Game

Eight Ways ‘Pokémon GO’ Must Evolve In 2017

mm
Written by Kamil Arli

Even though Pokémon GO was one of the biggest gaming success stories of last year (if not the biggest), in order to remain relevant in 2017, the game is going to have to grow in some pretty significant ways.

WHEN I THINK ABOUT WHAT POKEMON GO NEEDS THE MOST IN THIS COMING YEAR

1. Unleash Gen 2, All of Gen 2

As much as I didn’t mind the mini-release of the Gen 2 babies this December, I really do not think it’s in the best interest of the game to keep trickling out Gen 2 Pokémon. Niantic needs to just save them all up and pull the trigger, blasting out the 90+ or so that remain at the same time (minus babies and legendaries, perhaps). It would be the biggest infusion of content into the game since launch, and would re-engage players much more effectively than if just a half-dozen new Gen 2s are introduced every few weeks. The baby event made some amount of sense, but after that? They need to pick a date and release the whole menagerie at once.

Photo: YouTube

Photo: YouTube

2. Figure Out How To Do Legendary Events At Last

It’s starting to get a little goofy now that Gen 2 Pokémon are working their way into the game, while the three legendary birds, Mewtwo and Mew are still nowhere to be found. I understand that the idea of a global legendary Pokémon spawning event might be tricky, but we’re getting to the point where it’s downright strange that these creatures aren’t in the game, and it would be a huge, huge attraction when they’re finally added.

SEE ALSO:   Pokémon GO: The gameplay in gym battles is very limited

WHETHER ITS MAKING PEOPLE MAKE ROAD TRIPS TO CERTAIN LANDMARKS TO FIND THEM

Whether it’s making people make road trips to certain landmarks to find them, or instituting some sort of epic quest to hatch a legendary egg with different objectives and goals, there has to be a way to make this work at this point, and six months after launch, it’s time to start seriously thinking about how to make that happen.

3. Introduce NPCs

While there are many difference between Pokémon GO and the original handheld game, the biggest is that there are no NPCs to battle. No rival trainers, no gym leaders, no Elite Four, no Blue/Gary, no Team Rocket. No one but AI-controlled gyms using real trainers’ Pokémon. I have made my case for various Elite Four and Team Rocket additions to the game, but even if those exact ideas aren’t used, the concept of the NPCs is something that Niantic really needs to inject into Pokémon GO. Gym battling being the only form of battling is not good enough, and many trainers avoid it entirely given that the scene is so heavily dominated by die-hard players. The game needs a scalable NPC system as soon as possible, and the possibilities there are endless.

Photo: Niantic

Photo: Niantic

4. Better Battling

A cornerstone of making Pokémon GO better for all is to revamp its battle system into something…else. While most players have gotten used to the simplification of catching via the ball-throwing mini-game, the simplification of battling has never felt right.

TAPPING FURIOUSLY TO CHARGE UP ONE MOVE PER POKEMON

Tapping furiously to charge up one move per Pokémon, combined with an awkward dodge system makes battling both exhausting and unfun most of the time. Tearing down gyms by playing them over and over and over also is not great. Whether it’s a better mechanical “active” system, or going back to the old days of turn-based combat, I’m not sure, but battling has never been in a great place in Pokémon GO, and it needs to be a priority fix.

SEE ALSO:   This study will give you a new reason to catch ’em all in Pokemon Go

5. Better Distance Tracking

This one is pretty obvious, and while distance tracking has gotten better in time, it’s still not very good. Often times distance only counts for a fraction of how far you’ve actually gone, and GPS glitching can outright shut your game down periodically when it thinks you’re in a fast-moving vehicle. Past this, it remains ridiculous that distance is tracked so unevenly across devices. Pokémon GO Plus can track distance when your screen is off, but you can’t do that if you’re just using your phone. The Apple Watch version of the game uses a pedometer to track distance even if you’re on a treadmill, but the phone version refuses to do that. This must be made uniform across all devices.

Photo: Niantic

Photo: Niantic

6. Pokéteam Loadouts

This might be a relatively small addition to the game, but I really wish there was a way to save specific loadouts of six Pokémon in a way that would emulate the original game where you’re always rolling around with a set group. Having a “core group” would increase the bond you feel with your team, something GO mostly lacks outside of one or two favorites. Similarly, you could save different squads, like one for taking down a Dragonite-heavy gym, one for a Vaporeon heavy gym, and so on.

SEE ALSO:   Super Mario Run is coming to Android on March 23rd

7. Tread Carefully With PvP And Trading

This is relatively low on my priority list, but eventually, it’s still something the game needs. PvP won’t really matter until battling is fixed to be something remotely engaging.

TRADING IS A MUCH MORE USEFUL ADDITION TO THE GAME

Trading is a much more useful addition to the game, but I think it’s going to have be very carefully implemented. Yes, I would have loved to trade my little cousin a few of my heavy hitters to help build her collection, but no, I don’t want trading to open a can of worms that turns into some sort of Pokémon black market, which I can easily see happening (3,000 CP Dragonite only $30 USD!). Maybe some sort of proximity/friend system needs to be in place, but out of everything, this is the one addition that’s probably a lot more complicated than it looks.

8. New Items

The lifeblood of a F2P game is the items it’s able to sell through microtransactions, and while I think Pokémon GO has struck a pretty decent balance in terms of what’s in the store, it’s definitely time to inject some new items into the game. No I’m not demanding they start selling permanent incubators or Ultra Balls, but the game definitely needs some new items besides the six or so it’s been selling since launch. It would be a whole separate post for me to sit down and imagine a full list, but there are a lot of possibilities here, and Niantic could easily draw from the original games, or imagine new items that reflect the needs of GO players specifically.

That’s my list for now. Anything to add yourself?

Source: Forbes

About the author

mm

Kamil Arli

Editor of DigitalReview.co. Digital Media Consultant

Leave a Comment