Almost everyone in every corner of the world has been affected by the pandemic in some way since we went into lockdown for the first time almost two years ago. Video games are included in that. Release dates have been pushed and developers have been forced to create games away from the rest of their teams while they work from home. As for Pokemon Go, a game built around going outside and interacting with people, Niantic had to think fast and make a lot of big changes.
As it turns out, those changes were actually pretty popular. The ability to play some of Pokemon Go's elements from home has resulted in more people playing the game and more importantly for Niantic, spending money on it while they're in there. However, despite the increase in popularity, Niantic has once again shown that it's eager to return Pokemon Go to the way it was prior to the pandemic.
Pokemon Go's season of Alola started this week, ushering in debuting Pokemon and all-new research tasks. However, it has brought with it a significant nerf to incense without much warning from Niantic at all. In fact, as you can see in the Reddit post below, quite a few trainers will have played for the first time at the start of the new season with no idea that incense is far less effective than it has been for the past two years.
As a part of the many changes made to Pokemon Go during the pandemic, the effect of incense was increased and the way it works was changed entirely. You would previously need to be moving for it to work. That necessity was waived, and the spawn rate was changed to one Pokemon per minute for a full hour. While this week's nerf makes incense last for an additional 90 minutes, trainers will now only see one Pokemon every five minutes unless they're moving.
That's 18 Pokemon per incense as opposed to 60. Some trainers have also hit back at those telling them to walk while using it to make it worth their while, claiming the pace you'd need to walk is almost a jog at 6 km/h. Niantic previously tried to decrease the radius from which trainers could activate gyms and Pokestops, a rollback it eventually reversed due to backlash. We may well see the same thing happen to these incense changes.
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