When Roggenrola was announced as September’s Community Day my heart sank a little bit, “There goes another opportunity missed to invigorate the player base and add something new to the game”. After watching all the amazing work and effort put into the World Championships in London by Niantic, and reading all the articles written about the positivity and love surrounding and for the game coming out of that event, to then be brought down to earth with a bump, so to speak, with yet another weak Community Day, seems like we’ve collectively taken 10 steps back.
With the exception of Deino and Galarian Zigzagoon, both of which have been available for a while as shinies, the underwhelming nature of the 2022 Community Days has not gone unnoticed by the player base. We’ve had Spheal, Bulbasaur, Hoppip, Sandshrew/Alolan Sandshrew, Mudkip, Stufful, Alolan Geodude, Deino, Starly, Galarian Zigzagoon, and now Roggenrola. 1 new Pokémon in Stufful, and 3 new shiny Pokémon. Only Starly and Hoppip were brand new shinies for existing Pokémon, with Stufful being both brand new to the game, and shiny.
With the slow drip feed of new Pokémon and new generations, as opposed to previous drops of large chunks of a region to go out and hunt for, the Stufful Community Day earlier this year felt like a good way to introduce new and interesting Pokémon to Pokémon GO, but that was a one off and sadly we have been given nothing new before or since.
Taking that all into consideration, and keeping a positive view, I wanted to see how my catch/hatch stats for the Roggenrola family stacked up, in case I was being unfair in my disappointment, and it was rarer than my thoughts lead me to believe. Whilst my catch rate isn’t great, at around 60%, I have seen over 1100 Roggenrola since its release, which re-affirmed my initial thoughts on its Community Day being a wasted opportunity.
Roggenrola has been available in game since January 2020 and the shiny form since August 2020. It has appeared in multiple events throughout 2021 including GO Fest 2022. It has been in the egg pool, in raids, as a task reward and in the wild all since its release. All this availability means that even players that started in 2022 would have had chances to catch and evolve the family.
Despite all of this availability, maybe those who enjoy the PvP or PvE side of the game will get something new, interesting or useful from Meteor Beam Gigalith. Again I didn’t want to be to quick to dismiss the Community Day. I was hoping that it was just a knee jerk reaction to the announcement so I reviewed Gigalith and spoke to PvP and PvE enthusiasts to get their take.
From a PvP perspective Gigalith is currently (without Meteor Beam) ranked as 566th in Great League, 416th in Ultra League and 177th in Master League. Even with the boost of the new move it still falls short of Terrakion, Rock Wrecker Rhyperior and Rampardos. It does push it past Smack Down Tyranitar which may mean that it becomes useful to those who missed out on getting a decent Tyranitar. But in short it would seem that there is no real benefit or usefulness in the PvP arena.
From a PvE perspective it doesn’t outshine Mega Aerodactyl, Shadow Smack Down Tyranitar, Rock Wrecker Rhyperior or Terrakion, but is reasonable replacement for those if you missed out on the events and raids, or don’t have a decent shadow Larvitar. So minimal benefit for experienced players with a full Pokédex, but still some play for raiding for those new and less experienced players.
It seems the stats show that Meteor Beam is a good move but Gigalith’s fast moves of Smack Down or Mud Slap hobble it by making it too slow to charge, making Rock Slide the better move overall. If you have a decent Gigalith already, and it has Rock Slide on it, then there is no impetus to evolve Boldore for the new move.
But Community Day is not all about just the new move and spawns of the featured Pokémon, there are bonuses that come along for the players to enjoy as well, so maybe there is something in the bonuses that will add to the day and make it overall a better experience than my expectations. The previous bonuses of 3 hour lures and 3 incenses are there as standard as is the paid for timed research, but what else can we expect?
This time round we have 1/4 hatch distance for eggs put in incubators during the Community Day, but with the poor state of the boxes available to purchase in the store at the moment, players will have to almost certainly rely on incubators from previous box purchases to make the most use out of this bonus, or just resign themselves to using the infinite incubator only.
Catch candy is doubled, as is the chance of trainers at Level 31 and upwards of getting XL candies which will certainly help those wanting to farm XL candies so this bonus is probably the most useful. This is more for those who want a level 50 hundo, just to have it more than it being useful though.
The trading bonus of 1 extra special trade and 50% less stardust will help those who have access to trainers willing to trade after the 3 hours of spawning has finished, but as this Community Day is on a Sunday afternoon I can see most players will want to get home to prepare for the week ahead. Therefore this bonus will really only benefit a few hardcore players who want to re-roll as many as possible in the hope of a lucky hundo, or maybe families of players who are able to sit together and trade.
The final bonus comes in the form of Tier 4 Boldore raids from 5pm-10pm local time. As with the previous trading bonus, the afternoon time period of the Community Day is pushing players to be out late on a Sunday evening. Being a Tier 4 raid boss it will need a couple of raiders at least to beat and whilst daylight is available till quite late in the Northern Hemisphere, those in the Southern Hemisphere, if participating, will be out after dark which might be less than ideal for some. As with the trading bonus, this seems likely to only benefit the same small group of hardcore trainers, and sadly for Boldore I can see them adorning their gyms, surveying the game world, wondering where all the trainers have gone……. missing their evening meal of ore in the process.
So what does this all mean for myself and probably many other long in the tooth players of this game we all love but sure frustrates us a lot of the time? I want to be positive and enjoy the game as much as I can, but Community Days like this do make it difficult and a lot like a chore. Sure I’ll be out playing on the day. Yes I’ll be getting the special research for the day (my FOMO on my special research list not being complete will always get the better of me).
Am I going to be grinding for the whole three hours……… also probably yes. Will I feel like I’m just going through the motions and not really out enjoying it, almost certainly yes as I know from all of the review work I’ve done for this article that the end result will be nothing new or useful added to my already bursting at the seams storage. Maybe I’ll have farmed enough XL candy to invest in a hundo if I get one, maybe I’ll have got a bit of stardust from the few eggs I’ve hatched from the incubators I have left over from previous box purchases. But for the most part I’ll have gotten a sense of maybe a wasted afternoon that if for some reason I couldn’t participate I wouldn’t feel like I have missed out on something that shakes up the meta in any meaningful way.