Is The Pokemon Go 50 Coin Cap Wrong?

While I have been an avid Pokemon Go player since day one, I never really got interested in the gym system before this most recent update.  I would take on maybe one gym a say, just so i could get a few coins, but I never had control of more than two gyms at a time. I would always collect my coins after the first gym to avoid the disappointment of having it taken before I got another, and them wouldn’t care a for another day. Now, with the new format for gyms, I have been more willing to try and take the gyms on. So far, I have gotten many more coins this weekend than I had gotten in the few weeks prior to the new gym system being implemented, but I am still somehow disappointed. Because of the new system, coins are easier to come by, and I am more driven to try to take out gyms, but the 50 coin cap per day is leaving a bad taste in my mouth.

It is strange, because I am getting many more coins than I was before, but because I think about the coins I might be getting, I am disappointed by how many I am getting. Today, I put 4 pokemon on gyms, and I have had one pokemon that has held a gym since Friday. Now, of the 5 pokemon I had defending gyms, only 2 are still standing guard. Of the 3 that have been returned to me today, only one has given me coins. The pokemon that had been diligently standing guard for me since Friday was my first pokemon to have been returned to me today. Since it had been guarding the gym for well over the time it takes to amass 50 coins, it came back with 50 coins. That is good, except when my other 2 pokemon were returned, they came home empty handed. Now I’m conflicted. The logical side of me understands that 50 coins today is more than the 10 or 20 I would have gotten without the new gym system, but then again, I know that if there were no 50 coin cap, I would have gotten hundreds of coins.

So, is this coin cap wrong? Niantic needs to make money some how, and selling coins is the primary way pokemon go makes money. If people were earning hundreds of coins a day, no one would need to spend money on it any more. So Niantic does need to keep the amount of coins people earn every day down. And the coin cap isn’t wrong, it just seems like it some time. I just wish they could do it so my efforts don’t seem meaningless.

The gym system is much better than it was before. I feel like I can actually take on a full gym by myself without wasting 30 max potions. I am happy with the higher turn over of gyms, it actually makes me want to go fight them. And there is the added benefit of Raids as well, giving me another reason to get out and find gyms. Overall this new update is a success in my book, they just need to do a little bit of tweaking on the coin system. Make it so that additional pokemon being returned on the same day don’t bring nothing back. If the cap were smaller, but it were a cap per gym, say 15 or 20 points per gym per day, that would be better, or if they don’t offer extra coins, they could convert the additional coins you would have gotten into something different, like star dust or experience. I just wish the effort I went through to put out extra pokemon wasn’t wasted.

So, for me, a 50 coin cap had a net positive effect for me,  but it seems to have been implemented in a less than optimal fashion. The new format for gyms is great because I have incentive to try to take on gyms all day, instead of just when I am available to get coins, and I get many more coins than if I were using the old system. The 50 coin cap isn’t bad, and it isn’t wrong, it just needs to be im0lemented differently.


The Best Thing About E3 This Year Is Next Year’s E3

E3 is far from over, but the big announcements are out of the way, and we have a good idea of what the gaming landscape is going to look like over the next year. The conferences are over, and there were not many surprises this year. According to my count, there were only 2 new AAA intellectual properties announced across all of the conferences this year, Anthem and Skull & Bones. There were many leaks, and we saw more information about the games that were announced last year, but over all, there was a lack of exciting new surprises. But fear not, all is not lost. We still have a slate of awesome games coming out over the next year, and this “dry spell” means that future E3 conferences will be even more exciting!

This year, there were more games shown slated for release in the next year than usual, and significantly fewer games that are really far out. Bethesda is continuing the trend that they started two years ago with Fallout 4 by releasing both of the games they announced this year. EA held back on the star wars games that we will have in the future in favor of showing more Battlefront II, and Ubisoft’ s flagship titles of Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry are also due to release before Christmas. Sony and Microsoft managed to avoid showing off tempting teasers, and many of the games that were shown had dates of 2017 or 2018. Of course, there were a few games that won’t make it into our consoles any time soon, but generally, it seemed like most games that were shown only a year or two away. This is a new trend that the industry seems to be taking, and it is because of this there were fewer surprises this year or, but that just leaves more room for next year!

By this time next year, we will already have played (not accounting for delays) Destiny 2, Assassin’s Creed Origins, Wolfenstein the new Collosus, Star Wars Battlefront II, Mario Oddesy, Crackdown, God of War, Call of Duty WWII, and many other games that were shown at this year’s E3 conferences. That leaves the stage wide open for many more games to get announced next year, and, if trends continue, it is likely that the time between announcement, and shipping will be smaller. That means we will be shown more complete games, games that are closer to the final build, games that will have fewer delays, and fewer games should be cancelled. There are lots of benefits to waiting to announce games until they are ready. Sure the shiny new toy may be appealing at first, but as things change, as games are delayed and parts are stripped out, the community gets irritated, upset, and even angry. So this E3 may not have had the surprised that we may have wanted, but this could mean better announcements in the future. Instead of people being excited about something they won’t see for years, they will be excited about games that we will be playing before the year is over.

So if this E3 was dissappointing to you, fear not, remember that everything that wasn’t shown is waiting to be shown. And the longer they wait, the less dissappointed we are. We will know what to expect, and games are more likely to come out when they are supposed to. This E3’s shortcoming will be next year’s strengths.

Nintendo: Worst Console Manufacturer, Best Mobile Publisher

Nintendo has been going downhill for years. Always making underperforming consoles, alienating their third party partners, and failing to keep up with the constantly evolving principals of game design. For so long Nintendo has been faltering, and finally, they are making their way back to the top. I’m not talking about the Switch, which has all the aforementioned problems. I’m talking about their recent foray into mobile development.

Nintendo’s journey during the last decade has been an interesting one. It has been a long time since I have used a Nintendo console as my primary platform for gaming. It just hasn’t had the power to support the best games that are being made, and, while Nintendo does make good games, they don’t make good enough games to make them my primary console. And the recent release of the switch isn’t making them any more appealing to me. Since Breath of the Wild is on Wii u, until Mario Oddesy comes out this Holiday, there isn’t anything that I want to play, that I can’t play (or haven’t played) somewhere else. But despite Nintendo’s failing battle for my tv, they have almost completely won me over on my phone.

Right now, most of the games that I play on my phone are Nintendo, or Nintendo affiliated games, and there aren’t even that many of them out there. It all started with Pokemon Go last year. That is the mobile game that I have played the most by far, and it is the only mobile game that has actually affected my daily life. When Mario Run came out, it was always what I used to kill time, even being the cheapskate that I am, and not paying to unlock the full game. And now, my attention is completely diverted to Magikarp Jump. It is a silly game, but since I have slowed down on Pokemon Go Magikarp Jump has been a fun use of my time, and another outlet for pokemon.

It makes sense that Nintendo would take to the mobile environment well, having cornered the handheld market for years, but I am still surprised at how well they have captured my interest. When I was younger, I didn’t play a lot of Nintendo games. I started gaming later in life, on PlayStation and Xbox. I don’t have the nostalgic connection that many people do with Nintendo, but their mobile games are good. They do a good job making mobile games that are fun to play, without requiring microtransactions. So far, I haven’t spent a penny on any of Nintendo’s games, and I am still having a blast!

Nintendo has done something with their mobile games that they have had trouble doing anywhere else. They have adapted. Not only are these new Nintendo mobile games good Nintendo games, they are also good mobile games. This is great considering most Nintendo games still use game design principals from the 90’s. When these new games were made, there was a lot of thought put into them, making the moat of the platform they are on. Nintendo has had hit and miss success with this in the past, and these are certainly a hit. And the best part about it is that they didn’t take the annoying things from other mobile games too. No annoying ads. Microtransactions exist, but aren’t required to enjoy these games. It is the beginning of a new Nintendo.

I like the new direction Nintendo is taking. I hope they can soon separate themselves completely from consoles, and just focus on making great games, whether that is for PlayStation and Xbox, or android and iOS. Nintendo makes great games, and I would love them to be more accessible, instead of being trapped on their own devices. Zelda sold extraordinarily well considering it is only found on the two least popular devices on the market, imagine what would have happened if they had the power and install base of PlayStation, Xbox, or PC behind that game. Nintendo only has themselves to hurt if they don’t start broadening their horizons.

I like Nintendo’s games, and I am glad they are moving them out of the prison that they call consoles. Nintendo’s mobile titles have been some of the most fun I’ve had playing their games, and I hope they continue to expand. Getting their games into the hands of all gamers would be great for them. I hope they can move forward, and bring great games to everyone.

Pokemon Go Johto Woes

Pokemon go was a worldwide sensation when it came out last July, and the game was supposed to be reinvigorated when the second generation of pokemon was released a few months ago, but gen 2 didn’t make nearly the splash that gen 1 did not even a year before. During the first wave of pokemon, I had a blast. I spent nearly six months of my life trying to fill my pokedex as best I could, looking on forums trying to find the best nests, and biomes in my area, finding out tips to get the best pokemon I could. I was just starting to feel a bit fatigued before they announced the new Pokemon were being added to the game, having caught every pokemon I could except for one, I was ready for a new wave of pokemon to search for, and another six months of excitement, but now, barely three months later, I am feeling fatigued with the game again. This time, I am not even nearing pokedex completion, but I am tiring of the game anyway. I think gen 2 has a lot of issues, and Niantic has some things to learn before they release gen 3 pokemon.

During the first few months of the game, I felt like I was consistently making progress. Every week or so, I would get a new Pokemon, whether it was collecting enough candy to evolve something that I had been holding on to for a while, or from finding something new and exciting in the wild. This was thanks to Niantic tweaking the algorithms, and making the rarer pokemon become more common as the game when on. It was coincidental, but it felt like actual progression, similar to a single player game, where as I kept playing more rare pokemon showed up. It was due to this tweaking that when gen 2 came out, I managed to fill up half my pokedex in the first week. By the time gen 2 was released, common pokemon were everywhere, in a large variety, and uncommon pokemon were easy to find, unlike the original launch where they appeared seldomly. And unfortunately, the rare pokemon are just as hard to find, if not harder, since they are competing with other rare pokemon to spawn. It is because of this I feel like I have hit a wall. I’m rarely finding anything new, and there are no nests for me to find. Anything that can spawn at a nest, I already found it’s entire evolution tree, and the pokemon I don’t have are so rare, I have only seen one or fewer the entire time gen 2 has been out.

Another reason I am feeling unenthusiastic is because there are fewer pokemon to evolve. If a pokemon does evolve, more often then not, it only evolves once. Other than the babies, of which I already had the second and third evolutions, if they had them, and the starter pokemon, which were much more abundant than the gen 1 starters were at launch, there are only three pokemon in gen 2 that can evolve twice: Mareep, Hoppip, and Larvitar. Because of the aforementioned uncommon spawn increase, I was able to catch a Jumpluff, Hoppip’s third evolution, on the first day, and because of where I live, i have not seen a single Mareep, and I only managed to find one Larvitar outside of the adventure event. This is very different to the slow trickle of new Pokemon hat came in through in gen one. I was collecting Oddish, Poliwag, Abra, and even Dratini, until I finally managed to get enough candies to evolve them. The pokemon were not always rare, but it was still exciting to see them, knowing what they had in store when they finally evolved. I would be excited to see a Mareep, or a Larvitar as well, if I ever saw one.

Because so many gen 2 pokemon have ties to gen 1, there is limited use for exploration. All of the baby pokemon can’t be found in the wild. They have to be hatched from eggs. Thus it doesn’t matter where you go, just that you walk, and hope that this next egg is something good, that is if you don’t want to spend money getting limited use incubators. Even if you do, there is not even a slight guarantee that you will get what you want. The pokemon that evolve from gen 1 pokemon were difficult to evolve because there were special items needed. These are found through interacting with pokestops, most often on the 7th day of a streak. Again, it doesn’t matter where you are, just that you can get to a pokestops 7 days in a row. Eventually you will get the items you need. And there aren’t nests for as many pokemon either. If you need to find a pokemon that has a nest, it takes patience, and research. Or just getting lucky. Either way, it was possible for me to find pokemon that don’t exist normally in the region in which I live. I was able to evolve Magnemite, Kabuto, and Seel by going to nests. As far as I can tell, Mareep, and Larvitar don’t have nests. I would have to travel to find them, not just explore. So at this point in time, it seems that the pokemon that I need are going to have to be acquired through extreme luck, and walking. I can walk the Larvitar I have hundreds of kilometers, until I finally get a Tyranitar, I need to walk eggs for hours, hoping for the babies to show up, and I have not seen anything to help me find a Miltank, or an Unown. With those, I need to luck out, while walking my buddy, and my eggs.

What can Niantic do to get my love back when generation 3 pokemon are released? The good news is many of my problems will be solved automatically. Gen 3 is a self contained generation with no ties to either of the first 2 generations, and it has more three tier evolutions. This means more new Pokemon, and working towards evolutions, instead of finishing them quickly. What Niantic needs to change is their spawn algorithms. It worked so well with gen 1, when the pokemon were slowly more common. It took me a month I’m gen 1 to do what it took me a week to do with gen 2. The slow burn is what made pokemon go fun at first. And the flash in the pan is why I’m disappointed with gen 2. I hope they can get the slow buildup back for gen 3. Pokemon go has been a lot of fun for me over the last year, and I hope they are able to recapture the magic when gen 3 is released.