Major Pokemon Go Update!

Pokemon GO was the phenomenon that we had all been awaiting: The culmination of the dreams of an entire generation and the manifestation of where we are, technologically, with smartphones. The release took the world, yes, the entire damn world, by storm nearly a year ago. Some may have been disappointed here and there, but for the most part, people were not only satisfied, but the App brought people and families together, helped a lot of Autistic people engage with the world, got people off of the couch and walking and generally saved the planet. Okay, maybe saving the planet is going a little too far, but it has certainly achieved more for itself than most Apps.

Of the aspects it has done right since release, we could postulate till the Miltanks come home. As for the aspects that Pokemon GO fell short, most offered a general consensus of two key elements that needed addressing: the Gym fights and the multiplayer aspects. The App still has a long way to evolve yet, but we’re only at the beginning of it’s life, it’s first birthday for many of us!

Niantic have announced a major update is currently in the pipeline which should hopefully cover some ground in bringing this legendary App even further along.

  • Raid Battles
  • – Raids may be a common place event on games such as Destiny or World of Warcraft, but it’s not the first thing I would have imagined coming to Pokemon Go, but it could be Super Effective! You will be able to access this new cooperative feature at the Gyms as up to twenty player all work together to overcome the Raid Boss. Before the Raid, all of the Gym’s Pokemon will be temporarily returned to their trainers and a large egg sits atop the Gym with a countdown. Once zero has been reached, the Raid Boss appears and players can engage together for a little jolly cooperation and have a five minute opportunity to take it down! If defeated, trainers will get the chance to capture it!

    This does require the use of a Raid Pass, which get doled out daily for free or, unsurprisingly, you can pay for more in the shop via a “Premium Raid Pass”.

  • Gym Badges
  • – This is as delightful as it is unexpected! The anime & handheld RPGs follow an individual around as he tries to obtain the eight League Badges to a Region. This is a feature that was utterly absent from Pokemon GO, but appears to now be on its way!
    The amount of input you have on a Gym, such as feeding berries to the defenders, spinning the disc or battling will increase your Gym Badge’s level. This will then will dictate being given bonus items for that Gym, as well as increased rewards for that specific Gym.

  • New Items
  • – There are always going parts of any announcements that are expected, here is said part: There are new items on their way too! Rare Candies will be making an appearance as a universal type of candy that adapts to the Pokemon you use it on. Golden Razz Berries will be added as a super strong version of the current Razz Berries as well as an item to refresh a Pokemon’s motivation meter for when the are deployed to a Gym. Lastly, TMs will also be making an appearance allowing Pokemon to learn a random move

  • Gym Overhaul
  • – An overhaul of the way the Gyms function is likely going to be the most notable feature of this major update. Gyms can now have their disc spun, not wholly dissimilar to your average PokeStop.

    The old method of training to increase a Gym’s functionality has been done away with in favour of six permanent spaces for Pokemon to be filled, and filled with no repeats. That’s right, only one Dragonite per Gym! The order of combat will no longer be CP related; you’ll fight them in the order they were put into the Gym.

    A new “Motivation” system is to be implemented. As expected, if your Pokemon losses fight after fight after fight, you can expect its morale to take a bit of a hit in the guise of it’s new Motivation meter. Once a Pokemon is on that slippery slope, it’s CP will (temporarily) decrease, making sure that the losses keep on coming! Once the Motivation hits rock bottom, the Pokemon will leave the Gym and re-evaluate its life, and also return to the Trainer. Anyone in your team can come along and feed it a few berries to top up it’s Motivation (while also earning a few points of experience for their Gym Badge) and thus allow it to keep fighting the good fight! (or the bad fight if you accidentally picked Mystic or Instinct)

    Lastly, a word concerning these changes from the Pokemon GO team:

    To put these exciting changes in motion, we’ll be temporarily disabling all Gyms. Once the update has been rolled out to players around the world, Gyms will return. The Raid Battle feature will then be rolled out slowly over the next few weeks, starting as a beta, with raids visible only to a subset of players at certain Gym locations. Over a few days, we’ll invite more players to participate and enable raids at more Gyms around the world. Keep an eye on our social media channels for updates on when you’ll be able to start battling in raids. We can’t wait to see you outside battling at your local Gyms!
    —The Pokémon GO team

    What do you think? Is this likely to keep you coming back for more? Gave up on the game shortly after release? Shredded from a thousand eggs hatched?! Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!