Posted in: Games, Mobile Games, Niantic, Pokémon GO | Tagged: , , , ,

Pokémon GO Renders Stationary Incense Useless, Community Reacts

Pokémon GO has nerfed stationary Incense, making this item useless in the opinion of many players. Let's take a look at the full situation and what this means moving forward.

Pokémon GO Season of Alola graphic. Credit: Niantic
Pokémon GO Season of Alola graphic. Credit: Niantic

Here's what Pokémon GO announced:

As mentioned in our previous Dev Diary, exploration is an important part of what makes Pokémon GO special, and we're always looking for ways to give Trainers the opportunity to discover Pokémon in the real world. We keep this goal in mind constantly as we evaluate the game and its systems. With that in mind, we wanted to give you a heads-up on some adjustments that we're making on March 1, 2022. For the Season of Alola, we'll be increasing the number of extra daily free Raid Passes that Trainers can receive. Additionally, the stationary Incense bonus will be removed, but a new bonus that increases Incense duration from 60 minutes to 90 minutes will take its place. As we continue to develop Pokémon GO, we'll be monitoring the impact of these changes and making any needed adjustments.

It seems as if this newly nerfed stationary Incense is delivering one spawn every five minutes. Compared to the initial pandemic buff of one per minute and then the first nerf of one per 90 seconds, that is quite the step down. This move has rendered Incense essentially ineffectual if the player is not on the move which, considering walking will lead the player through different spawn points, is ironically when the player needs Incense least of all.

On one level, I strongly agree that Pokémon GO needs to get back to incentivizing getting out in the world and walking. That was a huge part of the game and the pandemic changes altered that. However, the changes also made the game playable for disabled players in ways that it previously wasn't, which is a huge benefit for many people in the world. My thoughts have always been that Niantic shouldn't rescind bonuses but should rather create new outdoor-only elements to incentivize walking. Add to Pokémon GO rather than subtract. That way, those who need effective Incense to play the game aren't suddenly thrown to the side by a last-minute announcement in a blog entry hidden under a wave of major news.

The Pokémon GO Community has reacted strongly. Notable reactions seen on social media include outrage for the disabled community, explanations of why Incense isn't useful for use while walking, and questions regarding Niantic's choices.

Last time, I thought the "#HearUsNiantic" movement went too far, rushing to condemn rather than engage. This time around, I find the Incense issue to be far more impactful and detrimental than the Poké Stop radius issue. We'll see how this all plays out.

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Theo DwyerAbout Theo Dwyer

Theo Dwyer writes about comics, film, and games.
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