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Pokemon Go or Pokemon Stopped? - An Editorial on Pokemon Go's State
- Categorized in: Video Game News
Pokemon Go or Pokemon Stopped? - An Editorial on Pokemon Go's State
Since its launch, Pokemon Go has made a lot of waves and in ways continues to do so. The game is finally more reliable and stable than at any point in its first week. It is very easy to log in and have a nice long play session while traveling around any given area now. This is a far cry of how the game worked back in its first week. Now, at least 3 patches in, Pokemon Go has become a more stable game and something that is fairly enjoyable in small doses or when on the move.
One of the easiest things to start with is just the changes that have been brought onto the Pokemon themselves. The moves have been tweaked and either weakened or boosted. This did help align the feel of the mobile game more with the portable game. It gave a bit more of that vulnerable feeling that one could get going up against a gym or another trainer who has Pokemon that have advantages over yours.
When it comes to getting people together who are all playing Pokemon Go, I have to say the app has wildly succeeded. It has calmed down some at this point, but there are plenty of places where trainers will gather for a while together and play on the app. Having been to a few of the gatherings, it is not a bad place to be. A lot of sitting around, some chat and the odd comment about what is in the area.
One thing that has taken players a while to figure out was the IV system. Just like with the game, there are hidden values that dictate the potential of any given Pokemon. These can make even the strongest Pokemon in the game, Dragonite, vulnerable to a downfall. This system is just beginning to be understood. Thankfully, it is all math so it is not too hard to figure out. The problem is a lot of the numbers are hidden. All the values the player has are the HP and the Combat Power. It would be nice to see a little more the stats in the future. Especially if there is going to be competitive battling. It is a good start but we do need more information if that is going to be moving forward.
On the topic of Pokemon, there are the region exclusive Pokemon and the Legendaries. It is interesting that you would need to travel the world to collect almost all of the Pokemon that are in the game presently. It does somewhat fit that the exclusives are spread out the way they are, but it does not really make a lot of sense. It is very easy to question the break up of what is where is all. Then the undiscovered Ditto makes less sense. It was an uncommon Pokemon in the game but not impossible to find or even all that tricky (like Feebas was). The legendaries, I can understand. They are likely going to be either rewards or event tied Pokemon. Something like ditto though … that makes little to no sense.
There should be something said about the micro-transcations in the game. Can reach from small and cheap (for those occasions when you run out of Pokeballs and a rare pops up nearby) to more expensive upgrades that increase your item and Pokemon storage capacity. These are the kinds are very easy to back. They do not inherently grant a huge advantage to anyone who can get them. Having more storage space makes it a bit easier to storage larger numbers of Pokemon and having more space for items is useful. It is very easy to appreciate being able to get the in-game currency for being able to take over a gym or two and then collect the bonus. It is a good balance element that it can only be collected once per 21 hours. An odd amount of time, but I guess there is some strange sense it is. It is hard to say honestly.
With all the changes, the most difficult one to talk about is the progress on the Tracker. The initial concept worked really well. The footprints offered enough feedback it was easy enough to track down a Pokemon without too much effort. However, because of the specific GPS targets that were used, it was possible to use skimmers and harvest the raw spawn data from the servers. This could have been one of the factors that impeded the launch of Pokemon Go. Mix that with the massive number of users and the servers would have a lot of difficulty meeting all the demand that was being placed on them. After those websites shut down, the servers seemed to improve vastly. It went from something of a long shot to a reliable chance to get into my account with incident. If they are not linked, it is hard to say what caused the improvement. Just wish I had used to some to track down more starter Pokemon, Eevees and Magikarps.
The new tracking system with the nearby PokeStop to the Pokemon does seem to work very well. It does seem to work best in a more metropolitan area and a suburb. Being able to see where the PokeStop nearby the Pokemon is a good start. This can lead to a number of people going to a particular location at a time if they are close enough to see the Pokemon. It does work and usually it is quite easy to make it to the PokeStop before the Pokemon heads off. It is a system that I can enjoy for sure. I just hope it expands to more of the PokeStops in the areas supported in the game.
The changes that are to come in the game are the most interesting. We have been hearing that teams will be able to customize PokeStops and Gyms in the near future. I'm sure it will take a good bit of testing to help ensure one team cannot begin to just decimate an area. The balance of the teams works to manage some of that at least.
Another question we are all asking is what is going to happen with trading and trainer battling. Right now, just counting on fighting another Pokemon proxy in a Gym is not really the same thing. Trading has also been a very big aspect of the games from the beginning of the series. It has always encouraged people to be social and get out into the world to meet other gamers. Why such a crucial feature would be missing from the start is hard to say. Still, Niantic has said those are things that they are going to implement in future patches. A lot of us are hoping it is soon.
Pokemon Go still has a long way to go to reach what we were seeing in the early ads. It could all be added with enough time and effort for certain. It is just a question of what is going to happen in the mean time. Will the game have enough support to reach that point? I hope it does. There is a lot of potential in Pokemon Go. It is just a question of when we will start seeing these things.
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