Pokemon

3 changes Niantic need to make ahead of GO Battle League Season 1

by Paul Cotton
@PokemonGoApp

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Season 1 of Pokemon Go's GO Battle League is fast approaching, but some trainers feel there are changes Niantic need to make ahead of its big release.

Players have been familiarizing themselves with the concept of GO Battle League since its announcement back in October 2019. The six weeks of pre-season more recently has allowed trainers an elongated sneak preview of the new competitive PvP mode.

On the flip side, the pre-season has given Niantic a chance to analyze the game from afar to see if any changes are needed ahead of Season 1's release. In the opinion of a lot of trainers there are.

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@PokemonGoApp
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Reward thresholds

We don't know how and if the rewards will change when Season 1 starts. We do know, however, that trainers are manipulating their own rank to give themselves a greater chance of receiving the best rewards.

This phenomenon is called 'Rank Tanking' and has become surprisingly widespread. Unfortunately, with the current system players are incentivized to keep their rank low in order to come up against weaker opponents.

Niantic will no doubt want to put a stop to this, so we can expect the reward thresholds to be changed. They might not increase the quality of the rewards for higher ranks, as this will only reward better players, but they may change it from the current win four out of five battles, to win a certain reward after every so many wins, period.

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Lag

Those of you who have been scouring the Pokemon Go forums will have seen many trainers plagued by lag issues. Sure, sometimes there will be incidents of a genuine poor connection but a lot of these issues of a "weak connection" have reportedly come from WiFi.

The more competitive players will find this even more frustrating, with the potential of losing matches purely because of this.

Niantic will be all too aware of these lag problems and will no doubt be doing their best to fix them. They regularly perform maintenance on their servers although the explicit reason for this isn't shared.

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One way to alleviate these issues could be to have stricter matchmaking algorithms where trainers are only matched with other players who live relatively close by. Another option could be to have trainers choose whether they want to accept a game with a trainer that supposedly has a weak connection.

Ranking and rating adjustments

There are 10 ranks in GO Battle League and finding your way to Rank 7 is actually pretty easy. Essentially all you need to do is win 22 battles over any given time period.

This pretty much negates Ranks 1 to 7, making them meaningless. More importantly though, it means there's only really Ranks 7 to 10 to differentiate between.

PokeMiners revealed that the rating and ranking percentage for GO Battle League changed from 50% to 90%. They speculate this means your rating can change by 90% in a given set. Therefore, your rating can fluctuate a lot more.

Niantic may have other adjustments such as this in store for when GBL Season 1 releases on March 13. Hopefully they have been paying close attention and will get the balancing just right. If so, Pokemon Go will finally have an outlet for trainers to determine who really is the best.