Full credits for this article go to mak484, a Silph Road Traveler that was kind enough to allow us to share his writing on the Hub. The original reddit post is available here.


Greetings trainers!

Like most of you, I had a blast with the new update over the weekend. Part of the fun for me was coming over to this community once an hour to see what new ideas and suggestions had been generated in that time. I was rarely disappointed. After a while, I started to see the same sorts of posts gaining traction over and over again. However, I’ve yet to see a fully populated list of these suggestions, so while I have some time I figured I’d take a stab at it.

Virtually none of the suggestions below are my own, but for the sake of expedience I won’t try to link each suggestion to its original post. I’ll try to keep my personal opinions to a minimum in this post, and I’ll try to only include suggestions that gained broad acceptance in the community already. My purpose here is to concisely summarize all of the constructive criticisms the community has put out over the past few days, not to make a list of complaints without providing possible solutions. Hopefully my fellow trainers, and perhaps some Niantic employees, will find this convenient.

Part 1 – Gym Battles

Misc Suggestions

  • Trainers should be able to change the default berry they feed to pokemon at gyms. The default should be nanab, not razz.
  • The motivation decay rate needs to be adjusted. Pokemon with CP over 3000 lose motivation 10x faster than those below 3000, which is too much.
  • Trainers should be able to switch attackers between battles
  • There should be a streak bonus for attacking, defending, and motivating each day, just like there are streak bonuses for capturing and spinning stops.
  • The world map is very underwhelming, to the point where it is almost comical. It will be nice to see the world map in its final form, which will hopefully incorporate stop locations and will be an actual map.
  • Gym battles are sometimes quite buggy and do not work the way they are intended. This isn’t a surprise and we are well aware that Niantic is working on fixing these issues as a matter of course.

Attacking

  • Problem: There isn’t a good reason to try to take down gyms on your own. Trainers spend many potions and revives knocking out an enemy gym, and they are rewarded with maybe a couple of coins until they are kicked back out of the gym. Meanwhile, all of the defenders are rewarded by receiving coins.
  • Solution: Trainers should be rewarded with coins for knocking out defenders, and possibly additional coins for placing their own pokemon as a defender. There should be a cap on how many coins can be earned this way, and it should be separate from the cap on coins earned by defending. This will help encourage both attacking and defending.

Defending

  • Problem: There isn’t enough incentive to increase motivation for teammates’ defenders, and in some cases not even for increasing your own defenders’ motivation. Motivating a teammates’ defender makes it less likely you’ll be able to deposit your own defender, and it makes the teammate wait longer to earn their coins. Same goes for motivating your own defender, if the gym’s turnover rate is low.
  • Solution 1: Feeding berries should yield far more stardust, and/or have a higher chance to yield candies. This will only work in conjunction with solution 2.
  • Solution 2: Trainers should have access to a poke flute that allows them to recall a defender at any time. This item should have a 24 hour cooldown to prevent abuse, and should only be used once the trainer’s daily coin cap has been reached. With these two solutions, trainers shouldn’t feel guilty about motivating their own or other trainers’ defenders.
  • Solution 3: (not optimal) There may need to be a hard limit on how long a trainer can leave their defenders at a gym. Perhaps all defenders are automatically returned once the trainer’s daily coin limit is reached. This solution is very restrictive and nanny-state, and would probably not be popular, but if stagnation becomes horrible then there may not be much choice.

Team Balance

  • Problem: In areas with fewer gyms and little turnover, even with the above solutions, it will be hard for every trainer to have a fair chance to place a defender in a gym. If their team constantly dominates all of the gyms, they will never be able to take over a gym or place their own defenders unless they are lucky or travel a long disance.
  • Solution: This hasn’t been specifically addressed to my knowledge. Trainers have been asking for the option to change teams since the game was released, which could be an option to increase diversity and solve this issue.

Coin Distribution

  • Problem: An issue that has been around forever is that daily coin caps are inherently unfair to trainers who play irregularly throughout the week.
  • Solution 1: Daily coin caps should be replaced with weekly coin caps. For example, rather than being able to earn 50 coins per day, trainers should be limited to 350 coins per week. This works especially well with the next suggestion.
  • Solution 2: All excess coins that could be earned are converted to stardust and/ or candies. This would include coins rewarded by defenders, and coins awarded by knocking out other teams (as suggested above).

Part 2 – Raids

Locating Raids

  • Problem: For rural trainers, most of us cannot see many or any gyms from where we live. Right now, there is no passive way to learn when raids are starting if we cannot see any gyms.
  • Solution: Gym badges are the perfect way to solve this issue. The gym badge pane should include all raid timers, both starting times and time remaining on active raids. In addition, players should be able to favorite gyms via their badges; favorited gyms will send push notifications when they have a raid starting soon.

Tier 1 Raids

  • Problem: The only trainers who will spend their daily pass on a tier 1 raid are likely rural and won’t be running into very many viable raids per day anyway. Trainers paying for premium passes won’t waste them on tier 1 raids either.
  • Solution: Tier 1 raids should simply be free. If that means the rewards are lowered, that would be worth having more to do while out and about.

Raid Pass Consumption

  • Problem: Because raid passes are consumed to enter the lobby, trainers are forced to gamble to see whether or not there will be enough support to take on the raid they selected.
  • Solution: Raid passes should function as loot keys. Trainers should be allowed to enter the lobby for free, and only spend their raid pass once the boss has been defeated.

Assisting Late Trainers

  • Problem: Once a trainer defeats a raid boss, they cannot help other trainers who show up late.
  • Solution: Once a trainer has spent a pass on a raid boss, they should have unlimited access to defeating that boss in order to help other trainers. The only reward they should get for completing multiple wins is additional experience, if anything.

Daily Passes

  • It has been suggested that daily passes should stack, to allow trainers who play irregularly to not miss out on raids because of the strict limit on free passes. Personally I don’t think Niantic is going to change this mechanic anytime soon, but I agree it would be a welcome change.

Premium Passes

  • Problem: It has been suggested that premium passes are not ‘premium’ enough, offering access to only one raid each. Various suggestions have been made, which would likely be mutually exclusive (or turned into different types of premium passes).
  • Solution 1: Passes should have charges, like incubators. The price may be raised as a result, but it shouldn’t be 1:1. 150 coins for a 3 raid pass is reasonable.
  • Solution 2: Passes should act like lures, and give other players free access to a raid. This would go a long way to community building, and would encourage trainers to take a shot at high level raids since they’d have nothing to lose.
  • Solution 3: Create special passes that grant unlimited access to all raids for a 24 hour period once used. These would clearly be expensive, but would be very popular with tourists and on weekends.

Raid Curfews

  • Problem: Trainers who play at night are severely disadvantaged by not having access to raids past 9 pm. It has been suggested that this may be temporary, since originally the beta testing was only meant for sponsored gyms that largely wouldn’t be open past 9 anyway. In case this isn’t true, a solution follows.
  • Solution: Create a parental control option that turns raid notifications off past a certain point. This is assuming the main point of the curfew is to disincentivise young trainers from venturing out late at night.

Part 3 – Social Features

This section summarizes the requests made recently, specifically to aid in gym battles and raids.

  • In-Game Chat: Trainers should be able to send chat requests to their teammates by selecting their profiles in gyms. This feature should be opt-in, and trainers should not under any circumstances be allowed to send unsolicited or unapproved messages to other players. It would simply be far too easy for trolls to grief other trainers otherwise, and the last thing this game needs is incentive for trolling.
  • RSVP: Trainers should be able to RSVP to an active raid, and see how many other trainers have done so as well. This will be a fast way to see if attempting a tier 4 raid is worth it, for example.

Cheating

  • As anyone in a populated area is aware, the gym system as it currently stands is extremely prone to cheating. It strongly encourages spoofers to remotely increase motivation on their pokemon, while multi-accounters can quickly take down gyms and fill them with their own teams.
  • Some of the suggestions posted above may help, but most will only increase the incentive to cheat.
  • I’ve not seen any concrete suggestions for solutions to this problem, but as a community I think it’s safe to say we do not want these solutions to come at the cost of the freedoms of legit trainers. It would be unacceptable to see rewards lowered or removed as an attempt to discourage cheating. This should be obvious, but this game has already seen these types of punishments happen in the past.

A point about increasing rewards like stardust and coins. Reading all of these suggestions at once, I’m left with the impression that quite a few could be interpreted as “Niantic give me more stuff please.” Personally, I disagree with this interpretation. We all know that the amount of stardust we can receive has taken a hit and ought to go back up to original levels. As far as coins are concerned, we now have two coin dumps – incubators and raid passes – so access to free coins should at least reflect that change. If trainers can do more for free, they’ll play more, and those who are willing to pay will be happier doing so.

Final Words

Niantic, you’ve done a great freaking job with this update. It’s still very raw, and needs a lot of tweaking, but for the first time it feels like you’ve hit your stride with community responsiveness. The turnaround time on addressing the coin payout scheme was beyond impressive. It wasn’t perfect, but it was several steps in the right direction.

I personally haven’t had this much fun playing since the game first came out, although admittedly I stopped playing back in October for a number of reasons. I’d like to thank Niantic for listening to this community, and to encourage them to keep listening so we can continue to build a fun and viable game together.

On that note, I’d like to remind everyone on the Silph Road of something. This game is far from complete. This may seem obvious, but hear me out. Many of the reasons people stopped playing last year (save for those who only tried it out because everyone else was talking about it) have not been addressed at all. Rural spawn rates are still abysmal, the tracker is likely never coming back as it was originally presented, battling is still clumsy compared to the turn-based strategy style of the core series, there is no trading or proper pvp yet, and even the in-game display is still lackluster. These are not my personal complaints- these are the complaints I’ve heard from everyone I’ve tried to convince to come back following this most recent patch.

I only mean for this message to be a reality check. There is a long road ahead of us before this game is ready for prime time again, and I sincerely hope and believe Niantic won’t rest on their laurels and coast through the fall on this update alone. Let’s all keep that in mind next time we find ourselves staring longingly at a tier 4 raid, knowing we can’t participate because we’re the only ones in our town playing anymore. If you can’t relate to that sentiment, you’re lucky.

Stay safe, and happy hunting.

  • Clovis Mello

    The point of the curfew is likely to not have Niantic being held liable for gathering large groups of people at 1am in a small neighborhood park that’s supposed to be closed. I don’t see this changing, but I would like to see the day start earlier.

    • GonzoI

      I think they have. When I got to work this morning, people had already done a raid at the gym next to our building.

    • Lorddacc

      Not only that, I’m also pretty sure many other things were taken into consideration, like noise complaints, the need of kids and teenagers sleeping earlier during school time, etc. They could make it from 7/8 am to 9 pm though.

      • David Shuer

        There is also a fear of crime, as there were incidents with people gathering around lures late at night after launch.

        • Higher_Ground

          I think this is probably a bigger reason than most realize as it gives you a countdown and a map to find them, which goes way over what lures did.

    • pooranspress

      Yes 6am.. after a nice jog, it would be nice to take some tyranitor or snorlax home. And jogs in park would also mean new connections to battle together

  • GonzoI

    I will second the “people who pay money” part. I buy coins every so often if I feel it will be worth it. If I feel like I’m being forced into it (like right now), I won’t buy coins. I don’t think I’m alone in this either.

    I do like that this is democratizing gyms and giving lower level players more of an opportunity to get coins and stardust, but 260 berries and 5 gyms to get the same stardust as before? (Assuming there isn’t a cap…) And half the coins at max while increasing the staple items we have to buy? No.

    • Lorddacc

      You are not forced into spending money with the game. That would only happen if you could only get coins via real world money (which isn’t the case).

      • GonzoI

        Read the article before commenting.

        • Lorddacc

          I did so, a nowhere it says you must buy coins to enjoy the game. That would only happen if there was no way to get coins for free.
          Sure you could earn a lot more coins daily, but that would only kill the gym balance where everyone would put any OP Pokemon so lower leveled players can’t even touch the gym, thus obliging those players to actualy spend money.
          The daily cap should be raised to 100, enough to, in theory, buy a premium pass every day.

    • AverageGamers

      I never buy Coins. I patiently wait for them to come from Gyms. Even if it’s only 10 Coins per week… *sigh*. Only need them to add more Pokemon storage anyway, because Eggs keep taking away my empty space.

      • Lorddacc

        Exactly. Maybe they could raise the daily limit for coins to 100, and that’s about it.

      • GonzoI

        Don’t take this the wrong way, but this comes off as condescending when you feel the need to tell me you don’t spend money where I say I do. The majority of players don’t spend money, and that’s how it’s supposed to be for a free-to-play game. That doesn’t change the fact that some of us do have to, or free-to-play doesn’t work. We have to get value such as extended gameplay in order for us to keep spending real world money on the game and it has to be in a way that lets us interact with those of you who don’t without it being one-sided. It’s a fine line that free-to-play developers have to walk, and Niantic just stepped off the line in a bigger way than you realize. It’s great that you play the game you want to and it’s fun for you that way, but that doesn’t change the fact that those of us who are paying money have a problem that needs addressing.

        And before Lorddacc or someone like him replies with another “only idiots pay” response, this isn’t just about ME getting raid passes or incubators, it’s about them being worthwhile. If I get 97 raid passes a month (50 coins a day + $40 + 30 free raid passes) and everyone who doesn’t pay but plays actively gets 45 a month (50 coins a day + 30 free raid passes), what does that do to the game balance? What does that do when I want to take on a level 3 raid boss and everyone around me wants to save their free raid pass in case a level 4 shows up? It may seem like it would be fun to just buy a bunch of stuff and steamroll everyone else, but a game does not function that way. 100 coins a day was a decent rate (3000 coins for a month of effort to 5200 coins for $40). Halving that to 1500 a month doesn’t cut it. If it feels like I have to pay real money to keep up because I can’t put in effort to offset it, then it’s not really extending gameplay. It’s just bleeding a sucker, and while I do want to support the game financially, I won’t be bled for it.

        • Lorddacc

          First of all, he expressed his opinion, you can’t deny him that right. Second, his statement was just to show that you can play the game without spending much (if not any at all).
          Third, I did not authorize you to bring up my name into your discussion, and lying about my statements.
          Fourth, it’s not a must for people to raid 2 or 3 times a day. Once, maybe twice a day would be the normal, and that’s good to balance city and rural players. When it comes to raids, there are too many in a daily basis. In a certain radious, there should only be 2 to 3 raids, enough of those 8 raids at once in the big cities just because there are 10 gyms everywhere you look.
          The game is still getting balanced, since raids are supposedly in beta phase. Maybe this is the reason for the 50 coin limit, so high level players don’t cheese the raid system, while players who yet cannot participate in raids due to their level get zero.

  • Magicaldude01

    ‘Let’s all keep that in mind next time we find ourselves staring longingly at a tier 4 raid, knowing we can’t participate because we’re the only ones in our town playing anymore. If you can’t relate to that sentiment, you’re lucky.’

    Dear writer, thank you so much to bringing this to the big screen… I’ve played rural since the start, kept looping the same 5 and only 5 pokestops I have in my town… So, thanks. It means the world to me

  • Vali B

    I have two more ideeas to make gyms a little better. Daily quest to defeat a gym for an încrease reward (dust, maybe a candy of one defenders in the 7th days) and posibility to use few berrys (3 ore something like this) on enemy gym to lower one defender motivation before atacking

    • Lorddacc

      Using berries to lower an enemy defenders’ motivation would be bad for the game. Instead of battling them, people would just cheese the system by battling 500cp defenders. It would defeat the purpose of even having good defenders.

      • Vali B

        I meant just few berrys. Not everybody could beat a 3000+ cp Blissey.Nobody attack my neighbourhood gyms for days
        And only few have such a beast

  • Jeroen Dekker

    In my opinion pokemon who defend earn coins each hour they are in a gym automaticly without pokemon need to return, with a cap of 50 but rather the old 100 a day or 350~700 weekly, this way no one has to wait untill their pokemon get kicked out.

    This has an advantage, that you will defend a gym to keep it earning the coins for you instead of wanting your pokemon to die because you want the coins. Also the “lost” coins of pokemon who return after your initial 50 coins are a pain and not rewarding even if they defended a gym for 5 days.

    1 thing I do like is the 20 gym cap, no more same blue person in every gym in our town, gyms are now more random colored before it was manely blue because the person had all day to do gyms restock and retake gyms fast.

    • Higher_Ground

      it’s the exact opposite where I’m at. It went from having a very even mix of red/blue/yellow to 90% blue.

      Couple that with the extra gyms they added and it’s about as far from an even fight as you could imagine.

  • AverageGamers

    Agreed about the Coins. When the new Gym opened for the first time, I entered 6-8 of my Pokemon with so much delight.

    The problem began to rise when more than 1 returned at the some time, because no matter how long they defended (some of them beyond 24 hours), I only got 50 Coins overall. Hence all the hardwork of revisiting to give Berries seemed to be put to waste. It’s different if the deficit turns into Stardust as this article suggested. I’d be totally okay with that. But for now, I sort of have given up trying to occupy too many Gyms. Because the logic is, as long as you can put 1 Pokemon in 1 Gym for at least 8-9 hours, the 50 Coins rewards is yours. Then again, that might be the intention after all, huh? Hmmm….

    • Higher_Ground

      I think that’s kind of the point. Having more than “X” number of gyms borders on hoarding them at the expense of other players. There are now more gyms but fewer slots. This seems to have the opposite of the intended effect – now it seems that a smaller base of players controls a higher percentage of gym slots. Before, they could only get 10% of the available gyms – now it’s up to 16%. If there are 6 super active players on one team, at least 4 slots were available to more casual players. Now they’re taken.

  • yuififf

    With the coin distribution you could do that every day at midnight the
    player could give 100 coins (5 coins to the gym) and then every time a
    pokemo with the coin distribution you could do that every day at
    midnight the player could give the Coins (5 coins in the gym) and then
    every time a pokemon defender of the gym is defeated and back to us
    these would have a bonus for the number of hours he defended the gym (up
    to 50 daily). Because the new coin delivery system is not secured as the previous one
    before every day you are sure to have 10 coins for each gym where there
    is one our pokemon now instead or you have to ask a friend of your rival
    team The gym or hope that a rival team trainer defeats our pokemon.

    And once you visit a gym where there is one our pokemon defender and you
    rotate the photo disc you could have 5 caramels of the pokemon and
    1000 dust of stars.

  • Brogan Hart

    I like pretty much everything on the discussion about the coins because I used to get 100 coins per day and now I’m lucky to get 50 because my Pokemon don’t get kicked out of gyms

  • doomzelda

    Beating Raids should give you star dust, why would I want revives as a price when spinning pokestops give you the same.

  • Jason

    Awesome article really like a few of the ideas.. I agree update is amazing but does need some tweaks.. You do get a message in journal when your Pokemon is returned from the gym but I think they should add how many coins it earned as well.. And the reward system really needs tweaked right now I am currently wanting my Pokemon to get knocked out of gyms so I can collect coins.. I shouldn’t want to get kicked out of gyms.. I am ok with the 50 max a day but if you earn 50 for that day think there should be a way to collect them not be punished for still holding down gyms.. and would like to see a way to earn a little more stardust as it was 500 per gym every 21 hours now its 20 per berry you would have to feed 25 berries right now to earn the old stardust reward of just one gym

  • Oscarv

    Compared to Premium Raid Passes a 100 coins, the Egg Incubators at 150 coins are not premium enough. There may be nothing of interest in the three eggs, and then you need to walk 6 to 30 km to see what it is. This is especially true when the Pokédex is already nearly complete.

  • Robert Lanzas

    I think for raids that are level 3-5, you should be able to enter the lobby see how many players are waiting in the lobby to defeat that boss and use your raid pass then if you want to join that group. I dont think Niantic would let you defeat the boss before you use the pass. You should be able to back out without using your raid pass especially a premium one, if you want to enter a level 4 raid and no one else is in the lobby waiting to attack that boss.

    • Magicaldude01

      Yeah please make me able to look at the lobby, rip my raid pass

  • Gabriella Martins

    Something also needs to change to make having high CP pokemon worth it. Once you’ve almost completed your pokedex you lose interest in continuing hunting if you don’t really need/get any advantage from having higher CP pokemon. I found myself completely unmotivated to catch new pokemon or power mine up ever since the update. I have way too many >2000 cp pokemon to put in gyms and battle with. Before, the higher the CP, the better. Now it only really makes a difference in Raids. For anyone level 29+, you already have plenty of decent CP pokemon(for raiding even) to justify continuing to search for higher CP and IV pokemon.

    • Jason

      I disagree I like to find them low actually cause I enjoy powering them up and “raising” them myself I think that is half the fun in any Pokemon game is the catching and raising

  • pooranspress

    Raid pass consumption.. slight change..

    Enter lobby for free .. in case of suggest team size of more than 10 to takedown tyranitor, you can enter and exit if not enough people are there. Only if they enter pass will be utilized else pass should return.

  • James Conroy

    I hate all the gym restrictions it’s a game.. it’s competitive.. I live in a low population area and we have people who buy accounts off eBay and use them all at once they will have one account of a different color then they will tear a gym down and load it with all their own personal Pokemon… if you can’t tear down a gym maybe you don’t belong in it… rather than focusing on how to make it easier and fair why don’t we keep it a competition no one roots for their favorite baseball team and then decides hey I wish they would let the other team win a little…. if you’re going to do something how about you nail some of these guys that are buying these accounts off of eBay or make it easier for us to report them …. most of us can’t even figure out how. With so many problems with the game I wish people would just shut up about making it easier for this and easier for that I love the new raid system if you can’t find Ten friends to take down a big Pokemon guess what I don’t think you should have it… when the Legends hit the market I don’t want every single 10 year old running around the five Legends because they Nerf the game so you could basically solo them

    • Higher_Ground

      “if you can’t find Ten friends to take down a big Pokemon guess what I don’t think you should have it.”

      Sounds like something a 15 year old living in NYC would say, as opposed to a 30 year old living in middle America who doesn’t even have 10 friends, let alone ten playing POGO.

      The game really doesn’t need to get any more exclusive than it already is.

      The fact that you don’t want 10 year olds enjoying the game is perplexing.

  • Mirek Mareš

    I got 2 more suggestions.
    1. When you drop things from your bag because Its full… Why dont se get some stardust per item se dropped?

    2. I think destroying spoofing Is not that hard as it seems to be. Just develop some function that will compare distances between actions with what Is possible. They tried something few days ago but it Is not enough. I know few cheaters by myself and none of them got red slashes on their rare pokemons.

  • GMen

    Why not making a more complex Gym award system?
    The lower your level the harder it is to stay in a Gym.
    So let’s say 1 coin for every 3 times your level (at level 5; 1 coin for every 15 minutes, at level 30; 1 coin for every 1:30 hours…).

    In addition they can put a level based amount of stardust for each fixed time period (a higher level needs more stardust), for example every half hour defending you get your level in stardust (at level 5; 10 stardust every hour, at level 30; 60 stardust for every hour…)

    With this system every trainer will try to stay in a Gym, but it will be harder because lower level trainers keep the advantage earning money faster, and will try to defeat Gyms even for a short time.

    • Mirek Mareš

      Cmon you dont mean this seriously dont you? 1 coin per 90 minutes for 30+ will totaly ruin the game for everyone with high level. Especialy for players in Yellow team or in any team that dont dominate the local area. 1 coin per 10 minutes if enough it just needs to give also 50 stardust with it. In other words you cant punish players for playing game longer than new players.

      • GMen

        In the original system you got 10 coins for 21 hours, now you will have, when you’re level 30, 16 coins in 24 hours… It’s seems a better deal, although it might be harder to keep a Gym.

        With the current system, it’s easy to get your 50 coins a day, but I can’t see the reason why I should attack more than one Gym a day.

  • David Shuer

    Excellent analysis.

  • Kim Werk

    1. Make the wait time lower for trainers who want to add a pokemon to a gym of there team. 10 minutes wait for teammates who didn’t battle or got knocked out of the battle because of an error must wait 10 minutes :/

    2. OK for a 10 minute wait before a gym can be changed again to another team, now if i take over a gym, another team can take it over right away :/ , this way you have at least 1 coin

    3. If a team is taking down a gym, rival teams can’t enter the battle till the gym is down, to protect rival teams joining the battle when the gym is almost down and taking it over (happens all the time around me)

    4. Deny feeding berries while a battle is in progress, it’s very annoying when taking down a gym and a rival is feeding berries, especially golden berries

    5. IF a gym isn’t taken down, return all pokemon after 5 or 7 days

    6. Fix all (crashingà bugs, it’s very annoying while you battle you get kicked out of the battle or the app closes suddenly

    7. This in combination with point 5 -> GIVE Gym Keys like in Ingress, allowing feeding a certain amount of berries from a distance

    8. Be able to spin a gym after you have won a raid battle, now you can’t do anything untill the gym is back to normal

    9. Like told before, Pink eggs free, Golden eggs raid pass

    10. Make a Riad pass cost 50 coins / or when defended a gym 24h, free raid pass

    11. Ability to stack 5 free raid passes, this way you can battle 1 day 5 raids instead of “You have to raid battle every day!”

    12. Ability to buy a weekend raid pass, buy the pass, battle 5 raids a day for the weekend, starting from friday 16:00 till 22:00h sunday

    • Lorddacc

      Number 4 is not really an issue. Happened to me once, and made no difference since only the first berry you feed is effective, the others are just a waste.
      Other than that, I mostly agree.

      • Kim Werk

        I know, but if they give a golden berrie, it’s fully healt :/

        • Lorddacc

          Oh yeah, forgot about those.
          But it’s not really worth wasting a golden razz berry, when some bosses are REALLY hard to catch and with legendary pokemon coming.

  • Tyrone Sangwall

    One thing that was not included in the post was the lack of skill in the gym system. For a high level player it’s enough to just select your strongest pokemon and spam click to take down the gym. There is no need to dodge or select pokémons with type advantage.

    In the previous solution where you had to prestige with lower pokémons you needed to learn how to fight in order to stand a chance.

    Throwing balls is a good example, you start out by throwing straight, then move on to nice, great and excellent throws. Finally you learn to master the curve balls.

    There needs to be a similar skill climb in the gym battles.

    Also getting coins only when your pokémon returns is a horrible idea, there should be an incentive to hold the gyms as long as possible, now people are asking other teams to tear down their gyms so that the can get their collects.

    My suggestion would be to get less coins over time. Start with a few coins per hour and lower it exponentially to 1 coin per day if the pokémon has been in the gym for more than a week. Combine this with a decent coin reward for defeating gyms to make sure that the stagnation doesn’t come back. Add whatever cap you want to that, I think 100 coins is a fair reward, but they shouldn’t come without a struggle.

    • Higher_Ground

      “there should be an incentive to hold the gyms as long as possible”

      No a thousand times. Not saying you’re greedy but that’s the biggest turn-off for most players that I’ve seen – they can’t hold gyms or can’t get in them to begin with.

      If the point of holding a gym is to get coins, you should only hold it long enough to get those coins and then let someone else get a turn.

      • Jason

        haha what? that isnt competitive at all lets take turns holding gyms guys.. if you play basketball do you take turns giving the other team wide open shots? no you defend and honestly the competition is what makes it fun whether that is sports or games or whatever.. that is when you receive that inner accomplishment.. if something is given to you not much of an accomplishment.. I think the biggest turn off is hackers and cheaters in the game that run gyms not the competition that is a good thing to have though

        • Higher_Ground

          This isn’t basketball. Pokemon doesn’t even have teams… that’s something that Niantic just ported over from Ingress. They forced teams into the game without really thinking it through IMO. They are terribly imbalanced.
          And it’s not even about sharing with rival teams – taking tons of gym slots keeps people on your own team from having fun too.

          Games aren’t all based on competing against other players. Pokemon has a competitive league but the vast majority of people who buy the game only play against the NPCs and their friends.

          I’d rather take down NPC gyms for coins. There is literally no appeal (to me) in making this a purely player vs player game. Then it really does become pay to play – or just whoever has the most time to waste.

          If they had a clue as to what they were doing this game would play much more like pokemon and a lot less like Ingress.

          • Jason

            Well yea I agree that it could be more like the original Pokemon games a lot of people have said that from day one including me but it has slowly gotten better like they now have TMs finally.. but only thing I completely disagree with is competition in a game is a good thing at least I think so it gives you something to strive for and work to achieve kinda like the medals and now gym badges.. I think you should want to battle and take over gyms and hold them for as long as possible and the rewards system right now sucks you basically are being punished if you are in a gym for more than 8 hours in a day and you have no way to even return your Pokemon to you you are just stuck in there basically.. other than the rewards system I am loving the new update and I think the game itself has came a long way over the past year

          • Higher_Ground

            True. It’s definitely more enjoyable the more they improve upon it. Sucks they can’t seem to dedicate more resources to improvements.

      • Greg Ray

        Under the old system when I wasn’t strong enough to get into a gym, I made myself and my mons stronger so I could. That was what the game was all about. Under the “let someone else get a turn” approach there is no motivation to get stronger or develop my mons. I’d rather play a game here there is a challenge and reward. I guess you’d rather have a collection of “participation trophies”.

        • Higher_Ground

          “Under the old system when I wasn’t strong enough to get into a gym, I made myself and my mons stronger so I could.”

          It was never about strength… weaker pokemon trained gyms faster under the old system. And I’m pretty sure that has zero to do with what I’m talking about, since we’re talking about how long someone stays in a gym not how easy or difficult it is to place one yourself.

          “That was what the game was all about.”

          Actually, no it’s not. At least not to me. To me the game is about catching ’em all.

          “Under the “let someone else get a turn” approach there is no motivation to get stronger or develop my mons.”

          Evidence? Argument? I’m not suggesting you not take any gyms, just that holding them as long as possible isn’t a goal the game should promote. Taking them in the first place is plenty of motivation.

          “I’d rather play a game here there is a challenge and reward.”

          No, you want to hoard the rewards all to yourself.

          ” I guess you’d rather have a collection of “participation trophies”.”
          LOL the game hangs out dozens of literal participation trophies…. and I’d rather let other people enjoy the game too so they don’t just quit and therefore speed up the eventual demise of the game. I’m hoping to play for a long time to come.

          • Greg Ray

            If the game is “all about catching them all” why do you care about gyms at all? And if “Taking a gym is plenty of motivation” why did they make it so all you had to do was show up to get onto a gym rather than battling on? If you think there should be no competition in the game, why bother playing at all. Al you should be doing under your approach is wandering around looking for pokemon that you don’t already have,

          • Higher_Ground

            I care any gyms because I want coins to buy incubators to increase my chance of catching them all because some only hatch from eggs. I thought that was obvious.

            I don’t like the fact that someone can just show up and have left like a dozen comments saying just that. Nevermind that my team doesn’t have any gyms to begin with.

            I have never implied that competition shouldn’t exist. You’re putting words in my mouth because you can’t comprehend that someone can compete without hogging all the gym spots. There’s nothing competitive about “holding a gym as long as possible” – it’s actually anti competitive.

          • Tyrone Sangwall

            As long as there are teams in Pokémon GO the goal should be to hold the gyms as long as possible, nothing else makes any sense.
            I’m not saying that the old system was good, it sucked really really bad and I feel sorry for you and many others that felt that they couldn’t really compete in it.
            But still, this update sucks! There are plenty of other ways that would have improved the situation instead of making most of the high level players give up the gym play because it lost all meaning.

            What would you think of this as an example (probably not perfect either, but I believe that it would much better than the current system).

            * Gyms have 10 slots based on prestige, like before.
            * Only one pokémon of each type is allowed. That would actually give us a reason to power up a strong defender that is not one of the original “big 6”, I have no need for that in the current system.
            * You get coins if you manage to hold the gym for X hours, it gradually decreases but never drops to 0. This way it would be interesting to visit remote locations again, that was a part of my game play that I liked most.
            * Gym placement is not based on CP, the last person to add will get kicked out first.
            * No free slots, everybody would have to work for their slot. It should probably require the same amount of prestige though, 10 000 to get the last slot would suck.
            * The pokémon lose strength (not motivation) and you can feed them just like in the current system, that was actually something good they added.
            * Now here’s what I hope that you like since I think you play on Instinct: If you find it hard to hold gyms, you should get coins for defeating a pokémon in a gym so that you have an alternative way to earn your coins. Quite a few for the first one, less for the second, and so on.
            * Daily bonus for defeating a pokémon.
            * A pokémon lose some of it strength even if it’s not defeated, that way even a low level player can defeat a Blissey in the bottom with a few extra attacks.
            * Of course there should be a cap for max number of gyms and max coins per day.
            * The stupid 3000 CP rule would definitely go away, of course you should use your strongest pokémons to defend the gym, no matter of which CP they have.

            One more benefit would be that if you knew that you can’t play as much as you want for a few days, you could spend some extra time to build up your gym fleet before your absence and still collect some coins while you are away.

          • Greg Ray

            So how does one “hog all of the gym spots” when there were 10 spots on a gym? It’s good to know that you’ve never powered up any of your pieces or used a luck egg. And of course you’ve only evolved any type of pokemon only once to get a new type and never to move up to a higher level. Since any actions you take to move up to higher level would make you either a liar or a hypocrite…or both.

          • Malcolm Troon

            Good post Tyrone. The old system was definitely flawed, but not the mechanics, just the rules. I am reading this forum today because my family had a rotten raid experience which felt like the last straw for us. We needed all 4 of us to defeat the boss and my son kept GPS drifting out of the battle so it was a wasted trip and raid cards. And even the raid rewards including the boss often suck. My kids don’t want to play anymore which bums me out because it was good family fun. There is no direct relationship anymore between effort and reward. We are all fairly high levels 33-35 and we all thoroughly understand the game, but Niantic has de-incentivised every aspect from gym play to CP to XP. Our 20 or so local gyms used to turn over anywhere from 10 times a day to once every 5 days and now they are static, they haven’t changed hands in over a week! How is this better? It may sound ridiculous, but I wish the hackers and spoofers would return so these darn gyms would turn over!

  • Drahoslav Horvath

    Great article!

  • Jackbot92

    I think before trying to fix the game so that it accomodates the way we want the game to be NOW, I think we should first think about what we SHOULD want.

    I think it’s fundamentally wrong to want your pokemon to be knocked out of the gym so that we can get our daily coins. It’s weird, and it ruins the flavor of conquering a gym. Right now the game rewards you for getting your pokemon knocked out, but it should reward the player for keeping it in the gym as long as possible.
    On the other hand, it should be reasonably easy for the opposing teams to catch your gym, otherwise you end up creating a stale environment where the players that already own a gym make a fat load of coins, while the others don’t make any.
    By rewarding this style of play though, you have to be careful because you’re going to reward gyms that are located in isolated areas, because it’s less likely to conquer them.
    Also, on Niantic’s end, you should have a cap on the max coins you make in one day. I personally don’t like having a hard cap on the coins themselves, it’s a very hard artificial barrier.

    With this being said, what we SHOULD want is: trying to keep our pokemon inside the gym as long as possible, but not in any gym, the most popular ones, the ones located in the most inhabited areas. So they should implement a different kind of the previous “prestige” system, which is a value that is higher if there’s more activity in the given gym. Keeping your pokemon in a popular gym will be more rewarding than keeping them in an unpopular gym, even though it will be easier to defend since less people will attack it.

    So, how about this: you gain coins constantly over time for each gym you own; the coins will be awarded more frequently the more prestige the gym has. But, you can only have 5 gyms at any time. And why not, you can also implement a “return pokemon” button, if you really need your pokemon back to fight another gym.

    • Higher_Ground

      I don’t think they need to exacerbate the zero-sum mentality that says “hold the gyms as long as possible.”

      I mean kudos to your competitive spirit but maybe other people would like to benefit from the game as well?

      Hence the idea that maybe you just need to hold the gyms long enough to get your daily coins and then let other players also enjoy the gyms.

      It’d be great if they could find a way to let people enjoy the game while not making it at the expense of others’ enjoyment.

      • Jackbot92

        I get your point, but I think you can easily implement it even in a ‘zero-sum’ way. What I meant is that you want to hold the gym as long as possible, but it becomes increasingly harder to actually keep holding it. The motivation system is a great way to implement this, making the pokemon weaker and weaker over time, so it becomes increasingly easier for opponents to catch your gym.

        Right now you want to hold the gym only for 8 hours, so that you get to your 50 coins limit; after those 8 hours, you want to lose the gym so you can collect your reward.

        With the solution I suggested, you want to ALWAYS hold your gym, but your pokemon gets weaker and weaker over time, to the point where it becomes the other players’ turn to catch and hold the gym. Everyone gets their turn to enjoy the game, but in a much more natural and flavored way.

    • Jason

      I live in the middle of nowhere luckily there is one gym and no not a ton of activity.. but thats probably the only benefit I get I only get one gym and a lot less Pokemon dont try to take away the one and only advantage of not living in the city in Pokemon Go.. other than that though I agree you should not want to be knocked out of a gym the whole point of gyms is to take them over and hold them.. thats one of the only competitive parts to the game and now that they have raids which is awesome btw.. I think they either need to make it to collecting rewards manually again or you collect them automatically but without being knocked out first.. either one I am ok with and I would like to see them add in journal how many coins your Pokemon earned they have already added that is has been returned to you.. but not just coins stardust system sucks now too you use to get 500 per gym every 21 hours now you get 20 per berry.. you have to feed 25 berries to get the stardust previously of holding one gym.. other than the rewards system the update is amazing having a lot of fun just rewards system sucks right now

  • Hee Chan Chae

    i personally think the premium passes should not be buffed, as spoofers will get WAY easier gameplays etc. Great article though, made me really agree with all the things mentioned!

  • Viva Boema

    I think the need to power up your pokemon has gone allmost completely. At least if you are level 25+. High CP was needed to be high in the old gyms. In new gyms you need to get kicked out in order to collect your coins. So I only place relatively easy to beat pokemon of 1700 to 2000 CP. No need for stardust anymore…

  • TheYaks

    If training was brought back correctly, it could deal with a number of issues – please hear me out.

    (1) Pokemon who lose all motivation should leave the gym. Maybe not immediately, but after some time (1 hour? 2 hours?) with no motivation, they should go. Then, that trainer spot should be closed. For example, if a gym had 6 Pokemon and 1 lost all motivation and left, then the number of spots for trainers would decrease to 5. However, someone from that same team could then train at the gym to bring the 6th spot back and place their own Pokemon in it.

    (2) You should be able to train at your team’s own gym to allow you to substitute your Pokemon for another. Maybe this would only work after a Pokemon had dropped below a certain motivation, but it’s frustrating to see all the gyms full, especially from casual players who just drive by.

    Both of these would encourage trainers to visit gyms from their team that are already full and to feed berries to the other Pokemon. As it stands now, there is no real incentive (other than to spin the stop) to visit an occupied gym from your team and zero real incentive to feed the Pokemon there. In addition, the first suggestion would also be a better way to deal with stagnant gyms and possibly give players a way to let their Pokemon come home (e.g. not feeding them).

    There also needs to be a way to “force collect” coins every day. I miss that aspect.

    On the feeding point, consider also that the only trainers who should be allowed to feed are ones with Pokemon in the gym.

  • Brittany Ann Wittrock

    I think it would be nice to be able to withdraw our pokemon from a gym. Sometimes my pokemon stay in a gym for over a month because no one tries to beat it. This is also difficult when raiding since my pokemon are, trapped. And daily coin limit…

    • Higher_Ground

      I think the way to do that is to give more incentive to simply attacking gyms (even if you don’t knock it down enough to claim it).

      Why would I waste my time fighting a level 6 gym when I can just look for one of my own color that isn’t full yet?

  • Higher_Ground

    Now that we get coins at an hourly rate (more accurately, every 10 minutes) I think they’d be better off scrapping the motivation mechanic. Or at least find a better way to implement it.

    Even when every gym around me had 10 opposing players in it, I knew there would be some eventual payoff to say, only knocking 5 of them out. It would take awhile to have 5 more people come and train the gym back up to the level needed to add them.

    Now, a gym with 6 players is harder to knock out than the previous 10 pokemon gym. Why? Because I can knock down 3-4 in about the same amount of time but anyone of the opposite team can come by and drop in a new pokemon for free…. they don’t have to spend time battling against me.

    I’d rather them go back to having gym prestige as the mechanic for adding/subtracting pokemon. I also have a silve training medal I’d like to turn gold, but that can’t even happen in the current state.

    Keep the cap at 6 unique pokemon. Adjust the prestiging accordingly, but keep that as the main way to level up/down gyms. If they really want to keep motivation, it should be completely separate from battling and only used as a tool to offset stagnation. In that way, it’s basically a time limit for any individual that can be extended through visits but won’t actually do anything to prevent rivals from knocking them out.

    I don’t really know how to cut down on cheaters other than to be super aggressive in reporting them and hope Niantic’s ban hammer rains down.

  • Higher_Ground

    Also, apparently raid battles no longer clean out a gym? So much for turnover.

  • Peg Pegasus

    1. It’s not a good idea to auto return depleted pokemon, because, players will then just wait till a pokemon is cleared out by itself, no battle needed (That’s how it work sin Ingress, a portal degrades till it’s empty, so why battle when it gets empty by itself.

    2. A gym with 6 pokemon is easier to beat then a level 10 gym in the old system, To easy, you don’t need to dodge, just attack will do the job (ScreenBashing will do)

    About keeping pokemon happy:
    – When a pokemon lose motivation, don’t use the berrie system, have trainers battle there own pokemon to make them happy and earn XP/Stardust

    Why not the berry system?
    – For example, i have 30 golden berries and let’s say 90 raz berries etc…
    – Rival team attacks your gym
    – go to gym and give a golden berrie when the pokemon is almost defeated, And the rival team can styart again from where they started, this can go for awhile (it happens alot around here)

  • Zapmeister

    It’s great to see all this constructive discussion on how to fix the new gym system which is (let’s face it) a train wreck. For my contribution, I’d like to try to produce a concise list of the problems that need to fixed, rather than suggesting specific ways to fix them. Apologies if this has already been done elsewhere.

    1. Player controls. Games that rely wholly on luck and the fortuitous actions of other players leave little for a player to do than to wait for his/her ship to come in. That’s OK for young kids, but anyone older than that needs to feel that its possible to get better at the game by acquiring strategy insights and skills. Beyond the tactile skill of throwing a pokeball, this game now appears to lack any of the player controls that might make it interesting. More control over the acquisition of pokecoins (mostly to buy incubators) and perhaps access to rare pokemon is required.

    2. Meaningful goals. Everyone needs something to aim for, and it has to be more than just waiting for that thing to happen as a result of good fortune. I refer, of course, to “catching ’em all” which involves simply playing long enough for each pokemon to spawn or hatch by chance. This is not interesting UNLESS you can do something to increase the spawn and/or hatch rate. That’s why egg incubators (hence pokecoins, hence an interesting mini-game for acquiring them) are so important. The old gym system was an interesting mini-game focused on the acquisition of pokecoins. The new gym system is not.

    3. Goal rewards and balance. One other thing that the new system has done is to take away most of your reason to evolve powerful pokemon and to power them up further with stardust. The best gym defenders are usually weak ones. That’s because you need to get them evicted before they will bring you any coins, and the last thing you want to do is discourage potential evicters by fronting them with powerful defenders. A defender that is evicted quickly will still bring you more income that one that stays stuck for days or weeks at a time. The fact that you cannot evict your own pokemen is an example of lack of player control (see #1).

    4. Location spoofing. This one is really hard. If its actually possible for the game to detect when its input is not coming directly from the phone’s GPS, then of course that should be done and the penalty needs to be severe enough (slashed pokemon probably doesn’t cut it) to actually stop the practice. But this really is a technical issue, and I don’t see how you can address it by redesigning the game (at least, not without degrading the gameplay significantly for all of the legit players).

  • Connor Williams

    There should be a way to play the game at home when you can’t go out. Like a training game where you can earn stardust and candies.

  • Greg Ray

    I dislike the new gym “system” to the point it has made the game uninteresting. Under the old system, there was a motivation to play aggressively and level up and power up. That no longer exists, and in fact it is a detriment. If you use 3000cp mons in a gym they become useless over night. There is no benefit to being a level 36 player versus a level 30 player. If you feed the mons in a gym to keep their motivation up, you are prevented from getting the coins so you are better off letting them die. All they had to do with the old gym system to open them to lower level players would have been to add some 2K gyms where only mons below 2000 cp could attack or defend. If they felt the “need” to cap the number of blisseys on a gym, cap it at 5, not 1. The whole motivation to playing was to get stronger and be able to stay on a gym and get rewarded for doing so. All of that is now gone.

    • Zapmeister

      Yup.

  • Tesno

    Nice points. I’ve been thinking a lot of this myself and biggest problem is that there isn’t a good way to give this feedback. We just hope someone reads this stuff.
    Couple things that aren’t here (and I’m not even sure are they usable, but would be nice instead of nerfing 3000cp+ pokemons in gyms) are:
    Make defense stats a big deal in defense: Give pokemon that has good defence stats a benefit when defending a gym. This way you get rid of some unwanted gym defenders from the past.
    Zen headbutt: Already not the best defense move, but if we’d want to make snorlax and blissey not that op, we could just make zen headbutt a bit worse.
    I’m afraid that reckless way of giving away tyranitars may break the game eventually. This said, I’m not a big fan of current raid system. It’s also possible that raids are a way to give small level players some weapons against legendary pokemons. Raids should be something that’s very special, not something you have too much to pick from. Hope raid rate will go down a bit or smaller raids will become more common and lv raids are available once a week or something.
    Also, raids are kinda dull at the moment. It would be really cool if you could get harder and harder raids for going up solo. If you for example beat Alakazam at current 21895 something cp, next time you try it’s a level bigger. Same could work with group attacks also, but wouldn’t be so straight forward situation. People desire challenges and raids are currently only thing keeping high level players in the game. It would be awesome to try to beat solo gyms without losing pass and not getting items and the boss pokemon just to train.

  • Kang Ari

    Niantic should reward players defending the gym, not for the monsters which are kicked. There’s an empty gym, I assigned a weak Pidgeot there and guess what, it’s been staying there for almost a weak