What Needs To Happen Next
- GPS Adjustments: Obviously the entire fluctuating chaos that is known as the GPS tracking needs a good overhaul to make is actually more accurate. I drain my battery every time I use the app because I have it set for to the highest possible accuracy, which I don’t even do for Grindr. If fixing that will take longer than expected, then Niantic needs to increase our characters area of effect to compensate for the often-wonky location positioning. That way, when the game says you’re a block further than you actually are, your character will still be able to interact with the item or Pokémon you intended it to.
- Pokémon Trading: This one has already been confirmed as an upcoming feature at San Diego Comic Con, but it honestly should have been an aspect incorporated since the very beginning. This is a major stable in all of the Pokémon games, but hearing that it is on the way it a good first step. Depending on how this is incorporated, whether you need to be physically next to the player to trade or whether you can do it remotely, I can think of a few problems it will have beyond the technical ones. I see a future where people train and sell Pokémon for real money, making the strong stronger while the people who only play because it is free being marginalized by the pay-to-play players.
- PVP Battles: This one has been an unverified rumor floating around, but it was not even mentioned at SDCC. Like the gym battles, challenging other Pokémon trainers to battle is a necessary part to the creation of any Pokémon universe. It would also liven things up because battling gyms can only take you so far.
- Pokémon Centers: I know the game is free and their intention is for people to need items so badly that they are willing to spend real money to buy them, but the fact that there aren’t any Pokémon Centers around where you can go heal your Pokémon just feels like a disgusting cash grab. I’m not saying they have to have a Center on every block, but at least having some where hospitals are in real life would be a nice start.
- More Accessibility: Everyone who doesn’t live in or near a major city will have a drastically different and diminished gameplay experience. Not only are they stuck with probably encountering the same few Pokémon, but they are also have a much fewer options when it comes to obtaining items since their pokéstops are very sparse or they are forced to buy their items and pokéballs with real money. Also, lack of accessibility isn’t limited to rural areas since the game comes off as ableist. Pokémon Go has probably forced more people to go outside and walk around for hours than Michelle Obama has been able to do in 8 years. Everything from hatching eggs to visiting pokéstops hinges on going around to various locations. Even trying to get a good variety of Pokémon is impossible if you can’t go far from your current location. The game needs to become more accommodating by cycling through different Pokémon in the same area and having an alternate way to hatch eggs. Any of that would be a good leap in the right direction.
- Pokémon Eggs: First off, the hatching process is tedious enough without us having to do the math and figure out how many miles in a kilometer, so that needs to be changed right away. Also, I hate wasting my time hatching 2km eggs. There is currently no way to dispose of unwanted eggs except through the time consuming task of hatching them. Just like the “transfer” button for unwanted Pokémon, there needs to be a similar button for eggs. It can also “transfer” if it wanted, but I would be fine if it gave me options like “scrambled”, “sunny-side up” or “omelette”. I just need to be able to dump low-level eggs like I can with Pokémon.
- Achievement Rewards: All players love some good, old-fashioned positive reinforcement, but we rarely get that in this game. For every landmark achievement I make in the game, I get rewarded with absolutely nothing. No potions, pokéballs or even any berries. If there are no rewards for any of the achievements, then why even keep track of them. At least give us an incubator or two so was can start taking care of the 2km eggs likely plaguing all of our baskets.
- Team Dynamics: Being from Team Instinct, there is hardly any representation in my area. It is all predominantly Mystic or Valor, which make its bothersome when you’re trying to take control and hold down a gym. There needs to be a way to control the numbers in areas so they are at least close to an even keel to make the experience fair and enjoyable for all. If that is too much to ask, at least give the players a chance to change teams at least once.
- Battery/Data Drain: Efficiency is the name of the game and Pokémon Go is an unapologetic, guzzling juggernaut that doesn’t care if you need to use your phone for important things later. The messed up GPS, along with dozens of other problems contribute to you having your phone on the game longer than necessary. Having tried the battery saver option in the game (yes, there is one surprisingly), I can safely say that it does absolutely nothing. This needs to be remedied immediately.