Players Just Can’t Stop Complaining About Pokemon GO
As the game was rolled out in July 2016, thousands of people jumped on the bandwagon to make the game an instant summer classic. People “lit” up PokeStops with lures for hours on end in the evenings to try to “catch them all”. According to company data, the game has been downloaded half a billion times and users have already walked a combined 2.8 billion miles. While there have been moments of applaudable success, the community has (for the most part) a love/hate relationship with the game. While they love the franchise, many feel that certain aspects of this game have fell short of a truly, enriching experience. We’ll go through some of the biggest gripes here.
A game, especially a mobile one, should be accessible to everyone, right? Unfortunately, rural players have gotten the short end of the stick when it comes to gyms, PokeStops, and spawns. The game was built on the infrastructure created by Ingress for gyms and PokeStops. A fundamental flaw with this is that players around urban centers have more gyms and PokeStops to interact with when compared to more rural locations – sometimes leaving players with nothing to interact with at all. If you can’t spin PokeStops, you can’t get Pokeballs. If you can’t get Pokeballs, you can’t catch Pokemon. If you can’t catch Pokemon, you can’t battle in gyms. Get the picture?
This was a pretty big issue when the game first launched. The team grossly underestimated the popularity of the game and players suffered. According to this googleblog post, Niantic’s worst-case scenario was 10 times lower than the actual traffic the game received.
There were some hiccups after that when launching in other countries, but they seem to have things under control for now.
Here’s the most complained about subject with Niantic’s game. If the sole premise of the game is to have people go outside to explore and catch Pokemon, users should have a reliable way of finding them. When it launched, it wasn’t bad. The “Nearby” feature would refresh and let you know how close pokemon are to you by the number of steps (0 being very close and 3 being not so close).
Then the tracking was broken and all pokemon were listed at 3 steps, and instead of fixing it, they removed it altogether. I guess that’s one way to deal with issues?
Players as passengers traveling in moving vehicles used to be able to spin PokeStops when they drove by. After v0.45.0 for Android and v1.15.0 for iOS devices was released, the update prevented users from getting items if they were traveling above a certain speed. Commuters took the brunt of the hit, most of them probably rural players traveling to the city on their way to work. As a result, some notices just don’t make sense anymore.
This one I can’t fault Niantic. Players can’t seem to decide what they want more, the ability to take down level 10 gyms, or the ability to build gyms up to level 10. At first, players were upset that gyms were experiencing high turnover rates and it was nearly impossible to train a gym up to level 10. Niantic then buffed gym training – until players got mad that gyms were stagnant at level 10. So they nerfed gym training and now we’re back at square one. Personally, this is probably better as it allows lower level players to attack rival gyms to get those much needed coins on a daily basis.
A sub-point here would be gym sniping. You’ll know how frustrating it feels when you’ve spent all your time taking down a rival gym, only to have someone else put their Pokemon in first. If it’s your own team, it’s sometimes okay, but if it was a rival team? Then, you’ll have to battle some more. While this is fixed now, the same can’t be said if you’re training up your own team’s gym. Sigh.