Get ready for some skill-based field Research tasks, travelers!
v0.101.0 has begun propagation on Android and iOS will soon follow in preparation for the announced May 1st ‘Field Research’ update which will bring Zapdos’ return and new ‘quest’ objectives.
But under the hood, the Silph Road team has discovered a few clues that hint at upcoming features. Let’s take a look!
First, let’s examine the upcoming changes to Field Research (Quests):
1. New Field Research Objectives
The way Field Research objectives interact with Gym and Raid battles has been slightly reworked, travelers. Where previously the two objectives
COMPLETE_GYM_BATTLE were utilized, two additional objectives have appeared alongside them:
Additionally, a new Field Research victory condition has appeared:
WinBattleStatus alongside the existing
WinGymBattleStatus condition. These nomenclature updates and additions point to increased focus on battle victories in Field Research tasks!
Additionally, a new internal versioning system was added to Field Research objectives (
VersionChangedQuests) which may enable global quest changes to roll out with server-side-only updates!
Now, let’s take a look at what else is around the corner:
2. One New Move: Smack Down!
One additional move has been added to the APK’s move dictionary. A Fast Move: Smack Down! Nine species in Gen I-III can learn this move inherently:
- Geodude, Graveler, & Golem
- Rhyhorn & Rhydon
- Anorith &Armaldo
and 46 others can learn it via TM (including Tyranitar). We’ll be watching to see which Pokemon will get to utilize this new Fast Move!
3. New Gift Box: Community Day Box
An asset has appeared named the “Community Day Box.” Every Community Day to-date has included multiple box sales in the shop, some even named a “Community Day Box” – but none have reflected a unique box design. We expect this new box to appear there in all its specially-designed glory in a few weeks for May Community Day. See if you spot it!
4. PokeStop Submission Clues
More updates have appeared showing progress towards Pokemon GO POI (points of interest) submissions!
In this APK, metadata revolving around POI photo uploads has appeared – particularly the ability to upload photos by URL:
UploadPoiPhotoByUrl. Several error codes (e.g. ‘Image too big‘ and ‘feature disabled‘) have appeared alongside it.
Notably, this addition included a rare nomenclature crossover to Ingress, referring to the POIs as “portals” a few times, in contrast with the generic POI terminology. Whether this hints that the feature is still in early stages or that the library is shared between Ingress and Pokemon GO is yet unclear. But it is very promising to see more and more of these additions find their way into Pokemon GO’s client!
Finally, a new attribute was added to POIs, denoting the ability to include hyperlinks in PokeStop descriptions. This may come in handy for sponsored stops, for example, linking to promotion details. Keep an eye out to see if you spot any, travelers!
Now for other less exciting, but still valuable additions this round:
5. Seeing Glitched Weather? Now You Can Report it!
A new reporting feature has been added to flag erroneous/problematic in-game weather! (
USER_ISSUE_REPORT_WEATHER) This is an interesting development that perhaps points to Niantic’s openness to exploring additional weather data providers than the current datasource.
6. New “Mythical” Search Filter
The ability to search by
MYTHICAL has now been added in v0.101.0 – pointing toward the impending addition of mythical species alongside Mew! (…Celebi?)
7. Passcode Redemption Tweaks
Though the passcode functionality in Pokemon GO has seen relatively little use, it has been utilized by Niantic support and official email campaigns. A few minor tweaks were added that may have been bug or vulnerability fixes to the redemption process.
8. Item Sprite Scale Tweaks
A new attribute has appeared which we believe may help wrangle sprite scaling issues on the Badge Award screen:
9. Minor Tweaks to Banned Player Code
No major changes have been observed, but the metadata surrounding banned players has been shuffled. This may denote no changes at all, but we would not be surprised to see server-side changes were implemented alongside this movement.
10. Major Telemetry (Performance Monitoring) Additions
A large addition in this APK is a Telemetry library which grants the client app the ability to monitor more closely the app’s performance. Things like:
and many more performance datapoints are now apparently able to be collected and reported by device and platform. This should greatly aid Niantic in monitoring app performance.
One additional benefit of a client-side telemetry library is the ability to measure more finely the flow of actions taken in game. Machine learning algorithms are able to consume these datapoints and deduce a lot about players UX issues, potential exploits, etc. Whether Niantic is putting engineering resources into this is completely unknown – but the addition of the library is a notable one for performance monitoring alone!
The “skill-based Field Research” objectives Niantic has hinted at have us excited. And tying it to battle skill seems like an exciting start!
We can’t wait to see what’s in store for the new Fast Move, and with every update to the potential POI-submission system we grow more excited for our rural and suburban travelers. Major challenges lie ahead to ensure quality submissions and prevent abuse, but this momentum is very promising.
Until next time, travel safe!
– Executive Dronpes –