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Thursday, July 20, 2017

Pokemon Go...something not so Liberty focused for a few minutes

Niantic released a new update today chock full of "why did you do that?", especially just days before a major event...yet again answering absolutely no popular requests for the game!

Below is what I put in my "bug" report to the feedback shy company:

Sent a bug report and the following attachment:
1) Why don't you like feedback?
2) Why can I not see the stats of my pokemon that is on a gym?  Was it too little to make the "on a gym" indicator clickable?
3) Your Gym update was all about making gyms easier for low level players - so now people can heal them remotely?  This is NOT Ingress.


I have been a customer of yours since Ingress came to Android.  I know at first you were a Google company and Google seems to want to avoid feedback like the plague.  However, avoiding feedback denies you the luxury of building community around your game and permitting people to provide non-focus-group feedback.  Wouldn't you rather hear directly from the players in the field than just a few people who've likely never played the game?  Please open a forum where fellow trainers and agents can come together and discuss all aspects of your games.

Did you know that many people have left Ingress because of the open chat?  The sometimes ugly outbursts in that rather competitive game drove my wife and I away from it and we have thousands of hours logged there.  Additionally we found that the people on your own team were typically the larger barrier to accomplishing goals than the members of the opposing faction.  Big field ops and people throwing random links could ruin several hours of play spent prepping a local field.

Pokemon Go  
We enjoy this game greatly, but find several things to be frustrating:
1) The rarest pokemon love to spawn in gated communities (eg:Mareep).  Sure our nearby feature isn't perfect but it's obvious where the rare spawn is based on movement and sure enough it's typically inside a gated community slightly out of reach of standard range.  There should be a way to report a spawn as inside a restricted community or deep on private property so that it can be randomly relocated elsewhere.  One pokestop near our house is off limits at night because our county thinks parking lots near a preserve are unsafe after dark.  Typically the most interesting pokemon listed on the nearby for that pokestop are just out of reach behind the pokestop while the pidgey and the spinarak spawn no problem….the pikachu though?  Nope!  You want that you better be ready to talk with the Sheriff!

2) It's very interesting how the most avid players we've met don't have spawns on or near their property but down the street where noone plays pokemon there are several spawn points.

3) The newest version 0.69.0 has to be the worst update in some time.  Do not get me wrong - it has a feature I was just saying I wish was in the game, but the rest are completely awful.
  • The major revamp to the gyms was all about making it easier for lower level players (of which I am not one) more likely to be able to take down a gym.  Personally I do not understand how having to fight 18 individual battles to remove 6 pokemon is easier than it was before the update, yet it is still a fun way to spend 20-30 minutes making other people wonder why you are standing there.
    • Granting people the ability to heal remotely goes against the entire concept of easier to take down.
    • It is obvious the idea behind fewer pokemon (resonators) that lose motivation (decay over time) needing berries (power cubes) to replenish is a nod to Ingress.  Of course the pokemon won't leave the gym because they have no motivation unlike a resonator poofing because it's out of energy.  Not sure why that would be?
    • How can a group of people possibly take off a pokemon while remote players can heal them?  Did you try playing that scenario?  While you exit the battle and try to re-fight the other team can easily heal the pokemon back to full leaving you starting the three battles against the one pokemon all over again.  How is that easier?
  • Why give us the ability to feed berries to full pokemon?  It seriously isn't that difficult to obtain the 1,000 berry badge.  I'm already more than halfway there and I only play an hour or two a week night and several hours on the weekend.  Did we really need an accidental berry sink so we can accidentally feed full pokemon?
  • Various bug fixes?  Why not specific bug fixes like:
    • Removing the awful memory leak caused by viewing gyms?  Side effects are random crashes and lock ups of the client?  Resolved only by restart the client.
    • Correcting the "Gym is under attack" message for players who helped take down a gym but then experienced an error like "Network Error".  Resolved only by leaving the area for five minutes and coming back to get them placed on the gym.
    • The ongoing bug of "No Internet" or "Network Error" when there is strong signal or wi-fi provided to the phone.
    • And my personal favorite - This is the only game I have ever played where after a while the client loses its session and the only way to resume playing is to exit and restart the game.  The built in "Retry login" does nothing.  Ingress doesn't have this issue - why does Pokemon Go?
  • What's improved about the searching?  Can we find text in beginning (yes as long as two or more characters), middle (nope) or end (nope) of a renamed pokemon?  Wildcards work? Nope!  How about the ability to search on a candy type and find all the pokemon in that family? Nope!
  • Icon about how a pokemon was caught?  Just why?  Why would that data be getting recorded to begin with?  How does knowing I caught 8 Pikachus with blue balls and one with an ultra and two with a red ball helpful to anyone?  What about all the pokemon I got rid of?  Just why?  Why not make a catch log about everything I used to try to get it?  Because it's dumb!  That's why!
  • Now for the one I actually thought would be nice.  How cool would it be to be able to click on the "On a gym" indicator and go to the gym instead of using the not so wonderfully placed gym mess on my badge/profile screen?  It would be great unless Niantic took away all the other functionality from my pokemon's information screen.

    Couldn't just make the icon clickable?

    Is Now:
    You have to be kidding!
    •  I mean why should I be able to see anything about the pokemon when it is on a gym?
      • CP?  nah - you have the collection screen for that!
      • Motivation?  Naw have to go to the gym icon for that!  
      • Its name?  Sure - you are permitted that, but you cannot change it!
      • Height and Weight?  Nope - but then those are goofy stats anyway!
      • How much candy you have?  Hah!   Nope - go catch another common Ampharos cause they are readily available!
      • Power up/Evolve?  Was disabled before anyway but because someone couldn't understand that it's better just to remove it off the screen.
      • Their moveset?  Nope!  That's a secret until it comes home!
    • This makes me not want to be on a gym.

It's obvious how much testing went into the new update: