I mentioned on this week’s MGP that I had been trying to work out the Pokemon GO ‘EX Raid’ system for the past few weeks.
I even emailed Niantic and got a response that confirmed our thoughts, aim for parks.
Reddit have been carrying out a ton of research and they thought the criteria was a bit more complicated.
50 Raid passes must be spent at a Pokemon gym for it to be eligible.
The best bet is to pick a park in the UK, or a sponsored Gym in America.
You have a higher chance of a pass if you’re frequently at the gym.
So what I did was raid at the local park every day, I’m already ‘gold’ on it and it met the criteria. We spent about 10 passes there between myself and my son.
My friends who I raid with also focused on that gym too and presumably between them spent the other 40 needed for us to qualify as we did!
Then Niantic threw a curve ball by inviting loads of random people who hadn’t visited the gym in months and kind of messing with the system a bit.
So now we don’t know whether we made it happen or not, we think we did, but it could just as easily have been blind luck.
I was so nervous though.
What if I get a pass and my son doesn’t?
What if HE gets one and I don’t?!
What if we get one for somewhere far away.
What if we’re out when the raid is scheduled? You don’t get a choice, it just tells you to be somewhere at a specific time on a specific day.
What if they change from MewTwo to something else, and we never get to fight him?
Then suddenly we both got passes.
I was so excited, it was 10 at night and my son was in bed. I didn’t want to wake him but I knew he’d be stoked.
He came in my room at about 6am that morning and normally i’d sleep through it or tell him to go back to bed but I woke up instantly to tell him the news and he was delighted.
We had a little geek out about it. He then spent the week asking me how long each day.
I kept telling him again and again that it was x days away…we will definitely fight it but we might not catch it.
It might run.
He might get it and I might not – if that happens I need to be very brave and behave.
I might get it and he might not. If that happens HE needs to be very brave and behave himself.
I don’t know who I was more worried about raging haha.
I tried so hard to prepare him for the worst though. We did some other raids, they released new legendary Pokemon this week too.
He caught them all with his first or second ball – which made him incredibly cocky about it!
I’d tell him we might not get it. He’d tell me we probably would because we were Pokemon masters.
Today we woke up and obviously his first question was how long.
He seemed to ask every half hour, until with about 90 minutes to go I suggested we head out and try and catch some new Pokemon, get some balls from the stops etc.
We did a raid, which we both failed to catch – a perfect opportunity to show that it isn’t all roses and lollypops.
We went to the EX Raid super early and I ‘took’ the gym – making it yellow which earns us coins, more items when we spin the gym’s stop, and if it remains yellow until the battle begins, it means we got a handful of additional attempts to catch Mew Two.
These additional attempts definitely add up! My son had failed to catch a legendary in the past right up until the final day. I went out 15 minutes before the last raid, on the last day, and took the gym, then when it came down to the battle , I caught it with the last throw of a ball I wouldn’t have had if I hadn’t left early.
The irrelevant lengths i’ve gone to for this little fella are ridiculous!
I wasn’t the only person to arrive early, fortunately another member of the yellow team (Team Instinct!) was there – we talked about holding the gym against anyone who tried to come in and take it – nobody did for the most part, there was a brief attack made 5 minutes before the battle was to start, but whoever it was soon gave up when they saw how many of us were ready to defend against them.
We found there were a larger than normal amount of Team Instinct players so we separated out into a seperate team to fight. I’ve never seen so many people at once playing these raids – there were about 40 people there at least.
The nervousness of the group was quite strong, you could feel it in the freezing cold air. One or two people there had already done multiple in the past, but for the most part people were in the same boat as me and my son, this was their first chance and possibly their only chance to succeed.
When the battle started I was surprised to find that with a big group, we made fast work of taking him down – the battle is usually the easy part to be fair, but we went through him like a knife through butter!
The hard bit came – actually catching him.
I could feel my blood pressure rising, the fear was making me feel a bit sick.
Not for myself. I wasn’t really thinking about how I’d do – I was concerned that my son had built this up to be the highlight of his day / week / month / year and he was giddy.
He threw his first ball. I threw mine.
His hit, shook, and broke open.
Mine bounced off the floor.
I threw three more at the floor, I was starting to panic.
My son threw his second ball. He starts counting…1….2….3….YAY I CAUGHT MEWTWO!
Everyone around us is awwwing as he sounded adorable. He was chanting and dancing in delight. I felt so much more relief than I was expecting!
I was so happy. I threw another ball – another miss.
The next one hit but broke open. I was getting ready to laugh on the outside and tense on the inside.
My next ball hit and 1 – 2 – 3 done!
I’ve not shouted YEEEESSS!! that loud in ages. We both had it in the bag.
Mine was the better of the two as well – a nice bonus if you ask me…
It was so cold we didn’t really stick around to see what everyone else did, but on my local chat group I can see most people I know caught it.
On the way back to my car my son was telling me how lucky he is, he’s so happy. I’m happy, it was great seeing him so delighted.
I’m almost more relieved that we can now forget about trying to work out this crazy EX Raid system.
I feel like it works well in one regard, keeping an artificial rareness in place for one of the game’s most powerful and most popular legendary Pokemon.
I feel like perhaps it created more emotion than any other raid would’ve done.
If we’d not caught it I was worried about how much it’d affect my son. I’m sure he would’ve got over it but equally I worry it might have made him moody and sad for a few days.
The feeling of us both getting it was great, this little mobile app has given more reaction and entertainment than most games I’ve played.
A lot of that comes from nostalgia – I get that. But the community of friends I have through it, the Whatsapp group I share with my mates from back home, they’re both a result of this game.
I have this awesome little thing I share with my son, it brings us close which is great. I love how close it brings us.
He has been sat on me since we got home, hugging me to warm up quicker, asking me 101 questions about Mew Two, looking through our collections for changes we need to make, any tidying up we need to do.
Today has been awesome and memorable, all over a silly little mobile game.
My son said to me a moment ago “You’re the best daddy, I love you!” – He never says stuff like that, it has blown my mind a bit that he came out with it so randomly.
I told my wife and she was just as surprised and we’re both beaming.
One day he’ll grow out of it – I doubt I will. But when that day comes I’ll be very sad to see him move on, but grateful for all of the memories it has given me.
When that day comes I think I’ll rope him into the suffering of supporting Spurs.
That poisons you for life!