This is gonna be super long, and I’m not sure whether anyone will read this, or if anyone will care, but it seems like the right time to add my story to this thread! So, here goes…
I first joined this game in 2013. Back then, all of the cool kids hung round outside Viridian. I remember spending weeks (literally) hunting for a lucky egg in Safari zone. Weeks looking for decent Dratini, because Dragonite has always been my favourite Pokemon. I remember biking up past Viridian and seeing all of the trainers gathered round outside, and wanting to be like one of those guys. I remember trolling channel chat mercilessly – ‘Lucky egg giveaway on CH3 Lavender Town’ and then laughing my ass off as swarms of people turned up and followed me round, ‘Where’s my egg? Where’s my egg?!’ I remember the first time I ever played against a guy’s Starmie, and it absolutely ripped me a new one. Then 2 weeks later I went back and countered and beat that guy. I remember the first time I ever got ‘stalled out’ by a Blissey, and I was genuinely in awe. It seemed like dark magic or something. I grinded and worked and finally got a team that I could take to Viridian gym, and become ‘one of the cool kids’. My first match went down to the wire. Some guy’s Nidoking missed his Megahorn on my Dragonite, I took him down and went nuts. It felt so awesome. I carried on winning (and losing) for a while…and then they introduced breeding. I’m dedicated to my Pokemon, but that was a huge blow. I worked hard trying to breed for about a month, but finally just gave up, and moved onto other things…
Fast forward to summer 2016 and Pokemon Go hit the market. I wasn’t interested in that nooby game, but it made me want to start playing Pokemon again, and actually be good at Pokemon (not just good at mashing a button). So, I came back. The first thing I did was log in, and check where my old Pokemons where at. Unfortunately, I couldn’t remember half the buttons. So I went into the daycare to check on my old Dragonite, who I’d been breeding, but couldn’t get the lady at the desk to talk to me. I stood there for ages, spamming chat: ‘HOW DO I GET THIS LADY TO TALK TO ME?’ Nobody responded, until this one guy finally came up to me, stood right in my face and said, ‘KYS kid’. Lol.
After I worked out the basics again, I started the biggest grind of my life. I identified the 6 or 7 Pokemon which I liked the most, and said I am going to grind non-stop until I get these. And so I did. From July to the end of September, I spent every single spare moment of my life fighting NPC trainers, breeding and trying to get the best pokes possible. Some of the grind sessions were ridiculous – literally waking up at 9am on a Saturday and fighting NPCs until 9 at night. And then, it happened. Shiny Skarmory appeared. And the IVs were great too! I don’t care about shinies, and I don’t like Skarm that much, so I was just thinking $$$. I put it in trade chat and immediately all hell broke loose. I was getting messages right, left and centre:
‘PLZ PLZ GIVE ME YOUR SKARMORY I’ll DO ANYTHING PLZ.’
‘PLZ ILL LET YOU HAVE MY MUM AND MY SISTER JUST PLZ PLZ GIVE ME YOUR SKARM.’
You get the idea…I actually had to log off because it stressed me out so badly. When I came back on, I eventually sold it for 30 million. I probably could have got more, but I was a noob back then.
Anyway fast forward a few months and I finally had the team I wanted. I was ready to fight (now outside of Vermillion). I won my first match, and just carried on beating people. Then one day a guy turned around to me and was like ‘Hey, I like your style, do you wanna join my team?’ I was on the fence, but eventually he persuaded me. That guy was Rusty, the original leader of HERB. So I joined up, and I started playing HERB tournaments. Those early days were the most fun I ever had on this game. It was me, Wu, Law, Rusty, Sjado, Obama, Gallick and some others. I remember us all going to catch Mewtwo, and me getting it at the first attempt, before getting rolled by some guy’s Snorlax. I remember winning my first ever tournament vs PkmnTrainerJC, with salac berry Gardevoir, and losing the title the very next week. I remember getting flinched haxed by Law's Aero in my first ever tournament, semi final, and just being absolutely devastated.
Anyway, come late December Rusty wasn’t on very much anymore. A big argument ensued between certain other members of the team, and I eventually ended up being given the title of Boss, pretty much by default. This wasn’t something I had planned for or expected at all, so I had to get used to the position very fast. I would like to think I’ve done an okay job, although there have been ups and downs. I won a record number of HERB tournaments, had some killer matches outside Vermillion and recruited a group of staple players into HERB who I hope will be there for a long time. I still never won an official though, even at Uber tier, and I have always come up just short against the really top players on this game =[. It's been really eye-opening though, and I think it's genuinely taught me a lot - which isn't something that you ever expect to happen in an online video game.
From July onwards things went downhill for me a bit. You can only run the same 6 Pokemon for so long before everyone figures you out, and even though I would like to think I’m good at what I do – everyone has limitations, especially if people are prepared for you. I hate losing, especially outside of Verm. I find it humiliating and difficult to take, and the losses just kept coming. My confidence was gone, I just couldn't do it anymore. The 6 mons I run though are the only 6 Pokemon I like , so I’d rather die using them than live using something else. This game isn’t about winning for me, it’s about winning with my favourite Pokemon, and if I can’t do that then there’s just no joy for me.
When it was announced that Gen 5 was going to be the next one, I knew my goose was cooked. Gen 4 I could handle, but Gen 5 just doesn’t hold any interest for me. It’s the right time to retire and hang up my Pokeballs, and so I gave Xatu the boss title. I know people on this forum have mixed views on Xatu, and some of his suggestions are hilariously funky – conga line (lol) but he truly cares about this game and he is a genuinely good dude, so I can’t think of a better person to lead team HERB forward.
I have made some amazing friends on this game – @SteveDerBaum @WuMethodMan, @TrixieTheTank @Xatu, plus so many others, and it’s got me through a tough time in my life. This game is so different to anything else out there, and I hope it carries on for years to come.
And so, my journey ends here. It’s been absolutely amazing, and I don’t think I will ever enjoy playing another game as much as I have this one. I have loved every minute of it. <3 HERB.
TLDR: I had a great year. Cya.