We did wonder if this was Gina’s lost boyfriend, though). The other held a halfling wizard, who with great bluster announced himself as Dimsdale Butterworth, the Pulsating Pustule of Scintillation. Or something.

Though a wizard of great power and much renown, Dimsdale the I Can’t Believe It’s Not A Wizard admitted that the book from which he learned his wizardly acumen was missing pages for a couple spells, such as Knock and Mage Hand.

I kept suggesting potential spells that might help him out, but Zalandrin just rolled his eyes and tossed the set of keys that hung on a nail into the cell and told the halfling to get himself out. We had more pressing things to worry about, as several Yuan-Ti were heading to us from the snake totem room.

We ran out and started the fight and were doing pretty well, when Dinsdale Transfat the Ever Quivering came running past us as naked as the day they pulled him out of the pancake syrup. MAGIC OVERPOWERING FOOT ODOR! he yelled, as he kneecapped one of the Yuan-Ti. FIVE FINGER FIST OF FIRE WHICH IS TOTALLY A REAL SPELL! he roared as he slapped another one.

The rest of us just had to pause for a moment to take all this in, but we eventually just shrugged and got back to the snake killing party.

And that was that for the night.

REALLY fun session, met our newest party member, Dimsdale Butterstick the Perpetually Scintillating. And now Ellryn gets his own personality trait. Mine is just being an annoying bard who is more a danger to her own party than any enemy. Zalandrin is a psychokiller with a fear of mushrooms. And now… Ellryn can’t pass a pit without falling in.