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I Lost 100,000 XP Because Of Pokemon Go’s Silliness

Pokemon Go held Go Battle Day last weekend, on Easter Sunday no less. I’m not religious, so I took some time out of my day, in between mowing the lawn and attaching the final door to my flat-pack wardrobe, to do a few battles. I used to be incredibly into the metas and counter-metas of Go Battle League, and a few of my old Great League teams can still hold their own at lower levels, so it wasn’t much of a challenge.

I wouldn’t have bothered, however, if it wasn’t for the Timed Research. This offered four simple tasks and rewarded 55,000 XP – not an amount to shake your head at. This gets doubled if you popped a Lucky Egg – the duration of which was also doubled, making the precious item last for an hour on Sunday.

The tasks were abnormally simple, including battling five times in Great League and battling 10 times overall. Power up a few Pokemon (my Apex Ho-oh still needs some love) and make sure some of your Charged Attacks are super-effective, and you’ve netted yourself 100k experience.

For comparison, you have to level up to Best Friends with a pal to get that much XP. That’s 90 days of interaction in an hour or so of battling. The idea of the day was definitely to help new players catch up with us experienced pros, but I’ll gladly accept a little experience buff on my grind to level 44.

However, I made a fatal error. I completed the tasks, and then left the app. “I’ll collect those rewards later and make the most of my Lucky Egg,” I thought to myself. Reader, I did not collect those rewards later.

I get it. No small portion of this is on me. It’s called Timed Research, the clue’s in the name. But I completed it within the time, should I not be rewarded? When I logged back into Pokemon Go it was quarter past midnight – just 15 minutes after the deadline to collect my delicious experience. I’ll say it again, I get the concept of Timed Research, but I completed all the tasks within the allotted time. I should be able to claim my rewards whenever I want, whether that’s fifteen minutes late, fifteen days, or fifteen bloody years.

To make things worse, Pokemon Go gives me notifications for all sorts of things. “Raid Hour has started!” it tells me as I am tackling my second Tapu Bulu. “Don’t forget to evolve your Community Day Pokemon for an exclusive move,” it not-so-helpfully reminds me via push notification hours after my window to do so has expired. I’m not usually bothered, because I’m more active on these days and have therefore completed my business well in advance, but where was that notification today, as my XP was slowly expiring in one of the game’s three research tabs.

I can’t even rely on the orange research logo that tells you you have research waiting to be claimed in-game, because I’ve got my shiny Mew that I refuse to catch waiting for attention.

For all the notifications this game sends me (and no matter how many times I turn them off), it didn’t notify me of the one important thing that I needed to remember. Part of it was my fault, I admit that, but you’ve got to admit there’s a lot of silliness on Pokemon Go’s part, too. I completed the research!

Now I thank all three of you who have read this far through an article that is essentially me complaining about a silly feature of Pokemon Go’s Timed Research challenges and my own poor timekeeping, but I’m afraid I don’t have an answer for how to fix this. My colleague Eric Switzer has argued that we need a Pokemon Go sequel at this point to fix the finicky UI, and while I disagreed at the time, this experience has brought me round to his point of view somewhat.

We don’t need a whole new game, although I admit the UI could be cleaned up significantly. We just need rewards to not expire before you’ve claimed them, no matter whether the research is timed, special, or plain old normal. Maybe I’m the only Pokemon Go player stupid enough to forget to collect their XP, but if this change helps even one other person then I’d consider it a success. Now I just need to get Niantic to listen to me.

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