What Draconius Go Needs to Succeed

The week that Pokémon GO came out I was pretty much at home the entire weekend hanging out with family for my kids’ birthday party.  I was lucky that my house happens to be a frequent spawn point for wild Pokémon so I was able to log on every so often, catch a few, then return to what I was doing.  Upon returning to work I found the same was true.  The existence of plentiful spawns even while remaining stationary was what kept me logging in and, eventually, becoming a very serious player.

So far Draconius Go is not sucking me in and it’s only for the reason that it does not share this in common with Pokémon GO.

Draconius Go does an amazing job of solving the Pokéstop and gym problem that Pokemon Go has in rural areas by scattering them all over the place.  If it could do this same thing with spawns I think I would have leveled up a bit by now.  However, at my current spot in the game, I’m teetering on the edge of continuing to play and just abandoning the game all together.

Overall I’m much more impressed with this obvious clone than I thought I would be.  I thought I’d play it for five minutes then never touch it again.  I was surprised to find out that it brings a lot of elements to the table that Pokémon GO was (and still is) sorely missing.

I’m not sure I’ll put anywhere near the time into this game that I’ve put into Pokémon GO but it would be a pretty quick fix to get some more casual players more interested.


Is the Pokemon Go Halloween Event Already Over?

Finally, the long awaited Pokemon Go Halloween event is upon us.  Many fondly remember last year’s Halloween event as it was the first time any of us got a chance at bonuses.  Once again we are graced with 2x candy.  This time we also get special boxes in the shop.

The most anticipated part of this event, however, is the first chance at catching Gen 3 Pokemon.  There really is no more exciting aspect of the game than tracking down and collecting new Pokemon.

The downside to last year’s event was that by the end of the event we were all so sick of catching Cubones and Gastlys that we were glad when it ended.  This year’s event threatens a similar ending and we could potentially reach that point much, much sooner.

I’m currently traveling and staying in a spot where there are zero wild Pokemon spawns.  Despite that obstacle I was able to catch enough Gen 3 Pokemon to effectively complete my Gen 3 Pokedex within a matter of hours, casually playing while being driven from one destination to another.  I also caught two of the witch hat Pikachu.

So what does that leave for the rest of the event?  I can grind candies for XP which is always nice, but with no available Pokemon needed for my Pokedex there’s not a ton of incentive to play all that much.  Last year I remember swapping my buddy Pokemon to evolve some of my last Gen 1 Pokemon needed: Omastar, Kabutops, Dragonite, Machamp.  This year I guess I can focus on getting candies for my seventh Tyranitar or fourth Dragonite.

The bonus boxes are okay but the items aren’t really needed.  Super Incubators: what incentive is there to hatch eggs right now?  Raid Passes: it’s difficult to find a group to raid with these days and I’m not going to raid when I’m out of town for fear of getting an EX pass after I return home.  Incense: please.  Pinap Berries: I have about 150 already.

A lot of the problems with this event — and all events — could be solved with one thing: quests.  Give us quests to do in the regular game, and special quests with good bonuses for events.  This is not much more than last year’s Halloween event and last year the game was completely different.  Give us an incentive to battle gyms, do raids, hatch eggs, besides the double candy.  They’re even missing an obvious reward for quests or anything during the Halloween event: rare candy.  This would be the perfect opportunity to dish out some rare candy, something that has been very hard to come by after they reworked raid rewards.

Overall Pokemon Go events are always fun, always a reason to get playing a bit more and have fun.  Releasing all of Gen 3 with the double candies may not have been a good idea for this event but I doubt that dribbling them out like this is going to get anywhere near the traffic as last year.

What Pokemon Go Could Learn from Draconious Go

On the surface Draconious Go seems like a blatant Pokemon Go ripoff.  Don’t get me wrong, it is, but the astonishing thing is in noticing what this obvious clone does right that Pokemon Go sadly fails to deliver on.  Despite being one of the most popular mobile games of all time and being out for well over a year Pokemon Go is still lacking in many areas to give the game more depth.

The design is not bad for what it is.  The throw mechanics are absolutely awful but the design is surprisingly good for what it is.  The monsters you catch even look pretty cool.  It’s nowhere near what I was expecting from a game that is so obviously derivative.

While I’ve only played for probably about 30 minutes here’s what I’ve quickly gauged as being some obvious things that Pokemon Go could implement to make their game have more appeal in between their monthly events.

Pillars of abundance, their hilariously named take on Pokestops, offer a more wide range of items including random XP.  Additionally you’ll find them everywhere.  They seem to have solved the rural player dilemma by simply placing pillars all over the place and, honestly, it makes the game more fun not having to suffer in rural areas.  Yes, the real world landmark of Pokestops is nice, but the pillars just being there by themselves get he job done much better.

On top of that you just find random treasure boxes in the wild sometimes, the way you find monsters.

There are items you can find and equip your player with to give them special abilities.  It would be great to see something like this in Pokemon Go.  The ability to equip items to increase stardust yield, decrease buddy walking distance, or increase the visibility of wild Pokemon would only help in getting more people to play more often.

One of the most frustrating things about Pokemon Go is trying to figure out your Pokemon’s IVs or stats.  This game just comes right out and tells you.  What a concept.  In Pokemon Go you need to rely on third party apps (which are technically against the game’s terms of service) to decipher an enigmatic appraisal from your team trainer to understand how powerful your Pokemon is.  I can’t tell you how much more enjoyable a similar feature would make Pokemon Go.

One area where Draconious Go absolutely beats Pokemon Go is that it has quests. I and many other Pokemon Go players have been hoping, wishing that somehow quests would be implemented.  Daily quests, weekly quests, special quests, anything would be a huge boost to the game.  It could start out small and then evolve the higher level you got.  They could (and probably should) have used quests as a way to get a chance at getting legendary Pokemon.  Right now to get Mewtwo you need to just wait for dumb luck on the chance you’ll be chosen to get an EX Raid Pass.  Wouldn’t it be more fun if you had to perform a series of quests to unlock the most powerful Pokemon in the game?

Additionally they have even implemented a PvP mode, something Pokemon Go fans have been screaming for since day one.  While I’m not high level enough to participate in it yet it seems pretty cool.

I’m sure there are dozens of other improvements in this game but after thirty minutes these are some obvious improvements I’ve noticed.  Do I think I’m going to log the number of hours in Draconious Go as I have in Pokemon Go? No.  It does a lot of things right but mostly I hope the folks at Niantic are paying attention to how much more their game could be.  With the billions they’ve made on Pokemon Go I see no reason they couldn’t implement some of these features more quickly and make Pokemon Go much more than it currently is.

Universal Paperclips

Universal Paperclips is the first game in over 15 months to divert my attention from Pokemon Go with any significance.  While this obsession only lasted about 36 hours it is promising to learn that there different more obsessive compulsive games out there to consume my attention even if for a fleeting moment.

Play Paperclips here!