Pokemon GO players would most likely have a very busy December, as a new patch over the past weekend addressed notable flaws in the game’s prestige points rewards system and the rumored in-game update on December 8 appears to have been confirmed. With this, it seems like Niantic is indeed preparing to give fans a very significant and memorable way to end 2016 and welcome 2017.
First off, the developer of the augmented reality game has finally tweaked the number of prestige points that players gain when training at a friendly gym. Last month, Niantic decided to lower the number of points that players get rewarded with when training their Pokemon at their team’s respective territories. Prior to the update, Pokemon GO players earned 1,000 points for strengthening their team’s gyms, but after the November update hit, the number of prestige points that users were awarded were lowered to just 500.
Unsurprisingly, numerous players took issue with Niantic’s decision last November, with numerous users calling out the augmented reality game’s developer for unnecessarily making the mobile title more difficult to play. Fortunately, Niantic appears to have addressed players’ concerns about the number of prestige points they get awarded with on an update that was quietly released last weekend. As confirmed by Pokemon GO group The Silph Road, a Friday night patch reverted the number of prestige points that are given to players from 500 back to 1,000.
Gym shakeup! PRESTIGE awards have been rebalanced! Training at friendly gyms now awards prestige at the same rate as attacking enemy gyms.— The Silph Road (@TheSilphRoad) December 3, 2016
With this, numerous players have expressed their gratitude to Niantic, stating that the game now has become much friendlier to players. After all, gaining prestige points in friendly gyms has become one of the most popular practices in the game over the last few months. As much as the awarding of the usual prestige points is a welcome addition to the game, however, it appears that Nianic is preparing another, bigger update would that be rolling out sometime within the next few days.
Recently, an alleged leaked Starbucks memo has been making rounds on the internet. What was particularly interesting about the memo was that it referenced new Pokemon that would be arriving on December 8, as well as the coffee firm’s promotional tie-in product that would be introduced alongside the Pokemon GO update. True to form, the PoGO community took the alleged leaked document with a grain of salt, especially since its authenticity could not be verified.
This has now changed, however, as numerous Starbucks employees in internet forums such s Reddit have confirmed that a Pokemon GO-themed Starbucks promotion would indeed be rolling out on December 8. Just a few hours ago, even The Silph Road, which is very critical of PoGO rumors and speculations, admitted that signs are indeed pointing to a Pokemon GO-themed event that would be launching in partnership with Starbucks soon.
While the document’s authenticity has been confirmed by members of the Pokemon GO community who are employees of the coffee firm themselves, the exact nature of the new Pokemon referenced in the memo remains unknown. While numerous Pokemon GO players have stated that the new creatures in the update would be the highly-anticipated Generation 2 monsters, equally numerous members of the PoGO community believe that it is far too early for a Generation 2 rollout, especially with the Gen 1 legendaries still not being released in the game.
While the nature of the Starbucks-Pokemon GO event on December 8 remains a mystery for now, numerous members of the Pokemon GO community have noticed that the color of the PoGO-themed Starbucks beverage appears to be very close to the color of Ditto, which recently became available in the hit augmented reality mobile title. Thus, numerous Pokemon GO players have stated that Starbucks might simply be preparing a Ditto-themed event, even if the once-elusive creature is already available for players to capture in the wild.
One thing that some members of The Silph Road community also noticed, however, is that the purple color of the PoGO-themed Starbucks drink in the upcoming promotion also resembles the color of Mew and Mewtwo, two of the legendary creatures from Generation 1. Then again, considering the importance of legendary Pokemon to the game, it seems quite unlikely that Niantic would opt to roll out something as significant as Gen 1 legendaries simply as a promotional tie-in with the iconic coffee company.
In a lot of ways, tying in Gen 1 legendaries or Gen 2 creatures to a lone firm such as Starbucks practically confines the incentives of the update to North America, where the coffee firm is extremely popular. Considering that the game’s scope goes far beyond the United States and Canada, it would make sense for Niantic to utilize something more universal once it does start preparing for the upcoming Gen 1 legendary and Gen 2 Pokemon update. For now, at least, Pokemon GO players could rest assure that something is definitely happening on December 8. Whether that would simply be a Ditto-themed promotion, a Gen 1 legendary introduction or a Gen 2 rollout remains to be seen, but one thing is certain: Pokemon GO is bound to get really interesting once more.
[Featured Image by Imagine Photographer/Shutterstock]