Pokémon GO’s Water Festival has just finish, and the point on everyone’s mind has been response: Yes, bright Magikarps are sticking around after the reality. Many conception they might be like interest cap Pikachus, and disappear after this issue wrapper, but equivalent they’re more alike Ditto, a rareness that will continue to be in the project traveling promise.
I was pleasantly amazement by both the unforeseen look of the Water Festival as a GO adventure, and how it was one of the better once I’ve seen to Time, despite its relative simplicity. And as such, I truly do expect it should be usage as a plan for coming events.
We have seen events for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas/New Years, Valentine’s Day and now…the Water Festival. This one may not seem like the others, but it’s an important step forward, with Niantic acknowledging both that they’re going to need monthly events even if there’s not a major holiday to celebrate (though yes I know the Water Festival was based on a United Nations water event), and that they can essentially forge their own path rather than being tied to something like “Green Pokémon are spawning for St. Patrick’s Day!” which is what they could have done this month.
Part of the reason the Water Festival was so good was that it was an entire biome shift, rather than just dumping a select few Pokémon with dramatically increased spawns into the mix, like we’ve seen with the ghosts of Halloween or the starters at New Year’s or the pink Valentine’s Pokémon. The problem is that when you’re introducing just 8-10 increased spawns with really only two or three that people want to catch, the event can get boring fast, but changing the entire biome, more or less, to include a much wider array of Pokémon, i.e. every water type, that’s where the game gets a lot more playable.
But the X-factor in all this was shiny Magikarp. The inclusion of this one rare “prize” Pokémon was enough to get players out and hunting on its own, and while some players probably left empty handed, this was easily the most fun individual Pokémon “hunt” since Ditto first showed up. I think it was the right call to just roll out Magikarp as a single shiny to find, rather than unleashing a ton into the world all at once, even though I was against that trickle philosophy for Gen 2 (which eventually did become a flood).
The interesting thing about the Water Festival is how it didn’t come with any bells and whistles. There was no double XP, double candy or bundles of items for sale. There was a goofy Magikarp hat available, but that was it.
I think what the event proved was that if you can concoct something that just gets people playing, that’s going to be the primary motivator for them to spend money. I’m not sure things like double length lures or saving $2 on Incubator bundles are really all that inspiring in the end. If people want to be playing the game, they will be spending money.
Stuff like double XP doesn’t really matter all that much as the point of leveling still has not really changed since launch. The die-hard players are probably high enough where future levels don’t matter much, and casual players have long given up caring about their “level” a long time ago. Double candy used to be the most valuable modifier in an event, but ever since Gen 2 introduced the Pinap Berry, which gives double candy on any catch, that doesn’t feel quite as necessary as it used to.
Obviously Pokémon GO will do more elemental type events in the future, and it’s clear Legendary events will be nothing like this one. But for non-special, “normal” events, this is the right path to follow. Big biome shifts, rather than just spawning a half dozen or so “special” Pokémon that players will get sick of after a day. And some sort of special “secret” to hunt down, like we saw with shiny Magikarp here. With those two elements, plus any bonus modifiers, I think Niantic has the recipe down for a successful generic event, the type that should definitely show up every month or so.