One aspect of Pokémon Go that frustrated certain die-hard fans was the absence of detailed information on individual monsters’ stats. Thankfully, an update released this week adds a new feature that gives trainers extra insight into their ball-bound beasts.
The Pokémon Appraisal system allows players to ask their team leader for details about an individual Pokémon’s attack and defense capabilities. Depending on which faction they’ve pledged allegiance to, either Candela, Blanche, or Spark will be called upon for advice.
This information allows trainers to use Pokémon more effectively during battles. While viewing a particular monster belonging to the player, an Appraise button will now appear in the context menu, and pressing it offers a few words from one of the team leaders.
The intention is to give players some indication of how the creature they captured stacks up to others of the same species — for instance, if their Pidgey has better defensive capabilities than the countless others waiting to be captured in any given location.
However, the appraisals don’t offer up facts and figures, instead being comprised of vaguer statements like, “your Squirtle simply amazes me.” Players have already started figuring out the relevance of these lines of dialog, with a great deal of research being carried out on Reddit.
The new feature is part of Niantic’s efforts to flesh out the Pokémon Go experience. Despite its initial popularity, more recent reports have indicated that the app’s player count is waning dramatically.
It’s clear that the changes made to the game’s Pokémon tracking system and outages as a result of server strain have caused many players to move on from the experience. The Appraisal system seems to be squarely aimed at the game’s hardcore fan base — which might be a very canny move, if more casual audiences are indeed losing interest.