"If you're lucky, you might…" That is a phrase that most Pokémon GO players are familiar with. Niantic uses this phrase a lot when announcing new events, mainly about Shiny Pokémon that are coming out for the first time. "If you're lucky, you might encounter Shiny Miltank!" When this line has been used for Pokémon that have already been released as Shinies, some speculate that Niantic plan on increasing that Pokémon's Shiny rate during the event. "If you're lucky, you might encounter Shiny Lotad!" In a recent blog post announcing the Valentine's Day Event 2020, Niantic stirred up some new speculation when they wrote "If you're lucky, you might encounter a Feebas!" Upon reading this, fans worldwide began to wonder… is Niantic breaking balls?
Here's the thing. Feebas is a perfectly fine Pokémon. I personally like it. It has a boosted Shiny rate, its Shiny is nice, and it evolves into the graceful Milotic which is a great Pokémon with some niche PVP usability. What Feebas is known widely for, though, much more than those good qualities, is being the former bane of 10KM Eggs.
Not too long ago, the Pokémon GO community was teeming with Feebas memes. Got a bag full of 10KM Eggs incubating? Better get a fishbowl. Feebas was the most undesirable 10KM hatch due to how common it was, which was well-known among players. Players thought they were being listened to when Niantic, after featuring Feebas in multiple events in the wild as well, removed Feebas from 10KM Eggs.
So now, I and many other trainers wonder, would be lucky about encountering Feebas in the wild? Of the other Pokémon featured in the event, Feebas is the one we'd be lucky to encounter? If that's lucky, what happens if we're unlucky!?
Now, it seems a bit like Niantic is trolling. The events recently have been underwhelming and this could be a reference to that, but I doubt it. Instead, I think this "If you're lucky…" speaks to a divide between Niantic and the Pokémon GO community. I think this speaks to the community not being listened to or observed enough. It speaks to a shrinking understanding on Niantic's part about what players want in Pokémon GO.
I hope I'm wrong because I absolutely love Pokémon GO and a common comment that I see on my reviews of their events is that I'm too pro-Niantic. That's because, in the past, I've felt as if Niantic have had their finger on the pulse of what the Pokémon community wants. Now, it seems as if they've lost their way. Hopefully, they can start listening once again and get a solid understanding of what is lacking, how to right their course, and what players truly want. I believe they can make Pokémon GO the amazing game that it has the potential to be.
If we're lucky.