How Niantic Can Make An Extra $1 Billion With Pokémon GO

Sometimes I think Niantic just doesn’t like making money.  This seems odd to say about a company that’s made nearly $2 billion on Pokémon GO.  Often I’ve heard fans complaining about Niantic doing things as a money grab.  I actually think quite the obvious.  I think they’re leaving  a ton of money on the table with simple features that they could get Pokémon GO’s most active players to very willingly plunk down money on.

I’m extremely lucky.  I live in the perfect area for Pokémon GO.  I’m not in the city so I can easily hold a gym (or multiple gyms) for the necessary time to get my 50 coins a day in the game.  I’m not in a rural area so I don’t have to worry about my Pokémon unintentionally holding a gym for a month.  I’m living the suburban dream.  I casually stick a few low tier Pokémon in gyms every day then collect the in game currency.  I don’t even have to worry about reviving or using potions because they’re usually recently caught Pokémon that I plan on transferring anyway.

At 50 coins a day that amounts to 350 coins a week or 18,250 coins a year.  That’s a cash equivalent of $182.50 if you don’t take into account the coin discount you get with larger dollar amounts in the shop.

With all those coins coming in on a daily basis I don’t spend much on the game.  That being said I’ve probably logged more hours playing this one game in the past two years than I have on nearly every other video game I’ve ever played all grouped together.  I could think of a lot of ways Niantic could force me to part with my Pokécoins quicker and run the risk of having to spend more real life money in game.

Here’s what I would gladly pay money for in Pokémon GO:

1.) Wider Sighting Radius

One frustration I often have with the game (and mentioned in my Pokémon GO Quality of Life Improvements article) if that if we’re around any number of Pokéstops we only see activity there.  We have no idea if there’s a Blissey just hanging out 150 feet away.  When playing at home I am often able to see Pokémon that are just a few feet away that my wife or kids cannot see due to subtle differences in their GPS drift.  Wouldn’t it be great if, as a paid feature, we could expand the radius?  Not infinitely, just enough to be able to casually catch Pokémon that were just a little farther away than what we currently have.

Proposed Cost: 200 Pokécoins per 50 meters up to 500 extra meters
Total Cost:  2,000 Pokécoins

2.) Extra Infinite Incubators

This is something that any hardcore player and even a lot of casual player would gladly cash in coins for.  I know plenty of players that don’t buy incubators because of the temporary nature of them but would be more than willing to pay a lot more for an incubator that will last forever.  I’m sitting on tons of incubators and I still don’t use them unless there’s some sort of special egg event where my changes of actually hatching something decent are greatly increased.  If I could buy two more infinite incubators I’d certainly be using them all the time.  I don’t think you should be able to have nine, mind you, but an extra two would really help out people’s egg game.

Proposed Cost: 2,000 each, up to 2 additional incubators
Total cost: 4,000 Pokécoins

3.) Extra Egg Slots

It would also be a great feature to add an additional 3 or even 6 egg slots.  I’ve already proposed separating out 7km gift eggs into their own storage area but it would be great if you were also able to just hold more eggs in general.  7km eggs have definitely made egg storage a little crowded and the lack of variety in 7km eggs makes them fairly useless for anything other than gaining a little trade distance.

Proposed Cost: 2,000 each, up to to 3  additional slots
Total cost: 6,000 Pokécoins

4.) Extra Buddy Slots

Extra Buddy slots would also be a great feature.  In the main game you’re walking around with up to six Pokémon at a time.  Six Pokémon to train, develop, and get to work together.  I don’t know if we need a full six slots, two may suffice, but it would be great to have some additional slots available.  Perhaps even expanding the Buddy system to include actual training to raise battle readiness and stats.

Proposed Cost: 10,000 Pokécoins each, up to 2 additional slots
Total Cost: 20,000 coins

5.) Temporary Pokéstops

Every so often I’m in a spot where there’s just no Pokéstops.  Having the ability to plop down a Pokéstop for say 12-24 hours and have that introduce wild spawns and be a source of items would be incredible.  This could be particularly useful for people on vacation or in rural areas.  I’m not sure if these Pokéstops would be visible by other players (like lures) or just for the trainer who uses them (like incense) but either way this would be a great feature.  This isn’t something I would use every day but I can certainly think of occasions where this would be a great feature.

Proposed Cost: 10,000 Pokécoins for 24 hours
Total Cost: Limitless

6.) Extra Battle Parties

This is something I’d really wanted to see developed when it first rolled out and the raid bosses were fairly challenging.  With the whole Regice, Registeel, Regirock crew it doesn’t seem like selecting a Battle Party even matters.  However, if raids and the gym battle system were to be altered to make them a more challenging part of the game this would be something that would be really helpful to have going into battle

Proposed Cost: 200 Pokécoins each, up to 15 additional parties
Total Cost: 3,000 Pokécoins

7.) Increased Pokémon Storage

With the release of Gen 4 imminent this is something I’m sure we’re going to see.  However, I’d be more than happy to increase storage to 3,000 slots and beyond.  With the introduction of trading and lucky Pokémon I’m far less willing to part with anything these days in the case I may want it for a friend in need.  Honestly I’d probably keep forking over 200 Pokécoins at a shot until the maximum storage is achieved no matter how high that number was.

Proposed Cost: 200 Pokécoins per 50 slots, up to 3,000 slots
Total Cost: 6,000 Pokécoins

8.) Gift Storage

I only have 66 friends in Pokémon GO and managing it is already challenging.  Having the ability to bank more gifts would really keep me able to exchange gifts more frequently on a day-to-day basis and level up my friendships.  I don’t think you should be able to increase gift storage infinitely but an additional ten slots would make a huge difference.  I’d love to hear from someone that has 200 friends and see what their ideal gift storage would be.

Proposed Cost: 500 Pokécoins to go from 10 gifts to 20 gifts
Total Cost: 500 Pokécoins

9.) Pokémon Center Storage Unit

In the main series games there are Pokémon Centers where you can store items and Pokémon as well as healing them up and trading with friends.  If Pokémon Centers were introduced in Pokémon GO it would be a great way to have a storage unit where you could do the same.  Perhaps we’re getting greedy where 2,000 slots is not enough.  Sometimes I just don’t want to trash valuable items (rare candy, golden rasberries, TMs, etc.) but I also don’t want to be carrying them around all the time.  The ability to store them somewhere in the physical world where I could pick them up later when needed would be really cool.   It would also be cool to have some sort of exchange where you could trade items or sell to other players in game.

Proposed Cost: 200 Pokécoins for 50 slots up to 2,000 slots
Total Cost: 8,000 Pokécoins

10.) Golden Lures

We have super incubators, golden raspberries, and now silver pinap berries.  Why note an advanced lure that lasts longer?  This would be great paired with a temporary Pokéstop when in a remote area or on vacation.

Proposed Cost: 150 Pokécoins each, or bundled for savings

11.) Golden Incense

This would be the same as above.  I’m usually on the go when I’m playing but if I was stuck in an area where I wasn’t able to access Pokéstops or decent spawns this would be a great way to be able to sit back and catch Pokémon in conjunction with lures

Proposed Cost: 150 Pokécoins each, or bundled for savings

12.) More Research Storage slots

When research first came out the number of slots seemed fine.  With so much research now relying on special events, catching limited time shinies, and Spinda forms I find myself having to spin stops, check research, and trash tasks constantly.  It would be great to build a little more of a buffer up to make that process a little less tedious and I’d be willing to pay for that.

Proposed Cost: 500 Pokécoins each, up to 3 additional slots
Total Cost: 1,500 Pokécoins

The total cost of buying the max of all these additions (and one of each of the temporary items) comes to  61,300 Pokécoins.  That’s  $613 ($423 with the 100 Pokécoin discount).  That’s a huge sum of money.  Not everyone would buy everything but there’s a number of items there that I, for one, would be extremely likely to purchase.  There are some items on this list that, quite honestly, I wouldn’t have any interest in.  I’m just going on what I know other players would like to see.

Pokémon GO has about 65 million active monthly users and 5 million daily active users.  Even if a small fraction of these users bought a small fraction of these items Niantic would be swimming in even more cash.  The great thing about this game is that in its current form your ability to spend money on the game does not impact anyone else’s game experience.   There are maximum limits on competitive advantage.  Spending money really only improves your ease of playing.

We will see what Gen 4 brings and if any of these things will ever become a reality.

15 Essential Pokémon GO Quality of Life Improvements

I play Pokémon GO every day without exception.  I’ve never missed a day since I installed the app on July 9, 2016.  I’ve probably spent more time in aggregate playing this game than any other game I’ve ever played.

And I’ve played a lot of games over the years.

Obviously I love the game or I wouldn’t subject myself to this.  That being said there are so many areas where I see there could be huge quality of life improvements that would make the daily play of the game so much more fun and less frustrating.

As I said I love the game but it is tedious.  Very, very tedious.

Here are what I am identifying as the top improvements that could be made to relieve some of the tedium and leave more time for the fun parts of the game.

1.) Shiny Indication

Some Shiny Pokémon are easy to identify.  When you tap on a shiny Mareep or Dratini, it’s instantly obvious, even before you see the sparkles fill the screen.

With others, the difference is barely noticeable.  During Community Day, where the entire object is to capture a new shiny, you are generally playing outside int he bright sun.  It can be difficult to distinguish between a normal and shiny Pokémon in regular light, in the sun it is barely possible.  During the three starter Community Day events I caught shiny Pokémon without even realizing it.

It would be great if there was something more to identify a shiny.  One option would be to have an icon hover above the Pokémon like with weather boost.  My preferred option would just to make the sparkles continuous throughout the encounter, radiating outward during taunts.  This would eliminate any ambiguity and lessen the possibility of having a shiny run on you.

2.) Sort/Search by Distance/Location

For trading distance is important but when you’re in the trade screen you have no indication of where a Pokémon was caught.  Sorting by location would be a great way to easily find Pokémon for the best distance.  Perhaps a little readout below each in the list showing the distance caught from current location (e.g. 7km, 150km, 823km, etc.).  Perhaps even color coding the tier it’s in (0-10km, 10-100km, 100km+) based on how many candies you’ll be rewarded on distance (1, 2, or 3).

3.) Show Us The IVs Already!

If I had to pick one change I’d like to see in the game, this would be it.  Show us the IVs and stats!  Show us when we catch a Pokémon so we can quickly make a transfer decision.  Show us on the main sorting screen to make bulk transfers quicker and easier.  The appraisal system is so incredible tedious and wishy-washy.
As a proud member of Team Instinct I’m subjected to Spark being super misleading with his appraisals.  “Room for improvement . . .”  “. . . definitely got some good stats . . .”  33%?  C’mon, Spark, just be upfront with me and tell me this Natu sucks!  I can take it.  Are you afraid of hurting my feelings?
Better yet, just give me the exact numbers so I can make a split second decision and move on.

4.) Separate Pokémon Storage “Boxes”

With 1500 Pokémon storage and rumor to be 2000 soon we really need a way to divide up our huge Pokémon inventories.  Being able to quickly mark a Pokémon for trade or evolution would be a great way to not have to scroll or search as much.  Just hanging out in your evolution box for mass evolutions or jumping into your trading box to trade with friends would make for a much more enjoyable experience.  Even having an option to custom name a box (like you can with Battle Parties) would be great.  Right now naming all of my Pokémon “Trade” then searching for “Trade” each time is cumbersome.

5.) Nearby Tracking

This is something people used to be shouting about nonstop but it still remains true.  If I’m in a location with even a few Pokéstops nearby my entire Nearby tab is filled with Pokéstop spawns.  There could be a Snorlax 150 feet away from me, just outside of my sight radius and I wouldn’t know because Nearby would be showing me that there was a Taillow half a kilometer away at the library.
We used to have the extremely confusing footprint tracking system when the game first launched.  It was very ambiguous but eventually we got used to it.  It was the equivalent of someone saying, “You’re getting hotter, you’re getting colder,” as you moved around.  Some type of similar system or compass could work.
The Silph Road launched their own Silph Tracking Tool a while ago.  The idea behind this tool was actually really cool.  It works 100% independently of the game but the premise behind it works pretty well.  If something like this was built into the game it would really bring back a level of exploration and excitement we haven’t seen since the very early days.

6.) Nearby Filtering

Another great option would be nearby filtering.  Right now Pokémon GO has a built in algorithm to determine what Pokémon we see in Nearby.  It would be great if we could toggle on/off what Pokémon we want to show up.  Maybe I’m hunting Zigzagoon because I haven’t evolved my first ever Linoone.  But let’s face it, once I catch a Linoone what are the odds I’ll ever want to be alerted about a Zigzagoon ever again?  Simply toggle Zigzagoon off and it’ll never bother you again.
I’ll catch Weedles, Pidgeys, and Whismurs for XP and evolutions but what are the odds that I’m going to travel out of my way to catch one?  I may be working toward my Tiny Rattata medal and actually seek them out but after I’ve achieved 300 tiny Rattata the odds are I would choose to simply toggle them off and never be alerted to their presence again.
Also, by default, Venonats should be toggled off.  Maybe even without an option to toggle them on for any reason.

7.) Link to Pokédex on Pokemon Screen

Another nice feature would be a quick link to jump to the Pokédex screen from the Pokémon info screen.  This way you wouldn’t need to back out of the Pokémon list, go the Pokédex, then scroll through several hundred Pokémon to find the one you were looking for.

8.) Candy Totals in Encounter Screen

I find this would be incredible helpful in a lot of situations.  Sometimes you’re not sure how many candy you have for a particular Pokémon.  If there was a little readout up top that displayed your current candy total for that Pokémon you could make better decisions about berry usage or whether or not you need to capture that particular Pokémon.

9.) Better Friend Gifting Indicators

The newly implemented Friends features have been very welcome, however, I think there’s some room for improvement.  You can now see if there has been friend interaction in the same day with a blue halo and you can see if you’ve sent a gift the same day as well.  You still have to tap on every friend individually to see if they have an open gift slot if they haven’t opened a gift in over a day.  There should be an indication of whether or not you can send a gift at all.  Additionally, sorting by friends who need gifts would also be handy.
10.) Quick Friends & Gyms Button
In two years there have been so many new features added to the game.   The core menu items (Pokédex, Shop, Pokémon, and Items) remain the only options when you tap the Pokéball.  What would be really useful would be options for Gyms and Friends from that main menu.  These are part of the game that are accessed considerably more frequently than the Pokédex or Shop and it’s a little goofy that they’re both buried under the main avatar menu.

11.) Friends Search

I have a mere 63 friends but it’s already becoming troublesome to navigate and find friends without a search feature.  This was added to the Pokémon Storage section a while back and I can’t imagine living without it there.  It seems like it would be trivial to add to the Friends section.

12.) Friends List Slide Bar

While we’re at it, why can’t we also have a slide bar like in the Pokémon Storage section?  This would be another simple quality of life fix that would make managing a large friend collection a lot easier.

13.) Daily streak indicators

Sometimes I genuinely can’t remember if I’ve spun a Pokéstop that day or not.  An indicator on the Me screen would be very helpful to quickly answer that question.  A grayed out Pokéstop would indicate no stop spun, a solid blue one would indicate the task has been accomplished.  There could also be multiple small Pokéstops in a similar manner to the gifts in the Field Research section to indicate how many days in a row they have been spun and if today is complete.
The same would be true of catching Pokémon.  Generally this is simple to accomplish even without leaving the house but I imagine in rural areas there could be more uncertainty as to whether or not one has caught a Pokémon that day and this could be helpful.

14.) Quick Trades

Now that QR codes are live (within the last hour or so) we need a feature to quick trade.  If we have QR codes active within the game, why not have a feature where, with a quick scan we can be trading instantly with another player on the fly?  This would be a big improvement over to hunt through our clunky friends lists.
15.) Remote Berry Feeding Within Sight of Gym
This is probably the most minor change I’d like to see.  I live right down the street from a gym where I frequently have Pokémon.  It would be so simple to simply tap on the gym and feed berries remotely.  Instead I have to go to my avatar, scroll to gyms, sort by defending, tap on the gym then tap on the Pokémon to get to the gym to feed.  This is unquestionably the smallest quality of life feature I can imagine.  In fact, I may be the only person on Earth that would like this feature.  At any rate, it seems easy enough to code but I wouldn’t exactly halt work on any major features to roll this one out.
The game is better now than ever.  With some simple fixes the ease of playing could be dramatically improved.  If Niantic could implement any of these fixes it would greatly relieve my daily frustrations.

Is the Pokémon GO Johto Festival the Best Event Yet?

The Johto Festival may be the best event ever in Pokémon GO.  I’m not sure it’s the most fun but it seems to best thought out so far.  Pokémon GO is a game I never gave up on.  I’ve played every day since July 9, 2016 but there were long stretches where I was playing for less than ten minutes a day.  Niantic has put a tremendous amount of energy into making this game fun again and with the new features I find myself playing for the equivalent of hours a day.

The event sort of snuck in alongside the Celebi Special Research that was announced on August 20th.  I was excited about Celebi being release because, even though I already caught Celebi at GO Gest, it’s always fun having special research to do in the game.  As a reward I will receive 20 Celebi candy which is nice but would be more exciting if my Celebi was higher than 73% or if Celebi was at all useful in the game.

Tagged on to the global release of Celebi was the surprise release of the Johto Festival.  This event is similar to the Kanto festival in that it is spawning huge numbers of Johto region Pokémon, with an emphasis on Pokémon that will evolve in Gen 4.

Screen shot from The Silph Road.

In the announcement it was said that “Pokémon originally discovered in the Johto region, such as Natu and Sunkern, appear more frequently in the wild.”  At first this seemed like an odd designation of Pokémon to choose to represent the Johto Region.  I should have picked up on what this actually meant which was that these Pokémon’s shiny variants had just been released.

The thing that makes this event so good is that they have really done a great job of integrating so many things: friends, research, 7 day bonuses, evolution items, buddies, evolutions, gifts.  The only thing they really didn’t incorporate in some small way is the weather system or battling.

The normal event we’ve seen lately is simple: introduce some new shiny variants, have them spawn in increased numbers, and include something like increased candy, XP, or stardust.

With this event they have included two Pokémon spawning more frequently, Natu and Sunkern, both with the possibility of being shiny.  In addition you can get a Pineco through research task.  The interesting part is that you need to evolve Sunkern and Natu to get Pineco.  Additionally you also need Sunstones to evolve Sunkern.

If you’re like me you’re kicking yourself for trashing dozens of Sunstones after not really having any use for them for months.  Niantic has shown a little mercy by including additional research tasks which will award you Sunstones.  The layers to all of this make this event and the shiny hunt much more interesting than in the past.

So far I’m 0-6 for on Shiny Pineco.  I’ve largely ignored Sunkern and Natu for the past year, something I’m really kicking myself for now.  This event makes me question if I can ignore any Pokémon moving forward for fear of being short on candy.  This has lead to an extra layer of strategy where I’m forced to trade Natu and Sunkern in order to get the candies I need for more evolutions.

During the last event Snubbull and Houndour were released into the wild and shinies with no increased spawns.  The catch was that Snubbull and Houndour spawn in my area no more than once a week if I’m lucky.  With the Johto Festival we’re seeing a huge increase in both of these Pokémon which have now given me a fighting chance.

The Special Research starts simply enough with needing to power up a Pokémon 5 times, battle a gym 2 times, and battle in a raid.  This was all simple though as a stardust hoarder I was a little resentful of having to be forced to use some of my stardust.

I suppose using a few thousand stardust on my 98% Machamp wasn’t the end of the world.

After that you need to make three new friends, evolve an evolved grass type Pokémon, And Catch a Pokémon 3 days in a row.

The last of these tasks was a little annoying.  While I don’t feel the need to have to complete the research in 3 hours like people did with Mew it just isn’t very exciting to have to catch one Pokémon a day for three days.  This is simply a speed bump, not an actual challenge.  It would be a lot more interesting if they’d made something challenging that very well could have taken three days but would keep you engaged rather than this overly simple task.

At Pokémon GO Fest you had to catch 10 Pokémon of several different types to get past one task.  With a three day time span it would have been nice to see something like that.

In Part 3/8 you need to reach level 25, use a Sun Stone to evolve a Pokémon, and hatch 9 eggs.  The Sunstone thing would have been welcome at any time in the past but this had me even more upset about having dumped so many Sunstones in the trash over the past months.

With part 4 I am once again resting my Chansey to walk an Eevee 10km, Evolve an Eevee during the day into Espeon, then sending 20 gifts to friends.

Being at the half way point two days into the event seems a little quick but I do know through reading spoilers that there is another speed bump approaching soon.

All in all there are a lot of moving parts to this event that make it more interesting than any in the past.  I love the addition of a Special Research and I’m really hoping they include this in upcoming events.  That additional piece makes everything that much more engaging.

For a game that struggled so much during its first year the continued improvements just keep coming.  With everything they keep throwing out there it doesn’t even seem like a big deal if we don’t see Gen 4 until early 2019.

Just kidding, that would be a huge deal and players would revolt.  However, since players are always complaining about everything anyway, what’s the worst that could happen?

 

My Ideas For Pokémon GO Generation IV Evolutions

With Generation IV just around the corner I’ve been thinking a lot about how that roll out will look.  Sure, we’ll have plenty of new Pokémon to catch and hatch, but what about all the evolutions from Pokémon that are already in the game?

There are 21 Pokémon from Generations I through III that will evolve in Generation IV.  In addition there are seven baby forms.

When Generation II launched I remember one of the most anti-climactic things was simply evolving the Pokémon where I already had the candies.  I had a Crobat immediately and evolved both Espeon and Umbreon the same day as well.  Hitmontop was a challenge because you needed to hatch the right Tyrogue and Blissey was also challenging in that Chansey candies were so ultra rare at that point.

As we’re over two years into the game at this point, even casual players should be sitting on a decent number of candies for a lot of these Pokémon.  Additionally, with the introduction of raids, rare candies are not exactly hard to come by and anyone can dump candies into any Pokémon they choose.

Evolving these next generation Pokémon minutes after Generation IV launches and adding 21 Pokémon to your Pokédex would be a considerable letdown.  Not only do I have all the candy resources I need, I’ve got all of the Pokémon in the list ready to go with either good or great IVs at this point.

Even the Mew quest was a little bit of a letdown.  As a serious player there were so many items in that quest that I just automatically accomplished.  If quests had launched on day one it would have taken me months to get my Mew.  I would have felt so much more accomplishment at getting Mew, and probably even more anger at the fact that his IVs were at 76%.

I’m hoping they utilize Special Research to get some or all of the Generation IV evolutions.  Research has been out for months and my Special Research tab is looking pretty sad.  That’s eve though I’ve had the opportunity to do twice as much Special Research projects as most players by attending Go Fest (i.e. two).

Potentially you could have a quest for each evolution item.  Completing the quest would give you the evolution item, then maybe even introduce it into the pool of evolution items you get during your 7 week streak.  A challenging quest would be a great way to get your first Pokémon for the Pokédex.  Let’s face it, with evolution items at this point I’m trashing them to make space in my storage as there’s no real reason to evolve more than one or two of any of the Gen 2Pokémon that require them.

The staggered roll out of Gen 3 did a lot to keep things interesting but I think we need more.  In order to make Gen 4 a fun and engaging roll out, here’s my proposal to ensure that no one is able to complete 20% of their Sinnoh Region Pokédex within minutes of launch.

Generation 1 Evolutions

Gen 1 Pokémon have been out for more than two years.  I’m all for making things accessible to new players but there needs to be some challenge to evolving any of these in Gen 4.  These are all screenshots of Pokémon from my collection.  Even for the super rare Tangela I have 156 candies, that’s without ever using a Pinap berry.  I went months to hatch my first Tangela and I think I’ve only ever seen one or two in the wild.  To just evolve it instantly would be too easy.

Here’s a breakdown for how I’d like to see the Gen 4 evolutions for Gen 1 to work out.

Magneton to Magnazone

  • Candy Cost: 100
  • Walk Magneton 10km
  • Complete Evolution Item Research Task
  • Evolve During Rainy Weather
  • Must have Gold Rocker Medal
  • Must have Gold Depot Agent Medal

Lickitung to Lickilicky

  • Candy Cost: 50
  • Must Defend Gym(s) for 12 Hours with Lickitung

Rhydon to Rhyperior

  • Candy Cost: 100
  • Win 100 Gym Battles With Rhydon Before You Can Evolve
  • Must be Trainer Level 35 or Higher

Tangela to Tangrowth 

  • Candy Cost: 50
  • Gold Gardener Medal
  • Special Research Task to Unlock Grass Evolution Item

Electabuzz to Electivire 

  • Candy Cost: 50
  • Gold Rocker Medal
  • Gold Pikachu Fan Medal
  • Special Research task(s) to Unlock Electric Evolution Item
  • Evolve During Rainy Weather

Magmar to Magmortar 

  • Candy Cost: 50
  • Gold Kindler Medal
  • Gold Sinnoh Medal
  • Evolve During Sunny Weather

Eevee to Leafeon 

  • Candy Cost: 25
  • Walk 10km
  • Evolve as Buddy in Sunny Weather
  • Gold Gardener Medal
  • Gold Backpacker Medal

Eevee to Glaceon 

  • Candy Cost: 25
  • Walk 10km
  • Evolve As Buddy in Snowy Weather
  • Gold Skier Medal
  • Gold Backpacker Medal

Porygon2 to Porygon-Z

  • Candy Cost: 50
  • Gold Pokémon Ranger Medal
  • Walk Porygon2 10km
  • Evolve During Partly Cloudy Weather

 

Generation 2 Evolutions

Not being in the game as long as Gen 1, the Gen 2 evolutions could potentially be a little easier to achieve.

Aipom to Ambipom

  • Candy Cost: 50
  • Can Only be Evolved from Aipom Received in Trade

Yanma to Yanmega

  • Candy Cost: 50
  • Gold Bug Catcher Medal
  • Win 20 Gym Battles Using Yanma

Murkrow to Honchkrow

  • Candy Cost: 50
  • Gold Delinquent Medal
  • Must Trade 5 Murkrow
  • Must be Evolved Between 12am and 1am

Misdreavus to Mismagius

  • Candy Cost: 50
  • Complete Ghost Pokémon Special Research Tasks
  • Can Only Be Evolved on Halloween

Gligar to Gliscor

  • Candy Cost: 50
  • Gold Ruin Maniac Medal
  • Gold Bird Keeper Medal
  • Walk Gligar 10km

Sneasel to Weavile

  • Candy Cost: 50
  • Evolve During Snowy Weather
  • Gold Skier Medal

Piloswine to Mamoswine

  • Candy Cost: 100
  • Gold Skier Medal
  • Must Win 3 Piloswine Raids

Togetic to Togekiss

  • Candy Cost: 100
  • Complete Research to Obtain Fairy Evolution Item
  • Use Fairy Evolution Item

Generation 3 Evolutions

Gen 3 have been around for around eight months.  These are the least likely for players to have tons of candies for but I’m certainly not hurting for candies on any of these Pokémon.  It would be great to see some challenge brought to these evolutions as well.

Kirlia (Male) to Galade

  • Candy Cost: 100
  • Gold Psychic Medal
  • Gold Fairy Tale Girl Medal
  • Kirlia Must Be Male for Galade (this seems to already be the case)
  • Gold Hoenn Medal
  • Trainer Level Must Be 35 or Higher

Nosepass to Probopass

  • Candy Cost: 50
  • Gold Hiker Medal
  • Gold Hoenn Medal
  • Must Defend Gym with Nosepass for Combined 12 Hours

Roselia to Roserade

  • Candy Cost: 50
  • Gold Gardener Medal
  • Gold Hoenn Medal
  • Must Win 20 Gym Battles with Rosella to Evolve

Duskclops to Dusknoir

  • Candy Cost: 100
  • Gold Hex Maniac Medal
  • Gold Hoenn Medal
  • Must Evolve During Foggy Weather

Snorut to Froslass

  • Candy Cost: 100
  • Gold Skier Medal
  • Gold Hoenn Medal
  • Must Evolve During Snowy Weather

New Baby Pokemon

Baby Pokémon will most likely hatch from eggs.  This makes sense but it was a little unsatisfying in Gen 2 when you were just incubating eggs to try to round out your Pokédex.  Much the way the Alolan 7km eggs were fun for a week or two then got really stale.  It would be very interesting if they considered bringing out breeding in Gen 4.  This would make for an interesting extra element of game play.

The following baby Pokémon are who we will see introduced in Gen 4.

  • Mime Jr. (baby Mr. Mime)
  • Bonsly (baby Sudowoodo)
  • Happiny (baby Chansey)
  • Mantyke (baby Mantine)
  • Munlax (baby Snorlax)
  • Budew (baby Roselia)
  • Chingling (baby Chimecho)

Some ideas for how to potentially introduce these new baby forms:

1.) Hatching

This is the obvious, if boring, way to introduce the new babies.  You simply release them into 2km eggs, presumably during an event, and we just get them randomly.  This is usually not very satisfying.  Who among us did not hatch an unwelcome number (more than one) Mantine during Gen 2?

2.) Breeding at Pokémon Centers

To be honest, I’m not a scholar of the original games so I’m not fluent with the game play dynamic of how breeding worked in the original series.  The idea of having Pokémon Centers is something I heard floated a while ago for Pokémon GO but I haven’t heard mentioned again.  It would be interesting to introduce this new mechanic in the game as a place to heal, train, and breed Pokémon.

Perhaps leaving two Pokémon at a Center (a male and female) for a specified time would result in gaining an egg that you’ll have to walk and hatch.  For Happiny maybe you need to leave it at the Center for a week then walk it 20km.  For Mantyke maybe you leave it at the Pokémon Center for ten minutes and walk it for .5km because, let’s face it, who will ever want more than one baby Mantine?

3.) Research Tasks

Additionally there could be research tasks though I think the breeding requirements would be the best options.  Happiny and Munchlax should be the more difficult to obtain as they are meta relavent.  The rest of them I can’t see anyone wanting more than one for the Pokédex.

4.) Encounters in the Wild

Encountering babies in the wild may be my least favorite option but it’s something we haven’t seen before.

The Mime Jr. Dilemma

Mime Jr. poses and interesting dilemma.  This is the only region exclusive baby form being introduced. This does make things a little uneven as far as all other regions are concerned.  I suppose with trading it is more possible to obtain a Mr. Mime so maybe that doesn’t matter.  I still do not have Mr. Mime but admittedly I haven’t really made any effort to obtain one either.

Still, it seems odd that one region essentially gets an extra exclusive.

In Conclusion

Some may not think some of these ideas are fair.  For example, evolving only during snowy weather is hard for people who live in Southern California.  Currently shiny Snubbull is released in the game and I live in an area where I never see Snubbull.  I’ve caught a total of two during the event and they were from research tasks.  Like with region exclusives there would be some unbalance, but that’s part of what makes getting the rarer Pokémon such a challenge.

Ideas like only being able to evolve Pokémon during a specific day (like the Halloween idea) may seem very rigid, however, I think that paired with an event this would be very doable even for a new player.  Getting your Gold Hex Maniac medal during a Halloween event would be pretty easy, then concluding it with getting the super rare evolution on Halloween would be interesting.

With trading now in the game, these limitations could exist for people who want a challenge without training.  Anyone else that simply doesn’t want to jump through these hoops would need to go the trading route, potentially as a special trade.

If everything is just released with a simple candy cost then I guess I’ll join millions of others in just going through the motions and evolving 1/5 of my Gen 4 Pokédex in ten minutes but I’m really looking for something more interesting and challenging in this release.

And I’m really looking to never have more than one Mantyke.

 

 

Eevee’s Last Resort

This coming Saturday and Sunday we are seeing our first ever two-day community event with the featured Pokémon Eevee.

This has been one of the most hotly anticipated Community Days yet with Eevee potentially evolving into five different Pokémon currently with two more on the way soon.

A couple of things are different about this event.   It lasts two days, presumably to get you more opportunities to catch shinies.  It features an exclusive move that will carry over with the evolved Pokémon rather than getting the move upon evolution.  And, finally, we are being allowed until Monday to evolve Eevee to retain the exclusive move Last Resort.

I’m very much looking forward to this event, just like the previous Community Day events, because it’s a great way to grind XP, hunt shinies, and collect stardust. That being said, there are some glaring issues with this upcoming Community Day.

Firstly, it seems at this late stage in the game that it is unlikely they are releasing Leafeon and Glaceon.  This would have been a perfect way to introduce Gen IV Pokémon but with everything else going on in the game they may just be waiting until December again to release the new generation.  Personally I’ll be hunting for a minimum of eight shinies to include an evolution to Sylveon in the distant future.

Secondly, Eevee’s evolutions are still random.  Sort of.  Unless you haven’t used the naming trick yet you’re going to need dozens of shiny Eevees to ensure one Vaporeon, Jolteon, and Flareon.  Umbreon and Espeon will also need to be walked 10km each before the cutoff on Monday in order to be evolved with the exclusive move.  This brings me my last concern.

The special move is useless.  As far as I can tell there is no good reason to want to evolve anything with this move unless you just want that Pokémon evolution as a collector’s item.  Last Resort is a normal type move which means you’ll lose STAB on any Eevee evolved form unless in Gen XI they release a normal type Eevee evolution.  We’ll call it Leon.

In the absence of Leon there will be no STAB for both attacks on any Pokémon evolved from this.

In other news . . .

The only thing that could work is saving up all your evolved forms to trade with friends later (much later if you want Lucky evolutions) to complete your shiny Eevee collection.

Lucky Pokémon have been interesting if not game changing.  The current evolution event has been a little strange and has lacked the fanfare of previous events.

I was left with about 175 Larvitar from the Larvitar Community Day so I’ve been trading them frantically to get between four and six candies each.  It sure beats the double candy event I’d been waiting for.

Other aspects of the event have been a little underwhelming.  The introduction of shiny Houndour and shiny Snubbull have been barely noticeable.  I’ve come across exactly one wild Houndour and one Snubbull from a research task, both not shiny.  Seeing either of those Pokémon in this area virtually never happens.

Additionally the Spinda research tasks have been just as hard to find.  I’ve finally nabbed a couple but it seems only the eighth form is released with no real idea of when future forms are showing up.

The Ultra Friends have been pouring in lately and with a lucky egg that means a sort of obscene amount of XP as a reward.

Unfortunately, after more than a year of raiding, the process has become a little stale.  It doesn’t help that the latest round of legendaries are legendarily bad.  With only high level attackers being worth raiding I’ve been just catching one or two and calling it quits.  I actually completely missed Regice and will be happy to just trade some stardust for one in the future.

Actually “happy” may be a little strong.

Pokémon GO Friendship and Training (One Week In)

Here we are.  It’s officially one week in to Pokémon GO’s new Friendship feature.  The Friendship aspect of Pokémon GO is something I always wanted added to the game, though I couldn’t have really articulated exactly how I wanted it to work.  Some way of connecting with — and keeping tabs on — friends that play the game was something I thought would be really cool.

Trading is something I never wanted in the game.  I thought it sounded horrible.  Why would I want to trade with anyone?  Wouldn’t that be potentially dangerous?  Wouldn’t it create a black market?  Wouldn’t it give the advantage to spoofers who can instantly collect 100% IV Pokémon from anywhere in the world and use them as leverage to get whatever else it is that they want?

Well, Niantic seems to have taken all of that into consideration and put together what may be their most well thought out update to the game yet.  They seem to have addressed almost every issue that could potentially make trading not work and this system really seems to work.  On the one hand it would be cool to potentially use a 100% IV Pokémon to trade to a collector or get for your collection, but this update anticipates that problem and it’s a necessary sacrifice that it is not possible to do with the current system.

Intertwined with friendship and trading is a gifting system that allows you to send gifts to your friends anywhere in the world.  This is a very nice feature in that total trading distance is now tracked so if you have friends anywhere far away, if you trade a Pokémon hatched from one of their gifted eggs you can use that to get a lot of trading distance.

This is a huge update to the way that the game is played, introducing lots more to do, new strategy, additional things to accomplish, and much more to think about.  The last few months have marked a huge change for Niantic from seeming to not do anything with this game to introducing things at such a dizzying pace that it’s almost hard to keep up even as someone who plays every single day.

As I see it, here are the current issues with the new update that I’d like to see worked out.

1.) It’s Clunky

With all the new things added to the game, navigating has become pretty clunky.  I think a complete UI redesign may be in order soon.  I think more should be accessible from the Pokéball at the bottom of the screen including friends and gyms.  Clicking through the avatar screen is getting harder and harder to navicate.

2.) It’s Glitchy

This is to be expected with a new roll out but it’s so glitchy.  Sending gifts, opening gifts, showing the wrong sprites, not clearing out the gift image once it’s opened, constant errors with almost every interaction, friends list not loading, all of this needs to be worked out soon.  Again, I wouldn’t expect perfection for this brand new feature but it’s hard to imagine how something so glitchy couldn’t have been ironed out before a full scale release.

3.) Friends Sorting

I can’t imagine anyone playing the game that doesn’t wish there was some sort of sorting feature for friends.  It’s actually remarkable that it wasn’t put into the release to begin with.  Even with my small group of 33 friends it gets pretty old scrolling down, down, down, looking for someone.  A simple sort by name, level, location, etc. would solve all of these frustrations easily.  While we’re on the subject . . .

4.) No Location Indicator

There’s no indication where any of your friends are from.  Some players (sorry, it’s hard to call them “trainers” with a straight face) have taken to naming their buddy Pokémon with their location.  This is a good workaround but this should really be built into the game.

5.) No Gift Indication

Currently there is no way to scroll through your friends to see who can or cannot receive a gift.  Having to tap on each friend individually is annoying.  There should be a way to see this at a glance and also a way to see your friend’s info if you currently have a gift waiting from them.

6.) Sorting Pokémon By Location

We need this in the game with the next update.  Simply sorting your Pokémon list by nearest or farthest from your current location will make the trading process so much easier.  Two players looking to wrack up trading distance will much more easily be able to do this rather than by individually renaming Pokémon based on their geotags.

7.) Pokémon Storage Space Increase

I can’t believe I’m saying this but 1500 slots is just not enough!  Between saving Pokémon for transfer or evolution for double candy or double XP events, all the shinies, new forms,  and now saving loads of Pokémon from far away places to trade these slots are getting used up pretty quickly.  I feel like we were in a similar spot back when training up gyms was int he game and we had to keep a lot of 800CP to 1200CP Pokémon in reserve.  Getting rid of training cleared up a lot of space but we have two additional generations, shinies, forms, etc.  It’s time to bring it up to 2000 slots so that then we can claim we need 2500.

8.) Egg Anxiety

With 7km eggs added to the game, and only available through gifts, this makes spinning Pokéstops so much more stressful.  Accidentally spinning a stop when you have an open egg space and getting a 5km egg is now the worst thing that can happen to you in the game.  A week in and I’m still trying to get my timing and strategy down for when to open gifts and when to spin stops.

9.) Overall 7km Egg Variety

Getting the new Alolan forms is cool and all but having a mere four new Pokémon in this class of egg got old by day two.  Having Meowth hatch more than half of the time (56%) with Vulpix less than 4% of the time seems like nothing more than a cheap excuse to get people to buy more incubators.  Having a wider variety of Alolan forms (or just more Pokémon in general) would be necessary pretty soon to avoid this getting old.  The only saving grace for this is that if you are lucky enough to get garbage (i.e. Meowth) from far enough away you can always trade it for someone else’s garbage Meowth and then transfer it right away.

The ability to discard eggs poses some legitimate problems but something needs to change.  An additional infinite incubators, having 7km eggs on a separate egg screen, having 9 eggs of each distance, permanent incubator bundles available, whatever it is it seems like there is a shift needed at this point.

10.) No Alternate Name or Message Feature

Combined with not knowing the location of friend requests coming in there’s no way to put an alternate name or message explaining exactly who this friend is that’s requesting you.  It’s also hard to remember who is who when scrolling the list.  Real names (optional) or nick names could help as well as locations.  That being said I do not think there should be a chat feature in the game for a number of obvious reasons.

This update has been a lot of fun.  A few simple tweaks and bug fixes could really take this new system to the next level.  This may be the single biggest update to the game since launch and it’s going to open the doors to many more great things in the future.

 

 

Trading is Coming to Pokémon GO

I’ve got to admit, I’ve never been a big fan of the idea of trading.  I think this puts me in the minority but I always envisioned this being something that could so easily be exploited by spoofers.  It could be something that created a black market within the game.  It could even propose real world safety concerns, meeting fellow trainers in some dark alley to do the deal.

I’m happy to say that earlier this morning trading was announced and it seems on the face of it they’ve addressed a lot of these concerns.  It’s not a perfect system at first glance but, honestly, it takes a concept that could break the game for many players and just layers in a nice new feature.

Firstly, the main thing that is being introduced, of which trading is just one part, is the new friendship system.  This is something I’d been hoping would exist in the game for a long time though I wasn’t really sure what it would look like.  Now we know.

I’ve met so many people at raids and playing the game in the general that just the idea of being able to keep in touch with them is a really cool feature.  There is now also the added feature of getting extra attack bonus and premier balls meaning that it will be easier to do raids with smaller, tighter groups.  This is huge particularly in more rural areas.

There is also a new feature which allows you to obtain gifts from Pokéstops.  Giving these gifts to friends increases their friend level.

Trading is a cool aspect though I wonder if it will really help me complete my Pokédex.  World travelers and spoofers may be willing to trade their regional exclusives with me but most people thought those regional exclusives would net them some high IV Pokémon in return.  With this update they have announced that stats would be re-rolled upon trading meaning that it would be impossible to get a 100% IV Pokémon in return for anything.  This is a good thing in many ways but I wonder what someone who traveled (or spoofed) will really want in return for their region exclusive.  Obviously one would want to trade for something that they really want.  I guess one could only hope they missed a particular legendary or are looking for a shiny variant of something.

The above screen shot has many people scared.  Many are wondering if this is just a mock up or if there will really be trades that cost 1,000,000 stardust.  A subsequent screen shows that getting “Best Friend” status with someone would bring this same trade down to 40,000 stardust.  That is totally acceptable but at 1,000,000 stardust I can’t think of anything I’d want that bad, never mind the Pokémon I’d have to offer up in return.

Overall I’m pretty excited about this feature.  It has the potential to be the biggest and potentially best change to the game of the year.  While research has added a new aspect to the game it has ultimately gotten stale pretty quick.  I’m hoping Friendship can have a more sustained impact on the game.

A little over a year ago there was little reason to open the game and play for more than five minutes a day.  Now with continuous events and updates there’s more reason to play than ever.  I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I won’t be able to get every new shiny form that is released even if I spend hours a day trying.

This is what they game has needed for a long time, a reason to tap every Pokémon, and more features to keep things interesting.

Looking forward to many new friendships and looking forward to an action packed summer!

Pokémon GO Fest Was Almost Pokémon NO Fest

When it was announced earlier this week that GO Fest was returning to Chicago this year I wasn’t sure or not if I’d be able to go. In fact, I’m still not entirely sure.  Regardless I waited by the computer for the countdown and dove right in to buy tickets.

Last year I was fortunate enough to get my tickets within about five minutes.  This year it was a bit of an emotional rollercoaster.

There were numerous errors but after forty-five minutes I was able to secure my tickets for the 2018 version of Pokémon GO Fest.  Given the backlash last year I am pretty confident that they’ll have worked out a lot of the kinks for a smoother event this year.

What they’ll need to do this year to ensure a smoother experience:

1.) Figure out the lines.  The two hour wait was a little crazy.  On top of that the line just snaked around endlessly.  Despite getting there two hours ahead of the event we still had an additional two hour wait and it was four hours until we were able to start playing, albeit intermittently.  Two entrances should help some of this but, honestly, I don’t understand why there needs to be a line at all.  Letting people just check themselves in whenever or wherever they want seems like it would be much more efficient.

2.) Figure out the cell service.  This was the main issue with last year’s event.  There were too many people in too small a space calling on too much data from cell providers.  Hopefully with the event being much more spread out this year it won’t be as much of an issue.  Lincoln Park appears to be about 5-6 times the size of Grant Park so I’m hoping that keeps things running.  Luckily with the lessons learned last year I know that Niantic knows what to do if things fall apart.  Hopefully they’ll do it a little earlier this time.

3.) More diverse spawns.  I’ve seen screenshots of the Safari events in Europe with several Chansey and Larvitar on every screen.  I’d really like to see rare spawns and have the opportunity to catch stuff I don’t see every day.

4.) Exclusive Shiny Pokémon.  I haven’t seen a single Unown since last year’s GO Fest and I’m assuming we’ll be seeing a return this year.  Shiny Unown would be a great start.

5.) Go Fest Research Quests.  Having some specific quests to accomplish, rather than just wandering aimlessly through the park, would be great in having the event be a success.

6.) Mystery content release.  It would be great if some brand new feature would see a debut at, or slightly before, GO Fest.

The idea of what they are doing with habitats sounds like fun.  It would be great to be able to pick certain habitats to explore and stock up on Pokémon and candy we’re missing.

The challenges last year were worldwide but this did not work out in anything approaching the grand fashion Niantic had planned.  It would be great to see something like this pulled off properly even with in game notifications.

Research and weather are the two major new features since last year.  It will be interesting to see how they play into this year’s event.

And then there’s photo ops.  Personally, I’ll trade my photo ops for a Chansey with 93% or higher IVs.

I definitely feel the same feeling I felt in the lead up to last year’s event.  Last year I had this curious feeling about what a live Pokémon GO event could be like.  This year I have the same curiosity about what will be different paired with a hope that it doesn’t have the disastrous start hat last year did.

Pokémon GO Fest 2018 and Pokémon GO Safari Zone!

Last year I was so psyched to get tickets to Pokémon GO Fest.  I had imagined what it would be like.  The event ended up being nothing like what I, or anyone else, imagined.  The day started with about 6-8 hours of the most frustrating experiences I’ve ever had and concluded with about 6-8 hours of the most fun game play I’ve ever had in the game.

It’s looking like Niantic has really learned from the mistakes it made in 2017 and that this event should go off much more smoothly.  Eliminating the two-hour line (hopefully) and expanding the radius of the event should drastically reduce the frustrations from last year.

Last year began with the two-hour wait in line, but the promise of the day ahead made it seem like it was going to be worth it.

The excitement of approaching those GO Fest Pokéstops made it seem like something major was about to happen.

Everyone was absolutely packed into the park, ready to play.

This is what most of those in the picture where looking at on their phones.

As you can see by the timestamp on this screenshot, I got the badge for successfully entering my QR code, four hours after arrival at the start of the line.

This is one of the four Pokémon I caught in Grant Park during the event.

Hours later the event spilled out onto the streets and Lugia and Articuno made their first appearance in the game.  This was nearly twelve hours after arriving and it was a pretty exciting moment for the game.

Here’s some brief footage I took of the first ever Lugia raid in Chicago.  I’m not sure, a year later, if they can recapture this participation and excitement but I’m really looking forward to seeing.

I’m hoping there are some other cool items this year, such as the regional they brought in last year.  At this point there is only one available Pokemon in the came that I do not have, Cradily, and that will almost certainly be not true by GO Fest.  With special events I’m sitting on thousands of candies for all the most useful Pokémon in the game.  Aside from ultra rare spawns, really only Chansey and Snorlax, there aren’t really any candies I need.

Here’s a brief wish list for what I’d like to see this year:

  • Ultra rare spawns
  • High IV Pokémon
  • New shiny release(s)
  • Rare candy rewards
  • Limited edition movesets
  • New Unown letters
  • BIG Margikarp
  • Increased overall shiny spawns
  • Bonus (Double XP, Double Candy)
  • Reduced km for hatches and buddy
  • Include rare raids
  • Something to do in gyms to make them relevant
  • Beginnings of Gen 4
  • Quests specifically for GO Fest
  • Quests for region exclusives

That’s an awful lot, but at this point at level 40 with my Pokédex missing only one of 362 Pokémon available to me, there needs to be something great at GO Fest this year.  I’ll be at 362 by the time GO Fest comes so I’d really like something exciting to keep me interested.

Just looking through my screen shots from last year it looks like a totally different game.  Niantic continually tweaks and improves this game so who knows what surprises are in store for us in the lead up to July.

 

Pokémon GO Special Battle Showdown

Wow.

After nearly two years it seems that Niantic has finally discovered a way to make events a surprise.  Out of nowhere Niantic announced this morning that they’ll be launching another event, a mere 24 hours after the previous one ended.  Just when I thought I’d be able to build my Pokéball inventory back up it looks like I’m still destined to have my item storage depleted.

Here’s the official announcement:

Trainers,

It’s time to test the strength of your Pokémon during a special battle event! Fighting-type Pokémon, such as Machop and Makuhita, will appear more frequently in the wild starting May 1 at 1:00 p.m. PDT.

But what’s a battle celebration without some competition at your nearby Gym? Until May 14, you’ll receive 2× bonus XP for Gym Battles and Raid Battles. Plus, Raid Battles will also award a guaranteed 3,000 Stardust for participating—and at least one Rare Candy if you win!

Several actions at Gyms will yield bonuses, including a 2× Badge multiplier, so you can receive even more benefits at a Gym you visit frequently. Just stopping by? Spinning the Photo Disc at Gyms will also yield more items!

Our Battle Showdown is sure to pack a punch, so don’t miss it!

—The Pokémon GO team

I feel like we were inundated with Machop during the Kanto event but this seems to be a very good way for newer or more casual players to earn their Gold Black Belt badge and earn some vital Pokédex entries.

The most interesting part of this event is that it focuses around gyms.  Battling will earn extra XP, raids will earn extra XP and guarntee rare candy, and there’s even a multiplier on gym badges.  To the best of my knowledge this is the first time I’ve seen gym badges be relevant in the game since being launched nearly a year ago.  It would be great to see some future research surrounding gyms and gym badges.

Additionally, with hundreds of shiny sprites added to the game we can no longer predict when or if a specific shiny variant will be added to the game.  It is very possible that we’ll see shiny Machop or even several shiny fighting types added with this event.

In a stark contrast to where this game was at this point last year, Niantic is giving us nothing but reasons to make sure we play this game every day.