Site Update Progress and A Thank You

Category: Site Updates
Monday, November 25, 2019 at 9:28pm
Posted by Marriland
Leon from Pokémon Sword & Shield saying: "You must be Marriland—am I right? I've heard loads about you from my little brother."
Apparently even Leon has heard about Marriland. Yay!

It’s now been over a week since Pokémon Sword & Shield were released worldwide for the Nintendo Switch and the level of traffic the Marriland website has seen has been absolutely phenomenal! So, whether you’ve visited for the site’s Pokémon Sword & Shield Pokédex, its powerful Team Builder, the ongoing Walkthrough for Pokémon Sword & Shield, or any other content, I hope that you found it helpful and, if not, I hope that you’ll stick around as I work on improving things over the next few months.

This update isn’t a news update, but a general update post about the work that has been done on the site, as well as what is planned for the immediate- and short-term future. I’d also like to give a proper introduction for those of you that are new, and to say thank you to those of you that have used the site. Feel free to read on if you’re interested in hearing what I have to say.

Introduction

There’s a reasonable chance that some of you may have visited my website, Marriland.com, at some point in the past — it’s been around since 2000, really took off from 2007–2012, and had a major renovation in 2012–2015. I won’t go into the details too much here (look forward to an upcoming “About Marriland” page I am long overdue in writing!), but I did want to clear something up for those of you that used the site before, and for those of you that are new.

The old content from before is pretty much gone. You can find some of the walkthroughs archived over at what the 2012–2015 version of the site was rebranded to over at Azurilland.com (no longer active or maintained, nothing I have control over). Everything you see here today has been in development and production for just the past year, give or take, and the site has made enormous strides starting “from scratch” earlier this year to the point it is now, where hundreds of thousands of people from all around the world have visited the site in the last two weeks.

So whether you’re a new or returning visitor to the site, I know that there’s a lot missing from the site. There’s a lot I still plan on adding! And I hope that you will see the potential in a friendly, mobile-first Pokémon website with personality.

There’s also the chance you may recognize me from my Pokémon videos on YouTube. Yes, it’s true — this is indeed the same Marriland that did those Pokémon videos long ago, and I still make videos to this day, although it is not my primary focus anymore, so apologies if they are not up regularly. My long-term goal is to go through all of the main series Pokémon games and do both written walkthroughs and video walkthroughs for them, along with any video guides that might help with certain topics. This is what got me started on YouTube in the first place and is the content I want to add to my site. I hope you’ll find it helpful, but please understand that videos take a lot more time than other content sometimes!

The Sword & Shield Pokédex

First of all, I would like to give a huge amount of thanks to @Kaphotics on Twitter for extracting the data used in the site’s Pokédex ahead of the game’s launch.

Because my incorporating this data into the site’s Pokédex was done before I played the game, as I waited until the US release of the game before I played (and then had to actually beat the game), there was and still is a lot of factually incorrect information in the site’s Pokédex, and I apologize for that! That’s something I’m looking forward to fixing very, very soon. It can sometimes be tough working with just pure data without understanding how it all works together, so I am certain there were a few mistakes made here and there that I’m learning about and will work to resolve.

In addition to making sure the information is accurate, I want to make sure that the Pokédex is really darn good. I don’t just aim to make the Pokédex mobile-friendly — I truly design it mobile-first, meaning it is designed with mobile devices in mind and actively tested all the way through development. I also want to make sure that all of the important information is really easy to find and to navigate to.

Anyway, here’s a list of things I’m looking to implement into the Pokédex real soon:

  • Fixing evolution information that is inaccurate. (Bonsly/Sudowoodo, Toxel/Toxtricity, Galarian Farfetch’d/Sirfetch’d, and a few others come to mind.)
  • Adding quicker navigation to alternate forms.
  • Adding PP and Target to the moves listings while viewing on desktop (or on a wide enough mobile device).
  • Add Egg Moves for evolved Pokémon based on their previous evolutions so you won’t have to flip between pages.
  • Hiding any Pokémon on the list that has data but isn’t available in the game (some already have been hidden but are still searchable).
  • Adding locations of where the find the Pokémon so you can complete your Pokédex much easier! Apologies this has taken longer than expected!
  • More meta-information such as height/weight and gender ratio.

For updates coming to the Pokédex in the near-but-not-immediate future (next month or two I hope):

  • Adding moves and move descriptions to their own pages, where you can also see all of the Pokémon capable of learning the moves and how they learn them.
  • Adding all of the abilities and their descriptions, including more in-depth descriptions, to their own section as well. Again, you’ll be able to see all Pokémon capable of learning those abilities.
  • Advanced searching, sorting, and filtering options for Pokémon so you can find what you’re looking for.
  • No, I’m not adding an official app, sorry. 🙁 Pokémon doesn’t like it when unofficial apps are added to mobile app stores. You can bookmark the Pokédex, though!

Despite all of the flaws in the current Pokédex (forgive me!), I am still so blown away with the support it’s received over the past week and a half, how much people have enjoyed using it, and the praise I’ve gotten for how nice it looks on mobile devices. I hope that it will become your Pokédex of choice!

Team Builder

A lot of updates have gone into the Team Builder this month, including one other update that actually went unannounced: the Team Builder now has the Advanced Mode option, which will allow you to test your team’s offensive coverage!

You can input up to four moves for each of your Pokémon while Advanced Mode is activated and see which types your Pokémon have super-effective coverage against. You can also input up to six enemy Pokémon to test effectiveness against those Pokémon specifically.

I hope that this is enough to revolutionize the Team Builder and make it extremely useful, whether it’s for doing Max Raid Battles, for participating in competitive VGC or single battles, for playing through a Nuzlocke challenge, or just going through the game and wanting to have a good team with good move coverage.

Here are some things that I want to add in the somewhat-near future:

  • Fix move coverage so outliers like Freeze-Dry and Flying Press are accurately represented. (Right now it just checks the move’s type, not any effects of that move.)
  • Add support for earlier generations, so if you’re playing games before X & Y, you won’t see Fairy-types and Steel-types will still be resistant to Dark and Ghost, and also all the stuff that was exclusive to Red/Blue/Yellow.
  • Do something so the icons look good regardless of if it’s Sword/Shield or not, because some of them are sized weird and it’s still bothering me.

And here are some things I have planned for a bit further in the future, since they’re more challenging and will take more time:

  • Introducing the ability to save, load, and share Team Builder teams. This is especially important now that there’s support for moves, since previously there wasn’t too much to type up. This is definitely something I want to add, don’t worry!
  • Support for multiple languages so the Team Builder will be easy to use and read in any of the languages represented in the main Pokémon games. (I’ll definitely need some help with this one!)

I’m particularly glad to see so many of you enjoying the Team Builder, some of you using it daily. That’s wonderful! I know it was a beloved tool from the old days of the website and it broke my heart that during the 2013–2018 days it was basically ineffective.

Walkthroughs and Guides

The Pokémon Sword & Shield Walkthrough has been a major undertaking and it’s something that I definitely want to work on more, but I will be shifting my focus away from it for the next two or so weeks to make sure the Pokédex is really solid. I’m sorry about that! It’s a busy two weeks with Thanksgiving and other travel plans right around the corner, so making sure that I focus my efforts on what will help people the most is really important to me, and walkthroughs take a long time to write, that’s for sure.

Thankfully, the walkthrough is already written up to the entirety of the fourth Gym Badge, so that’s pretty good, especially with everything else that I’ve been juggling around here! It’s something I still aim to have finished by Christmas. I’ve recently switched writing styles to use more bullet-points and direct instructions rather than writing everything out like a novel. I’d be interested to know if that’s a style you’d prefer — for the most part, it’s pretty easy to find your way through Pokémon games and it’s primarily the wild encounters, the Trainers, and then the items on routes and in areas that most people are interested in rather than how to actually get through places.

After Sword & Shield’s walkthrough is complete, I plan on going backwards through the main series Pokémon games — and even covering some side games such as the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series — and writing walkthroughs for them. This won’t be until 2020 for sure, but it’s a long-term goal I have for the site.

Social Media

I need to do a better job at making it easy to share pages, Pokémon, and other stuff on the Marriland website via social media. There are buttons on updates, but little elsewhere. Whoops!

I also need to do a better job at updating the @Marriland Twitter account and the Marriland Facebook page. I’m definitely more of a Twitter person, but I’d like to ensure that updates are made to both social media channels so you’re able to stay updated with new site features.

In the past, I would use the @Marriland Twitter account for personal tweets as well, but it will now become strictly a site-related one so you won’t be bombarded with pictures of my cat, updates when I’m streaming live on Twitch, or whenever I upload a video. You can still feel free to ask me questions or give suggestions or feedback for the site there, though!

Thank YOU!

Lastly, I just wanted to say THANK YOU for being a part of the Marriland website, whether your first time visiting was just this past week or over a decade ago! It’s gone through a lot and will be celebrating 20 years on the internet next year.

It took a mountain of planning and research before I even felt comfortable with the idea of rebuilding the website from scratch rather than just letting it be. It was something that I hoped I could one day bring back to its former glory, but knew it would be a long, long journey.

I put a lot of time into the backend of the website, learning so much about different programming and design methods, figuring out where to even begin, knowing I’d eventually need to expand the site from just a basic little “blog” site to something powering a Pokédex, tools, and walkthroughs.

It’s been tough and has felt impossible at times, but I stayed motivated and determined, and as Sword & Shield’s release drew nearer, I saw an opportunity to work on the Pokédex so it would be ready for you at launch.

All that time and effort paid off, though, as day after day the site has received an extraordinary amount of traffic compared to where it was just a month ago — over 50 times the amount of pages viewed by comparison!

I couldn’t do this without you. You’re all a part of this. And I thank you so much for it. I really hope to continue to grow the Marriland website, to have it become a wonderful resource in the community, and to have more and more people like what they see enough to have it be their go-to place for Pokémon content.

I know that the site will never cover news as quickly and thoroughly as Serebii.net — it won’t even try to. I’ll have news every now and then, but it’s not a passion of mine, especially when there’s already a great source for it. I know that the site won’t ever have as in-depth information as Bulbapedia — it doesn’t need to! I want it to be a site you can open up on your PC or mobile device when you want to look something up and quickly get the answer you need. I hope that my site will provide good competition to another great Pokédex website, PokemonDB.net, and that viewers will use both for different purposes and use the one they find suits their tastes better.

And lastly, I hope that my site is able to inspire some of you to someday learn web design, programming, and all the other fun stuff involved in launching a site of your own so there can be even more options for Pokémon fans around the world.

I can’t do it without you, though. So, once again, thank you for choosing Marriland, and thank you for hopefully believing in the future of the Marriland website!

—Marriland

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