Pokemon Go has seemingly made huge changes to how it passes out EX Raid Invites.
Pokemon Go sent out a huge wave of EX Raid Invites to players on Tuesday, as it has every couple of days since last fall. This wave of invites was different, as many players are reporting that they didn't meet the criteria that Pokemon Go said was needed to qualify for the chance at getting an invitation.
Before today's raid invites went out, players typically needed to have a high-level Gym Badge at the gym where the EX Raid was to take place and complete at least one recent Raid Battle at that gym to qualify. However, players have reported getting EX Raid Invites at gyms where they haven't visited in months, or have visited but never raided at in the past.
The EX Raid system was put into place last fall as a way for players to battle Mewtwo, arguably the most powerful Pokemon in the game. Unlike normal raids, EX Raids only appear at a limited number of raids and require a special invite in order to participate.
So - this change is a good thing, right? Well, Pokemon Go developers were clearly tired of all the complaints surrounding the EX Raid system. However, many players have said that their EX Raid Invites are located hours away from their home or even other countries where they vacationed at over the summer.
If Pokemon Go has changed its raid criteria so that players qualify just for visiting a gym, then there's still a few questions that need answered. At EX Raids still limited to public parks and sponsored locations? Will the EX Raids still take place during a gym's "busy hours?" And will preference still be given to high level players or players who have visited that gym multiple times?
One other coincidence: the new Raid invites all went out on February 6th, which is Mewtwo's birthday in the main Pokemon series. Could the strange EX Raid be a birthday present from Mewtwo? Was this a way for Pokemon Go to subtly reference the franchise's one historic date?
There's a ton of questions about tonight's EX Raid Invite wave and not a lot of answers. Let's hope that Pokemon Go gives out some clarification soon.