Niantic’s Pokemon Go updates are still chugging along and providing fans with more than just new Pokemon. But new Pokemon are kind of the lifeblood of the series, so the addition of Regirock, the storyline line event continuation on August 20th (Celebi hype!), and evidence of other unique Pokemon being added are obviously welcome additions. We also now know that Gen 2 starter Pokemon are getting Community Day attention, starting with Chikarita on September 22nd. Fun stuff, but just the tip of the iceberg, especially for those of us enjoying the friend system.
The Silph Road’s recent APK Breakdown notes that the clientside changes are introducing things like QR Codes for friend sharing, additional parental controls via Niantic Kids, visual indications for which friends you can share gifts with, Go+ tweaks (like fixing the disappearing arrow bug), and more. There’s also evidence of Ditto quests finally being implemented, potential login changes, Meteor Smash (a signature move of Metagross), and the sharing of EX Raid passes. This last bit is in the data, but the details are still scant, so stay tuned for more information. In the meantime, server-side data-miner Chrales found the first conclusive evidence that Generation 4 really is around the corner.
Are we, as a culture, at full Walking Dead saturation yet? Probably been there for years, honestly, but it is astounding how many video games this franchise has pumped out so far. There are so many, in fact, that it might be easy to overlook one or two — such as the Pokemon Go-style alternate reality game that’s not afraid to point to its MMO roots.
“We took a lot of inspiration from other games that use location mechanics on a map, but fundamentally we were building an MMO that has a single huge instance with every player in the same game,” said Next Games Lead Director Sulka Haro.
The Walking Dead: Our World encourages players to explore their environments, bash some (virtual) zombies, rescue survivors, and complete missions around the world. Characters from the TV show can be collected, and players can team up with others to accomplish goals. Our World is available on both Google Play and the App Store.
Pokemon Go has come a long way since its early days of just catching and gym battling. Those are still core gameplay elements, but there’s a bit more to it now. It’s not just about catch and release, but catching specific Pokemon, catch several in a row, catching with a specific kind of throw, and more, mostly thanks to questing.
Yes, there are quests in POGO now, including dailies. I’m not just talking about the old system either. Now, at the very least, you want to catch one Pokemon, spin one PokeStop, and do one “Field Task,” the game’s equivalent of dailies. If you understand that, you can probably stop here, but for those looking to dig a bit deeper, keep reading.
Our Daily Grind on exploration last week sparked an intriguing follow-up from MOP reader Miol.
“When asking about sightseeing and exploration in MMORPGs, you also mentioned the lack of rewarding incentives for exploring those worlds, or worse, a poor implementation of such features, as you pointed out by Guild Wars 2’s vistas. Many of Wander’s mechanics also come to mind for me. You and many commenters in that article stated that their exploration mostly happened by their own initiative!
“So what features would you all wish in an exploration-heavy MMO? Is Trove’s Geode with its non-combat spelunking on to something? Would exploring other players’ curation and display of art already be enough for you, a la Occupy White Walls? What would an MMO need to simulate a fun road trip? Would looking for that one place with those until-then-unmatched resource stats, be a definite must for you, as in Star Wars Galaxies? Or is open-world housing more of a priority, so you can find that perfect spot for your porch? Purely just survival features? Or maybe even, as Andrew once mentioned, a certain mechanic for dying, as in Project Gorgon?”
So, you’re in Pokemon Go, and you just saw a Pokemon. You clicked the little beast and now are in the catch screen. Just straight flick those balls at the Pokemon and hope for the best, right? Wrong! I mean, you can do that, but with very little training, you can throw curveballs, drastically increasing your capture rates, allowing you to complete special quests/tasks. When you combine your new technique with new items to get more candy/dust for your effort, you’ll be amassing an army of digital beasties in no time!
Especially for those of you played in the very early days in America, Pokemon catching has changed. The “step” system is gone. Instead, Pokemon are often by PokeStops. You can click on the bottom right of the screen to see nearby Pokemon, click the one you want to track, and the game will highlight the area you should search for it. Pokemon with a grass icon can be, well, just about anywhere not near a Stop.
Potterheads got all kinds of excited about last November’s announcement of a Pokemon Go-style ARG called Harry Potter: Wizards Unite (heck, so did we!). But it’s been months now without any follow-up information on this game, and now it looks like it might be months more before we hear anything.
During a recent interview, developer Niantic confirmed that the ARG will be based on its platform and deal with the same database locations that both Ingress and Pokemon Go uses. The plan is still to release Harry Potter: Wizards Unite by the end of 2018, but that’s all the studio was willing to say on the game.
The studio shared how Pokemon Go’s massive success dwarfed anything Ingress did (with 800 million downloads vs. 20 million). An upgraded version of Ingress, called Ingress Prime, will come out later this year on a new platform and a “refreshed design.”
I’ve noticed a bit of a renewal for Pokemon Go thanks to large improvements by Niantic starting with Generation 3. With raids, quests, real-world weather affecting spawns, trading, and friends, the game’s drastically changed since release. But as my fellow Massively OP reporters Brendan Drain and Tina Lauro Pollock have both returned to the game, I’ve also noticed that coming (back) to the game can be a bit confusing.
There are a lot of in-depth guides out there, but there is so much going on with the game that for a real newbie, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Instead, I’m going to go point by point, top priority to bottom, in a way that lets you get back into the game quick and easy, using long-term but relevant tips and resources. Power players and veterans can skim these articles and add their own advice in the comments section, but my job is going to put you on the road to being a capable Pokemon trainer.
Today, we’re going to start with community.
Last week, down in the comments of an innocuous post about gamers being nice in Fortnite, a couple of MOP commenters requested a column where MMO gamers could essentially submit “stories about random good interactions [they’ve] had with other players.” Skeptical me is doubting the viability of a column like that; after all, we already do a lot of positive coverage of charities, events, good deeds, and even obituaries for devs, and that’s just not the stuff most people click on. (Patches are the big ones, although controversies are big too for obvious reasons. And One Shots and WRUP are still great!)
But I’d certainly like to be wrong. “Positive news” websites do indeed exist in the real world and can be truly inspiring, so maybe “Massively Overjoyed” would have some traction too. We thought we’d put it to the test here in Overthinking: I’ve asked the writers to share one story about a great random interaction they’ve had with another player. And then I’ll invite you all to do the same thing down in the comments. How much do you really want to hear about the positive stuff?
SuperData’s global revenue report for June 2018 is out, and it’s actually not particularly exciting for the summer months as not that much has turned over since May.
One the PC side, PUBG leaped back up the charts, pushing past Fortnite and Dota 2 to rest in the #3 slot after its tumble earlier this year. SuperData says that’s a direct result of June’s big Steam sale: “PUBG sold 4.7 million units on PC in June, up significantly from May and only second to its peak month in October 2017. Growth was underpinned by a reduced price point of $19.99 on Steam.” All of the other games in the list are still there, just jostled a bit, though League of Legends remains on top and World of Warcraft has taken up seemingly permanent residence at #7.
On console, Fortnite is still king, though keep an eye out for The Crew 2, which debuted at #4 in its launch month, having sold “700,000 digital units across Console and PC at launch,” owing heavily to digital sales.
The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!
Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from Hearthstone, DC Universe Online, Elsword, EverQuest II, Wild Terra, Riders of Icarus, Dauntless, Realm Royale, Pokemon Go, Escape from Tarkov, War of Rights, and EVE Online, all waiting for you after the break!
It looks as if the upcoming Pokemon Let’s Go games are affecting Pokemon Go once again. I doubt it’s a coincidence that the next Community Day Pokemon is Eevee, the second, non-Pikachu version of the upcoming Switch games. Even better, Niantic may finally be listening to players (including our staffers), as Community Day will be held on two days this time: August 11 and 12.
As some people have noticed, the text mentions that Eevee and its evolutions will receive a new move, in addition to the longer lures and bonus stardust for catching Pokemon. There’s just one problem: Umbreon, the Dark-type Eevee, can be obtained only through the naming trick during the day. Espeon and Umbreon are normally earned by walking an Eevee 10 kilometers or more and evolving it when it’s your buddy, but the time of day matters: It becomes Espeon during the day and Umbreon during the night. As Community Day is only three hours long and still seems to be during its usual hours (11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the west coast), that sounds like Umbreon won’t be available.
It’s year two of Pokemon Go. While there’s always room for improvement, enough has changed that I feel comfortable recommending the game to at least pre-World of Warcraft MMO fans. Why them and not the greater MMO community? Glad you (hopefully) asked! Unlike most true MMOs, POGO is still in its early infancy in terms of in-game community. Much as in early online games, players may be able to have a friend’s list, but not only is basic chat lacking but so is guild/clan support. There’s no party system, which means no group finder, let alone instanced content that lets you join in with little to no effort.
Like old school MMOs, POGO players have to use a lot of out of game tools for their communities, but there’s enough going on that fellow Massively OP reporters Brendan Drain and Tina Lauro Pollock have renewed their interest in the game. While Brendan had previously attempted some casual raids, both he and Tina had quit entirely. As the game just had not one but two events this weekend as part of its second year anniversary, we decided to try moving out of our comfort zone and looking at the game’s community from new perspectives. Brendan and Tina tried jumping in for the events for the first time, while I tried playing outside my usual community, with mixed results.
Today is Pokemon Go’s second-year anniversary. Last year’s report card had to grapple with things like the game’s rapid rise and fall as a fad, its severe lack of promised content even with its first major update, crimes associated with the game, and being somewhat anti-social – and that was before the disaster known as Pokemon Go fest 2017. It was probably the worst way to start off a new year for your game, and it’s probably no surprise that our coverage of the game waned after the fallout.
But something happened. Whether it was because series Director/Producer Junichi Masuda was there to witness the horror or because some internal change in Niantic’s process changed, we’ll probably never know. But change came. Generation 3 became Pokemon Go’s One Tamriel. Suggestions I’d made previously happened and are still happening. The numbers are showing that the improvements are paying off, as the game’s playerbase is at the highest it’s been since its 2016 peak, after having gone through a brutal 80% dropoff. I thought I was being overly optimistic with my 2018 predictions for the game, but so far, so very good!