This past weekend, Niantic Labs hosted a special Pokémon GO event for PVP players. GO Battle Day: Mankey featured an increased number of GBL sets throughout the full day as well as a special window where Mankey was guaranteed as the encounter, should the player win an encounter. Let's see if this event was worth playing.
What worked in this Pokémon GO event
- Shiny Mankey: During the event, Mankey had dramatically boosted Shiny odds. This is consistent with previous GO Battle Days which featured Marill and Pidgey, so this isn't a new feature but it is an appreciated one. I tend to find GO Battle League encounters underwhelming outside of special events, so this was a major incentive to play.
- Pokémon-driven GO Battle Day: There have been GO Battle Days that didn't focus on a specific Pokémon and instead simply allowed for more battles. This kind of species-themed event with an increased Shiny rate is much more worth playing. Most players I know don't even complete their full allotted battles on a regular day, so adding that Shiny possibility definitely gives incentive that otherwise wouldn't exist for this kind of event.
- Premium Track encounters: It was awesome that we could use Premium Battle Passes to get a Mankey encounter for every win. With years of pre-remote Premiums saved up, I was thrilled to use these to Shiny hunt Mankey.
What didn't in this Pokémon GO event
- Master League only: Why not open all three Leagues? We just had Master League and the current themed Cup. This wasn't a huge letdown by any means, but it would have felt more like a special event if we had a day where all of the Leagues were opened up. That would've given reluctant players who wanted to try GBL for the event a better idea of how it is to PVP in the game.
- Small window: The Mankey portion of the event was very short. I'd have loved to see this extended so that the only interesting aspect of the event would take up more time of the event.
Pokémon GO has struggled a bit to make GO Battle League interesting, and events like this are a step in the right direction.