Massively on the Go: Niantic is partially rolling back Pokemon Go’s COVID bonuses

Niantic is partially rolling back Pokemon Go’s “Cov-ID” bonuses on the Android and iOS app stores. While this is hardly a surprising announcement, the fact that they did so without warning may have some users worried that the company was scamming them out of potentially hundreds of dollars.

Due to a huge number of reports, Niantic is taking action and partially rolling back some of the ways it has been giving players extra XP in Pokemon Go.

A big problem with Pokemon GO is that it was never designed to reward players for walking. Now that players are being encouraged to walk more, they’re not seeing the bonuses they were promised.

Almost a month ago, I argued that the COVID changes from to should not cancel Pokemon GO. I wasn’t under the illusion that Niantic would necessarily listen to me as an individual, but I was hoping to at least add another voice to the chorus: Don’t do that.

In a way, I think Niantic heard a lot from us . Niantic has begun discussing how the rollbacks will be handled, and so far most of them seem fair. The changes to the remote raids are actually , notat first, won’t be discussed for a few months, and are partly due to the reintroduction of EX raids, an area of the game I assumed could be reworked a bit to balance remote and real game objectives. One area I thought was safe for the near future, as Niantic said, was the addition of Pokéstops and Gyms. Unfortunately, I was wrong.

Important changes

Many changes probably won’t make much difference to most non-hardcore gamers, such as. B. additional daily premiums for catches over and above the existing premiums remaining after the COVID reversal. The rollback will involve New Zealand and the US after Go Festand will continue if other countries make it safe to gather outside, which seems fair. Of course, COVID rates in large countries like the US vary wildly betweenandstates, but the US as a whole also has good vaccination rates, so Niantic seems to be making an effort to implement the game in a way that seems safer than many critics expected.

As previously announced, PvP will still not require a race to access matches, you will still be able to challenge players to a PvP match using QR codes at low friendship levels, you will be able to unlock 30 gifts per day, hold 20 gifts at a time, and incense will still be valid for one hour. The last point will change though, as the fast spawn, which we learned in COVID, will only be active in motion – more on that later.

Buddy gifts, which in recent months have consisted mostly of berries, with the exception of a few events where Pokeballs were handed out, will be less common.

Niantic will also try to introduce new exploration bonuses. They includetwofree raid passes per day from rotating gyms and a 10x xp bonus for new rotating pokestops, as well as an incense note, though we’re not sure how this bet will play out. This is important because these changes must be implemented by 1 January 2011. September, the end of the current season. After that, bonuses can be continued or changed at Niantic’s discretion. In the process, we can also get new bonuses.

The only unexpected change, however, is the return of interaction distance between game rooms and Pokéstops.

Secure rooms

Considering that Niantic introduced the rotation distance before the longer raid distance, it seems that Niantic doesn’t understand the importance of increasing the interaction radius between the Pokéstop and the Gym. (We have contacted the company for comment).

As I noted, many of the COVID changes are things players have already asked for, and handicappers have long been asking for changes to theGOadventures. As a leader of local community groups and raids, I know there were people in our group who could not get to certain stops or locations and would sometimes ask a friend or partner to go somewhere they literally could not go to raid or shoot for them. Many of these places have opened up with the increase in the supply of gyms and poketops. I don’t see them physically anymore, but I do see their Pokémon and Avatars in some of these locations, proving that the changes have literally opened up new areas of the game for them.

But it’s not just people with mobility problems.

As someone who played the game primarily on foot and not in a car, I know that as a pedestrian I felt safer being able to walk through a stop without having to cross the street and walk back – but is also as a minority that may have additional problems playing. This increased distance has hopefully helped to reduce the number of people driving and playing, as we haven’t reported any serious Pokemon Go deaths during COVID, but it’s also a small way to help minorities (or others who stand out) play the game safely and without unwanted attention.

This extra distance also makes normal -players – not – safer. I have seen groupsPOGO block access to libraries, restaurants and even the hospital during raids. While the COVID clearly made regrouping less of a problem, in my personal circle the greater distance made it easier to stay in a safe place during the raid, and GPS drift was also less of an issue. People are less inclined to walk down the street to get closer, or to walk to the curb on a busy street. I’m sure those numbers have gone up somewhere, but as someone who has roamed cities, suburbs and nature trails since vaccination, I have at least some experience in this area.

In short, while Niantic is making the changes smartly and finding good ways to encourage people to return to play, reducing the interaction distances between the gym and the Pokéstop seems like a big step backwards, and players are talking about it, now and in the past. I hope Niantic realizes in a month or so that this is not the change they need to make and carefully evaluates the planned changes for remote raids, especially in terms of player engagement and safety.

Andrew Ross ofMassively OP is a recognized Pokemon geek and ARG expert. Nobody knows Niantic and Nintendo like he does! In his column Massively on the Go, he talks about Pokemon Go, but also other mobile MMOs and augmented reality games!

ViewPokemon Go has been a pop-culture sensation that has encompassed the entire world as players explore their surroundings in search of collectible creatures. However, the game has had its fair share of issues since its release in July 2016 that has hindered the game’s popularity. One of those issues is the Pokemon Go Plus, an accessory that offers a variety of functions to players. One of those functions includes a bonus item that players can receive when they catch a Pokemon.. Read more about niantic support and let us know what you think.

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Greg Baskerville
Greg Baskerville
Gaming Blogger & Musician. Playing games since the Amiga days in the 1980's, and a handy guitarist.

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