A Pokemon Go update wishlist

Pokémon Go has taken the world by storm in just a few days, breaking app revenue records despite not yet being released in all regions.

Niantic have teased what will be released in an upcoming update, but here is my dream wish list in terms of what I’d like to see from the update:

Trading

This one is a no-brainer and something we’ll likely see in the next release. Exactly how it will work isn’t clear – having to be within physical range of someone to trade would fit with the game’s philosophy of ‘getting out and about’, but that would surely not be anywhere near as utilised as a proper online trading system. It would be interesting to see a ‘lucky-dip’ style trading system similar to that of Pokémon X&Y, where you give up a Pokemon to trade in return for a random one given up by a stranger somewhere in the world. Although this might lead to a Caterpie saturation…

 

pokemongo sea

 

Battle development

Something Go has been criticised for is the simplistic battling at gyms – just frantically tapping in order to win isn’t even comparable to the deep turn based system Pokémon players are used to. There’s some debate as to whether Nintendo will deploy a similar system, through fear of detracting from the mainline games, but with the unexpected financial success of Go (£1.6 million per day so far) it wouldn’t be a total surprise if they implemented the turn-based battling.

Even if they didn’t go all the way with it, I’d like to see something a bit more sophisticated than the frantic tapping. However for me the big one is having to battle the wild Pokémon in order to catch them – this is a core feature of the original games and something I wish they would bring back. At the moment catching a Pokémon just involves a swipe and a prayer.

Region-specific Pokémon

This is a real wish of mine and something some players might not want to see. At the moment it’s true that you’re more likely to encounter water-type Pokémon near the sea etc, but I would love it if there were Pokémon that could only be caught in certain cities, or even certain countries in the world. It would be great to encounter new Pokémon every time you went to a new place, or to have an excuse to make the journey to other cities with the view of catching new Pokémon.

Imagine bringing back exotic Pokémon you’ve caught whilst on holiday in Spain or your trip to Peru and showing them off to your friends. It would add another layer of excitement to the experience, and encourage people to travel and expand their horizons. Of course, it’s not possible for everyone to travel, and could be a bit unfair on people who can’t afford to make long trips/go abroad, so Nintendo may opt to keep Pokémon ‘region-free’ in light of this. The selfish part of me still wants it though.

pokemongo regions

Deeper experience levelling

At the moment Pokémon gain experience and Combat Power (CP) via stardust and candies. This feels underdeveloped for a few reasons, for one Pokémon will only eat their type of candy, and to get their type you have to catch more of that same Pokémon – so to level up your Sandshrew you have to catch a load more Sandshrew and either keep them stored up or transfer them back to Professor Willow in exchange for another candy.

The stardust also seems a bit arbitrary and is clearly just a resource to encourage micro transactions. I’d love to see your Pokémon leveling from not only battling, but based on other variables. For instance how long you’ve had them, how far you’ve walked with them, whether they’ve been nicknamed, how far you’ve travelled with them from their original catching area, whether they’ve come to you via trade, etc. An element of mystery to this would be great – there was this layer of intrigue in the games that made you not exactly sure why your level 100 Venusaur different to your friend’s level 100 Venusaur – and I’d love to see this depth applied to Go.

Shinies and variants

Another great element of the original games was the random occurrence of ‘shiny’ Pokémon – a Pokémon that had a different colour variant to its usual kind. They were mysterious and unique and you always got a jolt of excitement whenever one appeared. I’d love to see this happen in Go, and not just restricted to colours – let’s see other types of variation in the Pokémon – give me a Rhyhorn with an extra horn, or how about a Haunter with a top hat? Including rare variants would just add that extra layer of depth to the experience.

I’m really enjoying Pokémon Go but can already feel my attention beginning to wane – but if the next release contains some of these features an they build upon the excellent foundation they have, it could be one of the biggest gmaing phenomenons ever.


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