So Niantic today announced the Pokemon GO Community Day, a monthly event during which players can earn double experience along with other rewards, and catch limited Pokemon, with the opening entry being a Pikachu that knows the “event exclusive” move Surf.
It sounds great. I don’t play as often as I’d like, but a day where I can go out for an hour (or more if I’m not working) sounds nice. It’s an incentive to bring myself to play the game which can be a big time sink.
The problem is the event only actual goes for 3 hours. This may not sound bad, but for anyone with a job, or any other obligation that might go through that time, it’s either something that has to be missed or you have to change your schedule or life to accompany it.
As an example, the MMO Guild Wars 2 tried similar events in the past. They had been telling a story in the game over the course of many months, all culminating in a final big event called Lost Shores that took place on November 18th 2012 (Holy shit I’ve been playing this game for well over 5 years now). It was a one time event and if you weren’t there, you didn’t get the rewards or ever get to experience it again outside of YouTube videos and retellings.
I had worked the previous night until 4am, and got home by 6am. The event was going to occur around 8am and as a massive fan of the game, I was ready. I was there when it began, and the event went for a long time. Tired, I ended up passing out at my desk part way through the event from exhaustion, never getting to finish it.
Many other people never had the chance to even get as far as I did, having to work, sleep or otherwise be unable to get on and play the game.
I’m not saying limited-time events are bad, but they shouldn’t be so constrained that a large amount of players can’t participate unless they schedule their life around a video game. The developers of Guild Wars 2 learned you shouldn’t, and opted for the classic “This event lasts X days/weeks” model, because it works. Knowing I have a few days (or better, weeks), makes me feel at ease, I know I’ll find some free time at some point during that time period to play.
When you’re told “You have to be playing between 10am and 1pm to get it,” there’s the stress of having to schedule that specific time. If you’re asleep during that time, you’ll have to force yourself up and break your sleep pattern to play. If you’re at work and can’t access the game hosting the event, too bad and fuck you for having responsibilities. Should you cancel your plans that have been set in stone for the better half of a month because they overlap with the chance to catch a Pikachu that knows Surf?
Pokemon GO Community Day sounds amazing, but couldn’t it be for a full 24 hours? A day? Timed events are great and I know there will be a big “attendance” for the Community Day, but I’ve sadly already seen people talking about finally dropping the game because they can’t possibly complete their collection (AKA The core focus of the fucking game).
At the risk of sounding salty, this really does have an air of “fuck you for having responsibilities” to it. I will be able to participate myself, but of course it involves some minor schedule changes. I have a life, but I really do want that surfing Pikachu.