Yesterday was Machop Community Day, the first of 2021’s monthly Pokémon GO events. Did the choice of this Kanto Fighting-type Pokémon restore this once highly anticipated event to its former glory?
- Candy XL: Machop Community Day, and February’s Roselia Community Day, will essentially serve two purposes. Newer and more casual players may be excited for the chance at a Shiny, but trainers who have been in the game since the beginning have had years’ worth of a chance at a Shiny Machop that they can evolve into a Machamp with a better attack than this exclusive move. The only appeal of this day besides “I didn’t already have the Shiny” was the chance at farming Candy XL for a useful species. Now, many will be able to max a Machamp to Level 50, and absolutely zero other Pokémon otherwise with the possible exception of the omnipresent Pikachu because it’s a prohibitive mechanic. Last year, Niantic dedicated Community Days to PVP moves in the first half of 2020, and toward species that get Megas primarily in the second half. If they decide to dedicate 2021 toward species we want to grind Candy XL for, Community Day will never be the hyped event it once was. A grind can be rewarding, yes, but there should also be fun, exciting elements.
- Trade distance: The expanded trade distance, added at the last minute likely due to social media clogged with nothing but frustration in regards to the state of Community Day, was an actually great addition that enriched this lackluster day.
- The bonus: Triple Stardust is always the best. Yes, another grind, but this one has more practical benefit than Candy XL currently does.
What Didn’t Work in This Pokémon GO Event
- Machop: Another Kanto Community Day when we have six perfectly fine generations in the game. Another species with its Shiny already released. Another Community Day attack that will change nothing. It’d be enough of a bummer if Niantic made one of these downgrades to Community Day in recent times, but to do all three at once… that could be an existential problem for this event.
- The move: Offering Machamp some coverage is cool, but it already has Rock Slide to bait shields and O.P. Charged Attacks. The only thing it can do now that it hasn’t done before is hurt Psychics, but any Psychic will be able to do loads of damage with their Fast Attack before Machamp can get off a Payback. It may have niche use, but nothing like previous Community Day moves such as SmackDown, Meteor Mash, Rock Wrecker, Hydro Cannon, Blast Burn. You know, what used to be expected and normal.
- The stinginess: The paid research offered less Stardust and fewer items than ever, with the same asking price. A microcosm of Community Day as a whole, to be sure.
Playing Pokémon GO is never not fun. The problem is, when Niantic made Community Days so fantastic in the past, a sudden nerf on multiple aspects of the event is going to make players feel like thought and care isn’t being put into a game that the player base is pumping billions into. Niantic needs to stop, listen, and completely reassess the current track they’re on.