Pokemon GO Raid Reward system Nerf have angered some trainers as the gravy train is over when it comes to raids. Raids use to consistently offer rewards that were best in the game, golden razzberries, TMs and rare candy, along with the chance to catch the raid boss at the end.
Now? Almost all tiers of raids in Pokémon GO have been nerfed. Not as in, it’s easier to beat the boss, but the rewards have been nerfed. You can now get through even upper-level raids and end up with nothing but revives and potions as a reward, with those coveted items nowhere to be found when previously, they were a guarantee.
Those who have been following my writing for a while will know that I’ve been preaching that raids have been stupidly broken and overly rewarding from the start. You cannot introduce an activity that gives you three of the most valuable items in the game, a load of XP and the chance to catch a Pokémon that would have taken weeks or months to acquire otherwise (or that is impossible to acquire anywhere else, in the case of legendaries).
But that was not a call to nerf raid rewards. At least not to this insane of a degree, replacing everything with…potions? I mean, come on. While raids had their issues, this is taking a sledgehammer where a scalpel would have done better work, and really at this point, the solution was not to nerf raid rewards, but to buff everything else to make alternate activities more valuable.
Once you’ve introduced raids as this ultra-rewarding activity, you can’t really go back on that two months later because suddenly you realized you were breaking your game economy, as that’s just a recipe to get everyone mad, which is exactly what we’re seeing now.
Rather, the solution to this should have been bolstering the activities in the game that were lacking. TMs should be able to be rare drops from PokeStops or streaks like we currently see with evolution items. Catching a wild Pokémon should have a remote chance to get you a rare candy or two.
Golden Razzberries should be added to the PokeStop pool alongside the other three types. This way raids wouldn’t be the onlyway to get these items, putting them on a plane leagues beyond anything else in the game.
Sure, I could agree that some nerfing of raids might be a good thing. I think giving out 10 rare candy per legendary kill is frankly nuts, for instance. But to hamstring things to this degree was overkill. Yes, I agree that raids totally screwed up the game economy, but it’s too late to try and reverse course this dramatically.
If raids had launched with fewer rewards that were also spread out throughout the rest of the game, the main draw would have simply been the fact that you could get X powerful Pokémon at the end. But instead they turned into TM and rare candy farms, which broke the rest of the game. But you can’t just take an axe to the concept, especially when you’ve been selling premium raid passes this entire time with the reward pool being what it’s been.
The other side effect of this is that less raids are being done than ever before because of the change, which means it’s harder for anyone to complete most of the upper tiers. Previously, you might at least see some people at Tier 2-4 raids to farm for valuable items, but now with premium raid passes not producing anywhere near the same return on investment, there will be less people doing those raids than ever, making them harder to complete for those sticking around.
Even Legendary raids may see a sharp decline in participation because once you have a couple birds, you’re really only continuing to show up for the rewards. And if those are far from a sure thing, then why bother? I’m reading that many people think this nerf is so severe they’re actually just sitting around doing nothing until Niantic reverts the change.
Will that happen? It might. Niantic has gotten Pokémon GOto make loads of money again this summer primarily on the back of premium raid passes. If sales of those decline sharply because of the nerf, you can bet they’re going to rethink this strategy.
Again, I think there are other alternatives here. Make raids more rewarding, sure, but also start selling items that are more appealing so you’re not entirely reliant on raid passes. Cut all incubator distance in half, permanently, to make people buy those more for faster results (5 km to walk my Chansey? No thanks). Make incense and lures more potent, attracting more rare Pokémon more often. Just because raid passes were too valuable, that doesn’t mean you can’t make other items and activities more worthwhile to keep up.
This is the worst of all possible worlds right now though. The raid economy wrecked the game for two months, now the nerf has made almost no one want to play them at all. There’s a middleground here, but Niantic seems desperate not to find it for reasons I can’t explain.