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.