I’ve been playing Pokemon Go for a few months now, initially on my iPad but a month ago I got a new phone and have been playing it a lot.
It is odd. When I first booted up the game it was a huge disappointment. Pokemon just appeared all the time and I didn’t need to hunt for them. Catching them took no effort or strategy. In fact I can catch dozens of Pokemon a day from the comfort of my sofa.
However, gotta catch ’em all…
The hope of catching, hatching or evolving new and rare Pokemon has kept me coming back. As with many people, catching endless pidgeys, weedles and zubats did start getting old. Heck, even when I gave it a go during my stay in Japan I mainly only got bloody pidgeys! Yawn.
What has kept me thinking “just a little more” is the prospect of fighting for gyms. I found seeing the local gyms engaged in regular battles very enticing, it makes the game feel alive and shows how other people are involved and playing the game.
I am currently at the point where I can get involved in gym battles but I still don’t feel satisified. Whilst the gyms can be fun to get involved in, they have their flaws and don’t work a source of gameplay for the majority of players (I’ll talk about that separately) gym battles and grinding pokemon just isn’t enough.
With Pokemon being so easy to catch and limited opportunity to actually use your Pokemon (aside from flawed gyms), I suspect that myself and many others can drift away. This is likely a huge concern for the developers (people in general drifting away, not just me…). I think they really need more ways to battle. Perhaps you could have practice matches with friends when close by? If they made efforts to improve the combat system then it could be a great way to get players involved. You could maybe use Pokestops as a way of getting people together, or just making your player visible on the map. Also what about using your Pokemon to help capture ones out in the wild? That would lend well to this being a Pokemon game on top of making use of the hundreds that I’ve caught!
Whatever the plan, I hope Pokemon Go gets an expansion because having caught plenty Pokemon… I kind of want something to do with them! Gyms certainly aren’t the answer and at best can only be part of it.
Note: I started writing this article ages ago but there’s been a few updates on gryms so my opinion on them hasn’t settled but I am still certain they aren’t something for everyone!