Pokémon Online (MMORPG)
- If you were looking for the battle simulator, see Pokémon Online (battle simulator).
Pokémon Online (commonly shortened to POL) is a free-to-play Pokémon MMORPG in development by a small bureau of dedicated fans. The project is handled by a wide variety of team members, the current leader being Platinum. The aim of the development team is for the MMORPG's implemented concepts to remain true to the original Game Boy series RPGs while also making it functional as a MMORPG. POL's planned features/functionality aims to match or exceed the most recent releases (currently Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver). Secondary concepts from the Trading Card Game, manga, and anime may also be added. Many of POL's members assist the team by posting suggestions, helping to create sprites and revamp older ones, developing promotional graphics and videos, and more. Members are also given the opportunity to submit applications for staff positions such as Graphics Team, Databaser, Mapper, and Translator. Passed trials are required to attain these positions.
POL is currently in a beta stage and is still undergoing a lot of progress, and is not available to the public. Progress can be viewed by going to the Developer's Diary in the forums.
1995 - 2004Bulbagarden, by a regular who went by the name Konidias. This version of POL was being developed with a program called The Games Factory, in a modified style of Nintendo's first and second generation Pokémon games. The game was at its peak during the days of the 'old' Bulbagarden, when suddenly, the project was abandoned completely. The rumor remains that Konidias was forced to retire the hyped project after receiving an email from Nintendo, the company in ownership of the Pokémon franchise, stating that he was breaching copyright laws, threatening to take legal action if he carried on. However, this rumor is far from reality. In truth, despite the time and dedication sacrificed for the project, Konidias' interest in the project eventually ceased. Henceforth, the game's production did as well.
2005 - 2007
In 2005, POL was resurrected by a new developer named Haris. Later recruiting a programmer named Syp3r and using Clickteam's Multimedia Fusion, the project became highly successful leading up to and after their Beta 0.6 release. The forums acquired over 100,000 members and became one of the biggest Pokémon communities on the Internet. Unfortunately, version 0.6 was closed down due to hackers causing the game to be unplayable.
Plans to release 0.7 were announced shortly after version 0.6 was closed down. After several delays, an announcement stated that version 0.7 would be the near-final version and hence delays were occurring to add new features.
After nearly a year, and no release, it was discovered that Syp3r had disappeared and no release was under development. Slowly, Haris also lost interest, missing server bill payments and, eventually, selling the domain and abandoning the project.
2008 - present
In 2008, the project was revived by long-time head designer Platinum. Without a web site or forum community, the profile page of an international online artist community was the project's only development base. After months in the dark, POL was once again brought to public attention after an unofficial forum board was opened to serve as a temporary discussion base for the project. A new programmer named Pandepic was recruited to program the game using C++. Later, a blog was created to compensate for POL's long-gone web site.
POL has since released a brand new official web site, along with a message board and wiki, at http://www.pkmnonline.org.
The Pokémon Online Official Website is where announcements of the MMORPG's updates are posted, information about the project is displayed, contribution opportunities are enlisted, and communication methods are explained. The website is also accompanied by a public message board serving as a discussion and development base, a wiki, a "World Concepts Page" enlisting POL's planned concepts, and a project management system available only to staff members.
Most of the MMORPG's planned features were listed in a World Concepts Page, but was later substituted by an In-Game Faq in the message boards. It is highly recommended that before submitting an idea or suggestion, a person should read the In-Game Faqs. This is to avoid questions and suggestions that can simply be answered by reading the forum.
Some of the notable features that will be included are:
- All 493 Pokémon will be catchable, breedable and otherwise obtainable. Legendary Pokémon however, are slightly different. All legendary Pokémon (including any trios) can only be found after triggering an event, which will only happen once every year or so. This big change is being implemented to keep legendary Pokémon rare as they are explained to be by characters within the games, manga, and anime.
- A character-creation system will be implemented to give the player a distinct appearance in-game.
- If the player loses to an NPC or a wild Pokémon and had all of their Pokémon fainted, one wouldn't simply vanish to the last visited Pokémon Center. Rather the player will be prompted (if the option is viable) to choose to use a Revive or similar item, or to "escape" to the last visited Pokémon Center.
- All four regions, the Orange Islands, and the Sevii Islands will be explorable in-game. At the beginning, players will have the opportunity to choose their starting region among Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, and Sinnoh. After obtaining the eight badges of the region they choose, they will be able to travel to the Sevii Islands, the Orange Islands, the Battle Frontier, or the Fight Area, depending on which region they chose. They also have the opportunity to travel to any other region, in which the process will be repeated. This will continue until all four regions are explored.
- A second trade system similar to Pokémon Diamond and Pearl's Global Trade Station will be possible. The player will be able to seek, offer and search a Pokémon. When posting an offer the player will be able to seek for the Pokémon he/she want in a lot more advanced way. One can seek by the Pokémon itself, its gender, status (Pokérus or Shiny), from (in terms of region), level range, nature, characteristic, and even what moves it knows. For status and 'from location' seeking, one must either have seen a Pokémon from the region or have once obtained a Shiny or a Pokémon that was infected by Pokérus. When an offer has been posted, the system will auto-search for any matching Pokémon. When a match has been found the player has to wait for the original owner to accept the offer, decline or sometimes the system will cancel the offer if an error should arise. The system will not allow people to seek Pokémon that are incapable of learning certain moves or being at a certain level, examples are that one cannot search for a level 9 Mewtwo and cannot seek a Buizel that knows Ember.
- A Trading Card Game aspect will be implemented. Trainers will be able to offer two kinds of challenges: Pokémon Battles, and Card Battles. Merchant NPCs may sell booster packs... Their presence in the game adds a new (and entirely optional) dimension to the main gameplay. Efforts to compile a complete database on the trading cards is currently in progress. Currently, the POL TCG is planned to feature the Base, Jungle, Fossil, Rocket, Gym Heroes, Gym Challenge, and Promotional card collections, but not until after 1.0 has been completed.
- Players will have the ability to join Teams Rocket, Magma, Aqua, and Galactic. Players will also have the ability to create their own teams, or join another player's team (similar to the clan/guild system of other MMORPGs).
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