By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)
Niantic‘s latest update to curb Pokémon GO gym stagnation is a step in the right direction but I feel more can be done. Players can now lower more prestige points from rival gyms and levelling up will be a touch more difficult. Trying to get more players to fight at gyms is still a problem and for myself, I will not tackle a level 6 or higher gym alone. If I have to feed this company’s coffers with real world money just for those egg incubators, lures and incense I will. And I have racked up enough survey points from different programs to get iTunes/Google Play gift cards without spending. This trick is one some players know about, and It beats spending money on gas to find gyms where a defender can be placed only to have an uncertain future of how long it will last.
But to make gyms change hands a bit more often is to introduce natural decay (the loss of prestige). At midnight, Greenwich time, all gyms will lose 1000 points a day unless players from that team (whether they have a pocket monster there or not) return to power it up. Some greedy trainers stack their best warriors in over a dozen gyms in order to reap the max benefit and that’s a problem. They must be laughing themselves all the way to the Poké Bank; with hardly any folks even wanting to touch fighting at these gyms and fellow teammates feeling left out. Lower level players are rarely able to place but are able to prestige up. Should a slot open up because of this decay, they can put in their best warrior and claim some coin too.
This change in the King of the Hill game mechanics can help bring back players who feel this game has turned into a battle of elitists. Sadly, that’s what one-half of this game has become. The fact the same names appear in a municipality or in most of the city shows how die-hard they become and those players most likely do not know they have spent more gas money in the game than to increasing Niantic’s coffers. If this only they can support the company, perhaps additional software engineers can be hired to fix the few bugs still remaining in the game.