Pokemon GO; More Gym Details

As you may or may not know, Pokemon GO has recently opened to beta testing in Australia. And now, it seems like the gym functionality has gone live as well! So straight from the (amusingly named) Silph Road subreddit, here are some details about how the gym aspect of Pokemon GO works:

Note: This information comes from the user ‘dronpes’.

Training, at least, is NOT turn based. It’s an all out brawl, from what we see.

Well, this is interesting. Though to be fair, I like turn based battles in games…

In wild encounters, the color of the shrinking circle indicates the difficulty of the catch. It starts red and will approach green. Green is a higher probability of catch, the ring can be made more green by feeding the Pokemon berries (allowed only once per encounter) and using a higher level Poke Ball.

Sounds interesting I guess. Maybe this sort of thing could be adapted to the actual games in time, we all know the Poke Ball mechanics need a bit more consistency…

We have video of ‘training’ but have not been granted permission to post it – blurred or not. It gives too much away – gym thumbnail, trainer appearance, Pokemon + it’s CP, gym level, etc. It’d be too easy to deduce who’s battle it was.

Now that’s just a cop out if you ask me. Either way, I’ll be off to Youtube to try and find the footage that these guys didn’t want to post.

When you claim a Gym, you select your Pokemon to defend it. To Train, you fight that Pokemon with another one of your own Pokemon.

Well, this is interesting. You apparently train by fighting a Pokemon than you yourself left at a gym. Of course, this could all go so badly wrong, right?

Yes. Yes it could:

Some testers have struggled to ‘train’ because they left their strongest Pokemon at the Gym – and none of their other Pokemon could beat their strongest!

Yeah, I can picture it now:

Kid: No one will beat my awesome Mewtwo! Time to leave it at the New York Central Gym!

*A few hours later*

Kid: I’m gonna train now!

Kid: Aw crap. I’m getting pulverised by my own Pokemon, and I can’t beat it. How am I supposed the level the rest of my team now?

When starting a training session, a random Pokemon in your team is selected to fight with, but you can change it by tapping on it in the screen before combat begins.

Oh, wonder how this can go badly wrong?

Never mind. I picture some poor schmuck training against a level 100 Mewtwo… and then accidentally sending out a level 5 Magikarp to battle it because they weren’t paying attention. Cue quick defeat.

In training combat, the opponent’s attacks are shown ‘targeting’ with a red crosshairs that closes in on your Pokemon. This appears to be so you can decide to ‘dodge’ or take the hit.

Huh, so it’s got an action command aspect to it. Seems a bit like the system in the Mario & Luigi games. Well, the one in the giant battles anyway, with the addition of Paper Jam’s crosshair mechanic.

Dodging is accomplished by swiping left or right. If you’re fast enough you can dodge all the way behind an opponents back.

Sounds pretty cool. Wonder how long til this aspect gets brought into the Mario & Luigi series? They’ve already done just about everything else…

AoE attacks seem to ‘always’ hit – even when a Pokemon dodges.

Not surprising (how can you dodge an earthquake without flying?) Hope there’s a counter option though, for undodgeable hits.

Attacking is accomplished by tapping (quick attack) or pressing and holding (for the charge attack)

This is interesting, though already making me a tad worried. I mean, touch screen controls are imprecise at the best of the times, and I’m the kind who sometimes struggles using a simple iPhone app. I’m just picturing myself trying to do a powerful attack, then accidentally doing a quick one instead.

There is a ‘stamina bar’ that is broken in two halfs, underneath your HP bar. It refills about 20% per second, and appears to be boosted forward when you are hit to refill faster. When executing a charge move, it appears to use up 50% of your stamina.

This I don’t like the sound of much. Hate the idea of stamina in video games.

The animations look great.

Nice to know. The forum post also says they look better than Ingress, which shows this Niantic Labs company is getting better with the whole game development thing.

Types are affecting damage. “It’s not very effective” message above attacks when water vs. water, for example. Also “It’s super effective” when using a type advantage. (woot!)

Did anyone not expect type advantages to be included? It’d be a pretty crap Pokemon game if all attacks did a neutral amount of damage, the rock/paper/scissors aspect is key to most of the franchise.

‘Winning’ training (bringing the defending Pokemon to 0 HP) awards 50xp and the gym goes up 50 pts. in prestige.
You can ‘Lose’ training when your Pokemon hits 0 HP and faints.

So whats the point of prestige anyway?

Damage done in training persists after training (even when exiting training before a KO). You need items to heal up (no PokeCenters to be seen in this game – items are how it’s done).
If a Pokemon faints, a Revive or Max Revive is necessary to bring them back.

Oh for the love of [BEEP]. No Pokecenters, really? You’re making us having to use items to heal Pokemon, or bring them back if they faint?

That’s pretty freaking ridiculous if you ask me. Even more so if these items are what you buy in game, since this seems like a cheap way to sell ‘freemium’ crap to people.

Level 1 Gyms allegedly increase to Level 2 Gyms at 500 Prestige points. Level 2 Gyms are confirmed to increase to Level 3 Gyms at 1000 prestige points. Level 3 increase at 2000 Prestige points.

Oh, that’s how it works. So what’s the difference between a level 1 gym, a level 2 gym and a level 3 gym? Something important? Or does it just look nicer or something?

Beating Gyms reduces their prestige (by a lot). Seemingly half a Gym level.

That seems pretty ridiculous, though it does explain the prestige thing. Apparently, letting it revert to zero makes the gym ‘neutral’ again.

The 120 second timer also exists fighting enemies. Nothing appears different in the Gym menus except you get to line up 6 Pokemon in order instead of training just 1.

There’s a timer? Really? That takes a bit of the strategy out of things, at least if you ask me.

If one of your Pokemon faints, your next Pokemon comes out to continue the battle – still ticking down the 120 seconds. No word on switching Pokemon. It’s a fast, realtime fight, where the strategy appears to simply be the order you put them in. So you’ll likely always lead with the strongest you can offer against the defending Pokemon (type advantages considered, for example).

What? So you don’t seem to be able to switch Pokemon? Your team order is decided automatically?

No offence, but that seems like it takes a bit of strategy out of the whole setup, doesn’t it? Seems like this Pokemon GO thing is about one half ‘everything a mobile Pokemon game should be’ and another half ‘lets change perfectly good stuff for the sake of it’.

Either way, there’s a lot more interesting information to read in the subreddit post, and more will probably come in over time. So check out the discussion at The Silph Road subreddit, and see whether you want to give Pokemon GO a shot when it’s finally released for everyone.


Gyms are now enabled in the Pokemon GO Beta – The Silph Road Subreddit


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3 years ago

This sounds like something I'd be interested in, although it's a shame that I don't have an iPhone.

3 years ago

Don't exactly have an android either.