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List of common questions and misconceptions I get on Twitter

Better to answer them here where there's more room to type!

All My Research

Here is an index of all the notable science I've shared on Twitter for the Pokémon games.

What's this about?

My Twitter account is primarily for Switch Pokémon game research and things I find interesting while playing through the game. If I find information that could guide how others play, I'll share it.

My goal is to make relevant information about how the Pokémon games work public as long as it isn't harmful for it to be public. I encourage public sharing of information (hence why I do not like questions in DMs) so others can learn and build from it.

I am not a leaker in the sense that I do not have an uncle who works at Nintendo passing me secrets. Any information that I reveal early is because I found data supporting it in the game that I purchased and play on my console.

With regard to early information, I try my best to avoid story spoilers. Technical spoilers and mechanics, including the existence of new Pokémon, are free game. You should probably not follow any dataminer if you don't want to see anything spoilery at all. Even if you mute/block me, it won't stop you from seeing others talk about it on social media.

Can I DM you?

No, I am scared. In all seriousness, I usually keep my DMs closed because I got too many disturbing or harassing messages. Unless it's very private, very personal, or potentially harmful to others, most questions can be asked publicly. I prefer to keep questions public because others may know the answer, and keeping the answer in public allows others to learn and reference. Please do not seek me out on other platforms to contact me in private.

If my DMs are open, I will not answer them if the question can be asked publicly for others to learn from.

If you need to discuss privately for any other reason, e.g. asking me to look at an early draft for something, let me know and I'll open a DM.

Can I ask you a question?

Sure. My preference is either you ask it on a thread that is about your topic, or write about it and tag me from your profile. The reasons for this are:

  • If you reply to a thread, Twitter doesn't always show me that you did, especially if I'm getting a lot of notifications. Tagging me from your profile seems to have greater visibility.
  • I would rather the comments on a thread be useful to others browsing them. I do not answer off-topic questions because it encourages people to pile onto every thread asking for information. I may have hidden your reply if it was off-topic.
  • Keeping questions public allows other people to see the answer. If you DM me, someone else might ask the same question in my DMs.
  • Keep in mind that if your question is a superstition you heard from someone else, the person who is spreading the rumor should be the one to provide proof. I won't put time into debunking it if they haven't put time into proving it.

To ask a question as a post from your profile, click on Home and start typing here:

Can you help me with something in an older game?

Maybe. I don't have any experience researching Pokémon games that aren't on Switch, or side games like Unite, Quest, and Cafe. But you can always ask in case someone knows the answer to your question.

Why did you block me?

Life is too short for me to deal with you being mean, obnoxious, or spammy on my threads more than once. This hopefully improves the experience for others browsing the comments in future posts. I encourage other people to ignore or block the trolls because Twitter encourages bad posts for engagement, and giving them attention is what they want.

Yes, I do block bluecheck vultures who repost my content and strip out links/acknowledgements so they can farm engagement.

Yes, that means I blocked Centro (Leaks, Leaks3, main account, and personal account) because all he does is paraphrase and reupload what I have put hours into for clout and sweet Elon engagement cash. His reposting of my content without credit is against my wishes!

(By the way, announcing that you will continue to repost my content without credit does not make me want to unblock you.)

I have a feeling that [x] is affecting the shiny rates, encounter rates, etc! Do you know about it?

Everything I know about game mechanics is posted as soon as I assemble it. It wouldn't make any sense for me to secretly know about [x] and then only reveal it when people ask me about it. If I haven't posted about it, it is safe to assume I don't know about it.

Unfortunately, people still believe they have stumbled upon something new and tag me for months with superstitions that something unmentioned is going on. This is particularly egregious for shiny rates (where people find 1 shiny in 30, so therefore the data is wrong), but the same happens for every mechanic where people have very few data points, "feel" like something is up, and then ask me to research it.

Since it takes a lot of time to redo my research or disprove every superstition, I will only research your theory if you provide excellent mathematical evidence (here's a guide) that there is something going on. This can be footage of something "impossible" happening, or tracked data points if it is a matter of how likely something is to occur. If someone else is spreading the rumor, I would suggest you ask them for the excellent mathematical evidence instead of having me prove a negative. It only takes 5 seconds for someone to ask me to research it and hours for me to actually do it. If you are not willing to spend your free time testing it, then it should not be surprising to you that I do not want to do it in my free time either.

Here's an example where someone conducted an experiment about LGPE shiny rates because they felt something was off about the known rates -- and they turned out to be right in the end.

Run your numbers through a site like this to see how significant your numbers are (generally 95% or 99% CI).

Please note that:

  • Finding 2 shinies and not tracking any other information such as total attempts is not good research.
  • Having a "feeling" it's different isn't statistically significant.
  • Being "curious" if it changed after a patch with no evidence at all is not good reason.

Will you research [x] for me?

No. The vast majority of people chasing me down to ask me to research something are asking something that is available on Google, or would require way more time than a paid job. You should probably look elsewhere first or check in-game yourself if it's possible. This doesn't mean I won't ever research it. I may stumble upon the logic for it later, or research it as a gateway to something else.

Can I pay you to research [x] for me?

No, I already have a job, and I don't need my hobby to also feel like a job.

Can you research gen 6-7 for me? The shiny rates for [whatever method] are still unknown!

Gen 6-7 was solved years ago but people keep asking me to research it because a lot of the information is buried. I recommend this Gen 6/7 Shiny Rates table which has a source for most of the numbers. I also wrote a thread summarizing known information about DexNav Bonuses.

I did not see you post [x] specific information about outbreaks or spawning. Can you get that information for me?

No, I will not do any additional research into outbreaks or spawning. It is way too much work to figure out the exact mechanics when empirical testing by the community has already figured out 99% of what is useful to players.

It was true in 1.3.2 that location and Encounter Power affected the outbreaks. I did not test outbreaks after 1.3.2 because 2.0.1 added an fps glitch that happened if you date skipped too much, and this was not fixed until 3.0.0. If you are interested in doing testing out outbreak generation yourself, you would need to document location you were at and whether any Encounter Power was active, then track all the outbreaks you get. That would be better data than "feeling" like it works or doesn't work.

How can I contribute to game research if I'm not a dataminer?

Most questions don't require a dataminer to answer them! Here's how you can contribute:

  • This will sound stupid, but first look it up on a search engine of your choice. If it's already well-known, you probably don't want to put any work into researching it again unless you think something is incomplete/wrong about the known information. I get many questions that are a Google search away.
  • If you notice something weird, report it publicly! For example, Arven's Pokémon appearing shiny for people tipped us off that there was something wrong with the shiny lock on his Pokémon. If many players report a phenomenon happening, it's probably real, it might be interesting to look into it, and it's often the start to "Why does this happen?" and "How does this happen?"
  • If you can't find the answer or don't trust what you found, consider if the question is testable by experimenting in game. It's much more effective if 100 people who owned the game tried to answer questions rather than asking me as one person to do the same. And whatever you find, make it public so others can learn from your efforts!

Why can't you read the answer to my question in the source code?

Well, I don't have the source code. Source code is what Game Freak writes in their offices, and it'd be illegal for me to have it. I only have reverse-engineered game binaries, which I got from the games I purchased. And the disassembly/pseudocode is not always that clear.

Imagine this but everything is this. We usually don't get symbols so it's a bigger question of "Where do I even look for the answer?"

I like to use the cake recipe analogy:

You have a cake made with your grandmother's secret recipe, and you want me to figure out the secret recipe. I can either inspect it (look at it, taste it, cut it), or I can send it to a lab and have them send me a complete list of every single element in it. In this case, the secret recipe would be the game's source code.

Now, if you wanted me to figure out something like "Is the cake chocolate?" this would be a question that's easier to figure out by simply looking at the cake. It would be way harder for me to figure it out by looking at the list of elements. This is why I encourage anyone who's curious and owns the game to try figuring out the answer themselves. Reverse-engineering isn't always the most effective way!

Usually questions involving numbers are better solved through datamining, e.g. "How much egg is in the cake?" or "What's the chance of a shiny Pokémon appearing?"

This is also why dataminers can miss certain conditions. We only get an idea of what's happening, and even if we see it in the disassembly, it doesn't mean it's used the way we think it is. If we're using the cake example, this might be concluding "There are 3 eggs in the cake" and when the truth is "There are 2 in the cake and 1 in the frosting." In some cases, we're operating with only the list of elements without ever having seen the cake.

Take LGPE for a game example, where the Catch Combo shiny bonus was misunderstood for years. There weren't as many cool debugging tools back then as we have now, so it wasn't as accessible for someone to check like I did. It was a lot easier to see the numbers than to see that it was conditional.

Is it okay if I make content based on your research?

I fully expect that when I make my information public, it will be shared. A credit would be nice (simply saying where you got the information and/or providing a link back).

  • Serebii has my explicit permission to upload anything I post without having to link to me every time. Please do not tell me that because they did not credit, you do not have to either.

Are you on any other sites?

These are my only other socials, though I doubt anyone wants to impersonate me:

  • Sibuna_Switch on Twitter (main place where I post things I think are neat)
  • tverbloem on Twitch (I do not stream, I just like to visit yours!)
  • on Bluesky (I only lurk there because I am scared.)
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