Niantic has just revealed that it is revamping the way in which gyms work in Pokémon GO and introducing Raid Battles.
First up, gyms in the game are being comprehensively overhauled. For starters, it will be possible to claim items from gyms just as you would from a PokéStop. The other big news is that gyms will now feature six permanent slots that can be occupied by the controlling team’s Pokémon. Each monster assigned to these slots must be totally unique from the others - so you can't double up on powerful types - and opposing teams will battle defending Pokémon in the order they were assigned, not from weakest to strongest.
There's also a new motivation system which will see Pokémon that are defeated several times over receive a reduction in their CP, making them easier to defeat; once the motivation level hits rock bottom the monster will leave the gym and return to its trainer. In order to keep 'mon in tip-top shape, trainers of the same team can feed them berries to restore their motivation.
The upcoming update will also introduce Gym Badges, which will reflect your "contribution to a Gym’s success", according to Niantic. Battling, giving Berries to the Pokémon in the gym and spinning the gym’s photo disc will all increase your Gym Badge level, offering the chance to gain bonus items and rewards.
All of this is exciting enough, but the biggest new feature has to be the inclusion of Raid Battles, something that was hinted at in the first major trailer for the game a while back. A Raid Battle is a "cooperative gameplay experience" where players collaborate in order to take down Raid Boss monsters. Before a Raid Battle begins, all Pokémon assigned to the Gym are returned to their trainers and a large egg will appear above it, complete with a countdown timer. When this reaches zero, the egg will hatch and the Raid Boss will be revealed - but before you can battle it, you'll need a Raid Pass.
One free Raid Pass per day will be handed out by visiting a gym, but there's a catch - you can only hold one in your inventory at a time (Premium Raid Passes will be available from the in-game shop, predictably). Up to 20 other Trainers can work together to defeat the Boss, and if you succeed within the five-minute time limit there's the chance to catch a super-powerful monster as a reward.
But that's not all! Defeating a Raid Boss offers unique rewards, such as new items which can only be obtained in this way. Rare Candies turn into a particular Pokémon’s Candy, which will be handy for powering up rare monsters. Golden Razz Berries increase your chances of catching a Pokémon you encounter in the wild, and can also be given to a Pokémon assigned to a gym to fully replenish their motivation. Finally, Technical Machines can be used to permanently teach a monster a new Fast Attack or Charged Attack.
Niantic will drip-feed the new update over the next few weeks:
To put these exciting changes in motion, we’ll be temporarily disabling all Gyms. Once the update has been rolled out to players around the world, Gyms will return. The Raid Battle feature will then be rolled out slowly over the next few weeks, starting as a beta, with raids visible only to a subset of players at certain Gym locations. Over a few days, we’ll invite more players to participate and enable raids at more Gyms around the world. Keep an eye on our social media channels for updates on when you’ll be able to start battling in raids.
Phew! That's a lot to take in all at once - are you excited about these new features?
I'm trying to be enthusiastic about this, but I moved on a long time ago. If this stuff had been introduced even six months ago, I would have been excited.
This is pretty sweet! It's too bad it took a year, but I'm game for it!
Aw... too bad.
I had deleted Pokemon GO due to insufficient storage capacity of my handphone (I haven't added micro SD Card inside)
This actually sounds really cool. I personally NEVER play gyms because I always get my hind parts handed to me. I've always just collected. But NOW...
I'm all in favour of this, looks fantastic; it's plenty enough for me to at least try it again for a little while over the summer!
As an active player, these are all super exciting changes.
It sounds like though, if you want to maintain your position in gyms, you'll actually need to keep visiting them and feed the Pokémon defending them, your own or your allies.
This could lead to an interesting meta where people may deliberately not feed some Pokémon that they think don't belong in there.
My main concern is that by reducing the number of defenders from 10 to 6, fewer people are going to be able to defend gyms and enjoy defender bonuses, it feels like a deliberate reduction of free coin handouts.
I'm really interested to see how well raid mechanics work out though, I feel like they need to increase the number of gym locations to compensate for this, as my local town doesn't have all that many gyms to visit.
It seems very likely that they'll be converting a certain number of Poké Stops to Gyms, because you can now spin a Gym's Photo Disc the same way you spin a Poké Stop.
Too little, too late. These needed to have been implemented last Summer, not this Summer. Not that I ever played Pokémon Go myself, except in Bluestacks... But yeah, this fad likely isn't coming back.
@RupeeClock I feel spinning the gym icon is the biggest thing for me out of this patch. My area has a lot more gyms than PokeStops so it's been a bit of a struggle to get items.
These are pretty awesome. I'm a little bothered by the Raids being limited to 20 people and only having a 5 minute timer is very limiting considering the connection issues the game sometimes has, especially with gyms. Overall this is a pretty cool addition though. I guess this will be how they will release legendaries from now on.
The Pokémon limit is fine but the rest of the changes are unnecessary.
I'm worried that people just aren't going to get the chance to participate in raids either, they should scale to the number of people who show up to the raid ideally.
I don't think the gym update will address the problem where high level players with dozens of high CP players dominate gyms, as they'll just selectively not feed weaker Pokémon, and the weaker ones will still get kicked out and demotivated too easily.
Can't wait to play th-
Oh right, they don't let people with rooted phones play still. Oh well...
@RupeeClock I suppose I get the idea of the limit being what it is because I'm guessing that Raid Bosses won't be scaled to the levels of the players attacking it. But yes, in more populated areas I can see it being problematic where players will be left out simply due to the player limit. Unless the events are repeated and/or lock out previous successors (which is doubtful), I can see this causing some frustration.
Some pretty cool stuff! Between the weather getting better up here and the new PokéGo event, I can see myself playing a lot more again!
As much as I like just sitting around waiting to earn coins from gyms, this is a much needed improvement, as it forces repeat interactions with a gym in order to maintain it, putting more of a focus on the interactions rather than simply being in possession of a gym.
My only concern comes down to scaling to suit location, particularly in regards to raids... getting enough competent players together in a 5min window in a city would be much easier than in a smaller town... there could easily avoid this issue by auto-scaling the difficulty, but whether or not Niantic would have thought to implement something like this is anyone's guess.
Also... I get the feeling gym badges will be able to be used to feed Pokemon on the matching gym berries remotely... partially compensating for spoofing.
That raid system sounds too complex to pull off. With only a 5 minute time limit and with it allowing up to 20 people at once, I can't imagine it'll be very likely to take down the monster unless you happen to be with a group of other players.
Awesome! I'm very excited. "catch a super-powerful monster as a reward" best part
All this is really cool, and it ALMOST makes me want to re-download Pokemon Go.
Quite the changes... it'll be interesting to see. I'll definitely be checking this out!
If it played like reg Pokemon I'd get into it. A few days to pass the time last summer as I waited in lines at Disney World was enough for me.
People stopped playing this about as quick as they all dropped Wii Sports.
Uhh, again I think I'm playing wrong. I don't do gyms, because I play when I walk. And generally I see a gun with 5 2500+cp and say what's the point. I don't need coins to get items that I get by playing the game.
The improvements? I guess. But again I play when I walk. I don't walk in groups of 20. So I'll never really be able to raid, just like I'm not really fighting gyms now because it's me against groups of spoofers. I don't really do multiplayer, it's cool that poker have time to coordinate but I don't. I just play when I'm out walking.
I'm sure the people that "gym" probably also are the people that buy from the shop, so I understand them catering to them. It would be more fun for those of us that play alone to, idk be able to play alone? Why not have gyms that you fight a gym master to get badges that help in catching Pokémon? Or make it a one v one gym. I don't recall Ash calling all his rowdy friends to take down a gym lol
I’ll bet the defending boss monsters will be the legendaries. It always seemed like a daft idea allowing players the chance to actually catch supposedly unique Pokemon.
They would work well with a raid mechanic, beating them would add them to your Pokedex.
Check the article on Niantic's website, it probably will feature Legendaries and Mythicals, but the raid bosses shown are the likes of Alakazam, Dragonite, Gyarados, etc, and with insanely high CP like 20k+
Looks cool! Wish I could play Pokemon GO again. Haven't been able to play since I was given this downgraded phone of mine.
Sounds interesting. I wish they would do something to help out players from small towns. My town has two gyms and just a few more stops so hard to replenish pokeballs and adding more berries and everything has only made it harder.
@MyNameIsRandy at least you will be able to get items from gyms.
@gatorboi352 @PlywoodStick The amount who still play is about the amount they expected to play on the first place. If they didn't have 1000 times more people than they expected, then instead of trying to spend insane amounts of time and resources breaking new ground in trying to have an online only game work for many millions at once, then these changes would have come 6 months ago.
@gatorboi352 Oh yeah. Only 6 million active players every day, no big deal. It's such an unpopular game.
Damn!! I really want this update ASAP. I still play Mon Go frequently.
@PlywoodStick lol it never left
There's one gym near me and I recon half a dozen players so this'll be interesting or possibly really frustrating. 😅
@Jessica286 Wish there were more ppl like u, I liked when i used to play with friends, now its just me
@AlternateButtons @gatorboi352 What you're saying makes absolutely no sense. Pokémon Go is a mobile phenomen that has been matched in popularity possibly only by Angry Birds. In fact, Go probably swept the world even more so.
Do you really think it's fair to compare the game to the height of its success, a height so outrageous that no other game has matched it?
6 million daily players is an enormous number that hardly warrants saying that "no one" plays the game. Most app developers would kill for that number.
And that's saying something, considering it's a game that requires you to actually get off your butt. Also, DAILY players. It's not just a kid opening Doodle Jump every once in a while when he doesn't feel like going on Snapchat. There are 6 million people who walk outside their doors everyday to play this game.
Have YouTube views or something numbed your mind to the enormity of that number? I live in an area with one Gym and 3 Stops, and I still have people in the area who I don't know that take over the Gym every day. And I live in a pretty obscure area. That's how big 6 million is.
Honestly though, I've dealt with gatorboi before and I understand his/her total lack of logical and critical thinking skills. I don't expect any of this to get through your head. That would require reading and thinking.
Oh well, I just wasted several minutes of my life. Gatorboi, feel free to reply with a rebuttal in which you directly address my points. (I would be surprised if you did, because you never have when I've challenged you to in the past. Once again, that requires thinking.)
@RupeeClock SilphRoad on reddit confirmed today conversion of several pokestops, yes.
Yup, I confirmed it myself too, in the local area I spotted one brand new Poké Stop, and one Poké Stop converted into a Gym.
I'm looking forward to seeing what new gyms and stops will exist on the way to work tomorrow.
@AlternateButtons You missed the entire point of my post, and it's not my fault because I was clear. I don't feel like repeating myself so you can reread it.
And I'm sorry for taking my anger out on you in that reply, it was really directed at gatorboi. I've had so many irritating run-ins with him/her that I was just so done and got triggered.
@AlternateButtons To be fair, it's both lazy and antagonistic to go onto an article aimed at Pokémon Go fans & roll out a slightly reworded "the game is dead/dying" line. People are annoyed... suprise?
Yes, the game is no longer the the most popular game in the World by multiple, multiple factors - how was that ever going to last? However, Pokémon Go still consistently sits in the top 10 grossing games & as of February this year... the number of daily players was increasing according to independent figures.
@JubilifeRival It's natural to get annoyed when people adamantly tell you something you & 6 million people enjoy is "no longer cared about" & they go onto an article aimed at you and those player to do it. Don't rise to it, under the same weird logic most of the things they enjoy mustn't have been cared about in the first place.
@Alex0714 Heh, yeah I'm still bitter about that.
Being able to grab items from the Gyms (like you can from PokeStops) is the big pull for me here.
Welcome back Garydos. Long time no see.
@AlternateButtons again, this.
Seriously @JubilifeRival how are you not comprehending this?
Although I have some questions on how the new Battles and Pokecoins will be handled, I am happy that are implementing some type of major update after so long.
Now if they can only fix the problems they always have with the PTC accounts. They can at least compensate PTC account holders with Pokecoins or items like incubators and lucky eggs. I haven’t been able to login for +16 hours and the Solstice event ends today, lucky Google users.
@Alex0714 I play it with my fiancee a lot. We are very excited about this update. But we are a little scare of not finding enough people for those Raid Battles. Hopefully thats not the case in the end.
@gatorboi352 I am blown away by your outstanding rebuttal.
Thanks for again proving to me that you don't know how to back up your opinions. AKA, thank you for proving me right once again.
Don't enter an argument that you can't at least attempt to finish. All you do is prove the other person, the one with logical skills, right.
Just curious how everyone feels about having to be a level 35 trainer to even battle?!?!?
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