Pokemon Go released a new update late last week, which meant another chance for players to dissect the game's code and find hints about the game's future. Although dataminers didn't find much in the most recent update, there were a few notifications that provided big clues as to what's coming next.
We've known for months that Pokemon Go is looking to overhaul its gym system, which is largely seen as the worst part of the game. Right now, players place their Pokemon in a gym and leave it there until an opposing team kicks it out. Once a Pokemon is in the gym, there's no maintenance or updates required until that Pokemon winds up back in a player's collection.
However, new notification texts suggest that Pokemon Go will make players take a more active role in gym defending. Not only does it appear that Pokemon Go will eventually inform a player when one of their Pokemon has successfully defended a gym, the game might also require players to feed their Pokemon berries in order to keep them in peak defending form.
Here are three pieces of text that hint at the new mechanic, all of which are tied to notifications.
"(Pokémon name) is hungry!"
"(Pokémon name) needs a pick-me-up!"
"(Pokémon name) wants a berry!"
If this is indeed tied to gym defenders, it appears to be a way to make it easier for opposing teams to attack gyms filled with Pokemon owned by non-active players, especially bots and spoofers.
Two other notifications could also be tied to modified gym battles....or something even bigger. Dataminers have found references to "raids" in two other pieces of notification texts, hinting that those both could soon be added to the game. Raids are common in MMORPGs, where dozens of players work together towards a shared goal. The raids are probably just organized gym attacks, designed to draw in multiple players to make it easier to quickly wear down a gym's defenses. The other possibility is that raids somehow relate to the long-anticipated Legendary events, which would require all Pokemon Go players to work together to defeat and capture a Legendary Pokemon. The latter is less likely, as Niantic seems to want Legendary events to be city-based, but it's all speculative at this point.
Any changes to the gym system will likely go live later this spring. Stay tuned to WWG for more Pokemon Go news.