A lot of critical things have been said about Pokemon Go and Niantic in the past. Professionals that tried to defend certain UI elements still had plenty of suggestions a non-professional could have made. Same goes for players and professionals that noted the need for quests. In fact, Niantic’s insistence on doing local events instead of global events created some huge PR problems, and that’s without noting that, for a social game, the game actually lacked a lot of social features.
But there’s a weird thing: Niantic’s addressed many of those issues. Several are ones I’ve previously suggested. There’ve been several UI improvements, new quests, at least two events per month since February 2018 that aren’t just cash shop sales, and a push towards community building. It’s far from perfect, like the glaring omission of in-game communication or a social media connection, but we’ll ignore that for now. What I want to focus on is how Niantic’s taken feedback and enhanced Pokemon Go.
Mortal Online is going all-in on the weather industry. The forecast? A storm of fury, electrocution, and ice, all coming in a low front that originates from your very hands.
The PvP MMO just rolled out its second phase of the Elementalist school of magic, which allows players “the ability to control and change the weather.” As in, the entire zone’s weather pattern. Snow or rain? It’s your pick, buddy. But just wait until phase three arrives because the phrase “massive destruction” is being reserved for that occasion.
The free update also made some improvements to the thievery profession. Thieves can now steal trinkets, bribe guards, and use disguise kits. Sounds like just another day around the Massively OP office, really.
It’s an interesting time to be a Pokemon Go player. Niantic’s put out two events that greatly reduced the game’s grind and setting community goals, granting regional ‘mon back-to-back. But the company still seems susceptible to weird missteps in its progress, and the latest news only reinforces that reality. Not only is the company slowly releasing new Pokemon later this week, but it’s rolling out changes that ensure real-life weather affects the game.
While Niantic (wisely) didn’t mention whether fires, sandstorms, or lightning are included in the new mechanics, effects like sun, rain, and snow are, which still might seem like a bad idea if you live in a place that has seriously bad weather. Depending on the weather, you may see more Pokemon that fit in with the environment (and you’ll snag some bonus stardust) while you’ll also find that relevant move types increase in damage. In other words, Niantic is incentivizing you to play Pokemon Go in terrible climate conditions. Even fog is included, and while I’d love to see more mysterious Pokemon spawning in my fog-heaven-hometown, maybe enticing out-of-towners who aren’t used to driving in it at 3 a.m. with rewards isn’t the best idea Niantic’s ever had.
Indie hardcore sandbox Saga of Lucimia has a brief video out today on its dynamic weather system. It’s dark — we’re beginning to think it’s always dark in Lucimia, even in “late afternoon” — and the scene is a cottage, windows aglow, in a wooded valley deluged by a gentle thunderstorm. And… that’s it. All teasing aside, hooray for weather systems in MMORPGs. All hail Guard Jim.