Pokemon Go is about to get interesting once more. At least for the residents of the UK. As hinted earlier, developer Niantic Labs is starting to rollout its “Nearby” tracking feature outside its initial test area of San Francisco. And one of the first beneficiaries are our friends from across the Atlantic. Now they have a more reliable way of associating which Pokemon to which Pokestops, making it easier to catch just the type that you want. But as with anything, it does come at a cost.
The Nearby feature was meant to replace an earlier Tracking feature was deemed too broken and unreliable, earning no small amount of criticism from the Pokemon Go community. It was, however, a long time in the making, unavailable to the general public except in a few choice locations, particular in California. Just last week, Niantic promised to expand the coverage, though not yet to the whole world. Of course, that has resulted in somewhat of a guessing game of who’s next.
In the Nearby system, Pokemon are more closely tied to nearby Pokestops. That is, it shows which Pokestops a particular Pokemon can be found, helping guide players to those areas rather than guessing which direction they should go to. However, the side effect is that it somewhat messes with the distribution of other types, to the point that higher level Pokemon not near Pokestops have lesser chances of showing up.
This holiday season has been a prime opportunity for Niantic to pick up the pace to deliver much needed changes to Pokemon Go. After the game’s instant success, it has somewhat languished and has seemingly stagnated. That said, hope springs eternal, if rumors are correct, with the arrival of the next generation of Pokemon just around the corner.