A year and half after its initial release, Pokémon GO players are finally seeing the third generation of Pokémon. The starter Pokémon of Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, Treecko, Torchic, and…
If you fired up Pokémon GO over the Thanksgiving holidays, you helped contribute to the Pokémon Global Catch Challenge. According to Niantic, trainers collectively caught over three billion Pokémon around…
A cooperative Raid Battle system was added to Pokémon GO earlier this year. Raids let players join together to defeat a single powerful Pokémon at a Gym location. This week Niantic announced several big changes coming to both standard Raid Battles as well as the special invite-only EX Raids with Legendary Pokémon.
“We want Trainers to walk away from Raid Battles feeling like they’ve earned some amazing rewards, even if the Raid Boss flees,” states the update post. “To help make this more of a reality, we’ve made adjustments to the quality of items Trainers receive after defeating a Raid Boss. The addition of Stardust rewards for participating in a Raid Battle will help Trainers continue to power up the Pokémon they need to take on even more powerful Raid Bosses.”
Standard Raid Battles are getting the following changes:
- Trainers will now receive Golden Razz Berries for completing Raid Battles.
- The numbers of Potions and Revives awarded to Trainers for completing a Raid Battle will decrease slightly, but the quality of Potions will increase.
- The likelihood of receiving Fast and Charged Technical Machines for completing a Tier 3 or higher Raid Battle has increased.
- Trainers will now receive Stardust for participating in a Raid Battle, whether they win or lose.
- Magikarp will make a triumphant return to Tier 1 Raid Battles.
Additionally Niantic received a hefty amount of feedback to the oft-frustrating EX Raid Battles, which was the only way to gain super rare and powerful Legendary Pokémon.
The following changes are being added to EX Raid Battles:
- EX Raid Battles will take place most commonly at Gyms found in parks and sponsored locations.
- Trainers with a high-level Gym Badge are more likely to be invited to EX Raid Battles taking place at that Gym.
- Trainers who have completed a larger number of Raid Battles are more likely to be invited to EX Raid Battles.
- EX Raid Battle start times now take into account popular Raid Battle times at that Gym.
- Trainers invited to EX Raid Battles will receive an in-game notification if the EX Raid Battle is canceled.
- Trainers will receive Stardust and Premium Raid Passes when an EX Raid Battle is canceled.
With these changes the EX Raid Battle system will officially move out of beta (or ‘field test’) and into official launch.
Also happening this week is the Pokémon GO Global Catch Challenge. Every Pokémon you catch this week will contribute toward the challenge, with overall goals in the millions and billions. The rewards are listed below:
- Bronze Tier (500 million Pokémon caught): All Trainers will earn double XP, Lure Modules will last six hours, and more Pokémon will appear all over the world.
- Silver Tier (1.5 billion Pokémon caught): In addition to the Bronze Tier rewards, all Trainers will earn double Stardust, and even more Pokémon will appear.
- Gold Tier (3 billion Pokémon caught): In addition to the Bronze and Silver Tier rewards, Farfetch’d will appear all around the world for 48 hours and Kangaskhan will appear in East Asia for 48 hours!
The Pokémon GO Global Catch Challenge will conclude on November 26.
When Pokémon GO first launched in July 2016, it instantly became a cultural phenomenon. Its unprecedented mainstream popularity lead to widespread network issues that lasted for weeks.
Unfortunately all reports from last Saturday’s Pokémon GO Fest on July 22 tell a similar story. While it was meant to be a fun one-year celebration gathering, it instead brought back the same network issues that plagued the game at launch.
Connection issues hampered excited players throughout the day, with most event-goers unable to do the one thing they bought a ticket for. Amenities and organization were also subpar, with few charging stations and very long lines to get in (and out of) Grant Park.
Pokémon GO Fest ended up being such a disaster that Niantic announced mass refunds for everyone who attended ($20 ticket price). They’re also offering $100 worth of PokeCoins. Of course many people paid much more than that with airfare, hotel stay, and the typical overpriced event food.
There’s a video now circulating on YouTube from the event that features very disgruntled event-goers, and Niantic CEO John Hanke being booed on stage.
Niantic released an official statement:
Today at Pokémon GO Fest in Chicago, technical issues created problems for a large number of players attending the event. From everyone at Niantic, we apologize to all of the Trainers who came out to Pokémon GO Fest today. Although we were able to solve many of the technical issues, we were not able to offer every attendee a great experience. We appreciate the patience of all the Trainers who joined us in Chicago this weekend. We will strive to make sure our experiences are of the highest quality going forward.
In addition to the refund and PokeCoins, all attendees will have the Legendary Pokémon Lugia added to their account. Lugia was meant to be the big reward for completing the challenges, but connectivity problems lead to Niantic simply releasing it. Apparently Team Mystic came out ahead on the few Pokémon captures that could be earned, unlocking Articuno as the other Legendary Pokémon.
Given how well Niantic has supported Pokémon GO and stabilized the servers following its rough launch, it’s exceedingly disappointing to see a large-scale event like this crash and burn. Niantic has had a year to iron out the kinks. You would think they’d be able to better prepare for an actual scheduled, ticketed event.
Pokémon GO’s one year anniversary celebration is in full swing. Niantic has finally detailed what exactly is going down at their ticketed celebratory event Pokémon GO Fest, and it is a neat way to integrate with players all over the world.
Pokémon GO Fest takes place Saturday, July 22 in Grant Park, Chicago, IL. Three Challenge Windows will task both players at the festival and Pokémon GO players everywhere. For the first challenge, festival goers need to catch different types of Pokémon in order to unlock certain rewards. Catching enough water Pokémon grants an XP bonus, while Fire gives out more Candy. These are global rewards that will benefit everyone playing Pokémon GO.
If you’re not attending the event in Chicago, you can still participate. The duration of these earned bonuses are tied to how many Pokémon everyone else catches around the world. Reaching Bronze increases the bonus by 24 hours, and Silver by 48 hours. If enough Pokémon are caught to reach Gold tier, it will unlock the second Challenge Window, which Niantic is keeping a mystery. Completing the second Challenge will reward the third, which unlocks “a major global reward.”
Niantic hasn’t release the actual numbers required to hit any of these target goals. It would be disappointing for those who paid to play at Pokémon GO Fest to not even unlock the later challenges. I’m fairly certain Niantic won’t let that happen.
The one year mark is also celebrated through new loot boxes and hat-wearing Pikachu. Special Anniversary Boxes can be purchased at a discount in the in-game shop. They include Incubators, Ultra Balls, and Raid Passes for the recently added Raid Battles. Any wild-caught Pikachu can be found wearing Ash’s iconic hat from the Pokémon animated TV show. These extra perks last until July 24.
Pokémon GO Fest takes place on July 22.