Here, you can read all the updates on this site since October 25th 2003 and some of the ones from September and August 2003 - the site has been around since November 2nd 2002, but unfortunately most of the updates from the first year were never archived. Be advised that some links might take you to outdated sections or something else that has been taken off the site - I do not necessarily endorse the content of any such sections.
And good riddance, I say.
Well, I'm a bit sentimentally "but the splash! D:" about it, because human beings are silly like that, but let's face it: splash pages are terrible, my own website tips have been telling people not to make them for years, and ultimately, because these days I live with my boyfriend who doesn't have a scanner and use my laptop almost exclusively with only a terrible tiny wireless laptop mouse that doesn't work very well for when I can't use the touchpad, I'm not really in any position to make promises of semi-regular artwork anywhere. The last splash was lazily thrown together from sprites, and I sadly don't really foresee having the ability to make a real, proper splash for 4,500,000 front page hits at any point in the immediately foreseeable future. I might resurrect the tradition at some later time in a less annoying form (i.e. one that doesn't involve a splash page), but yeah.
I also made the default style Articuno Snowflake style, because it's considerably prettier than Minimal Dewgong, and made it properly carry over to the guestbook again (that was one of those remnants of the pre-fifth-generation-Zodiac system that were still there and I'd overlooked). Oh, and proper spacing between the list items on the aforementioned website tips.
Apparently, unnoticed by the Internet, Dragonair and Dragonite's catch rates were changed to 27 and 9 respectively in Yellow and then changed back to the R/B value of 45 for all the subsequent games. One lordjoe sent me an error report about having been using my R/B/Y catch rate calculator and getting the wrong number of wobbles for Dragonair but no other Pokémon, and since I needed to be testing stuff in the Safari Zone anyway for the Safari Zone mechanics, I found myself a Dragonair on a Yellow ROM and discovered the catch rate was 27. The ever-awesome magical then ripped all the catch rates so we could see if any other ones had changed in Yellow, and we found it was just the two of them.
So, long story short, I've updated the R/B/Y catch rate calculator to let you select which game you're playing, which may be slight overkill when it only makes a difference for two Pokémon (only one of whom is actually found in the wild, and only in Yellow at that), but I am nothing if not ridiculously thorough.
Have I mentioned how much I love that new discoveries about games that came out more than fifteen years ago are still being made? Because I do.
As noted above, I've been doing some Safari Zone mechanics work; the bits that are already out there on the Internet seem accurate so far, but it's looking like there will have to be some original research. Meanwhile, the details of the interactive type chart interface are churning away in my head. And so is a B2/W2 Changes section, now that I've managed to get back to playing the game. For a few days after NaNo I couldn't muster any productivity whatsoever, but now I seem to be getting back into gear; I'm making pointless code revisions that will have no visible effect whatsoever and everything.
Oh, and suddenly 4,500,000 front page hits! Thanks for that. Now excuse me while I panic about how I should have had a new splash ready by this point.
So I finished NaNoWriMo and can get back to work on the site now, whoo. I'd been working on the Interactive Type Chart, but maybe I should get to the Safari Zone mechanics first.
But yeah, I just finished this morning, so I don't have anything just now. Sorry for the lack of anything in November; I really didn't have any productive-time at all left over with all that writing.
Happy birthday to you
since two thousand and two.
To many more decades,
and to updates all through.
So today it has been ten years since The Cave of Dragonflies (or "Butterfree's Pokémon Site") first saw the light of the Internet. Unfortunately I spent most of it traveling back from England after my biannual London Expo trip, and on top of that I'm attempting to finish that silly old fanfic of mine for NaNoWriMo, so I'm afraid I don't have an awesome birthday update of epic proportions. My ever-awful traditional poetry will have to do.
Thanks to everyone who's stuck with this site for years and years. You people are amazing.
Safari Zone mechanics are next on the poll. Although I've also been itching to make the Interactive Type Chart, which is currently at number three. We'll see how my mood ends up.
I also rewrote the About Me section the other day; it started because parts of it were outdated, and then I just went and rambled about all the things, as I am wont to do.
Remember that Hotmail account I used to use for MSN Messenger that people kept e-mailing me at even though I never checked the Hotmail e-mail inbox? Well, I got locked out of it (either somebody got into it and changed my password, or I changed my password at some point and forgot it), and when I tried to reset the password the security question refused to budge against either of the possible actual answers. I sent an account recovery request to Microsoft, but frustratingly, almost all the questions it asks you about the account to verify that it's yours didn't actually apply to my Messenger-only use of it, because they involved Xbox Live accounts or custom mail folders or subjects of recent e-mails you've sent. I tried to type "Can I please talk to a human being?" into one of the recent e-mail subject fields, but the only responses I got not-so-helpfully instructed me to please fill out the form again, until the last one told me I'd made too many account recovery requests and suggested I make a new account.
Long story short, if you want to IM me, you should use my new identity, which is just my Gmail account (firstname.lastname@example.org). At least this means people will e-mail me at the right address.
(Contrast this to when I lost my Gmail account in 2007, where I sent a freeform e-mail to Google explaining my case for that being my account and got it back a few days later with no harm done. As if I weren't annoyed enough with Microsoft after this, when I signed up again with the Gmail it reminded me that Windows Live has a sixteen-character upper limit on password length, which I hope to God is merely unnecessary and not because they're actually storing plaintext passwords.)
Aristicus reminded me in the guestbook that there were some submitted challenge ideas I'd yet to put into Fancy a Challenge?, so I did that. And while I was at it I also reorganized the section so that the challenges wouldn't just be all over each other in no sensible order.
If you haven't seen the previous update yet, please read that as well; there's a new Site Poll.
Well, that took longer than I thought.
The good news is that the reason it took so long is (largely) that I ended up making two sections out of it, in addition to splitting off the stat stages: Battling Basics, and the new Battle Mechanics. Basically this is to make the distinction between introducing the reader to the concepts - which few people who've been playing the games and absorbing information off the Internet for a while should need - and covering the detailed mechanics, in a way that wouldn't make them get in each other's way.
The battle mechanics section itself is a bit different in concept this time around. Instead of explaining the exact damage formula from one generation, I took what all the games have in common, explained the commonalities and how they differ, and left out the most trivial details like the order in which everything is multiplied together. Personally I don't really care about those trivial details (and Game Freak don't seem to care about them either, since they keep changing them around) and think the section is more interesting by focusing on the common ground without trying to go into every last minutia, but if that doesn't suit your purposes, I also included links to the more detailed coverage on UPC and Smogon.
I have also, at the urging of visitors who pointed out the current Almighty Random Poll had been there for over a year, finally changed the poll. And to go with it, there's also a new Site Poll. To elaborate, there are several things I want to make right now, and while I'm just vaguely thinking I want to do them I don't know if I'm ever going to actually get them done. To explain the options on the new site poll:
- Interactive Type Chart
- This would essentially replace the Ultimate Type Tool in its current form, or so I'd hope. Basically, the type tool has always been kind of clunky to use, and the other day I suddenly started getting ideas about how I could make an interactive type chart that could answer the same questions the type tool does and more. Note that this doesn't mean just "a fancy-looking type chart"; it would be like a type chart also serving as a more visual version of the type tool. I've pretty much decided I'm going to do this, because I just think it would be fun, but if nobody's enthusiastic about it I could try to do something else first.
- Weather/Field Effects
- Basically, while I have separate sections on stat stages and status ailments, covering many of the non-damage things that moves can do, I still don't have any real coverage of weather effects (or other field effects such as Gravity), and as I was writing the battle mechanics section it started to feel like a pretty significant omission. The idea would be to make something like the stat stages and status ailments sections, with comprehensive coverage of what moves/abilities/etc. relate to these effects and explanations of the mechanics of what they generally do.
- Safari Zone Mechanics
- I've been wanting to make this for ages, since it's a classic example of the kind of section I've really wanted to find and been unable to, and talking about it since the second-generation capture mechanics, but I still haven't gotten around to it because I keep getting distracted by something else. This would cover the mechanics of Safari Zones in every generation.
- Movie Reviews
- I'm a couple of movies behind now, having watched the thirteenth movie twice but never gotten around to writing the actual review. It's pretty silly having reviews up to the twelfth movie and then just leaving off there, so I should probably try to get this done, but I don't know how much anyone else cares about my rambly movie reviews.
- Pokémon Conquest Review
- Thanks to Negrek for reminding me I was going to do this, too. I haven't actually done more than a couple of the postgame missions so far, so I'd want to do a bit more, but I already have several things I'd like to say about it.
- Better Quiz Scripts
- The other day somebody e-mailed me asking for help with one of my quiz scripts, and as always when I look at something I wrote years ago, I cringed and immediately felt that I must rewrite the whole thing. This would not be quite as pointless as most of my rewritings, because I'm less of a terrible programmer now and could therefore make it way more flexible and convenient - scripts where you only have to edit constants at the beginning, say, instead of following lengthy instructions.
- Something Else
- Of course, if you think all of that sounds terrible, or if I've forgotten something I promised to make ages ago that you'd rather see me do, feel free to vote this and comment in the guestbook.
- You Suck
- Because it wouldn't be a Cave of Dragonflies poll without this option.
After further research and testing for the new battle mechanics section, I've made a correction to the Stat Stages section's treatment of accuracy and evasion; what I was describing as the current interplay between the two was only how it worked in G/S/C, and R/S/E nerfed them again by essentially combining them into one stat stage for the purposes of accuracy checks. This has been on UPC for years, but I'd forgotten about it, and making sure they had accuracy/evasion right was obviously not among Smogon's top priorities. If you've been planning your awesome Sand-Attack/Double Team combo after reading the page as it was, I'm afraid I have to shatter your dreams; they'll still have a 33% chance of hitting you.
The battle mechanics page is still in progress. It's around 6500 words right now; I've covered all the concepts and turn order, am doing the part about accuracy checks (hence the correction now), and have yet to write the sections on critical hits, damage calculation and secondary effects. I expect it'll be done sometime this week or next week at the latest.
As I was working on the new battle mechanics section, the part on stat stages kept bugging me; it didn't properly feel like it belonged where it was and seemed to be overcomplicated and kind of tangential to the real point compared to what I wanted the battle mechanics page to be. So I ended up splitting it off into a separate section, which not only explains the basics of stat stages but also comprehensively covers the moves, abilities and so on that work with stat stages, like my status ailments page. (I've also clarified and added a couple of things on that page that I discovered during my research for the stat stages page.)
Since I got sidetracked by that, I'm still working on the new battle mechanics section itself, but that will be coming and I still maintain that it will be soon, damn it.
After a tip from a visitor (thanks again!), I discovered I'd stupidly failed to retest the catch rate calculators in different browsers after I made tweaks to the code, and as a result they've been broken in Chrome ever since I unthinkingly created a global variable called "status" (which clashes with the window.status property, but worked in Firefox anyway). I've fixed that now, so they're working again.
Since I'm updating, I might as well tell you that I'm working on rewriting the battle mechanics section, so that should be up at some point hopefully soon, and I'm also planning to review Pokémon Conquest.
I just finished rewriting basically the entirety of the FAQ. This was mainly because its generally annoyed, ranty, condescending tone made me sound like a perpetually irritated jerkwad and I was starting to find it horribly grating. It should be a lot better in that regard now. The old FAQ did have the advantage of having been read through for typos, awkwardness, etc. about fifteen hundred times in all, so the writing in the new one may suffer somewhat in comparison, but in time it'll be smoothed over the same way.
I removed a few questions in addition to rewriting nearly all the answers; mostly they were questions I at least tentatively believe I'm unlikely to get again at this point, such as the "Your site is boring when it's just white" question, which only really made sense when Minimal Dewgong was the only default style.
I also revised the Contact Me section a few days ago for similar reasons.
Before I get to the Safari Zone mechanics, I went and made more changes to the catch rate calculators. In addition to further rearranging of the code, they now all (like the second-generation one) calculate the chance properly for every possible HP IV instead of just assuming the Pokémon has an average IV and that that chance is approximately the average chance. Also like the second-generation calculator, there is a "Show detailed report?" box you can use to choose whether you want to see the chances for each IV or the actual average chance given you have no prior information about the IVs of the Pokémon.
They all come with caveats about how the detailed report is usually not very useful, but what the hell, it's fun and more precisely accurate. Note that if you've viewed any of the capture mechanics pages recently, you may need to hard-refresh (usually shift+refresh) in order for your browser to load the updated scripts.
I fixed the HP bars on the capture mechanics pages like I said (a bit later than I'd hoped, but oh well); now, instead of just having a blocky white background for the purpose of showing up better in darker styles, they have a white outline that follows the contours of the bar itself. The fifth-generation HP bar also now has the correct yellow/red colors (I couldn't find any clear screenshots of low HP initially and was too lazy to get any at that point, so I just reused the fourth-generation colors, but now it has the exact colors it's supposed to have).
Next up: Safari Zone mechanics for all generations with Safari Zones! Or at least that's what I'm planning to do next, at any rate. With me you never know if I suddenly decide to do something completely different.
The second-generation capture mechanics section is up, and its catch rate calculator's new interface additions - a clickable HP bar making it way less cumbersome to specify the HP, and a graphical bar to help with visualization when you've calculated the capture rate - have also been implemented on the previous capture mechanics pages. This makes them prettier and more useful. I also reorganized the code behind them in a way that should make it easier to implement future catch rate calculators.
The HP bars could look a bit better in dark styles; I'll probably prettify them a bit sometime during the weekend when I get the chance.
magical found yet another flaw in UPC's analysis of the fifth-generation capture formula the other day: the chance of a critical capture has a division by six that poccil seems to have overlooked. So critical captures are six times less likely than my catch rate calculator used to say. I fixed this on my fifth-generation capture mechanics page a few days ago.
Meanwhile, somebody actually e-mailed me about G/S/C Gameshark codes to encounter a level 52 Blissey with exactly 342 HP, so I could finally test it! ... except that nothing interesting happened and it just behaved roughly the same as trying to catch a Blissey with 336 HP. So did the 349 HP Blissey. Which appears to mean UPC and iimarckus were wrong about the possibility of disastrous truncations and underflows and the formula isn't nearly as interestingly wonky as I thought it was. D: I have a theory about why this is, but whatever the cause, obviously this renders large chunks of the in-progress G/S/C capture mechanics page incorrect, so ignore that for now while I get things confirmed and revamp it.
UPDATE EDIT: I went and pored over the code myself, and it turns out they weren't wrong, but there's another truncation that happens to exactly counteract all the other wonkiness with level 53 Blissey. I'm still puzzling over why the game doesn't appear to be dividing by zero when I try to catch the 342-HP Blissey, and I've yet to get around to testing Moon Balls and doing something more thorough about Heavy Balls, but at least the formula is still interestingly wonky - even more so than I thought, even - so I'm happy.
FURTHER UPDATE EDIT (06/06/12): The explanation for the lack of division by zero with the 342 HP Blissey turns out to be that it didn't have 342 HP in the first place. You see, apparently the Gameshark code people use to set the level of a wild Pokémon just changes what the game says the level is, rather than the actual level that the game uses to calculate the stats. When I'd caught the Blissey their stats were recalculated, so on my PC they appeared to be level 52 with 342 HP, but while I was battling them they were actually level 23 behind the scenes and only had 157 HP.
So once I managed to hack an encounter with a Blissey that was actually level 52, the game dutifully divided by zero, went into an infinite loop and froze like it was supposed to (now, there's a sentence you don't hear every day). This confirms the previous analysis of the algorithm, and in the process of all this I also discovered a memory location where the calculated X value is stored, which let me easily test everything else that had yet to be fully confirmed regarding balls and so on.
I am going to do a teensy bit more geeky analysis before I put up the updated page, but yay, the formula is wonky and the game is horribly buggy and it makes me so sad when people don't find this as awesome as I do.
The new version of the page also has a couple of fancy flourishes for more graphical visualization of things, which I'm planning to implement on the other capture mechanics pages as well when I'm done.
Well, I promised the second-generation capture mechanics this weekend, so although I didn't have any luck testing the division by zero thing and realized a couple of other things were tentative after writing that update the other day, here it is. I've marked the tentative stuff to the best of my ability and will try to get around to getting it straight as soon as possible. I didn't put the page on the menu for now since that stuff is still uncertain, but it will go there when things are cleared up.
Meanwhile, magical was looking into the fifth-generation capture algorithm and discovered a couple of tidbits: in the fifth generation, the Quick Ball gives a 5x bonus on the first turn, and sleep and freezing have a status multiplier of 2.5 rather than 2. These things have been corrected on my fifth-generation capture page.
I've rewritten the stat mechanics section, in the hope of making it better written, somewhat more accessible, somewhat more up-to-date, and most importantly, more accurate. Specifically, there had been a lot of confusing and conflicting information depending on where I looked regarding the calculation of the value I call E in the section from stat experience in R/B/Y/G/S/C. When I complained about this to the awesome magical, he went and found the stat calculation routine and got to the bottom of it in a way that finally made perfect sense. So now I am finally confident that this page has it right.
I am also in the process of making a huge analysis of the second-generation capture formula and the ridiculousness that will go on if you try to catch a Pokémon with more than 341 max HP, but I really need to go to bed now and there's a lot of work left to be done on the page even though I've managed (with some help) to find out most everything that seemed ambiguous by now. (Still yet to find out what happens when the game tries to divide by zero. Yes, it really appears that it will try to do that if you attempt to catch something with exactly 342 max HP.) Expect that tomorrow or in the weekend at the latest.
Somehow it took me this long to realize that I'd gotten 2003 and 2004 mixed up on the April Fools' joke archive. I've now corrected the mistake; the joke I said was from 2004 was actually from 2003, while 2004 appears to have had no joke.
I also realized that I'd forgotten to remove the translation function on the update comment links, so adding
?lang=is to the front page URL would randomly switch those to Icelandic as well as the Zodiac. Though I guess that was vaguely amusing, I've removed it now so that the Zodiac is the only thing affected by the easter egg as I'd intended. (Can you even call it an easter egg if you talk about it in public? I'm not sure what else to call it.)
Yes, yesterday's update was an April Fools' joke. I would start to go on about how surprised I am that people actually bought it, but I kind of already did that on the new April Fools' joke archive I just created to keep a record of all the April Fools' Day jokes the site has had over the years. So look there for the explanation of why this site will never actually be translated into Icelandic and how you can still generate Icelandic Zodiac images.
As interest in Pokémon in Iceland has been skyrocketing in the past few years, I've after some thought decided that this website could do more good in my native tongue than in the same language as ninety percent of the Internet. I still need to comb through the whole site to translate everything and change all the banners in all the styles and so on, but I've started off by translating the front page and menu, as well as the Zodiac script (so the date shown near the top of the page is translated, as are the Zodiac images generated by the script, even though I haven't gotten around to translating the actual page yet).
This will be the final English update; it's just here to explain to my non-Icelandic visitors what's going on. If you don't understand Icelandic, I'm sorry for the inconvenience.
Þar sem áhugi á Pokémon á Íslandi hefur farið stigvaxandi undanfarin ár hef ég að vel ígrunduðu máli ákveðið að þessi síða sé betur sett á ástkæra ylhýra heldur en á sama tungumáli og níutíu prósent af veraldarvefnum. Ég á enn eftir að kemba í gegnum allt til að þýða undirsíðurnar og hausmyndirnar í öllum stílunum, en til að byrja með hef ég þýtt forsíðuna og valmyndina auk dagatalsforritsins (þannig að dagsetningin efst á síðunni og dagatalsmyndirnar sem forritið býr til eru á íslensku, þótt ég hafi ekki þýtt síðuna sjálfa ennþá).
Velkomin í hinn nýja Helli drekaflugnanna!
Having gotten fed up with the fact nearly everyone I speak to in real life who finds out I have a website subsequently asks if I have ads on it (and then why I don't), as well as the regular influx of people e-mailing me because they think they can get me to put some tantalizingly irrelevant links on my site for a hundred bucks, I have added a FAQ item about that. Although somehow I don't get the feeling those would-be advertisers actually read the FAQ.
I really should have gotten this done ages ago, but I've finally made those illustrations for the genetics theory. They're no works of art, but I think they should get the job done. I also moved the gamete formation section below the "How It Works" section, since the former is more technical. I may mess around with the layout of the thing later.
Yes, I'm aware the forums aren't working. The actual problem has already been sorted out, but there's going to be a bit of a delay before the proper URL gets working again; in the meantime, however, you can use the alternate URL, which is working fine.
Phew. I've had a really busy month, so I'm sorry to say this isn't a proper update, just a note that since Black and White 2 are now available for pre-order at Play-Asia, I've put new pre-order links on the link bar, for those who are interested.
UPDATE EDIT: Because I am apparently allergic to actually doing my homework when I intend to and have been getting way too many people complaining about it recently, I made the featured section work again in its full randomized glory.
I happened to read a bit of the spriting guide and discover that it was largely terribly written, so I went and rewrote most of the text in the recoloring, revamping and splicing sections and some of the rest. Man, I really need to get around to making that outline shading guide.
I tweaked the genetics theory a bit more, most notably the bit about move inheritance (adding in why the mother and father both need to know level-up moves for them to be passed on, but only the father needs to know TM/egg moves), but also rewording various parts to make at least somewhat more genetic sense. Going to make illustrations for the whole gamete formation thing, too, as per Negrek's suggestion.
So I wrote a thing. I hope it more or less works, but I can't shake the feeling it may completely not.
I am now, for the first time in a long while, up-to-date on affiliation/site rating requests. As usual, some requests were ignored because they were down, hadn't been updated for three months, had announced they were closing, were no longer properly Pokémon sites, etc.; if yours was one of them and you bring it back, you will now have to send me another request. Also, for some time now I could actually respond to affiliation/site rating requests at a sensible time, so this is probably the time to make one if you're going to.
Over these past years where I've slacked off a lot with responding to affiliation requests, I've noticed a very prominent and consistent trend of the number of sites that are actually still around, active and Pokémon-themed being inversely proportional to how long it's been since they submitted the request. The turnover rate of Pokémon sites, in other words, is pretty tragically high. I can't help sometimes feeling like I should delay responding to affiliation requests on purpose just so only the ones that really mean it will be left by the time I actually consider their request - over the years I've spent far too much time typing out lengthy advice for sites only to have them die on me a few months later anyway. But that would be extremely annoying for the applicants that really do mean it and I have a feeling I'd just fall even further behind on them, so I won't.
Stop giving up so much, webmasters.
And the year that The Cave of Dragonflies turns ten years old is here.
I've added that example about the new genetics theory to the fan theory guide, as promised. It rambles a bit about how I came to those particular conclusions about the theory, so if you find that interesting you might want to check it out even if you don't plan on making your own fan theories.
Now for that yearly tradition, the New Year's Thanks. For 2011, I would like to thank the following people:
- Dannichu, for hosting our Week of Centrifuges and TARDISes last May. I had an unbelievably wonderful time and can't wait to have more extended stays with you (if you'll have me, of course).
- opaltiger, for Roger Waters, housing me those other few days in May, watching ReGenesis, helping organize TV Tropes Mafia, laughing at my horrible Mario Kart playing, and all those TMI conversations. :D
- elyvorg, for writing the most wonderfully heartbreaking fanfic in the universe, Tefiren, reviewing Morphic, squeeing over fictional characters' fear and suffering with me, listening to my rambles about Dave, housing me in October, watching things, and being generally wonderful.
- Espeon, for conspiring with me to make an April Fools' joke. It was wonderful and hilarious. Also being at the Expo!
- Everyone else who was part of 2011's epic Expotimes, because it wouldn't have been the same without all of you. :D
- Psychic, because I love you no matter how long it takes you to judge contests, Sickie-Snookums. :3
- Shadey, for being the softest cuddliest most wonderfullest f***ing scientist.
- Kratos Aurion, for unwittingly being the reason Shadey and I now routinely call one another 'f***ing scientist'. Somehow. I'm sure you're very proud. Also for agreeing to be a sibling site.
- Everyone who played TV Tropes Mafia and didn't stop sending in night actions, because I had so much fun with that. I really need to get around to reviving it.
- My dad, for continuing to be an all-around cool guy that I can talk to about computers and genetics and evolution.
- Penn & Teller, because I just love them, damn it.
Happy new year, everyone. Hope you all had a good 2011.
Page last modified February 21 2018 at 19:36 GMT