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Amid Pokévision shutdown, players find hope in other changes and projects

Amid Pokévision shutdown - #GTUSA 1

OK, OK, so maybe Pokévision was cheating — at least, Niantic seemed to think so. In the early hours of the morning, the folks at Pokévision announced that they would be respecting Niantic’s and Nintendo’s wishes by removing functionality from their site. With the “three-step” tracker also removed, some users are up in arms over loss of all  Pokémon tracking capabilities. Still, between the visual changes in Niantic’s app and promise that we haven’t seen but 10 percent of the content , I’m excited to see the exciting directions PokemonGo is heading. For more information about the latest patch, scroll down to the bottom of this article!

Besides, if everything I just said reads a little too much like the lyrics to “Kumbaya,” I’m excited to tell you that there are still some exciting fan-made apps in development. Here’s two of my favorites:

Amid Pokévision shutdown - #GTUSA 2
Img Source – pokemongoinformer.com

PokeNotify

This fan made app allows users to detect nearby Pokemon without the app running. The application, unfortunately, is no longer available on the Google Play store, but with this link you can have the APK emailed to your android device. An IOS version is in the works, and will be emailed to you if you subscribe to the above linked newsletter.

The “Perfection” App

Would you be interested in an app that instantly told you how “perfect” the Pokemon just caught was? That’s the question the creator of a new app asked yesterday. The app supposedly would require a lot of setup, but the post received good community response, and the demo looks amazing.

PokeAdvisor

This browser application displays a plethora of information about your ‘mons, and about the global leaderboard. It’s being updated constantly, and requires no setup or installation. This is a great way to see your Pokemons hidden stats, and lets you know which Growlithe is REALLY top dog.

Pokeadvisor displays information about your 'mons, and lets you see hidden stats!
Pokeadvisor displays information about your ‘mons, and lets you see hidden stats!

The following is a patch analysis from Dropnes, the wonderful moderator at The Silph Road Pokemon Research group!

Alright travelers, this is a big moment in Pokemon GO history.

For those unfamiliar with Niantic’s development practices, playing their games can be an awesome journey – but it is a journey. Features and lore are added over time, and the depth of gameplay will evolve. This game has only been out for 3 weeks, and we’re already seeing major updates.

A new version update for Pokemon GO has begun rolling out, and we expect it will be available everywhere soon. This brings several changes to the app! We’ll break it down:

The Awesome

  1. Avatars – We are seeing an option to customize trainer appearance (after creation)! This bodes well for future customizeability.
  2. Battle – For those who missed it, Damage Per Second (DPS) has been revamped for nearly every move in the game, bringing balance to the force. This makes combat immensely more fun. See the /researchsection for the updated DPS.
  3. Nest Shakeup – A majority of nests around the world are now spawning different species! It’s great to see species variety like this, though it appears certain species (Dratini…) have been made significantly more difficult to acquire for now.
  4. Transfer Button – This button is no longer at the bottom of the Pokemon details screen! This will make transferring much more efficient. You are also prevented from accidentally transferring a ‘favorite’ pokemon. (nice! thanks to /u/beardie88 for this: http://imgur.com/W41dmqf)
  5. Bug fixes – Tons of bug fixes in this update, including with maps, Gyms, encounters, and memory leaks

The Unknown

  1. Damage Calculation – Apart from modifying the DPS for most moves, there appears to be a change to the damage formula itself. Details are scarce right now – research is ongoing!

The Controversial

  1. Distance Indicator (Steps) – The ‘nearby’ pane appears to have removed the ‘steps’ altogether. The last we’ve heard about the motivation for this controversial decision is that it was due to safety concerns. While we don’t necessarily agree with this decision, we’ll have to see how it plays out.

Fortunately, it at least appears that there’s a silver lining:

  • It appears that Pokemon you’ve spotted on the map now stay on the map for roughly 300m (an increased distance)

So while we no longer can use the steps to triangulate Pokemon distance, it appears they should be much easier to actually encounter once they appear on the nearby scanner.

A Word about Niantic and The Silph Road

We all have a love-hate relationship with Niantic sometimes. They’ve made many great steps forward here, and have recently shared that only 10% of the games planned features are even out yet! But they also make unilateral decision and operate like a Google internal project (ie, frustratingly nonchalant about their users). We just want to share that our sources have shown us that the reality is, they are very aware of what the game’s community wants and feels, though it may not feel like it sometimes. Keep in mind that the IP agreements involving TPC, Gamefreak, Niantic, and Nintendo have put this game in a much more complex legal environment than Ingress.

Here on the Road we have cultivated an amazing culture of constructive and civil dialog. Whether or not a change is frustrating or puzzling, we will continue to keep the Road free of drama, whining, ragequit threads, etc. There are other subreddits travelers can use if they need to express their disagreements in those ways. 🙂

For those who’ve been with us for many months, you know that the Silph Road does not turn into a salt mine – even when all around us it starts raining salt. 🙂 Let’s keep the Road a place to go for a good time – not a drama/rant hub.

Overall, this change shows great momentum on Niantic’s part. They’ve overcome crippling server issues, continue to launch in new markets, and are adding great features and even small usability tweaks (like the ‘transfer button’ tweak) based on community feedback. Though we may not love every change, we’re still looking forward to what’s to come.

We’ll update this thread as we learn more.

Travel safe,

– dronpes –


Thanks for reading ! –Cat

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About the author

Cory Thompson

Cory Adam Thompson (CAT) is an Asheville, NC based writer with a passion for PC gaming, cooperative experiences, and dumplings.

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