In quite possible the biggest Pokémon GO news in well over a year, Niantic has finally unveiled its new “quest” system which has been rumored for quite some time. And it’s possibly the biggest addition to the game yet. Not only that, but in addition to giving players new tasks and rewards, the system is in service of giving players on opportunity to catch Pokémon GO’s first mythic Pokémon, Mew.
There is a lot to dissect here, as I’ve gotten PR emails and been sent blog posts detailing all different aspects of this new system which is centered around “research” tasks for players to complete. From the sound of it, it seems like more or less exactly what fans and critics like myself have been suggesting the game needs for eons, achievable tasks for players to complete for rewards, and a “storyline” type quest that will give you objectives to complete in order to find Mew. In other words no, Mew isn’t just showing up in raids, and it will take you some amount of work to find him.
There are two types of quest activities:
These are essentially daily quests. You get them by spinning Pokestops, and they’ll task you with objectives like catching certain types of Pokémon, winning Gym battles or winning raids. Rewards seen so far in screenshots include rare candy, potions or raid passes. Like spinning stops or catching Pokémon, you can also get a streak of completing these tasks and getting a “stamp” at least once a day in order to build up to a seventh day “Research Breakthrough” prize which will contain better items and possibly even an encounter with a Legendary Pokémon, presumably outside of a raid battle. Outside the seven-day stamps, you can complete as many Field Research quests per day just to earn prizes if you want a never-ending stream of stuff to do and rewards to earn.
Here’s where things get interesting. These are essentially…story missions, or “story-driven activities,” as Niantic calls them. We don’t know precisely how this will play out, but Professor Willow himself will show back in the game and give you a quest that is at least somewhat like Field Research tasks, spinning stops, catching Pokémon, etc. There are multiple stages to it, and I’m guessing they get harder as time goes on. The quest shown is an eight-stage research task called “A Mythical Discovery,” where the prize at the end of the rainbow should be an encounter with Mew, if you’re not just handed him outright. This seems like it’s going to be a blueprint to release future Mythical Pokémon outside raids, and with Gens 1-3 fully here now, there are plenty of these potential special story quests that could unlock the other Mythics.
This is simply a massive addition to Pokémon GO, and almost word for word what I suggested months ago about how I wished there was an alternative to raiding for Legendaries. I am certainly not the only one to suggest that GO needed quests, but it’s almost eerie how similar the final product was to what I and others were saying GO needed. I am extremely impressed that Niantic has listened this well, and using this idea as a way to unlock Mew and other Mythics is extremely exciting. On the other hand, a video game getting basic “quest” functionality is sort of like celebrating a runner’s first ten steps of a marathon, given how obvious it is that GO has desperately needed something like this from the start.
These research quests should make their way into the game later this week, according to Niantic. It looks like it will be at least a week or more of player questing in order to unlock Mew, depending on how many tasks you can complete at a time, and I’m curious to see what the “harder” quest objectives will be as time goes on.
But great stuff all around here, and I’m starting to believe Niantic that they’ve redoubled their efforts to support Pokémon GO this year.