Ever since ‘Exclusive Raid Battles’ were announced back in August 2017, Pokemon Go players have been clamouring to get one of these special raid passes in order to catch MewTwo. Niantic has offered some advice about eligibility, but even with this, very few people have received one. It isn’t that the advice is wrong: it’s just way too vague.
The company says you must have successfully completed a raid ‘recently’ at the gym where the EX Raid will occur, and that they occur most frequently at sponsored gyms and gyms in parks. It also recommends you have a high-level gym badge for that gym to be in with a better chance of getting an invite.
Which gyms are eligible for an EX Raid?
It has been discovered that Pokemon Go uses the somewhat common method of S2 cells for dividing up the world into manageable and identifiable segments.
These cells determine many things within the game, from weather to Pokemon spawn points and – yes – EX Raids. There are 30 levels within S2 to enable a sphere to be split up into regions of different sizes. Using level 12 cells to divide up a local region results in there being just one or two EX Raid gyms per cell.
Use the sliders to set min and max to level 12, then set the max cells to around 20. You can then use the rectangle or circle tool to draw over your local area(s). Not all gyms within a cell are eligible for EX Raids, of course.
Here, Niantic’s information helps, as you can narrow down which gyms to raid at to only those which are sponsored or – more likely – in a park. What’s defined as a park? Recently, the game swapped Google maps for OSM.
This means that only areas tagged as ‘park’ are considered a park in Pokemon Go.
If a park is large, it may straddle multiple cells. It’s well worth raiding at all eligible gyms in the park as raiding only within one cell won’t give you the best chance to get a pass.
How to raid at eligible gyms
Heading out on your own isn’t a good idea. It seems that there’s a minimum amount of raid activity needed at an eligible gym in order to ‘trigger’ an EX Raid.
In February 2018 a wave of passes was sent out to people who hadn’t raided at the gym in question for months, and some had merely spun the photo disc or battled Pokemon in the gym. Niantic confirmed this was a bug. So the best plan is still to arrange with local players to head out and hit those gyms together as a group.
If you don’t know anyone, search for a local Facebook group or try the Discord app to search for a local group. If there isn’t one, create one and start the ball rolling.
Note that it isn’t necessary to catch the raid boss. Niantic’s definition of successfully completing a raid simply means defeating the boss.
When you participate in raids, it’s a good idea to use the ‘private group’ option. This prevents spoofers from joining in and potentially taking one of the limited EX Raid passes from those who play legitimately.
Will all this guarantee me an EX Raid pass?
Sadly not, but from my experience it isn’t necessary to have a high-level gym badge or have raided multiple times at that gym. A local group in the London borough of Bexley used these techniques to identify eligible gyms in two local parks and successfully triggered multiple EX Raids in both parks.
It’s also unnecessary to only raid when there’s a high-level raid boss at those gyms. Defeating a level 1 boss (such as Magikarp) appears to be just as effective as defeating a level 5 legendary, so long as there are lots of people participating. If there are fewer people, stick to high level raid bosses.
Not every player in the raids mentioned above received an EX Raid pass, but many did and many had never raided at those gyms before.
Players also ranged from mid-level (under 30) right up to level 40. There was also a mix of those who play for hours every day to others who played only occasionally. Niantic has, however, made some teaks to the selection process.
It says “the number of Gyms that meet the necessary criteria for an EX Raid Battle will increase. Additionally, the average number of Trainers invited per Gym will also rise, as we’ve made a few tweaks to the way they are selected. Thanks to these two changes, more Trainers will have the opportunity to engage with the EX Raid Battle feature.”
It went on to clarify that “Trainers with a higher level Gym Badge are now even more likely to receive an invitation for an EX Raid Battle at that location.
Similarly, Trainers who complete more Raid Battles (at any location) the week before EX Raid Battle invitations are sent will now have a greater chance of being selected.”
You have to bear in mind that EX Raids seem to occur once a fortnight and passes are sent out in waves. So try and find out from local players if they know when the gym last hosted an EX Raid.
If it has never hosted a raid, you might have to raid there two weekends in a row to be sure your timing is right. Expect to get around 10 days’ notice of the EX Raid.
They can be on weekdays as well as weekends which means you may not be able to attend if you can’t take time off work. It’s also a reason to carefully pick your raiding locations if you’re trying to get a pass: there’s no sense in raiding anywhere too far from home or work, or while you’re on holiday if you can’t return to that place in 10 days’ time.
How to catch MewTwo
You’ve a better chance of catching this elusive legendary than others. The base catch rate is set at 6% (it’s 2% for Kyogre), and you’ll increase your chances if you use a golden razzberry and throw a curve ball.
Even more if you get a Nice, Great or Excellent throw. To maximise the number of balls you get, plan ahead and see if you can arrange with other players from your team to raid as a private group. The team which does the most damage gets extra balls (team contribution), so if there’s no-one from the other two teams, you get extra by default.
If your team also controls the gym in question – and you have a Pokemon in the gym yourself – you’ll get the gym control bonus which can be up to two extra balls. There’s a maximum of 13 Premier Balls up for grabs.
You can use the Battle Party feature to pre-select the Pokemon you’ll use to beat MewTwo, and avoid re-entering the battle with different Pokemon as this will reset your damage contribution: revive your first team using Max Revives if they all faint.
Fortunately, Niantic has updated MewTwo’s distance and it’s now closer than before, so is easier to hit. If you want to practice, the most similar Pokemon in terms of distance and catch ring size are Snorlax and Arcanine.
Sadly, they’re rare to find, but Pigeot and Clefable are also roughly the same distance.
Full fibre is something the UK has held back on and while the obvious response is to blame big bad BT, the reasons are much more nuanced and in terms of attracting new firms with the money and no legacy to hold them back the UK has had several entrants for a few years now. Back when Matt Hanock MP was Minister for Digital the Local Full Fibre Network fund was announced as part of a push for full fibre to be the much more default connection technology but as we’ve seen this fund is rapidly turning into either a pet project fund or ways of improving council connectivity with the promise of savings further down the line. The London Borough of Bexley is one of the latest to make a bid for full fibre funding and in a bid worth GBP8 million (GBP5 million from the fund and GBP3 million from the council) they are aiming connect some 300 council buildings (includes CCTV, libraries and GP surgeries.
The bid is a joint one with Bexley Clinical Commissioning Group. GBP7 million will be used to create a private fibre network, with GBP1 million for vouchers which are meant to help existing and new business coming to the area to connect to Gigabit broadband. There is a four point Digital Infrastructure Plan:
- Digital ‘in fill’ to help most existing homes in Bexley to have access to super and ultra-fast broadband.
- Ensuring that all new developments are built with access to a choice of ultra-fast broadband infrastructure providers.
- A new Bexley Growth ‘fibre’ network to serve public buildings, partners and businesses.
- Borough-wide coverage of high speed, high capacity wireless and mobile services.
Bexley is currently sat at 96.6% superfast coverage and ultrafast coverage is at 75.8% so point one of the plan can be ticked off since most existing homes do have an option, there is some 3.4% of premises that still fall below the USO standards though.
The new developments is interesting, since it a number of London Boroughs when new flats are built it is common to see both Openreach and Hyperoptic full fibre present, so it will be interesting to see how Bexley ensures this is the case for all developments, across the UK some sites have lock outs (SeeTheLight – INFL commonly) so point two of the plan is ruling that out.
This is still just a bid, but if successful it is said that procurement will take place in 2018/2019 and we would based on the description expect to see CityFibre as the front runner.
For local authorities looking for ways to improve legacy networks the fund is clearly useful, but at the time the fund was announced lots of people thought it was a sign of big change in direction for the Government in terms of ensuring more full fibre is delivered to the residential market, but as yet that swing has not created any big changes, beyond a feel good factor.
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PUBLISHED: 17:05 05 February 2018
Cllr Linda Bailey
Bexley has submitted a bid to improve Bexley broadband, as part of its new digital infrastructure plan.
The bid, made to the Department of Digital, Culture Media and Sport, supports the creation of a new GBP7m private fibre network, and a further GBP1m for a voucher scheme, designed to help enable local and future businesses to be able to access ultra-fast, gigabit broadband services.
It would provide ultrafast broadband connectivity between a network of public buildings across the borough, and the capacity to provide gigabit broadband services for many local businesses and residents. It comes as part of the council’s plan to work with public and private partners in order to bring about a step-change in ultra-fast fixed and mobile digital services, which will help make Bexley a preferred borough for investment. Cllr Don Massey, deputy leader of the council, said: “The bid is part of our ambitious plans to provide Bexley with the very latest gigabit digital infrastructure.
“Not only that, it will save money and improve the delivery of public services for years to come.” The bid has been made jointly with the Bexley Clinical Commissioning Group (Bexley CCG) and, if successful, the private network will link around 300 buildings, including libraries, council offices, CCTV sites and GP surgeries. Bexley’s digital plan has four elements: digital ‘in fill’, to help most existing homes in Bexley to have access to ultra-fast broadband; ensuring that all new developments are built with access to a choice of ultra-fast broadband infrastructure providers; the creation of a new Bexley Growth ‘fibre’ network for public buildings and businesses and a borough-wide coverage of high-speed wireless and mobile services.
Cllr Linda Bailey, cabinet member for regeneration and growth, said: “This bid is part of our ambitious plans to improve the borough’s broadband connectivity.” The council has bid for GBP5m in government grant, which would be matched by around GBP3m of public funding. If the bid is successful, work would begin immediately to procure the new network during 2018/19.
When completed, both the council and the CCG will benefit from significantly reduced connectivity costs, as well as having massively improved bandwidth with the availability of gigabit speeds.