Niantic recently released a big update to Pokémon Go, adding new gameplay elements like Raids while revamping important things like gyms. However, the changes made to the latter have caused a bit of a stir among Pokémon Go players who have often fought over gyms for their valuable resources. Gyms are still worth a lot of the effort late game trainers put in to capture them, but a few updates have made them... contentious.
As a quick recap, the new Pokémon gym update gives each gym six permanent slots that can be filled by a controlling team's Pokémon. The teams battle in the order they were assigned. Gone also is the prestige system trainers raise by training. There's also a motivation system where a Pokémon will lose motivation each time it loses a battle. Losing motivation drops the Pokémon's CP, and a Pokémon will return to its trainer if motivation reaches zero. Motivation can be raised by feeding a Pokémon berries, prolonging its stay at the gym. Lastly, coins earned at a gym are capped at 50 a day while badges have been added as a bonus incentive for taking down gyms.
Basically, the gym reworks are believed to have been put in place to divest gyms away from spoofers and absurdly powerful trainers, and give more players a shot at taking down gyms and setting a Pokémon up in one. On this front, plenty of players have been expressing gratitude, with one Reddit user highlighting one "happy side effect" of the new gym system - Less stress.
"Before the change, whenever I went out to take a couple of gyms, I would always feel the need to hurry from one gym to the next in order to be able to collect more than 10 coins, lest one of my first gyms get re-flipped while I was taking another one," wrote user MtKilimanjaro. "With the new system in place, I can take an enemy gym and then casually find another one without that pressure. It's not much, but it's made the gym scene more exciting (and less stressful) for a semi-casual player in a relatively high-turnover area."
His post was filled with comments echoing similar sentiments about how the new update allows for more casual gym play.
At the same time, some trainers have been complaining about the lack of challenge that has stemmed from the gym update, suggesting gyms are becoming stagnant without the heightened sense of competition.
One unintended consequence from the gym update is the need to have Pokémon return to the trainer in order for them to collect the daily coins. However, by keeping Pokémon on the verge of fainting healthy through berries, some players are missing out on these coins. One user even goes as far as to say it's a hostage situation.
However, players seem to agree that the inability to collect coins appears to be a kind of oversight. For the most part the gym update seems to be serving its intended purpose, which is to make gyms in Pokémon more accessible to everyone, and let people claim gyms spots and collect coins, things that were previously hoarded by the strongest players.
What do you think about the new gym update? The hostage crisis described above genuinely sounds like an unintended consequence of the new gym battle, but there's no way to know for sure. And while it's sort of funny to see trainers beg for the sweet release of their gym guarding Pokémon, it looks as though Niantic is on the right path to make gyms at least a little less stressful than before.