Has Pokemon GO returned to it’s last year glory?
This morning, Niantic has revealed what will be Pokémon GO’s largest feature update yet, an expansive rework of gyms, and a preview of how Legendary Pokémon will likely be introduced into the game. The announcement comes hours before gyms are being temporarily disabled then reactivated, though it’s unclear the precise moment this all goes live. Possibly as soon as the end of the day.
So, what’s going on with these changes? There are a number of key points that reflect some long-rumored changes to gyms. Here’s what’s happening as soon as the gym rework is live:
– Pokemon GO gyms now have six unique slots (no two of the same Pokemon), and enemy trainers will battle the Pokémon there in the order in which they were assigned.
– Pokémon will lose “motivation” over time, making them easier to defeat, as shown by a depleting heart. Players can feed their Pokémon to increase their motivation.
– Pokémon gyms can now be spun like PokeStops for items, some of them unique.
– Pokémon gyms will now give out badges that can be leveled up for increased rewards at gyms.
– Your Pokémon will amass more coins the longer they remain in a gym, and you will get the coins once they’re defeated/unmotivated and return to you.
So that’s what’s happening immediately, but Niantic also previewed “Raids” which are indeed tied to gyms, and are almost certainly tied to Legendary spawns, though the word “Legendary” is not used, and the only Pokémon shown are existing powerhouses like Tyranitar and Gyarados.
– Raids are timed events that will have a powerful Pokémon temporarily taking over a gym. In the preview materials, a 25,000+ CP Tyranitar is shown as an example.
– To participate in a raid, you need a raid pass which can be obtained from spinning a gym, but you can only hold one at a time.
– Players from all teams can work together to take down these Pokémon (max of 20 participants), and earn new items and an opportunity to catch these Pokémon (though probably not at that CP level).
– The items earned will be Rare Candy, Golden Razz Berries and even TMs(!). Rare Candy turns into a certain type of Pokemon’s candy when used on that Pokemon. The berry greatly increases odds of a wild capture and can be fed to gym Pokemon. TMs can be for fast or charged moves. Unclear if they’re randomized or for specific moves. (Update: they are randomized).
– Players can form private groups as well to take on these Pokémon thanks to a new in-game code system that allows you to link up with friends (not random numbers, the example shown is three Bulbasaur icons).
Update: As of 12 PM ET, gyms have been disabled with no ETA on their return. Probably hours, I would not imagine days. This first, non-raid gyms changes should follow. Stay tuned and check back here for further updates.