Pokemon GO? More like…Pokemon NO! Wow, never thought I’d make that joke in 2020.
It’s finally happened, and for the first time, on a Saturday morning, I uninstalled Pokemon GO. It wasn’t a quick uninstall/reinstall to fix a bug, but it was a complete uninstall. I’d removed myself from most of the groups and even Poketubers (I just didn’t connect with them on that sort of level, although a lot of them seem like really nice people). I also did spend some time using up the Incense that we got for 1 coin, though.
So why did I decide to quit? I’ll tell you!
Disinterest in heavily-pushed features
A lot of the newer features that they’ve brought out for the game recently, I have little to no interest in. I was hugely in raids when they first came out, but the current emphasis on GO Rocket and GBL doesn’t interest me. Don’t get me wrong, I have an interest in competitive battle in the main-series game. It just doesn’t interest me while playing GO.
Prioritising bug fixes
There is a precedent set with Niantic – any errors that positively impact players get fixed in minutes, while any game-breaking glitches and exploits that allow cheating are not a priority to them. There are a lot of players actively exploiting an issue with GO Battle League, and it impacts the opposing players who are trying to play legitimately. This hasn’t been properly fixed by Niantic, and like the dodge glitch, I doubt it will at any point soon to the point where we no longer see messages about it on Twitter.
However, the very useful ‘last ball used’ and ‘back-button to fast catch’ were patched within a few days of discovery.
Lacklustre, multiple events
The straw that broke the camel’s back for me was the list of March’s events. I thought there were too many events in February, but March took the cake, as well as the various raid weekends. I even kept a list of 2020 events and after each one, I wrote up the opinions, and they weren’t good. These events have been consistent in how demotivating they were.
Emphasis on monetisation
I made a post a while back discussing the impact and future of microtransactions in Pokemon GO. And it’s safe to say, looking back, I think I saw it coming. I mentioned that events were starting to be focused around what could be monetised, whether it’s eggs or raids, and while it’s nothing new, the fact that a lot of the new Pokemon featured in these events (Darumaka, party hat Wurmple, etc.) were locked behind eggs during the event, it caused a lot of issues in the community.
There is even going to be a paid part of Community Day when it returns, which doesn’t help matters – this was planned for Abra Community Day, which has since been postponed.
We even had a lot of issues with Niantic failing to include the VAT in the advertised price for Liverpool Safari Zone, which had a lot of people (myself included) up in arms. In the UK, you have to include VAT as part of the sales price. Some sales companies include both a VAT and without VAT prices to compare. Some companies declare the VAT in the cost break-down before purchase, which is what Niantic did, but not in the advertised price. They had since rectified this.
We’re right in the middle of the Genesect event, which was a pay-to-participate, much like Registeel. However, this was advertised as playable from home, which isn’t possible if you are under lockdown and cannot retrieve Gifts to send to people. Those within the western hemisphere were also granted a regional, Durant, while the eastern side was not compensated by getting Heatmor instead.
Shiny hunting is biased
I feel that shiny hunting is hugely biased in three ways: new players, returning players and paying players. Since I stopped paying into the game regularly, I’ve noticed I ended up with a lot fewer shinies than before – I haven’t hatched a shiny since September. There had been a lot of anecdotes about new players immediately getting a shiny.
So I feel that the more that you pay into the game, the more shinies you get. I also stopped frequently playing, and I opened the game to check some information for research, and I ended up with a shiny Grimer. I reinstalled the game to use the abundant Incense – a shiny Meditite appeared. I brought out my second account for the first time in a long time for Lickitung Raid Day – that second account got the shiny, and it also got the first shiny for Rhyhorn day.
Gatcha mechanics – shiny and egg rates not disclosed
Niantic has come under fire hugely of late, for not disclosing shiny and egg rates. I guess they feel that they don’t have to do the work because we’re aware that The Silph Road does that. It’s frustrating not knowing exactly what is happening in the game. It’s great that TSR, Leekduck and GO Hub are compiling the information necessary in amazing, easy to read formats, but we want Niantic to have to do this themselves.
Niantic should be able to tell us exactly what is in the egg pools (aside from ‘You might find Pokemon such as X and Y in Zkm Eggs’). They should be providing us with this information, rather than everyone having to rely on third parties to give us this information.
I felt that I was focusing too hard on not falling behind, more like a compulsion to make sure that Pokedex was constantly completely filled (regionals aside, and even then I was anxious about that). As more new Pokemon came out, they got so much rarer, so you’d still only see the currently spawning ones. I think there are a lot of people that still don’t have a Gible, and even more so that don’t have Deino or Axew. It’s not quite the same as the FOMO, but it’s still horrible.
I feel completely burnt out by it. I’ve had a few occasions where I felt mildly burnt out, but put the game on for the sake of it. But I, at times, would only put the game on at home maybe once or twice a day, just to check the surroundings. But I would just get bored with not a lot to do.
Unfortunately, our community here in Scunthorpe is pretty toxic. It generally comes from Instinct players, especially the newer ones. It got to the point where my good friend Sam created a separate group for people that he felt were the best people to discuss the game and have a banter with.
We also have a Wayfarer chat, but with the exceptionally harsh criticisms from a couple of the people in there, in particular, I didn’t feel comfortable. One of those people actually left the smaller group that Sam created because of me (maybe I bantered too hard? Who cares!).
I want to discuss something that has nothing to do with the game but has a contributing factor. I want to discuss this at length in the future, but I’ll shorten the story. My narcissist step-dad decided that Pokemon GO was as bad as prostitution – he tried playing the game but couldn’t get along with it, so decided it was the worst thing in the world (to compare, he’s an alcoholic). In turn, it led me to self-isolation, which is something I haven’t been able to shake off, even in the five months that I’ve lived out of that house. I probably have seen a therapist by the time this goes up, but I’m hoping it gets better eventually.
NOTE: This is not the same self-isolation that we’ve had for the coronavirus, I’m talking about the self-isolation due to mental health issues.
Yeah, I realise that this is a bit of a long list. But that’s just the way things have gone.