Pokémon GO News and Updates From Comic-Con: Three Step Glitch, Eevee Evolution, & Upcoming Features

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Developer Niantic already had a Pokémon GO panel scheduled for San Diego Comic-Con, but after the game’s breakout success, it was moved to the legendary (6,500-seat-huge) Hall H, where con-goers were treated to brand new information and hints about the future (and present) of the game everyone is playing.

First, and most importantly, yes, Niantic is aware of the “three step glitch,” which has caused the in-game Pokémon tracking mechanism to break down entirely and show all nearby Pokémon as the same distance away, whether or not the player is closing in on them. That’s led to a lot of people using workarounds, including an online Pokémon-locating map (although they’d probably do that anyway). They’re working to fix it, but Niantic head John Hanke wasn’t shy about mentioning that their primary concern right now is keeping the servers running so the game remains playable as it continues to launch around the world.

Hanke also reiterated that trading Pokémon would eventually become a game feature, but he wouldn’t lay out any kind of timeline for when new features would be added, though he estimated that only about 10% of the developers’ original ideas have made it into the game thus far. As far as what those other missing game mechanics might be, he specifically mentioned the further modification of Pokéstops through the use of modules, including turning them into healing stations akin to the main series’ Pokémon Centers. There will also be updates to training, more Pokémon joining the game, and more direct interaction between team members and their fictional leaders, perhaps adding more specific objective-based gameplay.

Some of those additional Pokémon will also tie in with the team leaders (Candela, Blanche, and Spark) who made their non-silhouette debut at the con. Each team is represented by one of the legendary bird Pokémon from the original games, so it’s likely that team affiliation will have an effect on which bird players are eventually allowed to catch. My apologies to team Valor, whose legendary, Moltres, is the only one without an offensive type advantage against flying Pokémon and thus is the only one at a disadvantage against one of the other two: Zapdos.

There may be other Pokémon added in the future, not necessarily all from the original 151 monsters. Hanke views the game as a work-in-progress MMORPG and mentioned that the addition of new Pokémon could take place over years, rather than in the near future. When an audience member asked if breeding Pokémon could be introduced as a game mechanic, and Hanke mentioned that it’s not currently in the works, but the team has discussed it. He also talked about easter eggs currently in the game, confirmed that nicknaming your Eevee properly will yield the evolution you’re looking for, and said there are other secrets that fans still have yet to figure out.

The current version of the game, even with its supposedly limited features, steamrolls on and was recently confirmed to be the most successful iOS app launch ever. That’s great news for Niantic and players, as the developers have every reason to continue working on updates to make the game even more fun for us, but things aren’t so rosy for Nintendo. After the company made it clear that they’re not exactly the ones directly profiting off of Pokémon GO, some of their recently acquired stock value dropped off, though they’re still way ahead of where they were before the launch.

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Dan Van Winkle
Dan Van Winkle (he) is an editor and manager who has been working in digital media since 2013, first at now-defunct <em>Geekosystem</em> (RIP), and then at <em>The Mary Sue</em> starting in 2014, specializing in gaming, science, and technology. Outside of his professional experience, he has been active in video game modding and development as a hobby for many years. He lives in North Carolina with Lisa Brown (his wife) and Liz Lemon (their dog), both of whom are the best, and you will regret challenging him at <em>Smash Bros.</em>