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Pokémon GO update removes tracking, nerfs Vaporeon, removes battery saver mode

by Ron Duwell | August 1, 2016August 1, 2016 6:00 am PST

Pokémon GO just gave me a hard reminder of why I don’t play online games. Over the weekend, the game’s first major patch has brought a whole host of controversial decisions to the game that have players raging, and guess what… There’s nothing they can do about it.

The most major of these updates is an address to the “three steps” glitch. Apparently, the glitch has been fixed by removing the feature altogether, meaning no footsteps are shown below the Pokémon on your “nearby” list. With popular trackers disappearing as well, the situation points to Niantic being against players easily tracking down Pokémon and would rather aim for a randomized crap shoot when you go out hunting.

I will say that in my one week of playing, I’ve never once has the rush of tracking down a Pokémon. Everything I’ve found has been through absolute chance, and there is nothing more demoralizing than seeing a Dratini or a Snorlax pop up in my list and be so powerless to find it.

Another controversial decision has been to nerf some of the more powerful Pokémon moves. By far, the Pokémon that has been the most affected is Vaporeon, which has proven popular with players for being both powerful and easy to find, evolve, and train. His Water Gun technique, rated as one of the highest moves in the game per DPS, has been dropped from a power of 10 to a power of 6, making him less effective in battle.

His Aqua Tail attack has dropped 10 percent in power, but the Hydro Pump technique has been boosted 50 percent, making the Pokémon both slower and more powerful.

Other moves have been adjusted as well, but it’s safe to say that Niantic did not want there to be any standouts. Vaporeon was doing just that. It’s just a shame that some of us have sunk so many of our resources into training them and have been rewarded for our diligence with a nice “you’re doing it wrong!”

Oh yeah, “battery saver” mode has been removed from the iOS version as well. Why? Nobody knows yet. It’s already hard enough to keep a charge on your phone while playing, but the update just makes it that much harder.

Here are a full list of updates.

  • Avatars can now be re-customized from the Trainer profile screen
  • Adjusted battle move damage values for some Pokémon
  • Refined certain Gym animations
  • Improved memory issues
  • Removed footprints of nearby Pokémon
  • Modified battle damage calculation
  • Various bug fixes during wild Pokémon encounter
  • Updated Pokémon details screen
  • Updated achievement medal images
  • Fixed issues with displaying certain map features
  • Minor text fixes
  • Added a warning about playing in dangerous areas
  • Removed battery saver mode from iOS version

Hey, you can change your characters clothes! How quaint…

I’m suddenly reminded why I prefer games with no Internet connections. My PlayStation Vita has a huge backlog of JRPGs just waiting for me that I can exploit, enjoy, and play at my own pace. If Niantic keeps making changes that worsen the experience instead of improving it, I might return to them on my rain rides and quit long before it starts forcing 2nd generation Pokémon onto us.


Ron Duwell

Ron has been living it up in Japan for the last decade, and he has no intention of leaving this technical wonderland any time soon. When he's not...

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