My issues with Pokemon Go

Hey G33ks,

So, another “My issues and how to fix them” post.
This time, I’ll be taking Pokemon Go under the magnifying glass!

I’ve been playing Pokemon Go for more than a month myself while helping out other friends here and there since it’s release back in 2016.
At the time of writing, I am level 16, so I’ll be assisted by my good friend Polykliniek who is level 37 at the time of writing.
This should mean that I have enough of an insight into Pokemon Go in order to make this post.
So without any further ado, let’s dive into it!

Disclaimer
This post is based around MY opinion.
This post might not agree with your opinions on the subject.

Gym Only Combat

With Gyms being the only combat system at the time of writing, something quite obvious is coming along.
Players who just started out the game have literally no way of competing in the Gym.
Not only do they have to reach level 5, once they do, they won’t get to make proper use of it anyway.
Their Pokemon are around 500CP at most (with some cases going up to 700CP), while gym Pokemon can easily reach 1500CP and up.

Yes, there are some cases where you can get an easy victory while ganging up with friends, or against a Pokemon that has already pretty much been beaten by others (Remember, Gym Pokemon CP decrease together with motivation).
This leads to a low-level player to get beaten up in a gym, with nearly no ground to stand on, thus decreasing the fun of the player.

At the time of writing, Niantic is looking into getting a more PvP-oriented combat system as well, where you can fight against actual players.
However, this also leads to the same issue: those players are likely to use way stronger Pokemon against low-level players unless they are kind enough to be willing to use weaker Pokemon against those low-level players.


Combat itself

Once you get to level 5 and get that sick 2K CP Pokemon to beat up some Team Instinct and Team Valor skrubs (go Team Mystic! jkjk, we’ll come back to this later!), you’ll have to get used to the combat system…
Well… “Combat System”.

Right now, there are some major issues with it:

It’s laggy

The current Combat system is laggy.
Not just in a sense of Ping (to which we will come back in a moment), but in a sense of FPS.
Pokemon Go just has so much going on in the background in terms of combat, it cripples non-flagship phones quite a bit.

Polykliniek confirms this for me.
He plays Pokemon Go with two separate devices.
One being the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, and the other being the BQ Aquaris X5.
Here is what he has to say:

While my X5 is quite a powerhouse, especially when compared to its price, it still doesn’t manage to handle the combat in a playable fashion.
Actions take quite a while to get registered, and dodging is slow.
My S7, on the other hand, doesn’t have these issues nearly as much unless the opponent uses an attack with a lot of particles.

So as you can see, even the S7 does have its issues with FPS drops from time to time.

The fix could be rather easy:
Optimize combat some more, or disable background stuff in Pokemon go for the time-being.

Let’s go to the next issue:

Dodging is for the losers

Quite literally…
Dodging might sound like it’s very helpful, however, in the time you were dodging, you could have been attacking.
Now, this strategy (just spamming the attacks) doesn’t sound great on paper, but in practice, it works better than actually dodging.
Again, here is what Polykliniek has to say:

Dodging is an overrated (or more of an overused) mechanic in the PGO Combat System.
Most people think you should try to dodge every single attack (which sounds like the most skilful thing to do, as you would have to stay alert all the time), while in practice, you should dodge ONLY charged attacks.
Server Latency makes it useless to sacrifice DPS and EPS gain over not taking that small hit.
If the latency would be decent like in most online games (for example CS:GO and PUBG), trying to dodge fast attacks as well might be a good thing.
But with the latency (remember, in PGO, the latency can easily reach the 300-500ms ping, even when using decent WiFi, or even cable!?) PGO has at this moment, Dodging fast attacks is useless.

So while not completely useless, it’s not working as it should be.
Or maybe it has been designed in such a way that fast attacks shouldn’t be dodged, but charged one should be?

Gym Defender Rewards are crap

If you defend a gym with your Pokemon, you earn 1 coin for every 10 minutes of defending.
Sounds nice right? drop in a 10K CP Pokemon in a gym in the middle of nowhere and you get hundreds of coins right?
eh… no…
You can only earn 50 coins a day for ALL your Pokemon across ALL gyms.
This means that if you have a Pokemon defending for more than a day, you’ll only get 50 coins when it returns (or you take it out).
If you have multiple Pokemon defending a gym, and all of them return on the same day, you’ll only get 50 coins in total.
This means that it’s quite useless to have multiple Pokemon in multiple Gyms for multiple days.

Which also brings us to the next issue:

Teams are (almost) useless

In PGO, we have three teams: Instinct, Valor and Mystic.
A player can join one of those teams once they reach level 5 and visit a gym.
Most people will join the team that their friends are on (so did I, as I didn’t give a jackshit about it).
This means that they are more likely to join the team which has the most players already (which at the time of writing is Team Mystic.

This opens up the following issue:
Teams are unbalanced.
Because the blue team has more players, blue gyms are statistically more common.
It matters jack-shit what team you decide to join.
There is no such thing as “indicating personality”.
It’s all just about popularity and what your friends choose.

Now here comes the fun part:
except for the gym Pokestop bonuses (remember, you get a small bonus when you spin the gym sign of your team), the fact that you might be able to put your Pokemon in a gym and raids, teams are completely useless.
Yes, you heard that right.
Teams are useless outside raids.

Yea sure, you can give your team their Pokemon some berries to improve the motivation after a lost battle (or after losing some by time, yes, defenders lose motivation just by sitting in a gym), or you can just wait a bit for them to get kicked out, and dump your own Pokemon in there so YOU can get some coins.
Which one would you choose?
most likely the latter as it benefits you the most :^)
Yes, I know you can feed berries to get some Stardust and some EXP… but the benefits of that are quite neglectable in my opinion
It would be great if there would be more team-oriented activities.

Enough combat related stuff, for now, let’s go to the juicy parts!


The Pokemon Go Plus!

Ah yes, the Pokemon Go Plus!
a 40 Euro costing accessory that barely does what it promises!
Why?
Because it takes ages for the PGO+ to lock on a Pokestop or Pokemon, then it takes ages for the PGO+ to do its action (like spinning a stop or catching a Pokemon).
And that is IF the PGO+ locks on at all (I often have to completely restart the app, reconnect the PGO+ and then wait a bit more for it to FINALLY lock onto something).

I have a PGO+ as well (more like a Go-Tcha by Datel, but that does not matter in this case) and its so slow that even if I walk in a decent tempo, it won’t be able to get all Pokestops in a mannerly fashion.
And then comes the fun part: The PGO+ prioritizes Pokemon.
You can disable notifications for Pokemon completely, but then your PGO+ won’t catch Pokemon.
In my opinion, I should be able to select if I want to prioritize Pokestops or Pokemon.

Also, it should be able to perform actions nearly instantaneous.
Lock on, collect/catch and go to the next one in a matter of a second, rather than seconds.
In some cases, I can literally grab my phone, unlock it with my fingerprint, manually tap the Pokestop and spin it before the PGO+ was even able to lock on.

Here, /r/TheSilphRoad is able to fill me in:

Just do your googling, a LOT of people are complaining about this.


Bad Anti-Cheat

So, this one came as a bit of a surprise to me, but I’ve been playing Pokemon Go 100% legitimately (using a Go-Tcha bracelet, so that *could* be considered cheating, but Niantic has no way of detecting that).
However, Niantic gave me this warning:

Like, what the actual fuck?
I got a warning for what? grinding 22 and a half level in a matter of 2 months?
If you try to accuse somebody of cheating, then tell me right to my face what you suspect me of…

Also, instead of randomly accusing legitimate players, try to actually work on you know… banning actual cheaters? :^)

Well, that sums up this post for now.
There are way more issues in PGO that I would like to point out, however, writing this post took me 3 weeks already, so I’m pushing it out into the wild for now.

Let me hear your thought in the comments!
but for now…

G33k Out!

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