News of third generation Pokémon coming to Pokémon Go very soon is spreading. It started with a leaked image (reported via Eurogamer) which had been sighted on the Apple app store and posted to and shared on Reddit’s Silph Road. The image shows the three starter Pokémon from the third generation games Ruby and Sapphire.
Now we know that gen three Pokémon are on their way. 50 are slated to release imminently, if they haven’t already by the time this publishes, along with new weather effects coming later this month. Weather will affect several aspects of the game including when Pokémon will appear more frequently and how effective certain moves are during battle and is a welcome addition.
Every so often Pokémon Go pulls me back in. Whether it’s a seasonal event or the addition of new Pokémon I’ll jump. For me it’s always been a good walking companion, not great but fun and nostalgic and it’s flexibility allows me to play when I want. This news will no doubt spark my intrigue to open it up again for the next few days. Or until I’ve caught all new Pokémon in my area.
Niantic have also recently rolled out their plans for updates to the raid system including exclusive raids, refined item rewards and a drop in the level requirement for participation. This shows they’re very much invested in creating a better, evolving game. This is a big focus on multiplayer however and those of us who don’t have a big group of friends to raid with are left behind until new Pokémon appear.
This multiplayer focus means I’m finding myself going back to the game less and less with the same single player content rarely changing. Its definitely slowed down after a buggy but constantly updated first year. Jumping back on for an event is fine but temporary. Pokémon Go isn’t doing enough to keep me invested past a few short sessions over a few days but perhaps the inclusion of gen three Pokémon will hold me longer.
This feeling I have though is a huge shame. It’s a good game not just for mobile but for the Pokémon franchise. It had a huge potential to be the Pokémon game that everyone could play and continue to play for years to come. The lack of features though and the features chosen to be rolled out have slowed it down considerably. It’s no longer in the mind space of the masses. It’s not adding enough, quickly enough to keep me at least opening it every day or even every week. So what do I think they could do. Of course I’m not a developer and won’t tell Niantic how to run their game but here are some suggestions that I’d like to see.
This is an obvious step. Add more Pokémon to keep people coming back. Rather than a mass dump of new monsters though, a well planned, frequently released group would be great. If these were advertised too, or we knew a rough schedule of drops, I would think about the game more. I’d look forward to what was to come. I could know that for a weekend or two I’d have 10 or so new Pokémon to catch, a short wait and then another few weekends with 10 more. This could either be adding them to the wild as the recent Halloween event did with third gen ghost types or as a one or two week blast, then their gone again to reappear in the future. With this idea third gen Pokémon could be released in waves rather than my map being clogged full of super common creatures.
More variety in the wild
It’s not just the standard third gen Pokémon I’m waiting to catch. It’s those first genners that are frustratingly super rare. I haven’t even seen the likes of Tangela or Hitmonchan and only encountered perhaps two or three Doduo. Being closer to moping up gen one would be a huge pull and could be done in several ways. Either reducing their rarity as more Pokémon are included, which would be my preferred choice, or using events.
My first suggestion may negate the need for more events but as an alternative having more events not just themed around the time of year would work well. We could see a week long fighting type event where that type are found in the wild. Getting the chance to catch a Hitmonlee would be great. We could get a short run rare and elusive event where the rarer Pokémon appear more frequently. Of course make catching them difficult, that’s part of the fun. Encountering ten Hitmonlee’s on a thirty minute walk but only coming away with one or two would give a sense of satisfaction. We have seen events similar to this before. We had the chance to catch Farfetched, a region locked Pokémon, recently but as soon as I had contributed to the total number of captures needed and bagged a few Farfetched the app wasn’t opened again.
Something included in the main Pokémon games, trading between friends or people met whilst playing would be brilliant. It’s easy to connect a couple of mobile phones together so I don’t see the tech being an issue here. To implement it with the existing game however means stipulations may need to be put on it. Trading similarly powered Pokémon for example might keep the other aspects of the game, such as gym battling balanced. It would be no good if one super player just traded out a bunch of high level Pokémon to create his own Team Rocket. On the other hand this idea may open people up to meeting others and get into raiding groups.
Along with trading this is a more multiplayer aspect but it fits well with a single player experience. Chance encounters or meeting with friends could produce an epic five minutes of back and forth with an opponent to then go on your way again. A reward for winning would increase the likely hood you would want to battle. Perhaps something similar to catching a raid Pokémon, if you win you have a chance to catch a version of your opponents highest powered monster, if you lose their lowest. There may be some issues with the way current battling a la gym battles works but for now a straight clone of this system against another human would suffice.
This is just my take on what I’d like to see for Pokémon Go to keep evolving and retain the player base. More Pokémon, specifically from gen three are set to make their appearance before the end of the year. What would you like to see included in the game going forward?