Pokemon GO‘s long slog towards a complete gaming experience continued today as developer Niantic Labs revealed that they intend to implement some major in-game features in celebration of GO‘s one-year anniversary.
The first update of note is a new gym system which is expected to be released before the end of the day. This update will add additional occupational slots to existing gyms so that each gym supports six slots in total. That means that the team that controls a gym will be able to have multiple Pokemon preside over it. The Pokemon which rule a gym will also now be affected by a stat called motivation which be lowered after every battle with an enemy Pokemon. This will help ensure that even the strongest Pokemon can be defeated over time.
Teams that control a gym’s Pokemon will be able to boost their motivation through in-game items in order to boost the cooperation required from both gym ruling teams and attackers. Gym conquerors will also earn badges which can be leveled up for use at Pokestops in order to get better items.
The other, arguably more interesting, addition coming to Pokemon GO is the inclusion of multiplayer raids. These raids will occur when a rare and powerful Pokemon takes over an existing gym. When that happens, up to 20 players will be able to take on the presiding Pokemon for the chance to capture it when the fight is done. Raids will be accessible to those who have a raid pass which is acquired through gym fights or via the game’s microtransaction system.
It’s not clear when raids will be added to the game, but Niantic claims they intend to implement them within the next few weeks. It’s also not clear if the developers will finally introduce legendary Pokemon to the game via this raid system.
The latest report regarding Pokemon GO‘s player base suggests that daily user numbers have dropped from 28 million at launch to about five million now. Still, that’s a pretty healthy amount of daily users who will no doubt be excited by the possibilities these latest updates bring.