POKEMON GO, Pesky Third Party Trackers, Upcoming Goodies

The top two-thirds of this piece are observational opinions. The bottom third is where we get to the upcoming cool stuff from Niantic.


Depending on what side of the fence you are on, third party trackers that dig up where monsters (mons) are in Pokemon Go can be a god-send for some if not all the players who partake in the chase of this digital mons fighting ring. For the casual player the trackers are a blessing.

I for one, being a casual player, don't have time to go "hunt" down wild Pokemon! But I do enjoy playing or tinkering with the game at my odd, quiet moments. I make a few minutes a day for it and sometimes find myself doing chores where I choose to walk instead of drive or ride a bike. (Though it pisses me off that you can't just ride a bike... you have to go so slow on a bike, you almost fall over as you wobble around at under 6 mph. And recently, Niantic shut down Pokemon showing up in your app when on a train, bus or in a car. Thanks guys. Keeping that downward slide of users going!)

                                                                    Amazon: Pokemon toys, games, paraphernalia  

So the third party trackers are fun. HEY, if I'm sitting at my desk and I pull up a tracker and see that a Drowzee or Ryhorn is just a few hundred feet away in a specific spot, I will probably pause my DVR or take a bit of a break from work, crank up my game and run after it!

But if I pull up my PoGo app, see on the radar that a Drowzee is nearby, I am not inspired because I have no way of knowing which direction to go looking for it. SO I'm not going to waste my time. It's as simple as that.

I won't waste my time because I don't know how long it will be around, or if I finally do find it, will I only get one ball toss chance to catch it before it leaves when its time is up, etc.. No, that's how I get pissed off at Niantic, when I throw an Ultra ball at a 100CP mon and it escapes and leaves my area because its time is up.

That's one way in which players are getting frustrated with the game. And that IS WHY your monthly active users has dropped by nearly 50% since August Niantic!

So there are fantastic arguments for Niantic to let the third party trackers in. But Niantic is not doing it. They're protecting the sanctity of their game. I get that. But at what cost are they being protective?

What Niantic is doing is fighting the tracking sites, adding complicated code to the location spots of mons to ward off trackers. But in the process of adding that complicated code, they're subsequently adding battery-draining extra processes to the game, killing the fun for some or many, as we can spend 1% of battery per minute, chasing wild mons in the game.

Some think there is no future for Pokemon GO without trackers. They tapped into something popular in a great way. But if they finally beat out the trackers, I think at least half their playing demographic may fade away. Probably more.  Or if this battle keeps up between Niantic and trackers, the game will burn out batteries too fast and many will drop off the playing board.

As it stands, just in my circle of players, out of 10 people I knew who were playing the game, there seems to only be two us still at it. The rest got too frustrated chasing things while they did not have the time for it.

I think that's where tracking will come into play, keeping some of the user-base around.

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But through it all, Niantic is taking the high road that both Microsoft, Facebook and other huge software companies tend to take, and that's by not communicating with their user-base, but instead just shoving changes and new limitations down our throats.

You know, some of the most popular games and software are those where the community works hand-in-hand with a software maker (SM). Where the SM accepts decent customized add-ons to their software and thus, keep the game alive in so many more ways than what they first intended.

There are a lot of calls for communication from Niantic, like say, what's up with the in-game tracking system? They're testing it in the Bay Area but what's happening there? Are they busy trying to figure out how to block tracking sites while implementing their own tracker? Who knows. they're not telling us.

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On the bright side, right now we're in the midst of a Pokemon GO event and it is cool and fun. And from other reports, it looks like Niantic is about to introduce a loyal players reward system where some suggest that players will be getting rewards for their first catch of the day and first pokestop interaction of the day.

Some are suggesting, after some data mining, that incubators will be rewards, but that seems too big for a reward, considering how hard they make it to get an incubator these days and once you get one, how short-lived they are.

But hey, we can dream. Right?  

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pokemongohub: niantic third party trackers


mic.com: pokemon go update with rumored daily rewards

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