Hemlock: "Same 'ol same rip-off"★☆☆☆☆
Posted: 15/Nov/2018 07:48:59 (24 days ago)
I originally got into Pokefarm because it became notable as ripping of GPX Plus. The game play was pretty identical down to the layout, which has differed since both have gone through layout changes/updates over the years.
Besides that, not much has seemed to change as far as the core of cores for both the website, and the ownership.
The website layout itself still makes it seem like the website is very infantile in it's development. There is an unpleasant mix between pixel images ripped from the games, and non-pixel images. Such as the icon for Hypermode and Type Race.
This same issue applies to the trainer sprites, which appear to be the same as they were when pokefarm transfered over to "Pokefarm Q". They don't match the style of the pokemon/egg/item sprites in the shading/style and feel pretty low-quality. The shading is flat/hard to notice, the anatomy is pretty poor, and the coloured outlines don't look proper. They're fan trainer sprites, but one would think that they would be improved upon at some point. I'm not entirely sure why these poor trainer sprites are used, anyway. Since the website, like many fan-pokemon websites, rip sprites from the games, I'm clueless as to why trainer sprites weren't also ripped.
Everything in the layout of the site just screams "too big". There is nothing sleek or functional about the design of any of it and it seems rather jumbled together. The top bar of the website seems extremely cluttered and the abundance of the default blue/red links are visually unpleasant. All text on the layout is just huge, which looks even worse on profiles.
Pokefarm has also always had a heavy focus on "premium currency" aka pay-to-win. I understand that it is possible to obtain said currencies without contributing real money to the website, but that doesn't alter the complaint. Websites and/or games with premium currencies that directly affect gameplay are "pay-to-win". It's ridiculous how deeply ingrained the premium aspects of this game are. I've seen the owner of the website Kolink/Niet say multiple times that they refuse to run ads on the website. That would be admirable if it didn't come across in way like you refuse to do so, because your premium currency makes you more money due to how much players can use it to buy an advantage over non-paying players. Niet will also complain that ads are not a good option because you cannot control the ads. This is not a full truth and I feel is improperly representing the issue. You -can- to an extent control which ads are displayed on your website, and report ads that you feel are inappropriate or malicious. Beyond that, it is still fine to not want to use ads on your website, but it's still unacceptable the amount of pay-to-win the site has, versus premium bonuses that are cosmetic or do not affect gameplay.
GPX Plus actually has a great solution to this. Donations do give you a small advantage over other players, but eventually, everyone on the website (whether you paid or not) gets that particular bonus. It's unfortunate that PF didn't rip the better parts of GPX.
The way the owner Kolink/Nier appears to be responding to these negative reviews is very similar to the way he responded to the critical "lulzyfarm" wordpress blog that popped up when the website did. Deflection, defensive, lying to avoid admitting wrongdoing. A lot of the responses to negative reviews come across more like "Well, that's great that you think that, but you're wrong and this is why, I'm disregarding any of your points." rather than taking customer feedback in a way that would suggest that you're maybe taking some of it into consideration. https://lulzyfarm.wordpress.com/ is honestly a good read just to see how Kolink/Nier responds to criticism free of the censorship of PF.
The staff in general on Pokefarm have never been very good. "Rude but helpful" is a phrase that gets thrown around a lot, and it's pretty appropriate. The site has been riddled with "drama" involving staff quitting suddenly and explosively, and staff all around acting unprofessionally and needlessly terse with players. Making any kind of suggestion or complaint that isn't coated in sugar is met with very aggressive responses.
In a review complaining about the lack of a block feature, Niet linked this topic - https://pokefarm.com/forum/post/2039612 which I think is a perfect example of how staff still continue to be pretty unprofessional. The entire topic in general is just a complete shock of how Kolink/Niet treats their members. A block feature is a pretty basic feature to have on a social media plotform. The OP of the topic lists several complex, but legitimate reasons to have a block feature. Even more simple is sometimes there are just people on a social website that you don't like and don't wish to interact with. The way Niet responds to this is unbelievable, going into detail about how if the situations that OP brought up were real, they should be reported to the police. This is completely outside of what the OP is talking about. It's ridiculous to say, "Well instead of adding a block feature to our website so you can avoid harassment from certain people, I'm instead going to talk about how you should be reporting said harassment." It's perfectly acceptable to suggest these things, but why is it offered INSTEAD of a block feature being added? That entire topic is solid evidence of both Kolink/Niet's attitude, and the general attitude of staff members on the website. It comes across as either "Omg I can't believe these people just don't make the OBVIOUS (obvious as in, what I believe is correct) choices to fix this problem! I won't add a block feature because they need to learn their lesson!" or "Man I don't care and I'm too lazy to code a block feature! I should have done it ages ago but I ain't doing it now."
All in all, the website started as a very unimaginative rip-off with people who refuse to accept any form of criticism and has pretty much stayed in that hole. Never have I ever seen owners and mods with such disregard and disrespect towards their members.
👍 8👎 16
Niet replied: 15/Nov/2018 11:46:23 (24 days ago)
I'm sorry you feel this way, we take such issues very seriously - I don't really know what to say but I'm sorry you are so trapped in the past, and here's why:
I had a quick look at your profile. You haven't actually played the game since August 2016, and even that was just adopting one party of Pokémon - prior to this you had been gone since April 2014. Needless to say, a *lot* has changed since then and as a result you ... quite frankly have no room to comment on any of our present-day issues. It really looks like you just came back to stir up drama yourself.
And if that's me being "unable to take criticism", then so be it. I will not sit here and be defamed for my teenage mistakes. Not now, almost ten years later.
You make me sad. If you'd posted this feedback in 2014 then sure, I'll admit there have been some quite serious issues. These have been fixed since then! It's just sad that you seem so blinded because of this raw hatred that you appear to have towards me and my colleagues. I don't know what we did to upset you so personally that you would hold a grudge for near of a decade. I do wish you'd actually tell us.
All this being said, here's a couple of your points and my responses to them. I don't expect you to read this because I'm just going to be repeating what I've said before and this doesn't qualify as "addressing the issue" to you...
Trainer sprites are fine. Not great, but fine. They, like all other custom-made sprites, are on the list of things to update, we just need the manpower to get it done. "Soon."
Since you're dragging GPX into this, I'd like to mention that they have downgraded to basic web hosting - and this shows in very long load times (notably in the Dex and Trinket pages) even during the dead times (fewer than 50 users online). This is all they can afford with their ad revenue. Meanwhile our Premium Currency options provide us the funds necessary to host PFQ on not one but two fully dedicated top-of-the-line servers and the resulting fast load times are in stark contrast to GPX. We still have issues with lag sometimes, but usually only when we exceed 1,000 users online, during special events such as MCW. Furthermore, the money received allows us to have food and a home, both rather important things. It pays for us to live so that we can dedicate ourselves full-time to PFQ instead of having to juggle it with a day job. See the difference? So that's why premium currency is important. However, as I have stated numerous times, there are a significant number of players who have all of the premium stuff not because they paid but because they put in the effort of playing the markets. They get rewarded for their time, not their money. This is what makes our system truly free-to-play, not pay-to-win.
The "staff drama" you speak of dates back to 2010. Back when everyone got fired for being even worse than I was at the time. We have not had any "explosive" quitting since then. But - if you can - please explain what you would know, given you've been absent for the last five years?
My decision not to implement a block feature has been validated. Due to the lack of a block feature, people actually reported the pedophile grooming them instead of blocking/ignoring the issue and allowing them to prey on another user. That pedophile was investigated by police and has been dealt with. But if people could just block instead of reporting, we would never have known that such things were going on. Blocking is never the answer when we are willing to take such an active approach to taking care of our community. Blocking is only appropriate on platforms where moderators either don't exist or can't be bothered to moderate.
I respect our players as much as is reasonable - respect is earned, not given as default. Sorry, again, that you feel this way towards us, but this kind of drama-stirring is not welcome here and we're seriously considering outright removing this review - something we never want to do (we've only ever done it once without writer request) - because of just how toxic it is. Of course if we do, then a note will be made for transparency reasons. Once again, I'm sorry you feel the way you do.
damienwithadee: "Pay to enjoy the game"★☆☆☆☆
Posted: 24/Aug/2018 23:45:48 (3 months ago)
Alright, I'll admit it, I'm new around here. I've probably only seen a fraction of what this site has to offer. I understand that games like this need revenue for the developers to continue to make it, but it irks me how hard they push it.
It would be okay if there was a way to grind to generate a lot of in-game currency. It would be fine if there was other methods of getting hypermode, or getting premium items.
This game isn't pay-to-win, since all items are tradeable. But, if you don't have the in-game currency, then you're not likely to get the item traded to you. And things are expensive in this game.
Don't get me wrong, this isn't a bad game. It just has a few problems that make it largely unenjoyable for someone like me, that is, someone who doesn't have the money to spare. I think this could be remedied with a solution a lot of modern games do - ads. If you watch an ad, you can get this much currency. That way, the game is still producing revenue, but players like me can still enjoy it.
I think it's also too difficult to hatch shiny/albinos without hypermode, and too difficult to obtain pokerus. Maybe having two pokerus holders at a time would help? or maybe have pokerus last for shorter intervals, like instead of 15 minutes, 10, or even 5?
I don't hate this game. I'm giving it one star because I think these are urgent issues that do need to be addressed. If they are, I probably will change my rating.
Maybe it's just not the right game for me. Which would be a huge bummer. I love Pokemon, I love collectible games, and I think that this game could be pretty great. Just fix the stupid stuff.
👍 11👎 33
Niet replied: 25/Aug/2018 07:21:42 (3 months ago)
Your feedback is appreciated, but I must respectfully disagree with most of it...
People can - and do! - earn all of the "premium" stuff in the game via trading. Of course it takes effort, and a considerable amount of it. It's an active process to stay on top of the market and profit from it (whereas a "grind" would be an uninteresting, passive slog). EA's lootboxes were a "grind" and I think we all know how that went.
We refuse to run ads. Not only are they incredibly intrusive and notoriously insecure, they're also potentially harmful (as we have no control over their destinations) and don't even pay that well. We used to run them, way back when we had no "premium" options and the site only cost a minimal amount to run, but right now ads would not even cover 5% of our operating costs, unless we were to go for the really intrusive ones that involve selling user data and/or annoying users with pop-unders and other invasive adverts. We're not interested in doing that.
While Hypermode does allow access to higher Shiny chances, I can say that it has absolutely *no* effect on Albino hunting. In fact Albinos are exclusively available via the "grind" you were talking about wanting! The only "premium" upgrade that affects Albino hunting is the Übercharm, which lasts an entire month for minimal cost. But Hypermode has no effect on it.
Pokérus is entirely RNG and is to be considered a lottery system. Just like with real-life lotteries, you don't *expect* to win, but you take the chance just in case. The difference of course is that you don't spend money to be in the running for Pokérus, just some time spent interacting - it's worth noting that while mass-clicking does help, it's not required and even just one interaction can make you the next host. All that being said, we're considering options to replace Pokérus, since the "one host at a time" thing simply will not be able to handle the needs of a growing community.
I hope you can understand where I'm coming from with all this. Feel free to PM me to discuss this further.
Siegward: "Just some friendly advice"★☆☆☆☆
Posted: 06/May/2018 03:09:29 (7 months ago)
Admittedly, I didn't get into this game much, so I'm no expert on this site. However, I've been on adoptable sites before and I know a thing or two about them.
The Interaction system is the paragon of thoughtless development. It is remarkably efficient at demanding all of your attention for hours at a time with an inequitable reward for your efforts. I approached the devs about this, and I was passive-aggressively rebuked for my lack of dedication. Rather than entice new players, it seems as though it was only designed for the hardcore fan, who is already too dedicated to care how much time he spends.
As far as microtransactions go, this game isn't just riddled with them- it's completely infected with them. One of the most innovative and unique things this site has to offer- the special 'Albino' and 'Melanistic' Pokémon- is practically impossible to access without either getting past a hefty paywall or literally grinding for days. The staff's usual excuse for this is that "everything is tradeable in this game, therefore nothing is locked behind a paywall," which is both cheap and inconvenient for everyone except for the devs and their customers.
The devs aren't exactly rude or unpleasant and they've never given me a reason to dislike them. Like any staff, they get a bad rep whenever they don't cater to their playerbase. I can see that they're doing the best they can to keep this site going.
Unfortunately, they're stuck in their ways. They refuse to recognize that there's anything wrong with this site (especially when the person bringing it up is a newcomer, like me), and they can get very nasty in their replies to bad reviews. I'll say no more about them- go look at the replies yourself. Go check out Niet's replies to other 1-star/2-star reviews. They're terribly unprofessional.
So, long story short, this game is only great if you have deep pockets or a disturbing amount of free time. I have neither.
👍 57👎 46
Niet replied: 06/May/2018 08:44:04 (7 months ago)
I like to approach reviews like these point-by-point, so let's get started and see if we can find some way to improve :)
You don't have to be "into" the game to have a perfectly valid and potentially valuable opinion. One of the hardest challenges for games is to "hook" players and get them interested in the first place, so first impressions count for a lot. You don't have to justify your opinion, just being here gives you validity, especially since you seem to be trying to help - that's already appreciated.
The interaction system, from our perspective, is actually pretty clever, as it encourages interacting - even passively - with the community. Nobody can progress unless everyone helps each other. This is what sets the foundation for PFQ's community being as great as it is. You literally cannot progress unless you care for other people. I went and searched for where you brought this up, and the only thing I could find was this post:
I'm going to have to assume this is what you mean, please let me know if I'm wrong.
However, proceeding on that assumption, I would like to point out that you brought it up with the community, not the "devs" (ie. me :D) and sparked a little discussion on how you might improve or even optimise your experience. I'm sorry if it seemed passive-aggressive to you, I'm sure the other players involved were only trying to help you integrate into the community.
Microtransactions are... a difficult subject. I get it. "Free-to-play" doesn't exactly have the best reputation. We chose to go with this model anyway because, without a wealth of "free players", again, nobody would make any real progress. The game needs everyone to take part, so having any kind of barrier to entry would be devastating. However, the harsh reality of life is that money equals food and a place to live. That is why there are purchasable items within the game.
When we say "everything can be traded so there's no paywall", that's not just empty words. Hundreds of "premium" items and many thousands of "premium" currency pass through the trade system every single day. As I've already said, we promote a sense of community here and the constantly flowing economy really shows that. It's also very convenient for players who can't pay for their own premium stuff, whether that's because they're too young or need the money for other things, or anything really. While it may take more effort, nothing is out of reach to anyone in this game.
I appreciate your perspective on us, the staff. I know it can be difficult for passionate players to understand when, for example, a game design perspective rules that their ideas aren't as good as they think. We try our best, but - being human - we do make mistakes at times. Thank you for your understanding.
I think - and this is just my opinion, mind you - that many of the lower-rated reviews are born from misunderstandings. Some of them are my fault - my sense of humour doesn't always go over well - and some of them are from an unwillingness to accept conflicting opinions. In my replies I have tried to explain the misunderstandings - sometimes directly to the reviewer, and sometimes instead focusing on the other people reading.
And finally, "time or money" is one of the most basic fundamentals of how life works - for example if you need to clean the house, you can either spend the time to do it yourself, or spend the money to hire someone else to do it. This applies to... basically everything. You go to the store to buy bread instead of making it yourself. But you make your own breakfast in the morning because you can't afford a personal chef. Everything is about balance, and that's true on PFQ as well. You can either invest the (sometimes large) amount of time needed for the rarer items, or use trading to make it easier. "Trading" there can mean buying premium items to make the grind faster, or it can mean giving some of the lesser currency that you earn through gameplay to a dedicated hunter in exchange for something they've already hunted for you. But despite all this, it is unfortunately true that if you don't have time *or* money, then it's not really possible to get anywhere. That's unfortunate, but on the positive side it does mean you have a good grasp on your priorities! While of course we'd love it if you could enjoy our game, it should never be at the expense of your real life.
I hope this has clarified a few things for you. Please don't hesitate to reach out to me (or any other staff here) if you have further questions.
Rém: "Don't waste your time here."★☆☆☆☆
Posted: 11/Dec/2017 01:22:44 (11 months ago)
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The staff years ago have treated people poorly, if they didn't have similar interests. SEVERE superiority complex, not uncommon in these games. Besides from the poor maagement, during the conversion of updates, information was LOST. Meaning, egg dex entries and time and money spent was wasted. Don't waste your time or money here, unless you plan on brown nosing these people.
👍 24👎 107
Niet replied: 11/Dec/2017 11:13:53 (11 months ago)
I'm sorry, are you referring to the Big Reset, which happened in May of 2014 - that is, three and a half YEARS ago? The one that happened because massive, core changes were being made to bring the game out of Limited Beta and into Open Beta. ... OK.
"The staff years ago," don't work here any more. Perhaps because of the issues you mentioned? I'm not saying we're flawless now - nobody is - but you know...
Frankly it is clear that you are highly prejudiced against us. Your feedback is begrudgingly appreciated, and we wish you the best in future.
Posted: 28/Oct/2017 02:41:50 (1 year ago)
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SUCKSSSSSSSSSSSS SAFLDFLDSALSDFA.UH U SUCK CHIKEN LEGS
👍 19👎 240
Niet replied: 28/Oct/2017 10:45:59 (1 year ago)
Um... any... particular reason?
GeenMelvin: "Worst connection ever."★☆☆☆☆
Posted: 07/Jun/2017 14:56:14 (1 year ago)
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Lagging a lot, very much no internet connection while everything else runs perfectly. Just the worst.
👍 25👎 228
vanadium: "I've abandoned this site."★☆☆☆☆
Posted: 29/Apr/2017 18:47:01 (1 year ago)
Honestly, I was driven off by how poorly critique is handled. Back when the new interaction system was being tested, the goal was impossible to meet. When the community failed for a vast number of reasons, the deadline was extended, albeit with a snide and condescending tone. When people responded to this tone with many, many valid reasons as to why the goal couldn't possibly have been met, they were essentially told they couldn't read.
(this has happened again with the Easter event, which I was not around to see. I could write an entire essay on the PR disaster that is the Easter 2017 event review, though I'll refrain as it would get repetitive.)
This is on top of the endless miles of paywall, which make it feel as if free players are being actively discouraged.
I could continue but it would just get into nitpicky personal issues that have no real bearing on the main problem here.
Essentially, my biggest problem is how some of the staff handle public relations.
Also, the lack of a blocking feature is a completely unforgivable omission.
👍 118👎 163
Niet replied: 29/Apr/2017 19:45:13 (1 year ago)
I... honestly have no idea what you're referring to.
Here is the post in which I extended the deadline: https://pokefarm.com/forum/post/1699544
I really don't see the issue here.
Likewise, I don't see the issue with the Easter event.
Similarly, since *everything* is tradable, including premium currency, there is literally no paywall. Can't/don't want to buy things yourself? Trade, easy.
And the block feature has been discussed at length. Here is the post where Garthic (admittedly frustrated by the mob mentality that had picked up and needed shutting down) invited people to PM him and engage in proper discussion: https://pokefarm.com/forum/post/2039612 - Of those that did, nearly all of them understood our reasoning and they helped us develop new ideas we may implement in the near future.
So really, I wish you had "written an essay" because right now I'm just confused. You're welcome to PM me your essay and we can try to resolve this. But right now, TL;DR,  - you are making claims with nothing to back them up.
Evoli: "It's good but"★☆☆☆☆
Posted: 28/Mar/2017 05:21:21 (1 year ago)
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I just got bored of it relly fast . But it's a good game .
👍 29👎 197
Niet replied: 28/Mar/2017 09:31:54 (1 year ago)
I appreciate you taking the time to give us a review, however I must ask if there was a specific reason (or several) that could connect "you personally got bored" to "the game deserves a 1-star review". Especially since you go on to say "but it's a good game". Clearly not, if we deserve 1-star from you!
Please feel free to contact me to help me understand where we went wrong here.