Pokémon Go took the world by storm, then it shot itself in the foot, then it climbed back up a bit. I, like many others, don’t really know what to make of the game right now. I’m not saying I don’t enjoy playing the game, because I do. I just know that I’m not playing it nearly as much as I did when it first came out. This is fairly normal when you play games that aren’t story driven or you aren’t highly competitive in, but trending downward is always at least a little concerning. However, there are a few things Niantic could do to really improve PoGo, thus improving the overall experience for all players.
Quality Of Life Improvements
Tracking – I know that there is a beta version of a new tracking system. I haven’t heard much in terms of reviews about it. Fixing the sightings to delete things not nearby anymore was a great step, but most everyone I’ve spoke to about the game misses the original tracking system.
Incubators – I’m not going to demand more infinite incubators, I understand the game is a business and needs to make money. However, I would suggest making incubators available in bulk like lures and lucky eggs are. Possibly even selling incubators that have more uses for more coins. For example, you should be able to buy a pack of 3 incubators for 400 coins OR an incubator you that has 12 uses.
Transferring – The ability to transfer as you catch pokes was a great improvement. Now if we could do something like instead of favorite the Pokémon, you could mark for transferring to mass transfer that’d be great. Oh, and transferring higher evolutions of Pokémon should yield more candy.
Gyms – End sniping by giving a thirty second grace period to players who have recently battled the gym. Being able to set a stable starting lineup for battling would be nice too.
Balance – Everyone knows that outside of the kings of the game (Snorlax, Dragonite, Lapras) water Pokémon destroy everything, including most electric ‘mon, which should not be the case.
Right now, PoGo lacks content. There are essentially three things you can do in PoGo. Complete your Pokédex, claim gyms for your respective team, or grind levels. That’s pretty much it. For some people that’s probably enough, and that’s okay. There’s nothing wrong with being a casual player, but that doesn’t mean Niantic shouldn’t consider adding more for other players. Some people will say that I’m playing too much. As of this moment, I’ve caught 135 of the available 142 in the North America, and I’m level 28. I’d say I probably spend a bit more time than the average player. However, I don’t think I’m in the category of hardcore. I really think that my issue with the game stems from a lack of content and not the amount I play. So I want to discuss some possible ideas that could be implemented.
I agree with many ideas that have come up around places like /r/Pokemongo and /r/thesilphroad. I think there is so much room for improvement and imagination not being taken advantage of. Ideas like 1v1 player battling, trading, and quests are great ideas in the spirit of the original games. However, I don’t think Niantic should be afraid to venture and make their own Pokémon game stand out.
The CEO of Niantic has referred to the game as an MMO, and I agree. So why not add some MMO type content? An idea that I played around with and developed was the implementation raids for legendaries. Many rumors have stated legendaries will simply be gifts at events where you have to catch the ‘mon. I think this is a missed opportunity if they go that route. I think they could add a completely different dimension to PoGo when implementing legendaries by adding raids/instances.
Raids/instances might sound a little crazy at first, but I don’t think it would be all that hard for players to grasp. Let’s say we implement new items, these new items are feathers corresponding to the legendary birds (Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres). We make these feathers fairly rare drops randomly in the game. The rustling grass that used to be in the game would be perfect places to look for feathers (this would make it more equal for rural and city players as opposed to putting them in stops, I think).
After you gather 25 of Zapdos’ feathers, what do you do now? You go to a gym of your team’s color! Players can then use your feathers, and BATTLE Zapdos for the right to capture him. You can also have members of the same team battle with you to help (we may have to inflate some CPs for the fight or something). This would increase the purpose of teams. It would also add reason to get to know others of your same team. While it’s different from the rest of the game, I think making legendaries a little bit harder to catch and more unique just adds to their prestige and rarity.
On top of this, you can easily make this a scaling system. 25 feathers will get you a level 1-10 Zapdos, 50 feathers will get you a level 11-20, 100 feathers will get you 21-30, etc. It could also be a necessity to make gyms correlate, so your gym would have to be at least level 3 to use 25 feathers, level 5 to use 50 feathers, and level 7 to use 100 feathers. This makes pumping up gyms more worth your time, as well as increases the competition for them.
This appeals to all players. If you’re simply looking to increase your Pokédex count, just go for a low level legendary, because who cares right? If you’re a player who wants the strongest Pokémon, then you grind a bit and save your feathers up to battle a high level legendary.
To be super clear about this, I’m not a developer, and I wouldn’t expect these things to happen overnight. I have very little idea about how hard these things would be to implement. These are simply some ideas I had and wanted to talk about it. I do enjoy playing PoGo, I just had some suggestions that I think could make an even better game, because I do think it is wasting some of it’s potential.
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