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Pokémon Go’s daily quests sound like what the game needs

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More story, more difficulty ... just more

pokémon go - mew artwork Niantic/The Pokémon Company

Pokémon Go’s next version update is a huge one, and Niantic wants to make sure everyone knows it. The developer published a lengthy post that further explains how the new daily quest (a.k.a. Research) feature, will work when it goes live on March 30 — and the details suggest it’s actually game-changing, and for the better.

“Throughout our design process, we focused on the idea that research tasks could accommodate nearly any exploration style–from players who often prefer to go on adventures alone, to groups containing dozens of Trainers–and would range in difficulty to provide a challenge even for experienced Trainers,” the development team wrote. “As a result, you’ll notice that many of these tasks focus on skill and execution rather than depending on random chance.”

An example of what that looks like is a daily Field Research challenge requiring players to toss a consecutive trio of Poké Balls using what the game calls “Great Throws.” If you’re the kind of Pokémon Go user who just swipes the screen during battle and doesn’t think twice about it, this will test you to actually pay attention to how you fight a Pokémon. Players who think they know it all can also prove how good they are at the game and get rewarded for it.

These Research tasks are replayable, Niantic said, but they cycle out so that there’s a content refresh on a daily basis. Compared to the relatively static loop of the current game — swipe a PokéStop, catch a Pokémon, swipe that PokéStop again, etc. — a variety of different and incentivized quests is a good reason to at least try Pokémon Go again. With certain tasks also predicated on finding specific types of Pokémon, it also sounds as if players in limited areas may finally get a chance to encounter some species diversity.

The addition of actual story-based content, light it may be, makes the game even more enticing. Giving Professor Willow an actual role in the game seems like it will go a long way toward making Pokémon Go feel more than a passive experience with little purpose beyond the general “catching ‘em all;” instead, Special Research quests are meant to give players rare opportunities to catch legendary Pokémon that have some storyline behind them.

“We’re continuing to explore ways to make research even more group-friendly and to create compelling stories that have weighty stakes and satisfying payoffs,” Niantic said — an important goal that we’ll have to assess for ourselves when the update is live.