Pokemon GO’s Hoenn Tour ups events to two days, adds hosted event in Vegas

    
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It’s still not a December event announcement, but Pokemon Go has announced some Pokemon Go Tour: Hoenn event details, and they are actually not bad. The official page is quite low on details, but the press information we got has some stuff to be excited about. The biggest one is that the event is two days, up from one.

Both the previous Kanto and Johto tour events suffered from being overstuffed for a single-day event. My general recommendations had been for Niantic to either cut out the dull chores or extend the event. It’s why I often recommended that if players had to choose an event each year, it should be Go Fest, as apart from 2017’s disaster, Go Fest’s two-day style made it a far better value. Extending the event could change things, but there are other details to note in the announcement.

Unlike in past years, Niantic is holding an earlier in-person event in Las Vegas, which gives it a bit of a Go Fest vibe. The Vegas event will be held on February 18th and 19th from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. local time; however, early bird $25 tickets are for a single day. There are paid upgrades depending on activities you enjoy, including a second-day add-on (without granting the one-time quests again), which is slightly concerning, but let’s go over the basics.

Via PR and various parts of the official site, we learned the following details for the Vegas-Ticketed portion of the event:

  • There are “secret codes” hidden throughout Sunset Park that trainers will need to find to earn the chance for encounters with “Legendary Pokemon” which are probably just the Regis, but Niantic hasn’t specified that. At best, it’s probably just Hoenn legendaries, but those are still some of the strongest pokemon in the game to date.
  • A Special Research story only for ticket-holders will be available, and it involves working alongside the Team GO Rocket Leaders.
  • Primal Reversion is coming, at least for Primal Kyogre and Primal Groudon during the event. There has been some concern about how the initial reveal lacking shiny symbols meant this Mega-esque form would work differently (maybe as an entirely separate pokemon), but the site’s been updated to include the shiny status, so we’ll simply have to see what happens. There’s also “Primal Surge Field Research leading to encounters with Primal Groudon or Primal Kyogre,” but they’ll also be in raids (as will all the Deoxys forms you really don’t need)
  • There’s a meet and greet with “notable Trainers from the community.”
  • Expect an increased chance of encountering Shiny Pokemon originally discovered in the Hoenn region plus access Masterwork Research leading to Shiny Jirachi that has fewer quest steps required than what free players will get. Niantic notes that this is increased shiny chances (aside from Jirachi), not guaranteed shinies, and that receiving the Masterwork Research in Vegas means you won’t be able to buy the explicitly longer version non-attendees can purchase during the free global event.
  • You’ll pick between a Ruby or Sapphire “badge.” This is probably like choosing “versions” in past events, and we’re told your choice will “shape certain aspects of the event.”
  • Snapping pictures leads to a “surprise,” which seems to be the Lati twins.
  • There’s timed research for Spinda.
  • We’re getting research quests granting Mega Energy and “Ghost Pokemon” (so Shedinja to Dusclops, most likely). This may be related to Megas released in December for the several hour long Heading to Hoenn Mega Raid Day event, but it could also be for Primal Reversion forms. We’ll have to wait and see.
  • Event eggs are on offer, including regionals Relicanth (which is big since it’s normally only in New Zealand), Torkaol, and Tropius, which can be shiny for the first time.
  • Other bonuses include 1/2 Hatch Distance, up to nine additional daily Raid Passes for spinning Photo Discs at Gyms, up to 6 special trades with 50% stardust reduction while trading within the park, “boosted chance of encountering costumed Pokémon and Unown,” and unspecified “more.”

In short, the ticketed event seems to push legendaries and offer additional shiny chances but mostly promotes status. That does seem like a lot for a one-day event, so I understand why some people might want two days, but keep in mind there’s a Global event too. That will be held the following weekend, February 25th to 26th, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. local time.

There will still be the Primal Reversion raids, a choice between the Ruby or Sapphire version badge (except for Vegas attendees, who remain locked into their previous choice), free special research, the Ghost and Mega Energy quests, and regionals in eggs, plus you can purchase the Masterwork Research for Shiny Jirachi, though with more steps than the Vegas attendees had to tackle. The big thing to note is that Niantic has said nothing of increased shinies.

However, again, the event is two days this time. Free players don’t seem to get gameplay perks like half-hatching distance, bonus raid passes, Spinda quests, Lati-pics, searching for “secret codes” and the legendaries that pop up, quests that lead to legendary encounters, or the team-up quest with the Rocket GO Leaders, but for a free event (minus paying for the Shiny Jirachi quest), that’s not bad. And for Vegas attendees, you have potentially two extra days.

I can’t speak for everyone, but especially with the poor shiny rate in previous tours for the paid experiences, I’d rather have two days to complete everything and shiny hunt for free than just one I have to pay for. It brings the tour event more in line with a free Go Fest experience. Again, as someone who has seen player reaction differences between the stress and disappointment of tours versus Go Fest’s more easy-going (if buggy) experiences, I think this seems like an improvement.

As always, though, this is Niantic. We’ve already seen errors and corrections, so expect to see updates to this page and future ones as Niantic slowly drips out details for the event.

1/18 Update: Niantic has put out official news on Primal Reversion. Briefly, it’s the same as Mega Energy, except it gives bonuses to specific weather biomes: Kyogore buffs and gives rewards to rainy weather types (Water, Bug, and Electric) while Groudon gives bonuses to sunny weather ‘mon (Fire, Grass, and Ground). I suppose this means that whenever Rayquaza’s Primal is released, it would affect Windy ‘mon (Dragon, Psychic, and Flying), so these are pokemon you’ll really want to have multiple Megas of for rotations.

It also noted that “Surge Field Research” could lead to increased chances of seeing Groudon or Kyogre. This hints at previous data mined by Pokeminers indicating that completing quests changes how the raid spawns will work. Perhaps this means Niantic will finally have frequently updating quests during events to finally help rural players?

1/19 Update: The event is now sold out.

Source: Official Hoenn Tour Website, Press Release
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