Pokemon GO continues to iterate and becomes much more than when it was originally released. However, although some players only care about Golurk’s release and his weaknesses, others have big complaints.
The focus of the complaint is the changes made to Pokémon GO by its creator, Niantic, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. These changes are made so that players don’t have to go out and get close to each other as Pokémon GO usually requires. They include improving the effect of incense, attracting more Pokémon to players, more gifts from Buddy Pokémon, and, importantly, doubling the interaction distance between the gym and other PokéStops.
As the number of cases in some countries and states declines, Niantic is reversing these characteristics. In the United States and New Zealand, they have been officially abolished. Players are annoyed by this reversal, mainly because of the shortened Pokestop interaction distance. Gamers on Twitter and Reddit pointed out some of the problems solved by reducing the interaction distance and described this decision as one of the best changes Niantic has reversed in years. The tone of many comments is bitter and frustrating, and the upcoming Mega and Legendary Raids may not be able to solve this problem.
One of the complaints about this change is how it makes players less safe. Although COVID-19 is not as scary as last year, it is still present and dangerous in many places. Secondly, the longer distance makes it easier to interact with the gym and general attempts, eliminating the problem of precise positioning of GPS drift. It also allows the player to continue to move instead of stopping in an awkward place. Ultimately, it allows players with health or accessibility issues to reach Pokestops that they would normally not be able to reach. In addition to the changes to Pokestops that players already wanted, reversing this change also made the game less popular for many people.
A petition to reverse the distance drop appeared on Change.org and collected the signatures of nearly 125,000 players. They hope that the increased distance will be permanent. With more events going on in August, players want to experience the game as safely as possible.
This decision is not only a bad change, it also shows that there is a disconnect between Niantic and the player base of many players. Due to the lack of response, although the players requested permanent changes before implementing the rollback, they stated that the players felt that Niantic was not listening. Considering how much Pokemon GO means to players of all ages, I hope Niantic will change their decision for these players.