In the latest update to massively popular augmented reality mobile game Pokémon GO, developer Niantic Labs increased the role of Candela, Blanche and Spark, who are the leaders of Team Valor, Team Mystic and Team Instinct, respectively.
The team leaders previously did not provide Pokémon GO players with any assistance at all, as they only served as the faces of the teams that gamers can choose to join once they reach level 5 and gain the ability to fight gym battles.
In the changelog for the latest Pokémon GO update, which takes the iOS version to 1.5.0 and the Android version to 0.35.0, it is revealed that Candela, Blanche and Spark will now have bigger parts in the game.
The main addition to the mobile game with the update is the Pokémon Appraisal feature, through which trainers will be able to learn about the attack and defense abilities of their Pokémon from the leader of the team that they chose to join. Candela, Blanche and Spark will also be recommending to players which of their Pokémon have the most potential in battle situations.
With the new feature, a lot of depth has been added to Pokémon GO. In the games of the franchise, including Pokémon GO, different Pokémon have different individual values, which are referred to as IVs. Simply put, even if two of the same Pokémon are on the same level, they have different statistics that will come into play in every battle that they participate in.
These IVs have been used in Pokémon GO ever since it was launched, but there was no legitimate way for gamers to gain access to them. There were unsanctioned third-party websites that allowed players to check the IVs of their Pokémon, but Niantic Labs shut them down.
With the Pokémon Appraisal feature now in the game to check the IVs of Pokémon, gamers will now be able to devise strategies in their attempts to take down the Pokémon guarding a gym in a bid to claim it for their team.
In addition to Pokémon Appraisal, the latest Pokémon GO update also includes minor bot fixes and a promise from Niantic Labs that there are still several new features coming to the mobile game.
The new features will be key for Niantic Labs to maintain the popularity of Pokémon GO. A recent report revealed that the user base of the mobile game dropped by over 20 percent in the United States since its peak usage last month, with the statistic attributed to the issues that gamers have been experiencing from the start such as server instability and rampant cheating.