âWhen is another generation of PokÃ©mon coming to Pokemon GO?!â
Itâs a question that the gameâs players (including myself) have been shouting sinceâ¦ well, pretty much immediately after the game launched.
Weâve finally got an official answer: âlater this weekâ.
The once oh-so-shaky servers have stabilized. The game is now available in most of the world. And now, about seven months after the gameâs initial launchâ¦ itâs finally time for a bunch of new PokÃ©mon.
Niantic tells me that players will be able to find âover 80â new Johto PokÃ©mon (those from 1999âs PokÃ©mon Gold and Silver games, otherwise known as âGeneration IIâ) within the next few days.
I asked for a date more precise than âlater this weekâ, but the company declined to get more specific. When asked whether the new PokÃ©mon would be added all at once or rolled out gradually, though, a rep replied that they would all âbe discoverable as soon as the update goes live.â
Better news: the 80 they mentioned will all be discoverable âin the wildâ, as they should be â not just from eggs, unlike the handful added in December.
A few other things the company confirmed:
- New âevolutionâ items required to make certain PokÃ©mon evolve are being added. Niantic tells me that evolution items will come from PokÃ©Stops, much like eggs/Pokeballs/etc. I wish theyâd gotten a bit more creative there â itâs a good opportunity to add some sort of new gameplay mechanic.
- Two new types of berries are coming: Nanab berries, which make Pokemon slower and thus easier to hit, and the Pinap Berry, which doubles the amount of candy you get if your next catch attempt is a success.
- New avatar items â new hats, shirts, and pants are mentioned specifically.
- They mentioned new âencounter gameplayâ, but they didnât shed too much light on what that means
They also released this trailer:
Though thereâs not much in terms of new encounter gameplay mechanics on display there, worth noting is the new berry shortcut button at 0:16, that the backpack is seemingly now a dedicated PokÃ©ball drawer, and that the camera button got moved up to the top of the screen (until 0:29, at which point itâs suddenly back at the bottom right. Whoops!)
Also worth noting: from 0:20 to 0:26, people are very clearly shown playing the game in mountains, woods, etc â the sorts of areas that the game has notoriously been pretty bad at populating, instead dumping lots and lots of PokÃ©mon in Walmart parking lots. Wishful thinking by the trailer directors, or something more?
Alas, not mentioned thus far with regards to this update: a better tracking system, trading, or player-versus-player battling.
Anyway: this is by far the biggest batch of PokÃ©mon added to the game since launch â we got Ditto back in November, a goofy little Pikachu in a Santa hat in December, and a handful of baby PokÃ©mon that you could frustratingly only get from eggs (read: walking + random luck + maybe some premium items to speed up the process).
âBut wait, Greg! Didnât Generation II originally add 100 PokÃ©mon, not ~80?â
Yeah, thatâs where things get a little fuzzy. Niantic tells me âover 80â are being added, which leaves 20 sort of up in the air. 8 of those remaining 20 are the aforementioned babies(/their evolutions), and are already in the game. That leaves 12 â some of which will probably require those evolution items so Niantic isnât counting them as discoverable âin the wildâ, and 6 of which are presumably the Gen II âLegendaryâ PokÃ©mon. Based on what weâve seen with Gen Iâs (still absent) Legendaries , those seem to be poker (PokÃ©?) chips Niantic is hanging onto for later plans.
How exactly itâll all break down, though, will be figured out as soon as the players (Shout out to Silph Road and r/PokemonGo!) actually get their hands on the new content. That sense of discovery as everyone works together to catalog everything is half the fun.
Will this update spark the same level of insanity that was seen with the gameâs initial launch? Probably not. Does it need to? Nah. Itâll bring back a chunk of players who dropped off because they ran out of things to do, for sure â but striving for that same degree of ubiquitous and game-breaking popularity would be a foolâs errand.
And for the folks whoâve made it this far and thus might care about the nitty-gritty, a few things I noticed in some screenshots they sent over:
1) Sup, Murkrow?
2) Thatâs the new berry drawer, as teased in the trailer
3) Looks like berries can be purchased now, given the Shop icon in the upper right
1) PokÃ©mon in GO seem to have genders now, with an icon marking which gender-variant youâre looking at.
2) That silhouette on the âEvolveâ button, assuming itâs part of the final release, suggests the button will now show what a PokÃ©mon will evolve into when itâs tapped. With the addition of evolution items allowing one PokÃ©mon to have multiple possible evolutions, this should help prevent any surprises.