The second day of Pokemon Go Fest was better than the first. It set up the mystery that will likely dominate the summer. Professor Willow is missing and Rhi, who says he’s from the Ultra Recon Squad, jumps in to help out.
Ultra Wormholes have been appearing in the sky and that means Ultra Beasts will be coming through these portals for the next few months. The first of them is called Nihilego, the Parasite Pokemon, which looks a bit like a ghostly squid. Ticketed players had a chance to encounter one through a quest and all players had the opportunity to take on the Ultra Beast known as UB-01 Symbiont through raids throughout the day.
Despite the Ultra Beast designation, it’s regarded as a tier 5 Pokemon and you could lop it in with other legendaries. That means players could potentially see 11 new powerful Pokemon in the game.
To help with the quests, ticketed players had nine free passes available and three remote raid passes via the shop. In addition, incense used Sunday by ticket players would give them another chance at catching any variants they may have missed.
From a narrative standpoint, it was a better setup for this upcoming season than the Shaymin quest. When it comes to actual gameplay, it was slightly improved over the debacle on Day 1. Day 2 almost had a more relaxed feel to the experience as players could spend their passes, complete the special research fairly easily and get on with their day.
They could concentrate on what many hard-core players do, which is shining hunting. Although Niantic said rates would be reduced Sunday compared to Saturday, the two days felt about the same. Shiny rates over the weekend still felt worse compared to last year.
It also brought up a worrisome trend. Is this what all Niantic events will be like going forward? I’m not talking about the glitches and technical issues. That should be a given. But I’m more concerned with just the overall rates being reduced. It felt the same way during Pokemon Go Tour: Johto. If that’s the case, this is a step back for global Niantic events in general.
There’s an exhilaration in finding shinies and it makes the game fun as players show off what they manage to collect. Shiny collecting is essentially the unofficial endgame of “Pokemon Go” for many players who hit level 50 and complete all possible Pokedexes. (People are still waiting for Kecloeon to show up for Hoenn.) They could also be creating a living Pokedex or gathering a certain set of shinies.
Reducing the rates of the variants just makes all the grinding that players do during Go Fest feel less rewarding.