The Rise and Fall of Pokemon Go

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So over the weekend, we received the largest update Niantic has put out for Pokemon Go since release. At first it was just the changes of spawn locations and species chances of spawning, including nest locations, and the nerfing of some attacks and the boosting of others. Next some features such as character customization were a welcome addition, but one documented change was the removal of the footsteps to help tracking of nearby Pokemon, the Pokemon still appear on the tracker but with no indication for their proximity.

Also was Niantic going after the third party Pokemon tracking sites like Pokevision, they are now offline, which was the alternative that people were using till the footstep bug was fixed. The footstep bug was annoying, and while it technically is the same as it is now, it’s just that by removing the feature instead of fixing it, gives the impression that the problem with the system is now here to stay. That combined with the tracking sites being taken offline has led to a lot of player frustration, now it’s nearly impossible to find specific Pokemon on your grid without just blind luck.

One other thing that I’ve personally noticed, and after talking with other players saying the similar things, is the higher chance for Pokemon to break free from captures, and higher fleeing chance. Why is fleeing even a feature in the game, it’s not as if you have any ability to prevent it, it’s just raw RNG working against you, same as the break out. While the berries and the better quality balls can help, it still is extremely frustrating and definitely detracts from the fun of finding a rare Pokemon.

I found a 1934 CP Charizard and attempted to capture it, I counted over 80 normal Pokeball hits, most of which were Nice, or Curveballs, over 20 Greatballs, and 14 Ultraballs. I had used 24 berries as well, and was still unsuccessful in capturing it. It was very frustrating, and honestly I hadn’t been that mad at a game in awhile. The only reason I see to increase the rate at which Pokemon break out is to increase micro transaction sales via the shop, as not all players are near good locations for mass Pokestop farming, myself included.

The capture feature could easily be remedied if that each Curve, Nice, Great, or Excellent adds a permanent bonus to the capture chance. While that may mean a lot of Pokeballs get used, it will at least be feasible to capture the ones with extremely aggressive behavior or lower chance to capture to being with. A lot of players have been voicing their concerns and dislike of all these changes since they went into effect, and many more have stopped playing. The lack of real communication from Niantic is also a problem with players, and that is something they should work to be more active with their players.

This game has a lot of potential, and I hope that a lot of it’s issues are fixed, there are more than I got into than just the latest update, such as the near uselessness of Gyms, Egg glitches for hatching, and rural areas having less Pokestops. Regardless the game has been a huge success, but it’s longevity is uncertain.