Back in November, we were introduced to the quest Looming in the Shadows, which introduced Team GO Rocket Leaders and of course the Boss Giovanni into Pokemon Go, with a series of tasks that led you to obtaining the first shadow legendary, Articuno. Then, in December, we got the special research A Challenging Development, which was exactly the same set of tasks except for the fact that you got a shadow Zapdos instead of a shadow Articuno. Now, in 2020, we have a new yet identical series of tasks called The Take-Over Continues. Which will give us a shadow Moltres.
Of course, I’ll do these quests, because I’m a bit of a bitch and I like shadow Pokemon despite how horribly useless they are. And I’ll be honest, the tasks aren’t completely different. For reasons unknown, the Spin 10 Pokestops part of The Take-Over Continues gives you a Sudowoodo instead of some EXP or stardust, but Sudowoodo isn’t that uncommon a Pokemon and the one I got is just about a 2-star. And the Team GO Rocket leaders now have slightly different Pokemon with different chances at a shiny shadow version of their first Pokemon. Even Giovanni has new Pokemon, which is great because it seems everyone got the Dugtrio apart from me. I always got the tanky, chonky Rhydon.
But thankfully, apparently, some of the tasks have been reduced. It’s not spinning Pokestops for 3 days in a row rather than 5 and you only need to purify 5 Pokemon. That second change is amazing because I haven’t managed to collect 15 shadow Zubats yet, as Zubat and Magikarp are the only Pokemon that cost 1k stardust to purify. That’s a lot of stardust savings! And with 3 days worth of spins instead of 5, you can get through the quest quite a bit more quickly, although the 5 raid requirement is still there, which means, if you are playing completely for free, it’ll take 4 days worth of free passes or the purchase of one premium pass to do within those 3 days of spinning in a row. At least there are plenty of raids you can do solo, although personally I was a bit too late with the 3 grunts for stage one and didn’t get to include an EX Raid in with those 5 raids.
Really though, it’s all mostly the same. And that’s… kinda crappy. Sure, it’s nice to get special research each month but it sucks that it’s the same special research each time, that nets you a single shadow Pokemon with almost certainly worst stats, that most players will already have if they have been playing for a while (or in November and December) and new players won’t have the candy and stardust to purify. Frankly, my shadow Articuno being my second Articuno ever AND that shadow Articuno having actually alright stats are both outliers since I just got insanely unlucky with research breakthroughs and it turns out that shadow Legendaries have the same stat chances as normal shadow Pokemon!
Seriously, the shadow birds all have randomized stats, anywhere from 0/0/0 to 15/15/15, unlike raid Pokemon which are guaranteed to be at least 67% IVS (9/9/9-ish).
You can say the same about the normal special research quests, but even Celebi, Mew, Jirachi and your first Meltan are all guaranteed to be 67% or higher and don’t repeat the same way the Team Rocket research does.
So yeah, I’d love some more variety on this special research. Even if it’s just changing the order round a little. But the changes we have gotten seem to be good… so far…