When Star Wars: The Old Republic was announced – wait, don’t go away, this has a point! – they talked about a system in which you and your friends might conquer a base, the rival faction might conquer it back, and you (or other people) would repeat. I envisioned many things from this promise, but unfortunately, none of what I pictured from that claim made it into the game.
I say this not to criticize a game that has nothing to do with this topic
(though if people are interested I will write more on my experience with The
Old Republic) but because Pokémon Go meets my hopes and
expectations for this system in every way.
This system is built for a constantly dynamic gym experience. Very rarely
does the same team remain in control of a gym for a twenty-four hour period. At
first look, this would appear strange in a setting such as mine where Team Valor
is mainly known for driving around in cars with mostly C.P. (Combat Power) 1800
or higher ‘mons while the other teams tend to be much lower and more frequently
What makes this so dynamic is a feature that is very similar to the main
series Pokémon games. While I mention that very few gyms defeat enough
challengers to reach level 6 or higher (meaning they can be guarded by that many
‘mons), most gyms have significantly less than 6 team members. This means that
the attacking player, who almost always has a full team of six, does not need to
be as powerful as the Gym Leader or even the weaker ‘mons guarding the Gym. Add
in the dodging aspect and type matchups, and even a significantly weaker team in
the hands of a skilled trainer can conquer a gym. The catch, of course, being
that they cannot guarantee they will hold the gym.
This system of the gyms constantly changing hands does a lot to even the
playing field. While I may not be powerful enough to conquer a certain gym on my
way to work, it may change hands several times during that shift and leave it
open for me to take it on the way home. Considering that you only need to
conquer a gym once every 20 hours to get the in-game rewards (rather than
needing to hold it for the entire 20 hours) this allows lower-leveled players to
still participate in this system (not to mention the emotional benefits of
besting a C.P. 1600 gym with your C.P. 1200 team). This ensures that there will
always be an opening for new players to get involved in the game, which makes a
major difference when looking at the game’s longevity.
For more of my articles on Pokémon Go, make sure to follow Fantasy &
SciFi Lovin’ and comment with what you’d like to see. If you’re interested
in my thoughts on Pokémon Sun and Moon, head on over to Insomniatic and get involved
in that discussion. If you want to commission a specific article from me (or
just to help me study in Spain next summer) you can also check out my GoFundMe campaign.