The Problem with Research in Pokémon GO

I have been a huge booster of quest and research in Pokémon GO.  It’s the feature I was looking forward to for the longest.  Overall I’m happy with this addition but it doesn’t bring as much to the game as I had been hoping.

The pace with which new features and events have been coming to the game has been crazy over the past couple of months and that’s a very good thing.  At this time last year the game was so boring I was only playing for 5-10 minutes a day.  Now it’s hard to go an hour without checking in on the game to see what is happening.

Research added a great new element to the game.  The quest for Mew was cool but just too easy.  I completed it in a little over a week, doing it at a very leisurely pace.  Others completed it the day it was released.  The reason it was so easy is that for people who have been playing since day one most of the objectives were automatically accomplished.  The other ones, like transferring or evolving a few Pokémon, were incredibly easy.  Catching Ditto was probably the hardest part of the quest and that was more annoying than anything given it didn’t require anything other than dumb luck.

Some parts of in the special research would have been great had this feature existed since day one.  As a daily player for nearly two years it was a little disappointing.  If they make an element of quests be getting a gold Sinnoh medal, or evolving some rare Sinnoh region Pokémon then that will definitely seem like much more of a challenge.

I am currently sitting on 96 Lotad candies, and not a decent Lotad to evolve.  I’m excited any time I see one.  Imagine if I also knew that evolving Lotad would bring me one step closer to completing a special research assignment.

I’m also not sure if laying everything out in 8 segments is the best way to do it either.  Just having a complete checklist seems like it would work much better.  As it stands everyone is worried about evolving anything at this point as that evolution may be necessary to complete the next research project.

Field research has its own problems as well.  Since you can complete field research it’s really easy to just sit on three completed research projects then just use them daily.  Prior to research all we needed to do every day was catch a single Pokémon and spin a Pokémon and our mission for the day was complete.  During those boring days of the game last year a lot of days I’d open the game in the morning, do both of those things and then be done for the day in a matter of a minute.  Now I feel like my morning ritual also includes claiming a reward and that only adds a few seconds.

Including some sort of tracker to measure how many of each task you’d completed and maybe giving additional rewards for doing that task 5, 10, or 100 times would spice things up a bit.

Research is a great addition to the game but in the absence of an ongoing event it just becomes another task to perform to keep a streak alive.

The 7 day reward for Poké Stops is getting an evolution item, something almost completely unnecessary in the game at this point.  These are for Gen 2 evolutions and none of them are particularly useful evolutions at that.  So we’re all sitting on dozens of evolution items that we do not need.

The 7 day reward for research is a legendary encounter.  This sounded really cool at first but so far we have had four straight weeks of Moltres encounters.  This seemed like a really good solution for rural players who have no real options to get legendaries.  Imagine how stoked rural players must have been to have learned of this feature only to find out it would be the same encounter four weeks in a row.  On the one side you get four shots at getting something with decent IVs and you can get at least 12 candies for power ups.  The downside is at this rate you’ll need over a year to complete your legendary Pokédex, and that’s assuming that no additional legendaries are released.

Something about this needs to change.

It would be great if you could voluntarily select quests for the legendary Pokémon you need.  Long, hard quests that would result in a standard level 20 encounter.  There could be varying quest for each one and trainers could do them all simultaneously if they chose.  They could easily make the 7 day reward for research be something else like increasing an attack, defense, or stamina stat by one point, item rewards, or a number of other options.

Overall this has been a great addition and a solid test run of this new system.  Now, some tweaks are needed to add some more challenge to the game for hardcore players, and a little more incentive for rural players to want to continue to participate.

Pokémon GO’s Kanto Event Starts in a Matter of Hours

It’s official!  After my speculation the Kanto event begins later today, in just a few short hours.  Here’s the official announcement.

Trainers,

The appearance of the Mythical Pokémon Mew has attracted Pokémon that were originally discovered in the Kanto region. These classic Pokémon will be seen more frequently starting April 10 at 1 P.M. PDT, so you’ll have the perfect opportunity to earn a gold Kanto medal and even complete your Kanto Pokédex!

What’s more, certain Pokémon such as Aerodactyl and Snorlax will be featured in Raid Battles across the world. Keep an eye out for one you haven’t encountered yet!

As you encounter and catch more Pokémon originally discovered in the Kanto region, all actions will be rewarded with double Candy. So, not only will you be able to catch Pokémon you might not frequently see, but you may also get the chance to register their evolved forms in your Pokédex as well.

During this event, there will also be special boxes containing Raid Passes! These boxes will give you an opportunity to challenge many powerful Pokémon originally discovered in the Kanto region.

This special celebration ends on April 17, so get out there and make some more discoveries. If all goes well, you may be able to finish your first Special Research request and encounter Mew!

—The Pokémon GO team

It’s not quite the shiny extravaganza everyone was hoping for but the double candy will be enough to get me to transfer several hundred rare Pokémon and clear out some slots for Sunday’s Community Day Event.  I may also be rewarded with double candy if I’m fortunate enough to catch Mewtwo on Saturday.

We may still get surprised with shinies.  An interesting theory I’ve seen is that they’ve released all the shiny sprites just so they can surprise people instead of everyone always being able to predict what’s coming next.

Honestly I’d be happy to finally find a shiny Magikarp at this point.  Shinies are rare enough that I have a lot more hunting to do before I even collect half of the currently available ones in the game.

Who knows?  Shiny Pidgey may be mere hours away.

 

Catching Mew in Pokémon GO

Now that we’ve had a little over a week to fully explore research in Pokémon GO, I am pretty happy with the update.  The only thing that has me feeling a little let down is the fact that now that I’ve completed the quest for Mew and there’s no event going on it doesn’t feel like there’s anything to do in the game at present.

I stumbled upon a shiny Murkrow, the April Fool’s joke that they added to the came last week.  I hadn’t tapped on a Murkrow since I was trying to get my gold Delinquent medal.  I’m happy to not have to tap on any Murkrow again moving forward barring any necessary field research assignments.

Niantic also announced a cool Earth Day Cleanup event which I thought sounded like it could be fun.

Upon perusing the North American map of event locations my excitement faded pretty quickly.  I’m all for the premise but I don’t know that I can travel 1200 miles to clean up a beach.

I was able to complete my week of field research which unlocked the first field research reward.

It’s a really great additional that they’re adding legendary Pokémon through the research rewards but the surprise was spoiled by hundreds of people on Twitter who live in time zones ahead of mine.  Still, it’s a great addition to the game.

I completed the more difficult task for the Mew quest and that lead me to the final stage which, quite honestly, was supremely easy.  Catching a Ditto was the only difficult part of the entire quest which I was able to do at the very leisurely pace of about a week.  Honestly, for the final stage catching Pokémon with berries was very easy and did it mostly from my house by just opening the app once or twice and hour.  It was a little tedious but not really that challenging.  I made the single excellent throw on my first throw after the research was assigned and I got the gold Kanto medal about eighteen months ago.

When the quest was complete it was extremely confusing as to what was going on as I didn’t realize I’d be forced to catch Mew in AR mode with no choice of balls or berries.  After a few tosses I picked him up pretty easily.

The whole thing was a little anti-climactic as my Mew ended up having almost the worst IVs possible from a Mew catch.  I think the lowest possible IVs are around 73%.  I would have been pretty happy with at least 80% but since I’m probably not going to end up actually doing anything with this other than holding it as a trophy I guess it doesn’t really matter.

The more exciting news of the day was later that earlier that afternoon I finally got my first ever EX Raid pass.  What’s even more exciting is that it is at a time I was not scheduled to work or previously engaged.  Finally, I will get a shot at attempting to catch Mewtwo, something that most of the people I raid with have already done multiple times.

Overall the Mew Quest was pretty fun but my main gripe would be that this feature should have been available to the game from launch.  I remember how long it took me to evolve my first Gyarados which I powered up to be my first Pokémon over 2000 CP.  I remember how long it seemed to take to hit level 25 and how long it took me to register 100 Kanto region Pokémon in my Pokédex.  All of these things were instantly checked off my lists.  How much more exciting would it have been to have been working towards the greater goal of catching Mew while I was doing all that.  Evolving my fifth Gyarados, which I didn’t need, sitting on 2300 Magikarp candies wasn’t quite as exciting.  Actually I was a little annoyed because I didn’t need it and was hoarding the candies.  Catching my 98th Ditto wasn’t quite as exciting as it was catching my first.  Generally I’m annoyed when I ever see Ditto these days.

It was nice to have things to shoot for though.  I could have easily knocked this quest out in a day or two (you know, if I didn’t have a family or a job) but I took my time with it and it made the game more interesting.  I’m hoping future quests will have some slightly more challenging elements to them.

Even with how quick this quest could be knocked out I saw plenty of players on Twitter tweeting coordinates to Gastly nests so that people could spoof to the location and catch ten ghost Pokémon within minutes.  I can’t even imagine how that could fun for anyone, knocking this quest out in hours rather than enjoying it.  I was disappointed that I was able to catch my ghost Pokémon in one morning of casual play.

In the never-ending onslaught of recent developments in the game has been that there’s rumor of an event starting on April 10, this coming Tuesday.  The only information is that the event will focus on the Pokémon of the Kanto region.  However, recently, shiny sprites for over 100 Pokémon have been detected which means that the quest for shinies may be about to get crazy this week.

This event is likely to be announced tomorrow so we’ll see shortly what it’s all about.  One thing I’m eager for is another double candy event as I have over 200 Bulbasur and Dratini to transfer.

Even with nothing else my week will end with a Mewtwo raid and the Community Day Event.  It’s going to be very exciting to see what other surprise gets thrown into the mix.