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My biggest gripe with Pokemon Go is that there are 3 ways for me to lose the “catch them” game, and all of them are…

My biggest gripe with Pokemon Go is that there are 3 ways for me to lose the “catch them” game, and all of them are pretty much outside my control:

1. Throw the ball. But it better be the right ball. And the power ball has a curve, which makes it less accurate than the standard pokeball (so you have to throw more anyway). I’ve determined that there might be some skill in this, but there’s also a “this is how many balls it will cost you to get this pokemon.” I’ve worked in slot machines and know that this is completely doable and reasonable from the programming and legal point of view.

2. Keep the Pokemon in the ball. There is nothing I can do to ensure that the pokemon won’t escape the ball, multiple times. I can use a more powerful ball, but again, that is less accurate.

3. Keep the Pokemon from running away. Again, there is nothing I can do to prevent this and it is SO FRUSTRATING when it happens after I’ve wasted 10 balls on the pokemon.

I don’t think the programmers at Niantic playtested this mechanic past about level 10. The ramp-up has made it extremely frustrating and demoralizing. Perfect throw, even one that earns you a “Great!” might be spoiled by the pokemon escaping the ball and running away. Fooey!

Also: I’ve yet to see a berry work as described.

It would be fine if there were only one or two failure points. It would be fine if, after you have “missed” 6 times, you could be sure that the pokemon couldn’t escape the ball or run away. It would be nice to not feel like the programming is basically trying to drain the pokeball resource for the purpose of encouraging me to micro-transact for more balls.

Also, since I’ve actually bought coins to spend on things (incubators!), I know there’s probably a toggle somewhere that identifies me as a customer willing to pay microtransactions, and therefore, cynically, I think the game might be trying to push me to that point sooner. I mean, what am I supposed to do when I run out of pokeballs and there’s a pikachu? Leave it there?

(Also: Pikachu should never run away. That just makes me want to cry.)

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11 thoughts on “My biggest gripe with Pokemon Go is that there are 3 ways for me to lose the “catch them” game, and all of them are…”

  1. 2. Keep the Pokemon in the ball. There is nothing I can do to ensure that the pokemon won’t escape the ball, multiple times. I can use a more powerful ball, but again, that is less accurate.

    You can also give it a piece of fruit, but yeah.

  2. I think I’ve seen berries work for me, but whether the unknown probabilities are actually shifting or not is hard to say based on my recollection of binary caught/missed end results. I’m lucky in that there’s a cluster of pokestops across the street from my apartment so I can walk back and forth through them and power-grind myself a bunch of items (normally I’d feel guilty about this somewhat cheesy approach to the game, but the stops are along a pretty steep hill so I get a good workout when I do this and therefore don’t feel too bad about it). The sunk cost problem of wasting a bunch of balls does suck, especially when the pokemon gets away — I agree that’s very aggravating.

  3. 1 if you click items you can change which type of ball you are using.

    2 there are several ways to increase chance of catching: better balls, hold till inner circle is smaller, curve ball (spin ball before throwing, does take some getting used to), hit inside smaller circle.

    3 a razz is used on a successful throw. If you hit and the Pokemon isn’t caught you need to use another razz. If you miss, you can’t use another razz.

  4. The game is a sugar-coated grind. Your gripes are all valid, but they’re by design.

    I’m still playing for the catch-’em-all factor but I’m not sure about, say, two months from now.

  5. Yeah, but that’s the problem. That grind isn’t fun. It’s a pain-point, and not one that is all that helpful when half the time the servers are screwing things up anyway.

  6. The thing that gets me is that optimal play is set it up so you can evolve a couple dozen pidgys and rats while under the influence of a lucky egg… Though actually an interesting way to play would be to try and catch only ONE of each pokemon (or maybe exactly enough to evolve some).

    It’s also worth noting that another thing which affects your catch rate is your level. The higher your level, the harder to catch pokemon become.

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