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February 22, 2017 / Jett

The Release of Gen 2 Pokemon in Pokemon Go Adds More Than Just New Creatures

After many months of anticipation, Niantic unleashed the Gen 2 Johto Pokemon into the wild in Pokemon Go. While many players rushed back to the game in order to catch the new ones, they may have noticed a number of other changes made to the game at the same time.

Pokemon move differently

No longer do they simply jump up and down. Many Pokemon have unique movement patterns, such as Hoppip hovering towards the top of the screen while Magnemite will dart around the screen at sharp angles. It can be a bit more difficult to try catching them as they move around, though you can also just wait for them to reset to their neutral positions before throwing. Because of that, this change is largely superficial at best, but I appreciate the encounters at least looking a bit different.

Throwing physics have changed

Have you noticed that it’s much harder than before to land a Great or Excellent throw? That’s because the Pokeball physics have changed. Presumably, this makes it easier to hit Pokemon that are far away, but in the immediate term, it completely messes with my muscle memory. With time, I’m sure I’ll get a handle on it.

New berries

Nanab and Pinap berries give you benefits that differ from the classic Razz berry. Nanab berries help combat the new movement behaviours by calming them down. At this point, I don’t see a practical use for them, as you can simply wait for Pokemon to revert to their neutral state.

The Pinap berry, however, is a game changer. Feed a Pokemon one of these and you’ll get double the amount of candy than what you would normally get. This is easily my favourite update to the game, as it helps you shorten the grind of earning enough candy for evolutions. Make sure to use these every time you come across something rare or hard to come by!

Stage 2 and 3 Pokemon give you more candy when caught

Prior to this update, catching an evolved Pokemon was a tough proposition. Sure, it be cool to have a Wartortle or a Blastoise instead of a Squirtle, but they were much harder to catch, costing you to waste many resources for relatively little gain. This held especially true if you already had these evolved Pokemon in your Pokedex.

Thankfully, Niantic has addressed part of the problem by rewarding players with additional candy for catching evolved Pokemon. Catching a stage 2 Pokemon, such as a Porygon 2, will net you five candies instead of the standard three. If you catch a stage 3 Pokemon like Blastoise, that will get you 10 candies. Best of all, combine this with a Pinap berry and you could get upwards of 20 candies per catch!

Pokemon eggs have changed

With the addition of Gen 2 Pokemon, a number of Gen 1 Pokemon come out of different eggs now. For example, Magby, Smoochum and Elekid now come from 5k eggs instead of 10k. Similarly, Togepi and a host of other Pokemon got downgraded from 5k eggs to 2k eggs.

The big change here is that you’re much more likely to get 2k eggs than before. Your incubation strategy may change, as it’s not uncommon to have a full set of 2k eggs. Not really sure how it changes the game, but I personally don’t mind as long as it gives me a Togepi someday. Sigh.

Evolution items are required to evolve certain Pokemon

Certain Gen 1 Pokemon, such as Onix and Porygon, can now evolve into Steelix and Porgyon 2. However, you’re going to need to obtain a special evolution item from a PokeStop. So far, these things appear to be incredibly rare, as I’ve spun hundreds of PokeStops since the Gen 2 launch with no luck. The only time I did get one was through a 7-day PokeStop streak, which appears to be the only reliable way to get one.

As a means of getting players to play daily, it’s super smart. I also like having the option to choose which evolution I get in certain cases, such as having the option of evolving a Slowpoke into a Slowbro or Slowking. However, making them scarce outside of 7-day PokeStop streaks feels like Niantic artificially gating our progress a bit more than I’d like.

Old Pokemon got new moves

As far as I know, every Gen 1 Pokemon got some new moves, while certain legacy moves became obsolete. For example, Gengar can now learn Focus Blast, which is a new fighting-based charge move. For players who are invested in the fighting side of Pokemon Go, this is a huge change to the meta game, as what we though were the best move sets have changed in many cases. Until people start working out the math, don’t be so quick to spend Stardust or hit transfer on your Pokemon!

Fighting got completely re-balanced

From attack values being adjusted, to new moves being added, charge values being changed, to the frame data of every legacy move being changed, fighting in Pokemon Go has changed considerably. Yes, the core of it still involves players tapping for attacks and swiping for dodges, but the effectiveness of each move has changed while the overall feel of combat will feel alien to active battlers. While I’m all for balance changes, it’s going to take some time to get accustomed to the changes.

The revolution is here

More than just new Pokemon to catch, the launch of Gen 2 also represents the game’s biggest shake-up. Pretty much the entire experience has seen some changes that make the game better. There’s still a ways to go before Niantic makes this the true augmented reality game we were promised, but it’s better today than it’s ever been before. Happy hunting!

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