Niantic Missed A Big Opportunity With Pokémon GO's Eevee Community Day

 forbes.com  8/12/2018 1:44:36 PM  3

Today marks the second half of August’s Pokémon GO Community Day, which is really a Community Weekend, given that Niantic is doubling the amount of time that players have to hunt shiny Eevees (2-5PM ET both days).

The six hours is meant to make up for the fact that players aren’t trying to snag one shiny to evolve into a final form, but instead at least five, with five current evolutions of Eevees, but in reality, more than that, given that three out of five are randomly evolved. That means that without trading, you have to evolve roughly nine shiny Eevee to have a 90% chance to get all three evolutions yourself. Plus two more to manually evolve into Espeon and Umbreon by walking them as your buddy.

It didn’t have to be this way, and for as on the ball as Niantic has been the last few months, I’m frankly surprised they didn’t take better advantage of this opportunity.

A week or so ago, there was a supposed “insider” leak that an Evolution Event was coming this past week which would be a “soft” introduction to Gen 4, where Pokémon that evolve from Gen 1, 2 and 3 Pokémon would be available for players.

That would make a lot of sense considering 20+ Pokémon fall under that category, and it would have been a great lead-in to Eevee Community Day, considering that it would bring with it two new Eevee evolutions, Glaceon and Leafeon.

Of course if they were just thrown in the pot, that would have made evolving Eevees even more chaotic, as it would take you from a 33% chance to get what you want to a 20% chance, so the real missed opportunity here is Niantic failing to introduce something the game has needed for a long while now, Evolution Stones.

Evolution Stones are an item in Pokémon that go all the way back to Red/Blue, and they’re used to manually trigger evolution in some Pokémon types. A famous Pokémon animated series storyline was Ash debating whether to trigger Pikachu’s Raichu evolution with a Thunder Stone. In the context of Pokémon GO, its why Eevee evolutions are random, rather than manually chosen with Fire, Thunder and Water stones.

Once upon a time I understood why these stones weren’t in the game. It was an extra layer of complication GO probably didn’t want to bother with at launch. And yet here in year two, other evolution items are everywhere in the game from Dragon Scales to Metal Coats to Up-Grades and so on, used to trigger Gen 2 and 3 evolutions. And yet Elemental Stones, which work pretty much exactly the same way, remain out of the game.

Eevee Community Day would have been the perfect opportunity to bring them to Pokémon GO at last, combined with the soft Gen 4 launch to introduce Leafeon and Glaceon (which also use stones to evolve). Then instead of players dealing with the frustration of random evolutions or expensive trades they could have used stones gotten from Pokestops or research tasks to manually evolve their Eevees and shiny Eevees into whatever they wanted.

Evolution Stones seem like such an obvious, inevitable addition to Pokémon GO that I’m almost tempted to tell people to save their Eevee evolutions for when that day comes, but if they haven’t been introduced by now, especially during a weekend which would have clearly benefitted from them, perhaps Niantic is just never going to introduce them. That seems pretty absurd to me, but again, I don’t know what the delay would be otherwise.

Eevee Community Day has been fun and will be fun today as well, but I think it would have been a lot better with A) two more Gen 4 evolutions to play with for the first time and B) the ability to hunt down Evolution Stones for manual evolution rather than relying on luck and RNG to get what you want, especially when shinies are so rare.

A rare missed opportunity from Niantic here, and even if all this stuff is introduced later, it will be too late for this Community Day.

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