It’s been just over 2 weeks since the global phenomenon that is Pokémon Go hit the UK, and already I find myself wandering seemingly aimlessly around my local town, at midnight, chasing an elusive Kingler whilst I wait for my girlfriend to finish up at work so that we can do the exact same thing, only together. Such is the level of penetration that this game has achieved that there are more of my family members who play it than there are those who don’t: even my mum, who usually rolls her eyes at my gaming habits, has just captured a Tentacruel and is currently feeling very smug indeed. But of course, none of this will be news to you, because it’s more likely that you’ve played the game and are thoroughly addicted than it is that you’ve spent the last month living under a rock.
The post-launch game was fraught with issues, as many games often are, but Niantic have been infuriatingly quiet, offering precious few updates on social media and only really speaking in vague terms about the future of their cataclysmically successful app. Comic-Con last week was the first time any meaningful statements about Pokémon Go had been made since pre-launch, and even then, the best we received was confirmation that the team were “aware” of the frankly infuriating and widely-known ‘3-step glitch,’ but that their priorities were ensuring “server stability.” Unbelievable.
However, just as I was about to phone Niantic HQ and demand answers, a miracle occurred: Pokémon Go yesterday underwent an update that actually addressed some pressing issues. Version 0.31.0 deals with minor bug fixes, obviously, but also reintroduces the character creation screen, allowing players to change their look in-game. It also refines the gym battle statistics, altering attack power and damage dealt, as well as improving menu navigation, redesigning some of the medals, and putting the fonts in bold. A little closer, Niantic, but no cigar. As luck would have it, however, there’s more.
This update has also removed nearby Pokémon footprints entirely.
Such a bold move has rocked the international Pokémon training community to its very foundations, causing widespread panic and forcing many disgruntled trainers to vent their frustration from behind their keyboards. In the streets, Pokémon Go-ers are resorting to blind luck, pacing this way and that in an attempt to counteract this seemingly anarchic act of resolution from the game’s creators. Of course, the reality of the situation is probably just that, rather than have its players in a constant state of aggravation – as I am whenever I am reminded of the glitch – Niantic has decided simply to remove the cause until such time as it can safely reinstate a fixed version of the tracking system. I for one am relieved, and feel as though my nerves can recover a little now. And if updates are likely to be appearing with this frequency, I think we can rest assured that those crucial little markers will be back before long.
As well as this, any sites dedicated to providing accurate Pokémon locations for those trainers who simply can’t be bothered – such as Pokevision – have been shut down today at the request of the team at Niantic, in what seems to be an effort to make the game as challenging as possible. Still, no more filthy, filthy cheaters.
That about covers it, I reckon, and although the internet is producing all sorts of theories regarding other benefits of version 0.31.0, I am happy to accept that the game is at least being remedied by a developer who, shrouded in secrecy and silence, would have us all believe that they just don’t care.
Pokémon Go version 0.31.0 is out now across all compatible phone software.