The hype surrounding "Pokémon Go" may have died down significantly since it first arrived back in 2016, but that's not stopping developer Niantic from adding new elements to the AR mobile game. Niantic has announced that it is adding quests called Research, which is also designed to help players catch the mythical Pokémon Mew. "There are two different types of research you can contribute to: Field Research and Special Research," Niantic said in a blog post. "Gather Field Research tasks by spinning nearby PokéStops, which will give you objectives that include discovering and catching certain Pokémon or engaging with battles, among other things. Special Research may be requested by Professor Willow himself, and will take you on a journey to make important discoveries!"
It seems Niantic Labs is pulling a desperate move in the wake of reports that "Pokémon GO's" popularity among players has declined. In its new attempt to lure back virtual Trainers, the software development company is said to be giving rewards to those who play or use the app daily. Pokemon GO Hub did some digging into the global-metadata.dat of version 0.43.3 for Android (1.13.3 for iOS) and it successfully discovered something that is worth sharing to players who may have become inactive in the AR world of "Pokémon GO." Based on the uncovered data, Niantic Labs has already seeded network and protobuf support for three types of Daily Quests -- an unknown type of quest, the First Catch of the Day Quest and the First PokéStop of the Day Quest. Thus, the company could just be waiting for the right time to turn on the Daily Quests feature. When players realize the Daily Quests, they could get rewards.
Well over a year later, Niantic is adding more traditional gameplay to Pokémon Go. Soon, you'll be able to tackle "Research Tasks." Essentially, they're fetch-quests like you'd find in a typical RPG. Finding out if the "series of mysterious happenings" in the game are related to Mew, the illusive psychic, Mythical Pokémon. You'll pick up normal research tasks (finding and catching predetermined pocket monsters, battling) from Pokéstops, while "Special Research" objectives from Professor Willow are rather ambiguous.
You may have noticed a pattern with Pokémon GO these days, that the game will release an event that will get many lapsed players buzzing and playing again and then…it's over. The cycle has become so regular, with events coming every month or so, that the two or three weeks in between events when nothing is going on has become a sort of inescapably tedious downtime for the game. The problem is that without some sort of bonus incentive to play, either a big biome shift where spawns are dramatically changed or an event that doubles XP or candy or lure time or something along those lines, the base game itself is not really engaging enough to keep many players playing. Obviously there are larger structural changes needed to help with this. I have been asking for in-game NPCs to battle with for ages, for instance, but I won't go down that rabbit hole for the millionth time.
Right now, Pokémon GO players are sitting around waiting for Niantic to announce the game's next event, which at this rate, will probably be a Valentine's Day-themed offering in three weeks. More pressingly, fans are hoping that it's nearly time for Gen 2 to arrive, as an absolute truckload of that data has been put into the game at this point, and yet, no news, no release of new Pokémon yet. But Pokémon GO has a core problem that still has not been addressed in the six months since launch. Player interest is fading because after a certain point in the game, there simply isn't that much to do. Despite all its updates, Pokémon GO fundamentally does not have an endgame.