Pokemon Go Updates Gym System And Previews A New Raid Battle Feature For The Summer
Niantic announced a few months ago that it’ll be bringing some new ideas, events, and updates for Pokemon Go this summer. Starting today, we’ll be seeing some of those ideas come to fruition starting with some updates to the gym system. Gyms will no longer have prestige nor levels, which were once a big part of how gyms worked.
Trainers used to assign a Pokemon to defend a gym. Other trainers could come by and challenge the gym leaders dropping their prestige once they defeated the assigned Pokemon. Now in the new update, we’ll be seeing a new gym badge system along with Pokemon motivation. When players have taken over a gym and station a Pokemon in one of the six slots, the player can then increase the gym badge from bronze to gold by interacting with it. Intearactions can either happen in the forms of battles or feeding Pokemon with berries that raises their motivation levels.
Each Pokemon’s combat power (CP) is directly associated to their motivation levels. If a Pokemon is left alone for a long duration without being fed berries, you’ll start to notice a drop in CP and motivation levels, which makes it easier for your enemies to defeat your gym. This in part allows trainers to interact with their gyms on a more frequent level rather than just leaving their Pokemon to fend for themselves. Niantic is also adding daily drops at gyms, similar to how items are dropped around PokeStops.
Battle order is another improvement that Niantic has made to the current gym system. In previous versions of Pokemon Go, you’d notice that you were forced to face Pokemon from weakest to strongest. But now, the new update shuffles this order to length in which a Pokemon has been stationed at the gym. This allows players to have a better chance in overtaking gyms and not having such a depleted core of Pokemon when you face the last opponent.
Additionally, Niantic has announced that it’ll be rolling out its new Raid Battle feature in a few weeks. Rare and legendary Pokemon will spawn around gyms for players to team up and battle the Pokemon.
“Raid Bosses are a new social co-op mechanic in Pokémon Go,” said Edward Wu, director of software engineering at Niantic to GamesBeat. “We already feel like we were a very social game. Last summer, you’d see droves of people go to the park together, bring their friends and family, point out to each other like, ‘Hey look, there’s a Pokémon you should catch over there.’”
Prior to engaging in a Raid Battle, an egg will spawn at the gym with a countdown timer to signal when the rare or legendary Pokemon hatches. it’ll also indicate the level of difficulty for players wanting to fight the Raid Boss together. Players must go to the particular gym’s location and hit the “battle” button at the same time when the egg hatches. Niantic will also include a “private party” feature that’ll only allow your invited friends to participate in a Raid Battle.
“We didn’t have any explicit social mechanics, those were all implicit,” Wu says. “But now we actually want to do players justice when they cooperate with each other by having an explicit social mechanic where if you group together and battle together you’ll be able to take on some really tough rare and powerful Pokémon in the game with the chance of even capturing them and getting exclusive items after you beat them.”
On top of these exciting updates and features, Niantic will be hosting its first official real-world event called Pokemon Go Fest in Chicago on July 22nd for $26.18.
“We feel like those live ops events really excite the community and energize them and provide an incentive to go out and play and catch the Pokemon they don’t have and complete their Pokédexes,” said Archit Bhargava, global product marketing lead at Niantic.