The Top 10 Things We Want in Pokemon Go
Now that the hype has started to die down and game developer Niantic seems to have server stability under control, it's time to talk about the future of Pokemon Go. Despite already being one of the most engaging mobile games ever made, it still has a lot of room for growth. And while the updates Niantic has planned for the game look great, there's so much more I'd like to see. Here are the 10 things I want most in Pokemon Go.
Mass-transfer feature: Please take my mountain of Pidgeys and Rattatas
A big part of leveling in Pokemon Go revolves around getting XP by evolving Pokemon. But to evolve things, you need candies, which you get by catching Pokemon, hatching Pokemon or transferring Pokemon back to the Professor. After going on an extended hunt for Pokemon, transferring them one by one can get pretty tedious, and a mass-transfer feature would be one of the best quality-of-life improvements Niantic could add to the game.
Mass transfer mock-up courtesy of user D2Vital on Imgur.
Improved battle system: Less finger smashing, a little more strategy
On handhelds, Pokemon's turn-based battles involve strategic use of four abilities to take down opponents. However, the frantic battles in Pokemon Go are just the opposite, as you're often just smashing your fingers into the screen as fast as possible. Yeah, there's dodging, but that doesn't add much complexity. We'd like to see a more in-depth battle system that does a better job of capturing the original game's battle system.
Enhanced Pokedex: Make it a real tool for trainers
A Pokedex is supposed to be a digital encyclopedia for everything Pokemon and an invaluable tool for Pokemon Trainers. But in Pokemon Go, what you actually get is a glorified checklist that provides you with a tiny snippet of flavor text about Pokemon you've already caught. We'd love to see the Pokedex include more helpful tools, such as stats about earlier gym battles, a weakness chart to help trainers decide which type of Pokemon to choose for a specific battle, and enhanced mapping and information on previously sighted/caught Pokemon (which is already in the game, just in a different place).
Gym-lockout timer: What happened to my gym slot?
Speaking of gym battles, there are few things as frustrating in Pokemon Go as spending 10 or 20 minutes taking down a gym, only for some passerby to snipe the newly vacant location while you fumble about in the menus. Trainers who participated in taking down a gym should get priority over new jacks when filling up a recently vacated gym.
Rewards for achievements and daily login bonus: A badge is nice, but PokeCoins would be nicer
Visiting 2,000 PokeStops or hatching 100 eggs are pretty big achievements, and while a badge is nice, in-game rewards would be even better. It could be small, like 10 or 25 PokeCoins depending on the achievement, but even that much would encourage people to keep on hunting and fuel more gratifying play sessions. A daily login bonus would also keep more players invested in Pokemon Go, and as someone who wants to see this game thrive for a long time, this seems like a no brainer.
Stat balancing: Why is Onix so bad?
Somewhere in the process of bringing Pokemon from consoles to phones, something got lost in translation. Consider Eevee's three evolutions: Vaporeon, Flareon and Jolteon. Vaporeon is borderline overpowered, while Flareon and Jolteon are mediocre at best. Or how about Onyx, whose max combat points are so low that this Pokemon is pretty much unusable in gym battles.
Put more Pokemon in rural areas: More Pokemon for everyone!
One of the major complaints about Pokemon Go is that trainers in rural areas can't seem to find any Pokemon. Huh? Shouldn't deep forests and open plains be where Pokemon roam in great numbers? I can see the logistic issues of finding good PokeStops in the suburbs, but Niantic needs to do a better job of putting more Pokemon in less populated areas. You could even tie it into the game and call those areas Safari Zones.
Item exchange: What am I supposed to do with all these potions?
For some reason, every time I go to a PokeStop, I'm inundated with potions, even though I'm constantly starving for more Pokeballs and Razz Berries. That's why it would be great to have a way to exchange items with others or in the store, so we could trade items we have in abundance for something a little more useful.
Better voices: Let us hear them say, "Bulbasaur"
This is actually more of a gripe with Pokemon as a whole, but really, it's time for better voice acting. Even now, we are still stuck with garbled 8-bit growls whenever a wild Pokemon appears in the game, despite a wealth of voice acting to draw from over hundreds of episodes of the show. Clearly, it can be done, because if you open Pokemon Go and click on a Pikachu, you get the supercute "Pikachu!" that everyone knows and loves instead of a dated digital stand-in.
More infinite-use incubators: One just isn't enough
One of the most precious resources in Pokemon Go are egg incubators. That's because other than the infinite-use incubator you get at the beginning of the game and the handful of limited-use versions you get from leveling up, the only way to get more incubators is by spending PokeCoins. Plus, wasting limited use incubators on 2 km eggs feels really bad. Now, I'm not saying you should get an inventory full of infinite-use incubators, but getting one every 10 levels up to a max of three would make hatching eggs much less painful.
[Bonus] Make defending and holding gyms more rewarding: This is my gym now
Currently, the best strategy for getting PokeCoins without buying them is to take as many gyms as you can in a short period of time, and then hit the button in the shop to claim your reward. That's because the mechanics in Pokemon Go make it almost impossible to actually hold onto a gym for more than 30 seconds, even if the gym is rocking a full roster of 2500CP Snorlaxes. I'd like to see a change from having to claim your reward once a day. Instead, Niantic should automatically send out prizes for holding gyms based on the number of gyms you're in, how many opponents you defeated and how long you've been there.