Pokemon Go Next Update which should be here any day will be a bit more entertaining than the last Appraisal Update which was a but of Baloney. The Buddy System will allow one of your pokemon to walk beside you and getting candy as you do. This will be the best Update since the release of the game. Pokemon Go Need More than “Buddy System”
Don’t get me wrong: the buddy system is a great idea. On a gameplay level, it plugs up some of those frustrating late-game holes that happen when you can’t get enough Growlithe candies to save your life, or somesuch. And it does so in a manner that’s very friendly with the game’s fiction, encouraging that connection between the player and their Pokémon that didn’t feel fleshed out in the base game. We’ve all seen Ash and his faithful Pikachu exploring the world together, and now we get to take ourselves one step closer to living out that particular fantasy. And that’s great.
But the buddy system still doesn’t give Pokémon GO the endgame that it so badly needs, or the nearby tracking feature that’s been missing since days after launch. Like the appraisal feature before it, it’s a neat update that fixes a small problem, but not a big one. It’s better than appraisals, but it’s not multiplayer battles or a functional tracker: two things that would genuinely change the way we play the game. You can see the problem right in the basic setup: the buddy system is essentially a training system, allowing you to make your Pokémon more powerful while expanding your Pokédex at the same time. But why are we making them more powerful? Gyms, I guess, but those things feel more like a placeholder than anything else. We still need some genuine activities to do with out powered up Pokémon.
I just wonder how many programming hours, especially at a small developer like Niantic, are going into these features. Because in a resource limited world, I’d much rather get nearby tracking up and running again than adding in new features like a buddy system or trainer appraisals. I get that these are ultimately much simpler updates than any of those things that the game actually needs, and that Niantic is keeping us interested and excited with these little things while it works on large updates. But the game is in triage right now, and I would argue that doubling down on those big, important things would stem player loss much more quickly than adding in small new features. The best and most effective way to do this will be through real time PvP.
With the Close Release of Pokemon Sun/Moon Niantic better be planning some huge releases such as Alola Forms or Gen 2. If they add Multiplayer Battles and Trading by then we should see many players returning. Pokemon Go Need More than “Buddy System”