Believe it or not, the hit augmented-reality title ‘Pokemon Go’ is still going strong a full two years after its release. Pokemon Go hit the mobile market in 2016 as one of the most widely sought after mobile games of all time. While the title quickly scaled all of the charts, it ran into issues early on that brought doubters to the forefront. Still, Niantic and CEO John Hanke have held fast and now more updates are hitting the market and making the game more enjoyable than ever. One of the best new updates to Pokemon Go in the past year has been the Field Research/questing system and now gamers have the chance to catch up on their Legendary Bird hunt as a result.
Niantic revealed that a new series of Field Research quests are going to be hitting the application via an update and through these new quests trainers will be able to get their paws on the legendary lightning bird, Zapdos. For the past month or so, gamers have had the ability to reel in Moltres, the fire-type legendary bird, but change seems to be coming and we couldn’t be more excited. Previously, in order to get any of the legendary birds, you had to have completed some of the surprisingly difficult raids going on around your town or city.
The new Field Research quests figures to blend both skill challenges and fetch quests in order to keep trainers busy for the six-days required to crack a shot at the legendary bird. Along the way, trainers will rack up other prizes: items, PokeBalls, StarDust and other Pokemon encounters. The Field Research quest system can be accessed by spinning PokeStops while your research queue is empty. Trainers can have up to three Field Research quests at a time and they can ‘cancel’ quests that are unfavorable. For example, you might not want a Field Research quest that requires fighting in multiple raids when an alternative quest might only demand that you capture 5x bug-type Pokemon. Niantic figures to also constantly be updating this quest system, so trainers need to keep a sharp eye out for new announcements.
Niantic, the developer of the mobile Pokémon spin-off, Pokémon Go has repeatedly taken a stance of disapproval regarding the use of third-party applications which interact with their game. The company’s latest countermeasure to cheaters is a “shadowban.” Players affected by this maneuver will have their game modified in such a way that only the most common of monsters will even appear to the player, making it considerably more difficult to catch and evolve monsters.
While the shadowban is the company’s most recent approach to cheating players, it is not the first. August saw the company issuing permanent bans to any player who violated the game’s terms of service. Violating the terms of service included the use of emulators, modified software, location spoofing or directly accessing the game’s client through a third-party application. August’s permanent bans were seen as controversial as it penalized the use of sites like PokéVision, which offered a map detailing where Pokémon could be found.
Silph Road, a subreddit dedicated to Pokémon Go, remarks that the accounts of shadowbanned players are flagged as illicit and that while many bot accounts had been flagged, many continued to function without issue. Initially, the concern among players was that accounts would be targeted for using deprecated API calls to Niantic’s private server. While this concern turned out to be true, it was not the sole condition for an account to be classified as illicit. Currently, it remains unclear which exact behaviors will result in the declaration of an account as “illicit.”
Pokémon Go players that make use of bots or certain third-party applications have reported warnings about the game’s detection of third-party software. The warnings go on to state that continued use of such programs is a violation of the game’s terms of service that can lead to a terminated account. Lastly, it cautions players who play the game without such devices to change the password of their account for fear of someone else spoofing their identity within the game.
The Silph Road cautions that not all known bot accounts have been flagged as illicit. While some bots were able to scan common species of pokémon within the game, like “Pidgeys” and “Rattatas,” other accounts have been shut down in order to avoid Niantic’s shadowban.