The Pokemon Go bonus update went live on Monday and, in addition to extra experience and quests, Niantic has now increased item drops and the spawn rate of Pokemon.
In its relatively short existence, Pokemon Go has gone through an incredible amount of changes. At first, it was one of the most popular apps ever, then its users began to dwindle dramatically once the game's tracking feature went kaput.
Since then, Niantic has steadily released updates that have reinvigorated the game, while simultaneously boosting its revenue. Hunting for Pokemon is still a pain, but this latest update has temporarily increased the spawn rate of Pokemon to ridiculous levels and should alleviate that issue for a brief time.
From now until November 11, players should encounter a lot more of the little critters. In some cases, players are reporting entire crowds of Pokemon surrounding them, and they couldn't be more delighted. Since the number of Pidgey, Rattata and Zubat spawns have been reduced immensely, these Pokemon herds could include some rarer species. Additionally, visiting PokeStops should reward players with additional Poke Balls, Hyper Potions, and other crucial items needed to progress through the game.
Of course, the update does have one negative feature: a secretly added speed cap. Niantic stealthily implemented a feature that restricts playing the game at certain speeds, regardless of whether the player is identified as a passenger or not. Likely a response to irresponsible people who play behind the wheel, it will hit commuters and passengers hard. Let's hope the bus taking players to work can stay below the Pokemon speed limit.
All in all, the update is a positive thing for current players and adequate incentive for older ones to return and give the game another go, if you will. But they should keep in mind these good feelings are only for a limited time. The game will go back to relatively the same state it was after November 11, just with a couple new features. So enjoy the copious swarms of Pokemon while it lasts.
If we're talking longterm and Niantic truly wants to coax back players and bring in some new ones, they have to buckle down and get the game's tracking feature working again. Without it, players are still roaming around blindly -- although it's comforting to know that they might run into something other than a Rattata for once.
Pokemon GO is available now on Android and iOS devices.