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Sonictrainer

Pokémon Sword & Shield (Isle of Armor: June 17th, 2020)

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4 hours ago, Pawn said:

I'd love one! I have Sobble and several Sword exclusives available to trade if you want one of those.

Ok, I live on Eastern US time so let me know when you are available to trade.

I'll take a random for it since I have a lot of them...

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I have to admit, I'm quite surprised by the lack of discussion about these games post release. Did a lot of people here not buy them, or was all necessary discussion had in the leaks thread before release? 

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3 hours ago, Blue Blood said:

I have to admit, I'm quite surprised by the lack of discussion about these games post release. Did a lot of people here not buy them, or was all necessary discussion had in the leaks thread before release? 

I was avoiding the leak thread when story spoilers started to spill out, but it doesn't look like there was a lot of discussion of those after all. I guess most people here aren't playing it?

I'm pretty absorbed in it myself. It has a lot of issues, but I can't help but be sucked in by the game. I've spent 40 hours on it so far, thanks to a lot of time spent catching Pokémon, and am only just entering the endgame. While I enjoyed both X/Y and Sun/Moon, this one definitely has its hooks planted further in me.

It's a shame that so much of the game is only skin deep, since I love the region. Trains should have served as a battle facility, because they don't add anything more than a little flavour. Towns feel small, lacking in content and at times under-populated, while none of the cast feel fully fleshed out. Camping as a concept works so well for the series, yet there's very little reason to actually utilise it. The Wild Area is such an exciting step forward for the series, allowing you to traverse the world and battle alongside other trainers, but there are so many caveats to it. GF clearly struggled to make it work technically and conceptually. Gating off higher level Pokémon behind badges doesn't work well when your team is a mere few levels away and it would have been a much more elegant system to have them just not obey you instead.

That said, I'm still having a lot of fun, enjoying it as much as I have any other Pokémon game. The story is almost non-existent, but I can't think of any game in the series where it's been particularly memorable anyway (although some aspects of Sun/Moon's worked for me). The execution of gym battles is so far above any other gen, with the stadium atmosphere, progression of the music and the gym leaders' animations more alive than ever. As someone who really didn't care about it pre-launch, Dynamax is actually kind of fun in this context, as they really help sell the idea that these are an event. The gym challenges beforehand are hit and miss, much like the Alola trials, but there are a couple that surprised me.

I think the roster of Pokémon may be my favourite to date with its impressive variety of ideas and designs. Some I wasn't so fond of during the leaks just look so much more appealing in motion, making many of those from early generations look mundane by comparison. Far too many are rare encounters though. Why make some of your biggest selling points so hard to discover? It's also a shame that many of the clothing options are late-game, even if I appreciate how quickly the game introduces you to customisation in general. It was definitely a step forward in terms of choice in any case.

I really hope that, going forward, they continue to expand and improve upon the game's strengths. The Wild Area, as well as the new presentation of gym battles, absolutely needs to stay. I'd love to see camping become a more robust, series staple as well.

11 hours ago, Sonictrainer said:

Ok, I live on Eastern US time so let me know when you are available to trade.

I'll take a random for it since I have a lot of them...

If you think of anything you want, let me know. I can be online between 4pm-7pm for you. Is that any good?

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5 hours ago, Blue Blood said:

I have to admit, I'm quite surprised by the lack of discussion about these games post release. Did a lot of people here not buy them, or was all necessary discussion had in the leaks thread before release? 

I honestly have not had the time to really delve into them; I had a convention this past weekend as well as nursing a cold. Between that and the fact that I have a limited amount of time I can play a day in addition to playing other games. 

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I've kinda been too busy playing to post many thoughts. I did get a first impressions post out on my blog, and have been meaning to do the same for Jedi: Fallen Order (which I've also been spending time on), but the short of it is - I like the region and everything about it. I like the game and the concepts introduced. Sure, things could have been better had more time been given to it, but the shortcomings don't affect the enjoyment. The Wild Area is my favourite thing about the region, and I can load Shield up and just lose myself within it (especially now that I can explore everywhere and capture everything).

It is a great experience, but if you can't get invested in the journey - your personal journey within it - there is little to hold interest.

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I've been out of the loop due to spoiler dodging - and I intent to keep it that way until I make it through the entire campaign - but I've had an experience that I never saw coming and wanted to share it here.

Upon booting up Shield - my Roku TV decided to crap out after playing the game for about 2 min. After about a 1/2 hour of unsuccessful troubleshooting I left the TV unplugged for the night and continued to play the game in handheld mode. The next day I plugged my TV back in to find it working fine. Went back to playing sheild and after about 30 seconds in, my TV went into the same buggy state.

Convinced that my TV was busted, I went out and brought another one. I was halfway to the dumpster to dispose of my old Roku, when my neighbor stopped me to ask it I was playing Pokemon by any chance and informed me that the game bricks Roku's for some reason. I went back inside, tested my TV with my PS4 and it worked fine. However if my switch is powered on, or even on sleep mode with a copy of pokemon inserted, then it goes to crap. I did some light google searching and found many people were reporting the exact same problem.

I can't recall a console game ever interfering with an outside electronic like this. Maybe brick a console (hello Mighty No. 9) but not the TV. I wonder if this is the end result of an inexperienced GameFreak trying to operate on the same communication channels as major appliances?

Its also worth noting that the remote control for my new TV (a different brand) also becomes unresponsive in the face of Pokemon shield. Its crazy.

Where is the Nintendo quality control?

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@Sega DogTagz I'm not sure if it's Nintendo, Game Freak or indeed Roku to blame for this. To my understanding, it's almost like nobody is to blame because it's just a massive coincidence. Both Pokémon SwSh and Roku devices are constantly searching for other devices to connect to, and in an unlikely coincidence it turns out that they're using the same channel to do so. The Switch and Pokémon are designed to be able to connect to and disconnect from dozens of devices rapidly, whilst Roku systems are not. Ergo, Roku has a shit fit whenever Pokémon is nearby because it's picking up all these Pokémon signals and doesn't know what to do with them.

That's my understanding at least; but correct me if I'm wrong. Nobody is really to blame. Your new remote may well be the same. Is it a universal/programmable remote? Roku has already put out an update on their end to fix the issue on their end, so you may be able to make a fix for your remote.

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14 hours ago, Blue Blood said:

Both Pokémon SwSh and Roku devices are constantly searching for other devices to connect to, and in an unlikely coincidence it turns out that they're using the same channel to do so.

If that's the case, then I'm even more upset. I have no less than a dozen devices in my home, fighting to connect with whatever comes within a 5 mile radius. I can't turn on my laptop without a notification popping up asking if I want to connect to my cell phone, my PS4 or my neighbors toaster. None of those causes catastrophic levels of interference, but somehow, my copy of Pokemon can't play nice with an electric device that its sole purpose is to be compatible with? What?!

 

Plain and simple that's bad quality control. Someone should have caught that in beta testing. Its not like Roku is some small start up. Furthermore, GameFreak has been working with wireless connectivity for years via the DS and 3DS. They should be at the head of the pack, just shy of bleeding edge. There is no excuse for them not having a cheat sheet of major appliance alpha frequencies to avoid. Even if they didn't, Someone at Nintendo could have slipped them a memo.

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Reddit discussion on the matter

From what I'm understanding dude, this has nothing to do with quality control. If nobody in testing had a Roku device, then this wouldn't have been picked up. There isn't a 'cheat sheet' out there, as the ports sent registered. It's a crappy situation and must have been very bothersome for you, but this was so unlikely to happen that you can't really blame either GF or Roku.

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3 hours ago, Blue Blood said:

Reddit discussion on the matter

From what I'm understanding dude, this has nothing to do with quality control. If nobody in testing had a Roku device, then this wouldn't have been picked up. There isn't a 'cheat sheet' out there, as the ports sent registered. It's a crappy situation and must have been very bothersome for you, but this was so unlikely to happen that you can't really blame either GF or Roku.

B.S. How is this anything but a quality control issue. Roku is the single biggest connected TV manufacture in terms of sales in the US. They account for roughly 18% of connected devices in US households.

Market Share

Cutting them slack by saying testers didn't have a Roku on hand would be like designing a new gasoline and shipping it to market before testing it on a Volkswagen (~7) Ford (~5%) or a Nissan (~5%). Thats a major oversight and not something that is supposed to make it out of beta. It doesn't matter if its a 1 in a billion chance of overlapping, I expect the Q&R teams of major corporations to catch this kind of thing. Especially when the device its interfering with is the TV I need to play it.

 

EDIT - For posterity sake, I ain't even mad about forking over the cash for the new TV. I was super anxious about buying one so close to Black Friday, but I got a really good deal - so that's water under the bridge. My gripe is with the alarming lack of QC that seems to be dragging down the industry as of late. Self-inflicted wounds like this are just ridiculous to me.

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15 minutes ago, Sega DogTagz said:

B.S. How is this anything but a quality control issue. Roku is the single biggest connected TV manufacture in terms of sales in the US. They account for roughly 18% of connected devices in US households.

Market Share

Cutting them slack by saying testers didn't have a Roku on hand would be like designing a new gasoline and shipping it to market before testing it on a Volkswagen (~7) Ford (~5%) or a Nissan (~5%). Thats a major oversight and not something that is supposed to make it out of beta. It doesn't matter if its a 1 in a billion chance of overlapping, I expect the Q&R teams of major corporations to catch this kind of thing. Especially when the device its interfering with is the TV I need to play it.

It's such an unheard of issue. Not only are the odds of the two systems using the same port astronomically low, that it would actually result in such a messy conflict is another issue entirely. You have to have a specific setup with the Roku device, which is completely unrelated to the Switch. It's a really, really simple thing to fall through the net and is probably unlikely to checked in the majority of games.

Roku doesn't have a monopoly on the specific port that SwSh uses. And frankly, the fact that Roku devices were so easily overwhelmed by data by an incompatible device trying to connect suggests an security issue on their end, not just Pokémon for flooding the network with requests. If you're gonna get mad, get mad at both of the parties involved. 

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4 minutes ago, Blue Blood said:

It's such an unheard of issue. Not only are the odds of the two systems using the same port astronomically low, that it would actually result in such a messy conflict is another issue entirely. You have to have a specific setup with the Roku device, which is completely unrelated to the Switch. It's a really, really simple thing to fall through the net and is probably unlikely to checked in the majority of games.

Roku doesn't have a monopoly on the specific port that SwSh uses. And frankly, the fact that Roku devices were so easily overwhelmed by data by an incompatible device trying to connect suggests an security issue on their end, not just Pokémon for flooding the network with requests. If you're gonna get mad, get mad at both of the parties involved. 

Even if the chances were low - astronomically low even - literally less than 2 min of play testing would have uncovered the issue. Part of QC is assurance that what your developing plays nice with everything around it. The fact that it doesn't mean that they never bothered to even test a Roku - which going back to my car example - shouldn't be a viable excuse. Its not a hard to find issue. Its not a problem that pops up in rare or hard to duplicate scenarios. Its not something that would fall through the cracks.

No Roku shouldn't have a monopoly on a port or frequency, but considering that I as a consumer, am being sold a game that I can take home and play on my TV, I think the least I can expect out of my product is that I can go home and do just that.

I may shift some blame toward Roku if it turns out some dodgy security or something is to blame - but right now I find it hard to lay fault for my 2+ year old TV, thats never had a problem with any other game, not being prepared for this brand new release. Cell Phones go obsolete faster than that.

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By saying that they "didn't bother" to test a Roku makes it sound as though you expect them to check every other device connected to the network. And not to mention that it's only certain Roku models that were hit by this, not all of them.

Roku devices connect to a network and search for other Roku devices on the same network. Pokémon SwSh does the same thing. There's almost 70k ports available on a network, and there was an overlap. When certain Roku devices receive a request from Pokémon, they don't know how to handle that information, and so they disconnect from the network and reboot. It happens continually, locking the device in a bootloop. I don't know enough about how these things work, but it's such a difficult problem that you wouldn't find it during testing unless specifically looking for it. This problem could have happened with literally any other device on the market.

Roku were quick to fix the problem on their end. Your 2 year old TV has had this potential flaw ticking away for all this time. It doesn't know how to handle certain requests, so it crashes. What Pokémon is doing by flooding continual requests is a bit messy maybe, but Roku shouldn't be crashing because it receives an unknown request. That's a security issue. In theory, that same issue could be exploited maliciously.

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On 11/20/2019 at 11:18 PM, Blue Blood said:

By saying that they "didn't bother" to test a Roku makes it sound as though you expect them to check every other device connected to the network. And not to mention that it's only certain Roku models that were hit by this, not all of them.

Maybe just the ones popular in my area are the unlucky batch then?

I have 4 close friends with both Roku smart TVs and a copy of Pokemon. All 4 TVs crashed. I was under the impression that this was a problem across the board for Roku TVs in general.

It may not be all Rokus... but I've poked around and seen a wide array of models getting stuck in the reboot.

On 11/20/2019 at 11:18 PM, Blue Blood said:

 I don't know enough about how these things work, but it's such a difficult problem that you wouldn't find it during testing unless specifically looking for it. This problem could have happened with literally any other device on the market.

I debate that. Its not a hard problem to find because you literally don't have to do anything aside from turning the thing on to trigger the end result. You would find this issue while play-testing and looking for something else. Anything else. You don't have to specifically test for the overlap to find overlap. It'll obviously occur on its own.

I don't expect them to test every device known to man for compatibility issues, but I would like to see them at least kick the tires on any brand with a decent chunk of the market share on a complementary/necessary companion device.

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By "difficult to find" I'm talking about how specific it is, because the fault is with specific Roku models. You would only find it by okay testing using a Roku device, and you've no reason to look for a conflict in the premise that another device will crash when it get an unrecognised data packet. The other device should just reject information and server the connection. The fault is a security hole in the Roku devices. Game developers shouldn't be looking out for bugs in completely unrelated hardware. It's not a matter of "kicking the tyres". 

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1 minute ago, Noodle Panda said:

This would be a reasonable move if, you know, GF weren’t fucking awful.

What? I think this is a pretty awful move despite not hating Game Freak. I'm sure the devs aren't sympathetic towards leakers, so I of course wouldn't be surprised if people who actually worked on the game were the ones who called for this, and even if not I doubt they'd uh...object. I can understand from their POV even if, again, I agree this is really unnecessary.

I think it's more likely higher ups who are pissed off about the game probably losing some sales because of the leaks though, lol. It doesn't matter how well it sold regardless, TPCi needs maximum profit.

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It is NOT GameFreak that is taking action against Leakers, it's The Pokemon Company International. Despite what people think about GameFreak, TPCi runs the show as an independent entity. They're pissed that they got caught with their pants down; rushing the games to keep that sweet merch gravy train going.

https://kotaku.com/the-pokemon-company-wants-to-hunt-leakers-on-4chan-dis-1840037587

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