Pokemon Go: Catching And Tracking Issues Being Fixed by Niantic

Published: 5 August 2016Updated: 27 September 2016

Pokemon Go has started to annoy a lot of Pokemon Go trainers.

It would be a gross understatement to say that Pokemon Go is an absurdly popular augmented reality mobile game and has a stranglehold on how people socialize with each other (especially during the night while hunting Pokemon Go monsters near New York Central Park) at the moment.

Unfortunately, with great power comes great responsibility. Or in this case, with great number of Pokemon Go players, there is immense responsibility on the shoulders of Niantic Labs to provide the server necessary processing power in order to make Pokemon hunting, catching and evolving an enjoyable experience for the majority of Pokemon Go players.

Niantic Labs, as hard as it has tried, has been unable to address the problems Pokemon Go players have been facing since the launch of the game early last month.

Problems such as Pokemon Go server status and GPS issues have marred the adventure for some Pokemon Go players.

Niantic now has come out and  said that the developers are “actively” working overtime to fix the tracking and catching issues Pokemon Go players have been experiencing.

The message implored Pokemon Go players to stay tuned as the developers work on a fix. The only positive thing that has come out of this situation is the fact that Niantic Labs have actually listened to the complaints filed by Pokemon Go users.

Pokemon Go players have been more than helpful in reporting issues and bugs related to the augmented reality mobile video game Pokemon Go and that has prompted Niantic Labs to announce that they are working overtime to resolve these matters.

Recently, the developers at Niantic Lab wrote an exhaustive blog post about why the studio  had shut down third party tracking softwares and why developers focused on that problem first. We’ll get to that part in a bit.

The blog post went into detail about the “nearby” functionality problem in Pokemon Go (this feature actually allows Pokemon Go players to sight and catch Pokemon Go monsters) and stated that originally the problem was not thought to be a complex one.

Initially, Pokemon Go had a tracking system that depended on three steps. These three steps enabled Pokemon Go players to measure how close a Pokemon were to them.

But, a bug caused all Pokemon Go monsters to remain three-step distance away no matter how close Pokemon Go players were to a Pokemon Go monster.

Niantic labs, in an attempt to solve the problem, eliminated the feature from Pokemon Go entirely when it released an update patch for Pokemon Go.

The developers of the game said that they valued the feedback they received from the Pokemon Go community and were working overtime to come up with a solution for the Nearby feature problem.

Niantic founder John Hanke, also said that Pokemon Go player should continue to critique the game by sending in their suggestions and recommendations. He stated that Pokemon Go developers look forward to stabilize the game by removing all the bugs so that Niantic Labs can move onto other tasks such as improving PoGo through new features.

Niantic Labs then used the popular micro blogging website Twitter to address other issues regarding PoGo.

Another bug in PoGo that was introduced after the latest update patch for the game, negatively affected the capability of PoGo players to successfully catch PoGo monsters.

Not only that, but the bug also disabled throw bonus features. Niantic Labs, through the letter, have said that developers are in the process of fixing that problem now.

The tweet aimed at PoGo trainers said that indeed, a new bug, had affected the throw accuracy feature, and that has increased the chances of a Pokemon escape. The tweet also addressed the XP bonus omission problem.


Pokemon Go players have had issues catching nearby Pokemon

However, Niantic didn’t forget to tweet what has become a trademark Niantic Labs message: “we are working on a fix, stay tuned….”

Then the blog post explained why Niantic Labs shutdown third party application services such as Pokevision and Poke Radar.

Hanke stated in the post that services such as Pokevision and Poke Radar had a massive impact on their server outputs which their developers used to power PoGo augmented reality mobile video game.

He further added that because of the method those services used to access PoGo servers, Niantic Labs had to delay the game’s launch in regions such as Latin America.

Hanke wrote that because there was so much discussion about the issue, he felt that Niantic Labs must spell out why developers at the studio disabled the services even though the websites for these applications looked harmless.

Niantic Labs founder wrote that these applications damaged Niantic Labs’ ability to bring the game to new users. These applications also affected existing PoGo players.

Hanke then showed a chart, in the post, that expounded on the way Niantic Labs servers stabilized, because of dropped activity, once these services were blocked and disabled.

He said that these services not only hampered the company’s ability to deliver PoGo experience to unexplored markets but it also hurt the company because of opportunity costs.

The time developers spent in disabling these services could have been spent developing new features for the augmented reality mobile video game.

But Niantic Labs, even with the time shortage problems, didn’t stop at disabling these services. They went ahead and cracked down other third party applications that altered PoGo’s game code in order to spawn legendary PoGo monsters.

Some PoGo players had managed to spawn an Articuno, but the company moved swiftly and removed the legendary Pokemon from their accounts.

Officially, all three — Articuno, Zapdos and Moltres — have not been released for PoGo players to catch and evolve.

Some PoGo players have complained that Niantic Labs should have been more prepared for tackling problems that were so fundamental to the core gameplay of PoGo. Namely, searching for Pokemon and catching Pokemon.


Pokemon Go players have also reported problems relating to Poke Balls

Others have criticized the augmented reality mobile video game for requiring too much time and effort to level up.

To be fair to those PoGo players, PoGo is an augmented reality mobile video game that is free to “download”. The augmented reality mobile game requires a lot of time on the part of PoGo players to build their game, level up their trainer and complete their collection.

Since these latest issues, the complexity of catching PoGo monsters has increased progressively. And as players go to higher levels, the difficulty of catching Pokemon goes even higher.

In addition to that, since the bug scares the nearby Pokemon to fly away into oblivion (forever lost), many PoGo players feel that the augmented reality video game isn’t worth the time anymore.

PoGo players have also reported problems with how Poke Balls and berries work when trying to catch a red circled PoGo monster.

As a result of these problems, for some players, almost every Pokemon takes an incredible amount of Poke Balls to capture, and since there is a limit on the amount of Poke Balls that one PoGo player can carry, most PoGo trainers are unable to catch any Pokemon at all.

Of course, one could also argue that Niantic Labs intentionally removed the radar feature from PoGo. The radar allowed PoGo players to hunt down Pokemon more efficiently, and since Niantic Labs (just like every other game company) wants people to spend more time in playing PoGo, it disabled the feature.

Without  radar, more PoGo players are likely to spend real money in the shop to buy more items to level up quickly.

But the fact remains that the majority of PoGo players have not faced these issues so no one can say for certain that Niantic Labs are introducing these bugs in PoGo intentionally to force players into spending more money for in-game items.




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