Come Monday, every gym in Pokemon Go will be closed for renovations. But when they reopen, the gym system will see a major, and welcome, overhaul that will make them actually fun to play again.
The gym system has been a point of contention ever since Pokemon Go came out. While the basic idea — king-of-the-hill matches where Pokemon fought their way up the chain to level up — was solid, players quickly figured out a way to plant their highest level Pokemon (usually a Snorlax) at the top of the hill and made it impossible for even experienced players to take over a gym. Niantic has been fiddling with gyms ever since, and seems finally to have decided the best thing to do is just change it completely.
According to Niantic’s press release, all gyms will now have six permanent slots, and Pokemon are battled in order of being assigned to the gym. It also doesn’t allow duplicates, so the jerk who filled your gym at the corner with all those Blisseys is out of luck. There’s also a “motivation” system; As Pokemon at a gym get hammered at by players, they lose motivation, so anybody who wants to hold the gym will need to keep coming back to keep their monsters’ spirits up. Oh, and gyms will now also offer up items to collect, giving you reasons to bother with them in the first place.
Furthermore, gyms will be the basis for Raid Battles, where players can team up to take on stronger rare Pokemon and possibly catch them for their collections. So, if Pokemon Go is your summer game, things are looking up thanks to this update.