The Celebration Of A Year Of Pokemon Go

The Celebration Of A Year Of Pokemon Go

When it comes to Nintendo Mobile games, the best known is still “Pokemon Go.” It swept in like a hurricane and left us both lifted and smashed into the ground. It remains to hold a lot of promise and the game has changed a lot since its release. The game has gone through numerous iterations, building out a much fuller game than what was initially released.

The launch of Pokemon Go works to show just how much a company can underestimate how popular their product is going to be. This has been a rare re-occurring problem. Now, it only happens when there is a massive number of players in a single area. This does make that going to a convention like San Diego Comic Con can be great to find other players to take on a raid. It does also mean that logging in is going to take a very long time. It could make the game slow, but not utterly unresponsive like it used to become.

In the very first month, it became an absurdly popular game. The game was heavier on the grinding elements than it is now and was limited to the original 151 Pokemon, but not all the Pokemon were in the game. The tracker worked by showing the Pokemon nearby your location using a 3 foot-print system. This was a great system in its own right, but mix in all the people using Pokemon Go Trackers to hunt for Pokemon, the servers were almost always running close to their limit. Once this version of the tracker was eliminated, the game got much more responsive, but then people had to use third party trackers to find any Pokemon that they were looking for.

The tracker has been revised to the “Nearby” system. Now it will show some of the Pokemon and display to the closest Pokestop to them. While it is not as dynamic as the Foot-print system, it still is something to help trainers find the Pokemon they are looking for. There are still third party apps and websites to help you track down some elusive Pokemon. Those still suffer from being shut down by Niatic. Still, it is a great way to hunt down some of the harder to find Pokemon. Many of us here are still trying to get Porygon!

The original 151 Pokemon were closer to 143 available at launch. There were a number of Pokemon that are exclusive to different regions of the world in addition to the removed Legendary Pokemon, Articuno, Zapdos, Moltres, Mewtwo and Mew. The exclusives could only be obtained by finding and capturing the Pokemon in those regions: Taurus in North/Central America, Mr. Mime in Europe, Farfetch'd in Asia, and Kangaskhan in Australia. This has continued into the second generation of Pokemon. This time, there are also some Pokemon that are sorted by longitude. Even then, the legendary Pokemon had not been added into the game. We would not see them for a year. Not until after the one year celebration known as Pokemon Go Fest. With the additional Generation 2, the Legendary Dogs Entei, Suicune and Raikou remain unseen as well as Ho-oh and Celebi. Some day we will see the rest of them.

Something that does require some discussion are the Gyms. These went through a lot of changes throughout the year. At first, there was a grind to level 5 by catching, hatching and evolving Pokemon. After that, it was time to find and get a Pokemon into a Gym. At that point, you could claim 10 PokeCoins and some Stardust. The coins would then be on a 21 hour cooldown. Gyms could have up to 10 Pokemon in them. Gyms started at Level 2, allowing 2 Pokemon to be inside them. You can then level up the gym by having your team fight the Pokemon in the Gym. As long as your Pokemon was in a Gym, you could claim the coins for it. The more Gyms your Pokemon were in, the more coins and stardust you could collect every time it was available. All that mattered was how many Pokemon you had in gyms when you collected the reward, called the “Gym Defender Reward.” To take over a gym, you needed to knock all of the Pokemon inside it out. This could be a long process if there were more than a few Pokemon inside. People could, initially, wait for someone to clear out a gym and then quickly insert their own Pokemon into the now open gym. That was thankfully fixed at a point, allowing only the person who defeated the Gym a protected window to place Pokemon. Now, there is a cap of 6 Pokemon in a Gym. Their CP degrades slowly over time and they give you PokeCoins when they return to you from the Gym. With minimal help, a Pokemon can easily be in a Gym for 24 hours and collect the maximum of 50 coins for their time. It takes less than that to get there, but it is still a long time period to get the most reward. It is still a good fight to clear out a Gym and something that is much less intimidating for those who like to work alone or with a few friends.

Pokemon Go's most recent updates brought in Raids with the Gym revisions. These raids at first brought in high CP and stat Pokemon if you can beat them. 1-2 difficulty can be defeated by a solo player. After that, you want an ever-growing number of people. This is also how you will find the available Legendary Pokemon that are in the game at present. For now, they have timed exclusive. If there will be a second cycle of them, it is unknown.

There is something that does need to be talked about for sure, Spoofing. Simply put, spoofing allows a user to falsify their GPS location and move around without having to actually travel to the location. This has been a problem in Pokemon Go since Day 1. People will hack their own account and use programs to quickly travel to different locations. This can be used to quickly reach rare Pokemon spawns or to remotely attack a rival gym to take it under your teams control. Using this can get you either banned or marked and only see very common spawns.

For all the trouble with Spoofing, we cannot go against it completely. Pokemon Go is about traveling, battling and giving everyone a chance to be a Pokemon trainer in real-life. There are people where Spoofing is the only way they can comfortably enjoy the game. Not everyone can travel everywhere. People in hospitals for treatment or those with disabilities that prevent them from getting to locations should still be able to enjoy the game. In situations like that, we can see it to be acceptable to use spoofing. This is a game meant to be enjoyed by everyone who likes Pokemon and we want everyone interested to be able to do so. Many, including us, do suspect this is the reason that this is why Niantic has not done something about it.

Now we come to the Pokemon Go Fest. A brilliant idea that, if handled properly, would have been a great celebration of Pokemon Go's 1 Year anniversary. Instead the Fest last month worked to show that some of these original problems are still part of the architecture of the game. Some of it was the cellular network in the area could not handle the load it was placed under. Why they did not bring in Mobile Hotspots or local wireless networks to support the crowd of 20,000 people is something that is very baffling. Yes, the tickets were only $20. Many though were bought and resold at a much higher price. Not to mention the airfare and cost of accommodations for those not living in Chicago where Pokemon Go Fest was held. The biggest problem to make it out of Pokemon Go Fest were simply the lines that were everywhere. Never mind the overpriced food (being hosted in a stadium, not that surprising). They were the biggest cause of people's discontentment. The event was critically understaffed when it came to intake from all reports of it. Niantic did make attempts to fix this and has given those who attended a Lugia and a lot of Pokecoins. Sometimes there is no way to make up for an experience like this. This is one of those cases. It would take a lot of planning and even more preparation to host something like this. Work with the cellular companies and prepare.

On the other side, to move away from the problems of this game, it does remain that it has brought people together. It has also allowed some people to establish themselves as Trainers and gain some popularity on YouTube, Facebook and many other places within the digital landscape. It has helped bring people together and get people to talk to each other. Friendly rivalries have sprouted between the 3 teams. They can work together now to take on raids and everyone gets a chance to capture the Pokemon that they all battled to bring down. It does remain a good way to go and talk with a few people about something that is simply a shared love.

There was a lot to talk about with the one year anniversary. Facts that were worth presenting with fairly minimal opinion. Moving onto the opinion at the end, it does remain a good simple game to dig into. With a few more tweaks, it will become even better. The lack of trading and direct PvP is something that is sorely missed in this game. Given how much the franchise is about trading with friends and being social, it is a strange omission to still have. It does remain a simple game to enjoy once in a while (or daily like some of us here).

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