UPDATE: SINNOH STONE IS NOW LIVE. CHECK OUR GUIDE HERE: Sinnoh Stone

NOTE: This is the first article of this new series, so we are still working out all the kinks! Please feel free to write some constructive criticism or feedback so we can perfect this segment!

When it comes to Niantic and Pokémon GO, sometimes it feels like they have missed the mark, whether it be on updates, releases, content, or new additions, Trainers always seem to find a way to blame Niantic. The question is however, are we to blame Niantic? And if so, what must they do to fix their mistakes? “We Need To Talk” is a brand new article series on GO Hub that takes a look at the current issues the community has and opens the conversation for Niantic to do more.

This time around we are talking about the newly discovered Sinnoh Stone, along with the other Evolution Items and their use in-game.

Please note that this is a text heavy article, no light reading.


The Sinnoh Stone

As the start of discussion, we are talking about the recently discovered Sinnoh Stone, why? Because it is probably the best example we have of the failure that is The Evolution Items.

What Is It?

The Sinnoh Stone is a brand new unreleased Stone that has been revealed as the item used to evolve certain Pokémon in Generation IV, and the basic concept is as follows; it evolves Generation IV Pokémon that need Items to fully evolve. Sounds simple and great right? Um, no, not at all.

Related image
Project Pokémon’s Sinnoh Stone

First of all, the Sinnoh Stone isn’t even an original concept, and even if it was, is it even a  good one? The “Sinnoh Stone” was an item invented by Project Pokémon which was a Pokémon game on Roblox, yeah, Niantic got the idea from a Roblox game. Oof. Of course design wise, it was based on the Dawn Stone, an evolution Item already present in Generation IV, so the only thing someone could really accuse Niantic of doing is stealing the general concept of the Sinnoh Stone, which by all means isn’t really all that bad.

Image result for pokemon go sinnoh stone
Pokémon GO’s Sinnoh Stone

Now, if we want a more official explanation, Chrales discovered the Sinnoh Stone in the code, with the following description: “A special stone originally found in the Sinnoh region that can make certain species of Pokémon evolve. It is very tough and has a beautiful sheen.”. Along with this description we have the item itself, at first people were lost, until we realized that the Sinnoh Stone’s design is based on a Diamond and a Pearl, look, you might hate the Sinnoh Stone, but you have to admire that that’s pretty clever.

Before we move on, we need to see what the Sinnoh Stone is essentially replacing; all of the Generation IV evolution items:

Shiny Stone Dusk Stone Reaper Cloth Protector Magmarizer
Pokemon GO_Shiny_Stone Pokemon GO_Dusk_Stone Pokemon GO_Reaper_Cloth Pokemon GO_Protector Pokemon GO_Magmarizer
Electirizer Dubious Disc Dawn Stone Razor Claw Razor Fang
Pokemon GO_Electirizer Pokemon GO_Dubious_Disc Pokemon GO_Dawn_Stone Pokemon GO_Razor_Claw Pokemon GO_Razor_Fang

Problems and Solutions

Alright, so now that we know exactly what the Sinnoh Stone is and what it’s used for, let’s look at the problems and their best possible solutions:

  1. Make it Easy: One of the biggest problems with this is that it makes Evolutions too easy, so, let’s just imagine that Niantic’s goal is to make things easy, how about this Niantic, why not let’s throw out all Evolution Items for all generations? Would that make the game easier? Of course, but NO ONE wants that, so why are we letting it slide for Generation IV?
  2. Make it Alternative: As many Trainers already know, Generation IV requires quite a few Evolution items, so here is an idea; make it an alternative item. Bring in the new Evolution items as seen above, and add the Sinnoh Stone as an overall item that Trainers can use for ANY of the new Generation IV Evolution, but make it rare.
  3. Get Rid of It: Probably one of the Hardcore community’s favorite options, get rid of the Sinnoh Stone. It completely breaks away from what Pokémon is (as if Pokémon GO hasn’t done it already enough) and really just works to make things “easy”. Introduce the proper Evolution Items, and get rid of that Roblox ripoff.

Personally, out of the three solutions, I think number 2 is the best, it might be difficult to obtain all of the Evolution Items, but we don’t want things to be that easy, so adding the Sinnoh Stone as a rarer drop while still having the real Evolution Items, seems like the perfect balance. It helps the more casual players, and makes things still fun for the hardcore players.

The Verdict

So, after seeing everything related to the Sinnoh Stone, and the problems surrounding it, how much of a success or failure has it currently been? Look, in terms of making the game easy, yeah, it does that, but at this point, I would dare say that Pokémon GO is already easy enough for the average player, spoonfeeding us the newest and greatest evolutions just seems lazy. I wouldn’t call this a complete failure, but in terms of giving the community what it has wanted, well, it sucks. It is a somewhat failure.


The Evolutionary Stones

Since we are looking at Evolution Items, I think Niantic’s biggest failure of that we can’t skip over, is the failure to introduce Evolutionary Stones; such an essential part of Evolution, that honestly no one knows why they haven’t fixed it.

What Are They?

The Evolutionary Stones are part of the Evolution Item family, they are used to evolve certain Pokémon, usually based on typings. Basically they are more Evolution Items that we could have been using all the way since Generation I.

Image result for eeveelutions

Unlike the Sinnoh Stone, the Evolutionary Stones don’t really need much explaining, they are items that are common in the Pokémon Universe and are an original concept made by the Pokémon Company. They can be given to certain Pokémon to cause them to evolve, the greatest examples of these Pokémon are the Eeveelutions.

As before, let’s see some of the Evolutionary Stones that currently exist in the Pokémon universe, however, we will cut Niantic some slack and not add the Evolutionary Stones from Generation IV and beyond, anything before is fair game.

Fire Stone Water Stone Thunder Stone Leaf Stone Moon Stone Sun Stone
Thumbnail for version as of 23:25, 30 May 2006 Thumbnail for version as of 23:25, 30 May 2006 Thumbnail for version as of 23:48, 10 August 2007 Thumbnail for version as of 23:25, 30 May 2006 Thumbnail for version as of 07:35, 7 October 2009 Image result for pokemon go sun stone

Problems and Solutions

For the more observant readers, you may be thinking “But Josh, why are you complaining about the Sun Stone? We have it in-game!” Yeah, I know, but did you ever think about how it is used? To summarize; wrongly.

  1. Beggers Can’t be Choosers: Okay so maybe not “wrongly”, but rightfully. The Sun Stone has so far done exactly what it needs to do, evolve the currently available Gloom to Bellossom, and Sunkern to Sunflora. So what’s wrong? Well, Why? I can understand requiring an Evolutionary Stone for a META relevant Pokémon or something that should be rarer to obtain, but Sunflora and Bellosom? Really? I can understand doing it for some of the stronger Pokémon, but why for these two?
  2. Add All the Stones: I don’t mean “let’s add the evolutionary requirement to all the Pokémon that deserve it”, but if the purpose of the Evolutionary Stones is to make a certain Pokémon more difficult to obtain, then where is Exeggutor’s Leaf Stone? Pikachu’s Thunder Stone? Poliwhirl’s Water Stone? Look, I don’t with Niantic choosing who should get it and who shouldn’t, so let’s keep things simple with the next solution.
  3. Make it Straightforward: The easiest solution in my opinion is to properly add the evolutionary requirement to all the Pokémon that have it in the entire Pokémon Universe, the the Evolutiuonary Stones a more common Evolution Item drop to justify this, and FINALLY allow Trainers to use them to evolve Eevee accurately, as it should have been done from day one, NOT by a randomizer function. If the purpose of the previously seen Sinnoh Stone was the make Evolutions easier, why not add the stones to help us with the Eeveelutions?

At this point, i think Niantic’s easiest solution is to add the stones and the requirements the way they should have been from the beginning, sure, it may make some Pokémon redundant, but I mean, that’s how everyone else in the world plays Pokémon, so why not us too?

The Verdict

Taking everything into account, I would say the way Niantic has dealt with the Evolutionary Stones has been a complete failure. Not only did they completely ignore that side of the Pokémon universe, but at this point, what is holding them back? What? Trainers are used to it now? No turning back? Um.. hello? Niantic still makes changes to things that have been present since years ago, and well, Niantic has been late with most “promised” things, including Raids, Friends, Trading, etc. So why are we letting them slide with this one?


Current Evolution Items

We have seen the Roblox Sinnoh Stone, we have seen the sad excuse of implementing Evolutionary Items, now it’s time to look at something we all know too well; the Evolution items.

What Are They?

I will be quick with this one, in case you are not aware, Pokémon GO currently has 5 different Evolution Items (only four if you remove the Sun Stone, which we will). These 4 Evolution items work to evolve certain species of Pokémon.

And that is pretty much it, they have a guaranteed drop on your 7 day Pokéstop spin bonus, are really only a third of the current Evolution Items that exist in the Pokémon Universe (the rest being replaced by the Sinnoh Stone), and of course, here is a small compilation of them:

Up-Grade Dragon Scale Metal Coat King’s Rock
Image result for Pokemon go upgrade item Image result for Pokemon go dragon scale Image result for Pokemon go metal coat Image result for Pokemon go kings rock

Problems and Solutions

Believe it or not, there are actually no problems here, each of these Evolution items are used the way they should be used, and by all the Pokémon that use them.

Verdict

For the first time in this article, let me say; well done Niantic, genuinely, well done. Each of the Evolution items you have added are used exactly how they should be used, and fit perfectly in the game. My only complaint remains however, that if you are okay with releasing Evolution Items like these, why won’t you release the rest? What are you waiting on? However, putting the other Evolution items aside, when it comes to these, I would call them a complete success.


Final Verdict

Let’s get one thing straight, Evolution in Pokémon GO works, but not as well as it should, and by majority, the lack of Evolution Items and Stones have caused this. My single biggest complaint with Niantic and what they have done, is that they really seemed to do it without rhyme or reason. If they want to make the game easier, then why add the current items to begin with? Why would they not ONLY add the three stones we need for the Eeveelutions from Generation I? Do you realize how HUGE that could have been on Eevee’s Community Day?

Do you see my point? There is really no excuse or sole reason why one Pokémon has to have an evolution requirement, and another one doesn’t, you might justify strength, but why do weaker Pokémon get theirs? You might mention Evolution stages, but Porygon only has one, why are some Pokémon deserving of this requirement and others are ignored?

Look, the only valid response I see why someone should downright be against the addition of any new items, is because of Storage space, but I mean, c’mon, we know that Niantic has to bring the storage cap up again at some point, so why not have fun with it?

An even better question is; Why has Niantic dealt with Evolution so poorly? We are over 2 years in, and the currently added Evolution Items (and stone) are great! Why stop? Why take the easy way out and just hand out the Sinnoh Stone?

What are your thoughts? Do you think Niantic has done a good job with the Evolution Items and Stones? And more importantly, what do you think we need to talk about? Tell us in the comments below and we might just talk about your topic!