Niantic’s recent Pokemon GO update has removed an annoying gym system that could knock out a starter Pokemon in the first turn. Previous Pokemon GO gym battles would cause players to receive all the damage of enemy attacks if they joined in the middle of the fight. This system overhaul will help its players if they chose to be competitive.
Ongoing Gym Battle Damage Wave
This “damage wave” system can get frustrating as the accumulated damage comes in one burst. This can actually kill your first Pokemon if the damage output is stacked high enough. Pokemon GO’s competitive players and gym regulars will appreciate this as they don’t need to have a damage soaker for their first Pokemon.
Breaking Into A New Gameplay Meta
In hindsight, this damage system seems fair to discourage players from ganging up to finish off weakened gym defenders. This change adds a large disadvantage to Gym owners as their defending Pokemon can only hit attackers one at a time without the damage wave. If the players keep coordinated and attack fast enough, rapid changes of Gym ownership can be expected as of the current Pokemon GO version. Niantic may have to introduce a new system to help players defend Gyms better.
Other Gym Issues
Even though the fans were happy with this Pokemon GO update, another problem hasn’t been fixed yet. This other bug is called a “deathloop” where dodged attacks still connect but the game lags and reverts back the Pokemon’s health. The bug seems fine since it re-rolls the player’s lost health, but it heavily wastes the player’s time and makes matches longer than intended.
Niantic’s support team has already confirmed that they’ve noticed this issue but won’t be able to release a hotfix for this bug soon. At best, players can rest knowing that Niantic is working on a patch to fix the deathloop bug.
No Major Gym Gameplay Changes
As of the Generation 2 major update, the Pokemon GO gyms only have a larger roster of creatures to use as gym attackers and defenders. Niantic hasn’t implemented any new gym battle systems in Pokemon GO, which keeps the experience simple but repetitive.
Since its release, only attack move damage and Pokemon stat tweaks have changed Pokemon GO’s competitive gameplay. Niantic needs to add more features in gym battles to help balance it out for the future and keep fans excited.